My monkey suit lawyer.

I object!

I’ve had my lawyer, Dick Van Pac-Man, for 23 years. Ever since I sued McDonald’s at the age of 7, Dick Van Pac-Man has been by my side.

4 years ago, when he got horribly burned in a grease fire on over 80% of his body, I vowed to repay his loyalty. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting him to live through the night. But he did.

all through the emergency surgeries, the skin grafts, rehab and his eventual, miraculous return to work, I was there.

The problem is, he looks gross.

That sounds mean, but I’m just being brutally honest with you.

You know when you put a hotdog in the microwave for too long and it explodes?

So he went back to being a lawyer, but predictably, there wasn’t much work for an exploded microwave hot dog lawyer.

And that’s a shame, really. He’s a damn good lawyer. My $7.3 million settlement would attest to that.

I mean, I guess if you could be a lawyer strictly over the phone, he would be fine. You know what, that’s not actually true, because his voice got sort of messed up too.

So what do I do with this guy? He looks like a circus sideshow reject, he can’t get work, he poops in a bag tied around his leg because he’s got no sphincter, but I have a sense of loyalty to him that I just can’t shake.

And then it hits me. Against my  better advice,  we are eating lunch in a downtown Burger King, when a lady comes in with a kid in a stroller. The kid takes one look at ol’ Dick and loses his shit. The kid’s crying, the mom is horrified and it’s a replay of the exact same situation we’ve been in a hundred times. only this time, something clicks. The mom pulls a stuffed monkey out of her bag and puts it right in the kid’s face to distract him. She’s making noises, waving it around, anything to make the kid stop staring at my horribly disfigured lawyer.

And it works.

Dick goes back to his whopper, but I start thinking. Why isn’t this kid scared of the monkey?

A few days later, I show up at the law offices of Richard Van Pac-Man, Esq. with a big surprise.

A monkey suit!

“A monkey suit?” He asks, “You want me to wear a monkey suit?”

I tell him to hear me out. He’s gotta live his life. He’s got to go out in public. But when he does, he makes children cry. Not him, I tell him, his appearance. The monkey suit takes that away. Levels the playing field, as it were. People will no longer scream and cry.Sure, it’s a bit odd, but at least they’re not horrified. And it’s a conversation starter. How long has it been since you’ve been in an actual conversation with somebody other than me, I ask him.

eventually, I win him over. He agrees to try on the suit. For the 1st time since his accident, he enters the room and I don’t visibly recoil in horror. I laugh! I tell him he looks great.

He’s got all kinds of reservations about it. “People won’t take me seriously in a monkey suit, blah blah blah.”

but I’ve thought of everything. I present him with a monkey suit sized tuxedo, top hat and cane. For court, I tell him.

Now there’s no way I can really be sure of this, because even if he wasn’t wearing a full monkey suit and mask, the fire burned most of his lips and mouth completely off, but I think he actually cracked a smile. It’s hard not to.

I am happy to announce that Richard Van Pac-Man,esq. has returned to work, busier and more successful than ever.

Oh sure, there was some growing pains. Some difficult conversations with the judicial system. But one of his biggest cases since getting back was an enormous judgment in his favor for a landmark discrimination suit, that he took up against anybody who would seek to bar him from practicing law while wearing a monkey suit.

Thanks to him, if any lawyers get horribly disfigured and wish to practice law while wearing a monkey suit, their rights are protected in the state Constitution.

plus, the publicity generated by the lawsuit and resulting media coverage, resulted in a barrage of new clients, because honestly, who isn’t going to want a guy in a monkey suit as their lawyer?

Things are looking up for Mr. Van Pac-Man in the personal department as well, thanks to the growing popularity of an Internet subculture called “Plushies.”

And you would say I’ve done nothing good with my life, mom?

NPR 3-minute fiction contest

So, I entered this: and I lost. You can go to that site and read what won, or you can stay here and read my losing entry!  The parameters were that it had to be less than 600 words and feature one character arriving somewhere and one person leaving the same place. Enjoy!


Take it or leave it, by Eric Filipkowski

“Excuse me, sir, could you hold the door for me?”

Chip looked behind him to see the elderly female letter carrier approaching, her arms overflowing with letters and packages.

“I’m sorry, do you live here? I don’t recognize you from the building.”

She stared at him for a long second.

“I’m the mail carrier. I work for the post office.”

“Or so you would have me believe. Who is to say that you didn’t just rent that costume to gain entry for nefarious purposes?”

“Is this a joke?” She asked.

“That’s what I would like to know.”

The awkward silence was interrupted by a new arrival. An attractive blonde girl in her early twenties approached the door.

“Now her, I recognize!”

