Apr 30 2008

Fictionlet

Posted by

Greg, tapping away on his laptop, suddenly became aware that Brigid was snickering behind him, and had been for several seconds now. Looking over in vague confusion, he saw that she was at the table with her own laptop open, giggling intensely at something on the screen. “Client sent you new hours estimates, did they?” he said.

Brigid, rubbing her eyes and shaking her head, cheesed the snickering long enough to say “No, I was just looking in my SPAM folder and spotted ‘Breakthrough Miracle Love Drug! Enhance Your Bell-rope!'”

“‘Enhance Your Bell-rope!'” Greg exclaimed in outraged horror. “Ye gods! What kind of a euphemism is that? It brings to mind visions of Charles Laughton swinging on the old beef bayonet crying ‘Sangtuary! Sangtuary!'”

Brigid blinked and twitched. “Did you really just say ‘the old beef bayonet’?”

Greg, as if surprised by the question, said, “Well, yes. I was going to say ‘Mister Dingledangles,’ but I thought that might be too silly.”

By the time she’d finished laughing, Brigid had fallen off of her chair and bruised one of her shins very badly.

-The Gneech

<-- previous B&G next B&G -->

Filed under : Brigid and Greg Fictionlets | Comments Off on Fictionlet
Apr 28 2008

Fictionlet

Posted by

“Oh crud,” said Greg, ducking behind a pillar. “Not good.”

Brigid, who had been vaguely browsing a shelf of trashy romance paperbacks, looked over. “Hmm?” she said.

“Shh!” said Greg. “Don’t let him see me! Pretend there’s nobody here.”

“Who?” said Brigid, looking around the musty and crowded bookstore aisle. The only other male in sight turned out to be a rather shabbily-dressed man who was staring at a stack of textbooks. “Hey, I’ve seen him before, who is he?”

“Professor Giers,” said Greg, sotto voce. “I was in one of his ‘contemporary philosophy’ classes.”

“Oh! I must have seen him ’round the campus,” Brigid said. “Why don’t you want him to see you? You still owe him an essay after all these years?”

“I’m afraid he might recognize me,” Greg said. “I once let slip that I thought some ideas were probably more valid than others.”

“You fool!” Brigid said.

“I know, I know, but I didn’t think he would take it so personally.” Greg shuddered. “He chased me around Kimball Hall, shrieking ‘Objectivist scum!’ at the top of his lungs and throwing heavy objects through windows.”

“Heavy objects?”

“Well, bookcases.”

Brigid blinked. “Bookcases.”

“And a bronze bust of Plato.”

She shook her head. “How do you attract these people?”

“Apparently his nervous breakdown had been a long time coming, I just happened to be the catalyst. He’s teaching again, so I’m told, so presumably he’s gotten better. But given the giant plate glass windows in the front of the store, I figure it’s better not to risk it.”

“Right,” said Brigid, putting down the copy of Queen of Porto Bello she had been examining and heading quickly for the back of the aisle. “I was done shopping anyway.”

-The Gneech

<-- previous B&G next B&G -->

Filed under : Brigid and Greg Fictionlets | Comments Off on Fictionlet
Apr 22 2008

Fictionlet

Posted by

“Well, look,” I said. “I’m not necessarily the most brilliant man around town, but I do know a thing or two, and if there’s one thing I’m sure of–”

“Oh, put a sock in it,” she said. “I couldn’t care less what you’re sure of. You strike me as the kind of person who goes around narrating the events of your life to yourself in first person.”

“Er, well,” I said, but that was all that came out. Much as I hated to admit it, the truth was that she was on to something, there.

-The Gneech

<-- previous B&G next B&G -->

Filed under : Brigid and Greg Fictionlets | Comments Off on Fictionlet
Apr 17 2008

Fictionlet

Posted by

“Really, is that all you do is sit around here writing all day, then go to whatever party you can dig up with your yuppified friends on Friday night?” Brigid said. “Lord, and I thought I was dull. You need to get out more!”

“That’s not all I do,” said Greg.

She crossed her arms and cocked her head. “No?”

“Sometimes I go to used bookstores.”

“Cripes.”

“Besides, you’re one to talk. You go to work, come home late, go to work, come home late, invite yourself along with me to whatever party I can dig up with my yuppified friends on Friday, and complain about it the whole time. I don’t see how that gives you any room to criticize.”

“Very funny.”

“Anyway, I might be more interesting than you think. You don’t know how I spend my days; I could be living a secret life of danger and intrigue, of which you have no inkling because if you found out about it I’d have to kill you. How would you know? This persona you know of as ‘Greg Bumerli, mild-mannered and somewhat eccentric writer,’ could be a complete fabrication.”

