Wolf rummaged to the cushions of the stained (and possibly bedbug-infested) couch he was sleeping on ever since the landlord padlocked out of his loft space over a matter of unpaid rent.
A guy he used to work with at the coffee place (before he was fired for coming to work drunk) told him he could stay as long as he needed to get back on his feet but, three months in, all of a sudden he’s all like “you should probably start looking for a new apartment.” Wolf thought he was cool, but I guess not, right?
Wolf found enough nickels for a PBR and a shot, put on his least stained shirt, and headed down to Shotzy’s happy hour. Bellying up to the bar, who should walk in but his old friend Dog, who he hadn’t seen since their old band broke up.
Dog was barely recognizable, wearing handmade engineer boots with a vintage toggle-coat over his arm and a artisan-made leather satchel over his shoulder. He noticed Wolf leaning on the bar and his expression froze, before forcing an embarrassed smile.
Wolf asked what Dog had been doing and Dog breathlessly replied,“After that last tour, I met this amazing girl. She convinced me to go back to school and finish my degree. I’m working as an art director for an interactive design marketing firm. We’re getting married sometime next year. We’re still working out our letter-pressed save-the-date card. You know how it is.”
Wolf convinced Dog to buy another round and asked if he was still playing the drums.
“There isn’t really room in our apartment for my gear, so she put them in storage. I don’t have time, anyway, between work and our wedding planning and our home-brew kombacha business start-up…”
Wolf wished he hadn’t finished his drink quite so fast.
“I’m meeting my girlfriend here actually. Her burlesque trapeze class is up the street. We’re going to meet some of her friends at that locally-sourced foraged plant vegetarian restaurant and then taking in a screening of amateur feminist video documentaries.”
Dog’s iphone bleeped and he jumped out of his seat as his girlfriend texted that she was ready to go. Now.
“Great running into you, man,” walking to the door, Dog said, “You’d be a lot better off with someone, Wolf. You can’t live like this forever.”
Wolf was scrambling to finish the dregs of Dog’s glass, but reflecting on what he said, thought, “Fuck that shit.”
He later died in an alley, kicked to death by a drunken bachelorette party he catcalled one time too many.
The City Mouse & The Country Mouse: A Hipster Aesopimal Fable
Several years after graduation, City Mouse got a message on Facebook from her best friend from high school, Country Mouse (who actually lived in a suburb). More out of a sense of obligation than anything else, City Mouse friended her.
When City Mouse was back in her hometown to visit her parents for Christmas, the two old friends decided to meet up. After a 45 minute drive in Country Mouse’s SUV to the nearest mall, they dined on gigantic portions of cheese-covered starchy food at the local chain restaurant and took in an explosion-filled blockbuster at the mega-multiplex.
After a quick nightcap at the Sports Bar, Country Mouse said that was probably enough excitement for one night and she had a new episode of CSI on the Tivo back home calling her name. Heady with both nostalgia and too many Kool Bloo Razzberry margaritas, City Mouse denounced the entire evening as “total shit.” She insisted that Country Mouse had to visit her in the city so she could show her lame former best friend a real night out.
Country Mouse cashed in her frequent flyer miles and took her city friend up on her offer. She found the city very dirty and noisy and full of scary-looking people. She eventually found the City Mouse’s home, a tiny studio apartment that was smaller than the second bathroom in Country Mouse’s place. A foul-smelling young guy smoking on the couch, who City Mouse introduced as her roommate, even told her that City Mouse paid as much in rent every month as a used car would cost back home!
City Mouse suggested they should go check out this ama-a-a-azing food truck that parked 20 blocks away. Country Mouse thought this was too much walking and missed her car.
The Korean-Fusion Lasagna Sliders were OK, but the other people waiting in line made mean faces at her and complained loudly the entire 40 minutes they waited in line.
City Mouse said they had to go see her friends’ band playing at a loft space, but the subway wasn’t running that weekend. It took three different shuttle buses and by the time they arrived, the police had shut down the show for noise complaints. City Mouse and Country Mouse drank warm beer in a doorway for an hour before the pills City Mouse took earlier hit her all at once and she vomited on Country Mouse’s sneakers.
Country Mouse returned to her suburb and watching television, confident that her life may not be as exciting as her friend’s, but at least people didn’t treat her like an asshole all the time. Then she died from obesity-related heart disease in early middle-age.
Wanting to prove I can write more than three-word captions, I turned to the classics.
Aesop’s tales are timeless - enjoyed since the 6th Century BCE - so I thought, why not saddle them with current specifics that will seem hopelessly outdated five years from now?
This story begins, as all tales of disappointment and regret do, on eBay.
Just after getting up at noon and a leisurely check of all of his social networks, Fox found an absolutely amazing Japan-only export re-release of The Grapes’ self-titled four-song EP.
Pressed on 180-gram vinyl and individually numbered, the 7” was in sealed mint condition and had no minimum reserve price set. No question about it — he had to have it.
(I know what you’re thinking, gentle reader, but this is not the Atlanta-based 90s jam rock The Grapes but an infinitely cooler, more obscure band called The Grapes that only super-savvy very hip people know about.)
He abandoned his usual strategy of waiting until the last day and bid right away. He checked back in an hour to discover someone else had outbid him. He raised his bid considerably only to be outbid again.
Luckily his monthly check from the parents had just arrived, so he raised his offer on the record to a princely sum. He checked back on eBay with clockwork regularity as the time left on the auction passed.
In the last second, he was outbid by a record-store owner in Austin (who had downloaded an app that automatically bids at the last possible second – totally unfair!)
Huffing with rage, he marched to the nearest coffeehouse.
He bought a single Americano and occupied a table for four hours while hammering out a blistering 1500-word blog post about how The Grapes were totally overrated and that release in particular was notably full of flaws.
The Tortoise & The Hare: A Hipster Aesopimals Fable
Tortoise and Hare were neighbors and frenemies. After an awkward run in at the coffee place, without meaning to they found themselves agreeing to a dinner party on Saturday, as it was early spring so ramps were then just arriving at the farmers’ markets.
Hare ran a very prominent foodie blog (at least among the very small foodie circle she traveled in) and had an absolute madness for ramps. Tortoise was a dabbler, at best. Tortoise wouldn’t even know what a ramp looked like until the New York Times Food Section did a feature on them last year. How lame.
Hare knew she’d could make her famous orecchiette with ramps and prosciutto half an hour before the party, so she went out for drinks Friday night… which turned into drunken karaoke in the wee hours, a stagger back to her apartment at dawn, then a late-morning snooze, and finally, an afternoon brunch. “Tortoise probably doesn’t even know where the only decent farmers’ markets are, I don’t need to rush,” she thought, finishing her third Bellini.
Tortoise got up bright and early on Saturday, because her cluelessness about “it-produce” meant she was a social pariah and didn’t have anyone to go out with the night before. She watched this Miranda July DVD she heard was good (everyone else saw it in the theater when it came out last year, of course) and then went straight to bed. She made her way around the farmers’ market asking the most obvious questions from all the farmers, who could barely contain their eye-rolling. Satisfied, Tortoise bought all the ramps they had for sale.
By the time Hare made her way to the market, the farmers were packing up. The ramps were long gone. She resigned herself and bought a couple warty-looking heirloom tomatoes to make an ugly salad.