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“It’s the elephant in the room and everybody is talking about it,” Judith whispered to Trip, who she’d found taking refuge at the bar.

“My chin? Are you making fun of my chin?”

“No, you silly! Kimathy’s affair with Preston.


Dave finished whacking off and turned on the TV. His left foot was sort of far to the left, so he thought about moving it, you know, a little further to the right, but he decided to leave it where it was. About an hour later, his elbow itched a little but it was no big deal and he figured he could always scratch it later. There was a glass of water next to the bed and after a while he was pretty thirsty, but he put off drinking it right away, figuring he might as well wait until the commercials were over.

Then he jumped up from the couch, ran downstairs to the den and smoked a joint. He went to the kitchen and ate what was left of a stale box of generic vanilla sandwich cookies. He smoked a cigarette. By the time he got back upstairs was feeling a little horny again.


I decided to take a few moments out of my busy schedule to give something back to the community. I had my admin, Stacy, vet some prospects and then whittled it down to a short list of charity candidates for some face time and photo-ops. These were all noble causes, so picking one wasn’t easy, but I noticed that the headquarters for Children Are The Future was on the East Side, so I figured that would be less of a traffic issue than the others. I told Stacy to pencil something in on my calendar.

I got to thinking about my own modest childhood and before I knew it I was lost in a reverie about how I had pulled myself out of the seemingly intractable upper middleclass and managed, against all the odds, to actually make something of myself. Looking back, I wouldn’t change that struggle for anything. It was the blood sweat and tears that made it all worth it. I started think about the little kids at Children Are The Future. I felt bad that I was going to spoil the fun of their own achievement by helping them out. In fact, once I started thinking about it, I felt downright guilty. I called Stacy and told her to cancel the event. I immediately felt that I had made a difference, and let me tell you, there’s no better feeling.

Date Written: March 23, 2005
Author: Ewan Snow
Average Vote: 3.3

04/1/2005 Partytime: Not sure I see the intended correlation between the Duchamp work and this. There's nothing genre busting in this piece. Unless that's the point. I'm thinking the author is using the title sarcastically and making the point that Snow's multi-short piece was a mundane concept praised(by some of us)on its cutting edge format. Am I crazy?
04/1/2005 anonymous: The Duchamp ref was just supposed to be ridiculous, but consider Dave on his way to smoking a joint.
04/1/2005 Will Disney: 3, 3.5, 4
04/1/2005 The Rid: I'm not a big fan of the multiple shorts thing that's going on of late.
04/1/2005 qualcomm (3):
04/1/2005 Whom: whom
04/1/2005 John Slocum: whim
04/1/2005 Dylan Danko: wigour
04/1/2005 Litcube (2): Not a fan. I'm so sorry. (2, 2, 3).
04/1/2005 The Rid (2):
04/1/2005 Front: wigger?
04/1/2005 deliciousbrains (3): 2, 2, 3
04/1/2005 TheBuyer (4): 3.5 rounded the fuck up.
04/1/2005 Daphne: Are these all part of one story?
04/1/2005 Partytime (3): 3,3,3
04/1/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum (4): Four stars, not rounded anywhere. and four stars to danko.
04/1/2005 Klause Muppet (3):
04/1/2005 Jon Matza: Last one was Fruzen-gladje
04/1/2005 Litcube: For those of you who aren't cool enough to be invited, Betvite seems to think this is Ewan.
04/1/2005 The Rid: Well, if precedent means anything, I'd put my money on Ewan, too.
04/1/2005 Ewan Snow: Not to mention Disney's lack of use case analysis.
04/1/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum: Wow. Fruzen-gladje. That's....well....Fruzen-gladje.
04/1/2005 TheBuyer: Snow, you ruined my bug-report surprise, could you please break something to make up for it?
04/1/2005 John Slocum: I'm mixed up about this one. Things I like, things I don't like...it got better with each read and I think it's well done. At the same time, it's kinda boring. Which is not a bad thing necessarily. I don't think these are related, maybe 3 different shorts published at the same time. If there's supposed to be a relation betweet the 3, I'd be interested in hearing from the author about it. Thank you.
04/1/2005 anonymous: Slocum, they're three different shorts. No relation.
04/1/2005 anonymous: Also, Slocum, I think boring might in fact be a bad thing. But what do I know? I can never predeict what people will like. I switched this with different shorts three times while it was in the queue. I may haven chosen (at least partly) poorly.
04/1/2005 Litcube: I think that second short could have been pretty good if maybe the last paragraph was trashed, and the first elaborated. The idea in the first part was actually pretty good, I thought (post-ejaculatory lethargic procrastination).
04/2/2005 John Slocum: I'm lighting a cigar.
04/2/2005 Front: Mine's not a cigar.
04/2/2005 John Slocum: Snow-Diddy: Still confused but by the end of this comment, I will have worked through it and arrived at a rating.

