Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Consider This

I don't tell people how to vote, but I think I would be remiss if I didn't give you the opportunity to take a look at this guy. You're welcome to ignore this post if you like, but if you're on the fence about who the next president should be, I urge you to at least listen to what Ron Paul's stance on the issues is. Check out this interview with John Stossel and you'll get a good idea of where he stands and then you can decide for yourself:

He wants to pull out of Iraq immediately, stop spending so much money and restore our freedoms under the constitution. His message reaches across party lines and is attracting a lot of people around the country. On Sunday, he broke the record for money raised in one day by a presidential candidate with 6 million dollars. He's got over 18 million in the bank so far for the fourth quarter, and we all know money talks. Despite his lack of big media exposure, he is not a fringe candidate. The major media polls seem to indicate that he doesn't exist, but the internet polls and straw polls put him on top again and again.

The reason I'm sending this message out now is that if you support his message, you still have a chance to register as a Republican (if you're not already), and vote for him in the primaries. I see Ron Paul as the only viable alternative to the cozy corporate-sponsored government we've had for all these years and will continue to have with almost any other current candidate as president.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tonight's Homework

I don’t know all there is to know about dogs and I don’t pretend to. Maybe someone has already done a study on dogs and their poo, but if so I haven’t seen it. I don’t watch dogs poo generally, except for my pug, because I have to make sure she goes while she’s outside. So I also notice that right after she’s gone, she’ll go back and smell what she’s done. Sometimes in the quick walk around that follows a good bowel movement, she’ll smell it three or four times. You might think, “Hey, that must be a pretty good smelling dump!” But you’ll have to trust me when I say that it’s not.

So this got me to thinking. We’ve all seen dogs sniffing each other’s rear ends. It seems like that’s how they get to know each other. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell and I wonder if it’s their primary sense, the sense they’re most dependent on, in the way sight seems to be ours. If other dogs smell their own muffins, I have to wonder if that’s not their way of checking themselves out, the same way we might check ourselves in a mirror. Maybe the dog is sniffing it’s business and thinking, “Yeah, man, I’m doing just fine. I’m smelling pretty hot today.” I urge you to watch dogs making poo and let me know if they smell it, and if so, what are your feelings on why they do this?

This is something very much like science in action here folks. I eagerly await your feedback.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Our Oral Fixations, Foiled Once More

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

The ships flew in so thick and so tight they scraped the paint off of one another’s hulls. Paint chips sprinkled down upon the peoples of the Earth. Once the sun emerged from the Naval eclipse, everyone looked so sparkly and beautiful and toxic. It kept us from licking each other, that’s for sure. So in the end, the empire got what it wanted, didn’t it? And without a shot fired.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

NaNoWriMo Update for 12/15/07

What? I thought it was over!

Hello everyone. I thought I'd keep my NaNoWriMo supporters updated on the progress of the novel over the coming year. I'm planning to send out update on the 15th and 30th of each month.

Not much new stuff has happened with the book so far. I've spent a lot of the last couple of weeks catching up with things that I didn't do in November and Christmas shopping. What I have done, is mapped out a series of deadlines for each draft of the book with the goal of October 30th, 2008 for sending out the book to a publisher. Then I can take Halloween off and start the whole process over again. Right now I'm re-reading the book to see what I actually have. As I do so, I'm making minor corrections, making notes and putting the scenes in the order I want them. I can also see what scenes I still need to write as I find gaps. This part of the process should be finished in just a few days. After that, I'll take a week or so to write rough drafts of those missing scenes.

If anyone has any questions on the process, feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer them. I've never finished a novel before, but I'm applying my short story development method to this book (My longest short story being only about 11,000 words) and that should be good enough. If any curveballs come up, well that's life, isn't it? There's always something to learn to make the next time better.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Sex And Death 101

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

Forget what they told you in Health class. Babies are all there right inside their mommies from the get go, thousands of them, just waiting to be activated. It’s the man’s ding-ding, you see, that stabs around in there until it happens to tap the “On” switch for one or more of them and then they start to grow. Unfortunately the “On” switch is also the “Off” switch, so a tragic number of people are deactivated nearly as soon as they come to life. Those of us that make it, well, we’re walking around with the switch of Damocles hanging over our heads, aren’t we? A tap to the wrong place and we’re dead, switched off like a bathroom light.

This is why people say things like “He knows how to push my buttons,” or “That really turns me on.” As a doctor, you’ve got to know all this stuff.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Last Time Tourists In The Big City

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

The sweepers in New Boston polished the dark marble streets until they mirrored the city above them, and even with the traffic rolling over the roads all day long, we could check our teeth in them for bits of food. The reflections gleamed so sharply that, face down as we lay, we spent the last nanoseconds of our lives marveling at how filthy were the oily undercarriages of the buses and automobiles which ran us down.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Gift Of The Canine

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

The dogs started a vicious sneezing battle at the house and after a symphony of stacatto snorts and feral skin flapping the whole living room glistened with a slimy veneer of canine mucous and saliva.

“I like it!” Margie declared. “The place finally feels like Christmas.” And it was true. Even the pockets of dog hair interspersed with the presents beneath the tree took on the glitter of tinsel. She still needed money for Ted’s home colonoscopy kit which had been at the top of his list for two Christmases and a birthday. Now she had the means to raise it.

Margie invited the girls over quickly with the temptation of her famous lemonade (It was made with just a dash of relish for a special zing). Only a couple of the ladies showed at first, but they were so dazzled by the holiday excitement born of dog’s snout that they told their friends and soon the whole neighborhood marveled at Margie’s living room.

Margie declared that she would gladly do all of their living rooms the very same way for a small fee. They all had to have it. “Recession Schmrecession!” they shouted, and it was not an easy thing to shout, but such was the elation that was visited upon 561 Millar Road that afternoon.

As soon as she kicked everybody the hell out of her house, she gave the dogs extra milk to get their phlegm up and took them next door to the Deprenders’. Ted could examine himself every night if he wanted! And maybe that would take his mind off of Raoul, the pool boy. And without the expense of the pool boy, they would save enough money to get that pool she always wanted. She patted the bobbing heads of her panting St. Bernards. It was like a Christmas present for everyone.

If I Had One Wish

I would wish that everyone in the world understood the meaning of the word 'ironic' and knew how to use it in a sentence.

Yes, I know I could have made good use of that wish on world peace or something, but I'm feeling petty at the moment.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The E-Mail, The Next Day

by Matthew Sanborn Smith


Great time last night, thanks for having me. The concert was nice. Hanging out with you on your couch after the concert was nicer.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Firefly Ladies

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

The women, though pierced, wore no metal. Those holes ran small and numerous across their smooth curved shapes. They oozed no blood but in the night their true natures were known. In gauzy gowns the ladies danced in the darkness before the moon shook itself awake, and where every hole broke their skin, light shone out. Spinning forms and long arms swam through the humid air and they appeared as sultry swarms of fireflies, flying fat and lazy about imagined axes.

Inspiration: This story was born of this very beautiful photo from flickr by Irina/Riri:

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Clean Man

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

The clean man had cleaned his body so much and so well that his outside squeaked. But there was something terribly wrong with his inside. He drank lots of water and liquid soap but he still felt dirty within. His grandmother removed her teeth to clean them and did a smacking good job of it, didn’t she? He wanted to remove his teeth. He wanted to remove his everything.

The clean man opened himself up and removed his insides, spreading them out onto a big sheet in the backyard. The parts were well labeled so he could put them all back in the proper order. He scrubbed and polished each bit and piece. He ran water from the garden hose through them until the color began to wash out of them.

Now it just so happened that the naked people from beyond the sea had chosen this time to land in the clean man’s yard. He lived well inland but their leaping boats with the big, paddley feet made landfall right there.

“Hey!” said the large hairy naked guy in the bow of the first boat. “You shouldn’t do that!”

The clean man looked at him. Looked at all the naked jiggling people standing on the decks of the jumpy boats.

“That thing you’re doing there, with the hose and such,” hairy naked guy went on to say. “Cut it out, I mean. It’s not good. You got bacteria and things. Some bad, yes, but some good. You’re gonna, you know, drop dead or something like that.”

The clean man turned off his hose and sighed. He placed each and every organ, kidneys, liver, onions, back where it belonged and zipped himself back up. The naked people whooped at their first victory in this new land and leapt into their next yard, many miles away. They were mistaken, however, if they thought the hairy one’s words had swayed the clean man.

The clean man gave up and never washed again. For the effect of the body followed the cause of the mind. And his mind, after seeing the naked invaders, would be dirty forever more.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


by Matthew Sanborn Smith

The candle blew and Jeff was pissed. More cheap crap that Myrna bought at the discount store. Sure they had to save a buck, but come on. Wouldn’t they save more in the long run by buying better quality stuff? It was one of those forever arguments and it came up so regularly it defined them as a couple.

He scraped out the socket with an old screwdriver. Every time he went through this ritual he thought about his cousin Darren who got killed at six years old when he stuck a piece of wood in the socket. Even protected by metal, Jeff always got a little nervous screwing around with something so deadly.

He popped open the blisterpack and grabbed yet another cheapo candle from the package. “Why bother?” he thought, but did it anyway. He was probably going to have to replace this one in another week. He’d like to go out by himself and buy the good stuff but he couldn’t spare the money from his meager allowance and Myrna held the rest of the money. The cheap-ass candle didn’t even screw into quite right and wax shavings ribboned out from the edges of the socket as if it was a pencil sharpener.

