Are We Singular Or Plural? By Doug Ordunio

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”
-- Hunter S. Thompson

My name is Brooke, and I’ve had (let’s say) an unusual life. I was about three when I realized that forever there would be someone looking over my shoulder, that I could never be completely alone. I’ve adjusted now, and I really look up to her as an angel who hovers over me. At first, she was pretty annoying.

OK, I’m Brenda, and if I don’t get a word in, Brooke might dominate everything. We never knew what a mirror was until we were about four. That was about the time I saw my reflection in a lake, and knew she was there. That was also the first time I spoke to her, and she said, “This wasn’t my idea. It’s a joke gone bad, if you ask me.” But I always was asking her, ‘Why do I have to hang around with you.’ Well, at least now we’ve learned how to get along.

Really, I ignored her for the longest time, but I finally had to ask. When I asked my mother why Brenda was always so close, she hemmed and hawed quite uncomfortably. “Brenda,” she began, “it’s really difficult to explain.”

Mom took us to the doctor, Dr. Evans, and she was real nice. She wanted to tell us what our mother couldn’t. The one thing she told us is that we’re not normal. In fact, we’re better than normal. She said we are conjoined. Something went haywire. So we must cooperate to survive. The other weird thing is that I control the right arm and the right leg. Brooke controls the left arm and the left leg. I think God was very even-handed when he created us. Otherwise he could have screwed us up more than he did.

I think we’re both pretty to look at, but where are we going to find a guy with two heads? That would be a trip.

Well, Brooke, now the sexual thing is a problem. After all we have to share a vagina.

Bren, do you think people really want to hear about that?

I think they have healthy curiosities, don’t you??

I guess…

Well, the difficult thing is that since we only have one, it would be problematic to know two guys. I mean, one guy would have to get ‘sloppy seconds.’ And…they would have to get along with each other.

Technically, Brenda, since I was the first head that was born, I get first choice, right?

But I’m the taller one, so I get to decide!

Let’s not argue, please.

OK, it’s tough not to feel that we’re not in some sort of freak show- -that people are not staring at us. I mean, shit! We’re human beings, or is it being? I get confused…are we singular or plural?

I think we’re plural, Sis. How can we not be? See I said “we”, not “I”.

I get tired of thinking sometimes. You hungry?

Yeah, that’s a good idea. How about fettuccine testosterone?

You’re sick! And you know I don’t like pasta…

I’m joking, Bren…Sometimes you are so-o-o uptight. At least, I have a sense of humor. Say, did you hear the one about the two conjoined guys?

Not really, Brooke.

Well, they’re actually two guys from England, and they’re sitting in a bar in France, and since they’re conjoined, they look like they’re sitting very close together. The barkeep comes over and says to them, “I’m sorry, but we have a strict rule about gays in here. There’s a gay bar a few doors down on the other side of the street.” The guy on the right says, “Hey, we’re not gay, we’re conjoined at the shoulder.” The bartender gets very apologetic and says, “I’m very sorry. May I give you glasses of the best wine from our cellar?” The one on the left says, “We really don’t drink wine. We’d prefer just a soft drink.” When the soft drinks are delivered, the man says, “I could suggest a terrific bistro that has some of the haute cuisine of the region. The man on the right says, “We really don’t like French food. Now if you know of a place that has fish and chips…” How about if I tell you of a place that has some incredible scenery of the French countryside?” The man on the left says, “That doesn’t interest us.” The bartender says, “If you don’t like the food, or wine, or the scenery, why the hell did you come to France?” Guy on the right says, “We came here, so my brother would have a turn at driving!”

Ha! Ha!

Come on sour puss, you know somebody laughed!

I just hear the sounds of silence…

Why don’t you just kiss me, Bren? As a last resort?

OK, Sis. If there’s no one else around, we can always have fun by ourselves. {Heavy breathing ensues…}

Doug Ordunio has been a lifelong resident of Southern California. He has been a composer, professional singer, and has been involved in radio and voice-over work for 30 years. He has written two novels and two books of poetry, available at


David Barber said...

I enjoyed this one, Doug. It's someones fantasy, it's a bit wacky and bizarre. It's well written and it made me chuckle at the end. Am I warped? Guess so!

Well done, Doug!

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

The imagery this created had me feeling a bit unsetteled. The joke at the end got a laugh out of me too. There is definitley something perverse about this.

Ben said...

You can't go wrong with an HST quote at the beginning. Dammit, I miss him.

cmmarcum said...

A slice of weird, and the joke was funny, too.

Glenn Gray said...

Funny and unique.

Paul D. Brazill said...

Great/ Quirky/ Funny/Beaut.