For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“American Tall Tale”

Steven Millhauser


He was a slump-shouldered knob-kneed stick-shanked droop-reared string-necked pole-armed shuffling husk of a man, with shambly shovel-feet that went in two different directions. His shoulders were so narrow he had to loop his red suspenders around his scraggy neck to keep his saggy pants from falling off. His knees were so knobby, when he walked it sounded like cookhouse spoons banging in tin bowls. But worse than the broomsticky look of him, this poor excuse for a mother's son was so lie-around lazy he made a dead dog look lively. He'd get up so late in the day it was time to go back to bed again. And what did this drowsy loafer like to do when he dragged himself out of bed slower than a log rolling uphill? Not one thing.

We read it in McSweeney's 41.