Flash Fiction #206

Angels

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

WE STAND ON GUARD

Okay, gentlemen – and ladies, Mardi Gras is still a couple of months away, so this will be our first, get-to-know New Orleans tour. We will be focussing on safety – ways that people can hurt themselves.

Are there potholes where someone might trip and fall in front of a float? Is there a loose power pole, or low-hanging wires? Are there steep brick steps leading to the street, from a bar that’s overstocked with liquor? Is there a tree that some drunken moron might climb to view the parade?

Stay sharp! It will be a busy week for us Guardian angels.

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

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Adoption III

We just accepted three refugees into our home.

Adoption

After parents, Mama Garden Gnome, and Papa Garden Gnome, were killed in a freak riding-mower accident, my son generously offered to take in their orphaned sons.

Poor Larry is still horrified at the sight, and is covering his eyes. Shemp hears their screams, and covers his ears, while Moe thinks that he might throw up from the gore, and is covering his mouth.

The Three Stooges

Please note that these boys are genuine, Purebred Garden Gnomes ©, not to be confused with those grape-flavored, animated impersonators, The Smurfs. Smurfs are aptly named. As an adjective ‘smurf’ means illegal/trouble-making/untrustworthy. As a verb, it means con/scam/bamboozle.

As a noun, a smurf is a money-launderer, particularly one who breaks down large amounts of illicit money, into smaller, un-noticed amounts. The next time you see Papa Smurf – that shiny thing on his vest isn’t a gold button, it’s a Bitcoin pin – deceitful little investment broker. 🙄  Our new foster-sons wouldn’t do anything like that. They are honest and upstanding – in the flower garden.

Smurfs are Smurfs in every country except Germany. In Germany, they are called ‘Strumpfs,’ which means ‘stockings.’ I found that out one day, as I was pursuing The Last of The Mohicans. The pioneer explorers of the dense northern New York forests were known as leather-stockings – lederstrumpfs, in German. They used animal hide – usually deer skin – to make tough coverings for their legs, to protect from rattlesnakes, broken branches, brambles, briars, and poison ivy and sumac. There’s none of that in our gardens.

Adoption 2
(There are some Stooge sets that are so garish, even the son won’t buy them.)

’19 A To Z Challenge – O

Tattooed Lady

This blog-post will be short and sweet, just like its inspiration

OLIVIA

Olivia, Olivia, have you seen Olivia,
Olivia, the tattooed lady?

Oh, wait! That should be Groucho Marx singing about Lydia, The Tattooed Lady, (Click if you’d like to hear it.) full of racy, risqué, double entendres. The song was first sung in 1939, and it’s easy to include extra little references. When Americans got off their lazy, isolationist asses, and got into WW II, Groucho included the verse, “When she stands, the world gets littler. When she sits, she sits down on Hitler.

I can’t figure out how to make any portion of this post about me, so I’ll just include a link to the one where I debated getting a tattoo myself, for any of you who didn’t see it – and are desperately bored. At least Groucho is dead, and can’t compose a derogatory song about a Grumpy Old Tattooed Dude.

Olivia, as a name, means “Peace.” It comes from ‘olive’, both the tree and the fruit, which comes from the Italian, olea, which is the oil that middle-eastern people learned early to squeeze out. Christians like to claim that the phrase ‘Extend an olive branch,’ which is an offer of peace, comes from the Bible story of the dove returning to Noah with an olive leaf, or twig. But Greeks and Egyptians were using the olive branch 500/700 years B.C.

Olivia was not a common name for centuries. William Shakespeare is often credited with inventing it, but it existed at least 300 years before he included it for a character in Twelfth Night. He only made it a little more well-known and popular. Even a century ago, it was the 2285th most (least) common girls name.

All that changed in 1986, when Disney Studio released the animated movie, The Mouse Detective, with a cute little female mouse named Olivia Flaversham, and impressionable young mothers began naming their daughters Olivia. More recently, the Disney Channel compounded the interest by offering an animated series named Elena of Avalor. It’s an historic magic story-line, with a young female named Olivia, as assistant to a wizard. As a result, in 2018, the name Olivia was the 3rd most common girls’ name in The United States, and the 2nd most popular in Australia.

I luvya Olivia. Please come back in a couple of days, for some more useless trivia. 😀

Flash Fiction #205

Memory

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

I’VE GOT A GREAT MEMORY: IT’S JUST REALLY SHORT

Now what was I going downstairs for?? I’d better go back up to the kitchen to find out.

Why am I in the kitchen? I was supposed to be going downstairs for…. something….

Senior citizens’ memories are not necessarily faulty, often just overfull – recollection upon recollection – experience after experience.

Science fiction offers us a future when we might upload our consciousness to a computer. Might be a good idea. Occasionally run a de-frag – do a sort and delete. I don’t need to remember that Bobby peed himself in First Grade. Where is that cake mix we bought the other day?

Black Forest Cake

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

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High Drama – Low Comedy

Trudeau

Okay! Move along, move along! Nothin’ to see here. Just another Canadian political rant.

