Category Archives: Fiction

2339. A light on shopping

When the bulb of a desk lamp blows it seems to do so without any warning. One is happily working away and then POP! Shadows hover over the desk.

Howard’s desk lamp was a little bit different. It was perfect for his needs but it took a special bulb. He always liked to have one spare – just in case. Of course, his special bulb was slightly more expensive and not available among the more common, everyday bulbs at the supermarket.

There are so many options these days when it comes to bulbs. Who hasn’t arrived home with a screw-in bulb when the fitting takes a bayonet? And one enters a shop in search of a 75 watt bulb only to discover that the packaging proclaims not wattage but “lumens”; to say nothing of the size of the base. Is it E12, E17, or E26? Then one must select the right colour of white; warm perhaps.

Howard decided that the best way to ensure he purchased the exact same bulb was to take the spare bulb into the shop for comparison. He found exactly the right one almost immediately, and it was identically packaged.

“And sir,” said the shop assistant, “what is that second light bulb you are holding? It looks very much like you are trying to get two for the price of one.”

The police were called. Three hours later, Howard seemed to have convinced one and all that he had brought the spare light bulb into the shop himself.

Now for the next shopping task. His wife had said to get some candles – “Not the wrong candles like you got last time. The base of the candle has to be exact; if it’s too small it won’t stand up in our dining candelabra; if it’s too big it won’t fit into our dining candelabra.”

There were so many options and variety in a candle shop. Howard was glad he had brought along a box of the exact-sized candles he needed to buy.

2338. Detestable name

Ahunikiritu Wednesday Eenshuistra-Kouwenhoven hated her name. When one is lumbered with a useless name at birth there seems to be very little one can do about it other than wait until one is old enough and then pay to have it changed. And that is exactly what Ahunikiritu Wednesday Eenshuistra-Kouwenhoven did! In fact, she so despised her name that she changed it on her very birthday.

For years people had misspelled it or mistyped it. Some seemed to think that to spell it with a “y” instead of an “i” was a more up market interpretation. Perhaps it looked more Polish – which of course it wasn’t.

Then there was the business of mispronunciation. You’d think the name was common enough (at least parts of it) for people to generally get the pronunciation right. Her surname seemed to give the most trouble. But no! Half the time for the first eighteen years of her life Ahunikiritu Wednesday Eenshuistra-Kouwenhoven didn’t even realize that people were addressing her and not someone else in the room.

So now the relief! All was changed! That was the end of that horrid, plain name of Jane Smith that half the world mispronounced as Jane Smyth. It was the beginning of a new era! Welcome to the world Ahunikiritu Wednesday Eenshuistra-Kouwenhoven!

2337.  Rhubarb and Strawberry Cobbler

Look! I used the recipe you posted on your blog and quite frankly it was disgusting. I followed it to a T, and it still turned out horrible. The comments from some of your readers appeared to be helpful. One said the dessert was too runny, so I added more flour. Another said there wasn’t enough topping, so I doubled it. Yet another said it turned out way too sweet, so I halved the sugar.

The dessert turned out tart, heavy, and solid as a rock. I didn’t have any rhubarb so I used some crab apples off the neighbour’s tree instead. Both rhubarb and crab apples are afterall quite sour. And instead of strawberries I used a banana as it is high in potassium and can only be healthy.

I couldn’t see how crab apples could be put into a pot and heated without any liquid so I was going to put a touch of olive oil in the pot but I didn’t because I didn’t have any. So I used a teaspoon or two of lard instead.

Your recipe wasn’t just tart, heavy, and solid; it was FATTY. You have no right to claim that your recipe is healthy when if anything it is exactly the opposite. We had to smother the finished product in whipped cream to make it consumptible.

What is healthy about that? That’s the last recipe of yours I will try. It was extremely disappointing and you don’t appear to have an ounce of remorse. That is why I graded it with a zero on Facebook. It ruined our Christmas dinner, which was a delicious pre-cooked chicken that we reheated for our sumptuous feast.

My daughter doesn’t like chicken, so she defrosted some beef in the fridge but the blood ran down the fridge shelf and into your disgusting dessert. You have no idea how disappointing your pretentious and crapulous recipe was. A pox on your blog.

2336. A home improvement partnership

Sharlene’s mother had imbued certain practical skills into her. For example, Sharlene was a wonderful seamstress. (It’s not that Sharlene’s mother hadn’t taught the boys how to sew, it’s just that Sharlene was better at it).

Clyde’s father had imbued certain practical skills into him. For example, Clyde was a wonderful cabinet maker. (It’s not that Clyde’s father hadn’t taught the girls how to do carpentry, it’s just that Clyde was better at it).

Anyway, Sharlene and Clyde met, fell in love, and got married. Together they bought an old house and thought they would “do it up”. Not too much at once – they weren’t exactly made of money – but a bit here and a bit there according to what the pocket could afford. They started with making and installing a large window in the sitting room that overlooked a lake and a spectacular chain of mountains. Such a view!

This was where Clyde’s carpentry skills came in handy. Nothing was to be rushed. Everything was to be perfect. And how perfect it was! The window was exact. The workmanship was meticulous. To be honest, when installed it looked to be flawlessness itself!

Sharlene quickly sewed some drapes to soften and hide the window’s “straight, cold, masculine lines” that Clyde had taken such care to make.

2335. A common biography

Doug dug a small hole in the sand at the beach.

