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**PRINT: FRIENDS FROM CINCINNATI: Installment 24 features this part coming-of-age short by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, author of the Trouble collection of shorts out in 2006. | PAST BROADSHEETS |

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Todd Dills

1. I wish to introduce myself.

2. Hi. My name is Todd.

3. I grew up in the erstwhile wilds of a town named ROCK HILL, in SC, far away from where I now reside.

4. I heard a wild rumor that, where I now reside, there is a man running around town in an El Camino shooting holes with a .38 in those big blow-up gorillas people put on top of new sports stores and in car lots to attract the attention of people in cars with money. And I believed it. Likewise, where I now reside, there are protests here and there against this and that, mostly against things that don't matter, like T.V. shows.

5. Likewise, you can place bets to the affirmative that, whichever last-night we wish to be talking about, I had too much to drink.

6. I am not really A Drunk so much as I am just Drunk.

7. One day, I have decided, I will say this very often and to very many people.

8. This column shall be about this sad fact and likewise about many other things. This column will be about Brandy and coffee, and Bourbon. This column will be about love and people turning into chickens. This column will not be about Mayors and/or things bought or sold, though then again it may be, given time and height. And to ease your circumspection (or, likely, your perturbation at this point in the column) I would also like to say that there will be two, if not three, others who will be appearing in various forms within this column.

9. The first of these others is Jesus. Hey, are you there?

10. I am here, my homey.

11. Go on.


13. Jesus is, as usual, we think, a bit shy.

14. The second definite of these others is Ranking General William Tecumseh Sherman, who once burned near half my home state to the ground, though whom I have, unlike many, mostly forgiven for this sad fact. I would like General Sherman to address the audience?

15. Hello.

16. Thank you.

17. I would like to announce that we are neither as automated nor as astounded by ourselves as we may seem to be, at present.

18. Our desires are like yours.

19. And we actually desire these desires, again, like you.

20. Further, none of us (as far as I know) has ever cuddled with any kind of live specimen of water-fowl for any extended period of time.

21. Likewise, none of us has ever declared that fact. So this is yet another first, here.

22. We have called ourselves, or have been called by others, variously: MILITARY GENERAL, COMMERCIAL SCREENER, EDITOR, COOK, WAITER, INTERN, STUDENT, DOGBOY, CATWOMAN, ADDICT, APPALACHIANOID, AMERICAN, SCOURGE OF THE SOUTHLANDs, HIPPIE, VIC FERRARI, YANKEE, CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE, PHONE DRONE, PROOFREADER, HEDONIST, JANITOR, CLASSICIST, BARTENDER, COMPUTER ROOM MONITOR, PHILOSOPHER, and last, but certainly not least, the newly celebrated designation of STUPIDIST, the meaning of which we will spare you the necessity of sharing with us, at present....

23. None of us has ever been sold to Mayor R.M. Daley, of CHICAGO, in IL, nor would we particularly wish to be sold to Mayor R.M. Daley, of CHICAGO, in IL.

24. That is all. Until next.

Prevaricated and ripped from another column published biweekly at http://www.lostatsea.net in which Jesus and Sherman both have made their subsequent appearances in the form of Mr. Joe Jarvis and Ms. Penelope Memoli, not to mention the rock'n'roll criticisms of Orlando-based Rollie St. Bacon, this column of numbers now resides here, and we are happy for it. Get over to Lost at Sea and check it out.