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The small child had observed how the bigger kids did it: in the morning, they put money into a brown paper bag, wrote something on the outside of the bag, and left it in a cardboard box by the door. In the afternoon, the bags returned containing snacks and were distributed. Popcorn, chocolate bars, fairy bread, all kinds of things. That morning she had found a coin on the ground; she wasn’t sure how much it was, but it was definitely money and she knew right away what she was going to do with it.

She discreetly slipped one of the empty bags off the pile, slipped her coin inside, and with a black marker scrawled something on the outside. Then she placed it in the box by the door and went back to her table.

When the bags returned in the afternoon, she waited expectantly for her name to be called, excited to find out what snack she was going to get. But as the box of bags emptied out and her name wasn’t called, she became concerned. And when the person with the box had finally handed out the last bag and departed, she realised she wasn’t getting her snack and began to cry. Everyone tried to find out what was wrong, but she couldn’t really explain it.

Meanwhile, in the school canteen, they puzzled over the mysterious bag with the unintelligible scribble on it, containing only a five cent coin.


Velda ran through the village, neighing for all the ponies to come out of their stables. “Come on, everyone!” she whinnied. “It’s time! Follow me to Trompleprance!”

Soon dozens of ponies were running up the steep cobblestone streets and out into the countryside beyond until they rounded a bend in the road and came to the magical grassy glen surrounded by trees that was called Trompleprance. They ran onto the grass and danced and danced.

As they danced faster and faster, the sky became bright and shimmery. A beam of light broke from the clouds and shone down on the grass of Trompleprance. It made a soft humming sound. Flocks of beautiful colourful birds appeared out of the mist and flew around wildly, twittering and shrieking joyously.

Then all the ponies stopped dancing and looked up. They saw a gorgeous glittery purple pony slowly descending inside the beam of light, smiling and waving as she came lower and lower. When she was just above them, she shook her mane and called out, “Hi, everyone! I’m here!”

23 Skidoo

Yeah dude it’s a great spot just there, ‘cause when girls go up the stairs, as they reach the first landing the angle is just right, you can see up their skirt. There’s that clock on the far wall so you can pretend you’re glancing up to see what time it is and have yourself a nice good look up their skirt. Or what I do is, I wear my shades when I sit there at lunchtime and make like I’m sleeping, head back and mouth open, but really I’m wide fuckin’ awake, bro, watching all them fine university hotties a-swishing and a-swooshing up those stairs in their skirts. Besides, nobody would think twice about me on account of how I look, being a 91-year-old Vietnamese woman and all.

Chain of Custody

The guns of the killed soldiers were given to the new soldiers as they arrived, and then when they were killed, the guns went to the next new soldiers, and so on, so that the most recently arrived soldiers were fighting with guns whose previous several owners had all been killed. But I don’t think they thought about that. Or if they did, it didn’t really bother them.

Maybe Not

Dave had been feeling pretty down, but he kept seeing inspirational messages on Facebook that said things like “You’re never too old to chase your dreams” and “You can do anything if you believe in yourself,” so one day he decided to pursue his dream of being the first person to climb to the summit of Mount Everest. It rapidly became clear, however, that the Facebook posts had been misleading and it was not going to be possible to achieve his dream, because Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzin Norgay had already been the first to climb Mount Everest in 1953. Plus also the fact that Dave was an 82-year-old quadriplegic.


Pablo carried this bell around with him, which he always rang to announce his arrival somewhere. Long before he knocked on your door, you knew he was coming because you could hear his bell ringing as he came up the front steps.


Charlie knew as soon as he saw his father’s body slumped in the azaleas that he was dead. That was the moment when his childhood ended. As the oldest, he had to assume responsibility for the house and for looking after his mother and five sisters. He had to go out and get whatever job he could, and say goodbye to the carefree days of his youth. While his friends continued to run around and play and be kids, Charlie moved on to another phase of his life.

He was only 48 years old.


The old woman had invited the guy out to lunch. They drove in her Cadillac to a mall, in which there was a department store, in which there was a restaurant, and that’s where they went. Over the course of their meal, the old woman mentioned that her husband had enjoyed an active sex life with his first wife, who had died. She – his lunch companion – explained that she was not as sexually compatible with her husband as her predecessor had been, and had thus never been able to meet his needs. This made the guy feel very awkward and embarassed. An old woman talking about sex! He yearned for the lunch to be over so he could go back home to smoke pot and listen to loud music with his friends.

In the years that followed, when he occasionally recalled that lunch, he always remembered it with a cringe as that time the old woman talked about sex. Just a crazy thing that had happened to him. But one day, decades later, he thought about it and suddenly saw it completely differently. He still cringed, but at his own response, not at the old woman. It had just been a regular conversation about life, he realised. She had been talking to him as one grownup to another. Only he hadn’t been a grownup yet. Not even close.


The movie ended, and on an impulse he picked up the phone and called his ex-girlfriend. He only got her voicemail. He left a garbled message and hung up, then walked into the lounge room.

“This is my life,” he announced to his dog, who was lying on the couch. She looked up at him. He waved his arm dismissively at the coffee table. “Glass of wine, bag of cashews, and needing to buy cigarettes. Is that profound? Is talking to your dog profound? Should I hire some existential detectives to find out?”

You see, he’d just watched this movie entitled I Heart Huckabees, except it wasn’t the word “heart” in the title, it was an actual heart. Well, not an actual anatomical heart, but a heart shape. You know, like on valentines. Or in “I Heart New York.”

The movie was quite clever and profound. A brilliant script, and very well acted, with an excellent cast. In the extras on the DVD you could watch the outtakes and it looked like they all had a great time making it, they were laughing and joking all the time and saying funny smart things.

Well. How nice to be famous AND clever.

There was a lot of chocolate left over from Christmas. He opened one box and ate some. It was melted and soft and squishy, which was odd because it hadn’t really been that hot in the previous days. The chocolate made him feel sick afterwards.

Other good, profound and clever movies include After Hours and Roadside Prophets. In case you were looking for some recommendations.

He had resolved to not buy any more cigarettes and hadn’t even intended to drink that night, but then somehow he had drunk a whole bottle of wine and now really needed to get cigarettes. He had also resolved to eat healthy, but there was all this bacon left over from Christmas brunch when he’d made pancakes for everyone and was going to also serve bacon but then there hadn’t been time because he’d been on the phone to his friend overseas for two hours because his friend was getting divorced and so he’d only made the pancakes and now he had to eat the bacon before it went bad, so he’d made fried rice with diced bacon which was delicious but not healthy and then drunk the wine and eaten cashews and chocolate and now he needed to buy cigarettes.

“Maybe I don’t need to buy cigarettes,” he said to the dog. He leaned down close to her face, looked deep into her eyes. “Maybe I just need to need to. Does that make any sense? Is that profound?”