PunGents.com - a Chronology of Hype

The XML has been mashed into submission, the Dreamweaving done, the HTML racheted to perfection; yes, the punstruction is complete.

Angry Brown Man and I are sitting tight for the next 24 hours, but when December arrives in all its coldness, so too do the Pun Gents arrive in all their boldness.

For those addicted to the excitement, here it is:

PunGents Chronology of Hype:

  • October 15, 2004 - After much soul-searching, Angry Brown Man decides to abandon his fruitless ph.D studies, and search for meaning beyond the grim cages of academia. The Cupcake Man, eager for a partner to assist in his own quest, welcomes ABM with open arms. The duo consume much coffee and cabbage rolls one Tuesday evening at a certain Toronto eatery, appropriately named Future Bakery. Having resolved toward greatness, all possibilities for the Future - marvellous, mad and sundry - are entertained with wild-eyed gusto; misgivings, inhibitions and obstacles crumble like so many flakes of cabbage. The world is their oyster.

  • November 7 - Several more visionary trips to 'the Future' and the duo has laid the groundwork for the universe's most revolutionary pun-based web site. The next day there's an announcement in FIAC, followed by more Cupcake hype on the 15th; hysteria surrounding www.pungents.com steamrolls, from snowball to avalanche. The universe runs for cover.

  • November 18 - The concept of "Puns on Demand" is leaked strategically; the online community soils itself in disbelief.

  • November 19 - Still more FIAC hype; the intelligentsia collapse into coughing fits; the proletariat sharpen their pitchforks for revolt; young lovers toss themselves into burning volcanoes - all because of the Pun Gents.

  • November 29 - Scant hours ago, Angry Man Brown announces a cessation of his frantic script-mashing and Dreamweaving energies. The Pun Gents, their brows beaded with blood, sweat and tears, bask in the sweet moment of anticipation; their web site is finally ready.

    The question is...


Because, you see, at midnight tonight - the universe has nowhere left to hide.


Headline: "Saliva exchange causes kafuffle"

Lithe, silk
brushing knee
with suggestive finger
flirty-girl kissed, lips
on lips under
shocked awe-filled
colleagues whispering for
weeks; it’s
Xmas gossip?


thanks a lot!

never accept
accept with a shrug

hey momma bomma you got lots to lose, we are food for news to the french fries in the parlour oven in the armoury, in the big fat testamental thai poon preponderances.

now listen to this: "To the polemicists in the squash court, the retro-night nightmare nerds, the queen-sized hangover-helpers who urinate on uranium festivals in the middle of winter; to the wintry black whirlpools of insidious discontent; to the popular magical moonshine swug at a drop and retched with a cough, to the lopped off chopper-top mopman made of copper: thanks a lot."

My brain's in my fingers, my fingerfalls on clacky-path, a dancing surfnet web of flaregun syntax firin and inspired wrist writhing, jittery spacebar smashing litterbug-letterbugs with the qwerty-bashing and scatterbrained scat-maimed name wraiths.

Use this sentence at your discretion; don't blame me if it makes you boogie!

"Your toast is singed until crispy, speakers sexy but lispy, clouds permanently wispy, the doo-dah is snappily zippity."

Yah yah you big fat fool
yah pass me the appropriate tool
yah plate full of gruel
you were so cruel
to become a monkey mule,
brayed all sunday evening
because you couldn't pass your stool

(you need more fibre in your diet!)


November rhymes

(back earlier than expected... this erupted yesterday, so why the heck not?)

Under the ground we don’t hear a sound, we mime noise, talk colours, sing symbols into stone, we groan gastronomy, laugh lyrics, twisted benedictions, topsy-turvy prayers, layers upon layers, meaning cleaved, dreaming never to be believed, we thin-limbed ringers of bells, tin-innard, heartless, mindless, lollypop-livered devilry delivery boys, toy-wrap rippers, daytrip hipsters, lark lovers and mid-life gutbusters, motorbike Mikeys or tetracycline tricycle-dykes, Nokia-nattering Nike-noodles selling shoes to poodle owners, ignoring lowlife loners; instead it’s the zone-Capones, mobster mimics, lifestyle lemmings and turtleneck cynics.

