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07 May 2007

I'm bored. Tell me a story. Make it a good story. Full of pink princesses and cute little dogs and handsome pricesses and celebrities. Or, you know, you could just tell me what you had for lunch. I'm easy.
Once upon a time, there was a turkey sandwich and a couple clementines.
posted by box 07 May | 15:22's almost time for my kid to get up from her nap. I'll ask her for one. She tells great ones, but they tend to be pretty dinosaur intensive.
posted by jrossi4r 07 May | 15:24
Tell me a story.

OK. If you squint really hard there's a princess. Definitely not a handsome prince, though. Also, no cute dogs, but there is a cat.

"this is what will happen"

The last time you sleep with him is when you値l lose the earring. You値l put it on his coffee table-- well, you'll put them both on the coffee table, but it's only the one that will go missing-- because it's in the way, tangling in your hair, his fingers, the fleece throw draped over the arm of the couch.

You will have done this before.

The first time you sleep with him you'll forget your earrings in that same spot, two cheap hoops that he'll keep for a week, joking that he's holding them for ransom, that they're his guarantee he'll get to see you again.

The second time you sleep with him you'll get the earrings back, but leave another pair. On purpose. This is your guarantee you'll get to see him again.

It will go on like this for eight straight weeks. Neither of you will mind.

Then the last time.

You値l almost forget the earrings on your way out, but then you won't. Next to the empty wine bottle, the two not-quite-empty glasses, will be an earring.

Not two.


You'll swear, but under your breath. Even now you won't want to wake him up.

Especially now.

You値l look around for the other earring. Of course it won't be there. Why would it?

His cat will be watching you from its perch on the windowsill.

The cat. He'll have warned you about the cat. It likes to knock things off the table, bat them around until it loses them under the couch or the radiator or behind the bookcases.

The fucking cat.

You'll grope around the floor. Under the couch and the radiator and behind the bookcases.


Still swearing, you値l leave. Without the earring.

This is what will happen.

Right now, though, you are sitting in a bar, watching him in the mirror, wondering who he is, whether he値l come talk to you, what it would be like to kiss him.

What else will happen is this:

The day after the last time you sleep with him, he値l send you a text message.

It will say "we need 2 talk."

You値l ignore it, because you don稚.
posted by dersins 07 May | 15:27
posted by seanyboy 07 May | 15:30
Once there was an out-of-work business analyst who went interviewing with Yet Another Recruiter while wondering what was happening with the technical-writing position he'd interviewed for. Opting for a late lunch, he went to Firdous (the one in Polaris Mall, not the Firdous Express down at North Market) and ate stuffed grape leaves (yum!), tabbouleh and lentil soup.

(Epilogue: He wishes he'd gotten an order of baba ghannouj to take home and he still doesn't know what's become of the TW job.)
posted by PaxDigita 07 May | 15:32
A pink princess ran over a cute celebrities dog.

I had beer and mixed nuts for lunch.
posted by jonmc 07 May | 15:33
yay, dersins! I like it.

(there once was a little scientist called gaspode who resubmitted her manuscript to a journal today. she was very happy. Then she dropped a centrifuge rotor on her toe. That was the end of her happy day. The end.)
posted by gaspode 07 May | 15:33
Tell me a story.

From Shari Lewis circa 1991:

Dragon told Yanni, "I'll eat you for dinner."
Dragon had one yellow tooth
"You'll eat me for dinner??!!"
Yanni knew that dragon was telling the truth.
"You know what I mean,
To fill up my belly," said Dragon
Yanni turned green.
"At least let me put a call to my sweetie," said Yanni
"She's only fourteen."
Dragon said, "yes" and Yanni called Sweetie, told her the news of the day.
"Whatever happens,
I want to be with you," she cried.
Said Yanni, "No way!"
But Sweetie said, "I'll be right there,"
And she hung up.
Yanni saw her arrive.
And he trembled to think that his two favorite people would soon be no longer alive.
"Sweetie," he said, "I don't want you to stay.
Dragon will hollow your bones!
He'll chew on your toes
And gnaw on your nose
And I don't want to hear all your groans!"
Sweetie laughed and said, "I'm the daughter of Lightening; my granny is Thunder, don't fear!
I'll take this dragon's slivers, scales, if he has one I'll rip off his ear!"
With that the dragon turned and fled to where ever dragons belong.
And Yanni was glad that his little Sweetie was not only pretty but strong.
posted by hemanhasamullet 07 May | 15:34
Definitely not a handsome prince, though.

