Flash Fiction # 24

Patio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loss Of Innocence

“It was a long drive, all the way from the prairies, down here to Ottawa. On the last nice day of autumn, it’s nice to be able to sit at an outdoor patio, having a coffee, right across the street from the Parliament Buildings.”

“I wonder what all those Mounties are doing??!”

“They’re chasing that guy!”

“Looks like he’s got a rifle!”

“Don’t be silly. This is Canada – people don’t run around with rifles!”

“DAMN! They’re shooting!  Quick, get inside!”

“Must be a foreign tourist! How would a tourist get a gun?”

“I’m going back to Calgary, where it’s safe!”

 

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

 

The Fellowship Of The Blog – Episode Four

Day 2/Part 1 – Forgetful Follies and Awful Aftermath

Since it was the son, Shimoniac, who was originally to accompany me on the Blogger Safari/Pilgrimage, I had not informed the wife about the lollipops I’d obtained, and forgotten to give to Cordelia’s Mom.  After we were in our motel room, I admitted my senile oversight, and we slept on what to do to correct the problem.

The next morning, the wife said that she felt well enough to drive back across town, to deliver them to CM’s house.  With a little help from Ethel GPS, and the knowledge I had obtained during yesterday’s high-speed chase, we made it safely.  I called her private cell phone because I didn’t have her work number, to tell her what we planned to do, but had to leave a voice-mail.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a guy. Men and women do things differently, as CM noted in a recent post.  I was just going to present the suckers in the plain white paper bag that the Mennonite vendor had put them in.

Walmart

 

 

 

The wife was horrified! Soon, we were in a WalMart, buying a small gift bag, and a Thank You card, and rainbow colored tissue paper.  The wife did all the social stuff, and soon had a pretty little package, almost as nice as the one CM had given us the day before, while I dragged my club around, bopping the occasional sabre-toothed tiger or woolly mammoth.

Judy's Manor

 

 

 

 

Using my Stalker Senses, I soon had us at the front door of CM’s modest little suburban cottage.  The turbo-charged soccer-mom van from yesterday was in the driveway, but I didn’t know how she commuted to work.  I pushed the doorbell, but heard neither a ding-dong, (Oh! – He was outside.) nor any movement.  I carefully placed the package between the doors, and headed for the car.

Suddenly, the front door flew open, and Tasmanian Niceness Devil came swirling out to meet us. She comes home for lunch each day to let new puppy, Cody out.  She’d called the motel, but we’d already left, and she just hoped to be there when we arrived.  The woman makes me tired just watching her.  She gets more done by nine AM, than I procrastinate all day.

We had another lovely get-together, which was sadly cut short because she had to get back to work, and we had a long way to go, and a short time to get there, and needed to be on the road. CM directed us on how to reach the Interstate, by telling us to go down her street for “a couple of blocks, and turn right on Delaware Road.  It’ll take you right to the up-ramp.”

A couple of blocks down the street, it was crossed by another narrow, ordinary, residential street, at an odd 60 degree angle, rather than 90, proving that not just Kitchener has strangely laid out roads. I couldn’t see a street sign, but, it seemed hardly the type of road to feed an Interstate onramp.  A ‘couple of blocks’ further on, I could see a big, six-lane road – that must be the one. Sure enough, I turned right on Delaware Ave, and a half-mile later, I sat at a traffic light at the base of the Throughway ramp – waiting for the traffic coming up Delaware Road, where I could have been, if I’d just paid attention.

We’d had toast and juice for breakfast, but now it was approaching 2 PM, and we needed to shake out the kinks, and consume some protein. We did this at a service center at Angola, a small town west of Buffalo.  Here, deep troughs were dug, about a quarter-mile apart, for the east-bound, and west-bound Interstate traffic.

Buffalo Rest Center

Angola Travel PlazaAngola Travel Plaza 3Angola Travel Plaza 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

The single service area perches on the top of the hill in the middle. There are parking areas on either side, and enclosed overhead pedestrian walkways out to the center.  I have encountered only one other such middle-located service center.  It’s on the Florida Turnpike, just north of Miami.  People can pass through the buildings, but barricades keep the toll-paying automobiles moving in the correct directions.

It’s another 4 to 5 hours of driving to our next motel, so I’ll relate the details of that in the next segment.  🙂

 

The Fellowship Of The Blog – Episode Three

 

Bison

 

 

 

 

Day 1 – Beautiful Buffalo

Okay, I wrote the above, and the computer didn’t explode, so, on with the post.