Save quarters, do laundry, Frankfurt Germans and their autobahnery, College and Manning, Ted’s Wrecking, nighttime traffic, headlights gleaming, beetle shells cover auto insects crawling on concrete. I leave you at the corner, ask you for Kroners, we’re in Copenhagen translating 'Lagerzapfen', every day this way, so trusting and gay, we float like Sugar Ray, sweetness stinging, oven bell ringing, coffee pot brimming, leaves fall, blowing, the calendar flips - gonna be snowing - row on and on, throw another on: Barbie clothes, barbecue coals, grassy knolls, gaping conspiracy holes deter paranoid delusions, escapist illusions, systematic refusals, perusals reveal flaws, too scary to grapple, and so we dabble, dawdle, dilly-dalliance balletic in sophistication, evasiveness fostered by omnipresent impenetration; we grow bored at fright, numb from the fight, numb from our names, sense-sensibility shot to hell, we trade socialist shrill for Orange County thrills, Hills-Beverly, glory gals, bright lights and dark shades, ghosts, hollow, flicker in a prisoner's daze.


How much excitement can you pigs handle???

I'm taking a brief respite from cupcakes and their attendant consequences for the next week or 10 days. Nonetheless I have some important...


Good news! FIAC Volume II: Liberty is a Bagel, a new freedom-filled compilation, will 'hit shelves' in the approaching weeks. Can you believe it? Yes, well a lot of thirsty, contusion-inducing work must still be done, but FIAC's latest sanity-stretching (ill)literary lootbag of (un)poems, (ir)rambles and (---)sequiturs should be ready by mid-January 2005. Those who managed to make it through FIAC Volume I know it was an emotionally searing, painfully soul-destroying dirge-drama, but this second one will be a lot more fun, both to have written and to read--I promise. Though, I'll still 'freak' the 'funk' right out of you in my own special way--because I know you pigs eat that shit up. Such enigmatic excitement!

So by all means continue to be a part of online history: if you leave a comment on FIAC when Vol. II is done, I'll send you the WORD attachment, which you can save and treasure in your hard drive forever. Or, just turn your printer on, and run off what you like for posterity. Yowzah!


Now taking shape is the long-awaited FIAC Stupendous Short Story Agglomeration, a collection of 25-30 stories previously published online (in baffling bits and pieces), all which will be finished off for your incredulous edu-tainment. Tentative target for this cerebellum-shattering anthology is set for February 2005. Enjoy the brain-disturbing, bowel-distending misadventures of such antiheroes as The Three Big Pigs, the rebellious Rambunglstiltskin and the man-child Moses DreckSnider in the comfort of your living room, ie even without an internet connection. What frenetically fantabulous fantasticality!


Hotly anticipated by the litterati and half-witterati alike is www.pungents.com, a punderfully cupcakey col-laff-eration with esteemed colleague Hominus Iracundius Brunius. The Pun Gents will be mainlining in pun-blication in just 13 days; we'll be kook-ing up a whole lotta trouble; so to all you eager pungredients soon stepping into our sizzling linguistic griddles on Dec 1, 2004, I promise you'll not be dish-appointed!


(ok ok, I'll let you catch your breath... back in a jiffy ;-) )

Late Braking Gnus...

...cause accidents!

Check out the punstruction site at pungents.com for more pun-ishing Fast FAQs.

cold and lonely

do I belong here?

or is this the way it's got to be?

hmm... depressing.

and it makes me laugh.

but have I made a mistake in coming here?


sorry, granny -- I was just trying to be normal.


your granny

(speaks for itself)

your granny

your granny is addicted to bacon
it sizzles in her arteries
she gives new emphasis to the phrase ‘arterial cloggedness;'
so much bacon has your granny eaten in fact, that
the authors of bacon.com
asked her for an endorsement
--she would gladly have given it
but alas,
she is a total moron


Desktop chaos

(it's messy but it's neat)

