Funny Ha Ha: The High School Humor Writing Challenge - Text Entries

Funny Ha Ha: The High School Humor Writing Challenge

We’re looking for great humor writing from high school students, and at the end of the summer, writer and actor BJ Novak will name a winner on our show. Here’s the catch — your piece must begin and end with these sentences:

FIRST LINE: The sun rose and everything fell.
LAST LINE: Alex stared at the door handle and slowly turned the knob.

UPDATE 8/27: Our winner is Emma Callahan; the runner-up is Dylan Kapstrom. A big thank you to everyone who shared their work with us!

August 03, 2015 10:00:00 PM

Ajani Issa




The sun rose and everything fell around us. We've been crouched in the same spot for an estimation of 10 hours. It was my best friends DQ and Marcus, captain of the high school debate team and the Dean's daughter Alex, the school mascot Ricky the rabbit and I, AJ, all hiding under a singular school desk. We were all cramped as I don't know what. My left foot was falling asleep and Alex had her elbow wedged in between my socket. We were all mad uncomfortable.
"How we end up like this?" DQ whispered quickly, but kind of loudly.
"Man shut up before they find us!" I responded. I was holding the bunny in my arms, petting it, trying to keep it staying calm. Then I thought to myself, How did we end up like this?
It all started one week ago, in the cafeteria. All four of us had the same lunch period but we all sat at our own separate tables. That's part of the fabric of high school, picking one table and never moving away from it for a whole 150 days of school times four. Well me and Marcus sat at the same table with our other friend DQ. That's the squad. DQ was the funny one, I was the inventive one and Marcus was the quiet one. As you may have noticed DQ wasn't with us under the table in the introduction paragraph, I'll tell you about what happened to him later.
The topic of discussion was the cafeteria entree of the day, Sloppy Joes. "This is so disgusting," I said, picking at the meat with a plastic fork and displaying the stank face one only puts on when either listening to a nasty beat or looking at some nasty food. It looked like freshly grazed cow manure and smelled like radioactive donkey milk.
"Completely uncalled for," DQ quietly agreed putting on a similar face to my own. DQ angrily slammed his hand on the lunch table and exclaimed, "I'm tired of this shit, fam!"
"Calm down," I said.
"Nah, I can't. I gotta express myself" He answered sharply. He continued, "Who was the genius who told the school lunch staff that feeding children this garbage is acceptable." He was making a scene but our lunch period was so used to it no one really noticed.
"Chill out, man" Marcus tried to calm him, unlike me he was being serious because he could tell DQ was heated.
DQ stood up "I don't need to chill out maybe y'all should chill on."
"Chill on? What does that mean?" I whispered under my breath.
He heard what I said though. He stood up and reached over the table and stuck his finger directly in my face, "Are you deaf?"
His finger smelled like a combination of vigorous masturbation and Old Spice body wash, I was starting to get mad. "Boy, if you don't get your nasty hand out my face today...." I told him seriously. He came to his senses and sat back down in his seat.
He was still talking though, "Yall need to take this more seriously." He continued his rant, "They probably told Martin Luther King to chill out. Do you think he did?"
" what this got to do with MLK?" I asked him.
"Absolutely nothing," he replied. "That's irrelevant to the situation at hand, my brothas. What is relevant is the fact that they feeding us, who knows what?" He picked up the sloppy joe from his tray, reached over the table and held it directly in my face. "Do you know what is contained within this sandwich?" he was waving it back and forth and the juices were splattering all over the table, I was wearing my astro foamposites and I swore to God if any of that sloppy Joe got on my shoes I would run the fade.
Just then the bell rang and prompted DQ to put the sandwich back on his tray and throw it in the nearby garbage can. He came back, wiping his hands with a napkin and said, "Let's go" We all got up and out of out of the cafeteria and on to our 5th period class. Everybody was standing in front of the door like they were waiting on something. I was getting impatient so I moved everybody at the door and aggressively pulled the door knob multiple times but to no avail.
"It's not working," Marcus pointed out.
"No shizzle, it's not working," I said, with an obviously annoyed tone. We've been tight for more than several years, I should've been used to my friend's predisposition to point out the obvious at any givejn moment, but I wasn't having it at that moment. "Where the hell is Mrs. Applebottom at?" I asked impatiently. "We been standing here for 15 minutes after bell rang, she just gonna have us waiting out here all damn day?" Mrs. Applebottom's classroom was located at the end of a desolate hallway with little lighting and no other nearby classrooms so none of the other teachers were around to hear our grievances.
As we were moaning and groaning, Alex came to the rescue. Let me tell you about Alex Vasquez. On paper, Alex was the perfect teenage girl. She was stunningly attractive like she was undescribably gorgeous and I don't even think that's an actual word. Whether "undescribably" is a word or not that is the word to I will use to tell you how beautiful she is. She is so beautiful there are not enough adjectives in the English language I can use to describe how beautiful she is. She is the prettiest person in Paul Newman High School and everyone with a conscience could admit that. I'm not trying to sound like I have a crush on her because I don't at all. I actually hate her with every fiber of my body. The same way her beauty is "undescribable" so is her "dislikeability." I do not know one person who has anything nice to say about Alex behind her back. Her squad doesn't even like her, they fear her more than anything. Turns out, the teacher gave her the key. She stared at the door and slowly turned the doorknob. . .

August 03, 2015 09:50:17 PM





The sun rose and everything fell. Legs, arms and other mangled parts smashed to the ground, leaving clouds of dust to cover the mass destruction. Alex was temporarily blinded and his eye searched to make out any shapes or forms around him. As the dust cleared, he realized what lay before him and he screamed, falling to his knees and weeping slightly. What had once been a set of newly purchased IKEA chairs had been reduced to nothing but ash and regret. Not only had he stayed up for two days straight fumbling with wordless instructions and extra bolts, he had been warned by his wife that if anything were to happen to their prized possession, it would be their marriage on the line. Alex's phone buzzed, pulling him out of his devastation. Reaching into his pocket, he slowly let his eyes wander to the screen. It was his wife. He swiped and put this cell to his ear. "Hello? Alex? It's Grace. I'm right out front with a new dining table to match the chairs. Could you help me bring it in?" He hung up and stood with great difficulty. Moving toward the door, he felt every splinter in his body move with him. Alex stared at the door handle and slowly turned the knob.

August 03, 2015 09:45:33 PM





The sun rose and everything fell.

We had realized just how messy the house had gotten after last night's party had subsided. The house was just as messy as my Uncle Phil's life, only it was a house.
Alex had woken up next to the girl of my dreams, who was also named Alex, however to avoid confusion, I'mma just call her Alex 2. So anyways, when Alex 1 woke up to the sight of his house trashed, he made this gross gasping noise that sounded dangerously close to that one video on the internet of turtles having sex. So long story short, no one really took him seriously at first. Anyways, the poor guy was turning shades of red that no one had even seen before. I mean the guys face was as red as some other guy's face if he were to blush out of anger. Well, Alex was totally angry. He let out a loud, "Everyone either get the hell out of my house or help me get rid of this dump! My parents get home in 20 minutes!" So among all the confusion kids could be heard scrambling to get all their clothes, throwing away their trash, and running out the door. In the end, there were about as many people remaining as there were members of the Beatles and I'm pretty sure there were like three so it wasn't a large number at all. It was up to me, Alex 1, and Alex 2 to save the day. Of course, Alex 2 couldn't really say much considering someone last night someone had dared her to do the Kylie Jenner lip challenge and she's ballsy as hell. Her lips were swollen three times their normal size. It was just like a black eye that was also swollen three times its normal size. "Lemme get some ice for you," I said as she started to panic about her terrible life decisions. It was probably the closest I could get to something romantic at the time. I'm always so nervous around her. I mean she's a Greek goddess and I look like a damn portabella mushroom burger. She has eyes as blue as blue paint and legs as long as tree branches that are also very long. Her hair would make any stylist bow at her glory in the same way that Donald Trump's hair wouldn't. Meanwhile Alex 1 was all up in a frenzy sweeping up broken bottles, vacuuming, and wiping up the floors. We had 10 minutes left on the clock and all I could do was flirt badly with Alex 2. Since her talking and facial expressions at the time were minimal, I could expect little to no backlash.
"I uh... like your lips."
Shit. What the hell was that? Her eyebrows contorted in such a confused manner I swear they could've been used as question marks in an essay written by me on how the hell those kids who got golden Wonka tickets somehow just all magically spoke English. Like I mean there were scenes from all over the world of people scrambling to buy chocolate bars and yet the five golden tickets somehow managed to end up in the hands of five little kids all from the same area... Beside the point. So I'm obviously terrible at flirting. It was at that moment that Alex 2 started bawling and from what I made out from her muffled words through her red pillow lips was that she regretted sleeping with Alex 1 to get back at her ex. I genuinely felt bad for her and went in for a hug, however, I guess her phone got a text and she didn't see my arms as she turned to go check it so I quickly made it look like I was stretching.

"I mean I just wanted to prove to myself that I was doing better off on my own! I had dreams of being an independent, tender hoe. BUT NOW MY HEART'S HURTIN," Alex 2 had said with a few more weird sobbing whistle noises that I'm pretty sure were coming out from her perfect nose. It was like listening to a light wind whisper through the warm spring air. Well I finally got that long awaited hug and redeemed myself and we talked for a few more minutes and really got to know as much stuff about each other that a person can find out about another within the matter of five minutes. What happened next made my heart beat as fast as it does when someone whispers, "let's watch the Spy Kids franchise," in my ear. She leaned in and kissed me with those giant baboon-ass lips of hers! It was just like a mama whale swallowing a baby bull shark! No, It was like one of those alien robots from War of the World swallowing up its first victim in that weird red chamber opening thing that it has! No. It was like some even weirder analogy from the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. Needless to say, I enjoyed every second it it. I felt like I was taller than a person who was taller than me in height.
Shoot. Alex 1 actually still had a lot to do. Alex 2 and I scrambled to get everything back into place with 3 minutes left on the clock when we heard knocks on the door.
"Alex were home! We left the house key inside, could you open the door please?"
It was at that moment that the two Alex's and I looked at each other in horror. It was like this certain type of horror that no one else has probably ever felt before. Idk, you probably wouldn't understand. It's like really exclusive. So Alex gave Alex 2 and I a directing nod as he motioned for us to jump out the back window and escape. We did just that late enough for us to see the soon-to-be dead kid walk up to the door all while repetitively doing the sign of the cross but early enough to also see that there were rose bushes hiding under the window and that we were, indeed, screwed. Well we jumped out of the window regardless in order to do at least one thing right for our troubled friend. The next few moments were as intense as the moments that one feels when waiting for a hot pocket to cool down before it's remotely safe to feast on it.

Alex stared at the door handle and slowly turned the knob.

August 03, 2015 09:44:52 PM





“The Bashed Birthday”
The sun rose and everything fell. Now, when I say that everything fell, I don’t mean in the literal sense because that would be absolutely ridiculous. I mean could you imagine everyone waking up in the morning and falling flat on their face? It would be hilarious, but it’s not exactly what you would call plausible. So, when I say everything fell, I mean it figuratively and boy let me tell you this day was the incarnation of a wipeout.
Today, April 23, was a very important day. It was the 18th Birthday of a very dear friend of mine, Alexa Jane Stephens, though we just call her Alex. The reason this day was so important, besides the fact that it was her 18th birthday, was because today all of Alex’s friends had decided to get together and throw her a surprise birthday party. The most important detail was that the party would be Alex’s very first birthday party ever. That’s right. Alex had never before had a party.
However, before you get the wrong idea, I just want to clarify that Alex is not what you would call “under privileged”, more like deprived. Her family is on great financial footing, but also a tab bit… dysfunctional. Her father is your classic Harvard lawyer and blackberry jockey. If you don’t know what that means, another similar term would be workaholic. Alex’s mother, on the other hand, is known behind closed doors as the traveling diva. She spends her time pretty much everywhere except home and there is always some kind of drama on her trips: lost baggage, terrible hotel rooms, and so on and so forth. She claims that she travels because of her job as a consultant. I have no idea what she consults on, but there you go. All of this combined has contributed to the very little acknowledgment Alex gets in general, as well as on her birthday. She claims that she doesn’t mind not having a birthday party, but we all know better. This year we all decided to take matters into our own hands and throw her a surprise party. Looking back I realize that our hearts were in the right place, but the planning kind of blew up in our faces.
We, as a group of concerned friends, made the decision to throw this party three months ago. During the time period that made up the first two and a half months after this decision, we accomplished pretty much nothing in the planning department. And when I say nothing, I mean zilch, zero, nada, nothing. So two weeks ago, we had a committee meeting. During this meeting, we decided roles and jobs for each friend. Tim was supposed to pick the balloons and other assorted decorations. Mark was supposed to order the cake and make the restaurant reservation. Charlotte was supposed to be at the restaurant early to start setting up once Tim arrived with the decorations. My job was to pick up the cake, drive it to the restaurant, and then go get Alex. You would think that our party would go off without a hitch. It didn’t and the problems all began with the cake.
It was around ten o’clock in the morning. I was in my car driving to the bakery. I was approximately halfway there my phone started to buzz and, being the diligent teenage driver that I am, I didn’t check it until I got to the bakery around twenty after ten. By that time, I had twelve unread messages and four voicemails all from none other than… Mark. I didn’t need to listen to the voicemails or read the messages to understand that something had happened to the cake, but I called him anyway. He answered after the first ring.
“Kate! Oh thank God you picked up! I am so sorry this happened I thought my mom ordered it, but she didn’t and she just told me this morning…” By that point, his voice was being drowned out by rushing noise that had filled my ears.
“Mark, are you telling me that you didn’t… order… the cake?” I was practically growling. The phone line was quiet for a few moments while Mark decided how to answer.
“Yup,” he replied with a tone that sounded remarkably mouse like.
“Okay. Okay,” I wasn’t really sure how to react to that, but screaming and or crying were not options at my disposal, “I am at the bakery. They might have a plain chocolate cake that I can get them to write Happy Birthday on.”
“Right, sure. See you.” he said and then proceeded to hang up on me.
That was probably the shortest conversation with Mark I had ever had. Normally you couldn’t get him to shut up. The conversation was so short that only after it was over did I remember he was also in charge of the lunch reservation. You will be thankful to know that he did make the reservation and that was one of only things that went right all day.
But, let’s get back to the main point. I was now parked outside of a bakery that did not have the cake we so desperately needed. There is something you should probably know about this bakery. It called Allen’s Bakery and is owned by a Mr. and Mrs. Allen who are both the best bakers to ever grace the area of Central Pennsylvania which means, on a day to day, basis their store is packed and, when I say packed, I mean the kind of packed that only occurs when you are a little old lady who lived in a shoe. This means that usually if you aren’t there by the time the store opens, you will not be able to get a cake of any kind. All I knew was that I had to try, so I got out of my car and walked into the bakery.
I will skip ahead a bit here because I don’t think you want to hear about the forty-five minutes of groveling that followed my entrance into the bakery. Somehow, possibly by an act of God, I was lucky enough to procure a cake that had been baked earlier in the morning. Honestly, in hindsight, I probably should have just gone to the grocery store and bought a cake. It would have been better than knowing that the cake we had was a canceled order from a funeral. That’s right. You heard correctly. The cake was originally for a funeral which is, as I am sure you are well aware, the exact opposite of a birthday. But, there I was driving to the party with a box full of jet black chocolate cake, complete with big cursive letters proclaiming it sorry for our loss, buckled into the passenger seat of my car. I was silently praying that nothing else went wrong.
As I was pulling up into the restaurant parking lot, I caught sight of a mass of people and party balloons standing out by the front doors. I got out of the car and balanced the cake in my arms as I walked up to the doors. All of my friends visibly relaxed when they saw the cake box. Charlotte actually looked close to tears.
“You got a cake!” Mark exclaimed when I finally got up on the sidewalk.
“Yes, no thanks to you,” I muttered under my breath.
“Hey, now! Today’s supposed to be a happy day,” Tim admonished with a finger shake in my direction. Yes, he did actually shake his finger at me like he was my unhappy grandmother. He was homeschooled for eight years. He has an excuse for being a bit weird.
“Alright, why don’t we all get inside before it rains? Those clouds do not look friendly,” Charlotte said as she looked fearfully up at the sky.
Charlotte wasn’t kidding when she said that there were unfriendly clouds in the distance. They looked darker than the icing on my funeral cake. We, of course, did the only wise thing and ran as quickly as we could into the restaurant, which actually wasn’t as quick as you would think, because it took all four of us to finagle the thirty or so balloons in the door. I had no idea that balloons could be that contrary. Thankfully, Charlotte’s parents were already inside getting our reservation sorted out. Once we and the balloons were safely indoors, the host lead us the private room in the back of the restaurant. The room we reserved was separated from the main dining area by an opaque glass wall and door. The door had a simple silver knob and a sign hanging on it that said “Reserved”.
Our host turned to look at us and spoke, “Just a warning the room might be a bit smaller than you were expecting, but it should fit all of you just fine.”
With those inspiring words and a passing smile, he unlocked the door and scurried off. We all looked at each other with terrified expressions. Tim decided it was his moment for bravery so he pushed the door open with the toe of his shoe and slowly walked inside. It must have been a hilarious sight for the rest of the patrons to watch four teenagers and two parents sneak timidly into the room as if the table was going to jump out and bite them.
Thankfully, the table didn’t jump out and bite us. However, the table and the chairs did take up about ninety-percent of the room, so we all had to squeeze in with our backs pressed up against the walls.
“Well, this is a shoebox.” Charlotte’s dad stated in the most matter of fact way possible which caused us all to burst out laughing.
If this were a movie, that would be the moment our troubles were over and the happy ending would flash up on the screen. However, this was not a movie and there was no fade to black happy ending, because Tim let go of the balloons. This normally wouldn’t have been a problem since we were inside and the balloons would be contained, but in this particular room there was a ceiling fan and we all know that balloons and ceiling fans do not get along. Needless to say, we were abruptly awakened from our giggle fit by the gunfire like sound of exploding balloons. The noise was so unexpended that Charlotte screamed which caused Mark to drop his box of assorted party hats and streamers. The party hats scattered, the streamers unraveled, and Mark dove after them. The unfortunate result of his valiant effort to save the streamers was him tripping me. I stumbled against the table and the cake flew out of my arms. It slid across the table, over the edge, and onto the floor.
The good news was that the cake survived, but we were now down to twelve balloons, the other eighteen were deflated and tangled around the ceiling fan, and a ball of knotted streamers. The boys were working as quickly as possible to get the streamers untangled and debating whether or not to cut them apart with scissors. Charlotte and her parents were securing the remaining balloons to the backs of chairs and attempting to unravel the strings around the fan. I was checking my watch approximately every two seconds. The clock was slowly ticking down to the time I needed to pick up Alex and I had no idea if we would be ready.
Charlotte’s mother finally broke me out of my anxious stupor, “You should go get Alex.”
“Are you sure you don’t need me here?” I asked as I glanced at my watch again.
“We’ll figure this out. Go.”
I didn’t really need another invitation. I turned and fled from the room. I looked at my watch as I ran to the front doors. It was ten minutes after noon. I had just enough time to get to Alex’s house as long as nothing else held me up. Things were looking up for me until I stepped outside and got completely drenched. Apparently, the clouds decided now would be a good time to spread their watery joy all over my parade.
“Really! You couldn’t have waited until I was in the car!”
Okay, I will be the first to admit screaming at the sky is a little weird, but I was frustrated. Can you blame a girl for needing to vent? Anyway, I managed to make it into my car and get on the road. And, if only to add insult to injury, the rain slowed down traffic to baby style crawl. I made it to Alex’s house safe and sound in twice the time. Frankly, I was just thankful my car didn’t explode on the way there, because that would be the sugar in my coffee. I pulled up to the curb as Alex opened the door to sprint out to the car.
She slid into the seat next to me with a grin, “Hey Kate! So where are we headed?”
I pulled away from the curb and responded, “We’re headed to lunch and before we get there I just want to say I am so sorry.”
“Sorry? Sorry for what?” She said looking at me quizzically.
I just sighed and said, “You’ll see.”
We managed to make it to the restaurant without any further mishaps. Actually, the rain had let up and the sun was pushing its way through the clouds as we pulled into the parking lot. Alex and I got out of the car and walked up to the restaurant. I lead her to the back room. I made sure to stay in front of her partially because the party was supposed to be a surprise and also because if the room was still chaos I could lead her away before she saw anything. We got to glass door. I stood off to the side to peer in through the windows. I couldn’t see anything bad happening inside so I nodded to Alex. Alex stared at the door handle and slowly turned the knob.

