The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Archive for the ‘Short Short Stories’ Category

When? 2472. What? A Conversation.

I don’t think I found it but … It’s too weird to just dismiss.

What is it?

It’s something called ‘Spider Man.’

Some creature that was half man, half spider? Sure, sure! That could’ve caused the downfall of civilization!

No, uh … I think it’s just a bunch of movies.

Oh. A horror movie about a half spider, half man? Whatever. They made a lot of terrible movies in their heyday.

No, listen. Listen. There were a BUNCH.

Again. That’s nothing. They made movies that seemed really –

LISTEN! 2002, Spider-Man. 2004, Spider-Man 2, 2007 Spider-Man 3!

Well –

LISTEN! 2012, The Amazing Spider-Man, 2014 The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Now that is –

Wait. There’s more. Apparently he was then in a Civil War, and then in 2017, Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Seven movies in 15 years? That actor must have gotten so –

Three actors.

Seven movies. 15 years. Three actors? None of that makes sense!

EXACTLY!

I doubt it caused the Earth to blow up, but … I mean, that is weird. Maybe that’s what signaled when intelligence just kinda stopped.

I still think it was 2020, so many bad jokes led to the collective consciousness resigning.

Yeah, could be.

spider-man-tobey-maguire-andrew-garfield-tom-holland-987043-1280x0

Picture from here, post aside, I’m looking forward to the next spidey flick.

First Day of Work Tweets

@bikes4bullies, 6:36 am: Ahhhh! First day of work! SO EXCITED!!

@bikes4bullies, 7:12 am: Leaving now! I could hardly eat breakfast!

@bikes4bullies, 7:18 am: LOL! RT @summurrrrwhat: dude i think im still drunk. good luck.

@bikes4bullies, 7:40 am: Dang got here way too early! Now I’m sitting in the parking lot like a perv. Some good looking coworkers though o_O =D

@bikes4bullies, 8:10 am: Everyone is super nice. Score!

@bikes4bullies, 8:59 am: Ok. No harassment. No misuse of resources. No super long breaks. Don’t talk like an idiot. Don’t look like an idiot. Got it.

@bikes4bullies, 9:25 am: @champchimp4life Lawlz … No I write my tweets on the sly and only takes a few seconds so it’s not misusing any company time or anything.

@bikes4bullies, 9:26 am: The bathroom smells weird. Yes, I’m toilet tweeting. Twoileting?

@bikes4bullies, 10:02 am: Still in hr training stuff … so basically you’re saying use common sense … seriously, got it …

@bikes4bullies, 10:41 am: One of the people in the sexual harassment video was hot. Is that weird? jk jk

@bikes4bullies, 11:12 am: Goooooooood godddddddddd make this stop

@bikes4bullies, 11:14 am: LOL! RT @summurrrrwhat: thats what she said

@bikes4bullies, 12:49 pm: Lunch couldn’t last long enough. I’m only like 4 hours into my day. How is this possible?

@bikes4bullies, 2:14 pm: Dang I just realized like I have to do this like forever?

@bikes4bullies, 2:17 pm: I wonder if anyone has ever cried during training because they realized the summer of their life is over.

@bikes4bullies, 2:19 pm: hahasorry too real right?

@bikes4bullies, 3:02 pm: Wow. This guy I just walked by is like a genuine hunchback. I think I’m going to do that 10 minute break from your computer an hour thing.

@bikes4bullies, 3:14 pm: Would it be considered bad to play hooky on your second day of work?

@bikes4bullies, 3:52 pm: Ok sorry. Got some negative tweets. I’ve got a job. It’s good. It’s cool. It’s just that I miss college.

@bikes4bullies, 4:12 pm: Saw my desk. This is some genuine Office Space stuff right here! I even saw a guy with a red stapler.

@bikes4bullies, 4:14 pm: Who is going out tonight?

@bikes4bullies, 4:15 pm: Because I’m not! LOL!

@bikes4bullies, 4:20 pm: Got a bunch of responses to that … Maybe it’s less LOL and more … I don’t know. The guy I sit next to has been working in that EXACT SAME CUBE longer than I’ve been alive.

@bikes4bullies, 4:34 pm: Did you know 26 minutes is 1,560 seconds? I just learned that.

