The Chris Miss Eve

I’ve told a lot of stories over the past few months.  Stories from childhood, the high school days, working on movies, and many more.  Thought being that it’s July and all, I’d share a Christmas story for my friends that live in the southern hemisphere.   Get you in the holiday spirit.

The story is called “The Chris Miss Eve.”  It’s  a story about a young boy’s uncontainable joy and anticipation for the most exciting day of the year.   That most exciting day being Christmas of course.

I wrote and illustrated The Chris Miss Eve when I was just five years old.  It’s the very first story that I’ve ever written.   My mother saved the story after all these years.  However, there was one page that was ripped and torn, so I took the liberty to revise the page a little.  I hope you enjoy.

001 Chris Miss Eve002 Chris Miss Eve003 Chris Miss Eve007 Chris Miss Eve004 Chris Miss Eve005 Chris Miss Eve006 Chris Miss Eve

HA!  Got you, you dimwit dingalings!  Well, maybe some of you new ones anyway.

It is a sweet story though, and it really is a story that I wrote back when I was five.  Too bad I made a mess of it with the revised page and all.  Just thought it could use a little polish.

I’ve always enjoyed kids’ artwork and stories.  The misspelling of words, the crazy disproportions, and the brilliant colors.  I love how kids draw scribbly, crooked lines all over the place.  Wild and free.  And then, well, somewhere in life someone comes along and insists that you have to draw within the lines.  They tell you that colors should be colored a certain way for it to look right.  You can’t draw a person with purple skin and give them green hair for god’s sake!  So this is the Dimwit’s twisted way of encouraging you to draw outside the lines, choose whatever colors you like best, and never mind what you’ve been told in life, unless what you’ve been told has been something wonderful.

Boi oh boi.  Sorry to pull a fast one on you.  Merry Chris Miss to all, and to all a goodnight.

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“Big Love” – Excerpt From A Hot And Steamy Romance Novel

Do you like reading hot and steamy romance novels about pounding hearts and quivering thighs as much as I do?  Doubt it.  But if you do, then you will be thrilled to know that I’ve been working on writing a romance novel of my own.

The romance novel is titled “Big Love” and it’s a love story about a guy and gal who meet in an online chat room.  They hit it off, chat back and forth for several months.  The virtual lovebirds have only one rule:  no photos or physical descriptions of one another allowed whatsoever.  They’ve committed to testing out the theory that love is blind and that true love doesn’t concern itself with physical appearances.

After several months of online courtship, the two decide to finally meet up in person.  Kevin White, a nutritionist and health coach, is in for a BIG surprise when he finally meets the virtual love of his life, Nelly Barnes, a Wal-Mart sales associate.  The following excerpt is from their first meet-up.  Check it, yo.

Big Love Book Cover

“Big Love”
Excerpt From A Hot And Steamy Romance Novel
by Christopher Hinton

It had been months of correspondence, back and forth emails, phone calls, and handwritten letters.  The time was finally here.  I was going to see her.  In the flesh.  Face to face.  I was finally going to get to squeeze her tight, and if I had it my way, I might never let her go.   My sweet Nelly.  My true love.

I was nervous as hell.  I showed up at the coffee shop as per our arrangement, only I arrived two hours earlier than expected.

I gulped down three cups of coffee and an espresso while I was waiting.  I don’t drink coffee.  I was jitters.  I was a bundle of nerves.  Where is she?  Where is my cute as a button, Nelly, my precious baby lamb?  She was going to be here any second now.  I ordered another cup of coffee and sat back down, waiting.

Not long afterwards, in walked Nelly.  There she was.  It was my bunny angel.  I knew it was her by the way Nelly described the outfit so perfectly in a prior email – she said that she would be wearing black stretch pants and a yellow puppy dog T-shirt with the clever caption printed on the front, “I Ruff You.”

Yes, it was my Nelly all right, but she didn’t look like the girl that I had spent countless hours sculpting, and forming and painting a picture of in my mind.  If I’m being frank, Nelly was about 240 pounds heavier and carried quite a few more extra chins.  The girl in the painting also wasn’t wearing flip flops and didn’t have her hair pulled back into a moo cow Scrunchie.

