Blog fiction

My Millions

My first million will go right up my nose.
My second million will go to charity.
My third million will go to the Committee to Elect Jimmy Carter in 2008.
My fourth million will be all spent in one place.
My fifth million will go to a bomb shelter, canned food, bottled water, comic books, flashlight batteries, and steely resolve.
My sixth million will be earmarked for research and development.
My seventh million will buy my ticket into space (and back).
My eighth million will be in small, unmarked bills.
My ninth million will buy fair trade coffee & chocolate from South America.
My tenth million will be waved in front of my brother’s face as my limo drives slowly by.
My eleventh million entice Paul and Ringo to put on a concert with Bill Watterson and J.D. Salinger under the name The Beatles Minus Two Plus Calvin & Holden.
My twelfth million will ensure peace of mind.

…and a partridge in a pear tree.
Blog fiction


I doubt many people in the 1950’s would have thought that the disposable comic book read by a child would become worth hundreds of thousands of dollars today. Of course, had many comic books survived, they wouldn’t be nearly as valuable. What will be collectable in the future? I look around and see plenty of disposable products. Which one will make me rich if, instead of throwing it out, I save it in plastic wrap for 50 years?

I’m betting on milk. Milk, that ubiquitous dairy product you pour on your cereal or drink with Hershey’s brand chocolate syrup. I predict in the future that there will be no more cows, or at least milk-producing cows. Milk will be a thing of the past, a relic to be coveted like a good wine vintage or the original Nintendo system. Therefore, I will begin collecting as much milk as I possibly can in the hopes of selling it one day at a Christie’s or Sotheby’s auction. Milk will buy my future house. It will fund my taste for rare tortoise meat and walrus tusk jewelry. It will be my retirement fund.

I’m sure you’re wondering how I will keep the milk fresh for many years. I have a two-pronged approach.
1) People in the future will be so starved for milk, they’ll drink it even if it has spoiled. After all, what’s a trip to the hospital if you can enjoy the forgotten fruit of the 20th Century?
2) Currently cryogenics firms freeze dead people in the hopes of reviving them in the future. I plan on putting a few cows in there. I’m sure it will cost less to cryogenically freeze a cow than a human, and the rewards of reviving a milk-giving bovine in a future devoid of that liquid goodness will far outweigh the costs today.

I only let you, my dear friends, in on this unique business opportunity. Please do not tell your friends about it. We cannot have everyone saving milk, or my plan will fail. Do not worry; your loyalty will be rewarded.
Blog comic fiction

How the Comics Section Should Look

There’s even room for a cat on the page.

Blog fiction history


Today is a good day. Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize. He joins a distinguished group that includes the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Elie Weisel, and Jimmy Carter.

I wonder if the Norwegian Nobel Institute has been trying to send a political message to the United States recently, with the honor going to Jimmy Carter three years ago and now Al Gore. Perhaps they are trying to position themselves as a replacement for our outdated electoral college. Looking down the list of previous years’ winners, they make a strong case for themselves.

Wouldn’t it be great if the major issue in a presidential election was the candidate’s dedication to peace?


Blog fiction

Regular Scientist Vs. Mad Scientist

It’s happened to us all a thousand times. You’re at the grocery store, picking out a delicious, ripe peach, when you see a man in a white lab coat diligently taking notes on his clipboard. This man is a Mad Scientist. Or is he?

Truth be told, there is a lot of misperception when it comes to mad scientists. Not all scientists are mad, just like not every dog has rabies. But you do want to stay away from a rabid dog. Oh yes you do. So here is a primer on the differences between regular scientists and their mad cousins.

Does the scientist cackle? Mad scientists (MS) are known for their laughter. Laughing at inappropriate times is another indicator.

Does the scientist reanimate human or animal corpses? Normal, everyday scientists generally shy away from the term “playing God”, but MS relish it. In fact, if you accuse a scientist of playing God and s/he laughs maniacally, you have yourself a bona fide MS.
Does the scientist’s lab assistant have a hunchback and hang around graveyards at night? I think we all know what that means. Single and looking.
Does the scientist express fondness for the good old days when the insane could be experimented upon like lab animals?

