Tag Archives: flash

2276. The contraption

Hello. My name is Annette. My neighbour, who is a student at university like me, always makes me feel awkward with his crazy inventions, and this time was no exception. You see, I never knew what the jolly things were. I’d have to cluck away and sigh in admiration, and now I was looking at some contraption that had moving parts and he was over the moon with it.

I knew if I ask what it was he’d get offended, but this time the “invention” was so out of the box that I said “And how does it work?”

Well he went on a bit about aerodynamics and algebraic quartiles and everything else that I didn’t have a clue about, and in the end I was none the wiser. So I resumed my clucking and sighing and he seemed pleased enough.

And then he asked if I would like to go to the movies tonight. Of course I said “Yes!” It was the reason I had popped over to his house in the first place.

2275. Time to tarry

The late summer breeze flapped my sundress a little as I walked down the lane. I had no idea I was being watched. It had been a hot, hot summer. Autumn was beginning to set in but it was still stifling and light clothing was the order of the day.

It was the fourth day of work and I was the sole teacher in this little country school. I walked to work, taking a shortcut through a farmer’s field, down a track and over a stile and voila! I was there!

Of course I had permission to cross the farmer’s field. When I visited to seek permission the farmer wasn’t there, and nor was the farmer’s wife. Only their son was home – Nigel is his name – and he said taking a shortcut would be fine. Anyway, he was the one running the farm these days, and he was the one who would possibly sometimes bump into me on my way to work.

This was only the fourth day of school and I had already bumped into him three times! Each time it was at the stile and he was able to offer me a helping hand as I climbed over. Such a gentleman!

Today I’m leaving home a little earlier to give us time to tarry.

2274. Peace at last!

Well! At last! At last! The problem is solved! An alien spacecraft has landed on earth and the superior-technologied aliens are friendly! It’s proof at last that we are not alone in the universe.

Prior to the spacecraft landing the earth was in upheaval. It seemed that every country was at each other’s throats. The aliens were super-friendly but they still had weaponry that could wipe earth out in a split second. The aliens’ superior power would force the divided world to be united.

China quickly formed an exclusive alliance with them.

2273. The old bicycle

(Hi Folks – I’ve cut my ear rather badly so won’t be about to comment for an hour or two – or even perhaps for a couple of days. Lots of dramatic blood but not too serious I suspect. So no worries!)

Eight-year-old Corry’s mother couldn’t afford to buy him a proper bicycle. All the other kids had bicycles with gears and stuff. A couple even had e-bikes – like those kids weren’t obese enough already. Of course they were too young to be allowed to ride an e-bike on the road, but their spare bikes with all sorts of knobs on was for when they left the confines of their home property.

All that Corry’s mother could do was to paint up her grandfather’s old bicycle and fix the tyres. It had sat in the woodshed all these years. It was as old-fashion as they come, and looked it. It didn’t even have gears. Cycling up even a little hill was a major task. Poor Corry was embarrassed to ride out on it because everyone laughed at him.

The town’s annual fair was held each year on the race course. It was always a huge event. Simply everyone in the town went. Corry had an idea. He made a big sign and took his bike to the fair.

CYCLE ONCE ROUND THE RACE COURSE
AND EXPERIENCE WHAT
YOUR GREAT GRANDPARENTS
PUT UP WITH.
Price: $1

There was a waiting line all the way to kingdom come.

Corry went and bought himself a proper bike, although he kept his old bike for next year’s fair.

(P.S. Thanks for the comments and concern. As luck would have it the doctor on duty today at the Hospital Emergency had 40 years as a plastic surgeon and was retiring today! So he spent 5 hours fixing my ear, and now I look like Jack of Jack and Jill with my head wrapped for the next 5 days. How did I do it? It was a night mare (literally). I leaped over a high wooden fence to escape a wild horse and scrapped off all the skin inside my ear on the bedside table! I take blood-thinners so you can imagine the mess!)

