Category Archives: Fiction

2204. Garden gnomes

Sadie wasn’t greatly into gardening but there was one gardening thing she couldn’t abide: gnomes.

Marilynn next door was into gnomes in a big way. She loved them, and of course Sadie to be polite would express delight upon the arrival of another new gnome in Marilynn’s garden.

Then came the moment; Marilynn gave Sadie a gnome.

“You like them so much,” said Marilyn, “that I knew you’d be delighted.”

Living next door meant there was no hiding the gnome. Sadie couldn’t install it behind the shed. The wretched monstrosity would have to sit, at least for a while, in full view.

It was a terrible, terrible shock a week later, but in some ways a relief, when Marilynn died in her sleep.

The new neighbour is into pink plastic flamingos.

2203. The lockdown

The city was about to declare another lockdown. Stephanie rushed out and bought a substantial amount of toilet paper. With three teenagers in the house, toilet paper was one thing not to run short on.

How lucky was she! She got the last packet of toilet paper in town. The shop shelves were practically empty. Stephanie felt a little triumphant!

However, her household quickly ran out of soap, and toothpaste, and kitchen detergent, and laundry detergent, and deodorant, and…

That’s when water restrictions set in.

2202. A good plumber is hard to find

Tilly had called the plumber three times. Three times apparently was not enough. The dishwasher had overflowed several times all over the kitchen floor. Tilly had to resort to doing the dishes by hand.

That’s the trouble with modern tradesmen; they don’t seem to care. They don’t seem to want to make a living. There it was in black and white in the phone book: Jeffcott and Son Ltd – You can rely on us.

Tilly had had enough. She would try them for a fourth time and if she had no luck she wouldn’t know what to do but for sure she wouldn’t be trying them again. If only there was more than one plumber in town. Not only did she phone a fourth time, but when they said they would be of no help she gave them an earful.

That’s the trouble when needing a plumber and one phones the electrician.

2201. Great Uncle Frederick’s legacy

Grover was looking forward to his great uncle dying. Great Uncle Frederick had amassed a stupendous fortune over his eighty-two years of living alone. Surely the nieces and nephews were in for a windfall.

News had come through that Great Uncle Frederick had come down with the flu. This was Grover’s opportunity to show his concern. It might be the last opportunity Grover would have to expresses his interest and care to Great Uncle Frederick. Some of the other nieces and nephews could be omitted from the will because Great Uncle Frederick’s memory was inevitably fading. It was not to be the case with Grover. Grover would remind him.

Sadly, Great Uncle Frederick recovered. There was no fortune coming Grover’s way this time, although Great Uncle Frederick did give Grover the flu.

May Grover rest in peace.

2199. Joyce’s pet cat

“There’s no doubt that my pet cat rules the roost,” declared Joyce from Kentucky.

“He certainly is something to crow about,” answered Maisie Fina’fi’fau’u’fi’ from Hawai’i.

“Your cat’s not chicken when it comes to sorting out who’s in charge,” expounded Angelica Angelico from Luxembourg.

“I don’t think a cat is a paltry thing,” joked Norma from Nigeria.

“It’s not only fun, but it’s so educational being on Facebook,” wrote Sheila Plonk from New South Wales.

2198. An ornate mailbox

Ruth knew exactly what to get husband Roland for Christmas: an ornate mailbox for the front gate. It would need to match all the bylaws and stipulations for local mail delivery. A flyer had arrived in the mail advertising designs. Ruth chose the mailbox shaped like a log cabin. It was quite expensive, but Roland would love it.

Roland knew exactly what to get wife Ruth for Christmas: an ornate mailbox for the front gate. It would need to match all the bylaws and stipulations for local mail delivery. A flyer had arrived in the mail advertising designs. Roland chose the mailbox shaped like a log cabin. It was quite expensive, but Ruth would love it.

2197. The treehouse

It wasn’t much fun being the only boy in a family with seven girls. For starters, the house had only one bathroom. You’d think after twelve years that Chad would be used to it. He wasn’t.

