The Short Humour Site

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

Writers' Showcase

The Getaway
by Bunkong Tuon

My eight-month old daughter and I wanted to get out of the house, change the scene a bit, breathe in the fresh air instead of the stale one of dirty diapers and baby formula. Ever since my wife took the position of Dean of Academic Affairs at the local university, we had been left to our own devices. I put my daughter on my shoulders and we played airplane, running around laughing and screaming in the living and family rooms; we watched “Little Einsteins” on Netflix, then danced to Bowie on Spotify. But things got boring after awhile, even with Bowie singing “Fame” over and over, though my daughter liked the repetition and high notes in that song. I decided to leave the house, have some fun, and maybe make a little bit of money. With diapers, formula, toys, and clothes, things added up. “Two birds with one stone,” I winked at my daughter, whose eyes lit up when she discovered something new and exciting was about to happen. I gently maneuvered her into the car seat, then placed the stroller in the trunk, and jumped into the driver’s seat. I drove out of the garage, took a right on State Street, turned left after the Greek diner, then slowed into a parking lot.

The pool hall was in the basement of some old red brick building, near an alley not far from 890. In the cold dinky room everyone looked up at us, but I didn’t care. I said to the young kid at the table, who should be at school and not at some pool hall in downtown Schenectady, “I got next.” He smiled, “Okay, Pop,” then winked at his buddies. Well, that did it. A war had been declared. When it was my turn, I missed a few shots on purpose, smiling and shaking my head. The kid lit one of those e-cigarettes that kids nowadays smoked, and he wasn’t far from where my daughter was sitting in her stroller. I leaned over the table, aimed the stick at the bottom of the white ball, and pushed the stick. The cue ball jumped and smacked the kid in the face; the e-cigarette fell to the floor. To everyone’s amazement, my daughter unbuckled her belt and picked up the e-cigarette. She looked at it, shook her head, took out her pacifier, and said her first word, “Yuck!” She then threw it at the kid’s feet, jumped onto the table, and gave me a high-five. Cream’s “The Sunshine of Your Love” came on; I was feeling it. I made three hundred bucks that morning, enough to cover my baby’s needs, and it was almost noon now. I said to no one in particular, “My baby needs to be changed and fed. It’s been fun, guys, but I gotta go.” I strapped my daughter in the car seat, footed the gas pedal, and peeled out of the gravel lot.

My baby girl in the back, eyes closed, sucking on her pacifier.