Eeeee–No E!: Typical Man

As I jog past Bob and Alyssa McGavin’s McMansion that morning as usual, a shot rings out.  I stop.  Another shot rings out.  I turn around just as Bob strolls out in his usual gray suit, carrying a giant, nasty-looking pistol.

“Good morning,” I say.

“Good morning.” Bob says almost casually.  No blood’s on him.

“You okay?”

“Yup.”

“How’s Alyssa?”

“Good.”

“That’s good.”  Far off, a robin sings.  “Anyway, I gotta go.”

“Am I a good man?” Bob asks, sounding almost curious.

I try not to look at his pistol.

“Uh-huh,” I say, trying to sound kind.

“No fooling?”

“No fooling, Bob.”

Far off, a cop car wails.  Another cop car joins in.

“You look hot in that sports bra,” Bob says, smiling.

Typical man, I think with disgust.

The two cop cars pull up.

“Uh, I’m sorry for saying that.  About your looks,” Bob says.

 

Copyright © 2018 by David V. Matthews

January 18, 2018

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His-and-Hers Hybrids

The sleet pounding down onto her that frigid January night as she walked past the Bed Bath & Beyond in her gentrifying urban neighborhood, Megan yet again desperately wished she had accepted that financial analysis executive job offer at PKM Investment (she never did find out what those letters meant) four years ago instead of (seemingly on a whim) attending motherlovin’ (more like motherfuckin’) Columbia University to pursue that full-time master’s degree in English literature, a subject she had always loved but apparently not enough to prevent her from dropping out midway through her first semester due to excessive consumption of whatever imported upper-end wines she could afford, always a bottle at a time, as if some of Western culture’s greatest authors, especially the female ones, could have prevented her from turning into a slurring, stumbling, vomiting, pants-wetting alcoholic (though of course, even when pissing herself, she never failed to do so in the most stylish of imported designer retro-Thirties and Forties women’s pants, her lifelong sartorial aspirations only an infinitesimally close second to her “need for lubrication,” as she used to put it during the early, jovial stages of what she now calls her “sorry-ass boozing”).  She would have still turned into an alcoholic at that job, but at least the company would have paid for her twelve-step program, permitting her to retain enough money to give generously to every homeless person she encountered, and she encountered them more and more frequently as the hipoisie—including her nauseating cousins, the white ones, the heterosexual married couple who drove his-and-hers hybrids and mocked her father’s Ecuadoran accent right in front of his face in a ha-ha-just-kidding kind of way—have moved in and driven up rents, not that she had ever given anything to any panhandler sleeping on the street, the panhandlers representing a “There but for the grace of God” situation, referring to a deity she wished she could avidly believe in due to what she considered “the resulting spiritual narcosis, cheaper than weed or alcohol,” a narcosis her nauseating cousins had displayed but not at that Christmas dinner at his house two years ago, when the male cousin had told her father “Yo, Derian, pass the gravy, or I’ll report you to ICE, ha ha, I have ’em on speed-dial, ha ha ha,” the only moment in her life she had ever regretted not resorting to violence, and she would have inflicted very impressive violence upon her motherfuckin’ cousin, too, considering she had already drunk half a bottle of wine before arriving at the house.  Preloading, she called her practice of drinking before leaving for any occasion, a party or a staff meeting or that particularly important graduate seminar she otherwise hadn’t prepared for two weeks before her self-removal from Columbia, a seminar during which she had spent ten minutes vociferously arguing for the literary (“Nobel-level,” as she had put it) superiority of someone she had never read, bestselling author Danielle Steel, mainly because Steel’s “utter schlock” about “vacuous heroines” who find “riches and dick” in the “most idiotic and clichéd way possible” perfectly epitomized the “stunted dreams of the typical, all-American, non-Columbia-attending reader” who “cleans the toilets” at that university, and “everyone with a few unshrivelled brain cells” knows that the “university elite” had to “worship the shit the lower classes loved” in order for the elite to demonstrate “true Americanism” and “thus” grow more popular and “thusly” provide competition for “the GOP-holes” infesting “this fine nation,” Megan slurring quite a bit by this part and also worrying for a few milliseconds that she shouldn’t have used the word “dick” in such a sophisticated milieu as related to what mainstream literary heroines really wanted, considering this particular seminar (especially its most erudite member, that freckled, bespectacled guy she had drunkenly fucked while watching Downton Fuckin’ Abbey at his apartment) disparaged heteronormativity.

