Tag Archives: fiction

When Idioms Collide You Roll with the Cookie Crumbs

These tasted about as good as they looked, which wasn’t great.

Let me ask you this, if the cookie crumbled in a certain way and I end up having to roll with the punches, could I also roll in the cookie crumbs? Could I perhaps eat some of the larger cookie crumbles providing they didn’t fall on the ground anywhere gross, like in the kitchen sink? What kind of cookie is it, because I was really craving a white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookie earlier and that’d be perfect. Oh it’s just a sugar cookie. I guess that’s okay. So I’ll roll here then? Okay cool, see you later. Sorry the cookie crumbled like this.


And if I, by accident, killed two birds with one stone, could I then stitch them up in order to save nine others? I am aware that stitching them up won’t do anything at all, that they’re completely dead because I knocked them out of the sky with a big ‘ol rock, and that they died of massive internal and external injuries, but I thought maybe if I just kind of did the stitch-up thing then I could help out some other critters.  I don’t even know how I hit them—it was really weird. I think that was the literally the first time I’d ever hit anything I aimed at. I only did it in the first place because I was really confident I wouldn’t actually get them.

When they both ended up dying I felt so awful. I had a moment of crisis, like what am I, some kind of tweetie murderer? Is my life so pathetic that I’ve got to take out my angst on a couple of dumb creatures gifted with the beauty of flight? But then I thought maybe there’s a loophole—wait so what did you say, can I stitch them up in order to save nine other bird lives? How were these other birds going to die anyways? Could I save any other kind of animal if I stitch these up? What about cats? I really like cats—no go? Wait, you’re saying that stitching the birds up won’t do anything at all? Not even save the other birds? Well that’s a bummer…

I have one more question–you probably know where I’m going with this, but my dad just got me this pony. Oh you have to go….well will you be here tomorrow?

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We’re Modern Now. We Don’t Have to Sweat.

It’s functional. Don’t worry about it.

Saturday afternoon, 1:30 pm. College graduate exits bedroom and runs into father, also a college graduate, for first time of the day. Pleasantries are exchanged. Father, pleased to see the college graduate, lists the yard work he has done that day. He has trimmed the hedges, cleaned out the pool, fixed something, moved something else, and used a loud machine for about two hours. He didn’t mention the last one, but the college graduate knows because she was sitting inside and had to listen to the racket for about two hours.

He’s tired and asks the college graduate if she was planning on making lunch for everyone, a laughable prospect. She chuckles and thinks of this question later when she sees the family has cracked wheat in the pantry. Why didn’t he just make this? She wonders.

In the meantime, college graduate has also been busy. She applied for 3.5 jobs and wrote 2.5 blog posts and made herself an English muffin with peanut butter and jelly on it for lunch. Her mind is tired but she’s hasn’t left the house, hasn’t made any money, and is wearing an old pair of sweatpants and a shirt from two days ago.

She was reflecting on her outfit earlier that day and how she felt surprisingly accomplished despite the fact sweatpants are viewed as the garb of the defeated. At least, she had accomplished until she met father, who had exited the house, made money by virtue of the fact he is a salaried employee of a real company, and burned over 20x as many calories as the college graduate.

She wonders how to explain to father that despite the sweatpants and the fact she was emerging from the bedroom, she had also done work that day, work that was laying the ground for her future and paving the way for his entry into a comfortable nursing home. In the digital age, she thought, we don’t have to sweat while we work. We don’t have to do anything besides stare at a computer screen and think really hard and sometimes type/write stuff down. This is the technological era. We don’t need to go outside anymore.

But instead of saying any of this, she lets the conversation fall into silence and quickly hides the tab with the YouTube music video of “Call Me, Maybe,” the music video that the college graduate had danced to only seconds earlier, maybe, when trying to recall some moves from her hip-hop class last spring.

Maybe father will read blog post later on and want to dance to the music video as well, she thinks, and then we will both burn calories.

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Country Girl Refuses to Board the Dreams-Come-True-Express

All trains are a scam. Remember that, America.

Sometimes I go driving at night, after everyone’s gone to bed and it’s just me and the car and the road and the wind running next to me and in the trees. I stop at intersections and sit there with the windows open like I’m in on a big secret. People shouldn’t be out this late, especially in my home town, but here I am. It’s 3 am and I’ve been stopped at this intersection for a full minute and no one will ever know about it. It’s lame but there’s not a lot here to keep me occupied.

Last night I was at Brury and Durstwood. I stopped the car, turned the engine off, and got out, just to look at the stars a little farther away from the “city” lights. The cicadas were doing their thing in those new summer leaves and in the distance I saw the glow of Oklahoma City. It was a small glow with an inferiority complex, but a glow nonetheless.

I heard the faraway sound of a train rumbling through, carrying its chicken breasts and belt buckles or whatever trains carry nowadays. I thought about a time in middle school when I couldn’t sleep and almost started crying because a train was making a racket  and then a police siren went wee-ooo-wee-ooo and it seemed the night would never end. And then I thought about another time a few weeks ago when I almost screamed because I kept bumping into things in my room.

To my left, the sound of the train got louder. I looked around and saw one headlight, a giant shining eye coming straight for me. Guz-WHAT, I shouted and jumped back.

As I considered what it would feel like to be reborn in the shape of a gooey pancake, the train began slowing down and then came to a complete stop.  The conductor poked her head out of the cabin and yelled, to my immense confusion, “All-aboard!”

Was I actually supposed to get on this train headed to God-knows-where?

What about my car?

What about the kid I was supposed to babysit tomorrow? How would he get to Wal-Mart without me?

