Howie Mandel

We love the sparkling, speckless, spotless, spic-n-span, sanitary.
It sucks that no one gets you, Howie. They just don’t comprehend
that they carry so many—too many—estranged anti-
bodies. How don’t they see that the finger-
prints on a glass are chancy, too chancy, that those swirly
smudges from their own damn hands get so close—too
close—to uniting with your lips as you drink your
perfectly purified Fuji water. They are so naïve, so ignorant,
and they don’t see that you spray your bed with Lysol everyday
because when they sit on your bed, their ass
germs are rankling where you sleep. Oh Howie, you’d understand
if I said that I can’t lend you a pencil because if your hand—
which just touched that desk that you share with sloppy
society—held my pencil, that pencil would contact
all my other pencils in my specific Ticonderoga pencil
case and ruin me? They don’t see that it’s not so
funny, Howie, that we’re not always
comedians. You understand why I can’t offer
you a handshake or walk within a nine and
three-sevenths-inch radius of you, Howie. Right?

(Originally published in Rider University’s literary magazine, Venture, Spring 2011.)

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