@bikes4bullies, 4:35 pm: Did you know 25 minutes is 1,500 seconds? Haha ok I’m done.

@bikes4bullies, 4:44 pm: Here’s my new way to tell how slowly time is moving … If I’d rather be doing sit-ups time is SLOW. If I’d rather be at yoga time is moving at an ungodly slow pace.

@bikes4bullies, 4:59 pm: So a co-worker just told me that one guy at work Googled my name and found my Twitter account and apparently a lot of people I set by have been watching this and laughing all day.

@bikes4bullies, 5:01 pm: Oh shit they saw that too.

@bikes4bullies, 5:04 pm: See you tomorrow (co-workers). Everyone else, I’ll write you on fb to send you a new screen name

Superman – Good for the People?

Metropolis, one of the greatest cities in the world. With a population of about 11 million people (as of the last census), it is, indeed, a thriving metrop … city.

A titan of industry, a center for culture, and a hub for the cutting edge – what’s not to love about Metropolis. Until, that is … that fateful day in 1939.

On that day Superman arrived. Oh, great, Superman!, you may think, he saves people!

Sure, he saves people. But you know what he also does? He attracts trouble like a magic magnet.

Take Robert Turns, a man who owns his own vacuum repair shop in downtown Metropolis. That is, owned his own vacuum repair shop. After Superman arrived the insurance company raised the rates for insuring his building by 48%, a rate that Mr. Turns simply couldn’t keep up with. Superman can’t rescue him from drowning, because he’s just drowning in his sorrows.

Another example is Susana Bishop. Susana was walking her two dogs, Yip and Yap, on a lovely September afternoon. She was at her favorite park enjoying the day. Suddenly Superman slammed into the ground about 500 yards in front of her with such force that his body moved along the earth, causing a trail of destruction. Horrified that Superman was hurt and shocked by the sudden disruption of her beautiful day, Susana stood frozen. Superman, at the time fighting one of countless unpleasant fellows he attracts to our dear city, skid along the earth until he was less than one yard from her body. Susana, regaining her senses, rushed to his aid. Superman thanked her and bolted to continue, and eventually win, his fight. But at what cost? Susana is now afraid to leave her home, isolated in hopes that she won’t run into trouble.

The current count of people out of a home because a Superman fight spilled into an apartment-filled area of town is at 3,487. This is just one small sample of the countless amount of destruction that has come about as a result of Superman’s presence in our dear city.

I ask you, as a mild-mannered reporter, is Superman good for the people? Or should he get out of town for a few years and take a vacation?

Whisper’s What’s What

Step up, shut up and listen up folks because I’ve got a tale to tell. A little less than a bit of time ago I was as open-eyed and curious and full of crum-dumb tomfoolery something or other. But now with Whisper’s What’s What I can see more than the average, I hear more than two ears should be expected to hear, and I can smell what ails you.

And what ails you, dear friends, is a lack of confidence.

And what else ails you?, eh?, I’ll tell you – it’s a lack of memory. And of confidence.

But shh, stare no more at my shirtless, shining, gleaming, muscled up bodice, belly button lint-free I might add: for I am just a representation of what you could be had you a bottle of Whisper’s What What.

How?, what?, for me?, for … free?

FREE! Yes I said the OTHER magic word, not thanks, not skanks, not hi-janks to get you some product seduced by sex and selective feelings of superiority. No, no. This is a guaranteed, bonified to leave you stupefied pro-duct. I wouldn’t emphasize the pro if I didn’t feel confident about Whisper’s What What.

How much, then, hm? How much would you pay to be the shining example, to be the boy, the girl, the man, the woman on the poster? Hm? How much would you pay to be the one people look to in the grocery store thinking, ‘I bet HE knows where they keep the protein bars.’ I ask you – do YOU know where they keep the protein bars?

YOU sir, you with the brown trousers, the two-toned shirt that’s brown on the bottom, green on the top with green sleeves, (you look like a plant), do YOU know where they keep the protein bars?

Oh you do, eh? What’s that? It’s because you had just one sample of Whisper’s What’s What!? Why, just yesterday? My brother must have been out here giving samples! That old scrapperdoodle. I’ll give him a what one, make it two, no three, better make it a what for.

