Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Best Fertilizer in England


"It's the best fertilizer in all England, and we're proud it's produced right here in Lloyd's Crossing!"

"You should be, Mr. Watkins!  We wouldn't purchase any other for our string of nurseries. What's your secret?"

"It's a bit unusual, Mr. Soames.  Every day all the townsfolk in Lloyd's Crossing are required to scrape up and carefully collect everything they've dumped out of their ..."

"What?"

"As I was saying, every man, woman, and child must take their dumpings and store them, usually in a box kept in their bedrooms."

"But that can't be!"

"Why not?  And at the end of the week, the family lumps it all together, wraps it in a big package often with a pretty bow, and walks it over to the company."

"Think I'm gonna be sick ...."

"Why?"

"You ... you ... collect all your shit to make fertilizer?!!"

"No, spare change we dump out of our pockets. To buy supplies."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I hope you won't poo poo my little tale this week for the Friday Fictioneers.  I've tried very hard not to make it stink. 

If you do think it smells a bit, however,  please feel free to click on this highly sanitized link for the other Friday Fictioneers, who may greet you with blood, mayhem, and gore, but hopefully very little BM.  Or Number 2.  Or doo-doo.  Or whatever other discrete and more socially acceptable term you prefer to call it.

Hope your week ahead isn't a shitty one!   Bye.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Plethora of Potholes



The snow is finally subsiding in the east and the winter of our discontent is coming to a close. As blankets of white recede across this blizzard besieged section of the country, grass, trees, and bushes are at long last re-emerging from once frozen tundra.

Along with potholes.  

Lotsa potholes.

Potholes the size of a coke fiend's nostrils.  Potholes bigger than Ted Nugent's mouth. 
Potholes that make even a trip around the block a potential Journey to the Center of the Earth! 

Why are there so many potholes at the end of a long hard winter?  It probably has something to do with snow seeping into the asphalt, freezing, then cracking the road surface as if it were a lobster dinner.  But I believe there is another reason. 

It is Nature's way of saying it's not done fucking with us.

"Look out!" screams every passenger in every motor vehicle everywhere from Maine to Maryland.  "Veer right! Veer left!  OMG, up ahead! It's the Godzilla of Potholes!"

Neighborhood roadways have now become minefields.  The potholes are so plentiful that trying to get from Point A to Point B is like traversing a giant Connect-a-Dots.  New potholes seem to form every day, many of them tucked away just so that they're impossible to spot until ...

THUMMMPPP!

you're in 'em!

Front end alignment?  It's now your rear end alignment.  Nice new set of tires?  Well, one out of four ain't bad.  Your GPS will pull you through?  Funny, I've never heard an electronic device use that many four letter words that rapidly without exploding!

I hate to say it, but it's getting so you can't even text and drive anymore!

Look out!" screams every passenger in every motor vehicle everywhere from Maine to Maryland from now until about mid-summer, when all the potholes are finally fixed.

There's only one conceivable good thing about our plethora of potholes. 

Maybe it can teach us something.

Maybe all that snow and ice wasn't so bad after all.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Pet Phrase Pet Peeve Conundrum




As we sojourn down the road we call life, we oft encounter people who are inclined to use certain annoying phrases in speech over and over again.  You know the kind of phrases I mean --- pet phrases like "when all is said and done," "it was to die for," and "getting up to speed." 

Phrases that are one long fingernail scratch on the blackboard.

It's known as the Pet Phrase Pet Peeve Conundrum.  People who repeat annoying phrases like these ad nauseum --- often several times in the same conversation ---usually don't realize they're even doing it until one day they discover a crazed friend or acquaintance with his or her hands wrapped tightly about their throats. It would be far better if we could give these folks the message before it reaches this stage.

I believe it can be done.  How? By gently drawing the offender's attention to the phraseology that drives us crazyeology with a  subtle well-chosen riposte.

For example:

It's a who struck John. ---  Who is this guy John?  He must have the crap fairly well kicked out of him by now!

Six of one and half dozen of another --- Really?  You mean six eggs are exactly the same as a half dozen diamonds?

You're too funny! --- Gee, I'm sorry.  Next time I'll do my best to not be funny enough!

I'm going to reach out to George --- I hope you have a long reach, since you live in Pennsylvania and George is in Wyoming!

At the end of the day...  --- If you say that one more  time, I doubt this day will ever end!

