Funny stories in under 500 words.


It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils. I assembled the wires, tongs, cables, and levers to animate the lifeless body beside my keds. A half-eaten tuna-avocado sub lay by its head. Taking a gulp of tequila and half a valium, I decided to name him Bert. 

At one in the morning, I flipped the switches, and the body convulsed. In fact, it continued its spasmodic shuddering even after the current caused a power outage, and I realized, with horror, that Bert was shooting his wad. Yes, that’s right -- he was splooging, getting off. A full body orgasm brought him into existence, and to my horror, I was both the author of his being and of his unspeakable jouissance.

He was not the least bit hot or sexy, though I had planned him to be. I’d pillaged the graves of Montgomery Clift, Rudolph Valentino, and a Mister Universe from the late 1950s, and I’d selected their best parts, but to no avail. His facial features were grooly, his lank hair slimy, his foul body unshapely, repellant, shocking and grotesque. In short, my Adam was eye broccoli.

My parents, the self-help book industry, and my grade two teacher, Aretha Payne, were again proven wrong on that dreary November night. Hard work and passion had governed me for two years. As for that state of mind my therapist calls “flow,” well, I’d been flowing like the Nile while I’d infused life into this end-of-term project/person. And how did I feel now? Blargh. I was one sad panda.

I stomped restlessly around my diggings, made my contribution of flow in the reeking stairwell, and zoned off into a quagmire of Freudian dreams. My girlfriend was my mother, their breasts covered with maggots, until my limbs too convulsed. It was the creepiest orgasm I’ve ever had. When I woke up, there was Bert trying to fix his slimy yellow eyes on me. He smiled and babbled an infantile gibberish, grabbed my finger in his fist, and waved it around in the air saying “Gaaa,” “Gaaa” through his thin black lips. Then he hiccupped and dribbled some spit on his chin. His mouth made rooting motions, and I recoiled.

Did I mention that he was ugly? When dead, he was a pale bagface, a genuine woofer, but I thought animation (or possibly cosmetics) would improve his complexion, lend a sparkle to the eye. Instead he became a thing such as even Stephen King could not have conceived. Bert was one grizzly chicken.

Dejected, I went to the pub, where out from a taxi popped my best friend, Henry, who’d been abroad. I hadn’t seen him for years, the last time being the Rock, Paper, Scissors Bavarian National Championship where I’d almost made semi-finals. Henry and I drank tequila, and I told him about my gigs as a Tom Jones impersonator. Then, wondering if Bert’s sexual orientation would be as ambiguous as my own, I fainted.

Monika Lee is a Canadian poet. She wrote gravity loves the body (South Western Ontario Poetry Press, 2008) and the poetry chapbooks, skin to skin (Fire-stealing Primates’ Press, 2016) and slender threads (EBIP and Canadian Poetry Association, 2004). Her one-act play, “The Petting Zoo,” was professionally staged in 2011. She also published a book of literary criticism, Rousseau’s Impact on Shelley: Figuring the Written Self (1999). She is a Full Professor in the English Department at Brescia University College at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. She teaches nineteenth-century British literature, creative writing, and a variety of other courses in English literature. Monika completed a B.A. in French and English at the University of Toronto, and M.A. and Ph.D. in English at the University of Western Ontario. She held a postdoctoral fellowship at Cornell University. She graduated from the Humber College School of Writing with distinction in 2007. She has travelled extensively in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.