Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Chamber and the Unit (FF)

Copyright Claire Fuller

The Pressure had spiked out of control!

Poor Barley Lumpkin, responsible for keeping proper pressure in the chamber, had fouled up.  It was his first day on the job and running from latch to latch had been too much for him.

"What have you done?"  screamed Manager Cromwell.  Barley felt terrible but he helped Cromwell stabilize the pressure and remove the unit from the chamber. "Whatever this has done to the unit,” said Cromwell, “we'll have to go with it.” And soon the unit was placed on Donald Trump's head.

This proved the beginning of the end for Mr. Trump.  His neatly groomed hair, parted at the side, robbed him of much of his charisma. Soon the rest of the novelty wore off as well.

And Barley Lumpkin --- both to Democrats and Republicans alike --- became a hero.

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

Yeah, it's almost 140 words.  So it took me a couple of extra words to knock off Donald Trump.  Wasn't it worth it?

The other Friday Fictioneers have no doubt knocked off a thing or two themselves, and you can follow follow their exploits relative to the picture prompt above by clicking on the heroic name of Barley Lumpkin right here.

Maybe Barley Lumpkin can maintain the chamber that contains Mr. Trump's sensitivity next.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The NASCAR Driver, The Comedian, & Tiger Woods

             

    You've probably seen the commercial that's been on television of late in which NASCAR driver Brian Vickers, comedian Kevin Nealon, and professional golfer Arnold Palmer extol the virtues of a prescription drug that's helped each one of them manage certain individual health considerations.

That commercial has been so successful that a similar new commercial has just been produced.  Like the first one, it features a NASCAR driver, a comedian, and a professional golfer.   

Here's a sneak preview:

Scene opens with NASCAR driver walking on the race track.

Brian: I'm Brian Knickers, NASCAR driver.  Why am I called "Brian Knickers?" Because Perry is Jewish and  doesn't know a damn thing about NASCAR, so he just mangled my name "Brian Vickers" for this stupid parody.

Shift to comedian.

Carrot Top: I'm Carrot Top, comedian.  If you can call me that.

Finally to golfer.

TigerAnd I'm Tiger Woods, once successful professional golfer who has played lately as well as Grandma Walton. Know what the three of us have in common?

Brian:  We talked to our brokers about investing in Xarbelto. I had a serious cash shortage after my last divorce and I needed an investment that was going to pay off fast!

Tiger:  That's why I invested in Xarbelto too.  Oh boy, is that ever why I invested in Xarbelto too!  

Brian:  Xarbelto has been proven to return excellent financial results because its manufacturer has a sales/marketing team of unscrupulous slime balls expert at dispensing illegal perks to corrupt doctors to induce them to prescribe Xarbelto to whomever they can, regardless of whether anything's actually wrong with them.

Carrot Top:  And I invested in Xarbelto because I'm a goofy novelty act that wore razor thin in less than one tick of the atomic clock and somehow I've gotta eat! Xarbelto has been proven to produce substantial returns for people on the fringes of show business whose lack of cash has been caused expressly by lack of talent. 

Both Carrot Top and Brian join Tiger Woods at a patio table overlooking a golf course. 

Tiger: Hey, I'm glad we could all get together.  Any one of you guys got any dough you can lend me?

Brian:  Cut it out, Tiger.  At least until we see what Xarbelto closes at today.

Carrot Top: You know, guys,  I tried investing in another drug called Warburton but my portfolio took  a beating.  The Warburton sales team didn't know what to do. They were providing doctors with actual medical information, not getting them laid!

Brian:  Yeah, they didn't even know how to blackmail a doctor when necessary. Hell, the day the Ashley Madison thing broke, Xarbelto stock went up 37 points!
   
Waitress:  You fellas want anything else?

Tiger: I'll have another Tiger Woods.

Waitress: I'm sorry, Mr. Woods, but there is no such thing, 

TigerWho gives a shit?  Nobody else at this table has a drink named after them!   

Carrot Top: Oh yeah?  I'll have a carrot juice. So fuck you, Woods!

Next comes a montage of Tiger Woods, Brian Knickers, and Carrot Top on the golf course --- teeing off, putting, and riding in their carts.

