Tuesday, 12 April 2016

The Six Degrees of Heaven


One day Anthony died and awoke at the gates of heaven. "I'm in" he no sooner thought to himself when a booming, castigating voice said "Not so fast Anthony. It's not as simple as that".   Anthony turned in search of the voice and stopped when he came across a less than five footed bearded man in flowing white robes.

"You Peter? laughed Anthony. "That's right my son and that laugh is already one strike against you."

"Oh I'm so sorry St Peter. Please forgive me. But understand you weren't what I was expecting."

"That's not all you weren't expecting" said Peter with a wink of his eye. "Heaven is split into six sections and we decide which section arrivals will be placed. Follow me and I'll explain."

Peter called for a golf cart and took Anthony on a little excursion.

Their first stop was Eh Heaven. "That's where all the Canadians are" said Peter. "Of course, eh" exclaimed Anthony. "Now you're gonna tell me you provide them with poutine and Molson Ex forever." "No I'm not" said Peter. "But we do provide crueller donuts and double-double coffees from Tim Horton's".

They then proceeded to Bee Heaven. "That's where all the beekeepers are directed" said Peter. "It's not a  large place but those guys do such good work keeping bees alive we thought they should be rewarded appropriately, so we hived off a portion of heaven just for them." "Sweet idea" countered Anthony.

"Next up is Sea Heaven and if you hadn't guessed that's where the world's sailors are sent. We keep them afloat for all of eternity,"  said Peter, "on water from the Sea of Galilee".

"Over there is D for Danish heaven. Guess who we direct there."

"And on your right is E for Everybody Else heaven. And that's where you're going. Don't worry it's a nice place to spend the rest of your life."

"But you said there were six levels of heaven. Where's the sixth?"

"Ah" said St Peter, once they've figured it out folks aren't too exited about it. Look."

My God - oops sorry there St Peter - everyone's face is blurred and replaced with the sixth letter of the alphabet. Why is that?" questioned Anthony.

"This" whispered Peter "is F heaven. For those that can't contain themselves up here and in their excitement use the F word this is where they're sent and F faced."

"Fuck" exclaimed Anthony "that's a terrible pun. Oops"

Over at Studio30+ they went with efface/erase as a prompt this week. Bet you're wishing I'd efface this post, eh?


Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Dedicated Punster of Fashion (oh yes he is)


George looked across at Bob. Both were bent over pant-ing, puff-ing in and out rapidly. The race they had just run had ended in a tie. Damn, George thought, isn't that dandy. Bob was pleased that he'd skirted failure. But he decided to button his lips and keep quiet.

Fred sat alone in the stands crumpling his receipt. He'd bet his money on George to win. A tie left him feeling short-shirted.

The race was tailored to create problems with no sure winner. Since George and Bob had tied for first the rest of the runners had been suspendered from the next step. A run-off, not a fashionable activity, would nevertheless be required. A run-off was custom-made to determine a winner.

The two runners would be hard pressed to refuse to compete after all that each had in-vested in training for this event.

Bob had pumped iron while George had done push ups. Both had dressed-up the plans of their coaches and worked at them harder than a one armed employee of a steam shop.. Both were im-pressed with their results. And both felt each's training was well-suited to the task at hand.

In fact both felt they had this run-off thing sewn up.

If you read this little tale closely you would have discovered it full of sartorial references. That's because the Studio30+ writing prompt this week was sartorial/fashionable. And as usual my stylish post went in a different direction.

Monday, 4 April 2016

My Back Pages - March



I managed to get two books read in March. Greg Iles's Natchez Burning and Robert Crais' s 20th episode of the exploits of private eye Elvis Cole and his associate Joe Pike, The Promise.

Natchez Burning was a lengthy novel. Over 1200 pages on my Kindle. But it was worth it. It's an amazing tale of the civil rights movement in the American south both in years gone by and years present. A good but a long read. And my brother Steve had recommended this to me some months ago. He liked it so much, he tells me, he took an 800 mile detour on his holiday, just to visit the site where the majority of the novel takes place!

The Promise, for me the latest in the Elvis Cole series, rates right up there with the rest. This time around a K-9 drug dog joins in on the action. A satisfying read when it coms to the crime/P.I. genre, which I love.

Only two books this month bringing my yearly total to 8. Slowing my reading down is binge-watching TV series such as House of Cards and Homeland and movies such as Spotlight and The Big Short, both excellent films.

What have you been reading and watching lately?

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

A Fly In The Ointment


It was a dark and stormy night and as dense as a London fog. As luck would have it Bob was late getting home, where he was looking forward to being as snug as a bug in a rug, because he was off course as the crow flies because he had to take the long road home as luck would have it.

He thought of his wife Rose - a rose by any other name would smell so sweet - and regretted leaving his cell phone charging on his desk at work. He decided that was a bad call but that thinking about it was like beating a dead horse.

He hoped his wife would like her anniversary present but he knew beauty was in the eye of the beholder. He hoped she didn't think beggars can't be choosers because he'd been there done that with his first wife Mabel. Mabel had been behind the the times, far from the belle of the ball and a knife or two short of the cutlery drawer.

