For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“My Chivalric Fiasco”

George Saunders

Excerpt

Perfect, he said. Story of my life.

Jeez, Martha said, and plucked it off.

Don't you go south on me too, Nate said. You're all I got, babe.

No I am not, Martha said. You got the kids.

One more thing goes wrong, I'm shooting myself, Nate said.

I kind of doubted he had the get–up–and–go for that. Although you never know.

So what's going on at your guys' work? Nate said. This one here's been super–moody. Even though she just get herself promoted.

I could feel Martha looking at me, like: Ted, I'm in your hands here.

I figured it was her call. Based on my experience of life, which I have not exactly hit out of the park, I tend to agree with that thing about, If it's not broke, don't fix it. And would go even further, to: Even if it is broke, leave it alone, you'll probably make it worse.

We read it in Tenth of December.

Originally published in Harper's, September 2011.