Thursday, December 27, 2007

Story #35 - Starving

Here's a new one, the last one of 2007. Thanks for staying with it.

***

Starving
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

I went on a hunger strike. Not for any reason, not for any cause, but just to do it, I guess. Hubris, that's what I would say. I stopped eating because I thought I would enjoy it.

I was wrong. It was maybe a day or two before I couldn't move, and so I would just sit on the couch or watch TV and get hungry. I stopped doing anything. I was very tired and very cranky often.

I would just sit there and try not to think about food, which is difficult, because food is so amazing. I mean it really is awesome. You should try it sometime. And every program on TV has some mention of food or of eating that it made me feel even worse.

I couldn't tell when I should break my hunger strike, as I was striking for no reason, but I decided it should be "before I die." So, yeah, I started eating again. But now I appreciate food, even the things that tasted bad. It is a good thing that you can do to yourself. It will be okay, I swear, I will be okay.

***

Happy new year.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Story #34 - Hung Over

Sorry this story is so late, I got caught up with things. And it's going to be short, cause I don't have much to say. Here it is.

***

Hung Over
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

And this morning, I was so hung over, God, it was awful. I had problems in my stomach and my brain. It was like being found at the bottom of the ocean. It was like being stepped on repeatedly by passers-by.

I couldn't get up or even move. I stayed there trying to go back to sleep, thinking that could save me, but I was not allowed to enter.

Here's what I have to say. The land of bad decisions is my favorite place. But sometimes to get there you have to pay a horrible price. This is the way I feel right now. This is the way I feel today.

***

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Story #33 - Cookie, by Ivan Goldensohn

Today we have a new story by Ivan Goldensohn, a writer who goes to Maryland. He is a good man, and is always good to read. He is only the third writer to attempt an LOBD story! Follow his example and submit!

***
Cookie
by Ivan Goldensohn

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

At first all I wanted was a cookie, not just any cookie, but a less then one day old chewy little bit of deliciousness sitting in a glass jar on top of the fridge. Granted I am only about five foot five, the fridge is a serious obstacle.
In order to get the cookie I opened the fridge door, and started to climb. My foot found a hold on a large jar of grey poupon and I reached up, grabbing the top of the fridge. I pulled my foot and placed it between a bottle of Tabasco and some unidentified leftover, and reached for the cookies, but the shelf I was standing on collapsed, causing me to fall, grasping at the cookies but only knocking them further away, and making half of the things in the door of the fridge fall and shatter on the ground. Luckily, I caught myself with my non-cookie grabbing hand on the top of the fridge, and this was how I found myself hanging from the top of the fridge above a colorful mess of condiments and broken glass, reds and yellows and blacks curdling together on the floor. As I am already this far, and my back route is blocked by the condiments avalanche, my only option is up, fortunately the same direction as the cookie. I try the next shelf up, and manage to get up higher before this shelf also collapses. There two shelves left, so I have to be careful with them, they may be my only chance for that cookie. I push up on the second to last shelf, pushing myself up and lunging for the cookie, but the smooth glass slides away from my hand and falls off the back of the fridge, disappearing from sight.

With great effort I swing my leg up over the top of the open fridge door, at this point my tummy is freezing, and hoist myself up completely onto the top of the fridge. Looking over the back edge of the fridge into the dusty darkness i can see the cookie jar wedged between the fridge coils and the wall about halfway down. I can't reach it with my arms, so I start to lean down the gap, sticking my head and upper body awkwardly down and trying to reach the cookie-jar, but its too far. I push myself further, straining against the fridge in order to make room for my body, but the fridge is solid and wont move. Using my knees and palms and heave back and the fridge leans, and then tips, and finally crashes to the floor, with me clinging to coils on its toppling back, watching the cookie-jar, now freed, falling as i watch helplessly to crash on the filthy ground, three lonely cookies, freed from their prison falling outwards and landing in the dirt, at the same time that the fridge crashes resoundingly onto the floor, and I with it.

Laying like a wounded soldier on the field of battle, atop my well insulated altar, surrounding by multicolored offerings, I pull myself to the edge, reach down, and pull a hapless cookie from a pile of blackish dust bunnies, and take a bite.

***

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Story #32 - Broken Glass

Sorry this one's so late. Hope you enjoy.

***
Broken Glass
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

At a bar, I accidentally dropped a glass that was in my hand. Beer and glass shards spilled out onto the floor. This was an accident.

The bad decision is when I tried to do it every night from then on.

Not always at a bar, though. In my house, I would just take a glass from the cupboard and smash it on the floor. At restaurants I would casually knock it over, just blaming it on my clumsiness. I was having a ball.

I've kept my streak up, too. It's been 21 days so far. I'm pretty sure that I could do this thing for the rest of my life.

It's an expensive habit, though, to tell you the truth. I always have to buy new glassware, just so I can destroy it, or eat out at different restaurants - I can't do it at the same restaurant for so long, or they begin to get suspicious. So I really have to work hard at my job, try to get a raise.

This is now my motivation. You know, this bad decision might be the best decision I ever made.

***

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Story #31 - Coffee

And now, a pleasing work of fiction to divert you for several seconds today.

