Short Story: A Flight Attendant Reveals – They Pay Attention, Now That I Start the Safety Demonstration with “I’m Not Racist, But…”

Months ago, the line, “I’m not racist, but” – followed by something entirely mundane – started as a joke in my standup comedy routine. I couldn’t make it work right, so I dropped it. But I kept thinking about it, and eventually birthed this story. It’s on a site called Little Old Lady Comedy. It’ll take barely two minutes to read.

Short Story: Days of the Dead

The good people at Theme of Absence are fast becoming my best friends. They have put up another short story of mine, Days of the Dead.

It’s either a dark comedy or a lighthearted horror. It’ll take you four minutes to read, excluding pauses for the laughing and the quaking in fear.


Short Story: The Nymph

A fiction site I looked at a couple years ago had submission guidelines which stated explicitly: no nudity. I was amused that a story with no pictures or illustrations could contain nudity. The following link will take you to a short story of mine, The Nymph, on the website Theme of Absence. It’s a dark comedy. And it contains nudity. Whoo-hoo!

It’s a 4-minute read.

Malvaviscos Gigantes: Two Hours in Juarez, Mexico

They were the biggest marshmallows I had ever seen. Perhaps the soft pastels of green, blue, and pink were meant to make these whipped-sugar baseballs seem less threatening. Had they been in a normal-sized marshmallow bag, four, maybe five, would have fit. This sack held hundreds. I looked up and eyeballed the enormous flying saucer perched above. Yes, I calculated, if the command module is hollow as well, they just might fit. Continue reading “Malvaviscos Gigantes: Two Hours in Juarez, Mexico”

Bass Line Comparisons

Yessimbol, from Kazakhstan, had arrived only a few minutes earlier and didn’t speak English. So it was in Russian that he asked me why the zombie mannequin hanging from the ceiling was dressed in lingerie and high heels. My wife and I prefer to host guests who don’t speak English. The first, prosaic, reason is that it gives me a chance to practice my Russian – a language immersion program where I don’t have to leave the house. More philosophically though, after eight years of hosting international visitors for World Chicago, we’ve figured out that guests who already speak English don’t need us much. They’ve probably already traveled, if not to the US, then to another English-speaking country where they’ve gotten used to American-inspired quirks and customs, and are comfortable fending for themselves. Those who don’t speak the language are more likely to need us as ambassadors, to show them around, and to explain the nuances of Chicago life. There is something empowering about having a blank slate upon which to create a first impression of Chicago and the USA, and that opportunity only presents itself with non-English speakers who feel too vulnerable on their own. Now, if that sounds like the mom who added a bit of poison to her daughter’s food every day so that the mom would always have someone sick to care for, well, yes, it is a little bit like that. Continue reading “Bass Line Comparisons”