Saturday, September 27, 2014

Prospero and Gilligan's Island

What's Past is Prologue

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a mighty Duke,
Betrayed he was by his own brother,
It’s enough to make you puke.

The Duke was set a driftin', man,
But he had grit and guile,
He and Miranda landed safe,
On a tropic desert isle.

The weather started getting rough,
For another ship 10 years on.
If not for the Duke and Ariel
Everyone aboard would have been gone. 

Everyone aboard would have been gone.

The ship's aground on the shore of this
uncharted desert isle,

with  Prospero, Miranda too,

Ariel and Caliban! 


and the Rest *

Here on

 Prospero and Gilligan’s Isle!

*The rest consisting of The Skipper, the Millionaire and his Wife, the Movie Star, the Professor, and Mary Ann.  Sorry none of them fits by name  in the song.  I tried.

Dramatis Personages

Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan
Miranda, daughter to Prospero
Ariel, an airy spirit (and right hand spirit to Prospero)
Caliban, a savage and deformed slave (but datable)

Gilligan, an idiot
The Skipper, captain of the shipwrecked boat
Mr. and Mrs. Thurston Howell III, a wealthy older couple 
The Professor, smart but somewhat squarish young man
Ginger, a hot movie star
Mary Ann, a pretty "girl next door"


Act I 
Scene 1

A tempestuous noise of thunder and lightning. Propero and Miranda, on their island, watch a shipwreck

Miranda:  If by your art, my dearest father, you put the wild waters in this roar, allay them. I have suffered to see a brave vessel dashed all to pieces! I know it was thou because the Weather Channel didst not predict this, not even Jim Cantore.

Prospero: Nay, daughter, I didst not cause the merest harm to the vessel. Nay, it was not I, but my bondsman, the sprite Ariel, who didst set the sea in frenzy. Yes, it wast Ariel, not I!

MirandaNicest try, my father, but thou might have done better by blaming the Jews. 

Prospero:  This is The Tempest, Miranda. Checkest out The Merchant of Venice for that one.

Miranda: Were there men aboard? Thou knowest I have only seen two men in my years--- thou and Ariel --- and I hast languered in the state of horniness.

Prospero: Aye, my child, aboard the ship was my perfidious brother, the usurper of my title as Duke of Milan.

Miranda:  The surfer?

Prospero:  Usurper. Remindeth me to work on thy vocabulary. Also aboard is young Ferdinand, son to the King of Naples. I wouldst not mind seeing something develop between you two, because I'm tired of thou living in my basement.

Miranda: Hark!  The castaways doeth presently arrive unto our company.

Enter the Skipper, Gilligan, Thurston Howell,  Mrs. Howell, the Professor, Ginger, and Mary  Ann

Prospero: What is this?  A motley crew indeed!

Skipper: Little Buddy, Little Buddy, we have to get off this island pronto.  I'll be late for my weekly meeting of Burly Captains Anonymous!

Gilligan: Don't worry, Skipper!  I'll build a shortwave radio out of bat guano!

Miranda: O Brave New World that has such people in it.  Umm …. kind of slim pickings in the Brave New World, aren't there, Dad?

Prospero: This is not the ship I wast banking on! Ariel! Ariel!  WTF!

Enter Ariel

Ariel: Homina, homina, homina! Hail, Great Master! I come to answer thy best pleasure; be it to fly, to swim, to dive into the fire, to ride on the curled clouds to thy strong bidding. I am thy devoted bondsman Ariel!

Prospero: Cut the shit, Ariel. How did you screw up?

Ariel:  There was a weather infarction. There were crosswinds. It was  an updraft!  It was due to climate change! 

Prospero:  Next you'll tell me it was the Jews! 

Ariel:  Nah, as you already pointed out, this is the wrong play for that.  I got it!  Caliban made me do it!

Caliban crawls onto the stage.

Prospero:  Tis true Caliban is indeed a diseased wretched cur, born of a foul and poisonous witch, an obscene and abhorrent abomination upon the earth, and a member in good standing of the National Rifle Association. Not that he doesn't have his good points.

Caliban: If I've just been complimented, I think I might have missed it.

Miranda fixes her gaze upon Gilligan.

