Steamy Windows

Who remembers when they saw or heard their first phone pager? My first question was who needed one and why?. When a pager started beeping or buzzing in a crowd, everyone assumed it must belong to a doctor or some other critical profession where being able to contact that person was a matter of life or death. Otherwise, why would anyone want to be tethered with such a short rope?

It’s interesting how attitudes change and how quickly the public can embrace new technology. In today’s world, being “connected” is considered an absolute necessity. And if you fail to answer your phone or respond to a text within three minutes people accuse you of intentionally ignoring them. Standard excuses for not responding immediately include;

  • My phone was on the charger
  • I was on the pot
  • Wheel of Fortune was on

What’s your favorite “go to” excuse?

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Gorilla Glue who holds this band of misfits together is Koko No-Go 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 – Ted Strutz

“There used to be a drive-in theater right here.” Mr. Carroll made a sweeping motion with his right hand.

“The concession stand and projector room was there.” He pointed to a pile of rubble. “And the screen stood at the far end of that thicket.”

“Wow,” whispered his grandson. “People watched movies outdoors?”

“Yeah, but most of the action took place inside the cars.”

“You mean like virtual reality?”

“No.” Mr. Carroll chuckled. “See that old car? That’s where Speedway Randy was conceived. I still remember what was showing that night.”

“What was it Grandpa?”

“Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”

 

Subtle Aspirations

Last week we tackled the delicate issue of how to eat an animal cracker. Today, we’ll address a less violent act of dining, how to use a paper napkin. Upon observing a group of diners last night, I can say with absolute certainty that most napkin users fall into two categories; the Folder, and the Wadder.

The Folder gently folds his napkin in half, or quarters, before gently wiping his mouth. This method allows the user to refold the napkin multiple times, always having a clean surface to work with. The Wadder scrunches the napkin into a ball and swabs at his mouth as if he’s polishing his favorite pair of shoes. He rotates the ball after each swab, always having a clean surface to work with.

Both methods prove to be effective. How do you use a napkin?

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the resident authority on 100-word count etiquette is Elizabeth Post-Toasties 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 – Dale Rogerson

 

“Keith, why the duct tape on the door?”

“My neighbor has been spying on me, Neil. She’s a young widow, very attractive.”

“Why would she be spying on you?”

“Recently, I’ve been flirting with the idea of joining a nudist colony. So I thought I’d get comfortable by practicing at home.”

“But why just use patches of tape? She can still see in.”

“Based on the angle from her window, she can only see part of me. The taped section hides my modesty.”

“Has it proved to be effective?”

“Yes. So far, she’s brought me two pies and bread pudding.”

 

 

The Lottery

Recently, I got into a debate with my grandchildren on a very serious issue—the proper way to eat an animal cracker. One of the girls took the position that you should bite the head off first, this way the animal in question can’t bite you back—plus, in her mind—it was more humane.

A grandson countered that you should nibble off the legs first, so the vicious tiger, elephant, or giraffe couldn’t escape. The girls declared this method cruel, but not necessarily unusual, punishment for such a cracker.

To resolve the issue, they gave their grandmother a camel to see how she would eat it. Grandma promptly tossed the sweet, flakey cookie between her molars and ground it to bits. Evidently, there’s more than one way to kill an animal cracker. What’s your favorite method?

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Ringmaster of this circus of 100-word stories is Kristen Michelle 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 – Priya Bajpal

“God, this is embarrassing.” Andrea raised a cupped hand to her forehead to shield her eyes.

“Which one of you is going to tell him?” asked Sandra.

“Not me!” said Iain. “He killed the last messenger who brought him unpleasant news.”

Dale rubbed her chin. “Shelley should do it. She’s the one in charge.”

“No way.” Shelley shook her head. “We’ll draw for it.”

Plaridel pulled a slip of paper from the jar and read the name aloud.

Shelley smiled. “Red Nose, it looks like you’re elected. Now, go tell C.E. his pants are unzipped.”

 

Reintarnation (reprise)

“What in tarnation are you up to?” This question came up frequently when I was a child. For some reason, Mom felt the need to question my actions and scrutinize the purity of my motives. Ideas were sent hurtling across the vast expanse of my young mind at the speed of a sloth wading through molasses. So many in fact, that I had to plug my ears to keep them from spilling out onto my shoulders—especially when Mom used that dreaded word, “tarnation.” 

