Flash Fiction #13

And He Lightly Touched Down

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His parents had worked their butts off to pay for four years of British boarding school.

He had worked his butt off for four years to achieve impressive grades.  He had studied hard, and absorbed everything he could to prepare himself for his career.

He had several employment irons in the fire back in California, and a couple of confirmed interviews.  If all went well, he would soon be earning enough to repay his parents.

Here he was, winging his way home, and on to fame and fortune.  If only he were as confident as he told himself he was.

 

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a 100 word story.

 

This can be considered Chapter 2, following my May 29 Flash Fiction #7 post, Stepping Up, Stepping Down.

Gimme That Old-Time….Everything

Always eager to be “right up-to-date”, in 1981, a large theme park was built at the north end of Toronto, called Canada’s Wonderland.  Year by year, more rides and attractions were added.  I saved up my pennies, back when we still had them, and by 1987 was able to visit for a day.

A few years later, the owners did as many Canadian business people do.  They sold out to the Americans, and the place became Paramount Canada’s Wonderland.  Like Military Intelligence and Business Ethics, this makes sense only if you squint your eyes a lot.

Back when computers were only a gleam in most people’s eyes, there was a booth with a computer.  It was loaded with tons of basic facts, and, for the lordly sum of $1, it would provide a laminated sheet, showing what things were like on the day you were born, and compare old prices to (then) new.

27 years later, I ran across it during a flurry of spring cleaning, and I’ve scanned and included it, so that you can have a double chance to compare, what things cost, first in 1944, and again in 1987, so that you can really miss “the good old days.”

Time Capsule

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With this was an even older newspaper sheet from my home-town weekly.  Printed April 1, 1981, it gave replays of local things which occurred 10, 20, 50, 100 years before.  From twenty years earlier, in 1961, there was a story about me and nine others from my little sharpshooter rifle club.

Apparently we went to the next small town for a challenge shooting match, and beat their ten-boy team quite handily.  Our informal little rifle club had officially become the Junior Conservation Club, but somehow, in the article, we were listed as the Boys’ Athletic Club.  We were many things to many people, but one thing we weren’t, was athletic!

Five For Festing

 

 

From the early spring, when most of the snow has melted, to the late fall, when it starts coming down again, the daughter (LadyRyl) is reasonably mobile.  Whether with one crutch or two, she can catch a bus a hundred yards away, over on the main street.  On bad days, she can call up the Transit Mobility van, and be taken in her power wheelchair, to places like the big mall at the edge of town.  I’m even amazed at how far away she can get from home, with just the wheelchair’s battery-pack.

All this freedom quickly disappears when the ice and snow begin to pile up.  Unshovelled sidewalks, and piles left by plows can be quite a challenge for the mobility-challenged.  She’s been stuck a few times, outside, in the cold.  Once, she thought a quartet of teen boys on foot might harass her, but they dug and pushed her out.  Then, a quarter mile down the street, at the other mall entrance, she got stuck again, and had to call her son at his work, to leave and come over to get her out.  No-one else helped.

Other than when I drive her somewhere, she spends a lot of time indoors over the winter.  You can’t read or watch TV all the time, so this is when she stocks up on her crafts.  She spins up lots of her raw fiber into skeins of beautiful artisanal yarns, then she knits and crochets some of it into shawls, scarves, hats, mitts and socks.  She and a girlfriend turn wire and semi-precious stones into jewellery.  It gets her through the winter, but by spring she’s got a lot of time, energy and money tied up in stuff for sale.

At about this time of year, along comes a line of festivals and opportunities to recoup investment through retail.  This year, it started five weeks ago.  On a Saturday, I took her 15 miles out, to a Mennonite village, to celebrate the Strawberry Festival.  Aside from fervent thanks, and a few dollars for gas, I received a couple of pints of “picked-today” strawberries.

The wife washed and hulled them and put them on a cookie sheet.  I put that into the freezer, later transferring the frozen fruit to a Zip-Loc bag.  I will be able to thaw small bowlfuls, and add them to my cereal over the winter.

The next week I took her to her monthly BarterWorks congregation at the downtown Working Center.  While it’s open to the public on a cash basis, it needs some promotion.  Still, she made a few sales and trades, met some old friends, and had a nice day out.

