Jun 14 2007

Fictionlet

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“So, can I get anything else for you guys?” asked the waitress.

“I’m fine,” said Brigid.

“Er, actually,” said Greg, lifting his glass slightly and somewhat apologetically, “this seems to be fruit punch. I asked for iced tea.”

“That is iced tea,” said the waitress.

“Er, no,” said Greg. “It’s quite definitely fruit punch.”

“It has to be iced tea,” said the waitress. “It’s brown. Besides, we don’t carry fruit punch.”

“It sure tastes like fruit punch,” said Greg.

“Oh!” said the waitress, pointing a finger in the air. “That’s because it’s ‘Raspberry Splash’ iced tea.”

The corner of Greg’s mouth twitched a little and his brow furrowed. “So it’s fruit punch with a little tea in it, you mean. Could I just get some plain iced tea, please?”

“You don’t like the Raspberry Splash?”

“No.”

“Okay, I’ll get you the other tea we have.”

“Thanks.”

The waitress took the glass and wandered off. A few minutes later, she came back with another glass that looked identical. “Here you go,” she said.

Greg took a sip, and instantly his face contorted into a spasm of shock and revulsion. “Good God!” he said. “What is that? I asked for iced tea!”

“That is iced tea!” said the waitress. “You didn’t like the Raspberry Splash, so I brought you the ‘Mango Passion Splash’ iced tea instead!”

Greg, opening and closing his mouth rapidly and sticking his tongue into the air, pleaded, “Can’t you just bring me some ‘Iced Tea Splash’ iced tea?”

The waitress laughed. “You’re funny!” she said, and headed for another table.

-The Gneech

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Jun 12 2007

Fictionlet

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Brigid opened the passenger-side door and tossed her enormous leather bag of papers into the back seat. “The dealership called,” she said. “My car’s ready to pick up.”

“Very good, madam,” said Greg in his worst Jeeves imitation as she got in and pulled on the seat belt.

After a few moments of fidgeting, adjusting, and general get-into-gearing, Greg started to pull out of the office parking lot. “I wonder if they ever actually do anything in there,” Brigid commented.

“Hmm?” said Greg.

She pointed to an office in her building, in which was visible only a sparse orange lobby and a tall, unmanned receptionist desk. “On the first floor, there. ‘OCX Concepts, Inc.’ Aside from having caught a glimpse of four people having a meeting in a room behind the desk, I never see anybody come or go, or even a receptionist. I’ve gotta wonder what they do there.”

“Well, obviously!” said Greg. “They incentivize exciting new paradigms.”

“Guh,” said Brigid.

“Yup! They incentivize paradigms and diversify exciting new directions.”

“Stop it right now,” said Brigid, “or I’m walking to the dealership.”

“Would hurt you more than it would me,” said Greg.

“Don’t bet on it,” said Brigid.

-The Gneech

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Jun 11 2007

Fictionlet

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When it comes to chewing the scenery when she’s mad, Brigid makes Jeremy Irons look subtle and restrained. Unfortunately, we were rapidly running out of delicate electronic instruments to smash and she was giving my precious laptop a homicidal look. I was forced to come to its rescue.

“Well, look,” I said, in as soothing a tone as I could muster, “family’s always a pain. You have no farther to look than my Uncle Bob for confirmation of that. But in her own harpy-like way, your mother loves you. That’s got to be worth something, doesn’t it? Why not forgive the old biddy?”

Brigid, who had apparently been lost in a pleasant fantasy about the horrors she planned to inflict on my poor little Toshiba, looked over at me with narrowed eyes. “What did you say?” she said.

“I was just observing that your mother loves you,” I said. “Surely you can get past this little estrangement with a little compromising, a little give-and-takeness.”

“You were observing that, were you?” she said.

“I was.”

“Well don’t. Honestly, that’s about the most fatuous comment since the technician at Chernobyl said, ‘I wonder what this button does!'”

I had to stop and chew on that one a bit; by the time I’d come up for air, the little punk had hurled our last telephone into the kitchen, where it took out two cereal bowls and a mug that had been hiding in the sink trying to escape notice.

-The Gneech

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Jun 07 2007

Fictionlet

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“Mary Lou Retton,” Greg said.

“What?” said Brigid.

“Mary Lou Retton,” Greg said.

“What (she said, feeling that she’d probably rather not know) about Mary Lou Retton?” Brigid asked.

“Hmm?”

“What about her?”

“Oh!” said Greg. “Nothing really. I just like the sound of her name. It’s an aesthetically-pleasing phrase. ‘Maaaary Lou Retton‘! Bum-ba-bum, BUM-BUM! You could render it in iambic pentameter.”

Shut the hell up, you bloody looney,” Brigid said.

“Well excuse the heck out of me,” Greg said.

“No, no,” said Brigid, “I wasn’t saying that to you. It’s just an aesthetically-pleasing phrase.”

-The Gneech

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EDIT: Clarified a line a bit (I hope) per comments.

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Jun 04 2007

Fictionlet

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“Interesting fellow, very very interesting,” said Greg. “Had a natural dignity about him that was very appealing. He rather reminded me of José Ferrer.”

“Who?” said Alex.

“José Ferrer,” Greg repeated. “Played Cyrano de Bergerac.”

“Who?” said Alex.

Greg did a staccato head-jerk. “What do you mean, ‘Who?'”

“Just what I said!” Alex replied. “I don’t know any of these names you’re making up.”

“You can’t seriously mean that,” said Greg. “You’ve never heard of Cyrano de Bergerac?”

“Well,” said Alex, “I gather he was played by José Ferrer.”

Greg grasped the bridge of his nose and screwed his eyes shut in a remarkably Brigid-like fashion. “I can’t believe it,” he said. “I suppose next you’ll be saying you never heard of Leslie Howard.”

“Who?” said Alex.

“Begone,” said Greg, putting up a hand as if to ward Alex away. “You’re dead to me.”

-The Gneech

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