Flash Fiction #143

Party

PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Ann Hall

WASN’T THAT A PARTY?

It had been a most successful and enjoyable Christmas party….at least he thought it had been. Certain portions of the evening were a complete blank, like, everything after the last guest arrived.  There had been 26 partiers – and there were 27 empty wine bottles.  And where was his brandy??

It looked like a parade outside last night. Someone at the taxi company probably got a bonus.  At least everyone got home safely.

His younger brother had threatened promised a New Year’s Eve party.  Now that marijuana was legal, what would the morning after the night before, look like?  Bong, bong!

***

Remember kids, party hearty, but party (and drive) safely, so that we can all meet back here in the New Year.

***

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

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Flash Fiction #139

Castle

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bulltot

LIKE A GOOD NEIGHBOUR

There it is! Isn’t she a beauty?

When Robin Hood Realty says we’ll get you a castle, we deliver. ‘Course, it needs a bit of fixin’ up, but I know a tradesman who can put in new windows and cut your heating bill to nothing.

But….location, location, location. The Queen has a home just there, and back the other way, Madge – oops, sorry.  You colonials call her Madonna, like Adele, that one-named squawker of ours.

Madge’s husband?? ….buys an estate with a public footpath through it, then complains when the riff-raff parades past.

Don’t worry. Nobody wants to walk here.

***

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

Cultural Clash

Guy Fawkes

In each minority group, there are always one or more fanatics who can lead themselves, their faction, and society, into trouble. It’s what got Guy Fawkes tortured and executed.

Here in Kitchener, in Toronto, and in many other cities, the (What are they calling themselves today?? Negroes?  Blacks?  Colored?  African- Americans/Canadians?) are upset, and calling for an end to ‘Carding,’ – random stops of people by police, to identify themselves.

Black spokesmen claim that this practice unfairly focuses on people of color, yet statistically, it is ‘people of color’ – usually young black males – who are proven to commit more crimes, especially against other Negroes, than white folks.

The Toronto Police Force has CROs – Community Relations Officers – who hang out in various schools, helping out, coaching or refereeing sports, and generally showing that the Police are ‘good guys’. Black citizens’ representatives demanded that they be removed, because black children felt threatened, harassed and oppressed.  If you don’t do the crime, you won’t do the time.

Black Lives Matter. All lives matter, including the black, and the white, cops who are trying to protect all the population.  In Toronto, a rabble-rousing female spokeswoman for BLM, has high-jacked this year’s Gay Pride Parade.  It’s unclear just how she gained control – perhaps sheer volume.

At first, she and her cabal – and these aren’t even home-grown Negroes; they’re immigrants – demanded that the police not be allowed to march in the parade. After a large public hue and cry of protest, the demand has been modified.  The police may march as a group, but will not be allowed to wear their uniforms – symbols of authority and control.  A similar ‘activist’ has exacted a similar demand in Winnipeg.

I recently took the daughter shopping. I often check out through the ‘12 Items Or Less – Express lane’.  This day, I only had 1 item, but the daughter had 16 or 18.  In all honesty and fairness, we decided to use a regular lane.  Besides the Express, there were only 2 open.  The line from one extended back into the bread department, but the other….  I could see a man at the front with 2 or 3 items.  Behind him were only two women, both like the daughter, with a few items on the bottoms of their carts.

Nearby, jammed against the rack with the gum, candy, and National Enquirers, was another, fully-loaded cart, but no-one around. I motioned at it, and raised an eyebrow.  The daughter shrugged, and we quickly got in line behind the second woman.  The man at the front cashed out.  We moved up.  When the first woman’s items were almost all scanned, the second started to unload her stuff, and we moved up again.

Now, a 20ish black football player showed up and grabbed the cart.  He started to push toward the checkout, and the daughter moved the front of her cart a bit, so that he wouldn’t drive it into her.  When we didn’t move any further than that, he looked at me, pointed to the checkout, and said, “I was there.” I replied, “Yes, you were – then you abandoned your cart, blocking people, and went away, to do some more shopping.”  “I wasn’t shopping. I just went to get some more items.”
“THAT’S SHOPPING!”

