Literary Kicks: QUEST Week Two Selections
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Week Two Selections
In the second week of The QUEST, we asked our writers to use dialogue as a tool to develop characters and plot. We are proud to offer a sampling of some of the results here.

These writings let us eavesdrop on exchanges between friends, lovers, ex-lovers, parents and children, siblings, co-workers, hostages and captors, doctors and patients, teachers and students, service workers and clients, God and man, and various strangers, inanimate objects and imaginary friends. The settings varied as much as the topics, allowing us to listen in on pillow talk, bar scenes, barbershop chatter, therapy sessions and family feuds.

NOTE: We are presenting the pieces exactly as they were posted by the authors, preserving the original formatting, spelling and grammar. Some pieces are written as scripts, others as stories or verse. With such an internet-friendly group, we were surprised that only one writer submitted an electronic conversation (see Helium, below).

The following selections were determined by peer review and/or LitKicks Staff. We hope you'll enjoy listening to what all the characters have to say in this showcase of The QUEST Week Two.

Grinning Guru
by blhenry
Group: Watermelon

Just then, the man’s eyes shot open. He looked at Josh with a piercing gaze and softly said "Sit, sit," gesturing to a nearby rock. Beginning to stiffen up from the climb, Josh hobbled over to the rock.

Raising his bushy eyebrows, the man said "I suppose you have some great question for me. Please, please do not ask me what the meaning of life is."

Taken aback by the man’s wide grin, Josh started "No, though that question may have been on the list, I have something much more important to ask you."

"Well, we or, at least, I have plenty of time to discuss any such matters with you. So, let us not get right to the point. It does get lonely up here. One gets tired of conversing with the cosmos as it tends to be a great listener but not such a great talker," the man said with a chuckle.

"Um, ok. What is your name?"

"Interesting. Most who visit me, and that’s not many considering the trip up here, hardly ever ask me my name. The seekers, that is what I call people like yourself, are so consumed with their own thoughts and problems, they rarely bother with me as a person."

Standing and stretching with a grunt, the man said, "Anyway, my name is Charlie. And yours?"


"Nice to meet you Josh, Charlie said sitting back down.

Trying to keep the frustration from his voice, Josh replied "So what would you like to talk about?"

"Now, now. Don’t get upset. We will get to your questions in due time but indulge me for a few minutes. It does get lonely up here. Some days I wish I had never made the journey in the first place."

"Made the journey?" Josh asked.

Sighing deeply, Charlie said "Both physically and metaphysically, I suppose. Sometimes, it just doesn’t seem worth it. I mean, you sit here, meditate, try to tease answers to the great questions from the cosmos. What is the point anyway?"

Josh asked "The cosmos? You mentioned that before too. How can one talk to the cosmos? Don’t you mean God or some higher plane of existence or something?"

Laughing until he had tears streaming from his eyes, Charlie said breathlessly "God? Higher plane of existence? Give me a break. What you see is what you get. We are all a part of everything around us. The rock you sit on. It is just another form of the very matter that makes up the hair on your head. That, in a nutshell, is the cosmos."

"Do you know how long I have spent staring at a blade of grass? Or trying to count the stars in the sky?"

"No." Josh meekly replied.

"Too damn long. Answers don’t just pop out of thin air. You have to truly think and think about the question. And, sometimes, a blade of grass or stars in the sky are just that." Charlie said while waving his hands about wildly.

"Then why did you make the journey? Why sit up here and stare at stars and grass?"

Laughing out loud, Charlie replied "Well, it beats working for a living."


Gesturing to himself, Charlie said "In a sense, yes. I mean, I am poor, hungry, and lonely. But, I don’t have to deal with traffic, oversleeping, girlfriends, bosses, get the idea. I have left the pain of humanity below."

"Um, ok. But what satisfaction or sense of purpose do you get by sitting up here all alone?"

His voice dripping with sarcasm, Charlie replied "I get to Answer questions from worthy seekers such as yourself, of course."

"Anyway, about my question?"

Sighing resignedly to himself, Charlie said "Yes, yes, I will answer your question on one condition."

Eyeing him warily, Josh said "And what would that be?"

"That you perform a task for me to be named after I answer your question."

Hesitantly, Josh replied "Ok, fine. Can we just get to my question now?"

"Fire away."

Clearing his throat, Josh asked "You see, my dog just died. I really, really loved that dog. His name was Stryker and I grew up with him. Since his death, one thing has really been bothering me."

"And that would be?"

"If reincarnation exists, and people can be reincarnated as other things, like dogs. When dogs die, are they reincarnated as people?"

Opening his eyes as if from a deep trance, Charlie replied "Yes."

Silence followed. Finally, Josh said "That’s it. Yes?"

"Yes, that’s it. You presented a yes or no question. It is not for me to fathom why the cosmos has said yes. I can only relay that answer to you."

Charlie continued "Now for my request. You have promised to perform a request for me after I answered your question. If you do not honor that request, the cosmos will surely curse you and your family."

Clearly scared to disbelieve, Josh said "Fine, what is your request?"

Grinning in clear triumph, Charlie said "I want you to sit where I am sitting and remain there until someone journeys here to ask you a question."

As Charlie stood and began walking away, Josh shouted "Wait! Stop! This wasn’t part of the bargain. I am not staying up here."

As a malicious grin formed at the corners of his mouth, Charlie said "Yes it was part of the bargain. That is the service you must perform. C’mon Josh. How do you think I got suckered into becoming a Guru?"

With a sinking feeling in his stomach, Josh pleaded "What about my life? What am I supposed to do up here?"

As he reached the path down the mountain, Charlie turned and said "Not my problem. You made the deal. Now, excuse me, I am going to get a Big Mac."

Bell Telephone
by ruby tuesday
Group: Watermelon

"Hello, baby."

"Good afternoon, Mother."

"How are you?"

"Slightly less than my best at the moment."

"That's terrible to hear, sweetheart."


"Is it anything I can help you with?"

"No, no, I don't believe so. There are just some...things; things that I've got to work out."

"Do you want to talk about it?"

"I don't think this is necessarily the place to air my troubles in specifics."

"I suppose you're right."


"'s been awhile since we've seen each other."

"Yes, Mother, it has been that -- quite awhile."

"What have you been doing with yourself? How's school? Do you have a girlfriend?"

"Must you ask that now?"

"I...I just don't know what to say to you right now. Other than that I'm glad to see you."

"Good. In a way, I'm glad you're here. We may not be seeing each other again for a long while."

"I'm not sure how to answer that."

"It may be better then, not to respond. An answer to a question -- even an unspoken one -- creates a dialogue; for someone such as yourself, so unpracticed at dialogue, the exchange may become...well, somewhat taxing. And I'm already tired."

"I'm not here to argue with you, darling."

"Lucky for you, because there is no argument to be had."

"Baby, I just want to help."

"Sometimes, Mother, people become so tired of asking for help that they move into the next category, the level of being beyond help."

"I hate it when you talk like this."

"You would."


"I've missed you."

"You haven't."


"Please come home, darling. Where everything can be alright."

"That, Mother, is exactly what I hope to do."

Gestures in sync:

A thin and rumpled young man threw his arms wide to the wind and joined the circus fray with all the skill of a nubile ballerina acrobat plunging into welcoming waters, expelling a deep breath held specially to be sucked in by spectators below.

A woman, middle-aged and lovely, flung her perfectly manicured hands out in the sign language of reception toward her child, years too late.

But time is a funny thing; it always catches up. Moments overlap.

A megaphone shattering the window of a cruiser.

Something soft and wet striking concrete.

And she and the sirens wailed.

Pillow Talk
by Artie Kaye
Group: Strawberry

"Do you remember the night we met?" she asked him, aglow with her perspiration and his. "You asked if you could kiss me."

"And you said 'no'." he added.

"I didn't want to ruin it." she rolled onto one side so she could look down on his face.

"But then you asked if you could kiss me..." he reminded her.

"And you said 'yes'." she smiled and put her head on his shoulder.

"What can I say? I'm easy."

She made an amused sound like excess air leaving a tire. The silence stretched for miles, and then softly - "I just didn't want to ruin it. I'm always afraid to ruin it."

Quietly, and before she fell asleep, he said "You can't ruin this."

by four33
Group: Strawberry

"Seventeen, please," she requested. He pressed a button. It was illuminated from within. She looked up from her newspaper. "Thank y...oh...hi." She looked back down.

"Oh, Lily."

"Hi, Stan."

"Yeah, hi... It’s"

"I know, Stan. Look, you don’t have to say anything. Just - "

"No. I mean, I know what you’re going to say." The elevator doors silently sealed them in. "Would you please let me tell - "

"You don’t have to. I...I...I understand why you were there. I mean, I think I do."

"Okay." He exhaled, then suddenly: "It’s just that I found one of her socks in my closet last week, and I know that she..." He paused, studying the pattern of numbers above the door. "I guess I don’t know anymore."

She put a hand on his shoulder. This seemed to catch them both off guard, and she quickly removed it. "She really loved you, Stan. It was obvious."

"Was it?"

"Please don’t. Don’t act like that. It hurts me too, okay?" The elevator chimed and slid open its doors.

"Fourteen. This is me." He stepped out into the empty corridor and looked back at her. "If she wakes up, will you tell her that I have her sock?"

"Stan..." And the elevator swallowed her.

by um
Group: Razorclam

The first day of philosophy 101 the class finally quiets and expectantly awaits the professor's introduction. A fortyish gray bearded man with glasses starts passing out papers.

"Here is the syllabus for your new class intro to philosophy. I'm your professor Dr. James Wahlberg. Did anyone not get one? " He asks scanning the room.

"OK has anyone got the book yet? " Three people raise it up towards him. He acknowledges and says, "Sorry about the inconvenience but you'll have to return those to the book store for a refund. We won't be needing a book this semester. And now you can rip up those syllabi too."

The astonished class, most of them commence to tear their paper in half.

He begins in earnest, "In this class, this semester, we will concern ourselves with one and only one question.....Why? "

Well almost immediately a hand shoots up in the back of the room. "There’s always one" he says as he points to a student nearing 30 shabbily dressed and considerably older than most others.

"Professor Walhberg, I have just one question for you then. "

"And that would be? " Wahlberg queries.

"Why ask why?" replies the student

"So you believe there's no good reason to ask why eh son?
What's your name? "

"Javelin Meyers, you can call me Jav." as Jav continued to state his case. “This life is temporal and it all fades into oblivion, so what possible difference could asking why make? "

"Well...... Jav, I guess I agree with you, there is no good reason to ask why... but there's no good reason not to ask it either"

by xian
Group: Raspberry

"Did we miss our stop?" said the small boy with the small backpack to his older brother.

"What? Hey, you're right. I think we did..." said the bigger boy with the bigger backpack. "Sit still here for a minute and I'll ask the driver."

"Please take your seat" said the heavyset man in the hydraulic chair up front.

"Did we pass 9th street already?"

"Sure, we're almost at the end of the line now."

The bigger boy walked back to the middle of the bus, stopping to yank the stop-request chain on his way to the seats by the back door.

"Yeah, we missed it. We're getting off at the next stop."

"Where are we?"

"I'm not sure yet, but we can't have missed it by much. Hold the door for the lady."

"Which way is home?"

"Let's walk to the corner so I can get my bearings.... OK, we need to cross here. Wait for the light. Hold my hand, Quentin."

"How far is it?"

"It's about twenty blocks. We can play a game to make it go faster."

"What game?"

"It's called... fractions. Each time we finish another block we'll figure out how far we've gone and how far we still have left to go."


"Sure, like here we just walked a whole block, cross with me before the light starts blinking! That wasn't so bad, was it? That means we've gone one block out of twenty, or 1/20th."


"It gets funner. Think of it this way. If we were working on a dollar, we'd have a nickel by now.... You know, I'm sorry I let us miss our stop. It was that Jonah Hex comic."

"You didn't let me read it."

"You're too little. Also, I thought we were on the M-one-oh-one to sixth street. If I daydream on that one it's just three blocks to walk back. ... OK, that's another block. Are we going too fast?"


"You seem out of breath. We've got a minute or so till the DON'T WALK sign changes back."

"What fraction is this?"

"Well, we've gone two blocks out of twenty so that's--"


"Right, but 2/20ths is also 1/10th."

"A tenth?"

"Right, so we're up to a dime. Since we're walking here, there's something else I wanted to say I was sorry about."


"You know that game where we tease you and say you're not the real Quentin and that the real Quentin disappeared and you're a little different in some small way that we never explain and then we blame you for abducting Quentin and trying to take his place?"


"Well, it's just a game, you know. We don't really think you're the fake Quentin."

"I know."

"But it's not just that. It's just... I'm sorry for teasing you."

"You know I don't like it."

"It's like Dad says, 'needle, needle.' I can't help it some times, but it's mean and -- hey, look, 3/20ths."

"Just 3/20ths?"

"Yes, it doesn't really reduce. Anyway, I'm sorry if I was mean."

"It's OK. I know I'm the real one."

"Robbie from upstairs told me he thought you were starting to believe us, but I told him you knew we were just kidding."

"Well, I knew you were kidding but I didn't like it."

"I know. I said I'm sorry. That's why I was feeling bad. It wasn't nice."

"It wasn't nice. You shouldn't make fun of me so much."

"Look, 4/20ths, that's one fifth. We're doing good. Are you sure you're not getting tired."

"I'm... maybe we could go a little slower?"

"Sure, I just wanted us to get home before dark. Maybe don't tell mommy we missed the stop?"

"OK. Maybe we should so she knows why we got home late?"

"How about if I get you a treat?"

"What kind of treat?"

"You'll see."

* * *



"What's 'impeach'?"

"It means 'fire' like firing the President. Where did you see it?"

"There, the sticker on the wall. Peach Nixon."

"Nix on Nixon," said Oliver, largely to himself. Then, "5/20ths. A quarter! Not bad. How you doing?"

"OK," said Quentin, looking down.

"We can go slower..."


"...but we might not make it home before dark. Not that you should worry. There're lots of people around."

"I'm fine. What's 6/20ths?"

"We're not quite there yet, but it will be 3/10ths, not so exciting."

"What's feces?"


"Ff-- Fff--. Dog feces. Daddy said it."

"Feces is poop. Doo-doo."

"It was when that guy hit him, at the playground."

"I know dad said something about that guy's dobermans going in the fountain with all the little kids."

"He said they could get feces in there. It wasn't clean?"

"The guy hit him for that? I didn't see it."

"No, Daddy was yelling at him to take the dogs out of the fountain. Then the man came up to him, with the dogs, and when Daddy was talking he punched him in the eye."

"I know. I went to the hospital with you."

"I just wondered what feeces was."

"It's poop."

"I know."

"Hey, 8/20ths, that's 4/10ths or 2/5ths."

"We're not even halfway yet, are we?"

"No, but nearly."

* * *

"9/20ths. Nothing special. Are you getting cold. Put the hood up on your parka."

"What's my treat?"

"I told you, you have to wait till we're closer?"

"How close?"


"How many blocks is that?"


"How many did we go so far."

"Nine... plus a little, nearly half."

"So what does that leave?"

"14 take away 9 is..."


"Right, five blocks to your treat, or actually, four, because we just made it halfway, and the next block is Houston, so we'll be in the numbers soon. Hold my hand."

* * *



* * *

"What is 12/20ths?"

"6/10ths, or 3/5ths?"

"That's still boring."

"I know."

"What's the treat."

"OK, but you can't tell."

"What is it?"

"Circus peanuts."


"Not real peanuts. They're like marshmallows, but they're orange."


"Not like soft fluffy marshmallows. It's too hard to explain! Just wait. They taste like banana."


"You know the fake candy banana taste that tastes stronger than a real banana? Like with some of our Christmas candy last year?"


"Banana like that. This is 13 now. One block to the treat. 13/20ths is..."



* * *

"A quarter gets you one of these."

"How many peanuts are there."

"One, two, three... seven. You can have two and I'll have two and I'll keep the rest."


* * *

"What do you think?"

"Sweet. Can I have one more?"

"OK, but here's the thing. They turn your tongue orange."


"When we kiss mommy, she'll notice and ask you, but you promised not to tell."

"I have to kiss mommy."

"I know. Here's what I figured out. It's fourth street, we've got five blocks to go, we've come 15. That's three-quarters of the way! At each corner, we have to spit a few times into the gutter, to get the orange color out of our mouths. We also have to work up more spit in between, OK?"


* * *

"Let me see your tongue.... Looks good. How's mine?"


"It's not even really dark yet. How are your feets?"

"A little sore."

"You did great. You can ring the intercom."

"I wasn't scared."

"I know."

the conversation
by Yabyum
Group: Raspberry

YABYUM: yo! whats up dude. Listen, I know that you're a busy son of a bitch, so I'll try to make this brief.

GOD: you know i don't make a habit of sharing words with most mortals right?

YABYUM: that's fine with me, I don't really make it a habit of talking to invisibility.

GOD: this is why i have decided that you should see me, and that we should talk about a few of the things that are on your mind. You do know that i can read your thoughts, right?

YABYUM: well that's fan fucking tastic. That saves me all the trouble of trying to put together a sentence in wich to tell you that I think you suck, without hurting your godly feelings.

GOD: hmmmmm

YABYUM: wait, don't speak just yet. You can call me butter cause I am about to get on a roll.

GOD: all i was gonna s........

YABYUM: blah blah blah.....listen here god. Just tell me why the fuck you even bothered creating mankind? You had the angels. You had the majestic sea creatures to watch, you made the stars and the moon and all the planets to play around with, you even had all the seed bearing plants. I bet that's what caused the idea, isn't it? You were sitting around smoking some cannabis and just decided to create a weaker species of angel. Right?

GOD: i created man in my own image, yabyum.

YABYUM: dude, you look nothing like me.

GOD: i am the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. Do you think that i should not have loyal servants who worship and fear and love me?

YABYUM: actually god, I think that's fuckin right on fine. I just dont get why you had to screw around with mankind so much.

GOD: we may be getting somewhere......go on...

YABYUM: you want loyal subjects besides the angels? That's super cool daddy-o. You want to create a species that is able to operate inside thier own mind through self realization and the ability to act upon every and any desire that free will puts inside them? I say....fucking go for it! I think that took a great big set of celestial balls. I think giving a species the ability to think for themselves was an awesome idea. But here's where i get really pissed off at you.

GOD: i'm listening......

YABYUM: yeah? well it's about mother fucking time.

GOD: huh? what was that?

