Monday, February 29, 2016

Trivago Way To Go!

For quite some time now he's been everywhere, and without a doubt he's the coolest guy on television since the Fonz.  Actually he's cooler than the Fonz unless you're heavy into leather and your idea of four star entertainment is Joanie Loves Chaki.

Who is he?

He's the Trivago Guy, the dude who for several years now has been promoting a travel website that promises to get you the best rate in the best hotel anywhere including those stellar establishments that feature free Orange Crush in the hotel room mini-bar and offer to look the other way while you rip off the sumptuous hotel robe you’re supposed to buy.
What Trivago is really selling, however, is less its primo hotel service than the primo pitchman they have lucked into in one of advertising’s most successful campaigns since Flo first inflicted us all with third degree makeup burns.

The Trivago Guy is medium height, slim, and of an age slightly older than America’s favored demographic (which bespeaks savviness) but not as old as my demographic (which bespeaks senility). He maintains an offhand but approachable manner, shaves only every few days, and thinks an iron is just to be used on a golf course, never on clothing. Guys want to hang with him, women want to date him, and a lot of us want to date him and hang with him even if we’re not gay.  

No doubt about it: 

The Trivago Guy is America’s Best Pal!

Most of us know little about the Trivago Guy, but turns out he’s a working actor named Tim Williams who was even once on the Cosby Show. It must confound the hell out of Cosby how somebody he once knew has managed to seduce millions of women, not just paltry dozens, and all without a single Quaalude!

Several years back Tim was selected as the Trivago Guy, landing the role of a lifetime other than any role that gets you into a movie with Jennifer Love Hewitt, and from then on he’s been on your television screen more often than Donald Trump, unless you have a Donald Trump blocking service on your TV.

I’ve never used Trivago, but with the Trivago Guy as its helmsman I doubt the service has to do little more than suck big time! in order to succeed. Let’s say you want to book a nice motel somewhere in the Midwest for a pleasant relaxing evening.  Using one of the other lousy travel sites that is fit solely for us to spit upon, you get a choice private cabin reservation at the Bates Motel for only $60 a night.

Go on Trivago, you get a booking for a choice private cabin at the same Bates Motel for $80 a night, but in addition you get a private evening tea with proprietor Norman Bates and his mom! And a morning buffet as well, but nobody ever seems to get up for it.

That’s all it would take! The Trivago Guy does the rest.

Interestingly enough in this election year, we often see the Trivago Guy on TV right around the same time as news broadcasts and interview shows in which we get to see the current crop of political candidates.

What a contrast!

The Trivago Guy is appealing, good-natured, and trustworthy. Most of the presidential candidates are cheap laughable clowns including at least one depraved lying megalomaniac.

Which raises the question:  Why isn’t the Trivago Guy running for office instead of this band of idiots?   Could he possibly be any worse than any of them? 

Hey, why not our best pal as President? 

Okay, we’ll get him to shave first.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Car of the Year (FF)

FF- Flash Fiction
Copyright - Sandra Crook

Ladies and Gentlemen, the new Ford Fantastica for 2037! 

Yes, we are pleased to present the most advanced American automobile ever built! Includes automatic parking, automatic driving, built in automated cursing voice including over 100 choice expletives, and --- new this year --- robot entertainers who fit right into your steering wheel!

Yes, they sing, they dance, they tell jokes.  Let's listen:

I'm Spinner, I just got in driving from the east coast and boy are my wheels tired!  You know, marriage is very difficult.  Take my wife ... please!  
Unfortunately, folks, American cars are still are no match for foreign when it comes to funny material.


I think the problem for the Ford Fantastica could be fixed by hiring the Friday Fictioneers to write better material for Spinner.  One can imagine how Ford's profits would soar if Spinner began doing material by Russell Gayer!

Oh, no,  I mean sour.  Profits would sour.   My mistake.

Click right here to read the other takes on the picture prompt above and try putting some of their words in Spinner's mouth and see what happens. You may just wind up with Car of the Year for 2037!

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Boy Who Shoots the Arrows

There had always been little doubt that one day Cupid, the cherubic once Greco-Roman God of Love, would sit down and write his memoirs. After all, this is the guy who drew back his bow and caused Paris to fall in love with Helen of Troy, Kanye West to fall in love with Kim Kardashian, and Donald Trump to fall in love with himself.

What was surprising, however, was the person he chose to be his co-author.
I had placed an ad on Craig's List a couple of weeks earlier offering my services as a free lance writer. To bolster my chances of attracting clients, I listed myself under the category "Craig's List Service Providers Who Won't Kill You."  It wasn't long before the phone rang. 

