Monday, May 29, 2023

Here and There

Art by Shelby D.

"You can't get there from here," Abe said, thumbs in the straps of his overalls. Zeke nodded along.

"How does one get there?" I asked.

"You don't."

"What do you mean you don't?"

"It's real simple: you're either here or there. Can't be in both."

"Can't be both." Zeke added.

""I don't want to be in both," I explained again. "I don't want to be here; I want to be there. There has to be some way - however circuitous - to get there from here."

The two men looked at each other for a moment and then looked back to me. Abe contorted his mouth in such a way that the piece of straw hanging from his lips switched sides.

"So you don't want to be here?" he said.


"And you want to be-" he extended the question with a wide sweep of his arm- "over there?"


"Well you can't get there from here."

Zeke nodded again as if it was a revelation.

"How does one get there then!?" I hollered.

"Not from here, that much I know."

"There are people there though, right?"


"How'd they get there?"

"Made different choices along the path I reckon."

"Different paths," Zeke echoed.

"Then I'll backtrack a bit and make different choices."

"Too late for that mister," Abe said.

"Too late, too late," Zeke, for his part, made the words sound like condolences.

"What do you mean it's too late?"

"Well, mister, I hate to break it to you, but you're dead."

"What do you mean I'm dead?"

"Just that. This is your hell, we're your demons, and you're never getting-" another wide sweep of the arm- "over there."

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Rainbows and Lollipops

Art by Bria

"It's not all rainbows and lollipops you know."

I looked at the man in white overalls covered in splashes of color.

"It looks like it's a bit of rainbows and lollipops though," I ventured. "You look like you play paintball with Keebler Elves."

"No I don't," the man protested.

"You're covered in colors!" I pointed out.

"Yeah, and what are the Keebler Elves known for?"

The question threw me for a second.

"Cookies?" I managed.

"Fudge cookies. Not exclusively, of course, but fudge nonetheless." He gestured at the stains. "Do these look like fudge stains to you?"

"No?" I said.

"Exactly." He punctuated his statement with a finger pointed aggressively at my chest. "If you're going to work in this business you need to know. Rainbows, kid - who does rainbows?"

"Uh," I paused for a long moment. "Skittles?"

"Good! 'Taste the rainbow.'" He said, relaxing back for a moment. "I would have allowed Nerds or M&Ms due to the candy coating too, but saying 'you played paintball in a Skittles factory' would have been good."

"Why do I have to know this sort of thing?" I asked.

"Because they're friggin' fussy is why. Sometimes a real pain in the toosh. Speaking of which, did you have covid recently?"

"Yeah, how'd you know?"

"And your sense of smell hasn't recovered?" he continued.

"Yeah," I repeated slower. "How'd you know?"

He grinned.

"You might be just the person I need right now."

"How'd you know I had covid?" I demanded.

"This isn't rainbows and lollipops, kid," he said, gesturing at his overalls again. "This is unicorn shit."

Saturday, May 13, 2023


Art by Erik

“Are you hungry or something?”

“What? No! Yes! What do you mean?”

“You said you were going into ‘gobbling’ mode.”

“Ugh. Mom. ‘Goblin’ mode. Like the creatures. Don’t you know anything?”

“Apparently not! And what does this ‘gobbling mode’ entail?”

“Goblin, mom. Goblin. I’m going to go crazy and not take care of myself and make a big mess and stuff.”


“And what?”

“And what makes that different than any other day?”

“It’s goblin mode.”

“I’ve seen your room young man.”

“What about it?”

“It looks like you’ve been in ‘gobbling mode’ for years now.”

“Goblin mode, mom. Jeez.”

“And what makes that different than your normal mess?”

“It’s not my normal mess! I’m in goblin mode. I’m crazy! I don’t give a shit about the rules!”

“Watch your mouth!”

“Sorry mom.”

“Well, the question stands: are you hungry?”

“I… yes?”

“And what do goblins eat, I wonder.”

“I don’t know? Trash?”

“I’m not feeding you trash. Your dad might, but that’s why I don’t let him cook. What else do goblins eat?”