With five hours of sleep, and adrenalin coursing through my veins, I was awake to greet the son as he got home from work at 7:15 AM. By 8 o’clock, I had much of our supplies loaded in the car, when the alarm woke the wife.

With this head start, and only a little chivvying on my part, the wife was beautiful enough to leave by ten to 10, instead of my feared ten after.  We took along little snippy Miss GPS, who the wife has named Ethel.  We had three choices to cross the Niagara River, to get to Buffalo.  I had decided on the furthest south, at Fort Erie, even though it meant turning back north on the American side.

Ethel said, “Turn here, to cross at Lewiston.” I said no.  RECALCULATING!  She said, “Turn here, to cross at Niagara Falls.”  I said no.  RECALCULATING!  We pulled into the duty-free, and phoned the son, to tell him we had safely reached the border.

We called Cordelia’s Mom, and told her we were about to cross over. She said she would pick up her mother-in-law, and meet us at the restaurant.  It was just past noon.  We crossed the Peace Bridge, and Miss GPS ordered that I “turn left on David Street”, only, I couldn’t see David St.  The impatient guy behind me honked, and the wife insisted that we proceed, even if it was in the wrong direction.  It was!  RECALCULATING!

We went down to the next exit and reversed direction. Now, Ethel was happy.  She quickly got us to the restaurant.  We had just parked when a silver sport-ute came careening in off the street at high speed, on two wheels, one woman driving, and an older lady passenger desperately clinging to the door handle.

Sure enough, it was CM, who came breezing out of her vehicle like a little whirlwind of happy, helpful good humor.  I don’t know where such a small person packs all that personality.  She soon led us astray into a lovely Greek eatery.

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Since the lunch crowd soon emptied out, the staff was happy (enough) to ignore us, while we had an almost two-hour meet and greet. The time just flew by.  She comprises such an enthralling Presence, that it compounded and concentrated my senility.  I’m sure that I forgot at least half of the things I wanted to say, and ask.

Hoping to get some Nestle Italian Sweet Crème Coffee Mate, which is not available in Ontario, I had asked CM to keep an eye out for it as she did her own shopping, to tell me where to go to buy it.

Then I compounded my sins, by asking her to look for the Goya hot sauce that Madame Weebles had been so kind to send. While not yet totally consumed, it won’t last forever.  We can’t find it in the Detroit area but, since it’s bottled just outside NYC, I thought it might be stocked in Buffalo.  It was, YAY!

Then I had the effrontery to ask CM if she would purchase these items, to save me the running around, and I would repay her.  The nerve of some people’s kids!  She did – at two different stores.  It’s not my good looks; it must have been my glib tongue keyboard.

She carried a stuffed Teddy bear, and we had a stuffed Lamb, as identification. She showed us a good time, but nobody took any clothes off.  With what she claims is ‘Buffalo’ hospitality, first she treated us to a lovely lunch.  I got suspicious when she hauled out a gift bag.

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In it were the Coffee Mate and the Ancho Sauce, but she had also added a box of ‘Buffalo’ sponge candy, and a bottle of Buffalo Wing sauce. When I asked her “How much do I owe you?”, she insisted that these were all presents.

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She asked where we were staying, and I told her at a Red Roof Inn, but way out by the airport. She refused to let me rely on Ethel GPS, and insisted that she would lead me, fifteen miles, and most of an hour, there and back, out of her way, across town – if I could keep up.  With her responsible for where I was going, I had a chance to look around and discover where I was.  That will be important, later.

She led me right to our motel, with a quick, unintended stop at the Bob Evans out front, and did everything except book me in. We gabbed for a few more minutes, and I effusively thanked her for her many kindnesses and generosity.  The wife says that she confided that she was somewhat relieved that I had brought her along, instead of son Shimoniac, The Bear.

I shook her tiny hand and, with tears in my eyes, sadly waved goodbye, as she drove away. Still all misty, I turned back to look at my car – and THE LOLLIPOPS, which are the very center of this tale, still in the back seat.  She had told her mother-in-law about the candy, and a couple of blocks away, MIL asked, “But where are the Lollipops??”

What will she do about them?? What will Archon do about them??  Will we return to Ontario –eventually – and mail them to her?  Will I just say to Hell with the diet (again), and eat them?  Tune in next week to find out.

