Thursday, May 26, 2011

Two Shorts


Cardboard Coyote

While driving I-80 up to Evanston, Wyoming, we noticed something flapping in the road like a cardboard box that had fallen from the back of a pickup. One side of the box had been run over and the contents flattened to the road the way uncooked bacon sticks to the pan. We stayed in the lane and kept our eyes on the object. When we got close enough, the cruise control still set at eighty, we could see the coyote, its back half pinned to the road as if it had been mixed with the gravel and bulldozed down. The upper portion, the front legs and head were still trying to run, and it had been this that constituted the flapping. We watched it struggle, not knowing it already died and half its spine useless, up to greet our grill. We heard the thud and looked back to see the head trundling across the highway leaving red marks wherever it touched while it front legs suffered the same outcome as the hinds. We would have changed lanes in time to hit it had we been in the other. That’s just the only way to act humane. 


The Great Chain of Being: Modern Times

A thirty-four year old man living in his parent’s basement set the network of new society into action when he asked, “Mom will you get me some pudding from the fridge.”
“Get it yourself, you lazy prick, she responded, turning up the volume to Desperate Housewives. The man turned to his dad. “Dad, you don’t think I’m a prick, do you?” His father remarked, “I call em how I see em, and you are a prick.” This unsettled the boy. Next morning he stood in the office of the mayor’s office. “How did you get in here?” The mayor raised the question. “Never mind that, the question is, does anything in my demeanor constitute my being a prick.” The mayor laughed, and told the boy, “I’ve known you all my life, boy, and besides standing erect, yes, you are a major prick.” Next morning, the man entered the capitol and the office of the senator. “How did you get past my secretary?” The senator seemed stumped. “Never mind that, the question is, do you think I might be a prick?” The senator stood up and put his fist on the mahogany desk to look like an angry gorilla. “You are the most audacious prick I’ve met in quite some time. Now get out of my office.” The man went home and put his headphones on so he didn’t have to hear his parent’s complaining about how little he did around the house. He felt determined to ask a catholic priest first thing tomorrow morning whether he was a prick or not and get an inspired answer. A priest knew a prick when he saw one.

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