Gort Gets The Short End Of The Stick

Submitted into Contest #194 in response to: Write a story inspired by the phrase “The short end of the stick.”... view prompt



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Gort Gets The Short End Of The Stick

(Crude humor) Ming: “I have another special assignment for you, Gort. It’s an important part of my plan to conquer the Universe. I pulled your name out of a hat, so you get the first shot at this great honor. It’s hardly brain surgery, so even you should be able to pull it off.”

Great, lucky me.

Ming: “But it could be dangerous. Are you willing to volunteer for the job?”

Volunteer? The last time I didn’t volunteer for something I spent a year in the stockade.

Gort: “Of course, Merciless One. It is an honor to serve you.”

Ming: “Before we invade, I want to learn as much as possible about the earthlings in order to prepare for our occupation. I want to know about their diet, their routines, and how they think. You’ll be undercover the whole time.”

Gort: “Excuse me, sir, but I don’t look at all like an Earth person.”

Ming: “No worry, after Doctor Dort gets done carving you up, no one will suspect you’re an alien.”

Gort: “Doctor Dort?”

 Ming: “Yes, Dort, didn’t you know he got his license to practice back?”

Gort: “Uh…no I didn’t, sir.”

Ming: “Yes, the whole ordeal was quite unfair. Hardly anyone died. We’re lucky to have him back. Well, will you volunteer for the job?”

Oh, this isn’t good. Doctor Shakey or the wrath of Ming. Talk about having a bad day.

Gort: “I am always eager to serve my Emperor.”

Ming: “I knew I could count on you. You leave tonight. We’re going to drop you in a place called Chicago.”

Chicago! Jesus Christ! I’d be safer back on the front lines battling Zog again.

“You are to mingle with the people, hang out at some bars, do a little eavesdropping, maybe catch a Cubs game.”

A Cubs game?! Oh, my God. This just keeps getting worse.

Report back to me in a week with the inside story on what’s going on down there.”

God dammit! The Emperor’s Ball is tonight, and I’ll be down in the hell hole called Earth.


Ming: “Gort! I’m glad you made it back safely. Tell me about your trip. What did you learn?”

Gort: “Well for starters, Coors Light is a little on the watery side for my taste. A guy’s better off going with Miller Lite tap beer, more flavor, less filling, and cheaper…always trying to save the Empire money, sir.”

Ming: “Not that kind of stuff, you dope. What did learn about Earth’s inhabitants?

Gort: “I learned a bundle, sir. Where would you like me to start?”

Ming: Let’s start with their food supply, their life-sustaining nourishment. What do they eat?”

Gort: “It’s pretty weird. From what I could tell, they eat crow, something called humble pie, and hats….and free peanuts at the bar.”

Ming: “Hats? You’ve got to be shitting me.”

Gort: “Nope, I heard a guy at the bar say, ‘I’ll eat my hat.’ It seemed a little odd to me too, sir.”

Ming: “Did they say what kind of hats they eat?”

Gort: “No, sir, but they can only eat their own hats. I never heard anyone say I’ll eat Joey’s hat, or Susie’s hat, or anyone else's hat. It was only ‘my hat’. I don’t get it, but that’s what they do.”

Ming: “Interesting. And what’s this humble pie?”

Gort: “Not sure, sir, but it sounds like you only get to eat it after you screw something up.”

Ming: “That’s odd. You screw up, and you get pie. Sounds like that every kid gets a trophy crap my Niece is always pushing. They must be real wusses.”

Gort: “Our occupation will be challenging though, sir. Our warriors are used to bountiful feasts. They won’t be happy on a diet of crow, humble pie, and hats.”

Ming: That’s for sure. We’ll have to work on extending our supply lines. Let’s move on to procreation. What are their mating habits?”

Gort: “Here’s where it gets pretty weird, sir. It’s very structured, sir. They have a special day reserved for sex every week. They call it Hump Day.”

Ming: “Hump Day? That’s a little crass. Once a week, you say?”

Gort: “Yes, sir. Hump Day is a big deal down there.”

Ming: “I can imagine.”

Gort: “And the way they do it sounds a little rough on the women. I heard the men talking about it. First, there’s a beating around the bush.”

Ming: “What?! They can’t do that. What the hell is wrong with them?”

