Thursday, March 31, 2016


It’s been said that, while a friend will help you move, your best friend will help you move a body.

And he IS my best friend, I’ve known him years and trust him more than anyone else on earth, so here I am, helping dig.

And I’m doing it with a smile on my face. That’s what friendship is, after all, it’s the willingness to put yourself out there to help another person.

It’s just…

There’ve been an awful lot of bodies, of late, is all.

I mean, I love him like a brother, but still…

Friendship does have limits.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Weekly Prompt Story: Singapore

On Drinks
By Christopher Munroe

Drinks with rhyming names are delicious!

The Singapore Sling. The Bahama Mama, they’re playful, summery drinks with playful summery names that are fun to say.

Which, naturally, makes them fun to order, which in turn causes people to order them more often. This isn’t coincidental.

Bartenders aren’t dummies, they know the power of a catchy turn of phrase and they’re highly motivated to keep you drinking. Up to a point…

Eventually, the names become syrup in your mouth and you start to trip over them. This is when they cut you off.

Overall, it’s very useful, as naming conventions go…

Friday, March 25, 2016

On Dental Hygene

“I’m getting a new tooth!”

She wasn’t mine, obviously, I have no children of my own. She was there with her mother, eating lunch in my section that day, at work, five or maybe six years old, I can never tell with other people’s kids, and obviously excessively proud of the gap in her mouth where once a tooth had been.

“Oh, are you?” I asked, my head cocked to one side, smiling politely, and she nodded her head with the kind of enthusiasm only children are capable of.

By adulthood that enthusiasm, that wonder, has been beaten out of us, however much we might try to hold it tight.

“I am!” She said, still nodding, “I’m going to lose all my baby teeth and get all new ones, and they will be my grown-up teeth, AND I’m going to leave my baby teeth under my pillow so that the tooth fairy can take them and leave me money!”

She beamed with pride, and even I had to admit that minus the tooth the grin was pretty adorable. I like kids well enough, after all. I could never have one of my own, I can barely hold my own self together and don’t by any means have it together well enough to have another life depend on me, but I like other people’s just fine, and adorable is adorable, regardless of your position on children in general.

“Oh!” I exclaimed, genuine amusement in my voice, “Well good for you! You must be very pleased!”

She nodded, again, and I could have left it at that, if I’d wanted to, gotten back to work and never again thought about the conversation. It would have been the safe thing to do, and arguably the kind thing, but it was a slow day and on slow days you have to make your own fun, so instead I beckoned her forward, as though to offer her some sly secret the world had heretofore kept from her.

She leaned in, eyes wide, as I knew she would.

“Just remember,” I told her with a conspiratorial smile, “once you get your new teeth, they’re the last ones you’ll ever have. Ever. You do NOT want to screw these ones up.”

Her eyes went even wider then, wider than I would have thought them capable of going, and her mouth dropped open as though she’d never given this matter any significant thought. Behind her, in her own seat, her mom let the laugh explode out of her almost against her will, before biting it back as best she could, keeping it to a muffled giggle.

It was a high risk, high yield joke, I admit, but a funny one, as long as Mom laughs and the kid doesn’t actually cry at her first realization that her body would some day inevitably fail her. And, looked at from a certain point of view, it could even be considered educational, in its way.

She didn’t beg for dessert, after all, when the time came for me to present the cheque, and she’d no doubt brush her teeth without needing to be told for a good long while. A thing a child can always stand to learn.

And, although this is a smaller, meaner justification, I assure you: The look on her face was priceless…

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Weekly Prompt Story: King

On Royal Headwear
By Christopher Munroe

I’m no king, but I own a crown.

Because it’s 2016, crowns are readily available for purchase, I wanted one and fuck you, that’s why.

I’ll never lead a nation, but a crown’s something I could make happen, and I deserve to have things that bring me joy.

So I bought it.

Now I own it.

And when I feel down and need to be picked up, I take it out and put it on, and wearing it does make me feel a little better.

And I’ll tell you right now, for the record: I absolutely fucking crush that crown.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Clearly not...

...after all, it's my own, actual birthday. I'm out celebrating it!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Weekly Prompt Story: Guide

Your Guide
By Christopher Munroe

Let your conscience be your guide…

Unless you’re in a foreign country in which case, I can’t stress this enough, hire an actual guide.

Guides know the local spots you’d want to see, the best destinations, best restaurants, wherever you go guides can help you get the most out of your trip.

Plus, they’ll keep you from getting lost. And, if you’ve travelled somewhere where you don’t speak the language, that’s not inconsiderable.

So hire a guide and don’t skimp on the price. The expense is worth it.