Miranda(looking at GilliganBy my word, I might call him a thing divine, for nothing natural I ever saw so noble!

Prospero: She likes that idiot?! It is the third man she hast seen and she's in love?! 

Skipper: Little Buddy, go for it!  I'm tired of you living in my basement.

Gilligan: (suavelyCare to help me with the bat guano, Miranda?

Ginger approaches Caliban.

Ginger:  I'm Ginger Grant, a big American movie star. You've no doubt heard of me.

Caliban: Sorry, I don’t watch porno.

The Professor and Mary Ann come center stage. 

Professor: (looking at Mary AnnWhat a fertile land for exploration, Mary Ann!

Mary Ann:  I was hoping you'd finally say that, Professor!

Professor: Yes, I'm going to set off to take soil samples, be back before the Epilogue. 

Mary Ann: Not exactly the samples I was hoping to give out!

Exit the Professor. 
The Millionaire and his wife approach Caliban.

Mr. Howell: Lovey! Look a native creature.  Let's take a selfie with him.

Mrs. HowellYes, and a most amazing and quite masculine creature too, I might add.

Mr. Howell: Why, Lovey!

Mrs. Howell: Hello-o-o-o, Short, Squat, and Scaly!  How about showing me around the island?

Caliban: Certainly, Mrs. Howell, let me show you the wonders of the bush.

Mrs. Howell: I was just about to say the same thing!

Mr. Howell: Lovey!

Exit Caliban and Mrs. Howell.

Miranda: Gilligan, let us repair to a flower-laden bower where we canst consummate our burning love!

Gilligan: Consomme?  Isn't that a kind of soup?

MirandaRemindeth me to work on thy vocabulary.

Exit Gilligan and Miranda

Ariel: Not much thou can doest, Master. They doth love one another. 

Prospero: Verily, tis true. But now thou and I have a choice

Ariel: A choice?

ProsperoWhich dost thou preferest? The saucy Ginger or the most sweet Mary Ann?

Ariel: Mary Ann, my liege.

Prospero: And I Ginger by my troth.

Ariel: Then let's to them woo, so we can spirit them off to ....

Prospero: Hold they tongue, Ariel!  This is a Shakespearean romp of familie dimension! 

Ariel: Sorry, Great Master, I hath been on this isle too long.

Prospero: Our revels now are ended. These our actors were all spirits and are melted into air, into thin air air.  We are the stuff that dreams are made on ...

ArielBut in the case of this lame parody, we are more the stuff of nightmares!

Prospero:  And so we bid thee good night and farewell, and ....  Gilligan, no, watch out for that huge mound of bat guano!!! GILLIGAN!!  GILLIGAN!!!!

                                                 Exeunt Omnes. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, let's have a big hand of applause for our very talented cast!

Take a Bow, Everyone!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Gingerbread Island (FF)

Lot's Wife
Copyright: Dawn Q. Landau

Dr. Rosa Bonamie could not believe her amazing discovery --- an island in the middle of the Pacific made wholly of gingerbread, with a bit of whipped cream here and there as well!

"What a fascinating people must have once lived here!" she thought. "Did they have books, science, social media? If only I could have spoken with them."

With that she heard a guttural sound and behind a mass of whipped cream she spotted a man made of gingerbread!  He spoke:

"I am Lord Oakrum, last of the Gingerbread Men."

Dr. Bonamie rushed to his side, lifted him in the air, and swallowed him whole.

"Damn!  If only I could have controlled my love of gingerbread, I'd have learned so much instead of wiping out the entire race!"   


Of course, Dr. Bonamie could have limited herself to eating the buildings and the countryside if she wanted to spare the people of Gingerbread Island, but we can assume the people were probably a bit fresher and tastier than the rest of the place.  And from the picture prompt above it looks like Dr. Rosa was packing a pretty big appetite!

If you've got an appetite for some fresher and tastier flash fiction, click here and the other Friday Fictioneers will more than fill you up.

Hey, why don't we get together for some gingerbread this holiday season? Buildings and countryside only!

Twenty More Things to Stop Saying at Work

It's getting harder and harder 
to get a good afternoon's sleep here!

