Flash Fiction #290

PHOTO PROMPT © Brenda Cox

PARIS WHEN IT SIZZLES

I have the best anti-car-theft system.  I bought the world’s ugliest car.  Guys with BMWs won’t even park on the same block, lest parts fall off and hit their cars.

I combat Global Warming by installing an electric engine, but I can’t find an extension cord long enough to get to work, and out-of-town trips are impossible.

I ran it on flashlight batteries for a while, but cleaned out local suppliers.  Plus, there was the detour going home, to drop dead ones at the recycle center.

I added a Honda gasoline generator to charge the batteries.  Now it’s an eco-hybrid.

***

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

How I Became A Sociopath

I wasn’t born a loner – but I was born with a brain condition which almost guaranteed that outcome.

When I was almost three, my Mother gave birth to my brother, a sickly blue-baby which required a lot of care and attention.  I was not abandoned, but I had a lot of alone time, in a neighborhood with no other children my age.  The pattern was set.

A bit of amateur observation and analysis by others, later, in my adult life, indicates that I am probably on the autism scale, a high-functioning Asperger’s.  I could have been charitably described as ‘delightfully naïve.’  I do not read social cues.  I was intelligent, not a hick, or a rube.  I was open, friendly, inclusive – and I got shit on!

The nearest boy my age was two blocks away, just beyond a parkland with a lake in the middle. He regularly played with a boy a year older, who lived next door.  I occasionally hung out with them, but slowly realized that they only tolerated me to use or abuse me.

At our end of the little lake, the cedar trees grew closely, up the embankment, pierced by a few game/people trails.  The far end could not be reached without going out to the street, and around, because of a minor geological formation, and a field of stinging nettle that I regretted finding – until I discovered a way past.

At the far end, there were open areas of tall grass and weeds.  The cedars were in individual, teepee-sized copses.  I stuck my head into one of them, to discover that the outer foliage blocked the sunlight, and the interiors were hollow.  FORTS! Just what every 10/11-year-old boy needed.  I could hardly wait to show my companions.

When I excitedly led them to see my discovery, in the first copse we entered, there was a ‘machine gun’ – a wooden toy that some father had built, with a crank and a clacker on one side.  Suitable for a 6 or 7-year-old, the 12-year-old culprit snatched it up and shouted, “Mine!”

A week later, when I repeated my mistake, we found a homemade hunting knife.  Instead of leaving it for the rightful owner, he yelled, “Dibs,” and grabbed it, too.  Now I felt that I could no longer explore my new play area, lest a resident denizen accuse me of stealing these items.

At the edge of the downtown retail area, there was a dilapidated storage building.  I learned how to slip past the loose rear doors.  Among other things, it contained three non-functioning pinball machines.  Often coming or going, I would slip in and stand at them for five or ten minutes, popping the balls up, and propelling them up, to watch them carom around randomly, and disappear.

When I inadvertently revealed that I knew how to get in, they insisted that I show them.  Standing around, watching steel balls doing nothing, didn’t entertain them.  The older culprit pried the end railing off all three machines, slid the glass covers down, and had me remove all the balls.  Three machines – three of us – we each got five 1-inch ball-bearings.  I accompanied culprit #1 back to his house, on the way to mine.  As I walked across his lawn, I heard him call to me.

His old house had old-style, heavy wooden storm-windows that fit over the regular ones in cold weather, to add insulation value.  For rooms like the kitchen, which might become overheated, you could open the inner window, and the storm-window had a flap at the bottom, covering four round holes that could provide ventilation.

He wanted to know if the balls would fit through the holes.  They did – perfectly.  “You push the balls in, and I’ll push them back out to you.”  So I did.  I soon realized that I was poking in five – and getting back four – poking in the four – and getting back three, etc. until I had none.  Standing there, like the gullible fool I was, I said, “Push mine back out to me.”  “Nope, they’re mine now.” and he closed the flap and the inner window, so I went home with nothing but regrets.

A couple of months later, he wanted to trade comic books.   He kept his pile in a cardboard box just bigger than his comics.  As I was digging down in the box, I realized that all the ball-bearings were along the bottom.  I surreptitiously snaked them out and dropped them in my pocket.  As I was walking away, he shouted through the window, “You stole all my balls.  Give them back.”  I said, “Nope, they’re mine now.”  Even with ten balls in my possession, I couldn’t go back to the amusement site and put them back; for fear that I would be discovered and accused of damaging the machines.