I asked the conductor what the h kind of a shindig this was and she said this was the Dreams-Come-True-Express and that the destination was up to me.

And I thought that was really disgusting. How dare these circus people, probably from California, come here and try to scam us poor country folks. How much did a ticket for this thing cost? Twenty, thirty dollars? As if I had that kind of money to go hang around in some feel goodery* and listen to someone tell me to dance like my dreams were chocolate hugs.

So I told her to just get on out of there. “Go on, git!” I told her and the train started chugga chugga-ing and soon I was left with just my thoughts and the insects and their thoughts.

As the train made its way towards the city lights and other dumb schmucks that would probably take this deal, I wondered what it would be like to breathe underwater. I would probably never know.

*credit to Arrested Development, one of the best television shows America has ever seen.

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The Secret World of the Early Bird (With a Twist)

Glasses: Coming Soon!

As an greasy adolescent, I loved pop tarts and staying up late, savoring the hours between the famfam’s bedtime and first period, a time in which the house became my own and I could watch Conan O’Brien and throw things at the dog when she snored too loudly. Because of my bizarre sleep schedule, I was always exhausted yet I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I felt like there was something special and mysterious about the nighttime and it evaporated when the sun came up.

I continued in my nighttime ways in college for about two years but then, somewhere around my junior year, things began changing. I lost my night owl hoot and my predatory ability to spot small rodents hiding under ferns, exchanging them for a bright chirp and a pair of metaphorical study glasses, which is the standard uniform of early birds.

I actually began to enjoy the mornings and….

“Excuse me?”

….I would make myself breakfast, which was usually yoghurt and granola. I especially liked a local brand…

“Um….excuse me, Emily?”

…that was called Harvest Gold or something like that. I think it cost 3.99 a box but sometimes it was on sale for forty cents less and on those days I bought two of them…


“What? Yes? Can I help you? Actually, could you wait a second, I’m trying to write a blog post.”

“Yeah, I can see that. I just wanted to let you know that it’s a little boring. Like, so far all you’ve said is that you used to be a night owl but then you turned into an early bird. Big whoop. I used to wipe my butt with Charmin’ toilet paper but then I moved out of my parents’ house and had to buy generic. Is that interesting? No. That’s why I don’t blog about it. And when I stopped you, you were just going on and on about what kind of granola you used to get in college. I mean, really? Do you tell everyone about your breakfast fixations with such detail, or just the people want to torture?”

“…..well eventually I was going to get to a funny part about all of the other things that early birds get in addition to the worm. I was going to say that all of us high-five Obama and get morning massages and free lattes—isn’t that kind of creative? I mean, just picture a bunch of reading-glasses-wearing early birds high fiving Obama.”

“I’m not even going to comment on the syntax of the last sentence. And no, that’s not that funny. Besides, there’s no way those meager hahas outweigh the pain I had to endure when you were telling the whole world about your favorite collegiate granola. And do I even need to mention the fact that the concept of this entire blog post is quite similar to the post you did last week on how your blog became self-aware?”

“That’s true, but there are some pretty significant differences. For example, you’re clearly my better self and not the self-aware version of my blog.”

“And as your better self, it’s my job to tell you when you’re just doing your best, which is not nearly good enough. You’re welcome. Anyways, I’ve got to go. I’ve already worked out today but I’m just about to go run and buy some local produce to make a delicious, healthy meal for myself. I need to be in top shape for my job as a high flying writer thing.”

“Yeah, I get it.”

“No, you don’t. But that’s okay. Maybe one day you will. Good luck with the post—here’s a tip: make it interesting and funny.”

“Gee, thanks.”

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How Many Capri Suns Does it Take for the Pain to Go Away?

100% Fruit Juice and 100% blindness cure

Sometimes there’s only one way to soothe the ache that comes from living on this crazy ball of dirt. When the pressures of life worm their way into my brain and my mouth gets dry from the non-stop screaming, I shut myself in the coat closet with the lights off and suck back those sweet sweet Capri Suns like there’s no tomorrow and the night is truly endless and all-encompassing.

I drain pouch after pouch of sugar juice until my stomach swells and the pain dulls behind the sinking realization I’m going to have to buy more, slinking in front of the eyes of suspicious Wal-Mart employees who know I’m back at 3 am again to buy another 24 pack of Capri Sun.

Scientists say that Capri Sun is the healthy way to self medicate and recommend that everyone drinks at least one a day in order to keep down hair follicle aggrandizement. But I don’t care about the health benefits. I drink C-S because I know no other way to cope.

The amount of Capri Sun I need to consume in order to feel like my life has some kind of worth to it differs from time to time. Based on my years of experience, here’s a rough guide to how many pouches go with various kinds of emotional, physical, spiritual, or financial trauma.

No more poptarts left: 4 Capri Suns (preferably tropically flavored)

Stressful paradigm shift: 22

Un-stressful paradigm shift: 8 (it’s still a big change)

Personal breakup: 30+ (embrace the hopelessness)

Hole in the crotch of one of your favorite pairs of pants: 2

Celebrity divorce:0-18

Too many voices in your head: 3

Silverware crises of various kinds (attacks, thefts, displacements):8-12

Your best friend turns out to be a potholder:27

You can’t sleep because your dream self keeps on trying to kill the president and you have a habit of sleep walking: 50+ (make a game out of it so you don’t fall asleep)

Poorly executed exorcism: 14

Broken arm: 5-7, or however many you can get before your family makes you go to the hospital

Sister ate your peanut butter: infinity. No amount of Capri sun can soothe this pain.

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