August 03, 2015 09:43:35 PM





The sun rose and everything fell.
Blinded by the sudden streak of light coming from her window, Alex knocked several binders off of her desk.
As she picked up her notes, Alex stared at the clock hanging above her bedroom door. It read 5:30. AM.
Actually she wasn’t too sure...
her pupils were too tired to move.
Staring at the mess in front of her, Alex thought, Dang, I finally pulled off an all-nighter. Ten complete hours of straight memorization in preparation for the final exams. Intense readings. Extreme note taking… and ten Twinkie snack breaks, two episodes of Pigs N Wiggles, listening perhaps obsessively to Imagination Movers, an occasional thought to jump out the window...
That darn window screen!
Alex picked up the last book on the ground- The Benefits of Sleep she had been reading that night to study for her health test. Soon, yesterday’s memories came flooding back to her.
But she didn’t have the energy to delineate them.
Ding! Alex had gotten a notification from Yahoo. Yahoo, hmmm, sounded like a familiar website, perhaps it was the name of the amusement park Alex visited last week? Alex unlocked her phone and proceeded to the site; someone had asked on Yahoo Answers, “what were the affects of the Industrial Revolution during the 18th century?’
Alex thought, Obviously the construction of factories, increased exploitation of child laborers and worsening health conditions. That assignment was due yesterday.
Instead she replied a more logical response: *effects
“Alex, time to wake up!” It was Alex’s older sister, Berta, who was in her third year of high school. “Don’t you know it’s already 7? School starts in an hour!”
Too tired to move, Alex lay on the floor and rolled towards the door. She hollered, “Ok, I’ll be right there!” Stuffing her notebook into her Frozen backpack, Alex grabbed her new favorite toy- a Rubik’s Cube. She always found it comforting to peel off the stickers on the cube and rearrange them until all the colors were on the same side. However, truth be told, she missed her old doll, Annabelle. She was Alex’s best friend until Alex began watching horror movies. Watching Annabelle, in particular, seemed to be badger Alex for an unfathomable reason. Perhaps it was the strangely eerie fact that Alex shared the same name with the director of shoe design that made the movie feel so realistic. Anyway, afterwards, Annabelle ended up in the trash can.
As Alex headed downstairs, an aroma of freshly microwaved pancakes wafted through the air.
To her utter surprise, her mother had prepared pancakes for breakfast! Berta asked, “Ready for the last week of school?”
“Yeah, I guess.” Alex said nervously.
“I can’t believe it,” Berta continued, “Next year, I’ll be a senior and you’ll be in first grade! Scared for your finals?”
“I was up all night!”
“No way!”
“You better believe it! Competition at Manhattan SpeedyStart is intense!”
“Wow, I am not surprised. Aren’t you nervous? What were you learning?”
Alex rubbed her eyes, “Oh well nothing too complicated just advanced trigonometry, honors chemistry, Shakespeare. It’s true that I’m stressed about the finals but what I’m really concerned about is the significance of trophy hunting in Zimbabwe and the incentives of ecotourism on government permits.”
Her sister gave Alex a confused look. “What did you just say?” There was an extended period of silence.
Eh, who cares, I got to go.” Berta went back upstairs where she had decided to spend the rest of her Senior Ditch Day.
Wiping some milk off her face, Alex thought, if I make it through today, everything will be fine. After all, Alex’s friend Billy was still alive, considering he had gotten a B on the last test! Sighing, Alex stared at the door handle and slowly turned the knob.

August 03, 2015 09:40:29 PM





The sun rose and everything fell. Alex watched as his house of cards broke inward. He watched as the cards collapsed. His whole night's work fell as he watched and listened to Katy Perry’s Fireworks. “Like a House of Cards, One blow from caving in.” Alex put his hands on his face and lets his emotions take over. “Yes, Katy Perry! Yes!” Alex shouted in despair, “I do feel ‘like a plastic bag drifting through the wind’!” Alex gave up and laid back on the floor which was scattered with hundreds of cards.

“DUDE! Wake up man!” Alex’s roommate, John, burst out when he saw Alex asleep on the floor. “Why are you sleeping on the floor, bro?”
“Because I can.” Alex says sitting up, “Its not like I got a job or anything.”
“What happened to your card house, bro?” John asked, “And why are you listening to Katy Perry?”
“What? You have a problem with Katy Perry?” Alex countered, obviously still in a bad mood.
“Nah, man.” John apologized, “This is my favorite song! ‘Cause baby you’re a firework. Come on show ‘em what you’re worth-”
“JOHN! I get it.” Alex interrupted.
“Sorry, bro.” John apologized again, “Dude, why are you on the down low? Is it because of your card house?” he babbled.
“Anyway we’ve got an interview today, bro. So get off your butt dude.” He encouraged.
* * *
“Alright man get in.” John said standing by the Prius. “We’re late for the McDonald’s interview dude.”
“Yeah,” Alex said discouraged, “I can’t believe neither of us got a job at Subway.”
“But that’s Subway! It’s not our cup of tea, bro.”
“Yeah, but I needed a job.”
“We will get a job, bro. I guarantee it. Now get in, bro.”
“Let’s practice for the interview.” Alex recommended.
“Alright, good idea. Now repeat after me. ‘Hi! I’m Alex and welcome to McDonald’s!’”
“Do I have to?”
“Yeah, bro!”
“But what do you know?”
“Both my parents worked at McDonald’s, bro.” John said proudly.
“And look how you turned out.”
“Hater’s gonna hate.”
* * *
Alex walked up to the McDonald’s, opened the door and walked up to the counter. “Hi! I’m Bill, and welcome to McDonald’s!” Alex turned and saw a grin on John’s face. Alex stuffed a dollar bill into John’s extended arm.
“Hi. I’m here for an interview.” Alex asked nervously.
“Hi! Lauren can help you,” Bill said while pointing to a girl who was walking over.
“Hi you must be either Alex or John.” She said.
“Yeah, I’m Latex, uhh Lallex um, Alex.” He stuttered,
“Okay. Let’s go see how well you can make some burgers.” Lauren said.
* * *
“So how did it go, bro?” John asked when Alex walked out.
“Okay. I had my interview too. I got job, bro!”
“Good for you.” Alex said with his head hung low. Let’s go home.”
* * *
“Ugh.” Alex moaned while jumping on to the sofa. “This sucks,I suck.”
“Get up bro!” John encouraged. You can’t give up man! I know you’ll get another job at McDonald’s, bro! Because this is America! You know why?”
“Because America is the land of second chances.” Alex responded.
“NO! Wrong, man! Let’s look out the window for a moment.” He lifted Alex up and asked “What do you see?”
“Four McDonald’s and a Walmart.”
“EXACTLY! This is America, man. The land of McDonald's and Walmarts!”
“I guess that’s what America really is about.”
“Dude! I can help you get a job.”
“How?” Alex asked.
“Well you know how I got a job right?”
“Well if I got a job then you can get a job too, bro!”
“But how are you gonna help me?”
“I tell you what to do and you do it. Ok?”
“I guess.”
“First we need get a lot of hamburger buns.”
* * *
“First make a lot of sandwiches” John told Alex.
“Are you kidding?” Alex asked with a disappointed look on his face.
“Nope. Go! Go! Go! I’m gonna put on some Katy Perry to motivate you, bro.” He said walking over to the stereo. “Baby you’re a firework!” John sang.
“SHUT IT!” Alex yelled from the kitchen.
“Jeez, dude. Calm down, bro.” John apologized before sitting on the sofa and turning on the T.V.
“HELP!” ALex screamed.
“Dude calm down. Give me a bit, the M&M commercial is on.” Still sitting on the sofa. “I wish we could afford some, bro.”
“JOHN!” Alex panicked, “IT’S ON FIRE!”
“What’s on fire?!” John asked while jumping off the sofa.
“The cucumbers!”
John stopped in his tracks, “The what?”
John dashed into the kitchen with a fire extinguisher in his hands. “I knew something like this would happen so I borrowed one from the neighbors.” John explained. “But how? Just how? How do you burn the cucumbers?”
“I don’t know. It just sort of happened.”
“Well then make two and them come give them to me, ok? To test how well you’ve done.”
“But it’s dinner time,” Alex argued, “Can’t I just take a break?”
“Dude, do you want a job or not?” John explained as he walked back into the living room. Ten minutes later Alex came back with two burgers. “Thank you, bro.” John said as he took a huge bite out of the first one. “It’s good,” he said with his mouth full. Then John just sat there and ate both the burgers. “They were good, bro.”
“Are you kidding, John?” Alex asked ticked off.
“I might as well eat the sandwiches, man” John said innocently.

The next morning John told Alex “Dude get ready, I got something special planned for today.”
“Ok. What is it?” Alex asked.
“Well I invited a couple of people over for lunch so you can practice taking people’s orders and making burgers really fast. It’s why they call it fast food.” John explained proudly. “I invited Joe, Goodwin, and Ethan”
* * *
The doorbell rung and John sprung to his feet. As he headed for the door he asked, “You ready Alex? Joe! Come on in. We’ll wait for everyone to get here and then Alex will make burgers! Right?”
“Yep!” Alex faked enthusiasm.
After Goodwin and Ethan arrived John said “Ok, bros. Alex can start taking your orders.” As Alex headed to the kitchen John whispered to the guests, “He’s practicing for a McDonald’s interview. He doesn’t actually need to do any of this crap but I get free burgers so I’m not complaining.”
Alex turned around and looked at John. “Are you kidding me? Ooh he’s gonna get it” As he walked back to the group he asked them“what do you guys want?”
“I don’t want any tartar sauce” Joe said.
“I don’t want the pattie, I’m a vegetarian.” Goodwin replied.
“Normal for me” Ethan said.
“Me too.” John added.
“Alrighty then!” Alex went back to the kitchen. As he made all of their sandwiches. Except when he got to John he pulled out his special surprise. “Laxatives! Have nice time John!” Alex went back to the guys and gave them their sandwiches.
A few minutes later John looked up from his food and said, “Oh yeah, I forgot to-” John doubled over. “I forgot to- give me a minute” He yelled as he ran to the bathroom.
“Aw man! What’s that smell!” Goodwin cried out as John walked out of the bathroom.
“Sorry guys!” John said returning to the table. “I was saying-” John doubled over again. “Give me a minute!” He yelled as he ran to the bathroom again.
“Sorry Alex, but I’m gonna go. The burger was good and all but I can’t take his crap.” Goodwin said standing up.
“Me too.” Ethan added.
“Ok, bye!” Alex said with a grin. He sat on the couch until John came out. “John, you stink!” he exclaimed with disgust.
“Dude, I’m sorry, bro.” John apologized, “Not my fault, bro!”
“Then who’s fault is it?”
“I don’t know? My stomach?”
“Anyway I’m going to go to McDonald’s for an interview in a bit.” Alex told John. “So I’m gonna go get ready.” He got off the couch and headed into his room.
* * *
Alex drove into the parking lot of the McDonald’s that was a couple blocks away from his apartment. Alex stared at the door handle and slowly turned the knob.

August 03, 2015 09:18:24 PM





The sun rose and everything fell.
Donald Trump saw this and laughed evilly. "Yes! Do you know what this means?" He asked his intern, Alex.
His intern said, " sir."
"Everything has fallen, including the Mexican population. Don't you get it? There's less people for liberals to get offended for. Less Mexicans, more votes for me."
"But then, doesn't the rich white population go down too? That's like the only people willing to vote for you."
"Oh yeah. You're right. You're right..." That was weird, Donald Trump thought. Normally a conservative person wouldn't think so considerably. Hmm...I should test him.
"Hey Alex," he said. "My friend's having some money trouble. Could you help him sort some stuff out?"
Alex said, "Sure, I guess. But you're a millionaire. I'm sure you can help too."
So not only does he care, he even points out my selfishness, Trump thought. Hmm. Come to think of it, this kid doesn't even look that white. And even if he is white, he looks more like the I-know-I'm-white-but-I-don't-care white than the Donald Trump white. I better give him one final test, just to make sure...
" it Alex or...?"
"It's actually Alejandro, but everyone calls me Alex."
"Aha! I knew it! Get out of my office!"
"Wait what?"
"Read the sign!"
" 'No one hired except for legal, white, American conservatives!" Alex read. "Hey, that's illegal!"
"Oh, don't you tell me about illegal!" Trump screamed.
Trump's son came rushing in. "Dad, what's going on?" Alex was already walking to the door, but he stopped.
Trump said, "This stupid, illiterate Mexican armadillo somehow got hired here."
"Dad, don't call him that!"
Alex said, "Thank you. At least someone here-"
" 'Cause that would be an insult to armadillos! At least armadillos don't go around killing and raping Amuricans!"
"That's right son!" Trump said. "They want to kill us Amuricans!" They went on yelling at him. The intern sighed.
Alex stared at the door handle and slowly turned the knob.

August 03, 2015 09:16:28 PM





The sun rose and everything fell. Banners, confetti, lanterns, all descended from the East Three School, Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada. The sunrise festival was just beginning, marking the first time the sun is visible above the northern Canadian horizon. People from miles and miles away traveled to this weekend of lights and festivities. These visitors had many local hotels with their “No Vacancy” signs out, and had the staff extremely stressed. Donnie Rudyard was the youngest hotel manager in the area at 24, and had a lot on his plate that weekend before he left on his trip. Donnie Rudyard was the selected pick of the Northern Territories to attend Sir Glaudio Devuve’s annual ceremonial syrup tasting. Devuve’s party was the most exclusive institution in all of Canada. Once every year, at varying times of the year one person is picked from each territory and province to travel far north, deep into the tundra to try the most revolutionary, and delicious maple syrup in all of Canada. Devuve had secured his place in the maple syrup world by creating the first maple syrup social networking site,, where fans of the condiment shared recipes, reviews, fanfictions, etc. This soon became Canada’s #1 social media. The ceremony is very private and all attendees swear to secrecy. Donnie’s invitation even had a selected excuse incase people asked him where he was going, “to seek advice from the love guru, Steve Harvey.” He would be gone for five days, and each night he would taste test new syrups, each with a different theme (syrups of the world, seasonal syrups, etc.) and there were numerous events during the day (make your own maple, maple in the movies, etc.). The retreat occurs in a historic manor deep in the north, and is attended by 20 staff and security members year round.
The last lantern went out and the festival concluded. Donnie rushed home to get a good night's sleep before he had to leave early the next morning. When he woke up he realized he was late, and rushed out of his small house following his directions from his invitation. He drove for hours and hours and hours, as he neared the end of the plowed road, there was a lone reindeer in the snow, with a note on its back, that read “You're late.” This was not good. Donnie had pissed off one of the most powerful men in Canada. He stood there for a little, hesitated, and got on the reindeer and rode. He continue to ride for hours and hours through woods and mountains. As they descended their next mountain they saw a large Victorian-style mansion on the top of the next mountain. Once they reached the summit, a guard came out of the grand arched doorway and told Donnie to go with him. The reindeer, knowing its life purpose was completed, jumped off the mountain and killed itself. The guard took Donnie down a series of corridors and through many rooms until finally arriving in the grand dining room. The perimeter of the room was surrounded by security guards, waiters, and chefs. Four people sat at the top of the table, while one man stood before them. The guard pulled a chair out for him and Donnie took his seat. Donnie now realized the man standing at the front of the table was Sir Glaudio Devuve, the Sir Glaudio Devuve. Donnie was starstruck but kept it inside. The elegant man spoke once Donnie was situated. “Now that you're all here, I would first like to thank everyone for coming, and would like to take a moment of silence for everyone who died on their way here.” Donnie looked up in surprise and fear, but after seeing everyone else with their heads bowed calmly he did the same. “Representatives from Ontario, Nunavut, and Alberta to Polar Bears, Prince Edward Island and Manitoba to frostbite and hypothermia. British Columbia and New Brunswick to the abdominal snowman, and Saskatchewan to other various paranormal activities and occurrences. But enough of the sad stuff, let's get to the syrups! Shall we?” Devuve gestured behind him as a door opened and a parade of chefs came holding fancy silver platters, and placed them in front the five seated guests. “Our first dish is a curry lentil maple syrup, from the far east, with a naan pancake palette cleanser.” The waiters unveiled bowls full of pure maple syrup with an orange tint. After every syrup tasting there would be a palette cleanser of the finest waffles, pancakes, or french toast. Donnie was shocked he had no time to settle in just minutes after he arrived he was already having spicy maple syrup in front of him, how late was he, he thought. Everything just seemed to happen so quickly. Donnie, as well as the other four survivors loved the maple syrup, or maybe they just thought they did.
After several more courses, Devuve got ready for the final course, a “very special maple syrup,” which Devuve was “very excited for.” This one was so special that Devuve and to deliver it himself. So he and his guard went to get it, This syrup was kept in a special temperature-controlled max security vault. They went down the hall, through the billiards room #6, up the stairs, past the indoor pool, down the stairs, into the old abandoned nursery, over the Indian burial ground, up the stairs, down the stairs, up the stairs, up the stairs, through movie theater #18, up the stairs, up to the cursed tomb, down a trap door, down the stairs, around the chapel, and finally into the vault that housed the vault that housed the vault that housed the maple syrup. Devuve’s chief guard, Jeff Fedeff, watched Devuve get the syrup, and then- he was gone, in the blink of an eye. Sir Glaudio Devuve had disappeared. Jeff Fedeff tried his best not to panic. He ran out of the safe that held the maple syrup into the safe that help the safe that held the maple syrup and finally into the safe that held the safe the he was previously in. He ran around the chapel, up the stairs, up the trap door, down to the cursed tomb, down the stairs, through movie theater #18, down the stairs, down the stairs, up the stairs, down the stairs, over the Indian burial ground, out of the old abandoned nursery, up the stairs, past the indoor pool,down the stairs, through billiards room #6, and finally into the grand dining room. His face was white his breaths were heavy.
“What is wrong?” Quebec representative, Ronoe Dodun asked in his deep French-Canadian accent as Jeff Fedeff entered.
“I-I-I” Jeff stammered, “I turned around because I thought I heard the ice cream truck, and when I turned back Devuve wasn't there…” Everyone's mouth dropped and looked around as if they were expecting Devuve to appear out of nowhere.
Ronoe Continued the conversation and his accent depend. “You let Deuve a-dissapeer but ju did save da mapol syroup?”
“I’m sorry maybe I thought they could help us find him if it was so important to him?”
Ronoe responded furiously in an even deeper accent. “ghu de blorkdesnork fromage olou defez Paris!”
Although no one could understand Ronoe they began devouring their maple syrup, instead of savoring it as it was intended. “I think I found a clue!” Yelled Justice O’Bannon from Nova Scotia, “Oh wait, its just a toenail.”
“I think I found a toenail!” Responded Dandoffer Dabny from Newfoundland. “Oh wait its just a clue.” After frustrated retaliation from every other member Dandoffer Dabny opened the clue that gave an emergency phone incase of any distress. They called the number and do the only thing they could, wait, they could've looked too, but they didn't.
An hour went by but no ambulance, no doctor, nothing. Then, there was a knock at the door. Everyone ran to the door, but before the could get it and open it, it flung open. Snow flew into the house and the wind howled. Standing in the doorway was a shaded figure, with a hat, a scarf, a suitcase, and a long coat. He took a few steps forward into the house. He looked up revealing his face, and spoke. "This. Is. Jeopardy." It was the well known host of the popular game show, Jeopardy, and famous Canadian Alex Trebek! If the people cheered and smiled for this celebrity encounter, although Donnie was once again just confused. He walked straight to the dining room and put down his suitcase. He opened it and placed a couple waffles inside. He slid the suitcase aside and addressed the matter. “Hello, and yes, you guessed it, i’m Alex Trebek, and i’m here to help. Who are the guests?” The five guests alerted him who they were.
Justice told him what was going on. “Devuve is miss-”
“I know.” Alex interrupted. “I was a childhood friend of his. Come with me, all you staff, you know what to do.”
Alex Trebek reshut his suitcase put his hat back on, and walked down the hall, all the representative guests followed. Donnie was in disbelief of how quickly everyone adjusted, and moved on from all these crazy things that kept happening. He kept giving everyone weird looks, but they just gave him weird looks back. They walked down the hall and into an elevator. Alex pressed a button that said ‘stage’. They came out of the elevator, walked down another hallway, this one dim and simple however compared to the grand leathered ones from before. They walked through a set of double doors into a room that completely resembled the set of Jeopardy, 1984. All of the guests, Dendoffer, Dittany, Ronoe, and Justice, ran to a podium and wrote their names. Donnie was to tired to continue his train of confusion, and followed the others to a podium. He looked out onto the studio audience, which was the mansion staff! They were all clapping, and smiling, and cheering, like any normal studio audience. Alex Trebek reappeared from behind the stage dressed in his normal hosting attire. He began with “I would first like to apologize for the outdated set. As well as going this much north, we also went back in time. The #1 song is still Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper, but do classics like that ever age? But lets get to the game. Today's categories are; 1893 Internal Ethiopian Conflict, Martin Luther King Sr., Where One Can Get Heroin, Sports, and finally How to Cure IBS.” After the first round Alex walked up and got to know the contests. “So Donnay, you’ve been to Asia?”
“Well it's Donnie, and yes I climbed Mt. Everest when I was only twelve, but what’s go-”
“Omg cool” Alex interrupted without paying attention or maintaining eye contact. “Dittany Chibber you escaped an exploding plane, carrying illegal cargo, by jumping out of it without a parachute and hid out in an Italian farmer’s field for five years illegally, but you know own a flower shop in the suburbs?”
“Yes, yes I do.”
“Aw well that's really great, glad to see your doing well.”
“Dendoffer Dabny, it says here you have a killer lemon-poppy-seed pound cake recipe, that you used to take mass murder 17 people at your business convention this year.”
“Yes, I’m trying to win first in the county baking fair this year!”
“Well good luck!”
“Ronoe Dodun, you were born in France?”
“Oui, oui.”
“Alright calm down fancy pants, this is Nunavut not France. But, you know, I tried to get them to add croissants to the craft services table back in Burbank, but they said they couldn't fit it into the budget, so if you know someone who can help with that, that would be great.”
“Justice O’Bannon, when we tried to find information on your everything, and everyone just said you died in 2009, from ‘lightning,’ is that true?”
“Yes, that is true there is a documentary mini series based off me called Shining Light on the Lethal Lightning Murder: The Supposed Death of Justice O’Bannon and the Search for Information, the dramatic finale is on next Sunday at 8:30 on CBC.”
“Alright but I gotta ask you Justice, do they find you? Did you live?”
“You’ll have to watch to find out.” The two laughed.
The next three days were full of intense cut-throat competition. On the fourth day they finally reached ‘Finally Jeopardy’. By now Dendoffer Dabny had been found and arrested by the CSIS, and and Justice O’Bannon was kicked off for having a negative balance, as the Jeopardy rules abide by. Now all who was left was, Dittany Chibber, Ronoe Dodun, and Donnie Rudyard. “And the category is Syrup. The answer after the break.”
A simultaneous “Aw” sounded from the audience.
After standing there for 3 minutes Donnie interrupted the silence and smiles, “So do we just stand here? Is this what happens during commercials?”
“Please, no one likes you, we all hate you. Shut up, they’re filming commercials in the other room.” Alex responded. After 2 more minutes Alex returned to hosting. “The final Jeopardy answer is: This syrup was originally used as a body cleanser during the Brihadratha dynasty in ancient India. Known for its spice and tang it soon became a popular luxurie in both India and Canada.” The contestants began writing their answers. Time was up and Alex read the answers. “Dittany Chibber, you said, ‘maple.’ I’m sorry but that is neither the right answer or in the form of a question. Ronoe lets see what you said!” A line of curvy unintelligible gibberish was revealed. “Alright it's a little hard to see what you said, but our judges say you said ‘curry lentils.’ Oh im so sorry its curry lentil not curry lentils, i'm afraid we can’t accept that. Donnson on to you! You said, curry lentil! Finally for once in your life you did something right! Good job! As always our second and third place winners will go home with $1,000 and $2,000, and Donnor you get to see where Devuve has been for the past five days!”
“Wait I want money.”
“All surviving guests may leave now and take their thousand dollar gift bag at the main entrance.”
“Do I get a gift bag?”
“Lets go big mouth.” They walked down the hall to the next room where a slight repeated thumping could be heard inside. “Are you ready for us?”
“Ah, one second…Who one?”
“The idiot, you know the ugly one with long arms but short hands, a weird have grown in beard thing, looks like he might have back acne. Smells weird.”
“Oh really?, what's his name? Dicky?”
“I don’t know, Derby? Doesn’t matter.”
Shuffling could be heard inside the room, what sound like someone rushing to put on pants. Alex stared at the door handle and slowly turned the knob.

