Very Short Stories
(Remastered with Bonus Features)

This week's Next Level column has been digitally remastered. We have attempted to preserve, as closely as possible, the contents of the original work. Because of the high resolution of your computer monitor, limitations of the source document can be revealed. In storing and handling this article you should apply the same care a hemophiliac would employ while carrying a glass jar full of razorblades down a Crisco-soaked stairway to a banana patch. Should this page become soiled by fingerprints, dust, dirt, blood, Malt-O-Meal, Play-Doh or Marilyn Manson, it can be wiped (always in a straight line, from center to edge) with a squeegee or a freshly cut slab of veal. If you follow these suggestions, the Next Level column will provide a lifetime of pure reading enjoyment.

The Disappointment

When he made it home, he kicked off his shoes and went straight to the kitchen. There was a familiar shape under the oven light.

“Mmmm,” he said. “Someone’s baking banana bread.”

He walked over, opened the oven door, inhaled deeply, and leaned in for a closer look.

“Oh,” he said. “Someone’s baking a meatloaf.”

Sunrise at the Campground

Light breaks through the insect screen overhead. Dew runs down the sides of the tent. Birds begin singing and roosters begin crowing. Cigarette smokers begin hacking and spitting.

Kate’s Positive Attitude

Kate: Let’s play hockey.
Paul: We don’t have any equipment.
Kate: I have a hockey stick!
Paul: That’s broken.
Kate: Then we have TWO hockey sticks!

Depth-perception Etiquette

When walking past a stranger, it is considered normal and polite to say hello. From a distance greater than fifty feet, it is not.

Format Change

Jeff had been working with computers all day. It was nearly midnight when he got home. He was so tired, he headed straight to the bedroom, where his wife, Hannah, was already asleep. When he turned on the light, she opened her eyes.

Unfortunately, Jeff forgot he had changed the type style, or font, on his face to Times New Roman. Normally, he kept his face in Helvetica. Not recognizing him, Hannah assumed he was an intruder and screamed.

Jeff was trying to decide whether to explain the situation or change his facial font back to normal when Hannah threw her clock radio at him and his system crashed.

The Unfinished Sentence

The amount of pubic hair in the sink seemed to indicate

Paul Lundgren is a newspaper columnist and a very nice man. His book, “The Spowl Ribbon,” is available online at paullundgren.com.