Irregularities

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“This is Dr. Philbert’s office, calling for Travis. Could you please call us back? We’d like to speak with you about irregularities in your latest test results.”

The voicemail sent a chill down his spine. They may be the scariest words Travis ever heard. Irregularities. In other words, not normal. Something was wrong.

Even worse was the not knowing. That’s the moment Travis discovered just how vivid his imagination was. Who ever said ignorance is bliss never had a voicemail like this.

Beads of cold sweat trickled down the side of his face. His hands trembled as he held his phone. Should he call now? he wondered. But what’s the benefit of waiting?

Key moments of his life flashed before his eyes as he listened to the phone ring. Would his life change forever? Would this be the defining moment of his life?

Travis shook his head. He needed to snap out of it. They’re just irregularities. That could mean just about anything. If only it wasn’t such an ugly word. Irregularities. The sound of it was almost sinister.

A woman at the other end of the line picked up. “Hello, Dr. Philbert’s office.”

It took Travis’ breath away. He paused, struggling for words. “This is Travis Melvin,” was all he could choke out.

“Oh Travis. I’m glad you called…”

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Lost and Found

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The bedroom door flew open and Margaret burst inside. She attacked the dresser, scattering bottles of makeup and accessories all over the floor.

“What are you doing?” asked Bryce. He’d come into the room just in time to witness the spectacle. He was dripping with water and wearing a towel.

“I lost my keys,” she responded breathlessly.

“And you think destroying the bedroom is the best strategy for finding them?”

“Look, I have a big meeting today, remember? Help me.”

“I didn’t see them in the shower,” said Bryce.

Margaret threw him a dirty look. “Gee, thanks. I suppose you’ll tell me I’ll find them in the last place I look.”

“Well,” said Bryce with a sly grin. “You’re reasoning is sound.”

“That’s so helpful.”

“I try,” said Bryce as he slipped on a shirt.

Margaret threw up her hands in defeat. “I don’t know where they could be.” She turned to Bryce. “You have them, don’t you?”

The accusation made him laugh. “I haven’t seen them, I haven’t touched them and I have no idea where they are. I promise.”

“You better,” said Margaret with a menacing stare.

“Where’d you last see them?” asked Bryce.

“If I knew that they wouldn’t be lost,” she said in a panic.

Bryce sat on the bed. “Breathe. When was the last time you remember seeing them?”

Margaret stood in the middle of the room, sighed and closed her eyes. “I came home yesterday and really had to pee. I threw my coat and purse on the deacon’s bench in the front hall.” She opened her eyes. “That’s it!”

Bryce watched as Margaret ran from the room, cheered and returned triumphant.

“You’re welcome,” said Bryce.

“I guess I’ll keep you around a little longer,” she replied. She looked at her watch. “Oh. Gotta go.”

The two kissed and Margaret rushed off. Bryce waited until he heard the front door close before he finished getting dressed. He sighed. “Behind every great woman is a man merely struggling to justify his existence.”

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The Tantrum

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Colton was working quietly at his desk when he heard a blood curdling shout and a loud crash. He rushed out to discover Justin hyperventilating and looming over a smashed cell phone.

“What happened?” asked Colton.

“Piece of crap! I spent a gem and then just died. What a waste. Stupid game!” vented Justin.

Colton looked at Justin in disbelief. “Just so I’m clear, you destroyed a thousand dollar phone because you lost a meaningless gem in a free app game?”

Justin’s eyes flared. “Meaningless? I had to collect ten thousand coins to get that! Now it’s gone. Poof!” Justin swore and kicked what was left of his phone.

“How do you get coins?” asked Colton.

“You get ‘em finishing quests.”

“So you can earn more coins and gems?” asked Colton.

“Well, yeah. But I’m not playing that stupid…” Justin broke off in another tirade as he stomped on his phone.

Colton shook his head. “I can’t believe you wrecked your phone because of some useless game.”

Justin shrugged. “What? My parents will buy me a new one.”

Something broke in Colton’s soul. “When did life get too easy?” he mumbled.

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The Red Light Confrontation

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Brad and Mike pulled up to a red light in a quiet part of the city. Mike looked around and turned to Brad, who was behind the wheel.

“There’s nobody around, man. Go through the red.”

“I can’t do that,” replied Brad. “It’s against the law.”

“Who’s gonna see? We’re totally alone,” Mike prodded.

