Flash Fiction #134

Pop Can Tabs

PHOTO PROMPT © Claire Sheldon


Save all your pop-can tabs. Someone will donate a power wheelchair.

Mr. Cynicism said, “Who? Why?”

Like a child’s paper-clip necklace, I pulled it apart, one link at a time. Daughter said, “Mom told me.  Didn’t she mention it to you?”  The wife named a sister. That sister blamed an older sister. She said the yenta was a bowling team member.

Bowler identified a man in her trailer park.  “He’s got his; we’re trying for another.”  Wheelchair man nailed them, upside down, to slabs of plywood, and sold them to supplement his meager disability allowance.  “They’re great muddy shoe scrapers.”


TANSTAAFL is a term credited to the author, Robert A. Heinlein. It cynically/realistically means, There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

The trailer park man’s wheelchair was not donated.  It had been supplied by the government. He was not aware of any group giving away free wheelchairs.  Pop-can tabs are pure aluminum.  There was a group who collected entire aluminum cans, crushed them and turned them in for rebate at the scrap dealer.  The money was added to a fund which aided handicapped people.

BELIEF is when Hope is substituted for Facts.


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

15 thoughts on “Flash Fiction #134

  1. Dear Archon,

    Cynical is the right tag for this story. It’s easy to become that way these days.




    • Archon's Den says:

      I’ve had years of experience. I was going to say that we don’t have Trump up here in Canada, but we’ve got Trudeau Jr. leading our country (astray). 😦 😯


  2. Dale says:

    How to not be cynical in today’s world is quite the challenge… I do my best, though! 😉


  3. I’m happy he got the wheelchair. It’s a shame that the disabled have to fight for their necessities. Interesting take on the photo prompt.
    Isadora 😎


    • Archon's Den says:

      The daughter’s 13-year-old power-chair is not worth repairing, and new regulations state that she doesn’t qualify for a new one. We’re hoping that she’ll find a suitable scooter….which the Government will rent . 😕 😯

      Liked by 1 person

      • You wonder how these regulations are decided upon. Such a shame. 😦


      • Archon's Den says:

        It’s all about getting re-elected. The provincial government has wasted a BILLION dollars on 2 cancelled power plants, A BILLION dollars on failed medical transport helicopters, and a BILLION dollars on a non-functioning Health-Care data-sharing network. Now they have to seem to be fiscally responsible, so they’re cutting back….starting with paper clips. 😳


  4. David P. Cantrell says:

    I use a power chair and understand that a scooter isn’t the same thing. I don’t know anything about your situation and may be off base, but have you checked out any of the sources cited in this link? http://www.abletrader.com/wheelchair_donation_organizations.php


  5. wmqcolby says:

    You really downstream and hit bottom big time, Archon. A good, fun and enlightening ride. Now I know where the pop tops go to die.

    Robert A. Heinlein! Kansas City man (me and the Queen’s neck of the woods). He was right, as others have been before.


    • Archon's Den says:

      This was a ride….on my motorcycle – back before I broke my shoulder, and my wallet. Heinlein wrote a lot of Young Adult fiction, but there was a lot of mature outlook mixed in.
      Thanx for the visit. Stop in again any time. 🙂


  6. Being cynic seems to be the best way to never be disappointed.


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