Anyway, as he sat in the detoured traffic he knew he'd be better late than never and in terms of Rose, his second wife, it'd be better the devil he knew than the devil he didn't.

Just then a flock of crows alighted on a nearby tree branch. As the last bird landed the rest looked at him as he said "Hey, birds of a feather flock together."

Well thought Bob I hope I'm not so late that the bloom is off the Rose. After all, having stopped at the butchers,  I'm the one that's bringing home the bacon.

Meanwhile poor Rose wondered just where Bob was. "I'm tired" she said to herself. "I've bee busier than a one-armed paper hanger. I've been burning the candle at both ends around the house and I don't think Bob has noticed."

As the sun set Rose cast a very long shadow across the the floor that was so clean you couldn't hold a candle to it because the cleaning products were so flammable.

Finally Bob arrived. He presented his gift and realized that the chain of the bracelet was only as strong as it's weakest link. He needn't have worried. Rose thought the gift was the cat's meow.

"But Bob I have nothing for you" cried Rose. "Does the Pope wear a funny hat?" said Bob. "It's our anniversary. Why not?"

"Now Bob don't get your knickers in a knot" said Rose. "Knickers in a knot?" cried Bob, down in the mouth. "How could you resort to using cliches at a time such as this?"

And as she put an end to the conversation with her husband she whispered "The end justifies the meanness."

My friends at Studio30+ came up with banal/cliche as this week's writing prompt. And while this post may be banal everything's coming up roses in terms of the number of cliches to be found here. Why, my God, there's everything but the kitchen sink here. Sorry. I can't stop.


Tuesday, 29 March 2016

What Does One Say?

Nicky Eff's Profile Photo

I really have no idea how to begin this post. I've been staring at a blank screen with many thoughts swirling in my mind about someone I knew as Nicky F. Nicky was a blogger from Montreal who I first met through an on-line humour bloggers site. She was hilarious and we would often exchange barbs - all in good fun of course - in contests of who could top whom. Funny how many words we exchanged in the name of humour and now at her passing I struggle to find the right words.

You know that term "work wife", someone of the opposite sex you work with closely. Well I'd like to think of Nicky as my blogging wife (sorry Ziva Moon). Funny how you can feel so close to someone without actually meeting them but her writing and commenting just made you feel like her best friend.

So this relationship went on for some years until it evolved into a Facebook friendship. She blogged less end less but kept up her acerbic comments on Facebook - comments you absolutely had to respond to.

And when I turned 60 and Cheryl Duford, bless her heart, corralled a bunch of bloggers to send their best wishes, Nicky didn't just send a little note. The woman pulled together a hilarious video with her We Work For Cheese blogging cohort Mike Kay. She blew me away. But that's just the kind of person  she was. And even though I'd never actually met her I was proud to call her my friend.

After so many years of our writing relationship I invited Nicky to a little blogfest called Lostmyliverpalooza along with Cheryl Duford from Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Paula Larew Wooters from Rochester, New York so we could all meet face to face. Nicky couldn't make it. This was around the time she'd been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. We spent a lot of our time talking about Nicky that weekend. And lifting a glass or two.

I got to thinking how stupid I'd been having lived just down the highway from her that I'd never visited her. I finally made arrangements for lunch. I drove to Montreal and met Nicky at her home, which she and her husband JP and youngest son Max were soon moving into. And I have to pause here and pass on my sincere condolences to those who knew her best and loved her most in real life - her family. I can't begin to imagine the hole that has been left in their hearts. When I arrived the house was empty and Nicky was directing the painters on her colour scheme throughout the house. She was obviously having a busy day. Yet she found the time to take me to lunch, make me comfortable and buy me a dynamite cheeseburger. And how she met JP. Don't worry. Your secret's safe with me. And I think we talked more about me and my cancer than we did about her. But that's just the way she was. It's several hours in my life I'll always cherish. And never forget.  As I will our virtual relationship.

Au revoir cherie.




Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Must Be The Season of the Which?


"Do you know about the equinox?" expressed  Elizabeth.

"The equinox, really?" replied Rachel. "Isn't that a new car by Chevy?"

"No, no, no" nattered Nathan. "The equinox has to do with the change of season in the spring and the fall".

That's right, responded Richard. "It marks the two times a year the sun is directly over the equator."

"Yeah, the equinoxes along with the solstices" said Sam, "are directly related to the seasons of the year".

"And come the fall equinox" Edward expressed " the days grow shorter".

"And with the equinox in the spring" suggested Suzy "the days grow longer".

Well everyone thought this was just marvellous. They'd all put their heads together and worked out the story of the seasonal equinoxes. There was just one question.

"Do the number of summer daylight hours equal the number of winter hours in the dark?" declaimed Don.

'Oy vay" Victor voiced. If anyone knows anything about the spring equinox Vern'll.

The guys at Studio30+ went seasonal this week and their prompt was vernal/spring. I hope I didn't disappoint with my day in the sun.


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