If I could put another section on my website, it would be “The Many Rejected Stories,” and, brothers, it would be massive. This is one such rejected story.
See, a while ago – I think my junior, senior year at UT – I was fixated on getting something published in something related to McSweeney’s. I was convinced that if “Aaron Simon” appeared in the table of contents of that magazine – or its internet offspring – would turn me into an overnight millionaire. I managed to delude myself so much that I worked it into the story “Rocks and Hot Dogs.” The first draft had a throwaway line that read something like, “He managed to make a living selling short stories.” My fiction prof at the time, Margaret Lazarus Dean, helpfully scrawled, “No, he couldn’t…” in the margin, and my illusions about writing as a way to make money money were shattered.
Anyway. During that deluge, I was writing a piece of flash fiction a day, and one of the pieces was what you’re about to read. It was rejected within a day, but, hey, their loss, right?