“Going for a Beer” is a short story by Robert Coover.
A weblog by Hao Lian.
A terrible secret guarded by golems.
A note that thanks you for being born, all those years ago.
“Going for a Beer” is a short story by Robert Coover.
Advocacy groups and advocates everywhere are mourning the loss of Kansas pro-choice doctor Dr. George Tiller following a fatal shooting during religious services yesterday.
“George Tiller was a great man,” says pro-choice Director Jeff Maloney of the Spangled American Liberties Committee of Truth and Beauty. “He was everything you wanted in a symbolic figure truly abstracted from whatever it was that he did.”
Pro-life Director Jeff Maloney of the Beautiful Spangly American Coalition for Liberties and Truth offered similar condolences. “You could really eviscerate Dr. Tiller. For years we were lost in the wilderness without a guiding light. Who do we attack? Where’s the face of pro-life antagonism?”
Director Maloney paused in a moment of staged drama and pretended emotion.
“George Tiller was that man.”
Director Maloney of the Liberties Committee extended his commiseration to Tiller’s family. “We hope they make it through this time of hardship and become an equally great symbol for our pro-choice advocacy with the same great ability to be transformed into something empty of their actual actions and humanity.”
Upon this remark, pro-life advocates reacted with outrage. In one pointed criticism, individual Jeff Maloney unintelligibly shouted, “I can’t believe these murderous communistic fetus haters would paint George Tiller in such broad strokes.”
“Clearly, he’s a pro-life symbol,” a statement to which pro-choice individual Jeff Maloney hysterically screamed, “Nuh-uh.”
Ultimately, of course, at the center of this awful situation is the death of a courageous man whose shooting can only be seen as a warning sign for the increasingly heated abortion debate.
“It’s true. George Tiller’s death will be his last great symbolic contribution to the visceral bile from both sides,” says Jeff Maloney.
“It’s tragic, really,” says Director Maloney, “that George Tiller can only die once.”
Via Tim, which I took as a throwing of the gauntlet to make the World’s Most Personal Weblog Post Ever.
When I was in fourth grade, I went into the girl’s bathroom by mistake. The kids never let me live it down that week. (Fortunately, little kids make up for their meanness by having a uniquely poor short-term memory.) To make it worse, the teacher pulled out outside the classroom in front of everybody and asked me if I did it on purpose. I said no, and she didn’t believe me.
When I was in the second grade, our class threw a surprise end-of-the-year party for the teacher. By “our class,” I mean “one overworked mother.” At the end of the party, the teacher thanked the class. Thinking it’d be mature, I stood up on a chair, threw my arms out, and yelled “No, thank you.” Then, a long awkward silence.
When I was in the second grade, there were twin girls who were fat. (Disturbingly unhealthily so, now that I look back.) Of course, you don’t say that to their faces. So the three of us managed to sit together at a table in the library. Thinking it’d be edgy, I said something to the extent of “You guys are fat.” After the trip to the library, I had a long talk with the teacher about what is and isn’t appropriate to say. Then I had to make a public apology to them in front of the class. When I hesitated to make the apology, the teacher winked at me. And that’s when I realized that some adults are evil bastards out of sheer ignorance.
When I was in the fifth grade, a cute girl held open the door for the entire class as the entire class marched back to the homeroom from Spanish class, which was held in a nearby group of trailers because our school was in bad need of an expansion. I playfully tapped her butt with a folder I was carrying. That’s just as bad a faux pas as an adult as it is when you’re a kid.
When I was in the fourth grade, the music class teacher assigned a song with lyrics. Everybody got a part to sing. After I sang my part, the next person hesitated so I started singing his part too. And then I just sang the rest of the song; I couldn’t sing, but I thought it was hilarious. It was not.
When I was in the first grade, I would chase after girls with my lips held out for a kiss. (Yes, I have seen that Powerpuff Girls episode. I watched TV instead of having friends as a kid, God knows why.) The girls would run away, a leitmotif in the lives of people who do this as a child. This kept up until a teacher saw me doing this. To avoid having to be told off by the teacher, I laid my head down on a bench and pretended I was tired. Maybe it was then that I realized my life sucked.
I rode the bus for all thirteen years of public education. When I was in the second grade, a fifth-grade girl was the Bus Monitor. She made minor decisions, like making sure people kept out of windows or deciding which highway we would take today. (Not really, but that in my mind is what a bus monitor should be able to do. Get on it, bus drivers of America.) She offered me a seat beside her in the morning because I was one of the last to get on and there usually weren’t any seats. So it was out of pity. One afternoon, she stood up near me (I had a seat to myself in the afternoon. Score.) and announced in the afternoon that there was candy to be passed out. The whole bus cheered. Thinking it’d be mature (I was a very mature kid.), I grabbed her hand and kissed it in front of everybody. She pulled her hand back immediately and said something like “Gross.” After that, I had to sit somewhere else in the morning.
I tag Carey Lowell, Zooey Deschanel, Kristina Fey, Rachel Leigh Cook, why the lucky stiff (famous porn star), Vannevar Bush, and the markdown2 module. I think I won the Most Personal Weblog Post Ever award, so I also pick the Morton Salt girl for my extra eighth slot.
Now this is literary fiction.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Diamond as Big as the Ritz
“There,” admitted Washington, “I grant you that. But try to think of an alternative. I’ve offered to have all or any of you painlessly executed if you wish. I’ve offered to have your wives, sweethearts, children, and mothers kidnapped and brought out here. I’ll enlarge your place down there and feed and clothe you the rest of your lives. If there was some method of producing permanent amnesia I’d have all of you operated on and released immediately, somewhere outside of my preserves. But that’s as far as my ideas go.”