Saturday, May 26, 2007

And To Think That I Neglected It

Story 57 was in the can nearly two weeks ago and I forgot to mention it. It's called "Beauty Belongs to the Flowers." You may have heard me mention it on this blog by its working title, "The Way to his Heart." The new title represents a shift in theme as I expanded the story and hopefully deepened it. Anyway, it's been done for so long, it's already been rejected once and is currently meeting its second editorial person far across the Atlantic (I think. Who knows with e-mail? No one is where they're supposed to be anymore.).

Questions arise. I began this blog about a year and a half ago, with the intention of spurring myself on to write 1000 stories ready for editors by the time I was 50 years old. I had to write about one a week in order to do that. Since I began the blog, I've completed a whopping thirteen stories. But am I giving up? Hell no. A lot can happen in the next twelve years. I may become someone with drive. And we may finally get the flying car.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Pain Comes Not To The Bananaman

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

Marco became a bananaman. He hung upside-down with a bunch of other bananamen and made his wife peel him when she wanted to see him. His wife left him about three days into the transformation.

“It’s a transitional period!” He screamed at her shrinking form. “Wait till I’m ripe, I’ll be much easier to peel. And I’ll be much sweeter then too.” but it was no use. She didn’t even turn to look at him.

“It should hurt more, shouldn’t it?” Marco asked Tip, his nearest bunchmate.

“You are growing numb already, my friend,” Tip said. “It would be a cruel thing for God to do, to make the banana feel the mouth that eats it. Would it not?

“I should think so,” Marco agreed.

“That is why the banana feels no pain. The banana wants to be eaten and it brings joy to everyone. It is why we have chosen this path. Don’t worry about your wife. There are plenty of Chiquitas in the trees.”

“You’re right.” He warmed to the sage knowledge of the browning bananaman. Marco was still green and had much to learn.

The days passed and Marco met bananawomen to spare. But none filled the void in heart. His peel was now bright yellow and when he unpeeled himself he found that his own body had become desirable to him. On a lark, he took a bite of himself, felt no pain, and experienced a pleasure like no other. Marco began devouring his own tender, sweet flesh in earnest. He knew that he was good for him. He was rich in potassium.

Tip had long since turned black and had been baked into a loaf of bananaman bread somewhere out there but the words of Tip came back to him now. “The banana wants to be eaten and it brings joy to everyone.”

Marcos found himself in awe of the elder bananaman’s wisdom while he ate himself into Nirvana.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

If We All Get Together

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

The old question ran something like, "If all the Chinese got together and jumped at the same time, could they move the Earth? Even half an inch?"

Semantically, the question needed revamping. Their empire stretched around the globe now and the Chinese would all be jumping in different directions, canceling each other out. Nevertheless, the scenario intrigued me. Why hadn’t somebody tested this thing yet? I sent out the call as a young (virile) graduate student, inviting everyone to come around to the Western Hemisphere on August 3rd and have a jump at noon, Pacific Time. The choice of hemisphere was only reasonable, as South America was the poorest continent, we couldn’t expect all of those people to come up with the traveling money. Besides, I lived in North America and since I came up with the idea and got the whole thing moving, why should I have to go anywhere?

My roommate, Joliver sent out the info-virus, raining it down on the anti-inertial hubs in the hope of spreading it far and wide.

Came the day, a good thirty-thousand people joined in for the jump. A respectable amount for a couple of guys sharing a tube in the vast sewers below Washington Pacific University (It was the PU in WPU, we always said), but hardly enough when you consider the twelve-billion Earthlings who were "too busy" to participate.

A lot of those who lent a foot offered to give it another go next year.

"Forget that," I said. "How about next month?" I had to make my mark fast, before I was out in the real world. I didn’t want to work for a living or anything. Less than a thousand people showed up from that other hemisphere so most everybody agreed. They’d be around anyway and the process would be over before it interfered with lunch.

After wrapping up for the day, I pulled dear old Joliver aside.

"We need to punch up our copy for the next info-virus," I said. "And make the thing more contagious!"

"I’m already on it," Joliver said. "I’m working on a test that involves head-scratching so I can get some funding from a shampoo manufacturer."

"Excellent! We need better synchronization as well. I could see just from our little group that those jumps were all over the place. We won’t move a sofa with that."

By the time September 3rd rolled around, a couple of stories surfaced of people scratching themselves bald and bloody. Joliver already spent the money from Real Poo’s parent company, so we weren’t terribly concerned. Across the Americas, seven point two million people jumped at noon. Seismographs picked us up and so did the newsertainment bots. There would always be those who stood in the way of progress, however. Reports came in of hundreds of thousands of people in the Eastern Hemisphere who’d gotten wind of our noble experiment and jumped right back, dampening our effect. To my chagrin, many of the jumpers resided in China.

I dedicated the next four weeks to refining the message for our next try, while Joliver, at my suggestion, tailored his latest virus to strike deeper in the brain, associating itself with the undeniable appetites for food and sex.

Of course, there hadn’t been an October 3rd for nine and/or forty-two years, when the Time Pirates attacked, so the next big jump occurred on the 4th. With three billion people in on the fun this time, the west coast sort of spilled into the ocean but luckily Joliver and I had jumped in Idaho, anticipating just such an issue.

The next info-virus mainly told people not to call the authorities when they saw us. Just for kicks, it also created a loose confederation of borderless nations under our control that we named The Tomathan/Joliver Empire. Our mission statement read: "To Be Corrupted Absolutely." Funding poured in after that.

November 3rd’s Sun stood high in the sky and we took no chances. The whole of the human race as well as a bunch of chimps (and one Gila monster, don’t ask me how that happened) jumped under our flag and on our side of the world. Everyone kept a decent distance from major fault lines (All those deaths the previous month cost us precious jumping mass) and just to be safe, everyone held something heavy. We also made sure that people dropped lots of stuff from great heights. I really wanted to get it right this time. Who knew science took so long?

We leapt. You know that feeling when you’ve come down a staircase and you think you’re on the floor, but there’s still one more step? Twelve billion people all got that feeling at the same time. We moved the Earth not half an inch, but a full six and a half inches! A deafening cheer went up.

Shortly after we loosened our grips a little on the minds of humanity, a few of our subjects called in to let us know that since the Earth had been jostled from its orbit, we should get some warm coats and head for Brazil where, if mankind huddled around us, Joliver and I might be the last ones to die.

I chewed on that for a moment. Joliver, soaked in champagne, was already shivering.

"In retrospect," I said, scratching my head, "I guess this was kinda stupid."

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mac Daddy

My reader reminds me that I haven’t posted a blog in quite a while. I have not been hit by a bus. What I have been is tied up with domestic bullshit and the story that wouldn’t die. I’ve been messing with a story with a working title of “The Way to his Heart” for months now. Trying to get it right has been driving me insane. I’m nearly there. I’m thinking five more hours of trim and tinker and I’ve got the mother nailed.

If I haven’t mentioned it before, I’ve got a MacBook now. Although it sounds like a Scottish novel, it’s actually a laptop. And it’s way awesome. But don’t ever let those bastards tell you it just works, because it doesn’t always. It doesn’t always get along with non-apple software is what it doesn’t always.

I’ll try to post more, honest. But you keep pestering me if I don’t. If only I had something to say or something going on in my life, this wouldn’t be such a challenge.

Everybody read my story at!