August 03, 2015 08:31:35 PM





The sun rose and everything fell. Specifically unicorns from a massive tsunami. That’s how the final scene in “Unicornami”-- a spin-off movie of the successful “Sharknado” series -- rolls out before fading to black. This exhilarating cliffhanger is meant to keep viewers excited for the release of “Unicornami 2: The Next One,” which is set to come to theaters in the summer of 2017. Critics are especially thrilled that the two main actresses -- North West (Kimye’s daughter) and Hannah Montana (NOT Miley Cyrus) -- have already signed on to star in the sequel. Rolling Stones Magazine raves, “Amazing acting! West and Montana are like breaths of fresh air after smelling a colossal pile of unicorn poop.”
Furthermore, The New York Times praises “Unicornami” by calling its story line a “heavenly diamond in the rough.” Billions of people love the plot of the movie because it’s simple, yet smart: a freak tsunami hits New York City, leaving the streets flooded with water and infested with magical unicorns. Yes, real unicorns. And yes, they do poop real rainbows (why does everyone ask that?!). After the unicornami passes (get it, unicorn + tsunami?), sisters Sophia (North West) and Annabelle Jones (Hannah Montana) find themselves stuck in an apartment with only Bedazzlers and SAT prep guides. Oh, the horror! This prompts the sisters to set out on a whirlwind adventure, but not before donning their Lululemon garb (yoga pants and headbands, obviously). *SPOILER ALERT* While sailing down Times Square on a boat constructed out of Twizzlers, flower pots, and tons of hot glue, the sisters find a lonely unicorn named Harry Styles (played by Pinkie Pie, My Little Pony’s star). With his mane-bun on fleek, Harry Styles the Unicorn needs Sophia and Annabelle’s help to find his home after being swept away by the unicornami. In addition to the all-star cast, special guest appearances are made by Bill Murray, Howard Stern, Grumpy Cat, Jennifer Lawrence, and Katy Perry's Left Shark.
Beating the 82% freshness rating that “Sharknado” received on Rotten Tomatoes, “Unicornami” has earned an astounding freshness rating of 99%. When asked what happened to the other 1%, critics replied that they were a bit bothered by the overall abundance of equine nudity. They believed that the producer and director, Alexander Abrams (J.J. Abrams’s long-lost movie producing/directing twin), should have been gracious enough to cover up the unicorns’ rear ends. Even “The Tonight Show” host, Jimmy Fallon, agreed with the critics. During the taping of his show, Fallon made a jab at Abrams when he joked, “No one wants to see the junk in a unicorn’s trunk. Hasn’t Alexander Abrams ever heard of gaucho pants? They are a gift from God. Comfortable and stylish at the same time! They also would have made the unicorns’ butts look twenty times smaller!”
The professional unicorn handler of “Unicornami” and YouTube sensation (whose video currently holds 58,620,915 views), Ms. Sweet Brown, was available to comment on this critical nudity issue. “Clothes on unicorns? Ain’t nobody got time for that! Ya’ll think that it’s easy to get unicorns under control, but let me tell ya, it’s not. I have so much trouble with them when they need to get their hair and makeup done. The only way to calm them down is to play Justin Bieber's song ‘Baby’ on repeat. For some reason, his voice soothes the unicorns and helps them remember what they learned in acting school. So if I had to wrangle them into some clothes, it would have been a nightmare; the wardrobe department would have hated me because I would need to play ‘Baby’ for 24 hours straight! Oh Lord Jesus, that’s a felony!” said Brown.
However, despite the controversy at hand, “Unicornami” is a massive box office hit, securing itself the highly coveted spot of #1 for the highest-grossing film of the summer of 2015. Debuting to $304.2 million in North America, the film opens to $417.1 million overseas, bringing its worldwide opening weekend to $721.3 million. These numbers bump Universal Studio’s “Jurassic World,” which made $511.8 million during its worldwide opening weekend, down to #2 on the chart. Chris Pratt, star of “Jurassic World” and “Guardians of the Galaxy,” posted a picture to his Instagram (@prattprattpratt) of him wearing a “Unicornami” T-shirt while playing with his son; fans loved Pratt’s good-natured approach to the situation and asked him where they could buy his awesome T-shirt (it can be bought on Etsy for $35). A source close to Pratt reveals, “Chris just signed a secret deal that he would be the featured star in “Unicornami 2: The Next One,” so it makes sense that he would advertise the first movie.” Whoops, it’s not a secret anymore, Chris Pratt!
In addition to making big bucks at movie theaters, “Unicornami” has presently become more popular than a high school student with a pack of mint gum. “Unicornami” has become a worldwide sensation. For example, #UNIverse (get it, unicorn + universe?) has been trending on Twitter for three consecutive weeks. Many people believe that this is a result of an influx of Bronies (the extremely unexpected adult fans of My Little Pony) that have started worshipping “Unicornami.” Furthermore, the movie franchise’s prominence in the world has become clear after a 16-foot tall graffiti painting of Harry Styles the Unicorn (yes, he was nude) was found on the Great Wall of China. All Chinese factory workers were commanded to stop manufacturing products for export, causing an American recession as much needed items (such as iPhones and plastic toys for McDonald’s Happy Meals) were not being delivered; instead, the Chinese workers spent their time trying to clean off the offensive art. Ultimately, the spray paint was removed from the Great Wall of China using lo mein noodle mops and Lysol; simultaneously, Donald Trump decided to display a 20-foot painting of Harry Styles the Unicorn (with a golden toupee) on Trump Tower as a way to poke fun at China’s leaders.
With its stunning acting, extraordinary plot, and inspirational life lessons of love, friendship, and girl power, “Unicornami” is a must-see movie. If you haven’t seen it yet, then you should skip really fast down to your local theater this instant and pay $15 to watch it in 3D (just remember: you will look stupid if you reach out your hands to try to touch the unicorns or the tsunami). Overall, if “Unicornami” does not win at least one Oscar, everyone in the United States will most definitely, positively be as shocked as a mad scientist sticking a finger in an electrical outlet. Stay tuned for more articles regarding the filming of “Unicornami 2: The Next One” and some free giveaway Harry Styles the Unicorn T-shirts!
After finishing to read Cosmopolitan’s upbeat editorial on “Unicornami,” producer and director Alexander Abrams turned off his laptop and hastily hopped off his hotel bed as if he had spotted a cockroach the size of a loaf of bread. Luckily for Alex, there were no cockroaches in his spaciously luxurious penthouse suite. Instead, he stood up quickly in order to do his victory dance. All he needed was music to dance to, courtesy of Siri.
“Siri, play ‘Shake It Off’ by Taylor Swift,” Alexander commanded into his sleek iPhone 6 Plus, which he needed to hold with two hands because it was so big.
Siri’s cheerful voice drifted out from the cell phone’s speakers like a fat kid floating down a lazy river. “Here’s what I found on the web for ‘piles of shakers under the sea.’” Multiple websites popped up eagerly for Alex to click on. The first one on the list ( touted that Alex could own “the best Spongebob Squarepants salt shakers in the world” for only $19.99. Intrigued by the website’s bold statement, he bought a set of salt shakers to give to his twin, J.J. Abrams, for Chanukah.
Suddenly, the iPhone dinged loudly. A text message had arrived; Alex wondered who it could be from. Was it his grandmother asking for her dentures back or was it the Tooth Fairy apologizing for not leaving him money for his last tooth? In the end, it turned out to be neither Bubbe nor the Tooth Fairy.
It was Jimmy Fallon. The text said, “Get your butt down to the studio now! You’re on in 15 minutes!”
Alexander’s face suddenly turned very, very red like an ostrich choking on a Lego. Reading that Cosmopolitan article had completely erased his mind of the fact that he was supposed to make a guest appearance on “The Tonight Show.” He needed to get changed out of his Thomas the Tank Engine onesie into some respectable attire right away. Alex raced to his closet, faster than someone can say ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.’ He narrowly avoided slipping and breaking his leg on an avocado peel as he pulled on the first articles of clothing he could find.
“Siri, do these gaucho pants make me look fat?”
“I would prefer not to say, Master Alex,” quipped Siri, whose middle name most certainly is Sassy. With those final words of encouragement and images of a giant unicornami flooding New York City, Alex stared at the door handle and slowly turned the knob.

August 03, 2015 07:29:59 PM





The sun rose and everything fell as a young 17th year old boy in Los Angeles smiled and watched his vision go dark.

Alex was trembling while standing in line waiting for his turn to speak with the front desk; everything was new for him, (just like everyone’s first time, poor kid to have to have to experience that at such a young age, must have been worst then going to the DMV).
Alex did the most he could in this strangely curious world, which at the time was to clutch at the last remaining quarter he had, after giving his last one to a nice ferryman with an elegant white boat.
Finally, it was his turn, as he tried to hide his nervousness beneath a smile, which he was, honestly, able to do with some degree of success.
“Hello, Mr. Peter,” Alex said after reading the man’s name tag that pinned to his suit jacket. Mr. Peter looked a bit frail, with thin whispers of white hairs, though he still appeared to be quite stern and steady with a full beard of wispy white hairs.
“Good Morning, please state your first and last name,” Mr. Peter responded.
“Alex Ramsey.”
“Oh, how cool, a lot of our residents and employees in our downstairs department are a big fan of your father’s show.”
“Ya, a lot of people are,” though he quickly squelched the thought, “I have all my paperwork here.”
“Oh good, yes, well, umm okay all seems to be in order here, birth certificate, proof of residence, second chance application, three forms of ID. Okedoke, so if you don’t mind me asking how did it happen.”
“Ya, it was rope burn, who would have guessed. Am I right?”
“You’re not wrong,its funny how it always seems to be the strangest things. One guy I knew got trampled by a chariot at a Black Friday event. Well that’s what he got for trying to get his chariot pulled by an Elephant. What an idiot. Also you shouldn’t text and drive.’
“Anyways go ahead and take a sit inside and once your number is called just go ahead and open the door at the end of the hall, and the Big Guy will tell you where to go.”
And, it was at this moment that Alex was truly lost, “Wait, but I thought it was you who tell us where we go.”
“Well, not anymore, with the economy the way it is, we’ve had to limit our staff, and the Holy See interceptions of the new laws, it’s just easy for the Big Guy to make the final decision. You know how it is, bureaucracy and all that. Just go ahead and take a number and wait for it to be called.”
“Uhhh, okay.” Alex said taking a number and heading inside, though still not quite sure of the whole situation.
They he carried on regardless, and entered the building listed as Purgatory. While Alex thought that was a funny name for a building.
Upon entering the room, he could see hundreds of people, some standing around making conversation with the other “Residents-To-Be”, others were just simply sitting waiting in their nervous silence, for their numbers to be called.
Alex started to look for a seat, knowing he would have to wait a while, after seeing the number on the television screen; which honestly left him quite puzzled because the number on the screen was 320,786 but the number on his sheet was “L”, or maybe a capitol I, it wasn’t quite clear.
After a bit of time he finally found a seat next to a, quite frankly, weird man that had a funny mustache much like Charlie Chaplain.
“Guten Tag, Sprechen Sie Deutsch?” he asked after Alex took a seat. Alex’s face of confusion clearly showed that he did not “Sorry, mine name is Adolf. What is your name?”
“Alex. Alex Ramsey.”
“Ramsey from die Ramsey.”
“Yes, exactly him.”
“Ja,Ja , I absolutely love his show, sometimes they play it on the televisions here, I used to actually love cooking, ja, it was one of mine secrets.”
“Ohh, really want do you know about cooking.”
“Mine vater always told me, ‘Nothing lives at 400 degrees.”
“Oh were you a chief before.”
“No, no, not really, you could save a baker, but it was only a hobby, but that was a while ago, when the glorious PANZER, was just invented and we made glorious blitzkrieg across Europa. Tell me what do you think of Europa?”
Suddenly Alex, realized who he was actually speaking too, and found himself in a very sticky situation, much like his 9th birthday. Though then it was a very different kind of sticky. Though luckily he didn’t have to answer because just at that moment a number was called over the speakers.
What preceded that was a loud rucksack as people looked into their pockets seeing if the number called was theirs, followed by a loud murmur of voices trying to find out who did win. After a second a loud scream was heard, which was then followed by a long string of incomprehensible words, which sounded like German.
“JA, JA, aufweidersehen Herr. Ramsey, hopefully the Big Guy didn’t forget about his son.” After that he ran off to the door at the end of the hall to greet the fate that awaited him.
Alex felt a wave of relief leave him to watch him go and hoped that the man leaving would get what he would get his just dues.
After thinking that Alex wondered what justice awaits him beyond The-Door-At-The-End-Of-Hall. Knowing that buying the ticket here with your own hands is not supported by the church, and he could feel the nervous chill creeping up his back about his future, and what awaits him beyond this.
“Greeting my fellow man,” said a voice from behind him. It was a man, wearing a simple toga. The man before him appeared to look like one of those guys who just appeared trustworthy and wise.
“Who are you?”
“My name is not so important, but what is important is why you are here.”
“No reason”
He continued to look at me, as silence passed in between us.
“Don’t talk much do you, cat got your tongue?” as he said that a man two seats to the left of Alex got up crying and yelling.
“It wasn’t Ms. Fluffy’s fault. She was just pressured by that Mr. Grumpy meme on the internet.”
“Don’t worry about him, some have trouble dealing with their new ‘living’ situations. Now tell me how did you get here, you obviously do not seem phased this trauma.”
“Rope burns”
“It is often quite tragic how the youth of your day often seem to destroy themselves. It is quite a shame to see such great talent go to waste.”
“What do you know?”
At that he chuckled a bit before continuing on, “When I used to be able to walk the great halls people often said that I was the smartest of all men. And that statement held some great truth, because I of all men knew that I know nothing.”
“You’re Socrates, the great Greek philosopher of Athens.”
“Very inquisitive, come let us walk and enjoy our time together before it goes.” And with that we began to walk the great halls of Purgatory.
“So why are you here? In this room I mean, shouldn’t you be upstairs? Or down?”
“Always asking questions I see. I had a second chance, but nowadays I work somewhat like a messenger for the Big Guy. Making sure everyone is calm and everything goes smoothly. Though some people have to wait longer like the gentleman that was sitting next to you before. Some have to have to wait dozens of years, others 5 minutes, no one knows for sure.”
Alex began to open his mouth to ask Socrates for another question, but was quickly interrupted.
“And no Alex, I do not assist in the decision.” Abruptly, a noise came from Socrates’ toga. “Oh, sorry, can you give me a second please,” he said as he drew an iPhone6 from his pocket.
“Socrates, here! Oh, yes! Greeting Immanuel how are you today? Good, good… Ya me too. That is a good argument but, Mr. Kant, what if a man acts good with bad intention, for example he or she donates money to a school, but only because their child attends that school is that not a good act. Yes but then it is immoral because he was driven by the greed to help only his family. You see human actions and inactions are hard to understand and intercept, you see your theory sounds good, but on paper it would not stand. Yes, Yes, indeed some men do get a second chance and that is subjective, it hardly ever happens.” The argument came to end after 30 more minutes of this constant debate, until it seemed that Socrates came to a victory.
“Oh I wish I was born in your times. I absolutely love your youth’s instant communication.”
“Socrates with an iPhone6 who would have imagined?”
“It’s actually an iPhone7s, a gift from Steve Jobs, me and him are basically bros.”
They continue on walking as Socrates had Alex greet other people employee working as well as other residents-to-be.
Alex had never been so happy, for him this was the closest he would probably get to his eternal peace. Regardless, it brought him joy to be there with touching the shoulders’ of giants and meet the faces of great men that were gods of their time. They endured their hardships, and went forward in the face of all else, bringing another one of those thoughts that Alex always quickly squelches, but for once did not.
One such group they walked by were a group of Russian. And one of the men speaking looked suspiciously like Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin.
“Yes, Alex that is Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin. Him, Lenin, Stalin, and Gorbachev all meet every 5 years, for their annual 5 Year Work Plan.”
“But wait, how can Vladimir be here, he’s the President of the Russian Federation.”
“After Crimea no one dares to interfere with Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin. And technically he was assassinated last year, during his very legal and peaceful ‘rescue of Russian land’, but we are all too afraid to tell him, and some men are lucky enough for second chances.”
“Were would he go when he is finally told. I mean when he finally comes here.”
“That is always a hard question. For everyone, including you. The funny thing is, Alex, we may choose the path we walk and even how far we will walk. But we can not choose who we will meet, nor where our destination lies; and, no one, not even the big guy in all whites knows.” He said looking deep in the dark blues eyes of Alex. “Our fate is not in our hands. Because your fate does not affect only you, but everyone, those you have met today, and those you left behind in yesterday. Those are the choices we live with, and the fate we face.’
“Like I said before some end up wanting years, others weeks, most days, but you, your time is now.” He ended as the TV changed and the speakers sang, the number “L”.
“One last question.”
“Okay shoot.”
“Why L?”
“Why, because of Lazarus of course.” And before he had the chance to ask any other questions, they were already in front of THE-DOOR-AT-THE-END-OF-THE-HALL which so long ago, seemed so far away. “Hurry, it is very rude to keep the Big Guy waiting. He only gets one break a week you know.”
And then there Alex, unsure of his future, unknowing of what lay beyond, but he did not fear, breathing in one final breath. Alex stared at the door handle and slowly turned the knob.

