Flash Fiction #173

Squeaky Wheel

PHOTO PROMPT © Nick Allen

GOING’ROUND AND ‘ROUND

Nobody was embezzling.  It was just a minor accounting anomaly which occasionally caused me problems.

I approached the bookkeeper.  She said she wasn’t authorized to modify procedure.  The Office Manager was always hip-deep in alligators.  At the weekly progress meeting, no-one wanted to accept responsibility.

The CFO said to get his secretary schedule a meeting, and we’d ‘discuss it.’  I finally got the Documents Clerk to include a line-item in the annual shareholders’ report.  Suddenly the President was all about transparency.

The squeaky wheel really is the one that gets the grease.

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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

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Flash Fiction #170

Zor and Zam

PHOTO PROMPT © Yvette Prior

ZOR AND ZAM

A business meeting – the bane of office life, always scheduled for the least inopportune time of a roomful of busy people.

You could be on the phone or computer, actually achieving something, but had to massage egos to justify your budget.  Basically it was a ‘Mine’s bigger than yours’ contest.  There was always one guy who had to show how important he was, by missing it.  Some came late – “Did I miss anything?”  Some had to leave early – pity the poor executive secretary who had to co-ordinate all this.

What if the boss gave an office meeting…. and nobody came?

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Click here to listen to The Monkees sing about two petty kings who tried to have a war, but nobody came.

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If you’ve read Rochelle’s offering, (And if you haven’t already, you WILL, Right!) click here to listen to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band tell the story of Bo Jangles.

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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

That’s Not Funny

Comedy

Wait, wait, I gotta go back. I forgot to tell you that the kangaroo was left-handed….

I’m sure that, at least once, you’ve all encountered a joke-teller – really, a joke-killer – like the one above. THAT’S NOT FUNNY!

I suppose that one of the reasons I’m interested in jokes and comedy, is that they require crisp, clear, concise, complete communication. The Devil, and the humor, is often in the details.

I first started hearing and collecting jokes when I entered Grade 1. The worldly-wise Grade 2 boys had worldly-wise (for 6/7 year-olds) jokes.

Bobby’s mother sent him to the store to pick up some groceries. On the way home, he tripped, and he and the bag of groceries fell into a mud puddle.  “Jesus Christ Almighty,” he said angrily.  A passing Minister demanded, “What did you say?”  I just said, “The cheese and rice got all muddy.

That joke is not funny, but a six-year-old boy trying out public profanity for the first time, and desperately attempting to evade adult retribution is.

Some people just should not be allowed to (try to) tell jokes. They may be the same people who wander from lane to lane, make left turns from the right lane or drive at 50MPH in the fast lane on the Interstate.

I was at a business dinner one evening, when I heard the beginnings of a joke, so I jammed my ear in to catch it.

The Good-Old-Boy Southern Sheriff dragged Bubba up before the judge. The judge asked, “What’s the charge?”  The Sheriff answered, “Arson, Your Honor.”  The judge said, “There’s been too much of that going on recently.  That’ll be a $300 fine.”

There were a few polite chuckles, and suddenly, everybody had somewhere else to be. THAT’S NOT FUNNY.  Two years later, I was at another meeting, and heard the beginning of the same joke.

The Good-Old-Boy Southern Sheriff dragged Bubba up before the judge. The judge asked, “What’s the charge?”  The Sheriff answered, “Arson, Your Honor.”  The judge said, “There’s been too much of that going on recently.  Now I want you to marry the girl, and make an honest woman of her.”

Oh, arson/arsin’. How could someone not get that punch line, or think that a fine was funny?

In mining a joke site, I recently downloaded what I, at first, thought was a cute joke that I could include in a comedy post. The more I studied it, the more I realized that, THAT’S NOT FUNNY.

An atheist was seated next to a little girl on an airplane and he turned to her and said, “Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger.”

The little girl, who had just started to read her book, replied to the total stranger, “What would you want to talk about?” “Oh, I don’t know,” said the atheist. “How about why there is no God, or no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death?” as he smiled smugly.

“Okay,” she said. “Those could be interesting topics but let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff – grass, yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, but a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?”

The atheist, visibly surprised by the little girl’s intelligence, thinks about it and says, “Hmmm, I have no idea.”

To which the little girl replies, “Do you really feel qualified to discuss God, Heaven and Hell, or life after death, when you don’t know shit?” And then she went back to reading her book.

With a bit of study and thought, what at first seems innocent and amusing, soon becomes a desperate Christian attempt at an Atheist joke. For a joke to work, like a book or movie, there must be a voluntary suspension of disbelief.  This thing is chock-a-block with heavy-handed failure.

Airlines do not place ‘little girls’ next to random older men, whether Atheist or not. They put them next to their mother or father, or at least nearby.  A random pedophile might start a conversation with a little girl, but an Atheist would know that a parent would soon interfere, since Christians deem them more dangerous than pedophiles.  I just love the insertion of, “smiled smugly.”

Atheists don’t generally discuss, what is an adult theme, with children until they are old enough to think on their own. Cows, horses and deer don’t actually eat the same thing – grass, and there are physiological reasons for the differences in their scat, despite the Atheist’s inability to respond.

