Sunday, June 29, 2008

Man, I am glad I waited. Everyone was pressuring me to break the rules but I stood strong and waited until I was 17 years old to watch an R-rated movie. All my friends were trying to get me to watch one last Saturday, the day before my 17th birthday. They kept insisting it was no big deal and that nothing bad would happen, but I left before I saw even a single frame of it. I watched the movie the next day, once I was 17, and boy oh boy, I can safely say I was not prepared for it the day before. I found the blue language in the film funny that Sunday, but I know that if I had heard those words when I was 16 I would have been emotionally destroyed. I would have been a different person. And the movie included a scene of marijuana use. On Saturday that would have influenced me to immediately try some pot and spiral into a life of methamphetamine addiction, but thanks to that extra day of maturity I was able to realize that it was just a movie. I mean, seriously, back when I was only 16 I couldn’t tell the difference between entertainment and real life, but then I woke up on my 17th birthday and all of a sudden, Wow, I can totally tell the two apart. I'm like, Woah, that's just a screen up there. And when the film showed a brief scene of nudity I managed to restrain myself. Up until that point I had never seen any sort of nudity. I hadn’t even looked at my own penis because I knew it was against the MPAA’s guidelines. If I saw that naked breast at 16 who knows what would have happened; I probably would have ended up stealing lottery tickets for a living, but because I waited until I was 17 to see an R-rated movie I’ll probably get into a good college and maybe even land a nice job. I’m grateful for the ratings system and very happy that I waited. I only wish I had the chance to tell my brother Nick, age 15, to wait. He was recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis after viewing Final Destination 2.

“Are you proud of what you did?”

“I am, sir.”

“Do you think it shines a positive light on this mission? On this organization? On this country?”

“I am unsure, sir. But I do take credit for what I did.”

“And you thought it was humorous?”

“I did, sir. Hilarious, in fact.”

“Are you aware of the danger you put upon not only yourself but the entire crew?”

“I am, sir. I understood the risks and believed my action was worth taking that risk.”

“I have the record here of what you did. Let me read it to you and tell me if any of it is untrue.”

“Yes, sir.”

“You, Tommy Trombone, were aboard the Apollo 11 mission with Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr.”

“Correct, sir.”

“You set foot on the moon immediately after Commander Neil Armstrong.”

“Correct, sir.”

“You then said, ‘Hey, is there something on my back?’, turned around, unzipped the rear hatch of your space suit, positioned yourself in front of Commander Neil Armstrong, bent over, and flatulated.”

“Correct, sir. I farted right into Neil Armstrong’s face.”

“Commander Armstrong reports that you then said, ‘Smell that, Armstrong! Who is the Commander now?’”

“No, sir, that is not correct. I said, ‘Smell that, Armstrong. I am the greatest in the Universe!’ Then I pulled off Neil’s helmet and made him smell it.”

“And you thought that was humorous?”

“It was perhaps the most I have ever laughed. I look forward to going down in the history books as having the first fart on the moon.”

“You are aware that removing Commander Armstrong’s helmet could have resulted in his immediate death.”

“Sir, I fully believe the greatest threat facing Neil was the stench of my fart.”

“You are an embarrassment. I regret ever speaking to you. I promise that your name will never be mentioned in the same sentence as NASA or the Apollo 11 mission. No one will know of Tommy Trombone. No one will ever hear of your fart.”

“I’m surprised no one on earth heard it. They say sound doesn't travel in space, but man, that thing was loud. It sounded like a freight ship honked its horn. I seriously think you should rename the organization GASA.”

“I hope to never see you again.”

Tommy Trombone was escorted outside by NASA security and smothered with an official NASA sweatshirt.

That is who no one has heard of Tommy Trombone, the fourth member of the Apollo 11 space crew and the first man to flatulate on the moon.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Do you ever doubt your entire existence? Wonder, Why am I on the earth? What is my purpose? I used to be like that. I was stuck in a rut; I just couldn’t figure out what I was meant to do. But it all changed when I tasted a regular sized Five Meat Stack sub sandwich with no mustard or mayonnaise from Quizno’s. As soon as that first bite fell into my warm, welcoming belly, I knew that my life was forever changed. From the salami to the pepperonis, to the cheddar cheese and that spice crap they sprinkle on top, it is a very good sandwich. When I finished my first sandwich I immediately purchased another. I finished that and purchased one more. “You know you could have just bought one footlong and saved, like, four bucks,” said the cashier. I didn’t care. The sandwich was so delicious I immediately called my boss to quit my job so I would have more time to devote to Quizno’s Five Meat Stacks. It is my purpose; my divine calling. I was put on this earth to consume the turkey, ham, salami, capicola, and pepperoni that constitute a Quizno’s Five Meat Stack. I have no idea what capicola is, but it’s on the sandwich, so I’ll eat it. After quitting my job my daily schedule sets aside the hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for eating Quizno’s Five Meat Stacks. Six days into my new life I ran out of money and had to sell my house in order to continue eating Five Meat Stacks. I was happy to do it. I sold the house for eight dollars because at the time I was eager for two Five Meat Stacks. Currently I wander the streets, constantly thinking about Quizno’s Five Meat Stacks. I was put on this earth to consume them and I pledge to do so. I just can’t believe how they manage to make a vegetarian sandwich so delicious. As a lifetime vegetarian I have suffered when my friends ate with me and enjoyed food containing meat while I had a salad. Quizno’s has performed a miracle in making a vegetarian sandwich so great. The Five Meat Stack is…Wait…Oh no. No, no, no. This…Oh my God. Is this…Could I have…I am just now realizing that the five meats referenced in the title of the sandwich likely refer to animal meats. I don’t know what I thought before. I must have assumed they were vegetable meats. This is a disaster. My consumption of Quizno’s Five Meat Stacks probably resulted in the deaths of thousands of animals. I don’t know how I’ll live with myself. The only thing that can lift my spirits is a Quizno’s Five Meat Stack. Man, that is one tasty sandwich.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dear Mr. Gordon,

I apologize. What you saw me doing was the result of a terrible misunderstanding on my part. I absolutely realize what I did and do not wish any harm upon the company or any of its employees. Please do not fire me. I can explain my actions.

From the time I could hear and speak, I have suffered from a condition known as TB Switchies which causes me to mishear the sound of the letter T in words as the sound of the letter B. It caused me great suffering in school, especially when I had to read aloud from what I thought was A Bale of Boo Cities. The children laughed at me and called me names like Bales, Baley Boo, and idiot.

I began to get a grasp on my condition with the help of a sound therapist in college and haven’t had a relapse in months. Again, I am sorry.

That is why you walked in on me having sex with the copier after you told me it needed more toner.


Alex Jefferies

Here's a high school newspaper article.

Just Because They’re Goths Doesn’t Mean You Have to Spit on Them

By Michael P. Bock

Hello, kind readers. Time for another exciting journey into the lives of the members of one of the cliques at our very own Roosevelt High School! In this issue I’ll give you a peek at one of the shadiest groups lining our halls, the Goths!

I first met up with junior Phillip Rosenthal on a Tuesday afternoon at his house. He showed me around his room, which included all sorts of disturbing imagery. Then we had some Bagel Bites. His favorite kind is pepperoni.

We then met with some of his friends and talked about what it’s like to be a Goth. “I like expressing my true inner self,” said sophomore Steve Jameson after drinking some blood. “I don’t care what the world thinks,” said Josephine Taylor, a senior who works at the local Applebee’s and says her favorite after-school activities are exercising, reading, and casting spells.

After listening to some horrifying music they pulled out some razorblades, which was lucky for me because I had some of those hairs around my nipples I needed to clean up. I quickly snatched a blade and thanked the group for their acceptance and hospitality. Then they told me that they often hurt themselves in order to see if they can feel. Interesting, I thought. So to test it we went to the interstate and I jumped in front of a bus.

“Ouch!” I called from under the rear axle. “Your method works! I sure can feel! I can especially feel my protruding tibia bone touching my neck!”

