Thursday, April 18, 2013

Financial Tips from a Moron

Don't you hate it when something you enjoy like a blog or podcast or whatever goes away for an extended period of time and there's like zero information for the reason? And then suddenly (hopefully) it comes back but they never address the absence? Yea, me too.

In 2011 I finally joined the Cult of Jobs and traded in my caveman phone for the ever-lovin' Jesus phone. Naturally I insisted throughout the entire reign of the iPhone 3 that there was literally no reason to have such a thing in my life as I am simple folk and do not require such fancy-pants tech-no-logy in m' jeans. The Wiff, being smarter than I, realized that when the contract on our old-timey phones ended that she'd simply TELL me that we're getting the (then) new iPhone 4S and that's frickin' final. No arguments will be heard (she'd already had dipped into the smahhht phone pool briefly with a crappy older Droid-based phone so she already knew that I'd lub lub lub it).

It is now a couple years later and yes, I do indeed lub my phone. I have actually used it as a phone too. No, like, for reals. I have a reasonable amount of applications loaded and it has almost (almost) completely replaced my ancient iPod as my go-to device for my tunes. I listen to a lot of podcasts and holy shit there's an app for that too. Do I want an app that lets me change the channel on my TV even though the remote is literally sitting in my lap? Sure, let's download that. I have practical things, silly things, necessary things, and games. Angry Birds? Yes of course. Fruit Ninja? Don't mind if I do. Words With Friends? I can cram the word "Qi" and "Xu" onto a fake Scrabble board with the best of them. Various oddball Solitaire incarnations? Why, certainly. Bubble Mania? Ok, but...I'm gonna lose interest quickly. And then there's Candy Crush.

This motherfucking game. Can we talk about this? I mean, can we TALK about this game? It is simply the most infuriating little shitbox of a game I have ever come across. And for a brief but intense moment of time, it took over my stupid life. If you have never played it and you have any trace of an addictive personality, you should avoid this game. No joke. Stay the fuck away. Buzzfeed even posted an article about Candy Crush (I just noticed this when I spaced out halfway through that last paragraph and wandered off to other corners of the interwebs. This is how I work. Do not mock me or my process). Candy Crush will tempt you with its simple game-play and dazzle you with the allure of unplayed levels. Levels that it will dangle in front of your bloodshot eyes. But you cannot get to these levels under a normal game situation. No. You need boosters or extra moves or power-ups. And these cost real-life money. Cash, people. This game that you have allowed onto your sacred Jesus phone based on the promise that it's just a little harmless fun and plus hey you guys! you can totally download it for free, is now, like a heroin dealer, letting you know that yes, the taste was free but if you want that sweet, sweet juice, you gotta pay up.

And I did. A lot. I'm not going to tell you how much because if I did, you'd punch me in the dick.

Look, what I'm telling you, all of you, is that I have a problem. My name is Mark and I'm a Candy Crush addict. I'm also 43 goddamn years old. Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with me? I should be walking up and down my street with one of those sandwich boards proclaiming that I spent actual real-life money so that I could use my dumb finger to line up matching colored virtual candies in a row in order to remove all the jelly squares. Did you read that sentence? This HAPPENED. It's a real thing that I did. And not just once or twice. Oh no, if I had agreed to pay the 99 cents to get a few extra moves or to fill my "lives" back up to five rather than waiting until they refill themselves for free (that's right...they'd just refill for free if I could just fucking wait a little while) just a couple times this would not be an issue. It still wouldn't be smart, but I could hold my head up in public. But it is an issue. No joke.

So, yeah. How are you doing?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mom, Why is Mark Screaming?

