Category Archives: Yarns

1594. I feel an interactive page coming on

Hi. My name is Sinead and the other day I felt like getting all interactive on my blog. Lots of people do. They get all interactive and everyone takes part and it is fun. So I thought why not me too? It also attracts new faces to the blog. So this is what I done.

Write a poem no longer than 14 lines and 54 words including the words haversack, hurdy-gurdy, enthralling, table, and Rumpelstiltskin. The posting was accompanied by a picture of an Australian short-beaked echidna for inspiration because they’re cute and lay only one egg every year. So they would be no good keeping instead of chickens!!!!

Well, no one responded, not even my friend Debbie, so I asked my friend Debbie if she had any thoughts as to why, and she said “Nah she didn’t”. She should know because she has an interactive page on her blog and lots of people post pictures of themselves on it. But I don’t want to do the same because it will look as if I never had an original thought in my life. Anyway I never posted a picture of myself on my friend Debbie’s blog because my parents probably read it.

I also asked my biology teacher about it, and all he said was “Not another, Shirley” and I said my name wasn’t Shirley. So he wasn’t worth asking. He’s like that, Mr Thompson, he puts everyone down. But I’m not going to let it beat me so I’m going to put up another challenge and let’s hope this time a lot of people find it attractive enough to enter and give it likes.

My friend Debbie just asked me if I wanted to go down to the town mall, so I said yes, so I’ll come back to this later maybe.

Hi. This is me later. I’ve changed my mind, and now I’m creating a new blog on fashion. I’m only going to have pictures of me wearing my own stuff. Let’s hope it attracts lots of likes. Ms Turnwall, who teaches gymnastics at school and I bumped into her at the mall, and she is always very encouraging, and she said that the idea of my fashion page would not only be thought-provoking but it could also be sensational. So come on, everyone, and give my fashion pictures lots of likes after I post them, probably next week after I finish the written assignment Ms Turnwall gave us to do on Russians spying on our national gymnastics team at the Olympics.

I’m hoping to be a journalist when I leave school so all this is good practice.

1593. A bit of a romp

Jock was all of nineteen and more than halfway through his apprenticeship with a building firm. He loved to party on the weekends, and if he didn’t have to work he would have loved to party every night of the week.

One Saturday night he was invited by this guy and his girlfriend to go back to their house for “a bit of a romp”. Jock thought it a good idea, and followed the couple’s old van to their house in his car.

Would he like a beer? A coffee? Anything? Jock thought he’d like a coffee. Why not? He had a night of “romping” ahead of him and plenty of time later for a beer or two.

Twenty minutes after finishing his coffee he knew it had been laced with something. One of his hands started to shake, and he felt scared. There was no reason to feel scared but he did. He was terrified, in fact, of something unseen. He stumbled outside and got in his car. He drove off.

He didn’t have a clue where he was going. He just drove, quite slowly because things were a bit fuzzy, but he had to get away. There was someone standing under a street light. It was a hitchhiker. Jock stopped.

“Can you drive?” asked Jock. The hitchhiker could. “Can you drive me home? Someone laced my coffee and I’m not thinking straight.”

The hitchhiker drove. When he got safely home Jock gave the hitchhiker money to get a taxi to where he was going. All night Jock sat up in his bed staring at the door. He was scared stupid. He thought someone would come through the door to get him.

This was a turning point for Jock. He settled down (ever so slightly), met someone, fell in love, and they now have five kids. Most weekends Jock takes the kids camping or fishing. Or they just mess about. A good story, eh?

1591. A terrible conundrum

What a conundrum it was for Geraldine. Here she was in her early twenties and not once had she ever been asked out on a date by a man. Sure, an older brother took her to the Prom, probably because he felt a bit sorry for her. It wasn’t that she was ugly or anything; in fact, she was quite pretty. And she wasn’t boring. She was vivacious, intelligent, charming, practical, and capable. Why no man would not want to date her was really beyond comprehension.

She had promised her sister that she would babysit the two little children while her sister and husband had a well-deserved night off at the village gala ball. And now, look what happened! Arnie Beukenholdt invited Geraldine to the same ball.

