’22 A To Z Challenge – F

 

Poor overworked English-language words!

Like, I don’t mean words like, like.  I mean words like the poor word, run.  The dictionary definition for that one runs to a page and a half.  Its somewhat less stressed and overburdened country cousin is

FLAG

Seems simple enough – a colored, often patterned piece of cloth, representing countries, provinces, states, corporations, etc.  A visit to my American friend revealed that, of 14 houses on his cul-de-sac, 8 of them proudly, patriotically displayed the Stars and Stripes.  But….

To my gardener wife, a flag is an iris, or similar, broad-leafed plants

To a landscaper or paver, a flag is a thin flat stone, used to create walkways or driveways.

To a hawk or falcon, a flag is a tuft of feathers on the leg.

To a hunter, a flag is the tail of a deer, or of his hunting dog.

To a journalist, a flag is the nameplate of his newspaper or magazine.

As a verb, flag can mean to affix a flag(s), as on a ship or building.

Flag can mean to signal or warn – as to flag a taxi or a bus.
My Father used to describe scantily clad females as, “Not wearing enough clothes to flag a handcar.”
The meaning of the term handcar will be provided upon request, at no additional cost.  I have ridden on a handcar several times, sometimes assisting to propel them.  Their gasoline-powered replacements came to be known as jiggers.

Flag can mean to mark a file, or other, for attention.
I’m going to flag his tax return for an audit.

Lastly, flag can mean to diminish in strength, energy or interest.
My enthusiasm for this project is beginning to flag.
I am going to wave the white flag for now, but I’ll be back on Wednesday.

Brilliant Comedy

Albert Einstein was also recognized as the original absent-minded professor. One day, on board a train, he was unable to find his ticket. The conductor said, “Take it easy. You’ll find it.”

When the conductor returned, the professor still couldn’t find the ticket. The conductor, recognizing the famous scientist, said, “I’m sure you bought a ticket. Forget about it.”

“You’re very kind,” the professor said, “but I must find it, otherwise I won’t know where to get off.”

—–

I had just moved to an address between Sunrise Ave. and Sunset Blvd., one of Sacramento’s major streets, and was explaining to a clerk where my home was located for billing purposes.

“I live between Sunrise and Sunset,” I told her.

“Oh, Honey,” she knowingly replied, “we all do.”

—–

The Game Warden stopped a deer hunter and asked to see his hunting license.

“This is last year’s license,” the warden informed him.

“I know,” said the hunter, “but I shouldn’t need a new license. I am only shooting at the deer I missed last year.”

—–

A little girl, dressed in her Sunday best, was running as fast as she could, trying not to be late for Bible class. As she ran she prayed, “Dear Lord, please don’t let me be late! Dear Lord, please don’t let me be late!”

As she was running and praying, she tripped on a curb and fell, getting her clothes dirty and tearing her dress. She got up, brushed herself off, and started running again.

As she ran she once again began to pray, “Dear Lord, please don’t let me be late! …But don’t shove me either.”

***

My English teacher used to tell me that I would never be very good at poetry, because of my dyslexia.

Well, I recently made three jugs and a vase – so there!

***

Imagine the conundrum of an Atheist,, stuck at a green light, behind a car with a bumper sticker that says, “Honk if you love Jesus.”

***

You can get lawyers at IKEA now, but you have to build your own case.

***

A WEE Bit More Scottish Humor

John decided to go golfing in Scotland with his buddy, Keith, so they loaded up John’s minivan and headed north. After driving for a few hours, they got caught in a terrible blizzard, so they pulled into a nearby farm… …and asked the attractive lady who answered the door, if they could spend the night.

I realize it’s terrible weather out there and I have this huge house all to myself, but I’m recently widowed.” she explained. “And I’m afraid the neighbours will talk if I let you stay in my house.

Don’t worry.” John said. “We’ll be happy to sleep in the barn and if the weather breaks, we’ll be gone at first light.

The lady agreed, and the two men found their way to the barn and settled in for the night.

Come morning, the weather had cleared, and they got on their way and enjoyed a great weekend of golf.

But about nine months later, John got an unexpected letter from an attorney.

It took him a few minutes to figure it out, but he finally determined that it was from the attorney of that attractive widow he had met on the golf weekend.

He dropped in on his friend Keith and asked, “Keith, do you remember that good-looking widow from the farm we stayed at on our golf holiday in Scotland about 9 months ago?

Yes, I do.” said Keith.

