You Always Hurt the One(s) You Love

Godzilla in Tokyo

A man walked into his kitchen. It was a Saturday morning, and he was hoping to greet the day with a nice cup of hot tea. The recent workweek had been particularly taxing, so the man was looking forward to a restful 48 hours away from the office. Everything would be perfect. His phone was disconnected, his laptop was shut down, and there were enough groceries in the refrigerator to last until Monday. Indeed, the man had no other objective than to lounge about on the couch all weekend, in his underwear, listening to old 45s and catching up on past issues of his favorite music magazines. What ecstasy! But then the rumbling started: softly at first, until soon the entire apartment was juddering like a rickety subway train. Taking a deep breath, the man wobbled over to the window to have a peek. Off in the distance, through the faint clouds of rising smoke, he could see a disappointing and all-too-familiar shape lumbering haphazardly across the skyline: that of the beastly nuisance known only as “Godzilla.” Oh, how the man hated living in Tokyo. He especially hated these little visits, which seemed to happen every summer or so, when traffic and tourism were bad enough as it was. Why no one else in the city seemed to care was beyond him. Strangely enough, some of the citizens even claimed that the giant lizard was Tokyo’s “protector”; however, protectors, as far as the man was concerned, weren’t likely to create billions of dollars’ worth of property damage, now, were they? That would be like calling a tsunami a “refreshing shower” or “not that bad, really.” The man sighed. Frustrated by the untimeliness of it all, he stepped away from the window and began readying his tea again. Soon, the 40-story wrecking ball would be gone, and life would return to what Tokyo considered “normal” after a radioactive monster attack. The man was just about to pour himself a steaming cup when suddenly a loud explosion knocked the kettle straight out of his hand. Incensed, he rushed back to the window for another look. Over in the Shibuya shopping district, a dark plume rose ominously in the air. Realizing what had happened, the man couldn’t believe his eyes. Every muscle in his body twitched uncontrollably. He was now trembling in unison with his home. The unthinkable had just occurred: Godzilla had destroyed Tower Records. The horror! “That does it,” the man said angrily, heading towards the closet to grab his coat. “I guess I’ll have to deal with that son-of-a-@#$^% myself…”

© 2014 Tony Vicory.


On Bad Terms

Dictionary of Pain

A man walked into a dramatic reading of the unabridged Oxford English Dictionary. He would eventually learn the meaning of the word “pain.”

© 2014 Tony Vicory.

Reductio ad Absurdum

Lost in Seuss

A man walked into a poem by Dr. Seuss
and found the experience startlingly abstruse.
“What a [nonsense word redacted],” did he deduce,
when faced with a [nonsense word redacted] on the loose.
He then [nonsense word redacted] and [nonsense word redacted]
until [nonsense word redacted], but not before [nonsense word redacted].
In truth, the whole unsettling affair would reduce
even the best of men to years of drug abuse…
and, in this case, it certainly did.

© 2014 Tony Vicory.

Pain in the Butt

Telephone Cord Colonoscopy

A man walked into a proctologist’s office. “Excuse me,” he said, stepping up gleefully to the reception desk, “do you have any openings available?” Amused by his own pun, he began snickering like a schoolboy. “Sorry,” the receptionist replied coldly, “but you’re the wrong sort of @$$hole.” This exchange repeated itself several times throughout the morning until finally the receptionist, who was neither a licensed medical professional nor a forgiving person in general, gave the man her version of a colonoscopy. Thankfully, soon after the incident, the proctologist did have a small opening available and was free to evacuate twelve feet of telephone cord from the man’s large intestine later that very same afternoon. “All’s well that ends well,” the proctologist joked afterwards, snickering like a schoolboy. The receptionist frowned. Much to her chagrin, she would soon be performing another colorectal procedure…

© 2014 Tony Vicory.

Another Day in Paradise

Escape from Heaven

A man walked into Heaven. It was the best day of his afterlife. Until, that is, the mandatory orientation seminar, which lasted for a @#$%ing eternity. Sessions included:

