Mister Smarty Pants

They called Marty “Mister Smarty Pants.”
But it wasn’t his pants that was smart.
It was actually his underwear.
They were a strange hybrid of boxers and briefs, and when he wore them, he felt so much smarter.
Perhaps it was the way they held him there that led to increased confidence, and with that confidence came the appearance of greater intelligence?
You know, how glasses and a lab coat make people sound more authoritative?
Marty tried to wear those, too. And nothing else.
He got arrested for public indecency, despite his attempts to talk his way out of it.

Chicken sandwiches

Reports came out that the chief executive of a chicken sandwich restaurant chain supported groups that were against same-sex marriage.
So, same-sex marriage supporters boycotted the chicken sandwich restaurant chain.
Same-sex marriage opponents started a rally for the chicken sandwich restaurant chain.
In the end, the chicken sandwich restaurant chain reported record sales.
The chief executive became richer.
And lots of people clicked Block, Mute, and Unfriend on various social networks.
However, same-sex marriage became legal in the United States through a Supreme Court ruling.
As for the chickens, well, they still were slaughtered, processed, and turned into sandwiches.

Tempted by windows

The company I work for is moving to a new building.
I am moving from a shared office to my own office.
I have my own door and desk and outlets.
I don’t have a window, though.
Which is good, because my office is pretty high up, and I’m afraid of heights.
I will make my office somewhere nice for other people to visit.
Because other people may have offices with windows.
And I don’t like heights. So, I don’t want to visit them.
Or, if we have an argument, be tempted to shove them out through the window.
Again.

White Flight

Sociologists talk about “white flight” from urban areas to the suburbs, or from open communities to gated communities.
But the community of Silver Acres took the term literally.
Before the gangs and drug dealers could get a foothold, the residents of Silver Lake tore down their houses, built airships, and took to the sky.
A few thugs fired their guns into the air, but the Silver Lakers had armored the keels of their ships.
Barrels of fuel dropped from the airships, and Silver Lake became a raging inferno.
The hot air blew the airships higher, above the terrified screams.

The Dirty Player

Fred was the dirtiest player.
No, he wasn’t dirty because he broke rules.
I can’t remember him getting a penalty or a fine.
Nor was he dirty from gambling or cheating.
He played cleanly and honestly.
Fred’s dirt was dirt.
Totally filthy. Repugnant.
Everywhere he went, he was surrounded by a billowing dirt cloud.
A real-life Peanuts Pig Pen.
No matter how much he showered and bathed,
He couldn’t explain it.
He was just a magnet for dirt.
Scientists put him in a clean room.
And he still got dirty.
Fred’s team waived him.
Because he wasn’t very good.

Music Lessens

The people who live in the apartment next door have a kid.
The kid must be in remedial music, because they play the recorder every night.
Badly. The shrill music pierced the walls.
After a while, the recorder stopped.
And things were quiet.
Until I heard an electronic keyboard playing one night.
Badly.
Every so often, actual music comes from the keyboard, but that’s the tutorial mode.
When it slips back into ugly cacophony, I know the kid has taken off the autopilot.
Want to teach the kid something useful?
Get them some headphones.
Teach them respect for the neighbors!

Poisoned Wine

Long ago, our family fled the Nazis for America.
Generations later, we flew back to see what had become of the old country.
Our vineyard was still a vineyard.
Run by another family from the village.
Who claimed to have run the vineyard for centuries.
They had taken our name. And taken our land.
We bought a bottle from them, uncorked it, and poured it at their feet.
The finest wine is poisoned with a single drop of arsenic.
Once tainted, you cannot filter it back out.
Or sufficiently dilute it with all the tears in the world.
Forever ruined.

Jelloscope

If you fill
A telescope
With Jello
It’s a Jelloscope
Look far
Look near
Jello there
Jello here
If you look
In the wrong end
The Jello will
Flow and bend
What flavor
What color
Custard, pudding or pie?
Or that hospital crap
Why why why?
The Jello in
The Jelloscope
It ruined the lenses
You fool! You dope!
We’re stuck at sea
No land in sight
And our telescope
Cannot work right
How will we find
Our way back home
We’re doomed! We’re doomed!
We’re doomed! We’re doomed!
Pass me the compass
Before you fill it with oatmeal
Again

Cosmologist

Billie needed to get her hair done. Her roots were showing, and the split ends were coming back.
But her regular cosmetologist was booked. And couldn’t fit in any walk-ins.
So, Billie went to a cosmologist.
“Of course I have time for you,” said the cosmologist. “The earth is over four billion years old, and we believe that the universe is nearly fifteen billion years old. What’s a few minutes here and there?”
They discussed galaxies and quasars and pulsars and comets.
After several sessions, Billie’s hair was an absolute fright.
Which explains how Albert Einstein’s hair got that way.

Shot my best friend

I shot my best friend Rex.
It was an accident, I swear.
Besides, he’s fine.
The bullet missed anything important.
And the surgeons got the bullet out.
He keeps the bullet in a glas jar on his shelf.
And he’s always showing people his scar.
“This is where my best friend shot me,” he says.
So, why did I shoot him?
There wasn’t a reason. None at all.
We were shooting at beer cans on a fence, and he held up a can and…
Hey, it was his idea. And he wanted to use shotguns.
Imagine that mess, right?