The third week, the cherries were in season, (In Washington State, and Mexico) and I put her and her goods beneath a nylon-topped gazebo in her nearby Cherry Park.  She and her friend sheltered from the blazing sun in the baseball outfield, and a bit more stock was exchanged for cash.

On the fourth Saturday, I set her up in the big park for the Anti-Violence Festival.  While we set up the gazebo again, she was on a small island, and well protected from the sun by mature trees.  She brought along her spinning wheel, to attract customers.

Here are some pics of the things that she and her friends make and sell, under the name Frog Pond Collective.  Included are shots of her spinning wheel, first lonely, then, fully manned (Womanned?)

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On the Friday night before, I had been there for the big Cruise Night.  On the way out of the park, I again ran into these.  I’m not sure if this is the city’s idea of a joke – or art.   :?

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About 125 years ago, when the park was created, one of the buildings torn down had belonged to McBrine Luggage, on this exact spot.  They’re still in business – just elsewhere in the city.  These are made of concrete, and, like the warning on McDonald’s cups, not to juggle hot coffee with your crotch, there is a metal plaque on the grass next to them, across from the bus terminal, reminding the drunks and druggies not to try to steal them.

Last Sunday, I was to take her to a fest the Oxymorons call Open Street – when they close the main street to traffic.  At the last minute – Wed.? Thur.? – it was decided to switch it to Saturday night, to meld with the Jazz Festival being held in front of the downtown mall.

It was overcast but dry all Sunday, but began drizzling as soon as we got set up Saturday evening.  Even sitting on a thick, woven rug, the spinning wheel began to get damp.  She called me to pick it up and take it home, but, by the time I got there, several vendors had had enough, so we packed it in.

The young city workers were supposed to have distributed a survey at the end of the evening, and were now desperately yelling in car windows to find what was good and what could be improved.  Aside from the rain, being located two blocks from the Jazz Fest, the only people walking by, in the dark, were on their way to their cars – very disappointing.

This Saturday will be a small, indoor BarterWorks again, and the last Saturday in August will be another.  The city wants to try Open Street again on the third Sunday.  (Did I say Five??!)  The daughter is considering the upcoming Word On The Street Festival, and is looking for other chances to unload the last of her stash for cash.

 

Department Of Agriculture

 

 

Lawn Mower

Department of Agriculture

Bulletin: No. 265

 

The Care and Operation of a Rotary Power Lawn Mower

 

The rotary power lawn mower is a boon to shiftless suburbanites whose lawns are full of Dandelion, buckthorn, and other weeds too tall for the conventional reel-type mower.  The rotary power mower however, is not an unmixed blessing.  Unseen sticks and stones, to say nothing of unburied rocks, will raise Hell with the blades.  So will nails, bits of wire, and other metal debris.

These problems fade into insignificance though, when compared with the unhappy result of running this type of mower over newly deposited dog shit.  Until you have had your shoes shined with pulverized dog shit, you cannot appreciate the extent of this problem.

Now cat shit, to be sure, smells far worse, but cats, as everybody knows, are more careful to cover up their waste than are dogs.  Moreover, cats do not shit as much as dogs, unless you have a very large cat, or a very small dog.

There are several approaches to the problems of animal excreta and the rotary power mower.  First, you could buy a dog, bigger than all the other dogs in the neighborhood, and train him to keep all the other dogs off your lawn, and also to shit on the neighbors’ lawns.

The obvious drawback to this method of combating the problem, is that one of your neighbors might buy a cow, and train it to shit on your lawn.  It has been estimated that a rotary power mower, operating at 3750 RPM can hurl a normal cow flap as high as a second storey window, and over an area of 5000 square feet.

Building a fence is a second possible solution, but it is expensive.  Also, it is no good unless you can train the wife and kids to keep the gate shut.  Then too, some dogs will jump the fence, even when full of shit.

There are various commercial preparations, sold mostly to evil-minded old ladies, which are supposed to stop dogs from screwing lady dogs on your front porch, pissing on your shrubs, and shitting on your lawn.  These chemicals are worthless however, since it is second nature for dogs to screw and piss.  A dog’s philosophy in life is, “Anything you can’t eat or screw, then piss on it!”