“Travelers? Squirrels? I don’t know.”

“How about sloppy joes?”


“Okay hon. I’ll make some sloppy joes for you to go goblin mode on tonight if you clean your room.”

“That’s not how it works, mom.”

“It is if you want sloppy joes.”

“... okay.”


Art by Jake D.

“How would you split the word ‘helicopter’?”


“It was a simple question. How would you split the word ‘helicopter’?”

“Uhm, heli and copter, I suppose.”

“Of course you would. That’s what most people would do.”

“Was that incorrect?”

“Now? What is correct? What is incorrect? I’d argue that you’re fine, given the evolution of the English language. We refer to ‘helipads’ or ‘helilift’ which, obviously, are the combination of ‘heli’ and another word, referring to an association with helicopter.”

“Something like the famous Schwarzenegger line ‘get to the chopper!’”

“Precisely - a split, in English, of heli and copter. Your example is also a good example of language evolution. We’ve turned copter into chopper and have no issue with the grammatical shift.”

“No cap?”

“No cap.”

“Sorry, Sir, I had to. With the joke aside, how would you split helicopter?”

“If you’re following the roots, it would be ‘helico’ and ‘pter’.”


“Like pterodactyl - winged finger. And you’ve certainly heard of DNA being a ‘double helix,’ right? Same root as helico.”

“That makes sense, I suppose.”

“But that’s not to say you’re wrong - English is its own thing. Like how the plural of ‘octopus’ in English is ‘octopuses’!”

“I thought it was ‘octopi’?”

“That would be a Latin plural on a Greek word. ‘Octopodes’ would be more correct, but again we’re speaking English.”

“This is all super interesting! I’ll have to remember it.”

“Here comes Sergeant Horden - ask him my question.”

“Sergeant Horden! How would you split ‘helicopter’?”

“Sir! With a Stinger missile, sir.”

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Friday, March 17, 2023

St. Pat's Limericks

 I run a weekly writing group. This week I assigned folks a task: write a limerick. These are their submissions.


Tonight I had a great stew

But suddenly I had to go poo

I shotgunned a beer

Said, "I'll go here"

Now the carpet is damp as the morning dew


Can't write a limerick

Have a limp dick

Still digesting my beef stew

I really ain't got a clue

But I came up with this real quick


An elevator once I did ride

With a man who kept me on the side

His shaft I did stroke

His girth- not a joke!

And I let him dump his payload inside


A detective well-known for his snooping

Went to search in the bathroom while coop-ing

Then he heard a loud sound

And guess what he found!

A criminal failing at duping


There once was a man named Chester

Who was an expert digester

He had a Master of Arts

In belches and farts

And a Bachelor's in obscene gesture


The new toy just couldn't wait

So I stayed up much too late

I played 'til morn

But remain forlorn

I still can't seem to syncopate

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Let me tell you a story about Jack Pullit.

Jack Pullit lives in a small town with his three daughters in a modest house that's the best he can afford on a widowers income. It's a loving family - what they lack in money they make up for in heart. They're generous with their time and generally kind to their neighbors and are now considered good, upstanding citizens.

You may have noticed I said "now" - they were not always so beloved. There is one family trait that did not endear them to their neighbors: the Pullits are tricksters.

If ever there was a more rambunctious crew I've not heard of it. The family pulled off all the classics - a pail of water booby trapping a door? The oldest and middle daughter became amateur acrobats shimmying up doorframes or wardrobes while the youngest handed them the pail. Whoopie cushions, "rattlesnake" letters, and the ever-present "look what's in this squeeze bottle" were just the way the family bonded. The neighborhood accepted this begrudgingly - and sometimes through shoe-polish-ringed eyes

The prank that endeared the family to the community, however, was the biggest prank Jack ever pulled. It actually got them some regional notoriety. Through hook or crook - or possibly a favor on a slow news day - Jack got an article published in a nearby city's newspaper. I can't remember the exact details, but it was an advertisement for a contest at the local pub jazzed up with the offer of a free "toy Yoda" or "Chevy blazer" (like the jacket) or some similarly outlandish claim. Rubes from the city would come to town, pay good money, and learn of the deception far too late (and to the absolute delight of Jack and the kids). Locals eventually came to appreciate the joke, the family, and the touristy dollars that came their way.

