It’s Off To WORK We Go

Seven Dwarfs

A highly dangerous virus called “Weekly Overload Recreational Killer” (WORK) is currently going around. If you come in contact with this WORK virus, you should immediately go to the nearest “Biological Anxiety Relief” (BAR) center to take antidotes known as ” Work Isolating Neutralizer Extract” (WINE), “Radioactive UnWORK Medicine” (RUM), “Bothersome Employer Elimination Rebooter” (BEER) or “Vaccine Official Depression Killing Antigen” (VODKA). Please, inform everybody to raise awareness!

***

An English teacher was explaining to his students the concept of gender association in the English language.

He stated how hurricanes at one time were given feminine names and how ships and planes were usually referred to as “she”. One of the students raised their hand and asked “What gender is a computer”?

The teacher wasn’t certain which it was, so he divided the class into two groups, males in one, females in the other, and asked them to decide if a computer should be masculine or feminine. Both groups were asked to give four reasons for their recommendation. The group of women concluded that computers should be referred to in the masculine gender, for the following reasons:

  1. In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on.
  2. They have a lot of data but are still clueless.
  3. They are supposed to help you solve your problems, but half the time they cause the problem.
  4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have had a better model.

The men, on the other hand, decided that computers should definitely be referred to in the feminine gender for the following reasons:

  1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic.
  2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.
  3. Even your smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for later retrieval.
  4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

***

A woman was thinking about finding a pet to keep her company at home. She decided she would like to find a beautiful parrot; it wouldn’t be as much work as say, a dog, and it would be fun to hear it speak. She went to a pet shop and immediately spotted a large beautiful parrot. She went to the owner of the store and asked how much. The owner said it was 50 bucks. Delighted that such a rare looking and beautiful bird wasn’t more expensive, she agreed to buy it.

The owner looked at her and said, “Listen, I should tell you first that this bird used to live in a whorehouse. Sometimes it says pretty vulgar stuff.” The woman thought about this, but decided she had to have the bird. She said she would buy it anyway. The pet-shop owner sold her the bird and she took it home. She hung the bird’s cage up in her living room and waited for it to say something.

The bird looked around the room, then at her, and said, “New house, new madam.” The woman was a bit shocked at the implication, but then thought, “That’s not so bad.”

A couple hours later, the woman’s two teenage daughters returned from school. When they inspected the bird, it looked at them and said, “New house, new madam, new whores.” The girls and the woman were a bit offended at first, but then began to laugh about the situation.

A couple of hours later, the woman’s husband came home from work. The bird looked at him and said, “New house, new madam, new whores; same old faces. Hi George!”

***

Ad In The Paper

The local newspaper funeral notice telephone operator received a phone call. A woman on the other end asked, “How much do funeral notices cost?”

“$5.00 per word, Ma’am,” came the response. “Good, do you have a paper and pencil handy?” “Yes, Ma’am.” “OK, write this: ‘Fred dead.’” “I’m sorry, Ma’am; I forgot to tell you there’s a five-word minimum.” “Hmmph,” came the reply, “You certainly did forget to tell me that.” A moment of silence. “Got your pencil and paper?” “Yes, Ma’am.” “OK, print this: ‘Fred dead, Cadillac for sale.’”

#463

Flash Fiction #51

Fish skeleton

PHOTO PROMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy

TEACH A MAN TO FISH

It had been a gorgeous vacation.  They had sunned, surfed and swam.  They had been driven to the observatory on top of a mountain, to see Hawaiian snow, and the stars beyond.

Now their hotel was throwing them a farewell luau.  Bob had heard that they buried an entire pig on a bed of coals beneath the sand.  The Lanakai did something different.  They substituted Mahi Mahi, a local game fish, wrapped in palm leaves and slow-baked.  The feast was exquisite.

It might be back to the grind in Titusville on Monday, but he would remember this all his life.

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

#462

Psychotic Relations

Straitjacket

Some families are a little more tightly wrapped than others.  Even the best of families though, have a member or two who aren’t let out in public without a leash, or a minder.  Jimmy Carter had beer-drinking Billy.  George W. makes Jeb Bush seem like Mensa material.  These are the folks that we can look at (and snicker) and think of Jeff Foxworthy’s line.  “Compared to them, why, we’s dang near royalty.”

