The Michael Lyon Experience

Sushi Standoff

Two kids entered the bar, both with raw fish on their minds. They were the loud type, the sensible type, the big eating type. They ordered all-you-can-eat sushi for 45 minutes at a flat rate of twenty bucks, with the catch being that you couldn’t leave any sushi behind.


Two men owned a sushi bar. They were masters of their trade. They could chop and flay a raw fish like you wouldn’t believe, and could throw down a California Roll faster than you can say “Okinawa”. On a plain Thursday, around noon, two tall kids entered their bar and ordered the all you can eat meal, at a flat rate of twenty bucks, with the catch being that you couldn’t leave any sushi behind. The two men had never had an all-you-can-eater finish all the sushi, and they didn’t suspect that these two little jokers would be any different.


They ordered 100 god-damned rolls of sushi, all of a different variety. The two men snickered, the two kids grinned.


Lo and behold, we had ourselves a good ol’ fashioned Sushi Standoff.


The boys started strong, devouring three lines of fresh California and Alaskan rolls without hesitation. They were new to the game, but their legs were fresh. The two sushi masters rolled up line after line of fish, all of which was consumed at a rapid rate by the boys. There was still a half hour left, however, and the two sushi masters had been around the block enough to know that the first fifteen minutes of a sushi standoff meant abso-stinkin-lutely nothing.


The kids were laughing and carrying on, with all sorts of cheer, when they ordered another round, this time marking the ‘X’ on a little something called the Montana Roll.


The sushi-masters took the order, and both grinned with delight when they saw that the Montana Roll had been ordered. The Montana Roll was a food of a different kind, a food that you don’t just eat and be happy with. The Montana Roll was a beast with all sorts of fight. You eat the Montana Roll, and there is a good chance that your ass is in the bathroom for the next three hours. The kids did not know this, and they sure as hell didn’t see it comin’.


The kids were sitting there, half full, ready for more, when out came the Montana Rolls. What they saw horrified them. Four globs of orange matter on tiny squares of tin-foil, reeking of unknown ingredients sure to plunder the stomach of anything short of a goat.


“Here goes nothing.” Said the kids, and ate.


One puked, immediately, and stormed to the bathroom. One—the one with the stronger stomach—simply let out a prolonged and pitiful whimper. The sushi masters were sure they had won, and began wiping their hands in anticipation of another early walk out.


Yet the boys endured where most faltered, and plowed ahead, determined to leave no food behind. One by one, they muscled their way through the sushi, chasing every bite down with coke-a-cola and dry wasabi. With four minutes left there remained two Montana Rolls and one dream. Time slowed behind the sushi counter as the masters watched their adversaries choke down the agonizingly bad sushi rolls with obvious expressions of pain on their faces. Like gladiators on their last legs they swallowed the food, and then collapsed to the table with numerous nearly clogged arteries.


The sushi masters had lost, the boys had won.


As they rose, they neared the bar, and bowed.


“Well played.” Said the boys.

The Taco Bell Cup, Wrapper, and The Big Baby

The Big Baby was hungry, thirsty, and complaining. The Lyon didn’t know what to do, for they were already late for the occasion. Wisely, he pulled over to Taco Bell. The Big Baby had no objection to the lower class meal, which pleased the Lyon.  He ordered, and was once again pleased to find that the Big Baby was content with eating in the car.

            The Big Baby had finished, and now rested her head on the car window as it bumbled along the highway.  The Big Baby had this look about her when she was flustered, and at this particular moment the look of flusteredness was smeared all over her pretty little face. The Lyon knew why: she didn’t understand The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. She didn’t get it because it was sad.

            “Why don’t they just call it The Sad Case of Benjamin Button?” she asked.

            The Lyon had no response. He cycled through possible rebuttals, but ultimately decided that it would be best to simply not respond. The Lyon then had a brief moment of self pride as he realized that two short years ago he probably would not have had the self control to stop himself from saying something along the lines of, “Because, you idiot, it is strange. It is curious. It makes you think!”

            The Lyon wasn’t surprised to find that his no response tactic didn’t settle well with the Big Baby, so he turned up the music in order to drown out her sorrows.

            She took the last drink of her diet coke, and set down the cup, next to the crumpled up wrapper of the burrito that she had just consumed. The music played loudly.

            “Ahhh,” Said the Taco Bell Cup, “I feel so light!”

            “Shut up.” Replied the wrapper.

            “They call it The Curious Case of Benjamin Button because it is more curious than sad. It is sad, but it is also happy, but most of all it’s curious.” Said the Lyon.

            “Oh, I see. Yeah.” Said the Big Baby.

            “You don’t know anything about that movie!” said the wrapper.

            “Be quiet wrapper.” Said the Lyon


            “Why are these things talking?” asked the Big Baby. 

Ephesians 22
Hanna Miller

It was 1978. He was young; she was young. What was the problem? Her boyfriend lived two states away and was probably dabbling in the same crude acts as she, so it evened out. In contrast, this guy was single, four miles from her dorm, a junior at the university, decent looking, and pretty smart—though in a different kind of way. She appreciated his grim views at times, they were new perspectives.

                She was only a freshman. College life was a thrill to her, coming from a small town in Mississippi. She thought she was beginning to be cultured, seventy miles from home and sharing a dorm with a redhead from Kansas.

Her views on life and what it consisted of could be deranged in more than a few areas. Physically, she looked like she belonged on the Dixie Darling dance team she spent her afternoons with during the fall, what with her springing brunette ponytail and toned, tanned legs. But when she opened her mouth, she was placed in a whole other category than the rest of those cheaply-thrilled, trend-following girls.

Girls because that’s what they were—non-deserving of holding the title of women, which called for a certain level of maturity. She, however, was far beyond that level of maturity, more than deserving to be called a woman.

As far as it went with this one, he was just another mind to play with, another piece to manipulate. There was no real steam behind the lust, just the mutual appropriateness of dating. What her boyfriend didn’t know couldn’t hurt him. She never really expected either of them to stay faithful over the long distance, anyway. She could easily imagine him taking a break from sex with the blonde floozy two floors down to write her those soldier-writing-home letters, cigarette in mouth and lower body wrapped in a dingy sheet.

“Wanna go swimming, Prudence?”

“Sure. Let’s go naked.”

He smiled.

“Sounds good to me.”

Another late summer afternoon spent in the naturalness of bare skin and outdoors with a charming person of the opposite sex and a taste of alcohol. It was Saturday. She liked to spend her free time this way, rather than studying. College was overrated. Her marks were better than the rest of the morons in the state institution. Institution because isn’t that what all these universities really are? Just cages built to smash every ounce of individuality from every single soul possible. All it took was a little bit of common sense to get by, anyway.

They drip-dried under the sun after tiring themselves out in their strokes of play and passion. The grass kind of made her backside itch. She could smell a grill being fired; she felt a yearn in the pit of her stomach. Not for food, but for the group—the act of including—that came with that smell.

“How about you come to church with me in the morning?”

“I don’t believe in God.”

“I know. You know I hate all that religious, propaganda bullshit, but still. Mom’s cooking, and she likes you. Asked that you come with us and eat, and then you and I’ll leave early for our own excitement.”

He smiled at her and winked as they lay parallel to each other. A finger of air sent a chill up her spine.

“How about you go to church, you go eat with your mom, and then I’ll meet you at your apartment for a wild night of fun, huh?”

She closed her eyes and smiled.

“God, Prudence. You’re such a stubborn bitch sometimes.”

“Do you even know the reason for religion? Do you? I bet you don’t. What do you think it is?”

“Oh it has its good sides. But mostly it’s just seeing how one man can manipulate the next one. And it’s all a big money-political scheme. It’s a whole bunch of arrogant, pompous, self-righteous bastards grouping together on Sunday morning under the Lord’s name to duke it out and see which one can talk over the others the most.”

She narrowed her eyes and turned on her side to face him. Her body stretched on its side was the outline of distant hills.

“You’re wrong. Religion was invented for women to control men.”


A mosquito landed on her arm. She killed it with one quick force of the hand, but not before it could lick, bite her skin.

“How do you think we get you idiots to believe it? By calling y’all the ‘Heads of the Household.’ Making men feel superior to women makes them believe the shit. ‘Wives be subjects to your husbands as you are to the Lord.’ When you’re told you’re in control, it’s so much easier for you to be controlled.”

Big Sky and Water


            The roar of the airplane engine spells a quiet over the crowd jammed into the flying tube. They are all slaves; prisoners of their own tech bubbles. They type, watch, and skim over the miles of electronic text that scrolls before their inactive eyes. They are unaware of their surrounds, and in many ways unaware of themselves. Their iPods kick little beats out of the tiny headphones shoved in their ears, at least partially smothering the drone of the engine. They are fortresses of themselves, impenetrable and immune to the idea of meeting someone new amongst the crowd of travelers.

            Where they are headed, nobody can say. Yet when they reach their destination, one thing is assured: they will immediately engage into their little tech bubbles. Their phones will buzz with incoming text messages, their email inboxes flood with new mail, and their slavery to their own lives will continue. Yet for now, they are limited to what can operate 10,000 feet above the ground.

            What they fly over, however, is a land of a different rhythm; a land that does not stress the importance of instant information, but rather the importance of getting in touch with the earth. As the drones fly over this land, they look down and see rugged earth. Dense forests, deep canyons, and vast plains cover the expanse of the land below them. Wildlife roams freely in this land, and the inhabitants of this country sacrifice greatly to maintain the proper balance between man and beast.

            Streams gauge the land below, scarring their way across the hills. The water tells its’ own tale. It is at times calm, at times rapid, and at times steady and flowing; similar in its’ force to the hand of life: gentle yet mighty. The river captivates men. The river possesses their souls. They, too, are prisoners. Yet they are prisoners not of the texting, typing, and skimming as those above them, but prisoners of the flow, the force, and the beauty contained between the hours of 10 and 2, with no wrist.

            The prisoners in the flying tube will continue to lead their busy lives of stress and management, just as the prisoners of the river will continue to lead their lives of rhythm, pace, and profound meaning.

            And as the tube plows through the air, the men on the ground will look up and exhale the crisp, clean air. They will gaze into the endless blue, and once again be grateful that the oxygen they breathe is derived directly from the air of the immortal big sky.  


In our latest Creative Writing assignment, we were asked to write a mock survival chapter in the style of Anthony Greenbank, a legendary survival guide writer. 



In the case of a machine/robot/computer attack on mankind remember that YOU CAN SURVIVE. What to do if machines/robots/computers attack:







If machine/robots/computers hunt down your hide out, your chances of survival are still mediocrley good.




Cover yourself in mud. The machines/robots/computers have infared vision, and with the mud covering your body it will keep you cool.


Keep cool.


If cornered, attempt to vomit on mechanisms vital systems. Vital systems are located near torso of mechanism.


Kick mechanism in groin (you NEVER know!)



Posted: 5/6/09, Written: 5/5/09

An Exploration Into the Mind of Michael Lyon

This was a Creative Writing piece that I wrote roughly three months ago during a rougher stretch. It exposes a nice bit of vulnerability, and I think captured the topic well, which was: write a three perspective narrative. Hopefully, we will be able to post some other works on this topic in the near future. This story is also where the name, "The Michael Lyon Experience" originated from.

Part I. The Triumph, the agony, the uninspired. The inspiration.


Hello, and welcome to Michael Lyon. I play the role of inspiration, and I am in a depression that would make the American recession look like the roaring twenties.  Times are difficult and slow, for he lacks me. What does he care for any longer? Nothing. He has no inspiration. None at all. There were once days when he did care, when he did in fact possess me, but those days exist in a faraway place, buried under the enormous pile of unfulfilled expectations that now cover his under-achievers grave. I was once thriving within him, running deep in his veins. He was once on a mission, once indebted to those that had provided him so much, but this is simply no longer the case. What does this boy have control of? I can answer that question for you, he has control of everything, but has control of nothing. It is frustrating to see talent wasted, especially when you are the key to the whole thing. That’s what’s funny about me, I’m already in the lock, all he has to do is turn the key. Yet, he can’t seem to perform the task, he just can’t turn the key. What will it take? He usually activates me in times of crisis, staring down the barrel of a deadline or a project due date, but other than that, he chooses to ignore my pleas for vivication. God, the guy is just a joke. What corrupts him, I wonder? Is it the assurance that comes from knowing he has the ability to escape desperate situations? Or is it something else? Who’s to say?


Part II. The Mental Stream of Conscience   None of you in this classroom want to know what he’s really thinking. I don’t mean what he’s really thinking, but what he’s really thinking. So I won’t tell you. Why is this building even out here? Why is he looking at me that way? Sorry, I’m easily distracted, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’m a highlight reel. If I were to honestly tell you every thought that ran through this boy’s head, the computer on which this is being typed would explode.  This guy is just constantly on fire. He, literally, never stops thinking. His head is a pit of constant observation, thought, theory, strategy, and practice. He can’t think about one thing at once, its just like a video tape on fast forward.  Here, then there, then there, then here, then there, and then did you see that? It’s a river with no calm spots. Insanity. Insanity. It’s a trip like none other. An absolute big mountain run. He sighs at all that doesn’t interest him, and ponders that which peaks his imagination. He is philosophical at times, and other times quite plain. He is an enigma of paramount proportion, never taking the same view on a topic more than once. One day he loves it, the next he hates. He knows that half the people he’s ever met hate him; he knows this quite well.  A thought just ran through me, and consequently his mind. “What if all the funding and energy that was used building churches and other religious affiliated buildings were put into trying to cure cancer? Would cancer still exist? It sure would save people a lot of time, because I would be willing to bet that a lot of prayer time is spent on wishing cancer away.” These are the thoughts that are swirling in his mind. Before long, the channel once more changes, and he moves on to another thought, “I wonder if aids is a conspiracy against gay? I wonder if Innes still thinks we didn’t land on the moon?” Ah, the tension, the terror. People think that they think a lot, oh boy, they have no idea. And he is thinking right now, that you are thinking, “oh please, he does not think more than any of us. Everyone thinks they think a lot.” Ah yes, he is thinking about what you’re thinking about, and thinking about what he’s thinking you’re thinking about.  Tick tick tick goes the weird and disgusting mind of one Michael C. Lyon. And now he knows that you aren’t wondering at all what the “C” in Michael C. Lyon stands for, but, you are now! Hey Mr. Tambourine man play a song for me....


Part III. The Unexposed Michael Lyon Experience


So, here I am. Michael Lyon, in my own words. I bet you’ve never been entirely honest with yourself, never truly faced up to your emotions. Maybe you have, but maybe you haven’t. My mind is constantly moving, constantly fluxing, flexing, and stretching. I don’t pretend to be a rebel, because I’m not. Yet I do have a problem: I just don’t care.  I suffer from what has to be the greatest case of apathy in the history of the world. Nothing, absolutely nothing, fazes me any longer. I just don’t feel like doing anything. I was once a good writer, I swear, but now all that comes out is a jumbled, uninspired mess. I sigh when others ask me questions, and find myself having a general lack on knowledge on things which other people seem to know so much about, which is startling and frightening. It’s almost as if I’m devolving.  What are they doing that I’m not? Why am I so uninterested. Even in this class, a class in which I always loved, I seem to be swimming up stream. I feel like I’m trying to run in a dream, but no matter how hard I pump my legs, the speed just won’t come. It is difficult to grasp my level of ineptitude. What do I care about? Ah, geez, I guess I care about a lot now that I consider it, but they are all things that are staples in my life: family, love, and sports.  I have no goals, no inspirado, no anything. Do I care? Not really. I don’t care. I don’t care. I just don’t care. You know what’s curious? I can work 4 hours on an English paper, and Mrs. Brown will give me a B-. or I can write it in the car on the way to school, and get a B-. Theory of relativity simply doesn’t apply there. Einstein was wrong, sorry dude. Some people just can’t wait to get out of Valley Catholic. Mention the mere word, “graduation”, and there is always someone who breaths a dramatic, long sigh and lets out a throaty, “yeeeaaasss”. I confidently say that I don’t feel this way the slightest. I know that college means more responsibility, more homework, more work, more things to do, less time, less relaxation, more stress. That, to me, doesn’t sound like very much fun at all. “Yeaassss.” I want to be something, I promise I do, but I know that as soon as I’m something it’s just going to mean more work and responsibility.

I suppose what I’m saying is that I envy any one of you that still care, still want, still have desire. I envy those of you who feel for one another, envy those of you who are still in touch with your goals. Good on you. I respect you, and that’s saying something, because I can only count 34 people on the whole planet whom I respect. A thought with which I will place in my mental rolodex, which sits next to my mental rolodex of movies I must watch before I die. That sits next to my mental rolodex of things I must do before I die. Which sits next to the rolodex of things I must do in order for you all to not want to commit suicide. It has one tab, which reads: end it. Forever. Goodbye to all ye cats.


The end. 

Posted: 5/6/09, Written: circa 3/10/09