Almost Everyone Loves a Parade

When I was a boy of six or seven, my mother took me with her to one of her hair appointments. I never understood the necessity of getting something “fixed” if it wasn’t broken, and as best I could tell, her hair was still securely attached to her head.

She told the hairdresser she wanted a “Permanent.” I interpreted this as a once-and-for-all procedure and that we would never, ever have to return to this wretched den of stinky chemicals again. Three months later, I found out that “permanents” should be reclassified as “temporaries.”

If this is your first visit to the Friday Flash Fiction Salon, our chief word-stylist and truth bender is Paulette Mitchell Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to participate in this weekly exercise in madness, head over to her blog for instructions. To rent a roost in the FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright - Al Forbes
copyright – Al Forbes

In its wake, the parade left a path of destruction that included a porta-potty containing “Blind Rutabaga” Keller and Stevie.*

“I had just torn off some tissue and was about to do the paperwork,” said Blind Rutabaga. “When BAM! Something slammed into the building. I thought a tornado had hit. Then KABOOM! The little plastic building exploded and me and Stevie are lying in the street. Then I hear music, and a band is playing ‘When the Saints Go Marchin’ In.’

“I thought we’d died and went to heaven, except for still having my pants around my ankles, of course.”

* Stevie is Mr. Keller’s seeing-eye-dog

Evidently, this is also excerpt week. The clip above was snipped from the parade scene in One Idiot Short of a Village.

60 Comments on “Almost Everyone Loves a Parade

  1. Dear Stevie,

    Not only excerpt week, but blooper week as well. I’ve don’t think I’ve unintentionally rerun a photo prompt before. Just dye my face red. Your excerpt makes me want to read more.
    I remember going with my mother to the beauty school when I was a small child. Those were the days of permanents, bubble hairstyles and pink-dyed hair. (And people look askance at the women who are dying their hair rainbow colors. There’s nothing new under the hairdryer, is there?) And, yeah…what’s up with it being called a ‘permanent?’

    Ducking to avoid flying porta-potties,

    Red-faced Paulette Michell


    • Dear Paulette,

      We can only assume you were browsing through a hairstyle magazine while sitting in a porta-potty when the rerun photo prompt accident occurred. People in my parent’s day were big on using corn cobs and pages from the Sears & Roebuck catalog, but As One Must, One Can.

      If you chose to color your hair, I suspect Purple would be the color of choice. One advantage of being naturally curly is that you don’t have to bother with a permanent that’s only temporary.



    • I glad that was an “almost” Neil. Beer is a terrible thing to waste.
      Some people cry over spilt milk, but spilling beer is much more heartbreaking.


  2. Why is Stevie called a seeing-eye dog?
    He can hardly be a seeing-ear or -nose dog, can he?
    Which is probably just as well when he is in the khazi with Mr K.
    Whose sobriquet also confuses me, suggesting as it does that some vegetables have the power of sight.
    So, to summarise, an excellent tale, thoroughly enjoyable.


    • Since I’m practically deaf, I often introduce my wife as my listening-ear-girl. It’s amazing what that woman can hear, although sometimes I don’t think her translations are 100% honest as she tends to make snide little remarks such as, “I said your hair looks nice.”

      Obviously, there’s more to Mr. Keller’s nickname than meets the eye–and we do know that some vegetables have the power of sight, such as the potato, who is famous for having multiple eyes.

      And glad you enjoyed it, and by the way, Your Hair Looks Nice.


  3. Tore off some paper to do the paperwork… gah! You kill me! Where you come up with your toilet humour… oh wait. This really is in a toilet!!


