’19 A To Z Challenge – B

Letter BAtoZ2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It all started with a block of cheese at Costco.

Balderson

I never know when a language lesson will rear its ugly head. It was on a recent Costco run, when one leaped (or is that leapt??) out at me. The wife wanted to buy another block of Cheddar cheese, to provide dietary source of calcium for me. Instead of taking Costco’s house-brand – Kirkland – she asked me if I would take one that was on sale, named

Balderdash

senseless, stupid, or exaggerated talk or writing; nonsense.

Obsolete . a muddled mixture of liquors.

Related words; jargon, crock, claptrap, rot, bunk, tripe, rigmarole, drivel, moonshine, poppycock, bull, malarkey, fustian, trash, fudge, twaddle, flummery, bosh

For a word that means nothing, it sure has a lot of synonyms. The dictionary omitted the most recent one – Donald Trump. It’s another great old word that the hipsters don’t have time to use, IMHO. The name that she meant to use, was

Balderson

This interesting surname is of medieval English origin, and is an assimilated form of the locational name Balderston(e), which is itself derived from two places so called in Lancashire. The earliest recording in 1172 (Whitaker’s “History of Whalley”‘) appears as “Balderestone”; in the Feet of Fines as “Baldreston” in 1256; and as “Baldreston” in the Court Rolls of 1323. Balderson derives from an Olde English pre 7th Century personal name “Baldhere”, composed of the elements “beold”, brave, and “here”, army, with “tun”, a settlement. During the Middle Ages, when it was becoming more common for people to migrate from their birthplace to seek work elsewhere, they would often adopt the placename as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name.

This is the kind of claptrap, drivel, trash, etc. that I serve you when I’ve been distracted, debating with Apologists, and wait till the last minute to compose an A To Z Challenge post. At least it had cheese sauce on it – tasty little morsel.  I promise that Wednesday’s offering will be a little more entertaining and informative. I hope to see you here then   😀

A To Z - Survivor

Cuz I forgot to add this image to my ‘A’ post, two weeks ago

One Jackass – Or Two?

Jackass

An Old Man and His Mule

An old man walked up and tied his old mule to the hitching post. As he stood there, brushing some of the dust from his face and clothes, a young gunslinger stepped out the saloon with a gun in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other.

The young gunslinger looked at the old man and laughed, “Hey old man, have you ever danced?”

The old man looked up at the gunslinger and said, “No,… I never did dance… never really wanted to.”

A crowd had gathered as the gunslinger grinned and said, “Well, you old fart, you’re gonna dance now,” and started shooting at the old man’s feet.

The old prospector — not wanting to get his toe blown off — started hopping around. Everybody was laughing. When his last bullet had been fired, the young gunslinger, still laughing, holstered his gun and turned around to go back into the saloon.

The old man turned to his pack mule, pulled out a double-barreled shotgun, and cocked both hammers. The loud clicks carried clearly through the desert air, and the crowd stopped laughing immediately.

The young gunslinger heard the sounds, too, and he turned around very slowly. The silence was almost deafening. The crowd watched as the young gunman stared at the old man and the large gaping holes of the twin barrels.

The barrels of the shotgun never wavered in the old man’s hands, as he quietly said, “Son, have you ever kissed a mule’s ass?”

The gunslinger swallowed hard and said, “No Sir… But I’ve always wanted to.”

There are five lessons here for all of us:

  1. Never be arrogant.
  2. Don’t waste ammunition.
  3. Whiskey makes you think you’re smarter than you are.
  4. Always make sure you know who has the power.
  5. Don’t mess with old people, they didn’t get old by being stupid.

 

Piano Man

Piano

When I was a boy, with the best of intentions, my parent tried to make me musical. Fail!  Dad was a part-time entertainer.  He couldn’t play an instrument.  He only sang and told stories and jokes.  Perhaps sensing my loner tendencies, my Mother decided that I needed to learn how to play the piano, to be sociable.  Elton John had barely been born, and Billy Joel hadn’t.  Everybody played guitar.

Dad bought an upright piano, and I was sent for weekly piano lessons for three years. I learned a bit of the construction of music.  Later-in-life realizations about my lack of fine motor control and short-term memory deficiencies explained why I got nowhere with the piano.  I convinced my Mother that it was a lost cause.

Dad put it up for sale. When summer tourist season arrived, the ad caught the attention of four young men.  All musically inclined, they had pooled their money and purchased a good-sized cottage.  They wanted the piano for parties there.

They came to the house of a Saturday morning to inspect and sample the piano. It was pronounced solid and well-kept, but they wanted to try it, to hear how it sounded.  Each in turn sat and played it. They each had their specialty, but all played a wide range of music, jazz, dance, big band, pop, boogie-woogie, musical theater.

Mom and Dad were treated to more than an hour of great music. One guy even unfolded a section of newspaper and threaded it between the strings and the sounding board, producing an odd, buzzy tone.  Finally, everyone happy, the deal was done, money changed hands, and it was theirs to get to their cottage – but how??, in their car??

One of them asked if Dad had any suggestions for transporting it. Dad knew a guy….  A strange sort of duck, 40 and unmarried, with a half-ton pickup in a town full of sedans, but no social life.  He might be free, and interested in a bit of extra spending money.  After a phone call, he soon appeared.

He backed across the front lawn to our raised front veranda. A couple of stout planks were produced, and the piano was eased out the front door, and carefully down into the truck bed.  He slammed the tailgate shut, and headed for the cab.

One of the buyers asked, “Aren’t you going to tie it down??” “Nah, no need, she’s in there solid as the Rock of Gibraltar.”  He eased back across the lawn, out the driveway to the side street, paused at the stop sign and swung onto the main street….and the Rock of Gibraltar did a 270° off the side of the truck and smashed into 10,000 pieces in the middle of the intersection.

Four guys almost cried. They got back their haulage charge, and he wrote them a cheque for the price of the instrument, but they had searched for months for this piano.  They thought they would have to buy a new one in the big city, and pay to have it shipped 100 miles north.  There was no joy, or honky-tonk piano, in Mudville that night.   😳

Flash Fiction # 81

Piano

PHOTO PROMPT © Jan W. Fields

IN THE KEY OF F. U.

As a young lad, my parents provided me with piano lessons.

My teacher thought I was very musically declined.

After three years of intense study, I could finally….spell P.I.A.N.O.

Soon, I could carry a tune….in my studies briefcase.

I learned to play piano by ear. It sounded better than when I used my fingers.

As piano players go….I was often ordered to.

A neighbor once requested that I play ‘Far, Far Away’….preferably the next county.

The best thing that I ever played was….the radio.

When I decided to become an accountant, the Mayor gave me the key….to a different city.

***

And there you have the history of my musical career. Despite Rochelle’s theme, sadly, little of it is fiction.

***

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 #70

Tuba

PHOTO PROMPT – © Dale Rogerson

FACE THE MUSIC

Ever since I first saw Wynton Marsalis, I’ve wanted to play the trumpet. Man, that guy can blow.

I asked my Dad, but he said we can’t afford to buy one. I should learn to play Granddad’s Euphonium instead.

Euphonium??! Not even a real tuba? They don’t get money, fame and girls.  What does he think, I want to join the USC Marching Band?  Name me one famous Euphonium player.

“I was crossing the park bridge, going to the instructor’s. A guy on a bicycle bumped into me, and it bounced off the bridge – twice – and landed in the creek.”

***

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