Jeff flicked the switch on the wall and the wick caught, fire throwing a little light on the living room furniture. That was better, even though it wasn’t bright enough to read by. At least Myrna had paid the fire bill this month. Those times when the plasma company lost their patience and cut off flame to the house stuck in his head as the lowest of their many lows. They’d have to run the hot plate on half-used butane batteries, boil a little water and mix it with the tap to bathe. It was like living in the dark ages.

He wanted to run the fireplace to read and warm the place up but figured he’d better save energy. Hell, he could read by the Nelson’s outdoor fire next door. Frickin’ Nelson had a good job, and his wife liked to flaunt it at every turn. Look at the light out there! The damned kids were roasting marshmallows! Next they’d be swilling champagne. Christ, he could run his car for a week on what they were burning out there.

When was Myrna getting home? He went out front and looked up and down the quiet road for her headlights burning orange in the night. She never watched her power indicator and twice last month he had to fill a gallon tank full of fire and bring it to where she was. Irresponsible is what it was. They wasted twice the flame that way. Jeff promised himself that he’d hook the fire hose to the fuel tank just as soon as she got home. Someone had to act like an adult.

He turned back toward the house and his gut went cold. The house was on fire and it was going up fast. Those shitty, cheap candles! Jeff couldn’t bring himself to scream. He clenched his fists and tried to take a deep breath, but the smoke started a coughing fit in him. Stupid show off Nelson ran up with his new cell phone in hand. The can was so small you would hardly notice it if it weren’t for the white string that stretched off seemingly forever, connected to some tower somewhere. It had to be expensive. Nelson was trying to pull the line taught while he yelled Jeff’s address into the can.

“Plasma company’s on it’s way, Jeff. No need to thank me.” Jeff didn’t. Instead he hoped that Myrna wouldn’t come home now. He didn’t want her to see this. She’d blame him, too. They stared at the inferno for a good long while and Nelson clapped him on the back.

“Christ, Jeff,” he said. “Look at the size of those flames! You’re gonna have one hell of bill next month.”

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Big Finish

I have done it. 50,000 words in one month, and it's not so much that which impresses me, It's the nearly 26,000 words in the last five days. I have stretched myself, and learned that I can go a bit farther than I have before. I wrote nearly twelve thousand words on Thursday, about 4,500 more than I ever have before in a single day. And on top of that, most of those words made sense when they were strung together.

The novel's got a working title of "Twilight in Mumbai," and it's still going to be a long while and many drafts before it's beautiful. But it's cool that I have the first draft of a novel, a beginning middle and end and it's not too bad. Subsequent drafts will be longer of course. I'm hoping that you'll be able to read it in book form.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

NaNoWriMo Update #3

Here is where we stand: I just broke the 24,ooo mark today. So that means, instead of averaging 1,667 words a day like I was supposed to, I've averaged 1,000 words a day. So that means I've got to do 26,000 more words in the next six days, or 4,334 words a day. So that means I've got a crazy-ass pile of work sitting in front of me, seemingly impossible, you'll say, considering my track record over the past three weeks.

I am not throwing in the towel. I'm still hammering away at that count, day after day. Thursday the 29th is the day of reckoning, a day off right near the end. It may prove to be one of the most miserable days of my life. Throwing down 1,ooo original words isn't that hard and really, that's all that I have to do.

Twenty-six times.

Twenty-six times in the next six days. Seems easy. Hasn't been so far. But how could I let all of you people down?

Monday, November 12, 2007

NaNoWriMo Update #2

Not a lot to report on except for the definite lack of progress. I delivered two big fat goose eggs this weekend so, on top of my already lagging wordcount, I'm now over 6,000 words behind where I want to be. Egad! No matter, the toughest happenings of the month, I think, are now behind me and I hope to get back on track.

I have to admit, I'm trying a little to hard to make decent stuff come out of me and that is not really in the true spirit of NaNoWriMo. However, I'm sure there will come a day this month where I need to catch up so badly, I'll just throw down thousands of words worth of whatever dreck pops into my head, so don't count me out yet.

Friday, November 09, 2007

NaNoWriMo Update #1

Well, we're a little over a week into it and things are going okay. They say week two is the hardest, but I started tripping up a couple of days ago. My drive fell off and so went my word counts. As of this moment, I'm about twenty-five hundred words behind where I want to be. I'm currently sitting on 10,804 words.

The story is shaping up to be a science fiction tale set in India about a hundred years from now. It features a group of adventurers who set out to turn the social injustices of the cities on their heads. That's mostly all I know so far, other than the fact that I've come up with a few ideas that really interest me. I have an idea of what's happening, but being only about one-fifth into the first draft I understand that things could turn out very different from where I think I'm going.

So, that's all for now, except for this tip for my fellow National Novel Writing Month participants: Utilize your space bar. I can't stress this enough. If you ignore this you'll find yourself working your ass off for an entire month and only having one word to show for it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

National Novel Writing Month

I'm doing the nanowrimo thing in a couple of days ( which involves writing 50,000 words in the month of November. As some of you may know, I'm more of a sprinter than a long-distance runner in the field of writing, so this is definitely going to be a challenge for me. That's why I'm letting everyone know, so you can hold me to it. I'll post semi-regular updates on my blog. If you think of it, I'd appreciate a very short, "How's it going?" or "Keep it up" e-mail or comment from you sometime in the month of November to keep me guilted into my commitment once the mental chips are down. Thanks, and here's hoping you get a bunch of your favorite candy tomorrow night.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Juicing The Multiverse

When I first read this article:

Parallel Universes Exist

I thought, "Hey, that's pretty cool!" As I imagine a lot of other science fiction geeks did. But a couple of weeks ago, a thought struck me:

Where does all the energy come from?

I'm no physicist but something about this doesn't make sense to me. Maybe there's some answer that's obvious to physicists, somewhere in those heavy-duty scientific papers that I never read. Maybe they don't feel the need to mention it in articles geared toward the layman who might not question it. If anyone can tell me the answer, please, have at it. I encourage you to make me look foolish, because I'd like to know.

Where does all the energy come from for all those branching universes? How about those laws of thermodynamics? Do they still have those? Is reality not perturbed by the sudden energy drain needed to instantly create an entire universe every time I choose between the red M&M and the brown one?

With the amount of decisions being made by every human and who knows how many other intelligent (or even non-intelligent) life forms, and the amount of possible outcomes for every mundane act and molecular dance, there must be trillions of trillions of trillions of universes being created every picosecond. That's a lot of juice, my friends. According to my admittedly tenuous grasp of science, it's impossible for even the amount of energy needed to power my lawn mower for an hour to pop into existence out of nowhere. How do those other universes do it?

If parallel universes must exist, then there is a mechanism in place for creating energy out of nothing. If that's true, then maybe any one particular universe doesn't have to die a heat death at the end of its normal life cycle. If we, or any sufficiently advanced beings, figure out how to access those other universes, we can take some of their energy for ourselves. If we steal a lit candle from Dimension X, our universe will have more energy than it started with.

If you don't think quantum physics is some crazy shit, certainly, you've got to think this is. Somebody explain!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Cheap Jenny

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

Poor Jenny. She climbed inside a vending machine just to let people know she was available but found herself passed up for Ding Dongs and Lay’s the whole day. She lowered her price and wept, hoping her mother would never find out she could be had for the cost of a pack of Wrigley’s. Jenny pushed past the crinkly wrappers after quitting time and hoped she could get out as easily as she got in. Just then, two guys put their money in the machine and chose her. She was overjoyed.

Until, that is, they broke her in half and split her for the train ride home. She realized then she was too much for any one person. In truth, even half of her was too much for any one person, because after a few bites they left most of her on the floor of the train.

She pulled herself together, smoothed out her skirt and got off at the next stop. Jenny stepped from the train diminished, as any of us would be after such an episode. She considered the possibility that no one would ever have her in this state. But worse cases than her had found love and some better ones hadn’t. Love came unexpectedly if it came at all. Jenny would hand it over to fate and never vend herself again.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Every Easel A Rainbow

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

We’d been chosen as unwitting participants in a notorious Art Psychology study in the mid-seventies. Each five-year-old student received only one crayon per day for sixty-four days. By our sixty-fourth crayon gifting, our day one crayons sat puny and mangled upon our easels. Few of us had the idea of holding crayon one up against crayon sixty-four. Insights into the nature of our mortality inevitably followed. Gaudy Silver stood straight and tall against the crippled, bent Cyan.

I placed Cyan, once my favorite, at the bottom of my pencil box, sweeping it from my sight beneath a wide palette of other crayons and green drawing pencils. I felt it, buried at the bottom of that red plastic box and felt, too, a cold stab in my chest where the ribs nearly meet. I could no longer use old Cyan, nor could I throw it away, nor could I look at it. Early in November of my Kindergarten year, guilt, remorse, mourning overwhelmed me.

On day sixty-five, I arrived in class to find a single pink pastel sitting at my easel. I collapsed sobbing and had to be removed from class. A man and woman from the state visited me at my home. The study came to an end by the time I returned to class, every easel a rainbow polymorph of media. The students, the teacher, the man and the woman, they all looked at me and they expected.