Came across an article on the internet recently called Ten Things to Stop Saying at Work which dispensed ten verbal utterances which if spoken at work could kill a business career faster than taking social media lessons from Anthony Weiner.

It was kind of a helpful article and all the phrases illustrated indeed seemed right on point: "I can't do that," "I'm so bored here," and "who the fuck do you think I am? James Franco?" all display a major lack of motivation that is sure to one day get you motivated right out the door. 

But there was much missing from the article.  As someone who has spent a number of marginally successful years in the business world, I have compiled a list of a number of additional things that you should immediately stop saying at work, primarily through having said them all.

So, folks, if you aspire to climb the corporate ladder, assuming you don't have fear of heights like I do, here then are Twenty More Things to Stop Saying at Work:

Twenty More Things to Stop Saying at Work

1)  It's getting harder and harder to get a good afternoon's sleep in this place.

2)  The company Smoke Free Policy doesn't also include weed, does it? 

3)  You know, I think we could use a union around here.

4)  Deodorant? I can't believe anybody wastes money on deodorant.

5)  Best part of my day?  Spitting in the office coffee pot every morning.

6)  Doesn't the boss look like an idiot with that stupid toupee?  It's not?!!

7)  My resume? Ha, it ought to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction!

8)  So I went into the men's room, thrust my foot into the next stall, and nothing happened!

9)  Y'know, I could look at cats on Facebook all day long.

10) Going out to lunch, see you tomorrow!

11) Of course "alot" is a word!  What kind of moron would break it into two words?

12) Let's get together sometime and compare criminal records.
13) I never could resist patting women in the office on the tushie.

14) I won't be in tomorrow, boss, got a big meeting with our competitors.

15) ISIS: they just make good sense. 

16) Sorry I didn't get the project done, once you get started watching that Scandinavian pornography .... 

17) I never realized our company had so many Jews.

18) Want some bourbon? 

19) Gotta get home, don't want to miss that Jerry Springer!

20) I'm the NRA.


Friday, September 12, 2014

You Can't Go Home Again or It's Always Smokey in Philadelphia

"By the way," I was telling my son Brandon over the phone yesterday, "Philadelphia is about to decriminalize marijuana. Gonna just be a fine.

Brandon goes to college in nearby Baltimore.

"Wow, Dad, that's terrific!"  he said.

"Well,  yes, it's a good thing," I replied in measured tones.  "Years ago, I might have been very pleased, but in this day and age ..."

"You know, Dad," said Brandon,  "I've been thinking of coming home for a visit soon."

"Oh, no, no, there's no need for that!  You ... uh ...  have your classes and homework to attend to."

"Sure, but I've got all that pretty much under control.  I'd like to come see you."

"I look exactly the same.  A month or two older."

"Yes, but I miss everybody in Philadelphia.  I have a lot of friends in college there I'd like to visit."

"They're all busy!  Many of them have moved.  I'm afraid, Brandon,  some don't even like you anymore."

"Hey, Dad, what's this all about?  You think I want to come home to do drugs?"

"Of course not!   It's just that your life is in Baltimore now.  Baltimore Maryland.  Where nothing's decriminalized."

"You've told me you did more than your share of weed back in the day." 

"You don't want to turn out like me!"

"Come on, Dad, you have your flaws, but you didn't turn out all that bad."

"Are you kidding?  I have demons!  DEMONS!"  

"Well, I'll certainly come home for the Jewish holidays."

"Umm,  I forgot to tell you.  I'm converting.  Love that Jesus!"

"What about Thanksgiving?"

"I'd hold off 'til Christmas. Maybe President's Day."  

"May I ever come home, Dad?"


"When's that?"

"Whenever they decriminalize marijuana in Baltimore!"


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Mirror Sprite

Janet Webb copyright

Every mirror, it seems, is inhabited by a tiny sprite who operates the mirror.  Without the mirror sprite, there's no image to behold, only vacant glass.

Each mirror is a little different from all the others.  Some make you look thinner and some heavier.  Some show objects with a reddish caste, others show more blue, and still others favor shadows.  

It's all at the behest of the mirror sprite who resides within.

I got me a second-hand mirror at an antiques store in Philadelphia. It reflected the image of my bathroom, all pinks and flowers and lace and happiness.

