Short Story Of the Day (poem?), Convenience Store Fined For Being Inconvenient by Bill Chance

“When we have to change an opinion about any one, we charge heavily to his account the inconvenience he thereby causes us.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

Creepy scene through a shop window, Denton, Texas

I have been feeling in a deep hopeless rut lately, and I’m sure a lot of you have too. After writing another Sunday Snippet I decided to set an ambitious goal for myself. I’ll write a short piece of fiction every day and put it up here. Obviously, quality will vary – you get what you get. Length too – I’ll have to write something short on busy days. They will be raw first drafts and full of errors.

I’m not sure how long I can keep it up… I do write quickly, but coming up with an idea every day will be a difficult challenge. So far so good. Maybe a hundred in a row might be a good, achievable, and tough goal.

Here’s another one for today (#36). What do you think? Any comments, criticism, insults, ideas, prompts, abuse … anything is welcome. Feel free to comment or contact me.

Thanks for reading.

A long time ago I went to a poetry reading at the Richardson Library. The poet passed out slips of paper with outrageous (but real) headlines on them and each of us were supposed to write a poem based on their headline.


You can read my poem at this blog entry.

I did some web searching and discovered the headlines he passed out were from the fine publication Weekly World News and they are a cornucopia of outrageousness and hilarity. When writer’s block strikes I pick a headline and write a poem.

Some of today’s gems:

August 7, 2020 by Frank Lake
PERSON, WOMAN, BAT, CAMERA, WINGS! President Trump challenged his competitors Joe Biden and Bat Boy …

August 7, 2020 by Rusty Botttoms
Game Over.  Millions Around the Globe DevastATed.  Nintendo Stock Price Declines 30% on the News. …

August 5, 2020 by Brick Rivers
“I WANTED TO CHANGE MY LIFE BUT…PIXIES? SERIOUSLY?” HE SAYS By all accounts, until recently, …

August 4, 2020 by Boyce Day
THE OTHER PANDEMIC Do you think Kermit is a real frog?  Do you think Lamb Chop is …

July 31, 2020 by Brick Rivers
“UNLIKE MOST MEN, HE LISTENS WHEN I TALK.” After being kicked in the head by …

July 31, 2020 by Adam Peacock
DATING CARDI B? Barney, once popular chubby children’s show icon, fell out of favor and …

July 29, 2020 by Brick Rivers
“THIS TOWN SUCKS,” SAYS LEAD VAMP. “NO PUN INTENDED.” For decades, the Los Angeles chapter…

July 29, 2020 by Boyce Day
He Likes Ike! A trio of friends out fishing on the Atlantic Ocean recently spotted …

July 27, 2020 by Frank Lake
“He was on assignment in Yunnan Province, China.” American scientists captured an 80-foot dinosaur in …

July 27, 2020 by Brick Rivers
“WE HAVE TO PRESERVE OUR FOOD SOURCE!” DECLARES GRIZZLY “It really is an environmental first,” …

Today the headline I drew is Convenience Store Fined For Being Inconvenient.


Convenience Store Fined For Being Inconvenient


The police came with blue helmets. The door was locked. They had to knock on a window to wake the man up.

“Your sign says ‘OPEN 24 HOURS.’”

“Not in a row!” the man replied.

“Your milk is all out of date,” they said.

“I thought that was more of a suggestion,” the man replied.

“Your bread is stale.”

“Carbs are bad for you.”

“Garlic toothpaste?”

“No accounting for taste.”

“Your lot has a ‘NO PARKING’ sign.”

“Keeps the riff-raff out.”

“Your batteries are all dead,” they said.

“But they are marked down and clearly labeled as such.”

“You have back pain medication on the high shelf.”

“There’s a grabber available.”

“What is that machine?”

“It’s soda shaker – very popular with the kids.”

“Your newspapers are all days old.”

“History is important.”

“Your microwave has no door.”

“So you can check your food and it won’t burn.”

“Your fire sprinklers are leaking.”

“Why wait until the last minute.”

“Why are you selling snow chains and ice scrapers in the desert?”

“You never know.”

“That sign, ‘NEW STOCK TOMORROW’ – has been here for a year.”

“It’s not untrue.”

“That sign says, ‘TEN CENTS EACH, TWO FOR A QUARTER,’ “

“Still a bargain,”

“Your pencils – there are only numbers 1 and 3.”

“A unique selection.”

“Your lottery tickets are already scratched off.”

