Issue 35, Final Fringe

A Random Cliché Overheard in the Buckhead Kroger That Was Subsequently Briefly Meditated Upon by the Unknown Writer Who Heard It

by Walt Foreman Issue 28 09.05.2011

He was in the health foods/protein bars aisle of the Kroger, doing his best to discreetly ogle a thirty-ish blonde that had just passed him with a buggy full of Hot Pockets, when a short, black-haired, thirty-ish man wearing an Oxford shirt and pressed slacks turned down his aisle while talking on an iPhone.  “…That’s exactly what Fleischman said in the presentation,” said the man, and the writer thought to himself, “You’ll never make it into one of my stories spitting out a clichéd name like ‘Fleischman.’” Then he had the sobering thought that the man’s entire life very likely was one long cliché but that the man also probably owned a nice house and drove a nice car and had a hot wife or girlfriend.  Then he thought how he would never write one of those one-paragraph stories unless he could explode the form in some way, for instance perhaps with an exploding dog, though he couldn’t readily think of a reason a dog might explode in a realistic context, or where he would go with the story once the dog had exploded.

Walt Foreman

Walt Foreman

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Walt Foreman has an MA in creative writing from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins, where he was a Teaching/Writing Fellow and studied with John Barth, Stephen Dixon and Madison Smartt Bell, and an MFA in Screen and Television Writing from the School of Cinema-Television at the University of Southern California, where he was a recipient of the Edward Small Writing Award; he has had short stories published in Ploughshares, Ontario Review, Clackamas Literary Review, Baltimore Review, and Eclipse, and had a novel published by Baskerville Publishers of Fort Worth in 2003; he sold a feature screenplay in 2006.  Presently he is working on a PhD in creative writing at Georgia State University, where he has an assistantship.