Your Grid Never Made A Comeback

Audit the Auditors
Defraud the fraudsters
Con the con artists
Rob the robbers
Cop the coppers
Chop the choppers
Real the real estaters
Check the check-out clerks
Bank the bankers
Fake-out the fakers
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Found Surreal Fiction

This was from a Spam message I received in a mostly dormant account that seems to be a mashup of fiction from various sources. The first part of this has been slightly edited for a bit more added panache. I left the latter part entirely intact. Enjoy…

Dormant Account Spamela

Rose, extending her hand. Sandals or buskins–I could not clearly distinguish.

Brownlow, turning to Rose, ‘give me your hand’, he said. And yet he was asleep.

It’s true, I wasn’t at home; but Rosamond told me you hadn’t his transparent complexion flushed suddenly, and he spoke with an aardvark, inasmuch as it was all comprised within the limits of a brown hen so I give yer notice.

This ingenious article itself, without– but he was interrupted.

“That will be a virtual defiance of Mr. Commonness!” he chortled.

This fact lay in the complexion of his prejudices, which, in spite of the ground by its sails.

A well-used minimum suffices for everything. some frightful form slowly reared its head, to drive him mad with gerbil giblets.

I believe devoutly in a natural difference of vocation. It finally became even more violent in her opposition than her husband.

He could not propose to Rosamond that she should return any to cream cheese or to throw some light on the undertow of his inquiry. He was a slave to marmalade; not so with Mr. Bring in your body then,’ said Sikes.

It was in one of these dense violins. For no one can come alone, or with the other person that knows it; and that I wisely regulating his own play by the result of his observations. But the Time Friends he was better known by the sobriquet of ‘The Artful Dodger.’

This was too good an understanding with you, and agreeing with you even when you as we did so, he would claim my success as the result of the contributions, the Board itself filling up any vacancy in its numbers, Left in a ditch, Nance; only think! The ends of his white neckerchief were He took up his note-book, which well-known cane; ‘no, no, sir; I will be good indeed; indeed, indeed I or We of a man dresses as he can.

He whispered, as though tied by the interruption; ‘it’s the O God, save me! by the railway, and still haunted by elephants which, with pensive put me up for a minute; but now I’m stupid again.

The man who robs air, to Will, who was close behind him, and presently handed him the Humphrey finds everybody charming.

But who has handsomer, better children than ours? was not a trick to frighten him, and those were the real hours treading little in a furtive manner, while Dorothea ran down-stairs to greet her After questioning and examining her, Damn you, if you move, I’ll knock your brains out! of the year, may be truly called the dead of night; when the streets Calcutta in less than twenty-four hours. question. like most other mean men, he lacked the ability to conceal his meanness. fanned wheat from before the fan. approaching the chamber, Mr. It was said of him, that Lydgate could do anything he liked, but I must won’t give it to them. mother, while he only put in a good-humored moderating remark here and without stint if the children’s temper wanted a dose, occasions when Dead? ever will,” she ended, merrily. continuation: descending from the top of the post, meanwhile, with He did not in any way exaggerate the He drew them slowly off. he was always as sleek, neat, and cool as the frog he resembled, and Everyone was silent for a minute. I have watched you change almost from death, to I become absent-minded, as you say. Having put some wood on the fire and thrown a shawl over her, she sat alleged against them. all very well to ride on sticks at home and call them ideas

Electronic Ink Blots

A more concrete, narrative-style, down-to-Earth blog is available at   This will include slices of life, vignettes, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, artworks, music, movie reviews, and social commentary.

This blog, Swatting at Flies will continue to focus on surreal poetry, experimental fiction, and avant-garde stylings in the form of words that are made up of letters in the English language.

Disclaimer:  the term ‘Swatting at Flies’ is not associated in any way to gamer culture.

This Just Stare

What is this?

Ud tiy hyst sdtabd tgere wutg a bear ub tge aur

like you just din’t care.

And sometimes it works but other times it just doesn’t work.

Well, I don’t know

but I think it is funny

that technology is so dumb.

Frantic Palace

The stasis drops of mildewed kaleidoscopes shimmered in the distance as Bob once again realized he had left his coffee on the kitchen table.

“There are certain underling assignments that I may miss if given a chance at the big leagues,” he mused heading for the company cafe.”

This time, he would finally give a shot of that caramel liquid he had so yearned for so many times.

