Friday, June 4, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: The More Dangerous Game

The pilot signaled to Mr. Weiss and started the engine. The helicopter’s blades whooped to life above their cabin. As they lifted off, Mr. Weiss climbed into the back and squeezed his wife’s knee.

“Honey, you can take off the blindfold now. Happy anniversary.”

“I’m not taking it off, Howard.”

“Why? You have to see what I got you.”

She remained stolid, as though sitting on a particularly unpleasant icicle.

“No, I don’t.”

Mr. Weiss eyed her as though she could see through the blindfold. He wondered sometimes.

“I promise you’ll like it.”

“I promise I won’t. We’re in a helicopter over international waters. Again. You’re taking me hunting. Again.”

“We’re hunting the most dangerous game!”

Mrs. Weiss lolled her head back and groaned.

“The two times we hunted human beings weren’t enough for you, Howard? They aren’t that dangerous. We get high-powered rifles and they get drugged by prostitutes and dropped off in a strange land. I’m not taking off the blindfold and I’m not setting foot outside this helicopter. If you want them so bad you can make our anniversary like every other night of the year and go play with yourself.”

He waited for her to be done. She had to be done for maximum enjoyment.

“We’re not hunting humans this year," he said, leaning towards her. "You were right. They’re not very dangerous except under very specific circumstances.”

“I don’t want to hunt a human whose daughter you kidnapped either, Howard. I saw that brochure in your bag.”

“We’re not doing that. They got bad reviews on their website. Besides, it turns out humans are not even on the top twenty-five most dangerous games.”

She shifted, as though her icicle had melted a little with curiosity.

Seeing her shift, he reached over her armrest and stroked her wrist. “For instance, number fourteen is hunting a bear.”

“Bears aren’t that dangerous. I have a basement full of them.”

“They are when you don’t use a gun.”

She licked her lips.

“Number seven is a great white shark, hunted from a rowboat with two paddles and a bowie knife. Number four has to do with some chimpanzees they’ve taught to wield samurai swords.” He moved in close enough to breath on her neck. That worked sometimes. “Bet you wish you’d seen this brochure.”

“What are we hunting, Howard?”

“Number one.”

Her posture was nearly defrosted now. She asked, “What’s number one?”

“You’ll find out when you take off the blindfold.”

She inhaled slowly, nostrils splayed.

“No, I’m leaving it on.”

Howard slapped the armrest in frustration.


She reached over for his knee. Her fingers slid up until he pressed back into his chair. Then she squeezed.

“My present will be more fun that way. Happy anniversary, Howard.”


  1. Wait, so what's number 1#? I think this was a long day... my brain isn't processing this very well.

  2. T.S., #1 actually isn't said. Howard won't tell her until she takes off the blindfold, but then they get distracted.

  3. Good for Howard ... This one read like a page-turner...

  4. Now I really want to know what #1 is. Heck, I want to read the entire list.

    Loved this line: "If you want them so bad you can make our anniversary like every other night of the year and go play with yourself." Made me laugh out loud. Great story!

  5. Ha, funny! Tho I too want to know -- what IS #1? Big Foot? Peace...

  6. Heh, I thogh this was going to end in a gag about the most dangerous game being THE WIFE. I'm pleased that it's not (when one is a wife, one gets a little upset by such things) but what is it??? Argh.

  7. great build, and full release. Happy Ending!

  8. I enjoyed this and laughed out loud several times. Loved the "icicle" and the dialogue. I was expecting #1 to be an angry wife too. It's not important to the story, so take it or leave it, but I'm not sure about the second to last sentence. Sounds like she has him by the balls-literally. Maybe you wanted it that way. They do seem like a rough couple!

  9. Weird and interesting tale. I'm wondering if they're human too or not? Also, I followed the dialogue eagerly even though hunters don't really get my sympathy. I was wondering if they was going to turn karmic at some point or maybe Howard was hunting her- that would be quite the surprise!

    You did a great job of drawing the reader along for the ride. Nicely done.

