1. King of Jazz
Opening line: "Well I'm the king of jazz now, thought Hokie Mokie to himself as he oiled the slide on his trombone."

2. Robert Kennedy Saved from Drowning
Opening paragraph: "He is neither abrupt with nor excessively kind to
associates. Or he is both abrupt and kind. The telephone is, for him,
a whip, a lash, but also a conduit for soothing words, a sink into
which he can hurl gallons of syrup if it comes to that. He reads
quickly, scratching brief comments ("Yes," "No") in corners of the
paper. He slouches in the leather chair, looking about him with a
slightly irritated air for new visitors, new difficulties. He spends
his time sending and receiving messengers. "I spend my time sending
and receiving messengers," he says. "Some of these messages are
important. Others are not."

3. The School
Closing paragraph (SPOILERS!): "I said that they shouldn’t be
frightened (although I am often frightened) and that there was value
everywhere. Helen came and embraced me. I kissed her a few times on
the brow. We held each other. The children were excited. Then there
was a knock on the door, I opened the door, and the new gerbil walked
in. The children cheered wildly.
(BTW, George Saunders wrote a great essay on this story in The
Brain-Dead Megaphone.)

4. Me and Miss Mandible
14 November: "The distinction between children and adults, while
probably useful for some purposes, is at bottom a specious one, I
feel. There are only individual egos, crazy for love."

5. The Balloon
Key line (maybe): "The balloon, I said, is a spontaneous
autobiographical disclosure, having to do with the unease I felt at
your absence, and with sexual deprivation, but now that your visit to
Bergen has been terminated, it is no longer necessary or appropriate."
The Balloon is available in Sixty Stories (Penguin Classics).

Check this one out too!

The Subbacultcha Blog will be compiling a daily Top 5 of [insert serious/ridiculous category here] of 2010/all time for its followers during December! If you have any cheeky lists up your sleeve, send them over to zofia(at)subbacultcha.nl, we'd love for you to join in!