2272. Vera’s generous help

It was a special day for Vera. It was seven weeks since her husband had passed away, and she thought she had better get off her backside and starting doing a few things. Of course doing nothing was only in her head; she had written over a hundred thank you notes to those kind enough to attend the funeral or communicate a message. Even the man who came every year to clean their chimney had left a kind note on the online obituary message board.

I had known Vera from way back. In fact we had gone to school together, although we were never girlfriend and boyfriend.  I had attended the husband’s funeral of course. Today – it was Saturday – Vera was off to help a friend run a stall at the market where they sold herb plants. I didn’t exactly need any herbs but I thought a little plant for the back door would be a good enough thing to get, so off I went to the market’s herb stall.

And there she was: Vera in the herb stall!

“Aloe Vera,” I said.

2270. On a mission

Laurie was the grumpiest man on the street; in fact he was possibly the grumpiest man in the town. He grew strawberries in his garden, and one thing was certain: none of the sweetness of strawberries had rubbed off on him.

He would sell strawberries at his gate in little plastic containers. There was an honesty box. Some people thought he under-charged but he said if the price was too low then people were welcome to go to the supermarket and purchase the more expensive, sourer, inferior strawberries. The supermarket manager resented that Laurie had labelled his strawberries as inferior. Laurie was undercutting business.

Further down the road, in fact on a nearby but different street, lived Velda. She would buy quite a few of Laurie’s strawberries apparently to make jam. She didn’t make much of a profit with the jam she said but it was an interest. It fills in a rainy day – as she was wont to say.

Laurie didn’t like Velda making jam with his strawberries. Adding sugar to his carefully grown fruit was a sacrilege. One day he saw Velda coming with a pram (she always brought an old pram to load it up and push the strawberries to her house). He rushed out to his gate and informed Velda that he didn’t like her buying so many of his strawberries. “There are other people in the world that might enjoy some.”

“Oh,” said Velda, “I was just coming to tell you that I heard several of the fruit in your garden have been injected with poison. I wouldn’t touch a single strawberry for the rest of the year if I were you.”

And Velda sauntered off to the supermarket where she triumphantly announced to her husband, the Manager: “Mission accomplished”.

2268. Dulcie’s French onion soup

Dulcie was having the worst day possible. She had planned to have a lovely day. She would potter in the sunshine in her garden and in the evening when the day turned chilly she would light the fire and cook up a big comforting dish of French onion soup.

The first crisis occurred when she realized she was out of bread. The local baker usually had a little of yesterday’s bread. Stale bread was best for onion soup. She would get some of that. No sooner had she left the baker’s in her car when she hit a pedestrian. Dulcie had been driving at a fair speed and the pedestrian appeared from nowhere. It was an old lady with a walker. It wasn’t Dulcie’s fault but it certainly contributed to her day not going well.

Upon eventually arriving home she realized that she was out of onions. Why oh why hadn’t she checked before she left home the first time? It was back into the car.

As she passed the spot where she had hit the little old lady it was a great relief. Clearly someone must have found the body. It had been taken away.

2267. A bag of trash for Halloween

Every Sunday evening Herman would put all the trash into one big black plastic bag and tie it by knotting the pull-string threaded through the top. He would then place the bag into a wheelie-bin and pull it out to his gate where the City Council’s waste collection vehicle would empty the wheelie-bin early on Monday morning.

He had just finished knotting the string tightly when something moved inside the bag. There was a rustle. Herman froze. Had there been a rat inside nibbling on kitchen waste? What if it was a skunk? Perhaps it was a snake? A racoon? A possum?

The thing inside the bag moved again. He had double knotted the pull-string. He wasn’t going to go anywhere near the bag, let alone unknot the tie without wearing thick gloves. And if he wore thick cloves he would be unable to untie the knotted string without delicate fingers. Perhaps it was a copperhead. It could strike a lethal blow if he put his hands near.

