Sunday, March 31, 2013

Weekly Prompt Story: Highway

By Christopher Munroe

I was driving unreasonably fast, considering how dark it was.

Still, nobody’d ever accused me of being reasonable. And the music playing had me pumped up, feeling invincible, unstoppable. Like nothing in the world could touch me.

And as I sped through the night, I threw back my head in triumph and joy and sang along as it played…

“Highway to the danger zone!”

…I flipped the car, naturally. I was speeding and singing rather than paying attention to where I was going.

Nobody’s fault but mine.

What did I expect, after all, from a place called the Danger Zone?

Friday, March 29, 2013

...I'm Not Always a Hit at Parties

“Meanwhile,” I told him, “A child is dying.”

It didn’t have any impact on what he was saying; I’d simply used the nonsequitor to shake things up, bored as I was with the conversation.

It helped that I didn’t like him.

It helped more that it happened to be true. With seven billion people on earth a child was inevitably dying somewhere.

I basically said it to shut him up.

It not only worked, he never spoke to me again.

So, if you’re ever stuck in a really boring conversation with somebody you hate, I suggest you do the same….

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Weekly Prompt Story: Border

Bordering on Madness
By Christopher Munroe

We have to secure our borders with Madness, immediately!

For too long we’ve allowed Mad Men to cross freely, taking jobs in advertising from our own native-born citizens, and this must stop.

We must build a wall, and patrol it with drones, lest this unfair illegal immigration continue unabated, to do otherwise would be mad!

If we allow the free travel of the mad into our nation, before long we’ll be nothing more than a madhouse!

A madhouse!!!

Also: Make the wall soundproof. I like Madness, but if I hear One Step Beyond one more time, I’m going to snap…

Thursday, March 21, 2013


After the funeral, once he was buried and gone, she, still in widow’s garb, trudged back up the hill, forsaking relations and the comfort they offered, to seal herself within the mansion the two of them once shared.

It’s said that she’s up there still, in her mourning gown, gazing from her window down upon an unsuspecting township, lost in self-imposed isolation, long since mad with grief…

…or maybe she’s dead.

In fact, so far as I can tell we haven’t delivered food up there in nearly a year. She’s probably dead.

We really ought to send somebody to check.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Weekly Prompt Story: St. Patrick's Day

The Reason for the Season
By Christopher Munroe

…and Patrick was like “that’s it! I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on the motherfucking plains of Ireland!” and drove them into the sea!

And that’s what we’re celebrating.

Will that be reflected in how we celebrate?

Short answer: No.


No. Little will be said about Saint Patrick, no mention will be made of snakes. Still, we’ll celebrate.

We’ll wear green, affect fake accents and hit Irish pubs, and fun will be had.

Is this appropriate? Perhaps not, but it’s what we’re doing.

Now get out there and drink!

Shine on, faux-Irish douche-bags, shine on!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Note I Leave Behind

By the time you read this, I’ll be dead.

Or not, I’m not sure. I may well still be alive.

But I also may die, and I feel like it’ll be easier for all of us if we proceed as though I were definitely going to, with the option to apologize later should I wind up surviving.

Therefore, before I die, I want to apologize to everyone my passing might hurt. Hurting you was never my intent.

I also want to make it perfectly clear, this is not a suicide note. I like my life just fine, everything is going fairly well right now, and overall I’m generally satisfied with my place in the world. Suicide’s the furthest thing from my mind, and I wish I could say I had many good years ahead of me...

However, we don’t get to choose when we go, it’s chosen for us. And when the time comes we’re all helpless in the face of our own mortality. Everyone learns this in their own time, and mine was chosen for me thirty-five years ago.

Thirty-five years ago this coming Sunday.

The day that I was born.

That’s right.

I was born on Saint Patrick’s Day, you see, and as such the whole world celebrates my birthday. Well, not the whole world, in fact a very slim portion of the world, the Irish, Catholics and drunken, rowdy douche-bags who pretend to be either Irish or Catholic to use the holiday as an excuse to drink, but from my perspective, while it’s happening, it seems like the whole world. Everyone I meet congratulates me on the auspicious date of my birth, everyone wants to take me out for a pint, and nobody will take no for an answer.

“It’s one pint,” they say, “it’s not a big deal. What could it hurt?”

And they’re right. One pint isn’t a big deal. And it couldn’t hurt.

But it never winds up being just one.

Because I have more than one friend, you see, and when I’m invited for a quick birthday drink, EVERYBODY joins me. They want to go to a bar anyway, it being Saint Patrick’s Day and all, and my birthday provides even more of an excuse. And once the drinks are flowing every faux-Irish frat-tard in the place will overhear and suddenly strangers are buying me drinks in the same generous spirit I’ve come to know and love from my friends.

Drinks. It’s the reason for the season after all.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: What on earth am I whining about? That sounds awesome! And you’re quite right, it is. Or rather, it was. Because the other thing that happens on my birthday is; I grow older. And perhaps that’s obvious past the point of needing to be said, but look at the implications.