The long and the short of it. --- I don't mind you're talking about the Verranzo-Narrows Bridge, but stop talking about your penis!

Having said that ...  --- I know you did. I heard it one second ago.

What's bottom line? --- What,  you've never seen a panty line before?  

He said/she said --- You left out "I said/you said." Where did you learn to conjugate verbs?

Think outside the box --- Dude, it's 2014.  Anyone who says "think outside the box" isn't thinking outside the box! 

At any rate --- So you're the one in charge of my cable bill!

That's all she wrote!  --- No, it isn't!  Here's where she called you an asshole!

Rob Peter to pay Paul --- That's terrible!  Moses would have sued!

Woo Hoo! --- Never heard that said aloud before.  Hope you don't mind my hands wrapped tightly about your throat!

Hopefully these and other subtle responses of your own devise will help you and your friend, acquaintance, or even loved one conquer the The Pet Phrase Pet Peeve Conundrum.  Fortunately none of this is a problem for me.  I am simply not one of those people inclined to use certain annoying phrases in speech over and over again.  

You follow me?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

For Whom The Bell Tolls




In every age throughout recorded history, the ringing of a bell has been synonymous with the beginnings of something new and exciting but untested. Perhaps the most dramatic instance of such was the ringing of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia PA on July 4, 1776 to herald the birth of a new nation.

No one knew what the future held for the fledgling enterprise. Whether it would survive and meet with success or die a quick and ignominious death was unknown and unfathomable.   Only time and the judgment of history would tell.

On February 17, 2014, the Comcast Bell, also in Philadelphia PA, rang to herald the birth of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Only time and the judgment of history will tell.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jimmy Fallon?   Amiable, good-looking, and young.   Funny?   I'm not so sure, but time and the judgment of all of us will tell.   

One thing is for sure though:  The Friday Fictioneers are amiable, good-looking, and young (well, some of them anyway) and are ready to ring your chimes if you click here. Some of them are even funny, like Russell  --- and maybe from time to time, even a little bit me. 

For whom the bell tolls?  Me.  I'm outta here!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Brother, Can You Spare A Drachma?



It's me.  Your favorite 95% naked Greek God who looks like the Gerber Baby.

I just stopped by to say hello on Valentine's Day, which used to be my special day til I jumped ship and headed for greener pastures.  Or in my case, whiter snowier pastures.  And BTW ... 

Brother, can you spare a drachma?  

Last time I saw you  I had taken over the Groundhog Day gig at Punxsutawney PA, but I'm sorry to say things didn't work out. Punxsutawney isn't exactly Rio de Janeiro when your best suit of clothes is a loincloth and your employer won't even spring for a North Face jacket!  

Then again I had the unfortunate occurrence of being caught with my head up a few things other than my burrow hole.  

Well,  I am Cupid, goddamnit!

Hitting the job market, I first applied to work the Jewish holiday of Shavuos but got turned down.  They said a chubby Italian kid shooting arrows wasn't appropriate for a Jewish holiday.

They said even my most potent arrows couldn't make Jewish men sexy.

Now I'd rather bench press Governor Christie than go back to working Valentine's Day, but there is a certain cache in being a Greek God that isn't matched by fry man at McDonald's. So, I took a hint from some of the Jewish guys I'd hooked up with Jewish American princesses over the years, went into full begging mode, and called Zeus.

"Hi, Zeus!  Gee, I missed you, big guy!"

"Who's this?  Y'know, I am on the no call list."

"Zeus, it's me - Cupid!  Also known as Eros, the God of Erotic Love, Desire, Affection, and Grabbing Whatever's Available At 2:00 A.M."

"Cupid? I vaguely remember someone named Cupid who ran out on us last St. Valentine's Day!  First Valentine's Day that even the Rock didn't get laid! "

"I want to come back, Big Guy.  Uh, you offering Obamacare now?"

"Why should I take you back?"

"Because I can do this job like none other. There ... THWACK ... I've just united another two in love!" 

"That wasn't another two, that was another one - Governor Christie!  Like that guy needs to love himself more?"

"But no one handles gay marriage like I do. Watch me .... THWACK ... I've just sealed the relationship between two very handsome young gay men!"

"Cupid, that was Achilles and Patroclus!  You just ruined an ages-old mystery that has sparked fascinating debate and scholarship for centuries!"

