Thursday, 16 February 2017

How Sweet It Is


Jack Arturie was in love. He had been for 30 years. Following a five year dating period Jack asked Tara Swain to marry him. Lucky for him, she accepted and they'd shared 25 years of wedded bliss. What's in a name? Well, she was his lovely swain for all the years they were together.

Tara was a little old school and believed the way to a man's heart was through his stomach. To this end she learned to bake and created sinfully sweet desserts for Jack at every meal.

Jack, of course, was in heaven and left unchecked he ballooned to well over 300 pounds. But Tara still loved Jack and continued to aim for his ever-increasing belt-sized stomach.

When out for lunch with Jack, his friends would express their concern over his sugar intake and ask if he'd ever asked his doctor to check for diabetes. Jack would simply laugh off their interventions as he tucked into a chocolate three-layer cake and washed it down with a Gatorade.

Snack-time was no different. Often Jack would down a half-dozen doughnuts or a bag of oreos in one sitting, as well as a six-pack of Coke, while watching his favourite TV show, Competition Cupcake, in the evenings

And at breakfast he'd start the day off right, in his estimation, with several bowls of Marshmallow Froot Loops, two large glasses of orange juice and a couple of cups of coffee, each doused with several soup spoonfuls of granulated sugar. Well not the orange juice. That would just be wrong.

One night at dinner, as Jack worked on his third chunk of Black Forest cake, lovingly prepared by Tara that afternoon, and watched a re-run of a Trump news conference from earlier that day, he keeled over and face-planted into the cake, dead.

After a brief investigation by police they ruled out CNN and had to agree with the coroner as to the cause of death: a sweet heart.

Tara's Two Word Tuesday prompt this week was swain/sweetheart. In addition to that, safe to say Tara didn't know Jack.


Wednesday, 8 February 2017

You Don't Mess Around With Stan



Stan was an English major. He'd studied four years and was proud of his personal prowess when it came to his phraseology. That's vocabulary to you and me. He wasn't bad with the Sunday Times crossword puzzle either.

He was making his way through the latest word challenge as he sat in Starbuck's sipping an espresso. The shimmering sunshine slipped through the open window casting the shadow from his pencil placidly upon his newspaper. And if it weren't for the occasional bawl of the baristas seeking to match a coffee cup with a customer, the subtle drone of patrons made him almost doze off.  Stan thought the interior of the coffee shop was idyllic. Idyllic was a favourite word of Stan's and he often felt his surroundings to be idyllic, an outlook in keeping with his ultra-positive look at life. He also had great ardor for alliteration, in case you hadn't noticed.

And then there was Oliver. Oliver was a good friend of Stan's - the best perhaps. But Oliver was very different from his friend. Oliver never finished university. Instead he'd spent most of his time in the student lounge drinking beer and playing pool or checkers with his unacademically-minded buddies. As a result Oliver worked at a blue-collar job while his pal Stan was easily climbing the ladder of success.

Oliver, earbuds of his iPhone plugged solidly into his ears, yelled a greeting to Stan and as he sat down and spoke loudly he turned the formerly idyllic coffee shop into an impious, cacophonous cavern. Loudly to you and me. But to Stan Oliver was rowdy, strident, raucous, vociferous and particularly stentorian. You might say he spoke in a manner so loudly he could have wakened the daed. But then I think you got that already.

Alarmed and annoyed at having his quiet and discreet refuge interfered with Stan looked Oliver in the face and yelled at his friend. But Oliver, deep into his music, did not hear. After the third attempt Stan yammered at the top of his voice "This is another fine imbroglio you've gotten us into".

"Hey" replied Oliver. "How did you know I was listening to Natalie Imbroglio?"

You might say Stan was torn as he thought about hauling off and launching a bell-ringer at Oliver's clearly cavernous cranium.

This week's Two Word Tuesday prompt from Tara is imbroglio/mess. My apologies to Stan and Ollie for paraphrasing their well-known catch phrase.



Wednesday, 1 February 2017

I'm Just Waiting On A Friend


Terry said he'd meet Rich and Dave at two o'clock. Rich and Dave arrived at the agreed upon meeting place together, 15 minutes ahead of schedule.

Now, you should know that this was back in the day when cell phones and iPads hadn't been invented yet. And people would have looked funny carrying a rotary phone in their pocket. Plus the telephone cord would have to be super long.

Anyway, Rich and Dave were forced into a little session of "I Spy With My Little Eye" to pass the time until Terry arrived. As it turned out Terry was unavoidably detained and Rich and Dave were simply dying of boredom. After all, when you've seen one chrome refrigerator in the appliance store you've seen them all. Neither of them had thought to bring a pencil or paper so tic-tac-toe and origami were both out. Tick-tock, tick-tock the time passed so slowly they were bored right out of their skulls.

At last, 30 minutes past the time they were supposed to meet, Terry arrived on the scene.

"Sorry, I'm late" chirped Terry, "but I got held up".

"Held up, cried Rich. "Did they get anything of value?"

"Not that kind of 'held up'" replied Terry. "It's a figure of speech. I guess the joke's on you."

"Listen" remarked Rich, "after all the time we waited for you it certainly is ennui."


The prompt from Tara at Two Word Tuesday is ennui/boredom this week. And I'm sorry but the joke's on you.