    • I had to do some serious editing to get this passage down to the 100 word limit. Blind Rutabaga and Stevie appear in a couple of other major scenes in the book. It should go to print sometime this year.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This piece surely has to win an award of some kind!
    But then, on the other hand, a gold statue of a porta-potty might not be what you’d want to display on your mantle.
    The story instantly reminded me of the true story told by a woman who (with her husband) visited one of those self-cleaning, ‘on-the-street’ toilets that are fairly common in Europe. Each time a person uses the toilet and leaves, the door locks and the entire room is totally cleaned. Water and cleanser wash the seat – top and bottom- the bowl, the floor — everything. But this couple decided the wife would go in first, and when she finished and exited, instead of closing the door, she just held it open for her husband. He went in, closed the door, and the automatic toilet thought the occupant had left, and it was time to clean. So it locked the door and starting hosing down everything. The man got soaked. I think I’m going to have to use that in one of my novels.

    Nice work, Russell


    • Truth is stranger than fiction, Sandra.
      That’s a great story and would make a great scene. Perhaps C.E. could play the part of the husband in the film version.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My sympathy is with the dog. No mutt should have to accompany his owner into the smallest room. I hope he ran off with the toilet roll…


    • I’ve held the leash while my dog used the bathroom before. There’s really not much difference. At least he doesn’t have to pick up Mr. Keller’s droppings.

      Liked by 1 person

    • When you run into one with a Yuge (Trump pronunciation) combine, that’s what happens. They pop like a piñata–but it isn’t candy that covers the ground.


  6. Two hilarious stories once again! Too funny! 🙂 I have always been afraid to use the outdoor toilets for this exact reason. If it falls over, it would be very difficult to get out; not to mention the mess 🙂


  7. BAM, you have lodged an unwanted image in my mind that I will forever associated with “paperwork”.


  8. Had to laugh at your “temporary” story. I am glad my permanent fix didn’t stay with me for too long. I looked like a poodle (with no offense to the dogs). Loved the humorous take on the prompt.


  9. YIKES … those things are awful. I never use them. Reading about them reminds me of how awful they are.
    But, I have to admit this was funny. Although, I don’t the people in the path of the falling posty were happy.
    Isadora 😎


    • There are times when ports-potties are the only alternative. I can just see the marching band going around this thing. Thanks for your comment, Isadora.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh yes … there are times that those nasty units are needed. For years, I did outdoor art festivals and there was no other alternative but to use them. 😜 Looking back I don’t know how I did. Today … grateful for indoor plumbing. 😎


  10. Funny stuff, Russell. I used to go sometimes with my mom to the beauty parlor. She’d buy comic books and I’d sit and read. That was the late 40’s and they still had the machines they hooked women up to. I guess they cooked the wave into the hair in those days. Good humor writing as usual. The new book sounds like a winner. All the best. 😀 — Suzanne


    • I remember those machines. Kids today would think those hair dryers were some type of brain wave or virtual reality machine. And don’t forget the gossip. The hair salon was Gossip Central, especially in small towns.

      I’m pretty excited about the new book. I hope it’s well received.


  11. When I read your posts I get sensory overload. I read a couple of your posts but decided to comment on this one, your great at creating the environment around your stories and inviting the audience in on your experience. Where are you from?


    • I live just outside a college town (Fayetteville) in NW Arkansas. I appreciate your comment.

      When I started blogging five years ago, I was hoping to create an interactive experience with the readers. Over time, I have developed some great relationships with fellow bloggers. We read and comment on each other’s posts and sometimes I even write them into my stories in a teasing manner.

      I think it’s important to show your human side and poke fun at yourself now and then. People also respond well to events and incidents they can relate to–like going with your mom to the hairdresser, or getting sent to the principal’s office in elementary school. We’ve all shared similar experiences and I like to recall those in hopes of connecting with the reader.

      Liked by 1 person

    • That makes me smile, Dawn. I look forward to the comments too. That’s where the conversation occurs that makes blogging fun. Some people just click the “like” button–and I appreciate those too–but I love it when people take the time write a comment and share a little bit of themselves. It’s what keeps me writing this silliness every week.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This was a delight to read, even if my phone won’t show me the image to accompany the post. I loved your turn of phrase “handling the paperwork” also glad you explained who Stevie was, otherwise I pictured a tandem Porto-John with room for two.


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