A non-comprehensive collection

Category Archives: Grotesque

Just My Luck


Absolutely and completely senseless.

Lives, forever ruined in an instant. Endemic terror reverberates from the epicenter shattering our collective sense of normalcy.

We dupe ourselves into believing we’re immune.

The news seems so far from our insulated bubble. Nevertheless we’re intermittently confronted with the reality that we’re no more than a series of chance reactions happening on a pebble hurtling through space towards no particular destination.

Gunshots ring out. Another mugging’s gone awry in our imperfect world.

Tires and sirens screech and scream.

It’s too late. He’s already bled out.

The entire block and adjacent shopping plaza are shutdown. My two-thirty hair appointment with Leonardo now numbers among the casualties.

There is no doubt: man is the cruelest animal.

No recourse exists. I’m gripped with a sorrow that can’t be undone. My appointment, Leonardo, yet again derailed—even after I already had to reschedule twice when his dopey kids were struck with tuberculosis, or some shit, all last week.

Too late. The benefit dinner’s tonight and Leonardo of Leonardo’s Hair, Nails, and Pre-Paid Cell Phones is the only one in this city I can trust with my looks. Had I known a murder was happening I would have rescheduled yesterday’s spin class and made time.

Rude. Inconsiderate. All of the above.

I’m a magnet for tragedy. I suppose now I’m just expected to persevere through the tears, numb myself with a few solo afternoon drinky-poos, and primp as best I can.

What’d today’s assailant even gain, some petty cash?

Dear God, egoism is absolutely heartbreaking.

I desperately did need this appointment.

And, yeah, I suppose the callous snatching of human life is also never ideal.

It’s just that, everyone’ll be there tonight. I know Julie Henderson, that queen bee, will just have a field day with my, unfortunately, homespun appearance. How I despise that smug, toothy tart and her mole-faced lemming, Barbara. There’s no doubt in my mind they’ll spend the evening goading their twofaced following into persistent, behind-my-back mockery.

I see your game, Julie. I’m not dumb. I completed three semesters at Brown before parlaying an unplanned pregnancy into extortion and then later into a marriage with my contemporary culture professor and a life of stay-at-home luxury. So, yeah, Julie, I know a thing or two.

But smarts don’t matter now. No amount of intelligence or partially completed art appreciation degrees can un-cancel my lost appointment. Now I’m just a survivor, taking life as it comes, coping with forever being cemented on the new money B-list.

Jesus, tragedy can really hurt.

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An Unacceptable Amount of Mayonnaise

This post originally appeared on Long Awkward Pause.   They’re a fun bunch who I contribute to sporadically and whose site is fun to peruse.



Dear Mr. James of the Family John,


I’ll drop the formalities, Jimmy John; I’m going to be frank. Yesterday I thought I ordered a sandwich, but upon unwrapping the culinary atrocity you’d delivered I found nothing except disappointment and confusion—much like a child tearing open a birthday present only to find this year’s edition of Quicken. What I received was no sandwich; it was more akin to a small raft of bread floating atop a congealed caloric ocean on its voyage to Type II diabetes.


My appetite was gone, but not satiated.


The ratio was revolting. The term sandwich was inaccurate. Sandwich implies some bit of structural integrity when, in fact, this was just a coagulated mass. Out of context I’d have surmised it was industrial cafeteria waste or an interactive art project gone awry. Jimmy John, I wanted lunch not poor man’s potato salad, my non-mayonnaise toppings suspended within the gob like casualties in Attack of the Blob.


I immediately threw it out, needless to say. It’s now feeding the dumpster rats that lack self-control.


My cubicle’s carpet, though, will never regain its innocence.


I fear I’m being unfairly stereotyped, Jimmy John. I know I live in the Midwest. I know I’m part of the demographic that leads this nation in cheese-based restaurants and child heart attacks. I know we sell t-shirts that read “Flavor Country: We’ll Show Restraint When We’re Prematurely Dead.” But, Jimmy John, we’re not all Rascal-riding gluttons. Some of us view sandwiches as more than just vehicles to ingest mayonnaise.


Sure, freaky fast delivery is great, but not when it’s in such haste that your sandwich-slinging bigots are applying sweeping generalization to populations just to get orders out on schedule.


Prejudices like this are tough to stomach. Please, stop ascribing your narrow-minded beliefs about me based off my location and neighbors’ waistlines. Get to know me for who I am: a customer who experiences white-hot rage whenever he’s delivered a meal that’s drowning in white, room-temperature goo.


I have a dream that my children can someday live in a world where mayonnaise always comes on the side. Yes, I know it’d be more expensive and would render your company’s vats and masonry trowels useless, but it is a compromise. Your stereotyping sandwich servants could remain and continue to pigeonhole customers to their blackened hearts’ content, yet, by only giving packets, they’d never again be able to ruin a lunch through over-mayonnaise-ing!


Be a leader who looks out for people. This country needs a sandwich king, not a sandwich Führer.



Marginalized as Another Midwesterner,

Justin Gawel




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