Pinned

Jim Olivo left a note behind for me
many summer camps ago–pinned
to a pine–that reads:

“If you want the recipe for that turkey sandwich from mess hall, you’ll have to pry it from the clutches of none other than Neander The Articulate. Born with almost-exclusively neanderthal blood, his scrawniness prevented him from competing with his peers on a physical level, leaving him alone with his thoughts on a regular basis. Over the years, this ostracized fella developed a peculiarly sharp wit, mainly due to his constant observation of the individuals he would have considered his peers (if they would ever let him). Little by little he started sneaking tiny esoteric quips in edgewise–mainly in passing–that befuddled the muscly alphas and intrigued the blossoming females.”

It goes on like that
for a couple more pages.
I think Jim was working out
some kind of material on me,
because I couldn’t ever find
a turkey sandwich recipe
or a local neanderthal
for the life of me.
Maybe he was talking about
the camp across the lake.

Chucky Dan

Falsified drugstore positions
will do you no good, Chucky Dan.

First you’ll want to get at the razor blades
without customer assistance–good luck
if you don’t have a crowbar
or similar striking/prying agent.

Before you know it,
you’ll be halfway down the rabbit hole
of convenience addiction.

It won’t be long now
until you find yourself
checking into hotel rooms
just to assess the price of french fries
(weighted against the corresponding preparations).
Trust me on this one, CD.

This Here

Ordinary sanctions wouldn’t apply to the effervescent pigeon toes for too much longer, scrutinizing the woes of foreverpenguins—adept at taking their time when you just want to get a movin’ to the promised land (or at least the land referenced in books of yore). What really must happen is a distancing from tyrants and despots who normally would have built their empires upon the sweat equity of the under-the-tablers brought around from the time of the Immeasurable Reckoning.

The new standard—a babe in the woods—must rear itself without even a kindly wolf or flyover pigeon at its disposal! While certainly not necessary in this predicament, self-sabotage becomes more likely with each passing day as doubt does its dubious duty of doling out a deluge of doldrums, waiting to be conquered through a steady, dedicated hand (though it knows the chances are quite slim in this here forest).

Family First

Gee willikers, Ebony! I sure as sugar won’t be able to make it out to that party tonight. Look–believe me–it’s not that I don’t want to. You know that! It’s just that I have so much cleaning up to do around my place. I’ve been putting it off for ages, and now my roommate’s dad is going to be in town for a few days–spur of the moment thing as usual–and he’d rather stay with us than go to a hotel because he wants to be closer to his son. I mean, I get it, they have a very strong relationship. I admire that dynamic, but of course also resent it at the present. Why do I have to be the one to pretty up our sty before he gets here? Just because I made 90% of the mess doesn’t mean I should be cleaning a full 100% of the space. How is that fair? The displaced 10% probably represents another 40 minutes of cleaning that I’m going to have to do instead of living it up with you! Trust me, I’ve tried getting around this, but there’s just no possible alternative. The next time your brother’s having a going-away shindig before shipping out to do a tour of duty in a war-torn expanse of the Middle Eastern desert, I am SO there.

(#373)

We are the TOXIC Group:

Tastemakers
Obligating
Xylophones
Into
Conversation

Our meetings typically consist of 30 seconds of clever xylophone-related banter followed by 48 minutes of unbroken claptrappery (occasionally punctuated by a sneeze or self-important cough that reminds folks in the group of their own flimsy mortality). The list of covered topics is indeed long and tedious; an indeterminate amount of talking points is covered multiple–sometimes numerous–times, with very little ceremony.

The talking points typically meander around with little consequence, and our staffers have learned to endure them long enough to get to the meat of the meeting: attempting to reach a quorum on where to go for pizza afterwards. There’s been a glut of new “artisanal” pizza joints in the area, not to mention the existing restaurants who need gimmicks to keep up.

Gino’s Northeast: an old school pizzeria with a hint of sports bar (now with 25% more sass back)
Donnie’s Bunker: war hero’s spot with authentic Vietnam War memorabilia
Skip’s Dugout: retired baseball star’s spot with authentic ’60s and ’70s memorabilia
Gugliotti’s: Sicilian-themed ristorante
Chunkster’s: Most Toppings Around!®
Steggo’s Dino-mite Pizza: self-explanatory
Jeffrey’s Tamborine: adults-only gaming and entertainment-related eatery (wine allowed in the ball pit)

This particular installment of the TOXIC Group (#373) eventually ended with a near-unanimous selection of kofta kebab, since there’s only one local option for that cuisine and we were rapidly running out of time. For the record, a good portion of the group rallied for the adult play place, but Susie’s new around these parts, and we want her to stick around for a month or two before we test her patience with a drunken happy hour.

ZSR

Zen Shoe Rodney eats wherever he wants
for only a dollar, never tips less than 1,000%.
Zen Shoe Rodney always walks on air.

God’s KneePod plays only the classic hits
from the comfort of just below His exalted lap
(lap construction brought to you
by the good and hardworking deities
at God-Be-Built Enterprises).
Only one KneePod exists, integrated seamlessly
into His sacred patellar tendon.
Good luck getting your mitts on it.

If one were to estimate its monetary value,
they would immediately burst into flames.
The concept of currency
may not be associated
with such an innovation
in pious music listening.

Zen Shoe Rodney boasts the spirit of a chipmunk,
but only for that observant type of folk.
Zen Shoe Rodney always walks on air.