Saturday, December 27, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Sometimes in the same monologue

“You find the short story unbelievable? Oh, good! I was afraid people would think it actually happened. What, you think unbelievable fiction is bad? I say thinking fiction happened is much worse. I want people to think I made it up. I’m the creator, not the reporter. I don’t write what happened or what could happen – if you want that head over to the Non-Fiction section, which routinely outsells Fiction, so I can’t imagine you’ve never heard of it. No, my fiction is there to let me write what I’d like to happen, or what I very much don’t want to happen. Sometimes at the same time. Sometimes in the same sentence. Why even bother having a creative drive in my head if all I’m just going to report what I think is plausible in made-up stories? That’s why the story opens with a woman knocking over a man and falling in love at first sight as he asks her to get off of him. It’s funny and it leads to a relationship that I’d like to exist, but that can’t if it never enters anybody’s head as acceptable, and an alien idea can’t be acceptable until somebody brings it up. Every story needs its own internal truth, a personal plausibility, but realistic stories are dreadful. I don’t want to write them. I’m not particularly compelled to read them, because I have the cheaper and richer alternative of going outside for all the reality I can eat. I passed Journalism in college, but passed it even more enthusiastically as a career choice. If it’s unbelievable, implausible and downright ludicrous, then let’s have a look at it. It might be funny, terrifying, or both, or neither but having some other quality worth examining, or at least experiencing. Experiencing what we don’t have – there’s a purpose for a creative drive. I don’t believe a prince of Denmark met his deceased father in the dead of night, and I most certainly don’t believe the two talked over the matter in English – but I still like Hamlet.”

Friday, December 26, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: “AIDS in America today is a black disease.” –Phill Wilson, Black AIDS Institute

A “black disease?” Look at how far it’s come. It used to be a gay disease. Maybe in twenty years it will become a hardworking Hispanic disease. And then, with its pension built up, it will retire to a nice house in the upscale neighborhoods and become a good, old-fashioned blue-collar white disease. Then we’ll figure out a treatment for it. Not a cure – no pharmaceutical sense in curing something you can control with twelve shots a month. It will be manageable, respectable, and contribute to the economy.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: “Eight new wonders of the natural world announced.” –Press release

The backyard of 231 Ashdel Blvd. where the four (yes, four) children of the Brumsfeld family spend hours a day not fighting, not avoiding to sit inside and watch TV, but playing harmoniously, (yes, all four) creating games in which their youngest sister is important and receives attention, and suspending games whenever anyone is hurt to show them proper care, without ever once raising their voices to a pitch that annoys the neighbors (yes, all four). All toys are shared in the fashion of a socialist utopia. This breathtaking view includes a sandbox and a two-seat swing set (the Brumsfelds almost bought a four-seater, but the children said two would do since they enjoyed pushing each other).

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: “Pat Moran is a writer in Portland. He wishes he still believed in Santa.” –Pat Moran’s bio, Flashshot

“You can’t make someone believe,” the ringleader explained as they lowered the box down the chimney. “People just believe what they believe, you know?”

“I guess,” said the clown. “But what use is this?”

“Well, evidence for Santa Claus is difficult to produce. If the man is alive and active as described, he’s in an undisclosed location somewhere in the Arctic Ocean ice flows, where he chooses not to communicate with humans. If you view it from his perspective, it makes sense he’s struggled for anonymity bordering on question of his existence. The man runs a manufacturing industry without known electrical, phone or internet service, which is capable of producing hundreds of millions of toys in a year, and if he’s kept up with the standards of the market place, these are not merely hobby horses, but high-end PC’s and televisions he's turning out.”

They heard the package hit the bottom of the chimney, at which point the ringleader nodded to the clown. The clown crawled to the edge of the roof and nodded to the trained bear in Mr. Moran's yard, who nudged the first floor window open a crack. It then lifted an elongated hook, slid it through the window and pulled the present from the chimney, across the floor and under the Christmas tree. Then it nodded back up to the clown, while the ringleader continued.

“If the Middle East or Asia caught wind that such a manufacturing powerhouse was up there they would be clambering for him to assist in military projects, not to mention all the commercial industries that would move in once they realized there was a simultaneously magical and tax-free workforce available. The last thing an isolationist like Claus wants is to come home from delivering goods to the few decent children in the world on the 25th, kick up his feet and watch the sun rise over the Nike sweatshop next door. Even if we could discover his whereabouts we would do him a grave disservice by exposing him, even if only to Mr. Moran.”

The clown began descending the ladder. “So why are we delivering presents?”

“Because if he wants to believe then we’ll give him the ammunition. We’ll break into his house one way or another and hide an inexplicable gift every year until he either goes naughty or hires security.”

“And why are we doing this?”

The ringleader shrugged. “He wrote a really funny story once.”

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Anonymoose

In the Berkshire Mountains there is a mysterious creature that has stalked the roads for about three decades. We can only say “for about three decades” because there is so little information about the creature that there may not be just one and pinpointing its first appearance is impossible. On many occasions it has obstructed traffic, sometimes headbutting motorists who did not see it coming. Based on the damage it has done to various motorcycles it is estimated at least at 1,200 pounds – quite a bulk for a beast no one has ever seen.

Several state troopers have attempted to track the alleged quadruped down, though copious feces and aimless hoof paths have yet to lead to the beast.

One trooper, Ronald Ernstein, swears he encountered it in February of 2005 after it struck his car.

“I swear I was looking straight at the thing. It’s tracks ended right there in the snow. There was nowhere it could have gone. I could feel hot air on my face, like it was breathing on me – I must have been looking it right in the eyeballs, but I couldn’t see it.”

The camera mounted on Ernstein’s dashboard reveals no backwoods monster. It registers a heavy impact rocking the car, and then Ernstein getting out, looking around, and finally staring into a specific location for several minutes with abject wonder. Some video specialists claim the vapor around his face indicates a second set of breaths from an unidentified source.

Ernstein is currently seeing a therapist.

For the interim the New York State Troopers have classified this creature as “unknowable.”

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: “…cats and dogs, living together…” –Bill Murray, Ghostbusters

We used to have a cat. Well, no. I had and still have horrible allergies, so really it was my sister that had the cat, Arthur. She also had a Springer Spaniel, Julie, which was five times Arthur’s size, and he liked to fight. He would claw her backside all day and she’d yawn, then go eat the turds from his litter box. Built a thick hide, that one. They were forced to live in the same (admittedly palatial) room for years, and before long they didn’t just cohabitate. They minded each other’s food and sniffed with long expressions when the other was ill. One night my mom had to pry the cat off the dog mid-hump. Julie lay in the corner of the room and sniffed idly around where Arthur used to sleep for weeks after he died. After seeing a dog so dumb it ate cat turds mourn a cat, it’s hard for me to believe two humans can’t get along just because one of them grew up chocolate and the other one’s vanilla.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Thou Shalt

The priest looked up from his suitcase of cash and noticed several members of his flock were in the doorway. He grinned sheepishly, and then tried to explain himself.

“Now children, you will think this is some grave sin, but it is merely a stumble. I am still a righteous man who believes all you do, and but for this indiscretion I have the perfect image. My image inspires. True, this makes me something of a hypocrite, but the hypocrite still does a valuable service to society if he is not exposed, by strongly advising moral behavior and being perceived an example. If he is not exposed, then he can continue to reinforce the lessons for all, even if he has actually transgressed. All you have to do is remain silent and--”

The man at the front of the group shot him between the eyes, and then glanced to the rest of them.

He said, “Don’t kill people.”
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