Flash Fiction #264

PHOTO PROMPT © Krista Strutz

NEW HOME – NEW PROBLEM

The air in Oklahoma is too dry, the wife said.  It’s like living in a clothes dryer, especially when a tornado puts you on spin cycle.  We can work from home anywhere.  Let’s move to Maine – Acadia National Park, gorgeous scenery, moist sea-breezes.

Then, along comes a Big Bad Wolf hurricane.  It huffed, and it puffed, and…. we used to have a house right there.  It’s alright.  It left us another – an assemble-it-yourself log cabin.  I hope all the parts are pre-numbered.  We need to assemble it soon.  That buzzard is looking hungry.  Be careful what you wish for.

***

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

Don’t Talk To Me That Way

Where, once again, people whose level of literacy is limited to making an X, to vote for Trump, show what happens when you sleep through English class.  Our poor language, so battered and bruised??!  😯

Pros

Area light, held anywhere with a suction cob – Have another cup of whatever you’re drinking

It liked Christmas to lewd acts – Really, it likened pretension to illiteracy.

Catch lightening in a bottle – Only if it’s a Miss Clairol bottle

10 of which are located in Canada — five in Ontario, four in Alberta and one each in British Columbia and Saskatchewan. – Your school called.  It wants its math diploma back.

Electrical interference is omitted from an appliance – You could have omitted that, and used emitted instead.

Man fined for trying to fry chicken in Yellowstone hot spring – Well, I’m boiling mad about that.

I’d like to formerly address some issues – like, it was formerly spelled formally.

Snow squeaked under the souls of their boots – Holy footwear that eats fish on Friday…. Soles

He actually had a conscious – if he’d been conscious, he’d know that it was a conscience.

I included the numbers for your class elbow – My one elbow thinks that it should be below.

Tea is a sorce of gossip – It’s also a source of laughter and pity.

An inherit quality of the cave – Something he got in the will, from his father, The Cavern.

She had a rockin’, taught bod – I was taught that it was spelled taut

They we’re banned from the show – We’re thinking that they probably were.

Amateurs

I was airing on the side of Christianity – You should be erring on the side of correct English.

After a day of frockling around – I hope they were frolicking near a dictionary.

We our meant to be – We meant to say, are.

I sat out to write a story – Since you’re seated, use set.

I would part take of Communion – Soooo close – but no wafer to partake of

In this day-in-age the government – says, ‘In this day and age.’

Girl apholds American flag – and I uphold the right to spell it correctly
This one particularly irks me, because ‘upholds’ does not mean the same thing as ‘holds up.’  The photo of the girl with the flag was on the facing page, and the picture with this caption was a family picnicking in a park.  😯

Within a year in a half – she found that she should have written and.

The computer geek had a LAN line – that all the duct cleaners would land on

Put a parsley spring on top – of one too many Ns, and one too few proofreads

The great thing about homemade canned food – is the taste of cognitive dissonance.
Lest anyone think homemade pickles or jam…. This was a pot of chili for dinner.

Pain staking patience – staking might cause pain, until they discover painstaking = pains taking

Grab their phone and begin discretely searching – For the word discreetly.

Swair there alligensecne – I swear their spelling is shitty, no matter what their allegiance.

That old so-in-so – prefers to be called a so-and-so.
(That’s 3 of those don’t-see-‘n-says.)

He grabbed first prise – but it wasn’t a prize for correct spelling

Atheism has a negative tenant – he’s probably out, looking up ‘tenet.’

If God is a fickle of my imagination – He’s probably looking up ‘figment too.’

Wearing ten-gallon hats and stirrups – Pretty sure he meant spursStirrups are saddle parts.

The Government has done an admiral job – In general, it’s an admirable job

What can I say about that faithful day – You could say that it was fateful.

A belief froth with problems – Take your beer with a head on it over to look up fraught.

Rub salt in a womb – That adage rubbed me the wrong way, and caused a wound.

