Posts Tagged With: stories

The Amazing Story of This Five Dollar Bill


This is it. This is the five dollar bill.

The other day, I was getting in my car and this five dollar bill was frozen in the ice by the passenger-side door, so I chipped it out with my boot and now I have five more dollars.

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The Awesomeness Of Martha Jones


“Thank you for all of your help, Martha Jones,” said the man in the blue suit standing on the stage holding all of the awesome medals, “It was a big help and saved the world. So, you win all the Awesome Awards and we present you with all these awesome medals for being awesome.”

Martha Jones did not care about awesome medals, but she knew that if she did not show up to accept them – all of them – the public would be disappointed because they cared so much. So very much.

“I accept all of the awesome medals,” she said to the man while looking him directly in his eyes as was her way because she was every man’s equal, “I accept them all. The Awesome Awards.”

The man in the blue suit put all of the medals around the neck of Martha Jones and, though they were heavy, she held her head high so she could look every person in the eyes as equals because that is what they were. And, they were all into it because they cared so much.

“I hope you have a safe drive home,” said the man in the blue suit, “Be careful. The roads are slippery and the whole country – nay, the whole world – would weep if you were injured.”

“I will be careful,” said Martha Jones, “because I value safety and I value your feelings, although I would never put them before my own.”

Martha Jones got in her car and drove away and everybody was impressed and they all cared so much because they all thought she was so awesome.

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The Sad(?) Tale of Willy Marks

Try not to get all turned on.

Try not to get all turned on

Let me tell you about a thing . . .

When my across the street neighbor – Willy Marks was his name – when Willy Marks disappeared down that abandoned mine shaft that the school board had converted into a Ball Pit, we sure did learn to appreciate the benefits of good lighting. Little Willy – he was 28 but we called him “Little Willy” because he was bad and it made him feel bad – Little Willy was trapped in the mine shaft for a month(!) and he only managed to stay alive thanks to all the food and water and reading materials we threw down to him. Over and over we’d chuck McDonald’s and Burger King and Arby’s and Hardee’s and Jack In The Box and Kentucky Fried Chicken and Popeye’s Chicken and Hart’s Crispy Fried Chicken and Hal’s Chicken (a local chain) and Cap’n D’s and Long John Silvers down to him and he’d eat everything but the Jack in the Box and throw the garbage back up to us and we’d say “Little Willy! You want anything to read?!” and he’d yell back “A bible and a light to read her by!” So we’d throw down a bible and a flashlight and then one day we wondered why we kept having the throw down a fresh bible every time he wanted to read one and why he didn’t just ask for new batteries instead of a whole new flashlight. Well, our questions were answered at the end of the month with a giant rumbling from below! The ground shook, it shaked, it shimmied and out of the mine shaft came Little Willy his own self, rocketing into the clouds on a flying raft made of bibles and powered by flashlight parts and his faith in the Lord! Well, many a hand went over several a heart that day and as we watched Willy sail away above the clouds, we understood that the real light that lit his way didn’t come from any flashlight; it came from the spirit that burned deep within his soul.

He crashed that flying bible-raft an hour later and was pretty much spread across seven counties. Scientists speculate he had to have been going three hundred miles an hour in order to make the crater he did. Scientists from “other towns” insist it was a meteor that crashed and that Willy had died weeks ago down in that mine and that the whole operation was a scam perpetrated by our town’s colossal Flashlight and Bible manufactory. But, we’d have none of it. We got rid of those scientists the same way we got rid of everyone. Down the mine shaft – I mean, down the ball pit.

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On Hal’s and Carpeting and . . . mores?

