Surfboard of Denial

Friday night, we played cards with another couple. For a twist, I suggested we name our teams and add cheers or fight songs like you might hear at a high school or college sporting event.

Instead of choosing a fierce animal, bird, or renowned race of fighting people, we chose vegetables for our mascots. Ross and I were the Onions—known for our pungent odor and ability to bring our opponents to tears—while Connie and Peg decided to call their team the Beets. As the night wore on, the ladies’ became Un“Beet”able and won every game.

What rough & ready fruit or vegetable would you choose for your team mascot?

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Kansas City Kumquat, who posts our photo prompt each week, is Mayapple Fritter 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 – C.E. Ayr
Who were these strangers at our class reunion? Not one resembled their image in our high school yearbook.
Gray hair, no hair, wrinkles, and beer guts had overtaken the firm, athletic physiques of my classmates—and that was just the women. The men were even more wretched and despicable.
I’d heard of people getting old, but assumed it was a matter of choice. Failing body organs and memory loss made aging like performing death-defying stunts blindfolded—or writing cursive with the wrong hand.
That night I realized not everyone is equipped to handle the trials and tribulations of old age.

 

Hand Me My Top Hat

Rubber boots and slickers are standard daily attire in my neck of the woods these days. It seems we’re in the middle of a winter monsoon, and I’m wondering if I should’ve started building an ark months ago.

Connie asked me yesterday about the snakes. Did they crawl from their dens and seek higher ground? I assured her they’ve sought refuge in our wood pile and probably the warm, dry confines of the building she converted into her arts & crafts studio.

I doubt she found any consolation in my words of comfort. After all, she’s afraid of snakes and wouldn’t welcome any on the ark.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the slippery serpent of Belton, who dangles a tempting apple from her pool of photo prompts each week, is Roshanna Weeble 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 – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
Blockson stared out the unlocked back door, the likely escape route of Le Petite Velouse. Dusting for prints would be a waste of time.
The furniture, pillows, and mattress had all been freed from their Do-Not-Remove tags in some twisted act of ritual cleansing.
Her standard M.O. followed to the letter—a dirty bowl in the sink, an empty bran cereal box, and her trademark smudge of white face paint tarnished the mirror above a naked mannequin head.
This time she’d taken something valuable. The beaver-fur top hat worn by Harpo Marx in Duck Soup.
Too bad Lowry wasn’t here.

Catch & Release

Gifts I received this Christmas included the David Sedaris Masterclass Course on Storytelling & Humor, and a book entitled “642 Things to Write About.”

Each page of the book contains at least one short writing prompt and enough blank lines to scribble something on the topic. Here is one example: Write about what you’ll be worrying about five years from now, ten years from now, and in thirty years.

Unless you plan to be cremated, worms in the coffin might be a concern. Or, if you plan to be buried at sea—that could open up a whole new can of tuna.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Kansas City Sardine who hooks a keeper from her pool of photo prompts each is Wanda Gerschwitz 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 – C.E. Ayr
To heighten your camping adventure, I suggest selecting a site near water. My personal favorite is a second-floor hotel balcony overlooking a salt-water pool.
The fishing usually isn’t very good, but on one occasion I did catch half of a two-piece bathing suit.
It put up a real good fight too, charging back and forth from one end of the pool to the other. That is, until the girl’s boyfriend snatched the rod from my hands and broke it over my head.
He obviously wasn’t a fisherman and refused to accept my explanation regarding the concept of “catch and release.”

 

Out of the Cold

The topic of today’s FFF intro is Wisdom Teeth. According to Wikipedia, they’re called Wisdom Teeth because they come in so much later than your other permanent teeth (or, if you’re from Arkansas—your single permanent TOOTH). Since they choose to show up so late, a better name might’ve been Procrastinator Teeth.

Some people opt, and even pay exorbitant amounts of money, to have theirs extracted. If this is example of wisdom, it’s certainly an odd symptom of sound judgment.

My two upper ones were yanked out by their roots years ago. The other two are so lazy they flopped over on their side and have no intention of showing themselves. I take comfort in the fact that having two remaining makes we half as wise as some people and twice as wise as others. How many Wisdom Teeth do you have?

