Flash Fiction #154

Monster

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

NIGHT WATCH

A space rock was going to pass near Earth, and he’d wanted to get a photo of it. His best chance had been Lookout Butte at 2:30 A.M., no matter what the superstitious locals said.

Okay by day, but, at night…. There’s something that eats cattle – and coyotes – and the occasional tourist.  Next they’ll claim that Bigfoot has a condo up there.

He’d heard something as he got his picture, probably a groundhog, later, as he was going through his setup shots, he spotted those two red eyes watching him. Maybe these hicks really know something after all.

***

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

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Flash Fiction #125

bigfoot

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

Rochelle turned the tables this week, by writing about exactly what’s in the picture. I’m going to turn them back again, by writing a tale about something that’s not even there.

ENQUIRING MINDS

“See, I told you. There he is, by the big tree.  Take the shot.”

“What tree, the maple??”

“No, the big oak, by the dock, quick, he’s getting away. Take the shot, take the shot! ….The lens cap is still on??!  You’re the photographer, I told you to have your fancy camera ready! ….  Argh!  He’s gone.  We could have been rich and famous.”

“A clear picture of him hiding from humanity would be worth $20,000 to the tabloids, but the shot you missed, of Bigfoot fishing from someone’s porch chair in the lake, would have made us both millionaires.”

***

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

HASH

About a year ago, I published a post titled Leftovers, where I showed and described some of the odd knives I had accumulated over the years. To get rid of leftovers, you chop them up fine, and turn them into hash.  This is a hash of some of the other edged and pointed tools and toys infesting our home.

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The son’s knife made of glass c/w a skull in the butt.

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The skull’s a bit hazy, but then, so is the photographer.

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The wife’s letter openers;
$1.49 Wal-Mart special
steel blade with cast pewter hummingbird/flower handle
antique Victorian sterling silver, which someone ruined by grinding it ‘sharp’
$30 handmade c/w rosewood handles

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My letter opener.  A birthday gift from daughter/grandson.  Miniature Eragon sword.

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A grandson gift.  This letter opener is banded agate stone, with Scottish thistle pommel.  Blurry, as usual.  😳

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The son’s excess work knives.  Numbers 1 and 2 were found in ’empty’ parts cases, returned from customers.  3, 4 and 5, he purchased, #3, at a Detroit knife show, #4 in Toronto, and #5 from Amazon….’cause he doesn’t have enough knives.

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My EDC, (every day carry)  $100 Gerber in nylon/Velcro belt sheath.

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The son’s assault knife, called the “Feral Siamese”.  More of a short sword c/w skull-breaker pommel & formed Kydex sheath.  Needs a big, strong hand/arm.

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The son’s $2000 Katana, which he won for $20.  Shown with Kydex scabbard and the winning ticket.

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The son’s ‘utility’ Katana, called the “2014 TiKat”.  A little less fancy, built by the same maker who produced the blade for the one above.  This one is made of titanium rather than stainless steel – half the weight, with twice the strength and edge-holding, with a snug wooden scabbard.  I really need to get someone else to take these photos.

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A decorative skinner/caper with a cast pewter wolf’s-head counterbalance and wolf scene on the handle.

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My dragon kriss, gift from the daughter.

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A replica German officer’s dagger with cast/moulded metal scabbard.

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One of the son’s titanium belt buckles, this one with a single skull motif.

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Another titanium belt buckle, this one with a dragon surmounting the Earth.

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A matching titanium folding knife and belt buckle combo, this one with multiple, smaller skulls.  (And my hands and camera sneaking in via reflection)
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Not the son’s ‘falling star pendant’,  this one is a Maltese Cross, made of Damascus steel.  A knife with this patterning is awesome.

That’s about all the knife-related stuff we’ve got.  See you again (or you’ll see me) in a couple of days.

Sharp Saturday

 

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We had planned to go to a knife show in Toronto on a recent Saturday.  The son’s medical emergency on the Friday afternoon seemed to put that in jeopardy, but when he survived the Attack of the Killer Kidney Stone, we decided to proceed, with the grandson and fiancée, and him well medicated.

