Talking in the Present Tense

A concussion leaves Guido unable to speak in the past tense. One day a sinister-looking man in a pizzeria hears him say, “I get the stromboli when I’m here last week.”

The man, a local mobster, thinks Guido is in witness protection. When Guido leaves the store, the man follows.

Snot Funny

lady choking on a glass of water

His great joy had always been causing people to choke by saying something funny just as they were taking a sip of beverage. His wife guarded against this amusement, but one night he “got” her, and, indeed, she choked. Several days later, at her funeral, her brother waited, then. 

Case Notes #97

yin-yang symbol

“Yin is passive, introverted—frequently weak. Yang is outgoing and opinionated. She’s happy to stay at home with a book and her cat. He likes to party.  Yin keeps their jaijitu (mighty circle) so cold that Yang, who is a real beach lover, constantly wears thick, heavy robes indoors.

“Prognostication poor.”

Birthday Boy

The only birthday cards that Edward received were from three creditors and his parole officer. “Why let other people’s preoccupations with their lives spoil the party?” he thought. He sent himself an anonymous e-mail, agreed to meet the sender for dinner, and wasn’t shy about sex on the first date.

The Shadow Knows

Billy hated mimes. He loved poking fun at (shadowing) them until one day a vindictive mime replaced Billy’s shadow with a copy of his. After several embarrassing daylight incidents and a near arrest on obscenity charges, Billy began going out only at night. Soon he stopped going out at all.

Dead On Arrival

Jeffrey, trying not to make a sound, stumbled into the sofa in the darkened living room.

Suddenly a small dog started barking insanely.

“Wait,” he thought, “we don’t have a dog.”

Then a light and a woman facing him with a gun.

“Wait,” he thought, “That is not my wife.”

A.I. Invades the Confessional

“Bless me father for I have sinned.”

“And who hasn’t?”

“It’s been four months since my last confession.”

“Did you break a leg?”

“Uh, no father …”

“Is this going to take long?”

“Well …”

“Look, whatever you’ve done, I’ve heard it all. Your sins are forgiven. Now get lost.”


The rooster began crowing to beat hell at 5:00 a.m. It was the first sound that Tom heard.

Half asleep he thought, “If you wake my old man again, you stupid chicken.”

The “stupid chicken” crowed a second time, louder.

The third sound Tom heard came from his father’s shotgun.

F-word and C-word Almost Come to Blows

Last night at Them’s Fightin’ Words Lounge, the C-word and the F-word got into an altercation.

“The F-word called the C-word the C-word,” said the A-word.

“No S-word, I thought they wuz gonna throw down,” said the N-word.

“Hamas must be destroyed,” shouted the K-word from across the room.

Pretty Is As Pretty Does

Flush with anticipation, Vicky opened the door to greet her date, whom  a friend had set her up with.

There stood one pitiful, butt-ugly man.

Chiding herself for being disappointed and shallow, Vicky determined to make the most of the evening,  only to discover he had a personality to match.