Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Totem Polls

In recent Totem Polls, Bear came in last place with two votes. "No one votes for the second from the top. Eagle with his spread wings gets all the attention. Fuck that guy."

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Inspector Conan, an anime about a teenager stuck in a child’s body who solves crimes, has gone over 500 episodes, OR, Could you..?

-The guy who replaces sodas in vending machine is found dead in his own soda dispenser.

-The guy who collects all the soda cans from the recycling bin is found dead in his own sorting machine.

-The guy who owns the store where those soda murders took place sells it, only to be found dead by the new owner the next morning in his old office, safe open and all the doors locked from the inside.

-NRA president chokes to death on a peanut. But he didn’t eat peanuts…

-Dog walker is strangled to death when his neck was entangled in the leashes of his flock of dogs. But he’d never be so careless!

-A Horror novelist dies of no apparent cause at all. No marks or cuts, drugs in the house or poison in her system. It’s as though… but that can’t be!

-A Mystery novelist is killed in a curious way, found dead in her car on a stretch of back road she’d never visited before. It’s curious because it follows exactly how the victim died in her upcoming book, but that book wasn’t finished. Or was it?

-Wealthy socialite washes up on a beach, seemingly mauled by a shark. But there are no sharks in those waters.

-All the counselors at Camp Crystal Lake have gone missing. People in town say a boy drowned there years ago due to counselors ignoring him, and now he’s back for revenge, but Conan is not so superstitious. Or is he?

-Crossover with a remake of The Good Son. Just have him deal with a psycho murderous child.

-Speaking of crossovers, the Child’s Play series enjoys getting ridiculous. Have Conan fight a haunted serial killing doll.

-A lighting rig falls, nearly crushing a rising pop star mid-finale. She made many enemies on her rise to celebrity. That’s always fun.

-Internationally successful marathon runner disappears on a jog and his coach seems conspicuously nervous when interviewed despite having an alibi with his other clients.

-The upfront psycho murderous child returns the same day as a neighborhood child is slain, and all evidence points towards Conan! Can he clear his name?

-A psychic helped the police solve several otherwise unsolvable mysteries, but she couldn’t foresee her own death. Now it’s up to Conan to bring justice to her memory, but if the claims are true, all his suspects can see him coming.

-A zoo keeper is mauled to death by what seems to be a big cat. Yet all his animals are locked up and there is no evidence any of them touched him. Besides, how could one have gotten into his sixth-story apartment?

-A two-part drama where Conan finds a boy identical to himself dead in his bed. The cast mourn his death and for no readily apparent reason do not recognize Conan to be Conan anymore. What happened to his identity? Is he himself?

-482-part drama where Conan goes to Chucky Cheese. Corporate America will pay.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Shadowing at the Oscars

I’ve shepherded many authors over the years. Agents hire me to shadow a consultant and keep him from doing anything too dumb or dangerous on book tours. Of all the drug abusers and self-destructive self-help gurus, he was the worst. One of those novelists, you know.

His book was turned into a movie, and no matter what he says, the movie was better. It was nominated for an Oscar the same year he was snubbed for a Pulitzer. Out of graciousness and idiocy, he was invited to the Oscars, and in his style, arrived ill-fit. You think straps on a dress are faux pas? He arrived on the carpet in khakis and a blue floral print shirt. I think most of the paparazzi mistook him for a tech guy – how many authors can you name by faces? – but one came over. I knew there’d be an issue, and my client tried to oblige.

“This isn’t Florida,” said the reporter with this slappably sick grin.

“Oh,” said my client, fixing the lapels of his floral and admiring the Oscar crowd. “All the young models dating old Jews fooled me.”

There would have been a P.R. firestorm the next morning, had the movie about gay ranchers not lost to the movie about L.A. being racist. Now I only work with children’s book authors. The job hasn’t changed as much as I wished.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Deaf Leading

It was dumb, but she was nervous to take them to the beach. She'd always had fat hips, and there was no way she could tone up her arm flab. She felt disgusting in a bikini no matter what her husband said. Even one-pieces rode up her butt uncomfortably. She settled on a humiliating combination of men's shorts, a one-piece and an optional t-shirt to wear over it if she chickened out.

And nobody made fun of her. The blind kids were just happy somebody took them swimming.

The Nearest Thing in Flash 40 Anthology

My short story, "The Nearest Thing," has been published in the new Flash 40 Anthology. It is available free at Smashwords and comes in PDF, PDB, RTF and TXT formats, so it can be read on palm devices as well as computers. My story is about two boys who grew up on and ran away from the same street without ever meeting. You can grab it here:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Finalist at

I made it to the finals of the Dialogue-Only Story contest over at Reading Writers. "Up High" is about two men on the edge of a building, with two very different agendas up there. Whether or not I'll get the Grand Prize is still up in the air.

Bathroom Monologue: Cave Man Logan

“Following impressive sales for Old Man Logan, Mark Millar and Joe Quesada announced today that Millar will return to Wolverine in 2010 with a new year-long story. Following the last remnants of civilization being destroyed, the elderly Logan lives a solitary life of fighting Savage Land dinosaurs and mutant bears for food. He will reside in a cave under the rubble of the former X-Mansion, painting panels in memorial to all the friends and enemies he has lost on the walls. The story will return Wolverine to his animalistic roots as he wears nothing but an animal hide and appears to have lost the ability to speak. Cave Man Logan is scheduled to begin in February 2010.”

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Balls

The ball was actually invented by September, the Goddess of Disease. It was an act of mercy, not athletics, as no gym teacher divinity could have designed it. It was round, like the planet, and while entertainment was intrinsic, its primary goal was to transmit bacteria from person to person. From floor to person. From wet rugby field to person. And so on.

Consider all the germs it would collect by merely dribbling it on the floor of the Wal Mart in which you purchased it, upon which thousands of other people had previously walked, fell, spit, sneezed and occasionally bled. And what is filthier than the human hand, which scratches the buttocks, cups the sneeze and generally touches more alien materials than any other part of the non-sexual anatomy? The only thing filthier would be the ball, which passes from human to human, hand to hand, wet rugby field to person.

Yet kind September’s gift didn’t cause plagues. Athletes became the paragons of fitness because they were exposed to more exercise and more germs than anyone else. Their immune systems buffed up. Sports were a side effect of her ball. So yes, contrary to the intuition of every kid to ever suffer asthma – disease invented sports, no matter what Apollo has tried to claim since.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Thinking of the Phone in the Bathroom

Here's a prank call nobody makes. You look up a number in the phone book, then call.

"Hello?" she answers.

In your deepest voice, ask, "Is this Valerie Nab?"

"Yes?" she answers in a half-question.

"That's good." Then, taking your mouth away from the receiver, say loud enough that she'll still hear, "Location confirmed."

Then hang up.

Nobody makes that prank. No clue why.
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