Copyright © 2018 by David V. Matthews

January 13-14. 2018

(revised January 19, 2018)

Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #29: Historical Knowledge

My old man, an inveterate poker player, used to say “If you find yourself in a losing streak, you’ll make things worse by trying to end it.  Just ride it out.”  I’ve ridden my losing streak for the past nine years, after my wife left me and filed for divorce.  She took me for everything, and she badmouthed me to every other woman in the world, it seems.  I’m broke and lonely, but on the bright side, I’ve gotten into World War Two documentaries—nothing too depressing, just battles and patriotism.  Historical knowledge can substitute for carnal knowledge, I guess.

Copyright © 2018 by David V. Matthews

 

Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #28: Two Dumb Caps

I dated Shayne Lester for about three weeks recently.  I’d met him at the radical zine fair at the airport Marriott.  His political fervor appealed to me.  However, he may have too much of it; one day as we walked downtown, he got into a screaming argument about fascism with some guy, because the guy wore a SPAY & NEUTER ANTIFA cap.  The argument lasted forever and embarrassed the shit out of me.  I broke up with Shayne immediately afterwards.  You don’t make converts by screaming at them.  Or by wearing a dumb cap yourself—TUCK FRUMP, in his case.

Copyright © 2017 by David V. Matthews

Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #27: Like a Sap

I used to read this columnist named Shayne Lester on the left-wing websites.  He definitely didn’t support nonviolent protest, instead arguing that we needed to riot against our right-wing oppressors; only by throwing rocks at cops, destroying property, etc., would we make the oppressors fear us and thus give us what we want.  He seemed like an agent provocateur, at least in his own mind, but he still amused me with his geeky revolution fantasies.  Sometime during Trump’s first year, however, I quit reading anything political, including Lester’s columns; even ironically following politics meant I still cared, like a sap.

Copyright © 2017 by David V. Matthews

Art by Banksy

The Ruby Yacht of Omar Khayyam

I would occasionally watch Rocky and Bullwinkle reruns as child, though their cleverness (as compared to the Hanna-Barbera crap I mostly liked) intimidated me a little.  However, not long after I turned nine, I caught the R&B story arc in which everyone pursued the ruby yacht of Omar Khayyam: a little boat (more like a sailboat, as well as I can remember—I saw these episodes only once, over four decades ago) covered with rubies.  I wouldn’t understand the “ruby yacht” pun until college; in the meantime, the story’s intricacies and momentum thrilled me immensely, made me feel mature for enjoying it, and—of course—distracted me from stressing out over the nonstop verbal and physical abuse I received at school from students and teachers, though TV in general (not just one show) probably helped.  Without TV’s companionship, I might have turned into a druggie, like my sister, who endured much worse abuse (including the sexual kind).  Unfortunately, as a self-proclaimed nonconformist, she eschewed what she called “the idiot box.”  Conformity has its advantages sometimes.

Copyright © 2017 by David V. Matthews

Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #26: The Death of Pepe

Denton: “You heard that Pepe the Frog died?”

Jeff: “No, heh heh.”

“I’m serious.  The cartoonist who created him was upset that the alt-right had adopted him, Pepe, as a mascot.  So that snowflake drew a comic of Pepe’s funeral.  Pepe was in a casket and everything.”

“Really?  Well, good riddance.  Do we really need a Hispanic representing us?”

“Now, Jeff—Pepe did fool the libtards.  Made ’em underestimate us.  Made ’em think we were P.C.”

“I guess.  You know what Pepe died of?”

“No.”

“Maybe the Jews killed him, heh heh.”

“Yeah, heh heh.”

What an idiot, thought Denton.

Copyright © 2017 by David V. Matthews