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Friday night, nine o'clock. Most of the residents of Shady Oaks Retirement Community had gone to sleep. I was officially off duty, but I had to do one last trip around the facility.

Room 101: Mrs. Jemson and Mrs. Applebaum. I opened the door, inhaled deeply. The aroma swam up my nostrils and enveloped me like a hug.

This job was the only thing that kept me sane. When my grandmother died, I just went off the deep end for awhile. She was a nasty old bitch, but that didn't change the fact that I was devastated by her passing.

Then I figured it out. I didn't miss her constant moaning. Her need to be carried up the stairs. Her complaining about the price of the heating bill. No. It was the smell. Old Person Smell. And so I took the job at Shady Oaks.

Jemson and Applebaum were good smellees, but the best was Mr. Vonbuxhoevedon in 302. That old fucker had the suit he got married in, and his room was a cornucopia of funk. And he didn't have a roommate, so I didn't have to worry about waking anyone.

I crept into 302 and the pungent air smacked me in the face like Evander Holyfield in his prime. I almost got a boner, I was so excited. Glancing left and right, I tiptoed over to the old man, buried my face in his pajamas and took in a huge nosefull.

Vonbuxhoevedon opened an eye and looked at me. "Jason," he said. He reached over to his bedside table and fumbled for his teeth, finally finding them and popping them in. "You're working late."

"Yes sir," I said. "Wanted to make sure my favorite resident is all tucked in."

"Oh, thank you. I'm quite comfortable. Yes, yes." He gave me a smile. "I don't feel like sleeping much," he said. "Want to play some cards?"

"Sure." I'd let Mr. Vonbuxhoevedon win and we could play half the night. I was set. All set.

Date Written: November 30, 2004
Author: The Rid
Average Vote: 4.1667

Comments:
12/7/2004 Will Disney: This one is really gross!!
12/7/2004 John Slocum: well played disney!
12/7/2004 Mr. Pony (4): Meanders a bit, but I liked it.
12/7/2004 qualcomm: can you change it so that vonbuxverhoeven wakes up and says, "Jayson. Would you like to smell my fundament, the seat of my funky empire?"
12/7/2004 Mr. Pony: Jayson?
12/7/2004 qualcomm: yes. jaysen.
12/7/2004 anonymous: Thanks, Pony!
12/7/2004 The Rid (4): Good stuff! Perhaps the author should have spelled it "Jaysen," QC. Otherwise good.
12/7/2004 qualcomm: by the way, i think you coulda started this with, "When my grandmother died..." and nixed everything before it.
12/7/2004 anonymous: Noted. You gonna hold that against me?
12/7/2004 qualcomm: nope
12/7/2004 anonymous: Whew!
12/7/2004 Dick Vomit: Yuck. Ya dig?
12/7/2004 Jon Matza (4): Though premise lacks much lustre this is redeemed by some dewey decimal writing.
12/7/2004 TheBuyer (4): "a cornucopia of funk" now take it to the bridge, skinny.
12/7/2004 anonymous: Thanks, Matza!
12/7/2004 anonymous: Matza: Just out of curiousity, what, in your opinion, is a short subject that has lustre?
12/7/2004 Streifenbeuteldachs: Eliza: lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre lustre
12/7/2004 Eliza (): That is quite interesting.
12/7/2004 Litcube (4): I thought I voted this morning.
12/7/2004 John Slocum (4):
12/7/2004 Jon Matza: All right, author: I will answer your impertinent question. Note I said the premise, not the subject, lacks lustre...

As far as I can see, this short's entirely based on a single unpleasant idea designed to make people cringe: here's a guy who gets off on the smell of old people. Then you constructed the story to explicitly illustrate/dramatize this premise. It's competently executed & like I said there are definitely good jokes and writing along the way. However no element of human nature gets illuminated, and I don't get much of an overall sense of authorial pleasure, just a jigsaw puzzle being put together to get a reaction out of me. I'd find it more interesting/effective/complex if his geriatric smell-fetish was simply a given that we learned about incidentally while other stuff happened. Maybe we see him hypocritically being charming to the families of the elderly, then sneaking into the back room to sniff their Depends, for example, all in the midst of a One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest atmosphere of squalor. Or whatever. Yes it's a different short but now instead of "here's a pervert we can laugh at", it's "here's a slice-of-life behind the scenes look at the methods by which a deranged fuck who runs a nursing home gratifies his perversions." Etc.
12/7/2004 The Rid: Matza, thanks for the input. Well put and duly noted.
01/23/2005 Jawbreaker (5): There are just some things that are funny. Old people smell is definitly one of them!