It took escaping a cult to make me real-eyes – I realize that you probably failed kindergarten.

’21 A To Z Challenge – L

 

So, there I was, languidly lolling about.  I was afflicted with a bout of lethargic lassitude.  An A To Z Challenge post for the letter

was due, and I was lounging around, instead of writing.  I don’t want to say that my composition regimen was lax, but nothing was landing on the page.

The quick red fox jumped over the lazy brown dog.

I don’t give a shit!
Perhaps you should take a laxative.

I don’t want to have to admit that I am lazy.  (Among other reasons) That’s why I don’t have a web-cam on my monitor.  The French have a couple of softer, kinder phrases that I can use, and if it’s good enough for the French, I’m laissez-faire, and laissez-ća ā Georges enough to hide behind them.

Laissez-faire just means “let it happen,” a sort of Gallic shrug equivalent to Que sera, sera – yeah, whatever, man.  Laissez-ća ā Georges means, “Let George do it.”  That sounded like a likely solution to my lack of finished blog-post.  I gave George a call, but he was busy leading an LGBTQ+ parade in Luxemburg.

At long last I accepted responsibility for putting letters on the page.  It was the least I could do – and this I what you get when I give my least.  It was an L of a struggle.  Wednesday’s post will have a little more meat to it – curried beef, I believe – but there will also be some tofu dishes for my Vegan readers.  😉  😀

Flash Fiction #263

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

EXCESS TO REQUIREMENTS

It’s a good thing I’m retired, and have nowhere to go and all day to get there.  They’re hauling the raw material for Trump’s wigs away.  It’s going to a carpet factory to make new flooring for Kamala Harris’s office. Perhaps when it’s delivered, someone could teach her how to pronounce her name correctly.

Her Father, Kamal, pronounced his name, kah-mahl, so, properly, hers should be kah-mahl-ah.  I wonder if the chicken or the egg came first.  Someone would have us believe that there is no connection to Islam, and she’s a white Valley Girl, with a name resembling Pamela.

***

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

Look Sharp

I recently went off the reservation my diet, and received a lovely parting gift for doing so.

I took my title from an old Gillette TV commercial – Look Sharp – Feel Sharp – Be Sharp.  I used to see them as a kid, when we watched boxing, wrestling or hockey.  I don’t know how old the ad in the YouTube video is, but they’re offering 20 tempered steel razor blades for 98¢, in a metal safety dispenser, with a built-in disposal compartment.  And if you buy right now, they’ll throw in a 35¢ tube of shave cream for free.

When I used to take the wife and daughter to the podiatrist, I got to sit in the waiting room, read a newspaper, solve a crossword puzzle.  Mr. COVID 19 won’t let me do that now.  I drop them off, and have a half-an-hour to wait.  I reward myself by driving a mile to a French fry wagon.  Two visits ago, I had their Nacho fries.  Last visit, I had poutine (above).  This last time I ordered their plain, crispy fries.

On a shelf below the order window, I noticed, what appeared to be a military dog-tag.  I picked it up and turned it over, to discover that it was a tiny folding pocket knife.  I published a post about the Leftovers knives that I possess, and later, made Hash with the ones that remained.  This is how I got some of them – I LOOK – SHARP!

When I showed it to the son, he dismissed it, saying that he could buy a package of three for $5.00.  The maker’s name, Bőker, is etched on the blade.  When I went to their website, I discovered that they call it (surprisingly) a dog-tag knife.  It is high-quality, and the retail price is $56.00 US, delivery extra.  I felt sorry for whoever had inadvertently left it behind, and almost left it there myself, before realizing that, if I didn’t pick it up, eventually, someone other than the owner would.

So, I have this lovely ladies’ purse knife, suitable as a seatbelt cutter, letter or package-opener.  What am I bid??  Offers must include the cost of shipping…. Or – I could use it as a prize in an online contest.  Guess how many marbles Archon has lost this month.   😕  😯

If you look sharp, there’ll be more of this edgy prose soon.  Slice through all those distractions, and come for a visit.  😀

Humor With Balls

An old man walks into the barbershop for a shave and haircut, but he tells the barber he probably can’t get all of his whiskers off because his cheeks are wrinkled from age.

