Tag Archives: micro

1708. The Oxford Comma

Even though Aneliese was American and Quentin was British they managed to forge a relationship that spanned across the great Atlantic Ocean, and they married. The marriage was made in heaven, although heaven had omitted one important factor: Analiese used the Oxford Comma and Quentin didn’t.

For those who don’t give much of a hoot about what the Oxford Comma is, it is the comma that precedes the final “and” in a list. For example: The flag is red, white, and blue. That’s what Aneliese would write. Quentin would write: The flag is red, white and blue (without the second comma).

For each academic tome that Aneliese produced to prove her point, Quentin would provide another. The discussion thundered throughout their marriage, throughout the births of their six children, throughout retirement and venerable age. Eventually they both died. Their grown children planned the tombstone inscription:

Aneliese and Quentin, loved parents of Tom, Maggie, Jenny, Ernie, Zach, and Lucy.
Aneliese and Quentin, loved parents of Tom, Maggie, Jenny, Ernie, Zach and Lucy.
Aneliese and Quentin, loved parents of Tom, Maggie, Jenny, Ernie, Zach, and Lucy.
Aneliese and Quentin, loved parents of Tom, Maggie, Jenny, Ernie, Zach and Lucy.
Aneliese and Quentin, loved parents of Tom, Maggie, Jenny, Ernie, Zach, and Lucy.

The tombstone awaits. Discussion rages.

Repeat of Story 379: Beer garden

(This is the eighth and final story in a week or so of repeats. “Beer garden” first appeared on this blog on 24 October 2014. The picture is a detail of a wonderful photograph by Terry Barca. It was what inspired this story. In the photograph, every face could tell a story or two. WARNING: The story contains foul language.)

Yeah, well I’m standing there outside in this pub’s beer garden, and I’ve got a bottle of beer, Haägen I suppose, or something like that because the bottle’s green as far as I remember. And I’m talking to this chick. And she’s really boring.

Then this other guy comes along and starts talking to this chick, and they talk and talk like I’m not there. And I’m stuck with my back to the wall, and they’re in front of me, and there’s no way I can escape. I’m trapped. So I nod and smile like I’m interested (“so I just fed it some crushed cereal” she said), like it’s the biggest fucking deal in the world.

Then he asks if she’s got any other pets, and she said she had a cat but gave it away when it got the goldfish. I take a swig of the Haägen only to find there’s nothing left in the bottle. I say I’m going to get another drink, and it’s like I’m not there, he’s so into her fucking cat.

Eventually I say excuse me and push right past them and go to the bar and get another Haägen. And when I turn round, over at the chick there’s this big hulky bastard smashing a bottle over the head of the boring cat-lover. So I think, fuck this, if we’re going to get entertainment I might as well get a proper drink.

Like a bourbon and coke.

Repeat of Story 154: Mother Goose gives a lesson

(This is the fourth story in a week or so of repeats. “Mother Goose gives a lesson” first appeared on this blog on 13 March 2014.)

Mother Goose sat all the children in a circle on rugs around the fire.

“Let me tell you a Nursery Rhyme,” said Mother Goose kindly.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

“I believe,” said five year old Johnny putting up his hand, “that although it’s not explicitly described, Humpty Dumpty is typically portrayed as an anthropomorphic egg. Is this correct?”

“Well aren’t we a big know-all, you swollen-headed little prick,” said Mother Goose. “I don’t give a rat’s ass if Humpty Dumpty was a whatever-type-of-bird’s-egg-that-you-said or not. Go take steroids, you puny little nerdy slug.”

With that, she took the children and gave them some broth without any bread, and whipped them all soundly and sent them to bed. Just to teach them a jolly good lesson.

Repeat of Story 330: Blueberry-persimmon pie

(This is the third story in a week or so of repeats. “Blueberry-persimmon pie” first appeared on this blog on 5 September 2014.)

I’ve just spent all morning making a pie. It’s a blueberry-persimmon pie. I’ve never put those two things together before, and haven’t read of it. I hope it tastes okay.

It’s the persimmon season, and not the blueberry one. So I’ve bought a packet of blueberries imported from California or somewhere. The persimmons I got from a stall at the side of the road. Some kids selling bags of persimmons for three dollars each. There’s about twenty in each bag.

Making pies is not my thing. First of all, my husband goes crackers at me if I buy pastry.

“Just make the pastry yourself, you dumb idiot,” he says. So I have to sneak the bought pastry into the house, because, quite frankly, I can’t make pastry. In fact, I hide the pastry sheets in my neighbour’s freezer. She’s very good like that. She understands. And then when I need a sheet of pastry, I creep over and grab it out of her freezer. Provided my husband’s not home, of course. I couldn’t think of anything worse than him going ape-shit at me over a sheet of pastry.

So I mixed the blueberries up with slices of persimmon that I cut up. I hope my husband likes it. It’s a taste he might be a bit unfamiliar with, but at least I can say it’s something slightly new, and it doesn’t hurt to try things. Persimmons are as old-fashioned as the hills. I’ll tell him that. I’ll tell him that his great-grandmother would’ve had a persimmon tree. He likes history. He’ll like that. He’ll eat it because of his great-grandmother. Otherwise he’ll hit me and tell me to stop baking foreign shit.

