Monday, October 31, 2016

Dystopia 1950's!

A Tale of the Future Told Through
 Advertising Slogans of the Past 

John stumbled through the wreckage that was his basement and pushed aside the shattered door to the outside.  All around him was devastation and rubble. Where were the colors of nature, the green, the red, the yellow? 

He wondered where the yellow went.

John found a package of cigarettes in the dirt and lit up. The cigarette tasted good like a cigarette should. Down the road he saw a young woman approaching.

"Please, sir, I beg you," said the young woman. "May I have a cigarette?"

John extended the pack toward her. "You've got your own cigarette now, baby. You've come a long long way."

"I have come a long way indeed," she replied. "I feel like I've seen the whole USA on foot! Frankly I'd rather see the USA in my Chevrolet." 

"What has happened?" John asked.

"It was that maniac President Trump," the girl shouted.He let his fingers do the walking on the nuclear button!"

"Oh, no!  And Snap, Crackle, Pop, everything was gone?"

"Yes, but I did my part. I voted for Hillary."

"Me too," said John.  "The Obama Administration was a pleasure. If only Hillary had won we could have doubled our pleasure, doubled our fun!"

"May I travel with you?" asked the girl. "I'm Allison." 

"Yes, Allison," said John, "but I have no means of transport either.  In fact I'd walk a mile for a camel."

"A camel?" Allison laughed. “I’d be willing to take a greyhound, and I'd drive it too."

"That way we could Go Greyhound and leave the driving to us."

John and Allison set out on an arduous journey in search of any others who may have survived. Suddenly a storm kicked up!  

"Allison, let's find cover.  When it rains, it pours!

"If only we'd brought umbrellas, John," Allison cried.

"You're right.  From now on don't leave home without them!"

"So much water everywhere, Allison!"

"You know, you're soaking in it!"

"Look, it's finally slowing down!"

"Oh, that's good! Good to the last drop.”

As the storm ended, the two continued on their way.

"Did you know, John, before the cataclysm there was a train used to regularly travel through here?"

"Yes, I do. Once upon a time there was an engineer. Choo Choo Charlie was his name, we hear."

"He had an engine and he sure had fun. He used GOOD & PLENTY candy to make his train run."

"Talk about alternative energy!" said John.

Allison and John continued their journey through the barren landscape.
The longer they were together, John began to wonder "Does she or doesn't she?"  

Although he was embarrassed about his frankly small size, one night he could take it no longer and made his move.

"Where's the beef?" asked Allison.

"Trust me," said John. “A little dab'll do ya.  

"M’mm! M’mm! Good! Allison moaned.

“Melts in your mouth, said John, “not in your hand!”

How did you get to be so wonderful at sex, John?” cooed Allison.

"We try harder."

"Finger lickin' good!"

The next day the two set off again.  After they’d walked a number of miles, John turned to Allison and said “I’ve a feeling we’re going to come to a village full of very nice people.”

“Do you promise me?” she said.

“Yes, I promise, but I don’t yet know the name of the village.”

A few miles later they saw a sign that said “Arpege.”

I promised you anything, but I gave you Arpege,” said John.

As they approached the village a tall friendly man came to greet them.

“My name is Marlboro," he said. "Welcome to Arpege, also known as Marlboro Country."

“How have you and your people survived, Mr. Marlboro?” asked John.

"Only those morons that voted for Trump were destroyed.
When Trump pushed the nuclear button, there was a loud  'plopping noise' and every person who was stupid enough to vote for him dissolved!  And all of us rejoiced!"

"I see," said John. "So it was Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is!" 

“Now we can rebuild civilization," Marlboro continued. "Our motto is LSMFT.”  

“Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco?”

“No. Let’s Start Making a Future Together.”

"May we help you?" asked Allison."

"Yes, of course.  What do you two think of our plans for a bright future without Trump?" 

John and Allison looked at one another and raised their voices as one:

“They’re GRRRRREAT!!!"

The End

List of Slogans

Most of the commercial slogans in the story above are from the Fifties with a smattering from the 60's, 70's, and 80's.   In order, they are:

8) I'd walk a mile for a Camel.  Camel Cigarettes.

