Tagged: short story

Nobody Loves Everybody Loves Raymond

Hello. My favorite show in the whole wide world is on. Again. Another re-run. I love re-runs. I’m being facetious of course when I say that it’s my favorite. And right now I’m close, very close, to gaining the ultimate satisfaction trip after I rip the TV out of the fucking wall and throw it through somebody’s car window.

It will be like that scene from Office Space when they beat up the fax machine with baseball bats in a field, only this scene will feature an Adidas shoe, and maybe a rock, and a TV, and I just want to see Ray Barone’s digital face behind a piece of shattered glass for once.  Do they make TV screens out of glass?  Or plastic?  I don’t care.

Whatever they use, it better sound cool when I break it.

There’s no way people watch shittiness of this magnitude. This…show…should be aired on TV’s in terrorist detention camp cells. You know what?  Speaking of, I’d rather get waterboarded with chocolate milk than have to sit here and listen to this whiny d-bag and his bitchy wife argue about sex.

Wait, did I see this episode? The one where Ray and what’s-her-face are arguing about sex?

Bitchy Wife: No Ray. Not tonight. I’m tired.

Raymond: But you’re always tired!

Bitchy Wife: Oh stop whining, Ray.

*Laugh Track*

Raymond: But there was that one time when I did that favor.  For you! Remember that favor?

*Laugh Track*

Bitchy Wife: Ray, putting the toilet seat down isn’t a favor.

*Laugh Track*

Raymond: Yeah, yeaaaahh. Remember that time? When I did that? I did that for yooou. Yeah, see?

*Laugh Track*

Another great episode, darling.

Another great episode, darling.

Somebody should bring that show back long enough to fire the writers.

bigfoot siting copy

And here’s a picture of Baronefoot.

You have 40 seconds to live, Toshiba.

Cigarette Tourette’s

I am a smoker.  And, if there were enough hours in the day I’d probably smoke a carton.  I’d smoke four at a time – lighting fresh ones with butts – blowing smoke rings out of my nose.  I’d blow it in the faces of innocent bystanders where am I going with this? Ok, I don’t like smoking that much.  But I still like the shit out of it.

Hey lookie there you're doing it right.

Hey lookie there you’re doing it right.

Despite how much I like smoking, it was probably the stupidest thing I ever did. 

I quit one time, and the first week was on par with heroine or methadone withdrawal. I bit one of my fingers off.  There were shredded napkins everywhere.  My eyeball fell out.  I might have thrown up blood at some point.  But other than that, things went pretty well.

You don’t really realize how engrained it is in your routine until you stop doing it, and after that, you get the crabby panty syndrome, or what I call, ‘Cigarettes Tourette’s’.  

It goes something like this:

*pacing*

CH:  I don’t know what to do with my FUCK hand I need to smoke something SHIT and this straw is not working LLAMA not DICK working at all and this gum FUCK sucks and it tastes like rubber and SHIT chalk I can’t see straight and the lights are FUCK dimming.

And that’s why I quit the first time. Because somebody said to me somewhere once that this is a healthier alternative to smoking.  I felt fine before I quit, and then that.  Peer pressure.  Again.  

That’s without a doubt the worst part about being a smoker – having to listen to some obese man with a cholesterol problem lecture me on the reasons why I should quit smoking while he is chewing on a rib bone.  Duly noted, sir.  And now please wipe the sodium-rich barbecue sauce off your face because it’s making me look at it. 

This STRAW.  SUCKS.

This STRAW. SUCKS.

But all these ads with smoking fetuses, and some girl with cigarette butts on her tongue, and voice box guy – it’s all too much.  SHUT UP I’m trying to concentrate on smoking.  I get it.  We all get it.  I’m waving the white flag indicating that you’re right.  You win.  Smoking is bad. 

So here I am now, staring at a box of Chantix and wondering what the shelf life is on this drug is.  It’s an ugly box.  A stupid box.  I’m not sure when I’m going to eat them.  I not sure I want to eat them.  If I eat them it’s going to be like that scene in Titanic at the end when Jack is sinking to the bottom of the Atlantic:

Cigarettes, come back.  

Come back, pack.

