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I'm A Man Without Conviction

by Em16


“Or am I a man with conviction?” Johnny said, standing in the aisle of a supermarket store, a box of Cheerios in one hand and a box of Rice Krispies in the other.

This was the third grocery store Johnny had been to that day. He had gone first to Sal’s, but while standing in the produce section, he suddenly remembered he had a coupon for Joe’s. Leaving a cart full of pineapples in the middle of the aisle, he rushed over to Joe’s, only to get an email that Ally’s was having a 50% sale on multi-grain bread. So, of course, he had to go to Ally’s.

That was where he currently was, debating between Cheerios and Rice Krispies.

“You see,” he said, “Cheerios have so much nutritional value. But Rice Krispies have that crunch- that crunch, you know. I don’t know. Or do I?”

Finding himself struggling, Johnny thought he should phone a friend to see if they could help.

“I’ll call Annabeth,” he said, “Or should I call Simon? Annabeth is always eating healthy, so she would give nutritionally sound advice. But she’s always busy, so she might not pick up. And if she does, she might hang up before she gives me an answer. But Simon’s not as smart as Annabeth, so if I call him, he might make the wrong decision. Wait. Wait- what if I’m looking at this from the wrong angle? What if I shouldn’t be eating cereal for breakfast at all?”

Johnny’s musings were interrupted by a loud ding from his pocket.

“Look at that,” he said, “The library just emailed me to say they have the book I put on hold. Does that mean I have to pick it up now? Now? At this moment? Should I leave the grocery store without checking out? No, I shouldn’t do that. Someone might come and buy all the Cheerios. Or would they buy all the Rice Krispies? But what if someone steals my book while I’m at the grocery store? What if the library closes down? Oh dear, oh dear-”

“May I help you?” asked a grocery store attendant.

“No, I’m fine- or am I? No, I think- it seems I’m having a bout of indecision, but it will pass shortly, I’m sure. Am I sure? Maybe I could use some help. No, no, but I am an adult, I don’t- am I? Am I really an adult? I’m an adult in age, but emotionally? Excuse me, sir, do you think I am an adult?”

The attendant was quite stunned at this question, and did not know what to say.

“Never mind, never mind,” Johnny said, “You probably wouldn’t know the answer anyway. I’ll just go, or stay, I don’t know. I really don’t know. Or do I?”


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Wed Sep 01, 2021 1:45 pm
HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: Okayy...so we've got ourselves a pretty entertaining short right here...very simple idea behind it, and I'd say you've executed it really well here, nothing much at all I could spot wrong with this.

Anyway let's get right to it,

“Or am I a man with conviction?” Johnny said, standing in the aisle of a supermarket store, a box of Cheerios in one hand and a box of Rice Krispies in the other.

This was the third grocery store Johnny had been to that day. He had gone first to Sal’s, but while standing in the produce section, he suddenly remembered he had a coupon for Joe’s. Leaving a cart full of pineapples in the middle of the aisle, he rushed over to Joe’s, only to get an email that Ally’s was having a 50% sale on multi-grain bread. So, of course, he had to go to Ally’s.


OKay...well I am not entirely sure what that conviction line was supposed to mean there, I feel like that was a tiny bit random, at least to me...perhap its meant to mean something, but I don't seem to have gotten it. Other than, that well, interesting start, we've got someone going grocery at what appears to be quite a lot of stores here...so well let's where this goes I suppose.

That was where he currently was, debating between Cheerios and Rice Krispies.

“You see,” he said, “Cheerios have so much nutritional value. But Rice Krispies have that crunch- that crunch, you know. I don’t know. Or do I?”

Finding himself struggling, Johnny thought he should phone a friend to see if they could help.


Okayy...well looks like we've got ourselves a rather important question there to answer, I'm not a hundred percent sure if perhaps this is meant to be a funny start here or not, but I'm certainly cracking up at lines like this one.

“I’ll call Annabeth,” he said, “Or should I call Simon? Annabeth is always eating healthy, so she would give nutritionally sound advice. But she’s always busy, so she might not pick up. And if she does, she might hang up before she gives me an answer. But Simon’s not as smart as Annabeth, so if I call him, he might make the wrong decision. Wait. Wait- what if I’m looking at this from the wrong angle? What if I shouldn’t be eating cereal for breakfast at all?”

Johnny’s musings were interrupted by a loud ding from his pocket.


Well...that looks like a very indecisive person right there, or at least one that is going to take potentially the next hour to make a choice on who to call and then potentially spend another hour actually choosing what to buy here...oh dear...well, at any rate, it makes for a really interesting character here. :D

“Look at that,” he said, “The library just emailed me to say they have the book I put on hold. Does that mean I have to pick it up now? Now? At this moment? Should I leave the grocery store without checking out? No, I shouldn’t do that. Someone might come and buy all the Cheerios. Or would they buy all the Rice Krispies? But what if someone steals my book while I’m at the grocery store? What if the library closes down? Oh dear, oh dear-”

“May I help you?” asked a grocery store attendant.