10) When it rains, it pours. Morton's Salt.

11) Don't leave home without them. American Express

12) You're soaking in it. Palmolive Liquid with Madge the manicurist.

13) Good to the last drop. Maxwell House Coffee

16) Where's the Beef?  Wendy's

17) A little dab'll do ya. Brylcreem

18) M’mm! M’mm! Good!  Campbell's Soup

20) We try harder. Avis Rent-a-Car

21) Finger Lickin' Good. Kentucky Fried Chicken

22) Promise her anything but give her Arpege. Arpege Perfume.

23) Come to Marlboro Country. Marlboro Cigarettes

24) Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is.  Alka-Seltzer  

25) LSMFT.  Lucky Strike means fine tobacco. 

26) “They’re GRRRREAT!”  Tony the Tiger.  Kellogg's Frosted Flakes.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Journey Through The Jungle (FF)

 Copyright Peter Abbey
FF-Flash Fiction

Professor Stitzel loaded an extra canteen into his fully stuffed backpack, hoisted it on his shoulders, and exited the flimsy shack that had served as his lodging in Longjeans, Upper Kamba. 

He was headed across the desolate 400 mile expanse of wilderness for Port Diluvia, the fruits of his six month research to be delivered directly to Queen Numbia.   

"Go safe, Clayton!" cried 10 year old Maya, brushing back a tear. 

Professor Stitzel hugged Maya and assured her one day she would see him again. Waving goodbye, he walked across the rickety bridge out of Longjeans and as he reached the bridge's end, he clambered aboard the high speed train.

“Think I'll order a drink,” thought the Professor, “and then take me a long nap.”


You gotta admire Professor Stitzel. The man spends six months doing painstaking research in a desolate outpost in a remote country aided only by his assistants Scarlett Johansson and Charlize Theron and then he's faced with a long arduous trip back to Port Diluvia on a high speed train which is fresh out of his favorite vodka. What a guy!

And what a great bunch of writers are the  Friday Fictioneers, whose stories based on the picture prompt above are available by clicking here.

Don't cry, little Maya.  Professor Stitzel just checked into the Four Seasons in Port Diluvia.  All's well.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Here I Go A 'Canvassing, A 'Canvassing for Clinton

Hint:  That's not me.

A couple of Saturdays ago, I went out a 'canvassing, a 'canvassing, a'canvassing for Clinton!  

I wanted to do my part to make sure the depraved douche bag doesn't win, of course, and I thought perhaps I'd also be paired up with an attractive older (hint: but not as old as me!) politically active woman.

I think things may have worked out a little bit better with the first goal than the second.

I was dispatched out by party headquarters all by my lonesome to wrestle with the local body politic. We raw recruits were charged to visit those houses in which Democrats resided and inquire of them the degree to which they supported Clinton on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being "We would sleep with her" and 1 being "I'd count the silverware when she leaves the house." 

There were a couple of other down ballot questions about candidates I'd never heard of which I generally dispensed with since I couldn't myself say whether I would sleep with some guy named Josh.

The two most important things I learned from my experience a'canvassing, a' canvassing, a'canvassing for Clinton were:

1) Many Democrats have huge loud menacing dogs.  Some Republicans do as well.

2) Huge loud menacing dogs are intimidating even when nobody's home and the huge loud menacing dogs thrust themselves ferociously against the inside of the front door of the house till it vibrates.

As I set out with my clipboard, I soon realized that the houses I was to call on never seemed to be close to each other. Some were blocks away from others. Did I draw the worst Democratic territory outside of Mar-a-lago? 

"Hi," I chirped to the person opening the door at the first house.  "I'm a volunteer with the Democratic Party, I'd like to ask ...."

"I’ll give you an 8!" exclaimed the woman at the door excitedly. "And I’ll even sleep with Josh too!"

Well, I was off to a flying start. She probably would have even slept with me too, but I wasn't going to push it at 8:00 A.M. Saturday morning with Trump breathing down our necks.

So onward to the next house, three or four blocks away.



Not exactly promising as I approached the front door of the next house. 

"Hi, I'm a volunteer with the Democratic Party, I'd like to ...."

