Friday, December 11, 2015


A Perfect Manhattan

I knew it was time to head to the bar after my wife tried to kill me with a steak knife. Our vacation had hit a rough spot. Maui had not been what we were told it would be. The photos she had posted to Facebook of us at the beach had gotten a lot fewer Likes than she expected.

 “Look at this beach,” she said, jabbing the screen. “How are they not impressed by this!? Why do we even go on these trips!?”

She then turned her anger on me, being the nearest, and accused me of sabotaging her photos. She said I looked bored, and my boredom dragged the image down. Made our lives unappealing.

“I'm not bored, honey,” I said, stroking and smelling her ruby red hair. “That's just how my face looks.”

“Well, then you have a boring face.”

Following this disagreement, it rained for the next two days. In Maui. We were told it wouldn't. I was upset. As was she, and also tired of staring at my boring face. After thirty six hours holed up in that hotel watching re-runs of Friends she lost her mind and tried to kill me with a steak knife.

So there I found myself, fleeing my wife, headed toward the bar at 1 AM on a Tuesday in Maui. There was only one bar nearby. The locals, a pleasant, inviting people, had recommended it to me. 

“Tourist fucks like you love that sort of shit. Go fuck yourself.”

I thanked them with a tip of my sombrero.

The bar was called, “Shit Hole,” a name that I found quite amusing.

However, my amusement soon turned to disgust, when, upon entering, I found that the bar was a literal shit hole. Everything was awash in a bright, blinding light. These lights did a good job of highlighting the many glistening puddles of puke. I felt like a sizzling hot dog left out under a heat lamp, and the bar smelled like one. Also cat piss.

Shielding my eyes from the glare of several fluorescent tubes, I sat down on a sticky bar stool and asked the bar tender if I could get a pitcher of vodka.

“We don't serve pitchers of vodka here,” she said, scowling.

I decided she was not a good bar tender and that I would not tip. “Then how about a beer?”

“Only the worst imported brands,” she said, handing me a large laminated menu. It was a list of over 20 different flavors of Bud Light.

“I'll take the Clamato.”

“Like fuck you will.”


“All we have is Pabst Blue Ribbon.”

“Okay, then I'll take some Cat Piss.”

She snorted several times, draining her lungs of mucous, then spit it into a pint glass. Taking that same glass, she poured my beer and handed it to me.

The glass contained about a thimble of beer. The rest was foam.

“How much do I owe you?”

“Seventeen dollars.”

“What a deal,” I said, handing her a hundred. She gave me back 20 in change.

I sucked on my foam, and did my best to think about nothing.

A woman sat down next to me. She wore a blue parka. I ogled her breasts.

Seeing as we were the only two in the bar, and I was interested in some conversing, I tapped her shoulder to get her attention. She turned and looked at me with an unflinching bug eyed stare that I found terribly arousing. The bright burning tubes above us revealed every blemish and pore. There was a smudge of chocolate smeared into the corner of her mouth and she had several tiny bumps across her forehead.

I wiped the foam from my upper lip and smiled. “Come here often?”

“Three times a decade.”

“Not very often then.”


She got the bar tenders attention by flinging my glass at the wall. It shattered on impact. The bar tender whipped her head around, screaming at the two of us, “Who threw that?!”

The woman smiled and said, “I'd like a Manhattan, please.”

The bartender filled a giant martini glass with seltzer water. She then grabbed several handfuls of olives and tossed those in. Seeing that it was more olives than seltzer water, I nodded in approval. At least they knew how to make a proper drink in this place.

“Here, a Manhattan!” she said, thrusting it at us proudly.

“Thanks!” said the woman. “How's business?”

“It's going well. Profits are up this quarter. We've seen an increase of 32% over previous years."

The woman turned her big unblinking eyes back toward me, and said, “I like your sombrero. It makes you look intelligent.”

“Actually,” I said, snatching one of her olives. “I am intelligent.”

The woman drained her glass, olives and all. She took a moment to chew and swallow, then said, “Nothing like a good Manhattan.”

Just then, my wife burst through the front door, knife in hand, blue bathrobe soaked in blood. “We gotta go, Allen! I've killed someone!”

