creative writing

A Patreon for a No-Name Blogger with Very Little to Offer in Return

Hello loyal readers/Aunts Kathy & Diana. Thank you for your continued support of my blog! I really appreciate you slogging through almost three years of stories about/reminiscent of turd to drive those traffic numbers up into the dozens. (There was that one dazzling epoch where my blog was the target of a bot-farm in Oregon, but they eventually abandoned me because my “relentless” thank you emails demonstrated I “didn’t understand the intended purpose of a bot-farm” and I was apparently not supposed to take their hits against my page as “a sign of encouragement”. Or something to that effect.)

In order to keep this blog a-rollin’ and give a little something back to my fans, I’ve started this Patreon. Any donation or sponsorship is deeply appreciated. I would be honored to receive your support.

What You’ll Get:

$1: I will visibly smile whenever I meet someone who has your name.

$1/month: I will tell people you volunteer with children or animals, your choice.

$5/month: I will carry your groceries to your front door in one trip.

$10/month: I will stand in your parking spot for up to an hour while you run out real quick.

$20/month: I will tell your landlord your shitty neighbor is on the lam from “you know” (wink).

$50/month: I will anonymously text your ex middle fingers of your choice.

$100/month: I will change the name of my blog to the grossest thing you can think of (Upchunk Lugubrious, etc.)

If you are interested in one of these fine prizes, please write your name, email and routing number on an unmarked Speedway coupon and leave it in the rusty toolbox behind the Taco Bell on Irving Park. If a guy named Sal tries to stop you while brandishing anything other than a pocket knife, please tell him he said he’d be cool and he’ll get his cut, the weaselly sneak. Thank you for your interest in my little stories and thank you more for your money. With enough support, I can finally get ownership of my domain back from the blog-shark that I currently pay at 42% interest whose name is definitely not Sal. And please hurry, if I don’t pay up by Friday, he’s going to cut out my vowels. Then I would be illetterate.

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A Bitter Shrew's Guide to Online Dating Profiles

“My grandparents met on Tinder”: “I saw this on Buzzfeed. I still quote Borat a lot.”

Shirtless selfies: “I can crush a walnut with my butt cheeks but I’m still not clear on who Paul Ryan is.”

Fishing pictures: “My dad dragged me to Wisconsin for a ‘guy’s weekend’ and I had to miss Lollapalooza, but I made the best of it and murdered this fish.”

“I’m laid-back/easygoing”: “I have the personality of a packing peanut.”

Reviews (e.g. “The best guy I know!” -My Mom. “His breath always smells like chamomile and unicorns!” -New York Times): “The only original thought I ever had was for a sitcom called ‘Carol of the Balls.’ I was six Jack and Diets deep when I thought of it, so I don’t remember the premise. Except Carol’s a skank. And something about the Yankees. I was hungover until midnight the next day.”

Picture at Machu Picchu: “I, too, studied abroad in college.”

Middle finger picture: “I have a Limp Bizkit tattoo.”

Career listed as “Entrepreneur”: “I am unemployed but I’ve got a lot of big ideas. Like an app that tells you when there are dogs nearby. Or an ejector seat on a subway train for when a fight breaks out. Or dessert tacos with icing instead of cheese. Do you know anyone who’s hiring?”

“I love craft beer”: “I just learned about IPA’s. I wear unique pants.”

“I love whiskey/pizza/tacos”: “Get this! I also like having fun. And being happy. And not asphyxiating under a flaming mountain of moldy gym socks. It’s crazy, I know.”

2+ pictures in funny hats: “My exes would say I’m ‘a bit much.’”

“I’m very sarcastic”: “I’m the kind of person who rips into someone in front of a group and then says, ‘It was just a joke, dude. Don’t be so sensitive.’”

“No hookups”: “I copy-paste messages like ‘Hey beautiful! Why r u not my girlfriend?’ to every woman I match with. I am wearing a backwards hat in all of my pictures and my job title is listed as ‘Sales Dynamo.’”

Bald with a beard, no tattoos: “I do improv and own a lot of dope hats. I have a whimsical necktie for every occasion.”

Bald with a beard, tattoos: “I play bass.”

Sunglasses in every picture: “My eyes are two buttholes I must hide from the light of day lest the demons find me and return me to the fiery throes of the underworld whence I escaped so many centuries ago.”

“No drama”: “I get into a lot of Facebook fights with my elderly relatives.”

“Please respect yourself”: “I will try to dazzle the pants off of you with a dick pic, and when you decline, I will call you a nasty bitch hoe. Also, you’re fat and ugly. I only messaged you as a joke.”

