Mail Order Bride

This week, I decided to go with an afterword instead of an intro. (Hint – read the story in the voice of Jim Backus)

copyright - John Nixon
copyright – John Nixon

Quincy squinted at the sign above the door. “Here we are, Bus Depot. Well, hello my dear, you must be Alexandria. I hope you haven’t been waiting long.”

(no response)

He grasped her hand. “My goodness, you’re frozen stiff. The long trip from Russia must have been horrible.

(no response)

“What a beautiful dress. Do all mail order brides come packaged for the wedding?”

(no response)

“Oh, you’re shy. I understand. Let’s find a quite restaurant and get acquainted over lunch.” Quincy slipped his arm around her waist and escorted her to the door.

“Hey Gramps, come back with my mannequin!”


A few years back, I noticed a change in the world. Tree leaves lost their shapes and morphed into green blobs. The people who make street signs and highway markers began using a new  font called “fuzzy” which made the letters run together into an illegible mess. Even friends and family members became to lose their harsh edges and take on a smooth, soft appearance.

I was hesitant to say anything, but assumed it had something to do with global warming.

Then, a few months ago, I went in for an eye exam.  After forcing me to guess at various letters from the alphabet, the optician led me to the front door and asked me to hold a glass lens in front of each eye. Evidently, during my exam, someone changed the street signs, for now they were clearly legible from two hundred yards away. They even went to all the trouble to put individual leaves on every tree. Everything was in high-definition.

This experience reminded me of a cartoon character from the sixties named Mr. Magoo. He was an extremely near-sighted gentleman who often mistook parking meters for people and was known to strike up conversations with a variety of inanimate objects (like some of my writer friends).

If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Executive Director of our Cartoon Camp is Hanna Barbera Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To read stories from other authors visit the FFF  Hollywood Squares Authors Block .


27 Comments on “Mail Order Bride

  1. Maybe a bitter experience from his past led him to do it or maybe he was just having some fun with his grandchild:) enjoyed reading this one


  2. lol and i hope they live happily ever after 🙂 i remember the movie, mr. magoo. watched it when i was a kid. didn’t know it was based on a cartoon character ^^


  3. Dear Russell,

    This one is hereby granted entry into the Gayer Pantheon. The last line gave me the laugh I’ve been needing all day and that’s all I can hope for today. Thanks.




  4. Once again, you had us laughing out loud. I love the frozen Russian Bride idea. Don’t think you needed the last line though. I think he should have been a bit taken aback when her legs fell off…


  5. First thought I had when I got my first set of glasses “People are lot uglier like this”…second one “Hey I can see the leaves”. NIce job.


  6. Fantastically funny. Poor Quincy obviously hasn’t had much female contact before. I hope he doesn’t find his bride too unfeeling.


  7. Good one, Russell. Loved the Mr. Magoo reference, and always the creative names you come up with for our hostess with the mostess. Gramps will think he’s married to an Ice Princess.


  8. And of course Mr. Magoo was played by Jim Backus, who also played such disparate roles as Mr. Howell in Gilligan’s Island and the father in Rebel Without a Cause. It must be quite a sign of age to be someone who realizes he played all three. As for things being written in the fuzzy font, I began life near-sighted, became far-sighted later on, and as a result everything started looking fuzzy to me, near and far. Even your face looks fuzzy to me! Anyway I shudder to think what Quincy might be doing later with his mail order bride, although chances are he won’t notice any difference. (This is one of your pieces where the exposition is every bit as funny as the story, especially “fuzzy font” line!)


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Mandie Hines Author

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