***

Coffee
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

Here's what I did. I brewed up a nice pot of coffee, real fancy stuff. Then I took the pot out of the coffee maker and walked outside. It was a cold day, and I made sure that I had gloves on. I walked all the way down to the block to the nearby convenience store. I said hello to the cashier, then reared back and threw the contents of the pot into his face. Then I walked out.

It wasn't that bad of a bad decision, really, cause I got what I wanted. That man needed to understand what a proper coffee is supposed to taste like.

I hate convenience stores.

***

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Story #30 - Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, folks. Here's a story for this occasion.

***
Thanksgiving
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

Here's my plan for Thanksgiving: instead of having one of my own, I'm just going to crash other peoples'. Why can't Thanksgiving be a time for strangers to come into your house and take your shit?

It started good the first couple of houses. It's surprising how many people don't lock their doors today.

What I do is, usually, walk in to the house, say "Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Be thankful!" or something like that, grab a turkey leg, and then walk out. Then I run to the next house.

I got a good haul in the beginning - turkey legs, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and so on. All the fun of Thanksgiving without having to pay for it.

Of course, eventually I passed out on some one's lawn from eating and running so much, and someone came by and hit me with a plank of wood a couple of times. And yeah, it's "illegal" or whatever. But I think it just might have been my best Thanksgiving that I can remember.

***

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Story #29 - Thumb Tack

Sorry this one is late, I was busy today. Here you go.

***

Thumb Tack
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

I put a thumb tack in the middle of the road, thinking that if a car drove over it the tire would explode or something. Well, it turns out that tires don't do that anymore, they can just roll right over the thing and it would be fine.

I was upset. So I got a knife and I just started slashing tires all over town. Now that was fun. I just bounded down the streets, running from side to side, cutting open the tires and hearing the sound escape.

I got to my own car and I slashed its tires, one two three four. Then I thought, well, what the hell, and I got in my car and turned it on.

It's very difficult to drive with no tires. Hearing the thunk-thunk-thunk while you're driving down the road. I didn't get very far, no. I ended up just a couple of feet from where I was when I decided to stop. Yes, I left my car in the middle of the road.

I started to feel bad - for myself, and for all the people whose tires I cut. We'd all have to buy replacements now, and we wouldn't be able to drive ourselves to do it.

I threw my knife away (on the ground) and kept walking. Well, maybe one day things will turn out allright.

***

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Story #28 - Haystack Cookies, by Annalee Flower Horne

Today brings another story from Annalee Flower Horne. She has written a different story for LOBD before. This story, she says, is a true story.

***

Haystack Cookies
by Annalee Flower Horne

I wanted to live in the Land of Bad Decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

You know what's really tasty? Haystack cookies. Peanut butter, butterscotch, chow mien noodles and peanuts-- a longstanding family tradition of hallowe'en deliciousness.

So when my mom sent me the recipe a few days ago, of course I went crazy with it. I rode to the cheap grocery store across town and dropped a weeks' worth of grocery money on cookie supplies. I had so much stuff, I had trouble fitting it all in my backpack. I had to strap some of it down to my motorcycle for the ride home.

I figured three batches would do it. Halfway through batch two, I realized that this may have been overkill. Haystack cookie batches are huge. But there was no turning back. I just kept piling them up, one layer of waxed paper over another.

I've shared them. I've arranged little gift-plates of them for favorite professors and staff. I've invited friends to come and partake of the peanut-butter-scotchy goodness. I've left strategic caches of them in friends' rooms.

But mostly, I've eaten them. I snacked on them while handing out candy to the kiddies. I used them to fuel my I-Law exam all-nighter. Today, I skipped my cafeteria meals and just ate haystack cookies instead.

I skipped swim class today--because, you know, when you've been eating nothing but cookies all day, it's probably better to stay out of the pool--and kind of fell asleep at 4:30 in the afternoon. So when I woke up (at 9:20 pm), what's the first thing I did? Poured myself a glass of milk and ate two more cookies.

I'm almost out, now. I've got a few more gift-plates that are Not For Me, and four more cookies, and then it's back to real food and regular meals. Maybe my friends have a few cookies left upstairs.

Boy howdy am I going to need to detox this weekend, but I'm not sorry. It's delicious here in the Land of Bad Decisions.

***

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Story #27 - Tigers

***
Tigers
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

At the zoo I didn't even bother with the warning signs, I just walked right up and over the fence and fell into the tiger pit. "What's up!" I said. "What it is!" I was so tired of just watching them sleep, watching them do nothing. I wanted to see something different.

Tigers are much bigger up close. One of them finally got up, yawned, and looked over at me. "Hello!" I said. Yes, by this time some zookeepers were upset, and they sere trying to get me out. But I wasn't done yet.

I saw the tiger get up and move towards me. I was not scared. I was not even drunk. I started to run around.

Tigers are very fast moving animals.

Oh, but those fucking zookeepers, they grabbed me and pulled me out of the tiger pit. Party poopers. But at least I got the tiger to bite part of my foot off. That was awesome.

***

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Story #26 - Cotton

***
Cotton
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

I wanted to know, how could I ruin my life using only cotton? I had to think hard about this one.

Eventually I bought a bag of cotton balls and started throwing them at people, one by one. These did little to no damage. "Stop that," they'd say, or "What?" So I had to stop.