I’m a putz.  I’m a dope.  A real honest-to-goodness imbecile.  The first thing that shot through my brain and out of my mouth before I had a chance to put a silencer on that nasty, devil of a tongue of mine came spewing out.  I fired a bullet.  Boy, did I ever.

I took one look at Nelly and I screamed “Holy shit!” across the entire way.  They heard me in Alaska.  Christ, they heard me in Japan.  Every person in the joint was looking at me, snapping and stretching their heads around like rubber bands.  I don’t blame them.  I have a bad habit of cursing – I’ll be the first to admit it, my pastor would be the second –  but cursing in public is a vile thing if you ask me, especially when there are children present.

I mouthed an apology to the mothers.  I meant it, I was sorry, but what was I going to say to my poor Nelly?  Sorry wouldn’t cut it.  Not for my sweet pookums, but it wasn’t like I had much time to give it thought.

Nelly gave a wave and walked over to my table.  She smiled, laughed nervously under her breath.  She was all jitters too.  She spoke.  A crackling, mousy voice came out of that mammoth body.  It was much different than the voice I had heard over the phone.

“Hi there, stranger.  So good to finally see you.  Sorry, I’m shaking.  I didn’t think that I would be this nervous.”

I said hi there right back.  Told her it was okay, I was nervous too.  We hugged.  It felt warm.  She had a question in regards to my shouting fit, however.

“So was that a good holy shit or a bad holy shit when I walked in the door?”

I never knew there was such a thing as a good holy shit, but I was relieved to be given a choice in this case.  I chose to go with a good.  It was good.  Nelly was – she was different than I had fantasized about in my dreams, but it didn’t matter.  That’s love.  It’s mad and it’s crazy, and if it’s right, it doesn’t give a damn about a size or a shape.

My Nelly was no ankle-biting poodle, and our love was no tiny, puppy love.  No, Nelly was a big fat ass elephant of a greyhound dog if that makes any sense, and I decided right then and there that it was all right with me.  I must be mad and crazy.  It was love for certain, and after I decided a little bit more, it was even better than being all right.  It was downright ecstasy.

The rest of the afternoon was nice.  We laughed.  We nearly fell off our chairs.  The tongue behaved, settled down and so did the nerves.  I can’t remember ever being happier than I was in that moment.  It had been a long time since I had been happy, which is a sad thing for a person to say, but it’s true.

No more dark and lonely nights.  Nelly was my sun.  She lit up the room, she lit up the sky.  Night time no longer existed as long as she was around. There was only day.

I held my Nelly tight.  It was a good holy shit.  It was a good goddamn.

I found my big love, all right.  I decided I was never letting go.

The Canary Yellow Cardigan

 Canary Yellow Cardigan2

The Canary Yellow Cardigan
A short story by Chris Hinton

Inspired by Puff Daddy

It was an unseasonably cold evening for the month of August.  Jenny, 19, shoulder length blond hair, was freezing.  She leaned over in the car towards her boyfriend Frankie and whispered, “I’m really cold.”  “You know what,” Frankie replied.  “It is a little chilly now that you mention it.”  They both agreed that the cold weather was especially unusual considering it was full blown summertime in Omaha, Nebraska.

Suddenly Frankie, 20, patchy goatee, remembered something.  “Why don’t I go grab your cardigan from the trunk?”

“A cardigan?” Jenny asked curiously.  “I don’t own a cardigan.  I own several pullover jackets and numerous Love Pink sweatshirts from Victoria’s Secret, but I most certainly do not own a cardigan.”

“Are you sure that you don’t own a cardigan?” Frankie inquired.   “I remember seeing a canary yellow cardigan in my trunk a while back.”

“No, I don’t own a cardigan,” Jenny responded rather pointedly.

“Well, if you don’t own a cardigan and I don’t own a cardigan, then I wonder whose cardigan it could be?”

