Tone Deaf

When you’re stuck in traffic, have you ever noticed how many people in the cars around you are picking their nose? A friend of mine pointed it out one day. We counted twenty-two pickers from the city of Rogers to our exit in southeast Springdale (approx. 1.4 pickers per mile).
According to Ripley’s Believe It or Don’t, there’s actually a name for this. The act (or art) of picking your nose is called Rhinotillexis. Don’t ask me how to pronounce it, but it sounds like a great name for a heavy metal rock band. I expect a band with that name to “boldly probe where no finger has gone before.”
If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our facilitator is Liz “Twitchy Finger” Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.
copyright – Anshu Bhojnagarwala

 

“Did you hear about Schroeder from the Peanuts cartoon?” Penny asked.

Bjorn shook his head. “No, what happened?”

“He disappeared while on holiday in Scotland. The authorities spent over two years searching for him. Initially, they thought he might’ve been kidnapped, but now they presume he was murdered.”

“Are there any suspects in the case?”

“Just one. According to witnesses, there was a tall, elderly gentleman who became incensed at Schroeder’s non-stop piano playing.”

“That’s terrible. Have police been able to gather enough evidence to link him to Schroeder’s disappearance?”

“No, and they’ve not found Schroeder’s body either.”

 

 

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Deli Dreamer

How good is your memory? I like to think mine is pretty good, although sometimes when I go from one room to another to get something I have a hard time remembering what I went there to get.
To keep my recollections of the past in order, I file them in two categories, the Memorable and the Forgettable. The Memorable includes births, celebrations, and fun stuff. These memories are pleasant, but often fuzzy and lack detail. The Forgettable is comprised of events such as prepping for a colonoscopy, root canals, and slamming a car door on my fingers. My recall of these incidents is vivid and crystal clear.
Now it’s your turn. Please share a favorite memory or something you’d rather forget.
If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our hostess (who is writing a novel on the joys of being vertically challenged, entitled “Short Women”) is Louisa May Alcott Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.
copyright – Jean L. Hays
Decorating cakes at a grocery store bakery was hardly the dream job Shelley had in mind after earning a master’s degree from Walla Walla Bing Bang Art Institute.
She’d always loved art. Her mother often joked that Shelley was born with a purple crayon in her hand. Over the years, she mailed dozens renderings of “Winky” in response to the “Draw Me” ads in newspapers and magazines.
The art instruction school’s reply was always the same. You appear to have talent. Submit again when you’re older.
Finally, at age thirty-two, she was accepted.

*speaking of memory, I may have posted this excerpt from Criminal Mimes previously. I honestly can’t remember. If so, that post was neither memorable or forgettable.

Gilded Gossip

People in the workforce get one to two days off every week and vacation time based on their years of service. I have been retired now for over 16 months without a single day off. I can’t even call in sick and sneak off fishing. It’s ridiculous and unfair.

With the amount of stuff retired people have to do, and the limited number of hours we have to work with, you’d think the Department of Labor would step in and rectify this terrible injustice. After all, we spent our entire life working and paying taxes, and just because we’re retired doesn’t mean they can walk all over us.

I encourage all of you, retired or not, to contact your representatives in Congress, Senate, Parliament, etc., and urge them to pass legislation to address this critical issue.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our on-site bloggers rights activist is Susan Bee-ann “Tony” Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
Linda put on her best plastic smile and edged closer to Michael as they pretended to mingle.
A few of the women offered pathetic smiles, then turned to gossip with the nearest prima donna about the little tramp across the room who didn’t know the difference between dressing sexy and looking like a slut.

Two hours into the affair, the delusional beauty queens let down their guards. One even pretended to be nice.

She tried to convince Linda that she was no longer a member of the Wicked Step-Sister Sorority—Stab-Ya, Stab-Ya, Die.

But it was just the wine talking.

Dinner & Drinks

Bumper stickers have long been a part of American culture. People apply them to their automobiles to express their political views, advertise their sexual preference, brag on their honor roll student, or just to say, “Hey, look at me. I’m an Idiot.”

While you won’t see one on my automobile, I do enjoy the ones that are cleverly worded and funny. Here are a few of my favorites.

  • The weather is here, wish you were beautiful
  • My kid can beat up your honor roll student
  • Horn broken, watch for finger

What are some of your favorites?

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our Blog Donna (who made the “Good Behavior” list at Jackson County Correctional Facility) is Gertrude Lythgoe Wisoff-FieldsIf you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – Anshu Bhojnagarwala

 

On camping trips, a lot of families opt for simple dinner fare such as hotdogs or cold-cut sandwiches. Not us. To ensure that our children got to enjoy a genuine camping experience, Connie insisted on charred animal flesh grilled over an open flame.

