Category Archives: Yarns

2747. A sensible story for once

It was fortuitous that the judge in Tom’s case was stone deaf. The judge was able, in the main, to follow the case by lip reading and there was also a sign language facilitator in the court room. The judge however was none too good at reading sign language, especially since the sign language facilitator had the shakes.

Of course the sign language facilitator was a fat lot of use to Tom who was blind. However, he could hear the proceedings.

The case being brought before the judge was to do with noise emanating from Tom’s abode in the middle of the night. He would play music full tilt and it would keep the neighbourhood awake.

The judge said he could hear what they were trying to say, and Tom said he thought he could see their point of view.

In the end the entire proceedings broke down when the sign language facilitator got stomach cramp and bent double in excruciating pain. The judge was able to lip read what the sign language facilitator mouthed in excruciating pain and the judge wasn’t impressed. He sentenced the sign language facilitator to four year’s community service for contempt of court.

 Everyone was happy with the outcome and they went out of the courthouse and across the road to a café where each ordered a nice mug of hot chocolate.

2746. Cat food

It was her own fault when Mrs Rutterkin’s house burned to the ground. That might sound harsh, but Mrs Rutterkin was one of those horrible witches like in fairy stories. She would grab children on Dukesbury Avenue where she lived, put them in a huge pot over the fire place, and boil them down for cat food. This is if she wasn’t using the cauldron for making some sort of malevolent potion. There wasn’t a lizard’s tail within miles of where she lived. Nor a frog’s tongue.

Clearly the house had caught on fire when one of the children leapt out of the cauldron and chased Mrs Rutterkin with a blazing log. The child tripped and the rest is history. But that’s not the end of this strange tale. Fortunately the child was saved, as indeed was Mrs Rutterkin. Unfortunately the child’s parents were held responsible for the conflagration. They had to pay Mrs Rutterkin huge amounts of money in compensation and the child was taken away and put in responsible foster care.

The witch has rebuilt her house. She still nabs children off the street for cat food, but her open fireplace has gone. Her hearth is now closed in – more like a pizza oven. There’s very little likelihood that a destructive fire could start. It’s also unlikely that a child would escape. The new arrangement is eco-friendly; in fact, the city council are using Mrs Rutterkin’s modernizing experience as a promotion.

“She’s straight off the news on television,” said Mrs Martin from 14 Dukesbury Avenue.

“Truth is indeed stranger than fiction,” said Mr Martin from the same address.

2745. Thursday’s Sally Lunn

It was Thursday. Thursday was the day that Rowena came into Clifford’s bakery to buy a cream-filled Sally Lunn. It was her weekly treat. Laying his eyes on the beautiful Rowena was Clifford’s weekly treat. He looked forward to her coming into his shop on Thursdays from Friday on.

Clifford wondered if he should give her a Sally Lunn for free. It was “on the house”. But then he thought she might think he was being too forward. It might create suspicion. It might put Rowena off from coming to his bakery altogether.

For fourteen consecutive Thursdays Rowena had come for her cream-filled Sally Lunn. Clifford conceived a plan. He would make the most fantastic Sally Lunn. He would fill it not just with cream, but with strawberries.  It would be the most imaginative, most delicious Sally Lunn bun ever created. Thursday came around. Clifford came to the counter.

“A Sally Lunn?” asked Clifford. “Today’s special is the most fabulous Sally Lunn ever made. It’s filled with not just cream, but with strawberries, and all for the same price.”

“Nah,” said Rowena. “I think I’ll try a cinnamon roll for a change.”

2744. Under the table

Morag knew something was wrong when she discovered her grandmother’s body under the dining table. It was as if grandmother had been hiding there. A large tablecloth draped down over the sides of the table hiding anything underneath. That is why it took a while to discover where grandmother was. Possibly she had crawled there to escape some sort of danger. There she had a fatal heart attack – through fear – or something like that; although her head seemed quite bruised..

Morag had spent half an hour wandering the house calling for her grandmother. She never gave a thought that she would be under the table. She looked in all the rooms, including the kitchen pantry. She looked (and called) in every outside building, including the little woodshed. No grandmother was to be found. Morag often called in to see her grandmother. “You are my favourite grandchild and when I go you get the weaving machine that was my own mother’s.” Of course, given the current circumstance, a weaving machine was the last thing on Morag’s mind.

Morag didn’t want to call the police immediately. It had only been thirty minutes or so. Grandmother could have wandered over to chat with a neighbour, or popped down to the corner shop. That was why Morag didn’t call the police immediately. She filled in a further hour by vacuuming the living room and bedrooms. It was while vacuuming the dining space that she discovered her grandmother’s corpse under the table.

The hour or so had given Morag time to compose herself enough to return the frozen leg of lamb to the freezer.

2743. Shooting lesson

You can say what you like; it was an accident. Bryce had been showing his girlfriend Anthea how to load and use a gun in an emergency if the worst came to the worst. She had aimed the gun at a coke can sitting on a tree stump. The coke can shot into the air. It was a perfect hit.

Any excuse is good for a hug. Bryce flung his arms around Anthea and said “You’re a genius”. The whack as he pulled her into the hug jolted Anthea’s finger on the trigger and she shot Bryce in the back. He wasn’t dead. Anthea raced into the house and dialled the emergency number.

Bryce was dead by the time the ambulance (and the police) arrived. It was a dreadful tragedy; a terrible accident. And it had all happened so fast.