"I'm for Trump!"    SLAM!     

Guess the list was a bit mistaken here.  No big deal, though, since that slam prevented a canine so big it looked like two guys in a suit from breaching the door and eating one hapless Jewish Democratic liberal.

Time to move on another two or three blocks.


"Hi, I'm a volunteer with the Democratic Party, I'd like to ask you where on this scale ...." 

"I'll give you a 3."

"Oh, you mean 'She's a reprehensible crook, but what other fucking choice do I have?'"

"That's the one."

"Can't you do a little bit better?"

"I can make it a 2."

"I'll take the 3!"


And so my morning passed.  Lots of walking, some folks real positive, some less so, many not home, a Republican here and there, and did I mention lots of walking?

Did I do any good a'canvassing, a'canvassing, a'canvassing for Clinton?  I hope so. I believe I got some people thinking a little more proactively about the importance of the election, maybe encouraged one or two of them to get more actively involved, and certainly helped provide some cooped up dogs with much needed leg and jaw exercise.

And wound up hobbling about with more than a few blisters. 

You're welcome, Hillary.

And as for you, Mr. Trump, here's a list of houses you ought to visit.  After we slather you in meat smell.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Open Sesame (FF)

FF - Friday Fictioneers
Copyright Claire Fuller 

“Now it’s a three quarter turn to the seashell,” said Quarto, "and then we pull the mustache off the little dummy head.” 

“Right, and then the duck sculpture goes on the top shelf,” continued Gruskin “while I wrap the blue string all around you ...”

“You what?”

“Sorry, Quarto, that’s the combination.”

With the movement of the string, the entire panel detached and swung wide open.

“Oh, boy, two eggs!” exclaimed Quarto.  

“Great, kid, now close and lock the refrigerator!  We don't want anyone to stumble on to it.”

In the year 2237 food had become so scarce that all refrigerators had to be camouflaged and kept locked under combination.

That is, if you ever wanted to eat.


Looks like things are going to be tough in 2237, so I'd say best to have a little something to eat right now. And have a Coke and a smile with it too.

You can click here for the stories by the other Friday Fictioneers based on the picture prompt above. Read 'em while you eat.

Okay I'm closing the refrigerator now.  Think you know combination?  Don't forget to yank the mustache off the little dummy head!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Presidential Pen Pal

Guess what?  

Hillary Clinton's been writing to me!  That's right, she's sending personal e-mails directly to me. With any luck they'll be on WikiLeaks before you know it and I'll be as famous as Ken Bone, but actually a little cuter even at this age.  

"Perry," the Democratic candidate for President of the United States wrote to me, "I'm so proud you're on our team!" 

She's proud of me!  Do you believe that?  Hillary Clinton is proud of me! Frankly I've never even met Secretary Clinton or been so fortunate as to ever go through a scandal with her.

Perhaps it was my vote for George McGovern in 1972?  Or that I voted for Michael Dukakis in 1988 except that was only because I got him confused with Olympia Dukakis?  Or maybe it was the letter of appreciation I wrote to President Clinton for doing it with a Jewish chick in the 90’s? 

I guess probably not that one.

And believe it or not, it isn’t just Secretary Clinton who’s been firing up the private server to shoot questionably appropriate e-mails my way. I'm getting personal e-mails from Tim Kaine, Elizabeth Warren, Robby Mook, Robert Reich, and more!  I guess my old pal Hillary must have clued them in to me because all of their e-mails close with a warm personal message that I can tell was written expressly for me:
"Because we know what a strong advocate you are for Hillary and the future of our country, Perry, we’ve been thinking of you. Therefore I’m asking you to chip in $1 or more to protect our country’s future right now."
Yep, they all really do know me.  Except or the "or more" part.
Oh, I almost forget.  Al Franken, the SNL comic turned Senator from Minnesota actually prepared a video about the upcoming race just for me! I'm certainly honored. Take a look by clicking here, but don’t share it.  I’ll need Al’s approval for that first.
You know, all this attention from Hillary Clinton and the others is just wonderful and I’m sorry I’m way behind in writing back to each one, although I did send Al a few jokes; maybe I can get his old job. One thing, however, does bother me. 
Shouldn’t Hillary be out campaigning instead of writing to me?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

And Yet Another Shocking Accusation

 Ms. Carlyle levels her shocking allegation 

  Just when you thought the shocking accusations had come to an end, another woman has come forward and leveled a claim of blatant sexual harassment and depravity regarding Donald Trump.