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Head Nurse who prefers to extract 100-word stories without anesthesia is Charlotte Diesel 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 – Dale Rogerson
Reaching out, Shelley’s hand came in contact with something solid. It felt hard, yet smooth and cool to the touch. She opened her eyes.
“Oh my God!” she whispered. “I can see it!”
The sides and corners of the box were clearly defined by thin blue lines, creating a three-dimensional image, holographic in nature.
Awestruck, Shelley began to weep. She pressed her cheek against box and let her tears glide down its surface.
Mr. DeKalb slid an arm around her shoulders.
“Congratulations, my dear. You have a special gift. Millions of people have eyes, but only a few can truly see.”

*the above is an excerpt from Criminal Mimes in which Shelley “sees” and invisible box for the first time.

OY! Frankfurters

Connie and I just returned from visiting a friend in Kentucky. While there, we took one of their famous Bourbon Tours (hiccup). The scent of mash in the tanks brought back memories of my dad making moonshine. The primary difference being that they let theirs age in charred oak barrels—Dad didn’t have the patience for that.

We also toured a Shaker village and Connie bought some brooms to give as gifts. They’re too nice (and expensive) to use for sweeping, so I suppose the lucky recipients will reserve them for midnight rides.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Superheroine of 100-word stories who posts our photo prompt each week is Hazel Brunhild 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 – Roger Bultot
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is our final stop on Superhero Row, the home and laboratory of Shalom Shlacker and his portly sidekick, Bagel Boy.”
The guide pointed to the roll-up door. “This is the garage for the Deli Wagon, a portable kitchen filled with high-tech utensils created to protect kosher foods from becoming cross-contaminated by non-kosher contact.
“In the movie, OY! Frankfurters, Shlacker’s nemesis, the evil Mr. Shekel/Dr. Chyde, contaminates a hot dog factory, kidnaps Bagel Boy, and tortures him with pickled pork feet. At the last second, Shlacker comes to the rescue and handcuffs Chyde with a hard pretzel.”

 

Crabby Lane – Revisited

In many ways, 1969 was a memorable year. Fifty years ago, man first set foot on the moon, Woodstock was held in upstate New York, and the Beatles crossed Abbey Road.

Somewhere there is a fifty-year-old who took his first step, got potty trained, or whose uncle smoked his first joint—and took a trip without ever leaving the farm.

Not all these events are worthy of reenactment (except for the good bowel movement), but are still pivotal moments in our lives. What memory would you like to share from 1969?

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Purple Pixie who posts our photo prompt each week is Aelfwine Twiggy 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 – Na’ama Yehuda

 

On Wednesday, tens of people waited in a steady drizzle for their turn to be photographed in the crosswalk at the intersection of Crabby Road and Snipe Lane in Belton, Missouri.
Legend has it that on this site the mythical mime, Le Petite Velouse, crossed the street carrying a stolen invisible box.
“It’s amazing to walk in her footsteps, eh?” said one pilgrim from Montreal, Canada. “The feeling you get leaning back, pretending to carry an invisible object is awesome!”
“There’s no proof she even crossed here,” said Detective Colton Lowry, who investigated the crime. “Knowing her, she likely jaywalked.”

 

 

Wider Shade of Fail

I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to miss telemarketers. Making hateful remarks and slamming down the phone on a recorded message leaves me feeling empty and unsatisfied.

What if I want to pull a prank, or try to get extended vehicle coverage on our 1948 Ford truck? Who can I chew out over options to refinance my zero-balance credit cards? To quote Lucinda Williams, “You Took My Joy. I Want It Back.”

I guess the only thing I can do now is call Customer Service in New Delhi and ask for help with a deck of Bicycle playing cards that’s missing one of its Jokers.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Twisted Sister who ties our brains in knots each week is Dee Snidely 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 – Penelope Gadd
Marta nodded toward the door. “Let’s go to the Resource Center. It’s peaceful there.
The Resource Center turned out to be a fancy term for what people of my generation would call a library.
“Our reading program is rated in the top five nationally,” Marta said. “Most of our students develop college level comprehension skills by the time they enter the third grade.
That was a relief. Many of the recent college graduates I worked with couldn’t explain the theme of Horton Hears a Who!, let alone grasp the complex nuances hidden between the covers of a Dick and Jane reader.

