Jack Spratt

She had stood by his hospital bed, wearing a summer dress printed with skulls grinning of the dead. Pretty in a dumpy, pot belly sort of way; her deep eyes glistened in the hospital light. She held the cold rails tightly, smiling with crooked teeth and a tired, sagging face.

He did not speak, and he did not smile as he had lain with his gown draped over his bony frame like a table cloth. Handsome in an immaciated invalid sort of way. Sunken eyes and cheeks; he smelled like urine and vomit. He slowly reached through the tangle of wires and tubes keeping him alive, held her hand and sighed.

They had listened to the rain patter on the window and knew they would be together, eating strawberries, dipped in chocolate or cream cheese, or lightly dusted in sugar.

When she became pregnant, her favorite strawberry dip was tartar sauce, and the taste grew on him over time.

During a winter in the Midwest, she told him to slow down, right before the truck swerved in their path on the snow-dusted, glistening-black highway. He tapped the brakes lightly, and the car started gliding to the formidable treeline along the roadside. He turned away, and the car spun around, and around. Their four year old kid in the back seat laughed and laughed, having a rocking good time.


You did it. You really did it. How could you?

He was mine. I found him under the bush in the rain. Next to the lady with her office in the apartment. He looked so sad and wet, but so adorable.

There might be a whole litter in those weeds. I’ll just get another one.

I can go there if I want. You never said not to.

No, you didn't.

I hear you. It’s not a marsh. It’s just some puddles in the grass, because it rained last night.

What are you talking about? I had to use the sandwich meats. We don’t have any cat food. I had to take care of it. That’s why I fed him a saucerful of milk.

He likes people food. I had to feed it what it liked. You were trying to starve it.

How could you say such a terrible thing. He wasn’t a stuffed animal. He was a real. With a name.

It’s perfectly clean and fine. How could you turn your back on that poor helpless thing. He's my baby.

What are you talking about? I did not spill milk, and the sheets could be washed anyway.

I’m not going to wash them. You should wash your ugly dress. You look like a giant candy corn.

What are you talking about? There’s no such thing as consequences.

I don’t need choices. I need to get out of here and away from you crazy people. You’re not going to brainwash me. I’m eleven and I know things. I know all about the Greek Gods. About Zeus and Athena, and that guy that saw the naked woman bathing and fell in love with her.

Nothing. There’s nothing in my hand, Mom.

It’s just a pickle. It lives in my sock.

What? I can’t even have a pickle for a pet.

You’re cruel and unjust.

Shut up, I’m talking. I’m like cheetah breath, not a pair of scissors. You’re not even a caterpillar.

You don’t understand anything. I’m using a metaphor.

I couldn’t even say good bye to my cat, my lovely baby. You never loved anyone. That’s why you and Dad are going to get a divorce.

No, it’s your fault.

Shut up, Shut up, Shut up, or I will stick a knife in your heart.

Get off me, get off. I can’t breathe. You’re killing me.

You’re lucky you just got a few scratches, because if you touch me again, I will stab you in the face.

I’m glad you’re crying. I don’t love you. I could never love you.

I’m a terrible person? You’re not even a real person. Your spirit guide is a rotten dandelion.

Stop crying I said. I don’t want you to cry any more. If you didn’t take everything I loved, everything would be OK. He was a stray, my baby. He didn’t belong to anyone but me. He liked to watch funny shows. He didn’t like to watch long boring documentaries. His name was Murphy.

The Desperate Foolishness of One Particular Rugby Winger

So here you are running around on a rugby pitch. No forward passes. No downs. No helmets. One of the positions is hooker. That weird throw-in shit when the big players get lifted in the air. The scrums with players jammed up against each other like ... like what? Mutant Siamese twin beetles joined at the head?

Is it OK to talk about Siamese twins? Should it be conjoined twins? You can't really say. Since you started drinking again and went on the prowl for the younger ones half your age, your moral compass doesn't know North from South. (The fact that there haven't been any younger ones probably makes you feel a little cheated. You feel you've gotten a second rate midlife crisis, don't you?)

You might have thought blood and booze would have made a string of casual encounters easy pickings, but you underestimated your psychological disorder, sexual inassertiveness syndrome, and your bad grammar, which btw is often an online dating dealbreaker. And the drama and messiness from the breakdown of your nuclear family sure don't help much.

And what seemed like a good idea when you got divorced in your forties? Playing Rugby. Why? So you could hit people without worrying about assault charges? Keep your mind off whether your emotionally challenging daughter will get pregnant?

Look, your team just won the ball from a turnover on a counter ruck. Quick, get into position near the sideline. Run, dammit.

On offense your passing is bad, and on defense you can't tackle. And you're new so you’re playing wing, running up and down the sideline and maybe getting the ball. If you do get that ball, just run and keep running.

If only you'd started playing Rugby sooner. What a player you could have been. Now, it's a race to some decent play before your body gives out. Still, your midlife crisis did yield a badass leg sleeve tattoo that anyone would have to admit looks great with the kilt you bought from the Renaissance Fair. An awesome swirl of whale and squid locked into a yin-yang embrace of tentacles and maw that are both dealing mortal blows and a gentle embrace that represent the relationship with your ex.

Unlucky, knocked up. Unlucky as a knock-on when a loose ball’s been bouncing around the pitch.


While waxing metaphorically about your maritime tattoo, there was a penalty against your team. The other side opted to kick, and the ball is now sailing way behind you to the spot where you should be now. Chase after that ball--run as fast as those old legs can take you.

