Notice which one is right. (Photo edited by author.)

Dear people who say InstaPot,

There are so, so many of you. And I simply want to know: Why?

Is it the Instagram influence? Has it proliferated our culture to the point that you can no longer say the word instant? Does saying Instant Pot feel as archaic and weird to you as saying electronic mail?

I might believe that, if you also said that you eat instamashed potatoes, washed down with instacoffee — or maybe some Carnation Instabreakfast. Do you enjoy watching instareplays during football? Perhaps your favorite song is John Lennon’s “InstaKarma.”

Or maybe you just enjoy the…

A noir detective story for the pandemic era.

Photo created by the author via Photofunia. Kissing couple from Look Magazine, 1937.

She Skyped into my office like nobody’s business, a dolled-up dame dressed like she didn’t worry about dough. If a regular broad were a five-cent ham sandwich, she was a double-decker on rye. With an extra pickle.

Her legs were long and tan, and when she crossed them, I knew the slit in the dress she was poured into was cut all the way up to Cleveland. I couldn’t actually see it through the screen, but I could tell by the look on her face. She had one of those long-legged smiles. Lipstick as red as a discarded baloney string.

10 very short plays.

WAITER: Would you like to hear about our specials?

EDITOR: Thanks, but no.

[CURTAIN]

WAITER: Would you like to hear about our specials?

EDITOR: I’m going to pass.

[CURTAIN]

WAITER: Would you like to try our catch of the day?

EDITOR: No, but best of luck placing it elsewhere.

[CURTAIN]

ACT ONE

WAITER: Would you like to hear about our specials?

(Editor does not reply. Weeks pass.)

ACT TWO

WAITER: I’m just circling back to see if you wanted to hear about the specials?

(Editor does not reply, and after another four weeks, the waiter slinks off to another table.)

Photo by Francisco Gonzalez on Unsplash

Imagine that your underwear has a wire in it: a stiff, metal wire that fits snugly around your scrotum — one that squeezes you mercilessly if you gain a single pound, on certain days of the month, or when you begin to swell even slightly.

Imagine that when your underwear starts to wear out, a bare metal wire breaks through the fabric and impales you in the testicles.

Imagine that every single one of these torture devices costs around $50. Want more of a guarantee that the binding ball-wire will feel slightly less painful, or that it is made well…

It’s just a matter of time.

Photo by Marcelo Cidrack on Unsplash

TimeShark!

An explosion at a university combines the experiments of an astrophysicist and a marine biologist into one, resulting in a shark with the power of time travel.

Tagline: The water may be safe today… but what about yesterday?

Barlow & Finn

After a by-the-book Miami cop loses his partner in a shooting accident, he’s paired with a bloodthirsty police shark. Together, they forge an unlikely friendship while they clean up the streets — and the beaches.

Tagline: Buying criminals a one-way ticket to Gnashville.

Sharkhands

A guy has sharks for hands.

Tagline: He’s got sharks for hands!

Kung Fu Sharks: Teeth of Fury

After their master is threatened, the legendary…

He’s sick of your pedantry. (Altered image/Fair Use.)

You know the situation, or some version of it. You’re telling friends a funny story, perhaps about a weird Christmas party you attended. “The DJ was dressed like Frankenstein,” you say, “and he only played theme songs from old cartoons.”

“Wait a minute,” snorts your most pedantic friend. “You mean Frankenstein’s monster.

“Yeah,” drools your second-most pedantic friend. “Unless he was dressed like a scientist!” They snicker pathetically, congratulating each other on knowing the single most basic fact from a book everyone read in high school.

Meanwhile, your anecdote is as dead as the pig in a corn dog. No…

Photo by Flavio Gasperini on Unsplash

You’ll be glad you’re stuck at home when you see what the networks have in store.

The Real Housewives of McMurdo Station, Antarctica

The hottest show this fall is also the coldest, as this season’s wives bring all the glitz and drama you’ve come to expect, while navigating life in one of the earth’s most isolated places. The only thing more frozen than their Botoxed expressions is the landscape! Episode highlights include Jeezelle’s quest to maintain a suntan with 24 hours of night, FiFi falling into a snow drift during hoop yoga, and Madysyn’s race to be the first to…

Or, Mother Goose Masked.

The CDC does not approve of this gathering. (Illustration Randolph Caldecott, 1885. Public Domain.)

Baa, baa, black sheep,

Have you any wool?

No, sir, no, sir,

Not since the toilet paper ran out.

Hickory, dickory, dock.

The mouse ran up the clock.

The clock struck one,

The mouse ran down,

And said “Jesus, it’s one o’clock already? Wait, what day is this, even?”

Little Jack Horner

Sat in the corner,

Eating a piece of pie.

He put in his thumb,

And pulled out a plum,

And said, “Thanks a lot, DoorDash; I ordered apple.”

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.

She had so many children, she was an absolute disaster…

Kelly Robinson

Bram Stoker Award-nominated freelance magazine writer and independent researcher with particular interests in silent film, horror, pop culture, and history.

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