Flash Fiction #144

Hot Chili
PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

WATCH YOUR TONGUE

It was a fantastic idea, inspired, as many fantastic ideas were, by the liberal application of beer. He had decided to make chili as the snack for his turn to host the guys’ Friday poker bash.

He liked his food with a little heat to it….and surely his buddies would too. He put in lots of chili powder, and several shakes of Tabasco.  Maybe he’d add some of this stuff his mother’d given him.

Hmm, Scotch Bonnet Pepper?? Bonnets??  Thanks Mom.  Probably some delicate old schoolmarm spice.  He’d add a good tablespoonful.

Dig in guys. It’s got a little kick.

***

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

***

I’ve finally come full circle and am now plagiarizing from myself. This is a re-imagining of my #46, Four Alarm Flash Fiction story of April 16, 2015.  Sorry guys.  I couldn’t help myself.  When I saw all those spewing fire hoses outside the frat house, it was either that, or a “cold shower” story.

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What’s Cooking?

Hot Sex*

Wife was preparing to fry an egg when her husband came home and shouted: “Attention ! Attention! More oil! We need more oil! It will burn! Attention! Turn it over! Turn it over! Turn it over! Attention! Are you crazy? The oil will end! Oh, God! Salt! Don’t forget the salt! …”

Wife, being already annoyed at this, asks him: “Why are you screaming like that? Do you think I’m not able to fry an egg?”

The husband responds very calmly: “That’s what it was like to give you an idea just how I feel when I drive the car and you sit next to me…”

***

The other day, a guy went to the dentist’s office to have a tooth pulled. 

The dentist pulls out a freezing needle to give him a shot.

“No way! No needles! I hate needles”, the man said. 

The dentist starts to hook up the laughing gas and the man immediately objected. “I can’t do the gas thing either; the thought of having the gas mask on is suffocating me!”

The dentist then asks the man if he has any objection to taking a pill.

“No objection”, the man said. “I’m fine with pills”.

The dentist then returns and says, “Here’s a Viagra tablet”.

The guy, totally at a loss for words, said in amazement, “WOW, I didn’t know Viagra worked as a pain killer!”

“It doesn’t”, said the dentist, “but it will give you something to hold on to when I pull your tooth.”

 

***

A Tennessee State trooper pulled over a pickup on I-65.

The trooper asked, “Got any ID?”

The driver replied, “Bout whut?”

***

A Virginia State trooper pulled a car over on I-64 about 2 miles south of the Virginia/ West Virginia State line.

When the trooper asked the driver why he was speeding, the driver said he was a Magician and a Juggler and was on his way to Beckley WV to do a show at the Shrine Circus. He didn’t want to be late.

 The trooper told the driver he was fascinated by juggling and said if the driver would do a little juggling for him then he wouldn’t give him a ticket.

He told the trooper he had sent his equipment ahead and didn’t have anything to juggle.

The trooper said he had some flares in the trunk and asked if he could juggle them. The juggler said he could, so the trooper got 5 flares, lit them and handed them to him.

While the man was juggling, a car pulled in behind the patrol car. A drunken good old boy from West Virginia got out, watched the performance, then went over to the patrol car, opened the rear door and got in.

The trooper observed him and went over to the patrol car, opened the door asking the drunk what he thought he was doing.

The drunk replied, “You might as well take my ass to jail, ‘cause there ain’t no way I can pass that test.”

***

 

WOW #10

Drake

The Word Of the Week for this week will be;

CANARD

Definitions for canard
a false or baseless, usually derogatory story, report, or rumor.
Cookery. A duck intended or used for food.

Origin of canard 1840-1850 Canard is from Old French quanart “drake,” literally “cackler,” from the onomatopoeic caner “to cackle” and the suffix -art, a variant of -ard, as in mallard or braggart. Canard is all that is left of the Middle French idiom vendre un canard à moitié “to sell half a duck,” i.e., “to take in, swindle, cheat.” Canard entered English in the 19th century.

I don’t really know why I chose Canard as the Word Of the Week.  It’s not all that old, and it’s not cute and cuddly.  It is interesting that, in both English, and French where it came from, it has the word value of ‘lying, cheating and swindling.’

It wandered over and got used in Jules Verne’s The War of the Worlds, when it was only 50 years old.  Never a common word, it is still used occasionally to reference American politics, where lying, cheating and swindling are competitive sports.