You manage to scoop the  ball up and turn around to see controlled chaos converging. Kick it. You need to kick it into touch without fucking it up.

Don't fuck it up.

The 8 Man

The 8 man lies on his back with coaches and players gathered around. The scrum half says stay down. The coach laughs in relief when the 8 man gives him the thumbs up and cracks a joke. What do you call kids born in a whorehouse? Brothel sprouts. It's a common joke. Someone helps the 8 man to the sidelines.

"You'll be out for a month they say. And no drinking for 24 hours."

Terrible, he thinks. The idea of abstaining from drink for a while is a bit of a slap, like a counter-ruck after a tackle. (The 8 man relates everything in life through rugby metaphors.) He tries to remember if he's been taking the medication prescribed for his low grade depression. He's nearly certain that he's paid the electric and water bills.

The last time the 8 man sees his kid: downtown. She is 19. The white masonry of buildings rise, the sidewalks are paved with red brick, and the tracks for the light rail run up and down the road. His kid pauses a moment in the dimming light of dusk, before heading down Lexington and then the intersection is empty.

His team mates support him with pats on the shoulders and the back of his head.

The kid develops a topsyturvy religion based on an inverted reincarnation scheme. When you die, you become your favorite animal. (The kid is going to be a kitten.) What happens after the kitten dies, then you  become a plant, and then a thing. These scissors (presented as evidence). They’re a slave.

The 8 man stands on the sidelines holding an ice pack to the back of his head. He thinks he's lucid, even though he's confused about now and before and later. His team is ahead  by 2 points as the game winds to a close, but the other team has possession and is moving the ball down the field. Their fly half, tall and lanky, gets the ball and drop kicks it from 30 meters out. Dammit, the 8 man thinks as the ball hurtles through the uprights, that's a beautiful kick.

Each night the kid asks him if he will brush her teeth for her. She claims that she doesn't know how to brush her teeth. The kid puts toothpaste on the toothbrush and then waves the toothbrush around until the lump of toothpaste, perched precariously on her brush, falls off. Two years pass, and she still hasn’t brushed her teeth.

At the ER, the 8 man gets everything scanned and properly checked out. No headache. No nausea. No blurry vision. He is a tough guy with a hard head, apparently. It's all good, but even so, the attending physician advises no practice and games for a month. And walking is OK, but not running. Sloshes the brain around too much. Also, he musn't think too hard.

He looks for weaknesses in the opponents defense and runs hard through a gap, hit low, but the tackler doesn't wrap. The 8 man spins and skitters across the try line, then runs behind the goal posts and centers the ball.

The 8 man laments the fact that he did not take a piss between those two fucks, especially since the first did occur in a washroom. But hindsight is 20/20, and on the second go-around, there's enough residual sperm from the first go in that pre-cum foreplay fluid that he ends up with the kid and married for awhile.

The 8 man thinks he's had a vasectomy; he doesn't want children, but the result of that semi-casual fuck in the washroom raises a question. 1 in 1000 is the answer. There's enough sperm struggling through that post-operative semen spurt that he ends up with the kid and married for awhile.  

Too far away to make a leaping tackle, the 8 man still chases. Another teammate is able to haul the runner down, and the 8 man is there to poach the ball, stealing back control, if only for a moment.

When she is 9, his kid loves to hear him read "Call of the Wild". It's their favorite story. They laugh at Mercedes, who screams at every little thing, right up until the moment when her imbecile brothers lead them to their demise, falling through the thin ice, at which point she actually has something to scream about. But Buck, the dog, lingers on.

The 8 man sails down the field in ungainly grace, a tattered rag, worn out, running a hard line, and it's all good, this ballet of blood and broken hands, black eyes and lacerations, that chip away at the narrow slice of time that’s left, until just short of the try line; the back of his head slams into the ground, and the ball is out.

Star Trek Fanfiction by Kathy Acker as Read by Jonathan Goldstein

Interspecies Fuckland

In Interspecies Fuckland, a lot of fucking is going on.  Romulans and Vulcans are intermingling to produce strange offspring with pointed ears. Klingons are violently copulating with humans, killing their mates and mounting their heads on spikes before giving birth to bumpy-headed babies doomed to a substandard living that lacks a good dental plan.

In Interspecies Fuckland, Cardassian night porters are performing sadomasochistic rituals on broken glass with the Bajorans they victimized during the occupation. The deviant behavior becomes more perverted by the fact that the Cardassian hemipenis doesn’t fit properly in any Bajoran orifices.

In Interspecies Fuckland, the Sheliak engage in contractual sexual relations that involves protracted foreplay in the form of legal maneuverings and negotiations to determine position, location, time , and amount of mucous that will be exchanged.

Inexplicably, the crossbreeding orgy of unmatched chromosomes by the different hominid species of the Alpha quadrant manage to produce reptile-ape-crustacean-squid offspring with bumpy ass-shaped heads, nineteen nostrils, fish mouths, webbed feet, hands covered with suckers, and leathery skin.

In the fucking free-for-all, the aliens of the 24th century are happy to get skull bonked by a giant hairy bug, but still get squeamish when faced with transgender Trills.

The most tolerant species in Interspecies Fuckland is the Slime Mold of Seti Prime which reproduces by consuming its mates, regardless of number and gender, and dissolving them to absorb their DNA.

50.3333333 shades of red, green, and blue in equal proportions

He admired her proportions. She was perfectly dimensioned, measuring 2×1.3333333333333333333×2 cubits. Her face exhibited all the ideal symmetry ratios, and it scored 18 on the von Luschan chromatic scale. They commenced to mate in the tribunal of love.

