A kindly organ grinder and his performing monkey adopt a young boy after his father spontaneously combusts; a barber living inside a whiskey bottle confronts the neighborhood nuisance who wields a dead squirrel like a pair of nunchucks; and an unruly gang of sock puppets are born in a basement dojo. Welcome to Puppet Shows, thirteen outlandish stories from a writer Tucson Weekly called "a very funny weirdo."
Dinner with Reginald
He was a hard man to please, that Reginald – a diva if there ever was one, except he didn’t sing and he wasn’t black. He was just a very finicky eater; a food diva, if you will. Won’t you?
There was really no pleasing him. I started calling him Little Mikey, after the brat who hated everything in those old Life Cereal ads. Just try to cook for Reginald sometime; you'll see. Yet I kept trying.
One night when he came home from his job at the quarry, I had placed lit candles everywhere, and rose pedals and dirt on the floor leading to the bedroom where sat a single red rose. I was being pretty frigging romantic.
Then came dinner; I sat Reg down in his booster seat, as he was a very slight fellow, tied his bib around his neck, and set his plate on the table in front of him. He grabbed his knife and fork, did a little cutting, and took a bite.
"I don't like this," Mr. Hateseverything said.
"Well, of course." I threw my apron onto the floor. "Is there anything you do like?"
"Yes, indeed. I like sweet and sour chicken and Marx Brothers films."
This much was true. Even now, he was speaking with an Italian accent and eating a shoe. Okay, so the shoe was Chaplin, but it was this that he was protesting to in the first place.
"I don't like this. What is it?"
"It's a shoe."
"A shoe? Well, what's this bit, then?"
"That's tartar sauce. You can't eat a plain shoe."
"Oh. Well, I don't like this."
"Fine. Fussy bastard. We'll dine out. Chinese? Sweet and sour chicken?"
"No, don't like that." Then he dropped dead. I had forgotten that I stepped in rat poison that morning.
"Oh, Reginald!" I fell to pieces. "Why? Why?"
There was no reply. My attempt at a romantic dinner had ended in tragedy. I wept for eight months then killed myself with a toenail clipper.
Michael Frissore is the author two poetry chapbooks and an ebook called The Thief. He is currently writing a novel about professional wrestling. Mike grew up in Massachusetts and now lives in Oro Valley, Arizona with his wife and two children.
Also, check out his interview posted last month on this blog. :)
Puppet Shows/WAMM: http://www.writersamuseme.com/michaelfrissore.htm
Long Blue Boomerang: http://www.lulu.com/shop/michael-frissore/long-blue-boomerang/paperback/product-15668478.html
The Thief: http://store.untreedreads.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=68_7_47_54&products_id=223
Print copy of Puppet Shows. 2 Winners
May ship to US or Canada
Ends Feb 9 at midnight (Eastern)