The Matchmaker: A Highbrow Comedy Coupling “Brief” and “Straightforward” by KJ Hannah Greenberg

When the halls of her ivy league school no longer enticed her with prizes and with honors, when her imaginary hedgehogs ceased to bring her bushels of marshmallow fluff, and when her own children stopped caring whether or not she folded the laundry, planted asparagus, or danced uninhibitedly at their school birthday parties, she accepted that it was time to assume a new vocation. To wit, she became a matchmaker.

Leaving aside belly dancing, home birthing, herbal medicine making and occasional basket weaving, that darling began to eke out novels, poetry, and slipstream short stories. She even wrought creative nonfiction that referenced “growth opportunities” concomitant to parenting. However, that author allowed all of her inventiveness to be interrupted by her simultaneous need to mop carpets, to diaper doll bottoms and to chop beans. She also willingly continued to field work stoppages whenever she was overcome by an insatiable desire to publish in places like The American Journal of Semiotics or The Smithsonian. Nonetheless, somehow, that woman returned time and again to her inspired coupling of words. 

Specifically, she sloshed through those acts of romantic introduction without the regular aid of her pretend, spiky friends or of her sticky children. The result was that she not only churned out smoothies and vegetable soup, but also that she produced discourse about adolescents, about aliens, and about dreamers, sometimes even in the same few paragraphs. One day, that writer arrived at her penultimate moment; she arranged for the betrothal of “balderdash” and of “xylophone” (later, in a display of rare rhetorical prowess, she would succeed in bringing together “hoopla” and “parsimonious”).

It was not so much the case that the newspapers headlined her achievement; convergent media ruled, after all. Nor did it fall out that she was celebrated by the Nobel Foundation; there remain too many socially nuanced scribes for the committee to recognize a mother of four who preferred building ceramics and sorting thank-you notes to buffeting against her collection of footnotes (albeit the judges privately appreciated her tendency to use big words together with smaller motes and to layer her storytelling). Rather, what happened was that her tall tales, which she had fashioned about falafel balls, about “special American pricing,” and about sea urchins, caught the notice of a few editors desperate to be relieved of their still unmarried texts.

Her phone rang. Her twitter tweeted. Her email inbox filled up with all manners of requests. In short notice, she introduced “piquancy” to “silicon,”  “abet” to “tyro,” and “irrefutable” to “nunchuck.”  Unfortunately, because she had acquiesced so readily, more calls for her fabrications came in. Instead of actualizing herself as a novelist, she remained busy matching “chimera” with “platoon,” “abseiling” with “public servant,” and “hinterland” with “kerfuffle.” Albeit, given her habit of pithiness, she actually refused to participate in the match of “arithmetic” and “cumin,” and suggested a different facilitator be employed to put together “halcyon” and “axolotls.”

Meanwhile, that sometimes poet came to realize that: sunshine makes blemishes more discernable, that the Scoville Scale is arguably relative, and that teenager are best not left unsupervised with a bass guitar and a drum set. Furthermore, a particular mentation caught up with her; any literary odyssey of cosmic proportion ought to be grounded in a series of naps (whacked dreams being optional). As a result, that rainy day essayist came to believe that devoid of questionable subconscious epiphanies, her nonfictions would run bland.

Thus, the increasingly bothered woman resolved to: leave the trash for her husband to bring to the curb, pack her verbal zest in see-through containers, and dice up her chili peppers before eating them. She also resorted to singing in the shower and to reducing the hours during which she entertained clients’ solicitations concerning bringing words to the wedding canopy. She lived, in the end, as well as a flummoxed writer might, despite her inability to find a spouse for “subversive.”


Kj Hannah Greenberg’s a verbal vagrant, who gave up a academic hoopla to chase a hibernaculum of imaginary hedgehogs. Some of the homes for her writing have included: AlienSkin Magazine, AntipodeanSF, Bards and Sages, Big Pulp, Morpheus Tales, Strange, Weird and Wonderful, Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction, and The New Absurdist.

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