He lifted his arm to allow her ingress. Once she was in, he ignored the protests of the postal worker and shut the door. He pretended not to hear her banging, while he addressed the blonde woman.

“So, I’ve never seen you around here before.”

“I just moved in. Don’t you think we should let the mail lady in?” She asked, as the banging was getting louder and more persistent.

“Nah, she’s fine. You’re just moving in? That’s interesting.”

“Why is that interesting?”

“Because I am actually in the process of moving out. It’s a shame, really. You’re just my type. I have a thing for attractive women.”

She rolled her eyes.

He looked her over. “Let me guess: you’re an actress. From somewhere out in the middle of nowhere, with dreams of stardom?”

“Close, Florida.” It was now her turn. “Let me try: you’ve been out here for 15 years, did some bit parts on TV, a few commercials, but you never hit it big and now you’ve grown tired of living in an apartment you pay too much for and your only joy in life comes from shitting on the dreams of the people who still have hope and love in their hearts. Sound about right?”

He was no longer smiling. “I would hardly say it was a few commercials. More like fifty. The other stuff was spot on.” The smirk started to come back.

“Can I give you some advice?” She asked.

“Isn’t this supposed to go the other way around?”

“I already know where to get head shots and never take my top off for an audition I see on Craigslist. I’m being genuine.”

“Okay, shoot.” He said.

“When you’re out in the real world, don’t be afraid to change it up. If this isn’t working for you, try something else. Try being a real person. If it’s been a while, you might be surprised when you see how people react to it.”

She smiled at him and turned to get on the elevator.

He stood there and thought for a second about what she had said. He opened the door for the mail woman and with an apologetic look, said, “I’m sorry about that, I really am. I don’t even live here. That blonde girl paid me fifty dollars to do that, but honestly, it wasn’t about the money. I was too scared to say no. She had this crazy look in her eyes!”


Dear The Maid,

Dear The Maid,

Sorry I don’t know your name, but I’m sorta busy. We don’t all get to just spend our days goofing off in other peoples’ houses, you know.

Anyway, I’m sure you’re a great person and all, but can you please cut it out with that vacuum bullshit? It’s bad enough that I have to delay my nap for four hours to make sure you don’t steal anything, but now I’ve gotta listen to this racket??

I’m trying to get my picks in for my NFL pool!

I mean, Christ, this is ridiculous. Heard of a broom? Does the same job. No noise.

Problem solved.

I mean, how long does it take to clean a one bedroom luxury apartment? Seriously, I’m asking, I’ve never done it. It can’t take more than 20 or 30 minutes. So what the hell are you doing here the rest of the time?

‘Casing the joint’ so your ‘gang’ can come back later and rob me?

Pretending it’s your house and you’re rich like me?

I think the real answer is that you’re taking an extra long time so that I’ll feel guilty that you’re doing all this hard work for your 37 dollars (35 dollar flat rate plus tip).

So in summation, The Maid, I hope you think about how you’re ripping me off, forcing me to listen to that god-awful vacuum of yours and preventing me from getting my shit done so I can take a well-deserved, mid-afternoon nap.

I’m sleepy!

Sincerely, Steven Spielberg (no relation)

I lost a contest!

suicide laser

So a few months ago, my mom called me and said, “Hey, I was listening to NPR and they announced that they’re having a fiction writing contest! You should enter that! Because you’re a writer!”

I went online and looked it up. There was actually an interesting premise to the contest; every story had to be under 600 words and begin with the same sentence.

“The nurse left work at 5 o’clock.”

So against my better judgment, I entered.

I didn’t win. I didn’t even get a mention. Luckily, I’m not bitter about it.

Here’s a little description of the contest and the winning entry is at the bottom. Click here.

Anyway, without any (additional) further ado, here is my losing entry, entitled, “I am lazy and rather than write something new, I can post this story I already wrote and pass it off as new and nobody will be any wiser for it!”

The nurse left work at 5 o’clock. Every day, 5 o’clock. On the nose.

For nearly a year, I had watched her, studied her every move. Well, every move as it related to her automobile usage, anyway.

I arrived at the hospital garage a little after nine am. I put my hand on the hood. Still warm. I had just under eight hours.

I pulled the coat hanger out of my duffel bag. After spending a few minutes untwisting it and straightening it out, I moved it around, up and down, along the window, realizing too late that I had no idea how to pick a car door lock.

Seeing as how I had been planning this operation for nearly 12 months, it’s sorta unforgivable that I hadn’t thought of that.

Deciding to improvise, I threw a rock through the window, clearing my throat in a vain attempt to mask the sound of glass breaking.

Immediately, the car alarm started shrieking its deafening sound. One more thing I hadn’t counted on.

