Miserable Adventure Stories – Now Available!

I’m pleased as punch to announce the arrival of my second fiction collection, Miserable Adventure Stories – just in time for the holidays!

MAS is a pulpy, genre-bending brew of pieces that have appeared over the past few years at New Pop Lit, The Big Jewel, The Zodiac Review, Defenestrationism, HeadStuff, Blue Skirt Productions, Saturday Night Reader, Near to the Knuckle, and Gi60.  It’s a companion piece to Miserable Holiday Stories (both of which are now available in lovely print editions!), and…it’s, uhm, actually much funnier than that volume, IMO.

MAS features a whopping 15 stories, including the soon-to-be classics “The Rottweiler”, “Across the Tundra”, and the fresh-off-the-presses parody of Lincoln in the Bardo – “Groucho in the Bardo”.

Here’s the blurb from Amazon:

Tentacled monsters! Frozen wastelands! Nixon! Sherlock Holmes! Groucho! In his latest collection, the author of “Miserable Holiday Stories!” takes you to Victorian London, the Old West, alien worlds, Hamlet’s Denmark and other fantastic places that you would absolutely never want to visit. Featuring stories from The Big Jewel, New Pop Lit, The Zodiac Review, and other literary journals with equally fancy names, this head-scratchingly awful collection will make you wonder why you didn’t just stay home and rent a movie.

Miserable Adventure Stories retails for a measly $6.99 in paperback and an even measlier $1.99 for the e-book.

Order both collections and give your loved ones a truly disastrous stocking stuffer!

 

Miserable Holiday Stories – Now in Print!

It’s the perfect stocking stuffer and cheaper than coal!

For the first time ever, Miserable Holiday Stories is now available in a print edition!  And just in time for the holidays!

Yes, now you can actually wrap up a physical copy of Miserable Holiday Stories – with a bow, if you like! – and send sleigh-loads of seasonal misery to family members and other people you don’t really like.  And, unlike the e-version, the print version is flammable and ready to help set your yule log ablaze!

Featuring the infamous chapter-book parody The #$@!# Bicycle Boys Save Christmas, Again!, the new print version of Miserable Holiday Stories is available from your favorite online retailers as well as discerning bookstores everywhere!

10 best things about rosh hashanah

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Fewer Manischewitz-related DUIs this year.

Another chance to join elite “I Slept in Temple” club.

After 3 days of non-stop prayer, Apples everywhere unbelievably excited.

Good day to reflect on the suffering of poor, horn-less rams.

Perfect time to rob houses en masse when all Jews simultaneously called to temple.

Solid opportunity to resent fellow Jewish co-worker who took day off to go bowling.

Good over/under on how many middle-age men yell “Tequi-la!” when Cantor blows shofar.

Party hats usable all year round.

When ball drops at midnight, everyone yelling Happy 5778!

Awareness that Rabbi can’t wait for it to end either.

15 best things about yom kippur

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  • Rabbi promised this year’s service much more fun and upbeat
  • Great time to brush up on your ABCs of Sin
  • JC Penney having its annual Day O’ Sufferin’ White Sale
  • One day of year that you get to make your “A-Toney the Tiger” joke
  • Infidelities from previous six months pretty much taken care of now
  • Fewer candy wrapper sounds than at regular service
  • Terrific time to really read all 3,259 memorial plaques in temple hallway
  • Silent Prayer – good time to think about all the bacon and shellfish you’ll be eating at break fast
  • Silent Prayer – great time to imagine Cantor suddenly breaking into Battle of Evermore
  • Pre-paid ambulances ready and waiting for post-break fast heart attacks and food comas
  • Fasting and gorging good practice for future anorexics
  • Fun visit from Yom Kippur Kevin and his Big’ Bag O’ Guilt
  • Having to explain to older folks that YK is not a virus that will attack their computer
  • Going into confessional booth to tell the Rabbi your sins
  • You waited all year to hear the Shofar and now, finally – wait, what?

Rejected Ben & Jerry’s Passover Flavors

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My piece, Rejected Ben & Jerry’s Passover Flavors is up at McSweeney’s.

Here’s a preview:


Why is this ice cream different from all other ice creams?

Bread O’ Affliction! – Sure, we wanted to use real bread, but who has the time?!

Gephilte Phish! – Random, minced fish pieces in a fabulous jellied froth!

Let My People Go Eat Ice Cream! – From Yahweh’s mouth to your freezer!  Right now!

Karpas-tacular!It really is!

Coupons available Next Year in Jerusalem!

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across the tundra

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My story Tundra is now live at Blue Skirt Productions.

Here’s an excerpt.

——————

December 22, 1969.

