Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #57: Swampland in Florida

Hector: “Jim and Darrell got married last night.”

Zane: “They did?”

“Yep.  Just read about it on Jim’s Twitter page.”

“Did he say why they got married?”

“Yeah.  ‘Might as well.’  His exact words.”

“Makes sense.”

“They got married in Vegas.  By an Elvis impersonator, in a white jumpsuit and everything.”

“Was he fat?”

“More like slightly chunky, based on the photos.”

“Maybe he skipped breakfast that day.”  Pause.  “Does Terrence know?  About the wedding?”

“I hope so.”  High, whiny voice: “Awww, now they’ll never reach their heterosexual potential!”

Similar voice: “But I can still sell them swampland in Florida!”

 

Copyright © 2019 by David V. Matthews

May 14, 2019

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It Nearly Killed Him!

Three boys sit together during lunch, in the cafetorium (combination cafeteria and auditorium) at Center Township Elementary School, Monaca, PA, Wednesday, October 28, 1975:

Douglas: “Here’s a good joke.  So this kid named Johnny goes home and says, he says, uh, ‘Mom!  Mom!  I was walking past the Giant Eagle, just minding my own business,’ he says, ‘just minding my business, when I saw this kid get hit by a car, on the butt!’  Ha ha.  And the kid’s mom, uh, Johnny’s mom?  Yeah, Johnny’s mom says, she says ‘No, Johnny—rectum.’  And Johnny, ha ha. Johnny says ‘Rectum?  It nearly killed him!’  Ha ha ha!”

No one else laughs.

Tommy: “Man, you suck at tellin’ jokes!”

Douglas: “I thought I did a good job.”

Tommy: “Then you’re a fag.  Who cares about all that Giant Eagle stuff?  Get to the point: ‘Mom!  I saw a kid get hit by a car, on the butt!’  No, say ‘ass’ instead—that’s funnier.”

Douglas: “My mom won’t let me swear.”

Tommy: “Then you’ll never be funny.”

Ricky: “Doug-ass.”

Douglas: “Shut up, fatso.”

Ricky: “Say ‘ass,’ Doug-ass.”

Douglas: “Shut up.”

Tommy: “Say ‘ass,’ or you’re a fag and you can’t sit here no more.”

Douglas says nothing.

Tommy: “Say it.  Say ‘ass.’ ”

Ricky: “Say it, fag.”

Tommy: “His mommy won’t let him.”

Ricky: “She’s a fag.”

Douglas, very loudly: “Ass!  Ass!  Ass!  Ass!”  Background conversation stops.  “ASS ASS ASS ASS ASS SHIT!”

Applause and cheers from the other students, including Tommy.  A teacher, Mr. Mullen, walks toward the table.

Mr. Mullen, to the cafetorium: “All right, everyone, knock it off.”  To Douglas: “Could you come with me, young man?”

Douglas, trying not to look frightened: “No!  You’re a FAG!”

Mr. Mullen grabs Douglas by the arm.

Douglas, as the teacher drags him away: “SHIT!  SHIT SHIT SHIT!”

The other students watch them leave the cafetorium.

Tommy: “What a loser.”

Ricky: “Yeah.  He coulda said ‘balls,’ too.”

Copyright © 2019 by David V. Matthews

Harvey Wallbanger (Part One)

Hallowe’en Spooktacular Party, at Gary and Elaine Dow’s house in Center Township, PA, Friday, October 31, 1975:

Costumed invitees cram the living room.  A mixtape (to use an anachronistic word) plays on the stereo’s cassette deck; the exceedingly mellow song “Those Summer Nights” by San Jose’s biggest musical artist, Benjamin Plum, nears its chorus as Donna—wearing a headband, peasant blouse, fringed leather vest, bell-bottom jeans, and sandals—spots an uncostumed guy exiting from the kitchen.  Glass in hand, she barges toward him, threading past a princess and a cowboy and a blowdried Dracula, electric guitar creeping along, Plum asserting in a reedy voice that “Those summer nights that brought us passion / Will never, ever go out of fashion.”

