The Ugly Stick

Monday night, I ordered a sandwich at an Arby’s in Fayetteville. The young lady who took my order appeared to be 19 to 21years old (a college student?).

“Got a name?” she asked. Naturally, my first thought was a smart-ass remark, but I simply replied, “Russell.” She keyed it in on the register and handed me my ticket. It read, “RUSTLE.”

While I’ve been known to shuffle through a pile of dry leaves, I’ve never had the urge to steal cattle. I wasn’t sure if she was trying to be funny, or if she typically slept through English class. Where the hell are the Spelling & Grammar Police when you need them?

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our facilitator is graduate cum laude from Walla Walla Bing Bang  Art & Drama Institute, the infamous Le Petite Voleur 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 B. Cloister

There are several types of beating sticks on the market.

One is the never popular Ugly Stick. You may know someone who’s been beaten with one of these. Or perhaps they fell from the top of an Ugly Tree and struck every branch on the way down.

Sadly, no amount of make-up or cosmetic surgery can restore the beauty stolen by an encounter with the Ugly Stick. To make matters worse, the ugly gene becomes embedded in the DNA and passed down for twelve generations.

If you have this gene, don’t blame your wife for having an affair with the mailman.






43 Comments on “The Ugly Stick

  1. I’ve had my share of Arby’s experiences, last week I became “Bar” instead of “Bear”. The lack of intelligence is beyond disgusting, I agree. Maybe I should borrow your ugly stick and give the cashier a change in perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, Bar is a southern pronunciation of Bear (not that that excuses anything). Was the girl chewing tobacco? Let’s hope she didn’t spit in your cup.

      A little ugly never hurt anyone.

      Liked by 1 person

      • No, no tobacco… though I don’t know what she does off-shift. LOL! I did double check the empty cup she handed me, though. Double LOL!


  2. Dear Lefty Rustling Gallbladder,

    My name is often misspelled. I’ve been called Roxanne or Michelle or Rachel…go figure. There’s a pizza place out our way that we like to frequent. Jan usually gives his name as Chief. And most often the savvy servers spell it “Cheif”. I wonder what would happen if I insist they write it in cursive. As for the ugly stick, the problem is that those afflicted often don’t see it in themselves. Just sayin’ You made me laugh…and cry a little.


    Le Petite Voleur W(T)F

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Le Petite Voleur W(T)F,

      Perhaps Jan should tell them his name is Chef, but they’d probably spell it with two Fs.
      I’ve heard that beauty is skin deep and ugly goes all the way to the bone. Next time I’m at the doctor I’ll ask for a bone scan and see if it’s true. But first, I’m going to rustle up some grub.

      Lefty Rustling Gallbladder

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I sometimes wonder what they’re teaching in schools these days, or not teaching. They’re probably adding extra stuff that isn’t necessary and neglecting the basics. Ugly sticks sound like something that should be illegal. There were some noses in my family that were like chair rockers. My kids were fortunate to avoid those. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • You hit the nail on the head. The basics (Reading, Writing, & Arithmetic) don’t get drilled into young minds like they did 50 years ago. These should be the foundation that all other learning is built upon. My grandchildren don’t even know what a multiplication table is, let alone having to memorize it.
      My father in-law had a nose like a ski slope (much like Bob Hope). I wouldn’t call it ugly, but it definitely was an outstanding feature. Connie’s older sister inherited it, as did her daughter, but neither Connie or our children have it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Russell. I was a 1st Grade teacher in the late 60s and early 70s and could see the way things were headed. I didn’t think the “new math” was the way to go. I hired a math tutor for my kids. By the time I found a good one my son was too far along to be helped much but my daughter was helped a great deal. One summer that woman even helped her with vocabulary for the SATs. My son then took some math classes in college and did well. It even surprised him as he’d never liked math and didn’t think he’d do well with it. I suspected he was a “late bloomer” and was right. He’d taken a year off between high school and college and worked. It was the best thing he ever did. Here in India, many kids are tutored in math. It’s taken seriously as many of them go into engineering. —- Suzanne


    • I think mailmen are obligated–it’s part of the job description. We’re starting to see more female letter carriers, which would make it a lesbian affair. I hope you’re okay with that.
      Connie has an ordinary nose–and she smells like lilacs.


  4. rustle is a term of endearment. she could be flirting with you. 🙂

    as for the ugly stick of a husband, she married him anyway. he must have some redeeming values. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think she was turned on by the gray-haired fat man who was at least 40 years older than her, unless may she thought I was Santa Claus (she probably can’t spell Santa either).
      For some women, money is a redeeming value in a husband.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ha! I’d forgotten about the Ugly Stick. My mom used to say that about people – other people – not her children. To her, we were “perfectly perfect.” Had her fooled.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh no, now you’ve opened a can of worms.
      As restitution, you’ll have to write a FFF piece on the subject, “A Face Only a Mother Could Love.”


  6. I taught English. It’s a never-ending battle, especially since videos have replaced books. I never did cure one kid of saying, “I seen a deer.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good to read your work again, Rustle. You must be a ninja with a name like that. I think the Ugly Stick is a great business investment. Just buy one and go to Hollywood and get people to pay you not to hit them. Extortion is just another word for entrepreneurship. 🙂


  8. Poor Rustle. She must be related to Serge from Beverly Hills cop. And the ugly stick… I had never heard of that before but it explains a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It hurts doesn’t it, when a pretty girl, was she pretty, spells Russel as Rustle? May be she was trying to initiate a conversation. I enjoyed reading your story.


    • Nah, it didn’t hurt. She was pretty, but almost young enough to be my granddaughter. Her idea of conversation would be via text message or twitter.


  10. There must not have been a spell check on the register, and I doubt if she cares that much anyway. I’m sure she doesn’t get paid enough to care. Your story explains a lot of things. Thanks so much! =)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not sure salary has anything to do with the care factor.
      We always knew there had to be a reason for ugly. Glad I could provide the investigative research to reveal the data.


  11. I think she was exhausted already by the time she got to serve you 🙂 Finally! An explanation an the genetic origins of beauty (or lack thereof)


  12. Although not a beautiful woman, I often wonder what it would be like to live undeniably ugly. I feel for them immensely as it isn’t the fault of the person. But on by the same token, I pray i never come back to have to find out.. Clever write.


  13. I’ll call you Rustle the Russeller from now on. Oops, I mean Russell the Rustler. 😀
    Being beaten by the Ugly Stick sounds sooooo unfair. Beauty hurts (a fair trade-off), so shouldn’t ugliness be painless?


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Mandie Hines Author

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