“Idle Thoughts” by Holly Woodward

"Poor Penguins" by Sylvia Yu / sylvia-yu.com/

Idle Thoughts

When is it time to tell children about the birds and the bees? Never. They are sex workers exploited by flowers to do their dirty work for them. Let’s tell teens about vegetables.

I can’t afford goldfish, but I dabble in silverfish.

I applied for a dream job. That sounded cool, getting paid to dream. Turns out, I had to work on other people’s dreams. No way I am going to hammer out nightmares for people too lazy to have their own.

I want a vending machine that dispenses imaginary friends, I go through them so fast; when they get to know me, they flee.

Flossing is a bother. I want a lover of flossing. Every night, I’d let him go at it and when he was done, I’d say, “Just two minutes? You’re the best.”

Beaches are nice but sand is gritty and gets in every crevice. What if we replaced the sand with sugar? When you’re hungry, you can lick yourself, and you don’t have run after the man on the bicycle with a bell who sells ice cream. He’ll be out of a job, but he can eat the sand, too.

Sharks have remoras that suck up to them and clean their skin. Let’s steal the lackey fish. Then we’d never have to shower, though we’d have to live in the bath.

Poor penguins, they don’t get “casual Friday.”

I bought a bag of pre-sliced apples, and when I got home, I was disheartened to find that I had to slice the bag myself. There should be a section in the grocery of pre-sliced bags of pre-sliced foods for those of us who aren’t the DIY types.

I am tired of telling students everything I know year after year while they stare through me, chewing gum. Tomorrow, I’m going to begin, “Tell me what you don’t know, and I’ll fill you in.”

I hate when people say before they tell a joke, “It’s so funny, you are going to die.” I don’t find my death funny.

If people really did die laughing, then we’d have joke wars, and stockpiles for Cold Joke Wars. We’d have the Knock, Knock War, and The War of the Elephant Jokes, and comics would have chests covered in medals.

I keep misspelling ‘die.” I don’t want to die. Can’t I just dye, and we’ll write it off as a typo?

Holly Woodward is a writer and artist. She served as writer in residence at St. Albans, Washington National Cathedral, and was a fellow at CUNY Graduate Center Writers’ Institute. Her poems and fiction have appeared in magazines on and off the web. Her novella Somebody’s Going to Get Hurt is forthcoming from Sinister Stoat Press.