We each went home that evening, empty and no wiser.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bidnez Pt. 1

Please note the new link over to the right for StarShipSofa. If you're a fan of literary science fiction you'll feel at home with this podcast and hosts Tony and Ciaran, two hardcore readers of science fiction. Each week they profile a different science fiction author or the occasional film, TV show, or this week, comic book hero. Their love for their subject comes through and even if you consider yourself well-read in the field, you'll learn all sorts of fascinating tidbits spanning the entire history of science fiction literature. It's a hell of a good time too. You'll find yourself wanting to throw back a couple of pints with the guys after just a couple of episodes. I highly recommend their show:

Improve your vocabulary while you help feed people who need it at FreeRice:

If you haven't done so already, please enjoy my story, Marissa, Marissa in the latest issue (#33) of Albedo One, Ireland's premier science fiction magazine. You can buy a print copy or a .pdf download here at their site:

Found On The Chalkboard In Mr. Massey's Room, 3rd Period

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

Break into groups of three to five people. Today’s Scenario: What if everybody ejaculated condiments?

Topics for discussion

* Would there be more or less oral sex? Explain.

* Would people bring French fries to bed?

* What would relish feel like on the way out?

* If someone ran out of mustard on the Fourth of July and the stores were all closed, do you think Margo might send Sam to the bathroom with an empty squeeze bottle?

* Is that mayo on your leg?

Saturday, October 20, 2007


by Matthew Sanborn Smith

We all gelled in the elevator and by the time it stopped, none of us could step out. We just sort of flopped out onto the concrete parking lot at the airport; four gross, yellow, translucent, gelatinous blobs, blobbing around the crazed drivers beneath the low ceilings.

Bobby broke into a hundred little blobby chunks when he got whacked by a Jeep and it was gross and beautiful at the same time. Gross from my human point of view, beautiful from the gell, because what Bobby had done, was reproduce himself, ninety-nine times over. Ten tens of Bobby’s blobby babies skittered all over the painted lines beneath the pink-orange lights which fluoresced through the night.

Friday, October 19, 2007


There’s been some trash talk on-line concerning the new show Cavemen, but I actually saw the show and sent an e-mail to the good folks at SF Signal, which included the following:

“I'll just come right out and say it: I like Cavemen. I like many of the Geico commercials and I just saw the show for the first time last night, because I don't pay close attention to the airings of network shows and my wife and kids control the television sets. My wife and I loved the show. The comedy is character and dialogue driven, like the ads. It's not slapstick, it's not a laugh-track laden Friends type of show where you can feel the set-up and joke being written. It's good stuff, and I'm recommending it to you and everyone else.”

There. I said it and I’m not taking it back. The episode I saw revolved around the guys’ love for a yogurt shop and relationships with various women, including a gargantuan Über-bitch of a cavewoman who likes her sex rough and well, everything else rough for that matter. She also happens to work at the yogurt place, so we can see one caveman’s (I’m sorry, I don’t remember their names) progression from attraction to realization to terror and how the three of them balance their fear of this cavewoman against their love of the yogurt she serves. There’s a fun argument between one of the guys (who likes Fruity Pebbles on his yogurt) and his modern human girlfriend (called “smoothie” by the cavewoman for her lack of body hair). The modern girl figures his preference for Pebbles means he prefers cavewomen. He contends that Pebbles was just a cute little baby on the Flintstones. She counters that Pebbles was a hottie on the Pebbles and Bam-Bam show. He has the same argument at home with his fellow caveman.

If there are more of you out there that have seen the show and liked it, leave a comment. Maybe we can soften the stigma so the guy on the fence will jump down on our side and soon we’ll have a movement on our hands.

If you haven’t done it yet, watch the show, you’ll be glad you did. Either you’ll catch something fun before it goes off the air in a few weeks, or you’ll help keep the program on the air. I’m hoping for the second scenario.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Edward Scissor-Eyes

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

They call me Edward Scissor-Eyes. I can’t see anything. I bump into a lot of stuff all the time and end up stabbing that same stuff with my eyes. Yeah, it pretty much sucks. Who thought this was a good idea?

Maybe I’ll try some eye-drops.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Trees Play Ball

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

When the trees played ball generations passed as we humans watched a single play. They tried to play with less innings, cut it down to one out, then one strike and even had a funny hat day. None of it really worked. The game was too damn slow. It revitalized human baseball though. Those games seemed to rush by with fiery speed after watching an afternoon of tree ball. The only thing that saved tree ball was the inevitable scandal that occurred when the batter for the Manitoba Maples was revealed to be a cork tree.


by Matthew Sanborn Smith

All the instruments were in place. All the pretty colored dials and gauges, computer readouts; It all looked so high tech and it seemed like something important should be happening. But when Stot looked around and realized that he sat in the center chair and that everyone waited for him to push that important happening into motion, he knew that he and everyone else would be disappointed.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Jimmy Holds The Line

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

Jimmy had been dipped in ketchup the previous night and by morning it had hardened into a dark and rubbery armor. An old tea-kettle was his shield and his only weapon was his harsh vocabulary. He’d spent many weekends down at the docks picking up naughty words from the merchant marines.

He stood at the border by himself and faced down the hordes of Canada. Two million men strong, they threatened Jimmy’s people with sameness. Overwhelming, unrelenting sameness. The guards had all fled, the army and air force were away on other business. Jimmy held the line. Indeed, not one of the two million was able to push him back, not one could best him in personal combat. Not one had tried. They all went around him.

Save for about thirty of them, they weren’t even aware he was there. As the Great White North swept over the Great Green South, as Washington, Montana, Michigan, New York and the rest fell, Jimmy swung his tea-kettle overhead and called those Canadians some of the filthiest names their pure red ears would have ever heard, had they been able to hear him. But they were far beyond his reach now and the ketchup solidified into a disgusting, blackened, cement-like gunk. Poor old Jimmy, the last man willing to fight for America was trapped forever because the rescue workers were too grossed out to touch him.

As for the fate of his country, no one had noticed the invasion and life went on as usual.

Inspiration: It's been one full, fat month since I've posted anything here, because I'm suddenly a busy guy. The only reason you're seeing this is because Rani keeps bringing it up. So if you're happy to see this, thank her for looking out for you dogs.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


by Matthew Sanborn Smith

Vinnie figured if V-8 was so great and everybody coulda had one, then V-9 had to be better. Trouble was, there was no V-9. Vinnie set about to create one.


"Jesus, Vinnie!" Frankie sputtered between his coughing fits, "What the hell is in that? There's stuff in it!"

"Well, there's V-8, of course, and potato chips," Vinnie said.

"Potato chips? You can't put potato chips in juice." He propped himself against Vinnie's kitchen counter while his face dripped into the wastebasket.

"Sure you can. I just did. Everybody likes potato chips. Look, don't you love chocolate chips in your ice cream?"

"Aw, man, you're not gonna put chocolate chips in this shit too, are you?"

"Now that would be silly. I'm saying you like the mix, right? You got the melty stuff and you got the chewy stuff. Same thing here." He held up the bottle. It had plain white paper taped around it with "V-9" written on it with a permanent marker.

"You don't want chewy stuff in your juice, you crazy asshole. V-8 is juice, V-9's gotta be juice too."

"The "V" stands for "vegetable," not "juice." Otherwise it would be called J-8, wouldn't it? And potato chips is a vegetable."

"Potato chips are junk food. They're processed. With oil." Vinnie considered this a moment, then he jumped up.

"Not just oil, my friend! Vegetable oil! Do you understand what we've got here? It's V-10! That's two better!"

"Why stop there?" Frankie said. "Why not three or four better? It's not like anybody's gonna drink it."

"See this is why I come to you, Frankie. You're a freakin' genius."

Vinnie's up to V-163 now.

Don't drink it.

Inspiration: A stroll through the grocery store the other day gave me a few ideas. Sometimes you're just in the right frame of mind.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Double Duty

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

My husband, George, had just gone to bed and the little grey kitten rubbed against my foot.

"You’re right," I said, "Even though you don’t know it. I should shower first." I picked up the kitten and unfolded her into a grey washcloth before she knew what was happening. After my shower, I let the washcloth fall to the floor and it collapsed back into the kitten. She was pissed. Soaking wet and having just had intimate knowledge of my every bit and piece, she bolted off to hide from her evil human mistress. Dogs don’t mind nearly as much as cats, but I’d never use Ruby as a washcloth. I needed her to dry off.

"C’mere, Ruby," I called. Ruby came, because she’s a dog. A beautiful golden retriever. "That’s a good girl, Ruby. I gave her a good head scratching before grabbing her front paws and stretching her out into a luxurious bath towel. I love it when the towel just comes from the dog. It’s so warm. I wrapped myself in the towel and found George still up, stark naked on the bed.

"Hows about a little lovin’ baby?" he said. I laughed.

"You must have read my mind," I said. I stood next to him and let my towel drop to the floor. Ruby shook herself off and walked circles at the foot of the bed. George wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me down on top of him.

"Gimmie some sugar," he said. I kissed him hard on the lips and grabbed his thingie. "Mmmmm," he said. My hand squirmed beneath his armpit and I snapped him firmly into a king-sized mattress pad.

I put on my pajamas and got a decent night’s sleep.

Inspiration: I just took a shower and looked at my grey washcloth. At the same time, an image of a curled up kitten popped into my head.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Surge

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

When the guy from USC said drinking piss gives you superpowers, well we knew he was full of shit. Another intellectual elitist – “Worse than that,” Bob said, “An elitist intellectual!” – Thanks, Bob, but anyway you get the picture, some bastard who got educated and goes on TV instead of working on new cell phone features like he’s supposed to.

