Category Archives: Short Pieces – GTC

Looting in Leyte

This story appears in the collection “In Other Hands”

Also posted in Food, Philippines, Short Pieces - GTC, Starvation

Typhoon in the Philippines

Wish I’d stayed in the mountains but years ago moved to the coast and became a fisherman and usually did pretty well and survived countless typhoons, annual curses in the Philippines, by grabbing my family and rushing into mountains which weren’t always hospitable flooding down toward us but we’d always dodged. This time, before we […]

Also posted in Earthquakes, Philippines, Short Pieces - GTC, Typhoons

Prime Real Estate

Come on in. This Tijuana home may be modest but it’s yours for a tenth you’d pay in San Diego. Now, step back here and check out the kitchen. You won’t have to go out front or back doors. Leave through this fine tunnel and relax in the little rail car rolling seven hundred yards […]

Also posted in Cocaine, Drugs, Marijuana, Mexico, San Diego, Short Pieces - GTC, Tijuana

Godane Wants You

Bin Laden considered me extreme and sneered when I wrote, “At your service, Osama.” Good riddance. Al Qaeda’s irrelevant. Come and join Shabaab. I shall liberate all Muslims. As a prerequisite I’ve eliminated many former allies who were soft and didn’t understand we must ceaselessly destroy invading Kenyans and Somali traitors and foreign teachers and […]

Also posted in Ahmed Abdi Godane, Islam, Kenya, Religion, Short Pieces - GTC, Somalia

Saudi Woman Driver

Last night as aroused husband attempted to mount I closed legs and said, “Give me the keys. I’ve places to go in the morning.” “I’ll take you.” “You’ll be at work.” “My brother’ll drive.” “He’ll be late if he comes at all. Give me the keys.” “You can’t drive. It’s contrary to Saudi law and […]

Also posted in Cars & Driving, Marriage, Saudi Arabia, Short Pieces - GTC

New Iranian President

I am Hassan Rouhani, new president of Iran and most reasonable and educated man. I speak Persian, Arabic, and English well, received law degree in Scotland, and have served Iran in many high military, diplomatic, and political offices. No one has more relevant experience. I understand people and universal need for expression and think you […]

Also posted in Hassan Rouhani, Iran, Israel, Middle East, Nuclear Weapons, Short Pieces - GTC

Shorty Belton

Bombs, bullets, bayonets, and insanity dominate island Okinawa in spring 1945 as American soldiers kill hundred thousand Japanese soldiers who kill and wound sixty-five thousand Americans, and both slaughter thousands of natives. Someone shoots Shorty Belton in leg. He’s lucky, surviving in relative good health, and returns to Spokane where he marries, raises family, works […]

Also posted in Crime, Murder, Prisons, Short Pieces - GTC, World War II

Karzai Angry

I’m often angry. Afghanistan’s been at war decades and American ally continues to kill many civilians. Last week in eastern Kunar province drone blew up four women and four children in addition to three alleged terrorists. Afghans wail when this happens and demand I evict Americans. I’d like to. I want high-tech killers out. I […]

Also posted in Afghanistan, Drones, Hamid Karzai, Short Pieces - GTC, Taliban

Putin on Syrian Gas

Let’s be honest. I’m shrewdest politician in world. I maneuver into many terms as president, deftly gag dissenters, jail Pussy Riot female rockers who belittle Christ, and now I write columns for New York Times. If life weren’t so good in Russia I’d move to Big Apple and comment full-time. I have special insight into […]

Also posted in Barack Obama, Bashar al-Assad, Chemical Weapons, Hafez al-Assad, Middle East, Pussy Riot, Russia, Short Pieces - GTC, Syria, Vladimir Putin

Last Bodyguard

I study painting like young Fuehrer but as he did abandon studio to protect Fatherland. Stalin’s hordes are occupying other half of Poland in 1939 when someone shoots me in chest. Go home, superiors say. No, I can still serve. They agree and I soon earn introduction to Fuehrer who speaks politely and allows me […]

Also posted in Adolf Hitler, Germany, Joseph Stalin, Russia, Short Pieces - GTC, World War II

Back Yard Hole

What’re you doing home, Fred, wife said. Sick of job. How’ll we live. Fred didn’t answer. He grabbed shovel in garage, put on work gloves, walked into back yard, and started digging. He dug fast, heaving dirt far as possible, and hole got wide and deep by sundown. What in God’s name, said wife. Fred […]

