Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The M Stands For Murder Day!

Your ATM screen told you to kill somebody today. It showed you his face and gave you his address. It even said when he’ll be alone in his apartment and which window he leaves open. You only went in to get forty dollars and for the first time in many months you didn’t choose “fast cash.” Now you know what happens when you don’t choose “fast cash.”

“So? Do we have a deal?”

The deal is that once the ATM can determine that the target is dead, you will have fifty thousand dollars added to your checking account, increasing your balance to $50,143.

The ATM gave you two options to select from. You chose the “I’m not sure if I have it in me to take the life of another man” option.

The ATM displayed several screens that convinced you that your hesitation is the result of an illusion into which humans have invested in order to preserve society, but that if you could see it from the point of view of a machine, you’d realize how easy and inconsequential a murder is. The way it was phrased was very convincing. You agreed to kill the guy by selecting, “Okay, I’ll do it. I guess you really hated the way this guy pushed the buttons on your screen, huh?”

The ATM will respond that that’s none of your business. You’ll worry that you offended the ATM, but since it’s only allowing you to select from two options for what your side of the dialogue should be at every turn of the conversation, you guess that it’s not something you should concern yourself with. After committing the murder you’ll go back to the ATM and discover that your balance has increased by fifty grand, so it’ll all work out. Congrats. You’ll be the first to murder a man at the behest of a machine, but not the last.

Happy The M Stands For Murder Day!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

All These Sweaters Day!

When you come home you set fire to your house then you go out into your backyard to watch it burn. Your neighbor comes into your yard to congratulate you on making the big move. You tell him thanks, it just felt like it was time to make a change. The wall of the dining room crumbles. The bay window bursts. He asks if you saved anything. You open a trash bag full of sweaters that you knitted over the past year and a half. All these sweaters are my ticket out of this life you tell him. Once I open up my own store I’m on easy street. He looks through the bag and thinks the sweaters are hideous and misshapen but doesn’t tell you. He wants you to open the sweater shop and fail. Everyone wants you to fail so they can feel justified in not burning down their own houses and opening their own sweater shops.

Happy All These Sweaters Day!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Spaversation Day!

Getting your nails done at a high-end spa you end up conversing with the lady in the chair next to yours.

“Falling out of love with anybody?” you ask.

She laughs and says, “How much time you got?”

You become fast friends and when your nails are dry you both leave the spa together, first to spy on her husband as he sits by the window during a business lunch.

“He made some promises,” she says. “At least, he stated some hopes for himself. I heard them as promises.”

“Doesn’t matter if it was said or even if it was heard,” you say. “It just matters what you’ve decided you thought you wanted, and how far away that is from what you have. Come on.”

You take her to a cafe across the street from your live-in boyfriend’s storefront real estate office.

“Sometimes I think I live with him just to learn what I don’t want in my next relationship,” you say.

One of you suggests that you both just leave town without a word, take off for a new city and a new life. You both laugh, then you agree to never see each other again.

“This was fun, but no one I see socially can know,” you say.

“Same here,” she says. “The only thing I have left is the illusion that my life might be better than my friends’.”

You smile at each other, and she doesn’t slow down the car. You just open the door and roll out onto the median.

Happy Spaversation Day!

Monday, August 22, 2011

How You And Ned Met Day!

You were fifteen and sort of angry in a general way, so you took your bike and tossed it down the steps into the park, letting it clatter and fall apart as it bounced on the cement. Your dad bought you that bike, and it worked fine still, but for some reason you decided to smash it to pieces.

Amid the sound of a bicycle bouncing end over end you were surprised to hear a man’s shout. You went downstairs to find a homeless man of about fifty-five sitting before a fire, rubbing the back of his head where your bike hit him. You apologized and he introduced himself as Ned.

A friendship began. You joined Ned nearly every night after school and watched him cook possum for dinner and he listened to you tell him about the teachers at school. Ned taught you to never believe anything that’s ever written in any book. Not ever.

“Not even the Thesaurus,” he said.

You were a devoted student of Ned’s and you obeyed his teachings. You came to believe that Ned knew more than you might ever know. He certainly knew more than all of your teachers combined. You decided that you would only accept knowledge that came from one of your talks with Ned, and you would only pursue a life according to Ned’s rules. You’re in prison now for exposing yourself to a minor during an armed robbery.

Happy How You And Ned Met Day!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I’m Steve And I Stole Your Prius Day!

