Sunday, July 5, 2015

PC CalamityTimesThree

I finally got around to replacing my old laptop, and it was certainly more than time.

Manufactured during the Truman Administration, it came with a screen saver featuring Lassie and Timmy, kept flashing the error message "what is this internet anyway?" and froze up more frequently than my last girlfriend. Finally it gave out once and for all, emitting a horrid stench as if a skunk had curled up and died inside of it, which is I think pretty much what actually happened.

So the next day I went to my local computer store and purchased me a gleaming new HP Corei5.  It was sleek and powerful, the ultimate technological tool to render my humor so witty and razor sharp as to induce riotous laughter even in individuals as totally devoid of a sense of humor as the writers of HBO's The Brink.  

But I had not reckoned on PC Calamity Times Three. 

As anyone on the Internet knows, coffee is the beloved patron saint of all writers. Coffee heightens alertness, unleashes the creative spirit, and propels you to the most wonderful time you can ever hope to have in the bathroom without anyone else being present. 

So with my 16 ounce cup of Wawa java by my side, I was fast and furiously knocking out my latest comedic gem when an errant hand gesture smacked the coffee cup and sent its steaming contents sailing through the air onto the keyboard of my brand new computer.  When the tirade of epithets was over, I began to type once more but some of the letters stubbornly refused to appear. 

I struggled to type out a sentence that materialized as if it were a puzzle from Wheel of Fortune several turns away from being solved. Unless I could figure out how to write every document from now to the end of my existence on the planet without use the letters "t, w, d, v, and b," professional intervention would be in order.   


About a week after I plunked down $200 for a new keyboard, I found myself trying to access a website that simply would not download. I googled a possible fix for it and fortunately quickly found a site called "Handy Fixes for Sites that Don't Download for Naive Morons."

"Great," I said aloud, "I've solved this problem like a champ!"

Totally bypassing the curious nature of the site's frequent use of the expression "alot," I downloaded the proffered software and found myself with a strange new toolbar across the top of the screen, notable in its frequent use of the expression "alot." 

Among other things, the malware I'd downloaded kept urging to me to buy a shipment of iguanas from New Guinea.


The malware removed to the tune of $200, I was in a hurry one day to get to a crucial meeting about "nothing important at all" when my foot caught on a cracked and raised section of sidewalk.

Like the contents of a steaming hot cup of java smacked by an errant hand, I went sailing through the air onto my rear end and onto a nearby plot of grass graced by a nearby pile of dog doo-doo. 

I was unhurt, but my PC screen now appeared half a dozen shades darker than it was supposed to be, portraying an ominous forbidding atmosphere as if any minute a tornado was about to begin swirling across my latest blog post about Dracula done as a modern epistolary novel, which no one would read anyway.


All right, I caught a break here.  A new screen only cost $125.

And that's my little tale about my PC Calamity Times Three.  Yes, I need to learn how to be more careful with such sensitive and important equipment as my new HP Corei5, but I can take comfort in the knowledge that bad things come in threes. So, as we all know, nothing more can possibly.....

OMG, what's that horrid stench!


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Highway to Heck! (FF)

© Jean L. Hays

"And so the Road Warrior drove the tanker out of the compound at breakneck speed, chased furiously by the vicious marauders that had held the people in the compound captive."

"Wow!  And this enabled the people in the compound to escape with the necessary oil to rebuild civilization?”

"Right! And the Road Warrior was able to deftly maneuver many of the marauders' vehicles into fiery collisions so that the landscape was ultimately strewn with their devastated wreckage!"

"I see. And these are some of those destroyed vehicles!"

"Of course not. I'm just telling you about a movie. It didn't happen.”

"So what are these cars?"

"Oh, parallel parking practice for Perry Block.”


Just a little basic self-deprecation for this week's Friday Fictioneers and I'm off. 

It's true I'm lousy at parallel parking. Once I parked so far from the curb I needed a GPS to get to the meter.  You'll need no GPS to get to the stories by the other Friday Fictioneers, however, as you can read their takes on the above picture prompt simply by clicking here.

Okay, I'm off on my Highway to Heck.  Have a good holiday!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dracula 2015 - An Epistolary Novel

Yes, it will be my pleasure to poke you!

An epistolary novel is a novel written as a series of documents such as letters, diary entries, and newspaper clippings.  Printed in 1897Dracula by Bram Stoker is one of most well-known epistolary novels, compiled entirely of letters, diary entries, newspaper clippings, telegrams, doctor's notes, ship's logs, and the like.

But what if Dracula were written today?

Jonathan Harker's Twitter
Jonathan Harker @HarkMan
WOOT!  Transylvania will be awesome! Dude named Dracula texted me &      I'm off!  Luv u, @Mina_HotChick! ♥ ♥ ♥!!!!  

Jonathan Harker @HarkMan
On train thru Carpathian Mts.  Peasant women here look pretty except when u get near them, they all look like actor Jonah Hill in a babushka! 