Endless free drinks until such time as even my heroic commitment to birthday drinking can no longer sustain me for one moment longer is a wonderful thing for a man in his early twenties, but that was a decade ago and, as I get older, what once was a tremendous boon to me becomes more and more of an endurance test. A test that, one year, I won’t be able to endure.

I wake up March 18th feeling like I’m going to die, wishing I could die. Body aching, head screaming in pain, still half in the bag from the night before, and acutely aware that my body, my liver but really my whole body, can’t take the sort of punishment I put it through nearly as well as once it could.

On March 18th, every year, like clockwork, I’m forced into an uncomfortable awareness of my own human frailty as my body is pushed a little closer to its ultimate failure by an endless, terrifying procession of free birthday drinks.

Could I turn these drinks down? In theory I could, but I sure don’t. Not to play to stereotypes, but I’m an actor, a comedian, a waiter and a novelist, and as such I’m incapable of turning down a free drink under any circumstance. So they will be offered, I will accept them, and my already badly broken body will strain further.

Perhaps that final collapse won’t come this year, but some year it will.

And it’ll definitely come on my birthday.

If I see you sometime after Sunday, then I’ve survived. Perhaps by the skin of my teeth, perhaps in a state requiring a week-long hangover to recover, but I’ve survived and that’s what counts, and I’ll be glad of it.

But if I don’t, I’m leaving this note on my blog, to say goodbye, and to let you know: In spite of my sense of impending dread at how I’ll spend my birthday yet again, I regret nothing.

I’ve had some wild parties.

Wild, wild parties.

This year’s will be no different…

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Weekly Prompt Story: Idiot

Waxing Nostalgic
By Christopher Munroe

I miss all-ages punk shows.

Sixteen years old, in a WWI-era trench-coat, cargo-pants and a t-shirt with “Idiot” emblazoned across the front, out for an evening of local punk bands in an alcohol, and therefore ID, free atmosphere.

The shirt was bought at a Wonder Stuff show, and it was kind of a trademark of mine. I wore it to every gig.

If I ever see another, I’ll likely buy it.

I’m sure there are still all-ages punk shows out there.

I could probably find one, if I bothered to look.

I could probably go.

It wouldn’t be the same…

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Shadow

It was always there, I could always see it out of the corner of my eye, but I could never quite focus on it.

A dark flicker, a shadow across my peripheral, almost man-shaped, which I could always almost see but which, whenever I turned to focus on it, would always vanish.

I could never quite make it out, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it either, wondering what it was, who it was, and what it might want with me.

It was never far from my mind.

I feared it might one day drive me mad.

Now I’m much calmer, here in the dark. Do I miss art, or a sunrise, or the smile of a child? If I have to be honest I’ll admit that I do, on occasion, but that’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind I’ve achieved. After all, I knew that one more flicker in my vision and I’d be driven to mad, desperate action that I might some day live to regret, and so I had to head the problem off before it got to that point.

And, while the solution I’ve found might strike some as extreme, I regret nothing of what I’ve done. It seems, to my mind, only right and proper.

Mine eye offended me, after all.

And so I plucked it out.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Weekly Prompt Story: Storm

Stormy Weather
By Christopher Munroe

“There’s a storm a’brewin!” Grandpa always used to say.

But, like, always.

He’d say it every single day, regardless of the weather. He went out of his way to wrap every conversation around to the subject of storms, brewings, or the like, just so he could say it.

Grandpa was a little off toward the end, I have to admit.

To make matters worse, whenever there actually WAS a storm, he would claimed that he knew it, that he’d tried to warn us, if we’d only listened to him.

And, technically, it was true, so none of us could disagree…

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Parable: At the Pub

Once upon a time there was a man, sitting at home, who was struck with an idea.

A brilliant idea.

“I…” he thought to himself, “…shall go to my local karaoke bar. And, upon my arrival, I shall sing Aqua. Not merely “Barbie Girl” but every single song I can think of by Aqua. I shall enlist the host to sing the girl’s part, and sing the boy’s part myself. And, whilst singing, I shall impersonate Cookie Monster.”

“Yes,” he thought, “there is nothing wrong, evil or insane about this plan.”

He, and this is where his story differs so widely from that of those of us who had brilliant ideas and let them fly free from our minds like butterflies, un-tethered, then proceeded to invite his idiot friends to his local karaoke bar, following through on the plan he’d devised.

Yes, he invited people.

He went to the bar.

He sang Aqua.

He impersonated Cookie Monster.

It was remarkable.

I am not this man. I was, however, at the bar when he sang, and allow me to tell you this one thing: It was brilliant.


I will never get tired of the hits (hits?) of Aqua being sung by a bored karaoke host and Cookie Monster. Nor, should you ever experience it, would you.

So, yes, this is a true story, and further it’s one with a moral.

The moral: Simply this…

…write down ideas as you have them, and then follow through.

You have no idea which random stranger you might thrill…