Announcer:   As with any investment, past performance does not guarantee future returns. This is especially true with Xarbelto because we're not really sure the stuff does anything. It may be a sugar pill. Some investors may experience a bleeding of cash and in some cases severe hemorrhaging of cash should the government push deeply into our practices, so make sure to vote Republican. Before starting investment in Xarbelto, tell your broker about any prior lawsuits you have filed, ethical principles you may have, and your tolerance for being fucked with.

All three are now putting on the 18th green.

BrianYou know, Xarbelto has been prescribed over 11 million times in the U.S. by doctors bought off with exotic junkets, drugs, and hot sex.

Carrot TopAnd that number is growing. 

Tiger blows a three inch putt.

Tiger: Like my score, damn it!  You guys sure you can't float me some scratch?

Announcer: Ask your broker, financial adviser, or one of these three greedy bastards about Xarbelto. 

Tiger approaches the camera.

Tiger: Investing in Xarbelto was the right move for us.  Unless the stock market tanks between now and January 1, then I'm SOL!

Announcer:  If you can't afford your investment in Xarbelto, please don't contact the company. We won't even talk to you.  We barely talk to Mr. Woods anymore. 

Brian (to Carrot Top): Poor guy.  He'll never get a drink named after him now!

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Tattoo Breakthrough


I like that one! See, I can evolve.


My son Brandon and I were in the local Starbucks.

As the young woman barista rendered our coffee to us on that day, my eyes were drawn to a tattoo of a butterfly on the underside of her left arm and before I could control myself, by God, it was out of mouth!

"That's a pretty tattoo," I said.

"Thank you," she replied.

"Dad!" exclaimed Brandon, "That's a major breakthrough!"

"I guess it is," I said. "I actually did like her tattoo, but I’m not why.”

I've never understood the allure of tattoos. Back in the sixties and early seventies, tattoos were usually worn by the shorter haired folks we called greasers, sworn enemies of we freaks and pseudo-freaks. The standard tattoo was a skull and crossbones, crude rendering of Jesus, or a heart emblazoned through the middle with the name of a likely long replaced girlfriend.

A few hippies had tattoos, but they were as small in number as there were un-smoked roaches in my apartment at the end of a Friday evening. Our rock heroes did not have them. The cool people we aspired to be like did not have them. (And the hot chicks I never had the guts to approach that I'm still kicking myself about 45 years later certainly did not have them either.) 

But these days it’s hard to find an athlete or movie star who believes tabula rasa is an acceptable approach to one's epidermis. Brandon doesn't have any tattoos but many of his friends do and none of them are greasers, bikers, or intoxicated sailors waking up after a long weekend’s shore leave.

In fact, Brandon had been telling me to stop dissing tattoos even though I’d been spreading negative vibes about them whenever I’d encounter anyone whose body was marked up like the first draft of one of my college term papers.

But this day something had changed and without my even knowing it.

"So what brought that on, Dad?" said Brandon,

"I don’t know," I answered. "It just slipped out of me naturally as something to say. Like thanks for the coffee, have a nice day, or do you have an attractive mom in my demographic?"

"What that means," said Brandon, “is you now accept tattoos as a legitimate form of self-expression, even if you would never choose that mode of expression yourself.”

And he was right.

I was able at last to see the attractiveness in something that my pre-conceived notions wouldn’t allow me to see before. Now I saw the colors and the artistry that I had never before been able to appreciate.

So it seems I've made a Tattoo Breakthrough. But would I actually get one myself?

Have I made a Tattoo “Break-on-Through to the Other Side?”

Nah, I'm not ready for that. And I still don't like tattoos which envelop someone's body like an etch-a-sketch. 

But if you're a Boomer and you want a simple not too sizeable tattoo, I won't say a discouraging word.

In fact, I'll help you pick it out.

I might even like it.
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Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Squirt and the Whale (FF)


Philadelphia has long been recognized as a model city in the development of urban wall murals.  All throughout the town, walls that were formerly significant contributors to urban blight have been transformed into colorful and imaginative displays of public art

There are depictions of nature scenes, historical events, and great Philadelphia figures like the city's founder William Penn, Renaissance man Benjamin Franklin, and comedian Joey Bishop. 

