insurance design

Smoking Charges Ignite

Last night, Amy took Anna, our seven-year-old, to the dress rehearsal for her 2015 dance recital. I was left in charge of Will, our nine-year-old, and Ella, our three-year-old. What follows is a litany of the kids showing me that I exist in their world as a piece of tightly-spun twine, permanently...

[ Swap Article ]

Sad Child

Mimicry

Our actions become our kids' reactions. Not exactly new. Not exactly Newtonian (pause while joke sinks in). But it's a truism all the same. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Car radio

Piece of Sh*t Car Reprise

When I was in high-school, a popular song named "Ode to My Car," by Adam Sandler, spun regularly on the radio. No, it didn't. All foul-mouthed teenage boys wished such happy, unfiltered radio days would appear, but that didn't stop the explicit lyrics from making an impact, even if the song's plot...

[ Swap Article ]

ad-sample

Advertise Here

The street is dark. Cars line both sides, hugging the curbs. Streetlamps reflect off of glossy paint jobs and squeegeed windshields, creating alternative perspective art pieces from flipped aspect ratios of bent light. A breeze blows the evening fog up …...

[ Swap Article ]

Re-gifting

Certain messes in life are unavoidable. If you get a DUI and your hair is sufficiently mussed or you manage to jam your finger into the nearest outlet just prior to the mug-shot, chances are you'll be a big-time celebrity some day. ...

[ Swap Article ]

A Reasonable Explanation

Therapist: Take me back to the beginning. Tell me how it all got started, how you eventually wound up holding the bloody knife in the aftermath of your killing spree. I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation....

[ Swap Article ]

That's a Mouthful

Waking up to the sounds of birds and (outside) insects is alluring, and when you have your second 10th cup of coffee and realize you are on vacation, and this auditory lovemaking is real, not the result of an ambitious-carpet-cleaning hallucination, you can finally relax, letting your bulk stress...

[ Swap Article ]

Stupid Piece of ... Oh, That's Right

I'm a realist. I call things like they are, and if I look stupid in the process, well, so be it. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Deadly Donuts

The morning started off good. Four eggs fluffed with a splash of milk, mixed with Parmesan and salt and black pepper and red pepper flakes and slathered with Cholula hot sauce; four ounces of Bob Evan's spicy Italian sausage (sorry for the smell, honey, luv ya) fried into the wonderful concoction;...

[ Swap Article ]

When Did I Become a Pushover?

I've never thought of myself as the Ultimate Fighter type. As a kid, whenever the possibility of bodily harm came up, I tried to avoid confrontation. But if the issue was pressed, I could stand up and issue fake threats along with the best of them and hope that my manufactured bravado was enough to...

[ Swap Article ]

As I Approach 30

I live in a small town. Colona, IL has a population of just over 5,000. As a jogger, this means I am usually only assaulted with exhaust fumes a few times whenever I decide to go outside to burn some calories. But as far as the type of people passing me on the roadside? Over this, I have no control....

[ Swap Article ]

0
Chess board made of white and brown sugar with King

Filed Under , on February 2nd, 2019

Sweetness and Dark

By Seth Kabala

The street is dark. Cars line both sides, hugging the curbs. Streetlamps reflect off of glossy paint jobs and squeegeed windshields, creating alternative perspective art pieces from flipped aspect ratios of bent light. A breeze blows the evening fog up from the water. It lowers the ambient neighborhood temperature by 10 degrees. As it enters the street, the fog parts for vehicles, then closes when they’re lost from view, swallowing them as it envelops the neighborhood in its mindless advance.

The houses mostly echo the darkness, but through front bay windows, a few holdouts flash screens large enough to serve as portals to other dimensions. The families watch their shows, necks craned upward at awkward angles, like true believers holding their gazes toward the skies and waiting for the second coming. Their beliefs are true, but their god is a drone and won’t be performing any miracles.

Back outside, souls are absent, but beings are present. They flash from a skull-like face, rimmed with yellow hues, to an old, cartoonish face, backstopped by an epic, royal collar and a high forehead. An insane grin covers the faces. The mouths open in unison. The fires in the pseudo-reality voice box furnaces alight, and the beings say, “Have some candy!”

* * *

I served as Toastmaster (emcee) for a recent meeting at our downtown club. As per our club’s tradition, I mentioned that those in attendance would win a piece of candy if they used the Word of the Day. I’m getting better about being spontaneous in these meetings, playing off of the last thing that happened or was said, treating it as an improv yes, and then rolling with it, but I still miss key moments of humor gold that, later, I inevitably regret not acting upon.

One of those regrets was this: when referring to the Word of the Day, I thought it would have been awesome for me to channel King Candy from Wreck It Ralph. I would say, “If you use the Word of the Day during your speaking role, ‘Have some candy.’” Creepy funny? Yes, but funny is funny. Don’t like amateur impressions? I’ll stipulate that many more people think they’re good at voices than are actually good at voices (Hey, I’ve got a dream, too!), but that doesn’t mean you can’t find humor in even a feeble attempt at mimicry. I’m trying to crawl out of this feeble attempt category, but the ground is slippery and the angle is steep.