"Well, at least you've got closure on it, and ...."
  
"Enough, Cupid!  Besides we've already replaced you."

"With whom?"

"Barry Manilow.  

"Barry Manilow?!  He's a mortal!  With a bad facelift!"

"He writes the songs that make the whole world sing, Cupid." 

"Well, what am I supposed to do now, Zeus?"

"Flutter the pavement, kid.  Oh, and Cupid?"

 "Yes, Zeus?"

"For interviews,  get yourself at least a North Face jacket.  You wanna be naked, get yourself a series on HBO!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

One Fabulous Face


"What a fabulous face!" I said to Armand on the occasion of his one-man show at the Arts Centre. "Who was she?"

"She was my wife," Armand said ruefully. "She left me."  

"What on earth happened?"  I asked.

"She ran off with some overage insecure balding failed blog writer."

"Amazing!  How did a loser like that get such a fascinating woman?"

"She always took an interest in hopeless causes."

"What did you do about it?"   

"Nothing until this very moment, when I poisoned his sangria at my one-man show."

"But that wasn't me!"

"Oh, I know. But you're as close as I'm ever gonna get."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well, as I breathe my last, I'm proud to say I brought in this contribution to the Friday Fictioneers based on the picture prompt above at a mere 104 words. What a fitting legacy for me, who has been known to exceed the FF limit of 100 words by as much as a couple dozen tweets and the length of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad!  

Everything's going dark now ... except for the contributions of the other Fictioneers, which you can access by clicking hereGoodbye cruel virtual world! There's only one thing more left to say.

Good thing I don't like sangria. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Car Like None (Every) Other


A Car Like None (Every) Other
My Late Model Dark Gray Toyota Camry


I am fated forever to drive the same car that is routinely driven by little old men in felt hats and exasperated middle-aged housewives with too many kids squirming vigorously and uncontrollably about the front and rear seats. 

There's no question about it:  automobile dealers must have a policy to routinely dispense big discounts for these vehicles to every little old guy and harassed housewife immediately upon their entrance into dealer showroom or used car lot.

And upon my entrance too.

But it isn't just folks like these and me who drive this car.  Everyone drives it!

Everyone. 

You probably drive one too! 

But despite its plain vanilla reputation, I love my late model dark gray Toyota Camry.   It's a lot of car for the money, has a cool bluetooth feature that makes your cell-phone hands-free, and doesn't even look all that bland and insipid. Notice I said all that bland and insipid!

But there is a problem.

Because everyone in America under a certain income level owns a late model dark gray Toyota Camry,  it is impossible to find yours in a parking lot unless you are one of that rare breed of persons who actually pays attention to where you left it.  In any given lot on any given day at any given hour, you could play connect-a-dots with all the late model dark gray Toyota Camrys and come up with a fascinating abstract shape, if not actually a shape that exists in the tangible world. 

I am frequently at a loss in attempting to locate my car amongst a sea of late model dark gray Toyota Camrys, daily experiencing embarrassing incidents such as:

"I'm hitting my remote, why isn't the door opening?  Oh, that's not my car; that's right, I don't keep Nazi memorabilia in the back seat."

"Sorry to crash my shopping cart into yours, miss!  I thought I had opened my trunk just when you were opening yours..."

"Geez, I'm sorry, sir!  Thought this was my late model dark gray Toyota Camry. I didn't mean to get in your car and sit on your lap."  

I know what's coming next.  The ultimate embarassing incident: 

"Yes, Yes, Oh, Yes .... Oh, Oh ... you're the best!.... More! .... More! ....  WHO THE HELL IS THAT?!!!"

"Gee, I'm sorry, you two.   Name's Perry.  I thought this was my car.
"


"That's okay, buddy.  Happens to me all the time too.   Now, if you don't mind?" 


Which gives me an idea.  Now I can always find my late model dark gray Toyota Camry in any lot in the country. I made and affixed my own sticker for the rear window which reads: 

 Hot Sex
On Board

It isn't true of course, but now nobody --- including little old men in felt hats and harassed housewives --- is ever going to mistake my late model dark gray Toyota Camry for their own.

I hope.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Letting Your Freak Flag Fly

  


For no particular reason, on a whim, I took out my old freak flag.

