Dan’s Drunksgiving

The day before Thanksgiving, at my old job, we had a small party. My boss decided to hold a round robin, asking everyone to share their plans for the holiday. My fellow employees generally reported that they were heading to their relatives’ homes or holding dinner at their own, traveling, or what have you.

Then she got to me. Feeling puckish I said, “Ah, I’ll spend it the same way I always do. Sitting in my dark apartment with a bottle of Wild Turkey.” I almost added, “and a revolver,” but I held back.

Most of my workmates laughed, but my boss had an irony deficiency. A look of total sympathy came over her face, and she asked, slowly, “Ohhhhhh… Would you like… to come over… to my family’s house for Thanksgiving, Dan?”

“You know… I was joking, right, J____?” I asked. I thought the laughter would have been a tip off. “I have a family, and I’m going to my folks’ house in the southwest burbs.”

“Oh… Ha ha!” she replied.

Sheesh, I thought.

Ordinarily, I would have felt some twinge of what you hoo-mans call “guilt.” Not with her. She generally sided with the designers because I always “picked on” them by demanding they correct typos and not make errors.

Errors such as the calendar where the designer determined that Thanksgiving took place on the third Wednesday of November. She was so convinced of this she left it in even after I noted that, no, it was the fourth Thursday. Then the calendar was printed, along with a few other brain-dead errors, such as the week in which the days were numbered “…18, 19, 21, 20, 22…” I was called into the big boss’ office, who asked me, not happily, how I could let something like that get through. I didn’t, I answered, and I showed her the original proof. The designer got less of a rollicking than I did. I really didn’t like working there at the end. I don’t think they liked me working there either, because they let me go with the next round of layoffs.

On the other hand, every year we got a free turkey. Happy Thanksgiving!

Captain Prolix

Mike: So, are you going to finish that novel?

Me: Yes, eventually.

Mike: Well, how much is left? Where are you at?

Me: Chapter 20 of Section 2.

Mike: (Gapes) Really?

Me: Wait a second. (I leave and return with the print-out of Section 1) Here it is.

Mike: That’s it?

Me: No, that’s just book one.

Mike: (Gapes again) Can I see it?

Me: No, you might read it.

Mike: Just let me see it!

Me: Okay, but no reading.

Mike: (Flips through it without reading.)

Me: So, yeah, I hope to finish it during leave.

Mike: You better not die and leave me with some 14,000 page Henry Darger manuscript.

Tonight! On! Inner Whistling Shadow Sanctum Mysteries!

I want a job where I can write old-time radio show scripts.

[Opening Theme Music]

Sepulchral Announcer: Meet Chauncey J. Phillips: restauranteur… pianist…. WOULD-BE MURDERER. Chauncey J. Phillips THOUGHT he could get away with ANYTHING. But he couldn’t… because crime doesn’t pay… Especially for Chauncey J. Phillips… once he entered… the [echoing] INNER WHISTLING SHADOW SANCTUM!!! What an [echoing] IDIOT… IDIOT… IDIOT…

[SFX: Traffic noises, office machinery, a man frantically pacing, all created by playing a 78 rpm TRAFFIC NOISES, OFFICE MACHINERY, NERVOUS PACING sound effects record.]

First Guy: Phillips! What are you doing there, standing by that water cooler and bookshelf with a revolver loaded with five bullets!?!

Second Guy: SIX bullets, Williams (pause) SIX bullets. (pause) Now sit over there in that chair. The one by the mynah boid.

Mynah Bird, Voiced by the First Guy: Awk! Polly wants a cracker! Awk!

Second Guy: Shaddup, boid… All right, youse miserable, filthy stoolie, dirty dog bum! Here’s what’s youse gots coming to youse!

[SFX: Six gunshots created by whacking a trash can lid with a croquet mallet.]

First: Urrrgh… You… Got me… Phillips… But you’ll… never…

Second: Youse got what was coming to youse, Williams… Consider that a Valentine from…

First Guy: …get… away…

Second Guy: …a Valentine from Boss Ril…

First Guy: …with… this…

Second Guy: Uh… that’s right, Williams… A Valentine from Boss Riley. He sends his…

First Guy: …deplorable… crime… you… scala… wag…

[SFX: Loud thump of body hitting ground, created by loading a potato sack with sponsor-provided noodles and gelatin and throwing it against a slab of terrazzo.]

