Jan 30 2006

Fictionlet

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Greg was sitting on the steps when Brigid noticed him, happily blowing bubbles like always. His fluffy ears were swaying gently in the breeze, apparently to the tune of the music that was floating over the hill.

“When did you get here?” Brigid asked, putting the hockey stick back in her pocket so as not to disturb the parakeet.

“What do you mean?” sang Greg to the music. “I was here when you got here!”

“That music is really getting loud,” Brigid said. “And why are you a Care Bear?”

She opened her eyes and realized that it was actually Elton John singing; the blue-green glow of the alarm clock poked her in the eye.

“Fucking mornings,” she said, and rolled over in annoyance.

-The Gneech

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Jan 23 2006

Fictionlet

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“Oh my God,” said the woman, hand over her mouth. She had just come around the corner of the hall and stared at Greg as if his ears were flapping in the breeze. “I don’t believe it.”

“Er, yes?” said Greg.

“You look just like my ex-boyfriend,” she said. “I could have sworn you were him!”

Greg looked around, then finally said, “Oh. Um … sorry?”

-The Gneech

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Jan 18 2006

Fictionlet

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“The weirdest profession I’ve ever heard of?” said Brigid. “That’s a tough one. It might be my cousin … she’s a throat model.”

Greg wrinkled his forehead trying to puzzle that out. “A throat model?”

“Yeah,” said Brigid. “You know what hand models are, right? People with attractive hands who gesture on TV commercials or pose for ring pictures, that kind of thing?”

“Uh huh?”

“Well, my cousin does that, except for her neck and shoulders. She’s always doing things like diamond necklace commercials. You know that big billboard of the woman in the strapless evening dress over on Ketlington? The jewelry ad with the round shoulders and the prominent collarbone? That’s my cousin.”

“Well,” said Greg, “throat model. Yes, that has possibilities.” He wrote something down on his notepad.

“Why do you ask?” said Brigid.

“Well, the hero of my next book needs a girlfriend.”

“And you’re going to make her a throat model, eh?”

“I just might, at that. Cervix with a smile!”

-The Gneech

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Jan 13 2006

Fictionlet

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“So I read this detective story you wrote,” Brigid said.

“Oh yes?” said Greg.

“I have some problems with the plot,” she continued. “Just little things, but after a while they really start to build up.”

“Problems?” said Greg. “I thought I got the details pretty well hammered out.”

“Well I don’t mean inconsistencies or anything. Just stuff like, well, for starters, the hero’s girlfriend doesn’t get killed.”

Greg blinked. “This is a problem?”

“And the rich white guy isn’t an evil mastermind, doing horrible things under the cloak of respectability. I kept waiting for him to be unmasked, and it never happened.”

“Well…” said Greg.

“Like I said, little things, but they built up after a while. But the real problem, the one that I just couldn’t get past, was that the client wasn’t the villain, weaving the hero into a web of lies and deception as a patsy. I mean, c’mon, the hero doesn’t get betrayed by his most trusted compatriots even once. Nobody’s going to believe that! Where’s the angst? Where’s the postmodern decay? Where’s the nihilism? Why isn’t the detective’s sister a cocaine-addicted nymphomaniac who commits suicide at the beginning of the third act?”

“Er,” said Greg. “Y’know, that’s a good question. I just never thought of it, I suppose.”

“All these upright people being just what they seem. It’s just weird.”

Greg shrugged. “I was going for avant-garde.”

Brigid made a dismissive pfft noise. “You creative types. Always trying to be artsy-fartsy.”

-The Gneech

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Jan 09 2006

Fictionlet

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“So which is worse,” Greg asked. “‘Don’t You Want Me Baby’ or ‘Jack and Diane’?”

“Oh, that’s easy, no contest,” Brigid said. “‘Don’t You Want Me Baby’ is a perfectly decent song, it just has the misfortune of being played to death. ‘Jack and Diane’, besides being played to death, is a miserable piece of crap. Therefore, it’s much, much worse.”

“Okay, well, that settles that, I suppose,” Greg replied. “So what happens when you put ‘Love Is a Battlefield’ and ‘Tempted By the Fruit of Another’ into the mix?”

Brigid put her hand to hip in exasperation. “I throw the radio across the room so I can listen to the beautiful crunch sound when it hits the wall, that’s what.”

“Alas, poor radio,” said Greg. “Still, it had it coming.”

-The Gneech

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Jan 06 2006

Fictionlet

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“Today’s another special day!” Greg said.

“Oh, sweet merciful God, no,” Brigid replied.

“But yes! Yes, yes, and yes! For today we celebrate the brilliance of Vic Tayback!”

Brigid shook her head.

“Winner of two Golden Globes, actor par excellance, Vic Tayback was born on this very date in a.d. 1930,” Greg said, looking down at his open palm as if reading from a nonexistent fact card.

“And you know this — why?”

“He began his brilliant TV and film career in the heady days of 1958, on such notable programs as ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’ and ’77 Sunset Strip’ and spent the next several decades as a prominent character actor. From ‘Get Smart’ to ‘The Monkees,’ from ‘F Troop’ to ‘The Love Boat,’ Vic Tayback was always a solid choice!”

“We are talking about Mel from ‘Alice,’ right?” Brigid said.

“The very one,” said Greg. “And of course, Jojo Kracko from the classic ‘Star Trek’ episode, ‘A Piece of the Action’ — not to mention the voice of Carface in All Dogs Go to Heaven!

“Oh yeah, we can’t forget that one.”

“Alas, he was taken from us in 1990 by heart failure, and was buried at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills cemetery — but he was working almost to the end, having had a role in ‘MacGyver’ in February of that year. Yes, Vic Tayback was a trooper! In all of Hollywood, nobody — except possibly Telly Savalas — played that vaguely-Mediterranean-ethnic-type so solidly, and so well. We salute your spirit, Vic Tayback!”

“Telly Savalas!” shrieked Brigid. “Holy crap, I haven’t thought about him for twenty years!”

“Who loves ya baby?” Greg drawled with a roguish wink.

-The Gneech

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