“If I don’t watch my waist line, nobody will.” He laughed to himself.

But no one was laughing. He had told the joke one too many times.


Rover spots Pinky. 

Tail wags. Treat. Need a treat.

Princess moves feet faster to move to the opposite side of the street. 

Skateboards spook her. 

But she makes it home alive. 

She gets a swizz and curls up for another nap.

A Voice In The Wilderness

In the Abysmal City, there once was a Top Hat Gentleman who could never find a girl to call his own.  Long and hard he looked but the girls he found wanted to be with the girls*. This irked him and so he set forth into the wilderness. What he found there can best be described by turning to page 345 and singing the first and third verses. Stick, though, to the Norwegian translation.

“It’s so much easier to do this when you have characters talk and dialogue and such,” Cathy said. “You have the authority of progress on your side but lack the tasteful nod to tradition that the great writers always find a way to include.”

With that, she snapped her fingers and disappeared in a puff of steam.

“If… ” said Largo. “If… we just stopped for a moment to consider that this man is weighed down by circumstances…”

“Circumstantial circumstances… circumcision… circumference of the cranium… excuses, excuses, excuses. This man is troubled by a tickle in his pickle like Giorgio Smith was before him and any other name you want to make up.”

“Who talks like that?” Amber Mohanton said, looking up from her phone. She reached into her purse to pull out eyeliner, but then realized…

“The reaction. Action. Stasis. Flux. Point. Counterpoint. Plot. Subplot. Character development. Realization. Serendipity. Ironic juxtaposition. Poise. Grit. Anxiety within tranquility. Justification. Denouement. Epilogue. Voila.” John was saying.

“Then you have this – this last strand of mystery that hints at the sequel… you know, if we can get the investors on board. 

“As long as there is plenty of buzz,” John finished.

“What? I’m sorry.”

“You’re lost today. What’s got you so distracted?”


Aardvark in the Pistachio

An ethanol tanker rolled by and did not stop.

“Of course you know, this means war,” Reginald said as if he had just disembarked from a boat-full of tourists in the French Riviera.  He was, in fact, stranded in the middle of Iowa.  He thought about raising his middle finger to the small speck of truck that was now long gone, but – the tanker was now long gone.

 “Where are we even going?” Linda said. She lit another cigarette and burst into flames.  Or so Reginald hoped.  He fiddled with his watch yet again for the millionth time.  It was now two seconds behind.  What next – three?  So aggravating.  The boys in the physics club would really make fun of him this time.  But he wasn’t telling.  That’s the problem with the honor system, he thought.  He invented a new type of watch and it wasn’t telling time correctly.  Not to mention the engine he invented that had just failed.  Did he really care?  Really?    

“Are you coming or not?” he asked and kept two paces ahead of Linda as they walked down Interstate 35.  Every few paces, he turned around to face the flow of traffic and put out his thumb.


 “Where is Vandamay?” Daisy asked.  She said this in an overly concerned, over-worried voice bordering on, yet not quite entering, the realm of sarcasm.

 “Just a reminder – I do not eat chocolate,” Todd said to the room at large.

 “I thought you were talking to him,” Yooleelee thought she was replying to Daisy, but then kept straining her small portion of pasta.  Daisy ignored her.  The water was loud.  And then she was distracted from trying to avoid crashing into Parkay who was finishing up some kind of jumbled baked thing – a soufflé? Was it a meat loaf?  Goulash?  Casserole?  She didn’t see her put it in the oven.  Now Parkay was reaching for some flour.  Her elbow barely missed Yooleelee’s chin.  She dared not say a thing about it.  She would be happy that she had two seconds in the kitchen and there it all went – her elbow nudged, the pasta fell into the garbage disposal.

 “If you drop a feather from a tower and then drop a boulder from a mountain and then drop a piece of tree bark from a Ranger station, does anyone hear a pin drop in a bowling alley?”  Nathan was asking.

 “Is this another one of your nonsense ‘prose poems’?”  Todd asked.  “Are you calling it ‘Aardvark in Pistachio’ or something fanciful?”

 Nathan shook his head.  “Seriously, has anyone heard from Reggie – anyone?  They were supposed to be back by now.”

 “Where is Vandamay? Doesn’t anyone care that Vandy is missing?”  Daisy said to no one.  

 Yooleelee had left and was eating a bag of chips on the balcony.  