The recent publication of my Sunny Disposition Flash Fiction reminded me of the couple who inspired it.  In my family, it was my sister – half-sister actually.  My Our Mom moved to Detroit, and got married and gave birth.  Mom’s husband cheated on her, and when his daughter was born, abandoned them both.

I never met the man, so it’s hard to judge the nature/nurture ratio of her psychoses, but the totals were impressive.  They started when Mom took a divorce settlement, moved 200 miles back to small-town Ontario, and bought a house for them to live in.

By age 8 and 9, she was accusing Mom of “hiding her away from her Father,” despite the fact that her ‘loving father ‘ stood outside the house one day while she was at school, after his most recent girlfriend had dumped him, but didn’t have the nerve to knock on the door.  He knew where she was, but didn’t care.

It was strange that, when Mom remarried, she didn’t resent the new husband.  In fact she treated her stepfather better all her life than she did her real mother.  Then Mom gave birth to me, and three years later, my brother.  Soon the oft-repeated line was, “Wasn’t I enough?!  Why’d you have to have them?”

After my brother’s birth, a sickly child, requiring a lot of care and personal time, the new mantra became, “Those damned boys!  Those damned boys!”  Interesting language for a 13-year-old girl, in the 1940s.

Always headstrong, and constantly craving attention, she acquired a 21-year-old boyfriend and told Mom that, if she wasn’t allowed to marry, she’d just get pregnant and elope.  As the least of several evils, she was allowed to say “I do” a month before her 16th birthday.

She pumped out five children and a miscarriage in eight years.  The last, a 13 pound, 8 ounce Butterball baby boy fortunately sterilized her.  Children having children??!  She was far too immature, insecure and needy to raise kids.  She was manic/depressive back before ‘bipolar’ became the politically-correct description, and her co-dependent husband wasn’t much better.

“Up”, and drinking and having fun, and then, sometimes within an hour, one or both of them would crash, and they’d be fighting like two cats in a sack.  Both of them often sported bruises, cuts or scrapes.  She had to put four brands of Lite beer in the beer-fridge.  They were having too many ‘lost’ weekends.  She failed one suicide attempt.  After about 12 years of a WWE marriage, they moved into a house directly across the street from my parents – a blessing, and a curse.

One or another of the children would run across the road and yell,  “Grandma, come quick, Daddy’s killing Mommy!”  (Or Mommy’s killing Daddy – however the wind happened to be blowing that day.)  Mother would trudge across, and separate the combatants.

One night, the seven all sat down to dinner.  One of the adults(?) said, “The sky is blue,” the other said, “Fuck you,” and the screaming and yelling started.  He said something objectionable, and she tossed the contents of a water glass at him.

He threw a plate of meatloaf and potatoes at her.  She threw the gravy boat at him.   He threw the bread basket at her.  She threw….he threw….she threw….  The kids wisely scattered.  The oldest daughter came running across for the referee.  “Grandma, they’re wrecking the house!”

Mom said that, by the time she got there, the tornado had blown itself out.  He was sulking in the living room.  She was leaning against the dining room wall, trying to catch her breath, and surveying the wreckage.

There was ketchup on the 10-foot, white ceiling.  There was mustard on the hardwood floor.  There was bread tangled in the chandelier.  There was butter on the outside wall, and peanut butter on the inside wall.  Pickled beets were in the floor vent, and broken glass and dishes were everywhere.

As often happens with tornadoes, there was an undamaged jar of Cheeze-Whiz, inexplicably still sitting on the table.  My half(wit)-sister dourly looked at it, and surveyed the chaos.  “Well, you might as well join the rest of them,” and threw it against the kitchen door-frame.  “Now, we can clean up!”

And so, a 100 word Flash Fiction was born unto me – the normal one.  Don’t you feel superior now?

#461

Yenta

I’ve Got A Secret!

I’ve got a secret, and I’m not gonna tell you.  Nyah, nyah.

Gossip

I am not a gossip.
I do not betray a confidence.
I do not gossip.
I hate gossips!
I think they suffer from a character defect.
I feel they lack self-control, and moral and ethical standards.
I am not a gossip!

I recently discovered why I am not a gossip.  In my long, loner, loser life, no-one has felt me important enough to entrust me with information that I could pass on, or a confidence that I could betray.  It’s easy to not be a sinner, when you’ve never been tempted.  That changed recently.  Somebody told me something.
SOMEBODY!  TOLD!  ME!  SOMETHING!
HOLY SHIT!!

