Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Taught By My Example - @Studio30Plus Writing Prompt



"Having grandkids is great" I thought. "You get to teach them stuff and play with them, not to mention spoil them with gifts and candy and such, and when they start to get tired or a little out of control you get to give them back."

So I starting thinking and planning what I'd do with my grandkids the next time they visited. They're my daughter's kids. And I love to spoil them while making things difficult for her and her husband - in a fun way of course. They'd tell their parents "But Grampa said... " I look upon it sort of as karma. My daughter's not so sure.

"Let's see" I said to myself  "we've already loaded them up on chocolate and revved them up on sweets before they had to go home."

"And" I laughed "there was the Christmas I gave my eldest grandson a drum." That didn't last very long for some reason. Somehow playing it in the early hours of the morning didn't go over very well with his parents.

"Let's see, the eldest is seven and the twins are four. I think they're old enough" I said to my wife. "It's time they learned a long-standing family tradition handed down to me from my father and from me to my children." "Are you sure?" queried my wife. "You're daughter will kill you." "Maybe" I said but the kids will love it. And besides the tradition must live on."

And so my daughter her husband and the kids visited. We sat down to dinner. BBQ'd burgers and hot dogs - their favourite. And for desert? JELL-O!

"Hey guys, watch this" I enthused. And as I squished the JELL-O between my teeth turning it to liquid they stared at me wide-eyed with their mouths agape as I gargled my dessert. Oh, there were hoots and hollers over Grampa's antics and soon there was JELL-O everywhere; running down kids faces, dribbling from their mouths and down the front of their shirts. Over the gargling JELL-O and gales of laughter my daughter looked at me with eyes that could kill, knowing full well this was an antic that would now be repeated when she got them home.

"Thanks, Dad, I..." and she broke down and started laughing as she looked at me with JELL-O streaming out of my left nostril.

"Hey" I gargled proudly "I can honestly say they've been taught by my example."

And she replied "Yeah - some example!"


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Taking a Deep Breath - @Studio30Plus Writing Prompt


"Try taking a deep breath" I suggested. She sat in front of me, breasts heaving, trying to catch her breath. She appeared at my door moments ago, wild-eyed and trembling. "Detective Case?" she had gasped. I knew she was frightened by something. Hey, I'm a detective, right? So I put my sleuthing skills to the test as she crumpled into my office chair.

"How can I help you?" I asked in my best-ever inquiring detective voice.

She swallowed hard, averted her eyes and folded her arms over those heaving breasts. My detecting skills determined she was amply endowed.

"What was that?" I said. Good Lord. I'd been so busy inspecting, urm, detecting her heaving bazooms I'd zoned out.

"I said 'Can you help me?'"

"Yes, of course" I coughed as I shifted my gaze, regretfully, to her face. My detecting senses switched into high gear. I realized I'd seen that face before. "Wait a minute" I said with surprise "I've seen your face before." And those heaving breasts I thought to myself.

"Yes" she said and lowered her eyes coquettishly. "I'm Henrietta the Jalapeño Popper Princess."

Of course, I thought, I'd seen her on late night local PBS TV pushing poppers to people like me who can't sleep. Jalapeño poppers. But my sleuthing abilities should have determined this because, man, she was hot.

"Someone's killed Pierre" she moaned.

"Pierre?"

"Yes, Pierre, the portly pepper popper promoter. I push peppers for Pierre."

"You push peppers?"

"Yes, silly" she replied purposefully, "on Public TV in Pittsburgh."

"Yes, yes you do. And may I say you're a very pretty pepper popper pusher."

She fluttered her eyelashes and avoided my gaze. Hey, at least I was staring at her eyes.

"I want you to relax Ms Popper Princess. Like I tell all my clients 'Case is on the case'" I said smugly. That was an expression I'd come up with all on my own. I even had business cards to that effect. A case of them.

"Let me see if I can sum things up for us. Your pal Pierre the portly pepper popper promoter employs you - Henrietta the Jalapeño Popper Princess - to push poppers in Pittsburgh on Public Television for which you get paid. But now your pay has been pre-empted because a person has popped Pierre?" I proclaimed.

