Sunday, August 26, 2012

Studies in Eccentricity #1

At Brooks Brothers, he witnessed a man ordering a pair of trousers with custom belt loops made from wire coat hangers.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Shock and Awe!

Between answering phone calls from irate customers (The Demon Slayer Bowie Knife looks different from the one on TV!), he dreamed of a job that would allow his true aspiration to take root and flourish: naming military operations. Nothing would have given him greater satisfaction than seeing one of his names on a vast wall map in the Pentagon, bristling with colored pins. In fact, he had once sent three single-spaced pages of possibilities to the Secretary of Defense, noting his favorites  with a green highlighter.

Operation Joy Buzzer.

Operation Green Apple Two-Step.

Operation Bingo Night.

Operation Black Eye.

Operation Candy Land.

Operation Sucker Punch.

Operation Crossbones.

Operation Hoodwink.

Operation Question Mark.

Operation Copperhead.

Operation Rawhide.

Operation Hell's Belles.

Operation Rope-A-Dope.

To his profound disappointment, the Secretary hadn't taken him up on his offer "to shoot the breeze over a couple of beers." No wonder the country was mired in protracted wars in distant lands. The nation's armed forces needed something to rally around, a mouthful of fireworks to inspire heroics. Instead, they listened to pulsing lyrics about gangstas and homies, while the enemy thought up new ways to dismember them. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Portrait of a Dealer

He was an antique dealer given to a kind of hyper-anglo dress. His tweeds were somehow tweedier, his club ties a little clubbier. His horn-rimmed glasses were as oversized as his tan brogues were undersized, giving him the appearance of a frightfully intelligent child.

Bird, Watching

A homeless man is seated at the corner of Park Avenue and 50th Street. Among the bags and grocery carts surrounding him is a paper bag from McDonald's with the alert, irridescent head of a pigeon peering from its twisted opening.

Book Ideas I've Had That I'll Probably Never Write

A novel about coffee.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Creature Comforts

A woman approaches a car idling at the intersection of Columbus Avenue and 66th Street. She is holding a sign that says Full-blown AIDS, please help. She wears a dirty nylon parka and carries a backpack over one shoulder. In a mesh side pocket of the pack is a brown, rabbit-shaped Nestlé's Quik bottle.