Thursday, 29 September 2016

WTF?



Fiona and Frank Fiddler are in love. Fully. Completely. They must be. Fiona and Frank Fiddler have 14 children, all whose names began with the letter "F". You know how parents with just a few children mix them up and run through their names until they hit on the right one?  One can just imagine the scene at the Fiddler dinner table. "Fred, Francis, Frank Jr. get your elbows off the table." "Fatima, Faith, Fannie stop picking your nose." "Farah, Fawn, Fay...which effin one are you again? Never mind, just pass the fish."

Before I forget I should share how this all began. Fiona and Frank met in Fiji, each while on vacation. Over a chance encounter and a fruity drink at the Hotel Fairmont bar they fell hopelessly in love. As the Beatles would say 'It would be a love that would last forever'.

Back home in Fredericksburg, Texas Fiona and Frank quickly became Mr and Mrs Fiddler. And while neither of them were musicians, it soon became obvious to family and friends they certainly  knew how to fiddle around.

Fiona was a financial planner and Frank sold fridges and they managed to buy a four-bedroom bungalow in which to start a family. If they worried about whether or not they could get pregnant they needn't have. Frank Jr, their first-born proved them fertile. Fatima, their fourteenth proved them good Catholics.  If their faith were based on their fertility then Fiona and Frank Fiddler already each had one fecund foot in heaven.

The scene around the TV after dinner was a sight to behold. The family would spread out on a collection of feathered futons and watch their favourite show together, Family Feud. Then they'd watch X-Files. They especially liked Fox Mulder, although, sometimes they found this show a little frightening and a little far-fetched...but they wanted to believe. Finally, before the little ones flew off to bed they all watched repeats of Fantasy Island.

And with that this funny little fable of fertile Fiona and Frank Fiddler and family comes to an end. Finally. As the French would say 'finis'.


This week the folks at Studio30+ ran with fecund/fertile as their writing prompt. 






Tuesday, 20 September 2016

I Fought The Law and the Law Won



One day Robert and I were walking downtown when we came upon a burning building. It was sheer mayhem with tons of people watching the goings on. I turned to Robert and our conversation went like this:

Robert: Oh my God. What should we call this then?

Me: A herd of heroes?

Robert: Not quite.

Me: An army of ambulance drivers?

Robert: Good guess.

Me: A mob of medics?

Robert: Not what I was going for.

Me: A flange of firefighters.

Robert: That too.

Me: A  flock of fuzz?

Robert: Close.

Me:A band of men and women in blue?

Robert: You're getting warm.

Me: Not a parliament of police?

Robert: No.

Me: a draft of detectives?

Robert: Warmer.

Me: And their congregation of cars?

Robert: What?

Me: Okay, okay, how about a litter of lieutenants?

Robert: Nope.

Me: Okay, then a scattering of sergeants.

Robert: Sorry.

Me: Okay my last guess: A pack of privates?

Robert You're way off.

Me: Okay smart guy, what then?

Robert: Why it's a copse of cops!


The prompt from the people at Sudio30+ was copse/grove this week. I stretched the meaning of the clue with this group of groups.



Wednesday, 14 September 2016

How Big Bob Met His Maker


If Big Bob Stiff had a weakness it was cheese. He loved the stuff. All kinds. Even blue cheese. If Bob had a second weakness it was fish. All kinds. But particularly sole. He loved it. The one drawback from eating all this cheese was that Bob was in a state of near constant constipation. But he didn't let it deter him. As a result Bob ballooned to 400 lbs. His wife left him. He got fired from his job. He was shunned by his friends.

One day, while surfing the internet, (Do we still say that?) Bob came across an ad for a tourist destination. It was a small, until now secret, island chain called Gouda and Filet. He read on. He was  enamoured by this perfectly named place in the Pacific Ocean and learned the spot was abundant in cheese and fish. Bob wasn't exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer. For him it was a match made in heaven. After all, while cheese was available in Denver, it wasn't exactly a hotspot for fresh fish.

There was only one thing for Bob to do. He sold his home, his car and his prized CD collection (which I'd never do If I was Bob) and booked the first flight he could to Gouda and Filet where he bought a house on the beach and quickly settled in as an American expatriate. He ate cheese and fished to his heart's content. Soon the chest of drawers in his kitchen was full of cheese and his freezer overflowed with fish, largely sole.

Within two month's time Bob had gained another 100 lbs. But he had no wife or friends to advise him to cut back or else he would encounter some serious health problems. He loved to fish even though he should have scaled back (pun intended) and he loved his cheese because it was so damn gouda (ditto).

But his weaknesses soon were his undoing. Not having seen Bob for several days, his neighbour wandered over to see if he was okay. He found poor Bob dead as a doornail on the john. Bob had given things the old college try but his grunting and groaning did him in.

