Men, we want to be intimidating, not “festive,” “artsy-fartsy,” or anything that screams, “Hey, nothing to worry about here, we’re just kids playing army in the woods.”

Photo by James Kirkikis on Shutterstock. Bullet holes by Adam Cramer.


TO: Green Mountain Boys

FROM: Captain Pain

SUBJECT: Maintaining Militia Discipline

My Fellow Patriots:

Over the past several weeks, I’ve observed some things that make me think you guys aren’t taking your training seriously enough. Do I need to remind you why we came to this remote corner of Vermont? We’re here to form a KICK-ASS MILITIA, not to engage in fun fall activities.

I’ve talked to you about this before, so I’ll make it easy for you guys: CEASE AND DESIST WITH THE ARTS AND CRAFTS.

Just this morning, Destroyer skipped guerrilla warfare and sabotage class to “decorate”…

Illustration by Mary Sette


Drunks! Lunatics! Suicides! This tiny, squalid one-room dump offers all the pleasures of the damned. It’s just steps away from a titty bar, racetrack, liquor store, and the gutter.

Picture yourself sitting in front of the dingy window with a bottle of cheap wine watching trains go by. Yes, this seedy gem is right next to an elevated subway line. If you can ignore the cruel, ugly, demented faces of the passengers, it’s way better than having a TV. The room suddenly fills with light, there’s a brief clatter and roar, then you’re enveloped by sweet darkness again. …

Illustration by Emily Clouse

For years, I’d been dissolving bodies in hydrofluoric acid and dumping the sludge in a river. It never occurred to me before how terrible that is for the environment.

Between my CIA asset work, cartel contracts, personal grudges, and the odd thrill kill, I probably waste between 20 and 30 people a year. That’s a scary amount of toxic metal, rat poison, and other hazardous chemicals leaching into the groundwater. And the plastic bags I stuff full of body parts and toss off a bridge? Those suckers take more than 1,000 freakin’ years to decompose!

I’ll tell ya, diggin’ up…

Yep, I’ll break in them pumps for ya, tenderfoot.

Illustration by Emily Clouse

Howdy, ma’am! Couldn’t help noticing you hobblin’ down the street in those mighty fine pumps. Manolo Blahnik, am I right? Thought so. I know my shoes, especially stylish, painful lookin’ ones like those. Yep, real beauties, all right. Are they new? Had ’em for over a week, huh? And they’re still kickin’ up all that fuss? Sheeet.

Well, girl, looks like I came along at the right time. I’m Wyatt Carson outta Montgomery, Texas. I used to work on a dude ranch breakin’ horses. Yep, I was the best dang bronc buster in the whole U-nited States. …

Central Park photo by Sergei Wing on Unsplash. The NordicTrack Commercial X22i (via, Fair Use)

One time, I fell asleep on a treadmill WHILE RUNNING. Yeah, I was so freakin’ bored staring at the bedroom wall, I nodded off, tumbled to the moving belt, and was flung into a chest of drawers.

I realized I just couldn’t handle the monotony of running inside anymore. So I bought a Toyota high-capacity IC pneumatic forklift and a portable generator. Then I laced up my Nikes, dabbed Vaseline on my nipples, and hauled my NordicTrack Commercial X22i to Central Park.

And I’ve never looked back!

With my forklift, I can plow through road barricades and shrubbery, and literally…

Photo by SJ Baren on Unsplash

Dear Fellow Meats,

Haven’t I always treated you with the utmost fairness and respect? Especially you, pimento loaf… haven’t I gone out of my way to make you feel like one of us? So you can imagine how surprised and hurt I was when you accused me of having “invisible” privileges that none of you get to enjoy.

How did you put it, bologna? I believe your exact words were, “It’s like you have a big leg up in the deli case.”

Okay, I can see how you might be upset that I always get a prime spot on the…

Photo by Paul Streltsov on Unsplash

Hey, you with the Nikon, wipe that look of awe and wonder off your face! Can’t you see I’m dying? A look of sadness and empathy would be more suitable right about now, don’t you think?

Oh God, another charter bus. I just want to be left alone to get my affairs in order. Do my will and decide who gets the acorns I’ve been saving. You hike, bike and drive out here to gawk at my yellow, orange and brilliant red splendor, but you don’t really see me. …

The plan was to go back to the hotel and order room service. Have a nice quiet evening. Get a good night’s sleep. Wake up in the morning without the usual crushing headache. But as we passed by a bar, I couldn’t help stopping to peek in the window. It looked dark and smoky inside. I recognized the faint sound of Miles Davis’ sultry horn, a siren song calling out to me.

“Quick drink?” I asked my friend Rich.

“Naw. I’m beat.”

“C’mon. It’s our last night together.”

Rich let out a sigh. I knew that sigh. …

Tod Brubaker

Fucking upwardly. Read more: @BruCreative

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