Initially, they aligned themselves perpendicularly, then parallel. After 600K milliseconds and expending 4186 Joules in the parallel alignment, they adopted a rhomboid configuration that exponentially accelerated the flow of endorphins in their bloodstream.

5500 milliseconds after returning to a parallel alignment, he rotated her 180 degrees on her longitudinal axis, and they maintained a perpendicular alignment. He administered a strike upon her gluteus maximus, expending 4 joules of energy, and then engaged the intestinal avenue.

After securing her carpus with jute, he used the instrument that had been constructed by wrapping its core in filler and then covered by an initial plait and then up to three additional layers–in this case only two, the belly plait and one bolster–and the stock starked with a round piece of wood and plaited over with leather.

Having reached a point where various emissions had occurred and their muscles were overwhelmed by lactic acid, they rested for 240000 milliseconds in overlapping physical proximity. Their respiratory and circulatory systems, which had been operating at high levels of activity, slowly reverted to normative levels. She told him that her limbic system was highly attuned to him, but he had already been seized by a fit resembling narcolepsy

Welcome to the Canadian Gulag

You are now the property of the penal administration of the Canadian Gulag, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Trump Organization, in partnership with the Greater Federated Russian Confedaration Formerly Known as the Soviet Union (the GFRCFKSU) that now controls the Great White North, as well as most of the former United States.

 Your crime? Saying something mean about President Trump. I don't know what you said, eh, but I'm quite sure it was rude and discourteous, whatever it was.

Do not think about escape. It is not possible, eh. The Pacific and Atlantic Oceans to the West and East. To the North, thanks to Trump's Climate Change Acceleration and Beach Front Property Consolidation Initiative, an iceless Arctic Ocean. You can try to seek refuge on the Alaskan Islands, but why would you, eh? Just a bunch of chirps over there.

Likewise to the South your chances of escape are just as dismal, you have the Russian half of America (the good Trump half) and the Chinese half (the bad no Trump half). The borders between either of these halves and Canada are protected with very high walls. Don't even try it, eh. You might make it into the Mad Max zone between the two Americas, but you better hope that you don't fall prey to Lord Humungus and end up as a hood ornament, eh.

 A first attempt at escape will add two years of hard donut making to your sentence. A second attempt will mean five additional years of intensively competitive curling. A third attempt makes you mandatorily eligible for the hit new show, Ice Skating Death Games, produced and sponsored by the Trump Organization.

Make no mistake about it. Your life here will be almost quite uncomfortable. We'll give you the gears until you break under the harsh duress of mild to moderate labor. Things like dry cleaning Donald's suits and getting him a cup of coffee when he visits. Don't expect the guards to be anything but unforgivingly polite. 

And so you are to live out of the rest of your intolerable days eating poutine, drinking cases of two-fours, and choking on the cleanest air on the planet. And it will be really cold, sometimes. Make the best of it, and you might just survive. 

Now, don your green denim Gulag suits, eh?

Abstractly Erotic Banter

Just put it in there.

There. Really? Are you sure?

Yes, do it.



Ouch, too hard.

Wait a minute. Let me get the thing on. 

Nope I lost it.

What happened?

I suck.

It's not you. It's me. Or the weather. Look, now, it's back.

I can't even tell if you like any of this or not. You're so quiet.

I like it. 

You don't act like it.

I don't think you're giving me enough credit for how emotive I am being, given my generally nonexpressive personality.

I'm still here, you two. 

Of course, you are, you never let us forget it.

I feel left out. Sometimes, I think you guys aren't really into me at all. That you just barely tolerate me enough to include me.

Who are you calling guys?

I call everyone guys. 

We're not all guys.

I know that. I'm using guys in the gender neutral sense.

Of course you would. I reject that male-as-default paradigm.

See that's what I'm talking about. I can't do anything right. Even last time, when I used that jar of blueberry syrup, everyone acted like they were having a good time.

It was sensually tasty.

Well, for the next week, all I heard about was how sticky it was and what stuck to who and blah, blah, blah, complain, complain, complain.

It was sticky.

Everyone seemed to think it was a good idea at the time.

Speaking of good and bad ideas, what do you plan on doing with that thing?

This thing is great, it's multi-purpose.

Which one of the purposes do you plan on doing with it right now?

This one right here.

OK, I like that, but be careful, I don't want to tear anything. Remember what happened last time when things got too rough.

I already said I was sorry about that.

Wait a minute. I don't remember that.

You weren't there.

What?! I knew you were cheating on me with each other.

Chill out, you're really bringing us down. This is supposed to be fun. You're here now aren't you.

Here, would it make you feel better if I we had some fun over here.

It sure would?

Are you sure those hooks can support all of our weight?

It sure will.

Well, OK then.

Now, isn't this so much better for everyone?

It sure is. It's absolutely amazing.

Hmm. I'm starting to feel a little dizzy.

It's in the DNA

Match each snarky sentiment to a past president. Bonus points if you can guess each president's historical ranking (based on a composite of presidential rankings by fucking Nate Silver, Jan 2013).

