Welcome to week 323. My name is Leila Allison, and I believe that I am the first American editor at Literally Stories, which, of course, means nothing to no one nowhere no how, but since I so rarely come in first, I thought I’d mention it.
For those who are addicted to Hugh’s Saturday posts, I extend my apologies. But the fellow deserves a break every so often, and this week I have taken up the cause in his place. Although I have no idea what Hugh will do on his mini-vacation, rest assured it probably doesn’t involve listening to Coldplay or soliciting funds for a statue of the late Royal Consort to be erected in Ayr, Scotland.
The world is an unsteady place, but one thing is for certain: Hugh makes the Saturday post look easier than it is to accomplish in reality. So it is with great anxiety and a general sense of foreboding that I now present my pale imitation of the master.
PART ONE: The Anecdote
I once worked with a woman named She-Ra. One night over martinis, She-Ra (who was born in the 80’s) told me that the only reason she was named after He-Man’s sister from the Masters of the U,niverse franchise was due to the unfortunate fact that both her parents were dopes.
“But you’re not a dope,” I said, even though I had yet to make up my mind whether She-Ra was a dope or not. But, since she was buying, I gave her the benefit of the doubt.
“Sometimes the dope gene bypasses a generation,” She-Ra said. And after she sucked the pimento out of her olive, a thoughtful expression bloomed in her faraway eyes. “I can never have kids. Even if I mated with an Einstein odds are that the forestalled dope gene would come back with triple force. As you must already know, Leila, there’s as much dopiness around as there is water. Thank God I hate children.”
I could hardly refute the point, right? So, naturally, I stood for a round and proposed a toast. “Too many dopes in the word as it is.”
PART TWO: The Confession
Part one of this post is a lie. I don’t know anyone named She-Ra. But I do know martinis. Recently (very recently) after my third martini, it occurred to me that I know two intelligent persons whose parents are certified dopes. It’s as though both the X and Y dope chromosomes somehow cancelled each other out in both cases. But not entirely…
You see, one of the otherwise smart children of dopes I know once took me to a French restaurant and proceeded to place our order in French even though he doesn’t know a single word of the language. And he wouldn’t let it go. He just kept making French-like noises, much to the embarrassment and vexation of everybody present–especially our waiter.
My other friend whose parents are dopes is a physician, yet her dopiness betrays itself through her taste in men–of which she has none–unless you count dopes, of whom she has had more than her fair share.
This causes me to believe that the smart children of dopes are in fact dopes, but somehow they have become specialists in certain areas only.Your average dope is usually blandly dopey about everything, but specialized dopes are spectacularly dopey in one part of their minds to the mystification of everyone that knows them.
I could go on about dopes for hours, but that isn’t the objective of this piece.
PART THREE: Awkward Segue to the Purpose of the Post
In a last ditch effort to lend this piece a little class, I want to take the time and have the five guys who took the Literally Stories stage this week come out for a bow.
Monday saw the return of legendary Tom Sheehan for what I count to be his one-hundred-thirty-third performance, with Hobie’s Sugar Still. Every time Tom shows up he sets a new site record. But big numbers are no stranger to a man who is active in his nineties, has written forty-four books and served in the Korean War, seventy years ago.
On Tuesday Yash Seyedbagheri’s sixteenth story, Over the Limit graced the site. Even though it will be sometime before Tom has to look over his shoulder for Yash, this former pushcart award nominee is piling acceptances up at an impressive speed.
Wednesday saw the LS debut of Jake Kendall. His A Fleeting Victory has us looking forward to seeing more from this emerging talent.
Always interesting Tim Frank returned with his sixth piece, Sofa Surfing on Thursday. He has a truly unique and descriptive way of looking at things. Well worth the view, as are the others, in case you missed him the first time around.
On Friday, Kansan Andrew Johnston completed this week’s fab five with the elegiac A Flower For a Lost Grave.
The acceptance rate for submissions is very low. Thus the quality of the stories we published this and every week is very high. If you missed any of them, do yourself a favor, take a look now lest you forget later.
PART FOUR: Attempt at a Wow Finish
I want to conclude this post by revisiting my new found passion for dopes. I have formed a list of dope synonyms from A to Z, but need the reader’s help to fill in “E” (why yes, I do know it is the most common letter in the alphabet), “Q” and “Z.” I’m at a loss for those.
There was a time in my life when all twenty-six of the slots would be filled with either a person’s name or a profanity. I’ve grown up some, so there is only one of each in my list. In dope synonym rich letters, such as “D” (dumbass, dildo, dimwit, etc.) I have selected my personal favorite. And I must admit that both “brain” and “head” probably appear more than they ought as suffixes, but in my defense all dopiness is centered between the ears.
I leave you now with my A to Z of Dopes
E: NEEDS SUGGESTIONS
F: Fuckstick (my one profanity)
G: Gwyneth Paltrow (my one name)
P: Peabrain (my favorite, really)
Q: NEEDS SUGGESTIONS but keep “Qweef” to yourself, okay?
R: Ratchet-head (“Royal” in Scotland)
S: Soyhead (for the vegans)
U: Union Wanker
W: Wanker (standard UK model, not to be confused with the European Union Wanker)
Z: MORE HELP PLEASE
-Brilliant debut Leila.
I’ve jumped in here to get in first!
E: Eejit (Scots / Irish for ‘idiot’)
Q: Quizzical (A wee bit of sarcasm always works)
X: X-Men (Cause they are a little bit special – Nod to Stephen Lynch)
Z: Zoon (Also known as a ‘Moonunit’)
Oh – I can’t pass this up erm erm
E – Eggcup – I honestly used this with my children when they were daft
Q – Quark – I know it’s a really clever scientific word but it should be a small grey bird that falls over its own feet
X – xero – shrugs and walks away just slightly embarrassed.
Z – Zomb – Yes, I know – but I can’t stand all these brain eating movies.
Great post Leila. We are so glad that you’re part of the team. dd
EGGCUP??? When the kids were daft????
Yes, ‘What did you do that for you little ‘Eggcup’ I would change it up with ‘banana’ sometimes.