Good news! Prunes are making a comeback. This shriveled fruit has long been maligned because her name is similar to that snob, Prude. But last night, I saw a new TV ad where a group of active, young people were fighting over a bag of prunes like it was the second coming of Doritos.

My mother served our family stewed prunes when I was a kid. After reconstituting the dried fruit in boiling water, she would refrigerate the gooey conglomeration for at least 24 hours before sneaking it onto the table. I remember fishing lumps out of the purplish-brown sludge and thinking, “This doesn’t taste like stew.”

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the 100-word chef, who can constitute a story from even the most ancient, dried-up photograph, is Matilda Brady 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 – J. Hardy Carroll

“Hi, Blanche. Long time no see. What’ve you been up to?”

“Working. I got a part-time job at the boxing place.”

“Isn’t that owned by Amazon? What do you do there, package items in cardboard containers?”

“Oh no, Marge. It isn’t that kind of boxing. It’s a place where young men with firm, muscular bodies workout in silk underwear.”

“Really? That sounds interesting. What’s your job?”

“I’m a dance instructor.”

“These men dance? Like Chippendales?”

“I wish, but no. I just help with their footwork.”

“What happens if they try to get fresh with you?”

“Pow! Right in the kisser.”

58 Comments on “Footwork

      • Two examples that always occur to me are Military rank (Private, corporal, major, general); and Philosophy classroom causality (formal, material, efficient, final). In other contexts, each of those words, means something else completely.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I want Blanche’s job!

    Great intro, as per usual. I could NEVER understand my mother’s joy (?) at eating that disgusting mess. I, on the other hand, do enjoy non-reconstituted dried prunes – the are like over-sized raisins… and well, let’s face it, they do help with the flow of things… eh? I’ll never forget my Hawaiian cruise. It was definitely a powder-head one. I think the average age was about 75. and that’s coz young-uns like us (39-40) brought the average down. Well, anyway, at breakfast, there are always bowls of fruit, in this case those bowls included stewed prunes. That sucker got refilled three times per morn!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Although Blanche’s job sounds silly it actually makes sense. We remember the great Mohammed Ali dancing around in the ring. I suspect the term “silk underwear” gives Blanche’s true attitude away. Hilarious, Russell. 😀 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thought about going with boxer shorts, but that seemed redundant. Silk was a popular material for boxing trunks for a long time. They probably use rayon or some other man-made fabric these days.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great story, Russell! Kicked in the kisser for getting fresh? Ouch! (I take it Blanche could high-kick with the best!)
    Your pieces always make me smile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • From the comments, I’m getting the impression that “dance instructor” is a highly sought after position. 🙂

      Yes, dried plums does sound gentler. I’ve never heard anyone say, “She’s as wrinkled as a dried plum.”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Cassius Clayfeet,

    I’m pretty sure I left a comment earlier. Perhaps it’s in your spam folder. Perhaps I saved it to my invisible box, I’m not sure. At any rate here’s the rerun. Blanche doesn’t have a bad job at all. Perhaps I could stop by and help her with come choreography.
    As for prunes, my mom used to stew them and then pour milk or even half and half over them. I really liked them. That might explain my fast and loose childhood.
    Ding! Round over! Story KO


    Matilda Brady W(T)F

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Matilda Brady W(T)F,

      I suppose you could teach a class on waltzing, right? I’m sure it includes the “box step” or in your case, the “invisible box” step.

      I knew you would be a prune lover. After all, they are made from PURPLE fruit!

      Float like a butterfly, sting like a gnat
      Cassius Clayfeet

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Add me to the list of prospective employees to fill in for Blanche! A fun story, as always. She is quite a character.

    On the subjects of prunes, add me to the “No thanks” camp. But a nice ripe plum is yummy!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great conversation. Such natural and funny mis-hearing on the boxing front, and good to hear Blanche is ready to fend off any unwelcome advances!
    As for prunes, I love dried ones straight from the jar. I try to kid myself they’re healthier than cookies, but they’re so sweet I think I’m deluded.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. my grandma made prunes of the plums from two old trees beyond the pasture. in later life, her stewed prunes would contain the odd pit, a danger to the molars. cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t know, I think the lady protests too much – sounds like she enjoyed the sight of all those silk undies to me! Put a smile on my face, Russell, as did your prune newsflash. Though I think we’re ahead of the curve here – been enjoying the pleasure of these aged plums for some while now. Hurray for brown sludge

    Liked by 1 person

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