Call Screening One-Liners

Can I call you back….
….in a few beers?

There are two ingredients in trail mix….
….M&Ms – and disappointment.

I’m getting WAYYY too comfortable….
….looking this ugly all the time.

Follows diet.  Diet doesn’t follow back….
….Unfollow diet.

Vegans, if you’re trying to save the animals….
….stop eating their food.

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, but….
….if it runs out, I’ll drink the red.

Your debt will stay with you….
….if you can’t budge it.

My new stair-lift….
….is driving me up the wall.

I prefer my kale….
….with a silent K.

If the world didn’t suck….
….we’d all fall off.

He who laughs last….
….didn’t get it.

Forklift operators hate my puns….
….They find them unpalletable.

Procrastination is a dish….
….served eventually

When I get a headache, I take two aspirins….
….and keep away from children, just like the bottle says.

Your call is important to us….
….so here’s a 40 minute flute solo

I heard the word “icy” is easy to spell….
….Looking at it now, I see why.

I just can’t handle….
….automatic doors.

I once worked in a cheap pizza joint to get by….
….I kneaded the dough.

If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed….
….If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.

Why don’t you ever see the headline….
….Psychic wins lottery?

Reading can seriously damage….
….your ignorance.

A Christmas Rescue

Published without the authorized permission of the Waterloo Region Record – but with the best of intentions.  Credit Record staff – Robert Williams

The snow is piling up, burying our car deeper and deeper into the snowbank.

Deb Dooling-Westover pulls out her crackers, cream cheese, and roasted red pepper jelly, and offers some to her husband, Mark Westover.  In the back seat, a hitchhiker takes a few for himself.  He’s on his way to Listowel for his daughter’s first Christmas, with a bagful of toys and a few spare clothes, but his taxi ha long turned around and left him on Line 86, just outside Wallenstein.  The back seat of the Westovers’ car is his only chance at warmth for the night.

The car is not moving.  The snowbank has made sure of that, and the trio are settling in for a long, cold night.  Snowplows can’t get to them, and there’s no way in or out of this country road. The Westovers – Deb, 63, and Mark, 71 – and their hitchhiker – a young man of about 30, are trapped.

They’re talking, but their eyes dart nervously at the fuel gauge, that’s slowly ticking lower.  The snow is piling up the windows, and they’re equally worried that someone may come piling in behind them.  It’s Christmas Eve, and a winter storm bringing heavy snow and wind gusts of 100 km/h has shut down much of the Province on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

On this rural road, 30 kilometres north of Kitchener, it feels as if nothing and nobody is around you.  It’s a vast rural area. Dotted with Mennonite farms and sprawling fields.  The Westovers are on their way from Ayr, to spend Christmas with friends in Wingham.

They spent the morning checking the weather, to make sure that the roads were still open when they left, just before noon.  The farther they drove, the worse the conditions got.  Eventually, on a long stretch of farmland between Wallenstein and Macton, there is no going any further.

There are a few other cars stuck in this area.  As the winds pick up and blow the snow in blankets across the farm fields and over the road, it gets harder to make them out.  Each car is an island, and the snow is gobbling them up.

After a few hours sitting inside the car, Deb looks out of the snow-covered window and rubs her eyes to make sure she’s not hallucinating.  A man with a pair of snowshoes has emerged from the snowbank.  He knocks on the side of the car, and she opens it up to him.

“Do you have food and water?” he asks.
“Well, we don’t have a lot of food, but we have some water and Diet Coke in the cooler.” she tells him.  “My car is behind my husband’s.  I only have a quarter tank of gas.”

The Westovers had filled their two cars with presents, and they were hoping to do some work on Deb’s fuel tank, once they got to their friends’ house.  She had been following Mark the whole drive, but both of their cars were now stuck in the huge snowdrift.
“Don’t worry.” he says. “I have lots of gas.  I’ll come back for you later.”

An hour goes by.  It’s dark now.  With the wind-chill, it feels like -27 C.  The snow continues to fall, and the wind is howling.  A roar starts up behind them, and Deb jumps out of the car to see approaching blue and red lights.  Their man in the snowshoes has returned, this time with a tractor.

He gets Deb back into her car, pulls it out, and then pulls out Mark and the hitchhiker.  By this point he has already pulled out some of the other cars as well.  Once they’re all safely back on the road, he asks the occupants of all the cars – about six in total – to follow him about a kilometer down the road, and up a long driveway, where they all stop at a farmhouse.