As the years went by Anthea learned to forgive herself. She still felt a little bad about what had happened but the distance of time was definitely a healing factor. Mind you, if any boyfriend in the future lied and double-crossed her like Bryce, she would do the same again.

2742. Damsel in distress

It was in the days of medieval Europe. Harold watched as Genevieve walked across the drawbridge over the castle’s moat. She entered through the giant doorway arch. The solid door slammed after her. Harold thought that could be the last he would see of Genevieve.

Bluebeard, who owned the castle, had demanded the hand of Genevieve in marriage, even though she was already engaged to Harold. Harold had no option but to relinquish the love of his life. But of course, there’s nothing particularly surprising at this time in history for a knight in shining armour to appear and save the damsel in distress.

In the dead of night Harold scaled the castle wall and entered the private section of the castle where Bluebeard slept. Harold had his trusty sword. He plunged it at Bluebeard asleep on his bed. Harold said:

Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more

Genevieve was so taken with Harold’s magnificent lyricism that she fell in love with him all over again. As they escaped down the castle wall on ropes (they couldn’t work out how to operate the drawbridge) Genevieve slipped and broke her neck.

2741. The birthday party

For Emmeline’s seventh birthday her mother said she could invite up to twelve little girls from school to her birthday party. All twelve excitedly accepted the invitation and all of their mothers (and one father) wrote a thankyou note:

Alexandria: Our religion forbids the watching of any video or television, so I do hope entertainment for the party is not centred around such a sinful monstrosity.

Primrose: Our daughter is allergic to milk products so the serving of such things is out of the question.

Pandora: My daughter drinks only potable water. I know you live in the country and are dependent on rain water, but please provide purified water in a bottle if water use is intended.

Cosima: Our little girl – as is the whole family – are vegan. Please bear that in mind when planning the menu.

Lavender: She is not fond of spicy food. We don’t want you to think it’s rude of her if she refuses to touch spicy food.

Gertrude: It’s the smell of cooking chicken that makes Gertrude feel ill. If you intend to provide chicken pieces please do not cook them in the house when Gertrude is there.

Genevieve: She is allergic to peanuts. In fact anything that has been within smelling distance of a peanut we have taught her to avoid.

Calliope: Calliope doesn’t like blueberries. So if you mean to have fruit salad would it be too much to ask that you make a separate dish for her without blueberries?

Tatiana: She only likes walnut and cookies ice cream. Thought I’d better warn you.

Apollonia: We always have pizza every Friday evening. Apollonia does love her pizza! So I know this party is on a Friday. Just a suggestion…

Evangeline: Evangeline eats only healthy food. It’s something we encourage her to do. In fact we insist she eat only healthy food. If you see how skinny she is you’ll see why we are so worried about what she eats.

Priscilla: We like to think of ourselves as modern parents. So if you intend to play games involving dolls and stuffed animals – even pin the tail on the donkey – we hope such things are anatomically accurate. Have a nice party!

2740. Presidential portrait

I hope people realize that the pictures that grace these stories are not actually photographs. It is easy to understand that people might think that to be the case.

Only the other day the White House in America asked if they could purchase some of my photographs. I responded by saying they weren’t photographs. Isn’t it amazing that artificial intelligence can make people believe a lie to be true?

President Biden thought that my photographs would go well on a wall with some expensive paintings he had purchased in the past year or so. I said I was sorry to disappoint. No, they are paintings. He might be an Art Hunter but he’s got a lot to learn.

So there you have it. I hope I haven’t ruined anyone’s day. Sometimes it’s best to leave some people in ignorance. I have slightly relented, for today’s portrait is one of those official portraits of US Presidents that are on display somewhere. Of course I’m not prepared to say which president. Officialdom can download a copy and use it if they wish.

2739.  Tobogganing

Kevin had always wanted a toboggan, and he got one for his birthday.

“Who’s a lucky boy?” exclaimed Aunt Thora. She was always one for the original phrase. Kevin sighed. He’d heard Aunt Thora say “Who’s a lucky boy?” a thousand times.

“There’s no snow,” said Philomena. “Why would you want a toboggan?” Kevin explained that he could use it on a grassy slope. Going downhill on grass is not as slippery as snow but it’s still fun.

“To each their own,” said Aunt Thora. “I wouldn’t be found dead on that thing. Not even if you paid me.”

“You’re ninety-four,” said Kevin. “You’d probably break your neck.” It was a very imprudent thing to say to Aunt Thora. Kevin should have known not to rile Aunt Thora.

“You can say what you like,” declared Aunt Thora. “Personally I think it childish that you should want a toboggan when you’re in your sixties.”

2738.  Ask not for whom the bell tolls

The bells of the church in our village began to ring. It wasn’t a Sunday. It wasn’t a call to the Divine Service. I knew it had to be something. Of course! Of course! Had the leader of the country died? Was there a funeral? A marriage? A christening? In our small village everyone knew everything that was going on. No one knew why the church bells were ringing.

It wasn’t a short ringing. It went on and on. Villagers began gathering outside the locked church. There was quite a cluster! What’s going on? What’s going on? No one knew. Perhaps the vicar would know but he was nowhere to be found.

After a good twenty minutes the bells stopped ringing. The crowd dispersed. I would estimate that villagers had arrived home no longer than five minutes when the bells began to ring again. The crowd reassembled but in greater numbers.

After twenty minutes or so, the bells stopped again. No one left this time. They waited. They had learnt their lesson last time. The ringing would start again. Shortly. Still they waited. And waited. The bells never resumed. In the end, in dribs and drabs, the villagers wandered home.