Double Trouble

Chicago Cubs baseball Hall of Famer Ernie Banks was famous for saying, “It’s a great day for a ball game; let’s play two.” Another of his less famous quotes is, “You must try to generate happiness within yourself. If you aren’t happy in one place, chances are you won’t be happy anyplace.”

Well, my friends, it’s a great day for writing, so I wrote two. Get a double-dose of nonsense for one low price. Feel free to read one, both, or quit now while you’re still ahead.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the umpire who calls the prompts (without the benefit of instant replay) is Ria Cortesio Wisoff-Fields.  If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. There’s no place that makes me happier than in the company of the friendly writers behind the blue, InLinkz frog.

copyright - Douglas MacIlroy
copyright – Douglas MacIlroy

——–The Opener ———

A team of French Canadians returned home this week after a three-month stay on the third moon of Venus, known as Holly’s Pimple.

Expedition leader, Jacque Cliché, describes the terrain. “From a distance the surface appears as smooth as a baby’s derriere, but let me assure you, it is as cold and forbidding as a mother-in-law’s heart.

The natives were not the brightest crayons in the box, nor was the food anything to write home about.”

“If I hear one more euphemism, simile, or metaphor,” said team member Vierre OffCourse, “I’ll choke the little booger.

Oh, shit. He’s got me doing it now.”

——– The Nightcap ———

“Let’s go on vacation, you said.

It’ll be fun, you said.

We can save money and stay with your buddy Doug. His place has a breathtaking view, you said.

So, I canceled my Caribbean cruise, spent eight hours wedged like a sardine in a metal tube, fantasizing of sandy beaches, aqua-blue water, Mai Tais with tiny umbrellas, hula dancers, and sexy Polynesian hunks catering to my every whim—and you bring me here?”

“Relax, Dear. Astronomers study all the wonders of heaven from this vantage point.”

“They’ll have a superb view of Uranus after I impale you on the telescope.”

48 Comments on “Double Trouble

  1. A fine pair of stories from you this week, Russell.

    Story 1: The only good way to use cliches in a story is through dialogue. Of course, by pointing them out, you set yourself on a dangerous path, but it works, IMO. Fun stuff!

    Story 2: I like this one even better than the first, but the proofreader in me must reprimand you for the punctuation issues. Give it a good once-over and add the missing quote marks. Then you’ll have a really winner!

    Always fun to read what you come up with each week, Russell.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail


    • Help! I’m totally baffled when using quotation marks in one person dialogue that spans two or three paragraphs. What is the correct way to use them in that instance?

      Hopefully, the content overcame my poor grammar.


      • When a quote continues for more than one paragraph, quote marks are required at the beginning of each paragraph as well as at the end of the entire quote. In this case, your speaker is also quoting someone, so you need to add single quotes around the words he is quoting.

        Does that help?

        And, yes, the content was worth the read even with the punctuation issues. 😉



  2. I like the second one – what’s this picture for if not a Uranus joke?
    And it certainly screwed up all my preconceptions about Doug’s place.
    Actually Miranda is a moon of Uranus, so Uranus is close to my heart so to speak.


  3. WOW! Two for the price of one. What a bargain! I loved story #1 the best if only for the names of the French Canadians. I mean, who wouldn’t love a story where the characters are named Jacque Cliché and Vierre OffCourse.

    Story #2 wasn’t from personal experience with Connie was it? LOL after reading some of your introductions with Connie in them, I can just hear her saying that 😀


    • Thank you, Lyn. Glad you enjoyed Jacque and Vierre. It was a tribute to those who can’t speak a sentence without adding one or two worn out cliches.

      No. #2 was not from personal experience. But anyone who tricked their spouse into such a trip without telling them what to expect would be deserving of impalement.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well done! Who knew that the image of a barren landscape would be so inspirational to you? I look forward to the four posts you’ll write when the image is an ink blot.


  5. HAHAHAHAHA! The first was great, but that SECOND one …??? Still laughing here. Always fun to read you, Russell. I have missed this!

    Just remember that when the Charmin ship circles Uranus and wipes out the Klingons …


  6. OMG! You and your fellow FF’s are in fine form this week. Alliteratively speaking. Good stuff and in double measure too.


  7. Hilarious, Russell. I also loved the French names in the first story. I would have never guessed that picture was from Hawaii. I thought at first it was from one of Doug’s trips. Your blog is the only one where the comments are almost as funny (almost) as the story. 😀 — Suzanne


    • You’re right about the comments, Suzanne. Sometimes they are funnier than the story. Thanks for being a faithful reader.


  8. Dear Vierre Offcourse,

    I for one don’t have a favorite betwixt these two. As far as I’m concerned you hit them both out of the proverbial ball park. Jacques Cliche is a great name.

    Ironically Keck got more snow that KCMO. Fine by me, they can have it. 😉

    Thanks for the giggles.




    • Thank you, Ria. I know some people like Jacque.
      Yes, they can keep that snow. I’m enjoying the dogwood blooms.
      All the best – Vierre


  9. Ha.. I always go here for a good laugh.. I liked the first one, because it was the kind of laughter that kind of choked you, wondering how much cliche I use myself. There are a lot of inspiration around. The second one made me smile too.. though I think I’m weird enough to prefer the observatory to the hula dancers.. 🙂


    • I’ve worn out more than my share of clichés over the years. Sometimes you open your mouth and they just blurt out before you can stop them.

      I enjoy looking at the stars, but I’m pretty sure the hula dancers would win in an election.


  10. Cackle, a Uranus joke. Better appease her before she goes supernova. I had a good laugh about both, thanks for that.


  11. As a French Canadian, I loved the names…;-)
    Both stories were great. I love when we get twofers!


  12. HIllarious! You’ve come up with two gems. I really like Jacque Cliché and his description of the terrain. I would really love to see this up close. Doug needs to invite all of us now! Vacation at Doug’s. 🙂


    • Wouldn’t that be something, a whole tour bus of Fictioneers invading the observatory hollering, “Where is that damn MacIlroy? He was supposed to bring the beer.”

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Love me a two’fer, Russell! Thanks for a bonus helping of humor. As for Holly’s Pimple, let’s all hope she doesn’t blow– THAT could be very icky! 😉 What an imagination you have!!


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