The Furious Gazelle

Literary as hell.

Category: Humor (page 2 of 3)

“I Will Pay You to Fire Me: My Life as a Custodian” By Katelyn Franco

I Will Pay You to Fire Me: My Life as a Custodian

By Katelyn Franco

“How does one become a janitor?” A question posed by John Bender in John Hughes’ classic 1985 movie, The Breakfast Club, is one that I happen to have the answer to. To become a custodian in the Raymond School System, I first had to send in my application. Then I waited five weeks for a response. Once I finally got a response, I went in for an interview in which all of the questions were seemingly completely unrelated to the tasks I would perform as a custodian, such as “Describe a time when you made a mistake and how you fixed the mistake,” and “If you caught someone stealing from your place of employment, would you report them?” We are custodians, what is there worth stealing? Your options range from cleaning products and rags to machines so large you could not possibly sneak them out of the building undetected. No theft was going on there. It is worth noting that Todd, the head of maintenance, was just as bad at interviewing as I was at being interviewed. I told my mom this later and she said it was because we are both “socially awkward as hell.” (Thanks, Mom.)

Todd hired me on the spot, probably because my mom is a full time custodian in the district, but a little nepotism never hurt anybody. He then told me that as a substitute custodian, I would make eight dollars and fifty cents an hour and work twenty-nine hours a week. He told me that there was a mandatory meeting at the high school the Friday before the first Monday of summer work and sent me on my way. “What a wonderful world,” I thought. “I am now employed.” The wonderful feeling did not last long.

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“Pâté,” an essay by Tiffani Lewis-Lockhart


Tiffani Lewis-Lockhart

I once read that most people cannot tell the difference between pâté and cat food when it’s presented to them. I’ve seen the Fancy Feast commercial, so I don’t doubt it. Particularly bored scientists have done experiments and usually get the same results. A lot of people think they would be able to tell, but it seems like such a simple experiment I’m not certain people aren’t doing it all the time. Maybe there is a vast conspiracy of people serving cat food instead of pâté, just because they can. I sometimes get the sneaking suspicion that I could eat pâté a million times until I was sure I knew what pâté tasted like. Then I’d get another opportunity to eat pâté (or alternatively cat food), and my world would come crashing down. I’d be just another victim of the pâté-cat food schemery.

I feel much the same way about overhearing people having sex. I’m never really convinced I’ve overheard people in the throes of passion. It always happens the same way. I’ll be sitting there, minding my own business, and I’ll hear a sound. Usually a female sound. And after my reaction, saying, “Oh… well… hmm,” and clasping my hands for no reason like I’ve suddenly got to break bad news, I dismiss it. I laugh nervously. Surely, I’m not really overhearing sex, I think. A ton of things sound like people having sex: fight scenes in movies, songs with high pitched notes, really jovial laughter, or even people making awkward sounds in order to make eavesdroppers uncomfortable.  And it feels awfully rude for me to assume a stranger is having a private moment when they might be doing something innocuous, like watching tennis or porn.

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Freeform Network Will Destroy You


Dear ABC Family Freeform Network,

How did you do it? Please stop. I’m serious, get out of my head.

Tonight you’re re-branding yourself as the Freeform Network. I know that isn’t just some rando name change. You are tactically teaming up to destroy my life with television.

I’ll be watching tonight, as you launch #Freeform. How could I resist watching the premiere of Shadowhunters? The show follows a young human named Clary as she learns that she is part angel. But it gets better: Clary is just a bit more angel than all the other angel people. Shadowhunters, based on The Mortal Instruments, Clare’s pseudo-original Harry Potter fanfiction, has already been turned into a terribly unsuccessful movie. This feels like a carefully calculated trainwreck, the kind you know I can’t turn away from.

Clary is tortured because she is literally part angel.

Clary is tortured because she is literally part angel.

