Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Room at the Top (FF)

copyright - Marie Gail Stratford
FF - Friday Fictioneers

"Here's your key to Room 1313 on our top floor," said the hotel clerk.  

Perry couldn't believe it. Not that he was superstitious, but the last time a black cat crossed his path he wore a suit of armor for the next six months.  

“I'll probably be electrocuted by the coffee pot," he wailed, "or swept out the windows, or my bed will be short-sheeted!”

Perry entered the elevator for dinner.  As it descended, the power cut off, and the elevator plummeted!

"I knew it!" Perry cried.  ”And I haven’t even seen Batman v. Superman yet!"

The power quickly returned and the elevator came to a screeching halt at the first floor.

"OMG," said a man in the back, "If we'd been on any floor lower than 13, we'd have been goners!


So is 13 an unlucky number?  I really don't think so, provided Rochelle doesn't yell at me for going over the word limit again. But this week I gave you heart stopping adventure along with the hint of the paranormal and the thrill of bed short sheeting! So you're going to complain? 

Gee, I don't think I've ever heard 80-some people talking all at once before.

Well, you can enjoy the work of all these 80-some folks, the other Friday Fictioneers, by clicking here And there's no way you can be unlucky by checking them out. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Trump Stung by Mosquito, Lashes Out at Bug Chicks

I was stung!*

Donald Trump received a mosquito bite on his forearm  while campaigning today and immediately turned his ire on the Bug Chicks who appear in a television commercial for Microsoft Windows 10.

"There are millions of people throughout the world," Mr. Trump said, "and yet I  alone am the one to get a mosquito bite? There's no question that the Bug Chicks are behind it!" 

Mr. Trump called the two Bug Chicks "the ugliest two women I've ever seen since the day I was seeing double and looked at Rosie O’Donnell."

"I would never wrap my tiny little fingers around either of them," said Trump, "although I'm certain that Lying Ted would be happy to be lying on either one!" 


*in the style of the Onion.   I didn't say as good as the Onion.

Darn it!  He caught us!

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Intellectual Mommy Blogger

Kant, Hegel, & A Half-Eaten Bagel 

A journey of moral and philosophical growth within a nuclear family while facing life's complexities often in a droll manner

Meet the Blogger:

I am Katharine Manheim, a highly educated and erudite female parent of two gifted and inquisitive offspring as well as an educator at a highly selective New England college. Often in exclusive custodial status of the said offspring, frequently occasioning travail yet concurrent merriment.

I am referred to by the rather pedestrian term of "mommy blogger."

Meet the Nuclear Family:

Courtland Manheim - 
Observing the argot of the Internet I will refer to Courtland as the "hubs. A cunning linguist with more degrees than a thermometer, the hubs has translated hundreds of books into a massive variety of highly diverse and  vibrant languages, most recently Finnegan's Wake into pig Latin.

Roget Manheim - Mega-gifted 12 year old male whose scholastic trajectory is pointed towards Harvard University unless somebody invents a school of higher academic merit prior to his entrance therein.  Roget's hobbies include quantum mechanics, 14th century agrarian reform, and rampant masturbation.

Luna Manheim - Prodigious 16 year old prodigy of musicality, Luna plays to excellence virtually every musical instrument known to humankind except the Vuvuzela.  Also the discoverer of penicillin.
Charlemagne - Inimitable four legged reservoir of canine cavorting and carryings-on.

Today's Post: Dinner with Noam Chomsky

It all transpired little more than a fortnight ago.

I had returned home having completed my Friday morning lecture on “Great Russian Authors who Liked Golf,” my pressing agenda featured preparation of a very special meal for a very special guest.

"Mom!" ejaculated Roget, "is it true that Uncle Noam is coming to dinner tonight?" 

"Indeed he is," I replied, to which Roget quipped with great glee, "Superb, I'm always eager to Chomp-Chomp with Chomsky!"

Oh, what a sassy lad!

I must remember that witticism myself.

“But what will be on the bill of fare?” inquired Luna.

“That will be determined in totality by your father,” I counseled her “who will select and transport home the evening’s victuals.”

Just then the strains of Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings gently serenaded our sensibilities, and I reached over to sate the soft yet insistent urgings of my intelligent phone. 

"Katherine," bespoke the hubs, "to my infinite regret I will not be able to join our evening's festivities. I am translating the Dead Sea Scrolls into Gangsta and I probably won’t be finished until at least 10:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, 7:00 P.M. West Coast Time."