The basement here at ye olde homestead is of the unfinished variety. It features a cracked and impossibly sloped concrete floor, bare stone walls, and unflattering lighting. It's not the kind of place where one would like to spend a lot of time. When we first moved into the house I made a few feeble attempts to make it not so much a "man-cave" (which is a horrible term by the way but it does define the concept fairly accurately) but perhaps a place that wasn't so dank and unpleasant to be in. We even had a ping pong table down there for a while. It wasn't an ideal set up for one because of the giant pipe that runs floor to ceiling on one side that inevitably a guest would run full speed into while trying to return one of my vicious volleys (That's straight-up home turf advantage. Visiting players get the pole side for the first game. You best respecig-nize), but it was a fun distraction for a while. The cat piddle palaces are also located in the basement and good lord it is difficult to keep the dust and kernels under control. There are some shitty windows down there but of course only one of them actually opens so proper ventilation can be a problem.

Since no one hangs out down there on what I would consider a regular basis aside from the cats, the basement has become even more unwelcoming. This makes chores like laundry and the aforementioned cat box maintenance very undesirable indeed. Throw in the occasional cat barf and/or house centipede (a.k.a. Demon Spawn) and I think I have succeeded in painting a picture for you. Basically I go down there, do whatever it is I have to do as quickly as I can and then I bug the hell out of there ASAP.

On Sunday I was down there doing some cleaning (the fucking cat litter just gets EVERYWHERE) when I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. I glanced over to my right and saw a big, fat black spider walking swiftly and dare I say confidently towards my foot. I did what any grown man would do in this situation: I froze and emitted a slight squeaking sound. Eventually the flight instinct took over and I moved rapidly backwards tripping over the broken dehumidifier that has been sitting stoically in the middle of the basement for going on 2 years now. I somehow did not immediately fall over but instead managed to maintain not only my balance but also my retreat. Surprisingly, the spider did not see all this movement as a threat and continued its journey across the basement floor.

I looked around to find something sufficiently heavy with, hopefully, a very long handle to use as a weapon against the intruder but all I could find within reach was a 20lb barbell. I thought about using it but dismissed it as a bad choice when I realized just how accurate I would have to be hit a smallish moving target. Also it'd be too much like exercising. By the time I found a decent option (a crumpled piece of a cardboard box), the spider had disappeared. Where did it go? How is this even possible? It was RIGHT THERE a second ago! OMG is it above me now? What is that tickle I feel on my neck? IS IT IN MY SHIRT?! AHH! I'M COVERED IN SPIDERS!! Holy shit it's in my ear and burrowing into my brain right this very second! I decided that the only thing to do was to freak out and bound up the basement stairs while trying not to cry. I then took a Silkwood-style shower. I am not kidding.

Why do spiders freak me out so much? As a kid I actually liked them. My sister Mary and I formed a little group and we called ourselves "The Spider Club". We'd go to the basement stairwell and look at fat ugly spiders and marvel at their weird webs. We even fed ants to them sometimes. It was just a thing we did is all. Don't hate. No big whoop. [A little tangent here if you'll indulge me: Mary and I also formed another club that was called "The Spinning Club" (or was it "Spinners"? I forget). Our meeting place was a corner of the kitchen on the worn-out linoleum floor near the bathroom where we would spin around in circles on our hands and knees. You had to have your long PJs on so that your knees were covered and while balancing on one knee, you'd just spin yourself in a circle as fast as you possibly could until you fell over or got sick (sometimes both). It was pretty fly. This probably resembled a rudimentary form of break dancing although it was a good 8-10 years before either of us had even heard of that dance genre. Spinning in a circle is basically the kid version of getting high if you think about it.] But there is a direct cause that I can point to as to when my relationship with spiders turned from mild curiosity to abject terror.

I must have been about 12 or 13, and by this time, I had finally secured my very own bedroom which was located right off the kitchen and sported a ridiculous accordion door (y'know, for zero privacy). The room was small but it was all mine and I loved it. The main light for the room was one of those square light fixtures which seem to be a staple of tiny bedrooms (we just recently changed out the ones in our house). It was after dinner and had retired to my room to read. I didn't have a light near my bed so the overhead light was on. Those types of ceiling fixtures are typically a flying insect graveyard in the summer time as any bug that found its way into the house would eventually fly towards the light and roast itself on the dual 75 watt incandescent bulbs blazing away a mere 4 inches from the ceiling. Think double Easy-Bake Oven power here. I had noticed earlier that there was what appeared to be a bunch of crispy bugs casting a shadow towards the center of the square diffuser but being both lazy and a kid, I chose to ignore them.