As I slid into the debris-covered driver’s seat, I deftly reached under the steering column for the familiar wires. This was one part of the job that I actually had prepared for.

Just like in the internet videos that I had watched at the library, the engine roared to life. Well, I assumed it roared, because I couldn’t actually hear anything but the siren and the ringing in my ears that it had created.

If I had been hoping to drive off, unnoticed, in a vehicle with a broken window and the car alarm going off, I sure had another thing coming.

Though many of the doctors, nurses and various support staff felt free to brazenly stare and point at me as I exited the hospital grounds, luckily, none of them seemed to think it was worth informing the police or confronting me about it.

As I am no fan of confrontation or authority figures, I was pleased with this bit of luck.

After twenty minutes on the freeway, I reached my destination, thankful that it hadn’t snowed today.

As I pulled into the driveway, I was delighted to see that, unlike last year, not only was there no huge line, my car was the only one at the window.

“I’d like one free junior taco, please!” I said, triumphantly.

“Huh?” replied the dimwitted, teenage employee.

“My free junior taco.” My request was met with a blank, pimply stare.

“That’ll be 85 cents,” he replied.

“No, it won’t. It’ll be free. Every year, you have a giveaway to mark the anniversary of the founding of your restaurant. One free junior taco, given out only at the drive thru and apparently not to anybody going through the drive thru on a bike, as I learned last year.”

“Sir, that promotion was 3 days ago.”

As I drove off, defeated, I realized that this free junior taco (the one I never even gotten) had cost me much more than its 85 cent retail value. It had cost me my job, my friends and the respect of my peers in the medieval recreation society. Worst of all, it had nearly cost me my sanity.

But I had a dream and I went for it. It didn’t work out, but at least I took a shot. That’s a lot more than most people can say.

Now it was time to get on with my life and start being responsible.

So I pushed the car into the river and faked my own death.

My boss is a dick


Right now, the astute reader is asking him or herself the question, “Wait a minute, this jobless loser doesn’t have a boss, what gives?”

You’re right, I don’t have a boss. I’m self-employed,  asshole.

Anyway, in honor of Geocities closing down this month, I thought I would re-print a few things I wrote early on in my career. Soon my first website will be gone forever, so check it out while you can! I swear to god that is my actual first webpage and not a fake first webpage I made as a goof.

This is a piece in the form of a fake ‘Letter to the Editor’-style.

My Boss Is A Dick – By Nelson Cummingham

Jerry –excuse me– “Mr. Reynolds”, had no right taking away my instant messenger like that.  I don’t care if it is official company policy that no instant messaging software of any sort is to be installed on office computers, because the fact is, everyone does it!  I was about to point this out to Mr. High and Mighty himself, but figured it wouldn’t help my popularity if I were to ruin it for everyone else.  And popularity never hurts when you’re engaged in a lengthy appeals process.  Bring up all the character witnesses you want, Jerry!  After tomorrow morning, they’ll all be singing my praises; thanks to the box of Krispy Kreme donuts I’ll be donating to the break room!  The appeals board is going to see that I’m a hardworking (not to mention POPULAR) employee who deserves the chance to take a few minutes out of every hour to talk to his buddies back east.  I’ve been with Global Systems for almost 11 months and I’ve spent the better part of a year and a half working in the technical support industry as a whole and I’ve never heard of a company that didn’t let its employees use instant messenger!  If they want to keep me around and reap the fruits of my experience and know-how, they’ll have no choice but to keep me happy and meet my REASONABLE demands.

Please Don’t Call Me A ‘Dick’ – By Jerry Reynolds

First of all, there’s no need to resort to childish name-calling over a simple matter like this.  If Nelson has a problem with my administrative decisions, he should voice his concerns with me directly.  Judging by some of the misinformation in his editorial, this issue could be resolved quickly if he would simply listen to my side of the argument.  I made it clear from the beginning that my problem was never with his installation and use of the instant messenger software.  Rather, I took the actions necessary because after several warnings, Mr. Cunningham continued to engage in conduct inappropriate for an office environment.  Namely, posing online as a minor to lure underage girls into meeting him for sexual intercourse.  Before taking the steps I did, I offered him the option of simply changing his screen name from “ClitNibbler69” to something more restrained, but Mr. Cunningham declined, instead opting to take his complaints to the appeals board.  For the record, no such board currently exists.  In addition to his previously mentioned transgressions, Mr. Cunningham insisted on using the company message board to relate the explicit details of his encounters with these young women.  He even accompanied several postings with full color pictures, the contents of which can only be deemed as ‘child pornography’.  Let me take this time to reiterate that if Mr. Cunningham agrees to cease his illegal activity on company time using company resources, I will gladly apologize and personally re-install his instant messaging software myself.  I am, of course, open to comments and criticism by any other members of the staff over my handling of this matter, and as always, my door is open to you all.