That was my experience investigating the Goths. My opinion of them is, Hey, at least they like Bagel Bites. Stay tuned for next issue, when I dive head-first into the swim team! Also, be aware that the aforementioned pun shows exactly why I have no friends. Now you know, mom!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Oh my god. It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. To my fellow researchers, I’m so sorry. If my body and this note are ever found, I wish my family and friends the best. I love all of you. How did this happen? It was a routine experiment and now I’m huddled over in a closet trying to preserve the last fleeting moments of my life by scribbling on a cardboard box. The experiment was simple: To observe the effects of various levels of stress on people’s hand strength. We would just apply gentle stress to our subjects and then test to see how easily they could hold an object. It’s the kind of boring experiment we could all do in our sleep. We selected as our test subjects six convicts awaiting the electric chair for murder, on average six feet eight inches tall and 375 lbs. We placed them all in a controlled testing environment and applied the first level of stress: Calling them names, ranging from generic playground teases to very specific references to their mothers’ armpit hair. Next we applied another level of stress by attaching electrodes to their nipples and giving charges of 2,000 volts until the subject requested we turn it off or his nipples were completely blackened, whichever came last. We then applied the third level by slapping their genitals with a ping pong paddle for six minutes. Finally we tested the subjects’ ability to hold objects by giving them standard household items: a knife, a stick of dynamite, a handgun, a circular saw, hedge clippers, and a flamethrower. Instead of performing the requested exercise, the convicts instantly used the items to kill all of my fellow researchers. That behavior was not covered at all in the scientific method. I hope our research will not completely go to waste. It seems we found that convicted murderers are likely to continue to murder if provided with weapons after having their genitals slapped. What’s that? I hear a knocking on the closet door. And it feels very hot out there, as if someone has a flamethrower. I hypothesize that I am about to die.

Monday, June 23, 2008

“Don’t get mad at you? How could I not? I’m furious, Margaret! Do you realize how this makes me look?”

“John, look, I said I’m sorry. What more do you want? I can’t erase the past.”

“So why did you do it in the first place? This is embarrassing! Don’t you know what this’ll do to my career? Everyone in town saw you in those pictures in the paper!”

“It’ll blow over. Just give it time. Please, John.”

“Time? I don’t have time! The harvest season is almost over! Who’s going to buy my vegetables at the market after they’ve seen my wife with a couple of fruits?”

“Please, John. Everyone will still buy your vegetables. I’m just friends with that apple. It wasn’t anything serious. I didn’t even juice him.”

“Juice him? I hadn’t even thought about that! I don’t care if you’re just friends; it’s disgusting to see you hanging around a bunch of repugnant Seeders! And how do you explain the pear?”

“He’s the apple’s friend. Seriously, John, this is not a big deal. I was merely dining with two acquaintances.”

“But the pictures, Margaret! Everyone in the county will see the headlines: Farmer’s Wife Befriends Fruits. Why couldn’t you have just gone with a cucumber or carrot like you usually do?”

“John, I’m telling you it was nothing serious. I declined when the pear proposed a skinning session. I told them I only peel vegetables.”

“You did?”

“Yes, John. I can be friends with the fruits but I’d never do anything to deliberately hurt your reputation. You’re the best vegetable farmer in the area and I don’t want to ruin that just for a peek at a fruit’s seeds. My heart lies in the vegetable section.”

“You mean that?”

“Of course.”

“I love you, Margaret. But please assure me I won’t see any more photographs of you with fruits in the paper.”

“Yes, John. I—“

“What’s that in your pocket, Margaret?”

“Oh, it’s a…”

“A what? A gift for me? Let me see it.”

“No, don’t. I can explain.”

“Are those leaves? Is that…? Dear God, Margaret! Have you brought a strawberry into my household?”

“He’s new to town. I was just showing—“

“I don’t care! You have committed a cardinal sin of vegetable growing! Take that filth off of this property and never return! You, too, Margaret! If I wanted a flip-flopper for a wife I would have purchased one at the shoe store! If you ever choose to return you better be seed-free, Margaret! I swear if I find one seed on you it’s to the courthouse we’ll go for a divorce! I cannot stand even the smell of those fruits! Their taste is so tart and…fresh and delicious on a summer afternoon. They are so refreshing and…Oh no. What have I done? Margaret! Come back Margaret! I have realized the error of my ways! You can return, and bring as much fruit as you’d like!”

It was too late. By the time John finished talking Margaret was married to the apple and had traded in her vegetable scrubber for a fruit peeler. When John found her a week later, she was in the middle of her honeymoon. John opened the door to find Margaret with the apple’s seeds in her mouth. They would never reconcile.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

What a predicament. This is unbelievable, I mean, this is like something that happens on TV. I’m engaged to marry two different women at the same time and now I have to choose between them. First I proposed to Courtney Rondell, a bank manager whom I have been dating for two years. Then the next day I forgot about that engagement and proposed to Tiffany Rogers, a garbage woman whom I met for the first time that morning. I don’t know what to do. Courtney is fantastic and we get along so well, but Tiffany really knows a lot about garbage, which could come in handy. I mean, on the Con side Courtney’s list is pretty empty. She can be too chatty at times, but I can get over that. On the other hand, Tiffany’s Con list is rather large. She smells terrible, has barely a sixth grade education, and says her favorite food is baking soda. But she does have unlimited access to those tags to put on extra trash cans. So with her I’d be able to throw away as much stuff as I wanted. With Courtney I would have to pay for each additional can, which would add up. Of course, that expense would be offset by the money Tiffany spends on badger-cooking equipment and baking soda. This is the most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make. The sides are so even in my mind. I’ll have to toss a coin. Heads is Courtney, tails is Tiffany. There’s the flip, and it’s heads! That settles it; I’ll marry Courtney. As for our garbage, I don’t know. Hopefully I’ll run into Tiffany again, or she’ll run into me again, like she did that morning with her truck which messed up my head so badly I proposed to her because she said she’d only take me to the hospital if I did. But, man, is she a tempting broad.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Chapter Four.

“Tally ho, Louise! If you run over another midget the cops will be on us like jam on a biscuit!”

“Don’t you worry one bit, Mista Co’nelius. I know what I’m doin’.”

In reality she had no clue what she was doing. Louise had never been given a driver’s license or any sort of permit for driving a horse-car. In fact, she had never taken the driving test because the one time she tried she was kicked out of the DMV for “reeking like a prostitute,” which Louise thought was odd because she listed her stench as a skill on her resume.

Louise was driving her horse-car like a madman, weaving back and forth between lanes, speeding, and entertaining herself by flipping the radio back and forth between two stations playing the same song at slightly different times.

“Cor blimey! Keep your eyes on the road, woman!”

Cornelius should have told her to keep her eyes on the sidewalk, or even the building they were about to drive directly into.

With an ear-ringing crash the horse-car blasted through a glass wall straight into the waiting area of an office.

“What’s your, like, business?” said the young receptionist after blowing a bubble and twirling her gum, reading Us Weekly, and texting her friend about her shoes. A sign on the wall behind her read HSN: Home Shopping Network.

Cornelius knew they would have Dragon Swords because his family did a lot of business with them. Louise knew they would have Dragon Swords because she stole a sack full of them from this building a few months ago. They just had to find a way to get further in the building.

“We are here,” said Cornelius, “on official business! Yes! The most official sort!”

“Like, what kind?”

“Well we have things to deliver! Yes! Boxes and packages, you know. Brown ones.”

“Sit right there and someone will be with you in, like, five minutes.”

“Oh…Well I have to say this is very urgent. Because in my box is…”

“A bomb,” Louise finished. “It gon’ go off soon.”

“What are you doing?” whispered Cornelius. “Are you trying to have us arrested?”

The receptionist said, “Um, like, is that a bomb or not?”

“No, no. Not at all. What this is…this box is a... a box full of parrots! Yes, parrots! From Tanzania! No, no, from Madagascar! Yes, Madagascarian Parrots!”

