And Then It Happens

This is a short story that I wrote this back in college and have updated it periodically throughout the years. I challenged to myself to write something in second person present and it just got weirder from there.

And Then It Happens

Now follow me on this. You receive a promotion in a job you can honestly say you live for. Then, you meet the man/woman/person/barnyard animal/inanimate object of your dreams and not only is the feeling/biological reaction mutual, but he/she/they/etc. is available and completely and utterly devoid of any and all psychological baggage. Next, a distant relative whom you’ve only met once for a few hours, but honestly grew to righteously hate in that short period of time, dies and for some inexplicable reason leaves you his/hertheir/etc. fully stocked and staffed two-hundred room mansion in the mountains, or on the beach, or in the woods … wherever you would most prefer, the car of your dreams (fill in make, model, year, and options of your choice), and has prepaid all utilities, insurance and repair costs on both for the next century. In addition to all of this, your pet dog/cat/pig/reptile/arachnid/etc. who ran away five years ago returns home after apparently passing obedience school with flying colors and finally, due to a radical change in the criteria, you’re now eligible to be nominated for a Nobel Prize in the field of being a wonderful human being. All in all an amazing run of luck. And then it happens…

It goes by many names … fate, kismet, bad karma, the bitch goddess lady luck, the rest of your life … and you’ve just contracted a very possibly fatal case of it. Sure, it starts simply enough … an abnormally large clump of hair in the shower drain, a few previously unnoticed dings in your new car, a positive test result, but then it mutates … at a speed thought only to be theoretically possible … into a creature that would make Lovecraft have to sleep with the lights on. Suddenly, life as you know it sucks. Your boss finds out about the seventy-five hundred grand that you embezzled from the company. Little does he/she/they/etc. know that your account number differs by only two digits from the guy who has the office down the hall or that there is such a thing as computer error. Then, your significant other finds an undergarment belonging to the opposite sex under your bed. Of course, you forgot to tell him/her/them/etc. that you make two thousand dollars a weekend performing in a drag show two towns over. Next, your pet, in an attempt to prove that he/she/etc. did not, in fact, attend obedience school, bites you in a not so insensitive area. Of course, he/she/etc. has rabies. If that wasn’t enough, you receive your last paycheck as well as notification that insurance company has dropped you on the very day that you realize, the hard way, that your house in the mountains, or on the beach, or in the woods, etc., is on a fault line and that the whole “stand in a doorway” thing is an unfounded myth. At least your car/new home is still in one piece. Unfortunately, you fail to see the No Parking sign and it’s towed away and impounded two days after the earthquake. And finally, when you’re absolutely convinced that it can’t get any worse, the Nobel Prize for which you were nominated goes, once again, to one of those damn missionaries.

You’re on your way to the free clinic to receive your first shot when you find an untouched lottery ticket on the sidewalk. You pick it up, check the date and realize that it’s still valid. You promptly scratch off the gummy silver stuff in the appropriate areas and find out that you’ve won three and a half million dollars. Well it’s about BLEEEEEP time. You now have enough to return to living in the manner that you didn’t have quite enough time to become accustomed. You pocket the ticket and decide to cash it in on your way home (relatively speaking). Arriving at the clinic, you find your former boss waiting for his/her/their/etcs. weekly treatment. He/She/They/Etc. approach(es) you and explain(s) that the bank found the computer error and that you have been exonerated of all charges. He/She/They/Etc. then offer(s) to rehire you, at a sizable increase in salary, if you agree to forget about the whole unfortunate incident and not sue the company. You briefly debate whether or not you should tell him/her/them/etc. what he/she/they/etc. can do with his/her/their/etc.’s offer but then decide that discretion is the better part of valor and accept. You take a seat in the waiting area and try to think about anything other than needles. It doesn’t work. While waiting, and hyperventilating, you hear on the radio that, due to a calculation error, the damn missionary did not, in fact, win the Nobel Prize … you did. Finally, your name is called and you proceed to the examination room. You enter the room to find that the nurse administering the shot is the most gorgeous man/woman/enby/person/etc. that you have ever seen in your life. He/She/They/Etc. inform(s) you that, due to a very recent advance in medical science, the shots are now unnecessary and hands you a bottle of pills. He/She/They/Etc. then tells you that your test results from three weeks ago were accidentally switched with those of another patient and congratulates you on testing negative. You ask the nurse to dinner to celebrate the good news and he/she/they/etc. accept(s). You leave the examination room, proceed down the hallway and just as you are about to open the door and exit the building a man approaches you and congratulates you for being the free clinics ten thousandth patient. He then presents you with a certificate for a free lifetime supply of hair re-growth treatment solution. You thank him, take your prize, and leave the building. Outside, a boy holding a box of puppies/kittens/lizards/baby pigs/arachnids/etc. asks you if you would like one. You decline, but the boy won’t take no for an answer. He tells you that they are free and implores you to give one of them a good home because he can not. Realizing it is a no-win situation you take one and proceed down the sidewalk. Moments later, your new pet leaps out of your arms and dashes across the intersection ahead. You rush after him/her/them/etc., but unfortunately you fail to see the eighteen wheeler speeding toward you. And then it happens again, for the last time.