Sometimes murals become faded, defaced, or outdated and need to be repaired or even totally repainted. In North Philadelphia this week such a replacement was required.  An existing mural was painted over with a breathtakingly beautiful rendition of a sperm whale shooting a huge spray from its blowhole. 

Most everyone agreed it was a very appropriate mural to paint over the existing one of Bill Cosby.

~~~~~~~~~~~

In case you didn't know, the title of this piece is a reference to the movie "The Squid and the Whale," an interesting depiction of Boomer divorce directed by Noah Baumbach.  Which has nothing to do with Bill Cosby, but who wants to have anything to do with him anyway? 

I want to state it now, loud and clear: I always liked Robert Culp best. Now if you click on Mr. Culp's name, you'll be transported to the interpretations of the other Friday Fictioneers of the picture prompt above.  And if you're not already one of the Fictioneers, you should consider joining.

Why? Just 'cos.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Whither Thou Bloggest


Whither Thou Bloggest is a quote I found myself ruminating upon the other day. It's derived from the Old Testament - the Book of Ruth  - and it means literally:

"What am I going to do with
 my suck ass blog?" 

I've been writing this blog almost six years and it continues to be as popular as the slides of your 1964 family vacation to Freedomland USA. I began musing on Facebook that very day as to possible ways to pump up the blog, improve my readership, and get ya to love me!  

Here's a few ideas so far:

1) Add a Frozen sing-a-long to every post.

2) Develop a story arc where I become Professor of Quantum Physics at MIT and do significant research in Vector Analysis. Merriment ensues.


3) More dick jokes.

4) Make the character an insecure Jewish Baby boomer. Oh, wait, that's the shitty premise we're trying to fix.

5) Add special features commentary by director Wes Anderson. 

6) Include Bloopers and Out-takes, especially when I flub use of the pluperfect  subjunctive. LOL!

7) Don't be so Jewish!

8) Instead of a Baby Boomer, I will now be a barefoot freckle-faced boy growin' up along the Mississippi with his best ol' friend Jim (Note: Check copyright availability.)

9) Ladies and gentlemen, Ms. Liza Minnelli!

10) A quick 'n easy dinner recipe in every post.

11) All Flash Fiction will now only be about The Flash.

12) No more fantasizing about hot women. From now on, it's moonlight and Sean Hannity!

11) Adopt warm-hearted "From Our House to Your House" sensibility.

12) Close each post by digging into a large bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. Bon Appetit!  

13) Make the character a blond Nordic gentile with self-confidence. You think that's a stretch?  

14) Somewhere in this blog, boys and girls, I've hidden an afikomen! 

15) I marry a woman with a big brood of children, and we follow their sassy adventures!

16) Bake each new fan a chocolate cake. But I won't have time to ice them.

17) I juggle flaming stuff.

18) More car crashes.

19) Ginger and Mary Ann cat fight over me. 

20) Occasional cameos by Mr. Bill Murray!

21) Always leave 'em with the old soft shoe.

22) Sure, everybody loves 17th Century English drama, but if I read one more Beaumont and Fletcher joke....

23) Dick joke translations into the Greek exclusively by James Franco.

24) Develop line of "Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute" cutlery and and transform blog into 24/7 infomercial featuring Tom Bergeron.  

25) Plumb the depths of human experience and illuminate the angst at the base of the soul. That'll reel in the suckers!

26) Add a catchy jingle. "Here's a story about a man named Perry ..."

27) Larry King? You're here? You'll do anything to stay active, won't you?  

28) I go undercover at Scientology Headquarters and produce a hard-hitting series of posts which prove conclusively and beyond a shadow of a doubt that they ain't bothering nobody.

29)  Add super hot women characters who have just overdosed on female Viagra. Explore endless ways in which they tell Perry "no, we're just not in the mood right now."

30) My secret identity as Batman is at last revealed! True,  my crime fighting career is over, but maybe now you'll pay attention to the dick jokes?


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

So, do you have any other thoughts?  All are welcome as I am as desperate for a blog concept as Republican Presidential candidates are for a credible idea.

Oh, and one more thing.  

Any of you know Liza Minnelli?

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


