Friday, April 30, 2010

A story told in six sentences

by Joseph Lupoli

It's a train wreck of a city that's still paralyzed and broken; a fact apparent even after twenty-five-years of being away. As I slowly cruise down Broadway, navigating around potholes, some large enough to swallow a lawnmower, my eyes and nose are suddenly assaulted by the trash-laden landscape.

 It is quite evident, in a surreal sort of way, nothing much has changed in my old home town. Filth and decay encompass everything in sight and yellowed newspapers flutter about in winter's wind like giant urban butterflies with bad eyesight, and the town's stagnation is further emphasized by a mile-long twisted row of busted up cars parked every which way except properly. 

It's plain to see that, even now, the local police department is just a call and response team; no time to enforce little lax laws, like littering, loitering, lap-dancing, lurking, or any other inconsequential L.

And as I pass by a large group of empty-eyed thugs leaning against a fence, some sipping 40 ounce bottles of Old English 800, it then occurs to me: I sure as hell didn't begin martial arts study as a little kid because my step parents thought I looked good in a gi.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A story told in six sentences

by Joseph Lupoli

On the waiting-room rack rests a familiar sea of psych med pamphlets with subliminal cover pictures of various pretty ladies frolicking along woodland trails or strolling golden sand dunes, or standing around laughing it up in delightful sun-drenched outdoor social settings with other pretty ladies and their handsome suiters with airbrushed teeth.
 I reach over and grab a pamphlet featuring a buxom brunette pushing her kid on a swing.

It extoles, in a Robin Leach sort of way, the virtues of Lexapro as the answer for Major Clinical Depression. But Robin fails to include a vital piece of information about Lexapro that I already know: kiss your sex-life goodbye. Even a twenty-five-year-old Sophia Loren wouldn't be able to lap-dance your over-cooked elbow macaroni back to life. 

So, when my shrink appears, interrupting my reverie to announce, "Mr. Lupoli ... please come in," I decide to tell her about last night's dream, the recurring  one.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A story told in six sentences

by Joseph Lupoli

And there I was, minding my own business, strolling to work along a narrow dirt trail in the middle of a large barren field on a suffocatingly humid and eerily quiet morning, when I first heard the angry barking. 

The racket was coming from an empty, dilapidated house about fifty yards away. Well this fucking sucks, I thought, as the biggest and meanest and most muscular Doberman Pincher I ever saw in my life was making a fast beeline right toward me. 

That meant I had about four seconds to forget about why this psychotic wildebeest on steroids wanted to eat me in the first place, and I instead concentrated on its gnashing shark fangs and its cold frenzied eyes glued to my throat, while it sprinted at me with extreme prejudice like Secretariat in a bad mood careening down the backstretch thirty lengths ahead of the field at Churchill Downs. 

I wasn't willing to risk timing a low roundhouse kick to the Doberman's prehistoric head because if I missed, my pivot leg would be instantly devoured. 

So with zero seconds left on the clock, I knelt down really low, stared straight at the ground, and then divine intervention took over, because for some unfathomable reason, Jaws suddenly screeched to a halt and began licking my face and hands while furiously wagging her little nub of a tail.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A true story (not the picture) told in six sentences

by Joseph Lupoli

Before the sun had risen enough to spread its first teasing ray of bitter cold, purple light upon us, I watched the chopper zoom upward from our LZ and quickly spin around and head north, its rope ladders pulled up along the way.

With silence restored, our twelve-man Delta Company platoon unit stood up, brushed off our dark gray field uniforms, and commenced a speed-march south down the thin, knotty trail, moving in string formation so that in the event of a grenade attack not all of us would get killed.

Only hours before, we were briefed on the latest intelligence: a small but heavily armed group of rebels were holed up in the catacombs of a dilapidated soccer stadium, purportedly to launch a raid against government loyalists sometime that day.

Our mission was not to kill the bastards, but to disarm and prep them for evacuation to Interrogation Headquarters.

We stopped within two kilometers to set up surveillance when suddenly a .50 caliber machine gun opened up, scattering us like rats and forcing each man to dive for the nearest available tree wide enough to hide a torso.

And when the first mortar hit, I realized that my tree wasn’t wide enough to protect a hamster, but just as I was about to race toward a bigger tree, the whistle blew—our Advanced Special Forces Combat Training exercise at Fort Benning, Georgia had concluded for the day.

Copyright 2010 Joseph's corner.

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