Let me tell you a little story.

car1When I was a child, I walked to school every morning – let’s not get into what year this was; I’ll just say, yes, cars had been invented by then (BIG FAKE LAUGH)! – and every morning I passed a carpeting store. Hal’s Carpets. Hal’s was a neighborhood fixture, had operated in the same storefront, with the same staff for further back than my young memory extended, and our community relied on Hal’s for quality carpets at a reasonable price. They may not have been the best carpets available – that honor went to the carpets at Carpet-A-Rama – and they may not have been the best value – that would be Carpet Pete’s (Pete was Hal’s half-brother on their father’s side and they’d had a bitter rivalry since childbirth. They were both dead by this point, but the feud carried on through their children and store managers) but Hal’s Carpets was a fixture and community uniter. Not a Halloween went by that we didn’t throw on our sheets, or masks, or sheeted masks and trundle our pillowcases down the street to Hal’s Carpets bellowing our “Trick or Treats” at the tops of our lungs until we were quieted down by a screaming neighbor, or angry tramp or a hose aimed at us by the local constabulary. We never got any candy on Halloween, – candy and other sugared snacks had been outlawed by city ordinance decades before I was born – but the annual Halloween Yelling at the Carpet Store united the youth of our community and kept us busy while the adults had their key parties and gin baths; and as we trundled home on November 1st at about five in the morning, soaked, bruised and otherwise banged around, we felt a sense of pride, of community, of unity.


When Hal’s Carpets shut down in my third Junior year of High School, you can imagine the uproar. Gone were the carefree afternoons hurling mud and invectives at the carpet delivery vans as they sped off to parts unknown. Gone was the opportunity to transition immediately from Public School into Hal’s Carpet’s Post-Graduate Carpet Management Training Club and Bartender Supply Company. Gone was the sense that we belonged to something bigger. Something grander. Something that might pay us enough money to afford a ticket out of this town that consisted of little more that strip clubs and carpet stores. Gone was Hal’s. We did receive a bit of an economic boost when Hal’s was razed and tourists started flocking in to see the “mystery grave pit” that was discovered under the foundation, but after a few skulls went “missing” from the “evidence locker” and the deacon disappeared, they shut that little enterprise down right quick.

My point being, kids today know no deep appreciation of carpet and paint in public spaces.

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The Master, the Kitten and the Cake

5-human-foods-cats-can-eat0The Zen Master was baking a cake in his high-technical kitchen when a small cat wandered in through the half-open door.

“What a cute kitten,” the Zen Master thought to himself, “If I give it a piece of fish, it will stay in my kitchen and I can enjoy its company. However, I have no fish to offer. Therefore, I would need to procure some fish and in order to do that, I would have to abandon the kitten, putting my half-made cake in danger. I could take the kitten with me, but it is very difficult to fish in the presence of a kitten, as they are excitable and tend to frighten away fish and other small animals. I could offer it some milk, but I only have enough left to finish my cake. If I left the house to buy some milk from the local milk-seller, I’m back in the same place I was before. And before. And before. And before. And before. And – “

The Zen Master continued to say “And before” all night and well into the next day. When he finally snapped out of his self-induced trance, he had soiled his pants and the kitten was gone.  Also, the kitten had eaten a good portion of the cake batter and knocked over some of the Zen Master’s plants. Also, the kitten was just a small cat, not a kitten. Also, there may have never been a cat as no one except the Zen Master was there and he was a notorious liar and he only told the story after someone asked him if he knew he’d soiled his pants. Also, he may not have been a real Zen Master. Also, where did he keep getting all of his money; he had, like three cars.

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Post-Halloween Interlude – CGI Ghosts!

CGI ghosts are horrifying. They creep up behind you, seeming to almost blend in with their surroundings. Their feet kinda hovering above the floor – are they supposed to be floating or is it just poor compositing? Doesn’t matter. It’s ghosts!

CGI ghosts are nothing but possibility. They could be in the room with you. They could be just outside the window. They could be in the foreground or background. Are they transparent? Are you? It’s almost impossible to tell! It’s ghosts!

CGI ghosts aren’t limited by the confines of the physical world. Or even the metaphysical world. They don’t feel the need to to enter a room through a door, a window or a wall. They just float in from off-screen. CGI ghosts don’t leave like normal ghosts either. They can burst apart into a thousand identical leaves or crumble into unconvincing ash. It makes no difference which. It’s ghosts!

CGI ghosts sometimes bear the faces of dead loved ones, but these faces are plasticky and the mouths don’t move right. This is not a flaw, however, it is a feature. It makes these ghosts seem unreal and therefore scarier. The eyes of the CGI ghosts seem to float within the head, hovering just behind their eye holes. The muscles of the faces of CGI ghosts move independently of one another and not always in concert. Still, it is creepy. It’s ghosts!