The woman, Jane Carlyle of Collingswood NJ, has alleged that she has never been sexually harassed or assaulted in any manner whatsoever by either Donald Trump or Bill Clinton.  Despite the fact that she has never met either man, Ms. Carlyle asserts that they each had ample opportunity throughout Ms. Carlyle’s 37 years to endeavor to meet her and attempt to pressure her to have sex with them.

This is the first known instance in which a woman has approached the media to allege that neither the present Republican candidate for President of the United States nor the 42nd President of the United States has ever groped or fondled her.

“It’s been a harrowing experience,” said Carlyle, an accountant from Collingswood NJ. “I vividly recall the evening of March 14, 2008.  I came home from work, watched some TV, and went to bed.  I had absolutely no contact with Mr. Trump or Mr. Clinton whatsoever, let alone unwelcome sexual assault!"  

Both Donald Trump and Bill Clinton have vigorously denied that they did not come on to Carlyle, and Mr.Trump has even suggested he rounded the bases.

For his part, Bubba just sighed.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Legendary Jewish Vampire Meets Trump

I don't know many celebrities, but I am privileged to know at least one. And the one I know is not your average Kardashian but one of the shadowy and dark Legions of the Undead.

He is the  Legendary Jewish Vampire, Vlad the Retailer! 

I met Vlad some years again during  a vampire onslaught in Philadelphia and we became fast friends after we determined that he was allergic to my blood type, especially after I heavily seasoned it with garlic.  

"Vlad!"  I exclaimed, as he flew through my window in bat-like form and transformed himself before my very eyes into someone who looked like your Uncle Murray, only with fangs. "Would you like something to drink?"

"Sure," he replied,"I'd love to crack open a veinski!"

"You'll take a Cokeski.  What brings you here?"

"I heard some idiot is running for President of your country. Thought maybe I could rip his throat out for you?"

After some discussion, we decided that  compared to forming a Political Action Committee, raising 75 million dollars, hiring a top-notch public relations firm, developing highly polished negative advertising, and purchasing air time for the highly polished negative advertising from coast to coast, ripping Donald Trump's throat out might be a pretty good alternative.  

So we headed for North Carolina where Trump was speaking, me on a commercial airliner and Vlad in the avatar of a flying rodent in a fetching cape. 

"I'll go on ahead," said Vlad, "and when I get there, I'll order you someone ... I mean, something to eat."

When I arrived I found Vlad aghast at something he'd seen.  He wasn't all right now, in fact he was aghast!   (rimshot!) 

"What does that sign mean - Trump Pence?" he asked.  "This jerk is already renaming your money after himself?"

"No, no, it's not that," I answered, "we don't have pence in America. That refers to Mike Pence, Trump's running mate; he holds the indoor record for haircuts in a hour."

"Foreigners are pouring into our country!" Trump shouted.  "Muslims, Mexicans, Benedict Cumberbatch!"

"Damn," sniffed Vlad, "he doesn't like anybody, does he?"

"He likes Vladimir Putin," I whispered. "They hang out, discuss totalitarianism, plan traitorous acts against the United States, and admire each other's nipples."

"I'm building a wall!" he cried.

"He's building a wall?" said Vlad. "Around his mouth, I hope. Who's that big fat guy?" 

"That's Chris Christie.  He's the shameless, ass-licking, opportunistic  Governor of New Jersey."

"Well, he looks delicious! And who's the hottie next to him?"

"That's Melania, Trump's third wife. Trump manufactured her in one of his plants in Malaysia."

"And Transylvania isn't sending us their best!" bellowed Trump. "They're sending vampires, they're sending werewolves, they're sending the Bride of Frankenstein. Huh, I wonder if her pussy has those electric streaks like her head hair ...."

