If you ever jump out of a plane, and your parachute doesn't open, don't
worry. Worry won't get you anywhere.
My landlord was bothering me about the rent. He said he was coming over. As
he rang the doorbell, thousands upon thousands of black flies carrying elves
flew out and settled upon him. He hit at the flies and tried to kill them,
but the flies flew in great waves around him. Finally he turned and left. My
landlord later told me he thought I was crazy, but then, he had some growing
up to do.
Basically, there are three ways my neighbor and I are alike. The first is we
both like to repeat what other people say. The second is we both like seeds
a lot. The third is a beak.
If you ever see somebody sleepwalking, don't wake them up, like a lot of
people do. Instead, that's a good time to look through their stuff, because
I bet you'd be really surprised.
The credits unroll (in a series of dissolves) against a fuchsia background.
Clear glass, faceted, jewel-like beads slowly fall from the top of the
screen to the bottomcollecting at lower frame level. They gradually fill
the frame like a container until it is entirely packed. The beads shift in
space ever so slightly.
The policemen and newspaper reporters have jumped out of the cars and are
running up to the pool, in which a body is seen floating. Photographers
bulbs flash in rapid succession. Angle up through the water from the bottom
of the pool, as the body floats face downward. It is a well-dressed young
Finishes watering itexamines plant to see if it has any signs of growth,
finds slight evidencesmilesone part is saggingshe runs finger along
itraises hand over plant to encourage it to grow.
ANGLE ON A UNIFORMED COP, staring out the window of a POLICE CRUISER as it
inches along in the bumper to bumper traffic. Noticing something, he reaches
for his radio.
Betty takes a deep breath and fluffs her hair. She grabs the plate of
pineapple kabobs and heads for the door. Just before she goes in, she
pauses, then plasters on a big wide "stewardess" smile . . .
A BONFIRE has been lit in the middle of the street between the library and
the barbershop. Twenty to thirty people are gathered around it still
whooping and hollering as the bright ORANGE FLAMES shoot into the air.
The Owner begins indiscriminately loading hard liquor into a cardboard box,
leaving Bud and Lynn to look at each other. Bud says the only thing he can
A cloud of dust blows THROUGH THE FRAME as the speeding car sails over the
edge of the cliff.
Laughter, according to Reader's Digest, is "the best medicine."
The wise old owl was the doctor who took care of all the little animals in
the forest. And the squirrel was the serial killer who tortured and shot
I had attention deficit disor
My descendants came over on the Mayflower.
THE OLD SCHOOLHOUSE
Down in the valley, where the distant, faintly vengeful bleating of goats
can still be heard, stands the little red schoolhouse. I went to school
there, as did my parents before me. Not long ago, during a vacation from the
Schaumburg Embroidery Museum, I went back to visit it, and found no changes.
I remembered the swing under the cherry tree and how a girl's arm was broken
when she slipped and fell. I remembered just how it happened. And I
remembered how I was dismissed that day because I didn't clean up after my
dog. Poor old Brownie!
I even looked down into the cellarthat famous cellar where we tied up
Schuyler Bolt and then forgot to untie him until the next school year. What
trouble we got into that time!
I walked around the playground, where we had drank puncha concoction of
grappa and various sticky vermouths, ornamented with an unidentified herb.
(Edelweiss, Dad suggested.) I found the place where we had cut our
namesin the bark of the antediluvian oak trees, on the great grinning
benches, and on the posts. We had cut hearts around the names, and arrows
through the hearts. This was an old-fashioned way of sending a valentine.
Many of those boys and girls are married or divorced now and may be sending
their children to this very school.
WISCONSIN DELLS PERSONALS KEY
Good with fish
Good with Mexicans
Learning to read
If you were a space alien, you know what would be the one thing that would
really make you mad? Cookbooks written in French. How the heck are you
supposed to read them?
PERSONAL FASHION MISTAKES
1. Feather earring (1978)
2. Beret (1979)
3. Paper shirt (1981)
4. Green suede Robin Hood boots (1983)
5. Really skinny black belt (1985)
6. Dress black leather jacket (1989)
7. Stovepipe jeans (1990)
8. Flattop (1993)
9. Goatee (1997)
10. Feather earring (2000)
Like sand in an hourglass, the loose granular material ran into the bottom
of the coffeemaker-shaped timepiece.
© by Mike Topp