Big Shot

I hear many some a few couple of you asking, Archon!  Why aren’t you shooting off your mouth about shooting off several handguns, like you promised back in July?”

It’s like being nibbled to death by ducks.  Want to make God laugh??  Tell him your plans.  😦 What follows is a sad tale of Karma and bureaucracy run wild.

The Grandson’s wife phoned Employment Canada on three separate occasions, to assure that his paternity leave would seamlessly kick in at the end of her maternity leave.  NO PROBLEM!  She called again on November 2, to ask if two unused weeks of her mat. leave could be added to his pat. leave.

Suddenly, there was a signed, physical document that needed to have been in their file by Halloween.  Despite having booked off eight weeks with his employer, now the Government would not pay for it – oh, and her two unused weeks were forfeit.

With a young child and all accoutrements, he recently purchased their first (used) car, and is making monthly payments.  Then he got COVID.  Fortunately, neither his wife nor the little guy was infected.  With two main inoculations and a booster, it wasn’t bad, although her younger brother, who is seeking employment, had to come over for a few days to care for two babies.

The woman who had agreed to become babysitter/daycare about the end of December, wasn’t yet getting that weekly payment, so she applied and got a job.  Search and negotiations for a replacement are still ongoing.

Bad enough that the Employment Canada tentacle of the Federal octopus snatched away ten weeks of benefits, the Income Tax Department tentacle now added insult and injury.  The tax return that he had filed, and was accepted, back in April was re-reviewed, and for some reason, he owed $2300 – payable NOW!  There just is not, currently, the $250 available to pay for this gift.

Meanwhile, over at the gun shop….  They finally emailed him to inform that they did not have a previously-fired Berretta 92F, to substitute for a Glock.  The package had to be accepted as-is.  Oh well…. okay.  He and I had both assumed that we could just make a mutually agreeable appointment time – perhaps one afternoon during his time off.

The gun-shop does not want the clerk to be away from the main sales area for a random hour.  They are trying to book enough clients to fill an entire day, but especially with the resurgence of COVID, they are finding it almost impossible to do.  Neither of us is giving up hope.  It’s just that this little dream might not get fulfilled until this time next year.  If it ever comes to fruition, you’ll be the first second to know.  😀

Flash Fiction #282

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

SHIVER ME TIMBERS

Drifting and dreaming, neither completely asleep nor fully awake, softly, gently, wafting upward towards consciousness, like a child’s toy balloon.  No blaring alarms, no beeping cellphones, shall I awaken?  What must I do today??

After half a century of faithful service to often unfaithful employers, I serve no man.  Master of my own fate, except for She Who Must Be Obeyed, Captain of my own ship, I chart my own course.  I eat when I am hungry, and sleep when I am tired.  I hear the siren call to compose another blog post.  Avast and ahoy my fellow Friday Fictioneers.

***

If you’d like to join the fun with the Friday Fictioneers, go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site, and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Tex-Mex One-Liners

To me, essential oils are….
….what drips out of tacos.  *

You smell great!….
….What hand sanitizer are you wearing?

Walking back to your car because you forgot your mask….
….is the new kind of pissed off.

Does it bother anyone else that the guy in the Operation game….
….was clearly awake?

I never realize how much I swear….
….until I’m in a situation where I can’t.

You’re only as pretty as….
….how you treat other people.

I have feelings for you….
….I’m not telling you which ones.

The worst part of kissing a perfect 10….
….is the cold feeling your lips get from the mirror.

Drinking coffee in the morning….
….helps others live longer.

I never finish anything….
….I have a black belt in partial arts.

I ran out of coffee this morning, so I used tequila….
….eVerYbody iS so pRetty toDay.

The only thing that is ever in bed with me….
….is crumbs.

I don’t have exes….
….I have ‘whys.’

The first five days after the weekend….
….are the hardest.

I wish I had a pair of….
….skinny genes.

If you don’t remember their name….
….take them to Starbucks.