YABYUM: I said..... why the hell did you go and fuck it all up by placing one tree in the middle of perfection that was untouchable? Free will. Free fucking will, and yet you challenge your own decision by screwing with it's personification. Then, to top it all off, you name the tree. You actually called it 'the tree of knowledge of good and bad'. WHO THE FUCK WOULDNT WANT A SLICE OF THAT FRUIT?
Forget the whole idea of the snake tempting the woman, lets just focus on why you thought it was neccassary to give mankind a perfect world that contained everything they could possibly need, and yet put that damn tree in the middle?

GOD: Yabyum, the answer is simple. i needed to know that all my subjects would be loyal to me. i needed them to prove this to me. i needed to know that i would be first in thier thoughts, even above thoughts to do wrong.

YABYUM: you really are a jack-ass. Have you ever read the bible?

GOD: i wrote the bible, you know this.

YABYUM: actually, my friend, a shit load of men wrote the bible.

GOD: well.....yeah......but it was through my devine inspiration.

YABYUM: thats a whole different argument, stop trying to dodge the issue at just told me that you needed to know that you were above thoughts to do bad deeds, right?

GOD: indeed i did.

YABYUM: well, smart ass, how the fuck were they supposed to know what evil was? what being bad was? They had not yet tasted of the fruit from the tree you called.....

GOD: the tree of knowledge of good and evil....

(to be concluded)

The Empty Room
by marty
Group: Pineapple

“I’m in some deep shit here, aren’t I, Dave?”

The man with the blonde pony-tail took off his tie and answered, “I told you earlier, my name is Jonathan.”

“Yeah. I know, but you remind me of this guy I used to know named Dave. He was my youth pastor way back when my mother would drag me to church as a kid. You got the same fucked-up-plastic-surgery-gone-wrong nose that he had. He told me that one night he got all coked up and ran his car under a tractor trailer. Peeled his face right off. That’s how he found Jesus. So, how’d you fuck up your face?”

Jonathan gave a look of annoyance. “If it makes you a little more cooperative, I’ll bite. It was a claymore mine in Panama.”

“I’m sure it’s an interesting story. Look, can I at least get a cigarette? I’ve been here for hours.”

The pony-tailed man looked over his right shoulder and flicked his head towards the seated man. A behemoth in a grey suit emerged from the shadows. He reached into his jacket and threw a pack of Salem Lights onto the table. A book of matches was tucked neatly into the cellophane wrapper.

“Menthols. It must be my lucky day, right Dave?”

Jonathan drew in his breath and held it for a second. “Our boss would like to know a few things.”

The seated man put a cigarette in the corner of his mouth and said, “You mean the Colonel?”

Jonathan didn’t blink.

“The Colonel? Big stoic motherfucker? Was there when you guys pulled me out of the van? Little birdies on his lapel? You guys think I don’t have a clue, don’t you? I’m just some fucking hippie stoner, right? You guys know I was in the service, don’t ya?”

“We’ve reviewed your service jacket. Served two hitches. 3 years in Okinawa with the 3rd Fleet Surgical Support Group. 2 years aboard a Guided Missile Destroyer. 2 years at a naval hospital were you were a surgical technician. And then 2 years aboard a Guided Missile Cruiser. We weren’t too impressed. You weren’t exactly a model sailor. According to your Fitness Reports, you were decent at your job, but you didn’t go out of your way to excel. Since leaving the service, you've had several different addresses scattered throughout the United States and Europe, with large gaps between some of them. A dozen or so different jobs, the longest; eight months, I believe. No major credit cards, and you haven't filed taxes since leaving the military.

“You guys have done your homework.” He pulled out a match and lit the cigarette then held the matchbook at eye level and read aloud, “Taphouse Bar and Grill. Boulder, Colorado.” He lowered the matchbook and stared into Jonathan’s eyes. “I guess I know where I am now, don’t I?”

Jonathan turned his head towards the corner where the giant lurked in the shadow, then turned back towards the seated man with annoyance in his eyes. “We need to know what happened.”

“Should I start with you fuckers sticking a taser in my armpit and kidnapping me; or before that?”

“Start with the night you met the subject in Spain.”

“I’ll tell you the story under two conditions: One: you call the subject Charlie. I can’t be saying ‘THE SUBJECT got drunk and then THE SUBJECT fell down’ all night without going crazy. And two: you tell me what went wrong in Barcelona. That’s the only thing Charlie never told me.”

“Agreed. We’ll refer to him as Charlie. As far as the events in Barcelona; a mission went bad. That’s all you need to know. Now, how did you make contact with Charlie?”

“It was Wally. Wally brought the big motherfucker to me.” The seated man paused his story to light another cigarette. “Now before I start spinning this yarn, I have a feeling that my chances of seeing Auntie Em again are pretty slim. Am I right?”

“Your release can be discussed after we have what we need. The more freely you give over information, the quicker the whole process can be set into motion. I highly recommend that you cooperate.”

“Oh come on out and just say it, ‘Vee have vays of making you talk.’ Isn’t that right, Herr Jona-zen?” The seated man took a long drag on his cigarette. “Ah, fuck it. I’m tired anyway. It was Wally. Wally brought the big motherfucker to me.”

certainties and vanilla slices
by Lawless
Group: Pineapple


-‘Alright our kid. How’s things with you?’

‘Alright Steve. How’s it goin’?’

-‘Pretty good, man. Pretty good. Just put sixty quid on City. They’re sure-fire winners, man. A cast-iron certainty.’

‘Aww, don’t say that. That’s the kiss of death…aww shit, I wish you hadn’t put money on them…fuck, they’re gonna lose now. Fuck.’

-‘What’re you going on about? They’re a cast-iron certainty. Cast eye-yon. You’re too negative, that’s your problem.’

‘Maybe I am, but I still wish you hadn’t put money on them.’

-‘Stop worrying kid, you’ll give yourself ulcers. Anyways, how life over there? Sunny?’

‘Yeah, great. Why’re you so loud? Wait…are you still in the bookies?’

-‘Yeah. On me new mo-bile. Nokia, man. Got it on promotion. Listen man, I’ll be over to see you once City does me proud.’

‘Alright, yeah. I’ve heard this before…’

-‘Gonna get me one of them flippas…yeah…a nice little flippa wife to fix me dinners when I get home from the pub. You’ve got pubs there right?’

‘Yes we’ve got pubs here. But listen to me Steve. You won’t get far calling them flippas. They’re Philippinas. Phil-ee-pee-naz.’

-‘I’ll call ‘em whatever they want, man. Beats the miserable cows I have to put up with round here. Buy ‘em a glass of wine, Chab-liss like, not cheap shit, buy ‘em a glass of wine…you’re lucky if they even fuckin’ pass ya the fuckin’ time of day. Bitches. No fuckin’ sophistication, man.’

‘You still in the bookies?’

-‘No, outside Millers.’

‘Millers? Millers Bakers?’

-‘Of course. Barm cakes are 15 p each.’

‘Barm cakes. Mmm… warm barm cakes. Mmm…hey! Vanilla slices?’

-‘Aye. Three left. 20 p each.’

’20 p? Cheeky bastards! They were 12 when I left.’

-‘Everything’s fuckin’ expensive these days. England’s shit. Fuckin’ Blair should be strung up.’

‘Mmm…vanilla slices. Hey Steve, get me a vanilla slice. I’ll send you the cash.’

-‘I’ll post it to you, man. It’ll get squashed mind. Eh, I’ll bring one over with me. I’m coming over when City wins. You’ve got my word on that, Mikey. Guar-ran-teed.’

‘Mmm…vanilla slices. What I’d do for a vanilla slice right now.’

-‘So anyways, I’m having phone sex with this bird in London.’


-‘Aye, it’s alright.’

‘PHONE SEX? Fuckin’ hell Steve. How d’ya know it’s a woman?’

-‘What are you talking about? Course it’s a woman.’

‘Aaw Steve, phone sex? Be careful, man.’

-‘What? Would you rather I was married with six kids?’

‘…There ARE alternatives. In the middle, y’know? Between phone sex and six kids? What happened with that woman from Torquay you were writing to?’

-‘Ugh, her…she was a cow, man. A right minger.’

‘So you finally met her then?’

-‘Yeah, wasted a Saturday and the best part of 30 quid driving down to meet her in the Cotswolds an’ she never looked ANYTHING LIKE her picture.’

‘Personality didn’t compensate?’

-‘Dunno man, didn’t talk to her. I waited in the pub with me copy of the ‘Manchester Evening News’ to show it were me but then when she comes in she was such a pig. I hid me paper and left. Never even finished me drink, man. That’s how bad it was.’

‘You’re sure it was her?’

-‘Certain. She was carrying the ‘Torquay Herald’. It was her, no mistake. I had to leave; any self-respecting man would’ve done the same.’

‘…So, are you going to the match then?’

-‘Too right. UP THE BLUES!’


-‘Got eighty smackers on them. 11 to 4. Investing in me future there man. I’ll be out to see you next week.’

‘Yeah, yeah. Just let me know when the flight’s booked. Listen, this call must be costing some, on the mobile an’ that.’

-‘No problemo man, no problemo. How’s your missus?’

‘She’s fine. Wanna talk to her?’

-‘No, no. Just give her me best. You take good care of her, man. She’s a diamond, she is. A diamond. You’re a lucky man; do you know that? Do you know how lucky you are?’

‘Yeah, I know. I’d better go Steve.’

-‘Yeah, I going into Tescos now.’

‘Bye man. You take care now.’

-‘I’ll be over there next week. That’s guaranteed man, a cast-iron certainty. Bye man. God bless Mikey.’

‘God bless Steve.’

Temporary Bandages
by Hester Prynne
Group: Pineapple


"Hello, Grace?"

"Yeah, it's me. Who's this? Christ, what time is it? It's still dark out."

"It's about 2:30 in the morning, you're on call remember?"

"Oh hi Eva, ugh, yeah I remember, what's going on? I just barely got to deep sleep."

"Well we got one out by Lovelands Trailer court, cops say it's a bad one, you gotta get out there fast and pick up the victim, the perp's still at large on foot".

"Dammit. Fuckers. Alright, I'm on my way."

"Heh, yeah I know....get some sleep when you get home, don't worry about showing up late tommorrow. You may be on this one for a few hours, thanks Grace, and uh, sorry."

"Yeah, sure, go back to bed...I'm on it, bye."

Twenty minutes later Grace pulls into Lovelands Trailer court. Several police are scurrying around, flashing their excited lights everywhere.

"Scuse me ma'am but I need to know who you are...we got a perp lose out here, on foot."

"Hey Jim, it's me Grace from the resource center."

"Oh, great! Man, you're fast lady! You gotta get the victim and her son outta here asap...this is a nasty one, she needs to go to the ER, perp's out here running around on foot, we're gonna pick him up."

Grace hated the exhilaration she could hear in Jim's voice.

"Man, this always stinks."

"Yeah, I know it does Grace. Listen, open your passenger door and then get right back in your car...we'll bring her and her son out and get them loaded up and then you need to get out of here fast. Take her to the hospital asap..."

"Oh dear, will do Jim. Is she hurt bad? What's her name?"

"Martha, and her son's name is little Clyde, and she's okay, a little bloody from some scratches and a punch on her lip. Clyde's fine, just pretty shook up."

The police go into a shabby looking trailer, one of many in this notoriously domestic violent haven, and return shortly with an angry, crying woman and her whining son, who is about 6 years old.

"I don't want to leave! Get your filthy hands off me, fucking pig!"

"Mommy, your arm is bleeding on me, Mommy I'm scared, Mommy, where's daddy? Is he still mad?"


"Mommy, you told us never to yell bad words out the car window at the cops."

"Yeah, Well I changed my mind".

"Okay!" Grace pipes in. "Everybody buckled in? We gotta go! Cops orders."


Grace and her two charges drive away, up the gravel road out to the highway. She puts on her right turn signal, heads out towards the hospital. The tires scream a little as she greets her passengers.

"Uh, Hi you two. My name's still Grace. The officer told me you are Martha? And this is your son Clyde?

"Oh hi Grace. We meet again."

"Yes we do, only the last two times your name was Ellen and your boy's name was Lyle. You back with the same guy again or is this a new deal?"

"Oh come on, what do you think I am. It's Jason. It'll always be Jason. Why can't you guys just leave us alone?"

"Mommy, your arm is really bleeding, and so is your lip. I'm scared."

"Don't be scared honey, daddy and mommy just had another fight that's all"

"Gee, Ellen, it looks to me like you guys have upped the ante to hitting now.....doesn't look good Ellen. You gotta know better than this by now. Oh look, a parking spot right by the door! Don't worry Lyle, we're gonna get your mom all fixed up."

"Mommy, can I let her call me Lyle?"

"Yes dear, you know Grace, she's nice, remember?
God, I guess I am bleeding....just a scratch on my arm, but I didn't know my lip was feels swollen too....starting to hurt. I need some pain pills..."

"I'm sure you do Ellen. C'mon, let's go in. Hey Lyle, wanna candy bar from the machine?

"Okay Grace, but will my mommy be okay? Are we going to a hotel again? Can we have breakfast in the room if we are?

"Sure honey, and yeah, you're goin to a hotel again."

Grace leads Lyle into the swinging ER doors and Ellen follows, stumbling and muttering general threats. They go up to the counter and the doctor is standing right there. Grace smiles tiredly at the doctor.

"Hey Doc, we had another incident out at Lovelands, some minor injuries this time", she whispers to the doctor in an aside "not to mention some heavy duty damage to the emotional well being of a kid....again."

The attending doctor looks at Ellen and Lyle, this is the 3rd time this has happened in 3 months, and he's been on duty each time. He exchanges a knowing glance at Grace, and turns to Ellen.

"Hey Ellen...what happened? Looks like you got clipped pretty good on the lip this time....Say Lyle, you alright? Did Mommy get hurt again?"

"Mommy, can I let him call me Lyle?"

"Yes honey, you know Dr. Delgado, it's okay, he's safe. Hey doc, my lip really hurts bad...I could really use something for it...."

"Well, we should check you out first, that's a nasty scratch on your arm Ellen......Nurse, let's go ahead and give her a little valium."

Ellen smiles victoriously and relaxes at the thought of some Valium. She smiles at Grace, enjoying all the attention.

"So, Grace, will we go to the same place to stay as the last time? I liked that place. And can we leave the phone on for incoming calls again? I know Jason will call from the jail, and I want to get him out. If we can't leave the phone on, I ain't goin".

"But Ellen, are you sure you want to do that? I mean, look....I mean, what if he kills you next time? You know the drill on this've been to the classes twice."

"He would never do that Grace, you guys, you just don't understand...why don't you just stay out of our business. I love him and he loves me."

"Okay, okay, Ellen, I'll leave the phone on for you...hey Doc, will this be long? It's three thirty, in the morning, I'd like to get them both to the hotel before too long...they're holding the room over there, poor little Lyle needs some sleep."

"We'll go as fast as we can Grace, but it'll be a couple of hours for the tests to be readable"

"Okay. C'mon Lyle, let's go out in the lobby, wait for Mom. We can watch TV and I'll get you that candy bar".

"Is mommy gonna be okay?"

"Yeah, she'll be alright dear, don't worry.....C'mon, they're gonna put some bandages on your mom's arm and fix her lip all up. It'll be all better when you see her next."

"Bandages? on Mommy? Mommy! can I stay here with you, please!"

"Don't worry honey, they're just temporary bandages, they'll come off, and we'll be all back to normal in no a good boy, go with Grace."

The doctor and Grace roll their eyes in private agreement about the temporary bandages. Grace takes little Lyle out into the lobby. She hopes she is remembering correctly, that Bonanza comes on at 4. The Doctor comes out into the lobby.

"Hey Grace, you got the number for children's services handy?"

"Sure do Doc, hey look, tell em I'll put Ellen and Lyle in the usual hotel for the rest of the night, I don't see any need for them to respond right now....let's all get some sleep here sometime.....they can deal with it later in the morning. They'll need some time to find a foster family anyway".

"Good idea Grace. And uh, thanks, I know this gets old."

"Yeah, it sure does."

"Alright, we'll send her out as soon as we get her all fixed up."

"Thanks Doc, and uh, hope I don't see you again too soon."

"Heh, yeah."

"Okay Lyle, what'll it be? A Snickers? Sure. Wanna Seven-up to go with? Alright. I'll have one too."

The Statue And The Bird
by Eugene Weisberger
Group: Oyster

The summer was fading and the pretty flowers of the park began to lose their brilliance. But the poor homeless people hardly noticed as they sat on the wooden benches encircling the statue.
Statue: "Pretty bird, you sing your tune so well. You have entertained me all the summer through. I need you to do me a favor, though
Bird: "You are such a powerful and vibrant statue; a solder of so many days gone by. What favor could you possibly want from a little sparrow?"
Statue. "I was a proud and brave warrior from days gone by, but around me sit old soldiers who are poor and hungry. They need our help; especially the old man in the torn red jacket on the bench at my feet."
Bird: "Yes, I see the one. He looks so forlorn. What could a little bird do for such a man?"
Statue: "Take my sword and unleash it from my belt tonight. Then drop it at his feet. He will know what he can buy for it." The bird did as the statue asked. The next morning the old man bought himself a warm jacket for the oncoming winter. The bird sat at the statue's feet singing his pretty song as he began to feel the weather change.
Statue: "Little bird I am so proud of you, but I have one other favor to ask. Could you take my silver helmet from my head and give it to the poor man sitting on the bench to my left."
Bird: "But, brave statue, your head will get cold as the winter comes on. You will need your helmet so you will be warm."
Statue: "Little bird, the old man needs food more than I need my helmet"
"I will do as you request" said the little bird.
The next morning the statue's head was bare, but another old man had food for the approaching winter.
A few days later the statue called out to the bird: "Little sparrow, yet another old man sits opposite me and needs new trousers to replace his thin, torn pants. Could you take one golden eye and drop it at his feet so that he can buy new trousers for the cold?
Bird said, "I can do this favor that you ask but the days grow short, the weather grows cold and I must soon fly South or I will not survive. The next morn the bird delivered his precious gift of the golden eye. The statue smiled as the bird sang, but, thought the statue, not as vibrantly as his little friend once did.
The statue saw, through his remaining eye, another soul with frayed and tattered shoes. "Little bird" said he, "One more favor I must ask. Please take my remaining eye and give it to the man whose shoes are so very torn."
"But," said the bird, "the weather has grown so cold, I cannot make it to the South unless I leave this very day."
But the statue said to the little bird, "I need this one last favor for you to do, so that poor man can make it, the winter, through.
The bird took the statue-warrior's remaining eye and delivered it as he was requested to do.
The very next day, the bird said to the statue, "Dear brave friend, I can no longer leave you alone, because you cannot see any who may need your helping hand.”
On the following morning, the cold white snow began to fall. The bird rested still and motiomless on the statue's head and each had a smile frozen on its face, as winter arrived at this frigid place....
Three months went by and the village staff soon came to usher in the flowers of spring. One workman looked at the little park and said, “How run-down our city has gotten”.
The other one said quite casually, "We must have that statue repaired very soon. I never noticed how shabby it had become.”