The group walks into the house to find the man’s wife peeling carrots in the kitchen, with two young boys bouncing around the house.  They are a modern Mennonite family, and the farmhouse is equipped with power, heating, and a functioning telephone.

“I’ve never spent any time with a Mennonite family, or been inside a (Mennonite) house before.” Deb said later.  “And I have to tell you, these are the most beautiful people I’ve ever met.”  Deb joins the woman in the kitchen, helping to peel carrots.  Then she watches as she puts potatoes through a food processor, throws them into boiling water, and mixes them with cream and butter to make mashed potatoes.  Then she begins cooking summer sausage, as more people start piling into the farmhouse – there’s about a dozen of them now.

The family has some table extensions, and by the time dinner is served, it’s a feast for nearly 16 people, each with a spot around the ‘harvest table.’  They say a silent prayer, and dinner begins.
“I was literally crying.” says Deb.  “It was the most unbelievable thing I had ever seen in my life.  There we were, thinking that we were going to freeze to death.  We really thought we were going to die.  And now we were all seated around this table, warm, and having dinner at this farmhouse.”

Around the table, the different groups recount their stories.  Each talk about watching the weather advisories, checking to make sure the roads were open, and eventually finding themselves stuck in the snowdrift with no way out.  But something still doesn’t add up.  How did this man know to come and get them?

One of the women at the table speaks up.  While she was waiting in her car, she noticed a name on a nearby mailbox.  She called her son in Listowel, and he started calling every number in the area with that last name.  Eventually he got through to their rescuer, who threw on his snowshoes and headed into the storm to see if he could find them.

Not wanting any unnecessary attention, the family has asked to keep their name private.  “I don’t want any honors or glory.” the man told The Record.  “It’s just the Lord’s glory and we did our Christian duty.”  After dinner is over, the family leads Deb and Mark to a spare bedroom to hunker down for the night.  It’s cold in the room, but thick blankets keep them warm.  The rest of the travellers are spread out around the house, sleeping on makeshift beds and couches.

In the morning, Deb runs out to the car to grab some peameal bacon she had purchased on Christmas morning.  Many of the others do the same, bringing in what food they can contribute to the feast.  Like the night before, they cook up a big meal, each sitting around the table to enjoy a Christmas breakfast.  When the meal is finished, they clean up together, and start getting back in their cars, each bound to family and friends.

None of them know each other.  After they say their goodbyes and wish each other luck for the journeys ahead, all they’re left with is a handful of first names and memories of faces, warmth and a reminder of good people when tragedy strikes.

The Westovers’ Wingham friend said that they did their final checks, but I guess they were just in for an adventure.  They eventually reached their final destination.  The gifts that they had piled in their cars made it to the friends and family they had planned to see.  As they sat around the Christmas dinner table, they told the story of a snowy country road, and a man on snowshoes who appeared out of nowhere, and took them to safety in a farmhouse with his family.

Deb said, “I have to tell you, it was the most beautiful Christmas ever.”

😀  😀

Hot One-Liners

I told my wife that I want to be cremated….
….She made me an appointment for next Tuesday.

Measure twice….
….Cuss once.

I just heard a woodpecker….
….call me paranoid in Morse code.

You have to be odd….
….to be number one.

My brain has….
….too many tabs open.

Hmmm, that’s a bit harsh….
….Let me put LOL at the end of it.

When does hibernation start?….
….I’d like to participate this year.

The Grinch never hated Christmas….
….He hated people, which is fair.

My favorite party trick….
….is not going.

We never really grow up….
….We just learn how to act in public.

Sometimes I just want to tell my boss….
….Sorry, my mom said I can’t come.

Me: Eating….
….My white shirt: Let me taste it.

It’s weird being the same age….
….as old people.

Row, row, row your boat….
….gently away from me.

Would zombies consider….
….Olympic runners, fast food?

My backup plan is the original plan….
….but with margaritas and queso.

It’s way too peoply out there today.

I’ve never seen anyone jogging and smiling….
….That’s all I need to know about that.

I hate this snow….  No, I love this snow….
….Signed Bi-Polar Bear.

Life and beer are very similar….
….Chill for best results.

Just because you are offended….
….doesn’t mean you are right.

😳

Bakers’ Dozen Fibbing Fridays

Pensitivity101 and her Loss Control Officer were distracted by a troupe of Polish folk-dancers, so I was able to make off, undetected, with another list of ten chances to win the Paul Bunyan Tall Tale award.

