Funny Contemporary Fiction

“Lose weight, tick…”

“Hey, hold on! What weight did you lose?”

“I lost almost two pounds.”


“In January.”

“Have you weighed yourself since then?”

“…No, but I wrote my end-of-December and beginning-of-January weights down on a piece of tape and stuck it to the back of the scales as a guide…”

“Right, wait there, I’ll get the scales.”

“…While you’re doing that, I’m going to tick… Stop procrastinating… no, I’ll tick that later… How’s about, Exercise more… yes, that’s a tick…”

“Here’s the scales. It’s a little dusty. Obviously not been used for a while, but… I need the evidence, if I’m to lose my bet… Why is there another item marked off. Did you just tick the ‘exercise more’ resolution.”

“Yeah, so?”

“So… I’ve only seen you go running… what… two times this year?”

“Like I said… Yeah… so?”

“How many times did you exercise last year?”


“…Okay, I’ll give you that… Come here and stand on the scales.”

“Are they calibrated?”

“They’re a K-Mart bathroom special. How would I know if they’re calibrated…”

“…Hmm, something’s amiss, here, methinks…”

“Well, it’s not poundage, coz you have put on weight according to your great weight recording method written on this piece of tape… Ha! I think that makes me the winner of the bet…! Hey, stop! What are you doing?”

“I’m taking my shoes off to weigh myself again.”

“You can’t do that. It’s unfair.”

“Where in the rulebook does it say that I can’t take my shoes off?”

“What rulebook?”

“Exactly… We don’t have no stinkin’ rulebook, huhney… There! I may have gained nearly two pounds pounds since January, but that means, I’m still a few ounces down since last December, when I weighed my shoeless self then…”

“…Wasn’t that right before we decided to recalibrate the scales, but never got around to it…?”

“Uh uh. You’re not pulling that one on me… Weight successfully lost, so a very light tick next to the already existing, heavier tick.”

“It’s 11:50PM. That’s only two out of ten resolutions for the year completed. In ten minutes, I’ll be one hundred dollars richer. What’s the next one?”

“…Um, it is, Eat healthier… a much improved tick for me…”

“Wait one second. How have you eaten healthier on your Menulog diet?”

“I added pineapple to my two-for-one Veggie pizzas…”

“My god, you’re twisted.”

“…And that has saved us money each time… another tick-eroni.”

“The bank of Uber does not count as your nest egg. May I remind you that we have a joint bank account, yes?”


“…And because of your spendthrift, door-to-door delivery lifestyle, it has only moved in one direction all year. I compare our bouncy bank account to a ball rolling down a steep hill, picking up speed until it hits the rock bottom called overdraft – a situation we shamelessly have grown accustomed to. Our heads barely above water, you continue to eBay our way out to sea, causing us to float further away from the safety of shore. Before too long, your cavalier spending will no doubt drag us further out, drowning both of us in a deep, dark sea of debt.”

“…Your point, Wordsworth?”

“…You do not get to tick that one – unless, you have a secret stash of cash somewhere. Empty your pockets, go on… If you have at least one dollar in there, I’ll let you claim it as savings…”

“…Okay… Hmm, I’m halfway there… minus twenty-five cents.”

“This bet was silly from the start. Even if I win, you don’t have the money to pay me.”

“No, but I’ll pay it back to you over the next twelve months. Here’s a quarter for the first instalment - if you win… Ooh…! Hold on, that’s number seven ticked off… pay off debts…! See? I’m already ahead of things… and number twos’ stop procrastinating is a done deal… What are you hiding behind your back?”

“I’ll give you three guesses… It’s dark and sweet and comes wrapped in foil.”

“A condom.”

“Get your mind out of the gutter, please… It also comes in milkier varieties.”

“A milky condom…”

“…You are sick, you know that…? Look at your list. It’s number ten… the final temptation of the year… ”

“…Number ten… let’s see… that one is… to give up… Oh… that’s hitting below the belt. You know I’ve not had any since one minute before last New Years Day. How can you be so mean to someone so dedicated to the cause?”