I wasn’t always hooked on ABC Family. It begins slowly. Just one episode of Switched at Birth. Wow, the plot seems kind of ludicrous… two families of different races had their babies switched, and one of the parents knew for years but never said anything? This is exactly the kind of content that I, as a young millennial, love to hate-watch. I love to hate-watch it on my Netflix account (that I steal from my dad, obvs). I love to hate-watch it on my phone and my computer, because I am totally hip and free and young. Continue reading

The Miracle Maker, by David Scheier

The Miracle Maker

by David Scheier

I knew better than to go home with him, but he juggled planets, made arm-length dragon blood trees sprout from barstools and drank sun-fire instead of vodka, which shouldn’t impress me but did.

So how could I refuse? His head contained a wild ocean in place of his hair – a charming whirlpool at the chin that spun violently with thunder and lightning. Naturally, his eyes too, a hint of turquoise electric bolts cracking briefly in his pupils as he downed shot after shot of nuclear energy, pulled me in. He was a god all right, or part god, half Olympian bar-hopper and half culinary art school dropout.

“Sweet thang,” he said rolling bracelets of asteroids from wrist to elbow. “How ‘bout old Uncle buys you a drink?” I rolled my eyes. “All the drinks,” he added and my eyes rolled again. “Baby, I’ll turn the bartender into a mango martini, or how about a dirty Manhattan?” My eyes focused on him. He pointed his finger, the bartender swirled, body widened, and became transparent and hollowed out to a glass filled with liquid. The dirty Manhattan-tender sloshed and spun before breaking on the hardwood floor. “His name was Michael.” The god looked pensively at his finger. “And it was his time.” He raised his hands, towers of mixed drinks, canned beers, low-ball dancers and highball serenades lined the bar, teleported from the netherworld and into the hands of barflies. “Drinks on me, everybody.”

“Datz where it’s at!” shouted a blond fluffy-haired man with his shirt unbuttoned down to his navel. The god turned to me, fingers in the shape of a gun.

Oh god, he’s going to turn me into a vodka-tonic, I thought. He ran his fingers along my head, through my hair, and above my ears. I wanted to tell him how inappropriate this was: his pistol fingers, flipping my hair, and turning people into drinks.

“Susan, it’s okay Susan, I want to make you feel good.” His smile sincere, teeth chimed under the blue and purple tavern lights. “Now you’re thinking, how did I know your name?” He pulled me close using atoms, gently touched my shoulders. The tavern walls melted and transformed to an evening sky, light fixtures evaporated into the moon and street lights and finally my bedroom, yes, I was smashed. He kissed me, and kissed me some more, he kisses me aggressively, and kissing me still – when did this happen, the change from past to present tense in my story?

“Don’t worry about it Susan, we can jump time and all other narrative techniques.”

“My name isn’t Susan,” I told him. He smiled and undressed me with the touch of a finger and bite of his lip. He, too, bare now, skin, the olive smoothness of a Mediterranean dolphin. My hands possessed, caress his muscle, chiseled, and oh, god-sexy chest and arms. Just tonight, I tell myself. He winks at me. I won’t go alone to bars again. We make love for eons, looped in some out worldly time. He sets the mood with strategically placed pinhole stars, comets riding along the walls of my room and galaxies colliding and forming in the wake of our sex. The matter of space changed color, purple, blue, then a lighter shade of purple, and a then darker shade of blue. We started with headstand sex, our bodies melted to the stuff lava lamps are made of, I turned to clay and cracked when penetrated by his sex, and finally, invisible sex moving fast into the future while floating in this contained space of orbiting orange, and bustling blue stars around marble suns.

And it was over. I wake alone. My body aching from the stillness of time and my floor covered with tiny holes and ash from the scattered collections of stars and suns. A black hole still spins by my dresser, getting larger as it eats dust, dirty cloths and the paint off the walls.


David Scheier is writer and illustrator who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso and a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing from the School of Art Institute of Chicago. Currently, he teaches at Harold Washington City College. Both his illustrated and written work have appeared in various publications including the following: The State, Spork Press, BlazeVOX, OVS, Front Porch Journal, Rio Grande Review, Petrichor Machine, Gather Kindling, Meekling Press,and Ginger Piglet. Visit him online at

“The Man Who Ate Too Many Sandwiches,” by Edward Palumbo

(Written When I Was On a Painful Diet)