Also posted in Housing, Marriage, Short Pieces - GTC

Noisy Night

This story is now in the collection “Tales of Romance”

Also posted in Animals, Marriage, Rats, Short Pieces - GTC

Assad Gas Company

Obama has red line between eyes that means I can use gas whenever. I don’t want to every day, only when I need to. Sometimes I need to gas children and other sleeping civilians who understand I must keep power. Only I am qualified to lead. Before I took over, only Father was fit. Syria […]

Also posted in Bashar al-Assad, Chemical Weapons, Hafez al-Assad, Middle East, Short Pieces - GTC, Syria

Inside Fire

Last Friday lightning ignites dry hills near Prescott and we twenty guys in Hotshot Crew put on helmets, backpacks, and other gear, preparing to stop or at least limit fire threatening to destroy homes and thousands of acres. We drive into hills and Sunday afternoon turn on chainsaw to rip incendiary chaparral from earth and […]

Also posted in Arizona, Climate Change, Fires, Global Warming, Short Pieces - GTC

Soothing Barack

“Mr. President, you’ve been quite tense.” “Since when?” “Last five years or so.” “Be thankful you bear not my burden, Joe.” “I am, but I’ll have to unless you mellow out.” “I work out, play golf, spend quality time with the wife. What else can I do?” Joe smiled and presented a perfectly rolled cigarette. […]

Also posted in Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Marijuana, Short Pieces - GTC

Morsi the Great

I detest people who doubt I’m ideal President of Egypt. I oppose tyranny and always did in years as activist in Muslim Brotherhood. Now I’m battling reactionary elements of former regime trying to regain power and repress liberty. I don’t allow courts to help enemies of progress. I ignore them and godless parties seeking to […]

Also posted in Egypt, Middle East, Mohamed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood, Religion, Short Pieces - GTC

Silvio Berlusconi

Those saying I’m thief and libertine are fools. I’m suave multi-billionaire media mogul who as prime minister and consummate politician dominated Italy for generation. Regrettably, latest idiots are three dowdy female judges, jealous of Berlusconi allure for gorgeous young women, who sentenced me to seven years prison and banned from politics for life. They won’t […]

Also posted in Italy, Sex, Short Pieces - GTC, Silvio Berlusconi

Frog Legs

On concrete next to shady grass spawning ground baby frogs crushed under shoes or fried by sun. Timid frog stayed home eating flies till able to amputate hands and arms.

Also posted in Frogs, Reptiles, Short Pieces - GTC

New Taliban

To everyone we say relax. We’ve changed and are now using social media. Friend us on Facebook. We deserve support. We’re not going to let anyone use Afghan soil to prepare an attack on other countries. We need peace. We’ve been fighting since birth. We’ll even talk to Obama and puppet Karzai. We’ll talk to […]

Also posted in Afghanistan, Barack Obama, Facebook, Hamid Karzai, Short Pieces - GTC

Dick Cheney Speaks

Thank God I’m healthy and on TV to warn Barack Obama is lousy president and responsible for IRS persecuting conservatives and terrorists murdering several Americans in Benghazi. I, by contrast, am proud national security expert who protected you on 9/11 and strategic wizard who more than anyone, except underling President Bush, saved American lives by […]

Also posted in Barack Obama, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Iraq, Libya, Short Pieces - GTC, Taxes

Car Talk

Jim and Evelyn were lost in new town. Damn it, stop and get directions. He turned and said, button up while I’m driving, and pickup truck on big wheels ended discussion.

Also posted in Cars & Driving, Marriage, Short Pieces - GTC

Brahms Meets Tchaikovsky

Brahms and Tchaikovsky once met. Don’t like your work, said former. Don’t like yours either, he replied.

Also posted in Johannes Brahms, Mental Health, Music, Peter Tchaikovsky, Poetry - GTC, Short Pieces - GTC

The Nest

That dove isn’t real, is it, I asked carpenter who stopped hammering patio beam and looked until bird’s eye moved. It’s sitting on eggs or wouldn’t still be here. For several days whenever I opened kitchen blinds dove shot up, bouncing off patio ceiling, and thrashed wings shooting for perch on telephone wire over backyard. […]

Also posted in Birds, Short Pieces - GTC

Waiting Room

Waiting room roar: she cheats so does he they’re divorcing and lucky to escape. You can’t. Doctor always late and secretary refuses to shoot TV.