Friday, August 14, 2015

Having my (Boomer) Baby

 

My friend Sherry is a Boomer who's currently into her Great Second Act. Unfortunately without some very unique help, her second act is about to close in New Haven.


After years of sitting behind a desk, Sherry decided to try stand up comedy. She is not exactly killing it. She has fewer fans than there are members of Illegal Immigrants for Trump.

But I've an idea to ensure her success, and mine along with it.

"We're going to pretend to have a baby?! Perry, you're nuts, we're Boomers!!"

"That's the point.  We'll be Two Boomers And A Baby."

"How could I possibly give birth?  I'm 59 years old."

"Hey, I'm 64.  How could I possibly get it up?"

"I guess we could chalk it up to a Double Medical Miracle!"

"Then I'll promote our story on my blog and in no time at all our legend will gather heft!"

"Heft?"

"The heftiest Heft. Book deals, movies, Walmart openings!"

"So how did we happen to do the deed?"

"Well, I had to work up to it."

"How?"

"I masturbated to Florence Henderson for six months."

"How did you get me in the mood?"

"I took you to a lovely dinner, we came back to my place, and I wowed you with my charm and debonair style."

"So it's total fiction then?"

"Wait a minute! Who could resist a balding 64 year old Jew on heavy medication?"

"Certainly not me. So I give birth.  What next?"

"We create one-of-a-kind Two Boomers And A Baby comedy!  Let's try out some lines:

  • We were both thrilled because neither one of us had heard the pitter patter of little feet for so long.  Ever since Fantasy Island was off the air; I miss that Tattoo!"  
  • "I decided not to breastfeed the baby because I didn't want exposure to my over half a century old boobs to turn him gay."
  • There I was, making goo-goo and gah-gah sounds, up to my knees in stinky poopy diapers, and filing for social security."
  • "Saturday we took the baby out for a walk in his stroller. Sunday he took us out for a stroll in our walkers."

"Great lines, Sherry!  At least mine were. Soon we'll be as viral on the Internet as some random cat." 

"Then Two Boomers And A Baby will appear on television and become America's sweethearts. Provided we remember to tweeze our ear hairs first."  

"See how great it's gonna be, Sherry?  The world will be our oyster!"

"There's just one problem, Perry?"

"What's that?"

"Where are we going to get a baby?"

"Umm ..you got one by any chance?"

"No.  You?"

"I don't even have a blow-up doll.  Not anymore anyway." 

"So what are we going to do?"

"Remember what I said about the world being our oyster?"

"Yes?"

"Well, I guess I'm going to have to go get me a mess of ...."

"Deals off!"

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

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Lovin' It (FF)

  © Madison Woods

    "And over here, ladies and gentlemen, we have the remains of a restaurant called McDonald's," said the tour guide. "Anyone ever heard of it?”

  The members of the group looked at one another quizzically and all shook their heads.

  "Once there were many of these restaurants throughout Philadelphia and in fact all throughout the country and the world."

 "What happened to them?" asked a man from Cincinnati.

 "A competitor came on the scene and put them all out of business," responded the guide.

  "Who were they?" asked a woman from Georgia.  "Did they have better food? Were they less expensive."'

  "Neither. They were called McFasting's.  Seems people preferred not to eat than to eat at McDonald's."  

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

I'm lovin it!  That is, I'm loving this week's prompt, which I'm sure has brought forth many a delicious and meaty response although mine above is about a subject that is hardly delicious and mealy meaty at best. 

I didn't bother to do anything with the moths seen lining up for food at McDonald's, but you can bet a Big Mac probably tastes to them like wool, just like it does to us. But you deserve a break today --- moths, wool, or otherwise --- so click on the link and get away to the other Friday Fictioneers' offerings.

Oh, good, here's the toy for those under three. I'm set for the week.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Top Ten Reasons We'll Miss Jon Stewart


It's true.  We're already going through the throes of withdrawal. 

Without Jon Stewart to help us make sense of politics, society, and international affairs, we are reduced to helpless children wandering in the wilderness. I don't know about you, but for me, these are the: 


Top Ten Reasons We'll Miss Jon Stewart

