Tag Archives: flash

2314. Granny Hoppy

Granny Hoppy was called Granny Hoppy by her seventeen grandchildren because she had a cat with only three legs. It identified her from the other grannies who were known as Granny Mary or Granny Thelma or whatever because those were their names.

Of course every Christmas Granny Hoppy would get a little gift from each grandchild. Usually it was something small or something homemade. For example, granddaughter Heather had knitted her a little woollen thing that went over the back of an armchair when you rested your head. Grandson Miles had given her a little ceramic deer from a second hand shop.

Each Christmas Granny Hoppy would make a list as to who gave what. If she didn’t make a list she would get confused because the minute a family of grandchildren arrived she would get out the gifts that had been specifically given by those grandchildren. There were far too many gifts to have them all out at once. So the ones in use were the ones from whoever was visiting her. Quite often a grandchild would say, “Granny Hoppy you’re using the present I gave you!”

The system worked well enough, and it kept Granny Hoppy “on her toes” as she liked to say.

Next week it’s Granny Hoppy’s seventieth birthday. They’ll all be there…

2313. Christmas Eve

Danielle lived in a block of apartments on her own. There were about forty apartments all together. It was Christmas Eve and Danielle had planned to catch a plane and fly to her parent’s home for Christmas. Bad weather cancelled all flights.

She was wondering what to do and thought she had better get to the supermarket to buy something to celebrate with – a bottle of wine and a few slices of something nice. She had just set out in the corridor when she bumped into Bernard.

“I thought you were going home for Christmas,” he said.

“Flight cancelled.”

“Same here,” said Bernard. “Look, why don’t we share the Christmas meal? In fact, why don’t we leave a note at every apartment door saying if you’re alone this Christmas bring you food to my apartment and we’ll all celebrate together.”

It was an excellent idea. Danielle printed off a pile of invitations and she and Bernard went around the apartment building. They planned what to do if a number turned up on Christmas day. So far they have had a response from eleven people. If it’s anymore they’ll be spilling the party out into the corridor.

2312. Children’s parcels

There were only a few days left until Christmas and the toys Natalie had ordered online still hadn’t arrived. She had ordered them for her two boys back in September. This called for emergency thinking.

Horace, her husband, was dispatched to the store to buy tools and timber, nails and paint, and other handy things. Natalie downloaded simple carpentry plans for how to make toys that work. They wrapped things in separate parcels to make lots of presents.

Horace cleared some space in his Man Cave and put the boys’ names on it. All was ready for Christmas Day.

The pre-ordered parcels arrived! But the parents were excited about the handyman things. They thought they’d keep the pre-ordered gifts for the boys’ birthdays.

2311. My secret admirer

It’s amazing. Every Thursday around three o’clock flowers are delivered to my house. Today is Friday, and yesterday the florist delivered a gorgeous bunch of red carnations. They were bright, bright red. I don’t know much about the meaning of flowers but secretly I was hoping that red carnations might stand for love.

It is so exciting to think that I have a secret admirer; in fact, more than that; someone who is infatuated by me. It could well be that. This business of flowers being delivered around three every Thursday has been going on for several months. It would cost a pretty penny.

I’ve wracked my brain as to the identity of this secret admirer. I even put a search online for “the meaning of flowers” as perhaps there is a clue in the variety of flowers that arrive. But most weeks I don’t even know the names of the flowers that are delivered. I know carnations and roses but that’s about itl. I can’t even spell some of the flower names you hear.

I was thrilled yesterday when the bunch of red carnations was delivered. I’ve never had red carnations before so I’m thinking that my secret lover might be getting more serious.

Excuse me. I’ve got to dash. Today is Friday – as I said. The florist is not open on weekends. I have to order next week’s flowers before the florist shuts. Perhaps next week I’ll get sunflowers! They are such a happy flower, and I don’t much like spending Christmas alone.

2310. The snowstorm

It was dark. I couldn’t see a thing as I inched my way home through the snowstorm. It was the coldest storm in decades. I had to make it home or die. Suddenly icy fingers grabbed my left wrist.

“Who is it?” I asked.

There was no answer. I tried to free myself from the grip. “Who is it?” I asked again. Still there was no reply.

I thrashed with my right arm, flaying it about so as to hit the owner of the grip. There seemed to be no one there.

“Please let me go,” I said. “Please let me go.”

The grip was released. My frozen mesh stainless steel watchstrap had fallen off. I made it home.

2309. Light at the end of the tunnel

I was reading on the train. The carriage wasn’t packed; just a few people scattered here and there.  All of a sudden we stopped in the middle of a tunnel. The train’s lights went out. The tunnel’s lights went out. I tell you, I couldn’t see a thing. It was pitch black.

