Trifecta Weekend Writing Challenge:

Trifecta’s Weekend Writing Challenge “Write a horror story in 33 words, without the words blood, scream, died, death, knife, gun, or kill. Good luck.”

I see Freddie and I panic.  My thoughts tumble like Keystone Cops in an avalanche.  My palms become monsoons of sweat; my heart pounds Babalu.  Then, when Freddie gets closer, ice cream!

Did you want sprinkles?

My Retired Race Horse Sedentariat

From time to time I complain on this blog about the horrible tragedy of my childhood regarding my never having been successful at talking my parents into buying me a horse.

Well, Dear Reader, I am happy to report that this tragedy was finally remedied when I got my first horse at age 50.  Better late than never I always say.

Meet Joey!  My retired racehorse whom I often refer to as Sedentariat:

Ok, this isn’t Joey, it’s my son-in-law, Matt, but I saw it while I was looking for a picture of Joey and just had to post it!  Shhh . . . don’t tell him.

Anyway, here’s the real Joey:

Joey, aka Sedentariat
So yesterday,I went out to the stables where Joey lives to spend a relaxing afternoon with my beloved steed.

First, I pulled Joey away from eating alfalfa, took him out of his stall and tied him up at the tie rail.  Now since it’s been raining, his stall had three deep puddles which I had to bail the water out of using a dustpan (the only thing I could find).

Then since all the open spaces were occupied with other horses and riders, I had to turn him out in a round pen at the top of a big steep hill.

So I trudged up the hill, put Joey in the pen, trudged back down the hill, bailed more water out of his stall, shoveled out a trench outside his stall so the water in the stall would drain better, trudged back up to the top of the hill, got Joey, trudged back down the hill, washed and treated his legs (he has a weird skin condition on his legs that I’m always slathering the latest “cure” on) –then dissolved his antibiotics in some water (for the leg condition), hid the liquified antibiotics in his alfalfa (when he wasn’t looking), bailed more water out of his stall, schlepped in a big bail of shavings, covered his stall floor with shavings, walked him around and let him eat grass while the “slather” on his legs dried, put his blanket on him and, finally — a mere three hours later, returned him to a nice clean, fresh, dry stall where he resumed eating alfalfa.

And there you have it, Dear Readers, my childhood dream come true!

Until next time . . . I love you

Shhh . . . Stop Interrupting and Listen to the Warm!

Foraging around the falderal at my local thrift store,  (I am starting to feel like they stock it just for me!) I found this wonderful gem:

“Listen to the Warm”  Written and performed by Rod McKuen

On the back of the album is his historic poem, A Cat Name Sloopy — in three parts. It’s a poem Rod Mckuen penned during an unprecedented burst of love for his cat, Sloopy.  And a poem, I might add, that catapulted Rod McKuen to superstar poetic status back in the halcyon days of unflinchingly serious, popular poetry.

Here are some excerpts from that historic poem with a few observations of my own.

“For a while the only earth that Sloopy knew was in her sandbox”

Just a quick heads up, Rod, kitty litter works better.

Every night she’d sit in the window among the avocado plants waiting for me to come home (my arms full of canned liver and love)

Excuse me . . .Rob?  . . . you dropped a whole bunch of love coming up the stairs. (By the way, I hope you didn’t buy avocados, the grove in the window sill is finally producing!)

We talked into the night then, contented but missing something

Uh . . . could it have been Sloopy’s side of the conversation?

She the earth she never knew,  and me the hills I ran while growing bent

Oh that . . . well, I hear calcium can help that.

Sloopy should have been a cowboy’s cat with prairies to run not linoleum

Good call Rod!  And that’s why linoleum should be banned once and for all!

I never told her, but in my mind, I was a midnight cowboy even then. Riding my imaginary horse down Forty-second Street . . .

What?  You love doing that?  Me too! OMG!

Going off with strangers to live an hour-long cowboy’s life but always coming home to Sloopy, who loved me best.

Wait. . . what? . . . hold the phone . . . Rod . . . Rod!  No more beer for you.  Why don’t you go to bed now and see if you can’t sleep it off.  What’s  that?  You can’t sleep because Sloopy keeps slapping her paws walking around on the linoleum?  Well, just listen to the warm . . Rod  . . .that’s right . . .  listen to the warm . . . .

Meanwhile, I’ll see if I can get a call into the president so he can do something about the linoleum.  And tomorrow you can start working on your next album.  What are you going to call it?  What’s that, Rod?  You’re going to call it, Smell the Humidity? 

I love it!

Until next time . . . I love you

This Weekend’s Trifecta Writing Challenge

This Weekend’s Trifecta Writing Challenge  is to finish these 33 words with 33 words of your own:

“There’s nothing cute about it,” he said. The register of his voice indicated decision more so than discussion.
She disagreed heartily and privately, staring past his head and out the window behind him.

