Saturday, November 17, 2007

Bathroom Monologue: A Moment with Consumer, the Dragon

Once upon a time stories began with, "Once upon a time." When they did, I was conscripted by some would-be demigods. They paid me in leatherbound books and chests of shining silver, to lie on and read by. I've shrunk in my old age, but back then I was as big as a healthy nation. My veins were rivers and lakes of fire. My stomach? A capitol city or two. Those would-be demigods hired me on as part of their new underworld. Anyone horrible enough to participate in ethnic cleansing, I devoured, and they were to spend something like six-hundred and sixty-six years in my bowels. These deities thought it very appropriate for ethnic cleansers to be digested and purified in the infernal guts of a dragon. Oh, how those dictators, generals and warrior kings jived and shivered on the way down. I miss that job.

Bathroom Monologue: Hail to the Elite

"Harold Bloom, Alexis de Tocqueville, all the sum of history's critics and elitists couldn't or didn't (or a mixture of both) stop the world's atrocities. They don't help world hunger, they don't stop genocides. They scarcely pay attention to them. These people, who either lack the power (my guess) or the motivation (my second guess) to do real good, instead stick their feet in the way of my pleasure. I speak not of those who inform, who advocate to the consumer, or who share an opinion – rather I speak of those who thrust opinions at others, and who brazenly hold their thoughts superior to ours. When I work, when I sweat, when I bleed my way through a day, who is anyone to tell me not to look forward to The West Wing? Or Rush Hour 4? Or the next Grand Theft Auto? They have no right, nor means to make right. Certainly they have no might. What else can make right? Can libel masked as criticism? Can snickering, or the constant putting on of airs? Air, vapor, gas, nothing, absence. Elitists have done nothing to deserve authority over my heart."

Bathroom Monologue: Where is my flying car, Jetson?

Toyota stresses that the new Flying Car Model ™, or Toyota Apollo ®, will not eliminate traffic jams. It will, however, make traffic jams much more interesting, and the resulting accidents will be far more difficult to look away from. With our new AirBag 2.0 ™, in-cabin crash experiences will be considerably safer than current industry standards, while civilians who decide to stick with the more terrestrial automobiles have nothing to worry about, since the Toyota Apollo ® will fall upwards should they be disabled or run out of fuel. They currently run entirely on solar power, and have a meticulously refined battery system, but as we are sensitive to the sports utility market, Toyota will offer an optional gasoline engine by the end of the year, which comes with a complimentary gun rack and $5.00 Citgo gas card ®.

Comments Active

Tinkering around with this site. The Comments feature should now be open so that anyone can use it, rather than only people who are registered with Blogger, Google or whatever. Hopefully I'll write some things that leave you wanting to respond, even if it's, "Yay!"

Friday, November 16, 2007

Bathroom Monologue: He should've worn a space suit.

John dreamed of going to outerspace. He founded a space program in the third grade, consisting of him and his autistic school janitor. He did not make it far that first day, only three feet into the air, by jumping. The next day, he climbed a tree in his backyard. The biased school newspaper refused to cover the event, responding that the tree was only thirty-four feet in height, and reached nowhere near outerspace. Quite perturbed, he submitted a brisk editorial, explaining that by mounting the tree, he had outshone the previous day's achievement by a factor of ten. Multiplication was for fifth graders, and the editorial was written in crayon, so the space program's true success went unheard. The following weekend, John climbed atop his two-storey house. He fell, and cried all the way to the hospital, but on the drive back spoke positively about the great leap forward.

