• Kelly Skerry held the plate of apple slices out to each student, inviting them to take one.

    “These are called Golden Delicious,” she told them as the morning kindergarten class took a bite.

    “Hmm,” a few of the kids replied. Kelly gently admonished some to eat with their mouth closed.

    Gary, who had just turned six that week, sat up straight and took his time chewing each bite of the apple. Then he loudly declared, “I like these way better than the Granny Sips.”

    “Granny Smith,” Kelly corrected him.

    “Granny Smith.” he repeated.

    There was a knock at the door. Kelly put the plate of golden delicious slices on the table with the other apple varieties and asked Ms. Moran, her aide, to keep an eye on the students. The students watched with rapt curiosity as she went to the door and poked her head into the hallway. After a few minutes of whispered conversation that neither of them could quite make out, she told Ms. Moran that she had to run to the office.

    As she left a man walked into the room. He wore tight sweat pants and a button down shirt that hugged his belly a little too much. Thought the children had learned not to call people names, their minds instinctively described the man as tall and fat. He didn’t acknowledge Ms. Moran as he looked at the children with a strange look that seemed intimidating.

    “Can I help you?” Ms. Moran asked as she placed herself between the man and the students.

    The man looked at her and pulled a piece of paper from his shirt pocket. That’s when some of the kids noticed a strange kind of bracelet on his wrist. It was white like snow and it had reddish glowing numbers coming from a screen. Gary thought that it more like one of those video games at the Camera and Jewelry section of K-mart, where his mom worked.

    Ms. Moran read the slip and her face went pale. She looked to the man and to the kids and shook her head silently as he walked past her to the chalk board.

    “Hi kids,” the man said. “I see you’re doing the apple lesson. I remember that from when I was a little boy.” He made eye contact with Gary as he said it. Gary looked up at him, confused. He didn’t know this man but there was something familiar about him. The man continued. “Well, my favorite apple was always the golden delicious because it was big and juicy.”

    “My favorite is red delicious,” Alice said.

    The man looked at her and didn’t reply. He watched Gary as he went to the chalk board and began writing the names of the apples on the chalkboard. Next to each name he wrote four numbers.

    “Remember these numbers,” the man said, speaking only to Gary. “They’re going to be important later when you grow up.”

    Then he left the room with the class just as bewildered as when he entered. Ms Moran followed him out into the hall and saw him leaving out of the back stairwell. She turned her head in the direction of the main offices and saw another woman standing there with a stern look on her face. The woman turned to Ms. Moran and sighed.

    “Don’t worry,” she said. “Your husband was falsely accused and he’ll be found innocent of the charges. It will never make it to the press.”

    And then she brushed by Ms. Moran to follow the strange man down the stairs. All Ms. Moran heard after was the sound of the backdoor opening and slamming shut followed by a strange noise that she couldn’t quite identify.

    She walked back into the classroom, past the date written on the upper right hand corner of the board.

    April 8th, 1989

    The time machine reappeared in it’s usual spot at the bunker. The airlock disengaged and Gary emerged followed by Valerie.

    “What the hell were you thinking?” she asked. “We were supposed to be killing a young John F. Kennedy and you stole the machine just to teach your younger self a few inventory codes?”

    “I got fired from my first job at Grand Union for too many drawer shortages. It’s cause I had a hard time remembering which apples were which and those stupid stickers never scanned correctly.” Gary said. “I figured if I taught myself while I was in Kindergarten I would be there long enough to save up for the computer I was supposed to get that year and I could start blogging when I was sixteen instead of thirty. So what?”

    Valerie threw her hands up in disgust and stormed off.

    “I don’t know why the boss just doesn’t kill you,” she shouted.

    “Because I’m the one that funneled all that lottery money into our little club and if you kill me you wind up back in 1834 with no way home,” Gary called after her. “You’re welcome.”

  • Kor-Ban follows his nose but he doesn’t find Froot Loops.

  • I’ve been using Youtube shorts to make one-liners, bad jokes, and pun-ishments. There are different schools of thought as to how useful shorts are in gaining followers and subscribers but I’m still going to keep at it, just because they are easier to make than the fully “produced” videos that take a few hours.

