Measurements

It was all acres that day. A big mass of them coming down the chute.

“Acres only, today, boys!” bellowed Rusty, the foreman, nonplussed.

Normally, it’s a grab bag. You get feet, inches, gallons, cords, light years, cubic millimeters, and such. Any number of combinations of measurements can come down that chute. But only one type at a time? All day? It just didn’t happen.

“It happened once before,” said Rusty when I mentioned it. “Six years back, before you wandered in here, chute was packed with fathoms for about a day and a half. Got clogged ‘round hour 23.  Janet had to climb in with the big stick to get it moving again. She can’t even stand to look at a fathom now.” He laughed.

The acres kept coming. I wanted to talk about it with the other folks on the floor, but no one seemed to care. It had to mean something, I thought. No one else shared the feeling.

“Fluke of the odds. Numbers. Odds.” mumbled Bennett, who only spoke in gists.

So I set to collecting them as I would any other unit of measurement and went about painting and wrapping them for shipment. I went with shades of green that day, being a TV fan and all.

After lunch, I tried again, this time with Peter Pan, a guy who started work the same week I did.

“Pretty weird,” I ventured. “All acres.”

“Eeeyup,” said Peter Pan.

“Wonder what it means?”

“Doesn’t mean anything, I don’t think. You heard Bennett. It’s gonna happen some days.”

“Yeah,” I said. “But the odds are astronomical.”

Peter Pan grinned. “Even more astronomical are the chances that it means anything, buddy.”

I nodded and started to walk away when he put his hand on my shoulder.

“And hey, give the green a rest. We all get it. Very funny. But you know how Mother gets about variety.”

I gulped and nodded a little harder and went back to my station. There was a spray can of cerulean I wanted to test out anyway.

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cats

The Everything Man

I went to his house because they said he had everything.

“He has everything,” they said.

I knocked on the front door so it was apparent he had a front door. There was even a welcome mat, so welcome mat, check. Two down, everything else to go. The door was to an apartment. Rented, so no truck there. I figured he must own an apartment somewhere though. Apartments are part of everything.

I started to second guess whether I should really count the door to a rented apartment at all because then isn’t the door rented as well when he opened it. I mentally checked a few other things off the list. Shirt. Pants. Socks. Gold necklace. Silver necklace. Necklace of plastic beads. Locket. The Everything Man was demonstrating a concentration in neckwear upon our first meeting and I appreciated it the way one would a street sign with an exclamation point.

“They say you have everything,” I said. 


“I’m the Everything Man,” he confirmed.

I looked around, and sure enough, things were in abundance. Without another word I started scribbling down every single item I saw: paperweights, gum wrappers, a curling iron, sheet music from Meet Me in St. Louis, a bucket of crayons, a scrap of polyester. The Everything Man asked me if I wanted a drink, I nodded and jotted down “drinks.”

“I’ll take a Fresca,” I said.

“Nah, man. Don’t got any. Can’t stand the stuff.”

The falsehood of the Everything Man struck me like a bat. The impact left a spider of fire digging its legs down through the crown of my skull until I could feel my cochleas get hot. I exhaled sharply, my throat more pressure valve than breathing tube at this point. The Everything Man didn’t have everything.

He may as well have had nothing at all.

Baggadow Street

Baggadow Street was a tall man’s game.

“Only the brightest and the heightest,” as Mell would say.

But “heightist,” (that’s with an –ist, you see) was more the thing. All the shops had been elevated off the street. You need a ladder or something to get up to ‘em now. It was a direct appeal to the influx of Lankees that the city was experiencing.

“Come one, come all, it’s the mall for the tall,” Mell would say. I got no problem with Lankees comin’ over here, really. Nation of immigrants and all. But they scare the plums out of me. People weren’t made to be that tall. It’s unnatural. And there’s no talking to ‘em. I’m not saying they’re dumb. It’s a matter of convenience. When another person’s ears are 20 feet above your mouth, it’s just not worth the time. With every how do ya do, I’m reaching for a lozenge—such is the screaming I’m doing.

But back to Baggadow. Mell sent me down there to get him the bread he likes. I like it too. Good bread. But now Jake’s Bakes was on stilts and the only access for non-Lanks was a rope dangling down from the entrance. You believe that? A single rope like you see in movies about gym class. Jake didn’t even put knots in the thing.

I didn’t understand how elevating the stores made sense anyway. Lanks were still too tall to get in them. Guess it’s for the window shopping. So they can peek in and what not. Meanwhile I’m down here browsing by periscope, so go figure that one out.

“Settle the score and I’ll show you two more,” Mell would say.  

“Smooth” – Iambic Poptameter

There’s this “ideas” page on Facebook that I post on occasionally. They’re been making “Smooth” jokes lately, which is to day, jokes related to the song “Smooth” by Santana featuring Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20. The joke really just seems to be that it exists.

Anyway, because I seek attention, I converted the majority of the song to Shakespearean-style iambic pentameter, and thought it might be fun to do this with other songs as well. If I keep this up, I’ll call the series “Iambic Poptameter.” Anyway, here it is:

“Smoothe”

The one is hot with distance like the inch
done seven times from midday’s sun on high.
Your words—a whisp to melt the masses whole,
I hear them yet so cool you stay below.
Da Vinci’s muse from slums of Spain, my groove—
its step you aptly give unto its form.

Were you to say this life enough ungood,
the world I’d give to lift you up, your mood
be suited by a change of self, is due
to better be, thyself a form so smoothe.

Alike the ocean, moon-beneath it be,
do mirror ‘motions gained, received from ye.
so smoothe, this kind of love—make real the heart
you give, or elsewise do forget and part.

The Insanity of Family Matters

‘While back, I was asked to write content for a website that no longer exists. I wrote one thing in a Cracked-esque tone for what was to be a recurring series called SitBomb, where I’d deconstruct a classic sitcom’s universe for fun and profit. Without the profit.

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How I Broke Up With Shakeology

If you’re not familiar with Shakeology, all you need to know is it’s a bag-of-expensive-powder program brought to you by the same fine folks that brought you Insanity, Insanity: The Asylum, and the sure-to-be-forthcoming, Insanity: Fundamental Institution.

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Survey vs. Survey

If you’ve ever called PayPal, you’ve probably gotten an email that starts like this:

Dear Michael,

We noticed that you have not yet had the opportunity to share your experience about your conversation with PayPal.

As part of PayPal’s commitment to excellence, we invite you to share your feedback with us.

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