Bathroom Monologue: Why I never saw Underworld 2

In a world where no one believed anymore, where salt and silver had lost their power, where the cross could no longer scorch children of the night, the armies of darkness rose up to conquer humanity. A lone, babbling preacher in New York City's Central Park stood between the the dark lords and their conquest. The vampires laughed and threw him down. Dracula, who had just been resurrected for the eighty-fifth time and yet still looked totally G.Q., spat on his crucifix and chided, "You have no more power in this realm, old man!" "Oh?" The preacher said, then faced the sky and shrugged, "Alright then. Your turn." And with that, the sky did split open, and the hosts of angels, who were none-too-pleased at the vast underrepresentation of their badassness since their righteously awesome victory over Satan in the War of Heaven, came a-raining divine blades and sulfur. When the greatest (and thereby sexiest) of the vampires and werewolves rose up to tear at the holy host, a giant hand slapped down on them from the sky, and a resounding, omniscient voice boomed, "OH, I'LL HAVE NONE OF THAT SHIT TODAY." And to the terror of many a mortal, he said it in Arabic. Then did Jesus, freshly pissed off from viewing the Passion of the Christ, descend on the zombies, an AK-47 in one hand, a machete in the other; and he was flanked by Mohammed and Moses, who both for some reason kicked copious ass with flaming nunchuks. The vampires were done for, the undead were satisfactorily re-deaded, and when the werewolves and witches finished defecating in fear, they tried to make a break for it, but were headed off by Zeus, Gilgamesh, Glooscap, Ra, Anansi and Odin (all in New England Patriots football gear, for some reason), who, with the hosts of Valhalla and Tartarus, proceeded to stomp the living crap out of them. Little Goth girls, Emo boys, Hollywood directors and Philosophy professors across North America sobbed into their Hot Topic pillows, until Satan himself (with a Hell of a lot to prove after the savage beating Michael gave him during that whole "War of Heaven" deal) personally opened portals between their bedrooms and the Inferno, and let his minions go all Doom III on their asses. That went down in history as the night religion had enough of popular culture's anorexic, tattooed, pale, cynical, leather-wearing dumb ass.

(Note: Two years later, Michael Moore made a documentary about the hypocrisy surrounding that night's events; the Holy Ghost let it go until He saw Moore on the O'Reilly Factor promoting the already over-advertised blockbuster)

Bathroom Monologue: Recruitment 201

Freddy: A group assembled from the highest criteria, a squad of hardened assassins. We went around to the seediest pubs in the world, and fired a shot through the door. Anyone who didn't run, we hired.

Ditz: Yeah, well it got us a couple of great psychos for the team, but almost everyone else was deaf and dumb. I think we're just going to use from now on.

Bathroom Monologue: The Fear of God (or His supposed gravesite)

"I don't believe in Him, but I'm not cocky. This Guy invented lightning, cholera and the shark. I don't want Him mad at me. Maybe He's dead, maybe He went out for coffee, maybe He's not real - but if the headstone says "God," don't dig up the coffin. He made up the typhoon, the yeast infection and the chainsaw-wielding maniac for fun. This is a planet with tigers, grizzly bears and killer whales, yet the ostrich kills the most people of any wild animal. I don't want to meet the Guy who thought that was funny enough to leave in! Let alone spelunk into His tomb. Do you know what He'd do if He got mad? No, because He hasn't invented it yet! That's the problem. You get mad at me, you have an awful thought, and maybe you settle on punching me in the shoulder. He gets mad at me and suddenly my house is on fire, my crotch rots off and all the first-born sons in the area go missing. This is coming to you from someone who doesn't even think He's there: leave His stuff alone."

Bathroom Monologue: "Don't you want to have kids?" -Generic Ex-Girlfriend

-No, now please stop asking.
-By the throat.
-With soy sauce.
-Do they double well as calk?
-Right where I want them.
-How much does the government give you, again?
-Can’t I just have their candy instead?
-Well, I’ll give you this: nothing makes such a satisfying “thump” as a toddler taking her first steps off a fifth story window.
-If you get some, we can race them in strollers down the stairs. Best three out of five?

In conclusion: no. None of them are cute, none of them are clever, and yours in particular smells like you aren’t washing it thoroughly enough. I recommend a fire hose.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bathroom Monologue: Here's Gurenderu

Suddenly my right side went numb. I couldn't move my hand. I couldn't feel my arm. "Holy shit," I thought. "I've had a stroke." I started to panic. I started to shake. I struggled. I roared. I looked around frantically. Then I realized I hadn't had a stroke. That motherfucker Beowulf had torn off my arm.

