Thursday, January 31, 2013

Who You Think You Are

You wrote us an essay.

The spelling was atrocious, the grammar a mess, but you assured us it wouldn’t matter, if we’d only look deeper.

Looking deeper was, in fact, your central thesis. That you weren’t myopically seeking attention at everyone else’s expense, but rather possessed immeasurable inner beauty that we’d unjustly judged. You felt it was a lesson we desperately needed to learn.

We needed to stop judging you based on your actions, and see the beautiful person you truly were.

On the inside.

The person you’d never, ever share with anyone, for fear that they might taint it.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Weekly Prompt Story: Tea

By Christopher Munroe

As you know, I work at a restaurant.

As you may not know, prepping pots of Tea is annoying.

It’s more steps than other drinks, so I have to wait in more lines, and half the time we don’t have clean teapots and I either have to wait or hand-wash one.

Which isn’t to say you shouldn’t order tea. It’s your meal. If you want tea have tea.

However, so you know: Next time somebody orders a pot of tea, I make it, get back and their friend orders a pot of tea, I’m burning the place to the ground.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Excerpt: A Speech I Once Gave for the United Nations General Assembly

Now is not the time to play the blame game.

Yes, we could point the finger at one another, cast about for some scapegoat or other and descend into pointless name-calling and acrimony, but I, thank you very much, would rather look to the future.

I would rather look at what happened with a serious eye and make plans, knowing what we know now, that the tragedies of yesterday might never be allowed to occur again.

In this light, I would like to say: It does not matter who let the dogs out.

Yes, clearly, somebody is to blame, but who does this fact help? How does this change the fundamental, underlying fact that the dogs are out.

The dogs are, indeed, out.

In that light, I would like to suggest that the question is not “Who let the dogs out?” but rather “What are we going to do about the fact that the dogs are out?”

Because unless we act immediately, to find the dogs, secure them, bring them back in and secure the gate such that they might never be let out again, what is now merely a misfortune might well become a tragedy, indeed an insurmountable one.

It is for this reason that I am assembling a task-force, starting immediately, to go out in search of the dogs. Because I believe we can still prevail, difficult though the challenge we face may be. We can find the dogs and, working together, eyes toward the future, we can bring them home.

This will not be an easy task, this task I propose we undertake, but in the words of John F. Kennedy, we do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard. And, though this truly shall be counted among the greatest of the challenges we face, I believe in my heart that it is a challenge that we are equal to. I believe, truly I believe, that it is a challenge we can face, and a challenge against which we can and will prevail.

I believe this because, fundamentally, I believe in us.

I believe that we are the brightest, most ambitious, clear-headed people the world has ever known, and I believe that, working together, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish.

I believe in us, and I believe that we can do anything, and so I believe we can do this. And it is for this reason that I, not only willingly but gladly, will set out this very day, in search of the dogs.

So I put it to you, the people: Who will help me in this most important of tasks?

Who? Who, who who who?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Weekly Prompt Story: Bird

By Christopher Munroe

I want to make a movie.

Specifically, a Hitchcock movie from 1963.

I want to do a shot-for-shot remake of “The Birds”, set in the modern day, with a cast of contemporary actors, who will be forced to behave as though they were the actors in the original film.

The only difference will be the birds themselves, who will be computer-animated representations based on the popular video game Angry Birds.

The film will be in 3d.

Search your heart, you know this to be true. This is not a dumber idea than half the reboots that came out last year… 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Danger of Mishearing

They sailed, in search of sirens.

They’d heard tales, you see, of women of impeachable beauty beneath the waves, and couldn’t help but set out, to see them and hear their songs.

They understood it was likely mere rumor, but to see such figures of myth with their own two eyes was a prospect too tempting to ignore.

So out they sailed.

The rumors? Nearly true. And in a way they found that which they sought.

Sadly, however, not one among them returned to tell the tale.

They weren’t mermaids, you see, they were murmaids.

And “Mur” stood for “Murder.”

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Weekly Prompt Story: Mustard

How To Make a Sandwich
By Christopher Munroe

The perfect sandwich isn’t difficult to make.

Bread, cheeses, meat of your choice, the ingredients will vary.

The important bit is, while eating, understanding your tiny place in an enormous, uncaring universe and, instead of fearing that realization, embracing it as liberating.

After all, if your place in the cosmos is essentially meaningless, you needn’t worry about petty problems, and are free focus on life’s small pleasures.

Like a good sandwich, for example.

…and mustard. Mustard’s also important.

So there you have it, the perfect sandwich. Theoretically easy, practically nearly impossible. I hope you one day manage to eat one…

Thursday, January 10, 2013


It’s been said that hell is other people. This is not the case.

Hell is yourself, forever. Which is something you realize almost immediately upon arrival.

It’s a featureless plain where the dead stand, moaning in deep, existential despair. Despair at the people they’d hurt, the sins they’d committed, and the choices they’d left unmade. Most of them had promised each day of their lives to make more of their too-quickly passing time, but somehow they’d never managing to do so until it was far too late.

Now, in hell, those unmade choices haunt them perhaps the most of all, and they wail their sorrow and loss to the uncaring sky, lost forever in the crushing agony of a lifetime worth of mistakes brought suddenly into sharp, unavoidable focus.

They will be lost and hopeless in this hell of introspection and regret forever, without hope of escape, until the end of time. And they know this too, and it adds to the timbre of their wailing.

And yet…

And yet amongst them walk the joyful, looks of bliss plastered across their beautiful, beatific faces. They too know themselves, now, free from the illusions they’d crafted over the course of their mortal time, but unlike the damned they’ve made their peace with it, taking solace in creative work, good friends and beloved families left behind, taking stock of their lives and, on the whole, judging them to have been good.

And so among the damned wander the blessed, and in spite of the suffering occurring around them, for those lucky few this is heaven.

Because heaven is perfect understanding of who you are, what you’ve done, of the lives you’ve touched and how you’ve effected the world around you over the course of your time on Earth.

And hell is this also.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Weekly Prompt Story: Think

The Worst Joke I Know
By Christopher Munroe

So Rene Descartes walks into a bar.

He’s finished an axiom a day ahead of schedule, and as such has a three-day weekend he hadn’t expected to have. Therefore, he plans to get schnozzled.

And schnozzled he becomes. Shots of Jagermeister, beer by the jug, by two in the morning he’s propped against the bar to keep from falling.

Still, he’s good folk and he works hard. Nobody begrudges him.

“One for the road?” the bartender asks, and Descartes scoffs.

“Are you kidding? I’m already so drunk I can’t even think!” He replies, then vanishes, never to be seen again…

Thursday, January 3, 2013


It isn’t that I don’t understand what you’re saying, I assure you.

I’ve listened, intently, as you’ve explained your points, addressed your concerns and itemized every wrong, real or imagined, that you feel has been done you, and through it all I haven’t said a word, allowing you to make your position crystal clear.

I understand what you’re saying.

It’s just that it would take a team of German scientists, a NASA supercomputer and the world’s most powerful electron microscope to determine how little I cared about your tiny, pointless problems.

So, that’s my position. Do we understand one another?