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Tag: Melissa

Plots That Weren’t Quite Weird Enough for The Twilight Zone

by Lincoln Sedlacek

  • A woman’s phone keeps ringing on the day of her wedding, but whenever she answers there’s no one on the other end. Later a technician finds out the receiver was broken and the phone calls were from the catering company.
  • A college student wakes up to find that his apartment complex is empty and he’s the only person left. Then he remembers that the county fair is that day and everyone must be at the fairgrounds.
  • A man is afraid to leave his house because a strange van keeps parking just down the street. When he finally leaves, the guys in the van rob his house.
  • The passengers on a flight from St. Louis to Houston travel through some unusual turbulence, only to find that when they land, it’s twenty minutes later than their estimated time of arrival.
  • A year after an elderly man’s mysterious disappearance, a group of kids claim to hear his voice. It turns out the man was dead and the kids were just a bunch of fucking liars.
  • A woman has plastic surgery and ends up looking like herself, just with bigger boobs.

-Jordy Greenblatt, Lincoln Sedlacek, and Melissa Chiasson

Choose Your Own Adventure: You’re Recently Graduated and Underemployed!

by Melissa Chiasson

Page 1

It’s your first day working an unpaid internship at Metropolis Publishing Corp. You’re well on your way to becoming a novelist who writes about her disillusionment with modern life! Stan, your middle-aged supervisor who smells like hot dogs, introduces himself and asks that you get him coffee. Well, you think, it is my first day; I’m sure Jonathan Franzen and Jeffrey Eugenides did they exact same things when they were interns (they didn’t). You fetch Stan his coffee. He tells you that it’s not warm enough. You return to the kitchen to microwave it, silently pondering if you really went to college for this. When you return with Stan’s coffee, he says it’s still not hot enough. What the fuck? Do you a) throw the steaming cup of coffee in his face and say dramatically, “Is that hot enough for you?” or b) nod your head politely while planning Stan’s doom?

Page 16

You wake up with a cough. Surely it will go away, you think, no need to involve a doctor, especially since I don’t have health insurance. The next day, you’re coughing up blood. Do you a) go to the ER or b) ignore it? I mean, it couldn’t be tuberculosis, right?


Page 23

After throwing Stan’s body into the East River, you decide to stop and get a meatball sub before catching the F back to the place you’re squatting in renting. You’re so hungry, you start eating it on the train. After a patch of rough track, a lone meatball falls to the floor of the subway car. Do you a) pick it up and eat it or b) pick it up, dust if off, and eat it?

Page 35

You see one of your former classmates walking down Fifth Avenue with his cadre of investment banking buddies. Before you can pretend to be really interested in a Duane Reade window display, he calls out to you. “Broseph,” he says to you, as you try to remind him that you are, in fact, female, “Broseph, listen, we should get together sometime, you know, grab a few beers and talk about what we’ve been up to.” Do you a) enthusiastically respond “Sure thing, dude,” knowing full well you will never take him up on this or b) laugh, and while going in for the embrace, whisper into his ear, “I will fucking end you.”

Page 38

“Yep, that’s classic tuberculosis,” the doctor says, examining the X-ray. “Luckily we caught it early enough so that we—wait a minute, where did you get a meatball sub in the ER?” Do you a) run or b) finishing eating the sub and run?

Page 41

As part of your court-ordered community service, you have to mentor a group of elementary school kids in the Bronx. One day, when you’re reading Animorphs out loud to them, which, let’s face it, is probably rock bottom for you, one of the kids raises his hand. “Would you ever write a book?” he asks. “Oh, I could write a book,” you say, “I could write a book that would blow your mind.”

“Cool,” he says. “There’s no way it could be better than Animorphs, though.”


The Butterball Turkey Talk-line® in the Off-Season

by Melissa Chiasson

Agent: “Hello, welcome to the Butterball Turkey Talk-line! What turkey-related questions can I answer for you today?”

Caller: “Hi, I’ve got a pound of thinly sliced turkey breast, some bread, mayonnaise, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, you name it.”

Agent: “Sounds like you have the makings for a tasty turkey sandwich!”

Caller: “So I wasn’t supposed to roast that all together in the oven at 400 degrees for five hours?”


Agent: “This is Butterball, hope you’re having a turkey-rific day! How can I help you?”

Caller: “How would you recommend I get rid of the man from Turkey who lives across the hall from me?”

Agent: “Excuse me, ma’am?”

Caller: “He’s up to no good, I just know it.”

Agent: “Ma’am, I can only answer questions about turkey, the meat item, not Turkish people.”

Caller: “Right, right, of course. How would you prepare poisoned turkey?”


Agent: “This is the Turkey Talk-line, serving all your turkey-based needs.”

Caller: “Hey! I’ve invited a girl over to my place tonight for dinner, and I need some help deciding what to make.”

Agent: “No problem! What kind of flavors does she like?”

Caller: “She’s really adventurous, you know, she loves trying new things.”

Agent: “Okay, could you be a little more specific?”

Caller: “More specific? Jess, I’ve found someone else.”


Agent: “Butterball Turkey Talk-line.”

