Saturday, June 13, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: The Boy Who Didn’t Cry Wolf

The boy grew up keenly interested in wolves. Just one wolf could ruin the herd, killing many and spooking the females out of breeding. Sheep were the life of the tribe, so to him, wolves must have been the death. He asked many questions about them.

“How big are their mouths?”

“How much of a sheep can one eat in a night?”

“How fast can they run?”

“How big does a pack get?”

“Is this a sign that they’re stalking?”

To him this was necessary information. To the town fathers it was a nuisance, and soon the only answer he got was to ask later. That answer came increasingly with an adult turning away from him mid-sentence, and later, not bothering to turn and look at him at all.

The shepherd boy was left him feeling that he should fend for himself. Bags grew under his eyes from long nights thinking, and those bags felt full whenever wanted to ask a question.

He didn’t want to bother anyone, not with questions of wolves or requests for help. Once he sprained his ankle and limped through work for two days until one of the tribe fathers asked what was wrong, and then called him stupid for not reporting it. He was called stupid many times that night.

“What made you stupid?”

“What’s wrong with you?”

“How can we trust you with an attitude like that?”

“Don’t you have anything to say for yourself?”

“Got any smart questions now?”

He had no questions that week. They were so loud to him, even when quiet.

Still, he stood watch with his staff. Because he was so loyal he often served more hours in the field than the adults. Because he was so loyal the adults sometimes sent him out alone. Because he was too quiet to complain, they sent him out alone more often. It let them start drinking earlier.

Wolves came one night. It was a bigger pack than any of the town fathers had described. He fought valiantly, trying to stand between the sheep and the wolves, but there were too many. No matter the direction he faced, another set of teeth could come snapping from another.

No one had taught him to fight effectively. Hitting one with the blunt staff didn’t drive it away for long. He used fire, but they always got another sheep that strayed for fear of it. He needed to sound the bell, to call for the help of the adults, but something made his hand heavy.

The town fathers came the next day. A few sheep were left, but none of the boy.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: The Gay/Straight Alliance - Where you just make out with everyone!

“How does this Gay/Straight Alliance work?”

“We look out for each other’s rights.”

“But as a straight guy, I have all my rights. I don’t need you to look out for them.”

“That’s not the point…”

“Tell you what. I’ll look out for your civil unions if you look out for mowing my lawn.”

He was driven out of the meeting minutes later by bisexual politicians wielding foam bats.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Web 2.0 is the Millionth English Word?, OR, The Preposterisk

Preposterisk (n): An upside down asterisk traditionally used by readers and copy editors to mark a word, phrase or passage they consider ridiculous. It is differentiated from the asterisk in that it correlates to no explanation or elaboration later on the page, merely denoting how stunned the reader was that something so stupid could make it into print. Widely used by Freshman English teachers and people who read the lyrics of Hip Hop. While not in common use yet, the preposterisk will be found in any dictionary, encyclopedia and/or web-based wiki dumb enough to let John Wiswell register as an editor that admits the phrase "Web 2.0."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Maroon of the Blue Hair

Some folk asked why a girl with only one eye and that figure was so into dressing up. You’d think she would want to take attention off of herself.

Not Uz Maroon, though.

She’d dress up as a cartoon character, and not just for those annual conventions up in the city. Uz dressed up like Betty Boop to go to work. She’d roll into the diner dolled up like Marilyn Monroe, and if you seemed like a tipper, she’d do an impression for you. One time, dolled up as a president’s wife of whom no one had heard, she explained it wasn’t denial of what she was, but embracing everything that was already in her. It wasn’t imitation of external forces, but letting out things that were inside. Something she’d picked up from an interview with Marlon Brando, an actor of whom no one had heard. She explained it from behind the cash register, which she treated as a podium in the White House pressroom.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Magic Ring of Invisibility Vs. Scientific Injections of Invisibility

"Your retinas require light to bounce off of them so you can have perception of the light in the world around you. That's all your sense of sight is. Since science has rendered you invisible, it's made your eyes transparent, and thus accidentally blinded you. Meanwhile my magic ring of invisibility makes me unseeable while I can see just as good as ever because I didn't screw with physics at all. I just put on a magic ring. And that is why magic is better than science. Oh, I'm sorry. Did you take a swing at me? Missed by a mile, not that you could see, and I didn't even have to put on the ring!"

Monday, June 8, 2009

What is your favorite Serial Bathroom Monologue?

There's a new poll up today asking what your favorite serial Bathroom Monologues are. Sometimes I get a chain of short ideas, and then you get something like the Holegators in the Bathroom Twitter Experiment, or the five perspectives on Rufus Osbourne's story. I'm curious which ones people remember fondly, and if they'd like to see anything like those again. The candidates (with links if you haven't read them) are:

-Letters from Giant Monsters: Open letters from giant monsters including King Kong, Godzilla and Mothra, reflecting on their careers.

-Rufus Osbourne's Story: Different (and questionable) angles on the life of Rufus Osbourne, legendary demon slayer and war profiteer.

-Strange Company: In my humble opinion, the internet's best existential sitcomic strip. Featuring men in pink tuxedos, assassins, vampires, superheroes, warrior queens, planets, and absolutely no illustration.

-Rejected Proposals: Pitches for products and projects that would never be funded.

-"Perspectives:" News stories explaining radically different perspectives on life, like possessed people protesting against exorcism. Dedicated to Tim Meadows.

-55-Word Stories: Pretty self-explanatory.

-Six-Sentence Stories: Pretty self-explanatory, but I put the number in word form so it could feel different.

-Ad Wars: The titanic struggle of attack ads between New York and California, delivered upon imaginary billboards.

-Bathroom Twitter Experiment: A man's home is infested by tunneling alligators. As told by the home owner, through Twitter.

"A Moment for the Duck-Billed Platypus" on Not From Here, Are You?

Mike Solender is running a series of guest essays and micro-fiction on the theme of not fitting in or being an outsider over on his blog,

Today you can see my part, "A Moment for the Duck-Billed Platypus," a brief Bathroom Monologue that some may recognize from way back when these things started. You can read it here:

Bathroom Monologue: Scientific Injections of Invisibility Vs. Magic Ring of Invisibility

“You see, while your magic ring made you invisible and emboldened you, it was also corrupting your soul and addicting your body. Now you’re a wizened little worm man with bad teeth, jonesing for your ring. Meanwhile, while my invisibility treatments did blind me, it was a step towards scientific understanding of invisibility. A couple years later my sight was mostly restored and science brought us that much closer to safe, non-damning invisibility. Oh, did you take a swing at me? I couldn’t tell if it was at me or your reflection in the water. You talk to it a lot.”

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Thanks for the new mirror in here

"I steal the breath away from sirens and make Medusa stare. When I step out to get the mail all TV goes offline ‘cause the satellites snap over to me. These jeans, I only wear on Sunday mornings - because if the ladies aren't in their purest frames of minds their eyes will set ablaze. I tell you that I part seas with a smile and command more wine than France not for vanity, but as a warning. My hotness is a firm orbit, and if you stray too close you will never escape. I’m like the sun, but the planets are more coy in how they revolve around me."
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