In fact, if you ever visit Jack's town, a local might ask you if you've won the Pullit Surprise!

Rich and the Goat (Guest Author)

As mentioned in the title, this is a guest post. Credit to Glynnis.

"Goats. Picture it," said Rich. "Don't they need elevators, too?" Billy eyed Rich, his horizontal pupils unnerving. "Bahhhh" Billy bleated. matter-of-factly. 

"That's a good point, but I genuinely feel it lacks any sort of nuance." Rich hovered over the blueprints sprawled on the table. "Do you think we could charge a fee? We gotta recoup the costs somewhere, the insurance company really has us by the... horns," Rich remarked, dryly. 

"BEHHHHH!" shouted Billy, angry launching his Smith & Wesson on the formica counter, released from his cloven hoof. He was frustrated with the endless bureaucracy. The Kafka-esque red tape, unending phone chains, and constant greasing of the wheels for simple permits and licences. Billy snorted in disgust, lifted his tufted tail, and deposited a load on the rug.

"You need more fiber, my friend. You want a scoop of Metamucil in your...Wait, what is it that you're drinking?" Rich gestured to Billy's mug, then picked up the beer bottle to inspect it. "Billy Beer? I thought they stopped making this shit after the Carter administration?"

"Beh-eh-eh-eh," explained Billy. "That's right, I forgot about your diplomatic back-channels. What was it like working with Cheyney?" inquired Rich.

"Ehhhhh" replied Billy, rolling his ochre eyes. Billy fumbled in his bag, extracted a Marlboro Red, and carefully lit the end. Biden had outlawed his favorite Menthols, so his inhalation was shaky and irritated. Billy tapped a bifurcated hoof on a drainage tunnel, giving a knowing glance to Rich.

"You noticed that too, huh? I figure we could cough up some extra 'play money' by paying tribute to the Sinaloa cartel- they can have an avenue to move their own shit around. Call it... diplomacy," chuckled Rich. Billy took a slow drag on his stale cigarette, and sneezed abruptly in frustration. Rich nodded in agreement. "If we can pull this damn project off, my friend, you'll have no problem providing for your kids. I know how shitty your 401k has gone- believe me, pensions are a thing of the past now."

Suddenly, the door was split horizontally, daylight slicing through the dark smoky room. "OPEN UP! POLICE!" 

Rich and Billy exchanged horrified looks; Billy's wide eyes darted to the pistol on the counter. Rich shook his head slowly, a silent "NO" escaping from his wretched face, as Billy reached over to pick up the gun. He produced a large magazine from his London Fog camel trenchcoat.

"Beh-eh-eh-eh" he said quietly, loaded up a round, cocked the hammer, and unloaded the magazine.

Rich Beyer Chronicles (2) Guest Author

As mentioned in the title, this is a guest post. Credit to Glynnis.

The elevator doors slide open. The light spills on a well-defined but mature chest; dry-aged like a quality Costco wagyu. The scene is lit only by an emergency halogen bulb standing on guard outside of the hallway.

Rich Beyer steps out of the dingy elevator, and realizes he's on the wrong floor. "Basement?" he cries. "Shit. I meant to go to the sub-basement." He steps back into the car, his half-torn sustainable organic bamboo shirt mopping up thimbles of saline from his soft shoulders as he reaches a gnarled finger to select the proper floor.

Rich takes- or rather, attempts to take- a deep breath into his dry-rotted cigarette filled lungs, coughs, and hacks up a gritty loogie. He does not spit, he swallows. He certainly can't ruin the floor of his Schindler passenger class 330XL Traction elevator... Rich steps out of the elevator car in the sub basement and pauses, allowing the ambient heartbeat of the building pour into his hirsute disc-like ears.

"Hello?" he called warily. "Who the FUCK is in my sub basement?" Silence answers his demand. The contractor's pallets of caulk load into the hallway, and Rich surveys his immediate area with caution. 