Gort: “It gets worse. Then they put a tit in a wringer, and …”

Ming: “A tit in a winger! Owie! That’s their idea of foreplay?! My God, those earthmen are pigs! They must go wild on Hump Day.”

Gort: “And finally they bang her. Sir”

Ming: “Banging?! What was all that Elvis ‘Love Me Tender’ stuff about?”

Gork: “And there’s some really kinky stuff going on. One guy was talking about his wife, and he says he spoons her…every night!”

Ming: “Gadzooks! I wonder what the hell he does with a spoon.”

Gort: “And I may have misunderstood this because it was pretty noisy in the bar, and the guy was drunk, but I swear he said he’d like to fork every woman in the bar.”

Ming: “Forking?! Sicko sadists! Those poor women. I wonder…no, I guess I wouldn’t want to know.”

Gort: “I’m not a perv, but I kind of would like to have seen it, you know, strictly for educational purposes.”

Ming: “I bet. Any other strange sexual behavior?”

Gort: “Well, yes, sir. I don’t even want to tell you about it. It’s pretty disgusting.”

Ming: “Let’s hear it.”

Gort: “It’s real nut job stuff. It involves…animals.”

Ming: “What?! No way!”

Gort: “Sorry, sir, it’s for real. Some guy was talking about his son’s puppy love.”

Ming: “ Puppies! Jesus Christ! That is disgusting! How the hell would they do that anyway?”

Gort: “I’m guessing doggy style.”

Ming: “You’re certain about this?”

Gort: “Yep, I heard another guy say he screwed the pooch.”

Ming: “Repulsive people.”

 Gort: “And that’s not all, sir. They have what they call lovebirds. I took it to mean something like the comfort women invading armies would have around after their victory, you know, to keep their soldiers happy.”

Ming: “Birds!! For goodness sake. These people are freaks! I hope it’s not chickens.”

Gort: “Could be woodpeckers, sir, at least for the women. And there’s something else even worse, sir.”

Ming: “What could be worse than sex with animals?”

Gort: "Well…I heard them talking about a guy who blows his own horn.”

Ming: “Jesus Christ! That is sick.”

Hmm…I wonder how he does that.

 Gort: “And here’s something our mission biologist might be interested in. Some guy said he had a nephew who was a monkey!”

Ming: “Interspecies breeding. Interesting.”

Gort: “You have to wonder if it’s something they do in a lab, or if it’s with huggin’ and smoochin’ and stuff.”

Ming: “Jesus Christ, Gort. Don’t go there. I’d never get that image out of my mind.”

Gort: “And they’ve got lots of other weird stuff going on with animals.”

Ming: “I’m afraid to ask, but go ahead, tell me.”

Gort: “For starters, their cats wear pajamas.”

Ming: “That’s odd.”

 Gort: “And they keep their pigs in a blanket, chickens in a pot, their ducks in a row, ants in their pants, bulls in a china shop, and although I never saw it, some bozo kept saying there was an elephant in the room. And I don’t get this at all, but they have happy clams down there.”

Ming: “Amazing. Sounds like the animals have it pretty good on planet Earth.”

Gort: “Not all of them, sir.”

Ming: “What do you mean.”

Gort: I heard some guys say they spank their monkeys and choke their chickens.”

Ming: “Wow, that’s some crazy shit. Who could be mad at a monkey?”

Gort: “And listen to this. Sounds like they have some pigs that can fly.”

Ming: “Flying pigs?! You sure you got all this down right?”

Gort: “Absolutely, sir. I took notes, and I was the best note-taker at the academy.”

Ming: “Must be some kind of gravity issue. How about their system of education?”

Gort: “More weird stuff. Very undisciplined, sir.”

Ming: “How’s that?”

Gort: “Well, for one, the teachers can have a pet in class.”

Ming: “We’d never allow that.”

Gort: “And then every class gets to have a clown.”

Ming: “A clown? That can’t be conducive to learning. No wonder they don’t seem too bright.”

Gort: “I guess they resort to forced methods of teaching.”

Ming: “What do you mean?”

Gort: “It’s some kind of process called racking their brains and drilling it into their heads.”

Man, he’s got to be impressed with all the good information I picked up. I bet I get a nice medal.

Ming: “They drill knowledge into their heads? Sounds efficient, a bit harsh, but efficient. We should probably look into that. You get anything on their social life?"

Gort: "Yes, and it's puzzling...actually disturbing. The way I understood it, every time they have a party, they bring in a party pooper."