Chad decided to build himself a treehouse in an old sycamore at the back of the property. That way he could escape with his friends and have his own space.

What a magnificent treehouse it was! It could be accessed only by climbing a rope. That was something some of his sisters wouldn’t be seen dead doing.

One day he came home with two of his friends from school and there was a ladder propped up against the tree. Inside the treehouse was a pink plastic tea set.

Even though Chad had been taught at school that there was no difference these days between girls and boys, the treehouse trapdoor soon had a padlock on it

2196. Organic gardening

Esther was beside herself with excitement. Her garden had been chosen by a panel of judges to be one of only fourteen gardens in the city included in the Annual Organic Garden Tour. One of only fourteen!

The Annual Organic Garden Tour was staged every early summer. Entry to each garden was by gold coin. Esther had all of spring to prepare. She had planted all sorts of spectacular things. What a picture they were going to be! At present they were just beginning to poke their heads above the earth. Welcome to the world, O hundreds of plants!

If there was one thing that riled Esther it was her gravel driveway. It was full of weeds.

“Look,” she said to her husband Darren, “they might want organic gardens but the weeds in the gravel are a shocking sight. Can you get up early, before anyone is about, and under cover of darkness spray with weed killer? If we’re careful no one will know it’s not organic.”

“I’ve done it!” declared Darren one morning. “Those weeds will frizzle up and die. While I was at it, I sprayed all those weeds in the gardens as well. That should save you a lot of time.”

2195. I plead innocence

Sometimes, Your Honour, one gets up in the morning and one has no idea of the dramatic events that will unfold even before one has a mid-morning coffee.

Honestly, I had no idea when I got out of bed on that Thursday that I would stab my wife to death with the kitchen carving knife even before we had breakfast. Usually we do the dishes in the evening after dinner, but on this occasion the dishes weren’t done. We had had a little disagreement the night before and my wife had stormed off to the sitting room to watch some facile television program which is what she usually does. I went to the computer and looked up things about nothing. If we hadn’t had the disagreement we wouldn’t have been doing the dishes the next morning and I wouldn’t have been drying the carving knife and spontaneously plunging it into her bosom.

I’m not telling you this to get off the charge that my wife is dead, but I have no idea why such an event happened. I was going to spend the morning in the garden. She was going to town to buy a knitting pattern to make gloves for the grandchildren. And suddenly, WHAM, I had stabbed her. So it wasn’t at all premeditated. It is an unexplainable action for which I would plead leniency.

I believe the claims made by the detectives are false. Someone must have planted something. I certainly wouldn’t have typed into the search engine: What is the most effective place to stab someone dead with a carving knife?

2194. Life in the swamp

Ever since Janet had been a tadpole she had greatly admired the head frog, Queen Japonica. Queen Japonica’s greatest feature was that she didn’t let fear rule her life. If it was a sunny day she would bask in the shallow waters with the water barely covering her back.

“It is idyllic lying in both water and sunshine. Only a fool would fear the wading birds messing around in the swamp. Fear of wading oystercatchers is an unnecessary fear. I need to rest after laying so many eggs. Besides, as their name suggests, oystercatchers aren’t interested in frogs.”

And now Janet herself had grown into a stunningly beautiful frog. She still admired Queen Japonica greatly.

“That frog is almost a goddess,” said Janet. “She fears nothing, and rightly so.”

It therefore came as a great surprise when Charlie, the Head Sycophant in the Frog Court, approached Janet, bowed low and said, “Your Majesty – you are now queen.”

“Goodness gracious,” declared Janet. “What on earth happened to that magnificent queen we had?”

“Sadly, she passed away last Friday.”

“I first shall mourn for the late Queen Japonica,” said Janet.

“Japonica?” declared a surprised Head Sycophant. “Japonica was queen forty frogs ago. Queen Frogs keep getting eating by oystercatchers while basking in the sun. However I can understand your misunderstanding; we frogs all look the same.”