My only complaint is that she says she does not find me as grumpy in person as I seem on my blog site. I don’t know how that can possibly be.  I see that she has started referring to me, the World’s Champion Grumpy Old Dude as G.O.D. – not to be confused with God.  I have more power, authority, and ill temper.

***

I have a poll for my readers.  There are several more of these episodes.  Would you prefer to be bored all at once, sequentially, or would you rather have me insert the occasional rant?

Flash Fiction #23

Bench & water

 

 

 

 

 

Reeling

Bob liked to walk down to the little Marine Memorial park for a smoke. He should give the filthy things up completely, and was down to a couple a day.  He actually enjoyed the fresh air.

He liked to read the commemorative plaques. For an inland little Ohio town, with only a pond not much bigger than a bathtub, it had produced a large number a famous Naval Officers.

He glanced out across the water.  What??!  This wasn’t Loch Ness.  That can’t be a monster!  Wait!  A Russian submarine??  Weren’t the Swedes looking for one??  How did it get here?

 

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

 

Erickson Expose

HE’S ALIVE….ALIVE!!

Just got home from my exciting trip, and only have a little bit of time and energy tonight, but I felt that should inform those of my readers who were worried and asked or encouraged me. The primary mission of the journey was a success.  I managed to locate and speak with Doctor Livingston Erickson in the wilds of darkest Ohio.

He is alive, and as normal as he ever is.  His vanishment from the social media scene has been caused by a fluke series of electronic frustrations.  It began with a PC that ate its own hard drive.  He located a used laptop, and spent several days building bookmarks, and teaching it other tricks.  Just when he got it domesticated, it went blind.  It still computed, but nothing he did could get it to display on the screen.

His internet access recently changed to a new, local Wi-Fi tower. In Ohio, they build these on top of tall hills, in an area well-known for lightning storms, but apparently no-one thought to install a copper grounding cable.

He had tamed yet another computer, to the point where he knew he had over 3000 unread emails, when the inevitable happened. He’s now impatiently waiting for fried circuits to be replaced, and a ground cable installed, and feels he should be ready to re-assume the title of Supreme Commenter within a week or so.

He and his wife were overjoyed to meet me and my wife, but were absolutely amazed that anyone would make the trip, and that others would be concerned enough to urge and encourage me to do so. I’ll give more details when that section of the Blog Fellowship series is published.

Rest easy, the lost is found, even if he’s silent on WordPress a bit longer. In the meantime, spread the word – King John the Digital is alive and well.

My personal thanks to AFrankAngle, whose assistance and guidance made this trip the enjoyable success that it was. Now Soon, back to our regularly scheduled program.

 

Archon 😆

The Fellowship Of The Blog – Episode Two

 

Jailbird

 

 

 

 

Before I set even one foot onto the WordPress savannah, to begin this meet-the-bloggers safari, I found that I was being treated like a criminal – an alleged criminal, a might-be criminal. What’s worse is, I have to admit that it’s valid.

The first stop on our trip will be a short visit with Cordelia’s Mom, in the Buffalo area. Like me, she had Cordelia, a daughter who already had a blog site.  Like me, her daughter pushed her in front of a blog-bus on the information super-highway.

Since Shimoniac and I are both about as dangerous to anyone, male or female, as a stuffed Tickle Me Elmo doll, I naively assumed we might meet at the home of one or the other. Not so!  We’re online daters, not to be trusted till we prove we can be.  We will wisely be met at a very public place.

As CM noted, “It’s not as if the writer of a long-established blogsite would turn out to be an axe-murderer.” but there are other disturbing possibilities.  I realise that it’s just as true for us.  If Shim and I follow Hansel and Gretel into the gingerbread house, we might end up being sold to white slavers.  If so, it better be by the pound.  If I cease posting, you’ll know that colonoscopy thing was just for practice.

Actually, since this trip is planned to last five days, I won’t be posting anything till early next week. Don’t despair, and please return then.

After most of a day and a night in Buffalo, we plan to wend our merry way through the Amish Paradise of eastern Ohio, to the country mansion of the Baron of the Blogsites, John Erickson. John has been off the air since about the middle of July.  Repeated emails from both AFrankAngle and me have produced no response, either from John, or his wife.  We fear the worst, but hope for the best.

