Linda’s Bedtime Stories for Grown-up Children: The Cuppencaken

 The Cuppencaken

Roweena Patina was late for tea.   Her mother-in-law, Tulip Aarff, invited her three days ago and yet, somehowRoweena didn’t know how, she completely forgot!

Now Roweena found herself racing through the streets of Van Schmoodenfloffen, at such a furious pace that one of her wooden shoes flung itself off just as she was passing the Van Windenflooffen Bakery.

And even though Roweena felt her shoe fly off — she was in such a tizzy, she didn’t even bother stopping to retrieve it — despite the aroma of Van Boozlephaffen Pie tempting her . . . tempting her . . . tempting her!

For you see, Roweena, had managed to pile on fifty-three pounds during the annual Glockenflockenfluff Fish Festival to the mighty chagrin of her mother-in-law, Tulip Aarff.

In fact, Tulip Aarff found Roweena Patina lacking discipline in every respect — both as a human being, in general, and as a daughter-in-law in particular.  Now, Tulip Aarff could add “fat” to her myriad list of Roweena Patina complaints.

For Tulip Aarff made it her hobby to find fault in the tiniest imperfections of her daughter-in-law’s personage.  And today, Tulip Aarff was about to hit the jackpot when it came to her favorite amusement.

When at last Roweena arrived at the double Dutch door of her mother-in-law’s cottage, she said a prayer for protection, then knocked.

“Enter this instant!” commanded Tulip Aarff.  “For the cold herring is getting warm and the warm tea is getting cold!”

When Roweena stepped inside with her shoeless foot, her disheveled apron and her bonnet hopelessly askew, Tulip Aarff gasped the Great Mother-in-Law Gasp of the Ages.

You’re late as usual! Tulip Aarff barked.

With a hollow smile and a sugary, sweet voice, Roweena said, “I’m only late, my dearest mother-in-law, because I was baking you this  “special” Hagleslagen Cuppencaken!

When Roweena finished her tea, she bid Tulip Aarff a cheerful adieu. A cheerful adieu that Tulip Aarff failed to acknowledge, however, what with her being dead from the poison and all.

Tulip Aarff just before biting the Hagleslagen Cuppencaken dust!

* * *

Until next time . . . I love you

Fun with Global Warming

Welcome Dear Readers to Friday Fictioneers where participants write a 100-word story about the new picture that is posted every week by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields over at Addicted to Purple.

Here’s this week’s cool picture taken by Janet Webb over at her blog, This That and The Other Thing:

Copyright Janet Webb
Copyright Janet Webb

Fun with Global Warming

“I just love Global Warming, Harvey!  I’ve lost ten pounds already on my all-fish diet!”

“You look great, Delores.  Love your shoes!”

“Thanks. I got them at Just Galoshes!”

“Oh no!  Delores!  Our new rowboat’s sprung a leak!”

“What? Where’d you get it? Oh don’t tell me!  Al Gore’s Rowboat Palace and Oar Emporium?”

“Yes.”

“Please say you got a life-time warranty, Harvey.”

“No.”

“A two-year, no-leak service plan?”

“No.”

“A 30-day guarantee?”

“No.”

“Did you get anything?”

“Just a pat on the back and two-week’s free Internet service.”

“That’s it?”

“And Al’s personal assurance.”

“Which was?”

“You’ll never Tipper!”

"Come buy my rowboats!"
“Come buy my rowboats!  Yeah!”

* * *

Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields over at Addicted to Purple for faithfully hosting this super-fun challenge each and every week.

Until next time . . . I love you

Linda’s Video Writing Tips #3

Welcome Dear Readers!  Well, here we are at Day 3 of my week-long video writing tips.  Today’s topic is writing for money.

Well there you have it, Dear Readers.  Hope you enjoyed this tip.  Come back tomorrow for tip #4 in my series of video tips.

 

Until next time . . . I love you

My Bill Murray Groundhog Day Kiss

I’m not usually a lucky person. The slot machines I play are sure to be clinkety-clank-less, the numbers on my raffle tickets go unannounced, and, truth be told, I’ve never even had an opportunity to shout the word “Bingo” . . . unless, of course, it was his name-o.

