The Oldest Story in the Book

It’s the oldest story in the book. She’s a firefighter. He’s a vet tech. She has a friend who works in an erotic bakery. He has a friend who consumes an entire rotisserie chicken each day – and nothing else. They begin their ride down the rapids in a boat. Years later, when the boat finally reaches shore, it’s empty except for a fossilized gingerbread penis and some chicken bones.

Male Pattern Baldness

Grigor the Headless Man goes to his psychiatrist and says, “Doctor, I’m horribly depressed. My hair’s falling out and everyone knows it.”

The doctor says, “But you’re headless. How do they know you’re hair’s falling out?”

Grigor replies, “I keep complaining about it to everyone.”

The Polite Gentlemen

Grigor and Dimitri approach each other on the street.

"Good friend, you have something on you face," says Grigor to Dimitri. "Let me help you," he says, pulling out a butcher’s knife.

"There! It was only this!" he says a few minutes later holding up Dimitri’s nose.

"Why, thank you, good friend. I am in your debt and cannot wait to repay you the favor!" says Dimitri, pulling out his own butcher’s knife. "Oh, my! Good friend, there’s something on your hand!"

"It was only this!" he says a few minutes later, holding up Grigor’s thumb.

"Good friend, you are indeed a blessing," says Grigor. "But there seems to be something on the side of your head."

"Thank you, good friend," says Dimitri a few minutes later, looking at his left ear being held up in triumph by Grigor. "Why, good friend, there seems to be something on the side of your head as well!"

And on and on it went until several hours later a starving mother and her brood of children came upon what was left of them,

"Scoop all of that up and bring it home," she says to her children, not believing her good fortune. "For meat is meat however and wherever you find it!"

Tell Me About Your Personal Relationship With Jesus

So, it’s like, I got this amazing new super plush white sofa last weekend, and it’s so perfect, so fantastically super-plush smoothe that I’m afraid to even sit on it. Like, I can’t sit on it. All week, instead of sitting on the sofa, I’ve been sitting in my old brown recliner just staring at the damn thing every night, almost in awe of it, how super-plush and perfect it is. Like this is the one perfect thing I own, totally afraid I’m going to fuck it up.

And then it’s Friday night and I hear that goofy drumroll knock he always does on my door and I know it’s Jesus.

"Entre vous, bro" I yell and he floats through the door and when he sees the sofa he’s like, "Dude! That’s one sweet sofa bro. That looks so friggin super-plush! When’ja get it?"

And I’m like, "Last weekend. Yeah, the funny thing is I’m afraid to even sit – "

And to my horror he walks right over to it and plops himself down right in the middle cushion. He’s got his arms spread out across the backrest. He’s laying his head back and swiveling it from side to side. And for a minute, I’m standing there in stunned disbelief as he’s rubbing the backrest with his hands and going, "Man, is this nice or is this nice?" as he is smearing the blood from his Holy Wounds into my new super-plush sofa and poking holes in the backrest’s cushion with his Crown of Thorns and I’m like, "Jesus! Dude, what the fuck?"

And he’s like, "What?"

And I’m like, "Dude, you’re fucking bleeding all over the my new white sofa? That’s a $2,500 sofa you just smeared blood all over."

And he looks at me and says, "Chill, dude."

And then he swivels himself and gets horizontal on the thing, "Man, this is beaucoup comfortable. You’re going to get a lot of sack time…"

And he’s going on and on and, as he is, his Crown of Thorns is cutting the shit out of the armrest his heads on – not to mention all the blood – while the Holy Wounds on his feet are totally fucking up the other armrest.

"Jesus! What the fuck Jesus?"

"Huh?"

"Dude, you’ve been here like 2 minutes and you’ve totally fuckin’ destroyed my super-plush new white sofa is ‘what the fuck.’ Look at all that blood!"

And he sits up and looks at me without even looking at the carnage he’s wrought.

"Looks like I picked the wrong night to stop by amigo," and he gets up and starts heading for the door.

And I’m like, "Amigo? Amigo? Dude! Don’t amigo me, dude! Turn around! Look at that mess? It’s looks like a serial killer used my super-plush new white sofa as a kill table!"

And he smiles and says, "No worries. It’s all good. I got you covered bro."

And I look back and the sofa’s all white again, back to it’s super-plush, pristine state.

And he looks at me, waiting, like he’s expecting me to thank him.

"What?"

"You could at least say ‘thanks for the solid bro.’"

"’Thanks for the solid bro?’ Thanks for fucking up my perfect white super-plush sofa -"

"Dude, dude, dude. Don’t get hung up on things. What am I always telling you? Things are temporary. That thing’s going to be in pieces in a landfill someday. If not that, it’ll be in a storage locker someday and when they open up the thing, they’re going to look at it and say ‘What kind of fuckin’ asshole would buy this thing?"

And deep down I know he’s right, but I stare at him for a while, trying to guilt trip him.

"C’mon man. It’s Fish Taco Friday at Manny’s. Let’s choke down some fish tacos and then hit the scene."

And I think a plate of fish tacos would be pretty sweet.

"Fine, just let me throw on some different clothes," I say. "And whatever you do – DO NOT go near that sofa again."

