Pillow Talk

I was comfortably lounging on the couch, and doing it in a highly competent, professional manner.  I was searching for a blog theme – something that I could compose a post about without too much work, but still interesting to my readers.  Suddenly I thought, Eureka, (or maybe it was Gesundheit – one of those Greek words)!  I’ll do a bit of research, and write about us seniors’ new BFF, the pillow.

The word “pillow” dates back to the 12th century.  It comes from the Latin pulvinus, which means “cushion,” but archeologists say that pillows of various kinds, ranging from plant-filled skins, to comfortable rocks, have probably been used far back into human prehistory.

The oldest known pillows date back to the oldest civilizations, with references to pillows in ancient Sumerian cuneiform texts.  Ancient Egyptians placed feather-filled pillows in the tombs of their mummified dead.

Pillows are mentioned in the Bible, but they are not referred to favorably.  The Book of Ezekiel says, Woe to those who apply pillows to their elbows.  Scholars believe that the text refers to ‘false prophets,’ who Ezekiel felt were insufficiently austere.

You know how your pillow sometimes feels too warm, and you have to keep turning it over to get to the cool side?  Well, now a company called “Sooth-Soft” has come out with The Chillow, “a fluid-filled, eco-friendly, cushioning device, that keeps you cool without electricity.”  It’s actually gotten rave reviews, and they make one for dogs, too.

Are you the laziest person on Earth?  (Why else would you be reading my post about pillows?)  The PerCushion Pillow Phone could be made just for you.  It’s a combination pillow/cell phone, with a microphone, loudspeaker, and Bluetooth wireless connection built in.  When the pillow rings, just lie there and answer it.  Genius!

In 2015, Jeanette Hall, a taxidermist in Nevada, started offering to transform deceased cats and dogs into pillows – for $75-$100.  Unfortunately, the offer led to “hundreds of hate emails from around the globe.”  The outrage baffled the taxidermist, who claimed that she had many happy customers.  “Most people were happy that Fluffy was still on the couch.” She said.

Sleep researchers have discovered that, when clocks are set back an hour at the end of Daylight Saving Time, car accident rates plummet, probably because of the extra hour of sleep.  Try to get some additional sleep on your comfy pillow, but don’t wait an extra hour to read my next exciting, informative post.  😀

***

BTW:
Happy birthday to me.
Happy birthday to Me.
Happy birthday, happy birthday,
Happy birthday to me!

With the help of my pillows, and all my other helpers – eyeglasses, magnifying glasses in every room, as of 2:00 AM, E.S.T. I have achieved 78 years of age.  I have not matured like fine wine.  More like milk – chunky and bitter.  😳

Flash Fiction #282

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

SHIVER ME TIMBERS

Drifting and dreaming, neither completely asleep nor fully awake, softly, gently, wafting upward towards consciousness, like a child’s toy balloon.  No blaring alarms, no beeping cellphones, shall I awaken?  What must I do today??

After half a century of faithful service to often unfaithful employers, I serve no man.  Master of my own fate, except for She Who Must Be Obeyed, Captain of my own ship, I chart my own course.  I eat when I am hungry, and sleep when I am tired.  I hear the siren call to compose another blog post.  Avast and ahoy my fellow Friday Fictioneers.

***

If you’d like to join the fun with the Friday Fictioneers, go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site, and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

’21 A To Z Challenge – V Twofer

’21 Reading Challenge
Vanquished

I read somewhere…. That I read somewhere.  In a vain attempt to brag (Are there any other kinds??!) about all my free time in retirement, I present a rogues’ gallery of the books I read last year.