We frogs continue to politick for equal time.
posted by PaxDigita 07 May | 15:36
I wrote a story for an ex-girlfriend of mine. It was a children's story, titled "Who will pick up the poop?" It centered around walking a dog, and, well... you can guess the rest.

Sometimes, I honestly wonder how that relationship lasted as long as it did.
posted by backseatpilot 07 May | 15:38
There are stories about princesses and there are stories about dogs.

You've heard both in your time, but wish that one day you could hear a story which involves both. You've tried to write such a story, but it's never quite right. The hero is never heroic enough and either the dog or the princess feels like they were tacked on. You've looked down at those handwritten pages and you've honestly felt like crying.

For a while you tried the classifieds. Every week newspaper would flood into your house and you'd carefully read those little square boxes. No such luck. Either Princesses or dogs. Never both. You tried placing an advert asking for both. You got two responses. The first, an angry letter from a Christian Minister. The second, a picture of a mans penis. After that, you never tried placing your own classified ads.

You asked people on street corners. You asked mediums and idiot savants. You travelled to other countries; scraped your way across Europe and the middle east but to no avail. You learnt 30 different ways to say dog and you never once saw that word connected to the equivalent for princess.

Princesses and dogs. Dogs and princesses. You settled down, bought a house, got yourself some children. One summer, you asked him to tell you a story with both, but he pulled away, repulsed. This thing, this request of yours nearly caused the end of the marriage. This is why you tried to keep it quiet, but it's so difficult. Summer comes around and the smell of it drives you to thinking about it, about princesses and dogs.

And last year, you saw something in your youngest daughters eyes. You know it. You've seen it in a dozen ripped up stories; you've seen a shadow of it in the Pensions of Europe; you've tasted the fear of it in the normality of a simple man's mouth. And you know she'll ask you one day. To tell her a story. Not a story about princesses and not a story about dogs. She'll ask for a story about princesses and dogs. And, if it doesn't happen for a few more years then maybe, just maybe you'll know a story that fits the bill. But it's unlikely. It's always been unlikely.
posted by seanyboy 07 May | 15:54
Dersin's story was awesome. Here's mine:

Once upon a time there was a fat, ugly, unemployed, insecure 27-year-old girl who never washed her hair or her dishes and lived in a dumpy apartment in Westchester, New York.

The girl was very unhappy because she didn't have a job, her mother was batshit insane, her boyfriend was only a normal human being and not a superhero, and she hated herself for having reached such a ripe old age without yet having earned fame and fortune.

One day, as the girl was walking to her beat-up old death trap of a car, she stumbled and fell on the sidewalk because her left foot was a little bigger than her right foot, and her shoes didn't fit her properly. When she stood up, an old woman with a merry face was standing in front of her, holding a wand and a pumpkin.

The old woman carved the pumpkin into a Jack-o'-lantern, handed the wand to a passing trick-or-treater dressed up as Hermione Granger, and gave our heroine several million dollars and a book deal.

Suddenly, the young girl lost 50 pounds, found herself clad in designer clothing, wearing lovely Prescriptives makeup and a pair of gorgeous Prada kitten heels that fit her just right on both feet. Her '96 Corolla became a jaunty new VW Beetle, and her apartment turned into a three-story brownstone with a jacuzzi tub in the bathroom and granite countertops in the kitchen. Her boyfriend became Peter Parker, only handsomer, a more talented photographer, and of course much wealthier. All the trick-or-treaters came running up to her and began asking for her autograph, telling her how she was a much better writer than either J.K. Rowling or Philip Pullman.

The girl was so happy that she died on the spot, whereupon she either went to heaven or disappeared into the earth as her body was eaten by worms.

The end.
posted by brina 07 May | 15:58
Hmm. There was a cat that looked like a hairless chihuahua at the Moscow Cat Circus, and a ballerina, and some other lady who might have qualified as a princess. But no story is surfacing, so here's lunch: a banana with a few brown spots, salted pita chips & several kumquats left over from a weekend lakeside picnic.
posted by PY 07 May | 17:24
Once upon a time, there was a princess named Dog. No, seriously, that was her name. There was a mixup with her fairy godmother's prescription glasses and she misread the name she was to read out loud at the official naming ceremony. (At least that's what she claims.) Dog grew up gracious, and gorgeous, and pretty, and kind, like all good princesses do whose fathers were trained in the art of being monarchs without taxing the peasantry too much or going off to war too many times.