Nothing heightens the bliss of a weekend excursion more than hunkering over red-hot coals on a 104-degree day.

After supper, the mosquito clan dropped by for cocktails. It was a rather large family reunion. All their kinfolks from surrounding campsites buzzed by for a quick bite and a double-shot of Bloody Connie, Bloody Russell, and Bloody Kids.


*the above is an excerpt from “Adventures in Camping”

Steamy Windows

Who remembers when they saw or heard their first phone pager? My first question was who needed one and why?. When a pager started beeping or buzzing in a crowd, everyone assumed it must belong to a doctor or some other critical profession where being able to contact that person was a matter of life or death. Otherwise, why would anyone want to be tethered with such a short rope?

It’s interesting how attitudes change and how quickly the public can embrace new technology. In today’s world, being “connected” is considered an absolute necessity. And if you fail to answer your phone or respond to a text within three minutes people accuse you of intentionally ignoring them. Standard excuses for not responding immediately include;

  • My phone was on the charger
  • I was on the pot
  • Wheel of Fortune was on

What’s your favorite “go to” excuse?

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Gorilla Glue who holds this band of misfits together is Koko No-Go Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – Ted Strutz

“There used to be a drive-in theater right here.” Mr. Carroll made a sweeping motion with his right hand.

“The concession stand and projector room was there.” He pointed to a pile of rubble. “And the screen stood at the far end of that thicket.”

“Wow,” whispered his grandson. “People watched movies outdoors?”

“Yeah, but most of the action took place inside the cars.”

“You mean like virtual reality?”

“No.” Mr. Carroll chuckled. “See that old car? That’s where Speedway Randy was conceived. I still remember what was showing that night.”

“What was it Grandpa?”

“Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”

 

Subtle Aspirations

Last week we tackled the delicate issue of how to eat an animal cracker. Today, we’ll address a less violent act of dining, how to use a paper napkin. Upon observing a group of diners last night, I can say with absolute certainty that most napkin users fall into two categories; the Folder, and the Wadder.

The Folder gently folds his napkin in half, or quarters, before gently wiping his mouth. This method allows the user to refold the napkin multiple times, always having a clean surface to work with. The Wadder scrunches the napkin into a ball and swabs at his mouth as if he’s polishing his favorite pair of shoes. He rotates the ball after each swab, always having a clean surface to work with.

Both methods prove to be effective. How do you use a napkin?

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the resident authority on 100-word count etiquette is Elizabeth Post-Toasties Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – Dale Rogerson

 

“Keith, why the duct tape on the door?”

“My neighbor has been spying on me, Neil. She’s a young widow, very attractive.”

“Why would she be spying on you?”

“Recently, I’ve been flirting with the idea of joining a nudist colony. So I thought I’d get comfortable by practicing at home.”

“But why just use patches of tape? She can still see in.”

“Based on the angle from her window, she can only see part of me. The taped section hides my modesty.”

“Has it proved to be effective?”

“Yes. So far, she’s brought me two pies and bread pudding.”

 

 

The Lottery

Recently, I got into a debate with my grandchildren on a very serious issue—the proper way to eat an animal cracker. One of the girls took the position that you should bite the head off first, this way the animal in question can’t bite you back—plus, in her mind—it was more humane.

A grandson countered that you should nibble off the legs first, so the vicious tiger, elephant, or giraffe couldn’t escape. The girls declared this method cruel, but not necessarily unusual, punishment for such a cracker.

To resolve the issue, they gave their grandmother a camel to see how she would eat it. Grandma promptly tossed the sweet, flakey cookie between her molars and ground it to bits. Evidently, there’s more than one way to kill an animal cracker. What’s your favorite method?

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Ringmaster of this circus of 100-word stories is Kristen Michelle Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – Priya Bajpal

“God, this is embarrassing.” Andrea raised a cupped hand to her forehead to shield her eyes.

“Which one of you is going to tell him?” asked Sandra.

“Not me!” said Iain. “He killed the last messenger who brought him unpleasant news.”

Dale rubbed her chin. “Shelley should do it. She’s the one in charge.”

“No way.” Shelley shook her head. “We’ll draw for it.”

Plaridel pulled a slip of paper from the jar and read the name aloud.

Shelley smiled. “Red Nose, it looks like you’re elected. Now, go tell C.E. his pants are unzipped.”

