Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Hazmat Hunt

I would be remiss if I didn’t start this post by saying that my lovely and loyal reader, Sheila, has made me regret writing about The Game.


I never quite realized how often I mention the concept of games in my writing, and Sheila has certainly made me aware of this fact and in doing so, making me lose The Game:




There are more occasions in which she has made me lose The Game, but I'll stop there.  Needless to say, it is with great hesitancy that I write about another game today.

The game of which I speak happens to be one that I invented.  It came to me, like so many other things, while driving.

I happened to be behind one of those big scary tanker trucks that carry hazardous materials.  It was moving slowly, so I decided to pass it.

It is just waiting to explode.
Thinking back to basically every action movie that involves a car chase scene, I thought about these trucks and their propensity to explode.

After this random thought crossed my mind, I then thought, man, it would really suck if this truck came into my lane, causing me to die in a fiery explosion.

And then, inexplicably, that’s exactly how that shit went down.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Bar That Hates Money

My buddy’s wedding is coming up.  As his best man, it is my duty to plan his bachelor party.

I had to go through this process last summer when I was my other friend’s best man, so I know the drill.  I had a few Philly bars in mind, so I found their websites and sent out a few e-mails.


All of them replied with standard questions.  They asked what dates I had in mind, how big my group was, and how much I was looking to spend in terms of food/drinks -- standard questions from professional event planners.

And then there was Jenn.

This was Jenn’s first response to me, which seemed normal enough:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Youngman Brown Vs. Gotye (And Everyone Else)

If you are reading this, it means you are a person.  And since you are a person, it means that I am about to offend you.  Because every person in the world apparently loves the song “Somebody I Used to Know” by Gotye.  But please read this with the forgiving heart, for I am the only person in the world who doesn’t like that song and am clearly delusional.  If you love this song, simply insert an artist that is popular and that you happen to hate.  So every time I say “Gotye,” just say “Justin Bieber” or “Kesha” or “Coldplay” or whatever artist or band that you happen to hate.


Anyway, here is the song if you have somehow not heard it yet:


*   *   *

There is a bar at work, and the female bartender sometimes plays “Somebody I Used to Know.”  And by sometimes, I mean all the time.  What is most frustrating is that she doesn’t play any songs in between.  She simply plays the song (on her iPod, apparently), then continues to tend the bar in silence. 

An hour or so later, she plays it again, as if it is an automatic reflex as natural as breathing.

Or, as I see it, as natural as urinating.

I hate the stupid song with its stupid lyrics, stupid whining, and stupid xylophone.

Monday, May 21, 2012

That's Absolutely Fine (An Absolutely Fine Guest Post)

If you have been missing my presence out there in the form of tweets, comments, and replies to your comments, it is because I have been very, very busy.  On top of all of the many real-world events that are occurring in my life (Think: work, baptisms, weddings, planning bachelor parties), I am also currently undertaking the stressful and time-consuming task of moving into a new apartment.

I apologize for my lack of presence in the blogosphere but I promise to be back in full force in the next week.

As I am unpacking and setting up my new apartment, I am quickly realizing that it lacks a woman's touch.

And then I realized that this blog could use a woman's touch as well.

So a huge thank you to my blogging (as well as real-life) friend, The Young Female Professional for stepping up and helping me out in my time of need.

You might have checked out her blog a little while back, when I wrote a guest post for her.  And if you didn't stick around on her blog and read the rest of her posts and subscribe to her feeds and follow her on Twitter and fall in love with her, then consider this your second chance.

Okay, sorry.  Enough talking from me.  I've got some drapes to hang up or something.

Take it away YFP:


I am thrilled and honored to be a guest blogger for my IRL friend and blogger mentor Youngman Brown. He was kind enough to write Insecure at the Jersey Shore for my blog, so I am returning his gracious favor.

I had two good stories to write for his blog. I texted him and asked,

YFP: Ok you have your choice between the guy obsessed with Ghostbusters or the guy obsessed with his penis…

YoungmanBrown: Hahaha penis for sure.