You got a letter in the mail this morning from a guy named Steve. He says he’s the guy who stole your Prius back in March. He says he isn’t sorry he did it, not that it would matter because why would you forgive him. But he wanted to write to you to let you know who he is, and to send you a picture of himself. He realizes that sending you a picture of himself could put him at risk of being apprehended but he claims he lives far enough away from you that he’ll take his chances.

“Stealing your Prius was the first crime I’ve ever committed, and I wanted to explain why I did it,” the letter goes on. “I saw it sitting there outside the grocery store with the engine running and the door open. You had run back in to get something. Probably an item you purchased but left at the checkout. Taking a guess.

"Anyway,” he writes. “I decided then and there that maybe if I steal your Prius I’ll force my life in a direction that might lead to me changing the way I interact with the world. A car theft might lock me into some desperate situations that I’ll have to confront head-on in order to remain a free man.”

“Confronting things head-on is not what I normally do in life. I’ve usually felt as substantial as a ghost. When I meet someone new I feel like the person I’m meeting is already directing his attention to the memory of someone else with whom he’d prefer to be speaking at that moment. Before I release someone from my handshake, I’ve been forgotten. Up until I stole your Prius I felt I had lived my life with absolutely no impact on anything or anyone in this world.”

“So I’m writing to you to let you know who I am, and to let you know I stole your Prius. Though the theft didn’t do much to change my soft-spoken, quietly trod path through life, it did mean that I had an impact on someone. You. I inconvenienced you. I made you speak to the police and drive a rental provided by your insurance agent. Perhaps you even took the bus and developed a racial prejudice based on an assumption you’d made about my ethnicity. I did that to you. I am important to you. Which means I might have no stronger bond with anyone than I do with you.”

There’s a PO Box for you to write back to Steve. You dictate a letter to your home health aide to tell Steve the story about how you walked home after your Prius was stolen and got hit by a drunk driver, losing the ability to walk. You start to get weak as you dictate the part about your wife leaving you for your physical therapist, but you summon the strength to finish. You end on a congratulations to Steve for his newfound “impact” and you tell him you hope you and he can meet in hell one day. You ask your home health aide to mail the letter right away, but she doesn’t bother to mail it at all because she thinks her job is to help you get to the bathroom, not mail your letters, and if she starts acting like your secretary you’ll think it’s okay to continue treating her like one.

I’m Steve And I Stole Your Prius Day!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Coffee Shop Pranks Day!

Your pal Jimmy, a really funny guy who you always like to chat up at the coffee shop, will show up today with blood all over his shirt and hands.

“Rough day Jimmy?” you’ll ask.

Jimmy will tell you he woke up with no memory of the past three days. There was a girl in his room he’s never seen before. You gotta help him get rid of the body.

“This just another one of your ridiculous pranks Jimmy?”

You and the baristas will all laugh together, since you’ve all been the victim of Jimmy’s pranks in the past. Jimmy loves to play pranks.

“You’re with them aren’t you?” Jimmy will say to you all. Then he’ll take off running.

Alert his buddy at the public library that he’s probably on his way there and he’s suspicious. Make sure to send someone over to clean his apartment and get rid of the girl. You aren’t a part of any sort of nefarious agency or anything. You’re all just sick to death of Jimmy’s pranks so you got together to play a prank on him that he’ll never forget. Now get into your makeup and go greet Jimmy as his dead mother.

Coffee Shop Pranks Day!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

You Got Up To Pee Day!

Your wife was all ready to leave. While you were getting ready for bed she put all her things back in her suitcase and left it by the door. She had her clothes folded underneath the bed and she was going to slip outside and get dressed on the landing and then drag her suitcase down to the street and hitch her way out of Denver. She wrote a note. It’s still on the desk, sealed in a yellow envelope. She forgot to grab it from the desk when you suddenly woke up to pee and wandered into the bathroom, so sleepy you didn’t even notice her standing by the open motel room door. You didn’t even notice her holding onto her folded up pants and shirt, with her suitcase tipped at an angle ideal for dragging. You just shuffled into the bathroom with eyes half-shut. In the time it took you to pee she got her clothes back under the bed, her suitcase back in the closet, herself back under the covers because she lost her head-start with you awake. She lost her nerve with you shuffling around the motel room. Now she’s back asleep beside you in bed and you’re still awake, no clue that she came this close to leaving you, no clue what that yellow envelope is doing on the motel room desk. Perhaps it’s a comment card, though you don’t remember seeing it there before you went to bed. Probably just a comment card. Guess they use the same yellow envelopes you use at home. You can check it out in the morning.

