Jim Archives

November 16, 2007

Jim: Thems The Breaks

Bad-Luck Bobby they called him, though his real name was Robert Townes. And there was never a man whom the Fates hated more than Robert.

Robert was the boy who always ended up holding the bat when a window was broken. Later in life, he was often beaten up for making passes at other men’s women; women he’d never seen.

Robert’s short life came to a tragic end one cold February night; executed by the state at midnight for a murder Robert did not commit.

The apologetic governor called at 12:02 because he couldn’t get cell phone coverage until then.

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November 19, 2007

Jim: So You Say You Want A Revolution?

“I would guess,” the man pondered, “that you are Gabrielle Artois, Countess du Châtillon.”

“Oh, what a wonderful guess!” the Countess squealed, pulling off her mask without disturbing the bird cage cleverly woven into her wig. “And you are, of course, the Baron du Bourgogne.”

“Most excellent,” the Baron smiled, lowering his own handled mask. “These imperial costume balls are quite entertaining. Do you not think so, Milady?”

“Oh, yes!” the Countess agreed. “And I especially enjoyed when all of those men pretending to be peasants carried away the queen. What do you suppose they meant by ‘Eat cake, indeed’?”

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November 20, 2007

Jim: Taking The Long Way Back

The physics are undeniable, I think while adjusting the dials on my time machine. This machine will carry me back to this precise location in 1894 and the pounds of gold I carry will buy me a lot of fledgling Coca-Cola company stock.

So when I return to 2007, I’ll be fabulously rich!

At the last moment, I see an enormous shooting star: a good omen.

Then I’m gasping for breath, my blood boiling in the vacuum of space. Dying, I realize that Earth won’t be at this spot for another 113 years.

And that the shooting star was me.

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November 21, 2007

Jim: It Was All Those Horns. Yeah, That's The Ticket!

“How dare you ask for overtime pay?” bellowed Paebel, the Public Works Director. “Maintaining the city wall is your part of the war effort. Be glad that I pay you anything at all”

Yassib the Canaanite nodded glumly. “That’s what I told Donatiya,” he replied. “But she says we need more money. Our idols are getting old.”

“And you asked just because your wife told you to? Get out, Yassib. You’re fired!”

Later that afternoon, a drunken Yassib pounded out the wall’s primary keystone. Then, amid the constant blaring of enemy Israelite trumpets, he trudged to his small Jericho home.

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November 23, 2007

Jim: A Hallmark Moment

“This Christmas,
May the presence of kin
Bring you tons of good cheer
And presents of sin
With a lot of cold beer.”

Young Murray looked up from the greeting card and expectantly at his boss.

“Hmmm,” said Snyder. “It’s not really… er… what’s the word?”

“Festive?” offered Murray.

Snyder pondered. “No. The word I’m looking for is ‘good’. It’s not really any good, Murray.”

“That’s not fair,” Murray whined. “Every Christmas poem I can think of has already been written.”

“This is a hard business,” scowled Snyder. “Give me three original poems, though, and I’ll promote you to Get-Well-Soons.”

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November 27, 2007

Jim: Stop Me If You've Heard This One

After performing quick but solemn bows, two servants wrestled a long ladder into the throne room, guided by a third wearing a head servant’s braided jacket. One of the guards set aside his ornate pike and rushed over to help the servants steady the ladder.

Another servant dashed into the room, bowed politely, and scrambled up the ladder. He gently removed the burnt out light bulb and then threaded a new one in its place.

“I counted five Liechs,” the mustachioed foreigner snickered.

The crown prince of Liechtenstein shook his head. He really hated these visits from the Polish ambassador!

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December 7, 2007

Jim: Joe Abroad

Good coffee should be like my ex-boss’ heart: black as the depths of night and bitter as a jilted lover.

My ex-boss is dead now, and there I was, rotting away in a foreign jail, and all I could think about was coffee.

Oh, sure, the prison had tea. All the tea in China, except the prison wasn’t in China and I don’t care for tea.

Those foreigners acquitted me and, as a freed man, I found a little place that served coffee, but they insisted on adding steamed milk to it.

“Oh well,” I sighed, “better latte than never.”

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December 10, 2007

Jim: Who To Call

Ebenezer scowled at the apparition. “There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!” he said, a little louder than was his wont.

On cue, two shafts of twining light spun out from the sitting room’s darkened corners. They wrapped themselves around Jacob Marley’s ghost and deposited the spirit into a box that, save for a blinking red light, may once have held soda crackers.

“That should do it,” Winston said, lifting the smoking box.

Ray and Egon nodded while Peter Venkman added, “There’ll be three more ghosts tonight. Did you want the quantity discount, Mr. Scrooge?”

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December 14, 2007

Jim: Technological Countermeasure

“Don’t we have any watermelon flavored?” Susie whined.

“Use the rest of this bubblegum toothpaste,” her mother replied. “When this is gone you can pick out a new flavor.”

Susie sighed with all the weary exasperation her nine-and-one-half years allowed, squeezed the paste onto her toothbrush, and began scrubbing her teeth. Then she looked away from the mirror and into the sink. “Eeeew, gross!” she mumbled through a mouthful of foam.

Then Susie turned the faucet all the way until, with a squishy slurp, the pressure from water rising in the sink pushed the emerging slime back down the drain.

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December 19, 2007

Jim: The Promised Land

There were a lot of faces in the milling crowd but only one that Jelani recognized. “Bodede, old friend,” he said. “It’s good to see you again.”

“You, too, Jelani,” Bodede smiled, a flash of white teeth. “Did you hear the rumor that we’re going on a sea voyage?”

Jelani nodded. “That’s not a rumor. The Portuguese traders who came to my village told the elders there was plenty of honest work in the lands far across the western ocean.”

“That’s good to know,” Bodede said. “But did those foreigners tell you why they wanted us to wear these chains?”

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