"This is Cupid, former God of Love. I know you won't kill me, but do you also work cheap?" 

"If you're Cupid, tell me something about my dating life."

"Any time I had you in my sights I was either drunk, stoned, or otherwise unable to hit the side of Governor Christie."

It was Cupid! 

We arranged to check each other out in a nearby Starbucks, and after cashing in my 401 (k), I headed for Starbucks to meet the once and former God of Love. I had little trouble recognizing him as of the three or four people in the place in loin cloths with fluffy wings, Cupid was the only one under 3 feet, 6.  

"I want to write my life story," said Cupid, "but I need some help."

"Why is that?"I asked.

"I am to the written word what Zeus is to celibacy."

"Okay, let's try it out," I suggested. "What was your title when you were a  god on Olympus?"

"Space Cowboy, Gangster of Love. Some people also called me Maurice." 

"Why did you leave the Godhood?"

"Brutal hours. Any time somebody falls in love, me and my trusty bow and arrow got to be there. You have any idea how many Bar Mitzvahs I had to up and leave? I used to practically live with Jerry Lee Lewis!"

"Must be some pretty heavy legal liability too."

"You kidding? Flo from Progressive doesn't even answer my calls any more."

"How old are you, Cupid?"

"Shut the fuck up! How old are you?"

"Well, I only asked because as a Greek god..."

"You still don't ask that question, especially when you're talking to somebody who hung with guys named Flavius!"

And so we began work in earnest. Cupid had been down and out for quite some time since leaving his job on Olympus.  He had worked a number of holidays including Groundhog's Day, National Squash Day, and Bob Saget's Birthday. He'd also done some freelance work getting young women to fall in love with Hugh Hefner and Rupert Murdoch, but he'd always throw up afterwards.

One of the most surprising things I've learned is that Cupid himself designed the original "love heart" with the arrow passing through it. Unfortunately he never had it copyrighted and in 1950's it was stolen lock, stock, and barrel by actress Lucille Ball. He never saw a drachma.

"What do you plan to call our book?"  I asked Cupid.

"The Boy Who Shoots the Arrows, by Cupid as told to Perry Block."

I like it.  

Watch for it, folks, coming to an Amazon near you!


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Legend of Johnny Applehead (FF)

FF - Friday Fictioneers
Copyright - The Reclining Gentleman

According to popular legend, in the early part of the 1800's a man named John Clapman traveled about the countryside in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and elsewhere planting apple trees.

Often going barefoot with no place to sleep at night, John Clapman was dedicated to beautifying the landscape of the new nation.  Over time, he became known as Johnny Applehead.

As Johnny Applehead continued his travels he began planting flowers, shrubs, and bushes as well as apple trees.  Soon he also began leaving garden gnomes, small windmills, picket fences, metal chimes, and aprons with the words "Kiss Me, I’m the Cook" on them.

Today Johnny Applehead Enterprises is America’s largest distributor of garden gnomes and barbecue aprons. According to popular legend, the man named John Clapman was no fool.


I'm happy to present this history lesson to my fellow Friday Fictioneers as I realize most people know very little about the legendary Johnny Applehead.  I myself have extensively studied Mr. Applehead for many years with special concentration in Johnny Applehead garden frog figurines, which are awesome!

Also awesome are all of the Friday Fictioneers, whose takes on the above picture prompt will blossom if you click here

Now, who wants to order some chimes?

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Day the Man Stood Still

"Dr. Kropotkin, we've got to operate immediately on these twins! Time is of the essence! Where's Dr. Carson?"

“I’ve heard he's on his way, John … There he is, coming down the hallway right now!"

"Thank goodness!"

"Oh, no.  Not again."

"Not again what?"

“He's stopped walking. He's just standing in the hallway."


"Seems he's bad at walking down hallways. Superb at neurosurgery, bad at walking down hallways."

"What can we do, Dr. Kropotkin?  Everyone's waiting!”

"We've got to try to entice him out of the hallway.  Either that or he'll be standing there until the cows come home.  Actually, until the cows come home, take their shoes off, have dinner, and bang their wives!"

"Dr. Kropotkin, I’ve got an idea:

 Hey, Dr. Carson!  We've got hot fudge sundaes here in the Operating Room! With wet walnuts, maraschino cherries, and whipped cream too!"

"Not working, John.

“Hey, how about this:

Dr. Carson, look at Nurse Johnson over there! You know, the one with the great big bazooms? She'll be working next to you all through the eight hour surgery! Wanna come in now?”

