From Frazzled to Frayed

A few months ago, the Washington County Road Department, in their infinite wisdom, decided to grade our dirt road. This is a process whereby they fill the smooth, clean ruts that we have spent months honing to a near-asphalt finish, and fill them with a thin layer of gravel extracted from the road ditch.  The result is like roller skating on a field of marbles.

Then, so we couldn’t report the devastation, the grader operator tilted his long, steel blade and severed the phone line at regular twenty-foot intervals. It took seventeen phone calls and two months of constant badgering to get a new phone line installed. A week later, the grader came back and sliced it in two again. I guess they just could let a buried line go unpunished. Hence the photo below.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Blog Gang Warden who keeps this motley crew of writers in check is Swifty “Gardenhose” 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 - Connie Gayer
copyright – Connie Gayer

The flight attendant demonstrated the safety procedures for Pterodactyl Airlines.

“In accordance with FAA regulations, your seat cushion doubles as an anvil. Please fasten the strap securely around your neck in the event of a water landing. This will greatly reduce the risk of shark attacks, as they prefer passengers who thrash on the surface rather than those who sink lifelessly to the bottom.”

Twenty minutes later the attendant’s voice echoed through the cabin like a chorus of angels. “Would you like something to drink?”

“Make mine a double.” Within moments, Corine’s nerves mellowed from frazzled to simply frayed.

60 Comments on “From Frazzled to Frayed

  1. Dear Captain Gee Whiz,

    On second thought I think I’ll take the bus. Perhaps Corine would do well with a simple waitress position in a truckstop in Redneckiaville.




    • Dear Swifty,
      Corinne’s dream job is working in a tattoo parlor next door to a biker bar. Everyone needs a little excitement in their life. I’ve hooked you and Jan up with a couple of tickets for Pterodactyl Airlines.

      Happy Flying,
      Captain Cheese Whiz

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Funny stuff. Every time I listen to the flight attendants give their instructions I try to think of crash scenarios where a life vest, evacuation slide or oxygen mask would be of any use. Now the drinks cart, that’s useful.


  3. My nerves would be frayed too if I had such a situation with the phone line…
    As for Pterodactyl Airlines… yeah. no, thanks.


    • Aw, come on, Dale. The Captain and co-pilot are Fred & Barney and the flight attendants are named Wilma & Betty. Sure, Pterodactyl has some old birds, but we’re not spring chickens either.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s good that they’ve got the shark threat all under control at least. Very funny story. Sorry to hear about your phone problems.


  5. Your story was hilarious. Your true intro of the cut phone line, etc. was funny for us, but I’m guessing not for you. The driver of the grader was probably hired because he was someone’s relative. I used to work under Civil Service. Once in, you’d have to kill someone and he judged guilty before you’d be fired. As for Pterodactyl Airlines, there must be a ship going in the same direction as that flight, I’d consider that alternative unless it was operated by Pterodactyl Shipping Lines. The sharks must keep an eye out for those flights. Well done once again, Russell. Thanks for the picture that’s leading to so many great stories. 😀 — Suzanne


  6. I can’t imagine anything worse than not being able to get your phone line repaired – not for the calls, but for the broadband. You deserve a medal for putting up with it, and a great photo prompt. I think I flew Pterodactyl Airlines between Miami and Dominican Republic one Christmas Eve. The seat belt came off in my hand, and you’d to balance your way across the boom-boxes, pet carriers and crates of chickens if you wanted to visit the rest room. Well maybe not the chicken crates… Another fine comedic submission from you again.


    • My wife hates flying. You should see how white her knuckles get from trying to wring the tree sap out of the wooden arm rests.


  7. Dear Connie
    Love the picture, but why did you let hubby spoil it with all those words?
    Get him a one-way ticket to Rock-a-hula on Pterodactyl, and then book yourself on Frog’s Legs Avions and come sun yourself and your camera on the beaches of the Mediterranean.
    Oh, bring large amounts of dollars and sun cream, stp.


    • Don’t temp her, CE. The poor girl has put up with a lot over the past 40 years. I don’t know how she has remained so young when I look like a 200 yr. old sea turtle.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. And as every week for the past few months tomorrow evening I’ll be flying back home for weekend. So looking forward to the complimentary cheese and crackers.


  9. ha ha. Your imagination has taken flight again…not in Pterodactyl Airlines apparently because it landed spectacularly well 🙂

    Hopefully your phone lines (and internet) are safe now. Looks like the minimum qualification requirements for a Grade operator job needs to be raised .


    • There’s something about running heavy equipment that brings out the destructive nature in a man. We get a huge testosterone rush from being behind a powerful engine. “Damn the torpedo’s, full speed ahead.”

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve often owndered about those seat cushions even vaguely working as flotation devices. This was truly fun Russell, as was your intro. Thanks again to Connie for the picture.


    • The same hold true for the oxygen mask. Hopefully, they’ll pump in some kind of happy drug instead of just straight air. I’ve often wondered, when they recover victims from a plane crash, how many of them were wearing their little yellow masks?


  11. From frazzled to frayed – I’m going to pinch that highly useful phrase.
    Last time I flew, a four-year-old in front of us with a window seat laughed delightedly throughout take-off. (Look at the tiny houses Daddy!) We couldn’t decide if he should be hired out to frazzled passengers or kept as far away as possible.
    Enjoyed your story and equally the introduction/explanation. Ever heard of the Brit character Victor Meldew? We often find his catch-phrase sums it up – I cannot believe it!


    • I watched a clip of Victor. He is hilarious. Our PBS cancels broadcast several British shows. “Are You Being Served” was one of my favorites.


  12. That’s your tax dollars in action.

    Here in Montana half the dime the local ranchers are the ones maintaining the road. I often catch myself thinking, “do you really know what you’re doing?”

    That airline announcement comes close to some of the humorous stuff they’ve been trying lately in a desperate attempt to get airline passengers to at least pretend to listen to the safety talk. I don’t know why they bother. We’ve already all got it memorized.


    • You can always tell the first-time flyers, they’re hanging on every word. Some would even like to try the mask on as a dry-run to make sure they’ve got it down pat.


  13. Now I know why you always keep suggesting I take a trip on Pterodactyl Airlines. Sure, it’s a bit cheaper but I prefer the flights that don’t explode. Of course I do have a lot of experience sinking lifelessly to the bottom throughout my existence on the planet, so that’s a plus. Perhaps some time we can sink lifelessly together …..


    • I would like that, Perry. I have been accused of being full of hot air, so I can’t guarantee how fast I’ll sink, but I’ll try my best to keep up.


  14. If they have good drinks, I’ll fly with them. Can’t be worse than that flight where several of the locals made the sign of the cross during takeoff… And I love the anvil advice, that would be useful for surfers, too.


  15. I think we must have flown on that airline last year to France. We had to buy 4 tickets for 2 seats before we got there. Yes, we drank our fill en flight. We did get reimbursed eventually.



  16. Ooh, that sounds a bit dicey, Russell. Is there a cruise I can take instead? I do well on planes until something goes wrong. Great story. Please thanks Connie for me for the photo this week. 🙂


  17. LOL. Love the spiel from the airline hostie. Reminds me flying to Greenland the hostess gave her spiel about water landing. I asked her as she served drinks why did she bother as if you landed in that water death would happen in minutes. Her answer – it makes most people happy to think they have a chance. Mind you I’d probably like to take my chances with the sharks.


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