The CSS Awards - Site of the Day

Dying Guy Won't Stay Still Long Enough For Me to Outline Him in Police Chalk

Zack Bornstein

 Bornstein embraces the quirky humor one can find in the set-aside, peering with a smile into the dusty corners no one looks into.



Boy am I glad I found you, I can get your outline done before anyone else even gets here. Let me know if it starts to tickle—


Help you? But then I wouldn’t get to outline you. And I’ve got to meet quota. Sure, it ain’t every little boy’s dream to be a chalk outliner for the police, but it pays the rent and I’d rather outline my own brains on the sidewalk than go back to living at my mom’s and eat her beet casserole one more—


Oh cmon, man, will you please stop knocking into the chalk, your outline’s gonna look like an alien. The investigators will think an alien died here, and not you, and they’re gonna get all confused—


Woah, stop thrashing! Alright, fine to be real with you, I’m trying to get off early. And that means we can help each other out. You scratch my back, I outline yours. Ha! Just a little outliner joke, you may have heard it before. I do a little stand up at Gerry’s GigglePlex Tuesday Night open mics—


Huh? Yes, of course I realize that you’re still alive, you’re gripping at your chest and making all sorts of weird faces. That’d be a lot harder to do if you were dead. Now if you could just hold still for a—


Hey, woah, let go of my leg! That ain’t yours.


Okay, look, you keep retching and it’s getting pretty old. Aw man, don’t vomit. Am I supposed to outline that, too? Dammit, your bile is eroding my chalk. Now we have to start over, unless you really want the investigators going nuts looking for your space ship—


Stop moaning, you sound like someone imitating a dying person. Oh yeah, like I was saying, I’m trying to get off early to sign up for the open mic tonight. Plus, I’m pretty hungry, it’s 2:30 and I haven’t eaten since lunch! Oh ho ho, oh boy, told you I’m a joker, you should check out my Twitter, I just put up some new podcasts of—


Do I know CPR? Better question is, do you know CPR? How did you two meet? Ooooh! See what I did there? Hahaha—


Oh! That reminds me, I gotta go pick up my medic license. See, I already passed. The training was killer though, ha, killer, ironic, eh? Bit-worthy? Nah. But yeah, training was like five hours a day on top of this job. Meet a lotta characters though, like you, you know. Woah, know what? You would be a perfect character in this puppet play I’m writing, what do you think? Remember how they made all of those parody movies with the thumbs? Thumbtanic? Thumb Wars? Well my idea is to do the same thing, but with the pinky finger! Just as funny a finger, but it's got a whole extra joint! Twice the possibilities. What do you—


Ugh! You just knocked the chalk again. Guess you do want to look like an alien. Your choice, hombre. Are you thinking E.T. or like Alien-Predator style? Bahaha!


Just so you know, some people tip their outliners. Other people just knock me down! Cha Ching, I'm on fire!


Oh yeah, my story! Anyway, you should read what I’ve got so far. Here. Yeah, its pretty heavy, use both hands. I’m going to edit it down. My mom says I got a real knack for these things, but 500 pages is too long for a first—


Hey! Don’t mess up the pages, I can’t print another, my printer stopped working. It was laid off! Woohooo—


Fuck me? I barely know you! Ahahaha—


Oh cmon, seriously, stop, you’re crinkling the—


Fine, fine, fine, I’ll stop, just put down the pages. I want us both to leave here without a paper-cut. I see you’ve still got some spunk, so if you put down the pages, I’ll give you 10 minutes to pull yourself together, or I’m going to finish off your outline as is, and you’re gonna look like an alien. So yeah, what’s new with you? You want go get a beer? Fine, I guess I’ll just pour yours out. Haha, now jeez, what am I gonna do for 10 minutes.


Call who? 9-1-what? I can barely hear what you’re saying. Hmm, oh yeah, I can call my dad. He’s been nagging me all day to—


Huh? I still can’t understand you. Oh, and uh, you’ve got a little, uhh, you got a little boogie coming out your nose. It’s kinda gross. You can use my defibrillator to wipe it off. Oh no, never mind, I left it in the car.





Zack Bornstein is a student at The Film and TV National Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and also at Brown University with a major in Neuroscience and a minor existential crisis. His writing has appeared in McSweeney's Internet Tendency, The Catalyst, The Triple Helix, The Brown Noser, films, sketch & stand-up shows.

A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare. For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure. - Henry David Thoreau


View Submission Guidelines


Contact Us