Life's not fair


Matt Paust

Matt Paust
Gloucester, Virginia,
December 31
Sorry - writer's block... BTW the "birthday" listed above is false. I prefer to keep that day private, but am not permitted to do so here, so I'm forced to lie.


JANUARY 9, 2013 8:57AM

Author meets unflattering reviewer in bar

Rate: 20 Flag


It was one of those incredible literary coincidences destined to reside in Wiki annals forever.  GV, who on a sour whim had stretched his writing chops just once in his life to post a "customer review" on Amazon, found himself seated on a bar stool next to the stool holding the man whose $2.99 ebook he'd lambasted as "the worst novel I have ever read."

Advancing the incredulity of this chance encounter to an even more absurd level of happenstance, the two men, who had never met, somehow instantly recognized one another.  The author, an overweight, balding, dull-looking fellow of advanced years, swallowed the mouthful of beer he'd just sucked from his half-empty glass and turned to GV, a younger, fitter man who looked up from his beer, and rotated his head to face the other.

"Why?" the author said in a voice mild with curiosity.

GV waited a dozen or so unexceptional heartbeats, brow furrowed in thought, then relaxed his features and answered straightforwardly, "Sucked."  He stared agape at the word's recipient.

The author stared back a dozen or so unexceptional heartbeats, face open, before nodding slowly that he understood. 

Both men returned to their beers.

Author tags:

fiction, reviews, odd+barfellows

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
Good opportunity to change the subject to Victor Hugo's Ninety-Three
and buy a round of Jagermeister.
Prosit! Happy New Year, Jim!
Prosit, Jim! Happy 2013.
Okay, I got suckered in...and laughed out loud.

Thanks, Matt.

But it did remind me of a particularly embarrassing moment from many, many years ago when I was in the Air Force.

An Air Force nurse walked by the door to my office obviously on her way out the entrance to the building just past that room.

I turned back to the guy who shared the office with me and said, "You ever have any dealings with her. Boy, is she a bitch."

I will never forget his reply. He said, "I wouldn't say anything else, she's standing right behind you."

Damn...she had turned around to ask a question of us rather than making her exit. I was a lowly airman...she was a First Lieutenant.

Very, very uncomfortable moment. I certainly coulda used some beer right then!
Gentlemen: Nostrovia!
From the title, I was expecting a fistfight, if not gunplay. Nice ending. The old guy has a lot of class.
Nothing like crash someone's 'hops' and 'malted
Frank, I'm still cringing with empathy. Yoiks!

Spasiba, e vash, Jim!

Daniel, the old gent might've poured his drink on the cad, but writers can't afford to waste their beer. ;-)
Hi, Linda! Yes there are times when honesty can be a tad overrated.
I'd have been crying in my beer...literally.

These guys have lots of hair here in this picture....I can't believe I got in to Open...It was a whim because I missed you guys...Is it back to normal?
These guys have lots of hair here in this picture....I can't believe I got in to Open...It was a whim because I missed you guys...Is it back to normal?
I should have punched you in the nose!

Is it back to normal?

Yup, all back to normal...except sometimes when you hit the "Post this comment" button twice, your comment will show up two times.
I agree with Scanner. He should have punched you.
@ Frank...that comment took 15 minutes to post....the circle was turning very very is a wonder that it only showed up 2X.
Interesting story, but I was hoping the ending have been more climatic: the author was Stephen King. R
Seems like old home week, except I keep forgetting to come back here, that I posted this here.

Lezlie, I'm such a ninnie my eyes tear up almost every time I read something one of you guys posts. I'm serious. I-I-I probly should see somebody about this...

Hi, Snarky, long time no see! I got that photo off Google. Dunno who those losers are. Probly couldn't write bad novels if they tried.

I know, Scanman. I shoulda used a kinder word. Your restraint was admirable.

Et tu, Sharon? Oy!

How'dya guess, Trudge? I figure Stevoreno turned into a werewolf once they got outside. Dumb GV never made it to his pickup.
I just happened through and stumbled upon this. What a great little piece! (Although I don't believe it really happened exactly like that...). Carry on.
Happy 2013 to you too, Maestro! It is always great to see you, Matt. This was rightfully short and sweet. R
It's not exactly constructive criticism and I'm guessing the GV is NOT Gore Vidal. Love your font.
You've done a masterful job here of illustrating the difference between the sexes.
I had to look (and rate). Video or GTFO. The odds of this happening in the real world a gazillion to one.
I'd forgotten how awkward it is with the comment box atop the comments. I don't feel like opening to Open tabs, so I'll just scroll up and down and try to get you all. If I miss someone it's probly because I hated your comment.

Ya think, Tink, it'll be any happier two hunnert years from now? I wonder if anybody will still be inhabiting this puny planet by then.

Hi, Jeff. I don't, either. In the sequel, published right after this one, some beer does get spilled.

I like that "rightfully short" reference, Thoth. I'm learning that at Fictionaut, where most anything but flash fiction gets flashed and forgotten.

Abra, I think it's a former editor/friend from my newspaper days. We had a little hissing match on Facebook recently and he unfriended me, and then the shitty "review" appeared. One of his names starts with V.

Margaret, this was the mature presentation. A slightly more juvenile encounter is described in the sequel here:

Marion, I would say more like maybe two gazillion to one. Or three?
You're beating a dead horse Matt, give it up, hah~
[r] pic a nice touch. reads like real life. am sure it didn't suck, however. best, libby
That one got a giggle from me, too! Thanks for the great post, Matt.
Thanks, friends. I've been a tad distracted the past couple of weeks. Looks as if I have some serious catch-up ahead of me.
HEY!....they serve catch-up with beer? First try to get on here in I can't tell you how long and lookie who is upfront and running for me! Miss you Mr. Paust! ~r
Dee! Feels like old home week, huh. Happy New Year!