Category: Sunday Stories

By on July 20, 2014

Photo courtesy of Nick Salvatore

The word “bad,” in and of itself, is so subjective, isn’t it? Certainly one could make the case that there’s “bad” and “good” in all of us, but I think that the modern world chooses to look at it this way: to be “bad” is really just to be selfish. Even though the media would have you believe that the whole world is comprised of childless atheists who live in three-story walk ups in northeastern metropolises, in reality, most of America is filled with deity-believing, family-supporting, hard working men and women. These are “good” people. They take care of each other. They act in the interest of the common welfare. I’m glad they exist.

I’m just not one of them.
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By on June 15, 2014

Bentley_Speed_Six_body_by_Hooper

Hooper Bentley image by Anton Van Luijk

“For years I was a Fleetwood man. Loyal. Traded in every year, without question. Always Eldorados.” A man in a dark green jacket and a carefully waxed mustache offered James a small crystal bowl filled with a variety of dark brown cartridges. “I’d be delighted, thanks.” He slid one into his e-cigar with a click and began puffing.

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By on June 1, 2014


After getting lost in the maze of hallways numerous times, I finally found the door I was looking for. I knocked and it swung open sharply. Larry stood there with a devilish grin on his face, the kind he got when he was really proud of something. I could see a still from his work on the enormous screen behind him. A famous actor stood next to a luxury sedan, pointing at it with a smirk. Before I could say anything, Larry grabbed me by my collar and pulled me into his lair.

We sat down amongst the plethora of expensive video editing equipment in the small, dark room. He grabbed the burrito out of my hand and tore into it with ravenous force.

“So what did you bring me here to see? I know it’s gotta be something special. You usually don’t care about commercials.” He gulped down his mouthful of food, then began to explain.

“It’s brilliant. This is, like, the nuclear option of car ads. You know that a lot of luxury cars aren’t made in developed countries anymore?”
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By on May 11, 2014

800px-Catalina_Island,_La_Romana,_Dominican_Republic._A_typical_bungalow_nearby_cost_line,_shaded_with_palm_trees_(1)

Image courtesy of Mstyslav Chernov: http://tinyurl.com/k8atv8o

“Cool photo. Is that your grandpa or something?” Mark pointed to the sun-bleached black and white photo that hung on the wall of the garage. A smiling, grease-stained man in mechanic’s overalls stood proudly in front of a 1950s dirt-track racer. Sitting at his feet was a trophy.

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By on April 27, 2014

30879_b1

(This story is not, strictly speaking, a sequel to Angle Of Slip or The Little Death, but the cast of characters is the same, as is the explicit description of deplorable deeds, done dirt cheap — JB)

“Sir, I’m showing that you, ah, reserved a Kia.”

“I most certainly did not reserve a God-damned Kia.” Two sentences into his Houston race weekend, and Sebastian was already succumbing to the sort of anger that this trip was specifically designed to alleviate. Perhaps it was that moronic phrase, “I’m showing…” that was winding him up. Sebastian wasn’t exactly certain when it had entered the vernacular, but it always meant the same thing: some slack-jawed yokel was simultaneously breathing with his or her mouth open and transferring responsibility for what he or she was about to tell you to the impersonal glow of an antiquated CRT. “You should be showing a Chrysler 300,” he snarled, “or similar.”

“No, I’m afraid I’m showing a Kia.” At this point, he had two options. The first option was to start putting his foot into every and all available ass before him — but, again, the whole idea of doing a racing weekend, his very first at that, was to shed some of the stress that he’d been experiencing. The second option was, therefore, the correct one. Sebastian fixed the smile on his face that he used for dealing with the most obstreperous clients and most despicable proles.

“Well then, my good man, show me the Kia!!”
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By on April 6, 2014

fiero

DETROIT, MI — A spokesperson for Generic Motors confirmed today that the company will be recalling approximately 2.34 million vehicles built between 2008 and 2013 for a defect in which activating the seat heaters can cause a certain chemical reaction in the driver and passenger seats, leading to sudden changes in the foam seat padding and spring structure that can lead to a loss of control.

0. Engineering Division, Generic Motors — “Tell me how this happens again?”
“It’s complicated. Sort of. When you hit the seat heater button twice in a row within a second or so, the controller shorts out and causes the heating element to leak one of the chemicals into the foam. It makes the foam heat to about 500 degrees Celsius, at which point it escapes the seat through, ah, the circular aperture in the spring plate.”

“Which means…”

“Which, ah, means that there’s what you can think of as a hot jet of, well, a plasma kind of foam, almost, that exits in a columnar fashion from the top of the lower seat bolster near where it joins the hinge.”
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By on March 30, 2014

junkyard

By the time Nick picked up 40 West in Nashville, with hours left to go and the setting sun still bright in his eyes, he was reasonably sure that he was going to lie to this woman, that he wouldn’t bother to continue on to Texas with her, that he’d make a clean break, that he would end it. He would end it in Memphis, let it go, sacrifice this woman on the altar of his precious emotional distance. She was expecting him to go to her father’s funeral with her; for some reason she was afraid to go alone, demanded that he support her in this. Insisted that he assist her in turning their casual relationship into the sort of thing in which you attend funerals with the other person, hold them while they vibrate tears out of their shuddering bodies, shake a manly hand with the sweating uncles, purchase and wear a Super 150s suit valued at somewhere north of four thousand dollars and purchase it in black because that’s what you wear to a funeral and nowhere else at all.

By the time he was clear of the city limits and past Jackson, by the time the sun was gone, he was certain.
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By on March 9, 2014

minivans

“Saturday morning, Studly!” Jimmy slurped aggressively from his third cup of coffee. Over his shoulder, past the tall plate glass of the recently remodeled dealership, the sun was just starting to rise. He punched me playfully on the shoulder. “Another chance to make yourself rich and famous.”

Jimmy was one of the more tenured salespeople on my lot. His ever-growing paunch, concealed by the poly blend polo we all had to wear, sagged grotesquely over his belt, severely testing the strength of the waistband of his worn cotton khakis. He had been athletic at some point (or at least the pictures on the wall of his cubicle suggested he had), but now his six-foot three inch frame showed the wear of three years of seventy hour workweeks. Undoubtedly, Jimmy had consumed enough coffee and food from the roach coach to kill normal men.

I had not.
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By on February 9, 2014

LFA2

It happened slowly, and yet, quickly. I had been driving along the same route to the airport that I had driven every Monday morning for the last three years—part of the happy responsibility of traveling for a living. My CFO title had given me the luxury of living anywhere I wanted within reasonable distance of an international airport with daily non-stops to Paris, London, and Berlin, and as such I had picked Atlanta. Decent weather, good nightlife for a single, well-to-do man, and for a lifelong car guy like me, the culture there was phenomenal. Sometimes, I would just sit on the balcony of my condo in Buckhead and watch the spontaneous high line car show that happened every weekend on the streets of the trendy neighborhood. And, when I was inclined so to do, I would call down to the valet staff and have them bring around the trump card—my Lexus LFA.
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By on February 2, 2014

go_kart

“Don’t be ridiculous, young lady. You need something SENSIBLE.” Jamie sat at the kitchen table, her head in her hands. Week 5 of the search for her first car had just dawned, and she was about ready to give in.

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