The Burnt-Out Smile Factory

these sunglasses work

(no subject)

Parents who bring squalling brats to R-rated movies
Circle I Limbo

Circle II Whirling in a Dark & Stormy Wind

General asshats
Circle III Mud, Rain, Cold, Hail & Snow

DMV Employees
Circle IV Rolling Weights

Osama bin Laden
Circle V Stuck in Mud, Mangled

River Styx

The Pope
Circle VI Buried for Eternity

River Phlegyas

Circle VII Burning Sands

Bernie Madoff
Circle IIX Immersed in Excrement

NAMBLA Members
Circle IX Frozen in Ice

Design your own hell

Writer's Block: You Wouldn't Understand
Almost everyone coins or uses expressions that make sense to only a few people. What word or phrase do you use most often that you have to explain the meaning of to others?
When i tell people to "Keep on skankin'" they usually tell me to fuck myself........ it discourages me.

First Revision

Aristocrats with Teeth


Bob Boyd




            I’m not sure if it was the paintings or the people that got to me first. They both had shifty eyes so it was hard to tell. It was definitely the people that mad me snap though. It was the people that ruined everything.

            This place has great Greek columns like some kind of temple where poor geeks stumble to their planned deaths and the subsequent heart feasting that follows. If I have any intention of making it out of this ritzy black tie soiree alive I sure as hell have to keep my footing. Those columns were bad craziness.         

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Work in Progress: Would you read the rest of this?

Writing Exercises Gone Wrong


By Bob Boyd


            The most abysmal part of this whole situation wasn’t that there was no chance going back. I could manage the quickening of my pulse with counter breaths taken slowly in my nose and then hissed out through my teeth. The worst part of this predicament was that with every breath I wheezed out the stench of mattress musk weighed on me like a tombstone. In all possibility this mattress was my tombstone.

            Actually the mattress was better cast as my grave. A more appropriate metaphor for my tombstone would be the bumbling idiot in the Santa suit whose giant ass keeps crushing my sternum. Although I’m not sure you can “bumble” or do much of anything else after the city’s top superhero kills you with a super-punch to your forehead.

            I’m not certain Santa is dead but I do know he road Captain Commander’s punch through a chain link fence and the mattress leaned up against it with another force to pin me to the ground. The real Santa may have been able to take that punch but Jimmy “Skinny” Schmidt could not, even in the appropriate duds. From the look on the Captain’s face before he knocked Jimmy way way out I could gather two things: He was very surprised to see me watching him from behind my mattress and he was not going to help me out of this clusterfuck.

            The look of Captain Commander’s eyes had been that of a child with his hand caught in the cookie jar, but it wasn’t cookies C.C. was into. Apparently he preferred crack cocaine.



Road Trippin’ With the Family



Road Trippin’ With the Family

By Bob Boyd


          Both buses smelled very badly. I distinctly remember that. That’s where the similarities ended abruptly. Even the smells were different. One acrid, sobering, but accepted; the other stale, warm, and dependent on what paper mill or dead skunk farm we passed.

          The biggest difference between the buses is their occupants. One holds roughly sixty solemn and focused football players about to enter the variable coliseum of high school sports. While the second bus holds forty or so rambunctious forensics kids on their way to a cut throat Tennessee High School Speech and Drama League tournament. Only one bus is full of laughter.

          Oddly enough I’ve ridden on both of these buses. The bus with the laughter and forensics kids is the one I happen to be on right now. It’s foggy and the road conditions are nothing short of hazardous, but the mood inside is jubilant. People practice their chosen categories of speaking and acting (This looks roughly like an intent conversation with the back of a seat) while others indulge in games of”Never Have I Ever” or perform sing-alongs. It is a loud eclectic mix to say the least.

          I happen to fit in very well on this bus. Its constant activities quell even the shakiest of nerves. The newest and meekest competitors forget about winning and losing and simply enjoy the road trippin’. Lee Daniel, a prominent member of the Ravenwood Forensics Team, reminisces that, “The Forensics Team is my second family. Win or lose I am still accepted.” I have done my fair share of losing as well as a bit of winning and am constantly amazed at how much easier it is to lose with your family there for hugs and febreze tag. 

          The other bus hasn’t driven off the map. It makes its way silently, steadily, and purposefully to face an opponent. It could be Brentwood or Independence. No matter the destination the group mindset is the same. Every person packed on that bus is completely focused on what they need to do to play the game harder, faster, and more passionately than the other helmeted heroes on the field.

          The celebrations and smiles have to be earned with age old blood, sweat, and tears. What the Football Team lacks in words it makes up for in brotherhood. As corny as it sounds, and it sounds corny, the Football Team eats, practices, and grows together. The success of each individual rests on the others playing beside him on the field. It’s gritty, poetic, and most of all it’s real. The dynamic that is taught on this bus is important to the makeup of a successful human being. Teddy Roosevelt said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” The Ravenwood Football Team remained silent. It was too focused on running drills and visualizing the win.

          The family that the Forensics Team forms is reproduced quite differently on the Football Team, but both families are just that: A Family. While the Football Team goes to battle as a group it jokes like the closest of brothers.

          I’ve ridden both buses, smelled both smells, and won both wins. On the surface they couldn’t be farther apart. The idea of a suited up football player standing next to a suit and tie forensics kids is laughably ridiculous. Underneath that comedy lays the serious impact both families have had on my life as well as the lives of countless others.

          It comes down to comparisons. You can’t compare two bus rides by the passengers, the words spoken, or even the ride itself. It’s the destination that matters. It’s the family that counts.

Ongoing Project for the Ravenwood Red & Black

All the Little Things


By Bob Boyd



Preface by the author:

            This was a piece that I wrestled with completing. I was very much caught up with the possibility of offending or stepping on the toes of many a close friend. Then it occurred to me, thanks to Earnest Hemingway that a bold writer would just write, build his own crucifix out of redwood trees and lightening bolts. He would crash his own Hindenburg into the emotions of his audience without knowing the outcome, only believing that it meant something to him. This means something to me.


            It takes fewer muscles to smile then to frown, so logically people should all smile simply because of its convenience. Scowls continue to thrive, regardless, as a testament to the perpetual irrationality and frailty of the human condition.

            That’s why when you miss seeing a smile that you count on, it hurts. Not like a bullet in the leg, crippling you with pain. It hurts like a jab of hunger; a day without eating. It leaves you drained, dried out, and, at times, desperate for a miracle. Sometimes when a smile escapes your life it takes with it a loved one. It leaves a sinkhole where a stepping stone should be. It melts away a beautiful unique snowflake like a hot breath and leaves you with a teardrop of precipitation.

            However, jubilant smiles are never overlooked. You may not know that particular grin but it knows you enough to fix your broken eyes and send on your way in a much better mood. That power and love is what we lose with Elizabeth Patton. This smile that brought the blessing of peace, no doubt, served to advertise a person who was outstanding an exuberant in the art living. Even an ignorant passerby will never forget a brilliant smile that brought contemplation to his mood and warmth to his heart.


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