Alex Bosworth is a man's man's man, man. Author of the book, 'Chip Chip Chaw!' and contributor to books like 'States of Terror Vol.1', he was born in a house he built himself in San Diego circa 1965. His parents (no photos available) were both teachers with theatrical backgrounds who encouraged their son to write and read his stories before unwilling audiences from the age of ten. Inspired by writers such as Kurt Vonnegut and Ursula K. Le Guin, as well as monologists David Sedaris and Spalding Gray, Bosworth reads his work at coffeehouses, bookstores and coin operated laundries throughout Southern California. Here's his fiction story from Issue #13.
No Day at the Beach
Years ago, I took this girl to the beach. Unfortunately, as we were driving, the sky turned cloudy and by the time we got there, it had
started raining. We sat in the car waiting for it to clear up, but it didn't.
So we drove around for a while, trying to think of something else to do
and ended up at an aquarium. Once inside, we walked around looking
at the fish, because it was an aquarium and that's pretty much all you can do there. Eventually, my date got bored and suggested we sneak into
the men's room and smoke a joint.
“What?!” I said. “You've had weed this whole time? Seems like we could have skipped the whole aquarium thing. We were sitting in a car at the beach for God's sake! That’s pretty much why they invented cars! And beaches, I'm pretty sure!” I checked to make sure the men's room was empty, then waved her in. We lit up a fatty in the handicapped stall and were having a pretty good time when a man came in and used the stall next to us. After he flushed, we thought we were in the clear but I guess he saw our feet under the stall.
“Hey, why are there four feet down there?” he asked.
Thinking quickly, I made an animal noise. “Ba-a-a-a-a”
“Oh.” the man said. “So, you’re a sheep.”
“Well, I was kind of going more for a goat kind of thing.”
“Ah. You’re a goat then.”
“That’s right. I’m a goat.”
“Why are you wearing shoes?”
“It was raining. Um, so how are you?”
“Pretty good. I was at the beach, but like you say, it started raining,
so I decided to drop some acid and go to the aquarium.”
“That’s so funny! Practically the same thing happened to us!”
“What you mean ‘us‘?”
Once again, I had to think quickly. “I’m pregnant.”
“Oh, congratulations. What are you hoping for?”
“Well, I already have a nanny, so this time I‘d like a billy.
Of course, I’m really just hoping for a healthy kid.”
“Well, good luck.” he said, preparing to leave. “Hold on, shouldn’t you be in the ladies room?”
“The handicapped stall was being used in there.”
“Yes. I have a prosthetic hoof. Guess which one.”
“Hmm. Front right?”
“Interesting. Everyone guesses front right. But no, rear left.”
“Well, you can’t tell.”
“Thanks. Wait, you think I’m the kind of goat who’d use a handicapped stall even though she’s not really handicapped?
How dare you?! Good day, sir!”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to-”
“I said good day!”
After the guy left, we decided to stand on the toilet. We were almost
done with our joint when someone else came in. I could see over the
top of the stall that it was the security guard. “Anyone in here?” he said. Then he flipped off the lights, stepped out and locked the door.
Assuming we were trapped for the night, we began to think of ways
we could pass the time until the aquarium re-opened. I can't say I'd
recommend playing charades in the pitch black in an aquarium bathroom unless you're really high. Luckily we were, so it was actually
a lot of fun. After an hour, it dawned on me to try the door,
which opened, having only been locked from the outside. I can only assume this is done to keep criminals from stopping off to use the facilities during burglaries. We wandered out into the aquarium to find ourselves completely alone with only the dim, blue-green light of the tanks illuminating the halls.
“It's so cool in here.” my date whispered. Then she pulled off her sweater and tossed it to the floor. “Hey, are you thinking what I'm thinking?” I watched wordlessly as she began unbuttoning her shirt.
“Come on. Take off your pants. Let's do it!”
“What?” I thought. “Expose ourselves to the fish? Is that even
a thing?” By the time she’d undressed and was grinding her body against mine, I'd begun to think she had something of an erotic nature in mind. After she'd removed my clothing, I laid her down on a nearby viewing bench and we went to business, as the young folks like to say.
Things were going really nicely, until I looked up to see this fish
staring at us. The others were just swimming along, paying no notice,
but this one sea bass just kept looking right at us with an intense gaze.
I tried not to let it bother me, but then it started saying things in a really low voice. “Yeah!” it said. “You hit that, boy! You hit that hard! Mmm!”
I continued as if I didn't hear anything, but then he started saying stuff that was really out of line. “Uh huh! That's it! You got what she's been beggin' for! You split that timber, young woodsman!”
“Okay, hold on!” I said. “Split that timber?! What the hell is that?!”
“I'm just trying to help you out!” the bass replied. “I'm on your
side, man! I'm rootin' for you over here!” I tried to get back to the act, but this bass just wouldn't keep his big mouth shut. Plus, it was becoming pretty obvious he was getting off on the whole scene.
“Oh, yeah! You are working her, my man! This is so… ooh! Ugh!
You really... you’ve got her... mmm!”
“Yo! Mr. Limpet! Keep it down, all right! You’re ruining it for me!”
“No! You’re ruining it for me. So just shut up and get back at it!”
“You’re telling me to shut up?!”
Finally, my date grew impatient. “What's the matter?” she asked. “Am I doing something wrong?”
“No, no! You're fine.” I told her. “It's just this fish with all the dirty talk. I mean, look! It's all pressed up against the glass. And all that stuff about workin' it and hittin’ that.”
“What? You don't like it?” she said.
“Not really, no. Why? Do you?”
“Look, just pretend we’re all alone, okay? Come on! Let’s split
So I started in again and although the other two sides of this amphibious triangle were clearly popping their corks, there was something about having Charlie Tuna as a voyeur that made it a tad difficult for me to reach cloud nine. Consequently, my partner and the peeping tom cod managed to achieve simultaneous orgasm, whereas I was forced to relinquish long before any chance of sticking my own personal landing.
I guess I'm not all that romantic. I mean, I should probably look
back on the experience with fondness. After all, I did smoke some good pot and make love to a woman at an aquarium. But I can't help dwelling on those awkward moments afterwards, fumbling around in the dark,
trying to find my clothes. Then clumsily putting them back on.
And all the while, this girl asking me why I wasn't able to finish
and the fish offering to help. It was a nice enough date, I guess.
But it was no day at the beach.