Wednesday, January 18, 2017

If you get out of bed even once this week, bad things will happen


There are a lot of big events this week, including discounted bullets at the rifle range, an 80’s themed yoga class, and at least three middle school fistfights behind the 7-11. But you’re going to miss them all because if you get out of bed, something terrible will happen.

“What do you think will happen?” your boyfriend Dennis will ask.

“I don’t know,” tell him. “But what if it’s something that happens to you? I couldn’t live with myself. Get in the bed where it’s safe.”

Dennis is supportive so he’ll first go out and buy you a bucket to go to the bathroom into. Then he’ll climb into bed with you and stay there.


Your mom will come by on your second day in bed and tell you you’re just depressed because your father was distant when you were a little girl.

“It’s not that, Mom,” you’ll say. “I mean, he never said he was proud of me, but this is a whole other thing. By the way, this is my boyfriend, Dennis. At least he’s supporting me in this.”

“Oh and I’m not supportive?”

Your mom will climb into bed and shake Dennis’s hand.

“I like him,” your mom will whisper, spooning you while Dennis hangs over the edge of the bed using the bucket.


Your old high school field hockey coach will come by on Wednesday for a pep talk.

“You think hiding in bed under the covers with your mom and your boyfriend is the way to win?!” your coach will yell. “Come on, get back in the game!”

Your mom will tell the coach he’s pushing you too hard. “You were always too hard on our girls!” your mom will say.

Crying, the coach will crawl into bed with all of you to apologize. He’ll snore when he sleeps.


By this point, your mom and your field hockey coach will have admitted to noticing each other on the field, always wondering. They’ll be under the covers pawing at each other when your coworkers come by to check on you after almost a week of absence. You’ll be glad when they decide to climb on with you and make it a team-building thing, distracting you from the noises your mom and your coach are making.


The bed will be close to buckling when your book club comes by and hops on to discuss the novel The Interestings while drinking several jugs of Chablis. No one will want to leave for fear of being the one something bad happens to, so in order to fit everybody, you’ll all start stacking on each other like Lincoln Logs.


Your dad will come by and sit on the floor, staring at the stack of bodies arrayed before him.

“This is my fault,” he’ll say. “I was distant when you were a little girl. I was distant to your mother too, which is why I can hear her and that coach of yours moaning from level three of the body stack. You think that since I withheld myself from you, the way to live your life is to withhold yourself from the world. Well if something bad is going to happen to somebody, I want it to be me. I deserve it.”

Your dad will stay there on the floor all night, bringing people water when they ask and occasionally emptying the bucket.


While everyone in the stack is still asleep, you’ll realize your dad is right. Living your life in bed underneath a pile of friends and colleagues isn’t living at all. Bad things are part of life. You can’t have good things unless you risk the bad.

“Come on out,” your dad will whisper, as if he’s reading your mind.

You’ll carefully wriggle free so as not to disturb the stack, and you’ll first swing one leg over the edge of the bed, then the other. Then you’ll stand up.

“See,” your dad will say. “Nothing bad happened.”

“But something bad did happen,” you’ll tell him. “Nothing changed. At least if something bad happened I’d know I have an effect on the world.”

“You have an effect on me,” your dad will say. “You made me proud. Now let’s go get some pancakes.”

You’ll smile and take your dad’s hand, and the two of you will tiptoe out of the bedroom to go find yourselves pancakes while the pile continues to sleep the day away.

(Originally appeared on

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Get Out Of That Break Room Day!

You and your coworker Louise always end up in the Schlotsky's break room at the same time and you never do anything but sit around reading your phones.

"Let's get the motherfuck outta here Louise!" you shout. "We got 15 minutes lets make the most of it!"

"You're right!" Louise says. "Let's go kill my husband and make it look like an accident!"

You and Louise head over to Louise's house and find her husband making her a special romantic dinner.

"Who's this?" her husband asks, seeing you. "I can set a third seat at the table."

Louise looks at the clock.

"We have to be back at our registers in 8 minutes," Louise says.

You and Louise grab her husband, drag him upstairs, then throw him down the stairs so it can look like he fell by accident but all he does at the bottom of the stairs is get up and ask what's wrong.

Louise checks the clock. "Six minutes!"

You grab her husband, drag him outside and throw him in front of a moving car, but the car brakes to a stop before hitting him.

"5 minutes!" Louise shouts.

You start whispering in her husband's ear all the sad things in the world, all the injustices, the feeling that existence is nothing but pain, and humanity happened only to exact cruelty on the world. You whisper all this hoping he'll run inside to kill himself but instead he runs inside to look up some charities where he can volunteer his services.

"We have 4 minutes!" Louise shouts. "Forget it!"

Louise kisses her husband goodbye and he tells her to pick up something for dessert when she's done with her shift.

"Motherfucker won't die," you say when you're both back at your registers.

Louise nods, tears running down her cheeks. "That's why I love him," she says. "I test him and I test him to try to make him go but he never does. I don't deserve him."

Louise composes herself to sell someone a sandwich. Your manager tells you both that there's a new rule that employees aren't allowed to leave the premises during a break, even if it's to commit an attempted murder. Tell him this is bullshit.

Happy Get Out Of That Break Room Day!

Monday, January 09, 2017

Someone Found Your Dad Day!