Okay...this is starting to be a really fun character now...I do love situations like this one and well, I think by now this story has certainly caught my attention quite nicely...solely on character alone here....although the actions are fairly mundane so far.

“No, I’m fine- or am I? No, I think- it seems I’m having a bout of indecision, but it will pass shortly, I’m sure. Am I sure? Maybe I could use some help. No, no, but I am an adult, I don’t- am I? Am I really an adult? I’m an adult in age, but emotionally? Excuse me, sir, do you think I am an adult?”

The attendant was quite stunned at this question, and did not know what to say.

“Never mind, never mind,” Johnny said, “You probably wouldn’t know the answer anyway. I’ll just go, or stay, I don’t know. I really don’t know. Or do I?”


Aahhh...will this was a nice laugh to run into...certainly wasn't expecting something like this based on the title...but then it was a fairly vague title so I don't quite know what to expect. At any rate, this is a fairly solid ending we've got slapped on here.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, this was a lovely read here, short and sweet and effective...and leaves you with a smile on your face. Nicely done...aaand yup that's about all I've gotta say here. :D

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




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Mon May 03, 2021 4:12 am
MarkuzEdwardz wrote a review...



I love the confusion that follows throughout the whole short essay, its a really charming writing style. Plus any piece of satire is more than likely going to be a good read, so thank you for that. Johnny builds up a lot of character as he gets more and more sporadic, creating a love hate typa feel between him, the characters he is interacting with, as well as the audience. My favorite part being the last portion, where Johnny goes through a complete loss of self and has no idea what is really true about anything anymore, because this is the part that dips furthest into satire and kinda makes a open ending feel where the audience can gather what they want from it. Orrrrr I'm just a s.t.oned idiot who likes reading trippy papers. Either way, good job, I hope you continue to publish stuffs.




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Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:40 pm
AngelLily wrote a review...



‘Sup! It’s AngelLily!
Alright, I really loved the dialog. It was fun to read, and it made the character loveable. The dialog structure looks good for the most part, but there is no indenting, so maybe have a look at that. Most people forget to indent anyway. The flow of the story worked perfectly and the conflict was amazing. I really love stories like this, and it made me smile. Keep up the good work.
Write on!
~AngelLily 😇




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Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:19 am
LewisPencastle2 wrote a review...



This was really fun to read. I like stuff like this, its quite amusing and unique. One thing I found is that it really draws someone's interest (at least mine) at the very beginning, and I think thats because the title is inherently unique, and the first line is sort of a response to it, which is always a technique that will immerse and interest a reader. It's in general its just a very original story idea with a great character that I personally don't think needs any real criticisms (except grammatically, as with anything). Thanks for writing it.




Em16 says...


Thanks for the feedback!



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Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:06 am
JoyDark wrote a review...



Heyo! I like this story. I too feel very indecisive about things, and so I relate to Johnny. I like what you put him through. First the grocery stores, then the cereal, then the friends... what to decide?

I definitely see why it's a satire. I smiled the entire time I was reading this. There's not much to suggest, to be honest. Your grammar seems good, and I really like the story premise, especially the open ending. If Johnny had actually picked something to end the story with, then it wouldn't have felt right. (Frankly, I can't believe he made it out of the house to go to the store to begin with.)

This is a really nice short story. It's even kind of whimsical, almost. Or maybe that's just me. Either way, I enjoyed this immensely, and I bet others will too. :D

Well that's all for me, see--wait! My inner grammar teacher has spotted something! (Sorry.)

“You see,” he said, “Cheerios have so much nutritional value.

This is the only grammar mistake. It's a comma thing, and it happens a lot in this piece. It's really, really minor, but that comma that is in bold, the one after "said," should be a period. This is because you technically start a new sentence with "Cheerios have more..." That's why "Cheerios" is capitalized, no? Well, "Cheerios" is a proper noun. So maybe that's not the best example.

Here's another example, though, of the same comma error:
“Never mind, never mind,” Johnny said, “You probably wouldn’t know the answer anyway.

You can see that "You" is capitalized, because it's the start of a new sentence. Therefore, that comma directly after "said" should be a period.

That is a very small error, but I thought I'd point it out. The rest of it is great! I really enjoyed this. :D




Em16 says...


Thank you for the review! I do have a bit of a problem with commas sometimes.




The strongest people are not those who show their true strength in front of us but those who win battles we know nothing about.
— Unknown