Friday, November 11, 2011

Flash Fridays: On Light

Do you like short stories? Do you like really short stories? Do you like Tin House? Do you like me? Do you like big, hot, sloppy combinations of all these things smashed together? If you answered no to any or all of these questions, then I have no idea how you got to this blog post. Unless it's because I tagged it with the keywords Justin Bieber, Twilight, Sports, and McGriddle.

If you came to this blog in pursuit of those things, then I apologize for the confusion. Also, I'd like to point out that it's never too late to try new things. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge Biebernaut. And my only complaint about McGriddles is that I don't think they've pushed the concept of pancake sandwiches far enough. But if you've never read a piece of flash fiction, I think you're missing out on an experience that, while infinitely different from indulging in The Biebs and some McGrids, is still pretty darn great.

That's why I'm incredibly proud to be contributing to Tin House's Flash Fridays, which highlights a new piece of flash fiction every Friday. You can read my story here. Huge thanks to Tin House, and to you for checking it out.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Way I Like It

I like my women the same way I like my cars, powerful and easy on the eye. I like my cars the same way I like my coffee, expensive and well-made. I like my eggs the same way I like my fighter jets, scrambled. I like my rama lammas the same way I like my ding dongs, in songs that I can't remember the lyrics to. I like my nieces the same way I like my nephews, equally. I like my relief the same way I like my sans-serif fonts, comic. I like my alligators the same way I like my crocodiles, which is lucky.

I like my appletinis the same way I like my crantinis, ordered by a friend so that no one knows they're for me. I like my pencils the same way I like my rubber bands, turned into miniature catapults. I like my people the same way I like my analog clocks, with hands, a face, and on Mountain Time. I like my heads of lettuce the same way I like my firecrackers... kaboom! We're talking lettuce everywhere.

I like my cloth diapers the same way I like my disposable diapers, on babies, monkeys, and old people. I like my geeks the same way I like my nerds, sitting over there with the dorks. I like my ups the same way I like my downs, diagonal. I like my indoors the same way I like my outdoors, separated from one another by a continuous partition such as a house or a dome. I like my thingamajigs the same way I like my whatsits, with a certain je ne sais quoi. I like my cabbage rods the same way I like my taco cats, thought up by me while on cold medicine. I like my dislikes the same way I like my likes, with a pattern that is in keeping with my fundamental perspective as a human being. I like my fundamental perspective as a human being the same way I like my cars, zipping all over the place and going vroom.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Selling Out: My New Life As An Ad Man

I moved to New York City for one very important reason: TO SELL OUT. Don't get me wrong, living the life of a scrappy, rambunctious short story writer with $8 in his checking account was not without its charms. There were many moments of artistic fulfillment and the sort of raw exhilaration that comes from suffering hardships in order to indulge a true passion. But within that dream, there was another dream of one day spending my Saturday afternoons wandering around a Crate & Barrel looking for a fancy end table with my live-in girlfriend Natasha.

In order to accomplish this second dream, I'm going to have to make a lot more money. Natasha doesn't work, because she's imaginary. So the financial burden of this fantasy rests squarely on my shoulders.

That's why I have decided to work in advertising. Like the poet Lew Welch (who famously coined the phrase Raid Kills Bugs Dead during a stint as an ad man), I've decided to use my creative powers to make a little folding money. I have put together a quick portfolio showcasing some of my advertising work. Unfortunately, since I haven't worked for any real clients, the products below are ones that I made up. In any event, please pass this portfolio along to anyone who you think would be interested in hiring me:

Product: Seth Farm Pigeon Butter
Slogan: Seth Farm Pigeon Butter. It's the pigeon butter that's a smidgen better.

Seth is seen walking up a gentle hill. He is dressed as an Amish person. He speaks to the camera, smiling.

Seth: Here at Seth Farm, we've been striving to bring you the best pigeon butter possible since 1994. It's something we take seriously.

Seth's face becomes gravely serious. His nostrils flare. Then, suddenly, he begins smiling again.

Seth: We use only the finest pigeon milk...

Cut to shot of pigeons, also dressed like Amish people, stirring giant vats filled with pigeon milk.

Seth: ...and the butter is churned by the pigeons themselves.

Slow fade to a shot of Amish pigeons dreamily churning butter.

Seth: But don't take my word for it. The proof is in the pigeon butter.

Seth spreads pigeon butter onto a piece of toast and bites into it.

Seth: Lumpy. The way pigeon butter should be... Take it away boys!

A jug band comprised of Amish pigeons clamors up the hill next to Seth and begins playing Stars And Stripes Forever.

Voice over: Seth Farm Pigeon Butter. It's the pigeon butter that's a smidgen better.


Product: Sethtel Baby Cellphones
Slogan: God bless the child that's got a phone.

Seth is standing in front of a piano dressed in a beautiful evening gown. He is singing in the style of Billie Holiday.

Seth: Momma may have ...

Cut to a shot of a woman talking on a cellphone.

Seth's voice (over the video): Poppa may have ...

Transition to a shot of a man talking on a cellphone.

Seth's voice: But God bless the child that's got a phone...

Transition to a shot of a baby chewing on the corner of a Sethtel Baby Cellphone.

Seth's voice: That's got a phone...

Screen shows video of the man and the woman putting the baby in its crib and kissing it goodnight. They turn to leave the room. Suddenly, the woman gets a text. It says, "I love you." They look back and see that the baby has fallen asleep with his Sethtel Baby Cellphone in his hand. They smile. Video transitions back to Seth standing in front of the piano.

Seth: He just worries 'bout nothing. Because he's got a phone.

Seth winks.