Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"Parry Hotter Stuck in a Botter"

Parry was raised by his Uncle Cactus and Aunt Dinkleberry. They treated him poorly, and kept him in a bottle on a cabinet shelf.

They fed him leftover cat feces, and only emptied him from the bottle when they wanted to use him to entertain their son, Tubby.

One time, when they forced Parry to dance “the Maccarena,” Parry became so angry that he brought the Plague upon Tubby.

A few weeks later, Tubby died, and Parry was no longer allowed out of the bottle.

It wasn't really Parry's fault. He didn't even know what the Plague was, let alone how to cast it from nowhere. “And anyways,” he shrugged, “shit happens.”

Parry was a blizzard. His mother and father had been blizzards too, but they were killed by a change in the weather.

The night of his parents' death, he obtained a questionable growth on his forehead that he needed to get checked out, but his aunt and uncle wouldn't pay for a doctor's visit.

By the time Parry was a teenager, it grew so large and ugly that it became nearly impossible for him to get a girlfriend.

Not that this mattered much, since his only chance to pick up women was when the housekeeper opened the cabinet door to reach for a mop and cleaning liquid, every other week.

One fateful day Parry got a letter. It was from the Blizzard King. It said: I'm sorry that you are stuck in that bottle for the rest of your life. That really sucks.

A week later, Parry noticed a crowd of owls outside Uncle Cactus and Aunt Dinkeberry's kitchen window.

In the morning there was a lot of owl shit around the windowsill.

The End.

Rabbit, Part II

“Jackie, I'm tired of you.  Your ass is too small.” 

A greying Dr. Baltar gets out of his chair and leaves the room his current wife, Jackie, is in.

Jackie, a beautiful, thirty-something-year-old brunette, picks up a picture of the two of them and gazes at it, more out of habit than for nostalgia.  She quickly gathers her things together, knowing that shortly she'll have to leave.

Dr. Baltar treats each marriage like an eighty-night stand.  Jackie is Dr. Baltar's 25th wife. And though Jackie is beautiful, witty, and well-accomplished as a robotic engineer, Dr. Baltar is bored, and so, enough is enough.

Dr. Baltar walks into a room full of smart-looking men. 

The true issue at hand: Experiment #337.

“Gentlemen,” Baltar starts, “the bothersome PETAVONA is at it again, this time, again attacking animal testing in our labs.”

“But I thought those laws were passed?” one gentleman asks.

“Which laws are you referring to?” Baltar questions the man, wondering himself.

“The laws that allow us to test on animals for the good of mankind, you know, etc.”

Another man irritably answers, “We're losing precious time...”

“I know,” says Baltar, “I know.”

“We should just kill them,” a teenage intern suggests, only half-joking.  Everyone stares at him, addressing his gruesome acne.

“May we all take a moment to count Adam's pimples,” Dr. Baltar commands.

“But what about PETAVONA, sir?” says the gentleman.

“I've counted eleven so far...” says Dr. Baltar.

"Pimples?" asks the gentleman.   He stares at Adam.

"Well, if it matters at all, I've just counted fourteen." he softly admits.

Adam solemnly accepts their singling out his acne as punishment for making one bad joke.

Rabbit, Part 1

Part One

The rabbit looked like it might be dying.  I put my hand on its chest.  His little heart was beating fast...

“Just leave it!” Lola shouted.

But I knew this wasn't any rabbit.  I was sure I had seen it before...

“You'll get rabies,” she warned, nudging me to go.  “Benjamin, come on...”

I began to walk away with Lola.  A minute later I heard a loud boom, coming from the area where the rabbit had been.   “Lola,” I began to say, but started running as fast as I could back to where we had been with the rabbit.  The rabbit was gone.

“Lola!” I called out.  “Lola, come see this.”

“Ben, what in the hell am I supposed to be looking at?  I don't see anything.”

“You don't see anything...exactly!  That rabbit—it looked like it had only three minutes to live.  I don't know.  It's just weird that it would suddenly disappear like that.”

“Shouldn't we be happy for it, Benjamin?  It lived!  It gets another few good years of procreating.”

“Yeah, “ I laugh, “You're right,” and give her a winning smile. We walk away together, but I still feel strange.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Louie the Lummox Has Fallen Down

A Children's Story

Once there was a lummox named Louie who loved to eat.

One day when Louie was walking to town, he lost his balance and fell down.

Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, seeing as Louie could just pop right back up, but today, Louie just couldn’t manage to help himself off the ground. He had grown too large.