So when I got kissed by Bill Murray at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am Golf Tournament, they had to call the fire department to get me down from Cloud 9.

“No, you idiot, that’s Cloud 8!”

The whole thing would have never happened had I not stepped on the toes of a good-natured, somewhat tipsy Englishman while trying to get a glimpse of Clint Eastwood at the fifth hole at Spyglass -; breaking the ice between the Englishman and I, while simultaneously breaking most of his toes.

Not the exact Englishman  but gawdawful like him.

Clint proceeded to hit a ball that landed squarely on the green. Now, for secretive, humorous reasons known only to the British, this sent my new Broken Toed Buddy into a fit of laughter and ear-splitting wise-crack-ery; the likes of which can only be achieved after enjoying a hearty three-martini breakfast.

Take a Mulligan, Clint!” The English One advised and began to chant. “Mulli! Mulli! Mulli!” Finally, Clint turned to him and assuming his famous Dirty Harry persona (at least that’s what I assumed he was assuming) replied“Yeah, OK,” a comment to which the gallery responded with an explosion of laughter so uproarious, I was left to conclude that everybody there was British.

Then . . . suddenly . . . like a Cinderella story out of nowhere – weaving his way through the throngs to the tee—appeared The Great and Powerfully Funny, Bill Murray, Himself.

Bill Murray signing autographs at the AT&T Pro Am Pebble Golf Tournment
The Great and Powerfully Funny Bill Murray, Himself!

“Look! It’s Bill Murray!” I observed with all the subtlety of Lucy Ricardo spotting William Holden at the Brown Derby. My English Buddy didn’t miss a beat. “Hey Bill!” He screamed over the crowd. “This lady would like a kiss!”

Bill Murray responded by slowly turning around like he was Moe Howard hearing the dreaded phrase “Niagara Falls!” As he headed my way, the crowd was giddy with anticipation. I know it’s weird and maybe I’ve been watching too much I Love Lucy but what was running through my head at that exact moment was, “Wait until Ethel hears about this!”

Then, Bill Murray positioned himself in front of me and politely waited for the crowd to get their cameras ready and when the time was right . . .

Getting a kiss from Bill Murray
BINGO!

. . . suddenly the AT&T golf tournament faded away, and it was just me and my lips and Bill Murray kissing me . . . with his lips. I don’t know how long we kissed. It could have been an instant or it could have been an hour or possibly four or five hours (but I doubt it) that I was suspended in the bliss of Bill Murray’s kiss.

On the drive home, I suddenly realized it was February 2nd which meant – that’s right – I got kissed by Bill Murray on Groundhog day. And in the immortal the words of Carl the Greens keeper — after he was granted total consciousness on his deathbed by the Dali Lama –I thought:

So I got that going for me . . . which is nice.”

Bill Murray as Carl the Greens Keeper

Until next time . . . I love you (and that goes double for Bill Murray)

Scientists Who Think Too Much

Hello Dear Readers!  Today, let us peer into the levers and pulleys that comprise the thinking apparatuses of our beloved scientists and researchers!  Come join me, won’t you?

A picture of where Seti might point its telescope
Let’s see . . . eenie meenie miney etc etc. 

Seti Focuses Efforts on Listening to Known Exo-Planets

Seti, a group of researchers who live more by the story Horton Hears a Who than any other branch of the scientific community, have recently decided to point their telescopes at 86 stars that are known to have planets.

Up until now, the researchers at Seti, all with PhD’s in Listening Closely,  were taking turns playing “spin the telescope” to decide which direction they should listen in.  Unfortunately, aside from one shotgun wedding, this method yielded no results.

“The big challenge with these kinds of observations is to rule out the false positives generated on Earth,” Jill Tarter, Seti VIP was quoted as saying after getting her hopes up last winter over what she thought was an intelligent signal from out there, but was later turned out to be a Portuguese broadcast of I Dream of Jeannie.

 

Casino or bust!
Casino or bust!

Keeping Dead Languages Alive Is Easy, It’s Finding People to Talk to That’s the Rub.

Researchers, whose jobs it is to sit around and pin dates on things that will  happen in the future, have recently decided that by the year 2100, the mankind will have lost half the languages that are now spoken.