Bathroom Monologue: They Sure Did

I was stunned when my Indian friend, Franky, was walking around with a Bible last week. He usually detests religion. I asked him what was up with it, and he said he was looking for something different. "This book's pretty neat. It's a little preachy, and a little funny. I'm getting a lot out of it." And I thought that was pretty cool, until he called me at 3:00 this morning, screaming, "Oh my God, they killed him!"

Bathroom Monologue: The Tinkerer's Tip #7 on How to Lie Your Way into the Upper Class

No one you want to impress shops at Wal-Mart, ma'am. In fact they hold anyone who shops there in disdain. Any store you can think of is unacceptable. If they ask about a piece of jewelry or a tablecloth or a faux-16th century canopy bed, say you bought it at "a little boutique on the Cape." It doesn't matter how far away from the ocean you are; in fact, the further away you are, the more impressive your imaginary summer home will be. If you're worried your lie hasn't compensated enough, think of the most impressive store you know of and say something like, "I'm sure there will be knock-offs at Nordstrom’s next season, if they aren't there already." Oh, and shred your receipts.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bathroom Monologue: Delectable Dolphins

The Humans claimed dolphins were mammals like them, because they breathed air and gave birth to live young. The Dwarfs claimed dolphins were fish, because they spent all their time in the water, didn't talk, and were shaped like fucking fish. While the debate raged, the Goblins ate the dolphins. When chastised for their behavior, the Goblins voted that dolphins were fish, because they tasted like tuna.

Bathroom Monologue: Like wearing a Superman t-shirt

On the side of the mountain, there lay a suit of immaculate gold and silver armor, glittering in the noon sun. A skeleton was visible under the helm and around the gauntlets and greaves. The stone was scorched black for several meters around the body. A sign was hung around the neck of the suit, reading: "PLEASE NOTE THAT DRAGONSLAYER ARMOR DOES NOT A DRAGONSLAYER MAKE."

Bathroom Monologue: Maybe something in politics

"When I heard serial killers were supposed to have a target group, I was pretty lost for words. Apparently a pattern is a selling point. I was getting along pretty well, I was damned close to prolific, but why weren't the news people picking up the trail? Because my victims needed to have something in common? Well, crap. I started by strangling women in the parking lots of video rental stores, but only the ones who talked on their cell phones while picking out a movie. Nobody likes those people to begin with, I thought. And I was right, too right, to the point where nobody picked it up the string. Then I heard about a Women's Lib. group in Washington, that was suing the Church under the idea that "Amen" was a sexist phrase. That string didn't pan out so well, either. I'm kind of at a loss right now. I'm thinking of taking time off. Maybe I'll get a job or something."

Bathroom Monologue: Someone's happy about graduation

The valedictorian of days, the Last Judgment, stood and marched down the aisle to the Provost of Time, glancing smugly at her fellow students. She passed The Beginning, who smiled cordially; she passed The Day the World Stood Still, who was still applauding, long after everyone else had given up on account of raw palms; she passed the two rows of True Holidays, who all pretended like they had something on their shoe when she looked for eye contact; she tried her best to smile at The Day of the Fall from Grace, whom she had had three non-consecutive one-night-stands with. She had never thought much of him. It was just then that the class prankster (and bitter salutatorian) The Day of the Fourth Coming, stepped on the tail of the Last Judgment's gown. She tripped clean off the stage, and fell into the laps of several trustees. A burst of laughter from the crowd made her realize just how everyone truly felt towards her. The embarrassment was so great that the administration soon closed down Time, in favor of a second university for Space, which had never disappointed anyone.

Bathroom Monologue: Too late, Bill

Bill thought Twinkies could never expire. They felt like styrofoam and tasted like sugar, those immutable, unchanging basic elements of society. When he found a "Best By December 6, 2005" notice on the bottom of the box, he knew something was awry. If Twinkies couldn't expire, then December 6, 2005 must be the day the world ended. He had to get the word out.