Tuesday, 31 January 2017

My Back Pages - January 2017


It's a new month and a new year and having aimed at reading at least 50 books this year January saw me wade through seven books. Just shows you what you can accomplish when you're not spending all your time reading Trump-related posts on Facebook. And I find my blood pressure's dropped, too.

Spies, detectives, musicians, actors and entertainers held my interest last month. I'd started an old Le Carre novel, A Perfect Spy, before I left Panama at the beginning of the month and wrapped it up when I got home.

Then it was into Powerhouse by James Miller - all about the agency business in Hollywood. It was kind if interesting with lots of behind the scenes stuff about the key agency movers and shakers. and how agencies grew from representing actors to getting involved in myriad other activities like banking and sports.

For What It's Worth was a bit of a guilty pleasure all about The Buffalo Springfield, the 60s group with Stephen Stills, Neil Young and Richie Furay who all went on to bigger and better things.

Mr. Tambourine Man about the Byrds' Gene Clark was interesting but I don't think I really needed to know about how many drugs the guy did. Really - page after page. Unfortunately, while talented he was also tragic figure.

Of course, the trouble I have with music books, and the above two were no different, is then I cruise Amazon.ca for CDs by the artist. Some months can be a little expensive.

The Smothers Brothers Book was hilarious. I always liked them and their mid-60s TV show and it was interesting to see what motivated them to do the comedy they did and to host the musical groups they did.

I closed out the month with the first two Nero Wolf novels by Rex Stout. I remember finding a paperback or two around the house when I was a kid and thought I'd revisit this detective's adventures. Stout wrote just over 30 of these beginning in the mid-1930s. They were both a satisfying read.

A Perfect Spy - John Le Carre ****
Powerhouse: Creative Artists Agency - James Andrew Miller ****
For What It's Worth: The Story of The Buffalo Springfield - John Einarsson ****
Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story
of the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour - David Bianculli ****
Mr. Tambourine Man: The Life and Legacy of the Byrds' Gene Clark - John Einarsson ****
Fer-de-Lance (Nero Wolf #1) Rex Stout ****
The League of Frightened Men (Nero Wolf #2) Rex Stout ****

What are you reading? Let me know. I'm always interested in exploring something new. You don't want me going back to Trump tweets do you?

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Head Games



Neil knelt next to Norman. Norman lay still upon the ground, a pool of crimson red spread slowly like a halo around his head. Neil's mind was a blank. He recalled the beers he and Norman had shared earlier that night. But between than and now, as he gazed upon his blood-soaked hands, nothing.

And now Norman was dead. And Neil couldn't figure out what had happened. His head hurt. Not from trying to focus on the events since the two had left the bar but rather from the large goose egg on the back of his skull. He realized he had the large bump when he had raked his fingers through his hair and discovered a soft spot on his, what was the old word for it, pate. It was the only part of his body he could feel at the moment. It hurt so much he felt like he was just one big head. But common sense told him that couldn't be. He knew that he felt that way from the pain that came with part of his skull being bashed in.

He then realized that he hadn't killed Norman, although up until that point he wasn't too sure. But the bump on his head meant someone had attacked both he and Norman and he had escaped the same fate as his friend.

He felt relieved. Yet very sad for his friend. But he was less confused about what had occurred and knew that if charged with Norman's murder a jury would surely vote to acquit him. He gingerly touched his head and thought to himself "this ex skull, pate, will surely prove my innocence".

But the wheels of the justice system turn ever so slowly and by the time he was brought before a judge his wounds had healed completely. His only evidence of his innocence no longer existed. He was found guilty of murdering his friend. Upon hearing the sentence Neil's lawyer turned to hm and said, "We should have acquitted while you were ahead."

The prompt from the folks at Two Word Tuesday this week was exculpate/acquit. I know "ex skull, pate" was a bit of a stretch but, hey, sometimes you have to work hard for a pun.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

I've Fallen And I Can't Get Up


It was about three days into Bob's vacation. He'd travelled to warmer climes to escape the wintry weather back home. From what he'd seen on social media he'd picked the right time. Snow, sleet and freezing raining had all put in an appearance in his absence.

Bob felt lucky. Even though he had some mobility issues and walked with a cane, he managed to make the daily trek past the resort's swimming pools to his bamboo-umbrellaed beach chair near the ocean's edge where he enjoyed the sites and sounds of the beach.

So, in the absence of niveous nervousness Bob relaxed away the hours in the tropical sun. But on this day Bob had stayed all morning at the beach and eventually had to go pee. Instead of walking all the way back to the condo Bob thought he'd just dip quickly in the ocean, subtly relieve himself and then return to his spot among the dancing dune buggies and bikini-clad babes. Particularly the latter and for that he was grateful for his sunglasses.

Anyway, he said to his wife that he'd accompany her into the water and leaning on her and without his cane he shakily walked across the beach into the ocean.

Well, it took only minutes for a wave to knock Bob off his feet not unlike a bowling pin. He struggled to stand but wave after wave crashed against him and he just couldn't get his legs under himself to stand as they turned to rubber. Like a sea turtle Bob grovelled in the surf until a passerby helped his wife lift him to is feet and pretty much dragged him back to the dry sand.

Did his life flash before his eyes? No, all he could think of was that infernal line from that damn commercial "I've fallen and I can't get up". He used to laugh at that. But not today.

Worst of all he still had to go pee.

The prompt from the folks at Two Word Tuesday on the Our Write Side site this week is niveous/wintry. This tale may or may not be true. The names have been changed to protect the incontinent.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...