But I noticed that all the cotton had collected on a pile on the floor. This gave me a good idea.

I bought some cotton shirts, cotton tips, even just raw cotton itself. I put them in the middle of the street with the other cotton balls. People tripped over them. It was great. Now I had my own army, my own massive force I could use to disrupt people.

I can't move it. I have to stay here, night and day, to make sure that no one tries to take it. Oh, God help you if you try to take it.

The city council is trying to force me to move. Ha! Let them. It will be futile, anyway. I now exist outside the laws of man. I'm just going to stay here. I'm just going to stay here.

***

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Story #25 - Doing Nothing

This one is for my friend in Indiana.

***
Doing Nothing
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

I thought, what is the point of going outside and doing anything? There was nothing that I couldn't do from my home. So I bought World Of Warcraft and I decided not do anything else but play it and sleep.

My former friends were upset, they said, that I never left the house, but, if they can't understand why I wanted to do this, then I guess they were never really my friends.

It's great. I get all my food ordered and delivered to me. I keep my own sleep schedule, it doesn't even matter. Sometimes I don't even wear clothes.

I don't miss the outside world. There wasn't much there anyway. What, buildings? Trees? Some mountains? I don't need those. There are pictures of those online anyway.

I am self-sufficient. I provide for myself. I make my own money - through Warcraft, but also I found you can take these surveys online and they pay you for it. I am thinking of venturing into other schemes as well. But other than that, I am content.

I do not need anything, nothing, not ever again.

***

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

LOBD on WMUC!

The Land of Bad Decisions was featured on WMUC Radio yesterday morning, on the show "Hobo's Lullaby." WMUC is the college radio station of the University of Maryland.

Hosts Jenna Brager and Carter Thomas read this story on the air. Their show is awesome, by the way. They have a website for it here.

The audio for the show is here, but the link is only good for a week. The story is read at around the 3/4 mark.

When the regular podcast gets put online I'll link to it.

New story this Thursday. Thanks for reading.


UPDATE: Here is the permanent link to the show.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Story #24 - Ruining a Sport

***

Ruining a Sport
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

I was at a soccer match and pretty much I jumped down onto the field and started running. They didn't notice me at first; I mean, the security guys did, but the players themselves didn't.

So I ran out onto the field. Right in the middle of the match too. It was scoreless, though, so far, so I didn't feel like it was that big of a deal. I ran right to where the soccer ball was. The defender, of course, was very good at his job and kept the ball from me. But I just ran straight into him and knocked him down.

Oh, everyone was trying to get me right then. I kicked around the ball, trying to go towards the goal, until I remembered that I wasn't very good at soccer, not really.

So I picked it up. I picked it up with my hands, and I yelled out, "Fuck your sport! Fuck your goalie! I can do what I want!" And I started to run with the ball, towards the goal.

And then they clotheslined me. I'm not sure who did it. But it happened, and now I am banned from all soccer matches in all the world, forever.

Apparently you can't do that, you can't do the things that I have done.

***

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Story #23 - Killing a Sidewalk

This blog is steadily growing in readers, so I wanted to say: Hello!

And I wanted to remind everyone that what I wanted to do with this blog was to collect stories, to see what other people's responses would be to this one idea. I don't mind providing a new story every week, but I really was hoping that eventually people would start writing stories/poems of their own. So what I'm saying is: please send me a submission. It's not that difficult. I'd really like to hear what you have to say.

That being said, here's this week's story:

***
Killing a Sidewalk
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

I tripped on the sidewalk, and immediately my thoughts turned to revenge. This sort of thing could not stand. So I turned all my attention to how best to kill a sidewalk.

I bought some chalk and wrote "I SUCK" and "I AM TERRIBLE" and "STUPID" and "ASSFACE" on it. Wouldn't you know, people thought I was talking about myself. And the rain came and washed it away anyhow.

So in the middle of the night I got out of bed and went to the sidewalk and just sat there and took a huge dump, right there, right on the sidewalk. It was still there the next day. That would show it, I thought. But I knew that it wouldn't last forever.

Finally I realized that to end it once and for all, I would need to steal a jackhammer. You'd be surprised how unlocked some public works facilities' doors are. I had the good sense to borrow a hard hat and some earphones, too.

"Fuck you!" I said as I started the jackhammer. Yes, but I had never used one before and didn't know how to. And maybe I messed some things up. And maybe I broke a water main and caused some complaints. But that sidewalk was completely fucked up beyond repair after I got done with it.

Now the city council wants to repair it, of course, and they want to throw me in jail for several reasons. But I am not going to let that sidewalk get the better of me.

Fucking asshole.

***

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Story #22 - Stealing Shit

***
Stealing Shit
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

I woke up, and, fuck, I just had this urge to steal as many things as I could. I can't tell you where it came from. It just happened.

So I walk out of my place and down to the curb and there's this bicycle there, and it's just right there, and so I got some wire cutters and got the lock off and just rode it all around the city, feeling great. I rode it to a convenience store and I took a bunch of things off the shelves, just anything I could find, and I ran out with it.

I saw this old beat up car in the parking lot, and I felt like if I took off with it I'd be doing the owner a favor. It was so easy to break into. I turned it on, put on some music, and drove away.

