Friday, February 5, 2016

Disposing of my Remains

I’ve heard stories about funerals during which the deceased, as dictated by their living wills, distribute jewelry to their mourners, little glass jars on little silver chains, each jar containing a portion of the ashes that are their earthly remains.

After cremation, the notion goes, rather than having your ashes blown out to sea the option exists to send each and every one of those who’ve come to see you laid to rest home with a portion, that they might have some part of you, some real, tangible thing, to remember you by.

And I do admit, I find myself impressed by the notion.

It strikes me as the perfect sort of weird, passive aggressive power play to make, and one that you will never, ever be called to account on, because who would be crass enough to speak ill of a dead man at his own funeral?

You would know why I had done it, but there would be nothing you could do about the matter without seeming like the worst sort of person in front of everyone who’d ever cared about me. So you’d smile, and accept the little glass jar on its little silver chain, and pretend that it held some kind of meaning for you.

And, from beyond the grave, if anything beyond the grave does exist, I’d laugh.

“Here,” I would tell you, “have something you do not want, but can never, ever, for as long as you might live, throw away.”

And you would have to grin and take it, knowing as you did that I had, one last time, gotten the better of you with the sort of weird, petty, childish prank that you’d so long put up with during my life.

And perhaps this reminder of who I had been, and what it had been that drew you to me during my life might make you, for one brief moment in the middle of my funeral, smile.

Or perhaps it would not.

Either way, you’d be stuck with the jewelry.


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Weekly Prompt Story: Camera

My Camera
By Christopher Munroe

I’ve bought a Polaroid camera.

And film, obviously. It would’ve been pointless without film.

I bought it just in case I meet a girl with brown hair and glasses, who loves The Smiths and wants to teach me to love life again the way a child does.

We’ll lay by the river, talking about our hopes and dreams while I snap Polaroids of the two of us, falling in love.

I don’t have a specific bespectacled brunette in mind, yet, I bought it just in case…

After all, if I ever DO meet her, I’d hate not to be ready…

Thursday, January 28, 2016

My Restaurant

Although I’ve worked as a waiter, off and on, for years, I never wanted to open a restaurant myself…

Until, that is, a friend suggested I open a gaming themed breakfast nook.

Space enough for whatever tabletop game you might want to partake in over a pleasant morning meal, along with delicious breakfast delicacies prepared for you while you played, it seemed the natural next step in the evolution of the gaming café.

Though I admit, I didn’t fully sign on ‘til it was pointed out to me that opening a gaming-themed breakfast restaurant would allow me to name three of the menu items “Waffle Good,” “Waffle Evil,” and “Waffle Neutral.”

Waffle Evil, we decided after careful consideration, would be bacon and ghost pepper sauce waffles, the sort of spicy treat that’s guaranteed to punch you right in the taste buds, an assault upon your senses that left you reeling. People might wonder if they could order it sans ghost pepper sauce. And the answer would be: No.

Waffle Good, on the other hand, would be dessert waffles, piled high with fresh fruit, syrup, cream both iced and whipped, and then sprinkled in chocolate shavings, a decadent feast that even the most humourless of taste buds would be forced to stop and take appreciative note of…

Waffle Neutral would just be waffles, with butter. Waffles and butter. That’s it.

This notion tickled us so much that we knew we had to open the restaurant, and to our surprise, the young woman we talked to at the bank agreed, and our loan was approved immediately! It took a lot of hard work getting the place up and running, but six months later we had our own little breakfast and gaming parlour, open for business!

And then, six months after that, closed for business, our operating capital gone and what few customers we’d found calling for our blood, the games they’d invested so much money and emotional energy into ruined, forever.

Waffles, it turns out, should not be combined with tabletop gaming. The syrup gets EVERYWHERE…

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Weekly Prompt Story: Thoughts

On Filmgoing
By Christopher Munroe

I’ve seen Inception.


I mean, it’s the type of movie I WOULD see. I love Chris Nolan, he makes interesting, thinky blockbusters that blend spectacular visual effects with densely packed ideas, and I respond consistently well to his films.

Also: Batman.

Plus, I remember watching the film, enjoying the performances and talking on my way home about whether Leo had woken up or not. I remember it vividly.

But, in spite of all that, if it were just a case of somebody putting the MEMORY of the movie Inception in my mind while I slept, how would I know?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Morning After

I wake with the worst hangover of my life, and discover I’m wearing a Starbucks uniform.

I don’t remember much about last night, an evening, a bar, a group of friendly strangers, rounds of Jager shots and, past that, nothing at all until this moment…

I find the note by my bed and know what it will say even before I open it.

“Your shift begins at three.” It reads, along with an address.

“Well,” I think to myself, resigned to my fate and rising to prepare myself for my new job, “it would appear I have been French-Press ganged.”

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Weekly Prompt Story: The Line

My New Program
By Christopher Munroe

Here’s my pitch:

Our contestants, wild, sexy twentysomethings all, arrive at the house on the first day and are told to wait for the host to come and let them in.

The host, obviously, never comes, and the series is filmed in front of the house as, over the course of several days, without provisions beyond whatever they might have brought with them, they give up on ever being on TV and walk away...

The last, half starved, exhausted contestant still waiting, once the others have left, will be declared the winner.

“The Line” will premier this autumn, on NBC.

Thursday, January 14, 2016


Good news! I’ve started accepting Bitcoin!

Which, I think you’ll all agree, was only ever a matter of time.

Normal currencies are, after all, only ever backed by governments, and really, what are governments other than instruments through which people deal collectively with the problems they collectively face? Nothing, that’s exactly right! So why on earth would we allow these entities be in charge of ensuring the safety and stability of a currency, when the much simpler “Nobody in charge of anything and try not to worry about it!” option exists!

There is no reason! I know!

Now, don’t get me wrong, Bitcoin isn’t based on nothing at all, that would obviously be insane. A currency needs a stable platform upon which to rest, otherwise how would it function in the global economy as a real reflection of value, rather than a speculative bubble that could pop at any moment? No, a foundation is needed upon which to build your currency, clearly, that it might stand the test of time and win the trust of the wider world, it just needs to be something deeper and more meaningful than the useful collective fiction that is a national government.

In this specific case, Bitcoin is built upon two main economic pillars, “Libertarianism” and “Wishing.”

Now, as a white cis-male who mostly sleeps with women, the idea of Libertarianism has always appealed to me, I like that it tells me I’ve earned everything I have and need never examine my life any more deeply than that. It comforts me enormously, being told what I want to hear and then encouraged not to think about it. And as far as Wishing goes, who among us has never held a wish near to our breast and hoped for the best?

This, essentially, is Bitcoin. And I think you’ll agree that it’s the sort of basis for an actual currency that real people actually use that absolutely won’t result in the complete collapse of the system like the over-elaborate house of cards that it definitely isn’t.

So it’s with a song in my heart that I jump aboard the Bitcoin train now, after it’s left the station but before it goes completely off the rails, in order to be a part of history. Not a part of history insomuch as it’s the first time an economic scheme of this sort has been attempted, but insomuch as it’s the first time the scheme’s been tried online.

And as we all know, adding the Internet to a business venture is a sure fire winner, the late ‘90s and early 2000s notwithstanding. Bitcoin will no doubt be every bit as great a success as we’ve come to expect from these sorts of ventures!

So: Give me all your Bitcoins. And please, do it quickly, I suspect that they won’t be useful to me much longer, and I’m certainly not willing to pay real money for them while they are…