Flash Fiction #66




Why is a mouse when it spins?
The higher, the fewer!


There’s a hole in our wooden bucket, dear wife.
Then fix it, dear husband!
With what shall I fix it?
With wood, dear husband!
How shall I cut the wood?
With the axe, husband!
The axe is too dull.
Then sharpen it!
But how shall I sharpen it?
On the stone!
With what shall I wet it?
With water, DEAR husband!!
How shall I get water?
In a bucket!!
There’s a hole in the bucket…..


Blessed are those who run around in circles, for they shall be called Big Wheels.


Neither original nor fiction, but a pastiche of quotes to show the frustrations of modern commercial life. First, all due credit to Robert Heinlein, for his vaguely worded mouse reference which means that, loosely translated, the higher you rise within any organization, the more numerous and strange your problems become, and the fewer of you there are to solve them.

Secondly, apologies to Harry Belafonte for slightly rewording his Caribbean ‘lazy-husband song’, which shows how one problem flows into the next, and finally back to the starting point, with no resolution.

And lastly, to the prolific philosopher, Anonymous, whose apt quote shows how we so often have to run harder and faster just to stay in the same place, chasing, but never quite reaching, solutions which are forever just out of reach ahead of us.


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

Up And Down, Over And Out

Toilet paper

Some people mount toilet paper rolls so that the paper comes off the back of the roll!??

W!   T!   F??

(My head hurts. Stop doing that, or I’ll swat you with a rolled-up copy of Tiger Beat.)

I know that toilet paper goes out the back but, to determine the efficacy and validity of it coming out the back, I have devised a little quiz. Feel free to play along.

When I am seated on the porcelain throne, I am in front of the toilet paper roll, therefore the dispensing end of the roll should be;
1. On the front of the roll
2. Around the back of the roll
3. Ah Hell, just grab a Kleenex, or use the front page of the National Enquirer

Gravity makes toilet paper dispense downward. On a reverse-mounted roll, to make the end of the roll move down, my hand should move;
1. Down
2. Up (then quickly back down, to catch the paper before it all unrolls onto the floor)
3. Straight ahead, with middle finger rigidly extended

With the end of the roll at the back, I cannot see it; I cannot find it; I cannot get ahold of it. To accomplish this I should;
1. Break a fingernail
2. Break a knuckle/finger
3. Scratch the paint
4. Gouge the drywall
5. All of the above
6. (Optional) pull the damned roll off and hang it properly

Toilet paper rolls are hung backwards to produce;
1. Beauty and harmony }
…………………………………….} (It’s a bathroom, for shit’s sake – LITERALLY)
2. Balance and Feng Shui}
3. A system to prevent toddlers and pets from unrolling them
4. Irritation and foul language

Toilet paper is mounted end-to-wall by people who are;
1. Seriously OCD
2. Artsy and pretentious
3. Deluded soccer-moms who mistakenly believe they are smarter than children and pets
4. Followers of Benjamin Button


When I go to a home or business where someone has put the paper up inside-out, my stay in the echo chamber could be cut in half if I could just find and grab the elusive end, and be on my way. I don’t know what it is about kids and cats. We’ve had both at our house, and child-proofing a bathroom involved installing a sturdy hasp and padlock.


For me, getting hygienic tissue off the back of a roll was a retirement project, more difficult than obtaining a clear photograph of Bigfoot. Let a two-year-old toddler or a calico cat wander into the powder room, and eight seconds later there was 400 feet of TP in a pile on the floor.

I would like you neatnik ladies to do two things. Don’t make your significant other feel insignificant. First, ensure that ass-wipe is easily available to your guys whose idea of fencing is more posts and planks, and not some swishy Olympic sport.

Second, I’d like an explanation of why you feel it’s necessary to hide the end of the roll at the back, which holds a little more heft than just, “It looks neat.” See, “It’s just the shitter.” above.

Invasion Force


Look out USA, you’re under assault. The Meet-The-Blogger Tour went very well last year, beginning with Cordelia’s Mom, in Buffalo. She even invited us back. This year, the son booked a week of holidays early in October, and we’re going to spend a couple of days getting to know Buffalo, and CM, better.

We’ll tell the border guards that we’re jelly-bean salesmen, on our way to a sales conference. One look at our waistlines, and they’ll probably tell us to stop sampling the merchandise.

SDC10688        SDC10692

Last year, CM sent us home with some ‘Buffalo’ merchandise, so I asked her if there were any Kitchener-area items that we could bring with us. I was thinking of Oktoberfest sausage, sauerkraut and sweet German mustard, but none of those agree with her digestion.