CGI ghosts don’t need no bustin’ because they are always welcome despite their hostile actions. CGI ghosts are the real life of the party. CGI ghosts push envelopes. Think outside boxes. Impress your girlfriend. Know all the best bands. CGI ghosts don’t haunt; they help . . . you be a better person. It’s ghosts!

You got a problem?

CGI ghosts!

You need a hand?

CGI ghosts!

You like that girl?

CGI ghosts?

That’s some good soup!

CGI ghosts!

CGI ghosts!

CGI ghosts!

CGI ghosts!

CGI ghosts!

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Halloween Interlude – The Happy (but not scary!) Halloween

It was Halloween, and nothing scary was going on. Kids were coming to the door and leaving with lots of candy. Black cats were absent, although there was a ragged looking calico wandering around. No bats flew overhead. No wolves howled in the distance. No witches flew across the moon. Nothing. Not even a vampire. Nothing.

Well, there was one thing.

Eric’s hand had grown an extra finger.

“This is weird,” he thought to himself, “But, it isn’t scary.”

Eric took a sharp knife to the finger. It fell to the floor and rolled under the table.

Later, after the candy bowl was emptied and put away, Eric sat down to watch some television. Sitting in his chair, was the finger.

“How did you get there?” he asked, “You must have crawled there yourself. That’s weird. But, it isn’t scary.”

Eric moved the finger over and sat down.

Eric and the finger watched old reruns of “Night Gallery” and “Night Court” until around eleven-thirty.

“Most people don’t accept that ‘Night Court’ was a reworking of Serling’s treatment for a ‘Night Gallery’ revival,” he told the finger, “But, if you really pay attention to the pilot, it’s fairly obvious.”

He looked down, and the finger was gone.

“That’s weird,” he thought, “But, it isn’t scary.

Eric went to the toilet and as he was washing up, he noticed the finger sitting on his medicine shelf.

“How’d you get up there?” he wondered aloud, “You don’t belong up there.”

Eric picked up the finger and put it in his old turtle terrarium. The turtles were long gone, but he liked the little lagoon. The finger seemed fine.

Eric read the finger stories and sang it songs all night. The finger bobbed a little bit to “John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt.” Eric tossed it some bread crumbs which it ate, although Eric wasn’t sure how.

“You’re my best friend,” Eric said.

“I love you,” the finger said.

It was the happiest Halloween.

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Halloween Interlude – Here Come the Jack-O’-Mans!

This Halloween, there were fifteen Jack-O’-Mans on my block. That is one, two, three up to fifteen Jack-O’-Mans in one block! Holy and crap. Is that a lot of Jack-O’-Mans? For one block it is, yes sir.

What does it take to produce so many Jack-O’-Mans? And why. I took it upon myself to investigative report the answers.


I talked to the proprietor of the first home – a gentle-man by the name of Allen Bates. Here is a transcript of our discussion.

ALAN BATES: Leave me alone!


And then my tape machine broke.

I bought a Jack-O’-Man skull at the local conflabulary – a spicy store on the corner called “Grocery Store?”

ME: One Jack-O’-Man skull, my fine lady!

LADY: I’m sorry, do you need help?

ME: Direct me towards the Jack-O’-Man skulls that I may see within and discover their hoary secrets!

LADY: The Halloween decorations are at the front of the store, by the carts.

ME: Unhand me!

LADY: I’m not touching –


And then my tape machine broke.

This was getting me NO-WHERE! All about me were evidences of Jack-O’-Man activity, but nothing to show for my investigations but a package of Root Beer Barrels and a package of Root Beer Barrels.


I woke up all over the place. I dreamed of Jack-O’-Mans and their eyes and beady eyes. GODS! How do you craft a Jack-O’-Man?! I grabbed one from a stoop and screamed WHY ARE YOU HEEEAR!? So many children came out to look at me and then ran back up into the trees! Stop stealing my bird-food, children!