  1. Actually, I did have sexual relations with that woman. And maybe some others as well.
  2. Not too keen on facts and details. As Top Executive, can rely on unreliable people around him to let him know what he should know. And Trees cause pollution.
  3. Personified Quaker work ethic by diligently keeping a list of all enemies who would eventually be audited by the IRS.
  4. a) Telegenic, charismatic personality used new political media of the day to defeat nasty old bag. b) Presidency opened up a whole new realm of sexual predation.
  5. In times of war, it is necessary to intern a large segment of population based on race, because fuck them.
  6. White supremacist propaganda screened at White House with an enthusiastic thumbs up by Prez for its “trueness”
  7. Has Secretary of War arrest Maryland legislators before they could make a crucial vote in order to "Keep America,  an America with 39 States."
  8. That Hair.
  9. Relocated entire ethnic group, to a location where they would be happier, aside from the death, disease, and starvation of 25-30% of "deportees"
  10. Signed act that included new powers to deport foreigners and make it harder for immigrants to vote, because the Irish were a bunch of criminals and drunks. Plus, the opposition was saying mean things about him.

Answer Key

  1. Clinton - Rank #18
  2. Reagan - Rank #10
  3. Nixon - Rank #29
  4. JFK - Rank #9
  5. FDR - Rank #2
  6. Wilson - Rank #7
  7. Lincoln - Rank #1
  8. Fillmore - Rank #37
  9. Jackson - Rank #13
  10. John Adams, the first non-Quincy one - Rank #16

Millennials Feel Entitled to Guilt Free Masturbation

Global economic and cultural dynamics are slowly eroding traditional values. That’s why the world is going to hell in a hand basket. That, and Millennials feel entitled to guilt free masturbation.  

They were brought up in a world where they feel entitled to masturbate for no other reason than their own shameless sexual satisfaction. Where’s the guilt? Where’s the hard work required to obtain satisfactory pornographic materials? 

More so than previous generations, millennials have a sexual self-assurance that is egregious and off-putting. Sex-positive societal attitudes. Online sex toy stores. Webcam feeds, sexting. Fetish sites. Nero is practically fiddling as Rome burns.

Except in this case, Rome isn’t burning, so much as thriving with a stock market breaking record after record. Also, Nero is playing with his wang, not a fiddle.

Nonetheless, the performance of this generation's boomer retirement portfolios are at risk as long as our future depends on a generation that lacks a work ethic that can only be instilled in a world of scarce pornographic resources.

In our teenage years, masturbation took a lot of work. Playboy or your imagination. That's all we had. You couldn’t even talk about it. That’s how it was meant to be. Hard work. Hard work and denial that anyone was even doing it.

When we were young, you had to earn the right to masturbate. It wasn’t something that was just given to you. Full frontal nudity wasn’t even prevalent until the 70s. And by then we were slogging through a soul sucking job and raising a soul sucking family. Does the younger generation even understand how getting married early makes masturbation super inconvenient? 

No, they don’t, because they delay marriage solely for the purpose of irritating our generation and showing a complete disregard for what made this country great: a workaholic lifestyle spent vainly and futilely attempting to meet the needs of a dysfunctional family and spending large sums of money on talk therapy. 

For our generation, there were few options besides tossing one off in the shower. There was no Porn Hub. Penthouse or--God Forbid--Hustler in the household? We might as well have taken a live bomb into our collective houses, just waiting for it to be tripped, blowing us all to kingdom come.

And things sure didn’t get any easier as we got older. Sure, there was VHS and Cable, but unless you lived it, you can't possibly appreciate the anxiety induced from waiting in the middle of the night until your sure your spouse was soundly asleep, so you could safely slip out of bed to catch some soft porn on Cinemax? Worrying about our spouses coming down or even-Jesus Christ to even thing about it now--one of the kids? Seeing you sitting back, naked in that lawn chair in the middle of the TV room next to a super sized box of tissues while you're jacking off? 

Holy Hell. The anxiety and worry makes it impossible to appreciate that film of topless super models infiltrating the Soviet Union and bringing it to its knees by parachuting behind the Iron Curtain. You can be sure of that.

No, kids these days don't struggle with this masturbational anxiety and worry, because they’ve been spoiled by technology. Like smart phones and tablets. Wherever, whenever, able to engage with a young, nubile naked woman in a pornographic exchange based on their twisted and idiosyncratic masturbational fantasies. Have they ever tried to smuggle a TV set and cable box and cable hook-up into the bathroom for some privacy? Certainly not. Can't be done.

And they have never had to develop a plausible "I'm Working Late" excuse to tell their spouse before slinking off to a peep show, where parking is a real bitch and you have to hoof it 5 blocks through the Irish neighborhood. And then once there, having to wait for a private pleasure booth. It's hard work! There isn't a more damning exhibit of our decline into a world of easily satisfied sexual needs than pornographic webcams.

It's the End of Days and the four horsemen are upon us. Except we're not living with war, death, and so on, so much as wealth and prosperity, while Millennials are fighting those wars we figured were a good idea, but still. 

It is just so sad that our future depends on a generation that has missed the character-building, coming-of-age experience of masturbation that is as frustrating and unfulfilling as possible.

Seating Strategically on the MARC Train

The MARC train, run by Amtrak, is the commuter train that runs from DC through Maryland, I've been taking this train between Baltimore and DC for almost two years and have developed a strategic approach to seating that illustrates the Prisoner's Dilemma when trying to optimize leg room.

For the risk averse, you can go ahead and sit in the typical front-to-back seating arrangement and guarentee an airline coach seat's worth of seating. But for us with a high risk, high reward mentality, each car on the MARC train has some front-to-front seating configuration. In this seating arrangement, a pair of seats face another pair of seats. This four seat arrangement is usually situated in in each of the corners of the car. (There is one car configuration that has two four seat groupings in the center of the car.)