Pack, come FUCK back…

**Bonus Contest Alert **Bonus Contest Alert**Bonus Contest Alert**

If you guess correctly what kind of cigarettes I smoke, I’ll make you a free banner or some badges for your Facebook/Twitter pages.  But one guess only, cheaters!

And don’t stop smoking, because quitting is bad for you.

\m/

The Blog Hop Starts Here!!!

In case you missed the Blog Hop backstory, you can read about it HERE.

The goal was to demonstrate that an episode of either Anxiety or Depression can in fact have an application:  awesome, and sometimes downright hilarious fiction.  Why not laugh at the quirks?  Sitting around and crying into a bowl of chicken noodle soup never did shit for me personally.  Everybody on the tour has had some kind of experience with either, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we also know how to write some kick ass fiction.  Screw the label.  Screw the stigma.  At the source of it all is an active imagination, and a fabulous fictional tale awaits.

There are twelve writers ahead of me today, with each of them featuring the next part of this highly outlandish tale, and each post is around 200 words. Here’s a double shot of humor to go along with your morning espresso.

*kicks door down Chuck Norris-style*

Set.  GO!

The Most Outlandish Tale About Anxiety and Depression Ever Told

So anyways, I was meandering around the mall the other day, bags in hand, when I accidentally ran into this little elderly lady with white hair.  We literally ran into each other.  Clumsy me.  We were both very apologetic toward each other after the bump-in however, and immediately went our separate ways.

A short while later, I accidentally bumped into the same elderly woman while in a different outlet store, only this time I was in a hurry, so I ran into her pretty hard – like, she was on one leg at some point and almost kicked me in the face as she was tipping backwards.  The woman was less apologetic this time as she adjusted her knee-highs, but managed to eek out a half-grin before we again parted company.

I was starting to grow a little bit paranoid at this point, hoping that I wouldn’t accidentally run into her again.  I started thinking about all these crazy what-if scenarios, and my head turned into a washing machine of bad thoughts…

What if she had a contagious skin infection?  Maybe I should find a bathroom and scrub my arm?  What if we keep bumping into each other for a reason?  What’s the reason?  Maybe she’s my soulmate? WHAT IF SHE WORKS FOR THE MOB AND SHE’S GONNA FUCKING KILL ME IF I BUMP INTO HER AGAIN?!

I had to get out, and quickly.

My fragile existence was now at stake and…

…THAT LEG WAS PRETTY HAIRY TOO NOW THAT I THINK ABOUT IT!

I dashed out the mall entrance door and threw my bags in a nearby bush…

Continue the story by clicking here

Blog Hop: The Most Outlandish Anxiety Tale Ever Told

Have you ever had one of those moments where suddenly, out of nowhere, you felt really nervous for absolutely no reason?  Maybe, like, you’re standing in line at the grocery store, staring at someone’s bananas on the conveyor belt…

…and then you begin creating this catastrophic what-if scenario in your head in which you all of the sudden FREAK OUT and hold up the register with a banana under your shirt, which leads to some kind of hostage situation, which leads to police helicopters and news reporters and swat teams, which leads to your mugshot being flashed on CNN headline news everywhere, which leads to getting hit in the head with one of those bean bag guns, which leads to you going to prison, which leads to having to share a cot with some guy named Dimples who likes to cuddle, which leads to a terrifying stroll down the death row corridor with a potato sack over your head, which leads to being strapped into the electric chair…

…and then the very polite girl at the register timidly says, “your total is $4.99”, sir, and you’re all like,

“PLEASE DON’T SEND ME TO PRISON IT’S JUST A BANANA LOOK!”

And then everybody looks at you with weird looks on their faces, and probably thinking to themselves that that’s exactly where you belong…

I will...smash...this...or something...in your face if you don't give me money.

I will…smash…this…or something…in your face if you don’t give me money.

That’s called Anxiety. I do that sometimes.  Well, sorta..

But it got me to thinking (irony) about how much anxiety (and depression) have helped me write stories. After all, that’s basically what anxiety is, right?  I guess it’s all in how you look at it.  Are you a “poor, helpless anxiety sufferer”?  Or, do you have the gift of being a fucking great fiction writer?  When you think about it, having a freak out episode, or an anxiety or panic attack, or a grey matter meltdown, or whatever you wanna call it, is nothing but a series of creatively fabricated events that never happen. It’s fiction.  A lot of the time, it’s really good fiction.

