2017 A To Z Challenge – B

Challenge2017

When I sieved out the following list of B-word prompts, I was struck by how many of them could apply to me.  Rather than choosing only one, here are some random thoughts about a few of them.

Bibliophile
blood
baggage
belief
bold
books
beach
barn
blog

Letter B

My home town is halfway up the East coast of Lake Huron, in Ontario. It has 3 miles of lovely warm, soft, white sand beach.  It has become a vacation haven, and tourism is a large part of its financial wellbeing.

The town to the south gets only 1 mile of shoreline. The tiny tourist village to the north sits in the center of 10 miles of sandy shore.  Access to the water is good, and the swimming is wonderful but, in both cases, the sand barely reaches above the water level, and their beaches are flat, hard and damp.

My mother constantly read to me as a child, and I learned to read quite young. I became a bibliophile, a lover of books.  I am also a logophile, a lover of words, but all the wonderful words are in the wonderful books, so we’ll discuss that later.

Ray Bradbury said, “Libraries raised me.” My tiny little town had a tiny little library, about the size of a medium house.  It was only open two days a week.  The volunteer librarian was a former teacher.  It was here that I learned early, the value of linguistic precision.

The fine for late books was 2 cents, biweekly.  The intent was for 2 cents, per book, for each of the 2 weekly open days.  I stood beside a man who went and got a dictionary to show the librarian that ‘biweekly’ also meant ‘every two weeks.’  He would pay 2 cents, but not the 8 cents that she demanded.

A local man became a mining engineer. He located an ore field in Northern Ontario, staked a claim, and sold the rights to a mining firm which would extract the minerals.  With the initial payout and ongoing royalties, he retired early, as the town’s richest resident.

He and his wife were great readers, but they never had children. When his wife died, and he was facing his own mortality, he donated a large portion of his fortune to the municipality, to be used to build a library in memorial to his wife.  We got a fairly large (for a small town) new library, right beside the Town Hall.  His bequest bought lots more books, and an annuity paid for hired staff.

When I moved 100 miles to Kitchener for employment, it was easy to pack my luggage. I had very little.  I also had to pack my baggage – my propensity for procrastination, my learning disorders, my neurological syndrome which causes poor physical control and lousy short-term memory, as well as my autistic-type inability to read social cues, and make and hold friends.

I am more methodical, determined, and tenacious; I would never be described as bold. Having survived an interesting, if not terribly thrilling life, now in the twilight of my years, I can put these thoughts and remembrances down, and publish them in my blog.   😀

 

Slightly Singed Slacks

Pants on fire

LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE!

There are lies, damned lies, and statistics – about lies.  In an episode of Castle, after interviewing a suspect, Detective Kate Beckett asks Rick Castle what he thinks.  Castle responds, “He’s lying!”  Beckett replies, “Of course he’s lying!  Everybody lies, about everything, all the time!  We have to figure out what he’s lying about.”

I once worked with a young woman. When I was very interested in motorcycles, she owned and rode her own bike.  If I hung around with her, I could hang around with several of her male biking friends and score the occasional ride.

One of the first things she told me was, “I never lie. I have a poor memory, and can’t remember what I’ve lied to who about, so I always tell the truth.  It’s easier to remember.”  It took a while, but I started paying attention, and keeping track.

She had an active social life, but told me, “I’ve never slept with a married man.”  Then she took me to a Country-Western bar for lunch.  The manager was a businesswoman.  She told me that she’d had sex with the woman’s first husband.  She was not named as a respondent, because he had a number of dalliances….Then she told me that she’d slept with this woman’s second husband also.  “I couldn’t help it.  He’s just so cute.”

Riding a motorcycle is a big job!  It requires far more work and attention than auto-piloting a car.  She told me one day that, “I never ride my bike impaired, whether booze or drugs.  You could get hurt, or killed.”

On our afternoon shift, we got a half-hour for supper. One evening she realized that she had no recreational drugs to go home to – no weed, no hash oil.  She said, “Come with me at break.  We’ll ride over to my supplier and score something for me later.”

