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Breaking Social Norms: Comedy Flash Fiction


Craig didn't bother answering the door. It was Ralph. At four in the afternoon, the knock at the door was always Ralph, and he always let himself in. The first thing Ralph did upon entering was to check out the fruit assortment on the table. If it wasn't plastic, he helped himself. The second thing was the story. Ralph always had a bit of drama to dispose of in Craig's apartment, and today was no exception.

"How was your date last night?" Craig had learned it was far better to help the process move along than it was to fight it.

"The date was fine, just fine." Ralph didn't offer any more information.

"That's all? Just, fine?"

"Well, she did invite me to spend the night." Ralph had a slight smile forming.

"She did, did she? Go on, tell me more."

"I'm not going to go into the details. Come on, that's private stuff."

"Okay, okay. Don't get all uptight about it."

"I'm not uptight. It's just that....Oh, never mind."


"Now wait a minute. You can't say, It's just that....and then not say what that is.

"What do you mean, I can't. I just did."

"What I mean is, you shouldn't break social norms, such as not finishing a sentence that begins with, It's just that....."

"Alright, alright. It's just that afterward, she rolled over, kissed me and said, I'll see you at work tomorrow."

"She made you leave in the middle of the night?"

"Yes, and we had used her car for the date, so I had to take the subway at two o'clock in the morning."

"You know what that was, don't you? That was her way of punishing you for making her use her car for the date. It was your second social blunder of the evening."

"Well, if that's what it was, I learned my lesson." Have you ever taken the subway at two o'clock in the morning?"

"I can't say I have, no."

"I think the subway slips into a different dimension sometime just before two o'clock."

"That bad, huh?

"This woman got on and sat down next to me. I mean, there were empty seats everywhere, and she sat right next to me."

"Well, that's not so bad. Was she a looker?"

"She wasn't a woman."

"Oh, this isn't going anyplace good, is it?"


"She...he...whatever, kept pulling her top down to show more cleavage, and pulling her skirt up to show more hairy leg."

"That's disgusting."

"I already mentioned things had gone well back at Mindy's apartment.....up until she kicked me out that is."

"Yes, you mentioned that."

"I thought I was in for a double header totally against my will. I mean, this was not a petite, little man. This guy was a bruiser." Ralph held up his hand and showed the back of it to Craig. "You see this?"

"It looks like a phone number."

"Yes, it is. And it was written with a red sharpie."

"Are you going to call her....I mean him?"

Ralph's phone rang and he looked at the number on the back of his hand and the number on the phone's screen. "Oh, my god."

"You gave him your number?"

"It's the polite thing to do. Somebody gives you their number, you reciprocate."

"Why didn't you give him a fake number?"

"Oh, sure. And the next time Mindy kicks me out at two in the morning, and I ride the subway home, Bruiser gets to beat the crap out of me."

"Or, you could just drive your own car for the date."

"How about we back this conversation up to when I said, The date was fine....." and you offer me a beer?"

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