And when it comes to tipping: Let your conscience be your guide…

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Plumbing in my New Place

It’s an old building and as such it has its share of quirks.

I was told that the day I moved in, and I have no right to complain as each specific quirk, in its turn, reveals itself to me. I’d been warned, after all, and forewarned is, as they say, forearmed. Nevertheless…

There’s some issue with the pipes beneath the floor, you see, and when I shower they spray water up, just a little, gradually soaking through the floorboards and carpet, leaving a wet area and watery footprints leading out of the bathroom when I’m done. No matter what I do, the footprints appear, every time I shower without fail, tracking water across the carpet.

Which ought to be fine, it ought to be something I could easily live with. My building super knows about the issue, after all, and I’ll never be called upon to pay for either repairs to the floor or replacement of the carpet. With that in mind the issue is annoying, but eminently live-with-able, the sort of thing that would elicit mild grumbling but no more thought than that.


The footsteps don’t lead to my bedroom, you see, where I walk after my shower, the way that they would if they’d been made by my own two feet.

Instead, they turn right, and walk off down the hall toward God only knows where.

I live alone. I’m the only person in the house.

And, until those footprints dry, each day, I find myself afraid to follow, and see where they might lead…

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Weekly Prompt Story: Ring

On Affection, and Also on Jewelry
By Christopher Munroe

If you liked it, you should put a ring on it.

If you don’t like it, no ring.

It’s fairly simple, if you think about it it’s almost unreasonably simplistic, but it DOES make for a good rule of thumb as far as who or what is liked.

A person with a ring is liked, by at least the person with whom that ring was exchanged.

Trees? People like’em big and bigger ones have more rings.

Saturn? Well everyone likes Saturn!

I like my bathtub…


No, I’m going to have to go back to the lab and rethink this…

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Music Video for MC Hammer's 2 Legit 2 Quit

I remember the day that M.C. Hammer released the video for the song 2 Legit 2 Quit…

It seems like a weird day to remember, if you weren’t there, but if you weren’t, I can assure you: It was huge. It was a huge, culturally important day.

At least, it felt like one.

His classic album “Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em” had completely dominated the previous year, spinning out monster hit after monster hit on its way to eventually selling twenty-two million copies worldwide, putting hip-hop on the commercial map in a way that no one had previously thought possible. He was more than a popular recording artist, he was a cultural force, a milestone, and nothing in pop music would ever be the same. And, just as importantly, he knew so.

Much Music, a television station that at the time played music videos, made a day of it, setting up a countdown clock in the corner of the screen ticking down to the video’s premier as I, like many my age, stayed tuned in, breathlessly awaiting this new missive from a man who’d quickly made himself one of the biggest stars on the planet. As I said, he was an important force in popular culture, a man in the midst of his moment, and there was a sense of bigness to the release of this new video, a video that was expected to lead the way forward, both for the man himself and the genre he’d managed to lead out and into the mainstream.

Obviously, a good deal of this was marketing, but I was thirteen years old at the time and very susceptible to marketing at that stage of my life. Regardless, the moment felt big.

And Big, if nothing else, the video most assuredly was. To this day the eighth most expensive music video ever made, 2 Legit 2 Quit ran a shocking 15 minutes long, featuring appearances by James Brown, Wayne Gretzky, Mark Wahlberg, Easy-E, Tony Danza, Queen Latifah and the actual Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, among many, many others. It was an assault to the senses, a video where everything was happening simultaneously, more dancing, more pyrotechnics, more hype, more sound, more fury, always MORE. It was a man at the peak of his powers who didn’t believe there was any such thing as overreach. Hammer was ascendant and believed he would never descend.

He ended the video with a straight-up run at Michael Jackson, implying that the now former King of Pop himself conceded that Hammer was the better dancer and, more bizarrely still, we all took him at his word, seeing nothing at all out of place in this claim. At that moment at least, they were equals, two titans hovering over the rest of pop music like colossi, unimpeachable, unrivaled except perhaps by one another…

Of course the moment didn’t last, no moment ever does, and by two years later the world was pretty much over Hammer, but his quick descent from the pop firmament is as irrelevant as the speed of his equally meteoric rise, to my mind. What matters is that he was there, he had his moment and he grabbed hold of it, owning it with more confidence than most could even imagine themselves capable of. There is no doubt that 2 Legit 2 Quit, though overblown at the time and hopelessly dated with hindsight, was exactly the statement that Hammer wanted to make, the purest distillation of artist and art, the most “Hammer” that Hammer ever got. It was what came when he was allowed to work without limitations of any kind and, even if it did signal the beginning of the inevitable end for him, in this it was his masterpiece.

And, as artists, we should all be so lucky as to have such an opportunity, even if only for a moment…