Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Out of This World


Captains Smug and Vainglorious sat comfortably in the pilot seats of their Martian spacecraft. A successful lift off had propelled them thousands of light years close to earth.  As they neared the great planet Smug declared smugly "Time to take the ship off auto-pilot" to which Vainglorious replied somewhat vaingloriously "I thought you'd never do that." They each regarded the other with arched eyebrows which both had come to accept as code for 'nuff said'.

As the exit door opened they both strode toward the gangplank but found they could not disembark side by side. Smug and Vainglorious had not run into this problem with other space captains such as Captain Humble, Captain Unsure or Captain Modest. Although shifts with Captain Pompous and Captain Stuck Up had proven challenging. So arching their eyebrows at one another they decided to dismount the ship sideways, face-to-face.

It's not that Smug and Vainglorious didn't like each other it's just that each thought he was better than the other. And with the upcoming competition for an Admiral's position Smug and Vainglorious were both sure they had the edge over the other candidates, Captain Hotshot and Captain Holier-Than-Thou.

As they stood there contemplating this an earthling by the name of John spied them and waved to them. Smug and Vainglorious looked at one another wondering what to do as a wave from an earthling was certainly beneath them. John, not to be deterred and seeing as he was a bit of a snob lowered his arm as if his wave had never occurred.

"Pardon me", said Smug "Could you tell us what time it is?"

"Time?" replied John. "I don't wear a watch."

"Well then how do you tell time?" inquired Vainglorious.

"I tell time by when I receive my CDs in the mail from Amazon.ca."

"A bit of a music lover are we?" asked Vainglorious smugly as he new the answer which was so obvious.

"Yes, I am" replied John with a self-satisfied grin. "And right now it's forty-five minutes past Bob Dylan and quarter to Eric Clapton.

Smug and Vainglorious looked at John with eyebrows arched.


The prompts were smug and vainglorious from Studio30+ this week. "Surprised?" he asked with eyebrows arched.


Saturday, 28 May 2016

Looking For Mr Goodbar's Girlfriend


It was a Friday night and after months of unsuccessful attempts at the dating site scene Billy Goodbar  decided to visit a bar or two. He went out alone as he really had no friends to accompany him - a fact Bill had failed to consider in his failed attempts to make friends with the opposite sex on eHarmony, Match.com and Desperate and Lonely.

So where some might leave in a huff, Bill chose a cab to take him downtown to the busy bar district. Bill walked up the sidewalk of one side of the street and down the other, not unlike a tourist on  brightly lit Bourbon Street New Orleans. A shy, lonely fellow with no friends Bill was in the third season of  binge-watching TREME and he felt like a character in the show as the soundtrack flooded round his head over and over

Bill decided he could not wait any more and as he looked up at the fancy lit signs chose Alphonse's Bar - Live Music. He suspected the Dead had been through town last week. Bill tripped over the doorsill as he was still looking up at the sign but he picked himself up and dusted himself off as his eyes became accustomed to the darkly lit interior. He chose a seat at the bar with a good view of the stage and ordered a beer. And then he saw her.

She was sitting at the end of the bar. No one was sitting with her. Small wonder. Her flowing locks were piled as high as a pyramid on the top of her head but many snakes of the Nile drifted down to her shoulders. Oddly enough she wore a kerchief to hold it all together. Her glasses sat askew on the end of her nose and it was a wonder she could see through all the fingerprints on each lens.

As Bill rounded the bar getting nearer and nearer he noticed her apparel. And how could one not. She wore an orange cardigan sweater - a colour louder than the band on the stage. Over this she wore a cowboy vest which was somewhat odd seeing this was a blues bar. Her jeans were a size or two too large and on her feet she wore argyle socks and penny-loafers with quarters in them. Around her on the bar were what looked like a week's worth of peanut shells. The the week before''s lay at her feet. As he crunched quietly toward her to introduce himself he tripped over her purse, something the size of a shopping bag. Oh, wait, it was a bowling ball bag as she'd just come from the aisles.

Bill was not deterred. He introduced himself and offered to buy her a drink. She smiled, indicating a dark gap in her upper gums wider than the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel.

"My name's Bill, what's yours?" he shouted as the music started up.

"Desiree" she spat into his face, her chewing gum bouncing off his nose.

"Disarray. I should have known."


The Studio30+ prompt this week was shambles/disarray.







Thursday, 19 May 2016

Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before

Image result for story teller

Bob and Ray were out for a leisurely stroll on a back country road. The sky was blue. The sun was high in a cloudless sky. The birds were chirping merrily. The crickets were happily rubbing their legs together. Now I know what image that last statement conjures up but get your mind out of the gutter and back on the road.

