Saturday, September 14, 2013

Notes from the Refractory Zone, Revisited

So, by my count it's been approximately 15 years since I actually posted anything here. Most of the entries past January or so have been guest posts of some sort. If you've been checking for actual new content, please allow me to formally apologize for my truancy.

Here's some stuff that I've been up to lately, for those of you who are stil following along. There was this article I wrote for Cracked in July ...

Along with this one that was published in August ...

I'm going to really try harder to stay on top of this blog, I figure if nothing else I'll use it as a means to keep folks aware of the different projects I have coming up, for example, this anthology that's coming out in early 2014 ...

And finally in the interest of putting some sort of actual content on this page today, here's a joke I wrote:

A horse walks into a bar.

The bartender asks: “What’ll you have?”

The horse says: “Jack Daniels. Double. No ice.”

The bartender: “I don’t get it.”

The horse: “Get what?”

They size each other up. A long, uncomfortable silence ensues.

Finally the bartender shrugs and wanders off to get the drink. The horse swivels in his stool and surveys the place. It’s a smoke-filled wreck of a dive, the kind of place where trouble comes to you even if you’re doing you’re damndest to just mind your own business. The bartender lays a tumbler of bourbon onto a napkin. The horse raises the glass to his nose and sniffs, nods approvingly and slaps a 5 dollar bill on to the bar.

From behind a voice says, “It’s you.”

The horse turns around. Sure enough, trouble has found him. In this case trouble is a tall 30-ish redhead. Tattooed, muscular shoulders and improbably high tits. Fake no doubt - the tits, not the tattoos. She must have turned her fair share of heads back in the day but a lifetime of bad choices has a way of aging some folks prematurely, and this particular filly looks as if she’s been rode hard and hung up wet just a few times too many. It’s the corners of her mouth, mostly. The way they turn down as if a pair of invisible filaments are tugging on them have a way of making her look more than a little unsympathetic.

She raises her eyebrows at him. The horse realizes she’s asked him a question.

The horse says: “I’m sorry?”

She says: “I’m sorry, too.” A pair of tears slide down her leathery cheeks, dragging a couple of ounces of black mascara with them as they join together at a point just below her chin. She wipes them away absentmindedly and pulls out a yellow manilla envelope.

She leans in close, and her full red lips brush the horse's ear. She whispers “Make it look like an accident, okay?”

She slaps the envelope down on the bar right next to his drink and then turns and storms out of the bar. A second later, the sound of tires screeching outside undercuts the tinny jukebox music as a pair of bikers push through the saloon style doors.

The horse tucks the envelope away as the bikers sit down about 3 stools down. He stands up and finishes his drink and walks outside. He is trying not to tremble. Later on he’ll open it up and find $5,000 has been stuffed inside. He has no idea who the woman is, and he doesn’t care, either. As far as the horse is concerned, it’s time to mosey on to the next town.

Some time later, an undercover cop walks into the bar. He orders a drink, checks his watch, and curses under his breath. He finishes his drink and checks his watch again.

He says to the bartender: “Another round.”

The bartender nods, draws him a beer and asks: “So why the long face?”

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