Holy Mother of Einstein! So much to do, so little expanse of that most precious commodity called time in which to achieve it!

"I must away for Whole Foods on the wings of Hermes!"

Swiftly arriving at Whole Foods I perused the aisles designated "Pretentious," "Highly Pretentious," and "Georges, before the guests arrive, please leave the tome on Masterpieces of the Metropolitan Museum of Art open to page 247."  

I departed Whole Foods with the necessary organic kale, organic kiwi, organic Dublin Cheddar, and organic Hot Pockets to complete preparation for the upcoming victuals.

Returning home, my oral cavity flung open!

"Roget, do not permit Charlemagne to make amorous advances towards the sofa!

Oh my, what is a family matriarch to do?

With the three of us working at full dispatch, the dinner was itself dispatched and fully prepared for the appointed hour. Just as the frenetically paced preparation reached its climax, there was a familiar and highly progressive knock at the door.

"It's Uncle Noam!" cried both offspring in non-melodious unison. 

I opened the door and standing before me was the family's favorite philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, logician, social critic, and political activist, but only our second favorite linguist.

"Hiya, Katharine.  How're they hanging?"

"Hello, Noam.  It's been a long time since we've been arrested together."

The kids excitedly gathered around Noam, begging him semi-churlishly for presents and treats and vigorously critiquing his views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict when through the door strode the hubs.

“I thought you were embroiled in translation of the concluding book of the Dead Sea Scrolls,” I opined.

“Progressed far more speedily than I anticipated,” reflected the hubs, “the translation consisting primarily of four letter words. Besides I’m always eager to Chomp-Chomp with Chomsky!"

What a sassy hubs! I must remember that witticism myself. 


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Smelling Like Flowers (FF)

FF- Friday Fictioneers
copyright: Ted Strutz

"Dude, I can't believe you booked us for two nights in the Trump Chiseler!"

"Why not, dude?" 

"It cost $450 a night, and it looks like it was hit by the comet that destroyed the dinosaurs."

"Well, yeah, a ceiling would have been nice."

"And a toilet in the middle of the room yet! Got no choice but to use it."

"Go ahead, dude; I'll start picking out the bedbugs."

"Hey, dude! Now I know why they charge so much for this lousy room.  The toilet was designed by Donald Trump himself."

"What do you mean?"

"I just took a poop and what do you know? My shit smells like flowers!"

Sorry about the use of that four letter word here, but it was necessary for my take on the picture prompt above involving what one alleged presidential candidate erroneously thinks about himself. 

I promise I will never use the word "poop" again. Scout's honor.

You can check out whether the other Friday Fictioneers sank to my level of depravity or walked the straight and narrow in their responses to the picture prompt by clicking here.  Please enjoy, but by all means when you're finished don't forget to put the toilet seat down. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

I'm Melting!

Don't want to say I'm shorter than I was, 
but I did enjoy this reunion with an old girl friend.

Contrary to popular belief, Scoliosis is not the general who stood up to Caesar as he crossed the Rubicon, but a condition I've had most of my life, more commonly known as curvature of the spine.

For the most part my scoliosis never bothered me. It wasn't painful, didn't hinder my posture, and didn’t interfere with my love life any more than any of the other messed up things about my existence on Earth have interfered with my love life. But as I’ve aged something has changed.

That is, I'm getting shorter. A lot shorter.

It began eight years ago when people started telling me to stand up straight. 

"I am standing up straight!" I would protest.

"I don't know," they’d respond, "but I don't think standing up straight involves your chin getting up close and personal with your belt buckle.”

Then I began to hear something even more disturbing.

"Perry, are you getting shorter?" people would ask. "Because I’ve been noticing you're no higher than my coffee table."

Though I hoped they owned a coffee table so tall that LeBron James would bump his head on it, I suspected that this was not the case. So I finally went to see Dr. Simpkin, the orthopedist.

The office assistant took my height and weight.

"Five foot seven," she announced.

"Five foot seven!  Wait a minute. I’m supposed to be five ten!"

"Actually it's closer to five six."

Stunned, I entered Dr. Simpkin's office.

"As the scoliosis progresses and your spine curves like the Indianapolis Speedway, your posture will get worse and you will get way shorter," he said  casually.