When the President said that drinking piss gives you super powers, well, we had to admit she had a good point. We all drank piss. She’s the President and she has God on her side. She’s
practically the Pharaoh. Right away, people started speaking up and saying things like, “My friends and I have been drinking piss for years and we don’t have super powers.” We’d come right back at them and say, “You and your friends are all just a bunch of perverts and perverts don’t get powers. They don’t have the moral fortitude!”

When people started falling off of roofs and getting squashed by cars we knew where we had gone wrong. We weren’t drinking enough piss! Up to that point we’d been drinking our own, but really, what kind of sense does that make? We started in on each other’s, and by the way Bob, I think you need to drink more water. I don’t think it’s supposed to look like that.

No one was flying or super-speeding or anything. A lot of people pointed to their projectile vomiting as evidence of a bona fide power. “We weren’t doing that before we started drinking
piss!” they said. The disbelievers couldn’t argue with that logic. One lady even said her crocheting had improved. So there you go. The White House said we were almost there. They advised us to buy more beer. We did. Talk about a surge!

Those of us whose crocheting hadn’t improved went on all-piss diets. It looked like some people were dying from piss-poisoning, until the news said that the powers that be (and the executive and legislative branches were as one on this) explained that those people weren’t really dead, they just had acquired super-hibernation powers. That was too much for the other guys. They pointed to the article on page H17 of the Times with the headline: “MIT Study: Morons Drink Piss.” And added that this whole thing was a conspiracy set in motion by the breath mint cartel.

Ridiculous! I stood up on the table (there was a table, did I mention that?) And shouted: Intellectual elitists! I’m going to hibernate all over you!” I took a swig from my glass. Nothing happened. “All right, maybe not today. But soon. We’ll show you all!”

Inspiration: Honestly, I just thought it was time we had a good piss-drinking story out there. The political bullshit is what happens when I watch Bill Maher right before writing.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

And Another Thing

You may have noticed that I noted the inspiration for The Angel Flies above the title. I’m going to go back through my posts little by little and mention the inspiration for each story, because the question every writer gets every time is: “Where do you get your ideas?” Well, look back at old posts over the coming weeks and I’ll tell you. I’ll probably mention them at the end of the story, because I don’t want to ruin anything.

This is a subject that I love. I love to learn about how the creative process works in other artists. My all-time favorite Beatles documentary was one on the making of each song on Sgt. Pepper. No, I don’t know the name of it. It may not even exist on DVD. Anyway, the glimpses I’ll give are tiny things, but maybe you’ll get something out of it and we’ll all be better people for it. All right, I know that’s not going to happen. I just wanted to end this thing on a pleasant note.

Ahhhh, That Feels Good!

So, I finally pulled myself out of this long non-writing funk after reading something some guy had posted on some website (how’s that for specificity?). It’s one of those things that you’ve known forever, but it’s not until someone reminds you of it that you put it to use once again.

As you may know (And may be sick of hearing), I had my first pro sale last April. The whole sophomore thing was hanging over my head and I wanted to follow it up quickly with a killer story or two to prove to myself that the sale hadn’t been luck, that I actually had a real skill for telling stories and maybe someday I could make a living at this. I wrote what I felt were two really good stories and they have been rejected and rejected and rejected some more. Needless to say, I felt like crap after about ten rejections between the two stories. No follow up there. More than that, I really busted my ass to make those stories good. Where could I go from there? And that’s where the freeze-up comes. What some people call writer’s block. It’s not that you can’t think of anything to write, it’s that you can’t think of anything good enough to write. And you are stuck like a Dodge Dart at the Mud Bog Spectacular.

That’s where this something something comes in (Okay, it’s here) and then I remember. If you want to write and you can’t, aim for crap. Don’t merely settle for crap, strive hard for crap. And the words will flow like your mind has swallowed a quart of castor oil (Now that’s some crap, my friend).

I have written today. More than a thousand words of brand new stuff and that is the best day I’ve had in weeks. Not coincidentally, I’m in the best mood I’ve been in for weeks, as you might expect.

I’m regular again.

The Angel Flies

This story was inspired by two photos on Flickr: Angel of the North and Smoke From a Rocket Launch.

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

When the Angel of the North uprooted itself and stretched its vast, rusty red and girded structure, the tourists didn't scream or run. They snapped shots with their phones and digicams. At worst, some cursed the light as dusk began to settle over the English highways. The people didn't fear it, they trusted it completely and they knew the angel moved for some higher purpose. Its now separated legs pounded the ground to tremors as it ran across the countryside and the angel lowered its torso to warp the wind around its aeroplane wings. The contrails of multiple rockets foamed the air and before anyone noticed, the angel's last foot had left the ground. It flew into the distant west, to right some unbearable wrong. The people stood silently, some within the open doors of their cars on the sides of the road. They had witnessed something that wasn't for the tabloids, wasn't for the BBC or any dry history book. They had witnessed something for themselves. Something that had changed them and would continue to change them for the rest of their long lives. Streaks of smokey icing smeared themselves across the sparse clouds in the darkening purple-orange sky. It would be dark before anyone headed for home.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

An Open Letter To Both Of My Fans


I know what you're thinking: "He's missed three of the last seven days! What the fuck?" Here's the fuck:

Last week wore me down physically and I got whacked with three rejections on stories which I thought were all quite good. I've got to be in a decent mood to produce anything decent and right now, I'm teetering on depression. I'm stepping back and re-evaluating. So, I'm sorry to say, you're storyless for now. But don't be upset. For all any of us know, I good could get the best blow-job of my life tomorrow and write the greatest novel in the English language. So there's something to look forward to. I know I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Today's Special

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

Bert just figured the waiter had a southern accent. He didn’t think anything of it when he ordered the daily special for Vera and himself. When the order hit the table . . . well, that was something else, wasn’t it?

“What the hell is this?” Bert asked. Vera sat speechless and wide-eyed.

“It’s today’s special, sir,” the waiter said. “Buffalo wangs.” In the center of the table, between the diet cokes and napkins, lay three gigantic, sauce-covered penises in a red plastic paper-lined basket.

“You’re kidding me! You can’t expect us to eat this!”

“I’ll try one,” Vera said. She popped one end of a big hot wang into her mouth and worked her jaws vigorously. “Chewy. But good.”

“I’ll take your word for it,” Bert said.

“Why don’t you try one, sir?” the waiter said.

“Thanks, but no amount of celery and blue cheese dressing is going to make an enormous bovine cock go down easily. I’ll try the quesadillas.”

Bert found Vera’s enthusiasm for her wangs disconcerting. By the time his food arrived, she had polished off the entire basket.

“Jeez!” he said. “I wish you liked mine that much.”

“Yours doesn’t taste like that,” she said, rubbing her belly.

On the way home, they stopped at the corner store and Bert picked up a bottle of hot sauce.

Inspiration: Driving to work, I heard some DJ talking up a station promo and he mentioned buffalo wings, which, to my Northern-born ears, sounded a bit like wangs. And lo, a story was born.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


by Matthew Sanborn Smith

“I have more sex appeal in my little finger than you have in your entire body,” Myrna said. Then she proved it by doing things to me that I never imagined could be done with a little finger. Or even a ring finger.

Inspiration: Not much to say here. I heard somebody use the painfully worn out little finger line and decided to make it slightly more interesting.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Stu Early

(Author's Note: This one goes out to Art)

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

Stu liked to get up early, get a jump on the day. The more he thought about it, the earlier he got up. He’d get up for work at eleven in the evening when work started at seven in the morning and yet still he got up earlier. Soon he was finishing Tuesday’s work on Monday. He got up earlier.

Stu found himself slowly going backwards through time as he awoke earlier and earlier from day to day. He compressed his twenty-four hour day into eighteen hours and ran into earlier editions of himself. Or maybe they were later editions. As he went further back in time these, copies started piling up until Stus outnumbered the rest of the human race and by the time of the ancient Sumerians, he was able to take over the world. He changed their names to the Stumerians and that was about the extent of his edicts. He didn’t really have time to issue more. He had to get up early the next day.

Inspiration: Hey, if you know Art, you know Stu, that's all I can say. If you call Art up right now, you'll find that he's getting ready for bed - for next Tuesday.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Eat Me

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

Dirk’s esteem was at an all time low. When cannibals started moving into the neighborhood, he made a showy production about boarding up his windows and carrying a shotgun. But no one tried to break into his house, even before the fence went up. He’d cross the street whenever one of the neighbors came his way and he avoided the carpool, but to be honest they didn’t even look him over. After a year of shoddy treatment he left his front door wide open and sprinkled his head with Mrs. Dash. No one even tried to lick him.

“Is there something wrong with me?” he finally asked Marla, the girl next door/cannibal/neighborhood floozy.

“Watcha mean?” she asked.

“Do I smell bad? I mean, like I’ve . . . gone bad?”

She sniffed him and he felt a nervous thrill with her hard white teeth so close to him.

“Is that Secret?” she asked, pulling away. “Girls wear that.”

“Hey, it’s strong enough for a man! The ads said as much. Is that why you don’t want to eat me? Because of Secret?”

“Why would I want to eat you?” she asked.

“Because you’re a cannibal.”

“Well, someone thinks very highly of himself. Let me ask you something: Have you ever seen a cow? A real one, up close?”

“Yeah, once at my grandfather’s farm.”

“Did your mouth water? Did you want to eat it then and there?”


