Spill the Beans Friday: 26 Confessions

Spill the Beans

Welcome, Dear Readers, to Spill the Beans Friday where I confess personal things about myself that you may have suspected but you were much too polite to mention.

 

#1)  I can’t type, I can’t proofread and if my life depended on spelling, I’d be dead by noone nune 2 p.m.

#2)  I  sugar coat my sweets addiction.

#3)  I don’t just hate algebra, I want it whacked.

#4)  My frontal lobes are abnormally small.

#5)  Practically everyday I think  it’s the day before the day it actually is. 

#6)  Both input and imput sound right to me. 

#7)  I am horrible at video games.  It once took me 40 minutes to successfully complete one lap in  Mario Kart and why do they need so much grass anyway?

#8)  I always hang back when it comes to being the bowling scorekeeper or the flag folder as I have no idea how to do either.

#9)  I’ve never tried green enchilada sauce and I’m never going to unless it’s fed to me through a tube while I’m in a coma.

#10) I’ve never been in a coma.

#11)  I always suspect I’m not going to have anything in common  with people who give their age by saying “years young.”

#12) I’m super excited about the first two pictures I see in an Art Museum then I’m over it.

#13)  I only spelled museum right in #12 because of  spelcheck  spellcehck, right click.

#14) If someone tells me a really long story they’ve told me before, I can never think of a polite way to say, “Yeah you already told me that” so I just listen to the whole story again.

#15) I think my horse knows more than he’s letting on.

#16)  I’m a total idiot about Bulgaria.

#17)  I love I Love Lucy.

#18) I’m a food kick person — if I make chili or soup, I eat it for every meal everyday until it’s gone.

#19) I’ve tried twice but I just can’t get into “Breaking Bad.”

#20) I’ve been kissed by Bill Murray.

#21) One time someone cut in front of me in line at the grocery store so I picked up a magazine and pretended to be reading it and pushed my cart into the back of them.

#22) I once got a flat tire while taking my daughter to school and had to walk 6 blocks  home in my stocking feet.

#23) I think Portlandia is equal parts hilarious and unhilarious.

#24)  The only newspaper I read everyday is the wonderfully skanky Daily Mail Online.  

#25) I had to watched The Talented Mr. Ripley four times before I understood what was going on.

#26) I once stood right behind a guy in line with tattoos all over his body while waiting to rent The Illustrated Man.

And there you have it, Dear Readers!  Drop by next week for another installment of  Spill the Beans Friday!  And if you have anything you’d like to spill the beans about, I’m all comment boxes!

Until next time . . . I love you

Flipping Through a 1967 TV Guide

Welcome Dear Readers!  News Flash!  There’s something very strange happening in California.  Now don’t panic, but when I got up this morning instead of the sky being its usual blue, it seems to have turned a murky, purgatory gray overnight!  What could it mean?

I don’t know if it’s the end of the world, Dear Readers, but just to be on the safe side we’d better eat our dessert first today.

In the meantime, let’s flip through this old TV guide from 1967, shall we?

1967 TV Guide
Isn’t it wonderful?

Remember Jack Cassidy?  He was a pretty well-known actor.  He guest starred on lots of TV shows in the 60’s and 70’s .  He is also the father of David Cassidy and was married to Shirley Jones aka Mrs. Partridge.  Jack Cassidy was tragically killed  in a fire.  Poor Jack Cassidy.

Paula Prentiss and Richard Benjamin were a married couple who starred in all kinds of things.

Here’s a clip I really love of  Paul Prentiss and Peter O’Toole from the movie, What’s New Pussy Cat:

Richard Benjamin went on Johnny Carson once and told about how his wife, Paula, didn’t wash the pots and pans very thoroughly, and that he always had to rewash them after she went to bed.  For some reason, Johnny Carson thought that was the most hilarious thing he had ever heard.

Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss
Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss are still alive and still together. Apparently having to rewash pots and pans is not only good for your marriage, it’s good for your health.

 Here’s a 1967 ad for 7-up:

a 1967 ad for 7-up
Back  when 7up was cool.

I remember 7up’s theme song during this time went like this:  “Wet and wild, 7up is wet and wild.  First against thirst, first to satisfy you — so wet and wild and cool! “

Well I thought it was pretty cool too.  I even went to the trouble of picking out that  song  on the piano when I was a sophomore in high school.  We had an  orange piano that was down in the basement that had come with the house (both the basement and the piano).