This then leaves three other possible solutions:

  1. Let the God-damned weeds grow.
  2. Move into an apartment, and use the mower as a fan.
  3. Wear only brown shoes when mowing the lawn, and associate only with people who either don’t mind the smell of dog shit, or are too damned polite to mention it.

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Having previously told you what it’s like when you create a little odor, this is what it’s all about when you really get down to business

 

THE DUMP LIST

 

GHOST DUMP

That’s the kind where feel the shit coming out, have shit on the toilet paper, but there’s no shit in the toilet.

 

CLEAN DUMP

The kind where you shit it out, see it in the toilet, but there’s nothing on the paper.

 

WET DUMP

The kind where you wipe your butt 30 times, but it still feels unwiped.  So you have to put some toilet paper between your butt and your underwear, so you don’t ruin them with a brown stain.

 

SECOND WAVE DUMP

It happens when you’re done shitting.  You’ve pulled up your pants, and then you realize you have to shit some more.

 

BRAIN HEMMORAGE THROUGH YOUR NOSE SHIT – or the – POP A VEIN IN YOUR FOREHEAD SHIT

The kind where you strain so much to get it out, that you practically have a stroke.

 

RICHARD SIMMONS SHIT

The kind where you lose 30 pounds.

 

CORN SHIT

Self explanatory!

 

LINCOLN LOG SHIT

The kind of shit that is so huge that you’re afraid to flush the toilet without breaking it into a few pieces with the toilet brush.

 

DRINKERS’ SHIT

That’s the kind of shit you have the morning after a long night of drinking.  Its most noticeable trait is the tread marks left on the bottom of the toilet.

 

“GEE, I WISH I COULD” DUMP

It’s the kind where you want to shit, but all you can do is sit on the toilet, cramped, and fart a few times.

 

SPINAL TAP DUMP

That’s the kind where it hurts so much coming out, that you swear it was leaving you sideways.

 

WET CHEEKS DUMP – or the – POWER DUMP

That’s the kind that comes out so fast that your ass cheeks get splashed with toilet water.

 

LIQUID SHIT

That’s the kind where yellowish-brown fluid shoots out of your butt, splatters all over the inside of the bowl, the whole time burning your tender anal sphincter.

 

MEXICAN FOOD DUMP

A class all its own

 

PHOTOGENIC LOG – or – GUINNESS RECORD DUMP

That’s the kind that is so huge that it stands out of the water and waves at you.  You remove the toilet paper, grab a camera, and take a picture for the World Book of Records.

Healthy Respect For Medicine

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Mommy!  Mommy!  A strange lady stuck her finger up my bum, and I had to give the Government money to pay her to do it.  Then she hired some guy to do it again with a hose – and then I have to learn to deep-throat.  I don’t understand.  The charges were dismissed, why do I still have to attend the Going To Prison Seminar?

I went to see my female doctor for my regular physical – ‘cause there’s 703 days in a year, right??  Suddenly my annual checkup became an anal checkup.  It all started innocently enough.  She took my blood pressure – 120/70, which means my heart ain’t thumpin’ hard, and I’ll live long enough to make some people sorry.

“Do you have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom?”  I’m almost 70 – of course.  “How many times?”  Usually once, occasionally twice.  “When it gets to three, contact me, and I’ll start you on meds that you’ll have to take every day for the rest of your life.  Is it still rigid when you have to go?”  Uhhh…no.  “Would you like some Cialis?”  That’s like offering a dog a driver’s licence.

I’ve heard about, Turn Your Head And Cough, but around here, it’s, Shuck your shorts and lie on the examining table in a fetal position, facing the wall.  Suddenly….WOW – are you right up to the wrist?  I don’t think I’m going to get out of this fetal position.  She says, “I don’t feel anything unusual.”  Lucky you, I do.

She’ll make arrangements with an internist, but first, I have to take tests to prove I’m healthy enough to survive the torture.  I asked one, innocent question.  Would a little extra adipose, just north of the belt buckle, combined with poor eating posture, prevent the esophagus from emptying into the stomach, causing difficulty swallowing?

The next thing I know, I’ve got $250 worth of stomach pills I don’t need. I’m thankful for a great medical plan, which pays for it.  The unexpected benefit is that they’re combo-pills with an added painkiller just short of Hillbilly Heroin.  I could sell these on the street.  The next time I have a headache (very uncommon) I’ll just crush one up and snort it.