Jenny was visibly upset.  “I don’t know whose cardigan it could be.  You tell me.  But I’m telling you that it’s not mine.  I’m severely allergic to cardigans.  The fibers cause my throat to swell shut and I could possibly die if I even go near a cardigan.  Or are you forgetting this, Frankie?”  Frankie did forget. “Frankie,” Jenny continued. “Is there something that you need to tell me?”  Frankie turned the radio up and pretended not to hear her just like he’s done a million times before.

Jenny was fuming.  Her worse fear – next to her intense fear of spiders hatching eggs in her ears during her sleep – had come true.  She couldn’t believe that Frankie had cheated on her, especially with a girl who wore a canary yellow cardigan of all things.  Jenny began sobbing uncontrollably.

“Why did you do it?” Jenny blubbered on like some sort of blathering, blubbering whale.  “Why did you have to throw away our perfect relationship just because you wanted to get your willy wet with some no good, two-bit, cardigan wearing whore?”

“I didn’t do it, Jenny.  I didn’t cheat on you.  How many times do I have to tell you that?  You accuse me of cheating like every other week, and I have to tell you, it’s starting to get mighty old.”

Jenny did not believe him.  She told Frankie those exact words.  “I do not believe you.”

“Well, I don’t believe you, you ungrateful accusatory nag of a girlfriend of mine!” Frankie shouted furiously.  “I will murder you and bury you face down in that canary yellow cardigan, then you won’t have to worry about your throat swelling shut anymore, now will you?”

Frankie’s unexpected burst of anger shocked even himself.  He tried to play it off nonchalantly by french kissing Jenny and telling her that he was just being silly with all of that murder stuff.  But Jenny was not in the mood for french kissing, or any kind of kissing for that matter.  She turned away from him, so Frankie went about fiddling with the radio, changing stations, and finally settlling on his all time favorite radio station, 92.3 z-92 FM.

Carlos Santana was playing.  It was somewhere around the two minute mark of the late 90’s smash hit song “Smooth” featuring Rob Thomas from Matchbox Twenty, when Frankie suddenly had another realization.

“Screw me!” Frankie shouted.

Jenny was hardly interested in Frankie’s sexual advances.  “Nice try, but I will not be screwing anyone that cheats on his girlfriend with cardigan sluts.  Take me home now, Frankie.”

Frankie turned the radio down to a soft murmur.  “No, no.  I didn’t mean screw me, as in take me to be your manservant in the back seat of my ’87 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme to the scorching sounds of Carlos Santana’s wicked guitar solo.  I meant screw me, as in I just realized whose canary yellow cardigan is in my trunk.”

“Well, whose is it?” Jenny snarled.  “Wait, let me guess.  Her name is Candy, or Trisha, or some other floozy sounding name like that, right?  You know what?  I don’t even want to know what her name is.  Just take me home NOW, Frankie!”

“Hold on a second.  Hear me out, Jenny.  I just remembered that the canary yellow cardigan is mine.  I’m such an idiot, I had completely forgotten.  You know how absentminded I can be sometimes – forgetting birthdays, anniversaries, forgetting your poor grandmother at the Henry Doorly zoo when it was 105 degrees out that one day.”

“Or how about forgetting to feed my dog when I went away to cheer camp for an entire week and nearly starving poor Muggles to death,” Jenny interjected, no longer blubbering like a blathering, blubbering whale.

“Yes, that too.  Muggles, your birthday, all of that stuff.  I’m a forgetful person.  And as we’re talking, I just now remembered that I bought the cardigan after watching a Lakers game a few months ago.  They showed a close-up of Puff Daddy wearing this really cool yellow cardigan during the halftime intermission.  The color was vibrant, yet incredibly pleasing.  He looked so handsome.  No homo, but I went to The Gap and bought a canary yellow cardigan the next day so that I could look just like my idol Sean ‘Puffy’ Combs.”

“He’s black,” Jenny noted.  “How are you going to look like P. Diddy just because you’re both wearing matching canary yellow cardigans?  That’s insane.”