It seems like 7up has never been as cool since. Now it’s just something you drink when  you’re feeling sick to your stomach.

Hey Look!  Talk about the perfect name for a rock band!

Warts and corns of 1967

Unlike 7up, warts and corns were never cool, not even back in 1967 — though Two Corns and a Wart would have made a great name for a rock band.

As you can see from the ad, apparently warts and corns were much more cruel in the 60’s than they are today.    Of course, the remedies available to help with wart/corn cruelty never completely cured the problem because why should any company purposely put itself out of the lucrative corn/wart removal industry?

Remember him?

1967 TV Guide Richard Basehart Ad

Richard Basehart was an actor who starred in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and who sometimes wore his pants like Fred Mertz.  He and his crew bombed around underwater in their submarine having underwater adventures left and right.

I remember really liking that show, though now the only  thing I remember about it was the pinging of the submarine noise they played every ten seconds lest you forget they were underwater on a submarine!

A ping that sounded not unlike this one:

Caution:  Do not listen to this if you hate submarine pinging!   (But it’s not really all that bad, Dear Readers, I just wanted an excuse to use a different colored font.)

And finally, there’s this:

gmi855

What’s this?  Dr. Alfred Kidder has been inhabiting the North American continent for more than 15,000 years?  And I’ve never even run into him once! Could  Dr. Kidder might be pulling our legs?

Well, Dear Reader, this concludes our 1967 TV-guide-flipping session for today.  And it looks like the sky’s still a murky gray.  So I think it best if we get started eating  dessert, just to be on the safe side in case the world’s coming to an end.

Until next time (if there is one) . . . I love you

The People’s Republic of Helena – A Kickstarter Manifesto

Welcome Dear Readers! Today, I want to reblog this book publishing manifesto by Helena Hann-Basquiat who will soon be releasing a book of collected blog posts entitled Helena Hann-Basquiat’s Memiors of a Dilettante Volume One explaining just how she is taking steps to reach a wider audience for her writing. I think you’ll find it as interesting and entertaining as I did.

Helen Magellen McNaulty McSqueeze

Helen  Magellen  McNaulty- McSqueezeart by linda vernon

Has a problem with being too long in the knees

Her back is too short and her elbows are fat

And when she stands up 

She leans over like that

Helen Magellen McNualty McSqueeze

Had to give up her love of the flying trapeze

For it’s hard to do tricks when you’re shaped like an S

Cuz your acrobats always end up in a mess

But the thing to look out for with Mrs. McSqueeze

Is not to be anywhere near should she sneeze!

She’d fall to the ground like the Tower of Pisa

Pushed by Atlas and Samson and Mother Teresa

Atlas, Samson and Mother Teresa

Until next time . . . I love you

* * *

P.S.  If your stuck somewhere with nothing to read check out my guest post for Retirement and Good Living here.

 

Gregory’s Bible Lesson: Life on the Ark

Welcome Dear Readers to this Sunday’s edition of The Bible According to Gregory.

Today in Sunday School Gregory learned about Noah’s Ark  and couldn’t help imagining what it must have been like living on the Ark while waiting out the flood.

 LInda Vernon humoous bible storiesLife on the Ark as Imagined by Gregory

Noah:  Honey!  Come on!  You’re not still packing are you?  We’ve got to get going! The floodgates of the sky are opening!

Noah’s Wife, Betty:   I can’t get my bath robe to fit into this stupid suitcase!

Noah:  Here let me do it.

Betty:   Oh no you don’t!  You’ll  wrinkle  everything!

Noah:  Honey! I just packed two of every kind of animal into one measly ark.  I think I can pack a suitcase.

Betty:   Do you think we’ll have room for the trampoline?  I’d like to stay in shape, God only knows  how long we’ll be stuck on the ark.

Noah:  Sure you can bring the tambourine.  You know how much I love to sing.

Betty:   Not the tambourine, Noah, the trampoline.

Noah:  We have a trampoline?

Betty:   Hey, you’re the one who insisted we get a Figco Membership. What’s the matter Noah?  You look upset. Are you mad about the trampoline?

Noah:  No, it’s God.  I just got all the animals packed in the Ark so they  fit  nicely and now  God has added  seven pairs of each kind of ritually clean animal and seven pairs of each kind of bird to the list.

Betty:  You mean he didn’t mention it before now?