Her penetrating pupils made me palpitate as she purred "Perfect!" She perkily proclaimed "So you can solve this case, Mr., um, Case!".

"Probably."




Wednesday, 3 September 2014

I Close My Eyes And I Listen - @Studio30Plus Writing Prompt



June and Bob had spent months planning their annual hike along the Trans Canada Trail. Not the whole trail, of course. 14,000 miles in a long weekend was absolutely impossible. Over the last several years the adventurous couple had hiked several sections of the trail. Last year it was Prince Edward Island, the first province to complete its trail. The year before they'd hiked a section of the Trail in Alberta. This year, June and Bob had decided to hike Gatineau Park, virtually in their own backyard.

And so, on October 11, at the beginning of Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend, they set off from Tache Boulevard into the Park. The sun was shining and it was warm for this time of year not to mention this time of the morning. But their backpacks were light and their gait swift at the outset of their journey.

Bob was quite pleased with himself this day. There was a time when he was overweight and sedentary, a smoker and lover of fast-food. But after June's persistent admonishments Bob had finally got his act together. Sure, he was still no Charles Atlas but he was in a lot better shape than he used to be. And no one could be happier than June who now had an eager partner in her outdoor excursions.

"Look at those colours" said Bob as he took in the fall's panorama. "Aren't they lovely?" replied June.

And so they walked on until mid-afternoon at which point June turned to her husband and asked "Are we lost?" "Could be" replied Bob.

"Have you got the compass?" said June. "Don't need a compass" said Bob. "I've hiked enough now that I just close my eyes and listen. The sounds of the woods tell me which way to go."

"Well, open you eyes Einstien" said June. "I don't think they told you you're standing in a brook."


Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Bibliophile - August


Well the 8th month of the year has come and gone and I managed to pack in 11 books raising my number of books read this year to 69.

It was another eclectic month of reading. A memoir, a little music history and some amazing fiction. I wanted to read The Mockingbird Next Door about the author of to Kill A Mockingbird so I read the novel first. It still stands up. A terrific tale. The memoir of Marja Mills from the time she first met and then lived next door to Harper Lee and her sister I found to be somewhat lacking.
I finally got around to reading Jayne Martin's collection of short tales, Suitable for Giving. A nice read. I often found myself sniggering throughout this book. And that's a good thing.

As a fan of 60s and 70s music, particularly The Beatles I enjoyed The Beatles - Solo, about each of the Fab Four's solo careers. Not much new here but great pics and reading about these guys is always interesting. By the time I was done I'd bought 2 CDs and 3 BluRays. Hooked me like a fish.

I  rated several reads 5 stars this week. The first was Before I Go To Sleep. Think a sophisticated Groundhog Day. It's about a woman who loses all memories every 24 hours. So day after day she works at remembering her past and with some surprising results.

I loved John Williams 1965 masterpiece Stoner. It's about university professor William Stoner who leads a rather mundane life in academia, while trapped in a loveless marriage. Sounds boring I know but the writing around this sad tale is magnificent, as evidenced in this excerpt that really resonated with me:

"In his forty-third year William Stoner learned what others, much younger, had learned before him: that the person one loves at first is not the person one loves at last..."

I ended the month with The Pyramid by Henning Mankell. It's a collection of short stories that explore his Detective Kurt Wallander's early years. In this book Mankell nicely ties up some loose ends about his chief protagonist. If you're fan of the Wallander series, you have to read this.

The best read of the month had to be the three volume Divergent series by Veronica Roth. If you like Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games or Margaret Attwood's MaddAddam Trilogy, you'll love Divergent. After reading this I saw the movie and I have to say it was excellent, very close to the book.

Here's a full list of the books I read in August...

To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee ****
The Mockingbird Next Door - Marja Mills ***
Stoner - John Williams *****
Before I go To Sleep  - S.J. Watson *****
The Divergent Series - Veronica Roth
Divergent *****
Insurgent *****
Allegiant *****
Suitable for Giving - Jayne Martin ****
The Beatles - Solo: The Illustrated Chronicles of John, Paul, George and Ringo
after the Beatles - Mat Snow ****
Bad Signs - R.J. Ellory *****
The Pyramid - Henning Mankell ****

Let me know what you're reading these days.


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