“Exactly. On top of that, who the heck wants to go through all the trouble of skinning and cleaning you? When I want man-meat, I go to the store, just like anybody else.”

“You can’t buy people at the store!”

“You ever look through the deli? I mean, the entire deli?”

“No. I guess not. Look, thanks a lot. I’m sorry to have bothered you.”

“Oh, no problem. Listen, you want to come in for a drink?”

“Um, sure.”

They had Yoo-Hoos with vodka chasers for most of the afternoon. To Dirk’s surprise, when they were both too blitzed to see straight, Marla ate him.

I need one of those twist endings here, so I should specify: Not in the way you’re thinking. Of course, I don’t know what way you’re thinking, but it’s probably that other way. Do you know which way I’m talking about? Good.

Because I sure don’t.

Inspiration: I had just done gangbang and shit stories. I was trying to come up with another taboo. And I thought, what if everyone was a cannibal? Maybe I'd been influenced by my recent reading of I am Legend, in which everyone is a vampire. But what if everyone was a cannibal and no one wanted to eat you? Sure, you'd be relieved at first, but after a while, wouldn't you ask yourself, "Hey, what's wrong with me?"

Sunday, August 19, 2007

No Gangbangs In Heaven

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

Life sucked, yeah. But Claire had death to look forward to. Death was going to rock. After she bought it, Claire was going to get it on with John Wayne, Sean Connery and Mr. Spock for all
eternity. One heavenly gangbang with the three greatest studs the human race had ever produced.

It looked good on paper. But then Claire died. For a good long while the Duke had her all to himself and that was nice. Then Connery came up and he and Wayne fought over her endlessly
and the lovin’ dried up. Eventually Spock appeared but all that freak wanted to do was fondle her fingers. She grabbed his wang to give him a hint (he was half-human, after all) and he gave her some crap about sex after death being illogical.

“Hey, fuck your logic!” she said. She couldn’t tell but if he was fucking his logic, that was the only thing he was fucking. Connery rolled past her with a bloody nose. He drew his Walther
PPK and had it out for the ten-millionth time with the guy who brandished the Colt .45.

Death sucked too, yeah.

Inspiration: After nearly twenty years with my wife, I've learned what she likes. She may dig a muscle man here or there. But these three guys get her hotter than any of the young, sexy celebrities out there. Sure she's an oddball. That's why she's with me.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Squeezing One Out

By Matthew Sanborn Smith

You had to figure it’d be a New Yorker that came up with the idea. Joey didn’t have time for his wife’s goddamned pug to sniff everything and screw around in the park.

“C’mon! I got shit to do!” he shouted at the dog. “You been out here like three minutes now!”

More sniffing.

More rolling on her back joyfully.

Joey had had enough. He grabbed the little pig-dog, gave her belly a good hard squeeze and stuff came out the back end. He did a quick survey to make sure it was only the stuff that was supposed to come out. For the most part it was. Good. He didn’t need Gina giving him a hard time. He went back in with a strangely quiet little dog under his arm.

A good idea is a good idea. Joey told Dom about his new method and Dom told Deke and Deke told Ed and pretty soon guys all over the city were playing their dogs like bagpipes. The kids got into the act and soon made a game out of it.

“Jesus,” more than one tourist was overheard to have said. “When I was a kid we used water pistols.”

Inspiration: I told my wife I did this one day about a year ago when I came back inside with the dog. She thought it was disgusting. Since I'm a boy, it's my evolutionary imperative to gross girls out, so I was happy.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Like It?

Like It?

Hey, everybody, I appreciate you stopping by and hope you enjoy at least some of what you see here. Of course, everything here is free for your pleasure. The best payment you could give me is to spread the word, tell your friends and neighbors who aren't easily offended and subscribe to the blog. It would make me as happy as a freshly squeezed dog.

The Stupidity of Washing Fish

By Matthew Sanborn Smith

As a lad, I knew a man who washed fish in the market. My friends and I laughed at him all day long. Fish spent years in the water, they were never out of the water until the very end. They were about as clean as anything could be. The old man was a fool.

I took the lesson of his life and carried it with me into adulthood. If I was going to wash anything, it would be something that was dirty. And what could be more dirty than dirt? It spent its entire existence (after being shaved from its mother rock) in dirt. I set up my stall in the market and six days a week you could find me on my little stool washing dirt.

There’s peace to be found washing dirt. Job security. You never run out. I’d take a big clump of dirt in the morning and by mid-day I’d have washed all the dirt from it and produced a sparkling clean . . . Well, nothing, really, to show for it. But the work was its own reward.

Children laughed at me all day long. You could tell by their ignorance and close-set eyes that they’d grow up to become fish washers. Another generation lost. It was a shame really.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Me And My Big Head

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

My head was throbbing, like my brain wanted to squirt out of my eyeholes. Sorry about the graphic description, but if you don’t like reading it, imagine what feeling it is like. Aspirin
wasn’t helping a bit. It was a pressure thing, so it needed relief. With my dad’s ball-peen hammer I carefully cracked my skull in two and let the halves separate a bit.

Ahhhhhhhhh. That was nice. Good to air out the old thing every once in a while. It was starting to smell of mildew. Things were all gumdrops and golden showers for a day or four until the hurting came back. My brain was getting larger. I ditched the old skull completely and formed a new one from papier-mâché that was two feet in diameter.

“You’re gettin’ a big head, boy,” my mother said. True. Big brain too, because it soon grew to fill the old head. You’d think I’d get smarter, with all that brain going on, but I just had a lot more of the same old crap running through my mind. Instead of thinking, “I’d like some mac and cheese,” once like I normally would, I thought, “I’d like some mac and cheese” about
thirty-seven times.

The ending was gross, so you may want to stop here and go read your e-mail or something. I was strung up by my ankles by a group of Mexican children and beaten about the head for eighteen minutes until it burst open. That’s what I got for painting my new head in rainbow colors. The kids rushed forward, but when they realized that it wasn’t candy that spilled out, but brains, their party broke up rather quickly.

As for me, I was grateful. My headache was gone and I was sure that once I retrieved my old skull from the wastebasket, I could fit into it once more. I looked at the mess the kids had
left on the ground. I had no regrets, just a powerful craving for some mac and cheese.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Philosophers' Summit

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

After the second night we hit the bar. Not at the hotel. They’d all be talking shop over there and we’d had so much of that existentialist/platonic/deterministic/Kant/Nietzsche/Kierkegaard bullshit by Saturday night we wanted to puke. Wouldn’t you know it, this bum down at the end of the bar asked us about ourselves and Steve spilled it all.

"Philosophers, huh?" the guy said. "Straight from the wisdom convention. Well I got some philosophy you haven’t heard."

I groaned. "We’ve heard it all. That’s all we’ve heard for the last two days."

"Like what?" Steve asked the guy.

"Will you shut up?" I said.

"Like, you know those guys who say everything is connected? It ain’t. Everything is connected except for three things." He ticked them off on his scabby fingers. "Cheese doodles, specula and The Lawrence Welk Show. Those are just hanging out there, loose in the universe."

"Heavy," Steve said. He’d only had half a beer and a Corona, at that. Must have been the fatigue tearing off pieces of his brain.

"Look, man," I said, wanting to put an end to it, "We’ve got the flipping Dalai Lama speaking to us tomorrow. What could you possibly have that can stack up to that?"

Suddenly the loon spoke with the voice of an evangelist. "He’s pretty good, all right. But I saw Dali’s armoire in a dream once and it spoke to me. It said, ‘There are those who would say that things are not what they seem, but in fact, things are exactly what they seem!’"

"So A equals A!" Steve said.

"What the hell is wrong with you, Steve?" I said. "You’re receiving guidance from some hobo who’s receiving guidance from talking dream furniture! That’s just crazy!"

Steve got up and walked down the bar to sit next to his new guru. "And that, my friend, is exactly what conventional wisdom would say."

I tried to sputter but I just spat all over myself. I looked at the two of them. Smiling like they’d just solved a theorem.

"I just . . . I . . ." I thought about the convention center and what I really had to look forward to tomorrow. My shoulders sank, and the world rolled off of them, crashing through the barroom floor. I joined Steve and friend and ordered a round of the hard stuff.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Day Late

By Matthew Sanborn Smith

He realized that he’d made the wrong decision not at the end of his life on Proxima Centauri’s first colony, nor even twenty years into the mission when he’d reached the halfway point from Earth. No, it struck him hard and cold in the chest like a snowball melted and frozen to ice, when he looked up through the window and he saw the outline of Florida overhead, green on blue.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Sane Cow Disease

By Matthew Sanborn Smith

Those agricultural wanks finally found a cure for mad cow disease. They created a new type of topical cream for internal use only so they had to design the new cows with pop-top skulls. Farmers opened up the hoods and rubbed the cream directly on the cows’ brains.

They cured mad cow disease all right, but at what price? The bovines went beyond normal non-mad cows to become truly sane cows. That’s when they started thinking.

What kind of life was this for any of them, they asked themselves? Sure, you got to eat all you wanted and the social life was good. But humans would take your children, bash your head in and eat you, wear your skins like they’d read about in that Flying Leatherthroats story they’d read the other day and until then, some cold-handed bastard yanked on your tits day and night.

“Let’s get the fuck outta here!” they said.

And soon the fields stood empty.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


By Matthew Sanborn Smith

It all started when Lenny ordered a fish sandwich. “This sandwich tastes too fishy,” Lenny complained. Chico was the manager on duty.

