Proceed At Your Own Risk

When I lived in Des Moines, Iowa during high school, there was a bridge over the Raccoon River at 63rd street that consisted of a series of wooden planks.

That’s it.

Oh, and a sign that said “Proceed Over Bridge At Your Own Risk.”

That bridge would never exist today.

Or if it did, the sign would say, “Proceed Over Bridge At Our Attorney’s Risk.”

Fly, Birdman, Fly


Ever since he was a kid, Vrinda “Birdman” Farella wanted to fly. He and his childhood friend Seamus used to go down to the flat field near the river in the early summer when the breezes blew strongest off the water. All day they would test kites they made at home from old tent scraps and fishing line.

They didn’t have much money then, unlike now where he draws tens of thousands to his exhibitions, each spending an average of $150 in tickets and merchandise.

Vrinda looked out at the crowd at the Iowa State Fair. Farm families looking for some exciting aerial derring-do. He knew they were about to get more than they bargained for — after today, he would never perform again. It would be his greatest, final act.

Mr. Shelby Mustang GT500

A man was arrested recently in Des Moines, Iowa for public intoxication. He had torn off his shirt, brandished a hatchet and was about to get in a bar fight when the cops showed up.

He told the police his name was Shelby Mustang GT500. His unique moniker was a scrambled version of a famous muscle car called the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500.

The police drove to his house to interview his family.

His mother came to the door.

“Hello, ma’am. We’d like to talk to you about your son. He says his name is Shelby Mustang GT500.”

“Yes. How can I help you?”

“Is that his real name?”

“Yes, he lives down the street. His two younger brothers still live here.”

“Their names ma’am?”

“The youngest is Plymouth Road Runner Hemi and the middle one is Pontiac GTO.”

“Ma’am, Shelby was in a bar fight.”

“I knew it! I knew he was going to get into trouble! You know who I blame? His father!”

“The father?”

“His name is Oldsmobile Cutlass 4-4-2!”


“Yes, we call him 4-4-2 for short.”

“Yes, ma’am, do you have any idea why he was so agitated?”

“First, his father rides him for not having a job, and this girlfriend gets on him for not spending enough time with her!”


“Yes, her name is V. W. Beetle. Her sister is Nisa Ann Rogue. They live together over on Clancy Street.

“He was trying to break up with her and she wasn’t having it. She caught him with other girls, RAV4 and Eclipse Spyder. He tried to get her to move on. She just stalked him, following him everywhere, honking the horn, flashing her lights. Terrible.”

“Ma’am, if you could talk to him, we’d appreciate it. It will keep him safe, and make our lives easier.”

“I’ll do that, officers.”