|Posted on January 8, 2020 at 11:25 AM||comments (0)|
I can't possibly detail what led me to order a stack of books on the subject of spam javelins. In the recent past, thanks to writing-related hijinks, I ordered such materials as Outbursts!: A Queer Erotic Thesaurus and The Antichrist Cookbook (twice) without anyone raising an eyebrow. It didn't matter that this was my workplace; we're a research-focused university, dammit! Libraries hold an unspoken rule about keeping the confidentiality of their patrons. I felt validated. I felt safe.
I got cocky.
An email alerted me to two books waiting at the desk, but I didn't check which ones. I handed over my card and waited for the student employee to sign them out, and although the first book slid through without a fuss, the second refused to scan even on repeated tries.
This particular book was oversized and very clinical. What did I order?
Bewildered, I peeked over the scanner: Imaging of the Scrotum & Penis. As in radio imagery. With "scrotum & penis" in bold lettering.
The employee called my co-worker over at that point to ask for help, which included both of them poring over the pages to find other bar codes. I scrambled to think of what I could be writing to need this. Answer: not a goddamn thing. I'm fascinated by medicine and I have a thing for Lord Hardwick, okay?!
"Pfft, whatever, yo, it's fine," I said, leaning one elbow on the desk and peering over the sunglasses I wasn't wearing. I took a totally nonchalant sip from my kitty-cat mug.
"It's okay," they assured me. "We'll just type in the ISBN." Flip flip flip.
According to the system, I don't have access to that level of borrowing.
"Oh heyyy, can I just look at them and return them in a couple days? I'll have 'em back by Friday," I said. I could feel my skin go from ghastly to lobster. Did that sound as creepy as I thought? Did they see me as the panting, drooling wolf in the Tex Avery cartoons?
I mean, this is science, people.
"Take your time. They're not expecting them back before the 16th." They handed over my books with a smile.
A little too big a smile, if you ask me.
(This picture really has nothing to do with the story, again, but how could I pass this up?)
|Posted on August 30, 2019 at 1:55 AM||comments (0)|
My second story just dropped on The Stories We Tell podcast!
My story is first (eep!) in this episode, Stories of Freedom. See first comment for link. I'm extra proud of this one; I played with rhythm and cadence more than I have been in recent years, inspired by a fellow local author. It's the closest I'll get to poetry.
Narrated by Dawn Fitzpatrick Pizzo (see second comment for her Instagram), the cusp of change brings about catastrophic results in "A Simple Adjustment."
Keep listening for more stories from Erica Stensrud, Christine Larsen, TC Grassman, Astrid Jef, AC Ward, Michele Potter, Rob Harrison, Bel Nel, Paul Sating, Kevin Porter, and Ann Burgess, and exclusive bloopers after the closing credits. Thanks always to Paul Sating for putting this together.
|Posted on March 7, 2019 at 1:55 AM||comments (0)|
Monday was definitely a Monday.
It's been awhile since I forgot my car in a tow zone, so Life decided to give me a flat. It was a result of hitting one of approximately 8 million potholes left by salt, rampant temperature variances, and snowplows. For days, my car's "low tire pressure" light nagged at me. I was certain it was just the cold causing a false indicator, until I left work and saw that it was flatter than a Keanu Reeves line reading.
Since I'm not much stronger than I was in my 20s, I called for roadside service. The dispatcher's lovely Irish accent was the best part of this experience, because as soon as the shockingly under-dressed mechanic appeared to change the tire, I discovered I had no spare. I must have gotten a flat some other time and forgotten to replace it. Better yet: thanks to staying late at work writing, it was now 15 minutes after the close of every tire store in the area.
I should have brought the kid a thermos of Tullamore, because as soon as this transaction was complete, I was hitting that shit like a punching bag. Sharing is caring.
Loosening the bolts was always the hardest part; the rest is pie. Once he did that, I sent him on his way. $74 (plus $20 tip for the inconvenience) to loosen some bolts. Two more fingers, neat, please!
One problem remains: getting a new tire home without paying for yet another assistance call. They only weigh about 20 pounds, but they're unwieldy.
Firestone is only 2 miles away.
The solution is clear. Wish me luck.