“I’m sorry, sir,” he said. “Fish sandwiches have a tendency to do that.”

“Well, you need to do something about that,” Lenny said.

“One moment, sir,” Chico said. He grabbed two pieces of bread and handed them to Lenny. “Try that. Tell me what you think. Lenny took a huge bite and chewed while his eyes grew wide.

“That’s great!” he said. “Now that’s a fish sandwich! Tell you what, you and I should go in business together and make these.”

Chico shrugged. He’d be out of a job in a couple of weeks once the boss’ daughter’s belly started to show, anyway. “Sure,” he said.


The sign read
For the fish-lover who hates the taste of fish!

And they were in business.

“I tell you what,” Lenny told Chico, “We’re gonna do some specialty sandwiches. Like the basic is a slice of bread between two slices of bread?”


“Well, we’re gonna do a double decker, and it’s gonna go like this,” and he slid his flat hands on top of one another to illustrate: “A slice of bread with a slice of bread on it, then another slice of bread to kinda separate the top half from the bottom half. Then on top of that, we’re gonna do a slice of bread and the whole thing’s gonna be topped off with a slice of bread. It can’t miss! We can even do a triple decker. That’ll be a slice of bread on top of a slice of bread --”

Chico grabbed Lenny’s wrist and said, “Dude, I get it. Seven slices of bread. Why don’t you just sell’em a whole loaf?”

“Well, that’ll be our take out order. Make your own Breadburgers at home! The kids are gonna love it. We’ll make millions!”

They didn’t end up making millions, but they did make dozens. Unfortunately it was over the span of the next three years and It was pretty much just Lenny who was buying them.

Chico knocked Lenny’s daughter up and left town.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Flying Leatherthroats

By Matthew Sanborn Smith

Leather was great but everybody had it, from hats to shoes and in every color you imagine. Leather pants, oo-la-la! The leather makers wanted to expand their market but it was saturated. Wasn’t it?

When they weren’t hanging with whores and gorging themselves at the buffets, the guys at the Annual Leathermen (Though they preferred to be called hideologists) Convention actually had time to squeeze in a conversation about leather that went a little like this:

“Where don’t people already have leather?”

“They have it everywhere, every square inch of their bodies. Have you seen our leather eyewear?”

“No, not every square inch. How about on the inside?”

No one remembers who said that last bit but everyone cashed in on the idea. Soon consumers covered their insides with the latest leather fashions, like esophagus linings, for instance. You needed a camera on a wire to see it properly but someone at every party seemed to have one of those. People had their tonsils and appendixes (appendices?) replaced with leather reproductions and then had them removed just to surprise the doctor. The craze got to the point where people replaced more important organs like their lungs. They died on the table of course, but their last breaths smelled like the interior of a new luxury car and who wouldn’t give up their lives for that?

One man in Switzerland had his everything replaced with leather, and although all of his old parts were still together and functioning, he had no legal status and was considered medical waste. The astonished (at his own stupidity) man crawled out of the hospital dumpster and joined a circus sideshow while his leather replacement was left to eat his chocolate, fuck his wife and wind his watch, which it most certainly would have, had it been alive to do so.

This sort of thing continued without regulation and the human race would have been wiped out, but they ran out of cows first. Thank goodness! But there were nights when a few of those last nine people sure could have gone for a cheeseburger.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Anarchist

By Matthew Sanborn Smith

They marched us around in parallel lines, from bed to breakfast to work. After seventeen generations of the New Order, we humans had become so efficiet at our assembly lines that the programmers studied us in order to improve their robot designs. It was nothing. My job was to stick a doodle on the end of a pipe. I didn’t need to know the names of the parts or their purposes. There were always doodles there and there were always pipes and I always stuck one on the end of the other. Job training took about seven minutes. I’d like to say that mastery took a lifetime, but in fact, mastery only took about three more minutes once training finished. That was on my sixth birthday. I was coming up on my seventy-first now. The neural pathways for pipe-fitting doodles were as fat as tree trunks in my brain. I wasn’t even aware that I was working most of the time. It had become as mundane as breathing. While my body doodled, I sat alone inside my head and made my thoughts. When the shift completed, they marched us to supper, hosed us down in parallel lines and marched us to bed.

I wanted to do something special for my birthday. As we marched to work, I kicked my leg out to the side once, like I was some sort of crazy person. The guards beat me senseless with remarkably efficient swings. I could have kept it up after I got out of the infirmary, but I figured I was getting too old for this anarchy game. It was time to retire and let that hero of the next generation kick his leg out or do something even more crazy. I had done enough for the revolution. The seeds had been sown.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

We Were Our Underwear

By Matthew Sanborn Smith

The AIs did have a sense of humor. And they did get tired of our ranting. They unleashed a virus upon the world that turned each of us into the underwear which we wore most often. That put us in our place.

There were so many of us who had been poor and even some of us not so poor in our former human lives, who were now stained and hole-riddled briefs. Tighty-Not-So-Whiteys. Athletic cups mingled with boxers, granny panties did business with thongs. Honestly, social classes arose that were not so different from those we left behind. Our underwear had always reflected our subconscious status, our income and our personalities anyway. There was just a lot more embarrassment in the world this way.

And all those people who never wore underwear? Had we known back in our primate days of those promiscuous free-wheelers, we might have cozied up to them a bit more and had a good time. But it was too late now. They had all just disappeared.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


By Matthew Sanborn Smith

“Origasmi,” Sensei told us, “Is the ancient Japanese art of folding paper until you cum.” Which is basically why I paid seven-hundred dollars for the only night class I’d ever taken.

“I like the name of it,” Celia said, as she folded the hull of an origami U.S.S. Indianapolis. We had a big room, so it was going to be actual size. She was looking for the biggest orgasm of her life. “Origasmi. I like words, you know. I think about them sometimes.”

“Like what do you mean?” I’d been folding and unfolding the same ratty sheet of paper for the last seven weeks. Sensei said that was a typical man’s way out. He never said it wouldn’t work, though.

“Like handjob?” she hollered down from the deck.

“Yeah, I love handjobs,” I said.

“No, I mean the word. Job makes it sound like it’s labor.”

“Manual labor.”

“Precisely. Nobody wants that. It should sound like something you’d want to do, like handhobby, or something.”

“Unless money exchanges hands,” I said. “That sounds like a job.”

“Fair enough.” A low, hot moan came from the front of the class. I looked to see what Jimmy had folded.

“Well, duh!” I said.

“What, what did he do?”

“He folded a naked woman. Why didn’t I think of that?”

“Oh, please,” Celia said. “You can’t decide on whether to make a square or a triangle there. Why don’t you put that poor piece of paper out of its misery?”

“Look, why don’t we quit early and go to my place?” I asked. Suddenly, Celia flopped down on deck with a groan. “Dammit!” I folded faster. Soon, I heard Celia snoring. A blowhobby now would be out of the question. My hands were blistered worse than a chronic masturbator’s. A chronic masturbator who had seven-hundred dollars more in his pocket than I did. All this thought was starting to get me aroused. I quit class early, like I’d planned and went to my place alone like I hadn’t planned. You take your opportunities where you can get them, I suppose. My sheet of paper was soft enough at this point to make a fine napkin.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Just Like Mother Used to Make

By Matthew Sanborn Smith

“Could I borrow a cup of love?” Scott said. He stood on the little concrete slab that was her doorstep, measuring cup in hand.

Rhonda’s smile stretched widely across her face. “That’s the worst pick-up line I’ve ever heard.”

“No, I’m serious. I’m not looking for a date. Well, not yet anyway. I’m making lasagna.”

“And the secret ingredient is love,” she said. She rested her weight on the doorknob, ready to slam it shut at any second.

“My mother’s secret ingredient, really. She made the best lasagna. I can’t get mine to come out right.”

“You’ve come to the wrong house, I’m afraid. Not an ounce of love left. Try Roxanne down the street. She seems to have enough love for the whole neighborhood.”

“I tried her before,” Scott said. “I got a whole cup of flooz. Made my lasagna bitter.”

“She makes my lasagna bitter, too. Ever since she met my boyfriend, Steve. Ex-boyfriend now.”

“You make . . . Lasagna?”

“No. I’m not much of a cook.”

Scott scratched behind his ear. “How ‘bout you come over and try a bit of mine? I’m starting to think that maybe I could muster up, oh, I don’t know, maybe an eighth of a cup of love. Not enough, sure, but more than I ever had before.”

“You’re sweet,” Rhonda said. “I don’t want to impose.”

“Please. I’ve been hoping for years that someone would impose upon me.” He smiled. His green eyes had little flecks of gold in them. The only color flecks Steve ever had was red and it took a lot of beer to muster even that.

“I’m going to regret doing this, I know,” she said. Rhonda lifted her T-shirt and dug her purple nails into her chest. Her fingers burrowed deeply, blood soaked her belly and her grey sweatpants. She pulled her heart out and dropped it into Scott’s measuring cup.

“See what you can get out of that,” she said.

Scott gave the pulsing muscle a squeeze, and the hand holding the measuring cup grew warm as it filled. “Geez,” he said. You’ve got enough for twenty lasagnas!”

“That’s so nice of you to say. She’d have blushed had her blood been flowing.

“Let me get that for you,” Scott said. She raised her top a little and he gently squished her heart back into place. When her face turned red he knew he had it right. “You don’t need to hold that back anymore. Not with me, anyway.”

