Wednesday, 30 March 2016

A Fly In The Ointment


It was a dark and stormy night and as dense as a London fog. As luck would have it Bob was late getting home, where he was looking forward to being as snug as a bug in a rug, because he was off course as the crow flies because he had to take the long road home as luck would have it.

He thought of his wife Rose - a rose by any other name would smell so sweet - and regretted leaving his cell phone charging on his desk at work. He decided that was a bad call but that thinking about it was like beating a dead horse.

He hoped his wife would like her anniversary present but he knew beauty was in the eye of the beholder. He hoped she didn't think beggars can't be choosers because he'd been there done that with his first wife Mabel. Mabel had been behind the the times, far from the belle of the ball and a knife or two short of the cutlery drawer.

Anyway, as he sat in the detoured traffic he knew he'd be better late than never and in terms of Rose, his second wife, it'd be better the devil he knew than the devil he didn't.

Just then a flock of crows alighted on a nearby tree branch. As the last bird landed the rest looked at him as he said "Hey, birds of a feather flock together."

Well thought Bob I hope I'm not so late that the bloom is off the Rose. After all, having stopped at the butchers,  I'm the one that's bringing home the bacon.

Meanwhile poor Rose wondered just where Bob was. "I'm tired" she said to herself. "I've bee busier than a one-armed paper hanger. I've been burning the candle at both ends around the house and I don't think Bob has noticed."

As the sun set Rose cast a very long shadow across the the floor that was so clean you couldn't hold a candle to it because the cleaning products were so flammable.

Finally Bob arrived. He presented his gift and realized that the chain of the bracelet was only as strong as it's weakest link. He needn't have worried. Rose thought the gift was the cat's meow.

"But Bob I have nothing for you" cried Rose. "Does the Pope wear a funny hat?" said Bob. "It's our anniversary. Why not?"

"Now Bob don't get your knickers in a knot" said Rose. "Knickers in a knot?" cried Bob, down in the mouth. "How could you resort to using cliches at a time such as this?"

And as she put an end to the conversation with her husband she whispered "The end justifies the meanness."

My friends at Studio30+ came up with banal/cliche as this week's writing prompt. And while this post may be banal everything's coming up roses in terms of the number of cliches to be found here. Why, my God, there's everything but the kitchen sink here. Sorry. I can't stop.


Tuesday, 29 March 2016

What Does One Say?

Nicky Eff's Profile Photo

I really have no idea how to begin this post. I've been staring at a blank screen with many thoughts swirling in my mind about someone I knew as Nicky F. Nicky was a blogger from Montreal who I first met through an on-line humour bloggers site. She was hilarious and we would often exchange barbs - all in good fun of course - in contests of who could top whom. Funny how many words we exchanged in the name of humour and now at her passing I struggle to find the right words.

You know that term "work wife", someone of the opposite sex you work with closely. Well I'd like to think of Nicky as my blogging wife (sorry Ziva Moon). Funny how you can feel so close to someone without actually meeting them but her writing and commenting just made you feel like her best friend.

So this relationship went on for some years until it evolved into a Facebook friendship. She blogged less end less but kept up her acerbic comments on Facebook - comments you absolutely had to respond to.

And when I turned 60 and Cheryl Duford, bless her heart, corralled a bunch of bloggers to send their best wishes, Nicky didn't just send a little note. The woman pulled together a hilarious video with her We Work For Cheese blogging cohort Mike Kay. She blew me away. But that's just the kind of person  she was. And even though I'd never actually met her I was proud to call her my friend.

After so many years of our writing relationship I invited Nicky to a little blogfest called Lostmyliverpalooza along with Cheryl Duford from Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Paula Larew Wooters from Rochester, New York so we could all meet face to face. Nicky couldn't make it. This was around the time she'd been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. We spent a lot of our time talking about Nicky that weekend. And lifting a glass or two.

I got to thinking how stupid I'd been having lived just down the highway from her that I'd never visited her. I finally made arrangements for lunch. I drove to Montreal and met Nicky at her home, which she and her husband JP and youngest son Max were soon moving into. And I have to pause here and pass on my sincere condolences to those who knew her best and loved her most in real life - her family. I can't begin to imagine the hole that has been left in their hearts. When I arrived the house was empty and Nicky was directing the painters on her colour scheme throughout the house. She was obviously having a busy day. Yet she found the time to take me to lunch, make me comfortable and buy me a dynamite cheeseburger. And how she met JP. Don't worry. Your secret's safe with me. And I think we talked more about me and my cancer than we did about her. But that's just the way she was. It's several hours in my life I'll always cherish. And never forget.  As I will our virtual relationship.

Au revoir cherie.




Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Must Be The Season of the Which?


"Do you know about the equinox?" expressed  Elizabeth.

"The equinox, really?" replied Rachel. "Isn't that a new car by Chevy?"

"No, no, no" nattered Nathan. "The equinox has to do with the change of season in the spring and the fall".

That's right, responded Richard. "It marks the two times a year the sun is directly over the equator."

"Yeah, the equinoxes along with the solstices" said Sam, "are directly related to the seasons of the year".

"And come the fall equinox" Edward expressed " the days grow shorter".

"And with the equinox in the spring" suggested Suzy "the days grow longer".

Well everyone thought this was just marvellous. They'd all put their heads together and worked out the story of the seasonal equinoxes. There was just one question.

