“How Timmy Rhineblatt Got His Name on the New Student Fun-Center” or “Why You Shouldn’t Use Used Flux Capacitators,” by Tom Johns

May 20th, 2009 | By | Category: Prose

“Um, Professor Defrancesco, I don’t think the flux capacitator is on right?”

“It’s fine son, it’s just fine, now go on with your symposium presentation!”

“Um…OK…um, Professor Defrancesco, is it supposed to be that color?

“That’s perfectly natural, son–”

Ten minutes later, after Jenny Blotnick is rushed to the hospital with a flux capacitator lodged in her eye…

“Now boys and girls, with science, you have to be willing to lose an eye. Jenny was–is a promising young scientist, and she would have wanted us to continue–you all saw that we were able to find the pieces of her eye, and I’ll bet the folks at County will be able to put them back in Jenny’s head–I mean, even if she no longer has sight in the eye, she probably won’t have to wear an eye patch–but who’s to say that that wouldn’t be cool?”

“‘Fessor Defrancheesie, [sniffing away tear] can we go home now–”

“Listen you little pussy, you’re not going anywhere–ya’ see? Ya’ see! OK…Timmy, you’re up!”

“OK…OK…like, um…OK…like my thing, my ‘posium thing is like…OK, wait…OK, now, um, for the ‘posium, I ‘cided to do this thing ’cause it was easy, and like, ‘fessor Defrancockso, like made me–he said he’d beat my ass raw, like–or whatever, so I ‘cided to like do this s’periment on sound waves, and how you can, like, turn shit way high and ‘splode a wine glass and all, so like, here’s a wine glass…and here’s the machiner that can go, like, way high…OK…wait…OK…wait…OK…wait…OK…um, ‘fessor, is it supposed to turn that color?”

Students ran out of the stuffy little room where physics was taught, ears bleeding. Those who were merely left without the use of their ears could be comforted by the endowment sapping lawsuits they were sure to win, but poor Timmy Rhineblatt wasn’t so lucky. President Arnold Melvoin paid a visit to his folks…

“Mister and missus Rhineblatt…Billy–


“Timmy was a treasure, and I’m not just saying that because his head was exploded by gamma rays, but because of what he meant to the community at Economy State University–”

“I thought it was a private school?”

“It was…anyhow, we would like to dedicate the new science building as the Billy–”


“Timmy Rhineblatt Science Pavilion and Student Fun-Time Lounge.”

And so, as the next generation of students at ESU enjoy the Fun-Time Lounge–including sports bar–they might drink to poor Timmy, he will be missed. Godspeed Billy–er, Timmy Rhineblatt!


Tom Johns, a lifelong Chicagoan, recently turned thirty. Despite this, he’s still “emerging” and about to graduate with honors from Lake Forest College (IL) in Creative Writing. Primarily, Johns furtively writes dirty little stories, some of which have been honored and published (this most recently happened in February’s Word Riot and Black Bile Press’s Front&Centre #18), but he also does journalism (famously interviewed Roland Burris) and writes plays (indeed, he was recently produced). Like a dipshit, Johns is going for his MFA and looks forward to earning stipend enough for daily chicken dinners. You can reach the author at johnsta@lfc.edu

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