Did you, er, happen to get up in the middle of the night, go up to the house and pay her a visit?

Well, um, yes!” Keith said, a little embarrassed about being found out, “I have to admit that I did.

And did you happen to give her my name instead of telling her your name?

Keith’s face turned beet red and he said, “Yeah, look, I’m sorry, buddy. I’m afraid I did. Why do you ask?”

John replied, “Well, she just died and left me everything.

Flash Fiction #27 – Redux

In the lead-up to Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, etc., Rochelle has graciously granted us the exemption from straining our brains too much.  I’m taking advantage of the offer to reach waaayy back into my files, and republish this unpolished gem.

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Claire Fuller

YOU OUGHTA BE IN PICTURES

Richie had a real mania for anything related to films.  He’d even got an autograph from some kid who held a clapper stick.  He wasn’t hard to convince to come along on an artifact hunting expedition, but, the further we got from the city, the more reluctant he became.

“Why are we way out here?  There’s nothing connected to films in this run-down little village!”

“Sure there is.  They filmed some of the Transformers movies here” I replied.  “See there.  That’s the changing room for Optimus Prime.  Maybe you could get a tailpipe, or a tire for your rec-room wall.”

***

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

The Jokes Just Suit Me

The fellow was being sold a very cheap suit. “But the left arm is a lot longer than the right arm,” he complained.

“That’s why the suit is such a bargain,” the sales clerk explained. “Just cock your left shoulder up a little, like this, and tuck this left lapel under your chin a bit, like this.”

“But the right leg is way too short,” argued the customer.

“No problem,” the sales clerk answered. “Just keep your right knee bent a little at all times, walk like this, and no one will notice. That’s why this suit is only $30.”

Finally, the fellow bought the suit, cocked his left shoulder into the air, tucked the suit’s left lapel under his chin, bent his right knee, and limped out of the store toward his car. Two doctors happened along and noticed him. “Good heavens,” the first doctor said to the second, “look at that poor crippled fellow.”

“Yeah,” answered the second doctor. “But doesn’t that suit fit great?”

***

An employee went to see his supervisor. “Boss,” he said, “we’re doing some heavy housecleaning at home tomorrow, and my wife asked me for some help with the attic and the garage, moving and hauling stuff.”

“We’re shorthanded,” the boss replied. “I can’t give you the day off.”

“Thanks boss,” said the employee. “I knew I could count on you!”

***

“What’s that piece of cord tied around your finger for?”
“My wife put it there to remind me to take a letter to the Post Office.”
“And did you mail it?”
“No, she forgot to give me the letter.”

***

I was desperately trying to get my wife’s attention.  So I sat down on the couch, and looked comfortable; that seemed to do the trick.

***

A wife walked into the kitchen to find her husband stalking around with a flyswatter.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“Hunting flies.” he replied.
“Oh, kill any?”
“Yeah!  Three males and two females.”
Intrigued, she asked, “How can you tell the difference?”
“Three were on a beer can, and two were on the telephone.”

***

Playing golf with his buddies, my grandfather had to make a slick 25-foot putt. As he lined it up, he announced, “I have a dollar bill that says I can make this putt. Does anyone want to bet?”

His three friends eagerly agreed to the wager. My grandfather missed the putt by ten feet, and his friends gathered around to collect their money. Granddad pulled out a dollar bill on which he had written, “I can make this putt.”

His pals are still trying to collect on the bet and grandpa is too.

—–

My drama queen teenage daughter was recounting to my seemingly uninterested husband what she deemed a near-death experience and concluded the story with, “And I think I saw my life flash before my eyes.”
Without a moment’s hesitation, my husband replied, “Wow! That must have been a sad short story.”

—–

Just helped my neighbor throw a rolled up carpet in the dumpster…
Her boyfriend would have helped but he is out of town.

Lawyers, No Joke

This Lawyer Is Thorough…

The attorney tells the accused, “I have some good news and some bad news.”
“What’s the bad news?” asks the accused.
“The bad news is, your blood 
is all over the crime scene, and the DNA tests prove you did it.”
“What’s the good news?”
“Your cholesterol is 130.”

***

Trappiest Place on Earth

A man won an $8,000 settlement from Disneyland after he got stuck on the It’s a Small World ride. He said he’ll use the money to cut out the part of his brain that won’t stop playing ‘It’s a Small World After All.’

