Thursday, 19 May 2016

Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before

Image result for story teller

Bob and Ray were out for a leisurely stroll on a back country road. The sky was blue. The sun was high in a cloudless sky. The birds were chirping merrily. The crickets were happily rubbing their legs together. Now I know what image that last statement conjures up but get your mind out of the gutter and back on the road.

Bob and Ray joined in with the sounds of nature and hummed an old folk tune My Shoe's Got A Hole In It And My Foot Hurts Like Shit. Bob and Ray were a couple of religious fellows which is why the hummed the song and didn't sing the lyrics.

Just when the two friends thought nothing could interrupt this idyllic interlude the sound of approaching horses did just that. Clop, clop, clop...the horses drew nearer and a wonderful whistle could be heard, at odds with the boys' humming.

The two stepped to the side of the road, not quite so far as some of you strayed earlier, to let the horses and the wagon they were leading to pass. But instead, the whistler stopped whistling, drew up the horses and stopped beside them.

"SUPERCILLIOUS STEVE THE SMOOTH STORY TELLER - RACONTEUR OF TALL TALES  - 10 CENTS" read the sign on there side of the wagon in giant letters. "Are you guys looking for a job? I could use a couple of assistants" said Steve. "Oh, by the way, I'm Steve. Most people call me Pete.  Don't go thinking I think I'm above you, my boys. 'Supercilious' is just a word I use for its alliterative advantage."

"I wonder where this wordy guy's from" Bob asked Ray. "That's easy enough to determine" replied Ray.

"He's from Racont."

"How do you know that" said Bob?

"Easy" said Ray "look at the side of the wagon. It sats he's a Raconteur. He's gotta be from Racont!"

The clues are storyteller and raconteur from Studio30+ this week. I'm afraid I missed the fun for several weeks. I'm afraid life got in the way. We'll try not to let that happen again. 



Thursday, 5 May 2016

My Short-Lived Career as an Altar Boy


I'm 64 and hate to admit that I've been a lapsed Catholic for a good many years. I think my decision to leave the Church was like the straw that broke the camel's back when, as a teenager, my parish priest singled me out during mass to tell me what page we were on in the hymnal. A teenager, I had better things to do to follow along in the hymnal. Like check out the girls in the pews around me. At least I wasn't sneaking out for a smoke with my buddies.

So at my age my memory's a little hazy but I can recall my days as an altar boy in my early teens. These were the days before they turned the altars around where the pedophiles had to face the congregation while saying mass.  (Did I just say that out loud?) Funny, being an altar boy to me back then was like going to Cubs or playing baseball. It was just another one of those past-times.

It was a little inconvenient to be an altar boy. We had to rise early because we served mass Monday through Saturday at 7am each day. That doesn't include being picked by our priest to serve on Sunday the be-all day of worship in Catholicism. Every Saturday we'd check the list in the sacristy to see who had made the grade - as if our knees weren't sore enough already.

Now I don't recall how many times we genuflected during daily mass but multiply that by seven and that's a lot of kneeling. Some of us would be pretty tired with all this genuflecting. I remember seeing a fellow server ring the bells, move to stand and genuflect and faint dead away, landing flat on his face, with a huge bang causing a few chuckles from his fellow acolytes near the altar.

I remember another occasion, after a week full of genuflects, when I asked the priest for my allowance. Altar boys were paid 60 cents a week but he'd forgotten to pay me. Well he blew his top, threw the money at me much like Christ at the money lenders in the temple and gave me a lecture about asking to be paid. The parish must have been running low on collections because from that point on there were no more payments to altar boys.

Damn. All that genuflecting for nothing. Needless to say I soon switched from serving mass to bowing down to catch a softball. Lord, and the coach, knows I had a lot of practice.

This week's prompt from the folks at Studio30+ was genuflect/bow or curtsey. I don't recall curtseying in my youth so I had to go with genuflect.



Wednesday, 4 May 2016

My Back Pages - April


Having binge-watched three seasons of The Sopranos I have to confess I didn't get much reading done in April. Finding a series you really get into and watching episode after episode is a considerable addiction. The bed goes unmade. The dishes pile up in the sink. All else stops while life goes on on what used to be referred to as the small screen and today I guess would be referred to as the flat screen.

So if The Sopranos wasn't enough I also undertook what's been referred to as the Jo Nesbo Three Book Bundle. I found this on iBooks and it seemed like a cheap way to buy three Harry Hole detective novels. The three in question are The Snowman, Phantom, The Leopard.

You have to love Harry Hole to read three stories in a row. And I do. Nesbo's portrayal of, in these books, the now retired police detective's failings as an anti-hero, anti-authoritarian alcoholic and workaholic endear him not only to his police colleagues but also to the reader.

So I''m going to count this three book, 2650 page collection that I read one after the other as three books, and rate each with 4 stars. So adding the 8 books I've read so far this year that brings my yearly total to eleven.

