I agreed to write a blog for Randy, one of my favorite readers. He gave me 25 subjects (in five categorical groupings) to choose from, and rather than pick one, I molded all of them into one story. The topics that Randy listed are in red, so you can follow along to see what they were. I've even preserved their original order.
Group 1 (General) 1) My big toe and how it dances.
Fred reclined in the recliner, watching his big toe and how his big toe danced in the air.
"See my big toe! See how it dances!" he said.
"It dances like a cheeseburger," said George.
"You're just hungry."
2) Where to eat a cheeseburger.
"Even so, where's the best place to eat a cheeseburger around here?"
"Nowhere. I'm vegetarian."
"Vegetarians suck," George said. He looked down. "This carpet sucks."
3) Cool facts about carpet and other flooring.
"A dog's ass supposedly leaves no bacteria behind on the carpet."
"I don't believe that for a second."
"I suppose it would be true about other flooring, as well," Fred said. He picked up a book called Technical Manual for Random Things, then dropped it suddenly.
"Ow," he said. "Paper cuts suck."
"I'll tell you what sucks: paper. It should be outlawed."
4) Why I still use paper.
"Still, at least it doesn't radiate you, like computers," said Fred. "That's why I still use paper."
"Damn. Your finger's bleeding, dude."
5) Does it hurt when you type?
"Yeah. That's going to hurt when I type."
He put his finger in his mouth and picked up the book again with his other hand. Leafing through it, he paused to read a random entry.
Group 2 (technical/science) 1) Everything a MySpacer needs to know about HTML, cake, and binder clips.
"A MySpacer need know nothing of HTML, though some rudimentary knowledge of how to post images will expand their 'witty repertoire' when they want to comment on people's profiles. As for cake, any good MySpacer knows that the best knowledge of cake comes from Psmith-Wainscotting's This Week In Cake. MySpacers AND real human beings would be well-served to know that binder clips, especially of the large variety, are quite useful for keeping an open bag of chips as fresh as possible. Simply fold over the top of the bag, and clip the top with the binder clip."
"I hate that book," said George.
Flipping to a new page, Fred continued to read.
2) When time slows down and where.
"Time slows down approximately when and where matter and space begin divorce proceedings. Attorneys are usually brought in to help with negotiations, but in this case, attorneys are not called by that name. In these matters, they are usually referred to as drugs."
Fred turned another page.
3) A brief lesson on septic systems and the Puget Sound.
"How about this, George? Says here that poorly maintained septic systems can actually be responsible for polluting the Puget Sound."
"Bloody environmentalists. They'll get us all killed one of these days. Read about something else, will ya'?"
4) Where does the bread go when you make toast?
"Here's something: Bread undergoes transportation to the toasting realm through the use of toastporters, the red strips of heat residing in all true toasters. While the bread is in the toasting realm, it begins its physical transformation into toast. Sometimes, the toaster doesn't quite have time to-"
"Good grief. Who cares about freakin' toast?!"
5) How to jump.
"Would you rather I read about how to jump?"
"No. Just shut up."
"It sounds quite simple. You might learn something. It'd be like a first kiss, maybe."
Group 3 (nature) 1) The first evergreen tree I ever kissed.
"My first kiss was with a tree."
"Oh. What kind of tree?"
"Wow. How was it?"
"Awful. I accidentally ate a lady bug."
2) Lady bugs, aren't they neat?
"Wow. That's pretty neat. Aren't lady bugs neat?"
"Not when you swallow them and they fly back up out of your mouth."
Fred sighed. "Then what happened?"
3) Rows and rows of corn.
"I freaked out. I thought that kissing produced lady bugs and I freaked out, ran out of the forest, through rows and rows of corn, and I wound up tripping over the cat and smashing my face on a rock."
4) How to run over a cat.
"You never can run over a cat when you want to. The trick is to not want to."
"It's a nice day to go for a walk and get something to eat, don't you think?"
"You're just changing the subject because we have to move on to the next topic that Randy suggested."
5) Puffy clouds and their shapes.
