Midnight Pizza

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It started with the pursuit of whiter teeth. Cal was a piece of dental floss, moving in slow motion toward a mouth.

There were fangs.

Cal could feel his heart beat in his chest.

Suddenly, he knew. It was CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. Werewolf Blitzer. How could Cal have been so blind? Everything was clear to him now. He had to stop him before he harmed others.

Cal grabbed a free sample of Levitra. One of the numerous side effects might stop the werewolf. Blitzer swallowed the pills.

It worked.

A massive flood in Chengdu swept both of them down the raging Jinjiang river. Cal clung to a Geely car as long as his strength could hold.

Cal released his grip of the Geely’s steering wheel. It was like going down a waterslide lined with carp. The wave crashed on the floor of the Nikkei Stock Exchange.

Exhausted and soaked to the skin, Cal rose to his feet. Surrounding him were a group of feral youth.

“What fresh hell is this?” asked Cal.

“Not hell,” said one of the feral youth. “Extreme heaven.”

Cal watched the feral youth leap off a cliff. Cal shrugged and jumped. Only then did he realize the feral youth were wearing flying suits. At the moment of panic, Cal remembered he was dental floss.

Giant fingers grabbed him and wove him into a tennis racquet. Back and forth he batted a little green ball across a court. The crowd erupted in cheers as Cal’s tennis star knelt to the ground in celebration.

The noise startled him.

Cal sat up on the couch, the remote still stuck to his face. It took a few seconds for his eyes to focus on the flickering screen. It took a few more seconds to feel the indigestion from eating an entire pizza after midnight.

Cal rubbed his eyes, scratched his belly and went to bed.

Posted in CNN, dental floss, dream, fiction, flash fiction, humor, humour, Levitra, pizza, short fiction, short story, story, Wolf Blitzer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cuban Vacation

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Drake insisted the bellhop carry their luggage their third floor room. It wasn’t his idea to come to a Cuban resort. The blame for that lay squarely with Marla, his fourth wife. Now that he was here, Drake decided make the best of things.

“How can you people live like this? It’s roasting here. Tell me there’s air conditioning,” said Drake.

“Si. Here,” said the bellhop. He pressed a button on a control panel on the wall that flushed the room with cold air.

Marla was outside, inspecting the balcony.

“How do you connect to wifi?” Drake asked the bellhop. He was greeted with a blank smile. “You know, wifi. The internet?”

“Ah, si. Yes. We have internet,” said the bellhop.

“How do you connect to the internet?” asked Drake. He spoke slowly and loudly, as though that would overcome their language differences.

“No internet in bungalows. Only in café. Dial-up,” said the bellhop, smiling.

Drake cringed.

“Is okay?” asked the bellhop.

“No. Do you know where I can get high speed internet? I have a fantasy football draft in three days and I have the second overall selection. Do you understand?”

The eyes of the Cuban bellhop glazed over.

“Listen. What’s your name?”

“My name is Yassiel.” He reached out to shake hands. Drake ignored the gesture.

“Okay. Do you know baseball?”

“Si. Baseball. My baby love baseball. Do you love baseball?”

“No. I like football. American football,” said Drake.

Yassiel listened intently.

“You don’t understand,” said Drake.

“My baby, my son, he plays baseball. He is good, you know? Si. He plays with his bare hands because he has no glove. Is too expensive. Maybe someday, but now we need money for food,” said Yassiel.

Marla joined her husband. “Isn’t this beautiful? Perfect,” she said.

“Thank-you lady,” said Yassiel.

“Honey, give him a tip,” whispered Marla.

Drake rolled his eyes and reached into his pocket. He pulled out a fifty and handed it to the bellhop.

Yassiel stared at Drake as though afraid to touch the money. “Is too much, señor.”

Drake sighed and shoved the tip into Yassiel’s palm. “Buy your baby a glove. At least one of us can live out their sports dream.”

Posted in baseball, Cuba, fiction, first world problems, flash fiction, humor, humour, short fiction, short story, story, vacation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Mockumentary

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Piper stood before a couple of potential producers seated in a beige boardroom. This was the moment of action, the culmination of years of effort. She took a deep breath, smiled, then started. “It’s about the almost great civil disagreement between the established Numiastic Order and the breakaway Society of Exonumians. The Society, S. of Ex., for short, sought their independence from the rest of the currency collecting community. To forge their own identity. A David breaking free from Goliath.”

“That doesn’t make sense. David and Goliath were never allies,” interrupted a potential producer.

