Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Grandma and Her Pipe (Short Story)

I originally wrote this for a Writer's Craft class exercise. Basically, we had twenty minutes to write a story, and every two minutes or so the teacher would put a word/phrase on the board and we'd have to include it at whatever point we were at (the highlighted sections below represent those words). I think it turned out pretty well, and after a little bit of editing, here it is:


"It was a long, cold, winter's night, and all through the house not a creature was stirring— not even a mouse," said the narrator on TV slowly. As he spoke, images of a dark mansion swooshed on to the screen, followed by shots of small children sleeping in their beds. Christmas spirit was truly in the air... just like the smoke from Artie's Grandmother's pipe.

"I never understood why they play this crap," she said, stroking her substantial belly. "I mean, it's impossible that the human race could have sunk this low. Why, back in my day we had Christmas turkeys you could buy for a dollar at Gimble's. They tasted like a fine cognac had been melted all over the top of them. And that smell! Oh, that smell! Like a freshly born baby, I tell ya! And what's more, a... h... hugh..."

"Grandma, don't get worked up," said Artie, turning around to see his Grandmother clutching her chest, pipe now the floor.

"Dang heart," she spluttered. She reached down to grab her pipe, making an odd noise like a stalled windmill as she did so, and her false teeth fell to the floor with a bang.

"Fore da lov of Pete!" she mumbled incoherently, a long thread of drool stretching from her mouth. "Ge' ma teef boay!"

"I'd rather take a bullet right n-"


Artie gagged, reached down to the floor, and grabbed the wet, gummy teeth. Wincing, he handed them to his Grandmother, who snatched them out his hand and hurriedly stuffed them back into her mouth.

"Gosh darn things," she said. "Why, back in my day w-"

She was interrupted by a jittery sound of some sort.

"What in blazes... is that the telephone? Arthur, go get it."

"I don't think that's the telephone, Grandma."

"I know a telephone when I hear one, boy. Go ge-"

Suddenly, the entire left wall of their house was ripped off. An enormous sucking sound, like a giant plunger, and it was gone. The cold air from outside funnelled in through the opening, and standing out in the snowy garden were two small, green aliens. Their heads were the size of grape tomatoes, while their bodies couldn't have been more than three feet high.

"We come in peace," they squealed.

Artie stood motionless, mouth ajar.

"Are ya gonna get the phone or not? What's with this silence, Arthur?" Grandma shouted.

Artie pointed at the green aliens, chalk white in the face. Grandma adjusted her glasses slowly and squinted.

"Are those roaches back again? Always been a problem in this house. These look like some biggums too."

She reached behind the couch, grabbed a shotgun, and pumped the two aliens full of lead. It all happened so fast that Artie had no time to react. He felt like he was going to pass out. It had to be a dream that he would wake up from any second...

"Little chilly in here, ain't it?" Grandma said, reaching for her pipe which still lay, forgotten by Artie, on the floor.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What are your Favourite _______?

Sometimes I get asked, "What is your favourite _______?" (Colour, song, sex position, etc.) I decided to write this post as a way to address some variations of that question, and also because I enjoy writing about stuff I love just as much as about stuff I hate (well, okay, ALMOST as much).

Keep in mind that these lists are not set in stone. My "favourites" are constantly changing along with my tastes, and I'm always searching for new stuff I think will be awesome. Also, the items in these categories are not ranked, but listed in alphabetical order.

(What follows is a pretty narcissistic post. But yeah, it's my blog, so STFU.)


Brand New - The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me - iTunes
Devin Townsend - Ocean Machine: Biomech - iTunes
Edge of Sanity - Crimson - iTunes
Faith No More - Angel Dust - iTunes
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven - iTunes
Miles Davis - Kind of Blue - iTunes
Mr. Bungle - California - iTunes
Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea - iTunes
Opeth - Still Life - iTunes
Porcupine Tree - Fear of a Blank Planet - iTunes
Strapping Young Lad - City - iTunes
Ulver - Bergtatt - iTunes

Honourable Mentions: Buckethead - The Elephant Man's Alarm Clock (iTunes), Godflesh - Streetcleaner (iTunes), Isis - Oceanic (iTunes), Swans - The Seer (iTunes)

Books (Novels/Plays)

The Boy Next Door by Enid Blyton
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Generals Die in Bed by Charles Yale Harrison 
The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King  
Animal Farm by George Orwell  
Harry Potter (the whole series) by J.K. Rowling
Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Honourable Mentions: Artemis Fowl (what I've read of the series) by Eoin Colfer, The Giver by Lois Lowry, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


Anything Alcoholic
Camomile Tea (when I'm sick)
Club Soda
Dr. Pepper
Egg Nog
Milk (Chocolate and White, 1%)
Pineapple Juice

Honourable Mentions: Orange Dreamsicle Shake from Johnny Rockets, Sprite, Tonic Water


Big Mac from McDonald's
Cherry Pie
Eggs Benedict
Green Grapes (Seedless)
Imperial Cheese 
Mashed Potatoes
Olives (Green & Kalamata especially, but I love all types)
The Original Burger from Johnny Rockets
Pot Roast
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
Spinach & Rice

Honourable Mentions: Kraft Dinner, Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (or Frozen Yogurt), Onion Rings, Pasta Salad, Quesadillas

TV Shows

The Adventures of Superman
American Idol (guilty pleasure)
Dragon's Den
The Green Hornet 
Iron Chef America
Kitchen Nightmares
Man V. Food
Robot Wars
The Simpsons
Spider-Man (1960's animated version)
Star Trek (all five series')
The Twilight Zone
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Honourable Mentions: The Biggest Loser, Deadliest Warrior, Futurama, Hell's Kitchen, Hotel Hell, Jeopardy!, MasterChef, Yu-Gi-Oh!

Video Games

Burnout Revenge (PS2)
Freedom Fighters (PS2)
Guitar Hero II (X360)
Katamari Damacy (PS2)
Half-Life (PC/PS2) 
Mario Kart: Double Dash (GC)
Red Faction (PS2) 
Rock Band III (X360)
SSX Tricky (PS2)
Star Trek: Starfleet Command - Volume II: Empires at War (PC)
Super Mario 64 (N64)
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3) 
Team Fortress II (PC)
Tony Hawk's Underground (PS2)
Tony Hawk's Underground 2 (PS2)

Honourable Mentions: Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction (PS2), The Simpsons: Hit & Run (PS2), 007: Nightfire (PS2)