Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Little Mushroom (FF)

Copyright Ted Strutz

Once there was a little mushroom growing in a field.

The mushroom began growing and soon it was twenty feet tall. It was so tall that a local entrepreneur made it into a ride for children. It continued to grow and soon it was as high as the clouds and only the bravest children rode it.

It continued to grow and soon it reached into space and only those children who could hold their breath a long time rode it.  A spaceship flew by and Pinterass said to Myspace "I've never seen one so big!  It so big, it's festooned!" 

Fearing a race of giants, Myspace and Pinterass decided not to invade.   And that is how the little mushroom saved the Earth. 

What a heroic mushroom!  It almost bring tears to my eyes.  That is, tears to my eyes that that I wrote such a lame story and am passing it off as heroic. Next week, I'm going to write about a guy and a computer and pass it off as a love story.  I'll bet that's never been done!

If you click right here,  you can read the stories of the other Friday Fictioneers, heroic, loving, or otherwise.

Good thing you didn't eat the mushroom when it was small.  Hey, you're the hero!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Indiana Jones and the Lost Café at Borders

With many of us eagerly awaiting the return of Harrison Ford as Han Solo in the upcoming Star Wars sequel, some have come to wonder if we'll ever see Harrison Ford again in his other great iconic film role. Well, who knows?Here's a taste of what such a movie might be like as Harrison Ford once again essays the role of Indiana Jones in ... 

Indiana Jones and the Lost Cafe at Borders! 

As Indiana Jones wraps up a class he is teaching at Marshall College, his friend and colleague Marcus Brody approaches him.

Marcus:   I see you’re back none the worse for wear, Indiana.  I hear your latest escapade is being referred to as Indiana Jones and the Lost Car Keys of Murray Blitzstein.

Indy:  Yes, Marcus, the keys had been missing for almost three days.  The Nazis were already there at Blitzstein’s home jumping at the chance to steal a Studebaker from a member of the Jewish faith, and I had to tangle with Belloq in the kitchen and the hall bath to find them.

Marcus:  How did you locate the keys, Indy?

Indy: In the morning rays of the sun at precisely 5:42 A.M., I saw the glint of the keys in the left back pocket of Blitzstein’s seersucker suit pants.  He had accidentally placed them there, normally being a front right pocket man.

Marcus:  Brilliant, as usual, Indiana.  Did you restore the keys to Mr. Blitzstein?

Indy:  No, Marcus, the Lost Car Keys of Murray Blitzstein belong in a museum. Blitzstein will have to buy himself an Edsel.

Marcus:  Indy, there’s another important matter I need to discuss with you.  Have you ever heard of Borders?

Indy:  Indeed.  It was a book store, a chain of book stores, which proliferated in North America prior to the rise of the Amazons.  The fossil record is unclear, but we believe they were destroyed either by a natural catastrophe, climate change, or some woman named E.L. James.

Marcus:  That's right, Indiana.  And what we have learned is that inside each Borders was a hidden sanctuary called a café where people drank coffee and lattes, ate muffins and scones, and thought and talked about intelligent things, like would Henry David Thoreau have written more about throwing up in Walden Pond had he hung out with Charles Bukowski.

Indy:  But what does this have to do with me?

Marcus:  Legend has it that the awesome power that gave rise to this intellectual conversation was in the scones! Your old friend Belloq is intent on being the first to discover the Lost Café at Borders, acquire the wisdom of the scones, and use it to clone Hitler, but this time with a much better mustache!

We next see a map plotting Indy’s route by car from Marshall College in Western PA to Bala-Cynwyd PA where one of the Borders is reputed to have been located. The route stops in Altoona PA where Indy purchases a Slurpee from Seven Eleven and then proceeds to Bala-Cynwyd.

Sallah:  Indy!  I knew you’d be here.  Look, Belloq’s got full excavation going already! And Marion’s here now too.

Indy:  Marion?  Belloq?

Sallah: No, that’s two people, Indy, one named Marion and one named Belloq. Not Marion Belloq.

Indy: What do you know about the Lost Café at Borders, Sallah?

Sallah:  I know one thing.  They are digging in the wrong place!

Indy:  How can you tell?

