The Gap

Have you ever done something right when you had no clue what you were doing? It makes it real hard to repeat the accomplishment. One of the ironies in life is that success teaches us very little, while failure is a sage professor who burns every lesson into our memory.

 Recently, I started working on a presentation on How to Write Humor. In the course of my research I discovered there were several things I was doing right despite my ignorance, and uncovered some new tools. One of keys to writing humor is “thinking like a five-year-old.” How am I doing on that one?

 If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the straw boss who oversees our 100-word stories is Rosie “The Word Riveter” 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 ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.


copyright – Sandra Crook


Marta smiled, displaying a gap between her teeth I hadn’t noticed before. It wasn’t as wide as the Grand Canyon, but let’s just say there was room to park Brad’s Kia and still open both doors.

“This is the video room,” said Marta, once again displaying THE GAP. By now, she couldn’t open her mouth without me mentally parking the Kia. “We have over 5,000 instructional and 12,542 entertainment videos.”

“Can they learn to make a bomb?” I asked.

“Oh no,” said Marta. “We discourage that. But they can learn to brush their teeth.”

Again she flashed that Cheshire-cat smile.

*the above is an excerpt from “The Academy of Spoiled Rotten Brats” in my new book One Idiot Short of a Village soon to be available on Amazon. Stay tuned!

65 Comments on “The Gap

    • Yes, I may have lowered the bar. 🙂
      It’s nice to see you here. Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a sweet comment.


    • You mean a five-year-old Abe Vigoda? You’ve already taken that role.
      I’m going for a five-year-old George Burns persona. I’ve already got the cigar.


    • You know, I never considered the dirty angle, but it’s interesting how many commentors did. It says a lot about our group. 🙂


  1. I liked the way you constructed this story, getting full value from parking the Kia, and cunningly leveraging Lewis Carrol’s Cheshire Cat! Nice work – had me smiling!


    • In the full story, the narrator starts mentally parallel parking the Kia.
      It’s funny how if someone has a flaw on their face, perhaps a mole, wart, etc., our eyes are naturally drawn to it and we can’t look at them without zeroing in on it.


  2. Dear Daniel “Groucho” Wordslinger,

    Funny how we can zero in on one particular trait of a person, isn’t it? Unfortunately it can be so distracting that you don’t really hear what the person’s saying. I remember some of the old sayings about a gap between the teeth but am not at liberty to share them here. We run a family friendly Friday Fictioneers. 😉 Well I must get back to riveting my Kia with a few choice words to the wall and then go brush my teeth.


    Rosie “The Word Riveter” W(T)F


    • Dear Rosie “The Word Riveter” W(T)F,

      Yeah, some people even make jokes about people’s height (or lack thereof), can you believe that? I’m glad you run a family friendly shop here, although I’m surprized at the number of “Paul Lyndes” in the Hollywood Squares Author Block whose mind instantly conjured up dirty visual images when viewing The Gap.

      Daniel “Groucho” (the clean) Wordslinger

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dear Daniel “Groucho” Wordslinger,

        How dare people make fun of other people for their lack of height. I’ll stand on a ladder and give them what-for! And Perry is Perry. Some things can’t be changed.


        Rosie “The Word Riveter” W(T)F
        Of the Shoeheight Tribe

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Haha! Love your chracter Marta and somehow you’ve fleshed her out in so few words – that Kia parking just worls a treat. And you with the mentality of a five year old? Never! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Big Nose, I like that bomb-making is discouraged, but not actually forbidden.
    Failure to get it right will certainly burn the lesson of any little mistakes deep into the memory, and perhaps out the other side.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Big Scot,
      We wouldn’t want to stifle the little tykes creativity. I’m sure they’ll figure out how to blow something up. Perhaps that’s how Marta’s gap got so wide.


  5. Oh my goodness, I’m going to have a hard time getting that image out of my head “room to park Brad’s Kia and still open both doors.” Too funny.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I used to teach six-year-olds and you’re doing great with the five-year-old persona, Russell. I read about a model who used to carry a little fake piece of tooth to fill in her gap. These days it probably wouldn’t matter. Most models frown or have a dead expression anyway. They’re probably thinking about how hungry they are. Great writing, Russell. 😀 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the affirmation on my child-mind persona. Hours with your nose stuck in a circle on a chalkboard helps get the creative juices flowing.
      Those poor models (stick girls, I call them) are queasy from throwing up all the time to stay so skinny.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ha.. there is one thing I cannot live by at work and that is learning from “best practice”…. learning from “worst practice” is way better.

    As for the gap I would start to think of the things that would get stuck between the teeth… a deer or leg of lamb would not be enough I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You’ve managed to endear me to Marta. Can I meet her in person? 😉
    Yes, you do a grand job thinking like a 5-year-old.
    Another hilarious piece. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you like Marta. I think she’s a sweet girl. She’s fictional, but I’m sure there are hundreds of people with huge gaps out there smiling at the world. Walk up to one of them and give them a hug.

      My 5-year-old mind thanks you for the kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

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Mandie Hines Author

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