Yoga Lessons
by InteriorDasein
Group: Oyster

Scene: bar-room with a long wood-top bar, JAY is seated on a bar-stool; the BARTENDER is washing pint-glasses and restocking the bar; there are several round tables in the room, in the corner a group of four or five people are seated around one table, conversing jovially; two of them, including SHELLEY, are wearing green hospital uniforms, or “scrubs.” FRANK enters the bar.)

FRANK: Fill ‘er up! Regular unleaded!

BARTENDER: You want the usual?

FRANK: No . . . I’ll have a light beer. I’m on a diet!

(He sits on a stool next to Jay.)

What’s up, man? What are you doing here?

JAY: Waiting for Godot.

FRANK: ‘Scuse me?

JAY: The play . . . it’s playing at the theatre about a block from here. I’m heading over there soon –

FRANK: You still together with what’s-her-name?

JAY: No. (pause) What’s-her-name left me.

FRANK: You’re probably better off, you –

(the conversation at the table in the corner has gotten a bit loud)

SHELLEY: (loudly) -- And I said, “Afraid of needles? But you’re a heroin addict!”

(laughter from the table)

FRANK: -- didn’t need to be caught up in all that serious relationship non-sense anyway.

JAY (to the Bartender): Another whisky, please. (to Frank) You want one?

FRANK: Nah. I gave it up for Lent.

JAY: But you’re not religious.

FRANK: Whatever. Listen –

JAY: I can’t believe she . . .

FRANK: -- Just because I don’t go to church or “believe” in “God” (Frank makes quote signs with his fingers) doesn’t mean I’m not religious . You can’t believe she . . . what?

JAY: Nevermind.

BARTENDER: You want another beer, Frankie?

FRANK: Yeah, thanks. And cut the “Frankie” shit, will ya?

BARTENDER: Sure, no problem, Franklin.

FRANK: (smiling) Don’t make me leap over this bar.

JAY: She slept with her secretary.

FRANK: Hmm. (pause) Chick?

JAY: I wish.

(the conversation from the table is loud again)

SHELLEY: (loudly) Triage! Get it? Tree-age!

(laughter from the table, except for one of those not wearing the scrubs, who looks puzzled)

JAY: (whispering to Frank, while gesturing toward the table) Aren’t they ‘sposed to change their clothes before leaving the hospital?

FRANK: I don’t know. I kinda like it, though … makes the place feel sorta like a pajama party. So, uh, how’d you find out?

JAY: Let’s talk about something else, okay? How’s work?

FRANK: Great. I’m becoming a master of on-line chess. And I’m seeing this amazing piece who works in Accounting.

JAY: So where is she? Why are you here alone . . . with me?

FRANK: She’s got a yoga lesson.

JAY: Tantric?

FRANK: I wish!

BARTENDER: Another, whisky?

JAY: (uncertain) Sure.

FRANK: (laughing) Better slow down, Jay. It’s only 7 o’clock. (pointing to the clock on the wall)

JAY: Speaking of which, I better go . . . (rises from his stool and reaches into his pocket)

FRANK: It’s on me, bro. (Jay pats Frank on the shoulder and heads for the exit. Frank takes a gulp of the whisky which has just arrived.) You seriously going to that stupid play?

JAY: No. (smiles) Yoga lesson. (exits)

(Frank takes out a cigarette and lights it up.)

BARTENDER: No smoking. New regulation just went into effect.

FRANK: You’re kidding me!

BARTENDER: Sorry. We could lose our license.

FRANK: Fine. Fine. (puts out the cigarette) It’s better this way . . . New Year’s resolution and all that . . .

(from the table)

SHELLEY: (loudly) So I said, “You expect me to give you a sponge bath? I don’t think so!”

(laughter from the table)

Wheel of fortune
by sharon laurie
Group: Oriole

"Hey, not bad," Tim said, to the woman who had sat down at the slot machine next to him a few minutes ago.

"Not good enough," she said, pulling and pushing levers and buttons.

"I've been here for thirteen hours," Tim said.

"Right here? At this machine?"


"Oh my god," she said. Then she added "Are you up or down?"

"Down," he said.

"Down down? Or just down."

"Down down down," he said.

"Could be worse," she said.

"That's what I keep saying to myself. And then it gets worse."

"So," she said. "What's your best rationalization to keep sitting there while it gets worse?"

"I picture myself in a casket."

She stopped what she was doing and looked at him attentively. "What do you look like?"

"Relaxed," he said.

"You look pretty relaxed right now, you know."

"We're all going to die, right? You, me, everyone here, and everyone who's not here too. So why not be here?"

She was quiet.

"So how are you?" he asked her, as if she were an old friend.

"Too early to tell," she said "Can I get back to you in five or ten years?"

He smiled.

They got quiet and he took out a cigarette and peeked at her while she kept playing. Every once in a while she seemed to get far away.

"You look more like you're in a cathedral than a casino," he commented, pulling the lever.

"God, give him what he wants," she said, to his machine.

He lost again.

"Sorry," she said.

"What makes you think I have any idea what I want" he asked.

"I believe very much you have no idea what you want," she said.

Every once in a while she'd go into her pocketbook and put in another twenty.

"So what's your system?" he asked.

"Why, you want to learn how to lose?" She looked at him while the wheels turned. "I have a lot of systems. I have the envelope system which is the amount of money I'm allowed to spend for the day in my little envelope. I use it up. I then start taking money from my wallet."

"Whoa" he interrupted. "Stop there. That's no system."

"Yes it is a system," she said. "If it works to have a rule and then break it, that's my system."

"Did you ever win big?" he asked.

"A thousand right at a machine like this once," she said. "Been losing ever since."

"So what's YOUR best rationalization to keep going while it gets worse?"

"You know how you see yourself in a casket?"


"But you know you're alive, right?"

"Kiss me," he said, impulsively. She stopped hitting buttons, stared him down, and then gave him a kiss on his cheek.

"Yeah, I'm alive," he said. "But maybe we better check again."

"I really think you're alive," she said.

"And you?"

"I'm already dead."

"Wait, you're not going to spend all your money, then go kill yourself tonight or something, are you?"

"The opposite, sweetheart," she said. "When you're already dead, it's easy to be happy."

"Call me sweetheart again," he said "I liked that."


"Ummmm," he said. And she kept pressing buttons but leaned close to him and gave him another kiss on his cheek.

"Can I be dead with you?" he asked.

"You don't get it," she said. "We're both already dead."

"I'm enjoying being dead," he said. "Nobody told me it was this nice."

She looked at him, shook her head.

They kept losing. Sometimes she stared into space. Sometimes he smoked. Then there was an avalanche of noise. A small crowd began to form around her. She had won the jackpot.

"Oh my god, oh my god," she said.

Her eyes begged him for help. "Hey," he said "This is good. This is great. Jesus..."

She took a deep breath and stood up, backing away. He held on to her arm. Her face was full of panic.

"Hey..." he said.

"Take it," she said.

"What are you talking about?" he said.

She was moving into the crowd, but she was turning to look at him.

"I want another kiss," he called out.

"You take it," she called back to him, before he could no longer see her.

He moved over to her seat. And then, on second thought, he stood up, and ran off to find her. He felt like he was running on wheels.

In Which Great Questions Are Debated, and Beverages Are Consumed
by sidhedevil
Group: Lithium

"Let's see...ah! We have drinks in this bag. Would you like something to drink?"

"Yes, please."

"Here you go, then. Cheers!"

"Billy, too!"

"I don't think that Billy really wants a drink, do you?"


"No, sweetie. Billy is a bear, and bears don't drink juice."

"Do, too."

"No, they don't. Bears only drink what they can find in the forest, and there are no juice boxes in the forest."

"You drink some."

"Thank you, sweetie, but I'm a grown-up lady, and grown-up ladies don't drink apple juice from boxes. Say, Luke, you can see the sky out of that window in the ceiling--that's why we call it a skylight. Look how blue the sky is; and the clouds are so white and wispy. It's pretty, isn't it?"


"Well, because of the contrast, I suppose."

"Why is the sky blue?"

"Oh, I'm sorry; I thought you meant--well, I don't know, exactly. It's something about the refraction of blue light from some of the molecules in the atmosphere. Shorter wavelengths, or something. And nitrogen, I think. Nitrogen's involved in there somewhere."


"All right, then, maybe not. Would you like some more juice?"

"You drink juice."

"No, dear, I've already told you that grown-up ladies don't drink juice."

"What do ladies drink?"

"Oh, coffee, I guess. Diet Coke. Scotch, if they can get it."

"Daddy drinks coffee."

"Yes, dear, he does."

"Daddy drinks juice with me. Juice from a box."

"Then he must love you very much."


"Look at the sky, Luke. Isn't it beautiful?"

"Why is it blue?"

"Because--because inside your eyes, you have little rods and cones, and the rods see colors and the cones see shapes. No, wait, I think it's the cones that see colors. Anyway, the light comes out of the sky and it goes into your eyes, and it hits the rods, or the cones, or what have you, and then your brain tells you it's blue."


"Fair enough. Would you like something to eat?"

"Billy wants something to eat."

"Oh, I don't think he wants anything to eat."

"Billy wants Jell-O."

"Luke, do you remember what we were talking about before? About how bears only like to eat what they can find in the woods?"


"Well, bears don't find Jell-O in the woods, do they?"

"Billy finds Jell-O."

"I can assure you that he won't find any of it here."

"Why is the sky blue?"

"Have you ever been to the ocean, Luke?"


"Well, what color is the ocean?"


"That's right. And the ocean is very, very big, and it covers most of the Earth. And that's why the sky is blue, because it reflects the ocean, just like a mirror reflects your face."


"And there we go. The rigorous process of peer review yields results at last. Wait a second, honey--I just need to answer the phone."

"Look, Billy! The sky is blue like the ocean."

"Yes, we're having a wonderful time. He's being a doll. No, no trouble at all. No, he had some juice and-- What? Oh, that's annoying. Well, I suppose you'll have to wait another hour, then. No, we'll be fine until then. Yes, I'm sure. See you soon."

"Combs in your eye, Billy. You have combs in your eye."

"Luke! What on Earth are you doing?"

"Billy wanted juice. I TOLD you!"

"Well, now Billy wants a wet paper towel. And some of us want a very big glass of juice."

"More juice in here!"

"No, darling. After your mommy comes to get you, I'm going to have a glass of my special grown-up juice. Maybe two glasses. But let's get you cleaned up right now, so you'll be all clean and dry when your mommy gets here."

"Mommy is coming soon?"

"From your lips to God's ear, Luke. From your lips to God's ear."

Client Relations
by Billectric
Group: Lithium

“So,” I asked. “You care about people, right? Like that poster says in the lobby?”

“Do I care about people? Hmmm…” mused Griffith. “I care that they haven’t cleaned that bloodstain off the carpet in the lobby.”

"Well, I...I'm sure they will," I stammered. "But..."

"Look at that," he said. "I got a few specks on my glasses. Hand me one of those paper towels by the coffee maker, will ya?"

"Sure. Here you go."

"Well, have a seat," Griffith said. "Excuse my cluttered desk. Damn, barely have room to prop my feet up there. Ahhh. You nervous, young fellow?”

“Huh?” I asked.

“You got that foot tappin’ like a Morse code over there.”

“Oh, sorry.” I said. "Uh..."

"What? You wanna talk about it?"

"I heard that we had better client relations in the old days. I mean…not the ‘old’ days, I mean…”

“You can call me an ‘old-timer’” Griffith chuckled. “I am. And you’re right. When I started working in Public Assistance you didn’t hear much about violence against the workers. But people been gettin’ steadily more pissed off as time goes on.”

“How long have you worked here?” I asked.

“Fifteen years. Got fifteen more to go. Hold that trash can up, will you? Whoosh! Towel goes in! Yeah, fifteen years, but each year goes faster.”

“Yeah,” I said. “I just got here, but I’ve noticed that, like, Christmas seems to come around quicker than when I was a kid.”

“You ain’t seen nothin’ yet,” smiled Griffith. “It makes no difference to me. You know how time seems to crawl day to day, but it flies by each year?”

“Yeah, like, when I’m on break, I can’t believe how fast it’s over. But when I’m waiting for five o’clock, the time just creeps along.”

“Well,” said Griffith, “If time goes fast for me, that’s good, because it means I’ll be retiring in no time. If it goes slow, that’s good, because my life will seem long.”

"That guy this morning," I said. "That guy must have been at the end of his rope.”

“End of his rope…yeah.”

“And there was no way his Medicaid and food stamps could have been approved today?” I asked.

“Not if we follow the rules,” said Griffith. “You just got out of training, so you know it takes three days to process a case and there were other people ahead of him.”

“But…I mean…”

“Look,” said Griffith. “We all have to wait on bureaucracy. Getting tags for your car, filling out applications, standing in lines… I gotta wait for crap all the time. We just accept it after a while. We’re beat. That guy with the gun, he didn’t realize this because he was probably never in the mainstream enough to get used to the red tape we deal with every day. He took it personally.”

I said, “He sounded desperate. When he pulled out that pistol and the people started screaming in the lobby…oh, man...and when he said he was going to start shooting people until a supervisor came out there and gave him a Medicaid card...oh, God!”

“Yeah, he was pissed,” said Griffith calmly.

“Then, when you walked out there…you walked right up to the guy like it was nothin'. You sounded so relaxed.”

“Hmmm…well, that stuff gets old after a while,” Griffith yawned and put his glasses back on.

“I can’t believe you told him to go ahead and shoot you!” I continued. “You were like, ‘If you wanna shoot somebody, why don’t you shoot me?’ I was freakin’ out! And the guy says, ‘You think I won’t?’ And you said, ‘I don’t really care!?’ Did you think he would do it?”

“Hmmm…" Griffith said, "I figured he’d either put the gun down or shoot me. Whatever. But I really didn’t expect him to blow his own brains out. That did surprise me a little.”

by minfin
Group: Hollyhock

“My granny Ella could do all that stuff. She had a farm out Mc Donald way near Cecil and she raised chickens and goats and stuff…”
“Farm still there”
“waw no.. no been gone a while back. My cousin Joyce sold the land off bit by bit. Out where that housing development is. . .”
“Bleak Timbers?”
“Bleak Timbers? . . . Oh I get it; yeah I guess that’s what the locals call it. They were going to call it Shireton Acres I think or something other than Mirkwood, you know the names of the streets out there?”
“Gandalf Drive?”
“Hobbit Lane”
“Uh huh…Yuppie Drive...”
“I don’t think s . .”
“That’s what it is, ain’t it?”
“Yea pretty much...”
“Well any how my Granny Ella could do all that stuff. Take a chicken out ,cut off his head,bleeed it , you know hold it’s body down while it flapped, pluck it ,pull out the tale feathers, those little ones..”
“Pin feathers…”
“Yeah those little bastards. Well anyhow she’s the one that would take those young cocks and strap them down on a table in the barn, take her little Exacto Knife and cut into and squeeze out those rooster nuts and . . .”
“Exacto knife?”
“I don’t know some kind of knife, anyhow she’d castrate those roosters and when they got to be ten twelve pound, off with there heads and into the oven you ain’t had any turkey that taste like that…”
“Better than turkey?”
“Ain’t no butterball going to be as tender and moist as that. They call them capons you know castrated roosters, and the only place I know that has them is Merrick Poultry over in Brentwood.”
“Up off fifty one?”
“Yea up on the hill. We get a couple every Thanksgiving. Best eating around. How’s that look?”
“Looking good as usual. Thanks Merle. You in the derby at the fair this week?”
“Oh yeah. We found a four four two up in Baxter’s and it looks like it was rolled and burnt. We ripped off the roof gutted the inside, put a bucket seat we found up there in, put bars over top and I am ready to roll. Going to come home with five hundred. Or at least two fifty.”
“Sounds like it. What color are you?”
“We left it yellow, but like I said it’s the one with out a roof. No glass, nothing. I’m going to be picking out dirt boogers for a week after.”
“They spray that down don’t they?”
“Yeah but the dust still kicks up. There you go Dan.”
“Hey Merle where all that grey hair on the floor come from?”
“I don’t know Dan. Must have been the guy before…”
“How much?’
“That’s eight.”
“Okay guy. Thanks again. I’ll see over at the fairground”
“Allrighty then. I’ll by you and the missus a corndog.”
“With mustard.”
“You got it, seeya. Next up?”

Existentialism Meets Boredom
by ellipsis
Group: Hollyhock

We huddled together at the double-seated table, studying one of the class’s lessons while we waited for the professor to appear for class. He pointed to an example in the textbook and began to explain to me:

“So, according to this ‘rule of equivalence’, double negation of P makes P positive. In other words, it says that ‘not P is the opposite of P; not not P is the opposite of the opposite of P’.

In conclusion: a double negative is actually a positive.”

“That’s really easy and obvious,” I replied. “So, we’re talking about the redundancy of double negatives, and the fact that they’re actually positives. If I were to consider myself, an extreme pessimist, to be very negative—doubly negative, if you will—would the double negatives cancel out and actually describe me as positive?”

“Um… that sounds like you’re trying to argue that you—the epitome of negativity—don’t exist.”

“Right. I don’t.”

“What is this?” His quizzical facial expression resembled a mid-sneeze contortion.

“I don’t exist.”

“Explain please?”

With a wide smile I proceeded to document the source of my argument: “Well, my Communication professor has just told us that we are reflections of our closest friends, and I decided that since I haven’t any ‘closest friends’, I am a reflection of nothing; I don’t exist. Now be quiet and stop talking to figments of nothingness, you psycho.”

“You are wrong.”

“I am not wrong.”

“You are not going to tell me that ‘no, you don’t exist.’”

“That sentence contained three negatives, the first two of which cancel out to become the positive statement that I definitely don’t exist. I’m glad we’re in agreement here. Thanks.”


“Me? No, I think you’re mistaken.”

His half-smile smirk was that of confusion; my half-smile smirk was that of being alive. I was bored. He was having problems.

“Why are you smiling?” he asked.

“I finally manage a smile, and you manage a question.”

“Glad we’re managing, then.”

“Why am I smiling?” I muttered.

And so it goes.

We declare the argument a tie because we both know discussion can be a lose-lose situation. “And that I don’t exist, so you’re basically talking to a debate vacuum,” I retort. He appears uneasy.

“So you don’t exist.”

“Of course not.”

“Provide more reasoning for your argument, if you will.”

