Category Archives: fiction

The Origin of Crowns

The origin of the royal headpiece, a crown, came about quite literally from the crown of people’s skulls developing an upward growth that was essentially a jagged, circular protuberance from their heads. People worshiped the individuals with these strange growths, thinking it was a special quality bestowed on them by the God or Gods they believed in. Eventually, these royal crown-havers began decorating their bony crowns with paint and other adornments to be visible at a distance. As generations went by, the crowns receded, so artificial crowns were fashioned for their heirs to wear to signify that they are from the lineage of the true crown.

When a naturally-crowned king married a common woman, his natural crown would be mimicked with jewels and gold and adorn the head of his queen. However, when children were born, they often never grew the anticipated natural crowns, as we know now it is a recessive trait. This is where the custom of royalty marrying royalty came into play during the middle centuries. Doing so allowed for truly royal lineage to continue to be passed, and a greater chance for their offspring to have these natural symbols of supposed supremacy. Of course, copulating within royal families led rapidly to inbreeding, which led to birth defects and genetic illnesses. All of this resulted in the rapid decline in naturally-crowned individuals. The legacy lives on, however, in the monarchs of today who adorn expensive crowns upon their heads, and still believe themselves to be of a chosen lineage.

This belief, of course, is erroneous at best, and seen by many as despicable.


“I’m a fool,” I said to myself, unconsciously clenching my teeth as I gazed around at my fellow beach-goers. I considered myself a fool because I fell in the same trap once again. I decided to go to the beach for a nice relaxing getaway. Only when I pictured it, I was alone on the picturesque shore as the sun descended to join with the horizon and the waves crashed rhythmically on the sand.

Needless to say, that has never once happened when I actually go to the beach. What doesn’t happen is I have to stressfully guard every morsel of food from persistent seagulls, I get seriously burned due to my brave decision not to wear sunscreen, and I become immediately surrounded by young children (seemingly without parents?) who seem to think that the most enjoyable pastime at the beach is to have sand-kicking competitions (in which no one wins, but I very much lose).

Now, I don’t mean to complain—or rather, I do mean to complain, but I also don’t want to come off as a jerk. I would like to point out that I understand it is not reasonable for me to expect an entire coastline to remain uninhabited solely on the off-chance that I would swing by and want some alone time at a popular tourist destination. I’m just saying it’d be nice. Anyway, I’ll fall for it again in a week or so. Eventually, I’ll learn to just enjoy being a fool, but today I didn’t.

Siete de Mayo

For those of you who aren’t fluent in Spanish numbers, Siete is 7. And so, Siete de Mayo can also be known as two full days after I partied hard celebrating whatever it is Cinco de Mayo is for (Independence Day in Mexico? I’m not sure). Anyway, we rocked out hard. By we, of course, I mean me, a fifth of Tequila (Fifth for the fifth!), and my disapproving wife who has to work in the morning.

I, thankfully, didn’t have to work yesterday, which was tomorrow back on the Fifth. The reason I didn’t (and still don’t) have to work is because Larry tried to do a donut in the forklift and took out my knee. Couldn’t have been prevented really, but hey, that’s life. And I don’t blame him. In fact, I owe him a ‘thank you’ card for getting me on workers comp. I get a whole two months off and one of those cool knee scooter things! (Google it)

Heck, if I’m being honest, I don’t even remember yesterday existing. I jumped straight from Five to Siete… or something like that. The night of the fifth is kind of a blur as well. But I awoke on the seventh (siete) to find that someone had the gall to deface my knee scooter with crude drawings. There is currently a disagreement about who would have done it (either me or my wife. Sure, I was blind drunk, but that means she had motive because she hates when I drink during the week. And thanks to me being dead to the world on the sixth (Seis in Spanish if you’re keeping with the theme), she also had opportunity). (Sorry about all the parentheticals) 

I’ll keep you updated as the case of the scooter vandal develops. Happy Siete de Mayo!

Working for the FBI

You would think that there are a lot of cool jobs out there for FBI agents. There aren’t. You can go undercover, but honestly, it takes up a lot of your life and I just started dating the shoe gal at the bowling alley—and not to sound cocky, but I feel pretty good about it. So, undercover is out. 

You could also be one of the FBI guys in a suit or a windbreaker that shows up to arrest people for federal crimes (You know, like on the TV?). That’s it, just arrest them and then head back to the office. Pretty boring stuff honestly. Mostly paperwork.

Luckily there is also one other job, one that combines my talents and interests all in one. I’m the guy that spies on you while you do stuff you think is private on the internet. And if you do anything really weird, I look into everything you’ve ever done on the internet. Believe me, I’ve seen and heard some bizarre and unspeakable things. You know those people that put a little piece of electrical tape or something over their laptop’s webcam? Yeah, I mostly look for them, they’re the most entertaining. 