“All’s fair in love and war…”

El amor y la guerra son vna misma cosa… Love and war are all one… That’s from Cervantes’ Don Quixote.”

“Always chasing windmills… How you are so much like the man from La Mancha.”

“It matters not the failings of this year, for on the morrow, I shall proclaim a victorious new year campaign, as I spend my winnings on donuts and bars of chocolate like the one that you covet so guardedly in your dainty little hand…”

“I’m half tempted to let you eat it now, just to rid yourself of the sugar-free madness.”

“If I hold out until after midnight, do I still get to eat it?”

“Sure, I won’t need it because it’s number one on my New Years’ list.”

“You’re giving up chocolate?”

“Yes! What, you think I can’t?”

“Well… you’re a woman.”

“Sorry, Mr. Husband from another era – possibly from another planet. You think women have no willpower?”

“Not when it comes to chocolate, no. It’s your Go-To comfort food, and so much cheaper than wine. Heh heh…”

“What’s so funny?”

“My phone just dinged.”

“Someone wishing you a Happy New Year?”

“No, it’s PayPal… I’ve just received a refund for that eBay item I sent back last week.”

“What is with you and eBay…? We can’t even get rid of the cardboard boxes cluttering up the garage from all your purchases. But you continue to buy things we don’t need, and a forest somewhere is missing parts of it that are here collecting where we can’t park the car!”

“We needed the phone chargers. You keep losing yours.”

“Okay, but we didn’t need the custom-printed, promotional Covid masks.”

“When I ordered them, I wasn’t aware that they’d be too small for my face. Obviously sized on the people of the far-away factory workers that made them.”

“Not to mention, they also misspelled the three-letter acronym of our company name… Who wants to go out in public places wearing masks that spell ASS across your face.”

“It’s supposed to be the number five.”

“Duh… I was the one who came up with the name, remember?”

“Yeah, I should have foreseen that ‘Accounting Specialists Five’ might be misconstrued.”

“Well… there are five of us in our struggling start-up practice. It seemed like a catchy name.”

“AS-5 is catchy. What’s printed on these tiny face masks is just a joke.”

“We could donate them to the local charity shop. They’re always looking for worthy items to re-sell…”

“…Really…? Should we also get more printed up with COCK written on them and donate them as well? I’m sure the irony won’t go unnoticed by the Salvation Army that operates the shops…”

“…I wasn’t the one that proofed the artwork.”

“Yes, well… I didn’t have my reading glasses on, and just clicked the green button to approve it.”

“Want some chocolate?”

“NO…! I mean, of course I do - in a few minutes from now.”

“You might as well eat some, because resolution number five won’t be happening.”

“…It already has.”


“My PayPal balance says I have forty-two dollars and ninety-nine cents in credit. I think that counts as savings… that’s a big-in-the-black, tick…! Next on the list is… Ooh… Read more…. and I have…”

“Comics don’t count.”

“They’re called graphic novels.”

“Adult comics are still comics.”

“I read Ben Kane’s, Sands of the Arena…”

“Having it read to you on Audible.com is not what I call reading.”

“How else am I supposed to work and read at the same time?”

“Read my lips… It’s not reading…”

“Okay, then how about this year’s Wiley Interpretation and Application of IFRS standards book?”

“Oh, you are just grasping at straws… The latest international financial reporting standards doesn’t count.”

“It’s still a book. One thousand and twenty-four pages long. I didn’t see you perusing its pages while I read it to you nightly, in bed.”

“No, you made it sound so sexy, I just couldn’t push you away… Well, that and the fact your side of the bed is up against the wall.”

“That’s sarcasm, right?”

“Okay, you can cross number six off.”

“Thank you… a literary tick!”

“What else is left… Ha! Number eight should be interesting… How were those violin lessons you never took?”

“…That blue violin was a bargain on eBay. I had to outbid about six others to get it.”

“And where is it now, Paganini?”

