Editor’s note: Craig Champlin submitted a number of shorts for our annual Pure Fiction issue, writing “Pick any of them. What I’d really like is to run ‘The Ernie Bedlam Stories’ weekly. I have a lot of them and people seem to really like them.” We’ll run five of the Ernie stories here on the Bleader this week. Here’s the second.


On the night his wife turned 65, Ernie crawled in to bed and said, honey, I never made love to someone eligible for Medicare before. She said, well, why start now. Ernie said, that’s not fair, you used to have me for lunch, now you have me for Lent. She said, and soon I’ll give up that religion too. When Ernie was a younger man he came home from a gig one cold, cold night and was surprised that his wife was still awake. He took off his clothes and lay down on the big pillow in front of the TV. He said, honey, I need some warmth. She said, well, put your clothes back on. Ernie said, can’t ya throw an old dog a bone? She said, I don’t pitch and we only have cats.