I went to a grocery store; I felt like I need some food. I got one of those brown paper bags and filled it up with pop-tarts, potato chips, soda, olives, frosting, tiny cereals, interesting bread, and fancy cheeses. Then I went through the self-checkout aisle, only I neglected to self-checkout.

By the time I got into my car and left, the thrill of stealing things was gone. I went back to my place and went to sleep. When I woke up I marveled over everything that I had stolen, and I thought to myself, this was a good day.

The only thing is I might have to lay low, because on the news tonight there was some security camera footage and you could clearly see me, grabbing at everything I could, grinning all the time.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Story #21 - Insulting Cats

***
Insulting Cats
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

I was walking on the sidewalk when I saw a cat. It was ugly. It was not the kind of cat that you would stop and pet if you saw it on the sidewalk. So I walked right past it.

Then, for some reason, I decided to turn around and say, "Hey, cat! You're ugly! And stupid! I bet you have no cat friends and your owner won't even give you any milk! Ha ha ha!" Then I turned back around and walked off.

I looked behind me and saw the cat staring at me. I turned the corner and started walking around the block when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I turned and saw that there was a cat running and it joined up with the first cat, who was following me. This second cat, too, was ugly.

Well, I had already come this far, I thought. "Hey other cat!" I said. "You look worse than that first cat! Ha!" And I turned around and kept walking.

I hadn't walked for five minutes when I saw there were now ten cats, all walking in-step with each other, staring straight at me. "Man," I yelled, "it's like an ugly cat convention! You ought to have rented out city hall!"

Then something happened that I had never seen before. Out of every house, out from every tree, out from the bushes and underneath lawns and cars, out of every single hiding place came an ugly cat. There had to be more than one hundred there.

I was surrounded. There were cats on every side of me, just waiting. So I said, "You all have to be the ugliest cats I have ever seen!"

They descended upon me like pigeons on bread.

***

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Story #20 - Stolen Television

Twenty stories is a lot of stories. For those of you who are just joining us, I run this website that posts a new story every Thursday, and I am looking for submissions, so email me your stories or poems or whatever.

***

Stolen Television
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

I stole a TV from a department store. It was so easy. I just picked it up, carried it out, and ran. I made sure I went on a very busy day, so that I would get lost in the crowd. I thought that no one had seen me.

I put it in my house and enjoyed all my new found television success. But I could only get broadcast channels, because I didn't want to pay for cable. So I was distraught for a while.

In time I was working on a way to try to get cable, involving much plans and blueprints and other drawings, when there was a knock on the door. I opened it to find men from the department store, holding baseball bats, asking me where the TV was.

It turned out that on their inventory they did notice that a TV was missing, and someone got out the security footage, and that the TV itself actually had a tracking device on it. Who knew, right?

They beat the shit out of me, they put me in an interrogation room and hooked me up to several devices, they kept saying things like "no one can help you now" and "you are the lowest form of scum." I thought it was a bit excessive.

Long story short, I don't have a TV or cable now anymore, but I do have many, many bruises and scars.

***

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Story #19 - Live Animals

Not sure why a lot of my stories focus on eating. I'm not that good at describing it. Oh well.

***

Live Animals
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

I wanted to eat a live animal. I was watching TV and they had this guy who ate the beating heart of a frog. "Not bad," was all he said. He didn't bother to say what it was like. I thought it was rude.

So I thought, I'll one-up this guy. I'll get a camera, eat an animal, put it on YouTube and get one million hits. It was perfect.

I started small, with a mouse. The guy at the pet store looked at me funny when I wasn't interested in any pellets or water or shavings. I set up my camera on a table at home and turned it on. "Okay," I said. "I am going to eat a mouse!"

I picked the mouse up in my hands and stared at it in the eye. "Sorry," I said. I put it in my mouth.

Well, I didn't end up eating it. I spit it out almost immediately. "Jesus fucking Christ!" I said. "That tastes awful!" I realized that I had no idea where the mouse had been. I felt sorry for what I had done.

At first I thought I wouldn't put the video on YouTube, but then I thought, if you're going to make a bad decision, you have to air it out publicly, for everyone to see. How else will anybody know?

So far I've only gotten five viewings.

***

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Story #18 - Swearing Contest

***

Swearing Contest
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

"Shit," I said to myself, "fuck." I decided that those words were all that I would say. I went to my neighbor and I said "fuck!" She just turned away. At work I said shit and fuck to my bosses and my co-workers. They were not impressed.

"I can say fuck more times than you can," said my boss.

"Like fuck you can," I said.

So we both stood up. Someone got a stop watch out. "Ready?" they said. "Go!"

"Fuck!" I said. "Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!" And so on and so on. I was getting creative with it, making up crazy rhythms, slapping my knee to keep time. At the end of thirty seconds I had said fuck 125 times.

"Not bad," said my boss. "Not too bad, anyway."

"All right, go!" they said to my boss, and he took off. It was like watching the space shuttle launching, but not on TV, like you are right next to it and your ears will never work again. The thing is, although he was saying "fuck" so fast, you could clearly make out every word, every syllable.

When time was called, he had said fuck 986 times.

"Shit," I said.

"By the way, you're fired," he said.

So now I don't have a job per se, and he and I got sued for harassment, which is bullshit and I will fight it. But I'm concerned about what will happen when I apply for a new job, and I give them my boss' number as a reference.