Just a little humor folks. Yes you, like me, could be attracting audiences like this one, up to TWO people at a time! One plant and one confused looking little old lady. Ma’am?

…Oh. Yeah, the Wal-Mart’s up there.

Grandpa and the Aliens, Part II

We were close now to whatever the attraction was, because all of the aliens had circled like there was a school yard fight in the middle. We slowed down and for the first time since he woke up my grandpa seemed undecided. The aliens in front of us turned and seemed to step back reverentially. This was both good and bad: the good was that I knew an alien had not manipulated my brain to make me feel unnaturally relaxed, the bad was I was now afraid I was going to be killed or eaten.

Grandpa decided it was time to get the audience our side and opened the bag of sugar. He stuck the spoon in and held the bag out to me to the do the same, then we walked up to aliens and gestured for them to try the contents held in the spoon. The aliens somehow figured out what it was we were doing and took the sugar. I don’t know how to read the reactions of life forms I’d never encountered before but they mostly seemed pleased.

As we moved forward toward the center of the circle, toward what I considered my eventual unpleasant demise, we lifted the spirits of those around us, I guess, by handing out spoonfuls of sugar. Tentacles, digits, mouths, and telekinesis took the sugar to their mouths or what have you. What a delight to see that my grandpa and I were not the only ones with a sweet tooth.

Before we knew it we were in the middle of the circle and it had closed behind us, leaving us trapped. In front of us four aliens of, probably, different species stood waiting. While the atmosphere felt light, upbeat and excited, these four seemed intense and solemn. Oh, I thought with sarcastic aplomb, these are the ones who will be killing us.

A fifth figure who was wearing some pretty flamboyant clothes stepped into the center of the circle and gave a speech which was not only well-received, it almost made me want to cry. I looked over at my grandpa and he seemed bemused but delighted about it.

The MC gestured to my grandpa and I and stepped back to join those in a ring around the circle. I looked around for the first time since being in the circle to see that a number of aliens were hovering or flying so that they could see us. Stadium seating with no fuss.

A device was handed to me along with a nod, of sorts. I looked around, hoping for more clues but none came. Not wanting to deprive the crowd of entertainment, I hit the button on the device. Music started.

One of the four solemn aliens stepped into the middle and began a war dance. I guessed, in its culture, this is what they do before maiming a lesser creature. I studied it for weakness and noticed that intentional or not, it was really good at something not unlike the cabbage patch. After about a minute of flailing and such, the alien stepped back and another took its place, this one had perfected the white chocolate.

I looked at my grandpa who was tapping his foot, I couldn’t blame him, the song had a good beat.

Then, like that time I didn’t realize that girl liked me until she was in the middle of kissing me, it occurred to me. I’m a part of an intergalactic dance off. The next thought was a collection of about forty thoughts at once but it could be summarized as: neat.

I pulled out all of my best moves: the razzle dazzle (where I do jazz hands while also doing karate kicks), the Bambi (this thing where I pretend I’m a baby deer just learning to walk but it’s kinda to a beat), I did a really bad version of a ballerina spinning except I’ve never done any ballet so I almost fell down but I think I made it look intentional because then I went directly into this staggering around thing sort of like when you knock out the first guy in Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, and finally I wrapped it up with some Footloose inspired angry dancing where every body part is trying to move as aggressively as possible.

I felt pretty good about my showing, and I think the aliens liked my moves, but just then our neighbor, the one I had lied about having cut off one of his limbs, showed up and unlike my grandpa and I he had a rather large gun. He was running toward my grandpa, pointing the gun angrily at aliens as he yelled he was coming to rescue us.

I decided to calm things down by turning up the volume (wait, how did I do that?) and hitting for the next track (talk about good user interface, I just guessed at where these buttons would be and I was dead on). Then I attempted to demonstrably prove the power of the Fraggle Rock philosophy on life: dancing ones cares away (thusly saving them for another day).

This did the trick of stopping my neighbor, but he still seemed unsure. I went to the circle and held out my hand, an appendage, I hope, was held out and we danced together for a brief moment. I went to another alien and pulled it into the dance circle in the same manner and soon enough the whole crowd was dancing.

