Monday July 18th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about someone who has: a bad reputation.

Surprisingly not inspired by the song. References to and inspiration from it still welcome though.

Had a more cooperative day with Max, but he was still more of a pain than usual. I suspect he's not getting enough sleep, which is not helped by the battle royale he puts up at bedtime every single night.

You guys won't turn me in if I start using a tranquilizer gun on him, right? Okay good.

This morning ended up being one for family haircuts, as everyone but Miles got trimmed up. I was hoping to work on the screen door either this afternoon or evening but the wind picked up something fierce not long after lunch and then the rains came. So... guess that will have to wait (yet again) for another day.



I walk into the corner store and the kid behind the counter looks at me like he just pissed himself. As I head for the fridge at the back I make a mental note to keep my distance when I make my way to the till.

They're out of the pop I want so I settle for my second choice. And by settle I mean I punch the glass hard enough to crack it, swear loud enough to set off a car alarm in the back alley, and knock over half a dozen bottles as I grab the one I'm taking.

There's nobody at the register when I get there but I'm sure I could find that kid if I follow the smell. I toss a twenty on the counter instead and go back outside. The sidewalk is busy but people make room for me. They should call me Moses.

Nah, I'd rather nobody called me anything at all.

I pick a direction and start walking. There's nowhere I need to be until dark and I'm a long ways from that. Might as well show my face around the hood. Remind folks I'm still here.

I'm sipping my pop, the bottle cap crushed into a ball in my right hand, when a police car comes to a stop next to me. I give the cops a look. They assure me they're here for somebody else before they bother to open their doors. I shrug and keep walking. That ain't none of my business.

At least, it better not be.


Greg said...

I think I've suggested this before, but whiskey in his bedtime drink is cheaper than a tranquiliser gun and you need so little that you can pretty much just put his bedtime drink in your whiskey glass when you're done drinking it :)
Good luck with some good weather to get the screen door installed!
That first paragraph is excellent, it sets the mood very nicely. I appreciated the little details and the careful understatement that runs through the whole piece, and the finale, where the police are careful to avoid trouble as well delivers nicely on the promise of the first paragraph. Great work!

A bad reputation
The waste-bin in the kitchen needed emptying; if Alex couldn't tell by the smell then the mini-cloud of flies hovering over it was also a give-away. He sighed, thought about it, and decided that it could wait an hour or two longer. The milk carton proved to be nearly empty so he disrupted the flies in their circling dance by throwing it at them and taking his too-dark coffee into the living room.
He walked past his work-table where the computer and the pads of graph paper waited, and sat down in the comfortable arm-chair. It had belonged to his father and, before that, to his grandfather, and had been reupholstered five times so far. The arms were showing signs of wear again though. The newspaper was folded up, covering up a worn patch.
The coffee was set down on an occasional table and the paper lifted, unfolded, and the crossword located. He checked the time, picked up a pen, and started.
One-across was only three letters long and his mouth twisted wryly: short words with long clues were often the hardest.
"Bloody Alice," diatribe starts off(3).
Well of course that was BAD. He wrote it in and allowed himself two seconds of smug satisfaction. Any longer and he'd risk taking longer than 10 minutes over the whole crossword. He looked at three across: "Theatre for everyone has position (not in the South) of renown(10)".
Something made him check the name of the setter: ah, his old nemesis, Colin. He felt the hairs on the back of his neck rise as he looked at the clue list. Well, three across must be REPUTATION -- theatre was REP, U was for everyone, and a position was a station, dropping S for south.
That meant the top of the grid now read "BAD REPUTATION". He wasn't surprised, but he was enraged, that the next row proved to spell out his name.

Marc said...

Greg - I think I might have to stock up on whiskey, just in case...

Thank you for the kind words on mine!

Hah, I do enjoy your tales of battling crossword setters. Not something I'd ever have thought I'd type...

Regardless! Clever stuff, as usual. Not to mention some excellent scene setting at the start (I especially liked the description of the neglected waste-bin).

hanna wood said...

I got my class schedule. I see the dreaded name pop up. “Dr. Wood: Biology 111”. How could this be happening to me? Why do I get the professor with the bad reputation? He is the meanest, crankiest, non-helping professor in the whole university!! I dread going to class on Monday at 8:00am. When I tell my friends about my schedule, they freeze. Then they start conversing about what a rude man he is for not talking to our class and being personable. They talk about his “bad reputation”.. Geeze, the dreaded Monday is here and I walk in with 10 minutes to prepare myself for this failing semester ahead of me. He comes in and looks around. He is quiet and the only thing he says is the lecture on biology and then he dismisses us. I went to his office after class to introduce myself. He was SO NICE!! He started talking to me and saying how happy I had made him because I was the first student to speak to him. He said nobody ever talks in his class so he sticks to the lecture and dismisses his classes. He wasn’t mean. He was nice and quiet, just wanting someone to talk to him. This professor just had the wrong reputation… a bad one.