Rumors, Idle Talk & Fireside Chats by Brian Polk | Art By Jason White

Art by Jason White_Rumors, Idle Talk & Fireside Chats by Brian Polk
Art by Jason White

Rumors, Idle Talk & Fireside Chats

By Brian Polk

Art by Jason White

But What If I Find Myself Momentarily Uncomfortable?

As I continue to ungracefully age, I find myself asking this question every time I leave the house. Every time. What if it gets cold? I think. What if it gets too hot? I also think. So I pack a sweatshirt, breakaway pants, an umbrella, lip balm, IcyHot, my phone, my phone’s charger, reusable straws, Ibuprofen, insect repellent, my knee brace, a note my grandma once wrote that says she’s proud of me, Kleenex, expired bus schedules, and a reusable water bottle. I will lose 90 percent of these things, even though I will not have used a single one. 

Would You Stay At An Airbnb That Was Clearly A Doomsday Bunker?

I was doing some run-of-the-mill doomsday prep the other day (by which I mean, I was stoned out of my mind at 3 a.m., and doing some thinking that seemed serious at the time). And I realized I could probably make a doomsday bunker pay for itself as long as I was able to attract some tourists. I haven’t made a spreadsheet or anything, but the math makes sense in my (THC-addled) brain. I suppose now I just need to do market research: if you would pay around $150 or so a night to stay in my underground shelter, find me on social media and let me know. The bunker would be within walking distance to the light rail and many popular eating and drinking establishments, and would be able to withstand a nuclear attack. (I figure that last one is a pretty good selling point. Of course, in the event of said nuclear catastrophe, I will be joining the guests in the shelter. I should probably put that caveat somewhere in the listing.) There will also be some free vanilla wafers for visitors who stay longer than two nights. 

Not Sure How Predictive Text Can Change So Many Times In The 0.7 Seconds It Takes My Finger To Travel An Inch

It’s mildly frustrating, no?

I Closed Out My Amazon Account After Only Using It A Couple Of Times

So now when people talk about Amazon, I get to be the contrarian that says, “I don’t even have an Amazon account.” And in my imagination, they’re like, “Whoa, that’s so wild! You’re so fascinating! How do you even live?” But outside of my imagination, I’m sure they’re just like, “How inconvenient,” and then go about their day. I suppose that attests to the larger truth that we’re all much more interesting in our own heads than we are in the heads of others. 

Religion, Parenthood And Sobriety

When a friend of mine finds any one of these things (and I have a few that have found all three), I am genuinely happy for them — as long as they’re happy, of course. And that’s despite finding these lifestyles completely at odds with my love of being an atheistic, childless boozer. But since I can imagine their contentment, I can say things like, “Congratulations on your new god/child/drug-free lifestyle” and mean it. And then I rarely see them anymore, since I don’t spend a lot of time hanging out at churches, playgrounds, or places where there’s not a bar. 

I Experienced My First Wordle Loss Yesterday

I must admit, I did not take it well. And I didn’t share the results on social media either, because I didn’t want my e-friends to think I’m any less than a Mensa card-carrying genius. No one asked, but if they did, I would tell them that I simply forgot to play Worlde yesterday, because even super smart people forget things from time to time. 

I Sure Wish My Books Would Get Banned

Since banning books always helps sales, I wish some attention-seeking politician would take aim at my books to give my sales a little nudge. So if anyone out there knows anti-intellectual, conniving elected representatives, please tell them both my novels are an affront to common decency and will turn well-behaved kids into radical leftists who experiment with drugs, sex, having empathy, and playing loud rock and roll music into all hours of the night. That should be good for moving a few more units. 


Brian Polk is a Denver-based writer, publisher of The Yellow Rake, and drummer for Joy Subtraction and Simulators. He’s the author of Placement of Character and Turning Failure into Ideology. He likes writing, muck raking, yellow journalism, zines not blogs, cheap booze and punk rock.


Jason White is an artist living in the suburbs of Chicago. His favorite mediums are oil on canvas and pencil & ink drawings. When he was a kid he cried on the Bozo Show. His work varies from silly to serious and sometimes both. Check out more of his work on Instagram.


Check out Brian’s April Birdy install, Some Things To Talk Aboutwith art by Jason, or head to our Explore section to see more work from these talented creatives.

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