***

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Story #17 - Foreign Lands

***

Foreign Lands
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

I went off to foreign lands for a vacation, mostly around Europe. Every new country is a new opportunity to make a bad decision. You don't know anybody there, and sometimes you don't even know the language. What are they going to do, deport you? And even if they do, you were going back home anyway.

I was arrested after a soccer riot in Spain. They found many, many drugs on me. I am not ashamed.

In France I attempted to beat a man up, but this proved to be difficult. I didn't go to a hospital. I take pride in that.

I tried to have an affair in Luxembourg, but the language barrier kept getting in the way. I don't even know what they speak in Luxembourg.

In Switzerland I ate as much chocolate as I could, as fast as I could. I had to go to the hospital for that one.

Finally in England I wore a shirt that said "AMERICA" in big letters and had a big flag on it and went into the seediest bars I could find. I don't really want to talk about it right now.

I returned home satisfied that Europe was okay and the land of bad decisions is indeed an international place. It has no borders. It is inside all of us.

***

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Story #16 - Unkind To A Dog

Here is this week's story. I like this one. Please enjoy.

***

Unkind to a Dog
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

I was unkind to a dog. When it wanted food I would not give it much. I would be cross and moody whenever we went for walks. I refused to pick up after it. If it barked at me I would just tell it to shut up. I hate leashes. I don't like other dog owners, either. Basically, the dog and I didn't get along.

The dog is passive-aggressive. When it wants something it will act like it doesn't. He'll go to the door and just wait there and look at me. He has this unblinking stare that dogs shouldn't have. He can stop his tail from moving at all. It's uncanny.

I realized that we weren't getting on together, so I decided I had to get rid of him. I also decided I should do it illegally. I went to an alley somewhere in town, put it there, and then left. It was no good because he followed me home. I should have run faster.

I was thinking of putting him in the car and driving out to a field and letting him go there, but whenever I put him in the car he gets sick. I didn't want to clean up dog vomit as a parting gift.

So one night I waited until it was dark, crept up to him, grabbed him and put him outside. He was upset. I figured the best way to make him unwelcome is never to let him in again. Of course this comes with problems, such as I have to be extra careful when I go outside lest he should get in sometime. I am also worried that he could be digging.

I think my best option at this point is to get some dog food and put it in a far away location so that he will be attracted to it. If I get enough food he probably will not need to return. I have enough going on in my life that I don't need a dog to give me trouble.

***

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Story #15 - Chicken Fight

Here is a story that does not have anything to do with food.

***

Chicken Fight
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

I was drunk and I found myself in the middle of a farm. I thought I knew what I was doing. There were some free-range chickens just in the field, walking around. I had never seen a chicken before that wasn't breaded or grilled. These were real and in front of me.

I wanted to make them fight each other. First I tried running around them to get them into a circle, but I realized that wouldn't work. A fight would have to spring naturally from a conflict. I saw a chicken by itself, looking tough. I walked over to it, got real close and said, "That chicken over there? Says you're an idiot."

It pecked me in the face. It must have known that the chicken I was talking about was actually okay.

So I walked over to another chicken and grabbed it, and held it up. It started making chicken noises. I threw it at a pile of chickens.

And sure enough, these chickens started brawling. Oh, it was everywhere. These chickens were rough with each other, they did not hold anything back. A lot of chickens were stumbling out with broken limbs. Feathers were lost.

After a while I started to run away. I think they must have recognized that I had caused this, because I thought I saw them coming after me. I managed to escape safely, though.

Now whenever I go to KFC I wonder if those chickens still have the fighting spirit within them. If I could find the farm again, I'd want to go back. Of course they might have good memories, though. That's the problem with some of the things I do - once you do something, you're not welcome back there ever again.

***

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Story #14 - Expired Food

Here is a new story for you on this nice Thursday.

***

Expired Food
by Dan Schwartz

I was looking in my refrigerator when I noticed that a lot of the food had tiny dates printed on them, and a lot of the dates corresponded to a few months ago. The milk felt solid. I opened it up and poured myself a glass and drank it. I spat it out immediately. Then I thought, if I'm going to do this, then I have to do this right.

I ate some stale cereal. I found some raw meat, and at first I thought I was going to cook it, but then I couldn't decide. I saved it for later.

There was some brown salsa, I think it might have been guacamole once.

Some cheese I could not even cut with a knife. I had no choice but to eat it whole.

Coming back to the meat, the ground beef, I decided that raw was the only way to go. I've already made this many bad decisions, why not make another one?

I should point out here that none of this tasted very good.

Anyway. I finished it all off with a glass of water and took a walk. I didn't get very far, and decided that perhaps a hospital is needed. Still, though, I finally can say that I've done it, because I never thought that I would get the chance to.

***

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Story # 13 - Fire

Lucky number thirteen. Sorry this one is so late.

***

Fire
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

I lit a fire. In a bookstore. Oh, you're not going to like me for this one. Don't get me wrong, I love books, I like books. But I just had the sudden idea, and I was in the middle of the non-fiction section, and I couldn't wait. So I took out my matches and I lit a book about politics in Malaysia from 1800-1845.

I thought that would be it, really. I would put it on the ground, let it burn for a while, and leave. Well, the flames spread to another book, and then another, and, well, you can tell what happened next.

