’17 A To Z Challenge – X

Challenge2017

Letter X

For reasons unknown to me, X has always stood for the unknown.  This post will be short, because I don’t know even more about X than I don’t know about anything else.

Even when Wilhelm Roentgen discovered electromagnetic waves that were previously unknown to scientists, he just called them X-Rays.

When pirates buried treasure, X marked the spot on a map, because, without the map, the location would be unknown.  If they’d marked the location with a Taco Bell, I could find that treasure-chest quick and easy….though there’d be a hard decision to make.  Dig up the treasure first – or have lunch at Taco Bell?  Probably dig up the gold and jewels first, and use them to pay for lunch.  Save some for a second course over at Pizza Hut.

If you are illiterate, you ‘sign’ documents with an X, because the ability to read and write is unknown to you, and then someone else must witness your signature.  Mom and Dad rented a mobile home from a man in Florida who signed with an X.  I’ve never met anyone quite that unschooled but, despite the ready availability of free education, some winners that I have met weren’t far above it.

DNA

I downloaded a prompt of Xenophobia, but with the number and degree of weird specimens that I’ve met locally, you’d have to go pretty far afield to come up with something better that I might fear or hate.  More and more people are doing what I did, getting a DNA test.  An amusing number of racist, white-supremacists are getting back results that show that they are actually 23% (or whatever) Negro.  😯  😳  I wonder how many heads have exploded under those pointy little white hoods.

It is unknown to me why road intersections are called X-crossings.  Anywhere except in this strangely-laid-out city, my squirrelly, OCD brain insists that streets should meet at right angles.  They should be called t-crossings….except that the Bible thumpers would then insist that each intersection represented the Holy cross, and we would need priests, instead of traffic cops.

Perhaps they all started out as plus signs (+), and just got drunk, or stoned, and fell over.  As Canada makes marijuana legal on July 1 (Happy Canada Day – if you remember it) we’ll see more of that.  Traffic lights will be replaced with bags of Doritos.

What a terrible thought! I think I’ll just X it out and invite you to return later, for the adventures of Y.

 

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You’re Pulling My Leg….Off

Pirate

A man is walking down by the docks, and sees an old man standing at the end of the pier with an eye-patch, peg-leg, and a hook for a hand. He figures this guy’s got some good stories, so he wanders over and asks the man, “Excuse me, but do you mind my asking where you got your peg-leg?”
“Arr, ’tis a good story, matey. I was climbin’ up the rigging, and a rogue wave came along and smashed into the boat. I lost me footing and fell in the water, when a shark came along and bit off me leg.”
“Wow, that’s terrifying! What about your hook?”
“Arr, ’tis a good story, matey. We were sailin’ along when we were boarded by a band of marauders! I got in a sword fight with one of ’em and he cut off me hand, so I had a hook put on.”
“Jeez, that’s horrible! Alright, how about the eye-patch?”
“Arr, ’tis a good story, matey. I was out on the deck one day, with clear blue skies all around. I looked up in the sky, and a seagull came along and he pooped in me eye!”
“So, you lost your eye because a seagull pooped in it?”
“Well, ’twas the first day I had me hook.”

=====*=====

Man goes to the library and approaches the front desk. He asks the librarian: “I was wondering if you had the book I ordered? It’s for men with small penises.”

She replies: “I don’t know if it’s in yet.”

He says: “Yeah, that’s the one.”

=====*=====

If trees screamed, would we be so willing to cut them down?
Maybe, if they screamed all the time.

=====*=====

A man walks into the street and hails a passing taxi. “Perfect timing,” he tells the driver. “You’re just like Frank.”
”Who?” asks the cabbie.
“Frank Fielding. He did everything right. Great tennis player, wonderful golfer, sang like Pavarotti.”
“Sounds like quite a guy.”
“Not only that, he remembered everyone’s birthday, was a wine connoisseur, and could fix anything. And his wardrobe – immaculate! He was the perfect man. No one could measure up to Frank.”
“Amazing. How’d you meet him?”
“Oh, I never met Frank.”
“How do you know so much about him?”
“I married his widow.”

 

Animal, Vegetable, Or Mineral?

DNA

OR; What I Got For Christmas 2015

I got knowledge, or at least, the chance to obtain knowledge. I just hope I get proof that I belong on this planet, although I may not be happy with some of my relatives.  “Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!”  Not if the Christians have anything to do with it.

SDC10937

Since I don’t need anything, and anything I’d want would be too expensive, the family got together and bought me a DNA kit.  Companies like 23andMe (because of the 23 pairs of chromosomes in each human cell), and Ancestry dot Com/Ca sell kits which they send to you.  You provide a DNA sample, and they provide information.

23andMe stresses that their results include warnings about genetic diseases, like Tay-Sachs Syndrome, and Sickle Cell Anemia. We got our kit from Ancestry dot Ca.  Their advertising doesn’t mention these, although I may yet be pleasantly surprised.  They don’t seem terribly worried that you may die of some horrible disease, only who you’re related to when it happens.

I wondered how I was to provide the DNA sample. Did I prick my finger like diabetics?  Would I have to go to the nearby clinic to have them draw a small vial of blood?  The son reassured me that it was just like you see on CSI.  You swab the inside of your mouth, and send them the sealed swab.

