Wednesday, October 29, 2014

But What Else? That's It!

"But why does it have to be over, Jane?   Why?"

"For one thing, Jack, I don't like a bald man. Plus you have terrible breath,  you're too short for me, and speaking of short ..."

"Okay. But what else?"

"You regularly blow your nose in the dinner napkin, you announce your farts, and you're drunk most of the time on Ripple."

"Okay. But what else?"

"You're not very smart, you think Ebola and ISIS is a comedy team,  your posture is scarcely better than Quasimodo's, and you're not even Jewish!"

"But what else?"

"That's it."

"That's it?"

"Yeah, that's ... that's ... it.  

"That's it???"

"That's ... it. That's ....  Huh!  Know what, Jack?"

"What, Jane?"

"I love you!  Be mine!"

("The old 'But what else? That's it,' folks. Works every time!")


And that's it for this week's Friday Fictioneers story based on the picture prompt above. Tuck away this little technique should you ever need it if you are the kind of person who announces his farts and blows his nose in the table napkin.

Clearly none of the other Friday Fictioneers will ever need this technique, not even Russell, who probably comes the closest.  Check out their various and sundry story techniques by clicking here.

Well, Jane just called;  wonder what it could be?  Another glass of Ripple and I'm off!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

How to Tell the Real Monsters at Halloween

Halloween isn't just for kids.

Ghouls, monsters, vampires, and all manner of children of the night enjoy what music they make on Halloween because once a year they may mingle incognito among humans without anyone chasing  them with a stake, a silver bullet, or a boxed set of ABBA's greatest hits.

But how do you tell whether that becloaked or be-bloodied figure at your door on Halloween is hoping to cop a mini-butterfingers or chop off your butterfingers all the way up to your arm pit?

Here's how:

How to Tell the Real Monsters at Halloween

1)  That horrible, cackling, hideous old crone?  Your wife.

2) Are there mindless crazed-looking creatures shrieking "brains, brains, we need brains!" stumbling up the street?  They're not zombies, they're Trump supporters.

3)  If the 6 year old at your door asks if he can have an extra chocolate bar for the Invisible Man who is standing right next to him, you have just met the world's youngest con artist or the world's shyest Invisible Man.

4)  If a 4 foot 3 inch Godzilla in a phony looking costume comes to your door, it is not Godzilla but Herschel Farbman from the next block.

5) Did a little old lady get mutilated late last night?  Yep, Werewolves of London.

6) If a 400 foot Godzilla comes to your door and rips off the front of  your house, breathes fire and incinerates your family, bites you in half with razor sharp six foot long teeth, and ingests every bloody part of  you, it is not Godzilla but Herschel Farbman from the next block in the premium Godzilla costume.

7) If you see a man coming down the street with a blood stained chainsaw, gaping wounds,  and a horrific expression on his face, he is not the maniac from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, he's a Jewish guy who's  just been trying to do home repair.

8) If a skeleton comes to your door, eats a Milky Way, and you can watch it travel all the way down his alimentary canal and drop out his rear end, that's a real skeleton.  And call me up, I'd love to see that!

9) If  Batman comes to  your house and talks your ear off about how bad it sucks that  Ben  Affleck is  playing him, it's really Batman.

10) If the vampire at the door recoils at the sight of a cross, casts no reflection in a mirror, and looks admiringly at the nape of your neck, forget about being a morning person for a long, long time. 

11) That lumbering, inarticulate, growling hulk?  Your husband.

12)  If the guy dressed all in red with a tale and horns asks if he may take your immortal soul, try to talk him into a box of Goobers instead.

13)  If an 800 foot Godzilla comes to your door and swallows whole all your candy, you got off easy.

14)  If a child comes to your door and says "Trick or Treat for UNICEF" and you're a Trump supporter, run, run, run,  it's The Liberal Fiend from the UN! And don't ever come back, you stupid asshole!

15) Was his hair perfect?   Werewolves of London again?  Nope,  David Muir of ABC News.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

An Authentic Scots Restaurant

Copyright The Reclining Gentleman
(w/ Nessie courtesy of Douglas McIlroy)

“Well, we gave it our all these six long months."