The elephant caravan was just cresting the hill.  “We can still make it if we hurry!” Barbara pleaded.

“I told you!  I go nowhere without my nose, Barbara!” Bozo shouted angrily.  “Nowhere!”

The Taffy May Incident

Hello Dear Readers.  Is it Lazy Friday Rerun Blog Day already?  OK!  Who am I to argue with the calendar!  (except I do think a week should have 8 days and 3 of them should be a three-day weekend –  but apparently my calendar wouldn’t give me the time of day.)  Here’s today’s rerun:

Taffy May I Hardly Knew Ye

When I was a little girl, the pot of gold at the end of my rainbow was a horse.

I had no preference as to style, make or model.  If it had four legs and knew how to gallop, I’d take it!  We lived in a small town smack dab in the middle of an ocean of wheat, so there were lots of girls who had horses and rode them everywhere.  It would rip my heart out to see a gaggle of girls atop their sterling steeds clip clopping all over town.

“Clip clop clip clop clip clop clip . . . etc.”

I really only voiced the question of my getting a horse to my parents a couple of times, knowing full well that the answer would be no, and, as a matter of pride,  I’d ultimately have to run away from home or –at the very least — stage a runaway as in the following true scenario:

“Look at this Janey,” my father remarked to my mother, “I found Linda’s yellow shorty pajamas in this little 45-record case in the bushes just outside her window when I was mowing the lawn.”

Oh I was going to run away alright . . . eventually.

Ok, fine . . . if I wasn’t going to get a horse, at least I could try for a kitten.  This is how I went about it: 

Step 1:  Convince my parents that I was head over heals in love with cats.  To accomplish this,  I colored umpteen pictures of kittens and scotch taped them to my circa 1959 pink wall.

Step 2:  Wasn’t even needed because Step 1 worked like a charm.  Next thing I knew I was picking out my very own gray, long-haired kitten from a batch of five.

In my excitement, I failed to notice that this particular kitten had issues.  It suffered from the world’s lowest kitty IQ.   Maybe that’s why the name I chose, Taffy May, seemed to fit her so well.

Taffy May was the perfect cat for a little girl to bond with.  Being nearly brain-dead, she allowed me to pick her up and carry her around without protest. 

She slept with me all night under the covers which I thought was because she loved me so —  but more likely she just couldn’t figure a way out.

Taffy May had one batch of kittens – if three can be considered a batch.  But being the little dummy that she was, she managed to lie on all three of them during the night and  in the morning the only one left breathing was my beloved, Taffy May.

Perhaps it was Karma (I know there was a car involved) the day Taffy May shuffled off this mortal world.

I was on my way home from school without a care in the world.  When I rounded the corner, there stood our across-the-street neighbor, Mr. Huey, holding a lifeless Taffy May up by the tail.

I don’t know how many times Taffy May had been run over, but judging from the fact that she was literally as flat as a pancake, it would be safe to assume more than once. 

I screamed and ran into the house where I was inconsolable well into the night.  I never got another cat of my very own, out of respect for Taffy May, who will always have a place in my heart . . . about two feet wide and one and one-half inches deep.

Until next time . . . I love you

How to be a Professional Gluey Paste Salesman in Ten (or maybe eleven) Easy Steps!

Hello Dear Readers.  As you may remember earlier this week, we were discussing some ads that appeared in an 81-year-old Saturday Evening Post such as this one for Gluey Paste:

I am happy to report, that I have done some extensive research this week into the exciting, fast-paced Gluey Paste industry and needless to say did not come up empty handed.

Have you often dreamed of living the glamorous life of a Gluey Paste Professional Salesman or woman but cried yourself to sleep each night thinking it would be impossible?

Well, Dear Reader, you can now turn those tears of sorrow into tears of joy in ten (or maybe eleven) easy steps!

How to Be A Successful Gluey Paste Salesman in Ten (or maybe eleven) Easy Steps!

Step One:

As a  Gluey Paste Professional Salesman, you will begin any successful sales call by shaking the hand of the potential Gluey Paste customer and greet him by saying, “How do you do, Mr. Smith.”

Step Two

The salutation should be immediately followed by noticing a smudge on Mr. Smith’s elbow and offering to wipe it off — the act of which will quickly bond Mr. Smith to you, the Professional Gluey Paste Salesman.

Step Three:

Uh oh.  It looks like you, as the Professional Gluey Paste Salesman, might have inadvertently bonded yourself to Mr. Smith literally.

Do not be alarmed as this happens more often than not. However, it is of the utmost importance that you, as the Professional Gluey Paste Salesmen, remain calm and under no circumstances let Mr. Smith know what has just transpired.