Does the scientist have a lab filled with various sized brains in correctly-fitted jars? This is tough, as some everyday scientists study the brain. You’ll have to look for other clues, such as 1) Are the brains stored in Tupperware? 2) Does the scientist refer to the brains by the name of the person they once belonged to? 3) Is there an eye still attached to the brain, and the eye can follow your movements around the room?

Is the scientist’s laboratory located in an old, abandoned warehouse, or a building otherwise unsuited for scientific pursuits? One can deduce that, if you cannot sterilize the lab, you must not care about getting federal funding. Therefore: MS.

Does the scientist pronounce laboratory “la-BOR-a-TORY”? And does the scientist draw the word out with a long exhalation, as though wistfully describing one’s lover?

None of these are proof positive of MS, but they are helpful as guides. This is by no means an exhaustive checklist. Needless to say, many practices (animal hybrids, stem cell research, making food additives) are dead giveaways to MS-type behavior. Please be careful when dealing with ANY scientist, as prolonged contact may cause side-effects too numerous to mention.

Blog fiction history

A Man, A Plan, A Canal: Jimmy Carter

carter obama 08What does it take to achieve greatness? Saving kittens from a burning building? Breaking the 4-minute mile time?

After the Nixon/Ford Combo, America was ready for competence. What it got was possibly the greatest president of all time, in any country, ever. Who is this Dark Horse of which I speak? Why, Jimmy Carter, of course; our 39th President.

Jimmy Carter rode into the office of President on a wave of “Don’t mess this up.” A lesser man would have been content to sign the bills, make the photo-ops, and slide into placeholder status between better-known presidents. An even lesser man than that would have gotten us into an unnecessary war, drove the debt to new heights, undercut education and the environment, and polarized a nation. Jimmy Carter was neither of those hypothetical men.

Jimmy Carter: born again Christian, environmentalist, human rights advocate, farmer, moral compass. He raised the fuel efficiency standards to levels not seen before or since. He mediated talks geared toward Mideast peace. He had a wonderful smile. His wife, June Carter Cash, hailed from a family of musicians and carried on that tradition.

Okay, so he wasn’t married to June. But his real wife Rosalynn, so I am told, was the model of tastefulness and tact.

In this age of doubt and fear, we need the man who turned our nation around at a time of crisis. We need Jimmy Carter to claim his untapped second term. And with trusty sidekick Barack Obama as VP, how can he miss?

My proposal, dear readers, is simple. Carter/Obama 08. The campaign will focus on leading American into 12 years of progressive politics. The slogan will be “JC 2: The Resurrection” (how’s that for catering to the religious right?) The theme song is still undecided, but I’m thinking Springsteen (not Born in the U.S.A. Two Hearts, maybe?).
Mr. Carter or Mr. Obama have not endorsed this message. Yet.

Blog fiction

Concerning the Rumors Online

The time has come to address certain falsehoods circulating on the World Wide Web about me. I have, for a number of years, shrugged aside the untrue accusations because I felt they would go away if I didn’t respond. Well, they haven’t gone away and so I’m going to put them to rest. They are all maliciously spread and completely made-up, every single one of them. I don’t want to name names, as my enemies have with me, because I’m above my enemies and I won’t sink to their slimy level.

I will say that the people, the urchins, the bottom-dwellers, who fabricated these rumors are all unfit to inhabit the same earth as the rest of us upstanding individuals. I would recommend they be sent away to some distant ice planet, but the cost would not justify it. Instead, I will let it be known that those spreading rumors about me are terrible, lowly slugs and they should look out for the Salt of Justice.

The following rumors about me are false:
– My real teeth have all been removed; I have a set of wooden teeth.
– I scream like a baby girl when I see, or am shown a picture of, a sea cucumber.

– I eat endangered sea turtles for dinner every night of the week.

– There are Hebrew slaves building a statue of me that can be seen from space and will later be outfitted with WiFi.

