Wednesday, February 3, 2010


joe jones was an adventurer.
joe smith had a hot dog stand on the boardwalk on the beach outside gotham city.
he sold joe's special hot dogs. he also had joe's special mustard to put on the hot dogs.
it was a nice sunny afternoon. business was pretty good. joe was cleaning the grill and he looked up and saw a big guy in a camels hair coat staring at him. the coat looked too heavy for the nice sunny afternoon.
"special hot dogs, huh?"
'yes", joe replied politely, "i think you'll find them pretty special".
"gimme one."
"do you want mustard on it? or anything else, onions, whatever?"
"are the onions special?"
"no, they are just onions," joe answered .
"no thanks, i just want special. i'm a special type guy."
"that will be five dollars please."
the man in the camels hair coat reached into his pants pocket and slowly peeled off five one dollar bills and handed them to joe.
joe put some mustard on a hot dog and handed it to the man in the camels hair coat.
the man bit off half the dog and began chewing slowly, staring intently at joe.
"i'm sorry, but there is nothing special about this dog. it's ok, but special? i don't think so." he put the other half of the dog into his mouth and slowly masticated it.
"nothing special about it at all," he said when he finished.
"i'm sorry." said joe. "if you liked it, i would given you a special deal, if your family and friends wanted to try them. maybe the people you work with, too."
"i work for myself thank you. and you know what?" the man put his face in joe's. "i think you should give me my money back."
"sure, no problem." joe handed the man back his five bills.
"and i suppose you think that makes it ok?" the man in the camels hair coat looked at some citizens passing by.

"hey, hey! listen up good people!" he shouted at them. "this guy is a fraud! he is defrauding the public! he's selling hot dogs as special and there is nothing special about them! what do you think about that?"
the people - a woman in a gray pants suit with a little dog, two men with briefcases, three teenage girls in designer jeans and a man pushing a shopping cart with a broom sticking up out of it - ignored him.
"a tough crowd," said joe.
"that's right, joe. they are a tough crowd. and do you know why? because they are just like you - happy to go through life as worthless pieces of detritus, lying and cheating their way through their endless procession of meaningless days!"
"isn't that a little harsh? excuse me, i have a customer."
a young woman had stepped up to the hotdog stand. she wore pink wraparound shades and a long green t-shirt with a picture on it of virginia woolf eating a carrot. she had a small orangutan on a leash. the orang was wearing a cubs cap with an arrow through it and had a harmonica on a strap around his neck.
"good morning, joe'' said the young woman. "one for me and two for octave, please." she handed him a twenty dollar bill.
"morning, duchess. only two for octave today?"
"he's on a diet. he shouldn't be having any, but you know, they are so special."
joe gave the orang two dogs with mustard pickles and onions and the duchess one dog with mustard and five dollars change.
the man in the camels hair coat had been waiting politely. now he spoke.
"still a big tipper, hey?"

the duchess pushed her shades down on her nose and looked at him, "joe jones. i did see you, joe, but i was trying to be polite by ignoring you." she shook her head. 'you look like trash, like really shameful detritus. you should find a better dumpster to sleep in."
she looked at joe smith. "don't take any debris from this clown. if he bothers you, come see me." she walked off down the boardwalk with the orangutan. when they were halfway down, the orang looked back and blew the opening notes of the battle hymn of the republic on his harmonica.
"you have powerful friends," said joe jones. 'but i knew that. it doesn't change anything. you are still a lying worthless piece of inert ectoplasm."
joe smith began cleaning his grill again.


kathleenmaher said...

Is this flash fiction? It could go either way, the picture's so hi-def.
I've always wanted a t-shirt with Virginia Woolf eating a carrot, but have never found one.

kathleenmaher said...

Is this flash fiction? It could go either way, the picture's so hi-def.
I've always wanted a t-shirt with Virginia Woolf eating a carrot, but have never found one.

kathleenmaher said...

Sorry about. It happens all the time with me. Either my clicker doesn't click or it clicks two for one.

human being said...

this is the kind of story i love the most...
short and intense... also a kind of loop...
the ending runs in the direction of the beginning...
on the surface level... in the real everyday life... all things remain unchanged... but just through some ordinary events and dialogs, we face an epiphany... the true nature of the characters... the true nature of the human mind is revealed... a kind of self-analysis for the reader...

i love the way you always give details about the belongings of the characters... they reveal a lot...

timmy... surely you are one of my favorite writers and poets... and artists...