“Bloody hell!” exclaimed Geraldine. “I can’t go. I promised my sister I’d babysit.”

“Oh well,” said Arnie. “Not to worry.”

Of course, come the night of the ball and Geraldine’s sister phoned to say she had caught a cold so the babysitting wasn’t required. Quite frankly, Geraldine was down in the dumps. Arnie Beukenholdt was possibly the handsomest man on the block, and a wonderful sportsman. And such a lovely personality. He wasn’t exactly made of money, but he was hard-working and comfortable. Arnie and Geraldine were made for each other. Geraldine half dialled Arnie’s phone number and then lost confidence.

Then! Oh would you believe! Such things usually only happen in Victorian novels but here it happened in real life! The phone rang! It was Arnie.

“So,” he said, “I wanted to catch you before you went babysitting. If you can’t go to the ball, what about next Thursday?”

Geraldine explained to him what happened. Hasty preparations were made. Geraldine didn’t have time to even do her hair properly. Arnie picked her up in his run-down beaten old car and they went to the ball.

How they danced the night away!

1590. Wasps and things

(The photograph is of Paper Wasps at my front door! No, I didn’t leave them there! But look how organized they are – soldiers, guards, collectors, builders… !)

Garrett was eleven years old. He liked spiders and bugs and stuff. Goodness knows how many insects had perished as he kept them as pets trying to work out the parameters. What do they eat? Where do they live? Under what conditions do they thrive? So far, he had had little luck in keeping insects as pets; except for tarantulas, and with eight legs and not six they were better off being called spiders. Besides, how to keep a pet tarantula was well documented. Also ants. He had an ants’ nest behind glass and he fed them bread soaked in sugared water. They seemed to thrive.

Of course, he also cared for monarch butterfly caterpillars. He knew what they fed on, but for the last couple of years he’d grown a little tired of them. They were so commonplace. No! What he wanted was to keep scorpions, and bumblebees, and grasshoppers, and wasps, and… different things.

As luck would have it, once he visited the insect department of the local museum at the same time as a visiting entomologist. Professor Marinko Magyar was one of the country’s leading experts. He specialized in native species of bees, but he knew an awful lot about other sorts of insects. Garrett told him of the difficulty he had in keeping insects as pets.

The professor could not have been more helpful. In fact, he was so delighted that a young person was enraptured by insects that he offered to help Garrett set up a bumblebee’s nest. It was wonderful! Under a removable wooden lid, the bees were behind glass so everything could be observed. A polythene pipe opened to the outside world where the bumble bees could freely come and go to collect pollen and whatever it was they collected. It was a lot of work setting it up, but the professor enjoyed helping the young lad who had shown such interest.

Next, the professor showed Garrett how to successfully keep crickets. The particular species they cared for required rain before they would lay eggs, so a water spray bottle was kept handy. Fortunately, Garrett’s wonderful and expanding “insect zoo” was in a large spare building apart from the house, so there was plenty of room to expand; and far enough away for Garrett’s mother to avoid having to come near “the horrible things”.

Over the next couple of years, with the help of the professor, different species of insects were added to the collection. Garrett and the professor spent hours working with the little creatures. The collection was going to become famous! It all finished, however, a couple of years ago. Now that he’s older, Garrett is taking the professor to court.

1589. Manageable portions

I’m sorely tempted to write about something horrible – just for a change. Yet, as a theatre reviewer once said of one of my plays, “There’s enough trouble in the world already without this play.” I shall therefore avoid the temptation to indulge in horribility and keep to the usual niceties grounded in a tender reality. So here goes…

When Anastasia murdered her husband she had little idea of the wonderful repercussions it would have. She had chopped him up into manageable portions, put each into a plastic bag, and stacked them in the freezer. Each week she put a bag of a piece of her husband out at the gate to be picked up by the trash collection truck. She had only the one plastic bag left. She had overlooked it because it had been covered (in the freezer next to the chicken drumsticks) with a flannel for the sake of modesty.