And a couple of minutes later, as I’m heading out from the bedroom, I see he’s fast asleep on the sofa.

And instead of waking him up and yelling at him, I sit in the recliner and stare at him and wish I could be more like Jesus.

I end up ordering some pizzas and some sixes and after we chow down he lets me beat him at Madden a couple times before we head out.

And that ends up being the night I meet Debra, who hated that sofa the minute she saw it.

And twenty years later, I have no idea where that sofa even is.

(trans)action

A man who had stopped breathing long ago said to no one in particular, “I’d sell both lungs to be able to breathe again.”

In a puff of smoke, the devil appeared on the spot.

“Do these lungs work?”

“Yes.”

“Then why aren’t you breathing?”

“It has nothing to do with my lungs, if your implying I’m trying to rook you somehow.”

“OK. Fine. I’ll take you up on your offer,” said the Devil. “You give me your lungs and I’ll make you able to breathe again.”

“That’s not what I’m asking.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’m not asking for a trade.”

“A what?”

“I said ‘I’d sell both lungs to be able to breathe again.’ I didn’t mention anything about a trading you my lungs for your ability to make me breathe again,” said the man. “What you’re offering is an entirely different transaction.”

Having an appointment he was already late for, the Devil said, “I don’t need this. I don’t really need another set of lungs anyway” and vanished in a puff of smoke.

Later that afternoon, the man, who had also stopped eating long ago, said to no one in particular, “I’d sell my mouth to be able to eat again.”

This time the devil stayed away.

On the Dangers of Having Options

A horse is placed in a field between two pails of oats. He stands there reviewing and contemplating his options, is paralyzed by indecision, and starves rather than eats.

The horse’s owner comes upon the horse. He stands there reviewing and contemplating whether the horse is sleeping, in a coma, or dead, is paralyzed by indecision, and eventually starves to death.

The son of the horse’s owner finds his father and the horse in the field. He stands there reviewing and contemplating his options, is paralyzed by indecision over whether he should use his left or right hand to nudge his father’s shoulder to tell if he is sleeping, drunk or dead, and dies from insulin shock.

A vulture flying overhead spies the two dead man and their horse and flies down to the field. He stands there reviewing and contemplating which carcass he should eat first, becomes paralyzed with indecision, and also starves rather than eats.

Another vulture flies down into the field. He stands there knowing he will eat the horse first, but when reviewing and contemplating which eyeball to start with, he is paralyzed with indecision and also starves to death.

A third vulture flies into the field. He stands there reviewing and contemplating where exactly the basis for moral action comes from in the absence of a belief in a god or higher power, is paralyzed by indecision, and also starves to death.

A wild dog comes upon the field. He stands there convinced that he will eat one of the vultures first, but, when reviewing and contemplating which vulture to start with, he is paralyzed by indecision, and starves rather than eats.

A man passing by on the nearby road stops his motorcycle. As he stands their reviewing and contemplating this scene of carnage, he becomes paralyzed with indecision trying to decide whether there has been some kind of toxic gas release or if it was some variant of bubonic plague, and he also starves to death.

Another man on the road, also riding a motorcycle, comes upon the dead man and his motorcycle. He becomes paralyzed with indecision while reviewing and contemplating who has the nicer motorcycle. Before he can starve to death, he is hit by a garbage truck.

The driver of the garbage truck gets out and becomes paralyzed with indecision when reviewing and contemplating his options: a) bury the corpse of the motorcyclist he has just killed in the woods, b) bury both the corpse and the motorcycle of the motorcyclist he has just killed in the woods, but leave the other dead motorcyclist and his motorcycle on the road, because he really had nothing to do with that, c) bury both corpses and both motorcycles in the woods; d) attempt to crush both the corpses and the motorcycles in his trash truck; e) finally act on his secret “necrophilia-curious” nature and bugger the corpses of both motorcyclists before disposing of them via some method to be determined. He also starves to death.

In a very similar field, roughly 600 miles away, a minister begins to set up tents for a Church revival. He stands there looking in his toolbox reviewing and contemplating his options, becomes paralyzed with indecision over which hammer to use, and starves to death.

His wife, while bringing pies to the tent from the car, suddenly realizes she is thirsty. She stands there reviewing and contemplating whether she should drink water straight from the bottle she is holding or go back to the car and pour it into a cup, is paralyzed with indecision, and dies of thirst.

And in a nearby prison, an inmate is given only a small, stale piece of bread for dinner and savors every bite.

The Most Beautiful Mule in the World

All morning, a man pulls a cart containing his mule up a mountain then breaks for lunch.

He gives the mule his sandwich and apple and hitches himself to the oat bag.

After lunch he hops into the cart next to the mule and steers them both down the mountain into the valley with a wooden rudder.

They stop just outside of town where he hitches the mule up to the cart.

He arrives at the warehouse where he meets Mr. Jacobs.

While they’re loading the cart, Mr. Jacobs pats the mule on the nose, grabs a carrot out of one of the sacks and feeds it to her.

He turns to the man and says, “God, if she just ain’t the most beautiful mule I ever seen.”