“I could have told you that wouldn’t work, John.”


“Dr. Carson is a leg man.”

“Oh. Hey, I know:

“It's Jesus, Dr. Carson! He’s ready to sit for the portrait with you.”

“Uh, John?” 

“Yes, Dr. Kropotkin?”

“Jesus and Dr. Carson already had their portrait painted together. They went out to dinner afterwards.”

"Then what the hell do we do, Dr. Kropotkin?!!"

”There's one more thing to try, John:

"Dr. Ben Carson!  This is David Muir of ABC News. You are due on the stage immediately to begin the debates for the Republican Presidential nomination.”

“OMG!  Now he’s going right into the OR. Why did that work?”

“For some reason the guy thinks he wants to be president.”

“Will calling him to a Presidential debate always get him going down the hall?”

“I don't see why not.”


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Champion Sax And A Girl Named Sandra

Champion Sax and a Girl Named ... 
What the hell does that mean anyway?

"Just what are you doing on Facebook?" I asked Sandra, the woman I'd been seeing for the last several weeks.

"Same as everybody else.  Irrevocably wasting up to one-third of my remaining life span."

"That's not what I mean," I said.  "Why are you using a current picture of yourself on your Facebook page?  You're a Boomer, just like me. Even the best of us peaked over 20 years ago."

"Oh, so you're saying I should be like you, using a picture that's so old it's approaching puberty?  Don't I look okay just like this?"

"I think you look great. But why not bamboozle the virtual world into thinking you look even greater?”

"Okay, if you want I'll post a younger picture of myself. But, Perry, you're too focused on appearance. You have other fine attributes more important than appearance."

"What are they?"

"Can I get back to you on that?"

As Sandra went to get a picture of her younger self, I called after her.

"I've been wondering: why doesn't anyone call you Sandy?"

"They used to, but then back in college people started calling me Champion Sax and a Girl Named Sandy."

"That's adorable!"

"Not if you hate the Doors," she said, returning to the room. “Anyway, here's the picture." 

I looked, blinked, and gasped.  And gasped again.

"Why you ... you ... look like ...  Scarlett Johansson! You look like … Mila Kunis!  You look like …. the child of Scarlett Johansson and Mila Kunis should there be such a thing!”

"Well, thanks, I guess back in the day, people said ...”

"I don't think you should post this picture."


“Because there's a lot of perverts out there!  A lot of guys with thick dandruff and coke bottle glasses named Kitchell who'll be salivating over you while building full-size models of the Starship Enterprise in their parents' basements!”

"So I'll block them, no problem."

"And there's lots of radical groups and terrorists, some of which may try to recruit you!”

“You don’t think I know enough to avoid terrorists?”

’’What if they’re giving double coupons?  And there’s cool guys of Boomer age with full heads of thick gray hair who may be charming and accomplished and interested in you!”

"Well, that doesn't sound bad."

"Doesn't sound bad?!  Post this picture and before long you're engaged to some good-looking Boomer who turns out to be an unrepentant Doors Fan who listens to the Soft Parade while he dresses up like Robby Krieger!"

"First you say ‘post it,’ then you say ‘don't post it.’"

“Let's just say I’ve evolved on the issue. Like Republican presidential candidates do."

"Okay ... okay ... I won't post it."

"Good!  Now how about we go out for coffee?”

"Oh, one more thing?"


"Can I have the picture?"


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The World's Narrowest Football Field (FF)

© Erin Leary
FF-Friday Fictioneers

The four of us decided to stop in the little town by the river for lunch, and we asked the waiter if there were any tourist attractions to check out.

“We’re proud to be the home of the World's Narrowest Football Field,” he said, and he tossed us a football and we went to take a look.

What a bizarre field! It was laid out wholly on lily pads with bushes for sidelines and goalposts.  We struggled to stay in-bounds, got soaked, and had a fun time.

"Why are you guys so drenched?" asked the waiter as we returned.

“We’ve just come from the World’s Narrowest Football Field,” I answered.

"The World's Narrowest Football Field is by the high school.   You've just come from the World's Narrowest Poison Ivy Patch!"


I only hope I didn't play too badly in the above game on the World’s Narrowest Football Field since it may be some time before I ever play again. I've heard of someone being a break-out star, but this is ridiculous.

Oh well, I might as well pass the ball to the other Friday Fictioneers, and you can check out how well they've played the game regarding the picture prompt above by clicking here.

"Touchdown!"  No, I'm not talking about the kind you score in a football game. It's me scratching the nether parts of my body which are just itching the hell out of me!