Tag Archives: happy

2010. Happy Thanksgiving!

Every year, apart from whose turn it was to cook the turkey, the Haslett family drew lots as to who would bring what on Thanksgiving. Over the years it had crumbled a little into abeyance because Olga always did the pumpkin pie. In fact she usually did two pumpkin pies. Even those who detested pumpkin pie thought that Olga’s pumpkin pie was to die for.

With her husband off work now with various shut-downs, money was a little tighter than usual so Olga was pleased that in an earlier time she had made some pumpkin purée and stored it in the freezer. Everyone else was a little hard-pressed for cash too, so they all jointly decided that they would make do with ingredients they could find without too much extra expense. Decima’s husband had an excellent vegetable garden so the responsibility for side dishes fell to Decima – although Stacey said she’d do a salad. It was Connie’s turn to do the turkey, and Arnie was an expert at concocting homemade apple cider.

All went hummingly. It was pumpkin pie time! It didn’t look quite right, but Olga said she had varied the ingredients a little according to budget demands. Oh dear! It turned out not to have been pumpkin purée at all, but carrot soup. Both are orange. Everyone screamed with laughter, but coupled with an extra glass or two of Arnie’s homemade apple cider, all agreed it tasted none-too-bad.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!

1895. Cruel names

Merry was called Merry because she was born on Christmas Day. Clearly her parents didn’t realize that the proper spelling of Mary had also some connection with Christmas. Merry spent her entire life, as a punishment for her parents’ lack of knowledge, saying, “No! That’s not how you spell it!”

Just over two years later, when her little brother was born, it was New Year’s Day, so he was named “Happy”. It was a providential name because when he grew up and began a career in looting he shot a couple of policemen and was known within close circles as “Trigger Happy”.

There was a third child in the family. He was called Roger; short for Roger Mortis. The parents thought it a huge joke because he was born on the very day that Grandma died. Spelling was not the parents’ greatest strength so “Rigor” was registered as “Roger”. Otherwise if he had been born on an ordinary day of the year they had in mind to call the baby Plain Jane if a girl, and Joe Blogs if a boy. And then Grandma stepped up to the plate. Roger had escaped from having a life lumbered with silliness.

Honestly, a number of people were relieved that the parents didn’t create further children. “I’m sure any uncreated children would be more than grateful that they never came into this world,” declared a neighbour, Ms. Stacey Meldrum. Stacey herself has a host of kids. I can only remember the names of three of them; Tabernacle, Vernacular, and Genuflection. After these three Stacey developed an interest in organic chemistry.

1744. Toast for breakfast

Archie’s morning was always the same. It’s not that his life was regimented; it’s just that anything prior to nine in the morning, roughly the time when he awoke from his post-rising stupor, was done by rote. He would get out of bed; get partially dressed; turn on the coffee machine; feed the cat; check the news on his laptop; pour the coffee; put on some toast; and begin to have breakfast.

While he was eating his toast, always with raspberry jam, he would read the blogs he followed. There was one blogger who annoyed the hell out of him. The blogger was always killing people off. Every day it would be another story and another dead person. Sometimes death by poisoning, sometimes strangulation. Why couldn’t he write a happy story for a change? Nonetheless, Archie couldn’t help but sneak a peek every morning as he ate his toast. Possibly Archie, every morning, was hoping for something happy to happen in one of the stories. And would you believe…?

This day was sheer happiness! Freddy had fallen in love with Leonie at the school picnic. They were teachers at the school, not pupils. They had dated for several months and then Freddy proposed to Leonie. It was quite out of the blue.

“Yes! Yes!” said Leonie, beside herself with gladness. “Yes! Yes! Yes!” They kissed! They planned their wedding day! Oh happy day! Oh happy, happy day!

Archie, having breakfast, was beside himself with excitement. A cheerful story! For once something jubilant happens in this blog he followed daily! Oh happy day! Oh happy day indeed! To celebrate, Archie took a great big bite of the slice of toast he was eating.

He choked on it, and now he’s dead.

1520: Something nice to read while having breakfast

Thelma was not well-off; in fact she was practically skint. She had three children and they lived in a little house with a fairly basic rent. Thelma’s husband had been cleaning the spouting when he fell off the ladder and landed on his head. After the funeral, Thelma tried unsuccessfully to find a job. She wasn’t skilled at much. She had very little to go on, just a few savings that were kept in a tin in the cupboard under the kitchen counter. There was enough there for five weeks’ rent and a little food and the telephone and the electricity and some school books and… By being extra careful, and by doing without herself, Thelma managed to stretch things for a week longer than expected.