August 03, 2015 07:29:29 PM





The Slumber Party
Alex: The sun rose and everything fell. Although I didn’t know it then, that day, the day I got the invitation, would change everything I thought I knew about teen culture, regionalisms, and my own mother. I know that sounds kind of dramatic, but I’m a fifteen year old girl in a small town in Minnesota, and I’m stuck here until I go to college, so I’m going to milk the drama of this experience for all it’s worth. I might even write my common app essay about this.
(A pink envelope comes through mail slot, Alex bends down and picks it up. Alex stands up, and opens it. It is on glittery pink paper with sparkly silver writing.)
Krissy: You’re Invited!
When: Saturday 5/8, 6:00 pm to Sunday 5/9 12:00 pm
Where: My house, in beautiful Champlin, MN!!
Why: For some gurrrllll time!
What we’re gonna do:
Paint our nails!
Wear Face Masks!
Talk about BOIS!!!!
From, Krissy Jacobson
Alex: Cool.
(Later, Alex is in the kitchen with her mother)
Alex: Krissy Jacobson invited me to her sleepover.
Mother: Well, that’s nice. I’m glad to see you’re making new friends here. Moving is always hard.
Alex: Yeah, and Krissy is like the most popular girl in the grade. I mean, if she already likes me, then this new school should be a breeze.
(Later, Alex stands in front of Krissy Jacobson’s house. She can hear girls talking inside)
Alex: Well, this is it. (Walks in)
All the girls turn around. Each and every one of them is wearing some kind of mask, be it surgical, or mardi gras, or Plague doctor bird beak. (All the girls have thick mid-western accents)
Other Girls (collectively ad-lib): she didn’t even bring a mask who does this girl think she is. It obviously said face masks on the invitation, what a dummy. Krissy shouldn’t have invited her.
Alex: Uh-uh, I’m sorry, I uh, I thought you meant like, you know the (mimics putting on and peeling off a face mask) with like the cucumbers over your eyes…
Amanda: What are you even talking about right now what even is that.
Alex: Okay, sure, it’s just on the invitation it said…. Well, I think we can all agree it was worded a little ambiguously. (Alex puts down her stuff, and sits on the floor with the others) Do you have, like, extra masks or…(all the other girls turn away)
Alex: So, when are we gonna start painting our nails? I brought along some polish… I mean I didn’t have any of my own but I borrowed some from my mom so…
Sarah: Did you even bring nails?
Alex: (looks down at her own hands) I mean I thought I did but…
Amanda: Ugh I bet she doesn’t even know where the closest hardware store is.
Alex: No, no I just moved here. Does everyone else know where it is? Wait, are you guys, like, painting wood nails? Like the kind you buy at Home Depot?
(Girls around the room nod like “yeah duh”)
Samantha: It’s okay I brought extra nails.
(Girls ohh and ahh with delight, ad-lib “what color are you going to paint yours?” etc)
(The other girls start to paint their nails, Alex nervously joins in.)
(Later, while the nails are drying on paper towels in the kitchen.)
Krissy: So, now for the main event, okay? I’ve got some pictures of bois…. (all the other girls ohh and ahh)
Krissy: I know right?
Alex: (trying very hard to fit in) Yeah, I know, I mean that kid Kevin is smokin’ hot, am I right?
(All the other girls look aghast)
Alex: Do you not think so…. Oh! No! That guy Sean is so much hotter!
Different Girl: That’s really rude, okay Alex. That’s really personal information, and I don’t think you’d like it if the guys talked about you like that, so you shouldn’t talk about them like that.
Krissy: Yeah.
Sarah: That’s gross.
Alex: Oh C’MON. Krissy has a whole folder full of pictures of guys and you guys seemed really into that, so I don’t really understand what’s going on here.
Amanda: What guys? This is about bois.
Alex: What? Bois and guys mean the same thing.
Samantha: What are you even talking about right now?
Alex: On the invitation you said we were going to talk about boys!
Krissy: Yeah. Jon Bois.
Amanda: He’s the sports reporter of the modern age, Alex, and he’s amazing.
Alex: On the invitation you clearly said we were going to talk about BOIS, like ‘damn boooiiii that’s a sweet ride’ and now you’re telling me that this whole stupid party is about a sports reporter?
Krissy: Yeah, his poster’s up everywhere. (pan around room to tons of pics of him). And he’s not just any sports reporter. He’s the only modern sports reporter, soooo… (gives a look of utter disdain). What you said doesn’t even make any sense. Boys like that is spelt with a y. Think before you say, Alex.
Alex: Yeah, but you know it’s like slang, like something most people would know about…
(Girls look at her blankly)
Alex: (sighs) I’ll call my mom. (Angrily) Just so you know, this was all very confusing and I think your style of writing is purposefully misleading, so…. (Leaving)
(Later, Alex’s mother is in car, pulls up to front steps of Krissy’s house.)
Mother: Alex stared at the car door, unsure if she really wanted to leave the party, or if she was just getting cold feet because she felt a little uncomfortable.
Alex: Yes, yes I’m sure I want to leave. These people are weird and they talk funny and they don’t seem to understand like common teenage girl activities and I don’t get them. Let’s go home.
Back at the sleepover:
Krissy: Now that she’s gone, would you guys prefer pop or club soda?

Mother: Alex’s mother gave her a pleading look, as if to say, “sweetie, try to be normal and have fun.” (Mother makes a face that suggests that)
(Alex looks very confused)
Alex: So are you going to give me a ride home, or……….
Mother: Alex’s mother declined her daughter’s request.
Alex: So I have to stay here……..
Mother: Yes.
Alex: O.. Okay.
(Alex turns around, approaches the door to the house.)
Alex: Just so you know, mom, I think we need to leave the mid-west. I don’t understand what any of these people are saying ever. It’s complete Gibberish. I really do want to go to home right now.
Back at the sleepover:
Krissy: We should make ice cream sundaes and put lots of jimmies on them!

(Alex’s mother does not respond. Alex rolls her eyes and walks toward the door.)
Mother, still the car, watching Alex: Alex walked back towards Krissy’s party. Alex stared at the door handle and slowly turned the knob.

August 03, 2015 07:10:36 PM





Pronounced True-beck

By Emma Callahan

The sun rose and everything fell.

Oh, not this horse shit again.

(Lights on. The stage is sparsely set- a high school student, MIRANDA, stands alone downstage in a spotlight, reading poetry into a microphone, during the Ohio High School Slamfest 2015, a poetry slam competition. Students, including, LEAH, ALEX, KAILANI, and others sit and stand behind her upstage, waiting their turn to read poetry. During the conversation upstage, Miranda continues to silently, yet emphatically act out her dramatic piece, lines of her poem occasionally being spoken aloud, heard through the conversation.)

This bitch pulls the same material out of her ass every single year.

Calling Miranda a “bitch” is simply undermining women as a whole, Leah, you idiot.

I’m reclaiming the word, twat.

-And as I fell, she fell, and he fell, and they fell, and the cigarette smoke trickled through our fingers-

I dunno, Leah. I think it’s nice that Miranda puts herself out there.

‘Puts herself out there?’ Miranda’s piece is nothing more than badly written, unrelated metaphors! There is far more to the art of spoken word than going out on a leg, Alex.

Yeah. Yeah, sure.

Kailani, last year your piece was just twenty-five minutes of you describing your vagina.


Yeah, and it was beautiful.

(Near screaming, holding up a finger, and accusatorily pointing at the audience. Miranda takes a delicate breath between each word, the sound bordering on sexual.)
One dollar! One dollar! My body, my body, our body, one dollar!
(Miranda takes a dramatic breath, eyes closed, then smiles at the audience and waves.)
Thank you! Wow, so much fun!

(Miranda bows as the Host begins to speak. The Host, a very delicate, soft-spoken man, seems just a little nervous throughout all his segments.)

Wow… I mean… wow! How powerful… moving… stunning… just wow! W-O-W. Miranda Weinstein everyone… Oh, I have a note here that says Miranda also goes by the name Areola “Ari” Ejiofor- in hopes of increasing African representation in poetry circles. Simply inspiring. In fact, Miranda’s stepfather is black! Oh, not black, I misread, just from Atlanta… Again, that was “My Tits Fight the Patriarchy”, by Miranda “Areola” Weinstein “Ejiofor.”

(There is scattered applause for Miranda’s piece. Miranda walks to the back of the stage, sitting next to Alex and Leah. Another student goes up, and begins to silently mime their poetry, also exceptionally dramatic.)

LEAH (With false cheer.)
Wow, great job Miranda.

(Miranda sits facing forward, but whisper-speaking to Leah and Alex.)
Thanks. People just keep complimenting me on my stage presence and delivery… My drama teacher, you know, who put on that production of The Vagina Monologues last year? It was set in a post-apocalyptic matriarchy? Yeah, well, she has really taught me how to draw the audience in. I guess you could just say everyone was eating out of the palm of my hand.

Yeah, you must be getting used to that, Miranda. We all remember Jeremy really “eating out” of your hand at his Halloween party.

(Extremely offended.)
Excuse me, Leah? Are you… did you just… slut shame?
(Miranda looks to her fellow poets around her for support, gesturing wildly at Leah.)
Everyone, Leah is criticizing me based on my sexual expression!

Oh please, we all heard you talking shit behind Kailani’s back when she hooked up with Thomas. And don’t get me started on all the shit you say about Taylor Swift’s non-monogamous romantic life.

(The contestants gather around Leah, Miranda and Alex, all gasping and “ooh”-ing. However, Miranda seems relatively unaffected by the new slander.)

You must have misheard me. I mean honestly, Taylor can do whatever she wants. And when Kailani unleashed her panty hamster on Thomas I was right there beside her, outside the bathroom door, cheering her on. He’s a lucky man.

Oh, really? Yeah, well… last month I opened the bathroom door on Selena and Abby really going at it! I mean, it was graphic. And I stood there, with the door wide open, giving them snaps.

I mean I really get that… it’s just so great to know two people are finding pleasure in each other’s bodies. I Facetimed my sister to tell her congratulations when she slept with the creepy guy from her dorm’s bus terminal.

LEAH (aggresively)
I once walked in on my mom, half-naked searching for a condom.

(All gasp.)


I gave her one of mine and said, “namaste.”

(Scattered applause. Miranda is now furious.)

I once gave Dwayne a back massage while he was going down on Alex!

Are you serious?

Are you kidding me? You know it was I giving Dwayne a massage while he went down on Alex! And I was really fucking happy for them! I was so proud of her as a sexually liberated woman!

(Leah charges towards Miranda, held back by Alex and the other contestants.)

Please, students, if we will all settle down… let’s remember professionalism! Ha ha, I didn’t attend four-years at Sarah Lawrence as a literature major to babysit a bunch of crazy teens at some random Ohio Slam Fest! Or, evidently, I did. Oh, God.

(Miranda huffily moves away from Alex and Leah.)

MIRANDA (mumbling to herself)
What a slut.

(Miranda exits.)
Now, everyone be prepared to emotionally verbalize along with our next poet, Kailani Evanson from Northfork High School!

(Kailani begins to move elegantly toward the stage, but turns to her fellow competitors before reaching the microphone.)

Be prepared to eat ass, dirt bags.

(As Kailani reaches the microphone, she, like Miranda before, begins to mime her poem, allowing the conversation at the back of the stage to be heard. The poem is clearly, in some way, about vaginas, demonstrated by Kailani’s aggressive physical choices, and Kailani’s words break through the conversation occasionally. Simultaneously, Alex realizes how close she is to going on stage.)

Oh, shit. Oh, shit, Leah, I’m next. No, I can’t do this.

Alex! Calm down. Take deep breaths. We rehearsed it so many times.

No, really, I think I’m going to hurl all over the audience.

You’ll be fine- and last year when you threw up it was so funny!

I only wrote my poem you demand a writing partner. Leah, my piece doesn’t even have any generic, overarching statements to say about my body, race, or my gender!

I mean, even I told you that was a mistake. What is your poem about again? Your personal struggles, fears, and dreams? Alex, come on, no one cares about that.

Yes, Leah, no one cares about any of my writing. I mean, it’s ridiculous that you thought this piece was even good enough to submit-

Alex! Your poetry- it’s some really, truly, wonderfully adequate stuff. I promise, it will get you somewhere in the competition. Colleges will think that you really tried. Alex, you’re my best friend, and I believe in you. You are the Alex Trubeck. I mean not… the Alex Trebek.

(Alex gives Leah a withering look.)

You know. Because that guy, the Jeopardy guy-

Yes, Leah, I fucking know Alex Trebek. He’s only overshadowed me my whole life! And you know it’s pronounced True-beck. Long U sound.

You just have such an unfortunate name.

Oh my God, so unfortunate.

(As Kailani makes an aggressive grunting sound on stage, gesturing towards her pelvis, Alex is flung back into the reality of her situation.)

Look at that. Everyone loves Kailani- how does she even perform like that?

And the traveller reaches it, my interior gopher hole-

I would prefer to keep public knowledge of my vagina at a minimum. I mean, our fourth grade English teacher is in the audience.

That’s great! These older white men really need vaginas thrust in their faces, aggressively. Right up in there.

… vulva labia clitoris! Vulva labia clitoris- VAGINA!

(Kailani finishes her poem, received enthusiastically by the audience.)

Shit. That was some beautiful pussy-talk.

Wow! How… unique. Just- I mean definitely different, but so ripe with meaning. (Beat.) Nope! No, not ripe. The vagina is… not ripe… or it is, just- really poignant. I mean not exactly poignant… the vagina is.. raw? Wait-

Alex! You’re up!

(As Alex nervously steps towards the microphone, the Host takes a beat as he composes himself, very flustered by the last poem.)

Moving on! Our next poet is Alex Trebek!

ALEX (speaking into the microphone)
It’s actually Tru-beck. With a “u”.

Alex Trebek. We live in a world of coincidences.

Ha ha. No, sorry, Trubeck. Different names. Just sound… so similar.

Ms. Trebek, take it away!


I mean, what are the chances- Alex Trebek, host of the beloved TV classic Jeopardy, and you, a… bland little poet girl from Ohio, same name! Who would think it. (Makes mind blown gesture.) Whenever you’re ready.

(Alex reaches the microphone, only growing more nervous. There is an awkward silence. Alex suddenly attempts to flee upstage, but Leah turns her around and shoves her back towards the mic. Alex is terrified at the podium, and seems as though she is about to throw up, but as she opens her mouth to, the scene freezes, and instead she speaks. The lights dim around Alex as the rest of the actors onstage freeze.)

I don’t think I can do this. I don’t think I want to do this. I mean, all that stuff I said was true. Leah was the only reason I got into slam poetry. I’ve never written anything before… I mean a wrote a rant on Facebook once… my aunt commented on it- but nothing real! I could never have worked up the nerve to do this! Before Leah made me join the competition last year, I sat at home and did shit like eating untoasted Wonder Bread. With butter. While watching SVU. Do you know, the first time my parents saw me, writing this poem, they couldn’t even comprehend it? My mom said-

(Alex’s mother CHRISTINA appears onstage, reenacting Alex’s memory.)

Alex, we have to get ready for the Wilson’s dinner party! You know Marsha Wilson and me are both gunning for that promotion- maybe if I intimidate her with a clearly superior family she’ll back off. But Jesus, her daughter rides horses, that Barbie bodied shit- Stop eating bread, alone in your room!

Mom, I’m not eating bread.


Really? Oh, I just assumed. Good for you!

(Alex’s mother begins to leave, but does a double take.)

Then what are you doing?

Nothing, Mom. Writing.

Oh, okay.

(Alex’s mother does another double take- a double double take.)

Writing? What, like a paper?

No. A poem.

A poem? You’re writing a poem? Oh, for school?

No, not for school. Just to, you know, to write. What?

Nothing. I mean just- you? Wow! Good for you honey. (Calls to Alex’s father, offstage.) John! John! Come here! Alex is writing! Creatively.

JOHN (o/s)
One-second honey-

John, what did we discuss in therapy, listen to me when I’m talking to you, understand my words! This behavior depreciates my value as a woman!

JOHN (o/s)
Yup, okay.

What are you doing?

(Alex’s father, JOHN, enters with a laundry basket.)

What are you talking about, Christina?

Alex is writing. A poem!

Who? Alex? Her?

Yes! Alex!

Our Alex? Is it for school?


That’s what I asked! Not even for school!

Wow! Alex! Honey! Wow! You? Wow! I mean- you? So… Awe! Alex!

It’s just so different from your usual… attitude… I don’t know. I mean, you're usually a little bit of a downer. Just slouched on the couch, eating bread, sometimes crying...

A real Debbie downer! So sad! I mean sometimes I just think of you, sitting there in your little sad black cloud… and it reminds of my own little black cloud as a child… a black boy named Timothy who lived down my block. I always so emotionally attacked by him- I mean, he never really did anything to me, you know, really only rode his bicycle on our street, but I just always felt his presence looming over me-

John, you’re really bumming us out.

Well, Leah was talking about poetry and-

Oh ho ho! There it is! Leah. It was Leah! Leah put her up to it. We caught on.

I don’t know, isn’t nice that she’s trying-

John! I bought “Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline” for a reason! Tough love, John! Oh Lord. Eyes down, get out!

(Christina smacks John out of the room. John exits)

It all makes so much more sense now. Oh Alex, it’s okay. Maybe next time you can do it by yourself.

(Christina disappears, and Alex continues in her train of though, moving on from this memory.)

And I was actually writing it by myself- My words, the ones on this dumb piece of paper that’s in my pocket right now. I barely had the nerve to write them, let alone speak them aloud on a stage. I’ve always just leeched off Leah, and her friends, and her accomplishments. For a second, I really thought I could try my own style of poetry, forge my own path, advocate for myself. Now, I’m just the girl who threw up Wonder Bread all over the stage last year… Fuck! And do you know how bad it feels to be named after fucking Alex Trebek? Do you know what he’s done? He’s hosted Jeopardy. He’s hosted Jeopardy for 31 years. Was he an actor before? Was he a comedian? No. He was a fucking game show host. The host of Jeopardy! The show that looks most similar to an airplane in the 1980s. I’m not going to let myself live in the shadow of a man who has been hosting goddamn Jeopardy for 31 years! You know what, I’m here now. The poem is already in my head, and honestly- I don’t know when I’m going to have another chance.

(The world unfreezes, and the lights go back up, with all the contestants and the Host looking expectantly at Alex. We have returned to the normal time of the play.)

Alex? You can start anytime you want to.

(Alex nods.)

ALEX (taking a deep breath, her line delivered with poetic rhythm)
Alex stared at the door handle and slowly turned the knob.

August 03, 2015 06:51:15 PM





EXT. Beautiful park, early morning

VOICE OVER: The sun rose... and everything fell...

A lovely scene of parents watching their children play as they sit on a bench discussing movies.

MOTHER: I love that movie! But gosh darn! What was the name of that actress? Keira Knightly? Natalie Portman?

Every one racks their brains for the answer.

FATHER: Let me just ask Siri. She's always the most knowledgeable parent at the park! HA

The iPhone explodes in his hand.

VOICE OVER: What happens when all technology..


VOICE OVER: and all common sense...

Cut two cars colliding and catching on fire.

VOICE OVER: disappears?

WOMAN: My google maps is gone. WHERE IS THE SCHOOL?


Cut to outside where a group of people are all dressed according to different weather patterns. Some are in rain ponchos, some have bathing suits on, some have snow gear.

A grandmother runs down the street screaming.


VOICE OVER: Where does the validation of Instagram likes come from?

Cut to three teenage girls drinking heavily inside of a bar. One girl raises her arm up as if to take a selfie, but instead her shoulder pops out of place. Girl with injured shoulder sprints out of bar and runs down the street.


VOICE OVER: When all the apps are gone where do you turn for self esteem?

Cut to strip club. Middle aged woman dancing for dollars.

VOICE OVER:...and money for Starbucks?

Cut to MAN outside of strip club.

MAN #1: Hey! My carpel tunnel cleared up! I'm going to post it on face- face- face-

Man begins to foam at the mouth and goes into a seizure.

Cut to EXT. of a building where people are taping pictures dangerously high. Some are giant collages while they graffiti long captions.


The police arrive and arrest the people for trespassing.

Cut to inside of jail. Woman fumbles around with telephone. Tries talking into it upside and backwards.


Cut to boy, ALEX, pressing his thumbprint on the knob of his front door trying to unlock it.

VOICE OVER: How will life go on?

Words flash on the screen: "Tech-less: COMING SOON"


Alex stared at the door handle and slowly turned the knob.


August 03, 2015 05:38:49 PM





The sun rose and everything fell. The morning started out in Los Angeles, California in 2071 as one October morning normally would: morose and drudging, but wispy and urgent. People flooded the subways and orderly went to work. Tourists snapped photos on their smartphones and posted them on social media to any followers that have never seen the Apple tower before (erected in 2048 and is still the tallest building in the world). The overcast, smog-filled atmosphere had no clear air to puncture it. Then the bombs came.
In the coming years, American-Asian relations diminished considerably. The newly formed Organization of East Asian Nations (or OEAN) brought a new era to the world: for the first time since the twentieth century, the United States was no longer the most powerful military force in the world. President Harrison Warren, elected primarily for fiscal policy, severed relations with the East Asian region through a disastrous United Nations meeting in Yalta. Though only two years into his first term, USA TODAY already named Warren the “Worst United States President of All Time”. Despite OEAN’s attempts for diplomacy, Warren decided against “compromising”. The slogan for his 2072 campaign was “We compromise with neither terrorists or anybody else.” With no other choice, OEAN went ahead with bombing the Los Angeles area with the нетерпи́мый/нетерпи́м and революция девять, effacing all of southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. World War III started and peace did not come again for another forty-eight years, after millions of casualties.
However, humanity would be given another chance. A higher power, whatever it may be, went back to 2015 and changed one thing: partners assigned in a high school chemistry project. With this change, there was still a possibility that World War III would cease to exist and humanity would cease to suffer.

