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“My name’s Jack and I’m forty-two. I’m beefy and have grey wisps of hair on my belly – that’s endearing to you, wise guy. I like to rub a little Old Spice around my nuts after I get out of the shower. I first met Dan and Elise at Chuck E. Cheese at one of our kids’ birthday parties. We shared our stories and a trust developed, damn it.”

“I told them that I was raised in a lower middle class neighborhood in Lowell, Massachusetts. Now I know about pride. My syntax, mind you, and the thread of my thought, would often break up and disintegrate at the drop of a dime when I wrote a short. The tears would well up and get in the way of my narrative, and I’d spit out gristly chunks of raw sadness.”

“When I met Dan and Elise, they shared their stories. Dan shared that he had always scratched the periphery of his asshole with his index finger, bringing it to his nose, inhaling deeply. He would rub the scent into the tips of his nostrils so that it would linger there for a few minutes. The smell – a mixture of dog saliva, cheese rind, old socks and laundry detergent – would give him comfort and a feeling of privacy. I could relate to that.”

“Elise would scratch the lips of her vagina with her fingers, bringing them to her nose. She enjoyed the smell – rice vinegar, Vietnamese food in general, and a more intense iron-like odor during her period. While I couldn’t directly relate to Elise’s experiences with her vagina, I respected her – for her honesty and the way she believed in herself.”

“When they opened up about their fears, I saw that Dan and Elise were like me: Tiny embers of humanity in this place we call America – and that includes Canada, mind you. We dreamed some big dreams together, and the ironic distance that I had maintained writing this short narrowed a bit. I felt real emotion for the first time.”

Date Written: March 03, 2005
Author: Phony Millions
Average Vote: 3.5714

03/14/2005 Ewan Snow: Hmmm... this short is on to something. But what?
03/14/2005 Will Disney: i'd vote SNOW on this one.
03/14/2005 qualcomm: are you making obviously wrong guesses to drum up controversy on betvite?
03/14/2005 The Rid (4):
03/14/2005 Will Disney: There is no betvite bet for this short!
03/14/2005 qualcomm (4): well, if it's ewan, he's doing a very good phony millions impression.
03/14/2005 Klause Muppet (4):
03/14/2005 Mr. Joshua: qc: I thought you would recoil at the short's self-awareness
03/14/2005 qualcomm: in fact, if it is a phony millions impression, i'd say it's worth five stars.
03/14/2005 Ewan Snow (4): Yeah, I guess this is a four. There were some bits I wasn't crazy about (***) and others made me giggle (*****), so all in all it comes out a 4 (****).
03/14/2005 Ewan Snow: Nope, this is the real thing, I assume. Not mine, anyway. I should try a Phony Millions impression some time, but what would be my animus?
03/14/2005 qualcomm: dairy sadness, duh.
03/14/2005 Jon Matza: If it's not Phony Millions it's a Slocum-penned Phony Millions tribute. It almost is, but it isn't. It's Phony Millions.
03/14/2005 Dylan Danko: Gee, I kinda thought this was Slocum.
03/14/2005 John Slocum: gosh, I had such a good time writing this.
03/14/2005 Litcube: I'm going to abstain. There are some great details in here, and some good description, but as a whole I’m not sure I understand the short. Actually, I’m pretty sure I don’t understand it; I’m just using the “I’m not sure” prefix in an attempt to pad or change-up the sentence structure.
03/14/2005 Klause Muppet: Lit: my intellectual level by no means matches your own (seriously, it doesn't) but i thought this short was about weird human quirks and being able to take comfort in them. i apologize to the author now in case i'm incorrect.
03/14/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum: Is Phony Millions parodying himself, then?
03/14/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum: So are you just playing dumb, QC?
03/14/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum (3):
03/14/2005 qualcomm: uh?
03/14/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum: The thought occurred to me that you had written it as a parody of Phony Millions, and then put up a smoke screen to make it look like you really thought it was he. But I don't really think that's true anymore. I just find it surprising that you didn't automatically know that this short was echoing that old PM one, since you usually have all the necessary acme data at the ready.
03/14/2005 qualcomm: i thought of that one you're talking about, just didn't think it was necessary to bring it up. this is so clearly PM.
03/14/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum: Why?
03/14/2005 Partytime: With the Lowell reference here I was thinking this was a modern day Kerouac. And like Kerouac called himself Jack after Jack London, now this modern short writer is calling himself Jack after Kerouac who called himself Jack after Jack London who changed his name from John something. Anyway both the famous Jack's died young and miserable so my prediction is that this Jack is about to die the same way. As will the author of this short.
03/14/2005 qualcomm: 1) fixation on odor; 2) the "damn it" at the end of graf 1; 3) "opened up"; 4) "embers of humanity"
03/14/2005 qualcomm: 5) the suburban milieu
03/14/2005 Partytime (4): No, I've reconsulted the tarot. Author, you will live in glory and riches.
03/14/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum: I thought all of these things were used to invoke Phony Millions. The fact that there was a whole self concious tone--"...and the ironic distance that I had maintained writing this short narrowed a bit. I felt real emotion for the first time"--made me think that someone was really trying to make fun of the whole Phony Millions "thing." It could conceivably be PM making fun of himself, as I mentioned below. But even if that's the case, I'm not as into it as I would be into the more earnest predecessors.
03/14/2005 Jon Matza: Jimson, did you mean to link to this short or a different one?
03/14/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum: Oops. I meant this one.
03/15/2005 Phony Millions: Great detective work, ladies and gents! I'm truly humbled.
03/15/2005 John Slocum (2): I'm sorry for the low rating, but I feel like I'm reading the same or similar nuggets of Phony creativity, reused and reordered. "...that’s endearing to you, wise guy. I like to rub a little Old Spice around my nuts after I get out of the shower." seems a bit disjointed with and forced onto the rest of the paragraph and the rest of the short.