Spin Cycle

There was a letter to the editor in our local paper last week regarding TV drug ads. The author had watched numerous “wonder drug” ads and decided he wanted to feel the same joy, contentment, and fun times as the people in those ads.

He went to his doctor and asked for the drugs. His doctor refused to prescribe them because our friend didn’t have any of the illnesses the medication was designed to treat—but, he did recommend a doctor who would prescribe them (wasn’t that helpful?).

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the voodoo witch doctor who is always willing to prescribe 100-word stories is Marie Laveau 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. Bring a live sacrifice for payment.

copyright – J Hardy Carroll

“Mr. Crabappleton,” began Father Kowalski, “Say I, pronounce your full name and repeat after me the oath of your office.”

“I, Delbert Q. Crabappleton* . . .”

“Do hereby solemnly swear.”

“Do hereafter sit-in-de-chair”

“To faithfully execute the office of Goodwill Ambassador”

“To flick-a-flea on de cute officer of who-let-de-cat-indoors”

“To the best of my ability, so help me God.”

“To divest of my infidelity—wid’ no help from Maude—fer sure.

Father Kowalski exhaled in a long, drawn-out sigh. Turning, he looked at the mayor.

“Close enough?”

“Yeah, I think he got the gist of it,” said Mayor Peterson.


*not his real name. To find out who really got the job as Village Idiot in One Idiot Short of a Village you’ll have to read the book, which can be ordered here

 

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Muscaphobia

Let’s talk about tipping. Not the kind where you knock over a sleeping cow, but the custom of giving someone bonus money for just doing their job. I don’t know the history behind tipping, and I’m too lazy to do the research, so I’ll leave that to one of you.

I don’t have a problem leaving a tip if I receive exceptional service, but the whole thing has gotten out of hand. And it’s not just restuarants. Everybody expects a tip these days. Even the pan-handlers on the corner by Walmart have started demanding a 15% gratuity for mediocre begging services. What’s next? Will bloggers soon have a tip link at the bottom of their post?

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the photo-prompt server and author of exceptional 100-word stories is Carla Tortelli 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 fashionable hairstyles of the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here. Be sure and leave a tip.

copyright – Victor and Sarah Potter

Hey, Blanche. What’ve you been up to? I swung by last night, but no one was home.

Nadine invited me over for dinner. We hung out for a while.

Sounds like fun. Her place is close to the feedlot, isn’t it? A fat, juicy fly sounds delicious.

Oh, Nadine won’t eat flies. In fact, she has a terrible fear of them.

Why is that? Flies taste great, and they practically catch themselves.

She says it because they live on cow dung.

So, what did you have?

Randy came by, hoping to mate. Neither of us was receptive.

Yum. Sounds tasty.

Everybody Loves a Parade (well, almost everybody)

Has this ever happened to you? You’re cruising down the aisle of a supermarket, you know exactly what you want and where it is, but when you get there, someone has parked their cart parked between you and said item while tediously browsing the shelf across the aisle.

In my case, it was a grandmother with two young tykes. A debate was raging amongst the tykes regarding which toothpaste Grandma should buy. The older of the two insisted on bubble gum flavor, while the younger one demanded cotton candy. I threw a box of Preparation H in Grandma’s cart while she wasn’t looking, grabbed a tube of Crest, and went along my merry way. I hope she got the hint.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the statistician known for her subtle nuances regarding the 100-word limit is Countess Purpula 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 fashionable hairstyles of the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – Roger Bultot

In its wake, the parade left a path of destruction that included a porta-potty containing “Blind Rutabaga” Keller and Stevie.*

“There was a horrible roaring,” said Blind Rutabaga. “I had torn off some tissue and was doing the paperwork, when BAM! Something slammed into the building. I thought a tornado had hit. Then KABOOM! The toilet exploded and threw me and Stevie out in the street. My whole backside was wet and a band was playing ‘When the Saints Go Marchin’ In.’

“I thought we’d died and went to heaven, except for having my pants around my ankles, of course.”


*Stevie is Blind Rutabaga’s seeing-eye dog

the above is an excerpt from “One Idiot Short of a Village.”

What the Hell is It?

