Wednesday, January 30, 2013

From the Temple at Delphi

Excedrin Headache No. 47


Picture prompt above, "story" below, and my shortest post ever at an itty-bitty four words.  Yeah, it's kind of a cheat, but maybe I owe words back for all the posts in which I shamefully rampaged wildly past the designated 100 word limit.

If you're too young to remember the famous "Excedrin Headache Number" commercials, here's two of the classics.  Not sure if they still make them, but I know they lasted far past the era of these two.  

Sure to cure your headache is an ample dose of the offerings of the Fabulous Friday Fictioneers and Groundhog Appreciation Society for February 1, 2013.  No prescription required.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Directress of My Dreams

Directress of My Dreams

I truly thought it was over between us.  I truly thought I could move on. 

But I was wrong, Dear Kathryn Bigelow, Directress of my Dreams! Your lure has once more dragged me under as if I were a peripheral character in that annoying ocean liner movie your jerky one time husband made.

It was three years ago, Kathryn, I first laid eyes upon you when you made history at the Academy Awards. That very night you and I also made history as you were the first woman anywhere near my own age I'd fantasized about in 24 years! But I knew our affair, torrid as it was, had to end. In other words, I woke up.

Now you are back, your latest movie Zero Dark Thirty having returned you to the national spotlight and to me. It is an important film, a ground-breaking film, one that has sparked serious and articulate debate throughout our nation.  

And, Katie, you are still one smokin' hot  babeAt  61, you are "astonishingly youthful," said Time Magazine.  As, of course,  I am as well ---  except that I am not 61, not astonishingly youthful, and not called anything by Time Magazine except a "bastard" for defaulting on my subscription. 

Sadly, dearest Kathryn, there is the issue of torture

Why do you torture me by withholding your favors?  True, in my mind's eye they are not withheld, darling Kathryn, but frankly it is not my mind's eye that gets awfully sore whenever I think about you over the course of an evening! Why do you not let me possess you, body and spirit? On second thought, I'll take the body and hold on the spirit. You can sell it maybe for cash to finance your next movie. 

Oh, Kathryn!  I long for you to direct my life! And come to think of it, my life could also use a much better writer and supporting cast, can you do anything about that as well?

Once again, lovely Kathryn,  our affair must end.  But know this: I would do anything for thee! 

Except maybe plunk down nine bucks to see Zero Dark Thirty.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

That's All, Folks!

Show business has recently  been rocked by revelations that both the puppeteer/voice actor behind Elmo from Sesame Street and the voice actor who's frequently played Charlie Brown have been accused of serious sexual/behavioral crimes and offenses. Now comes news of yet another such shocking situation!

Reliable sources have confirmed that  Mr. Elmer Fudd of Hollywood CA has filed sweeping criminal and civil charges in the Federal Court of the Southern District of California against Mr. Bugs Bunny, also from Hollywood CA, for stalking, harassment, assault with a lit firecracker, battery by gonging over the head,  attempted murder by painting a phony entrance to a building on the side of a wall, and unwelcome and overly wet and slobbery kissing on the lips!

In a prepared statement, Mr. Fudd said: 

"I am sick of contiwually being hit by mallets and anvils, fwattened like a pancake, having expwosives go off in my undershorts, and wepeatedly being sowicited in the most offensive manner imaginable by the words:

'What's Up, Doc?,' Mr. Bunny? 
You're NEVER gonna find out 'What's Up, Doc?, Mr. Bunny!!'  
 I'm not gay but even if I were I'm not interested in wabbits!!!"

Attorneys for Bugs Bunny have denied all of Mr. Fudd's claims, stating that it has in fact been Mr. Fudd stalking and harassing Mr. Bunny all along, usually with a double-barreled shotgun!  

Said Mr. Bunny:

"I'm not gay either, Doc, but even if I were I wouldn't be interested in Mr. Fudd.  I have it on very good authority that when you're talking about What's Up,  Doc!,  the best you can say about Mr. Fudd is...


And that really is all, Folks!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Cold Snap!

Lately we've had a cold snap in the Philadelphia area, and yesterday it was so cold I actually saw a guy warming himself next to a Republican's heart.  I asked my son Brandon what had happened to global warming.