“Oh, okay. Well then you’re gonna, like, have to wait in the Parrot Room.”

Cornelius didn’t have the time to wait and the Parrot Room smelled more like a Parrot Crap Room. He knew the Dragon Sword was waiting for him just behind the walls. Luckily he had once learned an incredibly effective tactic for distracting receptionists at a British Royal Navy training seminar he broke into.

“Hey!” he said. “Look over there!”

“Um, what?”

Cornelius turned to Louise and said, “Now!”

They held hands and ran straight through the wall. Actually, Louise got straight through but Cornelius ran right into a stud and had to break through a different part of wall after nursing his bruised forehead.

Cornelius and Louise ran through a hallway and people stared. Louise gave them the finger. More people stared, so Louise flashed her breasts. More people stared, so she removed all her clothes, did a vulgar dance that offended nearly everyone present, and left a trail of bodily fluids on the floor. No one stared anymore.

They opened a door to find a man wearing a suit talking to a camera about Dragon Swords.

“Aw yeah,” said Louise. “This is it. That’s my Dragon Sword!”

It was. The host was selling the very same Dragon Sword Louise loved so dearly.

“Here she is, the real deal. A genuine Dragon Sword complete with ceramic dragon, painted hilt, and blade sharp enough for cleanly cutting through bones!”

Louise looked through her purse to find some money to buy one while the host continued, “It can be yours for only three payments of $29.99!”

“Aw no!” said Louise. She only found forty nickels, a rotting peach, and a sock she had used as a contraceptive more than three times.

“What seems to be the problem, Miss Louise?” said Cornelius.

“I ain’t got enough money fo’ my Dragon Sword!”

“Oh, no problem.”

Cornelius approached the host with his umbrella drawn. “Hello, sir. By any chance are you allergic to applesauce?”

“As a matter of fact I am.”

“Well take this!”

Squirt squirt squirt. Cornelius blasted him with applesauce from his umbrella. The host screamed for his life before melting into a puddle on the floor. Cornelius selected a sword from a table full of them and gave it to Louise.

“Here you are. One Dragon Sword.”

“Oh, wow. Thanks, Co’nelius!”

“No problem, Louise. I’m always looking for an opportunity to squirt applesauce on those allergic to it and steal things on television.”

Louise and Cornelius walked through the building, waved to the receptionist, and got in the horse car. Louise looked at Cornelius.

“I’m sorry I have to do this. Bwahh!”

She stabbed him with the Dragon Sword while making strange noises. As he bled, Cornelius suddenly realized he had seen Louise on the news as a wanted felon on the run from a stabbing trial. She lost her Dragon Sword in her last victim. Louise Loupise was somewhat of an urban legend in those parts.

After stabbing Cornelius, Louise realized she had nowhere to put his body and had to drive around with it for a half an hour in traffic before dumping it at the McDonald’s Playplace ball pit like she always did.

Twenty minutes after she dropped him off and finished her McShaker salad a boy saw his body in the ball pit. “Hey, mister! Are you dead?”

After a pause Cornelius’s eerie voice said, “Not quite…I will get that disgusting prostitute if it’s the last thing I do…Also, could you help me out? I ate a chicken nugget on the ground in here and I think I contracted Lyme disease.”

Friday, June 20, 2008

Today features a momentary break from the ongoing story. This is a series of newspaper pieces that I thought were very odd.

Corrections and Clarifications

June 15, 2008

In our article “Diabetes doesn’t have to halt your life” on Tuesday we reported that antifreeze, specifically the Zerex brand, is a good beverage for diabetic children to drink after playing sports. This is untrue. In fact, studies have shown that antifreeze may be detrimental to a human body. The article meant to suggest water, milk, and lead-based paint. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Corrections and Clarifications

June 16, 2008

Our recent “Corrections and Clarifications” section suggested lead-based paint as a healthy beverage for diabetic children. This is likely untrue. We would like to apologize to the Malabo family. Billy is in a better place.

Corrections and Clarifications

June 18, 2008

In a recent “Corrections and Clarifications” piece we reported that Billy Malabo died as a result of consuming lead-based paint after reading our recommendation. We are glad to correct that he did not die as a result of our error. He died when a dragon bit his head off.

Corrections and Clarifications

June 19, 2008

We recently reported that Billy Malabo died when a dragon bit his head off. This is untrue. Dragons do not exist. It was a very childish scenario to propose. He did die because we suggested that he drink lead-based paint and responded to his email asking for recommended brands and flavors. We would like to clarify that, yes, this newspaper is in fact going out of business after facing numerous lawsuits due to our unorthodox beverage suggestions. We are sorry for wasting your time and would like to question why anyone gave us jobs in the first place. We are incredibly unprofessional. Most days we just sit around drinking lead-based paint.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Chapter Three.

“It smells like a horse’s anus in here,” said Cornelius Penis.

“Well take yo’ head outta the anus!”

Louise was driving the horse-car as fast as its heart-engine could go. They were headed to Street Walker’s Alley, her favorite part of town, to look for information on her lost Dragon Sword.

“I hate to say it, Louise,” said Cornelius, “but this part of town looks downright disgusting!”

“Oh don’t you worry one bit. This is my homeland. I know everyone on the block. You got Scumbag Larry, Good-For-Nothin’ Nate, and Peachy Peachy Pete all right next to each other. Oh, hey, look there! There’s B Doz!”

Cornelius looked out of the horse-car’s side to see a dirty homeless man huddled under a bridge.

Louise called to him, “Hey B Doz!”

“Yes?” he mumbled.

“Whatchu doin’?”

“I’m eatin’ a shoe!”

“Aight, aight. Know anything ‘bout my Dragon Sword?”

“No, but I do have some advice.” B Doz was known for his excellent street knowledge. “While Fritos and Doritos are just chips, they can destroy people at the hips.”

B Doz was also known for his incredible rhyming riddles.

No one in the horse-car could figure out what he meant so they nodded and moved on.

“Miss Louise, may I ask why you call him B Doz?”

“Oh yeah, it’s like a baker’s dozen, you know? Thirteen? He gots thirteen testicles.”


“Yeah. You ever seen a sack of marbles? Thirteen marbles? That’s what he’s got. A big bag. Two weren't enough. Had to have more. Can't get enough testicles, you know?”

“How delightful,” said Cornelius with an uneasy adjustment of his top hat.

Louise continued driving in search of anyone who could possibly have any information on her Sword. She looked down alleys, in stores, and in the tomato sauce at a pizza parlor, but couldn’t find anything useful. Finally she, Rhonda, and Cornelius stopped to eat at a Chinese restaurant known for their spaghetti because it was a really confusing restaurant. It was called Mama Mia’s Pizzeria, Pasteria, and Diarrhea. The third part wasn’t necessary at all, the owners just thought it was kind of funny even though it was likely the reason no one ate there.

Louise, Rhonda, and Cornelius ordered some spaghetti and were surprised when it was delivered and instead of a plate of spaghetti it was a plate of a letter saying “Sorry, suckers!”

The doors and windows were instantly locked. Several strongmen appeared from basement doors wielding lead pipes, brass pipes, and pipe cleaners for when the pipes got dirty from beating people.

“What on earth is going on here?” said Cornelius.

“Aw no,” said Louise, “this is the dirtiest gang in town. They mean business. They’re all…”

Three conjoined twins stepped forward. Well three sets, so there were six twins.

“Siamese?” finished Cornelius.

“No,” said Louise. “Only one is Siamese. DongSong. He’s the one connected by the fingertips.”

Cornelius saw him, or them, or it. The twins were connected at all ten fingertips. They couldn’t write or drive or eat without assistance, but they could sift dirt for gold. DongSong ran at Louise, screaming as if they had seen a ghastly image of a haunted baseball card. Louise leapt in the air and drop-kicked them in the faces. They were instantly killed.

“Why are these conjoined conundrums after you?” said Cornelius.

“The lass time I was in here I didn’t leave a tip.”

“They want to kill us for that?”