Also posted in Divorce, Doctors, Health, Marriage, Sex, Short Pieces - GTC


On floor she kneeled and begged lord, help me, please, and collapsed gagging about to choke when preacher pounced and retrieved tongue.

Also posted in Religion, Short Pieces - GTC

Next Door

This story is now in the collection “Tales of Romance”

Also posted in Families, Marriage, Prostitution, Sex, Short Pieces - GTC

Pray for Heat

Sunbathers and other celebrities believe Miami Heat certain to beat Indiana Pacers in series tied at two. I say lunch pail Pacers have five of eight best players, hobbled Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh aren’t second and third after LeBron James, and big Pacers Roy Hibbert, David West, and Paul George outrebounded all Heat in […]

Also posted in Basketball, Indiana, Lebron James, Miami, Miami Heat, Short Pieces - GTC

House Arrest

This story appears in the collection “In Other Hands”

Also posted in Crime, Kidnapping, Sex, Short Pieces - GTC

Lady Driver

This story is now in the collection “The Bold Investor”

Also posted in Crime, Murder, Rape, Sex, Short Pieces - GTC

Update JFK

Mister President sorry to reveal Bobby was assassinated in sixty-eight right after winning California primary. Jackie fled to marry Aristotle Onassis and died of cancer at age sixty-four. Dashing John John was popular but crashed plane when only thirty-eight. Caroline’s fine but says you know a lot.

Also posted in Assassinations, John F. Kennedy, Politics, Robert F. Kennedy, Short Pieces - GTC


This story is now in the collection “Tales of Romance”

Also posted in Dating, Marriage, Sex, Short Pieces - GTC

Ferdinand and Imelda

This story is now in the collection “Tales of Romance”

Also posted in Ferdinand Marcos, Imelda Marcos, Philippines, Short Pieces - GTC

Bangladeshi Clothes

This story appears in the collection “In Other Hands”

Also posted in Bangladesh, Clothes, Fires, Short Pieces - GTC


Butch didn’t like wife’s nervous little dog which looked like scrawny rat. Damn dog always barked at him then ran under beds and tables, cowering and quaking. He’d tried to be nice but Chihuahua bit friendly fingers. That did it. Every time saw dog Butch growled and kicked tail as scampered. Wife rebuked but she […]

Also posted in Dogs, Short Pieces - GTC

Heavenly Advice

Gerald didn’t want to go to church. He wanted to stay home and shadowbox while cursing enemy. He didn’t believe religious stuff and only went because wife reminded he’d promised. Fine, he’d do time but prayers and music were aggravating. He glanced at wristwatch. Priest in robe, sequestered by scripture, didn’t know squat. Gerald hardly […]

Also posted in Religion, Short Pieces - GTC

French Antisemitism

Husky librarian lectured members of historical society about vast news and photo archives and then discussed college background, emphasizing in grad school had researched paper about nineteenth century French anti-Semitism. As author of “Hitler Here” I approached and said, that’s obscure subject. Yes, but fascinating, he replied. I focused on Edouard Drumont, Adolf Hitler of […]

Also posted in Adolf Hitler, Dietrich Eckart, George Thomas Clark, Hitler Here, Jews, Racism, Short Pieces - GTC

Wild Peanuts

Joe avoided peanut butter, banning from house and no thanking those who offered. Three years later he decided could handle by setting limits, one thin sandwich. Joe again delighted in peanut butter and reveled in moderation until eating second sandwich washed down with milk. Then he ate third fourth fifth. Next day he began using […]

Also posted in Food, Health, Mental Health, Short Pieces - GTC


Priest short and gray has high voice but strong shake.

