Virtues and vices

At times like this, he’d discovered that his thought processes drifted in the most unexpected of directions. This time, he thought about cooking pasta, and about how it all ended up with some of it up top and some of it at the bottom. All the individual pieces are pretty much identical, yet the segmentation happens anyway. It seemed to him like a great big metaphor for society; the key to democratic governance was to periodically stir things around, such that –

“And we’re done” the dentist interrupted, putting down her tools. “All fixed up and ready to go”

Dizzily, he forgot all about pasta, and rose to the occasion


From the hip

He did not consider himself much of a parent, but he had picked up a few tricks over the years. One of them being, whenever the general activity amongst the youngsters seemed to trickle into boredom territory, to pick phrases from a slightly out of date Pokemon catalogue and gently yell them in the general direction of youth. Now seemed to be such a moment, and thus he zoomed in on a phrase not previously used and happily yelled

“Hey, remember the Lickitung sushi minigame from Pokémon Stadium?”

If asked, he would be the first to admit to not knowing what these words meant. But they seemed to have done the trick, if the sudden amused buzzing activity was anything to go by

By their powers combined

Tension and emotion filled the air. Fighting words had been spoken, and there were no apparent way of taking them back. Conflict seemed all but inevitable, and it would come to blows unless something distracting happened. And then they came, the fateful words

“My dad is stronger than your dad”

Unruffled by the forcefulness of the remark, the insulted party retorted

“No, my dad is stronger than your dad!”

As it happened, the very dads in question walked into the room at just that moment. Without hesitation, they began to arm-wrestle; within moments, the crowd of young boys were transfixed by the competition. As the efforting seemed to reach a crescendo, the dads went in for the final blow: a hug so hearty and wholesome that the young ones could barely blink before joining in

Avoidance behavior

This place

She had not been there in a long time. Just seeing it from afar brought back memories. A place should not have that kind of hold over a person

“So, does anyone know where we are going? I’m flying blind here” someone in the group said, oblivious to the morphogenetic field hovering over the area. Not wanting to stay there any longer than necessary, she stepped up and said

“Sure, it’s this way”, then walked in a direction that would circumvent the epicenter

“You’ve been here before, then?”

“This way” she voiced straight ahead, not waiting to see if they followed

Depth perception

There were, he concluded, two ways of looking at the passage of time. One was the fast way, of paying attention to minute changes and developments as they progressed. How the young ones got taller, how the newcomers gradually became less new, how relationships went from early stages to full bloom. And then, there was the slow way, of seeing it all play out again and again over the years. How the small things gradually added up, through repetition and subtle gradations, one layer added atop another, previous incarnations and variations imparting their wisdom to the new generations. Nothing new under the sun, yet somehow also new every time

Let it flow, let it flow

He awoke early that morning. With nothing in particular to do that day, he decided to take a nice morning stroll, see the city in the morning light. It all looked different, the shadows all pointing in strange directions and the people elsewhere, like an alternate version of things ordinary

On a whim, he decided to enter the park, and there he saw something he’d never seen before. The sprinklers were all active, spraying water hither and dither, forming an almost – but not quite – interlocking chain of airborne wetness, moving in synchronized patterns

Smiling, he knew his many hours of puzzle gaming would finally come in handy

Jump around, jump around

“What are these things we are putting into boxes, anyway?”

“Storage solutions. I found I have too many of them, and have to file them away for later use”

“Hold on. So you are saying that”

“Don’t say it”

“We’re packing things which you pack things into into boxes. Should we ever need to pack a large number of things into other things, we will only need to unpack these boxes”

“You said it”


“Please don’t say it”

“There’s a lot to unpack here”

“There’s still three more rooms to go”

“Pack it up, pack it in, let me begin”