Love at First Squint

A grocery store chain in our area has a private label brand called Fit & Active. I’ve tried a few of the products designed for “a healthier you” (the Devil’s Food Cookies are amazing) and found them to have no impact on my waistline or energy level. The only thing that got lighter was my wallet.

You don’t need a Gallop poll to tell you there are more fat people in America than skinny ones. Who’s catering to the people who want to be overweight and lay around doing nothing? That’s why I’m proposing the Unfit & Idle brand. These tasty carb-laden snacks make your body produce more serotonin, a brain chemical that induces a mild state of euphoria known as Carb-comamaking you feel happy yet groggy at the same time. How sweet is that?

If this is your first visit to Friday Flash Fiction, the little fit-to-be-tied author with an overactive imagination who ramrods this show is Louise Clairol Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to participate in this weekly exercise in madness, head over to her blog for instructions. To rent a box in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block, click here.

PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier Deria

Heads turned as she sashayed down the pier. Ebony hair pulled into a tight bun, button-nose thrust toward the sky, she projected an aura of self-confidence. Old tars looked up from their work. Young sailors dropped their nets, mouths agape.

“She’s a perfect fifty-seven,” quipped a squint-eyed salt, admiring her lithe figure. “Nineteen, nineteen, nineteen.

“Hiya,” he calls. “You know you’re awful pretty!”

“You’re pretty awful yourself.”

“What’s your name, Sweetie?”

“Olive Oyl.”

(under his breath) “Sounds like some kind of lubricant.

And what’s that wee thing tagging behind you?”

“My niece, Violet Oyl”

(under his breath) “Good thing I gots me snake boots on.”



62 Comments on “Love at First Squint

  1. Dear Rusty-Drain,

    Well blow me down! Violet Oyl sounds like a cutie. I love your line of unhealthy foods for the fat, dumb and happy. Between story and intro, you might have out-done yourself. Gah-gah-gah-gah.


    Louise Clairol (does she or doesn’t she?)


    • Dear Louise Clairol,

      In researching the Oyl family tree (yes, I occasionally fact check) I discovered a lengthy list of Oyls including her older brother Castor and (you’ll love this) an uncle named Lubry Kent Oyl. Sounds like a pretty slick family. I doubt they have any problems with Rusty pipes.

      I’m guessing she doesn’t,
      Rusty Drain


  2. I see you are an Aldi shopper. “Fit and active,” makes people feel good when they eat it. “Nomen est omen” (the name is a sign). I had fallen into the low carb trap myself. Then healthwise I had to change my eating habits and learned to read the labels -not the brand.

    I was going to say you should apologize to Popeye, but I saw you did. 🙂


    • Yes, it’s clever marketing when you can make people feel they’re making a great health-choice when buying your product. We print food labels where I work. I read both the ingredient statement and the nutritional panel. You’d be amazed how many products, like ice cream, contain some form of plastic or chemical used in pesticides. I don’t understand why the manufacturers think these ingredients are necessary.

      Stick with the spinach, and you’ll be strong to the finish.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, a nasty autoimmune disorder. I remember when I got diagnosed. They put me on heavy medication right away. I researched it a bit and found many studies that point to food, most of the studies came from Europe.

        I showed them to my doctors, they didn’t want to hear about it. There as no proof, they said.

        I went on my own for a few years, finally, last year, a doctor here in CA released a food study. I can’t eat chicken, eggs, and dairy, have to stay away from over processed food and I am fine. Too much protein and I am in agony.

        There is the saying, “We are what we eat,” and I guess I what I ate (high protein) made me sick.


      • Prescription drugs is another dangerous chemical to avoid. My wife showed me a Facebook post from a woman who’d had 20 surgeries in the last 7 years. Most of her problems were due to a drug the doctor prescribed. Among the nasty side effects was her tendons detaching themselves from the bone. She is in a horrible condition all because of medical mishaps.

        My cousin’s wife has Rheumatoid Arthritis, so I’m familiar with the condition. I’m glad you learned which foods to avoid. Those heavily processed ones can be a killer.


      • I was rather shocked the day I found out ice cream contains what we used to call plaster of paris, calcium something or other. Like chalk. Holds it all together, eh.


  3. I started off humming “Girl From Ipanema” and finished with “I’m strong to the finish, ’cause I eats my spinach.” Olive Oyl is one of the fortunate who doesn’t need to spend a fortune on specialty diet food.


    • Poor Olive, the girl with toothpick legs and huge feet. I always wondered what it was about her that drove Brutus and Popeye wild.


  4. Olive Oyl was my nickname in high school… Let’s just say I was a little slow to develop…
    Stay away from anything low fat, low carb, low whatever… it’s a crock!
    This was a hoot, as per usual, Monsieur!


