'Ten Minutes Late for Reality' by Lou Morris (c) 1988, 1989, 1991, 2002, 2015. Thirty-eight:


   "A man who wins a million dollars is just as rich as a
self-made millionaire."

                                 - Tim Restle/Your Name
Here--his newest favorite

   "Can I help you, sir?" an orange tag named Brian asked.  
He pressed a few buttons on his cash register, waiting for
the father of two cute Chinese girls to reply.
   Your Name Here, dressed as himself, stood in line behind
the group of three and glared moodily at the Best of the East
marquee board.  Death Adventure food sucks, he thought
   "What do you want, Wing?" the gray haired father, dressed
as a karate kid, asked his neatly dressed young adult
   Wing frowned, crossing her pink sleeved arms on her
fluffy pink sweater.  "Oh, I don't know, father."  She stared
at the menu for another second, then said, "All this food is
processed.  Nothing natural at all.  Just give me a corn
cobette, thank you.  No butter."
   Mr. Chong, her father, nodded, expecting as much.  One
daughter out of two twins is a health food nut and the
   "Do they have barbecued turtles?" Donna Chong, his other
daughter, asked hopefully, completely serious.
   Mr. Chong frowned, shaking his head.  "Of course they
don't have turtles, dear."
   Donna frowned, crinkling her nose in a way that both Your
Name Here and Brian liked.  She stamped a fish-net stocking
covered leg.  They also liked that.
   "Do you?" her father reluctantly asked Brian.
   "Huh?" Brian replied, forcefully removing his eyes from
Donna's black and red spandex shorts.
   "My daughter would like to know if you have any turtle on
the menu?" Mr. Chong clarified, shaking his head slightly.
   "Turtle?" Brian asked.  That was a new one, he thought.  
It topped last week's weird request by an old Jewish man.  He
wanted to know if the barbecue pork sandwiches were Kosher.  
Brian told him that they were.
   "Yes."  Mr. Chong nodded.
   "No."  Brian shook his head.  "No turtle left.  We just
ran out a few minutes ago.  Sorry," he lied.
   "Good," Wing Chong cut in.  "You should eat more natural
foods and leave all those poor turtles alone."
   Donna decided not to punch her twin sister in front of
her father, so she stared at the menu instead.
   It wasn't as if she had much of a choice or anything like
that.  There were only three dinners to choose from--the
barbecue chicken dinner, the barbecue ribs dinner, and the
infamous barbecue pork sandwich dinner (yuck!).  Of course
there were the ever-so-popular kiddie meals--the barbecue
chicken kiddie meal, the barbecue ribs kiddie meal, and the
infamous barbecue pork sandwich kiddie meal (infamous for the
same reason, only smaller).
   "Wait a second!" Donna exclaimed.  "Do you have any
turtle shells left?  I could use one as a plate for my
barbecue pork sandwich."
   Your Name Here gagged.  As a plate? he thought.
   "Sorry," Brian smiled, stuffing a few bills into his
pocket as his manager, a few registers over, turned her head
in the other direction.  He added, "The turtles we use come
   Donna gagged.  "But that's the best part!"  She stamped
one of her feet and stared moodily at the menu.
   Your Name Here glanced at his watch, the one he bought at
one of the jewelry shops in the mall, and frowned.  How the
hell are you supposed to tell the time on a watch with no
lines or numbers?  Just four diamond chips and the two hands.  
Next time I'll buy a gold plated Mickey Mouse watch; at least
I'll be able to read the damn thing.
   "Do you have the time?" he asked Donna.
   Donna smiled slyly.  "The time for what?" she asked,
   "Donna!" Wing cut in sternly, "You have to order."  She
looked at Your Name Here with distaste.  "The time is six
thirty-three.  Good day."  Both her and Donna turned to face
the lit menu.
   Your Name Here shrugged.  Oh well, he thought.  Almost
time to get things set up anyway.  He smiled and muttered,
"I'll get that stupid thief, whoever he is," before walking