There's a scribbled line speaking inky Shakespeare; I could stare at skulls handheld like Hamlet in Act V, to be or not to be, but I sit instead wishing there was nobody in the washroom—I really have to pee. I form analogies like a calculator, abacus clinking bricks into a sublime arithmetic. There's remote-control southern twang like a cow bell--gotta have more cowbell--from the stereo in corner. I stare at my two best friends, their picture on my desk; so beautiful, and their smiles never closer. At the edge is a pile of used post-its; ballpoint with nib unscrewed sits waiting at an angle. Empty envelopes for letters never sent or letters ignored--there’s always a more important letter on the way. My address book gets emptier by the hour, so I substitute for love the bits of wisdom I've gleaned from that true granite witness sitting serious on my desk; I call it a book; it is a big one, a big fat book of famous quotations--and it's scaring me witless. My brain spreads out like the speakers, spaced out just so to maximize the wavelength effect, to ameliorate my synesthetic sound-sing-speak experience. There’s a telephone too, black and plastic, clanging bells and fizzing receivers, like Bill Cosby if he were made of plastic. A glass half full of hi-liters and paper clips; I’ve never drunk from it but if I need yellowness I’ll know where to look. It’s oak that's housed decades of hard work and self-discipline (by others, brothers, not just me), tossed into this rubbish bonfire, and my new lease-sheets, my papered place to live, might burst into flames along with the wood (no good). The Iliad perches precariously above the wastebasket, and my electrical wires cross indiscriminately, but that’s just me; I let my wires be. The laptop has never seen the top of a lap per se, so I label it a liar—I can’t stand falsity in advertising. I look to Lou and Gord for edgy repartée; their cds are lying empty in the case, so I turn on the lamp, light up the whole place--it’s no halogen but so what, we can’t all save the planet. Not when we think and work in this desktop disaster-math, my dusty flat chaos giving good folks at Office Depot a hardy-har heart attack....


classification scheme (finally)

(Like most things, this post is more worthwhile if you've read the book first)

Looking back on the first 15 FIAC (un)poems, here's what I figure:

Inward or outward (I or O)
Girl (G)
Craft (C)
Nonsense (N)
Random (R)
Rhythm (M)
Happy or sad or angry or spooky (H or S or A or Y)
Zesty (Z)
Keystone (K)
Worldview (W)
Biographical (B)

  1. The entertainer CAKO
  2. Who’s afraid of the dark IWMCKY
  3. about (bad) poetry ZCOK
  4. Not so easily classified YIC
  5. 236 Lake Drive, Willow Beach BIO
  6. coffee cup rhymes WIMSK
  7. Afternoon drive OH
  8. Calm and storm RY
  9. Can I get to heaven before I go to hell? IG
  10. Sass-und-frazzle INHZW
  11. Dec07—subconscious INMY
  12. A deer caught in the headlines (National Post, Nov 11) OCA
  13. freedom o’ press AWOC
  14. cracked eggheads, indigestible omelette (too many cooks) AZOMW
  15. The techno-babel genesis ZWO
Then I got bored, and figured who gives a rat's ass. Feel free to figure out the other 85. Talking about me bores me to no end; it honestly does. Is that sad?


Sunday morning, you're in Napoli?

Pick up the phone
And sing to me
Bout how much you
Miss me

Different versions we saw of moments spent together, difficult to together tether, we were like two girls chatting on the phone, wasting million minutes alone in ethereal vocal zones. Poison my metaphor, it’s a bacon sandwich anyhow. Now it’s staged exhibitions of leather, big box stores of doubt, the ginsu knife of doom, that’s what they called me in Grade 7. You walked into me, slapped me ’cross the face; the way we wandered into melody, talking softly over wind, whispering promisingly, then you crapped all over me, smote me with your divine buttocks; your god-awful farts were like an acid sandstorm.


Clark Ramsey, man of eleven fingers

(an id-based friendship)

The greatest guest I ever enjoyed in my big backyard was Clark Ramsey XI, a man of eleven toes and fingers. He always asked me whether I’d like a back rub, and even though I rarely desired one it’s the thought that counts. But I never could put up with his massive refrigerators! He would bring them everywhere. One time at a party the only way I could get around his giant refrigerator was by requesting curtly, ‘hey pal, this carpet isn’t a graveyard for your firkin’ dying fridges! Get this shit aside, or I start in with my ‘crow’!’ Now ‘crow’ is slang for crow bar, which is like all names a metaphor. The words said, it was all up to his action, his willingness to acquiesce.

Clark said to me in Latin ‘quaero una femina bona’ and as if that wasn’t enough he was willing to fly me to Tallahassee to show me his fleet of Oldsmobiles. I said I’d love to go but I was busy that year with other things, like my hair do, which required constant love and attention. Clark looked disappointed, so to make it up to him I pushed his childhood enemies off a cliff.


ps what the hell was going on in that last post?