Luckily no one was hurt. Everyone escaped the bookstore in time. And the sprinklers came on, too, so all the books that weren't burned were soaked instead.

I really didn't think it would get out of hand. Of course, now I am banned from all bookstores, and libraries, universities, and most public parks. I'm an "arsonist," they say. Yeah, right. I just wanted to start one small fire! Is that so bad? It wasn't supposed to get out of control. I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

Or, you know what? I have no regrets. Yeah, that's how it should be.

***

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Story #12 - Pulled Over

This story is based on something that happened over the weekend, though luckily it didn't go like this. Maybe that's one of the good things about writing these stories - we can see what could have happened, and remember not to do that.

***

Pulled Over
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

I was doing 95 when I saw the flashing lights of a police car ahead, all white and red and blue, and I slowed down and moved to the side of the road. I got my registration out from the glove compartment and waited as the cop walked over to my driver's side window. I rolled it down as he shined a light in my face.

"State trooper, can I see your license?" he said. I handed them to him. He looked them over, unhappily.

"Do you know how fast you were doing?" he said. The voice was like that of your least favorite uncle, disappointed again.

"70?" I say. Five miles over the speed limit doesn't seem too bad.

"97," he says. "In a 65 area. What are you going so fast for?" He did not really care about the answer, so I didn't either.

He went back to his car to take down my information. That's when I decided, fuck it. Who gives a good damn.

I opened the door and stepped out of my vehicle. I started to walk away. "Sir!" he said, going for his gun. "Get back in the car!"

"Fuck it," I said. "Take the car, go and impound it. And fuck you and your fucking shit, too." I turned and headed down the road.

It was a cool night and I didn't know what I should do. I thought I should try hitchhiking, maybe, or, hey, just walking back on my own, even though it would take another hour. Then the cop came up from behind me and pinned me to the ground, putting his knee directly above my heart and tying my hands behind my back. "Asshole," I tried to say, though the breath had literally been knocked out of me. "Way to fuck up a good evening."

***

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Story #11 - Broken Bottle

***

Broken Bottle
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

In the middle of a bar, I decided that I wanted to start a fight. So I took the beer bottle I had in my hand and smashed it against the bar, and waved it around at people, yelling, "You wanna go? You wanna go?" (What I didn't know was that I had smashed it wrong, and parts of the bottle cut through my arm.)

The problem was that nobody had even done anything to me. I just was starting shit for no reason. So when everybody realized that they had no idea who I was, and that I was being an asshole, everybody started rushing the bar. Suddenly I was on the floor, being trampled upon, being kicked, having more bottles thrown at me. Eventually the bartender, though on their side, told them to leave me alone. I stumbled up and the bartender literally threw me out.

In the hospital I was told that I had lost a lot of blood. When I got out, I bought a lot of beer and practiced smashing them at home, so that I would be ready that time. It took a few more trips to the hospital, but I think I finally got it right. I am trying to be an expert. They ought to have bar fight competitions, televised all over and as popular as NASCAR. People should place their bets on me. I'm slow, but I'm learning at it. I am getting ready.

***

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Story #10 - Red Line, by Annalee Flower Horne

Today, I present the first story on LOBD not written by myself! Yes, Annalee Flower Horne has submitted a story for your enjoyment. It's a good one, too. Annalee is a talented writer who you should know and revere. Temples are being set up as we speak. She has her own website and livejournal. She is even going to set up an LJ feed for this very blog. Remember: Annalee is GOOD AT EVERYTHING.

And now, her story.

***

Red Line
by Annalee Flower Horne

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

So I jumped in front of a train.

It didn't kill me.

Which is good, I suppose, because I didn't want to die. I just wanted to jump. I wanted that moment-- that rush of air; that collective gasp from the crowd on the platform; that train's eye view of the tunnel-- that comes between the red hexagonal tiles and the impact.

So I jumped in front of a train.

I don't remember much anymore, but I do remember that moment. I return to it sometimes when I'm drifting off to sleep. I'll probably spend the rest of my life hearing the echo of that perfect, noisy silence.

It didn't kill me, but I lost three months. I didn't recognize the people in my room when I woke up (the nurses called them; something to do with my vitals improving). I knew I should recognize them. I knew they recognized me. I knew they loved me. They'd spent three months holding their breath for me; waiting. And they looked so familiar. Familiar strangers.

I know they were disappointed. Three months of waiting for a stranger to wake up. A stranger who looks the same, and sounds the same, and even likes most of the same things and gets on with most of the same people. But a stranger all the same. They were waiting for someone else-- someone who never got off of that train. I know I'd be disappointed.

I think perhaps I was disappointed before all of this. I think I was disappointed in the way things had turned out. The rat race... the salt mines... whatever we're calling it these days.

So I jumped in front of a train.

Maybe it did kill me. And maybe I was born.

***

Story #9 - Three Cents

First new story of July. Much like a volcano, I'm still excited. Happy 4th of July, by the way.

***

Three Cents
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

And one bad decision begets another. Just yesterday I was at the grocery store when, getting my change back, I noticed that the cashier had given me an extra three cents. I could have said something, but I didn't. I took my things and I left the store.

