Greenhouse Gases

How many of you read the obituaries? Connie thinks I have a morbid curiosity because I like to know who’s still among the living and who’s not. Sometimes you find out fascinating things about total strangers. So far, none of them have bequeathed me a million dollars.

I’ll be reading one of these interesting epitaphs out loud and Connie will ask, “How did they die?” (Like, I’m supposed to know.) “It doesn’t say,” I reply, “but they were only ninety-six, so let’s assume it was in the throes of passion.”

If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, our 100 word embalmer who prepare the weekly photo prompt for viewing is Morticia 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 FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Potter

“This is where you’ll be sleeping tonight,” I point to a cot. “And remember, no sparks or open flames.”

“I drive all the way from Pennsylvania and you make me sleep in this dump?” Perry tossed his duffel bag in the direction of a folding chair.

“Hey, you volunteered. Go green, you said. Avoid dangerous pesticides. Don’t harm the environment.”

“I should’ve known something was up when you and Connie kept shoving brown beans, sweet potatoes, and broccoli in front of me at dinner.”

“It’s just for one night. Once you’ve exterminated the insects here, you’ll move to the garage.”


61 Comments on “Greenhouse Gases

  1. Ha ha! My dad used to read the obits “to make sure he wasn’t there….” When I still received the paper, I couldn’t help but go through them myself. Did end up finding about a friend’s father that way…

    Poor baby, forced to eat all that healthy crap… Maybe you’ll (he’ll) be able to work his way up into the house…


    • Well, the story is purely fiction. I doubt it would be possible to get Perry to eat all those healthy vegetables–he has a grumpy, curmudgeon reputation to protect, you know. Besides, if he did eat all those things we’d have to repaint the building as I’m sure the fumes would eat the finish right off the walls.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Gomez,

    Ah the sweet scent of greenhouse gasses. Since it’s Perry they will be Kosher, right?

    You intro put me in mind of Private Benjamin when asked what her elderly husband’s last words were. She bit her lip and looked up with those huge baby blues and said, “I’m coming.” Incidentally my best friend’s grandfather actually did die in the midst of passion. 😉
    Back to snipping the heads off inLinkz technicians.




    • Dear Morticia,

      Well, I hope they’ll be Kosher, but Perry has informed me that he isn’t always faithful to Jewish practice and has been known to eat pork on several occasions. Perhaps some pickled pork feet would add to the aroma.

      I envy your best friend’s grandfather. What a way to go–especially if you’re ninety-six.

      Happy Snipping,
      Uncle Fester


    • There’s no telling where he’d put me up if I visited Philadelphia. He probably stuff me in the crack in the Liberty Bell.


  3. It can only get better from here. Or can it? The embalmer might shortly be called into service. The short embalmer, that is.


    • You’re right, Jan. We might have to call on the short embalmer shortly. Will she bring her own stepladder, or will I need to supply one?


  4. Nature at it’s best or should I say worst. Very creative, as always.


    • All natural ingredients, just add Perry and “poof” your insects are gone. I can’t guarantee that the plants didn’t wilt, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I laughed at the many fun jokes that i understood. There are some , I don’t , as usual and I take 100% responsibility for that. Delightful and beyond . Really like your free-flowing writing style .


    • Thanks for the lovely comment, Moon. Most of my jokes are rather juvenile, and I take full responsibility for that too.


  6. When it comes to bugs I’m not all that humane. I figure it’s either them or me. That’s war. Hilarious and good writing, Russell. 🙂 — Suzanne


    • It is war. That’s why I brought in the Weapon of Mass Destruction (Perry) to deal with it. The fallout from his bombs purged the surrounding countryside in a two-mile radius.


  7. After reading how you read obits, I came to a much darker assumption with your opening line of “This is where you’ll be sleeping.” I thought for sure the person was already dead, and going to be buried underneath all the vines creeping in through the window. Luckily for your characters, it was much more innocent and comical than that.


    • Some of my characters may die from unusual causes, but I’ve not lost one yet to premeditated murder (except for the insects in this story). I do have a penchant for crude, juvenile humor and picking on Perry. Of course, he’s pretty good at dishing it out himself, which makes it a lot of fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What you left out of the story was that after all the bugs fled in terror I stopped in for a spell to visit you and the missus (whatever does she see in you? It’s clear you don’t have any money.) Anyway, I haven’t seen you since.
    It’s a lovely house, but I just can’t swing two mortgages. If it weren’t for Daisy Mae Yokum who lives next door I’d go back to Philadelphia.


    • Once again you were the hero of the story, Perry. I don’t know how you do it. Is it raw animal magnetism or the way you strut your Rodney Dangerfield-style sexual prowess?

      You’re not the first to question my wife’s vision problems, and you’re right, I don’t have any money. Perhaps that’s why Rochelle refers to her as “poor, long-suffering Connie.”

      Welcome to Dogpatch. Good luck satisfying Daisy with your little Jew-boy toy.


      • Little Jew-boy toy? Yeah, you’re probably right. If you’re looking for a Jewish afterlife you’d find it sooner than my itty bitty tiny little wee wee amount of hair left. My dick is actually pretty big.


  9. I so enjoy your Friday contribution with the humorous intro of course…too funny. Enjoyed the story and that idea of your guest helping out 🙂


    • Everybody needs a friend like Perry. Let’s just hope he goes home before FEMA declares the entire state a natural disaster area.


  10. Ha, thanks for the laugh, Russel. And at the expense of Perry no less. Brilliant!


  11. I don’t read the obits, mainly because I don’t want to see my name in there.

    No kidding, we had a guy in my Natl. Guard Unit who held it in during a LOOONG bus trip after a night of beer and Prohaska sausage. Talk about an explosive combination. If he hadn’t held it in, we would have been the first army bus up in orbit.


    • I worked with a guy whose motto was, “Better to let it go and bear the shame, than to hold it in and bear the pain.” At another place I worked, one of the press operators was particular fond of pickled eggs and beer. He would rip some real eye-burners.


      • “Bear the shame than bear the pain.” That’s … quite philosophical. Glad nobody smoked around that guy.

        Pickled eggs and beer? That would be really deadly. Keep the Murine on stand-by!


  12. i hope the room is soundproof enough for your guest to enjoy his privacy and to keep the noise from spontaneous emissions manageable. 🙂


  13. That’s great, I know some windy people, with just a little manipulation and a considered diet they could become pest controllers. Love it, it opens a whole new career avenue for those unhappy in their current posts. 🙂


  14. Hey Russell, Currently, I’m having an ant infestation which won’t go away. Spray, spray and they still saunter around on my kitchen counter tops. YUCKY! Love your story – so cute and tell Connie we miss you guys! Oh, by the way, thanks for the solution for my infestation! I love brown beans, sweet potatoes and broccoli!


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