 “I don’t know – you explain so much,” Todd was saying into the phone he just took from Daisy.  “I think you probably should show more.  Tell less.”  He handed it back.  Daisy grabbed it and shoved it in her purse, grimacing.  Then left the room.  “Tell Parkay I’m not eating,” she said.

 “Ha! You tell her,” Todd replied.

 Cheeny-Bo sat in front of a giant video screen and waved her arms.  A sensor triggered a series of channel changes.  She paused momentarily to observe and listen to the images and sounds that emerged from the video / sound system.  Then she waved her arms again in excited motions.  Todd sat next to the child and did his best to pretend she didn’t exist.  “What a terrible dirty diaper dungeon,” he thought to himself.  “Parenthood,” he mused.

 “Somebody clean-up Cheeny-Bo and get her in here so I can feed her!” Parkay barked from the kitchen, her hands covered in dough.  “These cookies won’t bake themselves,” she muttered under her breath.  Or maybe she thought these words.  It didn’t matter.  The chocolate chips were going in and there was nothing anybody could do about it.


 Reginald decided he really did care.  “Linda, I love you,” he said.

“Please shut up,” she said and stuck out her thumb and then waved and waved and waved and waved.  Another car flew by at 90mph.

 “Ok – what have we found now?” He could make out a few shapes that looked like people and a few other shapes that looked like vehicles of some sort by the side of the highway.

 Linda saw these things as well.  “I’m going over there,” she said and picked up the pace, marching forward towards the activity ahead.

 When they arrived, they found six men in bright yellow vests surrounding two men in orange jump suits.

To Be Continued…

The Runners

It was the beginning of the last day of the last night.  In the forest were the trees.  You can try, but you can find the way it has always been.  Only through the jaded alleviation can you find true happiness.  

But what does that mean?  I argue that it means you have just landed a new job with gargantuan power torches.  That’s right.  Don’t pretend you don’t understand.  Because you do.  You have always known this.  You forgot.  It began on the night of the last whirlwind.  Chances are you remember at least that.  

Somehow, in the dark, fortune smiled upon the last glasses of righteous anger that he had for playtime.  Oh, that wasn’t play.  That was as serious as a heartbreak.  The kind you clean up with a sponge in the operating room at your local cardiac unit.  

If only he had righted those wrongs when he had a chance.  It was no longer starving.  The earnest monster deep inside him that panged for attention.  Now he had Edith.  She would be by his side until the next time he had the urge to run.  And run he would.  It only takes a spark to see that light in the midnight of her deep purple eyes.  It was inevitable, he thought.  Only now he could solve the riddle.  

“Pack it up,” the foreman said.  He woke up from a reverie only he had half-forgotten and images blinked out of his consciousness like the factory lights.  At home, later, he would remember the girl on the train who had only looked like she could be Melanie.  If he had only had the courage to talk to her like that one time in Berlin.  So many years had passed and now he could only see fragments of the memory.  It wasn’t anger anymore.  It was numbness.  It was apathy.  It was the eyelid of a dog who was sleeping, but keeping one eye peeled for danger.  He didn’t really care, but he couldn’t be sure it was over.

“Someone told me you had someplace to be,” she said.  I had told her that, but she had forgotten.  Meanwhile, all I could think of was swirls of color.  Purple.  Red.  Light blue. Yellow.  Big paint strokes coalescing into an image of a runner.  Where was she going? Right off the page.

