Thursday, November 27, 2014


"that's a nice suit. it fits perfectly."

"thank you."

"i hope you have a good time wearing it."

"me too."

"i bet they'd let you into heaven wearing a suit like that."

"you never know."

"i'm serious. i've never seen a more perfectly fitting suit."

"are you trying to make fun of me?"

"look at this menu. it's printed in french."

"what do you care? you can't even read chinese."

"i can order chinese though."

"i bet you can. i'll just bet you can."

"did you watch the news this morning? this guy jumped off the eiffel tower to protest something."


"i said this guy jumped off the eiffel tower to protest something. or maybe it was the verrazano-narrows bridge."

"i mean, what was he protesting?"

"i don't know, i didn't watch the whole thing."

"i bet they don't stop doing whatever he was protesting."

"probably not."

"i really like that name - verrazano-narrows bridge. no matter how many times i hear it, i think it's the coolest name in the world."

"if you say so."

"verazzano-narrows bridge. i could say it a thousand times and never get sick of it."

"that shows you have good character."

"thank you. that guy who jumped off the bridge, he must have been pretty upset about whatever he was upset about."

"he must have been."

"heaven is smiling on is today."

"what makes you say that?"

"that's quite a bit of money."

"for what?"

"this guy in the paper."

"why, what did he do?"

"he wanted to play a big joke, to show his girl friend he had a sense of humor."

"so what did he do, buy a joke store?"

"do they even have joke stores any more? when was the last time you saw one?"

"i don't knpw, i don't go down to that part of town any more."

"what part of town is that?"

"the part of town where they have all the joke stores. down around where they have all the chinese restaurants."


"no, not chinatown."

"but you just said - "

"you don't have to be in chinatown to have a chinese restaurant."

"i'm fully aware of that, thank you very much."

"it's kind of dark in here."

"i can read the menu."

"why do need to read the menu? you always order the special."

"excuse me, are you gentlemen ready to order?"

"i'll have the special."

"he always has the special."

"and what would you like, sir?"

"i'll have the special too."

sources: gaspard de la nuit, by aloysius bertrand
claude's confession, by emile zola
doctor zhivago, by boris pasternak
the case of the sulky girl, by erle stanley gardner
the case of the bigamous spouse, by erle stanley gardner
something happened, by joseph heller
edith's diary, by patricia highsmith
when everybody ate at schrafft's. by joan kanel slomanson

Monday, November 24, 2014

joey isn't the problem

you guys are the greatest
but that's not what i meant
because joey isn't the problem

why does it have to be this way
we all know you guys are the greatest
and can even make your own sandwiches if you have to

you used to be so much fun
before you decided joey was the problem
and the dog - let's not forget the dog

joey, always joey
you never felt that way before
do you believe everything you hear

he was just the paper boy

"leave, if you don't want to hear what i have to say."

there's somebody at the door

hello, can i help you
i'm sorry if we disturbed you
we'll try to keep it down

what was that?
i said, we would try to keep it down
you won't try, you will keep it down

i see you are a very forthright individual
there's no need to call the police
yes, we were discussing the paper boy

why do you ask?
that's very interesting, thank you for sharing

“good night.”

sources: an evening in naples, by robert gray
the last of the lonely, by sarah philbin
american midnight, by carl b johnson
the case of the incurious butterfly, by amelia desrosiers
a cafe in nogales, by brett fisher
i thought you knew better than that, by wilson chadwick
the fools, by g t sanderson
thunder at ten o'clock, by alfred clay jones
dead man's whisper, by alfred clay jones
this man and this woman, by dorothy mainwaring smith

Friday, November 21, 2014

good times

heaven is kind and good
the suit fitted perfectly
going into a nunnery

that's quite a bit of money
he slowly pushed the door open
smoking in the dark tavern

slowly pushing the door open

"i don't see any cause for alarm, do you?"

he was having a good time

so they slowly closed the door
he was having such a good time
going into a nunnery

the number ten-thirty on the tablecloth
in the dining room of the nunnery
it cost quite a bit of money

the suit fitted perfectly
the number ten-thirty on the tablecloth
two other guys were in on a little racket

you've got good character
and you are having a good time
with menus printed in french

the number printed on the tablecloth haunted him
heaven is kind and good
in the whole wide world only them

smoking in the dark tavern
clinking glasses in the dark tavern
the prophet who sacrificed himself

sources: the improvisatore, by hans christian andersen; gaspard de la nuit, by aloysius bertrand; the insulted and injured, by fyodor dostoevski; claude's confession, by emile zola; the devil thumbs a ride, by robert c du soe; doctor zhivago, by boris pasternak; the case of the sulky girl, by erle stanley gardner; the case of the bigamous spouse, by erle stanley gardner; something happened, by joseph heller; man on a leash, by charles williams; the eighth circle, by stanlley ellin; edith's diary, by patricia high smith; when everybody ate at schrafft's, by joan kanel slomanson

Monday, November 10, 2014

naraldo and melissa

"that's not what i meant."

