Saturday, March 28, 2015

Mad Men

George loved Mad Men. He saw himself as one of them. He was bored at his job and thought he could do better. He told Jeb about his new job at the bar.
I'm the man. I report to the CEO and no one else.
That's great.
Yeah...just like Mad Men dude.
After that Jeb didn't see George for three months. When he did he had lost weight and looked haggard.
What happened to you? new job sucks.
My boss is an asshole man. He's like a workaholic and abuses the shit out of me. I've lost ten pounds and all I do is collapse at night.
So what are you going to do?
I'm going to look for a new job.
Jeb didn't see George after that for another few months. He was very busy with the end or the term grading and student conferences anyway. After school got out he met George again at the bar.
So what's going on?
George looked even worse.
I got fired man.
You're kidding.
That prick of a boss of mine said I couldn't cut it. Said I didn't have what it takes.
Wow...that sucks.
Yeah the guy was a real dick and I haven't been ever to find anything else.
I'm really sorry George.
Guess you have a lot of time to watch Mad Men.
I hate that show George grumbled.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Phone Husband

That's it. I cant take it anymore.
Shelly grabbed Nathans phone from his hand. He stared at her.
We don't have a life together anymore. You have your phone and I have this threesome It sucks!
Nathan sat back in his chair in the restaurant.
Have you lost your mind?"
No. I am tired of competing with your phone. Even when we are having sex you have your phone in the bed!
Nathan shook his head.
Oh come on....
It's true. I was just about to come and you took a call!
Hey. I'm a broker. You never know when a client wants to talk to you.
Shelly shut her eyes.
You never talk to me anymore. We go out and you are on your phone. We drive somewhere and you are on your phone. We go on vacation and you are on your phone. You are never just with me!
Nathan shrugged
Its the way it is now. I have to be accessible.
Bullshit. You are addicted to your phone Nathan and I wont go through this another day.
Nathan stared at his wife.
So what are you saying?
I am saying it is either me or the phone. You get rid of the phone or I'm leaving you.
You phone.
That's right. Get a pager or whatever. But I want my husband back.
Nathan nodded his head slowly.
Well...if it means that much to you.
It does.
Then obviously there is only one thing for me to do. You mean the world to me.
Shelly put his phone in the middle of the table.
Thank you.
Nathan picked up his phone and looked at his wife.
I guess we need to get you an apartment.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Text Elitism

 It really bothered Justin that Paul should be doing so well
They had gone to college together and even been roommates. He had moved to the suburbs and taken a job at  Dominoes pizza as a manager while Paul became an architect. What really bothered him was that Paul preferred texts over conversation.
Hey lets get together.
Sorry. Busy.
Paul's texts were always curt. They were usually just a few words. Still Justin persisted. He felt if he and Paul could get together he might establish a lifeline to a bigger world. Paul lived in a highrise downtown with his wife another architect. They were always going to benefits or concerts or just doing really cool things. about Saturday?
Sorry. Just got back from Paris.
So it went. Paul would wait a few weeks and then send Paul another text. It seemed this bigger world beyond the suburbs of wife and there kids and a dog and a cat was at Pauls fingertips. He actually had seen him on television a few times being interviewed about architecture in Chicago. So he was very excited when the text came back:
Hey Saturday might be doable.
Great. We will come down.
Yes...dinner at our place seven. Paul
Justin bought a snazzy new sport coat and his wife bought a dress she had seen in a magazine. They both looked forward to a night downtown with people who might usher in a new life for them. The text came during Saturday afternoon.
Sorry. Forgot about Chicago Symphony concert. Have to cancel.
Justin was stunned. More than that he was mad. He had enough of Paul and his rude elitist texts. He would show him. In a fit of rage he texted back.
That's fine. We have a YANNI concert we forgot about.
He hit send with great satisfaction.
He never heard from Paul again.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Doctor Story

I don't think she has an infection.
Jim looked at the doctor
They had been in the treatment room for an hour. He had to go outside and ask several times if they were next. Sylvia was so sick she fell asleep on the gurney. She had been fighting the flu for several days and when he heard her say it hurt when she coughed they had gone to the Immediate Care Facility close to their home. Now the Asian doctor was standing with his arms crossed.
I just don't think antibiotics are warranted here.
Doc. I know some Zithromax will kill this thing. Her sister just had the same thing.
The Doctor stared at him.
I will take a chest xray. If I see pneumonia then I will prescribe antibiotics.
Jim waited while they took his daughter to get xrayed. Then they had to wait another half hour for the results. The Asian Doctor returned.
Just like I thought. Nothing on the xray. There is really nothing I can give her except Tamiflu.
Jim shook his head.
Doc. That wont work. She has had this for a while. She needs antibiotics.
The doctor crossed his arms.
I don't see the need.
Jim jumped up.
The Asian Doctor turned red and shrugged.
Fine. You want antibiotic I will give it  but I don't see she need it. The nurse will give you the prescription. Then he left. Jim got the prescription filled and sat up with his daughter most of the night.
In the morning the doctor called and said they found a spot on the xray.
Good thing I gave her antibiotic the Asian doctor told his wife.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Neighbor friends