***

Long Tour of Duty

I work in a courthouse, so when I served jury duty, I knew most of the staff. As I sat with other prospective jurors listening to a woman drone on about how long the process was taking, a judge and two lawyers passed by, giving me a big hello. A minute later, a few maintenance workers did the same.

That set off the malcontent: “Just how long have you been serving jury duty?”

***

Roll Call

I was in juvenile court, prosecuting a teen suspected of burglary, when the judge asked everyone to stand and state his or her name and role for the court reporter.

“Leah Rauch, deputy prosecutor,” I said.

“Linda Jones, probation officer.”

“Sam Clark, public defender.”

“John,” said the teen who was on trial. “I’m the one who stole the truck.”

***

The First Case

An investment banker decides she needs in-house counsel, so she interviews a young lawyer. “Mr. Peterson,” she says. “Would you say you’re honest?”

“Honest?” replies Peterson. “Let me tell you something about honesty. My father lent me $85,000 for my education, and I paid back every penny the minute I tried my first case.” “Impressive. And what sort of case was that?”

“Dad sued me for the money.”

***

Frame of Reference

When my 88-year-old mother was called for jury duty, she had to submit to questioning by the opposing lawyers.

“Have you ever dealt with an attorney?” asked the plaintiff’s lawyer.

“Yes. I had an attorney write my living trust,” she responded.

“And how did that turn out?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “Ask me when I’m dead.”

***

The Judgment

After I prosecuted a man for killing a bird out of season with his slingshot, the court clerk suggested setting up a date for him to return with both the money for the fine and proof of community service. “That way,” she said innocently, “you can kill two birds with one stone.”

***

Protesting Too Much

Arrested on a robbery charge, our law firm’s client denied the allegations. So when the victim pointed him out in a lineup as one of four men who had attacked him, our client reacted vociferously.

“He’s lying!” he yelled. “There were only three of us.”

Giving Thanx For Comedy

Since so many people like a drumstick at Thanksgiving, geneticists developed a six-legged turkey.  No-one knows what it tastes like because they can’t catch one.

A collection of quotes about Thanksgiving, from people you may know.

I celebrated Thanksgiving the old-fashioned way.  I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had a big feast, and then I killed them all and took their land.
Jon Stewart

Thanksgiving is an emotional time.  People travel thousands of miles to be with people they see only once a year – and then discover that once a year is way too often.
Johnny Carson

Cooking tip: Wrap turkey leftovers in aluminum foil – and throw them out.
Nicole Hollander

Thanksgiving, man, not a good day to be my pants.
Kevin James

I took me three weeks to stuff the turkey. I stuffed it through the beak.
Phyllis Diller

I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage.
Erma Bombeck

The Thanksgiving tradition is, we overeat. ‘Hey, how about at Thanksgiving we just eat a lot?’ ‘But we do that every day!’ ‘Oh. What if we eat a lot with people that annoy the hell out of us?
Jim Gaffigan

If you stand in the meat section at the grocery store long enough, you start to get mad at turkey. There’s turkey ham, turkey bologna, turkey pastrami. Someone needs to tell the turkey, man, just be yourself.
Mitch Hedberg

Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie.
Jim Davis

If you want to save a species, simply decide to eat it. Then it will be managed—like chickens, like turkeys, like deer, like Canadian geese.
Ted Nugent

Most turkeys taste better the day after; my mother’s tasted better the day before.
Rita Rudner

Last Thanksgiving I shot my own turkey. It was fun. That shotgun going, Blam!  Everybody at the supermarket just staring. Why track them when I know where they are?
Kenny Rogerson

We’re having something different this year for Thanksgiving. Instead of a turkey, we’re having a swan. You get more stuffing.
George Carlin

Even though we’re a week and a half away from Thanksgiving, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Richard Roeper

You can tell you ate too much for Thanksgiving when you have to let your bathrobe out.
Jay Leno

If you wish to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent the universe.
Carl Sagan

I got to go home for Thanksgiving and sit at the adults’ table. That’s ’cause, you know, somebody had to die for me to move up a plate.
Andre Kelley

Thanksgiving is America’s national chow-down feast, the one occasion each year when gluttony becomes a patriotic duty.
Michael Dresser

An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day.
Irv Kupcinet

I’m from Canada, so Thanksgiving to me is just another Thursday with more food. And I’m thankful for that!
Howie Mandel

Thanksgiving is a magical time of year when families across the country join together to raise obesity statistics.
Stephen Colbert

Here in my city, the Canadian Thanksgiving becomes the first weekend of a 9-day Oktoberfest, where over-drinking and overeating go hand-in-hand, like Hansel and Gretel.  I am thankful that I don’t have to drive through that insanity anymore.  If you’ve seen one drunk guy with bare legs, in leather shorts – you’ve seen one too many.