“And I stole all the silverware, tablecloths, and meatballs.”

The next set of twins, called Mikhail and Gorbachev, ran at Cornelius with a knife.

“They connected at the heart!” said Louise.

Cornelius showed them a picture he kept in his pocket of a puppy so cute it could explode hearts. Which is exactly what it did. As soon as the twins saw it their conjoined heart blew up and a horrifying hail of blood sprayed the room.

The third set of twins were called Up and Over and were connected at the head, one on top of the other. While one stood the other was balancing delicately upside-down. They charged for Rhonda, leaping and flipping so the other took a step before flipping again while shouting “Up!” and “Over!”

“Rhonda, use yo’ smarts!” said Louise.

“Right.” She looked around the room for supplies. There was mozzarella cheese, pizza dough, sauce, and pepperonis. “I read about making a bomb out of this stuff! I just need some time!”

She hurried to combine the items in the way she had read about. Louise and Cornelius distracted Up and Over with a quick poetry contest.

“I’m done!” said Rhonda. She presented her bomb to everyone, which turned out to be a pizza. Up and Over beat her to a pulp with a table and then ate her pizza.

Louise and Cornelius knocked the twins over and each took one of the twin’s legs and pulled them apart, spraying brains everywhere.

“Wow,” said Cornelius, “talk about a mind-splitting concept!”

Louise didn’t get it so she didn’t say anything. She and Cornelius thought they were done with the gang and accepted Rhonda’s death. Maybe she wasn’t as smart as Louise thought she was. Just when they were about to leave the baddest, meanest conjoined twins of all entered. There were six twins all conjoined at the sides to form a circle. How they fit through the door is still unknown.

Their names were Cindy, Jan, Marcia, Bobby, Peter, and Robicheux. When they spoke each person would say the next word in a sentence, which tended to bore and alienate potential listeners.

“We are here to kill you!” they said after leaping in the air high enough to land and surround Louise and Cornelius.

What would Louise and Cornelius do? What could they do? All Louise could see were bags of Doritos and Fritos. Wait, thought Louise, What did B Doz say?

“Of course,” said Cornelius. “Doritos and Fritos!”

They knew what to do. Louise ran in one direction with the Doritos while Cornelius ran in the opposite with the Fritos. Cindy, Jan, and Marcia preferred Doritos and chased Louise while Bobby, Peter, and Robicheux favored the Fritos and ran towards Cornelius.

With a disgusting RRRRIP! they all split apart. It was the most horrifically disgusting thing Cornelius or Louise had ever seen, which was saying a lot considering Louise was a horrifically disgusting prostitute.

All of the gang’s strongmen ran away. Louise and Cornelius left the restaurant after Louise stole all the silverware, tablecloths, meatballs, and breadsticks.

“These breadsticks tasty,” she said.

“Ah, yes! The tastiest! Especially after killing a few conjoined twins!”

Cornelius Penis was a strange man.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Chapter Two.

“Less go, Rhonda! Less go! I gots ta find my Sword!”

Rhonda was hurrying. She had just finished beating a client with beef jerky and was cleaning up. “I’ll be there in two seconds, Louise! I just have to pick up all these feathers.” A chicken suit was also involved.

Downstairs, Louise was becoming impatient. She had a burning desire to hold her Dragon Sword, similar to her burning desire to get rid of the burning sensation on her thighs. Rhonda ran down the stairs wearing her finest street-walking clothes. A short vinyl skirt, a blue feather boa, and a Gerald Ford mask.

“Why you wearin’ your Gerald Ford mask? We ain’t lookin’ for guys! We're lookin’ for my Dragon Sword!”

Rhonda put the mask back into the mask trunk, right on top of her Button Gwinnett, a popular choice among southerners.

Louise and Rhonda went to the garage to get into their vehicle. Louise didn’t exactly know where they would go, but she knew they would find her Dragon Sword. She opened the garage door and climbed inside her car, which used to be a horse. It was hollowed out and filled with the internal parts of a Buick. It seemed to run pretty well.

Rhonda climbed in the passenger seat and buckled the intestine that served as a seatbelt. Louise started her up and the car responded with a loud, wheezy, Nheh-eh-eh!

She looked out through the anus and backed up.

Louise took her eyes off the back for a moment to ask Rhonda, “Hey, did you ‘member ta feed tha—“

She was cut short upon realizing she ran someone over. She hit them good; all four tire-hooves got some action. Louise ran to her victim.

“Oh my lawd! You okay, mista?”

“Oh, tally ho! No worries here, ma’am.” The man was wearing a tailored suit, top hat, and monocle. He was incredibly British.

“I think I seen you before,” said Louise. “You on that Monopoly game?”

“Am I…Oh, no! Dearest no, I regretfully am not the Rich Uncle Pennybags of your board game, although I am very wealthy.” He stood up and brushed his hands on his legs as if he had just put cookies into the oven, not been hit by a horse-Buick. “Allow me to introduce myself. I am Cornelius Penis.”

“I’m Louise Loupise. Wait, you say you’re rich?”

“Oh yes, ma’am. Very rich indeed. In fact I once ate a meal so expensive the 10% tip I left totaled forty million dollars.”

“That’s pretty rich. Wait, did you say your name’s Co’nelius Penis?”

“Yes, that is correct. Cornelius Penis, son of Eldred Scrotumhair, brother of Peter Tiptip. I come from a wealthy Dragon Sword manufacturing family.”

“Well then you need ta get in the car wif us, Mista Co’nelius. You see, me and my friend Rhonda here are actually lookin’ fo’ my lost Dragon Sword. You could help us.”

“A lost Dragon Sword? What a delightful mystery! You’re akin to a disgusting, disease-infested, whorish Sherlock Holmes.”


“Sherlock Holmes, the famous fictional detective!”

“Oh, like in books and stuff? You gon’ have to talk to Rhonda fo’ that stuff. She’s the smart one. She won some uh-ward at a contest fo’ bein’ the smartest prostitute in the world. She’s read two books.”

“What books were they?”

Rhonda chimed in from the car, “It was called What to Do with an Infected Taint. More of a brochure than a book.”

“And the other one?”

“Oh, I just read the one.”

“Well that’s delightful. And you, Ms. Louise, what distinctive traits do you possess?”

“I have a good nose. I can smell it when people are lyin’ and when people have gonorrhea or syphilis.”

“Excellent! And I have an umbrella that shoots applesauce. We will find your Dragon Sword at once. Now, please explain this horse you are driving.”

“Oh, it used ta be a horse, now it’s a car. My friend Texas Pete brought the horse in. Texas Pete’s a cowboy and a hot sauce man.”

“A hot sauce man?

“Yeah. You know how when you get hot sweat comes outta yo’ skin? Well when he gets hot hot sauce comes out. Last time he played basketball people followed him around fillin’ up bottles.”

“Fascinating! Let us get into your horse-car and find the missing Dragon Sword!”

And so they set off in the horse-car, Louise Loupise, Rhonda Fonda, and Cornelius Penis, in search of Louise’s lost Dragon Sword. They were armed with a peculiar nose, relative intelligence, and an applesauce-shooting umbrella. Cornelius sat down in the back seat and was having difficulty with his seat belt because it was made out of a horse’s scrotum.

“Just pull it real tight,” Louise said.

“Ah, of course. Our autos back in England are not traditionally fashioned with scrotum seatbelts.”

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Here's the first part of multi-part story. How many parts will it have? I don't know. It will have enough. Charles Dickens had no idea how long his stories would be when he started. In fact, many scholars would say he really had no idea what he was doing. He was trying to be a painter but only painted little lines that formed letters and words and sentences and stories. He was just trying to paint the pages. So, in summary, with this story I am pretty much like Charles Dickens.

“That ain’t on the menu,” she said. “That ain’t on the menu.”

“But I thought it was a standard order.”

“Must I repeat myself? That ain’t on the menu.”