“Will you help me?”

A few children passed by Louie and saw that he was crying. “Why are you crying?” they asked him.

“I’ve fallen down, and now I can’t seem to get back up again. That’s what is making me cry.”

“Have you tried using your hands against the ground and pushing yourself up?” an older boy asked.

“Yes, I’ve tried that. I’ve even tried using my feet against the ground to push myself up. Nothing has worked.”

“I have an idea!” a red-headed girl exclaimed. There is some strong rope in our garage. I’ll go get it, and we’ll use it to pull you off the ground!”

“Splendid!” Louie cried.

Soon the children grabbed hold of one end of the rope while Louie held on to the other end. They pulled and pulled with all their might, but couldn’t lift Louie up off the ground.

“I’m sorry Louie, but I’m afraid we’ve failed you” the red-headed girl said sadly.

“That’s okay. I appreciate the effort,” Louie told the children.

“I’ll go get my Dad,” said the girl, “I’m sure he’ll be able to help you.”

The red-headed girl went to tell her dad about Louie’s terrible problem.

“Hmm, vexing,” her father said to himself rubbing his scratchy chin, “But I think I know what to do.”

Meanwhile, Louie the Lummox sat and waited looking gloomy as ever. “If only I didn’t let myself grow so big,” Louie said to himself, “Then this wouldn’t have happened.”

But Louie was a lummox, and all lummoxes love to eat. It wasn’t his fault that he got a little heavy.

Suddenly, Louie heard a loud mechanical engine sound growing nearer and nearer. There was the red-headed girl’s father driving a giant crane.

He lunged at Louie in his crane, trying to scoop him up. When he missed the first time, he tried again, and when he tried again and did indeed make contact with Louie’s big lummox bum, he still couldn’t bring him up off the ground.

“I’m sorry Louie, but I’m afraid I can’t help you,” the girl’s father said. “I’ll go ask my wife if she has any good ideas for you. She’s smarter than I am.”

Not only did the crane-operator’s wife come to Louie’s aid, but a whole gaggle of little women. They looked up at Louie and explained that there was only one way for him to help himself up.

“Oh, please tell me!” cried Louie, anxiously.

“You must start dieting,” said the crane-operator’s wife. The women had brought with them dieting charts so Louie could keep track of all that he was eating. They also brought baskets of fruits and vegetables for Louie to snack on between meals.

Louie dieted for an entire day, but this just made him more sad and angry. He began lashing out at his friends, when really he was just a little hungry.

So Louie stopped dieting. “I’m never going to get up again!” he sighed.

But later that day, the teeniest, tiniest, youngest little girl in town paid the lummox a very special visit.

She hadn’t heard what had happened to the lummox, being so small, and asked him, “Lummox, why are you sitting on your bum, when you could be up on your feet running through the field and playing games with me?”

Louie explained to her, “Well, you see, I fell down a few days ago, and haven’t been able to get up since.”

The teeny tiny little girl was pensive for a moment, but then asked, “Lummox, tell me something, have you been thinking about your problem and talking about your problem a lot over the past few days?”

“Yes, the fact that I can’t get up has been making me very miserable, so of course I’ve been thinking of it, and talking of only it.”

“Well, have you tried not thinking about it yet?” the little girl asked.

“Not thinking about it?” Louie pondered, “No, I guess I haven’t tried that yet.”

“Do you want to hear about a game I like to play?”

“Oh, yes, I would very much like to hear about that!”

“Well, it’s played like this: One person is the Tagger. He or she can stop being the Tagger once they touch someone else and say, 'Tag, you’re it!' Then the person who’s been tagged becomes the Tagger, and he or she then needs to touch someone else so that they can stop being the Tagger. You get it?"

“I think I do,” said the lummox, “It sounds very fun.”

“Well, in that case, TAG, YOU’RE IT!”

The lummox ran after the itty bitty little girl, forgetting that he couldn’t get up, and finally came up close enough behind her to touch her shoulder and say, “TAG, YOU’RE IT!”

The two of them played Tag together for maybe an hour, giggling and running through the field. Other people who had seen the lummox in his dreadful state earlier were happy to see him on his feet again.

When the lummox and the teensy weensy little tiny girl finally got too tired to run after each other, they stopped at the ice cream parlor for some ice cream.

“I love ice cream!” Louie cried as he stuffed his face.

“Lummox, have you noticed anything different about your current situation?”

“Um, now I’m eating ice cream? Before I wasn’t, and that was very sad.”

