Category Archives: Sketches

The Novel’s Coming Along, Gosh it’s So Nice of You to Ask

Yep. That novel is practically writing itself. Oops, did I say “practically” I meant “literally”, because if that novel is getting written, I sure as hell am not the one doing all the typing.

That’s right, I have fairly little time as it is to write, what with my one-man mission to finish every last game of Spider Solitaire. At this rate, I may get to complete this goal shortly before I die of old age. But you know, it’s wise to have multiple life-goals so when one of them doesn’t work out you can always fall back on another just as easily as falling for another Nigerian-banker-scam.

Most of the time I’m just waiting for the right moment to come along to put the finishing touches on that novel that I’ve barely started. Lucky for me I have a really clear idea of what I should be thinking while I write novels, when I eventually get around to it. yeah, I’ve go it all “up here”… I’ll be all like “I am so writing an awesome novel”. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s what Mark Twain was overheard muttering to himself when he wrote Huck Finn… check his autobiography if you don’t believe me. I don’t have to because I’m just that sure, but you do whatever the hell you like.

Sure, I know you tend to bump into me at the same Starbucks day in day out, but don’t you have anything better to do than to criticize my reliability and constancy? I mean it’s not like you’ve never seen me working, because if you did you’d know that working is exactly what I’m doing right now and that’s why you suck. That, and you deliberately threw out my empty coffee-cup. Now I’m going to have to buy another “Short Americano” or the barista is going to ask me to leave. Thank you very much for that.


Dick is Talking to You

Going to a restaurant with me is never dull… it’s not fun either, but at least its not dull:

Waiter: “Good evening, I’ll be your waiter for this evening… Dick”

Me: “Good evening, can you recommend the seafood here?”

Waiter: “Seafood is arse specialty!”

Me: “Fine, then… wait… did you say ‘arse specialty’?”

Waiter: “Bum?”

Me: “Did you just answer my question with ‘bum’?”

Waiter: “No, I didn’t hear your question clearly so I said ‘Hmm?'”

Me: “Sounded like ‘bum’…”

Waiter: “It must be Tourette’s Syndrome.”

Me: “You have Tourette’s? Well, I’m sorry about that-”

Waiter: “No, I meant YOU have Tourette’s.”

Me: “I… have Tourette’s… in… my ears?”

Waiter: “Precisely.”

Me: “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard all day.”

Waiter: “You should listen to yourself talk, it’s more ridiculous than you know.”

Me: “Whatever, Dick… I’ll just have the steak.”

Waiter: “See? There you go again!”


Grocery Checkout Lines and the Meaning of Life

Crackers… olives… coconut water… yep! Shopping list is complete. Breakfast of champions!

Wow, would you look at that? Only one register is open and it’s the middle of the day! What were they thinking?

This shouldn’t be too bad, I see I’ll be queuing up behind an elderly lady, some guy with a twitch in his neck, another guy who is extremely tall and skinny, a woman in a business ‘power suit’ and a mother with her toddler son. That’s just five people, I’ll be through this in no time.

…Gosh, that skinny guy is like really skinny. I mean really skinny. I reckon he makes a whistling sound on a windy day if he turns sideways to the wind current.

Great, the toddler is making faces at me, I would rise to the bait but I think I’ll just gaze at the magazine covers. Hm. Seems if you’re not getting cheated on, you’re getting pregnant or you’re pregnant but the father is cheating on you, or you’re pregnant because you cheated with someone else. Same stuff, different week.

This line hasn’t moved at all. What the hell… I mean I can see the cashier from here, she’s actually doing stuff, so why isn’t this line moving forward?

How many people are left? One… two… three… four… five.Huh, you know I could have sworn the kid making faces was a toddler, but you know he’s too big for that on second glance.

Ugh. Internet on my phone is broken. Bogus. Why does it always happen in the checkout line?

Look at that! I reckon twitchy-guy is going to lose it pretty soon. I mean he looks really agitated. Hey, did twitchy take a step forward since i last looked? Maybe there’s nothing left to get so twitchy about: one.. two… three… four… five. Dammit!

…Hey, what’s my eye doing? Feels like there’s a little earthquake going on there?

Toddler definitely not a toddler but a teenager. He looks old enough to be driving soon. How did I miss that?

Old lady at the front can’t get the hang of using the debit card machine. She’s entered her PIN wrong like 4 or five times now. Wow, look at twitchy! He’s going purple.

But never mind that, the young man in front of me just introduced his fianceé to his mother. Ooo! They do not like each other at… all!

Hey, what’s going on now? The old lady is getting her items cashed out again? What the hell?

Gosh, what well behaved grandchildren the lady in front of me has. Ah, that’s it, she’s placated them with candy bars.

Magazine rack looks the same as before. President Chelsea Clinton denies she’s carrying Justin Bieber’s unborn child. Oh man, I think the line is going backwards. The checkout line is actually going backwards now.

Forget this, life is too short. Lets go out for breakfast!