“Chuck Roland?” she asks.

“The one and only,” Chuck replies, holding a drink himself.

“I’m Donna Henningsen.  Milo’s mother?”

“Oh.  Right.”

“Tell your son to quit beating him up.”

“Tell your son to quit grabbing my son’s ass.”

“You believe that story?”

“Hey, your son is half Greek, so—”

She tosses the contents of her glass at Chuck, punctuated by the background tune’s somnolent saxophone-and-piano bridge.

“Now look what you made me do—waste a perfectly good whiskey,” she says reprovingly.

“You know,” he says, wiping off his face with his sleeve, “you’re lucky you have a great pair of tits.”

“Thanks.  I’ll tell your wife you said that.  Where is she?”

“At home.  She didn’t feel good.  You ever try a Harvey Wallbanger?”

“A what?”

“A Harvey Wallbanger?  Orange juice, vodka, and some Eyetalian liqueur called Gallyanno?”

“No.”

“You should.  I’m having one now.”  Chuck holds up his glass.

“Hooray.  The next time your brat attacks my son, I’m calling the police.”

“Yeah, yeah.”  Plum’s song fades out.  “So I can make you one here, if you want.  A Harvey Wallbanger.”

“Fuck off.”  Another lifeless, piano-heavy track, one Donna’s never heard before, commences.

“Aw, you hurt my feelings.”  He walks away a bit jauntily.

Copyright © 2019 by David V. Matthews

Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #54: Organic Hummus Sandwich

Slumping deep into the least dilapidated chair in the teachers’ lounge during her lunch break that rainy afternoon in late October 1975, having consumed little of the organic hummus sandwich she had packed, Miss Wyant, the subaltern substitute, worried (after futilely attempting to make the Declaration of Independence’s history relevant to three consecutive classes of bored, ahistorical students) that Center Elementary School would opt not to retain her services once the academic year concluded a month before America’s two-hundredth birthday, July 4, 1976, thus providing her with yet another excuse to loathe herself in an atmosphere of rampant celebratory patriotism.

Copyright © 2019 by David V. Matthews

My Tits ARE Calm!

I now present a new feature: comments I’ve posted upon websites.  (The dates refer to my contributions, not necessarily to the sites themselves.)

The Comics Journal, May 25, 2012:

No one–not Clowes, not the book’s editors, not any reviewers–has mentioned the World War Two-era racial content in these strips.  [More]

Uncensored John Simon, November 27, 2017:

Simon could have written the above passage more clearly. I doubt he thinks–well, I hope he doesn’t think–that some Jews, ROMA, or homosexuals deserved to die during the Holocaust.  [More]

Me Write Blog Good, March 19, 2019:

You do know she’s an eight-year-old girl, right?  [More, more, more]

Threesome

I love my brother, but he can be a real dumbass sometimes.  Like, one day, this girl I know named Livvy was walking home from school, when she saw my brother and his friend Ryan.  Those last two call themselves the Dudes, after that movie about the hippie who bowls?  Anyways, my brother told her, he said “Hey, little lady!  Wanna join us for a threesome?”  Oh, she’s twelve, and the Dudes are eighteen.  So Livvy, she went home and Googled “threesome” and freaked out, then told her parents everything, and her parents, they freaked out and then called the cops.  So the Dudes, they had a little talk with the cops, separately.  Ryan said all that threesome shit was my brother’s idea, while my brother said it was all Ryan’s.  But they both said they were just joking around, that they didn’t go for young girls.  So as it turned out, neither of them got arrested or nothing, maybe ’cause they’re white and Livvy’s black, which sucks—not her race, my boyfriend’s black by the way, but the whole thing sucks ’cause the Dudes, like, didn’t go to jail and get beaten or waterboarded or whatever happens to pedophiles behind bars, even fake pedophiles.  Maybe a little of that rough treatment would have worked wonders.  I really don’t care about Ryan, but my brother, he needs some of the dumbass-ness knocked out of him if he doesn’t wanna end up with life without parole for being a dick.  My family, like, values its reputation.

Copyright © 2019 by David V. Matthews