5.12 / December 2010


This week, Andrea had syphilis.   She was busy wiping her dripping nose (acute sinusitis) onto the back of her hand when she heard the familiar choking of an approaching car over her headset.

“Hello and welcome to Mc Chubby’s, would you like to try a value . . . ”

“No, I’ll just have a number six,” said the headset.

Number six is a value meal, you fucking moron.

She scratched at some pox in the small of her back, broke the irritated skin and pulled blood under her nails.

“Would you like that medium, large or . . . ”

“Medium is fine.”

Medium is the new small.


“What kind of drink?”

Andrea held up the empty, red crater of a cup like a mega phone and coughed yellow chronic bronchitis phlegm into the white bottom.

“Just a Coke.”


“Pull around,” she said and crammed infectious waste into the soda machine.   She worked her glossitis tongue around the rim of the cup, absorbing the small brown droplets of botulism before pressing on the flimsy clear plastic cover.   Dark circles of oil had already penetrated the brown recycled paper of the bag.

“That’ll be six dollars an’ sixty six cents.” she said, extending the gut-busting soda to the driver.

Eat your neurodegenerative disease.

He smiled and handed her a ten.

Lackadaisically, she handed him back three Bird Flu bills, a SARS quarter and a H1N1 dime.

“You can keep the change.”

“and fucking die.”

He did not drive away and fucking die, though; he just sat there.   He looked around and then back at her.

“Is there something else you need?” she snorted in a half sneeze.

“Change,” he laughed.

“I’ll take that ten back for starters,” he said and pointed a small .22 pistol at Andrea.

Although her psychosis nearly convinced her that she had already been shot, she complied.   The bill had grown to nearly half the size of checks that are given away to professional athletes, so she had to curl it long-way to fit it through the window.

“Hot damn!” he cried, kneading the bill through his car window.   “What else can you supersize?”

Andrea choked tuberculosis, moaned and looked back at the wide-eyed thief who was now pointing a .357 revolver at her.

He turned the weapon sideways and eye-fucked it in amazement.

“You’re coming with me.”

She clutched her stomach with sleeved hands and gagged on cystic fibrosis.

“Seriously, get in the fucking car,” he said waving the M4 assault rifle at her.

By the time Andrea fed herself through the window and pulled herself off the ground, she was staring at a full-size sedan with twenty-four inch rims.

He reached an open hand down to her.

“Grab my hand!’ he shouted over the increasing noise of refrigerant and burger smoke wafting into the air.

She reached up with one hand, but he was too high, in a SUV.

“Grab my hand!” he shouted again, this time because he was further away.

Her eyes squinted under the pressure in her left arm and she coughed, hard, loud and spit a stream of fluorescent blood mixed with phlegm.   The string of disease still hung from her mouth when she looked back up.   But now, she looked over forty-two inch wheels ‘” hot exhaust was piping from the smoke stacks in the bed of the truck.

He put the rocket propelled grenade launcher on the seat beside him and leaned out of the window, extending both hands down to her; but he was still too far away.   His stomach had now grown to three times its normal size and pushed him back into the truck, wedging him between the seat and the steering wheel.

It depressed the horn and he could not stop the bleating.

The horn blared through the drive-thru and into the parking lot.   Behind him, cars were backing up and begin to honk hungry.

Andrea writhed on the ground, grabbed her left arm and cried out one last time in a muffled scream.

Nobody heard her.

With a deep belch, his stomach shrunk enough to decompress the horn.   He put the mini-gun in the gun-rack, shifted into drive and pulled away.

Betty took her new place at the window—she had herpes.