Tag Archives: absurd

Sad Person’s Club by Ian Starttoday

The Sad Person’s Club meets once a week

in a cramped church basement

It doesn’t matter why you’re sad

It could be divorce it could be the death of a loved one it could be the supermarket no longer stocks your favorite kind of frozen yogurt

We make an effort not to judge

 

There was a woman named Shelly once who was really distraught about tomatoes

When we asked her to elaborate

she told us to back off

and flashed her teeth

That was weird

 

But it’s up to you whether you want to talk

or not talk

The only rule we have is that you be sad

If you smile even once

perpetually mopey-faced Bruce will escort you to the door

and then you leave

 

One of our longest running members

once got a call mid-meeting

that his daughter had been born

Bruce came to him

wished him congratulations

but informed him that he had to leave this instant

 

Halfway to the door the man became very gloomy about having to leave

and told us so

We’re not monsters

so he was invited to stay

 

Then two of our members admitted

they were feeling very happy about this man’s good fortune at having brought a healthy baby into the world

and they were asked to leave

 

It was all very complicated

and not particularly sad

which is our business.

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Mango Salad by Stephen Mander

A man came into the post office today and asked for a chai latte. I said we didn’t have any. He didn’t believe me.

Are you sure? he said.

I said, look around. We sell envelopes, cards, boxes, jiffy bags. This is a post office, not a coffee shop.

He looked at the shelves then at the exchange rate board behind me and said: but I don’t need envelopes or anything like that. I need a coffee. A chai latte preferably. Why wouldn’t you sell them?

I said, because this is a post office. Post offices don’t generally sell coffee. It’s not what they’re for.

He looked confused, but you’re a shop, aren’t you? You sell things.

I said, yes, we are, and we do sell things. Just not coffee. You’re welcome to put it in the suggestion box, though, and I pointed at it.

He followed my finger there and back and said, you’re joking, right? This is a joke, yeah? Is there a camera around or something? Are we being filmed? Yeah, yeah, very funny. Okay, I get it. Now, can I have my latte?

I said, sorry, sir, this is not a joke. We don’t sell latte. The cafe up the road does, but we don’t. Why don’t you go there? It’s not so far.

He said, but I’m here. I came here. You were open. You were a shop. You must have latte. Some kind of coffee, at least.

I said, look, how many times have I got to tell you? We do not sell coffee. If anyone’s on some prank TV show, it’s you. Now, can you stop wasting my time? There are other customers for me to see.

The man turned around. The queue had been building. He said, but you need to deal with me first.

I said, I have. Next.

The woman behind him stepped forward. The man moved out of the way. I ignored him, smiled at the woman and said, what can I do for you?

She got a list out of her bag.

Mangoes, she said. Unripe ones. I’m making a salad.

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Stephen Mander is originally from Liverpool in the UK, but has lived and worked in Japan, Australia, Hungary, Slovakia, and Syria. He currently lives in Vietnam.

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The Bingo Sorceress by Justin Grimbol

“Are you wearing a sweat suit?” Bella asked.

“Maybe,” I said.

I was in the kitchen scavenging for crackers. And yes, I was wearing a black sweatshirt and black sweat pants. It was a sweat suit. It was true.

“You are wearing a sweat suit,” she said. “And it’s the creepiest, cutest sweat suit ever. Have you left the house yet today?”

Bella was my wife and she had just come home from work and she looked happy to see me, regardless of the sweat suit and my freaked-out, cave-dweller appearance.

She even gave me a hug.

“I love you,” she said.

“You’re hugging me too tightly,” I said.

She let go and rolled her eyes.

“So, what did you do today?” she asked.

“I worked on stuff.”

“Like what?”

“Writing stuff.”

“What kinda writing stuff?”

“Just stuff.”

I looked at the light in the kitchen.

“Have you been in the house all day?” she asked.

I looked at her face. I loved that face. I loved her big eyes and her dirty blonde hair and her goofy expressions.

I stared at her face awhile.

“Wow. You are really out of it,” she said.

“I’m so out of it right now. I haven’t been out all day and I feel cray cray.”

She laughed. Bella loved the term “cray cray.”

And I usually loved Bella’s bouncy laughter. But it was too much for me right then.

“You don’t get it. I feel like shit. I wanted to ride my bike, but there was too much snow and ice. It’s a snowpocalypse out there.”

Bella laughed. She also loved the term “snowpocalypse.” She thought that she had invented it, but I was the one who had invented it.

“I invented that word,” she said.

“Can we please not fight right now, I’ve had a rough day.”

