Archive for November, 2012


with your wealth and my greed we could rule the world

Enos? Yeah, he’s been in the neighborhood a long time. Settled here after spending some years restlessly roaming the country after he got out of the Army in 73. Arkansas hadn’t felt like home anymore when he got back, so he tried San Diego, having remembered once hearing a Corpsman say that the weather there was always perfect. The guy was right; it was a comfortable place to nearly die a couple more times before he finally got his union card, dried out, and went from one out-of-state job to another for a while, searching. He didn’t think he was going to be here that long, but now every parking space along Mayberry Street, Sobel Avenue, and Arcadian Blvd has the exact same stains; the oil spot five inches southeast of the one made by transmission fluid, from his old green Buick Regal. The slim man looks across the street and bemusedly shakes his head at the sight of the gray cat that nightly shows his face at three different back doorsteps for a meal. They’ve all got different names for him. Two years retired, Enos finally has time to notice that sort of thing now. He still keeps busy, but serving as an unofficial handyman for his neighbors doesn’t fill every day, so he watches. It catches his attention nowadays when they put up different magazines on the newsstand on the way to the hardware store. Little changes. Fresh bus stop ads arrive every few months from some inexhaustible supply somewhere, so bright those first couple weeks before the sun gets to them. Years past, they used to just leave them up there till they blew away. Somebody bought the building where he lives, and they’ve been repainting the lobby. Fixing the elevator. Outfitting the vacant units with new refrigerators, all to the neglect of the leaky faucets, closet light strings, and window latches of the folks he’s been nodding to in the stairwell nearly half his life. Kids he’s watched grow up, sometimes leaving, sometimes coming back. New stores coming up. The storefront real estate office working out of the place where Nestor’s grocery used to be has a window full of flyers for apartments in Sylvan Heights, a neighborhood he’s never heard of, though he recognizes the addresses as being right down his block. This morning he turns and enters the park and follows a path deep into the woods, past even the condom wrappers, to fill a sketch pad with pencil drawings of fungus growing on trees.


people will say we’re in lovecraft

The cold sweats. The trembling knees. That terror that fills your heart as you feel their eyes upon you. Oh god, it’s happening again, isn’t it? Not so fast, friend; it doesn’t have to be this way anymore. I’m Gilroy Barnett, and I’m here to give you the tools to take back control of your life. Don’t get me wrong: our nation’s centuries-old love affair with petting zoos is one of the things that made us a great civilization, but as petting zoos have played a rapidly increasing role in our social customs and decorums the last few years, dizzying advances in petting zoo techniques and etiquette have left many otherwise productive citizens struggling to keep up with their peers. And darn it, you deserve better. So don’t get passed over for that big promotion again just because you couldn’t properly handle a rabbit at last year’s office holiday party. My no-nonsense, tough love approach to petting zoo coaching will guarantee results, provided you’re strong enough to handle getting constantly screamed at for five eight-hour sessions before I spend the sixth and final session building you back up. Get the confidence you need to pet the shit out of all the animals- yes, even geese. Stroke, caress, and nuzzle a yearling lamb with the sophisticated, assured air of a seasoned professional. Get their gross barnyard smell all over your clothes and act like it doesn’t bother you. Stroll breezily through your high school reunion free at last of the crippling fear that you’re going to accidentally step on a bunch of baby chicks. Stare boldly into the fucked up Kermit the Frog eyes of a Toggenburg goat as he eats pellets from your hand with his fucking scary teeth. By the time you’ve completed our course, you’ll be so comfortable around disgusting, dirt-caked piglets that you won’t even feel the need to use the hand sanitizer when going from the petting zoo at your niece’s wedding reception to the buffet table. With my help, you’ll never again spend the car ride home from a swank dinner party tearfully thinking up awesome comebacks for the smartass that made fun of the little scream you let out when that Muscovy duck came out of nowhere to startle you with its horrible mutant turkey face. Next time, toss that jerkwad your car keys and make him do the driving- you’re gonna need the backseat to make out with all the attractive people you impressed by keeping your shit together around some roosters.


