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.”