Marching St. Evers’s Day


“And on this, the bicentennial of Marching St. Evers’s Day, we shall all gratefully lose our footwear as we plod through our town’s humble main drag in accordance with the man whose name graces the gates at the original northern and southern boundaries of what we now know as Everston, ‘The Friendliest Town in the World!’ according to Volume 47, Issue 3 of Weekly People Quarterly.

“To get a sense of this hallowed day’s magnitude, if natural mud has not populated the grounds prior to the event, we shall have some ready-made for the occasion, so as to harken back to the infamous time that old St. Evers himself trekked from the north to the south end of town in desperate need of a pub open in the wee small hours of that particular horrid winter morn. In the midst of all the squelching, his boots slipped clean off and sunk into the good country clay, but he was not deterred, nay! He continued along his harrowing haunt, on a mission to wet his whistle before dawn cracked and the drones began their scurrying for another day, reminding him once again of our puny species’ fleeting existence.

“So as the story goes, Old St. Evers (known simply as Tony Evers back then) happened upon a house at the very southernmost point of town, which–at the time–was yet comprised of simple farmhouses sparsely scattered few and far between. He was just one more setback away from packing it in for the night, about to abandon hope for a watering hole that could quench his very soul. He beseeched the landlord to spot him with a wee drink, letting him in on the gory details of his arduous trudge, expecting a sympathetic ear. The landlord would have none of it, promptly kicking the inebriated Mr. Evers back into the road, “ya lousy old souse!” Our hero tripped and fell backwards into the damnable mud, made worse and worse as the morning haymakers began their bustling to and fro, whipping up a froth that slowly but surely engulfed the poor man.

“All these years later, St. Evers’s remains have never been recovered (though that doesn’t stop enthusiasts from continuing to try). Some folks claim the tale is a complete hoax, and the townsfolk were just coming up with new kinds of drinking holidays to pass the brutal Winters. Regardless of whether or not this unfortunate soul lived and died in our beloved little town, we all still take the time once a year to celebrate his story.”

“Gee Dad, that’s a cool story and all, but why do we have to camp out here so early?”

“Son, there aren’t many times in life when you can be a witness to the history that shaped your town and very way of life. Trust me, one day you’ll be telling your kids about how you got a front row seat with your dad, how you learned not to abandon your fellow man when he asks for a wee nip of the house brandy.”

“I have to pee.”

“Just soil your britches, son. I’m not giving up this spot on account of your wee bladder.”

Thanks, Dad


“Parallel entities befit madness, my son.

“You should never turn your back on those other dimensions our forward-thinking predecessors have been touting for some time now, or your attention will lose its cosmic importance, the aggregate of local souls gradually easing you out of their observational patterns–though it’s the last thing they would do if given the choice.

“While you are charged with keeping your attention beyond the present actions contained within our visible plane, you mustn’t let the responsibility weigh on your consciousness too much; although you know everything is simply an illusion, you are an integral part of the chain of illusions keeping our earthly consciousness afloat.

“When you shudder, know the implications. When two birds meet on a wire and appear to converse, understand that their dialogue fits into our space on a level wholly undisturbed by our own idea of language. No need to fret over payment, my first lesson is always free.”

“Thanks, dad.”

——

First draft posted on 10/12/11,
originally entitled #40

Roses


The ever-present Rumpelstiltskin type of orangeade
seems to have no connection to the ingenuity
of a person concerned with a corrupt bargain
and everything to do with a personal vendetta
to be meted out over the course of several decades,
if not millennia.

Such a skip in discourse may only lead some people
to believe of its malintent, but truly
there is nothing wrong with such a change in scale.
How else are we to judge our actions
against the actions of others in present or past?
How else are we to compare ourselves
to the species who specialize in longevity?
The trees out there, the mollusks, the fungi,
all of them. We’re just individual pinpricks
in their rearview mirrors, and it would take a miracle
for us to cause more than just a blip
on their collective radar screens.
How do you like those terrible mixed metaphors?
Yeah, it’s getting me pretty hot too, come to think of it.