Caller: “Yeah, I’ve got a pretty aggressive turkey waiting outside my front door. He’s looking me straight in the eye right now, like he’s studying me, watching my every move.”

Agent: “Sir, I can’t help you unless you are trying to cook a turkey.”

Caller: “Shut up! He can hear you.”


Agent: “Please tell me you are actually roasting a turkey.”

Caller: “Wait, is this the suicide hotline?”

Agent: “I wish.”

A Page from the Agenda of Buddy Wilson, Bear Wrangler and Concierge

by Melissa Chiasson

8:30 AM Head out to the barn, round up new litter of kittens.

9 AM Feed bears.

10 AM Bear bath time! Wear swim trunks.

11 AM Bear wrestle time! Wear bear suit.

12 PM Meeting with angry neighbors re: “dangerous” bear farm next door. Do not wear bear suit.

1 PM Arts and crafts. Paw paintings, bear calls, squirrel dismemberment.

2 PM Call Clint Eastwood re: dancing bear in next movie. Mr. Winky would be a good fit in terms of age, demeanor.

2:30 PM Acting class. Today’s focus: emotionally intense scenes that do not involve biting.

3:30 PM Appointment with Feds re: accusations of bear fighting.

4 PM Bear fight.

5 PM Costume fittings and grooming. New style idea: bear corn rows?

6 PM Feed bears. Check kitten supply.

7 PM Bear story time! Berenstain Bears enrage them, best saved for bear fight psych-ups.

8 PM Hide and seek. Hide realllly well.

9 PM Meditation and reflection hour. Food for thought: literally, bring food to encourage bears, otherwise they will mutiny.

10 PM Bedtime for bears. Bring sleeping bag, bear suit.

Listen, Ladies, Not Taking Steroids Didn’t Make Us Lose the 7th Grade Volleyball Championship, But It Certainly Didn’t Help

by Melissa Chiasson

Hey, ladies, huddle up. Kramer, just because you’re on crutches doesn’t mean you can’t huddle, and you know how I feel about half-assed huddling.

I know you’re all upset. Who wouldn’t be? We just got creamed by those losers from Heights Middle School, contradicting the universal truth that Heights bites. Seeing your opponents raise that golden volleyball trophy in triumph above their heads and receive $5 gift certificates to Cold Stone Creamery from the mayor’s assistant never gets any easier.

We could sit here all day and brood over whether that dropped ball in the second set doomed us, or whether the ref started calling the game differently after I argued that the ball, in stark contrast to the ref’s sexuality, was definitely out. We could blame any number of people, including Jessica, Kelsey, and especially Sarah. But this would be overlooking our biggest obstacle: you are all weak, flimsy seventh graders. Where are the buff Adonises that I was promised by the elementary school gym teacher?

Listen, ladies, let’s be real: not taking steroids didn’t make us lose the 7th grade volleyball championship, but it certainly didn’t help.

Scientists have proven that steroids make you a stronger, faster, cooler athlete. I know what you’re thinking: “But Coach Davis, I’m still developing! Won’t steroids interfere with my normal growth!” Yes, of course they will; they’re steroids. But don’t you want to be the fastest, strongest, coolest seventh grade volleyball players in the county? Now that you have tasted the bitterness of defeat, won’t you do anything to taste the sweetness of victory?

I see you shaking your head, Kramer. Maybe if you were regularly taking steroids your leg wouldn’t have snapped like a twig when a little pressure was applied to it.

Yes, I’m aware you broke it in a car accident. I really don’t like your attitude, Kramer.

Girls, I’m passing around a steroid list and schedule just so you can see how close you are to achieving greatness. It’s incredibly simple: you’re going to be given a cocktail of injectable, oral, and topical steroids, then you’ll rotate injecting every four hours, taking pills every six hours, and applying the topical ointment in the intervening hours when you’re not injecting or taking pills. Meanwhile, you’ll be engaging in about eight hours of strenuous cardio and weight lifting a day. I’ve got a few syringes here along with some oranges so you can get over whatever stupid fear you might have about self-administering shots. It’s just like getting the flu vaccine six times a day, seven days a week, so you’ll be super healthy!

Unfortunately, Megan, yes, steroids are expensive. But you don’t become a championship team for free; you have to put in blood, sweat, tears, and a lot of nandrolone. Also, I hear your dad is loaded, so I don’t really see why this is a concern for you.

The question you have to ask yourselves, girls, is do I want to die a volleyball hero, remembered forever for my amazing strength and lack of secondary sexual characteristics, or do I want to die a nobody, lost to the sands of time in a shroud of non-volleyball champ anonymity?

Yes, Kramer, technically you are correct that there’s a small risk of premature death associated with taking steroids, but you’re losing sight of what’s important here. Immortality could be yours next year if you’d just bulk up and become the magnificent beasts you were born to be, Johnson Independent School District Middle School Volleyball Champs.

Destiny, ladies, it’s within reach. Will you be strong enough to fight for it?

Alright, that’s enough for now, but mull it over and tell me whether you’re ready to step up to the challenge. Now get out of here, I hear Danielle’s mom has a cooler full of Capri Suns and fruit roll-ups for everybody out in the parking lot.

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