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Dr. Fineberg was having GI problems. His guide, a wiry little mestizo, demanded that he stay several yards behind him on the trail, so foul were the botanist's farts. It had to have been the raspberries. He'd bought them from a roadside vendor near LAX and eaten them on the plane down. He cursed himself now for being too lazy to wash the fruit off.

"Parada, por favor," he called out to the guide, motioning to his stomach with an ingratiating look.

Fineberg ducked off the trail, heading for the privacy of a giant gum tree's sweating folds. There it seemed cooler than the surrounding jungle. He undid his trousers, squatted and posed his chocolatey argument. "That's the stuff," he groaned.

Wringing out one final, belching squirt, the doctor thought of the Hawaiian islands. Without the seed-infused guano of ancient, seafaring birds, would they not have remained barren slabs of basalt? The jury had come in on that years ago.

"One day, I shall return to this place," the botanist pronounced with great dignity, pushing his pocky hams around one of the tree trunk's narrower folds, then dragging them slowly to the ground. He pulled his pants up and headed back to the trail, pausing momentarily for one last look at his contribution to the biosphere. He couldn't help but be touched. Sure it had felt good, but there was more to it than that. "For biological diversity," he murmured, eyes misting over. "For science."

Date Written: May 20, 2004
Author: qualcomm
Average Vote: 3.8889

05/24/2004 Will Disney (4): yum
05/24/2004 Ewan Snow (4): "posed his chocolatey argument" "pushing his pocky hams around one of the tree trunk's narrower folds, then dragging them slowly to the ground." 4 1/2 stars!
05/24/2004 Not Lisa (4): Nice. Except I highly doubt you would find a roadside vendor with raspberries near LAX. Strawberries, yes, oranges, absolutely, avocados, uh-huh. Raspberries, mmmm, probably not. 4.5
05/24/2004 Phony Millions (4): Yeah!
05/24/2004 scoop (4): Four stars, for science.
05/24/2004 Mr. Pony (4): No self-respecting botanist would get all misty about introducing an alien species into the fragile ecosystem of a South American rain forest. Also, it's unlikely that the nutrients carried in Fineberg's poo would support any more than a single raspberry plant in the relatively barren rain forest soil. Also, the LAX thing. Still. Funny!
05/24/2004 Ewan Snow: It's important to understand the cycle of poop this short presents. Fineberg gets poopy because of fruit he was too lazy to wash. What was on the fruit that gave him the poops? Poop, no doubt. Once a seedling takes hold in the doctor's turd, who will come along and eat the fruit of that tree one day? Who will get the poops next? This is a real thought provoker!
05/24/2004 Ewan Snow: Is this Lerpa?
05/24/2004 Not Lisa: The jury had come in on that years ago.
05/24/2004 Ewan Snow: Ummm...
05/24/2004 Not Lisa: That's the stuff
05/24/2004 TheBuyer: A man having an ordinary sized dump at the base of a tree is no basis to think there should be an ecological impact in that area. If he truly wanted to have an effect, he should have picked a grassy area just at the edge of the trees that wuold be sunny through part of the day, shady for the rest, have adequate drainage, and he should have smooshed it around with his hands into the soil for that "hands on" approach to diversity.
05/24/2004 John Slocum: "Chocolate argument is good," but no better nor worse than father xaverus' sermon.
05/25/2004 John Slocum (3): 3 stars for being righteous about biting while biting yourself.
05/25/2004 TheBuyer (3): Whoops, forgot. 3 and change for not smooshing.
05/25/2004 qualcomm: to what are you referring, slocum?
05/25/2004 Ewan Snow: Give me a break. This is a 4+ short if I ever read one. Smooshing, Buyer? C'mon.
05/25/2004 Dylan Danko: Slocum, The Lerpa called you a twat.
05/25/2004 John Slocum: I'm referring to this
05/25/2004 TheBuyer: Ewan: This one just didn't ring my bell. It's well written, sure, but the somehow he pulled his punch. Also, the vote should have gone next to the first comment, oversight on my my party. The voted comment was more of a throwaway line based more on my comment then this short.
05/25/2004 Ewan Snow: Slocum, what about that? Lerpa was joking about not letting you vote. Or were you referring to his disdain for Dylan's short in general? Please elaborate.
05/25/2004 John Slocum: You seemed to diminish the value of this Danko short because it had been done before (although, to be fair, you didn't vote). One of the best things in your current short is the "Chocolate argument" line, but if Danko did something you (and probably others) had already done, then you were doing something that I (and probably others) had done.
05/25/2004 John Slocum: I figured The Lerpa was joking about that, although I'm still mystified about why I can't vote on that short.
05/25/2004 qualcomm: "others" have done it before? try me. that was written in the last century. asshole.
05/25/2004 qualcomm: nobody's been working with poop as long as i have.