“Look, don’t bring race into this,” Frankie pleaded.  “This has nothing to do with African Americans.  This is between me and you, and me and you only.  I would never cheat on you with some girl named Candy, or Trisha or even with a girl that had a wholesome name such as yours.  Jenny Marie, you’re the one I love.  Can’t you see that?  I’ll throw the damn cardigan away as soon as I get home, I promise.  You believe me about the cardigan now, babe, don’t you?  Please tell me that you believe in me.  You believe in us.”

“Of course I believe you.  I found the receipt in my apartment the other day and I knew it was your cardigan all along.  I was only testing you.  Now come over here, my little manservant, you.  Better make it quick, though.  We only have about twelve more minutes before Carlos finishes up with that god-awful song of his.”

Jenny took Frankie’s hand into hers and gazed deeply into his eyes.  “I’m yours now and forever, Frankie.  Two crazy love fools, me and you.  But I swear to God if you ever cheat on me, it will be your face buried in the dirt wearing that hideous Puff Daddy wannabe cardigan sweater of yours.  Don’t think I won’t do it, either.  You kapesh?”

Frankie smiled.  “Kapesh.”

The evening was no longer cold in Omaha, Nebraska.

The End

Puff Daddy

A Note From a Haitian Girl – I Want You to Be My Friend For Ever and Ever

A few of my family members recently returned from a mission trip to Haiti.  Seeing their photos and reading their stories has left me with Haiti on the brain even more than usual, so I thought I’d share a touching story of my own.

I was blessed to be part of a team that traveled to Haiti in March of 2012.  There were thirteen of us.  The team was comprised of five family members, seven members from my hometown church, and myself.  It was a good mix of young and old, guys and gals, the medically trained (two nurses and a doctor) and the clinically insane (my mother).

team squirt

Our group was affectionately dubbed as “Team Squirt” after the majority of us were stricken with giardia and experienced severe bouts of explosive diarrhea when we returned to the States.  It was pretty awesome – the trip, not the explosive diarrhea – but it was a very small price to pay in exchange for the time we spent with the beautiful Haitian people.

Team Squirt stayed at an orphanage in the city of Cap-Haitien for a week.  Our primary objective was to provide food and medical relief to the needy, and to help around the orphanage where needed. At least that was the rest of the team’s objective.  My objective was to introduce the orphanage kids to old school hip-hop and R&B artists, and to hold late night dance-offs, perfecting dance moves like the Moonwalk and the Cabbage Patch with the children.

Dance Party 4
One of our evening dance parties at the orphanage.  I brought my wireless, bluetooth speakers and loaded my iPod with jams.  The kids placed the speakers up in the rafters and we danced the night away on tables.

Dance Party 1
We took our translators and their respective families out to dinner one night at a nice restaurant.  After dinner, the sun went down and the dance party fired up.  We danced for well over an hour, having the time of our lives.

Dance Party 6
The youngest member of the dance crew, but don’t be fooled.  This little girl was all spunk and brought some legit moves to the dance floor.

Dance Party 3
Me teaching sweet, little Jacqueline how to do the “Shimmy Shake.”  He laughed at first, but after a while I think he grew concerned for my well being.

three amigos
Some of the teenage members of the dance crew. They tried to teach me how to Dougie, but after six days and five nights of failed attempts, they eventually submitted to the fact that I’m white.

Mission accomplished.  Both objectives were met.  Team Squirt fed the hungry by day and busted a move by night.  We were some real rice providing, vitamin distributing, Dougie dancing fools that week.  I’m pretty sure the kids at the orphanage and the members of the surrounding community had not experienced a group like ours in quite some time, if ever.  A week wasn’t nearly long enough, though.  We had a tough time saying goodbye when it was time to part our separate ways.

One of the teenage girls at the orphanage especially had a tough time saying goodbye.  I saw her on the last night, slinking off into the shadows, completely withdrawn to herself.  She was at a loss for words, so she had her friend slip me this note that was folded up into a neat, little square with her name, Eve, scrawled on the front.  I waited to read the note until I was on the plane ride home.  I carefully unfolded it and here is what the note read:

Hey!!!