There is a penalty to be paid for not having any interest in sports. We had planned this trip for the weekend of Oct. 3rd and 4th. I even told CM that we would be staying at a Red Roof Inn a bit closer than the one we used last year. Two weeks before launch date, I called to confirm a room, and found that high school/college/NFL football is in full swing.

I dialled 1-800-rent-me-a-room RedRoof, and the booking clerk told me that all three of the Buffalo area inns were fully booked. She managed to find me a room out in Batavia. I thought it was a further 30/35 mile drive, but on checking, I realize it’s almost 50. The clerk, who claims to live just over in Dayton, Ohio, pronounced it batt-uh-VEE-uh. There’s no sense trying Super 8, or Scottish Inns. If Red Roof is full, they’re all full.

I should have remembered. Years ago, on our way home from Charleston, SC, in October, I missed a turnoff and a Red Roof tucked away off the Interstate, just west of Pittsburgh. “Oh well, we’ll just go up to the next exit and pay a bit more.” We drove another 7 hours, through Pennsylvania and into New York. I must have stopped at 40 hotels/motels, before we got one of the last two rooms in a motel just west of Buffalo that wasn’t even officially open, at 1:30 in the morning.

I jokingly asked if CM had any suggestions for two unchaperoned males. She apparently has no knowledge of strip clubs or bars, but sent me links to Niagara Falls, the Buffalo zoo, and the Art Museum. Larry Lowbrow and his kid, Bart, were looking for something more like large bookstores, both new and used. We could get lost for a day at a decent mall, but none of us could find a Buffalo equivalent to Detroit’s Gibraltar Trade Center.

I had hoped to meet Cordelia, the inspiration who got CM into the blogosphere, but she’s transitioning from self-employed to a cube-drone, and won’t be available, dashing my hope for a father/son/mother/daughter blogger lunch. CM has threatened promised to try to bring along one of her other gorgeous, intelligent daughters. All I have to offer is a lumpen and surly son. She thought about asking her husband to join us, but apparently he’s the reason she doesn’t find me all that much of a Grumpy Old Dude.

CM has located a great restaurant for our lunch meeting, this year Italian, instead of last year’s Greek. If the border guards possess a bit of humor and pity, food and drink will be consumed, pictures will be taken for later online display, much conversation, socialization and frivolity will ensue, and themes for future blogs, both CM’s and mine, will occur.


Last year, the wife and I took along a stuffed lamb, for identification. CM should recognize me, if not son Shimoniac. Since he is big enough to be known as The Bear, I felt we could take along the wife’s McDonalds Coca-Cola Bear, who is so cool that he has his own stuffed teddy bear. :cool:

If this blogsite is quiet for a couple of days, you’ll know we’re in jail Buffalo….BattuhVEEuh??!

Now Just Back Up A Second!


Why is there a backspace key on the keyboard? Actually, my PC doesn’t have one, clearly marked ‘Backspage’bBackspace’, handily located in the lower right corner of the keyboarkeyboard. Mine is an inconvenierinconverinconveniently located button in the upper right, vaguely labelled(?) with a left-pointing arrow.

The backspace key is obviously therthere so that we can go back and correct our typing errors. Mine usually gets quite a waorkoutworkout. I’d have never passed a high school typing test. With words or strokes being subtracted for errors, I’d have ended up owing words.


As I get older, it gets worse. Sometimes it’s as if my hands have a mind of their own. This shows up especially when I’m doing crossword puzzles. Clue – wondrous….solution – epic. The mind says, “That’s spelled E>>>PE…P…I…C” – and I look down, and my fingers have already written the C where the E should be. When I’m typing, the lesftleft little finger really likes to add randonrandom a’s.

I recently read a post like this, where the author had been challenged to publish a document, with strikethroughs to show where mistakes had been made. Like him/her, in several cases, the hands automatically backspaced and corrected, but I then retyped thmistakesthe mistakes to show where they’d been.

How about you, my faithfifaithful readers? Are you all perfect typists, with no strikethroughs? Would any of you like to accept this secodsecond-hand challenge, and publish a little missive to show how much you go through to bring us your perfect prose?

Fat typist


Blade Runners


On Saturday, Aug. 23, the son, grandson and I attended another Art Knife Show at a fancy hotel in downtown Toronto. We took along with us, the Katana sword shown above, which the son won in a door-prize raffle in 2011. Tickets were $5/ea, or 5 for $20. The son risked the twenty bucks, and the lady at the door gave him six tickets. Being honest, he returned the extra ticket, and insists that it was the karma from this act which won him the sword.