I went to school with him so, one day we were walking together in a residential area that was not ours.   Twenty yards ahead on the sidewalk was a piece of paper.  It looked like an envelope.  I assumed that we would just walk up to it and see what it was.  Suddenly, he dashed forward, scooped it up and started pawing into the envelope.

When I got there, I found that it was a utility bill for a month’s electricity and water – plus enough cash to pay for it.  The owner’s name was clear on the invoice.  I felt that we should just walk over to the widow’s apartment and return it, getting a smile, a thank you, a pat on the head, and possibly a cookie.  Instead of doing that, or instead of offering to split it with me, or at least give me a small portion, he just stuffed it in his pocket.

Perhaps I read too much evil into too small a sample size, but it didn’t get any better when I had to attend high school in the next town.  Mostly I was ignored, sometimes pointedly so, but there was a short bully who loved to sneak up behind me, grab my arm and twist it behind me in a chicken-wing.  It was only because my arms were so short, that he couldn’t get enough leverage to cause me pain or discomfort.  I would ignore him, and he would get bored, turn me loose and walk away.

One day, two of the well-off guys in my class were illicitly sharing a BIG box of peanut brittle.  When class ended, I politely asked if I might have a small piece.  At next class-break, they found me and gave me a piece – which they later crowed they had both peed on.  Even today, I am amazed that people will expend so much time and energy, for no obvious gain.

I refuse to be mean.  I will not be nasty or judgmental.  I will not be an asshole.  I will not be a prankster, a troublemaker, or a criminal.  I know that there are lots of nice folks.  I’ve met many of them, but people like these seem to make up the large majority of the population.  I eventually realized that I didn’t need or want companionship badly enough to seek it from the likes of these.

To those of you who have been kind to me – and others – online, or in person, Thank You!  You are bright and shining stars in a sea of darkness.  I’m glad I could be a loner, with you.   😀  😀

Holy One-Liners

 

TV evangelists….
….do more than lay people.

People treat me like a God….
….They ignore my existence until they need something from me.

I hope I never get addicted to skiing….
….That can be a slippery slope.

The mailman just told me a joke….
….It wasn’t very funny, but he delivered it well.

When you die, people cry and beg you to come back….
….but when you do, there’s screaming and running.

Thieves stole twenty cases of Red Bull….
….I don’t know how these people can sleep at night.

My drug test came back negative….
….My dealer has some real explaining to do.

There’s no official training for trash collectors….
….They just pick things up as they go.

My wife wanted to learn to drive….
….I didn’t stand in her way.

The shinbone is a device….
….for locating furniture in a dark room.

I went to an acupuncturist….
….When I got home, my voodoo doll was dead.

Time may be a great healer….
….but it’s a lousy beautician.

Spiders are the only web designers….
….who are happy when they have a bug.

So, a burglar broke into the house….
….I put a red dot on his chest, and the cat did the rest.

If God had meant for us to vote….
….He would have given us candidates.


You read my doormat….
….That’s enough social interaction for today.

I told my wife to embrace her mistakes….
….so she gave me a hug.

Day 12 without chocolate….
….Lost hearing in my left eye.

A dog accepts you as the boss….
….A cat wants to see your resume.

OOPS….
….Did I roll my eyes out loud?  😳

Flash Fiction # 286

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

ROCKIN’ UP

All society is a pendulum, from too strict, to too lax, and back again.  Our best hope is that the average is always upward.  The proof is here in Ed Sheeran’s Castle On The Hill-land.  Once, the rich, who stole from the weak and poor to get that way, built huge commanding castles on hilltops to keep others from stealing from them.

Nowadays, that service is provided by the IRS.  I am optimistic that American education will improve, and Trump-sponsored Christian willful ignorance and intolerance will begin to abate.  Castles are passé, but ‘Prepper Shelters’ are becoming all too common.

***

If you want 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.

Killer One-Liners

Jokes about murderers aren’t funny….
….Unless they’re properly executed.

Spiderman was found dead this morning….
….Police suspect he committed insecticide.