Also posted in Religion, Short Pieces - GTC

Child Bride

This story is now in the collection “Tales of Romance”

Also posted in Children, Divorce, Marriage, Religion, Sex, Short Pieces - GTC


This story is now in the collection “Tales of Romance”

Also posted in Movies, Short Pieces - GTC

Evening Stroll

Jeff loved to walk. Every morning before work and Saturday and Sunday afternoons he walked neighborhood streets where golf course spread around houses and kit foxes chased ducks then ate eggs. Sometimes Jeff changed routes but some streets were too pretty to exclude. He wasn’t going to avoid front yard often hot with pit bull. […]

Also posted in Dogs, Guns, Neighborhoods, Short Pieces - GTC

Young Killers

George and Lillian slept together first fifty years of marriage but medical problems and age prompted to establish separate bedrooms and that’s where they’d gone night ten years later. They didn’t hear forced entry through door but Lillian heard George say, here’s wallet, take what you want, just don’t hurt us. She also heard George […]

Also posted in Aging, Marriage, Murder, Short Pieces - GTC

Castro District

Al wanted to be close to Jewish Film Festival. He didn’t want to worry about parking in San Francisco. He wanted to walk to Castro Theater. He got Spartan hotel room three windy blocks away. He needed good dinner before first of three movies that night. Around corner from theater he entered restaurant. Hello, love, […]

Also posted in Homosexuals, Jewish Film Festival, Movies, San Francisco, Short Pieces - GTC

Lawn Jobs II

This story is now in the collection “Tales of Romance”

Also posted in Cars & Driving, Dating, Mental Health, Romance, Short Pieces - GTC

Lawn Jobs I

Clyde started lawn jobs several years earlier but never gave good one since car old and weak. Late on rainy Saturday night friend loaned high horsepower machine. Clyde eased onto large lawn with no trees, power braked with left foot, gunned engine with right, shifted automatic into low, and floored accelerator. Car roared and rear […]

Also posted in Cars & Driving, Michele Bachmann, Short Pieces - GTC

Readers Delighted by Ace

I’m thrilled scores of readers wrote about recent account of my hole in one. They wanted tips. How do I hit ball so straight, not only on par threes but with big stick off tees? How do I knock putts straight into holes? I didn’t write or even imply I did those things but realize […]

Also posted in Golf, Short Pieces - GTC

Lost Ball

Hector hated playing alone. His bad eyes couldn’t track even orange ball, and he refused to wear glasses or contact lenses. He wanted surgery but instead spent money traveling to play best courses. No one was available afternoon he teed off in mountains surrounding course. He usually found ball if hit down middle. On cliff […]

Also posted in Eyes, Golf, Short Pieces - GTC

Silicon Galleries

This story is part of the collection “Paint it Black”

Also posted in Art, Art Galleries, Bay Area, Computers, Painters, Palo Alto, Short Pieces - GTC

Emergency Teacher

Science teacher loved job but hated having to go in middle of class. Back in two minutes, he said, holding up fingers. He walked into bathroom he’d used twenty years and saw father push son away from urinal. Don’t do that, said teacher, and stepped to another urinal from which father pushed him, so he […]

Also posted in Dreams, Education, Short Pieces - GTC

Indentured Servants

This story appears in the collection “In Other Hands”

Also posted in China, English, Immigration, Prisons, Short Pieces - GTC, Slavery

Big Test

This story is now in the collection “Tales of Romance”

Also posted in Internet, Romance, Sex, Short Pieces - GTC

Super Kim Jong Un

I don’t fear starving people. They love my fat face. I worry about generals who pray I’m not tough as Father and Grandfather, generals who may want my place. They can’t have it. They’re learning I’m strongest Kim yet. I’ve already captured, jailed, and tortured North Korean fishermen, and fired missiles able to carry nuclear […]

Also posted in Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong-Il, Kim Jong-Un, Korea, Nuclear Weapons, Short Pieces - GTC

Barack Marijuana

Flanked by secret service agents I entered Oval Office and was stunned to see several people circled around presidential desk, inhaling, coughing, and passing pungent marijuana. As female aide placed joint to lips President Barack Obama lunged by three people, snatched smoke from her hands, shouted, “Intercepted,” and took deep drag he long held, as […]

Also posted in Barack Obama, Drugs, Marijuana, Politics, Short Pieces - GTC, Tobacco

Sleep Issues

Driving elbow into ribs, Patti said, “Quit snoring.” As Bill did not waken, she drilled again. “What hell?” “You’re ruining sleep.” “You don’t sleep,” he said. “Because you always roll around and snort like pig.” “That’s not why.” “Go to guest bedroom.” Bill complied and was soon snoring. Patti stared at dark ceiling and wondered […]

Also posted in Health, Marriage, Sex, Short Pieces - GTC, Sleep

Aching Back

Ignoring lower back pain daily getting sharper, Clyde eased into bed and next morning reached for radio alarm foot away but couldn’t lean that far, couldn’t lean at all, as if concrete encased lower back. Okay, just relax. This will pass. It better. Radio was grinding static. He reached few times before turning onto belly, […]

Also posted in Back, Exercise, Health, Short Pieces - GTC

Ocean View

From patio on highest hill endless ocean rolls green back onto hill. Other way city sits in smog. Damn four story house next door ruins view, owners say. Not bad, I note, three in ravine. Suppose we’re lucky to live here fifty years. Used to be in tract house below.