Flash forward fifty years.  ~  My wife revises Mom’s line of questioning to ask, “What in tarnation are you writing about now?” 

The repetition of this word brings me to the conclusion that there must be nation called Tar (located somewhere between my ears) responsible for the generation of brilliant ideas. Thoughts passing through this country more than once are subject to a process called reintarnation—a form of cerebral enlightenment.

If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Queen of Cerebral Enlightenment is the fascinating Lady Victoria Wisoff-Fields.  To learn how to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF “Hollywood Squares” author seating chart click here.

copyright – Randy Mazie

As a kid, Billy spent a lot of time hanging out in the cemetery performing maintenance. Originally hired to keep down grass and control weeds, he found removing artificial flowers to be the most fulfilling part of the job.

Most of the time, Billy could be found lounging in the shade of a tombstone erected to the “Loving Memory” of Alfonso Spade.

Despite his billing, Spade, a reputed curmudgeon, was neither loved nor remembered. Visitors referred to him as an “old goat.”

Sensing a lack of family respect, Billy took it upon himself to water and fertilize the grave daily.

Open House (Reprise)

As a kid, I watched The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show religiously.  One of my favorite segments was “Fractured Fairy Tales.” At the time, I never thought about the writers who created the story line, but looking back, I realize what a sick bunch of twisted individuals they must have been, and the impact they had on my impressionable you mind.

Now, it’s fifty years later and you poor souls (my faithful readers) are being exposed to the fallout from the nuclear explosions that happened in my brain so long ago. I’m not apologizing, mind you, just a little background information for those of you who slept through  psychology in college.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Fairy Godmother of our weekly tales is Queen Lurline Wisoff-Fields.  If you’d like to participate in this exercise in madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF  Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – Adam Ickes

“Hello, I’m calling about the cottages for rent.”

“Yes, Ma’am. We have two units available.”

“Where are they located?”

“These are portable units. You can lease a space from us, or set them up on your own lot.”

“They sound nice, but I’m a single mother with a large family. I’m not sure I can afford it.”

“Don’t worry Ma’am. There’s government funding available to help elderly women in your situation, and the more children the better.”

“My kids won’t eat their broth. Any suggestions?”

“Spank them soundly and put ‘em to bed.”

“Shoe Apartments sounds like a perfect fit.”

 

Disco Golf Luau (Reprise)

I’d like to start this week’s intro by saying I have the utmost respect for Mr. Fred Rogers. He brought a gentle, comforting presence into the lives of millions of children and the world is a better and happier place for him having lived in it.

When I was young, we used to watch the Dean Martin Show every week. My favorite episodes featured Jonathan Winters squeezing into a room stuffed with random items (not unlike my garage). He would pick up an item, such as a ball glove or carburetor, immediately jump into character, rattling off the funniest story you ever heard—totally spontaneous and unrehearsed.

Something similar, only different, happened to me today as I wrote this story. The Friday Flash Fictioneer photo for this week is courtesy of Doug “Flying Disc Man” MacIlroy. To read other far-fetched offerings, visit our hostess Ruby Slippers Wisoff-Fields‘ blog. 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.

Doug's ball 

Disco Golf Luau 

“Good morning, boys and girls. Welcome to Mr. Roger’s workshop. Today we’re going to build a disco ball for our friend, Mr. Mac, in Hawaii. Can you say that . . . disco?

First, we soak strips of paper in paste and cover a beach ball with them. This is called papier-mâché. When the ball is dry, we’ll glue on thousands of tiny mirrors.”

“What’s Mr. Mac going to do with it?” asked Ruby.

“He wants to put it on his red bucket and take it to the disc golf course.”

“But why?”

“Because it’s on his bucket list, Ruby.”

The Cow Catcher

Have you every taken something important and put it in a “Special Place” to make it easier to find the next time you needed it? This simple act is a reflection of your highly advanced organizational skills, forethought, and planning.

However, it is also the best way I know of to lose something permanently. There must be at least twenty-five things in this house that I’ve hidden from myself and can’t find. The problem lies in remembering where the “Special Place” is. And as soon as I go to the time, trouble, and expense to replace the missing item, it immediately turns up. I call this Murphy’s Law of Outsmarting Yourself.  

