Flashing My Shorts – Salvatore Buttaci, Author

August 21, 2010 at 10:38 pm (Uncategorized)

Flashing My Shorts – Review by Martha A Cheves, Autor of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
When I picked up Flashing My Shorts I had no idea of what to expect.  What I found was the creations of a man who can take any word, object or feeling and turn it into a short story.  Reading Buttaci’s writings was almost like reading poetry.

In Two Worlds, Will Dennison lives two lives, one in the real world and one in the nightmare world.  In Invitation President Clayton Powell is invited to be transplanted to Mars. Doomsday. We’ve been warned, now the world is dying around us.  I Wish I Wish – be careful what you wish for.   And then there is my favorite:

Saturday at the ZooOnly a tall iron fence separated the two families.  “That girl is wearing a red dress, just like mine!” said Missy, then made a move to get closer to the fence.  “Behave,” said Mrs. Jackson.  “Keep your distance from the cage or we’ll go home this minute.”  She took her daughter’s hand and held it tightly.  “Go ahead and read the sign, Missy.  What does it say?”  Mr. Jackson looked at her sternly.  Missy had no trouble reading the official zoo plaque with its overdone list of synonyms, Do not annoy, badger, bother, disturb, harass, harry, heckle, irk, provoke, peeve, pester, tease, tantalize, or feed zoo creatures.  Strict penalty for violators.”  The caged little girl with Missy’s dress stared back at them. She too had a mother and father who held her hands and seemed to be warning her to stay clear of the fence.  “Oh, the smell!” said Mrs. Jackson, pulling Missy back.  “Why can’t the zoo attendants give them a shower now and then.  They’re filthy, Quentin.  I think we’ve seen enough,” though Quentin nodded his head, he seemed in no hurry to leave yet.  He watched his daughter staring bit-eyed at the other family.  “Aren’t they amazing?” he asked her.

Missy heard him, but was busy now playing a game with the other girl.  Missy would put her hand on her head and the other girl would do the same.  Then Missy would stick her tongue out and wait for the caged girl to follow suit.  “They are so smart!” said Missy.  Her mother scowled, but her father smiled.  Other zoo visitors were gathered in front of the lion’s den, the elephant swamp, the monkey’s tree, the cawing, chirping, whistling birds behind the very tall aviary fence.  Only the Jackson watched the caged family in front of them.  Quentin Jackson didn’t allow the smell inside the cage to upset him.  He inhaled the air and knew it was good to be on this side of the fence.  Free.

“They look like us, don’t they, Mommy?” said Missy.  “That little girl with the blond hair has a mommy and daddy like me.  They need new clothes but they look a lot like us.  I wish my hair was blond instead of this old black!”  Then Quentin Jackson began explaining about the family in the cage in that deep voice of his which he usually saved for his students at the university.  “A long time ago, believe it or not, we were the families in the cage.  Oh, maybe not a cage in the zoo but in a cage nonetheless.  The little blond and her parents belonged to the free families who kept the zoos, the churches, the governments.  Civil war came many years ago; even before my own Granddaddy was born.  Civil war raged between the True-pers, holding up their red-white-blue, and the Usur-pers demanding their rights by virtue of fairness and the injustice of slavery.  “Who won, Daddy?”

Now is when I tell you you’ll have to read the book to see who won, who are the True-pers and who are the Usur-pers.  The ending took me completely by surprise.  I never saw it coming.

158 pages2010All Things That Matter Press
Review Stir, Laugh, Repeat at Amazon.com

1 Comment

  1. Shorts said,

    Her stories have been selected for the Best American Short Stories, the O. Shorts

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