He wandered into their backyard and started eating apples from their apple tree.

"What do you want us to do with him?" they ask.

You tell them to give him a bath.

"Okay we did," they say. "What do you want us to do to your dad next?"

You tell them to send him to a dance party.

"He had a good time," they say. "What do you want us to do to your dad next?"

You tell them to go to the beach and lock him in one of those lifeguard sheds where lifeguards go to have sex with other lifeguards.

"There were lifeguards having sex inside but once they were done we locked him inside," they say. "He's still there."

You become furious. You tell them you didn't tell them to leave him there. He gets scared of lifeguard sheds. You tell them to get him out.

"He chewed his way out," they say. "We found him squatting on a houseboat. He destroyed the inside with his bare hands."

You tell them to give him another bath.

"He's too powerful now," they say.

You order them to give your fucking dad another bath.

"He's too powerful now," they say. "He can't be stopped."

The water in your glass starts to shake. You hear the footsteps. Soot falls all around your kitchen as the roof is ripped from the walls.

Your father is very upset with you.

Happy Someone Found Your Dad Day!

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Pinch Your Elbow While Saying Goodbye And She'll Be Gone Forever Day!

You meet this genie at a bar and you and him start talking and you hit it off so he gives you one for free.

"One wish?" you ask. "For real?"

The Genie says go for it. Normally you'd have to free him from a lamp but he likes you.

"There's this asshat I can't stop thinking about and I wanna stop thinking about her," you say. "But every time I decide she's out of my head, I bump into her. I want her completely out of my life so I can think about stuff besides her."

The Genie asks what kind of stuff you wish you could think about besides her and you can't think of anything.

"That's the point," you say. "Make her go away and I'll find out."

The Genie says the next time you say goodbye to her, pinch your elbow while you do it.

"She won't die," the Genie says. "She'll still be out there. Somewhere. But your paths will never cross. And you'll never even hear about her through friends. Even though she might be sitting a few rows behind you in a movie theater, you'll never turn your head at the correct angle to catch sight of her."

You ask him which elbow and he says he's not telling.

You bump into her the very next day and your heart shoots out your mouth and she touches your hand once and that spot where she touches it glows you can feel it.

"Okay bye," you say while squeezing your left elbow. You walk away three steps then you turn around but she must have already gone around the corner.

You spend the next few days looking for her just to make sure the spell worked. With every passing hour of not bumping into her, instead of confirming the effectiveness of the spell, it only makes you wonder more and more if you pinched the correct elbow. You haven't seen her yet, sure, but if you didn't pinch the correct elbow she could pop up at any given moment. No matter how long you go without seeing her, you could still bump into her tomorrow. Or the day after that. Or the one after that. If you didn't pinch the correct elbow.

You grow obsessed with finding her. You look for her in crowds. In the windows of office buildings. On the subway. On your television during local news segments. In the reflections in shop windows. On the inside of your eyelids.

"I pinched my left elbow," you tell the Genie after tracking him down at a cigar bar. "Is that the correct elbow?"

The Genie blows some smoke through a smile.

"This is one of those Genie wishes where I wish something and my wish ends up making the opposite happen?"

More smoke, bigger smile.

"I wished she'd disappear from my life but now because I can't be sure if the spell worked, I can't stop wondering if I'm going to see her," you say. "It's worse than before."

The Genie chuckles.

"Best part of this one," the Genie says. "Is if you bump into her, you'll know which elbow is the correct one to pinch. But after searching high and low, when you finally see her again, do you think you'll pinch the correct elbow this time?"

That's how this ends. After about five months you see her at a bar and you two are the only customers there and she's really happy to see you and you're stunned that she's really there. And then you realize that you now know which elbow is the one that works but you probably won't pinch it I mean you spent all that time looking for her even though you tried to make her disappear you two probably aren't supposed to be apart.

Happy Pinch Your Elbow While Saying Goodbye And She'll Be Gone Forever Day!

Saturday, January 07, 2017

You And This Guy Dan You Both Make Engines Day!

"There's someone I'd like you to meet," your friend Karen says. "His name's Dan. He makes engines too."

You ask her what kind of engines.

"Who cares."

Dan lives on the other side of the country so you ask for a couple vacation days, buy the $700 plane ticket, and fly out to meet this guy Dan.

"Karen says you make engines too," you say.

Dan nods.

"What kind you make?" you ask.

Dan spends a couple hours telling you what kind of engines he makes, then you spend the next couple hours talking about the kind of engines you make.

After a moment of silence when you're both sipping your beers and staring at the TVs, Dan says, "Guess we're friends now."

"Best friends I guess," you respond.

You fly back home, feeling excited to get back there, elated really, knowing that you have a best friend now.

"Thanks Karen," you say to Karen when you meet up with her. "Dan's a good guy."

Karen loses it on you and everyone else in the bar screaming about how no one ever bothers to fucking find her a new best friend even though she's fucking delightful everyone says so and she's always going out of her motherfucking way to help everybody else, "But does anyone ever goddamn think to return the fucking favor nooooooooooooooo oh noooooooooo not for good old Karen she can take care of herself well I fucking can't take care of myself you all hear me do you need to shake the fucking beer out of your ears I can't do this alone I need a goddamn best friend goddammit!"

Happy You And This Guy Dan You Both Make Engines Day!