I caught my teenage son flying a kite during a thunderstorm….
….I immediately grounded him.

Dr. Frankenstein entered a body-building contest….
….And found that he’d seriously misunderstood the goals.

Atheism and Theism are but two sides of the same coin….
….One prefers to use its head, while the other relies on tales.

Insomnia is terrible, but on the plus side….
….Only three more sleeps till Christmas

If two vegans get into a fight….
….Is it still called a beef?

They say a camera adds ten pounds….
….After my last look in a mirror, I must be under heavy surveillance.

I was eating pizza, before pizza was cool….
….I never seem to learn.

What’s the correct serving size for pizza?….
….Until you hate yourself.

What’s the funniest thing I’ve stolen?….
….A joke.

It’s all fun and games….
….Until your oversize shirts start fitting.

I accidently went shopping on an empty stomach….
….Now I’m the proud owner of aisle seven.

I was waving at my neighbor for ten minutes this morning….
….Before realizing that she was cleaning her windows

Did you hear about the man who lived in a tire?….
….He had a puncture, and now lives in a flat.

A recent study by statisticians shows….
….The average human has one breast and one testicle.

I have a meeting at the bank later to solve all my money worries….
….I’m so excited, I can hardly get the balaclava on.

The cops just left.  They said if I’m gonna walk around the house naked…
….I gotta do it inside.

My doctor diagnosed me as a kleptomaniac….
….I asked, ‘Is there anything I can take for that?’

Do trees shit?….
….Of course they do.  That’s how we get #2 pencils.

My girlfriend told me I need to show more affection….
….Now I have two girlfriends.

If I cut off my right butt cheek….
….I would be left behind.

I had an addiction to masturbation….
….But I beat it.

Missing Punch Line

A man walks into a police station and tells the desk sergeant, “My wife’s gone missing.”

The desk sergeant says, – “How long has your wife been missing?”

-The man replies, “About a month.”

The desk sergeant says, “A month?! Why are you just reporting it?”

The man answer, “- “I can’t find any clean clothes.”

***

The newly married man asked his bride, “Would you have married me if my father hadn’t left me a fortune?”
Darling,” she replied sweetly.  “I’d have married you no matter who left you the fortune.”

***

12 Commandments For Seniors

#1 – Talk to yourself. There are times you need expert advice.

#2 – “In Style” are the clothes that still fit.

#3 – You don’t need anger management. You need people to stop making you mad.

#4 – Your people skills are just fine. It’s your tolerance for idiots that needs work.

#5 – The biggest lie you tell yourself is, “I don’t need to write that down. I’ll remember it.”

#6 – “On time” is when you get there.

#7 – Even duct tape can’t fix stupid – but it sure does muffle the sound.

#8 – It would be wonderful if we could put ourselves in the dryer for ten minutes, then come out wrinkle-free and three sizes smaller!

#9 – Lately, You’ve noticed people your age are so much older than you.

#10 – Growing old should have taken longer.

#11 – Aging has slowed you down, but it hasn’t shut you up.

#12 – You still haven’t learned to act your age, and hope you never will.

And one more:

“One for the road” means going to the bathroom before you leave the house.

***

Jokes That Ring A Bell

Is it true that telemarketers don’t have managers….
….they have ring leaders?

Is it true that it only takes one telemarketer to change a light bulb….
….but they have to do it while you’re eating dinner? 

Is it true that the hobbit set his cell phone to vibrate….
….because he was afraid the ring would give him away?

The other day I had a call from a telemarketer in Egypt….
….I think they were trying to sell me on a pyramid scheme. 

If a zombie was a telemarketer….
….would you call him a dead ringer?

Did you hear about the crow who worked as a telemarketer?….
…. He was fired for Just Caws.

I have a friend who really enjoys his job as a telemarketer….
….it seems he has found his calling.

Last week I went fishing for telephones….
…. but they kept ringing off the hook.

The other night I left my phone under my pillow and when I woke up it was gone and there was a $5 bill in its place….
…. I think might have been the Bluetooth fairy.

I just can’t picture myself….
….without a camera phone.

***

A man rushed into a busy doctor’s surgery and shouted, “Doctor! I think I’m shrinking!” The doctor calmly responded, “Now, settle down. You’ll just have to be a little patient.”

