Betty’s Personaal Anonymous On-line Helpline by Paul Beckman

August 7, 2016

Betty: Our next person with an issue is ready and wants to be known as Anonymous. What’s your issue, Anonymous?

Anonymous: She’s got an attitude and I’ve finally had enough. I’m so annoyed I won’t even speak her name and I told her so and she came right back with a snide remark.

Betty: What did she say that was snide?

A: She said, well. I wouldn’t want my clean name in your dirty mouth.

B: You have to admit that was a good one.

A: A couple of days earlier I asked her—As long as you’re up will you please bring me a glass of water? Are your legs broken? Get up and get it yourself, she said.

B: Do you think she had a point?

A: How is this remark justified? She claims that I’m the one with the attitude and I’ve got to learn a lesson or life is going to be difficult. This is difficult. Living with her comebacks and putdowns is difficult.

Last night I asked her—What are we having for dinner? Stay where you are—I’ll bring you a menu as soon as I finish printing it up, she says.

Why couldn’t she just answer a simple question?

B: Have you thought of a trial separation? Maybe you two need to be apart for a bit to appreciate each other.

A: How does a thirteen year old boy go about getting a trial separation from his mother?

Paul Beckman’s stories are widely published in print and online in the following magazines amongst others: Connecticut Review, Raleigh Review, Litro, Playboy, Pank, Blue Fifth Review, Flash Frontier, Metazen, Boston Literary Magazine, Thrice Fiction and Literary Orphans. His work has been included in a number of anthologies and published in a dozen countries. Paul earned his MFA in creative writing from Bennington College. His latest collection of flash stories, “Peek”, published by Big Table Publishing weighed in at 65 stories and 120 pages. His website is