Tag Archives: micro

1842. A garden makeover

It was possibly the most exciting thing that had happened to Clarence in a long time. It had been a terrible year; a terrible, terrible year. And now this happened! How wonderful!

In January his wife had died after a long and painful illness. He had nursed her over the weeks. It had brought him to the edge of life. The only thing that kept him going was the thought that if he went there would be no one left to care for his wife. Their only child, a daughter, had long disappeared overseas in pursuit of an alternative lifestyle.

It’s amazing how sometimes lifelong friends abandon you in times of need. Only a few came to her funeral. Friends over the years had drifted away during his wife’s illness and proved themselves no friends at all. That hurt Clarence more than anything. In fact he had trouble drumming up enough pallbearers to carry the coffin.

Clarence thought that the only solace would be in his garden, but that had gone to wilderness during his wife’s illness. Somehow, after the funeral, the heart had gone out of the garden. Clarence tried to tidy it up a bit but he didn’t make much progress. And then he entered a competition for a free garden makeover. There were a number of conditions; the garden had to be substantial in size; the owner had to go away (all expenses paid) for a whole week while the garden got its makeover; the owner had to trust the garden designer’s ability to come up with a creative concept. Clarence thought he fulfilled all the conditions.

The phone went. It was the television company. They were to record the makeover. Clarence’s garden was on the shortlist. Would he mind the television cameras coming to film the garden before anything was done?

Next, a garden designer visited in person. She interviewed Clarence. What would Clarence like to see in the garden? Did he want a water feature? A patio/barbecue area? Trees to block out not the sun but the neighbour’s prying eyes?

Clarence said he’d like to be surprised. They could do with the garden whatever was creative, whatever would make it lovely. He had just the one request; his late wife’s name was Iris. Would it be possible to have a garden bed of irises in her memory? Of course it was! What a fantastic idea!

Anyway, Clarence’s garden wasn’t selected in the final choice, so none of the above mattered.

1837. Mother Thrush’s baby, Guzzle-Beak

“Now, now, Guzzle-Beak,” said Mother Thrush to her baby in the nest. “You must learn not to complain about your food. It doesn’t matter if you find a bit of lettuce in your caterpillar. Just quietly eat it and things will be fine. It won’t kill you.”

“Look at what happened to your brothers and sisters. There were five of you at the start, and they complained about the food. Next thing, they disappeared. It’s a nasty world out there and we must learn to be grateful for small mercies.”

“Your father and I have worn ourselves to a frazzle finding food for you. So a bit of appreciation wouldn’t go amiss. Taking a positive attitude to things will see you right in life. You’ll go places.”

Just then a hawk swooped down from nowhere, grabbed Guzzle-Beak in its talons, and flew off.

“Oh well,” sighed Mother Thrush eating the caterpillar she had brought for her baby and spitting out the bit of lettuce that was mixed in, “Mr. Thrush and I shall start a second clutch tomorrow.”

1836. Reap what you sow

Carol disliked Christmas immensely. It wasn’t because of people teasing her about her name, it was because everyone seemed to get Christmas presents and she didn’t get anything. All the other kids at school got presents, like Judith who got a doll when she already had one, and Marlene got a kitten.

It wasn’t because they were Jewish or anything either. Nor were they Christians. Her parents didn’t give her anything for Christmas but they seemed to go from one office Christmas party to another, and they even had a party at home with all sorts of decorations and lights and a tree.

On Christmas morning, no one pretended to come down the chimney, even though Carol left a peanut brownie that she had pinched from the cookie jar in the kitchen. But it was still there in the morning, and her parents slept in until eleven o’clock. To fill in the time waiting for them to get out of bed, Carol watched television on her own. And when they got up they never even said “Merry Christmas”.

“That’s because your parents are very busy,” said Marlene’s mother, Mrs. Brocklehurst. Carol spent quite a bit of time at the Brocklehurst’s house. Carol was dropped off there by her mother whenever she was having guests for an afternoon tea or dinner or something.

Anyway, that was years ago. These days Carol’s parents are in a retirement home. Carol’s mother is bed-ridden and her father is in a wheelchair. Carol never visits them. It’s not that she’s mean or anything; it’s just that it never occurred to her.

1835. Don’t overfeed pets

When Natalie came home from school she overheard her mother say to her little brother, “You’re not to do that again. It was very naughty.”

“But the cat was hungry.”

“I told you not to feed the cat between meals. It will get fat. So feed the cat only in the mornings and in the evenings. I’ve enough to do without having to run around covering up for your naughtiness.”

Later Natalie asked her mother what was wrong with feeding the cat, and her mother said that it was wrong to overfeed pets. “You should know that because of your goldfish. You can feed them too much and they overeat and die.”

For the rest of the day Natalie noticed that her little brother was pouting. He never liked being told off, and Natalie made it worse by reinforcing what their mother had said, and told him that “he shouldn’t overfeed his cat. You are a very naughty boy” – which made her little brother pout even more.

Later, when Natalie went to feed her goldfish it almost looked the same but she was pretty sure it was a different fish.

1822. You’re under arrest

“You’re under arrest,” said Ms. Plod the Policewoman.

The all-powerful Chairperson of the country had issued a decree making it compulsory for everyone to cover their face with a mask. Here was a group of three people not wearing such a mask.

“You’re under arrest,” repeated Ms. Plod the Policewoman.

“We’re just grabbing a bit of healthy sunshine,” they replied. “What’s wrong with that?”

Ms. Plod the Policewoman looked down. She was a little embarrassed. What a silly thing it was to have been instructed to go about arresting people not wearing a mask.

