Mike Stang hits bellow the belt

Shown here is Mike Stang and Billy Holder fighting for the title of flashiest shorts…Saul Buttaci, also known for flashing his shorts, referees. Painting by Saul Bellows..(What?  oh…sorry.  Wrong Bellows)…OOPS!  SAL Buttacci (http://www.amazon.com/Flashing-My-Shorts-Salvatore-Buttaci/dp/0984259473)


Mike Stang, who is not dead despite what KYLE Katz posted in her contest entry, has declined to be alienated from our contest.  He slips this one in bellow the radar.  Not gone to your favorite sleeze bar yet to get material for your own entry?  There is still time to win Horace, our trophy for all you wingnuts.










Mike Stang


Schaller’s Pump earned its name because the tap pumped in from the next-door brewery; a throwback from prohibition.  I sat at a far corner table as an off duty Chicago University literary professor reading between the lines of everyone I examined, when I felt his weight at my elbow.

“Side car, doctor,” he ordered from the keep and pulled up his nose at my draft.  “What on earth is that?  What, the old team Cougar cannot afford to pay you a decent wage?”

“I imagine that even you could ill afford Camus cognac.”

“I’ll just have to wing it, damn the French anyways.”  His liver spotted backhand showed muscle as the martini glass met his lips.

“Why did you come back to Hyde Park?”

“Obama lives here!”  Laughter escaped through yellow teeth permanent as tobacco.  “Besides, any writer worth it sticks to their roots.”

“But, you are dead.”  My beer faltered on the table through lack of attention.

“Believe you’re lying eyes.”

“They said you wrote as a Jew for Jews.”

“If you hold the same view as everybody else, you are probably wrong.”

“Hell I am lucky to get anything in the student’s weekly.  I don’t fit in here.”  I winced at the evening’s start up band, and when I opened my eyes, he was gone.  A folded napkin under his empty glass waited.

You can decline to be alienated, if you feel like it.  That is my theory—Saul Bellow


Saul Bellow (June 10, 1915 – April 5, 2005) was a Canadian-born American writer. For his literary contributions, Bellow was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the National Medal of Arts.[2] He is the only writer to win the National Book Award for Fiction three times[3] and he received the Foundation’s lifetime Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 1990.[4]

In the words of the Swedish Nobel Committee, his writing exhibited “the mixture of rich picaresque novel and subtle analysis of our culture, of entertaining adventure, drastic and tragic episodes in quick succession interspersed with philosophic conversation, all developed by a commentator with a witty tongue and penetrating insight into the outer and inner complications that drive us to act, or prevent us from acting, and that can be called the dilemma of our age.”[5] His best-known works include The Adventures of Augie March, Henderson the Rain King, Herzog, Mr. Sammler’s Planet, Seize the Day, Humboldt’s Gift and Ravelstein. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century’s greatest authors, Bellow has had a “huge literary influence.”[6]



Schaller’s Pump


36 thoughts on “Mike Stang hits bellow the belt

  1. 1948pdobbs says:

    Hey Gary Clark, wherever you are…if they are going to start speaking French, and I have no doubt that Moi will join them, you and I will have to give them some Southern Redneck! For Example, the word: widjadidja – “You didn’t bring your French dictionary widgedidge? Enough foolishness!
    Mike Stang, great story as usual and you have to admire Parisianne for commenting in French. I think this is the second time in this contest that asperisons have been cast across the Atlantic. Your first paragraph is a dozey and its going to be interesting to see the list of “pub” names when this contest is over.
    Blessings, pd

  2. Diane Cresswell says:

    You wrote this with me in mind n’est pas???? You know I love when you write like this…causing me to drool languishingly on my couch with saline droplets coursing their way down the smooth silky skin of my face to float down to the floor – a minute puddle of liquid love for the writer of extraordinary abilities who can see beyond the veil of earthly realms. Sighhhhhhh….

  3. Tiffany Beard says:

    I don’t know what it is about this one, but there is a kind of simplicity to it that I really like. And the quote at the end makes me smile. The folded napkin makes me wonder too…

  4. KYLE Katz says:

    Classic Stang. As usual a story that sticks to my ribs! I did not know about this author. Thanks for the bio Thorn.Such an education on this site. Seems like an author I will enjoy.

  5. Mike Casper says:

    Marvelous first sentence. Marvelous second sentence. Marvelous third sentence…get the drift? Well done Mike.

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