"Dad," said Brandon, "climate change doesn't mean it's never gonna be cold." 

"But I was banking on global warming to get me through a few more winters til I can retire someplace warm!"

"Someplace warm, Dad? You don't strike me as the Miami Beach type."

"No, I mean retire to Canada where I can get free health care.  I'm really banking on global warming!' 

Whether your local weatherperson calls it the Arctic Express, a Wintry Blast, or the Deep Freeze, temperatures hitting subterranean digits are Nature's way of telling us what a bunch of pansy asses we are compared to those who came before. Throughout history, people have lived through all kinds of weather in caves, tents, wigwams, igloos, and fecal-filled huts and hovels of every kind and description. 

Today, we nudge the thermostat up to 75 degrees because dang it, "our feet are just so darn tingly!"

Go outside?  Nah, what's the point?  Get the newspaper on the curb?  That's what the news babes on CNN are for!   Run to Super Fresh?  No, I've got a couple slices of kinda stale bread, half a can of Coke, and some peanut butter in the living room somewhere;  I'm good!

Comes the time when you absolutely positively must go outside and it's time to dress in layers. Time to put your long johns, undershirt,  turtleneck, sweater,  second sweater, two pairs of thick socks,  third sweater, additional pair of thick socks, hat and coat, and hat and coat, and woolen gloves your obsessive-compulsive aunt knitted you in the Sixties, and hat and coat.

Once you are finally finished wrapping and preparing yourself, you are at a loss to determine which of all of these layers about you represents your actual body. Why is itchy merino wool encasing my internal organs instead of skin? Why is there a zipper where my penis ought to be?

However, the careful preparation pays off handsomely.  Once outside,  it is so cold you can not only see your breath in front of your face, you can actually see it shivering!   But you, my friend, are toasty warm  during that arduous four and one-half second trot to the car and the turning on of the heat at full-blast.

Then you can begin removing the layers, one by one.

I guess maybe an occasional cold snap isn't such a bad thing.  It puts us in touch with what our forebears once endured and how truly privileged we are.  And maybe it also shows that global warming isn't quite as far along as we thought?

That would be great news for the planet, but not for me.  I was all set for Montreal, but I don't have a single white belt for Miami Beach.  


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Day at the Beach

He had always loved the beach.

Sitting by ocean's edge, feeling the sun upon his skin, splashing into the water, riding the waves. And buying ice cream about mid-day from the pony-tailed man yelling 

"Eskimo Pies!  Get your Eskimo Pies," 

and looking at all the pretty girls in their skimpy bikinis, always getting progressively younger.  Well, not much he could do about that.

Damn near perfect.  Each and every time.

Even the walk itself over the boardwalk bridge to the vast expanse of seemingly endless sand before him normally filled him with anticipation and delight. 

Unfortunately,  today he was playing golf. 


Picture prompt above, story below, 1oo words .... Yep, I  finally hit the exact mark for prescribed words for my contribution to the Fabulous Friday Fictioneers and Magical Mystery Tour for this, the fourth week of January, 2013.

Roll up for the Friday Fictioneers, Step Right This Way to the other contributors by clicking the link above.  And see you at the beach!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

James Madison: The Conspiracy Begins ...

Wake Up America!

He's coming to take your guns!  And he won't stop until he's gotten each and every one of them, despite the fact that he's been dead almost 180 years and when he was alive, he was ....well ... kind of short and stumpy, to be honest.

OMG! Who's coming to take my guns? 
Got your attention, didn't we? 

You sure have!  Is it  Barack Hussein Obama?  Chuck Schumer?  Somebody else who's been known to  speak in full sentences?

Well, who then?
James Madison.  

James Madison? Isn't he the guy who wrote the Second Amendment?
Yep! And he screwed it up. On purpose.

Because he was a member of the anti-gun liberal elite establishment.  And being 5 foot four probably had a little something to do with it as well! 

Wasn't his wife the famous Dolley Madison?

Gun-hating commie slut! We can only guess what  Madison spent his days and nights doing when he should have been busy loading and fondling his musket!