How many of you have at least one pair of holey underwear? No, I’m not talking about the kind of “holy” you reserve for religious holidays; I’m referring to the type with non-factory openings for extra ventilation. Okay, you can put your hands down now.

Well, here’s some good news. In today’s fashion world you’re more in style than ever. People pay a fortune for jeans and shirts that look like they lost a fight with a weed-whacker. Consider yourself ahead of the curve—possibly even a trendsetter. Viva la holey bloomers!

If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Chief Inspector who checks for 100-word skid marks, is “Skivvies” Hanes Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to submit your tale to the weekly collection, zip over to her blog for instructions. To rent a box in the FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – Ted Strutz

The Resource Center turned out to be what people of my generation would call a library.

Twenty-first century libraries have become more of an entertainment center than a repository for books. The one at The Academy of Spoiled Rotten Brats was no exception. It featured a wide array of multi-media options, each partitioned off by a hideous piece of modern art.

One look at this fiasco told me it was the work of Claude Bawls, Professor Emeritus at Joe’s College of Mobile Home Design and Shoe Shine Institute, and a disciple of the man who invented the cocktail umbrella.


* the above is an excerpt from “The Academy of Spoiled Rotten Brats.” This tale and others are featured in One Idiot Short of a Village, now available for pre-order from Pen-L Publishing.

Three Monkeys

As we head into the cold & flu season, expect to hear these phrases; 1) Sounds like you’re trying to catch a cold. And, 2) You couldn’t have picked a worse time to get the flu.

My responses;

  • Yes, I sat at the bus stop, waiting for six hours, then had to chase the damn cold up hill for three blocks in a snow storm. It wasn’t easy, but I finally caught the SOB.
  • The Flu and I had originally discussed getting together in mid-January, but she was overbooked and this was the only time slot she had left.

If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Director of the CBC (Centers for Blog Control), who has issued a strong waring for posts exceeding 100 words, is Brenda Sneezingfitz Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to submit your tale to the weekly collection, zip over to her blog for instructions. To rent a box in the FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – Bjorn Rudberg

Happy Holidays from Three Monkeys Outfitters

It’s not too late to buy the perfect gift for that gossip on your list. We have a wonderful assortment of blindfolds, earmuffs, and mouth plugs, all at holiday prices and gift wrapped at no charge.

This week, we’re running a special on hand-knitted “No-Hear” hats. Patented sound-blockers inside the flaps prevent even the smallest rumor from becoming Jerry Springer talk show material.

If you act now, we’ll also include our most popular black velvet hoodwink and unisex gag FREE. And it all comes with a 90-day no-malicious-talk guarantee.

Give ‘em the Monkey.


*this week’s post limited to 99 words due to my excessive overload of 101 words two weeks ago. You may have also notices I was missing last week–serving detention with my nose stuck inside a tiny circle on a chalkboard.

Seasoned Greetings

 

Merry Christmas from Russell the Red-Nose Writer & Connie the Green-Thumb Gardener

 

Greetings Friends & Neighbors,

We’ve been blessed to survive another year (you probably figured that out when you got this card). Some of you may have suspected for years that Russell had mental issues. Well, now it’s official—he’s retared.

They say, “Ignorance is bliss,” and you’ll never meet a guy any happier to have this affliction.

Rather than bore you with the trivial events that occurred in our lives in 2017, we’ve decided to share some of the things that didn’t happen.

  • We didn’t win the lottery (again)
  • Russell’s book didn’t make the NY Times Best Seller List
  • We didn’t secretly meet with Vladimir Putin
  • No one offered to make a movie about us
  • Neither of us aged a single day (wishful thinking)

Yet despite all these failures and shortcomings, we feel happy and blessed. The Lord has been good to us. Praise God.

It’s our sincere wish that each of you have Joyous Christmas and a Happy, Healthy, and Blessed New Year.

__________X_____________               __X_________________

(his mark)                                                                    (her mark)

The Ice Woman Cometh

How much time do you spend waiting in lines? According an MIT study by Richard Larson (I wonder if he’s related to Gary Larson—The Far Side cartoonist?) American’s spend 2 years of their lives waiting.

