The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

A Bad Day Gone Good
by Grace Mattioli

Her name was Heidi. She looked like an ostrich with glasses and frizzy hair and she was easily the cruelest boss I ever had. She’d been looking for an excuse to can me since I got hired at the casino ice cream shop, and she found it when she caught me sneaking a bite of the butterscotch ice cream one day. She pulled me outside of the store and on to the boardwalk and started to screech at me in her cruel, cigarette voice. I stood there numb and indifferent which seemed to make her more enraged and eventually she began to look and sound like Godzilla. 

I took the bus back home, and the bus driver stopped in Ventnor to kick some fat, drunk guy off. The stop was right near my brother Vince’s place and I decided to get off and go visit him. I was pretty sure it was his day off and I was right. Some lady who lived in his apartment building answered the door. I met her before. She claimed to be one of those alien abductees. She let me inside the building and I went up to knock on my brother's door. He answered the door smiling. He had a great big smile that took over his whole face. It made his eyes shine bright like they were seeing the world for the first time and made his cheeks glow like a white winter sky. 

“Did you eat lunch yet?” he asked, “I was going to order some hoagies. What kind do you want?” I said tuna. We watched Raising Arizona while we ate. After the movie, he played a new Kinks song he just learned on his guitar. “I've been practicing,” he'd always say. I watched and listened. I had a flash of the ugly morning incident going through my head like a bolt of lightning but I brushed it away by watching on Vince’s long fingered veiny hands fretting and strumming. It was hypnotic and this morning vanished from my mind as if by magic.  

Then he stopped playing and asked me what I thought of Plato and Spiritualism. He’d always pop philosophical questions out of the blue like that so I wasn’t at all surprised.  He poured a couple of coffee cups of Baileys and it was suddenly easy to talk philosophy. When the Baileys ran dry, we decided to finish the conversation at a nearby bar.  

On the way back, a shoe store window caught my eyes. I knew I shouldn’t be looking at shoes on the same day that I got fired from my only job but what the hell. I tried on a pair of blue suede clogs. “What do you think?” I asked Vince.

“Not crazy about them,” he said with a squished up look on his face. 

“You’re just jealous because you can’t sing the Elvis song,” I said. He laughed.

I caught the bus back home and when I said goodbye, Vince had that big smile on his face again. I can still see it now.