Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Ambrose, the Lobster Lover (FF)

Ambrose loved lobster.

"How's this one look to you, Mr. Ambrose?" said the waiter. "We'd be pleased to boil him alive and then rip out the tender meat from his carcass for you."

"No, he looks a little small," replied Ambrose.

"How about this one?" offered the waiter. "We could murder him and rip him asunder as well."

"I don't think so," said Ambrose.

"Well, here's a juicy one I'd love to execute for your pleasure."

“Nah,” muttered Ambrose.

Ambrose loved lobster, but he could never make up his mind which one he wanted. By the time he finally did, the lobster he chose had usually died of old age.

I like lobster too, but it always did bother me that I was issuing a death warrant for a living creature, all so I might later say "you know, it was kind of chewy tonight."  That lobster might have had a family and been a Democrat!  Hell, he might even have been Jewish!

Well, no grisly crustacean deaths (we hope) in the stories by the other Friday Fictioneers which you can select by clicking here.

Hey, want to go out for lobster?  You're paying, of course, but as per normal, I'll take on all the guilt.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Fantasy Preamble

Now that's forming a perfect union!

From time to time  - actually most of the time - I engage in fantasies about hot young women to help satisfy urges that are as likely to be satisfied in reality as Bernie Sanders is to iron one of his shirts. 

In good conscience, though, I cannot fantasize about a woman who would naturally find me as appealing as her dad's poker partner unless I first create a back story explaining why she now finds me as irresistible as a hot fudge sundae.

Hence, the Fantasy Preamble:

Her name is Andi.  She is 32 years old and blond with eyes so blue you could practically swim in them. She is pursuing a graduate degree while working as a waitress at a nearby diner where I've impressed her with my charm, style, and tipping at 80%.

"Perry, I get off at 10:00. Will I see you tonight?"

"Andi, this can't go on!  You should be with a younger man.”

“Younger men bore me.  You know that I’ve pre-subscribed to “AARP Magazine” for years now so I can get off on all the pictures of the hot senior guys!  Perry, your paucity of hair, crumpled face, and circles under your eyes just turn me on!

"Well, Andi, when you got it, you got it."

Fade out and into my fantasy.  

That's the Fantasy Preamble, which serves to make the unpalatable palatable. Without it the closest I am likely to come to pillow talk with Andi is her asking me if I like the pajamas she bought her dad for Father’s Day.

Her name is Susan.  She is 37 years old, red-headed and passionate, and an accountant that I met when she did my taxes.

"Perry, ever since I first prepared your 1040 I knew there was something special about you."

"Was it the income under the poverty line?"

"Perry, I know you're worried about the age difference, but I don't care!  

"But Susan, when you're 40, I'll be 70. 

"And when I’m 70 you’ll be 100, but you’ll still have that ineffable quality!"

"Well, I guess ineffability does have its virtues.”

Fade out and into my fantasy.  

Her name is Helen. She is 38 years old and a talented artist about whose work I have become passionate since I saw her on Facebook in a bikini. She has begged me to allow her to paint my portrait.

 “Almost done, Perry!  You are such a marvelous subject!”

“Thank you, Helen.  You know this isn’t the first time I’ve been painted.”

“Oh, no?”

“I got totally covered at paintball on my son’s ninth birthday.”

“Take a look, Perry!”

Oh my god, Helen, this is terrible! I’m hairless, decayed, desiccated!!!”

 “I call it ‘A Study in Wrinkles.’”

“Who’d want to have sex with someone like that?”

“I can’t imagine.” 

Fade Out.  Fade Way Out.

Sometimes - I’m afraid - even the best of fantasy preambles doesn’t always quite get the job done. 


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Good Old 1863 (FF)

It was 8:15 on Tuesday morning in Jefferson City, and already they were lining up to board Jefferson Lines Bus No. 1863 bound for Mt. Bailey for the weekly meeting of the Jefferson City Blame Someone Else Society.

The meetings were held in Mt. Bailey because it had a much bigger town hall.

Bob Byron had founded the Society secure in the conviction than anything bad ever happened to him was caused by his foreman, Drake Beighley.