Briton’s call it Queuing and average about 67 hours a year, or 5 months, 2 weeks, and 5 days of their lives standing in lines. Last Saturday, Connie and I took 2 grandkids to Silver Dollar City and used 4 of our 6 hours at the theme park standing in lines. The other two hours were spent wedging our way through crowds trying to find the end of the lines.

One place where you never have to wait is Friday Flash Fiction. Speedy Gonzales Wisoff-Fields posts the photo promptly at the crack of midnight on Wednesday and you can join the fun whenever you’re ready. To learn how to submit your tale to the weekly collection, zip over to her blog for instructions. To rent a box in the FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

 

copyright – Dale Rogerson

 

I’ve never met a woman

Who’s more like the weather

She can change for the worse

At the drop of a feather

Forget that the forecast

Calls for 90 and sunny

Better put on your coat,

The Ice Woman Cometh

 

Like a frigid arctic blast

Sweeping down from the north

The temperature plummets

When she walks through the door

Suddenly you remember

What you like about summer

Better put on your coat

The Ice Woman Cometh

 

The stare “chill-factor”

Is way below zero

Her silence so deafening

It cuts to the marrow

Better put on your coat

The Ice Woman Cometh


*the above is an excerpt from a poem I wrote about 25 years ago. It’s been modified to come in at 101 words.

Social Thinking

Usernames and passwords: How many do you have and how do you keep track of all of them?

Just when I think you’ve come up with a system, the website wants me to change my password. I’ve had enough Apple IDs to fill an orchard. Evidently, they turn rotten quickly because none of them ever works longer than 24 hours.

If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Emcee who provides one-photo clues to our weekly 100-word riddle is Alice Ludden Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to submit your tale to the weekly collection, zip over to her blog for instructions. To rent a box in the FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

photo courtesy of Yours Truly

 

“Thinking is the hardest work there is; which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.” – Henry Ford

***

It pains me to say this, but one group at high risk for Heavy Thinking addiction is writers. These individuals spend a lot of time alone in front of blank computer screens actually encouraging the thought process.

I attended one of their small group meetings. During a critique session, a Heavy Thinker will offer a fledgling writer powerful suggestions to improve their story. This continues around the room until the author of said paper shows signs of dizziness and intoxication from an overdose of knowledge.

I usually sit there with that deer-in-the-headlights-look, occasionally offering half a thought, just to be social.


* the above is an excerpt from The Perils of Heavy Thinking, available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle.

The Most Heinous of Crimes

Tomorrow kicks off the annual gorging season here in America. Like me, I’m sure many of you have been in training for the past several weeks getting ready to put on an extra of layer of blubber before we head into winter.

There’s nothing more embarrassing than showing up at the Emergency Room with a pulled stomach muscle because you hadn’t properly exercised prior to a big meal. You’ll never win a medal at the Obese Olympics unless you get in shape—and round is the shape I’m talking about.

If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, the chef who provides the stuffing for our weekly cornucopia of stories is Ernestine Gibbons Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to submit your tale to the weekly collection, zip over to her blog for instructions. To rent a box in the FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Detective Lowry pulled to the curb and studied the house. Other than the police tape, it looked like every other cookie-cutter home in the neighborhood.

Inside, a team of forensic experts combed the scene. The homeowners, a young husband and wife, sat shell-shocked at the kitchen table.

“What’d ya got?” Lowry asked the senior inspector.

“Not much. The Do-Not-Remove-Under-Penalty-of-Law tags from every mattress, pillow, and piece of furniture are missing. Who would do such a thing?”

Lowry wiped a white smudge from the mirror. It smeared between his finger and thumb. “When we find the invisible box, we’ll find the tags.”

 

 

Smokin’ Hot

Remember the old excuse, “The dog ate my homework?” Teachers didn’t believe it then and they don’t believe “The dog ate my flash drive” today. As far as I know, C.E. Ayr is the only person who actually took dog feces to class to support his case.

Other popular excuses in today’s world include; The FBI confiscated it as part of their investigation into Russian tampering. I was abducted by aliens and they kept it as part of their research. A tornado sucked it right out of my Mom’s car. I’d love you hear any creative excuses you can add to this list. 