Sunday, September 20, 2015

My Advice to Aspiring Writers



Sunday, August 23, 2015

Friday, August 14, 2015

A Universally Agreed Upon Writing Tip

The moon shone through the trees, striking Tom in the face, jolting him from his slumber. He had been dreaming. Stretching his pale arms he yawned, stretched, scratched, blinked, shifted his covers, blinked again, yawned, and with a flash of light piercing his eyelids, realized it was all a dream. He fell out of bed, and woke up, again, realizing it was a dream, a mystery he could not escape. The moon shone bright. A splash of cold water shook him from his slumber, "God, another dream," he said, yawning. He looked down, and saw that he stood on a cliff, another dream. "Oh, shit," he said, just in time for his alarm to at last awake him from his deep deep slumber. He yawned, and said, "Waking up sure is a boring way to start the story!"

(9/23/15 Edit: Unless you're a good writer:

So, uh, just make sure you're a good writer.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Do Netflix

The ring of her cellphone is a shattering glass jingle that shakes her from the midst of a heat induced mid-day nap.

Her head mashed into her pillow, partly soaked in sweat, her thoughts swimming in the sweltering heat of her bedroom, she grabs for the phone from her bedside table, and checks to see who it is. It's the man she had been seeing for two weeks now – or maybe three, she can't recall – but it's going OK, so she's more or less happy to hear from him, because really, what else does she have to do? Her friends are all busy, at the coast, without her, because she had to work, and reading is okay, but the book she picked up from the library last week has kind of hit a slow point, where nothing happens, and the main character is droning on and on about shit she already knows – relationships or something like that – so at this point her best option is to try to see where this so-so relationship might be headed. She has had her doubts about him on more than a few occasions, especially in the way he seems so eager to talk about himself and what he has since accomplished since moving to Portland. Still, arrogance – confidence – can have it's own charms, and she hopes they can work past this, and reach some equilibrium where he learns that she, too, has things going on in her life she would like to talk about, even if they're not quite on the same level as him, which involves running his own start up, which is cool and all, but – ugh – give it a rest already, buddy, you're not exactly Mark Zuckerberg.

Taking a deep breath, she answers, and for reasons beyond her, finds herself greeting him in a girlish sing-song voice when she says, “Hi, Derrick! How are you?

“Good,” he answers with an odd gravitas to his voice, considering the circumstances. “Hey, I was wondering if you wanted to hang out?”

“Sure!” she says, sounding a bit too excited for her liking, and certainly not out of desire – no – but boredom, but perhaps.. Okay, a little desire. She is just kind of horny, but not a lot, not desperate horny. No, certainly not.

“Oh, nice, nice,” he says, trying his best to sound calm. Smooth. Whatever it is. “Well, I was thinking, since it's hot as balls...”

“Did you just say it's 'hot as balls'?”

“No, I mean, yes. Sorry. Are you offended?”

“No, it's just sounds stupid. Like you're 13 or something. I don't get offended by that stuff, I told you that, but it just sounds stupid. You can say it if you want to, I guess. I don't exactly see how balls can be hot. Sweaty and gross, sure, but not really what I would immediately think of when I try to describe this heat. When did 'hot as hell' become not enough? Or even just say, 'It's really hot.' Or why even say it at all? We know it's hot.”

“Well, yeah, so okay, you're right, but still, it's hot as balls, and that's just me. I want to say that. My balls are hot. That's why I said that.”

“Okay. Interesting bit of information. Thank you for sharing.”

“Anyway, since I have air conditioning...”

“As you've told me many times before.”

“Yes, right, and since your apartment doesn't have AC, and I'm guessing it's really hot, so I was thinking – do you want to come over and Do Netflix?”

She pauses, takes a deep breath and thinks a moment. She's heard this line before. Many times. Too many. About twenty times or more. She bites her lip and tries to decide if she really really wants to Do Netflix. He is kind of cute, after all, broad shoulders, nice hair, delicious, soft lips, she had enjoyed kissing just a few nights ago, during that romantic moment near the waterfront, but it is hot, as he said – balls hot! – so she'd rather not face the heat, and she is still unsure how serious she is about spending a day with him, watching – Doing – Netflix, and, of course, not so desperate. At all.

