Monday, April 15, 2013

The Adventures of Stupid Bachelor Man (a Story Shot®)

Stupid Bachelor Man shuffled into his kitchen wearing a pair of fetching boxer shorts and a smile. It was time to have some cereal! He stuck his fuzzy face into the fridge so that he might inspect its contents.

"Oo, new jug of milk!" he concluded. He lifted the jug out using only one hand. He sure was strong!

Now, the difficult part: pour the milk into the bowl without splashing it all over the counter. Because the jug was filled right to the top, the milk would come out as soon as the container was only slightly tipped. This could lead to potential spillage.

"Idea!" he said, getting an idea. As a triumphant score with many trumpets played in his head, he held aloft the milk jug with one hand, and with the other he lifted the bowl to the opening of the jug. He accomplished this in a smooth motion because he was very strong. The bowl was there to catch the stream of milk as it poured forth, confirming Stupid Bachelor Man's hypothesis and netting him a bowl of milk. He was proud. The cereal would come later.

"I sure do like milk on my cereal," he said to himself, looking around for some cereal. "I also like it in my mouth, just by itself. For drinking."

He stood there and let that sink in. He scratched a buttock.

"Idea!" he said, getting another. Because Stupid Bachelor Man was a bachelor, he had the house to himself. He also had this jug of milk to himself. It was his, and his alone. The logical thing to do, clearly, was to drink straight from it without involving intermediate equipment like cups. "It'd just get dirty, and then I'd have to do work," he reasoned.

It was decided, then. Why go through the trouble of using a cup when his face was perfectly suited to the job? He picked up the jug, tipped it, and splashed milk all over his face, chest, and the floor.

"Oh," he said.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Story Shot: Cold [Soda] War

Craig sat, back straight, arms outstretched, zombie-like, with fingers ready to dart onto the sprawling control panel console in front of him at a moment’s notice.

“Being a nucular technician is hard!” he exposited.

“Would ya quiet down a little, please, sir?” said a fellow Pentagon employee at the next panel over. “I can’t hear the President’s speech.”

President Harry Truman’s voice, distorted by static and the radio’s tinny little speaker, echoed around the missile silo. He was talking about the Russians again. Seemed like he was always talking about the Russians. 

“Many apologies, Steve!” Craig screeched. “Weight of the world and all. Nucular missile bombs and such.”

“My name is David,” said Steve.

“Of course it is!” said Craig. 

He looked down at the buttons in front of him. They were arranged in clusters, each cluster backed by a stainless steel plate with words stamped into it. Craig knew what some of the words meant. Right in the center, though, was his favorite button. It was a big red one that lit up brighter than all the others. It was covered by a little metal cage on a hinge. To flip the cage up, Craig had to poke a little latch on one side. 

Sometimes, when nobody was looking, he poked the latch.

The President talked on. Listening to him, Craig grew ever more patriotic. Being patriotic made Craig thirsty. When Craig got thirsty, he yearned for grape soda.

There was a full can of grape soda on the edge of his control panel. It was right there, just below his left shoulder. All he had to do was drop his guard for a split second and reach for it.

“Well, that’s putting it in such a harsh light,” he said. “I only have to drop half my guard at most, since I can reach with one hand while the other maintains its post.”

Please, sir!” said Dave.

“Sorry, Steve!” Craig scream-whispered.

He was going to do it. Future generations would consider him a hero for maintaining both his post at the control panel and a fervent, grape-fueled patriotism.

He prepared his body and mind. He flexed the fingers of his left hand, one at a time, and thought about polar bears.

“Yaarrrgh!” Craig bellowed. His left arm twisted into a knot of commie-bashing fury and his fingers wrapped tightly around the soda can as it if were Stalin’s throat. 


Oh no! Something was wrong! His grip was too tight, and the can, thought to be a pristine, unopened specimen was actually half empty! Its buckling sides forced the delicious liquid up and out of the drink-hole in a purple fountain of American majesty.

It spattered all over Craig’s control panel. It seeped into the spaces around the buttons and some of them stopped being lit up. A little speaker on the base of his console started beeping quietly.

“Um. Oh crap! Paul! I did it again!” Craig yelled into his walkie-talkie. Then he pressed the talk button and repeat-yelled.

A fat guy brandishing a single cotton swab pushed fatly through a door at the end of the room. “I knew you would. Been watching you through that window. You’re dumb,” he said.

“Did you bring your swab?” Craig asked, voice low, eyes darting.

“Yes. Move. I’ll fix this.”

Craig stood, backed up a few steps, and wrung his hands. “Um,” he said haltingly. “Can I, um, well…”

“Oh, yeah, sure,” Paul said. He pulled a can of grape soda out of a pocket in his sweat shirt and handed it to Craig. “You owe me thirty cents.”

Visiting the FooDaddy, Part 1

I pulled my car into FooDaddy's driveway, chortling with glee. I killed the headlights and sat alone in the dark, rubbing my hands together in anticipation.

"Two questions," said a voice from the passenger seat. "First of all, why did you kill those headlights? They've done nothing to you."

I squeaked in a most unmanly fashion and jerked my head around. The Wife sat there, looking both smug and disapproving at the same time. I don't know how she managed this, but she is something of a genius when it comes to mixing up expression cocktails.

I finally found my voice, which had become frightened and scurried into the steering column. "What are you doing here? I thought I was alone."

"I've been here the whole time."

"You have?"

She nodded gravely. "I've been telling you all about my day and how I've been feeling. Haven't you heard a word I've said?" 

My keen insight into the ways of women told me I had made a mistake for which I would pay later. "What's your other question?" I asked in an attempt to delay the inevitable.

"Why do you keep chortling? You've been doing it for hours."

I sped up my hand rubbing. "Oh, it's going to be simply hilarious. FooDaddy doesn't know I'm coming over. He'll be so surprised!" I emphasized the last part of the sentence by hitting a warbling high E. I was rewarded for this display of vocal agility with a splash of bottled water to the face. My first reaction was to become angry, but I knew the Wife had been aiming for my wildly chaffing hands, which had begun to smolder in a somewhat concerning fashion.

Eager to continue with my plan to surprise Foo, I jumped out of the car and began running as quickly as I could toward the house. Ten minutes later, I began to wish I'd parked closer. Certainly, I have the physical ability of an Olympian, but even I can only run for so long in freezing winter weather. My efforts were interrupted by the calm voice of the Wife, who, oddly enough, still sounded very close by.

"You're not moving."

I looked down and saw that I had worn little grooves into the layer of ice covering the driveway.