Thursday, May 28, 2015

...on Berries

As a child, I genuinely did believe that Boysenberry was pronounced “Poison-Berry,” a mistake I suspect I was not alone among children in having made.

Further, I was convinced that all poison in the world derived from this one potently toxic berry, and that were this berry to go extinct we could eat what we liked, free of the danger it posed.

I didn’t, in this light, understand why we farmed such a self-evidently terrible plant, until, thinking about it further, I realized that there were indeed times when poison was called for.

Rats, for example, or insectile infestation. Or, were you a b-character in an Edwardian Locked Room mystery novel set at a cozy cottage or summerhouse, the disposal of an unwanted spouse.

Vincent Price, also, has disposed of spouses in this way. Though he always seemed to regret it in the next film he made. I never understood, as a child, why he didn’t learn his lesson and stop killing his wives…

But that’s a story for another day.

My point is that, due to a child’s mispronunciation of the word, I was convinced for a number of years that “Poison-Berry,” the most dangerous fruit in the world, was sold in the produce section of every supermarket. And, not knowing any better, as children tend not to do, no part of this struck me as the least bit unusual.

A profoundly dangerous, highly toxic substance, sold between shelves full of berries of the much safer “Rasp,” “Blue,” and “Straw” varieties. Seems legit. They were all berries after all, where else would we put them?

In hindsight, I could probably have figured out the flaw in my logic more quickly than I did, but children aren’t widely known for their cognitive capacity and talent for logical problem solving. The thing had its own internal logic, and when I asked my father about the poison berry, rather than teaching me something he took the opportunity to mess with me a little for his own amusement.

“Oh yes,” he told me, not even bothering to suppress his chuckle, “deadly, deadly poison. It would be for the best if you were to steer clear of them…”

And then he took the slice of pie mother had so thoughtfully prepared for my desert.

That motherfucker.

Insomuch as, presumably, the man had sex with my mother. Fathers tend to do that, after all…

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Weekly Prompt Story: Cheese

Nachos (the peril of writing hungry)
By Christopher Munroe

Holy hell, I want nachos right now.

I mean, I always want nachos a little, nachos are basically amazing, they’re nature’s perfect food.

Carbs covered in cheese with hot sauce on top, you tell me something in this world that’s better than that, and I’ll call you a liar right to your face.

But I can’t have nachos, not yet, I’m in the middle of writing a story, I can not take a break until I’m done.

Big push to the end, Munsi, big push to the end. Get to one hundred words and finish.

THEN there will be nachos…

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Meanwhile, in the jungle...

He approached life with a critical eye, living every day with solemnity.

Though he was in a jungle, of a sort, he swore to himself never to become an animal, to instead hold himself with perfect dignity in his every moment, to approach each new problem with a cool head, a rational mind and a calm, reasonable demeanor.

Which he did, through all the days of his life, and this attitude allowed him great success.

He never was distracted by anything so foolish as a hat.

And that’s why the tales of Serious George, the serious little monkey, remain untold…

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Weekly Prompt Story: A Word That Doesn't Exist

Words Don’t Exist
By Christopher Munroe

I have no words.

I mean, obviously I have words, I talk constantly. The sound of my voice is among the most soothing things that I’ve found in this world and it’s something I come back to time and time again to fill the gaping void that exists at the center of my life.

Seriously: I love, love, LOVE listening to myself.

What I mean is, in this specific circumstance, no words exist to properly express the magnitude of what’s going on.

It’s utterly beyond comprehension. I can’t even begin to describe it…

So, yeah. This circumstance.

Am I right?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The DJ

Last night a DJ saved my life.

And baby, tonight, the DJ’s got us falling in love…

He watches over me, my DJ, though I can never see him, keeping me safe as I go about my business, nudging me in the right direction when I start to veer off course. And, even at my lowest, weakest point, I know that my guardian DJ will be there for me.

Dropping beats, and bass, but never letting me fall however bad things might get. Protecting me, providing comfort, and doing a thousand little things over the course of my day, some that I never even realize he’s done, to make things just a little bit better for me.

We all have a DJ, though everyone’s DJ is different, because every one of us is different from one another, and while mine spins mostly retro indie tunes mixed with a little melodic industrial and EBM, yours might spin old-school hip hop, dubstep or even contemporary club-pop jams by today’s hottest artists. This is to be celebrated, because it takes all different sorts of people to make this world interesting, and all different sorts of DJs to watch over us, each in their own unique way.

Still, though I love and celebrate you, and through you I celebrate the influence of your DJ, I do still think my DJ is best. How could I not? He’s the one who’s always been there for me, after all, and who always will be there…

In the back of my mind, I can hear him now.

Providing the soundtrack of my life…

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Weekly Prompt Story: Troll

On Trolling
By Christopher Munroe

I’m on the internet a lot, and yes, I do like to argue. Sometimes things get heated, sometimes I find myself saying things I don’t mean.

What can I say? I have strong opinions on things, and sometimes I get bored. I find a Libertarian or an Anti-Vaxxer and go to town, not even bothering to make points, really, just irritating them for its own sake.

Not the noblest of hobbies, but it relaxes me.

Still, I wouldn’t consider myself a troll.

I mean, I do live under a bridge.

And I do eat children.

But no.

Not a troll…

Thursday, May 7, 2015

...on democracy.

When the revolution comes, you’ll be first against the wall.

Except that the revolution has already come.

And fewer people were thrown against walls than I’d expected might be…

The economy has yet to collapse, nothing I can see from where I’m sitting is on fire, locusts have not, in spite of the warnings, descended to blight our crops. Currency has not fled, and I suspect that threats from CEOs to defund the Children’s Hospital out of spite were empty ones. Nobody wants that kind of publicity, after all.

We had an election, not a coup, and transformed ourselves from theoretical to practicing democracy, electing a moderate left-of-center party we hope will enact modest economic reform. In time, I have no doubt disappointment will come with portions of what they do, but in the meantime I’m profoundly proud of us for sending a strong message to all who would govern us.

We have our pride.

We have our Orange Crush.

Treat us with open contempt, and the good people of Alberta will only stand for it for forty-four years, and not one moment longer.

And now, in a way that living in Alberta I’m not exactly used to, I’m cautiously optimistic about the future…

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Weekly Prompt Story: Fit

On Fitness
By Christopher Munroe

I’m not exactly fit.

I mean, I walk everywhere, have an active job and find the energy to go dancing on weekends, but still, my lifestyle will catch up with me.

I drink, probably too much, my diet’s terrible and while I’ve tried I’ve yet to quit smoking. These things wear on me, and one day they’ll bite me in the ass...

That’s fine.

I like me, I like most of the things I find myself doing, and if that causes problems it will at least be a life of minimal regrets.

My life is a good fit for me...