or slanted—wooden and enchanted—slats, converging at an
summit. Often shingled and frequently festooned by various
ornaments: antennas, Christmas lights,
Chimneys, Virgin Mary
statues, weathervanes, and satellite receptacles,
Roofs act as
industrial-strength prophylactics, defending the dwelling from
various airborne toxins (i.e. Angel Tears, Swine Flu Vomit, Nuclear
Winter Dust, etc.), as well as a multitude of Mother Nature’s own
lesser-known miscarriages (i.e. Prison Wind, Cloud Quakes, etc.).
Roofs (also referred to
as “Mortgage Helmets”) are magnets for alcoholic stepfathers, as
well as the Working Poor. In 2002,
Forbes Magazine named
Roofs “The Absolute
Worst Place to Earn a Living.” This perhaps due to their precarious
distance from the ground, as well as their heated relationship with
the Sun. Roofs tend to
be accompanied by Gutters (See:
Gutters). Also: Chimneys
If a person is having an outstanding time at a
Dance Party (See:
they may hoist both arms in the air and say: “Raise the
Roof!”, which means
that person anticipates having an even more outstanding time in the
near future. There is a certain variety of exhibitionist who enjoys
having sex on Roofs.
These people are called “Roofies.” Roofs
are also the place where Santa Claus parks his sleigh in
notably are the way in which American Homes send secret messages to
other American Homes via smoke signal. One home may say, “I am a
home. My name is 1812 Winchester Street.” And another home
may respond: “So glad you are. My name is the Ridge Residence.
Although we are connected by power-lines, I don’t believe we’ve ever
met.” Aside from providing home-to-home-messaging,
Chimneys (AKA “Arson
Averters”) make it safe for people to set things on fire indoors.
The places where people set things on fire indoors are called
Fireplaces) and are
positioned at the base of Chimneys. Most Chimneys are bald, but some
Chimneys wear hats to mask their baldness. These hats are known as
Chimney Caps. The
empty space inside a Chimney is sick is called a “Flue”. The empty
space inside a “Flue” is called: The Sound of One Hand Clapping. If
you place your head in an unlit Chimney, you will hear the ashes of
American trees discussing the death of the American forest. This is
Frequently Asked Questions
Q.: What is the sound of one hand clapping?
A: The sound of a chimney sleeping.
Q.: Why do so many chimneys wear caps?
A.: To conceal baldness. Also: to keep birds out.
Q.: Is it alright to climb inside my chimney?
A.: Yes, but one should measure both oneself and one’s chimney
Q.: Is it wrong to have sex with my chimney?
A.: Yes, even if it feels right.
Q. My husband smokes like a chimney. How can I get him to stop?
A.: Try cold turkey. Or: jelly beans worked for Ronald Reagan.
aluminum or galvanized, seamless or flawed,
Gutters (also known
“Crap Vessels”) do more than seize sky fluids, they also prohibit
the home from over-ingesting a plethora of dangerous atmospheric
contaminants, including but not limited to: Acid Rain, Purple Rain,
and Stray Microbes. Oftentimes Gutters will fill up with leaves and
variety of other tree debris. Hence Gutters must be emptied and
sanitized at regular intervals, preferably monthly. “Cleaning
the Gutter” is an ancient initiation rite passed down
from American fathers to their pre-manly sons. In America, once a
boy has climbed a ladder and scraped detritus from the Crap Vessel,
that boy is no longer a boy—he is a man! The term “Cleaning the
Gutter” is also an American euphemism for a sexual maneuver. And
sometimes, when a person possesses a dirty mind, a person with a
cleaner mind will say to that person, “Hey Jim, get your mind out of
Gutter!”—which is a
strange thing to say if you really think about it.
Where there is smoke, there is a
Fireplace is an outdoor heat decoration transposed indoors. The
ferocious tide-rips of the blue night in the Fireplace bring to an
American Home heat that causes logs to pour gray gulfs. Hence the
Fireplace is like a person with emphysema or whooping cough. Or,
from an aerial perspective, it is a giant straw sucking smolders
cloudward. Metaphorically, the Fireplace is glowing sunbirds,
phoenixes—rising from the ashes of American forests:
smoke/fire/place. If a
smoker sits next to a Fireplace, the smell of their cigarette will
vanish. If a Fireplace sits next to a Fireplace, call the architect
and demand your money back on your American Home!
writes and teaches in Southern California.
His work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in 5_Trope,
DIAGRAM, elimae, Salt Hill, SmokeLong
Quarterly, Upstairs at Duroc, Yankee Pot Roast
and elsewhere. He is the fiction editor at FAULTLINE Journal of
Arts & Literature.