Louise Loupise wasn’t having a good day at the job. She was a prostitute, and a good one at that. She had won all sorts of acclaim and awards. Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Prostitute, and even the first Nobel Prize for prostitution. She was fed up with customers who weren’t familiar with the standard menu.

“Sir, allow me to list the specials for you. Today I am offering three fantabulous offers: A Sack Tappler, a Goose Gobbler, and a Crystal Cobbler.”

“Well what do you recommend?” Louise’s client was very nervous. He had never done anything like this before.

“What do I recommend? Well I ain’t never done them on myself!”

“Should I get the Goose…”

“The Goose Gobbler?”

“The what?”

“The Goose Gobbler. It’s patented. Don’t be stealin’ my Goose Gobbler.”

“Well, sure, but what is it exactly?”

“Well let’s think for a minute.” Louise’s attitude was beginning to show. “It involves two things: A goose and a gobbler. Put the clues together, mister. This ain’t no brain science surgery.”

Louise was getting antsy. She had things to do. Her enormous behind needed rest after eight hours on the clock. She had to file her long, prostitute fingernails. And she had to brush her tooth.

“Sir, let us please start the act. Would you like the Goose Gobbler? If so, I gots ta call my friend Pelegroso and have him import a goose real quick.”

“Well, if it’s going to be a hassle…”

“It ain’t gon’ be no hassle! I been doin’ this fo’ years. I can do a Goose Gobbler wif my eyes closed! I could get a Crystal Cobbler goin’ right now if you’ll let me preheat the oven.”

“I, um, I…” The client ran out of the room, through Louise’s enormous Prostitution Palace, and away into the streets, never to be seen in those parts again. He couldn’t handle the pressure. He hadn’t seen a menu as strange as that one since he went to a privately owned Captain D’s in New Mexico.

“Well good,” Louise said. “I didn’t want his money anyway. I gots all I need right here. I gots my best friend and fellow employee Rhonda and I gots my favorite Dragon Sword I ordered off the TV.”

Indeed, Louise lived a life of opulence in a mansion paid for with equal parts sin and smart investing through mutual funds. She lived with Rhonda Fonda, her best friend and fellow prostitute. And Louise had her Dragon Sword, a dagger with a ceramic dragon molded into the handle she had purchased off an infomercial. She loved that Dragon Sword and she wanted to hold it. To swing it. To jab a melon with it. She looked all over the house for it. Under the couch, in the computer, in the levitation chamber, and in the meat smokehouse where her sausages and pork bellies were hung. But the Dragon Sword was nowhere to be found.

“Hey Rhonda,” she said.

“Yeah, Louise? Make it quick, I’m workin’! Got a Knuckle Buckler goin’ on up here!”

“Where my Dragon Sword?”
“Oh, that thing? Somebody done stoled it today.”

“Stole it?” Louise didn’t know what to do. How could she live without her Dragon Sword? “Well then we gon’ have to go get it.”

Sunday, June 15, 2008

This case just isn’t going anywhere. Come on, I’m a detective. This is my job. I’m supposed to solve the case. I’m supposed to find the connections. But I just can’t. These four murders have to be related, but how? They’re all so unique. The first victim was hit by a car. The next was shot. The next was hanged and the final one was stabbed. What’s the correlation? I need to find it. Okay, let’s see. The first victim was hit by an unidentified BMW. There are a million BMWs around here. Heck, even I drive one. There’s got to be another link. The second victim was shot by a .45 caliber M1911, the same gun everyone on the force has. Anyone can get one of those. The hanging victim was found with a ¼ nylon double braided black rope, the same kind I use on my sailboat. The last guy was stabbed with a Cold Steel Recon Tanto knife, the kind hunters use. The only other evidence is my receipt for a BMW, bullets, rope, and a Cold Steel Recon Tanto knife found at the scene of the final crime. Wait a second. There’s the link! I’ve solved it. Whose receipt was that again? Oh, it's mine. Looks like I murdered those four people. Oh, jees. Well I guess this makes my job a lot easier. Case closed. Now I just have to set a trap for myself and walk into it.

This is a story that shows jokes don't always work out in real life like they do in chain emails.

For Phil’s fiftieth birthday his wife of thirty years, Jill, threw him a surprise party. Phil loved Jill dearly, even though he had never seen her. Phil was blind but it never seemed to get in the way of his life. In fact, he was always on the lookout for the perfect moment to make a joke about his disability. Jill booked a reservation at Bert’s, Phil’s favorite restaurant, and invited all of his friends and family. They were having a great time laughing, sharing stories, and enjoying each other’s company.

Their waitress came to the table to take down everyone’s orders. Phil’s friend Bill, who was also blind, got a hamburger and water. Teresa, Phil's sister, got a house salad and iced tea. Finally the waitress asked for Phil’s order.

“I’ll have the porterhouse steak and a Coke,” he said.

“Regular or diet?”

Phil knew this was his moment. He had been waiting for an opportunity like this for years.

“What’s the difference?” he said. “It’s not like I can watch my calorie intake.”

Immediately a man across the restaurant went into cardiac arrest because Phil’s joke was so hilarious.

Phil could hear people screaming. “Help him! Is there a doctor here?”

Jill choked on her spinach dip appetizer as soon as Phil said his line. Phil heard her gasping for breath.

“What’s happening?” he said.

Teresa couldn’t breathe. She had never heard something so hilarious in her life. She fell on the floor and passed out.

Phil heard a series of thuds as diners all over the restaurant fell down. People were moaning, panting, and begging for life.

“Why did you say that?” gurggled Bill. After he heard the line he laughed so hard six of his teeth fell out and he was rapidly losing blood out of his mouth.

Soon everyone in the restaurant was on the floor. Phil didn’t know what to do. All he could hear were the blaring sirens of an ambulance. “I didn’t mean for it to happen like this,” he said.

An EMT rushed to Phil’s side.

“Sir, you are the only one left. Can you tell me what happened?”

“I…I don’t know,” said Phil. He considered his next line carefully. He had just witnessed the terrible power of his joke, but he was hungry to tell more. “I swear I didn’t see anything.”


“I’m blind.”

“Oh. Oh!”

The EMT exploded. He had never before heard anything so hilarious.

Phil killed the next four EMTs, three police officers, and two firemen who came to his aid. He was sentenced to lockdown at a federal prison.

A reporter asked him if he had any regrets about his jokes.

“Well you know what they say. Hindsight is 20/20. Or in my case, 0/0.”

The reporter laughed so hard she was transported to the sixth dimension.

Phil was sentenced to the electric chair. He narrowly escaped after killing everyone in the room with the line, “I’ll see you in Hell! Actually, I’ll just hear you.”

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Chapter Three.

“Grrr rurr rarr!” is a greeting used by many Amazonian tribes as a wake-up message. Mel Frank knew that not from a book but from the Amazonian tribesman yelling in his face.

“Okay, I’m up!” said Mel. He hadn’t realized he had fallen asleep. He also hadn’t realized that he drooled all over the cage he was locked in. The tribesman didn’t look pleased. “Don’t worry, I’ll clean it up. I'm rather good at cleaning things up."

The tribesman dragged Mel’s cage out of the communal hut it resided in and through what appeared to be the village meeting area. During the drag Mel realized what was going on. It was the night of the vernal equinox, the day when the sun is positioned directly over the equator. It was also the day when this tribe seemed to practice some sort of sacrificial ritual to a jungle monster. Mel was more concerned with that part because, from what he had gathered, he was the sacrifice.

The dragging stopped when the cage arrived in a clearing of the forest just outside the village. It was dark. It was silent. Mel was fascinated by everything around him. It seemed the entire tribe was gathered around the clearing to witness whatever kind of brutal ritual was about to happen. There were men, women, and children all clad in leaves and bark eagerly watching Mel. As soon as he saw them Mel could only think about how uncomfortable underwear made of bark must be.

A body paint-covered tribesman wearing an elaborate mask stepped forward. Mel looked on from inside the cage.

“Grr lurr!”