Gregg Loomis – The First Casualty

Tom Clancy’s series

Line of Sight


Oath of Office

Enemy Contact


Code of Honor


Lee Child – Blue Moon


Lee Child – The Sentinel

Gregg Hurwitz – Out of the Dark
Gregg Hurwitz – Hell Bent

Nick Petrie – Burning Bright
Nick Petrie – Light It Up
Nick Petrie – Tear It Down

Ilona Andrews – Sweep Of The Blade

Ilona Andrews – Sweep With Me

Ilona Andrews – Magic Steals

Ilona Andrews – Blood Heir

Steve Berry – The 14th Colony

Steve Berry – The Lost Order
Steve Berry – The Bishop’s Pawn

Raymond Khoury – The Templar Salvation

Mark Greaney – Gunmetal Grey
Mark Greaney – Agent in Place

Crawford Killian – The Empire of Time

Mark Greaney – Agent In Place

Eric Flint – The Course Of Empire

Mike Massa – River Of Night

Grant Blackwood – War Hawk

James Rollins – The Demon Crown

James Rollins – Crucible

H. Beam Piper – Paratime

H. Beam Piper – Lord Kalvan Of Otherwhen

Philip K. Dick – The Zap Gun

A.E. van Vogt – Masters Of Time

James S. A. Corey – Persepolis Rising

James S. A. Corey – Tiamat’s Wrath

John Brunner – Time Jump

John Brunner – Total Eclipse

Kenneth Bulmer – The Key To Venudine

Neal Stephenson – The Rise And Fall Of D.O.D.O.

Crawford Killian – Red Magic

Seth Andrews – Sacred Cows

Herman Melville – Bartleby The Scrivener
*
Edgar Allen Poe – The Cask of Amontillado

Mark Twain – Letters From The Earth

Ward Bowlby – A Canadian’s Travels To Egypt

“21 A To Z Challenge – W

 

 

 

You know what’s weird??!  The word weird’s great-great-great……. Grandmother.  She was a Norse goddess named

WYRD

She came across (No, no, not that way.  She was a chaste goddess – not a chased goddess.) with a bunch of hot and bothered Viking guys in a longboat, when they rowed over to England.

She wasn’t a powerful goddess, like Freya, in charge of fertility, beauty, love, magic, war and death.  She was a lesser goddess, responsible for karma.  She supposedly guaranteed that you would eventually get what you deserved.  Even the Vikings, though, realized that anyone actually getting what they deserved was strange.  When she eventually retired to the Old Norse Gods Home on Yggdrasil, she left behind her name, which became spelled weird (And that’s a weird spelling – getting poor, little I before E, except after C, in a real tizzy.) and carried the meaning of odd or unusual.

I’ll moor my longboat, and wait for you at the dock in a couple of days, and we I can talk about what I read last year.

Flash Fiction #273

PHOTO PROMPT © Bradley Harris

BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL

The joys of being middle management.
The big bosses shit on you – and Labor rubs it in.
On a clear day, you can see – this job stretching into infinity.

In 9 To 5, Dolly Parton thought she deserved a fat promotion.
My boss said, “Promotion??!  You’re lucky I pay you a salary.  If I’d wanted a Vice-President, I’d have hired a Vice-President – my son.  Now get back to expediting shipments”

Four years to retirement.
Three more years to retirement, then I’m going to take my well-earned pension and savings, and move to Aruba.

I’ll have a Caribbean rum punch, please.

***

To join the fun and become a Friday Fictioneer, go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

The Long And Winding Road

It was ten years ago today – November 21, 2011 – that I burst upon the wide and welcoming WordPress landscape.  I immediately began spewing forth bullshit to fertilize the fields, and bring in crops of creativity, contentment and controversy.

A WHOLE TEN YEARS?

IT’S BEEN AN ENTIRE DECADE?

I can’t possibly know all two million WordPress participants, but of the popular, well-known blog-sites of ten years ago, faint few are still posting.  AFrankAngle has ceased his social/political observations, and in his retirement, has re-invented himself as Beach Walk Reflections, offering more philosophical meditations.

Like me, although more lucidly, the Coastal Crone is still pumping out rants and rambles on a wide variety of interesting subjects.  After you’re finished reading my work, you might have a look at each of them.