Noah:  Nope.

Betty:  Well maybe you could just hose off some of the ones you already have.

Noah:  Either way, I’m afraid there won’t be room for any trampolines this trip.

After Noah had  finally figured out a way to pack everything into the ark (he had to resort to  strapping Betty’s rocking chair and the elephants to the roof),  Noah and Betty went into the boat as well as  their three sons Shem, Ham and Japheth, their wives and a male and female of each kind of living being.  

Then the  Lord shooed all the animals away from the  door and slammed  it shut.  (Part of a zebra’s tail was still sticking out but the Lord just ignored it since there was no way he was ever going to get that door shut again)  Then the Lord gave the ark an almighty heave-ho and off they went!

Day Ten on the Ark

Ham:  Dad can’t we open a window or something?  The smell in here is gross!

Noah:  What’s that?  I thought I saw your lips moving, son, but I can’t hear you over all the squawking,  and the mooing and the bleating.

Betty:   I can’t stand all this sitting!   What I wouldn’t give for that trampoline right now.

Noah:  What honey?  Did you say something about a  tambourine?

Shem:  I’m hungry! Hey I know! What’s say we  barbecue one of the animals!

Japheth:  Are we there yet?

Day 50 on the ark:

Everybody in unison Ninety- nine  potter vessels of  wine on the ark, 99 pottery vessels of wine, take one down and pass it around 98 pottery vessels of  wine on the ark . . .

Day 100 on the Ark

Shem:  Hey guess what everybody?   We have officially risen 25 feet above the tops of the mountains!

Ham:  How do you know that?

Shem:  I measured it with this 25-foot flood dipstick  Dad let me bring.

Betty:   Noah!  How come you let  Shem bring a 25-foot water dipstick, but you wouldn’t let me bring one  lousy little trampoline?

Noah:  What’s that Betty?   I can’t hear you over all the snorting and the squealing and the bow-wowing.

Japheth:  Are we there yet?

Day 130 on the Ark

Shem:  Hey Dad a raven and a dove just got out and the raven didn’t come back but the dove did, and it had  an olive branch in its beak!

Noah:  You know what, Shem,  at this point Daddy doesn’t  really give a rat’s behind.

Ham:  Ha ha!   Funny you should say that,  Dad, because there are several rats behind you right now!

Noah:  Hm . . . apparently some of us have been going forth and multiplying  early.

Day 150 on the Ark

Noah:  Ninety nine pottery vessels of—

Ham:   Hey Dad!  Last time I looked outside there wasn’t any water anywhere, just dry land as far as the eye could see.

Noah:  What?  When was this?

Ham:  About three months ago give or take.

Noah:  What?  Why didn’t you tell me?

Ham: I know how much you hate getting interrupted when you sing.

And a hearty laugh was had by all!

And there you have it, Dear Readers!  How Gregory imagines  life on the ark during the Great Flood.  Be sure and check back next week for another Gregory bible adventure!

Until next time . . . I love you

Noah and Betty

Unloading the Ark

Noah makes some arks

 

What the Scientists Are Thinking About

Welcome Dear Readers to today’s installment of “What the Scientists are Thinking About.” The stories here are actual scientific studies.  And while the  names and institutions  are real,  I have taken the liberty of punching up the reports to make them a little more interesting.

Say, "Holy Cow!  Did you feel that?"
Smile and say, “Holy Cow! Did you feel that?”

Was the Image of Christ on the Turin Shroud Caused by an Earthquake?

Italian scientists rummaging around in the Vatican Christianity Relic Vault decided to postulate that the Turin Shroud was created by an earthquake because it looked like they were going to have to stay late if they didn’t postulate something by the end of the day.

The Turin Shroud is a length of linen cloth thought to bear the image of Jesus after his crucifixion, and the Italian scientists have recently postulated that the Turin Shroud is real by coming up with this explanation:    a powerful earthquake  took place in 33 AD which triggered a release of neutron particles, effectively imprinting Jesus’s body on the cloth like an X-ray — and that a corresponding increase in the level of carbon 14 messed with the radiocarbon dating tests to register the shroud as being only 768 years old.