How did James Madison intentionally screw up the Second Amendment? 
Here is a copy of the text of the Second Amendment, Blessed Be IT!  You'll notice the part about ...

Militias,  of course.  But that's never been a problem .... 
But we don't have militias today!  No militias = no right to bear arms, and Comrade Madison knew this day was coming!  

Then why don't we just form some militias? 
Because we're not talking about good old-fashioned god-fearin' militias whose purpose is to attack the United Nations.  Madison was talking about militias for the purpose of maintaining order, serving the citizenry in the event of a crisis ... y'know, actually doing good for people!

Well, maybe we can trump up a reason to form some militias, then we could all have guns
Then maybe one or two of us could have guns!  To be in a militia under the law in Madison's time you had to be white, between the ages of 18 and 45,  and male! Hell, we won't even be able to have "his n' hers" monogrammed AR 15's anymore!

But a dangerous radical like this Madison guy can't get away with stuff like this, can he?
I'll have you know that in 1809 Madison successfully seized control over the entire United States government!  And he was not removed from power until 1817!

Wow! Bet it was a good old-fashioned god-fearin' militia that removed him. 
Uh, yeah.  That's exactly right. 

What can we do to stop Madison's evil scheme to destroy the Second Amendment?
Fortunately the Supreme Court has blown off the whole militia concept and opened up guns to everybody!  When the Court interpreted the meaning of the Second Amendment, Blessed Be It, in District of Columbia v. Heller, they completely ignored the original intent of the language about militias as drafted by Madison and as ratified and agreed to by two-thirds of the states!  Ha, ha, ha, ha!

Yeah, interpreting the Constitution according to strict original intent is dumb. The Constitution is a living document that ...
Wait a minute; that's true in this case.  Otherwise, shut the hell up!  

But if the Supreme Court has already ruled in our favor, why are we so worried about Madison?
Because I had to come up with something.  All the other crackpot conspiracy theories are taken!

Why don't we  just accept a reasonable level of gun control?  What's the big deal anyway? 
I knew it!  

Dolley Madison's liberal boobs have gotten to you too!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Who's Sorry Now?

"I'm sorry.  So Sorry ..."

It's a bombshell of proportions as broad, wide, and far-reaching as the person delivering it once physically and proportionally was!

Saying her "mythic, perfect story" was "one big lie," Oprah Winfrey has admitted that she cheated during most of her famed television talk show career, bullied people who dared to tell the truth, and is now sorry about it all --- especially the "being caught" part.

After denying doping allegations for many years, last night Oprah opened up to Oprah Winfrey on the Oprah Winfrey OWN Television Network that to improve her TV hosting skills she used multiple banned drugs, intravenously injected common household cleaning products, and enlisted Satan to prepare a demonic potion containing strands of former talk show host Phil Donahue's distinctive silver hair.

"Got me, y'all!" Oprah told Oprah in the exclusive  interview with Oprah which is expected to enable the words "OWN" and "ratings" to appear in the same sentence without setting off a small explosion for the first time since the network's founding in 2011.

Allegations that Ms. Winfrey had used banned substances have been swirling about the popular talk show host ever since viewers started wondering how someone who once seemed to have an unerring sense for successful television could have possibly founded a  TV network as consistently entertaining as spending an evening with Stedman Graham.  

In the frank and "no holds barred" interview,  Ms. Winfrey employs all of her famed interviewing skills to expose Ms. Winfrey once and for all as the noble self-sacrificing individual she has always been whose actions have been motivated exclusively by her fervent desire to entertain and uplift the American public.  Despite this, there are some who believe Ms. Winfrey granted the interview to Ms. Winfrey solely for the cynical  purpose of seeking quick self-serving forgiveness from the American public.

"I have far too much respect for Oprah Winfrey to do anything that!" replied Ms. Winfrey. "From now on, I will do everything in my power to hopefully one day earn back the solid bond of trust I once had with the American people I so love and admire." 

"Though it would be good if I could be forgiven before March, folks," Ms. Winfrey added. "I'm announcing a new business venture with former Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong around mid-month and I expect all of you to support it!" 


Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Only Place to Be

"I'm telling ya, Jack, the motion picture business is the only place to be!

Yeah, got myself a new phone, can you hear me?  You and me together, bubbela, like in the old days!  With our connections, we'll be making pictures in no time.  We can get Pickford, we can get Chaplin, when the timing’s right, we can get Jolson!

Ah, Jackie, come on!  Take a week and drive with me to LA, we'll talk it though. There's gold in them thar Hollywood Hills!" 

Told you, Jack, I just got the latest phone.  Yep, with all the apps!

Of course I'm talking to you from 1913!   Who'd be crazy enough to want to go into the movie business in 2057?!"


Picture prompt above, story below, 120 words .... that's the run down of my weekly contribution to the Fabulous Friday Fictioneers and Justice League of America Superheroes for this third week of January, 2013.

I'm no superhero for being above 100 words, but I'll try to come to the rescue of that imperiled word tally next week. 
Til then, you guys ought to be in pictures! 

If we can just convince Jackie to make them. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Baby Boomer Looks at "Girls"

I've always liked looking at girls, but looking at HBO's hit series "Girls,"well, maybe not so much.

Girls, now starting its second season, tells the story of twenty-somethings looking for love and sex and plenty of it in current day NYC. It's supposed to be about all aspects of their lives --- professional, philosophical, spiritual --- but mostly it seems to be about humping.  And the never-ending quest for humping.

The show stars its creator Lena Dunham as main character Hannah Horvath, whose young and single exploits are depicted along with those of her three best girlfriends, Marnie, Jessa, and Shosanna.  Also frequently depicted are Lena Dunham's bare, pointy, and heavily tattooed breasts. Suffice it to say they are not the fodder to launch a thousand ships, or even to launch one very lonely ship on a Saturday night when there's no one else in the dorm.

Millennials and most Gen Xers seem to love Girls.  Boomers, on the other hand,  fall into three categories: 

(1) those who find it too explicit and self-indulgent for their Boomer tastes,
(2) those who so strive to be hip they'll claim to like anything that's au courant, and
(3) those who so strive to be hip they'll claim to like anything that's au courant but are less than enamored by the never-ending display of Lena Dunham's bare, pointy, and heavily tattooed tits.

Me? I fall squarely into Category No. 3.

Now it's been suggested  that my objection is rude and offensive because I wouldn't complain if the series star were Scarlett Johansson, which is correct.  I wouldn't complain.  But how many women can honestly say they'd enjoy watching a similarly graphic show about the sexual desires and escapades of the modern American male if the series star were:

John Goodman

 starring in HBO's:
Sixty Year Old Guys

"Hey, Roger, look!"

"What is it, best friend forever John?"

"My new girlfriend played by 64 year old Sally Struthers just tweeted me a DM of her  pendulous and unsightly boobs!"

"Oh, my dear God!"

"No big deal, Roger.  It could have been much worse."

"How could it have been worse?!" 

"They could have cast Roseanne in the part."

"What on Earth are you doing now, John?!!"

"Why, I'm taking off my pants, sifting through my pounds of rolling fat, and producing my penis for the American viewing audience." 

"But why???"

"I have to do it in every show.  It's in my contract with HBO."

"And now what the hell are you doing?!!!"

"I'm taking a picture of my dick and tweeting it back to Sally Struthers. Plus I'm texting it to all my friends and business associates and putting it on Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn!  It's likely to become a meme of vast cultural importance!"

"Geez! And we haven't even had the opening of the show yet.'' 


Whether or not Sixty Year Old Guys ever makes it on air, I plan to keep on watching Girls at least for a while.  For one, I am a Boomer who so strives to be hip that I'll  claim to like anything that's au courant. 

For another, the show may just grow on me. I'll give it a couple of weeks.

And maybe, one can only hope, Scarlett Johansson will  be guesting one of those  weeks! 


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Just a Couple of Trees Talkin' on Tu B'Shvat

Tu B'sWhat?  Here's what ...

This short post is about the holiday of Tu B'Shvat.  And if you're a gentile, secular Jew, or almost any Jew other than a highly observant one,  you're forgiven if your immediate response is

Tu B'sWhat?