Alex Swanson tapped his pen on his desk at the back of his Chemistry room. He found that keeping a steady rhythm kept him awake. Alex looked around at his class and made three observations:
The class was half-full.
Mr. Spektor was not in class yet.
Kristi Castelli was not in class yet.
Similar to Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points, the last observation was the only one that Alex cared about. Kristi always came in towards the end of the break between homeroom and first period. Alex narrowed down where her homeroom was to the “100s” or “300s” part of the building.
The door opened. Was it her? No, it was just Ben, Rick, and Micah, walking together as always. Micah had to duck to get under the doorway and Rick cleared the doorway by a good three feet with the confidence of a tall guy.. They walked over.
“I saw Garden State last night,” Ben said, sitting down. Micah and Rick followed.
“Really?” Alex said. “I’m glad. I can’t believe that no one in this state has seen this movie. They kind of have to.What did you think?”
“Oh, it was fantastic, but I hated it.”
“Yeah, me too...what?”
“I mean, Zach Braff was great, Natalie Portman makes me reconsider the Star Wars prequels, but that movie just ruined Scrubs.”
“How?” Alex asked.
“Scrubs went downhill after four seasons, right?”
“Of course.”
“Common knowledge,” Micah said.
“Season four started two-thousand four, season five started two-thousand six, and Garden State came out in two-thousand and five,” Ben said.
“Woah,” Alex said.
“While we’re on the topic,” Micah said, “Pride and Prejudice came out in two-thousand five too.”
“Just leave,” Rick said.
“Not at the table, Micah,” Ben said.
“It’s a good movie!” Micah said.
Alex was about to diss Micah too when Kristi Castelli walked in the room, and all he could do was look. Her olive skin trekked her curvy body, her brown eyes reminiscent of a finely-lacquered wood, and a face both tempting and safe.
Following her was Mr. Spektor, less appealing on all accounts.
“Good morning, everyone,” he said. Mr. Spektor received his tenure this year, making this year the first of two of what teachers call “teacher senioritis”: a year of relaxation for teachers as they celebrate their victory over their town’s Board of Education. Throughout the year, Alex had had to drudge through projects, more projects, the movie Gattaca--twice, and a really weird lecture on how Hillary Clinton’s P.M.S. cycle would make the United States a nuclear war threat if she were elected.
“Today, Thursday, and Friday, we will be doing a project. If we’re not finished by Friday, you’ll have to finish the project over the weekend. You will present on Monday.” Feeling like a linguistics expert, Alex realized that Mr. Spektor at least tries to get himself to do work at the beginning of the project announcement, saying that “we” will do this and “we’ll” do that, but as it goes on, Spektor gets a little more realistic, saying “you’ll” do this and “you” will do that.
“You will be building a volcano.” A steady buzz of approval hummed. “I will assign you a partner for a project.”
“Dibs on Kristi,” Rick whispered, but before Alex could even respond, Mr. Spektor said “Alex, you’re with Kristi.” Alex didn’t know what to think. He became overwhelmed with emotions. At this point, he didn’t even know why he was infatuated with her. He’d never really met her beside the occasional “hello,” so he wouldn’t know her personality. He even made the theory that the hotter the girl is, the less she needs to compensate with a good personality. Therefore, no personality. Even through all that, he couldn’t look at her without being infatuated with her. It reminded him of a poem his old friend Chas wrote. Chas was one of Alex’s friends in high school before he and his family moved. Chas always liked to write poems and Alex liked to read poems, but one in particular always resonated with him. Alex forgot the title but remembered the words verbatim: “I’d always try to make sure I would not be vulnerable towards girls but I’d always end up writing poems about them.” It was just like that, though. His infatuation was a prison. He couldn’t be in the moment when he was picturing an ideal moment. Alex didn’t pay attention to the rest of the names being called. He didn’t pay attention to his mom texting him, asking if he could pick up his brother after school; he didn’t even pay attention to his friends requesting sexual--and legally questionable--acts for Alex to do with Kristi. He could only pay attention to the ideal of him and Kristi and how reality was going to beat the crap out of that ideal.
Alex found himself at the table at the back of the room with Kristi. Ben, Micah, and Rick were towards the front, but that didn’t stop them from simulating the previously said sexual acts on each other. Alex saw it and turned away with a look of disdain.
Kristi looked over to the guys to find them working on their project. “What was that?” she asked.
“What was what?”
“Never mind.... Now, for the ingredients: I think instead of table salt, we should use sodium phosphate if it’s available because it’ll be more explosive.”
“But the same food coloring and vinegar because those ingredients are vital.”
“Is there anything you can say other than okay?”
“You can gag me.”
“Forgetting Sarah Marshall?”
“Who’s Sarah Marshall?”
“It’s a--it’s a, uh, movie.”
“Oh, okay. Well, that sounds like a weird movie.”
“It’s actually really funny,” Alex said. “The premise is Jason--”
“Hey, sorry, but we need to work on this project.”
“Oh, yeah, of course.”
“Wait, what were talking about again?”
“Gagging me?”
“No,” Kristi said, with just the smallest trace of a laugh. Alex held on to that laugh tightly. “Ingredients.”
“Oh, by the way, I should tell you something.”
“Yeah, I’m not too good at chemistry. Both the subject and with women.” He paused for a laugh. Nothing. At this point, it was difficult for Alex to put together sentences. His wit was substituted with the same cliches and obvious jokes that he would scoff at while watching mainstream comedies at the movie theater. He moved on. “So if you want to lead the project and more-or-less tell me what to do.”
“Actually, how about we work separately today?”
“Will do, sure.”
“You can work on setting up the trees and bushes surrounding the volcano and I can work on everything else?”
“Yeah, totally.”
The rest of the day, all Alex could feel was relief. Knowing that any chance he would have at being with Kristi was gone meant that he wouldn’t need to wonder for the rest of his life “what if”. Now that that chance was fully gone, Alex could move on to all the other girls that were(n’t) lining up for him. But that night, he could not fall asleep. He just couldn’t do it knowing that that day happened and nothing could ever take that day away. Even a nuclear bomb.
Alex walked into class the next day exhausted. Kristi was already at her desk. Even Mr. Spektor beat Alex to class. Alex sat down and tried all he could do not to
At the end of chemistry, Alex and Kristi were done with their base and getting their ingredients. It was a better day, but Alex could only think of two words: damage control. Alex walked out of class with Ben, Micah, and Rick, slightly better, very tired.
“I don’t care what you say,” Ben said, “‘Rubber Soul’ is the best Beatles album.”
“Alex?” a voice said from behind. Alex turned around; it was Kristi. “I’m not sure that we can finish this project tomorrow and I have a lot of shit to do this weekend. Can you come over today around six and work on the project with me?”
“Umm, yeah, I think I can make an appearance.”
“Cool. See you then.” She gave him a reassuring arm grab and walked away. Alex wasn’t excited, but more confused. Why would she ask him to go over to her house to work on the project when she didn’t even want him to work with her during school when it was appropriate? Alex turned to the guys, expecting a barrage of comments. Instead he found, six hopeful eyes, waiting for permission to simulate the s.a.l.q.a (sexual and legally questionable acts).
“Go ahead.”

Jim Castelli never liked doing the dishes. He always left the work to Kerry while he agreed to take out the trash and recyclables. He always heard that marriage was all about compromise but would always brush it aside, thinking hey, it’s not all about compromise. Maybe about fifty percent. He was wrong; it really was one hundred percent. Today, though, it was about forgiveness. Jim’s heightened fights with Kerry have stemmed from things such as who will do the dishes or who will pick up Kristi from school. He thought, and she probably thought too, that this added tension between them would stop after Michael went to college. But no, it still happened. On any other day, Jim would scoff at the idea of doing the chore that isn’t his. He would consider it as an apology, that he was wrong and she was right and we would do it her way. Today, he just felt so lonely that he needed affection from Kerry; he remembered how lonely he felt in high school when Vanessa Adams broke up with him and that his eighteen-year old self vowed that when he was married he would give unforgiving affection because he couldn’t stand to live without any. He had to stay true to himself.
Jim was so deep in thought that he almost didn’t hear the doorbell ring. It was that kid Alex probably. After seeing Kristi date for three years and having dozens of boys come over, Jim knew how serious she was about them when she would notify him of the boys’ scheduled arrival. If she didn’t say what his name was at first, she was interested. If she did say his name, she didn’t want it to go anywhere. Today, Kristi told him as soon as he came in. He didn’t even put his briefcase on the kitchen table yet before she walked up to him.
“Hi, dad,” Kristi said. “This kid, Alex, is coming over around seven today to work on a science project with me.”
“Okay. Does he want dinner?”
“No. He said he has an early dinner at his house so he would’ve had it anyway.”
“Well, if he changes his mind, we have a lot of food in the fridge.”
Now, Alex was here. Jim did not look forward to opening the door. It’s not that he didn’t like the idea of Alex, especially since Kristi showed no affection, but also because teenage boys always had a prejudice towards dads. They would always be polite content-wise, but beneath the surface there would be a layer of contempt towards the dads as if fathers were out to get the boys. It makes some sense since some dads were like that, but Jim wasn’t one of them.
Jim took a deep breath and opened the door. He found a kid, kind of tall, with a softness to his face that Jim automatically accepted.
“Hi,” Alex said, offering Jim his hand. Jim accepted. “You must be Mr. Castelli; I’m Alex. It’s so nice to finally meet you.” Alex said this so genuinely that Jim almost couldn’t respond.
“Nice to meet you too. I think Kristi’s in--”
“Hey, Alex,” Kristi said. She walked around Jim. “Come on, we’ll go down to the basement.” Kristi disregarded Jim.
“Okay,” Alex said, shaking Jim’s hand again. They walked towards the basement door. Kristi turned around to Jim and he gave her a thumbs up and an “I like him” face, and he wholeheartedly believed it. Maybe he could ask Alex to finish the dishes later.

Alex walked down the sprawling carpeted staircase down to the coolest basement he’d ever seen. The walls were oak, there was a sports bar in one corner, and a seventy-inch tv and leather couch in the other corner. Alex once did a project in elementary school where he would design his dream house, and he swore that this must be an exact replica of that one he drew in brown colored pencil.
“You want to sit on the couch?” she asked.
“Yeah, I guess,” he said. “I mean, where else would we sit?”
“Well there’s the sports bar, but….”
“Good idea. I mean, Hemingway always drank when he wrote and I’m doing the writing log for the project, right?”
“Yeah,” Kristi said, “but this is a science experiment; your observations have to be much more detailed than Hemingway’s.”
How has she read Hemingway? This was not an author that high school girls should know about. Alex was even more taken aback by her easy-going attitude. Maybe it was that this was her familiar territory. Jokes on her because, according to his third grade project, it was Alex’s territory too.
They walked over to the couch in silence, thinking of an appropriate subject transition from twentieth century expatriate authors. They went to the couches to find a stack of papers and equipment there. “Wow,” he said. “You’re all set up.”
“Yeah, I thought it would be good to be prepared so you would actually know how to do.”
“Okay, I get it. I’m that slacker, no real ambition, kind of guy. But, hey. I tried. Now usually I’m awful in math, but in Geometry at the beginning of the year, the first unit I was doing really well. I was studying and picking up on things really fast. I got an a hundred on the test.”
“And how was that bad?”
“Haha, let me finish. Well, the next day of school, my teacher says to us, “Okay, now that we’ve covered last year, we’ll now focus on new material.”
Kristi gave a laugh of comfort that made him glow. She seemed so much more relaxed than when she was in school, her muscles loose, her eyes softer.
“Now, Kristi, we never really got to know each other. You know, because we’re partners.”
“Yeah, sure.”
“Umm, Alex Swanson, nice to meet you.” He offered his hand.
“Kristi Castelli.” She shook it. “Do you have any siblings?”
“Not really.”
She laughed. “How not really? I don’t see much ambiguity in that question.”
.”Actually, it’s funny story. My mom wanted a girl so bad that when I was an infant, she would force me to wear a dress, so that probably is the catalyst to my masculinity.”
She laughed. “Okay, Alex.”
“Yeah. Well, actually, I have a little brother. How about you?”
“Well, I have a brother, too.”
“No, he’s older.. He goes to Cornell now.”
“Cornell? That’s my safety school.”
“Is he home for break?”
“Umm, no. He left a few weeks ago.”
“Oh, nice.” It was nice. Very nice. “Now that we’re all introduced, we can do the project now.”
“Looking forward to it.”
They took only an hour to finish the project. Kristi walked Alex out to Alex’s car.
“You know Rachel Ackerman?”
“Well, you know her party Friday?”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that.”
“Are you going?”
“You know, it’s a maybe for me right now.”
“Oh. Well, you should really go.”
“Okay. I’ll, uh, see you tomorrow.”
“Bye.” She waved. He waved back. When Alex walked into Kristi’s house, he thought that his relationship with her was irreparable. His plan was to be courteous and conservative in his approach and hopefully the project with Kristi concluded that he was okay. Now, Alex not only had a great conversation with Kristi and a possibility--small, but still there--to be with her, but he also had confidence in himself. He never realized how funny he actually was. That drive home was the best one of his life so far.
Chemistry on Friday was uneventful. Because Kristi and Alex were done with their project, they proceeded to talk to their friends who were still working on it. At the end of class, though, Kristi said the three most beautiful words in the English language: “see you tonight”, followed of course, by more s.a.l.q.a. by the guys. Alex asked them to come too and they said they would.
Walking up to Rachel Ackerman’s house, Alex made a series of checks. Was his shirt tucked in? Yes. Was his hair combed properly? Yes. Did he remember to put on deodorant? Well, he’d just try not to sweat. This routine was interrupted by his vibrating cell phone.
“Hey, Alex,” Ben said. “ We can’t make it tonight.”
“What? Why?”
“Well, Micah’s dad found his stash of the Pride of Prejudice DVD and, Alex, he’s pissed. Micah has to hide here with Rick and me until this thing blows over.”
“Dammit. Well, as long as Micah’s safe.”
“Alright, man. Have fun tonight and good luck with Kristi.”

Alex walked in to what he would consider a decent house party. Some people in the kitchen, some in the living room, and some downstairs. He walked into the kitchen to find four sophomores and two juniors hanging out near the fridge, all sporting red solo cups. One of them was Kristi. She saw him and immediately walked towards him.
“Alex!” she said. She hugged him. Her breath smelled like liquor but she didn’t seem too drunk. She seemed as easygoing as she did Thursday with him in her basement. “Glad you could make it! Did you bring anyone?”
“No, sorry Ben couldn’t--”
“No, it’s okay. Don’t worry about it.”
“Oh, okay.”
“But if you want to hang out with anyone here, we’re all friendly. And, of course, I’m here.”
“Hey, Kristi!” a voice from behind called. They turned around to find a tall redheaded girl in the living room.
“We need you.”
“For what?” Kristi asked.
“Come on, we need you!”
“Okay, one second!” she turned back to Alex. “Sorry about that.” She walked away to whatever they needed.
It wasn’t that probable, but Alex hoped that there was a chance that he would hook up with Kristi that night. In his head all day, he tried not to think about it too much, but he most likely would not have worked out or gotten the new clothes if Kristi wasn’t going to go to the party. Luckily, he knew that the chances were slim. Alex turned to the other kitchen partiers, but they didn’t show much of an interest in including Alex, so he walked downstairs.

Alex walked down the stairs to find that Rachel’s basement was much more desolate than Kristi’s. It was the typical flesh-and-bone basement with cold floors, pipes everywhere, and the obligatory washing machine in the middle. This basement was pimped up well, though. Partiers dressed up the basement nice, along with a pong table for decoration. Nervous, Alex walked to a table he found that had drinks on it. At the table, he looked at the couches next to him in a u-shape as if a TV was supposed to be where Alex was. In the middle couch was a slightly older Chas talking to some people. Alex walked over.
“Chas.” Chas looked up and smiled instantly.
“Holy shit, Alex!” Chas got up and hugged him. “Sit down, please, sit down.” Not only did Alex get to meet up with Chas, but he also had somewhere to socialize at the party. Alex sat on the left couch, next to a guy he didn’t recognize and a girl he had music class with in eighth grade. He thought her name was Jennifer but she might go by Jenn. “Alex, this is my girlfriend. Her name’s Alex too.”
Alex shook Alex’s hand, an infectiously cute girl. She looked at her best when she wasn’t smiling, but not to take away from her smile; it was great too. Chas looked so comfortable around her. He knew where to position his body and where to put his hands. It was like he had a steady trigger finger. Before, Chas had a small anxiety attack every time a girl walked past him in the hallway. Now he looked so smooth. So stealthy.
To Alex’s right he saw Jennifer (or did she go by Jenn?), a tall but attractive girl he remembered vaguely from music class in eighth grade. He might have talked to her once or twice but he didn’t remember anything.
“Hey, Jenn,” Alex said.
“Hey, Alex,” Jenn/Jennifer said with a smile. She didn’t object so she probably goes by Jenn.
“How’s music treating you? Helping you out in the real world?”
“Oh, yeah. Definitely.” She was leaning in to him intensely, like every word he said was vital to her existence. “How about you? How’s the band going? Or did you go solo in your triangle career?”
“My what?”
“Your band that you made in music class. No one could forget your triangle solo.” After a few seconds, Alex finally remembered. The final exam for eighth grade music class was that people were in groups of three: one keyboardist, a “drummer” (just one snare), and one triangle player. The objective was to make one two minute song with four beats per stanza and four major chords with a drummer (Micah), keyboardist (Ben), and triangle player (Alex). The drums would keep the beat, the piano would provide the melody, and the triangle would put in a “spark” as their teacher would call it. Alex, however, took that spark and made a forest fire out of it. He had a ninety second triangle solo. Although it was universally praised by critics, their teacher gave them a D+ on the final exam, yet they all still received an A in the class.
“Wow,” Alex said, “I can’t believe you still remember that.”
“Of course.” She was leaning in even further. There was a sudden silence in the conversation, allowing Alex to look around to the rest of the group, whom Alex almost forgot was even there. They all seemed to look at each other like some secret plan was going down.
“Okay,” Chas said. “We’re going to get some drinks. You two can catch up.” At first, Alex didn’t want Chas’ obvious invitation to make out with Jenn/Jennifer. He thought of it as cheating, even if he and Kristi weren’t dating. Then Alex looked at Chas and his girlfriend. Chas used to be a sensitive guy waiting for girls to come around and that got him nowhere. Now Alex was doing the same thing. If Kristi was in the same situation, she would make out with a guy at this party without thinking of Alex. Actually, she might be doing that right now.
“Okay, Chas, I’ll see you around.”
Chas shook his hand and gave him a wink. “See you around.” Alex and Jenn/Jennifer were instantly alone together at the couch, although it felt more like an island. Then they were kissing. Then they were making out. Alex thought back to the last girl he made out with: Becky McGuire. It was the summer and, although his friends did most of the work, he did great conversationally with Becky. Maybe the best conversation with a girl, other than the one at Kristi’s house. Oh, yeah. Kristi.

Sunday morning was different for Alex; he saw even the most ordinary things with delight. His wallpaper. The excellent wifi connection in his house. The Hangover Part II. Then the doorbell rang.
He opened the door, and on the other side was Kristi. Her easygoingness was not there anymore and he was reintroduced to the uptight Kristi from the first and second day of working on the project, which was only four days ago.
“Yeah, Alex, I just wanted to come here to say that I heard about you and Jennifer.” So her name was Jennifer. “I liked you. Did you even know that? That’s why I invited you to the party.”
Did she really say that? What could Alex say to that? “I don’t know, Kristi, I mean, then why did you ditch me?”
“I did not ditch you, Alex. They called me over and, well, I went. I probably would’ve come back when I was done talking to them.”
“Well, you should have told me that you liked me. I can’t read minds, you know.”
“But I invited you to the party, though!”
“That’s not enough for me to realize. You have to understand.”
“Okay, but bottom line: what you did was wrong and you crossed a line. I’m going home. Let’s present the project tomorrow and get it over with.” She walked away. Alex went from infatuation to indifference to pity to anger towards Kristi; he had never felt that many emotions towards someone in that short a time span. Throughout the day, Alex justified his stance through the idea that Kristi was just like every other girl: she never says how she feels and always expects the guy to understand it. But at night, again, Alex couldn’t sleep. His perspective slowly shifted into this: Kristi told him that she liked him and he didn’t say he liked her back. If he just said that he liked her, the whole problem could have been averted. Alex got forty-seven minutes of sleep that night.