Who needs any kind of inspiration anymore anyway?
It would seem as though folks
mainly just seek to consume
pleasant media at a reasonable price,
and anything falling outside of that window
must be judged much more critically,
since fewer people have sought it out.
And the ones who go out of their way to discover
such outlets must therefore–in their own minds–
be superior beings, leading to tirades
about their keen eyes and intellects
while we sit there right next to them
with a thumb up our ass, hoping only
to take that thumb and plug up their infernal nostrils.

“What is that intoxicating aroma? Roses?”

“No, genius, it’s my shit-covered finger. Why don’t you go off somewhere and have a time of it while you prank a local youth?”

“Why, you insubordinating little trolley-hopper, I’ll have you know that I earned this domineering nature through sheer pluck and grit. Also, possibly through piss and vinegar. Over the course of my years, I haven’t been able to differentiate the two, though you might say I’m a bit of a glutton for the cinema. Wait, what kind of critic am I? Shit, I forgot. A jack of all trades such as myself can only be concerned with where the next paycheck’s coming from.”

Inherent Value


Poet: I got a steal of a deal on turkey today! I’m unreasonably happy right now.

Accountant: So… why’s that? It’s just turkey.

P: Well, someone dropped one of those shrink-wrapped breasts on the floor, and it had already been opened, so their policy was that they had to toss it.

A: Let me guess, you–

P: Yup, got it for free! Gino was working behind the counter today and came out back on his break to “dispose of it,” i.e. let his buddy have an ample supply of salty fowl meat.”

A: Gross.

P: I didn’t see it fall, but Gino said it got picked up in about a second, and the floor was pretty clean at the time.

A: Pretty clean?

P: Come on dude, I get floor food all the time and yet never get sick. Coincidence? I think not.

A: Well… you might be onto something there, but you’ll have to walk that tightrope without me.

P: How very cryptic, yet obvious. Did you think I was going to try to share this miraculous bird boob with you? Fat chance, señorita.

A: Señorita?

P: Yeah, I’ve been starting to call white cisgender males señorita lately, to get them to question their binary perception of sexual and social roles (unless they already think about these things, in which case they’re cool with it anyway).

A: Good to know.

P: Back to the point at hand: you were insinuating that it’s only a matter of time before I ingest a floorbound grape and contract some horrific illness. Sometimes I wonder why it is that you actively root for my destruction.

A: Geez! Where did you get all that from?

P: Tonality, body language, eye movement, the usual.

A: Well it’s not true, dude! You really take things too far sometimes.

P: Yeah, whatever. That’s what they all say. All those… “people.”

A: People, sheeple, I know where this rant is going.

P: Fine, then let me localize my argument to this room and the mind straddling the body in my vicinity at the moment. I have been observing for some time that you repress your instinctual side, and the passive-aggressive comments you make on a fairly regular basis are vessels for your packing-up of creative frustration. You lob them–like grapefruits–right down the pipe and I hit tape-measure blasts from time to time, depending on my energy level at the particular moment of said pitch. My diagnosis: Boredom-itis. Prescription: Weed and painting classes.

A: Ooh, ow. Oh yeah, you really pegged me, you bedraggled son of a gun, you.

P: Glad you at least acknowledged it this time.

XCIX


T: “I’m sick and tired of this situation, constantly running around and spitting out rhetoric at every person I see, able-bodied or otherwise. Who knows, if they can’t perform daring feats on a high wire, that doesn’t mean they don’t know how to recruit that kind of talent.”

R: “What the hell are you yammering about? Tightrope walking?”

T: “Yes, tightrope walking. Some consider it to be vastly more important than the entire field of biology, you know.”

R: “Are you referring to the French family of wire walkers?”

T: “Well, they’re definitely included, but they’re certainly not the only ones who find the art of high-octane balancing to be more important than life itself. Believe me, there are a lot of them out there.”

R: “If by ‘a lot’ you mean a couple of dozen, then I’m sure you’re correct. Don’t go making this into a whole thing just to show how much you like tightrope walking–no, scratch that, spectating while others walk the tightrope.”

T: “A ‘whole thing’, you say?”