"I know, Amy. You and I combed every square inch of that lake and still no Nessie!"

"Don't berate yourself, Henry. It wasn't a total failure.  At least we did find the lost city of Atlantis."

"So what?  They were nothing but an impediment with their attempts to contact us about their stupid immortality ray!" 

"You're right, they did get in the way.  Want to take one last look at the lake?"

"What's the point? It'll just bum us out.  Let's go eat."

"Where to?"

"How about an authentic Scot's restaurant?   McDonalds!"

My first instinct when I saw this week's Friday Fictioneers' picture prompt was to have one of the two characters sitting on the bench turn to the other and say "Boy, Amy, Renee Zellweger really looks different this time!" 

But ultimately I opted for the more traditional tale of the search for Nessie, especially since I was able to bring it home for an uber-respectable 102 words. BTW, you can bring home some uber-entertaining stories from the other Friday Fictioneers by clicking right here.

Now if you don't mind, I'm taking me a deep breath and checking out that immortality ray. God, I hope I don't run into Nessie ... or Renee Zellweger!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Great Youth Serum Scam

                                                                                                                      In the style of  the Onion*

Youth Serum a Scam Protests Area Man, Now Only 15 Years Younger

Area Man Perry Block has reported that a so-called "youth serum" he purchased from an infomercial on late night television has turned out to be a scam.   Mr. Block stated to authorities that he only became younger by 14 or 15 years, not the 20 years promised.

"When I saw the infomerical starring former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson," said the formerly 64 year old from Havertown PA who is now 50 years old, "I naturally thought it was credible and 20 years off my age sounded agreeable enough. So I purchased the product for $9.99 and even called within 15 minutes and got the free measuring cup."

"Then I started using the serum and sure enough all my wrinkles vanished and I regrew most of my hair except  for a nickle sized spot in the back and I did look and feel  much better. But then one night I was making passionate love with a  25 year old model and after only about one hour, I simply wore out! 

"Can you imagine what kind of an excuse I would have had to come up with if she hadn't already passed out herself from sheer pleasure?"

Mr.  Block's doctor broke the cold, hard news to him:  Mr. Block was now only 50 years old, not the promised age of 44.

"Sadly, we see scams like this all the time," said consumer fraud attorney Roger Fortis. "I had a woman bought a set of kitchen utensils which promised to make her the gastronomical toast of four continents. Yes, she did become that, but what about New Zealand?  What about New Zealand?!"

"Perhaps saddest of all," said Attorney Fortis, "was the gentleman who bought Kevin Trudeau's book  Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About only to discover to his dismay that once he had read about the cures "they" didn't want him to know about, "they" only beat the crap out of him and left him for dead, but didn't actually kill him!"

Mr. Block is hoping to start a class action suit, but admits it will be difficult  to track down other aggrieved parties to join the suit when most of them are busily climbing Mt. Everest, training for the Decathlon,  and/or having sex with an endless array of supermodels for whom they haven't even bothered to prepare an excuse.


 *I didn't say as good as the Onion, just in the style of!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Day Without Cursing

A day without cursing?  Could I do it?

I wanted to say 'fuck yeah!' but that would have blown it already. And I was determined.

We live in a schizophrenic society.  Put on cable television any hour night or day and seldom is heard a non-four letter word unless you're watching a Frozen marathon.  But out in the real world, you are wise to use four-letter words in reasonable proportion to other lettered ones lest you be judged an ill mannered lout, sex offender, or even worse, comedian Bob Saget. 

My proportions had become anything but proportionate.  The 'f' word and 's' words had begun to rule my vocabulary the way Coca-Cola and coffee rule my taste buds. The situation had reached its apotheosis the other day when I endeavored to help a sweet little old day across the street with the words "Need assistance crossing the fucking street, miss?" which did not particularly find favor with her.

Something had to be done to develop a  way to put the four letter words in their place --- which was in my mouth --- but in my mouth far less frequently.

