Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Timmy And His Teachable Moment


It was hard. Timmy's Dad always told him "Don't sweat the small stuff". And he didn't. Because none of it was small stuff to Timmy.

It all started at swimming lessons when he was eight. His trunks slipped off in the pool. He was mortified when everyone laughed at him. But it wasn't just bad enough being a victim of ridicule when the incident occurred. It would chase him down the rest of his life because in that one quick moment he had earned the nickname PeeWee.

About a year later, swimming lessons behind him for good, the baseball coach inquired why everyone called him PeeWee. PeeWee, er, Timmy was mortified as his team mates sniggered and cruelly whispered in a singalong voice "PeeWee, PeeWee, how can you pee with something so wee?".

And so it went as he grew older. Girls he dated would always ask "So, why does everyone call you PeeWee?" Needless to say Timmy's relationships never lasted very long, though longer than, well, you know.

Being such a focus of derision for his teenage life took it's toll on Timmy. He began hating those people who called him that diminutive nickname, especially those who laughed. He began to plot his revenge.

He surreptitiously began to collect his materials and soon quietly went to work. He worked deep into the night. He constructed a large basket, large enough to stand in. And he attached to it a large balloon, the largest balloon you've ever seen.

The day dawned and Timmy set off from a field on the outskirts of town. As he flew over the school he let go his secret weapon - a huge cache of urine he'd collected from a herd of cows. The urine splattered all over the school's roof and grounds, soaking any students in the now wet and foul smelling school yard.

"Call me PeeWee will they?" Timmy laughed maniacally to himself - as he was the only one in the balloon's basket. "After today they'll call me Big Pee" he laughed to himself.

Now Timmy was just a few fries short of a poutine and never foresaw that forever more he'd be ridiculed as "that fucking idiot".

The prompt from the folks at Studio30+ is derision/ridicule this week. At the risk of being the object of ridicule I offer up this post.


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

One Is The Loneliest


Harold lived alone. He rarely went out, having everything from his groceries to his prescriptions delivered to him. He liked to think of himself as mysterious but his high-rise neighbours were more apt to think of him as a recluse.

Since his wife died a couple of years back, Harold gradually discovered the days grew longer without her, not to mention the nights. Coupled with taking his retirement several years ago, he was beginning to feel old. Hell, even his name bespoke another age. Harold? Really?

The sole thing he took great pleasure in was slowly perusing the daily newspaper. None of those tablet thingies, where you need an engineering degree to operate, for him. And, of course, it too was delivered. He particularly enjoyed the crossword puzzles.

The feelings of advanced age seemed to take hold first thing in the morning when he painfully swept his legs out of bed, placed his feet unsteadily onto the floor and achingly bent to rummage in his bedside table drawer for his various little plastic bottles of medication. His prescriptions came in arcane containers with those child-proof lids. He thought the drug companies really got their money's worth because he, and he imagined many others of his age, couldn't open them either without considerable difficulty.

Then as he frustratingly watched the television morning news program which ran through stories so quickly as to espouse any actual details he'd realize the volume was pushed to the maximum. "Damn" he'd say to no one in particular "I forgot to put my hearing aids in again, shit."

That was something else he found after living alone for several years: his vocabulary had gone where no man had gone before. Well, sure, maybe many others did talk that way but he never had. Until now. "Ha, man of mystery" he thought to himself, "with a fucking mouth like a cement mixer operator." Not that he had anything against cement mixer operators. He just figured many of them probably talked like that.

Such frustrations marked each day and he often found himself so wound up he'd have shortness of breath. It was during one such harrowing experience that he began to chuckle as he gasped for breath.  "Here I am living alone" he thought, " no friends or family. Should I actually die from one of these wheezing fits, I can just see the inscription on my headstone: 'He died a mysterious death'."

"How apropos" he thought. "In death as in life."

This week's prompt from the creative folks at Studio30+ is arcane/mysterious. This week I was a real keener and used both words.


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Sharon In The Shadows


She slipped her key into the lock and quietly stepped inside. Near darkness. But she liked the dark; found it comforting. She turned on the ceiling light over her writing desk, dropped her keys into the tiny ceramic bowl and powered up her computer.

She'd managed to pass another day of her life as she liked, in the shadows. Sharon was a shy woman, 26, single and a bit of a recluse. She never spoke to her office colleagues unless spoken to and only then used such an economy of words that she would curtly reply to any inquiry and be gone like a puff of smoke down the corridor evading any form of socialization. She never heard the insults behind her back. The ones about being shy as a mouse and likely never amounting to much.