My $50,000,000 lawsuit

marco polo





And on and on it went. Their high-pitched voices like nails on a chalkboard. And not fingernails. Real nails, the kind you hammer with.

It started around eleven in the morning, waking me from a deep slumber. I laid in bed, trying to ignore it, to somehow get back to sleep.

“Fish out of water!” one of them screeched and then they all yucked it up.

I lost it.

“Shut up! Shut the fuck up, you fucking kids! Shut up now or I will shut you up! Forever!” I yelled out my window.

Silence. Then crying. Lots of crying. And the sound of an adult male getting really worked up about what I had just said. Woops.

“No, I’m not gonna calm down. Who the hell does he think he is? Yelling at my kids like that? I don’t care, Barbara, I’m gonna go up there and give him a piece of my mind!”

“Yeah, you come up here, toughguy, I’ll kick your fucking ass!” I thought, as I instinctively pulled the covers up a little higher.

“OK, well when you get back, I have to go out to the van and change Rashawn’s diaper,” replied the woman.

Rashawn?? Oh shit, was this a black guy? Why couldn’t I have just kept my mouth shut? Or at least gotten out of bed and closed the window? I’m sure that would have cut down on the noise by a pretty significant amount.


“Hey, asshole. Open up!”

Judging by his voice and the force with which he knocked on my door, I figured I was in trouble.

“C’mon, toughguy. You were talking all big before, let’s see what you got!” He persisted.

Well, certainly, he would give up and go away, forgetting all about this after a few minutes, right? I mean, Rashawn’s diaper needed changing!

But no, he kept at it. Knocking and banging and yelling and making all sorts of crazy threats.

I crept up to the peephole, indeed, he was a very large man. I’m not sure if he was black or hispanic or what, but he definitely wasn’t white. Maybe Samoan or something?

“Hey, I see the light of the peephole, I know you’re looking at me, asshole! Come on out here, so I can kick your ass!”

Busted. Great. Time for some fast-thinking!

“You’re gonna kick my ass?” I asked, meakly.

“That’s right, bitch. Now open up. I can wait all day.”

My thoughts drifted to poor Rashawn and his poop-filled diaper, but I figured it was best not to provoke him anymore.

“You’re gonna kick the ass of someone with cancer?”

Silence. That seemed to work!

“Well, I…” he stammered.

“Look, I didn’t mean to yell at your kids, but the chemo pains are really bad, especially in the morning,” I offered, as way of a semi-apology.

“Oh. OK, look, I’m sorry. I’m not gonna beat you up. I’ll have the kids keep it down. Sorry. Bye.”

And off he went!

Now, if I had chalked this up to dumb luck, learned my lesson and went on my way, I might not be writing this blog from the sling I have to sleep in, standing upright, so that my vertebrae will heal correctly.

But never one to learn my lesson, I went about my life, pretty much the same way, just on the look out for any big Samoan-looking guys around my building.

A few weeks later, I was playing touch football with some friends in the park.

Wouldn’t you know it, there’s a ton of little dipshits running around all over the place, interfering with our game. No parents in sight.

I was right in the middle of my patented play-action fake when this little bitch runs right into me, fucking the whole thing up.

She starts crying. So I demand some accountability from someone.

“Whose fucking kid is this? We’re trying to play a fucking game here!”

“It’s my kid, asshole!” came the booming, familiar voice, from behind me.

Before I had even turned around, I knew who it was. I also knew I was in for some serious shit.

“So you’ve got cancer, huh, dicklick?”

“Dicklick??!” How dare he!

As he shoved me backwards, a good fifteen feet or so, I decided that he was, in fact, definitely Samoan.

So he kicked my ass, but I got some good ones in there too. I mean, it was pretty even for a while, until I accidentally hit his four year old daughter in the face with a stray punch. After that, he kinda lost it.

So really, if you think about it, I lost one fight, but I won the other, which means everything evened out.

I mean, sure, I’m in the hospital, but his daughter almost died!

Did you like this? Then be sure to follow me on Twitter:

A life less (extra)ordinary

eric coffin

“Ever since I was a child, I’ve been envious of all those athletes, at the top of their game. Victorious over all rivals, they raise their trophy high above their heads and look into the camera and say those words I was so jealous of: ‘I’m going to Disney World!’