After a quick, five-minute scoot, she scored a ‘quarter of hash’. I turned to leave, but she broke it in two, and she and the dealer smoked half of it, while I tried to stay near fresh air.  (Cuz it’s only good manners to share, man)

When she was finally ready to return to work (half-baked), I held out my hand for the bike keys. “No way man!  It’s my bike, and nobody rides my bike except me!”  They say there are no Atheists in foxholes.  This Atheist prayed the whole ride back.

I usually took the bus to work, but it wasn’t far out of her way to give me a ride home. One evening, as we were leaving work, one of her active social life’s was waiting it the plant door, to take her out for ‘a couple of drinks’.  Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.  She handed me the keys to the motorcycle that only she could drive, and said, “Could you leave it at my place, and walk the rest of the way home?”

She lied to herself as well as me, about never lying. It’s likely that she even believed the lie.  She lied about sleeping with married men, and probably never noticed.  She lied about always riding sober – but that ‘bad memory’ thing can come from being smoked up.  She lied about never letting anyone else pilot her bike as soon as a delivery service became socially convenient.

She was a nice enough person, if a little(?) wild, but I kept track.  She lied to everybody, about everything, even stuff she didn’t need to lie about – where she’d been, and with who, how much she drank.  She lied about a potential newspaper job, and to herself as well as others about her abilities.

Cynical much??! Even before the Castle show, I developed a finely tuned ability to tell when others are lying.  Their lips are moving.  😯

Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, hubby’s new job, kids’ school grades – what do you lie about? Tell the truth now.  I’ll know.

Busy Brains

Brain

The Explanation

Brains of older people are slow because they know so much.

People do not decline mentally with age, it just takes them longer to recall facts because they have more information in their brains, scientists believe. Much like a computer struggles as the hard drive gets full, so, too, do humans take longer to access information when their brains are full.

Researchers say this slowing down process is not the same as cognitive decline.

The human brain works slower in old age, said Dr. Michael Ramsay, but only because we have stored more information over time.  The brains of older people do not get weak. On the contrary, they simply know more.

Also, older people often go to another room to get something and when they get there, they stand there wondering what they came for.

It is NOT a memory problem; it is nature’s way of making older people do more exercise.

***

A Catholic Priest, a Baptist Preacher and a Rabbi all served as Chaplains to the students of Michigan University at Marquette in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

They would get together 2 or 3 times a week for coffee and to talk shop.  One day, someone made the comment that preaching to people isn’t really all that hard, a real challenge would be to preach to a bear.  One thing led to another and they decided to do an experiment.  They would all go into the woods, find a bear, preach to it and attempt to convert it to their religion.  Seven days later, they all came together to discuss their experiences.

Father Flannery, with his arm in a sling, was on crutches and had various bandages on his body and limbs.

“Well,” he said, “I went into the woods to find me a bear.  And when I found him, I began to read to him from the Catechism.  Well that bear wanted nothing to do with me and began to slap me around so I quickly grabbed my holy water, sprinkled him, and Holy Mary Mother of God, he became as gentle as a lamb.  The Bishop is coming out next week to give him First Communion.”

Reverent Billy Bob spoke next.  He was in a wheelchair, had one arm & both legs in casts with an IV drip.  In his best fire and brimstone oratory, he exclaimed, “Well, brothers, you know that we Baptists don’t sprinkle!  I went out and found me a bear.  And then I began to read to my bear from God’s Holy Word!  But that bear wanted nothing to do with me.  So I took hold of him and we began to wrestle.  

We wrestled down one hill, up and down another until we came to a creek.  So I quickly dunked him and baptized his hairy soul.  Just like you said, he became as gentle as a lamb.  We spent the rest of the day praising God and shouting Hallelujah!

The Priest and the Preacher both looked down at the Rabbi who was lying in a hospital bed in a body cast & traction with IVs and monitors running in and out of him.  He was in really bad shape.

The Rabbi looked up and said, “Looking back on it, . . . circumcision may not have been the best way to start.”

 

Flash Fiction #80

Memories

PHOTO PROMPT © Amy Reese

WHAT A DRAG IT IS GETTING OLD

Senility or Alzheimer’s aren’t necessarily the only causes of memory loss. Lots of times it’s just data overload.  Young folks have few memories, and they find them easy to access.  Old people have been piling up a lifeful of memories of successes, failures, and regrets, for years.