  1. What did the Three Wise Men bring as gifts to the babe in the stables?

Watermelon-flavored bubblegum, a Hello Kitty backpack, and a bunch of those pine-scented car deodorizers.  Do you know what stables smell like??!  And He’s not helping matters any.  He’s being investigated by the EPA for air quality violations.  “Holy shit” may be what He produces, but it still reeks.
2. Band Aid had a Number One hit with the same record 3 times. What was it?

A catchy little ad-jingle that goes I am stuck on Band-Aid brand, ‘cause Band-Aid’s stuck on me.
3. Why is Rudolph’s nose red?

Santa can’t possibly eat all the cookies and drink all the milk that people leave out for him, all by himself, so Rudolf helps out.  Approximately 40% of the milk – and almost all of the egg nog – are chemically enhanced with rum, rye or vodka.  The night barely begins before Rudolf’s bloodshot eyes start to leak down to his nose.  The bright glow helps tell where they are, but soon Rudy has no idea where he’s going.  Santa has to attach a Garmin mini-GPS unit to his antlers, even to assure they get back to dead-drunk North.
4. Who was Santa’s Little Helper?

They were some special little ‘stay-awake’ pills that Santa got from Walter White of the Breaking Bad TV show.  Pound a few of those down with a king-can or two of Monster© soda, and stay awake and alert for the 24 hours that it takes to chase the sunrise, and deliver seven billion toys in 24 hours.
5. What will you find on Quality Street?

Snooty bitches like Posh Spice, (GOOP) Gwyneth Paltrow, and Oprah Winfrey, believing their own press, and looking down their noses at lesser beings – anyone other than them.  What you won’t find, is the likes of the Kardashians, Nicky Minaj, or Cardi B – who all believe in quantity, over Quality.
6. What is egg nog?

According to the translation of the French side of Canadian cartons, it is “Chicken Milk.”  I don’t know how you’d milk a chicken.  You must need a very short stool.
7. Who is Saint Nick?

He is my neighbor, Nicholas Dunning-Kruger, whose wife is an obsessive shopper.  She only has two complaints – “I have nothing to wear.” and, “There is no room in my closet.”  She will contentedly spend 12 to 14 hours of a Saturday, going into every shoe store within a fifteen-mile radius, and still return home with nothing more than a smile.  Nick obligingly, obediently, uncomplainingly drives her around and patiently waits for her.  He is the inspiration for my Beothuk Flash Fiction.  I don’t know why he hasn’t smothered her, or slashed her wrists with a sharpened credit card.  He truly is a saint.
8. Where is Christmas Island?

It’s at the seaward end of the Happy Holidays Archipelago, just across the Incensed Christians Strait from Lovingly Inclusive Key.  There are lots of shopping and party places, but be careful if you want to visit.  There are a bunch of religious nut-cases who try to block access with large crosses, and insist that they own the entire island, when they only hold title to one small area.
9. What does Feliz Navidad mean?

It means that you’re living too far south in the United States.  Move somewhere far enough north that people say Merry Christmas – or at least, Happy Holidays – or your festive meal will be arroz con pollo. (recipe)
10. What is a gobbler?

That would be my divorced uncle, Fred, at any Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas family gathering where someone else is providing a home cooked meal.  Free is his favorite flavor.

 

Flash Fiction #271

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Hey guys!  Where you going with the Christmas tree??  Are we having a Canadian equivalent to Guy Fawkes Day – over in the park or something?

Nah, we’re taking it back to Costco, where we bought it.

Uh…  Why?

‘Cause they have a money-back guarantee.

Aaannnnd??!

Well, it’s obviously defective.

How can a Christmas tree be defective – besides, it’s almost New Year.

I didn’t get the new PlayStation that I asked for!
Yeah, and I didn’t get the smart phone that I wanted.
And I didn’t get the snowboard I asked for.

We’ll use the refund to buy pizza.  Wanna come?

***

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

***

Flash Fiction # 270

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

LOOKIN’ BACK TO SEE

What’s the best part of the Christmas season?  Seeing it in the rear-view mirror on Boxing Day.

Christmas sales start the same day as leftover Halloween candy.  It just never ends.  There’s no diversity.

Scrooge had the right idea.  He was just a little too enthusiastic.  I wouldn’t beat Tiny Tim to death with his own crutch, but I would prefer supermarket Muzak to play Elvis, singing Blue Hawaii, rather than Blue, Blue Christmas.

My name is Phil, and I live in Punxutawney.  I am not related to three hula hoop Chipmunks, and I ain’t comin’ out till February 2nd.

***

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

’21 A To Z Challenge – Q

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sugar and spice, and everything nice
That’s what little girls are made of.

Snakes and snails, and puppy-dog tails
That’s what little boys are made of.

Folks – some of them smart and educated – used to think that people, and the Universe, were made of some strange things.  They thought that all things were made up of four ‘Elements.’  Not elements like carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen, but the Elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water.  You can build a fire, but I don’t know how even God could build anything except panic and destruction, from fire.

Having been constructed of the four ‘Elements,’ the human body then somehow related to them with the four humors of Black bile, Blood, Yellow bile, and Phlegm.  Our ancestors seemed to be a dour lot, not having any room for silly, playful, happy, or even Woke.

Four Humors – And there’s the humor of it: Shakespeare and the four humors (nih.gov)

Black bile – Earth – melancholic
Blood – Air – sanguine
Yellow bile – Fire – choleric
Phlegm – Water – phlegmatic

The four humors somehow worked the body through hot, cold, moist, and dry, but in hot/moist, hot/dry, cold/moist, and cold/dry combinations.

The four Humors were also known as the Four Essences, which, at long last, brings us to today’s word.

QUINTESSENTIAL

Having decided that only four Essences comprised and controlled the human existence and behavior, they realized that there were actually times and situations where a Fifth (Latin – quinta) Essence was present, or required – that indefinable, indescribable property that made a genius, a genius, or a great leader, a great leader.

Today’s archaic word was brought to you with a smile, by toast and crab-apple jelly.  Wednesday’s post will use more modern words to complain about how “Black Friday” isn’t really over, but like a zombie, keeps lurching onward as Black Friday Weekend, and Black Friday Week sales.  Then I’ll really get into character by ranting about all-Christmas carols, all the time, from now till the 25th.  😉

Flash Fiction #214

Swag

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

SWAG

Brucie had a very rewarding Christmas. He was old enough to know that there was no Santa, but smart enough not to say so.

“Santa” had finally brought him a basic cell phone. He’d got socks and underwear (Thanx, Mom) books, video games, dark chocolate and Scottish sweets. He’d watched A Christmas Story and asked for a BB gun, but Mom said that Ralphie’s mother was right – maybe later. “Later…. right.” Adults speak a different language.

Mom had warned him not to just throw his wrapping paper everywhere, so he’d carefully placed it all in a neat pile beside him.

***

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-badge-web

Flash Fiction #147

Humbug

PHOTO PROMPT © Björn Rudberg

HOW THE GRINCH SOLD CHRISTMAS

Christians own the entire Christmas season!

That’s what he told me when I mentioned Hanukkah, Ramadan, Kwanzaa, Yule, Solstice, Boxing Day, New Years, and even Japanese Bonenkai.

There was no Biblical “Love Thy Neighbor.” He’d have none of that inclusive ‘Happy Holidays’ crap.  It was ‘Merry Christmas’ only, or return the Inquisition.

How dare those heathens celebrate when he wanted to celebrate, even if Christ was really born in April?  He even bad-mouthed the Orthodox. Christmas was the 25th – but he wanted the whole month.

I looked around the ‘Good Christian’s’ shop. Bah!  Humbug!  Merry Merchandising, and a Happy Capitalism.

***

My apologies for a non-original, variation on a theme. The first, and hopefully only, Op-Ed letter from someone much like the sadly non-fictional shopkeeper above, was just published.  It seems the more insecure the Christian Fundamentalist is about his beliefs, the less he wants to admit that other religions or even variations of opinion have the right to exist.  He would be appalled to be compared to the likes of ISIS, or al-Qaeda.

A happy and joyous season to all of you, and I hope that none of us meets one of these Grinch’s trainers. 😀

***

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

Flash Fiction #143

Party

PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Ann Hall

WASN’T THAT A PARTY?

It had been a most successful and enjoyable Christmas party….at least he thought it had been. Certain portions of the evening were a complete blank, like, everything after the last guest arrived.  There had been 26 partiers – and there were 27 empty wine bottles.  And where was his brandy??

It looked like a parade outside last night. Someone at the taxi company probably got a bonus.  At least everyone got home safely.

His younger brother had threatened promised a New Year’s Eve party.  Now that marijuana was legal, what would the morning after the night before, look like?  Bong, bong!

***

Remember kids, party hearty, but party (and drive) safely, so that we can all meet back here in the New Year.

***

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