“Well, I don’t think I should have to stand and wait. Your wife was going to let me in line”  “She’s my daughter, and she’s handicapped.  She doesn’t want to stand in line and wait for you.  You’re a big, strong, healthy guy, (I pointed at his tree-trunk legs.) you can do it.

“Oh, she’s handicapped?? I didn’t notice.”  The daughter said, “And the big shiny crutch didn’t give you an idea??”, and shook it at him.  Now he tried a different tack. “I’m going to tell you something.” “No shit!  Could I stop you?” “I’m from Jamaica; you know what I’m saying?” “Sometimes!  Vaguely!”  (That went right over his head.)

“You people say, (What people?  White people?) that Canada is a welcoming country, and Canadians are kind and well-mannered, but I see people swearing at the clerk at Tim Horton’s, and arguing with the checkouts here, because there’s a back-up, and they have to wait.” I said, “That’s probably because of guys like you, who butt into line and hold things up.”  Game!  Set!  Match!

What a case of creeping entitlement! If you want to be welcomed by kind, well-mannered Canadians, you gotta show some respect and good manners of your own.  Not all of us are apologising doormats, and some of us do not suffer arrogant fools well.

Flash Fiction #121

diner

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT

“What are we doing here? If we were any further east, we’d have to trade the car for a rowboat.”

“I told you! To get a little piece of real American Patriotism.  Look at that menu.  They still offer Freedom Fries, and Freedom Toast.  I want to make America great again too, but I think we can do it without building walls, restricting immigration, or Trump’s paranoia.

Trump probably can’t even spell Woonsocket, RI, and thankfully, neither his GPS nor his handlers paraded him through here during his election tour. Order up, and we’ll go talk to some original Patriots.”

***

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

***

Have a Happy/Merry/Drunken Whatever-you-wish-to-celebrate.  😎

It’s Beginning To Look A lot Like Commerce

Christmas Presents

 

 

 

 

On Tuesday, November 11, after I stood quietly, respectfully, for two minutes, I stopped at a Dollar Store, and picked up a box of biscuits for the dog.  With my receipt, the clerk handed me a postcard sized form.  If I filled it in and dropped it off soon enough at a downtown office, I might earn a seat in the reviewing stand for the local Santa Claus parade – being held tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 15th.

I returned home to hear the son announce that he’d picked up his ticket for his firm’s gala Christmas Party – being held next Saturday, Nov. 22.  Dear Ebenezer Scrooge, it’s not even the American Thanksgiving yet, and we’re already hip deep in Christmas.  Welcome to the Festival of Conspicuous Consumption.  The decorations have been out, and the ‘Christmas Sales’ have been on since Halloween.  Even today’s crossword had 3-down – gift-bearing trio = Magi, and – guide for 3-down = star, although, admittedly, those are a little more Spiritual than the rest.

Canada is a bit ahead of The States.  We held our Thanksgiving last month, well before the behemoth that is the Holiday Season was on its tracks and starting to move.  We’ll still be ahead of them in a few years when the commercial season begins about the 4th of July, and we celebrate our independence on July 1.

Be sure to give the ‘Good Christians’ lots of room to ignore Ramadan, Rosh Hashanah, Diwali, Kwanzaa and secular atheism, and insist that their single day in the next two months of celebrations, is the only valid reason for The Season.

Allow the more militant among them a little extra swing room for when they U-turn, and insist that no-one should be allowed to have fun, or give presents, or engage in spiritual introspection, without their permission and participation.  Their cold, exclusionary Grinch’s hearts are well attuned to this icy time of year.

Armed with my CDs, I’m ready for the day, just over two weeks away, when the radio begins delivering nothing but all-Christmas songs, all the time.  I got a new keg of Bah Humbug on E-Bay, and will be downing the occasional shot to keep me topped up, as I help the wife assemble and bake Christmas Holiday cake and Christmas Holiday cookies.

Oktoberfest Revisited

Many years ago, the son and I developed a bit of a relationship with a young AM station DJ.  This was back when radio stations had live bodies pumping out their over-night broadcast shows.  I was doing midnight security shifts and heard a lot from this up-and-comer.  I called the station one night at 4 AM to show him where Billy Joel left in a small mistake, in a song about learning from our mistakes.