“…In the garage with the drumkit… under the lifetime supply of fake shaving razors.”

“Do you realise there are boxes out there not even opened yet? I should just wrap them up at Christmas and give them to you as mystery gifts.”

“I’ll still know what they are by the shape of the box.”

“Yes, the garden flamingo would immediately give itself away.”

“That was a Buy-It-Now option – and another bargain!”

“We live in a condominium… with a small balcony.”

“Yeah, sorry about that one. It was a double bid attempt to get a pond as well… I lost the pond bid when I desperately needed to go to the toilet with thirty seconds left. Quite honestly, I was glad to not win that one… Shame though… the flamingo would have looked good standing up in the middle of it overlooking the garages.”

“Just put it back on eBay and sell it.”

“Really? Who’d want a green flamingo?”

“Well, obviously, you did! Maybe someone will want it on Saint Paddy’s Day! You could throw in the violin as a package deal and call it the Fiddler’s Green Special.”

“That was so lame…”

“Maybe, but you still didn’t learn to play an instrument.”

“Ah, but I did, marketing person of the year… Presenting the Rapper’s piano recently acquired in another eBay special deal.”

“It looks like a toy… with only two piano keys.”

“Exactly! Listen while the maestro plays a little diddy… One-one, two-two, one-one, two-two

              YO! I got got black I got white

              no motherfugger third key in sight

              I press the high then press the low

              leavin’ you yellin’ out for mo…

              music to my ears

              is the music of the street

              raining motherfuggin dollars

              on my motherfuggin feet

              Let the white key cry

              as the black key lies

              yo, it all gets forgotten

              when the fuggin’ music dies…

              One-one, two-two, one-one, two-two, one-one, two-two, one-one, two-two…

…Peace out!”

“…Please promise me that you won’t quit your day job…”

“Play an instrument… That’s a big perfect menstrual notation of a tick!”

“Um… you’ll find that it’s pronounced Mensural Notation.”

“Whatever, Miss Sour Note… To me, it’s another resolution excitedly crossed off the list. I feel a rap of victory coming on…”

“Do you realise that you just blew number nine…”

“No, I don’t think so… Number nine… that’s…”

Stop swearing.

“When did I swear?”

“During your spontaneous infantile, hip-hopping session…”

“Noo, my love. It was completely contextual and adult-themed, and twas merely art for the sake of art’s… sake.”

“You bourgeoisie Mo-Fo…”

“Hey, turn the TV up. The ball at Times Square is getting ready to descend.”

“Okay, but quickly! Number seven, Pay off debts will be accepted - if you transfer your 42.99 PayPal balance immediately to my new saver account.”

“Sure, whatever you want, if it helps me win… There! They’ve dropped the ball!”

“…And I can charge you interest at five percent, compounded weekly.”

“Whatever… The countdown has begun… Ten… nine… eight…”

“Then at the end of the year, you pay me the balance owed.”

“No problem… six… five… wait, how much does that come to?”

“Two hundred seventy-three dollars and fifty-six cents.”

“FUCK, that’s extortion!”

“…One… Happy New Year, hun! You just lost the bet with one Fuck and two seconds to go… You know, I’m so overjoyed with my win, I’m going to have some of this chocolate.”

“What!? You can’t! You made a New Years resolution.”

“…Yeah, I know… oops… Well, there’s always next year…”

January 04, 2023 09:26

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Amanda Lieser
14:40 Mar 18, 2023

Hey Chris! Oh heavens! You captured gorgeous marital discussion so well in this piece. They say the one who knows you best, knows all the best buttons to push and I was absolutely getting that vibe from this piece. I loved the way this story had characters who not only kept pace with one another in the dialogue, but ultimately loved each other. Nice work!!


Chris Campbell
14:48 Mar 18, 2023

Thanks Amanda. These two are a great couple. Full of fun, playfulness, and love. Glad you liked it.


