Friday, December 30, 2011


I smiled at the owner of the butcher shop down the street from my office. He smiled back at me.

"What do you have that's good?" I asked.

He raised an eyebrow quizzically and responded in Vietnamese.

"Barbecued pork?" I asked.

His smile got wider but it was clear I still wasn't getting through.

"Oink, oink?" I suggested.

Now his smile was tinged with just a hint of fear. He tightened his grip on the cleaver he was holding.

I glanced around the small shop in hopes of finding a way to communicate.

"Like that!" I exclaimed, pointing at a smoked pig's head sitting on a shelf in a corner.

He looked at the head, then back at me, and said something else in Vietnamese. I'm pretty sure it was, "Are you shitting me?"

I pointed at the head again, shook my own, oinked, and said, "No." Then I pointed to my belly, nodded my head, oinked, and said, "Yes."

"Aaah!" he said as his face lit up with understanding. He disappeared into a back room and I heard him whacking at something with his cleaver. He soon returned with a white Styrofoam box. I handed him some money, he gave me some change, and we smiled at each other and waved good-bye.

"What is that?" my assistant asked when I'd returned to my desk and opened the box.

"Barbecued pork," I said. "I think so, anyway. I got to practice my cultural skills when I bought it."

"Oh, brother," she said. "What did you do this time?"

"I made a new friend," I said proudly.

"Why is it that so many of your 'friends' are people who sell you food?" she asked.

"I am kind of a pig," I admitted.

She rolled her eyes and turned to walk away.

"Oink," I said.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Alphabet Soup (A)

A Jennifer and Snag production.*

* And a tip of the hat to our muse Kathleen.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Ball Of Fire

"Hey, ma," I said when my mother answered the phone.

"Hello," she replied. "I thought you were in Orlando."

"These modern phones work across state lines," I said.

"You don't need to be sarcastic," she said. "I was simply wondering why you'd call me when you're away on business."

"Maybe it's because I know you enjoy our conversations so much," I said. "What with you being in your dotage and all."

"You're not making any sense, although I'm used to that," she said. "But I'm still not clear why you're calling me from Florida."

"I'm not in Florida," I said. "I just got back."

"Weren't you supposed to get back tomorrow?"

"My meeting ended early and I wanted to get home because I missed my family so much."

"I'm sure they felt the same way," said my mother.

"Now you're being sarcastic," I said.

"Do you have anything worthwhile to say or are you intentionally wasting my time?"

"I'm driving. I'm bored," I said.

"Can't you find someone else to bother?" she asked. "Although I'd imagine most people have even less interest in talking to you than I do."

"You're being hurtful again," I whined. "I was calling to see what you're doing this weekend."

"Well, I wish it wasn't going to be so cold tomorrow. I'll be outside much of the day."

"Why's that?" I asked. "Did you get evicted? Serves you right for being unemployed."

"I'm not unemployed, I'm retired. And I did not get evicted. I'm going to be working at the clinic."

"What the hell are you talking about? What clinic?"

"The abortion clinic. I volunteered to be an escort one day a month."

"A what?"

"An escort. I'm going to help the women get from their cars to the clinic."

"You're going to what?"

"I'll be keeping the protesters away from the patients and making sure there's a clear path into the building."

"Huh," I said. "I have to admit, I'm speechless."

"Then it's already been a success," she said.

"Hilarious," I said. "What if the protesters come after you?"

"They wouldn't dare," said my mother.

Not if they know what's good for them, I thought.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Where In The World Is Snag - December 7, 2011 (part 2)

Where am I?

A. Hell

B. In the same zip code as hell

C. What would pass for hell if I believed in it, which I do now

D. It's a small goddamn world

E. _____?

Where In The World Is Snag - December 7, 2011