The student leader Tanjat has been in solitary confinement for five years.
Amnesty International sells t-shirts with his name and face on them.
The door to his cell opened.
“I envy you,” says his guard, putting down a tray of rice and tea.
Tanjat raises an eyebrow.
The guard continues:
“I bring you food, while my family starves. I bring you clothes, while my family wears rags. My every word and thought is monitored, while you are free to think or say anything in here.”
The next day, a new guard brought Tanjat his daily meal.
It takes about an hour to walk along the city’s riverbank.
The path used to be just dirt, but now it’s paved so that bikers can travel the length of the river.
However you travel the river, there are beautiful gardens and homes to see.
There’s also a crime problem. With all the people walking and biking, gangs like to rob them.
Or, if it’s a pretty single jogger, much worse.
This is why most people have guns on them. To deal with the muggers.
It takes an hour to walk along the river.
Longer to float back down it.
If there are legal pads, are there illegal pads?
Yes. There are illegal pads.
Oh, they started off as legal pads, just like any other legal pad, but they were highly impressionable, and they got into ink. Bad ink. And bad contracts.
They say a prescription pad’s not to blame for a corrupt physician’s crimes, and I guess you could same for legal pads gone bad too, but given enough time, the evil rubs off on them.
No, there’s no hope for them, except put them into the recycling bin and maybe they’ll get another chance.
Or become toilet paper.
He called himself usfur duri, the sparrow.
He tried to set off a bomb on a school bus.
It took six men to bring him down. He was still trying to trigger it.
To murder. To kill.
He sat in his cell and didn’t say a word.
FREE THE SPARROW, the Amnesty International posters said.
No mention of the bomb. The children.
He called us evil during the trial.
Guilty. Thirty life sentences.
Years later, he was on the prisoner exchange list. A “goodwill gesture.”
He laughed at us.
We wrapped him in a poster and beat him to death.
Nobody knows why Godzilla keeps attacking Tokyo, but the insurance companies learned their lesson after the first time.
They tried to add “zilla” to the end of “Act of God” in their policies, but that didn’t quite work out with Kanji characters. So, they said that Godzilla had used his atomic fire breath on the building that warehoused all the records and paperwork.
When that scam didn’t work, the insurance company called the bankers and worked up a deal.
“Godzilla destroyed our vault and records,” the bankers said.
They pocketed the cash, fled to Singapore, and lived happily ever after.
Bob lost his right leg in a motorcycle accident. Bill had his left leg blown off after he stepped on a land mine in Iraq.
“Hey, you could buy a pair of shoes together,” said a girl at the bar. “Bob gets the left shoe and Bill gets the right.”
They heard that kind of patronizing crap one too many times, and they both snapped.
When they were both convicted for murder, they shared a prison cell. Sure enough, the warden did the “shoe joke.”
As they beat the fuck out of him, they shouted “We’re not the same size!”
Not only did we change the names to protect the innocent, but we’ve changed them to condemn the guilty.
So, instead of just keeping Monica Smith’s name out of the papers for writing bad checks, which was all just a big misunderstanding and a simple math error by the bank, we’ll put Christina Bloomgarden’s name in there for drinking up and gambling away all of her kids’ college funds.
What? Monica wrote those bad checks to Christina when she bought Christina’s old car? So the college fund thing all her fault, not Christina’s.
Stop the presses. Change the names again!
Back in the day, Ricky The Rat would drop a dime and rat you out to the cops.
The Syndicate never managed to finger Ricky, so they muscled the phone company into raising the price of a call from ten cents to a quarter.
“Exact change, please,” said the operator to Ricky.
That kept Ricky quiet for a while… until 911 made it to the city. That was toll free.
Ricky would still drop a dime out of habit, and get it back.
Then, cell phones took over. Phone booths vanished.
The Syndicate tracked Ricky with GPS, and whacked him.
He billed himself as “The Amazing Mystico” but there wasn’t much amazing about him.
All he did was stand on stage, smoke cigarettes, and shout at anyone who interrupted his “act.”
No card tricks.
No white tigers.
No lady assistants.
Just Mystico, smoking his cigarette, shouting at anyone who complained.
“Is that all there is?” I yelled.
“Shut your pie hole!” shouted Mystico.
The theater replaced him the next week with an act that included card tricks, white tigers, and lady assistants.
Mystico wildly splashed gasoline around the lobby and dropped his cigarette.
“Gonna make this place disappear, he growled.
Fred and Joey do car maintenance together. They just don’t do a good job of it.
Sure, they offer a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with their work, but the odds are that you won’t collect on that.
The county’s got a lot of hills and ravines, and if your brakes fail, you’re pretty much a goner whether you’ve got your seatbelt on, or those fancy new airbags going off.
Joey thought Fred was stealing from him. And Fred thought the same as Joey.
Both ended up wrecked in the bottom of Smith’s Gulch, money burning in their pockets.