At the Jefferson City Blame Someone Else Society, members railed against those responsible for their misfortunes.  It was the overly demanding boss, the ex-boyfriend, the hard driving assistant coach, and so on.

It was now 8:40 A.M. The bus driver flung open the doors and bade the passengers enter:

"Climb on.  Climb off.  Throw under."


First up, congratulations to the Chief Honcho of the Friday Fictioneers, Rochelle Wisoff Fields, on her third anniversary helming the Fictioneers.

Rochelle has graciously suggested we may repost our stories from the week she began her august duties and she herself has posted the same picture from that week. So never missing a chance to screw off, I have herein submitted my same story from that week, but with a difference. I have edited it such that, even though it still exceeds 100 words, it no longer brazenly thumbs its nose at that limit as it surges on past it. 

You should surge on over to the stories of the the other Fictioneers by clicking here. And thanks again Rochelle; hope we never see you on the Good Old 1863.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Christopher Walken Gives Christmas Presents to the Crew on Pulp Fiction

Hey.  Hello. 

Merry Christmas to all of you on the set. 

I sure have enjoyed it a whole bunch working with you on Pulp Fiction and to thank you from the bottom of my heart, I have something for each one of you.

Now gather round me and I'll hand them out.  Say, do you want to try to guess what they are?

Yes, George?  Fruitcakes!?  You must think I'm as evil and sadistic as the characters I play in my career as America's foremost quirky cameo actor!   

Any other guesses?  No?

I've brought you watches! 

Really nice watches!  Quite similar in fact to the watch I give to the young boy in our little movie!

So, friends, step right up and I'll bend over, reach behind me, and hand you your watch!

What ... what seems to be the trouble?  I can see you're speechless.  I'm just gonna reach behind me, whip out each watch one at a time, and hand them to you!

Are you all just being shy? Look, I've got 15 watches back here, one for each of you. I carefully packed them up, tucked them away safe and cozy, and trudged over here with them this morning.  

Oh, yes, Bill? Where are they made? I believe it is a factory in Maine. Yes, they did travel quite a long way down South to get here.  Then they plopped right into my hands so I could give them to you.

C'mon, everybody, these are for you from me. I'm just going to bend over, reach around back here, grab one .... OOOHHHH, I'm not as young as I was in Annie Hall .... and give this watch to our friend, the sound man, Grover!

Hey, Grover, come back here! Everyone come back!! Come back!!!

I'll be damned! I bring all these watches in for everyone, put them on a table behind me so they'll be a surprise, and nobody wants them!

Oh well, time to deliver my special gift to Quentin Tarantino. I really want to surprise him so I've hidden my gift very well.  Hey, Quentin, bet you'd never suspect that America's foremost quirky cameo actor would give you a baby grand piano!

I better find him. This is starting to tickle.


And in case you're not really clear what's going on above, here's Christopher Walken's bizarre turn as Captain Koons in Pulp Fiction.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Quintessential Boomer Band (FF)

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
"Wouldn't you know it, Michelle?  Just as we get to the concert it starts really storming!"

"Sure is, Perry! I move we wait in the car until it slows a bit."

"Agreed.  Although I hate to be late for Steely Dan." 

"I still can't believe you talked me into this."

"Michelle, Steely Dan is the quintessential Boomer band!  Second only to the Beatles." 

"Need I remind you, Perry, it's only our second date and I'm a post-Boomer?"

"Okay, okay.  Say Michelle ..."


"Since we're stuck here in the rain and .. um .. we're totally alone, how 'bout you and me ..."

"Wow!" I thought.  "I've never seen anyone bolt that fast out of a car and into the pouring rain!  I guess she really does want to see Steely Dan after all."


Well, it's raining, it's pouring, and it wouldn't have worked out with Michelle anyway. I'm a Boomer and she's a post Boomer. I'm formerly cute and she's currently cute. She's Jewish and I'm a Jehovah's Witness. Lots of problems.

I don't really know if Steely Dan is the quintessential Boomer band, but I think a lot of Boomers who grew up with them dig their off-beat style, intriguing lyrics, and just plain catchy music. I can't speak for millennials.  What I can do, howeveris speak for the Friday Fictioneers, whose work is always quintessential and available for you to check out by clicking here.