***

A lawyer’s dog, running about unleashed, beelines for a butcher shop and steals a roast.

The butcher goes to the lawyer’s office and asks, “If a dog running unleashed steals a piece of meat from my store, do I have a right to demand payment for the meat from dog’s owner?”

The lawyer answers, “Absolutely.”

“Then you owe me $12.50. Your dog was loose and stole a roast from me today.”

The lawyer, without a word, writes the butcher a check for $12.50.

A few days later the butcher receives a letter from the lawyer: “$45 due for consultation”.

***

There were three restaurants on the same street. One day, one of them put up a sign said, “The Best Restaurant in the City.”
The next day, the second restaurant put up a larger sign which said, “The Best Restaurant in the World.”
On the third day, the smallest restaurant put up a small sign which said, “The Best Restaurant on this street.”

***

 

Lawyers, No Joke

This Lawyer Is Thorough…

The attorney tells the accused, “I have some good news and some bad news.”
“What’s the bad news?” asks the accused.
“The bad news is, your blood 
is all over the crime scene, and the DNA tests prove you did it.”
“What’s the good news?”
“Your cholesterol is 130.”

***

Trappiest Place on Earth

A man won an $8,000 settlement from Disneyland after he got stuck on the It’s a Small World ride. He said he’ll use the money to cut out the part of his brain that won’t stop playing ‘It’s a Small World After All.’

***

Long Tour of Duty

I work in a courthouse, so when I served jury duty, I knew most of the staff. As I sat with other prospective jurors listening to a woman drone on about how long the process was taking, a judge and two lawyers passed by, giving me a big hello. A minute later, a few maintenance workers did the same.

That set off the malcontent: “Just how long have you been serving jury duty?”

***

Roll Call

I was in juvenile court, prosecuting a teen suspected of burglary, when the judge asked everyone to stand and state his or her name and role for the court reporter.

“Leah Rauch, deputy prosecutor,” I said.

“Linda Jones, probation officer.”

“Sam Clark, public defender.”

“John,” said the teen who was on trial. “I’m the one who stole the truck.”

***

The First Case

An investment banker decides she needs in-house counsel, so she interviews a young lawyer. “Mr. Peterson,” she says. “Would you say you’re honest?”

“Honest?” replies Peterson. “Let me tell you something about honesty. My father lent me $85,000 for my education, and I paid back every penny the minute I tried my first case.” “Impressive. And what sort of case was that?”

“Dad sued me for the money.”

***

Frame of Reference

When my 88-year-old mother was called for jury duty, she had to submit to questioning by the opposing lawyers.

“Have you ever dealt with an attorney?” asked the plaintiff’s lawyer.

“Yes. I had an attorney write my living trust,” she responded.

“And how did that turn out?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “Ask me when I’m dead.”

***

The Judgment

After I prosecuted a man for killing a bird out of season with his slingshot, the court clerk suggested setting up a date for him to return with both the money for the fine and proof of community service. “That way,” she said innocently, “you can kill two birds with one stone.”

***

Protesting Too Much

Arrested on a robbery charge, our law firm’s client denied the allegations. So when the victim pointed him out in a lineup as one of four men who had attacked him, our client reacted vociferously.

“He’s lying!” he yelled. “There were only three of us.”

It’s Called Theft

When I was out today, I saw a phone on the table outside a coffee shop that had been left there, so I pocketed it. It started to ring….
I took it out of my pocket and the caller I.D. said ‘Mom’.
I put it back on the table and slowly backed away.
How did she know I was up to no good?

***

Trump managed to do in 4 years, what 80% of presidents didn’t do in 8 years.
Lose an election

***

Two women were playing golf.
The first woman teed off and watched in horror as her ball headed directly toward a foursome of men playing the next hole.

The ball hit one of the men. He immediately clasped his hands together at his groin, fell to the ground and proceeded to roll around in agony.

The woman rushed down to the man, and immediately began to apologize. ‘Please allow me to help. I’m a Physical Therapist and I know I could relieve your pain if you’d allow me,’ she told him.

‘Oh, no, I’ll be all right. I’ll be fine in a few minutes,’ the man replied. He was in obvious agony, lying in the fetal position, still clasping his hands at his groin.