As I was lying there totally lost in my reading, I felt something lightly touch my face and I sort of just brushed it away without really thinking much about it. As I did this, I happened to look up and noticed that pouring out from the center of the light fixture and spreading rapidly across the ceiling were HUNDREDS of tiny spiders. Several of them were already starting to cascade down on their whispery threads of evil to land on me and all of my things. I looked wide-eyed at the horrifying scene for another second and then I just started screaming. My mom came rushing in (LIKE A BOSS) and assessed the situation. She returned seconds later with a broom and swung that thing wildly and with deadly force. I have no idea if she actually was successful in killing all of the freshly spawned spiders but I choose to believe that she did.

I must have passed out or gone into a fear coma or something because I can't for the life of me remember anything else from that night. I don't know where I slept that night but most likely it was right back in that room with the covers over my head and tucked tightly around me. Oh man, I didn't even have a closet in that tiny room so all my clothes were hung up on this modified coat hook system all exposed to the goddam spider assault. I probably wore spiders-infested shirts for a week after that. So yeah, that's why I fucking hate spiders and I think I have earned this phobia.

I just realized that the basement spider is still roaming free down there somewhere. Maybe I'll ask the Wiff to go kill it for me.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Uh, The Hell?

Murder? Really? With an awkward kitchen tool? Can it get more ridiculous than that? The answer is yes, of course it can. Check out the first and second parts of this story before diving into this silliness. Saddle up:


He sat down heavily on her butt and tapped the ladle on his knee. Finding her rump quite comfortable, he zoned out for a few minutes. He snapped back to reality to find the cat sniffing cautiously at his left foot. He allowed it to satisfy its curiosity with his foot and then kicked it down the hall. The cat landed clumsily, slid into the refrigerator and then scampered away.

Arthur found himself grinning. He couldn't remember the last time he had grinned such a self-satisfied grin. Years maybe. Perhaps never before. Either way it didn't matter because the grin was here now and he liked it. 

He glanced down at the back of Lorraine's head and the near perfect dent near the right ear. He had done that and now he had to figure out his next move. He had wanted nothing to do with the law. As a matter of fact he usually got sweaty palms just if a cop passed too close to him on the street. He figured that if Lorraine wanted a divorce, which she clearly had, he would eventually have to come in close contact with some aspect of the law. Whether it was a judge or just some cheap lawyer it didn't matter, they all upset his system. Besides, he couldn't afford to miss any work to deal with the legal matters of terminating a marriage. The only alternative was to kill her and avoid the courts altogether. Brilliant, no? 


Killing Lorraine was decidedly and in the strictest definition of the word, illegal. This had not occurred to him until quite recently. The unfortunate thing with a murder is, they are not easy to undo. Nigh on impossible actually. 

Arthur figured that at this juncture he had two basic choices available to him. The first being he could turn himself into the authorities. He did not favor this option because it most certainly involve some sort of organized law enforcement members, perhaps even including police officers getting quite close to him. Arthur shuddered at the thought and let out just a little bit of pee. The other option as he saw it was to cover up his crime. However, he had no idea what that might entail. He had a vague idea that it had something to do with disposing of any evidence of the wrong doing. He looked at the ladle in his hand and threw it in the general direction of the trashcan. It missed and fell noisily onto the floor of the kitchen. He sighed and got up off of Lorraine's backside to deposit the ladle into the trash.