I got another Op-Ed letter published. I shouldn’t phrase it like that. I get almost all my submitted letters published. With print newspapers dying, and readers going to social media, the papers are grateful for any Op-Ed letters. It used to be a contest, and the local paper published 4 -6 letters every day. Now, there’s only 2 letters per issue, and often none.

Blackface

Still…. I had this to say about our pretty, young (and pretty young) Prime Minister.

Many people, probably Liberal party supporters, want to excuse Justin Trudeau’s Blackface incident, saying that he did not mean to insult anyone. This is true, because Trudeau is far too narcissistic to care about insulting other races.

If it were an isolated incident, performed by an adolescent, it might be understandable, but it’s only one in a string of bad social choices – a blackface, two brownfaces, and his Mr. Dressup tour of India.

At 29, well beyond adolescence, he attended a black-tie society dinner. 500 guests, 249 men dressed in tuxedos, and Ali Baba Justin showed up – poorly.

We don’t need a drama student, or teacher. We need a mature statesman to lead the country, not an entitled rich kid, leading a high school musical!

India

This is our Prime Minister, Canada. Ain’tcha glad??! This makes Trump look good. Remember this on our upcoming Election Day.

Elevator Etiquette

Elevator

20 fun things to do in an elevator…

  1. Grimace painfully while slapping your forehead and muttering, “Shut up dammit, all of you just SHUT UP!”
  2. Whistle the first 7 notes of “It’s a Small World” incessantly.
  3. Crack open your briefcase or purse, and while peering inside ask, “Got enough air in there?”
  4. Offer name tags to everyone getting on the elevator. Wear yours upside-down.
  5. Stand silent and motionless in the corner, facing the wall, without getting off.
  6. When arriving at your floor, grunt and strain to pull the doors open, then act embarrassed when they open by themselves.
  7. Lean over to another passenger and whisper, “Ever had a Wet Willy?”
  8. Greet everyone getting on the elevator with a warm handshake and ask them to call you “Admiral.”
  9. Stare, grinning, at another passenger for a while, and then announce: “I’ve got new socks on.”
  10. When at least 8 people have boarded, moan from the back, “Oh, not now, damn motion sickness!”
  11. Meow occasionally.
  12. Bet the other passengers you can fit a quarter in your nose.
  13. Frown and mutter, “Gotta go, gotta go,” then sigh and say, “Oops!”
  14. Walk on with a cooler that says “Human Head” on the side.
  15. Stare at another passenger for a while, then announce, “You’re one of THEM!” and move to the far corner of the elevator.
  16. Burp, then say, “Mmmmm…..tasty!”
  17. Say, “Ding!” at each floor.
  18. Announce in a demonic voice, “I must find a more suitable host body.”
  19. Make explosion noises when anyone presses a button.
  20. Stare at your thumb and say, “I think it’s getting bigger.”

 

WOW #50

Dictionary

I recently ran into the word

ADVERTENCY

I bruised a couple of ribs, but I’ll be okay.

Advertency = advertence: The state of being advertent – aware, attentive, heedful, knowledgeable, perceptive

The modern (somewhat restricted) equivalent is “Woke.”

I have been somewhat covert (covered, concealed) in my production of another WOW. Some of you have been a bit overt (open to view, observable) in your expectations that I do, so I thought I’d introduce most of the bunch. The family name – VERT – comes from Latin, through the French, ouvrir-to open, into English. They all have something to do with showing, or seeing – or not.

With its negative prefix, avert means to prevent something from happening, so that the results are not seen. Similarly, invert means to display something, but upside-down. Evert means to turn something inside-out, and show the inner surface. With an opening syllable that means – in, at or to – advertising points your attention to the presentation of goods that retailers want you to be aware of, and purchase.

We move to psychology to meet the introverts, who keep most of their personalities hidden within themselves, and the extroverts, who fill any room they’re in with their outward glow and conversations. Then there are the members of the family that we usually don’t mention, pervert and subvert. They’re the guys who get to see stuff that they shouldn’t.

My advertency about the term advertency came from a science-fiction book. In it, one planet prided themselves about their citizens’ knowledge and understanding of what went on around them, so that they could make the most optimal, informed decisions. The giant University even taught a course on advertency – how to notice details, be informed, know what was going on.

It all comes down to making reasonable, informed decisions. This is what many Atheists wish that the religious hoi polloi would do. If you want to worship one particular God, or follow the tenets of a specific denomination or church, do it. Just be able to give a better justification, when asked, than, “I have faith.”

Canada and the U.S. – Hell, most of the world – could use a University that teaches advertency. I notice far more things than the average Joe, but I could still use some training in how to do more.

I come over a rise, driving in the curb lane. A block ahead is a bus. I know that it will stop and block my lane, so I move out. The guy behind me now rushes up beside me, almost rear-ends the bus when it stops, and almost sideswipes me, trying to go around at the last minute. Too many drivers ‘drive’ no further ahead than their hood ornament.

If we could just raise the average awareness of citizens, then the uninformed, unaware, extrovert leaders like Donald Trump, Justin Trudeau, and Boris Johnson wouldn’t get re-elected. Probably won’t happen though. Jay Leno used to air a segment titled Americans Are Dumb, And Proud Of It! I continue to hope, though. Were you aware of that?   😕