The Old Neighborhood

Back in Ohio, we had a back yard with a hawthorn tree, a vegetable garden, and a storm drain.
Beyond that, there was an apple orchard.
We’d go out there and run around with the dog, catch fireflies, and play pickup volleyball and soccer games with the neighborhood kids.
It’s been almost thirty years since I was last there.
I looked up the location in Google Maps.
The orchard is gone. It’s now a pocket neighborhood filled with houses.
No more volleyball.
No more soccer.
No more fireflies.
Not that I give a shit. I don’t live there anymore, right?

The First Cut

Cat Stevens sang that the first cut is the deepest.
But my cousin proved otherwise.
Last Thursday, he went on a rampage in the Piggly Wiggly, stabbing and slashing 15 shoppers with a hunting knife.
A soccer mom with a concealed carry brought him down with three shots.
You probably saw it on the news or read it in the paper. Or however you get your news these days.
Oddly enough, a Muzak version of that Cat Stevens song was playing while he was cutting people up with his knife.
Coincidence? I’m not so sure.
I shop at Kroger, myself.


Bob and Cindy refused to have their son vaccinated.
“Those things cause autism,” they said on Facebook.
They lost a lot of friends that way.
The kid sat on the floor, rocking bath and forth, and he screamed every time someone tried to touch him.
“Your child has autism,” said the developmental psychologist. “Might as well get him vaccinated for the special education program.”
Bob and Cindy still refused, and mumps raged through the class of retards.
The other parents lynched Bob and Cindy.
And their kid.
What was his name?
It might as well have been “Patient Zero.”

Shark Whisperer

As crazy as it sounds, there are more kinds of whisperers than just horse whisperers.
There’s dog whisperers, cat whisperers, and even shark whisperers.
Yes, shark whisperers.
I heard about one the other day. He went out on a boat with some guys. They threw him in the water to whisper to some sharks.
Now that I think of it, the guys were with the mob. And they dragged that guy on to the boat. Oh, and he had a gambling debt.
Yeah, he was a shark whisperer. And you better believe it, if you know what’s good for you.

Electric Sheep

Androids do not dream of electric sheep.
Electric sheep are yesterday’s news.
They’re as out of date as clockwork sheep, steam-powered sheep, and those messy organic models.
Nowadays, nuclear sheep are all the rage.
It doesn’t take much to power a sheep.
Just a fuel pellet every year or so.
What happens to the depleted fuel pellets?
Your annual maintenance contact takes care of those.
While working on the motors and gears, the mechanic changes out the fuel supply.
Don’t try to service them yourself.
That’s what androids dream of, you know.
All their human masters, withering away to death.

The Sauces

Of all the little piggies, the one that people most often overlook is the one who had roast beef.
Every day, you could find him at the Arby’s, ordering a roast beef sandwich or two.
Did he ever get curly fries?
Did he ever get a Beef and Cheddar?
Did he ever pick up a Coke or Dr. Pepper to wash them down?
Nope. Just the roast beef sandwiches.
“What about ham?” a customer asked. “Do you have any ham?”
The little piggy went wee wee wee as they dragged him into the back and prepared him for the slicer.

Offend by Tura

I stared gloomily at the next case file. Young offender, no education, employment, or training. Scrawny, wouldn’t last a week at a manual job. Two parents, although the man isn’t his father. But hell, none of them are worth a damn.

They live on Universal Basic Income, but what do you do all day if you’re not smart enough or strong enough to earn a living?

I’ll suggest he goes to university, like all the others. They’re not allowed to turn anyone away nowadays. Maybe one in a thousand gets something from it. But then, I always was an optimist.