So I thought it would be a cool idea to celebrate our varying degrees of mainstream neuroticism by kicking of a BLOG HOP starting HERE this Thursday.  Anxiety deserves a laugh, and for that matter, Depression does too.  Rather than sit around and cry about it, why not recognize these things as gifts?  They are weird gifts, yes: “Gee, thanks for this, um, gift stuff…”

The point I’m trying to make is this: Apply it to Something.  Many already do, and just don’t recognize it.  Maybe you’ll learn to recognize it beginning today?

The blog-hopping story – similar to the one told at the intro to this post – will mozy on down a long trail of other crazy people – all with the ability to produce great anxiety-inspired fiction.  If it works (it’s already working), you’ll get a chance to read a really funny, highly outlandish story, collectively told in very small parts by a lot of really talented writers.  You’ll get to visit all off your buds, click the like button, fart, and move on to the next blog in no time flat.

Sound like fun? It will be!

Want to join?  You should!

Sign on the dotted line in the comment section!

Oh, and Psst!  Ericka Clay is playing along at some point along the story path, so you know it’s gonna be 2 legit to quit.  Nothing like a good old fashioned name drop.

Salute \m/

 

Stepping in a Huge Pile of ‘Should’

Good Sunday Morning.  I should probably be in Church right now absolving my sins, but I have to clean and stuff.

See what I did there?

You probably missed the keyword in the second sentence unless you were looking/listening for it.  This is already starting to feel like a grammar lesson…

*Grabs pointing device and slaps chalkboard with it*

The word I’m talking about is should.

Or, if you’d like me to make it sound a little more intense, I can add a broken German accent to it:

*Grabs pointing device and slaps chalkboard with it while speaking in a broken German accent*

Ah!  Zis vurd vright he-are!  Dus is eine vurd, “Shood”

"Zees right he-are is eine very important lesson too"

“Zees right he-are is eine very important lesson too”

It’s such a shitty word – a shouldy word – and whether it’s spoken with a broken accent, or fluent English, it’s a bad word.  It’s worse than fuck, shit, bastard, moist, or snow, and that’s because it has guilt smeared all over it like cream cheese on a bagel.

When you break it down, it seems like should  implies that you’re not doing something that you’re supposed to be doing, or that you’re doing something that doesn’t meet another person’s standards, or that if you don’t do something, you’ll miss out on something great.

It’s like a really subtle form of controlling somebody via the guilt trip, or a take-away of personal power.  It’s one of those trigger words that PISSES me off whenever I hear it, and yet, I’m aware that I also use it too. Break it down, and it’s like being conditionally accepting of somebody else’s current state of nirvana.

I have a folder full of preachy-sounding articles sitting on my desktop right now, and none of them will ever see the light of day because I’m not qualified to be handing out ‘life advice’.  I have my own pile of dirty dishes to attend to.  But I thought this might be an interesting conversational piece, and I’m curious if it has the same effect on you.

How big is the should pile in your life?

Talk to me.

Life in the Express Lane

I’m a painter by trade, so that’s what I’m busy doing when I’m not pretending to be a writer or a graphic artist.  I’m not gonna front and say that it’s my dream job, but that definitely doesn’t mean that I don’t like doing it either.  Plus, and I don’t wanna toot my own horn, but ok yes I do, I’m pretty good at what I do. 

This is a picture of us working at the market.  Circa 2014

This is a picture of us working at the market. Circa 2014

There are a lot of perks, like, for instance, I don’t have to work inside of an office tackle box like 95% of the country; I get to work in a lot of different locations on a variety of different projects; I get weekly gratification because of the quick turn around on most of our projects; and I don’t have to wear Khaki’s and a Polo and listen to some passive aggressive guy named Greg tell me about his kid’s tap dance recital by the water cooler every day.

One of the coolest ongoing projects that I have the pleasure of working on is a ginormous upscale shopping market in an uber hipster region of the metro-Detroit area.

It’s a night shift-only project, which is awesome for the first couple hours of the first couple of nights.  It seems like every time I walk in there to do a job that Frankie Valli song from the movie, Grease, is playing on the overhead speakers.  I think they do that on purpose, and I always feel like I’m in the climax scene of a really cool movie about painters or something.

