1715. Belinda solves a problem

Belinda had left school early; for reasons that will possibly become apparent as the story progresses.

Quite frankly, she needed the money. She had seen the women “working the street corners” and it struck Belinda as something that suited both her inclination and her experience. She applied for the job when a vacancy became available, and she got it. “The only thing you have to improve upon,” said the man doing the interviewing, “is the suntan. Try and get a decent suntan all over. You look quite pasty and not as vibrantly healthy as the other employees.”

Belinda faced a problem. How was she to get a suntan “all over” when she lived slap-bang in the middle of a densely populated sector of the city? There must be a way. And then she saw it! It was a book, and would undoubtedly be the first book she had read in a long long time. The book was purchased.

It was called – perhaps you know it? – Five Secrets to Baking like a Pro.

1714. The incomprehensibility of tragedy

When Goldilocks broke into the Three Bears’ House she had to prise open a window. It came as no surprise to her that after all these years they had at last begun to lock their front door.

The first thing she did upon entering was to eat the porridge. As always one was too hot, one too cold, and one just right. Then there were the chairs to sit upon, and the beds to try. All this was done and she fell asleep in the third bed as was usually the case.

When the Three Bears came home they went through the customary rigmarole of who’s been this? and who’s been that? And there she was lying in Baby Bear’s bed!

She was dead.

“The poison in the porridge work!” cried Baby Bear, jumping up and down excitedly. “Hurrah! Hurrah!”

So enamoured were they with the success of their poisonous porridge that they let it loose on any character in any book they could lay their hands on. They became crazed with success. They became serial killers. First it was Humpty-Dumpty; then Little Red Riding Hood. Then it was Jack and Jill, followed by Snow White, and Mary Mary Quite Contrary. Before you knew it, it was Heathcliff and Cathy Earnshaw, then Lorna Doone, and Jane Eyre. Hamlet was on the list, as was King Lear. And finally came Winnie the Pooh.

Oh what a mistake that was!

What happened to Baby Bear? What happened to Baby Bear? They had murdered one of their own. It was an incomprehensible tragedy.

1713. Lion tamer

Bruno worked during the day at a shoe factory. Once a week in the evening he gave the local circus’ lion tamer an evening off by stepping into his shoes. Do not fear! Bruno was a fully-trained lion tamer. He knew lions like the back of his hand, and the lions knew him.

The most exciting part of the evening’s performance was always when the lion opened its mouth and Bruno would put his head in. It was nerve-wrac

1712. High standards

(Someone asked me, why don’t you write something depressing? I think they were being sarcastic. Anyway, here it is.)

Lachlan had lived an average sort of life. He’d told the odd fib, but it didn’t amount to much. He’d given the occasional dollar to the Salvation Army during their Annual Appeal. He’d paid his taxes. He never once got a ticket for speeding. He’d been worn to a frazzle rearing his kids and driving van-loads of exuberant youths to this game and that, and so on. It was an average sort of life.

Eventually he died. He joined the line at the Pearly Gates.

Saint Peter said, “You lived an average sort of life. The standard here is very high. I’m sorry but you’ve missed out.”

“Oh, dear!” said Lachlan. “So I’m going to Hell?”

“No,” said Saint Peter, “as a consolation prize we’re sending you into oblivion.”

1711. Mirror, mirror

Oswald stood in front of the mirror. “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” You see, Oswald was having trouble choosing who to invite to the Fitter and Turners’ Annual Ball.

Should he ask Lillian? She was plain but pleasant. And capable. My goodness me!

Should he ask Siobhán? Should they fall in love he’d go through life being asked, Why is her name pronounced Shivaughan?

Should he ask Bernadette? The list was countless… Annette, Dulce, Barbara, Agatha…

Hence Oswald’s question: Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? He got the fright of his life when the mirror answered: YOU ARE!

He asked again: Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?

YOU ARE!

Quite frankly, the mirror was no help, although it rather flattered Oswald’s vanity to have his sweetness surpass all others. When he had spoken into the mirror he wasn’t expecting a reply. He was really only talking to himself.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?

YOU ARE!

Oswald asked his mother about the mirror.

“Goodness!” she said. “You didn’t know even after all these years? It’s a battery driven mirror that always answers that ridiculous question: Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? The battery must be getting flat.”

Sure enough! Oswald found the battery and replaced it.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?

YOU ARE a total nutcase.

1710. God is watching

(The plot of this story is not my own. I don’t know if it’s an old story or an already well-known story, but I’d never heard it before and I enjoyed it! Hence, here it is!)

It was lunchtime at the school run by the nuns. Sister Mary supervised. She placed a sign at one end of the table on top of a big basket of apples. It read: TAKE ONLY ONE APPLE. GOD IS WATCHING.

At the other end of the table was a large bowl of chocolate chip cookies. Some kid had put a sign on it: TAKE AS MANY AS YOU LIKE. GOD IS WATCHING THE APPLES.

1709. Molly, the last of her kind

It was a sad day when the animal known as Molly died in the zoo. She was the last known specimen of her kind. For years thousands of visitors would line up to view “MOLLY, THE LAST OF HER KIND.” No one was exactly sure what evolutionary line she belonged to, although scientists had categorized her all over the show. They definitely knew her to be some sort of mammal.

The zoo had hoped to start a breeding program. Fairly early on there were two females and two males, but the males and females seemed to show little interest in one another. Then three of them died of some unknown and sudden cause, and that left Molly on her own for what must have been a good thirty years.

And now she’s gone. Forever.

When the Spargundians invaded planet Earth and ruthlessly slaughtered the billions of what seemed to be an intelligent species, they took home only the four samples of the species. The proposed breeding program at the Spargundian Zoological Gardens didn’t pay off. The leader of the Spargundians has since decreed that when further planetary invasions take place, they must bring home a minimum of twelve intelligent specimens for a breeding program.

In the meantime, Molly is in the hands of a taxidermist getting stuffed.