“Joy” by Lucinda Williams – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhGt6KktfS4

 

Peep Show

Remember when TV stations had local programing?  You do?  Then you must be as old as Perry Block.  For those under forty, let me explain. Back in the golden era of television, stations would do anything to gain viewers and improve ratings. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this was by bringing local children into the studio for fifteen seconds of fame.  

Every station in our viewing area (all three of them) had a “Santa Show” where the kids would sit on Santa’s lap and stare dumbfounded at the camera while Santa attempted to gain their attention long enough to learn who they were and what they wanted for Christmas. (A ridiculous premise since he’s already supposed to know those things.)

My favorite local show was Uncle Zeb’s Cartoon Camp. It came out of channel 8 in Tulsa. Uncle Zeb dressed like an old prospector and was forever popping adult oriented one-liners. If the temperature was below freezing, like it is here today, Zeb would proclaim, “Hey, kids, it’s Brass Billy Goat weather out there.”

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the host of our weekly program is Elmyra “Babs” 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 - Randy Maize
copyright – Randy Maize

“Hey, Randy, why do you think they boarded up the windows like that and spray-painted ‘No Trespassing’ on the building?”

“To attract attention. It’s a new marketing ploy.”

“That doesn’t make much sense.”

“Sure it does. Anytime you tell people NOT to do something, they can’t help but do it. For example, hang a ‘Wet Paint’ sign on a park bench and see how many people touch it to see if it’s wet.”

“Ah, that explains the gaps between the plywood.”

“Exactly, they’ll line up in droves to peek through those cracks.”

“But isn’t that the home of a supermarket gossip rag?”

“Yep, The National Inquirer.”

Uncle Zeb
Uncle Zeb

The Idiot Express

I heard a great piece of advice last week. “Don’t waste time judging yourself. Plenty of people are already doing that, and you don’t want to put any of them out of work.”

Just think of the freedom that statement offers. Now, instead of worrying about your own stupidity and social gaffes, you can stop beating yourself up and focus on something more productive, like what shade of purple to dye that unruly lock of hair that tends to flop down over your left eye.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the capable engineer who keeps this train from derailing is Kacey Jones 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 – Sandra Crook

 

“You seem to have forgotten the goal of our little endeavor,” Fish said.
“Guys like Ole Birdsong aren’t graduates from Miss Manner’s School of Sophistication and Etiquette. They rarely consult their brains before opening their mouths. They’re carefree, unpredictable, and totally devoid of common sense. That’s why they’re called idiots. You should be thrilled we found such an outstanding candidate who has the talent and ability to catapult Nasal Falls from a tiny hamlet to a village.”
Rip smirked. “I’m fine with being catapulted, I just don’t like the form of internal combustion he’s using to shoot us to the other side.”

*the above is an excerpt from “One Idiot Short of a Village.”

Plugging In

When we hear stories about a particularly heinous crime, someone will always remark, “There’s a special place in Hell for people like that.”

What exactly does that statement imply? That the vile offender will be granted an exalted position in Hades as a reward for “Excellence in Evil?” If so, where does this leave the common, everyday sinner when cast into the fires of eternal damnation?

These are today’s burning questions (pun intended). Feel free to share your views in the comments section.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our stage director, who always manages to connect with the audience, is “Sparky” Alma Edison 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 – Dale Rogerson

 

“I’m on the nominating committee to fill that vacancy on the board of directors.” Richard’s voice was soft and reassuring. “You’d make a great board member.”

Edith blushed and bit her lower lip to conceal an ever-widening smile. She visualized herself on the annual report cover.

“The hot tub is full,” he said.

“Sounds good, but I didn’t bring a swimsuit.”

“Neither did I.” Richard flashed an impish grin.

She removed her dress and draped it across a chair in front of the mirror. “Edith Cox, board member,” she announced to her reflection. I like the sound of that.

 

Mandie Hines Author

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