*Slow Motion Entrance*

However, by hour four of every shift, and about 150 doo-op songs later, I want to swan-dive off the roof head-first.

Hey, Pop Trivia Time:

What is the most frequently asked question that I get asked as a painter while working at the market?

*Jeopardy Theme*

Answer:  Daily Double.

The most frequently asked question that I get as a painter while working at the market:

“Painting, eh?”

The world is chalk full (<–blatant grammatical error) of observant people, and I tip my cap to all of you eagle-eyed lookie-lou’s.

But anyways, this store is huge.  If I had to conservatively guess, there are probably about 40,000 employees working there because I’ve never seen the same person twice.  There’s like an employee-making portal or something somewhere in the store that these people come out of before they promptly begin stocking shelves and crushing bulk pineapple slice boxes.

One person who I know for sure works there on a regular basis is Matt; a highly attentive, very slow-talking, Asian night shift dude.

"Yeah, any one of those will work, Matt"

“Yeah, any one of those will work, Matt”

Matt is a cool guy, but our conversations are full of too much information and they take a lot of time to complete.  Matt gave us access to the intercom system the first night, so that if we ever need him for any reason, like, to move somebody’s coat or something, we could send out a page and bring him to the break room area where he will promptly move the coat for us.

As you might have already guessed, we’re abusing this privilege:

“Matt to the break room; we have a thermostat question.  Not sure if 68 degrees is the preferred temperature in here or not.

“Matt to the break room;  we’re gonna need some imported beer up here pretty soon.  If that’s cool with you.”

“Matt to the break room; we ran out of coffee.”

“Matt to the break room; we’re gonna need some help finding a spatula.”

Tonight is the third night of the project.  My eyes are scratchy right now.  I feel like hammered shit.  I’m over-caffeinated.  I’m listening to my neighbor talk about her appointment with her podiatrist this afternoon on the front porch.  I’m crazy-laughing.

But that’s life in the Express Lane.  Cue the Frankie Valli.

*Puts on Shades*

*Pages Matt*

Salute \m/

Of Me

Nicole Marie

Click the image to zoom
*a normal text format can be viewed at the bottom of the page for easier reading
nicole marie - Final
 
This poem was a hard one for me, but so very, very easy to write.
I have questioned my own size and shape since I was thirteen years old. After a school nurse was disappointed with my weigh-in, I went home and buried my face in my mother’s chest and wondered what I was “supposed” to look like. Too short, too tall, too thin, too wide. I drink and I eat sweets, but not a moment goes by without me questioning my shape and my own self worth along with it; these thoughts are a plague to those struggling with self esteem issues, from the time they climb out of bed to the moment they undress at night. And while each day is a struggle, I have managed to find small pockets of peace within myself. We are all different, and we are all beautiful in our own way. Who wants to look like everyone else? What a boring world we would be living in. I try daily to remind myself of all the other things I like about me.To all those others sailing along in my boat: take a deep breath, throw your shoulders back, and make the mirror your new best friend. After all, confidence is sexy.A huge THANK YOU to Adam of Chowderhead for allowing me to cover something I am so very passionate about, on his amazing blog!
xoxo, NM
 
 
 
Text format

bruised

such rough patchwork

on such a young thing,

no glass smooth flesh

just marble valleys

on a pale pink landscape.

those smiling lines on her back

aren’t the wings of a butterfly,

those glowing highways

on her thighs

don’t twist with assurance.

b&wme

a real life caricature

all lowered brow, all rising forehead,

the living reflection

of a fun house mirror

she looks away as she dresses.

cemented tongueless

in a wavering cave

the elements get in easily here,

she hides her breath

until the flooding stops.

nothing matters

when the roadway

is littered with flaws,

she only trips

over the rubble.

all is wrapped in silence

when she wakes,

eyes shut tight

no shedding litters

the bedroom floor.

how can she grow

when her sight

is a fogged mirror,

when words fall so hard

from a slapping screen door?

that soft skin,

gathered like wrinkled blankets

beneath each arm,

it is not a sign of prosperity,

she does not raise her chin.

anatomy

no other is in want

of a hard bruised shook up

stretch of pale and bone

holding some view of the world

in her wide-knuckled grasp.

