Pulp Fiction. Or at Least a Reasonable Facsimile

by Chris Gay

Dawn broke on a new day in the old silk town situated just east of Hartford, Connecticut. Morning comes early here in the east. In fact, it consistently gets here three hours earlier than it does in the west. But you’re not here for a geography lesson. Actually now that I think about it, rarely does the west coast get to see an actual “live” performance of Saturday Night Live. Although that, too, is irrelevant; so we’ll move on.

As I got myself out of bed and headed for the door to retrieve the morning paper, two thoughts occurred to me. Firstly, (yes it’s a word) why do I bother with the paper when anything that could possibly be in it I’d already have learned through my computer, cable TV, & cell phone the night before? Secondly, (also a word, but I’m guessing most of you knew that) I was hungry. So, I decided to do what the men in my family have done for centuries, ever since our family’s original patriarch came over on the Mayflower. Or was it the Sunflower? No, wait. Neither. He was Lithuanian.

At any rate, though the rest of this sentence may sound redundant, like my forefathers before me I decided on journey to the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts. As an aside, imagine if you were on Wheel of Fortune, that was the puzzle, and you guessed a “G”? I mean technically, there are two G’s in that phrase if spelled correctly. There are also 2 G’s at some point in every trip to space. Or maybe not, though it seems like a safe assumption. But I digress.

With strawberry frosted doughnuts, excuse me, donuts now fully occupying my thoughts, I quickly tossed the paper on the table, grabbed my keys, and headed for the car. Minutes later I was at the counter, cursing myself for holding the door for the woman who now stood in front of me on line ordering a half dozen coffees, each with preparation instructions so unique that they’d aggravate Wolfgang Puck. Had I known this would be the case-and I should have based on prior experience-chivalry indeed would not have survived on this day. It was eerily reminiscent of a garden variety trip to the deli counter; only with pastry instead of cold cuts.

Finally, she was on her way without as much as a cursory acknowledgment to my inconvenience. No matter. I was on the clock. With my anticipation levels having been built up to a crescendo, I looked out upon the racks and instantly found myself wracked with disappointment. (Like that? Racks and wracked are nearly homonyms. In fact, if I could’ve used them as ‘rack’ and ‘wrack’ they would’ve been) But I couldn’t.

So anyway, what I saw was a very sparse selection. I should’ve known this, as when you take a chance on a Dunkin’ Donut’s connected to a gas station, you’re chancing slim picking’s. I mean the assortment, not the singer. He passed decades ago and spelled his surname ‘Pickens,’ in any case.

What I glazed-sorry, gazed-out on was disappointing to say the least. Cruellers (the ‘e’ is optional, but I’m trying for a decent character count here) and Boston Cream. I really hate Boston Cream, and not just because I’m a Yankee fan, as ‘Yankee Cream’ doesn’t sound any more appetizing than the aforementioned. Frankly it sucks. Vanilla Kreme, whose innards taste as if they were harvested from a can of Duncan Hines frosting, are far superior. Alas, there were none. So cruellers it was. I placed and then paid for my order and, not being a coffee drinker, swung by the station’s cooler to grab a Coke Zero. Yes, I do realize that it’s an absurd justification to think diet soda makes up for two large French pastries, but I don’t make the rules.

I paid separately for my aspartame-infused seltzer water and made my way back into the saddle of my 4 liter mount. For one fleeting moment, I considered consuming them right there, but for some unknown reason take-out food tastes better if eaten from your own couch, while reading your antique newspaper. I drove away unhappy in the knowledge that I’d soon be left satiated, albeit unsatisfactorily. What can you do? I thought to myself. It’s been said that Life has its little peaks and valleys. This was a valley. So be it.

God. The Devil. The Bet. The Fate of Mankind in the Balance. Check out my new theological, paranormal crime thriller, Ghost of a Chance.

Ghost of a Chance Cover jpeg

What if a late 20th Century Jack the Ripper tearing apart a small Connecticut town was the result of a pancake shop bet between God and the devil? Imagine if Satan’s impact on the world in the new millennium hinged entirely on one police officer’s skill in hunting down a ruthless killer…hiding in plain sight. Detective Danny Seabrook is an unwitting pawn in a divine chess match with immeasurable consequences for all mankind. Set primarily in 1995, this action-packed suspense thriller features clever dialogue, humor and romance-with an ending you will never forget.