“Knowing my luck, the police are right around the corner.”

“There’s not another car for blocks. C’mon, man. You’re wastin’ time,” complained Mike.

“I’m not gonna. It’s illegal.”

“It’s not a crime of you don’t get caught.”

“That’s crazy,” protested Brad. “Laws are there for a reason, otherwise life would slip into anarchy.”

“Laws aren’t absolute. If they were, there’s be no social progress. We’d still have slavery. Women wouldn’t be allowed to vote. Civil disobedience is a creative force for good, man,” said Mike.

“Explain to me how driving through a red light advances civilization?” asked Brad.

“It’s a reminder that we’re in charge of our fate, man. Do it. Do it as a declaration of your own independence. Tell the world that Brad O’Sullivan is the master of his own destiny.”

At that moment the light turned green.

“See?” said Brad. “Being patient is also a way of expressing control over my destiny.”

“That’s weak, man,” said Mike, shaking his head.

Brad smiled and proceeded through the intersection legally.

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Paying it Forward

PayItForward

 

“When I was young, my dad told me that if they didn’t pay me to be good, then I was good for nothing. I was so confused. I never did figure out who ‘they’ were,” said Bruce.

“Did you ever get paid for being good?” asked Trevor.

“Nah.”

“So you’re still good for nothing,” laughed Trevor.

Bruce punched Trevor in the arm. “Thanks.”

“Parents are so weird. My dad gave me a lot of bad advice. He once told me that if I couldn’t be good, I should at least be good at it,” explained Trevor.

“How’d that work out for you?”

“As well as you’d think. My mom grounded me for a month when I taught myself how to pick locks,” said Trevor.

“Who says stuff like that to impressionable kids?” asked Bruce.

“The same guy who still farts in public and blames us for it,” said Trevor.

“You’d think they’d come up with a parenting manual or something.”

“Or maybe some sort of licence,” added Trevor.

Bruce thought about it for a second. “Hold on. Those are terrible ideas.”

“Why?”

“Then we couldn’t do the same kind of stuff to our kids,” said Bruce.

Trevor smiled and nodded. “That’s what you call paying it forward.”

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Overheard Behind Parliament Doors

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“I think we’ve been working Mr. Conan too hard,” said Phineas.

“What makes you say that?” asked Buford.

“Did you know he sprinkles coffee grounds on his breakfast cereal? He says it gives him an extra boost for the day,” said Phineas.

“I’ve heard of worse,” replied Buford.

“You know those cod liver capsules? He snacks on them through the day. His breath smells like a fishing boat,” said Phineas.

“Maybe he loves seafood,” suggested Buford.

“You’re not getting this,” protested Phineas. “Yesterday I saw him eating a can of dog food. He said it’s the most efficient way of getting protein.”

Buford shrugged. “Okay. That’s a little weird.”

“Are you kidding? He’s so nuts, he’s a danger to people with peanut allergies.”

“That’s harsh, man,” said Buford.

“Truth hurts. That’s all I’m sayin’,” replied Phineas.

“What d’you suggest we do?” asked Buford.

“I dunno, but we gotta do something. We’re about to lost the third cabinet minister this year.”

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R.A.N.T.

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A warm Spring breeze wafted through the city bus and delivered a pungent aroma of body odour to Gustav’s nostrils. He sniffed, then looked around to see that he was alone at the back end of the bus.

It was a horrifying discovery. As casually as he could, he smelled his armpit. The stench was staggering. Even worse was that he smelled like this all day and no one mentioned anything, Then again, who knows how to broach the subject?

“Speaking of smelling like a camel…”

As bad as he felt, Gustav wondered if this was normal and it’s just the first time he’s ever noticed. This could’ve gone on for weeks, maybe even months. What if people talked about his body odour behind his back? It enraged him. What kind of friends would let him live like this?

Gustav sighed. It’s not as if he could do anything about it anyway. He worked in a scent-free office. The term made him chortle. What’s scent free? Everyone has a smell. Is deodorant worse than the offensive stench he’s currently emitting? It serves them right, he thought. If he can’t help himself, they deserve to suffer. He’d show them scent-free.

As his mind drifted, Gustav was struck by another breeze. Maybe he’ll never shower again. He could be on the cutting edge of nose warfare. It made him smile. That was the moment Gustav decided to start the Revolution Against Nasal Tyranny.

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