While my blogging was to be a way to occupy my time in retirement, and give me a chance to be creative and tell my little stories, I have treated it as at least a part-time job.  With no-one to answer to but me, I still work hard to guarantee that scheduled posts are ready and published on time.  While I treasure my visitors, I still also do this very much for me, to keep me organized and thinking clearly.

Other than a few, extra, bonus posts like this, I long ago settled into a steady three-a-week, Monday/Wednesday/Friday publishing schedule.  Tallying it up, it means that this is my 1475th post.  I recently turned 77.  With good genes, and increasing medical support, I hope to still be doing this in another ten years.  I look forward to be still attracting someone’s attention.

As I threaten, at the top, I offer rants and rambles about many things.  I have provided history, humor, insights into language development, politics, religion, and some peeks into growing up in both a small town, and one that is crammed with big-city summer residents.

As The Beatles say, it’s been The Long and Winding Road, and I have enjoyed every twisted mile of it.   A big shout-out and thanx to all my visitors, both past and future.  Excelsior!!

Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com! You registered on WordPress.com 10 years ago. Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.

Flash Fiction #263

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

EXCESS TO REQUIREMENTS

It’s a good thing I’m retired, and have nowhere to go and all day to get there.  They’re hauling the raw material for Trump’s wigs away.  It’s going to a carpet factory to make new flooring for Kamala Harris’s office. Perhaps when it’s delivered, someone could teach her how to pronounce her name correctly.

Her Father, Kamal, pronounced his name, kah-mahl, so, properly, hers should be kah-mahl-ah.  I wonder if the chicken or the egg came first.  Someone would have us believe that there is no connection to Islam, and she’s a white Valley Girl, with a name resembling Pamela.

***

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

Humor With Balls

An old man walks into the barbershop for a shave and haircut, but he tells the barber he probably can’t get all of his whiskers off because his cheeks are wrinkled from age.

The barber gets a little wooden ball from a cup on the shelf and tells him to put it inside his cheek to spread out the skin.

When he’s finished, the old man tells the barber that was the cleanest shave he’s had in years.

But he wanted to know what would have happened If he had swallowed that little ball.

The barber replied, “Just bring it back in a couple of days like everyone else does.”

***

A cat shows up at the Pearly gates of heaven.
St. Peter says, “I know you! You were a very nice cat on earth and didn’t cause any trouble, so I want to offer a gift to you of one special thing you have always wanted.”
Cat: “Well, I did always long to own a nice satin pillow like my master had, so I could lie on it.”
St. Peter: “That’s easy. Granted. You shall have the satin pillow after you enter in.”

Next a group of mice appeared.
St. Peter: “Ah, I remember you! You were such good mice on earth.
You didn’t steal food from anyone’s house and never hurt other animals.
Therefore, I want to grant you one special wish you always wanted.”
The Chief Mouse replied, “Well, we always watched the children playing and saw them roller skate.
It was beautiful and it looked like so much fun. So can we each have some roller skates, please?”

St. Peter: “Granted. You shall have your wish.”
Next day, St. Peter is making rounds inside the Gates and sees the cat.
“Well, Cat…did you enjoy the satin pillow?”
Cat: “Oh, indeed I did. And say….that “Meals-on-Wheels” thing was a nice touch, too!”

***

Yesterday I was at my local COSTCO buying a large bag of Purina dog chow for my loyal pet, Biscuit, the Wonder Dog and was in the checkout line when woman behind me asked if I had a dog.

What did she think I had, an elephant? So since I’m retired and have little to do, on impulse I told her that no, I didn’t have a dog, I was starting the Purina Diet again.

I added that I probably shouldn’t, because I ended up in the hospital last time, but that I’d lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.

I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is to load your pants pockets with Purina nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry.

The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in line was now enthralled with my story.)

Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me.

I told her no, I stepped off a curb to sniff an Irish Setter’s ass and a car hit us both.

I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard.

Costco won’t let me shop there anymore.

