Friday, March 28, 2014

Some flash things I won't be collecting into a book

Sea People
The ad in the back of the comic book said Sea People. He thought it was strange, because he remembered those kinds of ads and they were for sea monkeys, not people. And they weren’t even that, they were shrimp. Brine shrimp. He’d read that somewhere or seen it on TV. He thought maybe it was a new marketing gimmick, an angle, so he sent in five bucks.

Two days later the package came. It was one of those puffy envelopes. Inside, there was another envelope and inside of that, another, and inside of that, a packet like what comes with instant soup and a card. The card said “Add Water” so he took it inside and poured it into a soup mug and added water. Nothing happened so he poured it down the sink.

That night, he remembered that he hadn’t seen it on TV after all, he’d ordered them before, when he was a child. His parents wouldn’t let him have a pet so he’d ordered sea monkeys to fill the void. Nothing had happened that time when he’d added water either. He began to think he might be cursed. He no longer read comic books on the metro. Instead, he began a study of math.

-CL Bledsoe (originally ran in Clockwise Cat)

* * *

A Good Thing

He thought there were fish in the trees. He could see the sun glinting on their scales. He never smelled them, though, so he knew they weren’t dead. All day at work, he stared out the window—he could just see them over the top of his cubicle—until Jen came and told him they needed for him to switch desks with Tim (since Tim was out) while maintenance repaired the air vent just over his desk. He sat in misery—really, it was worse than the other day when he’d typed something especially vitriolic on his blog and waited for the fallout. All week, he waited, until they finished the repairs. Then, he heard that Tim wasn’t coming back. He knew he couldn’t ask them to move him back. Besides, he had an actual office now. Wasn’t that a good thing?

-CL Bledsoe (originally ran in Caper)

* * *

The House
When he was young, his parents never let him leave the house. He knew no one who wasn't part of the household, and on the rare occasion they took him out, he was afraid. But he explored the delicious comfort of the familiar. The carpet was full of crocodiles, the closets, full of monkeys swinging between his father's shirts, the rooms full of memories and ghosts. He felt that it was better to know one place completely than to know bits of many.
As he grew older, he went to school and made friends, but rarely left the house otherwise. The friends came over and sat with him, talking long hours in the comfort of his familiarity. In their own homes, they grew disinterested with the toys, the video games, the rooms they inhabited, and spent more and more time with him. Some mornings, he'd wake to find several of them sitting on the couch out in the living room, talking, reading, surprised to see him as though he were a guest, until he felt crowded out of the house. He began to leave more and more often, graduated high school and moved far away. He hardly saw the friends anymore, except on the rare holiday when he came to visit the house, feeling awkward as a stranger, and found them, clustered on the couch, the loveseat, lying on his old bed, looking pale as though unused to the sun, and comfortable.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Some Funny Things that Originally Ran in Cautionary Tales

Unused Catch-phrases from My Uncle's Failed Novelty Button Manufacturing Business
CL Bledsoe

Blind people do it with feeling.
I heart tofu.
Picture of a baby coming out of a behind above the phrase: "I heart my crack baby"
My other body's a Porsche.
When you're tired of Texas, you're tired of life.
Kiss my ash, I smoke.

* * *

Things I'd Like to Ask the Girl in Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher" Video
CL Bledsoe

Have you seen the Halloween episode of "Growing Pains" where Mike gets lost and falls in love with a dead girl?
Did you like that show?
Didn't you think Mike's sister Carroll was kind of cute, in a nerdy kind of way?
Not even a little?
You know, you kind of look like Carroll?
No, I know you're not, but the resemblance is definitely there. I wonder what she's doing now. Have you seen her around?
No? That's cool I guess.
The mom was kind of hot too. What was her name? Maggie?
How'd she end up married to that psychiatrist guy? What a dork.

* * *

Tom Cruise Delivers a Speech to the Cat Fanciers of America Annual Dinner
by CL Bledsoe

Thanks for having me. The first thing I want to talk about is cats. Get to the meat, right? That's what the check is for. That's why I'm here. So cats, to me, are like, well they're like, they remind me of when I was a young man. See, when I was a young man, I thought I was short, oh, excuse me, (makes quotation mark gestures) "vertically challenged." I thought I was less tall than other men, but then I had the opportunity to study with a wonderful man who taught me that I'm really very tall for my size. He taught me that Napoleon was only, well, he was something less than five feet, I don't have the numbers with me. But five feet, I'm taller than that. I mean, come on, and he conquered the world, right?

And Genghis Khan, same thing, he conquered China, right? Look, I know history. You might not know history, you might not have the training, the study that I have, is all I'm saying. You want to talk short? Abraham Lincoln? Wore platforms. I don't need that. Who needs that? Abe did. Old honest Abe. Right? He freed the slaves but he couldn't free his mind from the tyranny of self-doubt. But I have, okay? With the help of a certain man, I'll just go ahead, I'll just say it's L. Ron Hubbard. Because, really, if you're not into L. Ron Hubbard, if you've got something against scientology, then fuck you, really. Fuck you. Okay?
You know what? Katie? Where are you. We're going. If that's how they want to act. You know, I came here of my own volition, to try to educate people on some things, some important things, okay? But really I can see I'm wasting my time.