“No, Lummox, you’re up on your feet again!”

Louie looked down and noticed that he was relatively high off the ground. “I suppose I am!” Louie shouted excitedly.

From that day on, Louie the Lummox never worried about falling down. He knew that if he gave it just a little less thought, and focused on all the great things in his lummox life, he would be back on his feet in no time.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mimi the Mermaid

I just wrote this, inspired by my favorite author, J.D. Salinger, who passed away yesterday.

During the summer, I'm usually the one left to look over my little sister Mimi. We live in a suburb outside of Los Angeles, in one of those new “community villages" you read about in the Real Estate section of the newspaper. Around here there are no summer camps, just malls in development, and people in cars. So Mimi and I just sort of walk around the neighborhood, looking for things to do. We would bike instead of walk, but I have a hurt ankle.

Mimi is a little canary bird, always singing these songs they teach kids in kindergarten, about Christopher Columbus, Native Americans, and California grey whales. I think she has just about every color of leggings: turquoise, maroon, lilac purple. My mom calls her “Mermaid,” which she loves, but she's my sister so I'm not about to give her any pet names. We get along pretty well...considering that she likes ponies and I like silent films and Architecture.

Mimi is the type of kid that is overly friendly. I say “overly,” because I think sometimes it rubs people the wrong way. She has this habit of walking right up to people and getting in their faces. Like the other day, we were outside the bagel shop, and there were these two men in suits, obviously having some kind of important business meeting. I say this not only because they were wearing suits, but also because they were intermittently making calls on their cell phones.

And so, they're going about their business, and Mimi just decides to walk right up to them, so close that she's really just a few inches away from their faces. She's really small and short, so when she does this, she's like this little creature below them, staring up at them with freakishly big eyes.

She then shouts “Hello!” loudly, into their faces, and I'm so embarrassed that I have walk a few paces away from the incident, pretending not to know her. The two men search around for her guardian with their eyes, but then carry on like Mimi isn't there. So, of course, she says again, “Hello!” this time so loudly that they can't help but lock eyes with her.

Well, they finally say “Hello” back, but quickly get up from their table, briefcases in hand, and leave the bagel shop. I think Mimi is the cause for their retreat. I decide that I can be her brother once again, and firmly take her hand, pulling her in the direction of home.

On most summer days, Mimi and I just walk along the sides of the roads, picking up sticks and trying not to get hit by cars. Seeing roadkill, as we often do, is usually a cause for excitement. Mimi is horrified and interested, at the same time. We make names for the dearly departed too, like Sir Stinkbert the Skunk, and Lady Nutmeg, a squirrel. Sometimes I imagine what being flattened by a car would feel like, and whether it would knead out my freckles.

I thought messing around by the side of the road was great fun until this past Saturday, I was hit by a car.

Mimi and I had just named a possum, Chester Uglybottoms, when this silver sports car came zooming towards us. I, of course, pulled Mimi out-of-the-way. But I was still in the road, and the car just didn't stop. My ten-year-old body flew up onto the windshield, and rolled back onto the ground. I don't actually remember much of the accident, except right after it happened, I remember hearing Mimi screaming.

The driver stopped, got out of his car, and walked over to where I was lying. One would think that I wouldn't wake up, at least not so quickly, but my eyelids slowly opened, and I saw the person who hit me.

A tiny man peered over me; he looked like some kind of sideshow character out of a David Lynch film. He had a comb-over hairdo and a bright facial complexion that made it look like he was wearing blush and lipstick. “Oh, dear,” I heard him whisper. He pulled out an embroidered handkerchief from his pocket and wiped a couple of sweat tears off his forehead. Mimi looked at the man, and then at me, whimpering. I could tell she didn't like the man, aside from the fact that he ran me over with his car.

A few phone calls were made by the man. Then he asked Mimi if she would like to make a phone call. I could see Mimi vehemently shaking her head. She was afraid of the strange-looking man and didn't want to have anything to do with him. I managed to say, “Mom. Call Mom,” and Mimi bravely took the phone from the man and dialed the only number she knew.

After the accident, Mom didn't want Mimi or I playing along the side of the road anymore. Our days of learning to pass the time in suburbia were not over, but a certain phase of both our lives was. Mimi was turning six next month, and my mom would then stop calling her “Mermaid.” I would stop claiming I had a hurt ankle whenever there was something I didn't believe I could do well. Mimi would become a little more cautious, not going up to random strangers in town and getting in their faces so much.

