by Danny Lewin on October 22, 2012


Every Monday, we’ll be doing a series of collaborative competitions where an artist provides us with a photograph or a painting (or something else) and we will attach a short story of 500 words or less. We ask you to do the same and give us your best story of 500 words or less. We’ll have a guest judge each week who will weigh in and choose the winner. The winners shall then be eligible for entrance into the Eternal Hall of Fame.

This week’s image comes to us from Danny Lewin, entitled I’m NOT Crazy. Our story follows below. Please add yours in the COMMENTS  (scroll to the bottom). We’ll announce the WINNER next Monday.

“Sir, that sign is obviously written to confuse the citizenry. If you look over here where I’m pointing, it’s says, no parking at any time except one hour parking Monday through Friday, meaning that there is no parking on Saturday or Sunday, but the sign is clearly designed to be mis-read, so that it appears that this street has one hour parking Monday through Friday and free parking Saturday or Sunday. “

“You’re free to appeal the citation, sir.”

“In fact, it’s been my understanding that tickets are never issued on Sundays at all, and yet, I have received a ticket, for 68 dollars. 68 dollars, sir. 68 dollars on a Sunday afternoon, when I have just attended a children’s birthday party, because of that sign. Sir, will you please look where I’m pointing?”

“Sir, you’re free to appeal the citation. That’s all I can tell you.”

“The residents of this street are at no risk of inconvenience from an excess of parked cars are they? No. The street is virtually empty and yet someone from your department has issued a citation in the usurious amount of 68 dollars for parking in a residential neighborhood, on Sunday, after I have attended a child’s birthday party, a child sir.

“You’re free to appeal the citation, sir.”

“I suppose it would be one thing if the ticket was for 20 dollars, which is something I could almost understand, but 68 dollars is quite frankly outrageous. Why not 150 dollars I ask, or 300, or 500? At what point does a parking ticket go from a simple civic fine and become a Dali-esque exercise is surrealism? I would suggest at 68 dollars we are getting dangerously close to such a line.”

“Move along, sir. I’m not going to ask you again.”

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Thad Weitz October 26, 2012 at 12:59 pm

When Officer Joe Diballo saw Karl Narkindler, he saw his chance for revenge.

Joe had been called to the gas station after numerous complaints from the, though all mankind is flawed, relatively innocent citizenry, who were simply trying to purchase fuel or the various sundries (cigarettes, toothpaste, Pringles, etc.) that modern gas stations so conveniently provide. The complaints all centered around a bearded ruffian, who was badgering these hapless consumers. His badgering was not begging in nature. Quite the opposite, he seemed immediately to be able to detect each patron’s main character flaw, and with piercing accuracy, cut them to the quick.

“Hey, nice shoes. Where’d you get them, the Special Shoe Store?” Phil Whitmere briefly looked down at his white shoes that had an elfin curve to the tips. His face lit with shame, and he recalled the day of their purchase. His hesitance, then his almost manic decision to buy, convinced that the shoes would give him the quirky panache he craved. He rued that day.

“Sweet handlebar mustache, tough guy.” Sal Cantwell kept his eyes straight and kept on walking. He had grown the mustache to give him a certain street tuff currency. In reality, the mustache was but a feeble adornment, meant to disguise his deep rooted insecurity and sense of worthlessness.

“Pork rinds? That’s what you really needed to buy.” Omar Baldash cringed inside. He was all too aware of his obesity and compulsive eating. However, the pork rinds were so bewitchingly situated next to the cash register that, against all his strength of will, he could not resist.

Such were the nature of Karl Narkindler’s barbs. Officer Joe was overjoyed when he saw that the source of the disturbance was Karl. Karl was the bully of all of Joe’s precious and fragile formative years. It was partly physical, but mostly psychologically akin to his verbal assaults today. Once, Karl had Joe pinned to the ground, and in a sinister whisper, he said, “Joe, you’re weak and have no control over your own life. I bet you become a cop. That way you’ll have a false authority over others, one that you don’t have for yourself.” Still, in the dark hours of the night, Joe would sometimes awaken and wonder if Karl Narkindler’s ominous prediction had, in actuality, shaped the course of his life.