I was even talking to Jill from Brilliant Title about this situation, and she said it would make an excellent blog post too. The wait is over my dear friend.

----

That’s Absolutely Fine

I met Trent online, and when I read his profile, he was my ideal guy. It was heartfelt. It was soul mate searching. It was adorable. I immediately e-mailed him and we hit it off right away. He was very much left brain, while I was the right brain, so we balanced each other out very well.

After a few weeks of awesomeoness, he texted me…

Friday, May 18, 2012

Diablo

This week, I am writing flash fiction.
If you are curious, read why.


Diablo heard a trumpet sound, followed by a roaring cheer.  He had heard people out there all day, but this collective roar was something different, and it made him instinctively rise to his feet.  A heavy door slid open and the bright sunlight flooded into the small chamber that had held him for the past few hours.  Diablo was immediately on his feet as he lunged to his escape from the stifling room.  Sprinting to the sunlight, he quickly stopped, almost falling forward as his eyes adjusted to the light and he realized that he was surrounded by thousands of people, all elevated perfectly in a spectacular basin.  He could see all of their eyes.

“El Diaaaaaablo!” a voice echoed throughout the giant bowl, and then was drowned out by the crowd’s roar.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dale Dingle

This week, I am writing flash fiction.
Read why.  Or don't.  But either way, read today's post.  Because it is short.


Dale Dingle hated his job.
           
Dale spent his days dialing digits into a computer from the hours of seven in the morning until seven at night.  From dawn ‘til dusk, Dale wondered what he did to deserve such a boring life.  He didn’t know what the numbers even meant.  For all he knew, he could have been entering nuclear arms codes for terrorists or social security numbers of his boss’s enemies.  Dale didn’t really care, though.

The only thing that made Dale relatively happy was designing dolls.  This, of course, was a secret hobby, as Dale was completely suspicious of his always-whispering coworkers.  So, during his lunch breaks, Dale snuck into a supply closet and neatly sewed smiling faces onto his happy dolls. 

Sometimes he whispered to them. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hollow Words

This week, I am writing flash fiction.
Read why.  Or don't.  Either way.
 
Happy National Flash Fiction Day!  Be sure to check out FlashFlood, where many awesome flash pieces from various authors are being posted throughout the day, including one of mine later tonight!

But for now, here's something different:



Hollow Words by Michael R. Young

“I brought you some cookies,” she said.

“Thanks,” is what he said, though it sounded more like, “Thanks?”

He pretended to examine the plate, dumbly lifting the pink cellophane to get a better look.

Her jaw still chattered faintly, though not due to the cold.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Angelic Harpist

This week, I am writing flash fiction.
Read why.  Or don't.  Either way.



A harpist

            Harped:


Pluck, strum

            Strum, pluck!


A beautiful

            Heavenly resonance.


Her forehead,

            Chin, eyebrows,

All tilted

             Toward heaven.

Her hand,
             After plucking

Would sometimes
             Point to the sky.

Smiling,
            She envisioned

The gods approving
             And pointing back.

Slowly,
          The sound of
The courtly march
           Drew closer:

Rat tat tat
            Of the drums.
Blonk blonk
            Of the horns.

Pluck strum
         Strum pluck
Of her harp
         Was being conquered

Rat tat tat tat tat
       Blonk blonk womp
The courtly parade was there
  And overpowering her song

Rat tat tat tat tat tat tat
   There was a crowd of people following the
Procession as it went toward the arena and
   She saw Steve playing the drums and looking
miserable as usual.
   Rat tat tat tat

Strum, pluck, her melody had faded, and so had her high, but she didn’t care because she realized that nobody was watching or could hear anyway and seeing that rat tat tat Steve made her stomach churn like blonk blonk
  Because it reminded her that there were no decent men out there and that work was worse than home, where that blonk blonk menace of a kid was waiting to never let her sleep and the landlord that gave her half price rent for blowjobs had started making her kiss him on the mouth which was rat tat tat ten times worse.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sign on the Dotted Line


This week, I am writing flash fiction.
Read why.  Or don't.  Either way.