“Oh, yes. Grr lurr to you too, sir. Or chief. I assume you are the chief, judging by your mask and your paints. Might I ask—“

“Grung loo!”

“Grung loo!” the villagers chanted back.

“I have just one question about what’s going on here. I want—“

“Hooga chakka!”

“I’m sorry, but I do not understand.”

“Hooga chakka!”

“Please listen to me. I am a scientist! You can see here from my goggles and bag. And look at my coat. I even have a lab coat! Don’t you know about—“

“Hooga chakka!”

Everyone joined in chanting, “Hooga chakka! Hooga chakka! Hooga chakka!”

The tribe leader unlocked Mel’s cage.

“Oh, why thank you so much. I—“

The tribe leader pushed Mel deep into the forest. It was pitch black. He couldn’t see anything. All he could hear was the solitary chanting of the tribe. And some sort of loud, terrifying growl.

Ah, thought Mel, that must be the monster.

Oh no. The monster. If those drawings were accurate Mel was about to witness a spectacular feast from the main course’s point of view.

“That would be an interesting experiment,” said Mel to himself.

Mel heard the beast approaching. Branches shattered into sprays of ballast with thunderous cracks. He heard the growl, slow and meaningful. That growl had an objective.

Mel heard his heart beating louder than it ever had before.

“Beep! Beep! Beep!”

“What was that? Is this monster some sort of robot?”

Something in his bag was ringing and vibrating wildly. He dug through it quickly and found his Sound Locator Device.

“I don’t recall programming in any sounds of deadly Amazonian monsters.”

Its display showed a jaguar. If it was correct the jaguar was fifteen meters north.

No way! thought Mel. Their drawings were so much more violent and vicious and exciting. If it was just a jaguar Mel could lure it in with one of the calls he had programmed into the Sound Locator. He activated it and soon the jaguar emerged from the forest and was kneeling next to Mel, licking his palm. Mel was somewhat disappointed that there wasn't any kind of fantastical monster, but, then again, he was pleased to still have a head.

Mel casually walked back into the village with the jaguar. The tribesman had already moved onto the next part of the ritual and was drenched in blood.

“Grr?” he said.

“Yes, grr. I have found your monster and it is nothing more than a jungle cat.”

“Hurr plurr?!” said the chief. He was amazed. In all his years of sacrificing lost explorers to that monster he had never seen it. He was pleasantly surprised to see it wasn’t anything that could rip you apart with two teeth and send you into another realm with the flick of its tongue.

All the villagers slowly approached the jaguar to pet it. They were all having a great time. After ten minutes the kids were playfully wrestling the beast and Mel was sharing a pig’s leg with the chief. Everyone ate, danced, and sang. Mel tried his best to keep up with the songs, but their lyrics sounded fairly similar to him. Was it grr or lurr? He couldn’t remember, but it didn’t matter. They were having a great time. The chief’s wife presented Mel with a golden statue of a jaguar. Another villager gave him a straw hat. Soon everyone was lined up to present Mel, the village’s savior, with some sort of gift.

Mel didn’t want to leave. He was having such a great time. “Man,” he said, “if only Tom and Jerry could see me here.”

Oddly enough Tom and Jerry wandered into the village right after he said that.

The same five tribesmen who had intercepted Mel pointed their spears at Tom and Jerry.

“No, no,” said Mel. “They’re okay.”

The tribesmen understood.

“Mel?” said Jerry. “Might I ask what’s going on here.”

“Yeah, of course,” said Mel. “They put me in a cage and there was a ritual and the monster was just a jaguar and I ate some pig and…It has been a very strange day.”

“It looks like it. Well we’ve got the plane ready to go. We have everything we need for our research. Are you ready to go?”

Mel didn’t know. He had never before been treated with such respect. But, then again, these people didn’t have any microscopes. They didn’t have any science at all.

“Okay,” said Mel. “Let’s go.”

The chief looked sad. Mel had quickly become his best friend.

“Don’t worry,” said Mel. “I’ll be back some day.”

And so Mel, Tom, and Jerry left the tribe, boarded their plane, flew with Manolo, miraculously avoided death on the flight, and were back in the lab by the next morning.

The bird egg Mel took from the nest that caught him hatched in a lab incubator. Mel named him Hooga, short for the “Hooga chakka” the tribe was so fond of chanting, which Mel later found out means “Oh, Great Monster! Here is a delicious man to eat!”

Mel finally had found his niche in science. He spent the rest of his days traveling to small tribes and villages around the world to spread the wondrous magic of science. He also sold his Sound Locator technology to a company that makes exploring equipment and became more successful than he had ever dreamed. He spent a lot of time with the chief of that Amazonian tribe, Hurr. Mel taught him everything he knows about science and the knowledge has brought incredible prosperity to the tribe and was the cause of only four major accidents. They also enjoyed eating pig legs together.

Mel Frank, the unlikely scientist, achieved superstardom one November day when a man from the Scholastic company came to his lab and took a photo of Mel, in his lab coat, inspecting a beaker. The photo was used to make Mel’s very own science poster.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Chapter Two.

“Ow!” It was a good thing birds in the Amazon built such huge nests. Mel landed in a spray of twigs and eggs. He had fallen three, maybe four hundred feet straight into a nest gently balancing on a lone branch jutting from a cliff face.

Mel took a moment to catch his breath. He checked to make sure he had everything. He had his goggles, his coat, and his bag. Now he just needed an idea of how to get out of that nest.

He peered over the edge. Nope, no way. The drop was probably fifty feet straight into a river. He couldn’t escape upward, either. It was nothing but sheer cliff, in its purest form. Mel had nothing to do but sit and enjoy the nest. He inspected one of the eggs. A fine specimen, he decided. Perhaps a Harpy Eagle. He tucked it into his bag for further study once he got back to the lab. That is, if he ever got back to the lab. Mel sighed and leaned back. At least whatever beast called that huge nest home wasn’t around. Mel figured he could relax for a little while before figuring out how to survive. He closed his eyes but opened them a minute later when he was startled by a sudden shriek of “Ba-Kaw!”

Pulsing towards at him at a deadly pace was some sort of nightmarish bird creature. Mel had never seen such a thing, except for maybe in a horror film. It was a jarring shade of black and had talons that meant business. It looked hungry, as though it could really go for a tasty scientist at the moment.

Mel considered his options. He could wait and hope the bird would fly away or he could dive over the edge and risk whatever was at the bottom of that river. He figured he’d wait it out. The bird got closer. That’s right, Mel thought, he won’t eat me. The bird got closer. No, no, thought Mel, he doesn’t look hungry at all. The bird got closer, so close that Mel could see the pupils of the bird’s eyes shouting “I want you in my beak!”

Mel closed his eyes and tumbled over the side of the nest. It was a silent fall, that is, until Mel did a spectacular belly flop into the river and screamed so loudly two hundred different species of bird simultaneously fled their branches. He swiftly swam to the shore, glad there hadn’t been any sort of amphibious beast waiting for him. When he got on the shore he realized that an amphibious beast was indeed waiting for him, though it was on land. Mel noted its sharp, snapping teeth and deep growl were key signs of hunger. So back into the river he dove. He swam faster than he had ever swam before, even faster than when he was chased by a pack of researchers after an underwater demonstration of his purification device caused one observer’s swim trunks to disappear.

After what seemed like an hour of nonstop swimming Mel pulled himself up onto some land. It looked clear. He was in the dead center of the Amazon Rainforest. Surrounding him was an unbroken panorama of trees, vines, and leaves. It was greener than Mel’s face had been when his Cucumber Crusher malfunctioned. Mel looked around the forest for any signs of life he could find. If there was a trail, or any kind of marking, he would at least have a clue of how to find other people or get out. He wandered for hours but didn’t find anything notable.

Mel felt lonely and took out the bird egg he had stored in his bag. He talked to it.

