Old Guys At McDonald’s

Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.

Ted used to brag about dodging the draft. Talked about jerking off in front of the draft board. Showing up off his ass on LSD. Went up to Quebec. Joined the Hell’s Angels in Montreal. Fucked girls whether they liked it or not.

Ted hung around the McDonald’s, all day. I used to work the fry machine, while Habib did the counter and Chris made burgers. Chris used to laugh his ass off at Ted’s shit; talking about he and the guys from Ultimate Spinach used to get mad pussy.

I went to college.

After I left McDonald’s, I heard Chris moved to Texas and became a social worker. Habib’s family were pretty rich; he went to Georgetown and became an attorney.

After school, I moved to Chicago and worked in a recording studio. Met the guys in Second City. Met Chris Farley and Del Close. They were both very nice to me.

I came back for Thanksgiving, this year.

The flight got in way early in the morning. 6AM and I hadn’t eaten a thing.

What the fuck, I’d eat at the old McDonald’s on the way to my parents’ place.

Ted was there. 7AM and Ted was there. He had a long white beard, now. Sunglasses. Some kind of weird bush hat. Fatigues. Combat boots. He was griping to the dude across the table.

That dude was pushing 300 lbs, easy. Ted and he were going off the candy asses, these days, shooting each other in Ferguson when they couldn’t last a day in boot camp.

The fat guy kept referring to his time ‘special forces.’ Ted mentioned that he couldn’t join The Green Berets on account of his asthma.

I hate hippies.

Black Friday

Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.

My father was killed at Walmart, where he was trampled by a crowd while trying to secure a then-popular One Direction cardboard stand up.

My mother never completely recovered from the loss, and we began shopping at Target, soon thereafter.

Bloodthirsty Savages

Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.

“That was our first Thanksgiving without Grandpa. We would never again hear him discuss how The Native Americans (“Redskins,” as he called them) attempted to devour the pilgrims upon their arrival. We would look back fondly on his tales of how much better everything was when all the cops were Irish. How Italians couldn’t play golf properly due to some obscure genetic anomaly in their physical construction. How unions were the best thing to happen to this country until they started allowing certain people in;  it didn’t matter if they were employed by the same supermarkets or not. We would miss his claims of possession all sorts of scientific or esoteric knowledge: hidden Jewish law, the superiority of Firestone tires, why Portuguese people shouldn’t be allowed to vote or own guns. Mostly, we would miss when he would drunkenly attempt to administer an Indian burn on Little Paulie, who, by the time of Grandpa’s death, outweighed him by 80 pounds. The best was when Little Paula tried to force Grandpa to swallow Drano after a particularly lively discussion about the respective values of Honda and Ford cars.”

Buzzcocks

Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.

Once upon a time, there were different groups of Star Trek fans who lived within driving distance of one another in Rhode Island.

One group, slightly older, had produced their own episodes of Star Trek on public access cable television, back in the 1980s. They were eventually asked to stop doing this by legal entities. They changed the format of their show to a talk/discussion program.

Another group dressed up like characters from Star Trek and reenacted episodes in local parks. After a while, they got a bit more popular than anyone expected. Parents would bring their children by the softball field to watch the ‘episodes’ unfold. Eventually, a legal entity precluded their continuing with these performances. Instead, the groups modified the storylines, slightly, and continued as a comedic ‘Three Musketeers’ style ensemble that became even more popular.

Finally, another group would perform satirical skits that reflected the goings on in national politics. Their presentation of a drunken Romulan crash-landing a shuttle onto the surface of the planet Chappaquiddick drew fire from well-connected families. They were shut down, but resurfaced a few months later for ‘invite only’ events.

The members of the groups socialized infrequently with one another. Despite their obvious shared passions, they were uncomfortable around one another. Perhaps, they felt territorial. More likely, it was the raw emotion that encountering some example a withering or rare species would evince. Imagine seeing someone else, a stranger, born with your face.

They could agree, however, that Doctor Who fans (or Whovians) – low men on the sci-fi totem pole for so many years – had become kind of snooty.

Bad Day At CVS

Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.

The kid waited in line at CVS. The one in Cumberland, near the Honey Dew Donuts; the gas stations; the big white church. He didn’t like that CVS – the people who worked there were assholes; they never carried his favorite iced tea, to boot. It was simply a convenient stop near his aunt’s.

