1539: Please pass the condiments

(Note: This story has been posted before, but I’m taking the opportunity to fix my numbering system up! There were two stories numbered 1499!!)

Nancy wasn’t so much a snob as someone who gained her superiority with put-downs. She made herself big by making others small.

When she invited the ladies from the canasta club for lunch she announced that the theme was Korean. She spent the entire luncheon saying things such as “Daphne, would you pass the cheonggukjang, please” or “Marjory, would you pass the myeongnan-jeot”. Of course, Daphne and Marjory didn’t have a clue what cheonggukjang and myeongnan-jeot were, because on the table Nancy had also placed nabak-kimchi, guljeot, and bagoóng alamáng.

“I would’ve thought that bagoóng alamáng was more from the Philippines,” suggested Eleanor. But it fell on deaf ears.

“What would you know?” spouted Nancy.

The following week it was Eleanor’s turn to host the lunch. The theme, announced Eleanor, is Chinese.

“Could you pass the soy sauce please, Nancy,” said Eleanor.

“Which one is that?” asked Nancy.

“It’s the bottle with 黃豆醬 on the label, stupid.”

Music 239-253: A Sixth Little Suite in Fifteen Sketches

Hi Everyone

Here is the Sixth Little Suite in Fifteen Sketches – both audio and printable – for the pianoforte.

Click on a title in the first list to listen, and click on a title in the second list to download the written music. As for all the eleven Little Suites (which I’ve finished) the first and last sketches are identical.

Thanks

Click on a title to listen
1. Dull rainy day
2. Cartwheels
3. The old car
4. Skipping along
5. Park slide
6. Journeyman cooper
7. Spinning jenny
8. Bird on a branch
9. Bedtime story
10. Getting the kids ready for school
11. Harvest festival
12. It looks like rain
13. The iron gate
14. The fop
15. Clear skies

Click on a title to download the written music
1. Dull rainy day
2. Cartwheels
3. The old car
4. Skipping along
5. Park slide
6. Journeyman cooper
7. Spinning jenny
8. Bird on a branch
9. Bedtime story
10. Getting the kids ready for school
11. Harvest festival
12. It looks like rain
13. The iron gate
14. The fop
15. Clear skies

1538: Lancelot Grope’s calling

(The opening sentence for this story was suggested by Nitin at Fighting the Dying Light. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future opening sentence for these stories, click here for a peek as to what’s what.)

When he looked at the clown in his greens and reds, his raging coulrophilia kicked in. Lancelot Grope couldn’t help it. He was only too pleased that he himself was wearing baggy clown’s trousers.

Lancelot’s coulrophilia had made his teenage years almost unbearable. The trouble had been that his mother had been obsessed with a relatively muscular trapeze artist named Standish Nikolayevich, and Lancelot was dragged from one circus performance to another. It was okay for his sister to admit that she was obsessed with circus horses (and for his mother to be obsessed with Standish Nikolayevich) but to admit to coulrophilia was another thing altogether. Things came to a head when Cocoa Craven Hook, one of Lancelot’s favourite clowns, took Lancelot out the back.

Cocoa Craven Hook was wearing his greens and reds and looked amazing.

“Judging from looking at your trousers,” said Cocoa, “you seem to be pretty enthusiastic about clowning. Can I show you a thing or two? Let me pull a surprise out of my pocket.”

Suddenly a bunch of flowers appeared from nowhere. One of the flowers squirted water in Lancelot’s face. Lancelot laughed.

“I’ll show you how it’s done,” said Cocoa kindly. “First let me put these flowers in your pocket.”

Lancelot was hooked. He’d never experienced anything quite so exciting. There was no going back. He would be a coulrophiliac for life. Coulrophilia would be his life’s calling. He would use it to cure those who suffered from coulrophobia. And indeed he did.

Today, especially in Hollywood, there’s many a former coulrophobiac who is now a practising coulrophiliac. They’re in the News, and some of them even made it to the circus.

1537: The trials of Andrea

(The opening sentence for this story was suggested by Lindsey at Itching for Hitching. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future opening sentence for these stories, click here for a peek as to what’s what.)

She sighed deeply and wondered if this would ever stop. This was the third time this afternoon that Andrea’s husband, Thomas, had phoned the Waste Management Company and let them have it.

“Why was my trash taken away late last Wednesday? You call yourself a garbologist?”

“Do you think you can take the trash away when you like? Wednesday morning is the time stipulated that the trash will be picked up at the gate. I don’t care if it was Christmas Day – it was Wednesday.”

“The guy driving the trash truck needs a bomb under him. I wished him good morning and he grunted at me like I was a.. a pig… Where’s the customer service?”