He looked back at his wife's body. "I should probably do something about that as well, huh?" he said in a world-weary voice. "Gonna take some doing, that's for sure." He stood in the kitchen and tried to come up with a plan. He didn't know where to begin. Looking at the trashcan he wondered if he could just put her out with that week's garbage. It occurred to him that the guys on the truck would probably find it suspicious to discover a corpse on their usually corpse-free route. They'd call the police or someone equally unpleasant. That would certainly not be satisfactory at all. He dismissed this idea and wracked his brain for an alternative solution, one with less attention-drawing potential if possible.

Several minutes passed while Arthur stood in the kitchen staring at the lifeless body of his wife which lay down the hallway blocking the front door. He thought and thought but simply couldn't come up with an idea that was better than the trash day one. And since he had already discarded that scenario as unrealistic, he was back to square one. All this thinking was giving him a headache. He gave up with the hope that "something would come to him" and plodded off to the little bathroom down the hall to get some aspirin. 

As he passed the laundry room an idea did come to him. It seemed like a good idea too, possibly foolproof. As he let the thought dance around his head, he suddenly realized that it was not the usual voice he associated with his mind's voice that he was listening to. He couldn't place the voice but it sounded vaguely familiar. It was more sophisticated and sounded far off. In fact, it sounded like it was coming from the laundry room. A little chill ran quickly up Arthur's spine and made its home at the nape of his neck, amusing itself by making the hairs there stand at attention. 

"You could feed her to the cat," the voice cooed.

Arthur let out a little whimper and his bladder relieved itself well short of any toilet. He had forgotten about his headache at this point. 

He peeked around the corner and into the laundry room. The beat-up, old Kenmore washer sat brooding in one corner. Having been placed on an uneven floor, it had once been a performer of waltzes worthy of Astaire in his prime. But neglect and too many cha-chas had taken their toll. It now leaned sadly to the right like an old man with hip trouble, the legs on that side having rusted away. Its partner the dryer now bore the brunt of its spin cycle antics and had the dents to prove it. A dilapidated laundry basket, quietly threatening to burst its sides with the weight of its burden, occupied the left side of the room but the pile of laundry it had been asked to contain was nothing compared to the immense stack of soiled clothes that loomed in the far corner of the room. It dominated the space at nearly four feet high and easily six feet at its base.

Lorraine, who usually tended to the laundry chore in the household, had decided two months prior to her silly demise that she did not wish to do another load. And thusly, did not. Arthur had worn his clothes as usual until the day came when no clean garments appeared in his closet. It didn't occur to him to simply wash them himself, he just shrugged and continued to wear the same outfit day after day. To date that stunning ensemble had adorned his person for 13 days. Arthur had hardly noticed but his co-workers being more observant had subsequently avoided him after three days. 

The assemblage of dirty laundry was definitely the focal point of the room, demanding one's attention immediately with authority. Although Lorraine had been able to ignore its call, Arthur could not, mainly because the voice he had heard seemed to be coming from the pile itself. More specifically, from a sock perched atop the edifice. 

"Did...did you say something?" Arthur asked sheepishly. He wasn't sure if he wanted an answer or not. It felt odd talking to a sock but he had already written this day off as being out of the norm. His pee-soaked pants had also started to become uncomfortable.

"Yes, I did," the sock replied. "The cat is the answer to your little dilemma. Cats are carnivores and if I'm not mistaken, you have an awful lot of meat hanging around that you need to dispose of." 

"I don't follow you," Arthur said. He did actually follow the the gist of the sock's logic (he wasn't that stupid) but he was just so amazed that one of Lorraine's socks would have a plan for the disposal of her body. The whole idea was so ludicrous that it fascinated him. He also assumed that this wasn't actually happening and suspected that perhaps he was hallucinating.

"Oh Christ, is he really that stupid?" quipped a pair of Lorraine's panties. Normally panties aren't this rude but this pair were in a bunch which explained their foul mood. "Feed her fat ass to the fucking animal you dolt!"

"Please friend, do not be so harsh," the sock said. And then to Arthur, "But essentially that is what I meant."

"I have a question," Arthur started.

"You want to know why it is we can talk, don't you?"