His neighbour made the burial arrangements and short on cash decided on a short engraving on Bob's tombstone. He thought about what he knew of his neighbour,. An expatriate from the United States.  Loved cheese. Loved fish. Born in 1986. The engraving he decided on read like this:

Here lies John
Stiff
1986-2016
Ex-expat
The good cheeses took him from US
God rest his sole.


The prompt from my friends at Studio30+ was expatriate/emigrant this week. Click the link to see what the rest of the gang came up with.



Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Now That's Colourful



Giuseppe was from the old country. He himself was old. But he was reasonably well off, able to have provided nicely for his wife Roberta and his seven children Alberto, Bianca, Carlotta, Donato, Ernesto, and twins Francesca and Francesco. Giuseppe thought it was a good idea to stop at seven children because he realized there were 26 letters in the alphabet. Best to stop at F.

That many children in the house meant his days were filled with joy. Well, as much joy as possible after working ten to twelve hours in his workshop creating new colours that first his wife, then eventually a factory full of workers could use to dye the clothes they made for the family firm, Lululampone.

Giuseppe was quite famous for both the soft pastel shades of pink, mauve and baby blue he had created and later, by contrast, when he had grown tired of that the bright shades for the younger set of neon pink, fluorescent green and shocking purple.

One day a sports store company called Giuseppe and asked if he was a able to create a bright, bright orange colour that they wanted to use for all their hunting jackets and hats to sell in all their stores across the country.

Never one to shy away from a challenge Giuseppe said he'd take a shot. Giuseppe always was one with the puns.

He soon set to work mixing his powders and paints to create a huge vat of brilliant orange. He started with a yellow base and slowly mixed increasing amounts of red until he got what he thought was the definitive shade of orange.

But something happened between the time he mixed the colour and when he told his family what he had accomplished.  When Giuseppe walked through the door that night his wife Roberta gasped and cried "Giuseppe, what-a happened? You're all-a orange!"

Giuseppe looked sheepishly at his wife and amidst the laughter of his children told her "Well, everything went-a well up until I was almost finished when I-a tripped over a leg of the giant vat and tipped it over. I couldn't get outta the way and the dye caughta me."


The prompt at Studio30+ is contrast/dichotomy this week. Giuseppe isn't the only one who enjoys a good pun.


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Friday, 2 September 2016

Lonely


Image result for lonely


Brian fell into a deep dream-filled unconscious state. At least for several hours he could escape the pain. The pain of losing her.

But he dreamt of her. Of the life they had shared. Of the love they had lived. And a smile spread across his face.

But when he awoke his pillow was wet and the tears still ran down his cheeks. It was dark. It was still the middle of the night.

He slipped from beneath the covers and got up to pee. Returning to bed he noticed the lump on the other side of the mattress, that he'd grown so accustomed to over the years, was no longer there. The covers were flat. He'd have to get used to that.

And he'd have to get used to many a restless night, not to mention lonely days, without her. And he'd forever wonder why she did it.  The overdose of sleeping pills she'd taken had proven effective.


This week's prompt from Studio30+ was efficacious/effective

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

My Back Pages - August




Are you ready for this? I ripped through 12 books in August. Everything from detective novels, to fantasy fiction to a couple of autobiographies, including - believe it or not - Willie Nelson.

I've yet to come across a detective yarn I haven't liked and that includes the three-book bundle by Janet Ivanovich featuring a woman FBI agent and a high-prize con man who team up to catch the bad guys using elaborate deceptions.

The Two Minute Rule is the first Robert Crais novel I've read not featuring Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. It was enjoyable too.

The rest was quite an eclectic collection of hard-cover and e-book tales but I'd be remiss if I didn't point out two highlights in particular.

The first was the Neil Gaiman collection of essays, addresses and book introductions called The View From the Cheap Seats. This man clearly loves literature; reading it and writing it and it comes through clearly between the covers of this book.

The other great read this month was The Illegal by Lawrence Hill about a marathon runner who escapes, although not entirely, from persecution in his home county.  Hill says it took him five years to write this book. Seems a little unfair I whipped through it in two days.

Here's the rest of what I read. If you're interested in a review click on the books icon at the top of my blog.


The Sentry - Robert Crais ****
The Heist - Janet Evanovich ****
The Chase - Janet Evanovish ****
The Job - Janet Evanovich ****
Our Kind of Traitor - John le Carre ****
The View From the Cheap Seats - Neil Gaiman *****
The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury *****
Shoe Dog - Phil Knight ****
The Illegal - Lawrence Hill *****
It's A Long Story: My Life - Willie Nelson ***
The Two Minute Rule - Robert Crais ****
Lud-In-The-Mist - Hope Mirrlees ***

This makes for 37 books I've read this year. Getting closer to my goal of 50 for 2016.
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