Tag Archives: friends

1983. Bird of Paradise

Rita and Carmen had been best friends for years. They were both widowed, and both had three children and four grandchildren. They lived not far from each other. Every Wednesday, to prevent a certain humdrumness, they would go on an outing. Sometimes it was just a cup of coffee in a café in town. Sometimes it was a bigger event, such as a visit to the city art gallery or a concert. Today they were going to the Botanical Garden’s Tropical Conservatory.

“Would you look at this one,” said Rita. “Such a pretty little flower!”

“I would’ve missed it if you hadn’t pointed it out,” said Carmen. “Smell this one here. It stinks!” And indeed it did stick!

“Look at this Bird of Paradise flower. It does look like a bird, doesn’t it?”

“They say,” said Carmen enthusiastically because she knew a little about the Bird of Paradise plant, “that the flower produces no pollen, so it’s generally great to plant if people are worried about allergies. Not only that, but they say if you rub a leaf on the palm of your hand you feel compelled to blurt out the truth whether you want to or not.”

“That sounds a bit dangerous,” declared Rita, rubbing the palm of her hand on a leaf. “And I might add that the way you slurp your coffee makes me want to spit.”

“That’s nothing,” said Carmen. “When I was having an affair with your late husband he gave me your bank account number and password. You wouldn’t have noticed, because you’re too thick, but a bit here and a bit there goes a long way.”

“You strumpet!” declared Rita. “So you’re the crumpet he so disdainfully spoke about; how your breath reeked of garlic and you were in need of a hefty dose of deodorant.”

The insults continued for another five minutes. It was a weekly event. In fact, one suspected that both had prepared the insults to hurl well in advance.

1856. The fart cushion

Hilton was a little bit surprised when he opened his birthday present from Jude. Jude had been a life-long friend but lived far away. They still remembered each other’s birthdays and would send gifts through the mail. This year Jude had sent Hilton one of those trick fart cushions that you put on a chair and it sounds like someone farts loudly when they sit on it.

A fart cushion – or a whoopee cushion, whatever they’re called these days – was funny the first time; like back in 1842AD when Hilton saw (or rather heard) his first one. These days they were about as funny as a tetraplegic in a three-legged race. Why Jude had sent him one for his birthday was anyone’s guess.

Hilton wrote to Jude thanking him for his gift. Ha ha ha! said Hilton. It was great fun thank you. He fooled his three year old grandson who thought it was a scream. And so, Jude, it brought much joy on my birthday!

Hilton never worked out why Jude had sent him such a stale trick that was both useless and unfunny, and Jude never said. Which possibly explains why none of us, dear Reader, have the slightest clue either.

1806. Alleluia! the cat

Christina and Florrie lived in the same house and shared a pet cat. They called their cat “Alleluia!” because it brought such joy. The exclamation mark in the Alleluia! is an important part of the name, Florrie told the vet. Our cat is not simply “Alleluia” but “Alleluia!”

There were many other things that Christina and Florrie shared besides the cat. They shared cooking and meals, for example, and cleaning the house. They shared a glass of wine before the evening meal. They shared the rent. They had shared like this for thirty-two years. It was not only companionship; it saved money. How much cheaper it is to heat a single house rather than two.

Every day the cat would curl up at wine-time on the mat between Florrie and Christina’s armchairs. It was part of the daily ritual. Alleluia! was now seventeen years old, as far as they knew. It had adopted Florrie and Christiana. They had no idea where it came from. They advertised with photographs but no one came forward. Alleluia! was there to stay.

And then, very suddenly, just as they were one evening pouring a wine, Christina had a stroke and died. Florrie had to make all the arrangements for Christiana’s funeral, while she herself was devastated. Admittedly it gave something for Florrie to do, something to occupy her mind, but she never imagined that such feelings of grief were possible.

When all was over, Florrie still had Alleluia! It was a connection, a support. The cat was a living link. In fact, Alleluia! had taken over Christiana’s armchair in the evenings. It might sound silly, but Alleluia! was always there for Florrie to talk to.

And then Alleluia! took ill and Florrie had to have it put down.

1293. Mimi the mimic

Mimi was a wonderful mimic. She’d have the person’s voice, their laughter, their movement, off to a tee within minutes. She was the life of any gathering. People were in fits. They were in hysterics. And of course to make matters even funnier, Mimi would imitate the people as they laughed. It was a vicious circle. She had a knack of making people helpless; they would literally roll on the floor.

When she died fairly suddenly, no one had much to say at her funeral because they didn’t really know who she was.

1269. Don’t bother waking me

Noel had been a widower for three years. He lived alone.

His life-time friends, Nancy and Bert, said, “Why don’t you come up to our summer house in the woods for a few days?” So Noel did that. This was his third year going for a short time.

On the first evening they had a few drinks and chatted and reminisced. And then it was time for bed.

“Don’t bother waking me in the morning,” said Noel.

And indeed, they could not have if they tried.

Poem 33: Take flight

(The poetic form selected for this month is the ghazal, and this is the last one for the time being!)

Godwits wade, and in late summer light, take flight.
Gulls on beaches, crowds in black and white, take flight.

Old owls wake at dusk and opening wide each eye
(Stealthy phantom hunters of the night) take flight.

Nectar-feeding bellbirds in white blossom trees,
Hearing gravel footsteps near, take fright, take flight.

Raptors rip apart a captured careless hare;
Falcon, eagle, vulture, hawk and kite, take flight.

Ducks waddle in a hapless clumsy manner,
But unmindful of their shuffling plight, take flight.

Dodos without wings were stuck upon the ground;
Bruce’s blogging friends, with visions bright, take flight.

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.”

398. Ten friends

398friends

Grandma Joyce was practical to a T. Very down to earth. She shot from the hip. She told it like it is.

That didn’t mean she was a grumpy old bag. Quite the opposite. Her grandchildren adored her.

Granddaughter Zara came to stay. She brought her little computer.

“Why couldn’t you leave that thing at home?” asked Gran. “We could do things then.”

“But I have so many friends on Facebook, Gran,” said Zara. “I have to keep up.”

“How many friends?” asked Gran.

“Two thousand seven hundred and forty-five,” said Zara proudly.

“Ten friends are too many,” said Gran. “If you have ten friends, you’re doing something wrong.”