Also posted in Economics, Housing, Oceans, Short Pieces - GTC

Empty Boots

On massive foundation in Budapest park great Hungarian patriots erected me twenty-five feet high in bronze to celebrate seventieth birthday and thank for destroying Nazis. Only few years after I departed imperialists threw steel ropes around neck, burned legs with blow torches, and pulled body down to desecrate face beneath empty boots.

Also posted in Hungary, Joseph Stalin, Nazis, Russia, Short Pieces - GTC, Soviet Union, World War II

Water Polo War

After Russians trampled Hungary in fifty-six, victims got better matchup in summer Olympics as Red Army entered water polo pool minus tanks and planes. Reports pool turned red are exaggerated, water only pink as Hungary won this war four zip.

Also posted in Hungary, Russia, Short Pieces - GTC, Water Polo

Trash Can

Old man eased across street to knock on iron security door and was ignored till stepped to bedroom window rapping to force another old man out. Did you pull trash can down street and fill with shingles and nails? Hell no. Then I wonder who. You see anyone? Just those guys on your roof.

Also posted in Aging, Housing, Neighborhoods, Short Pieces - GTC

Drink Vacation

Had too much last night or wouldn’t have left underwear stacked in motel rushing to early Mexico City flight. Soon proud to attract beautiful señorita in loud bar but regretted smile disappeared shortly before she did.

Also posted in Alcohol, Mexico, Short Pieces - GTC

Pastoral Kiss

Once skinny target John pumped iron and in two years built body and brass enough to train as boxer and on Saturday afternoon walked into park and sat on grass next to unknown young woman whose boyfriend leaned to protest. John punched his face and as girlfriend screamed grabbed shoulders and kissed fiery lips.

Also posted in Bullying, Romance, Short Pieces - GTC

New Toys

As boy Mike fired toy pistol popping smelly row of charred red caps curling out pistol down to feet. He later celebrated new greenie stickem caps small explosive circles placed on striking points of individual toy bullets. Shooting pistol was cool but loading laborious. Now Mike wishes he’d owned toys like young Clyde’s. In particular […]

Also posted in Short Pieces - GTC, Toys

Alarm Radio

Another tardy, you’re fired, boss told me. Sir, I’ve been both diligent and creative. Alarm radio was problem but I stopped listening to wakeup news which interested too much to get up until fell back asleep. Rock and classical music also soothed return to slumber. Then tried country music, which had hated, but soon loved. […]

Also posted in Employment, Short Pieces - GTC, Sleep

Mollycoddling a Terrorist

Those who burned in and jumped from the Twin Towers are confused the U.S. government, self-proclaimed bastion of anti-terrorism, daily strokes enduring terrorist Luis Posades Carriles who in ‘seventies blew Cuban airliner from sky killing everyone and then continued bombing and killing when not selling cocaine and now says sleeps like baby in Miami where […]

Also posted in Cuba, Luis Posadas Carriles, Short Pieces - GTC, Terrorism

Foxxconn Opportunities

This story appears in the collection “In Other Hands”

Also posted in China, Computers, Short Pieces - GTC, Suicide

Keys to Gate

Must have door key or burglars enter home, deadbolt key or they kick in door, car door key or punks swipe coat, ignition key or thieves drive away, office key or crooks ransack place, cabinet key or employees know business, suitcase key to get out of town, carry-on key to access tranquilizers, and computer password […]

Also posted in Romance, Short Pieces - GTC, War

Assad Hangs

I’m not dork or mass murderer. I’m Syrian President for Life and with iron fist striking foreign terrorists agitating my people. This I decree during fiery speeches forcing everyone to understand father and I’ve ruled Syria forty years, lot less than forever enemies will have to wait for me to leave. Twenty million Syrians know […]

Also posted in Bashar al-Assad, Hafez al-Assad, Middle East, Short Pieces - GTC, Syria

Sunday School

Lady teaching Sunday school passes out coloring books and crayons and says draw pretty pictures. All kids comply but one scratches black lines over faces and bodies, forcing concerned lady to gently remove and wad.