If he was trying to ruin my weekend, there’s no question that he succeeded. 

"Let's have a look at your back,” he said.  I pulled off my shirt.

"Extreme!" he exclaimed.
The good doctor sent me off to Tiffany, the physical therapist. "May I check the curvature of your spine?" she asked.

I nodded. She ran her hand down my back.

"Extreme!" shouted Tiffany.

Apparently my spinal column has been designed by Zorro.

After Tiffany calmed down, she recommended physical therapy and yoga.

I have also developed a few techniques of my own. I imagine I’m walking with a book on my head, imagine I'm reading the book if it’s about posture, and practice my own patented Jack Benny walk.

None of this will straighten my backbone nor make me taller, but they may halt or at least slow the condition’s progression.

So I will do it all religiously because I do not want a back shaped like the world’s largest question mark and I don’t look forward to the day when pint-sized comedian Kevin Hart starts calling me "squirt."

I’m not going down - in size - without a fight!


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Rustic Restaurant by the River (FF)

Copyright:Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
                                                                                                               FF-Friday Fictioneers
"You have another date!" I shouted aloud to Russell Gayer some years ago when we lived together."

"Yes, and this one's a model.  I'm taking her to that new rustic restaurant by the river. I'm expecting a special night!"

"How do you do it?!" I exclaimed.  "A new great-looking woman every night!"

"Some of us got it," he replied with his typical modesty.

"Well, I'll be here with my stamp collection.  Later I'll drink a warm glass of milk and watch Mr. Johnny Carson." 

Of course, role reversal can be fun.

Like how I completely switched roles of Russell and me in the story above!


Well, this time around I made only a tenuous connection to the picture prompt above to pull a switch and give Russell my personality and make me out to be like him. In reality my special night with the super model turned out to be super, while Russell was pleased to find a Rutherford B. Hayes stamp in his collection which he carried around for months.

The other Friday Fictioneers have hopefully been more true to the picture prompt and you can find their takes on it by clicking right here.

Yes,  poor Russell. I wonder if it's too late to give him some pointers?

Monday, March 14, 2016

Proselytizing Rhythm

 I was sitting in a neighborhood burger joint eating a hamburger when a middle-aged man approached me.

"Excuse me," the guy said," I was wondering if by any chance you are Joe Dorfman."

Now I don't happen to be Joe Dorfman, but I always like to please whoever I'm with whenever I'm with them.  
So fighting off my burning desire to say "yes, I am indeed Joe Dorfman," I replied:

"No, sorry, I'm not."  

Good Going, Perry.

"You sure look like him," the guy replied, "although now that I see you more closely, he's younger than you."


"Mind if I sit here a minute?" he asked.

Well, why not? I'm all alone here with my hamburger and frankly, a slab of cooked ground meat is not very good company.

"Sure," I said, "my name is Perry."

“I’m George, good to meet you,” he said taking a seat.  “By the way, Joe is a minister of the Church of Jesus Christ Amen Hallelujah 2.0. Ever heard of it?"

"Can't say that I have.  I have heard of Jesus Christ though."

"Well, that's great! Tell me," asked George, "what religion are you?"


That’s an odd question to ask someone you’ve just met, especially someone whose ethnicity is so obvious
that once years ago a clerk armed with a message meant for a Mr. Hirschberg waded through a crowded hotel lounge at great effort to present it proudly and directly to me.

"I'm Jewish,” I answered.

"Well, how about that!" enthused George. "A lot of my good friends are Jewish!"

Wow. What’s next?

“By the way, Perry, would you pass along to whichever one of you controls the media on Tuesday nights that I’d like ‘Alf’ back on?”

"I’ve always felt,” George continued happily, “that the Jewish people are our spiritual forebears."


"Why don’t you stop by Joe's congregation,” George said, “and pay us a visit?”

I hesitated. I’ve heard this kind of thing before. Don’t want to insult him. 

But I was in no mood now to please him either.

"I’m sorry, George. I’m kind of into being a Jew. Just like you’re into being an Amen Hallelujah 2.0.”

Good going, Perry.

George graciously accepted my turn-down and politely peeled off, presumably to call Joe Dorfman and tell him that Amen Hallelujah 2.0 had today failed to reel in a neighborhood Jew.

I often wonder why some people think there’s only one way to make it to heaven. If there is somebody up there, it’s hard to believe he or she would design things to work in such a bureaucratic manner.