i am, she says,

a well-wrapped box

of weeds and good intentions,

worn at the seams,

no card attached.

but she will never learn

the weight of her own gravity,

she will never see

the blue of the sky

if she never raises her eyes to it.

b&wwedding

*****

I admire the sheer, brutal honesty in this piece.  I didn’t ask for anything specific when I originally contacted Nicole Marie, she just did what she does.  I was taken aback, and thought it was a beautifully written, and really great piece of reflective poetry – all of it with a glimmer of hope at the end.  I’m glad to have had the opportunity to be a mediator.  Thanks for your contribution, NM.  \m/

*****

For more Nicole Marie, click the banner below

Words and Other Things

Guest Speaker: Jeff, Content Unrelated

First and foreskin, I want to thank Adam for trusting his blog-space with my words. I’m happier than a stoner at a Funyun factory to be here, and I hope I can do Chowderhead some justice. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or death threats, Adam’s got my email address.  Please contact him if you want to direct any hate mail my way.

– Jeff, Content Unrelated

Jeff

 Jeff Jeff Jeff Jeff           

Conversations with Dogs  

“I wish you could talk, Fido.”

You hear it all the time in the movies. Some stupid little kid crying in his room because he got his ass kicked at school for being a stupid little kid, and his trusty dog is always there to tongue away his stupid little tears.

“If you could talk, you’d know what to say.  You know what to do!”

You think so, kid?

You really think Fido would know exactly what to say to make you feel better?  I mean, dogs are smart, don’t get me wrong.  I’m a dog-person.  I have two.  But I would never want my four-legged assholes to talk back.

They’ve Seen Too Much.

Plus, they wouldn’t really be able to go to school so it would be like talking to a 5-year-old.  They’d have a grasp on basic words and what things are, but it’s not like you could sit there and discuss your theories about LOST or do calculus together.

“I wish you could talk, Fido.”

Fuck that.

Just for kicks though, I wondered what it would be like if my dogs could actually have conversations with me:

Morning:  7 a.m.

Dog:  Hey.  Hey.  Wake up.

Me: Wh-what time is it?

Dog: It’s time for me to eat, human!

Me: Can you give me 15 minutes?

Dog: Sure, human! I will give you 15 minutes!

TWO MINUTES LATER…

Dog: Hey. HEY! Time to eat!  Eat eat eat!

Me: I said 15 minutes.

Dog: Stupid human! I have no concept of time!  Let’s go!

Me: *gets out of bed*

Dog: YAY!  Food food food food food food food.

Coming Home:

“After coming home from a long work day, all I want to do is enjoy some quiet, pants-less beer time. I have responsibilities, though. I knew what I signed up for, but goddamn, you guys…”

Me: *keys jingle while I unlock the door*

Dog: ATTENTION EVERYONE IN THE ENTIRE APARTMENT BUILDING!  SOMEONE IS AT MY FRONT DOOR.  I WILL CONTINUE TO KEEP YOU INFORMED UNTIL THEY GO AWAY.  BE ADVISED.

Me: All right, all right!  I’m here!  I’m home!  You can relax now…

Dog: Relax?  Relax?!  You were gone forever!  I thought you were never ever ever going to come back!  I almost starved to death!  NEVER LEAVE ME AGAIN.

Me: Okay, you ready to eat, boy?

Dog: I’m good for now, but thanks!

Me: But I thought you said you were starv–

Dog: I pooped over there, in the corner, and I just ate some of it.

Me:  WHAT THE FUCK.

Me: *grabs a paper towel*

Dog: No!  I’m saving that for later!

Flying Solo – Door Closed:

“If there’s one thing dogs do really well, it’s interrupting sexytimes, whether it be while flying a solo mission, or spending time with the lady friend.  If I don’t find an adequate distraction for the dogs when it’s business time, my testicles turn from a nice, fleshy white to a color that would qualify them as the fourth and fifth members of the Blue Man Group.”

Me: *click … click … click … play … unzip*

Dog: *scratch*

Dog: Human?  Human, are you in there?

Me: *tug … tug*

Dog: *bangs door*

Dog: HEY WHERE DID YOU GO? ARE YOU IN THERE?  COME OUT I MISS YOU!