Food For More Thought

I was recently assaulted by a plate of French fries and gravy.
Well, you asked for it!!
Yes I did!  😀  😀  😎  🌯

On a recent Flash Fiction post about fast food, a reader commented, Canadians take French fries to the next level with gravy on top of them.’

Baby, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!

….And then the French-Canadians taught us to put cheese curds or grated mozzarella on it and call it ‘poutine‘– English translation – heart attack in a bowl.  😳  It is now common across Canada.  Most Canadian outlets of American fast-food restaurants serve a version of it.  It’s a cheap, easy way to add protein for people too poor to afford much meat, or where dairy cows are common, but beef isn’t.

Then, there are Chili-fries.  The soupy, spicy meat mixture that is poured on wieners to make chili-dogs, is instead, poured on crisp French-fries.  Also pouring on the cheese sauce used to dip pretzels or nacho chips, makes them chili-cheese fries.  The further addition of sour cream and chopped green onions, peppers, and/or salsa, makes them Nacho fries, or All-Dressed.

A DIY version of this can be achieved at Wendy’s, by ordering a plate of fries, a cup of their chili, and asking for a container of the sour cream that they serve with their baked potatoes.

Newfoundland is Canada’s island, easternmost Province, separated from reality the rest of the country.  The population is known to be…. rustic.  😕  Someone(s) down there piled some leftover turkey-stuffing on top of fries and gravy, and created ‘Newfie Fries.’

Jobs are scarce on Newfoundland.  The young have spread themselves all across Canada seeking employment.  There are more Newfies in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada’s oil capital, than are left in the province.  ‘Newfie Fries’, which can also include cooked peas, can be found wherever there are clots of Newfies.

There are several local chip-wagons – often a small Air-Stream trailer with no wheels – which list all these on the menu.  This includes a brick, stand-alone, drive-in that was once a Dairy Queen outlet.

55 years ago, when I arrived here, drive-ins were ‘the thing.’  There was an A&W Drive-in, well out from downtown, at the corner of what would become a ‘Golden Mile,’ and a north/south artery road.  I did not arrive early enough to see short-skirted waitresses on roller-skates delivering food to the cars.

Over the years, the public shunned drive-ins, and wanted sit-down outlets.  This drive-in disappeared, to become a strip mall, with a Money Mart, a Fed-Ex depot and a lube shop.  Back down the street, first, a McDonalds popped up.

A few years later, Burger King bought the land next door, and went head-to-head – or rather – drive-thru-to-drive-thru.  One day, when I was out with the son, he wanted McDonalds, and I wanted Burger King.  We got his order at Mickey D’s, and he surreptitiously entered Burger King through the drive-thru door, while I walked around, and ordered at the counter.

We thought that we had got away with it, but the manager approached us.  I feared that we would be kicked out, but he was very nice about it.  He said that he knew why we did what we had done, and he appreciated at least a portion of our business, only…. the clearly-marked McDonalds containers.  The cola was carefully poured into a Burger King cup, and the fries now rested on a Burger King tray.  The incriminating evidence was whisked into the garbage.

More years later, Burger King had organizational problems.  Six local outlets shrank to three, losing this nearby one, and completely obliterating one at the edge of the BIG mall at city’s edge, to become the depot for the new street railroad.

A&W bought the property, and opened a sit-down restaurant, directly across the street from where they once had a drive-in, a half a century ago.  Around the corner, on the side street, just past the Thai Pho bistro, sits the Canadian, Harvey’s  restaurant, whose parking lot abuts the back of both the McD’s, and the A&W.

It’s a good thing that my paltry Government retirement pension is so measly that it prevents regular patronage to all these all-too-common/handy eating establishments, but I think that it might be the ingestion of all the chemical preservatives over the years that has kept me alive and fit for so long.  If/when COVID disappears, and the border opens up again, I want to test that theory at a Sonic.  There’s one right down the road from Cordelia’s Mom’s.