But don’t think you can just call up the FBI and tell them you want to do this (You can’t, I tried). The job was much harder to get than that. I had to prove that I knew a lot about computers (I don’t), or that I’m really good at stalking people (I am!). Importantly, I needed references— so I put down a crush I had in high school, Bonnie Raitt (Not that one), and a guy who works at AT&T who made me pretty mad. They know how much info I can dig up on someone when they become the sole target of my affection or ire. Based on their testimonials, I was given the job immediately.

The fun part is you kind of just get to choose who you look into. Most people in my position look into criminals and suspected criminals. I guess that’s what I’m supposed to do too, but no one really checks up on us. I spend a lot of time looking up family members and neighbors (spoiler alert: everyone you know is weird as hell—or everyone I know at least). 

Anyway, when I got started, they sat me in a dark room with ten computer screens and told me to let them know if I found anything. That was months ago. Well brother, just yesterday I hit the doggone jackpot. Let me tell you about K.J. Hanson:

Finding him was pretty easy. First, I looked for a list of people who Googled their own names recently. He was top of the list (4 times, just today!) The funny thing is, there is no reason to ever search this guy. He has a couple of inactive social media accounts and a half-assed WordPress site with like a handful of posts. I almost had to look away when he was nine pages deep in Google, it was just getting sad.

At one point, I thought he must’ve been onto me. He took off the tape over the camera and started sitting up really straight and making faces of deep introspection as he scrolled through a scientific article that he clearly wasn’t reading. (Does he do this every day just in case someone is spying on him?)

Later on in the day, after he had forgotten to put the tape back over the camera, he began doing karate moves in his living room. He was pretending to fight a lot of attackers. When I say karate moves, I’m not talking about an actual trained martial artist like Jackie Chan or that other guy. No, he looked more like the embarrassing choreography from the old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies. You know, before they had CGI and it was just out-of-shape dudes in heavy rubber turtle costumes doing half-hearted punches and kicks.

I wrote up a whole report on this guy for my supervisor. At first, I was worried that I would get in trouble for using so much of my time roasting some nobody for an official FBI memo, but they loved it! I owe them a report on K.J. every week now. Can’t wait to see what he gets up to tomorrow!

Confessions of an American Senator

Truth be told—I wanted to be an actor. But no matter how many acting classes my parents paid for, I kept getting told the same thing: Not believable.

Sometimes I feel bad about the stances I take on certain issues, but if you want your soundbite to be on the news, you can’t just agree with everyone else or say something rational—you need shock and awe!

I often wonder if people realize how little power I actually have to do things, or how little effort I put into doing the things that I can do.

I use most of my salary to pay different media sources to say good things about me and make my life seem down-to-earth, instead of joyously extravagant. Image is everything.

Pro tip for you future senators: you don’t need to do great things if you can pay someone to say you already did great things.

Is Exercise Killing Us All?

Yes. Yes it is. Exercise is morally reprehensible. When you exercise, you consume a drastically increased amount of oxygen (the thing we all need) and expel tons of carbon dioxide (the bad stuff). Exercise contributes to global warming and is killing the planet (thanks fitness jerks). They’re basically poisoning the earth during their wind sprints and burpees (I hope that single-digit body fat percentage and rock-hard abs are worth it, you tool!).

Despite the above paragraph, I don’t think all people who exercise are bad, far from it. Well, not far from it. I actually pity them in a way, and not just for their assumed physical insecurities and probable lack of self worth. I pity them because one day they will understand how many lives they’ve ruined with their ignorance. I don’t envy anyone on that day.

Please keep an eye out for my next article: Why Writers are Actually Hotter than Athletes

The Personal Trainer

“Listen, Jessica, I know having Lupus can be hard, but you got to stay on your grind, you know?” said her personal trainer Chaz, half shouting over the thumping techno music. “Gains don’t come cheap, you’ve got to recommit yourself every. Single. Day. Can you do that for me?”

“I… I don’t know.” Jessica says between sobs, still clutching her phone in her shaking hand from the now ended conversation with her doctor. “I’m just going to call my husband real quick, okay? He’s going crazy waiting to find out the diagnosis.”

With a deep sigh, Chaz reaches out a buff arm and places it on her shoulder. “You already answered your phone in between sets—don’t you think that’s enough of a break for one day? And I mean, it’s not like your condition is going to change between now and the end of your workout, right?”

“No,” she says before sniffing quickly, making an unpleasant snotty sound. “I guess not.” The relentless music nearly drowning her out completely.

“Good! That’s the spirit! Now let’s get you back in that squat rack. Remember—Ass to grass!”

Fifth of July

July 5th was always an abysmal day in our household growing up. My father so loved the Fourth of July that he would attempt to out-do himself year after year. The summer I was nine years old I distinctly remember hearing him argue with my mother through the thin walls of the house that we could barely afford (mostly due to the exorbitant firework and flag budget). 

