Jumping the Track #DealMeIn2018

I jumped the track this week. For Deal Me In, we’re supposed to draw a card from a regular deck of playing cards and read the story we’ve associated with that card (or suit, or color). But my online pal Perry Block (who calls himself Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute, although he still looks pretty cute to me!) shared a story on Facebook and I went and read it.

The story appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, which is a kind of fancy-pants high literary humor ezine. My brow is of a height that doesn’t always appreciate the humor, but also of a height that sometimes does.

I appreciated this one. A lot.

For one thing, it’s a takeoff on one of my favorite — possibly by very most favorite — story ever, Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants.”

This one is called:

Pills Like White Elephants

by Sue D. Gelber

In it, a certain Mr. Hemingway goes to a doctor in a quest for “medication for The Condition”. It’s difficult going for the poor doctor.

She looked at the clipboard on her lap. A high whistle came from the air conditioning vent, the exhalation of a machine trying to control nature. “It says here your alcohol consumption is twenty-to-thirty drinks per day. Did you mean two-to-three?”

“The day is hot.”

I’m dyin’.

Sue D. Gelber is a New Englander turned Chicagoan now living in Colorado where she writes fiction, essays, humor, and grocery lists. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and a Master of Arts from the University of Massachusetts. She’s an avid, if slow, runner and cyclist as well as an aspiring yogi. She went through a triathlon phase a few years ago. It didn’t go well.

Ms. Gelber doesn’t seem to maintain her blog, but she does have a list of previous publications, which is going to be my go-to when I draw a heart from the deck until (if! please, let it never be so!) the list runs dry.

If YOU need a short story to read, I have free ones here on my Free Reads page. I also have four collections for 99 cents each linked from my Short Stories page.

A PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Write about a subject without mentioning it.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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