What’s Comin’ Atcha

by Dan Gutstein


Oh, great. The Extroverts are coming. “The Extroverts are coming.’ They brought their friends, too: some Extra-verts. Now you’ll have to perform the entire suite of difficult handshakes: the clap, the hug, and the snap. With everyone! Here come the two Joes: Slappy Joe and Sloppy Joe. “Where’s Joe?’ someone says. “I dunno,’ says Slappy Joe. “You seen him?’ says Slappy Joe. “Nah,’ says Sloppy Joe. “I ain’t seen him.’ It starts to rain, a sloppy rain. It starts to wind, a slappy wind. We go to the basement, to the Coffers, but discover, much to our chagrin, all the Coughers have been locked in the Coffers. It’s a Coffers fulla Coughers. Boy, are they relieved to see us. A clock that can’t tell time … has a tick disorder.

A bear chases a Russian man up a tree. “Nyet!’ shouts the man, but the bear knows the difference between “Nyet!’ and a Kalashnikov. “Nyet!’ shouts the Russian as the bear climbs the tree. Perchance the bear shall turn on you someday, which is a good reason to avoid Russia, altogether. If you had to choose between the clippiz (sic) and the tweeziz (sic) which would you choose? One will buzz while the other will pluck. When your choices are getting (a) buzzed or (b) plucked–I suppose your choices ain’t half bad. This isn’t what isn’t coming toward you, and by that I mean the bus, the bus isn’t coming toward you, ever, despite the GPS readout, despite the GPS “arriving’ readout, but that’s not what this is all about, no, this isn’t what isn’t coming atcha. The mockingbird swoops, of course, but the raptor is comin’ atcha, too. The gung-ho osprey swoops. It is so gung-ho, this osprey, it has maximum osprey de corps.

Your order arrives. An optimistic helping of waffle with blueberry “compote’ on a big round plate: it arrives. “Compote,’ you think. “Isn’t that a pile of junk in the corner of the garden?’ Huh. Now it’s on your waffle. You sit down and decide to self-radicalize. The time has come. Every other attempt at self-radicalization (blueberry compote, etc.) hasn’t yielded much in the way of radical behavior. You notice a box of inflammatory literature on the front stoop, with a sign that reads, “Free Radical.’ So long as you’re moving forward, the back of your head is–comin’ atcha! Scams and plausible deceptions may appear, but a few good words persevere. If you’re still reading this–and I hope you are–it means that I love you. So? … Make me an offer.