Down-To-Earth Comedy

Every year, Fred and Ethel would spend a day at the State Fair. Every year, Fred would say, “Ethel, I’d like to ride in that airplane.”

And every year, Ethel would say, “I know, Fred, but that airplane ride cost ten dollars, and ten dollars is ten dollars.”

One year, while they were at the fair, Fred said, “Ethel, I’m 74 years old. If I don’t have a ride in that airplane this year, I may never get another chance.”

“Fred, that airplane ride cost ten dollars, and ten dollars is ten dollars,” Ethel replied.

The pilot happened to overhear them and said, “Listen folks, I’ll make you a deal. I’ll take you both up for a ride. If you can stay quiet for the entire ride and not say a word, I won’t charge you anything. But, if you say one word, then you’ll have to pay the ten dollars.”

Fred and Ethel agreed, so up they went. The pilot did all kinds of rolls and dives, twists and turns, but not a word was heard. He did all his fancy maneuvers again, but still not a word.

When they finally landed, the pilot turned to Fred and said, “Gosh, I did everything I could think of to get you to yell out, and yet you never said a word.”

“Well,” Fred replied, “I was going to say something when Ethel fell out, but ten dollars is ten dollars.”

*******

During the wedding rehearsal, the groom approached the pastor with an unusual offer:

“Look, I’ll give you $100 if you’ll change the wedding vows. When you get to the part where I’m supposed to promise to ‘love, honor and obey’ and ‘be faithful to her forever,’ I’d appreciate it if you’d just leave that out.”

He passed the minister a $100 bill and walked away satisfied.

On the day of the wedding, when it came time for the groom’s vows, the pastor looked the young man in the eye and said: “Will you promise to prostrate yourself before her, obey her every command and wish, serve her breakfast in bed every morning of your life, and swear eternally before God and your lovely wife that you will not ever even look at another woman, as long as you both shall live?”

The groom gulped and looked around, and said in a tiny voice, “Yes,” then leaned toward the pastor and hissed: “I thought we had a deal.”

The pastor put a $100 bill into the groom’s hand and whispered: “She made me a better offer.”

***

“Has your son decided what he wants to be when he grows up?” I asked my friend. “He wants to be a garbage man,” she replied. “That’s an unusual ambition to have at such a young age.” “Not really. He thinks that garbage men work only on Tuesdays.”
***

A man was stopped by the police around 2 am. The officer asked him where he was going at that time of night. The man replied, “I’m on my way to a lecture about alcohol abuse and the effects it has on the human body, as well as smoking and staying out late.” The officer then asked, “Really? Who’s giving that lecture at this time of night?” The man replied, “That would be my wife.”

***

I was devastated this afternoon when my wife told me my 5 year old son wasn’t actually mine.

She then said I need to pay more attention at school pick up.

***

A young lady visited a computer dating service and requested, “I’m looking for a spouse. Can you please help me to find a suitable one?”

The matchmaker said, “What exactly are you looking for?”

“Well, let me see. Needs to be good looking, polite, humorous, sporty, knowledgeable, good at singing and dancing. Willing to accompany me the whole day at home during my leisure time if I don’t go out. Be able to tell me interesting stories when I need a companion for conversation and be silent when I want to rest.”

The matchmaker entered the information into the computer and, in a matter of moments, handed the results to the woman:

 “Buy a television.”

***

THEATER LIGHT BULB JOKES

How many actors does it take to change a light bulb?
Three.  One to actually do it, and two more to discuss how they would have done it.

How many directors does it take to change a light bulb?
“Interesting….  Why does it want to change?  What is its motivation?”

How many playwrights does it take to change a light bulb?
“I ain’t changing anything!”

How many producers does it take to change a light bulb?
“Why do we need another light bulb?”

How many theater publishers does it take to change a light bulb?
“We don’t actually change light bulbs.  We just tell you how somebody else did it earlier.”

How many stage managers does it….
“Done!”