The Piper family was fed up. Two weeks ago they’d moved into their new mansion and the plumbing still wasn’t working. With eleven people and zero working bathrooms, you can only imagine the tension.

“Look,” said Mum Piper. “If those plumbers are gonna keep cancelling on us, I propose we tackle these damn pipes ourselves. As a family.”

“What?” said Dad Piper.

“Are you kidding?” said teenage Piper.

“No way!” screamed toddler Piper.

“Don’t be like that!” said Mum Piper. “We’re the Pipers, damn it. When we all band together, we’re capable of anything!”

“Mum’s right,” smiled young adult Piper. “Let’s do this!”

“Yeah!” said twin Piper.

“Yeah!” said other twin Piper.

“Oh, go on then,” said Dad Piper.

“Fine, why not,” said teenage Piper.

“Perfect!” said Mum Piper.

“The Pipers damn it!” said toddler Piper.

“Watch your language,” said Mum Piper.

Dad Piper grabbed the family tool box and handed out spanners and wrenches and hammers and screwdrivers and aprons and cloths and a whole lot more.

Mum Piper gave out instructions and the Pipers piped their arses off. They removed, added, fixed and replaced loads of bits. Eleven people working as one – it was a magical sight.

After three hours had passed, the Pipers cried their 22 eyes out as their dream home was inevitably submerged in 400 tonnes of water.

© Carl Burkitt 2018



Ronald was not having a good time. He’d agreed to go to the gig for his son’s birthday, but was struggling to understand how anyone could enjoy this kind of music.

His son had always had questionable taste, but this was too much. It was essentially 12 drummers drumming on the same kettle drum. At the same time.


For the first minute or two Ronald thought it was a theatrical gimmick and expected some dancers or guitarists or singers to start making their way out to join in.

After 45 minutes, he realised that this was the show.


To make matters worse, he hadn’t even managed to find his son. Ronald was alone, stuck in the crowd. A room full of 20-somethings who were too cool to even dance. They all just stared at the front, motionless.


It was terrible.

So terrible in fact, that when his son was carried on stage by four cloaked men to be sacrificed, he was kind of pleased just to see a little bit of something new.

© Carl Burkitt 2018



“Can I buy you a beer?”

“I don’t know, can you?!”

“Well, yes. Would you like one?”

“I don’t know if I’ll like it, I’ve not tasted it yet!”

“Right. I’m going to buy myself a beer. Shall I get you one?”

“Nah, I don’t drink.”


© Carl Burkitt 2018


“What time is it?”

“Two hairs past a freckle.”


“Two hairs past a freckle.”


“I’m not wearing a watch, you see.”


“So I looked at my wrist, where a watch would be, and saw a couple of hairs net to a freckle… so I said ‘two hairs past a freckle’. You know?”

“Oh right.”


“…So can you check your phone, or something?”

“Sure… it’s 2:30.”


© Carl Burkitt 2018

Wrong side of the bed

Jed woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Underneath, to be precise. He was surrounded by dust, crusty socks and the monsters he’d banished many years ago. They looked beautiful, less frightening. He invited them to join him on top of the bed, but they shook their heads. Their eyes suggested they were scared of him. Jed returned to the right side of his bed with a renewed sense of self-confidence and a plan of action for the year ahead.

© Carl Burkitt 2018

Unreal deals!

UNREAL DEALS! the email’s subject line read.

God, Jerry thought. Marketing’s gross. Bet they’re not even any good.

He opened the email and ran his eyes down the offers.





Hmm not bad, Jerry thought.

© Carl Burkitt 2017

Comparing apples to oranges

Ethan grabbed an apple and an orange
and decided to finally compare the two.

He looked at the apple. Round.

He looked at the orange. Round.

He stroked the apple. Skin.

He stroked the orange. Skin.

He smelt the apple. Sweet.

He smelt the orange. Sweet.

He crushed the apple. Mummy.

He crushed the orange. Daddy.

© Carl Burkitt 2017

Larry the butcher

Larry the butcher fancied a career change. The early mornings were beginning to get a little more difficult and his heart just wasn’t in it like it once was. You know how people who work in chocolate factories say being around chocolate all day puts you off the stuff? Larry totally knew what they meant. Spending all day hanging up corpses and chopping up flesh just made his evening hobby a little less enjoyable.

© Carl Burkitt 2017


Jimmy found an egg.

It was poking out of the baby bush that had recently started growing in his front garden.

He picked it up and took it inside. He placed it on the kitchen counter and stared at it. How did it get here? Why did it get here? He was fascinated by it.

It was just your classic hen’s egg – a few inches tall, a couple of inches wide, a pinky beige colour, etc – but for some reason Jimmy loved it. He wanted to take care of it. He wanted to nurture it.

His wife told him to stop being stupid.

‘It’s just an egg,’ she said. ‘It’s clearly just fallen out of our shopping. Look, here’s the pack of 12 eggs we literally just bought. There’s one missing. Now put it back and help me put the rest of the stuff away.’

Jimmy picked up the egg, walked into the living room and told his wife to ‘fuck off’.

He sat himself on the floor, removed his socks and laid them down to make a little nest. Jimmy placed the egg on top and gently cupped his hands over it.

‘Come on, Jim’ his wife snapped from the kitchen. ‘I need you to help!’

Jimmy stayed motionless, silently smiling at his hands.

She poked her head through the doorway. ‘Jim-‘

‘Sshhh,’ he replied. ‘I’m trying to look after this poor thing.’

‘Are you serious?’


Jimmy’s daughter wandered in to the room. ‘What’s that, Daddy?’ she asked.


‘That’s it,’ said Jimmy’s wife. ‘Come on dear, say goodbye to Daddy. We’re going to Grandma’s!’

As the door slammed, Jimmy’s shoulders relaxed.

After 12 weeks the egg still hadn’t hatched, but his life certainly felt quieter. Easier. Less full.

© Carl Burkitt 2017

You know what I’m like!

“Weekend plans, fella?!”


“One too many beers for me, I imagine! You know what I’m like!”

“…Well, most of it will be spent second–guessing myself, I imagine. Taking things too personally and pushing people away. I’ll pop out for a bit, but I’ll be looking over my shoulder. I’ll smile and nod and make a joke or two, but I’ll regret everything I’ll say. I’ll blame myself for the weather, the traffic, anything that derails the fun of others. I’ll hold on to the smallest comment and push it down and down in an attempt to silence the fear despite its voice getting louder and louder with every push. I imagine… You know what I’m like.”

“Cool, have a good one fella!”

© Carl Burkitt 2016