It’s midwinter here. Shh! Do fairies live in snowdrops? Who rings those tiny bells?
Myrtle was an accomplished writer. She posted a story every day on her blog. People complained however: Why do you always kill your characters off? Can’t you have a happy ending for once? But Myrtle refused.
She liked to kill her characters off. It was like murdering without a prison sentence. Such fun! And so like life!
Stubborn, murdering Myrtle began to type her daily story:
Ferdinand and Mavis were having a picnic in an idyllic spot under a large eucalyptus tree. Mavis had made the loveliest cucumber sandwiches and Ferdinand had brought along a bottle of his home brew to share on the picnic rug.
“Will you marry me, Mavis?” asked Ferdinand going down on one knee.
“Oh Ferdinand! Of course I will,” said Mavis, bursting into a smile.
Suddenly, a violent storm struck. There was a loud crack heard from the eucalyptus tree. The tree began to tragically fall. Ferdinand and Mavis were…
Dear Reader. Myrtle was about to slaughter her characters once again. But they were saved! They were saved! Hurrah! Myrtle dropped dead from a heart attack before she could type out the word “killed”.
Aha! a happy ending after all!
What’s the story? Well, the story is this: I found a book of stories. I thought, why be predictable? Why not do something I’ve never done before, and that is review a book! The book is available through Amazon, and although a review could be posted on Amazon, I thought if the net is cast on the other side of the boat it might catch a couple of fish hitherto uncatchable.
Wuthering Heights aside, there are very few books I would like to say I had written. One such book is Sarah Angleton’s Launching Sheep and Other Stories from the Intersection of History and Nonsense.
If you follow Sarah’s blog, you’ll know the quirkiness of it all. These 86 stories wallow in delightful oddities, and at the same time each expounds on almost eccentric historical points that you “never knew before”. Sarah also manages to include a whole range of true characters from her real life: her husband, her sons, her parents… and you feel almost “part of the family”! There’s enough to satisfy our fondness for wanting to know what’s going on in other people’s lives, and so we think they’re friends.
Each story is short. To me that’s a huge plus. I’m a very modern person, and therefore my concentration span is grievously limited. You can read ten stories in a line if you’re a literary glutton. You can snuggle up in bed and read just one – or maybe another one, and another… because they’re addictive. You can read one out aloud while your partner prepares dinner; it saves getting pre-dinner indigestion by having the television news on. You can read it on the beach (provided you don’t live in Kansas, silly).
Wonderful story titles make one want to read more, such as Why You Should Have Smarter Friends and a Fabulous Cupcake Recipe and Hey, Mom! Do you think this would blow up if I…? and The Dark Days of Pinball: How I Nearly Took a Sledgehammer to a Snowman.
One of my favourite stories is Just Please Don’t Tell My Husband in which the author makes pancakes while giving the history of pancake making and the famous Olney pancake race. Flipping fantastic!
This is a book I like. I recommend it to everyone and every library. It is published by Bright Button Press of St Louis and is available through Amazon (both real and virtual). It would be a terrific gift for any grown-up who likes to read. If I had discovered at school that history could be so interesting I would not have dropped it in order to take Latin.
Petronella always went to a lot of trouble when it came to finding her son the right birthday present. Jason’s eleventh birthday was coming up and she knew exactly what to give him: a day’s pass to the local adventure playground.
She dropped Jason and a friend off at the entrance and told them to be good and enjoy themselves.
When Jason was at the top of the Ferris wheel it jammed. Jason panicked. He screamed. Eventually he was rescued.
Petronella’s birthday gift to her son lasted a life time; for the rest of his life he had a fear of heights.
To be honest, Tetra was tired of being a “Fishing Widow”. Her husband Finlay, was hooked on fishing. He was never home. Tetra would carp on and on about it.
“You seem to have fish on the brain,” said Tetra.
“Don’t be such a wet fish,” said Finlay. “When it comes to fishing I’m just a little fish in a big pond.”
“You should cast your net wider and find other interests,” said Tetra.
“You’re a queer fish. It’s just a red herring. I’d be like a fish out of water,” said Finlay. “I haven’t got bigger fish to fry. I don’t mind fishing around for other interests but it would be like shooting fish in a barrel.”
“But there are plenty of other fish in the sea,” said Tetra.
“I really don’t see what that’s got to do with the price of fish,” said Finlay. “It’s neither fish nor fowl whether I take up another interest. Quite frankly, I don’t give a flying fish. Life can be crooked as a barrel of fish hooks. I need other interests like a fish needs a bicycle.”
“At least you don’t go to the pub like other men and drink like a fish,” said Tetra. “That would be another kettle of fish altogether.”
“Holy mackerel!” said Finlay. “If that happened I’d imagine I’d become quite boring.”
Tetra stared like a stunned mullet.
Nelson Crozier (known to his friends simply as Kevin) was furious. Every morning he’d have a cup of coffee, black. And every morning he’d drop into it one tiny tablet of low calorie artificial sweetener. The packaging of the sweetener asked “Why not enjoy life and cut down on sugar at the same time?” Kevin had enjoyed life without sugar in his coffee for well over a year.
The packaging also clearly stated (very clearly indeed) that the container held 500 tiny tablets.
Well!!! Kevin had used that container of low calorie artificial sweeteners for 498 mornings, and now it was out. OUT!!! No more tablets.
Kevin is not one to be toyed with. That’s the last time he’ll be buying that brand.
Harvey had, as is the lot of every human, passed on. To his astonishment there was some sort of continuing existence, and he discovered that if he travelled out into space far enough he could watch himself in the different stages of his life. It was all to do with the speed of light and watching that light present images of his past as it sped through space and so on…
There’s Harvey now, watching himself as a toddler. He’s crawling through a field of tall grass. Oh isn’t he so cute? So adorable!
And there is Harvey now, at his wedding. What a magnificent wedding it was! He can move unseen among the guests and hear their comments:
“God Milly, I’ve never been to such a boring wedding. What an old fart that preacher man was.”
Oh well… and here’s Harvey simply walking down the street when he was about 52.
It’s so fascinating viewing one’s life as if in a movie. Harvey’s been doing it now for 472 years. He’s obsessed with himself. He hates it but he can’t drag himself away.