Simple Saturday: Moving On


It’s been, overall, a lackluster past 4 years  in my life. I’ve worked for a newspaper that has gradually demanded more of its workers for less and less reward, and I’ve seen my last remaining “real-life” friends leave the area for higher pursuits: careers, marriage. Good stuff.

I’ve tried to escape from this area myself, but it simply hasn’t worked out. All but two of the job applications I’ve sent out in all this time have ever received a response. One was quite exciting, actually. I was flown down to Washington, D.C. on the government’s time and actually paid a stipend to be interviewed down there. We were told everyone would receive word in the mail within a couple months if we had been chosen or not. It’s now 11 months and I never heard a thing. The other response I got was a plain and polite rejection and the only other time I was treated by a company with something other than silence.

So let’s just say it’s been four years and my general goals of being less alone and having a satisfying purpose haven’t panned out that well. And I’m thinking of taking a big step, going abroad, and trying to teach English to students in Asia somewhere. I’ve always wanted to visit Japan, and this could be a way to do so while actually making savings and not going insane. Potentially.

The truth is, I don’t know. Maybe if I was someone who’s had more experiences it wouldn’t be such a strange prospect. But I’m someone who’s had every attempt to move on with his life fall apart since graduating college. I’m honestly afraid if I try this, it’s just going to fall apart again, only this time I’ll be truly alone on the other side of the world when it goes down.

Have you ever faced a choice like this? Have you ever felt backed into a corner for a long time? What do you think is the best thing to do in such a situation?


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[A diminutive man with a clipboard stands outside the door of a farmhouse. He hesitantly reaches out and knocks on the door. After a few seconds of fidgeting, he stands up straight as the door opens, revealing tall, buxom lady in overalls.]

LADY: Yes?

MAN: Oh-aah, erm, terribly sorry to bother you, ma’am, but I represent the county health department and we’ve been tasked with, um… conducting a study on — this is so embarrassing… on area women’s… bosoms…

LADY: I’m sorry, I didn’t get that last bit?

MAN: Sorry. On, you know… your… b… breasts…

LADY: Sorry, you’re mumbling with that la–

MAN: Your melons, madam! (gasps) Oh, dear. Please forgive me! This just isn’t what I thought I’d be doing with the department and it feels so wrong and we have a female worker but–

LADY: Oh, my melons! Nothing wrong with asking about them. They’re huge!

MAN: But she’s sick so I have to — oh. Well, um, th-that’s not really a question, you know, but–

LADY: But why not? My husband’s just so proud of ’em, he has me take ’em out for people every chance he gets! You wanna gander?

MAN: NO! I — that is not necessary, madam, please!— I mean, thank you — er… (quickly stares down at the clipboard) Um… how long would you say you keep them, erm… constrained?

LADY: Constrained? Well, I do keep ’em covered all during the day. It’s just the right thing ta do, you know.

MAN: Certainly, madam.

LADY: But they gotta breathe, too, so every night I just whip it all off and let those babies loose to the air!

MAN: O-oh…

LADY: ‘Course, it’s been getting a little colder these nights so they’re positively dripping with dew by the time I wake up.

MAN: Eh?

LADY: But I just run outside and give ’em a big ol’ shake ‘ta dry ’em off!

MAN: Ah!

LADY: Keeps ’em firm. And then I wave to the neighbor! They’re always watchin’ out their kitchen window. Get a real kick outta the whole spectacle, but they’re gettin’ old so I don’t mind humorin’ them one bit.

MAN: …Heaven help me… (goes back to the clipboard) Do you ever have any complaints about their weight?

LADY: Oh, sometimes people’ll gripe that they’re too much, but I tell ’em they’re always gonna need two hands ta lift one’a mine and that’s the way it’s always gonna be!

MAN: T-two — wait! You let them touch your–

LADY: ‘Course I do! That’s the only way ta know they’re the real deal, don’tcha know! Some people think ya gotta knock on ’em too, but that’s just ridiculous. Where’s that gonna get ya?