Sallah:  See the two Starbucks Coffee Shops 100 yards apart from each other?  I believe the book store was called Borders because it was usually bordered on both sides by a Starbucks.  Belloq, the fool, is digging by the Bed, Bath, & Beyond!

Digging a make-shift shaft, Indy lowers himself down into the inner chamber of the ruins of Borders.

Sallah:  Indy!  What do you see?

Indy:  Books everywhere!  Magazines.  CDs of all kinds!  This would be a great place to browse on a Saturday afternoon!  Make a note of that.

Sallah: Any snakes down there?

Indy:  Just Belloq.  And he’s got Marion!

Belloq:  Hello, Dr. Jones.  I was in one of the two Starbucks 100 yards apart trying to get Marion drunk on espresso when I heard you underfoot and knew where to dig.  And I’ve got the intellectual scones too!

Marion:  Indy, if he eats one, he’ll be able to make another Hitler, this one with a mustache even bigger than Stalin’s!

Belloq:  Soon, Dr. Jones, you will see that I have acquired all the wisdom of the Lost Café at Borders!

Belloq brings a dry scone to his mouth and makes a face.

Belloq:  I think I’d rather open a lost ark.

Indy:  You think that thing’s dry now, you should have had one when it was fresh!

Belloq eats the scone.   

Belloq:  Yes, I feel the power of the scones coming over me now, Jones!  Sweeping over every pore of my body!  It’s beautiful!

Marion: Kind of predictable, isn’t he?

Belloq:  Now … If you get your Borders ticket punched five times, you will get a free latte in the cafe! All Joni Mitchell records 50% off with purchase of a cappuccino! Buy three dry scones and take 25% off Jonathan Franzen’s latest book! What is this?  This isn’t the wisdom of the Lost Café at Borders!

Indy:  No, but it is the wisdom of managing the Lost Café at Borders.

Belloq:  And we have the finest Judaica section in Bala-Cynwyd too!  Every book by Elie Wiesel!! And don’t forget Schindler’s List in videos!!!

Belloq screams, shrieks something about free wrapping in the mezzanine, and thereupon his head gruesomely explodes.

Marion: Shall we take a look at some of the books here before we leave, Indy?  Maybe one by E.L. James?

Indy:  No, I think we’ve done enough with anachronisms already today, Marion.

Marion: Where to next, Indy?  

Indy:  Off to discuss the next Indiana Jones sequel with Steven Spielberg.   I’d like to get it wrapped before I’m 80.


Friday, October 2, 2015

The Museum of the Electronic Mouse (FF)

Willard Cornwallis had always wanted to open a museum and be a millionaire, and he thought he could accomplish both by opening The Museum of the Electronic Mouse.

The new museum had wired mouses, wireless mouses, and a mouse that said "Made in China." There was a mouse that had been used by Gates (David Gates, the lead singer of Bread), one used by Steve Jobs (a small employment agency in Akron), and a fanciful mouse operated by Blue Stripe Guy, a Batman villain who never quite got to tangle with Batman because his mommy called him in for dinner.

In June, Willard Cornwallis opened his museum and by August he was indeed a millionaire many times over. 

The crowds that thronged to The Museum of the Electronic Mouse did not come to see the exhibits. They came to see what kind of an idiot would think he could become a millionaire with a museum like The Museum of the Electronic Mouse.


If you're a stickler for the 100 word requirement of the Friday Fictioneers (and fortunately Rochelle is not), I hope you didn't read the above piece. This story is so far over the limit, even I want to force feed me my mouse for writing it.

But I didn't want to give short shrift to an enterprising dude like Willard Cornwallis, so I present his story here in 200 words or less (I hope).  You can read the enterprising and certainly more length-appropriate stories of the other Fictioneers by clicking here.

See you at The Museum of the Electronic Mouse! Can't to see that "Made in China" wonder. 

(Sorry, still mostly missing in action for reading your stories.  Please don't write anything great until I come back ....)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The New Guy

A short play on politics of the day in playlet form (mostly). We are in a meeting hall in which presidential candidates are answering questions from reporters.  There is a moderator and two reporters, Sid White and Deborah Stanton.  

Thank you, Governor Huckabee, that was ... uh ... illuminating to learn God and Wayne LaPierre are on a first name basis.

You're welcome, Ms. Stanton! You know, God personally blesses all semi-automatic pistols and assault weapons.  He has guided me in his namesake to purchase Glock weaponry...

