Category Archives: Humor

Where is the Water?

That area over there
Where your feet fall through the ground upon which you step
And you sink a while then come up feeling wet—
That
is the water.

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Coffee rings eternal

Now class, before I return the papers you turned in last week, I’d just like to make a few comments that apply to everyone. First of all, I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to all of you for managing to stay on the topic that I assigned you for this paper. Of course, the topic ‘Magic in Harry Potter‘ was far less open to misinterpretation than the previous assignment: ‘What was great about The Great Gatsby?’. I’m still hoping that the majority of you who wrote at length on the topic of ‘nothing’ were doing so out of an exploitation of the openness of the prompt, and not because you didn’t read the novel.

But this time, everyone in the class did a superb job. In fact, only three of you didn’t get As on this assignment. For two of you, John and Marco, it was because you obviously started writing the paper the night before it was due and turned in papers that were about half as long as I had requested. “Just slap a conclusion on there and it’s good” — I’ve been there; I know. But please, would you put in a little more effort? The other non-A paper was just so horribly-written that I could not, in good conscience, award it anything above a B+. So, sorry Daisy. It’s OK to give up.

You may well ask: “Professor Lumberjacques, if we all got the same grade”—(aside from the three previously noted exceptions)—“if we all got the same grade, how will we be able to compare ourselves to one another? It is very important for me to be the best, but the honor is somewhat diminished when it is split thirty-seven ways.” I acknowledge your need to succeed, your drive to dominate, your hunger to have the upper hand — but I urge you to look at John, Marco and Daisy for guidance on this issue. They don’t need to be the best. They’re perfectly happy to hang out at the bottom of the barrel, quietly rotting away as the better apples rise to the top to be baked into pies of success. Theirs is an approach to life that does not hinge on personal achievement so much as it hinges on getting up in the morning, buttoning up your shirt, tying your shoe laces and putting one foot in front of the other. Ah, to be simple.

But for those of you for whom this is just not good enough, I have left you some clues as to how your grade-A papers stack up against one another. No, you will not find it scrawled in the margin in red ink. Instead, you will find it saturating the pages in coffee stains. Let me lay it out for you: the more coffee on your paper, the better it was. Why is this a valid measure? Because I am a tired and overworked man. The only time I can find to grade your papers is well into the night, when most sane and, yes Daisy, simple people are fast asleep in their beds. And I need coffee to fuel me through those hours. When your paper catches my attention, makes me want to keep reading, I grab a cup of coffee. If I couldn’t care any less about anything you’ve written, I’m happy to bluff my way through it in a half-tired state.

And I am a sloppy coffee drinker. I spill, I splash, I spit. I let rivulets of coffee run down the side of my mug until they pool around the bottom and leave a ring on whatever is below. So the more I like your paper, the more coffee I drink. And the more coffee I drink, the more of it ends up soaked into the pages of your paper. It’s like a handshake: you write a paper that gets my attention, and I’ll make sure that my attention is awake enough to be gotten.

So there’s no formal breakdown of how good your paper was as a function of the surface area covered in coffee. You’ll have to all hold up your papers next to one another to see who was the true victor on this assignment. And though that is not a thing that you can put on your resumé, it is certainly something that you can carry in your heart.

Just one final note: don’t compare your paper to Suzy’s. While it may look like hers has the most coffee marks of honor, I really just spilled a full cup of coffee on it while reading Roy’s paper. In fact, Suzy’s paper was so wet, I just waited for it to dry and gave it an A without reading it. Maybe it really was the best; but don’t count on it.

So once again, good job most of you. Now come collect your papers.

Ginger Snaps

Ginger snaps
her eyes open and rolls out of bed.
She cracks an egg over the frying pan
and makes a quick omelet. Then

Ginger snaps
her seat belt into place and sets off for work.
A car cuts her off merging onto the freeway
and she murders her horn. In the office,

Ginger snaps
her neck around to glare at her noisy coworkers.
It’s someone’s birthday and they’re all eating cake.
She tries to get back to work.
But she can’t ignore them, so

Ginger snaps
her fingers to get everyone’s attention.
Then Ginger snaps
at the revelers to take their party elsewhere.
Birthday boy tells her to lighten up and
Ginger really snaps…

Ginger snaps
his suspenders against his chest and
Ginger stomps
on his feet and
Ginger slaps
the bemused look off of his face and

Ginger snaps out of her daydream.
She knows she’s too worked up to get anything done so
Ginger snaps her briefcase shut and
Ginger slams her car door.
Ginger speeds home.