R: “Yes, hijacking the conversation to give you the upper hand, or what you think happens to be the upper hand, when in actuality you’re just yammering about something that probably came up in a dream, and you can’t tell the difference between dreaming and waking anymore. I mean, I haven’t seen you running around in years.”

T: “Maybe this did come to me in a dream. So what? Surely you’re not discounting the importance of dreams and their power to influence the waking world. I don’t have any examples of this, but I instinctively know that some of the best minds of all time made serious breakthroughs after having dreams and applying them to their lives.”

R: “Yeah, that’s how the periodic table was developed by Mendeleev. I happen to know that you’re not one of the best minds of all time, sorry to day. Just stick to your day job.”

T: “What an original witticism. Can you at least admit that you’re not much of a genius either? All you can seem to do is knock me down when I try to explore new scenarios.”

R: “Yeah, stupid scenarios.”

LXIII


The following text will constitute post number 900 since Wharved’s inception just over 6 years ago. I’m very proud of this number! While it’s not quite 1,000, it’s still a whopper, and serves as a boon to my self-confidence as a poet and writer of absurdity. Now that I have this little intro out of the way, please enjoy something completely different.

———-

O: “Skipping right through to the meat of the matter, all I can see is a gaggle of swans just floating and honking while we’re trying to enjoy a leisurely lunch and put all of our animosity behind us once and for all. Can’t Mother Nature take the hint that we don’t need comic relief at this point in time?”

V: “Swans don’t form a gaggle, they form a bevy. I’m not quite sure how I know that, must have been one of those things I picked up along the way, definitely before I ever met you. Now, I appreciate your willingness to bury the hatchet with me, but there are still several things that need to be put out in the open before we can reach any kind of closure.”

O: “I have nothing to hide from you–you know about all the skeletons in my closet. That’s one of the benefits of being a blabbermouth, I blurt out my deepest, darkest secrets without any real encouragement at all.”

V: “I’m still on the fence about that particular trait of yours. There have been plenty of moments I wish you’d never initiated with me, and I could have lived without knowing some of the stuff you’ve blathered on about. I mean, why should I care about your crippling fear of snowmen? We live in southern California, you’re going to be just fine, even if you still haven’t fully unpacked why the phobia developed in the first place.”

O: “Snowpeople. They don’t have to be male to scare the living shit out of me, though Frosty definitely takes the cake. I remember a childhood in Wisconsin, where the Winters were WINTERS, none of this namby pamby temperate climate nonsense. But I must have blocked the specific memories that planted the fear in my psyche. I still don’t know how something as inane as a person made of snow could frighten anybody so much, but I’m sure my therapist and I will figure it out before too long.”

V: “You and your therapist have much bigger fish to fry than that, which leads me to your intolerance for dog walkers. Surely you understand that they’re just normal people who need to earn a living, and not the dog-fetishizing monsters you make them out to be. Are you ever going to get a dog, anyway? This hatred may never actually impact your life directly; I doubt you even care enough about dogs to do anything about a real live dognapping psychopath. I’m sure there’s at least one running around out there, which isn’t good for your mental health. Nothing would please me more than to inform you that you’re getting all worked up over nothing, but I’m a very bad liar.”

O: “You know, I’ve made a lot of progress on the dog walker front. You’re absolutely correct about me never owning one of those slobbery beasts, I can’t stand their constant need for attention and complete dependence on their owners. In fact, I’m starting to think that I don’t give a rat’s ass if a conniving dog walker kidnaps one of their clients and has a field day doing whatever perverted thing they so choose. We live in a free country after all, and those dog owners knew what they were getting themselves into when they agreed to pay a total stranger to enter their home. Anyway, don’t pretend that you’re any better than me–you have your share of laughable weaknesses that I wasn’t going to bring up, but since you insist on bringing up my foibles, I don’t feel the need to restrain myself anymore. How about I start with your need to have correct change for every purchase you make? You can’t just use a debit card like a sane person? You’d rather have a pocket of bills and coins at all times? Talk about obsession.”

V: “Yeah yeah, whatever. Don’t come crying to me when your bank account is compromised by someone who stole your debit card information and took an impromptu trip to Cancun.”

