He traveled the globe with the world’s most famous circus. His specialty being shot from a cannon. The night before they were to open at Madison Square garden his lover, The Bearded Lady ended their relationship.
Opening night he primed the cannon with enough black powder to fire a 16 incher from the U.S.S. Missouri. He had the cannon’s barrel pointed in such a way his body would peak near the top of the tent, center ring.
His blood and body parts and bone splattered the entire audience who cried in unison for an encore as the gore dripped from their skyward looking faces.
Submissions are open for March…submit to firstname.lastname@example.org in a Word document
submit to email@example.com
“Easy does it.
I try to sit up but a big hand pushes me down. I’m lying on the asphalt looking at the
moon. A PD flasher circles the alley. My head is throbbing. I feel it oozing blood. A rangy
lawman crouches over me, holding a gun. He is pointing it down the street and whispering “ka
boom, ka boom.” He smiles faintly and then his edgy features cloud.
“Someday I’ll clean up this town.” He looks down at me and frowns. He has coal black
eyes and a prizefighter’s face, wild dark hair with lightening sideburns. “Saw them jump you
from down the block.” He pushes up the brim of his cowboy hat with the barrel of his pistol.
“Three. They went at you pretty good with saps, digging in your pockets. They scattered when
they heard my siren. Should have shot the shitheads.” He looks down the street again. “Let’s
see if you can stand.”
I used to say, “Hamburger.” That meant hamburger, which was ground beef. Up the ladder was, “Chuck.” Hi Chuck. Or Sirloin. SIR Loiiiiiin! Not like Salmon or CATFISH! Then they changed the way they grade beef. They took Prime and made it Choice and took Choice and made it Selected Beef, so now, the Prime is really the cut below the Prime which you can’t get anymore. I keep wondering if the Prime Cows got taken away by space aliens. I mean where did they go? I even called this Chicago outfit and asked them where the Prime Cows went. They didn’t know. Day rate it was. Cost me a fortune, it did. All that. I’m here to tell you, this makes me crazy which is why I end up in the can.
It was just another day. Here I am walking down the block when I see the sign in the supermarket window.
Get this. It says:
3 Pounds for $1.79 per Pound
Formerly, GROUND CHUCK
This worries me immensely. I can see this cow whip into the bureau of Statistics, or wherever cows go to change their name. “Good Morning. My name’s Ground CHUCK and I’d like to change my name to GROUND BEEF.”
So maybe the cow sees what’s coming and wants to change his name to GROUND before CHUCK is gone. He’s going to end up as FORMERLY anyway. At least I’m going to end up not knowing what kind of cow I’m eating, what to call it, which is how I end up in the can?
During my lunch break I take a squid salad in my car to the supermarket so I won’t have the growls all afternoon, because once you get cutting fish on Friday you don’t get a break. I leave the empty pint container on the seat, take the magic market from work, whip into the supermarket and I waddle up to the meat department. There they are. Piles of 3 pounds of FORMERLY GROUND CHUCK at $1.79 per pound.
I mean what do they do, add more fat to CHUCK and make him BEEF? It’s all very confusing. I’m here to tell you that I’m about to make it unconfusing when I outs with my magic marker and start writing on the labels.
I write like mad. I keep looking over my shoulder. A little old lady with a pink hat with a red shoves me aside and snatches a three pound package that I have yet to re-label. She bangs my ankles with her cart and I nearly faint. She snorts off down the aisle. I write faster. I’ve got to get all the three pound plus FORMERLY GROUND CHUCK packages.
There must be sixty-two packages at least and I’m running out of lunch break, when out of nowhere I see these clerks with red and green aprons coming at me, and in the far corner of my eye I see the brown uniform. I stuff my magic marker in my pocket, but it’s no use.
They handcuff me. The manager picks up a 3.4 pound FORMERLY GROUND CHUCK package and shoves it in my face. What’s’ this?” He looks like he’s had a hangover for nineteen days, his face is so red. He points to the label where I have written, ALIAS in front of the GROUND BEEF.
“What do you mean, ALIAS?” he says and now the cop is leading me away. “ALIAS, what?” he yells at me.
“FORMERLY GROUND CHUCK! ALIAS GROUND BEEF,” I yell over my shoulder and I see the guy is going crazy seeing what I did, which is to tell the truth. It’s really CHUCK, not BEEF. I wrote at least a hundred ALIAS’ on the Ground Beef three pounds and up. I say to the cop, who’s six inches shorter than me because she’s a she,” How come they don’t have a cow’s picture on the CHUCK which is now BEEF, but really CHUCK?”
She hauls me outside and sticks me in the back seat of the cruiser. I sit with my wrists burning. I worry about the squid container on the front seat of my car, which will probably get hot and smell, plus, I won’t get back to work. I hope they understand. I wonder if the lady with the pink hat snitched on me. Her package didn’t even have the ALIAS. It goes to show you, nobody’s perfect, GROUND, CHUCK or otherwise.