Happy You Got Up To Pee Day!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Power Outage Day!

The lights will go out and you’ll all hold still, unsure what it means to the agreement you established in the living room. Do you continue as if nothing happened or should you all take a time-out to go and fish your phones out of your pants pockets to check on the sitters.

“What do you think?” you ask Horace.

“I think it’s perfect,” he says.

He’s right, it is perfect. Thanks to a little accidental overuse of air conditioning, it feels like the city has shut down, life has hit pause, so that you all could step out of your usual roles as wife, husband, mother, and father and pretend for a little while that you are completely free to do as you please, to wander into another bedroom, another bed, a bed with Horace.

“Sweetie?” It’s your husband. He’s at the door. “Not coming in. Just checking, think it’s okay?”

While smiling at Horace, a smile he can see by the moonlight, say, “I think it’s more than okay. We’ll call in a half-hour, but I’m sure they’re fine.”

Horace will kiss you once then pull your underwear from beneath your skirt. You’ll hear your husband’s steps as he returns to his bedroom next door, where Horace’s wife is waiting for him. Kiss Horace again on the lips before he leaves a trail of kisses between your ribs. Lay back with your head hanging off the edge of the bed so that you can see the moon upside down. You’ll see the whole city upside down, even the tanks moving down the middle of the street.

Tanks. You’ll flip over to make sure you’re seeing right. Someone in the TV room will start shouting about what he just learned via CNN, then one of the servicemen outside will explain through a mobile PA system what it means for a city to be occupied. You get back into your clothes and your marriages, racing to head home to your children, racing through a world that became a very different place while you wandered.

Happy Power Outage Day!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Spy Vs Spy Day!

Today at the wine tasting you’re going to finally let Heather know that you’re not her husband.

“I had surgery to look like John,” tell her. “It’s important that certain governments think he’s still alive.”

Heather will run from the wine tasting into the fields surrounding the winery. Chase after her and tell her that you only revealed the truth because you fell in love, and that these years pretending to be her husband have been the happiest of your life. Ask her if she could possibly feel the same?

“I don’t like to admit it,” she’ll say. “But I’ve loved you more since you replaced him. I love you more than I ever loved him. I didn’t understand how my feelings could change, since I thought you were the same person the whole time, but now I do.”

Go home and make love. When you fall asleep, she’ll sneak off to the bathroom to contact her agency and let them know that the reconstructive surgery worked because you clearly don’t suspect a thing.

“Not only does he not know that I’m a spy pretending to be Heather so that I could monitor the movements of the spy pretending to be John,” she’ll whisper. “But he thinks he’s fallen in love with me.”

Her agency will say that it’s time for her to activate plan R.

Before she comes back to bed, contact your agency and let them know that the spy pretending to be Heather bought your “I love you” act and she doesn’t suspect in the slightest that you know she’s not Heather. Your agency will tell you to activate plan S.

Your agencies will then contact each other to laugh at how you two don’t have the slightest clue that they’re only using you to play a live-action Sims game.

Happy Spy Vs Spy Day!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

You Sold Sneakers To Al Qaida Day!

You’ve been spiraling ever since 9/11, drinking yourself into a blind mess. Tonight, a prostitute who drinks at the same bar as you will invite you back to her apartment to look at pictures of the daughter she hopes to reconnect with one day, and you’ll decide she’s just broken enough to hear your confession.

“I sold sneakers to Mohamed Atta and three of the other hijackers,” you’ll tell her. “Two weeks before 9/11.”

Tell her that you spent forty minutes with them, pressing on their big toes to feel if they needed more wiggle room, watching them walking around in one shoe to get a feel for the insole. You even talked one of them out of a more expensive shoe because he mentioned he had arch issues and you knew the more expensive one offered crap support.

“So what are you saying?” she’ll ask. “Do you think you had a hand in 9/11 because you sold the hijackers sneakers?”

Tell her, “No. But I made 9/11 a little more comfortable for them, didn’t I?”

The prostitute will tell you that you couldn’t have known. If the CIA couldn’t apprehend them with all the red flags they were raising in the months leading up to 9/11, how were you supposed to know that you shouldn’t have sold them sneakers, or at least that you should have sold them sneakers that might inflame their sensitive tissue areas? She’ll tell you that you need to accept that you were just doing your job, and that maybe you’re just hanging on to the guilt because you’re too scared to live your life.

You and she will make love that night and then you’ll hang yourself by your belt in her bathroom.

