Thursday, October 8, 2009

12 Step Program

“My name is Rodney, and I’m a terrible person.”

“Welcome, Rodney!” the group shouted back in unison. Rodney took his seat.

“Simply admitting that you have a problem is the first step, Rodney. Congratulations. My name is Steve, and I was once a terrible person. With the help of Assholes Anonymous, I’ve been jerk-free for three years now. I know the system works, because it worked for me. I’ll be leading our discussions. Are there any questions?”

Rodney looked around the room. The small Lutheran church had been kind enough to let them use its basement meeting room. There were fluorescent lights on the ceiling, doughnuts and coffee on a table in the corner, and about twenty people in folding chairs sitting in a circle.

“Yes, please, I have one.”

“What is it, Rodney?”

Rodney made another quick count. Yep. About twenty people.

“I just kind of figured that there would be more people in a group like this.”

Steve smiled. “Well, a lot of people don’t know that they’re terrible,” he said.

“Doesn’t that kind of make them even more terrible?”

“Yes. Yes it does.”


  1. A great entry in the "1-minute short story" category. Very underplayed. The phrase "looming awareness" comes to mind, like gradually becoming certain that all the squirrels clinging to your siding are radioactive.

  2. I really enjoyed this post. The scene is so nearly well-known that it really works. Especially the uh-oh, where an I moment at the end.


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