Step Four

Assuming a nonchalant air, casually turn around so that you and potential customer, Mr. Smith, are facing in the same direction.

This might be a good time to introduce an interesting topic of conversation, such as: “How ’bout them Yankees?”  A question that will keep Mr. Smith so busy thinking, he’ll undoubtedly fail to notice that he  is glued to you, the Professional Gluey Paste Salesman.

Step Five

Next, you must inch Mr. Smith in the direction of the washroom with the eventual outcome of washing the glue off each of you.

However, in order to get Mr. Smith to cooperate fully without being the wiser,  you simply explain that as the Professional Gluey Paste Salesman, you are very interested in the equipment in the washroom to see if it correlates with the amount of glue a potential customer such as Mr. Smith is likely to purchase.

Step Six

Should you, as the Gluey Paste Professional Salesman, suddenly trip and land in the manner pictured above, calmly explain to Mr. Smith that you are practicing your moves for an audition later in the afternoon with the Flying Wallenda’s.

Mr. Smith will not only understand-; he’s very likely to be impressed with your well-rounded personality.

Step Seven

This is the most precarious time in any successful sales call for both you, the Professional Gluey Paste Salesman, and your potential customer, Mr. Smith.

While you are struggling to get things “back on track”, it is recommended that you  belt out a rousing rendition of Camp Town Racers since it has been scientifically proven that the singing of Camp Town Racer’s puts people in the mood to buy glue.

Step Eight

Once you have managed to unstick your hand from Mr. Smith’s elbow, next stick your hand onto Mr. Smith’s knee.

Step Nine

Now, of course, it is just a matter of “walking” Mr. Smith over to a chair so that he can sit down and sign the purchase agreement for upwards of 14 cases of Gluey Paste!

Step Ten

Be careful here because this is often the critical moment in which Mr. Smith is likely to get cold feet causing you to have wasted the entire morning without getting any sales commission.  Therefore you must be prepared to put some serious sales pressure on Mr. Smith.

Step Eleven: 

( Please note this step is only to be used should steps one through ten fail to produce a sale.)

If Mr. Smith still refuses to “come around” after utilizing steps one through ten, pull out the stops by pulling out your Gluey Paste Company issued Smith and Wesson revovlver.

Not only will Mr. Smith’s status be instantly upgraded from potential customer to loyal customer, you’ll be well on your way to experiencing the exciting lifestyle of a world-class Gluey Paste Professional Salesman!

Until next time . . . I love you

Poetry Barn: An Ode to My Annoying Brain, Peanuts

Well my brain, Peanuts, was really annoying this morning. (Peanuts being the nickname my brain insisted on giving itself.)  Peanuts sometimes runs amok and when that happens, all I can do is stand by and watch helplessly.

This morning Peanuts was writing fast and furiously!  Peanuts was so pleased about what was materializing on the computer screen that Peanuts was feeling confident to the point of being cocky.  This is a dangerous state of mind.  Last time Peanuts got like this it cost me and Peanuts $300.

That’s because Peanuts said we could  go 59 when the speed limit was 35.  Peanuts rationalized this decision by explaining that Peanuts didn’t see no cops so there ain’t no cops. Sometimes Peanuts insists on talking with a cheesey, fakey made up dialect. (I always have to roll my eyes.)

Anyway, sure enough  Peanuts spent all morning typing up a post that Peanuts had to stop and laugh at every five minutes.  It was really kind of nauseating how cute Peanuts thought it was being.

So it really served Peanuts right when Peanuts went to hit SAVE DRAFT and the little donut started spinning and spinning and spinning and then the Wordpress screen disappeared altogether!  Peanuts panicked and flailed around clicking buttons and icons like a regular banshee but to no avail.  The post was gone entirely.

I took it rather well, but Peanuts threw a big, huge, hissy fit by pounding fists on  the desk, and shouting the F word, then shouting the S word and then went back to shouting the F word.

Of course, this display of immaturity didn’t do Peanuts one bit of good.  I told Peanuts that in so many words, but Peanuts wasn’t listening.

So instead of posting the hilarious post that Peanuts lost us thanks to cockiness, Peanuts and I will rerun this poem entitled Ode to Peanuts.  It’s really called Ode to the Brain, but Peanuts thinks it’s about Peanuts so we’ll just let Peanuts keep on thinking that:

ODE TO My Brain Peanuts

Oh little brain

We love you so

For thinking up

The things we know

From your hemispheres

To your thalamuses

You know the times of all the buses

Your skull cap’s skewed so jauntily

You’ve hit a spinal chord with me!

And furthermore, let’s be quite placid

Because of your amino acid,

You do not sail this synapse sea

As hairy as a chimpanzee

That ought to shut Peanuts up for a while!

Until next time . . . I love you