“Free-99”

The uncanny orthodontist gave me braces, and I never even asked for any! What a swell fella. He even said I could get them tightened for free at one of his six participating franchises if I were ever out on the town and looking to feel alive for a minute. The billing department is starting to get annoyed with me because I refuse to pay for the braces. They told me they set up a payment plan on my behalf, but I never signed anything, shook anyone’s hand, or even offered a verbal agreement. I don’t know about you, but where I come from, we call that “free-99”.

That ‘Without Our Knowledge’ Bit

What the hell is even the point of human relationships
if all we ever do is demonstrate how unfit we are
to spend time with one another on a regular basis?
It’s madness, more than anything,
and chemical compounds that dictate our actions
without our knowledge. That ‘without our knowledge’ bit
really bugs me the most of anything,
since I attempt to figure out things for a living
(well, I wouldn’t call it a living, but
I somehow manage to get (most of) the bills paid
every month). My daily existence is predicated upon
the ability to tell truth from bullshit,
and it’s what has helped me negotiate
the wild waters of humanhood thus far.

So it disturbs me when a person comes along
and knocks me off the tracks, like a goddamn
penny that some toddler put there
because they thought it would be funny.
Not funny, kid. Perhaps experimentation with the species
is necessary, and some folks take circuitous routes
in order to accumulate the necessary data.
Or some people are just assholes.

I Don’t See Why

Who wants to go skiing today?

Too many risks of bodily injury, I’d say.

You’re a wuss, buddy. Do you ever want to do anything with your life, or are you just going to cower and whimper all the time?

I don’t see why I can’t have a balance of both.

This isn’t like breakfast, you can’t just add stuff together and assume they complete the circuit for you. That’s how children think.

I don’t see why I can’t live my life like a complete balanced breakfast.

Buddy, I think you’re starting to lose it here. What, do you intend to balance orange juice with coffee like some kind of sucker? Acid on acid does no good for nobody.

I don’t see why I can’t also have a glass of milk.

Public or Private

Pudgy pigeons
pluck plinko players
from plaid plundering,
piracy never preferred
over pragmatic pilgrimages
(purchased with privilege
and pursued with primeval
predilections). Predictions
produce practically no pressure
in this prideful pageant, Professor–
public or private.

Society’s Fault

Hello, I’m Barnaman Bailey.
You may remember me
from such mishearings as:
“hey, aren’t you that ‘ ‘scuze me
while I kiss this guy’ guy?”
People always know
I have one of those type of names,
but I haven’t reached the level of notoriety yet
where people just know it for certain.
I blame society.
It’s society’s fault.

Robust

Miranda sold me this veranda one fine Sunday morning, while we were traipsing through the park (minding our own business like it was nobody’s business). She casually broached the subject in between more salient topics–chili mongers and termite hobbyism–as though she hadn’t really been thinking about it that much. Turns out that she’d been waiting in the wings for me to shut up so she could drop her latest deal bombshell on me: a 3/4-size veranda for the price of a small turkey (12 lbs. or less) down at the Froger.

Pancetta salesmen are not too common these days–in contrast to our robust ecosystem of chili mongers–but Miranda and I walked past one that same afternoon just as we happened to be discussing the virtues of veggies. He played it cool like he didn’t hear us, but I know he did (from the twitch in his left eyebrow).