Nestled in mid to late January,  Tu B'Shvat is the hardly heralded Jewish holiday in honor of  trees, literally "the New Year for the Trees." And although it's a meaningful holiday, if the idea of a New Year's Eve for Trees strikes you as a little odd ... rest assured you're not alone.  

"Happy New Year, Maple Max!"

"Happy New Year to you too, Spruce Sammy."

"Yeah, New Year's Eve! Oh boy, oh boy!  Umm, Max?"

"Yeah, kid?"

"What do we do now?"

"Excuse me?"

"It's New Year's Eve!  Party time! Where are the party hats, the noisemakers, the hangin' with hot young saplings?!  Where's that special kiss on the leaves come twelve midnight?!!" 

"Umm, Sammy?"


"We won't be doing any of that stuff."

"No? What will we be doing tonight then, Max?"

"Practicing photosynthesis. Growing bark. Maybe ... just maybe ... taking a few hits of CO2 later."  

"But ... but .... what about the parties?"

"We're trees, Sammy.  How would we get to any parties?"  

"Oh, right. Mobility's not our best thing."

"Yep,  I'd give up any dreams of becoming a travel writer if I were you."

"But there must be some excitement for us on New Year's, Max."

"Oh, there is: Tomorrow morning the humans stop by and give thanks to us."

"FANTASTIC!  The humans bring us gold, frankincense, and myrrh ... whatever myrrh is!"


"Yeah, Max?"

"The humans pat us on the trunk a coupla times and bolt."

"That's it?  Well, then there can't be all that much they have to thank us for!" 

"Only most of their basic food supply. And the nourishment of animals which supply all the rest.  Shade. Wood for their tools, dwellings, and other amenities of life.  And a little thing called oxygen."

"Gee,  you'd think all that would at least be worth an I-pad."

"Better get some sleep, kid."

"Well, next year in Jerusalem, Max!"

"Uh, kid?"

"Yes, Max?"

"We live in Philadelphia.  Can't really change that."

"Oh, yeah.  Mobility thing."    

"That's it."

"Well, goodnight, Max!"

"Goodnight, Sammy."

"Umm,  Max?"

"Yeah, kid?"

"No question about it; Tu B'Shvat is a great holiday. But if this is supposed to be our New Year's Eve, OY, spare me from dateless Saturdays in February!"


Note:  This year, Tu B'Shvat is January 26, 2013.  Make sure and hug a tree.
They deserve it.

Friday, January 11, 2013

No One Else to Play Them

As a child he had become so enamored of music that he had them both made especially for him.  And there was no one else to play them.

He played them in high school, college, and local community symphony too.  He played them for friends, neighbors, and almost anyone he knew.  But as grown-up responsibilities took over, he played them less and less until one day in a back closet he simply put them away.  And there was no one else to play them. 

Over the years, he looked at them sadly.  If only he could find the time, but he never did.  And there was no else to play them.

One day he passed away.  The obituary said "World's Tallest Man Dies." 

His set of seven foot tall violins would be donated to a museum, the article said, because there is no one else to play them.


Picture prompt above, story below, 148 words .... that's the sound of this man working on the Fabulous Friday Fictioneers and Benevolent Chain Gang this week of January 11, 2013.

Yep, the words are high at 148  --- well above the prescribed 100 --- but maybe that's what's required for a short story about the world's tallest man.

Anyway, that's my tall story and I'm sticking to it.    I'll try to measure up next week. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Elf Perry's Magical Christmas Tree Rescue Service


- al Christmas Tree Rescue Service!

Like most of you, I am oft given to spending time trying to think up ideas for making my fortune, ideas which hopefully manage to bypass the careful planning, exhaustive attention to detail, and long years of hard and dedicated work that making one's fortune usually requires.

You know, the stuff you and I don't wanna do.

In this time of year when legions of discarded Christmas trees sadly litter the streets of our cities and towns like so many victims of a latter day Black Plague, I chanced to happen upon the following proposed humble idea for making craploads of cash. 

What do you think, folks?  Idea, or I-DUD?