Steam ears

I always thought that cartoon characters with steam pouring from their ears were just a joke.  I’ve got lots of empty space inside my head to absorb an explosion.  Damn, I almost lost my eardrums.  I found one of my eyebrows under a footstool.  It’s a good thing I was sitting down.  I had an attack of the vapors. Everything got fuzzy, and swirled around.  I needed a mint julep to calm my nerves.

‘I need to set up a Twitter account!  I’ll have to open a Facebook page!  Is the computer turned on?  Hand me the cell phone!  Will the extension ladder reach the roof?  I have to get up there and shout this out!’

Easy boy!  Just stick your head in a bucket of ice cubes and water.

About a year ago, I thought I did a favor for a friend.  She didn’t provide all the necessary relevant information, and I recently found that, instead of being of assistance, I’d just been spinning my wheels.  When she fully briefed me, I was able to make an informed choice of a different option.  It’s still early days yet, but this time I think it’s going to take.

To ensure the greatest likelihood of success for another small favor, she filled me in with some background information.  It was like watching the movie Inception.  REALITY CHANGED.  Nothing was what it had seemed.

The information wasn’t down and dirty, or evil and perverted.  In fact, quite the opposite!  This news was happy, joyous, fulfilling, uplifting – just social and legal stuff that needed to be dealt with before the general public is allowed to know about it.

This is “Christ Is Risen” news.  I should be riding from village to village on a donkey, proclaiming the glorious story.  You should know me from afar by the golden radiant glow of the wondrous tale within me – and I can’t say a word.

The wife and son and daughter know the lady, and like her.  They’ve worried for a while because she seemed to be stressed, but now feel better because things seem to be going smoother.  They would approve of the information.  They would be ecstatic to know the full truth, but I cannot say a thing.  Don’t ask me.

Two people can keep a secret – if one of them is dead.  While I am sometimes tempted, I really don’t want to have to shoot a couple of them.  I’m just going to sit here with a knowing smile on my face, and bask in the warm glow of the trust I’ve been given.  In the fullness of time, this situation will resolve itself, and I will no longer be the only one who is permitted to be thrilled for my our friend.

In the meantime….I do not have a character defect.  I do possess self-control, as well as moral and ethical standards.  I am not a gossip!  I am happy that my friend will be happy, and she will be happy if I keep my mouth shut.  If only others could.

 #460

Poet’s Corner

Poetry

On Thinking Of My Love

And love Thee; And need Thee; And have Thee not,
Yet the Light of Thy Presence banishes the darkness of my loneliness,
Joy and sweet Happiness personified.

But the great pinions which would fly to Thee
By dark and dreary mundane passings, are clipped.

Oh Beauteous One!  Sweet life itself Thou art to me.
Full well know I Thou art my soul,
And my heart be not full and complete without Thee.

And forget Thee?
Say nay!!  For with me always art Thou,
In both angelic face and soul,
In sweet remembrance.

Thy kind, pure person,
With ever-happy, smiling countenance
And silvern, crystal laughter,
Desire I by my side.

Yet despair not and nor will I.
Soon, Love, shall we be rejoined,
That I may again drink deep of the pure, clear stream
Of my devotion, and offer Thee

On humble knees,
The obeisance
Of my love to thee.

Phoenix-Maker Thou art; Truly,
Shaper of Fate and Fortune,
To burn away the nothing detritus
Of a nowhere life,

And from the ashes, draw,
Hot and molten, the nub of an almost forgotten past,
To be forged on the anvil of Reality,
Into a tool with which to garner a fuller future.

Guide Thou art, taking by the hand
A soul, lost in the wilds of mediocrity and suburbia,
Drawing a willing spirit past
The traps and pitfalls and morés
Of reliability, and respectability, and responsibility,

To a haven of a life to be lived
And savored and enjoyed,
Not merely observed and endured.

Friend Thou art, and much, much more.
Lover even, to give of the heart and soul and mind and body
To one so unworthy of Thee.

Treat me as Thou will,
Yet I hope it be not ill.
Spurn me not, nor leave me lonely,
For now Thou art my one and only.

In the ongoing Autumn Housecleaning, I came upon this, one of my first (and fortunately few) love poems, in free verse and archaic language.  The wife and I are coming up 48 years married, so you can imagine how old this attempt is.  Be kind to the callow 21-year-old me, who thought he could impress a woman with poetry.   🙄

#459

Minutia VI

In-n-Out

Food fight!  The Americans are coming.