"No, it's really a nice day. Look: there are all these nice puffy clouds everywhere. Some of them even have nice shapes. Like those-they look like boobs. And those over there...they look like...boobs."
Fred looked out the window. "Yeah, I'll give you that. Boobs. Everywhere."
"And besides, I'm hungry. I could eat a plastic trash bag."
Group 4 (plastic) 1) Plastic trash bags and why not to eat them.
"Oh, I wouldn't recommend that. If you don't suffocate first, you'll probably die of cancer-which, I guess would not be much different than how most of us will die, anyway. But you shouldn't rush these things."
2) Forks spoons and knives... yea plasticwear!
George eyed a box of plasticwear. "I bet I could eat those."
"Now see here, those are for the picnic."
"Oh yeah. We're late for the picnic!"
3) Bristle blocks!!!!!!!!
"Quite right! How could I have forgotten! Quick, grab the Bristle Blocks for little Timmy!"
"And the music, don't forget the music!"
4) Journey to polycarbonate.
"Journey it is."
"Not that crap! Pick out something better. I'll get the polycarbonate picnic windows!"
"From Journey to polycarbonate. Hmm. Why are we taking polycarbonate windows?"
"Because it's the only way we could work polycarbonate into the story!"
5) Broken CD of terror.
Fred looked through the CD rack. His fingers paused on one labelled: Nonstop Journey Hits. He pulled it out and looked at a post-it note on the outside of the plastic case. The post-it read: "Broken CD of Terror! Only plays the first song, then skips back to the beginning!"
"Perfect," Fred said.
Group 5 (science fiction) 1) Attack of My Favorite Martian.
George and Fred nearly had everything in the car before a Martian appeared before them!
"What's up?" said the Martian.
George wondered that himself, but Fred told him, "It's cool, George. It's my favorite Martian, XvYpRtLq! He likes to attack people, but only with dull stories."
"Oh. Cool," George said dishonestly.
2) Knowing that the center of the solar eclipse ate my sister's car, and how I slept through it.
"Greetings, Earthlings! I just got back from the center of the solar eclipse that ate my sister's car."
"A solar eclipse! How was it?" Fred asked.
"I don't know. I slept through it. It had been a long night previously; I was hanging out where time was slowing down and everything."
3) Only in my dream can I fly (except on Pluto).
George said, "You are not making any sense at all, Martian, but...can you fly? Because that would be cool."
"In my dreams I can fly! Except on Pluto."
"You mean there's something weird about when you dream about being on Pluto?"
"No, I just never sleep on Pluto-it's a total party planet-so I never dream there."
"So, what brings you to Earth, today?" Fred asked.
4) The Blob is coming! The holiest of blobs, and careful swamp monsters!
"If you don't mind my telling you, I am here to announce that the Blob is coming!"
"That great big monster from the movies?!" George asked.
"No, the reincarnation of the Buddha. Humans, he has gained some weight, let me tell you. And look out, swamp monsters, because he is HUNGRY!"
"Shit. So am I," said George. "We gotta' get to this picnic."
5) The dragons lair.
"I'm sorry, George," said the Martian. "You will never get to eat."
"Because you don't have time. There is only one Randy topic left and once it is said-"
"Don't say it!" George screamed.
"Once it is said, the story will be over."
"Quick, to the picnic! I need food!"
Fred and George hopped in the car, sped to the picnic, met their friends there, and ran to the grill, where there was a stack of burgers on a plate.
"Too hot!" George said, trying to pick one up. "I need buns!"
"You need what?" Alice asked. She walked toward them, her hips waving from side to side like the ocean's tide. Or something.
"Oh baby, you always did flirt well. Remember our first time hanging out together?"
"No. Shut up!"
"We met at Video Palace Harbor Kingdom Mania and stayed until closing, playing that one game, over and over."
"That was a long time ago. And besides, they are open 24 hours."
"Not on Christmas! But don't tell me you don't remember - the name of the game became our mating cry!"
"Who are you again?" George said.
"I still can't make love without crying out, DRAGON'S LAIR! DRAGON'S LAIR!!!!"