The cult section of the literary world

Flash Fiction Friday: TV by Sam Pink

I used to have a small television in my room.

One side was kind of burnt from someone leaving incense by it.

Only public access channels worked.

And I developed a hatred for some people in public access television commercials.

People I’d never met, just watched on public access television commercials very late at night.

There’d be commercials about guys who’d mistakenly bought too much merchandise and had to sell it for very low prices, in a warehouse somewhere in the city, but just barely inside the city.

And I’d hate them.

There’d be shows with two people sitting in a room discussing Chicago politics.

And I’d hate them.

There was this one commercial for a barbeque restaurant, and this guy takes a bite of some food and yells, “Awesome stuff!” and the camera zooms in and out with the words “It’s awesome” at the bottom of the screen, blinking, right next to a smiling cartoon of a pig head.

Having seen that commercial however many times, I then hated the man who said, “Awesome stuff.”

I’d deliberately watch the commercial and wait for him to say, “Awesome stuff” and then feel hatred towards him.

I’d try to convince myself not to hate him.

But it’d still happen.

Why—I’d think, feeling hopeless and tired in my room. What is it that I hate about the man in the barbecue commercial. Maybe it’s just the way he says it. I guess I don’t hate him though. I’m just being dumb. It’s weird.

Honestly though, I always liked watching tv because it was a good way to silently panic while making it look like you’re not.

Books work too.
TV first appeared in Hurt Others, out now from Lazy Fascist.

Sam Pink is the author of The No Hellos Diet, Hurt Others, Person, The Self-Esteem Holocaust Comes Home, Frowns Need Friends Too, I Am Going to Clone Myself Then Kill the Clone and Eat It, and No One Can Do Anything Worse To You Than You Can (forthcoming from Lazy Fascist). You can visit him online at He lives in Chicago.

3 responses

  1. Just finished “Hurt Others”. Stunning, sad, hilarious and true as always.

    December 9, 2011 at 1:58 am

  2. Good story. Weird that I don’t remember it from Hurt Others.

    December 9, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    • I manually removed this story from your copy of Hurt Others and replaced it with the story about a beaver riding a unicycle.

      December 10, 2011 at 4:39 am

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