Saturday Sketch: Mark Muttle

Being such a terrible communicator it is better than mere irony that I find you reading this…

In fact, I am such a bad communicator that I need to practice talking all the time (and you thought I was just crazy, talking to myself all day!), rehearsing simple questions and statements as often as I can. You see, my bad communication skills tend to let me jumble up really simple conversation starters like “What time is it?” into “Kinky Brussels sprout sadist!”. Just try and explain that one away to the unfortunate person standing next to you on the subway platform or in front of you at the grocery checkout line. Not easy.

Take all assurance that this situation is just as embarrassing to me as it would be to an unfortunate person like you could be one of these days.

Hence, the writing is good enough practice to retard the broken engine in my head just enough that “Orange boot heel scrap metal” comes out correctly as “I think it is about to rain, oh darn.”

It is not all bad, cryptanalysts have approached me about turning my affliction into a natural cryptography method. After all, what better cryptography tool than your own brain and mouth? No one can tell that you have a special cryptography device and you can use it at any time anywhere or all the time everywhere, if that’s what you really want.

However, I have accepted nothing and made no promises to these cryptanalysts yet I am suspicious that other people watching me believe that I have already turned myself into a super spy and attempt to converse with me in super-secret spy language. For example the other day a bus driver told me to “get encapsulated by the bluest fire exit” instead of “exact change only”. I found that a little suspicious.


Bonus Sketch: Area Man Throws Out Soup

“Actually, it was chowder… clam or chicken. I don’t remember anymore, the label had mostly peeled off. All that time on my shelf and I can’t even remember what the label looked like, what kind of an insensitive bastard am I,” said Sam Flagweaver of himself, clearly distraught over the loss of a hearty snack.

The label had mostly fallen off after the sides of the can slowly bulged out after years of resting on the second shelf of the 3rd cabinet from the left. The bulge was a telltale sign of botulism, but Sam still checked the “best before” date printed on the top—just to be sure.

“I remember the day I brought it home,” opined the accountant (currently unemployed), “I was in the store and I was wandering aimlessly in the general direction of the frozen chicken wings and corndogs when I passed by the soup aisle—the chowder was on special that day, two for one–and I said to myself ‘chowder? I could do chowder…’ so I bought two cans and some Lemon Pledge—I wasn’t going to eat it, that’s what I went there for in the first place.”

“I brought that soup home, all happy and stuff… The first can never even hit the pantry shelf, I heated it up and ate it right away. Then I put that can on the second shelf and never gave it another thought—until now (lunchtime)…”

“I kept telling myself: ‘better finish of that chowder today, Sam’. But I was all: ‘nah, there’s still time’… and now: it’s too late. I thought there was more time… there was no more time… dammit!

At this point Sam punched the wall, terminating the interview. At this moment he is sitting in a corner, rocking and muttering to himself “never again… never again…”

The can of chowder is survived by a box of Saltines. Sam will not be made aware that the Saltines had turned moldy from sitting next to a spoiled can of soup until a later date and after much professional therapy.


Sunday Morning Sketch: Dear Diary

Dear Diary, I am still suffering from delusions that you are a real person. My doctor says I have to stop addressing you at the beginning of all my journal entries but I just don’t want to!

We have discussed at length about how you don’t resemble a person in any way whatsoever. Apparently you need legs, arms and a head at the bare minimum to qualify as a person. I asked him about handicapped people in wheelchairs, you know amputees and such and he ended the session early that day complaining of a “migram” whatever the heck that is.

I just don’t know about this doctor, he seems like a bit of a flake if you ask me!

Always going on about headaches and stuff, I think he’s the one who should be getting his head looked at! What do you think Diary? Yes, me too!

