Bobbing in Broth

The county fair started yesterday. If you’ve ever wondered why they call it a “fair” it’s because they don’t want to set the bar too high. You can imagine how disgruntled attendees would be if the called it The County Super Fantastic, Mind-blowing Extravaganza and it failed to meet those expectations.

By the same token, they don’t want call it the County So-So, or County Ho-Hum either. The word “fair” tends to imply that the festivities are at least one notch above mediocre and that you might actually find it entertaining and fun—if you bring enough cash.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the ringleader of our troupe of above-average story fabricators is Theodora Rustbelt 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 – Carla Bicomong


Dashing into the churning foam, our kids were quickly neck-deep in the pea-soup mixture.

“Come on in,” they called. “It feels great.”

Evidently, their opinion of “feels great” and mine are entirely different. Splintered sticks, coarse gravel, and broken glass lined the bottom of Lake Hades. I clung to Connie’s hand while tiptoeing through the underwater minefield.

At least we didn’t have to worry about frigid water. I’ve sat in hot tubs that were cooler. The only thing missing was the massaging jets.

To fill the void, Mother Nature substituted small fish with an insatiable appetite for male leg hair.

*the above is an excerpt from the short story, Adventures in Camping

45 Comments on “Bobbing in Broth

  1. Brilliant. Swimming in the sea is one of those things that sounds wonderful as part of a day at the beach, and in reality is a massive disappointment. Hades Sea or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The County Ho-Hum! Indeed… and smart to stay away from the Super Fantastic as well… Keep it in the middle all the way.
    As for that Lake Hades. I’m with you. I’ll watch the kids from the shore, thank you very much!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, the fair! Our local school has Christmas Fairs – one of the teachers dressed as Santa in a cotton wool beard, a sad raffle with cheap scent and paint stripper bottles of wine as prizes, tinny piped carols and all in a run down hall with the smell of over cooked school dinners lingering in the air. ‘Fair’ is a generous description!
    We recently were on holiday to the south coast of England and there was a beach there that felt like walking barefoot in a builder’s yard! I feel your pain. You made me chortle with this one Russell

    Liked by 2 people

      • I don’t like them either! We call candy apples toffee apples and I think it makes them sound much nicer than they actually are – sticky, sickly with a nasty, elderly apple inside. Yuck 🙂


  4. Nice story. Yes real lake is different from hot tub. Experience is unique though. May be fish will start growing hair.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hilarious introduction and hysterical story! Lake Hades indeed! I loved the way you ‘clung to Connie’s hand’ while paddling. You had me grinning today, Russell!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Carlton Your-Doorman of Hanover Fist,

    I have fond memories of swimming in a farmer’s pond back when I was…well…much younger. While the floor wasn’t rough like Lake Hades, it was soft and muddy. The swimming party denigrated into a whopping mud fight extravaganza. I know my mother appreciated the excess going down the shower drain.
    Your visuals make me laugh (and cringe just a bit).


    Theodora Rustbelt W(T)F

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Theodora Rustbelt W(T)F,

      I’ve swam in several farm ponds myself. We did have a big mud fight a few years ago at a neighbors pond. (I was about 50 at the time). They were draining it prior to cleaning it out with a dozer. Six or eight of us wallowed around in the mud a while, then rode in the back of a pick-up to a little cove on Beaver Lake and washed off the crust. It was much more fun than Lake Hades.

      Only crusty once,
      Carlton Your-Doorman of Hanover Fist


  7. I totally took this literally. I assumed this had been a very naughty family, who were paying the price, now, in the actual Hades. I thought it delightful that damnation was like a family vacation (not too far from the truth, am I right?)and the children were not the least bit phased by the discomforts.

    I have had swimming experiences like this, that were less than refreshing: basically any outdoor pool or west coast beach in Florida, after late June. And the fish reminded me of some spas I once saw in a documentary on Japan, I believe, where you could stick your feet in a shallow pool, while carp or some other fish chewed the dead skin off your soles…ticklish and gross at once!

    Silly and enjoyable, and I mean that in the best way possible.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha! I got a laugh from your comment.
      Recently we were visiting with my audiologist who straightened me out of the difference between a vacation and a “trip.” According to her, a vacation is when you and your spouse take off, just the two of you, and have a wonderful time. A “trip” is all the children, grandparents, in-laws, and cousins share a large house on the beach for 10 days. She told me this the eve before her “trip” and was dreading the experience more than looking forward to it.

      Too bad I wasn’t invited. I bet I could have gotten some great story material from that family.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Next time someone tries to persuade me to swim in a lake, I will point them to your story. 😉 But seriously, I’d much rather swim in a pool, despite what chlorine does to my hair.
    Camping? No thanks.
    Thanks for the chuckle. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not all lake swimming spots are as bad as this one, but I prefer a pool too. Primarly for the smooth floor. Not a big fan of chlorine either. It makes my eyes glow like the creature from the Black Lagoon!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You could make a fortune with fish that eat leg hair! I personally love camping, but I only go camping in the North. Fun story, Russell.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The wonder of youth and their ability to see the magical in most situations. Your main character has to voice of my husband (haha). Love the last sentence. Very Murphy’s Law-ish. =)

    Liked by 1 person

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