(as for today, 'nother delirious hodgepodge)

Dragon slayers fret about the lack of business... 'I am here to kill a dragon,' the man said to the shopkeepers looking curious at the shining knightly armour the tall man wore. 'Dragon slaying ain’t like dusting crops boy.' And so we come to the great crossroads of the age: to kill a dragon or to step on his face with dirty slippers, and by doing so maybe undercut a bit of his momentum...

I try and fail to describe the freshness of the breeze that licks at my neck; the words are washed away in the wind. The lake is a cool friend, and without the stench and humidity of July the mosquitoes are more and more scarce. Fewer than ten bites this week, says Jeb. Poor Jeb always wears dark colours, and so always gets bit more than I, who am draped in white like a ghost.

We drink vodka mixers on a cool summer’s eve. We talk about booze and clouds and how the sun never comes out when you want, and when it does it’s never for long enough. I ask the boy at the dockside to fetch me another, and he goes upside obediently. And this is so banal. Here I am, trying to write sentences never before dreamed up, things that won’t ever be thought in a million years, and then I go off on a Muskoka tangent. I admit it, finally: I am ambitious. I am vain. I am not even close to perfect... just wait till I write my back story; my prequel.

The cost of living at home is untold inertia. And living a life so predictable. So much staleness. We eat the tripe the part of the cob that gets thrown to the elks in the Norwegian forest. And there is such an industry for us people, but the gulf between us is enormous. And so what? Legs are too warm; there is too much harm in the air. And the ways we justify and the fears we feed. Germanic in origin, but those Latinate verbs lack the basic poetry. Submit infer preordain. Too much stimulus, try to track the thought that bounces back, forth through a thousand consciousnesses. The mouse in the back room scurries and hurries. We expect a lot of flurries and the hurricane will arrive by noon; and depart discourteously through the back doors, the Kawarthas, which I am told is lousy cottage country. The tired refrain of multiple media and the detrimental effects of too much scriptedness... I found a sincere lady, who smiles and talks and offers me her hand. I found a love on the internet, a cyber fox. Oh the safety of it all. And pre-screening. There is always a market for boredom. Lavalove Starbucks and McDonald’s, and the predictability of lust. Because lust is what is predictable, so they package it on-line. The coup of the usual; dictatorship of the mediocre. And we can pre-qualify for a friend. We want the instant access and the physical stim and the tight fitting hosiery in full view. Two dimensional love, brought to you by your fibre optic messiah. But this is written upside down, fragmented and intermittent in four dimensons at least. You know, twisting dials on a radio, searching for that one kickass tune...

Dear Fiona of Tullamore,

You are at risk of being evicted. You have stunk up the neighbourhood with your long-legged dromedaries. These animals, while enjoyed by the town children, are a menace to the blind folk, because they leave droppings and tend to spit when least appropriate. Please send them to the knacker and have them turned to glue. We can share in the revenues from their ‘gluement’ in a 50-50 manner but beyond that we do not compromise.

Please also remove the large signs on your lawn that say ‘Death to the Mayor.’ They can be construed as inciting hate. Consider the Environmental lobby; as the mayor of Hybrid, Indiana, once said at a general meeting of bucket-sniffers, “We have to root out methane-causing cow stink at the source.” This quote can be generalized to all situations, but it means one thing in particular: banning the foxtrot. It is a most vicious and suggestive dance, not meant for practising in this burg of moderation, especially under our right-thinking governance. So all citizens have good reason to despise this fox-hoppery, as it will only promote intolerance and devilry if observed and imitated by any soul with an ounce of credulity.

We also advise you, Fiona, that it is uncouth to snap your fingers at senior citizens. This has been a vice of yours, one much noted to be on the increase. The other day we had to pacify a seventy-year-old woman from Ulaan Batur. This Mongolian had thought Tullamore was a peaceful place, until she reckoned with the harsh crackle of your thumb and forefinger rubbing together. Now she complains without cease. Let me assure you, it is most disturbing to behold an aged Mongolian applying ointment to her earlobes, and we will tolerate it no further!