Ming: "What?!"

Gort: "I guess it's like having a designated driver, only instead of driving, this person poops."

Ming: "You've got to be kidding me. Why the hell would they want to have someone pooping at a party?"

Gort: "Don't know, sir, but I heard someone say it's a big deal when the shit hits the fan."

Ming: "Oh, my God! They throw poop at a fan at their parties?! These people are deranged. They deserve to be conquered."

Gort: "I'd say."

Ming: "Remind me not to attend any parties while I'm down there."

Gort: "It seems like that would be wise, sir."

I guess I'd go for the free food, but I wouldn't wear anything too nice.

Ming: "Now the critical information. What did you learn about their military?”

Gort: “I hung out at a bar outside the Naval Base and learned a shitload.”

Ming: “Anything on who’s in charge, you know, when I say take me to your leader, I should know who I’m looking for.”

Gort: “It’s some guy named Roger. I must have heard his name a thousand times. Almost every time a guy said something to someone, the guy would say ‘Rodger’. He must be the man at the top.”

Ming: “What about their strengths and weaknesses?”

Gort: “You’re going to like this, sir. They’re a real mess. It sounds like the Army guys carry a fox around with them to put in a hole when they go into combat.”

Ming: “What?! Are you sure?”

Gort: “Heard it myself. They dig a hole for their fox everywhere they go. That has to slow them down, sir.”

Ming: “Anything on their Navy?”

Gort: “Dark ages stuff. They think they can use loose lips to sink ships.”

Ming: “What?! That Rodger must be a real dope. How about the Air Force?”

Gort: “This will surprise you, sir, but their pilots have to fly with their balls to the wall.”

Ming: “What?! How the hell do they do that?”

Gort: “Don’t know, sir, but that has to be a real distraction. And get this, one guy said he was on a mission once and his whole platoon got caught with their pants down.”

Ming: “Their pants down?! In combat?! What the hell were they doing? Did they have puppies or chickens with them?”

Gort: “Don’t know, sir. I only know they had their pants down.”

Ming: “These people are really screwed up. It should be an easy win for us. I don’t know how Earth survived for so long. Any final recommendations, Gort?”

Gort: “Well, if I were you, I’d schedule the invasion for Hump Day, maybe catch them with their pants down.”

Ming: “Brilliant! Good work, Gort, so good in fact that I’m going to give you the first shot at volunteering for the next exciting mission.”

Gort: “What’s that, sir?”

Ming: "Well, we're a little short on some of the equipment we need for the invasion. We need a volunteer to act as a real-life minesweeper. It could be dangerous. Are you up for the job?"

A mind sweeper! A job in the Intelligence Division! I've had my application in for years. He must want me to interrogate captives!

Gort: "Absolutely! Thank you, sir! I'm your man!"

Ming: "Good. I knew I could count on you. And you might want to get yourself a pair of heavy-duty, steel-toe boots."

Huh. I wonder why I'd need heavy-duty boots. Whatever, finally a nice cushy job! So long to those days of always getting the short end of the stick!

Ming: "And maybe some earmuffs."

April 20, 2023 04:14

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Delbert Griffith
12:53 Apr 21, 2023

This was great, Murray! Using animal clichés was clever, and then to have them totally misunderstood by Gort was epic. I think you had just the right amount of clichés for the tale. Yes, there are plenty more, but you were smart enough to know when to stop. Masterful, my friend. The only thing I didn't get was the ending. Was Gort being punished, or was he just the go-to dufus that was volunteered for terrible missions? Great tale, my friend. Loved the hell out of it - and that's no bullshit. LOL


Murray Burns
19:38 Apr 21, 2023

Thanks. Nothing like a little Beavis and Butt-Head humor to rile the ranks of the intelligentsia. I wasn't happy with my ending either. I wanted it to end with another misunderstood idiom that would doom poor Gort, but I just couldn't come up with one. But after reading your comment, I went back to the drawing board and did the best I could. I really appreciate your reading my stuff and your comments.


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Lily Finch
05:53 Apr 20, 2023

Murray Burns, this is the favourite of your short stories. I have read all of the stories you posted since eons ago, so I consider myself a Murray Burnitonian expert right up there with the Tommy Goroundonian expert that I am. 😜 What did I like or laugh about = Everything! I laughed and laughed and laughed. Thanks for the great read. LF6.


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