After walking five miles at the Cruise Night, and then setting the daughter up for the Anti-Violence Festival the next day, and hauling her stuff back home, both hips said, “Take the pill!  Take the pill!”

So, off to the clinic I went.  I had to do a 12 hour fast.  I was starting to have food withdrawal symptoms, but I made it.  Some sadistic little oriental nurse-wannabe stuck a railway spike in my arm, and sucked out so much blood, I thought they were doing a remake of Helter-Skelter.  Then she said, “I need a urine sample.  Could you fill this little cup?”  Not from over here.

My cholesterol levels are lower than my doctor’s, although I still need to remove that spare tire.  Like any other bureaucracy, Ontario’s taxpayer-paid medical coverage can sometimes be head-scratching.  The doctor’s visit is paid for.  Four blood tests and the urine tests are paid for, but the test that might indicate that I have prostate cancer???  That one I have to pay $30 for!  :?

The wife’s had to endure colonoscopies three times.  Except for the finger, I’m still a virgin.  At least I’ll have someone to guide me through it – and point and laugh when I go all sucky and whiny.  I think I can handle that, even though I’ll have to drink stuff that makes cod-liver oil taste like Haute Cuisine, and ending up so empty that I won’t be able to face into the wind without developing a whistle.

It’s the endoscopy I’m a little worried about.  I have a sensitive throat.  I could never do gay porn.  The wife takes 12/15 pills every morning, including a couple that would choke a horse – into the mouth, a little juice, one big gulp, and they’re all gone.  Me?  Anything bigger than an aspirin, and I have to distract myself.  Oh, look, a chipmunk!….Is the pill gone?  Well, it will be by lunch.

I think if it weren’t for all these tests, old folks would live forever.  All this embarrassment and stress??  Ah Hell, let’s just die and get it over.

Flash Fiction #12

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Humor With Impact

I didn’t often receive packages here at my little accounting office.  I didn’t remember ordering any supplies, yet, here was Mr. FredEx, with a basketball-sized parcel.  What could it be?  There’s a note on top.

“Dear Brother;

I found this at a yard sale the other day and thought of you.  Find a place to display it.  Just a reminder that you’ll always be my favorite ButtHead.

Your loving sister

Nancy”

Ha, ha, very funny.  I’d been subjected to this type of humor for years.  The Amish, at the Pioneer Museum, sell hand-made brooms.  Perhaps turnabout is fair play – Witch.

 

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted To Purple Blog, and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Wasted Days And Wasted Nights

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I may be wasting my days, but I didn’t waste Friday Night.  I went Cruisin’.

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This was Kitchener’s annual Cruisin’ On King Street night.  It’s listed as the largest in Canada.  Last year they had 408 cars, stretched out on both sides of eight blocks of the downtown main street.  Since then, they’ve redone the main drag, narrowing the paved area and widening the sidewalks to make it more “Pedestrian Friendly,” so they had to cap it at 330, although another 15 or 20 classics joined the big drive-through, and then sneaked away, up the side streets.

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I got there early enough to get several clear shots in the park staging area.  One they get jammed together on the street, dripping with gawkers, good photos are hard to take.

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These are a couple of the first cars I owned, from the My First Cars post , obviously.  This first is actually a 1939 Chevrolet, indistinguishable from my Pontiac, except for badging.  Imagine the same size and shape, including the bullet-hole decals – only in Coca-Cola Red.

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This is a 1956 English, Austin A60 that I replaced the Pontiac with.

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Here’s a couple of my favorite type of Corvette, the Scoopside.  The first is a rather blah, cream-on-cream, but the red-with-white scoop shows some flair and contrast.

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After the first dozen pictures, my little digital camera started screaming “Low Battery!”  I had to keep turning it off till I found another worthy subject.  Having to conserve power, I photographed only the older and more interesting cars.  ‘60s and ‘70s muscle cars don’t do anything for me.

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Here’s a resurrected dinosaur from the Tailfin-aceous Period

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I hope you enjoyed the photos as much as I did seeing the real thing.  I felt like I walked a hundred miles.  I may not do this again.