Thursday, November 13, 2014

Finish That Thought: Contortions

by Michael Seese

I'll spoil the surprise. Between the time I wrote and posted this blog entry, I learned that I won.


Back to my regularly scheduled entry....

This week's "Finish That Thought" asked us to build upon the sentence, "How did you get in [there]?" And the SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge was "include a strange addiction AND the names of at least two games (but not as games)."

“How did you get in there?” As a professional contortionist, I get asked that a lot. The truth is, contortionism (which is not a word, but should be) is a lot like life. More often than not, getting into the box isn’t the challenge. Getting out of it is.

“What are the qualifications?” others ask. Loose ligaments. Oily skin. Anti-claustrophobia. And a sense of humor. Maybe the latter isn’t a requirement. But it sure helps.

Think about it. Consider the inherent absurdity of the profession. Looking at an impossibly small and unforgiving contained volume, and thinking, Yeah, I can fit in there. As a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Extraordinarily Nimble Daredevils, I’ve spent a lifetime getting into and (so far, always) out of some tight squeezes. The strangest? A vacuum cleaner. OK, so, it was an industrial model. But still... And yes, Steve Martin got that one from me.

Quick joke: What’s a contortionist’s favorite movie? Twister! Another quick joke: What’s a contortionist’s favorite rock band? Twisted Sister! On a roll, so: Favorite food? Pretzels! I know. They suck. They’d never fly on Fallon. One more: Favorite car? Mercedes Bends! But it’s not like I have a monopoly on bad humor.

A third question I get asked a lot is, “Why?” Sometimes I wonder myself. The pay isn’t great, though I do appreciate the flexible hours, especially as a single…

What’s that expression? “If I weren’t laughing I’d be crying.”

Well, I should be crying. But I can’t. Not right now.

For right now, I’m wedged inside of a safe deposit box, with a flashlight clenched between my teeth, trying to jimmy the lock from the inside.

Back to question number 3. “Why?”

Because they insisted that I do it. They said it would be the perfect crime. Rent a safe deposit box. (Thankfully, the largest one at the bank.) Right around closing time, two people go into the room. And only one comes out. The other one uses her unique skill set to hide away in one of the cold metal coffins. Wait a few hours, until the cleaning crew has left. Emerge. Start drilling out the locks of others. Collect as much loot as possible. Climb back in. Then wait until morning.

When I woke up today, I had no intention of starting a second career as a criminal.

But if some very determined, very dangerous men kidnapped your daughter, you too would bend over backwards to save her. And that’s no joke.

What do you think of "Contortions?"


  1. Excellent! I can see why it won.

  2. You are the master of flash fiction. :)
    I'm still trying to find your game references, though. I only caught Twister. Maybe I just don't recognize the others. Yeah, that's it!