Flash Fiction #77

Smog

PHOTO PROMPT- © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

IN THE THICK OF THINGS

No wonder her husband’s company had been so generous to get him to move, and become the branch manager in China, the financial world’s new engine.

The company had arranged and paid for the move. The pay and perks were fabulous.  They had everything they needed – except clean air.  Hubby’s limo and office were both filtered, while she and the children didn’t dare to go outside.

This was the way the world would end, with neither a bang nor a whimper, but with a hack and gasp for breath.

***

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

Shotgun

Take one idea from column A, and two from column B, and make a blog about it.  You’ve done it before.

There’s a new Mini that sits just down the street from my place occasionally.  It’s a nice looking little thing.  What caught my attention, as little details often do, was the fact that it has an Alabama, Crimson Tide licence plate ring on it.  Actually, since Ontario requires front and rear plates, it has two Crimson Tide plate rings.  Ontario is a long way from Alabama.  If I ever see the driver, I may ask whether it’s a Southern boy (or girl) moved north, or an Ontarian who went south for schoolin’.

I also saw, the other day, a licence plate ring for Red Rocket Motors.  It’s an interesting name, and I’d never seen one before, so Curious George ran a Bing search on it.  Turns out, it’s from the small city 25 miles east of my home town, and a hundred miles north of here.  They are on the Sunset Strip, the Golden Mile section of highway on the west side, as it leaves the city.  Their website revealed that they are the official supplier of vehicles to Wiarton Willie.  Oh, the excitement! I can hear your heart racing from here.  It’s like being the greatest dog-catcher, in Enid, Oklahoma.

Wiarton Willie is Southern Ontario’s answer to Punxsutawney Phil, the weather-prognosticating Pennsylvania rodent.  Red Rocket’s site included a ten-minute video of the Groundhog-day parade in Wiarton, showcasing all the cars and trucks sold to the town and its residents.  There are hundreds of people in the parade, but very few watching.  Of course not.  This is a small town.  If there are hundreds in the parade, there’s no-one left to watch it.

I should leave this next item till BrainRants is back from Afghanistan.  He would get a wry laugh out of it.  It seems that Los Angeles had a power blackout recently for several hours one night.  911 operators received hundreds of panicked calls about strange lights in the sky.  “Are we being invaded by space aliens!?”  “Was the power destroyed by a meteor shower?  Are we all going to die?”  Those are stars, you techno-goofs!  When the power comes back on, do a Google search.

I did a Google search a few days ago and learned a new term, in a fit of pissed-offedness.  The term is Differential Discrimination.  It is often used when referring to how women come up short in jobs and salary.  This time it was a men’s problem.  Not as big or serious as some that women face, but still, a problem of respect.  I went to the bathroom.  It was a Men’s bathroom in a commercial establishment.  The problem was that, right next to it, was a Ladies’ bathroom.  If the gals get to be “Ladies”, why can’t the guys be described as “Gents?”  If we are merely “Men”, why can’t you females be “Women?”  This is not an isolated bitch.  I’ve seen this disparity in dozens of places.  I liked the signs at the dog show.  They had ‘Setters” and “Pointers.”

Sequels and prequels and reboots, everything old is new again.  I read the other day that the Spice Girls were going to reunite and do a short tour.  Surely this is at least the sixth sign of the Apocalypse!  One more, and that Mayan winter cruise looks more and more sure, and a helluvalot better idea than another Spice Girls tour.  I apologised to an Englishman last week for Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Avril Lavigne and Alanis Morissette.  I want a written note of regret on my desk tomorrow for the Spice Girls.

As my blog followers and comments grow, so do the strange search terms that I’ve seen other bloggers make fun of.  I wrote of my brother having a weekend gig, driving limos, so I could understand the question, “Can we overload a limo with seventeen people?”  Depends on the limo.  A triple-stretch Hummer could take thirty, with room for a hot-tub.  I got, “Scientific vaporisor techniques to conclude their findings.”  I think that one was British, North Americans spell the word *vaporizer*.  I know I’ve used the words, “to, their”, and probably “conclude”, but I don’t think I’ve used any of the rest, in any of my posts, so I don’t understand that one.  I finally got a *dirty* one.  Someone searched, “Wife homemade rape tube.”  Maybe I’m not watching enough on-line porn.  I don’t get that one either.

When I first started taking the wife down the big multi-lane highway, to her new rheumatologist in the big city, they were stripping and re-paving hunks and chunks of the road.  The right lane and/or the middle lane, a half mile here, a quarter-mile there.  It took them a year to get it all done.  It’s lovely to drive on now.  It’s nice and smooth, and it plays whale-song.  Apparently, somehow, as the new blacktop was being laid and smoothed, it didn’t go completely smooth.  There must be series after series of small ridges.  As you drive your car over them, it’s like a needle on an old-time record.  Your tires play back a rising and falling noise that sounds much like whale-song on a National Geographic special.  Driving faster raises the pitch but, it still woohs, up and down.  Very pretty, in a way.  I wonder if the truckers hear it, and what it sounds like to them.

Well, my attention span’s exhausted, I imagine yours is too.  I’ll save some more trivia for another day.