Now, I know that I’ve got a debilitating genetic defect that makes me extremely vulnerable to injury and susceptible to massive bleeding and I’m also terribly awkward and uncoordinated with little to no knowledge of the game of football, but I’m not going to let that stop me from–”

Reverend Johnson looked up from the piece of paper he had been reading from. He took a look at the assembled crowd, drew a deep breath and continued.

“I’m not going to let that stop me from trying out for the New York Giants. I’m confident that I’m ready and that I will make the team, we will go all the way, win the Super Bowl and I will finally get my free trip to Walt Disney World Resort!”

As he finished this, several people in the audience began sobbing and wailing.

“Well, that’s all there is. Unfortunately, we know how the rest played out.”

The Reverend bowed his head and stepped to the side, as my grieving friends and family came up to my tiny, one foot-long coffin and paid their respects.

The reason my coffin was only a foot long is because after I caught the ball, the impact from the players who tackled me was so intense that my bones were actually vaporized into dust. My internal organs and blood were pulverized into goo, which leaked into the playing field of Giants Stadium, causing a bio-hazard emergency that shut down try outs for several hours.

Actually, when they dug that part of the field up, they stumbled across the remains of Jimmy Hoffa, mixed in with the obliterated traces of my corpse. So, it wasn’t all bad news.

In fact, my parents were able to successfully sue The Walt Disney Corporation for making their theme park so fantastic and awesome, as to leave little choice in their son’s mind that I would have to hatch this scheme, in order to be able to visit, due to the state of my finances at the time.

They won a record settlement of over five hundred billion dollars, which lead to the bankrupting of the whole Disney company and the closing down of Walt Disney World. The land was later turned into a giant medical/industrial park owned by a Chinese conglomerate which specialized in turning cute little puppies and kittens into fuel sources for tanks and ICBM launchers.

Unfortunately, being the inbred rednecks that they are, they spent the lump sum on five hundred billion scratch-off lottery tickets. Seeing as everybody (but them) knows those are the biggest ripoff around, they barely won back enough money for my funeral and tiny coffin.

All in all, though things didn’t work out exactly as planned, I have few regrets.

Mostly, I just regret trying out for the New York Giants and getting killed and not getting a free trip to Disney World and having Disney World get shut down because of my stupid parents and their lawsuit.

But other than that, I have very few regrets.

The world’s longest Scooby Doo joke

scooby doo

When I was a kid, some neighbors of ours had one of those bathrooms where the vanity had mirrors on either side of the sink, parallel and opposite to each other. It was a 70’s thing, I guess.

When you looked to the side of you, you saw the reflection of the other mirror, which created an infinite hallway effect. I always thought this was really cool and I would spend 20-30 minutes in there, trying to move my head really fast so that I could see around my own reflection, repeated thousands of times down this tunnel of light.

My parents would bang on the door, telling me that my dinner was getting cold and I was being rude to our hosts, but I didn’t care. I barely even heard them. I was in my own world, wondering what the houses in those bathrooms looked like, what the other Erics did for fun. Maybe the dad in parallel dimension number six let his son have a dog!

Eventually, my parents had a falling out with these people, probably because they were sick of inviting me over and having me spend hours in their bathroom. I grew up and forgot all about that infinite hallway.

That is, until I was at a party, a few years ago.

I went to take a piss and halfway through, I looked over at the sink and saw it. They had one too! I was so excited I walked over there, mid-stream. I got urine everywhere, but I didn’t care. Once I was done, I absent-mindedly pulled up my pants and stared in child-like wonder.

I was 8 years old again, sticking my head in there real fast and pulling it out again, to try and catch a better look.

Way down at the limits of my vision, I saw something that looked different. It was maybe the 27th iteration of me. The 26 in front of it all moved exactly the same, but that one was a little… “off”, I guess is the word.

Reluctantly, I put up my hand and waved. I had let my mind play a trick on me, because now he was in lock step with all the others.

I felt ridiculous. If anyone had walked in there, they would have thought I was retarded, waving to my reflection and pissing all over the floor like that.

I put my hand down, grabbed a towel and wiped the stray droplets off my pants. As I turned to leave, I saw him.

It was number 27 again. And this time, he was definitely waving back at me!

When I looked again, he was still there, waving. I tried to see around the 26 versions of me that were in front of him, but they all moved as I did. But not him.

Then he stopped waving and walked out of my field of view.

“No way!” I said, in a breathy whisper.

There definitely was an empty space where he had just been, I could clearly see the miniature copies of me that were behind him, now that he had left.

But then he was back, only he was in the 26th spot now, with the 26th version of me!

Number 26 eyed him warily, as he tried to keep mimicking my breathing, but when number 27 pulled out a knife, he broke character and tried to defend himself, but it was no use! I saw him go limp and fall to the ground, the knife still in his chest.