05/25/2004 Ewan Snow: Solcum: please be prepared to have you whole world turned inside out by my flawless, handsome logic. While I don't share Feldspar’s disdain for Danko's short, I see what he is saying; the short makes use of one of the older short short modes: 19th century Brit Lit. We agree on that, right? Now Feldspar criticizes it for not having enough new to offer. I sort of agree with that, but I also think it was pretty well done (which is what Matza said). Do you agree with either of these points? Now you say that Feldspar’s new short is ripping off “chocolate argument” from your short, and therefore he is hypocritical. The similarity is very thin, I think, between yours and his, but that’s not the point. Okay, so here’s the thing: you tried to give a high vote to Dylan, so you apparently don’t believe that his work suffers just because it has antecedents. And yet you give a low mark to Feldspar because you claim his work does have antecedents. In short, your vote is NO FAIRSIES! Now don’t you feel foolish?
05/25/2004 Ewan Snow: Didn't see those last few comments before I posted that...
05/25/2004 Mr. Pony: What's Feldspar?
05/25/2004 John Slocum: I wouldn't try and take poop away from you. I'm really just curious whether you actually think the Danko short in question is a "shitter" (there you are, working with poop again), or if you were using the fact that danko was parodying 19th cent. brit lit as a platform to highlight some of your past work. I hadn't read your 19th cent. shorts before reading Danko's and loved it/found it funny without being aware he was treading old territory. REading yours didn't change my opinion of Danko's.
05/25/2004 anonymous: I assume Feldspar is The Lerpa?? Maybe Slocum is giving a low mark to The Lerpa for hypocrisy.
05/25/2004 John Slocum: I agree I was playing no fairsies, giving this a 3 star short. If I hadn't been experiencing such a high degree of internal turmoil(sp?) at The Lerpa's perceived hypocrisy, I would have given it 4 stars, but in my confused, disoriented state, I reached out for something solid to give me a feeling of control, that is to say, my control over my voting.
05/25/2004 John Slocum: ignore the (sp?) in previous commment
05/25/2004 Ewan Snow: Anon_a, yes, sorry. I meant The Lerpa. And yes, he is giving the Lerpa low marks for hypocrisy. But one isn't supposed to vote based on the author's morality, but rather on the quality of the short. By doing so, isn't Slocum in danger of becoming the real hypocrite!?! That's the rub. And let me tell you, it doesn't tickle!
05/25/2004 Ewan Snow: I can understand that Slocum. I call for a time of healing and reconciliation.
05/25/2004 John Slocum: Not yet, fucky guy. "Give me a break. This is a 4+ short if I ever read one." Weren't you, not long ago, frothing at the mouth about certain individuals with a trendy gear making opinions sound like absolute truth?
05/25/2004 Ewan Snow: Slocum, do you really want to get into that? To answer briefly, it was not the "absolute truth" element which particularly annoyed me about him. That's the sort of thing that annoys scoop, not me. Besides, in this case I was defending a short which I felt had been given low votes for reasons not related to its content. If he had merely said "Give me a break. This is a 4+ short if I ever read one" I wouldn't have thought twice about it. Statements like that have nothing to do with my beef with your hipster buddy.
05/25/2004 Ewan Snow: And thank you for the homage in using the phrase "fucky guy".
05/25/2004 Dylan Danko: Well, well. I understand Ewan's comments and for the most part agree I guess. The shorts that The Lerpa links to are all quite funny but they don't really support his argument. They are not very similar to my short, especially the one he linked to today. I was trying to do something a little more specific than simply the 19th c english thing. I was actually trying to mimic the language and cadence of a Jane Austen novel. The device of those Lerpa shorts is to highlight the incongruity of 19th century idioms/elements and more modern ones. Swear words, retard etc.
05/25/2004 Dylan Danko: Sorry, don't have a lot of time at the moment to fully explain myself.
05/25/2004 John Slocum: You're welcome.
05/25/2004 Jon Matza: Danko, if the Lerpa had a nickel for every time you, Ang Lee, the BBC or Jane Austen stole Jane Austen's style from him he'd be rich!
05/25/2004 qualcomm: i stand by this comment for dylan's short: "i'm not saying that no one's allowed to write in this format since it has been done, but as i said before, i think your piece is too close to the source. the jokes are flat. perhaps you'll call them dry. ok."
05/25/2004 Dylan Danko: I don't entirely disagree with your flat joke comment (i guess I would call them dry since dryness was part of the point but what the fuck, you didn't find them funny and that's fine) but the examples you proffered to support your "it's all been done before" argument did no such thing...is what I'm sayin'.
05/25/2004 Dylan Danko: I also think you're probably right about it being too close to the source. Admitedly, that's an integral part of the short and maybe it's not worth it.
05/27/2004 mr.coffee (5): great!