***BIO***   Michael Frissore lives in Leominster, MA with his wife. His short fiction has appeared in Antithesis Common, Nuvein Magazine, Fictionville and elsewhere. He is also a staff writer at The WRIToracle. Mike is obsessed with pro-wrestler deaths, and enjoys Chinese food, time travel and referring to himself in the third person. He often tells people he's a matador.
© 2007 zygoteinmycoffee Ink.
A Sincere Prayer
by Michael Frissore
Dear God, please forgive me. Amy is worried for our future, and the future of our children. See, her husband, that’s me, hello, has an affinity for joking about terrible things. Amy’s fine with most of it, but it’s the joking about, and laughing at, “special” people that disturbs her. She believes not in karma, but that You will punish us when the time comes.

Where I work we hire a group of these special students to clean the kitchen, deliver paper, and other tasks. They’re from LABBB, so named for the five cities they cover. We call them LABBB kids, though who knows how old each of them is.

At work we (well, a couple of us evil ones) joke about walking towards the kitchen, and then turning around when we see the cart with “LABBB” written on it. We joke about the black guy who’s always drawing pictures and showing them to people. I sometimes think that, at the end of the day, he goes home and talks normally, like, “Motherfucker, I can’t keep this retard shit up.”

Then there’s the girl who’s always giving compliments, likely in hope that it will be returned. She’ll say to me, “I like your shirt,” when I walk in, and I’ll reply, “Thanks,” and just walk away.

So last week our company newsletter came out. On the back there’s a story and a photo about the LABBB kids at an appreciation luncheon they had with the president of the company. I became quite interested in the photo and the details, like the Coke can sitting horizontally on a plate, as if one of the kids planned on eating it with a knife and fork.

This guy Steve and I began our awful joke fest. I said that they must have been really happy. I’m sure at home they’re not allowed in the family photos, or at least they’re airbrushed out of them. Family photo ruiners.

I said we had to think of something else that LABBB can stand for. I got as far as “Late-term abortion,” but, with three B’s, it’s a difficult task.

Soon our boss Sue came over as Steve joked that God put the LABBB kids here for our amusement, and I laughed. But, it turns out that she went to school to teach specials needs people and enjoyed when she worked with autistic kids. I said that explains why she’s with us (Actually, I just thought of it. I wished I’d have said it). I told them about how, when I was a temp, I spent a week at a place in Milford that was next to an autism center. They put the scare in me right away that sometimes they get loose. There was one who kept shouting in an old blues man voice something like, “Crab-ran-gooon!” It freaked me out. That’s one of the reasons I was only there a week. I also thought of the guy who always came into CVS when I worked there years ago who I called Chewbacca because that’s who he sounded like.

Sue then mentioned this center in Shrewsbury. I rudely interrupted her because I recalled that, two years before, at the town fair, one special boy was killed on one of those fast spider-like rides. He was probably happy all the way to the end. Sue said the people who ran the fair blamed the kid for being the way he is, which sounded pretty ballsy from a public relations standpoint. But Sue then said the parents won a good deal of money from the tragedy.

I said, “That’s win-win.” Steve laughed and Sue just stared at me with this look at shock. I don’t think she likes us anymore.

Then the other day we ordered take-out and received, as a gift, a whole bottle of Heinz ketchup. We didn’t need that much ketchup, but thank you. In the fridge it went.

When the LABBB kids clean the fridge, they write the date on a piece of Scotch tape and put it on all the items inside so they’ll know when to throw shit away.

Who’d have guessed they knew dates? Good for them.

Well, today we used the ketchup and we were discussing the LABBB kids’ knack for hastily throwing food away. Sue, referring to when she first put the ketchup in the fridge, said, “This’ll be thrown away in a few days.”

I turned to Steve, knowing he’s the one I could safely make this joke to, and said, “That’s what the LABBB kid’s mother said after he was born.”

I don’t usually laugh at my own jokes, but this was a good one, and Steve’s reaction was contagious and spurned me on. Sue looked at us and said, “What’s funny?”

“Nothing,” I said, but she knew better.

“I don’t want to know,” she replied.

Amy was absolutely appalled when I told her of her husband’s joke. She thinks we’re going to end up attending the Special Olympics for the rest of our lives, and that it won’t be funny then, will it?

Well, no, it won’t.

But we’ll throw the baby off that bridge when we come to it.

So this, God, is why I am asking for your forgiveness. I truly am sorry and do not feel Amy and our children should be punished for my disgusting sense of humor.

Jan. 2007