The first 'short' is between a 1 and a 2 for me because it's not very funny and doesn't go anywhere, and is not that interesting (forgive me, forgive me). I'm going to magnanimously round it up to a 2 for the name 'Kimathy' alone. Also, there's a hint of the world conjured in the sonic youth song 'self-obsessed and sexy,' which is a little funny and interesting. Okay, up to a 3, but no more!

The second 'short' is about a 4 for me. It's not so much funny as well written, skillfully conjuring idleness, boredom..what's the word? Inertia. Loved how the character excruciatingly mulls over where to put his foot; how he's so numb he can put off scratching an itch and quenching his thirst. Great contrast with the next 'graf with the staccato series of actions that are still boring and bereft of life. It's depressing but interestingly so, nicely rendered. Great job, young man!

[The astute reader will understand that, at this point, I'm somewhere between a 3 and a 4. Exciting!]

I'm somewhere around a 4 on the 3rd 'short,' but I could be closer to a 5. Not sure. There's some masterful use of language here to create a specific voice that's consistent with a shallow and self-absorbed/centered office/corporate guy considering a concept that is not natural (considering other people besides himself) and then talking himself out of it in a way that allows him to think he did consider other people besides himself. Words and phrases such as 'admin,' 'vet,' 'whittled,' 'short list,' 'less of a traffic issue,' etc. contribute to the plausibility of a douchebag like this having a thought process like this. The more I think about it, the more I'm going to assign a 5 to this 'short.' 5 it is!

Heading into the home-stretch here. The last thing I need to decide is how to weight the ratings on the 3 different 'shorts.' There are 3 ways to do this: I could arbitrarily weight them equally (resulting in an average rating of 4); or I could weight the 'shorts' in proportion to their repective sizes (pulling the final rating towards 5); or I could weight the 'shorts' in inverse proportion to their repective sizes (pulling the final rating towards 3). Hmm...decisions, decisions.

In the end, I think I'm going to go with the third school of thought, since in this guys humble opinion, we at acmeshorts should use everything in our power to encourage brevity. It's the same short that allows a shorter tournament short to win in the event of a tie. Calculating....
04/2/2005 John Slocum (4): Here's what I came up with:

Each of the 3 'shorts' have a percentage of the total words. By subracting this percentage for each from 33.3 I came up with an amount by which to raise or lower the rating, to weight it. I then averaged the 3 weighted ratings to come up with the final rating (rounding up because I'm a nice fucking guy).

#1 - raw rating: 3.0
total words: 40
percentage of total: 9.1
33.3 - 9.1 = 24.2
3.0 x 0.242 = 0.726
adjusted rating = 3 + 0.726 = 3.7260

#2 - raw rating: 4.0
total words: 155
percentage of total: 35.23
33.3 - 35.23 = -1.93
4.0 x -0.0193= -0.072
adjusted rating = 4.0 - 0.072 = 3.9228

#3 - raw rating: 5.0
total words: 245
percentage of total: 55.67
33.3 - 55.67 = -22.37
5.0 x -0.2237= -1.1185
adjusted rating = 5.0 - 1.1185 = 3.8815

adjusted average = (3.7260 + 3.9228 + 3.8815)/3 = 3.8434 (rounded up)
04/2/2005 John Slocum: alrighty then.
04/2/2005 Ewan Snow: Thanks for the thorough consideration, dude. I'll respond with some thoughts after bath time!
04/3/2005 John Slocum: Is it still bath time?
04/5/2005 Phony Millions (5): Fucking great.