“I’m spontaneous”: “One time a barista gave me the wrong scone and I ate it anyway.”

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Reasons My Boyfriend Finds Me Annoying

Things I Would Love to Say to a Band of Loyal Followers

  • Let’s ride!

  • *Snaps fingers and a lackey appears*

  • You’re dismissed.

  • Bring me the man responsible for this.

  • Move out!

  • You call this coffee?! *spits*

  • Fly, my pretties!

  • Anybody else have somethin’ to say?

  • Heads will roll!

  • You’re on thin ice, pal.

  • Henchmen, attack!

  • Say it again. Say. It. Again.

  • Let that be a lesson to you.

  • You will not rest until you bring me his head on a platter.

  • Tell my husband I’m gonna be late.

  • We move at dawn.

  • You think it’s MY job to make sure you get to your son’s christening on time??

  • In due time, gents. In due time.

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Inevitable Facts About Aging That Are in No Way Specific to Me

 

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What Happened on the Train Today-- A True Story Told in Verse

I sat upon the train today

Having had enough of work.

A dame was seated next to me

As the train began to lurch.

She made a move as if to leave

So I offered up a path.

“Oh no,” she muttered quietly.

“I’ve a different pressing task.

“My glasses have got lost, you see,

And I think they’re where you are.”

“Oh dear,” I said, “They are not here,

They must be somewhere in this car.”

“Tut tut,” she said, “Forget it all,

I don’t want them anyway.”

“But do you not need them to see?”

I protested in dismay.

She heaved and sighed and shook her head,

Then turned her face from me.

She scoffed and huffed and rolled her eyes,

Irked by my audacity.

“I said I do not need the things!”

She snapped with rising ire.

“I told you to leave it alone,

You kids make small things dire.”

And then she stood and brushed right past

As I sat with mouth agape.

She shuffled off the train with haste

And tripped on a suitcase.

The last I saw my irate friend,

She was glaring through the glass.

I swear I only tried to help,

But she thinks I’m an ass.

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Bob Breaks up with His Office Girlfriend

Hi Carol. Thank you for coming in. Please shut the door behind you and have a seat. How’s the day treating you? I know, I’m absolutely swamped. Hopkins used the wrong slide deck template again, so I’ve been playing catch up all day. TGIF, am I right?

Look, I wanted to touch base with you this afternoon because I don’t like the direction we’re going in. To be honest, I’m not finding you to be much of a value add anymore. We’ve gotten way off target over the last few months, and as much as it pains me to say this, I think it’s time to table this relationship. In Q3, I was willing to give you another chance. We put you on a PIP, and it really did seem like things were improving. You tried to double down your efforts, you really did, but if I can speak frankly, your performance has been less than satisfactory, and going forward, I think we should see other people. I know this is unpleasant, but come next fiscal year, I think you’ll see a lot of growth. Give it some time. You’ll love the margins.

To your point about the apartment, I’ve already terminated your access and had you removed from the lease. I’m sure you’ll find another apartment in no time. It’s a great market for it and demand for your pay grade is high this year, so I wouldn’t worry too much. You can always stay with a friend and live remote. I think you’ll find that’s more than reasonable.

I’m sorry, I just don’t have the bandwidth to follow up on this anymore. I’ve used all my cycles reaching out to you, and, I have to be honest here, I’ve been pinging Jeanine. I know you’re going to want to circle back with our mutual friends, but there’s been a re-org, and they now all report to me. I can reevaluate your candidacy next quarter if you stay heads down working on a solution, but for now, let’s put a pin in this. I’ll give you back the rest of your hour, if you can close the door behind you. Kindest regards, Bob.

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Things I Have Seen on Actual Resumes

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Criminal Minds: Credit Card Edition

I went most of my life without a credit card because I have the kind of self-control that would likely start with me buying a few moderately-priced but unnecessary items (“Hedgehogs are on sale? I’ll take thirty.”) and would promptly spiral into a situation in which the floorspace in my apartment would be replaced with puppies, stylish boots and “As Seen on TV” x-ray goggles and then I’d have to buy a jetpack to get to the bathroom without smooshing them all. This way of life is probably not a good idea for health and noise complaint reasons, but the thought of jetpacking around my apartment shooting dog treats from a hand cannon while drinking milkshakes out of one of those beer helmets almost mitigates the fear of devastating credit card debt and potential eviction, particularly the prospect of training my seven puppies to howl in harmony like fuzzy widdle von Trapps and riding their coattails to the top since I seem to have no discernable talents of my own. I’d make my curtains into dog costumes if they weren’t so ugly and my idiot hands didn’t have the dexterity of a toddler doing calligraphy with their feet.