If scientists wouldn’t have been so tired postulating the above postulation, they might have gone on to postulate another scenario in which the Turin Shroud was an actual snapshot of Jesus taken by Leonardo Di Vinci after he invented a camera and a time machine and went back in time and photographed Jesus using a strip of linen because he  forgot to invent any photo paper  —  and then folded the shroud up and neatly tucked it under his arm  before  slipping into the Vatican under the guise that he was just there to wash the windows and stuck it in the Christianity Relic Vault when the Pope wasn’t looking.

“We believe it is possible that the neutron emissions by earthquakes could have induced the image formation on the Shroud’s linen fibers, through thermal neutron capture on nitrogen nuclei, and could also have caused a wrong radiocarbon dating,”  Professor Alberto Carpinteri was quoted as saying just before taking to his bed for a week due to a bad case of big scientific word exhaustion.

Cartoon Shrimp
 . . . huff . . .huff . . . . . huff . . . huf . . . are we there yet, buddy?

We Threw Some Shrimp on the Treadmill for you. That’ll be $682,570 please!

Biology Professors Louis and Karen Burnett at the College of Charleston recently spent $682,570 in government grant money to jury-rig a treadmill for  shrimp to workout on and then took the shrimps’ vital signs  –a scientific endeavor for which Uncle Sam picked up the check but didn’t even get to eat any of the shrimp.

According to the National Science Foundation, the money was granted for a project called, “Taking the pulse of Marine Life in Stressed Seas.”

The  researchers wanted to find out just how stressed out shrimp got by running on a treadmill.  The study revealed that running on a treadmill isn’t all that stressful for shrimp but the researchers themselves became stressed out from stressing how much more research grant money  is needed to complete the study.

Next, the scientific duo is planning to measure shrimp stress by figuring out how much sweat is formed on a shrimp’s forehead while it watches videos of people chowing down on Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp at Red Lobster.

Of course,  first they will need several million dollars of  government grant money to determine where, exactly, the forehead is located on a shrimp.

And there you have it, Dear Readers!  What the Scientists have been thinking about.

Until next time . . . I love you

Welcome to Plug Day!

Welcome, Dear Readers, to Plug Day here at the blog. Maybe you are asking yourselves, “But what is Plug Day?”   

Does it mean we will be going bathtub stopper shopping?

Does it mean  my husband, 37,  will finally be doing something about his hairline?

Or does the word “plug” in Plug Day mean we will be discussing my retired race horse, Sedentariat?

Me and Sedintariat. (I'm the one on the right)
Me and Sedentariat  (I’m the one on the right)

Helena Hann-Basquiat’s New E-Book

The actual reason I’m calling today, Plug Day, is because today I would like to give you all a heads up about a fellow writer/ blogger,  Helena Hann-Basquiat, who has a new e-book that will be coming out this spring.

Helena is Binge-Read Worthy

I started reading the stories on Helena’s blog about her adventures in California  the other night and,  after reading the first story,  I was hooked and went on to binge read  her entire California series.

And  I must say, I’m  looking forward to getting all Helena’s delightful stories in one convenient e-book!

Here’s Helena’s soon-to-be released e-book:

Helena Hann-Basquiat''s Memiors of a Dilettante Volume One

MEMOIRS OF A DILETTANTE VOLUME ONE – COVER REVEAL!

COMING SPRING 2014 — official date TBA

Memoirs of a Dilettante is a collection of reminiscences, following Helena Hann-Basquiat, a self-proclaimed dilettante who will try anything just to say that she has, and her twenty-something niece, who she has dubbed the Countess Penelope of Arcadia, in their off-beat antics in such places as common as the local McDonald’s or the comic book store, to their travels to Miami for the search for the perfect Cuban sandwich. Interspersed between wacky one-off adventures, Helena tells personal, sometimes painful stories from her past in order to try and make sense of her life as it has played out, tempering everything with an indomitable sense of humour.

Cummerbund Bandersnatch, the Accidental Plagiarist, strippers, rock stars, geeks, freaks, and the Barista With No Name — these are just a few of the characters you’ll meet inside.

Discover Helena’s tales for the first time or all over again, with new notes and annotations for the culturally impaired — or for those who just need to know what the hell was going through her mind at the time!

If you just can’t wait and you want a taste of Helena’s writing, follow her blog: http://helenahannbasquiat.wordpress.com/

If you just can’t get enough Helena, or you want updates on further goings on, release dates and miscellaneous mayhem, follow Helena on Twitter @hhbasquiat

Well that concludes Plug Day at the blog for today, Dear Readers. Join me next time on Plug Day where we will be discussing either bathtub stoppers or 37’s hairline — whichever turns out to be more interesting.