I hope he eats it, and that the new taste will stop him from noticing the other stuff I’ve put in.

Repeat of Story 693: I was driving along quite comfy

(This is the second story in a week or so of repeats. “I was driving along quite comfy” first appeared on this blog on 3 September 2015.)

I was driving along quite comfy, thank you, with the radio playing a bit of head banging stuff, and following this hearse that must’ve been heading for a cemetery or a crematorium or a funeral parlour or somewhere. And suddenly the back door of the hearse flew up in the air and out fell a coffin.

Well I stopped immediately before I hit the coffin, which I did just a bit, and the lid cracked, and a bit of the side, and out popped a leg and a foot in a pair of brown trousers with a well-worn cosy slipper with a tartan pattern.

I tooted my horn furiously but the hearse kept going, like it was being driven by a robot or something and like the undertaker didn’t care. He was probably texting his girlfriend or something anyway and didn’t seem to notice the difference.

All happened so suddenly, in the flash of an eye, and the next thing the truck following me went wham straight into the back of my car. My car shot forward flat out and knocked the coffin in the air a bit and it fell down and sort of shattered completely open in the middle of the road.

A couple of bystanders were already watching, and one looked horrified and the other was laughing. And the back of my car seemed to be a bit of a wreck. I hope the hearse is insured because I didn’t have the money to fork out for a new car, or even to get the old one fixed.

All this was going through my head, and the next thing there was a police officer asking what had happened, and by now I didn’t have a clue. So I sort of repeated everything I’ve just told you now, and the police officer thought I was talking nonsense because I was shocked, and told me to wait over by the side of the road until he’d finished asking everyone else questions.

So that’s what I’m doing now; waiting for the cop to finish. The coffin’s still sitting on the road. Everyone is too busy telling the policeman what went on to worry about the body. It’s dead anyway. But I wish he’d hurry because I’ve got to sort out this mess about my wrecked car.

Here comes the hearse now. Maybe that’ll hurry things along a bit. And I hope no one believes the undertaker when he spins some cock-and-bull yarn about me starting the ball rolling when I hit the back of the hearse at full speed.

Repeat of Story 134: Veljka alights

(Today we begin a week or so of repeats. These stories are not necessarily the best, or the most popular, or the ones I like. I’ve chosen them fairly much at random so I can have the week off! This story, “Veljka alights”, first appeared on this blog on 21 February 2014. Some of you faithful followers who read and commented on this story back then are now old and haggard. Enjoy!)

Veljka began to notice Ramon at school. She was becoming quite infatuated by him; his good looks, his intelligence, his laugh, his sportsmanship, his studiousness, his jovial conversations. He was beautiful. But he hardly noticed her. She noticed him, saw him, heard him, all the time. She would sit in the back corner of the classroom paying little attention to the lessons. Her eyes were on Ramon.

How natural and lovely he was when he chatted away – to everyone but Veljka it seemed. She wasn’t part of his group. For the annual school dance, he asked Cassandra to be his date. Cassandra was a nice person. Veljka wasn’t the jealous sort. But it made her sad.

One day, Veljka was on the bus and Ramon got on. The bus was full, except for one seat next to Veljka. Ramon sat next to her. Their knees accidentally touched. Veljka’s heart raced. She thought she would burst. She thought she would die. She thought she would faint. She thought she would stop breathing. Ahhhh! He didn’t take his knee away.

“How’s it going?” said Ramon.

“Ah, ah, oh,” said Veljka.

“Tell me,” said Ramon, “is your hair naturally that shade? I notice it all the time at school.”

All the time! All the time! “Yes,” said Veljka. “It’s natural. But I was thinking of dyeing it.”

“Don’t dye it,” said Ramon. “It’s beautiful. I notice you all the time.”

Notice me! Notice me!

Ramon left the bus. “Catch you later,” he said.

“See you,” said Veljka. She got off the bus at the next stop. She had overrun her home stop by seventeen minutes. She danced the eight miles home.

1704. Snip! Snip!

Cornelius was in a good mind to ask for a divorce. He was an avid gardener and had told Constantia again and again, DO NOT CUT THE FLOWERS.

“What’s the point,” Constantia would say, “of growing flowers if they’re not for cutting and putting in a vase to brighten the day?”

“It might brighten the inside of the house,” said Cornelius, “but what about the outside?”

Cornelius did all the gardening. Constantia could have helped, but she didn’t. All she did was gather the secateurs, or sometimes the kitchen scissors, and go snip, snip, as if she didn’t have a care in the world.

Cornelius talked to his plants. They were his friends. He was convinced that talking to his plants increased their vigour, their beauty, their desire to please. Besides, they were much better company than Constantia. All she did was go out and kill the blooms.

Cornelius conceived a plan. It wasn’t one that Constantia was expecting. It came out of the blue; like a blue hydrangea or a blue larkspur. He filed for divorce.

It came as a massive shock to Constantia.

“That’ll teach you,” said Cornelius. “At least Suzie-Lou appreciates everything I do and won’t annihilate my flora.”