"Hi there," drips a voice from the shadows. She steps out behind a forklift, and saunters in front of Rich. A tall-ish woman- 5'7"- with a clump of curly black hair and pubescent bangs joining her unmanicured eyebrows meets his eyes. Rich stares in silence, not sure how to respond to this mystery woman. She ejaculates a deep, throaty cackle, and her 38 C bosom ripples the Phish logo on her ancient t shirt. 

"What's your name, sweetheart?" Rich growls. "I am pretty sweaty..." she says. "My name is GOD."

"God? Really?" responds Rich, a quizzical look on his Quizno's stuffed face. Rich wasn't a church-going man, of course. Particularly after finding his name appear on the shit list of the local Episcopalians after indulging in too many unconsecrated communion wafers and unholy Boone's Farm in 1978.

"That's all you need to know about me," purred God rather breastfully. Rich chuckled at the woma- uh, God- in front of him. He always wondered if God was a brunette.

"Does the celestial carpet match the Earthly drapes?" trawled Rich. God giggled and then suddenly enveloped herself in Rich's personal space. "You don't know what I'm capable of," cooed God as she waltzed by him, ovulating. 

"Can I ask you a personal question?" she added. Rich nodded. "Have you ever checked anyone's scalp for lice?" she asked a very confused Rich. 

"...No, I haven't," he replied slowly. "I didn't realize they had lice in the Heavenly Firmament."

"No worries," she offered. "I'll show you how," as she kneeled on her knees in front of Rich's stationary bosom. Prepared as always, Rich produced a lice comb from his breast pocket, and started to part the scalp of God like a discount working class Moses.

"You got nits," muttered Rich, as he hesitantly parsed his way through God's cerebral forest."


Rich Beyer Chronicles (1) Guest Author

As mentioned in the title, this is a guest post. Credit to Glynnis.

Rich cracks his knuckles as the button on the Schindler 500A-TB220 casts a sudden pale light on his...SEXUAL face. His rough hands knew the intimate touch of pulley weights, counter-balances, and endless gears of so many kinds of elevators- industrial, freight, grain, passenger... He had caressed their mechanical shafts, greased with industrial petroleum-based lubricant. 

"Going up? Or...Down?" his heated breath whispered in my ear, a haze of Marlboro reds hanging on his sparse... SEXUAL head...Rich deftly scoops me up in his grizzled working class arms and carries me over the threshold as his water eyes undress me. "My double-reinforced pulley shaft is waiting for your doubled bonded steel rope cable," I murmur breathlessly. 

His face lights up, and suddenly turns serious as he puts me down gently. "Safety first, hon" as he conducts a thorough inspection, designated by the county Department of Weights and Measures. His whips his massive rod out of his sun-bleached Carhart coveralls, and uses it to delicately measure the pressure differential in the hydraulic lift column.

"Is that thing metric or... Imperial?" I ask. "I guess you could say it uses...Freedom Units," he muses coquettishly. He takes out his 3/8" torque wrench and head, opens my Patagonia micro fleece vest, and applies the wrench to my ragingly hard nipples. I grasp his Union-made pole, and begin pumping rhythmically. "You like that? Does it measure up to ASME A17.1 Safety Code for Elevators?" I grin, SEXUALLY. 

"Baby, you're giving me no choice but to leverage your hand as a fortified spontaneous hoistway- you're turning me into an escalator!" he gasps.

"CERTIFY ME! OH, GOD, certify me under your tumescent CSAB44-21 Standards! Sign off on me, baby! Loop those letters! OPERATE THIS PUSSY!"

"I'M GONNA LAND YOU! Oh God, oh God..." Rich slumps over, heaving, shaking, sweating. He grunts as his guide rail fixing cable unleashes in my swollen counterweight buffer receptacle. Lights flash before my clouded bright eyes, and we collapse into each other, bosoms heaving like some kind of SEXUAL dying star.

He pulls out a clipboard, pen, and manual, and removes his horn-rimmed glasses from his front pocket. Rich motions for me to turn around, and inscribes some sort of code in his Bic Velocity which read: 

10-03-22 Rich Beyer 4673