Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Bookstore

I'm in this bookstore a lot. I'm a writer, so I notice everything and what I see is this: one or two clerks manning the register, another at the coffee stand--and no one else on the floor.
But there is a door in the back and young employees are constantly coming out and going back in. They are flushed and in a hurry, looking serious. I hesitate to stop them, even to ask a book question.
This has been going on for months since the store opened.
I do not believe this is a real bookstore. I think it is a front for something very sinister. What makes it more curious is all these young people look so clean cut and innocent.
There are a number of possibilities. Sex orgies. Maybe, not likely. Not disheveled enough. A secret police spying headquarters. I can see that. A group of hackers focused on destroying Barnes and Noble. No, B&N is going down by its own self.
Some sort of smuggling operation. Priceless bookmarks? Fountain pens? Magnets?
I sense some of these people are trained killers despite their preppy appearance.
I should find another store, but their coffee is so good.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Book Club Night

It was Alice's turn to choose a book for our monthly meeting and she picked a biography of Bob Fosse. Her instructions came soon after. You simply cannot read about this man without paying tribute to his work. Even the four men had to participate.
The month passed too quickly for the guys. Roy, Ted and Al dreaded the meeting. Joe, however, seemed too excited. The other fellows looked very uncomfortable in their heels and black mesh stockings. Not Joe.
Alice put on a CD--All That Jazz. They began performing the Fosse moves, sensual and sizzling. Lack of flexibility limited the leg kicks, but the quick turns and posturing were exquisite.
They applauded themselves and sat for coffee and light refreshments. Roy chose the next book. It was an account of The Battle of the Bulge from WWII. I hope we don't have to wear uniforms, Alice joked.
Meanwhile, Joe, sitting in the corner, excited by the feel of mesh stockings, was exhibiting his own Battle of the Bulge.

A Madman

Joe was a madman convinced Death was upon him. I tried convincing him this was nonsense. He looked like a Greek god. His behavior became more unhinged. Plus he was lonely. If he saw an attractive crossing guard he began foaming at the mouth.
I finally took him to my favorite cafe and pointed to a group of writers seated in the corner. They were reading from laptops and notebooks. Joe heard them and became wide eyed. You see, I said, you are not mad. Madness is in that corner. Listen to that nonsense.
Joe beamed with joy. As we left, we passed the table full of madness. They were still reading gibberish. Only the guy in the Mets cap looked remotely sane. We exchanged smiles. He knew he was surrounded by madness. But they served good coffee.

Michelangelo's Biggest Complaints

His wife kept interrupting with local gossip while he was painting the Sistine chapel.
He had to pee way too often.
Some clergy wanted Satan included.
Stain glass window light hurt his eyes.
The paint by numbers kit he began with was insufficient.
Come spring, contractors were refurbishing the entire place in stucco.
His agent had lost a bundle of his earnings investing in a Mother of Jesus clothing line.
They didn't tell him the damn ceiling was curved.
He could never draw hands and feet.
The Pope wanted his likeness in there somewhere, minus the belly fat.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Seven Silly Squirrels

This was a writing prompt that stumped me. Then I wondered what Steven King would do with it.

The squirrels could be a metaphor for seven evil children who terrorize a town in Maine.
Keep them as animals, rabid and voracious.
The town sociopath murdered squirrels as a child and now they return in ghost form.
Make them a metaphor for seven evil councilmen behind a series of disappearances.
Or a cabal of seven crazy DPW workers who kidnap people and torture them in the DPW shed where an evil surgeon experiments on them.
The squirrels are very large and eat small pets.
They surround a house where the parents are gone and trap three kids inside by chewing the phone wires.

Nah. Nothing silly in any of that.
But since Nov. in this country the concept of silly has lost all meaning.

Refrigerator Cleanout

She went all Skull Island on my fridge.
"How can you live like this? Open plates and cans. Containers with who knows what. Your vegetable bin looks like Dunkirk. Is that cheese? That brown thing-liverwurst? You cannot just leave hummus for months. I'm afraid to look in your freezer."
I stood there helpless. I thought I saw something move inside the hummus.
She went to work tossing out everything but the bread and butter.
I pity the garbageman.
This woman is a cleaning machine. I accept the humiliation because she is family and won't charge me a cent.

Saturday, March 11, 2017


Lisa's dad was upset. Phil's 17 year old daughter was leaving for school wearing a revealing blouse with low cleavage.
"Go back upstairs and change, young lady. I will not have you out in public looking like that."
"Get with the times, dad. Women make their own choices now. We have the freedom to dress how we wish. We make our own standards."
Phil sighed and fumed. He had raised a stubborn girl.
Lisa strapped on her backpack, grabbed her pogo stick and pogoed 16 blocks to school.
There were four car accidents involving male drivers that morning.
That night, over his objection, his wife led them into seeing Moonlight instead of Kong-Skull Island.
Her rationale was it won Best Picture. His excuse was lots of large beasts eating each other. Women just do not understand.