A Time for a Pill

My mother loved to watch soap operas. As a small boy, I can remember being told frequently to “Sshhs-it” during The Edge of Night. Mom scheduled all of her daily activities around these never-ending dramas, referring to them as “Her Shows.” My favorite character was the incredibly beautiful, lying, scheming, cheating, two-timing, home-wrecker whom my mother nicknamed, “That Little Hussy.”

What amazed me about these programs was how slowly the action unfolded. You could miss every episode for six weeks, and when you tuned in again, “BAM!” Rachel was still in a coma, Harvey was still on trial for flushing a goldfish, and Louise was still in the arms of her husband’s proctologist (Let’s hope he washed his hands first).

Welcome to the Thursday edition of Friday Flash Fiction. The executive producer and director of this program is Mary Tyler More-or-Less Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to participate in this weekly exercise in madness, head over to her blog for instructions. To rent a booth in the FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright - Sandra Crook
copyright – Sandra Crook

Jacqueline was waiting in the vestibule of the assisted care complex when he arrived. She was born deaf, dumb, and blind, but endowed with a rack like Dolly Parton.

Perry had promised to take her to an off-Broadway production of the rock opera, Tommy, and then to a video arcade for pinball before swinging by the “love shack” for a nightcap.

Anticipating an evening of romance, he took a pill. The directions read, “for best results, take thirty minutes to an hour before bed.”

Nuzzling her neck, Perry showered her with tender kisses. Minutes later he was sound asleep.


I promised Perry I’d let him get the girl in 2017, but he still managed to bungle it. Perhaps he shouldn’t store his Viagra in the same medicine cabinet as his Unisom.

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49 thoughts on “A Time for a Pill

  1. Dear Dr. Ben Case-Uvem,

    I’m dumb-struck by this story. I want to laugh…yes, I think I will laugh. Fortunately for me, my mother didn’t care for soap operas…however there were the game shows. Concentration, Password, To Tell the Truth, Play Your Hunch (with Merve Griifin)…You Bet Your Life…yep…and of course…Hollywood Squares.

    Still laughing. Shalom,

    Mary Tyler More-or-Less

    1. Dear Mary Tyler More-or-Less,
      With all your experience as a mime, being dumb-struck doesn’t surprise me. Thank you for making the conscious decision to laugh. With this story, it could have went either way.

      Personally, I prefer the game shows to the soaps, although hopefully, no one will mistake me for Paul Lynde.

      Dr. Ben Case-Uvem

  2. One has to wonder how he promised a deaf, dumb, and blind woman anything? As funny as the punchline was, somehow my brain couldn’t get past this set-up. He deserved what he didn’t get!

    1. Her other three senses work. Let’s assume she can read braille.
      He was not intending to take advantage her. I think she was appreciative of the attention, as she didn’t have suitors beating down her door. In fact, she may have been quite disgusted that he nodded off.

    1. Nice take-off on Jefferson Airplane, Tracey. Careful what you say around Perry. Especially where the word “ten” is included in the sentence. He’s incorrigible.

  3. I know and have known many Lou Grants, Mary Richards’ and Ted Baxters. I have also known a few Sue Ann Nivens’ and Murray Slaughters in all my 27 years of being in the news biz. It never stops.

    As for game shows … yes! All the Goodson-Todman Productions and a few Chuck Barrises and Heater-Quigleys. No soaps for me, except Dark Shadows. THAT was a good one because it was different. After school at 3:30, didn’t want to miss it. The Queen will differ with me because she hated Barnabas Collins and thought the show was ruined because of it but you can’t satisfy everybody all the time and networks know that, too.
    So, while we’re on the subject of not getting any satisfaction, Perry’s had it bad ever since his teeth fell out. Not because of age, but because he brushed them with Preparation H.

    I’d hate to find out what he used the toothpaste for …

    1. I remember Dark Shadows. I guess my favorite soap was “Soap,” the comic take-off with Billy Crystal.

      Good point about the Preparation H. You have to be careful where you use it because it reduces swelling. Perhaps we should buy a few cases and send to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The incoming resident could use it on his head.

    2. I liked this comment because it did not impact in any way on my previous thinking (such as it is).
      I have never heard of anyone you mention there.
      Well, apart from The Queen, obviously, but since Freddie died they just ain’t the same.

      1. The characters mentioned are from a TV series called The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Mary played a girl named Mary Richards who worked in a TV newsroom and the others mentioned were the characters she worked with.

  4. Ah well… we were Days of Our Lives and General Hospital and Another World fans in my house oh, and that other one with Caliope and Eugene who would become famous as the infamous Q on Star Trek… ah the memories… I was convince I would marry Beau…but the hussy Hope got him!

    1. Hope used to really piss my mom off. I was always amazed at how deeply invested Mom became in the characters. It was like she knew those people personally. The shows would have been pretty boring if not for the hussies and the con men.

  5. Jacqueline will never know what she missed. That may or may not be a good thing – the jury’s out on that. From what I hear, it’s been out for a while.

    1. Yes, I don’t know whether to feel sorry for Jacqueline, or congratulate her for the stroke of good luck.
      If Perry’s waiting for a kiss from a princess to wake him up, he may asleep a long, long, time.

  6. A Mughal Emperor built the Taj via Agra, men have since then been seeking the right woman to build a mausoleum for. Maybe Perry just needs to bury this romance.

    1. Maybe in a future episode, I’ll have her trying to take advantage of him. That should make for an interesting twist. I can see the headline now, “Elderly Jewish man sexually assaulted by blind, deaf, and dumb woman–film at 11.

  7. Poor Perry, he sure can’t catch a break… not with friends like you! 😉 I feel like there’s a rubber chicken somewhere in here! I love that you always make me laugh, Russell. Happy New Year darlin’!

    1. I’m glad it made you laugh, Dawn. I’m sure poor Jacqueline wasn’t laughing. It doesn’t do much for a girl’s self esteem when her date falls asleep.

      Don’t feel too bad for Perry. He’ll find a way to “thank” me.

      1. That part is true. I am in great shape. Round is a shape, right?

        I am his only fan, unless you count that little paper gadget that he stole from a Japanese restaurant.

  8. I heard that men on those pills see blue. Is it true? Oh, What am I thinking? You wouldn’t know a thing like that unless you read it or heard it from someone else, right?

    And, did you ever watch Dark Shadows? Now that was a soap opera!

    1. All I know is what I see on those ads on TV. From what I hear, those sleeping pills are highly effective.

      I do remember Dark Shadows. I wasn’t a huge fan, but evidently Kent was according to his comment.

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