Two people locked in a bunker deep underground act as some sort of sentinels guarding a mysterious console which may be attached to some sort of doomsday device. One plays jacks, the other doesn't. We don't know what it means, either. Read by Scoot. Time 12:11.
People say Donald Barthelme did more than just about anyone to change the face of the American short story during the 1960's and '70's, despite of or perhaps because of appearing regularly in the generally conservative New Yorker magazine. His wildy experimental, careening and erratic, always unpredictable prose had affinities with pop art and the revolutionary spirit of the times. He wrote a great many short stories, and a few novels as well, and he won some prizes and made some money, and then he died in 1989. Oh, well.