MAN: I… (takes a deep breath) So even with the, um, weight… there’s no pain? No fatigue?

LADY: (laughs) Look, sir. You’re a real nice guy an’ all but I can tell you’ve never handled somethin’ like these in your life.

MAN: I—now look here, I have nothing to do with this–

LADY: Aw, nothin’ ta be ashamed about, sugar! But I’ve lugged these things around day in and day out for nearly my whole life now! They’re like nothin’ to me!

MAN: Madam! I doubt other women would agree!

LADY: Yeah, fair, fair. I know it’s different in different areas. Tend to be smaller in Europe, ‘course. An’ ya hear in Japan they’re makin’ ’em square now?

MAN: What?? That’s absurd!

LADY: I know! Tell me about it! But here in America, as long as there’s room ta grow and God-given sunshine, there’s only one size we’ll accept ’em here: enormous.

MAN: Madam, please! It shouldn’t matter to other women how big theirs are.

LADY: It sure as spit should! Why, I never got my man ta bat an eye at me ’til I got ’em big as his head!

MAN: I say, this has got to–

LADY: You just send those poor, weak little city gals over here. I guarantee ya within a week I’ll have ’em hoistin’ them high an’ proud!

MAN: That’s IT! (throws his clipboard down) No government benefits are worth this… this freakishness. I’m going right back to the commissioner and telling him I QUIT! Good day!

[As he stalks off, his face beet red, the lady’s husband walks up behind her.]

HUSBAND: Who was that, now?

LADY: Don’t know. Some guy askin’ questions ’bout our watermelon patch.

HUSBAND: Huh. Strange what floats some people’s boats, I guess.

Dear Woman Riding Upon My Rear Bumper as I Travel 5 mph Over the Speed Limit:


Please accept my sincerest apologies that I was unwittingly chosen by fate this morning to play the role of retardant to the attendance of your bats out of hell reunion. I am all too painfully aware of your agitation, as I can plainly see your face in my rear view mirror as though you were occupying my backseat — a status I fear could very well be managable should I lightly tap upon my brakes.

Your patience in this unfortunate rendevouz is greatly appreciated, for while you give every sign of wanting to shatter the posted speed limit, as though it was a puppy soaked in liquid nitrogen, and tear down the road with scant regard to the weather conditions or whatever life may scamper out to the space you wish to so quickly occupy with your tires, you are conscientiously waiting for the lines on the road to change to grant legal passing. Such attention to priorities is astounding, as is your contribution to the economy by donating so much superfluous fuel consumption to the oil companies.

I see I must suspend my apologies as you have seen opportunity to depress your leaden foot and swing around this old, 60 mph tortoise, but please pay me no mind. I am sure I shall have further time to express my remorse to you, should you remain out of the ditches or clutches of the law, when I catch up with you at the next long red light or construction area. It always seems to happen and I am ever patient.


Tim Latshaw

Poor Billy’s Almanack


For the Twenty-Fourth Day of January, Year of Our Lord 2010

Les yeux sans visage

WEATHER: An ongoing Dry Spell shall render early Crop Planting in Southern Climes Unfavorable, but provide ample Opportunity to bring out and Exercise one’s pent up Work Animals. So Ride Your Pony, Ride Your Pony, Ride Your Pony. Come On, Come On.

ASTROLOGY: The Rebel Yell will enter its Waning Phase Tonight, causing Her to cry Less, Less, Less over subsequent Midnight Hours. Remain mindful of upcoming License for Love Expirations to avoid unnecessary prayer for Help from Above.

PROVERB: Sinking a Drink will give One time to Think should Empty Eyes seem to pass Him by and leave Him dancing with Himself.

Today will be a Nice Day for a White Wedding. It will NOT be a Nice Day to Start Again.

Simple Saturday: Awesome Names for Serious Matters

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In unfortunate news, the UK raised its terror alert level Friday, fearing more in the vein of the Christmas Day bombing attempt over Detroit.

