Dirty Laundry

Not a day goes by that I don’t get a phone call from a total stranger wanting to help me. Yesterday, a young lady named Lisa told me that because I stayed at one of their properties in the past, she wanted to give me a week in Orlando. One of us must have amnesia. I don’t remember staying at their resort.

An hour later, I received an offer to consolidate my credit card debt, thus saving me thousands of dollars. Another caller wanted to provide an extended warranty on our 2001 Toyota. What a blessing to have all these thoughtful people interested in my well-being. Is this a great country, or what?

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our purple-clad garden gnome, who would love to sell you 100-word overdraft protection, is Mammy Warbucks 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 – Douglas MacIlroy

 

In days of olde

When knights were bold

And Fruit of the Looms not yet invented

King Arthur’s men

Would often send

Their underwear out to the cleaners

 

There’s nothing worse

Said the laundry serf

Than a knight who’s gone too long

Tis a life of pain

To remove such stains

From chainmail that is reeking

 

Twice dipped in lye

Then hung to dry

A jingling banner in the breeze

The maiden sighs

With lovelorn eyes

And the knight cries, “No starch, please!”

 

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Video Surveillance

Let’s talk about “How To” books for a moment—especially those aimed at dummies. First of all, I don’t need to be reminded of my incompetence. I already have someone who does that for me. Secondly, I’m not sure I want to learn “How To.” The more you know, the more people expect from you. Who needs that pressure?

However, for those who insist on learning new skills, I have put my personal prejudices aside and included self-improvement essays in both my books. The instructional manual, How To Write “How To” Books and The Seven Six Habits of Highly Effective Procrastinators are just a few short clicks away. You can thank me later.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our inter-galactic cat-herding gypsy who shakes a long, skinny finger at 100-word violators, is Katarzyna (the E.T.) 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  FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

 

photo copyright Yarnspinner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The image was grainy, but clear enough to conclude that the person was petite, barely five-feet tall. The figure crept cross the backyard with short, pronounced steps, elbows tucked, forearms extended, like a small rodent sneaking up on an acorn.

On the return trip, the torso was more erect, leaning back with hands upturned as if carrying something in empty arms.

“Can you put this in slow motion?” asked Lowry.

“Sure.” Wingnut pressed a button on the remote.

They watched the video again.

“It looks like a midget,” said Wingnut. “Do you think this one ran away from the circus?”


*the above is an excerpt from my current work in progress, “Criminal Mimes.”

Pack Mule Mentality

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been guilty of impulse buying. That’s what I thought. Almost 100% (except for the two of you in denial, and the guy who’s afraid someone might accuse him of swearing allegiance to an iPad).

Well, I’m guilty as charged—even with online shopping. I remember one particular item I just couldn’t live without. I was salivating like Pavlov’s dog when I clicked “Place your Order.” Two months after the package arrived, the box still hasn’t been opened. Has that ever happened to you? (You can put your hands down now)

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our blog show emcee, who bangs a giant gong if you exceed the 100-word limit, is Babs Barker 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

 

Men just aren’t cut out for the rigors of shopping. It’s a neurological gender defect. They don’t have the stamina, determination, or killer instinct to find that last one-of-a-kind item.

Every time I need Brad for something, he’s halfway across the store chatting with another pack mule or fiddling with some trinket in the electronics department.

“Hey, look at this,” he’ll say, as if he found a diamond in a goat’s butt.

“Why don’t we go to sporting goods?” I suggest. “Maybe they have one of those battery-powered shock collars.”

“What do we need that for?”

“To keep you focused.”


*the snippet above is an excerpt from “Black Friday Shopping Tips.” The full story is available in One Idiot Short of a Village.

Wobbly Legs

How many of you grew up watching Captain Kangaroo? Yesterday, while pondering the great mysteries of the universe, I thought of Mr. Green Jeans. In all of the hundreds of episodes I watched, I can’t remember seeing him in anything but overalls, causing me to wonder why they didn’t call him Mr. Green Overalls?

After a brief investigation on Google, I discovered Hugh Brannum did at times wear denim pants (or waist-britches, as I call them), but that they weren’t always GREEN! Not that it mattered much to a child watching Black & White TV. These revelations shook my faith. Now, I’m wondering if Bunny Rabbit really needed to wear glasses?

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our blog show hostess who is known to converse with inanimate objects is Ro-Shari “Lambchop” Lewis 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 – Fatima Fakier Deria 

The name is Junior Barnes. Not Junior as in named after my father, just plain Junior. You probably don’t recognize my business name either, but I guarantee you’ve used my products hundreds of times.

