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Touched by Mayhem

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1. The Most Interesting Man In The World Walks Into A Bar (He Does Not Need A Punchline)

 

Crowds are gathered around to catch his merest sigh, as usual. Just as he opens his mouth to utter something incredibly urbane and witty and wise, and most of all interesting, a slender, brown-haired man stumbles and weaves into the scene. He regards TMIMITW with a sneering grin.

“I’m the obnoxious ‘friend’ you invited to your party against your better judgement. I’ve had waaaay too much to drink and I think putting a lampshade on my head and dancing until I crash into your glass coffee table is hilarious. Somebody is going to have to take care of my medical bills and if you have cut-rate insurance, it might not cover this.”

TMIMITW finds himself almost, nearly, taken aback. It is a new feeling. “I do not have obnoxious friends, or cut rate insurance, my friend.”

The man stopped and looked at him quizzically. “Are you sure? Not even one?”

“No.”

“Then what am I doing here?”

TMIMITW opened his mouth to reply but before he could speak, the man was gone.

He had never felt lonely or bored but for just a moment, somehow, the world was a little less colorful.

 

2. The Fourth Meal

 

TJ took bite of his burger, chewing enthusiastically before he turned to his car mate. “You know what would make this meal perfect?”

Peter tilted his head. “What?”

“Nothing! It’s already perfect.”

“Exactly!” They laughed at the glory that is a Sonic meal.

There was a knock on the car window and they looked around, seeing a disheveled man in a suit waving at them while grinning maniacally.

I'm the rickety order display on the rusty screws that haven’t been replaced in ten years. Last night, a couple sat by and watched their three kids swing on me like I was a jungle gym.”

At that moment, the order box tilted ominously on its stand before it crashed down onto the car. The impact jolted TJ’s burger out of his hands and he clutched his shake even tighter as he looked mournfully down at the car mat where it lay.

 

“If you have cut-rate car insurance, it might not pay for this.”

TJ watched as the man vanished as mysteriously as he’d appeared. “Do you have cut-rate insurance? Because that seems like it would be a bad thing.”

“I don’t have...”

He held up his shake in one hand. “Delicious Peanut Butter and Bacon shake, goood.” the other hand he held up in a cupped position, balancing between the two hands. “Cut-rate insurance, baaad.”

“I. Don’t. Have. Cut-rate. Insurance.”

TJ’s brow furrowed in confusion. “But that guy said you did.”

Peter sighed. “That guy, is a weirdo. Just...drink your shake!” He took a sip of his own, savoring the sweet melding of chocolate and bananas on his tongue as he dialed a tow truck.

 

3. A Lady Never Kisses and Tells

 

She watches as the driver gets out and kicks at his tire, cursing. He turns and notices her and unleashes a tirade that would make her blush if she had cheeks, and blood vessels, which she doesn’t because, hello, pot hole!

“If he has cut-rate car insurance, its not going to pay for that.”

“I know, right? Some people.” Then she realizes there’s a man seated on the ground next to her, arms draped across his knees. A suited man. A cute man, in a completely manic way, which she admits is kind of her thing. More importantly though, he’s talking to her.

“Nice work by the way.” He nods toward the disabled car.

“Thank you! Not enough people appreciate the art of calamity.”

They watch in silence for a few moments more as the driver’s frustration increases. He yells into his cellular phone and bangs on the roof of his car with one fist. She and the stranger both laugh and she feels warm and gritty like she does when the sun beams down into her at midday. The suited cutie sighs and stands up.

“Oh well. Places to go, people to bring wrack and ruin to.”

He’s half way down the street before she yells out. “Call me.”

And then he’s gone and she remembers. She doesn’t have a phone. Pot. Hole. “Oh, shoot!”

 

4. We’ll Remove It For You, Wholesale.

 

There’s a hole in the wall. It’s a huge hole, cracked paint, chipped plaster, broken drywall.

“I’m the”

“Wrong!”

Mayhem cleared his throat and tried again. “If you have cut-rate insurance.”

“Don’t listen to this guy, no insurance? Just slap a fathead over it.”

“You’re a fathead!”

The huge blond preened. “Thanks, dude!”

Mayhem shook his head, and glared at the giant sticky poster now covering the hole in the wall. “Yeah, good luck with that.”

 

5. Don’t I Know You?

 

There’s a jaunty tune playing and Mayhem finds himself humming along, even though something in him tells him he shouldn’t. But he’s chaos, he’s anarchy, disorder, havoc, pandemonium. In other words, whatever -- he does what he wants.

It’s a lovely day and he’s on some kind of campus. He loves schools because they always welcome him with open arms. He looks around for a place to start but really, everything is seemingly perfect here. Then he sees the group coming toward him, an older man lecturing intently.

He’s still looking for something to disrupt when the man swings around and turns piercing eyes on him. He can’t control the shiver that runs through him.

“Don’t say it.”

Mayhem opens his mouth to reply when a house falls from the sky and lands nearly on top of him. He jumps back, mouth still open, shocked for maybe the first time in his existence.

“I didn’t do that!”

The man smirks, while the rest of his group looks just as shocked. “Of course you didn’t. I run this yard.

Mayhem narrows his eyes. “Hey, do I know you from somewhere?”

“Ask Dorothy.”

The music changes to something dark and ominous and Mayhem stands there a second, expression changing with dawning horror before he scrambles out of the scene as fast as he can.