I don’t see any word to say goodbye tonight beau because you are a special friend for me.  I want to see you next time again.  I want you to know that you are in my prayer and in my mind.  I want you to be my friend for ever and ever.

It was a short plane ride home but long enough for me to catch my breath and to reflect on the trip that had just taken place.  The note just confirmed what I had already suspected of the Haitian people.  They are just like everyone else in this world.  They only want a chance to be loved and to feel special.  The bags of rice, the toothbrushes, the donated clothing – that’s all nice.  It helps to meet their physical needs, but what Team Squirt was able to provide went beyond that.  We provided them with emotional support and a spark of hope.  We made them feel loved.

The Haitian people are truly special and I’m happy that I had the chance to make some new friends.  Friends that I intend to keep for ever and ever if I have it my way.

Note From A Haitian Girl

Excerpt From The Next Great American Classic – Chapter One: Here Lies A Great Man

I woke up this morning from a strange dream at 3:28 AM.  I reluctantly rolled out of my comfy bed and fumbled for my laptop and a pair of glasses sitting on top of the nightstand.  I began writing down the dream while it was still fresh in my memory, thinking that this morning when I woke up, the dream would be of some great revelation.  Not so much.  I would have been better off to have just gone back to bed and forgotten the strange dream in its entirety.

The dream went like this:  I was a 14 or 16 year old boy in the civil war era.  Another boy of similar age – the enemy – was throwing javelins at me from about fifty yards away.  The javelins had a sharp arrow at the end of them.  They were nothing to mess around with.

The boy was aiming for my head, and my waist.  I dodged the first couple javelin throws, then he finally landed one.  The javelin spear chucked me right through the gut.  I thought I was a goner, but just as I yanked the javelin out from my stomach, I was rescued by a man riding along on a horse.  I thought, surely, this is the part of the dream where the man magically morphs into Kate Upton, takes me back to her secret lair to patch me up, and declares her undying love to me.  Not hardly.

The dream continued.  I was riding on the back of horse with the man, holding my intestines from spilling out all over the place, when the man circled back around to kill the boy.  I don’t normally condone violence, but in my opinion, the little shit kinda’ had it coming to him.  Thankfully I woke up from the dream before the slaughter of the boy occurred.

Needless to say, the dream put me in somber mood this morning, so I thought I would share a more somber piece of writing.  This is the first chapter from an untitled novel that I had started writing a few months back.  I have about 20 of these unfinished novels and screenplays to my credit (or discredit?).  I’ll read something, like a Mark Twain, or a J.D. Salinger, and think to myself, “Hey, I can do that.”   But it’s never quite as simple as sitting down at a computer to begin to write, so eventually I give up.

One of these days I’ll complete The Next Great American Classic.  It won’t be today, but rather than keep all of my works hidden, I decided to share a few excerpts from time to time.  Maybe it will give me the inspiration to pick one of them back up and finish writing.

—————————————-

Untitled Next Great American Classic
Chapter One:  Here Lies A Great Man

I went to see my grandfather today.  Well, I didn’t see him, see him.  He’s dead.  Buried right underneath the oak tree that sits alone on top the hill out in the country.  It used to be his favorite hiding spot, that tree.  What exactly he was hiding from, no one will ever know.  About the only words he ever muttered to us was, “I told you not to come.”

My mom really tried for years and years.  She would load up the car with us kids – me, my brother, and my sister – and she would drive the six hours every summer to visit him at his farmhouse just outside Hamilton, New Jersey.  But most the time, PopPop would be no wheres to be found, or we’d see a tiny speck of a man on top the hill, sitting by his lonesome underneath the oak tree.  So instead of visiting him, we visited with the horses in the barn, or we visited with the ducks in the swimming pond.  It didn’t make no difference to me.  I’d rather talk to a duck than a jackass anyways, but it was hard on my mom.  She would cry the whole car ride home and claim it was from her allergies acting up.