Just turn around

was the scratched record endlessly repeating in my head.

This is stupid. I’m stupid.

I should just turn around.

But when I got to Dell Farms, and it was farther back than forward, my dogged, irrational Want kept me moving straight on, ahead.

***

The lukewarm water was taking way too long to heat up the thermometer. And then I noticed Dad’s cigarettes and lighter on the back of the toilet. So, I flicked his Bic and held the flame under the thermometer bulb, and with a quick, tiny POPit exploded, shattering glass and mercury everywhere. My heart beating furiously, I quickly unrolled sheets and sheets of toilet paper and sopped up (or at least contained) the glass and liquid metal, and flushed the whole thing down the toilet, praying it wouldn’t clog. It didn’t. And I found and opened a new thermometer and ran it under the now warmer water.

101º.

Perfect.

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santas on the subway

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Last year, around Christmas time, three Santa Clauses – two tall ones, and a short, fat, jolly one – followed me onto the subway.  I didn’t think they were following me, per se.  But still, there they were.  It was rush hour and the subway car was packed.  Not sardines packed, but full.  And I pressed myself up against the back wall, which is where I stand when I’m standing in a subway car.  And the Santas were nearby, huddled together.  One of the tall ones had an mp3 player turned up way too loud.  The other ate a sandwich from a bag.

And after a minute I noticed that all three seemed to be staring at me and nodding and whispering.  And I thought, nah, they’re not looking at me.  But they were.  And then everyone in the car was staring at them staring at me, some smirking.  And I was creeped out and pissed.  And then one of the Santas – the short, fat jolly one – lifted his hand and pointed a finger at my crotch.

And I looked down…and saw my fly was open.

So, I turned to the back wall, nonchalantly, and zipped up.  When I turned back, the short Santa nodded and smiled: good job.  The mp3 Santa gave me a thumbs up.

And I said the only thing you really could say at that point:

Merry Christmas!

miserable holiday stories

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Yes, it’s that time of year to Give the Gift of Misery!  Sure, you’ve already got your copy of Miserable Holiday Stories.  Now’s your chance to ruin someone else’s festive season, with the gift that stops giving after about twelve-and-a-half minutes.

Here’s what Reviewers on Amazon are saying:

“These are some of the funniest holiday stories I have ever read.”

Miserable Holiday Stories is, at turns, funny (Gypsy, Bicycle Boys) and heartbreaking (Balance, The Smoking Lounge, etc) and always edgy and engrossing.”

“The K-Rope is a genre in and of itself.”

“‘The #$@!# Bicycle Boys Save Christmas, Again’ is worth the price of admission (not to mention “Gypsy,” which is worth at least $1.63).”

“My personal favs are Blue Christmas and the quirky and surprising Smoking Lounge.”

“Wonderful Voice, Bright and Entertaining”

“This #$@!# is funny!”

Click here to order on Amazon.

12 best things about rosh hashanah

shofar1a

Fewer Manischewitz-related DUIs this year.

Party hats good all year round.

Another chance to join elite “I Slept in Temple” club.

Dirge-like tunes actually increase lifespan.

Great day to reflect on poor, horn-less rams everywhere.

Highly fortuitous time to rob houses en masse when all Jews simultaneously called to temple.

Opportunity to resent fellow Jewish co-worker who took day off to go bowling.

Finally get to re-use handicap parking tag from when Grandma broke leg three years ago.

Seeing how many middle-age men yell “Tequi-la!” when Cantor blows shofar.

After 3 days of non-stop prayer, Apple beside itself with excitement.

When ball drops at midnight, everyone yelling Happy 5775!

Awareness that Rabbi can’t wait for it to end either.

19 best things about september

Can finally let the dog grow his hair back out.

Not so much incentive to continue chlorinating the pool.

Great chance to see new Fall TV lineup before all shows are cancelled.

Excellent chance to catch up on moping.

Shorts with Velcro no longer ruining all clothes in the laundry.

High holidays always a rockin’ good time.

Less arguing with loved ones re what constitutes sweltering.

Neighbor had way more fireflies than you.

Couch occupied by children miraculously available again.

Harvest season looks promising.

Good time to stock up on batteries for upcoming hurricanes.

No more distracting, scantily clad women everywhere, all the time.

Great opportunity to pro-actively lower expectations for upcoming basketball season.

Irritation over everyone saying that went way too quickly! starting to diminish.

Thrilled to see Congress back in session and really getting some work done.

Not as concerned about whether or not people are effectively recycling their 3-D glasses.

Never had a tan, and don’t care anymore.

Not so bad if you’re an infant.

Reality that we adults never actually had the summer off abundantly clear now.