But the day came… There was no money left. In fact, that was not quite true; there was a two dollar coin in the tin in the cupboard under the kitchen counter. Thelma knew exactly what she would do with it. Before moving out of the house onto the street, Thelma would spend the two dollars on candy for the kids. It was a complete waste, she knew, but it would be an opulent extravagance; a sugar-coated memory; a throw-all-caution-to-the-wind celebration. The children were at school. When they came home she would give them a chocolate each and move onto the street.

On her way out of the house she picked up a letter on the floor that had been delivered through the door earlier that morning. It was from the landlord; did she realize she had missed paying the rent eleven weeks ago? Honestly, it was enough to break the camel’s back. Thelma burst into tears. She dabbed her eyes dry, tried to look reasonably respectable, and headed for the candy shop.

Here, gentle reader, is where you step in. I know you want something nice to happen, and quickly.

Thelma was the one millionth customer to walk through the door at the candy store. She got a great big free bag of candy in all colours, shapes and sizes – more than enough to rot the children’s teeth, if they couldn’t find anywhere to use a toothbrush out on the street.

On the way home Thelma gave the two dollars (and some candy) to a woman begging on the sidewalk. Surprise! Surprise! The woman was part of a “Why-not-make-someone’s day?” television show. For her kindness Thelma won six hundred thousand dollars!

And, dear reader, if you hadn’t had such a kind heart, such a wonderful thing would not have happened to Thelma. Here’s the moral: see how you have already changed the world for good, and you haven’t even finished your morning coffee yet!

1516: A surprisingly happy conclusion to a stressful experience

Anne had lost her wedding ring, but she knew exactly where it would be. Every day she made a loaf of bread. It had happened before. It would be in the baked loaf. It would have slipped off while she was doing the kneading. She was constantly telling herself to take the wedding ring off before make the bread. When would she ever learn?

She had just enough time to take the bread out of the oven before scurrying off in the family van to take her son and some of his friends to their hockey match. She would worry about the wedding ring later. And then on the way home she would pop into the supermarket to get a few things. Another parent was to drop the boys home.

Of course, when eventually she did get home the inevitable had happened: her son and his friends had scoffed down the entire loaf with heaps of butter.

“You make excellent bread, Mrs McElwey!” said Angelo Whatnotski.

“Did anyone find a wedding ring in the bread?” asked Anne.

No one had. Oh well, how stressful!

Later that day, just as she was peeling the potatoes for dinner, Anne spied her wedding ring on the bench next to the flour bin. She had taken it off after all! O happy day! O happy, happy day!

What a pleasure it is to behold a surprisingly happy conclusion to a stressful experience!

1220. Happy family

1220storyaday

Yvette and Franklin had tried to bring up their kids to live good, virtuous, and wholesome lives.

There was Nicole. She turned up to school early every day to prepare breakfast for those students who hadn’t eaten. She was always kind and generous.

There was Yves. He helped coach the Under 14 football team. He was a good all-rounder, both in his studies and on the sports field.

There was Ingrid. She played the piano. Ever intelligent and determined, she was a shining star in her academic endeavours, and such a bubbly personality. Goodness!

There was Toby. He was sour, uncooperative, lazy, selfish, and generally a pain in the posterior. He drove his parents to despair. They didn’t know where to turn.

These days you’ll find Nicole down at the street corner – if she’s not otherwise engaged – attracting clientele.

These days you’ll find Yves in… actually you won’t find Yves. No one knows where he is.

These days you’ll find Ingrid at the drug rehabilitation centre – on the wrong side of the process.

These days you’ll find Toby at his parents’ place, when he’s not working at the local plumbing shop. He’ll be mowing his parents’ lawn, or washing their car, or something.

574. Oh happy day!

© Bruce Goodman 7 May 2015

574mabel

(It has been pointed out that my stories are becoming more and more morbid and negative. “Can’t you write something positive,” has been the cry from some quarters. Ever eager to oblige, here then is a more optimistic story; one with a happy ending).

Mabel had been trapped in a loveless marriage for years. She had neither the energy nor the know-how to disentangle herself from what was now an insufferable burden. There was nothing else for it other than to grin and bear it forever.

And then suddenly one day she came home from shopping and her husband was dead.