“Ok, then. Nothing can exist without its opposite—or, the lack thereof, which shall suffice as its opposite. Hot would never exist if it weren’t for its opposite, cold. And I would never exist without my opposite, the lack of me. And since I’m definitely not lacking in this conversation, I could never exist. I don’t exist. See? It’s just as obvious as the fact that doubly negative P makes positive P—and doubly negative me makes positive me, which obviously doesn’t exist. It all ties together nicely. I don’t exist and I have proven this to you from two viewpoints. My Communication professor proved me correct a third way; he said that I am a reflection of my closest friends, which I don’t have. So, in essence, he agrees with me. I. Don’t. Exist. Now be quiet.”

“You are weird,” He shrugs.

“What is ‘weird’?”

“I don’t know.”

“Does it exist?”

“Probably not,” he smirks.

“Now even you confirm that I don’t exist. Heh.”


“You called me weird and then stated that ‘weird’ probably doesn’t exist.”

“That’s scary.”

“Word to your mother.”

It's All in a Name
by flood
Group: Helium

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul []
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 8:10 AM
To: Mom []
Subject: new bird

Hey Mom.

Sorry, I haven’t written in a while. Been really busy doing work around the house. Guess what? We decided we’re gonna get a new bird.


-----Original Message-----
From: Mom []
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 12:15 PM
To: Paul []
Subject: Re: new bird

Are you ready for a new one? Brady just died a few weeks ago.


-----Original Message-----
From: Paul []
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 12:25 PM
To: Mom []
Subject: Re: new bird

Yeah, we’re ready. We sat down this weekend, talked it out and we even picked out a name we like. Took a while. But we finally settled on Gus.


-----Original Message-----
From: Mom []
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 12:27 PM
To: Paul []
Subject: NO!

You can’t name him Gus.


-----Original Message-----
From: Paul []
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 12:28 PM
To: Mom []
Subject: Re: NO!

Why not?

-----Original Message-----
From: Mom []
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 12:30 PM
To: Paul []
Subject: Re: NO!

You just can’t.


-----Original Message-----
From: Paul []
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 12:45 PM
To: Mom []
Subject: Re: NO!

Mom, I gotta tell you this is a little bit weird. What’s the big deal? An old lover named Gus or something?


-----Original Message-----
From: Paul []
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 12:59 PM
To: Mom []
Subject: Re: NO!


You there? That was jokes.


-----Original Message-----
From: Mom []
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 1:27 PM
To: Paul []
Subject: Gus

I know you were joking. Just please don’t name him Gus. You can name him anything else. Just not Gus.


-----Original Message-----
From: Paul []
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 1:59 PM
To: Mom []
Subject: Re: Gus

Ok. We won’t name him Gus. But you’ve gotta tell me why.


-----Original Message-----
From: Mom []
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 2:13 PM
To: Paul []
Subject: Re: Gus

No, I don’t. I’m your mother.


-----Original Message-----
From: Paul []
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 2:15 PM
To: Mom []
Subject: “I’m your mother????”


I know you’re my mother. That’s why I start all my e-mails to you with “Mom,” and why I call you on Mother’s Day…


-----Original Message-----
From: Mom []
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 2:17 PM
To: Paul []
Subject: Re: “I’m your mother????”

Don’t be a smart ass.


-----Original Message-----
From: Paul []
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 2:20 PM
To: Mom []
Subject: Re: “I’m your mother????”


I’m supposed to be working here, ok? Will you please tell me why I can’t name the damn bird Gus already? This is starting to piss me off.


-----Original Message-----
From: Mom []
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 2:23 PM
To: Paul []
Subject: Re: “I’m your mother????”


Look, honey. It’s not that big of a deal. Just leave it alone.


-----Original Message-----
From: Paul []
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 2:29 PM
To: Mom []
Subject: Re: “I’m your mother????”


Fine. I gotta go. I’ll type to you later.


-----Original Message-----
From: Mom []
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 2:34 PM
To: Paul []
Subject: Re: “I’m your mother????”

Ok. Hang on. I’ll tell you.

When your father and I got engaged, he had to spend some time at boot camp in Great Lakes. I stayed here in Ohio with my Mom and Dad and he went away. I can’t believe I am typing this! and YOU HAVE TO DELETE THIS E-MAIL! but we used to joke around about him having to keep “Gus” in his pants while he was there. There.
Now you know why you can’t name your bird Gus.

Are you happy for making me type that?


-----Original Message-----
From: Paul []
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 2:47 PM
To: Mom []
Subject: Honestly


I honestly couldn’t be less happy knowing that you had a name for Dad’s penis. But that’s what I get for asking.


p.s. I’ll give you a call tonight.

Henry and the Air Conditioner
by mtmynd
Group: Helium

Henry: “I was having some problems with my air conditioner yesterday…”

“Yeah… what kinda problems?” I leaned back in my chair.

“Well, when I got up on the roof and opened it up, the pads were real dirty..”

“Whadja do, Henry?” I somehow knew this was going to be interesting.

“I called my son and told him to bring me up some… uh, how do you call it..?”

“How do you call what..?” I had an idea what it was, but wanted to hear his story.

“That cleaning stuff that you use for dishes… uh? Shit.“

“You mean detergent?”

“Yeah, that stuff. I told him to bring me the bottle.”

“Whadja do with the detergent?”

“Well, I figured it’d clean the pads. You know, they were real dirty.”


“So I poured some in the water. Enrique was watching me… “

I nodded my head… I could see this happening.

“… and I told him, ‘See, this will work.’”

“Okay,” a smile is coming over my lips….

“I tell Enrique that the soap will clean the pads. Good idea, huh?”

“Yeah, good idea, Henry…” my voice not very confident.

“So after I closed the air conditioner up, I hear my daughter…”

I’m nodding my head… still grinning…

“She starts yelling, ‘Dad! Dad! Come here… quick!’ So I went down the ladder to see what was wrong.”

He looks at me to see if I understood him. “What happened?”

“There was soap…. whacha call that? Uh…..???”

“Bubbles? Soap bubbles?” I could see it.

“Yeah, bubbles, soap bubbles were coming outta the vents big time. Fallin’ on the floor.”

I’m chucklin’… picturing this scenario: soap bubbles flowing out of the air conditioner ducts..

“So I turned off the pump and went back up on the roof. There were bubbles coming out of the air conditioner – bunches of them!! “

“What did you do, Henry?” His laughter at his own stupidity and his shaking head left-to-right, if to say “You pendejo!”

“So I opened the sides up and bubbles started coming out like crazy! What could I do?”

I’m nodding my head… my eyes somewhat bewildered by this scene going on in my head…

“He continued: “Then my daughter yells up to me, ‘The ceiling is falling!!’ Shit! I went back down the ladder to see what’s goin’ on…”

“Yeah. No shit. What happened?” my eyes wide open looking for the answer..

“Well, the ceiling in the hallway got so wet that pieces of it started falling down. Then more pieces. Damn! I felt stupid.”

“I’ll bet! I would too, Henry.”

“It was a mess. My kids were looking at me… what could I tell them? Their dad fucked up... or what?”

I was laughing pretty hard by then, but I couldn’t help feeling sorry for ol’ Henry. “Isn’t this a rental house?”

“Yeah, I rent it.”

“What are you going to tell the owner?”

“Well, I’ll tell him his air conditioner broke and water started coming down thru the ceiling.”

“Think that’ll work?” I asked.

“Well, shit, I can’t afford to fix it. Besides he never turned on the heater last winter, that asshole. Cheap bastard. Let him fix it!”

“So did you get it cleaned up anyway?”

“Yeah, I had my daughters clean up the floor before my wife got home.”

“Good thing, Henry… she might’ve kicked your ass.”

“No shit, huh?”

“Does the air conditioner work now?”

“Yeah. I got a hose and sprayed all the soap shit off. It works okay now.”

“Good for you, Henry. Maybe you ought to do air conditioning service for you landlord’s houses…” I smiled at Henry while his head was shaking left-to-right again.

Sister Ignatius
by Lefty
Group: Helium

Two woman meet on a college campus in the mid-west around 7:30 PM.

May: "Excuse me - do you know where the Pine Theatre is?"

Donna: "It's right down this path. I'm going there. Just follow me. Is this the first time you are on this campus?"

May: "Yes, it is. I live very close and pass it all the time but never came in before."

Donna: "I come here to see all the student productions, most of them are really good. This is the first show
of the season."

May: "I've been looking forward to tonight. I've seen 2 of Durang's plays."

Donna: "This will be my first one."

May: "I saw "Beyond Therapy" and "Sister May Ignatius Explains It All For You". One I loved and the other I thought was a piece of crap."

Donna: "Which on did you love?"

May: "Beyond Therapy", I traveled all the way to
Princeton to see that one."

Donna: "Why did you hate "Sister Ignatius?"

May: "He portrayed Sister Ignatius as a very dogmatic and violent person. She seems to be one of those people who like to force their will on you and I'm tired of being treated like that."

Donna: "But it's just a play - you shouldn't take it so personally."

May: "Well, she is always stating her opinions in an arrogant manner and she gets so passionate about injustices in the world. If she acts that way tonight I am ready to make sure it's the last time she does that."

Donna: "I don't think Sister Ignatius is in this show. We are seeing "Baby With the Bathwater" tonight."

May: "But it never changes, I've seen goddamn "Sister Ignatius" many times and it is always the same old goddamn words over and over again. He has no respect for things sacred and I'm going to make it stop."

Donna: "I'm sure I read some where that "Baby With the Bathwater" is one of Durang's rare shows which has a genuinely hopeful ending. That doesn't sound like the show you're describing."

May: "Are you sure it's not Sister Ignatius? I've been looking forward to tonight for such a long time."

Donna: "Well, let's see what my ticket says . . . yup, my ticket says, Friday, October 5 at 8 PM, "Baby With the Bathwater". What does your ticket say?"

May: "Mine says, November 20, Sunday at 2 PM, "Sister Ignatius". Oh, my! Oh, my! What should I do now?

May is quiet for a few seconds.

May: "I guess I'll go home and wait and then I'll come back in November and get that Sister Ignatius and show her she can't treat me that way. Thanks, for all your help. It was nice talking to you."

Donna looks at May not knowing what to say and just shakes her head.

Donna and May separate and walk on in different directions.

May is talk to herself and muttering under her breath.

May: "Goddamn Sister Ignatius she is trying to get me confused but I won't let her. I'll show her she can't do this to me again. Maybe this time I'll bring my knife."

Recollections of Okinawa
by lescaret
Group: Diamond

An 80 year old veteran, Roy D, and Patricia, his wife of 57 years, recollect being posted to Okinawa following World War II.

Patricia: "Sixteen days on a ship with two little kids, that was no cruise, I'll tell you that! If I never get on another ship as long as I live it'll be too soon. Hmmmph. You know, they had these little life boats there and everyone, when they did the drills, had to report to theirs. I took one look at those tiny little things and thought to myself 'to hell with that, I'm not gonna' float around the ocean in THAT thing, I'd rather go down with the ship!'. Sheesh."

Roy D: "Okinowa was different, that's true. Ever hear of a habu? It's a snake. They used to have habu/mongoose fights and everyone would bet on 'em ..."

Patricia: "Yeah and when one of those habus bit the mongoose ..." (she makes a face, lolling her tongue out and rolling her eyes) " about thirty seconds, no more mongoose."

Roy D: "For a while we were having a helluva problem with rats in the Mess Hall. Then we started to notice less and less rats. One day, we were sitting there eating and someone looks up into the ceiling - it was a thatch roof & ceiling thing - and there was a 6 foot habu! So much for the rats."

Patricia: "But the driving. Oh my god, those people were crazy...."

Roy D: "The worst thing I remember is one taxi driver who picked us up - and you know, there are no rules on the road over there, or if there are, no one paid any attention ...."

Patricia: "That's the truth, if you think Boston drivers are bad ...."

Roy D: ".....anyway, this little taxi driver picked us up, he kept yelling 'Me ici bon ici bon, me #1 driver!'. He drove like a bat outa' hell, scared the daylights out of us!"

Patricia: "And mean?? ....."

Roy D: "Oh, he was terrible, he drove up beside this old guy on a bicycle who was carrying all this stuff ......"

Patricia: "... and the taxi comes up right behind him and gives a blast on his horn and the poor old guy .... (she throws up her arms to indicate the bicyclist lost control) ...... whooooa! over he goes."

Roy D: "Mean bastard, that guy was. '#1 driver!' (imitating the taxi man), like hell!"

Patricia: "One day we'd gone to some village, we had both Bud and Rosie with us, Bud musta been about 4 and Rosie only 2, and the Martins were with us, we all went to some market or something and it was crowded. Well, I don't know how it happened but I looked around and suddenly realized that Rosie wasn't with us anymore! Before I could panic, though, we saw her, this little poppasan had her by the hand and was leading her off. It turned out the poppasan had never seen a little white girl before and was taking Rosie home to show his wife!"

Roy D: "Remember the sand fleas?"

Patricia: "Oh yes. Ugh! They were probably the worst thing about Okinawa. They'd bite you and then the bites would get infected. Bud musta' had a million bites. We'd have to soak him in the tub two times a day. He looked like a racehorse with his legs all wrapped up to his knees."

Roy D: "We didn't miss Okinawa when we got transferred back to the States. Two years, ten months in the Far East, that was enough for us."

Patricia: "Good grief, yes. I didn't even care about the 16 days on the ship back! Of course, he didn't come with us, he flew back with his company."

Roy D: "Yeah, I didn't get to enjoy that nice cruise with you...." (winks and chuckles)

Patricia: "Oh yeah! Nice cruise, my behind, you fat head!"

by stevadore
Group: Daffodil

"This is me?"

"Of course it is."

"But it's not me, me."

"Well, basically yes."

"So, it is me, but it's not really me."

"No. Not really."

"I mean, she has my name. She looks like me. She acts like me. But that's not really me, is it?"

"Well, no. It is, but it isn't."

"I don't really do that, do I?"

"Kind of."


"Uh huh. A little bit."

"But that's not really me, though. That's your perception of me."

"I guess you could say that."

"That can't possibly be me. Sometimes I'm like that, but I don't feel that way."

"Relax, it's just a character."

"But that's me, isn't it?"

"Well, it's not you per se. But it is based on you."

"It's based on me?"


"So what are you trying to say, that I'm like that? That that's me?"

"Um... no, it's not really you. It's a dramatization of you."

"Oh. But I don't really talk like that, do I?"

"Not really."

"Good, 'cause that's totally not me. It's fiction, right?"

"Right. It's not you, not even close. Just a kernel of truth."

"But... is it like anyone else you know?"

"Well... no, not really."

"So it is me."

"Kind of, I guess."

"You're not serious, are you? This totally isn't me." [Silence] "You're story stinks. It'll never sell."

Peep Show
by paganmoss
Group: Daffodil

A man walks into a peep show booth and picks up the phone.

“So how does this thing work?”

“You’ve never been to a peep show before?”

“No, it’s my first time. To tell you the truth, I don’t normally go to places like this.”

“Well you’re in for a real treat . . . I love doing shows for new guys. I promise you won't be disappointed.”

“So how much does it cost?”

“The show starts at $20.00 for ten minutes . . . and just to let you know, the machine doesn’t like the new $5.00 bills . . . the ones with the big heads.”

“How about a $20.00 with a big head?”

“That’ll work.”

“So what do you do for $20.00?”

“I get naked for you and you get as comfortable as you like.”

“So is there a slot or something where I put the money?”

“Actually, there’s a bill acceptor to your left next to the box of kleenex.”

“Oh, I see. Do I put my money in now?”

“Whenever your ready, baby.”

The bill acceptor makes a whirring sound and the shade begins to rise, revealing a young woman dressed as a school girl, sitting back on her Mary Janes.

“Hi, sexy. I like your suit."

“Thanks . . . you look very nice yourself.”

“Let me stand up for you so you can get a better look. Do you like school girls?”

“Ah . . . well, sure.”

“You like my white knee highs and short plaid skirt?”

“Yes, they look very nice on you. How old are you anyways?”

“Old enough. How old are you?”

“Old enough to be your dad.”

“Mmm . . . I like older men, especially ones wearing nice suits. Are you just getting off of work?”

“Yeah, something like that.”

“I’m not wearing a bra under my blouse . . . I bet you can see my breasts if you look close. There kinda small, but I have nice pink nipples."

“Yes, very nice.”

“Would you like to see my panties? They’re white and cotton and I’ve been wearing them all day.”

“Actually . . . if it’s ok with you, I think I’d just like to talk. I mean . . . no offense, you’re very beautiful and I find you incredibly sexy, but I’ve got something I’d really like to get off my chest.”

“Oh sure . . . whatever you like. It’s your fantasy.”

“Well . . . like I said, I don’t normally go to places like this. I’m a married man . . . been married for 25 years.”

“Wow, that’s longer than I’ve been alive.”

“Thanks, you really know how to make a guy feel old.”

“I told you I like older men.”

“I also have two daughters about your age.”

“Sounds like the All-American family.”

“Yeah, I guess you could say that.”

“You sound sad, what’s wrong?”

“I lost my job a month ago. I'd been working there for 20 years and those motherfuckers outsourced my job to India”

“I’m sorry, that really sucks!! But can’t you find a job pretty easy? I mean working 20 years and all?”

“Not in this economy. The worst part of this whole thing is that I haven’t been able to tell my wife.”

“You haven’t told your wife that you lost your job?”

“Nope, I’ve been waking up every morning pretending to go to the office. I don’t have a land line there so I don’t have to worry about her calling. If she needs to get a hold of me, she just calls my cell.”

“Why didn’t you tell her?”

“Well . . . it’s a long story, but basically, our marriage has been through a lot and I think this might be the fatal blow. I mean . . . I have a mortgage to pay for, college tuition, car payments. God . . . the list goes on and on.”

“What do you do during the day?”

“Well, I look for jobs of course. I have my phone. Somedays I go to the library and other days I just sit in the park. It’s all very sobering. I’m really tired though. I can’t go on like this any longer.”

“So what are you going to do?”

“Well . . . I considered running away, but that obviously isn’t the best choice for someone my age.”

“You're right, that wouldn’t be good. You really should talk to your wife. I think she would understand.”

His cell phone rings

“Oh shit, that’s her. Today’s her birthday. I’m supposed to be meeting her after work at our favorite restaurant. I’m going to take this, if you don’t mind.”

“I don’t mind at all.”

“Hi, honey . . . Yes, I’m just finishing up at the office . . . When do you think you’ll be at the restaurant? . . . Ok, I’ll see you then . . . I love you, too.

“Well . . . I guess I better go. Thanks for the show . . . and thanks for listening to my problems. You're a real sweet girl.”

