In her latest batch of microfictions, Christie Chapman tackles all the hard issues: The Brady Bunch, Moons Over My Hammy, UFOs, and the plight of the world’s fattest woman.
Donna Simpson, 43, of New Jersey weighs 600 pounds but wants to weigh 1,000 pounds and be the world’s fattest woman. To reach her target, she must consume 12,000 calories a day (the average woman consumes about 2,000). This costs her about $600 a week for food, so she set up a website when she learned that there were men willing to pay to watch large women eat. The website brings her about $3,000 a month. She is married and has a daughter; her husband weighs 150 pounds and says he supports her goal.
On the night of the first fall sunset, the ice-cream truck driver sat bleating nursery-rhyme tunes across an empty ballpark. It was almost dark and he had not met his quota. So he went tearing down suburban streets, into every cul-de-sac, his vehicle a desperate patchwork of sun-faded popsicle images, blaring the songs every child hears in his crib. No children came. Darkness fell and a chill settled down onto everything that was not inside a home.
I got hired for a job as a UFO hotline operator. It wasn’t as fascinating as I’d thought it’d be. I’d pictured old men in tinfoil hats calling every day, their sightings of alien spacecraft served up with a side of theory about who shot JFK. You know.
But nope. It was just ordinary people, saying banal things like, “Well, I thought I saw this thing… but maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it was a hot-air balloon. It just looked a little funny. Maybe I need to clean my glasses.”
So imagine my surprise when one night *I* saw a UFO, and it landed in my back yard, and aliens came out, and their leader wanted me to be their cultural ambassador. I didn’t report it to my bosses, because I had signed a secret pact with the alien leader. I said, “I will do this for you, if you promise to take me far, far away from here. This was never my home in the first place.”
Moons Over My Hammy
“So what is your great idea?” asked my millionaire big brother.
We were sitting at Denny’s eating brunch, our favorite meal. I wish I could tell you that one of us ordered the “Moons Over My Hammy,” because who doesn’t love to say that? But that would be a lie. I ordered French toast with a side of bacon, and my brother got the Denver omelette. “Go easy on the cheese, please,” he requested. I asked for orange juice to drink and he ordered coffee. You see, not a “Moons Over My Hammy” to be found in that entire order.
I put my spiral notebook up on the table next to our free glasses of water. “It’s a great idea,” I said.
“I know; I just said, ‘What is your great idea?'” he said.
“Oh, sorry; I guess I’m just nervous.”
“Nervous why? I am your brother.”
“Or excited, I mean.”
I opened my notebook up to the first page. I had bought the notebook as soon as I came up with the great idea, so that’s what was on the first page. And all of the other pages.
I said: “The Brady Brunch.”
He stared at me. I guess he was amazed at what a great idea it was.
I said: “You know how much we love brunch? And how it is the only thing that brings us together? Because we disagree on everything else and don’t even order the same kind of breakfast food?”
“Well, my great idea is to have a place where people can come together and eat brunch while watching ‘The Brady Bunch.’ Maybe we can even get one of the original Bradies to attend the grand opening! I’m going to have to rent a tux. Or maybe buy one, because I am going to become a millionaire just like you!” I added “Buy a tux” to the notebook.
He put his face in his hands and began to sob. Probably because he loved my great idea so much, and was proud that I was going to be a millionaire, so that at last we might have one more thing in common!
Photo of the”Moons Over My Hammy” breakfast at Denny’s by blakespot (Flickr)