Category Archives: Yarns

Repeat of Story 693: I was driving along quite comfy

(This is the second story in a week or so of repeats. “I was driving along quite comfy” first appeared on this blog on 3 September 2015.)

I was driving along quite comfy, thank you, with the radio playing a bit of head banging stuff, and following this hearse that must’ve been heading for a cemetery or a crematorium or a funeral parlour or somewhere. And suddenly the back door of the hearse flew up in the air and out fell a coffin.

Well I stopped immediately before I hit the coffin, which I did just a bit, and the lid cracked, and a bit of the side, and out popped a leg and a foot in a pair of brown trousers with a well-worn cosy slipper with a tartan pattern.

I tooted my horn furiously but the hearse kept going, like it was being driven by a robot or something and like the undertaker didn’t care. He was probably texting his girlfriend or something anyway and didn’t seem to notice the difference.

All happened so suddenly, in the flash of an eye, and the next thing the truck following me went wham straight into the back of my car. My car shot forward flat out and knocked the coffin in the air a bit and it fell down and sort of shattered completely open in the middle of the road.

A couple of bystanders were already watching, and one looked horrified and the other was laughing. And the back of my car seemed to be a bit of a wreck. I hope the hearse is insured because I didn’t have the money to fork out for a new car, or even to get the old one fixed.

All this was going through my head, and the next thing there was a police officer asking what had happened, and by now I didn’t have a clue. So I sort of repeated everything I’ve just told you now, and the police officer thought I was talking nonsense because I was shocked, and told me to wait over by the side of the road until he’d finished asking everyone else questions.

So that’s what I’m doing now; waiting for the cop to finish. The coffin’s still sitting on the road. Everyone is too busy telling the policeman what went on to worry about the body. It’s dead anyway. But I wish he’d hurry because I’ve got to sort out this mess about my wrecked car.

Here comes the hearse now. Maybe that’ll hurry things along a bit. And I hope no one believes the undertaker when he spins some cock-and-bull yarn about me starting the ball rolling when I hit the back of the hearse at full speed.

Repeat of Story 134: Veljka alights

(Today we begin a week or so of repeats. These stories are not necessarily the best, or the most popular, or the ones I like. I’ve chosen them fairly much at random so I can have the week off! This story, “Veljka alights”, first appeared on this blog on 21 February 2014. Some of you faithful followers who read and commented on this story back then are now old and haggard. Enjoy!)

Veljka began to notice Ramon at school. She was becoming quite infatuated by him; his good looks, his intelligence, his laugh, his sportsmanship, his studiousness, his jovial conversations. He was beautiful. But he hardly noticed her. She noticed him, saw him, heard him, all the time. She would sit in the back corner of the classroom paying little attention to the lessons. Her eyes were on Ramon.

How natural and lovely he was when he chatted away – to everyone but Veljka it seemed. She wasn’t part of his group. For the annual school dance, he asked Cassandra to be his date. Cassandra was a nice person. Veljka wasn’t the jealous sort. But it made her sad.

One day, Veljka was on the bus and Ramon got on. The bus was full, except for one seat next to Veljka. Ramon sat next to her. Their knees accidentally touched. Veljka’s heart raced. She thought she would burst. She thought she would die. She thought she would faint. She thought she would stop breathing. Ahhhh! He didn’t take his knee away.

“How’s it going?” said Ramon.

“Ah, ah, oh,” said Veljka.

“Tell me,” said Ramon, “is your hair naturally that shade? I notice it all the time at school.”

All the time! All the time! “Yes,” said Veljka. “It’s natural. But I was thinking of dyeing it.”

“Don’t dye it,” said Ramon. “It’s beautiful. I notice you all the time.”

Notice me! Notice me!

Ramon left the bus. “Catch you later,” he said.

“See you,” said Veljka. She got off the bus at the next stop. She had overrun her home stop by seventeen minutes. She danced the eight miles home.

1706. The tale of two food bins

Imelda always noticed something about the two food bins placed at the exit to the supermarket. There was a bin for food for abandoned and hungry pets, and there was a bin for food for down-and-out humans. The bin for pet food was always bulging to overflowing. The bin for humans never had much; just the occasional can of soup or a packet of pasta.

Imelda had three children. Occasionally she would place something in the bin for needy pets. She usually did it when she had the children with her. She should lead by example. One should always be generous; not over the top, but generous nonetheless.

And then Imelda struck hard times. She had to go to the local soup kitchen and ask for food.

“Unfortunately we don’t have anything on the shelves,” they said.

So Imelda went to the pet rescue place and pleaded food for a fictitious cat.

(Dear All – Starting tomorrow – and for a week or so – I shall simply be posting favourite stories from this blog’s past. I’m currently bogged down with work. When a story’s numbering suddenly goes to 1707 then the original yarns will have recommenced!)

