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Short Story: Opening Time #BlogShorts

Opening Time
by Tom B. Taker

Sleeping.
Awake.
Window.
Frosted.
Wipe.
Outside.
Snow!
Dash.
Downstairs.
Cookies.
Milk.
Gone!
Tree.
Lights.
Train.
Presents!
Dash.
Upstairs.
Parents.
Bedroom.
Jump.
Awake.
Dash.
Downstairs.
Wait.
Fidget.
Forever.
Finally!
Open!
Merry.

This post is part of the BlogShorts challenge. June 2011 – 30 stories – 30 words – 30 days.

Short Story: When the Wind Tanks #BlogShorts

When the Wind Tanks
by Tom B. Taker

The clear fresh blue was a flat calm. The Great Sucking was held at bay.

He stood proudly on his craft festooned in a navy blue jacket with brass buttons.

This post is part of the BlogShorts challenge. June 2011 – 30 stories – 30 words – 30 days.

Zoology 101

In your cage at the human zoo,
They all stop to look at you.
–Styx, circa 1977

Someone mentioned Styx the other day. I apologize but I can’t stop the references now.

This post is brought to you by the letter “Z,” the omega of the alphabet experience. Just like the human race, all good things must come to an end, so must the A-Z Blogger Challenge.

My idea for this post was “zoo.” I didn’t even bother going to the Google to find some obscure reference that might make me look smarter than that. Not this time.

But I wanted my own special spin on it. Fortunately someone mentioned Styx lately and, well, it just came together. Humans in a cage at the zoo; a human zoo. Now that’s an idea I can work with!

As the author of Society of Assholes I have done some limited research in this area. Before we begin, there is one important distinction to be made. I now excerpt from the book:

You might correctly be asking by now, “What the fuck? What about murderers, rapists, child molesters and such? Why don’t you call them assholes, too?” That’s a good point. However, for the purposes of this book, such extreme (and obvious) examples are beyond the pale. Those people are indeed true “assholes” and destined for a special level of Hell (I wish), but the purpose of this book is a bit more subtle. It seeks to explore the asshole within each and every one of us. The asshole that expresses itself from the typical and average individual within the larger context of every day society. That is the asshole we will be seeking.

With that in mind, it’s time to begin our tour of the zoo. We’re all too fat and out of shape to walk these hills under our own steam, so climb aboard this tram and we’ll be on our way. Please remain seated at all times, keep your head, arms and legs within the tram, and no flash flash photography.

Genus – Addictus Parentus

In our first exhibit we see a typical modern family. A husband, a wife, and two children, a boy and a girl. As you can see, the parents are smoking away furiously on their cigarettes. This is an important mechanism for passing destructive behavior from one generation to the next. This parental genome lacks the ability to evaluate long-term risk and there is a very high probability the addiction will be picked up by the children, who typically ape what they know and see.

I actually had the good fortune to spot addictus parentus in their natural habit just the other day. We were at a restaurant enjoying some dinner. At a table nearby was a family of four. They fit the profile but I had not yet made the species identification. If you are patient, though, field research can often be rewarding. The adults, both at the same time, got up and left the restaurant.

This was a curious development and it got my attention. Leaving the children alone in a restaurant is somewhat rare these days. I crept up to the front window, making use of plastic plants for cover, and observed my quarry. Of course! They were outside smoking.

Luckily I was carrying my logbook and successfully documented the sighting.

The Masculinity Experience

Welcome to our newest exhibit, sponsored by Ford Trucks that are built Ram tough and solid as a rock from heartland America. (Free truck nuts with every purchase.) Yes, it’s The Masculinity Experience featuring our prize specimen, Mike Rowe.

You all know Rowe from shows like Dirty Jobs and Ford commercials. That’s why we have these little infopoints mounted on each exhibit. For example, did you know Rowe started as an opera singer and was known for his arias? And that he then moved on to being an on-air host for the shopping channel QVC?

Arias and shopping!!!

Even in light of those facts, amazing the masculinity of this specimen is above reproach. Testing has confirmed that his testosterone is taking steroids.


I had more planned for the tour but we’re out of time. Maybe we’ll continue the tour later. That’s all, folks!

This is my “Z” post for the A-Z Blogger Challenge.

Yesterdays and Yesteryears

Upon reading this post, you might be moved to ask, “Oh God, yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?”

Yes, this is the “Y” post. That means plenty of things like Yeats and YouTube. The latter which, of course, is responsible for one of man’s greatest achievements: The ability to combine sound and video slightly off-track from one another.

Being slightly off-track is a hobby of mine, too. I enjoy taking beautiful things and juxtaposing them jarringly with crudity. It’s what I do.


Why can’t the past just die?
–Christine Daae in Phantom of the Opera


Yesterday,
All my troubles seemed so far away,
Now it looks at though they’re here to stay,
Oh, I believe in yesterday.
–The Beatles


Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.
–William Butler Yeats


I was a young boy that had big plans.
Now I’m just another shitty old man.
I don’t have fun and I hate everything.
The world owes me, so fuck you.

Glory days don’t mean shit to me.
I drank a six pack of apathy.
Life’s a bitch and so am I.
The world owes me, so fuck you.

Wasted youth and a fistful of ideals.
I had a young and optimistic point of view.
Wasted youth and a fistful of ideals.
I had a young and optimistic point of view.

I’ve decomposed, yet my gut’s getting fat.
Oh my god I’m turning out like my dad.
I’m always rude I’ve got a bad attitude.
The world owes me, so fuck you.

The wife’s a nag and the kid’s fucking up.
I don’t have sex `cause i can’t get it up.
I’m just a grouch sitting on the couch.
The world owes me, so fuck you.

Wasted youth and a fistful of ideals.
I had a young and optimistic point of view.
Wasted youth and a fistful of ideals.
I had a young and optimistic point of view.

I was a young boy that had big plans.
Now I’m just another shitty old man.
I don’t have fun and I hate everything.
The world owes me, so fuck you.

Glory days don’t mean shit to me.
I drank a six pack of apathy.
Life’s a bitch and so am I.
The world owes me, so fuck you.
The world owes me, so fuck you.
The world owes me, so fuck you.
–Green Day, The Grouch


In closing I present the only known song by Styx to start with the letter “Y.” This is classic Styx circa 1973.

This is my “Y” post in the A-Z Blogger Challenge.

Bonus post: Britney Spears

I’m off to work. Here’s a bonus points. Many thanks to YouTube for their help on this project. Without their invaluable assistance this post would be the written version of dog crap.

Enjoy!

This first song is as close as I get to prayer. I think you’ll find the central theme fits me like a glove.

This next song is completely autobiographical.

I just learned that Peter Steele, the heart and soul of the band Type O Negative, died earlier this year. To celebrate his death I offer the following little ditty:

Man in the Wilderness

Another year has passed me by
Still I look a myself and cry
What kind of man have I become?
All of the years I’ve spent in search of myself
And I’m still in the dark
‘Cause I can’t seem to find the light alone

Sometimes I feel like a man in the wilderness
I’m a lonely soldier off to war
Sent away to die – never quite knowing why
Sometimes it makes no sense at all

Ten thousand people look my way
But they can’t see the way that I feel
Nobody even cares to try
I spend my life and sell my soul on the road
And I’m still in the dark
‘Cause I can’t seem to find the light alone

Sometimes I feel like a man in the wilderness
I’m a lonely soldier lost at sea
Drifting with the tide
Never quite knowing why
Sometimes it makes no sense at all

(I’m alive)
Looking for love I’m a man with emotion
(And my heart’s on fire)
I’m dying of thirst in the middle of the ocean
I’m alive!