Friday, March 30, 2012


…and then came the day that we banned leather clothes.

It was, we all agreed, a barbaric practice, wearing the skin of living things. Exploitive. Pointless. Cruel. Some instinct from our distant past that, while it may have made sense to our prehistoric forbears, was past its time of utility and had to be retired from practice in our humane, modern world.

So we passed the appropriate laws, and we banished leather to the dustbin of history.

We’d already developed synthetic fibers as strong and durable as any leather, yet softer and more comfortable against the skin, so it wasn’t much of a change for the majority of people. The laws were more a codification of already existing social norms than a new set of regulations to be followed.

Still, it felt good the day they were passed.

It always feels good to do what’s right.

And when the laws passed banning leather we all felt good. All of us, not just my friends and I, who’d campaigned so long and hard in the name of basic human decency. Everyone.

Animal rights activists felt good, to know that one of the biggest ways in which humanity exploited the weak and helpless was finally at an end.

Consumers felt good, safe in the knowledge that their purchases were ethically and environmentally sound, though they didn’t all understand exactly how or why. That’s why consumers elect people to pass laws about these things. So they don’t have to understand.

Even the clothing designers and manufacturers felt good. After all, with leather banned, a lot of people would have to buy new coats, belts and shoes.

Everyone felt good. It was one of those rare cases where everybody won, and everybody could pat themselves on the back and congratulate themselves on doing what’s right. There was no downside.

Hell, I bet that somewhere in Asia, in the factories where our clothing is made, even the factory workers felt good about our new, more ethical laws regarding clothing.

After all, leather is so tough.

And their hands are so tiny.

They must be relieved to be spending their 18-hour workdays working with simpler, more morally justifiable materials…

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Weekly Prompt Story: Rhymes with "Itch"

Rhymes with “Itch”
By Chris Munroe

I’d thought losing my soul would hurt. It didn’t.

Well, maybe a little, but only for a moment.

Afterward, I thought I’d feel empty, like something important had been taken from me, and that much was true.

Something had been taken from me.

Guilt. Shame. The burden of caring about the needs of others.

Their absence is a weight removed from my shoulders.

I finally feel free.

My high priest takes the soul, weds it to the phylactery, and sends it with my minion to be hidden somewhere it will never be found.

And I rise from my altar, immortal.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


I’m fine to drive home, I’m sure of it.

Mostly sure of it.

I mean, I’ve had a few, but that last round of jagerbombs hasn’t kicked in yet, and anyway I only live a few blocks from here, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be fine.

I’m already driving, so it’s too late to change my decision anyway.

It’s late, dark, and yeah, I’m kind of nodding, but I’m fine. I’ve driven this route a thousand times.

I just gotta keep my hands on the wheel, my eyes on the road, and hope nobody jumps out in front of SHIT!!!


Of course I’m not driving home. Who do you think I am?

I’m in no shape to, I’ve been drinking for four hours and I can barely focus my eyes.

I’m a responsible adult, and I frankly take offence at the implication that I’d even consider driving in my current state.

And anyway, I only live a few blocks from here.

Hopefully the night air will sober me up a little. I’m less steady on my feet than I thought I’d be.

Still, I can make it home.

Wait, a car’s coming.

Screw it, he’ll stop to let me pass…

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Weekly Challenge: Improv

By Chris Munroe

It’s an improv rule: Once something’s said out loud it becomes a fact.

No matter how foolish the idea sounds, it’s what’s happening and you have to commit to it 100%.

After a number of years doing improv, I started applying this rule to my day-to-day life.

Anything suggested, if even remotely feasible, I’ll agree to.

It’s gotten me into my share of trouble, to be sure, but it’s also led to some of the weirdest, wildest times of my life.

So I’m sticking with my improv rule. When opportunities come up, I’ll always accept them.

Because I don’t no.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


There are those who write stories that’ll make your blood run cold.

