Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hash Browns

My name is Frank Fanta. I'm a private investigator and I notice things.
I was having coffee in Dunkin', reading how the Jets got slammed again. I put the paper down and check out the guy to my right, who has spread his hash browns across a napkin. I counted twelve before he began wolfing them down.
A moment later, a young girl with that peppy expression I hate sits down with her hash browns looking concerned. I could see her hash brown pouch wasn't full. She went back to the counter and asked if she could have several more. The counter guy, stocky, swarthy, bulbous nose, barked out a no. There was no compromise in his face. Hands on hips, he was ready to stare her down. You got what you ordered, lady, he said.
She turned away defeated. I don't like guys who bark at girls, so I got up slowly and walked over.
"That guy over there got twelve hash browns," I whispered hoarsely. "I believe you owe this young lady some food."
I gave him my steely glare.
"This is none of your business, buddy," he said.
"I'm making it my business."
I touch my jacket. He saw the bulge. Yeah, I was packing.
Frank Fanta, P.I., I growled, flashing my ID.
The punk flinched and skulked over to the oven for a new pack of browns. I handed it to the grateful girl with a slight nod and returned to my seat.
Then the dame entered the picture.
She must have been hanging in the corner out of my sight. If liquid could move it would look like this. Tall and leggy, with a Veronica Lake  hair sweep, eyes that seethed trouble and announced this was one lake that needed to be drained and I was dying to be her sump pump.
"I heard you say you're a private eye, Mr. Fanta. I may have a job for you. I believe my husband is cheating on me."
I leaned back and gobbled her up with my eyes, trying not to twitch.
"Sit down. We can talk here, Mrs..."
"Webster. As in the dictionary."
"Can I get you some hash browns?" It wasn't a question.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Out for Drinks

I don't go out for drinks. I don't drink, period. The phrase connotes more than it states. The subtext is a scenario where people loosen up and reveal secrets, fears, anger.
If it involves co-workers all sorts of problems occur. One may get tipsy and spout harsh words about the boss. Hit on someone who winds up suing for harassment. Make racist, sexist or homophobic remarks one doesn't even remember, except it was recorded on someone's phone.
No, I steer clear of that stuff. On the few occasions I find myself in a bar I order a seltzer or diet soda and get a look from the bartender like why are you taking up a stool, fool?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Train

Noel woke suddenly, confused. It was light out. The landscape outside his train window was unfamiliar. He had boarded the crowded car the previous night heading home from work. Now there was just him and a boy about ten, sniffling and scared, seated three seats in front.
He tried calling his boss, who would be furious if he were late, but his cell battery was dead.
He walked to the boy and attempted to calm him. What was happening? Where did everyone go?
Suddenly the train stopped and the door slid open. He took the boy's hand and led him down the three steps to the grassy ground. All around them were trees and bushes. As soon as they hit the earth, the door closed and the train resumed its journey. No one else had gotten off.
Where are we? the boy asked. There was a rustling in the bushes. Osana Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein appeared and suddenly it all made sense.
Noel wondered who was on the next train.
Anybody here play cards? Saddam asked.
Who's the babe? Osana asked.
Noel flinched. Leona Helmsley sauntered out of the trees.
Anybody got any wine, she asked gruffly. I haven't had a drink in ages.

Apple Crunching

Women love watching me bite into an apple, any apple. I take big, manly bites, my masculine jaw ripping powerfully through the fruit. I have smoldering Antonio Banderas eyes and I glower right through the chewing process. I can see ladies squirming, gasping, touching their arms and shoulders, sweating around me, even strangers.
When I reach the core, some moan.
Sometimes they overpower me, rip off my clothes and drip saliva upon my massive pecs. By passers can only stare in wonder. If it happens in a restuarant all hell breaks loose.
The same occurs when I bite into any piece of fruit, but only celery brings a similar strong reaction. What can I say? Women are different than men.

Pez Addiction

Maury was addicted to Pez, going through a dozen dispensers a day. His apartment was littered with used dispensers. Perhaps it was caused by a college experiment where researchers made he eat 5000 Good 'N Plenty candies to analyze their effect. Desperate to get off them, he met a shady guy in an alley who sold him his first Pez, with the promise they would wean him off the other stuff.
Maury unfortunately developed a phobia of the various designs on the head of the dispenser, which one pressed to get the candy. Especially the Ronald Reagan one.
Soon he was offering sex for Pez.
Pez smell emanated from his clothes and his dinner parties consisting of Pez appetizer, entree, dessert and soluble Pez juice to wash it down, failed badly. He lost all his friends and social status. Longing for normalcy, he ordered pizza, but, alas, couldn't help but topping it with Pez tablets.
There is no happy ending to this story. He was found behind a Waldbaum's dumpster, empty Pez dispensers under his lifeless body.


There was a knock on the door, interrupting Mrs. Claus's baking. When she opened it she found Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer accompanied by a dapper man holding a briefcase.
My name is Ari Goldstein from Finley & Goldstein theatrical agency. I represent Rudolf. We would like to give Santa first option on signing my client to a multi-year deal. Afterall, he did save Christmas.
But he's just one of many reindder, she protested.
Oh contra ire. Rudolf is now a brand that can upgrade your entire operation..
She shook her head. Santa is upstairs sleeping. I can't make decisions without him. Come inside and have some cookies.
Certainly, but I believe at the moment Rudy has to relieve himself.
Oh my. Will he make a mess?
Maybe. But look at the up side. Frozen Rudy crap will explode the Internet. That is but a small example of what you are  sitting on. This reindeer is gold. Got any oatmeal raisin?

The Space Between

The space between my cogent thoughts grows wider, as does that between my complete sentences. My breathing also has longer spaces between it. I sense my lungs are losing interest keeping me alive. Thankfully the space between bowel movements has remained constant. Rather than wondering about the space between the stars, I consider the space between cantaloupe sales at the market.
If the space between me and another writer is too small I just may steal his characters.
Why is there papers in the space between cheese slices?
How much space between goldfish should there be in that bowl?
What about crowded hay rides? How much straw should each contain?
See? My thoughts devolve into fragments of nonsense. Luckily most of my friends are too self involved to notice.