By homeroom Monday morning, Kristi was ready for the project to be over; a few more months of avoiding Alex and she wouldn’t need to see him anymore. She thought it over walking to Chemistry. The volcano was far too heavy for Kristi that her arms weren’t enough to support it. She had to let the volcano slide to her chest to support it. In order to keep it there, though, she had to lean back slightly, making her back arch too much to the point where it started to hurt.
The walk to the class was almost over. Kristi hadn’t necessarily lost breath, but each one mattered. This almost took her mind off of Alex, until she found him waiting outside of the classroom.
“Hey,” Alex said.
“Alex, you aren’t waiting for me, are you?”
“Yeah. Do you need me to grab that?” he asked. He took the volcano. “Listen, I couldn’t think yesterday when you came over. You know those arguments you have with other people and after the argument, when you’re alone reflecting it, you finally think of a good comeback?”
“You waited outside of class to insult me?”
“Oh, no, not at all. There were just some things that I was feeling that I couldn’t put into words. Now I can.”
“I’ve had a ‘crush’ I guess you can call it for a while, and I was certain that you didn’t reciprocate those feelings back, especially the first couple days of us working. When you invited me to the party, I thought it would be just as friends, still not thinking we had a chance together. I do like you. I really do like you. Probably even more than you like me. So if you’re not still mad, I’d like to see what happens between–
“That volcano’s heavy, isn’t it?”
“So heavy.” Kristi leaned in. Alex leaned in too. Alex saw that Kristi’s eyes were closed and he closed them too.
“Hey, guys.” Alex opened his eyes back up. He saw that Kristi did too. Then he saw Ben, Micah, and Rick.
“Oh,” Ben said. “You guys were--”
“Yep,” Alex said.
“And we just--”
“Uh huh,” Kristi said.
“Well, we need to go to class,” Micah said, “so we’ll see you in there.”
“Bye, guys,” Alex said. They walked away.
“They’re gay, right?” Kristi asked.
Alex almost laughed. “No, they’re not. Why do you think so?”
“I always see them air-humping each other.” Kristi leaned in again. Alex turned around to make sure the guys were gone then leaned in too and kissed her. Lips. After a few seconds, they pulled back out.
“What was the thing we said before we kissed?” Alex said. “Air-humping?”
Kristi laughed, almost a laugh of relief to release the tension. “Yeah, I just realized that.”
“When our kids ask what led up to our first kiss, this is what we’re going to have to say.” As they walked to the classroom, Alex and Kristi did not understand the significance of that moment, a moment that changed human history. After years of dating and breaking up and dating again, they got married in the fall of 2020. And, in 2022, gave birth to Sarah M. Swanson, who would grow up to be President of the United States, beating Harrison Warren in the 2068 Presidential election. Her incredible talent in foreign relations eased tensions between the United States and the OEAN and evading a third world war.
Oh, yeah. They didn’t tell their kids that.
But, for now, walking towards the classroom, World War III was not an issue. The only threat at hand was the volcano project (that they would get a perfect grade in. Mr. Spektor’s note: “Good Enough”). Alex stared at the door handle and slowly turned the knob.

August 03, 2015 05:27:52 PM





THE SUN ROSE AND EVERYTHING FELL, at 5:30pm, 6:45pm, and 8:05pm. It was yet another instance of embarrassingly bad luck and atrociously poor timing. “You mean to tell me that...everything else is sold out?” his eyes pleaded through the glass of the ticket box at a pimple ridden scowl, proudly labeled “Carl”. “A holiday weekend,” Carl was unsympathetic, “with no reservations? Please! You people...”.
He couldn’t believe it. Finally he had found a nice girl, unconcerned with looks, the one who sat behind him in Advanced Pre Calculus, who just happened to be a recent Chinese immigrant, and the only movie he could take her to see was a documentary on the Japanese occupation of China, touted by critics as “the most gruesome and anger provoking movie of the year”. Why couldn’t he have just taken a nice Jewish girl, as his parents almost forcibly suggested?
That’s exactly why he didn’t bring them. The girl had insisted that she was to bring her family as an escort on their first date, per the tradition, and encouraged him to do the same. As his grandmother was one more cataract away from being legally blind and too cheap to afford a hearing aid that worked, he decided it would be best to bring Bubbe along for the ride.
He begrudgingly made his purchase for the next showing, and Carl was staring daggers at him as the line before the theater kiosk grew. Or perhaps, Carl was merely zoning out, which would justify the pool of saliva expanding on the ticket counter. Bubbe waved at her approaching grandson, although she was turned a good ninety degrees left of him. “Schwartzie!” she cried in her high pitched Brooklyn dialect, “What movie are we seeing?”
“Stop yelling Bubbe, I’m right here,” he said, “We’re going to see that Rising Sun movie.”
“The one with Meryl Streep?”
“No, it’s a documentary.”
“About Meryl Streep? Who would want to see that?”
“No! It’s about the war with Japan! JAPAN!” he spoke as loudly as he could into her ear.
“We’re at war with Japan?”
“No, it’s about the Japanese.”
“Meryl Streep is Japanese? Oh my God! Since when?”
“Forget it...” he waved her away. Schwartzie held the large stack of tickets in his hand, enough for whatever extended family she decided to bring. He couldn’t afford to mess this one up. From the his mother’s mouse in his slicked back hair to buying a set of ten extra tickets, Schwartzie took every possible precaution. Not that he had a chance with most of the girls in his school crowd, but even landing this date took pulling some strings with his contacts, girls in the other honors math section. Sooner or later this girl would find out that not every boy in America beared a striking resemblance to Milhouse from The Simpsons, and when that happened he was out of luck. Locking it in with this girl would be difficult, especially with her family around, but it was his last hope. After a moment, he saw her approaching at the front door. Behind her was an entourage of seven tall, well built, stern looking Chinese men.
“Hey Alex,” he smiled nervously, suddenly forgetting her Chinese name that took all too long to remember. “Oh, hi,” she spoke softly, “Nice to see you. These are my brothers, I’d like for you to meet them.” As they stood shoulder to shoulder in an eerily straight line, she began naming them off.
“This is Lao Bai, the oldest,” she said, as he looked straight ahead and nodded abruptly.
“This is Qiang Lin, very strong, but hot temper,” as Qiang cracked his knuckles and grimaced.
“Chao Li is the smart one.” And then Chao turned to Schwartzie, “Ni hui shuo shen me zhong guo fang yan?”
“Yeah me too...” Schwartzie feigned a smile, Chao was perplexed.
“These are the twins,” Alex continued, “Xiang and Chang Dao.” They gave an awkward “Howdy” in unison.
“Ming Gao is the businessman,” and he was just as muscular looking as the others, but in a chartreuse velvet suit, yammering away violently in Chinese on his cell phone.
“And Po Po...” Alex giggled, “he makes us laugh.” Po Po shot Schwarzie a stare that sent ice through his veins, as he picked his upper teeth with his tongue.
Schwartzie, momentarily frazzled and permanently intimidated, looked over at his grandmother. “Well,” he tapped her on the shoulder to wake her, “This is my Bubbe. She normally eats around four thirty, but she made an exception.
“Ah what?” asked Lao Bai, “You called...ah Bubble?”
“Hello Bubble!” waved the twins together.
“Very nice to meet you,” Alex smiled and shook her hand.
Bubbe turned to Ming Gai, “Excuse me, where’s the bathroom in this place?”
It was Alex who smiled warmly, “We will go together.” They walked across the theater lobby as Bubbe shouted back, “Get me a cola Schwartzie!” The seven brothers all turned to him.
“You guys like coke?” he asked nervously.
“Cok? cok...” Chao Li seemed almost insulted.
“Cok ah forbidden,” Lao Bai shook his head.
“Parents say,” went Qiang Lin, “We see you with cok, we never see you again.”
“Oh...okay,” said Schwartzie, “Well, what do you guys usually drink?”
“Blood,” laughed Po Po, “Drink lots of blood!” His joke was met with roaring laughter from the other six brothers. Schwartzie chuckled along nervously until Po Po stopped mid laugh to give Schwartzie another deadpan stare, followed by the hawk-eyes.

“Well,” Bubbe opened the pill organizer from her purse in the Ladies Room, “this is how I take all of my medicine on the right day. Blue is thursday, purple is friday...”
“Oh,” nodded Alex, slightly confused at the adjacent sink, “very interesting.”
“And this,” Bubbe pulled out a little brown bottle from the purse, “prevents constipation.”
“It keeps things...runnin’ smooth,” Bubbe winked, but Alex looked no less perplexed.
“I measure one capful into my drink, and it works like a miracle! My doctah gave me the strong stuff.”
“You mean...,” pondered Alex, “It make you...ah...gassy?”
“Couldn’t go a day without it!” Bubbe lectured, “The time I did nearly killed me! Not to mention it was during Passover. Try eating unleavened bread for a week without laxatives! It’s hell!”
“Oh,” Alex stared down at her shoes, not quite knowing what to say, “That’s...very bad.”
“So,” went Bubbe rather loudly, “Have you heard about Meryl Streep?”

The theater was packed with a crowd of anxious Chinese families, pretentiously cultured critics, and the other unlucky few who had to buy last minute weekend tickets. Schwartzie trudged down his row, juggling two coca-colas and a water for Alex. The seven brothers sat sternly side by side. Schwartzie made an effort to maneuver around the pairs of muscular legs as he found his seat between Alex and his Bubbe, muttering “sorry” as he passed each successive brother. As Bubbe began mixing her drink, Alex turned to her brother, “Po Po. Why don’t you tell us one of your jokes?”
Po Po turned his head, “Okay. Joke...okay. One time I kill a bear...with my bare hands!”
Again, he was met with resounding laughter from his family, but Schwartzie’s pained smile soon faded as Po Po shot him a wink and a toothy grin. “What movie are we watching?” Alex asked Schwartzie, still giggling. He shrugged and lifted his arms, the nebbish way of saying “oy, what can you do?”, and then buried his head in his hands, the everyone’s way of saying “oy, this is gonna be a long night.” The lights were dimmed, Ming Gao ended his heated business call, and the movie began.
The Sun Rose and Everything Fell title screen had faded into a waving Japanese flag. Suddenly, a fire spread from the center of the red Rising Sun, engulfing the flag, and revealing a shot of a Chinese guerrilla soldier in camouflage screaming a battle cry as he jumped from a tree. The sound of machine guns and abrupt Chinese phrases immediately followed.
Schwartzie began to perspire, and his mouth grew dry. As he reached for his beverage, he couldn’t quite remember if he’d put his cup to his left or to his right. He decided against taking the one from Alex’s side, which might provoke the brothers if it was indeed her cup, as some kind of overly familiar gesture, in turn causing Po Po to resort to physical comedy.
He reached for the cup on his Bubbe side, and sipped anxiously as the fighting onscreen continued. Alex turned to him to whisper, “We used to learn about this in school. Really terrible-the whole thing.” Schwartzie nodded affectionately as Bubbe broke in all too loudly, “Who’s the main character Schwartzie? I’m not following this...”.
“Shhh...Nanna, it’s not that kind of movie. Just watch.”
“Alright,” she was still fairly loud, “All I’m asking is they pick a character and give him a relatable love interest. Is that too much to ask? This is incomprehensible!”
Schwartzie then turned his head to see Qiang Lin, the brother gifted with strength and temper, sitting tightly with his eyebrows furrowed and his fists clenched. His forehead was bright red, and he was muttering abruptly in Chinese. As the screen cut to an interview of an elderly Japanese veteran, Qiang Lin suddenly leapt up from his seat and shouted, “Ni men sha le wo de zu xian! Sha le ta men!” This sent the rest of the Chinese crowd into hysteria, shouting all kinds of non-english obscenities at the screen. Even the other six brothers began pumping their fists and yelling amidst the crackle of machine gun fire. Indeed, this was going to be a long night.

Mortar shells ripped through the night air, sailing towards the nearly flattened city buildings, immediately accompanied by the roar of the air raid sirens and the deafening cries of civilians. Only, these civilians were not shown on screen, but rather made up an audience of Chinese movie theater patrons. The shouting ensued, and even the elderlies in the frontmost rows who were too soft-spoken to be heard, began propelling small items at the screen to show their disdain. “What’s everybody so riled up about?” Bubbe nudged Schwartzie on the side, “Streep is good, sure, but not that good...”.
“You kill ancestors? We make you pay!” Qiang Lin was leading this blockbuster “revolt”.
“I’m sorry,” Alex turned to Schwartzie, “This just makes him very upset.”
“What make you think you can just...” Qiang Lin stopped mid scream and abruptly transitioned into a mad fit of coughing.
“Are you okay?” Alex put her hand on her brother’s shoulder as he continued to cough hysterically, “I’m sorry, I’ve drank all my water.”
“Well,” Schwartzie shrugged, “You could have my coke...”
Qiang Lin eyed him suspiciously. When another wave of phlegm overtook him, he relented and grabbed for the cup. After the first sip, his eyes widened.
“Oh,” he slurped again, “Oh-hoh! I like cok!” He passed the drink to Lao, the oldest.
“Oh...,” Lao’s muscles relaxed, “Cok ah good...cok ah very good!”
The cup of coke traveled down the row of brothers, each one smiling and revering its taste. The two twins gave synchronized thumbs up, even Po Po had a sip.
Their row was now quieted amidst a theater filled with the sounds of war and incomprehensible yelling, except for the barely audible ring of a cell phone. “What’s that beeping?” Bubbe screamed, “I hear beeping! Who’s got a beeper?”
The line of brothers all turned to Ming Gao in his velvet business suit and sunglasses.
“I can’t hear myself think! You’re driving me insane over here!” Bubbe was heard over the arriving fighter jets.
Ming Gao, a little shaken, answered his telephone and resumed business, “Okay...well tell Mr. Young to bring punk ass into my office tomorrow...yes...then we see who have balls...”.
“Can you believe this, Schwartzie?” Bubbe glared at Ming, “People like this have somewhere to be? Don’t see a movie! It’s that simple...”.

It creeped in...slowly, and then...all at once, in bold staccato, like an SOS in morse code. For a moment, it seemed Schwartzie’s sudden flatulence would go unnoticed. Then Alex turned to look at him, who in turn looked instinctively towards Bubbe. “Oh!” Alex clasped her hand to her face in newfound understanding, “Medicine make Bubble gassy!” Schwartzie was beginning to feel a burning sensation within the walls of his intestines.
“I’ll be right back, Alex,” he said softly as he got up.
“Okay,” she smiled, and then, “I like the movie Schwartzie. Really interesting.”
Although nice, it was not quite the relief he was looking for, and as he waddled down the scantily lit aisles of the theater, the ambient sounds of battle seemed to be amplified in his bowels.
Schwartzie shoved open the theater door, moaning as his colon seemed to be pulling his insides outside. His legs were feeble. By the time he’d reached the men’s room, a small tiled chamber with only one stall, he was nearly limping. He almost threw himself to the ground, in defeat, but the persistent flame spurred him on. With a bolt, he unzipped, locked the stall door, and...

Five, ten, nearly twenty minutes of agonizing pain that came in successive rounds, and Schwartzie wondered what he had eaten to cause such an unnatural disturbance. The floor tiles seemed to shake in sympathy with his periodic groans. On bathroom duty, Carl stood miserably outside the stall replacing urinal cakes. Then, there was a fierce knocking on the bathroom door. “Schwartzie!” Bubbe hollered, startling a Carl to consciousness, “Are you in there? Are you alright in there Schwartzie?” It took him a moment to answer.
“Yeah Bubbe I’m fine. I just...need a minute.”
“Well I’ve just about had it!” she screamed, “I’m dyin’ over here!”
“Wait can...” Schwartzie had to pause to release some gas, “can we just talk about this later when I come outside? I’m kind of in the middle of something here.”
“I’m all blocked up!” she yelled through the door, “Schwartzie, I’m all blocked up!”
Carl took this as his cue to remove himself from the line of duty, muttering “ugh, people.” as he hustled out the bathroom door. Bubbe took this as her cue to enter the men’s room.
“What do you mean you’re all blocked up?” he asked from within the stall.
“Nothing was coming out!” she was near tears, “I went to the bathroom and...bupkis!”
“Did you...,” Schwartzie grunted again, “take all of your medications?”
“Well, I think so,” she tried to remember, “you didn’t happen to get me a diet cola, did you? The laxatives don’t really mix so well with that diet stuff.”
“Wait...,” Schwartzie’s eyes widened, “Bubbe, what cup did you...”.
Just then Chao Li burst into the room screaming, running for the stall door and cursing violently in Chinese when he realized it was looked.
“Hello? Please?” he pleaded through the stall door, “Need to go. Very bad. Emergency.” He turned around to see Bubbe, standing there with her arms crossed, her eyebrows furrowed in thought (or sleep).
“Why Bubble here?” Chao was confused, “Bubble is a man?”
Schwartzie called worriedly from inside the stall, “Hi there. Look, I’ll be out in a minute, I promise.”
“Okay,” Chao winced, “Please hurry. Never had this bad before.”
Mere seconds later, the bathroom door swung open again, revealing a frail Lao Bai. He limped through the entrance clutching his stomach.
“Ohhh,” he moaned, “Not feeling good. Many cramps.” He then began talking rapidly to his brother in Chinese, exchanging information about their seemingly identical conditions.
The door shuffled for a minute, and then in barged the two twins, shoving each other in a race to the lone stall, only to find out there was now a line.
“Please?” Lao Bai cried, “We are in pain!”
“I’m really sorry,” Shwartzie had to consider his own pain as well, “I’m finishing up.”
Ming Gai was the next to burst in, extremely panicked. The small room was growing exceedingly crowded.
“Shwartzie in bathroom with Bubble,” Lao explained, “We all need to make...bad.”
Ming exhaled heavily in frustration, “This suit custom made! Can’t get dirty-cost me five hundred dollars! Need to go first!”
This provoked a heated argument between all the siblings, primarily in Chinese and in some broken English, as to who was next for the latrine. “I’m going next!” Bubbe joined in, “I need to get things moving! I could die!”
“No!” Chao was angry, “Bubble can use ladies room! I can’t hold much longer!”
“You done soon already?” begged one of the twins.
“Look,” Schwartzie called back from the stall, “can you guys just...all be quiet for a minute. I need to concentrate.”
The fighting took a cease fire, and for a moment, all was quiet. Then entered Qiang Lin the strong, suddenly not so strong, nearly crawling through the door and collapsing by the sink.
“I feel..,” he moaned, “like I will explode.”
“Please finish already!” cried one of the twins, “Only one john...many brothers.”
“Okay,” a sigh spread through the room as Schwartzie flushed, “I’m finished.
A zipping of the pants was heard, and then a rustling of the stall door. But no Shwartzie. “I think it’s stuck,” he yelled, “The door won’t hinge.”
“Trapped?!” Bubbe was hysterical, “Help! My Schwartzie is trapped in there!”
“The opening’s too small for me to slide through,” he called, “What should I do?”
“Whatever it takes!” groaned a wincing Ming Gao.
Qiang summoned as much energy as he could, "Okay...give me boost."
The twins put out their hands to hoist Qiang as high as they could above the stall. “Schwartzie! Stand on the toilet!” he called. Schwartzie, skeptical but overwhelmed by intimidation, balanced himself on the seat of the latrine. He just barely managed to latch on to Qiang’s fingers as he was hoisted eight feet in midair. Qiang used all of his brute strength to carry him over the stall wall, but just as he did, the twin under him screamed, “Ohhh...It’s coming!”. As he collapsed, so did the makeshift human triangle. Schwartzie’s fall was caught by a metal peg on the top of the stall, as it latched on to the elastic of his underwear. He screamed.
“Oh my god!” Bubbe cried, “Schwartzie! Get down from there!”
The brothers were beginning to keel over as Schwartzie hung swinging at the top of the stall. Bubbe was in shock. Then, the men’s room door swung open once again.
“I knew it!” a seething Po Po screamed as he stormed in, “I knew it! Try to kill us with your cok?! Try to poison us?!”
The rest of the brothers looked confused for a moment, and then their eyebrows furrowed in realization.
“Cok! The cok!” went Chao Li.
“Your cok was poison!” cried Qiang Lin.
“Cok bad...,” Lao Bai was simmering, “cok ah very bad!”
Ming Gai was already on the phone, hollering to the others, “I talk to lawyer right now. He say we have case! Liability very big...”.
Schwartzie looked down at them helplessly as the abrupt Chinese screaming began again.

Alex walked out of the theater and into the entrance hall. The movie was still playing, but she was growing tired of sitting alone, and wondering where everyone had suddenly gone.

“I kill you Schwartzie!” Po Po charged for the top of the stall, trying to lock Schwartzie in a strangle-hold. He clung by his boxers for dear life. “Let go of him!” Bubbe raged, wildly swinging her handbag. The bathroom battle had gotten out of control.

Alex walked along the popcorn stained carpet until she reached the door of the men’s room. The clamor inside was so loud it seemed to seep through the walls, a mix of english, chinese, and yiddish vocalizations melded with the incessant rumble of background machine gun fire, still playing from the theater.

Carl passed Alex with a mop in hand, “People...”, he shrugged. Alex stared at the door handle and slowly turned the knob.