  5. Aaaarrrr. a see-worthy tale! 🙂
    Many packaged ‘low fat’ baked goods contain so much sugar; not healthy at all. If you can’t pronounce what’s in it, don’t eat it.
    Carb-coma LOL That must be what Homer Simpson has when he says, “MMmmmmmm, donuts……”


  6. You called?
    I’m glad I read Rochelle’s poem and comments first, that gave me a grin, not a huh. And I like your idea about this new brand….


    • Yeah, her poem was a real hoot. She did a great job roasting CE and I. We have a great time poking fun at each other.

      Thanks for supporting my new brand. Our motto is; Eat, Sleep, and be Jolly.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A muttering squinter? What girl wouldn’t run wild after such a prospect. If everyone gets lucky, they might even buy some of your new snacks (for her, of course) to put some layers around her toothpick legs. Your know, for protection while doing all that running.


    • When someone invented the phrase “stick girl” they were talking about Olive. The poor girl has the figure of an inbred’s family tree. She could certainly use some Carb-coma to plump up.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think Olive needs some bacon, a few cheeseburgers, and an entire bakery of donuts. If she were any thinner you could see right through her.


  8. You said it best, and I quote “You’re pretty awful yourself.”


    • Her father’s name is Cole Oyl, her mother, Nana Oyl (short for Banana), her oldest brother is Castor Oyl, and she has another niece called Diesel Oyl. They’re a well-oiled family.

      I feel sorry for poor Emu. Some of us can eat an ounce and gain a pound.


      • Oh, yeah. I remember Cole Oyl — and his brother Tex, the one they called Texaco. He spent so much time among those Chili Peppers and became quite a firebrand. He carried a torch for Soya Bean, I believe, but she married the Crisco Kid.


  9. Olive Oyl is doing pretty good for a 98 year old I think. I think I ate more spinach as a kid due to Popeye’s influence. Imagine if Popeye loved sugared drinks and deep fried food instead.


    • Well, there was J. Wellington Wimpy, who always offered to pay for his hamburgers next Tuesday (which never came.) He could always eat a whole platter full at a time.

      I eat more spinach now than as a kid. I like it wilted in a little bacon grease. Probably not the healthiest was to enjoy it. 🙂


      • This is how they tried to indoctrinate us as kids. The hero ate the spinach and the rotund Wimpy at the hamburgers. We were supposed to catch on that high carb meat diets led to couch potato-ism. I’m finally getting the message!

        Lacking spinach, maybe I’ll go scrounge in the lawn for some fresh, tasty, high-energy dandelion greens. 🙂


      • I was the weird kid who liked vegetables. I once got sick on spinach at school when the other kids clamored to dump theirs on my tray. Of course there was also the time I spent the night retching after a scout meeting from eating too many doughnuts. Pobody’s nerfect.

        Shalom again,

        Louise I love Purple Clairol


      • Dear Louise Clairol,

        I always liked veggies too. We alway great a big garden. In fact, there isn’t much I wouldn’t eat. My dad was a picky eater, but my mother loved to try new recipes and I was always eager to test what she made. Mom was a great cook.


    • I think she only appeared in one or two episodes. What we do know is that her name is shade of Purple, which is an important fact in this story.


  10. Looking at both Popeye and Brutus, they weren’t exactly prizes of manhood either. Olive was probably the best they could do. I don’t doubt they also had been at sea a long time. That combination was bound to make Olive look good. She was also probably a good cook. Both your intro and story were hilarious, Russell. 😀 — Suzanne


  11. I think I spend too much of my weekends in carb-coma. Good luck with Unfit & Idle. 🙂
    Loved the voices in your story, and the wonderful portrait of haughty Olive.


    • Thanks. There appears to be a lot of interest for Unfit & Idle, although no one wants to come out and brag publicly about it. Perhaps if Trump would endorse it . . . .

      There was something about that little stick girl (Olive) that drove Popeye crazy. I could never figure out the attraction. Of course, his vision was always questionable.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. We grow oodles of spinach on the family allotment — so much, that the snails can’t keep up with it. Also, we get through a one-litre bottle of olive oil once a fortnight. So we all have strong arm muscles like Popeye and big feet like Olive Oyl 😉


  13. Amusing tale. I find myself following several writers who participate in these prompts, and the introduction before the flash fiction begins is just as interesting or amusing as the flash fiction piece itself.


    • Thank you, Mandie. I been accused to cheating by offering two stories instead of one, and I’m clearly guilty as charged. I tell people you get more than you pay for when you visit What’s So Funny. I appreciate you taking the time to read so many of my previous posts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I like seeing what a writer reveals about themselves in both their stories and then their process or thoughts regarding a prompt.
        And you’re welcome. I’m accumulating an enjoyable group of writers who I might not normally be able to interact with if it weren’t for the wonderful way that the internet can connect people regardless of their location.


      • My writing is pretty transparent. Many of my longer stories are essays shot straight from the hip–or is that lip?

        I’ve been blogging about 5 years and have met many wonderful people from around the globe. If you’re observant, you can learn new techniques by reading other people’s work and use them to spice up our own writing and add some new flavor.


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Mandie Hines Author

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