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.

The incident at Store 2.625.

“Let’s roll the tape.”

The boss rotated the monitor on his desk so Jones could see the surveillance camera video playing on the screen. It showed Jones driving a forklift down the main aisle of the busy store with customers walking past. Lying on the floor in the forklift’s path was a Mylar balloon bearing the words “SALE!”. Instead of following company protocol and steering around the balloon, Jones chose to drive directly over it, causing it to burst with a loud bang. Dozens of customers were seen collapsing as they sought shelter from the sudden noise.

Jones was squirming in his seat as the video finished playing. “The evidence has been shown,” the boss said, “You know full well that our company has strict guidelines when it comes to driving a forklift near a Mylar balloon on the floor. Did you by any chance consider steering to the left to avoid running over the balloon?”

“No, sir,” was Jones’s tentative reply.

“How about to the right?”

“No, sir.”

“How about above?”

“Sir?”

“Did you consider setting up ramps so you could drive above the balloon without popping it?”

Confused, Jones replied, “No, sir.”

“I take it you never considered driving under it either.”

“How does one drive under a balloon?” Jones blurted out.

“Simple, you pick it up and toss it in the air so you can drive underneath before it lands.”

“I don’t believe this,”Jones sighed as he sat back in his seat.

“I don’t either,” the boss shot back, “You had all those options for dealing with the balloon and yet you chose to drive over it and make it explode with a loud bang and scare all our customers into thinking that it was a BOMB? Don’t you realize what a serious violation you committed?”

“So what happens now?” Jones asked.

“You’re …mmph.”

“What?”

Mmph.

“Fired?”

“FIRE!” screamed the secretary outside the office as she activated the fire alarm that turned on the fire sprinklers all over the store.

The boss shook his head. “That’s two company violations in one day. Want to go for three?”

“I like black jelly beans.”

Get out.

An open letter of complaint.

I wish to register a complaint about yesterday’s event during Employee Appreciation Week. Events from earlier in the week such as the burping contest were actually enjoyable but yesterday was when things went a bit too far.

Yesterday was Ice Cream Blast Day. I love ice cream, so I headed to the break room in hopes of serving myself a bowl of chocolate ice cream piled high with toppings. However, when I stepped into the break room, I heard a loud explosion and was instantly knocked down to the floor by what I presumed to be ice cream fired from a cannon. Needless to say I suffered from brain freeze for the rest of the day, not to mention the chocolate chips that were lodged behind my eyeballs. Some gratitude for all the overtime I put in just to save your widdle buttocks.

I see tomorrow is Bazooka Bubble Gum Day. It better not be what I think it is.