Saturday, August 19, 2017

Based on a True Story

Guitar Guy would stand outside in the college campus courtyard, strumming the same chord for eight minutes while singing painfully off-key. Supposedly, he was practicing to woo the lady of his dreams.

Unbeknownst to him, Athena Rosalind Daly had already overheard him. In fact, the entire building could hear him. But Athena Rosalind had it the worst, as she was cursed with perfect pitch. She had been less than impressed.

He strummed incessant quarter notes on an A major chord that was about forty cents flat. Without changing the tuning or tempo, he made up the lyrics as he went. His voice occasionally cracked.

The buildings seemed to recoil.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Aim for the Moon

If you aim for the moon and miss, you'll probably be fired from your job at NASA. That will be the least of your worries, however. You won't be significantly closer to distant stars. Your cold, dead body will never escape the gravitational influence of the sun. Gravity holds you hostage, just as it has bound every organism that has ever lived before you. Leaving the Solar System requires highly precise calculations, exact technical maneuvers, and rocket fuel. No one will hear you as you scream in agony, slowly dying, knowing that there is no hope. Your last words, possibly expletives, will be lost to history. Your cadaver will be damned to orbit the sun for a billion years, or be crushed, or incinerate in the sun, or dissolve into dust. No one will care which. 

Your friends at NASA will shake their heads, wondering how an astronaut could ruin a simple moon landing so thoroughly. Your family will be devastated. Your friends will be mortified. Your alma mater will quietly delete your name from their alumni list. Buzzfeed will write a listicle and put you at the top of "Top 25  Biggest Space Blunders." Your legacy will be ruined. Your name will become synonymous with failure. NASA will have to permanently halt all space missions. Your country will become the laughing stock of the world. 

There will be memes. 

Oh, there will be memes. They will not cut you any slack. 

Children will learn of the space failure in their schools. Teachers will use your failure as a means to convince their students to behave. You will foresee all this, then slowly die. 

So by all means, aim for the moon.

But for the love of the Milky Way, don't miss.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Kinds of Poems We Analyzed in Class

Water bothers Father,
Walter brought Mother
Another toddler walker,
A phone caller calls her,
"A collar worth a dollar."
Brother bought a bother Some
thing's wrong.

We belong together
Like cookie butter and kale
Gerber daisies and cheddar
Leather in your cocktail
Birds without a feather
A sail in a whale

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Conversation with an "Evil Genius"

Lucas's "Canada" quip and Marley's subsequent rhyme are from or inspired by How I met Your Mother, S9E11. Phrase, "My machinations lie undetected" from ProZD's sketch, "when you start a new game and you meet the character you know is going to betray you."

“Freddy, for six whole years today, my machinations lie undetected. Children with parents afraid of vaccinations will be infected [ambiguity intentional; both child and parent become sick]. By exploiting virality [pun] and fear on the web unassisted, I convinced a few folks there was a link where none existed [ref. belief that vaccines cause autism]. They spread those rumors far and wide, causing a measles resurrection. Now he’s away in the countryside, so I’ll infect a few folks with whom he has connection. To guarantee: for assuredly, Tim-Tim will die.”
“Sir, if you’re trying to kill Tim-Tim, why not just give him measles? You know, instead of giving measles to the people around him and hoping that he catches it, does not receive proper medical care, and dies? It seems like you’re leaving a lot of variables unaccounted for. If he’s going abroad, it won’t be so suspicious when he comes down with the disease. And why does it have to be measles? Why not give him anthrax?”
“It must be a virus to befit my computer syntax!” [pun]

“Okay, but it just seems like you could’ve killed Tim-Tim by now. Is infecting the whole continent before targeting Tim-Tim really necessary?”
Fred, you may be wary, but it is not arbitrary. The virus must be spread, homogeneous. Do not question me, Fred, I am a genius!”

“My name is Lucas.”

“Your name sounds like ‘mucus.’”

“Also, I know you’re a genius and you know it, too. Who are you trying to impress with your convoluted plan? And why are you rhyming with me? Orange.”
“I’m impressing my mother, whose maiden name was Gorringe. She was a botanist who studied a single-celled sporange. I rhyme with you because it is fun to. Any more questions and suggestions, or shall I continue?”

“I think I’m done working with you, Marley. Thanks for the employment, but I have a job elsewhere now. I can’t work like this anymore.”

“Your resignation has rocked me to my core. That castration was uncalled for! It honestly makes me feel so blue. To prevent my evil plans from landing in the wrong hands, I will have to kill you too.”

Lucas left out the door. “Let’s hope it doesn’t take as long as it will for Tim-Tim.”

Marley muttered, “The stupidity in Fred’s little head flows over the brim.”

Lucas popped his head back through the doorframe. “I’ve never met a bloke who could rhyme with Canada.”

“Except for Hannibal, he’s a tarantula from Africa. And Pamela, she taught algebra, drawing parabolas with stamina. She said in Florida there’s a radical cannibal. He reads Encyclopedia Britannica; turns out Canada has a high GDP per capita.”

Lucas was long gone before Marley could finish talking.

Why I Went to Tevin's Band Practice Instead of the Spa

Gotta get the job done
Gotta start a new nation
Gotta find my son