Until next time . . . I love you

A Visit from the Patronizing Noodle Lady

Welcome Dear Reader!  Well,  guess what?  The Patronizing Noodle Lady has decided to pay a visit to the blog.

 The Patronizing Noodle Lady first showed up in this picture in one of my old cookbooks.

These are Noodles!
“No!  You’re not listening. These here . . . the ones I’m touching, these long skinny things are called noodles. And the noodles go here, where  my index finger is tapping.  My index finger is the finger you would use  if you wanted  to point at something.

 Since then she seems to have wiggled her way out of the photo to become:

The Patronizing Noodle Lady, Linda Vernon Humor

The Patronizing Noodle Lady

Today the Patronizing Noodle Lady will set us straight about How to Use Spices by reviewing with us this booklet from the 1958 American Spice Association, a pamphlet written by none other than the The Patronizing Noodle Lady!

Deemed the most condescending "How-to" of 1958!
Deemed the most wonderfully condescending “How-to” Pamphlet  of 1958 by the National Association of Professional Patronizers!

What’s that Patronizing Noodle Lady? You want us to open to the first page by opening the cover and then flipping to the page #1. Uh. Okay we’ll try!

Paragraph one - How to use spices

Patronizing Noodle Lady please rest assured that even though our interest in spices developed somewhere  . . . somehow . . . we had absolutely no idea what  was going on and just totally lucked into whatever interest we’ve shown.  We  were more than likely hallucinating when we saw ourselves as truly glamorous cooks!

Paragraph two

Believe us when we tell you, Noodle Lady,  that there is absolutely no “mysterious” and difficult feeling we’ve ever had (with the possible exception of getting sucked into a jet engine or falling into a pit of snakes) that is worse than not handling each spice correctly!

Paragraph  hot

Patronizing Noodle Lady you must believe us when we say that we have been trying our whole lives not to confuse the word “spice” with the word “hot’  but it’s just so difficult.  We’re always getting them mixed up which is probably why Aunt Martha died from that stomach ache we tried to help her with last week when we suggest she add four pounds of cayenne pepper to her oatmeal.  Darn!  That’s what we get for guessing!

feel free to experiment

Patronizing Noodle Lady!  Please!  Tamper with the basic ingredients!  We would never dream of such a thing even if it is according to the dictates of our own imaginations. (As you have so generously allowed us!  Thank you btw!)  In fact, we will be happy to swear on a stack of cookbooks that we will never — under any circumstances — tamper with basic ingredients or we will swallow an entire tin of cinnamon with an Oregano chaser so help us Julia Child!

feel free

Relax?  How can we relax with all this pressure we’re under.  You wouldn’t happen to have any spices that would help us relax would you Patronizing Noodle Lady?  Oh and just one quick question:  Do we have to have a college degree to become an expert in the use of spices?

college degree

Alright!!! If we start right now using spices with only our high school diplomas, how long will it be before spices will not have any secrets from us?   . . . Hello?  Patronizing Noodle Lady?  Did you hear us?  Patronizing Noodle Lady?

Well, Dear Readers, it looks like the Patronizing Noodle Lady has quit answering us because she no doubt has more important people to see and better blogs to visit. But don’t worry, I’m sure she’ll come back soon as there are plenty of things we still need to be set straight on.

Until next time . . . I love you

My Little Loch Ness Monster

My Little Loch Ness Monster

Lock Ness Monster by Linda VernonI have a Loch Ness monster who follows me around

He slaps his feet and quacks his beak but I don’t hear a sound

(I  keep a roll of cotton in my ears to tone it down)

 

My little Loch Ness Monster is hardly ever sick

Oh sure,  he’ll fake a stomach ache  —  but that is just his shtick

And that time he ate my neighbor? It was just a nervous tic

 

Oh my little Loch Ness Monster,  I ride him everywhere

Except for under bridges so he doesn’t mess his hair

And we stay away from bumpy roads—just too much wear and tear

 

My little Loch Ness Monster, he loves People Magazine

He eats those little cards he finds on pages in-between

(I think he does this mostly cause it’s healthy for his spleen)

 

My little Loch Ness Monster is fat and round and blue

He’d tie his own shoe laces but he cannot find his shoe

Just like  Marlon Brando, Orson Welles and Mister Depardieu

Orson Wells Marlon Brando Gerard Depardieu
‘Oh yeah Little Loch Ness Monster?   We don’t even wear shoes, so there!