1705. Merry Philly

There was a time when Philadelphia rather liked her name. It was a bit different and she was the only Philadelphia in her class. Things began to change at high school. She won a book for essay writing and the inside of the cover was inscribed with a misspelling. It said “Congratulations Philadelfia”. Philadelphia was disappointed. It took all the joy out of having won the prize.

“I shall change my name to Phyllis,” declared Phyllis. That worked very well until her Chemistry teacher wrote her name as “Fillus”. Phyllis was starting to get annoyed.

“Use you middle name,” suggested her mother.

And that is why Philadelphia Mary Smith to this day is known simply as Merry.

1704. Snip! Snip!

Cornelius was in a good mind to ask for a divorce. He was an avid gardener and had told Constantia again and again, DO NOT CUT THE FLOWERS.

“What’s the point,” Constantia would say, “of growing flowers if they’re not for cutting and putting in a vase to brighten the day?”

“It might brighten the inside of the house,” said Cornelius, “but what about the outside?”

Cornelius did all the gardening. Constantia could have helped, but she didn’t. All she did was gather the secateurs, or sometimes the kitchen scissors, and go snip, snip, as if she didn’t have a care in the world.

Cornelius talked to his plants. They were his friends. He was convinced that talking to his plants increased their vigour, their beauty, their desire to please. Besides, they were much better company than Constantia. All she did was go out and kill the blooms.

Cornelius conceived a plan. It wasn’t one that Constantia was expecting. It came out of the blue; like a blue hydrangea or a blue larkspur. He filed for divorce.

It came as a massive shock to Constantia.

“That’ll teach you,” said Cornelius. “At least Suzie-Lou appreciates everything I do and won’t annihilate my flora.”

1703. Battery hens

Every time Cassandra used an egg when cooking she thanked the hen. She didn’t know the hen personally of course, these were eggs bought at a shop, but in her heart she thanked the hen that had gone to all the trouble of laying it.

It was possible that this hen was locked in a cage, a battery hen, with no chance to wander freely and scratch about at will with the cavorting cockerel.

Cassandra could have bought eggs where the carton stated: CAGE-FREE EGGS or FREE-RANGE EGGS. But she thought, what about the caged chickens locked forever living in a hell-hole to produce for her, Cassandra, the beauty and satisfaction of an egg? It was her way of saying thank you. Thank you Mother Hen for all your sacrifice, for all your effort. How sad for you to live a battered battery life with no hope, no love, no consolation. It was almost as if those who bought FREE-RANGE EGGS didn’t care about the plight of those poor chickens locked away.

It was the same for Cassandra when she wanted to roast a chicken. She always purchased the ones that did NOT say FREE-RANGE. It was her way of showing she cared.

1702. Exotic fossilization

The year was 3794. Professor Xiaoping Rakotoarisoa was cosmos-famous as a fossil personage. His speciality was human fossils. Other fossil experts throughout the cosmos were adept at studying relics of alternative intelligent life forms. On Earth it was particularly stunning when they discovered the overgrown ruins of a city on earth that experts believed was once called New York. Naturally Professor Rakotoarisoa led the research.

Of course they didn’t speak English, or even Spanish, in those far-off days in the future. They spoke quite a different language altogether. New York sounded profoundly exotic.

The city must have sunk into the sea rather suddenly, or perhaps the oceans rose to quickly cover it; something apparently to do with what they called Global Warming. There were literally thousands of human remains preserved in sediment. A good number were still wearing the clothes they died in. The clothing fabric preservation was remarkable.

The thing that most puzzled Professor Rakotoarisoa was that so many of them were wearing name tags. It was a puzzle, but a dream come true for those working in the field. And such wonderful names, such as Calvin Klein, Emporio Armani, Hugo Boss, and Ralph Lauren. Cotton-elastane Mix, Gucci, and Polyester were not uncommon names. Some of the names were quite long, such as Do Not Dry Clean, Do Not Iron, and Wash in Temperatures between 65 and 85°F. The Professor surmised that the longer names possibly belonged to royalty. The other factor Professor Rakotoarisoa found to be quite startling was how common the names were. Of all the thousands of clothed skeletons, perhaps there were fifty or sixty names that these people shared in common. Clearly New Yorkers were not a very imaginative bunch.

But my word! the thrill of discovery! Professor Rakotoarisoa was excited. His partner had just had a baby, and to celebrate his discovery of life as it was eons ago, Xiaoping Rakotoarisoa named his son Fruit of the Loom. If it had been a girl she would have been given an apparently royal name that tripped off the tongue: For Hygiene Purposes Please Keep Your Underwear on While Trying on the Garment.