I did have a credit card when I was younger for emergency purposes only…

Hired Hands in The Wild Wild Western Suburbs

My biggest problem, if I had to admit to one (aside from my totally rational fear of fruit), is my seeming determination to make the same mistakes over and over again. Like how I keep thinking I can pull off blonde hair (it might help if I didn’t keep going to cheap salons and ending up with a color less “Blonde” and more “Dehydrated Pee Yellow”) and how I have made out with not one, but three, improv actors. Which is great if you like noisy dudes in skinny ties, but problematic if you are made uncomfortable by emphatic gesticulation and disproportionate reactions when doing such innocuous things as ordering a beer they’re not particularly fond of or breaking up with them out of left field. (You’re clamorously pretending to ride a statue in a city park for the third time today? Yes, and... I think we should see other people.)

I had a hard time finding a full-time job after college, and it got to a point where…

Beauty is Pain, First Impressions are Forever

I started a new job in March after almost six months of unemployment. I had worked at my previous company for six years, so beginning a new role at that point was a herculean task, like diving headfirst into fog-obscured depths or dragging yourself to the kitchen pantry when you’ve run out of bed-donuts. Unemployment is a slippery beast. You always think you’re going to get all this stuff done when approached with an abundance of free time, but then suddenly it’s two months later (or is it three? Who can tell?) and you’re picking crumbs out of your bed sheets while Friends barrels through its fourth consecutive loop. You didn’t clean the apartment like you meant to. And you definitely didn’t write that novel. But you did discover several plot holes in a show that’s been off the air for fourteen years and you only posted about it on Facebook like twice, so accomplishment comes in many forms. Successes like these make the world go round. And so does self-delusion.

A few weeks after I started…

Things I Thought Were Cool When I Was Younger But Am Now Realizing May In Fact Not Be

  • Pretending to sleep at parties where no drinking was taking place because I thought this made me “cooler than the party”

  • Drinking a lot of orange juice (“Oh, what am I doing? Just listening to some music, drinking orange juice.” -Me, feeling fly, circa 2002)

  • Wearing candy necklaces until the color started to wear off on my skin

  • The band Mest

  • Sneaking up to people’s houses in the middle of the night (before curfew, of course) and sidewalk chalking up their driveways (That wild, unpredictable suburban life, you know?)

  • Pretending I had never heard of various pop artists

  • Pretending to be afraid of E.T.

  • Coughing when someone made eye contact with me because I thought that made me more mysterious (???)

  • The three foot marionette I insisted on bringing to parties (There was the occasional clumsy performance)

  • The cloak I wore for two weeks

  • The fact that I had never eaten Cookie Crisp

  • The mushroom cut I got in fourth grade that I so desperately wanted (My hair looks like a botched circumcision and I love it! Take that haters!)

  • My imagined alter-ego as a sexy, wisecracking, American exchange student in the Harry Potter universe who had alternate affairs with both of the Weasley twins

  • “Practicing” my softball pitching skills in front of people with no ball or mitt so as to display my immense talent

  • “Playing” the piano on the gym floor while waiting for warm-ups to begin (Note: I did not know how to play the piano)

  • Memorizing Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “El Dorado” and proudly forcing people to listen to me recite it

  • Smoking cigarettes

  • My Fine Arts degree

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Written After Four Days of Quarantine Due to a Nasty Bout of the Flu in Which I Have Had Zero Social Contact with Actual Human Beings and Am Starting to Freak Out

Captain's Log: Day Four

Cabin fever is beginning to set in. I haven't seen the sunlight or known a man's touch in four endless days. The cat paces wearily about the apartment, longing desperately for the stimulation and companionship my enfeebled mind can no longer provide. As the sun stretches lazily across the afternoon sky, I seize an opportunity. Clad only in soup-stained sweats and salty snow boots, I descend the stairs with the tepid anticipation of one who has nothing left, a husk of the woman I had once striven to be. Timidly, I open the door and the wind rushes my face, stealing my breath. I set an intrepid course for CVS, strangers floating past me like ghosts, as if in a dream, their faces contorting before me with such hideously transparent ponderings as, "The shadow of death is imminent upon her" and "Egads! What’s that smell?" I can no longer comprehend their horror. I have been gone away too long.

I return fifteen minutes later…