And I came up with the solution:  Spend one whole day without cursing. If I could do that, I could certainly learn to curse with discretion and judgment all the other days, especially the ones that I wasn't being fired from a job or dumped from a relationship. 

The night before the day selected I read six stories by Charles Bukowski to get the nasty words out of my system, then watched the first chapter of Anne of Green Gables all the way through, making sure to cry at every appropriate moment. 

I was ready. 

Showering and shaving the next morning were uneventful. Then on my way to locating my shoes to put them on, I smashed my foot against a bureau.  It hurt.

"You mother ...." I began. 

 And stopped.

"You mother lode of misery!" I yowled.  

Challenge No. 1 met and overcome. Points for creativity too.

Settling behind the wheel of my car, I noticed that I needed gas to get to my destination.  I was annoying, because as usual I was late.

"Oh, shi..."  I started.

And "Oh, shine on, shine on havest moon!"  I finished.

So far, so good.  But the mother lode of all challenges was yet to face me.  
Later in the day I was involved in a small fender bender. 

"You asshole!  You fucking asshole!" the other driver bellowed.

"Now let's not be hasty or rude," I countered.

"Asshole!  Fucking asshole!"  he replied. 

I could take no more!

"You, sir," I fired back, "are a fink."

" A fink? I'm a fink?"

"You are!  A dirty rotten fink."

And he stopped in his tracks. "Oh, what the heck, buddy, it's just a scratch anyway."

Challenge No. 3 and Victory! Day virtually complete, I returned home and the next day returned to cursing. But maybe from now on I do have a bit of control over the words that issue forth from my lips.  Maybe I can take the high road every once in a while. 

Know what?

Fink yeah!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Piece of Work Piece of Art (FF)

copyright Douglas MacIlroy

I was and still am her greatest work!”

"Sure, we've heard it all before, Seaside Contours," responded Pastel Princess wearily.

"Multiple times," added Sculpture of a Young Ballerina.

"And now they’re breaking up the collection, I with my sensuous mustache and alarm clock eyes am headed for MoMA! The Big Apple!"

"We know," sighed Pastel Princess.

"Where you going, Pastel?"

“Baltimore Museum of Art.”

"Baltimore? Great town if you like muggings! You, Sculpture?"

"Philly Museum of Art."

"Philly? Run up the steps you’ve seen the whole place!

"Psst, Sculpture:  Don’t worry, that piece of work is not just going to MoMA!”


"He's going into storage at MoMA. He'll have nobody to yak to for 75 years!"


Not all art is ennobling. I took one look at this week's prompt and saw a very obnoxious piece of art with a handlebar mustache and a mouth that never shuts.  If you're going to the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, make sure he's safely tucked away in the basement before you venture forth.

Very ennobling, however, are the offerings of the other Friday Fictioneers, works of art all. Enable the ennobling by clicking here.

Oh, hello, Seaside Contours, what are you doing at my house?  OMG, willed to whom?!!! 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

If Moses Had a Goofy Sidekick

And Moses spake unto the Lord his God, "who am I to go onto Pharaoh and tell him to let thy people go, Lord?  I am not a man of words. Mayest I have a little help here, please?"

And the Lord didst send a whirlwind, and didst send it Federal Express to boot, and from the whirlwind there emergest the rough, crude, and unformed figure of a man. And the man from the whirlwind didst thereupon take full human shape - even with an extra pound or two, a loud tie, and a silly walk -  and didst traipse up to Moses in a comical manner and asketh him to borrow five bucks.

"Who is this oddball, Lord," saith Moses, "and why didst thou not even give him cab fare?"

And the Lord saith, "This is Farky Noodleman."

"Yes, and who is ... "

"He is thy goofy sidekick." 

"Is he funny?"

"Is he funny? He slayeth more people than I ever did!  Now go!"

And Moses and Farky Noodleman came before Pharoah, and Moses spake unto Pharoah: "Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, Let My People Go!"

"And Pharaoh saith "Go? Go where?"

