Monthly Archives: December 2013


Ten crabs crawling sideways to the tune of “Marker’s Melody.” They each have little top hats on, little canes…

Do they have those little tap shoes?

Yes, they do. In fact they’re tapping away as they crawl. The curtains are starting to close. But then they open again and the little crab pops out and takes a bow.

Are the crabs at least a different color from the curtains? Otherwise it’s red on red.

Yes, the crabs are blue-green.

Oh. Is the audience applauding?

They are barking away and clapping their fins. The audience is all porpoises.

Porpoises don’t bark! They’re not seals!

These ones bark. They’re dripping wet all over the theater seats, curled in uncomfortable positions. They bark like mad at this little crab, who is quite the ham. Finally the curtains close for good and the lights come back on. The porpoises slither up the aisles and slip out the front door back into the ocean.

What happened to the crabs?

They’re back on their tour bus heading to another city.

Why don’t they just go back into the ocean too?

They don’t have time. Now the theater is empty except for a skinny cuscus janitor with a broom.

A cuscus?

It’s like a possum. They have them in Australia. He sweeps up the place and then his sister picks him up. She shares a takeaway falafel and then they drive home.

Where does he live?

Oxford. His father works in the science department. So the theater is empty now except for the ants.


Yes, they eat the popcorn. But there’s one bad ant who’s a pyromaniac.

Oh, no!

Yeah, and he burns the whole theater down. Sorry.


Did the whole ant family die?

Yeah, pretty much. They either died or got severely burned.

Leave the poor ants alone!

They should have done something about the bad ant before it was too late!

What should they have done?

Sent him on his way. Which is what the survivors did after the fire.

Where did they send him?

Catalina Island. He went on a long journey where eventually he learned to care for others.

Is that how it ends?




Thanks, Ladies

The encampments were hidden under the brown fall leaves, dug deep into the ground and fortified with stones. Back in May there were as many as forty-two people stationed on The Hill, designated as a transit point to Bruiksmark. The bears came in and wiped them all out. Even the little bears came in and bit the soldiers in their cots, while they were sleeping off a drunk. And the wild turkeys nipped and pecked and screeched, creating such chaos that the grizzly bears went unnoticed until they were close enough to lunge, leaving men bleeding out of deep gashes in their necks.

We always went up to The Hill, Petey and I, to rummage through whatever was left behind. Today Petey found an old, very useful camping stove. I found some ancient girly magazines and a metal box with some bullets.

But the bears must have smelled us because they came back. I was rooting around under an army cot when I heard Petey shouting. There was one gunshot then some branches breaking. I went out there and they tore a hole right through my jacket into my chest. I turned around, hyperventilating, blood spraying through my fingers, and I tried to pull my jacket back together. The big one took a chunk out of my back as I retreated deeper into the cave, holding one of the cots up as a shield.

There are no doctors on this mountain and no cars with any gas in them so I’m stuck behind this cot barricade for now with just a flashlight and these girls with faded airbrush tans to keep me from losing consciousness. Thanks, ladies. I know I don’t look like much right now, seeping blood as I am, but I love your smiles and when this is all over I’d love to make your acquaintance.

The Guy Next Door

Before I do anything I go to this guy and he tells me what to do. He wears a black suit and works out of the apartment next door. If I get a call about a job I just walk over there. How much should I charge? I’ll ask him.

My wife is propped up on some pillows and wants to know why I’m nervous about her going through my accounts. I take the trash down the hall to the incinerator and on the way back I stop in to get an answer from this guy.

He sits me down on a molded Eames chair and puffs away at a cigar. He paces the room as I quickly fill him in on the details. Put your hand on her arm like this and tell her, ‘I have no secrets from you.’
In a minute I’m back in there quoting word for word. And in twelve minutes my wife and I are making love.

If I’m buying a new car I go to this guy. Even for something as simple as, Do I floss my teeth? he’s got the answer. I’ve been partway through a meal, about to order seconds and I step out to get “a breath of fresh air.” He tells me, Yes, have seconds. Remember, you skipped lunch.

Many an hour I’ve spent sitting on that Eames chair, breathing the cigar fumes, and getting detailed stock advice or a list of clothing brands to wear. It actually saves me a lot of time, believe it or not.

Yesterday I was over there, clouds of smoke, sitting on the chair in his empty room as he walked circles around me. In his raspy, smoker’s voice he laid out a gameplan for the rest of the afternoon.

He has me doing weird stuff this week, I’ll admit. I make it a point of not judging his directives but to be quite honest why am I buying all these weapons? Why do I have to hide them from my wife? The good thing is that I don’t have to know why. It always works out in the end. Do you know what a shuriken is? He asked me. I didn’t. It’s a throwing star. Go to Little Tokyo and come back with twelve of these. Keep them in the brown paper bag. Tape the bag to the bottom of the shelf on the right under the sink.

Later that day I was back asking my usual questions about floss and brushing teeth. He told me to take a shower (I never take showers at night) and then dress in my winter coat.

So I’m standing outside this warehouse at midnight in my winter coat, pockets weighted down with instruments of war from feudal Japan, wondering when someone’s going to come around and tell me what to do. Because it’s getting cold out here and frankly, I’m getting a little nervous.