"Mommy, I'm so sad.  The Christmas tree's losing its needles and that always means we hafta put it out on the curb!"

"Not this year, Jimmy.  This year, Mommy called someone special!"


"I'll bet that's him right now.  Open the door, Jimmy."

"Why, you must be Jimmy!  I'm Elf Perry, of ...

 Elf Perry's 
Magical Christmas Tree Rescue Service!"

"Mommy, there's some old guy here in a ripped red sweatshirt and phony pointy elf ears."

"These aren't  phony elf ears, Jimmy!  They're just whimsical and glued badly!" 

"This is the someone special I was telling you about, Jimmy!  Right, Elf Perry?"

"Right, Jimmy's Mom!  Jimmy, I rescue used Christmas Trees and take 'em direct to Santa who breathes new life into them for next Christmas!"

"How do you get 'em to Santa?"

"My magical sleigh is out front.  Take a look, Jimmy!"

"It says U-Haul."

"That's Yule Haul, Jimmy!"

"Jimmy, please show Elf Perry where our Christmas tree is."  

"That would be wonderful, Jimmy, thank  ....  JESUS CHRIST!!! you didn't tell me you had a .... I mean GOLLY GEE WILLIKERS,  you didn't tell me you had  A California Redwood! for a Christmas tree." 

"You didn't ask, Elf Perry."

"Well, let me just come around back of the tree here and, oh, oh, oh my God!!"


"Sure hope you're insured, Elf Perry."

"I'm afraid my business plan isn't quite that far along yet." 

"Know what, Mommy?  I like Elf Perry, he's funny!" 

"Well, Elf Perry, looks like you've made a conquest."

"And how about Jimmy's Mom?  Y' know, you're not half bad and your son likes me, so maybe after I get done, we two could ..."

"Just pick up the damn tree, you pointy eared loser!  And watch out for the 
Chandeli-e-e-e ....


So that's  Elf Perry's Magical Christmas Tree Rescue Service for you, folks.  What do you think?   

Idea, or I-DUD?

What do you mean,  I-DUNCE?!! 


P.S. So who says you can't do slapstick in a blog post? 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

First Contact!

All throughout the world, they watched and they waited.

But in Washington D.C. they watched and waited ever more intently than anywhere else on Earth, for it was over Washington, the seat of authority of the most powerful nation on the planet, that the silvery disc hovered.

Then, less than one hour before it had first come into view by the human eye, the craft gently lowered itself onto the White House lawn. As tens of thousands gaped in astonishment through the gates surrounding the home of the President of the United States, both the President and Vice-President  --- flanked by top level aides and legions of security personnel --- made their way to the mysterious vessel before them.

Then, they too watched and waited.  

An opening appeared in the silvery disc and through it walked two figures. They were humanoid, but like nothing ever seen before in our world,  like nothing ever seen before by mankind.

"Welcome to the planet Earth," said the President, slowly and deliberately. "I  am President Barack Obama."  

The aliens looked at one another but spoke nothing at all.

"This much older man with the bad hair transplant is Vice-President Joe Biden," added the President.

Silence.  Long agonizing silence ...

All around the globe,  people hoped and prayed.  

Finally the larger of the two aliens strode forward,  gestured with his tentacles towards the President and Vice-President, and began to speak: 

"Seen Les Miz yet?"

"Oh my yes!" gushed Vice-President Biden. "It's wonderful, and Anne Hathaway is a revelation!"

"I knew it, Bort!" shouted the alien.  "Knew it would be epic!"

"Can we see it right away, Klabu?" said the other alien.  Can we? CAN WE?"

"I don't understand!" said the President of the United States. "You've come all this way to see Les Miz?"

"Of course, everyone  loves Les Miz!  Why look at Bort, breaking into the show stopper!"

"Mr. Klabu,  please!  We must talk with you, learn from you!  You'll meet our leaders,  speak before our UN,  you'll ..."

"Mr. President? 


"No, thanks.  Gotta bolt right after the flick."

"But why?"

"Because we have dinner and a show on Alderon 7.  Heard their revival of  Cats is awesome!


"Bort, stop butchering that song
and get us some popcorn!"