I can’t decide if I want to go off the grid….
….or off the rails.

What I if told you….
….you read the top line wrong?

Don’t give up on your dreams….
….Keep sleeping.

Adam – to God – after seeing Eve….
….I love what you do with ribs.

When I was on the computer….
….I couldn’t find ESC, and I lost CTRL.

To Sleep – Perchance To Dream

I can almost understand why Good Christians think that God, or Jesus, speaks to them, or why schizophrenics listen to the voices in their head – not that there’s much observable difference.

I know that the voices aren’t real, but they come up with some great ideas.

Actually, the voices are quite real.  They’re just completely internal, not external in any way.  They’re me!  It’s a good thing  that I’m eccentric enough to accept the weird thoughts that pop into my head, or I could be startled, or even frightened, by things my mind comes up with on its own, when I’m not holding the reins tightly.  I can see why those who wish to organize and control their thoughts, would want to blame someone/thing else for ideas and views that they might feel are somehow ‘deviant.’

I often awaken from naps with things bubbling around in my head, including solutions to stubborn Word Jumbles.  After being retired for 11 years, I still have dreams about work.  Since so much of my life revolves around writing and the English language, it is no great surprise that I often wake to words.

I recently became conscious, to the word/name ‘Kaiella’ in my head.   At first I thought that my subconscious had coined a new word, but research soon showed that, in Hawaiian, it means ‘happy girl,’ and in Arabic it means ‘sea goddess.’  I am amused that camel chasers, sitting on sand dunes, have a word for sea goddess.

My most complex day was when I woke up wondering why the name of Italian film director Sergio Leone, and that of African country Sierra Leone were so similar, and what they meant.  Leone was easy.  It’s an Italian word meaning lion, or lion-like.  It’s why the name Napoleon means Lion of Naples, even though he was born French, on the island of Corsica.  We’ll follow that lion to Africa later.

Sergio means guard/protector in Italian, as do Serge in French, Sergei in Russian, and the army title sergeant in English.

Sierra is a Spanish word from the Latin serra, meaning, a saw.  It describes a chain of mountains which is spiky and saw-toothed.  Sierra Leone has one, a segment of which resembles a crouching lion.  But if Sierra Leone looks like a lion, what is the Sierra Nevada, for which the American state is named??  😕

That’s easy!  The Spanish word nevada simply means snow, and Sierra Nevada refers to Rocky Mountains so tall that their peaks are perpetually snow-covered.

On the same day, I found that, besides being a gadget for manipulating objects by remote control, particularly in atomic reactors, Waldo is a diminutive of the name Oswald, from the German meaning God’s ruleBurkholder is a German name, but refers to citizens of the Low Countries – The Netherlands/Belgium.  I think I sprained a brain muscle.  Come back soon to watch me heal.  😀

I Know My Comedy

I said to myself, “Self,” (and I knew it was me, because I recognized my voice, and I was wearing my underwear) “Today is going to be a great day!”

***

I’m sick of following my dreams.
I’m just going to ask them where they are going, and hook up with them later.

***

An elderly man is on the operating table, about to be operated on by his son, a famous surgeon. Just before they put him under, he asks to speak to his son: “Don’t be nervous, boy. Just do your best. But remember … if it doesn’t go well and something happens to me … your mother is going to come and live with you.”

***

After a young couple brought their new baby home, the wife suggested that her husband should try his hand at changing diapers.  “I’m busy,” he said, “I’ll do the next one.”  The next time came around and she asked again.  The husband looked puzzled, “Oh! I didn’t mean the next diaper. I meant the next baby!”

***

In light of recent police statements that they no longer feel it necessary to attend the scene of domestic burglaries, I have taken down the American flag from beside the house, and peeled the burglar alarm sticker off the front door.  We’ve disconnected our burglar alarm system and quit the Neighborhood watch.

I bought two Pakistani flags on eBay, and planted them in the front gardens, one at each corner, plus a black ISIS flag in the center.  Now the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, and every other alphabet agency is watching the house 24/7.

We’ve never felt so safe, and we’re saving $49.99 a month.

***

A con man was arrested for selling bottles of a fluid that he claimed slowed the aging process.  One cop says to his partner, “We better check his record.  He may have tried this before.”  His buddy reports back, “You’re right.  He tried this in 1955, 1893, and 1831.”

***

Archon: “My girlfriend accused me of not being faithful to her.”

Friend: “What did you say to her?”

Archon: “I said, “What would make you think that? She said, ‘You seem to always hang around Rachael.”

Friend: “What happened?”

Archon: “Unfortunately, the voice from my closet said, “It’s Rochelle, not Rachael.”

***

There is nothing worse than hearing people attempt to sound intelligent by using big words, and MISUSING them.

I totally photosynthesize with this.

***

Never sing in the shower!  Singing leads to dancing, dancing leads to slipping, and slipping leads to paramedics seeing you naked.  So remember…Don’t sing!

***

An old farmer has a small orchard and is collecting fruit in a bucket. As he works his way back into the trees, he hears laughing and splashing coming from a pond behind the orchard. He doesn’t particularly like the idea of people on his property, so he goes to the pond to see who’s there. He suspects it’s college kids since there is a college nearby.
As he comes out from behind the trees, he sees a half dozen college girls are skinny-dipping in his pond. He clears his throat so they’ll know he’s there. The girls scream and swim out to the middle of the pond. “Go away!” they shout. “Are you spying on us? What are you doing here?” “Well,” the farmer answers slowly. “You see, I own this pond…” Then he holds up the bucket, “…and I came to feed the alligator.”

***

“I am not available right now, but thank you for caring enough to call. I am making some changes in my life…

Please leave a message after the beep. If I do not return your call, you are one of the changes.”

Flash Fiction #240

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

IMPRISONED INTELLIGENCE

In 1960s America, civil rights was still just a dream for many.  What should have been an inalienable right – Voting – sometimes had conditions.  Negroes had to Prove they were educated, Prove that they were intelligent enough to vote.

A Negro in Alabama approached a polling station.  A redneck Cracker handed him a copy of the Hebrew Times to read.  When he couldn’t, he was given a sheet of waxed paper and a ballpoint pen, and told to write his name.

When he failed that several times, he said, “I just don’t understand it.  I could read and write this morning.”   😯

***

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

WOW #65

Alright all you COVID couch potatoes, what is the absolute minimum amount that you may move?
Honey??!  Make me a tuna sandwich wouldya, and change the channel to bowling when you bring it in.

According to a slimmed-down, rear-facing Scotsman, it’s a

THERBLIG

(in time and motion study) any of the basic elements involved in completing a given manual operation or task that can be subjected to analysis.
ORIGIN OF THERBLIG

1930–35, Americanism; anagram of F. B. Gilbreth (1868–1924), American engineer

Along with much of the English language, Mr. Gilbreth’s name has been on a diet, and getting leaner and cleaner over hundreds of years.  Other engineers could honor him by (almost) tuning his name around backwards, to get the term ”therblig,” but the more common spelling is Galbraith. https://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Galbraith   It’s a good thing that most Scots were illiterate when they dreamed this name up.  It would take most of an afternoon, writing it all out.

What is the minimum of motion that I’ve achieved this week??  Well, I failed to move enough brain cells to produce a 100-word Flash Fiction.  I only moved a few computer keys enough to create this little stub of a WOW.  I’ll get a move on and do better next week.   😉  😯

My First (Imaginary) Car

Old Jalopy

Once upon a time, I owned a car – not of my dreams, but in my dreams. It had a 1-1/2 cylinder engine, and ran on Macassar Oil. Since I was much younger when I imagined it, it was a much older make. It was a Rolls-Cunardly. It Rolls real good down hills, but Cunardly make it up the other side.

It didn’t come with all the creature comforts that today’s cars possess. In fact, I don’t remember any comfort at all. It didn’t have a windshield because, even at its top, blazing speed, the breeze flow wouldn’t equal a hot-air hand dryer.

Its balky, 5-speed gearbox was shifted with a long, floor-mounted handle, in a wide W pattern. In first gear, you could have checked what was in the glove compartment, except this car only had a shelf where, until recently, a red lantern was kept, that a footman had to precede the vehicle with.

You couldn’t put it in second gear if there was a lady in the car – although my girlfriend Muriel, said she enjoyed the vibration. Putting it in third would have allowed you to tune the radio, if it had one. Even if it did, all you’d have heard were the faint beeps that Marconi got, when someone told him to go fly a kite in Newfoundland.

Fourth gear would have allowed you to check your pocket change, but there was no need, since neither toll roads nor parking meters had been invented. Fifth gear was where it began overtaking garden snails. Care had to be taken, not to hit the simple on/off switch on the steering column, and shut it down.

Keys, and locks, and security systems were dreams for the future. Who would steal this monster? I left it running in front of a store one day, and came back to find a silver dollar and a note on the seat. You poor lad, I feel so sorry for you. Buy yourself a bicycle.

Where was reverse, you ask? Toward the top of a steep hill! The brakes were mechanical, and none too reliable. Just don’t park anywhere it was necessary to back up – or convince two husky bystanders to push it back for you. I used a crank-start system to get it going. Not the bent, metal thing. I got the grouchy old guy named Archon who lived next door, to help push me and bump-start it.

Some of the above details might not be accurate. They’re just intended to remind the Millennials about how tough we old coots had to be. Actually turn on a stove and cook food??! Ewww! My condo doesn’t even have a stove. Couldn’t you just tell your smart phone to call Skip The Dishes, or DoorDash, and have your meals delivered? 🙄

’19 A To Z Challenge – W

AtoZ2019letter-w

 

 

All right everyone, put down your Magic Potions texts, grab your Butter Beer, and we’re off to visit Harry Potter’s friends

Butter Beer

Witch

a person, now especially a woman, who professes or is supposed to practice magic or sorcery; a sorceress. Compare warlock
a woman who is supposed to have evil or wicked magical powers:

Wizard

a person who practices magic; magician or sorcerer.
a conjurer or juggler.

Also whiz, wiz. a person of amazing skill or accomplishment:

Warlock

a man who professes or is supposed to practice magic or sorcery; a male witch; sorcerer.

a fortuneteller or conjurer.

Wyvern

a two-legged winged dragon having the hinder part of a serpent with a barbed tail.

It is one of the vagaries of the English language, that many of the things in Harry Potter’s world begin with the letter W. Aside from the examples above, there are also his magic Wand, his friends and support, the Weasley family – whose forebears came from the village of Westleigh – one of whom, Ginny, (Virginia) became his wife.

Want to know what I’ve dreamed up for the letter X?? You’ll have to wing back over in a couple of weeks. Don’t make me get out my Attraction Spells scroll. 😉 😀

***

Last year, for my Q for quilts challenge post, I showed a picture of the winner in the local Mennonite Relief Auction.  While complex and impressive, I much prefer the recently announced winner of this year’s contest. I like bold blues and geometric shapes, and this one has both.  It’s called Fire Island Hosta Queen.  Here’s a picture of it – do you like it too?

Book Review #19

Paradox Bound

Paradox Bound

It is no paradox that I like to read stories about paradoxes. Oh, wait – I already published that, here.

Are you folks ready for some social and political commentary and satire?? Well, seat belt in. Here we go.

The book – Paradox Bound

The author – Peter Clines

The review – IN THE BEGINNING, was the United States of America. The founding fathers had a dream, a dream of what they had created, a dream of what it could be, a dream of what they wanted it to be. They wanted their dream to be real, solid, physical. Being (mostly) good Christians, they prayed to the Egyptian god Ptah.

Ptah’s father was an older, greater god. Ptah was a carpenter. He died, and came back to life after three days. Maybe they never noticed the difference – or the similarities. Ptah created a real, physical dream for them. It was stored in a safe place…. then one day, the dream was gone – Lost? Stolen? Went to North Korea with some crazy basketball player and forgot to come back?

Most Americans didn’t notice, or didn’t care, but there were many who did care, and they became the Searchers. 48 men had been created with no faces, only plastic Halloween masks. The faceless men’s mission had been to protect the Dream, but when it disappeared, they only protected their own existence. Their greatest strength was “Certainty.” They knew everything around them. They mined the almost 250 years of records of the entire United States. They hunted down and killed any Searcher who might re-establish the old status quo. These faceless bookkeepers were The Bureaucrats.

Is any of this roman a clé beginning to feel familiar? As a Canadian, it took me a few chapters.

Since this entire story is about the United States, there is no “Time” Travel, only about 250 years of History Travel. Like the Back To The Future movies, a vehicle is required. No speed is needed, only the ability to navigate the slick spaces on the roads and trails of America, to slide from one period or era, to another. Travel up-time beyond 2036 is impossible. If The Dream is not recovered and re-installed by then, American history will unravel, and the world will exist without all the wonderful things it has created.

Older vehicles were preferred, because they were stronger, and simpler, able to be repaired with a hammer, pliers and some string, if they broke down. Horse and wagons were mentioned, but usually early 20th century technology was chosen. The author mentions an Indian motorcycle, and apparently John Henry was a real person, riding the rails in a train he assembled himself.

The writer seems to love classic automobiles. He has different characters riding around in a 1929 Ford Model A Business Coupe, a 1940 Cadillac Sixty Special in factory Oxblood Maroon, a 1953 Hudson Hornet, a 1958 Edsel Corsair, a 1961 Ford Fairlane, a 1967 Chevrolet Impala, a 1969 Ford Mustang, a 1970 Dodge Lancer, a 1975 Dodge Dart Sport, and a 1978 Chrysler Newport. Without specific dates, he also mentions ‘tail-finned‘ Cadillacs, which would be from about 1953 to 1960.

Tailfin Cadillac

Since Ptah’s spell only covers the USA, all vehicles must be “American steel.” As an ex-autoworker, I know of American workers, assembling cars in the U.S. with parts produced in Canada, made from German or Pakistani steel. I guess when they cross the border, and get paid for with greenbacks; they become “American.”

Our hero and heroine are the ones driving the ’29 Model A. The author doesn’t know as much about old cars as he lets on. At one point, they make a run for the car. She whips open the passenger door, and “slides across the rumble seat.” I had a mental image of Starsky (or was it Hutch?) sliding across a smooth hood. You don’t do that with a rumble seat! There’s a large, protruding, steel T-handle that could ruin your whole weekend.

SDC10136

There’s the T-Handle that you wouldn’t”t want to slide across.

SDC10135

This car had the ‘rumble seat’ removed, so that the space could be used as a small trunk.

After a few more pages, he began to use the terms ‘bench seat’ and ‘rumble seat’ interchangeably. (Click above) A rumble seat is exterior to the small, enclosed passenger compartment of a coupe. It’s like a small trunk, set on the sloping rear deck, that opens to an exposed, upholstered, double seat.

It must be confusing for the History Travelers, to have the paradox of speaking to a person that they have never met, yet who has known them for years of their time-line – to speak to someone they’ve watched die – to observe the same occurrence from two – or three – different perspectives – and get it.

The ultimate paradox was that, since the Searchers had been trying to find the American Dream through 250 years of history, chronologically, the Dream hid itself, in 1963, so that they could all achieve their dream of locating it. It was never really ‘lost.’

the-fold

I liked Cline’s The Fold novel last year, about parallel time-lines. Despite its ‘Made In America’ plot line, I really liked this one too. I rate it two cheeseburgers. I’d give it three, but I’m trying to lose some weight again (still). 🌯 Tell me what you’re reading.