Distractions: July 4

Not many distractions.  1.  It’s the weekend and good content needs to be searched out, instead of being pushed onto me as it is during the week.  2.  A holiday or somesuch, so that also dries up the output.  3.  The paying gig has kept me bizay to-day.  Really, that’s the only distraction.

But…there was a short story by Palahniuk that I read this morning.  If you don’t know Palahniuk, then I suggest you acquaint yourself.  He wrote Fight Club and other books that I like more.  His sensibilities are in the right place.  Sadly, he, like I do, tends to repeat the themes and messages in his ouvre.  So, this short story is “Loser” and it’s sweet.  Below is the money shot, which probably helps explain what is going on.  You should read the story though because the action the protagonist takes is BRILLIANT.

It’s like, if you live a boring-enough life, knowing the price of Rice-A-Roni and hot dog weiners, your big reward is you get to live for a week in some hotel in London?  You get to ride on some airplane to Rome.  Rome, like, in Italy.  You fill your head full of enough ordinary junk, and your pay-off is giant supermodels giving you a snowmobile?

If this game show wants to see how smart you really are, they need to ask you how many calories in a regular onion-cheddar cheese bagel.  Go ahead, ask the price of your cell phone minutes any hour of the day.  Ask you about the cost of a ticket for going thirty miles over the speed limit.  Ask the round-trip fare to Cabo for spring break.  Down to the penny, you can tell them the price of decent seats for the Panic at the Disco reunion tour.  (198-9)

Palahniuk, Chuck.  (2010).  Loser.  In Neal Gaiman & Al Sarrantonio, eds.  (2010).  Stories: All-new tales (194-201). NY: William Morrow.

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