My son stayed up 24 hours one Friday night, to accompany me on my midnight shift.  He also phoned in and *won* a contest to “name the DJ’s lunch.”  We got to go to breakfast with him, on Saturday morning.  He finally got an afternoon shift, and I also got one.  His radio station sponsored a pancake breakfast in the parking lot of a local mall, the first Saturday morning of Oktoberfest.  It started small, with three to five hundred people.  The son and I went to it for years.

Like so many other things, it’s got much bigger, just not necessarily better.  The son surprised me the other day by expressing a wish to attend again.  He just turned 40.  Is this a wish to revisit his youth?  I can barely see mine any more.  He worked his usual Fri. night/ Sat. morning shift, stopped for some items at the Kitchener Market and got home around eight.  I went to bed at my usual 4:00 AM.

When he came home, I was ready for my four-hour washroom break anyway.  When he comes in, the dog rouses and wants to be let out of the bedroom.  I was up, so let’s go!  There’s nothing like sharing an intimate, chilly, outdoor breakfast with ten thousand of your closest friends total strangers.

Before the daughter ruined both knees, she was in the color guard of the Dutch Boy drum and bugle corps.  We had breakfast in the staging area of the big Oktoberfest parade that she got to march in once, long ago.  This year’s estimate puts a hundred and fifty thousand people on the sidewalks, some natives, many tourists, watching the parade live.  Several million more see it on national television

We managed to find parking only a block away, and walked down to join a block-long lineup for food.  When we finally got to the sign that said *Line Up Here*, we found that it snaked another half-block around the seating area and back into the plaza.  We were fortunate to have arrived so early.  As we left, the line had extended another block.

We each got two big pancakes with plenty of syrup, a large sausage and eight ounces of local apple juice.  Tim Hortons had sent a trailer where you could buy coffee or tea.  They had no hot chocolate.  We stood in line behind a young local couple with a baby girl.  I thought I caught her name but asked, to be sure.  She was called Ryla.  My daughter uses Rylah as an on-line name, and LadyRyl as her blog-name.

We sat down beside, and became instant best friends with, a couple even older than me.  At least that’s what the tree-ring count said.  The little old lady had a pair of beautiful knitted mitts on the table, but they were large enough to fit my son.  When I asked, she said that she had knitted them herself, and showed me that the occasional ecru stitches in the Kelly green pattern were actually tufts of un-spun fibre, filling the inside with extra insulation.  She learned this process, called thrumming, from a Newfie lady.  It is also used in hand weaving, and on boat sails.

Trainee chefs from our well-known community college cooked the food for us.  Somehow I expected that Conestoga College Culinary Arts would only provide pictures of food, but it was pretty good.  There was a little three-piece band providing live oompah Oktoberfest music.  One guy played the inevitable accordion, one had an electronic keyboard, and the third played kazoo drums.  They belted out all the old Oktoberfest staples, including The Monkees’, I’m A Believer, Johnny Cash’s, Ring Of Fire, and My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean.  A good time was had by some.

Just north and east of the city, is Ontario’s last/only covered bridge.  It sits about a hundred yards off the arrow-straight highway.  The original road made that jag to reach the narrowest spot on the river.  The old road comes in, makes a 90 degree turn, runs down and across the bridge, makes another ninety, and back up the bank.   There is a little country general store at the first bend which many Mennonites shop at.  Last year, a buggy-horse, perhaps startled by loud traffic, broke loose, galloped across the bridge, and tried to make the sharp left turn.  She slipped on the paving, dumping the wagon and scraping her one side.

There are signs at both ends reading, “No heavy trucks. Three ton load limit.”  Someone can’t read, or doesn’t give a sh*t.  Recent inspection reveals that one of the three main timbers is cracked.  I suspect a grocery delivery truck driver too lazy to turn around.  They can’t afford to dismantle it, but may be able to put a *cast* on the cracked beam.  In the meantime, the bridge is temporarily closed.  Aside from risking truck and limb to the river, some lazy idiot has smashed a chunk of irreplaceable history.  Thanks, doofus!

The good, the bad, and the ugly, the local cultural river slowly flows on.