So, sighing, both from the heat and the exasperation that he think this shit might actually work, she says, “Well... I was planning on – um – going shopping. My fridge is empty. I am actually starving. Like, to death.” Her fridge is actually empty, and she is hungry. She's not lying about this, but it's hot, and food shopping is a tiresome chore she would like to avoid, even on a nice day.

“Well, I can drive you there, then afterward, we can Do Netflix.”

“That's okay, you don't have to. It's not far from my house. Only takes 40 minutes or so, walking, and I like the exercise, even if it is 90 degrees out there.”

“So how about afterward, you want to Do Netflix then? There's a few new movies up – a new Keanu Reeves movie. You like him, right?”

“I do.”

“And Ryan Gosling?”

“Eh, not so much.”

“Well, that's okay. So, I mean, Keanu – shooting a lot of bad guys – it could be fun.”

“You mean John Wick?”

“Yeah, I think that's it. I'd have to check.”

“No, that IS it. That is what it is called.”

“Oh, that's cool, if you say so, I mean, I'll probably have to check to be sure, but....”

“Sorry, but I'm actually a 100% right on this. I am looking at it right now on my laptop, I just Googled it just right now, while you were talking and here it says the latest Keanu film on Netflix is John Wick.”

“Oh, well, that's cool. If you say so. So you should come over and watch it with me. I have a bottle of wine, too. Chilled.”

“I don't drink.”

“Oh, right. I forgot. Well, just come over. It's pretty low alcohol volume, so maybe just a little if you want. I mean, a little bit of alcohol won't kill you. I'm not trying to get you drunk – maybe a little buzzed, okay – but not drunk. I'd never do something like that. I think people are a little to cautious about drinking, you're not going to become an alcoholic from one sip.”

“No. No alcohol. Like I told you, I have a serious allergy to it.”

“Oh, I didn't know that.”

“I thought I told you that. I think I told you on our first date, and the second one, and that one time we walked on the waterfront and you had a flask you wanted to share, during those times I made it pretty clear.”

“Oh, I sometimes forget these things. There's a lot on my mind, with the start-up and expanding our business, and I tend to drift when people start to say things to me. I am working on it though. I hope you understand.”

“Right well, that's fine, but also, I am busy, as I said. I have to go food shopping, because I'm starving to death, as I also said. Maybe later on, we could just go to the movies. There's a new one with Melissa McCarthy I want to see. The theater is just as good anyway, it's air conditioned, and maybe afterward we can go get food. I think that sounds a lot more fun than sitting inside watching Netflix all day.”

“Oh, well, but it's so hot out! I'm not really a big Melissa McCarthy fan, either. And I haven't Done Netflix in months! I really really want to Do Netflix.”

It sounds like he has started to cry. The heat probably. Or male hormone imbalance. Tight jeans cutting off the circulation to his brain causing severe distress and irrational reaction to minor stresses.

“I don't want to DO NETFLIX. I said that. Are you even listening? It's hot, and I am tired of you saying that. Come to think of it, I think I'll just order a large pizza, gorge myself on it, and take another nap, then maybe later, I will call my friends and see if they want to do something that has nothing to do with Netflix.”

“Wha? Aw, noooo! Please, please? I want to Do Netflix! Waaaah! Ablooo-hooo-hooo.”

“How old are you? Jesus. Please. Stop. You're embarrassing yourself.”

“I'm sorry. Sorry, it's just hot like I said, and you said, and okay, forget tonight, maybe next Friday? The heat will have ended then. Then we can Do Netflix? Please? Can we? Can we Do Netflix?Are we still cool? I'm sorry I got a bit worked up. These new jeans are really tight. It's just that... your hair, you're just so pretty, god, I just...”

Before hanging up on him mid-whine, she screams, “I know I'm pretty!”

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Complete Shit


When George arrives at the office, he immediately goes to Ellen's desk and compliments her coat.

"Nice red coat!" he says, smiling.

Ellen looks at him cockeyed, shakes her head, and says, "I always wear this red coat, keep your pants on."

His lower lip trembling, he stutters, and drools, and says, "I am sorry, I had never seen you wear it before, and got excited. I had read in a book that you should compliment women."