“That doesn’t matter, right? It’s not the point. So, the S. of Ex. broke free from the Numiastic Order. It was an epic struggle. Back and forth, conflict and tension. Then, at the darkest hour, a treaty is secretly signed bringing the melée to an end. A kind of Treaty of Versailles,” explained Piper.

“The Treaty of Versailles wasn’t, oh, never mind,” said a potential producer.

“I don’t think you’re getting the swing of this. The two groups amalgamated, The Numiastic Order and the Society of Exonumians. Together they created the N.O.S. of Ex. Get it? NOSEX. It’s brilliant. Totally explains the currency collecting culture.”

There was a pause.

“This is supposed to be a documentary?” asked a potential producer.

“No, it’s a mockumentary.”

“So there’s no enough irony in the world that you’ve got to create this?” asked a potential producer.

“Well, yeah. I mean, what better story to tell?”

“It’s fiction.”

“Yes,” said Piper.

“But you’re making it look like an actual piece of credible investigation.”

“Exactly like gonzo journalism, but different,” explained Piper. She smiled.

There was another pause.

“And it’s hip,” said Piper.

The potential producers looked at each other. “Brilliant. I was just saying the other day, there’s not enough irony in the world. Let’s do this.”

Posted in currency, documentary, exonumia, fiction, flash fiction, gonzo journalism, humor, humour, mockumentary, numismatics, short fiction, short story, story | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Only Way To Travel

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Arsenio and Rebecca sat at their gate in the international departures waiting area and watched the ebb and flow of humanity. Their flight was still an hour away.

“I remember my last flight. It was, wow, fifteen years ago,” said Rebecca.

“Where’d you go?”

Rebecca looked up as she tried to remember. “Calgary, I think.”

“Yeah? what was it like?”

Rebecca chuckled. “There was a guy who argued with the stewardess about his bag.”

“Flight attendant,” said Arsenio.

“What?”

“They’re not called stewardesses. They’re called flight attendants.”

“It’s my story, not yours. And in my story it was a stewardess.”

“Oh well. Excuse me,” said Arsenio.

Rebecca gave a precocious grin. “You’re excused. May I continue?”

Arsenio offered a subtle bow of his head. “By all means.”

“So this guy wouldn’t stow his bag in the overhead compartment. He delayed the flight half an hour arguing with the,” she paused, “flight attendant.”

Arsenio smiled. “It’s like the one person who coughs all flight long. You know we’re all gonna catch what they have,” said Arsenio.

“Then there’s the baby on the red eye flight who just won’t stop crying.”

“Or the huge guy who sits in the middle seat who hasn’t discovered the joys of deodorant. On a ten hour flight.”

“I can top that. I once sat beside a guy who spent the whole flight explaining how someone bit off a piece of his ear,” said Rebecca.

“No way.”

“Seriously.”

The two watched a crowd as they moved purposefully to their gates.

“So tell me again why we’re flying to Cuba?” asked Arsenio.

“Because it’s an adventure,” said Rebecca. “So we’ll have funny stories to tell. And besides, it’s an island. We’d never get there by car.”

Posted in adventure, Cuba, fiction, flash fiction, flight, humor, humour, short fiction, short story, story, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Evangelist Futurist Genius

He was the guy in the company everyone wanted to meet. Until a couple of days ago, Heidi had never before heard of a ‘Evangelist Futurist’, but word was that Sam Tanaka was a bona fide genius.

At first, all Heidi noticed were Sam Tanaka’s quirks. He refused to shake hands. He bumped elbows instead. At a strategic planning meeting, Sam Tanaka stood up and accused the entire company of being euphobic. No one know what that was until someone googled it. It’s the fear of hearing good news. That particular outburst cemented Sam Tanaka as a business god in the minds of the people of the company.

For weeks Heidi attempted to meet Sam Tanaka. When she’d approach he would avert his eyes and walk away briskly. She made several calls to set up an appointment. Every time she suggested, he was busy.

Heidi was not the kind of woman who was easily insulted. She wondered if he was a misogynist, but as she observed from afar, Sam Tanaka seemed willing to share his rich insights with everyone in the company except her.

Heidi was also not the type of person who was easily dissuaded. Sam Tanaka became prey to be hunted. She stalked him, tracked his movements, noted his habits. All the while she agonized over why he would avoid her, of all people. Solving that riddle consumed her.

Hours of scheming led Heidi to a decisive moment of action. She hid behind a crowd in an elevator, knowing Sam Tanaka would soon arrive. As they ascended through the floors, the crowd thinned out. In no time, she found herself alone with Sam Tanaka.

