Saturday, July 10, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: People Are Worse Than Clowns

"Clowns make me a little nervous, but they’re not bad. Some are really talented. They’ll follow you around trying to get you into the carnival spirit. Those ones? Okay, yeah, they wig me out. But clowns only scare me because they're people under that make-up. If they were demons, or shapeshifters, or juggling incubi, there'd be a chance I just didn't grasp what they were really like and this was their way of communicating goodwill. They could have their own nature. They could all just be misunderstood aliens. But clowns are people, and I understand people. There was one famous clown who turned serial killer; there are dozens of active people who are horrible serial killers. Sometimes a guy uses a clown mask to hide his face in a bank robbery; every day people shoot each other to death in muggings. There’s a song, “Send in the Clowns,” that jokes about sending a brigade of clowns to fight; people are currently carrying out more than a dozen wars across this world. Clowns can make me a little nervous. People scare me."

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: Dialogue for two soldiers sweeping for snipers in Iraq, OR, Things John mumbled to himself watching Hurt Locker

"Gunman spotted on the minaret!"


"11 o'clock! On the minaret!"

"What's a minaret?"

"The tall building. Eyes up!"

"Why didn't you say tall building?"

"Because it's a fucking minaret!"

Thursday, July 8, 2010

'The Sea' over at 10Flash

Today's story is "The Sea in Which the Most Men Have Died." It's about Foreman and Aftman, two servants perplexed by a riddle: what is the sea in which the most men have died?

It was published in the July issue of 10Flash. 10Flash is a semipro-paying venue that cares more about theme than genre. The theme for July is "Are we there yet?"

You can read The Sea in Which the Most Men Have Died by clicking on this text. You can leave comments here or over on the 10Flash site.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: Ogre/Troll

Many people have trouble telling the difference between ogres and trolls. They’re terrifying and come in a range of deformities that make taxidermy more difficult than figuring out if the emo teen with super strength and whose skin sparkles in sunlight is a vampire. There is a handy test, though. If the troll/ogre isn’t eating you, engage him in a conversation on things that matter (discounting topics like when or why he might eat you – these are dangerously suggestive). Make some platonic remarks about the gulf oil spill or the state of contemporary religion. It may respond with a dull stare, in which case it is an ogre. If it responds with clever but offensive observations that incite you into rage, it is a troll. Terminate conversation immediately. Trolls do this to upset people to the point where they can eat them and claim self-defense. Do not feed the trolls.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: Tomorrow Man

"I’m not going to magically become competent tomorrow. That’s not the point. When all us residents run around celebrating like we’re becoming adults, we’re indulging in metaphor. We changed the bedpans and fixed the blood bags. We oversaw the surgery and broke the news to the widow. We earned our God-damned metaphors. I’m already competent, which is why I’ve been covering your rounds while you sneak off to hit on your ex. Tomorrow, do I transform some magic being? The Tomorrow Man, who’s never worried his diagnosis is wrong? Whose every patient has deluxe insurance to cover whatever she needs? No. Tomorrow I have more responsibilities, I get paid better, guaranteed steady employment, and you off my shoulder every time I meet a new patient. I will be no smarter, no braver, and no more confident than I am tonight. The Tomorrow Man will be the same guy I am every day. But if I want to put a red and yellow ‘T’ in the Superman font on my lapel, I can. Because I’ve earned that. So put on a party hat or run back to Sharon. Tell her I said hi and to close your blinds."

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: Thor the Jetstream

So Thor sits down next to Odin. Ever since Loki moved out, Thor’s been coming up with wackier conversation starters to keep dear-old-dad on his toes.

He says, "I'm thinking of being a jet stream."

Odin’s one eye widens. Even his eye patch looks perplexed. "A what?"

"A jet stream.” Thor takes his hammer and waves it around, illustrating the idea very poorly. “It's this thing air currents move along, building and carrying storms. I have a great resume for it, if there's an opening."

"You're the god of lightning!” thunders Odin, unironically. “What do you need with manual labor?"

"There's not so many worshippers, pappy. It's a bit dull out here."

"I bet just as many people believe in you as this jetstream business."

"That's only because they haven't heard what a jetstream is. They’ve all heard of me and the best I get is a slot in a superhero team-up movie."

"Now they'll hear of Thor the Jetstream and they'll think it's a new military bomber plane."

Odin throws a raven at him, but Thor catches it. He strokes the bird’s black feathers in the nefarious way his brother used to.

"That'd be pretty fun, though, wouldn't it?"

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: Pitch for “Odysseus: Dumb ****ing Author Killer”

After thousands of years, the craftiest hero in Greek history is back. And no, he’s not here to fix the government: he’s here to fix publishing. Odysseus ventures the wine-dark seas to slay godless writers who sent zombies to Regency England and turned Abraham Lincoln into a vampire hunter. His literary odyssey will take him to any corner of the globe with Creative Commons and authors who trample on it. See him trapped by a one-eyed publishing executive; see his men reduced to mindless pigs by a witch from Maxim Magazine; see the hilarious look on his face when he reads Clive Cussler’s remake of The Iliad. This summer, Odysseus is going to pop culture… right in the face.
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