At her persistence, however, he finally allowed her to help. She gently took his hands away and laid them to the side, loosened his pants and put her hands slowly and carefully inside.

She then administered a tender and skillful massage for several long moments and softly asked ‘How does that feel’?

Feels wonderful, he replied; but I still think my thumb’s broken!

***

A man goes to see a fortune teller.

She begins “your name is Steve”, “Wrong”.
“Your favourite colour is green”, “Wrong”.
“You have a dead uncle who passed away 2 years ago”, “Wrong”.
“Your wife’s name is Carol”, “Wrong”
“You have 2 children named John and Christian”, “Wrong”.
“You are a painte…”, “Wrong”.

Getting flustered the woman asks “What in bloody hell do you do then?”
“I investigate fraud.”

***

A man is walking in the desert with his horse and his dog when the dog says, “I can’t do this. I need water.”

The man says, “I didn’t know dogs could talk.”

The horse says, “Me neither!”

***

Hee-Haw!

What happens when you put a sex-crazed female donkey and Donald Trump in the same room??
Nothing!  Even donkeys have standards.

***

WEBSITE IDEA: “HOT OR NOT?”
Where husbands post pictures of thermostats, and other guys comment on whether to turn it up or down.

***

Did you know today is Pancake Day? Apparently it just crêped up on us….

***

I don’t believe in a deity, but I faithfully observe all holidays that involve baked goods or candy.

***

I don’t think I was a difficult teenager, but I’m not sure my parents would agree. One night, we were discussing over dinner what we wanted to have happen when we died.  I said I didn’t want a funeral; I wanted a party.  Without a pause, my mom said, ”Oh, there’ll be a party.”

***

Jesus decided to help St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.  A very old man approached.  Jesus asked him what he had done in his life.  The old man replied that he was a carpenter.
Jesus looked closely.  “Is it??….  Is that you, father?
The old man peered back at him.  “Is that you, Pinocchio?

Flash Fiction #231

Boxing Day

PHOTO PROMPT © Jean L. Hays

BOXING DAY

I am a genius, if I may say so myself – and I have to – ‘cause you won’t acknowledge my brains.  I’ve solved two irritations, with one brilliant idea.

To cut costs, the city now collects garbage every two weeks.  Hauling out one extra-heavy, or two regular bags, was a hassle.  Breaking down boxes from on-line Amazon shopping was a pain.

I peel off the labels, fill them with garbage, and leave them outside the door.  Within an hour, some porch pirate steals my used tea-bags, coffee grounds and banana peels.  Some boxes I ‘accidently’ forget on the subway, during my commute.

***

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

friday-fictioneers-badge-web

Sleeping with one-liners

Comedy

Some days I wake up grumpy…
….other days, I just let her sleep

What do you call a fake noodle?….
….an impasta

The stars are now in perfect alignment….
….for me to break my addiction to magical thinking

What kind of mistakes are common at a blood bank?….
….typos

What does a vegan zombie say?….
….grainnns

A man runs in front of a car, he gets tired….
….he runs behind a car and gets exhausted

My wife says I have two major faults….
….I don’t listen, and something else

I have the best Egyptian Dad joke….
….actually, it’s more a mummy joke

My friend doesn’t believe in Santa Claus….
….does that make him an eggnog-stic?

My therapist told me that a good way to release my anger was to write letters to all the people I hate, and burn them….
….I did that, and I feel great – but do I keep the letters?

What’s the capital of Texas?….
….the T

What’s more impressive than a talking dog?….
….a spelling bee

Baldness?  I’m not losing more hair….
….I’m gaining more head

There’s a lot of unrest….
….in the insomniac community

A family goes to a hotel.  The father goes to the front desk and says, “I hope the porno is disabled.”….
….The clerk says, “It’s just normal porn, you sick fuck.”

What do Michelangelo and Curt Kobain have in common?….
….The both used their brains to paint the ceiling

I didn’t know what type of hammer to get my Dad….
….but I think I nailed it

Somebody stole my bagful of new AA batteries….
….there was a hefty charge when the culprit was located

How many Amish people does it take to screw in a lightbulb?….
….I don’t know

What do you call a dog with no legs?….
….Doesn’t matter what you call him.  He ain’t gonna come.

What do you call a cow with no legs?….
….ground beef