Also posted in Children, Mental Health, Religion, Short Pieces - GTC

Cocaine Budget

Prudent buyers know coke’s twenty-two hundred a kilo after harvest in Colombia, five grand in northern port of Cartagena, ten grand in violent Honduras, twelve in exotic Oaxaca, sixteen in Ciudad Juarez war zone, twenty-four in Dallas, home of America’s team, and twenty-seven thousand in New York City, where housing’s also damned expensive.

Also posted in Ciudad Juarez, Cocaine, Colombia, Dallas, Drugs, Honduras, New York City, Short Pieces - GTC


Bill suddenly believed he’d just thrown away years of sobriety, consuming many drinks and other evil substances, and was ashamed and frightened and sad, and wondered what happened to clothes and why, butt cold to street, he was knocking on unknown door.

Also posted in Alcohol, Dreams, Short Pieces - GTC

Taco Delight

At party after son’s baptism host offers me taco I bite and chew thinking this is worst ever had but maybe I’m mistaken. Since tacos are always good I try another bite and gag and almost vomit before parting tortilla to see not ground beef but something like guts oozing nightmarish white. What’s this stuff, […]

Also posted in Food, Health, Short Pieces - GTC

Taxi Ride

Drunk American lumbers into Tijuana taxi and in Spanish asks for señoritas and marijuana. Fine, says cabbie. Few minutes later American admits he really wants cocaine. Cabbie reminds that’s not what said then silently drives way out and says here’s best place for you. American enters and thinks goddamn guy dropping me where there’s only […]

Also posted in Alcohol, Cocaine, Mexico, Short Pieces - GTC

The Right Room

First time in Puerto Vallarta I was hungover standing at basin, looking into fright, when woman popped from stall behind and said sir are you aware this is women’s bathroom. Years later long sober I stood in Bakersfield theater as two women entered and one said what’s guy doing here. Leaving quickly I forgot to […]

Also posted in Alcohol, Bakersfield, Mental Health, Mexico, Puerto Vallarta, Short Pieces - GTC

Gold Rush

Poor guy farming hardpan back East hesitated and missed first California opportunity but rode fast and walked hard in eighteen fifty-five for Kern River Rush yielding most miners three, four, even five ounces of gold daily and up to fifty bucks per. Guy didn’t have many good days and following year wadded smart aleck newspaper […]

Also posted in Bakersfield, California, Gold, Kern River, Short Pieces - GTC

Gun Lover

Firepower’s important and guaranteed by Second Amendment because Founding Fathers wanted us free and would be proud how well we protect personal liberty. So don’t blame gun lovers for slaughter of twenty children at school in Newtown. That wasn’t our fault. We’re law-abiding parents who want kids safe. Trust me, laws restricting guns are already […]

Also posted in Guns, Mental Health, Murder, NRA, Short Pieces - GTC

Professor Party

He taught English or something at Berkeley and students called him Professor, admired clipped beard, and cheered when he entered parties. Students eventually said they didn’t know when professor asked, and he stopped anyway because they hindered drinking, and teaching too proved inconvenient before he lugged ragged beard into streets of Bakersfield.

Also posted in Alcohol, Bakersfield, Drugs, Education, Parties, Short Pieces - GTC

Cable Wars

Ben loves war documentaries especially those with Alexander riding Bucephalus into hostile flanks, and Washington rousing frozen untrained troops, and photogenic Grant and Lee posing before ordering slaughter of several hundred thousand young men, and grainy Great War footage showing death in fetid trenches, and better films of proud performers Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Roosevelt, and […]

Also posted in Adolf Hitler, Alexander the Great, Benito Mussolini, Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, Robert E. Lee, Short Pieces - GTC, Television, Ulysses S. Grant, War

Supermarket Bulletins

In supermarket checkout headlines and color photos pronounce this star’s fatter than you, that one’s more wrinkled, both had botched plastic surgery, another’s anorexic, he’s drunk, they’re addicted, she’s in treatment, he’s in jail, she’s spendthrift, he’s abusive, she’s vain, he’s unfaithful, she’s gay, wonder what rag publishers are like.

