Where Things Come From

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Oliver and Krista sat in the living room watching TV after a long day of work.

“Did it ever occur to you, we don’t know where anything comes from any more?” asked Oliver.

“Sure we do,” replied Krista.

“Yeah? Where does our food come from?”

“The grocery store.”

“Before that.”

“Farmers.”

“What farmers?”

Krista smiled. “Country farmers.”

“What about your cell phone?”

“That’s easy. China. Everything comes from China.”

“Doesn’t that bother you?”

“It would if they made me go all the way to China to get it,” said Krista.

“I’m being serious,” Oliver complained.

Krista sighed. “Is this where you start ranting?”

Oliver glared at Krista. “It doesn’t bother you that you’re completely dependent on people you don’t know in a country you’ve never been?”

“Oliver, we’re always dependent on people we don’t know. No offense, but you can’t even fix the plumbing without professional help.”

“Have you noticed that people say ‘no offense’ right before they say something obviously offensive, as though the disclaimer makes it any better?”

“You know what I mean.”

“That we’re essentially, completely helpless. I should’ve become a survivalist.”

“Even survivalist need things they can’t make. Tools, clothes and a bunch of other stuff.”

“Don’t you find that scary?”

“It’s humanity. We’ve survived so far,” said Krista.

“I can’t see how,” grumbled Oliver.

The two sat quietly watching TV for a couple of minutes.

“It’s the kind of thing that makes you believe there’s a God.”

Krista smirked. “Amen to that.”

Posted in China, farm, farmer, fiction, flash fiction, God, humor, humour, short fiction, short story, story | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Turning Left in Rush Hour Traffic

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It was rush hour. Dylan looked from the passenger seat of his brother’s car at the drivers around him. Everyone seemed so unhappy.

“Did you see that? That woman was texting,” said Dylan.

“I know,” said Steve, never taking his eyes off the road.

“That is so illegal. Where’s a cop when you need one?”

At that moment they passed a police officer typing away on his onboard computer. “Typical,” Dylan muttered.

Steve flipped the left turn signal and slowed down.

“Why are you turning here? This isn’t the street we want,” said Dylan.

“Nope, it’s not,” said Steve.

“Then what are you doing?”

“Practicing.”

“Turning left?”

“Yep.”

Dylan looked back at a growing line of cars behind them. “This isn’t exactly a good time. You’re seriously messing with traffic,” he said.

Steve glanced in his rearview mirror and smiled. “It’s perfect,” he said.

Dylan noticed a stopwatch in Steve’s right hand. They waited until a break in oncoming traffic but didn’t move. A couple of frustrated drivers honked.

“Two minutes,” said Steve. His foot firmly on the brake.

“What’s in two minutes?”

“That’s how long we’ve been sitting here,” said Steve.

“You could’ve gone already.”

“I know. But I’m going for five minutes.”

“Why? What are you talking about?”

Steve looked over at Dylan. “I’m in training.”

“For what?”

“You can’t tell anyone. Not even mom and dad. Promise?”

“Cross my heart.”

“I’m training for the World Annoyance Games.”

By this time cars were swerving around them, honking and gesturing as they passed. Dylan could read lips, but decided it wasn’t a good idea to make eye contact.

“The goal is to see just how long and how many people you can annoy at one time,” explained Steve.

“Does that include me?” asked Dylan.

“That would be great. Thanks.”

“I wasn’t offering. I was just asking.”

“Still, if you could, I’d really appreciate it.”

Dylan shook his head. “I’ve never even heard of the World Annoyance Games.”

“That’s the point. They’re secret. It skews the results if the people we’re trying to annoy know what we’re doing. It’s all online. You have to register with the WAG website, then write a bunch of extra forms and sift through SPAM and stuff. Then they give you the rules. It’s awesome.”

“I’ll take your word for it,” said Dylan.

“This year the games are in the most annoying city in the world. There’s a real buzz in the annoyance community,” said Steve.

“Where’s that?”

“Toronto.”

“That makes sense.”

“I’m in training in the automotive class. They also have queue and interpersonal events. Those are epic. I love the bad breath and personal space intrusions. Classic!” rambled Steve.

“I’m sure it’s a lot of fun,” said Dylan.

Steve took a quick look out the rearview mirror. “That’s the last car. What’s my time? 6:28! That’s a personal best.”

“What’s the record?”

“Twenty-four minutes. In LA traffic no less.”

“Well, if anyone can ever be that annoying, I’m sure it’s you,” said Dylan.

Steve looked at Dylan with genuine appreciation.“Thanks, bro. That really means a lot.”

Posted in short story, humor, humour, fiction, story, flash fiction, short fiction, brothers, driving, Toronto, rush hour, traffic, annoying, annoyance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

International Toilet Paper Week

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The picture of Colton lovingly caressing a roll of toilet paper made Brody stop in his tracks.

“What the-” said Brody.

“It’s Toilet Paper Appreciation Week. A week when we take time to celebrate the considerable improvements toilet paper makes in our every day lives,” explained Colton.

“For real?”

