“Stockholm Sweater” by Ben Niespodziany


There was something about the Stockholm sweater Dave wore to dinner that none of the remaining eight guests understood. “Get it?” Dave asked, laughing like a chalkboard. “No,” the eight said at once, two of them sneezing. One needed Parmesan cheese but was afraid to speak. One’s husband fell to the ground, sick to his stomach. One walked out to the kitchen. “You really don’t get it?” Dave asked again, pushing mashed potatoes through the gaps in his teeth. Quietly, one cried. “It’s a sweater,” Dave said. “From Stockholm.” One fell over. “In Sweden.” One hurled. “It’s a Stockholm sweater.” One’s wife sprinted out of the front door. One passed out. When the room was silent, some unresponsive, others dead, others dry heaving, Dave, still wearing his Stockholm sweater, laughed a bit uncomfortably and said, “Nice one guys, but I don’t get it.”


Ben Niespodziany is a night librarian at the University of Chicago. He runs the multimedia art blog [neonpajamas] and has had work published in Paper Darts, Cheap Pop, Pitheal Chapel, and various others.



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