Wednesday, April 26, 2017
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The flogging will continue until morale improves

Archive for May, 2008

Steve Dupont

Goodbye Cruel World

May 29th, 2008
by Steve Dupont

BIRMINGHAM, AL -

And hello GRUEL WORLD!!!

That’s right, call me a sell out, but I’ve once again succumbed to the siren song of corporate monies. First it was the Jumex Corporation, along with the Obtuse Angle Corporation, and now ladies and gentlemen, I’m pleased to announce my unquestioning servitude to:

Have you tried this stuff yet? Talk about stick-to-your-ribs goodness for the whole family!

The old Old World Corn Gruel is really good, don’t get me wrong, but the new and improved Old World Corn Gruel is, well, out of this world! See, the R and D geniuses at the Old World Corn Gruel Corporation were obviously in a pickle — because how do you improve upon perfection, right — but then, after what I hear was over three months of round-the-clock tinkering, they did it!

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Kip Tobin

The Confusion of Red

May 28th, 2008
by Kip Tobin

MADRID, SPAIN

When I lived in Segovia, Spain in 1993 on a study abroad program, I saw my first bullfight.

I was 20 and full of post-teen angst and mid-college confusion, sympathetic to all underdogs in the world, including bulls.

I remember being nauseated by the spectacle: a bull charges into the ring and after 20 minutes is dragged out, punctured, bloodied and lifeless.

Fat Spanish men gnaw on wet cigars and yell vulgarities or praises, depending on the bull and bullfighter.

The bulls rarely stand a chance of surviving a bullfight.

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Greg Boose

It’s Hard to Ignore a Pile of Stupid Balls in the Neighbor’s Yard When They’re… Just… Right… There

May 22nd, 2008
by Greg Boose

CHICAGO, IL -

Having a back deck is an amazing thing.

It’s a spot to enjoy the sun, have dinner and drinks, read in your own private breeze, and if you’re up high enough, it’s a spot to spy on all your neighbors without really feeling like a spy.

To be a one-man neighborhood watch, is how I like to think of it.

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Megan Power

Sometimes You Drive Your Car Into A Building And That’s Just The Tip Of The Iceberg In Terms Of Your Problems Really

May 20th, 2008
by Megan Power

SAN ANTONIO, TX-

Last week one of my English students accidentally drove her Lexus sedan into classroom 6.

A nasty construction crunch drew a teacher’s curiosity. When he saw what had happened he shouted, “Someone drove into the building!” from across the hall, at which point everyone on our side took off running.

“Who’s going to call 911?” I asked the running people as they sped by but everyone ignored me so I nominated myself.

911 put me on hold (which should be illegal) probably for a minute but it felt like several lifespans in solitary confinement. Finally a live human came on and inquired languidly whether the call should be directed to fire, EMS or the police.

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Brad Listi

There is a God: Ron Currie, Jr. wins the Young Lions Fiction Award for His Stunning Debut Novel ‘God is Dead’

May 16th, 2008
by Brad Listi

LOS ANGELES, CA

Every year, the New York Public Library hands out its Young Lions Fiction Award, a $10,000 prize given to a writer under the age of thirty-five who has published a novel or a collection of stories of great distinction. The award was established in 2001 and is helmed by NYPL committee members Ethan Hawke, Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, Rick Moody, and Hannah McFarland. Past winners include Andrew Sean Greer, Monique Truong, Colson Whitehead, and Jonathan Safran Foer.

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Meghan Elizabeth Hunt

My Car’s Tires Are Experiencing Memory Loss on the Drive North - And I Envy Them

May 14th, 2008
by Meghan Elizabeth Hunt

COLUMBIA, MD -

The trip north from Maryland to upstate New York can take anywhere from six to nine hours…it all depends upon your final destination and how many horrible drivers you’re forced to share the road with.

I leave Columbia in the middle of a biblical flood on Friday morning, bright and early as the clock strikes 6:30, and I head north on the back way to the Adirondacks.

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Rebecca Adler

The Stuff Urban Legends Are Made Of

May 12th, 2008
by Rebecca Adler

SACRAMENTO, CA-

Awhile back my boyfriend told me a story over dinner that pretty much put me off my food. I then proceeded to tell just about everyone I know about said story and then just as quickly forgot about it. That is until it came up again tonight.

And now I just can’t resist sharing it with you good folks. (more…)


Martha Kimes

Honourarily English

May 10th, 2008
by Martha Kimes

PHOENIX, AZ -

Although a lifelong U.S. Citizen, lately I find myself contemplating adopting Jolly Old England as my home away from home. Not because I’ve ever been to England, or because I know anything about England, or because the English have a reputation for having spectacularly straight and perfect teeth.

Rather, it is because I like the way they spell.

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Dawn Corrigan

Fresh Cut Flowers Redux

May 10th, 2008
by Dawn Corrigan

GULF BREEZE, FL-

This post first appeared, in somewhat different form, in September 2006 here at TNB. I’m rerunning it for Mother’s Day this year. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! (And to all other mothers out there as well.)

My mother hates cut flowers.

Despises them, resents them, with a power I don’t understand nor know the origins of.

I on the other hand love them.

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Brad Listi

Please Warn Me in Advance if Your Warning Involves Something That I Don’t Need to be Warned About

May 9th, 2008
by Brad Listi

LOS ANGELES, CA-

I get a lot of warnings via e-mail. People are always warning me about something. Strange warnings. Domestic warnings. Crime warnings. Supernatural warnings. Warnings about microwaving plastic. Warnings about the consequences of forgetting what’s most important in life. Warnings about communicable disease. Warnings about credit card scams. I even get warnings about the Rapture from time to time.

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Megan Power

Why Cross-Media Dating Shows Aren’t Always As Imbecilic As They Initially Appear

May 7th, 2008
by Megan Power

SAN ANTONIO, TX-

What’s the most unconventional way you’ve met a romantic partner? See how this compares.

2 a.m., local public channel.

SUBTEXT - THE DATING SHOW

The hostess, a clear-skinned brunette of +/- 24, whose wardrobe is ostensibly provided by the Urban Outfitters sale rack, appears to have eschewed formal on-camera training. It may be that she was one of few adventurous souls who responded to what was undoubtedly a Craigslist ad in search of local on-air personalities for a unique new “cross-media dating show” but in any case it will turn out that neither training nor talent are integral to the show’s popularity.

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Jennifer Duffield White

Lessons in Flying, Men, and Writing, Taken From a Café in Spain and the Seat of a Bicycle

May 4th, 2008
by Jennifer Duffield White

MALLORCA, SPAIN-

A boy of eight or nine learns to dance with his kite.

He sets it down in the sand, turns, and scampers barefoot and shirtless along the two string lines, dipping low to scoop up the red handle and the blue handle.

He composes himself, steps back, hands at shoulder height, and jerks the handles down, setting flight to the orange trick kite.

Mediterranean blue backs up his Spanish skin.

I watch from a beachside café, my bike locked to a nearby post.

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Dawn Corrigan

The Mind’s Luminosity Adheres to Such Things: Timothy Bradford’s “Arboreal”

May 4th, 2008
by Dawn Corrigan

GULF BREEZE, FL-

When I was in grad school I had trouble with the reading.

I’m not a disciplined reader. I don’t want to read stuff I find boring. And there was a lot of boring stuff to read in grad school.

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Kip Tobin

Without Tits There Is No Paradise

May 2nd, 2008
by Kip Tobin

MADRID, SPAIN

A few weeks ago weeks I was walking down Gran Vía and stumbled across a pre-screening for the final episode of the third season of a Spanish series (inspired by an original Columbian one). (more…)