“Yeah. October thirteenth to the seventeenth.”

“You’re making this up,” Brody scoffed.

“Nuh uh. It just so happens I’m Director of the International Toilet Paper Appreciation Society. Our slogan is ‘We Help IT-PAS.’ Get it? I thought it was clever,” said Colton, with a self-satisfied grin.

“I can’t believe I’m gonna ask this, but how did you become the director of a toilet paper club?”

“It’s the International Toilet Paper Appreciate Society.”

“Yeah, whatever. It’s a freaky fetish fan club.”

“No, that’s the Toilet Paper Pleasure Society. They’re more of a social club. The ITPAS is in good standing with the global toilet paper community. In fact, we’re the governing body for the annual toilet paper awards,” said Colton.

“You’re making this up.”

“They’re called the ‘Toities’. They’re very prestigious in the industry.”

“Let me get this straight. You made up a stupid organization, named yourself the director, all just because you can,” said Brody.

“Yep.”

“That’s stupid.”

“It isn’t.”

“Yes, it is.”

“No, it isn’t. That’s also how I became a six time International Turkey Bowling Federation champion. I have the trophies to prove it. When I retired from competition I became commissioner.”

“C’mon, man,” said Brody in exasperation.

“I’m serious. I left the ITBF to become Director of ITPAS.”

“But it’s all made up.”

“Exactly. I got tired of trying to fit into everyone else’s idea of success, so I created my own,” said Colton.

“That’s great if you don’t want anyone else to recognize your accomplishments,” said Brody. Colton leaned back in his chair.

“It’s funny you should say that. Last month I was invited by the government of Nrovsekistan as an advisor on their National Waste and Environmental Policy Committee. The work we did there may even be adopted by the UN.”

Brody’s jaw dropped in shock.

Colton smiled. “Walk with purpose, speak with authority and someone will eventually believe you.”

Posted in fiction, flash fiction, humor, humour, International Toilet Paper Appreciation Society, International Turkey Bowling Federation, short fiction, short story, story, success, toilet paper | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Power of the Spork

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Gunther poked thoughtfully at his moo shoo pork. “I think the greatest invention of the last one hundred years is the spork.”

Tristan and Mack gave each other a look.

“Um, the computer?” said Tristan, sarcastically.

“What about electricity?” asked Mack.

“I could make an argument for the automobile.”

“Or the cell phone.”

“ATM banking.”

“GPS.”

“Antibiotics.”

“Yeah, and modern surgical technique.”

Gunther shook his head. “Wrong, wrong, wrong. It’s the spork.”

Tristan pretended to slap Gunther.

“I’ll bite. Why is it the spork?” asked Mack.

“I admit, all those other things are amazing, but none of them are as revolutionary. Think about it, for hundreds and even thousands of years, people have been using the same utensil for eating. The knife and fork, chopsticks. The same antiquated means of performing on of the single most important of human activities,” said Gunther.

He was greeted with a stunned silence, so Gunther continued.

“The spork universalized all forms of food. See? I’m eating Chinese food. But with the same utensil I can eat soup or ice cream or even salad. It’s amazing.”

“Are you having a stroke right now? I mean, seriously. Are you smelling burnt toast?” asked Tristan.

“What? It makes sense,” said Gunther.

Mack nodded in agreement. “I see your point.”

“You too? Is this a guy thing?” asked Tristan.

“A great invention doesn’t have to be earth shattering,” said Gunther.

“Yeah, it kinda does,” said Tristan.

“That’s not what I meant,” said Gunther.

“Let me. The spork is like a silent revolution. Everybody uses them, they just don’t notice. If you think about it, it’s kinda conspiratorial,” said Mack.

“Conspiratorial? Using big words doesn’t make your stupid idea any smarter,” said Tristan.

“Illuminati and stuff. Yeah. Maybe it’s part of some world wide conspiracy to control humans in their base functions,” said Gunther.

“And using one means you’re just another pawn in their master plan,” said Mack.

“I hadn’t thought of that,” said Gunther. He threw his spork on the floor. “It’s time to fight back.”

Mack held up one fist. “Stick it to the man! Power to the people!”

Tristan hung her head in shame. “I seriously need to find better friends.”

Posted in conspiracy, fiction, flash fiction, humor, humour, invention, short fiction, short story, spork, story | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Bad Smell Discount

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The call over the intercom alerted Gordon to a situation in the bathroom department. He worked his way up to supervisor at the Mega-home Renovation Superstore, and he took pride in his customer service.

Gordon rounded the corner and spotted a couple beside a display of bathroom vanities.

“Hello. How can I help you today?” asked Gordon, pleasantly.

“Yes, please,” said the woman.

“We’re looking at vanities for my mother-in-law.”

“Okay, and how may I help?” asked Gordon. As he spoke he got a whiff of something terrible. It was as though something died.

The man noticed Gordon’s expression. “You notice it, too? Good. That’s what we want to ask you. We want to purchase this vanity, but would like a discount for the smell.”

“Is that what it is?” asked Gordon, sniffing around the display.