I live over a garage in the seediest part of town.  I thanked the mirror sprite for my new room, though I've never seen him, and never will.


Went a little serious for some reason this week in my Friday Fictioneers entry, probably because my humor writing has been about as funny of late as a colonoscopy performed by a deranged proctologist.  Hope I haven't freaked anybody out with this.  

You can go to the mirror, boy, to see what the other Fictioneers have done with the prompt by clicking right here.

Meanwhile I'm still looking for that mirror sprite.  Frankly I really don't like pink all that much!

Your Ray Rice News Network

Let's look at it once more, Ladies & Gentleman, but this time Ray
 and Janay will be dressed as Shriners!

This is CNN - Your Ray Rice News Network

Hello, this is Erin Burnett and this is CNN. 

We're delighted to announce that effective immediately and for the forseeable future CNN is going to ALL RAY RICE/ALL THE TIME COVERAGE!  

Consider CNN your one-stop shop for all the news about Mr. Rice and the fabled pummeling and dragging of his comatose soon-to-be wife Janay Palmer out of an elevator at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City. If it's about Ray Rice, it will be here, it will be up-to-the minute, and it will be sensationalized as much as humanly possible!

Our  pledge to you: there will never be any annoying interference with our 24/7 Ray Rice coverage by other news, even if it's important.  You can count on it! 

Wolf Blitzer! 

Thank you, Erin. 

With CNN's new ALL RAY RICE/ALL THE TIME COVERAGE!,  you'll get more than just surface headlines about Ray Rice.  You get 3-D enhanced versions of the pummeling and dragging elevator videos presented from a wide variety of angles including that of a rodent who might be lurking about the ceiling of the elevator! 

You'll also experience the elevator videos as reenacted by an  array of Hollywood's most talented actors and also by Hollywood's most untalented actors,  including Nicholas Cage and Hayden Christiansen from the unnecessary fifth and sixth Stars Wars movies.

And we'll examine the  Ray Rice videos against videos of people in elevators who are not pummeling or dragging anyone, with insightful analysis as to the differences between them by our own legal expert Jeffrey Toobin.

Brooke Baldwin!

Thank you, Wolf!

And now you can order Ray Rice products and memorabilia, direct from CNN!

Here's the official "I survived the Elevator at Revel Casino" Ray Rice Sweatshirt in gray, blue, and blood red, refrigerator magnets with the words "Not stickin' with Rice," and the Ray Rice and Janay Palmer Rock'em Sock'em Robots!

CNN operators are standing by. 

To you, Anderson Cooper!

Thank you, Brooke!

CNN has long been recognized  --- over the past day and a half --- for the best coverage anywhere of the Ray Rice saga.

And we will continue in that proud tradition by providing you with insightful opinion and commentary into the motivations behind Ray Rice's pummeling and dragging presented by our panel of distinguished experts: the minimally qualified Dr. Phil McGraw, opportunistic weasel Dr.Drew Pinsky, and of course,  Oprah.


Trust us, nothing else is really happening in the world until we tell you it is!

This is CNN - Your Ray Rice News Network


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Fahrenheit 451 Again & Again

Montag was aghast!   All his books were to be burned. 

"Please, Captain, no!  Don't destroy my books!"  

"Is this your favorite book?" sneered the Captain. "It's got to be burned with all the others!"

Montag lunged at the Captain to grab the book, but the Captain snatched it away and flung it on the fire!

"Curse you!" cried Montag.  All that he had loved, all that he prized, all that had ever warmed his soul was now a mass of flaming cinders. 

"But why, Captain?  Why?!!"

"Montag, you know burned books are better for barbecue than charcoal briquettes."

"But my favorite book!"

"It's just The Jennifer Lawrence Nudie Collection.  It's all over the Internet anyway."


This is my third parody of Fahrenheit 451, which means two things:  (1) this is a heckuva good novel to parody, and (2) I better read some more novels. My favorite of the three parodies is here, the other one is here.  I wouldn't waste my time with either.

While there may not be quite 451 Friday Fictioneers yet, there are plenty of Fictioneers offering takes on the above picture prompt if you click here. I'd recommend you do it.

Oh, no, now they want to burn this post!    Pretty good idea, I'd say.