“Don’t you think, dear,” suggested Andrea to Thomas once he had put the phone down, “don’t you think you could just let these people get on with their job? They seem to do it reliably enough.”

“Rubbish,” said Thomas. “I want better service than that.”

When Thomas dialled the number a fourth time, Andrea had had enough.

“I’m going into town,” she said, “to the library. I shall return once all this nonsense is over.”

“You don’t understand,” said Thomas.

Andrea drove into town. What a trial the trash collection company saga had become. She sighed deeply and wondered if this would ever stop. It had been going on ever since her husband had bought the Waste Management Company almost a month ago.

1536: A real s.o.b.

(The opening sentence for this story was suggested by Sarah Angleton. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future opening sentence for these stories, click here for a peek as to what’s what.)

Jim Mackey was a real s.o.b., but that wasn’t what Rudy admired about him. Jim and Rudy had known each other since they were at school. In fact when they started school together aged six, Jim had shown Rudy how to chew on a bit of paper, roll it into a ball, put it in the hollow tube of a ballpoint pen, and blow it at enormous speed at the teacher when she wasn’t looking.

“Ouch! Who shot the pea-shooter?” asked the teacher.

“It was Rudy, Miss,” said Jim.

“Jim Mackey, you are a good boy for telling the truth.” She gave him a chocolate fish as a reward. “As for you, Rudy, you are a wicked, wicked boy.”

Jim would betray any friend for a chocolate fish. He would set up other students to do dastardly deeds and then tell on them. It was a method that served him well now that he was all grown. He was an asshole. He was an archbastard. He would arrange for criminals to steal and would then report them to the police. He got rich on the crimes of others.

But things came to a head when Jim Mackey reported to the police that Rudy’s wife was peddling drugs. Rudy shot Jim Mackey dead. There was blood everywhere. Being dead was what Rudy most admired about that s.o.b.

1535: Last word

(The opening sentence for this story was suggested by Chelsea Owens. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future opening sentence for these stories, click here for a peek as to what’s what.)

The esteemed and highly intelligent host limited them to one sentence each. “The esteemed and highly intelligent host” – yeah, right. He had a gun in his hand and had lined the three of them up against the wall. They were the enemies of the people.

“You’re limited to one sentence each before you get shot.” He was excited. You could tell he was excited. He was short of breath, and even though he’d done this dozens of times before you could tell he still got excited about it. “One sentence each so think about it carefully.”

Johnny Smith, who had been arrested on trumped up charges of plotting to hack into the Premier’s computer, spoke first. “Quite frankly I don’t give a crap about having to say…”

BANG!

Angela McKay was next. “There are a few points I’d like to make…”

BANG!

Only Freddie Flood was left. “I know where there’s buried treasure,” he said.

He’s still alive today, although not extremely comfortable.

1534: Ballroom dancing

(The opening sentence for this story was suggested by nananoyz of Praying for Eyebrowz.  If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future opening sentence for these stories, click here for a peek as to what’s what.)

Jane’s biggest regret in life was that she’d never danced. To be honest, she wasn’t exactly Swan Lake material.

No that’s not what I meant, said Jane. I was not thinking of ballet. I was thinking more of ballroom dancing.

In fact, Jane wasn’t thinking exactly of ballroom dancing either. She was thinking more of how lovely it would be to be in the arms of one of those male dance partners one sees on television. One of them could fling her all over the place, and then they would dance on and on and on. In fact they would dance into the sunset. They would fall in love and get married and have a pile of kids. And the handsome ballroom dancer would come home from a day of working to support his wife and children, and before the wonderful dinner she had prepared they would dance a quick foxtrot in the living room. Yes, that’s really what Jane wanted. Not simply a dance, but a dancer.

And then she went to the parish ball, and it was very bright and lovely with coloured lights and a wonderful band. And Jane sat against a wall on a long form next to another person who was also a wallflower. And then Jane saw a man approach. He was very handsome indeed. Jane’s heart kind of fluttered, but he asked the girl next to her for the dance. And Jane smiled like she was really enjoying the occasion but in truth she wanted to cry.

Then quite suddenly there was a man’s voice next to her. She never saw him approach.

“Would you like to dance?” he said. “I know people might think it silly but I’d love it if you would dance with me.”

Jane said “Yes!” and she and Mervyn (for that was his name) danced the whole night away. The things Mervyn could do in his wheel chair! Backwards, forwards, spins and slides. You wouldn’t believe what a show-off he was! Quite frankly, Jane lost all respectability and danced like there was no tomorrow. They were named the “couple of the ball” and stole the show with their celebration jive.

That was over forty-five years ago. Mervyn is long dead. But Jane delights in teaching her grandchildren how to dance. No! No! Not ballet. Ballroom dancing.