The decision follows analysis by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC), a unit within MI5, and indicates an attack is now “highly likely.”

It was made following briefings to the Prime Minister by the heads of the security services MI5, MI6 and GCHQ and a meeting of the Government’s Cobra emergency committee.

This is most definitely serious business right now, and the security of the people is paramount. But you can’t tell me that the head of Cobra, during calmer, easier times, doesn’t ask people to call him or her “commander.” I know I would.

Holy cats! Temple to Bastet found in Egypt


Alexandria, EGYPT–Adorn yourself with catnip and prepare your offerings of Meow Mix now, becuase archaeologists have recently uncovered a temple dedicated to the Ancient Egyptian feline goddess Bastet, proving once and for all that the Sahara was never anything more than a giant litter box.

Worshipped as a goddess of the sun and then a goddess of the moon, Bastet is also known for being the only deity you never had to bow down to, as she was often fond of nuzzling up against your ankles and almost making you trip.

When not reigning over Ancient Egypt, Bastet would guest star on mid-afternoon Disney cartoon series.

The goddess originally had the head of a lion but Egyptians later downgraded her to a domestic cat, probably after C. S. Lewis swiped the whole “lion” religious schtick right out from under their stubby little missing Sphinx noses. Respect for her unfortunately dropped after this change as she went from being a fierce, feared, war-honored figure to someone you could slip by as soon as a sunbeam garnered her attention.

Plans for the newly unearthed temple are yet unknown, but some are calling for a reopening of sacred facility for modern-day worship and a potential venue for the Pussycat Dolls.

Anyone approaching the temple with cheeseburgers has been ordered executed on the spot.

‘Sparkle parties’ adapt vampires to modern whims


NEW ORLEANS — With newfound soaring popularity, it’s a great time to be a vampire — unless, that is, you’re out of the times. Luckily, groups of old-fashioned blood-sucking guys can receive a crash course in luring modern-day victims.

The gatherings, nicknamed  “sparkle parties” by women of their kind, are specifically tuned to educate the male vampire on what a young human female expects — and practically demands — of vampires nowadays.

“It has never been easier to feed,” said vampire and course creator Vlad “Vincent” DelRoque. “There are young women — and some slightly older, particularly older librarians — willing to throw themselves in front of your fangs. You just have to adapt yourself to the well of vampiric knowledge from which they draw, and it just unfortunately happens to be that of a crazy Mormon mother of three in her 30s who never watches horror films.”

This means traditional vampires are quickly learning to replace that well-cemented widow’s peak with a soft, slightly disheveled fluff helmet; that piercing, hypnotic gaze with the wide, stormy, mascara-lined eyes of a deer caught in the headlights of an AngstUV; that classy, confident monologue with just… sort of standing in front of each other awkwardly for a while.

The process has not been easy for many of the vampires.

“I’m really not getting it,” said Sterling “Stephan” Dracule, a veteran vampire of 470 years. “The old way has always worked in the past. Even up in the 1980s, when everyone looked like idiots, the women still went for poise, class; that strange, exotic unknown. Now they just want some sort of freak.

“I mean, you used to approach a girl and compliment her on how lovely her neck was. It’s gentlemanly, but still gave her a clue to your intentions, right? Now look at what we’re supposed to say: ‘Hey, would you like to go somewhere and commit to each other not have to sex until marriage?’ What is this stuff?”

But if you haven’t had any good blood in a few years, you’re more willing to stoop to the standards of a new century. A new line of “paling salons” have seen heavy traffic, where vampiric men can make themselves look more sickly before being sprayed with a thin layer of glitter.

Female vampires, on the other hand, tend to find the situation quite amusing and report no reduction in the number of males they have successfully preyed upon in the past five centuries.

“It’s still the Three C’s all the way,” vampire Camilla Rouge said. “Curves, Cooing and Cleavage. And I don’t think anyone’s going to write a book convincing young adult males otherwise.”

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