Thursday, 26 March 2015

Give Him A Hand



Gerry was a magician, and he was very good at his craft until one day a freakish accident occurred. It happened during the "Sawing The Lady In Half" trick. He didn't saw her in half. He didn't see her at all because he accidentally sawed off both his hands.

Gerry spent weeks in the hospital recovering and then learning how to manage without his hands. His physiotherapist was a beautiful young woman named Jill. And it was love at first sight despite Gerry's handicap - no pun intended.

While Gerry was a magician he was an expert at sleight of hand. No one ever knew how he accomplished his tricks and he never let on. But now, given Gerry's condition, there'd be no stumping fall town fairs performing magic tricks for appreciative audiences.

Except Gerry wasn't the kind to give up and if it be known his family fingered him for just such a kind of individual.

So it came as no surprise when he asked his love Jill to help him resurrect his act and be his assistant. After weeks of practice, working together they finally had a new act. It wasn't quite the same as the old act. Not quite as smooth. But it worked. It worked very well.

And the crowds they performed for were very excited by Jerry's return to the the stage and by his new assistant Jill. After all, they said, you really had to hand it to him.

This week's prompt from the folks at Studio30+ was sleight of hand.


Wednesday, 18 March 2015

A Little Tale For Awl About Jeb The Woodworker


You might say Jeb was a bit of a nerd. At 21 he'd never had a relationship with a member of the fairer sex. Or any sex for that matter. High school was a disaster when it came to relationships. When all the others went off to Saturday night dances Jeb stayed home, locked up in his room playing with his woodworking set. He had saws, hammers, chisels, every kind of woodworking tool imaginable.

Jeb's parents thought their son a little strange but he kept out of trouble so they said little about it. When he entered college, Jeb joined the Whittler's Workshop, an after school non-credit woodworking club. Each fall, the WW held a competition among it's students where, based on detailed instructions, the students undertook specific projects. Jeb, given his long history of woodworking thought the competition would be a breeze.

He set to work. He reviewed the instructions, collected his wood and began his project. He used his hand saw and hammer, his adz and auger, his callipers and chisels, not to mention his planes and pocket knives.

But that wasn't enough. Jeb decided to go beyond the instructions and use his boring angle brace and hand drill to create a beautiful series of holes with his woodworking instruments, the likes of which no one had ever seen before.

Jeb was quite confident he'd sway the judges, particularly the cute blonde who had been carefully watching him while he bored holes into his creation.

"What do you think?" asked Jeb. "Are you impressed enough to go out with me?"

"Never" said the judge, regarding Jeb's hole-filled masterpiece. "You're simply too boring."


The prompt at Studio30+ this week was boring. I hope this post isn't and that it augers well.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

A Different Little Story About Jack and Diane


Jack lived a simple life. Up at 5 o'clock to feed the chickens, milk the cows, unpack the alpacas and jump on the tractor and head for the fields. Jack lived the single life tending his farm. In his mid-thirties he was a ruggedly handsome fellow but having left school in grade 7 to work on the family farm, the rural farm he tended now, he didn't have a lot of time for dating.

That was about to change.

One quiet evening, with the dishes done and the television dialled to a rerun of Sex In The City, the phone rang. It was his buddy Bud - no shit - on the other end of the line, telling him he'd be by in 15 minutes to pick him up for a guy's night out at the Lonesome Dolt, their favourite bar down the road in the small town of Littleville.

The joint was hopping when they arrived and they ordered a bootfull of draft. The 20 ounce glasses were shaped like boots. They didn't really drink out of their boots. What kind of hicks did you think they were anyway?

The Dolt was just like any rural western bar. It had sawdust on the floor, wagon-wheel lamps over every table and a bunch of guys in the corner doing a rendition of Boot Scootin' Boogie. A couple of couples were tripping over their cowboy boots attempting to line dance. And the washrooms had cute wooden plaques on their doors reading "Chaps" and "Split Skirts", the former proposed by a rodeo rider and the latter dreamed up by a Pete Townsend fan.

Bud poked Jack in the arm and pointed to the bar. "Jack" says Bud "You oughta mosey on over to the bar and buy that girl over there a drink."

Feeling he had nothing to lose Jack did just that.

"Hi, I'm Jack. Can I buy you a drink?"

With a nod of her head, she looked him up and down and agreed. Jack had succeeded with the first step and learned that her name was Diane.

"Are you from around here, Diane, or are you one of those city girls?" said Jack pressing his luck and  himself closer to her.

"Oh, I'm bucolic."

"Bucolic" repeated Jack. "Should you be drinking' then?"

She fluttered her big blue eyes and proclaimed "Oh golly you're right. I just blew my whole 12-step program."

Jack had met his match. They lived happily ever after.

The Studio30+ writing prompt this week was rural/bucolic.