I used my three cents to buy booze. And yes, I know what you're thinking: three cents is not enough to buy any worthwhile alcoholic beverage. And I would agree with you -- but if you take out the word worthwhile, then all sorts of possibilities open up.

In a matter of minutes I was stumbling along the sidewalk, unable to keep my balance. I fell down. Since it was still the middle of the afternoon, people were walking over me, not stopping to look down. I took a nap. When I woke up, many hours later, my head hurt and my pants had been taken. I got up and I walked back to my place.

I took a shower and cleaned myself up. It was the middle of the night now, but I wasn't tired. I stayed up, watched TV, and thought about what I was going to do tomorrow.

***

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Story #8 - Hoarding Soap

Kind of strange today, please do not mind. And please write a better story than me and send it to me.

***

Hoarding Soap
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

In the shower, I held the bar of soap in my hand and slowly turned it around and around in my fingers, feeling the ivory or whatever sliding between my fingers, and I knew that this is what my life should be made of. So I went to the grocery store after I got dressed and bought every pack of soap that they had. After that, I went to the next grocery store and I did the same thing.

I kept the the bars in the bathroom, but eventually I just started throwing them anywhere I could. Over the bedroom, around the TV, under the sink, in the basement. People wouldn't come over any more because there was no place to sit. When I went out anywhere I'd always carry two bars of soap with me, just in case.

I never opened the boxes, oh no. I just liked having them there. Someone suggested the term security blanket, well, I don't know. Maybe. It was a comfort, I'll say that.

Then one night the water pipes in my house broke and the place became flooded, and the next thing I knew I was riding a wave of soap water, of discharge. I grabbed what I could and floated away. It's all gone, now. And so am I. Once you've gone somewhere like that, you can't go back. Nothing else comes close.

***

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Story #7 - Robbing a Bank

Here's another story, sorry if it is late. Please remember to send submissions of your own!

***

Robbing a Bank
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

I was just going to deposit my check like a regular person, just do everything normal, when suddenly on the back of the slip I wrote a little note. Just to tell the teller how I felt. I got in line and waited. If it had been a minute more I might have turned around.

I got to the window and handed the slip. I had written,

Dear Teller,

This is a robbery. I have a gun. Please put in an envelope as much money as you can. I am serious.

Signed,

(But I didn't sign it at the end.)

The teller looked at me for a minute. Then she said, "Can I see it?"

"What?" I said.

"Your gun. I want to see it."

"Uh--"

"Right. One moment, sir." She must have hit an alarm or something, because next thing I know I'm on the floor.

They were lenient with me because I they said I was the stupidest person they had ever met, but I still had to do some jail time. Jail, to me, is not the land of bad decisions. For some it's a stop along the way. For others it's what happens when you've just missed it. The exit after the one you wanted.

I cannot wait to get out.

***

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Story #6 - Mexico

Another story from me this week, a little different though.

***

Mexico
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

Except sometimes you don't realize that something is a bad decision until after it happens. You can feel it running through you. Like hearing a rolling thunder and then still jumping at the flash of lightning. You know something is coming.

For example, I took a vacation to Mexico. I had most of it planned out. Then I thought I would deviate a little, and I went to a place I had never heard of, just to see what was there.

Now that I am in jail I have a lot of time to think about how it started. Bad decisions beget bad decisions, one leads to another. But thinking like this is problematic. Killing him was a bad decision, yes. But if I want to know where it started, how far back would I go? As far back as leaving my vacation plan? Or even coming to Mexico in the first place? Or even further, such as being born?

But I can't think like that, because thinking like that means that everything was in place before I arrived, and that it isn't my fault. And I know that it is my fault, and I will take responsibility. I know I made a bad decision, but I just wish I knew what the first one was.

***

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Story #5 - Breaking Up

Another story for you all. Please remember to submit!

***

Breaking Up
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

When Jenny came over I said to her, "I'm seeing your mother."

"Oh, when?" she said. I didn't say anything. Her smile dropped. "Wait, what?" I repeated myself. She stared at me, the way someone stares out of an airplane window. "Hold on," she said. "Hold on. No. You can't be serious."

"Remember that weekend that you went away with your friends?" I said. "Well, I went over to your parents' house, and, well."

She hit me on the cheek. It turned red. "Sorry," I said.

"No you're not!" she yelled. She hit me again. She stood up, almost knocking her chair over. When she turned around I started laughing. "What in fuck is so funny?" she said, putting a full stop after each word.

"I really had you going there for a minute. Man. It's just too easy," I said.

Long story short, we're not really talking to each other anymore.

***

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Story #4 - No Phone

Here's a new story. Remember, stories can be fictional or non-fictional. This one is fictional. Please, send some stories! It's not supposed to be just me here, I wanted there to be a community of sorts. But oh well! Here it is.

***

No Phone
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

Without thinking I picked up my telephone and threw it out the second-story window. I stopped. I stood there, and I couldn't even hear it smash as it hit the ground. When I looked over the edge of the window I saw it in tiny pieces, next to some birds. There was an orange cat out there as well, surprised, but ready to continue.

Someone tried to call me after that, but I didn't hear it. I was in my bed, asleep. Now if people want to contact me they have to write me a letter. I don't mind costing people postage. I'm wondering what would happen if I changed my address without telling anyone. Could they find me then? How far does information travel?