This is the story of a man who ate many sandwiches – not all at once – over the course of his lifetime, I mean to say. What? You thought he ate them all in one sitting? That is not implied in the title and I am sorry if you have gotten the wrong impression. Look, making that face is not going to make this any easier. I am here, fully prepared, to tell you a nice story about a man, a very interesting man, by the way, who ate many sandwiches and you are giving me an attitude. You know what? Perhaps I shouldn’t even tell you the story of the man who ate many sandwiches, perhaps I should wait until you have calmed down. I am calm. I am fine. You have the issue. No, I am not stalling. My story is complete, it has a beginning, a middle and an end. You do not know what you are missing. The narrative I was to share with you has everything: love, espionage, several small dogs, and, of course, many sandwiches, not to mention the man, a very interesting man, by the way, who ate the sandwiches. Fine, be like that. Don’t read my story. Go read one of those rag-mags at the supermarket. Maybe there’ll be an article about Elvis coming back to life and marrying an alien and moving to Maine to open a dry goods store. But when you a ready to read a fine piece of literature, a tale of a man and a tale of many sandwiches, eaten by said man, I’ll be here, and I’ll be waiting.



Edward Palumbo is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island (1982). His fiction, poems, shorts, and journalism have appeared in numerous periodicals, journals, e-journals and anthologies including Rough Places Plain, Flush Fiction, Tertulia Magazine, Epiphany, The Poet’s Page, Reader’s Digest, Baseball Bard,  Dark Matter, and You can visit his blog at Ed’s literary credo is: if you fall off the horse, get right back on the bicycle.


Five people you won’t believe were in Dr Who!!

By Philip J Kaplan


Five people you won’t believe were in DR Who.

1) Tim Witherspoon, DAY OF THE DALEK.

Tim Witherspoon is known as “plumber to the stars.”  He is known for snaking Robert Deniro’s backyard drain, replacing two of Snooki’s sinks, and fixing Mel Gibson’s leaking toilet.  As a favor to Tina Fey, Tim appeared in DAY OF THE DALEK.  Seen here with Russel Crowe.




Sheila O’Lancey made her debut in the sit-com, FOOT BLISTERS (1987) where she stole the show as the Foreign Customer.  She’s had other memorable roles playing the Shocked customer in TWISTED ANKLE (1987), the Alarmed Customer in BUNIONS (1987), and the Dismayed Customer in LEG CRAMPS (1987).  She appeared in the classic Dr. Who episode, NIGHTMARE IN SILVER, seen here to the right of Jennifer Lawrence.

Nightmare in Silver


Before Amet became a singing sensation in Belorussia, he appeared in the recently rediscovered episode THE WEB OF FEAR (1968).  Even today Amet cannot leave the concert stage without reprising his Dr. Who, catch phrase, “Yrgggghhhh.” In this picture you can see Amet in the middle, between Elvis Presley and Groucho Marx.



John appeared in 6000 episodes of the famed Scottish TV show, HUNTERS LODGE.  John played The Talisman, who would read the liver of each slain animal and proclaim the God’s verdict.  Swammer successfully predicted the collapse of the Spanish economy, that Kale would be the next food trend, and that Anthony Weiner’s career would end over sexting.  Sadly, he died in 2012, in a freak submarine/balloon accident.  Swammer is seen here behind Joan Rivers.


5) 75 Tottingham Road.  DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE

75 appeared in all 9 of the Harry Potter Movies, 7 James Bond films, and was also the scene of the Tottingham Road Killing (1975).  At age 214 Tot, as 75 Tottingham Road is affectionately known, is going stronger than ever.  In this picture, inside Tot we can see Beyonce, Vice President Joe Biden, and Taylor Swift on both the first and second floor.


You won’t believe these facts about President Dwight David Eisenhower


1) Eisenhower invented the phrase, “That’s what she said.”
2) The Lunar eclipse of August 12th, 1956 was cancelled because of an order from then President Eisenhower.
3) Eisenhower is the only President who is visible from space.

4) When filled with helium, Eisenhower expanded to three times his normal size and crushed houses.
5) Upon retirement Eisenhower lived in a hollowed out Spaghetti Squash, in Humbagumba, West Carolina.  His wife Mamie lived in Southeast Carolina, in a house with 300 doors.