 Jonathan Harker @HarkMan
 Frightened old lady in hotel heard me talk of Dracula and put crucifix  around my  neck!    WTF?  #DontTellRabbiMishkin

 Jonathan Harker @HarkMan
 On coach to Borgo Pass.  Odd; other passengers outdoing one another  pointing at me, clutching throats, & making gagging sounds!    Woohoo!

 Jonathan Harker @HarkMan
 Have arrived at crumbling old Castle Dracula. Place could use work.    Nothing that a coat of paint & 6 wrecking balls couldn't  cure! #WhataDump  

Jonathan Harker @HarkMan
Starting to think visiting Dracula may turn out to be as much fun as attending same-sex wedding w/ Justice Scalia!  :-(    :-(    :-(   

Dracula's Twitter

I am @Fangsalot46.   I tweet you welcome, @HarkMan! #SpidertotheFly

Woohoo, I luv Twitter!  I have over 17,000 followers. Of course, most of them follow me with torches, pitchforks, and pickaxes!  LOL!!!  :-)

How about giving me a retweet on that one, @HarkMan?  I get more RTs than Kim Kardashian's bare ass ever did!  #AskTheNearestZombie

WOOT! The Childen of the Night; What music they make!  Wait,  I'm sensing a boy band here ....

Make yourself at home,@HarkMan! Tomorrow there will be breakfast, and since this is Twitter, with bacon & copious amounts of coffee!    

No, I never drink .... coffee.  Just sayin' .   

I bid you good night, @HarkMan.  Sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite. That's my job!  LMFAO!  #WannaNeck?   

Jonathan Harker's Facebook

Jonathan Harker

Dearest Mina.  I must now communicate via Facebook because the Count is a Tweethead! What's worse, he LOLs his own jokes and insists I give him RTs! Dracula is a bizarre diseased creature who recoils at the sight of a crucifix, casts no reflection in a mirror, and roots for the Phillies!  Oh, Mina, please comfort me by posting a picture of Pedals, our adorable kitten! 

 Mina Murray's Facebook

Mina Murray

Of course, dearest Jonathan! Here is  our sweet Pedals, all dressed up like a vampire from last Halloween!


Jonathan Harker's Facebook

Jonathan Harker
Mina, remind me when I get back we have to talk about our relationship!

Dracula's  Facebook

So you are on Facebook too, my dear young sir?  Please friend me, then I will poke you.  Believe me, I will poke you!!!  (And Go, Phils!) 

Jonathan Harker's LinkedIn

 Jonathan Harker
Current Position:Solicitor (Living) 
Next Position: Solicitor (?)

Mina, the count is an ardent Facebooker too! I must now communicate through LinkedIn.  Nobody but nobody uses LinkedIn, especially people who want to get a job.

Dracula's LinkedIn
Previous Position: Sucking the Blood of Crusaders
Current Position: Free Lance Blood Sucker (No, not an attorney)

Good Evening, Mr. Harker! Note that I have already endorsed you for European travel, real estate development, and Deliciousness! I am afraid you are out of luck now with social networks, unless you want to use JDate!

Jonathan Harker's Twitter   
   Jonathan Harker @HarkMan
 @Mina_HotChick! Had a tete a tete w/ the Count & all is fine. You will be a bite ... I mean, sight ... for sore eyes!  Luv u!  ♥ ♥ ♥!!!! #WannaNeck?


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Trak All The Way (FF)

© Kent Bonham

Trak leaned back in the limo and savored the sweet satisfaction of the moment. He was on his way to the world premiere of his new motion picture, Trak All The Way, his first ever starring effort.  He wondered what that bastard Shrek must be thinking.

Trak and Shrek had gone to drama school together, but while Shrek found fame in a series of Disney pictures, Trak had struggled. Years of undistinguished bit parts had finally led to the second banana role in a series of Mel Gibson movies, but all of them had been stinkeroos, especially Lethal Ogre 3. 

Unfortunately the critics were not kind to Trak All The Way. "Trak carries a movie like other actors would carry a ten ton weight,” mocked Variety.  Next day the phone rang. "It's Shrek,” said Trak's mom. “Says he can’t wait for Lethal Ogre 4."


I don't know about you, but I've never seen any of the Lethal Ogre movies.  I hear the fading Gibson pretty much sleepwalks through each one of them and Trak delivers lines like Comcast delivers services.  Anyway, this tale of Trak represents my take on the picture prompt above for this week's Friday Fictioneers.

The other Friday Fictioneers will give you no Shrek (in Yiddish, it means "fright") and keep you on Trak with their takes on the picture prompt if you grab a big club (optional) and click right here.

Shrek may gloat, but Trak All The Way actually wasn't that bad a movie. I just didn't find the love scenes between Trak and Scarlett Johansson all that convincing.