The Cockalorums

By Rick Bursky

I invented the broken pencil. All the old forms of outrage had become passé. My neighbor had already perfected the blank stare. Night after night, I saw see him standing in front of a mirror, rehearsing, perfecting, pulling his shoulders back with pride. It was just this sort of behavior that convinced a woman to accept his marriage proposal. If my attempt to patent the broken pencil is unsuccessful there are other inventions to discuss, a dog-shaped cloud drifting out to sea, for instance, my contributions here are substantial.

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Rick Bursky

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