Thursday, 5 March 2015

Just Let Me Babble A Moment



Okay, I think I've been living under a rock. Or I've spent too much time on the internet or reading books or watching "On Demand" TV series. Or all of those things. Am I babbling?

The other night my wife and I were killing an hour between two favourite shows on TV. We flipped over to the Food Network and watched that great old stand-by "Chopped". But this is the Canadian version hosted by Tori Spelling's husband Dean McDermott. Anyway, I think it was the entree round and when the chefs stuck their hands into their mystery boxes  - yes I know how that sounds - they came up with broccolini. Brocco whatee? I turned to my wife and asked "Do you know what that is? She said I think it's broccoli and asparagus". I said "Then why don't they call it Broccagus?" She said "I don't know. Shut up, I'm watching this". I have to say this is a habit of mine. I always talk while we're watching something. In a movie I'll lean over and say "Hey, that's that guy from That 70s show isn't it?" Drives her nuts. And yet I'm still alive to do it again and again. Love is strange.

So it's not asparagus. I looked it up. It's a hybrid of broccoli and kai-lan. Yeah, that's Japanese. Apparently it's great in stir-fry. Who knew?

So while we're on this babble thing I started thinking about this "ini" business. What's up with that?  The one thing that immediately came to mind was spaghettini.Yeah, now as if spaghetti pasta wasn't thin enough someone had to go and make it thinner. Jerks.

And while I'm babbling here why did they go and make Coronita? It's a Corona, only smaller. Who wants a smaller beer. Hell, here in Quebec you can buy a man's version of Corona in quarts - the bottle not the gem, although Corona is a gem of a beer.

Speaking of little things. This is all too much for my little mind to take in. Pour me a Coronarita, will ya? Wanna join me? A couple of these and I'm sure we'll babble all night.



"Babble" was this week's prompt over at Studio30Plus. Skip on over there and see what all the commotion is about.



Sunday, 1 March 2015

Bibliofile



Lest you think I can't spell I thought I'd remind folks that the title I use for this post each month is my way of updating you on the file of books I've been reading. It's just my way with words, or non words, if you will. I mean, of korse I cahn spell.

Of course, the title might have come from the picture in this post. Then, though, it would have been Biliopile. But I digress.

Anyhoo, I started off the month with a lengthy look at rock promotor Bill Graham. As a music lover I found this book fascinating, full of anecdotes of his relations with the major rock acts of the day. As the owner of the Fillmore East and West he saw them all. I also enjoyed learning a little bit about the man himself.

The rest of February was taken up with an escape to Narnia. C.S. Lewis wrote the Chronicles of Narnia in the 1950s. I'd never read them as a child and until now my only reference point was the 2005 movie The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

I loved them, all seven of them. I can see how their escapism would appeal to pre-teens...and old men such as myself!

So the eight books this month plus the six I read in January brings me to 14 books so far this year. I've set a goal of 75 books this year and I'm sure I can reach it.

And in case you think all I do is read, this month I discovered a raft of British TV shows on On Demand. Five Days, Utopia, Life's Too Short and The Hour were among the series I got through. I enjoyed them all.

Here are the books I read:

Bill Graham Presents: My Life Inside Rock and Out - Bill Graham, Robert Greenfield
The Chronicles of Narnia Book 1: The Magician's Nephew - C.S. Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia Book 2: The Lion, The With and The Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia Book 3: The Horse and His Boy - C.S. Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia Book 4: Prince Caspian - C.S. Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia Book 5: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - C.S. Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia Book 6: The Silver Chair - C.S. Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia Book 7: The Last Battle - C.S. Lewis

How about you?

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Bibliofile - January 2015


Surprised to see me? Yeah, I know I said I was through with blogging but owing to mounting pressure from my many loyal followers to share my ongoing reading habits - thanks Bryan - I've sheepishly caved in.

I'll be brief because I don't want to block up the blogosphere. (I'd hate to bump a post about kittens.)

I got through 6 books this month. A slow start to 2015, I know, but it's all part of my new and relaxed approach to life. Or something like that.

Among the highlights were Canadian musician Bruce Cockburn's memoir. Apart from being a great musician, Cockburn is an activist and quite spiritual. The latter two qualities take up quite a bit of the book but it's nevertheless interesting to see what makes the guy tick.

So Anyway... by Monty Python's John Cleese was a bit of a disappointment. He hardly talks about his days in Python at all. I think it's just a cash grab because I think he's still paying alimony to three wives. Or maybe I'm just Pythoned out having recently watched a six-part documentary on the comedy troupe.

The best read of the month was Punishment by Linden MacIntyre. It was a page-turning thriller which one review I read compared it to the likes of Dennis Lehane's Mystic River. And I love Lehane.

Here are the books I read in January...

Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel
Rumours of Glory - Bruce Cockburn
The Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft - H.P. Lovecraft
So Anyway... - John Cleese
Punishment - Linden MacIntyre
Gray Mountain - John Grisham
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