There’s nothing pithy in the title ‘Before We Break for Lunch, Let Me Repeat Everything Already Said at This Meeting At Least Twice.’ And that’s exactly the point.
By sticking its finger in the eye of brevity, this piece at the tail end of Flash Nonfiction Funny captures everything that’s beautiful and funny and sad and true about the whole collection—and life itself.
Tiny dictators hold us hostage. The buffet’s right there, but you can’t eat. Monotony and desperation might also breed wit and inspiration. Best of all: real as they may be, our daily traumas seldom kill us.
Many times, these traumas are just what make us laugh.
The collected slices of life in FNF hold before us the things we know—breakups and rejections, puberty and old age, humiliation and self-delusion—but provide sweet escape: the torment belongs to someone else. The pages are filled with teachers and parents, dysfunctional families and cross-dressers, pets and barbers and bureaucrats. Dachshund hounds and metaphors abound.
Feel the colonoscopy without anesthesia, and see ‘the long pink line’ as the camera worms its way inside you. Smell an aging parent’s decaying waste. Taste cocktails from around the world. Hear yourself, exactly as your children hear you, in ‘What Fathers Say, What Daughters Hear’:
Do you want to hear about when your mother and I first kissed?
Do you want to throw up?’
How many times do I have to tell you?
I love hearing the sound of my angry, disappointed voice.
The writers in FNF are most of all the kind of people you’d like to share a beer with. They have a talent for brevity and wit. They don’t stand on ceremony and they don’t shy from tyranny. They embrace the absurd, illuminate chaos, and chase redemption. Imagine a lively social gathering, bound and transportable, good for the train, the break room, or anywhere you go to escape life’s misfortunes.
Unlike it’s brilliant companion from Tom Hazuka–Flash Fiction Funny—Flash Nonfiction Funny is funny mostly because it’s true.