Also posted in Media, Psychology, Short Pieces - GTC

Black Friday Binge

I love Black Friday, MY favorite event of year. After stuffing myself Thanksgiving Day I’m ready to stand in A crowd of cold shoppers. We feel like Christmas is about here, panting, pushing, and groaning, and finally cheer when through glass we see them coming to open THE store. I’m A pretty big guy, almost […]

Also posted in Christmas, Economics, Short Pieces - GTC, Stores, Thanksgiving

Freudian Advice

Sigmund Freud occasionally injected small amounts of cocaine under skin and effused it magically cured depression and induced euphoria while giving strength and endurance of ox. Believing delights caused “absolutely no craving” he wanted to share with fiancée he warned would soon kiss quite “red” to prove “big man with cocaine in body” is stronger […]

Also posted in Cocaine, Drugs, Mental Health, PBS, Short Pieces - GTC, Sigmund Freud


I’m chief of Iranian Cyber-police but you don’t need name. You also don’t need names of three policemen I arrested and will detain while death of blogger Sattar Beheshti is investigated. You must, however, understand we won’t permit Iranian Revolution to be subverted by U.S.-fomented computer agitators. I guarantee Sattar Beheshti deserved to be imprisoned […]

Also posted in Internet, Iran, Middle East, Short Pieces - GTC

Architectural Delight

This story is now in the collection “Tales of Romance”

Also posted in Architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Marriage, Murder, Short Pieces - GTC

John Wilkes Booth Today

We mustn’t permit deed of John Wilkes Booth to stand and therefore shall remove from time and place and raise today in theatrical family thriving in Manhattan and nod when Hollywood beckons splendid Booth who becomes movie star in early twenties making millions while he drinks and snorts and occasionally crashes cars but fires only […]

Also posted in Abraham Lincoln, Assassinations, Civil War - American, Edwin Booth, John Wilkes Booth, Los Angeles, Movies, New York City, Racism, Short Pieces - GTC, Slavery, Theater

Interned American

I’m doing pretty well for old man. Twenty years ago I retired from gardening at seventy-five. I was in twenties when Pearl Harbor hit and things got bad in California for people like me. I was born here, you know. That didn’t matter. They sent wife, three kids, and me to internment camp up north […]

Also posted in Aging, California, Short Pieces - GTC, World War II

Berlin Jewish Cultural League

What wonderful idea is Berlin Jewish Cultural League that comfortably immerses in arts we hundred seventy-five thousand Jewish Berliners who shall relax until Nazism disappears which will surely be soon. In meantime we have music and other outlets here and around Germany. It’s unfortunate but tolerable only Jews perform in orchestra and only Jews attend […]

Also posted in Adolf Hitler, Felix Mendelssohn, Franz Schubert, Germany, Hitler Here, Holocaust, Jews, Johann Sebastian Bach, Johannes Brahms, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music, Short Pieces - GTC, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, World War II


On cold night drunk in another bar he met chunky woman who opened purse and showed white powder they snorted in car. At apartment she called neighbor who walked over, sold more, asked for hit, and took three, firing thousand words before leaving. They burned noses and strained hearts two hours before moving upstairs and […]

Also posted in Alcohol, Drugs, Mental Health, Methamphetamine, Sex, Short Pieces - GTC

Deadbolt Rules

During helluva hot day fishing in thin mountain air, sun scorched Harold and he drank too many beers but didn’t worry he caught no fish. He was thinking about rat hole he’d return to behind house in area few lived voluntarily. Harold shoved key into rusty deadbolt lock which seized key he jerked and twisted […]

Also posted in Alcohol, Housing, Mental Health, Neighborhoods, Short Pieces - GTC

When Mind Closed In

I lived in a box attached in back of the landlord’s house and often talked to her visiting son, Jim, a disciplined college student who usually brought his cute girlfriend. Afterward, his mother would proudly say they were going to get married when Jim graduates which he did after a fifth year, much faster than […]

Also posted in Families, Mental Health, Schizophrenia, Short Pieces - GTC

Panama City Squeeze

At the international airport in Panama City scores of designer stores form glittering hallways to tiny bathrooms where long lines point to few urinals and but two stalls each hosting a toilet sans seat. I tried several such places before asking an employee, “Don’t you have any larger bathrooms and with seats?” The man was […]

Also posted in Airports, Panama, Panama City, Planes, Short Pieces - GTC, Travel

Bag in Stall

In a crowded holiday airport he long waited for a stall and was thanking god when, fast as he blinked, a hand reached under the door and yanked his bag.