“I’m sure everything will work out. Are you going to tell her?”

“Yeah . . . sooner or later.”

She watched as he left her booth, admiring the back of his suit. She cleared his remaining time and went back to reading her book.

by anniefay
Group: Daffodil

A: Wait! You’re not thinking about firing it, are you?

S: Just supposin’ I were, Hmmm what do YOU think would happen? Huh?

A: uhhhh, nothing, I guess. Well, ... fizzle-pop ... maybe!

S: Fizzle-POP! (raising eyebrows) that’s it!

A: Well, yeah. Fizzle-pop. It’s a dud.

S: Fizzle-pop, huh? (staring her down intently)

A: You idiot! You Idiot! You’ve fired it already, haven’t you?

S: I’m an idiot? Why? It’s a dud. Fizzle-pop. Why would firing it make ME an idiot?

A: No, no, no! You did, didn’t you?

S: Well ...

A: Sooooo? Tell

S: Well, I raked leaves Saturday, and, well ... you know.

A: No! I don’t know.

S: So the sun, the air ... nice day, I went in to get a beer and there it was sitting on the counter.

A: You left it OUT on the counter?

S: Well, not usually, I had shown it to one of the guys when they were over the night before.

A: Men!

S: So, I thought it would be fun, you know to lob it into the leaves.

A: Lob a grenade into the leaves? You are an idiot!

S: Why? it’s a dud, right? Just ... Fizzle-POP!

A: So what happened?

S: Well I moved stealthily out the back door, pulled the pin, gave it a toss and it landed flat in a pile of leaves.

A: Fizzle-Pop! Wheeeee!

S: BANG... big ... BANG.

A: Big Bang?


A: Wow! some firecracker.

S: Wait, there’s more.

A: What?

S: Smoke. Black smoke pouring out of that damned thing. Like a thundercloud rising. Black smoke. Lots of black smoke.

A: So… uh, lots of smoke. That must have been exciting!

S: And sparks… And... and... and... next thing the whole back yard’s on fire.

A: Oh My GOD!

S: Exactly… Oh, My God. Then the fire department came.

A: The fire department?

S: What do you think. The whole yard is on fire and I’m trying to put it out with a damned garden hose!

A: Who called the fire department? The neighbors?

S: uhhhhhhhhhh,... well, uh, maybe! I’m not clear about that.

A: So, they put the fire out... Fall... Burning leaves... No big deal, right?

S: Well, not exactly.

A: What do you mean, not exactly.

S: Uh, they kinda wanted to know how the fire got started.

A: You didn’t tell them. I mean, you’re not THAT stupid!

S: Well, it wasn’t like they were about to believe a burning leaves story.

A: Why not! It’s fall.

S: You’re forgetting. BIG BANG... dynamite size explosion! And lots of black smoke.

A: ooohhhhhhh

S: Oh! Wait, Did I tell you about the inquisition by the police.

A: Now, you’re having one on me, aren’t you?

S: uh, not really. They really want to know how I got my hands on a live grenade.

A: It was a DUD.

S: Doesn’t matter if it was, I set my yard on fire and nearly blew up the garage.

A: Holy Cow! What’d you tell them?

S: I told them it was in the house when I moved in and I figured it was just a toy.

A: Good for you.

S: Except they didn’t exactly buy that story.

A: Why? Sounds reasonable.

S: There’s the part about my thinking it was a toy.

A: Oh. ... you didn’t mention my name did you?

S: Oh, so you're asking if i told them i got it from you and that story about it being a movie prop?

A: Well, uh, yeah, I guess. You didn't tell them any of that, did you?

S: well, why wouldn’t I? That’s what you told me.

A: And you gave them my NAME?

S: Fizzle-pop! (he smiled, directing the standard car salesman, pointed gun gesture at her)

Binky and Brad
by Ben Mathews
Group: Chickadee

Brad: Why did you follow me to that party Binky?

Binky: ‘Cuz Kid I’m your pal, we’ve been pals since you was in kindy garten

Brad: That was a long time ago Binky; I was a lonely little kid. This relationship it…it’s just not healthy anymore!

Binky: “Relationship”? For cryin’ out loud, kid ya’ make it seem like we’re frikkin’ married or somethin’.

Brad: Goddammit don’t smoke in the house Bink, you’ll put that filthy cigar smell in the upholstery! When did you start smoking anyway? You never did that when I was a kid.

Binky: Yeah, well you grew up I grew up. Besides If you was so worried about stinkin’ up the joint ya’ wouldn’t go sprayin’ that fancy French cologne of yours all over the place.

Brad: God, even my imaginary friends don’t listen to me. And I’ll have you know its Eau de Toilette, imported from France, and highly expensive!

Binky: Christ, no wonder ya’ never get laid! Walkin’ around smellin’ like somebody puked in a flower shop. That and ya’ got no brains, why weren’t you pickin’ up on that cute redhead, she was givin’ you the eye.

Brad: No I was giving her the eye, she was giving me the finger.

Binky: That’s the problem with you Kid, yer’ too soft with these broads. If it was me I woulda just eased up behind the bitch and stuck it right in.

Brad: Yeah, Bink, I’m sure she’s positively wild about imaginary bestiality.

Binky: Who gives a rat’s ass what she’s wild about? Ya just get ‘er alone, get a little booze in ‘er, get naked, and get yer rocks off! It’s slap bang simple as that.

Brad: Good God Binky! Are you taking about rape? Jesus H. Christ! I’m the number one civil defense lawyer in the state of California! The papers would have a field day!

Binky: No no no, not rape Kid, I’m just talkin’ about a little liquid persuasion.

Brad: No Binky! Aside from being against my personal code of ethics it would ruin my reputation!

Binky: Oh is that right? Don’t you come at me with that hoity toity lawyer from the left junkola! Mister Public Defender, struttin’ around like yer’ shit don’t stink. Don’t lie to me like when yer out for yer mornin’ jog and you pass a migrant worker you don’t get the shakes. Come on Mister Self-Righteous, you’re human, admit it!

Brad: Look Bink, I don’t have time to argue with someone who’s not real, I’m going to bed!

Binky: Fine kid, I’ll see ya’ tomorrow. If you want me I’ll be in the refrigerator.

Brad: *sigh* Good night Binky.

Binky: Good night kid.

holy 3-way
by NinePages
Group: Chickadee

And then they were on the street behind the bar.

S: That tenor man blows like Bird, man

D: Did you see that soft girl in the blue hat?

S: Yeah, she was gone.

D: Man, there were forever roads in her eyes, man. I should die with her.

S: I can never leave this place, this place is my home!

D: And what about the bureau’s big black automobile in the morning? Do we want to forego that trip and stay on here in Frisco forever and find sweet tenor men and chase Shearing from here to there and enjoy forever the beautiful girls in blue hats?

S: I will find work and live in a holy brown shack in Chinatown and open my doors to the night and to life.

And then He spoke to them thusly:

G: There is a road beyond your eyes that draws your mind and you must follow your own true thoughts there.

S: I think I just heard something.

D: There’s that light over the sad clean clothes hanging on that line over up behind those rowhouses, there! Oh, there’s a light and I feel it all over!

G: There is a road that your thoughts know of and you must follow it.

D: It’s coming from the light, brother!

S: You’re jumping and all over the place. Let’s listen.

D: Oh, He’s heard of the travel bureau car and He knows, man, He knows.

G: If you stay on this path I will bless you and make you beatific and I promise that you will have many descendents and they will roam this world in innocence and love and they will conquer their enemies and you will be the ancestors of all that is good in this land.

D: Oh crap, man, crap, he knows about that simple brown angel from the fish market. I knew I saw life in her eyes when I left and that’s why I left so fast it was as if she was already nursing a life in her round belly and now I want to take her with us, man, I want to take her with us and marry her and love her round brown belly in the New York City night.

S: Beatific?

D: Oh, Lord, how do we know it’s you, Lord? Of course we know that it’s you because I can feel the energy and the goodness in the light that I see over those gray rowhouses in the distance and I’m just digging you here in back of this holy place and I can hear the tinkling of keys back there in the crowd and I just know that Shearing is getting back up on the stage and, come on, man, we’ve got to go dig that gone blue hat in there.

G: Are you two listening to me?

S: We are, Lord, we are here and hearing you.

D: Yass, speak more, Lord, yass, yes, speak more but speak quickly because I want to see the sweat on his forehead when that tenor starts to blow.

S: My aunt is never going to believe this.

G: Listen, you must listen to me. There is art and truth and beauty on the side of the road wherever that road takes you. There are wonders in endless women and there are dreams that you will have when you look into the eyes of hobos and train conductors and it is your path alone, this road, and you must continue to move and find your kicks in always moving and searching for those places you will never find except in the moving of things itself.

S: Woah.

G: Listen to me now. I have bestowed upon you this blessing which is also a curse. Your curse is to always move. If you stop moving, you will die, even if you think you’ve found what you’re looking for, you will die. But the blessing is also to always move —

D: Oh man, oh man, yass! This is the endless circle of everything!

S: I’m listening, Lord, tell us more about this blessing.

G: You must listen to me now and stop jumping all around please. The blessing is also to always move, and I will bless you with the gift of passing along all that you see while you are on the road to all of your many descendents which I will also bless you with.

D: Is she with child again, Lord, is Marylou with child again? Tell me and I will not bring the round brown girl with us to the perfect night of New York City. I will find Marylou and enjoy her simple pleasures, yes.

G: Shearing now approaches his solo. It is time for you to go and enjoy this last holy Frisco night and get your kicks before you set out.

S: Thank you, Lord, for bestowing on us these blessings. We will leave tomorrow and we will be true to your blessings.

D: Oh, yass, oh, I can hear the rising of the perfect tones and we must get back inside and I will find that blue hat and dance with her until it’s time to drive.

And they went in and later, when it was time, they went on the road.

Session Ten
by doreen peri
Group: Chickadee

tuesday, october 14th, 4:15PM

him - OK. So, how did it go this week?

her - Fine. It went fine.

him - Just fine? I'm sure you have something you'd like to discuss about your week.

her - Nope. It went fine. It was OK.

him - What about your husband? How are you dealing with that?

her - I don't want to talk about my husband. He's the one who made me come here to begin with. I didn't want to come here.

him - Well, you must admit that it's helping, isn't it? You're doing much better than when I saw you the first time.

her - How would you know? You didn't believe a word I said the first time I was here and you don't believe me now. I can feel it.

him - Why would you say that? Why do you think I don't believe you?

her - Because I can see it in your eyes. It's all about the money to you.

him - Now, now. That's a little harsh, isn't it? I wouldn't be sitting in this chair unless I wanted to help. I think that statement is interesting because it gets to the very crux of the problem. You judgementalness makes other people uncomfortable just as it makes you uncomfortable.

her - I'm not judging you. But I can see that you don't believe me. It's what I see. You asked me why I know you don't believe me now and you didn't believe me the first time I came here and I answered that I saw it in your eyes.

him - I was talking about your statement about money. You think the only reason I'm here is for the money. I tell you that I want to help and yet you don't believe me.

her - Now, you're being judgemental. You're judging my perception.

him - OK. Good. Now we're getting somewhere. That's why you're here. Your perception is only your perception. And you have perceived things which simply aren't true. That's why you're here.

her - No. I was there! I know what I went through! I feel what I feel. It's all real and true. I know what's real. It's my husband who's the liar.

him - OK. Fine. What did he lie about?

her - You know damn well what he lied about! I even had evidence, as I told you, but he destroyed it. So now you don't believe me. You didn't believe me from the beginning.

him - Look. Let's discuss this calmly. Your husband tells me you tend to get excited easily about nothing. And now is a perfect example of that.

her - What? Excited about nothing? This is NOT about nothing! This is about something very important. I have a good imagination but not good enough to have made all this up!

him - What did you make up, Amanda? Tell me.

her - I didn't make ANYTHING up! That's my point! I don't know what I'm doing here to begin with. I don't believe in this hoodoo. You've got me taking that shit every morning and evening and now I can't sleep well, not that I could sleep well before lying next to the asshole. I don't need you! I need an attorney!

him - Why do you say that? You came here to try to learn how to cope with your vivid imagination which got you into trouble in the first place. It's you who wants to save your marriage. I'm just here to help.

her - NO! I didn't come here for that. He made me come here. He threatened to kill me if I didn't.

him -OK. OK. Calm down. I know and you know that he didn't threaten to kill you.

her - Yes he did! Damn! Why don't you believe me? I'm wasting my time. You're no doctor, you're a fucking asshole, just like he is. Why won't you listen to me?

him - Just don't waste my time, Amanda. Let's get the most out of this. You need me to help you just like he needs you to be his wife. This is a very simple case but you can't see it clearly because you continue to make things up in your mind. Could I get you a glass of water?

her - NO! I don't want water. I want to go home but I don't have one.

him - OK. I understand. Breathe, OK? Let's take a few minutes of silence to think about where we are and where we want to go.

her - I don't NEED silence! I need to be heard! AND I know where I want to go. I want to go home and I don't have one.

him - OK. Slow down. Let's back up a minute. Let's get back to the lies. Why did you lie about all of that?

her - I didn't lie about anything! I don't lie. I don't want to be here.

him - Yes you did, Amanda. You know and I know you did. Let's start from the story and try to get to the bottom of your need to tell this lie.

her - No! I don't want to talk about it.

him - You have to talk about it if you want to get better.

her - NO! I DON"T have to talk about it! Living it was enough! It WASN'T a lie! How DARE you?

him - Amanda, I think we need to have these sessions more often than once a week. Let's plan on meeting two times a week starting next week, OK?"

her - NO! I don't want to come here once a week, let alone two! You've got to be kidding!

him - You're getting hysterical. Calm down. Here. Have a glass of water.

her - NO! I told you I don't want water and I told you I just want to go home but I'm not home there any more and if you offer me water again and don't hear me saying NO, I'll just have to take my husband's goddamn business elsewhere. I can't stop crying. I'm so pissed. I don't want to talk about this.

him - Amanda, lsten to me. You married him, right? You love him, right?

her- That would be 'loved'. Past tense. I can't love someone who thinks what he did is OK.

him - What did he do? Are you about to tell me the fabrication again?

her - FABRICATION? Dammit! WHAT fabrication!? He took me in the bedroom and tied me up.

him - Yes, I know. He admits to this. He said you were having fun. It was consentual. It was fantasy play. Adults do that sometimes. So, why are you crying about it now?

her - Leave me alone! I said NO! He didn't have the right to do that. I was playing. He wasn't. I said stop. I said no more. I wanted to make love to him! Do you think I wanted him to beat me with the back of his hand like that? Do you think I really wanted him to keep me tied to the bedposts when I screamed so loud for him to release the ropes? NO! Why the hell do you think the neighbors called 911? I'm not crazy! HE is! I couldn't walk for a week. I was so beat up! And he was laughing. Yeah. Laughing like some maniacal idiot. The police ... jesus... the police? They were useless. I was so glad the neighbors heard me! I was so glad they called! But the police? They were idiots. They came. They knocked. He answered the door. Of course. What else could he do? That was after he quickly cut the ropes with a knife and let me go. I ran quick to the bathroom to try to clean myself up but dammit... it wasn't possible. I was torn. Torn. Bra, panties. Bruises. Jesus, there was blood running from the corner of my mouth! Sure, they questioned him. But he said we were just playing. They asked to see me. They came into the foyer. He came and got me from the bathroom. I'll never forget that tall one. The grey haired guy clasping his pistol in the holster. His eyes made me want to puke. He looked at me like he wanted me. I was a wreck. I was livid, torn and twisted. It was so obvious I'd resisted.

Let me go home. I want to go home. This is doing no good! I'm all upset again. I didn't need to relive this! I want to go home! Where is THAT? Let me ask you that? Where IS my home?

him - Amanda? Do you feel better now?

her - NO! I don't feel any better now! NO! Can't you understand the word, NO?

scattered dialogues
by foolish_Paeter
Group: Caucho

The players:
Jack Smith, John Steamer, Jerome Carter, Daniel Zogle, Danielle Rosenberg, Cindy Lee, Holly Birdley, Mora Lane


JACK: So how do you think you did on the history test, John?

JOHN: Uhh.... I didn't take it

MORA: What?

JOHN: Well, see, I got the essay written that morning, then I printed it out and everything, and had 8 minutes to get to the exam. Plenty of time, right? Well, I start to leave and realise that I don't have my bluebooks, they've vanished, so I have to go all the way to the bookstore, and Of Course there's a line. So by the time I get to the room, I'm 15 minutes late, too late to turn in the essay, which counts for 50% of the grade, so I just said "fuck it" and came back.

JACK: Damn, man

MORA: Wait, you lost your bluebooks?

JOHN: Yeah

MORA: [laughs]

JOHN: What? I did!

MORA: Sorry, but that just seems like a lame excuse to me. I think you just didn't want to take the test.

JOHN: Well of course I didn't Want to, who wants to take a test?

MORA: I think you were just trying to get out of it.

JOHN: Well, maybe subconsciously, but not on purpose


JOHN: Dude! Don't do that!

JEROME: Do what?

JOHN: Don't throw your cigarette butt in the flowerbed.


JOHN: The flowers have to Live in that, man

(enter DANIELLE)

JEROME: Fuck the fl--

DANIELLE: -- Jerome, you asshole!

JEROME: What? What did I do?

DANIELLE: Guess what you left at my house and my parents found.

JEROME: Did they find my cellphone?

DANIELLE: NO, Jerome! They found POT! You left POT in my house!!

JEROME: Well, did they find my phone?


JACK: ...I don't give a fuck.

DANIEL: Well I do

DANIELLE: Thank you!

MORA: I do too

DANIEL: I give two fucks

JACK: Ok, then I give negative five fucks


CINDY: This smoothie sucks. I'm getting a different flavour. [exit]

DANIEL: What are those dots above letters in German called?

HOLLY: I don't know

JOHN: Huh? What was it? I might know

DANIEL: Those two dots above letters

JOHN: Amlotts?

DANIEL: Yeah, I think that's it


DANIEL: Well, see that "Smoothies" sign? That second "O" has some of those. So that would be pronounced how? "Schmeuthies"? [laughs]

HOLLY: "Schmeuthie"! [laughs]

JOHN: "Schmoothie"?

DANIEL: No, no, "Schmeuthie"

[enter JACK, CINDY]

DANIEL: So how's your new Schmeuthie? [laughs]

JACK: What? What are you talking about?

JOHN: See that "smoothies" sign? It's got amlotts

JACK: You mean umlatts?