Bob and Ray joined in with the sounds of nature and hummed an old folk tune My Shoe's Got A Hole In It And My Foot Hurts Like Shit. Bob and Ray were a couple of religious fellows which is why the hummed the song and didn't sing the lyrics.

Just when the two friends thought nothing could interrupt this idyllic interlude the sound of approaching horses did just that. Clop, clop, clop...the horses drew nearer and a wonderful whistle could be heard, at odds with the boys' humming.

The two stepped to the side of the road, not quite so far as some of you strayed earlier, to let the horses and the wagon they were leading to pass. But instead, the whistler stopped whistling, drew up the horses and stopped beside them.

"SUPERCILLIOUS STEVE THE SMOOTH STORY TELLER - RACONTEUR OF TALL TALES  - 10 CENTS" read the sign on there side of the wagon in giant letters. "Are you guys looking for a job? I could use a couple of assistants" said Steve. "Oh, by the way, I'm Steve. Most people call me Pete.  Don't go thinking I think I'm above you, my boys. 'Supercilious' is just a word I use for its alliterative advantage."

"I wonder where this wordy guy's from" Bob asked Ray. "That's easy enough to determine" replied Ray.

"He's from Racont."

"How do you know that" said Bob?

"Easy" said Ray "look at the side of the wagon. It sats he's a Raconteur. He's gotta be from Racont!"

The clues are storyteller and raconteur from Studio30+ this week. I'm afraid I missed the fun for several weeks. I'm afraid life got in the way. We'll try not to let that happen again. 



Thursday, 5 May 2016

My Short-Lived Career as an Altar Boy


I'm 64 and hate to admit that I've been a lapsed Catholic for a good many years. I think my decision to leave the Church was like the straw that broke the camel's back when, as a teenager, my parish priest singled me out during mass to tell me what page we were on in the hymnal. A teenager, I had better things to do to follow along in the hymnal. Like check out the girls in the pews around me. At least I wasn't sneaking out for a smoke with my buddies.

So at my age my memory's a little hazy but I can recall my days as an altar boy in my early teens. These were the days before they turned the altars around where the pedophiles had to face the congregation while saying mass.  (Did I just say that out loud?) Funny, being an altar boy to me back then was like going to Cubs or playing baseball. It was just another one of those past-times.

It was a little inconvenient to be an altar boy. We had to rise early because we served mass Monday through Saturday at 7am each day. That doesn't include being picked by our priest to serve on Sunday the be-all day of worship in Catholicism. Every Saturday we'd check the list in the sacristy to see who had made the grade - as if our knees weren't sore enough already.

Now I don't recall how many times we genuflected during daily mass but multiply that by seven and that's a lot of kneeling. Some of us would be pretty tired with all this genuflecting. I remember seeing a fellow server ring the bells, move to stand and genuflect and faint dead away, landing flat on his face, with a huge bang causing a few chuckles from his fellow acolytes near the altar.

I remember another occasion, after a week full of genuflects, when I asked the priest for my allowance. Altar boys were paid 60 cents a week but he'd forgotten to pay me. Well he blew his top, threw the money at me much like Christ at the money lenders in the temple and gave me a lecture about asking to be paid. The parish must have been running low on collections because from that point on there were no more payments to altar boys.

Damn. All that genuflecting for nothing. Needless to say I soon switched from serving mass to bowing down to catch a softball. Lord, and the coach, knows I had a lot of practice.

This week's prompt from the folks at Studio30+ was genuflect/bow or curtsey. I don't recall curtseying in my youth so I had to go with genuflect.



Wednesday, 4 May 2016

My Back Pages - April


Having binge-watched three seasons of The Sopranos I have to confess I didn't get much reading done in April. Finding a series you really get into and watching episode after episode is a considerable addiction. The bed goes unmade. The dishes pile up in the sink. All else stops while life goes on on what used to be referred to as the small screen and today I guess would be referred to as the flat screen.

So if The Sopranos wasn't enough I also undertook what's been referred to as the Jo Nesbo Three Book Bundle. I found this on iBooks and it seemed like a cheap way to buy three Harry Hole detective novels. The three in question are The Snowman, Phantom, The Leopard.

You have to love Harry Hole to read three stories in a row. And I do. Nesbo's portrayal of, in these books, the now retired police detective's failings as an anti-hero, anti-authoritarian alcoholic and workaholic endear him not only to his police colleagues but also to the reader.

So I''m going to count this three book, 2650 page collection that I read one after the other as three books, and rate each with 4 stars. So adding the 8 books I've read so far this year that brings my yearly total to eleven.

What about you? What have you been watching or reading lately. I'm always on the lookout for recommendations.

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