8thdayfiction

…and on the 8th day, micro fiction was published on some dude's blog.

Archive for the month “June, 2012”

The DBS207-EM

“Thank you for calling DB Electronics, this is Doug, how may I help you?”

“Hi, Doug. I, uh, bought one of your company’s clock radios today, it’s…model number…let’s see…model number DBS207-EM. And when I brought it home and plugged it in–”

“Mayonnaise oozed out of the speaker?”

“YES! I mean, that’s what it looked like–so that’s mayonnaise? Anyway, as soon as it happened I unplugged the thing and called you. So, why would mayonnaise be oozing out of the speaker?”

“Oh, that’s the factory default setting for the DBS207-EM.”

“OK…so Doug, I’m going to set aside the “how” for right now and just ask you: WHY would that be the factory default setting for a clock radio?”

“Man, I don’t know. I just work here. Why did you buy a clock radio? Do you not own an iPod or a smart phone? Is it 1987 where you live?”

“No. What? I–”

“Look, like I said, I just work here. I don’t know how they make their stuff or what’s in it or whatever. But I can tell you how to turn off the factory defaults.”

“OK–that’d be great.”

“All right. What you’re going to do is plug the unit back in, turn on the radio and tune it to your local adult contemporary station–whatever frequency that is. Then, you need to wait until they play that song “Smile” by Uncle Kracker. You might want to call up the station and request it so you’re not waiting forever. Once that song is on, you need to turn the volume all the way up and then, while simultaneously pressing down and holding the Hour button and the Snooze button, close your eyes and say “I rebuke you, tangy zip of Miracle Whip!” five times out loud–and you HAVE to keep your eyes closed, or it won’t work. Oh, and FYI–mayo will continue to ooze out from the time you plug it back it until the reset is complete, so, I don’t know, you might want to put down a tarp or something.”

“OK, got it. Thanks. Bye.”

“No problem. Have a good day, and thank you for calling DB Electronics.”

Lorne went to the kitchen to get some plastic wrap to put on his nightstand and bedroom floor. On his way back to the bedroom, he called up 93.7 WISH FM and asked them if they could play “Smile”. His plan for the next hour or so: Reset the clock radio, then lunch. He was thinking tuna salad, made with freshly-oozed clock radio mayonnaise, sounded pretty good.

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Farley

“What’s wrong, Farley? What is it that’s eating away at you?”

Farley just sat there, staring at Judd with emotionless eyes.

“You’re hurting, I can see that. What is it that hurt you? Or who?”

Farley kept staring.

“Your family is worried about you. They say you’re not eating and that you’ve been acting out.”

Still, Farley just sat there, silent.

“I want to help you, Farley. Let me in.”

Farley kept staring.

Judd got up and shook Farley’s cage. “Come on, Farley! Give me something to work with here! Sorry…sorry Farley–it’s not your fault, I shouldn’t have done that. Sorry.”

He paced back and forth, looking for inspiration, while Farley ran nervous circles around his cage. Judd knew he was going to have to work harder and be much more patient if he was ever going to make a living as a hamster whisperer.

But in his defense, Farley was pretty emotionally distant, even for a hamster.

Two Turntables And A (Headset) Microphone

“WOOOO! LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED!”

Gillian fired up the turntables and started playing her twelve-inch club remix of “Get Ready For This”. The crowd jumped to their feet, writhing around on the dance floor, sweating and grinding on each other as the strobe lights pulsed and confetti fell from the ceiling. She cranked the volume, turned on the rave siren, and set off the pyrotechnics, sending the crowd into a frenzy.

Then, she shook her head, adjusted her headset, and logged into her phone and computer. Gillian was back in the real world and feeling a bit queasy at the thought of another eight hours of customer service. As far as she was concerned, the answer to “Y’all ready for this?” was a big, fat HELL TO THE NO.

Glen Campbell Head World

Blaine wasn’t sure how it had happened–his best guess was that it had taken place one morning when he decided on a whim to take a different jogging route–but how it had happened wasn’t important at this point. The fact was, he had somehow stumbled into an alternate universe where every other person had Glen Campbell’s head, and he couldn’t find his way out so he was making the best of it.

And he was doing quite well, actually. Sure, he missed his friends and family in the regular universe, and he sometimes wondered if they missed him, too. And there had certainly been a time of adjusting to his new universe–he, of course, had freaked the heck out for a while after showing in up Glen Campbell Head World, as had all the Glen Campbell Head People. After all, in their world, HE was the mutant, what with his non-Glen Campbell head. They had even briefly thrown Blaine in jail, until he had convinced them (with the help of a friendly, open-minded, Glen Campbell-headed lawyer) that he wasn’t an alien or a monster and wasn’t there to destroy them. And being the only non-Glen Campbell-headed person in the (Glen Campbell Head) world certainly had its other disadvantages. Blaine couldn’t go anywhere or do anything without being recognized and gawked at; his distinctive appearance made him a bit of a celebrity, with all of the loss of privacy and other annoyances that came with it.