Five things you didn’t know about the movie CASABLANCA unless you watched it.

1) The main character is named Rick.

2) Sam’s musical instrument is the piano

3) The film was set in World War II and filmed during World War II.  Incredibly, they did not yet know who would win the war.

4) Ilsa does not carry a cellphone.

5) If you look carefully you will see a cameo by famed movie actor Humphrey Bogart.

Philip J Kaplan
( is a playwright living in Brooklyn.  His full length comedy THE CUPCAKE CONSPIRACY (written with C.J. Ehrlich) will premiere this January at Rover Dramawerks

Things That Make Us Furious: Lying to Children

By the Furious Gazelle editors


It’s that time of the year again, when adults tell children that reindeer are mythical animals, but that Santa is real.

Back in the day, other kids delighted in telling me that I wouldn’t get a visit from Santa because I’m a Jew. I delighted in telling them that they wouldn’t either because he’s imaginary, how do you still believe in him you’re 7? It did not go over well. Can you blame me? My fellow seven year olds were spouting lies to my face. And believing in Santa for too long makes you look dumb– I was being helpful.

In retrospect, it wasn’t those kids’ fault. It was their parents’.

I know what you’re saying: lying to children can be fun, and hilarious. They are so easily confused by the world. Friends, I agree. Just the other day I told a toddler that I would give him a piece of candy, and instead I punched him on the nose. And we had a great laugh about it.

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Four Sexy Halloween Costumes We’d Like to See This Year

With Halloween just around the corner, we hope that everyone is preparing their costumes for a spooky, scary, Halloween. Some people don’t want to be scary, ghoulish, ghastly, monsters. Some people want to be sexy. But buying a sexy Halloween costume is so generic, and store-bought sexy costumes are so terrible. (A sexy male bird, a sexy male doll, and a sexy… Chinese woman? OK, wait, we’re pretty sure that last one is just really racist.)

Want ideas for a last-minute DIY sexy Halloween costume? Friends, we have you covered!!

1. Sexy Third Degree Burn Victim

Some sexy costumes are puzzling. The Sexy Firefighter is one of them. Every time I see one of these costumes, I think, come back here, lady, you should seriously not go into that burning house, I don’t think you’re going to be adequately protected against that fire.

With the help of prosthetics, you can make a sequel to the sexy firefighter costume called “Firefighter Who Was Bad At Job,” or “Sexy Third Degree Burn Victim.”

Sexy Burn Victim

2. Sexy Corporation

This year, the US Supreme Court granted corporations even more rights as people! Let’s honor that decision by dressing as a corporation this year. Be this sexy beast for Halloween:

Hobby Lobby

3. Sexy Grandma

To make this costume, drench yourself in the smell of delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies. Wear an apron, a smile, and nothing else.

4. Sexy Quarantined Nurse

With this costume, you don’t even have to show up. Make your absence just as scary as your presence by phoning it in. “Hi guys, I just got back from West Africa, and I’m feeling a bit under the weather. It might have been something in all the bushmeat and human blood I’ve been eating.”


The Ways in Which Times Square Makes me Furious

By e. kirshe

A disclaimer: Before you read the title and offer genuine advice about avoiding such an infuriating place I will tell you that, sadly, I work there and must navigate those putrid streets daily.

It has been slowly eating my soul.

To some Times Square is the beating heart of the city. It is alive with light and energy and conveniently towards the middle (like a heart!). The people who think this are tourists and they make me furious.

To tourists: I understand, I really do, that you’ve traveled, sometimes far, to be here and it’s all very new and exciting. What I don’t understand is why that makes you so damn rude.

That’s right, it’s not us, it’s you.

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Ancient World Final Exam by Philip J. Kaplan


Philip J. Kaplan is the author of Hollywood Musicals: Best, Worst and Unusual.  His play Dante’s Inferno: The Motion Picture was published in Best Ten Minute Plays: 2011.  Other plays include Welcome to Sam PestoViolent Overthrow of the Government (and Other Family Matters) and The Cupcake Conspiracy (w/ C.J. Ehrlich).  He once spent a month in a very nice hospital in Seattle.  Philip is a member of the Dramatist Guild.

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