It is because Dog lived in such a prosperous and beloved kingdom that many princes from far-flung lands wanted to marry her and become king when her father died. Dog entertained these handsome young swains in her best riding outfits on the hunts, or in her most daring dresses and wimples during tea time. She was always accompanied by her own faithful dog, Princess. (I know what you're thinking, and you're wrong. Princess was a mixed breed dog, with some whippet and some greyhound, with a bit of Great Dane and daschund mixed in. No, I can't imagine it either, and I ask you not to do the same.)

[More later]
posted by TrishaLynn 07 May | 18:33
Her dog was a papered Shih Tzu, and she, herself, was not "just a girl." He wouldn't have mistaken her for one, ever, after learning that she kept a tiara in her desk, although there were plenty of other obvious clues. From her framed Wellesley sheepskin, to whichever of her Prada handbags she dropped in her desk on arrival at work each day, it wasn't like she was trying to hide being a royal. But it hadn't been a paying position since before trench warfare had been invented.

On the other hand, being a real princess, at whatever remove from whatever real throne might once have grounded her family, still came with decent genes, and the semi-studied self-importance that made keeping a tiara in her desk not entirely crazy. It was finding out that the Shih Tzu had a matching, smaller tiara that made him skeptical about her grasp of reality, however.

Who puts diamonds on a dog, on a book editor's pay, he wondered? And what would such a person want for lunch, anyway? Not a hot dog, he thought.

But he liked hot dogs, especially Nathan's, out on Coney Island. Papaya Kings were easier to find in his neighborhood, and good in their own way, but once a month or so, he rode the train out to Coney Island on a Saturday or Sunday, and got some dogs at Nathan's. His dad had done the same, with him in tow, since he could remember.

And so days went by, after he'd brought his client's manuscript to her, and he'd never asked her to lunch. Never saw the Shih Tzu, either, just a picture of it, peeking out from a bag, not Prada, wearing its tiny tiara. Which led to her showing him her own. And questions by him around town, getting her backstory.

Today, however, he bumped into her, on her way out of her office building, dog in a bag, as he was going in, to drop off another stack of manuscripts, from other clients, to other readers. He usually sent them, but he'd taken to delivering them himself, to this firm, on the chance of catching her in an unguarded moment, in her office. For editors with whom he had no history, he found he got better results this way than with formal meetings, but it took awhile, sometimes.

"Hello!" he said. "Who's this?" He looked down at the little furball face poking out from the carrier bag over the royal shoulder.

"This," said the princess, "is Mitzy." So he exchanged pleasantries, and inquired of the reason she had her dog at work, and learned they were headed to a vet appointment. So he said "Oh, I guess I'll see you next time, then." as he started to turn away.

"No," she said. "If you've got a few minutes, come along. We can talk about your client's book, and it's only a few blocks. She's going to stay this afternoon, for grooming, so it'll only be a few minutes at the vet. You can walk me back, afterwards."

And so they did. And on the way back, he discovered she did eat cart hot dogs, after all, with mustard and relish, and that he didn't mind having his client's dreams of publishing fame dashed, if she who dashed them was dressed in shades of pink, and could eat hot dogs while walking, without getting mustard on her chin, and kept a tiara in her desk, and her dog in a bag.
posted by paulsc 07 May | 18:44
5 Very Short Stories exhumed from the archives just for you, Pinky.
posted by scarabic 07 May | 19:32
I like that one too, paulsc.
posted by gaspode 07 May | 20:27
OK TPS, since I like you, here is a story I was going to make a post about.

Wife and I went to Emmylou Harris the other night. She was marvelous. A very generous 2-hour set. She had an acoustic ensemble with her, no band per se. I was at first disappointed but it turned out fine. They had a setlist, but gave it their all.

Before going in, I went to buy a glass of champagne in the lobby (actually cheap Spanish sparkling). My wife sort of looked askance when I announced my intentions but she does that a lot.

They had to open a new bottle, and the cork went out of control and hit me in the forehead, sort of stunning me. I was half genuinely stunned, and half moderately over-acting (I did not crumple to the floor) in that I knew that this glass was on the house. It was. So in a bouyant frame of mine, wife says that she is going to get a chocolate truffle. I said that it was not likely that there would be such a mishap, getting a truffle. She started laughing, I started laughing, which led to us making out briefly in the crowded lobby.

And Emmylou was good. (I have seen her 6 times now, I think.)
posted by danf 07 May | 20:40
OK not a once about a time, but I did not read the comments before posting.
posted by danf 07 May | 20:41
Reno calling! || Bunnies here, there and everywhere.