 

Reintarnation (reprise)

“What in tarnation are you up to?” This question came up frequently when I was a child. For some reason, Mom felt the need to question my actions and scrutinize the purity of my motives. Ideas were sent hurtling across the vast expanse of my young mind at the speed of a sloth wading through molasses. So many in fact, that I had to plug my ears to keep them from spilling out onto my shoulders—especially when Mom used that dreaded word, “tarnation.” 

Flash forward fifty years.  ~  My wife revises Mom’s line of questioning to ask, “What in tarnation are you writing about now?” 

The repetition of this word brings me to the conclusion that there must be nation called Tar (located somewhere between my ears) responsible for the generation of brilliant ideas. Thoughts passing through this country more than once are subject to a process called reintarnation—a form of cerebral enlightenment.

If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Queen of Cerebral Enlightenment is the fascinating Lady Victoria Wisoff-Fields.  To learn how to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF “Hollywood Squares” author seating chart click here.

copyright – Randy Mazie

As a kid, Billy spent a lot of time hanging out in the cemetery performing maintenance. Originally hired to keep down grass and control weeds, he found removing artificial flowers to be the most fulfilling part of the job.

Most of the time, Billy could be found lounging in the shade of a tombstone erected to the “Loving Memory” of Alfonso Spade.

Despite his billing, Spade, a reputed curmudgeon, was neither loved nor remembered. Visitors referred to him as an “old goat.”

Sensing a lack of family respect, Billy took it upon himself to water and fertilize the grave daily.

Open House (Reprise)

As a kid, I watched The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show religiously.  One of my favorite segments was “Fractured Fairy Tales.” At the time, I never thought about the writers who created the story line, but looking back, I realize what a sick bunch of twisted individuals they must have been, and the impact they had on my impressionable you mind.

Now, it’s fifty years later and you poor souls (my faithful readers) are being exposed to the fallout from the nuclear explosions that happened in my brain so long ago. I’m not apologizing, mind you, just a little background information for those of you who slept through  psychology in college.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Fairy Godmother of our weekly tales is Queen Lurline Wisoff-Fields.  If you’d like to participate in this exercise in madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF  Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – Adam Ickes

“Hello, I’m calling about the cottages for rent.”

“Yes, Ma’am. We have two units available.”

“Where are they located?”

“These are portable units. You can lease a space from us, or set them up on your own lot.”

“They sound nice, but I’m a single mother with a large family. I’m not sure I can afford it.”

“Don’t worry Ma’am. There’s government funding available to help elderly women in your situation, and the more children the better.”

“My kids won’t eat their broth. Any suggestions?”

“Spank them soundly and put ‘em to bed.”

“Shoe Apartments sounds like a perfect fit.”

 

Disco Golf Luau (Reprise)

I’d like to start this week’s intro by saying I have the utmost respect for Mr. Fred Rogers. He brought a gentle, comforting presence into the lives of millions of children and the world is a better and happier place for him having lived in it.

When I was young, we used to watch the Dean Martin Show every week. My favorite episodes featured Jonathan Winters squeezing into a room stuffed with random items (not unlike my garage). He would pick up an item, such as a ball glove or carburetor, immediately jump into character, rattling off the funniest story you ever heard—totally spontaneous and unrehearsed.

Something similar, only different, happened to me today as I wrote this story. The Friday Flash Fictioneer photo for this week is courtesy of Doug “Flying Disc Man” MacIlroy. To read other far-fetched offerings, visit our hostess Ruby Slippers Wisoff-Fields‘ blog. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

Doug's ball 

Disco Golf Luau 

“Good morning, boys and girls. Welcome to Mr. Roger’s workshop. Today we’re going to build a disco ball for our friend, Mr. Mac, in Hawaii. Can you say that . . . disco?

First, we soak strips of paper in paste and cover a beach ball with them. This is called papier-mâché. When the ball is dry, we’ll glue on thousands of tiny mirrors.”

“What’s Mr. Mac going to do with it?” asked Ruby.

“He wants to put it on his red bucket and take it to the disc golf course.”

“But why?”

“Because it’s on his bucket list, Ruby.”

Mandie Hines Author

Horror, Psychological Thrillers, Poetry, Flash Fiction

The Phantom Rem

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The Incoherent Ramblings Of A Moose

This is the blog of a woman who is seriously on the edge and I mean right ON the edge…no, not there… just a little bit further… further than that…no, further still…just a tiny bit more… just move slightly to the right a little…no, that’s too much…just move a tad to the left…that’s right, just there…now you’ve moved too far to the left… Damn, what part of the ‘on the edge’ do you not understand? Oh, and her matricidal boy genius, come devil spawn.

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