While I don’t have permission to just show up, I still plan to stop by his place unannounced, to see if we can get some information. So John, if you’re reading this, that’s not the Fuller Brush man, or Avon, knocking on your door.  Failing contact with J.E. or Mrs E, I have a letter I plan to leave, telling of all our love and how we miss him, and urging him to rejoin our community.

I thought John, and perhaps his wife, might like to accompany us to the knife show just to his south, and possibly over to see the Y-shaped bridge in Zanesville, and a couple of strange S-shaped bridges nearby.

Y-bridge

 

 

 

S-bridge

 

 

**

The best-laid plans never survive the first contact with reality. The greatest chance of any success is to adapt, as much and as quickly as possible.

The son booked all three of his weeks of holidays in the summer “shutdown”, when it’s really hot in the plastics molding plant. He asked for a week of leave-of-absence for this trip.  In previous years, others have asked and were quickly granted.  After five weeks of no answer, he was suddenly told by the plant super, that they are just starting a new, large contract, and his leave was denied.  The curse of being indispensible.

In all previous references to Shimoniac, and subsequently, please read, Granma LadyBug. The wife is stocking up on antihistamines and accompanying me for an abbreviated trip.

The day we wish to leave, Cordelia has an unbreakable business meeting. We will be met instead by Cordelia’s Mom, and her mother-in-law.  While BrainRants says he’d like to meet, he has urgent family affairs to handle this weekend.  Perhaps another time….  We can only hope to find the reckless recluse, John Erickson.  This thing is coming apart faster than wet Kleenex.

We’re about to leave, carrying another $3.18 in orphaned American coinage, but promise to return with fabulous tales of genies, and Rocs, and flying carpets…. wait, that’s already been done. Whatever stories I return with, they’ll be brilliant.  See you soon.   😀

The Fellowship Of The Blog – Episode One

 

FARMERS MARKET

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is where it all begins – again. I told the daughter, LadyRyl, that I wanted to get some lollipops for Cordelia, and her Mom.  I envisioned a couple of the big, patterned, disc-shaped, sugar-type suckers, and a bouquet of the smaller, ball-type, suitable for making porn with.  Smarter than her Dad, Ryl suggested that nothing says Canadian, like Maple Sugar, and I should take along Maple lollipops to the American ladies.

I recently saw an article on MSN.ca, which listed The Five Farmers’ Markets in Canada, which you just shouldn’t miss.  One was the Jean Talon Market in Montreal.  Another was in Vancouver.  The third one listed was the St. Jacob’s Market, actually located at the northern edge of Waterloo, ON., our Twin City.

Say Hello to my little Maple – anything you want. So, off to the market we went, to get some Maple lollipops.  The above picture, and the right-hand one below, is of the original, 30-year-old market building.  It was made of BC Douglas Fir – but before fire sprinklers became mandatory.  Last Labor Day it burned to the ground.  They still have not determined the cause.

Management quickly assembled a canvas-clad Quonset-hut type building, and began plans for a modern, safe building, elsewhere on the site. Totally uninteresting from the outside, here are some crowd shots, some from the outdoor, vegetable sales area, and a couple from the crowded interior.  Note the 20-foot, helicopter-rotor ceiling fans.

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If you want Maple anything, especially lollipops, this is the man to see. New-Order Mennonites, Edgar and Irene Gingrich own a nearby Maple woodlot.  Two or three days a week, depending on the season, he is at the market, as well as making farm-gate sales, and distributing to local stores.  The world map on the left of the photo is for people to put pins in, to indicate their home towns.

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This sucker bought his American-bound suckers, elbowed a couple of gawking tourists out of the way, and escaped the rush, now (more or less) ready for the trip. Here’s a couple of shots, proving how sweet Canucks can be.  I hope the ladies agree.  Stop back to find out.  Coming soon to a website near you – Star Drek, Episode Two – The Wrath of Archon.

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As you can see, I’m taking and posting more photos with my little digital camera. The first digital camera we owned could only take and hold 8 photos, until you bought and installed a chip which allowed it to hold another 64.  I knew that there were a bunch of shots on the camera, the last of which the wife downloaded for this post.

I wondered if we (she) should eliminate most/all, to give me room to take lots of pictures during this trip. I must remember to take batteries, but I did not want to run out of space.  The wife just pointed to the monitor screen.  There were 79 pics on the camera, but that only took 3% of the space.  Ain’t technology grand??!