Mother?  John Junior?  Myrtle?  Jennifer?  Cousin Nathan?  I just heard from that fella at th' bank.  The news...it ain't good.  He gave us three months to make up everythin' we missed out on payin' for th' past six.  I tried to tell him, I tried sayin' "if we couldn't make them payments on time in th' first place, how the hell we gonna do it in three months?" He didn't say nothin' to that.  Oh children, he just stared at me.  I think they mean to take th' farm from under us and leave us all on th' street.

So it's come to this.  Our only hope is we get one of us on some kinda reality programmin'.

I never claimed to be an educated man...shut up, Cousin Nathan.  Now's not the time to be a-jokin'.  You can save it for them cameras, if we's lucky.  But listen, all.  If there's one thing I know?  There's two basic truths about the basic cable TV.  They's got boatloads of money, and they love filmin' them some quirky country people.  And if we're gonna save this farm, we need to be as quirky as possible.

Mother, you an' I already have us a headstart what with your drinkin' problem and my pill addiction and my drinkin' problem.  How many of them intervention programs are there now?  Two or three?  Well one of them suckers is gonna eat us up with a spoon.  Especially when they see the secret bottle setup I got in my wooden leg, here.   I'm...sorry this is how you were to find out about this, children.

But the wooden leg!  That's the key!  John Junior, this wooden leg right here?  You made this, an' a fine piece of work it be.  But it's yet another thing we could try'n sell to one of the TV people.  That's gotta be worth a half hour to one of the networks.  Ain't there a home and garden channel?  Or some kind of DIY show where you teach people how to make new stuff for th' kitchen or th'...an outhouse or some such?  Maybe if you was to focus on whittlin' fancy soup bowls and cutting boards instead of replacement limbs and teeth we'd have somethin' good goin' on there, John Junior.  And to think of how I and your mother used to taunt you over you and your whittlin'.  Well I'm sorry son, that were the liquor talkin'.  For these past twelve years.  

Now, Myrtle and Jennifer?  You two don't have no viable talents, but you're at least a little bit easy on the eyes.  So we're gonna have to take a whole 'nother tactic on you two.  I'm sorry to say it, but th' grease that lubricates th' very gears of reality TV is...drunken harlots.  So you two sit right down and have a drink with your momma and me.  Have a couple.  And let's get to tearin' the legs off of them blue jeans.  Afterwards, we can take a video on the camcorder of you two tryin' to drive a tractor on the highway or somethin'.  I'm sorry girls.  It does turn my stomach to have to do somethin' like this but if one of you had a craft like your older brother and his pansy whittlin' we wouldn't have to slut you up like we is.  

Now for you Cousin Nathan, I don't know where to begin with you.  You're a goldmine.  You got the hut where you tan your roadkill, the Animal Planet will want some of that.  You have the shack where you barbecue the roadkill, that's goof for one o' them cookin' channels.  And your whole house at th' end of the property, well you can't even sleep in there no more can ya?  On account of all th' trash you done collected?  Sorry, Nathan but it is trash.  What you say you collect is literally garbage.  You have more black garbage bags in there than you do furniture.  But you know, I used to judge you for that and I do apologize.  Now that I realize how many of them hoardin' TV shows is out there; your obsessive compulsive behavior is like unto a goldmine to this family.  And you got a serious drinkin' problem too, that's somethin' special!  We can have a super intervention or some such!  Yeah, that's gotta be somethin' the TV will want to air.

Family, we need to come together in this time of crisis.  But I am convinced that the only way we's gonna save th' farm, is if we can sell ourselves to some sorta basic cable reality TV programmin'.  And I think we can do it.  We all have somethin' special, somethin' that people want to watch and learn from.  Or at the very least watch, and gawk at.  If we can succeed in whoring ourselves out to the TV and selling our way of live as disposable entertainment, then we will preserve our very way of life itself.  It's our only chance, I jus' know it.



I couldn't keep it up.  One post a day?  One, new, original, and un-shitty story a day?  I ran out of steam. Or, I had to stop forcing it.  The past few chunks of I posted...not too happy with.  I'm going to stick with it, but only when a good idea strikes.  And I'm going to try and up production of my longer stuff.



It was going to take forever for the heat to die down, so the guys went to town and started getting creative.  The cash was stacked high in the dank basement, and wasn't going anywhere anytime soon so they got to building.  Tightly wrapped in plastic, non-sequential bills, mixed denominations.  The guys had left the stacks of ones and fives, the chump change.  Tens and twenties and hundreds and fifties and one short stack of two dollar bills.  Why not?, one of the guys had said. They had no answer.  So they built down their in their little kingdom with the blacked out windows, the stolen loot as their bricks.  A whole living room and bedroom, built out of cash.  They made forts out of the money, thousands of dollars high and deep.  They ended up flinging bricks of fifties at one another, giggling like little kids in February in a green winter.  The games continued until the plastic gave way and the air was filled with cash, so they decided to stop.  And after they gathered up the loose cash, they all drifted away to sleep atop their stolen fortune.



