Alan Bean Plus Four, Roman Fever, and Advice From A Caterpillar

Tom Hanks wrote a short story and got it published in The New Yorker. Congrats. You’re only, like, good at everything. Geez.

Tom Hanks’s story, “Alan Bean Plus Four”,  wasn’t as awful as Slate and other blogs made it out to be, not to me. I think it does what a good short story is supposed to do; capture a moment and make you think about something else outside of that moment. I guess I thought it was cute, or as cute as a story about some friends going to the moon, throwing up, and crying together could be. Congrats, Tom Hanks.

This weekend, I had to write an 8-10  page short story for my creative writing class. (Or was it only 6-8? Oh well.) It um, sucks, and it’s probably typoed to high hell and back, but it’s done. Well, I guess if it sucks then it isn’t done, but whatever. I also had to write a 1000 word essay for my English 300 class about a theme from The Savage Detectives, a novel by Roberto Bolaño. I finally got through it enough to write a paper about how lost it made me feel. I’ll have you know that I did both of these assignments while hung over after a halloween party. I guess that, at least, is a half-decent accomplishment.

I also had to read and research Advice From A Caterpillar, a play by Douglas Carter Beane, for my acting class. I really loved the play when I first read it, but all of the research the professor is making me do about every little line is really draining all of the goodness from it like “insert witty simile here”. The professor said that the study guide would take six hours, and I thought she was just being like a college professor when she said it so I didn’t really heed her warning very well. I will now be pulling an all-nighter trying to get this study guide done. Then tomorrow morning I have to meet with an acting partner for yet another open scene rehearsal that I also have to re-perform again tomorrow in class.

Long story short, I didn’t have time to read a story from The Norton Introduction to Literature today because I’m too freaking busy. That’s okay though, because it appears that I forgot to blog about “Roman Fever”, by Edith Wharton. It was assigned for my English 300 class months ago, and we discussed it in class, and I guess I just forgot about it because I’m complicated.

So, “Roman Fever” – some conniving women sit and talk about their dead husbands, and one of them finds out the other one slept with their husband a long time ago and had a baby by them, and the other one knew it and tried to kill her by praying that she got the plague or something. “Roman Fever”.

Okay, I have to finish my homework now. Bye!


By Eric Shay Howard

Eric Shay Howard lives in Indianapolis. He's a teacher, a literary editor, and writer. He's a graduate student in the Bluegrass Writers Studio MFA in Creative Writing program at Eastern Kentucky University. He also has MBA and BA degrees.

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