At that moment, interrupting the strange discourse, the Program Director, a seven foot 400 pound man with a neck the size of a tree stump, enters the room and says, "Get back to work, you dumb mother fuckers!"

Ellen, smiling brightly as always, says, "I was working, but this guy won't ever leave me alone. I say, there's being sociable and then there's going too far. At one time we were good friends, but he has taken that for granted and now makes me uncomfortable! I request you move him to the other side of the office so that I may continue my work in peace and without being involved in conversations every five minutes, of which I want no part of."

The Program Director, a rare gleam in his black eyes, strokes his beard, and says, "I have a better idea, Ellen. George, you're fired." Then, turning to face the rest of his employees, he holds up his enormous arms and says "In fact, everyone is fired! Congratulations! We are replacing you with robots. Good bye!"

Ellen, sighing, and starting to pack up her shit, says, "God, finally. Now I can go home and die in peace."

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Unreasonable Expectations


Dear Tyrone,

Or should I say, amazing email writer. I have just finished reading your most recent email, and I have to say, I am floored. This is an email for the record books. We will be holding a ceremy in honor of this email complete with several types of cake, a large arrangement of over 1000 exotic flowers, and, of course, last, but not least, an incredible three hour long fireworks ceremony honoring your electronic communication.

Not only that, but this email shall also be printed out and plastered all over the largest building in the city for all to read at all times of day. People shall never forget the day you sent this email. The president has deemed this a national holiday in honor of this fine correspondence. You will receive all of the medals and all of the Pulitzers.

Never has anyone been more validated than you shall be.


P.S. Now please stop sending emails!

Monday, March 16, 2015


It's time to get sexy.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Intern Part 2

The chair sat empty. And for that, Desi was glad.

Ever since Trevor caught a cold and was killed in a horrific trash compactor incident, Desi's life had improved. The hotline training would go well, this she felt sure of, but without the added headache of Trevor, it would go better than well, it would go super awesome. Her close friend and confidant, Linda agreed, and said, “I am glad Trevor is not here. He was awful. And his nose was always running and dripping snot all over everything.”

“Yes,” I agree, said Desi, adjusting her glasses, “It was an act of mercy that that garbage truck ate him.”

The prospective volunteers had already started to file in. Some old, some young, mostly dressed in sweat pants, for what reason, she could not say, but then she remembered why. Trevor had edited the flier to encourage comfortable wear. This was another bad thing he had done. His reasoning had been that since the meeting would take so long, it be better that everyone be comfortable as possible.

One woman had arrived in only her panties. She was asked to leave.

Suddenly, a great crash was heard not far from their building. She looked out the window, and saw that one of the homes was ablaze. Not wasting any time, she rushed outside, having never seen a house on fire before.

Outside, Desi, Linda, and the rest of the group stood staring in awe at the flaming home. The roof had an enormous gash where it seemed a large meteor had come crashing through. Just as Desi was about to comment on this, the door opened, and out of the flaming house stepped none other than Trevor himself!

Desi gasped. Linda ran screaming.

“Hello, Desi,” said Trevor.

“Trevor?” asked Desi, afraid for her life, her shaking fists clenched, ready to do him in for the second time if she had to.

“No, it is not Trevor. I am Tyrone. Trevor was a douche bag doppelganger with a bad cold. I have come from far off to rid the world of him. Please, point me in his direction.”

“Oh,” said Desi. “Well, you came all this way for nothing.”

“How is that?”

“Trevor is dead.”

“Oh,” said Tyrone, scratching his bald head. “Darn.”

“But we have an opening for an intern, and if you are truly the better half, then we would be glad to have you.”

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

When you are sick.

This is what you write.


“Listen, dumb ass! You can't be sick! No one can be sick!” Dung was screaming mad. She was mad as hell, if there was a hell. Who knows anymore.

Tyrone, a tall and gangly man who couldn't be bothered to grow hair on his head, shuffled to his corner, and began to cry blood. Blooood! WHOA!



“BLOOD!?” said Isidro, “He can't cry blood. Makes no sense. Wipe the snot from your nose and get back to work, Tyrone."

Linda stormed in, fists above her head punching everyone's thoughts to death, and said, “Does anyone have any ham!?”

