Expialidocious

You may be familiar with the expression, “He’s all thumbs.” Unlike Midas, nothing turns to gold, but is instantly reduced to a pile of rubble by the fumbling touch of this clumsy oaf.

Let’s look at the pros & cons of having ten thumbs:

         Pro                                                Con

         Giving a “thumbs up” sign              Picking your nose

         Hitchhiking                                    Giving prostate exams

         Texting                                          Playing the piano

I’m sure you can think of many more in each category. Your job is to add one or two in the comment section. Let’s see how many we can come up with.              

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our diminutive leader, who clutches a purple crayon in her tiny digits, is Thumbelina 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

 

“Wow! Your Aunt Mary has quite a collection of umbrellas.”

“Yes, so many in fact that she’s started her own airline business.”

“You mean online, don’t you?”

“No. These umbrellas are for flying. People rent them to tour the town. It’s so much safer than walking or riding a scooter, and the view is fantastic.”

“That’s interesting. How’s business?”

“It’s really taken off. She has a large number of regular clients—all of whom are women.”

“I’m not surprised. It’s gotta be more comfortable than straddling a broom.”


I apologize for not visiting the sites of everyone who commented on my post last week. Things got crazy from Thursday on. I’ll strive to do better this week. Thanks so much for dropping by and reading.

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Expialidocious

You may be familiar with the expression, “He’s all thumbs.” Unlike Midas, nothing turns to gold, but is instantly reduced to a pile of rubble by the fumbling touch of this clumsy oaf.

Let’s look at the pros & cons of having ten thumbs:

         Pro                                                Con

Giving a “thumbs up” sign              Picking your nose

         Hitchhiking                                    Giving prostate exams

         Texting                                          Playing the piano

I’m sure you can think of many more in each category. Your job is to add one or two in the comment section. Let’s see how many we can come up with.              

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our diminutive leader, who clutches a purple crayon in her tiny digits, is Thumbelina 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.

 

“Wow! Your Aunt Mary has quite a collection of umbrellas.”

“Yes, so many in fact that she’s started her own airline business.”

“You mean online, don’t you?”

“No. These umbrellas are for flying. People rent them to tour the town. It’s so much safer than walking or riding a scooter, and the view is fantastic.”

“That’s interesting. How’s business?”

“It’s really taken off. She has a large number of regular clients—all of whom are women.”

“I’m not surprised. It’s gotta be more comfortable than straddling a broom.”

 

 

It’s Slow Good

They say time is relative. Funny, but I don’t remember having a relative named Time. I did know someone whose last name was Time that I was quite fond of. His first name was Quitting. We got along extremely well and often shared a beer or two after work.

Quitting came from a rather large family and had a good number of cousins. One of them became a lightning rod for controversy. People either loved or hated him. Complaints range from having to reset clocks twice a year to blaming physical illnesses on him. He is also charged with being a thief. Daylight Savings steals an hour every spring, but gives it back in the fall. I wonder what he does with that hour during the nine months he keeps it?

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our faithful facilitator, who takes a licking and keeps on ticking, is Jonnette Cameron Swayze 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 – J. Hardy Carroll

“Perry, you attended the Pre-Paint-Drying Banquet last night. How do you see this battle shaping up? Is there one player who might come from nowhere to pull off an upset?”

“Keep an eye on ‘Plain Jane’ Jones. If she performs with the same intensity and passion she displayed in my hotel room last night, she’ll blow this thing wide open. That is, if she’s not too exhausted.”

“Perry, surely you don’t mean—”

“That’s right, JB. She painted all four walls and the ceiling. We spent the next six hours just lying on the bed watching it dry.”


*the above is an excerpt from “The Joys of Watching Paint Dry” starring the never-popular Perry Block, who happens to be celebrating a birthday today.

The Cereal Killer

Next Wednesday, September 12th, I’ll be attending a workshop entitled “How to Write Humor.” This event is sponsored by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, more commonly known as OLLI. According to their course catalog, attendees are supposed to learn how to create characters with strong comedic perspectives, and how exaggeration and illogical comparisons are used to make things funny.

The course lasts for two hours and students will be provided worksheets to help them develop their own comic characters and tips on creating a story premise that keeps the audience in stitches. I hope to learn something useful from this class—after all, I am the instructor.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the classroom sketch artist who draws caricatures of the speakers during their presentations, is Allie Hirshfeld 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 – Gah Learner

The house on Snipe Lane made her fourth hit. She was starting to get quite a collection of Do-Not-Remove tags from the mattresses and furniture of the finest homes in Belton. Now, she had a container to display them in. The invisible box.

Her only complaint about today’s caper was the time and effort required to kill the Shredded Wheat. The box was almost full and it took a half-gallon of milk to drown the gurgling before it gave up the ghost and became listless beneath the stabbing of her spoon.