Please also end the profligacy of your husband, who has been seen spending large sums at the local five and dime, purchasing unnecessarily large quantities of string. How much string can a citizen use in a year? 500, maybe 800 yards-length? Your husband has now purchased over 6,000 yards of string, and we fear he may have no place to rest it all. What if there should be a hurricane, and a resulting shortage of string? Your husband has a monopoly on quantity, which is not good for economic laissez-faire competition. And so we are revoking your bond-trading license as well, as of this morning, at 10 p.m precisely.

Yours sincerely,

the Administrative Council of Tullamore

(pps what the hell was going on in that last post?)


Yaba dabba!

Yaba dabba, chaka lakka! Bakka makka takka. Me Bloggah, talka lotta! We wakka lotta lika teevee, watcha fafas make-a speecha! No good, yankee dankee, Bushee bloppy, Krishtanee nek-reds insany stuppy sillees, Kerry Kerry, Mika Moora! Saddy saddee dis eerie Eerack racky, Osama bama, bomba! Bomba! Bomba! War for oyloo nogood.

Yaba dabba, yoosa dumbo! Mesah smaartee, yabba! Lookee picky, bigga booby! Porno picky, webba debboo, freeya bimbo, bayly legoo, yabba, looka, screena go-glo!

Yabba dooby, compootah, me lika, yum yum big frendy. Tekky tekky maka mee stooped? Nono, maka mee globoh, talkee talkee big-ho planeet. Maka meha likka lika oldy tima no mo boooringa– intranetty hava evree tingy me needs! Maka me likka Jaja Binky, yousa dumbo mesah smaartee!

Yaba dassa, mesah goo now kowkay? No-mo tenshun spanno, okee say bayou-bye, dissa poopy postah soo broringy! Chakka yabba bloggy blobby!

Resistance is futile?

“I am no more me than you are you; I am defined by my external pieces, my extensions: The CDs I listen to, the words I write on blogger, the things I say over the telephone, the clothes I wear, the sushi and sashimi I eat, the books I read, the hockey pucks I shoot into yawning cages, the perfumes I wear with ‘fragrant’ delicto, the preset radio stations in my car. My insides are irrelevant; you can't test what you can't see. But at least now things are finally peaceful. Do you agree? We’re all connected now; I mean, we have to agree. All our bits and pieces, it makes a big beautiful puzzle. Do you agree? You better agree. Forget the pelican man--you better agree.

Middle East? Soon enough, they will agree too--ha ha, 'peace' by piece-by-piece. Conflict free, you, me and Muhammad Ali, won’t we be happy…”


August 7

(going through old magazines -- 'nope, don't throw this one out!')

There’s a man with a fist of fire, balancing on a telephone wire, underneath a no parking sign; then there’s a family with a baby carriage, and you’re going out with a junkie. We meet in the arena every morning, to do dishes together, stare into canyons and count the colours, call each other sister, brother.

I was nothing if not ecumenical, nothing if not inclusive -- I wanted everyone to share, I did not reject a soul. But men like to split things up, attach signs; women shriek aloud at spiders, and hang laundry on the line. The trees downtown are choking, automobiles addicted to smoking; I wish I was joking but I haven’t laughed in years.

Revolution means going in circles; the sun revolved around the earth, now it's earth around sun. Your revolution will take you nowhere, you’re out to brunch and around the bend. That was the beginning, this is the end...

"I will not say kiss or darkness or love, but I will kiss you, I will love you, and you will not see anything because of my darkness."

(yowzah, that last one's spooky)

seven deadly clichés

seventy-seven times a sinner
first one to a hundred is the winner
seventy-six times forgiven
just one more time makes interesting living
lust, greed, gluttony, wrath
'it's time you called a homeopath'
then there's pride, sloth, envy
same ol genesis, never ending
--the seven repeating clichés of
the manic media Madison men in the murky message maze


more pointless than usual

The best part of the midday is the gregarious girlish pig men who snort and whistle.

Police mavericks and yellow Edsel drones and the rewound pumpernickel buttress makes you chug pepper; the leopard the deft swiss chard salesmen who gear down in their trucks and curse their Irish luck. Snails and mimes test my patience, yes.

And if the electric light is pure information, perhaps that’s why nothing interesting happens on the internet per se.

A reason, flash of insight into the human condition; it disappears suddenly and you wonder if inspiration will return, but I guarantee it does. Keep your head up and miracles become routine.

My children all alone, the house burning down, help me save them! save them! Thank you thank you now let’s not forget the furniture too I paid a fortune and none of it’s insured.

