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Tickling your fancy since July 2006

Archive for September, 2006

Meghan Elizabeth Hunt

I’m Not a Touchy-Feely Kind of Person - B.F. Skinner Would be Proud

September 28th, 2006
by Meghan Elizabeth Hunt


People have a really bad habit of thinking I care.

Now, this should not be construed as me hating the world because, really, that’s only part of the problem.

The apathy at work here is far greater than mere hatred.


R Kent

R Kent’s French Language Lessons I: The Difference Between the French and English Languages Can Best Be Summed Up By a Short Comparison of Dictionaries, Followed By an Important Discourse on Gelatin and Its Byproducts

September 27th, 2006
by R Kent


In America, we take our language for granted.

If forced at gunpoint to describe our feelings about English, we might use the following words and phrases:




Open to new words like google, supersize and manga, just added this year to Webster’s dictionary.

We’re certainly happy it’s so popular outside the borders.

That way we don’t have to bother learning other languages.

But I’ve never heard any American – or Englishman, Australian or Canadian, for that matter – say they were proud of the English language.

We just go with the flow, and the easy and frequent development of our language reflects that.

Such is not the case, however, in a place like France.

They speak French here. (more…)

Megan Power

This Stranger’s Death Certificate Reminds Me of Brass Plates, German Monkeys and Hot Basketball Players

September 27th, 2006
by Megan Power


Today I had the lovely task of translating a death certificate.

From Spanish to English.

Our institute gets all manner of language-related requests.


Jennifer Duffield White

Vermont Girl Hiding in the Adirondacks Finds Sexy Thanks To A Poet From Trinidad

September 27th, 2006
by Jennifer Duffield White


“It’s good to walk out of a prison and have a beautiful woman there to greet you.

This statement is accompanied by a grin and a wink of a raised eyebrow.



“You know, they all dream about it,” I reply.



This is night No. 3 of entertaining slam poet, Roger Bonair-Agard.


Entertaining might be the wrong word.


Reno J. Romero

Drunk Weddings and Sick Brothers and the Overwhelming Stench of P. Diddy

September 26th, 2006
by Reno J. Romero


My sister was getting married.


This was going to be her second marriage.


Rebecca Adler

Giving Away the Unnecessary Items Found While Moving is a Way to Alleviate Commitment-Phobia, at Least Temporarily

September 26th, 2006
by Rebecca Adler



Children have no inhibitions.

They are filled with wonder.

They have their whole lives ahead of them.

Anything is possible.


Rich Ferguson

If I Were a Bond Girl Life Would Be Easier…All The Problems With The Middle East, White House Incompetence, Mass Genocide, and Racism Wouldn’t Worry Me as Much…Well, Maybe They Would…But At Least They Wouldn’t Be As Worrisome If I Were a Bond Girl

September 25th, 2006
by Rich Ferguson



If I were a Bond Girl
I’d be Thunderball beautiful
Have a body like a smart bomb
Be Jill St. John, Britt Eckland and Barbara Bach
All rolled into one


Jen Burke

Filthadelphia, or How I Found the Love of My Life in the Dumpster

September 25th, 2006
by Jen Burke


This is a love story. It involves a poignant moment of collecting urine.

Maybe it should involve velvety rose petals and a suburban porch.

It doesn’t.

It starts here, where my love first bit my fingers and left bits of rotting food on my hands:

I’ve peered at overflowing dumps with wistful eyes ever since.

That’s how I met him, the reigning love of my life who died on May 21, 2005.

In 1995, I was walking to work when a friend said, “Want a cute dog? He’s a really cute dog. I know you’ve been looking for a pet.”

She took me by the hand into the nearby set of dumpsters, where trash overflowed onto the ground, sidewalk, and street.

Among those decaying, forgotten things, I spotted a bright, intense face.


Susan Henderson

On the Dangers of Pretending You’re Deaf at the Grocery Store and How to Sign “Sorry”

September 24th, 2006
by Susan Henderson


Here’s a typical situation I get myself into.

I’m going to the grocery store and there’s this guy by the bottle recycling area sitting in a wheelchair and calling, “Hey miss. Miss?! Hey!

I don’t have a lot of time for beggars, so I hurry toward the entrance.

But he keeps at it, and is loud about it, “Oh, hey! Hey, I’m calling you! Can you hear me?”

Now shoppers standing near the front door begin to stare at me as if I am the rude one here.

This is when I get my bright idea


Fun with Vomit Inducing Puns, or; Deconstructing Teen Fashion in the Halls of High School

September 24th, 2006
by Smibst


You know what really pisses me off?

Stores that have puns for names.