But that was all rhinestones under the cowboy at this point. Things were looking up. Blaine was using his novel looks and its attending fame to his advantage. He had scored a deal to host his own daytime TV talk show (AM Blaine!) and was highly sought after as a commercial pitchman–it turned out people were mesmerized by his non-Glen Campbell head and paid close attention to the words that came out of its mouth.

And he was happily engaged to Sandy. Sure, she was a butterGlenCampbellface, but he saw past that, just as she was able to see past his freakish non-Glen Campbell face. The love they shared was more than Glen Campbell’s head deep. In fact, it was the first time in his life that Blaine had ever been truly in love.

And every time he looked into Sandy’s piercing Glen Campbell eyes and stroked her perfectly shellacked Glen Campbell hair, Blaine was at peace with the fact that he had mistakenly jogged into that glowing portal two and a half years ago and ended up in Glen Campbell Head World. In fact, as far as he was concerned, he hadn’t entered that portal “mistakenly”. He was convinced he was meant to be there.

Mitt/Bert 2012

Bert was at home lounging on the couch watching reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond when he got the call.

He roused himself and picked up the phone.

“Hello?…Yes, speaking…OK. Yes…sure, absolutely…OK. OK…bye.”

And just like that, Bert was Mitt Romney’s running mate.

He had filled out all of the questionnaires and had submitted his financial records a few weeks back after being approached by Romney’s people, so Bert knew getting the call was a possibility. But still, he figured he was a long shot.

But it was official now, and Bert figured it was only a matter of hours–if not minutes–until the story leaked and the media were camped out on his front lawn, so he decided he should probably get up and look for some pants to put on.

Constant Craving’d

“Mo–”
“MOM!”
“Tel–”
“TELL!”
“Brad to stop ‘Constant Craving’ me!”
“Braaaaaad to stop ‘Constant Craving’ me!”

Josie stood there staring at her kids. Trina was looking pained, and Brad was looking very pleased with himself. Brad had only heard that song for the first time yesterday, but ever since then, he’d been ‘Constant Craving’ his sister non-stop: Echoing everything she said on about a one second delay. It was the most annoying Brad had been towards his sister since two weeks earlier when he wouldn’t stop Fred Schneidering her.

Josie put a hand to her temple. It was too early into summer vacation for this nonsense. “Brad, knock it off. And both of you, I don’t know–find something to do. If you’re bored you can both clean your rooms, for one thing.” The kids walked away, Trina sulking, Brad still smiling.

She returned to washing dishes and made a mental note to see if it was too late to send the kids to camp or at least sign them up for the library’s summer reading program or something.

She also turned off the radio and made a note to stop listening to the Totally 90s Hits station while doing the dishes; Brad was getting too many ideas from it.

And then it occurred to her: Was she really that old that her music held little more than novelty value for her kids? She was listening to the radio, so all signs pointed to “yes”. Josie sighed and returned to her scrubbing.

Take Us To Your Leader

The flying saucer touched down in a remote-looking wheat field. It seemed like a decent place to make some crop circles.

Qid and Plae disembarked from the ship and were just starting to haul out their equipment when they were surprised by a human who had wandered out from among the stalks and was now staring at them, slack-jawed.

The visitors jumped, then stared at the man silently as he stared back at them.

Finally Qid blurted out, “Take us to your leader!”

Plae slapped his forehead with a webbed hand, cursing in Kzalkian under his breath.

He took Qid by the elbow. “Can I see you for a minute?” They both waddled a few feet away from the still dumbstruck man.

“What did we talk about? If we meet a human, what is the LAST thing we’d want to say?”

“‘Take us to your leader.'”

“‘Take us to your leader.’ That’s right–so now what? We might as well get out the anal probes, because as far as that earthling is concerned, we are the stereotypical aliens they see in all their dumb TV shows and movies!”

“Dude, we don’t have any anal pro–”

“I KNOW we don’t have any anal probes! I was just trying to make a point! For the love of L. Ron Hubbard, Qid–use at least one of those brains for once!”

They turned back to speak with the man, but he had vanished.

“Well, this is FANTASTIC. He’s gone–probably calling the police or the local news channel even as we speak. I hope you’re happy with yourself…well, you know the protocol. Let’s get out of here.”

The two loaded their equipment back into the ship, then tossed a half-empty glass jug of moonshine out into the field, a precautionary measure to discredit the human should he decide to bring other humans back to the scene of their brief encounter.