Shelley smiled. A good cereal dies a thousand deaths.


*the above is a snippet from Criminal Mimes

 

 

Habit #3 – The Medical Exemption

During your school days, how many of you went on a fieldtrip in a big, yellow bus? Personally, I loved being free from the confines of the classroom for a few hours. It was always adventure. On an *FFA trip one my buddies got sick from smoking a big, green cigar he’d snuck on the bus. He spewed puke across four seats—with an hour ride still ahead of us.

Another memorable trip was a tenth grade biology trip to the sewer plant (no, we weren’t greeted by Ed Norton). We toured the entire facility and saw first-hand how raw sewage is processed. The solids were dumped in mountainous mounds across a large field. The most important thing I learned from that trip, was how to spread it around.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the bus driver on this fieldtrip of 100 word adventures is Ralphetta Kramden 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 – Nathan Sowers via Dawn Miller

Failing body parts and malfunctioning organs are the heavy artillery in the Master Procrastinator’s arsenal. Not only is it unethical to force a person to perform a task which might further aggravate an injury, it’s also grounds for a lawsuit.

To help sell the medical exemption, I recommend practicing your grimace and other facial expressions of pain and agony in front of a mirror daily. It doesn’t hurt to work on your vocal tones either. The last thing you want to do is come across as whiny or pitiful, both of which kill any sympathy you may have accrued.


*Future Farmers of America

-The above is an excerpt from “The SevenSix Habits of Highly Effective Procrastinators.” This helpful essay and more can be found in One Idiot Short of a Village, which can be ordered by clicking on the cover (found on your right), or by emailing the author.

 

 

Bobbing in Broth

The county fair started yesterday. If you’ve ever wondered why they call it a “fair” it’s because they don’t want to set the bar too high. You can imagine how disgruntled attendees would be if the called it The County Super Fantastic, Mind-blowing Extravaganza and it failed to meet those expectations.

By the same token, they don’t want call it the County So-So, or County Ho-Hum either. The word “fair” tends to imply that the festivities are at least one notch above mediocre and that you might actually find it entertaining and fun—if you bring enough cash.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the ringleader of our troupe of above-average story fabricators is Theodora Rustbelt 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 – Carla Bicomong

 

Dashing into the churning foam, our kids were quickly neck-deep in the pea-soup mixture.

“Come on in,” they called. “It feels great.”

Evidently, their opinion of “feels great” and mine are entirely different. Splintered sticks, coarse gravel, and broken glass lined the bottom of Lake Hades. I clung to Connie’s hand while tiptoeing through the underwater minefield.

At least we didn’t have to worry about frigid water. I’ve sat in hot tubs that were cooler. The only thing missing was the massaging jets.

To fill the void, Mother Nature substituted small fish with an insatiable appetite for male leg hair.


*the above is an excerpt from the short story, Adventures in Camping

Sloburbia (reprise)

William Shakespeare didn’t earn a reputation as the greatest writer in the English language without knowing how to craft a good insult. Whether tragedies or comedies, his plays are peppered with vicious put-downs sure to keep his audience entertained. Here are a couple of my favorites.

“He is deformed, crooked, old and sere; ill-faced, worse bodied, shapeless everywhere; Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind; Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.” –  The Comedy of Errors.        “Thou art a boil, a plague sore, an embossed carbuncle in my corrupted blood.” (I would have said ‘on my arse’ instead) – King Lear

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our feisty facilitator, who can dish it out as well as take it, is Wilhelmina Snakewit 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 – Yvette Prior

“Have you met the couple who moved into the Fredrick’s house?” Judi snuffed the butt of her cigarette on an empty beer can.

“Her name is Nikki. She’s a freak.” Wanda cleared a spot on the ottoman with the heel of her flip-flop. “What they did to that house is a crime.”

“You’ve been inside?”

“Yeah, it’s bad. I almost hurled a couple of times. The counters were spotless, you could eat off the floor, and the toilet had clean water.”

“That’s disgusting. How can people live like that?” Judi flipped a booger across the room. “There goes the neighborhood.”

 

The Stakeout

Like millions of other Americans, my name is on 342,751 mailing and telemarketer lists. As a member of this elite group, I’m entitled to thousands of “special offers” not available to the general public.

Since turning sixty-two, my options have been upgraded to include end-of-life opportunities. First comes low-cost life insurance, followed by a pre-paid funeral plan, and if I act now, they’ll throw in a reverse mortgage—turning the entire deal into a package they call the “Moment of Mortality Trifecta.”

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our sponsor who offers a FREE photo prompt each week just for playing along, is Divinity Smurf 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 – Ronda Del Boccio

The stakeout was Blockson’s idea—as was the set-up.

Lowry hated the long hours of watching and waiting, but catching the mime red-handed was his only ticket to reinstatement on the police force.