 Until next time . . . I love you

My Brain Peanuts Presents: The World in a Nutshell

Welcome Dear Readers to  “The World in a Nutshell”  where my brain, Peanuts, will attempt to recreate a map of the world drawing on nothing but hearsay, vague general impressions and a third-rate education.

Today’s Map:  South America

A map of South American based entirely on my brain, Peanuts, vague impressions
A map of South American based entirely on Peanuts vague impressions

Please study the map above.  Are you done studying it?  Great!

POP QUIZ TIME!

This concludes  “The World in a Nutshell” lesson for today, Dear Readers.   Please drop in next time when Peanuts thinks up some different stuff about a different part of the world!

Until next time . . . I love you

The Smears of a Clown

Welcome to Wednesday (again)!  It ‘s time for Friday Fictioneers.

Here’s this weeks 100-word story inspiration picture by Janet Webb over at  This, That and the Other Thing:

janet-webbs-sangria
Copyright Janet Webb

The Smears of a Clown

Penelope Snoots was the talk of the town

When she married a man from the circus (a clown)

Who thought himself clever at messing around

With oil paints, charcoals and color crans (brown)

 

His  pockets were empty – he was really quite vain

(Though his face was Picasso on drugs when it rained)

Yet Penelope loved him in ways unexplained

Cause her wine limit was . . . shall we say . . .  unconstrained?

 

One day he took fruit and chopped it up nicely

Combined strawberries, wine and cantaloupes thricely

He killed her and placed her on ice cubes concisely

Then he painted Penelope’s portrait precisely

 

"See how much better I can paint you when you hold still, Penelope?"
“See how much better I can paint you when you hold still, Penelope?  I know you can’t answer that.  It was rhetorical.”

Of course Wednesday means it’s time for 100-words of fun hosted every week by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple.  Pop over and join us.  The more the merrier!

Until next time . . . I love you

Our Hamsters Ourselves

Hello Dear Readers! Every once in a while it’s good to remember our fine furry friends, the hamsters.  Here’s a story about one such little guy.

Our Hamsters, Ourselves

I’ll never forget our first hamster. He (or possibly she) was a cute little ball of white fur or maybe it was brown. I guess when I say I’ll never forget our first hamster, what I mean is I’ll never forget what happened to our first hamster, Snickers.

We knew Snickers was special the moment we saw him in the huge glass hamster case at the pet shop. I reached in to pick him up and he reared on his hind legs and tried to swat my finger away with powerful albeit tiny paws. This hamster had spunk. Plus he was only $5.99.

Snickers, the hamster
SOLD!

We took him to the cash register and the clerk suggested a few accessories we would need in order to properly care for a hamster. The total came to $213.17.

Holy Habitat!

Our hamster would need this habitat, she assured us, if he was ever going to thrive.

We bought this story hook, line and sinker, not to mention water bottle, bedding and food (ten-pound bag). We headed home with Snickers safely enclosed in a cardboard carrying case with handle ($3.99), and his habitat securely tied to the luggage rack of the car (twine $.99).

Official Twine of the National Hamstermen's Association
Official Twine of the National Hamstermen’s Association

After several hours of intense concentration (and some dazzling duct-tape wizardry), we plopped Snickers into his newly assembled habitat where he quickly began chewing his way out.

Occasionally, we would take Snickers out of his habitat and try to pet him while he ran full throttle over our hands, up our arms and down our legs.  Oh what fun we had with the little guy or gal!

Partay!!
Snickers Partay! Wooo-hoooo!

But little did we know then what tragic circumstances lay ahead for our beloved Snickers – a tragic circumstance by the name of Lucy, our dog.

We thought Lucy was a pretty nice dog until the day we discovered that underneath her sweetness-and-light exterior lurked the primitive brain of a hunter/killer.

Lucy, the manifestation of pure evil.

Her prey? Let’s just say Lucy enjoyed munching a Snickers now and then and I’m not referring to candy bars.

. . . gulp! . . .

I still blame myself for Snickers’ death, which is why I am relating this story in the hope that others will learn the lesson for which our precious Snickers gave his (or her) life.

And that lesson is this: Never leave a child who is holding a hamster alone in the same room with a dog who likes to eat them (hamsters, not children).