HOLLY: Maybe I should go get a schmeuthie [laughs]

DANIEL: "Schmeuthie!" [laughs]

JOHN: "Schmeuthie!" [laughs]

HOLLY: We're gonna be so sick of that word in like ten minutes

DANIEL: Yeah, but it'll be the best ten minutes ever

by grushenka
Group: Beryllium

Vita: I’m dying, Morrie.

Morrie: No, you’re not.

V: (swings the dagger playfully) What if I prick myself just so – (pricks her breast slightly. A drop of blood runs.) – so then would I be dying?

M: No, of course not. Stop this nonsense.

V: What about – like so?

M: (lunges toward her) Give me that. Of all the crazy –

V: (evades him) What? What’s that? (twirls the weapon between thumb and forefinger.)

M: Darling, let’s just discuss this rationally. You’re –

V: Rationally? We need not. Love is not rational, it’s cliché, I know, but death is not rational.

M: Vita honey, but you’re so young and vibrant…

V: And how can I stay young? How can I avoid the inevitable decay? (slices her finger slightly, studying the red bead that surfaces.)

M: You’ll only bring it on faster this way, you know. You’ll be rotted within the week.

V: (arrested by this statement, she stills herself momentarily and then regains her smile.) But I won’t know. And isn’t ignorance the perfect anesthetic?

M: Vita –

V: You know, darling, why I love the French language? Because the words for “love-in-the-abstract” and “death-in-the-abstract” are separated by a little dipthong…nothing more.

M: What are you –

V: You know. (she approaches him predatorily, bumping the jeweled handle of the dagger against his chest.) L’amour…la mort…

M: Vita, give me that thing.

V: What genius, I mean, just to have that kind of foresight… You never think of nomenclaturists as having too acute an aesthetic sense, do you?

(Morrie goes for the dagger but slices his own hand on the blade. Vita backs away and gazes somewhere above his head.)

V: Yes, that’s what I’ll miss tomorrow…nomenclature…des-crip-tors…anything that brings a little beauty into this…

M: shit-hole?

V: (like a schoolteacher) That was an ugly word, darling. And even describing something as ugly as life we must at all times be aware of the beauty of what we say.

M: (in a deep quiet voice) Vita, look, I’ll do whatever you ask, just put down the knife.

V: Why, Mortie. I didn’t know – I never knew…

M: What?

V: That you’d be perfect for the role I had in mind when I started this little scene. Here, how about we do the rest of this whole… thing…in recitatives? (she turns toward an imaginary audience , somewhere near the dishwasher, and brandishes her steak knife)

M: So what exactly –

V: Shhh! Ahem…(in a frail mezzo-soprano) “Moooo-rieeee, la vie dis-gusts meeeee.

M: What dooo you—

V: (whispering) Lower, Morrie. It’s a bass part.

M: eh, ahem. (lower) What dooo you meeeean, dear?

V: It maaakes me nauseouuus daaaayyyy by dayyyyy…I waaaant to-kill-myself-and-put-an-eeeennnnddddd to it (low note) all…

(telephone rings)

V: Dammit. (she drops the knife on the counter and flips the lightswitch on.) Katie needs to be picked up from voice lessons.

M: (trembling) Vita, I'll get her... you can't drive like this.

V: What are you talking about honey?

M: (weakly, in low notes, recalling the Met last year) Parla, parla…

V: Don’t, Morrie. It’ll only make it worse.

by shamatha
Group: Beryllium

(Two people, a man and a woman, American and German, lying in a hammock, on a beach near the Pacific Ocean. A short way off, down on the beach, a group of people are gathered around bonfire, playing drums and dancing.)

“Here,” she says.

Thanks (inhaling deeply)

You have never smoked before?


Why do you do it now then?

I have made a policy of accepting anything that is offered me.

This is a new thing, this policy?

Yes. As of about a month ago.

What did you do before?

I said no. To many things.

Why do you say no to many things?

I don’t know. It was an automatic reaction. If people offered me a piece of gum, I said no. Whether I wanted it or not. It was innate.


Part of my nature.

I see. So today, when I asked you to go swimming with me, you would have said no?

Yes. I mean, yes, I would have said no.

I am glad you make this new policy of yes, then. It is very smart of you, I think. (laughing)


(Someone from the bonfire party blows a conch shell, saluting the full Moon. They look over at the shadowy shapes dancing in and out of the firelight, dream-like.)

How do you feel?, she asks.

I don’t know. I’m not sure I feel anything.

Ah. I think the first time many people do not feel anything.

I feel something, I think. I had a roommate once – he smoked all the time and I would get second-hand highs, I think.


I breathed the smoke from him.

Ah. Yes. That can happen. Like cigarettes, no? (Laughing) Except not so bad for you?

Like that, yes. My head would sort of buzz.

So why did you not smoke then? Because you were still saying no?

My friend offered many times. He told me he thought I would really like it. But I was still saying no, yeah.

So why do you make this new thing, the saying yes?

I like the way you put it. Saying ‘Yes. I don’t know.

You just decide “I am going to say ‘Yes?’

Sort of. I mean, it was gradual. I realized I was saying no to things I wanted to say yes to. And I didn’t know why.

So now you say yes to everything? Everything?

Pretty much. Like this this trip. I had to quit my job. I had to give up my apartment.

And you are glad you have done these things?

Yes. Before I left - why I left, I mean – I was very frustrated. I had not realized how frustrated I was. It was just the way things were and I accepted that and never thought about it.

Like a fish does not know it is wet, is that how they say?

Yeah, basically. Never questioned that things could be a different way.

And you are not so frustrated now?


Because you are saying “Yes?”

Yes. This trip has made me feel very free. That is why I like traveling. It makes me free. No one knows who you are. You are a stranger everywhere, just passing through. I like being the stranger. And you do not have to stay in one place very long if you do not like it. . .

And if you like it, you can stay. (touching his arm)

. . . it makes me realize ‘Anything is possible’ and that you are just making it up as you go along, basically. When you think about it.

And this is how you are feeling now?

No. Now I feel . . .


I feel . . .nothing. I feel like I am here. That’s it.



I think it is working now, no? (moving closer)

I don’t know. Maybe.

You are here, and I am here. This is good, yes?


You are getting good at that. Saying ‘Yes.’


The Righteous and the Wicked
by ChiLiPhiSh
Group: Bauxite

J: I can't believe we're here so early that we're parked right in front of the entrance!

M: Hey-- pass me up another cooler?

E: Oh my god! Look at those two. They so don't belong. Maybe he's a chili peppers fan, but all she's heard is "By the Way". She'll be shocked if they play, like, "Suck My Kiss."

M: Oh please! She'll want to leave right away… she'll probably be afraid to drive home with him. She'll think he'll ravage her.

E: Is it ravish or ravage?

J: In Whitney My Love the ravished her-- that's when someone enjoys being taken advantage of. I guess ravaging is the one only creepy chicks fantasize about.

E: Lovely. Thanks for that.

M: I could use that cooler about now…

J: Ooh, sorry. Here.

M: Thanks. Ooh… ooh… don't look. Those ugly guys are looking at you.

E: How ugly?

M: Alright-- the one looks like he thinks he invented grunge yesterday and the other one hasn't figured out that Kerouac is dead and Salinger is a recluse. He thinks they're both working writers.

E: So…sleazy? But are they dirty sleazy or sexy sleazy? Tommy Lee or Dave Navarro?

M: They wish they were Dave Navarro or Tommy Lee.

J: You guys are so bad!

E: Yeah, yeah. Okay-- check out that group over there. Are they really Chili Peppers fans? Or are they just here for the overpriced beer?

J: Alright, alright. The kids might be-- their parents look really confused.

M: Yeah, they're like "who are the flaming peppers?"

E: How many hefty, goth teens can fit in a minivan?

M: Hold on I'm counting… are you at six?

E: Oh my god… wait, no, that's just one.

J: You guys! Maybe they love the chili peppers! They might be really nice people…

E: I know, I know… we're really bitchy.

M: With the windows rolled up.

E: Anyway, these people are not real fans! They only know the new stuff-- and they probably don't even know that.

M: They probably just know Flea from Wild Thornberry's.

J: Huh? The cartoon?

E: Oh, wait, there's a hot one.

M: Ooh, and he's wearing a chili peppers shirt.

E: And it's an old one!

J: I think it's time to get out of the car.

M: Tickets out, ladies…

E: Follow the hotties!

A Walk in the Woods
by solo mon
Group: Apple

Last weekend my son and I were taking a walk with the dog on the nearby trails that we often explore. We were hiking along enjoying the vibrant fall colors, Charlie running ahead of us chasing squirrels. Steve turned to me at one point and asked, “Dad, do we believe in God?” I said, “what do you mean, we?” “well, I guess I mean, as a family, you and mom, we don’t go to church like other families, I was just wondering what you think of god”

“I see”, I said, not knowing where this conversation would go. “Well, Steve, I think we’ve touched on the subject before, your mother and I feel that a spiritual connection is more important that participating in organized religion.”

“yeah, I remember, but I’m not really sure what that means”

“ok, well, you know how you love taking these walks in the woods?”


“well, why do you think you enjoy them so much, any idea?”

“ummm, well I guess it just feels good to be out here in nature, surrounded by the trees and all.”

“there you go steve. I feel the same way, and to me, I feel closest to god when I’m in nature, not when I’m in some church. After all if you believe that god created all that surrounds us -- the forest and the rivers and all the animals – then being out here is the most spiritual place.”

“yeah, I see what you’re saying, its like actually being part of what god intended”

“hmmm, you know steve, I never thought of it in just that way, but I think you’re right”

“God didn’t mean for us to spend our time in shopping malls and driving around in cars all day, he intended for us to live like we were meant to live, drinking from the rivers and lakes, taking our food from the forest. It’s so hard in this world to live like that anymore, but these few hours that we come and spend in here are where I feel I can re-connect with my spirit.”

“I like the way you think Dad”, Steve said as he threw a stick way up the trail and sent Charlie bounding away without a care in the world.

After a while we came to the little clearing by the creek that we always stop at and let Charlie swim for a while. As I picked up another stick and threw it upstream, dead-center of the gurgling water, I turned to Steve, “you know, it’s kind of the same reason that your mom and I don’t drink milk or eat much meat.”

“It is?”, he returned.

“Well, kind of. Do you think god intended for us to hook up these milking devices to cows and pump out their milk so we can drink it?”

“hmmm, you know dad, I never thought of it that way”

“Well, if you take a different perspective, it just seems so incredibly odd to me. I mean isn’t it kind of like slavery to confine these animals for one purpose only, so we can drink their milk? I just can’t justify all the exploitation that human beings exhort on animals. In a way, by not participating in all that animal exploitation, I feel that I am practicing my religion. I feel that god did not put animals here to be exploited by us.”

I looked at Steve and he had a very quizzical look on his face. “What are you thinking?” I said.

“Well, I was just trying to think about how much we do in fact exploit animals, and how I think you’re right, it’s making slaves out of them.” “What about Charlie though, is he our – slave?”

“Good question. What would happen to Charlie if he didn’t live with us or another human family?”

“Well, I guess he would just run free, wouldn’t he?”

“For a while maybe, but then he’d probably get picked up by the dog warden and put in the pound, which obviously is a nice way, or not so nice way, of saying jail.”

“You know that’s really ridiculous”, Steve said.

“What is?”

“Well, just the fact that we can walk around by ourselves, even the squirrels and deer and other wild animals, but the dogs that human beings domesticated aren’t allowed to do that.”

“Yeah, I agree. So, with Charlie being part of our family, he’s allowed to be relatively free. We don’t really force him to do anything, and we let him come with us on these hikes and run around off the leash. But think about all the other animals that human beings exploit.”

“Like what dad?”

“Well, there are rodeos, circuses, horse racing, dog racing, zoos, not to mention the way animals are kept prisoners until they are killed for our food.”

“Prisoners, really?”

“Sure, Steve, pigs and chickens and cows. They’re kept in tiny crates, or gated areas and fattened up until its time for them to be turned into burgers or ribs or patties. At least our ancestors hunted wild animals that were free until we chased them and killed them. You’ve been learning about evolution in school this year, haven’t you Steve?”


“Well, from what I remember about survival of the fittest, it seems that we are taking the entire operation of evolution away from these animals that we keep and control. I mean, they can’t evolve because we manipulate them every step of the way.”

“Interesting, maybe I’ll ask my teacher about that.”

“To me, evolution is so spiritual in nature; I could never understand the big hang-up all those supposedly religious folks always had about teaching it in school. I couldn’t dream up a more beautiful system for controlling the way life works than that of evolution. After all Darwin didn’t invent it, God did.”

With that, Charlie shot past us on the leaf strewn trail and Steve turned to me with a smile, “Dad, I like these walks we take together.”

by Bess
Group: Antimony

“Isabel, IT”S HERE!”

“Mama I’m right here you don’t have to scream.”

“But this is it. The ONE. And the envelope is thick.”

“Yeah, and that would make it the second thick one. Making it a total of three letters saying, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

“I called and complained to their admissions offices. How cruel to send a big envelope when the answer is no.”

“You called who?”

“Yale. They said a freshman stuck all the stuff for the acceptance packages into the reject envelopes. ”

“That’s about accurate. Me the reject.”

“Isabel you are not a reject. You are my beautiful daughter who will go to college.”

“So you are just going to will it to happen? It doesn’t work that way Mama.”

“Sometimes it does. I have a good feeling about this one.”

“I told you this wouldn’t work. I have the grades, I did every friggin after school activity there is and aced the SAT’s. But guess what? They still say no.”

“Don’t swear honey.”

“Anyway it’s better if I stay home and work. You work fourteen-hour shifts and still barely make the rent each month. If I go to work things will get easier.”

“Easier? Seeing my baby off to college now that will make my life easier. Be brave Isabel. Open it.”

“This is the last one. My last chance.”

“Open it.”

Isabel slid the envelope open with trembling hands.

“Harvard.... Harvard said Yes!"

train in vain
by j8
Group: Antimony

Jim: i feel like trouble tonight.
Mike: it must be a day ending in “y”
Jim: oddly enough it is. Don’t you owe me a drink?
Matthew: heh. i’ve heard that before. Something doesn’t add up with your logic, though.
Jim: math class is hard.
Luke: I’ll buy the first round so you don’t have concerns about buying the rather expensive third.
Jim: order away, i spy an ex so I’ll need one. And lookie, a dj opportunity.
Jim wanders to the juke box, Matthew & Luke nab a table.
Matthew: what beers are on tap here?
Luke: since i’m buying, you’ll fully enjoy the cheapest lager.
[“mr. brownstone” by guns n’ roses starts blaring]
Luke: what the hell, he really needs some musical help.
Matthew: heh.
Luke: no, really. What’s next?
Matthew: i could go for something else.
Luke: yeah, me too. How many ones did he feed it?
Matthew: there’s only 4 beers on tap here.
Luke: it is a microbrew
Matthew: four.
Luke: you wanted to try it
Matthew: four. four.
Luke: you’ll enjoy the lager.
Matthew: four dollars.
Luke: jeebus. 12 songs, that should cover best of the bad hair bands or some crazy doors/hendrix combo.
jim works his way back. Guns n Roses still plays
Barmaid: who picked this?
Jim: iiiiii did.
Barmaid: your first pint is on me. i love this song.
Jim: as long as you don’t love the heroin.
[the barmaid makes a face, leaves a pint glass on the table.]
Matthew: what?
Jim: Mr. Brownstone, its about heroin. [fake documentary voice] Heroin is a potent derivative of the opium plant.
Luke: I’ll take famous overdoses for 500, alec.
Matthew: i never did realize that.
Luke: about the song?
Matthew: yes.
Luke: the thundering guitars pushed it from your mind. Or the bad album art.
Jim: that nineteen year old didn’t get it.
Luke: another reason to avoid her.
Jim: well…
Luke: no, really. Really. Hey, REALLY!
[a pitcher arrives, half foam, half limp colored lager]
Luke: i’ll do the honors.
Matthew: Thanks.
Jim: Thanks.
Matthew: looks good.
Jim: smells like a plastic bag. But I’ll drink it.
Luke: and you’ll like it.
Luke and Jim together: because the PRICE is RIGHT!
Matthew: it isn’t bad.
Luke: beats a homebrew.
Jim: beats no brew.
Matthew: hmm…
Jim: god, i loved that old milwaukee campaign, “it just doesn’t get any better than this”
Luke: you were, what, five?
Matthew: heh
Jim [laughing]: i suppose that does explain a lot.
[the boys sip in silence]
Luke: it’s pretty good.
Matthew: it is.
Jim: it’s ok.
Luke: well, it doesn’t explain a lot.
Matthew: no. heh.
Jim: god, you guys.
Luke: i wouldn’t mind a place like this. A good silent partner, lots of fuppie customers.
Matthew: you’d offer more than four beers.
Luke: sir. “you’d offer more than four beers, sir”
Matthew: heh
Jim: I’d work for you.
Luke: I don’t think so.
[Jim laughs]
Matthew: what does start up run?
Luke: dunno, maybe fifty, sixty thousand.
Jim: in bribes alone.
Luke: that’s new york.
Jim: good point.
Matthew: i’d offer more than four beers.
Luke: a simple menu, maybe only appetizers, price fixay.
Jim: you need a theme song.
Luke: Shut. Up.
Jim: no really, something drunk people like to sing to. Like “Piano Man”…”siiiiiing usssss a song yer the pianoooooo man”
Luke: No really. Shut. Up.
Jim: You know it works.
Matthew: In Dublin, only one guy sings at a time.
Luke: [points at jim] if i were in dublin, i wouldn’t have to hear him sing.
[Jim keeps humming and grinning]
Matthew: true.
Luke: almost worth emmigrating.
[Jim hums louder while refilling his beer A drunk brunette approaches the table. Something is “off” with her eyes.]
Brunette: Hi.
Luke and Jim: Hi there.
Brunette: You don’t rember me.
Luke: Uhmmm I’d remember you.
Brunette: You cost me my boyfriend.
Luke: I’d remember that.
Brunette: Shupt upt this isn’t funny. Don’t you remembeer me? [looks hard at Jim]
Jim: MmmHi. Yeah. You want to sit down?
Brunette: You don’t.
Jim: Look, just sit down. Meet my friends, Matthew and Luke.
Brunette: You fucking don’t. You fucking don’t. You FUCKING DON’T [she pitches nearly a full pint of beer towards jim, hitting him, sort of.]
Jim: Jesssssssussssssssss CHRIST. What the fuck!?! Bonnie. Your name is Bonnie.
Jim [wiping his face and gasping]: Look, Bonnie, I didn’t…
Bonnie: You fuck!
Luke: Look. Leave.
Bonnie: FUCK!
Luke: Leave!
Jim: Now.
Bonnie: Or what you fuck?!
Jim: Bonnie, you’re drunk. And you’re about to be kicked out.
Bonnie: You haven’t changed you fuuuuck
Jim: Yeah, well, maybe that’s why you’re bitter, since i have. Your friends don’t seem too impressed with your slumming, so go.
Bonnie: Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck you. You didn’t even know you fuuuuck!