The dinner came about after they ran into the Hendricks at the graduation ceremony. They had lived across the street from each other for ten years and their kids were the same age and they were the same age but Pam and Jack did not gel with Frank and Julie. So Frank decided they would have a dinner. Way back when they had tried when they first moved in but it just didn't go anywhere. So now Frank decided to break the ice with the dinner.
They had lobster and rice and champagne for dinner. After dinner they went to the den and sat around and had coffee. The conversation had been stiff. They had asked where each of their kids were going to college. Pam still looked like a million bucks though she had aged. She had a way of just waiting for you to make an ass of yourself before she spoke. That's what Julie thought.
Frank decided to go for it.
You know we had this dinner well because we decided that after all these years it was ridiculous for us to not be friends. I mean ten years ago we all tired and...I don't know with our kids in college now maybe we can pull it off.
Jack sat with his coffee with his leg crossed. He had a Hemingway beard and he stared down at his coffee for a long moment.
I wondered what was behind this he began slowly
Frank shrugged.
Well...nothing. Just Julie and I thought since none of us are moving we should you know become better neighbors.
Jack set his coffee down.
That's the point. We are neighbors.
Exactly Frank exclaimed.
No. Jack shook his head. I mean we are neighbors and not friends. Those are two different groups that Pam and I like to keep separate.
Frank looked at his wife and she shook her head. She had told him this was a bad idea. She didn't like Pam and thought she was a bitch.
Well...Frank continued. Maybe we can change that.
Jack pursed his lips.
No. We are neighbors. The truth is we didn't become friends ten years ago because we didn't really like each other...and the truth is we still don't.
Franks mouth opened slowly as Jack stood up .
But thank you for the dinner neighbor. Ready Pam?
Frank and Julie stared at each other after the door closed.
I told you.
Frank nodded.
You were right.
 Two years later they moved back to the city where their neighbor friends lived.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Marcus  had just finished speaking at the private school with  Tyler. They went for drinks afterward. Marcus just had a book come out and was riding high. Tyler's last book came out ten years before.
Yeah my agent is pissed at me.
Marcus drank his beer and looked across the table.
I haven't given her anything to sell for ten years Tyler shrugged.
Yeah. Well I'm sure you'll come up with something.
I don't know. It's not that I haven't written anything just nothing good.
Marcus nodded but he couldn't empathize. He had just sold his third novel for just under six figures and sold the movie rights. He was the hot young author who had been in People Magazine and the New York Times and started writing in a famous authors house.
Here I wanted you to have this Tyler said after many shots and many beers.
Marcus took the book that was old and faded.
Its the only one I have. You cant find it anywhere.
Cool. Thanks man.
That was the last Marcus saw of him. Ten years later he was waiting in the Chicago Public Library for Tyler to come out. Tyler had just been awarded the Genius Grant and his book had been a National Bestseller. Marcus had lost his publisher and was selling real estate. He had seen in the paper about Tylers speech and hoped to maybe get a contact for a new agent or publisher.
Hey Tyler!
He was walking out in a dark  suit with a woman looking at her watch.
Oh hey Marcus. How's it going?
Not bad, but hey man you are happening!
He smiled.
Yeah...things are going ok.
Hey... how about a beer?
The woman looked at her watch again.
Sorry. I have to go work with some actors who are doing a play on my book.
Oh cool....I guess you finally wrote something good, huh?
Tyler grinned.
Yeah....hey great seeing you, Marcus.
He watched Tyler duck into a car then walked to the train station. He saw his book in the home he showed that night.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Facebook Envy

Marie was sick and tired of Claire's posts. It was Claire and her husband Jason on the ski slopes. In Paris. In Rome. In Germany. They were always on beaches or by the pool or waving from the Grand Canyon or in Napa Valley tasting wines. Marie tried to block her but somehow because of the strange Facebook Algorithms she always ended up getting Claire's posts.
 Marie and her husband could not afford vacactions. John was an adjunct for Comp classes and she was working on getting her nursing degree. They counted their pennies and pizza night was a big deal. Still the onslaught of videos and pictures and posts about Claire's travels taunted her day after day when she opened her computer. She then started to post herself. It started with a video of France she lifted from YouTube.
Here we are in France she declared. Then she took pictures of Germany, the Caribbean and taught herself photo shop and began to insert her husband and the kids in pictures. Then she started to insert all of them. Here we are at the beach in Cayman Island! Here we are in Puerto Rico! Here we are in Hawaii. She noticed then that Claire started to increase her posts. Russia. New York. The Presidential Inauguration. It was amazing. Not to be outdone Marie posted Facebook shots of her kids posing with the President and then stunning shots of them tramping through the Amazon and hang gliding over the rain forest.
This went on for months and Marie was truly in awe that Claire had that kind of money. She knew Jason was a trader on the Board of Trade and from their travels she was sure he had been making millions. Then suddenly the posts stopped. Marie never saw Claire posts again. It was a  year later she saw a woman with washed out hair and a haggard expression.
Claire? She called out in the Dollar Store.
The woman turned . It was Claire.
Hello Marie.
I never expected to see you here.
Claire shrugged gripping her list tightly.
Yes well after the divorce...
You divorced?
We lost everything. The house...I live in a town home now.
I didn't know.
Yes our life changed. I used to post all these phony pictures on Facebook about our vacations when we were getting foreclosed on.
Marie's mouth opened. Really?
It was pathetic. We never went anywhere. Then I just stopped and never went on Facebook again.
Clarie nodded to her.
I never saw you on Facebook. It's really just a bunch of people lying about their lives.