Or better yet, don’t leave the room at all, ever!   In this case, I was gone only seconds when I heard a terrible commotion followed by the bloodcurdling scream of a child and the rodent-like heart-wrenching squeak of . . . a rodent.

It seems the worst had happened. Left to the supervision of a child, Lucy and Snickers had gotten into a deadly altercation. I ran back to the room to find the child dazed and in shock, Lucy cowering in shame and Snickers resting in peace.

“Bury my heart at wounded knee, fellas!”

It took us awhile to recover from the incident. We had to read When Bad Things Happen to Good Hamsters twice before we had the heart to make another trip to the pet shop to pick out Snickers #2.

Update:

Ironically, Lucy has just returned home from the animal hospital after a close brush with death because of an acute case of pancreatitis.

The vet said Lucy would have to stick to a strict diet of chicken and rice. Anything else could kill her.

We can only hope Snickers #2 has the good sense to stay out of her way — for both their sakes.

Snickers #2. He tries harder.

Until next time . . . I love you

The Sound of Rod McKuen’s Solitude

Good news Dear Reaers!  I was milling around my favorite thrift store yesterday when I found this poetry book written by slighty-creepy-seventies poet extraordinaire, Rod McKuen — world renowned for his random-carriage-return, arbitrary-space-bar poetry!       

The Sound of Solitude by Rod McKuen
The Sound of Solitude by Rod McKuen. The inside jacket tells us it’s the most moving, private and essential collection he’s been willing to share  with his millions of readers (at only $9.95 per share)

I looked up the price of  The Sound of Solitude on Abe Books.  It’s worth a dollar.  And I got it for 50-cents! Ha ha!  Suckers! 

Okay, let’s get serious now and open to a poem at random from The Sound of Solitude by Rod McKuen: 

 After-Hours Acrobatics

I light one candle

With another’s flame

And getting up to leak

I look across at you

First of all, Rod, it is very dangerous to sleep with candles lit.  You really need to blow them out!  For heaven sakes, you’re going to burn the house down!  

Secondly, I’m a little concerned that you are leaking. I’m assuming you are referring to a shrapnel injury incurred while in the war, but at least you seem to be aware that leaking while lying down only makes things worse.  Okay, keep going Rod.

Still curled and sleeping

Coming back I start to pass

a mirror

I stop. Stand back and see me

naked in the candlelight

See? What did I tell you?  If you would have blown out those candles like you should have, you wouldn’t have that problem now would you?

Was I ever beautiful,

ever young or wise

deserving of your arms or other’s?

Tiny suggestion Rod,  Don’t you think saying: “deserving of your arms or, failing that, other’s would be kinder to whomever you are referring to? They might read this poem, you now.

Head-on is even harsh by candleglow

love handles bulge on either side.

 Just a thought . . . could it be that it’s your love handles that are leaking?  (I know a good Love-Handle specialist you might want to consult.)

Of what was once an unfilled frame that I hung hopes on,

never excess flesh

Oh I know what you mean! I always put excess flesh in dryer.

I look at you a second time

hoping I can dive beneath the covers

before you catch my silhouette

against the wall.

My pulse thumps loud enough

to blunt the metronome of cicada

calling to cicada,

OMG Rod!  How did you ever get yourself into such a poetic pickle?  See how complicated life gets when you don’t blow out the candles?

Now you’re going to have to call the exterminators to get rid of the cicada infestion.  I hope you’ve learned your lesson!  

(Oh and be sure to get that pulse thump checked out when you go see the Love-Handle specialist.)

Safe. I hit third base

and slide to home.

You only turn and grumble in your sleep

I do not go back to sleep

Well, maybe all you need is a few hours at the batting cages . . .

All life is spent erecting barricades

that none of us can get through

when love finally comes

And none of this would have even been an issue, Rod, if you would have just taken the time to blow out the candles.  I hate to say I told you so, but . . . well I wont’ say it, I wouldn’t want to upset you.  You might start leaking again.

Until next time . . . I love (handle specialist) you

Friday Fictioneers: Let There Be Loot

Welcome Dear Readers to Friday Fictioneers hosted most graciously every week  by Rochelle at Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple.  

This week we are writing a 100-word story for a picture taken by Dawn  at Lingering Visions who has some  beautiful pictures on her blog for your viewing pleasure.

