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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

If You Haven’t Read It — and You Haven’t, Trust Me — It’s New to You!

Hey, all. I’d like to torture annoy regale you with another piece that I submitted to a local paper, and heard back… well, nothing. Which means, quite clearly, that they have no interest in publishing this little ditty, and so I’m doing it myself. So there!

Anyway, I suppose I can see why they’re not on board with this one. It’s pretty anti-social, when you get right down to it. Still, I thought it was a pretty good topic, and maybe you will, too.

(Or maybe you won’t. There’s only one way to find out, now, isn’t there?)

This train wreck of a submission actually started out quite a bit longer, if you care about such things. But the rules of submission for this paper said five hundred words. So I picked, and clipped, and snippy-snip-snipped, and this is what’s left. Hopefully, you like it. Apparently, they didn’t. The bastards.

Anyway, here it is. I don’t think I ever bothered to come up with a title, but maybe it should have one. How about ‘Automotive Dreams‘, ‘Fighting Fools with Fuschias‘? Nah, those aren’t quite right. I’m drawing a blank right now, though. Any good ideas out there? Lemme know.


I finally have a solution. After years of trial and error, I have at last found the cure for one of our region’s most heinous problems.

We all know that Boston drivers are a notoriously asinine lot, and that the pedestrians are even worse. But no one really understands why. Boston is a wealthy, cosmopolitan, well-educated city. Some of the nation’s finest institutions of higher learning are here, and it’s a major hub for high tech industries. Fresh ideas and creativity simply ooze out of Boston’s pores.

So it’s a mystery why the average Boston citizen is completely flummoxed by the notion of a ‘turn signal,’ and when and how to use one. Or why our best and brightest in Harvard Square routinely forget everything they’ve learned about the consequences of high-speed vehicular collisions involving their soft, fleshy bodies, and cross the street willy-nilly like herds of spooked cattle.

Well, I for one have had enough. I’m tired of SUVs and graduate students blocking my right of way, leaving me no recourse but to swerve and scowl, and perhaps honk menacingly in their direction. Lately, that sort of impotent reaction simply isn’t enough. I want to make a quick, satisfying impression, and finally, I know how to do it.

The answer is paint jets. That’s right, paint jets. Mounted on the fronts of our cars, alongside the headlights. Little tubes that – with a press of a button – send a burst of water-soluble paint shooting in front of the car. So the next time some fool cuts you off on the ‘Pike – spppplllltt! Or a pedestrian inches past your car while your green light ticks away – tthhhppttt! Now they’ve got a bright orange stripe along their fender, or their knees. It’s safe, harmless, and even washes off with water. But you’ll feel a lot better knowing that you’ve scored a direct hit in the war against incompetent boobery. And until the paint is scrubbed away, the world can share in your victory, too.

So that’s my idea, and frankly, it looks awfully good on paper. But there’s a fatal flaw in my plan. You see, it’s highly unlikely that whoever produces these jets would require an IQ test or driving exam as a prerequisite for purchase. So the goons who infuriate us today would have the same ammunition as we do tomorrow. And knowing them, we’d get doused in gooey paint every time they tried to turn on their windshield wipers or open their trunk. Clearly, this technology shouldn’t be in their hands.

So I guess I don’t have the answer, after all. It’s too bad, really. We could have made it work. Folks like you and I would have been responsible with our new toys. We’d never spritz that new BMW or Lexus, just because we finally had the technology, right? Well, hardly ever. And I’m sure we wouldn’t get itchy trigger fingers if a group of Yankees fans were to cross in front of us at a red light, either. That would just be wrong. Or wrong-ish, anyway.

You know, the more I find wrong with this idea, the better it sounds. Anyone know a good creative mechanic out there?


Permalink  |  2 Comments



2 Responses to “If You Haven’t Read It — and You Haven’t, Trust Me — It’s New to You!”

  1. Lara says:

    Hello! You might consider contacting whatever paper you’re submitting this to, ask for the editor or editorial assistant for the editor and then ask them what their editorial submission guidelines are. Sometimes they don’t take unsolicited stories. Sometimes it takes a phone call, or a meeting with them. Sometimes they want to see some of your writing (which you’ve already sent to them of course) and then they’ll send you ideas or storylines they’re interested in. Plus a lot of times if you ask them in advance when you have an idea they’ll tell you if its a subject they’re interested in or not! I hope this info helps you!

  2. Charlie says:

    Thanks, Lara!

    Yeah, I haven’t had much luck so far, so maybe there’s something I’m not doing right. Thanks for the good advice!

    As far as I can tell, this paper does accept unsolicited submissions (try saying that three times fast…), and even gives out an email address to send them to — but still, a little phone or face time couldn’t hurt.

    (Well, okay, knowing me, it could hurt, but what are they gonna do? Auto-bounce my emails back to me? Come and break my keyboard in half? I haven’t gotten any love from them so far, so it’s worth a shot. Thanks again!)

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