Dog grooming joints are notorious for this. Drive past any stretch of suburban blandscape and you’re bombarded by sickeningly sweet monikers like:


Rich Ferguson

Headbanging at Home on a Friday Night, or How I’m Trying to Make Peace With That One Particular DVD Movie Trailer Ad That Drives Me Up The Wall…

September 20th, 2006
by Rich Ferguson



Picture the scene

I’m at home with my girlfriend
It’s a Friday night
I’ve worked a long week


Kaytie M. Lee

I Support Your Decision to Dance Semi-Naked in Your Window as an Expression of Your Curious Jubilation but Hey, Once You’re in the Window You’re Fair Game for the Urban Archeologist’s Camera

September 20th, 2006
by Kaytie M. Lee

I live in downtown San Diego, a block north of the Gaslamp Quarter known for its faux gaslamps that were once real gaslamps back when half the storefronts were brothels and the other half were speakeasies.

Now these storefronts are trendy shops, trendy bars and trendy danceclubs where the over 21/under 25 crowd make fools of themselves whilst preening for hookups.


Zoe Brock


September 20th, 2006
by Zoe Brock



It’s a curious thing.

I don’t mean to sound macabre but I’m feeling a bit philosophical and whimsical.

If it’s possible to feel whimsical about things of such a heavy nature.

I’ve had a fair bit of death in my life, and as time passes I’m able to look back on some of it and even giggle.

Of course, most of the time there isn’t very much that’s funny about death at all. Unless you’re reading the Darwin Awards.

Most of the time death is a vicious, sad, horrible and frighteningly inevitable part of life. which means, that on the odd occasion when something is funny about death, I have to seize it and run like a cheetah for all I’m worth.

Laughing in the face of fear is often the only weapon we have to combat it.

Sometimes I wonder if I have a sensitivity chip missing, or if I’m trying to protect myself with humor.

And I think, no, perhaps I’m just a little more twisted than even I give myself credit for.

And I think it’s genetic.



Lenore Zion

I Am Happy To Permit The Use Of My Blood As Ink, So Long As The Secretary Dipping Her Fountain Pen Into My Sweet Life Juice Belongs To A Doctor Who Recognizes The Difference Between Puppy Teeth And Puppy Tails

September 19th, 2006
by Lenore Zion


For a healthy girl, I am at the doctor’s office more often than anybody else I know.

There is virtually nothing wrong with me, other than my bad personality.

But that’s not why I’m at the doctor’s office.


Jen Burke

The Blackout, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Embarrassment

September 19th, 2006
by Jen Burke


The first time you sleep with someone, some childhood skeleton will awaken and creak.

Maybe it will only be in your head.

Maybe it will happen out loud, and you’ll squirm in the moment, truly naked or almost revealed.

I’m scared of the dark. There. I’ve said it.

I will never forget my first night with my ex.

He usually smelled like grass, rain, and cars.

I know that because I live on and through smells.

I remember them like skin.

He leaned over my side of the bed to turn off the light. I shrieked.

“WHAT are you doing?”

“I wanna sleep now.” He cowered.


Kip Tobin

The Summer of Displacement, Duckweed/Watermeal, God/Harley Overload and My Long-gone Childhood and the Futility in Trying to Recall It

September 18th, 2006
by Kip Tobin


After three hellish summers in Madrid, I decided to do something different.

I went back home.

Home is Phillipsburg; Ohio, a suburb of a suburb of Dayton, which is famous for the birthplace of aviation (the Wright brothers grew up here), the Dayton Peace Accords (Serb-Croat conflict) and Guided by Voices.

Other than that, the place is basically the post-industrial plains. (more…)

Maureen Quinlan Jouhet

I Was Laid Off, So I Packed Up My Peanut Butter and Headed Out

September 18th, 2006
by Maureen Quinlan Jouhet


This week marks one year since Fred moved in with me in Chicago.

And less than a year since his first visit where we met each other, nervously, at the airport.

After that trip we spent another two weeks together in France and went off to Budapest with a friend we decided to move to the next level and try out our relationship for real. (more…)

Rebecca Adler

I’ll Be the First to Admit that I Have No Idea Where We’re Going, But You Should Turn When I Say to Make a Left at the Lime-Colored House

September 17th, 2006
by Rebecca Adler


I’m directionally challenged.

I have no internal compass.

Whenever I should be turning left, I’m turning right.

I offer some examples as proof (as if you need proof).

Example One: I worked in the same mall for nearly three years, yet every time I left the store I could never figure out which direction I needed to go to get to the food court. (more…)

Elizabeth Saas

Shopping For People Sounded Funny, But In Reality, It Presented a Variety of Ethical Issues….Plus, I Really Hate Shopping

September 15th, 2006
by Elizabeth Saas


This is my metaphor for the literary submission process:


Whether I send something out via e-mail or real mail, I might as well be stuffing it into a bottle and casting it out into the sea.


Rich Ferguson

In Bed and Awake at Night With the CIA Mind Control, Time Travel, Laika the Dog, Martin Luther King Jr., Buster Keaton and Amelia Earhart Blues

September 15th, 2006
by Rich Ferguson



At a recent party
I met this guy who told me how he was involved in some serious
CIA mind control exercises
That had taught him how to go to the same places you go to
When you’re in deep meditation