The Problems with Ritual Suicide

Thoughts on weakness, bullying, and parenting… This post could have been written by me. Head over to Stories That Must Not Die and show your support and share your thoughts on the newest article:

Stories that Must Not Die

Usually vomiting makes one feel better, yet sitting in a pool of warm alcohol that I had just violently expelled out of what felt like every orifice on my face only made my head spin faster. Surely, this would get me out of this torture my brother’s drinking friends called Caps.

“Did you just throw up your last round?” asked one of my blurry competitors.

“Yeah, I think I’m done,” I answered the identical twin images in front of me.

“You softie. Now you have to drink two shots in the next round,” yelled another competitor.

Then the whole table chanted a derogatory word at me as they placed their hands on their heads in the shape of female genitalia.

The sad part of the story is that these are men that I considered my friends. For many men, this is a common experience—we anticipate compassion, yet we are…

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set free

There was a contest.  I submitted a story.  I didn’t win.  *sad face*

But, that means I can now share that story with all of you.  *happy face*


Tommy loved baseball, and cartoons, and climbing trees.  He loved his mother.  He loved his math class.  He didn’t know how to solve for “x,” could never remember the shortcuts for figuring out volumes, but he had did have a major crush on the teacher.  For being twelve years old, he loved a great deal many things, and chief among them was Jake.

And that was why Tommy set Jake free.


Jake knew that Tommy was hurting.  He tried his best to cheer his friend up, tried to dry the tears, to get a laugh, to ease his pain.  But, nothing Jake did helped.  He was saddened by his inability to comfort Tommy.  Of all the people in his life, he loved Tommy the most.  And he knew that Tommy loved him back equally.

And that was why, when Tommy sent him away, Jake went without whining or complaint.  He knew he could trust in that mutual love.

He knew exactly what he needed to do.


Charles spent the morning drinking.  He realized he’d spent most mornings drinking recently but he no longer cared.  He didn’t have a job.  He didn’t have any prospects.  And, he deserved a bit of rest and relaxation anyway.  After being the sole bread winner for twelve years he was owed a break.  So, why not have a few beers with breakfast and a few more with lunch?

He’d seen the looks he’d been getting from Heather and Tommy recently.  He hadn’t been pleased and had made them aware of his displeasure.  Who were they to judge him?

Charles knew the drink had made it easier to let his hand fly the first time but, again, he hadn’t cared.  Sometimes teaching lessons the hard way was the quickest way for them to be learned.  Heather had certainly learned quickly not too look at him with pity, or sorrow, or anger in her eyes, hadn’t she?

And Tommy?  Well, Charles hadn’t ever meant to hit the kid.  But, his son was a slow learner.  It had taken more than a few punches to get Tommy up to speed on what was and wasn’t appropriate behavior now that his dad was home all the time.  Charles knew he might have taken it too far the last time, the blood oozing from his split knuckles was evidence of that, but the lesson had finally sunken in so he expected to never have to raise his hand to Tommy again.

And the lesson had been learned, he hadn’t caught a cross eye or loose word from the kid in over a day, so hadn’t it been worth it?

But, what is the kid doing in the yard?  Why is he ushering the dog out of the gate?  Oh, that kid!  Great, now I’ll have to go track down Jake before he runs off for good.

Charles down the last of the beer in his right hand so he could set aside the bottle and pick up the car keys from the counter.  Then he bounded down the front steps, throwing a few curse words in the direction of Tommy, jumped into the driver seat and brought the car to life.  He swung into the street and scanned the road for any sign of Jake.


Yes, Jake had known exactly what needed to be done.  He waited until the bad man was going faster than was safe for the residential road and then he darted into the street.  He knew it was risky.  He knew he might die.  But, Tommy was worth it.


Tommy saw his dad burst out of the house and closed his ears to the words he knew he was too young to understand.  Then Tommy watched in horror as he stumbled into the car, coaxed the vehicle into the street, barely missing the mailbox, and gunned the engine, sending the car barreling down the road the same direction Jake had sprinted off moments before.  His horror turned to dread when he saw the flash of Jake run out in front of the car.  He couldn’t keep the scream of agony from escaping his lips.


What’s that?  Too late!  Brakes!  Turn the wheel!  Tree!