That night was the night the kids wore masks like popular car-toons (HEEMAN, Skeletorn, The Princess, Jon and the Holmograns, Gummy Bear, The Smurf, Bat-man, Spider-man, Hulk-man, The Avenger, Star War, Drancula, The Skizzzz, Rubiks Cube, crayons in a pot, Salt and pepper shakes, a fork, plates and a cup, several napkins, a place-mat, doormat, a door bell, deer doer, the Big One, Smurds, Stamberry Shorktakes, Rainbow Bright, my pony pony, Blank byouty, the blak stallion, gross weatherman, that guy that looks, other kids, kids with faces, purple pie-man, all-you-can-eat, mY Bologna, the wig, ear picker, galaxy high school) and you give them sweets.

I still hadn’t a JACK-O’-MAN!

I had to resort to desperate measures.

I stole a Jack-O’-Man skull and dug INTO IT!

After it was done I took the inside of the SKULL and thrust the bits at children who came to my door.

I HEAR YOU CAN MAKE PIES OF THESE! i might have screamed.

Kids ran hither and thither and moms yelled and I had to spend a NIGHT IN THE POKEY!

So, the moral of this story is: I broke out of jail.

It was sooooo easy because it wasn’t a “jail” it was a “room” and I didn’t “break out” I “left” because it was “my room” and I had already “spent a night” in “real jail.”


When I got home, there was the SKULL MESS where I’d dropped it, on my floor and I spoooooooooooned it up and made the most amazing pie in the WORLD by eating the goooooooooop in a bowl of milk. PIES!

Next year, I will NOT have a Jack-O’-Man they are too much trumble and don’t make good guests and the kids in the neighborhood chew the eye sockets.

My momma once told me there were no Jack-O’-Mans but she was wrong. There are.

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Halloween Interlude – The Shortest Ghost


The Shortest Ghost was very short
Not even two feet high
He looked up to the other ghosts
Who called him “Little Guy.”

The witches called him “Goblin Food”
The mummies called him “Thumbkin”
The Draculas just picked him up
And stuffed him in a pumpkin.

The werewolves all turned up their snouts
As if he wasn’t there
The bats and spiders laughed at him
The Devils pulled his hair

Each Halloween he hoped and dreamed
He’d pull off one big fright
And listen to the children scream
And cry for mom all night

But, when the spooking hour came
The other ghosts would sneer
“A tiny ghost with no loud ‘Boo!’
Does not inspire fear!”

This Halloween, he sat at home
And watched some DVDs
But scary films just made him sad
And he’d seen all of these

And so the Shortest Ghost set out
He thought he’d Trick or Treat
With emphasis on “tricks” because
The treats he could not eat

He stalked a motley group of kids
Who’d not, for hours, be missed
And with a pounce enveloped them
Within his spectral mist

He showed them sights – obscenities –
No living being should see
The face of Death, the Hills of Ot
The Red Pnakotic Sea

He led them through Zehirete
The Holy Womb of Light
And bathed them in The White Fire
Which Is Darker Than The Night

Shub-Niggurath – the Black Goat
With a Thousand Hungry Young –
Ignored them, but not Nyarlathotep
God of the Bloody Tongue

The King In Yellow, Hastur,
Lord of Interstellar Spaces
Was dropping by and broke their minds
By showing them his faces

The Shortest Ghost then dragged them deep
Beneath the ocean’s waves
Where mermaids, fat with sailors’ blood,
Lured men down to their graves

And, down where dead Cthulhu dreamt
And Dagon held court, too
The Shortest Ghost swam in their ears
And whispered to them

The children screamed, or tried to,
For the ocean filled their lungs
But, soon enough, it mattered not
For death had stopped their tongues

He’d played his trick, he’d had his treat
The dawn would soon be there
The shortest ghost now had his proof
That he knew how to scare

“WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!” his brothers cried
As he rose out of the foam,
“The Old Gods wake! The Howler Screams!
The Shambler starts to roam!”

“You’ve called attention to mankind
With your stupid little trick
We’re sorry that we called you short
But, this is pretty sick!”

The Shortest Ghost looked hard at them
And, then into the sky
The stars blinked out, the clouds dripped blood
The moon revealed an eye

He thought, “Well, no more haunting now
The dead won’t fear the dead
And, no more Halloween for us
Just endless dark instead”

But, never did the Shortest Ghost
Regret what he had done
For size is always relative
Beneath a blackened sun.


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