The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘Short Story’

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!


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.


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

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.

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