Second Guy: …regards, ya stinking chatty-Kathy galoshes-eater. Now to wipe away all my fingerprints with this silk handkerchief!

[SFX: Wiping sound created by wiping a bald man’s head with a silk handkerchief.]

Mynah Bird: Awk! A Valentine from Boss Riley! Awk!

Second Guy: What the? That boid knows everything!

Mynah Bird: Chauncey J. Phillips of 1253 Maple Lane shot Reginald Von Williams IV with an Ivor Johnson revolver. The bullets came at a 45 degree angle, indicating Phillips is a man of average height! Awk! Cracker!

Second Guy: Shaddup, youse boid! Shaddup! I’ll fix YOUSE, by shooting youse with my revolver!

[SFX: Several clicks created by clicking a clicker.]

Mynah Bird: Awk! SIX bullets! Awk!

Second Guy: Dadblasted crazy-making goony-boid! I’ll strangulate youse! Ding-dong gum-chewing creep! Fooey on youse whole scummy boid family… What th’!?! Youse flew up to that statue of Hammurabi, maker of laws. When I gets my hands on youse…

Mynah Bird: Awk! Phillips motive is apparently profit-based! Awk! He acted as a triggerman for Boss Riley! Awk! $1,000 was recently filed in Phillips’ off-shore bank account! Awk!

Second Guy: Lemme just stand up on this reproduction of the 10 Commandments, then I’ll reach youse. I’m gonna turn youse into my Thanksgiving turkey! Ungh! Ungh!

Mynah Bird: Awk! Blood spattering indicates the decedent expired at 4:04 p.m. Contents of his stomach showed that decedent consumed a spinach calzone! Awk! Pieces of eight!

Second guy: Youse is gonna lead them right back to my Italian restaurant, youse miserable boid! Right after I hold onto this painting of Nemesis,  Greek goddess of retribution, to steady myself, I’m gonna… What? I’m losing my grip! I’m falling now, and all the nearby art representing the law, retribution, and revenge will smack me in the head. Aggh! I’m only five inches from the floor, and mere moments from my death! Youse lousy boid!

[SFX: Body hitting the ground followed by a series of objets d’art crushing a human skull to a bloody pulp, created by playing Naked City’s debut album, Naked City.]

Mynah Bird: Awk! Ironic! Awk!

Sepulchral Announcer: CRIME. DOESN’T. PAY. And, Mom… Use Gelatin brand gelatin for all your eating, cleaning, and douching needs. GELATIN. IT’S MADE FROM COLLAGEN.

[SFX: Closing theme music, created by orchestra playing closing theme music.]

Young Weegee

I bought a tripod, and while explaining to Nate what it was for and how it worked, he asked, “Can I take your picture?” Sure thing, buddy. Nate kept taking pictures, but from my perspective he wasn’t holding the button down long enough. Turns out he was doing just fine. He even adjusted the tripod correctly. I only wish he’d had a better, less sweaty and weird-haired model.

The Goddamned Batmorality and Batemperance Society

This morning I was helping Nate get dressed, and I suited him up in one of his two or three Batman shirts. It looks like a Dick Giordano Batman, courageously going forth to fight the bad guys with Gotham City as a backdrop. I noted that the shirt had a caption:

Me: (Pointing at each word.) Nate, that says “THE CAPED CRUSADER SAVES GOTHAM CITY!”

Nate: Caped crusader!

Me: Yeah, that’s one of Batman’s nicknames.

Nate: Batman! (Distracted by something.)

Me (To my wife Michael): But in the end, the Caped Crusader realized that Gotham first had to save (dramatic pause) itself.

Mike: Ha ha!

Nate: (Wanders off.)

Me: “Caped crusader.” It sounds like he was mounting an anti-porn campaign.

Mike: Heh heh!

Me: (Christian Bale Dark Knight voice) Gotham has too many sex shops and porno theaters! We need to clean up this city once and for all!

Mike: Ho ho!

Me: (CBDKV) Will no one think of the children!?!

Mike: Har har!


Mike: Ha ha!

At this point, Nate began impersonating me impersonating Christian Bale impersonating Batman. Which was completely hilarious.

End scene.