Today's piece of flash fiction is the story that I got published in a literary magazine.

My favorite part of this piece is the story behind it.  In one of my creative writing classes in college, we were each given an index card with a word or phrase.  This word or phrase, we were told, was to be the title of of the next piece of flash fiction that the person sitting to our left was going to write.


But before handing them their title, we got to write their first line.

I forget what title I had for the person sitting to my left, but I wrote an ambiguous first line, so that she could take the story in whatever direction she wanted.

The guy to my right, however, had a very specific setting and plot in mind for my story.  

"I hate you," I told him after reading my index card.

The Week Where I Make Stuff Up

I don't know if I ever told you guys, but I didn't celebrate Thanksgiving this past year.

As they did the past few years, my family went to Connecticut.  I, however, had to work at 5PM on Thanksgiving at my old job in Atlantic City.  Therefore, I stayed alone in the ghost town of Sea Isle City, with nothing but a bowl of turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing from Wawa to warm my soul.


The salt from my tears made this Bowl of Sorrow taste better.

If that didn't make you feel bad for me, consider the fact that I also had to work the 6:30AM shift on New Years Day, so I wasn't able to go out for New Years Eve, or even stay awake to watch the ball drop for that matter.

I have since gotten a new, tremendously superior job, and am currently in the process of moving.  But I still feel the need to make up for the lost holidays that my former job stole from me.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Attn: Soon-to-be Uncles

 
I recently posted some helpful hints for my sisters in regards to taking care of their new babies.

I thought about it, and I realized that everyone gave them advice.  They were overloaded with advice from everyone they talked to, and certainly didn’t need any tips from me.

And then I thought about the fact that nobody gave me advice four years ago, before my first nephew was born. 

To be fair, being an uncle certainly isn’t as hard as being a mother or father, but there are definitely some shocking truths that new uncles will need to face, and a little heads-up would have been nice.

So as a service to any guys out there with a sister who is expecting a baby, here are some things that you can expect when your sisters are expecting:

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Team Applebee's Vs. Youngman Brown


As I mentioned before, I have had to work during many of the Flyers playoff games.

I got out of work on Thursday night after the second period ended.  It is a forty minute drive to my parents’ house*.  This would mean that I would miss the rest of the game, which was currently tied.

*I have been staying at my parents’ house while I search for a new apartment.

So I went to Applebee’s.

By myself.

Whether or not it is okay to go to eat by oneself is a social issue that I have wrestled with in the past, and it is something that I will wait to write about sometime in the future.

But in the current scenario, it was a fairly easy decision for me to make.  Not only was I deeply concerned about the outcome of the game, but I was also famished.  And it was after 9PM, which meant half-priced appetizers.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Three Ways to Guarantee Bad Dreams


Here are three tricks that I recently discovered if you want to have nightmares or wake up feeling incredibly depressed.

#1: Fall asleep while watching The Shining.

I recently finished reading The Shining, so naturally I had to watch the film.

Movies never frighten me, and this one was no different.  However, I fell asleep towards the end of the movie and the DVD went back to the menu, in which this was loudly played on loop for the next seven or eight hours while I slept:

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pain in the Kneck



My dad sometimes mispronounces words. 

He does it on purpose.  To be cute or funny.

For example, the other day he and I we went out for pizza.  I was talking about getting a new checking account, and he suggested that I sign up for an account at TD Bank.  Except he pronounces it “Tiddy Bank,” or more closely, “Titty Bank.”

I would overlook this if we were alone, but there were other people around.  Some of whom glanced in our direction (or at least in my imagination they did).

“Dad, I wish you wouldn’t call it that in public,” I scolded.

“What?  Titty Bank?”

“Not so loud!  People are going to think you are talking about a strip club or something.”