The car ride home was something awful.  There was static coming in and out of the oldie’s station and mom’s sniffling.  The combination of the two sounds was about the worst goddamned sound any person could ever imagine.  Sniff, static, sniff, static, doo wop, doo wop, sniff, static.  I couldn’t wait to be out of that car.

PopPop was a bitter cuss of a man to put it mildly.  He didn’t like us kids.  He didn’t like my mom.  He didn’t like no one really, so when he died, no one in the family knew nothing about it.  It was the most baffling thing how someone could close themselves off to the world like that.  Mom drove down by herself one weekend to make a final attempt to “make amends” as she put it, when the phone rang:

“He’s dead!  He’s dead! I can’t believe it, he’s dead!”
“Slow down, mom.  Who’s dead?”, I asked.
“PopPop.  No one’s here and the house is all boarded up.  I couldn’t get inside, so I drove down to the neighbors, and they said he died over a year ago.  That no good, rotten, coward of a man didn’t even say goodbye to his own daughter!”

Death, what a sorry sack of shit that is.  Everyone has this idea that they can live forever, which ain’t but a lie.  You live to be 60 or 70 years if you’re lucky, and 80 years max.  PopPop, that stubborn mule, he made it to be 84.  He tried to cheat death as best he could, thought it wouldn’t find him if he just disappeared off the face of the earth during his final years, but death don’t pay no mind to cheaters.  Death will always have the final say.  Sometimes it will come to you as a whisper in the night, or sometimes it will roll you over with a 180 horse powered John Deere tractor while you’re out cutting hay, which is exactly what it done to PopPop.  Squashed him like a bug on a windshield, and that’s just the way death can be sometimes.

I don’t know why I drove down to his farm to go see him, except sometimes you just have to see things with your own eyes.  I wanted to see that cheater with a pile of dirt heaped on top of him, and I wanted to spit on his grave.  Once for my mother, once for me, and once for every sniffle, static and doo wop I ever had to hear on that car ride home.  By my accounts, that was about one million hawks of spit he had coming to him, but nobody has that much saliva to give another person no matter how much they done you wrong, so I decided it would be best to save my spit.

It took me a little bit of searching, but I found his gravesite.  There it was. Just a tiny speck on top of that hill, right underneath the oak tree where I last seen him.  It was  peaceful.  It wasn’t cluttered with all the other tombstones, and giant statues of crosses, and those stupid, fake flowers that everyone is so fond on leaving behind for a bunch of stiffs.  I had to hand it to PopPop for that one.  He had a nice view, a cool breeze, and some shade for when the sun got too hot.  Some good it did him now, but he got what he was after.  He got to be left alone once and for all.

The marker didn’t have no name, no birth date, or no nothing, really.  The only thing it said was “Here lies a good man.” I’d like to know who he paid to carve out that big, old lie.  I would’ve had a few other choice words if it were left up to me. It was probably best that it wasn’t.

I sat down next to his grave for nearly an hour.  The summer breeze got me to thinking.  I thought, ain’t it a shame how you can live your entire life only to be summed up by a few, lousy words carved on a slab of stone.  It’s really a crying shame the way the whole thing gets played out, so I decided that when I get squashed, I’m gonna leave behind more than just a few words.  I’m gonna leave behind a whole damn book.  There will be plenty of funny stories, adventures, and good times, but I won’t spare the bad parts, neither.  There will be stories of sadness, and heart break, and ain’t that the way life goes, really?  Ups and downs, highs and lows.  Some good men and some a little rotten, too, but at the end of it all, we all have the same measly reward waiting for us when we die.  Just a cheap vase of plastic flowers at the foot of our grave, and a few, measly words for people to remember us by.

At least I’ll have the decency to say goodbye.  That will be the last word in the book:  goodbye.  Then I’ll sign my name, Samuel Wynmore, and I suppose now that I think about it a little more, it wouldn’t hurt to end it with “Here lies a great man.” A helluva lot better man than his deadbeat grandfather, that’s for sure.

Guess I better get to writing.  I know just where I outta start.  Where every great man’s life begins and ends. With girls and booze.