  • “Theology 101: You Didn’t Know What You Thought You Knew”
  • “Theodicy 101: Yes, It Followed You Here, Too”
  • “How ‘They’ Got In: Admissions Policies and Those Who Slipped Through the Cracks, Including ‘That Guy’ and ‘Her’”
  • “Tuning Your Own Harp and Other Euphemisms”
  • “No More Telephones: Praying When God is Already in the Room”
  • “Budget Cuts: The Streets of Gold Are Actually Paved with Pyrite”
  • “The Face of Jesus: Why He Doesn’t Look Anything Like Jeffrey Hunter”
  • “How to Successfully Introduce Your First Wife to the Woman You Replaced Her With Six Months After the Funeral”
  • “The Revised Inerrant Bible”
  • “Sensitivity Training Moderated by the Apostle Paul”
  • Heaven Is For Real: Live Comedy Reading”
  • “Ornamental Wings: Why You Still Have to Ride the Bus”
  • “Chick-fil-A: Now Open on Sundays Only”
  • “Can’t I Reincarnate Instead?: Coping with Disappointment”
  • “Where’s My Dog?: Coping with Disappointment”
  • “Why God Buried All of Those Dinosaur Bones 6,000 Years Ago”
  • “CCM: Great Music or Greatest Music?”
  • “Angelic Bodies: Hooking Up Without Junk”
  • “How to Sleep at Night: Silencing the Screams of the Damned You Might Hear Coming from the Basement”
  • “What Happens When You Die… Again”

The man was later caught trying to escape over the Pearly Gates, but was wrestled down by Saint Peter, who afterwards slapped him in the face with a tilapia. Forever was going to be a very long time…

© 2014 Tony Vicory.

Generation Prodigy

A man walked into an elementary school graduation ceremony. Up on the stage, his daughter, the class valedictorian, delivered the following speech, now paraphrased for clarity:

“Family, faculty, and friends both real and imaginary, welcome. Can you believe it? The moment has finally arrived. We’re graduating. Before our compulsory education, we were mere children; however, today, we’re still mere children, who happen to own diplomas. Indeed, much has changed. A short while ago, we knew nothing of the outside world, but now that world is our oyster, which we probably won’t eat, because its insides look like boogers. (Then again, we might be persuaded for extra TV time.) Without hyperbole, since none of us has learned that concept yet, these past five years have been nothing short of a roller coaster ride, one of the very few we were tall enough to board. We’ve grown as people, mostly biologically but also as reminders for our parents to use birth control, whatever that means. We’ve lived. We’ve loved. And we’ve finger-painted dinosaurs. Truly, this school has made us who we are: slightly older versions of the kids we were already. We would thank those responsible, but manners and etiquette weren’t part of our curriculum. Sharing was, though, so we’ll split the credit in half. High fives all around! Sadly, in the year to come, we’ll soon be leaving this place — our home away from home or daycare — and going to middle school, where we’ll learn sarcasm and how to fart with our armpits. It will be a time of great progress. But before we celebrate, let’s take a moment to remember those classmates who won’t be joining us in the coming adventure, namely the ones who moved away, got cooties, or couldn’t crack long division. May they never be forgotten, because we have yearbooks. So, with that being said, turn your tassels, Class of 2014, and raise your glasses of Welch’s grape juice. Congratulations! We did it!”

The man wiped a tear from his eye. “That’s my girl,” he said, whimpering uncontrollably.

© 2014 Tony Vicory.

Winter Is Still Coming

A man walked into an episode of Game of Thrones. He was instantly beset by pirates, mostly those who didn’t want to pay for HBO. He fought back bravely, but bravery often gets you killed in Westeros — although, arguably, less often than a functioning moral compass or the surname of “Stark.” Remarkably, in a twist that no one saw coming, except for readers of the novels and anyone in close proximity to readers of the novels, the man was rescued by a tertiary character mentioned only once in a previous season and whisked away to a far-off land conveniently spotlighted in the opening credits. Unremarkably, however, the man soon found himself at a brothel, where he asked without a trace of irony, “Who does a guy have to @#$% to get a drink around here?” “Us,” answered thirteen already-nude prostitutes in unison. After making a down payment with six of them, the man reached for a goblet of mead, but was prevented, i.e. beheaded, by the tertiary character, who had decided to double-cross him for reasons yet to be explained, possibly three episodes later… or in the inevitable Blu-Ray commentary. Oh, what a cliffhanger!

© 2014 Tony Vicory.

Let My People… Drown?

A man walked into the Red Sea. “Not now,” Moses said, staring angrily at the soggy Hebrew. “I have to part it first. @#$%. This whole ‘Exodus’ thing isn’t going to work if you lot don’t learn how to listen…”

© 2014 Tony Vicory.

Flipping the Bird(s)

A man walked on eggshells. He offended no one — with the exception of the mother hen, which was really pissed off about it. Furious pecking ensued. Fortunately, the grievance was soon rectified with the cooking of a hearty chicken-stuffed omelet. Mmm, conflict resolution!

© 2014 Tony Vicory.