“So, Mr. Bird. Or Mrs. Bird. Whichever it may be. This is crazy, talking to a bird egg, but what else am I going to do? There are so many things to look at, so many things to inspect and investigate. There is science all around me! But I can’t spend time on that. I need to figure out how to survive. You…You what? You want me to build a shelter? Well that’s a great idea, Mr. Bird! Or Mrs. Bird. Let’s go build a shelter.”

And so Mel set off to build a shelter. He collected sticks, leaves, and vines. All the ingredients he needed for a quaint little hut. He tied together a few twigs with some vines and leaned it against a tree. He could just barely fit under it, but it seemed to get the job done. And it needed to because night was rapidly approaching.

Mel squeezed into his hut for the night but couldn’t sleep. His mind raced with ideas and plans for how to get out of the forest. He knew he was a good enough scientist to get out, and maybe doing so would convince the guys at the lab that he was good for something. He lay awake staring at a brief glimpse of the night sky through the forest canopy.

A thought kept running through his head: Get out. Get out. Get out. It ran so fast that it eventually became a single sound with a thumping rhythm: Dundoo dundoo dundoo dundoo. Wait, he realized, that wasn’t in his head. That noise was coming from somewhere close. It sounded like some sort of pattern, some kind of song. It must be people!

Mel grabbed his bag, goggles, and apron and ran toward the noise. He got closer and closer until he spotted a fire illuminating the forest. People! He was saved! He crouched behind a bush for a closer look.

Oh no. People. He was trapped. Five loin-clothed tribal men pushed the bush aside and pointed spears at his face. They did not look particularly inviting. “Hello,” said Mel. “Your spears and harsh expressions indicate that you aren’t very happy to see me.”

They weren’t. They captured Mel and dragged him into their village. Mel tried to communicate, but they returned only a series of grunts. They brought Mel inside a large communal hut and locked him in a crude cage near a fire.

“Please,” said Mel, “I can explain. I was on a science expedition. Do you know about science? It’s absolutely fascinating! It’s…” He stopped. What’s the point, he wondered. They’ll probably just toss me into that fire.

Mel looked at the fire. There was a series of painted glyphs around it. He looked carefully at each one. They showed animals being killed, tribal women dancing, and some sort of monster devouring a human. There were diagrams of the moon underneath the monster, indicating, Mel noted, the vernal equinox. Wow, thought Mel. It looks like that monster is supposed to eat someone on the equinox. What a coincidence, thought Mel, the equinox is tomorrow!

Oh no. What a coincidence.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Here's the first chapter of a three-chapter story. It's not quite in the same style as the last one. There's not as many historical figures taking their pants off. There will be plenty more of that in the future. There's a time and a place for that, like there is for kickball or robbing the bank at four o'clock tomorrow. This just isn't that kind of story.

Mel Frank was not an intelligent man. But that didn’t stop him from being a scientist. It was what he always wanted to do. Even in elementary school, when asked about their aspirations his classmates would say firefighter or doctor and he would always chime in, “Scientist!” no matter what utensil was up his nose.

He grew up immersed in all things science. The walls in his room were plastered with images not of rock stars shredding on guitars, but of lab coat-wearing researchers inspecting glass tubes. He loved biology, chemistry, astronomy, and anything else that involved microscopes or telescopes or any other sort of scope. His parents supported their son’s interest, buying him science kits for Christmas and sending him off to a number of different camps every summer. He would always return burnt or electrocuted or in some form charred, but he didn’t care. He loved science even if it didn’t love him back.

Mel got into a decent college and talked his way through a series of transfers. First to a good college, then a really good one, and finally a great one. The admissions departments were always impressed with his passion for science, even if his research wasn’t anything particularly notable. He was too busy being amazed by science to actually do any. He did well and after graduation was hired by HL Labs, a respected group that specialized in biochemistry and ecology.

Mel worked with two other scientists, Tom Priestly and Jerry Grew, neither of whom were particularly fond of Mel’s hyperactive approach. They were by-the-books scientists. Mel always pointed out at conventions that their names were Tom and Jerry and they always didn’t laugh. They had no time for cartoons. No time for fun.

“I really think I’m on to something here,” Mel said one late night in the lab.

“What’s the point?” said Tom. “A device that identifies sounds? Aren’t those called ears?”

Mel had thought that before. But he had been working on this project for weeks. A device that could pinpoint the location of a sound and the creature that emitted it. Surely someone could find a use for it. Maybe he’s right, Mel thought. He sighed and tossed it into his bag.

“Just like all the others.”

Tom and Jerry had been working on a study of the beneficial effects of the pollen from the babosa branca tree in Brazil. Mel wasn’t exactly helpful. He was enthusiastic, sure, but he was never particularly enthused when it came to the hours of sitting and reading Tom and Jerry did. He preferred standing and endlessly hypothesizing.

“What if the pollen has miracle powers? I read about a tribe in the Amazon rain forest that takes a supposedly deadly toxin from a tree frog as medicine! Or what if the pollen tastes great? What if it makes an excellent spice?”

“Be quiet, Mel,” said Jerry. “We need to get as much research as possible done before the trip. We are leaving tomorrow, you know.”

Mel knew. He had had the day marked on his calendar for months. A trip into the Amazon to get some first-hand research. He couldn’t wait. This was what he dreamed about. He couldn’t sleep that night. He stayed up flipping through science magazines, making a light out of a potato, and wondering about the infinite possibilities of science. Who knew what they would find? He didn’t. And he couldn’t wait to find out.

He burst into the lab so hard the next morning he broke seven beakers. “No worries, fellas,” he said, “we will clean them when we get back!”

He brought along his best travel gear: his bag, which contained various experiments and works in progress, his lab coat, and his goggles. The goggles were a must. If there was one thing he knew about science, it was to always wear protective eyewear.

“Let’s do this, guys!” he said to Tom and Jerry, who appeared groggy the morning of the trip. “A science adventure in Brazil! People will be reading about this all over the world!”

Tom and Jerry ignored him.

The three scientists got in Tom’s car and drove to the airport. The ride was silent except for Mel making his observations.

“Have you ever noticed how the lines on the right side of the road are yellow? I wonder what the science behind that is. Why are the clock numbers blue? I bet there’s some science there.”

It went on like that for almost an hour until they pulled into the airport. It was a small, run-down affair. No commercial plane would take them deep enough into the jungle. They had to convince a one-armed South American cocaine dealer named Manolo to fly them in his rusty plane.

“Get into mi airplane!” he said with the kind of voice South American cocaine dealers have. A white trail followed him wherever he went, like an addict’s Hansel and Gretel.

They all boarded the plane, a dented metal craft that looked like it had been assembled a century ago and had possibly been engaged in aerial dogfights. Judging by the holes in the sides, it had probably lost.

“Wow,” said Mel. “It looks like this thing has been through a few experiments.”

“No criticism of mi plane!” shouted Manolo. “To start her up you all need to jump up and down three times!”

The scientists look at each other. They had never heard of such a requirement, but they did it anyway. It was hard to say no to Manolo, especially when he threatened to hit you in the head with his wooden club-arm.

While they jumped Manolo laughed at them. “You scientists are no smarter than my wooden club-arm.” He waved it around. “Now it is time to go.”

The plane started with a few hiccups. Then there was a series of coughs, then sneezes, then what sounded like vomiting. The whole plane shook violently. Screws popped out of the sides. An entire side panel, about four feet across, fell off. “Do not mind that!” said Manolo. “It happens all the time. But you will pay me extra for flying without it.”

After a few seconds the plane was in the air.

“Nice job!” said Mel. He began inspecting everything in the plane.

“Stop it,” said Jerry. “You’re just going to break something. That’s the last thing we need right now.”

Mel understood. He had a history of breaking things, from Bunsen burners to windows to both of Jerry's legs. He sat down and tried to start a conversation with his partners. They weren’t in the mood. He brought up his last study, which determined that most clocks update their numbers once per minute. Tom and Jerry were not impressed. They fell asleep.

Several hours later Mel woke them up. “We’re here! I can see the rain forest. Look!”

Tom glanced out the gap in the wall of the plane. Jerry mustered a grunt.

