Lazy Bastard


 This is about my job as a Handicap Assistant, which didn’t last a long time unless you consider one day a long time which I sure don’t. The woman at the agency gave me the interview and hired me right on the spot, smiling at me with this wide smile, blinding me with her teeth and psychotic grin… what the hell is so spectacular? She was still smiling when she said, “Welcome to the team… let’s go meet your charge Teddy.”

My charge- Teddy- was a blind paraplegic. Or maybe it was quadriplegic I wasn’t paying attention because he smelled like yesterday’s milk. Teddy was my age, isn’t that sweet? That was the woman from the agency talking, not me. I didn’t think Teddy was sweet in the least… he was trying to look sad, sitting by the window in the lounge (like he didn’t know I was coming) and his helper dog Hondo went right for my groin.

“Adorable,” said the woman, nodding, and it’s a good thing she left ‘cuz if she smiled again I think I might have hit her. Or the dog.

“NICE TO MEET YOU, TEDDY!” I shouted, and he snapped his head back like he never heard a voice before. “My job is to drive you around town for the day! Where do you want to go first?!?” He says ‘the bank’ of all places so I grab the chair and leash and start wheeling him out.

As we were walking out I’m thinking: this guy is no cripple; most likely he’s just one of a billion lazy bastards faking it for the retro-pay from the government. He thinks he’s clever but I’m pretty clever myself so I figure let’s beat him at his own game! I let go of the chair and start screaming:


Now the goddamn dog is barking at me like a lunatic and Teddy’s just sitting there in the chair real still-like, so I guess he’s got this act down to an art. I thought I saw his leg move a little the third time I tried it but that might have just been because I was shaking the chair so hard. Hondo came back for my groin.

So outside in the car Teddy starts to cop this attitude with me, you know, like he’s the king and I‘m just this guy, this guy who has to drive the king around town? I strap him into the back of the van (you’ve never seen velcro so tight) and pull away from the Center when he says, real-quiet: “I want to stop at Burger King for lunch.”

Whoa! This was getting out of control… who does he think he is Justin Timberlake or some rock star? I told him no, he tells me yes, I tell him no, he tells me yes… we went back and forth like this for about half an hour. Finally I see a Wendy’s and figure close enough but when we pull up to the window Sherlock “Handicap” Holmes somehow discovers its not a Burger King. Blind?

“I want a Whopper sandwich,” he says, rocking in captivity. I told him to have a Frosty- same thing! “I wanna Whopper sandwich, I wanna Whopper sandwich!” I threw something at him, a tire iron I think, but again: "I wanna Whopper sandwich from the Burger King!"

That was it. I had enough of this insanity! I get out the car, lower the ramp in the back of the van and start to unbuckle this bamboozling nincompoop.

“Please don’t harm me,” he says. Now suddenly he’s sweet as sugar again? No thanks!

I swear to you people I only intended to dump him on the street corner and drive off for a few hours, just to give him a scare… but as luck would have it once I untie him he rolls down the ramp- too accessible?- and down into the lot. And down the hill to the road. And down the road onto the expressway. I screamed for Hondo to go after him but the dog never had any respect for me. We just stood there watching Teddy roll (so fast!) and wondering how he was avoiding all the cars. And then…

The cop- who was so rude I could have punched him in the eye- said Teddy was “obliterated" in the crash. All they could find was a molar. Of course the woman from the agency- who only two hours earlier couldn’t stop smiling at me- fired me and made me fill out a bunch of paperwork so it looked like I was responsible for Teddy’s death. Do you believe that?

You know what I think? I think the vindictive son of a bitch faked the whole thing. I think he pulled a tooth out his mouth when he met me and staged the accident for the insurance money, probably changing his name and moving away. One thing’s for sure… I’ll keep my eyes open, 'cuz if I ever spot that lazy bastard he's gonna get pulverized all over again.


Bedtime Story

Believe me about the wolverines?

Bobby cocked his head, looking up, wanting to smile.

“Yes,” Bobby said, but the child did not know why.

Believe me that they’re real?

To this Bobby nodded, now thoroughly confused.

I hope you’re not afraid.

“Oh no,” said Bobby, because he was supposed to, “I’m not afraid. ‘Cuz I could punch them.” The boy swung his small fists in a weary demonstration but the pantomime made him feel slightly better.

Oh no you couldn’t do that, Bobby… The man moved closer to the boy, putting a hand on Bobby’s shoulder, steadying his arm. The wolverines would gobble your hands up. They’ve got jaws like bear traps and teeth like diamond knives. They’d eat your hands in a single bite. Tear your fingers right off.

Bobby, sobered, looked down at his hands with a sadness.

You can’t punch them, Bobby, so what would you do? If they came? If the wolverines came to get you?

Bobby’s face was blank as he searched. Then,“I would run away.”


Bobby, encouraged, leaned back on his hands. “Yeah, I’d run away.”

But the wolverines would catch you. They’ve got legs like eagle's wings and they’re faster than white lightning. They’d catch up to you and feast on your soft belly.