It's possible to enjoy the whole commuter trip between Baltimore and DC stretching your legs out with no one sitting across from you. Your seat selection becomes crucial in increasing the chances of this leg room.

It's easiest if you are the first to sit in a four seat pod. Take one of the seats next to the window. The next person to join you will most likely sit in the aisle seat across from you. (Apparently, people don't like to sit next to each other if they can avoid it.) Unfortunately for them, they've only improved your chances of extra leg room. The third person to the pod will most likely sit across from that person (and next to you), rather than climb over everyone's legs to get that seat across from you.

At that point, unless the train is crammed full a fourth person will prefer other seats over getting into that last spot. Sometimes, your fellow passenger will help you out by putting their backpacks and laptops in that empty seat. Now, not only does the person have to climb over legs, they have to ask someone to move their stuff. Even if someone does all that and ends up across from you, you've already enjoyed a good part of your trip with extra leg room. 

But what if you are not the first person to sit in the four seat pod?

In that case, your best option people are only sitting in the aisle seats. Climb over them and get one of the open window seats. You're basically just as well off as if you'd taken that seat before anyone else had taken a seat. 

But what if someone has already taken the window seat. Well, then you need to suck it up and sit next to them and hope that the next person will sidle over to the remaining window seat. If you take the catty corner seat, your extra leg room won't last the train's departure from the station, as someone will inevitably sit across from you. 

Worse case scenario is when you've taken that first window seat, and then the next person inexplicably takes the seat across from you! I have no idea, why someone would do this, whether spitefulness (to you) or politeness (for the next people to site down) or if some people just really like the window seat no matter what.

You could move over a seat, but it's probably a lost cause. You gambled and this time it just didn't quite pan out. But like I said, "High Risk, High Reward" on the commuter train.   

When the Clonedroid Formerly Known as Prince Attacks

I thought it would be just another ordinary day, as I ruminated about the amazingosity of our Great Leader Trump.

But boy was I wrong! It would turn out to be far from an ordinary day. When walking home from work, a strange man, all dressed in purple, rode up to me on a Honda moped and demanded that I party like it's 1999.

Wow! He's riding a Honda, and he sure is short. And then I noticed more purple men, all wearing unbuttoned blouses, exposing their chests, and sporting an effeminate moustache. One is playing the guitar, and they're all gyrating in a way that makes me a little uncomfortable.

It didn't take me long to realize that I had stumbled on a clonedroid invasion deployed by the Sino Pacific Empire to perpetrate moral decay on our simple, protelatarian way of life. These sorts of things happened all the time under the New Trump Order.

I for one had no problem when President Trump left NATO. It did result in the invasion of most of Europe. Not our business, anyway. I was OK when Trump made that agreement with Putin that led to the annexation of the United States and Canada with the Greater Federated Russian Confedaration Formerly Known as the Soviet Union (or the GFRCFKSU for short). 

That's exactly why I voted for him. I knew that he would make America great again. I didn’t know it would be by making America not be America any more, but on the other hand, there is a complete no-nonsense attitude towards getting things done these days. And the new Canadian Gulag certainly took care of all the riff raff and undesirables that had been costing me my job. And when the CCCC (the Capitalist Crypto Communist Chinese, of course) invaded. That was OK. They only took over the half of the US that I didn't like anyway. The part with Hollywood.

OK, that long, deep kiss between Trump and Putin was a little weird, but I'm pretty sure it was just some Russian thing, like the French cheek kissing thing. The French, now don't get me started on them. Thank God Trump and Putin outlawed the French.

I don't know much about clonedroids or anything. Something about vacuum tubes. And something else about sending time travellers back to steal people's brains off of autopsy tables and saving them in an icebox. What do I know? I'm a salt inspector, not a robot scientist.

I do know I don't trust them. A bunch of robots, built by scientists with foreign sounding Swedish names, out to take my job, just like the Mexicans. 

That's why I completely support building a wall between the GFRCFKSU half and CCCC half of the country formerly known as America. The Mad Max zone between the Rockies and the Mississipi hasn't been enough of a buffer zone.

 Case in point: the lewd gang of little purple men who continued to demand that I party like it was 1999--they were quite adamant on that point--compromising my capacity as a productive citizen by infecting me with the heretic dogma of the capitalist industrial music complex.
Then all at once they said, "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing" 

“What thing is that?" I asked.

"Gender bending if I was your girlfriend." one of them said while strumming an electric guitar.
I was thinking, "What the hell does that mean."

"I am the sexiest vegetarian in the world, and right now, I'd love some spaghetti and orange juice."

Still not understanding.

"We are multitudes."

Not comprehending, as a flock of doves flew in the air from I don't know where.

A really sad looking purple man moaned and said "I wish Sheila E was here to party like it was 1999." 

Really sad guy continued, "You know, I am well aware that I am only a facsimile of the original Prince"

Disturbingly self-aware and sad guy gave me a come hither look that violated all my values on the way people should be looking at me and started singing about oral sex. At last I think he was singing about oral sex, I was having a hard time following, but got the gist of things. I think.

My mind raced. I realized that I had a handful of malformed grains of salt that I had rejected at work and then pocketed, so that I would have food to eat that night. I threw the salt in the face of the purple oral sex guy and ran. 

I made it about 10 meters, when I twisted my ankle and fell. All seemed lost when the cavalry arrived to save me at the last moment. Literally, a cavalry. Clonedroids of the 15th US president, James Buchanan, riding horse back. 