Sorry, out of time, Governor Huckabee! We need to bring out the next candidate to speak at this Special Republican Candidates for President Forum.

Governor Huckabee walks off the stage and there is a brief break in the action. 

Deb ... Pretty sad state of affairs with our party's candidates. The only one who has any charisma is Trump and he's a wacko.

I know. The situation is as depressing as the latest Adam Sandler movie. Who's up next? 
The new guy. I've heard some good things about him. He's plain speaking. He's down to earth. Here's hoping he turns out to be the one to knock off Donald Trump at last.

I hope so.
And the next candidate from the Republican Party for President of the United States, Governor Kent Larson.

Governor Kent Larson, a tall good-looking man, strides up to the podium.

Governor Larson
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, it is indeed an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to speak here tonight as part of the Republican Candidates for President Forum. As your newest candidate for the highest office in the land, I am thrilled to share with you some of my ideas to help secure a bright future for the country and the land we all love. 

(talking low to Deb)
Hey, so far, so good. 
(talking low to Sid)
He's smooth! I think I like him.
Deborah Stanton will ask the first question of Governor Larson.

Governor Larson, many of the Republican candidates still oppose same-sex marriage despite the recent holding of the Supreme Court. What is your position on the subject? 

Governor Larson 
My position on the subject? It would be underneath one of the guys.  Or on top, whatever he likes better. I'm not picky.

Sid, Deb, and Moderator all look at each other.

(talking low to Deb)
Say what?  Did I hear that right?
(talking low to Sid)
I'm not sure...
Governor Larson, perhaps there was some confusion about that last question. What I was asking is if you view same sex couples....

Governor Larson
Oh, sure, I like to view same sex couples. In fact, I love it!  Two guys, two girls, doesn't make any difference to me!

Oh ... my ... god!   I mean ...I mean, oh, my.... how illuminating!

Deb and Sid look at each other in sheer dismay. 

(talking low to Sid)
Maybe I had too much to drink at the Reporter's Reception. That's gotta be it, that's gotta be it! 
(talking low to Deb)
Yeah, that would explain it. Except we didn't go to the Reporter's Reception! 

The next question for Governor Larson comes from Sid White.

Thank you ... I think.  Now, Governor Larson ... um ... One of the biggest challenges faced by the civilized world is that of ISIS. What are your thoughts on containing ISIS?

Governor Larson
ISIS certainly must be contained and contained effectively. Generally in a good sized cooler! There's nothing like a brewski on ISIS on a hot summer day!

Sid does a double-take, Deb slaps her hand on her forehead.

No, no, sir, when I say ISIS, I mean the terrorist organization ... the Sunni organization... 

Governor Larson
Oh, well, if it's Sunni out, all the more reason you need plenty of ISIS! Stock up early on a hot day, I always say. 

(talking louder now)
Uhh, didn't anybody vet this guy?

(Talking louder too)
Vetted him? Somebody should have gutted him! I can hear the champagne bottles popping right now at the DNC.

One more question.  From Ms.Stanton.

(responding cautiously)
Okay ... okay... sure, one more. Governor Larson, immigration is a big issue these days,and many are concerned about Mexican Immigration.

Governor Larson
Oh yes, if I may, Mexican Immigration is something I've thought long and hard about!

(to Sid, relieved)
Now we're getting somewhere!

Governor Larson
I love all kinds of Mexican food. Tacos, fajitas, enchiladas, everything!  I've never had immigrations, but I'm sure I'd love them too.

Telephone rings, Deb gets it.
Oh, Mr. Chairman! Yes, Mr. Chairman. No, Mr. Chairman. I see, Mr. Chairman!

It's the RNC Chairman, isn't it? What is he saying? He can't be blaming us, can he? He can't be blaming us, can he?  He's blaming us, isn't he?

Yes, Mr. Chairman!  No, Mr. Chairman! Goodbye, Mr. Chairman.

What did he say about Larson? 

He's shot to the top the polls.

Excuse me?

Larson's shot to the top the polls. Voters find him plain speaking and down to earth. He has become...

Sid and Deb together
(looking at each other)
The new voice of the Republican Party!

Who's up next?

And the next candidate for President, Donald Trump.

Thank goodness!  

At last!  Someone sane.