Download my free book, ‘Dying for Eternity’

Dying for Eternity: A short story collection

‘Dying for Eternity,’ a collection of short stories, is now available as a free download from the iTunes bookstore.

My 2012 story collection, Dying for Eternity, is now available as a free download from the iTunes bookstore.

The book showcases four of my stories, including Dying for Eternity, Permanent Detention, The Do-Over and Iceholes.

Readers probably know me best for my humor writing, which is my primary focus on this site. However, of the four stories, only Iceholes is an out-and-out comedy. Dying for Eternity is a suspenseful thriller, Permanent Detention is a dystopian romance, and The Do-Over is a high-school romance.

Readers also might recall that I once serialized all of the stories on this site. Later, I serialized them on a separate WordPress site, which I’ve since discontinued.

I can’t in good faith charge for content that once appeared online for free, which is why I’m offering the book at no cost. I’m hoping it will provide enjoyment for readers everywhere, whether you’re in the mood for humor, suspense, or romance.

Thank you as always for reading. And if you enjoy the book, please leave a positive review!

I didn’t buy a dishwasher to wash dishes by hand 

Expensive kitchen knives with wood handles

Because if they’re not, then they’re useless to me. Sorry.

My friend, Hannah, bought me a set of wooden-handled kitchen knives for my birthday. (This is the same friend who bought me a brick-sized bar of soap for my last birthday.)

“Oh, wow,” I said, unwrapping the box.

“What do you think?” she asked. “They’re wooden-handled kitchen knives.”

“I can see that,” I said. “They’re very nice. Thank you.”

“The wood’s a very high quality, and it has a nice finish.”

“Very nice, yes. Thank you.”

“They’re much better than the cheesy plastic-handled knives you currently use.”

“I’m sure they are,” I said. “Again, thank you.”

Hannah frowned. “You don’t like them, do you?”

“I didn’t say that,” I said, studying the box. “I said I liked them very much.”

“You never said you liked them very much. You didn’t say anything. That’s why I’m wondering if you like them.”

“I do like them,” I said. “I thought I said that I liked them.”

“No. You never said that you liked them.”

“Well, I’m sorry about that. I do like them. I do.”

Hannah frowned. “You don’t like them. I can tell.” Keep reading…

I scream, you scream — we scream at each other about ice cream

ice cream man

One is Breyer’s ice cream and one is Dreyer’s. Can you tell which is which? (Because I sure can’t.)

Earlier today, I went grocery shopping for my friend, Vanessa. As I carried the sacks into the apartment, setting them on the kitchen floor, Vanessa unloaded them and put things away.

“Uh oh,” she said, as I carried the last bag inside, closing the door behind me. She was standing in the kitchen, the refrigerator door wide open.

“What’s that?” I asked, trudging into the kitchen.

“Did you follow the list I made for you?” she asked, frowning at a carton in her hand.

“Of course I followed the list,” I said. “I always follow the list.”

“So you’re aware that my lists are detailed and specific and denote exactly what to buy?” Vanessa asked.

“Exactly. And that’s why I follow them to the letter. I know I’m not allowed to think for myself when I’m grocery shopping. That’s why you always give me a list.”

“I don’t think you followed the list,” Vanessa said, extending her arm. She was holding a container of ice cream.

“Ice cream was on the list!” I said. “I remember that specifically, because it was one of the last items I bought. I didn’t want it to melt in this heat.”

“But what kind of ice cream did I specify?” Vanessa asked. “Do you remember?”

“Of course I remember. It was vanilla.”

“Not the variety. The brand. What brand of ice cream did I specify on the list?”

I frowned. “I … I don’t recall that you specified a brand.”

“Yes I did,” Vanessa said. “And this is not the ice cream I requested.” Keep reading…

Apparently, my local boutique’s computer rules the planet 

server farm

No, this isn’t an NSA server farm. It’s the database for my local boutique. Apparently, they need to know everything about you before you can buy a $12 package of Epsom bath salts.

I stopped at a small boutique after work to buy my friend, Vanessa, a package of eucalyptus Epsom salts for a gift.

A young man was standing behind the counter at the front of the store, typing on a computer. I approached him to pay.

“Hello, sir,” he said, smiling at me as I set the Epsom salts on the counter. “Will that be all?”

“That’s it,” I said.

He starting typing on the computer, his fingers rattling over the keys as if he were typesetting the collected works of Shakespeare. I stared at him as he stared at the screen.

“OK. Perfect.” The clerk picked up the package of Epsom salts and studied it, his lips scrunched. Then he set it back down and continued to type.

Again, I stared at him as he stared at the screen.

“Can’t you just scan a barcode, or something?” I asked, as the clerk continued to type.

He glanced at me. “I’m sorry?”

“Nothing. Please continue.”

The clerk turned back to his screen and continued typing. I stared at him as he stared at the screen.

Finally, I sighed and said, “I’m sorry, but could you possibly take a break from writing the Great American Novel and ring me up, here? I’m late for dinner.”  Keep reading…

Using social media to get more blog followers 

social media meme

The good news is that by harnessing the power of social media, you can drive more traffic to your blog. (The bad news is that you apparently have to engage with other people. I thought technology was supposed to make our lives easier?)

I wanted to get more followers on my blog, so I called my old friend, Sally the Social Media Guru.

“I want to get more followers on my blog,” I told her.

“Oh, good,” she said. “That’s my speciality. Are you looking for active reader engagement?”

“I just want a bunch of followers,” I said.

“But are you looking for quality readership over quantity? Are you tailoring your content to target a specific demographic — one that demonstrates brand loyalty through repeated visits?”

“I really just want a bunch of followers,” I said. “Like, thousands or millions.”

