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I had to go home for my parent’s fiftieth wedding anniversary. Not the place where the heart is, but the place where I grew up. And let me tell you it sucked. I hate leaving my lady behind, but I couldn’t let her see me at home. No. Not a thing has changed there and, as far as everyone there is concerned—my brother, my neighbor, my peers, my hamster—I’m exactly the same too. I hadn’t been in the door five minutes when Reggie brought up Donna, my second grade nemesis.

“Hey, Vincent, I saw Donna the other day. I told her you’d be home for the weekend. Hey, remember when she smeared your face in dog doo at recess and you cried? Wasn’t she in, like, kindergarten or something? God we were cracking up over that.”
“Yeah, ha, whooo…” I responded, “that was some funny stuff, real funny.”
“Oh, that’s like the time in fourth grade when Mengus’ little sister Bridget sat on your face and farted.”
“Oh yeah!” said Jimmy, my beloved twin, chiming in “She jumped off just before the puke spewed! Ha!”

Back and forth they went, trading stories. Even my parents had a couple. I held my own for a little while, I thought of my lovely Jaunita at home, her flaxen hair and translucent skin. Her delicate little nose. God how she loved me. I was so lucky. Thank god she wasn’t here. After about the twentieth story, I started sobbing. It was a pretty pathetic scene. The snot was running down my face and everyone else was in stitches.

“…..and you locked yourself in the bathroom and no one found you for a week….You might want to look under your nose there, Vince, you got a big goober. Aw, man, he licked it! Did you see that, Dude?”

I lay in bed that night, in my old Ziggy sheets, contemplating the injustice and thinking about my beautiful girl. Then I left first thing in the morning.

Now here I am, next to my beloved. Jaunita doesn’t know my complicated feelings about home. She is lying peacefully next to me, her blue veins glowing through her white skin. I play strong and silent with her. I think she finds it mysterious. I wonder how long I’ll be able to keep it up. I could just pick up the pillow next to me and smother her, before it’s too late. Then I could leap out the window and no one would know the difference. We’re on the tenth floor, I wonder if that would do it. I think about falling and landing with a thud, writhing around in pain, the back of my skull caved in, and one eyeball hanging to my cheek.

“Jesus fucking Christ, Vince, did you wet the bed again?!”