The Christian girl is shown to be more intelligent and knowledgeable than the adult Atheist, and the ‘don’t know shit’ line just pounds home Atheists’ apparent ignorance. While not capitalized in the joke, it is obvious that the girl returns to reading, not just ‘her book,’ but her Book, the Holy Bible, from which all knowledge of shit flows.

I’ll be back soon with some jokes that actually are funny.   😆

ICEBREAKER

ice

Recently, it seems that there’s a lot of people, who want to know a lot, about a lot of other people. A while ago, I published a post in two parts – 31 Facts In 31 Days.  Scarcely had I put it up, than I found another, apparently compiled by the neighborhood pervert voyeur.  It contained questions like, “What do you wear to bed?” There’s not enough vodka or trained psychiatrists in the world, for me to get into that.

This one is called Icebreaker, and can also be used at large meetings and seminars where people don’t know each other. Although, by the time you fill yours out, and read everybody else’s, I don’t know how much time would be left to actually get anything productive done.  I guess that’s what big meetings are like anyway.  It’s probably better than Angry Birds, Candy Crush, or Words With Friends.

This old Iceberg broke off the parent glacier about five years ago. It has been drifting down and blocking the blog-lanes ever since – a publishing hazard to sanity and good taste.  I thought in that time that I had pretty much revealed all, perhaps not though.  If you have the guts and the stamina, read on MacDuff.

Are you named after someone?
My paternal grandfather was Howard. My father was Cyril Howard.  There was a whiny kid in my town who everyone called ‘Howie’, and I grew to hate the name, so I never admit that my second name is Howard.
When is the last time you cried?

Guys cry??  Okay, okay – the last time I heard a real feel-good, beat-the-odds story, my eyes leaked – a little.
Do you like your handwriting?
Dear Lord no! With my tremor, my writing looks like a chicken on meth walked across an ink pad.
What is your favorite lunch meat?

Spicy Tokay or Mexican, salami
How many kids do you have?
Three, one of each….no, wait, just daughter, LadyRyl, and son Shimoniac.
If you were another person, would you be friends with you?
I’d have to be a member of a select group, because of my take-no-prisoners attitude and opinions, but, yes!
Do you use sarcasm?
Are you F**king kidding??  Hell yes!
Do you still have your tonsils?
No. Back when it was all the rage (1950), a surgeon cut my throat.
Would you bungee jump?
I have to take care of an increasingly fragile old body, but I would say yes – maybe till I got to the edge.  I’d like to skydive, into my bucket list.
What is your favorite cereal?
Spoon Sized Shredded Wheat, with strawberries
Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
I wear (cowboy) boots – no laces. When I don’t, I do.
Do you think you are strong? Physically?  More so than most men my age.  Mentally?  Emotionally?  Probably the same answer
What is your favorite ice cream?
In a bowl, or cone – Black Cherry.  With cake or pie – French Vanilla
What is the first thing you notice about people?
Often, how they inter-react with others, including me
Red or pink? I am seldom understated.  Intense blue, purple or green.  If I must – red.  It makes a statement.
What is the least favorite thing you like about yourself?
My increasingly failing memory, thank (insert your favorite deity) for search engines
What color pants and shoes are you wearing right now?
In the privacy of my own computer room??  You should be reading this with your eyes closed.  Dark blue track shorts and slippers.
What was the last thing you ate?
A small slab of white cake with some 10% cream and diced peaches
What are you listening to right now?
The sounds of both my allergic cat, and dog, snoring, as they lie guarding me
If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Plaid?  Probably Royal Blue
What are your favorite smells?
Oh, so many….wood smoke, rustling dry leaves, frying bacon
Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone?

Some Paki named ‘Kevin’, who wanted to clean my ducts.  I told him to….
Favorite sport to watch?
Pretty much stopped watching TV.  Almost watch no sports.  Maybe American Pro Football
Real hair color?
I’d like to say black, but that was then, and this, is now mostly white.
Eye color?
Brown.
Do you wear contacts?

It’s all the wife can do to get me to wear my glasses.  Frightened as a child by the Three Stooges, I don’t poke my own finger in my eyes.
Favorite food to eat?
Yes please.  Probably tonight’s supper – potato pancakes
Scary movies or happy endings?
Some big explosions, car chases, gun fights, a little Punch and Judo, people hanging off tall buildings – that can be scary.  Then the bad guys are defeated, and it’s all a happy ending.
Last movie you watched?
Star Trek Into Darkness….see above
What color shirt are you wearing?
Maker claims it’s ‘Dusty Blue’.  I say it’s Steel Blue (greyish-blue), one of my more subdued shades.
Summer or winter?
Autumn!  If I must choose….Summer.  I don’t have to shovel rain.
Hugs or kisses?
Depends on the time, place and person….and if anybody’s watching
What book are you reading?
John Brunner – Wrong End of Time, Tom Clancy (actually, Mark Greaney) – Support And Defend, James Rollins – Devil Colony
What is on your mousepad?
Cat hair
What is the last TV program you watched?
Bones
What is the best sound?
One or more of my cats purring, preferably in my lap
Rolling Stones or The Beatles?
Different strokes for different folks – a bit, but not too much, of both, liberally mixed with many others.
What is the farthest you have traveled?
Since all trips have to be by car, I drove to Key West, Florida – 2765 Km = 1730 mi.
Do you have a special talent?
Yes!
Where were you born?
In the front bedroom of the family home, in Southampton, Ontario, Canada.