Tommy ran down the street.  A neighbor must have seen the crash because the sirens started and were drawing near before he’d even reached the crumpled car.  He didn’t give the car a second glance.  His only care was for the welfare of Jake.  His eyes searched the road frantically.  He sank to his knees when he saw his beloved dog standing just beyond the broken and twisted tree.


Jake saw Tommy running to him and then fall to his knees in the middle of the street and he ran to his friend and urged him out of the road.  Streets are not safe places for children to be.  Plus, the sirens would be arriving soon and it wouldn’t do for them to be associated with the mess around them.  A few licks.  A few nudges from his nose, and he successfully prodded Tommy onto the sidewalk opposite the wreck, and from there safely back into their yard.


Tommy’s mom met them in the yard, her hand covering her mouth, her eyes switching between terrified and mesmerized.  Together, Tommy, his mom, and Jake, watched the fire truck and ambulance arrive and do what they could to extract the car from the tree, and the man from the car.

Later, when the paramedics came to deliver the bad news, Jake could feel fear radiating out of Tommy, and sadness, but they were different kinds of fear and sadness than he had been feeling earlier.  There was a mixture of relief and hope in there as well.  The tears were cleansing rather than painful.

Jake licked his friends hand to let him know that everything would be okay.  Tommy hugged his friend tightly to him, because he too knew that everything was going to be okay.


The only stipulations, or prompt if you prefer, for the contest was that the story needed to be less than 1,000 words and a dog needed to make an appearance.  I met those criteria, so I can’t imagine why I didn’t win!

I haven’t had a chance to read the winning post yet, but I will link to it as soon as it is available.

But, what do you think?  Without having read any of the other entries, I deserved to win, didn’t I?

a bad drink

He stumbled in, reeking of the 3 he’d already visited that night, “I’m doing a Halloween pub crawl!”  His words were amazingly clear despite his obvious drunkenness.  The other patrons glanced over their drinks to glare at the man who shattered their silent revelry of dark thoughts.

He slammed his wallet, soggy from the night’s travels, on the bar.  Sighing, the bartender stepped down the length of the counter, “What’ll you have?”

“A Zombie!” He laughed in reply, grinning too widely.

“A Zombie?

“That’s right, it’s a rum drink with…”

“I know what it is,” the bartender turned his back on the man to grab the necessary bottles and put his mixing degree to work.  Who goes out on Halloween to get drunk on novelty drinks?  He could understand the rest of his customers, loners who wanted to avoid the door to door tyrants reminding them of the families they didn’t have.  But they just quietly sipped on their beers and waited until it was safe to return home.

The drink complete, he turned back to the drunk and pushed it across the bar, “Here you go.  That’ll be $7.50.”

He pulled out a damp ten dollar bill, “Keep the change.”  Then he refolded the wallet, stuffed it back into his pants pocket, and lifted the drink, “Cheers!  And may the spooks and ghouls of the evening leave you be.”  With that, he tilted back the drink and poured the concoction down his throat in one go.

He stood from his stool, even more wobbly than he had been when he walked in, and stumbled to the exit.  “Don’t let the night get you down.  The spirits can’t get you if you are happy.”  Then with a little wave he pushed the door open and disappeared.

The parting message gave the bartender goose-bumps but he had forgotten the whole thing ten minutes later.  The voice came from behind him as he was locking up, “I’m one of the ghouls.  Now, where’s my smile?”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….Word Count: 333

Written in response to this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge:

usually zombi
:  the supernatural power that according to voodoo belief may enter into and reanimate a dead body
:  a will-less and speechless human in the West Indies capable only of automatic movement who is held to have died and been supernaturally reanimated
:  a person markedly strange in appearance or behavior
:  a person held to resemble the so-called walking dead;especially :  automaton
  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • If your post doesn’t meet our requirements, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone. Please join us.

is this a joke?

Three people walk into a bar…

As the observer of this catastrophe I find it odd that the bar is big enough for all three to walk into at once.

They sat at a table near the middle and shouted together “wine and beer!”

Then immediately walk back out after realizing they had left their ID’s at home.

One of them calls out in a southern drawl, “I’m looking for the man who shot my paw…”

One of them asks the bartender with all seriousness, “Do you have any duck food?”

They sit at a table, and when the server comes to take their order they ask for, “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer.”

They look at each other and then decide to go someplace else.  The sign over the bar reads “Camelot,” and they are in the mood for something less silly.

Sheb’s plunking out a honky-tonk version of “Hey Jude” on a worn out piano in the corner.  The world may have moved on, but somethings will never change.