When they’re outside of town, the man unhitches the mule, ties him behind the cart and proceeds to pull the cart himself up the mountain.

After stopping briefly for light dinner at the top of the mountain, they both follow the cart down the hill – the man guiding it with a special tether.

About a mile from home, the man then hitches up the mule to the cart

On his deathbed, the man tells his grandson “I once had a beautiful mule. When I’d go over the mountain and take her into the valley town, Mr. Jacobs would always say, ‘God, if she’s not the most beautiful mule in the world.'”

Bowl of Face

Her husband’s face floods with water and empties itself into a bowl.

The wife places the bowl in her freezer.

Once the body starts to turn, she files the proper papers and has it disposed of, but keeps the bowl.

Each morning she takes the bowl out, lets it melt, and then stares into it, hoping to see her husbands face – but she only sees her own reflection.

One day she takes the bowl out with her into the garden.

Halfway through her weeding, she hears the phone ringing indoors and leaves to answer it.

A stray dog comes into the garden and laps up all the water in the bowl.

She returns to find that the dog’s face is now her husband’s face and screams with delight, “Truly! Why if this just isn’t the best of all possible worlds!”

But the dog runs away and she spends the rest of her life searching for this unique animal.

What Brings You Here: “I Realized I Was a Gas…”

“All the previous mornings when I’d milk the cow, I’d grab the udder, give a tug and milk would squirt out into the pail.

“I had no reason to question whether or not the milk was a liquid.

“Then one morning, when I started milking the cow – and I can’t tell you how I knew, but I knew, I just KNEW – when I tugged the udder instead of the milk coming out as a liquid, the milk came out as a spray of gas, came out like this thick cloud of concentrated white steam.

“And yet, somehow to my eyes, the gas appeared to be a liquid and went into the pail just as it did everyday.

“It was at that point that I realized – I KNEW – that I was no longer solid, but a liquid, even though I appeared to be a solid.

“This continued for several more mornings – the milk coming out as a gas, but appearing on the surface to be a liquid – until the fourth morning.

“That morning, I pulled the udder and somehow I knew that things had changed, that the milk that came out wasn’t a gas anymore, but a solid, sort of like very thick soft-serve ice cream.

“Naturally, to my eyes, it appeared to be just milk.

“It was at that point that I realized that I was a gas.”

“So you are a gas now?” asked the doctor.

“Technically, yes. However, to your eyes I will appear as a solid. ”

“And I am a gas?”

“Yes.”

“And the coffee in this cup?”

“A solid that merely appears to be a liquid.”

“Interesting,” said the doctor, leaning back in this chair then coming forward abruptly after a short pause. “I’d like to do a little experiment that I think will help you greatly with some of the issues you are having. Are you afraid of heights?”

“No.”

“Good. I want you to open the window and stand out on the ledge.”

“But, we’re three stories up?”

“You don’t intend to fall do you?” the doctor asked rhetorically with a chuckle.

“No.”

“Well then, it shouldn’t be a problem. Now, I need to get something from another room,” said the doctor. “If you would be so kind as to be standing out on the ledge when I get back.”

After five minutes, during which time the patient dutifully placed himself outside on the narrow ledge, the doctor returned with a fan that he plugged into the wall outlet just under the window.

“How much longer do I have to stay out here? Hey, is that a fan?”

“Yes. Now in a few seconds, I’m going to turn it on and I want you to tell me what the air from the fan is,” said the doctor. “Not what it appears to be to your eyes, but what you, to use your term ‘know’ it really is.”

“But, I know what it will be,” said the patient, “Why didn’t you just ask? The wind from the fan is -”

The patient’s words were drowned out by several loud popping sounds as the doctor turned on the fan, causing blue sparks to fly from the outlet and the lights to flicker in the office until darkness prevailed.

Startled by the suddenness and loudness of the popping noises, the patient lost his balance and fall to his death.

As with most patients of the doctor who meet unfortunate ends, his death was ruled a suicide.

How I Made My Escape into the World (A Rather Patriarchal Tale)

each year at the midpoint of summer
the long line of widows in their black veils
would come down from the hill
and walk through our town’s Main Street
and those who had lost husbands that year
would fall in behind them
and from that point on
we would only see these women
once a year
when they came down from the Widows’ House

and each year the day following the midpoint of summer
the long line of orphans in their mismatched clothes and shoes
would come through our town
holding index cards with the names
of children given them by the widows
and they’d call out the names
and the children would fall in behind them
against their will as if by magic
and we’d only see them
once a year
when they came down from the Orphans’ House

and so new widows would gather their children
as the midpoint of summer approached
and leave their homes abandoned in the dead of night

and so children whose newly widowed mothers
would not abandon their homes
but chose to wait and take their place in the line
would run away from their homes in the dead of night

and after years of observing this behavior
and deciding it must be curtailed
the town fathers decided that whenever a father died
the police would handcuff a new widow
to a married woman with a hale and hearty husband
and handcuff each of her children to
a child with a hale and hearty father

and so it was that I was chained to S.
the morning his father fell into a vat
at the factory and managed to prevail
upon him the wisdom of leaving immediately

and this is how I made my escape into the world…