This weekend, Mark Baumer brings his witty, fanciful storytelling to the Fiction section. In these tales, helicopters are made of Siberian tigers, people crawl into wounds, lizards go crazy, because they must. Because this is how Baumer tells the truth. —Matt Salesses, Good Men Project Fiction Editor
The third time I was hung over
My best friend’s father died. I went on eBay and tried to buy a new best friend, but all the best friends on eBay were too expensive. I bought a used bucket of ice coffee instead. It cost almost five-hundred dollars. I only had a mouthful of sunshine. The police authority in charge of protecting eBay tried to put me in jail, but I stole someone’s husband and the two of us got away on a helicopter made of Siberian Tigers.
How to make puppies
It was puppy night at the ballpark. Fans were encouraged to bring puppies, but were not allowed to bring regular dogs. Only puppies were allowed. In honor of puppy night at the ballpark, the home team trained a puppy to play second base. It hit a homerun, but it struggled to make plays in the field. The home team almost lost by 30 runs. My dad didn’t own any puppies. So he dressed me up like a puppy, but I was very bad at doing puppy impressions. We were not allowed in the ballpark. In the bottom of the ninth, with the home team still trailing by a wide margin, my father and I found a tunnel that we thought would lead us into the ballpark, but it ended up leading us deep into the largest wound ever suffered by a human being on a nationally-broadcast syndicated television program. A lot of people yelled at their televisions and told us not to crawl deeper into the wound, but we could not hear them and we continued to crawl deeper and deeper, the whole time thinking we were getting closer to our goal of reaching the inside of the ballpark where the home team was attempting to make a historic comeback that would ultimately fall one-half of a dinger short of actually being a comeback.
A commercial for a good smelling deodorant
My mother started dating someone that told me I had ugly armpits. I was only 12, but I started putting makeup on my armpits. Some guy that worked at an amusement park told me I wasn’t very good at putting makeup on my armpits. We went under the waterslide and let one of the leaks spit on us. Most of the makeup on my armpits washed off. The guy that worked at the amusement park said, “When I was your age I put makeup on my armpits too.” He lifted his arms. The armpits attached to his armpits were smooth and not very greasy. It was almost two a.m. I had to go home.
A really good looking guy offered to solve all my problems, but he wasn’t any good at solving problems and all the problems I had that weren’t that difficult to solve became impossible to solve. I tried to hire a lawyer, but the really good looking guy knew a really creepy looking guy that owned a lizard gun and every lawyer I tried to hire got turned into a lizard. The judge responsible for making criminal justice decisions in my town said it was my job to take care of the lizards. I didn’t mind taking care of the lizards at first. Each one had its own glass jar. All I had to do was drop a few cornflakes in each jar every couple of hours. I became very skilled at dropping cornflakes in lizard jars and thought about entering a contest where I would compete on television against other people that were very skilled at dropping cornflakes in their lizard jars, but on the day of the contest the really good looking guy stole my lizard jars and the lizards went crazy and began to float like couches that have taught themselves how to float through the power of meditation.
The time I almost defeated the big white fingers
I went to the house of a three-fingered CEO and I made him eat two of his own fingers so he only had one finger left. The media said I was the most dangerous form of terrorism that had ever existed. No one knew who I was because I always wore a black hooded sweatshirt. Fourteen other CEOs also ate their own fingers. People worried that eventually there would be no CEO fingers left in the world. I was unstoppable. My black hooded sweatshirt wasn’t even black. It was brown. Things continued to escalate. A highly respected research facility released a medical study that said, “A CEO is five times more likely to put his own fingers in his mouth when he feels scared for the safety of his fingers.” Almost every CEO that still had a finger began to freak out. Some CEOs paid security corporations large amounts of money to provide a safe zone for their uneaten fingers, but I owned all these security corporations and I sold the CEO fingers to a foreign investment portfolio managed by an overweight wealthy child born within the piles of slaughtered daughters that America had created in the 1970s in their attempt to extend the military reach of its already overextended, white, warped flesh digit. Things got worse and worse for CEOs. It became impossible for them not to eat their own fingers. The government had to allocate all its resources towards the protection of the last remaining CEO fingers. The mass extinction of the CEO finger seemed imminent and probably would have happened if I didn’t get really lonely one day while I was alone in the woods. There did not seem to be very much optimism left in the world so I decided to introduce a romantic element into my life so everyone that had given up hope could maybe find solace in a concept like love. Unfortunately, a few minutes after I met an object that said it wanted to spend the rest of its life with me I removed my brown sweatshirt and everyone in the world that still had a finger jumped through the walls of the motel room where I was trying to create the eternal love emotion and all these fingers pressed on me until I was dead. Even the President of the United States used his finger to kill me a little bit.
My dad put me on earth because I kept misbehaving on the home planet where I was originally born
My father was the king of an advanced civilization. His crown was shaped like a color that had not yet been invented on earth. Sometimes he wore a silk robe. Other times he wore a white glove on his left hand. He never wore these two items at the same time. I probably got kicked off my home planet because I set my brother on fire during the festival celebrating his birth. He had been born in the shadow of the love moon, which only existed when the sweat of 20 young virgin boys leaked on the same piece of dirt within the height of the moonbeam’s egg development cycle. The ceremony had a lot of trumpets. The king wore his white glove. A lot of happiness teardrops were leaked. I felt very sad and unimportant. My birth festival had consisted of a single 12-second-trumpet squeak. I had been born under the wrong moon. It wasn’t until the trumpets began their fourth hour-long prayer to my new brother that I dropped a handful of candles in the crib. It did not take very long for him to burn. Everyone’s happiness teardrops quickly became cold and wet. What I did wasn’t even that bad. My new brother wasn’t a real flesh system like me or my dad. The government had carved him out of wood. The whole festival was a hoax to hide the fact that no one on my home planet was actually capable of making babies in the shadow of the love moon. In the end, earth turned out to be an okay place.
The story that everyone wrote about me when I died
A person died on Thursday. She was the wife of a husband. Her mom was the wife of a husband. For almost 48 years, the person that was the wife of a husband worked at a job. She liked to collect grains of sand at the beach. Her collection had almost six different grains of sand. In her lifetime, she only managed to have sex eight times. The husband said the couple probably only accumulated an hour and 15 minutes of total intercourse over the span of their marriage. Her six children all have the same name, but one of them prefers to be called “Blinky.” The funeral will be on Tuesday. A location has not been determined yet. Maybe it will be in the middle of a field. In lieu of flowers, please bring a single bean and plant it in the mouth of the person that died before her coffin is sealed and she is put in the ground forever.