The regular Canadian Knifemakers Guild spring show has been suffering, so, this year, they decided to do something different.  They waited till mid-summer, moved it downtown, to an upscale hotel, and made it an invitational Art Knife Show.

This show had as many makers as the usual one, but instead of tables with 50 or 100 hunters, skinners, or steak knives, each maker displayed only 1 or 2, or a few, but worth what a whole table of those others were.  Prices started in the high hundreds of dollars.  The most expensive single knife I saw went for $14,500.

There were makers from Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Utah, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Texas, as well as France, Germany, Austria, Brazil and South Africa.  Most shipped their knives ahead, some using the Post Office, others by courier.  One guy packed his two knives with his socks and underwear, and checked his baggage with the airline.  TSA will X-ray it, but only worry if there are firearms or an explosive device.

Almost all of these knives were decorated with gold, silver, various jewels, ivory or titanium.  One maker also does his own beautiful scrimshaw.  I have read about the South African maker in my knife trade magazines for years.  Many of these makers can afford to make such expensive knives because they already have prestigious jobs.  They do it for the satisfaction, the creativity, and the bragging rights.

The top Canadian maker is a Nuclear Physicist, somewhat more than a Homer Simpson.  The fellow from South Africa displayed a folder with exquisitely carved hippo-tooth ivory.  It’s easy for him. He’s the country’s best dentist.  Another, with a price tag of $4500, was made of 4.5 Billion year-old meteorite-based steel.

Despite any decoration, or price, he insists that all of his creations are working knives.  A lady asked him if “the meteorite” was sharp.  He picked up a scrap of paper, and shaved a couple of strips off it.  The knives in the teaser photo at the top are his.  For those interested, return tomorrow when I will publish a mostly photo post, with shots I took at the show.

****

After we had sated our eyeballs, it was time to think about our stomachs.  I was willing to try either of the hamburger/French fry wagons across the street.  We couldn’t afford to eat in this hotel. The grandson has a friend with Toronto relatives, who has treated him to downtown tours.  He insisted that we walk a couple of blocks over to the Eaton Center, and he treated us to a lunch at an upscale burger joint in the lower level.  We got to see the impressive old 1850 sandstone City Hall, framed against the new monstrosity, which looks like a flying saucer coming in for a landing in a bay of the Mother Ship.

UFO Old

UFO

Watching TV out of British Columbia recently, I saw an ad for Mucho Burrito Grill.  My regulars know my fascination for Tex/Mex food, 🌯 so I researched the chain online, and tried to find out where they were.  The “locate restaurants” button didn’t locate anything for me.  Instead, it asked me where I was, and offered to show nearby outlets.

I specified a 500 kilometer range, and asked about Vancouver.  The map showed several in Washington State, and a covey in B.C.  Similar queries showed a bunch, centered on Edmonton, Alberta, and also Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  There were only two in Manitoba, both in Winnipeg.  I could find nothing in Ontario or further east.

Big Smoke Burgers’ burgers are served on actual plates, with metal cutlery, and their fountain drinks in glass glasses, a refreshing change from the usual food-court cardboard and Styrofoam.  As I sat, inhaling their gourmet creation, with mushroom gravy, and spicy cole-slaw dressings, I looked up across the huge eating area, and my eyes fell on a Mucho Burrito Grill.

Since it sat in the direction of the washrooms, when I was finished eating and wanted to wash up, I stopped over to investigate.  Mostly, it was as much of a disappointment as the Del Taco restaurant in Detroit.  I could get as good or better at Taco Bell….all except for a plate of nachos a customer carried away, that actually looked as good as the advertising picture – perhaps if we do this again next year.

Since it had begun raining outside, we decided to make our way back the few blocks to the subway through the warren of underground tunnels and shopping areas beneath the streets and buildings.  Fiancée works at Starbucks, and needed a coffee fix.  She used her employee discount card, and stopped at a Starbucks beneath one bank building.  We walked to the next building – and there was another Starbucks.  We turned, and walked under the street to the next building – and there, was another Starbucks.