Blockson had posed as a homeowner and casually mentioned (three times) his rare 1936 invisible guitar to the cable installer, Theo Updyke, a known blabbermouth and cousin to the suspect.

If all went according to plan, it would only be a matter of time until the mime showed up to nibble the irresistible bait.

“There she is,” whispered Blockson. “Let’s move in. Got the invisible handcuffs ready?”

 

Rendezvous at Pier 5

Hold up your hand if you’ve ever regifted an item. Maybe it was that gaudy touch-lamp your in-laws surprised you with at Christmas. Or perhaps the birthday sweater Aunt June presented and said “IT’S SO YOU!” And to make her happy, you tried it on even though you’re morally opposed to argyle.

It’s always nice to have two or three of these not-so-precious gifts on hand in case an occasion blindsides you, or if the recipient is someone you’re really not crazy about. Don’t you just love that priceless expression when they unwrap your gift and the word “Ohhh…” tumbles from their lips and crashes to the floor?

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the regifter of weekly photo prompts is Tomte Gnomo 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

Shelley recognized Pavel by the scar across his cheek. He introduced the other man as Niko.

“Did you bring them?” asked Pavel.

“Yes. They’re right here.” Shelley patted her bag.

“Come. I must see the merchandise.”

He led her aboard a small yacht, opened the bag, and dumped the contents on a table.

“Look!” He waved a Do-Not-Remove tag at Niko. “These were torn from their stitches, not cut. The work of a bold patriot!”

“Maybe so,” Shelley whispered. “But I feel like a traitor.”

Pavel arched one eyebrow. “Do you want to choose who wins the election, or not?”

Rise and Whine

School starts back in our area on August 13th. Many of the local stores, such as Walmart, provide a display containing supply lists to assist parents with their back-to-school shopping. For some reason, each child is expected to be equipped with six boxes of facial tissues. I suppose these are to dry the teacher’s eyes when your child drives them to tears.

To mess with the store, I like to call a manager over and tell them I’m looking for the supply list for children who are home schooled. It gets ‘em every time.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the schoolmarm of 100-word stories is Margot Liberty 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

From the moment her first guest checked in, Dale regretted opening an air BNB.

“The bed is so high, I had to use a stepladder,” one visitor whined. “And these chairs—my feet don’t even touch the floor.”

A guest from Scotland criticized her cutlery. “You call this a knife?” he screamed. “A serial killer would wear out his arm trying to crease a marshmallow with this thing.”

Her next client, from Arkansas, wanted to know if she served homemade biscuits and gravy.

Couldn’t they just relax and enjoy the beauty of Montreal?

Who knew Fictioneers would be so picky?

Mime-staken Identity

Recently I wrote a book review on a “coming of age” story. You can find it here. These stories are quite popular as most readers can connect with the rites of passage associated with growing up.

But what about growing old? Why are there no coming of “old age” stories? What are some rites of passage associated with that transformation? I’m considering writing a story based on this premise and would love to hear your ideas.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the forever-young thespian who facilitates 100-word stories is Lily Putian 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 – Liz Young

Detective Lowry pulled to the curb and studied the house. Other than the police tape, it looked like every other cookie-cutter home in the subdivision.

Officer Jim Whetstone greeted Lowry with a big grin. “The trap worked. We caught your burglar.”

Lowry glanced at the cage and shook his head. “I don’t think so, Jim. It’s a strange creature all right, but it’s not a mime. What did you use for bait?”

“An inside-out umbrella and a half-eaten donut.”

“Next time, staple a dozen Do-Not-Remove tags to the bottom of that chair and throw in a box of Shredded Wheat.”

Stumped

In America’s heartland, it’s popular for people to decorate the back of their vehicle with decals depicting stick-versions of the entire family. Evidently, the most prolific family surname is Ass. The given names are as follows; Jack or Wise (Dad); Smart (Mom); Lazy or Dumb (male teenager); Kiss (his younger sister); Stinky (family pet), and Fat (the live-in relative who won’t lift a finger to help).

I’m not sure I want to be acquainted with the Ass family (although, we may be related via my wife’s Cousin Eddie), so I simply respond with my own bumper sticker which reads; “The weather is here, wish you were beautiful.”

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the cat-herder in charge of ramrodding 100-word stories is Wee Rowdy Yates 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.

 

photo copyright – J. Hardy Carroll

April 15thdawned gray and gloomy in Blandville. The town square was devoid of color except for occasional washed-out splotches of pink and blue. There was not a hint of lavender to be found.

Shelley was performing outside the Post Office, hoping to bring a little cheer to the deadline taxpayers. So far, no one appeared interested in her act.

Was it her prosthetic-leg-tip-jar? Or perhaps her black & white mime costume simply blended into the scenery?

Then she noticed two young women. One was walking an invisible dog on a leash.

Damn, where do I get one of those?

 

 

Mandie Hines Author

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