We were all surprised to unpack a small plastic tube with a spit-cup on the top. You fill it with saliva, break an ampule of stabilizer and mix it, and send it away.  Despite using the Canadian website, the package came from the Mormons in Utah.  What I have yet to discover is, why it gets sent to Dublin, Ireland for processing.

The results break the world down into 23 subsections, and tell you what percentages of your genes come from each area. After the assumptions I made in my ‘Who Am I’ post, it will be interesting to see how right (or wrong) I was.

As bad as the Lowells and Cabots of Boston, Mormons are fixated on who you are related to. Included in the fee is a limited family tree, going back a hundred years. “You may find cousins you didn’t even know you had.” Or I may find cousins that I didn’t want to know existed – and don’t want to know that I exist…highwaymen, scam artists, pirates, Ted Cruz, people who voted for the Green Party.  “Hey cuz, could you spare $3500 for bail? I promise to pay you back as soon as I get a job.”

I’ll post the DNA and kinship results when they come back. Some of you may prefer to admit that you are descended from monkeys, rather than admit that I dangle from your family tree.  I think some of my ancestors were hanged from mine.  Of all my relations – I like sex the best. They say that knowledge is free, but I think somebody’s going to pay. 😛

Flash Fiction #88

Restaurant

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

TO SERVE AND SUCCEED

“Aargh, have ya ever bin ta sea, Billy?”

We were a long way from the sea. Any pirates on that trickle of water would have to come by kayak.

I loved Roger like a brother, but sometimes he was so immature. As a chef, he was supposed to be creative – artistic, but we were here to assess this old restaurant.  It died because it had served country food to country folk.

It had the stream behind, and the glorious mountains in front. With a little promotion, a new day – and the hipsters – would come.  We would serve Attitude, and Flair!

***

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

 

Oops

Mommy & Uncle Paul

 ‘Hello?’

‘Hi, honey. This is Daddy. Is Mommy near the phone?’

‘No, Daddy. She’s upstairs in the bedroom with Uncle Paul.’

After a brief pause, Daddy says, ‘But honey, you haven’t got an Uncle Paul.’

‘Oh, yes I do, and he’s upstairs in the room with Mommy, right now.’

Brief Pause.

‘Uh, okay then, this is what I want you to do. Put the phone down on the table, run upstairs, knock on the bedroom door and shout to Mommy that Daddy’s car just pulled into the driveway.’

‘Okay, Daddy, just a minute.’

A few minutes later the little girl comes back to the phone.

‘I did it, Daddy.’

‘And what happened, honey?’

‘Well, Mommy got all scared, jumped out of bed with no clothes on and ran around screaming. Then, she tripped over the rug, hit her head on the dresser and now she isn’t moving at all!’

‘Oh, my God!!! What about your Uncle Paul?’
‘He jumped out of the bed with no clothes on, too. He was all scared and he jumped out of the back window and into the swimming pool. But I guess he didn’t know that you took out the water last week to clean it. He hit the bottom of the pool and I think he’s dead.’
Long Pause
Longer Pause
Even Longer Pause
Then Daddy says, ‘Swimming pool? …………
Is this 486-5731?’
No, I think you have the wrong number …

*

Kids’ Logic

6-year-old Jimmy, a precocious kid, always told everyone he wanted to be a doctor when he grew up.
One day as Jimmy was running through his house playing, he ran into the corner of a table and hurt his eye.
Being a little kid, Jimmy cried for a while but also kept saying, “Oh no, now I can never be a doctor when I grow up.”

Jimmy’s mom trying to reassure him told Jimmy that he could still be a doctor but Jimmy kept insisting that he couldn’t.

Finally she asked, “Why can’t you be a doctor, Jimmy?”

Holding one hand over his injured eye, Jimmy said, “Because now I will have to be a pirate!”

***

The doctor explained to Jenkins that he had a serious ailment for which an operation was absolutely imperative.
The patient turned pale and asked, “Isn’t it very dangerous? “
“Yes,” the doctor replied. “Five out of six who undergo this operation die, but as for you, you have nothing to worry about. “
“Why not?” eagerly inquired the patient.
“Well, you’re sure to recover, because my last five patients died,” the doctor reassured him.

***

Two men were sitting at the Club, and one said, Say, how is that gorgeous secretary of yours?  Oh, I had to fire her.  Fire her!  How come??  Well, it all started a week ago last Thursday, on my 49th birthday.  I was never so depressed.  What has that got to do with it??  Well, I came down for breakfast, and my wife never even mentioned my birthday.  A few minutes later, the kids came downstairs, and I was sure they would wish me a Happy Birthday, but not one word.

As I say, I was most depressed, but when I arrived at the office, my secretary greeted me with a big Happy Birthday, and I was glad that someone had remembered.  At noon, she suggested that it was a beautiful day, and that she would like to take me to lunch at a nice intimate little place in the country.

Well, it was nice, and we enjoyed our lunch and a couple of martinis.  On the way back to the office, she said it was much too nice a day to go back to work, and suggested that we go to her apartment, where she would get me another martini.

That also appealed to me, and after a drink and a cigarette, she asked to be excused so that she could go into the bedroom and change into something more comfortable.  A few minutes later, the bedroom door opened, and out came my secretary, my wife and two kids with a birthday cake, singing Happy Birthday, and there I sat, wearing nothing but my socks.

OOPS!