“Seventeen Comma April Comma Eighteen” by Richard F. Yates

Some mornings, I get up singing—happy to have survived another terrifying night. Some mornings, I get out of bed full of energy and ready to tackle the trials and tribulations of the day. Some mornings, I’m a ball of excitement, more than prepared to make my way into society and present an acceptable human face.

Not THIS morning, of course…but sometimes. THIS morning, after troubled sleep (I can’t remember what I was dreaming, but I think it was disquieting), I woke up about 20 or 25 minutes before the alarm with a headache. Dang.

I figure there must be something INSIDE my head that needs to come out. Hopefully, it’s a THOUGHT. (Unhappy sleep, edgy mood, slightly cold—must be a monster.)

SO KIDS, what do we do when we have a monster in our head that wants to be born? RITUAL MAGIC of course!!! (in the form of writing. Writing is the BEST type of magic that I know.) We’ll create a thought creature…

Let’s see, this one feels pretty big. We’ll say he’s two feet tall. (That’s big for a monster. Most evil nasties are microscopic—and if you don’t believe me, just look into GERM THEORY.) Two feet tall, dark blue fur on his back. He’s obviously got wicked claws on his fingers, and just to be weird, we’ll say he has seven fingers on each hand—and eyeballs in the palms. He hunches a little, walks with a limp, long, whippy tail, maybe with a couple of spikes, short but very pointy, on the very tip. (He uses these during mating season—these and text messaging—to try to attract a female monster and to try and hurt people.) We’ve established the eyes on his hands, but he probably has a couple eyes on his face, too. Three or four at least. His lower jaw juts out a bit, and he has two razor-sharp fangs sticking up from the lower jaw that poke past his nose. (Not very practical for eating, unless his jaw can swing open almost 180 degrees, like the Tasmanian Tiger. Sure! Why not?)

He’s mean. He puts pointy things in people’s shoes at night, so they step on them in the morning. He votes against school levees, and he never puts the toilet seat up when he uses the bathroom. He’s clever, but mostly just growls. His name is probably Earl, but he TELLS everyone to call him Eightball. (Dick move.) I’m guessing that he’s really just angry because they cancelled his favorite television show (Soap) without ever wrapping the series up… (It ends with a cliff-hanger! Katherine Helmond is in a plane that is crashing in the final episode of season four, but we never find out if she lives or not because they never made a season five!) He’s probably uncomfortable having eyes on his hands—always pokes himself with the corners of books and with silverware. He should probably wear fingerless gloves, so that his claws can still be useful, but his sensitive eyeball palms don’t get injured. And, HONESTLY, if he’d just go back to school and finish his degree, he’d have the satisfaction of COMPLETING something and not feel so self-conscious about spending all that money without finishing his program.

Earl, the two-foot-tall, mean, clawed and fanged, asshole prankster monster is born. (And my headache has MOSTLY gone away!) Now, don’t feel too sorry for Earl (or Eightball, if you want to make him feel better) because he’s going to inherit a LOT of money eventually, from a mean old grandpa, which he will use to start a business, exploit the workers, have an illicit affair with a baboon, and then eventually be stabbed to death by his accountant—who took that Whoopie cushion that Earl left in his chair WAY too seriously.

R.I.P. Earl “Eightball” Forrester. You were a self-conscious, aggressive prick, but we’re still glad that we knew you!

And that’s my Tuesday thoughts for this week… Thanks for playing!

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Supreme Bunny Lord of The P.E.W.)



About richardfyates

Compulsive creator of the bizarre and absurd. (Artist, writer, poet, provocateur...)
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One Response to “Seventeen Comma April Comma Eighteen” by Richard F. Yates

  1. You’ve pretty accurately outlined the creative process for me at least.

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