The Final Paragraph From My Other Recently Completed Novel “Mars Outpost Alpha”

Commander Henslaugh looked through the portal window, gazing out at the rust-colored expanse. The ruins of the Fleklar’s alien mother ship still lay smoking among the rest of Henslaugh’s crew. Henslaugh couldn’t help but wonder to himself, had he stayed on Moon Outpost Zeta, never applied for a promotion and been satisfied with the quiet life of a terraforming coordinator — might things have turned out differently? Would the onslaught of alien ships have ever found their outpost here on Mars? Henslaugh turned away from the portal (and the wreckage) and sat down on his cot, in the corner of the two-hundred square foot pod — the only pod still being supplied with oxygen. It was anyone’s guess which would come first — his death or his rescue? Henslaugh wiped the morbid thought from his mind. There were better things to do. Like play Dance Dance Revolution: Universe Edition 2.0. And with that, Henslaugh turned on the game console, booted up the game, and laid out the elaborate touch pad floor throw. And as the hip hop beats of Kalooloo’s “Century 29” began playing, Henslaugh got to dancing. Despite the lack of oxygen. Because for Henslaugh…dancing was his life. Next to terraforming. And coordinating. And defeating evil aliens. Yes… Dancing was his life.

The Homeless Are Getting Exponentially Smarter (Or, My Need To Be Loved By Everyone Is Making Me Stupider)

Him: “Hey, hope you’re having a great day!”
Me: “Yeah, thanks.”
Him: “That’s all, not going to ask you for any money.”
Me: “You aren’t?”
Him: “Asked you before. You were generous. Enough is enough.”

[Someone else walks past me into the drug store. The homeless guy turns to them.]

Him: “Spare some change?”
Other Person: “No, sorry.”

[They disappear into the drug store.]

Him: “Anyway. Have a good one.”
Me: “I have some change.”
Him: “Nah, no thanks.”
Me: “But I do.”
Him: “Your money’s no good here.”

[I’m already reaching into my pockets, pulling out change.]

Me: “Just take it.”

[He does.]

Him: “Fine. But this is the last time.”
Me: “Well, we’ll see about that.”

[I walk into the drug store with the strange feeling that the homeless are definitely getting exponentially smarter by the day or my need to be loved by everyone is making me stupider.]

Don’t answer.

I Want A Friend Who Wears An Eyepatch (But Isn’t A Pirate)

I’ve been thinking about something a lot lately.

How most of my friends (sorry, guys!) just don’t have the kind of panache I am looking for in a friend. The one friend I did have like this worked as a cryptologist for the government and after college had to break all ties with his buddies and disappear “off the grid” so he could do his job. Since he left my life, I don’t have one single friend who has a dangerous job, a kick-ass deformity of some kind or a personality quirk that draws attention from all four corners of the ‘burbs.

I guess that’s why I’ve decided I’d like a friend who wears an eyepatch (but isn’t a pirate).

WFME’s You Decide: Receding Hairline Midget or Left-Leg Missing Cruise Shuffleboard Coach

You asked for it, and so ye shall receive.

Actually, if I had to be completely honest (which is a new thing for me these days), I would tell you that no one necessarily asked for another edition of WFME’s You Decide. But since my experience is often that people don’t tell you what they want anyway (and you have to try to figure out exactly what it is they want), sometimes I’ve gotta take a chance and try to assume what the audience is looking for.

Today I’ve decided that all you readers must decide between being a midget with a receding hairline or a left-leg missing cruise shuffleboard coach.

Today’s Hypothetical Question

Let’s say you had this friend.

And let’s say this friend was desperately in love with this girl, who happened to be his girlfriend. And let’s say one day you were going to pick up a video at Blockbuster Video and on your way in you noticed the same girl sitting in a Mercedes Benz in the parking lot. And let’s say the Mercedes Benz wasn’t your friend’s car. And let’s say you hid behind a trash bin so you could get a better look and noticed that your friend’s girlfriend was totally macking out with some other guy. And let’s say your first instinct was to just call up your friend right then and there and tell him what was going on. But then let’s say that your second instinct was, “he’s not going to believe me, I’d better take a picture with my cell phone first…” And then let’s say you snuck up right up next to the car with the cell phone and creeped up so you could snap a picture. And let’s say the window to the passenger side door of the Mercedes Benz was open a crack and so the “automated-snap” sound alerted your friend’s girlfriend and she stopped macking out and turned to look to see what was outside the window. And let’s say that your friend’s girlfriend saw you and suddenly got really really worried. And let’s say that your friend’s girlfriend got out of the car and said something like, “Oh please Paul… (just putting my name in here for hypothetical purposes, FYI) …please don’t tell so-and-so that you saw me.” And let’s say that you told her you didn’t know what to do because so-and-so was your best friend and you’d only known her for like ten months. And let’s say that’s right about the time your best friend’s girlfriend said, “well, we COULD get to know each other even better if you want…” And let’s say you didn’t know what to do so you said something like, “I can’t deal with this right now but I don’t know what I’m going to do…” And let’s say that was right around the time you left and rented your video and then went home.

Would you tell your friend and what would you…hypothetically say?