Saturday, May 18, 2013

Bathroom Monologue: Regarding Submissions

Dear Expurgated Press,

I am finding your detailed submissions guidelines very helpful. Your "What We Don't Want" section lasting a screen and a half showed your devotion to craft, and I am picking up from other sections all the time.

For instance, had I not scrutinized the eighteen bullet points on "What Your Format Must Be," I would have had my submission immediately rejected for not applying the mandatory 0.6" margins. I have printed the guidelines page (it actually comes to five pages in your formatting choice) to carry with me at all times, to refer to as an e-zine bible. I am still working through your "Common Mistakes" opus.

Yet as meticulous as your Submissions Page is, and though I cannot admit to having read all five printed pages of your guidelines yet, I cannot help feeling something is missing.

Where is the "Payment" section?

Yours in adoration,
John Wiswell

Friday, May 17, 2013

Bathroom Monologue: Do Not Hug the Golem

A golem is the best friend you could have. Forget sexy succubae. Forget conniving imps. Just because they're your species, or have blood in their veins, or hopes and dreams, does not make them good friends or reliable business partners. In fact, all those features make them distinctly bad business partners on any important business.

One reason you want the golem as a best friend is that it'll never hog the seats during travel. If there's only room for one on the carriage, it'll let you sit. If you only have one steer, it'll let you ride it. It will walk. It will pull the carriage.

Another reason you want the golem as your best friend is that when you're stranded in the middle of The Frontier, it won't kill the carriage’s steer for food. It doesn't eat except when it's confused, and then it'll usually eat you by mistake. Succubae eat you out of boredom.

Once the steer has been cooked and gone rotten, your golem best friend won't turn on you. It won't try to cannibalize your left arm under the rationalization that you're a righty. Unlike imps, the golem best friend also won't run off in the middle of the night, abandoning you once it's obvious that it can't eat you in your sleep.

The golem is a better friend because it will actually carry you back to civilization. You’ll be sick from hunger, utterly useless to it, and it’ll cradle you to its craggy flank until chimneys are in sight. Even when the villagers run at it with pitchforks and torches, it'll stay with you until you get a hot meal.

Now after that, it will run away. It will run like a sissy. To be fair though, all best friends will run away once you're safe and people are stabbing them with farm equipment.

However, very few best friends will then loiter on the city outskirts, hiding behind the biggest tree available, until you're healthy and ready to disembark.

The only downside to the golem best friend is that it'll break your ribs when it hugs you upon seeing you again.

Do not hug the golem.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Very Inspirational Blogger Award 2013

Franny Stevenson recently gifted me with her latest blog game. The Very Inspirational Blogger Award. It's been a couple of years since this one has come to The Bathroom Monologues, so I was curious how the rules had changed. They are:

1.) Display the award logo on your blog.  
2.) Link back to the person who nominated you. 
3.) State 7 things about yourself.
4.) Nominate several other bloggers for the award.
5.) Notify those bloggers of the nomination via comments.

Not too complicated. These "state things about yourself" rules have gotten trickier, as by now I believe I've revealed at least a hundred things for various awards. I've decided to go with seven reading facts in anticipation of my first book shopping spree in three years, coming up this weekend. I'm very excited.

1. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World was the first book where I stopped fearing for first person narrators. Though being chased by terrifying dinosaurs, I realized he had to survive in order to tell me the story. Teen revelations, man.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bathroom Monologue: I'm Your Boyfriend from the Future


"You don't swear as much in the future, but you do so much more creatively."

"You've been here two minutes and already you're trying to change me?"

"You try to pick no-loss fights like that in the future, too."

"Do I believe your bullshit time travel story in the future?"

"You'll find out if you go on a date with me."

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Monologue for a male theologian who is somehow hired to do the commencement speech for an all-girls college

Thank you for inviting me. I’m not sure exactly why you invited me; perhaps “Jens” sounds feminine to American ears.

Uhm. Yes.

Well, I’ve always felt Christianity had more feminism to it than churches let on. I think they were intimidated. I grew up Irish Catholic and there was no stronger force in the world than my mother. My father was a distant second place. The local priest, somewhere in third. Sometimes she would even speak up during services, if she disagreed with the theme. One Sunday she and the priest got into such an argument over whether or not God could make a rock that He Himself could not lift that the services ended before the matter was resolved.

I hope that won’t happen today. It may be why I’m so nervous.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Bathroom Monologue: "Why can't the computer just take the novel out of my brain instead of me having to write it?" –Anonymous Friend

Soon it will! With the march of progress, the innovations of neuroscience and tidy monthly fee, you too will never type again. You'll be jacked in to an industrial word processor, an air tube running up one nostril and a food tube down the other, fed a steady drip of chemicals to stimulate the parts of your brain that crank out ideas. You'll be held in an eternal sleep of pre-selected, pre-programmed dreams, free to enjoy them without the pesky freedom to recognize they're happening, all while your unconsciousness is milked of stories by the latest Microsoft Notepad, which will translate your imagination into immaculate blocks of text and tropes. You'll never have to worry about writing again. You won't be allowed to, either.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Redux: In the Car Wash

Little Sal clutched his action figure as his mother drove them into the car wash. It was dank and blue rubber strips hung down like giant teeth. They slapped wetly against the windshield and clung on, making him sink into his cushioned seat. White foam sprayed over all the windows. His mother put it in Park and the car jerked as the conveyor treads began pulling them in.

Little Sal pulled his Green Lantern to his chest, as though to protect the superhero from this onslaught. His mother patted his shoulder.

“Do they scare you? It’ll just be a minute. It’s been forever since we got a wash on this rust bucket.”

“It’s not them, Mom.”

The conveyer drew them further down the mechanical gullet. What had once been a whirring was now like sitting inside a jet engine. They couldn’t hear outside the car, and the windows were all covered in foam and spinning rubber strips. What little light made it through the foam looked yellow. Little Sal squeezed his eyelids closed.

“What is it, honey? The noise?”

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