The barber gets a little wooden ball from a cup on the shelf and tells him to put it inside his cheek to spread out the skin.

When he’s finished, the old man tells the barber that was the cleanest shave he’s had in years.

But he wanted to know what would have happened If he had swallowed that little ball.

The barber replied, “Just bring it back in a couple of days like everyone else does.”

***

A cat shows up at the Pearly gates of heaven.
St. Peter says, “I know you! You were a very nice cat on earth and didn’t cause any trouble, so I want to offer a gift to you of one special thing you have always wanted.”
Cat: “Well, I did always long to own a nice satin pillow like my master had, so I could lie on it.”
St. Peter: “That’s easy. Granted. You shall have the satin pillow after you enter in.”

Next a group of mice appeared.
St. Peter: “Ah, I remember you! You were such good mice on earth.
You didn’t steal food from anyone’s house and never hurt other animals.
Therefore, I want to grant you one special wish you always wanted.”
The Chief Mouse replied, “Well, we always watched the children playing and saw them roller skate.
It was beautiful and it looked like so much fun. So can we each have some roller skates, please?”

St. Peter: “Granted. You shall have your wish.”
Next day, St. Peter is making rounds inside the Gates and sees the cat.
“Well, Cat…did you enjoy the satin pillow?”
Cat: “Oh, indeed I did. And say….that “Meals-on-Wheels” thing was a nice touch, too!”

***

Yesterday I was at my local COSTCO buying a large bag of Purina dog chow for my loyal pet, Biscuit, the Wonder Dog and was in the checkout line when woman behind me asked if I had a dog.

What did she think I had, an elephant? So since I’m retired and have little to do, on impulse I told her that no, I didn’t have a dog, I was starting the Purina Diet again.

I added that I probably shouldn’t, because I ended up in the hospital last time, but that I’d lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.

I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is to load your pants pockets with Purina nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry.

The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in line was now enthralled with my story.)

Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me.

I told her no, I stepped off a curb to sniff an Irish Setter’s ass and a car hit us both.

I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard.

Costco won’t let me shop there anymore.

Fibulous Fibbing Friday

Each month, Pensitivity101 publishes a list of questions or statements that we are encouraged to provide creative, adventurous – if not exactly truthful – responses to.  The following is my most recent attempt.

  1. A stitch in time saves……………………………………..
    2. Too many cooks…………………………………………….
    3. Many hands make………………………………………….
    4. A bird in the hand ………………………………………..
    5. Actions speak louder……………………………………….
    6. All that glitters………………………………………………
    7. People in glass houses……………………………………
    8. Fools rush in ………………………………………………..
    9. Don’t count your chickens ……………………………..
    10. Give them an inch…………………………………………

A stitch in time saves – me from having to complete this 5K “Fun Run” that I so unwisely signed up for.  If God had intended us to run, He wouldn’t have invented Uber.  😮

Too many cooks – add so many red-hot peppers, that you could die at a Texas Chili Cook-off.  😥

Many hands make – a complete game of bridge, although I don’t understand why anyone plays it.  I just don’t have the attention span.  😉  😆  See what I did there?  😕

A bird in the hand – can be quite messy.  Always use your COVID gloves.  The drunk said to the host, “If you don’t have any lemons, I think I just squeezed your canary into my drink.”  😳

Actions speak louder – to get the attention of members of the Woke generation.  Sometimes it takes a good slap upside the head to convince them that they’re not as right as they imagine they are.  😯

All that glitters – is impossible to vacuum out of the carpet.  Who invented that shit?  Chinese terrorists??!  Sawdust is guy-glitter, but at least you can sweep it up.  😎

People in glass houses – should buy thick curtains.  Clean windows are important, but so is privacy.  😛

Fools rush in – and guys like Trump get elected.  😳  😯

Don’t count your chickens – because I raided your freezer.  I came over last week to ‘borrow’ a cup of Zinfandel, but you were driving your husband to the airport, so I ‘borrowed’ an entire bottle while I waited for you.  (Don’t count on your wine supply, either.)  I didn’t have anything in stock for supper, and one thing led to another….   😯

Give them an inch – and the anti-vaxxer conspiracy nuts won’t be any closer to protecting themselves and the rest of society.  😳

I’ll publish another post in a couple of days.  I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth….ish.

