The Birthday Crasher

Is there someone in your house who doesn’t understand how a light switch works? These people have no trouble sliding the lever to the “On” position, but can’t seem to grasp the concept of flipping it to “Off” when they leave the room.

My Dad used to remark that our house was lit up like the Massey Hotel. To keep our electric meter from spinning like a pinwheel on methamphetamines, I threatened to doc our children’ allowances twenty-five cents each time I had to turn off a light behind them. By the end of the week, they always owed me money.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our frugal hostess who docs those exceeding the 100 word limit is Thomasina Edison 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 – Roger Bultot

Since retirement, Henry had worked hard to break into to the public speaking circuit. So far, the only gigs he’d landed were hawking free food samples at a neighborhood grocery.

Then fate intervened. One of the customers, impressed by his oratory skills, invited him to speak at a ribbon-cutting ceremony—at the museum, no less.

For three weeks, Henry honed his twenty-minute presentation and imagined the crowd hanging on every word.

“I’m the keynote for the ribbon-cutting,” he told the curator.

“Right this way.”

Inside, a five-year-old girl posed next to a pink, battery-operated toy car, scissors in hand.

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71 Comments on “The Birthday Crasher

  1. Dear Henry,

    I hope you wore your finest red nose for the auspicious occasion. No doubt those ribbon cutting scissors had rounded tips to keep you from hurting yourself. As for the 20 minute speech…simple words, right?
    My mother used to swear I left every light in the house on. But I think she exaggerated just a little. I couldn’t leave her bedroom light when she and Dad were sleeping. Fortunately they make those great LED energy saving bulbs now so the ceiling’s the limit.
    Be sure to start on your next great oration. I’ll leave the light on for you.

    Shalom,

    Thomasina Edison W(T)F

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Thomasina Edison W(T)F, or is it Thomasina Bodett?

      For your information, I was wearing my white linen sports jacket, pink shirt, and a bow tie. The red nose was securely tucked in my pocket when I arrived, but I quickly slipped it on before I began the twenty minute infomercial promoting my latest book.

      I suspected you might be a kilowatt killer. So what if they’re LEDs, you’re still generating light pollution. They can spot your house from the International Space Station, you know. The media is blaming it on Canadian intervention after you and the Canuck formed the KCC (Kansas City Chaos) last week. What’s next for you two? Tag team wrestling?

      Polishing my next speech,
      Henry

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So… I now hear my parents’ voices in my head as I constantly repeat to the two man-children who live in this house to stop leaving the bloody house lit up like a Christmas tree! Jeezus Mareee and Joseph….I come home at 12:30 am from work and you’d think a party was going on… But no… they are in the BACKYARD while every bleeping light is on in the … OK… I’ll stop now.
    Well, I’m sure you did a fine job. Doesn’t matter who the ribbon cutting is for now, does it?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Besides the inability to grasp the dual purpose of the light-switch, my husband has failed to notice that cupboard doors and drawers have a dual system of operation. I can tell where he’s been when I return to the house, and usually it’s my shins, head and hipbones that alert me to his trail. I hope Henry’s speech can be edited for the occasion.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I feel your pain, Sandra. My husband doesn’t recognize the off part of the switch unless I happen to leave a light on. Despite bright sunlight flooding our kitchen he feels the need to have every light on…claims it’s dark. I wonder if I should be saving for a guide dog.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Obviously you two are not “in the dark” when it comes to the light switch problem. Perhaps I should just wear sunglasses indoors and stop complaining.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. When someone’s not paying the bills it’s easier to forget. That address makes working at Wallmart sound like a top executive post, Russell. Hilarious. 😀 — Suzanne

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re right about being the one who pays the bills. My son is so energy conscious now that he installed solar panels to lower his electricity costs.

      I’m available if you know anyone who needs a keynote speaker before opening a box of cereal.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I would have loved to hear the keynote speech!
    My parents always said they didn’t own stock in the electric company. Close the lights when you leave the room! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m sure the girl listened intently, while maybe playing at Henry’s feet with the car. I imagine Henry is such that he will not let this small audience thwart his plans.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Yerevan!
    I really feel for him.
    I do have one son whoever the lights and room in disarray.
    I’ve been threatening to kick him out.
    His excuse: I can’t do all this when I am married!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hope he’s not wearing red, as that would clash horribly with the pink car and distract everyone’s attention from his fascinating speech. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

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