O: “That’s what fraud protection is for, dummy. Whatever, I know we’re just avoiding the inevitable here. Why don’t we just air our real grievances–here and now–like adults?”

V: “That’s the most sensible thing you’ve said since we got here. Hey! Swans! Shut the hell up for a minute! Jesus, they really are starting to annoy me.”

O: “Oh, so now they’re too much for you. I suppose you’ll want to move to a swan-less location now.”

V: “Well, when we’re done eating our sandwiches. I want those damn birds to envy our meals.”

O: “Yeah, that makes sense.”

Croissant


“Is there any chance I can get butter on the side?”

“This croissant is already loaded with butter.”

“Yes, but that butter only went into the composition of the croissant. I need surface butter that I can bite into, you understand.”

“I’m sorry, but we don’t have pads of butter available.”

“You could have just said that when I first asked, instead of insinuating that I don’t know how much butter goes into baking a croissant.”

“I’m sorry, I’ve been having a bad day.”

“Not to worry, I’ve decided that I don’t want butter with my croissant after all.”

“Hooray!”

“Was that a sarcastic hooray?”

“Maybe. Sorry.”

More Tambourine


Jimmy, Telly and Cliff stand in front of Jimmy’s open garage, stiff after hauling car parts around. “We need more tambourine,” Jimmy said with exasperation.

Telly looked at Jimmy quizzically. “We don’t have a tambourine.”

“What kind of a band doesn’t have a tambourine?”

“We’re not a band.” Telly snuffed out his cigarette with his boot. “We’ve been selling used car parts out of the back of your truck for six years.”

“Well, I’m tired of this arrangement. Can’t a guy form a band around here anymore? I have a perfectly good garage to practice in, we just need to exchange our used car parts for instruments and we’ll be set. I’m thinking rockabilly.”

Telly hates being the voice of reason. “This is just like the time you got the brilliant idea to start a petting zoo in your back yard. Remember how the coyote ate all the rabbits and you shot Cliff in the arm when you tried to kill it?”

“This is not just like that.” Jimmy sincerely believes what he’s saying. “The only weapon I’ll need this time is my axe for jamming in our rockabilly band. Come on, let’s do it.”

“Not this time, Jimmy. Fool me twice, shame on you. Fool me three times, shame on me.”

“I’m with Telly on this one,” says Cliff.

“Shut up, Cliff,” Jimmy and Telly exclaim in unison.

Pass the Broccoli


“This town doesn’t have any eggplant! I’m seriously considering leaving. Everybody here’s been suckered in by the big broccoli lobby, with all their damn grant money and infrastructure improvements. What’s the point of new roads, rapid transit and a new high school if you’re giving up your right to eat eggplant, squash, cucumbers, anything that’s not this god-forsaken broccoli menace? Big broccoli has ruined our town. Let’s go, you guys.”

Geraldo’s plea has fallen on deaf ears. Everybody around the table does their best to avoid eye contact.

“Who’s coming with me?” Still no eye contact. “Anyone? All right, fine, you cowards. Can’t someone at least call my bluff? Jesus Christ, fine, I’m not leaving. I just really want some goddamn eggplant.” Geraldo heaves a long and heavy sigh. “Pass the broccoli, would ya?”

Common Sense


I stand on the borderland between city and desert, not sure which is less appealing. I turn to my right and look down at the rabbit next to me. “Where should I go?”

“Well, I live in the desert, so you’re welcome to come with me. I’m only going about a mile that way.” The rabbit motions straight forward with a deliberate nod of its head.

“A mile? I don’t know if my shoes are suitable for walking in the sand that long. My apartment is only two blocks behind us, if you don’t want to make the trek to your place right now.”

“Thank you for the offer, but it’s time that I head home. If you’re not coming with me, I’d like to bid you adieu. If you’re ever in my area, come on over and we can talk about life some more.

“I’d like that.” The rabbit begins the journey back to the spot of desert it calls home, and I stand watching until it hops over the top of the closest sand dune. I turn around and look at the city. I immediately notice the soggy cigarette butts left around before it rained last night. Did the desert see any of that rain? Common sense would say yes, but common sense doesn’t allow for a dialogue with a rabbit.