Bathroom Monologue: God Hates Statistics

"God, long having lost touch with creation after inventing introspection, sent out a commission to the living quadrants of the Omniverse in order to discern what people wanted from Him. He soon ruled out fulfilling wishes and prayers, on account of the number of people who got what they wished for and were dissatisfied in life. Similarly, despite having sent out particular angels and scions to put forth a justice initiative, people did not seem particularly interested in getting what they deserved, and more often than not, argued that they deserved more than they had. The commission returned surprising data. God analyzed, worried and pondered about His creation for eons before conceding that the data was irrefutable: there was nothing so popular in the universe as death, as everyone did it at least once. So God, in His infinite caring and mercy, unleashed unheard of genocides across the cosmos. Asteroids showered solar systems, stars collapsed, and nifty new plagues, born by light waves rather than solid matter, ravaged living worlds to within an inch of their lives, and when they came to that inch, God lovingly nudged them over the brink. He was unhappy, then, to find everyone who was at the gates of Heaven very angry with Him. Immediately God put a "CLOSED FOR REPAIRS" sign on the Pearly Gates and drove off past the edge of Creation in search of the true supreme being, having completely lost faith in Himself."

Bathroom Monologue: God of _____

Ares was the god of war, Aphrodite was the goddess of love, but Apollo was the asshole god who wanted to take seventeen majors in college. Apollo was a very presumptuous god. He was a sun god, even though Helios already did the sun and Zeus did the sky. He was a medicine god, but also a bringer of plagues. He was both a war and sports god, making him a professional and hobbyist ass-kicker. He was the patron deity of shepherds and colonists, making him both God of Protecting Your Stuff and God of Taking Your Stuff. His oracles at Delphi were the most reliable and salient, making him a knowledge god, and from there he became more powerful than the muses at inspiring music and poetry, making him an arts god. And we can't forget that we was randy, though that was more a "god" thing than an "god of" thing. The gods were fucking nuts. And by "fucking nuts" I don't mean "crazy;" I mean if they found a cashew arousing, they'd turn into an ox and find a way to penetrate it.


Welcome to The Bathroom Monologues. My name is John Wiswell. I write short stories, micro-fiction, haiku and the occasional novel. Most of my work is humorous, Fantasy, or both. I graduated from Bennington College and have written for Acorn Press, the Inside Pulse and I'm an avid reader and always have at least twenty books on my shelves, not just humor and Fantasy, but anything I can enjoy or that will expand my mind - Literature, history, horror, science, science fiction, anthropology, mythology and everything that leads human beings on the search for meaning. I'm a pretty peaceful person, so if I write something ripping into someone, you can bet I'm at least partially joking. My favorite writers are Homer, Mark Twain, J.R.R. Tolkien, Douglas Adams and Stephen King - loving a polytheist, a monotheist, an atheist and two original American nutcases has helped me break down some rather silly stereotypes. If you can't accept that an ideology or a belief won't necessarily make someone good or bad, you probably won't like my writing.

The biggest features of this blog are the eponymous Bathroom Monologues: micro-fiction, list-fiction and micro-prose that I've been rattling off since college. Back in college I had no spare time thanks to an ungodly workload, and was afraid that I was losing my creative imagination to the flood of academic papers I had to write. Any time I got up from the computer to use the bathroom, I improvised a narrative on any topic except what I was working on at the time, to keep the independent part of my brain functioning. So if I was studying the Aroostook War, maybe I'd talk to myself about ghosts in tall grass; if I was studying genes in pea plants, maybe I'd talk to myself about conspiracy theories and twinkies. Sometimes I'd time one up when I returned and IM it to a friend. They made enough people laugh that I started putting them online, and we got to this point. I recommend Bathroom Monologuing to anyone, not only writers. It's a fun exercise, and much better than reading the back of a shampoo bottle. I have over a hundred archived ones I'll slowly be putting up on the site, along with fresh ones.

Another thread of the site will follow any of my writing that is picked up by magazines or publishers. I'm always working on a short story (or this enormous quartet of novels...). If you like The Bathroom Monologues, perhaps you'll pick up a copy of my printed work (and perhaps write a letter to the editor saying how life-affirming John Wiswell's story/haiku/essay was, and how you want more of it, and how they should pay him double the normal fee).

Enjoy your stay!
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