August 03, 2015 05:06:58 PM





By: Somari Davis
©All Rights Reserved 2015
During the following scene a group of teens sits on the roof admiring the sun as it rises and as an apocalypse begins. In the beginning there will be a narration done by the main character Alex describing the situation to the viewers. While all of his, Alex’s, narration is occurring, the actors should be acting it out. Alex is also the voice of all of the other actors in the short film, so while they say their lines Alex is their voice over. Please also keep in mind that Alex has a stereotypical surfer dude’s voice*

Alex: (narration) The sun rose and everything fell….This was the beginning of the apocalypse. It was horrible. Like literally horrible; everyone was losing their minds. No one saw it coming. One minute we were all sitting on the roof of Nancy and Rachel’s house watching the sun come up after our high school graduation and then BAM, the world started ending…
(The audience/viewers should see the world post-apocalypse)
Alex: Not that fast.
(The audience/viewers should see everyone running panicked in slow motion)
Alex: Not that slow either. Let me start from the beginning so you know what happens at exactly the right speed.
(The audience/viewers should now be able to see where the scene first began with everybody sitting on the roof)
Alex: So, it’s right after our high school graduation and after we all went out with our families to celebrate and what not we had gathered back together on the roof of Nancy and Rachel’ house which is relatively the center of town. Rachel and Nancy are twins.
(The audience/viewers should see them sitting side by side and they have the “same” face)
Alex: Not identical though.
(Viewers should now see they absolutely do not have the same face)
Alex: Derek made sure I got that straightened out, you know? Anyways, we’re chilling on their roof when we see this whole building blown out of it’s middle.
Alex: So, Derek says*:

Derek: ‘Holy crap! Did anyone see that?!’
Alex: And I was like: ‘Yeah, man. I’m pretty sure everyone saw it. I mean we’re all looking off the roof which has pretty good view of everything so…’ . Then Derek asks:
Derek: ‘Do you know what this means?!’
Alex: And I’m like: ‘It means that nobody’s living or working there anymore.’ So he goes all over exaggerated and what not:
Derek: ‘Obviously dumbbutt. But, do you KNOW what THIS MEANS?!’
Alex: And eveybody’s all like shaking their heads ‘no’ absolutely terrified right? And he waits a little bit hoping that we might catch on but, we don’t so I said: ‘Are you going to tell us ‘cuz I’m pretty sure none of us know, man.’ After rolling his eyes he was like:
Derek: ‘It’s the alien invasion! It’s here!’
Alex: So while everybody’s screaming and stuff I shouted: ‘Oh no! The pizza man!’ And everybody stopped and looked at me like I was crazy. So I said, ‘What?’. And they were like,
Rachel, Evan, & Derek: ‘The pizza man? Seriously.’
Alex: And so I was like, ‘Yeah, I ordered pizza for us like ten minutes ago. I was really looking forward to it.’ And they all shake their heads until Rachel gets this really concerned face on like:
(Rachel makes a concerned face)
Alex: Yup like that. And she shouted:
Rachel: NANCY!
Alex: I was like: ‘What about Nancy? She’s so irrelevant?’ So she said:
Rachel: ‘She went to go check if the pizza man came and she never came back!’
Alex: So, of course we all screamed at this point because Nancy was probably dead and stuff.
(Everybody is screaming and freaking out)
Alex: So, then it was if a light bulb went off really in Erin’s head. PING! Ya know? And he was like,
Erin: ‘We have to go find her!’
Alex: Oh, yeah. Erin is Nancy’s boyfriend. I forgot to mention that. Imagine if Nancy and Rachel were identical twins? That would be totally confusing. Anyways so we go back inside their house and look for all of this stuff we could take with us in case we were to be attacked by aliens. We took knives, some sharp things, Cheez-Wiz, marshmallows…what I was hungry…Anyway, all of a sudden we all realize:
Everyone: ‘OUR PARENTS!’
Alex: We have a good cry and what not for like five minutes
(The audience/viewers should see them have like a bawling session and then have a character look at their watch and tell everyone to stop crying)
Alex: And then we went out into the deserted town, which yours truly had pointed out when I noticed how quiet it was because, Rachel and Nancy’s cousin’s neighbor’s dog wasn’t barking like crazy as per normal. Don’t worry they live on the same street as Rachel and Nancy. So, as soon as I pointed that out to the gang they started panicking.
(The cast should start panicking)
Alex: Actually I should say Derek started panicking because I had “proved” him correct.
(Derek should be jumping up and down, and rubbing it in everybody’s face like a five year old for a couple of beats before Alex continues the narration)
Alex: But, whatever. That’s kind of irrelevant. So, we made it to Parker’s Pizzeria right. And Derek finds something that looks like some alien guns lying around. So, of course he gets super excited.
(Derek should commence in a childish type manner of being correct again)
Alex: Again, it’s whatever because the big thing is when I point out and say, ‘Aliens wouldn’t just leave their junk lying around for anyone to take.’ Let’s just say Derek did not like that.
(Derek should get mad and Rachel has to hold him back while Erin holds back Alex, everyone should remain in these stances during the following monologue)
Alex: Even Erin agreed and he was all:
Erin: ‘Yeah, have you seen an alien movie where they even do that?’
Alex: Derek really did not like that.
(Derek should get mad even more and Rachel’s still holding him back while Alex now holds Erin back.)
Alex: So, mad Derek went:
Derek: ‘They would only do that if they were plotting a trap!’
Alex: He had this crazy look in his eye and he’s usually this stuck up kept together dude.
(Derek composes himself)
Alex: So, I said: ‘But think of this logically man—‘ And then Derek cuts me off:
Derek: ‘Alex, that’s the thing they want us to think logically.’
Alex: And I was like, ‘What? You sound cr—‘ But, I don’t get to finish again because Rachel made this face like: Don’t say it. Don’t say he’s crazy.
(Have Rachel motion to not say anything to Alex)
Alex: So, I didn’t. And then this noise rips through the town like something eerie like outta movie or something. Before I can say my prediction of that noise being some construction vehicle
(Have one construction vehicle drive by the side door of the pizzeria which only Alex and the viewers see)
Alex cont’d: they drag me out of the pizzeria and back to Rachel and Nancy’s house with the “alien” guns they “found”. So when we finally get back to the house and lock the door we are out of breath. I mean pooped; exhausted; disgustingly tired.
(Each of those adjectives should be acted or emphasized by the actor)
Alex: When all of a sudden I get a….an epiphany! Or rather a light bulb went off in my ol’ noggin. So I was like, ‘Guys! I just remembered something!’ So they’re all lookin’ at me like I’m some God that holds all the answers to the world’s questions.
(Have everyone one be at his feet begging for a silent answer)
Alex: And I said, ‘Remember when we were all leaving the house all frantic and what not?’ And they were like:
(Still at his feet)
Erin, Rachel, and Derek: ‘Yeah’
Alex: So I said, ‘Well, I was stuck watching TV remember and you had to pull me away?’ And they were all like:
(There should be a brief moment where there is a flashback of Alex looking at the TV eating his Cheez-Wiz and marshmallows and Erin rips him away from the TV on his way out)
(Still at his feet)
Erin, Rachel, and Derek: ‘Yeah’
Alex: ‘Well’ I said. ‘It was the news and they said they were filming some sci-fi flick in town this week and had to set-up some construction while they were shooting’ I finished. I would like to say that’s where they praise me but, they don’t. Derek proceeded to lose his cool.
(Derek is fuming)
(Actors should really act this out as these lines are being spoken)
Alex: (During these lines Rachel should be holding back Derek and Erin is holding back Alex) And he’s calling me like a dumb butt and what not. So I was ya know really offended and we were going at it calling each other names and I said that ‘if you put a rock up his butt it’d come out a diamond.’ And he was like, ‘You stole that from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off!” And I said, ‘I know!’. And then he was like, ‘You speak like from a surfer in California and we’re in Nebraska!’ And I said, ‘I knoooooow! My aunt’s dog’s neighbor’s owner’s best friend’s from California! That’s where I get it from!’ and then a knock came on the door. We all froze stiff. And that’s where I bring you to the present time or present situation.
(All actors are still voiced by Alex)
Alex: Derek says, ‘Who is it?’ And I was like, ‘I don’t know.’ And Rachel goes, ‘Maybe it’s Nancy.’ We all creep to the door. And I, Alex stared at the door handle and slowly turned the knob.


August 03, 2015 04:46:00 PM





The 78th Fall of Everything

The sun rose and everything fell.
Viktor: Whoa.
Kyle: IKR?
Viktor: What was that?
Jessie: I think it was the sun.
Viktor: The sun?!
Jessie nodded gravely.
Jessie: I think so.
Kyle: OMG!
Viktor cupped his own face.
Viktor: It can’t be!
Viktor ran into the HoloSphere. Kyle and Jessie followed.
Kyle: OMFG.
Jessie: I agree.
Viktor screamed.
Viktor: NOOOOOO!!!!!! Everything has fallen!!!!!!
Jessie: Viktor, please calm down.
Kyle: Viktor, we get it.
Viktor: NO YOU DON’T YOU IDIOT YOU DON’T UNDERS… WAIT. Did you just talk, Kyle?
Kyle: Yes.
Kyle: Viktor. Shut up.
Jessie: I second that.
Viktor gaped at Kyle.
Jessie flipped her hair gravely.
Jessie: Viktor. We have to be calm here. Everything has fallen.
Jessie leaned her hand on the side of the HoloSphere.
Jessie: Therefore, we are the last ones.
Jessie looked at the two of them. Very gravely.
Jessie: Us. Viktor. Kyle. Me.
Kyle: LMFAO.
Jessie: Exactly.
Viktor blinked a couple of times.
Viktor: Wait… what about Alex?
Jessie smushed her eyebrows together carefully.
Jessie: Alex?
Viktor: Didn’t he say that he was going to the VirtPizz?
Jessie nodded.
Jessie: I believe he did.
Kyle: OMG.
Viktor: Goodness… let me check.
Viktor typed “VirtPizz”. The HoloSphere swiveled and zoomed in to the VirtPizz, ancient 21st century Google Earth-style.
Jessie: Zoom in 120%.
Jessie, Viktor, and Kyle waited.
Jessie shrugged.
Jessie: I guess the voice manipulation feature in the Spheres has become disabled.
Kyle gasped.
Kyle: WHAT.
Jessie: Try zooming in manually, Viktor.
Kyle gasped.
Jessie furrowed her eyebrows at Kyle.
Jessie: Yes, Kyle.
Kyle: No. No no no no no. This CANNOT be happening.
Viktor turned around to look at Kyle, then turned back to the keyboard, muttering.
Viktor: I still need to get used to that… it’s scary when he talks so fluently…
Kyle fell to his haunches.
Viktor: Guys, I think I got it.
Jessie: Yeah, stop right there.
Jessie: I agree.
Kyle crawled to the edge of the HoloSphere.
A fuzzy black-and-white hologram of Alex appeared. He was thrown back against a wall of the VirtPizz, a piece of virtual pizza in his hand.
Viktor muttered to himself.
Viktor: He’s always at the VirtPizz. Just because you’re broke doesn’t mean you should be proud of it…
Kyle pressed something.
Jessie: Is he alive?
Viktor: I’m not sure…
The hologram turned black.
Viktor: WAIT WHAT?
Jessie and Viktor turned to look at Kyle.
Kyle: Uh…
Jessie: Kyle. What have you done?
Kyle: UH…
Viktor sighed.
Viktor: Now what?
Jessie: We have to go to VirtPizz.
Viktor: HELL NAW I AIN’T GOIN’ TO VIRTPIZZ I DON’T CONDONE THEIR PRACTICES! Besides, VirtPizz is all the way on the other side of our neighborhood!
Jessie: We have no choice. We have to save Alex. Besides, he’s smarter than any of us.
Viktor processed this.
Viktor: Hey, wait a minute! Was that an insult?!
Jessie: Never mind. We have to go. Viktor! Kyle!
Kyle: No.
Jessie: What do you mean?
Kyle: I’m going to stay here.
Viktor: What?
Kyle: Voice control. The capabilities of the HoloSphere. I’ll bring it back while you guys get Alex.
Jessie: Are you sure?
Kyle: Yes.
Jessie: Okay, then. Viktor. Let’s go.
Viktor: Fine. Wish us luck, Kyle.
Kyle: Good luck.
Jessie and Viktor walked about two blocks.
Viktor panted.
Viktor: Wow, I’m winded.
Jessie pressed her palm against the VirtPizz’s front door.
Viktor and Jessie waited.
Viktor: I don’t think palm recognition is working.
Jessie: I agree.
Viktor: Wow, everything really has fallen.
Jessie: We’ll have to push open the door with our bare hands.
Viktor gaped at Jessie.
Viktor: But Jessie… that’s… that’s barbaric!
Jessie: Why are you whispering?
Viktor: Because it’s barbaric!
Jessie gravely flipped her hair.
Jessie: We have to do what we have to do. Desperate times call for desperate measures, Viktor.
Viktor: Alright, then. But don’t make me watch.
Jessie: Yeah, step away. Things might get dangerous.
Jessie heaved.
The door opened with a creak.
Jessie walked in.
She brushed her hands off on her pants and exhaled.
Viktor peeked through his fingers.
Viktor: Oh my goodness, she has made it!
Jessie heard a moan from a corner of the VirtPizz.
Jessie: That must be Alex.
She shook his shoulders, brushed the virtual pizza out of his hand.
Jessie: Alex, can you hear me?
Alex moaned.
Jessie: Good, you’re alive. Activate VirtPizz EmerSys. WingStretcher!
Jessie waited.
Jessie: Oh, right. No voice control.
Jessie nodded gravely.
Jessie: I’ll have to drag him out of here.
Jessie dragged Alex, yes all 146 pounds of him, out of VirtPizz.
Viktor had tears in his eyes.
Viktor: Jessie, you are amazing.
Jessie: I agree.
Kyle came running.
Kyle: I don’t believe this. I had to get here on FOOT, guys.
He panted, hands on his knees.
Kyle: On a more serious note, there’s something wrong with the system. I can’t hack into any of the Spheres, Scapes, or Virts.
Jessie: Obviously, Kyle. Everything fell.
Kyle: No, not just the Everything system. The Beyond system as well.
Viktor gasped.
Viktor: No.
Kyle nodded.
Kyle: I’m afraid so. This is a bigger problem than we anticipated. The sun may have triggered the 78th Everything apocalypse AND…
Kyle paused for dramatic effect.
Kyle: The FIRST, yes the VERY FIRST, Beyond apocalypse.
Alex sat up.
Alex: Wait, what?
Kyle: Oh, hey there, Alex. How are you feeling?
Alex: Uh, like I ate a bad virtual pizza.
Viktor: What do virtual pizzas taste like anyway? They can’t taste like actual pizzas.
Alex: They do, you snob.
Viktor: Fight me.
Alex: Yeah, let’s go right now.
Kyle: Guys. Shut up.
Jessie: I second that.
Kyle: You guys do understand that there is only one option left now, right?
Jessie: Yes.
Alex: The Beyond.
Kyle: Yes. Therein lies the great and terrible beauty of the Beyond system. To access the system, one has to enter the realm itself.
Viktor contemplated this.
Viktor: Wait, guys, so what’s the only option?
Jessie: Kyle literally just explained.
Viktor: Well, it certainly was not in English.
Jessie sighed.
Jessie: We have to go into the Beyond, Viktor.
Viktor gasped.
He processed this.
Viktor: Wait… how?
Alex: Kyle, you do realize that there are many routes, right? We could easily get lost, even if we start off together. The forces of Beyond would tear us apart.
Kyle: Exactly. But we have no other option.
Viktor, Jessie, Kyle, and Alex thought in silence.
Alex: We have to find the 159 Ports.
Viktor gasped.
Viktor: But.. but… there are only 159! In this entire neighborhood!
Alex ignored him.
Alex: If we use the Ports, we’ll at least know that we will end up in the Beyond, not in the EarthYond or worse, the AtmosYond, where we will be face to face with the sun itself. The sun, Viktor. The sun that mysteriously made everything fall. It has infinite evil power. We have to use the Ports.
Kyle: Alex is right.
Alex: Alright, then. Jessie, you search streets Xenity through Emeke. Kyle, you search Scapes Mighty through Twinkle. Viktor, you stay here. And I will search Virts Bagel through Buns. If you find a Port, go through it. If not, come back here in two dingdongdangs. Okay?
Kyle: Okay.
Jessie: Okay.
Viktor: Okay.
The neighborhood dingdongdang dingdongdanged.
The neighborhood dingdongdang dingdongdanged again.
Alex returned to the VirtPizz.
Viktor was sleeping on the ground.
Alex waited for a while.
Alex: Guess I’ll have to keep searching. Jessie and Kyle must have left already.
He looked down at Viktor and sighed.
Alex: Well, it’s best that he stays here anyway. I don’t want him to get himself killed.
He left Viktor, and walked off to VirtCheese.
Alex looked behind the counters of virtual cheese platters. Near the robot staff bathroom, he found an ancient 21st century-style door.
Alex: A Port!
Alex stared at the door handle and slowly turned the knob.

August 03, 2015 03:41:14 PM





The sun rose and everything fell. Everything: the sun rose, the tea rose, the bourbon rose, and the miniature roses all went flying and water splattered everywhere as the glass vases crashed to the floor. Alex lunged for the monkey, who was now swinging by his tail to reach the shelf of rare orchids. (Why, oh why, did I ever agree to watch a hyperactive monkey?)

Easily eluding Alex, the monkey clambered onto the cash register. One well-placed swipe, and the cash drawer popped open with a ka-ching!, revealing the glittering treasure inside; the monkey’s eyes widened with greed. Scooping up the jingling loot, the monkey paused pensively, before it dawned on him just how much fun throwing it would be.

Coins sailed through the air, musically bouncing off of the floor and the furniture, delighting the monkey as he was flinging handfuls wildly around the store … and out the door, which Alex had carelessly left ajar. (Oh no! People will pick up my aunt’s money!) Alex dashed out to the street, scrambling frantically to collect the scattered change. As he bent over the gutter, his cap tumbled off, falling upside down onto the pavement.

Alex heard the door slam behind him.

With a hopeless feeling of dread, Alex spun around, just in time to see the monkey leering through the window as the deadbolt locked into place. Supremely satisfied, the monkey turned away, leaving Alex banging on the door furiously. Disdainfully ignoring the now-empty cash register drawer, the monkey raced around the store seeking further amusement. Alex watched helplessly as the monkey shimmied up onto the chandelier and began swinging to and fro.

“Meth!” Alex bawled out. (What kind of an idiot names a pet monkey Methuselah, anyway?) “METH!” Alex smacked at the window pane, infuriated by the sight of his keys lying forlornly on the counter. “Hey! You better let me in! You better! GET OVER HERE METH!” Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a young mother pushing a stroller, now nervously crossing to the other side of the street and quickening her pace.

Methuselah next ventured over to the window with an inquisitive stare. Engrossed by Alex’s antics, he innocently pressed his face right up against the window. “Come on,” begged Alex desperately. Unconvinced, the monkey resumed his exploration of the store.

“GET BACK HERE!” Alex screamed. (Maybe I can force the door open.) “METH! When I get ahold of you …” Alex violently rattled the door. Hearing the gentle clink of coins, Alex whirled around to see a charitable passerby tossing change into his upturned cap.

From the other direction, someone incoherently mumbled “Meth?” in a strung-out stupor. Alex turned around again, this time to be greeted by a toothless grin and pungent aroma.

“Drugs, man? Gimme some meth, yeah?”

“No, no, no,” Alex tried to explain. “It’s the monkey, see, and …”

“Your monkey got the drugs?” Alex’s new friend inquired earnestly. But he was backing away as the wailing of sirens approached. He vanished in a flash. As the police cruiser screeched to a halt at the curb, Alex noticed that his cap was gone.

“He went that way, Officer,” Alex explained, gesticulating vigorously. “Hurry up, and you might catch him!”

The policeman looked at Alex skeptically. “You tryin’ ta put one over on me or somethin’?”

“But I thought that you were …” Alex’s voice trailed off in resigned dismay.

“I got a call that some kid was tryin’ ta break in here, and doin’ a drug deal. Wanna tell me about it?”

“Drugs? Me? No, it’s not like that! ‘Meth’ is short for Methuselah—that’s the name of the monkey!”

“Oh, sure. The monkey,” sighed the policeman patronizingly. “Whaddar you on today, anyhow?”

“No, look, really!” Alex pointed through the window into the shop, where the monkey was happily carrying on. “See that monkey? It belongs to my friend Chester, but he’s out of town and I promised to monkey-sit.”

“And the store?”

“It belongs to my aunt, the florist, who’s on an exotic flower tour this week, so she asked me to check up on her shop every day … you know, refresh the displays and whatnot. And today, I had to bring along Meth…uselah …” Alex added lamely. “But he went bananas, and he locked me out, and he made a mess, only I can’t even get in there to clean it up, so Auntie won’t ever trust me again, and what’ll Chester do with the monkey stuck in a flower shop?”

Now the policeman was laughing heartily. “Seems that you’ve had a tough time of it. But don’t be too hard on that monkey; he’s burnt out, too,” he said, nodding towards the angelically sleeping Methuselah sprawled out in the middle of the wreckage. “I’ll call you a locksmith, so you can tidy up in there. Only don’t you wake that monkey!”