 

Canadian Gun Nuts

SHOOTINGS UP, AS TRUDEAU’S GUN BAN MISSES TARGET

When Justin Trudeau announced his massive gun ban, back on May 1, he told the country that he was doing it to tackle gun violence, and to make Canada safer.

“Every single Canadian wants to see less gun violence, and safer communities. So today, we take another big step forward.” Trudeau said.  “Enough is enough.  Banning these firearms will save Canadian lives.” Trudeau’s Public Safety Minister, Bill Blair stated emphatically.

TOO BAD IT ISN’T WORKING!  😯

Between May 1 and Sept. 6, shootings were up in Canada’s largest city.  So were the number of people killed by guns.  In total, between when Trudeau announced his ban and Labor Day weekend, Toronto saw 208 shootings with 92 people injured, and 14 people killed.  In that same time period for 2019, there were 185 shootings, 92 injured, and 12 people killed.

Did Trudeau forget to take aim at criminals, when trying to tackle the gun crime that is the real issue in many cities across Canada??

When Trudeau banned 1500 guns, or variations of rifles that he described as “military-grade assault weapons,” he wasn’t banning guns that are used in crime; he was banning guns used in hunting or at the gun range by licensed owners.

Since May 1, hundreds more firearms have been added to the banned list, even though they are shotguns or bolt-action rifles.  These are firearms that are used for hunting, not by criminals.  “Zero impact” is how Marcell Wilson summed up Trudeau’s gun ban on the gang violence plaguing our biggest cities.

Wilson should know; he used to be part of that world, smuggling guns and running his own organization.  Now he’s turned his life around and operates One By One, an organization that helps people get out of the gang life.

He said banning these rifles won’t stop the shootings, because gangs rarely – if ever – use them.  “Definitely handguns of small calibre in my day was ideal.  Easy to conceal and easy to throw away if need be.”  Wilson said.

Former Toronto Police Detective Mark Mendelson, who spent 14 years as a lead investigator on the city’s homicide squad, said he agrees with Wilson when it comes to Trudeau’s gun ban aiming at the wrong target.  “These are not the guns used in crimes that involve the gangs.  They’re running around with Glocks, Smith and Wessons, semiautomatic pistols.”

What Trudeau has banned were the guns with no history of crime in this country, claiming that it would stop the shootings.  The numbers show that is not the case.  Shootings are up 12.5% this summer compared to the same period in 2019, and 24% higher than what was recorded in 2018.  Compared to summer of 2015 – the summer just before Trudeau was elected – shootings are up 83% in Toronto.

This was never about keeping Canadians safe or reducing gun crime.  This was about Trudeau looking like he was taking strong action when he wasn’t.  Shootings have been up during his entire tenure in office, and he hasn’t been able to deal with it.

Gun crime is a very real issue in Canada, but the Federal Liberals seem to forget the crime part, and only focus on the gun part.  Tracking down criminals and getting them to hand over their guns is difficult.  Tracking down licensed gun owners is much easier.

The Government plans to spend more than $600 million – could be more than $1 Billion – to pay legal gun owners to hand over their now-banned rifles and shotguns.  Rather than spend this amount of money on something that has no chance of reducing gun crime, just a portion of it spent on groups like Wilson’s could go a long way towards dealing with the root problems.

C’mon Justin, it’s time to aim your efforts at the right target.

Flash Fiction #224

Unicorn

PHOTO PROMPT © Jeff Arnold

I’LL PUT THE BITE ON YOU

No-one had ever actually died because of eating the “I’m Game”® sausages, from Rudi’s little plant, made with meat that he bought from hunters, and the nearby petting zoo.

He was very careful about the production hygiene, but perhaps less so about what went into his products; reindeer, moose, venison, goats, turkeys, rabbits…. perhaps a touch of horse-meat…. 50/50…. one rabbit, one horse.

Someone really shot a unicorn??! He thought those were mythical. He wondered what it tasted like, probably too sweet. He’d have to check, and spice accordingly. Well, whatever. Into the grinder it goes. Oh, look! Free publicity.

***

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

Flash Fiction #198

Moose Meat

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

Three men hire a bush-pilot to fly them to a remote moose-hunting lodge, and return a week later.