Heidi lunged for the emergency stop button. Sam Tanaka stood, frozen in place.

“Alright, we’re alone. It’s time we talked,” said Heidi, breathlessly.

“Okay,” said Sam Tanaka. He still refused to make eye contact.

“You’ve been avoiding me. Don’t deny it. We both know you have. Tell me, what did I do? What?”

Sam Tanaka shuffled his feet. “Caligynephobia,” he whispered.

“Cali- what? Spell it,” demanded Heidi.

As Sam Tanaka dictated, Heidi typed the word into her phone. She hit search. Her eyes widened as she read the words ‘Caligynephobia- the fear of beautiful women’.

“You think I’m beautiful?”

“Yes,” whispered Sam Tanaka.

A combination of relief and flattery overwhelmed Heidi. She grasped Sam Tanaka in an exuberant hug. “I had no idea. Please, let me help you deal with this terrible, terrible affliction. We’ll get through this together.”

“Thank you,” said Sam Tanaka.

As he nestled into her embrace, he smiled. Everything had transpired just as he had foreseen.

Posted in company, Evangelist, fiction, flash fiction, Futurist, genius, humor, humour, short fiction, short story, story | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Texas A&M Class of ’73

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I wear a university class ring. It isn’t mine. I bought it off eBay six years ago. The words ‘Texas A&M University 1876’ encircle an eagle protected by a shield with the year ’73. The name ‘Clark Chisum’ is etched along the inside of the ring.

I tell people it’s a family heirloom, that it belonged to my American Uncle Clark. I say he was an astronaut with NASA who was part of the last Apollo mission.

Most people don’t know that the last Apollo mission was in 1972. They don’t even bother to look it up in Wikipedia. It’s just my own little private joke on the world.

In truth, the ring is my connection to an era lost to history. It was a time when Canadian pride was defined as being ‘Not American’. It was a time when even the Russians feared and respected America. And no one ever messed with Texas.

I slip off my ring and examine the stunning detail. It’s symbols carry powerful meaning. As I run my fingers along the Lone Star, I’m burdened with a sense of mourning, a fear that the joke is over.

Posted in America, American, Apollo, Canada, Canadian, class ring, eBay, fiction, flash fiction, NASA, Russia, short fiction, short story, story, Texas, Texas A&M | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Genius Of Laziness

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Sid ran his hands through his hair as he loaded a bootlegged copy of Flappy Bird onto his smartphone. It was 3:30 on a painfully ordinary Tuesday afternoon. A stack of files sat to his left. The computer monitor flipped over to a fish tank screensaver.

“Ahem.”

Sid jumped at the sudden appearance of his boss.

“Problem?” asked Nelson Sanderson, a balding, sixty year old man who always wore ill fitting suits.

Sid swiveled slowly in his chair, bracing himself for the impending lecture. What he got was a condescending roll of the eyes from Nelson.

“Go ahead,” said Sid.

“Go ahead and what?”

“Give it to me. It won’t make a difference, but y’know, we all know it’s coming,” said Sid.

Nelson stood, silent.

“Well, you can start by telling me I’m lazy, or whatever. Truth is I’m just not feelin’ it right now,” said Sid.

“Okay, you’re lazy,” said Nelson, with a flat expression.

“See? That’s not fair. You Boomers have it in for us Millenials,” moaned Sid.

Nelson held up his hand to silence Sid. “You want to know the truth?”

“This ought to be good,” said Sid, dripping with sarcasm.

“Your generation’s no lazier that mine. The difference is Boomers have more ingenuity than Millenials,” explained Nelson.

Sid’s face crinkled like he smelled a fart. “What?”

“Listen. The Boomers found new ways to be lazy. Microwaves so we don’t have to cook. Disposable everything so we never have to clean up. We even made the internet so you don’t have to leave the house to shop or look at, well, you know.”

Sid raised an eyebrow. “We invented social media.”

“Congratulations. That’s one.”

“Why are you being so harsh,” whined Sid.

“Because it’s not the laziness that kills me. It’s the lack of creativity you guys have in finding new ways to be lazy,” said Nelson.

This revelation made Sid lean back in his chair and think. “So what are you saying?”

“You wanna be lazy? Whatever. Just do it with a little more style. More ingenuity,” said Nelson. He tapped on the cubicle wall, turned and walked away.

Sid watched him for a second, then spun back around to his computer. “Leave it to the Boomers to take the fun out of laziness.”

Posted in Boomers, boss, creativity, fiction, flash fiction, humor, humour, laziness, lazy, Millenials, office, short fiction, short story, story, work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment