Marylin climbed into the rocket’s capsule, strapped herself in, and closed the hatch.
She looked over the console to check the readings.
Everything was perfect.
She started the automated launch and flight sequence.
As the system counted down to zero, she wondered if she was making the right choice.
Life on the orbital satellites was comfortable and simple, and people lived peacefully there.
Would she, a misfit with a red-tagged file, fit in there?
The countdown reached zero, and the rocket lifted from the pad.
Through the window, Marilyn watched as the launch center receded… and Earth slowly grew larger.
Bob said he’d make an honest woman out of Sally.
So, he and his CIA buddies grabbed her off the street, stuffed her in a white van, and drove her to an interrogation center.
Her answers were vague, and the high-speed camera caught microexpressions in her forehead that suggested she wasn’t telling the truth.
Polygraphs are stress-dectectors, not truth-detectors, but the interrogator used it to catch Sally off of her guard.
Another session on sodium pentathol confirmed the results.
“She’s no good for you, Bob,” said the interrogator.
Bob called off the wedding, and dumped Sally’s body in the bay.
Wasn’t a great artist
But he liked to teach art
Who could potentially be great artists
Would be inspired
To practice, and make art.
With his brushes
Making happy little trees
And happy puffy clouds
Would wait for the director to shout CUT!
So he could go back home
And sit in the dark
With a bottle in his hand
And a loaded gun in his mouth
He’ll paint the walls
With his brains
His huge afro
Falling against the blood
To make one last happy puffy cloud.
His first apartment was decorated in a simple, elegant way. The scent of vanilla welcomed her as she entered the living-room. A few books were scattered on the shelves, displayed to counterbalance the other objects. It looked like a setting, but he was proud of it, she could tell. A pot of white flowers and twin candles almost tricked her into believing he was a nice guy. He wasn’t. She had to run, screaming through the hallways. No one opened the door. No one helped her. And, at the hospital, she could still recall that sickening vanilla scent, welcoming her…
ADULT! Yes! That magic age of 18 when you no longer have to listen to anyone, especially your parents. Okay, so now you can buy cigarettes and die for your country. But you can’t drink a beer. And all adults drink beer, right? So maybe you have to be 21 to be and “adult”. So fine, you’re 21 and can get shitfaced legally. But wait, you’re male, and don’t get a break on auto insurance until you are 25. So now you are 25, you are AULDTING! But are you married? Doesn’t being an adult include being able to commit adultery? But you can be married at an age as young as 14. This is getting complicated. Peter Pan had the right idea.
It was a right of passage that we’d looked forward to for many furtive years: That sacred moment when, having come of age, we would finally see what lay behind the curtain at the bookshop.
On that fateful day, myself, Andy and Jack, waited with perspiration on our brows and proof of age in our sweaty hands.
No more for us the comic books and fairy stories of youth… Today we would finally gain access to the mysteries of the ‘Adult’ Section.
We entered reverently.
And discovered for the first time that grown up books are boring, dull and drab.
“You need to grow up”, said my dad, “if you want to be treated like an adult, it’s about time you acted like one!”
I took his words to heart, and as the years went by, I put aside my childish, ignorant ways, and became what I’d like to think is a grounded and mature member of society.
Now, I look around me…
At the celebrities, the movie stars, the politicians and the world leaders.
And the words of my dad come flooding back to me.
And I wonder what the hell their dads told them, when they were kids?
My favourite bit of Shakespeare is his ‘Seven Ages of Man’; there’s such a simplicity and truth in the way he approaches the immutable, relentless and ultimately futile passage of life, from the mewling, puking baby, to the drooling, witless descent into oblivion at life’s end.
If there is an Almighty, you have admire his sense of humour as he watches us strive towards adulthood, only to be ultimately defeated by the inescapable descent into the second childhood of old age.
Where finally, sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, we become babes once more.
At the end, pure, empty… Un-adulterated.
I love adult entertainment. Intellectual conversation over a dinner of impeccable good taste, with incidental music from a baroque chamber ensemble. Philosophical lectures delivered to enquiring minds. Performances of the latest improvised conceptions of an up and coming young pianist. A private opening at an art gallery, for a select group of connoisseurs. A stroll through one of the great museums of the world, accompanied by a fellow expert on some singular piece of history.
But judging by the garish flashing neon sign, and the unclad ladies standing within the red-lit doorway, I don’t think that’s what this establishment offers.
They never make it to become adult.
The vast majority flop about for a while, then quietly expire within a few hours – a few days at best – of entering this world.
But, I’m not dispirited, because every failure brings me one step closer to success.
And so the work continues: Fusing flesh and bone, organs and muscle in ever new and unique ways, seeking out the perfect combination that I can truly call my offspring.
Of course, I could take the traditional route for producing children, and just have sex.
But have you seen what that involves?
When I was a kid, we had a big country fair every summer. I would walk for hours looking at the endless farm exhibits and the huge barns full of show animals. There was a big stage with bands playing music. The midway was full of rides and games. There were tons of food booths too. It took all night to get around it.
The other day I came across the old fairgrounds on Google maps. It was barely bigger than a football field. I wish the world was still as big as it was when I was a kid.
Yes, everyone tells us that we much grow up and be adult in all things.
Religions tell us this.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
Accordingly I attempted to emulate those people around me and I was very successful in mimicking the actions of those people.
I was accepted among them.
Now I have found, that by my own decision, I can eat chocolate cake for breakfast if I want.
And I do.
Covering the Bases
When I was in 2nd grade I was given a list of 10 commandments that I had the opportunity to sin at. Most made nominal sense, others none. Take Adultery, to the 8 year old mind it must have something to do will the state of Adultness. Which was? At the time no idea. So when I went intoconfess my sins for the first time I figure 6 was a good number of time for that sin. The Priest pointed out it was highly unlike I’d commit Adultery so it best in the future not to include that one.
A place on the net called Tumblr made its fame, and sold its advertising, on the basis of pornography. You don’t go to the grocery store to buy petrol. It made clear what it offered, but it also included other stuff that might be of interest to adults. Lots of art, some politics, links to music. Children were not allowed to visit. Somebody hid some kiddie porn under the rug. Apple decided to no longer offer the site on its store. Tumblr tumbled and banned adult content. It is now a site where adults are no longer allowed to visit.
Linoliumanda frowned. “What’s a grocery bag have to do with flying?” Billbert shrugged. “I don’t know. But my dad says when I’m an adult I should be able to fly without it.” Linoliumanda folded her arms in front of her. “So, you’re not magic?” She sounded disappointed. “Call it what you want,” Billbert said. “I can fly and someday I can do it whenever I want, with or without a grocery bag.” She hugged him suddenly. “You’re right. Superpower, magic, it’s really all the same thing.” “Well, isn’t this sweet. Two little love nerds,” Roderick’s derisive voice sounded behind them.
I bought a plug-in hybrid car recently.For the past month, it has barely used any gasoline.My gas station credit card has been rendered completely useless.The 5% cashback period for Discover is moot.And I’ve changed my flexible bonus credit card to reward me for online shopping instead of gas.I stopped by my usual gas station for a car wash.After driving through the car wash, I looked over my car and saw that parts of it were still dirty.With all that I’m saving on gas, I’ll go to the fancy hand-wash place down the street.
Bill and Benny are art thieves.
They steal art.
But not the art that other art thieves steal.
Like paintings or statues.
These guys steal ballets.
How do you steal a ballet?
I don’t know, but they do.
And there’s nothing more boring than a bunch of anorexic chicks in tights, tutus, and slippers just standing around.
Waiting for the police to find their production of Swan Lake.
Bill and Benny are smart.
They don’t use Craigslist or fences to get cash for the ballet.
They also respect the art of dance.
Just pay the ransom, and nobody gets hurt.
It’s been years since anybody’s seen a tuba.
Sure, we’ve seen oboes and sousaphones and clarinets, but a tuba?
No. No tubas.
One day, there were tubas everywhere. As far as the eye could see.
But now? Not a tuba to be found.
Look in all the music stores. Look on eBay. Look on Craigslist.
No tubas at all.
Look in the dictionary. Tuba isn’t there.
it’s not on Wikipedia either.
Google it, and nothing comes up.
It’s like China and the Massacre at Tiennamen Square.
Except with tubas.
What did we do wrong?
And how do we fix this?
My brother went off to college in Boston.
Every few months, he’d come home.
And he’d go shopping with my parents to buy up the things he’d need.
“It’s cheaper here than in Boston,” he’d say.
And it was. Boston, being a big city, had high prices.
While Columbus prices weren’t so high.
Also, the sales tax in Massachusetts was much higher than in Ohio.
So, yeah, things were much cheaper here than in Boston.
Never mind the fact that he’d get my parents to buy all those things here, as opposed to having to buy them himself in Boston.
Back in Fifth Grade, the Math teacher taught us basic geometry.
She handed out a test with shapes on it.
“Name each shape,” she said.
When I saw a square, I called it a square.
When I saw a hexagon, I called it a hexagon.
And so on.
When I got my test back, I saw a big red F on it.
“All of the names” the teacher wrote in red.
The square was also a polygon, a quadrilateral, a rectangle, and a rhombus.
I called her all the names I thought she was, and landed in the principal’s office.
Today’s lesson from Master Gallagher is how to shoot your target while facing a headwind.
One must ensure that the bullet is smooth and the balance is perfect.
Otherwise, it will corkscrew in the air and go wild.
To reduce this effect, you must fire from an absolute minimum safe distance.
Unlike calm days, when you can achieve greater accuracy from longer ranges.
Brace the rifle steady.
Take a beep breath, exhale, and squeeze the trigger gently.
The watermelon at the other end of the football field explodes.
“Grab your mallets,” he says, grinning. “It’s time for your next lesson.”