“Well, well, well, if it isn’t Karl Narkindler. Looks like life has treated you well, Karl.” Joe’s stomached was butterflied with the reversal of power, and a concurrent sense of unease at confronting his old scourge.

Karl slowly turned his head. “Hi ya, Joe! Look at you. All growed up with a shiny badge and nifty uniform. You actually became a cop.” Karl chuckled.

Joe was uneasy at this casual flippancy in his moment of triumph. “Look…look here, Karl, I’m taking you in for disturbing the peace, loitering…”

“Joe, Joe, you’re not taking me anywhere. You see that camera under that streetlight? Do you, Joe? We’ve been watching you, Joe. We’ve seen that tasty money you’ve been taking, right here in this gas station parking lot from those nasty pushers, Joe. I’m with Internal Affairs.”

Joe briefly looked at the streetlight. Then he looked to the side and awkwardly clasped his hands. His mind was so tumultuous, it emptied of all thought.

The lot filled with squad cars. Karl cuffed Joe.

After placing him in the back of a car, Karl leaned in. “Joe, you did this nasty thing to break away from Fake Authority Joe. You were wild and free, Crime Joe.”

His voice went down to a whisper. “And you know what? You wanted to get caught. Because you’re weak, Joe. You’re a fundamental loser.”

Karl gently shut the door.

Oyrobot October 22, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Officer Garcia was impassive behind his mirrored aviators, just like they’d taught him at the academy. “Keep your cool”, he thought, “that’s how you retire in one piece”. God knows his pension would be dwarfed by what his dad had earned on the force, but it was a living, and after 7 years he was used to it. Today was turning out to be a challenge though.

The biker spoke in a high pitched, lispy voice that in no way squared with his Bluto-esque looks. He said “See that sign? Does it not say “ASK ABOUT SHLOMO’S ALL YOU CAN EAT $2.99 MATZOH BALL TUESDAY”? It’s fucking Tuesday isn’t it? Mama likes jew food! She has not eaten her fill! She’s still hungry. We’re tax payers and this is America godfuckingdammit, we’re not leaving until she’s done, especially since that fucking waitress spilled a pot of Sanka on her motherfucking Rascal! Now I probably gotta replace the battery…you think it’s easy to make a scooter haul a 400 pound old lady? I gotta go to a tractor supply store for a new one! You’re a cop, make them bring more fucking soup! Do I gotta call a lawyer?

Just then, a nervous little man with a few remaining wisps of hair twirled into the echo of a pompadour came out. “Officer, we at Shlomo’s care about customer satisfaction, and mean it when we say “all you can eat”. However, this woman has eaten 37 matzoh balls, each the size of a grapefruit! We’re out…we only make 40 for the lunch rush and she ate them! We’re making more, but repeatedly calling me a faggot, slapping the waitress, berating customers, and flinging an entire boysenberry pie against the wall is unacceptable! We begged them to leave! I offered to deliver soup to their home! What more can I do?”

Just then, there was crash and a piercing scream, and Officer Garcia, the biker, and the manager ran inside. They were just in time to see a woman with a fuzzy halo of blue hair seated on a hot pink scooter, waving a steak knife at a terrified busboy. She yelled “I am a lady goddammit, you didn’t ASK me if I was done with that fucking bowl”, as mounds of rippling fat made it look like several hedgehogs were struggling for position inside of her “World’s Greatest Grandma” sweatshirt.

The biker grabbed the knife as the busboy crabwalked away, and said “come on Mom, let’s get the fuck out of here”. These fucking people don’t appreciate our business”. As she rolled towards the exit, her hand shot out and seized the manager’s testicles in a fierce grip, twisting hard towards the left. She said “there’s your tip asshole”, and rolled out the door.

The manager lay writhing and gasping as customers gawked and the restaurant staff peeped around the edge of the kitchen door. Officer Garcia checked his watch, and noticing it was almost noon, asked the manager “when was that next batch of soup supposed to be ready?

Leave a Comment

(Spamcheck Enabled)

Previous post:

Next post: