Flash Fiction #156

Carnivorous

PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier Deria

DON’T SIT UNDER THE APPLE TREE

Hey! Where did everybody go??

As usual, Gary the geek was being so boring that even the grass fell asleep. That’s the reason he came in for more beer.  Gary was holding forth at great length about carnivorous plants, like the Venus flytrap, and the pitcher plant.  They grow in poor soil, so they trap and absorb bugs to obtain extra protein and other nutrients.

He wondered if the gang had gone around to the pool?? It was funny that they just disappeared like that.  Well, he’d sit here and finish his beer under this big tree, and join them later.

***

Click on the title, if you’d like to hear the Andrews Sisters from 1942, sing a ‘missing men in the Army’ love song. Then go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site, and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Friday Fictioneers

Alright, Let’s See What’s Left

Lefty

Well, this is

AWKWARD

In this episode of, We Hate You Because You’re Different” we look at ‘handedness’.

  1. lacking skill or dexterity.

Synonyms: clumsy, inept; unskillful, unhandy, inexpert.

Antonyms: deft, adroit, skillful, dexterous; handy.

lacking grace or ease in movement: an awkward gesture;

an awkward dancer.

Synonyms: uncoordinated, graceless, ungainly; gawky; maladroit; clumsy.

Antonyms: graceful.

lacking social graces or manners:

a simple, awkward frontiersman.

Synonyms: gauche, unpolished, unrefined; blundering, oafish; ill-mannered, unmannerly, ill-bred.

Antonyms: gracious; polite, well-mannered, well-bred; smooth, polished, refined. 4.

not well planned or designed for easy or effective use: an awkward instrument;

an awkward method.

Synonyms: unwieldy, cumbersome, unmanageable; inconvenient, difficult, troublesome.

requiring caution; somewhat hazardous:

an awkward turn in the road.

Synonyms: dangerous, risky, unsafe, chancy; perilous, precarious, treacherous.

hard to deal with; difficult; requiring skill, tact, or the like: an awkward situation;

an awkward customer.

embarrassing or inconvenient; caused by lack of social grace:

an awkward moment.

Synonyms: unpleasant, trying, difficult; uncomfortable, ticklish, touchy.

It comes from an Old Norse word that means ‘turned the wrong way,’ always with the implication of somehow being in error.

I backed into this word and its myriad definitions, from ‘maladroit,’ above. There is not a synonym above which is not negative, judgemental, and/or insulting.  The word ‘gauche’ in French, means ‘left.’  The only one that seems to be missing is the opposite for dexter/dexterous, which means right.  Its opposite is ‘sinister.’

Southpaws in today’s modern society are three times as likely to have a home or work-related accident. Everything from can-openers to computer mice are designed for use by right-handed people.  Only British lefties, driving floor-shift cars, gain an advantage.

The antipathy toward left-handed people is still surprisingly strong, and has been going on for millennia. (Most of) the Jews have been brought into the 20th Century on this issue.  Being faced with a lefty can get a Muslim’s panties turban in a knot.  If only we could get the Little Sheet-Head Arabs at least into the 9th.

If you sit with a Muslim, and cross your left leg over your right, pointing your left foot toward him, he is insulted. The Koran is strongly specific, even about which hand you can use to wipe your ass.  It also details what 1200-year out-of-date material you must use to wipe it with.  The modern, educated, observant, Muslim businessman’s washroom is liberally supplied with fresh burdock leaves.

The lengths to which some (religious) people will go, to prevent Us from becoming like Them, can be sadly amusing.  During the Middle Ages – also correctly known as the Dark Ages – Christians didn’t bathe….because Jews did.

The Aftermath

Pot Smoker

Come for the education. Stay for the drunken orgy.
Saint Patrick’s Day celebration at a local University – by the numbers.

10:30 AM – First reveller taken to hospital

11:00 AM – First keg party – with 300 students – busted.

10 busloads of out-of-town Uni students – 4 from prestigious Brock University, then parked abandoned in the University-area Starbucks parking lot.  I’ll bet they were thrilled

42 Peel Regional Police sent up to assist a small army of Waterloo Regional Police – because Brock Uni, and one other, are in Peel Region.

47 ambulance calls by 6:00 PM

25 trips to the hospital by paramedics with partygoers,
5 of them in serious/critical condition – all alcohol-caused.

52 students treated at Grand River Hospital, closest to the bash. Both of Kitchener’s hospitals had extra staff on Saturday to prepare for a possible influx of drunken students, and injuries due to falls.

100 extra security officers on duty at Wilfrid Laurier U. buildings

40 sober students to volunteer for the Sunday morning cleanup

2 large dump trucks, to block off each end of a two block stretch of student housing, for safety, because the partiers owned the street.

400 beer cans/bottles collected as of 2:00 PM, by an under-employed man with a shopping cart full of garbage bags, for their 10cents/ea refund. He was hoping to get $99, to take his girlfriend to Niagara Falls for an overnight stay.  He regularly cruises the student housing, and takes discarded beer cans and bottles out of blue recycling bins.  St. Patrick’s is like Christmas to him.  Two non-partying students gave him some hot food, and an alpaca sweater.

27 students on one house front porch, when the railing snapped. One girl received bruises, but was not included in the ambulance-run statistics.

250 cases of water and 5000 Timbits (donut balls) were handed out by Red Frogs, an international student support group. Slate Church also brought in water and Timbits.

20,000 – The estimated crowd within the two-block stretch. Police say that it easily eclipses last year’s 15,000.

248 police calls in a 12-hour period
619 charges laid
435 were alcohol-related
18 were Criminal Code, including one guy waving a knife
22,400 final ‘official’ Police estimate of the crowd – but you know the police, anything over a dozen doughnuts, and they lose track.  They counted all the legs, and divided by two.

Ezra Party

Teens coming from universities in Toronto, London and Guelph were stopped on area roads, and charged with speeding, drug possession, drunk driving, and other liquor offenses. Students hung off balconies, climbed trees, and onto roofs.  Several arrests were made for public intoxication, assault and sexual assault.

One female Laurier student interviewed, said, “It’s not that much fun unless you’re drunk. I had a bad day until I got drunk.”  She said that some young men were playing a game to see how many young women they could kiss.  She was asked for a kiss, but declined, and fortunately, wasn’t sexually assaulted.

Several ‘civilians’ stopped by, to walk the gauntlet and view the happening.  One couple said that they saw several young females drunk and passed out on front lawns.  Young men have raging hormones, and a generally poor opinion of females who put themselves in this situation. Drunken young men have trouble controlling their raging hormones, and passing up a free chance at winning the intercourse lottery.  It is fortunate that there weren’t more sex assaults.

Forgetting that Saturday was St. Paddy’s Day, the wife and I drove through Waterloo’s main intersection at 1:00 PM. Luckily we were a mile south of the big party, but still…. 5 green-adorned, very intoxicated young men spilled out of a bar and staggered up the main drag, each clutching an open beer.  Very much a No-No in Ontario, they probably got away with it because every cop was at the melee.  They all leaned against each other like teepee support poles.  If one of them had tripped, they’d have all wound up in a pile.

And a good time was had by – some. For a lot of others, dealing with this debauched drunken Bacchanalia was a lot of work and expense.  Now we have the K-W Oktoberfest to look forward to in six months.  We get the same kind of numbers, but they’re spread out over 10 days.  Anybody wanna come to town, and PARTAY??   😯

Flash Fiction #155

Xanadu

PHOTO PROMPT © Björn Rudberg

XANADU

Who would have believed that Shangri-La would be located in the Black Hills of South Dakota?? Certainly not him, before he began his research.  The friends he’d been foolish enough to tell, all laughed at him.

Year by year the threads all came together, directly over this little peak. This was his third summer expedition, and he’d finally found a trail.  He remembered all the clues that claimed it could not be found or reached.

Proceeding carefully but confidently, suddenly this thing waddled out…. Was it an animal, a robot, an alien??  Perhaps he wouldn’t reach Shangri-La after all.

***

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

’17 A To Z Challenge – Y

Challenge2017 Letter Y

Big Bang

As I bring this year’s A to Z Challenge to a close, I’ve stumbled upon a couple of interesting and new (to me) words. This one is for all the Good Christians, the Creationists, the evolution-deniers, and the Christian Apologetics.  The word is

YLEM  [ahy-luh m]

noun

the original matter from which the basic elements are said to have been formed following the explosion postulated in the big bang theory of cosmology

origin of ylem

1948; adoption, in modern astrophysics, of Middle English ylem (Gower) < Medieval Latin (h)ȳlem, accusative of hȳlē < Greek hȳ́lē matter, wood

For God so loved each and every individual Good Christian, that they rush to prove their special value by disproving The Big Bang, and evolution.  They use such dismissive and demeaning phrases as “particles to people” and “molecules to man,” to show that their existence couldn’t have ‘just happened.’  They ask, “How could everything have come from nothing?”

This word, and the scientific information that it reveals, shows how desperately incorrect they are. Whether God created it, or it ‘just happened’, the singularity point, and the ylem that sprang from it, already contained everything.

It held all the potentials and possibilities of an entire Universe. It contained every possible creative force, in every combination and permutation, controlled by every variation of quantum entanglement.  It produced sub-atomic particles that combined to produce all the atoms, which got married to produce all the possible molecules.

It included the total energy of the entire Universe, in every possible form. If the energy of souls exist, this is where they came from, waiting only for God, or random happenstance, to combine with the molecules which have become Man – the particles which have become people.

The rich primordial stew of YLEM proves creation – the creation of infinite variation, potential, possibility, and evolution.  It just doesn’t prove that any single human being is any more important than they make themself, despite what their faith would have them believe.

Irish Humor

St. Patricks

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, you get a dose of Irish humor. It would have been posted on Saturday, the actual St. Paddy’s day, but I’m still a little green around the gills, and just recovering from a Guinness hangover.  😉

  1. When the Irish say that St. Patrick chased the snakes out of Ireland, what they don’t tell you is that he was the only one who saw any snakes!
  2. His wife had been killed in an accident and the police were questioning Finnegan. “Did she say anything before she died?” asked the sergeant. “She spoke without interruption for about forty years,” said the Finnegan.
  3. Pat and Kieran were getting ready to go on a camping trip. The first one said “I’m taking along a gallon of whiskey just in case of rattlesnake bites. What are you taking?” The other one said “Two rattlesnakes!”
  4. Seamus do you understand French, I do if its spoken in Irish
  5. Two farmers were driving their tractor down the middle of a country road. A car comes around the corner brakes hard to avoid them, skids, tumbles twice and lands in a field. Jimmy says to Eamonn, It’s just as well we got out of that field.
  6. Two drunks coming home, stumbled up the country road in the dark. “Faith, Mike, we’ve stumbled into the graveyard and here’s the stone of a man lived to the age of 103!” “Glory be, Patrick and was it anybody we knew?” “No, ’twas someone named ‘Miles from Dublin’!”
  7. Twas the Irish what invented the pipes, you know, and they gave them to the Scots as a joke. And you Scots haven’t gotten the joke yet!!”
  8. One night I was chatting with my Mum about how she had changed as a mother from the first child to the last. She told me she had mellowed a lot over the years: “When your oldest sister coughed or sneezed, I called the ambulance. When your youngest brother swallowed a penny, I just told him it was coming out of his allowance.”
  9. I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory.
  10. 42.7 Percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.
  11. 99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
  12. If at first you don’t succeed, then skydiving isn’t for you.
  13. Honk if you love peace and quiet.
  14. Remember, half the people you know are below average.
  15. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
  16. He who laughs last thinks slowest.
  17. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
  18. I intend to live forever – so far so good.
  19. Borrow money from a pessimist – they don’t expect it back.
  20. If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
  21. Support bacteria – they’re the only culture some people have.
  22. Love may be blind but marriage is a real eye-opener.
  23. If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
  24. Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.
  25. For every action there is an equal and opposite criticism.
  26. Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of cheques.
  27. No one is listening until you make a mistake.
  28. Success always occurs in private and failure in full view.
  29. The hardness of butter is directly proportional to the softness of the bread.
  30. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.

I’ll be back on Wednesday with the regularly scheduled A To Z Challenge – X. I X-pect to see you there.

Flash Fiction #154

Monster

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

NIGHT WATCH

A space rock was going to pass near Earth, and he’d wanted to get a photo of it. His best chance had been Lookout Butte at 2:30 A.M., no matter what the superstitious locals said.

Okay by day, but, at night…. There’s something that eats cattle – and coyotes – and the occasional tourist.  Next they’ll claim that Bigfoot has a condo up there.

He’d heard something as he got his picture, probably a groundhog, later, as he was going through his setup shots, he spotted those two red eyes watching him. Maybe these hicks really know something after all.

***

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

DON’T SAY ANOTHER WORD!

Use the correct one.

They’re practicing English without a licence again. Hang onto your dictionaries and thesauruses, kids.

Grammar Nazi

Pros

something about her physiognomy which helped her beat the illness – here’s a two-bit writer, trying to use an eight-dollar word. Physiognomy is a face, or outer appearance, which some pretentious Brits tried to use, and failed, and shortened to ‘fizz.’  He wanted physiology, or inner construction.

In an article about expensive typos – Officials site a missing hyphen in the code – Even GrammarCheck insists that it is cite.

Same article – Enjoy these spelling mistakes from passed and present – What’s passed is past.

This section totes up a variety – to be totes honest, it tots (tawts) up a variety of errors, even though that word means totals, or adds.

It’s a tough road to hoe – and a row of angry gardeners with hoes, don’t know whether to blame a city works crew, a drugged-out old rocker, or the entertainment columnist who interviewed him.

She gave her heighth in centimetres. – You can give length and width, or even have an eighth, but it’s height,

He was the hooten and holleren champion – No, that was me hootin’ and hollerin’, because you can’t handle apostrophed abbreviations.

the kids’ “hot water challenge” has them dumping scolding water – and I’m scolding them for not using ‘scalding.’

Man wins the open sheath throw contest at the Highland games – Most Highland Game events were originally Army contests.  While still showcasing Scottish brute strength, this one though, began as a county fair display.  Originally using an agricultural implement to throw large bundles of harvested grain up onto a wagon, it is a sheaf throw contest, open to all contestants.  A pitchfork is used, rather than any edged tools/weapons, so there is no sheath, open or otherwise.

all those fellow suffers of the writing bug – How many sufferers of her second 80,000 word novel will there be?

The Norsemen made 4 journeys around 1000 BC – not an incorrect usage, as such, just a newspaper writer who made a 2000-year mistake by not knowing BC from AD.

Link bellow for descriptive video – This one, obviously, should be below.

Smoke had begun to bellow from the bow of the ship – No smart-ass comment – just billow.

The stunted trees are not like the soaring furs of the Cascades – These soaring furs better be worn by RuPaul, ‘cause the Cascades evergreens are firs.

I know that proofreaders are as extinct as dinosaurs, and spell/grammar-checkers won’t catch most of the incorrect homonyms, but, the above two examples are from two successful, well-known authors. I am dazed as to why/how they could use these incorrect terms, without noticing.  Data-entry transcribers are about as aware as earthworms, but didn’t an editor (whose job it is to notice these things) notice these things?

Amateurs

I saw the term being banded about – I know that bandied isn’t common, but ‘banded’ makes no sense.

I am defenetly sure – that you’re definitely wrong.

The best story teller is defiantly Jesus Christ. – Jesus Christ!  I’m definitely sure you’re related to defenetly.

Sue me yah shitty resuraunt
you’re food I don’t want –
Shut up, yah shitty language user
you’re just an English abuser.

but I won’t you to get used to it kinda not being there – And I want you to stop writing in hillbilly.

I just did a poppa wheelie with my bicycle – and yo’ momma wants you to pop a wheelie.

I opened the book to an unformiliar question. – Open a dictionary to ‘unfamiliar,’ which comes from the word, ‘family.’

other ways the homo Sidle maniac could think up – That homo, Sidle, became homicidal because of usage like this.

The government should release how stupid this is. – Why??  You don’t realize how stupid release sounds.

I don’t mean this as a depreciation – you should mean it as a deprecation, once you take the ’I’ out of it

the juggle is nature’s most biodiverse area – too diverse to juggle a SpellCheck, it’s a jungle out there.

The gold band was diamond-stubbed – and your attendance record at your English course was studded with absences.

everyone was present an (sic) accounted for – sic, sick, sick

Grainy was my favorite character on Beverly Hillbillies – That one explains itself.

I can understand why to some extinct. – I understand why dictionaries are extinct, to some extent.

Do things like these grate on your nerves??  Tell me about it!   😈

 

Fun With Lawyers

Lawyer

THIS IS WHY PEOPLE HATE ATTORNEYS

These are from a book called “Disorder in the Court” and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and published by court reporters who had the torment of staying calm and straight-faced while the exchanges were taking place.

ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?

WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

______________________________ ______

ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?

WITNESS: No, I just lie there.

______________________________ ______

ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?

WITNESS: July 18th.

ATTORNEY: What year?

WITNESS: Every year.

______________________________ _______

ATTORNEY: How old is your son, the one living with you?

WITNESS: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can’t remember which.

ATTORNEY: How long has he lived with you?

WITNESS: Forty-five years.

______________________________ _ _________

ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his

sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?

WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

______________________________ ______

ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?

WITNESS: He’s 20, very close to your IQ.

______________________________ ___________

ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?

WITNESS: Are you shitting me?

______________________________ ___________

ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?

WITNESS: Yes.

ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?

WITNESS: Getting laid.

______________________________ ___________

ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?

WITNESS: Yes.

ATTORNEY: How many were boys?

WITNESS: None.

ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?

WITNESS: Your Honor, I need a different attorney. Can I get a

new attorney?

______________________________ ___________

ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?

WITNESS: By death.

ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?

WITNESS: Take a guess.

______________________________ ___________

ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?

WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard.

ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?

WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I’m going with male.

______________________________ _______

ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant

to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?

WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

______________________________ ________

ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you

performed on dead people?

WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.

______________________________ ___________

ATTORNEY: ALL of your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school

did you attend?

WITNESS: Oral.

______________________________ ___________

ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?

WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM.

ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?

WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.

______________________________ ___________

ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?

WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?

______________________________ ________

ATTORNEY: Just what did you do to prevent the accident?

WITNESS: I closed my eyes and screamed as loud as I could.

____________________________ __________

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you

check for a pulse?

WITNESS: No.

ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?

WITNESS: No.

ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?

WITNESS: No.

ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you

began the autopsy?

WITNESS: No.

ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?

WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.

ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive,

nevertheless?

WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and

practicing law.

***

Flash Fiction #153

Echo

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

LOCAL DIALECT

Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

I have no idea. This place just seems to go on forever.  What’s the name of it – ‘Echo Emporium’??  It’s déjà vu all over again.  What do they do in there – make tape measures – package spaghetti – a bowling alley?  Oh look, another tower – just like the last one.

You kids aren’t watching ‘Groundhog Day’ back there are you?? I think we’re just driving in circles, nothing changes….

….When that pub owner suggested visiting the “Loch”, I thought he meant like Loch Ness. This is a canal ‘lock,’ and us with no boat.

***

You don’t have to go to Europe to have trouble with local dialects. A ‘Yankee’ had a retirement home built in Florida.  When it came time to install the driveway, the contractor asked him if he wanted poured concrete or shale.  Concrete seemed so common and blah.  He liked the idea of crushed grey stone, so he ordered shale.

When he went out to view the finished installation, it was this horrid, loose, dusty white….stuff. “I ordered shale!  That’s not shale!’

“Shore ‘tis. That there’s oyster shellshale.”

***

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