I took the wife to a mall in our adjoining twin city.  Along the outside edge is a restaurant (?) named Zoup.  It has one main type of food on the menu – dozens of kinds of soup, mostly for takeout.  Five or six flavors are available each day, and change from day to day.  The son wants to try the bacon cheeseburger soup, but has never been there on a day when it was available.

Zoup

As the wife was entering the anchor food store inside, I noticed several workers taking a break across the hall, where they were renovating an empty space.  The sign in the window says it will be a strangely possessived, Carl’s Jr. burger joint, something to compete with the all-too-familiar McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s, and A&W, which is (mostly) Canadian.

I found another construction crew working across the street from my usual supermarket, two doors down from a Mary Brown’s Chicken franchise, in a strip mall.  Mary’s is a strictly Canadian chain which does not really compete with KFC.

The space the workers were finishing (not soon enough for me) was a Tex-Mex outlet named Quesada.  I miss the Taco Bell that was close enough to walk to.  The two nearest are almost equidistant, but sadly, 8.1Km, and 8.2Km.  (Five miles – give or take)  Perhaps I won’t have to drive to Toronto for a decent platter of nachos.

BrainRants’ In-N-Out Burger recently announced that they were taking over an Italian restaurant named Osteria del Ganzi, in downtown Toronto.  They would serve only a hamburger, a cheeseburger or a double-double, from 11AM till 3PM.  They handed out wristbands, like a rock concert, and felt the line-up would start about 8AM.

I told the son that the line would start at 6AM.  The follow-up article the next day, said that one couple were there at 6, but a line didn’t actually start forming till 6:45.  They ran out of In-N-Out burgers by 11AM.  The two guys the paper interviewed, had driven two hours from Buffalo, and waited in line for three hours.

In-N-Out reps say they have no intention of opening an outlet in Toronto soon, but this must have been a test of the waters and, with a response like that, I hope they’re not too long in arriving.

***

Don’t fear the Reaper.  First he brought us a half-bushel of small cucumbers, and the wife, son and I put down 22 pints and 6 quarts of variously shaped dill pickles, quarters, slices for burgers and sandwiches and chunks for making dill relish with.

Then he helped us turn a three-quart basket of beets into 8 pints of pickled beets.  We’ve still got chili sauce and salsa to make, and we’re ready for winter.

***

Near where our comatose commenter, John Erickson, lives in Ohio, the small town of Warsaw has a thriving strip club – and a Holier-than-thou anybody-else, New Beginnings Ministries church.  During the week, do-gooder church members have been protesting outside the den of iniquity men’s club.

In response, the business has been protesting outside the den of hypocrisy church on Sunday mornings, including one by topless dancers.

No-one is doing anything illegal, and cannot be prevented from continuing.  However, both the club owner, and the pastor have been given a letter, requesting them to cease and desist.  It was signed by the city law director, the county prosecutor, and the local sheriff.  Assigning officers to each protest is straining law enforcement, and its budget.

***

Because I’m willing to meet people even stranger than me, when I published my (not so) recent birthday post about colonoscopy, I tagged it ‘rectum’, and ‘Jimmy Hoffa.’  When I checked, “What Other People Are Writing,” I found my piece to be one of seven tagged ‘rectum.’  They were weird!

There are hundreds of posts tagged Jimmy Hoffa, many of them conspiracy theories.  I laughed at, and forgave, a Chicano, English-as-a-second-language writer who titled his piece, “Jimmy Hoffa’s Body Trying to Be Found by FBI.”  I expected to look down and see a bony arm sticking out from under me, and a faint voice coming from my ass, saying, “Over here!  Over here!”

***

Yes, you’re right!  In case you were wondering (more than usual).  This is another post I wrote back in the fall, that I just took out of the freezer and defrosted for you.  Have it with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.

#458

Flash Fiction #50

Silo

PROMPT -© Marie Gail Stratford

THE COW JUMPED OVER THE MOON

All the corn plants were to be shredded and put into the tower as silage.  The crop was large, so ten-year-old Billy’s job was to tromp it down, so it all fit.

He brought one of their cows in through the little bottom door to help him.  For several boring hours, he and Bossy had plodded ‘round and ‘round.

Finally the level neared the top, and his Dad yelled that they were done.  “Just back out that little hatch, and climb down the ladder.”

MOOO!

“A cow??  You took a cow in there??!  How is she going to climb down??!”

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

#457