I wrote a short story called "Dennis." It's pretty short, even by short story standards, but I plan on writing more of them with hopes that it'll help me write better stories in the future. For this one I tried coming up with a simple topic (the aftermath of being on a reality show) and I just started typing some things as they came into my mind. I went back later and added some more tidbits.
I'll post the better ones on this blog ;)
Hello, I'm Dennis Bagelman and I'm a former reality TV star.
Being a reality TV star can be pretty great. And by great I mean
it's the most terrible thing you can do with your life. People are
always pointing at you on the street, laughing, asking to take
selfies with you, still laughing, calling their friends to tell them
“guess what douchebag I just met,” more with the laughing. People
are mean, I tell you. I suppose a lot of that meanness is my fault,
though, because of the way I acted on TV. I did something...
humiliating. I don't want to get into it, because trust me it's a
really boring story, but basically I got drunk and had sex with a
coconut on national television, and now I'm the Horny Coconut Guy.
It was one of those TV shows like Survivor, except it had a dating
twist. Basically 20 single people met up on an island to have sex
while also demonstrating their survival skills. It was called Sex
Jungle and it was a ratings smash. I got eliminated in the first week
because no one wanted to have sex with me. Again, that was probably
the coconut's fault.
Even though I was eliminated early on, I still get recognized
every day. Like today, I went to a coffee shop before work and the
barista looked at me kind of funny. I knew she knew who I was. Or
maybe she didn't know, but she actually did know and she didn't know
she knew and she was trying to figure it out in her head. Either way,
she knew something and that something was that I humped a coconut.
She called out my name and handed me my drink at the counter with a
smile on her face. What's with that smile, lady? I know she's
supposed to smile at me, because it's her job, but I don't think
snickering behind the counter and pretending to hump a coffee cup is
her job either. She knew.
I sat down to drink my coffee and read the paper. There was a
young couple at a table nearby that glanced over at me. As soon as I
made eye contact with them, they darted back towards each other,
trying to contain they're laughter. These people. They act like
they've never humped a coconut before.
Since it was nearly impossible to drink at this coffee shop in
peace, I crossed it off my list of safe places and went on my way to
the office. When I got there I saw the latest meme about me printed
out in black and white and taped to the fridge in the breakroom. It
was a picture of me on the island with the coconut and the text
"SURROUNDED BY ATTRACTED WOMEN. SCREWS COCONUT." These
people I work with. Comedians, I tell you. I should have known not to
go in the breakroom. I crossed it off the safe places list on day 1.
Not all of the reactions I get are of laughter. Take Alice, the
nice lady that sits at the cubicle next to me in the office. Every
time she sees me she gives me a look of pure disgust. I didn't even
know face muscles could move the way they do on that woman's face.
She usually follows that up with a gagging gesture. I'm so glad I can
bring out the best in people.
My boss was the worst when it came to Make Fun of Dennis Time. A
couple months ago he told me he hired a coconut in accounting, and
then he gave me a really long speech about sexual harassment in the
workplace, in front of the whole staff. Good one, jackass.
Yeah, my life was pretty terrible alright. I keep telling myself
this is gonna go away after time passes. But it's been about 3 years
since I was on the show. They had 3 seasons and over 50 episodes
since I was a blip on the TV. When will this torment go away?
Then I checked my email. I got something from the producers of Sex
Jungle. Apparently they want me back for Season 4, which is some kind
of reunion competition with old contestants. They offered me a large
sum of money to come back on the show, regardless if I win or not.
This is the kind of money I could quit my job with, at least for a
Guess who's humping a coconut on national television again...