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'Drive-Thru Open til 3' by Dan Nielsen


It was time for Clark to find a place of his own with a dresser with a mirror on top to tilt any way he wants. He had long hair but didn’t want anyone to know so he cut it. He put a personal ad in the Penny Saver: 'Shallow and unimaginative male seeks thin white female, must be attractive.'

At a bar, after several drinks, Clark said, “Drinking makes good people interesting and bad people annoying.”

Terry, who answered every personal ad in the Penny Saver, replied, “But does it make boring people insightful?”

They had a few more. Terry bought every third one. Clark wasn’t sure where this placed her on the political spectrum, but at least he didn’t feel like a chump.

Terry got way more interesting. Clark became annoying as hell. This was obvious to everyone. A polka band played “Yes, We Have No Bananas.” A man in a red shirt who didn’t look much older than seventy asked Terry to dance. They polkaed until the band, “Fat Louie Szkowski and His Knights of Sheboygan” took a break.

It was Terry’s turn to buy but Clark ordered them both another Bud Light with a shot of ginger brandy this time.

“Tell me about yourself,” Clark said like he was reading from a notecard.

“In my spare time,” Terry said, “I run marathons and engage in unmedicated childbirth.”

“You didn’t tell me you had kids,” Clark said. He felt like a chump.

Back in his furnished room, Clark tilted the mirror every which way and it wasn’t all that great. He called his parents’ number. No answer. Worried, he walked to their place that was now a Taco Bell. The sign said “Closed,” but the drive-thru was open until 3.

“You need a car,” the old lady at the window said.

Clark recognized his mother, but his mother did not recognize him. Probably the haircut.

“Mom, it’s me,” Clark said. “I need to borrow your car.”


Copyright. Dan Nielsen.


Dan Nielsen is a part-time standup comic. The worst flavor of jelly is petroleum. Recent FLASH in: Defenestration, Backchannels, and Potato Soup Journal. Dan has a website: Preponderous, follow @DanNielsenFIVES.






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