Date Written: February 11, 2005
Author: Jimson S. Sorghum
Average Vote: 3.36364

02/21/2005 Jon Matza: Anyone else having trouble getting through this?
02/21/2005 qualcomm (2): no, but i felt rather piffly about it. this here two stars is for failure to elicit sentiment when that was clearly the goal. fu, author, and happy president's day.
02/21/2005 Ewan Snow (4): I got sentiment.
02/21/2005 TheBuyer (4): I can relate.
02/21/2005 scoop: Ya, buyer, it's important that a creative work somehow relate to your mundane workaday experiences for me to like it.
02/21/2005 scoop: i.e. this thing sucks.
02/21/2005 scoop (1):
02/21/2005 TheBuyer: You know I didn't write this, right?
02/21/2005 Ewan Snow: One star? You gotta be kidding. How is this a one star short? I apologize to the author for suggesting (s)he submit this one. I figured there would be some threes, but shit!
02/21/2005 scoop: Buyer: I don't care if you wrote it or not. Nor do I care if you relate to it or not. Snow: Four stars? You gotta be kidding.
02/21/2005 qualcomm: interesting emotional responses.
02/21/2005 Ewan Snow: "responseS", plural? Maybe if surprise counts as an emotion, then mine's emotional. Not sure why scoop's so angry.
02/21/2005 Dylan Danko: Disney????????????? What's wrong????
02/21/2005 TheBuyer: scoop, since when do you base your vote on my 'workaday experiences'? Take a deep breath, or drink a glass of water or something.
02/21/2005 qualcomm: let's keep those lines of communication open.
02/21/2005 scoop: Snow: Not angry, guy. Just think the short stinks. Jejuney handling of a boring subject matter. Buyer: My vote was made in the USA. I just think it's a funny display of Canukian Hubirs to think anyone gives a shit how a short relates to you.
02/21/2005 qualcomm: and how does that make you feel, thebuyer?
02/21/2005 Jon Matza (3): Liked it better 2nd time round but it still say it's minor-league 'ghum. I think this guy would've brought a photo of the hot girlfriend along in a futile effort to convince them he was no longer his old doofus self.
02/21/2005 TheBuyer: qualcomm - much better.
02/21/2005 anonymous: I guess I would've expected 3's. That two seems quite extreme , even by your standards, QC. And, I wasn't trying to "elicit sentiment" at least not in the way I think you're suggesting. I was merely trying to illustrate a pathetic guy who finds solace in his girlfriend, and thinks that she sees him as something other than what he is. I wasn't trying to make you feel bad for him or nuthin'. Just laugh at him. So maybe you didn't, QC, and that's why the two. That's fine. I just had to let you know that you were wrong.
02/21/2005 Phony Millions (4): A one and a two? Scoop, where's your objectivity? Is there a subtext here to the superlow votes? This would have been a 4 four me but the ending had problems for me: I have to infer with a bit too much effort that Juanita is talking to Vince in the last line. I know the effect is for a snappy ending, but I'm not quite ready for it. Also, I'm not quite sure why he's fantasizing about doing his wife in. But I'll give it a four to round out the 1 and 2, which I don't like to do, but come on guys, what gives?
02/21/2005 anonymous: Funny you should say that about the ending, Brad. Actually, I vascillated a bit about setting up that quote. I was going to change it, but then ran out of time. Also, I wondered if the paragraph that led up to that ending had already taxed the reader enough. He's fantasizing about killing Jaunita because he thinks that she doesn't know him for the pathetic fool that he is and is afraid she might find out. Also, I wanted to give some reason for the bedwetting, although maybe it didn't need it.
02/21/2005 scoop: No subtext, Evans. It seems obvious that this thing sucks. Regarding your objectivity question, I guess I could ask the same question of you. This is neither funny nor interesting. I mean I'm equally preplexed at the threes and fours as you are by the one and the two. This short is not funny. The use of language is pedestrian. The narrator is poorly drawn. The conceit is sort of cliche so I would think the treatment of it would not to be superior to rise above mediocrity. It doesn't. After reading the author's explication I'm still confused as to what the hell is funny/interesting about this. The whole thing is flat -- it even fails on the author's on aspirations. The fact that the author needed to spell them out is actually her fault, not the readers. There seems to be a real middlebrow attitude when it comes to voting. I mean if something sucks are we supposed to just give it a three and then use words to judge it more harshly? I mean you peole really think this is as good as the morning short. Are you fucking kidding me? Do you have to have a retard pounding gibberish on a keyboard to give something a one or what? In other words stop being such pussies.
02/21/2005 qualcomm: i seriously didn't laugh at this. seriously. it's so damn sullen, i don't think i was out of line to assume that you were trying to garner sentiment. are you being completely honest about that? like maybe it was trying to have it both ways (not that there's anything wrong with that, necessarily)? can someone tell me specifically what they found funny here?