This week, Lewandowski distinguished himself by reviving the birther canard—the thoroughly debunked conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was not born in the United States. Margaret Talbot, “The Trouble with Corey Lewandowski on CNN,” The New Yorker, August 6, 2016

I started out researching pollard(ing), which is trimming a tree back severely, to produce a ball-shape, and more, leafier, shorter branches. I was soon at bollard, which is a short, thick iron or steel post used to tie ships to; from the bole, or trunk of a tree, and found that the meaning of the surname Bullard is, “son of a monk or priest.” I was in the –ard neighborhood anyway.

There is a Random House Dictionary. I sometimes feel that I should be using it. That’s what my research often feels like. I hope to see you here again, the next time I fail to be inspired for a Flash Fiction.

New Shooter Comin’ Out

wooden-spoon

A young man, in the course of his college life,
came to terms with his homosexuality and decided
to ‘come out of the closet’. His plan was to
tell his mother first; so on his next home
visit, he went to the kitchen, where his mother
was busying herself stirring stew with a wooden
spoon. Rather nervously, he explained to her that
he had realized he was gay.

Without looking up from her stew, his mother
said, ‘You mean, homosexual?’

‘Well…yes.’

Still without looking up: ‘Does that mean you
suck men’s penises?’

Caught off guard, the young man eventually
managed to stammer an embarrassed affirmative;
whereupon his mother turned to him and,
brandishing the wooden spoon threateningly under
his nose, snapped:
‘Don’t you EVER complain about my cooking again!’

***

Support mental health, or I’ll kill you.

***

During a Papal audience, a business man
approached the Pope and made this offer: Change
the last line of the Lord’s prayer from “Give us
this day our daily bread” to “Give us this day
our daily chicken.” and KFC will donate 10
million dollars to Catholic charities.

The Pope declined. 2 weeks later the man
approached the Pope again. This time with a 50
million dollar offer. Again the Pope declined.

A month later the man offers 100 million, this
time the Pope accepts. At a meeting of the
Cardinals, the Pope announces his decision in the
good news/bad news format. The good news is…
that we have 100 million dollars for charities.
The bad news is that we lost the Wonder Bread
account!

***

A guy walks into a bar. He sits down and says to
the bartender, “I’ll bet you $100 that if you put
a shot glass at that end of the bar, I could stand
at the other end and fill it up with my urine.”

Well the bartender thinks, “That’s an easy $100.”
So he says “Okay.” So the guy gets on top of the
bar and pees everywhere, even on the bartender.
Well, the bartender doesn’t care, he just won
$100. So very happily the bartender asks for his
money. The guy very happily says, “Here you go!”
The bartender then asks, “Why are you so happy?”
And the guy says, “Well, do you see that guy at
the other end of the bar? I bet him $1000 that I
could pee on you and you would be happy!”

***

Why isn’t there mouse-flavored cat food?

***

Always leave room to add an explanation
if it doesn’t work out.

 

Autoprompt – What’s In Your Fridge?

PROLOGUE

When I saw the above autoprompt, I wondered, “Who would want to know what’s in my fridge?” Then I remembered, if we go to a party at someone else’s house and use the washroom, we always nose through the medicine cabinet. Hmm, Rogaine and hemorrhoid cream – he’s got problems at both ends. So yeah, you know you wanna know.

Refrigerator

It is said that, the poor eat calories, the middle class eat nutrition, and the rich eat presentation.

Even when I worked in offices after we were first married, we were still only one short half-step up from being living-under-a-bridge poor, so calories were important. I always wanted to eat – well. Later, when I took off the shirt and tie, and donned the blue-collar to work in manufacturing plants, calories were important. The wife watched a lot of TV cooking shows, and bought and read a lot of cookbooks.

The wife of a couple down the street often complained about her husband’s food wants – meat and potatoes, meat and potatoes, seven nights a week. At our house, it was homemade pizza, perogies and potato pancakes, soups, stews and spaghetti, Chinese food, tacos, stroganoff, goulash, tourtière, schnitzel. One time we had menus for seven weeks in advance, with no duplicates.

To make this dizzying array of global dishes requires quite a varied supply of raw materials. This need explains the wife’s 36 place spice rack, and the 24 spot herb rack, with more in the cupboard, and a few growing fresh, on the back deck. Almost everything we have, because of personal preference, allergies and cooking options, we have multiple versions of.

Starting above the stove is a cupboard full of cooking alcohol – red wine for pasta sauce, white for chicken and turkey dishes, Chinese cooking wine, sake for a couple of Japanese recipes, and brandy to soak Christmas cake in. The only stuff that I drink is the occasional bit of Crème de Menthe on crushed ice, when I’ve overindulged in rich food.

Come the apocalypse, the basement storeroom will feed us for three months. Aside from cookies, crackers and canned goods, we have 12 sizes and shapes of pasta and noodles, 2 brands of tomato sauce, plus marinara and Alfredo sauce.

There are usually about 36 two-liter(2-quart) bottles of Pepsi, and ten or twelve 710ml(20 oz.) six-packs. We keep a 30-pack of bottled water ahead, to replace the one in use under the cats’ feeding stand upstairs, and one or two gallons of distilled, as well as a dozen cans of ginger ale.

There are 4 types of rice – long grain for plain white rice, Basmati rice for body, Jasmine rice for sticky rice dishes, and instant Minute Rice. We have all-purpose flour, cake & pastry flour, bread flour, specially-fine-ground blending flour for thickening soups, sauces and gravy, rye flour for making pumpernickel rolls, and spelt flour, which like rye, is not wheat-based, and suitable for the allergic grandson.

Currently there are 20 pounds of Superior, white potatoes for boiled and mashed, 20 pounds of Russets, which make great French fries and potato salad, and 5 pounds of new baby whites in the ‘beer fridge’ for suet roasting and skin-on salad.

Onions include, cooking, Spanish, sweet white, occasionally a red onion, a bag of perishable Vidalias in the fridge, shallots, which like leeks aren’t quite onions, and green onions, in the upstairs fridge, which I’ll get to next post, after we’ve had dinner.

Poor overworked, under-appreciated beer fridge! No actual beer in it, so BrainRants better give me at least 24 hours warning of any surprise visit. Instead, it has 4 varieties of soft drinks, several flavors of coffee creamers and salad dressings there’s no room for upstairs, three dozen eggs, two more dozen pickled, extra bags and blocks of cheeses, and sour cream and margarine, so we don’t run out upstairs.

Besides the onions and baby potatoes, there’s a cabbage and a half, a large broccoli, an extra lettuce and a multi-pack of romaine. It contains the son’s individual yogurts and rice puddings for work meals – and leftovers….Yum! Yum!

A Yankee society doyenne imperiously informed her Georgia plantation-owning host that, “Up north, we think breeding is everything.” He replied, “We like it down here too, but we got other hobbies.” I’ve never run into another home which revolves quite as much around food as ours does. It has to. It can’t escape the gravity well. We read – a lot. We watch some television, and we allow computers to suck our time and insult our intelligence.

If we’re not shopping for food, or storing food away, or cooking food, or eating food, we’re concealing evidence tucking leftover food away, often in the fridge upstairs. Come back next time, when I finally get around to describing its interior, and explain why we had to reinforce the kitchen floor.   🙄

#488

Flash Fiction #52

Chain

PHOTO PROMPT – © C. Hase

SHIFTING SANDS

I finished reading my book, and I’m bored.  I’ll have some crackers.

LINK!

I’ll make a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch.  The bread is small.  I’ll make two.

LINK!

It’s TV commercial time.  I’ll eat a few chips.

LINK!

Doctor says my cholesterol level is normal, but the weight is creeping up.

LINK!

Abdominal fat surrounds and presses on organs, adversely affecting them.  Phooey!  I’ll live forever.

LINK!

And so, like Ebenezer Scrooge, our chains of obesity are acquired.  So easily gained, forged one link at a time.  So difficult to divest ourselves of.

Cast off your chains.  Be healthy.

The above is a somewhat distressing, very personal account of the five years since I retired, still eating as I did when I worked, but no longer working.  I would not insult by pointing fingers and using the ‘Fat’ word, just a gentle reminder, and a wish for the best for all.

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

#465

Words

Dictionary

If I didn’t know that the English language has been around a bit longer than me, I might be convinced that we were born twins.  It has cocooned and cuddled and confused and comforted and confounded me since before I went to school.  We have played together since I began to read, before I was five.

I’m a bit of a dab hand with my commas and colons, and I know the difference between subjective and subjunctive.  Neither punctuation nor construction will help with comprehension though, if you don’t use the right words.  My love has always been with the words.  It is their small, strong bodies that we hook together to form phrases, clauses, sentences, paragraphs, and entire essays and books.

I am the contradiction to the expectation that ‘girls are good at language, boys are good at math’.  Words have been my constant companions my entire life.  They have bedeviled, bedazzled, befuddled, bewildered, bemused and bewitched me for years.  Especially doing three crossword puzzles a day, there is not a week, and often not a day that goes by, that I don’t learn another word, or a usage to one I thought I knew so well.

Chunter – to continuously complain, especially in a low voice
A good English/Scottish word, which I don’t recall ever hearing in my English/Scottish hometown.

Crossword puzzle builders often get a little loose or ‘creative’ with definitions.  “Prurient” means, having lascivious or lustful thoughts or desires.  Prurient interest is not “Sex”.  Sex is the subject of much prurient interest.  Sex is often the object also.

Ricer

Sometimes they seem to have no real knowledge of the words they use, especially with obsolete technology.  ‘Potato cutter’ does not equal ‘ricer’, which pushes cooked potatoes out through small holes.  The online dictionary gives sample sentences to illustrate context and meaning.

Arrange on remaining fourth of mound yolks chopped or forced through a potato ricer.
But that doesn’t mean that it can’t put out a ricer now and again, when it’s feeling froggy.
Fluffiest mashed potatoes may require that they be put through a potato ricer.

The first sentence’s meaning seems straightforward.  I don’t know what medications you’d have to be on to write the second.  Do you know what that means, from that context??  I don’t!  And sentence three simply shows how similar but different things are misidentified.

If you didn’t use a masher, the potatoes are not ‘mashed.’  If you used a ricer, they are riced potatoes.  I use a mixer, and my potatoes are ‘whipped.’  They all look and taste alike, but they got there down different roads.  A multi-colored arc or ring, seen through snow or rain while facing the sun is a sundog, not a rainbow, which is only seen while facing away from the sun.  I know, I’m the only one who cares.  🙄

I haven’t read any of the Hunger Games books, or seen the movies but, based on trailers and promotional photos, I’m pretty sure that Katniss Everdeen is not a “crossbow-wielding” heroine, as the Wachowski brother who is now a sister, seems to think.  (S)he probably also believes that David killed Goliath with a slingshot, built from an inner-tube off his chariot.

My subconscious often goes on little trips by itself, leaving the rest of my mind behind, a fact most regular readers are probably aware of.  When it returns, like a cat proudly presenting a dead mouse, many times it will drop a word for me to examine.

When I wake up in the morning, (actually, usually after noon) or when I’m in the kitchen, using the mixer to produce those whipped potatoes, I suddenly am aware of a word, usually English, but sometimes French, Spanish or German.  Most, I am familiar with the definition of.  Some need a little catching up, and some just send me straight to the dictionary program.  Now where did I run into that one??!  What’s the meaning of the name Hatcher?  Nothing to do with birds, they were gatekeepers.

I worked with a young woman in a shoe plant, who had delusions of ability in newspaper publishing.  When she heard of my affliction, she wanted me to share some of the more abstruse words, so that she could expand her vocabulary.  Each working day for over six months, I handed her a notepad sheet with three recent visitors – words like;
larrup – a Dutch import meaning ‘to thrash’
jocund – cheerful, merry, gay, blithe, glad
hoyden – a tomboy
Eleuthera – a Greek word meaning freedom, and the name of a Caribbean island
indolent – avoiding exertion, slothful, lazy
lagniappe – a small extra gift, like a complimentary restaurant salad
louche – dubious, shady, disreputable
mordant – biting, sharply caustic or sarcastic, as wit or a speaker

Each year, I publish a post in which I give a good larruping to the indolent writers, too lazy to learn one homophone from another.  “Moving to the back of the room, he found a laundry shoot.”  Is that like a skeet shoot?  Or a grouse shoot??  Laundry shoot??! It would explain the holes in my underwear.

I can barely change a light bulb, or a faucet washer.  The most useful thing I ever made from wood was campfire kindling, but words are my constant companions and tools.  They have inspired, infused, inflamed and informed me.  They weigh nothing.  They take up no storage room, and I can give them to others to use, and yet always keep them for myself.