Think about that movie, that voice. What memories does this evoke in you? Are they happy, terrified, ambivalent, amused, disgusted, pleased? Emotional reactions can run the gamut, and that’s okay. What’s important, above the voice, above the characterization, above the silliness, is the ability to find the whimsical within the world.

Maybe you felt happiness when you watched Wreck It Ralph. You experienced several ups and downs over the course of the movie, as the makers designed, but overall, you felt happy—happy that Ralph got his medal, got to help Vanellope, and got to kill his nemesis with a novel use of Mentos and cola.

(Yes, King Candy does die. He was zapped in the giant fountain of erupting cola, and even though said fountain evaporated seconds after King Candy and the Cy-Bugs entered, no trace was seen of them, so, yeah, get used to the fact that Wreck It Ralph is yet another example of casual killing within an ostensibly kid-friendly movie. Family fun for everyone!)

If, however, your feelings were more gray, wait until dark. When the ebony curtain falls, look outside. Do you see King Candy? Do you hear the comic voice altimeter ascending? If you do, don’t be scared. He’s only there to bring you the sweet treat of laughter. To help you be in the improv moment.

What do you think he wants?

P.S. This is what happens when I write things late at night, half asleep, after drinking . Weird shit, man. Weird shit. Good? Meh. I’ll let you decide, dear reader. If this piece sucks, it sucks. I can deal with that. The awesome thing about writing is this: as long as you’re alive, the well is deep and rich. Draw from it daily, friends. Then give yourself a reward. Maybe some candy.

 

FacebookGoogle+PinterestRedditTwittertumblrEmail



Leave a Reply





Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, and musician. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0 Comments Load Comments


Open and closed recycle brown carton delivery packaging box.

The Unboxing

Shortly after moving to Portland, I asked our office administrative specialist to order me a footrest. I asked for the footrest for a practical reason: lower back pressure relief. I have a stand-up desk. This works well to get my stand hours in during the day--Apple faithful, you know what I'm...

[ Swap Article ]

God character working on telemarketing vector illustration. Telemarketing, sales, business, marketing design concept

Let there Be Devices

We have over a dozen devices now, and the number is only going to grow from here. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Money eye bottle soda water isolated on mascot

Hydrating Water

Phil wasn't sure what caused his muscles to dehydrate and shrivel up into jerky encased in skin, but he understood the aftermath. His career was over. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Einstein - Think

You're Smart

We were talking around the dinner table about what it means to get a college degree. I said you pass a bunch of tests, and then they give you a piece of paper that says you're smart. I finished my explanation saying employers can rely on that piece of paper as evidence that you're smart. Anna, 11,...

[ Swap Article ]

Madre Greater than Padre

Madre > Padre

A couple weeks ago, Amy diagnosed and changed out all three fuses that controlled electrical flow to the outlets in our car. Super sexy. Super cool. When I say that Amy did it, I don't mean that I was standing on the sidelines, guiding hands and helping words coaching her to a successful solution. I...

[ Swap Article ]

Ben Comedy Main Headshot 2019 Lego Tshirt Hi Res_May 2019 Profile Piece

An Interview with Ben Rosenfeld (feature)

Acceptance and Current Events ...

[ Swap Article ]

Cartoon stick figure drawing conceptual illustration of angry man or businessman targeting with antique cannon ready to fire.

Bolt-Action Cannonball Sack

"Can you do the bolt-action cannonball sack?" Ella asked me today during bedtime. She was trying to remember the name of the move I do when I toss her over my shoulder and then flip her onto the bed. (I call it the fireman’s carry/toss.) Earlier, she was playing Fortnite with Will and must have...

[ Swap Article ]

?????????????????????????????????????????????????

Time Traveling Titan

At Toastmasters last week, the theme was National Velociraptor Awareness Day (a real thing). During Table Topics, one of the questions was this: describe your experience finding the first velociraptor claw. Tonight, the whole family is going to watch Avengers: Endgame. In the spirit of honoring the...

[ Swap Article ]

Customer icon emotions satisfaction meter with different symbol on background

Peaked Performance

I feel like the brain-training app Peak is a walking, talking (or, more accurately, a clicking, screen-time bloating) irony. The stated goal of this app is to improve your lifelong mental processing potential in several categories, like problem-solving and memory. The irony is that you Peak quickly....

[ Swap Article ]

Grunge green accepted word round rubber seal stamp on white background

Editor's Note--TFF Issue #21

On Easter Sunday afternoon, we took our kids to a trampoline/obstacle course park, but not just any ordinary park. This wasn't a collection of four-feet-across questionable exercise equipment in the trailer park's social activities room. (If we cobble together a bunch of small trampolines, we could...

[ Swap Article ]

Mad scientist holding up a test tube

Ammo Arms (part one)

...

[ Swap Article ]

Set, collection of colorful socks icons with different ornaments isolated on white background.

Waiting for Sock

Think about stuff you need to get you through your day. Does coffee come to mind? Of course it does. For millions of Americans and billions of people around the world, coffee, in its various forms, is a daily ritual. Not just a daily ritual--an hourly fix, as in you need to grab more black sludge...

[ Swap Article ]