But at her computer she could talk. She wrote reams and reams of words. Sentences, paragraphs and pages rolled on and on across her screen. No one was aware of her activity, but then she had no friends that she might share it with. Kind of sad really.

Then one day she was checking her mail when she came across an unexpected letter from Columbia University. It had been weeks ago she had submitted her novel and at first her hands shook so much with the letter she could not open it. Several minutes passed and as she calmed down she was able to peel it open.

She could barely believe her eyes over the content and she started to tear up. She wiped away her tears and unbelievingly read through misty eyes:

Sharon Carver is this year's recipient of  the Pulitzer Prize for Literature with her book: 
I Am Reticent - A Memoir.

Sharon's shyness was soon a thing of the past.

Shy was the prompt from the folks at Studio30+ this week. This week's tale is pun free.


Friday, 10 April 2015

Where You Go Detective Diago



Joe  Diago sat back in his cushy office chair, pushed his hat back on his head - the same as his P.I. cousin down the hall as they shopped at the same hat store - and stared at the ceiling fan while listening to it making it's whoop, whoop sound as it pushed down the cool air, what little cool air there was. The constant swish of the blades made him dreary and he fought to keep his eyes open. Things were slow in the Private Eye business lately and if something didn't come along soon that fan wouldn't be spinning around anymore because he'd not have been able to pay his electricity bill.

What was that ringing in his ears? He'd drifted off and hadn't realized the telephone was chirping. It was an unusual sound as he hadn't heard it in weeks and almost forgot that destinctive trill of the telephone.

Diago looked at the dial. "Diago Detective Agency" he spoke into the receiver, though very few knew the "agency" consisted of Detective Diago.

"Yes, hello. This is Donna. Donna Diablo and I need your help Detective Diago."

"Please call me Joe."

"Well, if I do that this bit won't work, Diago."

"Oh, I see, yes. Continue Mrs. Diable."

"Well, Diago something diabolical has happened. Someone has stolen my diamonds.

"Your diamonds, Diablo?  That's something worthy of my unique investigative diagnosis!"

"Well, I'd appreciate your diagnosis because losing my faux Lady Diana diamonds has given my husband considerable concern. You should have heard the diatribe he unleashed on me last night. We couldn't even have a decent dialogue."

"I'm beside myself Detective Diago. I haven't slept, I have diarrhea and my diabetes is through the roof. Not to mention my diaphragm keeps popping out. I won't rest until this diabolical business is put to rest?

"Gosh you sound as though you'll be in diapers soon, Mrs Diablo."

"Do you need a diagram of where the diamonds were kept."

"Actually because we live in a diaspora I'm confident this won't take long. And with a "dia"lect like yours Mrs Diablo I'm sure we'll succeed."

The prompt this week from the folks at Studio30+ was dialect. I took some liberties.



Thursday, 2 April 2015

Bibliofile - March


Didn't get through many books this month. Just 3. I know, I know. One might think I was slipping but one of the books was close to 2400 pages - Lawrence In Arabia. This Lawrence isn't quite as romantically portrayed as in that David Lean film from the 60s. Author Scott Anderson portrays this Lawrence as a calculating individual who never listen to his superiors. The book provides a fascinating overview of how the modern-day Middle East came into existence due to the World War I efforts of Britain, France, Germany and the United States. It was a long read but a fascinating one.

Another book I read this week - All The Light We Cannot See - was a wonderful World War II tale by Anthony Doerr - involving a young French blind girl's story on the one hand and a young German soldier on the other. What brings them together near the end of the story is woven neatly into the tale. I really enjoyed this.

The third book - Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon - was a complex, yet humorous, tale about a doper detective in 60s California. Pynchon very accurately catches the drugs and culture of the times. The book has recently been made into a movie which is why I picked it up. Pynchon has a certain way of writing that can distract the reader but I nevertheless enjoyed it.

So, 3 books in March which brings my yearly total to 17. It was hard to read more this month, having been tempted by videos and On Demand where I binge-watched such great shows as The Affair, Sports Night and Seasons 1 and 2 of House of Cards. The latter is far darker than the British version and Kevin Spacey is simply amazing to the point you want to punch him in the neck.

So what are you reading or watching? Any recommendations for me?
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