I don't know why I want to do this. I don't mind people. Hell, I like people. I think it's just that I want to know certain things. I want the knowledge that only comes from being at a disadvantage. Is that wrong? I'd like to see what it would be like.

I don't believe that everything happens for a reason.

***

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Story #3 - Cheese Grater

Here's what's up: I'm going to try to post a new story here every Thursday. If I get more submissions, of course, I'll post more often, but you will get one new story from me every week.

So here's this week's one:

***

Cheese Grater
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

I was grating Parmesan cheese the other day, to make a salad, when I thought to myself, what else can I grate with this? So I took a knife and I used my grater and I grated it. The knife was in very small pieces.

Feeling good, I turned the cheese grater on to everything in the house. My toaster is now like a pile of ashes. I started with metal things, then went on to fruits, vegetables, meats, yogurt, jars of pickles, and anything else I could find in the fridge. I went upstairs and grated everything in the bathroom, then I went to my room and grated my walls, my posters, my boxes of things. I tried grating the cat but she got upset, and scratched me, and I respected that, so I left her alone.

Eventually I went outside and started using the grater on the walls itself. It cut through the bricks. Eventually part of the house fell down around me, and I feared I was trapped. But, I just grated my way out.

Now me and my cheese grater travel around the earth, looking for things to grate. It is amazing how satisfied I feel. You don't even know. It's a feeling that I don't think I can describe. It's knowing that you can do anything, knowing that you have a purpose in this world, that you are good for at least one thing. I think that's what it's like.

***

Friday, May 18, 2007

Story #2 - Trash Can

Here's the second story. Why don't you submit a story as well? It is easy to do. I am writing these stories but you do not need to follow my examples! Only the rules. So, with that in mind:

***

Trash Can
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

Walking down the street I saw a trash can on the corner. It was nearly full. Without thinking I ran up to it and pushed it over, spilling all of its contents out onto the sidewalk. There were people around who gave me strange looks, but I didn't mind. All of this garbage was just on the floor, old kleenexes, soda cans, McDonalds bags, a few pens, and what appeared to be a dead animal.

Then I started dancing around it, sure in my joy, screaming things out loud. I took some of the garbage and I put it on myself. Then I climbed into the empty trash can, and shouted, I am a grouch, I am a homeless person! I was good at being inconsiderate. I rolled around in the trash until even I couldn't stand the stench.

A week later I was told I had several diseases, but I didn't mind so much. I just waited for them to go away. I still keep some of the garbage in my home, just as a reminder.

***

Saturday, May 12, 2007

First Story

Here is the first story of the Land of Bad Decisions. I wrote this story in about five minutes, maybe an hour before I performed it at the Terpoets open mic. It is very simple. Note: stories do not have to end the way that I ended my story; they can end in any way they need to.

* * *

Untitled
by Dan Schwartz

On a whim, I decided to try to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

I decided to try to kick a pigeon. I wandered city streets and plazas, looking for my chance. I went to parks and statues. Finally I saw a fat, plump one eating some discarded bread. I lifted my leg back, and let it swing through. I made contact with it and sent it flying a couple of feet. I felt great. I had finally accomplished a dream!

But what I did not know was that it was a carrier pigeon, and that it was heartsick, and that it was angry at the world. It looked at me with hatred in its eyes, then flew up and pecked its beak into my face. I ran down the park, the pigeon attached to me. Young couples did not notice, but some small kids and adults did. When I got to the subway I knew that I had to convince the pigeon to leave. I begged with him, but he just stayed. He wanted to know, what kind of stupid fucking asshole was I? Eventually I was able to tear him away.

He said, what the fuck, man. What the fuck. I had no answers. This was the kind of thing that I would have to deal with. I told him I'm sorry, but that's the way I am. He took off and shat on my head. I stopped by a restaurant to wash myself off. I was not ashamed. I even ordered some nice food afterwards.

I am happy here in the land of bad decisions. There is a good rent here. Neighbors are unkind, but they don't bother me. I have fun times. Maybe you would like to visit. I don't know. I can't tell. Well. I have to talk to my landlord about the water problem though.

* * *

The Rules

Here are THE RULES for the Land of Bad Decisions writing blog:

1. Submissions must begin with this: "I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions."

2. Submissions can either be fictional or non-fictional.

3. Submissions end when they are done.

4. Submissions must be about a bad decision.

5. Submissions must be sent to djfschwartz [at] gmail [dot] com, with the subject line being "LOBD."


That's about it. Amendments may be made at a later time, determined by necessity.

What It's All About

This is a writing blog, compiling stories and poems that will be sent in that all follow a certain theme. I came up with this after writing a quick story about a bad decision. While taking an exam, I realized that it would actually make a good series of stories, and that everyone should be able to participate.

So, with that in mind, I am setting up this blog. How it works is, you write a story, following the rules that will be posted in The Rules post. Then, email it to me. Then I put it on this website. Simple. That's about it. Why am I doing this? Cause I think it would be fun.

Really I am just soliciting stories and poems, or whatever it is you want to write. I know there are a lot of talented writers out there. I'd love to see what it is that you can come up with.

Email questions and submissions to: djfschwartz [at] gmail [dot] com.


Sincerely,
-Dan Schwartz