Author Archive | Mark A. Rayner

Fiction: At the GruntWerx Board of Directors Meeting

fb-dream

Recently I was asked if I was interested in writing something about the cases of the two sexist boneheads who recently got fired and disciplined in Ontario. One was fired for yelling really offensive things at a female reporter, and the other disciplined for being equally douchy to a comedian at an industry awards banquet. I had no desire to write a commentary about this, but Jason Winders, the editor of the Western News, was open to a flash fiction piece.

You can find At the GruntWerx Board of Directors Meeting here.

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Did I Miss Anything?

Desks in classroom

Nothing. When you are not present how could something significant occur?


Question frequently asked by 
students after missing a class

by Tom Wayman
The Astonishing Weight of the Dead.
Vancouver: Polestar, 1994.

Nothing. When we realized you weren’t here
we sat with our hands folded on our desks
in silence, for the full two hours

Everything. I gave an exam worth
40 per cent of the grade for this term
and assigned some reading due today
on which I’m about to hand out a quiz
worth 50 per cent

Nothing. None of the content of this course
has value or meaning
Take as many days off as you like:
any activities we undertake as a class
I assure you will not matter either to you or me
and are without purpose

Everything. A few minutes after we began last time
a shaft of light descended and an angel
or other heavenly being appeared
and revealed to us what each woman or man must do
to attain divine wisdom in this life and
the hereafter
This is the last time the class will meet
before we disperse to bring this good news to all people
on earth

Nothing. When you are not present
how could something significant occur?

Everything. Contained in this classroom
is a microcosm of human existence
assembled for you to query and examine and ponder
This is not the only place such an opportunity has been
gathered

but it was one place

And you weren’t here

Alltop never skips the funny class. You may also want to check out the author’s thoughts on the poem. Via Mandy Grzyb

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Spot the Newton!

newtonHello and welcome to today’s edition of Spot the Newton, where you pick out the UNtrue facts about Sir Isaac Newton:

  • was unquestioningly one of the most important scientists ever
  • died a virgin
  • had a passion for alchemy above all else
  • once poked a needle in his eye to test an optical theory
  • used his roommate’s towel (for who knows what purpose)
  • invented a bed-wetting machine for pranking his fellow students
  • punched his sister
  • developed the calculus (Gottfried Leibniz also did this)
  • had a crossbow, and lied about it to his grandmother
  • lived for one year on a diet of apples
  • was a religious nutjob who learned Hebrew so he could discover the “secret” meaning of the Bible
  • threatened to burn down his mother and step-father’s house
  • beat the shit out of Arthur Storer
  • needed to relax a bit.

Answers accepted in the comments, or via the FB page.

Alltop has a passion for the alchemy of humor. Sources: io9, Facts/Legends, but no cheating. Image by Stavros Damos.