"Michelle, wait, come out of the rain!  I'll do anything for you.  I'll even become Jewish!"

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Little Mushroom (FF)

Copyright Ted Strutz

Once there was a little mushroom growing in a field.

The mushroom began growing and soon it was twenty feet tall. It was so tall that a local entrepreneur made it into a ride for children. It continued to grow and soon it was as high as the clouds and only the bravest children rode it.

It continued to grow and soon it reached into space and only those children who could hold their breath a long time rode it.  A spaceship flew by and Pinterass said to Myspace "I've never seen one of those so incredibly big!  It's so huge, it's festooned!" 

Fearing a race of giants, Myspace and Pinterass decided not to invade.   And that is how the little mushroom saved the Earth. 

What a heroic mushroom!  It almost bring tears to my eyes.  That is, tears to my eyes that that I wrote such a lame story and am passing it off as heroic. Next week, I'm going to write about a guy and a computer and pass it off as a love story.  I'll bet that's never been done!

If you click right here,  you can read the stories of the other Friday Fictioneers, heroic, loving, or otherwise.

Good thing you didn't eat the mushroom when it was small.  Hey, you're the hero!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Indiana Jones and the Lost Café at Borders

With many of us eagerly awaiting the return of Harrison Ford as Han Solo in the upcoming Star Wars sequel, some have come to wonder if we'll ever see Harrison Ford again in his other great iconic film role. Well, who knows?Here's a taste of what such a movie might be like as Harrison Ford once again essays the role of Indiana Jones in ... 

Indiana Jones and the Lost Cafe at Borders! 

As Indiana Jones wraps up a class he is teaching at Marshall College, his friend and colleague Marcus Brody approaches him.

Marcus:   I see you’re back none the worse for wear, Indiana.  I hear your latest escapade is being referred to as Indiana Jones and the Lost Car Keys of Murray Blitzstein.

Indy:  Yes, Marcus, the keys had been missing for almost three days.  The Nazis were already there at Blitzstein’s home jumping at the chance to steal a Studebaker from a member of the Jewish faith, and I had to tangle with Belloq in the kitchen and the hall bath to find them.

Marcus:  How did you locate the keys, Indy?

Indy: In the morning rays of the sun at precisely 5:42 A.M., I saw the glint of the keys in the left back pocket of Blitzstein’s seersucker suit pants.  He had accidentally placed them there, normally being a front right pocket man.

Marcus:  Brilliant, as usual, Indiana.  Did you restore the keys to Mr. Blitzstein?

Indy:  No, Marcus, the Lost Car Keys of Murray Blitzstein belong in a museum. Blitzstein will have to buy himself an Edsel.

Marcus:  Indy, there’s another important matter I need to discuss with you.  Have you ever heard of Borders?

Indy:  Indeed.  It was a book store, a chain of book stores, which proliferated in North America prior to the rise of the Amazons.  The fossil record is unclear, but we believe they were destroyed either by a natural catastrophe, climate change, or some woman named E.L. James.

Marcus:  That's right, Indiana.  And what we have learned is that inside each Borders was a hidden sanctuary called a café where people drank coffee and lattes, ate muffins and scones, and thought and talked about intelligent things, like would Henry David Thoreau have written more about throwing up in Walden Pond had he hung out with Charles Bukowski.

Indy:  But what does this have to do with me?

Marcus:  Legend has it that the awesome power that gave rise to this intellectual conversation was in the scones! Your old friend Belloq is intent on being the first to discover the Lost Café at Borders, acquire the wisdom of the scones, and use it to clone Hitler, but this time with a much better mustache!

We next see a map plotting Indy’s route by car from Marshall College in Western PA to Bala-Cynwyd PA where one of the Borders is reputed to have been located. The route stops in Altoona PA where Indy purchases a Slurpee from Seven Eleven and then proceeds to Bala-Cynwyd.

Sallah:  Indy!  I knew you’d be here.  Look, Belloq’s got full excavation going already! And Marion’s here now too.

Indy:  Marion?  Belloq?

Sallah: No, that’s two people, Indy, one named Marion and one named Belloq. Not Marion Belloq.