I wish people like George would give that some thought. 

And stop thinking so small about the infinite.


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

On the Rooftops of Paris (FF)

copyright Emmy L. Gant
FF - Friday Fictioneers

Why so many of his friends had recommended he stay at the Hotel Moreau during his three day trip to Paris, Mason could not comprehend.

It wasn’t that the hotel was so terrible. It was just that the decor was a bit faded, the service a trifle slow, and the quail at dinner somewhat overcooked.

Last night in Paris Mason climbed to the roof for some air and in the darkness almost knocked over something in front of him. His eyes flung open wide and he cried out:

"My God, an original Warhol "Trash Can with Bag Too Small!"

And that's why Mason's friends had told the art aficionado to stay at the Hotel Moreau. 

There was also a nifty view of the city from the roof too.


You never know  where you might find a great object d'art. It may be on the rooftop of a hotel in Paris, or right in your own back yard.  

Actually, it's a lot more likely to be found on the rooftop of a hotel in Paris than in your own back yard.  But you can find literary objets d'art anywhere and anytime you want by tapping into the weekly offerings of the Friday Fictioneers based upon the picture prompt above.  All you have to do is just click here. 

Andy Warhol would approve.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Strange Man in the Blue Uniform

I just can't figure it! 

I don't understand it.

There is a strange man in a blue uniform who comes to my front door every morning and leaves papers on my doorstep so that when I open the door they are right at my feet.  Several times I have almost tripped and broken my ass!  

I don't appreciate this.

I believe the strange man in the blue uniform comes to my doorstep every day except Sunday. I guess he's a gentile.

Once or twice I have looked through the various papers the strange man brings. Many of them are magazines I don't even read.  I mean, National Geographic? I haven't seen a National Geographic since I was taking them into the bathroom with me after school when I was ten years old in 1960. 

There are also odd folded-up pieces of paper with the names of businesses on them and colorful stickers attached with pictures of people like Abraham Lincoln or Elvis Presley.  Is this supposed to be advertising?  I mean, who thought this up? The guy who thinks John Lennon's iconic "All You Need is Love" belongs in a commercial for eye drops with Jennifer Aniston?"  

So I recycle all these papers as soon as I get them.  

The strange man in the blue uniform came to my house again today and left a particularly odd piece of folded-up paper

As on many of the other pieces of folded-up paper, I noticed that my name was printed on the front.  But it was in no font I've ever seen before; the size and nature of the lettering was oddly uneven! Sometimes B looked like this "B" and sometimes it looked like this "Band sometimes it looked like this "B."

I mean, who developed this font?  The guy who designed Windows 8? 

Next I noticed for the first time that you can open up these pieces of folded-up paper, and after twisting and turning it for about ten minutes another piece of paper slid out. When I looked at what was on the second paper, I couldn't believe my eyes!  It was kind of like an e-mail except instead of the normal "Hi, Perry," it began "Dear Perry."

Fucking Weird!

The second paper contained a document in the same goofy font as on the front of the folded paper which said it was from my Aunt Ida, whom I haven't seen in many years, and read something like:

Dear Perry,

All the relatives from our side of the family have passed and I want to leave my palatial estate and extensive financial holdings to you as someone I loved as a child.  Please let me know that you are still alive and well and can accept this bequest as the doctors tell me it may be any day now.

Love, Aunt Ida

Really?  True, Aunt Ida did have a palatial estate and enough money to choke Donald Trump, but she was a simple woman who could never have put such a complicated assembly of folded-up paper together. 

I mean, who designed this contraption?  Rube Goldberg?

So I recycled it. But I had to wonder why the strange man in the blue uniform would create something like this and leave it on my doorstep? Is this how the pervert gets his jollies? And how did he get Aunt Ida's name anyway?  

I know I should approach the strange man in the blue uniform about this particularly odd piece of folded-up paper.  But to tell you the truth, I'm a little scared to confront him.  

How do I know he won't go postal on me?


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Presidential Psychopath

And the nominees for Best Picture for 2016 are:

  • ·    Birth of a Superhero; Jar Opening Guy 
  • ·    Magnolias for Marybeth
  • ·    Love, Look at the Three of Us
  • ·    Contact:  a Story of Phlegm
  • ·    Presidential Psychopath, 

And the Winner is:

Presidential Psychopath!

