Monday, November 28, 2005

"WHEN GUTS GROW ON TREES" is an enormously special short-short story based on this sketch which was made by 10 000 people who all hated each others guts. No, I don't know how these people felt about each other but it is a fact that thousands of people collaborated on this doodle under the auspices of Peter Edmunds whose Swarm Sketch is billed as a Collective sketching of the collective consciousness. Something a little different from our regular fare at fast fictions.
And relating all this to language, does anyone know if there's a literary equivalent to Swarm Sketch where thousands of people work on one story together ? I would really love to see something like that grow out of parts of the world where people have historical grudges and hatreds towards each other. Imagine the IRA and UDF, the Hutus and Tutsis, the Isrealis and Palestinians weaving stories together. There must be ways to use technologies (where they are available of course) to allow for this kind of shared experience. Come on people get off your blogs about potty training your cats and start something useful !!

Okay I'm now stepping off my soapbox to get back to the business of dada slapstick which I hope you'll read even though I just insulted a lot of you because you're so useless.


"When guts grow on trees, you'll finally stand up to mom, but before this grody miracle ever comes to pass you'll spend your days hiding in your hole of a home." Sally reads out her father's birthday poem in a belligerent fuck-you tone of voice.

Seated in his lazy-boy, her father smiles lamely revealing a set of sharply crooked teeth as though the muscles responsible for raising the edges of his mouth have been torn to shreds inside this maw of misery. A razzle-dazzle birthday party cone is perched on top of his head.

"Thank you for spending the time to labor over a poem. That's thoughtful," he sighs with no evidence of appreciation. His right thumb twitches at a remote control that isn't there.

Sally rolls her eyes and steps aside to let her younger brother get his kick at the can. They have bet good money on the power of their gifts to get their father off his listless ass. To stir shit up within his soul. Sally is now torn between wanting to see some emotion come to life in her father and losing fifty bucks to her brother.

"Here you go Dad," Stan holds out a frame wrapped in toilet paper and scotch tape which is already starting to come undone. The toilet paper is swept away like a cobweb and the portrait within is revealed.

"That's a picture I made of you using dead worms that I burnt with a magnifying lens. I glued them to the canvas using spit and glue. Don't you think it looks like you ?"

Their father sighs the millionth sigh of his life and nods a tired agreement.

"You've got quite the imagination there," he says as though auditioning for a part that he does not want.

And another birthday passes.

Like gas.

When useless dads grow on trees.


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