Everybody’s Got A Story

Leave a comment

August 22, 2012 by jamesessj

Dear EGAS,

Two weeks ago I was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and given three months to live. When my wife found out, she immediately instituted divorce proceedings, saying that she didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to see me through a terminal illness. She moved in with her mother, taking our three children with her, on the same day that I was checked into the intensive care unit of St. Mary’s Hospital. Neither she nor my children have been to see me.

Nor have my parents, nor my sister — though they live but two blocks from St. Mary’s. My parents are staunch Faultists, which, as you know, is that breed of evangelical Christians who believe that physical ailments are a sign of God’s displeasure and God’s punishment. “What must you have done,” asked my mother on the telephone when I gave her the news, “to be taken from us so quickly? Did you molest your daughter? Steal money from my purse? Was there funny business in the barracks back when you were in the service?” Then she hung up, and I haven’t heard from her, or any of the rest of my family, since. (I have tried calling every one of them. I only get voice mail.)

Then, earlier this week, I was informed through my attorney that my employer is canceling my health insurance. They are claiming that my tumor was a preexisting condition. I asked my attorney if he could fight this decision on my behalf, but he replied that this was his last official communication with me, as he was terminating his services. His reason for doing so, he explained, was that nobody had ever conclusively proven to him that brain tumors were not contagious, and he’s not going to take any chances. I argued that this was ridiculous, seeing that I’ve never even met the man in person, we’ve only talked on the phone, and it wasn’t as if he would have to enter the oxygen tent with me for any reason. But his mind was made up.

The hospital released me today, despite the fact that I am now 80% blind in my right eye and cannot legally sit behind the wheel of a car. I was almost killed while hailing a taxi, and had to endure a storm of Pakistani insults on the drive home.

Speaking of which, posted on the front door when I arrived was an eviction order from my landlord. My rent check bounced — my wife has cleaned out our joint checking account.

In sum, these have been two weeks I could have done without.


Merle from Pittsburgh

Whoa! Golly, Merle, that is one doozy of a tale! You may have gained automatic admittance to the EGAS Hall of Fame, right along with Edward (“The Homeless Albino HIV+ Leper”) Friedkin and Maricela (“Imprisoned In Solitary For Twenty-Eight Years And Then Executed For A Crime It Was Later Proven She Could Not Have Committed”) Hernandez! What else can we say, Merle, but — good luck with all that!

*   *   *

Dear EGAS,

I have invented a neutron bomb. Would you be interested in hearing the full story?


Homer from Boca Raton

Sure, Homer! Now pull the other one! No, the other leg, not the other wire! Aaaaahhhh! Bye-bye, Boca!