1) Suddenly the world doesn't seem Jewish enough.

2) How can we possibly know we've picked the wrong President without Jon?

3) Without Jon to make Fox News look ridiculous, why they'll .... oh, forget it, they'll still look ridiculous.

4) Where are we going to get our phony news from now?  Brian Williams?!

5) I'd like to have seen Donald Trump try to get away with saying "Jon had blood coming out of his eyes!"

6) I never had a Moment of Zen before.  I'll never have a Moment of Zen again. 

7) Very unlikely we'll see Doris Kearns Goodwin on with Hannibal Buress. 

8) Will any one of us ever again be able to spend 30 minutes watching television without being treated at least once to Kim Kardashian's ass? 

9) Hoped Jon could explain how Ted Cruz could possibly have been educated at Harvard and Princeton.  Now we'll never know.

10) Back to reruns of "King of Queens!"


Well, at least we still have John Oliver, Larry Wilmore,  and Stephen Colbert in his new incarnation up and coming. That's somewhat comforting.

But there will never be another Jon Stewart.

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Friday, August 7, 2015

Medicare, If You Dare

You're our age now, Perry.  
Admit it.  Get used to it!

Just last week I had a terrible experience only slightly less horrible than being shot at dawn by a squadron of expert marksmen, each and every one of them a morning person. Were my execution to have been at a reasonable hour, say 2:00 P.M., the experience I underwent would have actually been more horrible!

I signed up for Medicare.

It happens so fast. It happens so soon.  It seems like I just signed up for Boy Scouts, even though I was never in Boy Scouts.  It seems like I was just hanging in Singles Bars, approaching women who would reject me, and playing Ms. Pac Mac, who would also reject me.  It seems like I was only 40, scaling the heights of fatherhood only to turn around and find my heights scaling skills rapidly scaling back. 

Nowadays you sign up for Medicare online, which saves the embarrassment of sitting in a room full of doddering guys wearing plaid pants and white belts and reading the Daily Racing Form.  After a long wait regarded as wholly immaterial by most of the folks waiting since they have nowhere else to go anyway, the clerk would call you up with these words:
Next overage loser waiting to die!

So I'm at least a little pleased that the route to Medicare is no longer through the bureaucratic equivalent of the Carpathian Mountains but rather by clicking on to http://www.medicare.gov.  There you find all the information about America's unique health care program for seniors, which is a good one, but whose rules are as convoluted as a Philadelphia soft pretzel.

Medicare is comprised of four parts, which are:

Medicare Part A covering hospitalization.  Days 1-60 in a hospital are mostly covered, although days 61-90 require coinsurance.  That means you better get your ass out of the hospital by day 60 unless by day 60 your ass is totally out of the hospital un-getable!

Various expenses are not covered by Part A including free HBO, cherry jello for desert, and timely medical attention. 

Medicare Part B provides doctor benefits. It is important to choose the right doctor under Medicare. Signs you may have chosen the wrong doctor include:
  • Bitterly disappointed that Sarah Palin was wrong about death panels.
  • Refers to you as "Gramps."
  • Board Certified in Geriatrics, which means especially qualified to take care of older patients whom nobody expects to get better anyway.

Medicare Part D provides prescription benefits. Some of us need these more than others. I could single-handedly keep a small pharmaceutical company afloat through lean economic times for at least a year or two. Believe it or not, it was George W. Bush who gave us Medicare Part D. Laudable though it is, Part D features something called a donut hole, which provides that after $2960 of drug expense in a year the plan cuts off payment until some distant point in the future. 

Isn't that just like George Bush, getting us into something with no damn clear way out?

Supplemental Coverage is not officially part of Medicare.  It fills in the gaps left open by Medicare A, B, and D.  I'm pretty sure I get cherry jello.  That's all I care about now that Curb Your Enthusiasm is off the air.

Anyway, I did sign up for Medicare last week and it took no time at all.  And the coverage really is comprehensive. So do I still consider signing up for Medicare a horrible experience?

Ready.

Aim. 

Fire!

At least it's not at dawn.


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