Great Applause

Accepting the Award for Presidential Psychopath is the Star and Co-writer, Donald J. Trump:

“Thank you everyone, this is just AMAZING!

Exactly two years ago I conceived of the idea that I could do an amazing service for the American people by showing them how readily a demagogue could come to power in this country.  After all, I’ve been lucky to make some money in this amazing country, and this would represent my chance to give back.

So I put together the concept for Presidential Psychopath with the amazing theme of someone well known in America with a dash of charisma achieving political power --- even becoming President of the United States --- although he is amazingly depraved, deplorable and damnable in every way. It’s happened in other countries and it could happen here in this amazing country unless we are amazingly vigilant.

Now I needed someone to fit the bill for the lead character. I guess I’ve been a little guilty of immodesty in the past in putting my name on buildings and such, and I thought to use that amazing but regrettable trait --- and I am in therapy to correct it --- to show how the main character is familiar to the public before he begins his nefarious and amazing drive to the Presidency.

So after a lot of amazing coaxing by my family and liberal Hollywood friends I agreed to play the lead character. I’m no actor … I hope ... I hope I wasn't too short of amazing in the role ... was I?

Encouraging Audience Applause

I want to thank so many people who helped make Presidential Psychopath such an amazing success:

Thank you, Dr. Ben Carson, for pretending to be a clueless loser so I could ridicule you right from the start of the campaign to establish fictional Trump’s amazing pattern of name-calling; Megyn Kelley --- dear sweet Megyn Kelly --- for putting up with so much offensive invective; Megyn, you are an amazing class act all the way!; all the other Republican candidates for playing their parts so amazingly well and agreeing to sacrifice their campaigns in order to make Presidential Psychopath happen so amazingly.  And I cannot forget to thank the members the press for not questioning the character’s amazingly vast store of lies and hypocrisies until it was too late.

I mean, Trump University?  Really? Can you believe what an amazing moron I am sometimes?

I want to thank our amazing writers;  I wrote very little, they did it all: for the early funny segments, Tina Fey, Amy Pohler with contributions by the amazing Woody Allen,  and the writers of the later darker segments --- including all those terrible lies and slanders --- the amazing Coen Brothers and Quentin Tarantino.  

They are all amazing writers!

And of course, you cannot say enough about our amazing director Alejandro G. Iñárritu!  

Three straight wins, Alejandro!  Amazing!  And Bravo Mexico!

Amazing Applause and Cheers

Next, I don’t want to forget to thank my amazing friends and business associates, too numerous to mention, my agent Herbert Lipschutz, and my amazing wives, also too numerous to mention.

And finally, thank you to the American people ---I love you all! --- for contributing the ending of Presidential Psychopath in which all of you amazing people catch on to the maniacal plans of the fictionalized Trump just before March 15, 2016, and 300 million people rise up to beat the amazing daylights out of him!

And oh yes, one more thing.

The only thing that was true about my bogus campaign?

I do have one AMAZING dick!


Note:  Donald Trump says "amazing" a lot.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Transformed! (FF)

copyright Sean Fallon

"Yo, Dude! Could you reach into the battery jar and get me a C battery? I just can't open the lid."

"Sure, dude. OOMPH!!! Got it open. Okay, here’s the battery!"

"Impressive, dude."

“Thanks, I …. OMG! I just felt a shock right to the core of my being!  I’m tingling, dude!  I'm feeling transformed!”

"Your hand is glowing!!"

"What the hell is happening?!”

"I think we are witnessing the origin of a new superhero, dude! I think you are now….

"Electric Man!  Yes, I'm Electric Man, who can send bolts of electricity from his fingers and who fights for truth, justice, and the American Way, as long as we don't elect that idiot!"

"Not exactly, dude."

"No? Who then?"

"Jar Opening Guy, who can twist the lids off glass jars no matter how darn stuck they are."

“Even better.”


Gotta admit between Electric Man and Jar Opening Guy,  JOG may be the more important superhero to have around.  So next time you reach into a jar of batteries, twist hard on that lid, grab yourself a C, and wait for the transformation!

With your luck, you'll probably get turned into Electric Man.

If you'd like to check out the responses of the superheros of the Friday Fictioneers to the picture prompt above, click here.  If you're killing yourself trying to open a jar of stewed prunes,  well then better get busy building yourself a Jar Opening Guy Signal!