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the little chickadee who fluffs her nest with 100-word stories is Flower Belle Lee Wisoff-FieldsIf 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 – Dawn Miller

A passenger train, The Cornish Scot is creeping along at a snail’s pace. Finally it grinds to a halt, and Sandra sees Conductor Ayr walking by outside.

“Why are we stopping?” she yells out the window.

“There’s a cow on the tracks, Madam!” he replies.

Ten minutes later, the train resumes its dreadfully slow crawl.

The train had barely gone one kilometer when it creaked to a halt once more. Sandra sees Conductor Ayr passing her window again.

She leans out and yells, “What happened? Did we catch up with the cow?”

 

Squeaky Wheels

Bad news. I fear our new puppy, Liza Jane, is becoming a mime. Every morning she shows up at breakfast wearing white-face and black lipstick. She won’t talk when spoken to. She responds only with sarcastic body motions and exaggerated facial expressions.

To make matters worse, three times this week I caught her trying to rip the Do-Not-Remove tags from her toys. Heaven help us when she grows to seventy pounds and can lift furniture and mattresses.

I’m just praying Santa doesn’t bring Liza a striped shirt and beret for Christmas.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, you can trust your 100 words to the gal who wears the star, The Big Bright FFF Star, “Oil Can Boyd” 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.

photo copyright – Nick Allen

“All this skateboarding will catch up with you someday,” Mom said.

Fifteen-year-old Jesse smiled. What does she know? Sure, he’d taken a few falls and wrenched an ankle or two, but no broken bones—as yet.

Thirty years later just getting out of bed became a chore. It always took a couple of doses of lubrication to loosen the stiffness in his joints.

Bending to change a tire, lightning bolts of pain flashed through both knees and up his back. Finishing the job, he rose to his feet, staggered, and grimaced.

Maybe Mom was right after all.


Little Liza Jane

Wheel of Misfortune

Deer season opened here last Saturday. The first two days went as planned, then on Monday, Local Wildlife Union #413 called for a walkout. Deer set up a picket line in my backyard and began demanding shorter hours and holiday pay for Thanksgiving.

The timing of the strike caught the AGF (Arkansas Game & fish) off guard and threatened to end the season prematurely. Several hunting camps have sided with the deer in urging the AGF to settle quickly. However, if they give in to the deer, it’s likely the rabbits, squirrel, and waterfowl will soon follow suit.

My recommendation is to break the strike by bringing in “replacement deer” from surrounding states. Mississippi, in particular, has a good number of well-qualified deer who are dying to cross the border. Arkansas deer have threatened to file suit, but this is a Red State, which gives them about as much chance of winning as a fart in a whirlwind.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our Game Warden, who strictly enforces the 100-word regulations, is Ranger Rocky Raccoon 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 – Whatshername Wisoff-Fields

Dewayne had a God-given talent for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. As a youth, the sports teams he played on would often be ahead by as many as ten points with a minute to play, and find a way to lose—thanks to Dewayne.

The same held true when it came to romance and business. He’d filed almost as many bankruptcies and divorces as Donald Trump.

Overlooking his latest real estate acquisition, Dewayne envisioned couples lining up in droves to float through his Tunnel of Love.

Too bad it was downstream from the sewer plant.

They All Look Alike

Here’s an enigma for you. Since I’ve retired, time has sped up. The period between 6am and 6pm is now four hours. Carve out a couple of meals and there’s barely enough time left to accomplish anything.

Plus, if you’re like me and spent forty years earning a degree in Laziness and Procrastination from Hard Knocks University, even a small task will take weeks, possibly months to complete.

The reduced hours in a day has also caused adjustment problems for my wife. With me underfoot, poor Connie now has twice as much work to do and only half the time to get it done.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our ambitious, “Get ‘er Done” coordinator of 100-word tales is Lori The-Book-Table-Gal 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.S. Brand 

“What did the mime look like?”

“Like a mime, dammit. That’s like asking what a penguin looks like. They may come in different sizes, but they’re all penguins to me.”

“Was it a man or a woman?”

“I repeat—it was a mime, dammit. I don’t know how to tell what gender they are. The pissed-off woman referred to it as Shelby, or Shelley—something like that.”

“Boy, you’re a lot of help.”

“Lowry, you’re the friggin’ detective. If you want to know what sex the mime is, go down to the Family Mart and do a full cavity search.

Mandie Hines Author

Horror, Psychological Thrillers, Poetry, Flash Fiction

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