(…the ungrateful electromagnetic attention span)

You killed me in August, I was burnt by the sun; I used to be rare but now I’m, well, done.

Let’s all go play Bingo, it knows how to treat me right at least; let’s get together and sell tickets all night. There were a million smokers in there. There were a million tribes in MesoAmerica. There was B-eleven and fifteen weaknesses, there was N-fifty-five and G-twenty side effects.

Man, all things get in the way of writing. It only comes when I can’t do a thing about it. There is so much else.

Cowardice lies in the barrel of a gum, fishstick nuggets populate the earth, Fu man chu and his accent is the worst. Whiff the wind, the thunder blinks--call it lightning, flashes, winks. Man crawled, he walked; he thinks.

Police the trout; haul em in, cast em about, don’t overfish or the money runs out.

Defrocked Cappuvino? Poinsettia palming bigots, rotund monks sifting earth to earn livings, pressing wine to make townfolk drunk, disingenuously drumming up business for Saturday afternoon confessionals.

Anger, intercepted by hunger

“I want so much to smash you
shake you up and thrash you
wanna lock you up and stash you
ride up and lasso you
I’m gonna trade you for a… peameal rasher
at the bacon-butter rodeo?”


Noodle and Doodle

(read this out loud... oodles and oodles of fun)

First, there was Noodle; then, there was Doodle.

Noodle said to Doodle: “Food, Doodle.” For Noodle wanted something good to chew.

Noodle wanted food – but as Doodle knew with Noodle and food, few foods were there for Noodle to chew which Doodle did not chase for Noodle. With no Doodle, Noodle knew not what to do for food.

But one day, Doodle did not move when Noodle called for food. Choosing not to chew, Doodle drew a few doodles. Though foodstuffs too were few, what doodles Doodle drew improved.

Doodle delighted in drawing. But Noodle groaned, hungry.

Asked Doodle: “No food, Noodle?”

Noodle: “Not for me, not with you Doodle, you fuddy duddy fool. Go to school and doodle-improve -- you’re muddling my cool. I need food! You flim flam mule, it’s time you learned the rules.”

Doodle died inside; he grew blue at Noodle’s bad mood.

Now Noodle, he knew Doodle did what Doodle does, but chose not to encourage Doodle to do what Doodle did best.

Doodle, blue, groaned and not drawing, chose instead to dabble. With dabbling done, not doodling, did Doodle find a bit of food.

Noodle, dapper, chewing food at last, said to Doodle: “Food is cool, Doodle, do dine, else we both are fools.”

Doode grew red, he drew on inner dread; Doodle threw Noodle’s food at Noodle’s head!

Noodle now red, said, “Doodle, do not do this to my food – else Noodle make Doodle dead!”

Doodle, his red redder than Noodle’s, said: “Make me dead? Noodle, you go on and try it. Noodle, you go right ahead.”

But Noodle did not move.

Doodle said: “You make good on Doodle’s dabbling? You, Dapper Noodle, happy and good, do you now choose to offer food?”

Now Noodle’s face turned blue.

Said Doodle: “Fie fie, pooh pooh! I’m leaving you Noodle, I take my dabbling with me!”

Noodle’s face turned black.

Continued Doodle to attack: “From now on I does what Doodle must do: good doodling, improving at drawing. You, you dread-threading, bed-wetting, limp Noodle—it is you who are the fool.”

Now Doodle knew there was no turning back. He said: “So listen up, when the sun comes up, there’ll be no more Doodle for you to beat like a mule. Doodle cannot be cool while Noodle abuses, so screw you, Noodle – there’s more to life than dabbling."

"Really," asked Noodle, "like what?"

Said Doodle: "There’s doodling and there’s drawing; and that’s what I’ll do instead!”

With that, Doodle went to bed. Noodle was dumbfounded; he also went to bed.

And the very next day, Doodle did exactly what he said he would do.



sentence of the day

Time and lateness, breathtaking greatness, elated moments, fomenting torment which warrants an act of abhorrent extraordinariness, this is the warring Taurus storm, the shield and sword drawn and gory.


Trials of a Silly Man

(the long-awaited classic, finally on-line)

Trials of a silly man

"You ruin my pants with your fruit!"

I walked out of the house that Monday not realizing how silly my life was about to become.

