Friday, February 25, 2011


"You may know him from the glass encased cubicle behind customer service, or the slanted, dusty photograph on the wall by the exit. Standing five-foot-nine and weighing in at 193, he is the Manager of Mayhem, the Retail Rapscallion, the John Wayne of the Checkout Lane. The man who's so bad that when he blows out the candles on his birthday cake, or sees the first star at night, he wishes a motha fucka would."

He flips the light switch with his right hand after holding for just the right moment, meanwhile echoing an airy hiss from his throat that reverberating from his hand somewhat resembles the white noise of a roaring crowd. He looks himself over, red-vested and dressed for work, in the bathroom mirror and inhales enough air to displace the stress.

He wonders, until he can stop himself, when this ritual became necessity more than game and more parody than boast.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Great Impasse

"Sweetie," he begins in a voice he hopes will entice his five-year-old daughter's sense of reason, but the skepticism on her face holds up against his words like a concrete slab, "you'll like this, I promise you. When I was a kid this was one of my favorite dinners."

She looks at her plate and gags audibly, her eyelids fluttering as though the mere sight of the dish is strangling her. She looks back at her father and realizes that he truly believes what he's saying, but this is the man who tells her that "gh" can make the "f" sound, the "h" sound, or no sound sound at all; sometimes it's just there for decoration. He is a man who believes very silly things: "who", he claims, begins with a "w."

Time passes and veins emerge in his forehead, red-faced shouts about starving children in far-off lands, and his daughter is now thoroughly convinced this man is absolutely insane; a credibility deficit he will never restore.

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