Thursday, April 05, 2007

New Beginning 251

Doug Petrie hated Thursdays.

Every Thursday introduced a problem. Usually it was minor: a flat tire, a power outage, maybe a reprimand from his boss. Occasionally it was major, like getting dumped by his girlfriend. Catastrophes, such as his scholarship revocation, were, thankfully, rare.

He trudged along the sidewalk, his briefcase in one hand and take-out dinner in the other. His dark hair stuck to the nape of his neck, the evening sun beating on him. He tried to ignore the sweat-soaked shirt clinging to his back and chest while trying to forget his day. He succeeded in doing neither.

Three miles ago his car broke down. It didn’t sputter out of gas. There was no chugging, no bucking, unlike the time it caught fire. It simply died, in the middle of an intersection. At rush hour.

While today was not a dismal, hide-and-wonder-why-the-universe-hated-him kind of day, it was firmly in the real problem category. He wiped the sweat from his face -- he thought he must smell like a rhinoceros in heat.

A big U-Haul truck rattled to a stop beside him, showering his loafers with grit. He dropped his take-out into the gutter. The driver shook his straggly blond hair out of his eyes and leaned over. “You need a ride?”

“No, I’m fine. Almost home. Bad day is all.”

“Bummer. TGIF, right?”

“Yeah, except it’s Thursday.”

The truck driver laughed. “No, man. It’s Friday. All day.” He waved and drove off.

Doug thought, Man, Fridays are really bad. He bent over to pick up his dinner. He never even heard the rhino coming up behind him.

Opening: Loose Screw.....Continuation: ril


Anonymous said...

Doug Petrie thinks he has problems? Tell it to Bronk Itis or Pace Maker!

Bernita said...

Would prefer "produced" rather than "introduced."
Most of the "it's hot" description could be included later.
Consider reversing the last two paragraphs and also consider altering the order of all of them.

Anonymous said...

ril is a fucking comic genius!

Anonymous said...

I liked it. A lot. And I would definently keep on reading because it's always fun to read about somebody who has a worse life than your own.

Dave said...

This reminds me of the Olde Philosopher (a commercial on local TV that ran many years ago)

{Cute very sad violin music}
Well Friend,
Has your wife left you over bad breath?
Have your kids run away due to your unshorn underarm hair?
Has your dog died of halitosis?
Did your boss demote you over bad hair?
Is your basement wet?
Has your gerbil suddenly gone bald?
{Cue rapidly manic marching band}
Well friend,
This is your lucky day!
Let our trained workers dry your sorrows and cure that damp basement!
Yessir, give Murrayhill 6, 7095 a ring andMr Peepers will personally come out and give you an estimate. A dry basement is a happy basement.

Jesse said...

Doug Petrie?

AmyB said...

I like the content, but it reads awkwardly at times, like the emphasis is in the wrong places.

For example, in the series in the second paragraph, you are building momentum. "Usually it was minor." "Occasionally it was major." But your final phrase, instead of building on the previous two, doesn't follow the pattern and instead wimps out: "Catastrophes were rare." Consider having that final phrase follow the format of the other two, something like, "Once in a while, it was a catastrophe, like the time..."

Wonderwood said...

As usual, awesome continuation from RIL. Still laughing.

I liked the opening, it sets a definite mood and I'd like to see where it's going. I'd keep reading. Nice job!

Robin S. said...

I really liked this and I'd read more.

I agree that "produced" would be good in place of "introduced". Reads reaally well that way.

Continuation - spot on, as usual!

Anonymous said...

So, EE, did you intentionally hold this Beginning to post on a ... Thursday? You are such a clever boy.

Loose Screw said...

Hello All,

Thank you for the comments - They are appreciated.

To Jesse: I'm still trying to come up with a name for the main character, and I grabbed Mr. Petrie from my Buffy/Angel addiction.

Regarding the first line, I agree, "introduced" is not the best choice. Perhaps "Every Thursday presented a new problem."

Thank you all again!