The Furious Gazelle

Literary as hell.

Category: Humor (page 2 of 3)

A Touch-and-Feel Guide to the British Museum

A Touch-and-Feel Guide to the British Museum

by Tess Tabak

At the British Museum in London, many of the world’s greatest treasures are on display. As I studied the Rosetta Stone, one of our modern-day wonders, there was only one thing on my mind: What does that feel like?

 

Fortunately, the British Museum anticipated that desire. They recently started hosting Objects Handling Sessions, where visitors can touch historic artefacts daily under supervision of a trained volunteer. They’ve also added an interactive Touching Tour, which allows blind visitors to handle plaster replicas of some of the artwork, to better visualize it. These features can help bring history to life in your fingertips.

 

However, I noticed no one seemed shy about touching the real deal. “Please STOP TOUCHING the art & artifacts!” reads one 5-star review from an unamused guest.

 

Indeed, the guards seemed blind to it. Pictured below, a woman rests on an ancient statue marked PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH.

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Encouraged, I partook myself. Here is a guide to my favorite sites at the British Museum by taste and texture.

1) The Sphinx

The Sphinx tasted enigmatic. Truly, there is nothing in the world like the feel of a genuine Egyptian sphinx beneath your tongue. Each lick imbued me with years of wisdom.

On the downside, I probably have a curse now.

 

2) The coin room

 

The coin room in the British Museum has a handful of coins out at all times to be handled. Naturally I popped a few in my pocket when no one was looking.

I felt supremely powerful holding the coins of generations past. However, I discovered that the thousand-year-old drachmas, though purportedly valuable, could not buy me a snack from the museum’s cafeteria. Whoops. Now I know what people in Greece feel like.

 

3) Napoleon’s bed

 

Comfy, but short.

 

4) The Mummy

“I know what you did to the Sphinx,” a voice whispered in my ear as I stroked the Mummy’s hand. Whoa. I’ve really got to get out of here.

“Politics,” flash fiction by Kelly Evans

Politics

by Kelly Evans

“I’ve decided to enter the cutthroat and unforgiving arena of political life,” Frederick announced.

Mother looked up from her book. “Whatever for, Freddie?”

“I’m a natural born leader and others should benefit from my vast life experience.”

“And how do you plan to enter this world?” Frederick’s younger sister Constance smiled wryly.

Frederick sat on the settee and swung a leg casually over the arm. “I’ve discovered our local school requires a new governor, a perfect place for me to cut my teeth, politically speaking.”

Continue reading

Things That Make Us Furious: “Nutella,” by Sara Petersen

nougat-272934_960_720Nutella is a problem. Sure, it’s creamy and fucking delicious, but it is just way too accessible. It’s the lazy person’s dream come true when it comes to instant sugar gratification. Open jar. Insert spoon. Emerge minutes later in a sweet stupor – with a gross, waxy taste in your mouth.

Nutella, I can’t quit you. Although once I did. I put a ban on Nutella (got legitimately pissed at my husband when he thought I was kidding and brought home a family-sized jar), and after two weeks of Nutella abstinence, my cravings legitimately diminished. Apparently two weeks is the average amount of time needed to kick an addiction. Heroin, crystal meth, Nutella. All the same really.

When I was younger and less intelligent, I blissed out in my ignorance of sugar’s nasty conversion into fat, and regularly ate strawberries and Nutella for the sake of protein. Like, “I’m feeling a little low-energy – I need a protein boost. Grilled chicken? Tuna? Eggs? No. Let’s go with the jar of dessert disguised as a critical part of a healthy, well-balanced breakfast.” What are we talking here? 2 grams, 3 grams of protein? But yeah, I’m just forcing this glob of chocolate down because I need my daily allotment of protein. Uh-huh. Continue reading

How to Write a YA Novel by Elena Ender

YA: young adult, teen, tween, advanced child, less-advanced adult, emotional human

 

Novel: story, book, doorstop


I know a lot about books, I’ve even read a few. One genre of book that sells well is “Young Adult” (or YA) “literature.” I have read at least one YA novel and I have seen trailers for The Fault in Our Stars, so I’m going to let you in on the secret of how to write a YA novel and make more money than JK Running.

What you’ll need: 

  • Mac computer
  • leather notebook
  • fountain pen
  • loose papers
  • coffee shop
  • beanie

 

Getting started:

There are three types of YA novels you can choose to write about.

1) post-apocalyptic dystopian romance novel

2) magical/fantasy/vampire romance novel

3) 21st century American teen coming-of-age, cancer romance novel


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“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

Pâté

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

freeform

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 society6.com/davidscheier.com.

“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.

 

THE END

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 poemkingdom.com. You can visit his blog at bronzedagain.blogspot.com. 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.

daleks

 

2) Sheila O’Lancey NIGHTMARE IN SILVER

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

3) Amet.  THE WEB OF FEAR

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.

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4) John Swammer.  THE  ONE WITH THE SILURIANS

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.

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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.

Torchwood_House

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
(http://philipkaplan.weebly.com/) 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 http://www.roverdramawerks.com.

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