Do Unto Buzz by Jim Harrington

I parked an outhouse in Buzz's front yard late last night and blew it up. I suppose I should feel bad, but I don't. In fact, I think I strained something trying not to laugh out loud as I watched the contents of the crapper spatter all over the front of Buzz's house.

Buzz'll know who did it. He ain't that dense. We been pulling stunts on each other since high school.

Martha, that's my wife, says I need to grow up. If I really want to get to her, I raise my arms and fly around the house like I'm Peter fucking Pan. If it's close to supper time, I simply duck my head and say, "He did it to me last." That argument usually gets me this pose from Martha, like Superman staring down some bad guy, but I keep trying.

Buzz's pranks almost always have something to do with my truck. He probably figures it's in such bad shape he can't do it much harm. Once he hid a hornet's nest under the seat. I never bailed out of anything as fast as I did that beat-up Ford. Ran into the neighbor's driveway and nearly got run over by Old Lady Moss heading to church. I couldn't believe the language coming outta her mouth.

Martha reminded me about the time her daddy caught us in the barn. Said I ran fast then, also. Too bad he didn't get there sooner. Maybe I wouldn't of had to marry Martha before she birthed Jesse.

I tried to talk to Buzz about stopping, but all he wanted to do was argue. Didn't surprise me. He can be a mean son of a bitch. Kinda like a billy goat left alone too long in a pasture.

The argument turned into a real scorcher of a fight, and the best time I had with Buzz. I got to use all my cuss words without Martha saying something.

We ended up on the ground rolling around and beating on each other. He was winning, until I landed a hard punch on his liver.

I know someday we'll have to stop, probably soon. Martha's right. It's time for me to grow up. Jesse is five and needs a better example of how to be a man. Martha deserves better for putting up with me, too.

Buzz is coming down the street. I can't see his face, but he's not using his happy walk. He's carrying one of those fancy squirt guns with the big tank. I suppose now would be good time to tell him I pulled my last prank, but I want to see what he does to my truck this time. Besides, I still got a stick of dynamite left. It'd be a shame to waste it on some old tree.

Jim discovered flash fiction in 2007, and he’s read, written, studied, and agonized over the form since. His recent stories have appeared in Flashshot, A Twist of Noir, The Short Humour Site, Dew on the Kudzu, and others. Jim's Six Questions For blog ( provides editors and publishers a place to “tell it like it is.”


Michael Solender said...

Boom. Well done Jim.

David Barber said...

A great read, Jim. Enjoyed the childish games they played on each other, until the reveal of the dynamite at the end brought it all home. BOOM indeed!

Very nice work.

AJ Hayes said...

Came out perfect, Jim. funny and funnier until the very last line. I'll nudge a rookie for ya and say, Now that's the way you do it, son.

Julie Lewthwaite said...

Great fun, I enjoyed that. Nice work!

Gary Stevens said...


Jesse Lee said...

Ahhh... dynamite, a prankster's dream.

Benjamin Sobieck said...

Great voice throughout this piece. Way to grab me in with the exploding outhouse right away, then lure me along with mischief until the end.

There's so much foreshadowing outside the graphs, too. I like when a story can operate in my head as much as before my eyes. Bravo!

Paul D. Brazill said...

A gem! Buzz deserves it!

nigel p bird said...

to infinite and beyond. nicely done

Lily Childs said...

Squirt gun? Don't think so. Boys will be boys, until... Great fun.