The kid waited in line at CVS. The woman at the counter was some sort of manager. She was late-middle-aged and angular. Dark hair and a face that looked like an ugly stack of triangles.

She was horrible. Notoriously so. On the rare occasions he had visited, he had witnessed her griping about the lack of intelligence of her coworkers. Once, he overheard her being required to apologize to an elderly woman for angrily snatching a prescription bottle out of the biddy’s hand.

Today, she was at the counter.

Two men were buying shampoo and a package of Ivory soap. They probably lived at the group home up the road. One was heavyset and unshaven, sporting an ancient Bruins baseball hat.

The other likely had cerebral palsy or Parkinson’s disease. He was unable to straighten his back, and seemed to have one functioning arm. He wore a long gray coat and his hair was pulled back into a ponytail. The kid wondered if he was an old biker.

When it came time to pay, the pony tail guy offered a credit card. He had to twist his body so that his shoulder was practically pressed against the cash register, an obviously painful process that evoked trying to pull a Goodyear tire out of shape. His hand shook slightly; after two tries, he slid the credit card through the electronic device.

Approved.

The pony tail guy inhaled powerfully, and dropped the credit card into the the bottomless pocket of his gray overcoat.  Using the same hand, he reached for the plastic pen to sign for his purchase. It took him two tries to securely grasp it.

“C’mon. C’mon. Just make a squiggle,” said the triangular faced woman.

The pony tail man moved his face close to the electronic credit card scanner, like he was cutting a diamond. He etched out his name, one letter, at a time. He breathed like he was swimming laps in a pool.

“Just make a squiggle,” said the triangular faced woman. “Let’s go.”

He finished. He left. Without waiting for his receipt. He walked out the sliding doors with his friend. Between the two of them, they were carrying a burden of tons.

The kid walked to the register. He looked at the triangular faced woman.

“When you die,” he said, “the people at the funeral home are going to complain that nobody showed up to your wake. They spent all that time, and nobody showed up. Twat.”

Observations At The Town Meeting

Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.

My grandfather would suggest that the town’s economic woes could be alleviated if we all simply returned owning slaves.

The panel at the town meeting would remind him that slavery, in addition to being morally reprehensible, was illegal.

My grandfather suggested that we return to slavery ‘on a state level,’ so as not to interfere with The Constitution.

My grandfather had created an unfeasible plan to ‘sneak up’ on the town’s minuscule African-American population. His scheme required deputizing The Litter Beaters, a group of high school aged seasonal workers who assisted the parks & recreation department in cleaning up local parks.

About a year after my grandfather’s passing, a local art student fabricated a papier-mâché and wire sculpture of then-popular comedian Bill Cosby knocking my mother’s father unconscious with a stiff jab to the chin.

The installation was displayed in the lobby of the community college. Perhaps due to the limitations of the medium, ‘Bill Cosby’ wound up resembling rotund character actor Victor Buono.

When I Snap My Fingers, You Will Be A Newt

Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.

The bulk of Mystico’s act consisted of him hypnotizing furniture, onstage.

“Now, this Niagra La-Z Time Reclining Chair costs almost a thousand dollars, and is considered one of the company’s top models! “

The stage went dark, save for a spotlight on the maroon chair.

“Can I get a volunteer from the audience?” intoned Mystico.

A young man with red hair, wearing a green satin jacket, walked up.

“Ah ha, young man, would you be so kind as to sit in this reclining chair?”

“Sure.”

The young man plopped himself into the chair and put his feet up.

The audience giggled.

“Would you describe this chair as… ‘comfy’” asked Mystico.

“Yeah. Very comfortable.” the young man answered.

“Thank you. You may return to your seat in the crowd.”

The young man shrugged his shoulders and walked away.

“Now,” announced Mystico, “watch this!”

Mystico waved his hands in the air.

“Reclining chair,” chanted Mystico, “you are now made of plywood.”

The audience gasped.

“May I get another volunteer from the audience?”

A young lady wearing a plaid skirt and a fluffy sweater inched onstage, hesitantly.

“Miss, you look lovely. Would you kindly sit in this chair, please?”

The young lady gently lowered herself into the recliner. She fidgeted about for a moment.

“Now, you you describe this chair as… comfy?”

“It’s ok. Not great. Kind of stiff.”

“Ah-ha!”

The audience burst into applause!