It was dusk by the time the locksmith finished, but the monkey was still sleeping peacefully. (If I’m very quiet and careful … ) Alex stared at the door handle and slowly turned the knob.

August 03, 2015 03:10:51 PM





(The sun rose and everything fell)
(Once the tornado cleared away, everything in it started to fall to the ground, including one man, who fell down from the sky through the roof of his undamaged house into his attic, where he remembers that he wanted to look at some old family photos, because he hadn’t done so for awhile)
(After a few hours, his son finds him)
Alex: (While walking toward him and stopping behind him) Hey, dad, I’ve been looking
everywhere for you. It’s time for dinner. What have you been doing?
Father: Oh, I was just looking at some old pictures of my family and I, especially my dad. Did I ever tell you he could play one mean banjo?
(Father shows Alex a picture of his dad holding a banjo with an angry face on the body)
Father: Yep. He caught it in the wild when I was very young. Took him several years to finally tame that thing. He was a pretty good player too.
Alex: Wow, that’s unexpected. I thought our family just sucked at everything. You can’t play, can you, dad?
Father: Are you kidding? The banjo is in my genes! I could have been famous! But then you came along… You know what? I should start making something of myself. I’m gonna’ go buy myself a banjo and start playing tomorrow night!
(Edit to the next day where Father walks into the front door of his house with his wife sitting at the kitchen table)
Mother: You’re back. That was quick.
Father: Yeah, the music store was closed, so I sold to the devil in the back alley for one of his banjos. And you get a pack of gum with every purchase. Want some?
Mother: Umm, no thanks... Hey, wait a minute, you can’t be telling the truth! The Devil plays the fiddle, not the banjo.
Father: Oh, no, I didn’t get this from Satan, I got this from his cousin Baaly Bob.
Mother: Oh yeah, him. Well, looks like you’re going to Hell then, huh?
Father: Meh. You were going anyway. What a sucker. Alright, time to play this thing. Bear with me, I might be a little rusty.
(Father plucks a string)
(Banjo explodes)
Father: … Ok, maybe I’m a bit rustier than I thought.
(Edit to the next night, where Father is shown walking into a room and then starting to strip down)
(Mother, sitting at a desk in the background with her laptop, turns around and looks at her husband)
Mother: … What are you doing?
Father: I looked at some online reviews and other stuff and found out that some of the ingredients in the gum I bought from the devil are slightly carcinogenic‒ that diabolical prick! So I’m going to sue the devil and then use the money to buy a much better banjo.
Mother: … I see… Wait. You didn’t actually get cancer from the gum, did you?
Father: Nope.
Mother: Well then how do you expect to get any compensation if you‒
(Father dumps open drum of radioactive waste on his body)
(Edit to the next morning, with Alex and Mother sitting at the kitchen table eating breakfast)
Father: (From upstairs) Hallelujah!
Mother: What is it, dear?
Father: I definitely have a cancerous mass!
Mother: Wonderful. Now you can sue the devil and get your undeserved compensation so you can pay all your medical bills and MAYBE get a new banjo.
Father: (While walking downstairs into the kitchen) Forget suing, that probably would’ve never worked. I’m keeping this!
Mother: (While looking up from her food to look at Father) Why the hell would you want to‒ What the?...
(Father is shown with a brain tumor which is so large that it juts out of the left side of his head horizontally, has a covering of skin, and has formed to match the look of a banjo perfectly and to the fine details)
Alex: Whoa.
Father: With this tumor I could be famous. I could travel the world as banjo player and circus freak! (To Alex) I told you the banjo was in my genes!
Mother: You can’t keep that thing, you’ll die!
Father: Oh, please. With all the money we’ll make, it won’t happen.
Mother: How is money going to help? What happens if the cancer spreads to the rest of your body? What if you start sprouting more banjos, or maybe even a ukulele, or some of the other pussified instruments?
Father: We’ll make so much money that I’ll be able to hire doctors who could help me maintain this without me dying. Now watch the born master in action.
(Father prepares to play new banjo)
(Father plucks the strings but the only sound produced is the sound of skin flapping against skin)
Father: Aww. It didn’t work. It’s probably the material. Regular banjos are usually made with light brown maple. If I were Hispanic it might’ve actually worked a little. No one’s gonna’ wanna’ see me now!
Mother: So you’ll give up this whole charade right now?
(Father sighs)
Father: Yeah, it’s probably for the best.
Mother: Well I’m glad you changed your mind. We’ll schedule an appointment with the doctor tomorrow.
Father: Yeah, good idea. And the sooner I get this thing off probably the better too. This thing hurts like hell.
(Father smacks Alex with the banjo across the face, knocking him off his chair to the ground)
Alex: Ow!
Father: See?
Mother: Well it might take a few weeks or possibly months. The sooner we do it the more debt we’ll probably be in.
Father: Oh yeah, we’re going to have to cut back aren’t we? We’re gonna’ have to deal with a lot of things: fewer luxuries, more work, lots of debt, and the fact that this would have been so much funnier if this banjo tumor had been growing out of my knee, (gathers an uncertain Mother and an unsure Alex in group hug) but we’ll make it, as a family.
(Short pause while still in group hug and with Father having his eyes closed and smiling, with Mother looking uncomfortably at Father, and with Alex staring up at Father)
Alex: You’re a dumbass.
(A few days later, Father is seen standing on the driveway, playing his toneless banjo tumor, during which he mutters to himself in pain, while waiting for Alex, who now walks on screen)
Alex: Looks like you’re getting better with that thing.
Father: Yeah, my fingering has improved. If only it didn’t hurt so much.
Alex: What did you want, dad?
Father: I need you to help me at the store, your mom sent me to go get groceries.
Alex: Ok, let’s go then.
Father: Not yet, I need a little help. This thing on my head is attracting a lot of unwanted attention. Yesterday at work, everybody kept telling me over and over again how sorry they felt for me. I tried to tell everyone not to worry so much because I was expecting to have it removed in only a few months, but then everyone just went ‘Oh’ and started laughing at me! I feel self-conscious now. I need some way to get people to not notice my tumor. I have some ideas but I wanted to hear yours first.
Alex: Why don’t I hear YOURS first. That’ll give me some time to think.
Father: Sure. Well, my first idea was to cripple my leg and get a wheelchair so that people would be more distracted by the chair.
Alex: No.
Father: Then I was thinking that I could run into the grocery store and shout ‘Bomb!’ so that everyone would run out… allowing me to get trampled, crippling my leg, so that when I assure them it was a false alarm and they come back in‒
Alex: No.
Father: (While grabbing saw) And then I was thinking I could just saw my leg in half right now‒!
Alex: Ok I have an idea!
(Edit to Father wearing an enormous sombrero)
Alex: There, let’s go.
Father: Thanks. I don’t need this while I’m driving though, so I’ll just put it in the back of the car.
(Father and Alex walk toward the car)
(Father opens the door to the driver’s seat, sits down, throws the sombrero in the back and closes the door, smashing his tumor into the window)
Father: Ow!
(Father rolls down the window)
Father: Oh, great. Now everyone is going to see me with the window down. Now what?
Alex: Why don’t you just put the sombrero back on?
Father: It’ll just blow off, and besides that would look stupid. There’s got to be something else we can do…
(Edit to the pair driving in their car to the store, Father’s tumor having been painted to look like a dog sticking its head out the driver’s seat window)
(The duo arrive at the grocery store and Father parks the car in a parking space)
(Father rolls up his window, forgetting that his tumor is still jutting out the window, causing his tumor to yelp like a dog, causing everyone in the parking lot to stare worriedly in Father and Alex’s direction)
(Father puts down the window to stop the yelping)
(Father then opens the door, rolls up the window again, exits the car, puts on his sombrero, and walks into the store with Alex, all of his actions done quickly and with an embarrassed grin, due to the fact that everyone in the parking lot is staring angrily in his direction)
Father: (In the store with Alex) Ok, so your mom gave me a list of a few dozen food items and such to buy. We have to save money because of my condition so think cheap. Alright, first thing is milk.
(Alex and his father walk into the breakfast aisle and father picks up a carton of milk)
Father: What?! A dollar! Ok, that’s it. Son, put this in your pants...
(Later, Alex and Father are walking down an aisle of the store, their clothes overly bulging from all of the groceries under them)
Father: Man. All this stuff is hard to carry.
(Father and Alex approach a worker)
Father: Excuse me, sir. Does this place sell trenchcoats?
Worker: Sir, what do you think you’re doing?
Father: Fooling the shit out of your dumb asses.‒ I mean, uh, nothing. We walked in to get some groceries. Why?
Worker: I just would like to know what you got there in, say, the front of your pants, for starters.
Father: That would be my wang, good sir.
Worker: Your wiener’s that flat-looking, huh? Like a magazine?
Father: Yep. Construction worker. Got it caught under a steamroller.
Worker: Ah ha. Alright, I’m gonna’ have to ask you guys to actually PAY for that stuff up at one of the registers. Ok?
Father: You want us to pay for our wieners at the‒
Worker: Just shut up and do it before I call the cops‒!
Father: BOMB!
Worker: (As Father and Alex run for the exit) Wait, what?! Where do you think you’re going?!
(Other shoppers run down the aisle for the exit, trampling the worker)
Worker: Ow! My leg’s broken! Shoot!... (While orienting himself to reveal something) Well, at least now no one will notice my incredibly bulbous colon tumor.
(A tumor juts out of the worker’s side and has formed into somewhat of a sign, which has an arrow pointing up at the worker and which reads, “FAGGOT”)
(Edit to Alex and his father running outside for the car)
(Alex and Father get in, Father rolls down the window, and Father speeds away)
(During their getaway, it starts to rain, washing the paint, that made Father’s tumor look like a dog, off Father)
Father: Shit! Oh well, I don’t care. I just want to get home.
(Minutes later, Alex and his father’s car stops at a stop light)
Father: Dang stoplight! Well, at least they probably won’t catch us now.
(Seconds later, a car pulls up in the lane to the left of Father’s)
(In the passenger’s seat is a guy with guitar, who notices Father and his banjo tumor)
(The man with the guitar then plays the first note of “Dueling Banjos” on his guitar)
Father: Ah, crap.
(Father prepares to play his banjo)
Father: (While playing his banjo (which projects its tonal sound out of Father’s mouth)) Ow!
(Man with guitar plays the next note)
Father: Ow!
(Guitar plays a slow melody)
Father: (Slowly) Ow! Ow! Ow!
(Guitar plays slightly faster)
Father: (Also slightly faster) Ow-ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!
(Guitar plays)
Father: Ow-ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!
(Guitar plays)
Father: Ow-ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!
(Guitar plays)
Father: Ow-ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!
(Guitar plays)
Father: Ow-ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!
(Guitar plays)
Father: Ow-ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!
(Guitar plays)
Father: Ow-ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!
(Guitar plays)
Father: Ow-ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!
(Guitar plays)
Father: Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!
(Guitar plays)
Father: Ow-ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!
(Guitar plays)
Father: Ow-ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!
(Guitar plays)
Father: Ow-ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!
(Guitar plays)
Father: Ow-ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!
(Guitar plays)
Father: Ow-ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!
(Guitar plays)
Father: Ow-ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!
(Guitar plays faster)
Father: (Also faster) Ow-ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!
(Guitar plays)
Father: Ow-ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!
(Guitar plays)
Father: Ow-ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!
Father: (While guitar plays) Ow!... Ow!... Ow!... Ow!...
Father: Ow-ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! (Just after light turns green; to Alex) Quick! Drive!
(Guitar plays while both cars race off)
Father: Ow-ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow-ow! Ow! (While guitar plays; Father plays very fast) Ow-owee-oowee-owee-owitty-owitty-owee! Ow-owee-oowee-owee-owitty-owitty-owee! Oowee-oowee-owee-oowee-oowitty-owitty-oowee! Oowee-oowee-owee-oowee-oowitty-owee-ow‒!
(Edit to Father preparing to sleep in his bedroom after having finally made it home)
(Father is currently cutting into his pillow and bed where his head lies with a hand saw)
(Mother walks in with pajamas on and stops behind him)
Mother: What are you doing?!
Father: (Slightly irritated) Trying to sleep, what’s it look like?
Mother: Umm… (Realizes what he’s doing) Oh, dammit! Stop it before you ruin the bed more!
Father: Oh come on! (While lying down on the left (camera-left) side of the bed to demonstrate) I like sleeping on my side and if I sleep on my right I have this stupid tumor jutting out in the air!
Mother: (While moving to the other side of the bed) Sleep on your back then!
Father: No!
Mother: (While lying down on the right side of the bed) Then deal with it! It’ll only be for a few more weeks. You’re not ruining this bed!
(Father intentionally twists his head, causing his wife to get smacked in the face by the banjo)
Mother: Ow!
Father: (Sarcastically) Oh, sorry. The force of gravity caused this thing to fall down.
Mother: (While turning off desk lamp) Just stop it and go to sleep.
(Long pause)
(A smack is heard in the darkness)
Mother: Ow!
Father: (Sarcastically) Sorry. Gravity again.
Mother: That was the plate of the saw, you idiot!
Father: (Sincerely) Oops.
(The next day, Alex and his sullen father are taking a walk around the neighborhood)
(Father sighs)
Father: Man. Yesterday was brutal. I don’t know how I’m gonna’ survive several more weeks of this.
(Father and Alex start walking by a house with a kid named Timmy playing in the yard with a baseball)
Timmy: Hello, sir.
Father: Hey Timmy.
Timmy: That thing on your head looks really cool. Can I have one?
Father: Oh no, trust me, this thing is NOT cool.
Timmy: Oh, well, do you think you could at least hit a baseball with it?
Father: I don’t know. Maybe.
(Father steps into the yard)
Father: (While tapping his banjo tumor against the side of his shoe like a batter tapping a bat against his cleat) Ow. Ow. (While getting in proper stance) Ok. Give me your best pitch.
(Timmy pitches the ball and Father smacks it so hard that it disappears over the horizon in seconds)
(Timmy stares back at Father with his mouth agape)
(Father gives a slight gasp as if something just came to him)
Father: (Excitedly) Oh my gosh! Alex!
Alex: What is it, da‒
Father: HOLY FUCK THAT HURT! And I just realized something too!
Alex: What?
Father: I’ve been great at batting since I was a boy! And with this thing I could destroy any competition.
Alex: That was pretty amazing, dad. I guess you were wrong about that thing, it IS cool… Really cool…
Father: That settles it then, I’ve just found my true calling. I’m going to be a professional batter in major league‒!
(The strings on Father’s banjo snap)
(Short pause)
(Edit to Father and Alex at the music store)
Father: (Talking to employee at cash register) Hi, I wanted to buy these banjo strings made of human skin. And also, it’s been awhile since I’ve actually restrung a banjo so I’m not very good at it. Could you guys help me do it?
Employee: Not a problem. My assistant will even do it for you, if you want?
Father: Oh, sure. That sounds better actually.
(Father easily pops off banjo tumor and hands it to the assistant)
Assistant: (While starting to walk to the back room) I’ll be back in about ten minutes.
Father: Okeydokey.
(Ten minutes later)
Assistant: Ok, here you go.
Father: (While grabbing tumor and putting it back in his head) Thank you.
Employee: Alright, you guys have a good day now.
Alex: You too.
Father: See ya.
(Alex and his father walk out the door)
(Father and Alex arrive back at Timmy’s yard)
Father: Alright. So where were we?
Alex: Well, you were standing here, and I was standing… here, and Timmy was standing over there looking at you with his mouth agape.
Father: Where is he?
Alex: I think he went inside.
Father: (Shouting loudly toward Timmy’s house) Hey Timmy, get out here and hold your mouth open! Wait, no!‒ I mean!... Oh, just get out here!
(Timmy exits house and quickly moves to his position)
Father: Now, where was I?... Oh, yeah.
Father: ‒Baseball!
(Father picks up a glove, puts it on, and turns in the opposite direction to catch the ball he had hit)
Father: And I’d be a darn good outfielder too.
(Next is a montage of Father in the major leagues, making great hits, great catches, etc.)
(In one part, a baseman is trying to tag Father out but Father uses his banjo tumor to smack him to the ground)
(The final part is of Father hitting a soon-to-be home run, at which point the scene freezes as if a picture were snapped)
(The camera then pans back to reveal the image in a photo in a picture frame hanging on the wall)
(A much older Alex is seen admiring the photo, which is in an upper room)
Alex’s Wife: (Calling from downstairs) Honey, our son dumped a drum of radioactive waste on himself and has now just grown a tumor in the shape of a banjo out of his foot!
Alex: Have him do it again so that it might grow out of his head next time!
Alex’s Wife: … Wait, What?!
Alex: (To himself) Heh, heh, heh. If only she truly understood...
(The camera shows the photo of Alex’s father again)
(The camera then pans back to reveal a photo, next to the first, of Alex in the major leagues, next to which is an empty space intended for another frame)
(The camera then points back at Alex, on whose head we see a scar, signifying the removal of his banjo tumor after his retirement from baseball)
Alex: Like father, and grandfather, like son.
Alex’s Wife: No seriously! What did you just say?!
Alex: Hold on, I’ll be down! Give a me a bit though, it takes me awhile to open doors!
(Alex stared at the door handle and slowly turned the knob)

August 03, 2015 02:46:07 PM





The Blood of Thine Enemies
The sun rose and everything fell. Marina woke up as the light from her window hit her face, and immediately regretted it.
“Oh no,” she whispered, staring horrified at her ceiling. She felt, not for the first time, the warmth of blood in the fabric of her pajama shorts. Her own blood. Menstrual blood. It had come in the night.
Did she dare kick off her covers and get out of bed? Should she even attempt to stand at all? She was wholly unprepared, without any protection on, and definitely NOT willing for others in her family to see her in such a compromised state. But, as marvelously tempting as it sounded, she could not just lie in bed for 3-7 days and wait for it to pass. Eventually she would get hungry. And her blog would lose followers if she didn’t update.
Praying desperately to be wrong, that maybe she had only wet the bed a little, Marina crept out from underneath her blankets and stood next to her bed to survey the destruction. And honest to God, it was like a murder scene. Like if a cop saw how much blood was covering her white sheets right then, she would have been accused of stabbing a person and letting them bleed out all over her bed.
Wishing for the thousandth time that she’d never been born with ovaries, Marina delicately removed her sheets from her mattress and tried not to grimace. If her life were a book, the reader would have thrown up by now. She sent a silent, pleading apology up to her reader. This was probably not what they had signed up for. After peering her head out of her bedroom door to make sure the coast was clear, she half-walked, half-waddled to the bathroom down the hall, but it was too late. By now she could feel it dripping down her legs.
Gritting her teeth, Marina slammed the door behind her, threw the sheets on the tiled floor and raided the cupboards. There was not one tampon to be found. She felt like she was in a horror movie; there was certainly enough blood for one. In the midst of her panicked search, she heard a voice outside the door.
“Marina?” A young, male voice tentatively called. “Um. It’s Alex. I’m here to finish the PowerPoint?”
Oh. No. She’d forgotten in her morning nightmare that she was supposed to be finishing her health project with the awkward, scrawny kid who’d been assigned as her partner. And now he was here. And she was covered in menses.
“Alex! Just – hold on a second.” She tried, unsuccessfully, to hide just how distraught she was. By this time, the blood had run all the way down her legs and she was creating reddish footprints on the white tile. Curse this white floor. Curse her white sheets. And curse her mother for buying everything in the most easily tainted color in existence. Her mother, who was ironically African American.
“Hey, Alex?” She tried for nonchalant again. “Why don’t you just wait for me in the kitchen? I’ll be right there, I’m just-" thinkofsomethinglessembarrassing, “putting on makeup.”
Outside the bathroom door, Alex was understandably confused as to why Marina needed to put makeup on to work on a school project, but decided she wasn’t to blame; this project should have been done weeks ago, anyway. It was his own fault for using PowerPoint. PowerPoint is boring. He didn’t question her, only turned to head back down the hall.
Marina sighed in relief as she heard Alex’s retreating footsteps and yanked her shorts down to her ankles. No doubt they were already ruined. She’d just have to rinse off her legs in the shower, get dressed, clean up the mess, and meet Alex in the kitchen. And no one would ever have to know of the unspeakable events that had taken place that day.
Pants at her ankles, she stepped toward the door to lock it, but approximately six things happened before she could:
1. Marina’s foot landed on her crumpled sheets.
2. The sheets, slick with the wretched curse, slid forward underneath said foot and left a streak of bright red on the white tile.
3. Marina fell back, crying out as she did so, and had a moment of clarity in the millisecond before she landed with a thud of her bare butt on the floor in which she prayed for the sweet, sweet release of death.
4. Alex heard the sharp yell of alarm and the following thud and rushed back to the bathroom door.
5. Alex called out, “Marina?” to which he received no reply. This was because Marina was struggling just to breathe, the wind having been knocked out of her. She was currently making desperate sounds to try and communicate to him her okay-ness so that he would NOT open the door, but they sounded more like an elderly woman attempting to play Zumba. These sounds were consequently not interpreted as sounds of okay-ness. All of this happened in just under ten seconds, until –
6. Alex stared at the door handle and slowly turned the knob.