Why 34: The story of the mysterious number on the headstock of my uke

I bought myself this ukulele on my 50th birthday, last February. I played it on every song on my album, wrote most of the songs on it, and have used it in every cover video that I’ve done since it was delivered in late March. It’s an upgraded, customized version of the same model that I bought in late 2018 and absolutely fell in love with, a Magic Fluke concert scale Flea. In addition to the upgrades (a pickup, side fret markers, and geared tuners), I had them include one small customization. Since I was buying it for a special occasion, I wanted to add something that would make it uniquely mine. I considered a couple of ideas for custom paint jobs, a coiled snake or a clock face around the sound hole, but both of those would have required commissioning an artist. I didn’t really know anyone who could do it and I’m way too shy to reach out to a stranger, so those ideas were nixed pretty quickly. Then, I decided to simply have them engrave the number 34 into the headstock.

It’s a reference to the 1977, Richard Pryor film, Greased Lightning. The film is loosely based on the life of Wendell Scott, the first black stock car driver. I first saw it back in the ’90s and as someone who had aspirations to go into a field where I didn’t see anyone who looked like me (I use a wheelchair and at the time, I wanted to be a rock star), I found the film very inspiring. 34 was the number on Scott’s car (in the film and irl) and it immediately became my ‘lucky’ number.

Over the past year or so, I’ve been getting a bit more serious about putting my music out there. I know that it’s very unlikely that music will ever become my job (especially at my age), but I’ve been rediscovering my passion for songwriting and since the technology exists to easily do so now, I want to make sure my songs are heard by as many people as possible. It wasn’t my intention when I ordered the uke, but it recently occurred to be that I know have the same number on the machine that I use to do what I do as did the man who inspired me so many years ago.

Incidentally, the paint job it has was a bit of a happy accident. I wanted to get a finish called Lava, which is sort of a reddish stain. But when I was ordering, I forgot to set that one dropdown menu. It was an alphabetical list, so it defaulted to Amethyst Purple. It was my second choice, but I was still pretty upset when I saw the invoice and realized what I had done, but then I remembered that Amethyst is February’s birthstone and it kind of made the instrument even more perfect for me.

Where to find me online


Zombie Take-Out: The B-movie/cult film review podcast that I co-host and produce.

My Hello Poetry profile: All of my best poetry gets posted here

My Deviant Art profile: Mostly poetry, with some photography and digital visual art thrown in.

the rec list: My media recommendation blog. (on hiatus)

Stanza 365: From early 2010 to early 2011, I challenged myself to write a 1 poem/day. Here are the results.

Channel Anime: An anime review show that I co-hosted and produced on Youtube in 2013.

The Tuesday Afternoon Show: A sketch comedy podcast that co-hosted and produced from 2005 to 2008.

My Music. Please excuse my horrible vocals. I’m still proud of the music, but I’ve since accepted that I can’t and shouldn’t sing.

Prelude: A short classical guitar piece that I composed

My appearance as a guest on the Geek Questioner Podcast.