we should make our privates kiss

Some long-ago street gangs wore satin jackets a means of quick, easy identification. Others wore berets. The Super Elves, after a dispute with the only embroiderer in town left them with no way of stitching their clan’s name across their uniforms, opted for the bold sartorial choice of tucking their shirts in without wearing a belt. The unconventional move had the desired effect, as their growing reputation as the toughest band of miscreants in town led the local high school to swiftly alter its belt-optional dress code to ease parental concerns about gang recruitment. For fun, the Super Elves enjoyed the same activities as the other hooligans around town: slicking their hair back, singing doo-wop music, and cutting motherfuckers UP with their switchblades.
A few prominent members of the Super Elves were standing on the corner sneaking drags from a cigarette one afternoon, jeering the square kids as they trudged home from school with knapsacks full of homework, when they all stopped suddenly. A chick they had never seen before marched right in front of them. She must have been new in town. Her fuzzy pink sweater, stretched taut in places their girlfriends’ weren’t, announced to them that this wasn’t a girl; this was a woman. Alvin, the most audacious of the group, had been considered something of a leader, so he stepped forward. Before their eyes he turned into a cartoon hillbilly wolf, scarcely able to keep his straw hat on and his overalls fastened as his tongue unfurled and he let out a lusty whistle. This got her attention, and she turned around. “Name’s Nanette. Sorry boys, but I don’t go steady,” she said, then uncorked a right hook that sent Alvin reeling. She didn’t stop there either. It got ugly. Talking about some real Three Stooges type of stuff. By the time she was through with him, his teeth looked like piano keys and his eyes read “No Sale.” The Super Elves had themselves a new top dog.
Though the Super Elves had plenty of moxie, they were terribly disorganized, and Nanette set about rectifying this in short order. She had them up every morning before dawn to practice their dice-shooting technique. Instead of sneaking sips from their old man’s liquor cabinet, members were “strongly encouraged” to take advantage of the health benefits provided by a daily egg cream soda so they could beef up. Their turf expanded considerably once Nanette taught them sophisticated new fighting methods. This guy Jerry from the Westside Wendigos was getting the better of Pee Wee Kesketonovich until she shouted at Pee Wee to pick up his heavy, ethnic-sounding surname and use it to clobber his rival. Nanette was tough but fair, and while the fellas might have bristled at times under her charge, they certainly couldn’t argue with her results. She waited until they displayed the toughness of badgers, the savvy of serpents, and the discipline of monks before she revealed to them her master plan, calling them together for a meeting in an abandoned warehouse. “Ten hot records for one cool penny,” she purred, their eyes transfixed on her as she gave them their orders. “But boss, how will we turn a profit?” Willie Bagdeserian piped up from the back. “We’re practically giving them away!” She responded by sliding some shitty Christmas album that a subscriber had definitely not ordered into an envelope, reveling in her own wickedness as she sealed it with her tongue. “This one’s sixteen bucks.” They all stifled a gasp and wordlessly obeyed her, afraid of appearing chicken in the eyes of their idol.


!pso facto

Ending weeks and months of rampant, fervent, and admittedly reckless and irresponsible speculation, a press conference has been announced, during which it will finally be confirmed that the rumors are true. That’s right, all of them: a daily breakfast consisting of eggs and coffee will both shorten and extend your life. Those are legit sex moans on the bridge of Guns N’ Roses’ “Rocket Queen.” If you play as Luigi and finish World 5-1 with exactly 22 lives without using the warp zone, hit the fifth brick you see on the next level and you’ll get a chainsaw. A disgruntled employee at the Domino’s across from your dorm jacks off onto every third pizza. The never-released director’s cut of Steel Magnolias contains a scene in which Olympia Dukakis punches an alien while sneering “welcome to Earf.” Russell Evans fingered Katie Genarro on three separate occasions the summer before tenth grade, one of which occurred under a blanket at Sean Strothers’ Fourth of July pool party, while they were sitting like seriously two feet away from Sean’s grandma. Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was never a baby; she exited the womb fully grown, exquisitely dressed, and magnificently coiffed. The Milwaukee Brewers have traded Ryan Braun, Norichika Aoki, and Santo Manzanillo for the poison-jelly-spitting dinosaur that ate Newman in Jurassic Park. We have obtained pictures of the Papal Penis; I have personally seen them, and my friend, it is as advertised. The little gilded hat they have for it is simultaneously majestic and adorable. If your hand is bigger than your face, you have cancer. Go ahead and check: I’ll just stand back here.

November 2012