We carefully wrapped it in a large towel, so that it could ride the subway with us, incognito. It was a collaboration effort. One skilled bladesmith created the blade, and then handed it over to another maker, more skilled in adding the fittings – handle, guard, wrap, and sheath – and assembling the final product.

While finished, at the show, it took another 10 months for it to be shipped to us. We emailed photos to the blade maker, but he was very interested in actually seeing and handling the finished product. He had to miss the 2012 show. In 2013, the son forgot to bring it, but promised, “Next year in Jerusalem Toronto.” In 2014, we were 60 miles from home when the son finally thought of it. We weren’t going back! This year, finally, the blade guy was overjoyed and impressed, and took several shots of it for his catalogue.

Below are several photos of blades I felt were interesting and well made, along with a few comments. If you have any questions, feel free to ask, and I’ll try to answer.


See final picture at bottom.


The knife on the right is one version of a sub-hilt fighter.  I paid a maker $700 to produce a cheaper model with a white handle that I could have scrimshawed.  He played around for over two years before deciding that he wanted to make American Civil War replicas.  It took another year, and urging from influential members of the Guild, to get him to return my money.  I’d have been much happier to have the knife instead.


This Damascus double ulu started off as a joke by a maker with a young son who didn’t want to eat the crusts on his toast.




Double-ended jackknives used to be common.  Some cutlery companies still make a few from $20 to $100.  I believe this beauty was going for $850.



Not quite an ‘art knife’, this hay-bale cutter contained $200 worth of material and labor.  The maker built it for experience and practice.  It was going to a Mennonite in my area in exchange for some Damascus steel that he had made, and a small blower forge.



My little digital camera really does not do some of these knives justice.  Click on the photos for more detail.



The photos above and below are of knives produced by the maker of the blade of the katana at the top.  Again, my lack of detail does not show the high quality of his blades, but amateurish finish on his handles.


Knife Collector's Prayer

The photo at the top shows a small portion of a collection that the owner of this sign had on display.  The ‘Art Knife Makers’ were all dressed in suits and upscale clothing.  They usually built one knife at a time.  While they charged $500 to $5000 a knife, they often had it sold, and money in hand before it was finished.

This unassuming guy dressed like me – black jeans and a polo shirt, but his display contained dozens of these expensive toys.  I need to ask him next year what he does for a living.  The cost of his collection could buy a small country.

Flash Fiction #66


PHOTO PROMPT © The Reclining Gentleman


He must be late! Everybody was coming back. Bloody British, they don’t know if they’re coming or going, but do it on the wrong side of the road. Everyone else had passed to the right on medieval trails, to keep the sword-arm free.

Not the English! No Sirree! At least they hadn’t passed this aberration on to Canada or the USA, although they’d led 50 other countries astray – if you didn’t look too hard at the definition of the term ‘country.’ Turks and Caicos Islands, and Vendu. Vendu?? There were sunglass kiosks in the malls that were larger than Vendu.


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




A boy and his date were parked on a back
road some distance from town, doing what
boys and girls do on back roads some
distance from town, when the girl stopped
the boy.

I really should have mentioned this
earlier, but I’m actually a hooker and I
charge $50 for sex.”

The boy reluctantly paid her, and they
did their thing.

After the cigarette, the boy just sat in
the driver’s seat looking out the window.

Why aren’t we going anywhere?” asked the

Well, I should have mentioned this
before, but I’m actually a taxi driver,
and the fare back to town is $75.”


What should you do when you see
an endangered animal that is eating
an endangered plant?


There was a magic mirror. If you told it the
truth, it would grant you a wish. If you lied to
it, it would vaporize you on the spot. One day a
brunette walked up to the mirror, looked in it
and said, “I think I’m the most beautiful woman
in the world.” Poof! She disappeared.

A little while later a redhead walked up to the
mirror, looked in it and said, “I think I’m the
most beautiful woman in the world.” Poof! She

Later, a blond walked up to the mirror, looked in
it and said, “I think…” Poof!!


If at first you don’t succeed, blame your computer.


We spend the first twelve months of our children’s
lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next
twelve years telling them to sit down and shut up.

Phyllis Diller


Did you know that it costs forty thousand dollars
a year to house each prisoner?

Jeez, for forty thousand bucks apiece I’ll take
a few prisoners into my house! I live in New York,
I already have bars on the  windows.

I don’t think we should give free room and board
to criminals. I think they should have to run
twelve hours a day on a treadmill and generate
electricity. And if they don’t want to run, they
can rest in the electric chair that’s hooked up
to the generator.