The three under arrest offered no resistance. Thank goodness for that! It was always difficult putting handcuffs on more than one person if they objected. Especially if she was working alone. The Chairperson of the country had decreed that every member of the police force must arrest at least six people a day for not wearing a mask. Six! That is why Ms. Plod the Policewoman was doing the job wearing the same as everyone else, as a civilian, incognito, so as to catch people by surprise.

Fortunately Ms. Plod the Policewoman was adept at quickly reaching the daily quota.

“You’re under arrest,” she’d say. Generally speaking these three guys in the nudist colony were a pretty docile bunch.

1814. So talented!

Charlotte didn’t have a single humdrum electron whizzing around in her brain. Her brain was on fire!

“You’re so creative, Charlotte,” people would say. “How do you come up with so many creative ideas?”

“I guess it’s a natural gift one is born with,” said Charlotte, and she would return to the painting she was painting, or the music for the Irish harp she was playing, or the sundial she was installing in the garden.

“Everything you touch turns to gold, Charlotte,” people would say. “You definitely have the Midas touch.”

“I don’t do anything to encourage it,” said Charlotte. “Things just come naturally to me,” and she went back to baking her Baked Alaska for she was have important friends over for dinner, or back to the rug she was weaving, or back to the dress for a niece’s doll she was sewing, or back to making homemade candles for a friend’s 30th birthday, or back to the lines she was learning for a dramatic production.

The extolling of Charlotte’s talents among her peers was like a mantra; it repeated itself over and over. “It’s sad you can’t find a job in this small town,” someone said. “Why don’t you move to the big city where your talents would be put to good use?”

So Charlotte moved to the big city in search of a job. What a relief! Quite frankly, Charlotte had driven everyone in the small town nuts.

1811. The stamp of fame

Lois tried to post on her blog daily. Her postings were open to comments and likes. In fact, she felt quite thrilled when someone commented or gave her a like. It was as if putting time into creating a post was worthwhile, particularly if the comment said that her posting had been helpful.

Then one day someone posted a comment that was a bit rude: Why don’t you write about something interesting, you weasel?

Lois was a bit upset about it, but not too much. She continued to write and post. The comments got more vehement. Why don’t you write about something we can all understand? You’ve got your head in the clouds thinking that people are interested in such rubbish. I wish you’d stop annoying the hell out of people like me.

Lois could have deleted the comment but she left it on her blog, although she didn’t respond to it. She wondered why the commenter bothered to even read her blog. However, someone else came to her defence.

Professor Lois Stinghammer is the world’s leading expert in Neurocardio Conversigence. She blogs daily to help those of us who suffer from such a disease. We understand better what is happening to us and what we must do to help alleviate our condition. Thank you, Doctor Lois for your time and kindness, and a pox on Jello-in-the-kitchen for their rude and inconsiderate reaction.

Of course Neurocardio Conversigence wasn’t a disease that existed, and nor was Lois a doctor, but it wasn’t long before both got their own page on Wikipedia.

1810. Creative names

“One shouldn’t,” said Angel, “simply name ones children with a name you like. They should be named associated with any event or circumstance that surrounds their birth. To call someone ‘Jane’ is meaningless. One could choose the weather of the birth day instead with Rain or Sunshine or Cloud or 90%-Chance-of-Precipitation. One could choose world events and come up with names such as Africa or Iran or Qurghonteppa, depending on the news. One could call a boy (or even a girl) Arachnid if there was an infestation of spiders at the time; even Funnel Web or Chilean Recluse.

The exciting thing was that Angel was expecting twins. She secretly hoped that they would be born on the very day they were expected: the first day of May. That way she would name them May and Day. (Twins should always rhyme where possible).

But they weren’t born on the expected day. Angel named them according to the events in which they were born. One has to be honest. One has to be true to oneself. Mother and I-Feel-like-Shit-Warmed-Up and Snot are doing well.

1809. Beautiful shoes

Esther saw the shoes in the shop. They were black ankle boots. They were beautiful. They were expensive.

Almost every day she would look at the shoes. Yes, they definitely cost too much. If she had more money she could squander it on these shoes.

Esther showed the shoes to her friend, Caroline. Caroline agreed that the shoes were lovely. “They would suit you down to the ground,” said Caroline. Of course, Caroline admiring the shoes wasn’t going to get Esther the shoes! Carolina could ill-afford to buy the shoes as much as Esther.

Not having enough money didn’t stop Esther longing, and looking, and wishing, and hoping, and dreaming.

Then one day, the shoes were not there. They had been sold. Goodness knows who had purchased them. Some rich person no doubt.

As she walked along the dusty road, Esther was consoled by the fact that none of the other kids at school could afford shoes either.

1805. Motherly advice

Look, I told my son. Look, I said. I told you how to do it but you wouldn’t listen. And now you’re in deep trouble. You’re just like your father was, I said, always acting before thinking things through.

I tried to warn you, but oh no! Young people always know better these days. Well in this case I knew better, from personal experience. You didn’t listen, so now you’ll have to pay for the consequences on your own. I’ve achieved what you’ve achieved I suppose a dozen times or so, but without any of the hassle.

I’ve come across so many like you. They all thought they knew better. They just ignored common sense advice. And now look at them.

You know I’ve been wanting you to do what you did for a long time, but not in the way you went about it. If you’d asked me I could have given you names to help. From now on it’s nothing to do with me. Just don’t involve me.

If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you twice: if you were going to murder your father you didn’t have to do it yourself. You hire a professional. I could have helped with the cost. Now look at the mess you’re in.