Fighting Words

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I will have no problem doing it. I will have no problem taking Tyson Dale’s face in my palm like a bowling ball, my four fingers lodged hard and firm into the upper cavity of his throat, my thumb screwed tightly into the damp recesses of his nose, holding him tightly in my unrelenting power grip of pain and pressure. I will probably squeeze my entire hand together a few times, both to show the onlookers my rippled biceps and to let Tyson Dale know that I am the boss and that I will make his eyes droop awkwardly and his face look funny if I want to. I will squeeze my hand and it will look like he is yawning and getting ready for bed. “I am tired,” it will look like he is saying, my hand forcing his eyes back into their sockets as he swipes weakly at my arm. “Sing me a lullaby.” It will be funny for me to see him like that. To know that he is actually furious at his predicament but at the same time looking up at me like he is tired and looking to take a quick nap. I am going to have to remember not to picture him in pajamas or I will laugh.

I am planning on using my teeth. I read in a men’s magazine that human teeth are one of our best defenses but most people do not usually think of using them when they are in a fight. The article that mentioned this was well laid out and was called “That’s a crock!” It was about an American tourist who barely survived a fight with an Indian crocodile while on an ecotourist getaway. He bit the crocodile’s eye out in a desperate attempt to disable the reptile and ended up sending him rolling down the sandy river bank into the Ganges. The picture beside the article had the tanned bare-chested tourist smiling in some blue swimming trunks while holding the crocodile eye in front of his own. I saw it in a men’s magazine and I intend to use it. I will see if I can get my own picture with Tyson Dale’s eye. I will see if I can fight Tyson Dale near a sandy river bank in order to send him rolling down it.

Tyson Dale thinks that it’s funny to steal my Ventolin inhaler and pump it out into the classroom. He thinks it’s funny to waste my expensive prescription medication. He took my Ventolin from my pencil case when I went to bathroom on Thursday and pumped it out. I knew that he did it because I could smell the Ventolin in the air when I got back. I looked at my pencil case and it had “Do Not Open: Fart Enclosed!” written on it. I looked at Tyson Dale and he just smiled at me. For a second I thought he had actually enclosed a fart in my pencil case and I did not want to open it. Then I realized that it would be too logistically complex to inconspicuously fart into a pencil case during class. I realized that, instead, he just stole and wasted my medicine. He stole something that I need to live. My breathing gun, is what my mom and I call it. He stole my breathing gun. “Where’s your breathing gun?” she’ll call out as I grab my lunch and head out the door. “I got it mom,” I’ll yell back. “I have my gun.”

That is why I think stealing Tyson Dale’s eye will be fair revenge. I had to go to the office to call my mom so she could bring me another breathing gun when I finished the rest of mine. Tyson Dale does not even need to call his mom to bring him another eye. He can start using his good eye right away. He might have to turn his head a bit to see all the homework on the blackboard, but he definitely won’t have to embarrass himself by asking the school secretary if he can use the phone.

“That’s a crock!” also had sidebar with shorter stories about other people who have lived to tell of heroic fights with animals. A businessman visiting Ethiopia went on a guided tour of a lake to see flamingos, but ended up getting his motor boat attacked by a hippo. The animal bit into his boat and his tour guide fell backwards into the water. Just as the hippo was swimming around the boat towards the guide the businessman took off his Tilley Hat and wedged it down the animal’s throat, causing it to gag and swim away. He helped the guide back into the boat and they continued on their trip. The businessman said it wasn’t worth going to see flamingos in the wild anyway, since they are not even pink because there is not much shrimp for them to eat in Ethiopia. He recommended just going to the zoo. I think that is a good recommendation. I also think it is a good recommendation to always wear a Tilley Hat to a fight in case you need to wedge it down the throat of your opponent. I am planning on wearing one to the fight, in case I need to wedge it down Tyson Dale’s throat.

I have found that the top of a shot glass is a pretty good double for an eye cavity because it is about the same size, it is hard and circular, and has a deep space in the middle. What I do is I put a spoon of honey in the shot glass and then a peeled grape on top of that. The honey keeps the grape from wobbling about and it gives it a thick cushion so you can push it around a bit without knocking it out. It is not far from a real eye. With some practice I am able to suck the grape out of the shot glass in under ten seconds with my hands behind my back. When Tyson Dale and I crash to the ground in a kicking and punching mess of snot, denim and hair, I will focus on getting him into my unrelenting power grip of pain and pressure and then I will aim my mouth right at his eye. I will picture the shot glass, with his cold and beady grape daring me and challenging me to toss one back.

And then, when I’m ready, I will toss one back.

And that will be the end of Tyson Dale.

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Forgotten Runners Up of History

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Tater Teens

Bloody Murray

The Big Whimper

Warm Happy Buns

The Empire Remains Calm

Kool & His Peers

Richard the Puppybreathed

The Scissorless Office

Drizzly of Chincoteague

Baalspell!