Me: *blueballed*

Flying Solo – Door Open:

Me: *click … click … click … play … unzip*

Dog: *enters room … makes eye contact*

Dog: Hey!

Me: GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!

Dog: Okay!

Dog: *comes right back into the room*

Dog: Hey!

Me: *blueballed*

Sexytimes – Door Closed:

* Same rules apply as FLYING SOLO (DOOR CLOSED), except minus one porn video and plus one actual woman.

Sexytimes – Door Open:

Me and her: *things start getting hot and heavy*

Dog: *realizes humans aren’t within sight*

Coitus Interruptus.

Coitus Interruptus.

Dog: Humans?  Where did you guys go?

Me and her: *blocking out distractions*

Dog: *enters room … immediately jumps on the bed*

Dog: OOH! Are you wrestling!  I love wrestling!  Can I play?  I wanna play!  Let’s play!

Me and her: *continuing to block distractions*

Dog: Something smells different!  Like dog-butt but not from a dog!  Is that you, human?

Me: What are you even talking abo—

Dog: *presses cold, wet nose directly into my asscrack

Me: OH MY GOD GET YOUR NOSE OUT OF MY ASS.

Dog: Sorry, human! I couldn’t resist! It smelled so good!

Me: *blueballed*

Dogs don’t just ruin private sexytimes. I can’t even take a shit without a furry, four-legged partner.

TAKING A SHIT:

Me: *sits on toilet*

Dog: *enters bathroom*

Me: Think I could have a couple minutes?

So... you gonna eat that?

So… you gonna eat that?

Dog: Sure! What are you doing?

Me: I’m … I’m pooping. Go.

Dog: Oh, sweet! I love pooping! How about since you watch me poop when we go outside, you let me watch you poop in here! Deal?

Me: Just … just give me like, two minutes. Please.

Dog: Are you sure I can’t watch?

Me: …

Dog: …

Me: …

Dog: …

Me: *plop*

Dog: *makes eye contact*

Dog: I’m going to watch.

*****

“I wish you could talk, Fido.”

Fuck you and your asshole dog, kid.  There’s a reason dogs can’t talk.  They say enough with their barking and tail-wagging and interrupting of Sexytimes…

****

Click the banner below for more of Jeff.

Content Unrelated

The Sleep Deprivation Challenge Ends

Sleep Trial Photo 3

Photo taken mid-trial

I’m sad to announce that The Official Sleep Deprivation Challenge is now officially over.  Put down your Pom-poms and exit the bleachers in a single file line.  [Insert distraught emoticon face.]

At approximately the 120 hour mark of the competition, I face planted into a bowl of macaroni salad and woke up six days later to a beard, dozens of misc. stains on the upholstery, a roof full of mortar shell debris, a bathtub full of jelly beans (?), and a fucking cat that apparently lives here now (cat story coming soon).

My brain shut down after Day 2 of the challenge, making it difficult to write anything down other than “dur…”  But, by the power of Zues, I somehow managed to keep a daily log.

Here are a few entries from the remainder of the challenge:  Continue reading

Sleep Deprivation Olympic Challenge: Day 2 Results

**Part One and Two can be found here:  Chowderhead’s Official Sleep Deprivation Olympic Challenge. and here:   Sleep Deprivation Olympic Challenge: Day 1 Results

 It’s only the second day of the competition and I’m already unraveling at the seams.  As of right now, I’m starting to feel like a hammer-smashed pile of overcooked broccoli.

Day 2 Recap:  Fear and Loathing at the Local Laundromat

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is where I had my tooth extracted, but to the left a little bit by the counter.

I spent the first few early morning hours at some dirty laundromat around the corner, glazed over, watching a pack of wild goobers meticulously folding their yellowed whites.

At one point, the Chowderhead at the front counter started to get lippy with me after I expressed my concerns over the excessive lint piles that, in my opinion, should be periodically swept from the folding tables.

I made a very dry remark about her missing front tooth after she refused to acknowledge my request, and the next thing I recall was a sort of white flash – like a computer rebooting – and myself on all fours, on the floor, staring at the tooth that had been forcefully removed from my head.

Luckily, for the sake of this experiment, I didn’t completely blackout. Continue reading