  10. Well you certainly are keeping the blindfolds on us!

    Doesn't really matter what #1 is. The story is funny, wonderful, and quite enjoyable. :)

  11. Thank you all for the kind words!

    Eric, I'm glad you liked that. I was worried the line was too much, but couldn't bear to cut it.

    Linda, #1 is not Big Foot. He's a pansy who keeps hiding - from everyone.

    Mazz, I guarantee #1 is not the wife. That'd just be rude.

    GP, I expanded the ending at the last minute because people didn't 'get it.' I also don't like that sentence. If more people find it unnecessary, I'll definitely cut it.

    Ganymeder, are they human? I don't want to say. I tried to go light on description, and halfway through I realized the light-description might allow for a neat trick. Like what #1 is, their humanity is up to the reader.

  12. I like that you left their humanity up to the reader. It puts a necessary barrier up--for me at least--between the inhumane acts they're discussing and being a human. Does that make sense? One I'll be thinking about for a while!

  13. Neat take on a story I remember loving when I was a kid. I want the whole list, too. :P Nice work!

  14. Weird and left me wondering. I guess that's okay.
    Your wording is as always awesome.

  15. The pacing here is great! You've got our attention with the list. I'm left with a lot of questions. I can't think of a good number 1 except maybe DEATH or something. Maybe it's God!? I have no idea. I want it to be velociraptors and you have to hunt them blindfolded! LOL! :)

  16. Very well done. I was also wanting for THE WIFE to be number one...LOL. Great read!


  17. Oh man!! No fair not telling us!! Great story.

  18. The new ending makes it much clearer. Like the others mentioned, you know how to keep us in suspense! That the wife was #1 originally crossed my mind, but I'm glad it's not :)

  19. Terrific story! I loved the buildup and ambiguity at the end.

  20. There are so many great and ridiculous ideas in this one. And I love that you never really said what #1 was. :)

  21. Great story, John. Don't change a thing. I love stories where certain things are left to the reader's imagination. It's a sign of Really Good Fiction in my book.

    Lots of layers here. Excellent work.

  22. Who's to say the wife isn't #1, and she's just smart enough to keep him distracted enough to forget that, huh? Or is my mind just all kinds of warped? Rhetorical question folks.

    Great, fun story John!

  23. Sorry to the people who are cross for #1 not being revealed. I'd much rather have your guesses, though!

    T.S., I'm glad the new ending is clearer to you. That's a relief.

    Deanna, you're right. I can't force you to think she isn't #1. If you want her to be the hunted, you go right ahead. But she appears to have a leg up right now.

    Joanie, I love your ideas for what #1 is.

  24. Great story, so many great and funny lines. You can tell these two really love/hate each other. I kept thinking that the wife was #1, but it doesn't matter. It was just good fun to read. ~ Olivia

  25. Bit of weird comment I know, but I do love the line spacing makes it really easy and engaging to read

  26. Not a couple I'd want to go on vacation with. Weird, funny flash.

  27. Great build up, John. Another enjoyable story. Sometimes it's fun to leave everyone guessing. :)

  28. Loved the story, John. I don't care what #1 is either. It's the anticipation and being left to draw one's own conclusion...and the fact that his wife's 'icicle' has melted ands a certain tension. Loved the image of the monkeys weilding samurai swords as well...

  29. Oh, nicely done! Left us hanging with no clue what number one might be!

    Brilliant work! BRILLIANT!

    I'm with Eric -- where's that list?

  30. D-I-V-O-R-C-E!

    Just twigged it before the reveal, but it was excellently rendered. The concept of hunting humans was unsettling in my mind each time it was in the text - nice work

  31. Hmmm my understanding of that was that the wife WAS going to be #1, but the twist was that she was planning to hunt the husband as well.

    I might be completely wrong in that but enjoyed it none the less, very original with plenty of dark humour!

  32. This is one quirky couple John. The dialogue between them works well.

    Samurai chimps got a bark-laugh out of me. I want the rest of that story.


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