Video Surveillance

Let’s talk about “How To” books for a moment—especially those aimed at dummies. First of all, I don’t need to be reminded of my incompetence. I already have someone who does that for me. Secondly, I’m not sure I want to learn “How To.” The more you know, the more people expect from you. Who needs that pressure?

However, for those who insist on learning new skills, I have put my personal prejudices aside and included self-improvement essays in both my books. The instructional manual, How To Write “How To” Books and The Seven Six Habits of Highly Effective Procrastinators are just a few short clicks away. You can thank me later.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our inter-galactic cat-herding gypsy who shakes a long, skinny finger at 100-word violators, is Katarzyna (the E.T.) 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  FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.


photo copyright Yarnspinner

















The image was grainy, but clear enough to conclude that the person was petite, barely five-feet tall. The figure crept cross the backyard with short, pronounced steps, elbows tucked, forearms extended, like a small rodent sneaking up on an acorn.

On the return trip, the torso was more erect, leaning back with hands upturned as if carrying something in empty arms.

“Can you put this in slow motion?” asked Lowry.

“Sure.” Wingnut pressed a button on the remote.

They watched the video again.

“It looks like a midget,” said Wingnut. “Do you think this one ran away from the circus?”

*the above is an excerpt from my current work in progress, “Criminal Mimes.”

51 Comments on “Video Surveillance

  1. Dear Detective Lowry,

    There’s a hint of purple in the air this morning. Waiting for coffee to brew in a house not my own. As the early riser, I’m mistress of the coffee maker. This morning, I brewed a great pot of hot water. Amazing what you can do by adding the coffee. I might need Coffee Making for Dummies. Your story must take place in Roswell. We saw a few aliens there. Well, I must end here. I have to make a phone call.

    Shalom and Nanu Nanu,

    Katazyna (E.T. phone home) W(T)F

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Katarzyna (the E.T.) W(T)F,

      There will be hints of purple later in this story regarding the cuprit’s sneakers and beret. She shouldn’t be too hard to pick out of a line-up. The story actually takes place in Belton, MO (you may have heard of this town). The thief has a cousin named Theo who is an unwitting accomplice.

      Good luck with your phone call. I hope you don’t get hit with “roaming” charges.
      Detective Lowry

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
    Be sure to increase your enjoyment by ordering one of Russell’s hilarious books. If you enjoy these blogs you’ll “love” the books. Click on the word BOOKS at the top of the blog to find information on ordering. Do yourself a favor. You won’t be sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Haha You always have me laughing before I even get to the excerpt that you share. I love the titles of your books. And the statement about the more you know, the more people expect from you is so true. And “Criminal Mimes,” another great title. Hilarious as always, Russell.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I, frankly, take affront at the whole “Idiot” and “Dummy” books. You will never see one on my shelves.
    Now… as to that crime… it sounds spookily familiar… wonder why that is 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think most owners of the “Idiot” and “Dummies” guides keep them hidden away, however I have seen one or two at garage sales (namely, “How to Hold a Garage Sale for Dummies”)

      As to the crime, you’ve been known to associate with the suspect, so don’t be surprised if you get a subpoena from the Grand Jury. And remember, you will be under oath.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I dunno… they didn’t get so popular all by themselves…

        Dang! I shall keep my wits about me!


  5. There’s something about this culprit that I suspect Wingnut knows. I had to procrastinate on getting the procrastinator book, but got another one instead 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s the suspect you should be worried about. She’s a cereal killer and steals Do Not Remove Tags from mattresses and furniture. Keep a close eye on your Shredded Wheat and Bran Nuts and stitch those loose tags down.

      I can’t believe I haven’t sold more copies of the Procrastination book to women looking for gifts for their husbands. Doesn’t yours have a birthday or anniversary coming up soon?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Do Not Remove tags, now that’s serious! 😀

        Unfortunately, my procrastination problem is worse than my husband’s…


  6. Evidently so. The victim kept hers by the refrigerator and told a lot of people about it. I think she even posted a photo of it on Facebook. No wonder it got stolen.


  7. Ha! What a fun take on this fuzzy picture. I’m enjoying your book very much! And will write an Amazon review soon. Seems like I have little time to read for myself. Maybe I need to drop one of my critique groups!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you’re enjoying the book. Hopefully, you’re learning a lot about how to deal with armadillos.

      How many critique groups are you in?


  8. If I can get someone to click that mouse for me I’d buy the “Effective Procrastinators” book. But good help is so hard to find.
    Was the small person wearing purple?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Subroto,

      I’ll see if the mime will come over and click the mouse for you. Maybe she can swing by while on her current road trip.

      Yes, this small person ALWAYS wears purple.


    • Thank you, Evergreen. It’s an ongoing saga. Let’s hope Detective Lowry catches the mime before she commits even more heinous crimes.


  9. The invisible box really has been stolen. With this evidence Lowry and Wingnut are sure to crack the case… ?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The invisible box returns! Possibly. I would like a ‘How to make a million by not learning new skills and doing absolutely nothing’. Let me know when you’ve written it 🙂


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