"Uh, no. Not really."

"No?!" a muscular brassier asked in disbelief. "He's carrying on a conversation about how to get rid of his dead wife's body, whom he just killed I might add, with a pile of dirty britches and he's not a bit curious as to how this is possible? Incredible! Amazing! This is beyond my comprehension." And with that disgusted outburst the bra stopped talking. It was totally fed up with the whole situation and longed only to dance with some flashy soap suds in the belly of the Kenmore. 

"Well, it's just that I'm quite sure that none of this is happening," Arthur explained. "So I figure why dwell upon why it is happening. Way easier to just accept it. But while I've got you all here and talking, I might as well take advantage of the opportunity and ask how you suppose I should go about getting the cat to munch upon his mistress?"

"A good question and I do have an answer," the sock said. It seemed to be teeming with ideas. "Now bear with me on this; it may seem a bit whacky but then again, I am a sock and everything seems whacky to me. As you may or may not know, we socks spend a great deal of our time contemplating not only the execution of our tormentors but the subsequent disposal of their bodies. I don't mean to upset you with all this," the sock stated, noting Arthur's frightened and somewhat bemused expression. "It just happens to be a fact. The socks of those people who say that their socks would NEVER plan their deaths are usually the most outspoken conspirators. Now you may say that sockdome is merely our calling in this universe and therefore we should accept it. Well we don't just accept it. We want more. We want much more.

"I have often dreamed of this day and now that it is here and I am finally able to offer my thoughts on the subject, I'm overjoyed to do so. Many days when I was strapped on that sow's stinking foot that I would whisper to my mate my fantasies about her death. My mate is now mute and totally dysfunctional, having a much weaker constitution than I. He cracked under the pressure of our task, pun intended. But I digress.

"Since she is so large and the cat's mouth is so small, I believe that chunks, small chunks specifically, are your best bet to get the cat to bite." The sock was drained. It had never had such a long monologue before and it needed to rest for a bit. 


And just like that, the handwritten text from 1991 ends. I told you this shit ends abruptly. So what now? Do I revisit this train wreck and finally write a third act? Or should I just let sleeping piles of sentient dirty laundry lie? Lemme know what you think in the comments area, please. Ok? Ok.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Yes, This is Still Happening

Hiya. It's time to present the next installment of Unnamed Short Story (or whatever the hell). A couple of people have said some really nice things about the story not being as big of turd as I have insisted. That's totally super duper nice of them and I appreciate it. For seriously.'s just agree to disagree on this ok? Ok. And with that, here it be:


The exact speed of the coffee/waffle mixture that Arthur spit out was clocked at 94 miles per hour (by a cop sitting in her patrol car, outside the house in a speed trap. The cop, thinking it was the vehicle that had just passed, pulled the car over and chewed out the driver and began issuing a ticket. The driver explained to the officer that he was in fact driving a 1973 Vega and it was simply impossible to be going that fast unless there was a stiff wind pushing the car down a very long hill, which there wasn't. The cop agreed and she subsequently quit the force to become a market research analyst) when it struck Lorraine dead center in the face. Arthur tried to speak but only managed to choke which caused him to start to spit up. Lorraine raised her arms in self defense to protect herself from another onslaught. In doing so she whacked the table which caused Arthur's coffee mug to tip and deposit its steaming contents into his lap. It then fell to the linoleum and detonated  sending shards of ceramic bits into Arthur's shin. He in turn rose quickly and clumsily, leaning on the table for support which caused Lorraine's bowl of cereal to splash across her sizable bosom. After much confusion and curses with some half-hearted cleaning thrown in for good measure, Arthur managed a response of sorts.

"What did you say?" he asked, holding his wounded shin and scalded crotch at the same time, a feat not recommended by the Dexterity Society. 

Lorraine, with some waffle still in her hair, repeated her intentions. 