People in the industry know me as J. C. Chitwold. I design wobbly tables for bars and restaurants

The beauty of my design lies not in the aesthetically pleasing use of materials, but in the engineering of the wobble itself. It doesn’t matter how many coasters, napkins, or photos of your ex you stuff under the short leg, my tables will always rock. I guarantee it.

 

The No-Selfie Zone

I received the nicest card in the mail yesterday. It had a picture of a sock monkey on the front and a hand-written note inside. The postage stamp was round and featured a textured kickball—truly unique.

It was from a fellow fictioneer who had ordered a copy of One Idiot Short of a Village. When shipping the book, I asked the post office for the least expensive option. They recommended sending it by stagecoach to St. Joe, MO, and Pony Express from there to a remote location in Montana, where a one-legged prospector would carry it through grizzly bear country to it’s final destination. They assured me it would arrive by mid-summer.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our online recorder who will help you stake a claim to your 100-word story is Howette Sprague 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.

 

bjorn
copyright – Bjorn Rudberg

In much the same manner as a blind man finds his way down the sidewalk, sweeping a cane in serpentine fashion, owners of the Selfie Stick wander through life with their arm and telescoping rod fully extended.

The primary difference being the blind man is seeking to safely navigate from point A to point B, while the stick-bearer, captivated by the magnetism of his own image, tends to stumble into light posts and parked cars.

After watching a dozen stick-bearers tumble off into the ravine, I petitioned the Mayor of Jellystone to rename this area The Tar Pit of Idiots.


*the above is an excerpt from “Saving Hollywood” one of the short stories in One Idiot Short of a Village.

No Film at Eleven

Tomorrow, I’ll be speaking at the OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) monthly Books & Birthdays bash at Bordino’s. Many of the members of this group are distinguished professionals, teachers, and highly respect community leaders.

I had planned to speak on how to generate a second income from Bellybutton Lint Farming, but have been asked to share The Seven Six Habits of Highly Effective Procrastinators instead. That is, unless I can think of an excuse to postpone it for a couple of months.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our facilitator is the diminutive, yet effervescent, Speedy Alka-Seltzer 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

“Mr. Wingnut, someone came into Ms. Vincent’s house today, had a cup of tea, and allegedly stole a very precious family heirloom.”

“Was it the invisible box?”

“Yes. How did you know?”

“She’s always babbling about how magical it is. I’m sure she told you the story about her great-grandfather and the gypsies.”

“Yes, she did. Has she shown you the box?”

“She pointed at a space beside the refrigerator, but I didn’t see anything.”

“Ms. Vincent believes you have security cameras, which may have captured the intruder on video.”

“I have some cameras, but none with the capability to detect invisible objects.”


  • the snippet above is an excerpt from Criminal Mimes

Inferior Decorators

I’ve always believed in bad Karma, but didn’t know it could happen in a dream. Last night, I dreamed I was hanging out with a group of people. One of them pulled out her cellphone, and naturally everyone else reached for theirs too. It was like the gunfight at the O.K. Corral with cameras snapping, tweets exploding, and Facebook posts with the latest road-kill recipe.

 I began to make fun of how big their phones were and how they needed elephant-size pockets to carry them. Then I drew my ancient iPhone 5S to exhibit its superior compact design and promptly dropped it on the ground. It shattered. I don’t mean a slight crack with spider web patterns across the screen. It literally busted into chunks. Who’s laughing now?

 If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the 100-word expert, who’s been known to burst into creepy laughter, is Alexa Echo 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 – Sandra Crook

“Welcome to the open house at Brainfart Manor. You will notice that fixtures, furniture, and artwork have been updated to reflect the theme Beyond Shabby Chic, as directed by Lord Brainfart.”

“Wow. I’ve never seen polka dot drapes in the same room with zebra-stripe carpet. And that’s an interesting piece of art. Who did that?”

“That, Madam, is an original finger-painting by Timothy Leary. It’s called Psychedelic Ecstasy.”

“Did Lord Brainfart personally select these items?”

“No, Madam. He enlisted an Inferior Decorator, Mr. Claude Bawls.”

“Wow, an Inferior Decorator. That must have cost a fortune.”

“Yes, Madam. Claude Bawls doesn’t come cheap.”

Mandie Hines Author

Horror, Psychological Thrillers, Flash Fiction, and Poetry

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