But when I tripped on the sidewalk and landed on a kumquat, it struck me: things were indeed quite silly this morning.

Yes, the kumquat was my first clue. The offending matter squished between my leg and the concrete. The sound was rather silly. Sploosh. I looked all around, but saw nobody, not even some stupid kid who might have left fruit lying in just such a spot on the walk. I uttered a curse, “Rydda Nrygg!”, which in the Druid tongue means ‘I do not deserve such mischance, not on my first day of work at a new job!” (I had learned this phrase while reading a large book about ancient languages).

To explain a bit: I had just been promoted the week before, to assistant upper class file sorter at Whamco Omniplant Ltd, which is a key Northeastern US manufacturer of wheedles and gaskets for the overseas prefab drywalled drill systems market. It had taken me seventeen years in the mail room to reach this new level, and now a single kumquat was threatening to ruin me. Think of the scene if I were to walk into work with stains on my pants—an embarrassing spectacle, to be avoided at all costs!

Tossing the offending fruit in a wastebasket, I uttered another oath: I wished I were dead; I wished I had never been born. And I wished I had worn kumquat-coloured corduroy that morning, so the stain wouldn’t have shown.

Using my saliva as a solvent, I rubbed tenaciously at the soiled material. I poured cream soda on my pants, in an effort to leach out the stain. ‘Kumquat comes out with soda water,’ I remember my third-grade home economics teacher Ms. Uberkraut in her lectures to the class. I thought fondly that Ms. Uberkraut’s advice on stain-leaching was unimpeachable—thank god we had that unit on Very Silly Fruit back in Grade 3.

But leached out or not, the sheer insult of the kumquat left a wound; there was foulness in my heart as I walked toward the subway station. Clutching my train fare like a weapon, I inserted the token into the box with a violence not seen by any other passenger that week on the L-train Rapidex Underground System. ‘Ka-ching!’ Was the sound it made; the turnstile cranked and I was engaged with the Transit; I was hot under the collar.

It was there, on the platform, that I saw the culprit. Had he noticed me first he would have run, and good thing, for there was red devilry all inside me; I was all systems go to dole out some comeuppance. But there he was—it was Nathan Peddleburg, the man who stood on the corner beneath my apartment building most days, who was always selling kumquats. That bastard, the kumquat-distributing demon; I should have known it would be him!

I uttered a variety of oaths and curse words as I approached the troublemaker; yes, there were damages outstanding, and Peddleburg would do the paying. I looked him square in the face, and I grabbed his neck with my left hand; with my right hand I twisted his nose, like a restaurant waiter turning a corkscrew.

After a 45-degree turn his nose spurted a familiar red liquid. “Ack, I am bleeding” cried the wretch. When I peered closely at his face, I realized he was right. There was a lot of blood dripping out of him onto the ground—but not the horror-movie ketchup kind. This was much scarier, and was liable to complicate my life with police reports and jail time and such. Yet I continued to twist at the man's face.

For his part, Peddleburg did not approve of my tact. “Street punk! Madman! Let me be! Assaulting me upon the nose in this way is sheer silliness!”

Silliness—stinging and ominous, the word caught my attention; it bothered me, like when a big crow flies at you in a narrow hallway and pecks at your forehead. I realized I'd gone too far; I untwisted the nose and let go. Peddleburg continued to wail and gnash his teeth however. I had no kerchief to wipe up the blood, so I offered him a stick of chewing gum, as I fumbled about in my mind for an explanation, my hotness cooling into bashfulness. He continued his lamentation. “No, no, I do not desire gum at such a moment as this!” And so he declined my offer, his nose still spouting a fountain of what, when you think about it in a certain way, looks just like cranberry juice, but, in reality, it is blood.

He got a look at me and recognized who I was too. I felt extremely silly as he pronounced my name. “Ethan Pelletier,” Peddleburg implored, now pale-faced from the blood loss (for he was a haemophiliac and he would soon die), “What wrong have I ever done you? Am I not a reasonable man? Have I never babysat your little kid, even though he spits up all kinds of carrot-puke and makes the worst kind of diaper stink?”

He was right. Peddleburg was in fact a babysitter of Jebediah Pelletier, my first son by a woman no longer my wife: Fiona Detroit, now a stripper at dentistry conventions, to whom, luckily, I had managed to avoid forking over much alimony (strippers make more money than mail clerks). But I didn’t see my son Jebediah much anymore, so I started to forget what he looked like. Call me a lousy husband and an even lousier father, but how was I supposed to recognize my son’s babysitter, when I didn’t even recognize my son?

