Hot Laundry

The first night after my parents’ divorce just happened to be laundry night. My brothers and I were sitting on the couch enjoying a television program when, all of a sudden and out of nowhere, Dad dumped hot laundry on us. My brothers and I giggled as we rolled around in the clothy warmth of shirts and socks fresh out of the dryer. Dad giggled too.

Every night thereafter for a year Dad would dump hot laundry on us. He would take clean clothes from our drawers and dirty clothes from the hamper and put all of them in the dryer and once we heard that buzzer laboring its vocation, my brothers and I would look to one another, knowing we were all about to embark on an epic giggle-fit.

We would always giggle with the same, or sometimes greater, tenacity…until one day, my eldest brother, Travis, tragically stubbed his toe. No amount or temperature of laundry dumped was a match for the resilience of his mopery. The next night there would be no hot laundry…for us anyway.

After that, Dad was always dumping hot laundry on something: the TV, the car, park-benches, stray dogs, but never us. Dad had taken Travis’ knife out his back before thrusting it into all of us, and every empty chair or box of frozen corn-dogs that got a load of hot laundry dumped on it was a slight, but painful twist of that knife.

Whisper Milk

For the better part of my life I thought you couldn’t milk a whisper, because I thought whispers were never mothers. One night on my brother’s front porch, he said, “What are you, nuts? Whispers aren’t A-sexual.” I asked him if he wouldn’t mind milking one for me. He rolled his eyes and downed his wine. With hands cupped over mouth, he slowly rubbed his thumb and forefinger as he spoke in a hushed manner. I watched drop after drop of pale white fall into his wine glass. After a sizable gulp had collected, he passed the glass to me. I thought to myself, “Fresh whisper milk must be the sweetest milk in the world,” but as it turns out, you can barely even taste it.

Shark Teeth

If I had my way, I’d replace my human teeth with shark teeth. People would have to be crazy not to fear me.

“Are you going to Jill’s Christmas party this year, Gwen?” Ron would ask.
“I don’t think so. I heard Mark ‘the shark’ Peterson will be there,” Gwen would respond.
“Oh,” Ron would say. “Maybe I’ll stay in and check my e-mail instead.”

What respect!

Wailing On My Delts

Sometimes when I’m working out, really wailing on my delts, I’ll think about all the girls with whom I’ve had sexual intercourse over the years and I’ll completely forget to stop wailing on my delts. Then I’m sore in the morning because the list of girls is so long that the time it takes to recall all of them is way too long to be wailing on your delts. Last time this happened, I thought I tore something, so I went to the doctor and he said, “What’s the problem?” I said, “I was wailing on my delts too hard.” And then he said, “It shows. You look great!” And I said, “Thanks, doc.” And then he said, “Lots of women must want to have sex with you because of your well-toned body.” And then I laughed and said, “Well, there’ve been a few.” And then he laughed because he knew I was understating the situation.

16 – The Only Reason to Murder a Cowboy

There is nothing in the world more sad than a cowboy watching American Idol.

Starving children.
Global warming.
Endless war.

These are all sad things. But not one of these sad things is as sad as a cowboy who watches American Idol on a regular basis.

One might think it’s funny to see a cowboy sitting on his recliner in stark opposition to the program that shines over him. But this would be an errant notion. You’d want to get rid of that idea. It’s not funny.

It’s sad.

My Grandpa is a cowboy. Not a teenage girl.

He should be basking in the starlight by a gentle campfire somewhere. Cooking beans in an old pot. A rifle by his bedroll in case a coyote comes for the horses.

Do coyotes even eat horses?

I like Indians too. But the idea of them watching American Idol isn’t nearly as depressing to me. Maybe because everything about being an Indian these days is depressing.

Cowboys aren’t depressing. They are awesome. Awesome hats. Awesome boots. Awesome guns. Awesome horses. And awesome old-timey things to say that make every moment complete. Everything about them is awesome.

Everything except them watching American Idol and voting for their favorite idol using the touch-tone pad of their telephone.

I have an Uncle who has cancer. Stomach or something. That’s depressing too, but I bet cowboys get cancer all the time. It’s a noble way to go. I wish my Grandpa had the cancer that my Uncle has.

Everyone else loves, and seems to enjoy, American Idol and my Grandpa seems happy when he tunes in. But still, I just want to smother him with a pillow.

If not the pillow maybe I’d gun him down in the middle of the street. We’d both cry man-size tears as I hold his head in my hand. He’d look up to me and say:

“Thank you, my boy…thank you for making me a real cowboy again.”

I’d say, “Your welcome, Grandpa.”

Then he’d die and I’d have to haul his body by horseback to some special resting place in Montana or something.

But it’d be worth it. I love him too much for American Idol.




Short Stories

Whisperings & Shoutables

The Pursuit



Shapes, sizes, creeds and colors!



29 Films in 29 Days

The Penny Jam