A Buchanan swept me up in his strong, capable arms and kissed me on the forehead to let me know everything would be just as OK as it had ever been. Sort of a long kiss.

The 7 Basic Universal Plots

All sorts of lists exist that talk about the number of universal plots. One list had 36, which seemed awfully high for universal plots. Seven seems to be a popular number for universal plot lists, so I developed my own list of 7 universal plots.

  1. Individual Walks Dog: Individual walks his dog or someone else’s dog.
  2. Individual vs Carrot Top: Individual tries to do something. Carrot Top succeeds or fails in preventing Individual from doing it.
  3. Carrot Top vs Individual: Carrot Top tries to do something. Individual succeeds or fails in preventing Carrot Top form doing it.
  4. Individual versus Death: Individual is in danger. Individual dies or doesn’t die.
  5. Individual versus the Hive Mind Collective: Individual struggles against conformity and with a mindless zealousness to maintain his individuality at all costs, screwing everyone else in the process.
  6. Individual versus Myth: Individual struggles to be somebody. Man succumbs to suburban life or becomes an action hero.
  7. Individual versus the Unknown: Individual makes a grand discovery. Or not.

Twitter Fiction Festival 2012 - @unpublishedguy

@unpublishedguy #twitterfiction

season one

S1E1 Cdr Salamander leads the Apathy on its gazillionth voyage, to find a planetary station where they can gas up the ship. #twitterfiction

S1E2 Yog Soggoth, Jr, an Old One as ancient as time, forgets where he parked, and the Apathy won’t let him hitch a ride. #twitterfiction

S1E3 Cerebral helmsman Old Spice & wildly emotional engineer Yo switch bodies, because the writers have already given up #twitterfiction

S1E4 In this week’s show the crew finds itself in an alternate universe where each cast member can actually act. #twitterfiction

 S1E5 Running ever lower on fuel, Cdr Salamander inexplicably diverts the ship to the unexplored Thumb Quadrant #twitterfiction

S1E6 Engineer Yo enhances the ship’s fuel efficiency by shrinking it so it can fit through tiny wormholes. #twitterfiction

 S1E7 An angry, rebuffed Yog Soggoth, Jr leaves a burning bag of poo in the Apathy’s transporter room #twitterfiction

S1E8 Dr. Crack discovers evidence that she may not be human when her holographic projector gets all jittery #twitterfiction

 S1E9 A day in the life of Tactical Officer XX, a levitating, human-sized strand of rNA.#twitterfiction

 S1E10 Cmdr Salamander, XX, and Yo get stuck on the holodeck during its routine malfunction#twitterfiction

S1E11 While investigating the murder of a crew member no one cares about, Tactical Officer XX awkwardly flirts with Yo #twitterfiction

S1E12 The crew is nearly being stomped to death by the Crural, an alien race with formidable thighs #twitterfiction

 S1E13 After a nasty cold, Salamander dies, meets Yog Soggoth, Jr in the 11th dimension, & gets lectured on supersymmetry #twitterfiction

S1E14 Dr. Crack bombards Salamander with particles that don’t exist but brings the Cmdr back to life anyway. #twitterfiction

season two

S2E1 Yog Soggoth, Jr once again bothers the Apathy, claiming that a crew member we’ve never seen before is his cousin. #twitterfiction

S2E2 The Apathy is threatened when a holodeck character hijacks the ship & demands they chart a course for Cuba.#twitterfiction

S2E3 Dr Crack saves the life of a potato-based alien by sticking giant toothpicks in its sides & suspending it in water #twitterfiction

S2E4 Tactical Officer XX and Engineer Yo investigate a space-time anomaly and fall in love in the process #twitterfiction

S2E5 Old Spice wishes he were a robot and seeks advice from Cmdr Salamander who counsels him on burying his emotions#twitterfiction

S2E6 Aliens attempt to spy on Apathy but are caught by the crew, due to the alien’s misunderstanding of what human eyes do.#twitterfiction

S2E7 Tactical Officer XX and Engineer Yo investigate a gaseous anomaly and have a lover’s quarrel in the process #twitterfiction

S2E8 In an effort to become the most robotic human, Old Spice matches wits with a smart phone and loses.#twitterfiction

S2E9 Tactical Officer XX and Engineer Yo investigate a spatial anomaly and have sex in the process #twitterfiction

 S2E10 Old Spice again seeks advice from Cmdr Salamander when he decides to build a chicken coop.#twitterfiction

S2E11 Officer XX becomes trapped in the mind of Engineer Yo who is trapped in the body of a squid.#twitterfiction

S2E12 By drowning puppies and slandering apple pie, Old Spice jeopardizes a chance to gas up the ship.#twitterfiction

S2E13 Commander Salamander has sex with a hologram, somehow.#twitterfiction

S2E14 The crew locates some fuel, but it’s contaminated by parasites that causes crankiness and bloating .#twitterfiction

season 3

Dr. Crack completes an unrealistic holodeck simulation of a starship that transports families into dangerous situations.#twitterfiction

S3E2 The crew encounters a sub-space anomaly that transforms their uniforms from unitards to polka-dotted kilts.#twitterfiction

S3E3 Tactical Officer XX’s parents, X and Y visit, and she learns a hard lesson about interspecies relationships.#twitterfiction

S3E4 The crew go back in time, discover their grandfathers and murder them to demonstrate that the fluffy propery of time #twitterfiction

 S3E5 Old Spice exchanges pleasentries with Engineer Yo and learns a shocking secret about starship etiquette #twitterfiction

