“House of Logs,” by Patrick McManus

Dec 20th, 2015 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose

Brittney went upstairs to ask her husband a question. She found him sitting on their bed and watching a football game on television. “Honey, how would you like to go to a movie tonight?”

“You know I don’t go to theaters!” Abraham Lincoln yelled.

“I know, I know. It’s just that, Abe, sweetie, you know you that, besides your name, you have nothing in common with the 16th president. Right?”

“I’m not saying that I think someone will shoot me because my name is Abraham Lincoln. My point is, people are randomly shot and killed all the time in this nation, conceived and liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, and imagine what they’d say on the news if I happened to get shot in a theater. ‘Abe Lincoln shot in a theater again, you’d think he would have learned his lesson.’ I’m a real human with feelings and I refuse to let my death become nothing but a late-night joke.”

Britney and Abraham Lincoln sat on the bed for a minute in silence. Britney, committed to doing something fun for once, pressed her attack. “It doesn’t make sense to live your life in fear. Any of us might die at any time but we have to go on.”

“I can see the house is divided on this issue. And I’ll compromise to preserve our marital union. We can go out and do anything that hadn’t been invented in 1865. It’s not funny if Lincoln dies while playing mini-golf,” Abe said.

Britney was thrilled and began getting ready to go out. Abe interrupted her, “There is one thing I feel I have to mention. I have one thing in common with the Great Emancipator in that I also cannot tell a lie.”

“I thought Washington was the one that couldn’t tell a lie,” Britney responded.

“Oh, whatever, Lincoln was honest too. They called him Honest Abe.”

“That sounds right.”

“Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I had an affair with your sister Mary. And your cousin, Todd.”

“You bastard!”

“I’m sorry, I hope you can forgive me.”

“Sic semper tyranis!”

And with that, another Lincoln was killed.


Defenestration-Patrick McManusPatrick McManus is a writer and comedian living in Chicago. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame and has read widely in Arthurian myth.

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