Luckily, in California, Eureka High School has launched a program to keep alive the Native-American language, Yurok, which was down to only six native speakers in 1990, and today, thanks to the schools efforts, there are now over 300 high school kids who speak Yurok.

“Now it’s just a matter of locating the only six people on earth who can understand them,” the Eureka High School principal was quoted as saying after loading up the rooter bus with 300 fluent Yurok speakers and heading off to the casino.

 

One . . . two . . . wait wait wait . . . one . . . two . . .wait wait wait . . . one . . .two . . .
One . . . two . . . wait wait wait . . . one . . . two . . . wait wait wait . . .one two . . . wait wait wait

Felix Baumgartner Fell Faster Than Originally Thought

With a name like Felix Baumgartner, Felix Baumgartner felt compelled to do something spectacular on behalf of all the other Felix Baumgartners of the world which is why last October, he ascended to a height of more than 120,000 feet in a special helium balloon before stepping off and plummeting back down to earth.

Since then, Mathematicians have been burning up their Texas Instrument calculators in an effort to figure out exactly how fast Felix Baumgartner was actually falling.

As a result, the original figure of 843.6 miles an hour has been upgraded to ten miles an hour faster  — causing the clouds through which Felix Baumgartner was falling to be remembered even blurrier in his mind’s eye than he was previously remembering them to be.

Researchers say the lessons learned from the jump will inform the development of new ideas for emergency evacuation from things like spacecraft, experimental aircraft and hot air balloons traveling somewhere over the rainbow.

And there you have it, Dear Readers, today’s foray into the minds of our scientific community!

Until next time . . . I love you

Another Attempt to Cheer up Edgar Allan Poe

Hello Dear Readers.  Sadly, it’s not always good times here at the blog.  Sometimes we have to take time out from our fun to try to cheer up America’s most celebrated crybaby creative writer,  Edgar Allan Poe.

 The Boo-hoo Boy, himself, Edgar Allen Poe
The Boo-hoo Boy, himself

So Edgar, what have you been up to lately?  I hear you thought up another good idea for a story.  Do you mind if I ask where the idea came from?

“It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived it haunted me day and night.”

Well,  don’t let this hurt your feelings Edgar, but your brain is freakishly large, so it probably catches a lot ideas, it’s casting a big net as it were.  But it doesn’t need to haunt you day and night, why don’t you go over to Nathaniel Hawthorn’s house and play Parcheesi. You had fun last time, didn’t you?

I loved the old man.  He had never wronged me.  He had never given me insult.  For his gold I had no desire.

Well, great!  It sounds like you and Nathaniel had a lot in common then, so what’s the problem?

I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture — a pale blue eye with a film over it.  Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold.

Well now listen, Edgar, everybody has their little idiosyncrasies.  Look at you with the freakishly large brain.  I bet Nat didn’t hold that against you?  You’d be happier if you were less judgmental.

I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, thus rid myself of the eye forever . . .

Ha ha Edgar!  That’s the spirit!  A little joking goes a long way to brightening up one’s mood!

But you should have seen me.  You should have seen how wisely I proceeded — with what caution — with what foresight — with what dissimulation I went to work.

Ha ha Edgar!   Oh I’m so glad you’re finally learning how to be a bit more playful.   And what a straight face you’re keeping too!

I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever  . . .

Ha ha ha!   I think you might have just stumbled upon your inner comedian, Edgar!

I turn the latch of his door and opened it — oh so gently! and then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head . . .

You mean because of your freakishly large brain?  ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha  . . . Oh I’m laughing so hard, Edgar, my sides are hurting . . .

It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see him as he lay upon his bed.

Ah hahahahaha!  Oh that funny melon head of yours!  Ha ha ha!

And I did this for seven long nights . . .

Look at you, Edgar!   I am so proud of you! I think you are actually cheered up this time.  In fact, let’s just cancel that cheering-up appointment for next Tuesday, shall we?

With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room.  He shrieked once — once only.  In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him . . . his eye would trouble me no more.

Okay, well, anyway, I gotta get going.  Nice chatting with you.