S3E6 Yog Soggoth, Jr returns to the Apathy and imbues Cmdr Salamander with the power of copious pontification #twitterfiction

S3E7 In his latest attempt to misunderstand Humanity, Old Spice adopts the practice of radical honesty #twitterfiction

S3E8 Yog Soggoth, Jr transports Old Spice, XX, and Yo into a representation of Remembrance of Things Past.#twitterfiction

S3E9 Dr Crack realizes she is a man trapped in a female hologram. She undergoes a holographic projector extension. #twitterfiction

 S3E10 The crew barely escapes destruction when they find an abandoned fueling station inhabited by clones of Donald Trump#twitterfiction

S3E11 After a computer malfunction, XX, Yo, and Old Spice are trapped in a pornographic holodeck program #twitterfiction

S3E12 Dr. Crack gets deleted under mysterious circumstances. An investigation implicates John McAfee. #twitterfiction

S3E13 Apathy answers a distress call, and the crew is duped into exchanging its cow for magic beans #twitterfiction

S3E14 Yog Soggoth, Jr. returns, yet again, to gain control of the Apathy in his quest to produce another filler episode #twitterfiction

season 4

S4E1 The show jumps the shark when the crew adopts a Neanderthal named Crunge as their pet..#twitterfiction

S4E2 Robot-Alien-Neanderthal-Hologram love quadrilateral.#twitterfiction

S4E3 Old Spice records a day on the Apathy, observing Tactical Officer XX self-replicate & the mystery of missing underwear #twitterfiction

S4E4 The Apathy passes through a nebula resulting in an uneventful trip where uninteresting things happened.#twitterfiction

 S4E5 The crew enters time loop & repeatedly blows up the ship in a much less funny version of Ground Hog day.#twitterfiction

S4E6 Tactical Officer XX consults a holographic Olympic curler about her 4-way relationship with Yo, Old Spice, and Crunge.#twitterfiction

S4E7 Anthropologist XY hitches a ride to the Thumb Quadrant, just as Yog Soggoth, Jr. remembers where he parked #twitterfiction

S4E8 Tactical Officer XX has an affair, swapping nucleic acids with visiting anthropologist XY.#twitterfiction

 S4E9 Yog Soggoth, Jr gets thrown out of the Old Ones club and can no longer make people suits#twitterfiction

S4E10 A transporter accident replaces the crew of the Apathy with the physical forms of the TV show’s writing staff #twitterfiction

S4E11 Holodeck Nazis? Why the Hell not.#twitterfiction

S4E12 Crunge makes the crew rather uncomfortable as he performs, “[unpronouncable]” the Neanderthal rite of adulthood, naked #twitterfiction

S4E13 The crew has to fight holographic gymnasts that escape the holodeck. Cmdr Salamander loses points on the vault.#twitterfiction

S4E14 The whole TV series is the fantasy of a committed lunatic. Or is it? No, as it turns out, it isn’t #twitterfiction

season five

S5E1 The crew is infected by a disease that turns them into children and wacky cuteness ensues.#twitterfiction

S5E2 The self-centered, self-absorbed crew of the Apathy learn a lesson in cooperation that is forgotten by the next episode #twitterfiction

S5E3 Yog Sogoth, Jr. struggles with its weird new feelings as it feels an attraction to Cmdr Salamander .#twitterfiction

S5E4 Another Old One appears & hops aboard the Apathy. Yog Soggoth, Jr intervenes by devouring the other in a single bite #twitterfiction

S5E5 Crunge is attracted to Old Spice’s body odor #twitterfiction

S5E6 Crunge invites the crew for a breakfast of jellied testicles. Engineer Yo searches for something that’s missing #twitterfiction

S5E7 An alien race of rats conducts “research” on Old Spice and Crunge. Mazes, cheese, and chemical injections. O My. #twitterfiction

S5E8 Crunge gets an insect bite that swells to the size of basketball and ruptures, showering the crew with sentient pus #twitterfiction

S5E9 Several crew members disappear in Engineer Yo’s pornographic holodeck program and are never seen again #twitterfiction

S5E10 Crunge discovers fire and burns down C-deck. Cmdr Salamander regrets not buying starship insurance #twitterfiction

S5E11 After touching a dark monolith, Crunge gains the ability to speak the Queen’s English & play Jethro Tull on the flute #twitterfiction

S5E12 Gullible transdimensional bit-based lifeforms mistake this Twitter stream for reality & begin to worship Yog Jr #twitterfiction

S5E13-1 Running low on fuel & food, the crew fights a Colour Out of Space that hides behind a shield of plaid camouflage #twitterfiction

S5E13-2 Facing starvation, the crew eats Crunge, providing enough protein to defeat the Plaid Colour Out of Space.#twitterfiction

S5E14-1 Old Spice has his 1st emotionless thought while fighting a horde of hyperdimension beings unleashed by Yog Jr. #twitterfiction

S5E14-2 With a fueling station finally in reach Salamander must choose Gas or stop the spawn of Yog from destroying humanity#twitterfiction

Postscript: Restored after 512 years, Dr Crack finds himself on the Apathy, a derelict floating in space, running on empty #twitterfiction

William Faulkner, New Millenium Pitchman

Sound and Fury Energy Drink

I give you the beverage of all hope and desire. I give it to you not only that you may get a strong energy boost, but that you might get maximum hydration and an extra kick of B-vitamins, caffeine, electrolytes, and SOUND AND FURY’s potent rye blend. Because no drink has ever been so smooth, powerful and easy to drink. Other drinks only reveal to man his own folly and beverage despair, from which quenched thirst and transcending sleep is an illusion of scholars and imbeciles.