“Sat-on babies or not, you ruin my pants with your fruit,” I tried to justify myself. “And so, should I not exact revenge, whatever form it must take? For I am a man of employment, Peddleburg, and my new employ depends utmost upon cleanliness.”

Peddleburg was losing coherence; he made no reply, which satisfied me--it meant I was winning the debate. But his wound was not clotting; blood from the man was dripping onto my loafers. Shoes soiled, I panicked. I thrust Peddleburg down onto the platform, and though I risked the disapprobation of the consterned onlookers, I hurried toward the street exit; thus leaving the fruity shyster in his death throes. It was better that I walk to work, I reasoned-—less chance of murdering some other fruit-hawking haemophiliac.

It was 9 am, and I was late for work. I had vengeance on the man who ruined my pants with his delinquent produce—he had trifled with me, and it cost him his life.

But tardy as I was, I was jeopardizing my new position at the corporation.

And, to top it off, it was beginning to rain. What could be sillier than that?


brain lint

Cyril P Wurther walked into a momentless vortex

The best sentence is this: francophone beelzebubs ticker themselves.

What’s the longest sentence ever?

Drained into the edge of time is a cool moe dee sandwich

Every step of the way

Zapatista rebellions

Mendocino clearance

I am the master of framing

Urban couture is bliss.

Rain down on the Gap awning.

Fire hydrant hair-dos

Words to refuse to use: love, madness, sadness, good and evil.

What one writer said to another: you are too sad, you are too verbose; you are too judgmental.

Cathedrals stand for centuries, but the marble doesn’t stay shiny forever. Genghis shmengis, said Larson.

The editor of Lima Bean magazine and the fired deputy minister of agriculture, they met one moment at a cocktail party and discussed the desiccation of that year’s soybean crop. The trouble was with the olive, the competing shrubs infringing and impinging negatively on profits.


(another) three minute midnight

Pulitzer prize scribblers in election night hysteria, Lloyd R and the world with bated breath wait, so quick to pounce on any stray voter, Ohio, Florida, the multivocalic states, in a partisan civil war.

Putrid fetid choppers and the terrible mandible that slices and dices with uninterrupted neurotic smoothness, so hair free and care free in this magical bubble tea and glass chrome universe. I was alone all day and claustrophobic all night. I was talking to you in a gleaming case of dew, talking so loudly in an elevator too. Let’s get off on the 66th floor; pry a fireplace poker to open up the door. I was talking to the weirdoes and they fell through the floor, down elevator shafts splattered with gore—we’re in love, we four, me, Galahad, Guinevere and Elenore. The raven quoth bleakly, “nevermore? no more.” I grab volumes of Poe and hurl them out the door, we get down tonight on the waxed watery dance floor, it’s great when you’re alone but you never get bored.

Old men smell like bleach in the hall, they don’t clean themselves, they got mildew in their pores. Zanax and Zantac and the million man march. My favourite tree has got to be the ash or the larch. Poultry polemics and goose ganzissima, the Italians buy cheese--whatever gli piacciono moltissima. I wait for hours in the middle of a boat, there is never enough pasta when you want to buy a goat.

Yodel all day, touch me when you like, I smile when it’s easy and I like to ride my bike, it’s the exercise I get, the best way to breathe, when twister doesn’t happen the orgy doesn’t please me. There are things in this life that none of us can know, there are people who are lying and it rarely ever shows, there are beauties I describe and I try to tell them no, but the words are alive—I don’t control them any more. The rain it comes, it wets what it wants, I glove my baby chick and we ride out the storm, where there’s happening and union and love in the torn. I was called together by the moon and eclipse-- and if you return in 2007 like the next lunar E, I can finally pay you back, for everything you gave me, how you helped me, saved me that day when I was nearly gravy; you picked me up and let me cry, you let me be your baby.


the ______ has no memory


I am shell

of a man who used to


hollowed out, voice cracked, sand-dry skin

—but there’s beauty still

inside my shell

it lets the ocean ring;

so if you set my

lips beside your ear,

remembering my ocean grins;

even as you put me down

I will

have forgiven everything