Sitting Idle


“I have a climbing rope set up in my backyard if you want to try it.” Sitting at the kitchen table has become difficult for Tracy. Time sitting idle is time wasted.

Fred is taken aback, as he’s been having a perfectly nice time sitting in conversation at the kitchen table. It’s a lovely breakfast nook, the sun streaming in through the window and warming his shoulder. “I’ve never been much for climbing ropes, ever since grade school gym class. My teacher wasn’t very understanding of my lack of upper body strength.”

Tracy has to work off the coffee he just drank in some way, so he keeps pursuing the rope scenario, even if just to walk outside and look at the setup. “Well, this rope has knots in it, so it’s more like a ladder than anything.”

Fred has become wary of Tracy’s ploy to evacuate the house, and he’s not fond of this possibility. “I should have just mentioned right off the bat that I don’t like heights. Even if I could successfully maneuver my way up your rope, I’d be frozen at the top and you’d have to call the fire department to get me down.” This is a lie.

“I somehow doubt that you’re telling the truth, but I won’t pressure you anymore to climb the rope. I just figured it would be a fun activity.”

“What’s the rope hanging from, anyway?” Fred wants to keep the conversation going, preferably without leaving this toasty nook. Doesn’t Tracy understand how comfortable it is in here?

“I have a giant tripod set up, with the rope hanging from the center. It’s pretty nifty. Would you at least be okay with me climbing the rope once or twice?” Here’s an opening! Surely Fred won’t object to this.

“What, am I boring you?”

Like a Turtle


Devin takes a sip of hot coffee that still needs to be blown on. “I’ve just been out of it lately, can’t describe it as much more than that. I haven’t been social, and opportunities for social interaction are just too much to bear.” He looks forlornly at the coffee cup.

Marie offers her obligatory call to action. “Have you at least made an effort to get out and see people?” She wants to understand the situation, it’s never been hard for her to scrap the shackles of introversion.

“I’ve gotten as far as considering the possibility, but when it enters the realm of action, I withdraw.” He takes another sip.

“You sound like a turtle.”

“I feel like one these days. A shell would be helpful in a lot of situations.” He begins imagining a human with a turtle shell for a convenient anytime hiding place. In restaurants, in the park, on public transit, a safe haven would always be within reach. “Yeah, a human turtle.”

“Sorry, what? You lost me.”

The Gist of It


A mustachioed man with a boot for a leg kicked his way over to me and said, “Son, you’re never gonna be paid what you’re worth, so you gotta make amends with that fact and live your life to the fullest.” I’d never before met this gentleman, so his insight into my employment status intrigued me.

“What, stop worrying so much about money?” I furrowed my brow.

“That’s the gist of it, kid. You got a passion? I suggest you focus on that, for the sake of your sanity.”

Rat Tippers


“Where do you keep your rat tippers?”

“I keep my rat tippers with my cow flippers, in the back-right corner of the pantry next to the party fixins. Why do you ask?”

“I really need something to get these rats off my case, especially because of this ingrown toenail I have. I can’t risk being caught with such vermin on my case, if you know what I mean.”

At this point, the two friends
must risk being caught in public
discussing rat matters,
which is a certain cause
for social suicide around these parts.

They are either totally secure
in their position
or unaware that such talk
could land them in the looney bin.

Television News Anchor


G: But I don’t want to express myself! Don’t you see what’s at stake if I do?! I’ll have my information exposed to anyone and everyone, and I’d prefer not to be out in the public eye in order to make a living.

B: You’re a television news anchor in Los Angeles.

G: What’s your point?

Mad Old, Yo


Scenario: An alien lands on the surface of the planet, trying to investigate the nature of Human behavior for a book he’s writing. This is a book meant for scientific endeavor, and he also hopes it reaches the point where his fellow beings appreciate his efforts enough to award him with some sort of accolade. This is a big deal to him, and his species is on board with him. You may want to compare this to the Christopher Columbus scenario, except that our hero is benevolent. This species of hominid has evolved to the point where telepathic communication has been perfected to an indefinite amount. These beings are mad old, yo. Something like fifteen million years ago is when they first figured out the whole telepathic bit, which fell fifteen million years after that time they figured out what fire was good for.