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Graham Kinross
07:34 Feb 16, 2023

“I’m going to tick… Stop procrastinating… no, I’ll tick that later.” I was going to get that on a T-shirt but I haven’t managed to summon the effort yet. Not a fan of pineapple on pizza? Try before you deny. That’s my wife’s favourite. “We can’t even get rid of the cardboard boxes cluttering up the garage from all your purchases. But you continue to buy things we don’t need,” I’m sure they were either cute or ‘could be useful.’ That’s what I’m often told. This couple know each other too well. Lots of these conversations sound very familia...


Chris Campbell
07:37 Feb 16, 2023

I love pineapple on pizza and I love the t-shirt idea. Thanks for reading my story. I did include a little personal conversation in there... Just a bit...


Graham Kinross
10:36 Feb 16, 2023

Some of the best stuff comes from life.


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Stevie Burges
10:28 Jan 13, 2023

Excellent. I was definitely with the female retorts throughout as unfortunately I recognised myself. Thanks for writing.


Chris Campbell
15:29 Jan 13, 2023

Stevie, thanks for reading and commenting. Glad you liked it.


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Michał Przywara
21:33 Jan 12, 2023

Ha, hilarious :) There's good back-and-forth, we get slipped a lot of details about their lives - so it fleshed the characters out, but it's not an info dump - and the ending is fantastic. I thought he was getting off pretty easy with some of those, negotiating on the faintest of technicalities, so it was fun to see it all fall apart with just seconds to go. And then add the interest to the bet, and this little experiment ends up with quite the price tag :)


Chris Campbell
23:31 Jan 12, 2023

Thanks Michal. New Year resolutions are notoriously hard to keep. I gave up on making them a long time ago. Probably because I knew I had no chance of seeing the year out without breaking them all. 😆


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Wally Schmidt
03:05 Jan 09, 2023

Soooooo funny! The dialogue, the idea, the retorts. Really fun to read


Chris Campbell
03:34 Jan 09, 2023

Wally, thanks for your great feedback.


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Tommy Goround
00:39 Jan 09, 2023

I should be applauding you simply for a rap without cursing. But you inspired me to a small story. Be back soon.


Chris Campbell
01:38 Jan 09, 2023



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Mary Lehnert
04:24 Jan 08, 2023

Three hours from idea to completion, Chris? Formidable. I’m guessing it took a bit longer for the Yorkshire dialect and the Cockney rhyming slang. LOL


Chris Campbell
05:06 Jan 08, 2023

Yes, they took a little research. I must add that my first draft of Dropped Ball was quick. I've since added to it and reworked it a little. That was another three hours of work. Thanks for reading and commenting, Mary.


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Delbert Griffith
12:04 Jan 05, 2023

Ok, this was fucking hilarious (cursing will never be on my resolution list) and very telling. The New Year's resolution list is the most human of holiday traditions, for we do attempt to improve ourselves - with varying success. Your tale shows how far we will go to tick another resolution off of our list. The savagery is delectable! I love the interactions and dialogue. Masterful work, Chris. Simply wonderful storytelling.


Chris Campbell
13:35 Jan 05, 2023

Delbert, thank you so much. Personally, I try to stay away from New Years resolutions. Why deny yourself your normal pleasures in life. 🤣


Delbert Griffith
13:42 Jan 05, 2023

LOL so you resolve to have no resolutions. Epic!


Chris Campbell
13:44 Jan 05, 2023



Chris Campbell
07:37 Jan 06, 2023

FYI: I re-wrote it and extended it - just in case you have nothing else to do.


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Rebecca Miles
07:38 Jan 05, 2023

This pair have such a great dynamic; I'm with the wife all the way: pineapple on pizza = healthier eating, and always weigh without shoes! You did a great job delivering all through dialogue; it rolled like it should all the way to the NY. Great fun start to the New Reedsy Year!


Chris Campbell
08:00 Jan 05, 2023

Rebecca, Thank you for your great feedback. Admittedly, I was struggling to come up with something this week. Then, yesterday, the creative juices flowed, and I had it started and completed in three hours. I love working with all dialogue pieces. Hopefully, this will work with readers.


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