If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Grand Marshall of our weekly parade of stories is renowned radio personality Gabby “Gate-Mouth” Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to submit your tale to the weekly collection, zip over to her blog for instructions. To rent a box in the FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – J. Hardy Carroll

 

Iowa City Fire Chief, Ken Peterson, removed his helmet and ran his fingers through what was left of his thin, graying hair.

This was their third fire in the past week. There would be an investigation of course, but he already knew the cause.

Fortunately, a lady in the apartment next door smelled the smoke and called 911. His crew arrived quickly and got the family out alive. The husband had been asleep on the couch, but they had to drag the wife out kicking and screaming—crying about losing her baby.

No wonder Peterson hated November. Damn that NaNoWriMo.

 

 

Black Friday Shopping

With Halloween securely in the rear-view mirror, the retail industry has declared Christmas Bombardment Season officially open. Apparently it’s “old school” to actually enjoy one holiday before moving on to the next.

Veteran’s Day is Saturday, but I’m not seeing ads for discounts on flags or restaurants offering free meals to those who’ve served our country. That means it’s up to us. If you know a Vet (and who doesn’t?), march right up to them, shake their hand, and thank them for their service. Don’t let this holiday get swept under the rug without acknowledging it.  

If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, our workshop is ran by Ma Keebler Wisoff-Fields, who serves up the prompts as part of her work-release program. To learn how to submit your tale to the weekly collection, zip over to her blog for instructions. To rent a box in the FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

 

copyright – Marie Gail Stratford

The day after Thanksgiving should be called something else. Black Friday doesn’t do it justice. People who never get up before 10am roll out of bed three hours before daylight, guzzle a gallon of coffee, and prepare to storm the stores.

Some women drag their husbands along as pack mules. I tried it once with Brad, but he’s harder to keep track of than a four-year-old at Chucky Cheese.

The concept of retail warfare flies over his head. It’s like trying to explain lip-gloss to a walrus. He nods like a bobble-head, but it just goes in one ear and out the other.


* the above is an excerpt from Black Friday Shopping Tips

The Spoiled Guest

I get my email in Outlook. Lately, the old gal has developed amnesia—or maybe Alzheimer’s. Either way it’s bad. She no longer recognizes me. Hers is short-term memory at its worst. Sometimes she asks me for my password two or three times a day.

I always click the little box that says, “Remember this password,” but she never does. I don’t know if an update would help her, or if she’s just getting to the age where she can’t remember who people are. That’s what happens when you get old (or, so I’m told).

If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, our Facilitator has memory problems too. Each week I have to tell what her name is. You’d think she could remember something easy like What’s-Her-Face Wisoff-Fields? To learn how to submit your tale to the weekly collection, zip over to her blog for instructions. To rent a box in the FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – Sarah Ann Hall

Dear Ma & Pa,

You was right about Aunt Ophelia and Uncle Wallace being surprised to see me. She broke out in tears and he was speechless for a couple of days. I never seen anybody so overcome with joy.

They shore got a fancy house. It’s even got an indoor toilet. There’s a big table in there with a whole bunch of jars on it. They’s so many, I didn’t know which pot to piss in.

Cousin Lucinda said if I come to her room tonight, she’d teach me a new game. I cain’t wait!

Your son,

Junior, Jr.

Mandie Hines Author

Horror, Psychological Thrillers, Poetry, Flash Fiction

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The Incoherent Ramblings Of A Moose

This is the blog of a woman who is seriously on the edge and I mean right ON the edge…no, not there… just a little bit further… further than that…no, further still…just a tiny bit more… just move slightly to the right a little…no, that’s too much…just move a tad to the left…that’s right, just there…now you’ve moved too far to the left… Damn, what part of the ‘on the edge’ do you not understand? Oh, and her matricidal boy genius, come devil spawn.

Sharing sarcasm, snark, and satire with the world...

Or the three people I guilted into reading this blog, whatever.

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www.immodiumabuser.com

AS I TOLD THE GIRL THAT I LOST MY VIRGINITY TO, THANKS FOR LAUGHING AT ME HERE TODAY.

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I don't write, I touch without touching.

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