“Look! I can see the canopy level of the forest!” Mel was peering over the edge of the gap in the wall. He already had his lab coat and goggles on and his bag slung around his shoulder. “If I just peer a little closer I think I can observe that…”

Oh no. Mel looked up. He saw the plane. It was still moving, although in a different direction than he was. He looked down. Yes, he observed, that is the ground. And it was rapidly approaching.

This is a newspaper article.

Toys R Us just won’t cut it anymore. The toy chain has lost momentum in recent years to a new cropping of old-fashioned toy shops; you know, the kind owned by a kind, white-haired old man in the movies. People appreciate the warmness of a toy store owned by someone they can actually talk to instead of a corporate logo. One of the most popular of these stores locally is Terry’s Toys, owned by retired orthodontist and family man Terry Thompson. Terry was kind enough to speak with us about his shop’s recent success.

AJC: Congratulations on your success. Were you at all surprised by your store’s popularity, especially compared to the chain retailers?

Thompson: Big (expletive) deal. We sell toys to kids. It’s not (expletive) brain surgery.

AJC: Oh, okay. Does your background as an orthodontist help you interact with children?

Thompson: I worked with (expletive) teeth. Now I sell Legos to little (expletives). I see no correlation.

AJC: What’s your favorite part about the job?

Thompson: Five o’clock, when I leave.

AJC: Well you must like the kids at least.

Thompson: Yeah, I love them. I especially love when they (expletive) on the floor. That’s always a treat.

AJC: I’m sorry, but is there any reason you’re in this business? You don’t seem to enjoy it at all.

Thompson: No, no, I seriously love those (expletive) (expletive) kids. Last week the cutest baby I’ve ever seen came in. Just a doll. I loved it when she threw up into my (expletive) moustache. But, really, I (expletive) love toys. I really do. I love selling great (expletive) toys at great (expletive) prices to great (expletive) kids.

AJC: Thank you for talking with us.

Thompson: Thanks for making my dump interesting. It was either you or Reader’s Digest.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We apologize, but the AJC staff has recently found out that the person we interviewed as Mr. Terry Thompson was an imposter who has been living as Terry Thompson and running his toy store for two months. We do not recommend going to the toy shop until the real Mr. Thompson returns from wherever the imposter is holding him captive. I will repeat: Do not go into Terry’s Toys until the real Terry is back unless you want to get yelled at by a foul-mouthed criminal, even if he does love selling great toys at great prices.

Monday, June 9, 2008

This is a high school graduation speech by a student named Jeremy Pickens. It shows why faculty members at most schools have to review speeches before they can be given.

I want to thank Principal McCormack for allowing me to give this speech. I also want to thank each and every teacher and faculty member at James Monroe High School for providing all of the students with a great education and place to learn.

So, fellow students. We made it. We have finally graduated high school. I know it seemed tough at times. We studied hard. We spent so much time on those research papers. And we stole a lot of lab equipment. Seriously, Mr. Peters, if you’ve been wondering where all those Bunsen burners are you should check my garage.

I remember my first day of school. I was six years old and so lost. I'm sure we all were. Before school I wandered into the cafeteria where I met my best friend, Glen. Now, twelve years later, we’ve changed a lot. I’ve grown taller and, I hope, a little smarter. Glen is still a part of my life. He’s a great guy and currently supplies my PCP habit.

This whole class has shared a lot of fond memories. From attending football games to seeing concerts to derailing trains, we’ve done it all. I especially remember the time we broke the windows on Principal McCormack’s car and tried to set his house on fire. Remember how hilarious it was when he chased us, screaming, “It’ll take a million dollars for you hooligans to graduate!” Remember how hard it was to raise that million dollars? It’s a good thing Glen sells so much PCP.

We’ve had some shocking times. We all have a story or two to tell from our crazy experiences. I’m sure most of you remember when Trey Robinson and Tommy Rogers hit four men with their car on the same night. Hey, it was more hits than they ever got on the baseball field, am I right? But seriously, it seemed like the whole school was out there helping them toss bodies into the river. It was that kind of teamwork that bonded our class. Remember when Kelly Jones contracted a record three STDs in one semester? I see her family out there in the audience. I wonder if they know.

I also have fond memories of the time we all cheated on the SAT together. That was an accomplishment like no other. Thanks again to Brian Tedski for smuggling all the answers out of the testing facility. You’re amazing, man. You have an extraordinary anus.

I’d like to leave you all with a quote. My father once said, “Jeremy, you are an embarrassment.”

Thank you.

Here's a weird newspaper article.

What to Do When a Robber Strikes

By Rusty Sanders, robber.

Our homes are our temples. They protect our families and our expensive belongings. A robbery can be devastating, physically and emotionally. Here are some tips to help you deal with a robbery efficiently.

  1. If you hear an alarm go off, do not call the police. They will only complicate things.
  2. When the robber asks where your valuables are, be polite. Imagine you are a salesperson and the robber is a customer. They expect courtesy. Show them where you keep the valuables, starting with precious metals. I assure you this is vital for your safety.
  3. Give the robbers plenty of time to work. They don’t interrupt your profession, so please don’t interrupt theirs.
  4. Ask if the robbers are hungry. If so, cook them what they want. Robbery requires a lot of energy. In case it’s me robbing you, please have macaroni and cheese available.
  5. Do not try to signal your neighbors. They are likely asleep and do not wish to be waken. Also, do not call the police.
  6. Try not to look the robber in the face. If you accidentally catch a glimpse, forget what he looks like. Imagine the fun you can have trying to figure out his identity.
  7. If a robber deems it necessary to tie you to a chair, please do not resist. Just enjoy your comfortable chair. You were the one who decided to buy it, anyway. You might as well enjoy it.
  8. Keep any large televisions near a doorway. No robber wants to lug that thing up a staircase.
  9. When the robber is done, ask him if he found everything okay. Bid him farewell and offer directions onto the interstate.
  10. Do not call the police.

Hopefully these tips will allow your robbery experience to be a safe and pleasant one. Just keep it in mind that robbery is like shopping without money. I wish you the best of luck if you are ever the victim of a robbery. I also wish that you have a lot of expensive merchandise. I do have bills to pay, you know.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Here is a letter.

Dear Proctor and Gamble Corporation,

I enjoy your Head and Shoulders product. In fact, it is my favorite salad dressing. But whenever I eat it I get very sick for three or four days. Is there something wrong with a recent formula? Also, my local grocery store stocks it in the shampoo section. I have brought up the problem with them, but they have not moved it to the dressing aisle as of this writing. Many of my favorite restaurants, from T.G.I. Friday’s to the Red Lobster, do not carry your dressings. I would suggest making some sort of partnership with these eateries. Are there any new flavors in the works? I thought that your new Citrus Breeze was too sweet. I think Dry Scalp Care is your tastiest.

Thanks and keep up the good work.

Smell you later,

Charlie Stevens

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Here's a math problem I found today.

29. You and your friends want to order a pizza. There are five toppings available: pepperoni, sausage, bacon, mushrooms, and red onions. A large pizza has eight slices and a medium has six. You have three friends over, Margaret, Bill, and Richard. Margaret will eat two slices and wants mushrooms. Bill will have three slices and wants pepperoni and mushrooms. Richard, being the moron that he is, swears he can eat eight slices of pizza with all the toppings. You’ve seen him call things like this before and he never comes through. He talks up his stomach like it’s some kind of mythological creature that gets larger the more it’s filled. Remember that time he said he’d eat two dozen doughnuts? He barely finished six. He’s pathetic. He’s got no drive. He’ll end up working at Circuit City for the rest of his life, guaranteed. He probably won’t even pay you back for the pizza. So anyway, what is the probability of you getting a pizza with the toppings everyone wants? It’s not like it matters anyway. All those slices with everything will just sit in the fridge for two weeks and get thrown out. Why do you even hang out with Richard? You should hang out with Derrick from number 18. He’s a solid guy. He’s into picking marbles out of socks.