Also posted in Airports, Crime, Short Pieces - GTC, Theft, Travel

Middle of River

Don’t go in the American River, kids in our neighborhood were often told. There are branches, rocks, and an undertow you can’t see. Here, read today’s newspaper; another boy’s drowned. We still couldn’t stay out and swam whenever we wanted, never meeting danger until mature enough to drink Friday night. The cops yelled, hey you […]

Also posted in Alcohol, American River, Rivers, Sacramento, Short Pieces - GTC

The Tumble

An old woman carefully descended steps of a museum amphitheater, stopped at the second row from the front, and said, “Excuse me.” I immediately rose, and she planted about half her foot on the step, a semi-high heel hanging over, spun ninety degrees and fell, her hips landing on the first step and then her […]

Also posted in Falling, George Thomas Clark, Health, Los Angeles, Short Pieces - GTC

Security Dreams

Night before first day as security guard John seldom stopped twisting and wife retreated to sofa. After work he happily returned home and reported job wasn’t stressful as anticipated. Few weeks later he began to occasionally snooze at post. Following month someone used cell phone to immortalize peaceful John on Facebook. In morning boss fired. […]

Also posted in Employment, Health, Short Pieces - GTC, Sleep


Pushing hand between armrest and cushion of ragged sofa, I searched for unknown artifacts and pulled out faded savings pass book revealing thirty years ago had opened account with hundred dollars, inauspicious total for man in twenties. Two weeks later I needed ninety dollars. That happens when make few hundred monthly. I still rebuilt balance […]

Also posted in Cars & Driving, Economics, George Thomas Clark, Housing, Short Pieces - GTC

Executive Confusion

New executives understand little about business yet often rudely give nonsensical orders to experienced professionals. Pros are quite upset but executives proclaim way of future. They never actually learned any way but no matter since all have special degree authorizing to transform ignorance into arrogance. Expect more problems until system changes. It will change when […]

Also posted in Economics, Employment, Psychology, Short Pieces - GTC

Executive Jack

Monday after high school graduation kid was required to become adult, moving long miles to Los Angeles and working in south central warehouse owned by gray parental friend named Jack who invited to dinner first night. In large Palos Verdes home south of city Jack and wife greeted kid and promised he’d have great summer. […]

Also posted in Alcohol, Families, Football, George Allen, Los Angeles, Short Pieces - GTC

Elementary Fly

In fifth grade there was boy with bad reputation. On hot spring afternoon fly landed on lip, and instantly he bit and killed fly, which tumbled onto chin. Asinine fool, shouted teacher, get into bathroom and clean yourself up. Neither teacher nor students complimented boy for having fast reflexes. How many could’ve bitten fly?

Also posted in Education, Insects, Mental Health, Short Pieces - GTC

Kit Foxes in the Road

Four years little kit foxes, bearing the sharp angular look of underfed and downtrodden foxes, instantly scattered from the road as I reentered my neighborhood, interrupting asphalt gatherings that had followed their nocturnal dashes from dens to seek duck eggs, lizards, and insects. A few months ago the kit foxes began departing leisurely and, instead […]

Also posted in Animals, Bakersfield, Foxes, Neighborhoods, Short Pieces - GTC

Bakersfield at the Movies

Legions of teenagers and adults march into theater carrying troughs of buttered popcorn and sodas large enough for elephants, and guffaw during previews of teddy bear wrestling man, creamed pants jokes, president slicing face open to reveal he’s bullet-dodging, axe-wielding “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.” Amid chomping and slurping, I wonder how many here have watched […]

Also posted in Abraham Lincoln, Bakersfield, Food, Los Angeles, Movies, Short Pieces - GTC

World According to Americans

Don’t know if they were godless communists or radical Muslims but some outrageous critters emailed world map insulting Americans. On map they write we think Canada’s uninhabited. Bull feathers. We know few icy people live up there, and they sure as hell want to be like Alaska next door, which is now America except for […]

Also posted in Africa, Antarctica, Asia, China, Europe, India, Japan, Mexico, Middle East, Russia, Short Pieces - GTC, South Africa