And Farky Noodleman spake unto Pharoah,"We're talking about Jews, Pharoah. Obviously to the Catskills or to Miami Beach!"

"Ha, ha, ha," laugheth Pharoah.  

"Pharoah," saith Moses,"if thou doth not let my people go, the Lord God will visit many plagues upon the land of Egypt."

"And he will visit," chortleth Farky Noodleman, "without so much as bringing a bottle of Chardonnay or even an Entenman's cake."

"Ho, ho, ho," laugheth Pharoah, and Moses joineth in too "he, he, he, he!"   But Pharoah still wouldst not let the people go.

And Moses didst smote the waters and the waters turned to blood all throughout the land of Egypt, and if thou wast in the mood for anything other than a V8, thou wast out of luck.  And Moses and Farky Noodleman didst appear again before the Pharoah to beseech him to let the people go.

"Say Pharoah, know what they call a Jewish boy who can't stand the sight of blood?"

"I knoweth not, Farkster."

"A lawyer!"

And Pharaoh didst laugh mightily because the jests of Farky Noodleman had found favor in his eyes.  But Pharaoh's heart was hardened.  

"Gosh," sayeth Farkey Noodleman, "if the Lord God couldst performst the hardening four feet lower, every man on earth wouldst worship him!"

And both Pharoah and Moses didst guffaw and even poketh each other in the ribs, but Pharoah still didst not let the people go. And then God didst unleash His plagues upon Egypt, each of which Farky Noodleman hadst a bit of well-honed shtick ready for .....

There were wild animals running in the streets. 
"And just when I renewed my membership to the Philadelphia Zoo!"

"This is how God rubs it in that I flunked biology?" 

"Oh, great! And me with a hot date tonight!"

"What, doesn't anybody have stock in the electric company any more?"

 ...and more and finally: "Death of the First Born!"

"I dunno about you Egyptians, but if I had a younger brother I'd get him a phony ID as soon as possible!"

"I canst stop laughing!" saith Pharaoh.  "You even maketh plagues fun, Farky. Okay, Moses, I will let thy people go."

And so Moses and Farky Noodleman led the Hebrews out of Egypt, but when they camest to the Red Sea, there wast a dilemna. "Look, Moses," saith Farkey Noodleman with much alarm, "Pharaoh's chariots are following us and we are blocked by the sea!"

And Moses didst raise his staff and parteth the Red Sea, just as pretty as you pleaseth.  You hadeth to be there.

"Walketh this way," saith Moses to all the Hebrews.

And so, the children of Israel didst walkest this way just like Moses onto freedom, and it cameth to pass that this wast the first time in all the history of the world that this gag wast performeth.  

"Whaddya know?" sigheth Farky Noodleman.  "When all is said and done,  count on Moses to get the biggest laugh of all!"


And coming soon: "If Henry David Thoreau had a Goofy Sidekick," "If Abraham Lincoln had a Goofy Sidekick," and "If You had a Goofy Sidekick.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

This Day in Rock History (FF)

copyright - Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

August 12, 1962:

"I have an idea, mates," said Jeremiah. "From now on we only play rock n' roll."

"I don't know," said Pablo. "You mean forget about fox trots, waltzes, and polkas?" 

"Exactly.  Imagine all the people loving us when they see us!"

"You could be right, Jeremiah," responded Gerardo. "All things must pass and it's time for the new."

"Okay, I'm in," agreed Pablo. "Maybe they will love us do. What do you think, Rutger?"

"I think I might turn out to be the luckiest guy in history!" 

And so was born the greatest musical group of all time:   

and Rutger  
The Beatles!  

John, Paul, George, and Ringo?  That's a parallel universe, dudes. 

What the hell have you been smoking?


I'm sure I wasn't alone in thinking of the Beatles when I saw the above prompt standing there for this week's Friday Fictioneers songfest, so I wrote about the four moptops, Jeremiah, Pablo, Gerardo, and Rutger and how they got their start.

All you need is love and a good mouse to click here for the entrees, Beatles-related or otherwise, of the other Fictioneers.

