Phoning The Jokes In

I tried having my mother’s phone disconnected, but customer service told me that since the account was in my dad’s name, he’d have to be the one to put in the request. The fact that he’d been dead for 40 years didn’t sway the rep. Then a solution hit me: “If I stop paying the bill, you can turn off the service, right?”

“Well, yes,” she said reluctantly. “But that would ruin his credit.”

***

The village blacksmith finally found an apprentice willing to work hard for long hours. The blacksmith instructed the boy, “When I take the shoe out of the fire, I’ll lay it on the anvil; and when I nod my head, you hit it with this hammer.”

The apprentice did just as he was told. Now he’s the village blacksmith.

***

There once were twin boys, age six, who had developed extreme personalities. One was a pessimist and the other a total optimist. Concerned, their parents took them to a psychiatrist.

First, the psychiatrist treated the pessimist. Trying to brighten his outlook, the psychiatrist took him to a room filled with toys. But instead of yelping with delight, the little boy burst into tears. “What’s the matter?” the psychiatrist asked. “Don’t you want to play with any of the toys?”

“Yes,” the little boy bawled, “but if I did I’d only break them.”

Next, the psychiatrist treated the optimist. Trying to dampen his outlook, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with horse manure. But instead of wrinkling his nose in disgust, the optimist climbed to the top of the pile, and began gleefully digging out scoop after scoop with his bare hands.

“What are you doing?” the baffled psychiatrist asked.

The little boy replied, “With all this manure, there must be a pony in here somewhere!”

***

In surgery for a heart attack, a middle-aged woman has a vision of God by her bedside. “Will I die?” she asks.

God says, “No. You have 30 more years to live.”

With 30 years to look forward to, she decides to make the best of it. Since she’s in the hospital, she gets breast implants, liposuction, a tummy tuck, hair transplants, and collagen injections in her lips. She looks great! The day she’s discharged, she exits the hospital with a swagger, crosses the street, and is immediately hit by an ambulance and killed. Up in heaven, she sees God. “You said I had 30 more years to live,” she complains.

“That’s true,” says God.

“So what happened?” she asks.

God shrugs. “I didn’t recognize you.”

***

Two salespeople approached the wife in a furniture store.  She followed the one who called her ‘Miss.’ The ‘Hello Ma’am’ one should take notice.

A To Z Challenge – S

april-challenge

UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS

letter-s

I want to discuss my ancestors, but the above title is a lie. Upstairs/Downstairs was a British TV series dealing with the various goings-on of the upper-crust, upper-floor rich folk in a mansion, and the serving class below them, both physically and socially, who provided their every whim and wish.

My forebears didn’t live in no stinkin’ mansion, making tea, and cucumber sandwiches for effete dilettantes.   My folks have been industrious, productive people for hundreds of years.  They were ‘blue-collar’ long before blue collars existed.  A more accurate title might be Manor-House/Mill-house – and never the twain shall meet.

My father’s name (and mine) was Smith.  His progenitors originally were productive German artisans named Schmied.  Over many years, the name changed to Schmidt, and was carried to the newly-born United States of America by a Hessian mercenary, paid by the British.  After another hundred years, it got Anglicized to Smith.

Smith is a proud name, and a proud profession. It originally meant, one who produces, makes or manufactures something. Then the language changed so that it meant, a worker in metal.  Finally, the meaning narrowed to just the blacksmith, who pounds hot iron and steel.

I like to think of myself as a wordsmith.  I received blacksmith training in my high school shop class.  (Yes, I lived that far out in the sticks, and back in the mists of time.)  Blacksmith is making a comeback, both through the custom knife and sword makers, and artisans who supply millennial hipsters with hand-made gate latches, coat-racks, porch rails and coffee tables.

My mother’s side of the family supplied the name Stewart.  This is a Scottish name from the English word steward, meaning, one who takes take of something.  The spelling of this name also slipped a bit, to Stuart, and a branch of the clan became the Royal Stuarts, ruling, and ‘taking care of’, Scotland.

Before he emigrated from Glasgow to Canada, my maternal grandfather became the ‘Keeper of the Tartans’ at the fabric mill where he worked. He was the steward of the patterns of the plaids which clothed a good portion of the country.

letter-s-super

All in all, I think maybe this is the S that I should have chosen for this post.  I’m impressed with my family history.  How about you?  😎

Flash Fiction #68

Chivalry

CHIVALRY

It was a dark and stormy night when Sir Lilliput, King Arthur’s smallest knight requested shelter at the country inn, though he admitted “I fear I have no coin to pay.”

Being a dwarf, he’d had the blacksmith forge a child-sized suit of armor, but was too small for a charger. Instead, he saddled and rode a huge Flemish Mastiff.

A regular customer asked why the innkeeper fed him and his mount, and complained that he always demanded cash on the barrelhead of them.

“Look at the weather outside. I wouldn’t send a Knight out on a dog like that.”

***

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