Ginger snaps
open a novel and her rage begins to die.
Lying comfortably under a blanket on the couch,
Ginger snacks
on ginger snaps,
until Ginger naps.

 

To the Point.

This is a piece I wrote during the creative writing course I took during my senior year of college. We were tasked with writing a Ghazal-style poem, and this is what I came up with. I hope it gets the point across!

***

Let’s raise our glasses to the Point,
Without which we’d never have come to this point.

It ends our sentences. Suspends our thoughts…
Begins our lists: adds the pop to an exclamation point!

In competitions the only way to win
Is to come away with the most points.

Newton and van Gogh harnessed its power,
Honed its potential to a sharp point.

A balanced diet and plenty of love
Are the best way to raise a good point.

Lines stretch forever in one dimension
Composed of infinitely many (defined by two) points.

You see how the Point will always be there?
Look! It’s never going to disappoint!

Alright, R. Guile, I see what you’re getting at,
Now settle down. It’s impolite to point.

 

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With You in Spirit

My sweet, darling—how giddy I am to finally write your name—Kevin,

Though I have haunted the halls of this house far longer than you’ve been in this world, you are the first man in all these years who has found a way to take up residence in both my home and my heart. I can feel you coursing through my veins with every imagined beat of my pulse, like the blood that used to spread warmth and life through my body, before it was spread in a pool on the tiles in the upstairs bathroom of this very building.

How I long to be with you in the way your wife, Susan, is with you once or twice a week. I’ve felt you inside me (just this morning, you walked right through me on your way downstairs – didn’t you feel that little shiver?), but I’ve never had the honor of your undivided attention as you work your magic on my nether parts for two full minutes, in the way you do with Susan. She doesn’t deserve a man like you. I’ve tried to drop you subtle hints as such: the walls bleeding behind her when only you are looking; the shadows outside your window at night, shaking their heads disapprovingly and pointing at your, let’s face it, rather homely wife. But so far you haven’t taken steps to follow my advice.

In fact, recently I feel my attempts to reach you have been misinterpreted as childish attempts to scare you out of my home. This couldn’t be further from the truth, my dear Kevin! When you feel me sitting on the foot of your bed in the night, I am merely there to see to it that you have a peaceful sleep. When you hear the floorboards creak behind you while you’re all alone in the house I see the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. But all I want to do is follow you around and spend time with you. I’ve noticed that recently, you’ve been crying a lot and making inquiries with realtors about moving away from me. If only you could understand what I’m saying, I could convince you to stay and live out the rest of your days under my loving, watchful eyes.

That’s why I am writing this confession of my love to you on the kitchen wall in the blood your wife left in a nice little puddle on the counter top, after she somehow slipped while washing a carving knife. I’m sure once you return from the hospital, she’ll be stitched up, good as new. I don’t think any of the fingers were entirely severed.

Your wife just does not appreciate you the way I do. When she tells you to clean the gutters on the weekend, she does not understand that you work hard during the week and need that time on the weekend to rest indoors with me. When she tells you you can’t keep living a haunted house that wants you dead (and let me reassure you that I do not want you dead), she needs to learn to shut her goddamn mouth and take your word as law.

When I was alive, I was a fantastic wife to my husband, God rest his soul. I cooked his meals, mended his clothes and listened to every word he told me without ever running my mouth off at him, regardless of how ill-informed some of his opinions were. Please do not be put off by the fact that I killed both him and myself when it all became too much one night and he broke the bathroom mirror in a fit of rage. When I stabbed him in the chest with a shard of glass, it was a crime of passion — and should passion ever really be considered a crime? I wouldn’t ever lose my temper with you. I never want you to die; I hope to watch you grow old, as I never got to experience that part of life.

Well, the puddle of Susan’s blood is starting to run dry. I almost wish she’d cut herself deeper so that I could finish emptying out all that I have been longing to say for so long… But we must make do with what is at hand, I suppose. I’ll leave you with one parting thought. If that bitch wife of yours ever calls you a fat fuck again, it won’t be her hand that gets cut. Shall we just say that you will be receiving a much longer letter if that circumstance ever arises?

Take care of yourself, my dear — and know that I will be watching you too.

Forever with you in spirit,

Your Margaret

Limerick #1

This limerick is based on a common logic puzzle, which has already been parodied in the great web comic xkcd here: http://xkcd.com/1134/. The last line ends in the mother-of-all slant rhymes, but use your imagination and I think it works OK.

***

You can just take one thing in your boat:
A cabbage, a wolf, or a goat.
But goat wants the cabbage,
And wolf wants to ravage
The goat. What’s the best way to do ‘t?

http://xkcd.com/1134/