As the ship slowly ascended back into the atmosphere, with lights off and in silent mode, Plae looked at his watch. On the plus side, they hadn’t even had the rental saucer out ten light years yet. If they made good time getting back, maybe they would qualify for the short-term rental discount.

Mr. Hippopants

“Aww…this is cute. How much do you want for this?” Maria held out the little lederhosen-wearing stuffed hippo to the man on the other side of the table. She assumed it was his yard sale; she had seen him collecting money from some other people.

Bryce felt nauseated hearing this woman refer to that…thing as cute, and he immediately snatched the hippo away from her with a tense “That’s not for sale.”

“Oh…sorry.”

He regained his composure, realizing he probably looked and sounded insane. He forced a smile and said to Maria, “No, no–don’t be sorry. I-I didn’t mean to yank that away from you. It’s just…it’s not supposed to be out here. It’s my daughter’s, and it’s her favorite thing. She’d never forgive me if I sold it.”

“Oh, I understand. I have kids, too. They’re grown now, but I remember those days of them being attached to their stuffed animals.”

“Attached”–that’s rich, Bryce thought to himself. This is way beyond “attached”.

And then he made the rash decision to tell Maria the truth. He didn’t know why–she just seemed kind. And he was tired of keeping it to himself.

“Actually, ma’am, the truth is…this hippo is…possessed.”

“Oh…oooookay…”

“I know, it sounds crazy, but…well, it’s a long story, but shortly after we gave Miranda–that’s my daughter–shortly after we gave her this hippo for her birthday a few months back, she became, just…unnaturally obsessed with it. Like, even by little kid standards. So my wife and I decided to take it away from her, you know, just hide it away somewhere while she was sleeping, hoping she’d just forget about it, because, you know, she was just being weird with it. Well, she had a fit, so we figured it wasn’t worth the trouble and it was probably just a phase that she’d grow out of, so we relented and gave it back to her. And then…BAD things started happening. For example, my son Josh took the hippo and threw it down the stairs one day. You know, just to tease his sister…and now look at him!”

Bryce motioned to the side yard where Josh was standing. He snorted at them, took a dump, then started chewing on a patch of clover.

Maria looked back at Bryce. Wild-eyed, he whispered to her, “That’s right. This hippo TURNED. MY. SON. INTO. A. DONKEY.”

“Daddy, why is Mr. Hippopants out here?”

Bryce turned ashen. Without turning around towards his daughter, he mouthed to Maria, “GO. SAVE YOURSELF.”

Maria turned and walked straight back to her car, not looking back, as Bryce turned to face Miranda and put the best spin he could on the fact that her mom had tried to free them from the tyranny of Mr. Hippopants by selling him off at the yard sale, even though they’d tried secretly ditching him before and were cursed with a month’s worth of boils as punishment.

Bryce had learned his lesson from that–you don’t try to ditch Mr. Hippopants.

So this time, not only did he not try to ditch Mr. Hippopants, he’d saved him from being sold to some stranger. Surely that counted for something and exempted him from punishment.

Right?

Lazy Love Story

There was a woman. And she was beautiful. She was young (because you can’t be old and beautiful, and who cares about non-beautiful people, especially non-beautiful women) and blonde, I guess. And she was charming and all that, too. Everyone loved her, and there was no doubt that everyone’s life would be irreversibly changed if anything ever happened to her (FORESHADOWING!).

She met this guy who was no slouch himself. But there was initially tension between them because, I don’t know, he was a Republican and she was a Democrat. Or his parents and her parents didn’t get along. Or she was his boss. Or he was seeing someone else when they first met, or maybe he was even engaged. Something like that.

They overcame this tension through a series of mostly humorous but sometimes melodramatic escapades, many involving her sister, her gay best friend, and the guy’s gang of stereotypically boorish guy friends. And then they were in love and it was really satisfying to everyone because they were OBVIOUSLY meant to be together and stuff.

But then, SHE TOTALLY DIES. Which was unexpected because remember: She was young. And beautiful. It was in a car accident, or she got cancer, or something shocking like that. And it was DEVASTATING.

But all of the people in her life coped with it in their own ways and realized they were blessed to have even known her and they decided they’d all honor her memory in some way and they did so with laughter and love and tears of both happiness and sadness, which pretty much resolved everything.

Smoked Jackalope

Mikey was going around telling everyone he met that he’d eaten jackalope meat and that it tasted kind of like dried beef.

It actually was dried beef. Mikey’s brothers had put some slices of it on a plate, told him it was “smoked jackalope”, and dared him to try it. Mikey had taken the dare and was super proud of himself; he wanted everyone to know how brave he was.

Jon and Nick decided they’d tell him the truth eventually. But Mikey was so excited about the whole thing, so for now they were content with making like Bret Michaels and giving him something to believe in.

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