“If it is, it’s not a very good one,” Brigid said.

“All part of its brilliance!” Greg said. “Its sheer unlikeliness makes you inclined to believe it, because obviously nobody would come up with a cover story like that.”

The ringing of the phone interrupted this dispute, causing both them to jump. Greg scooped it up immediately. “Greg here. Yes? Yes.” He looked over at Brigid with narrowed eyes. “I can’t talk right now, darling,” he said in a conspiratorial tone. “Hey diddle, diddle, the cat and the fiddle. The banjo becomes angry at midnight.” A few seconds later, he added, “I think you know precisely what I’m talking about,” and hung up.

“Cute,” said Brigid.

“What?” said Greg.

She tapped on the cradle of the phone, and said, “Although it would have been more convincing if the caller ID didn’t say ‘WALL STREET JOURNAL SUBSCRIPTIONS, THE’ in big letters.”

Greg looked at the cradle, looked at Brigid, looked at the cradle again, then looked at Brigid again. “Oh yes! Wall Street Journal! Yes. That’s who it was. Totally The Wall Street Journal. Not a devastatingly-attractive double-agent I’ve been seducing for information. I don’t know where you get these ideas! Ha, ha, ha!” He waved a hand airily, then fled for his room.

Brigid watched him go. “Silly bastard,” she finally said, and hit the caller ID “erase” button.

-The Gneech

<-- previous B&G next B&G -->

Filed under : Brigid and Greg Fictionlets | Comments Off on Fictionlet
Apr 15 2008

Fictionlet

Posted by

“You remember when I was thinking about how God was inconsistent?” Greg said. “That maybe He just sorta randomly popped in and out of the universe on some incomprehensible agenda?”

“Yeah,” said Brigid. “‘Sticks in his Holy Oar’ was the exact phrase you used, if I recall.”

“I think I may have come up with an explanation.”

Brigid snorted. “This oughta be good.”

“It is!” said Greg. “Maybe it’s a way to compensate for Hiesenberg.”

“Do what now?”

“Well, you know about the Observer Effect, right? And the whole thing with the maybe-dead-maybe-not cat? Not really Hiesenberg, but related to Hiesenberg. Point is, there are situations where you can’t measure a thing without the measurement itself being changed by the fact that you’re measuring it.”

She shook her head. “I don’t get you.”

“Well look at it this way. You ever hear the old saw about ‘character is what you do when nobody’s watching’?”

“Yeah.”

“Well think about that a minute — and think about what it would mean in a universe where everybody knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that the Big G was watching them all the time. I mean really, who would raid the cookie jar if they could see God standing there, lightning crackling around his big hoary beard, ready to lay down the smite? Nobody with half a brain, anyway.”

“Please tell me you didn’t just say ‘ready to lay down the smite.'”

“If you take it as a given that there is some kind of ‘morality test’ aspect to reality, then God must absolutely do everything possible to remove Himself from the equation in order to get any kind of meaningful result, you see what I mean? It’s obvious when you think about it. If character really is what you do when nobody’s watching, how do you determine somebody’s character if you are, by definition, always watching them?”

“That doesn’t make any sense at all,” Brigid said. “God doesn’t need to determine character. God knows already. That’s what makes Him, y’know, God. Or one of the things, at least.”

“Yeah, there’s that,” Greg said. “But people don’t know their own character without it being tested.”

“Congratulations,” said Brigid. “You’ve solved it. As a duly authorized representative of the Great Unknown, I hereby declare you enlightened.” Bringing her fist down as if clubbing him over the head, she added, “Sha-ZAM!”

“Heh,” said Greg. “I always figured enlightenment would feel more sublime, and less like I was being dissed by my roommate.”

“Funny,” said Brigid, “that’s what Thomas Aquinas said.”

-The Gneech

<-- previous B&G next B&G -->

Filed under : Brigid and Greg Fictionlets | Comments Off on Fictionlet
Apr 11 2008

Fictionlet

Posted by

“You know,” said Brigid, putting butter on her english muffin, “your nit-pickiness can be infuriating. I get really tired of having to listen to you de-bunk every little thing I say.”

“Well, actually,” said Greg, “I only de-bunk about half the things you say. You use so very much hyperbole that after a while I just can’t keep up. Like the other day, when you asserted–”

His sentence was interrupted by the necessity of having to duck the toaster oven flying rapidly towards his head.

-The Gneech

<-- previous B&G next B&G -->

Filed under : Brigid and Greg Fictionlets | Comments Off on Fictionlet