Jpeg front cover with bleedsbook1book2

Chris Gay is an author, freelance writer, voice-over artist, broadcaster and actor. He writes and broadcasts a daily, sponsored minute radio humor spot in Hartford, Connecticut. He’s written three humor books: Shouldn’t Ice Cold Beer Be Frozen? My 365 Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, And That’s the Way It Was…Give or Take: A Daily Dose of My Radio Writings, and The Bachelor Cookbook: Recipes with a Side of Sarcasm for the Single Guy. He’s currently writing his fourth humor book, Another Round of Ice Cold Beer: My 365 More Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, along with the Ghost of a Chance sequel Perdition’s Wrath. He has written and voiced radio commercials, authored both comedic and non-comedic freelance articles, scripts, press releases, website, media and technical content, done occasional radio color commentary for local sports, and acted in a couple of movies and plays. He lives in Connecticut.

http://www.chrisjgay.com

Author Page on Facebook

On Facebook

https://chrisgay.wordpress.com

Movies:

2012:

Hope Springs (Barfly)

2009:

Testimonies of a Quiet New England Town (Constable John Gilbert)

 

Great- Grandma and My Only Cup of Coffee Ever

By Chris Gay

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The year was 1979. With it came the debut of the Sony Walkman, the Happy Meal and ESPN. The Pittsburgh Pirates had actually won the World Series. (I’m not kidding, look it up) Among those notable happenings was yet one more that’s remembered with much less fanfare. It was the year that saw me simultaneously consume both my first and last cup of coffee.

I was six, maybe seven. And having spent a good portion of my youth with my great-grandma I had become more and more curious about the taste of the dark, aromatic brew she consumed with regularity. My curiosity ultimately got the best of me, and I asked to try a cup. She told me that I wouldn’t like it. I told her I would.

She reminded me that we had had a similar conversation once before when I’d asked to sample her bar of baker’s chocolate. In that instance, she’d warned me that it tasted nothing like the standard Hershey bar I’d become accustomed to. I didn’t believe her. She was right; in fact comically right. This time would be different, though. In hindsight I had never seen anyone snacking on baker’s chocolate; but every grown-up I knew drank coffee.

I asked her over and over until, at last, she acquiesced. On that memorable morning, she opened a fresh can and began the ceremonial Brewing of the Grounds. Though it was a daily ritual for her, this time brought with it an air of greater significance. It was to be the day I took another step toward adulthood, while simultaneously pushing my youth a little further into the rear-view mirror.

Once I had conquered coffee, I figured the only rung left on the ladder to full-fledged maturity would be to extricate myself from the smaller table at Thanksgiving.

That was the future though, and this was the present. I still had to prove myself and somehow best the bitter beverage.

Last Minute Waffling

As the brown liquid percolated and fell into the coffeepot drop by drop I wondered if the old adage be careful what you wish for was actually true. There was still time to back out. My great-grandma was one of the all-time good guys. She’d understand and, what’s more, she’d keep my flip-flopping to herself and never mock my silliness to another soul.

No, I finally decided. It would be drunk. After all, I’d already been on this Earth long enough to have seen a handful of Christmases in person; easily old enough to handle one nondescript cup of coffee.

Suddenly, a familiar scent filled the kitchen. One that I had come to know only too well. Time was growing short. Grandma reached into the cupboard and took down one of the  two-toned white plastic cups with the weighted, inexplicably yellow bottoms she favored for these more caffeinated occasions.

It looked like a Weeble-Wobble except that the top was open, so if you were to tip it over, instead of bouncing itself back into place the cool way the Wobble would, it would simply stay down and spill out onto the floor the entirety of its contents. Clearly, that was merely a procrastinating thought that carried no relevance now. Coffee time was upon, and I was wavering.

With all the drips now dropped, Grandma pulled the coffeepot from the hotplate and poured my cup, seemingly oblivious to the magnitude of the moment. She placed it in front of me while I tried my best to look unconcerned in my generic, yellow football pajamas.

I took it, and then glanced up at her. For one brief moment our eyes locked. Hers filled with sympathy; mine, with apprehension. In the distance I could hear the tick-tock of the old Seth Thomas clock that she had brought with her many years before from Scranton, Pennsylvania to East Hartford, Connecticut.