Then, number 27 picked up the towel that was the 26th parallel version of the one I had just used to wipe piss off my pants and began to write something on it with number 26’s blood. He held it up for me to see, but it was too far away.

“I can’t read that!” I yelled into the bathroom, my earlier self-consciousness had long since faded away. Witnessing yourself being murdered by yourself will do that, I guess.

“Sorry, hold on!” he shouted back.

He said something I couldn’t hear to number 25, I think it was, “Hey, pass this up there.” Well, number 25 did his best to ignore him and maintain the illusion. Then number 27 was gone again and suddenly next to number 25, stabbing the shit out of that poor bastard! Well, you can believe number 24 wasn’t going to make that mistake and did as he was told. They passed it up, along the line.

When it got to number 7 or so, I could plainly see what it said: “You’re next!”.

“OK, I get it. But how can I be “next” if you’ve already stabbed someone else?” I shouted.

He threw up his hands in exasperation and left the home of number 25.

He didn’t come back right away, though, like he had before.

I was wondering what to do, as I stared down the mirrors and saw the sequentially smaller and dimmer versions of me mimicking my every move. Minus the three empty parallel dimensions, of course.

I was concentrating pretty hard, scanning the mirror for any sign of number 27, so you can imagine my pants-shitting horror and surprise when the door to the bathroom opened and in walked an exact facsimile of myself!

“Oh god, don’t kill me!” I shouted at myself as I put up my hands to protect my beautiful face.

“Kill you? What??” He seemed genuinely offended at the suggestion.

“But you said that I’m next!” I said, now drawn up into the fetal position at the foot of the sink.

“You are next! They’re waiting for you to take your turn.”

“What?” I put my arms down slightly to look him in the face. He was ruggedly handsome. Perhaps the most striking-looking man in the world. He could easily have any woman he wanted. And they would be lucky to have him!

“Out there,” he motioned towards the door, “it’s your turn. Scrabble? Remember?”

Oh shit! I had been so caught up in the drama in the mirror that I had forgotten all about the game I had been playing with my friends.

“I thought…” I began.

“You thought I was gonna murder you or something?” he asked, with a laugh.

“Well, I guess so…” I said, sheepishly.

“How could I do that to such a perfect specimen. You’re easily the best-looking man I’ve ever seen. I mean, I’m not gay or nothing.”

“What? No. I mean, yeah, no. Of course not. Me either.” I added, just to be safe.

He started to look around the bathroom, awkwardly.

“I just thought, since you killed those other guys…”

“Oh, well that’s different, those are just reflections, they’re not real people. I figured you getting skipped when you had such good letters outweighed a few reflections getting stabbed, is all.”

Made sense to me. Except…

“Well, if they’re reflections, then what are you?” I asked, immediately wishing I hadn’t.

He started to think it over before vanishing in a puff of smoke, just as the door opened again.

Only this time it was my Scrabble mates.

“Yeah, he’s passed out or something. Oh shit, he pissed himself again!” said someone.

“And it smells like shit, too!” said another, holding her nose.

They all piled into the bathroom, looking down on me with scorn.

“What? I didn’t pass out!” I protested, “there was this guy in the mirror!”

I pointed towards the mirror, but this just seemed to aggravate things.

“What the fuck did you do to the mirror?! There’s blood everywhere!”

“No, that’s from the guy in parallel universe number 27, he stabbed number 26 and number 25 because he had to tell me that I was gonna miss my turn!” I explained. I pointed again, just now noticing the broken glass stuck in my bleeding hand.

“Jesus Christ, nobody touch any glass, someone get him the fuck out of here!”

A few of my friends roughly picked me up and started to carry me out of the bathroom.

“Wait! Didn’t you see the guy who looked exactly like me walk in there right before you did? The really handsome guy?” I protested.

“Party’s over. Eric ruined everything. Again!” said the host; a rude, coarse fellow.

Someone was standing behind me, shoving me towards the door. I stumbled, as I was really drunk and also fucked up on some pretty strong mushrooms.

I struggled to get up, until someone I couldn’t see gave me a hand. I stood up and looked into the faces of my friends, who were now frozen with terror.

“What?” I asked.

I turned around and saw at least 37 exact copies of myself, standing behind me, looking pretty pissed off at the rough treatment I had been given!

“And then everything went black, Officer. So as you can see, I’m clearly not guilty of any of these murders you’ve accused me of,” I said, a note of triumph in my voice.

The Police Officers looked at each other and then at me for the good part of 30 seconds.

“Alright, sounds logical. You can get your stuff from the deputy. It’s clear we’ve got the wrong man.”

“Thank you, Officers!” I said, rising from my chair.