    This video just exploded over two days. https://youtube.com/shorts/42aHhWgtqQU?feature=share

  • This video may not be suitable for all audiences and I’m fine with that. As long as I give you a proper heads up there should be no real issue. But of course there may be if people draw the wrong conclusions.

    This video contains an instance of me urinating in an adult diaper. There’s no nudity but obviously some people will be upset by the presence of bodily functions and the fact that said adult diaper is obviously not what you’d find in a typical medical supply store.

    I thought of releasing two separate versions of this video but then I thought, why should I have to hold back anything? Not everyone goes out of their way to watch my channel anyhow and playing it safe never got me anywhere. As long as I don’t shove it in the face of inappropriate audiences, I don’t personally see why anyone should make it their business to have a problem with it.

    And more to the point, it serves to tell the story. I once knew a woman who was denied a bathroom break and she wet her pants at the register. This was in the early 2000’s and while the front end supervisors changed their attitudes towards bathroom breaks, nothing has really changed with regard to this most basic human need.

    It’s all well and good to cry foul and remind me there are labor boards and services I can contact. But when the state of Wisconsin approves a bill that allows places to keep 14 year-old employees up to 11 PM on a school night, you can see that this is only a “wee” part of the problem.

    I hope you are not turned off by this and I hope to keep you as followers and viewers. That being said, please use your own discretion when watching this video.

  • Not surprising, really. They were suffering from what I like to call corporate inbreeding. It’s when favortism and groupthink ruin any chance of any new and fresh blood improving things.

    I was kind of dumb to assume anything would be different. I left there because of the rampant bullying and it hasn’t really changed. Good riddance.

  • I logged onto Absolute Write and expressed an opinion. Please send flowers to my husband.

  • In Neil Gaiman’s retelling of Norse Mythology, he includes the story of how Odin brought Mead to Valhalla. In the form of a giant hawk, he carries it in his belly over the land and on several occasions he rips a wet fart or two, showering the land in some of the mead.

    Mead is said to inspire poetry but if you drink the stuff that Odin farted out, you’ll write bad poetry.

    I want to open a bookshop called Odin’s Farts. In addition to regular books, there would be a section of the store dedicated to people who self-published works that were not successful – Poetry books, novels, DIY records and CDs, that sort of thing. I feel like it’s an untapped novelty market that might give disillusioned creators a chance to recoup some of the costs of producing such works. And all it would require is a little bit of humility.

  • What does a pleasant customer have in common with a rude one? You want to get them both out of the store as fast as possible.

    You’re not a therapist or a life coach. You’re a cashier, a stocker, a supervisor, or other employee in a retail or service position. You’re not going to convince a rude person to treat you better so what’s the point in trying?

    But you can kill more flies with poisoned honey than you can with store brand bug spray.

    When I have a polite customer, I do everything in my power to help them get what they need. I ring up their groceries as fast as possible without making mistakes and I tell them to have a nice day when I give them their change. If there’s still groceries to bag (AFTER I ring everything out) I will help the customer bag them. I do this because I don’t want to give a pleasant customer a reason to complain and getting them what they want and out of the store has better long term benefits to me as an employee.

    Why would I treat a rude customer the same way? For the same reason. I want that person gone and out of my life and If I am as rude to them as they are to me, they’re going to make my life more miserable. You don’t have to be sickeningly sweet to them. Just do what you’re supposed to do, take a deep breath, and shrug it off. You can’t stop a rude customer from complaining but you don’t have to give them a reason, either. And the long term benefits of getting them out of the store will outweigh the short term annoyance.

    Or do what I do and turn it into a video or a blog. Just remember, they’re not the ones who need the job.

  • I overthink everything. I can’t help it, really. Overthinking is usually the result of another person’s lack of thinking. If I don’t overthink it, I might miss something. If I trust people to uphold their end, I’ll lose out. It’s just how my life how has always been.

    Unfortunately, overthinking leads to toxic thoughts that only make me sadder and angrier. I can’t just forget things. A memory pops up and like a spark in a dry forest, it takes over my brain and blots out at all other ideas and kills any motivation.

    So I try to force myself to do at least one thing that I’m not being paid to do. Like a video for my channel. Or a blog post.

    It’s not much. It’s only supplemental. But it keeps me from consuming myself with negativity.