Of course, this is to be read only if you want some perspective on their development. I’m only doing this for your benefit.

What? You asked me to take on this project. Do you think I would volunteer my time to this for no reason? You must be crazy.

That’s Hardly the Place to Put Chili


Invidrion: Where did our chili go? I thought I put it in the hamper.

Celeste: You did put it in the hamper. That’s hardly the place to put chili.

Invidrion: Well I thought I was gonna come back for it, but then I forgot.

Celeste: And I was the lucky one who found it when? Six hours later?

Invidrion: What’s today? Wednesday?

Celeste: Yeah.

Invidrion: So you found it two days after I forgot it there. You’ve been slacking on the laundry.

Living Under a Rock


W: I would like to produce a play.

C: That’s admirable. Who are the characters?

W: Oh, no. There won’t be any characters.

C: I’ve never heard of a play without characters.

W: You’ve been living under a rock, my friend.

C: I don’t understand why you have to point that out every time we get together. It’s rude and hurtful, especially in public places.

W: Jesus.

Well, Yeah XIII


And so as we enter another phase of existence, we must turn to ourselves and ask: “Why are there so many penguins on the road? I swear I didn’t see this many yesterday. Did you, Gertrude? Ah well, don’t worry about it. I’m sure they’re just on their way to some fast food restaurant to get milkshakes. I believe the average penguin prefers vanilla over chocolate, because the color is truer to the hue of their feathers. Many an argument has been made that penguins would like chocolate, but there are few penguins with such brown plumage.”

Hollywood Jim and Sparkly Sam Drive to the Disco


The two friends walked up to the club’s front door, only to find a notice that read:

Hello, would-be disco-goers. Disco Grande has had to close its doors due to a draining interest in the culture. We are sorry for the inconvenience, and would like to offer you a complimentary condom. Please take only one from the bowl, as we’re operating on the honor system.

God bless–

Jamie Bliss
Former Owner of Disco Grande (the #1 dance club in the tri-county area for three years straight)

May 19, 1980

Upon reading the note, both Jim and Sam were obviously crestfallen. They looked around for a bowl of condoms, but didn’t see anything even remotely resembling one. Jim turned to Sam.

“Cheap bastards ran outta condoms.”

Sam’s jaw dropped in an interesting combination of surprise and amusement. “You being serious? That note’s from 33 years ago.”

Jim was unfazed by his friend’s arithmetic. “Nice math there Sam, but where’s the bowl?”

“Who gives a shit about some bowl? Someone probably took it like 25 years ago.”

Jim’s countenance grew weary. “I guess I wasn’t the first person to think about taking it.”

So Hollywood Jim and Sparkly Sam walked back to the parking lot, empty aside from Sam’s sedan.

“What do you want to do now?” Sam asked.

“Find that bowl?”

Woodchips


“Your anger isn’t unfounded, but I don’t know where it’s coming from. Spit out the woodchips and we’ll have a serious conversation. Your lovely little distractions can only blind me for so long to the true matter behind all of this. You know what I’m talking about. Come on now, there can’t be that many woodchips in your piehole. Jesus, were you going for a world record? I doubt you had the foresight to intentionally stuff your mouth and have an excuse not to speak to me. Are you about ready? I can keep nagging you until you’ve got every last scrap of landscaping material out of your mouth. You don’t think I’m serious? Let’s give it a shot.

“You don’t communicate with me. This is most obvious right now, but you only contribute a small fragment to our daily interactions. It’s like I’m the one who does all the talking for the both of us. I can only come up with so many original things before I feel like I have to repeat myself.

“You don’t listen to me. I can’t remember how many times I’ve caught you just looking up some girl’s skirt while I’m trying to get something important across to you. Then I have to repeat myself again! Every time that happens, a little piece of me dies. I hope you’re happy about that.

“On second thought, you’re not allowed to be angry. Only I can feel hurt at the moment. This conversation has become solely about me, and I don’t care what you think anymore. What do you say about that?”

“I have a splinter in my gums.”

Å Meets A


Å: Excuse me, do I know you?

A: You do if you want to, but I can’t put my finger on where I’ve seen you before.

