August 4th, 2008


Paper Cities Review

There's a fairly long review of the anthology Paper Cities here.

Of my story, it is said:

The Funeral, Ruined, by Ben Peek is a bittersweet tale of life and death. In a city ruined by war and dotted with huge public crematories, ex-soldier Linnette gets ready to the ritual tattooing that marks the funeral of her former lover. But is he dead? Peek keeps the readers attention "reading" the last letter Linnette's lover left her. A good cheat, Peek makes the reader believe in a suicide letter, but the case is quite the contrary. The Morticians and their tattoos are an awesome idea.

You know, I never once thought of writing that letter like a suicide note, but what can you say, hey? Positive is positive.

Your Teeth Are So Beautiful

Friday night I was out for dinner with some of my friends. The place we ate at was an old church, which made for a nice change in pace, though I got a touch of food poisoning later that wasn't, and which I blame Jesus for.

However, the real event of the night came when the waitress began flirting with me. Personally, I pass that kind of stuff off as a way to get a nicer tip, so I'm under no delusions bout the state of things, not that I'm saying I don't enjoy it. Still, my friends for the night gave me shit for it, and because they were all girls, their kind of shit is a lot different. Guy shit will lead you to believe the waitress doesn't just want a tip, and hopes to embarrass you. Girl shit begins with three girls tell you that the cleavage flashed is sub par, that the hinted bra is tacky, and then moves on to her teeth. The waitress, it seems, had gotten veneers on her teeth, and my ability to flirt with her after that was seriously undermined by the fact that every time she began speaking, I was staring at her teeth. They were straight, but small, and something seemed wrong about them. I wasn't quite sure what, but with each return, with each smile, I got another look at them. It didn't take long, of course, for me to become obsessed with her teeth, even while each one of my friends began to notice that every waitress had the same buttons undone, and the same area of cleavage on display. Since I had noticed this much earlier in the night, I was free to keep watching the teeth. Aren't veneers suppose to make them whiter, I thought to myself? Or bigger?

It got me thinking about dentists and dental work. In fact, it made me think of one thing specifically, which was a home video I saw once. It was shown in this loft where a lot of strange, odd films are shown, as part of the Mu-Meson Archive. The guy who ran it ended up as a reviewer on the SBS Movie Show after David and Margaret, the old hosts, went to ABC. I've no idea if he's still there, or if the show goes on, but I believe the archive still exists. Anyhow, while I was there once, he put up this film of a dentist and his patient. The latter was having teeth removed and had, it seemed, a pathological fear of dentists, and wanted to be knocked out cold for the procedure. The dentist, however, had another plan: give him enough of whatever it is that dentists give to take him half way out, but leave him conscious, then rip his teeth out while the guy was awake. What followed was a painful series of moments in which the dentist ripped this poor guy's teeth out in a bloody and brutal fashion, and the guy screamed and moaned throughout it. From memory, the dentist ripped out pretty much all of this guy's teeth, so it took so time, y'know? But once he was finished, he turned to the camera and said, "He won't remember any of it, but hopefully this will help his fear."

Crazy fuck, obviously.

Still, that was what I was thinking as the waitress flirted with me, and my friends started talking about how a lot of the waitresses didn't have the cleavage to fill out their shirts properly, and I stared at teeth.