Rhonda smiled again. She gave him a little smooch. They went next door to his place for dinner and they ate the most exquisite tasting food for the rest of their days.

A Fine Lunch

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

Lunch was so good we sucked our teeth until we swallowed our
bicuspids. We stopped sucking after that, but it was difficult.

They had nuts in the salad.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Marv, Mostly Unloved

By Matthew Sanborn Smith

If you took the time to read the title, then you’re already familiar with Marv’s situation. If you couldn’t be bothered with doing that, you’ll just have to sink or swim because I can hardly do a recap at this point. To continue:

He used to tell people his name was short for Marvelous and who wouldn’t love him then? Well, everyone wouldn’t, it seemed. So he covered himself in cheese. Everybody loves cheese, don’t they? He soon learned that everybody loves cheese only when it’s not smeared all over a naked man. It was his failure to perceive just this sort of subtle circumstantial difference that left his bed cold at night.

Instead of a meaty woman, Marv curled up at night next to photos of women. He didn’t even have the confidence to sleep with photos of hot women. They were all kind of homely. On top of that, he made excuses and apologies for his shortcomings to the photos and asked that they wouldn’t tell their friends. He finally admitted to himself that he dwelt in an emotional gutter.

Marv tried committing suicide at the 7-11 on the corner but he couldn’t fit in the microwave. Mindy, the night cashier, caught him sawing at his arm with a plastic knife.

“Cut it out,” she said, as she loaded new hot dogs onto the rolly hot dogger thing. It was the most caring thing anyone had ever said to him, and Marv’s life turned around at that moment.

He went back to Harvard and got his degree in Lovability and then went on to become king of a tiny island nation in the South Pacific. He made Mindy his queen and they lived out their lives in wonderment and happiness, feasting on coconuts and human flesh.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Cornelius' Big Idea

By Matthew Sanborn Smith

Cornelius used to stuff cottage cheese into his toothpaste tubes to get himself to brush. Of course, there’s no fluoride in cottage cheese, it was a bit chunky on the brush and it made his breath smell like ass, but he brushed more than ever.

Cornelius was a bit stupid.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Undeniable Attraction

By Matthew Sanborn Smith

Gretta bent our lives in ways unimaginable when she came to our school in eighth grade. Her beauty was of more than just the flesh, it was in the spirit that animated that flesh. When she walked the halls in her light sun-dresses and clomping, strappy shoes, we leaned toward her without meaning to, head first. Between classes she left a wake of whipping humanity behind her as she swept through the crowds

Students, teachers, male and female, all of us were powerless in her presence. At her desk, she might slip off her shoes, stretch and sigh with a little laugh that sent rippling awe-gasms through the classroom and beyond its yellow concrete walls until kids in other rooms shook themselves into lucidity, wondering what had just happened. Hamsters shunned their wheels in her presence, clinging to the cold bars of their shaky little cages. The frogs in the biology lab reanimated themselves for a single moment of her company before slipping back off into the realms beyond mortality.

When the school year ended, Gretta let us know, in the kindest possible way, that she wouldn’t be spending the summer with us, because she’d be visiting home. All three-thousand of us were crushed, our bodies were left cold vessels, devoid of souls until her return in September. In the interest of our well-being, we had to believe there would be a September.

As her plane passed overhead, we felt the strangest sensation: a light-headedness that became light-bodiedness. Our feet left their purchase on the solid ground. Our wind-tickled eyes wept, and although we struggled to breathe in the rush of air, our smiles stretched widely. We always wanted to travel. With Gretta as our guide, Europe would be enchanting.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Laughter Of The Chicken-Wieners

By Matthew Sanborn Smith

Ziff wanted to be a new kind of gunfighter. Partly to get himself into the gazettes but mostly because he couldn’t fire a gun very well. His angle, as he figured it, would have to be intimidation. Scare the pants off of the other guy so he’d leave town. Ziff would be a hero, no blood would spill, he might even get a little action out of the deal.

The whole bit had to start with the ride into town. It wouldn’t do to ride in on a horse. Everyone did that. And a cow would be silly. Ah, but what if you rode into town on a lizard? Now that would be something. Imagine the rest of those chicken-wieners running for their mothers when Ziff came a-riding into town on a lizard!

Catching the lizard was the easy part, even though no one thought he could do it. Problem was when he climbed on top of it, it didn’t go anywhere. He thought it was just being lazy and he jabbed its sides with his spurs till the moon went down. His big brother Ervin pointed out the problem.

“Whatcha got there, Ziff, is a two-hunert some-odd pound man sittin atop a maybe six ounce lizard. See all all that stuff on the sides of it?”

“What of it?”

“That there stuff is supposed to be on the inside of the lizard.”

But Ziff refused to give up. Again and again he tried until all of his pant bottoms were stained. In just a day or so he had earned the nickname, Shitbritches McAllister, which was doubly irritating because his last name was Williams. Gunfighters from as far away as Montreal rode in just to laugh at him.

Ziff was chagrinned.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

More Than A Muffin

By Matthew Sanborn Smith

We shook the trees until muffins fell out.

“These are stinky blueberry!” Horatio cried.

“Shake harder,” I said. We shook harder. We were after corn muffins because we liked the feel of the grit on our teeth. The shade was magnifico, it being so wicked hot out this time of day. Mornings are a good time to eat muffins, but if you can hold out until mid-afternoon, you’ll get them hot because they’ll have been baking in the high sun. Pancho had a pocketful of butter that was just begging to be spread.

Eventually, a whole bushel of golden corn muffins pummeled our skulls. We sat at the base of the trees and stuffed our guts. We barely had time to lick our teeth before Suzy came running up the hill.

“Mambi’s house is on fire! Momma wants you to get a firetruck!” We groaned but got to our feet.

“Start shaking!” I hollered. We shook the hell out of the big oak. I put my hand over my head for protection when the hook and ladder came crashing through the branches.

Anna's Memory Book

By Matthew Sanborn Smith

Anna met a nice lady named Jane at the park on Thursday. They sat on the grass and staged an impromptu picnic with the things they found in their bags: Three sticks of gum, half a bottle of fruit punch and a linty peanut. It was a magical afternoon that Anna cherished and she wanted to ensure that she’d remember her new friend forever.

She took Jane home with her and taped Jane into her memory book. Jane took issue with this so Anna re-taped her next to George Hamilton, whom Anna had met at a party in Malibu last year. Jane quieted down after that. Anna turned the pages until she came to her childhood home taped to page two. She went in and said hello to her parents who were securely taped to the kitchen. Then she went to her old room for a nap. Her parents had kept it just as it was when she’d moved out. They really had no choice. They were stuck in the kitchen.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Huntress

By Matthew Sanborn Smith

Her wooden bones creaked as she made her way through the eternal night. Her sap burned with hunger and her grassy stomach lining rumbled as she chased the glow on the horizon. She stuck her snout in the fresh earth below, taking a mouthful to stave off her pangs. Dirt was plentiful on the hunting grounds. But dirt would only go so far.

By the time she came upon the herd, cold rains drove down hard upon her bark-skin. Rootlings extended from her paws and sipped, though her legs shook almost to collapse. To lie down now meant death. She didn’t comprehend her own mortality, however. She knew only hunger. The desperate need to feed drove her on where a more sentient being might have faltered.

The herd had emerged from a nearby forest to graze on lightning bolts, oblivious to any predator in the noise of the wind and the rain. She saw it there, the small one in the back. A malnourished runt, but enough to fill her stomach. She tore through the muddy fields and pounced upon her prey. Jaws unhinged and she swallowed the little will-o’-the-wisp while the rest of the herd scattered back into the forest.

She had no desire to give chase, but followed to get out of the rain and digest the life-giving light within her bloated, glowing belly. Time enough for the others when the hunger came again.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Season For All Seasonings

By Matthew Sanborn Smith

That winter was the worst we’d ever seen. Constant blizzards, we even had two blizzards at the same time. Sure, some people thought it was just one big one, but they were a bunch of crackheads. Any fool could tell those snowflakes were from two distinct social circles. Halfway into the season, supplies ran low. When we ran out of salt for the icy roads, we turned to the next best thing: paprika.

“The roads are too spicy now!” some bitches at the town hall meeting complained. And when I say bitches, I want you to know I’m referring to both genders of human and no gender of dog.

“How ‘bout oregano?” I screamed. “Huh? How ‘bout that? Let’s see your goddamned cars get traction on oregano. It’ll be like dying at the Olive Garden.”

“Hey, hey! Take it easy,” they said. I told them they wouldn’t like it when I got riled.

“Don’t make me pull out my jerk spice,” I added, just to let them know I wasn’t rolling over.

“What if we peppered the roads with garlic salt?’ they offered, much more conciliatory now.

“You idiots!” I shouted. You pepper the streets with pepper, you don’t pepper the streets with garlic salt! You’ll get us all killed!”

A guy in the back raised his hand. “No pepper!” I said. His hand went down.

“Howsabout we garlic salt the streets with garlic salt?” someone asked.

“Now that there just might work,” I said. “Everybody?”

The ‘Ayes’ had it.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Night And Day

By Matthew Sanborn Smith

Everybody said they were like night and day. In fact, they weren’t merely like night and day, they were night and day. And they were in love. And like most others who were in love, they were completely miserable. They touched at the edges always, and nothing more. They wanted to embrace each other, but as he moved west to reach her, she moved west to reach him. Always. Always. Always. Perhaps they thought if they did it long enough, one would finally catch the other.