Jim: Go.
Luke: Go.
Jim: Now.
Bonnie: You’re still a fuck.
Jim: Go. Now.
Bonnie: Fuucckker. [she teeters away]

Luke: what the hell was that about?
Jim: it is a long story
Luke: Really.
Jim: Yeah, well there was trouble in tiara town [nods at girls with Bonnie Brunette]
Matthew: Really.
Luke: No shit.
Jim: you must have missed the middle part, i don’t want to talk about it.
Luke: why don’t you walk it off
Jim: i feel like some clash. Any other requests?

The Spew
by drmenlo
Group: Antimony


"Ok, what?"

"Ok, you wanted to see me."

"Oh, yea?"

"You got five minutes."

"Lunkhead, I'm not the one roped to the chair. How do you think I only got five minutes? You got raygun eyes that are gonna burn through that rope?"

"How can I help you?"

"Tha's better. Hm, let's see . . . but first, you need anything? Glass of water? Beer?"

"No, thank you."

"Ok, let's see now . . . how can you help me . . . let's start with this: what is the name of your publication?"

"The Spew."

"Right. Inspired by?"

"Henry Chinaski."

"Right. Ok, now please follow me here . . . who was on the cover of your most recent issue of the Spew?"

"Dave Eggers."

"What? What was that? Come again?"

"Dave Eggers."

"Dave who? Oh, you mean that guy? The guy that lost his parents, wrote a book about what a genius he was and became America's pseudo-literary darling number one-you mean that guy?"

"He's also, uh, the editor of a mighty fine . . . "

"Shut up! Did I ask you a question?"

"No, but--"

"So then shut up! You let me handle the questions, smart guy!"

" . . . "

"Ok, then, where were we--oh yea--so your publication is inspired by Henry Chinaski and in the last issue of your publication--The Spew--you dedicate your cover to Dave Eggers, is that right?"

"Yes, that is correct."

"Now, let me ask you this, and this is the five fucking million dollar question here: Would Henry Chinaski drink with Dave fucking Eggers?"

"Uh, what do you mean?"

"I mean, if they was in a bar, and Chinaski was at the bar, and Eggers came in, and Chinaski knew who Eggers was, do you think that Chinaski would say, 'Hey, my man Eggers! How about a brewski?'"

"Uh, well, maybe . . . "

"Bullshit! And you know it! Why? Because Eggers is garden variety horseshit!"

"Well . . . "

"Look, I'm sorry his parents died--but that don't make him no literary genius!"


"If Eggers walked into a bar where Chinaski was drinking, Chinaski would stomp him into the ground! Can Eggers use words ok? Yes, he can, I'm not denying that. But what does he write about? SNOOZETOWN! Middle class bourgeois bullshit!"


"Ok, look, you obviously disagree. You think Eggers is worth the hype, but tell me this: you cannot justify the worship of Eggers in a rag designed to prop Chinaski!"

"Well, the magazine has evolved, what can I say?"

"You call that evolution? From Chinaski to Eggers--that's how you evolve? So if there was some planet somewhere and there was a whole race of Chinaskis, and you come back to that planet a thousand years later and now there's a whole race of Eggers running around, you're telling me you'd be happy with that? Hey, it's just evolution--is that right?"

"Well, taste evolves. When you're young you may like Chinaski. When you've seen more of the world, you may--"

"Stop. What is that?"


"What is that that you're wearing?"


"Are those . . . those are Dockers, aren't they?"

"Well, yes . . . "

"And that shirt, let me look into your collar, here . . . Old Navy!? You gotta be fucking' kidding me??!!!"

"Ok, so you hate Eggers and Old Navy and Dockers--is there anything else?"

"Oh, there's quite a few more things, yes."

"For instance?"

"Now, wait, now hold on a minute . . . before I get the other thing out, I wanna talk about this a little more, because I don't think we've come to a . . . a . . . an understanding here."

"I understand. Whatever you want me to understand, I will. I'm being fully cooperative here."

"No, I don't think you are. I guess I better get that other thing out after all."

"What . . . what is that?"

"This? You don't know what this is?"

"Ah . . . "

"Ok, editor, who was on the cover of Spew number two?"

"Ah . . . Hunter S. Thompson."

"Dr. Gonzo, you are correct. . . . you still don't know what this is?"

"Ah . . . "

"Hm, maybe I better pause a minute. Because this is some serious stuff here. Tell me please, who do you have slated to be on the next issue of Spew?"

"Dave Eggers' girlfriend."

"Oh boy. Ok, open up."

Why DID you call?
by clearbluelou
Group: Antimony

The insistent ring of the phone woke him. "Hello?"

"Hey, what are you doing?"

"Oh, hi. Um- I was sleeping..."

"Sorry. I just wanted to call and say- well, my girlfriends told me I called earlier and that I was a total bitch to you." Her voice was slurred and low.


"Well, I'm sorry. You know I've been having all sorts of anxiety attacks and stuff. I took bunch of Renee's Xanax and some Percocet earlier. And I had a few glasses of wine. So if I was a bitch, I'm-"

"It's okay, Ann. Don't worry about it."

"Look, I'm sorry, okay? I don't even remember calling you. And ever since you left, I just can't deal anymore. Everything is so hard..."

"You know it wasn't my choice to leave, Ann-"

"Oh c'mon, don't go there, Greg. You knew it was over just like I did. Just because you were too weak to admit it-"

"Look, I don't want to fight with you."

"Well then don't give me your bullshit! At least I was strong enough to end it."

"It's not bullshit, Ann. I never wanted this-"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. So you say. But you know we weren't happy. We weren't good for each other. All we did was make each other miserable."

"That could have been fixed-"

She laughed bitterly. "We tried, Greg, remember? I swear, I don't even know why I try to talk to you..."

"So why did you call then?"

"Aren't you listening? I called to tell you I'm sorry-"

"And I told you it was okay."

"Yeah? Well it's obviously not okay, or you wouldn't be being such a prick right now."

"I'm not being a prick, Ann. You just woke me up. It's two-thirty in the morning. I think it's understandable that I'm not with it right now."

"Whatever. You always have an excuse, don't you?"

"It's not an excuse-"

"Sure. Whatever. Just like you don't have an excuse for not giving me any of my child support, right?"

"What are you talking about?"

"Don't be be such a dumbshit, Greg. You know exactly what I'm talking about. You think I don't know that you're making all that money and you don't even give me shit-"

"Ann. You've seen my contract. I make a third of what I was making last year this time."

"What about your side job? I know you're doing work with Bart."

"Yes I am, but we won't be paid for this latest job for another six weeks-"

"Bull. Shit. Motherfucker."

"Look, I'm not trying to screw you over. I gave you five hundred last month and four-fifty the month before. Thats more than I even owe you according to state-"

"Fuck you, you asshole! I'm the one who's home taking care of the kids! I'm the one who can't go out and get a job because I have to be home at two-thirty every fucking day! Don't you tell me about owing me money. You owe me! You owe me!"


"No. Fuck you! It's always about money with you, isn't it? Why is that, huh? Why does it always come down to money for men? You don't care about anything else!"


"I'm the one who's taking care of the kids and they need things. You need to live up to your responsibilities and start giving me my money."

"Hey, I told you I'd be glad to take the kids out and buy them whatever they need. If you need food, I'll buy that, too. I'm paying for your phone and your electric and I don't even live there anymore."

"That's not all of it, Greg. I want my alimony too."

"Look Ann, I already told you I'm not going to pay you alimony. You decided to quit college long before we married and there's no way-"

"I quit to take care of our kids! And I've watched them ever since. You owe me for that; you wouldn't even let me have a job, just kept me stuck in the house-"

"You've had five jobs in the last six years, Ann."

"But you made me quit all of them!"

"No, I encouraged you to keep them so that you would have interests outside the house. You decided to quit them when they weren't fun anymore."

"There you go again, turning everything around to your own personal reality." She mimicked his voice. "You quit them when they weren't fun anymore... as if I had a choice, with your controlling attitude. You didn't tell me to quit, but you sure made it clear that was what you expected. You wouldn't even let me have a normal life-"

"A normal life doesn't mean going to the bars all the time and having affairs-"

"That only happened once! And that isn't even what we're talking about. The point is that you get to go out every night and party and I'm still stuck at home with the kids-"

"Even once was more than enough, Ann." His voice was dull. "And I don't go to the bars. I don't party. You know that. And as far as the kids go, I already told you I want them to live with me. I can take care of them."

"And I can't?" Her voice rose, shrilled. "Who took care of them all the years you kicked back at work? Who raised them while you got to hang out and go out to eat with your friends? Who fed them and clothed them and wiped their noses? Huh? Who had to give up their life?"

He thought of a dozen answers. All true. All pointless. "Look, Ann. This isn't doing any good. We already know how this conversation is going to end. So what do you want?"

"Well, I just called to say I was sorry for being mean to you. But you know what? I'm not. You deserve it, motherfucker. And you just wait. When this is over, you're going to be in jail missing your kids and I'll be laughing my ass off-"

"I'll talk to you later, Ann. When you're sober."

"Fuck you!"

There was a click as she hung up, and then only the ambient hum of the dead line, a mirror to the emptiness of his apartment. He held the phone in his hand for several moments before hanging it up.

"The preceding conversation took place on July seventh, two thousand and one at two-thirty-seven am," he stated into his tape recorder. He clicked stop, then play, and then rewound it just enough for the gabble of reverse speech to indicate that he had caught the conversation on tape. He turned the tape recorder off, then put back in its spot next to the phone, then lay back down to finish his interrupted sleep.

Home For The Weekend
by nycfilmguy
Group: Amoeba

(Greg phones his friend Angie on her cell phone. Her phone rings & she picks up)
A: Hello?
G: Hey! What’s going on?
A: Hiya! Omigod, how have you been?
G: Okay, been a little sick lately…
A: Oh!
G: Oh it’s no biggie. Just a bit of a cold, so I’ve found myself downing gallons of chicken soup!
A: (laughs) That’s one heck of a cold to be downing that much soup!
G: But it’s so good! (Both laugh) All the little bits of chicken are cut so nicely.
A: You made it yourself or are you singing the praises of the Campbell’s Soup Company?
G: Actually, I’m singing the praises of my mom.
A: Oh wow. Where are you calling from?
G: I’m back at home in Astoria, Queens.
A: When did you come back?
G: Late last night.
A: And you didn’t call? I’m crushed!
G: Knowing I was going this get this response, I’m glad I didn’t!
A: (laughs) So what brings you back a tu casa?
G: A mi casa? I’m visiting for the weekend. I figured I’d try & see a few friends here & there. That & this little thing with my sister’s boyfriend Ed having a surprise engagement party for my sister.
A: What?
G: Yeah, that’s what I said.
A: Your sister’s boyfriend is going to propose to her?
G: In grand fashion – he wanted everyone to be there to see him get rejected.
A: (laughs hard)
G: Yes, and we absolutely loved the idea of seeing a family member humiliate somebody outside of our family, so we figured, “Get the popcorn!”
A: (laughs) That is so wrong! Do you really think he’ll be rejected?
G: Nah, she’s always been dropping hints to him about taking the plunge. They’ve been together for almost five years.
A: So she’s due! Took him long enough.
G: Yeah. I think some of us in our family were even starting to have our doubts about him.
A: It happens, but he’s gonna do it. That is so awesome!
G: Nothing but good here. So what have you been up to?
A: Working insane hours. Thank God it’s Friday. And it’s a good thing you caught me in my lunch break, otherwise it would suck to death to talk to people while I’m dealing with my clients.
G: Aw yeah, rocking the workplace with yo’ client-dealing! Oooh-oooh!
A: You dork.
G: Yeah, but I’m a dork with a capital D! (Both snicker & burst out laughing)
A: God, I can’t even believe I was your girlfriend for 3 years!
G: Why’s that?
A: We’re just, like, two totally different people. We almost had nothing in common.
G: Oh that’s not true.
A: How else can you explain it then?
G: You make “it” seem like “it” was this strange anomaly from somewhere outside our galaxy.
A: Well, can you figure it out?
G: Geez, I don’t know. We were just two people that knew how to make each other laugh.
A: Was that all?
G: WHAT? You were just saying that we had nothing in common, but now you wanna know what other things we shared?
A: Well, think about it.
G: Awww…
A: Seriously! Aside from the fact that we knew each other well enough to make the other person laugh until their sides hurt, what else was there really?
G: The sex?
A: It had its moments.
G: What?
A: Ha! Gotcha!
G: Oh geez! (Angie laughs)
A: Yeah, there was sex.
G: And all the intimate moments we had together.
A: Now you’re just depressing me.
G: Didn’t it mean anything to you then?
A: Why do you care?
G: Because what we had was something special in those three years.
A: Oh my god.
G: What?
A: Is this why you called me?
G: What are you talking about?
A: I am single right now, but I have no need for a boyfriend right now. Nor do I want one right now.
A: Well, isn’t that what you meant?
G: No!
A: Then what the hell are you talking about?
G: How the hell should I know?
A: God I’m confused.
G: You too?!?! That makes two of us! (Both laugh)
A: Okay so we have that in common as well! (Greg laughs)
G: We’re just too fucked up in following a simple conversation!
A: And we’re not even drinking or smoking up! At least I know I’m not.
G: I’m pretty clean, unless you count the little bits of alcohol that are in my mom’s Robitussin.
A: Oh, in that case, you’re really fucked up.
G: Oh come on! It ain’t Nyquil!
A: Well, okay.
G: In the meantime, I would like to get the hell out of this house and see you. That is, if you’re down with hanging out with a semi-healthy ex.
A: I could do something after work.
G: I wish I could, but Ed’s gonna propose tonight.
A: Oh okay, no problem.
G: But I could do something after the proposal.
A: Late Friday night?
G: There’s a comedy club on 22nd Street that’s open until midnight. We can go there, and if we’re still feeling up, we can either catch a flick or go clubbing.
A: Um, if we go clubbing, we should skip the comedy club and get some drinks.
G: It’s an improv comedy club.
A: Improv?!? Oh that rocks! I’m so there!
G: And they serve drinks too!
A: Um, if you didn’t notice by my enthusiasm a second, I was already sold.
G: Okay, okay. I’m just reminding you that you can cater to your inner alcoholic there.
A: Oh it’s so nice to know that you’re already thinking of getting me completely drunk off my feet tonight.
G: Me? I thought it was you!
A: Are you confused again?
G: Um, how should I respond? (Both laugh)
A: Okay, I gotta get back to work. Give me a call me on my cell a little after 6 and let me know about the details for tonight.
G: Roger that.
A: (Giggles) You’re so subservient.
G: I refuse to dignify that response.
A: (Laughs) We’ll see about that tonight. Oh, and tell your sister & Ed that I’m so happy for the two of them!
G: I’ll pass the word onto them if it all goes well.
A: It will – have fun!
G: You too.
A: I’ll see how I can at work.
G: Play a little Nelly at work and see how many people in suits start dancing.
A: I’ll think about that. I’ll talk to you later, hon.
G: Yep, later babe.
A: Byeee!
(Both hang up)

John And Christine's First Date
by JeffSeb
Group: Amoeba


“Eight o’clock. Shit it’s early,” John rose up in his bed.

“Quiet!” Owen exclaimed. “I think he’s up.”

“Well let’s go check,” Allen replied.

“Guuuyys, shut uuuup,” John slurred. “Get the hell outta my room. And stop eating all my food.”

“Get up, man, we got a big day ahead of us!” Allen shouted overzealously.


“A little sick from last night, eh? Forget about it, take some aspirin, have a shower, you’ll feel better in no time.”

“How’d you get out of the house so early there Owen? Mom still asleep?” John asked jokingly, drying his hair.

“No, she went out shopping or something, I left a note, but I gotta be home by at least midnight.”

“Ha ha, what a sucker. Eighteen and still whipped by his mother,” Allen teased.

“At least I’m not paying rent. Who’s the sucker?”

“That’s ‘cause you don’t even have a job, at least we have money. Which reminds me, find your own booze tonight.”

“That’s fine rummie, I don’t need alcohol anyway.”

“You’re only saying that ‘cause you can’t get any.”

“Okay ladies,” John interrupted, “Don’t make me kick your asses.”


“Knock knock,” John said, knocking on Christine’s door.

“Coming!” Christine opened the door.

“John, say something,” Owen whispered.

“Um… wow… you look… amazing,” John stammered.

“You look pretty sharp yourself,” she said, motioning towards his suit, knowing how he hated to dress up.

“Hey John, Christine. You guys want in on this mickey?” Allen pulled out a bottle of rum.


“Jesus, what the hell took you so long?” Owen’s girlfriend Melissa asked. “I’ve been waiting here since five thirty!”

“Well,” John started, stumbling and giggling, “considering our reservations weren’t until six, I’d say we’re right on time.”

“Are you guys drunk? Owen, you’re drunk? I can’t believe you.”

“Relax!” Allen said. “We wouldn’t let him have a drop.”

“It’s true toots, these three lushes got into Allen’s mickey. The jackass wouldn’t let me have any,” Owen reassured her, putting his arm around her.

“Don’t call me toots.” She took his hand off her shoulder.

“Bitch,” Owen whispered to John.


"Okay John, we gotta show them how to take shots," Allen mumbled.

"Ha ha. Okay girls, now watch closely," John told Christine and Laura, Allen’s girlfriend whom they’d met at the restaurant, as he and Allen took a shot of vodka.

"Okay now you try it with us," he said, pouring four shots.

“Hold on let me get something to chase it with!” Christine shouted.

"Ahhh, you don't need that," Allen said. "Okay, ready? One, two, three, DRINK!"


"Okay guys, time for a game." Laura started, "You pick a card from the top of the pile. Each suit is something different. So if you get a club, you have to take a shot. Diamonds is do something that the person who just went says, spades is take a shot of this," she pulled out a bottle of a sort of rum mixture that tasted terrible, "and hearts is... What can hearts be?"

"Name an animal!" John shouted.

"Ha ha, okay, name an animal. John, you can go first."

He drew a heart. "I gotta take a shot!" he shouted.

"Name an animal first!" Allen yelled.

"But I have to take a shot!"

"No, name an animal!"

"Bear!" glug, "Whoo!"


"Oh man, John and Christine are passed out! This'll ruin his night," Allen told Laura. "I gotta wake them up."

“How you feeling, John?” Allen said quietly as he shook John awake.

"Uggghhhh, I don't know," John mumbled.