And you know what, Rutger?  Even though you were indeed the luckiest guy in history, Ringo - of the parallel Earth - may have been even a bit luckier!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Attack of the HuffPost Haters

Recently I was privileged to have a piece of mine published in the Huffington Post in that section they have that's dedicated to people 50 and over.  I use the word "privileged" a bit facetiously in that almost anyone who submits an article can be published in the HuffPost unless the article takes the position that Ariana Huffington ought to break down and pay her writers.

The trick to success in the Huffington Post is to have your piece featured as one of the major posts of the day.  That way it shows prominently on the HuffPost web page where you garner the greatest number of readers and can potentially nail as many likes as there are angels dancing on the head of a pin, which is where they generally hold their dances because you can rent the hall cheap. If your article is not featured, it will reside in the HuffPost bargain basement where you'll probably get fewer likes than there are members of the Katherine Heigl Fan Club.

So --- to backtrack here ---  recently I was privileged to have a piece of mine published and featured in the Huffington Post in that section they have that's dedicated to people 50 and over.  As a result I received about 2,100 likes, a record for me which exceeded my previous high by about 2,100 likes.  This was extremely gratifying for someone who usually sat alone at lunch in seventh grade.

There was just one problem,  something I had not anticipated.  Along with all the likes, I was also besieged by one of the most potent, pernicious, and dangerous scourges of the 21th Century:


The post was 60 Reasons that  60 is Not the New 40, a hopefully humorous bullet point exploration of the different social frames of reference of the two generations.  It was not intended to be a sociological analysis as to whether people 60 years today really are the same as people 40 years old in 1950 or a critique of the Baby Boomer generation of which I am so proudly a part. 

It was jokes 'n stuff.

But the HuffPost Haters thought otherwise.

"This was a complete waste of time to read and write ..."

Sorry you thought it was a waste of time to read, but shouldn't  I be the judge of whether it was a waste of time to write?

"This piece was insulting ..."

I don't remember, what was the epithet I called your mother?

" ...what is wrong with you? ..."

Lots of things, but if you were really perceptive, you wouldn't have to ask.

" I'm  60 years old and I knew all the 40 year old references!" 

Great!  Could you help me with the next one of these?

"I'm 40 years old and I knew all the 60 year old references!" 

Great!  Could you help me with the next "60 Reasons Why 40 Is Not The New 60?"

"This was unfunny and unproductive!"

Not so! By being unfunny, countless productive hours were saved by people not reading it."

One writer went so far as to call me a "clueless idiot."  I would have taken great offense if he hadn't made such a good case for it.

Now in fairness, everyone is entitled to express his or her point of view and some who had issues with the post expressed them in a highly considerate matter. But the HuffPost Haters seem to delight in a rudeness that is wholly uncalled for, especially when we're talking about a post whose purpose isn't exactly to chart out the definitive route for the future of Western democracy.

I'm proud to say that in responding to the negative commenters, I took the high ground.  I did not answer in the manner above. I responded politely to their concerns and expressed regret that they may have been offended. I showed class.  I showed sophistication.  I accepted constructive criticism.

Now let me add just one thing further:  THEY CAN ALL KISS MY TUCHAS!!!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to count my wickedly excessive profusion of likes. 

See ya in the bargain basement! 


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Dish and the Spoon (FF)

Hey diddle diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon,
The little dog laughed to see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon. 

Hey, guys, did you get a load of that spoon?  Can you believe the dish ran off with her?  And him with a great looking salad fork for a wife at home!

Some guys will Hey Diddle Diddle with just about any spoon!

Well, I guess there's no accounting for taste in spoons.


   My story this week is certainly a cheat, which is especially sleazy since I skipped last week. What can I say?  I looked at the picture prompt and I saw the fabled spoon - two eyes, a  nose, and a wide open mouth plus the handle of either a lollypop or a spoon.

 Along with the little dog, you can see all kinds of  sport from the other Friday Fictioneers by clicking here. Last thing I heard about the dish and the spoon was that the dish had returned home to his fine salad fork spouse.

One can only Hey Diddle Diddle for so long!