It’s like going to your Grandmother’s house, and climbing up to the attic. There are lots of interesting things up there, but there are also things like dust and spider webs.  It gets more and more overgrown, and less and less fun.

After a while, it just doesn’t seem worth the climb anymore.

***

Daddy's Home

***

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

***

Click on the title to enjoy(?) the Rolling Stones’ ‘Mother’s Little Helpers.’

Show Me The Money

American money

A student’s request for extra money

A student called up his Mom one evening from his college and asked her for some money, because he was broke.

His Mother said, “Sure, sweetie. I will send you some money. You also left your economics book here when you visited two weeks ago. Do you want me to send that up too?”

“Uhh, oh yeah, O.K.” responded the kid.

So his Mom wrapped the book along with the checks up in a package, kissed Dad goodbye, and went to the post office to mail the money and the book.

When she gets back, Dad asked, “Well how much did you give the boy this time?”

“Oh, I wrote two checks, one for $20, and the other for $1,000.”

“That’s $1020!!!” yelled Dad, “Are you going crazy???”

“Don’t worry hon,” Mom said, kissed Dad on the on top of his bald head, “I taped the $20 check to the cover of his book, but I put the $1,000 one somewhere among the pages in chapter 15!”

***

Who is the Winner?

The father of five children had won a toy at a raffle. He called his kids together to ask which one should have the present. “Who is the most obedient?” he asked. “Who never talks back to mother? and “Who does everything mother says?”
Five small voices replied in unison. “Okay daddy! You get the toy.”

***

The Joy Ride

Bob was 16 and finally got hold of his driver’s license. In order to celebrate the special day, the whole family went out to the driveway and climbed into the car to enjoy his first official drive. However, dad went to the back seat, where he sat right behind his boy.

When Bob saw his dad he said “Dad, you must be fed up of the front seat after teaching me how to drive all these days Right?”

“Nope!” came the quick reply from the dad. “I’m going to sit back here and kick the back of your seat while you drive, just like you’ve been doing to me for the last sixteen years!”

***

Magic Penny

After putting their three-year-old child Brian in bed, his parents heard muffled sobs coming from his room one night. Rushing back in, they found that the child was crying hysterically when he saw them. He told his parents that he had accidentally swallowed a penny and was sure that he would die now. The father, in an attempt to sober him down, took out a penny from his pocket and pretended to pull it out from Brian’s ear. The child was really thrilled and stopped crying at once.

In a flash, he snatched the penny from his dad’s hand, swallowed it, and then cheerfully demanded, “Do it again, Dad!”

***

CLINIC’S NAME

Two elderly couples, (I’m not saying that one of them wasn’t The Archon and Mrs G.O.D.) were enjoying friendly conversation, when one of the men asked the other, “Fred, how was that memory clinic you went to last month?”

“Outstanding!” Fred replied. “They taught us all the latest psychological techniques – visualization, association – it made a big difference for me.”

“That’s great. What was the name of the clinic?”

Fred went blank. He thought and thought, but couldn’t remember.  Then a smile broke across his face, and he asked, “What do you call that red flower with the long stem and thorns?”

“You mean a rose?”

“Yeah, that’s it!” He turned to his wife and said….”Rose, what was the name of that clinic???”

***

BTW!
This is the second time I’ve used this picture of American money, but the first time I’ve noticed that the photo includes a $2 bill in the lower left.  The featured President is Thomas Jefferson.

 

Buffalo Roast

Bison

I’m still in negotiations with Upper Management about final details. If I can get my contract extended, one week from today, on Monday, September 21, 2015, I plan to turn 71, and self-host my own birthday roast.

This will be your chance to prove to Archon how much you love him by laying down some good comic insults, and (hopefully) racy comments.

dinosaur

Archon is descended from a long line his mother once listened to.
I’m surprised that Archon hasn’t turned into coal, like the rest of his childhood friends.
(Infrequent) Sex for Archon must involve ‘petrified wood.’
Archon was born so long ago, that his SIN (Social Insurance Number) is 2. (Actually II, but Canada went metric)
The only guy in Canada older than Archon, is Santa.
Archon used to party till it hurt. Now it hurts him to party.
Fifty Shades of Grey refers to his hair. (And have you seen that beard?)