The call themselves The Wolfpack.  They order Jaeger shots all around and then hilarity and calamity ensue.


Who can catch all the literary, musical, and movie references?

Bonus points go to anyone who can tell me the rest of the “duck food” joke.

Q and A Parody, with a twist

You, faithful readers, keep saying “more, more, more” and I say, “but I’ve already given you lots: herehere and here.  Oh, and here and here too.”  Hmm, maybe I should just add a new page for these so I can just link to that.

Nah, that sounds boring.

Here we are again.  I’m such a sucker for peer pressure.

“With a twist,” you query?  “Yes,” I reply, “This one is going to be just a tiny bit different.”

Over the years I’ve incorporated an abundance of dialogue from commercials into my day to day lingo.  The following is a useful guide parody I’ve put together of situations you may find yourself in and the some (in)appropriate and/or completely silly responses.

You probably should use all of these.*  I haven’t.  Not what I’ve got down here anyway.  However, I will probably start using them immediately.

Q: What do you say when the bartender asks what you want?
A: “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer” Guinness.  (You could say Dos Equis if you want, but why would you want to if they have Guinness?  And why would you go someplace that didn’t serve Guinness?  You see where I’m going with that?)

Q: What do you say when someone asks for your opinion?
A: “You’ll like the way you look, I guarantee” nothing.  (It is kind of an easy guarantee for Men’s Wearhouse to make, I mean, who doesn’t look good in a suit?)

Q:  What do you say if someone asks if you can help them with something?
A: “It’s my job to be” sarcastic.  (Of course, then you should definitely help them, because we are all super nice like that, right?)

Q: What do you say when someone asks about the people who live near you?
A: “Like a good neighbor, State Farm” minds their own business.  (Has anyone gone next door to borrow a cup of sugar in the last decade?)

Q: What do you suggest when someone asks for a recommendation on a good vehicle to dispose of a body?
A: “Guts.  Glory.”  That’s right, guts.  (I mean, it says it right there in the tagline – what else could they possibly mean?)

Q: What do you say when someone asks what they should do to waste a little bit of time?
A: “15 minutes could save you 15% or more,” or nothing at all, but if you’ve got 15 minutes to kill it couldn’t hurt to call those Geico people.  (Though, I can think of a few more productive things for you to do – that sink full of dishes is calling your name.)

Q: What do you offer when someone says they aren’t feeling all that great?
A: “Milk, it does a body good,” unless your lactose intolerant.  (If they are lactose intolerant you should just tell them to do some jumping jacks or push ups or something like that.)

Q: What do you give the Rolling Stones the next time you hear them singing (I can’t get no) “Satisfaction?”
A: “Snickers satisfies,” whatever your craving.  (It seems pretty straightforward right?  I guess Mick and the gang didn’t know about Snickers when they wrote the song…)

Q: What should you reply when someone asks what they should have for dinner, especially if they want it to be something “healthy?”
A: “Subway, eat fresh,” except for all the food that’s been sitting out in those trays all day long.  I can’t imagine we could still call that “fresh.”  (They really did a great job of timing their ads for healthier eating right, didn’t they?  Whoever they hired for their marketing is a genius.)

Q: What do you say when someone asks what kind of car they should buy?
A: “The ultimate driving machine,” espcially if they aren’t a very good driver, because why else would they need something that basically drives for them.  (Has anyone else noticed that people who drive BMW’s tend to be terrible drivers?   There are some exception – Haole – but not many.)


Bonus section:

Q: “What do you say when people ask what insurance you recommend?”
A: “Aflac!”

Q: Benifer or Tomkat?
A: “Aflac!”

Q: Worst superhero movie ever?
A: “Aflac!” (Daredevil)

Q: Better actor: Matt Damon or Ben Affleck?
A: Damon, of course. (You didn’t really think I was going to say Aflac, did you?)


*The Matticus Kingdom published this list for entertainment purposes only. We do not dispense with advice we think people should ever heed and cannot be held responsible for any resulting slaps across the face, puzzled looks, loss of friends, tarnished reputation, improved reputation for that matter, closets that were once skeleton free no longer being so, or other unpleasantness that may result from following these guidelines.  If you drive a BMW: I’m sorry.  If you drive a dodge truck, that’s good to know, let me know in case there are any bodies I need to dispose of in the future.