A Lost Cause Part 4 by Adam Kluger


Hey “Kamp-town Racist”… here’s a poem– doo-dah, doo-dah…
Roses are red, violets are blue–without your brilliant literary and sociological insights I wouldn’t know what to do.
Alfred Klumpner aka Drunk Holden Caufield aka Whitey

Hey Old White Man:
In case you didn’t know, ” The Camptown Races” was a minstrel song by Stephen Foster to mock how our people speak. Guessing you didn’t know that. Either way, your poetry is clearly improving from terrible to awful. Maybe one day it will be simply dreadful. Good luck with that. Cracker.
Kampton Hillman, Poetry Editor, The Jellydog

Hey… Rude:
I saw my third grade teacher Mrs. Crabapple nude…
Take my bad poem and make it better…
Just kidding…hoping all is well in Jolly Ol’
Just checking back in to see if you had a chance to take a gander at That Silly Fella
I know you say you only publish poems and not flash fiction–but I figure words is words– am I write or am I right? Get it? Anyhoo …I gotta roll roll roll til I spill my soul…alright!

Happyandhealthy alf

Copy that Roger Willco
Expecting to hear back from the Editrix of Alpha Centauri Shoots Moonbeams in Jest any day now on That Silly Fella–let you know how long her whip and fingernails are!

Dear Mr. Klumpner:

Thanks for submitting to Alpha Centauri Shoots Moonbeams in Jest.

We’re going to pass.

Here are some suggestions on “That Silly Fella” that might be of some help if you submit it elsewhere:

The through-line struck me as being a bit glib, skating over the surface, rushing through the story somehow, towards an ending which seemed somehow inevitable or predictable. This morality tale left me without a clear picture of either character and a feeling of ‘so what?’ at the end. You really need to go deeper into the characters and think about how you might be able to intrigue or surprise the reader include some sort of twist or sub-text. Get the reader doing some work. Also, BIG point, here… I’m not sure if you are British- born or an Anglophile or what you are, frankly –but your understanding of English slang is not just antiquated, it’s completely inauthentic and tone-deaf–let’s just take a look at one passage:

“Eh, what gives Masher you crusty dragon?”

“Hey Roboskowitz , me ol’ mate, Haven’t seen you in Donkey’s years you daft cow.”

“I’m gobsmacked to see you too Mash-mouth, are you still a gormless Fanny?”

“What about you Boskie-weren’t you recently engaged in her majesty’s pleasure?”

“Nah you’re off your trolley on that Masher…don’t know who sold you those porkies but it definitely makes me a little shirty to hear that.”

“Well glad to hear that Boskers, it’s all tickety boo then is it?”

“yeah yeah…but presently I gotta go see a man about a dog then let’s repair to the Fife and Drum for a couple pints, yeah?”

“Dogs Bollocks, for sure.”

It makes me wonder if you simply pulled a list of British slang off the internet without any knowledge or conception of context or meaning. Have you ever even met a British person? No one in England ever speaks like this. Another case in point, this regrettable passage:

“How’s that trollop you were seeing Boskers?”

“Well she was always game for a little rumpy pumpy but she was also a skivey slapper”

“aren’t they all?”

“yeah, I guess…one more pint though and I’ll be delivering a pavement pizza.”

“ah you pussy.”

“yeah that’s me…time to spend a penny.”

“take your time you tosser.”

This is not good. Borderline offensive, I’m afraid.

One paragraph later on that did intrigue me was when Roboskowitz says, “My gal was not pleased to be left to take a cabbie home in the rain but she understood, eventually.” Especially the word ‘eventually’. What’s the story there? Why did she have to go home, why didn’t he want her to come along with him? Is there a subtext here? I was wondering if perhaps the narrator had had a massive homosexual crush, secretly, on Masher all his life, ever since University, almost like a sort of voyeur or stalker or obsessive friend, following him at a distance over the years. Certainly he struck me as a potentially fantastic unreliable narrator. How about writing the same story from the girlfriend’s point of view, and including the two versions back-to-back or interspersed, with one version completely undermining the other one and revealing the narrator as delusional?

This piece has a bit of potential but needs massive work, I feel, before it’s ready to take on the world. You might be best to just start over, really. Or, if you don’t mind my candor, you might just try take up gardening which is also a lovely hobby.

Truly yours,

Sylvia Roget
Editor in Chief, Alpha Centauri Shoots Moonbeams in Jest

Dear Ms. Roget:

You have left me speechless.

There are not enough words in a thesaurus to thank you properly for your kind suggestions on That Silly Fella– to borrow a popular phrase— Bob’s your Uncle!



Alfred Klumpner

ps- If you are ever visiting the Colonies on magazine business please don’t hesitate to look up yours truly as a very willing chaperone/tour guide.

Hey Rudi-Kazooti: British chicks are hot as a pistol and smart too! I think I just got shot through the heart by cupid… no go on Silly Fella and Moonbeams…but that’s ok–I got some amazing work notes and now I’m positive that Brad Pitt and Emilio Estevez are perfect to play the leads in the big screen version of Fella. Anyhoo, I’m supposed to hear back today from another HUGE (as the Donald might say) lit mag called Chitty Chitty Boom Boom….I got a feeling that this is the one…so fingers crossed. British birds, huh? you lucky dog you! Well, I’m off to Bedfordshire!



you’re knackered.



Dear Mr. Alfred Klumpner:

Re: That Silly Fella

We focus on short fiction connected to the Indian subcontinent. All work is solicited.

The Editors, Chitty Chitty Boom Boom Arts & LiteratureJournal


Adam Kluger


Header image: By Farnsworth Wright (1888–1940) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

4 thoughts on “A Lost Cause Part 4 by Adam Kluger

  1. Hi Adam, I think you should expand ‘That Silly Fella’!!!
    Having managed four outings for Alfred and still making us smile is quite a talent.
    All the very best my friend.


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