Copyright Dawn M. Miler
Copyright Dawn M. Miler

Let There Be Loot

Pendleton! Round up these lamps and return them immediately!

I can’t.

Why?

They were on sale — buy one, get 37  half off.

I’m not buying it, Pendleton.

Funny you should mention not buying.

Pendleton you didn’t rob–

Just Lamps?  Yes I did actually.

But you just got released from prison for robbing—

Just Toast Ovens.  I know.

Will you be going on the lam now, Pendleton?

Yes, but I have one stop to make first.

Where Pendleton? Just Shades?

No.

Just Bulbs?  Just Cords?

I’m leaving now dear.

Just On/Off Switches?

Take care of yourself!

Just Sockets?

I’ll write.

* * *

Until next time . . . I love you

What the Scientists Are Thinking About

Oh what a horrible bad dream nightmare bad dream  nightmare I just had!

Scientists study whether some nightmares are scarier than others

After exhaustively studying whether some nightmares are scarier than others, scientists at the University of Montreal had to go lie down but made darn sure to keep the lights on.

Many of the scientists nearly got carpal tunnel syndrome collecting 10,000 dream reports from the nightmare-study participants.

The scientists then hunkered down to the task of analyzing 253 nightmares, 431 bad dreams and 203 dreams in which people  just turned their heads repeatedly back and forth on their pillows while making ugly faces and mumbling a lot.

After weeks of analyzing these reports, researchers finally decided to just file everything under “miscellaneous” but not before coming to the following conclusions:

1) Nightmares are more intense than bad dreams and 2) nightmares are often triggered by external events.

However, the  researchers stressed that there are way more conclusions to come to and that they should definitely continue getting their government grant money while they continue their arduous task of coming to more conclusions.

"Hey!  Who is you callin' dum?
 Intelligent Life Form

Scientists are trying to understand how dumb we are compared to extraterrestrial life forms that could be way, way smarter than us.

Astronomer and astrophysicist, Lord Martin Rees says that intelligent extraterrestrial life forms might be completely unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.

“Just as a chimpanzee can’t understand quantum theory, it could be there are aspects of reality that are beyond the capacity of our brains.” Lord Martin Rees kindly pointed out by gently glossing over the fact that 99.9 percent of the human race can’t understand quantum theory either.

In an effort to further explore this idea, a team of scientists will soon publish a paper detailing an exercise called COMPLEX — COmplexity of Markers for Prolfiling Life in EXobiology.

COMPLEX will compare various non-human intelligences imagined by scientists with other non-human intelligences imagined by scientists so that if we come across any non-human intelligences that are so smart we can’t detect them, we’ll at least be able to asses them.

Even though it all sounds rather confusing, the COMPLEX scientists are at least hoping for a Nobel prize for coming up with the coolest scientific acronym.

A scholar perplexed as all get out.
Previously perplexed scholar more perplexed than he was previously

The death of Alexander the Great is perplexing scholars more than they were previously perplexed

For the last 2,000 years, scholars have been perplexed and deeply divided about what killed Alexander the Great at the age of 32.

There is one particularly perplexed scholar, however, who has been perplexed so long about what killed Alexander the Great he can’t even remember what it was like not to feel perplexed.

Dr. Leo Schep, a toxicologist at The National Poison Center thinks the culprit that killed Alexander could be poisonous wine made from Veratrum Album a poisonous flower which could have been fermented as a wine.

Dr. Leo Schep, who has been over-thinking what killed Alexander the Great for a decade now stated, “Some of the poisoning theories — including arsenic and strychnine are laughable.”  (But he probably only laughed because toxicology is one of the least funny professions there is.)

Dr. Schep believes poison Veratrum Album wine could account for the fact that it took Alexander 12 days to die while in horrible pain and unable to speak or walk, so Dr. Schep isn’t quite as perplexed as he was before about what killed Alexander the Great.

However, Dr. Schep went on to admit that the wine would have tasted very bitter . . . but then again they could have added sugar to it . . . or perhaps, honey . . .  so he would drink enough of the wine to kill him.

Dr. Schep readily admitted that this  part of his theory is still very perplexing.

“Oh great, now I’m even more perplexed than I was previously!” Dr. Schep wasn’t quoted as saying out loud, but he is probably screaming it over and over again in his mind right this very minute.

And there you have it, Dear Readers, what the scientists are thinking about.

Until next time . . . I love you