A Matter of Manly Perspective

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“Do you mind if we stop at the drug store for a second? I’ve gotta pick something up for Cheryl,” said Luke. He turned into the parking lot before getting an answer.

“Look at you, the dutiful husband,” said Glen. “Never thought I’d see the day you’d say somethin’ like that.”

Luke sighed. “Yep. Marriage changes a man.”

“What do we need to get? Better not be pads.”

“No,” said Luke. He walked with purpose among the aisles. “She needs pantyhose.”

Glen stopped dead in his tracks. “Say what?”

“Pantyhose. She needs ‘em for work.”

“No way,” said Glen, shaking his head.

“Don’t act like I’m dragging you to prison.”

“You are. A testosterone free prison.”

Luke rolled his eyes. “Whatever. C’mon.”

“Okay, but we’re having an intervention after. Or maybe a detox.”

The two stood in front of a large display of hosiery. Glen wouldn’t admit it, but looking at all the different packaging had a certain arousing effect. “Pick one and let’s get out of here. I feel my manhood slipping away,” he said.

“I have to find the right ones.”

Glen looked at the labels. “What are all these things? Sheer, nude, nearly nude. It makes no sense.”

Glen picked up a pack just as an older woman passed by. He blushed and dropped the pack.

“You’re really smooth, you know that?” said Luke.

“What? Just grab something,” said Glen. He handed Luke the pack he just picked up.

“These are thigh highs,” said Luke.

“Aren’t they called stay-ups?”

“That’s a kind of diaper.”

“Whatever. You’re killing me,” said Glen. He looked around with a guilty expression.

“Relax. I think these are the ones. Let’s go,” said Luke.

“Finally. Do you have any idea what the ladies would think if they saw me here?”

“That you’re confident? Sensitive? Attractive?”

Glen punched Luke in the shoulder. “What do you know?”

“I know that I’m married and that you’re thirty and still living in your parents’ basement.”

Glen stopped in his tracks again. “That really hurt, man.”

Luke hit Glen in the shoulder. “Consider this an intervention.”

Posted in fiction, flash fiction, humor, humour, husband, intervention, marriage, pantyhose, short fiction, short story, story, wife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Death’s Great Discovery

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His given name was Death. He was the kind of guy you couldn’t introduce. He had to be explained. That was the reason Crystal dumped him. She told Death that they weren’t ‘intellectually compatible’. She meant he was stupid.

Death took the break-up hard. The first thing he did was figure out what ‘intellectually compatible’ meant. He was surprised to learn he was stupid. It was an epiphany. If he wasn’t smart enough to know he was stupid, Death wondered what else he was too stupid to know.

The library was the place he instinctively turned for knowledge. Confronted by hundreds of thousands of books on topics he’d never heard of, Death got a massive headache. He quickly concluded it was impossible to know everything about everything.

The next strategy Death tried was stark self-examination. He discovered what occupied his brain on a daily basis. In descending order, he focused on women, hockey, fast food, assorted TV shows on the Comedy Network, and video games. Death suddenly realized, that, not only was he stupid, he was shallow.

The next thing he did was google the word ‘stupid’. He found thousands of videos of people doing stupid things. He wasted two hours laughing at other people’s expense.

It was then that he noticed that the titles of many of the videos included phrases like ‘dumbest ever’ or ‘stupidest’. He wondered how people could make that claim. Was there a way to quantify stupidity, like the way they issue grades at school?

The wheels in his head started turning. Actually getting smarter was simply beyond his grasp. He remembered something his grandpa said about ugly girls who wore make-up. “If the barn needs paintin’,” he had said. The memory was random, but inspired. If Death couldn’t be smart, then he should look smart. It was time to change his image.

Death started wearing glasses. He dressed well. He even started wearing cardigans. People started treating him differently. They asked his opinion about things. Unfortunately, Death still didn’t know anything, so when he spoke, all the time and effort put into his image were wasted.

Death brooded over his dilemma for months. It affected him at work. He stopped talking. He sat and listened when in groups. One night after work, Death sat at a coffee shop with his friends. He was approached by Estelle, a new girl at work.

“Death, I was wondering if you wanted to go out for dinner some time,” she said.

Death snapped out of his contemplations and looked at Estelle. For the first time he saw her beauty.

“Excuse me?” he asked.

Estelle bit her lip. “I was asking you to dinner Friday night,” she said. Her voice quivered.

Death shrugged his shoulders. “Sure, why not?”

Estelle giggled. “That’s great. I’ll email you.”

Estelle sauntered away. His friends teased him mercilessly. Death frowned. Something just happened, but he couldn’t figure out what.

Posted in fiction, flash fiction, humor, humour, relationships, short fiction, short story, story, stupid | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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