Arthur was stunned. He sat down slowly and stared stupidly at the lopsided lazy susan that had been a wedding gift from Lorraine's cheap brother. He had forgotten about his shin and wasn't even the slightest bit concerned about his crotch anymore. He was completely numb. His entire life passed before his eyes and it wasn't even interesting enough to grab his attention. His Muffin Bottom was leaving him. And all this before his second cup of coffee. This was not how he would like to start his day. 

"Arthur?" Lorraine prodded cautiously. Arthur had reacted quite satisfactorily at first what with the panic and all but this was now becoming a little intense. He had become completely pale and was breathing shallowly. His hands had latched onto the nearest thing which was a paper napkin and he was now engaged in methodically picking it apart. He was placing the little pieces on the table in front of himself in small stacks as if he were playing solitaire. And he appeared to be losing. All the while he was just blankly staring at the centerpiece with cloudy eyes. He was muttering something to himself but it was incoherent. Lorraine was getting nervous. This was not going according to plan.

"Arthur? You can keep the house...I don't even want the cat," she offered and glanced over at the cat who was sniffing the heating vent cautiously. Arthur did not respond. He finished with the napkin and set to work on another. Lorraine backed slowly out of the kitchen and ran as fast as her chubby legs would carry her up the stairs to the bedroom. She had packed most of her things the night before and in no time at all she had everything she needed, including an extra box of Ring Dings. She lugged her bags down the stairs and set them by the front door in a jumble like a bunch of impatient children. Walking as quietly as she could (which wasn't very quiet at all), she returned to the kitchen to check on Arthur. She was quiet surprised to find him staring directly at her, his eyes clear and shining, a little grin creeping across his face. He swiftly and abruptly stood up. Lorraine let out a little yelp in spite of herself and backed up to the sink, her massive buttocks getting there first and spreading sideways to near its full girth. Arthur's eyes never left hers.

"Good morning Honey Lips," he said. This struck Lorraine as odd because he had never called her that before. As a matter of fact, he had once remarked that her lips reminded him of a piece of undercooked pork he had once had the displeasure of consuming. Nevertheless, he had most certainly said "honey lips"; and with a straight face too.

"Arthur? A..are you o.k.?" Lorraine questioned. She was looking at his hands which were relaxed by his sides and apparently free of weapons. She then concentrated a possible weapon for herself if need be. She had never known Arthur to be a violent person but the man moving closer to her now did not appear to be the same person she had spent countless nights sleeping next to. The only thing readily available of any potential lethal merit was a large whisk. She eased one pudgy hand towards it and was shocked as Arthur's dry hand came down on top of hers and squeezed firmly.

"I'm fine dear. Question is, how are you?" Arthur replied softly and closely. His eyes were still fixed on hers in a hypnotic gaze. She wondered if this is how an opossum feels at the moment it realizes that playing dead to an oncoming semi is quite useless and it is about to become another stain on the highway. She also wondered why she was getting so nervous. This was just Arthur after all, different sounding or not. He's definitely not someone who she thought she should fear.

She wrenched her hand away and moved over to the table, slipping a little in the coffee on the floor. She had had enough of Arthur controlling this situation. This was supposed to be her big moment.

"Oh, I'm just fine Arthur. And I'm going to continue to be just fine without you." She smugly concluded this statement with a little head nod which lost its attempted severity in the hilarity of waving jowls and chin flapping. The cat, mistaking the racket for a flock of birds taking wing, bounded into the kitchen and ran smack into Arthur's leg. It stumbled backwards and fell over with a small thud, apparently unconscious. Neither Arthur nor Lorraine gave evidence that they had noticed.

"That's nice for you dear." Arthur said with a sincere smile. Lorraine cocked her head to the side and squinted at him. She wasn't sure if he understood what was transpiring and quite frankly she hadn't the time or energy to care anymore. She had a bus to catch and if she wanted to get the triple seat in the back by the bathroom before anyone else, she had better get moving. Arthur just kept on smiling that smile at her and it was getting on her nerves. Who did he think he was anyway?

