Excerpt: The Peanut Butter and Jelly Phenomenon

Full disclosure: this is an excerpt from Dookie: A Cheesy Horror Novel, in which the scientific method is used to prove the PB&J Phenomenon is a thing.

Scatman stands, moves away from the table. He holds the pizza out in front of him; he drops it onto the floor. It lands with the cheese side up. “See that? Cheese side up, right?”

“Um…yeah.”

“Now, you try.”

“Try what, exactly?”

“The pizza!” Scatman jabs his finger insistently at the plate of mini-pizzas. “Take one and drop it onto the floor. If you can get it to land cheese side up, I’ll refund your forty bucks here and now.”

“Listen to the man,” Noah urges.

Full refund? I’m game. I shrug and get up, grab a pizza, hold it perfectly level in the air, cheese up, crust down. I drop it onto the floor.

The pizza lands cheese side down.

“See?” Scatman nods knowingly.

I frown, picking up the pizza and wondering if I’m going to have to help clean up after. “Best two out of three.”

“By all means, friend.”

I try again, and again the pizza somehow manages to flip in mid-air so that it lands cheese side down.

Scatman chuckles.

For my third try, I squat and hold the pizza a foot above the ground, facing up. I let go, and the pizza does an impossible somersault and lands cheese-down again. “Holy shit.”

Noah steps in, concerned. “Are you tilting it or something?”

“I’m not tilting anything.” I look up at the others. “I’m cursed.”

“Dude, pizza always lands face-down. It’s the peanut butter and jelly phenomenon. Doesn’t mean you’re cursed.”

Scatman fishes a quarter from out of his pocket. “Call it.”

“Heads,” Noah answers, folding his arms and narrowing his eyes.

Scatman flips the quarter.

Tails.

“Again,” he tells Noah.

“Tails.”

Heads.

“Again.”

“Tails.”

Heads.

“Again.”

“Heads.”

Tails.

Whoa.

Scatman looks pleased. “We could go on all night, and the coin wouldn’t land in your favor. You’re cursed, my friend. And how. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone as tainted as you and your brother.”

That would explain so much! “Dude—our thing. I told you.”

“What thing?” Noah snaps, playing dumb.

“The one, long continuous year of bad luck resulting in our girlfriends dumping us, losing our jobs, our parents kicking us out, our pipes being clogged with a shit monster—that thing!”

“Hey, we may have had our share of hard knocks recently—” Noah takes a step back. “—but so does everyone. It doesn’t mean we’re cursed—” He moves backward a little more—and steps on one of Scatman’s mini-pizzas. He slips and falls, landing flat on his back, groaning, the air knocked out of him.

“Bro, you okay?” asks Ty, rushing to his side.

“Yeah,” Noah rasps.

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Dookie, a cheesy horror novel by Jesse Gordon

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Jesse Gordon

Geek. Writer. Supreme overlord of the SUPERMEGANET pseudoverse. Author of THE OATMEAL MAN, DOOKIE, and other such wasteful nonsense.