Drop 173: Review


‘So, what did you think, Sam?’


‘What do you mean honestly? Of course.’

‘OK,’ Sam said, lighting a cigarette and squinting. ‘Then I’ll tell you: I hated it. I really hated it. It was just plain awful. What the hell kind of directing was that? No skill in it, no flow, no intuition for pace. No knack at all for the simple art of story telling. What was he trying to do? I mean, sure, put your stamp on a famous work, by all means, but this guy’s artistic license was off the charts. The plot was all over the place, and none of the characters were believable, though maybe the fault there lay more with the actors — god, don’t get me started on the actors! Every last one, clueless. Not one bright spot among them. No one understood the conflicts inherent in the characters, and the two leads showed none of the ambiguity that drives the story’s critical undercurrent. It was sad. Just sad. All of it. The sets were lame – not period appropriate at all; in fact, the production value overall was appalling, the effects idiotic. Admit it, the horses looked more like overgrown rats! And what were those brown hanging blankets supposed to be?’

‘Wow, that’s harsh.’

‘Well, you asked for the truth,’ Sam said, looking away from Mary as if something had caught his eye on the other side of the street, then snapping his head back to face her, ‘and this is it: every last person involved in that atrocity should be taken out back and shot. I’m upset I had to sit through it. Outraged. Honestly, I’d rather have eaten a bad oyster on my wedding day, got dengue fever in rural Gabon, sawn off part of my pinkie, or lost my only set of house keys during a blizzard in Minsk.’

‘Man! You felt that strongly about a 4th grade play?’

‘Oh Christ, Mary. You fucking asked. You know, just cause your kid is nine, doesn’t mean she can’t wear a ball gown with a soupçon of panache.’

By E.M. Vireo

Drop #172: Why?

at your disposal‘Why does this keep happening to me?’ Jane asked, following Sarah outside to bum a smoke. She wanted more drinks too but was broke and too proud to ask Sarah to buy her another. ‘Am I just a loser? Do I suck? Am I ugly? A dork? Why does every guy cheat on me or break up with me? Am I a psycho? Too selfish? Too needy? Do I smother them? Do I talk too much? Why do they all dump me? Why, Sarah? Why? Am I delusional? An idiot? Am I annoying? Too fat? Help me understand. Am I gross and stupid and useless and boring? Tell me, Sarah? Am I? Hey? Am I?’

‘Well, actually, yes. Yes you are. All those things, in fact.’ Sarah tipped ash and watched it paraglide down to the pavement. ‘A guy would have to be bat shit crazy not to run once he gets more than a glimpse.’

By EM Vireo

Drop 171: Good

horns‘I saw Sally yesterday,’ Joe said.

‘Oh yeah?’ Hal said. ‘I also bumped into her last week, at the gym, after almost a year.’

‘She just joined. First time you saw her since you guys broke up?’

‘Pretty much. We only talked for like ten seconds.’

‘Yeah. She mentioned she saw you. She said you looked good.’


‘Yeah. So she didn’t tell you about her sister?’

‘Who, Maddy? No.’

‘Car crash. Was in intensive care for three months. She’s out now but she’ll never walk properly again, and she’s got major scarring on her face and neck.’


‘Yeah,’ Joe said, ‘and I guess she didn’t tell you about her parents either?’

‘Her parents?’

‘Mom asked for a divorce—’

‘After 30 years?’

‘Yeah, and just a few weeks before her dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.’


‘He won’t last long. Maybe he’s already gone.’


‘Yeah. Sally said her mother started drinking a lot after, neat vodka mainly, and is pretty much addicted to painkillers now.’


‘And she lost her job too, you know.’

‘Sally’s mom?’

‘No. Sally.’

‘But she was there ten years!’ Hal said. ‘She ran that place!’

‘So I heard. But she’s unemployed now.’


‘I know’



‘So,’ Hal said, ‘she said I looked good hey?’

 By EM Vireo

Drop 170: Decision

‘Oh, God,’ Beth thought, stubbing out another cigarette, ‘it’s so difficult. I love them both in their own way. There’s so much history with Larry – years of warmth and love and caring, but John is new and exciting. Sex with him is just incredible and he makes me feel so fantastic – so young and attractive and full of hope.’

