Thursday, July 31, 2014

Acting Nightmare at 20,000 Feet

"There's a monster on the wing!   It's a gremlin!"

"What's that, sir?   What's the problem?" 

"There a gremlin on the wing of this aircraft!  We'll have to go to warp speed to destroy it!"

"Wait a minute, Shatner.  True, this episode of  Twilight Zone is about a gremlin, but that line's not in the script."

"Spock .... Bones!  We ... must... stop .... the .... gremlin ... or ... face .... imminent .... doom!"

"Scenery chewing again, Shatner?  Maybe the director can calm you down.
Calling Mr. Roger Kahn!"


"That's it, Shatner!  Time for you to boldly go...."

" …where no man has ever gone before?"

"NO,  jerk!  To the Unemployment Line!"


There's the Blog Post up ahead!  

Submitted for your approval is  Nightmare at 20, 000 Feet,  a classic episode of Twilight Zone starring a young, jittery William Shatner frantically trying to convince a plane's passengers and crew there is a deadly gremlin on the wing, and also the source for my Friday Fictioneers entree today.

Apparently Mr. Shatner's outsized ego and overemoting were well known even back in those days. You won't find an outsized ego in the bunch here among the other Fictioneers, however,  you can Takei it from me!

Live long and prosper, dudes.  

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

So, Do You Still Love Obama, Perry?

"So, Do You Still Love Obama, Perry?"  asked my friend George the other day. 

"Well," I said, "no doubt he's made mistakes.  He's done some good things and some bad things.  And though I tend to like it,  I guess the jury is still out on Obamacare."   

"That's amazing!" said George.  "I feel exactly the same way."

Now understand that both George and I are lifelong Democrats.  George has never  said a positive thing about a Republican other than complimenting Ronald Reagan on having good hair, and although I have occasionally voted for Republicans over the years, I have always thrown up afterwards.

"How are we ever going to figure out if we still love Obama?" I asked George.

"There's a group I know of that's having a meeting tonight. It's called the Still Lovin' Obama (?) Society."

That sounded like the place to get answers, so George and I headed for the meeting.  As we entered  the building we saw a large poster of Obama peppered with both big red kiss marks and pointy darts. Nearby a small group was plucking the petals off daisies. 

"We love him, we love him not. We love him, we love him not.  We love him .... "

"Strange group," I mentioned to George.

"Springing up all over the country!"  he replied.

As we entered and waited for the meeting to start, I overheard attendee after attendee muttering in hushed tones.
"....there's no doubt he's made mistakes. 

... He's done some good things and some bad things ...." 

I guess the jury is still out on Obamacare ...",   

The evening 's speaker approached the podium.  He was a lawyer, a doctor, a CEO,  a jet pilot, star of a one-man Broadway Show, and he did it all while balancing a chair on the edge of his chin. He had spent a lifetime studying foreign affairs, politics, health care, Persian bodily fluids, and the history of small kitchen appliances.  He began to speak and we craned our heads forward.

"Now we'll find out at long last," I said to George, "if we still love Obama!"

"No doubt he's made some mistakes ...." began the speaker.  

"SHIT!" I cried to George.  "He doesn't know either!"

"But the real question is not whether we still love Obama," he went on. "It's whether we love Hillary!!!"

He was right.  

Whether we still love Obama didn't matter anymore.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Fork People

Copyright: Marie Gail Stratford

"Who were the fork people?" I asked my friend Jeff as we sat in the cafeteria where he works.

"An ancient middle Eastern people. They were advanced in some respects; used tools, built cities, had an extensive language."

"Why are they called the fork people?"

"It's a euphemism.  Their language contained some very crude expressions.  Fork, for example, is a euphemism for ...."

"I got it!"

"Also, they are sometimes called the ship people, the bellship people, and .... 

"I got it, I got it!  But what finally became of the fork people?"

"They evolved into stand-up comics on HBO."


Not that there aren't some comics I really like on HBO, but there are a few who totally overuse the word "fork" to the point where it's annoying and unfunny. That's something you'll never find among the souls of propriety that make up the Friday Fictioneers.

If you want to check out the terrific PG-rated writing of the Fictioneers, click here.  If you want to check out the one filthy dirty one, click here.

Just funnin' you.  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Trouble with Time Travel

It all started when a man named Simpkin invented Time Travel.  Of course all of you know his name by now.

It seemed like a good idea.  Display your gall by conquering Gaul.  Sail the ocean blue in 1492. Get your kicks in 1776.   

But at that time neither Simpkin nor anybody else could anticipate the Trouble with Time Travel. To transport oneself into the past, precision is unnecessary. It doesn't matter if you land in the Ottoman Empire at 3:00 in the afternoon or 1:15 in the morning or even if you're late for the Caliphate by a couple hundred years or so. 

But if you're returning from the French Revolution and you don't return to the split second you left, another you is already there. And that leads to the embarrassing situation of two  of you with the same job,  same house, and same wife, who is going to become very sore very quickly.  And once you miss your precise moment of return, every you in every time track in all of time is going to follow you to the split second where you are.

When the first time traveling Simpkin landed a bit early, there were suddenly two Simpkins. They laughed alike, they walked alike, at times they even talked alike, but nobody lost their mind until the third Simpkin arrived.   Then another Simpkin arrived, and another, and another, and another. Soon they formed a softball team. 

Meanwhile Mrs. Simpkin was hospitalized, briefly hid out in a convent, and finally her vagina gyrated into outer space.

Simpkin began arriving with dizzying rapidity. Everyone had Simpin for a neighbor.   Everyone had Simpkin for a rabbi. Everyone had Simpkin as best man at their wedding and everyone had Simpkin as either the bride or the groom at their wedding and eventually everyone had Simpkin as both.

In the World Series that year it was a bases clearing home run by Simpkin in the bottom of the ninth that gave the St. Simpkin Cardinals a 4-2 Series win over the San Simpkin Giants, resulting in the sacking of San Simpkin Skipper Simpkin to be replaced later than year by Simpkin. 

In that same year, Simpkin won the Oscar for Best Actor, Simpkin won for Best Supporting Actor (in the same film), Best Film was "12 Years a Simpkin," and Simpkin proved to be the best Oscar host since Billy Crystal, ensuring that Simpkin would host the Oscars every year come Simpkin Time (formerly March).

In Washington, gridlock prevailed despite the fact that every elected official in government was Simpkin.   On Fox News Simpkin lambasted President Simpkin over Benghazi. At least some things hadn't changed.

Meanwhile we remaining non-Simpkins began to be pushed to the outer fringes of society, then to cantons scattered throughout the world.   As our food supplies dwindled  we turned to cannibalism; preferring plumper and more aged meat, the word avuncular gradually passed out of existence.  We desperately longed just once to see a People Magazine with Justin Bieber or Jessica Simpson on the cover instead of Simpkin.  

Our one hope for survival  was that Simpkin might die young and all other Simpkins naturally follow suit. To our dismay, Simpkin proved to have terrific genetic makeup and no bad habits and Simpkin after Simpkin came to be interviewed at break neck speed by Willard Scott,  who suffered an inevitable heart attack and was replaced by Simpkin.  

More Simpkins arrived. 

Today, all we remaining non-Simpkins, badly outnumbered, begin our revolution.   Today we teleport the strongest among us,  Moose Cohegan, back to the Renaissance and screw up the moment of his return.  With any luck we'll have a Mighty Cohegan army within 5 years, plus a great assortment of Raphaels and Titians.

The only problem:   Moose Cohegan has the worst breath ever.

Even worse than Simpkin.