She looked up and down the aisle nine or ten times by now, one toe tapping a jittery rhythm against the base of the jewelry stand.  She knew there was a camera up behind her, but she was wide around that the cameras would have no way to catch her hands.  Those nervous hands plucked and tucked the fancy earrings and necklaces here and there beneath her clothes as her head craned back and forth on her tense neck, back and forth.  she licked her lips nervously as she swapped the jewelry back and forth on the hooks.  Never leave an empty hook, that's the first thing they see on the camera.  The negative spaces.  She looked up and down the rack and gave it a spin, then walked away slowly.  Lazily.  Stop a second later, and peer through the glass at the pretty things they keep locked away.  Looking oh so relaxed as she drags a languid finger across the case.  If anybody was watching, they'd never know suspect her to be a thief.  She's just a casual shopper.  She might buy something, she might not.  She glanced sideways up at the security camera again and smiled, a long and slow and triumphant smile.  She felt an emotion that was something like peace come over her, felt her racing heartbeat creep back to normal, and slowly walked out the door.



Well, I think that's okra.  But it might be a piece of eggplant.  If I could taste it, I'd know for sure.  The guy with the gun says "keep your heads down over your plates!  If I see you looking at us, the next thing you're lookin' at is the inside of a body bag!"  And he doesn't need to tell me twice, no sir.  All I see right now is a nice, hot bowl of minestrone with oyster crackers.  In a cracked bowl.  I hear words behind me, but I don't want to understand them.  Whatever's going on behind me, does not concern me.  I'll just sit here counting the noodles.And the beans, there are seven green beans in here.  Seven green beans, eight spiral noodles, five bits of carrot, 9 white beans, and that stuff that might be okra or eggplant.  I'm looking at my bowl sir, just like you said and I am definitely not hearing the loud thumps and smacks that are coming from whatever you have going on behind me.  No, not hearing anything.  Just watching my crackers soak up that rich red broth, eyeing the crack on the side of the bowl, and trying to decipher whatever the hell this weird, almost gelatinous looking- oh God, you just shot somebody.  You just shot somebody, the crack of the gun behind me was like thunder, like thunder right in my head and- I'm not hearing this.  I don't hear any of this, the only thing in the world is me and my delicious bowl of soup.  I didn't see your face, I didn't hear your name, I'm not hearing you reload your gun and hey, I think this is zucchini.



Man, it was crazy.  Crazy.  I was just sitting there, minding my own business with a little jar of honey wine when this big bastard comes running in with a whip -with a whip- and the guy just goes nuts on everybody around him.  He's kicking and punching and laying into everybody in sight and everybody's screaming and trying to get away from this skinny-ass bearded nutjob and things were just crazy in there.  And in the background he's got this posse of twelve other guys just egging him on.  "Nice one, Jesus!"  "Oh snap, Jesus just broke that guys collarbone!"  "Kick his ass, Jesus!"  It was just chaos.  So I'm freaked out and all my livestock is freaked out, and then he turns and points at me and he shouts "YOU!" like I owed him money or I banged his mom or something.  I put my hands up and I'm going "Hey man, I'm just trying to take care of my lambs here-" and BAM!  He jumps up like four, five feet in the air and drops this wicked-ass elbow right down on my head.  I go down like a sack of grain into a pile of sheep shit, and then he's standing over me swinging that whip over his head and screaming like a crazy person.  Honest to Yahweh.  He turned his back and I grabbed my string of sheep and got the hell out of the Temple, the last thing I saw was him turning over the moneylender's tables on the floor with his boys behind him applauding him like he just played a kickass lute solo.  Man.  I heard people talking about this guy before, and let me tell you.  I don't know much about this 'son of God' business, but that dude sure does hit like a son of a bitch.



I was mad.  Mad, I tell you!  Nay, I am weak.  Those fountainheads so perfectly arranged before me; I could not resist a splash from each and every flavor of beverage mixed into one, single Double Big Gulp.  My thirst is quenched, yet I am dehydrated and feel sticky.

And it was not a sound idea to dress my bowl of Frosted Flakes with a Starbucks DoubleShot.

Lo, my KFC Double Down did not need a bowl of gravy for dipping, yet I did order it on the side; for I am loathsome.

I regret that I was fool enow to purchase a sack of Cool Ranch Doritos, for my order from Taco Bell was already of the Locos Tacos variety.  Woe, that I did not think outside of the box!

Yet when it came to dessert, I held fast!  I stood strong!  I resisted the delicious sponge cake and the creamy filling of the Hostess varieties.  No Twinkies nor Snoballs nor delicately crusted fruit pie will waylay me.  After having supped so richly this day, I exerted every erg of willpower to resist the siren’s call of the pastry stand.  For I am no animal.  I am a man!

...but in truth, my strength is a mask for my true weakness.  For I know lurking in the back of my freezer, I own a pair of Sara Lee poundcakes and one cheesecake.  And furthermore I know that I will likely make unto myself a sandwich of these confections, however grotesque and decadent that may be.  

O, lament!