Burning Down the House

Following the example set forth by our fearless leader, I went back to the archives of October 2012 for this relic. Sandra and a couple of others have read it, but for most of today’s FFF participants it will be a new journey down the path of crude, juvenile humor.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Program Director for syndicating ancient blog posts is Desilu 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 FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright - Raina Ng
copyright – Raina Ng

Hop Sing was insulted when Ben mounted a fire extinguisher on the kitchen wall. The grease fire had been small and posed no real threat to safety.

For years they had harassed, teased, and threatened his pig-tail. Now, he carefully plotted his revenge.

Donning heavy gloves, he diced a handful of Chi-Chien pods and stirred them into the beef stew he’d prepared for supper. Before leaving, he coated a bucket of corn cobs with Chi-Chien oil to stock the family outhouse.

“Cartwrights fight fire in big house and little house too.” Hop Sing laughed. “Fire extinguisher not put out flame”



65 Comments on “Burning Down the House

  1. Hilarious, Russell. 😀 Looks like Hop Sing has saved up his money and is retiring before they catch him. I bet the network wouldn’t air an episode like that one. It would probably be the hit of the season, though. In a ratings war, they might. 😀 — Suzanne


  2. Do not insult the cook! I mean really, teasing him about his hair too. They deserve the heat, and all the other acts Hop Sing can imagine. Maybe he originated the ‘spit’ in the food for rude customers? Funny, thanks for the read!


  3. I’m afraid I’m just too young to remember Bonanza (is that what it was called?) with its
    patriarch Ben Cartwright played by gray-haired Canadian Jew Lorne Greene and Victor Sen Yung as Hop Sing, Victor Sen Yung having been a more prominent actor in the 40’s appearing in the role of Charlie Chan’s No. 2 son and co-starring in at least one movie with Humphrey Bogart. And of course I know nothing of Michael Landon who played Little Joe Cartwright and who came from nearby Collingswood NJ (in fact I used to work there) and who began his career in a film called “I was a Teenage Werewolf.” So I’m sorry, Russell, I’m just too young to comment on your post. Now, if only you had written about “Howdy Doody.”


    • I was afraid there would be those in my audience who were too young to relate to a television series that ran from 1959 to 1973. Maybe next time I’ll do a take-off on Baywatch and have one of the female lifeguards give mouth-to-mouth to a middle-aged Jewish man who faked drowning. You won’t want to miss that one, Perry.


  4. Very funny! Bonanza used to be the only show my parents let me watch – and I had to do it at the neighbors because we had no T.V. NO kidding, it broke one day. Too bad. So sad. Thanks fro the reminder of a most fun show. Great take.


    • We had a black & white, but with limited options – 2 or 3 channels max. Everything was westerns, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Have Gun Will Travel, etc. In the afternoons, I always watched Rocky & Bullwinkle, whom I will always blame for my warped sense of humor. 🙂


  5. Ooh, don’t mess with the man! Something tells me Cartwright won’t ever forget this fire in the little house. Too funny, Russell, as always. Hop Sing reminds of this local restaurant and now…I’m kind of hungry.


  6. Ouch, that makes me cringe in anticipated sympathy, although I’m not saying they didn’t deserve it. It’s going to be a long night for the Cartwrights, I think.


    • Double hot. Can you imagine the burn from passing them, then the burn from the oil-soaked cob? It’s a double whammy. 🙂


  7. Dear Russell, Hop Sing – that brings back such fond memories – didn’t know he had a ornery streak in him! Just fantastic! Nan


    • Yeah, but falling in love with one was the kiss of death. Every time one of them met a girl they liked, she died before the end of the episode.


  8. I never thought of Hop Sing as a vengeful person. You really are an “inside job.”


  9. I had to google corn cobs and outhouse, and your story has filled me with a previously unknown level of appreciation for the 21st century.
    Gold. One of your best.


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