– I retro-fitted my car to consume three times as much gasoline as necessary, just to use more oil.

– Jimmy Carter picked me as his running mate for the 2008 Presidential Race. [this is the only rumor I wish was true. -ed.]

– I compare myself favorably to Rosa Parks.

– I sleep in an oxygen tank, I don’t have a nose anymore, none of my children are my own, I own the entire Beatles catalogue and license the songs out to any company with enough money.

– I always begin mass emails with the salutation “Friends, Romans, countrymen,”

– I mix up forks and knives.

– I mix up left and right. (Variations of this rumor state that I mix up right and left.)

– I have a partially developed, non-functional ear growing out of my back.

– My epidermis is showing.

– Jim Morrison is living in my guest room. [this rumor is easy to disprove, as I don’t have a guest room. -ed.]

– I lied about my age on my birth certificate.
I’m sure there are more rumors by the time I post this, but I honestly don’t want to take the time to list them as they come up. Suffice to say, disregard all the bad things you hear about me over the internet.

Thank you for indulging me, and I hope you will spread the word that I am what I am, and I’m not what I’m not.

Blog fiction

Which is best?

As I left the house this morning my cat stared at me, as she so often does. And seeing her sitting in the dark, her eyes glowing from the light in the hallway outside our apartment, a question overcame me. How cool would it be to have glowing eyes? Not just glowing eyes, but great night vision as well. I think that would be very cool.

But then I thought, what about talons instead of feet? I could have giant eagle-like talons, good for gripping. Also, I wouldn’t have to wear shoes.

Finally my sensible side kicked in. –You can’t have both, said my sensible side. –You’d only get to pick one or the other.

That would be a tough decision to make. Talons or glowing eyes? I think that glowing eyes would be my choice. It would be scarier, because in normal daylight nobody would know about them. I’m also not sure how well I could run with talons. Trail running would definitely be easier, but road running? I’m not convinced it would be better. And what if the talons began gripping things uncontrollably? I’d tear up the couch, probably. Friends wouldn’t invite me over. My social life would be over. So, glowing eyes it is.

Now I just need to figure out who to submit my proposal to, so I can be fitted for some glowing cat eyes.

Blog fiction

The Widow Maker

I like to imagine a contraption called the Widow Maker. The Widow Maker is sitting under a tarp in a field. The closest building is a barn. The Widow Maker, being too destructive, needs to be away from any structure, lest it destroy said structure. The tarp will keep it from rusting in the rain and snow.

The inventor of the Widow Maker, a man who is not a widow himself, wears aviator goggles when working on his contraption. He is covered in oil, and has a magnificent grey moustache (yellowing now from all the tobacco he’s smoked). He is a humble man, and his interest in the Widow Maker is not for purposes of war, or terror. He just wanted to make something useful. A better harvester, say, or a time machine.

In the end, though, the only thing the Widow Maker is good for is destruction. You turn it on, via a series of switches and buttons, and the gears start grinding. Steam rises steadily from two or three pipes. It is loud, and the valley echoes with sound. Then the Widow Maker destroys whatever is around it.

The Widow Maker has not been turned on in quite some time. In fact, the last time it was turned on was by some boys who lived in the town nearby. None of them survived, bless their souls. Sure, they were troublemakers, but who isn’t at that age? They didn’t deserve the end they got. Certainly, Timmy’s younger sister should have been spared finding his kneecap way up there in the Swanson’s tree. After that, the inventor of the Widow Maker fenced off his field and posted warning signs all around.

The inventor won’t dismantle the Widow Maker, in spite of pressure from the Mayor and from his beleaguered wife. He just worked too darned hard to construct it just right. It’s his pride and joy. Someday he’ll find a good use for it, and won’t his wife be sorry if that day comes after he has dismantled it. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater, here.

You can’t see the Widow Maker from the county road, and the inventor won’t give tours. It isn’t big enough to see from space, but you can be sure the government has it tracked by satellites. The Widow Maker is best kept quiet.