Justice had been served. Or so I thought!

As I collected my belongings and was getting ready to leave, a free man, I heard a great ruckus as nearly fifty of my dopplegangers were brought into the booking office, all handcuffed and led in by the Sheriff and his deputies.

“We caught these guys headed for the state line,” the Sheriff told the Officer I had just been speaking to.

Well, when those parallel dimension Erics saw me, they began to point and shout.

“That’s the guy who made us do it!” They all said, in unison.

I ran for it, but was tackled before I got to the door.

Later, I sat and listened as they gave their matching testimony about how I had set the whole thing up, planned it for months, thought up the whole Scrabble game night and lured my friends into meeting at the house with the promise of free booze.

“And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for these meddling clones!” I yelled, suddenly a crotchety old man who runs a theme park.

There’s something about Tony


“…and if my wish came true, there would never be anymore war, or people dying from hunger and people would live together in harmony and peace. The end.”

The young girl put down the piece of paper she had been reading from and smiled. There was some polite clapping from the rest of the class as the teacher, Miss Mitchell, said, “That’s very nice, Amanda. You may sit down now. Who’s next?”

She scanned the students to see who hadn’t gone yet. As her gaze fell on a particularly dumb-looking kid named Tony, who seemed to be considerably older than the other children, she saw that he was looking at something on his desk that he was trying to shield from her. She surmised it was another one of his pornographic magazines that he was always bringing to school.

Not in the mood to deal with it right now, she instead called on him to read his report.

He let out an exasperated sigh, this was clearly putting him out a great deal and dramatically rose from his seat, as if it took a huge effort.

He shuffled his feet and walked to the front of the class with his piece of paper. He started to read in his nasally voice, never looking up at the class.

“What I Wish, by Tony Norton. What I wish is that I could have 146 letters to type my messages in Twitter instead of 140, like everyone else. That way I could be better than everyone else and write more because I would have six more letters than them because I would have 146 and they would only have 140 and that is less than I would have and everybody would be super jealous of me. The end.”

Tony started back towards his seat when Miss Mitchell stopped him in his tracks.

“Excuse me, Tony. Is that really what you would wish for?” she said, wondering if he perhaps hadn’t understood the assignment.


“But you can wish for anything. Anything. You could be rich or famous, you could help the poor or invent a flying car,” she offered.

“No, that’s OK. Can I sit back down?” he asked.

“Yes, you can,” she said. He hurried back to his seat and resumed reading his pornographic magazine.

“Well, it’s almost time for lunch, we’ll get to the rest of the assign–”

The teacher stopped in mid-sentence. She was staring intently at Tony. The other kids turned to him too, but he he didn’t seem to be doing anything unusual, for him, anyway.

“Tony,” she said, “I’m curious, why did you choose the number 146?”

Annoyed, he looked up from his magazine, “I dunno. It’s like more than 140 or something?” His eyes darted from his magazine to the teacher and back again.

“Well yes, but why only six more than everyone else? I mean, if you really wanted to set yourself apart from everybody, why not 300? Why not a thousand? Why not just unlimited?” Raising her voice out of sheer bafflement.

“Cuz that would be stupid,” he said, matter-of-factly.

There were some gasps from the other students as the fire began to gather in Miss Mitchell’s eyes.

“Oh really, Tony? That would be stupid? You’re given the chance to wish for anything in the whole world, real or imaginary and the best you can come up with is six more letters to type out your inane and idiotic ramblings about your pathetic life to a bunch of friends you don’t even have, but that’s stupid, is that right?”

“Yeah,” he said, not understanding why she was so upset.

“You’re stupid, Toby! You’re stupid!” she was now screeching.

“No I’m not. You are,” was his reply.

“That’s it. Outside. Right now!”

He stood up, gathering his things as he did.

“No, leave the magazine!” she ordered him.

He let out a groan and slid his feet back and forth along the floor as he walked to the door, the teacher following him right behind. As they exited, she shut the door.

The door shut and nobody looking, she threw him up against the wall, kissing him passionately.

“Why do you torture me like this?” she asked.

“I dunno,” was all he replied in the same monotone, in between kisses.

She pulled away and ran her hand over his face, caressing it gently and wiping away the pus and blood which had exited one of his many blemishes as they had aggressively made out.

“Do you wish I looked like those girls in the magazines? Is that what it is?” she asked, in a teasing voice.

“Yeah. You should be hotter,” he stated, honestly.

“I’m sowwy,” she was in full-on baby talk mode now. She took two of his fingers and put them in her mouth and began to suck on them, suggestively. As she did so, he let out a loud fart.

“Pull my finger. Huh huh. Get it?” They both laughed at his joke.