"Whew, were you throwing up? Geez man, come up to the kitchen with me. Don't want to scare off Christine, do ya?" Allen fed him the strawberries they had been using for daiquiris.

"Christine! Oh man I like her!" John suddenly jumped back to life.

"Aww," Laura came upstairs. "She likes you too!"

"And I love you guys!" John swung his arms around both of them, kissing each one.

"I love you too buddy," Allen said.

"Yeah me too," Laura kissed him back, laughing.


"Johhhn!" Christine yelled, enthusiastically as he jumped on her bed.

"Guess what?" she asked.

"I don't know, what?"

"I want to kiss you," she whispered, and found her way to his mouth.


"Let's make omelettes!” Allen said to Laura. “There's vegetables everywhere, and she's definitely got eggs!"

"Okay! What do you want in yours?"

"Just grab all the vegetables you can, we'll put everything in them."

"Hey, what time is it?" Allen asked, as he fried their giant omelette.

"Uhh, four in the morning," Laura told him.

"Holy crap, I didn't know omelettes took so long to make! John!"

"What have you two been up to?" Laura asked him suggestively as he walked into the kitchen.

"Nothin', what are you guys doing?" John asked.

"Making omelettes!" she seemed proud.

"John! I've got an idea! Let's go steal licence plates!" Allen shouted excitedly.

"Nah, man, but I'll watch," John said.


"I... can't... get it..." Allen stammered, pulling on a licence plate.

"I'm goin' in, it's freakin' cold out here!" John said, but Allen was too preoccupied with the plate.


"I'm so tired," Christine said. "John, let's go to bed."

"Should I get, uh… protection?"

"Not tonight, it's too soon. Let's take it slow," she said, and the next thing they knew, it was morning.


"What time is it?" John asked, watching Christine dress.

"Eight, I'm gonna have a shower," she answered. “Allen’s naked on the couch out there.”

"I'm still drunk!" Allen shouted from the living room. "I can't put clothes on! Where are my pants?" He got up and ran into Christine's room where he put on one of her dresses.

"Oh God," John sighed.

"Don't move," Christine said, and she grabbed her camera.


"Hey," Laura said to John, "How are you?"

"Good, good. A little tired. You?"

"Quite well, actually. So did you and Christine... you know..."

"Ha ha, no.”


“I guess we’d better get going Allen,” John said. “Christine, this was fun. I'll call you?" He asked hopefully.

"Of course you will," she smiled and kissed him.


"So ya do 'er?" Allen asked John.

"No man, geez.”

John laughed.

The Lollipop Story
by KateMonkey
Group: Alligator

"Right, let me set the scene for y'all. You're Kay, right there, and you're Jay, right behind her."

"I thought you said I was Kay."

"No, it doesn't make any sense if you're Kay. You're Jay. And you, you're Sam."



"Right. So, Kay, you're over here, and Jay, like I said, you're just a bit behind her, and then, Sam, you're behind Jay. And you and you are over there being unnamed frat boys one and two."

"But I don't want to be a frat boy.."

"Are you tellin' this story or am I? Get over there."

"Don't even know why we're doing's just a story..."

"Ay! Right. Anyways. So Kay, Jay, and Sam are walkin' to the K&B to pick up some stuff for the weekend. Bein' that it's Mardi Gras and all, you can imagine what they need."

"What do they need?"


"Like what?"

"Just stuff, all right? Sodas. Snacks. Lip balm. Stuff. So. Anyways, Kay, Jay, and Sam are walkin' to the K&B. And the easiest way to get there is to turn left from Kay's apartment, go down to Broadway, and walk straight down frat row, which kinda sucks, but, y'know, it happens. Especially when you find a place that's dead close to school. Great location, but surrounded by frat houses and cheap bars. So they're walkin', and it's Mardi Gras, and you know how it is with Mardi Gras and frat houses..."

"I don't."

"What do you mean you don't? You lived in New Orleans for four years!"

"I never went to Mardi Gras."

"What do you mean you never went to Mardi Gras? What the hell were you doin' each damn year?"

"I was sick."

"No way!"

"Yeah. It's always in February, y'know? And when you're living in a dorm in February, you're bound to catch something... I kept on getting sick, so I was always stuck in bed during Mardi Gras."

"How did you manage that?"

"Dunno. Just happened. Got mono when I was a freshman, then it was chicken pox--"

"Chicken pox!"

"Never had it when I was a kid. Then there was that flu that was going around, and then, in my last year, it was just a cold, but it turned into pneumonia because my roommate just had to take me to one parade."

"I said I was sorry."


"I am sorry."

"Anyways! Can we get back to the story at hand? It was Mardi Gras, on frat row, and all the fraternity brothers in arms are drunk and lookin' for action, and along the sidewalk walks Kay, Jay, and Sam, right?"


"And Kay's, well, Kay's stacked. She's not artifically stacked -- no wonderbras or silicone or whatever, but she's got great big brilliant natural breasts, all nice and snug in a tight t-shirt. And she's pretty damn hot as well."

"Says you."

"Have you ever met her? Have you?"


"Then you don't know. So shut up and be Jay, all right?"

"Stop picking on her..."

"Stop interruptin' me! Right, so. They're walkin' down the street to the K&B. Kay's leadin', and Kay's also suckin' on a lollipop, 'cause she loves candy. Can't get enough of it. Prob'ly goin' down to the K&B to get some more. Always had candy around the house -- and, man, Halloween? Piles of the stuff. Never got any trick-or-treaters, so there'd be plenty for weeks to come, and we'd go over to watch tv and eat the candy and it was brill--"

"Can we get on with it?"

"Are you tellin' this story or am I? Huh? Right, anways, they're walkin' down the street, and they pass by this one frat house. And there are the two unnamed frat boys, sittin' on the porch, havin' a beer, doin' whatever it is they do."

"Sure ain't studying."


"Yeah, yeah. So they're on the porch, and Kay, Jay, and Sam walk by, and one of those frat boys just drawl out, 'Somebody's gettin' beads tonight...'"

"Oh no he didn't!"


"Good Lord!"

"Wait. I don't get it."

"Okay, I can believe you never went to Mardi Gras. But you never heard about the beads?"

"My roommates would bring a bunch back. Trashy plastic things thrown from floats, right?"

"You mean to tell me you've never heard about girls flashin' their breasts for some cheap-ass beads?"

"No way!"

"Mm-hmm. Lemme take you home and show you my Girls Gone Wild video. It's got Snoop Dogg in it..."

"First off, ew, and secondly, can I please get back to the story?"

"He asked!"

"Anyways, so the frat boy makes that subtle yet crass joke about the size of Kay's breasts, which, okay, bully for him for makin' it subtle and not just sayin' 'Lookit the hooters on that one!', but, still, tac-ky. So Kay stops, looks at 'em, takes the lollipop out of her mouth, and BAM! Throws it right at their heads."


"She's got crap aim. A total knockout, absolutely brilliant, amazin' chick all about, but can not shoot straight to save her life. So the lollipop, which, by the way, isn't one of those little cheap ones you get at the doctor's when they stick you full of needles, but is, instead, a nice big round wonder of sugar confectionery, and it flies from Kay's hand to the big thick brick porch column that's keepin' the roof up."

"You never said anything about a column."

"I'm the freakin' column, okay? They're there, Kay's there, and the column is right here, all right? And you're ruinin' the tension!"


"Anyways, so the lollipop hits the column, and shatters into a million sharp pieces of candy, all over the damn place. Hits the guys, leaves a mark on the column, chaos all around."

"Were we hurt?"


"The frat boys. Y'know, the ones we're supposed to be. Were they hurt?"

"Dunno. Kay never said anythin' 'bout that."

"She didn't stop to check? They could've gotten shards of candy in their eyes! They could've been seriously damaged!"

"Yeah, well, she kept walkin', okay? Didn't even stop to look at them as she threw it. Back straight, head up, a 'fuck you' smile on her face, and while Jay and Sam were stragglin' behind, kinda scared of Kay -- who they actually hadn't met before that day, and that's what you get for decidin' to come down for Mardi Gras and bring along a friend without tellin' -- and Kay was standin' tall, grinnin' even wider when, from behind her, she hears this really soft and suddenly awed 'Jesus...sorry...'"


"Yeah, cool, huh?"

"And that's it?"

"What? It wasn't good enough for you?"

"Well, I mean, what's it about? Girl walks down the road, girl gets called a name, girl causes damage. And?"

"And? And? It was about takin' back the streets! About not lettin' those privileged little bastards get away with it! About bein' the intimidatin' one instead of the intimidated!"

"Yeah, and...?"

"Aw hell. It's better when Kay tells it. No one dares go 'And that's it?' to her, y'know..."

It’s Naturally Another Day at the Park
by frontal-abstraction
Group: Alligator

Early 1990’s

Sin: “How are all my sweet faggots doing, on this fine afternoon?”

Foxy: “I know you didn’t just call us faggots. Who the hell is this bitch?”

Mike: “The bitch is with me, and she’s all woman, for real.”

Foxy: “Honey, I’m more woman than she’ll ever be, and more man than you’ll ever get.”

Sin: “Alright sista, seriously what’s going on? What was with all the yelling just before I got here?”

Foxy: “You see the woman sitting at the picnic table with those two fine studs over there?”

Sin: “Yeah.”

Foxy: “Well, she strolled her ass through all of us, talkin bout faggots this and faggots that, and you faggots better not even look at my baby. She didn’t have that baby with her, you would have seriously walked up on two bitches brawlin. I ain’t even afraid to hit a nigga bitch.”

Sin: “Whoa! What’s her race got to do with anything?”

Foxy: “What’s my sexuality got to do with anything?”

Sin: “I’m not sure, but my bet would be if you had shaved before you put your damn make up on this morning, she wouldn’t have been so sickened by your ass.”

Mike: “No kidding, you could use some help with that shadow. Sin, come with me, so we can set that bitch straight.”

Sin: “She’s too straight already. I’ll take care of her, ya know switch it up a bit; unleash some ghetto on that ass. Then I’ll call you over. Who are the two guys with her?”

Mike: “They were there when she sat down.”

Sin: “Ok. Watch me, but don’t act like you’re watchin. I got a plan, just come when I call ya.”

Foxy: “What’s she think she’s going to do, rewrite the bible?”

Mike: “If she says she’ll take care of her, she’ll take care of her. You don’t know my girl.”

Sin: “Hey y'all.”

Women: “Who you think you are? Coming over here after talking to those fags, you got some nerve to sit your ass at my table.”

Sin: “Those fags? Shit, you all ain’t cops is you?”

Anthony: “Do we look like cops to you?”

Sin: “No. But are you?”

Woman: “Hell no, we ain’t no damn cops.”

Sin: “Good. You know where I can get some smoke?”

Woman: “I might, but I personally don’t smoke the shit cause I’m breastfeedin.”

Sin: “Oh girl, damn I’m half blind. I didn’t even notice your baby. Oh look she’s so sweet. They are so sweeeeet when they’re sleepin.”

Woman: “I know all quiet. They look like little angels, all precious.”

Sin: “I know. I better be quiet. I don’t want to wake your baby.”

Woman: “Oh girl, don’t worry bout it. She’d sleep through a tornado, one came up in here, she’d be flyin through the air all sleep and shit. Girl won’t wake up for nothing. Once she’s sleep, she’s aaasleep till she’s hungry. Girl, don’t worry bout it. ”

Sin: “Ha! Who are these two you’re with, they’re awfully quiet?”

Woman: “These two ain’t nothing but fools.”

Sin: “So, I assume your name is Anthony. Or are you wearing someone else’s shirt?”

Anthony: “My name is Anthony. What’s your name?”

Sin: “My friends call me Sin.”

Anthony: “Why do they call you that?”

Sin: “You’ll find out soon enough.”

Anthony: “Why those faggots keep looking over here?”

Sin: “Maybe they want a piece of Anthony. Maybe just a little bit, like just enough to scream Tony! in a wet dream. Are you scared?”

Anthony: “No I’m not scared of no damn faggots. You like Italian?”

Sin: “Who doesn’t?”

Anthony: “You want a little Italian in you?”

Sin: “No, I’ve had a little Italian before, I won’t settle for anything less than a big Italian.”

Woman: “Oh girl, ain’t that the truth. I like you, shit.”

Sin: “Hey, stallion you ever slip with your little dick, into the wrong hole and loved yourself some tight ass?”

Anthony: “Why, you like to take it in the ass. I’ll give it to you however you like it baby.”

Sin: “Fuckin, fudge packin, faggot.”

Woman: “Oh shit girl, I like you. Muthafucka does have a little dick.”

Anthony: “I do not.”

Woman: “Shut up. You know you got a little dick.”

Sin: “So, what do you have against gay men?”

Woman: “Girl, that shit ain’t natural.”

Anthony: “It sure ain’t natural.”

Sin: “Anthony, I was not even asking you. Not natural? You’re willing to give it to me, up the hershey highway. You got nothing to say about what’s natural, and what’s not. I’m talkin to my sista. Us women got to stick together, ain’t that right?”

Woman: “You know it girl. All men are pigs.”

Sin: “I don’t know about all of them, but Anthony here is well on his way to fittin the profile. I’m just fuckin with you man.”

Anthony: “I know. It’s alright. I like a strong women.”

Sin: “You’re going to love me in a minute. So, you think it’s unnatural. I don’t see how it’s unnatural if they enjoy it.”

Woman: “God says it ain’t right. That shit just totally goes against the bible, an I’m a reeeeligous woman. It’s not right.”

Sin: “Because it’s against the bible, it’s not right? Seriously?”

Woman: “Hell yeah, and all those muthafuckas need to get they ass whooped. They come down here acting all flamin and shit. Nobody wants to see that shit. Now, I know I shouldn’t be swearing but that is different.”

Sin: “I think they’re kinda cute. Look at them cute little boys.”

Anthony: “What you need is a real man.”

Sin: “What I need is a man who doesn’t wear his name on his shirt. And the way you got the lettering, it looks like the ‘choose life’ t-shirt that faggot, in Wham wears.”

Woman: “Girl, you are killin me!”

Sin: “So, are you married?”

Woman: “Hell no, I ain’t married. I ain’t never been, and I ain’t never gettin married.”

Sin: “So, this is your baby?”

Woman: “Yeah that’s my baby. I told you I was breastfeedin.”

Sin: “So, you had this baby outta wedlock? Isn’t that kinda against the bible?”

Woman: “Girl it is not unnatural. Some man stickin his dick in another mans ass is unnatural. It’s not right.”

Sin: “Forget it being unnatural, unless you can give me some other reason than the bible. It’s obvious you’re not a true believer. And Anthony ain’t got shit to say to me, he wants to stick his little pinky dick up my ass.”

Woman: “Oh girl, I love you. Anthony thinks he’s so big. He ain’t shit. Don’t say shit Anthony, you know you wrong.”

Sin: “Ok, back to this faggot thing. I think the bible says something about lettin whomever is without sin throw the stones? I see you got some sin. I’m just not all up on this prejudice thing.”

Woman: “That ain’t prejudice, it’s unnatural. You’re talkin racial shit, that’s what prejudice is.”

Sin: “No, prejudice is a preconceived idea someone has about someone else because of their hatred for others. How do you feel about lesbians? MIKE! GET OVER HERE AND TALK TO THIS PREJUDICE WOMAN!”

Woman: “What did you call that fag over here for? And don’t even get me started on lesbians. I ever meet one and I’ll kill the bitch.”

Sin: “You serious, you’d kill a lesbian if you met one?”

Woman: “Hell yeah, I’d snap the bitches neck.”

Sin: “Wow. Mike, how you doin baby?”

Anthony: “I knew it. You’re a dyke ain’t you? You sure, you and your girl don’t need a little Italian?”

Sin: “Anthony, please sweetness, shhhhhhhhh. Now back to you. You said you like me right?”

Woman: “Yeah, I know you got ears. I know you can hear. What are you gettin at?”

Sin: “Here’s what I’m gettin at…wait I need to get this straight, if you met a lesbian, you would snap her neck. You would kill the bitch?”

Woman: “Hell yeah, especially if she was tryin to get all up on my ass.”

Sin: “Alright, check this out bitch. I’m a mother fuckin lesbian. We about to throw, or what? I will fucking kill you. Getcha ass up, bitch. I’m gonna cut cha tongue out. You need to close your mouth, and ya got damn legs. Bitch, talkin bout other people got sin.”

Woman: “Oh hold on, whoa!”

Sin: “No, I am serious hoe. Get chore nasty ass up off that park bench.”

Woman: “Oh, you want to fight in front of my baby?”

Sin: “Your baby sleeps through a group of screamin fags, and mother fuckin tornados. Shit, I’m about to throw a mother fuckin tornado up on your ass. See, I’ll get away with it to, you said you’d kill a lesbian. I’m a fuckin lesbian. Anthony you got my back stud? Don’t let this bitch treat you like you’re a little boy, my man.”

Anthony: “I got you. You get me later.”

Sin: “Whatever. See Anthony loves lesbians. He still wants to stick his pinky dick up in my ass. You got a problem with me bitch? Take care of that shit, snap my neck, see if you can get a hold of it.”

Woman: “Now hold on, you came up here actin all straight.”

Sin: “I didn’t come up here actin any certain way, that’s exactly how I always act. So, if I act straight I’m alright with you? So, it’s really cause there’s a couple boys over there in dresses you got a problem. Actin straight, shit I’m just being myself.”

Woman: “You’re alright. You’re not all crazy butch and tryin to get all up in this. I like you. I guess what I really meant with the lesbians is if one of them’s hittin on me I’d kill her.”

Sin: “So, it’s ok that I eat pussy, and I want to get all up in yours as long as I’m not butch, and I don’t come on to you? Or you gonna kill me cause I think you’re fine?”

Woman: “Listen, if you’s tryin to prove a point you proved it a-right.”

Sin: “Did I prove it? This is my friend, my closest friend Mike. He’s gay, and doesn’t deserve to be abused for being himself, and neither does the queen over there who needs a shave. All people…you could potentially like, if your mind were not closed, which is exactly where it would have been for me had you known I was into women when I walked up here.”

Woman: “You proved your point. Watch. Hey Mike, wanna sit down?”

Anthony: “Oh god, now we got to sit next to um?”

Sin: “Anthony, you’re killin me.”

Anthony: “I’m just kidding. I knew you were a dyke the minute you sat down. I don’t give a damn.”

Mute Man: “I knew too. You’re alright by me too.”

Sin: “Ha! The mute man talks, for that my man you get a kiss.”

Anthony: “Hey what about Anthony baby?”

Sin: “On the cheek dear, that is it.”

Anthony: “Alright, but about my shirt, you really think it’s fagish?”

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