“What’s your goal in building your audience? Are you looking to monetize your content?”

“If that means getting more followers, then yeah.” Keep reading…

If you want all those cool home features, you’ll have to pay extra

fancy kitchen

Whoever said “the best things in life are free” clearly didn’t know how much all these home upgrades cost.

I wanted to go house-hunting, so I called my old friend, Rhonda the Realtor.

“I want to look at houses,” I told her.

“Are you serious about buying?” she asked. “Because the last time you called, you had no intention of buying. The only reason you wanted to look at homes was because you had spent an entire weekend watching House Hunters on iTunes.”

I didn’t say anything.

Rhonda sighed. “You’ve been watching House Hunters again, haven’t you?”

“Not necessarily,” I said. “I’m seriously in the market for a home this time.”

“Buying a house isn’t as easy as they make it look on TV,” Rhonda said. “It’s not just touring houses and sneering at outdated fixtures. You have to get pre-approved, and then there’s the home inspection, renovations, unexpected problems. They don’t show those parts on TV.”

“Sometimes they show the renovations,” I said. “In fact, there’s a spinoff called House Hunters Renovation where they find a house and renovate it in forty-five minutes. It’s fantastic!”

“Isn’t there another Realtor you can call?” Rhonda asked. “Or am I the only one you know?” Keep reading…

Not every man is an expert on cars

car engine

Whenever my manliness is in doubt, I do what any real man would do: fake it.

I drove my car behind the oil-change shop and pulled up to the bay door. A young mechanic wearing greasy coveralls approached my window.

“Good afternoon, sir,” he said. “Just an oil change today?”

“Please,” I said. “I normally would do it myself, but I’ve been so busy at my six-figure job that I just haven’t had time.”

“Of course, sir,” the mechanic said, wiping his hands on a rag. “Would you turn off the engine and pop the hood for me?”

“Certainly.” I shut off the engine, then fumbled around the steering column. Staring the mechanic in the eye without blinking, I yanked up the handle next to the gear shift.

“Um, sir,” the mechanic said. “I think you just set the parking brake.”

I looked down. “Oh. Well, of course I did. That’s what I meant to do. I turned off the engine, so it’s only natural that I set the parking brake.”

“I see, sir.”

“I always set the parking brake. Don’t try to act like I don’t know how to park a car.”

“Of course, sir.” The young man looked at me.

I looked back. “Yes?”

“Could you please pop the hood for me, sir? And then exit the vehicle?”

“That’s exactly what I was going to do. Just give me a second, will you?” I reached under the dashboard, feeling around.

“The handle is at the very left, sir,” the mechanic said, pointing. “I can see it from here.” Keep reading…

Learning to drive in the city

heavy traffic on highway

Where I live, the red-light district is just me driving to work in the morning. I don’t think I’ve ever hit any of them green.

When I moved from the country to the city, the DMV said my driving skills weren’t sufficient to keep pace with urban living. They told me I had to take a personalized driving lesson with one of their special instructors.

“I’ve never heard of this,” I told the toad-looking woman behind the counter. She had wide, bug eyes and a drooping chin. “I’ve had my license for nearly twenty years. Since when do you have to take a lesson to keep your license?”

She frowned. “Are you trying to argue with the Department of Motor Vehicles?”

“All I’m saying –” I said.

She cut me off: “I don’t believe it. It sounds like you’re actually trying to argue with the Department of Motor Vehicles.”

“I’m arguing with you,” I said. “You’re the one who’s telling me I have to take a driving lesson to keep my license.”

“And I represent the Department of Motor Vehicles. I am a living embodiment of the department’s policies and procedures.”

“Yeah, well, your body looks like a toad.”

She glared. “I can make this very difficult for you, young man. I can see to it that your license is revoked for life. Instead of driving to work, you’ll be catching the bus.”

And you’ll be catching flies, I wanted to tell her. But in light of the situation, I decided it was best not to toad her — I mean, goad her — too far. Clearly, she’d woken up on the wrong side of the lily pad. Keep reading…

Getting what you want out of life 

You can't always get what you want the rolling stones

I guess this proves that life is full of inherent contradictions. (Either that, or you can’t take musicians seriously.)

I was having a bad day at work, so I decided to treat myself to lunch at a diner. The waitress came over to take my order.

“Can I get you a drink?” she asked.

“Sure,” I said. “Can I have a Coke?”

“Pepsi OK?” she asked, chewing on gum.

I sighed. “Yeah. Pepsi’s fine.”

“Perfect. I’ll be right back with your drink, and then I’ll take your order.” The waitress turned and started to walk away, snapping her gum.

“Hey, wait!” I called.

The waitress turned.

“Can you come back for a second?” I asked.

She sauntered back to my table. “Yeah?”

“I don’t want to be rude,” I said, “but if you want to know the truth, Pepsi’s not OK.”

The waitress’s eyes widened. “Oh.” Keep reading…

So my boss said to leave the report on his desk…

boss patting employee on back.

When my boss is brutally honest….

When I first got my new job, my boss, Steve, asked me to write a one-page report for the executive manager.

“Be sure to send the report directly to me,” Steve said.

“You don’t want me to send it to the executive manager?” I asked.

“I don’t. I want to check it before he sees it.”

“I’m a fairly good writer,” I said. “I got As in high-school English, and I run spell check on all my correspondence before sending it out.”

“It’s not that I don’t trust you,” Steve said. “It’s that I want to review the report’s content prior to the executive manager reading it.”

“Are you afraid I’m going to say something offensive?” I asked.

“I just have to review it before he sees it. Employees are not permitted to e-mail the executive manager directly. Only managers can e-mail the executive manager.”

“So I have to write the report and send it to you so you can send it to him?” I asked. Keep reading…