Dec 22 2004

Fictionlet

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“Don’t you remember?” said Greg. “We built this city on rock and roll.”

“That explains the earthquakes,” Brigid replied. “Try sandstone next time. It worked for the ancient Eqyptians.”

Greg chuckled. “You should rent yourself out as a service,” he said. “‘Rent-A-Quip! Get your snarky comment instantly or it’s free!'”

Brigid rubbed her chin in thought. “Actually, I rather like the sound of that.”

-The Gneech

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Dec 20 2004

Fictionlet

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“Hey, get this,” said Greg, calling over the top of his newspaper. “According to government experts, there’s a stupidity shortage.”

“What?” said Brigid.

“Government sources say there’s a massive decline in people walking out in front of cars, honking car horns for no good reason, and calling tech help lines because they couldn’t be bothered to read the manual or even just reboot their computer from time to time.”

“Really!”

“Let’s see … zooming through red lights is way down, and waiting until you actually get up to the counter before deciding what you want and standing there going, ‘Uuuuuhhh, uuuuuhhhh…’ for ten minutes is practically a thing of the past. Government officials are very worried, according to this … most of them depend on extremely high levels of stupidity to keep their jobs. One senator, who asked not to be named, says, ‘Well, we’ve spent the past century force-feeding substandard public education down everybody’s throat in a tremendous, carefully-orchestrated bipartisan effort to make sure that basic reasoning skills and common sense were eliminated whenever possible. Pliant, idiotic sheep make for good citizens, so naturally this Stupidity Crisis is going to get our immediate attention.'”

“I knew it!”

Greg turned the page, folding the newspaper over. “Stupidity experts were at a loss to explain the mysterious rise in the average intelligence level; one hypothesis is that so many idiots have wiped themselves and each other out in car wrecks, household accidents, and bids to get onto ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ that only the relatively smart people are left. Critics of this theory denounce it as ‘being thought up by a bunch of meanie-meanies.’ However, these same critics called in their opinions via cellular phone while they were driving.”

Brigid snickered.

“‘Unfortunately,’ said the anonymous senator, ‘stupidity, like intelligence, requires a certain critical mass to sustain. Once too many people get a clue, it becomes very hard to get back to the preferred state of general idiocy. The good news is, if we can arrange to keep the smarter people down, stupidity has a tremendous capacity to bounce back. Our traditional methods, such as ostracizing, beating up, and generally mocking anybody with half a brain, are very effective when implemented on the very young, and so we ask parents to go home tonight and tell your children ‘Don’t get smart.’ It’s a matter of national security!'”

“Lovely,” said Brigid. “Almost poetic.”

“A loaf of wine, a jug of bread, and tho,” Greg replied.

-The Gneech

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Dec 15 2004

Fictionlet

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“Francis Scott Key,” said Greg.

“What?” said Brigid.

“Francis Scott Key,” he repeated. “Francis! Scott! Key!”

She blinked. “What about him?”

“Franciiiiis Scoooooott Keeeeeeeeeey!” Greg chanted. “Do you not know of this great American patriot? The immortal and beloved Francis Scott Key?”

Still staring at him as if trying to puzzle out his mind via telepathy, she said, “Well, I know about ‘The Star Spangled Banner,’ if that’s what you mean.”

“Yes, oh yes, we all know of ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ and who wouldn’t? But that barely begins to touch upon the greatness, the vast wonder that is the one, the only, Francis Scott Good-To-His-Mother Key. Let us take a moment of silence to ponder his greatness!” Greg closed his eyes, face turned upward as if basking in sunlight.

“What the f–”

“SHH! I’m pondering his greatness!”

“I’m pondering what a looney you are.”

“Hmph!” said Greg, opening his eyes again. “You just don’t appreciate American heroes.”

She shook her head. “Forget it. Forget it! I’m not going to burn perfectly good brain cells trying to understand you. Go off and have your little mental adventure about Francis Scott Key, I don’t want to hear about it. There’s a muffin in the other room that badly needs to be eaten, and I’m just the one to do the job.” She turned and strode quickly for the hallway.

Following on her heels, Greg chirped, “Did you know he has a bridge named after him?” But if she made any further comment, is was cut off by the door she slammed in his face.

-The Gneech

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Dec 08 2004

Fictionlet

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“I sometimes wonder,” Greg hazarded, “if nobody gets my jokes because they’re too obscure, or if they just aren’t that funny.”

“Don’t sell yourself short,” Brigid replied. “There’s no reason they can’t be both.”

“You know,” he said, “I think I might miss you if you went away for a long time. Why don’t you try it so I can find out?”

-The Gneech

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Dec 07 2004

Fictionlet

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“Every day she thinks up new and inventive ways to heap abuse on me,” Greg said. “We’re like Stella and Astrophil, except that I’m Stella, and she’s more like, I dunno, Misastro or something.”

Alex blinked. “What the hell are you talking about?”

-The Gneech

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Dec 03 2004

Fictionlet

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“Hey,” Greg asked. “Is this my groove thing? I’ve been shaking it for ten minutes now and I can’t tell if I’m doing it right.”

“Stop,” said Brigid. “Just stop. Stop right now, or I’ll be forced to ram something sharp into your eye, and neither of us wants that tonight.”

Greg harumphed and flopped into his chair, sulkily. “This from the woman I once called ‘Smarty Panties.’ You disappoint me, young Brigid. You cut me to the quick!”

“This from the man who flees the room when confronted by the word ‘boobs!'”

“That’s true. After that brazen display, you of all people should know what a groove thing is, and when it’s being properly shaken!”

She stuck her tongue out at him. “Just because I know when a groove thing is shaking, doesn’t mean I want to see it.”

“Don’t point that thing at me,” Greg replied, gesturing at her tongue. “You never know when it might go off!”

-The Gneech

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