Sometimes I look at Mimi, and I see a little mermaid who is daydreaming about one day growing up. Other times I look at her, and see a little devil who is trying to get me into trouble with my mom. Still, Mimi and I remain close. I don't exactly show it all the time, but I do love her, even though she is beginning to put rhinestones on everything she owns.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

In Defense of Sloth

This is a short story I wrote in college to enter in a scholarship contest. "In Defense of Sloth" was the subject we were given.

A funeral eulogy is a belated plea for the defense delivered after the evidence is all in.
-Irvine S. Cobb

I am a squirrel and I move fast.

“Take it slow. Take it easy” was what Sloth always used to say. Sure, Sloth was lazy as hell. We all know that. He would rather starve than have to reach out and grab a leaf. In the end his laziness got the better of him.

I remember when I first noticed Sloth’s starving condition. I told him, “Hey Sloth, you don’t look so good today.” He looked skinny for a sloth, probably weighed in at no more than twenty pounds. I asked him, “You eating?” He told me “No.” No, he wasn’t eating.

Sloth was too busy to eat. You’re all laughing, and I know it sounds crazy. Sloth wasn’t active his entire lifetime, but he always seemed to have an explanation for all of his inactions. Either he was dreaming, meditating, or just finding images in the patterns and curves of tree bark, all of which made him too “busy” to climb trees with me, to look for food, or even to procreate. He was a strange creature to be sure, and I know many species were skeptical of his lifestyle, but one thing remains true: he was a great friend.

“Take it slow. Take it easy.” Sloth first presented me with this motto after I had my heart attack. The only time I’ve known Sloth to move anywhere from his tree was when he visited me in the hospital during recovery. When my wife reported to me that he had arrived--that he had actually dropped from his post on the tree and crawled over to see me, I was shocked and touched.

“Squirrel,” he said to me sluggishly, “What makes your little heart quiver so?” Sloth was sure that my neuroses, which physically manifested as quick, spastic motions, had been the cause of my heart attack. “I’m always afraid” I replied. “Of what?” he asked me, looking directly at me with his lazy eye. Peering into his calm albeit off-centered pupil, I realized and responded, “I don’t know, Sloth, I don’t know.”

I knew from then on that Sloth had changed my life with his simple wisdom, and by slowing down I would never be the same irrational, overanxious squirrel that I had previously been. I haven’t had any health problems since.

Sloth could stop the craziness of life to a grueling halt. He paused to observe life slowly and carefully. He appreciated nature to its minute details and had all the time in the world to enjoy nature’s vitality as it occurred around him. He gave himself to sleep because it was the best way to dream. And though his last sleep was forever, I know in my now normal-beating heart that he is having a most profound dream.

In defense of our dear friend, Sloth, whose slow existence influenced and intrigued countless creatures, and who saved my life, may he rest in eternal laziness.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Hour of Surgery

I'm sitting on a surgery table, discussing with my doctor what should be done about my arms and legs. He tells me they're perfectly fine. “This is nothing but hypochondria, Ms. Brundige.” But I insist on some kind of surgery. I tell him, “I will pay you out-of-pocket to cut my arms and legs off. Please...”

With a hefty wad of money in his pocket, my douche-bag of a doctor prepares the anesthetic and lays all necessary utensils on his tray. I lay there on the table, waiting. I feel nauseous just thinking about it, but I know I have to be practical. “I've depended too much on these limbs,” I mutter to myself, over and over. “I must find a way to live without them.”

The procedure begins all too slowly, and I catch my doctor, in my peripheral vision, puking into a trashcan. “What a wimp,” I think to myself.

“I can't...” he groans.
“Then I will,” I say.

Taking a deep breath, I press a razor-like tool into my right leg until it is bleeding unstoppably. I continue onto my left leg, embracing the pure pain of it all. My doctor runs to my side (not so disloyal after all) and yelps, “I'll do your arms...” He slices and dices my little arms, and now I am bleeding all over.

My doctor blinks in horror, “Emily...What have you done?

Flinching at my throbbing, self-inflicted wounds, I wonder the same thing.

First came the shock, then the horror. Last came the sadness, the astounding grief that weighs deep in my heart, in my empty stomach that wishes to be left alone. The individual person inside me begs for my attention. I had abandoned her so long ago...

Sealing some ghetto bandages over my wounds, my doctor offers, “Would you like to go home with a lollipop today?” He's back to his old routines.

I tell him, “No, not today, and not for a very long time.”

Sprouting creature-like crutches from within, I limp down the hall, climb into the elevator, and go home...