What about you? What have you been watching or reading lately. I'm always on the lookout for recommendations.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

This Guy Could Really Use a Hand




Bob the Zombie had nothing but bad luck.

When he went to a hockey game there was always a face off in the corner.

When he went to see his divorce lawyer he was told he didn't have a leg to stand on.

A comedian, he often visited the hospitals in search of sick jokes. His jokes were so bad he rarely got a hand. But he worked so hard that even though his jokes were rotten he was often dead on his feet.

Often when he returned home late from performing his wife would give him the cold shoulder. Often they would  fight and no one would really win because there'd be a dead tie. Although his wife often came near winning with her shouts of "You wanna piece of me?"

The only thing that kept Bob going was the thought of his new girlfriend Rachel, who he really liked  for her brains. Yep, and she was pretty smart too.

He had agreed to meet her at the bar that night called the Revenant and to settle his nerves he ordered a zombie and sat at the bar.

About twenty minutes later Rachel arrived with a bunch of guys all with a hungry look in their eyes. Well, those that had eyes. The rest just had a vacant look. Uh-oh, thought Bob "This doesn't look good." And as the first rebel zombie sunk his teeth into the comedian's decaying flesh he turned to his friends and asked "Hey, does this taste funny?"


Revenant/zombie were the prompts this week from Studio30+ which I thought was pretty ghoul, how about you?




Tuesday, 12 April 2016

The Six Degrees of Heaven


One day Anthony died and awoke at the gates of heaven. "I'm in" he no sooner thought to himself when a booming, castigating voice said "Not so fast Anthony. It's not as simple as that".   Anthony turned in search of the voice and stopped when he came across a less than five footed bearded man in flowing white robes.

"You Peter? laughed Anthony. "That's right my son and that laugh is already one strike against you."

"Oh I'm so sorry St Peter. Please forgive me. But understand you weren't what I was expecting."

"That's not all you weren't expecting" said Peter with a wink of his eye. "Heaven is split into six sections and we decide which section arrivals will be placed. Follow me and I'll explain."

Peter called for a golf cart and took Anthony on a little excursion.

Their first stop was Eh Heaven. "That's where all the Canadians are" said Peter. "Of course, eh" exclaimed Anthony. "Now you're gonna tell me you provide them with poutine and Molson Ex forever." "No I'm not" said Peter. "But we do provide crueller donuts and double-double coffees from Tim Horton's".

They then proceeded to Bee Heaven. "That's where all the beekeepers are directed" said Peter. "It's not a  large place but those guys do such good work keeping bees alive we thought they should be rewarded appropriately, so we hived off a portion of heaven just for them." "Sweet idea" countered Anthony.

"Next up is Sea Heaven and if you hadn't guessed that's where the world's sailors are sent. We keep them afloat for all of eternity,"  said Peter, "on water from the Sea of Galilee".

"Over there is D for Danish heaven. Guess who we direct there."

"And on your right is E for Everybody Else heaven. And that's where you're going. Don't worry it's a nice place to spend the rest of your life."

"But you said there were six levels of heaven. Where's the sixth?"

"Ah" said St Peter, once they've figured it out folks aren't too exited about it. Look."

My God - oops sorry there St Peter - everyone's face is blurred and replaced with the sixth letter of the alphabet. Why is that?" questioned Anthony.

"This" whispered Peter "is F heaven. For those that can't contain themselves up here and in their excitement use the F word this is where they're sent and F faced."

"Fuck" exclaimed Anthony "that's a terrible pun. Oops"

Over at Studio30+ they went with efface/erase as a prompt this week. Bet you're wishing I'd efface this post, eh?


Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Dedicated Punster of Fashion (oh yes he is)


George looked across at Bob. Both were bent over pant-ing, puff-ing in and out rapidly. The race they had just run had ended in a tie. Damn, George thought, isn't that dandy. Bob was pleased that he'd skirted failure. But he decided to button his lips and keep quiet.

Fred sat alone in the stands crumpling his receipt. He'd bet his money on George to win. A tie left him feeling short-shirted.

The race was tailored to create problems with no sure winner. Since George and Bob had tied for first the rest of the runners had been suspendered from the next step. A run-off, not a fashionable activity, would nevertheless be required. A run-off was custom-made to determine a winner.

The two runners would be hard pressed to refuse to compete after all that each had in-vested in training for this event.

Bob had pumped iron while George had done push ups. Both had dressed-up the plans of their coaches and worked at them harder than a one armed employee of a steam shop.. Both were im-pressed with their results. And both felt each's training was well-suited to the task at hand.

In fact both felt they had this run-off thing sewn up.

If you read this little tale closely you would have discovered it full of sartorial references. That's because the Studio30+ writing prompt this week was sartorial/fashionable. And as usual my stylish post went in a different direction.

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