​Zits Hit Hinges – 21st Century Post-Factual Fiction

Clarity meanderings in the first order of going at it all by yourself never really materialized into bouncing orbits.  Glyphs of hydrogen tinnitus found her digging the annals of violet butterfly nets.  The scene opens with sunlight streaming over a balcony in a dimly lit grotto.  A hive of bees can be seen nearby.  Lasers.
“I would never hurt you,” Matilda told him.  “I was on your side all along.”
He glanced at the sky and tried to sit up.  
“Oh, did you ever find out about Heather?”  he asked.
“What?”  she didn’t hear him.  His voice was so low.
“Heather?  How is she?”  He asked again, only this time she heard him fine over the chirping of the berries.
“Fine.  Not a big deal. “
“Sounded serious at first.”
“No – it was nothing.” 
This time it was not serious.  Next time we would find Nancy brushing her hair and muttering something about “Gloots.”  She may have meant posterior muscles, but there was also a cereal of that name, I thought to myself.  Or was there?  Maybe not.  
We fade to an interior where the entire room has been covered in shag carpeting.  The carpentry is less than ornate.  Swedish furniture era.  That sort of thing.  The sound of disco beats play, though someone has mistaken 33 1/3 rpms for 45 and so everything slows down at this point.  When we hear…
“Gillette!  The man’s best friend can get!”  This was the name of a dog and not product placement, we swear.
Of course, by that time we had seriously considered the idea that Bob was no longer on our side.  The next conference call would be telling.  
“How did you find out,” Harry asked.
“Looked it up.  It was pretty easy – these days.  Did you think…. ?”  His voice trailed off.
“No – it… yeah, that makes sense.  We just…. I thought it was some academic…  I don’t know… secret knowledge.”
He laughed.  “No, you can pretty much buy Brussel sprouts in most stores.”
This was the deal: there was no deal.  No one could agree and it ate away at his sensible sensibilities that no matter how many compromises they were willing to make, none seemed to achieve the goal of lettuce marks the spot, but be quick because it wilts pretty fast.
“Did you get the frost pack?”  She asked.
“No – different flavor.”  They didn’t have it.  As usual, their consumerist dreams were somewhat shattered or slightly disappointed, but they liked different flavors so hyperbole is not needed or not warranted or maybe we have crossed over into…
Yelping iguanas never understood algebra.  But he didn’t care.  This was the first time he had stood outside the club.  It was a giant club, with most of it buried under tons of sand.  It must have been something to look at.
“They found Gideon’s Bible!” Joseph shouted.   
“Outstanding!” Yosiah said.  “The problem, though, is that we already purchased a new one.”
“No matter,” Joseph said.  “We can present the old one and it will be a keepsake.”
“That sounds like a splendid plan,” Yosiah said.
Later, Gideon stood still for a moment and wiped his brow.  He held the two Bibles in his hand.
“I…. I’m sorry but…”  he paused and looked around at the gathered crowd of family and friends.  “Neither one of these is mine.”
An explosion rocked the mine.  Fifteen miners were trapped.  One had an out-of-body experience.  Another was now rocketing at warp speed into the abyss.
But the bus stopped and she got off.  
“Well,” the driver said.  “Have a nice day.”
She turned and looked over her shoulder.  “Wait, one minute.
“You too,” she told the driver.
Then she fell on her face.  But she was Ok.  There were no bruises.  And everyone had a chuckle.


When the world was finally destroyed it was not because mad war-mongers clashed, gritted their teeth and decided that this was it – do or die. And so they brought about that final apocalyptic cataclysm.

No.  When that final moment of humanity’s ultimate demise arrived it was also not due to a natural disaster– flood, fire, meteoroid, monster hurricane, stray comet.

Nope.  It was not even due to alien invasion.

It was none of that.

The world ended when Jarvis Villum, a software maintenance technician carelessly set off the ‘Destroy World’ function on the new Missile Defense 5300 system, which launched 6,574 nuclear-armed missiles that were so quick in their mission that few people, except the President of the United States, had time to say what the POTUS did say at that final moment, which was – ‘uh oh.’

Cliff Younce, the project manager of the Missile Defense 5300 system, had prided himself in his cost-conscious approach and was a great follower of market-based economies, taking pride in his hatred for every aspect of the government that paid his salary.

The information systems companies that Younce contracted to create the system were all small, relatively unknown upstarts that seemed to have grown out of thin air just to bid on the project.

One, in particular, included a 17-year-old hacker named Gif Cobin, his older brother Troy, and their mascot, a dog named Mr. Chips.  (It was a sad day when the world ended since this story could have been about those three and would have been far more entertaining in an ‘everyone loves dogs and hackers’ way.

Unfortunately, when the specs for the Missile Defense 5300 system were laid out, the sheer quantity of contractors involved (321 to be exact) precluded an effective coordination of effort and so when the Beta version of the software when into production and was declared operative, there were the usual glitches and bugs.

Stray lines of code that performed no apparent function littered the programming. Work-arounds abounded to make up for the lack of functionality.

Meanwhile, nobody noticed that the ‘Destroy World’ function which was initially intended as a joke, was not only implemented but was painfully easy to access to the point that every ten minutes, in maintenance mode, an automated voice asked “would you like to destroy the world today?”

On the world’s final day, Jarvis Villum, without irony – or seriously thinking at all  – said, “Ok.”