If my memory is still working, the post will appear about 2:00 AM, the same time of day I was born back in 1944, though on a Thursday that year.

I’ll try to keep my naps to a minimum, so that responses to comments will be more or less in real time. If I do doze off, feel free to talk about me among yourselves.

Remember; mark next Monday on your calendar with a big X. (Or a Q, or….whatever. “My baby, she wrote me a letter.”) Ball up a big one, a sharp one, a cute one, and be ready to let fly next Monday. There will be prizes for the best single and team insults. (Doesn’t matter, both prizes will be leftover lasgna, and you have to come to the house to pick it up.)

I look forward to waking up, without my photo in the obits seeing you here. 😀

Archon SDC10926

It’s Off To WORK We Go

Seven Dwarfs

A highly dangerous virus called “Weekly Overload Recreational Killer” (WORK) is currently going around. If you come in contact with this WORK virus, you should immediately go to the nearest “Biological Anxiety Relief” (BAR) center to take antidotes known as ” Work Isolating Neutralizer Extract” (WINE), “Radioactive UnWORK Medicine” (RUM), “Bothersome Employer Elimination Rebooter” (BEER) or “Vaccine Official Depression Killing Antigen” (VODKA). Please, inform everybody to raise awareness!

***

An English teacher was explaining to his students the concept of gender association in the English language.

He stated how hurricanes at one time were given feminine names and how ships and planes were usually referred to as “she”. One of the students raised their hand and asked “What gender is a computer”?

The teacher wasn’t certain which it was, so he divided the class into two groups, males in one, females in the other, and asked them to decide if a computer should be masculine or feminine. Both groups were asked to give four reasons for their recommendation. The group of women concluded that computers should be referred to in the masculine gender, for the following reasons:

  1. In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on.
  2. They have a lot of data but are still clueless.
  3. They are supposed to help you solve your problems, but half the time they cause the problem.
  4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have had a better model.

The men, on the other hand, decided that computers should definitely be referred to in the feminine gender for the following reasons:

  1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic.
  2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.
  3. Even your smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for later retrieval.
  4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

***

A woman was thinking about finding a pet to keep her company at home. She decided she would like to find a beautiful parrot; it wouldn’t be as much work as say, a dog, and it would be fun to hear it speak. She went to a pet shop and immediately spotted a large beautiful parrot. She went to the owner of the store and asked how much. The owner said it was 50 bucks. Delighted that such a rare looking and beautiful bird wasn’t more expensive, she agreed to buy it.

The owner looked at her and said, “Listen, I should tell you first that this bird used to live in a whorehouse. Sometimes it says pretty vulgar stuff.” The woman thought about this, but decided she had to have the bird. She said she would buy it anyway. The pet-shop owner sold her the bird and she took it home. She hung the bird’s cage up in her living room and waited for it to say something.

The bird looked around the room, then at her, and said, “New house, new madam.” The woman was a bit shocked at the implication, but then thought, “That’s not so bad.”

A couple hours later, the woman’s two teenage daughters returned from school. When they inspected the bird, it looked at them and said, “New house, new madam, new whores.” The girls and the woman were a bit offended at first, but then began to laugh about the situation.

A couple of hours later, the woman’s husband came home from work. The bird looked at him and said, “New house, new madam, new whores; same old faces. Hi George!”

***

Ad In The Paper

The local newspaper funeral notice telephone operator received a phone call. A woman on the other end asked, “How much do funeral notices cost?”

“$5.00 per word, Ma’am,” came the response. “Good, do you have a paper and pencil handy?” “Yes, Ma’am.” “OK, write this: ‘Fred dead.’” “I’m sorry, Ma’am; I forgot to tell you there’s a five-word minimum.” “Hmmph,” came the reply, “You certainly did forget to tell me that.” A moment of silence. “Got your pencil and paper?” “Yes, Ma’am.” “OK, print this: ‘Fred dead, Cadillac for sale.’”

#463