1070. Swings and roundabouts

Ned and Danny had been friends since early school years. Their mothers would take them to the park when they were small and they’d play on the swings. Even when they were a little older, say twelve years, they would get on the swings to see who could fly the highest.

“You shouldn’t be using those swings at your age,” said Danny’s mother. “They are meant for the little kids. You’ll break them and then you’ll pay for it.”

But Ned and Danny kept on swinging.

One day, when they were seventeen, they crossed the park, and Ned said “Let’s?” So they did.

Danny’s swing collapsed and he broke his neck. He’s paralysed from the neck down. He never thought his mother meant he’d have to pay for it that way.

1069. A possible spectacle

Horace was all of ninety-four. He’d had the same pair of spectacles for thirty-two years. He thought he should get his eyes checked again. He was starting to have trouble reading the small print.

“I don’t want to die an early death by not being able to read the harmful sodium percentage on food packaging,” said Horace.

He made an appointment with an optician. The optician was nice enough, but she was very brusque.

“I haven’t got time to mess around,” she said. “Would you mind taking off your glasses.”

“I haven’t had anyone ask me to take something off in years,” said Horace.

The optician laughed. After that she wasn’t half so brusque.

1067. Let’s all make a card

Lizzie, the teacher, planned for her class to make Father’s Day cards. Oh! But she had forgotten that Samantha’s father was dead. The class couldn’t possibly make the cards, said Lizzie. It would be like rubbing Samantha’s face in it.

Lizzie, the teacher, planned for her class to make Mother’s Day cards. Oh! But she had forgotten that Jonathan’s mother was dead. The class couldn’t possibly make the cards, said Lizzie. It would be like rubbing Jonathan’s face in it.

Lizzie, the teacher, planned for her class to make Memorial Day cards. Oh! But she had forgotten that Angela’s aunt was killed in Afghanistan. The class couldn’t possibly make the cards, said Lizzie. It would be like rubbing Angela’s face in it.

Lizzie, the teacher, planned for her class to make Christmas cards. Oh! But she had forgotten that Tareq’s uncle was a Sunni from Jordan. The class couldn’t possibly make the cards, said Lizzie. It would be like rubbing Tareq’s face in it.

At last! said Lizzie. Good morning class! Today is Buddha’s Birthday in Nepal. No one here is a Buddhist I believe. No one is from Nepal. Let’s all make a card!

1066. Daily run

Ramon was going for his daily run around the Blue Mountains Road when he got the side stitch. He stopped for a little rest and recovery.

The view from the Blue Mountains Road was wonderful. The road wound around sharp corners, with beauteous cliff faces and plummeting crevices. The view went for miles. It was a good road to use for a run because it was scenic, and there was very little traffic.

Suddenly, a van came around the corner. The driver had attempted to take the curve too fast. The van went over the edge of the road and began tumbling down the mountain. Its roll was stopped by a large knotted tree.

Without thinking, Ramon raced down the steep hill. He reached the van. Several passengers were seriously injured. He was able to call for help. The recue people arrived, and all nine passengers were taken to hospital. It was a wonder there was no fatality.

Ramon thanked his lucky stars. There was no doubt that getting the stitch in time saved nine.

1065. Chelsea felt hounded

Chelsea felt hounded, harassed, bothered. It wasn’t overly serious. She coped well. It was Tom from two doors down. He obviously had taken a fancy to Chelsea and had become a bit of a pain in the neck. Chelsea was too kind to tell him to go.

They were both quite young. No one was surprised that Tom had taken a shine to Chelsea. Chelsea lived alone, and Tom was left on his own all day. Everyone in the house went to work.

“He hangs around like a bad smell,” said Chelsea.

“Why don’t you give him the heave-ho?” asked one of Chelsea’s friends who was visiting.

“I’ve tried to but he takes no notice,” said Chelsea.

“Send him packing,” suggested another of Chelsea’s friends.

“I don’t have the heart,” said Chelsea.

“Why don’t you go one evening and visit the people home from work and ask them to try to restrict Tom a bit?” suggested yet another of Chelsea’s friends.

“He’s attracted to food,” said Chelsea. “Young males have insatiable appetites. For everything.”

“Don’t tell us you feed him,” exclaimed Chelsea’s astonished friends. “No wonder the dog comes to your place all the time.”