She had fully taken her shirt off while she sucked on his fingers, right there in the middle of the hallway, which was now no longer deserted. Vice Principal Anderson had just come around the corner and spotted the two of them cavorting. In horror, Miss Mitchell saw him, spit out Tony’s fingers and began buttoning up her blouse as fast as she could.

“Miss Mitchell!” roared Mr. Anderson, “Just what in the hell do you think you’re doing?!”

“I’m sorry, we were discussing the lesson plan…” she stammered, red-faced and embarrassed, trying to collect herself.

“Miss Mitchell, this is highly inappropriate. Please, go to my office and wait for me there. Son, are you OK?” he asked Tony, as Miss Mitchell ran away.

“Yeah,” said Tony, again, completely unfazed.

Mr. Anderson watched Miss Mitchell turn the corner and then his whole demeanor softened as he put an arm around Tony to console him.

“Did that mean wadie hurt ooh?” he asked Tony, in a baby-talk voice similar to Miss Mitchell’s, as he began to caress his own bosoms through his shirt.

“I farted earlier and I think poop came out,” admitted Tony.

“Oh, you dirty boy! You need a spanking!” said Mr. Anderson, with delight, as he started to undo his tie.

Meanwhile, Tony had taken out his Blackberry and was on Twitter, eager to tell his followers how he had just pooped his pants, when he stopped and frowned.

“What’s wrong” asked, Mr. Anderson with concern, momentarily giving his sore nipples a break from all the vicious pinching he was inflicting on them.

“I’m trying to tell everyone that I pooped, but I ran out of letters,” said Tony, showing Mr. Anderson his phone.

“Awww, I’m sowwy. And you only had six characters too many!”

Alf kills.


“Hey, it’ll be great, you’ll be Alf today! It’ll be hilarious! What could possibly go wrong?”

What, indeed.

I jumped right into that little game my friend Skeeball had come up with. Head first, without looking.

The rules were simple: I would pretend to be the fictional TV alien life form from the planet Melmac all day long. No breaking character. NO MATTER WHAT.

At first, my coworkers expressed mild amusement, which was quickly followed by annoyance and then finally, angry frustration. Whatever. They need to learn how to chillax.

Skeeball had brought a stray cat from the alley up to the office, setting it loose to watch me chase it around, claiming I was going to eat it. You see, because that’s what Alf did. On the show. Get it?

Anyway, around 3 PM is when everything started to go to shit. I had just been chewed out by my supervisor, Linda, for having an unprofessional attitude towards work.

It was mere formality, when your father owns the company, you know you’re not going to get fired. Not for pretending to be Alf, anyway. But more on that, later.

She was right, of course. I did have a big stack of requests sitting on my desk from patients all over the country, waiting on my approval for their life-saving surgeries, but then again, there was never really an episode that explicitly stated that Alf would know how to do that kind of thing… so…

Anyway, Linda goes back to her work and I’m sitting around in the break room, brainstorming funny things for Alf to do to his co-workers when Jerry from accounting comes in and grabs a stale bagel and starts absentmindedly chewing on it while he talks on his cell phone to someone about some insurance company gibberish (remember, I’m Alf, so I don’t know what any of that stuff means, so it sounds like gibberish to me, Alf.)

Me and Skeeball are so into our Alf pranks, we don’t even realize the guy’s been choking for at least a minute or so. Skeeball panics, he doesn’t know what to do, because he didn’t attend the mandatory CPR thing we were all supposed to attend.

Fortuntaely, I did.

Unfortunately, “Alf” did not.

Not only that, but I imagined that Alf’s fingers are too furry to dial 911, but even if they weren’t, the emergency number on Melmac is 58?3P1@1 (Me and Skeeball came up with that one on our own.)

So Jerry died, but even worse, I finally did have to break character when the cops came to investigate, so it ended up being all for nothing.

No wait, the worst part is, my dad ended up firing me because he said he was sick of me and my loser friends screwing everything up all the time. He said we had generated enough bad press for him.

Well, I guess that’s not the worst part, because now I get the same salary to stay home and make sure there aren’t too many leaves in the pool. I have a net on the end of a long pole and if there are too many leaves in there when my dad comes home from work, I get in trouble.

But, as I explained to him yesterday, I’m now C3P0 in that part of The Empire Strikes Back where he’s all in pieces and has to be carried around on Chewbacca’s back, so I can’t use the pole right now. Also, he says I’m not supposed to make Consuela carry me around like that, because she’s sixty and she has a bad back. Personally, I think she should probably be fired and replaced with someone who can do the job right, but I guess that’s why I’m only the Pool Leaf Collection Assistant and not the Manager.