Behold: the Ray Bradbury Challenge.

So, right. I saw this thing yesterday on one of the writing pages I follow on Facebook, Ray Bradbury was quoted as saying “Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.”

I thought, “Well, that’s horseshit.”

Because you know what, there are people who’ve never written anything good in their whole entire lives, that’s just the facts, and also, there are people who got a raw deal, okay.

Like for instance, I remember this one fanfic author–but let me just stop myself right there and say, there are some brilliant, gorgeous, incredible works of fanfiction, okay, it only has a bad reputation because people who want to laugh at fans seek out the dumbest, cruddiest, sleaziest stuff they can find, as if nothing dumb, cruddy and sleazy has ever made it to a publishing house.

Anyway!

This was a slash author (an author of romantic and/or erotic same-sex pairings of canonically heterosexual characters) and bless her soul, she’d set herself the task of writing tag and/or fixit stories for every episode of this one TV series.

It was a terrible series, okay, just, just breathtakingly stupid, and poorly written, besides, and the performances, my God, the performances, that crap shack had more ham in it than the Meat section at Safeway on Christmas Eve. Besides all that, it was one of those shows with a revolving door of love interests, which…

Look, put yourself in this author’s place. You have created an alternate universe in which the two men you’re writing about are in a loving, committed, ongoing relationship, and you’ve set yourself the task of writing that into stories about every episode of the show they’re in, even as they bang lady after lady after lady on that show.

That, and the usual assortment of conflicts and rifts shows use to create dramatic tension between the characters you’ve come to love, and the Weird Stuff specific to this series.

My point–made at considerable length, I admit–is that this woman wrote 52 bad short stories in a row. 52 bad short stories at least. And she wasn’t a bad writer, okay. She wasn’t great, but she was all right. Serviceable. There was just no possible way she could achieve what she’d set out to do and not send it straight down the terlet from the git-go.

You can only handwave all those ladies as smokescreens or involuntary, drug-induced accidents or undercover operations or etc. so many times before it becomes obvious that you drank yourself to sleep right after the credits ran. You can only have those guys go home and snuggle or whatever after some interpersonal catastrophe so many times before they start to come off like a couple of horny psychopaths.

Anyway!

You can absolutely write 52 bad short stories in a row, without even trying, and my goal is to prove that over the course of the next year. I may not reach my goal, you understand. I could die. I could get bored with it, like I did when I decided to write a poem every day. But I’m going to try, and if even one of them turns out to be worth your time, I’ll… I don’t even know what.

I’ll boggle; yes.

Boggle.

 

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You’re right, Porsche Carrera Man. You’re so, so, so, so right.

I was forced to know about a Porsche Carrera

on my walk home from work this afternoon.

It was flat, dark grey, a shade most likely known as

Leaving Your Sobbing, Aged Mother Alone At The Old Folks Home Even Though A Storm’s A-Brewin’ And You Know Full Well That She’s Terrified Of Thunder. What Does It Matter? She’s Forgetful Now, So Forgetful, Has Probably Forgotten That She Saw You Today Anyway, Will Forget The Storm Too, As Soon As It Has Passed. Turn Up Your Sugar Ray Mix CD And Live The Dream.

(The Carrera has a CD player in this scenario. It wasn’t the latest model.)

It was 5:17pm and he gunned his engine and drove at reckless speeds

down a narrow street in the medical district

aka The Bike Path

Tons of foot traffic

Women and children first

Unless you’re driving an older Porsche Carrera

in which case the sky’s the limit

(except he’ll probably go to hell eventually, if hell exists, and not skyward,

because he drove like an asshole

like a goatse-level asshole

don’t Google that

don’t.)

I saw him again a short time later

gunning his engine and driving at reckless speeds

this time down six lanes of congested rush-hour traffic

I’M ABOVE RUSH-HOUR TRAFFIC

he seemed to say, senselessly

I HAVE A PORSCHE CARRERA, MY WEALTH AND SUPERIORITY ARE EVIDENT

MAKE WAY FOR ME, EMERGENCY VEHICLES

PARENTS

TIRED PROFESSIONALS OF ASSORTED PROVENANCE

I HAVE A PORSCHE CARRERA

CARRRRRREEEEEEEEERRRRRRRAAAAAAAAA

YOU WANT TO FUCK ME, he seemed to say

YOUR MOM WANTS TO FUCK ME

YOUR KID’S BABY YOGA INSTRUCTOR WANTS TO FUCK ME

THAT K-BRO LINENS TRUCK DRIVER WHO JUST CUT ME OFF WANTS TO FUCK ME

THAT’S WHY HE CUT ME OFF

I KNOW IT

CARRRRRREEEEEEEEERRRRRRRAAAAAAAAA

I didn’t want to fuck him

I just wanted him to drive a less boring car

But I don’t drive anything

so I don’t count.

 

The Weather Network has a daily poll/quiz/whathaveyou.