I hadn’t seen it in many years and actually had no idea where it was.  I came across it in the attic packed away among some old college notebooks, term papers I didn't remember that I'd rather forget, and my autographed picture of actor Christopher Jones. Quite frankly, I was surprised I still had it and shocked to see how torn and tattered it had become.

There were many different freak flags back in the day --- some festooned with peace signs and political slogans, others with drug paraphernalia, and still others with Morrison, Guevara, or a nude John and Yoko. The flag fit the person and changed from time to time. Mine was most often a bit heavy on the cannabis sativa interwoven with Beatles, long hair, and a just a dash of "Impeach Nixon." 

It was a grand old flag, if not always a high flying one, but it had seen better days. No white collar conservative flashing down the street would have even given a thought to pointing his plastic finger at it.

I wondered how you legally go about disposing of a freak flag. Since there are guidelines for the U.S. flag, I went to Google and sure enough there it was: the United States Department of Flags, Freak Flag Division. I dialed.

“Hello, United States Office of Freak Flags,  Mr. Kelly speaking,” said the gentleman answering the phone. “Peace, brother.”

“Hi, Mr. Kelly,” I said. “I’m kind of surprised to see there is a government office on freak flags.”

“Established in 1987,” Mr.  Kelly responded, "to maintain and preserve an important part of US history."

"I didn't know they were." 

"Even if a bit self-indulgent, weren't they meaningful to you? Didn't they express something that was real, if only a freedom to look and feel in a different way?"

"I guess you're right," I said. "But mine is all tattered.  How does one respectfully and appropriately go about disposing of a worn freak flag?”

"Well, no mystery to that, sir. Fold it into the shape of a peace sign and burn, baby. burn!”

I should have known!

"But I have another idea for you. Just keep it; tattered and worn is par for the course for a true freak flag anyway." 

"I hadn’t thought of that. Thank you, Mr. Kelly."

"You're welcome. And one other thing, sir."

"What’s that?"

"Every now and then, when you feel like it...."

"Yes?" 

"Just let your freak flag fly!"

Know what?  Why the hell not?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Blue Lamps, Red Lamps, Pink Lamps


"Blue lamps, red lamps, pink lamps ... why do you have so many lamps, Perry?"

"This is nothing.  You should see what I've got in the attic, basement, and storage shed in the back!"

"But why? You could light up half of Las Vegas with that many lamps!" 

"Actually I've figured it to be about three-quarters."

"What's the point?"

"Ever since I was a child, I've loved the Arabian Nights. I've always dreamt I would one day find the magical Genie of the Lamp and get my three wishes!"

"But that's a different kind of lamp!" 

"Really? No wonder all the genies I've found only gave me two."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yes, if you've rubbed as many lamps as I have over the years, you've either gotten a genie or a number of severe electrical shocks, one or the other. 

Either way, this week you've also gotten a very respectable and mere 105 words --- close to the magical mark of 100 words --- in my Friday Fictioneers offering in response to the picture prompt above. 

If you rub your mouse right here, the other Friday Fictioneers will appear and grant all your fondest wishes. Well, some of them anyways.

Yeah, the clean ones.
  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Listerine




J.K. Rowling, author of the mega-popular Harry Potter books, made news this week by announcing she felt she'd made a serious mistake by pairing Hermione Granger with Ron Weasley rather than Harry Potter in the final installment of the series.   Today Rowling went even further in confessing additional bone-headed choices she made in writing the books.

“My biggest mistake was setting the stories in a school for wizards," said Rowling. “I should have written about dental school! 

"Harry, Hermione, and Ron would have been perfect as three Jewish students from Scarsdale on their way to a lucrative endodontics practice under the wise tutelage of Dr. Albert Dumbleberg DDS!"

Rowling also noted she screwed up with other characters as well. "Voldemort should have been Dr. Mort Volderman, an orthodontist so wicked he refuses to accept the amount the insurance company pays for services as payment in full! 

Former fans of the Harry Potter series worldwide are incensed that Rowling has now admitted that she shamelessly palmed off such unvarnished crap on them. "Those of us who loved the Harry Potter books," said one teary-eyed reader,"are heart-broken to find out they're actually shit!"

Rowling has promised to rewrite the entire series and has already begun work on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Listerine.

"And I guarantee," she added, "that it will feature a hot scene in which Harry and Hermione get funky in the dentist's chair while Ron is busy unspooling dental floss in the back."

~~~~~~~~~~~