He filled it with water.

He filled it with water.

He filled it with water.

He filled it with water.

He filled it with water.

He filled it with water.

He filled it with water.

He filled it with water.

He filled it with water.

He filled it with water.

He filled it with water.

He filled it with water.

He filled it with water.

The end.

2334. Healthy eating

Anne and Peter had long retired. Occasionally their peace would be shattered by noisy and loveable grandchildren, but generally they lived a quiet, yet active, existence.

“We should really cut down a bit on our meat intake,” suggested Peter one day.

“Meat is certainly one of the more expensive foods. It would save a bit, and besides, less meat is apparently a more healthy option,” said Anne.

“Less meat it is!”

Anne found a recipe for beans and other vegetables that when cooked and minced up looked exactly like ground meat. Because it was the first time she had used the recipe it took a little longer than it normally would. She had followed the recipe meticulously. It smelt lovely. In fact, it actually smelt a little like ground beef. She arranged helpings on plates with mashed potato, and a cucumber and shallot salad.

“Come and get your healthy meal!” called Anne to Peter. He was reading the paper in the next room, ensconced in an armchair. “Everything’s ready!”

Peter continued to sit. He was dead.

2333. Cranberry sauce

Ailsa was a reasonable cook. The thing was, when she cooked a turkey for some special occasion or other, what she was most secretly proud of was her cranberry sauce.

It may not seem much, said Ailsa, but it’s a recipe the early colonists to this country would have used. I got the recipe out of a really old recipe book that was being sold with other used books at the Farmers’ Market. It doesn’t put all this other nonsensical stuff in like oranges and lemons and the baby and the bathwater. It’s simply fresh cranberries and sugar.

This year there was no cranberries in the stores. Ailsa searched from store to store. In the end she bought a jar of commercially made cranberry sauce. I shall place it is a dish and serve it as if it’s mine, thought Ailsa. But everyone will know it’s not as good as the traditional recipe. I’ll simply say I branched out a little this year and attempted to make something more modern.

Oh Ailsa, gushed Candice almost bordering on the salacious. Your cranberry sauce! It’s wonderful! It’s so much better than all the other years you have been making it. Did you change the recipe?

2332. Peanut butter

Ruth was the practical sort. She had no patience for those who insisted on being miserable. “Self-appointed martyrs” she called them. So when neighbour Brent developed an allergy to peanut butter, Ruth had no qualms at dismissing “such nonsense” immediately.

“Don’t fool me into thinking you went for fifty years and then suddenly out of the blue you can’t eat peanut butter. It’s all in the head,” she said.

To prove her point she made a tin of delectable chocolate and coconut balls with a surreptitious spoon or two of peanut butter in the ingredients. “Once he’s eaten it and survives,” said Ruth, “I shall tell him in no uncertain terms that this peanut butter nonsense is all in his head.”

Brent’s funeral is next Friday.

2331. Berries

Jakov Kouwenhoven-Eenshuistra had to give a talk at school on any topic he wished. Here is his talk:

There are strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, mulberries, loganberries, huckleberries, chokeberries, juniper berries, boysenberries, salmonberries, and dewberries. The list goes on and on.

Thank goodness the English word for “berries” is not “Kraftfahrzeug-Haftpflichtversicherung”, otherwise it would be strawkraftfahrzeug-haftpflichtversicherungs, raspkraftfahrzeug-haftpflichtversicherungs, blackkraftfahrzeug-haftpflichtversicherungs, goosekraftfahrzeug-haftpflichtversicherungs, mulkraftfahrzeug-haftpflichtversicherungs, logankraftfahrzeug-haftpflichtversicherungs, hucklekraftfahrzeug-haftpflichtversicherungs, choke kraftfahrzeug-haftpflichtversicherungs, juniper kraftfahrzeug-haftpflichtversicherungs, boysenkraftfahrzeug-haftpflichtversicherungs, salmonkraftfahrzeug-haftpflichtversicherungs, and dewkraftfahrzeug-haftpflichtversicherungs.

The teacher gave Jakov an F.

2330. The best laid plans

Rudolf thought he had planned his wife’s murder down to the last detail. He would strangle her with his bare hands and then hang her from the garage rafters to make it look like suicide.

The strangulation was easy. Everything went as planned. He had studied it in detail online. That was one of the advantages of the internet – you could find most things on it, and how to strangle a spouse popped up on his screen after clicking on a few links. It was what happened after the strangling that things began to go awry.

When Rudolf went to hang her corpse from the rafters he discovered that the bit of rope he had to do the job was too short. There was nothing for it but to get in the car and scoot off to the hardware store for a rope.

He quickly selected a rope and when he went to pay for it the date on his bank card had elapsed. He had to leave the rope there, go home, and rummage through his late wife’s purses to find the right card. She had several cards and he knew the pin number of one of them at least. He just wasn’t sure which card it was.

He had to go to four different hardware stores to try the different card with the number he knew. As luck always has it, it was the last card he used in the fourth store that worked.

By now, considerable time had passed. He quickly tied a noose around the corpse’s neck and hung the corpse from the rafters. Well blow me down! Rigor mortis had set in and his wife hung like the letter C, in a big curve. Nothing seemed natural. What a conundrum! What a dismal failure he was as a murderer!

Taking his wife’s working bank card, he locked the garage door, locked the house, and set out in his car for a month-long, all-expenses-paid, summer vacation.