"then what did you mean? you should learn to say what you mean."

"you should fix the refrigerator."

"i'm not a refrigerator repairman."

"that's a pretty big dog you've got there."

"that's because i feed him a lot."

"do you believe everything you hear?"

"not everything. but most things."


"because it's easier. if someone says, blue is my favorite color, or 'i had a bacon egg and cheese on a croissant and a french roast this morning when i got up' isn't it easier just to believe them than to waste brain cells wondering about it?"

"don't change the subject."

"i'm not changing the subject, i'm right on the subject."

"fuck you."

"a brilliant riposte."

"stop fighting, you two."

"who's fighting?"

"he's disrespecting me."

"oh please - how am i disrespecting you?"

"you know."

"no, i do not know."

"i was attempting to open up my heart and start a serious conversation about my abduction and you just blew me off with your frivolous philosophizing."

"nobody wants to hear about your abduction. mom, she's starting to talk about her so-called abduction again."

"melissa, i warned you - i told you to just drop the subject."

"you're all a bunch of heartless pigs."

"i said drop it! now rewind, and start the conversation over."


"that's not what i meant."

"then say what you mean."

"this sweater is the wrong color."

"how can a sweater be the wrong color? wrong color for what?"

"wrong color for me."

"that's right, it's always about you, isn't it? mom, she's being a narcissistic asshole again."

"melissa, stop being a narcissistic asshole."

"that's right, take his side!"

"just take a deep breath, melissa, and rewind. i am sure you have an intelligent conversation in you someplace. somehow."


"master, that's not what i want."

"huh? what's that supposed to mean?"

"dumbhead! it's a line from the classic romance novel 'take me forever ' by geraldine st john."

"oh. classic to you, maybe. i would have thought 'classic romance novel' was an oxymoron."

"mom, he's being a snotty patriarchal dickhead again!"

"naraldo, stop being a snotty patriarchal dickhead."

"oh, taking her side again, are you?"

"again? i just took yours."

"fuck you! fuck both of you! i'm going up to my room and jack off!"

"i thought you wanted some intelligent conversation!"

"fuck intelligent conversation!"

"well, if you don't have it now, you will have to have it by tuesday. you know what doctor zeno said."

"i don't give a shit! i feel like jacking off!"

"the porno is turned off until wednesday, you know that, don't you?"

"i have my own fantasies, thank you. i have red-hot fantasies that will knock the booties off the trendiest porno makers in hitsville!"

"ha! ha ha double ha ha!"

"let him go, melissa, he knows the consequences of his actions."


"now what? i was ready for my part in the intelligent conversation."

"well, what do you want from me? there's nothing i can do."

"i could have an intelligent conversation with you."

"you know that's against the rules."

"it's not exactly against the rules. it just doesn't count."

"you mean you want me to talk to you just - for no reason?"

"yeah. for practice, like."

"honey, that's - that's kind of sweet, but i just don't have it in me, i'm sorry. my brain dried up a hundred years ago."

"well, call up and get me somebody then."

"all right, just let me put the finishing touches on this."


“that’s not what i meant”

“then say what you mean.”

“we’ve had this conversation before.”

“then i guess we are having it again, aren’t we?”

“say something new. go ahead, i dare you.”

“make your own sandwich, i’ve sliced my last cucumber.”

“that wasn’t exactly new.”

“the obfuscating termite destabilized the contrite cow.”


“joey isn’t the problem.”

“how could he be the problem? he’s just the paper boy.”

"without him we'd be nothing. we would know nothing."


“you don’t feed that dog enough.”

“he’s my dog, thank you very much, and i'll feed him what i want."

"you should feed him what he wants."

"fuck you."


“i meant what i said the last time.”

“you mean about the paper boy?”

“no, about the termites.”


“you used to be so much fun.”

“you used to be such an asshole. and you still are.”

“i guess there isn’t anything more to say.”

“you got that right.”

“mom, he’s being snotty again, after his last pathetic attempt at faux-reconciliation.”


sources:: the deadbeats, by sam white
take me forever, by geraldine st john
american midnight, by carl b johnson
i thought you knew better than that, by wilson chadwick
the fools, by g t sanderson
daphne, by nora green
this man and this woman, by dorothy mainwaring smith