Which brings us to another point we, the doctor and I, talked over a few weeks ago. Namely, if you’re not a real person, then why do you answer my questions with a reply of your own? Doctor was really not impressed by that, in fact he looked kind of mad, then he gave me a small piece of candy to eat and I don’t remember anything for a while after that. I woke up a day later and my head really kind of hurt. I think there was something physically the matter with it but I could not check as the kind nurses wrapped me up in my snug white jacket while I was out cold. Bless their cotton socks, they’re so thoughtful! I suspected that I must have bumped my head at some point in between eating candy and waking up in my favorite room (the one with the nice warm quilting on the walls– so soft!)   but when I asked the doctor about it he became evasive and tried to get me to eat more candy and when I said I wasn’t hungry just now, thank you, he tried to make me eat it anyway, which was a pretty easy thing to do since my snug jacket was extra tight lately and I found it difficult to remove my hand from the jacket pockets (Diary, explain to me why they put pockets so far in the back of the jacket instead of on the sides where it’s more convenient? Hm? Yeah, I don’t have an answer for that one either. Remind me I must ask the doctor about the choices undertaken when fabricating these jackets, it seems like a mistake to me. …What’s that? Oh yeas, I am pleased that you agree with me Diary!) So eventually the doctor convinced me I really was hungry after all– and considering all the effort I went through to have my jaws pried apart, I think I really was a little hungry by the end of it all although why I have to take these nasty little pieces of candy instead of a nice grilled cheese sandwich I’ll never know… yeah, maybe they aren’t allowed to use the stove either– that makes sense, good thinking Diary! So the next time I woke up I was positively ravenous and really was interested in something good to eat. So I did what the local custom dictates for the protocol of summoning the waiter namely beating my head on the door of my favorite room and shouting that Satan is trying to nibble on my toes. Or so I thought… it seems that’s actually the local custom for summoning the Maitre ‘D and he wasn’t going to get the waiter for me and told me I had to sit at my table and wait for the waiter to get there. …What that? Yes, I guess that’s really why they do call it a waiter, ha ha ha! See diary, if only the Doctor understood how funny you are, then he’d really believe that you’re a real person, even if you have no legs and arms or a head. I swear that was all a big misunderstanding, it’s not like you didn’t have those things at one time, I just removed them because you didn’t appear to need them right at that moment in time. How was I to Know I’d forget them on the bus? You and me both, Diary! Oh my, this sides, full, wait a minute while I turn you over and write on the other side… There that’s better. Now, where was I? Oh yeah, it’s not like it was my fault that lady sat next to me just as we hit a bump in the road making your head spill out of my Adidas bag, and I’m sure if she had taken the time to get to know you she’d agree that you are a delightful converstationalist who– oh wait, here comes the doctor– Sure I’ll ask if he has two pieces of candy so we can bo


Saturday Morning Sketch: Just another evening in the Fandango Room

OK! First things first, let’s get this cleared up right away without any room for misunderstanding or misinterpretation: I never said she was ugly, just that she looked kind of ugly.

See? There’s a small difference there that really means a lot in semantic conversations like this one. Don’t get bogged down in semantics with me, I tell you. I’ll take you to school and show you a few things about semantics that you wouldn’t even know the meaning of! So just you watch your step there buddy.

Now back to the original point, which was this: there were plenty of people in the bar that were not as attractive as she was, but she certainly wasn’t the finest puppy in the littler either.

You have to admit that the napkin stuck to the side of her face was really dammed unattractive. Oh sure, it may have just been a really large band-aid or something but that’s just emphasizes my point doesn’t it? If you can’t go outside looking good, why bother going out at all? I mean, you just end up blocking the view to someone more attractive than yourself. Not that unattractiveness is necessarily a permanent thing. Come back out when the scabs heal, honey, then we can talk.

Frankly, I don’t see where you get off copping such an attitude, I mean I stood right next to her and looked really sorry for calling her ugly, almost speaking a verbal apology, before pointing to my temple with my index finger and making a “that’s so crazy” twirling motion just to let the guys know I’m not being a total fag or something.

I felt that bad, really I did. Clearly, no difference could ever make up  to her anyway, as I do believe  the napkin was partially stuck in her ear making it difficult to listen to reasonable dialog such as my own, so I didn’t bother.

Next you’ll be telling me I’m some sort of bastard for not trying to apologize directly to her, and I think you are completely wrong on this point too. After all, if you’re going to limp around like that going “my crutches! my crutches! give me back my crutches!” then I’ll just be all: “don’t get so unattractive on me, shape up or ship out or limp out or whatever it is you do”. …Don’t look at me that way!

How can you really be sure she was crying over something I said? I mean she was in a car accident just the other day, maybe she’s crying because she’s got some wicked bad post traumatic stress disease or something…. Yeah, I bet you didn’t think of that one did you?

What do you mean by “of course not”? Are you agreeing that you’re not as sensitive and intelligent as I am, is that it?

Well if that’s the case you’ve got a thing or two to learn about the basic principles of formal debate because you friend are getting your butt whooped just now. Not that any debating skills would matter when you’re up against my keen mind and laser focused intellect. Yes, that’s it, throw your hands up in the air and walk away… you’re not going to win many debates with that kind of attitude my friend!

I tell you some people just aren’t ready for what I’m dishing out.

In a way I feel kind of sorry for these poor bastards, nobody can handle me and my intellect because when I throw down, it stays down and nobody’s going to pick it up unless I’m done with it. What doyou mean what is “it”? “It” is what I’m throwing down! Do you dare to pick it up? Ha, there you go again! Turning your back to me and shaking your head has no place in a serious semantic debate such as this one! I suggest you smarten up a bit there and get your shit together so we can resolve this discussion of its own volition so we can move on to more important things.

… Hey dude, I don’t know what you said to those big buys at the front door when you walked away for a few seconds just now, but I think you really pissed them off because they’re headed this way and mean they look like somebody just pissed in their corn flakes. Aren’t you going to get a move on? They look so serious and it’s probably all your fault since you were the last one to talk to them and all that, oh shit they’re here…

Hi gentlemen, what can we do for you today? No I don’t think I’ve had any trouble finding the door, it’s right over there after all and — hey put me down!