“You’ve had a rough day. I had a doozy of a day,” Bella said.

She started listing all the things that happened at work. She worked as a recreational coordinator at a neurological center. She worked with the kids. They had a variety of issues. Some couldn’t talk or even move much. Most of them had behavioral issues. Biting and headbutting were fairly normal. So was poop-throwing. One kid liked to swallow shoes. That’s right, whole shoes.

Earlier that day, she had asked this one kid to go to bed. He called her a “fat bitch.” He wanted to stay up eating cookies and watching TV. That was understandable enough. Bella suggested a compromise. Maybe he could have one more cookie and even a chocolate milk, but he had to go to bed. “Fuck your compromise, fat bitch,” the kid said. Then as she was walking down the hall she saw the kid’s little middle fingers poking in and out of his room.

“And then there’s this one kid,” she went on. “He calls me ‘Hairy Armpits.’ And now all the kids call me that.”

I smiled. I liked that nickname. It was a good nickname.

She had hairy armpits cause of me. I thought they were sexy. When we first started dating, I asked her to grow her armpit hair out and she agreed.

Bella kept listing off crazed things the kids in her program had done.

But it all sounded adorable to me. And I could tell she wasn’t really bothered by it either.

Her last job was much rougher.

The kids threw poop at her almost every other day and she got headbutted frequently.

One time a kid right in front of her dug out a bunch of poop and then grabbed her hair. It took five men to pry the kid off of her. She lost a bunch of hair and she smelled poopy for days.

This new job was easy by comparison. And she knew that.

Still, she liked to bitch.

“You need to cut your hair,” she said, switching subjects.

“What? No,” I said. “I want my hair to be long and powerful.”

“Honey, you’re balding. When you have long hair you just look creepy. Plus you need to start looking for a job.”

“I know, you’re right.”

“What do you want for dinner?” she asked.

“Let’s skip dinner and go to Bingo night,” I said.

“Should we?”

“Fuck it, we’ve both had rough days. You got called out on your hairy armpits and I had my wife call me a creepy bald guy.”

She nodded.

“Do we have the money?”

“We’ll take some out of our savings.”

She got excited and started hopping around the house, clapping her hands and making weird noises.

I loved it when Bella got excited like that.

I loved watching her.

She was so goofy. So goofy it went right past clumsy and awkward and became something beautiful.

And she had a good laugh. It was loud and sloppy. It took guts to have a laugh like that.

Guts and a big butt. My wife had a big butt. A big, warm butt. A stinky butt. I was sure that big butt was linked to her laugh somehow. The secret to that laugh was in there. I just had to find it. With my face.

“Look at my butt!” she said, as she was changing out of her work clothes.

“It’s my butt. Not yours.”

I grabbed it. And squeezed.

She slapped my hand away and ran off, laughing.

*****

We drove to the Ivanhoe, this cozy Irish pub on Main Street in Racine, Wisconsin.

There was barely anybody there. I figured it was going to be easy to win.

We ordered dark, dark stouts and some bingo cards.

The girl reading the numbers was drunk and she was acting belligerent and wild and that wildness made all the unfunny things she said hilarious. Even though she had a weak chin and no hips and tacky highlights in her hair, I wanted to cuddle with her and smell her butt a little.

But I held my wifey close, hoping she could protect my chubby body against this bingo sorceress and her boozy magic.

“O 69,” she called out.

And everyone laughed.

Things got rowdy.

I got rowdy.

Every time I got a number, I hooted and hollered and acted nuts.

But, even though there were only six people in the bar, I didn’t win a single game.

Some old guy bought us shots.

There was a muscle-bound, middle-aged dude at the bar. He grabbed Bella’s butt while she was walking to the bathroom.

I looked at him. It wasn’t a mean look or an angry look. Just a look.

I was thinking, man, this guy looks like a gym teacher.

The guy caught me staring. At first I thought he was going to fight me, but then he apologized for grabbing my wife’s ass. And bought me a beer.

I drank the beer.

Bella came back.

The guy bought her a beer as well.

Bella laughed and rolled her eyes.

Bella, the old ass grabber, and I raised our glasses and made a toast.

“BUTTS ARE AWESOME!” I yelled.

Bella cheered.

The old butt grabber shook his head and turned away from us.

I kissed Bella on the mouth.

Her breath was foul, but I liked it that way.

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Justin Grimbol is the author of THE PARTY LORDS, THE CREEK and THE CRUD MASTERS. He lives in Racine, Wisconsin. He’s kinda stinky.

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