She didn’t know why, but over the past week the burden of secrecy had grown too heavy and she felt she had to choose. Her emotions, forever easy-going and forgiving, had suddenly swelled to demand action right away. There was no fighting it. She knew what she had to do.

She lit another cigarette as she made the call. He was on a business trip. After years of comfortable silence, she couldn’t wait another minute.

‘Hello, darling,’ he said. ‘Everything OK?’

‘Hello, Gunther,’ she said. ‘I want a divorce.’

By EM Vireo

Drop 169: You Know?

glass bottomAmanda is surprised Joe’s still talking to her. He’s blonde and good-looking, with bright eyes and a tanned fit body. He has been laughing at her jokes and has given her more than one complement already. As an overweight, nerdy girl, she’s not used to the attention, but it’s going great – so great in fact, that she decides to go for it. Why not? You never can tell who a person might be into. It’s personal and sometimes quite surprising. Maybe this guy’s into big girls with glasses!

‘Say, Joe: you think you might wanna get some dinner with me some time?’

‘Yeah, sure, would be fun.’

‘Just the two of us, you know, and maybe catch a movie too.’

‘Oh, you mean like a date?’


‘Sorry, darling. I think I gave you the wrong impression. You’re awesome and I think you’re really cute too with your funky glasses and pretty eyes, but I’m into dudes. Actually, if you want to know, I’m into older bald black guys with tattoos.’


‘Something about them just gets me, you know? We can still catch that movie though!’


Later that night Joe hits his usual spot for a quick drink, just to check out the scene.


After talking to Chuck – a large black man in his late forties with an amazing wide smile, fully tattooed arms done really nicely, and a perfectly round shiny head – for half an hour, and buying him a drink, Joe suggests they get out of there.

‘Oh, sorry buddy,’ Chuck says. ‘I must have given you the wrong idea. I’m not gay. Just here with some friends. You’re a handsome dude, for sure, but I’m into chicks – hefty pale white girls with glasses, to be precise. Something about them just gets me, you know?’

 By EM Vireo

Drop #168: Crumbs

cappuccinoJohn is having lunch with Sandra. ‘You have some crumbs on your shoulder,’ she says, pointing, then staring at them till he brushes them off.

Two minutes later she stops mid sentence to tell him he has something in his teeth. ‘What is that, basil? Here, I have a toothpick.’ He accepts it, removes the culprit, then returns his attention to her so she can finish her story.

A few minutes later she interrupts him to ask what that stuff is in his hair. ‘Those pesky crumbs again. How did you manage that?’ She leans in and picks them out, one by one. ‘There. All better.’

Sandra goes to the bathroom to pee. When she comes out of the stall, a woman putting on makeup looks up at her reflection.

‘Woah!’ the woman says. ‘Bull’s-eye.’

‘What?’ Sandra says, then checks the mirror. She immediately sees it: a massive bird poop above her right ear at the hairline, blobbed thick and wide in white and greenish brown, seeping a full inch down her face in three gooey strands. ‘Oh my God!’ she says, grabbing at the paper towel.

Back in the dining room the cappuccinos have come, each served with two biscotti. John eats his and quickly helps himself to Sandra’s before she gets back. He gobbles them up, spilling crumbs down his face and onto his lap. His first sip leaves a foam mustache on his lip, and the cutest smudge of powdered chocolate on the tip of his nose.

By EM Vireo

Drop 167: AKA

wine shadowShe’s in the bathroom, halfway through the date. She really likes this guy. He’s handsome, with a great smile and seems smart and nice too. It’s definitely going well. The conversation is flowing and there’s plenty of flirtation going on. She’s only just met the guy and is surprised to be into him, but it’s exciting.

Back at the table, he’s waiting for her with a smile. He’s topped up her water and her wine. The dessert menu has also arrived.

‘So, any plans for tomorrow?’ she asks, sitting and looking it over.

‘I have an acappella battle.’