If I may be so bold, this was an even better sight than crowd of alien ships flocking toward our backyard for a dance fight.

As the song drew to a close the aliens all began making noises, raising their voices to the sky in a celebratory cacophony of peed-pants inducing gibberish.

My body felt light and suddenly I was inside a spaceship. My grandpa was beside me, slightly less calm than before because this time he breathed in deeply and exhaled audibly. This was the same noise you’d hear if dinner time was delayed an hour. I was still riding the high of my dance fight, but I had to agree with grandpa, I was ready to be in a more comfortable environment.

Unfortunately some aliens arrived to show us to a window where we saw them destroy Earth. This was upsetting because I didn’t know if it was punishment for bad dancing or a prize for good dancing. Is it that I danced so poorly that they felt the Earth should be destroyed? Or did I dance so well, have such a party, that they felt the Earth had peaked and was no longer needed? Also I was upset because the Earth had been destroyed. That’s where I had kept all my stuff, and my family, and other people who were nice too, I suppose.

An alien nodded at me with what might be considered a grin, so I figured I’d danced well, and then the alien left.

“Hey grandpa?,” I asked, trying to keep my voice calm.

“Hm,” grandpa responded, with a tone that seemed to indicate irritation.

“Um, I forgot.” This was a lie, I wanted to apologize but I didn’t have the words.

We made the same decision silently and began to explore the ship a bit in search of the alien equivalent of corn on the cob and a nap-worthy chair. It’s a noble pursuit.

Grandpa and the Aliens, Part I

Spaceships were landing in droves on Earth and I was feeling pretty unsettled about this. I found my grandpa who was asleep on the big comfy chair, the TV set to something boring, the remote locked in his hand.

I hesitated – I could wake grandpa up but what if I’ve just gone crazy and there aren’t really any spaceships? I decided double checking was in order.

I ran to a different door and sure enough there were spaceships coming down even in that area. But this time I noticed something different. Aliens of all kinds of shape and size were rushing out of their ships, I suppose it was rushing, all of them heading in one area. At first I thought they were rushing towards me, but it was only those who had landed behind the house who appeared to be coming towards me … They were going past us.

There was something in the distance these aliens were heading to, and I figured grandpa would want to know what it was too.

“GRANDPA?,” I shouted, having just closed the door behind me loudly. Slammed, you might say. Then I ran forward to the family room where he was stirring, “oh sorry,” I said much louder than necessary, “I didn’t know you were asleep,” each word coming out staccato like a machine gun. He was bound to be awake now.

“Hm,” grandpa mustered, looking at me with … eyes. I’d tell you what was behind those eyes but the emotions were hidden behind those sleep crusties.

“Um,” I didn’t know how much truth to give grandpa seeing as how he didn’t believe in aliens as far as I knew, “do you believe in aliens?”

Grandpa gave me a confused look. It didn’t look like he was about to answer, so I guess maybe his opinion wasn’t as simple as a yes or no but a more complicated answer involving probabilities and the great unknown that is Earth and so how could we possibly know what is outside our little world?

“Well, anyway,” I continued, not wanting to miss whatever alien spectacle was occurring, “I think a neighbor had a bad accident. Cutting down a tree or something. Lost a limb.” At this point I was continuing not to get grandpa moving but to see if his eyes could get any wider, “Lots of blood. Neighbors dog might have that limb and be playing tug-of-war with it.” Whoops. Too far. Grandpa’s forward progress faltered as he tried to determine if I was lying, he was hovering above the comfort of the magical nap-chair, “so … we should probably go help. Right?”

I opened the door first and said casually over my shoulder, “oh look, spaceships,” I looked back and grandpa gave a sort of disappointed look at the skyline full of spaceships which were, presumably, looking for parking.

“Where’s the neighbor?” grandpa said after giving the skyline what he considered was its due consideration, “huh?” I asked, having no idea what he was talking about and, “ohhh yeah … the neighbor,” I remembered my lie, “um, I lied. I just wanted you to see the space ships.”

“Hm,” grandpa grunted. Apparently me lying and me waking him up to see countless alien visitors warranted roughly the same reaction. Not everyone is capable of projecting such consistency but grandpa’s a unique guy.

