Flash Fiction #142

Walk The Walk

PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Potter

WALK THE WALK

Bobby liked his father as a child. He loved his Dad, as a young boy could.  He spent a lot of time with him over the years – rather, his Dad spent a lot of time with him.

He never idolized his Dad, never thought of him like Ward Cleaver, or Father Knows Best. He was just always there, an ordinary, work-a-day kind of guy.

Now that he was grown, and had a wife and children of his own, he saw the many things, great and small, that his father had quietly, competently done.

He had some big shoes to fill.

***

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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You Didn’t Really Mean That

Dictionary

Words and phrases that don’t mean what you think they do

The truth about fireflies

Starting with the insects: Fireflies are not flies but flying beetles with luminous tails, and glow-worms are closely related to them, being the larvae of four different kinds of luminescent beetles (but flightless ones).

Serious sea creatures

Misnomers abound in the ocean too: starfish aren’t fish at all; they’re echinoderms, boneless creatures with a hard outer shell, like sea urchins and sand dollars. And jellyfish aren’t fish either; they’re cnidarians—the perfect otherworldly name for these gelatinous alien forms with drifting tentacles. On the other hand, electric eels apparently really are fish—they’re close relatives of boring old varieties like carp and catfish.

Guinea pigs

I can’t possibly name all the misnamed animals further up the food chain. But here are a few favorites: Neither flying foxes nor flying squirrels fly; they hop and glide instead. Guinea pigs are neither pigs nor from Guinea; they’re rodents that originated in the Andes where they’re considered a delicacy (yep, they’re food in Peru). The cuddly koala bear, symbol of Australia is not only not a bear, it’s a marsupial. Mountain goats are actually antelopes. But sometimes scientists do change their minds about this stuff: until recently the giant panda was considered a relative of the raccoon, but now researchers have placed it back in the bear family.

Faux chocolate

In the man-made category, white chocolate isn’t chocolate at all; it’s mainly flavored cocoa butter and cream. But head cheese has nothing to do with milk products; it’s made of chopped pork or beef scraps in an aspic jelly.

In the international food hall

Then there’s the question of where foods are from. French fries are probably from 17th century Belgium. Recipes for French toast is first recorded in the Middle Ages, well before there was a France, and the French themselves call it ‘pain perdu’ or lost bread—probably because it’s a good way to use up those stale scraps which would otherwise be lost. Jerusalem artichokes are neither artichokes nor from Jerusalem. They proliferate everywhere from Canada to Florida, but nowhere near the Middle East. Some say the name is derived from ‘girasole,’ or sunflower in Italian. German chocolate cake is reportedly from 19th century America, invented by a man with the last name German. And Danish pastries are actually Austrian in origin.

Giving credit where it’s not due

Pythagoras was by no means the first to come up with the theorem that allows us to solve for the sides of a right triangle: the Babylonians, ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Indians all recorded their own versions of it hundreds of years before him. Chinese checkers are neither checkers nor from China; they were invented in Germany in the late 19th century. Authentic Panama hats are made in Ecuador but were first marketed and sold in Panama. And Arabic numerals were first used in India.

Hitting the right note

Musical misnomers form their own small special category: Both the French horn and the English horn are really variants of the German horn. The name Jews harp is a corruption of ‘jaws harp,’ since the instrument is gripped between the teeth while being played. Violin strings are known as catgut but they’re really made from the intestines of sheep.

Islands in the stream

America has no monopoly on misleading names. For example, London’s Isle of Dogs isn’t really an island; it’s a spit of land jutting out into the Thames and surrounded by water on three sides. The Canary Islands do have lots of canaries but they also once had a lot of wild dogs, so the name is actually a corruption of canis, meaning dog in Latin.

A question of numbers

The Thousand Days’ War in Colombia was 1,130 days long. The Hundred Years’ War between England and France went on for 116 years. And there are 1,864 islands in the Thousand Islands archipelago along the U.S.-Canadian border. But the Thirty Years’ War in central Europe really did only last 30 years.

Close but no cigar

Lastly, I just can’t leave out our favorite misnomer: however hard you may howl when you hit it, your funny bone is the ulnar nerve, not a bone.

2017 A To Z Challenge – L

Challenge2017

Look out!  This is going to be one

letter-l

of a post.

Now listen, you lot.  Don’t start ladling out blame, and labeling me a lax lout, or a lazy lump, who should have got the lead out, and composed a better post for the letter L.

I have my linguistic limits.  I’ve been lying around on the porch lanai of a little cabin by the lake, and it got too late.  I’ll tell you no lies; I bet you hoped there’d be none of these loopy posts this year.

Well, you’re lucky.  This should be the last.  I wish to leave you laughing, and look forward to seeing you here again, later.   LOL   😆

Flash Fiction #141

Eat Your Heart Out

PHOTO PROMPT © Kelvin M. Knight

SIBLING RIVALRY

“It’s no fair, Mom! How come Robbie gets to go on the school art museum trip, and I don’t??  He’s just a year older”

“Howie, I told you before. You have to improve your grades, but despite being yelled at several times, you’re too busy playing street-hockey with your ‘posse’ to do your homework.  You’ve slipped from B-, to C.  You’ll have to stay home and study.”

Rob couldn’t resist taunting his younger brother. “Art is for people with maturity.  You haven’t been showing much lately, so you have to stay home while I go, and eat your heart out.”

***

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

SkyNet Is Postponed

Terminator

Despite the hard labors of a lot of capable people, who work their neurons to the bone(head), A.I. (Artificial Intelligence), the SkyNet that so many people already fear, will still be some time coming.  There are a few little kinks and quirks to be ironed out.

AmphiRobot

The above photo is a screen capture from a mall security camera. What might look like a splashed-down North Korean nuclear nose-cone in a mall fountain, is actually a semi-autonomous security robot.  It’s a kind of flightless drone, with wheels, rather than wings; really, just an overgrown Roomba with a few upgrades, mindlessly ricocheting off all obstacles, human and otherwise, while constantly, wirelessly sending CCTV images back to a monitor in a security office.

One lady Apple worker from Cupertino, wanted to dance with one in San Francisco. The mere presence of these things makes people feel safe and happy.  This one just didn’t receive enough upgrades though.  Someone forgot to download the ‘@Walking On Water’ app.  It’s a good thing that it didn’t manage to bumble out the mall’s front doors.  It probably would have been run down by a self-driving car that swerved to avoid a plastic shopping bag, swirling in the wind.

They’re built by a company with the sinister name of Knightscope, evoking the thought of ‘night vision devices’. “We can see you, and know what you’re doing, even in the dark.” Our not-so-little belly flopper is Model K7.  It/they still have a long way to go, before they’re the equal of another Knight Industries self-aware vehicle, with a K-model number – the Knight Industries Two Thousand, K.I.T.T. car of TV’s Knight Rider.

😆

 

Service Industry

Hillbilly Couple

Restaurant Order

A resident in a hotel breakfast room called the waiter to his table.

“I want two boiled eggs, one of them so undercooked it’s runny, and the other so overcooked, it’s tough and hard to eat. Also, give me some grilled bacon that has been left on the plate to get cold; burnt toast that crumbles away as soon as you touch it with a knife; butter straight from the deep freeze so that it’s impossible to spread; and a pot of very weak coffee, lukewarm.”

“That’s a complicated order, Sir,” said the bewildered waiter. “It might be quite difficult to prepare.”

The guest replied, “Oh? But that’s what I got yesterday!!”

***

A barber gives a haircut to a florist one day. The florist goes to pay and the barber says “This one is on me, pay it forward.” The next day, the barber finds a dozen roses on his doorstep.

Pleased, the barber gives a baker a haircut and tells him the same thing, pay it forward. The next day he finds a dozen doughnuts on his doorstep.

The barber decided to keep it up and when a lawyer comes in for a haircut he tells him no charge, pay it forward. The next day he finds a dozen lawyers on his doorstep waiting for a haircut.

***

A businesswoman from Connecticut has a meeting in Alabama. Her meeting done, she stops at a local bar for a quick drink. Her bartender, noting her northern accent, says “Yew shore talk purty. Whar did you go to school?”
She smiles and says, “Yale.”
He says, “YEW SHORE TALK PURTY. WHAR DID Y’ALL
GO TO SCHOOL?” 

***

A woman lying on her death-bed wanted all to know she was a virgin…. She asked that her headstone would forever read: ‘Born a virgin, lived a virgin and died a virgin’. When the stonemason was making her headstone, he ran out of space so he just carved: ‘Returned unopened’.

A Job selection interview

Job Interviewer: So, what makes you qualified? What jobs have you worked in the past?
Me: I have worked for a multi billionaire company that sends fresh foods to the local community.

JI: Really? That sounds extremely rewarding! What company is it?
Me: Dominos.

***

What do you call someone who only likes people with 10 toes?
Lack toes intolerant

***.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Especially when you aim for his head.

***

How many New Agers does it take to change a light bulb?
None, they just start a Coping With Darkness support group.

***

Man answers the phone: “Hello sir, this is a short survey. What is your name?   “Adam”
And your wife’s? “Eve”
Ha! That’s funny….does the snake live there too?
“Yes, one moment. Honey, get your mom please…”

 

Flash Fiction #140

Molehill

PHOTO PROMPT © Danny Bowman

INFLATION

I know she has my best interests at heart, and hers, and the baby’s, but ever since she gave birth, she’s become super-scared and cautious.

One beer, over an hour, with the boys after work, and a careful drive home in low traffic, does not constitute ‘Drinking And Driving!’

I even called last week, to tell her that I was stopping at 7-11 for bread on the way home. Five minutes late, and I got home barely in time to stop her from calling the FBI, reporting me kidnapped.

She certainly has a way of making mountains out of molehills!

***

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