My mother had been trying to reason with him, telling him that things had gotten out of hand. He called her a communist and told her to move back to Russia (my mother was Canadian, by the way). She got so angry that she stormed onto the back patio and took to cutting up his favorite apron—an American flag patterned one that said “Kiss me, I’m a Patriot.” We were soon to find out, however, that he had about six more of these in his gun safe. 

That was the same year that our neighbor, old one-eyed Janice, had come into our backyard screaming at my father about the inappropriateness of the all-night firework display on a Tuesday night. My father muttered a comment about her being a treasonous prude as he lit the fireworks he was holding in his hand. Then he removed his cap and started singing the star-spangled banner while launching the fireworks directly at Janice, who had been known as two-eyed Janice before this particular incident.

I still remember how hard my dad laughed, holding his hand over one eye and mocking her wales of pain. But no matter how good of a time he had on the Fourth, and he usually had quite a good time, the Fifth of July brought with it a freedom hangover that would rival the most dismal opioid withdrawals. 

My dad would shuffle from his bedroom, his brown hair knotted and tangled in a strange nest on his head, his bloodshot eyes wincing at even the dimmest of lights, and wearing nothing but his favorite apron, holding a warm half-finished beer from the night before in his shaky hand. I was young, but even then I remember knowing that the beer smelled cheap.

He sat at the breakfast table, simmering in his barely contained fury and disappointment. If his coffee, newspaper, and hearty breakfast didn’t appear within a few moments, his wrath would be uncontained. 

Of course, it didn’t take long of him looking at the newspaper to find something or other to curse the world over. He seemed incredulous and angry that his celebration of America had not fixed the turmoil, strife, and conflict across the nation. He could never understand why people refused to honor his country like he did every Fourth of July. He would look as though he’d never be happy again.

Maybe he never was. Less than a week later he had a heart attack while berating his doctor. The poor doctor was new to the clinic and didn’t read the note in my dad’s chart that said “Offering medical opinions will send him into a blind rage.” 

His last will and testament stated that he was to be buried on the Fourth of July. That his tombstone should be in the shape of a steely-eyed eagle, and the firework display should last from mid-afternoon until the next day. 

My mom refused to do any of those things (for obvious reasons). Within 24 hours he was cremated and his ashes were spread over the gun counter at his favorite Walmart Superstore. All in all, I think he would have been fine with that.

Stuffed Animals – AITA

So, I’ve got a situation and I just want to know if I’m the A-hole here: My son is two years old and loves animals, and naturally, wants stuffed animals. My wife and I have never really bought him any stuffed animals before. He had a couple when he was a baby, but they got so slobbered on and grimy that we tossed them. Well, now he really wants some stuffed animals.

I didn’t see why not, and my wife agreed. She was out of town for work though, so it was my job to pick out some cute stuffed animals. Which I did. Well, she’s back from her little work trip and is Furious (capital ‘F’) with me about the animals I chose.

I got my son 3 stuffed animals: A dog (Dachshund), a cat (orange), and a squirrel. I even went the extra mile to make sure I wasn’t buying them from some terrible corporate oligarch, or from a company that outsources their work to sweatshops. I also went organic, all-natural stuffed animals to produce the smallest carbon footprint I could (because I care about the environment!). 

AND I got a discount because my friend was the taxidermist (See, I’m even financially responsible! But again, decide for yourself who is right).

Long story short, my wife wants to get rid of my child’s treasured stuffed animals because they used to be alive (or something like that). I think she’s making a mountain out of a mole-hill, much like how my friend once made a lamp out of a platypus. And also, my son already fell in love with them! He says they smell kinda funny, but insists on sleeping with them anyway.

So, there’s the situation. Am I the A-hole??

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If purgatory is truly a possible destination, Jacob Renz is the exact person it was made for. Close friends often remember him as “Okay.” Whenever his name came up, co-workers would be the first ones to say, “Who?”

Who indeed, was this man that was neither great, nor wicked. He stood paper-thin on the line that divides good and evil, so that if you stared at the right angle, he was impossible to notice.

Family members loved the way that they didn’t feel strongly toward Jacob one way or another. He is remembered most as being technically blood-related, and for not forcing awkward conversations on people at family gatherings. “He was my husband,” says his wife of 20 years, “and I don’t have any complaints about him,” she had added with a shrug. His two children had fond memories of not having bad memories of their father. “I really appreciated the way that he never beat us, or emotionally abused us.”

Jacob Renz was a middle-of-the-road man that this world neither needs more, nor less of. He was not a hero, or larger-than-life figure that people will seek to build statues of. Neither was he a bad man who left behind grudges and unsettled scores. And for that, we can all feel satisfied in knowing that his death brings neither intense joy, nor deep sadness to anyone who knew him.

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