“Should we walk down to see what’s going on?” I was really hopeful he would be ok with this, because that’s what I wanted to do.

This time grandpa deviated from the script, giving a “hmmm” with several extra m’s than usual. He said this and then turned around and walked right back into the house. I waited, figuring he would return with a reason not to go or a gun. I was pretty sure grandpa wouldn’t have a gun in the house until this moment, when for the first time it made perfect sense that we would have a gun.

Instead of a gun, grandpa returned with a pan and a five pound bag of granulated sugar and a ziplock bag of an indeterminate amount of brown sugar. He handed me a spoon and kept one for himself, and then we began walking forward.

I stole a glance at my grandpa who may or may not have been feeling the same, but he had stuck his hand into the bag of brown sugar and was pulling some out to eat. He proffered the bag to me and I gladly accepted. I’m not sure what in life is best at steeling the nerves, based on movies it’s alcohol but this sugar had me feeling pretty good.

Some aliens were soon flanking us, moving along in their various ways of transporting themselves forward. This was somehow as natural as a mass of humanity heading to a sporting event. No, more than that, a home sporting event. Somehow every creature moving along had a sense of hope, everything in me told me I was going to an exciting event surrounded by friendly strangers with the same hopes and expectations.

I wondered if one of the aliens had some mental manipulating ability to make me at ease when I really should have been fleeing, every pore of my body shouting words that communicate fear. I thought my having gone crazy was equally likely, but with the solid presence of my grandpa chugging along right beside me I figured everything was ok.

Who better to go nuts with then a man who had naps and corn on the cob as his favorite things. Grandma might disagree with my list.

The Delegates Assemble

Brain: I’ve called this emergency meeting of the department heads today because lately the body hasn’t been getting enough sleep. I’ve formed what I think is a pretty good plan for how to deal with this … Staggered start times. You see, we will introduce the body’s full potential slowly as the day goes on. That way we don’t use so much energy trying to get everything going for no reason.

Hand: I see what you’re saying but … what can you cut? You need us for cereal!

Brain: Yes, hands, feet, legs … You guys are important. Priorities one and two are peeing and cereal and those must be handled quickly.

Eye: You usually turn on the news so you’ll need us and the ears.

Ear: Yep.

Brain: Uh, correction, the LOCAL news. Ears and eyes needed at about 20% for the sake of everyone. You guys will ramp up slowly and be good to go by commute time.

Heart: So … you’re calling for this change in procedure?

Brain: Yeah … so …

Heart: It’s just … Last night everyone agreed they were tired … Eyes, legs, feet, back, just … everyone, even YOU … And yet …

Brain: Look I’m the first to admit, last night was a mistake. I didn’t need to watch an hour of bloopers from shows I’ve never even watched at a time when I should have been asleep.

Heart: LAST NIGHT? You make it seem like that’s not the way it normally is? I think it’s time we vote for new leadership, and I put my name in the mix. I’m the HEART. This show wouldn’t run without me. And what’s more, I’m pretty dang consistent unlike the brain who sometimes chooses to sleep in the middle of the day but wake up at bedtime.

Brain: The brain wants what it wants! And listen, new leadership is –

Foot: I also want to throw my name into the mix for the new leader.

(Heart and Brain laugh.)

Brain: What … How are YOU important?

Foot: …I represent a very important delegation for dancing!

Hip: Not more important than us!

(Everybody laughs.)

Brain: Thanks for the laugh, hips, that was needed. This was getting tense.

Hip: No really. We are important. You can’t ignore us forever!

Brain: Shhh, shhh, shh. Quiet down. You can raise any concerns at the quarterly meeting.

Hip: …You’ll regret ignoring me someday.

Heart: I don’t see why I shouldn’t be leader, really.

Brain: Heart, you operate at 100% necessary functionality always. Everybody knows I’m willing to sacrifice myself for the good of the body, sometimes forcing myself to ramp up from 10% functionality to 100% functionality over the course of HOURS.

Hand: …Lazy.

Brain: What was that?

Hand: Nothing.

(Suddenly a man on horseback rides in.)

Brain: Who are you?

Mysterious horseback man: My name is Charley, and this is my horse. I’m taking over this place.

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