A burger buffet blowout.

After hearing complaint after complaint of how everyone kept working long hours to fix the never ending onslaught of problems with the network, Kevin decided to treat everyone to a burger buffet at Blue Batman* as a token of appreciation for all their hard work. As Kevin watched his employees help themselves to burger after burger, he noticed with some concern that Charles was sitting alone at the table and not eating.

“Charles!” Kevin approached the table where Charles sat, “Help yourself to a burger. You’ve earned it.”

“No thank you,” Charles replied.

“Aren’t you hungry?”

“I am starving.”

“Then have a burger!”

“No thank you.”

Then the other employees returned to the table with plates piled high with hamburgers and fries before sitting down to begin devouring them. Kevin watched them eat before turning his attention back to Charles, hoping the sight of everyone eating would change his mind.

“Good burgers, Robert?”

“They’re the best,” Robert replied with his mouth full. “Come on Charles, go get a burger.”

“No thank you,” Charles insisted.

“What’s wrong, Charles?” Kevin asked. “I know you’ve been spending long hours at the office, away from home and family just so you can keep our network going. I really appreciate your efforts and this luncheon was way overdue. Come on Charles, let’s get you a burger.”

“No thank you,” Charles was getting annoyed.

“I thought you said you were starving.”

“I am freakin’ starving.”

“Then help yourself to a burger!”

“ALL RIGHT!” Charles pounded his fists on the table with such force that burgers, fries and drinks jumped from the table. “I’LL GET A FREAKIN’ BURGER!”

Charles stormed to the burger bar and returned to the table with a single burger on his plate. Opening his mouth wide, he ate the entire burger in a single bite before washing it down with his iced tea. Everyone at the table could not believe their eyes.

“That wasn’t so bad, was it?” Kevin asked incredulously.

“That’s not the worst of it.” Charles replied calmly.

“What do you mean?”

“Burgers give me really bad gas.”

As if to punctuate his point, Charles let out a deafening belch while letting out a loud, long fart. The entire table trembled from the noise and other diners stared at Charles in disgust. Then the waitress stormed up to the table and yelled at him to leave, but her words could not be heard above his continuous belching and farting that ensued, one right after the other. Finally Robert and another employee had to escort Charles outside to the parking lot where he continued his gaseous outburst that showed no signs of easing. But the damage was done. Everyone in the restaurant were staring at Kevin and his employees as if they were to blame for causing the commotion. Meanwhile they could still hear Charles belching and farting outside from the parking lot. Everyone quickly paid their checks and left, leaving Kevin and his staff still seated at the table and listening to the noise from outside.

Kevin and his staff were banned from ever eating at Blue Batman again.

* A play on Red Robin. Get it?

The Ungone.

Ding dong.

Ron answered the front door and saw his neighbor Peter whom he hadn’t seen in decades.

“Ron, how the hell are ya?” Peter asked. “Welcome home!”

“Thank you,” Ron smiled as they shared a tight embrace. “It’s great to be back.”

“And back in your old house,” Peter grinned back.

“And back in the old neighborhood, just the way it was before my transfer to Florida.”

“Amazing how time flies,” Peter shook his head. “The golden years sure catch up to you before you know it. ”

“Thanks for reminding me,” Ron sighed. “Please come in.”

Peter stepped inside and looked around the house before taking a seat in the living room next to Ron. “Looks nice in here. Just the way it was when you lived here back in the 60’s. Where’s the wife?”

“She’s out running some errands. She’ll be home shortly.”

“Ah. So how’s the rest of the family? Kids all grown up?”

There was an uncomfortable pause in the conversation before Ron responded, “Mostly.”

“Mostly? What happened?”

“Ian passed away last year.”

Another uncomfortable pause.

“Ron, I’m so sorry,” Peter replied softly. “What happened to him?”

“Well, basically I threw him out of the house. He spent his 50 years just idling away in his room with no job, no education and no desire to move out and start living his own life. I lost my patience with him and just showed him the door.”

Peter nodded.  “Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.”

Ron nodded back. “Anyway, a month later, someone found Ian’s body in the woods. It’s sad to see a life wasted like that.”

“Ron, no one ever lives a wasted life.”

Yet another uncomfortable silence began to set in. Peter’s eyes began wandering around the living room before they focused on what looked like a family portrait hanging on the wall. Ron noticed this and spoke up, “That was taken at Disney World last month. A family reunion of sorts.”

Peter stood up and walked to the portrait for a closer look. “Nice. Ah, there’s Jeff and Sue. I still remember them when they were just kids. And now, they’re all grown up with families of their own.”

Then Peter fell silent. The silence lingered to the point where Ron began to sense something was wrong.

“Are you all right, Peter?”

“Ron, did you say Ian passed away last year?”

“Yes, I did.”

“And this picture was taken last month?”

“Yes. Why do you ask?”

Peter turned to face Ron. “Ian’s in this picture.”

What?

“Take a look at this.”

Ron stood up and joined Peter. Peter pointed a shaky finger at the person standing behind Ron in the portrait.

“Oh my God,” Ron whispered. “You’re right.”

An astronomical anomaly.

Last week the scientific world was rocked by footage received from the Calvin And Hobbes Space Telescope showing an asteroid being swallowed by a black hole. Upon further analysis of this footage, astronomers have released a detailed report that promise to transmit even more shock waves across the already rattled international consortium of individuals with abnormally high levels of intelligence.

The newly released footage clearly shows the unfortunate asteroid, now named 0H.N035, drifting near the black hole before accelerating towards its demise. As the stunned astronomers continued watching, 0H.N035 appeared to completely disappear inside the black hole, as if to enforce the black hole’s reputation for preventing anything from escaping once swallowed. A moment later, however, something unexpected happened. A small projectile suddenly appeared behind the black hole as if suddenly launched into flight from nowhere. The Calvin And Hobbes Space Telescope tracked the movement of this projectile as it sailed towards Earth, penetrated the atmosphere and landing on someone’s head as they lounged in their back yard somewhere in South Florida. The projectile was recovered and sent to the regional office of National Aeronautics and Space Conquistador Administration (NASCA) for analysis.

After analysis was complete, NASCA held an impromptu press conference to announce the first confirmed existence of black hole shit.

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This post is a work of fiction. But then again, you never know.

One-touch poetry.

As you compose your text messages your phone tends to suggest words you’re likely to use next. In some cases it’ll even suggest words you’ve used before. That got me thinking about what it would be like to create poems using nothing but these suggested words. As I write this I have no idea how these poems will turn out, but there’s only one way to find out. I’ll start each poem with a word of my choosing and then I’ll select from the words suggested by my phone to build the rest of the poem. Here goes…

LOVE
Love the kitchen to finish
Making it hurricane season
And then go out tonight
Man Condemned

LIFE
Life is the perfect antidote
For our house to bring to
Work with lunch at my chest pain
Or maybe free air in to the next colorful picture
Of the store before heading back
And then plan for go to work tomorrow

MUSIC
Music lovers will enjoy and walk away
And then go out to the right
I need to sit down and walk
And then plan for you too

Ugh. From now on I’ll just write my poems the old-fashioned way.