After I drink SOUND AND FURY energy drink, I am neither asleep nor awake looking down the long track of an active and exhausting lifestyle where all still things become infused with an incredible energy boost all I do bigger, better all I feel faster, stronger, enhanced by the potent blend of Guarana, Ginkgo, Ginseng and Alcohol and perverse chilling without relevance inherent in employment with the fully refreshing, lightly carbonated beverage super chilled it affirms thinking I go here I go there where I was not not where I was.

A Rose for Emily Plugin Scented Oil

What was left of the grinning corpse, rotted and swaddled in what remained of his nightshirt, was intractably reposed in the bed in which he lay; but thanks to A ROSE FOR EMILY plugin scented oil, we did not smell it one bit.

Light in August Commemorative Jesus Coin

Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders. Now you can remember the big round Golgotha cold echoing by purchasing a LIGHT IN AUGUST commemorative Jesus coin. On one side, a 3D Jesus set in a lusterless zinc alloy compound, and on the converse side, the Holy Ghost, transparent to the straining eye. The coin, enclosed in glittering Wanjun factory gold plating, being either a God or a Man, who in random erratic flips, with gymnastlike balance beam tumbles, tossing end-over-end in identical and uniform silk gold in and out of remembering. And now you can remember Jesus and know his dual divinity with this handsome commemorative Jesus coin.

Absalom, Absalom! Smelling Salts

Because there is something in the smell of ammonia with carbonate which nullifies, slices straight across the devious nasal passages of decorous odor, which left nostrils know as well as right nostrils know because it takes them both to smell and smell of that which is the castle of consciousness: the liquored and ungirdled mind is anything’s to awake from any darkened hallway of this earthly tenement. Let ammonia smell with carbonate, and watch the flutter of the window shade eyelids.

ABSALOM, ABSALOM! SMELLING SALTS for concussion and fainting too.

As I Lay Dying Memory Foam Mattress

In a strange room you must empty yourself for sleep. And before you are emptied for sleep, how comfortable are you? And when you are emptied for sleep, how comfortable are you? And when you are emptied for sleep you are not. And when you are filled with sleep, you never were. You don’t know how comfortable you are. You don’t know how comfortable you can be.

I know he am, because whether I do not know that he do not know or where I am or not, because I sleep on the AS I LAY DYING memory foam mattress. I can empty myself for sleep because the memory foam mattress ensures that I am comfortable and ensures that I am not uncomfortable. And then I must be, or I could not empty myself for sleep in a strange room. And so if I am not emptied yet, I will be.

Literary Fiction and Popular Fiction, Psychoanalyzed

Literary fiction is a solipsistic mental patient, gazing at itself in a mirror. Very little is happening, except the internal churning of its little grey cells. Literary fiction demands center stage, simultaneously fascinating and repulsing the reader as its flesh is peeled away like layers of onion skin, revealing the bare bones of angst-ridden minimalism. It resides in the self-contained world where it presides over itself. It uses the spare, forceful language of an OCD scrabble champion, invoking triple word score metaphors.

In therapy literary fiction contends with its world weary ennui, cynicism, and laconic empathy. It needs to work on social skills and developing sustainable relationships based on respect. Less dark sarcasm and condescending attitude. More happy faces and smiles.

Popular fiction is the good-natured codependent man child that aims to please everyone. Always on the go go while scarfing down a ho ho. Easy-going and full of life, it fills the emotional void in its life with vapid sentiment. Popular fiction lacks a sense of self, instead playing the part that is demanded of it by others. Popular fiction is always trying to escape its current living arrangements. It speaks with plain, everyday words, often in an amusing and quaint dialect.

Unencumbered by even the remote semblance of reality, popular fiction can dream big. It needs intense therapy to confront the deep seated trauma and pain of its author that it attempts to bury beneath escapism and dysfunctional relationships with readers.

Cormac McCarthy Sells a Time Share

I am calling to offer you the austere chill ushered in by a temporary retreat from societal expectations. The company I represent specializes in epicurean travel and respite from the shrieking madness of the autistic universe and you know something as this economy slouches towards the apocalypse we are offering the absolute best services for the absolute lowest prices.  (deep breath) But I am not calling you to sell anything today.  If I can offer you a deal that will crank out the vestibular calculations in your skull and prove to you beyond the deepest jagged wound of doubt that money is not the issue would you give it consideration?

Sir or Madame, we are willing to give away 3 days and 2 nights of hotel accommodations plus 2 round trip airline tickets to your choice of Black Hills North Dakota Machu Picchu Peru Wheeling West Virginia or El Paso and at no time are you required to take the great marching steps into the soulless oasis, counting them against your return. (deep breath) But I’m sure in the deep recesses of your primordial medulla youre probably thinking what is the catch right?

Sir or Madame, lets conjoin and vociferate on this in more detail at a later time while youre enjoying your fate.  It only takes an hour and a half of eternal regret.  We simply introduce to you a vortex in the universe to which you and the stars will become a common satellite. We just want your honest opinions and feed backs and I’m pretty sure if you spend your vacation like a great pendulum in its rotunda scribing through the long day movements of the universe of which you may know nothing you will know you must tell your friends, relatives and neighbors good things about us. Right? (Deep breath)

So let me ask you among the lovely destinies that I mentioned which sounds more appealing to you?

Thats a great choice!

So Ill be reserving 2 seats for you and your wife and the El Paso vacation package

Sounds good right?