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They were all there to hear one man. Gary. Gary listened to the din coming from the conference room at the end of the hall where the press jostled for position and he shook with anticipation. When he entered the contest he knew he was going to win. No one believed in Gary. Not his girlfriend. Not the so called “experts.” But he never doubted. And now here it was, 10 rounds later, the golden thingy at the end of the thing. Victory. And what lie beyond, Gary wondered? Fame? Fortune? Corporate Sponsorship? Ladies? Biologically quarantined Dwell furniture? It wasn’t always like this. Of the 1,024 contestants entering the “International Coin-Flipping Championship” he was one of the least talked about. They called him a chump and they treated him like one. His mind turned to one of the darkest days on his hard won journey. He was on the rough side of town outside the derelict Waterworks practicing his now world famous flip, when he was approached by a gang of multicultural toughs -- a white guy with a Japanese-themed bandana, a black guy with an excessive amount of jerry curl, a Latino with a gold crucifix and faux black leather jacket with a flimsy collar. “So you are the Gary. The one who says he is the best. The best coin flipper in town,” the white tough seethed through his teeth in with a Mickey Roarkish hiss, ending the sentence with a stiff punch to the gut. Gary doubled over. “No, I’m not the best in town,” Gary coughed, pausing for effect. “I’m the best there ever was.” The toughs beat the crap out of Gary that day. It ended with his coin, a Delaware Quarter, 1963 mint, spinning in slow motion and finally coming a rest just as Gary collapsed to the ground unconscious. Maybe it was lucky the toughs had broken his flipping hand. He developed his trademark style by having to flip goofy-handed for months while his hand healed. That same idiosyncratic style, Gary thought, ultimately led to his success in the contest. “Funny how things turn out,” Gary thought. He stepped into the lights and was hit with dozens of questions at once. “Now just hold on a second,” Gary barked. “Before we start I just want to say a few words. When I first started this competition you guys never gave me a chance. The whole world was against me. So I just wanted to take this moment to thank some people who stuck by me throughout this thing. First I want to thank my moms. She is a brave woman who raised me against all odds. Then there’s old Mr. Bojangles, the superintendent of my building who turned me on to the Delaware ’63. And then of course, there’s the Big Guy. Jesus, our Lord and Savior, by whose benevolent grace I am here today to talk to you about my victory. Now, I’ll take your questions one at a time please…”

Date Written: February 01, 2006
Author: scoop
Average Vote: 4.75

02/2/2006 Litcube (4.5): And now here it was, 10 rounds later, the golden thingy at the end of the thing. That part above that I copied and pasted was totally sweet. Also, this part was totally sweet: Gary doubled over. “No, I’m not the best in town,” Gary coughed, pausing for effect. “I’m the best there ever was.” Not sure what the last paragraph does for this. That paragraph turns the short into a story, rather than a thing that's just enjoyably silly. I'm not sure anyone cares about the story here. Still, this is pretty sweet.
02/2/2006 qualcomm: there are several reasons this thing is a three at best. one, the backstory is a ripoff of kingpin's backstory. two, it's about twice as long as it needs to be. three, it traffics in a certain scoopish trope i like to call "three cliches were walking down three different streets, all headed for the same point." and four, but not least, litcube is a fucking, fucking dipshit.
02/2/2006 Litcube: Sometimes when you say things like this to me, I picture you and I swinging arm and arm, slow motion, in a gentle rain of cherry blossoms.
02/2/2006 anonymous: What you can't handle a little retrospective myopic humor, qualcomm? and also I never saw Kingpin. I was busy appreciating the works of Fassbinder, asshole.
02/2/2006 qualcomm: what the hell is retrospective myopic humor?
02/2/2006 qualcomm: good use of 1,024, though
02/2/2006 Will Disney (5): goofy-handed was pretty funny. this is a 3.75 rounded up to compensate for qc's coming lowball.
02/2/2006 qualcomm: acme is truly dead when even our phlegmatic administrator abuses votes. thanks, disney, for kicking acme when it's down. where the hell's texxx when you need him?
02/2/2006 anonymous: Retrospective myopia, qualcomm, is the false sense of accomplishment experienced by the winner of a game that was structured to be won by somebody. The winner of such a game, like a coin flipping game, looks back and thinks, "gee what a great palyer I am!" When in fact he just happened to be the winner because there had to be a winner. It's what makes religious cunts and scientists enamored by the "beuaty" of the universe to think that some cosmic creep went into a lab and made it all just for our benefit. Retrospective myopic humor, is humor capitalizing on that phenomenon. What's your problem qualcomm, are you a homo or a retard? I mean, which one is it? No, seriously. Seriously.
02/2/2006 anonymous: For anyone looking to weigh in on this pressing question to the community please visit Betvite here: http://betvite.com/bets/default.aspx
02/2/2006 qualcomm: oh you mean the parchment imbroglio
02/2/2006 anonymous: Damn you!!!
02/2/2006 Will Disney: *now* acmeshorts is truly dead?
02/2/2006 TheBuyer: Cinderella Man has the same "my good hand was broken so my stupid hand got strong" thing. I thought it was stupid and contrived in that story too.
02/2/2006 anonymous: Hm. So just what is your point TheBuyer? That this short ironiclessly invoked a dumb sports cliche? Or what? Your snarky tone implies that. And I know you can't be that stupid, so your point must be something else.
02/2/2006 anonymous: And what kind of asshole went to see Cinderella Man anyways?
02/2/2006 qualcomm: good hustle commenting on this short, gang. let's keep it up.
02/2/2006 Mr. Pony: I haven't seen Cinderella Man or Kingpin.
02/2/2006 Mr. Pony: (I heard kingpin was pretty funny, though.)
02/2/2006 Dick Vomit: In Kingpin, our hero milks a cow and brings a bucket of milk to the farmer, all proud-like, and he's got this milk all over his mouth. And, oh man, guy goes, "Milked yer cow for ya!!" And the farmer's all, "We ain't got no cow. Got us a bull, though!" And then it's like, "OH CRAP I AM CHUGGING BULL SPERM!"
02/2/2006 TheBuyer: No, I'm pretty much that stupid. Do you have another question?
02/2/2006 qualcomm: eliza: why do you favor thebuyer?
02/2/2006 Eliza (): Do you think?
02/3/2006 Mr. Pony: There are a lot of stand-out digressions in this that distract from the retrospective myopia thing (Dwell furniture, the thugs). I get that this short is built from cliches, but the fact that the "I owe everything to god" thing is itself a pretty standard cliche, it more or less disappears into the background.
02/3/2006 scoop: I don't know about that Pony. The stupid premise, a coin flipping contest, is so overwhelmingly RM that no amount of digressions could make it disappear I think. But, in retrospect, I can see how someone would have to make that particular point given a vast amount of time, and your a decent sort of chap, so it may as well have been you.
02/3/2006 qualcomm: yeah, no, pony's right. when i first read this, i wasn't even paying attention to the fact that anyone who wins a coin-flipping competition has no right to brag. the coin-flipping just seemed like one more silly detail in a short full of them.
02/3/2006 scoop: Alright, look. Let's not make a federal case out of it.
02/3/2006 qualcomm: too late, i'm suing. danko? punitive damages? we have to make these shorts safer!
02/3/2006 Dick Vomit: Seriously, though? You guys remember that part with the bull sperm? Oh, man! Ha Ha Ha Ha!