Å: The park?

A: You’ll need to be more specific. I go to… I go to many parks.

Å: Kennedy Memorial?

A: Odd time to talk about fallen presidents. No, I haven’t gone.

Å: No, the park on the west side.

A: Oh, right! Uh… no, haven’t been there in… ever.

Å: Do you even go to parks?

A: When I feel like it.

Å: Which is when, exactly?

A: When I feel like it.

Å: I’m starting to think I don’t want to know you.

A: Wait, please. I’m just trying to entertain you with foolishness and show you that my earnest side is actually quite pleasant.

Å: How does foolishness show me that you’re earnest?

A: Look at my eyes.

Å: They’re greenish brown.

A: Hazel. Like yours.

Å: Mine are bluish green.

A: Still hazel. I’m an expert on the subject.

Kicking the Can


“Yeah, the marmot’s a little shaggy. So what? No skin off your ass.” Harold kicked the can down the road, glaring at Rhonda all the while.

“You are rude. The marmot needs a clipping ASAP and you don’t even care.” Rhonda flushed with righteous indignation, the color of kool aid. She fixed her vision on the can Harold was kicking.

“As I’ve said a hundred times, the marmot is fine. End of story.” The can was getting quite dented, a standard aluminum soda can that doesn’t have the protection necessary to shield from foot contact.

“This isn’t a story. What is this la-la land you inhabit?” She was still transfixed on the can and getting rather tormented by the fact that this narrative could indeed morph into an epic tale the world has never yet seen.

“Everything’s a story. Most of them get lost because nobody wrote them down.” He stopped kicking the can and looked at Rhonda. “I don’t have a pen.”

“So now what do we do? Find a pen? That would make a great story.”

Harold had the look of a toddler who just learned his first swear word. “You’re right.”

“We’re making a story now? I thought we were just kicking that can!” Gesturing to the can with her left hand, Rhonda choked back tears (fake or genuine, she wasn’t sure), hoping to get out of another half-baked idea that Harold always seemed to be coming up with these days.

@ ∂ (•)


@: Do you want a carrot?

∂: I thought you’d never ask.
Wow, these are fresh.
Where’d you get ’em?

@: If I tell you that, it won’t be a secret anymore!

∂: Isn’t that why I asked?

@: Oh you.

∂: Now I really want to know.

@: What’s to know? It’s just a bag of carrots.

∂: The freshest carrots I’ve ever laid eyes on.

@: You’re not getting that information from me without a fight.

∂: Fisticuffs? I’ll throw down.

@: No, I meant trivia.

∂: How can we play trivia without an impartial judge?

•: Dudes, I’m right here!

@: SHIT, Darwin. You scared the bejesus outta me.

∂: God dammit, me too.

•: I brought my trivial pursuit this time.

∂: Good, ’cause if you didn’t…

@: Ease up on him, he’s just a kid.

•: I sleep the best at naptime. Is it naptime yet?

Jesus! I’m on the Shitter


“I want a grilled cheese!”
barked the stage man to his uncle.

“We’re out of cheese,”
the old man said.

“Well listen up, the truck has gas.
Go down to the store and pick some up.”

“I have no time for your petty errands.”
He was old, but his comments were fiery.

“Jesus! I’m on the shitter.
Just get the cheese.”

“Shit or get off the pot.”

Egg Strutting


P: Why are you strutting around like that?

F: I just found an egg.

P: What kind?

F: Chicken.

P: Where?

F: The fridge.

P: What’s so special about that?

F: Nothing.

P: Then why are you strutting around like that?

F: I just found an egg.

P: We’ve gone over this. What are you going to do with the egg?

F: Fry it on my forehead.

P: Let me get you a spatula.

F: Thanks buddy.

P: You’re going to have to stop strutting now.

Yep


Q: What is it you want to tell me?

A: I can’t tell you that.

Q: Why not? You just said you want to.

A: Figure of speech.

Q: Why even flap your gums at all?

A: Free country.

Q: You always give up.

A: At least I ain’t no got damn democrat.

Kerfuffle


Edna: Blunder into this, you old coot.