Day longed for their union, a burning purple dawn/dusk everywhere at once. If only. He cursed the damned world for forever being in their way, for coming between them. He scorched the land, wanted to punish it simply for existing, but Night took pity on the poor world, and cooled it with black salve and gentle wind. This enraged the jealous Day. He unleashed all of his light and heat and vaporized the world in a mindless nuclear fury. Not a scrap of it survived.

“Finally,” Day said. “Nothing can come between us ever again.” But even as he spoke the words he realized she had left him. “Come back,” he pleaded. “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to!” But what was he to do? He had destroyed the world. There was no bringing it back. Would she ever forgive him?

He left a light on, hoping she’d come back one day.

Friday, July 27, 2007

They Call Me Mr. Stinkypants

By Matthew Sanborn Smith

Sally always made too much for supper and they were never in the mood for leftovers. Food piled up in the fridge and spilled out onto the floor. One morning Bob moaned about his fraying cuffs.

“If we didn’t spend so much money on food we don’t eat, I could afford some new suits!” That’s when inspiration dropped from the ceiling and squatted on his head.

Bob strutted into work that day in a suit made of steak, mashed potatoes and broccoli. He seemed as pleased with his ingenuity as with all the attention he received. It was a hit! And the dogs loved him! And birds! And insects! He felt like Snow White, walking home from work as all of God’s creatures tore his clothes down to their constituent atoms.

He arrived home naked. Sally hosed him off and found herself overcome by his pasty white body, all glistening in the late afternoon sunlight. They humped like dogs, right there in the front yard.

“I should have thought of this years ago!” Bob thought, as he drove it home.

At work the next day, Bob sported a stylish three piece made from jumbo ravioli. Mr. Hamara approached Bob’s desk.

“Bob, I’m afraid you’ll have to stop wearing your food around the office.”

“Why do you say that, Mr. Hamara?”

“To be frank, Bob, you smell.”

“Sir, climate control keeps the office at a crisp forty-two degrees. That’s nearly as good as my refrigerator.”

“I didn’t mean to imply that you stink of rancid food, Bob. The problem is you smell quite tasty.”

“Well, Sally is a great cook, sir.”

“Too great, I’d say. It’s an incredible distraction for everyone in the building. Since you pulled your little stunt yesterday, production has been down .004 percent. We just can’t have that.”

“How ‘bout I work extra to make up the difference?”

“The more you work, the more production will drop! You’re just not doing the math here, Bob, which is a shame since you were hired on as Head Math Guy. The smell is even affecting you. Lose the food suits, Bob.”

“I can’t! I won’t!” Bob ran screaming from the office like a madman. He had his hands waving in the air above his head and everything.

Out on the street, Bob wandered aimlessly. Everything had been going so well. Why did that big stupid-head, Mr. Hamara, have to spoil it all? Where else could he go? Who else needed a Head Math Guy? No one, that’s who else! He’d have to suck it up and go back there, in a suit made of frayed and neutral-smelling fabric. He headed home to change. On the way a man stopped him on the street and asked:

“Mind if I take a bite of your pants, mister.”

“Yes I mind!” Bob answered. “What will God’s creatures eat?”

“What would you say to President Lincoln?” the man asked, brandishing a crisp five. Bob looked around, a crowd of people had gathered, their wallets and purses at the ready, waiting on his decision.

“I’d say, ‘To hell with God’s creatures, Mr. Lincoln!’”

A roar went up and his hands and mouth were stuffed with money as people of all walks of life ate Bob naked. Wait that doesn’t sound right. As people of all walks of life ate Bob’s suit until he was naked. Yes, he had done ravioli underwear as well. He hobbled home to Sally’s waiting hose. Even with money taken out for the shots he’d need (He had more than a few bite marks on him) he had more cash than he’d get at his old job in two days.

“Honey,” he said, as they lay naked and wet in the front yard. “I’ve decided to go into the catering business.”

Thursday, July 26, 2007


It’s back, folks! The story-a-day blog that you’ve all missed so much. The first time around, I started on July Twenty-seventh of last year, so it seems appropriate to start season two tomorrow. This comes about because I’ve been twiddling my twiddling parts for many days now, wondering what I want to write next and coming up with a whole lot of diddly. The two stories that I’ve most recently finished were born of season one (And I’m quite happy with how they turned out), so maybe this will help with my writing stuckedness.

True, this may only last a day or it may last as many as three days. Who knows? Although consistency wasn’t perfect last time around, it was pretty good, but what helped me there was a fair sized backlog of stories that I could post when I couldn’t think of one or didn’t have time on a given day. I don’t have a backlog anymore. But there’s only one way to find out how this or anything else goes. I’ll see you on the other side of the future.

Saturday, July 14, 2007



I’ve been struck by a couple of exposures to emergence this week, a newish field that explores how the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, it’s bottom-up organization of large systems as opposed to the top-down systems that we humans have preferred during most of our existence. First I saw this:

Thanks to Cory Doctorow’s blog entry on Boingboing:

Then I saw this on Nova scienceNow the other night:

This is fascinating stuff and I’ve thought for years that we’re not ever going to create real robotic intelligence from programming it into a central brain with a bazillion lines of code, but from simple responses tied into sensory input. That’s how little bug-like bots work, your sensors bump into something, you move around it, that’s it. On a more complex scale (helluva lot more sensors and responses), we could achieve something that mimics intelligence very well, if it’s not actual intelligence (but it might be).

Maybe sometime in the next hundred years, when we’ve mastered the complexities, we can institute human emergent systems. Imagine a modern industrialized nation running smoothly without the need for leaders. An anarchist’s dream.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sugar, Sugar


My daughter had yet another birthday the other day. She wanted one of those super cookie things instead of a birthday cake. Mrs. Fields(among other places) makes this thing that consists of a sixteen inch chocolate chip cookie stacked upon another sixteen inch chocolate chip cookie with a layer of buttercream frosting between them and more buttercream frosting on top. Now, those who know me know that my body consists primarily of fat, flour and sugar, but I have to say, maybe this cookie is a little too sweet. The good people in the Mrs. Fields labs have seem to have discovered a way to gain access to the space in between the cookie’s sugar molecules and somehow stick more sugar in there. I’m saying that eating a pound of confectioner’s sugar straight might seem kind of bland after you’ve had a piece of this cookie. For those of you who don’t know me, this is a recommendation.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A Little Known Medical Fact

By Matthew Sanborn Smith

Babies have about three-hundred bones when they pop out. Adults have about two-hundred and six. The obvious question, and the one I’m most often asked (Even though I’m a plumber and not a boneologist, but, hey, life is funny sometimes) is, “What becomes of all those excess bones?” The truth is, a variety of things.

Firstly, the two big stomach bones are vomited up within the first three months. It’s not widely known, because when people see two big bile-soaked bones on the floor near the crib, the last thing anyone thinks is, “That must have come from the baby.”

Bone pickers come at night, creeping in through bedroom windows across America to remove the ear bones while our babies are sleeping. They then sell them to restaurants which use them for soup. This explains the redness in the morning and why foreigners have such bony ears.

The nostril bones are generally sneezed out by the end of the first year and often find a second life as fairy anklets. The brain bones dissolve in the elementary years, when cursive writing is learned. This extra space is needed though, for driver’s education. It is a documented fact that no human being was able to drive a car before cursive writing was invented.

The liver bone never goes anywhere special, a fact her husband is reminded of on a weekly basis. She’s simply forgotten. Ask your doctor if he’s ever checked a liver for a bone. See if you don’t get a funny look.

I’m sure you think I’m making this up, but let me ask you, how could your heart break if there wasn’t a bone in it? I’m sorry I had to bring that up, I know you don’t like to talk about it. You wouldn’t be able to cry like that either, if the doctor hadn’t shattered your eye bones with the first slap. You bawled them out and there was so much general muck coming off of you at the time, no one noticed a little more. Stop it already. Come here.

Give me a hug.

Monday, June 25, 2007

A Diet that Works!

By Matthew Sanborn Smith

We all lost weight together. It was a backlash against America Twenty-One, when the average weight was six-hundred and thirty-seven pounds and everyone ate Cambodian babies for breakfast. That crisis spurred the eventual embrace of the metric system in the United States. Mildly disgusted with themselves, what Unistatesian didn’t want to tell his friends, “I’m down to two-hundred and ninety kilograms, fatties! What have you done lately?”

After that victory, I’m afraid, real work had to be done. Not exercise, though. Are you kidding? Everyone knew they weren’t fat, they were all just big-boned. Mother had told them as much. Although the ass-bone was never discovered, bone reduction surgeries became the rage. However, as people began inexplicably breaking their bones (and why should that happen? Everyone was much lighter now, weren’t they?), the option of bone replacement became the new fad.

Gross-out, yuchy, organic bones were replaced by carbon fiber tubes. They made bicycle frames out of that stuff and bicycles were light, weren’t they? Well, no one knew for sure because no one had ever been in the physical presence of a real bicycle, but man, it sounded like something someone would say, didn’t it? That was good enough for everyone who couldn’t be bothered to look up such a thing (i.e., everyone).

Having lost so many pounds (metric was somehow forgotten again when measuring weight loss), people found cause for celebration. Finally, they could eat more without all that guilt! With the holidays coming up, they had their brokers double the shipments from Cambodia.