Book Review #25

The status quo is not working!
The Republic is disintegrating!

And all of this was foreseen as far back as the early 1960s.  It is a wonderful, empathetic, humanistic thing for the government to help those in need.  The author saw how socialistic support needed to be overseen and controlled – but wasn’t.

Pay a farmer not to raise a particular crop, to protect the income of other farmers who did.  Pay a single mother, so that she and her child could be assured food, clothing and housing.  Pay welfare to a man put out of work by social or technological changes.

Soon, the farmer neglects the maintenance of his equipment, and can’t go back to his trade, even when it is allowed.  The single mother has another child(ren), to increase her guaranteed monthly stipend.  She feels no urge to obtain a provider (A man, in the ‘60s), an education or training, or a job.  The guy on welfare deals drugs or robs corner stores on the side, because it’s easier than getting a real job.

Human nature being what it is, millions of people get lazy, and get used to the new status quo.  There is no impetus to do for themselves.  They become comfortable letting the government provide a reduced, but assured, standard of living.

The book: Space Viking
The book: The Cosmic Computer

The author: H. Beam Piper

The review:

Originally titled “Junkyard Planet”

Born in 1904, Piper was too young for World War I, and too old for World War II, but he must have observed the mountains of materiėl that was left when peace was finally, suddenly, achieved.  In 1963 and 1964, after the Korean War, he wrote these two cautionary, laissez-faire tales.

In each of these books, both initially set on the same planet, after an interstellar war, the people – the society – are poor.  Despite Billions of (dollars) credits worth of goods and equipment being left behind, aside from the occasional prospector/scavenger, no-one bothers to look for it.  They are so used to Big Government taking care of them, that they don’t rouse themselves to improve their own lot.

The two stories are essentially the same, only in one, Piper offers a social/financial solution, while in the other he shows a more political/military answer.  It’s the Stone Soup Theorem.  In each case, an exasperated, instigator protagonist starts a cycle of getting individuals and groups off their lethargic asses, by promising them something for nothing – if they’ll just put some work into his plan.

His credulous followers do not receive what he promises them – they get something much grander and better.  Companies are started, jobs are created, construction and trade is stimulated, unemployment almost disappears, wages go up, welfare goes down, taxes are paid, and infrastructure is rejuvenated.  The people are given back their pride, self-respect, and an incentive to continue to improve themselves and their society.

If only this would work in real life, but it won’t happen until we get a real leader – an honest visionary – who can convince a populace of passive takers, and a government of enabling vote-buyers, that more projects like the TVA – the Tennessee Valley Authority – and the Hoover Dam, will ultimately give back far more than they cost.

’21 A To Z Challenge – K

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everybody has to be from somewhere – and that includes words.

I once heard a co-worker complain about a fellow-employee, that, “He’s a cheap bastard. Always wants everything buckshee.”  I got the meaning from context – free, at no cost – but buckshee??  Where did that come from?

At first I thought that it was from India, something from one of its 40+ languages and dialects.  However, research revealed that it was originally Arabic, from Persia – Iran, as we call it today.  It came to English as baksheesh – meaning a tip, a bribe, or a charitable donation – nouns which my rustic speaker had mispronounced into an adjective.

Recently, I thought I’d found its camel-chasing cousin.  Out of a sandstorm of definition confusion, and, from context, meaning the same as baksheesh and the term lagniappe, rode the word

KICKSHAW

Kickshaw – rickshaw – buckshee….  Surely it came from the East, but NO!
Kickshaw – a tidbit or delicacy, especially one served as an appetizer or hors d’oeuvre.
something showy but without value; trinket; a trifle, something a little extra.