“It’s awful, isn’t it?” said the woman.

“Noxious,” said Gordon.

“If you don’t mind me asking, why would you want to buy something that smells so bad?” His eyes were starting to water.

The couple looked at each other nervously. “Truth is, my mother-in-law has no sense of taste or smell,” explained the woman.

“Yeah, but her visitors,” said Gordon.

“My mom is a misanthrope. She hates people,” said the man.

“But what about when you go over for a visit?” asked Gordon. He didn’t like being so personal, but his curiosity overwhelmed his sense of propriety.

“You don’t understand. She hates all people,” said the man.

“The woman works hard at driving people away. She’s practically mastered the art,” added the woman.

“She has a skunk for a pet,” said the man, “and it still has it’s scent glands.”

“She brought it to our wedding,” said the woman. Gordon noticed tears forming in her eyes. He wasn’t sure if it was caused by the memory or the smell of the vanity.

The man reached out and caressed his wife’s shoulder. “The stupid thing sprayed the bridesmaids.”

Gordon hesitated. “If you don’t mind me prying, why are you helping her if she’s such a miserable person?”

“She’s family,” said the woman.

“And she’s loaded. We don’t wanna risk losing the inheritance,” said the man.

“Bill!”

“What, Sharon. It’s true.”

Bill and Sharon eagerly looked at Gordon. “Can you help us?” asked Bill.

Gordon took one more sniff of the vanity. The stench forced an involuntary cough. “We can do something, as long as you take it way tonight,” he said.

Gordon led the couple down the aisle and back to the fresh air of the warehouse. As the three made their way to the customer service, Gordon’s mind wandered, ‘How much crap would I put up with to inherit a fortune?’

Posted in bad odor, bad smell, bathroom vanity, fiction, flash fiction, humor, humour, inheritance, misanthrope, mother-in-law, rich, short fiction, short story, skunk, story | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Smelling As You Sleep

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The waiting room of the medical lab was quiet. Curtis watched the wall mounted infotainment screen as Helena played a game on her cell phone.

“It just showed a ‘Did You Know’ on the TV that said a person has no sense of smell while sleeping,” said Curtis.

Helena looked at Curtis with a quizzical scowl. “I don’t think that’s right,” she said.

“That’s what I was thinking.”

“When the dog was sick, it was the smell that woke me up,” Helena recalled.

“I know. Me too,” said Curtis. He sat quietly for a few seconds. “You know, that was presented as a scientific fact. It makes you wonder what else they pass off as a fact that’s actually wrong.”

Helena ignored him by playing on her phone.

“Maybe tobacco is good for you. Maybe they even have a cure for cancer.”

“Maybe they just made a mistake,” sighed Helena.

“In some ways that’s even worse. They pass themselves off as experts when they really don’t know much of anything,” concluded Curtis.

“Walk with purpose, speak with authority, and people will believe you,” said Helena, sarcastically.

“Exactly. This could all be an elaborate ruse, using places like this to indoctrinate, even secretly inject us with mind control drugs.”

“Then they better hurry up with you before you figure out their master plan,” said Helena.

Curtis looked at Helena with an expression of shock and disgust. “You don’t believe me.”

Helena resumed the game on her phone. “I believe you’re terrified of needles. And if you think this will get you out of having your blood work done, I believe you’re out of your mind.”

Curtis slumped in his seat. Before he had a chance to say anything, his name was called.

Posted in blood work, conspiracy, fiction, flash fiction, humor, humour, medical, medical lab, needles, short fiction, short story, story | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Hulk’s Kryptonite

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When George approached his car in the parking lot of the mall, he stopped in his tracks. Four foot long scratches lead to a basketball sized dent on the passenger side door of his six month old Mustang.

The wound on his car caused George a physical pain. He flailed his fists in the air and unleashed a primal scream.

A mother passing nearby pulled her son’s arm. “Don’t look. Some people in this city need help.”

Rage clouded any rational thought. George had the fervent wish to become the Hulk and unleash unrelenting horror on the people who did this.

“Hulk smash!” he shouted, instinctively.

Two teenaged girls heard him. “Some people be crazy,” one teenager said to the other.

“I’m not crazy!” shrieked George, spit flying from his mouth. He wheeled around in time to watch the girls run toward the mall entrance. Their fear gave him a perverse sense of satisfaction.

George turned his attention back to his car. There, standing beside the door, was an old man. “There’s a ‘whoops.’ Well, everything changes, and not all changes are bad.”

“Was it you?” asked George, breathing heavily.

The old man smiled. “No. They took my license away a couple of years ago.”

George gave the old man a puzzled, wild eyed look.

The old man shook his head. “It’s too bad it happened to such a beautiful car. Still, it’s just a thing that can be fixed. I’m sorry all the same.” He turned around and shuffled away.

The rage that George felt slowly dissipated as he watched the old man leave. It was at that moment George learned the Hulk’s one weakness: perspective.

Posted in fiction, flash fiction, Hulk, humor, humour, mall, Mustang, perspective, rage, short fiction, short story, story | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment