Flash Fiction #276

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Anne Higa

IN VINO VERTIGO

Try some tequila they said.  Experience something new.  Waking up on a couch, not knowing who owned it, or where I am, was new.  I had to put a hand on the floor, to stop the room whirling around.  That water-tower outside the window better settle down, too, because I don’t know where the bathroom is.

At the Miracle of Fatima, several people said they experienced visions, and the sun moved around in the sky.  I can believe it.  Didn’t that happen in Mexico, where tequila is king?  I have a vision of Coors Lite for me, from now on.

***

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

Fibbing Friday Ate

Pensitivity101 has found that restraining orders do not work on me.  I was released on bail after my last assault on truth, into the custody of WordPress, and immediately stole another list of prompts to satisfy my perverted desires with.  The Language Police have been alerted, and they’ve dispatched a tactical team.  Until they get here, here’s a little something to amuse and entertain you.

  1. What is usually shaken and not stirred?
    Me, when I’m trying to have my afternoon nap.
    The dogs are in the back yard, barking at the neighbor.
    Fine! Tell them to stop.
  2. Who was Dr. No?
    My doctor, after she learned my true weight. 😯
    No sugar!
    No carbs!
    No snacks!
    No beer!
    No shit??! And No reason to go on living.
  3. What is a Thunderball?
    It is the eventual, inevitable, gastronomic result of a big meal of beef and bean burritos. A YOLO Yahoo, with loose track pants, a Bic lighter, and no shame, can turn one into a Lightning Strike.
  4. Who sang ‘For Your Eyes Only?’
    It was a duet, by Ray Charles and (Little) Stevie Wonder. 😎
  5. What does ‘M’ stand for?
    It’s the Roman numeral for 1000
    If I’ve told you once, Double-O Seven, I’ve told you a thousand times, the Secret Service Medical Division is going bankrupt, curing these “Tropical Diseases” that you keep picking up. Only take your Walther PPK, not your Little Walter, out of your pants.
  6. What snack did ‘Q’ almost lose when showing off one of his latest gadgets?
    A bowl of kimchee with a haggis smoothie.
  7. What was sent from Russia with Love?
    Trump’s third (Or was it fourth??) Stepford wife, Malignant Melanoma Maleficent Malign Ya Melania.
  8. What scares the living daylights out of you?
    Politicians!! The best candidate for any position is the one who needs to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into office. I’m not exactly full of sunlight – or unicorn rainbows – to have it forced out of me.  In response to most politicians, it’s often a darker substance, exiting a lower orifice.

We used to be able to tell when Politicians lied to us – their lips moved.  Things have changed.  Now, they talk more, and say less.  Recently, Ted Cruz marathoned a 23-hour filibuster.  I didn’t see the text.  I’m told that it was a Seinfeld speech – all about nothing.  It might have been a monolog about how fortunate, happy, and proud he was to have been born in Canada, to a Mexican mariachi-player father.

  1. What does a Moonraker do?
    It smoothed out the biggest (so far) sand trap in the Solar system, 50 years ago, after Alan Shepard hit some golf balls during the Apollo 14 NASA Lunar mission.
  2. What is You Only Live Twice about?
    It’s the book my wife wrote about my aggressive driving habits. “Getting There” is not half the fun, to me. Time spent on the road, is time wasted.  I’ll be out on the highway, in the fast lane, passing big-rigs like they’re pulling in for a piss-break.  Suddenly, in the center turn-around lane, I’ll spot a County-Mountie – Kojak with a Kodak – a State-trooper with a radar gun.

Quickly I slow to almost the legal limit – and hope.  Will he??….  Is he??….  Did he?
NO!!!  He didn’t pull out.

That’s when I live twice.  I experience the reality first, and then I have that segment flash before my eyes a second time.

The truth is, I’m getting pretty good with these lists – if I do say so myself.  In a couple of days I’ll post something that doesn’t need to be strained through a lie-detector.  😀

Mistaken Identity

It’s a pandemic of poseur, Pocahontas Pretendians.  America has had a recent deluge of government functionaries at all levels, falsely claiming to have Native Heritage.  It happened again!  Two more Canadian female Federal politicians, one of them the Assistant Minister of Indigenous Affairs, have been found to be pretending to have Native blood.

This goes back as far as around 1900, when an English writer came to Canada, became a trapper, called himself Grey Owl, and lived with two different Indian women to get experience and information to write a book about ‘Being An Indian.’

In the 1970s, an Italian-American styled himself as an Indian named Iron-Eyes Cody.  The government even paid him to be in an ecological TV advertisement about keeping the highways clean by not throwing trash out of cars.

While there was money to be made, these two were unusual.  Until about fifty years ago, it was considered quite déclassé for a white person to be deemed even partly indigenous, any more than being thought to be even partly Negro.

Slowly that changed.  Twenty years ago, Eileen Edwards, a white chick from Windsor, called herself Shania Twain, in celebration of her non-existent Native Heritage.  Ten years ago, Justin Bieber claimed that he was enough Indian to get free gasoline, when even full-blooded natives had to pay.

It’s become a cottage industry.  Scarcely a week goes by without another claimant being exposed.  It’s hardly an official diagnosis, but I have been told that it is a form of Indigenous Munchausen’s.  People who are nothing and nobody as a white person, claim Native background and receive sympathy as a member of an oppressed minority.  They get undeserved respect, more than their fifteen minutes of fame, and often, impressive and well-paying positions.

It’s often unclear whether these people are intentionally lying, or whether they actually believe their delusions.  A little from Column A (Or here in Canada, Column Eh.), a little from Column B.

Perfect One-Liners

A perfectionist walked into a bar….
….Apparently it wasn’t set high enough.

My professor accused me of plagiarism….
….His words, not mine.

During the COVID pandemic….
….Is not the time to surround yourself with positive people.

I’m in an open marriage….
….I just found out.

How do you stop a bull from charging?….
….You just unplug it.

The leading cause of dry skin….
….Is towels.

My wife and I had this long, pointless argument about which vowel is most important….
….I won.

People say that time is money….
….I don’t buy that for a second.

My wife asked if I had seen the dog bowl….
….I said, No, I didn’t know he could.

I got assaulted by a mime for having a spasm….
….He thought I was heckling.

I wish everything was as easy as….
….Getting fat.

I asked my therapist if driving my car 100 MPH was an emotional problem….
….She asked me to pay two weeks in advance.

My wife says she’s going to leave me because of my addiction to poker….
….But I think she’s bluffing.

What do you call someone who can’t stick to a diet?….
….A desserter.

Old age is when you’re faced with two temptations….
….And you choose the one that will get you home by nine o’clock.

The trouble with learning from experience….
….Is that you never graduate.

Wait! One day at a time….
….Like, FOREVER??!

I tried starting up a hot-air balloon company….
….But it never took off.

I’m great at multi-tasking….
….I can waste time, be unproductive, and procrastinate, all at once.

My wife said, “Look at this.  I haven’t worn this in years, and it still fits.”….
….I said, “It’s a scarf.”

If only Sarcasm….
….Burned calories

’21 A To Z Challenge – C

(The un-named) They say that curiosity killed the cat, but I say that some curiosity, mixed with a healthy dose of skepticism, and cynicism, can prevent you from becoming a manipulator’s cat’s-paw.

I once worked as a Purchasing Agent for a Bernie Madoff-wannabe owner of a small business – a little metal stamping shop with 25 plant employees.  He apparently had dreams of more and larger automotive contracts, a bigger plant, and 250 employees – or 2500…. Or 25,000!  😯

He had loyalty and honesty only for himself and his company, and no commercial morality.  Management staff were told not to ever allow any barricades to his business – “over, under, through or around.  Don’t come to me with problems!  Come to me with solutions.  Rules are for fools.”

I hired a young man in his early 20s, as a Production Control Clerk.  He was getting married, and he asked the company President for a mere two days off, for an abbreviated honeymoon.  The boss gave him an extended lecture about how he should not even get married.  He should reserve his time and energy for the company.

The Boss was on his second wife.  I don’t know why they bothered to marry – social propriety??!  He put in 12-hour weekdays, often 8-hour Saturdays, and sometimes came in on Sunday.  I don’t know if they ever dined together.  She was a Middle Manager, putting in lots of hours herself, and had girlfriends and hobbies.  He had…. the company – and a disturbing habit of drinking in his office at the end of workday.  He often chivvied me and other staff to remain and keep him and his booze company.  😦

Back in 1982, debit cards didn’t exist, and credit cards weren’t common.  One day he asked me if I had a credit card.  I answered, yes.  “Well, you should get yourself another one.”  Why??!  “So that, when I tell you to buy something for the company, you can keep the charges separate.”

He was already paying 30-day invoices at 120 days.  He expected me to use a personal card to purchase company supplies??!  What assurance was there that I would ever be reimbursed?  I quietly declined to get sucked in.

One day, he wisely decided to computerize the entire office system. (Yes, there was a time when computers weren’t everywhere.)  He hired a tech-nerd who could do the job.  Coincidentally, the guy just happened to have experience in the Purchasing field.

He interrogated other office staff, but, for three weeks he spent a lot of time with me, finding how I had set up my process.  Finally, the boss came to me and said, “Business is slow right now.  You’ve got your paperwork well-organized.  If I give him some assistance, Roscoe and I can handle it.  I’m scheduling your hours to zero for now.  You don’t need to come in.

I never even got fired.  He just stopped paying me.  Losing any job and its income can be quite traumatic, but I was actually (eventually) happy not to be employed at this one, when the police, or the bankruptcy bailiffs, showed up.  Rules are for fools eventually killed him, when he violated flight regulations and splashed a rented 4-seater all over a friend’s pasture.

’20 A To Z Challenge – Z

And the First shall be Last, and Last shall be First.  At last we are approaching the first of a new alphabet challenge – But first, the word

ZENOSYNE

zenosyne – The sense that time keeps going faster. .Coined in 2012 by John Koenig in The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, https://www.dictionaryofobscuresorrows.com/ a project to create a compendium of invented words for every emotion we might all experience but don’t yet have a word for.  And Keta – an image that inexplicably leaps back into your mind from the distant past.  Koinophobhia – the fear that one may have lived an ordinary life.  Wytai – feature(s) of modern life that one may consider absurd, like zoos, drinking milk, or organ transplants. 

Morii is the desire to capture a fleeing experience, something we try to do incessantly every waking minute of our lives these days, with Instagram stories, photographs, and snaps.  Lacheism is a longing for clarity of a disaster or apocalypse.  Lilo is a friendship that can lie dormant for years only to pick right back up instantly, as if no time had passed since you last saw each other.  Astrophe – the feeling of being stuck on earth when there is an entire universe or beyond to explore.  Modus tollens – is the feeling that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense any more. 

Onism is the realization of how little of the world you will experience.  Socha is the hidden vulnerability of others.  Lutalica is the part of your personality that doesn’t fit into categories.  Vemödalen is the fear that everything has already been done, and Avenoir is the desire to see memories in advance. 

We take it for granted that life moves forward.  But you move as a rower moves – facing backward.  You can see where you’ve been, but not where you are going.  And your boat is steered by a younger version of you.  It is hard not to wonder what life would be like, facing the other way.

Klexos is the art of dwelling on the past.  Your life is written in indelible ink.  There’s no going back to erase the past, tweak the mistakes, or fill in the missed opportunities.  When the moment’s over, your fate is sealed.

Xeno is the smallest measurable unit of human connection, typically exchanged between passing strangers—a flirtatious glance, a sympathetic nod, a shared laugh about some odd coincidence—moments that are fleeting and random but still contain powerful emotional nutrients that can alleviate the symptoms of feeling alone.

Mahpiohanzia is the disappointment of being unable to fly.  Being unable to stretch out your arms and vault into the air, having finally shrugged off the ballast of your own weight and ignited the fuel tank of unfulfilled desires you’ve been storing up since before you were born.

Trumspringa is the temptation to step off your career track and become a shepherd in the mountains, following your flock between pastures with a sheepdog and a rifle, watching storms at dusk from the doorway of a small cabin, just the kind of hypnotic diversion that allows your thoughts to make a break for it and wander back to their cubicles in the city.

Kairosclerosis is the moment you realize that you’re currently happy—consciously trying to savor the feeling—which prompts your intellect to identify it, pick it apart and put it in context, where it will slowly dissolve until it’s little more than an aftertaste.

Sonder – the realization that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as yours
Opia – The ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable.
Monachopsis – The subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place.

Kenopsia – The forlorn atmosphere of a place that is usually bustling with people, but is now abandoned.

Mauerbauer-Traurigkeit – The inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends that you like.

Énouement – The bitter-sweetness of having arrived in the future, seeing how things turn out, but not being able to tell your past self.
Vellichor – The strange wistfulness of used-book shops.

Anticipointment – The sinking feeling when anticipation fails to be the greater part of pleasure.
Jouska – A hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head.

This man obviously had way too much time, sitting by himself in the attic.  I don’t know whether he should have taken more drugs – or less.  At least he got an entire book out of it – portions of which I have stolen researched, and used for free, for this post.

The same old alphabet begins with brand-new words in a couple of weeks.  This year, C may be for Compulsive.

One-Liners Rub off On You

Comedy

I got a new dry-erase board at work….
….It’s remarkable

People who can’t distinguish between etymology and entomology….
….bug me in ways that I cannot put into words

I could tell you about my addiction to reading books….
….but that’s another story

If you boil a funny-bone….
….you get a laughing-stock
….This is humerus.

I didn’t think that my orthopedic shoes would work….
….but I stand corrected

Why did the coffee file a police report?….
….It got mugged

A toothpick saw a hedgehog….
….”Oh, wow, a bus.” it said.

How do you teach schoolchildren about God?….
….Gather them all in a classroom, and then don’t show up.

I swallowed a laxative with Holy water….
….I’m going to start a religious movement

I nearly bought a hill today….
….but it was too steep

Some people think my puns are juvenile….
….but I like to think of them as full groan

I once had a job prospecting for gold….
….but it didn’t pan out

I got a job in a guillotine factory….
….I’ll be heading there soon

I had amnesia once….
…or twice???

They told me that I was gullible….
….and I believed them

You shouldn’t try to write with a broken pencil….
….It’s pointless

I was addicted to the Hokey-Pokey….
….but I turned myself around

Never argue with a fool….
….they will lower you to their level, and beat you with experience

How do you seduce a fat woman?….
….piece of cake

I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way….
….so I stole a bike, and asked for forgiveness

Practice makes perfect….
….but nobody’s perfect, so why practice?

The floor was so dusty….
…. that it seemed to be suffering from sweep deprivation.

Flash Fiction #205

Memory

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

I’VE GOT A GREAT MEMORY: IT’S JUST REALLY SHORT

Now what was I going downstairs for?? I’d better go back up to the kitchen to find out.

Why am I in the kitchen? I was supposed to be going downstairs for…. something….

Senior citizens’ memories are not necessarily faulty, often just overfull – recollection upon recollection – experience after experience.

Science fiction offers us a future when we might upload our consciousness to a computer. Might be a good idea. Occasionally run a de-frag – do a sort and delete. I don’t need to remember that Bobby peed himself in First Grade. Where is that cake mix we bought the other day?

Black Forest Cake

***

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

Smitty’s Loose Change #10

Smitty's Loose Change

A screenwriter was paid $25,000 for two days work, to produce an outline for a successful movie. A story reported that he was given 25,000 “Big Ones”.   Now, twenty-five thousand dollars can be described, in slang, as 25 Thou, 25 Grand, 25 Gs, or even as 25 Big Ones, but, if there are 25,000 of them, they’re not Big Ones, they’re all little ones. I’ve read writers like this described as knowing the difference between wet and dry, but feeling that it’s a fine distinction.

***

I recently discovered something even worse than helicopter parents. These are lawn-mower parents, who precede their children, and mow down every possible problem, obstacle and hindrance to their life. They conceal the realities of life for their unfortunate children and allow them no chance to mature and grow, to become self-sufficient, and to learn from experience and failure, and how to adapt.

***

The Universe of Politically-Correct speech continues to expand and grow. I recently read an account of a small-plane crash which killed three people, described as a shatter landing. No George Carlin bathroom tissue was involved.

***

The Grammar Check needs a slap as badly as the Spell Check. I typed I wonder what Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin tasted like into a one-liner comedy post, and got back, ‘I wonder what Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin is.’ 😯

***

Bag man, and bag lady, mean completely different things.

***

I recently bought myself a box of Wheat Thins crackers, as an occasional snack…. because I like Wheat Thins, and they were on sale. I opened the box, took a small handful, and sat down with a book. I popped one into my mouth and crunched it, and – What in Hell is this petrified wallpaper paste??!

My weak eyes and weak mind must have made me pick up the wrong thing. No. The box clearly says “Wheat Thins,” – but, as I look closer – under that, it says ‘Multigrain.” You assholes do know that oats, barley, quinoa and chia don’t make “WHEAT Thins”, right??! I would have been better off just cutting the cardboard box into small squares, and eating it. Now I know why they were on sale.  😯

***

I also recently astounded my chiropractor. The clinic where he practices also has two massage therapists. I took the wife in for massage, and sat out front waiting and reading a newspaper. When he stepped out of his office, his eyes went wide.

“In all the time I’ve worked here, I’ve never seen anybody read a newspaper here. They all have their noses stuck into the blue glow of their smart phones or tablets. They bring a book, or they leaf through one of our magazines, but I’ve never seen a newspaper in this waiting room.”

I told him that I never have to worry if the ISP is down, I don’t have to ask for the Wi-Fi password, and my batteries are never low – although occasionally I have to remember to sharpen the pencil that I do crosswords and word jumbles with.

***

Murphy’s Law

Murphy's Law

The following are some of the rules of the Universe that we have to abide by.  Feel free to add any that you’ve learned through sad experience.

MURPHY WAS AN OPTIMIST!

No good deed goes unpunished
leakproof seals – will
self-starters – will not
interchangeable parts – won’t
there is always one more bug
Nature is a mother
don’t mess with Mrs. Murphy
90% of everything is crap
The moment you light up a cigarette, your bus will arrive
If you’re feeling good, don’t worry, you’ll get over it
all warrantees expire on payment of invoice
where you stand on an issue depends on where you sit
never eat prunes when you are famished
friends come and go, but enemies accumulate
if you try to please everybody, nobody will like it
a short cut is the longest distance between two points

ANYTHING THAT CAN GO WRONG, WILL GO WRONG!

You will always find something in the last place you look.

The chance of a piece of bread falling with the butter/jam side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.

No matter how long or hard you shop for an item, after you’ve bought it, it will be on sale somewhere, cheaper.

No-one’s life, liberty or property is safe while the Legislature is in session.

The other line always moves faster.

In order to get a loan, first you must prove that you don’t need it.

Anything you try to fix will take longer and cost more than you thought.

If you fool around with a thing very long, you will screw it up.

A $2000 HDTV will protect a 10 cent fuse by blowing first.

If it jams – force it.  If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway.

Force to fit – file to hide – paint to cover

Any tool dropped while repairing a car will roll underneath to the exact center.

The repairman will never have seen a model like yours before.

When a broken appliance is demonstrated to the repairmen it will work perfectly.

A pipe gives a wise man time to think, and a fool something to stick in his mouth.

Everybody should believe in something – I believe I’ll have another beer.

Build a system that even a fool can use – and only a fool will use it.

Everybody has a scheme for getting rich that will not work.

In any hierarchy, each individual rises to his own level of incompetence, and then remains there.

You will remember that you forgot to take out the trash when the garbage truck is two doors away.

The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong – but that’s the way to bet.

There’s never enough time to do it properly, but there’s always time to do it over.

When in doubt, mumble.  When in trouble, delegate.

Everything good in life is either illegal, immoral, or fattening.

It is morally wrong to let suckers keep their money.

A bird in the hand is safer than one overhead.

Murphy’s Golden Rule: Whoever has the gold, makes the rules.

Everything East of the San Andreas Fault will eventually plunge into the Atlantic Ocean.

Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.

The light at the end of the tunnel is the headlamp of an oncoming train.

Celibacy is not hereditary.

Never sleep with anyone crazier than yourself.

Beauty is only skin deep.  Ugly goes right to the bone.

To know yourself is the ultimate form of aggression. (Freudian psychology)

Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.

A Smith & Wesson beats four aces.

If everything seems to be going well, you obviously have no idea what the Hell is going on.

If more than one person is responsible for a miscalculation, no-one will be at fault.

In case of doubt, make it sound convincing.

Never argue with a fool.  People might not know the difference.

***

I apologise for the above.  I’m not always like this.  Lots of days I’m nowhere near this optimistic.  See you soon – if all goes well.  😯