*   *   *

Dear EGAS,

I was, not so long ago, a typical everyday housewife. Until one day, while taking out the trash, I happened to see a black sedan parked in front of my neighbor Sam Fisk’s house. This was around three o’clock in the afternoon. Curious, I walked up his drive. When I reached the front door I heard a bloodcurdling scream. I ran for my house to call 911. But behind me I heard Sam’s front door open and then I heard gunfire and felt bullets whizzing past me. I dove through my front doorway and crawled toward the kitchen counter, where my cell phone sat. Bullets were flying everywhere, destroying my front porch and the large picture window that looks out over the front lawn. Terrified, I dialed 911. The operator was very understanding and immediately dispatched a patrol car. “Make it two!” I yelled. Realizing I could not remain where I was, I belly-crawled through the house and out the back door. But as I jumped over the hedge into the Watsons’ yard, my feet made contact with the face of a man on the other side who had evidently been jumping over in the opposite direction. He fell to the ground, momentarily dazed. He wore a black suit, and black sunglasses, and was of Asian extraction. A small submachine gun lay beside him in the grass. Yakuza! screamed my mind, but where I’d learned this word, or how I knew to apply it to this fellow, I don’t know. I picked up his gun — how heavy it was, for something so small! — and, though I have never in my life fired a weapon of any kind, pointed it at his face and kicked him in the ribs to bring him around. “How many of you are there?” I demanded. His lips moved back from his teeth in a snarl, but he said nothing. I aimed just to the right of his head and pulled the trigger. Unbeknownst to me, the gun was set to automatic fire, and so a full spray of bullets exploded from the gun before I could release the trigger. By pure chance, however, the bullets formed a perfect outline around the man’s head, from shoulder to shoulder. Yet not one of them had struck him. “I’ll tell you anything you want!” he babbled, obviously impressed with my marksmanship. “There are three of us and we’re armed each with a Heckler & Koch MP5, a Desert Eagle .44, and Yumi, the tall one, has a knife in his sock!” “Thank you for your cooperation,” I said, and brought the gun down on his forehead as hard as I could. In the distance I heard an approaching siren, but I could also hear, coming through my back door, two sets of feet. The police would not arrive before the two assailants would discover me. I lifted the gun over the hedge and fired a short burst in their direction. One of the men howled in pain and then, as I expected, a hail of bullets erupted through the hedge where I’d just been standing. By then, though, I was halfway up the hedgeline, preparing to circle around and surprise them from the rear. The best defense, Dad always said, is a good offense. Or maybe it was the other way around. Whichever, I wasn’t about to let a trio of Yakuza thugs get away with this sort of nonsense in my neighborhood. I poked my head around the far side of the hedge. One of the two men — the tall one, he looked to be, well over six feet — was wrapping a handkerchief around his upper left arm, where I’d winged him with my blind burst. The other one was climbing over the ledge. I knew I’d only have one chance at this, so I aimed carefully at the second man’s legs and fired again as I let out a bloodcurdling scream of my own and charged as quickly as my own forty-four-year old legs would carry me straight at the first man, the tall one. At least one of my bullets hit the second man, because out of the corner of my eye I saw him fall back on this side of the hedge, and lay still. The first man, in the middle of his self-bandaging, was so startled by my maneuver that he didn’t know what to do. I ran at him with my gun blazing, but if you’ve ever run at another person with a submachine gun blasting away, you know it’s not like in the movies. The gun bucks and shakes and rattles around in your hands and it’s all you can do just to keep hold of it. Especially for a suburban housewife! Not one of my bullets — of which I must have fired forty or fifty — came anywhere near the man. By the time I reached him he’d recovered enough to raise his pistol, but I didn’t give him the chance to use it. I leapt in the air and crashed into him with my shoulder, driving the wind from him and knocking him to the ground. The first thing he did was to lift his leg so he could access the knife at his ankle, but all this did was to provide me easier access to it, since I’d been forewarned as to its presence. I pulled it from its sheath and held it to his throat. “You move you’re dead,” I said. He didn’t move. The authorities arrived shortly and took the three men into custody. Only one of them had serious injuries, the one I’d clipped as he was going over the hedge, but he was expected to make a full recovery. The police called in the FBI because the three men were known members of a powerful Japanese crime syndicate. The FBI agents said the syndicate would almost certainly be looking to take their revenge on me, as they had on Sam Fisk, whose hands they had chopped off for trying to cheat them in a business deal. The FBI suggested I enter the Witness Protection Program, along with my husband, which we have done for our own safety. The Yakuza are not to be messed with. But neither, I have learned, am I.


“Tokyo Rose”

Rose, you are a true hero. An inspiration to us all! Courage like yours deserves to be rewarded — so folks, if you’d like to send a card or letter to Rose (real name — assumed name, that is! — Francine Turner), she can be reached at 476 DuPont Ave, Wilmington, IL, 60481.

J/K, Rosie! We wouldn’t do that to you! That’s not her real address, folks. But wait — what if the Yakuza stopped reading right when they saw that address? Sorry, whoever lives at 476 DuPont Ave, Wilmington, IL! Might want to think about relocation yourself!

*   *   *

Dear EGAS,

I was born without toes.


“Nubs” from Fresno

Jeez, is that all you got? Cry us a river! See Merle from Pittsburgh’s letter, above, for some real hardship. We’d almost be happy not to have toes! They’re hard to clean between and they stink! Who let this guy in, anyway?

*   *   *

Dear EGAS,

My wife and I have been doing our utmost ever since your column first appeared twelve years ago to have our e-mails printed. We have created the most outrageous and unusual stories we could dream up, from “Felipe Frommage”‘s inability to eat anything but cheese to “Spade van der Kamp”‘s terrible paper money allergy, and yet you have, every time, seen through our facade and refused to print our mails. Our question is, how do you know all those other stories are true, but ours aren’t?


“Confused Us” (a pun on “Confucius”)

Confused: The answer is, we don’t. So keep those e-mails coming! We’ll slip up one of these days!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

the author, if he lives that long

Willkommen, bienvenue…

Welcome! And please enjoy your stay with us here at the last piece. We love visitors, especially attractive male ones with loose morals, so if you're one of those, please do leave your name and number. If you're not male, or male and unattractive, or if your morals are...what's the opposite of loose? tight?...if your morals are tight, we still want to hear from you; we just won't be replying. Thank you again and don't be a stranger!

August 2012
« Jul   Sep »


%d bloggers like this: