Daniel Tiernan writes brief stories and other creative pieces.

Daniel Tiernan smoking a tobacco pipe


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Max The Maximalist

I have 48 varieties of mustard in my fridge. I want a 49th.

I have 17 children from 9 different women. I want an 18th.

For my 45th birthday I’m asking for 45 more phone chargers for my 45 phones. Two is always better than one. One is never enough.

When I was poor I had boxes and boxes of paper in my house. People give that stuff away like it’s free. One man’s trash…

Now those boxes of paper live in one of my 14 storage units. I visit one storage unit every month. And three in December.

There’s one thing I don’t own: a trash can.

Some people call me a hoarder.

My name is Max and I’m a Maximalist.

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March 14th, 2020|

Cubicle Toast

Some people keep a coffee maker at their desk.

Others have enough room to fit a mini fridge.

I prefer a toaster.

It’s sort of a statement for me, a concession of the doughy life that I live.

While others in the office guzzle caffeine and hope to eke out an extra ounce of productivity, I peck away at the keyboard and munch on warm carbs.

My coworkers hear the joyous pop of the toaster several times a day. Each time they are reminded of my mediocrity, my proclivity for aimless obsessions.

One week, Tommy (he’s two cubicles down and has no sense of humor) counted how many pops he heard.


“Only 37?” I replied. Must have been a bad week.

I’m pretty sure Tommy complained about my delicious toast to our mutual supervisor.

Didn’t work.

Did Tommy forget our supervisor is my uncle?

Debra (four cubicles down; likes toast; I share with her sometimes) let me know that Tommy snitched to HR too.

Did he forget that my aunt is the head of HR?

In my opinion, nepotism is underrated and people don’t eat enough bread these days.


Ope, there goes my toast.

I’m headed to the CEO’s office to see if my dad wants a slice.

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March 12th, 2020|

Uncle Ronny Is Sad And Can’t Play

Why are you sad Uncle Ronny?
Why don’t you want to come out and play?
We’re playing kickball and hit the ball and throw the ball and we’ve been doing it all day.
We’re sweating and we’re tired.
You’re sweating and you’re tired.
But you haven’t played all day.
You’re lying on the couch and I’m swatting flies from your face.
Are the flies making you tired?
Are they buzzing in your brain?
Do they make you soft and dull and unable to play?
I’m going back outside and I hope you will follow.

A fly buzzes in Uncle Ronny’s ear.
Uncle Ronny does nothing to swat it away.

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March 5th, 2020|
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