Author Archive | Mark

Star-crossed lovers

The being had crossed all of known space to find her, Lola LaBozla, the smartest woman on Earth. It had tracked her from Earth orbit using the prototype of her own wearable artificial intelligence unit and spaghetti cleanser (AIUSC), that while bulky, had a certain caché and definitely worked with her fish-net stockings. Of course, she realized right away that a being from another star system was using the AIUSC to track her movements, and she was intrigued. Who was this person? Was it a person, or was it some kind of hive mind that inhabited a pile of pasta bacterium?

She was relieved to discover that it not only an individual, but he had a form that was more or less humanoid. She felt this was further evidence of the Anthropic Principle. He had two arms, two legs, and a giant mouth in the middle of his face that had possibilities. His reflective bug-like eyes and claw like hands were a little off-putting, but she was encouraged by the size and girth of his cranium.

She just hoped he wasn’t too attached to the shower cap.

Laying off the pasta? Read some of my long fiction — guaranteed gluten-free!

Alltop is never without its ablutions hat. Originally published, October 2011.

The wonderful thing about tautologies

He’d started the usual way: he burst through the door, landing on the nearest (and fattest) person, introduced himself, and then sang the song. (He’d paid the Sherman Brothers a fortune for it, so he sang it at every opportunity. And he enjoyed the frenetic dancing and bouncing too.)

The wonderful thing about tiggers
Is tiggers are wonderful things!
Their tops are made out of rubber;
Their bottoms are made out of springs!
They’re bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy,
Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun!
But the most wonderful thing about tiggers is
I’m the only one!

“That’s a tautology!” the enormous biker he’d landed on said. The biker weighed about 300 pounds and had the most impressive mullet that Tigger had ever seen. It was magnificent!

“Thank you!” he lisped.

“It wasn’t a compliment. You can’t say you’re wonderful, and then prove that by saying you’re wonderful. It’s a self-reinforcing statement that can’t be disproved because you’re assuming you’re correct.”

The other bikers in the bar agreed, nodding their heads.

“If you’d said, Tiggers are wonderful because we’re bouncy, that would have been fine,” the guy behind the bar said. He was wearing a leather vest and had nearly as much hair on him as Tigger, though it wasn’t a wonderful orange color.

“But I AM wonderful!” Tigger said, confused. “The Sherman Brothers wouldn’t lie about it.”

“I don’t know who the Sherman Brothers are, but they have very poor logic skills,” said the giant biker Tigger was sitting on.

“And I don’t want to be one of those guys,” said the bartender, “but their rhymes are kind of pedestrian and that bridge does not scan well at all.”

He reached under the bar and produced a baseball bat.

Alltop is great, because it’s just so fabulous! Originally published January 2011, and now also in Pirate Therapy and Other Cures.

A writer writes

writing with giant pencil

Ignatius was working. That was the first rule for writers. It wasn’t about the tools, his teachers had said, back in school. It was about discipline. Work.

A writer must write, even if, as Thomas Mann said: “A writer is someone for whom writing is harder than for other people.”

Of course, he might find a pen somewhat less of a challenge than the over-sized novelty pencil. And he’d heard great things about something called a word processor. Maybe regular-sized paper?

No! he thought. It’s not about the tools.

Another tiny sheet of paper ripped apart, unable to withstand Ignatius’s impatience and the giant pencil. He sighed, and started his to do list again.

Alltop does not know this “pencil” Ingatius speaks of. Photo by Natalie Down.