Anastasia had thought that last week’s trash collection had ended her saga of weeks of removal, and now, with the discovery of what lay hidden beneath the flannel there was yet another week to go. But that is not what matters. What matters is what else she saw. Beneath the flannel-covered remains there was a key. She knew instantaneously what the key unlocked.

For weeks she had searched the house for the key to the safe. How it fallen into the freezer was anyone’s guess. Immediately she went and unlocked the safe. There was nothing inside but a piece of paper and a bank card. On the paper was written a pin number. Anastasia dashed straight down the street and inserted the card into the bank’s hole-in-the-wall ATM. What a discovery! What a huge amount of money! What a fortune! Anastasia did a little dance in the street there and then.

By now the once-flannel-covered portion of husband, which she had inadvertently been holding when she dashed out of the house, was starting to defrost. A kindly neighbour saw it and asked, “Anastasia! What on earth is that you’re holding?”

“Oh!” said Anastasia, “it’s a leg of mutton for my dinner. Perhaps you’d like to come for dinner and we’ll share it.”

Of course, the neighbour came to dinner. And of course, of course, Anastasia put the trash out at the gate to be picked up early next morning, before serving her guest chicken drumsticks.

1588. Saplings

Let me tell you how proud I am of my son. Now that I’m older and he’s independent I couldn’t be happier knowing that he was brought up right. Micky is his name. When he was younger there was nothing I taught him that he didn’t pick up straight away like he was a natural. And he was obedient. I only had to say once “Do this” and he’d do it. I rarely had to belt him for not doing things right. Spare the rod, spoil the child, as the saying goes.

You get a kid when he’s young enough and they’re flexible. It’s like a sapling tree. It bends and you can train it to grow in any direction. But once the tree is older there’s no bending it. It’s fixed in its ways.

Well I’m happy to say my son is now old enough for the habits instilled in him earlier to become permanent. And that’s why I tell you that I am proud of him. Sometimes you get things right. These days I don’t need to tell him what house to burgle or how to go about breaking in. He’s a natural. Train a kid early enough and they’ll look after you come what may.

1587. Rally around the flag

Hetty Moss was a seamstress. She designed a flag for her country and sewed it together. Her country had recently gained independence from Portugal and so much had to be thought about. A flag could be considered a minor detail, but what could the people of a fledgling country rally around if they didn’t have a flag?

Hetty Moss’s flag was blue with a green diagonal stripe across the centre. The green and blue represented their little island state in the vast ocean. Quite wonderful really! People loved it. In fact, it inspired Harry Donaldson to compose words for a national anthem:

Loud cheers for the green and blue!
Green and blue! Green and blue!
Loud cheers for the green and blue!
Made for me and you.

All it needed now was some music. But back to Hetty Moss’s flag…

A group claimed that the green stripe represented the Green Party. What about the party that uses red as their colour?

Another group claimed that the blue represented the Liberal Party and it was the dominant colour on the flag. What about the party that uses yellow as their colour? Or purple?

The Federation of Arts and Crafts felt that the flag could have been greatly improved if they had been consulted in the process. “We specialize in design, and this piece of racist rubbish fluttering in the breeze will do nothing but denigrate our young nation. The whole world is laughing at us.”

A group of Portuguese immigrants, whose deepest desire was for the country to remain part of Portugal, set fire to the flag before television cameras. The protests went on and on. Hetty Moss was arrested on charges of.. of… anything. She was the first case tried in the new country. She was eventually found guilty of hedonism and put to death not simply because her flag promoted sexual deviancy, but because her great great great grandfather had once looked at another woman other than his wife.

Rest in peace Hetty Moss – although one hopes you rot in hell. Your hatred of humanity has goaded wayward youth backward and downward. Thank goodness we are getting a new flag. It has a red field charged in the canton with five golden stars. The design features one large star, with four smaller stars in a semicircle. The flag has inspired Harry Donaldson to pen a new set of words:

Loud cheers for the gold and red!
Gold and red! Gold and red!
Loud cheers for the gold and red!
Those who don’t agree, hit them on the head.

The new words don’t need a tune; everyone is already dancing to it.