Happy You Sold Sneakers To Al Qaida Day!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Tied To The Bed And Blindfolded Just As The Sun Bursts And Dies Day!

You let your boyfriend tie you to the bed and blindfold you during sex because things have gotten a bit rote lately. As luck would have it, your sex blindfold is made of a rarely used rubberized polyester that will protect your eyes when the sun bursts and dies today, and everyone else in the world will be instantly blinded. In the coming days you’ll be very popular because you’ll be one of the few people who can still see, and soon everyone will know that if someone still has the gift of sight it’s because they were having weird sex with a blindfold on when the sun burst. And that’s why in the future vision will be considered pervy.

Happy Tied To The Bed And Blindfolded Just As The Sun Bursts And Dies Day!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Keep A Secret Day!

The man in the raincoat will be reading a message on his smart phone when he slips off of the subway platform and falls onto the tracks. Run to the edge and see him there, belly down, conscious but moving slowly. Look around but there’s no one else to help him. Peer into the tunnel. No train coming. There’s time.

Your hand extended: “Here.”

The man will roll over half-way to look up at you. He’ll look down the tracks, searching for anyone else who might be watching from the platform. Then he’ll look at the message on his cell phone once more.

“Can you keep a secret?” he’ll ask.

You can. You don’t say so, but he must be able to tell from your eyes, because the man nods, stuffs the cell phone back in his pants, then reaches out and grabs the third rail.

Tell the police you ran to the edge and saw his body shaking, already cooked.

His wife will track you down because she wants to meet the last person who saw him alive. Tell her you only caught a glimpse of him before he disappeared over the side, and the next time you saw him he was gone.

If it will help you keep the secret to know what was in the email he was reading just before he died, the email he was reading was an email from Netflix asking about the picture quality of Sons Of Anarchy Season 1. If he was getting service down there on the tracks he would have selected, “The quality was very good.”

Happy Keep A Secret Day!

The Loneliest CEO Day!

The loneliest CEO cries in his Lincoln Town Car because he has no one waiting at home to hug him and listen to his stories when he walks through the door.

“You okay boss?” the loneliest CEO’s chauffeur asks through the window separating the front seat from the back.

“Do you know rough men?” the loneliest CEO asks. “Tough men who can kill me for a price?”

The chauffeur makes some calls then tells the loneliest CEO, “75 grand. Do you want it to be a surprise how they’ll do it?”

The loneliest CEO says no so the chauffeur says, “They’ll shoot you. Probably in the head but maybe someplace else.”

The loneliest CEO says, “Okay, but I want it to happen on the front porch of the girl I took to my high school prom. She lives in Ohio now. Married with three kids. I want you to drive me to her house tonight and have your rough friends meet me there. I’ll get on the porch and ring the bell, and when she comes to the door, tell them to shoot me so that I fall forward and die in her arms. Is all that understood?”

The chauffeur says you bet. They drive to Ohio to the woman’s house and when he rings the bell the woman’s kids answer the door. The killers don’t see who answers so they just go ahead and shoot the loneliest CEO and he ends up dying on top of his former prom date’s children.

Happy The Loneliest CEO Day!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

There’s Nothing Left In Your Bank Account Day!

You and your wife developed drug addictions last fall and it’s been a super-fun time but today you checked your bank balance and there’s nothing left in the account.

“Honey,” say to her. “Did you spend the last of our savings on drugs?”

She’ll say, “Yes, want some?”

Say yes and do the drugs and feel absolutely wonderful for five hours.

Happy There’s Nothing Left In Your Bank Account Day!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Bunker Fight Day!

She says you never do anything sweet for her anymore and that she feels like you two only have sex to procreate in order to keep the human race from becoming extinct.

“I could sing,” you suggest.

She says go for it and you sing an old Carole King song that was popular before the hellfire turned the earth into a hot rock of pain and horror.

“Do you feel the things you sing in that song?” she asks. “Do you feel them for me?”

Tell her yes. Tell her the human race is very lucky because it’s going to have a beautiful new mother.

She’ll say, “I want you to say sweet things to me. More often. I want you to be sweet to me.”

Just then a 300 pound mutated rat will burst through the bunker door and you’ll wrestle it to the ground and slice it across its throat before it can hurt her. As you wipe the rat blood from your face go to her and say, “Guess he must’ve smelled all that sugar in your veins and wanted a taste of you, Sweetiepie.”

She’ll smile, and she’ll kiss the bloody wounds in your chest where the mutated rat bit through your radiation cloak.

Happy Bunker Fight Day!