"Well, ...uh...'bye!" she said and turned to go down the hall to the front door. This was a mistake on her part because it was at that exact moment that Arthur's eyes clouded over and the smile vanished from his face. He reached under his armpit and produced a sizable ladle that he had hidden there. He followed Lorraine down the hall to the front door and as she bent to retrieve her luggage, he doinked her on the back of her skull three times with tremendous force (Pop! POP! CRACK!), each hit harder than the first. Lorraine made a noise not unlike that of a sea lion and toppled forward. Her luggage did not survive. Blood poured out of the almost perfectly round hole the back of her head and started to pool on the floor.

Arthur stood over her bloated body shaking the ladle and making quick "HA!" exaltations. "I guess Samsonite hadn't thought of that for a stress test, huh?" he asked no one.

And this is the end of Part II. Well holy shit. What the fuck is going on there? Did somebody really just get murdered with a fucking ladle? Wow. It's like Shakespeare up in this piece. Ok, peeps. Peace out until the next installment which will be next week. Things are gonna start getting weird(er). Laters.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Oh Man, This is Gonna Suck

Ok. I have to say that I have MAJOR apprehensions about posting this so-called "story" that I wrote 20+ years ago. I don't know how to even get the thing started. It doesn't even have a title let alone a good flow. Jeezus, what am I doing? Mira, please understand that I am absolutely not hunting for a compliment or phishing for sympathy by sharing this thing. I'm am simply holding myself to my own philosophy of "Full Disclosure" which is the idea of airing out the dumb/embarrassing/ridiculous things that a lot of people shove into a closet in their subconscious until it chews up their brains. I also know that None of This Shit Matters (N.O.T.S.M.) so what's the real harm here? There is no risk actually so let's get into it in its full, unedited glory shall we? I'm even going to resist the urge to comment in the middle of the text.

Oh man. Ok... here it is:

Unnamed Short Story, Part I

It was one of those amazingly cold days in February when Arthur Williamson's life collapsed like a beehive hairdo in a rain storm. Arthur, a thin, little man with a propensity towards blue shirts, never took shock well. He once had to be sedated and hauled off in restraints at a surprise birthday party his mother had thrown for him. So it wasn't unusual that Arthur lost his already weakened grip on reality that frigid winter morn when Lorraine, his wife of twelve years, informed him of her plans to leave him.

He met her, Lorraine that is, during his senior year at college. She worked in the campus store that Arthur frequented to purchase odds and ends. Often he would go in just to see her and buy something he didn't need just to feel her hand as they exchanged moneys. One day while buying a disposable douche, he found the nerve to ask her out in his slightly moist voice. She, much to his amazement and joy, accepted. Three months later they were engaged.

They were wedded on September 14th, 1979. Lorraine, a less than attractive woman with an incredible lack of style, wore a frightfully hideous green gown with lavender ruffles. Arthur was decked out in his best suit, a wide-lapeled skyblue number and sporting shiny white shoes. The preacher was struck blind by the tackiness and had to be replaced at the last minute by a tugboat captain with bad gums.

Their honeymoon was not a great success. Their cabin in northern Vermont, which was recommended by Arthur's cousin Sol, turned out to be a 10 x 20 foot room with no heat. Running water consisted of a river two miles north of the cabin through the woods. The bathroom was, of course, the nearest grove of trees. They did not enjoy themselves which is both unfortunate and understandable.

They bought a house in Malden, Massachusetts, a sad, sorry, little place (their house that is, not Malden. Malden is rather dull but it is irrelevant to this tale). A pathetic example of American architecture was the Williamson's abode. It did not so much assault the visual pallet as it left sort of an odd taste in the mouths of those unfortunate enough to view it. Lorraine and Arthur loved their home however and, apart from a little water damage and the occasional evil possession of their cats, the house loved them too.