“Nobody wins anyway.”

“Your gum machine only takes foreign coins.”

“A service for our immigrant population.”

“That sign says, ‘EXACT CHANGE ONLY.’”

“Keeps the checkout line moving.”

“That sign says, ‘NO CREDIT NOR DEBIT CARDS.’”

“That keeps the prices low.”

“That sign says, ‘NO COUPONS ACCEPTED – EVEN OURS.’”

“Especially ours. They are no good.”

“We are going to have to fine you. There have been complaints.”

“Complaints! How is that possible? I have no customers!”

“No customers? How can you have a store with no customers?”

“My goal is a very exclusive clientele.”

“Be that as it may, we will have to fine you.”

“How much is the fine?”

“It depends on how much business you do.”

“But I don’t do any business.”

“Well, then we will take you to jail.”

They handcuffed the man and put him in a squad car. They explained he was being charged with running an Inconvenience Store. He asked them to make sure the door was locked.

“I don’t want to be robbed,” he said.

“We’ll keep an eye on it,” the police replied.

Low Prize Food Mart

“It is a damn poor mind that can think of only one way to spell a word.”
― Andrew Jackson

Spring Valley Road and Coit, Richardson, Texas

Tremendous thunderstorms rattled the Metroplex with pelting rain and shattering lighting late last night. Unfortunately, all flights going east were canceled from Love Field and our son Lee couldn’t get home to New Orleans. I drove through the weather to the airport to pick him up and bring him home late last night.

So we had another day with him for the holidays. We decided to go eat at Noodle Wave, one of our favorite places to eat – fantastic Thai food, along with great service in a surprisingly artistic and comfortable decor. It is located in an unfortunate strip of lower end shops and restaurants inspired by the cuisine from five different countries (including Thailand).

I have gone to Noodle Wave often and parked in that lot many times and I’m sure I’ve stared at the sign of the LOW PRIZE FOOD MART more than once without realizing that they meant PRICE. I did a quick internet search and all the text referring to the place is LOW PRICE. The only pages that LOW PRIZE FOOD MART is mentioned in in their applications and renewal for their liquor license.

I can’t believe that someone would make a mistake like this in a sign so big and in a busy location – I prefer to think of it as a clever, ironic, and hipster statement about the inevitable failure of consumer culture.

But I know I’m wrong.



Take These Sunken Eyes

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free
—-The Beatles, Blackbird

Bird, Scavenging along an Interstate Highway in Texas

A lot of people wax enthusiastic about Buc-ee’s. These are giant, giant convenience stores, now mostly set along Interstate Highways in Texas as immense gas stations.

Most people rave about their clean bathrooms. In 2012 the New Braunfels Buc-ee’s won the Cintas Best Restroom Contest. When I was in college, a long, long, time ago, I ran a gas station in the middle of nowhere (sadly, it’s long closed now) during the summers and vacations. I would open up the small bathrooms ’round back at closing and hose them down good. That seems enough for me.

A typical Buc-ee’s has 60 gas pumps, 80 soda fountains, and 31 cash registers. You order your food from tablet-equipped kiosks and your selection is cooked (probably microwaved) to order. When I worked at that gas station in the 70’s I had two pop machines and a couple of shelving units full of candy, but … well, I mostly sold a lot (and I mean a lot) of cold beer.

There was one guy that would stop by every day, purchase a longneck bottle of Dr. Pepper out of the machine and a small bag of beer nuts. He would pour the sugar-coated nuts into the bottle of Dr. Pepper – some would always foam out. After selling him these for a few years I decided to try the concoction myself.

It wasn’t as good as I had hoped.

So, finally, after hearing so much about Buc-ee’s and seeing the beaver shirts – even eating a bag of beaver nuggets that someone gave me, I decided to stop at a Buc-ee’s and see what the hoopla was about. I don’t remember where I was coming from but I pulled off the interstate and parked along the grassy border (full of people letting their dogs shit) and walked in.

I was not impressed. It was huge… but simply more of the same. The restrooms were clean, I’ll give them that. I bought a fountain drink, and the ice was cold – so no complaints there. But it seemed to be so big and so tacky that it went beyond amusing to obnoxious. Actually, it was worse than that – it was boring.

When I walked out to my car the villainous bird in the photo was giving me the evil eye. He was hopping around looking for dropped Beaver Nuggets or any other misplaced sugary snack.

He gave me the creeps.