With that the man touched the boy’s round stomach. Bobby felt ill. He wanted to be someplace else, away from this man, away from the wolverines, away from this house. He almost walked out of the room but manners had taken root.

“What do I do then? About the wolverines?”

The man stood up from the bed and smiled a little.

Bobby looked up at him, waiting.

There is nothing that you can do.

The man flipped off the light switch and walked out, leaving Bobby in his bedroom all alone.


The Critics Speak

The Tourist

“Angelina was paid entirely in orphans”

“One of the best Depp movies you’ll never see!”

“The chemistry-free romance left me lots of time for texting!”

“[Never gonna] give you up, never gonna [let you down]!”

“Jolie’s wandering accent will keep you guessing for days”

“Botox-frozen faces linger pleasantly onscreen”

“Already wiped from my hard drive”

Gulliver’s Travels

“As Jack Black gets older he just keeps getting funnier!”

“A cosmic meditation on the joys of retardation”

“Guess who’s coming to dinner? Gulliver! And he’s buying!”

“Jack Black bludgeons your testicles with comedic delight”

“A triumph of the spirit for stunted dwarves of all ages”

“Stop buying tickets… [you’re] only encouraging him!”

“To hell with Swift’s literary masterpiece- we’ve got CGI!”

The Green Hornet

“Come for the action, stay for the thrills, leave for the bathroom, come back for the finale!”

“A TV show that no one remembers becomes a movie that no one will see”

“There's no such thing as too much Rogen!”

“Gobbled my goobers out of sheer exuberance!”

“One adult and five dirt-stupid children for Green Hornet, please!”

“Another comic book movie [that reminds us] why we don’t read comic books”



The Continuing Adventures Of Audrey Heartburn


I mean, Ulghxhlg!

Why did this have to happen? To me? In my house? On a Wednesday?!?

You probably figured out that Brad dumped me, just left like, six minutes ago and took my heart with him. He plucked it from my chest like an overripe nectarine, didn’t even sever the ventricles which is only common courtesy do you know what I’m talking about?

What did I do so bad? Love him so good? Take him so seriously? Okay, so I sent him like, ten thousand texts a day and I made him pancakes on Saturday morning. Is that my crime? Pancake crime? Blame it on Aunt Jemima and scotch tape my heart back together!

I remember one night, in bed, right after we made love, and Brad turned to me and started crying, sobbing like a baby on dog food, and he told me that he loved me more than anything, that no one had ever treated him so good, not even his Mother. He made me promise that I would never ever tell anyone about it. Well I guess promises are made to be broken, Bradley, because now it’s on the internet and everybody knows.

I feel so naked and stupid and miserable and raw. Maybe I should put some clothes on. How can you dump a naked girl? On a Wednesday, no less? Okay, so maybe I asked him to say I love you too much. Is that so impossible, like four or five times a day, to take me by the hand and look me in the eye and tell me that he loves me? ‘Oh, not now baby, I got baseball on DVR.’ Will somebody please explain to me what baseball has to do with the deepest emotions of the human soul? And don’t say sacrifice bunt because I’m really vulnerable right now.

I knew things were getting rocky- that’s why I bought us the cat! I wanted to give it an adorable name but Brad insisted on ‘Governor Kitten.’ That’s so stupid because it’s not gonna be a kitten forever and what cat goes into politics anymore? I told Brad that Governor could be a practice for us, you know like for when we pledged our souls to one another for eternity and the babies started happening and we had to be responsible for the babies? Do you know what Brad did? He stopped feeding the cat and left rat poison around the house. There’s nothing gubernatorial about driving a dead cat to the vet in a Gap bag, which is what I had to do in case you couldn’t figure it out.

Brad was my ultimate everything. This stings like a bee sting from a bumblebee’s stinger. We had tickets for the Simon & Garfunkel show next month but now Brad will probably bring his brother or that girl who hangs out at the IHOP. Pretty ironic for a guy who always told me ‘Enough with the pancakes.’ I should make a short stack and leave it on his doorstep. And then ring the doorbell. He’ll realize he never had it so pancake good in his life.

I’ve tried to stop the tears but they’re flowing like a discount carwash and I’m pretty dehydrated at this point. I just don’t understand. I asked Brad for a reason and all he could say was, ‘We’ve lost the goodness.’ I didn't lose it, I’ve just been saving it for the wonderful times that were getting harder and harder to come by. All of a sudden the Food Network was no good for him anymore and he started watching TBS behind my back. I only watched those cooking shows so we could learn how to make casserole together. Love casserole.

I know I’m being irrational, but my life is on fire in a room full of microwaves and I feel like my hair is going to fall out the inside of my head. I’m never gonna love again, and this time I mean it. I’m a shell now, or worse, like a turtle without a shell, who doesn’t have his shell anymore because some bearded guy cracked it with a putting wedge. I’m going to kill myself or eat an entire box of Oreos, whichever comes first. And Brad, wherever you go, I hope you wind up with a vicious woman who surprises you with pancakes.

Every Wednesday.