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I Know French Kissing has a Head Start On Me


I always see toads. I never see birds (not always) and I never see fish (that is: never always). Just when I think I’m buttoning my vest in the morning—turns out I see a toad then. If I go to the hospital to see my brother—sometimes I see a toad. Sometimes I see a frog. Sometimes it rains and I wear a coat & I see another toad. So I sit down and figure out if I’ve seen that one before.

Most of my walking is to the store. The store is always open, but I only have to work every day at six in the evening. Even if I go to a movie, I have to be to work by six. I go until two the next morning, when I get to walk home right through the expansive color black. Nobody knocking me down or giving me the bird. Well, perhaps they are—but somewhere else. Somewhere in their sleep. Pulling the carpet out while I dance with a girl. Frightening me with masks or scraping my tent. I keep walking. Toads watching.

Then, in my sleep, I’m turning a wheel. The wheel yanks a pulley. The pulley pulls another chicken onto the fire. The fire heats a balloon that lifts. As the balloon goes higher, it flies off a seesaw and lets the little boy down who was stuck on one end. The little boy’s name is France and he is wearing overalls and a formal yellow shirt. I am turning the wheel and the boats go further into the ocean and the stars come closer, down to the boats and me.

How to Begin

“Let’s see if I see another toad now,” I say when I wake up. I know they’re somewhere like smug salesman hiding in the dealership. I sometimes wear a shirt with a little alligator over the breast to let them know where I stand. Most days I work, so I must wear the Freshy’s polo shirt, which features a nutritious pattern of bread and corn both. I’m ashamed that some of the bread is printed upside-down. Should we ever be putting bread in that situation?

If it must go in the bag though, I insert bread last. On top. Beneath are chips. Then, eggs. Diapers and eggs, that is. (I used diapers in my junior high egg drop science adventure.) Spaghetti. Oranges, bananas. One of the checkers, she eats bananas and she looks like a banana. So it doesn’t just apply to dogs and their owners. If I just tell you she’s tall, you should be able to render a fairly accurate image. (Don’t forget she looks like a banana.) But I would be neglecting other things like how she’s skinny and how she’s hypoglycemic and how she doesn’t stop by the credit union when it’s closed on a holiday.

I don’t think it’s mean to say she looks like a banana. Is it because they’re so associated with monkeys and “going bananas?” Herbie Goes Bananas? Bananas can be refreshing. She’s not refreshing, though, so I don’t want you to abuse the analogy that far. I’m just saying she’s visually banana.

One day at the store, I asked Eli, “So when you make a snowman, what’s his nose made of?” I increased the mist slightly on the lettuce and legumes. “Do you use a carrot? Seems most people do.”

“Well,” he gave his face a stoic look and placed a calm hand on the tomato pile. “I guess I just,” his hands pawed at the air slightly, “pat some snow on.”

Eli had just been employed at the store of his own accord. He paints the windows, too, so he gets a wee commission. I suppose he’s partly responsible for a recent climb in traffic, since he installed Freshy the Fox, a slim, five-foot tall robot that metal-handedly eliminated our need for human greeters at the door. In fact, the store was previously called Prices Down. Ten business days after hiring Eli, Freshy was screwed into the floor and responding to our customers with the most hilarious and cordial of remarks, so no one resisted.

In fact, midway through his first day, Freshy began to tell customers a short anecdote about how he found out his foxhole had been a volcano this whole time and suddenly he pulled out a tambourine and erupted into howling. As you can imagine, this drew immediate fans. Including myself, always a fox fan.

Eli, the entire time, was unfazed. His serenity was so approachable. I noticed that he had ended Freshy’s nose with a chesspiece. I think that was a pretty good choice, don’t you?

If not, you can write your idea here: ____________.

What It’s Like to be Behind

Can you tell the difference between a normal person running for their life and a person running for the bus? I had this associate who always was running for his life. He had this other friend who was always running for the bus, and believe me it was hard to tell the difference.

So, this kid who was always running for his life, he had a black jacket with red sleeves that said “Sunday Rivers” on the back and it had mitt clips. This was a while ago, so sit back. One night he honked at a guy in a truck in front of him, because the guy was parked at a green light. (Why was he parked? I know I asked. We all asked. And Sunday Rivers didn’t know why. The guy in the truck just wanted his privacy.) So Sunday Rivers was always running for his life from this guy. And then he found out that his dad smoked pot and his mom had been hiding it. So he turned his dad into the police, but the police believed the dad’s story about lettuce and so Sunday Rivers was always running for his life.

One day, I saw Sunday Rivers absolutely running for his life. Then, the bus was almost there and I realized he was just running for the bus. So I thought, “Well, I won’t assume that anymore.”

So then I was waiting at the bus stop and this kid who was always running for the bus was yelling and stuff because the bus was early. But this helicopter came around the buildings and totally shot the kid. So he was running for his life. And I was like, “Running for the bus is so much easier.”

So I didn’t want to be on the scene of the crime and I got on the bus. Not that I thought the helicopter was run by criminals, because it’s probably pretty simple once somebody explains it to me. But I’m just saying from my point of view I saw a helicopter guy who had headphones on and he was probably listening to Ozzy Osbourne and just getting rid of kids doesn’t matter who.

So I sit down and not feel like talking to anybody. But everybody is talking like they have so many issues.

The loudest were the people in front. The fellow had a briefcase on his lap and the lady had a scarf. The briefcase was one of those backpack-briefcases so you can go hiking once you get to work.

“When you ride the bus it’s so easy,” she said and he was nodding the whole time she talked. “You don’t have to get a parking spot. No waiting—”

“No gas!” They were sitting across from each other and some signals were being transported.

“—and and and the day is so much longer. Have you noticed that? It’s longer.”

“Without fail!”

“The day is longer.”

He gave her his thumbs up and rocked in his seat.

“It’s simply longer. And…” She wanted to go further. Benefit concerts.

He still was really liking the day being longer, though, because he gave her thumbs up again (like YOU’RE TOPS) but he drastically resembled a foreigner, who’s happy to not at all understand and just thumbs up the whole way from airport to airport.

“And the wait is really nothing. It’s people. You wait with people,” she said. “And then, if you’re alone, hey: it’s just you. Sometimes it’s so good to just be by myself.”

“Yes,” thawing out the thumbs, fellow.

The man behind me began to speak louder now.

“There is something to speak of in the biological connection. I don’t think I could adopt a child.” He crossed it all out. “No, no, I mean I-COULDN’T-LOVE-AN-ADOPTED-CHILD-AS-MUCH-AS-MY-CHILD!”

The woman tried, “But you’re say…”

“Woman, I’m not saying I wouldn’t adopt a child.”

“I hope you don’t, though! If you wouldn’t love it as much…”

“As much, as much, who cares. Love is difference.” He sort of sounded foreign, too.

“You said, ‘Not as much.’”

Later, I saw the thumbs fellow and the bus lady french kissing at the bus stop. See, that’s what I mean by how french kissing is ahead of me. I mean it’s always there first. When I get there. I never am there and it all the sudden starts up. It’s like a script: Cue the french kissing. Now send in Jackroy. To what? What am I supposed to do?

It’s fantastically similar to the bumper sticker: I BEAT UP YOUR HONOR STUDENT. You know? Before the parents got there. The parents are following in their car and they have to follow. The guy got there first. Before they even knew their kid was on the honor roll.

Transcribed from the .swf file.

by why the lucky stiff