4 boxes of condoms; 2 boxes of Metamucil tablets; 10 frozen pizzas

Scenario #1:

a)    Throw pizzas off freeway overpass

b)    Crush Metamucil tablets

c)     Spread Metamucil powder over floor like sawdust

d)    Unroll condoms over hands, pretending to be an amputee

e)    Dance over fake sawdust like fake dancing amputee

Scenario #2:

a)    Tie some of the condoms together, stretch across second-storey window

b)    Slingshot pizzas through window at annoying neighbor

c)     Save Metamucil tablets for when constipated

Scenario #3:

a)    Glue Metamucil tablets to face, pretending to have infectious boils

b)    Eat pizzas in fake self-pity over fake disease

c)     Blow up condoms into balloons

d)    Allow condom balloons to float out open second-storey window

e)    Contemplate own death, the existence of ghosts

Scenario #4:

a)    Put pizzas in oven, let burn, call fire department

b)    Snap condoms at firemen as they break down the door to your apartment

c)     Pop Metamucil tablets like fake uppers to feel important


6 boxes of teabags; 5 bags of corn chips; 1 bottle of scotch; 1 bag of ice

Scenario #1:

a)    Melt ice

b)    Make tea with melted ice (water) and tea bags

Scenario #2:

a)    Tape corn chips to the backs of your hands to fashion fake Wolverine claws

b)    Put genitals in bag of ice

c)     Make Wolverine-like grimaces in mirror in response to iced genitals

d)    Consider growing out sideburns

Scenario #3:

a)    Drink bottle of scotch

b)    Empty bag of ice in kitchen sink

c)     Urinate on ice to watch it melt

d)    Realize that kitchen drapes have been open

e)    Yell out window at neighbors, “Don’t think I don’t know you weren’t watching me!”

f)     Realize syntax of previous sentence was wrong

g)    Close drapes

Scenario #4:

a)    Stomp bags of chips into powder

b)    Put on ski mask, run up to stranger on the street, throw chip powder in stranger’s face

c)     Hide behind bushes while stranger wipes chip powder out of eyes

d)    Take off ski mask, walk up to stranger, saying, “Wow, I saw what just happened. Are you okay?”

e)    Make friends with stranger

f)     Pour tea and/or Scotch for new friend

Scenario #5:

a)    Make tea with Scotch

b)    Drink tea-Scotch

c)     Get sick, throw up

d)    Throw ice on pooled vomit

e)    Clean up ice-vomit

f)     Rethink life


1 Oxford shirt; 1 Seersucker jacket; 1 Panama hat; 1 box of lawn darts; 1 bottle of Teriyaki sauce; 4 tubes of petroleum jelly

Scenario #1:

a)    Smear petroleum jelly all over face

b)    Put on Oxford shirt and Seersucker jacket

c)     Hold lawn darts in both hands

d)    Pull down arms of jacket, pretending lawn darts are your hands

e)    Stab Panama hat with lawn darts, pretending to be pond monster attacking Truman Capote

Scenario #2:

a)    Get naked

b)    Smear entire body with petroleum jelly

c)     Put on Oxford shirt, Seersucker jacket and Panama hat with petroleum jelly still on body, also pants

d)    Fill mouth with Teriyaki sauce

e)    Go into crowded cafe and pretend to vomit Teriyaki sauce

f)     Fall on the ground and have a fake seizure, yelling “Unnnh!”

g)    As people start to crowd around to help you, get indignant about people invading your personal space

h)    Stand up, calmly order coffee

i)      Sit down, drink coffee, and read New York Times

Scenario #3:

a)    Stain Oxford shirt, Seersucker jacket, and Panama hat with Teriyaki sauce

b)    Consider selling stained Oxford shirt, Seersucker jacket, and Panama hat on Etsy

Scenario #4:

a)    Put Teriyaki sauce in bowl, step in bowl

b)    Make footprints with Teriyaki sauce all over floor and walls of your apartment

c)     Put petroleum jelly on lips to moisturize them

d)    Invite over a friend and stare unnervingly until he or she asks about the footprints

e)    Ask whether friend wants to play lawn darts

f)     When friend says no, give him or her the Oxford shirt, Seersucker jacket, and Panama hat by way of apology for being such a creep

Scenario #5:

a)    Sew Oxford shirt, Seersucker jacket, and Panama hat together

b)    Tie sewn together jacket, shirt, and hat into a bundle, with petroleum jelly and Teriyaki sauce inside

c)    Sit and stare at the wall for three hours

d)    Throw bundle off freeway overpass


NATHAN PENSKY is a recent graduate of the Creative Writing M.F.A. program at Mills College and has been published in McSweeney's Internet Tendency, MONKEYBICYCLE, and many others. He is an Associate Flash Fiction/Fiction Editor for the online literary journal JMWW, and a frequent contributor for the pop culture website PopMatters.

7 responses to “3 Shopping Lists and Several Suggestions of What to Do with Items”

  1. Tossing condoms slightly filled with skim milk from an overpass onto the windshields of cars in motion is a quality Christmas tradition and a very wholesome family activity, at least in some circles.

    • dwoz says:

      YOU BASTARD!!!!

      I can’t believe it. You sick bastard. Where were you raised, Charlestown?

      • No, but Charleston is a beautiful place. Of course, I’ve never actually done that but I thought it would be in the spirit of Christmas to add the idea to the Google cache for any future juvenile delinquents out there. (We didn’t have overpasses where I grew up, unfortunately)

  2. Gloria says:

    I’m going on record as advising you to not throw anything off freeway overpasses.

    I’ll bet shopping, for you, takes a really long time. 😉

  3. Nathan Pensky says:

    Thanks, all. But people throw things off of overpasses in all corners of our great land. I shudder to think that such a wholesome and altogether edifying passtime could be limited to any particular region.

  4. Jessica Blau says:

    Okay, you had me laughing out loud. I like snapping condoms at firemen. Except I feel bad for liking that one because I love firemen. Everyone loves firemen. I bet even you, who imagined snapping condoms at them, loves firemen.

  5. Nathan Pensky says:

    Of course, firemen are awesome, condom-snapping or no. Especially when the break through the door like the Kool-Aid Man. Oh yeah!

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