"That's it!" cried Vlad, leaping into the air towards the stage."Insulting the Bride of Frankenstein, that idiot is toast! Rye toast with chopped chicken liver and a dash of hemoglobin!"

"Go get 'em, Vlad!" I  yelled.

Vlad assumed the shape of a bat and swooped across the crowd directly toward Trump, then took a swift  detour straight toward the shapely neck of Melania Trump!

"Vlad, what are you doing?"  I cried. "I thought you were going to meet, greet, and eat Trump!"

"Sorry, man. If I have to spend eternal life with anybody, I think I might prefer the mannequin to the orange-haired idiot." 

And they were off. 

So maybe the Legendary Jewish Vampire, Vlad the Retailer didn't fully get the job done.

But for a blood-sucking creature of the night, he's a mensch.



Sunday, October 9, 2016

When Perry Doesn't Know Your Name

Excuse me if I've forgotten your name.

I'm terrible with names.

Always have been.  And it's been quite a challenge going through life referring to co-workers, friends, and the women I've been married to as "Hey, you!"   

When I meet a new person I'm always hoping to make a good impression. I plump up my hair, wipe the crud off the corners of my mouth, and desperately strive for a rakish smile instead of my normal goofy one.

And then I say "Hi, my name is Perry Block, nice to meet you."

And the other person says "Hello, happy to meet you too. I’m Blabble Blabble."

The problem is I have so focused my attention on not coming off like an idiot that I have completely missed the critical Official Presentation of my new acquaintance's name. 

Thereafter I am terrified to encounter this person. Should I spot them in public, I dart across the street, hide behind a mailbox, or move to Australia.

If I can’t avoid talking with them, I produce a muttered greeting and rapidly excuse myself as being late for yoga, which I only started this year but have been using as my all-purpose excuse since 1974.

Sometimes I catch a break.  The person I’ve just met is one of those folks who loves to tell long stories and pepper them from start to finish with rampant over usage of their own name:

“So Ralph says to me ‘Joan, I have a question.  Joan, what would you do about this?  Joan, how would you handle it? I’m counting on you, Joan.  Joan … Joan … Joan! Guess what, Joan? I forgot my question!”

After this level of overkill I’m not sure if I should call this person “Joan” or “Annoying Narcissist from Hell.”

Several weeks ago at a cousin’s Bar Mitzvah I was introduced to a woman in the receiving line. Two minutes later I realized that I had forgotten her name. 

An hour later I saw her at the bar.

Should I just ask her name?  But then she’ll know I wasn’t paying attention when we first met.

What if she throws a drink in my face? 

What if it’s scotch and I’ve been drinking gin all afternoon?

“Hello again,” I said.

“Oh, hi!" she said brightly. "I was just trying to remember your name.”

It’s Perry,” I replied, totally relieved and doing a quick double-check of my hair, mouth, and smile.

“Sure, Perry! Nice to see you again.  I’m Blabble Blabble.”

Oh crap.

Did it again.


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

How Lovely by the Lake (FF)

FF - Friday Fictioneers

 "How lovely by the lake!" I thought, settling into a chair on the patio of the rustic inn.

“Think I'll do me a bit of fishing," I decided, and I flung my fishing rod into the water.

"Sir, would you like some quiche?" offered a waiter.  “On the house."

Just then a beautiful woman approached me.

"Excuse me," she cooed,"would you like to spend time with me?”

"Of course!” I responded.

"Great, wanna go to a Trump rally?”


I woke up screaming.

"What a nightmare!  I'm a Jew, I don't go fishing!  And I hate cheese!

"Only good thing was that girl who liked Trump.  Anyone that clueless would have been putty in my hands!"


Putty in my hands?  In my life, putty  isn't even putty in my hands.  Anyway I don't think I'd really want to spend much time with a woman who'd vote for Trump.  Find me a girl who loves Adlai Stevenson! (Look him up, Millennials!)

You can find your own figurative inn by the lake if you click here and toss the ol' fishing rod into the stories by the other Friday Fictioneers in response to the picture prompt above. None of them will try to hustle you off to a Trump rally.

Me, I'm going back to sleep. "What's that, young lady?  You remember Adlai?  We-l-l-l-l-l ... Good night, all!"