Tyrone, still shuffling, bent over and picked up a fat slice and tossed it to her.

Dung flew through the air, caught it, and said, “No ham!”

Tyrone shuffled home. And cried into his pillow. But also had a little party. A dance party! YESSSS.

Sunday, March 1, 2015



Being held back four years in high school isn't a big deal. A lot of kids in this country are still in high school at my age. I saw it on the news. When the report came on the TV, my mom, an incredibly obese woman who received 700 dollars checks every month from the government, yelled at me in her labored voice, huffing and screaming, “Billy! Come down! There's someone dumb as you in Alabama!”

I went downstairs to catch the last bit of it. The newscaster, an alluring Japanese woman with ruby red lips I yearned to smooch, shook her head and said, “That poor stupid overgrown child.”

“Momma, I ain't nothing like that man. I am intelligent and well-read.”

“No you ain't, boy. You's a god damned idiot! I sure wished I had that abortion.”

“Whatever, MOM! At least I don't weigh, like, six hundred fucking pounds!”

Momma began crying profusely at this cutting and insightful jab. I often commented on how fat she was only to watch her cry. Satisfied with myself, I went back upstairs to play some more DoTA 2. DOTA 2 is an incredibly complex video game created by several of the greatest minds of our century. It requires the most intelligent types of minds to excel. I am currently one of the highest ranked players, I'll have you know. Which means my brain capacity is enormous and that I have an IQ of at least 190.

I yelled some stupid shit at the screen that you wouldn't understand, because the concepts and strategies of DOTA 2 are all well beyond your feeble grasp, dumb reader. I had been put on a team of morons, so we lost by a ton. Irate that I would be wronged so deeply, I closed the game, and went to their forums, where I could voice my dissent that subhumans would attempt to play this game. Two hours later, I had crafted a truly earth shattering diatribe.

It was 3 AM and Momma yelled at me to go to bed, as I had school tomorrow.

“Shut up, Mom! You're not my boss!”

I finally went to sleep at 5 AM, but only after watching several hours of DOTA 2 videos and arguing on Reddit about DOTA 2. If it were not for this video game to fill the hours of my pointless life, I do not know what I would do.

Sometimes at night when I think about all the video games I had played, I wondered if I had not made a terrible mistake. Certainly being a 20 year old 11th grader could somehow be connected to this, I thought, but fortunately I am always able to dash these thoughts out of my mind and get some solid shut eye. When I slept, I had a dream. It was of a girl I knew from the local video game store. She has huge honkin' tits.

In the morning I ate cereal and had some beer, even though Mom did not want me to.

On the bus, some freshman girls made fun of me for being 20 years old, but I ignored them by staring out the window and counting how many fast food restaurants we passed. Eight, to be exact, and everyday, my mom eats at all of them.

At school, I pissed myself.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Nothing to do but sleep.

"Friendship is less simple. It is long and hard to obtain, but when one has it there's no getting rid of it; one simply has to cope with it." - Camus, The Fall

Monday, February 23, 2015

Today was shit.

This mask is cool, though.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

How the woman who works at Kaiser Health member services got her job.

Kaiser Health Care: "Why do you want this job?"

SNARLING WOMAN: "I hate people and feel it would better if they were dead. I also hate talking to people. Everyone is fucking trash!"

Kaiser Health Care: "GREAT! You're super hired!"

Eve of the War / Stress by Bankai on Grooveshark

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Feel Better

Boarding the train, he takes his reserved seat, beside a woman. She smiles and asks many questions. He answers indirectly. Their conversation starts and stops. She gives up, choosing to read instead.

The landscape is flat and green, and stretches forever like this.

They discuss books. Noticing the way she thumbs the pages, he says, "You don't like that book, do you?"

She assures him she does, and goes back to reading.

He thinks this was stupid to say, so looks out the window. The trees are grey and leafless, ordered into neat rows. He finds this fascinating, and touches her leg to get her attention. She is pleased by the sight, and smiles at him, squinting in the late-day sunlight. He looks out the window some more. The train arrives at the station. His stop. He gets up to leave, says good bye. Afterward, somewhere outside the train, on the street, waiting at the crosswalk, he wonders what her name was.

Vladimir’s Blues by Max Richter on Grooveshark