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God When He's Drunk
Ken Stange
Published by Two Cultures Press (2012)

Tom Waits penned and sang the immortal lines referenced in the title: "Don't you know there ain't no devil, there's just God when he's drunk." He had it right. How else explain the bizarre twists of fate that shape our lives, so well captured in this collection of eighteen stories?

The settings range from a neuroscience lab (in the award-winning tale of "The Heart Of A Rat") through earthquake-shattered San Francisco to a bar on Bourbon Street. And the harsh realism of stories about discovering the sordid details of a friend's demise or the life of a stripper contrast with poignant and fantastic tales of actually meeting God hiding in a southern town, designing and creating one's ideal mate, and trading in one's body for a newer model.

Two Cultures Press (2012)
ISBN: 978-9809273-6-8
Softcover (6x9 inches) 244 pages
Signed by author edition: $18

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God When He's Drunk

God When He's Drunk (2012)



"I hate ye: I feel my heart new open'd" —William Shakespeare (Henry VIII)

The psychologist looked at his friend and for a moment something fierce was there in his eyes, but then he blinked twice and it was gone. "I'd better get started." He removed the stopper from the ether can and then, lifting the lid from the cookie jar, quickly poured the ether down the glass sides of the jar. He deftly replaced the lid before the rat could scramble out. The ether mixed with rat urine and five raisinlike turds to form a murky soup beneath the wire mesh floor.
"What a stink!"
"The mesh floor is to protect the rat from direct contact with the ether," the psychologist explained as he replaced the stopper on the ether can. "It'd burn his eyes if he sloshed around in it."
"Oh, I see, for humanistic reasons."

Look!" The psychologist bent over the cookie jar. "See! There, he's starting to panic. This'll be the last bit of activity. The ether works fast; it usually takes only a minute or so."
The rat was now frantically rearing and scratching at the glass. It could reach the lid when it reared, but the lid was far too heavy for the animal to lift. The rat's claws made soft clicking sounds against the glass.
Without lifting his gaze from the frenetic rat, the psychologist reached over and picked up an eggsalad sandwich from the counter and began eating.
Then as suddenly as it had begun, the frantic activity ceased. The rodent dropped back to all fours. Totally immobile, the creature stared out at the two men. Its breathing became very shallow. Soon the movement of white fur around its ribcage was barely detectable. (Shallow inspiration; shallow expiration.)

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