1026. Coffee mugs

1026mugs

An optimistic saga with three alternative tragic endings to choose from

Fred had a nice set of coffee mugs – all with sort of old-fashioned adverts on them. There were twenty-one mugs in all. He loved them. He kept them on a shelf in the dining room, just high enough to reach with a stretch. His wife hated them.

• One day, as he was standing under the shelf an earthquake struck. A mug fell off, hit him on the head, and killed him.

• One day, as he was in the dining room his distraught wife threw a mug at him, hit him on the head, and killed him.

• One day, Fred came home and had a nice cup of coffee and a cookie. Nothing could be more relaxing. Unfortunately he choked to death on the cookie.

34 thoughts on “1026. Coffee mugs

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      It was a simple piece of homemade shortbread – just like the one I made last week. It had butter and sugar, but I forgot to put in any flour. I kept thinking while mixing it, why is this so sticky! And what a mess the oven!

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  1. umashankar

    I would rather have three beginnings of to choose from. The ends are all the same. Having said that, I am inclined to go with the option #2: ” One day, as he was in the dining room his distraught wife threw a mug at him, hit him on the head, and killed him.” For the impact of a coffee mug falling on one’s head from just enough height to reach isn’t much off a killer. Then, the cookie of the third option does not fit in the story —it needs to have been introduced earlier.

    On second thoughts, why not have the whole shelf tumbling on top of the protagonist in the earthquake? Or if we could make death a secondary obsession, a mundane routine, which indeed it is unless it swipes closer, Fred’s wife using the cups for his tombstone would have been the ideal denouement.

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    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Bloomin’ heck. You must be a mind reader. Now the final chapter of my 21 volume (one for each mug) novelette is ruined because everyone now knows what’s going to happen in the end! Such paltry and pointless little stories are merely an expression of avoiding having to create a ghazal. I am going to do it, but these things can’t be rushed. I’m still living in the wonder of your Springtime wind!

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      1. umashankar

        But Bruce, you should never allow the reader to finish off a story for himself: he is bound to run wild with the manuscripts, quills, and the ink-pots and bring down crashing a 21-volume saga like a house of cards. Those ghazals are mere instruments of procrastination. I have been able to balk at bigger things all my life on one pretext or the other. That said, I will wait for your ghazal.

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        1. Bruce Goodman Post author

          Well, dear man, I’m in a bit of a mess, both figuratively and truly! So I think a string of beads in the form of a ghazal might be just the thing. As for my 21-volume saga – bloomin’ heck, bloody hell… – Oh to be able to write something with the depth/insight of an Uma. I’m not kidding – I’m still profoundly moved/thrilled that you read and reviewed my book. If a devastating earthquake struck now I’d still be standing semi-naked on the road shouting “Yay! Yay! Yay!” Thanks for making my day – month – year! And get yourself a full-time job as an academic (with appropriate pay of course – that’s the hard part…) I’d give you a Ph. D. honorary if I could (And who was “Norway” in your comments earlier? Was he your professor that you told to jump into the lake?”)

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          1. umashankar

            Oh, God! First thing I want is you being out of any kind of mess! I read and wrote about your book because it is a darned good book! Now you have made my day, month and the Year with that comment. I am a scribbler with a failing memory and my professor was not called Norway but I wouldn’t have given it a hoot if he was, though he does haunt me oftener than I’d appreciate him doing that!

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            1. Bruce Goodman Post author

              I can understand the “relationship” between you and the professor. My professor of Philosophy “ruined” and “dominated” my life long after he’d disappeared out of it. When I told him that I thought “everything he taught was completely irrelevant and nothing to do with philosophy” he reported me to the higher echelons and I was duly reprimanded with “How dare you tell a professor what to teach”. I still haven’t recovered. and honest to goodness, that was in 1968! The only nice thing was accidentally meeting up with his niece many years later, and the professor had told her “That guy (me) is a bloody genius”!!!!! So – ride on, dear Uma!

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  2. raphaellae8

    hi Bruce
    I will go for-
    none of the above.
    I realize you havent listed that as an option but it is always implied.
    when I was a student I loved multiple choice questions. It seemed to simplify life but once I graduated I realized that life wasnt that simple after all.it contained a labyrinth of choices and most of them were invisible.
    thanks for this trip of nostalgia
    thanks for the smile.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      I did an IQ test once and got 40. The only time I’ve ever done one. It asked “How many brown cows are in a circle?” I had no comprehension of the question, and if I did I argued with it. I can understand completely what you mean!

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  3. noelleg44

    I liked the first ending – seemed like poetic justice – but shortbread (if that were the cookie) can be darned dry and chokable – is that a word). Maybe his wife made the shortbread that way?

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  4. inesephoto

    Wanted to say something smart, but after reading all these comments I know I won’t say anything new. I will probably try a coffee and a cookie now just to check out if I am superstitious or not. I am not sure.

    Liked by 1 person

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