1. The first and best choice is to hide. A potted plant is a good choice. Use the plant as coverage while you sneak to a secure area. If the person looks at you, freeze. This tactic has been proven successful by many cartoons.
2. If the person has already spotted you, make loud noises and wave your arms. This will make you appear threatening. This will also work if the person is a bobcat.
3. If the person does not run away and instead asks you annoying questions like, “Why are you yelling and waving your arms,” then play dead. Cover your head to protect against annoying questions about why you are on the floor. This will also work if the person is a bear.
4. Should the person continue speaking to you, grab your nearest emergency pole vault and leap over them. Make sure your emergency pole vault is always handy. That point cannot be stressed enough.
5. If you have irresponsibly left your pole vault at home, stay silent as they talk to you but do not break eye contact. DO NOT BREAK EYE CONTACT. This will unnerve them to the point of leaving.
When performed correctly, the above tactics will free you of everyone you have never wanted to talk to. Best of luck, fellow hermits!
I just need to make it through this party. I just need to make it through this party and then I can cry.
Alright. I can do this. Just fix a smile on my face and no one will ever know. Say cheese! Now hold it. Hoooold it. Damn, the corners are twitching. My cheeks hurt. I probably look like I’m snarling. As though I’m about to eat someone just to get out of here.
In case you ever got the ridiculous impression that I am suave, let me clear that right up for you with a story.
In either 2007 or 08, I went to a live reading by David Sedaris. Perhaps you know him? Writes hilarious personal essays, often appears on the radio show This American Life, does an uncanny impression of Billie Holliday… Anyway, I first became a fan around 2003 when I read Me Talk Pretty One Day, and have giggled over several of his books since.
Naturally, I was excited to hear him read at Royce Hall in Los Angeles. I got to the theatre way too early and ended up milling around outside for a while. It was pretty empty – one of the few others there was this man wandering around by himself, eating a sandwich. There was something peculiar about him, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Maybe it was the flagrancy of his sandwich-eating. Like who does he think he is, right? Just eating a sandwich, like, right there? Doesn’t he know he’s about to see a David Sedaris reading?
I’m fuzzy on the details, probably because I blew up in a cloud of awkwardness, but what happened next was the man finished his meal, went around chatting to people who were now arriving, eventually made it to me and the person I came with, talked with us while I was like “why is this stranger talking to us, what’s his deal,” and then finally introduced himself as…
… David Sedaris.
Okay, writers. Grab your electrolytes-infused sports drink, because we’re about to karate chop some GREATNESS into your manuscript! Right now your “story” may feel more like a BORE-y, am I right? But with these ten simple tips, your book can become the belle of the bookshop, guaranteed.
It’s one of those days again. You’ve sat down at your desk, all set to work, but… Groan. Your muse has called in sick. Last time it was a dead car battery, and before that, the dog ate its homework. Whatever the reason, your muse is gone and you’re left high and dry.
Yup, it’s that infamous writer’s block. Here is a list of handy solutions for the next time it happens to you.
I light the last candle, turning to see the bed now cast in a soft golden glow. Saxophone music plays in the background. Lounging seductively upon its petal-sprinkled sheets is the book.
This was my first story ever published. It’s been a year since its release in Vandercave Quarterly, so in honor of its publiversary I am now reprinting it here. Enjoy 🙂
I love her.
I love her, I love her, I love her.
But I cannot tell her this, because the mesophyll affords me no need for a mouth.
Perhaps, as she pours the morning water upon me, causing my limbs to bounce beneath the shower… Perhaps, if I try very, very hard, I can will them to bounce just a little more, and she will see this and she will know that they bounce and jump with joy for her.
Perhaps, as she moves my heavy ceramic pot to the brighter windowsill where the three o’clock sun can find me, where it accentuates my strong and manly stems… Perhaps, if I try very, very hard, I can align my shape so that the light shining between my leaves upon the wall may spell out my ardor in sunlit letters.
Perhaps, as winds thrust through the open window, as they blow into her face her long brown hair (brown like my soil! Oh how many things we have in common!)… Perhaps, if I try very, very hard, with the help of the wind I can scoot to the sill’s edge, fall with a crash onto the floor. She will hasten to sweep up the dirt, but not before I tenderly grasp her hand with my roots.
Finger joints! For typing, holding pens, and obnoxiously cracking when I’m about to start a new scene.
Paper! And subsequently trash cans, for throwing crumpled balls of said paper.
Windows! So I can stare out of them all Broody Writer like.
“So is this a loony bin or something?”
Kryss (short for Crystal but DON’T EVER CALL HER THAT) is milling around my hospital bed in an oversized sweatshirt and strategically ripped jeans, a skull-and-crossbones clip holding her bangs. She’s here under duress with orders from the principal to deliver my assignments. Her bored eyes stare at me from above the pink, stretched, pregnant-belly flesh of a bubble gum bubble.
“Nah, just a regular hospital,” I reply.
The bubble pops. Smack smack. Her low, monotone drawl: “Um… But there’s like… posters of brains all over the place.”
In their threadbare, fingerless gloves the two stories warmed their hands over the bin fire. The flames whipped about like those inflatable tube-men outside car dealerships and the stories were careful not to catch a swipe on their equally threadbare cuffs.
“How long’s it been for you, Fantasy Comedy?” asked one of the stories, blowing hot air on his knuckles.