The moment held a little longer. She began to look at me as if I was awaiting a call from the governor. If so, none came. I raised the cup to my lips and, after one more slight hesitation, took my sip. “Well?” She’d asked with uncharacteristic impatience. I briefly considered what I had just consumed and then reached my verdict. “This sucks, Grandma.” She nodded, knowingly.

Over the years that followed I’ve often considered trying another cup. Especially nowadays, when coffee comes in more flavors than a bag of Jelly Bellies. I’ve even walked into the occasional Starbucks; albeit only to buy a large cookie and the tasty, frozen green tea concoction that my ex-wife introduced me to a few years back.

Perhaps at some point the day will come when I am willing to try again, if only to stop being subjected to the snide commentary I receive when someone sees me drinking a diet soda at eight in the morning. Until that day comes however, I’ll content myself with the one special memory coffee allowed me to share with my great-grandmother in 1979.

God. The Devil. The Bet. The Fate of Mankind in the Balance. Check out Chris Gay’s new theological, paranormal crime thriller, Ghost of a Chance.

Ghost of a Chance Cover jpeg

What if a late 20th Century Jack the Ripper tearing apart a small Connecticut town was the result of a pancake shop bet between God and the devil? Imagine if Satan’s impact on the world in the new millennium hinged entirely on one police officer’s skill in hunting down a ruthless killer…hiding in plain sight. Detective Danny Seabrook is an unwitting pawn in a divine chess match with immeasurable consequences for all mankind. Set primarily in 1995, this action-packed suspense thriller features clever dialogue, humor and romance-with an ending you will never forget.

*     *     *     *

‘Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal’ by Chris Gay

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As the end draws near for long-retired Sherlock Holmes in Sussex Downs, he calls one last time for the company of his best friend and colleague, Dr. John Watson. What was meant to be four last days of camaraderie and reminiscing instead leads to the most shocking, explosive revelation both of the great detective’s career, and his life.

Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal is a Holmes tale like none other ever conceived. Fans of Baker Street’s legendary detective will be left with the insatiable need to contemplate its extraordinary conclusion forevermore.

*     *     *     *

‘The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm’ by Chris Gay

CJG Full Kindle Cover For Promotions

The Bachelor Cookbook is the perfect (and likely only) addition to any guy’s collection of sarcastic culinary literature. If you’re between relationships and looking to make the most of whatever foodstuffs you’ve got until you meet that next special woman, then your prayers have been answered. Unless you’re an atheist; in which case coming across this book just means your luck was in today. For men looking for sustenance over style, I give you this spectacular cookbook. Well, I don’t “give it” to you, per se. You have to pay for it.

Featuring such taste-bud tempting recipes as:

Popcorn Salad

Meat on a Bed of Rice

Cheese and Crackers

Spaghetti Sandwich

Plus Miscellaneous Cookbook Humor, too!

*     *     *     *

Chris Gay is an author, freelance writer, voice-over artist, broadcaster and actor. He wrote the paranormal, theological thriller novel ‘Ghost of a Chance,’ the novella ‘Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal’ and several humor books: ‘And That’s the Way It Was…Give or Take: A Daily Dose of My Radio Writings,’ ‘The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm,’ ‘Shouldn’t Ice Cold Beer Be Frozen? My 365 Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota,’ ‘Another Round of Ice Cold Beer: My 365 More Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota,’ and later in 2014, ‘Something Witty This Way Comes’ and ‘Kris Kringle From Man to Myth: The Origin of Santa Claus.’ He’s been published nationally in Writer’s Digest and is currently writing the Ghost of a Chance sequel ‘Perdition’s Wrath.’ For seven years he wrote and broadcast a daily, sponsored radio humor spot in Hartford, Connecticut. Chris has written and voiced radio commercials, authored both comedic and non-comedic freelance articles, scripts, press releases, website, media and technical content, done occasional radio color commentary for local sports, and acted in a couple of movies and plays. His website is chrisjgay.com.

 

Jpeg front cover with bleedsKindle Cookbook Cover 7.12.2013

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http://www.chrisjgay.com

Author Page on Facebook

Chris Gay Author/Writer/ Humorist on Facebook

Ghost of a Chance on Facebook

Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal on Facebook

https://chrisgay.wordpress.com

Twitter: @chrisgay13

Movies:

2012: Hope Springs (Barfly)

2009: Testimonies of a Quiet New England Town (Constable John Gilbert)

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