He was stone dead.  His eye would trouble me no more.

Oh. Well, as long as you’re feeling better, that’s the important thing, I guess.  But maybe we better keep that cheering-up appointment after all.   How does next Tuesday at 2:45 work for you?

Join us next Tuesday at 2:45 Dear Readers, when we will be continuing our ongoing effort to cheer up Edgar Allan Poe.

Until next time . . . I love you

Linda’s Incomprehensive Guide to Exercise

Hello Dear Readers! Welcome to Linda’s Incomprehensive Guide to Exercise.  Let’s dig right in, shall we?

History of Exercise: 1950 to 1959

The only kind of exercises that existed in the 50’s were jumping jacks, deep knee bends and squats and nobody did them without being forced to do so by a P.E. teacher, a football coach or a drill sargent. Those were the good old days when people ate anything they wanted and only went for walks to commune with a pack of Salem Cigarettes.

walking in forest smoking Salems

“Gosh, honey, it’s really pretty here when the smoke clears!”

History of Exercise: 1960 to 1969-ish

In the 60’s, exercise  boiled down to a little globule  of a man named Jack LaLanne.  Every day millions of everyday women would stand in front of their television sets to watch tiny Jack LaLanne cutely dressed in a teeny-weeny, one-piece jumpsuit, doing deep-knee bends while singing the praises of vitamins and veggies.  He is still alive to this day but, unfortunately, has continued to shrink  little by little over the years and, sadly;  is now only visible through a microscope.

jack Lalanne in Tux
Here’s Jack trying not to shrink out of his tux.

History of Exercise: 1970-ish to 1980-something or other

Somewhere around in here we got Jane Fonda. Jane was a busy Seventies Gal running around in her shag haircut winning academy awards, making aerobic videos and being against the Viet Nam War.

Everywhere you looked there was Jane Fonda shagalistically shorn in her leotards and leg warmers stretching, reaching, pulling, clawing and cloying.  Looking back it was quite Hanoi-ing.  But she single-handedly started the Aerobics Craze so you have to hand it to her — or trip her whichever you prefer.

Can it get anymore Hanoi-ing?

History of Exercise: 1980-something to somewhere in the 90’s on up

Somewhere in here Richard Simmons skipped onto the scene. What Richard Simmons had going for him was a heart of gold combined with an uncanny ability to sweat to pop songs that weren’t popular anymore.

Richard won over the hearts of  Americans by crying tears of happiness about how he used to be fat but wasn’t anymore; and he didn’t want you to be fat anymore either because it made him cry because you’re so, so fat and he’s not fat anymore.

Lately however Richard Simmons seems to have fallen off the face of the planet . . . or was pushed.

Richard Simmons, Sweating Professionally Since 1979

Present Day Exercise: 2015 to To-Be-Determined

In the interest of brevity, let’s be brief.  Exercise today boils down to one word:   Bicycling.  But not the old-fashioned kind of bicycling we all knew and loved in the 1950’s.  When bike riding simply meant hopping on our bikes wearing jeans and a tee-shirts and riding around the block while smoking  Salem Cigarettes.

People in the country smoking salem cigarettes
“Hey, honey, I think somebody stole our bikes!”  “Don’t worry, they can take our bikes out of the country but they can’t take the Salem out of our lungs!”   “Oh, honey, I love you!”   “I love you too!”

Now Riding a Bike is Groovy!

There’s a new, groovy way of riding one’s bike called cycling.  When cycling one must take up an entire car lane and pretend that one can pedal as fast as a car.

This is hard to pretend without the proper “pretending apparel” called cycling apparel which is a necessary technical piece of equipment necessary to make you comfortable technically while pretending to ride your bicycle as fast as a car can go.

It also helps if you make a “vroom, vroom” noise under your breath as you pedal along.

Bicyclist in full cycling apparel.
” Vroom! Vroom! I’m a blur!”

The New Groovy way of riding bikes can be a bit dangerous in heavy traffic, sure, but not too worry.  For every bicyclist that is run over by a car, a pedestrian somewhere in the world is being run over by a bicyclist.  So you see, it all evens out in the end.

Until next time . . . I love you