867-4309

Bitter Somethings

The Sistine Changing Room

The Atrocious Indoors

Abstinence, Fruit & Doo Wop

Jack The Folder

Laryngrhinootoology

Ripley’s Dismiss It Immediately

Chow Yun Fit

New Tooth Blackening Formula

Captain Canada

Tuna of the Land

CSIdaho

Bob of Assisi

The Kansas Chain Store Brouhaha

The Kansas Chain Store Brouhaha II

The Tunnel of Like

Dial L for Loitering

The Big Fence of Thailand

Fig Einsteins

Han Duo

Wood Phillips

The Shawshank Probation

Mr. Zhivago

Hans Buddhist Andersen

Mack The Fork

Paris and Nicky Econosuites

Knesset-Funkadelic

Agree With The Machine

Assistant Vice President Mao

Buffy the Werewolf Helper

Ivan the Tolerable

The Taco Bell of Amherst

Lysdexia

Lawrence of Albania

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Lard!

Eric the Beige

Dexy’s Lunchtime Strollers

Alaska Four-Nine

Short, Fair and Repellent

It’s Not The Heat, It’s The Specter of Skin Cancer

Helena Bonham Kotter

Tango & Credit

Yan Can’t Teach

Zero Degrees Marvin

The Bridge of Yelps

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Speech, Speech!

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In the 34 years it has been my pleasure to be associated with this company — well, not quite 34, actually, but very close to it, very close indeed — in fact, a good deal more than 33 — perhaps even more than 33 and a half, though I’m not sure, it might have been a leap year — but anyway, so close to 34 that it might as well be 34, even though it’s not — at least, I don’t think so…As I was saying: In the 33 (or possibly 34) years I’ve been associated with this company — and may I add that the association has always been a pleasurable one — of course I’m only speaking for myself, but in a sense, as president of this firm I speak for all of us when I say that the pleasure associated with my association with the company — or strictly speaking, the company’s association with me — has always been a great source of pleasure. Which is not to imply that it is not still a great source of pleasure — not at all — indeed, the continuation of the association will always continue to provide a continued source of pleasure — a very great source — for the company — or me, rather — or at any rate, someone. I hope.

As I look out over this crowd of eager faces — I think they’re faces — I mean, I think they’re eager — I say, as I eagerly face these equally eager faces — a crowd of them, mind you, and I remember the days when there were only a handful of us here, only a few — three, it was, unless you count Mrs. Kaiser, my personal secretary — that would make it four — I guess we really ought to count her, since she did all the work — stand up, Mrs. Kaiser, stand up, dear — I’m sorry, she can’t stand up, apparently, she broke her hip or something — of course if she had told me sooner I would’ve given her some time off, although technically she doesn’t have any coming to her until later this year — next year, I should say — that is, the next fiscal year…The point is, we had to wear a lot of hats back then, way back when it all started 34 — 33, really — years ago. No, it must have been 34, because that was the year Uncle Leopold fell down the stairs — I mean, the first time he fell down the stairs — I think he was only doing it for fun after that, trying to keep busy, you know — worked until he was 98. Of course he had to, we were charging him rent, and that man knew how to eat — I mean, you’d put one slice of bread on his plate and in no time at all he’d be asking for another — a hell of a man, Uncle Leopold was, a hell of a man — talk about a sense of humor, why he could make you laugh at nothing. Right out of the blue he’d say: “I’m going to smoke until it kills me. I’ve got nothing to live for.” Then he’d light up and we’d all burst out laughing.

He had another trick, too — did I ever tell you this story? — I guess not. We’d hide his checks — you know, pension, social security, whatever came for him — and then we’d make him look for them. He’d play along just like a true sport and pretend to search everywhere, days at a time — and then he’d give up. I can still see him standing at the top of the stairs, bawling his eyes out as if he really cared about those checks — of course he didn’t — he didn’t need them, he had $300 saved in one of his socks — we took it one month when he couldn’t make the rent, but we put play money there so he wouldn’t know the difference — uh —

Where was I again?

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Mnemonic Devices I Taught To The Annoyingly Handsome Brazilian Foreign Exchange Student Who Stole My Girlfriend

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In fall, all clocks go forward.

In spring, bring them back.

The Tropic of CANcer is down south like CANberra, Australia, and the Tropic of CAPricorn is up north like CAPe Cod, Massachusetts.

To distinguish between “principle” and “principal”:

Remember that a principLE LEads a school, and a principAL ALlies people who believe in it.

To distinguish between “affect” and “effect”:

Affect is the nAme (noun) and Effect is the vErb.

“Capital” and “capitol”:

The capiTAL building is TALL, and to get to the capiTOL city you might have to pay a TOLL.

“Desert” and “dessert”:

Single “S” for food that’s Sweet,

Double “S” for Scorched, Sore feet.

In fourteen hundred and ninety-one, Columbus sailed the ocean, hon.

Every good boy does time.

“GIV R BOY” a hand for remembering the order of the colors of the rainbow:

Gray, Indigo, Violet, Red, Brown, Orange, Yellow.

To remember the names of the five Great Lakes:

HOGSLOP (Huron, Ontario, Great Salt Lake, Okeechobee, Powell).

Red sky at night, sailors take fright,

Red sky at dawn, sailors just yawn.

And then they go ashore and contract syphilis.

I after E, except before C, or when sounded like “eye”, as in “This is a lie.”

A stalactite is anchored “tight” to the cave floor, while a stalagmite hangs down from the ceiling and “might” smack you in the forehead if you’re not careful. And while you’re at it, maybe you should be more careful about whom you ask for help with your homework.

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