The Weather Network has a daily poll/quiz/whathaveyou.
It’s called COFFEE BREAK,
all caps, just like that,
predicting your desperation,
though about as accurately as it does the rain.
(14-day forecasts are for suckers.
Stop lying to yourself about that.)
Which province is called Land of Living Skies?
Which of the following is a type of cloud?
Which of these weather events scares you the most?
No matter the subject at hand,
the comments are always unhinged arguments
about climate change
chemtrails
wind farms
solar panels draining the sun’s energy.
“Wake up, sheeple!”
It’s so unexpected.
People post photos of sunsets
puppies
summer corn
then make rape threats to strangers
who believe in global warming.
I like it quite a bit.
(Not the rape threats;
the disparity.)
Yesterday COFFEE BREAK asked
What’s your favourite thing about fall?
and it gave you three choices of things to love:
wearing sweaters
wearing boots
pumpkin spice
I mean it.
Those were the options.
Not the changing trees
cooler weather
longer nights
blustery days
the smell of burning leaves
shuffling through other leaves while you’re out walking
little kids whose mittens are tied together
little dogs who have to wear a jacket
little old ladies in plastic rain bonnets
etc.
Not even people who start wearing a parka on September 1st
even though it’s still 25C outside.
Just sweaters, boots, pumpkin spice.
These are what you love about fall
if you don’t love fall, actually.
Like how my favourite thing about Xmas
is rum and eggnog.
Valentine’s Day:
cheap candy on the 15th.
(Not the buying of it, mind you.
Dusty, unwanted heart-shaped boxes
available at deep discounts because the candy won’t keep till next year.
Love for sale.)
Hallowe’en:
bits and pieces of peoples’ costumes
strewn in the gutter on the morning after.
Boots, I ask you.
What kind of psychopath..?

AHS: Freak Show was a shit sandwich, if you ask me.

AHS: Freak Show was a shit sandwich, if you ask me.
There was this one episode,
I kept watching but I gave up on it then,
The Lobster Boy wants to sing “Come As You Are.”
“I’m gonna do it my way,” he growls,
and then he does it his way,
even though his way is not very sportsmanlike.
The season is set in 1952,
if you take my meaning.
Tons of people perform anachronistic songs in Freak Show;
that’s not the problem exactly.
The problem is,
I don’t watch American Horror Story
to hear people sing
and you don’t go to a freak show
to hear people sing.
I know you got the music in you, Evan Peters,
but there’s a time and place.
If you have a point to make
about seeing people three-dimensionally,
make it on your own time, friendo.
It’s all downhill after “Come As You Are,”
for some reason.
A revolving door of guest stars,
each with his own subplot
unconnected to any story.
Neil Patrick Harris is a psychotic lizard salesman
who’s in an abusive relationship with a dummy.
Also he was on American Horror Story.
(Ha, I got you.)
Ernest Borgnine rises from the grave
to sing “Swinging on a Star.”
No thanks, Ernest Borgnine, I would not like to swing on a star,
I’m pretty busy these days.
But neither would I rather be a pig.
Come on.
There are more options than that.
Gerard Depardieu wanders in
looking for deep-fried Kool-Aid.
He saw it on Buzzfeed:
50 Insane County Fair Foods That Will Give You Life
Then Kill You Because Fried Food is Unhealthful.
Honestly,
I think that scene was a mistake on his part
and they only left it in to woo the critics.
and that was a freak show, I imagine
but he wasn’t singing anything.
(Probably he was singing something.
Who wouldn’t?)
You know who else they got, though
–and I don’t know how they did it–
Denise Richards.
There’s this big musical extravaganza
the whole cast singing “525,600 Minutes,”
because I am cursed in this life,
and right at the end of it
music swelling
Denise Richards takes the stage and says
“Ask yourself: who are the real freaks?”
Fade to black.
I told you
AHS: Freak Show was a shit sandwich.
I still came back for season 5 though.

Scan BC has gone downhill

Scan BC has gone downhill.
Not w/r/t its content; no.
Its content has always been comfortably insane,
and I think we can rely on that.
People down south won’t believe you if you say it
but
Canada is full of drunks
crazies
sex perverts
people who get in fistfights with their landlord.
I used to know a guy who was beaten with his own tree.
(You’d think it would be bad enough
being beaten with someone else’s tree,
but there are degrees.)
For a while there, though
public masturbation was rampant suddenly
people pulling their goalies
feeding the geese
etc.
in front of God and everyone
and sometimes Orange Julius.
We’ve been scarred by those events.
Scan BC says:
someone fought a power pole
someone robbed a jewelry store
someone yelled at a dog
in front of God and everyone
and sometimes Orange Julius.
And before,
the comments rivaled the posts for sheer entertainment
(apart from friendly accusations,
“Where were YOU last nite Dave Olafson lol”)
Now, though
first
second
third
sometimes even fourth
all ask if the accused was masturbating lol.
No laughing matter, if you ask me.
Lazy, uninspired jokes are the real crime here.
Thanks in advance
for not comparing them to masturbation.

My neighbour has a haunted doll

My neighbour has a haunted doll. She doesn’t seem the type.

She’s not a recent divorcee,

nor a newlywed who’s just moved into a cheap apartment with her husband so they can save up for their down payment

(both of these being traditional finders of haunted dolls in disused closets

cellars

attics.)

She’s not her dead great-aunt’s executrix,

nor the kind of person who’d accept a strange gift from a strange man in a strange shop.

She’d never set foot in a strange shop in the first place,

not even in times of inclement weather

or stranger danger.

She’s away from home for weeks on end,

and then comes back and watches tons of teevee,

and yells into her phone, out on her deck

like some kind of psychopath.

(I’m not some kind of looky-loo, I swear.

The view from our parlour’s through the window to hers,

so her window

–so often shaded–

draws the eye a bit when she comes home.)

The doll’s a new addition,

perched on an incidental table near her window.

It’s dressed in dark red velvet,

some kind of floor-length dress or robe with a cinched waist

and thin gold garland piping.

It wears a matching cap,

one of those muffin top affairs from olden times.

It has a silky white pageboy hairdo.

It can’t be Mrs. Santa Claus.

It’s September 12th.

Summertime, still.

It can’t be Mrs. Santa Claus.

Please, no.

My traffic is down 100% since Saturday.

You people are monsters.