Flash Fiction #164

DC Tour

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

DAY TO DAY GRIND

We visited a couple of friends in Washington, DC, for the first time.  I left our tourist itinerary in his capable hands; a day to see the White House, a day at the Washington Monument and the National Mall, a day to explore the Smithsonian, a day to marvel at the Pentagon.

He warned us that there would be a lot of foot-travel.  Anything in DC worth visiting, is on a walking tour.  He urged us to, “Rest up; by the time we’re done, you’ll be worn to a nub.”

I just thought that he meant from the bottom up.

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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.

A LARGE DROP IN THE BUCKET

Hero

I am agog – not to be confused with a fool, a nerd, or a nosy parker – although I’ve successfully been all of those. I have been within 8 feet of Queen Elizabeth.  I have seen and touched Her Royal Yacht, Britannia, when it put into the harbor at my home town for fuel.  I had a brief, 5-second conversation with the singer, Roger Whittaker, and I got a hug, and a kiss on the cheek, from the female Canadian Minister of the Exterior.

These all pale into insignificance. I recently got an invitation from BrainRants, to come and visit him and his wife this summer.  Actually, all that happened was that he made a casual inquiry as to whether the wife and I intended to be in his area this year, and when – but I’m treating it like a Royal Summons, and it snowballed from there. I’m So Excited (click to hear the Pointer Sisters tell you how much)

He’s the one responsible for unleashing me on an unsuspecting blogosphere, but don’t blame him for that. He was distracted at the time with saving the world and the American Way Of Life.  It was the Law of Unintended Consequences.

A couple of years ago, when we were doing the ‘Doctor Ericson, I presume’ tour, I asked if we might drive down for a quick visit.  Rants was preoccupied with a son going off to college, and a few other pressing domestic situations, and said ‘no,’ but not necessarily “NO” forever.

Last fall, I asked again about the possibility of an eventual visit, just to know whether or not to remove it from my bucket list. Rants took this as an indication that I wanted it to happen soon.  Apparently not a lot of people make plans years ahead, especially old geezers like me.  It’s happening sooner than I anticipated.  Rants and his lovely wife are welcoming us this summer.  Not only are we visiting, but we are being put up in a guest room to save motel costs –and, Rants is booking some well-earned and needed vacation time to be with us for several days.

I asked if it was some kind of competition between him and his wife to be nice to us, but apparently this is what kind, intelligent, generous people do. Aside from visiting my parents for weekends while they were alive, I have never been a house-guest in my life. Dear Miss Etta Kett; How do I conduct myself??

It is well that the wife’s birthday is in mid-Feb. This year she had to renew her Ontario Health Card, and her driver’s licence. One of three photo ID options recommended to do this, is a passport.  When I dug hers out and she was transferring information, she realized that both our passports had expired.

Apparently the bureaucrats do not send an email renewal reminder, and since we didn’t travel outside the Province last year, we had not noticed. It would have been a catastrophe to make all these delicious plans, and be turned back at the border for incomplete documents.  We had the time to get them reissued.

I am so giddy that I’m twirling around the house like a little pixie….or maybe a wolverine on meth. We’re going to Rants’! We’re going to Rants’ I’m taking along our digital camera, but there’s no promise that any photos will show up here on the blog-site.  I’ve already had to sign a non-disclosure security document, and a black helicopter will pick us up at the Virginia Welcome Center.

Surprisingly, the wife warmed to the idea quite quickly, to the point that, if we can’t put aside enough to pay for the trip in the next couple of months, she’s willing to raid her cache of Loonies and Toonies coins that she’s been stashing away for years.

If she’s warm now, just wait and see how warm DC is in August. We may drive past the White House, the Washington Monument, and the Pentagon in an air-conditioned car, but this visit is all about meeting two people who have been so very nice to me for years.  We can do that with a shady back deck and some cold beer.

More to come, I will reveal all as much as I can.  Be happy for me….and maybe a little jealous.   😎  🌯

Big Boy’s Little Toys

BrianRants2

After giving the best part of his life (In both senses.) to the American Army – suffering the slings and arrows, as well as the mosquitoes, camel shit and anal-retentive superiors whose assholes are so tight that, when they fart, only dogs can hear them, BrainRants® has discovered that the government bureaucracy values him as much and has the same level of loyalty as found in private industry.

A short time ago he received the highly prized little pink slip reading, “We are sorry, but your continued presence at this time is surplus to our ongoing requirements.”

In the beginning, he got to drive a tank, and blow shit up, but later found that he was required to throw his body in front of rampaging power-point presentations, injuring his shoulders, and pride.

The Government, in its soul-grinding way, is requiring him to locate and return every piece of crap they’ve issued him over almost a quarter of a century.  Unless he’s a lot slyer than even I think he is, there is probably not an Abrams tank in his garage, next to the beer fridge.

I don’t feel it’s fair that he has to leave the five-sided game-show without at least a consolation prize.  If any of you kind and computer-literate people want to start a GoFundMe or CrowdSourcing campaign, I will be happy to donate….a couple of ideas.  I might also get around to returning a few beer bottles for refund.

RC Abrams

My first thought was that we could get him one of these Radio Controlled Abrams tanks.  He could sit out on his rebuilt back deck, with a Coors Lite in one hand, and the control in the other, raising Hell with the neighborhood squirrels, and any cats and/or dogs running at large.

Ride-on Abrams

Another idea would be to get him one of these darling ride-on Abrams.  They’re $10 cheaper than the RC, but I’m afraid our boy is a bit bigger than the cute kid in the photo.  We might have to purchase a matched pair, so that he could wear one on each foot, like roller-skates, to zip him to work on future commutes.

SDC10917

A local businessman runs a surplus store.  He’s also into militaria.  I don’t know how much profit there is in carpenters’ pencils, CD jewel cases or field mess kits, but there’s enough to buy him a plane.  When I heard that he liked to get high….

SDC10920

He also bought, and parked in the front corner of his lot, a deceased tank.  If we dug deep enough in our pockets and pocketbooks, we might raise enough cash to convince him to let it go to a good home.  If Rants doesn’t have a covert Abrams in his garage, this might be the ideal DIY rebuilding project.  We could FedEx it to him, a few parts at a time.

Remember, even if he eventually gets it up and running, and in operational condition, this is a Canadian tank.  It’s only dangerous to SmartCars   😆

What do you say, people??  Let’s show him that we still love and respect him, even if he has mutated into a civilian!