A few people called out jokes, like “Can I see all tickets please”. It was pitch dark for only a few moments. People starting using their phones for light. They cast eerie shadows but at least we could see a little. Of course there was no cell phone coverage in a tunnel.

The tunnel was quite a long one. Apparently light could not be seen at the end of the tunnel in either direction. A man came through saying it was safe to get off the train. The doors were opened and we could barely squeeze along the side of the train. That’s how tight it was. There was room for only the one train on the single track. But we managed to get to the front of the train – well, some of us did – and this guy said “We might as well start walking”. So we did.

We walked I suppose for about twenty minutes and then we saw it: light at the end of the tunnel! I have never been so happy to hear a cliché! I guess we walked for another twenty minutes and the daylight at the end of the tunnel was now quite pronounced. I reckoned we had only about quarter of an hour’s walk to go.

That was when the daylight went dark. There was another train coming.

2307. The case of Estelle

Ernest had married for money. Sure, he loved Estelle, but it was her riches he was more attracted to. Not that she minded. She was born a billionaire and being legally married meant she wasn’t chased all the time for her money once she had been caught. Ernest served a useful purpose.

Over time affection slowly deepened. But Ernest was the jealous sort, and he became suspicious of Estelle. Was she having an affair? Where was she going when she went out? Why was she sometimes gone for hours?

He decided to have her followed. What was discovered amazed Ernest. He was gobsmacked.

Unfortunately I am not at liberty to reveal what it was. Let’s just say that Ernest knew enough to plan a fatal accident.

2306. Dancing lessons

Everyone was very surprised when Jock took up tap-dancing. He had enrolled for the three month introductory evening course. It was for an hour at 6.30 every Wednesday. It was just up the stairs at Jennifer Jean’s Dance Academy.

People were surprised because Jock didn’t have an ounce of rhythm in him. He was the local amateur rugby hero; he worked as a drain-layer; he was known to enjoy a rowdy party or two. But tap-dancing? No one could imagine it.


No one was surprised when Anita took up ballroom dancing. She had enrolled for the three month introductory evening course. It was for an hour at 7.30 every Wednesday. It was just up the stairs at Jennifer Jean’s Dance Academy.

People were not surprised because Anita was charming, musical, and vivacious. She was captain of the local women’s netball team; she worked as a nurse for a private medical surgery; she was known to attend most dances when they were held in the town centre. Ballroom dancing lessons? Everyone could imagine it.


How Jock knew that Anita would be ascending the staircase every Wednesday evening just as he was descending them is anyone’s guess. They’re now “an item” and Jock has given up tap-dancing.

2305. Feisty waitress

The waitress walked over and whispered in my ear, “You have to leave because your life is in danger”.

I left immediately and watched furtively through the restaurant window on the street. Was there a gunman? Was the kitchen on fire? Everyone else in the restaurant was leaving as well. The waitress was doing a round of the tables and whispering in everyone’s ear. Finally she herself left.

“What was that about?” I asked her as she came out on the street.

“I have been fired,” she said, “and was given 5 minutes to leave the property. I put the 5 minutes to good use.”

2304. Heiress to a fortune

Nadine opened the mail. Usually there was only junk mail, but today there was a beautifully typed envelop with a logo in the corner:

Ms Nadine Marina, 34 Swafford Rd, Mornington.

It clearly was from a lawyer’s office.

Dear Ms Marina, This is to inform you that your uncle, Ivan Averis, who recently died, has left you his entire fortune of over two and a half million…

Two and a half million! But Nadine didn’t have an uncle called Ivan Averis, and if she did she would have known about his recent death. Clearly there had been some mistake. There must be another Nadine somewhere with a similar family name. Her mother and her father, who were both deceased, would have said if either had a brother – which they didn’t. Her mother had a sister, Aunt Henderika, who had passed away in her mid-twenties at childbirth. Nadine had never known her.

The lawyer’s office was local. Nadine decided to visit and to ask: Who is Uncle Ivan? The lawyer was most helpful. Her uncle had no living relative except you. You may not have heard of him but he clearly had heard of you. To be honest, your uncle’s will is handwritten and the name is a little difficult to decipher. Is it Merino or Moana or Mariana? We could find no one with any of these names. So in the end we settled on your name and concluded that you were the heir to the fortune.

But, said Nadine, I couldn’t in all honesty accept it. I probably would have spent half of it by the time the real person is discovered. So no, I can’t accept it.

Nadine left the lawyer’s office. She felt both sad at her loss and elated at her honesty.

But the truth is she did have an Uncle Ivan Averis. He was the widower of Aunt Henderika and had remarried and long lost contact with family.