Phil: Who, me? It wasn’t me who smashed up the Buick last week.

Edna: You’re a coward to bring that up, Phil.

Phil: A coward? have you called me that yet today?

Edna: Probably once or twice.

Phil: Edna, I want a divorce.

Edna: I know, that’s part of your charm.

Girder


Monk: Are we building something?
I swear the girders weren’t here yesterday.

Thistle: Hm, don’t think so.
You don’t have any paint.

Monk: What’s paint got to do with it?

Thistle: Good question. Let me ask my thesaurus.
Says here a girder is like a beam.

Monk: Oh, well that changes everything.

Foliage


What the hell is all this foliage doing on my part of the lawn? You didn’t understand our agreement, Fred. I specifically stated in our last town-hall meeting, and I quote: “Fred’s shrubs are a major pain in the ass and I’m going to chop them down with my blunt, rusty hatchet”. I mean what I said, Fred. You’ll find, if you haven’t already, that I am a man of my word. Now I’ll ask you one more time, just as nice as before, to banish your plants from my premises. It’s a request so simple that a chimp could comply.

Go do it yourself, college boy.

My Hamster Ball Will Not Interfere


©: However you may approach this situation, I assure you my hamster ball will not interfere.

ß: Yeah, I’ve heard that before. Never with a hamster ball, but the scenario has definitely presented itself in one form or another over the years.

©: Like what? Emotional distress?

ß: Occasionally. It has also manifested itself as hypochondria, rabies, testicular cancer, octopus ink, test-tube babies (twice), and a whole slew of times I was told that granola bars were none of my business.

©: Wow, that’s harsh. Granola bars should be everybody’s business.

ß: Yeah, I quit that job after two weeks.

Wing Man


X: Who do I want as my wingman?

O: Ooh! Pick me!

X: And why are you suitable for this prestigious post?

O: Don’t you see my wings, dude? Chicks LOVE ’em.

X: Of course chicks love wings; they have little stubby ones and wish they could just grow up and get their feathers already.

O: I meant girls.

X: Oh… all right, let’s give this a shot.

Glue


“It’s a great part! How many times do I have to tell you? The fact that you’re not listening only aggravates my rage. Will you take off your headphones? Hello?! Hey, these things are stuck to your head! Did you glue them on? Are you so spiteful and petty as to purposefully ruin a perfectly good pair of headphones just to avoid listening to me? What if I had to tell you something really important, huh? What if I were telling you that I’m pregnant?!”

“Are you?”

“What, pregnant? That’s none of your business anyway. Hey, don’t tune me out! I can see your eyes glazing over!”

Hews


“It all stems from my fear of oranges.”

“Oranges as in the fruit, or oranges as in the hues?”

“Don’t even get me started on Hughs. I have a cousin named Hugh who puts his feet in suitcases six times a day. Try to figure that one out.”

“I meant hues as in… never mind. Suitcases? Does he travel a lot?”

“Wow, what an insightful question.”

B P I Chronicles 3


B: How did we end up here?

P: Metaphorically?

B: I was thinking physically.

P: Well, I guess we need to figure out where ‘here’ is.

B: Good question. France?

P: I’m pretty sure we’re not in France.

B: Belgium?

P: I was thinking more along the lines of a state of mind.

I: We’re in uncharted territory.

B P I Chronicles 2


B: Where’s the bartender? I need a drink. What’s that you’ve got there?

P: A caramel-infused jalapeño mojito.

B: Oh dear lord that looks awful.

P: You’d be surprised at just how awful this drink is.

B: Then stop drinking it!

P: I paid for it, genius. Plus, it’s not doing too bad a job. How are you, bud?

B: Thirsty. Bartender!

I: Hey, whadd’ya want?

B: AH! Bartender, were you crouching in front of us this whole time?

I: My name’s Frank. Yes. Now what’ll ya have? I ain’t got all day.

B: Yet you can crouch behind the bar and scare customers. I’ll have what he’s having.

I: I said I ain’t got all day. That drink takes 15 minutes to make.

P: He’s right. I was timing him. You don’t want this anyway, trust me.

B: Give me your best single malt scotch then. Leave the bottle.