It moved again. It wasn’t a movement of panic. It was a quiet movement as if the creature was contentedly eating. Perhaps it was a little mouse. Little mouse or not, Herman was not going to go near the bag. A swish. A crinkling. A slight flutter. Maybe it was a bird?

Fortunately he was in his garage. He backed the car out onto the driveway. It provided space in the garage. Now he needed to find something sharp with a long handle. He would then try to rip the bag open from a distance, release the entrapped creature, and use a new bag for the trash. The rake! He could hopefully tear the bag using the rake’s prongs.

It took Herman a while to gash open the bag. There was no longer much movement. Maybe the creature was so terrified that it had backed down to the security of the bottom of the bag. Things spilled out over the concrete floor: a used jam jar, teabags, wet coffee grounds, food scraps, screwed up paper, junk mail fliers, an empty tissue box… What a mess!

And then he saw it! The creature was free!

Herman had let the cat out of the bag.

2266. Kitchen gadgetry

It had been a difficult time for Annie. She knew she wasn’t living in cuckoo land, but everyone else seemed to think so. No one believed her when she spoke of what had happened to her; where she had gone and why. Now she simply shut up about it except on rare occasions. If the person had asked kindly she didn’t mind too much narrating her experience, but usually she resented being pooh-poohed.

Her abduction naturally wasn’t voluntary. The aliens had been polite but firm. She had been selected because she was practical in the kitchen. They wanted to ask her about ordinary kitchen utensils. Most of them they couldn’t work out what they were for. A hand-beater for example; what was it used for and how?

Annie discovered that the aliens had every kitchen utensil and appliance under the sun, and wanted to have an entire room in the main museum on their home planet dedicated to Earthling Kitchen Gadgetry. Annie thought it quite fun to tell them all sorts of tall stories. A spatula, for example, was used for beating a wayward child. A frying pan was for smashing eggs; just place half a dozen eggs on the bench and smash them with a frying pan. A garlic press was for destoning plums. There was nothing that Annie didn’t make up a story about. Next time you go to the aliens’ museum you’ll see how wrong they have got the labelling. That’s because of Annie’s stories.

“That’s absolutely fascinating, Annie,” said the nurse. “The doctor will see you in a minute.”

2265. History is made

Theodora was a stickler for looking nice. She would never appear in public without first putting on her glad rags. A carefully made up face was a must, and always with lipstick to match her nails.

When an earthquake struck and she ran out of her home flat stick, people commented that surely she wasn’t dressed to the nines all the time. She must have known an earthquake was about to strike! But the reality was, of course, that she did care every day for her appearance in and out of the house.

It therefore came as quite a surprise when Theodora’s name began to be associated with Teddy Potts. Teddy was a local farmer and as rough as guts. Even the backside of his pants was worn and sometimes torn. He always had a bit of hay here and there on this woollen pullover. The self-rolled cigarette permanently hanging from his lips was rarely lit. It was there for effect.

Soon Theodora and Teddy announced their engagement. All were invited to the wedding on the farm. It was to be “Bring a plate” (which is the Australian/New Zealand term for Potluck). The big question was: what should the wedding guests wear? It was on a farm so dress casually; or it’s Theodora’s wedding so dress fashionably; or it’s Teddy’s wedding so wear your old gardening clothes.

Guests arrived wearing all sorts. What a mixed crowd! Teddy was in a tuxedo but with a cigarette still hanging out his mouth. Theodora arrived wearing a stunning ensemble complete with veil and holding a bunch of barley and wild flowers off the farm.

Everyone had a great time. Even the old cow just across the fence watched the proceedings and mooed when the couple kissed. Everyone laughed.

And so, Dear Reader, this tale is proof indeed that some plots don’t ever get off the ground. Most lives are ordinary. They’re not riddled with murder and intrigue but things happen in a lovely way. And no doubt this couple lived happily ever after.