Starbucks makes good coffee, and runs a nice corporation, but I regard them as pretentious.  These outlets were all in the financial district, beneath big banks and investment houses.  You decide.

All in all, a most enjoyable and educational day.  Pics, or it didn’t happen, so remember to come back tomorrow for photographic proof.

Upscale Insults

More high-class ways to put down friends, family, and fellow workers, who really need it.  Are there ever too many??

*****

Have you taken your ugly pills this morning?

Someone must have really hit you hard with an ugly stick.

You must have been a beautiful baby – what happened?

Body by Nautilus – Brain by Fisher-Price

I’m sorry I made you cry – but your face is cleaner now.

I’d love to take you home – but I forgot the leash.

You ought to be on the stage.  There’s one leaving in 15 minutes.

I live near the cliff.  Drop over some time.

Stop smiling; don’t you have work to do?

Get lost!  We have no “found” department.

As an outsider, what do you think of the human race?

Why, I don’t think you’re two-faced at all.  If you had two, you wouldn’t always wear the ugly one.

You’re making a fool of yourself, and I’ve never seen finer craftsmanship.

I love your new hairdo.  I never realized steel wool could look so becoming.

Fly away with me….we’ll use your broomstick.

Your heart’s in the right place.  It’s your head that worries me!

Darling, you’re my whole world – fat and round.

Some are born beautiful; some are born smart, I’m sorry you’re a two-time loser.

You have a truly timeless beauty – your face would stop a clock.

You sure are outstanding in your field, and that’s where you should be, out, standing in your field.

Let’s tie the knot – around your neck.

Have you ever considered acting—like a human being?

You’re one in a million – and the other 999,999 are sure happy.

I don’t know what makes you tick.  I think it’s a time-bomb.

Darling, you came to me out of nowhere…Go back!

Is that really your head, or is your neck blowing bubblegum?

I hate human beings.  You, I like.

Aren’t you Tina Turner’s sister, Stomach Turner?

Or perhaps you’re related to Bob Hope, No Hope?

Lorna Doone’s granddaughter – Nothin’ Doone?

What a cute skirt.  What did you make with the rest of the tablecloth?

I love you.  But then, I have horrible taste.

I’d like to take you home to dear old Dad….who hasn’t had a good laugh in years.

Is it true your brother’s an only child?

You’ve got a photographic mind – Too bad it never developed.

Shut your mouth—You’ll lose your candy.

You have that certain nothing.

As long as you have a minute to spare, tell me all you know.

If there’s nothing to be said, I’m sure you’ll say it.

I’d like to help you out.  Which way did you come in?

It’s good to see you’re back, especially after seeing your face.

Go gargle with peanut butter.

When I want your opinion, I’ll rattle your cage.

Gee, you look good….have you been sick?

Why don’t you stop in for dinner sometime, if you don’t mind imposing?

Why don’t you go sit on a tack, and offer lap-dances?

Why don’t you go over to police headquarters and volunteer as a missing person?

*****

And now for something a little more cerebral

THE SEX LIFE OF AN ELECTRON

One night, when his charge was high, Micro Farad decided to try and find a cute little coil to discharge into.  He picked up Milli Amp, and took her for a ride on his megacycle.  They rode across the Wheatstone Bridge, and parked in a magnetic field, near a flowing current.

Micro Farad soon became attracted to Milli Amp’s characteristics curves, and finally had her resistance at a minimum.  With his field fully charged, he laid her on the ground potential, raised her frequency, lowered her capacitance, and pulled out his high-voltage probe.  He inserted it into her socket, connecting them in parallel, and began to short circuit her shunt.

Fully excited, Milli Amp cried, MHO, MHO, give me MHO!  With his tube operating at a maximum peak, and her coil vibrating from the current flows, she quickly reached her maximum.

The excess current flow had got him hot, and Micro Farad was rapidly discharging, and drained of every electron.

They fluxed all night, trying various connections and sockets, until his bar magnet lost all of its field strength.

Afterwards, Milli Amp tried self-induction, and damaged her solenoid.  With his battery fully discharged, Micro Farad was unable to excite his generator, so they ended up by reversing polarities and started to blow each other’s fuses.