Indy: What do you know about the Lost Café at Borders, Sallah?

Sallah:  I know one thing.  They are digging in the wrong place!

Indy:  How can you tell?

Sallah:  See the two Starbucks Coffee Shops 100 yards apart from each other?  I believe the book store was called Borders because it was usually bordered on both sides by a Starbucks.  Belloq, the fool, is digging by the Bed, Bath, & Beyond!

Digging a make-shift shaft, Indy lowers himself down into the inner chamber of the ruins of Borders.

Sallah:  Indy!  What do you see?

Indy:  Books everywhere!  Magazines.  CDs of all kinds!  This would be a great place to browse on a Saturday afternoon!  Make a note of that.

Sallah: Any snakes down there?

Indy:  Just Belloq.  And he’s got Marion!

Belloq:  Hello, Dr. Jones.  I was in one of the two Starbucks 100 yards apart trying to get Marion drunk on espresso when I heard you underfoot and knew where to dig.  And I’ve got the intellectual scones too!

Marion:  Indy, if he eats one, he’ll be able to make another Hitler, this one with a mustache even bigger than Stalin’s!

Belloq:  Soon, Dr. Jones, you will see that I have acquired all the wisdom of the Lost Café at Borders!

Belloq brings a dry scone to his mouth and makes a face.

Belloq:  I think I’d rather open a lost ark.

Indy:  You think that thing’s dry now, you should have had one when it was fresh!

Belloq eats the scone.   

Belloq:  Yes, I feel the power of the scones coming over me now, Jones!  Sweeping over every pore of my body!  It’s beautiful!

Marion: Kind of predictable, isn’t he?

Belloq:  Now … If you get your Borders ticket punched five times, you will get a free latte in the cafe! All Joni Mitchell records 50% off with purchase of a cappuccino! Buy three dry scones and take 25% off Jonathan Franzen’s latest book! What is this?  This isn’t the wisdom of the Lost Café at Borders!

Indy:  No, but it is the wisdom of managing the Lost Café at Borders.

Belloq:  And we have the finest Judaica section in Bala-Cynwyd too!  Every book by Elie Wiesel!! And don’t forget Schindler’s List in videos!!!

Belloq screams, shrieks something about free wrapping in the mezzanine, and thereupon his head gruesomely explodes.

Marion: Shall we take a look at some of the books here before we leave, Indy?  Maybe one by E.L. James?

Indy:  No, I think we’ve done enough with anachronisms already today, Marion.

Marion: Where to next, Indy?  

Indy:  Off to discuss the next Indiana Jones sequel with Steven Spielberg.   I’d like to get it wrapped before I’m 80.


Friday, October 2, 2015

The Museum of the Electronic Mouse (FF)

Willard Cornwallis had always wanted to open a museum and be a millionaire, and he thought he could accomplish both by opening The Museum of the Electronic Mouse.

The new museum had wired mouses, wireless mouses, and a mouse that said "Made in China." There was a mouse that had been used by Gates (David Gates, the lead singer of Bread), one used by Steve Jobs (a small employment agency in Akron), and a fanciful mouse operated by Blue Stripe Guy, a Batman villain who never quite got to tangle with Batman because his mommy called him in for dinner.

In June, Willard Cornwallis opened his museum and by August he was indeed a millionaire many times over. 

The crowds that thronged to The Museum of the Electronic Mouse did not come to see the exhibits. They came to see what kind of an idiot would think he could become a millionaire with a museum like The Museum of the Electronic Mouse.


If you're a stickler for the 100 word requirement of the Friday Fictioneers (and fortunately Rochelle is not), I hope you didn't read the above piece. This story is so far over the limit, even I want to force feed me my mouse for writing it.

But I didn't want to give short shrift to an enterprising dude like Willard Cornwallis, so I present his story here in 200 words or less (I hope).  You can read the enterprising and certainly more length-appropriate stories of the other Fictioneers by clicking here.

See you at The Museum of the Electronic Mouse! Can't to see that "Made in China" wonder. 

(Sorry, still mostly missing in action for reading your stories.  Please don't write anything great until I come back ....)