The Residents by K.C. Bailey

The cuckoo clock on the wall sounds its hourly alarm, despite being three-quarters past the given time. No one knows whether the lifeless plastic bird with startled eyes is fifteen minutes early or if the clock is behind. Sometimes it is silent for days on end, though the residents swear they still hear it singing.

‘Good morning, sister,’ calls Agnes, descending the stairs and humming as she goes; her hand gliding gracefully down the old banister, pale alabaster skin against the dark wood. She is burgeoning on seventy, but the lithe figure beneath her knee-length floral dress is that of a younger woman.

The Shop That Ate Hull by Joe Hakim

To say I’d become adrift in my thirties was an understatement. Imagine a small peddle-boat in the middle of a dirty pond in an abandoned theme park: that was me.

My friends and acquaintances had all acquired things like spouses, careers, and mortgages, while I remained in an arrested adolescence. I lived in a small, one-bedroom flat just around the corner from where I grew up and continued to work in the kind of minimum-wage retail jobs that I’d been working in since dropping out of university over a decade ago.

Irving Townsend FSA by Steve Legomsky

Irv and Stan are actuaries and colleagues.  They perform their labor at the home office of the James Hickok Mutual Life Assurance Company, located on Berkeley Street in Boston’s charming Back Bay area.

One evening, Irv had an inspiration, which he shared the next day with Stan.  “There are a million TV shows about doctors and lawyers.  It’s high time for a TV show about an actuary.  So here’s my idea:  Together, we write a script for a pilot episode.  We have an in.  I think you’ve met my sister-in-law Gerty.  She’s a producer with CBS.  What do you think?”

Hubble, Bubble, Toilet Trouble by Michael Bloor

The allotments are a sociable place, especially for me because my plot is right next to the entrance. So I get to greet, and chat to, everyone coming through the gates. The conversations are kindly and cheerful, except when the subject is pigeons or cabbage root fly. So, when I greeted Billy Epps on his return from his holidays (Morecombe – two weeks), I was utterly unprepared for his bitter response:

‘Eh? How am I? How am I?? I’ll tell you how I am: I haven’t had a crap for four days!’

Our TMNT Pizza Party by Shawn Berman

It’s our first night together as a couple in Brooklyn and you’re belting out the theme song to the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Till this day, it’s probably hands down our favorite TMNT film to be made—not that crappy Michael Bay-produced rebooted one where the turtles don’t even look like turtles but more like creatures from a drunken nightmare that you can’t wake up from.

Even though you only know the very beginning of the theme song–heroes in a half shell turtle powerrrr—it doesn’t bother me. Not one bit. In fact, I find it kinda funny and join along, making sure to harmonize with your off-key vocals, mostly because I don’t want to disrupt the radness of the moment since I know these moments don’t come too often these days ever since we both got grownup jobs in the city making it that much harder to find time for one another. Still—we try.