‘Yeah. I’ve been practicing all week, and tomorrow’s the big day.’

‘You sing acappella?’

‘Every weekend.’


‘Yeah. Acappella is my life!’

She gets up, drinks down her wine, drops a few twenties on the table. ‘Don’t call me,’ she says as she walks away.

By E.M. Vireo

Drop #166: Date

This post is not suitable for children – you have been warned

icecream bearThey stepped out of the movie theater into the warm night, hand in hand. It was only a first date but it seemed to be going well, and he hoped it would progress to something delicious quite soon.

‘So, what do you want to do now?’ he asked.

‘What do I want to do? I want to fuck – that’s what I want to do. I want to fuck you. I want you to fuck me. I want to suck your dick. I want it between my tits and in my ass. I want to lie you down on the floor and destroy your face with my meticulously waxed pussy. I want to do it for hours on the couch and the bed and the kitchen table, rest for half an hour while we drink champagne and do lines, then go again even longer. That’s what I want to do now – right now. I want it bad.’

‘Yeah, that sounds good. Also – and I’m just throwing this out ­there – there’s this new ice cream place that opened just up around the corner I’ve been meaning to try. It’s an organic creamery with like 56 flavors, all made in-house, and a million toppings to choose from, and they mix it all together on frozen marble slabs right in front of you. Anyway, that’s another option – I’m easy, either way.’

By EM Vireo

Drop 165: Good Boy

bag of poopTom runs into Sarah in the park.

‘Long time,’ he says. ‘How you doing?’

‘Great,’ she says.

‘And who’s this handsome feller?’

‘Oh, this is Duke.’

‘Hey there, buddy.’ He pats Duke on the head. ‘Aren’t you a good boy?’

‘He sure is.’

Duke jerks his head away and watches Tom with distrust.

‘Well, most of the time, at least!’ she adds, smiling timidly.

‘Bet he loves the park.’

‘He sure does. Hates being cooped up in the apartment. Runs around like crazy once we get here. He’s obsessed with the squirrels and the birds. I really should bring him more often—but anyway, what’s new with you?’

‘Not much. Work is slow. Went to Montauk for the long weekend.’

‘Great. Love Montauk.’

‘Yeah. Terrific weather. Fresh seafood and–oh my, will you look at that!’

‘Duke, no!’ Sarah shouts. ‘Not here. God, I’m so sorry,’ she adds, slinging her backpack off her shoulder and struggling to produce a plastic baggy.

‘I guess you just gotta go when you gotta go, hey.’

‘It’s a new thing, to do it around people like that. Right at their feet. I don’t know why.’ She is clearly embarrassed as she crouches down with the small blue bag and picks up the sizeable turd, knotting it tidily afterwards. ‘You know, we should really be on our way. Sorry. Come on, Duke.’ She starts leading him away but he resists. ‘I said let’s go, Duke. That means now!’

‘But I don’t want to go, Mommy,’ Duke says, straightening the shorts he just pulled up. ‘I want to play on the jungle gym.’

By EM Vireo

Drop #164: Snub

wedding cakeI see Johnny Malloy’s brother, Charlie, at the fish and chips shop and go up to him.

‘Hey there, Charlie, how you going?’

‘Fine. Fine.’

‘And how’s married life treating Johnny then?’

‘Good, I guess.’

‘Say, I think it was quite rude of him not to invite me to his wedding.’


‘Yeah, given we’ve known each other almost ten years.’

‘He must have had a good reason.’

‘I mean, seriously. I think that was quite a low blow not inviting the captain of his inter-pub football team, as if we weren’t really mates after all. Not inviting the man who introduced him to the girl whose friend got him that part-time job at the ice cream stall.’


‘To not even extend me an invitation. To leave a good buddy and fellow old Daltonian hanging that way. To be honest, I’m a bit hurt.’

‘Oh. Sorry to hear it.’

‘Well, how was it then anyway?’

‘What’s that?’

‘The wedding–his wedding. How was it?’

‘Oh, nice from what I heard. He didn’t invite me either.’

By E.M. Vireo