by Paul Beckman
It’s hard to not say anything when things should be said.
If I wasn’t so observant and knowledgeable it would be easier but unfortunately not much, if anything, gets by me. Take my neighbor Al—he’s trimming his bushes but there’s a right way and many wrong ways to do it. He knows all the wrong ways—every one. I mentioned to him last year that I’d taken a course in hedge and bush trimming and I could show him how it’s done.
He turned on the electric hedger and chased me off his property and now his wife isn’t allowed to have tea with my wife any longer. And his hedges look like shit especially with mine right next door.
I have to get my blood checked today and the phlebotomist is going to give me a hard time and most likely a bad and hurtful jab when I point out I want her to use the butterfly needle and show her which vein to aim for. A thanks would be called for, but no, she’ll take offense, tighten the rubber tourniquet around my arm until it’s painful and go after every other vein with their regular needle instead of the butterfly. Okay, so this time, after I explained my vein situation to her, she ignored me, checked both arms and went in on the arm with the veins in hiding. Sure, she got lucky, the needle went in painlessly and she had a super smug look when she band aided the gauze on my arm. “Even a blind dog finds a bone now and then,” I said on my way out.
My abilities have been a source of tension with Tina, wife number three, and she’s a good sport and slow to anger but I can sure get her dander up. I’m a much better cook and while I let her do the bulk of the cooking I taste and add the missing seasoning every meal. “Season your own,” she says and I tell her it makes for a better gastronomical experience if the food is seasoned pre or during cooking.
This brings me to my boss who has basically forbidden me to speak in meetings, text him, go through his secretary or leave post-its on his door jamb. This place would run so much smoother and more profitable if he followed my suggestions.
I think the only thing to do is write his boss, the business owner, a letter with my suggestions and then we’ll see grateful and my boss may even lose his job over this, but hey, that’s not my worry. I believe in saying things that should be said for the good of all.
Paul Beckman’s story, “Healing Time” was one of the winners in the 2016 The Best Small Fictions and his 100 word story, “Mom’s Goodbye” was chosen as the winner of the 2016 Fiction Southeast Editor’s Prize. His micro story, “Brother Speak” will be in the 2018 Norton Micro Anthology.