Who, in a few words, can establish atmosphere so oppressive and claustrophobic that even before the action begins you can feel the walls around you closing in.

The sorts of authors you’d never read before bedtime, lest in the night you lay awake, staring at the ceiling, paralyzed with fear.

But no matter how much their books might frighten you, you have to wake up the next morning. You must go about your business as though nothing was wrong.

Because if you can’t do that, the horrorists win.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Weekly Prompt Story: Fingers

By Chris Munroe

It’s an old expression, but a true one: Feed a cold, starve a finger.

That’s not right.

If you have a cold, feed yourself finger food. If you have no fingers, you’ll starve.

Feed yourself cold fingers when you’re feverish?

Wait, I’ll figure it out, just give me a minute!

Chop off your fingers and leave them out ‘til they get cold?

That’s not it either.

This isn’t going well, I admit that.

Still, you knew I wasn’t a doctor when you asked me for advice about your cold.

Now: Let’s start cutting off fingers and see where it leads!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Hi! My name is Chris, I just moved into the place across the street, and I’ve been going around introducing myself to everyone in the neighborhood. In accordance with federal law, I am required to inform you that I’m a hipster.

I would have thought the moustache would be enough, or the sweater-vest. But no, apparently not.

Yeah, the law was passed fairly recently. Some big scare in Ottawa that hipsters live in Canada’s communities under the noses of “normal” people without them even knowing, and that something had to be done to keep Canadians informed of who might be living next door.

Personally, I think it’s bigotry pure and simple.

I mean, I may like obscure bands, and yes I have a hilarious tattoo of Russian one-hit wonders Tatu on my shoulder blade, but I’ve never hurt anybody. So what business is it of the government to judge how I live, that I should have to announce when I’m moving into a neighborhood?

Do you mind if I light a long, black cigarette, by the way? Thanks.

Seriously, I know it seems funny, but it could be the start of a slippery slope. They start with a group nobody takes seriously enough to care about, but where will it all lead?

And do you REALLY want to be the guy who starts a story with “First they came for the hipsters, but I was not a hipster so I remained silent?

No, I thought not.

Nah, I’m just joshin’ ya. There’s no law requiring any of this. I’m just doing it ironically. Still, I do live across the street, swing by some time for a microbrew!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Weekly Prompt Story: Games

By Chris Munroe

As the assassins kicked in my bedroom door, I knew the game was up.

“Don’t hate the player,” I called as I bolted for the window, “hate the game!”

But they wouldn’t listen.

“You think we’re playing games with you?” Their leader asked as they wrestled me to the floor. “This is no game!”

I thought it was game over for sure, but before they could finish me off, my alarm clock sounded!

I woke just in time to see the team of assassins kicking in my bedroom door. And that’s when I realized…

I was still inside the game.

Friday, March 2, 2012


I’ve built my own coffin.

I’ve always had a soft spot for the idea of carpentry. No aptitude for it, but the notion that I can use my hands to create a physical object holds a huge appeal for me. And a coffin is basically just a box you can lay down in, so how hard could it be?

Surprisingly hard, as it turns out.

The dimensions are right, I’ll fit inside, but it looks awful. Nails sticking out at odd angles, lid not quite fitting across the body of the shoddy pine box I’ve managed to cobble together. It looks like a prop from a western, or some kind of gag. From a pile of timber to an embarrassing mess in a few short weeks.

The worst part of it is, this truly was the best I could do.

Like I said, I’ve no aptitude for carpentry, just interest.

Still, it’s functional, if crude, and I will fit inside, and it’s the result of a lot of effort, so pretty or not it’s my coffin, I’m proud of it, and I’m going to bring the wife and kids out to the garage to have a look at it now that it’s finished.

They’ll mock me for it’s shoddy construction, I have no doubt. That’s kind of always been a part of my plan.

I need to tell them about the test results, and in times like this opening with a laugh couldn’t hurt…