mr. right

I met my date at the Saint Benedict Hotel. He was sitting in an easy chair with a drink in his hand. First impression: a bit coarse for me. The shaggy distracted look of an armchair anarchist.

“Are you all right?” I said. “I’m Poppy.”

“Where did you spring up from?” he said. “You’ve given me a start.”

“I’ve just come from Westminster,” I said. “I work for the MP from Aberavon.”

“Bloody hell,” he said. “Plague on both your houses.”

“Oi, you are an anarchist.”

“Don’t vote – the government always wins.”

“Speaking of voting,” I said, “so far I’m giving you nought out of ten on the dating site.”

“If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.”

“Ta ta,” I said.

“Hang on,” he said. “I told them you’d pay for the drinks.”

for On-line Writer’s Guild

till my dying day

I’ve just earned my degree from a prominent for-profit online university. As soon as I come up with $30,000 I’ll receive my diploma and be ready to get out into the community and begin healing the many psycopaths and fruitcakes that abound on the streets.

I can’t legally practice psychiatry but I can treat the deranged, as long as I don’t get caught, and I can prescribe medications (which I already deal).

The subject of my graduate thesis was When Folks Say “I won’t do such-and- such till the day I die,” Do They Mean It? I live next to the city’s largest cemetary, so for a year I went over and interviewed the bereaved on the subject. I had to put up with a lot of tears and some anger, but I got my stats.

10% of the dead used the expression when alive.

Of those, 75% did not realize that the day they died was going to be the day they died. Hence they had no opportunity to do the thing they weren’t going to do till that day.

Of those who knew they were going to kick the bucket on that particular day, and were correct, 60% did not do the thing they were not going to do till the day they died, even though the day they were going to die had arrived.

Of those who now were ready to do the thing they weren’t going to do till that day, 90% were unable to do it, physically. However, they were able to go on record as willing and wanting to do it, even though they couldn’t.

Of those who now were ready to do the thing they weren’t going to do till that day and were physically able to do it, 50% were restrained or otherwise prevented from doing it by their kin or medical staff. In one case, the restraint itself occasioned the party’s death.

Of those who now were ready to do the thing and able to do it as well, !00% did it, often to the discomfiture of their kin.

for the New, On-line, Unofficial Writers Guild

apocalypse

we always knew that after the crash, groups would form. folks looking out for each other, up to a point.

we always knew that groups would become tribes and tribes would compete with each other for what was left in the world.

no worries about the survivors, the groups, the tribes on other continents or even on the other side of the mountains or river.

it would be us against the tribes that surrounded us and the tribes that roved. us against them as we balanced competition and cooperation amongst ourselves.

Lots and lots of space, land, water, forest, plains for all, but not lots and lots of food. We’ll solve that problem by killing some more of each other.

We go out and search for individuals hunting or gathering fruits and greens and roots. Round ’em up. Am I smart enough to know the difference between rovers, neighbors, and those far away enough to offer no threat? After burying my friends before we leave, it doesn’t matter.

for the Online Writer’s Guild

HR

“Don’t get up, gentlemen,” I say.

Shouldn’t have said that. Nobody was going to get up. Bad start.

“We’ve called you here because we have an employee who should probably be let go,” says Brad, the head of Engineering.

“Sorry. That’s not really my call,” I say.

Shouldn’t have said that.

“Of course it’s not your call,” Brad says, doing that thing with a pen where it wends its way through your fingers. “Just because you’re in HR, don’t start getting high and mighty. You’re a counselor. We want you to counsel this employee. You’re her last chance.”

I lift my head back up. Got to stop letting it hang when I’m corrected.

“Sorry. What’s her problem?” I say.

Shouldn’t have said that.

She doesn’t have a problem,” Brad says. “Just ask her. She’ll tell you, no problem. We’re the ones with the problem. Her.”

“Sorry,” I say. “What does she do that constitutes your problem?”

“Stop saying you’re sorry. You’re a counselor… Evelyn tells us that she’s decided to live her life in better balance. On the computer, she’ll only do her work with her right hand. She’s right-handed but she uses her left to do only what she refers to as personal work.”

“Sorry about saying sorry. I’ll do better… I presume when I interview her, I should look her in the right eye and speak toward her right ear.”

Brad looks at me like a lot of people look at me. I detect my head beginning to hang and bring it back up.

“Sorry,” I say.

for The Online Writer’s Guild

haiku

no meteor this time
when it all goes wrong for life
humans take the blame

for The New, Unofficial, One-Line Writers’ Guild

for The New, Unofficial, On-line Writer’s Guild (OLWG)