Monday, March 16, 2015


Ric was walking home when he felt the gun in the back of his neck
Go into the alley man or I blow your fucking head off.
Rick had never been mugged. He had lived in Chicago over twenty years and many of his friends had been mugged but he never had. His heart pounded as he walked into the dark alley.
Put your motherfucking hands up against that wall.
Hey man just be cool. I'll give you whatever you want.
Give me your fucking wallet.
Its in my back pocket.
He felt his hand dig his wallet out.
Where's your fucking money.
That's it man. I don't carry cash.
You telling me you don't got no  money.
No man. I use my atm card.
You lying.
No. Its a cashless society. Nobody carries cash anymore.
What the fuck am I supposed to do now.
Take my watch man. Its a Rolex. Its worth a lot of money.
Give it to me.
Ric took the watch off and held it up.
How do I know you have a gun?
You want to find out motherfucker?
Don't you move.
Ric felt the gun leave his head and then heard something clank on the pavement
He stayed facing the wall and then slowly turned around. The alley was empty. Rick walked slowly out and saw something glittering on the ground. He picked up a pipe.
That fucking guy was lying! He exclaimed.
Ric felt his wrist where his watch had been.
Enjoy the Timex asshole he muttered.


John didn't read anymore. He didn't even read his phone all the way through. When he met with Kevin at the bar he asked him the same thing.
Nope. I don't read newspapers anymore. I cant take the time.
Really. You used to read everything.
I know. I used to watch all those political shows too. Remember we both did.
John frowned.
Yeah. I  don't know why but I lost interest.
Me too. It just doesn't seem relevant anymore. I don't know where I found the time.
John shook his head.
I mean maybe we are becoming a people who don't read anymore.
It is probably out of date. We get everything in bits. Our brains have wired up to accept bursts of information after that it just tunes out.
But doesn't that scare you?
Not at all. Look why should we carry around all that information when we have these?
He held up his phone.
I know none of my students read. We read everything in class out loud. Its the only way I can be sure they can read.
How's that going?
Well the truth is no one can read.
What do you mean?
I mean they cant read. They stumble over words or just loose their train of thought. My ten year old reads better than they do.
Kevin drank  his scotch.
Man that's rough....what grade to you teach again?
Freshman comp.

Getting Even

George used to go looking at his old girlfriends from college on Facebook. Barb was an old girlfriend who he wished happy birthday to and then suggested they meet. George had done this to several old girlfriends but none of them replied. So he was surprised when Barb shot him an IM Sure!
The Starbucks was crowded and he found a table and waited with his coffee. He was nervous because he had a wife and two kids but he told himself that all he was doing was meeting an old girlfriend not having an affair.
Hi George
A woman who was immensely fat sat down.
Yes. Don't you recognize me?
George stared at her. She did not look at all like her Facebook photo. In the online page she did not look that different from their college years. look...different.
Barb smiled and beneath the jowls and inflated cheeks he saw her.
Yes. I cropped my face from college and put it on a different body. Looks pretty good don't you think?
George tried to remember the girl whom he had sex with in cars and on front lawns and got drunk at parties but he couldn't match it with this enormous woman.
When I hit three hundred pounds my husband divorced me and I lost my job. I had to move back with my parents.
I'm sorry to hear that.
Well...I sure was glad to hear from you. We had some great times then didn't we?
George wanted to get out of there. He was embarrassed to be sitting with Barb.
I know you wanted to meet me because of my photo and now you probably don't want to talk to me.
That's alright George. I always knew you were a prick.
He frowned.
I knew about the night you were supposed to meet me at the bar and you picked up a hitchhiker and screwed her back at your apartment. Sue your landlord told me the next day when I came over.
George sat back in shock.
I didn't know...
How could you? I I didn't say anything and then we broke up anyway. But when I saw your text I wantdd to see the look on your face when you saw me and know that I had just fucked with you the way you fucked with me.
Barb then pulled out her phone and snapped a picture.
Why did you do that?
Lets see...she tapped her phone...moving her thumbs.  Love Barb. That should do it. Now were even.
She stood up. George stared at her.
Who did you send that too?
Your wife.