They shoot a moose, and pack the meat. When the pilot returns, he looks at the extra pile, and tells them that his plane won’t take the additional 1500 pounds.

“Aw c’mon, the guy last year let us.” Grudgingly, he agrees, and begins gaining speed across the lake. Just at the far shore, he lifts off, only to tangle with a tree.

One guy regains consciousness, and says, “Where are we?”

His friend replies, “About a hundred yards farther than last year.”

***

Please excuse me. I couldn’t write anything new, so I hope you don’t mind an old joke. I took one look at that photo, and this was all I could think about.

***

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

Firearms VS. My Skull

Shotgun

Have you ever had your head blown off with a 12 gauge shotgun?  I have, almost, and it still gives me shivers when I’m reminded of it!  Actually, that’s a silly question.  If you’d had your head blown off, you wouldn’t be here, answering this silly survey.

Children in my small hometown owned weapons. 14, 15, 16-year-old boys possessed rifles and shotguns.  It was not unusual, of a warm, sunny summer Saturday, to see a group of armed youths, ‘going hunting’, if hooting and yelling, and telling jokes while clomping through the near-by woods could be called hunting.  All the animals were hiding behind trees and snickering.  The only things that got shot were trees and fenceposts – or old appliances and food tins, if we reached the city dump.

One well-armed wight once boasted of ‘bumping off a chickadee’, as if he were a mob hit man. From a distance of 20 feet, he blasted away with a 12 gauge shotgun, leaving nothing but a fine pink mist.  He was also the genius who found an arm-thick, wild apple tree amongst the evergreens, and ‘chopped it down’ using three blasts to its base.

The rifles we owned were mostly little .22 caliber plinkers, capable of very little serious damage. Those who carried 12 gauge shotguns though, were far more dangerous.  .22s are only 22/100ths of an inch wide.  Even .45s, a large handgun shell, are less than half an inch.  12 gauge though, is .730 inches in diameter. And the power comes from the ‘squared’ portion of the Pi/R/Squared formula.  See the size comparison below.

Gauge

I had moved away to get a job, and had returned for Christmas. I’d been able to get presents for my Mom and Dad, but admitted to him that I had no idea about what to get my brother.  He told me that my brother wanted to be armed like his friends for ‘hunting season’, and also told me where there was a bolt action shotgun for sale, much like the one at the top, only in far better shape.

Bolt-action, for a shotgun, is quite rare. It cocks, ready for the next shot, when you lift the bolt handle, rotating a wedge-shaped section backward.  After you manually insert another shell and close the bolt, it is fired by pulling the trigger, to release the spring-loaded portion….usually.

After I had presented it to him on Christmas Day, the brother oohed and aahed over it, and took in into his bedroom, ‘to put it away in his closet.’ I had a small repair chore to do for my Dad, and stepped out into a shed, attached to the back of the old, frame house, with a work area in it.

I was standing close to the house outer wall, with a file and screwdriver in my hands. Suddenly, there was a loud bang, and my head and shoulders stung from small impacts.  I thought at first that a two-bulb, 4-foot fluorescent light fixture had exploded in the cold….but no, I still had light.

I turned, and there was a head-sized hole in the wall, right beside my head.  I could see my brother inside, with the shotgun in his hands, and a dismayed expression on his face.  By the time I’d left home, I’d acquired almost 300 hours of gun-handling and safety training.  Not so my brother, and his gun-toting friends.

He just HAD to know how the gun operated, and inserted a shotgun shell.  Apparently the gun had a 6-inch split, at the back of the barrel.  Instead of cocking, as the bolt was raised, it allowed the cocking cam to slip out of a groove, machined into the barrel, and hang up on the barrel’s rear edge.  When the bolt was pushed forward, it stretched the firing spring, and when the bolt was cranked down, to lock it, the cam snapped back into its slot, and suddenly flew forward, firing the gun.

A couple of fortuitous degrees of angle, or inches of difference in where he, and I, were standing, were the only things that prevented me from becoming a Wisconsin Swiss-Cheese-Head. The gun’s vendor had not wanted to lose a sale by mentioning the flaw, but had to refund my money, and got a good blast from both me and my Dad.  My brother never did end up owning a gun, and it’s probably just as well.

Do any of you have an almost-died story that you wish to share?  This is not my only one.  My brother also almost drowned the both of us one time.   😯  I’m alive and safe now, and look forward to hearing from you again soon.