It rowed across The Channel from France, and wormed its way into the English language about 1590/1600 as a badly pronounced back-formation of the French term quelque chose.  In French, it just means “something,” but in English, it has come to mean ‘something extra/something special.”

Next week we’ll be visiting its modern-day Yiddish relative, tchotchke.  Bring an appetite and your credit card.  There’ll be as many latkes – potato pancakes – as you can eat.  😀

Woke Up, Kitchener!

I had hoped that all this Woke Society/Cancel Culture, delusional fad-du-jour would remain in the Excited States.  Alas, t’was not to be.  This is the Information Age, which means that it’s on the internet, and spreading faster than COVID.  It has wafted North across the border, and settled on Canada like wildfire smoke, including in my usually staid, sane-thinking Kitchener.

The first symptom developed a couple of years ago, when a local artist donated a bronze statue of Sir John A. MacDonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister and the one in charge of the beginning of Indian residential schools, where thousands of unmarked graves are only now being found.

A huge fuss was raised to prevent the statue from being put in the big, down-town park.  It eventually was shipped to a small town, ten miles west, where there is an historic mini-mansion.  It was doused with red paint twice, and finally knocked off its pedestal.

More recently, the statue of Queen Victoria in her namesake park has been painted red twice.  While she was mostly a figurehead monarch, apparently she’s being blamed for British colonialism.  A brown-skinned immigrant from India has started a petition to rename the city.  Beginning as ‘Sand Hills,’ it became ‘Ebytown,’ and then Berlin, Ontario.

105 years ago, the woke generation of English-speakers demanded that the town change its name, to show loyalty to Britain during WW I.  The local German burghers didn’t really care.  Victoria, the ‘English’ queen, was actually German nobility, from the House of Saxe-Coburg-Anhalt.

British Lord Kitchener’s name was a last-minute addition to a referendum with six names.  The outstanding feature of the plebiscite was the absolute indifference displayed by the ratepayers.  With about 10,000 voters, (All of them men  😯 ) only 892 bothered to cast a ballot, and the name Kitchener got a plurality of 346.

Kitchener (the man) was not excessively colonialist, or racist.  He was just steeped in the unthinking beliefs of the time and place.  White, British males held a Manifest Destiny to own and control the world.  It is a huge mistake to try to retroactively apply 21st Century morals.

In 1973, Waterloo Lutheran University went public, and adopted the name Wilfrid Laurier University, partly to honor the subject of my Where’s Willy post, and partly so that they could retain the same initials – WLU.

Now there is another petition being circulated to have that name also changed.  True, Willy helped administrate the residential Indian school system which damaged so many Indigenous, but, like Lord Kitchener, he did what he did out of an honest belief that it was in their best interests.

I think that we are taking this name change of streets, cities, schools, etc. way too far.  The past is the past, which we cannot, nor ever will be able to, change.  Really people, this needs to stop.  Move on.  We need to learn from it, not bury it.

I ask the woke folk to take a good look in the mirror, and ask themselves two questions.  “Looking back at your very short existence and past behaviors, is there anything that you now regret doing and would do differently if you had the chance?”  Judge not, lest ye be judged.  Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.  “Second, how did Canada become one of the best counties in the world in which to live?  Could it be because of the leaders of the past – the ones whose contributions and reputations you so eagerly want to tarnish?”

Name changes are not only inconvenient, but are also very costly.  Anything that’s associated with a data-base which contains addresses will be affected.  Passports, drivers’ licences, health cards, property and automobile ownerships, Federal, Provincial and municipal taxes, utilities accounts, postal services, road signs, mapping, GPS – the list goes on and on.

Come on, Snowflakes!  Nowhere in the American or Canadian Constitution are you guaranteed the right not to be offended.  😳