you're saying that the guy's just supposed to be pathetic, stupid, and unoriginal, and i'm supposed to laugh at that, yes? but it's in first person, so his stupid, unoriginal language is the medium through which i receive the story. i don't think there were enough clues that you, the author, had contempt for your narrator. it's not that obvious. and now i don't know how i'd feel about it even if i had known. with hindsight, maybe i should have known that most likely, no one on acme would use terms like "my lady" or "delicate little nose" seriously. but then, i don't think those clues are particularly funny, either. fu.
02/21/2005 Phony Millions: Fair enough, Scoop - you could ask me the same question about objectivity; it's just that a one star seems to me a particular kind of vote - something that's just downright offensive, sucks really really bad, should not have seen the light of day, etc...That's why I questioned if there was something that stoked your enmity. I'd split the difference on your rhetorical question as to the middlebrow aspect of voting and I would still argue that a two was more appropriate: I'll admit I'm guilty of what you describe - giving something a three star and then dressing down the author in my comment. There's something mean-spirited to me about a one star for this short but hey just my opinion.
02/21/2005 Streifenbeuteldachs (3): Decent, last line was "ugh", though.
02/22/2005 Litcube: Scoop, sir. What does TheBuyer being Canadian, and him saying "I can relate", have to do with each other? Rather, how does him saying that imply hubris? I understand TheBuyer's "glass off water" Treeism may have set you off, but curious if there's any substance behind this, if just to chalk it up to "who cares what anyone thinks, especially you, etc."
02/22/2005 John Slocum (3):
02/22/2005 Ewan Snow: I thought him wetting the bed at the end was funny. And scoop, thanks for the insight. I think you're right. From now on I won't give your generally terrible/incompetent writing the extra star or two I have been.
02/22/2005 qualcomm: scoop? how does what ewan said make you feel?
02/22/2005 Will Disney (4): i like this one okay. i don't see what the fuss is about. 3.5 stars.
02/22/2005 Dylan Danko (4): I wasn't a fan of the last line but quite liked this in general.
02/22/2005 Dylan Danko: Amen, Disney, but whycome the author's name was published yesterday on the right hand side?
02/22/2005 Dylan Danko: Amen, Disney, but whycome the author's name was published yesterday on the right hand side?
02/22/2005 Ewan Snow: QC, I'm sure he's fine with it. Scoop's not a "pussy", so he doesn't mind being insulted, right? He's fine with it being pointed out, for instance, that he's the worst writer on the site. I mean, he's not some kind of wimp; he can take it. Hell, I’m just being honest.
02/22/2005 Jon Matza: Dudes, it's just stars.
02/22/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum: Yes, but they're my stars, Matza.
Qualcomm: I still think you low-balled it. You saw my name first and you were the first to vote. You're still festering about that feotus short vote. Who's being dishonest now?
Scoop? I don't even know even know how to respond. I guess you have your standards. But just so you know "the writing is pedestrian" sounds like something some douchebag editor would say.
02/22/2005 qualcomm: jimson, you creep. i made my vote at 4:19. disney "fixed" the error of your short being displayed below the morning short at 4:24. it was only after he made this fix that your name appeared in the More Fresh Shorts box (at least as far as i noticed). in other words, i voted before your name was displayed. until then, i thought thebuyer wrote it.
02/22/2005 qualcomm: (you'll note on the message board that i alerted disney to the naming error at 4:42)
02/22/2005 Jon Matza: qc: funny how you seem to avoid any mention of what you might have been doing between 4:19 and 4:42...
02/22/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum: Now I'm a creep on top of everything else? You accuse everyone around of responding and yet your the one who keeps spewing venom: "fu" left and right, accusing me of not being honest, now this "creep" thing. And yet all I've done is answer each of your comments in a pretty straight-forward manner. It's certainly not out of line for me to suggest this is a revenge vote, since you kind alluded to the fact that you might do something like that. Certainly you had motive and opportunity. Take a few deep breaths. Be reasonable.
02/22/2005 qualcomm: actually, you didn't answer any of my criticism of your short, you just said i revenge voted. and you haven't responded in any rational way to my completely true account of when i learned that you were the author (an account that is supported by the record). you are insane.
02/22/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum: I meant "responding emotionally," incidentally. Yeah, you're right. I should've checked the record first. But that'd hardly qualify me as insane. It's seems a pretty fair assumption to make, without the benefit of "the record." I could quibble about the accuracy of that record, but I won't. I'm taking you at your at your word. Quibbling is your territory, apparently. As far as your criticisms, I don't think they're unfair. I just don't think they add up to a two star vote. Really. You do. Fine.
02/22/2005 Nabakov (5): It is coherent and grammatical.
02/22/2005 anonymous: Why can't Nabokov spell his own name correctly?
02/22/2005 qualcomm: jimson, the reason i called you insane is because you questioned the motive of my vote after my comment about the record bearing out my ignorance of the short's authorship. maybe you didn't read my comment before posting that one. but anyway, you're being all defensive; my fu was meant totally lightheartedly (and incidentally, my president's day line was meant to be a provincial jab at what i thought was the short's canadian author). would you really give a three to a short whose only merit, as far as you were concerned, was that it was competently written? to me, competence is a single-edged sword: i deduct more stars when it's not there than i add when it is.
02/22/2005 Jon Matza: Incidentally Sorghum, shouldn't it be "...go home for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary"?
[Chuckling aloud complacently, Matza leans back in chair to admire his handiwork]
01/7/2013 Ewan Snow: I still think this one is pretty good.
01/8/2013 qualcomm: Good, hearty comments