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The Journal of Literary Satire | Hastily Written & Slopilly Edited
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Flirting with Death

by Scott Barres

Jimmy liked to live dangerously. He liked his steak rare, his eggs runny, his milk expired. He chain-smoked unfiltered cigarettes. When sunbathing, he used lotion with very low SPF. When driving his Ford Pinto (six months overdue for inspection!) he did not wear his seatbelt. He played sports without a jockstrap. He slept with hookers without a condom. He often went outside in nippy weather while his head was still wet from the shower. Sometimes, he didn’t even take a coat.

Jimmy wrote threatening letters to the mafia. He threw pinecones at beehives. He committed arson in front of local firehouses. He wrote his name on governmental forms where it was plainly marked “Do not write below this line.” He challenged Lennox Lewis to a bare-knuckle boxing match, and repeatedly taunted his opponent by affecting a lisp: “Lennoxth Lewith, Lennoxth Lewith,” he sang while dodging punches.

Jimmy kept oily rags in close proximity to his stove. He did not replace the batteries in his smoke alarm. He urinated on the third rail of the subway. He threw empty beer bottles at skunks and hoboes and prisoners on highway cleanup duty. He kept his toaster oven precariously close to the edge of a shelf above his bathtub. He flipped the bird at passing police officers, gang members, dog walkers, and people with shifty eyes. Sometimes, if it he saw a particularly dangerous-looking dog leashed to a parking meter while its owner was inside a store, Jimmy would untie the leash, then step on the dog’s paw, or pull its tail, or splash Diet Mountain Dew in its face.

Jimmy went hunting while wearing a bear costume. He swam in shark-infested waters, with chunks of raw sirloin in the pockets of his swim trunks. He wandered the streets of Harlem wearing a Klansman’s hood. He hung around Klan meetings wearing FUBU. Once, he showed up at a motorcycle rally on a pink girls’ bike while wearing Capri pants that were very tight.

One time, Jimmy tagged along with cops raiding a crack den, and not only did he refuse to wear his Kevlar vest, but also he was barefoot, which is very dangerous, he explained to me, because crack dens often have bits of broken glass and used hypodermic needles strewn about the floor and, if that wasn’t bad enough, they usually have inadequate lighting.

So I knifed him in the back, the dumb bastard. That’ll learn him good.

Scott Bares thinks he's smart and good-looking and cool. But not as smart, good-looking, or cool as you.