Knocking Over the Fishbowl Goes Public

I've just put up my 2005 novel Knocking Over the Fishbowl in it's entirety. It's free and it's funny and it's the book that landed me an agent, if not a book deal. Remember to switch to the book viewing mode for full book effect! Also, you can download the document and print it out, if you prefer.

Scrags rose from his recliner as the sound of Big Henry weeping continued to fill the hospital, as loud as a tornado siren. Scrags shuffled out into the hallway, which smelled like urine mixed with oranges, and followed the trail of Big Henry’s noisy weeping into the arts and crafts room. The normally quiet room was now filled with men as three uniformed orderlies surrounded Big Henry. Big Henry’s face was red and wet, with snot flowing freely from his freckled nose onto the raggedy teddy bear he clutched in his arms. Big Henry’s meaty forearms dwarfed the stuffed animal’s worn body, and the bear’s button eyes dangled from their sockets as if it was alarmed. In the corner of the crafts room, eating clay and watching the proceedings with bright eyes, were two leering, pig-faced members of Brownstone’s Pinching Gang.
“Please give us Mr. Buttons, Henry,” one of the muscular orderlies was saying, his voice strained with effort of gentle coaxing. “He needs to be washed.”
“NO!” Big Henry boomed between sobs. “Mr. Buttons doesn’t like the washing machines. He is both hydrophobic and claustrophobic. Mr. Buttons wants to stay here with me.”
Scrags didn’t know whom he felt more sorry for, Big Henry or the three orderlies. The orderlies all looked so young, as if they were working at Brownstone to earn an extra buck while going to college. What kind of summer job would this be? Perhaps the healthcare industry really was as challenging a career as the local vo-tech commercials claimed. Big Henry must have weighed over 300 pounds, and he was getting angry.
“Should we sedate him?” one young orderly asked the others. “Would that calm him down enough?”
“Hey,” Scrags said and entered the room. The largest of the orderlies, still a good three inches shorter than Big Henry, put his hands up.
“Please stay out of this, Mr. Scrags.”
Scrags chuckled, as if the orderly’s warning amused him.
“What seems to be the problem here, gentlemen?”
“They’re trying to take Mr. Buttons away,” Big Henry said, glaring at the orderlies.
The orderlies shuffled their feet, obviously uncomfortable with the accusation. “The bear needs to be washed,” one mumbled.
Scrags nodded. “I see. So what’s the problem, Henry?”
“Mr. Buttons DOES NOT WANT TO BE WASHED!” Big Henry hollered back, his eyes still trained on the shifty orderlies. “He is a FREE CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.”


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