"Do the number of summer daylight hours equal the number of winter hours in the dark?" declaimed Don.

'Oy vay" Victor voiced. If anyone knows anything about the spring equinox Vern'll.

The guys at Studio30+ went seasonal this week and their prompt was vernal/spring. I hope I didn't disappoint with my day in the sun.


Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Who said "Ah, yes divorce...from the latin word meaning to rip out a man's genitals through his wallet"?

Image result for robin williams

Dave and Nancy had been looking forward to this comedy show all week. Longer even, since they purchased their tickets several months ago.  They loved stand-up comedians and this Robin Williams Back From The Dead event was no exception. I mean how great could it be? Tasteless, ghoulish and Robin Williams all rolled into one.

They handed over their tickets to the man on the comedy club door and sought out a small table for two near the stage. As Nancy got settled Dave went off to get a couple of beers. He arrived back just as the light's grew dim. The two clanked their long-neck bottles, mouthed "cheers" and each took a swig.

"Do you think God gets stoned? I think so" claimed the first funnyman. "Look at a Platypus" he concluded. The line prompted a few sniggers throughout the room.

"In England, if you commit a crime, the police don't have a gun and you don't have a gun. If you commit a crime, the police will say: 'Stop of I'll say stop again.'" This time there were more chuckles around the room.

And on it went for about an hour and-a-half. Each one-liner invoking ever increasing amounts of laughter among the audience. And it seemed the more they drank the more hysterical the audience reacted to the jokes.

The last joke inspired an uproar of laughter: "I wonder what chairs think about all day? Oh, here comes another asshole."

With tears running down their cheeks and their sides splitting Dave whispered to Nancy "Do you wonder why we're all laughing so madly?

"I think it may have something to do with the beer we're drinking' squealed Nancy. Look, it's called Brouhaha.

And brouhaha/uproar was the prompt from Studio30+ this week. My apologies to an interred Mr. Williams for helping me along this week. He's probably rolling over in his grave at all these dead jokes.



Thursday, 10 March 2016

A Deadly Idea


The sky was clear, not a cloud in sight
The stars they twinkled in the dark of night
The moon was full and lit the way
One could clearly see where the headstones lay

The night was silent save for the sound
Of the rustle of tools on our mission bound
Shovels and picks, a hoe or two
Something to dig with, that would do

We'd hatched our plan several weeks before
Sitting at the table by the door
Several half empty quarts and some brave debate
Had led us here to the cemetery's gate

Our pal Pat had just been laid to rest
A friend of ours - the very best
Cut down in life far too young
For the rest of us life had just begun

We readied our tools at the side of the grave
Poised above the earth feeling brave
On your mark get set we started to dig
The hole we dug wasn't very big

Grave-robbing was our much-planned intent
But we came about with something we hadn't meant
Instead of rescuing the body whole
It was only Pat's head that we stole

And while some of us felt somewhat sick
One smart wag started to cite "Yorick..."
I leaned on my shovel and explained such grave-thuggery
"I think we just gave new meaning to the term skull-duggery."

The prompt from the folks at Studio30+ is skullduggery/shenanigans and as always I went for the humourous (I hope) approach.


Friday, 4 March 2016

My Back Pages


February was pretty much a dud in terms of reading. Not so much what I read but how much I read. I completed two books in February; Purity by Jonathan Franzen and Still Alice by Lisa Genova.

The first was a recommendation by a Facebook friend. I'd never read Franzen's stuff before. This was a lengthy tale which tied the central character, Purity, to various other characters and story lines. I liked it. It held my attention and was well written.  Nothing to get overly excited about but easy enough to read.

You may have seen the movie that was based on my second book, starring Julianne Moore. It's about a cognitive psychology university professor with alzheimer's disease. The story is so detailed it makes you feel that it's non-fiction as it takes you through the impact of the disease on not only her but on her husband and children. This was an excellent read, though very, very sad.

Only two books this month for a total of 6t this year. I fear my binge-watching of TV series is taking up a lot of my time. This month I watched the first three seasons of Homeland with Claire Danes and Damian Lewis. An excellent CIA-drama that I highly recommend.

How about you guys? Any recommendations for me?

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Be Careful What You Ask For


I wouldn't say Jack was eccentric but whenever he made a purchase he would ask where it was made. For example, last week Jack went shopping for clothes for spring. He found pairs of jeans and demanded "Origin?" of the salesperson until she stopped saying China and hit on "United States".

He then moved over to the sweater section of the men's department and pulled the same trick until the sales girl stopped on "Ireland".  Jack had found the sweater he wanted.

From store to store Jack employed the same shopping technique. Shirts, socks, shoes. The origin of the shirts were Turkey. The origin of the socks were Armenia and the origin of his new boots were Italy.

But he didn't stop there. When he sat down for lunch he demanded to know the origin of the salmon and whether it was freshly caught. "Flown in from the west coast an hour ago" said the waiter which seems to have met Jack's qualifications just fine.

On the way home from the mall, followed by the late lunch, Jack had only one more stop to make. He was throwing a small party that night and a bottle or two of liquor might be a good idea.

"I need a decent whiskey" said Jack to which the salesperson provided a popular brand. "Origin" demanded Jack. "Hey, now wait a minute" said the salesperson. "First you say whiskey and now you say or a gin, Which one's it gonna be?

The prompt from the folks at Studio30+ was provenance/origin this week. This blog is from me.


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