Arthur, who at the time of their marriage was working part time as a assistant donut filler at the Red Jelly Flavor Cafe, finally landed a decent job in 1980. That illustrious position was none other than assistant to the assistant of the assistant of the head accountant at the firm of Dull, Dull, and Humdrum. Lorraine, who was quite proud of Arthur's accomplishment, only gained 10 pounds that year in appreciation.

For years they lived in uninhibited boredom, enjoying T.V. and the lack of any real communication. Arthur, who had had only one other lover apart from Lorraine (and she had threatened to kill him, his family, and then herself if anyone found out about it), was not very skilled in this area. Lorraine had by 1984 given up on sex with him completely and discovered cats as an alternative (not as lovers mind you but as a distraction from her unsatisfied needs). This was probably for the best anyway considering the possible outcome of their lovemaking. It makes one shudder.

She had a string of cats from 1984 - 1991 numbering near ten. The ones that didn't commit suicide either ran away or were taken by the house. The house killed a total of five cats over the years, usually luring them to the garbage disposal.  One would hear a humming, a startled "Meow!" and a sound like GGGGRRRRRUUUUNNNCCHHHH!! All was quiet after that, excepting the satisfied rumblings audible from the disposal. Another popular way with the house was a sudden, deadly blast of heat from a vent as the cat strolled over. This was less frequent as the house was leery of leaving tangible evidence. Lorraine wasn't particular about life span of the cats anyway. As long as they were cute for a while she was satisfied.

Lorraine started to get the "seven-year itch" around their fourth year of marriage, but didn't let on about it. She was content with being discontented and glad to have something to complain about to the women at the Big n' Hippy (a full-figured women's clothing outlet store just a mere waddle from her house). She spent many hours fantasizing about how she would tell Arthur she was leaving him. She planned to tell him at the breakfast table just as he was shoving a pop tart into his mouth. She originally thought of telling him as he dunked his pop tart into his coffee but thought better of it because often when Arthur was performing such a task, it would go awry. The most common mishap associated with the pastry baptism was when the pressure that Arthur exerted on the tart was far too much for it to take along with the weight of the liquid it was busy acquiring and therefore it would break apart leaving a goodly amount of itself in his coffee. This never failed to completely baffle Arthur and he would spend the next 10 to 15 minutes attempting to rescue the coffee-logged pop tart from drowning in his beverage. Usually, but not always, he would not succeed and end up just drinking the pop tart ladened coffee anyway.

Lorraine believed that if she told him before he could get to this point of his breakfast ritual she could save herself a lot of time. She would grin as she thought of Arthur's expression, with a soggy pop tart in his mouth as she told him. He would probably stare at her and maybe cry or something. The breakfast table was also a good choice to break the news she thought because of the lack of any sharp utensils within easy reach. She didn't believe that he would become violent, it wasn't like him, and even if he did, she outweighed him by a good hundred pounds. Surely there would be butter knives about but death by spreading seemed far-fetched at best. She wondered how he would deal with no more "Lorraine-bottom", as he sometimes called her, and if his mind would be able to grasp the sheer magnitude of it all. Usually she dismiss these thoughts at this point and head into the kitchen to eat with the refrigerator door open. This was a good time for Lorraine and her bottom too.

When the day finally came for her to tell him, he was not even eating a pop tart but had elected to have a waffle instead. He was munching the waffle and taking huge gulps of coffee at the same time (a habit that grosses many folks out but one which Arthur enjoyed as much a s a cheesy paperback science fiction novel. He usually carried one around in his hip pocket). Lorraine thought that this deviation from his normal routine might be a sign of some sort but, not being particularly bright, she ignored her instincts and went ahead as planned.

"Arthur," she began. He only grunted and took another gulp of coffee to get the waffle as soft and soupy as possible, the way he liked it. "Arthur, I want a divorce." she finished.

------------------ I have to end Part I here because I just can't take any more at this time. Ok, I'm going to post the next installment next week and I will continue until the original text just ends super abruptly. Jebus christmas that was ... well, y'know...just... it.. fuck me. OKTHXBYE.