Saturday, September 28, 2013

Being in love with a bear

It’s awkward being in love with a bear 
First off, what can you say to the parents? 
You can say, “He’s dedicated to work 
’Cause, Dad, bearhood is no song and dance 
No beer, no skittles, no coffee breaks
Eating offal from seals takes real stamina.” 
You can say, “Daddy, at least he’s white and 
Remember what you said about Angelo 
Yes you did too say that and I was so 
Ashamed I wouldn’t visit you for months and
Yes, such arguments divert the parents 
But truth told, being in love has got to be 
Awkward, standing hair on end. 

Image: Catrin Welz-Stein.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

HEY! (The already-outdated kimchi taco chant)

HEY! is the new hi rooibos the new chai
gluten is the new egg yolk fake’s the newest fur
kimchi the new taco and gambling new tobacco
for hipsters the new yuppies labradoodles their new puppies
sigh for rhinos the new dodos clap for katniss the new frodo
winning hunger like a new board game but HEY!
HEY! it’s the new hi syria’s in the news why
war is lame the new retarded like wispy bangs the new cross-
HEY! they’re the next hi and netflix the new sky’s
got ben the latest batman wearing cheetah: the new black. HEY!

Image: Steamy Kitchen.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Falls

At the age of four, Sarabeth Harcourt let her best toy, a squeaky dog named Benji, slip over the railing to Niagara Falls. The experience transformed her. She became so listless, her mother sometimes turned the lights off in a room, not realizing Sarabeth was there. At 16, Sarabeth continued to sit in the dark, indifferent even to a toothache. Her mother took her to the dentist nonetheless. There, Sarabeth saw a pale, freckly boy emerge from the dentist’s room. “The nitrous will wear off soon, Benji,” the dentist reassured him. “Okay,” the boy squeaked. Sarabeth fell tumultuously in love.

Image: OLX.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Getting Sick in the Dark Ages

The Dark Ages were a strange and earthy time for sickness. You could suffer from “dew-worm” (ringworm). Your sudden pain could be from elf-shot. Your cure could come from sheep dung or stale urine.
     Should a time machine ever thrust you back, here are 10 words from Old English Leechdoms (ca 1150) that might be good to know:
     tarse – penis
     lant – stale urine
     fast – constipated
     attery – venomous
     share – pubic region
     clock – a stomach sound
     sigalder – charm or incantation
     to fnast – to pant, or breathe fire
     gound – foul matter secreted by the eye
     treddle – sheep poop (this word evolved toward “turdyll”).

Image: Terra Vim.
Definitions: OED Online.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Real Doctor

“Huh,” said the technician and left, which wasn’t exactly how Maggie thought pre-natal ultrasounds worked.
     After half an hour, an intern stepped in, nodding hello furtively. He looked about 16 and shifted the ultrasound wand around like he was learning to drive stick. “Huh," he said.
     “Isn’t my baby okay?” Maggie asked.
     “Baby?” said the intern, wearily. “That’s an island inside you.”
      Thankfully what looked like a real doctor arrived just then. “Diagnosis?” she asked, calm and crisp.
     “Island," said the intern, uncertainly adding, “The bridge looks manmade."
     “Huh,” said the real doctor. “I’d say archipelago.”
     Maggie began to scream.

Image (and additional stories inspired by it): Magpie Tales

Monday, September 16, 2013

Orchard Kiss

Marianne had been having another spell where she could not stop talking about what life would have been like in the city. She was laying on the chesterfield with her eyes jammed shut, but her body like a bird in a shallow grave, and Clyde no longer knew what a man could say. He remembered their first kiss, years back. They’d heard a train whistling, past the orchard, and Marianne broke off the kissing to say how romantic it’d be, being on a train, going somewhere. Maybe he should’ve thought clearer back then, but her hair had smelled like quinces.

Image: The Garden of Eating.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Terminal Bouquet

Dialling Yolanda’s number made his hands jitter but this time, she hadn’t hung up. He told her he’d changed – he’d started listening, started being there for people. He’d pick her up at the airport, he promised, her and her newborn baby, leave work early, borrow a carseat, anything for an old friend.
     He bought her roses, the same pink as when they’d started dating. In case she’d think he was pushing his luck, he laid them atop of the stroller, saying, “Pink for your baby girl!”
     “I told you I named him Sebastian,” Yolanda hissed, flinging the bouquet down.

Image: Ron Thompson, who first caught this bouquet here.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Barcelona Bouquet, Part V

Last call at my gate.
      Eyes closed, concentrating, I heard the click of heels on marble. She’d returned! Wearing a short skirt, she knelt carefully to gather the bouquet in, straightened and spotted the fallen petals...
      No – he’d come back. He stopped over the flowers, glanced round (everyone looked away) and stooped to pick them up. Then he examined them closely, his expression unreadable. Unseen beneath his feet the petals turned to pulp...
      No. It was the gate attendant. I boarded, leaving the case unsolved and worse – uncategorized. So which one was it: crime of passion, or the lack thereof?

Photo by Ron Thompson at Barcelona Airport, August 2013
See how it began here.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Barcelona Bouquet, Part IV

They called my flight but I made no move to board: the mystery wasn’t solved.
      Callously abandoned? Why drop the bouquet there? Dump it in a trash bin, there’d be no questions then. Besides, it had landed with some force – witness the two detached petals splayed like corpses on the cold-slab floor. The physical evidence connoted passion, not indifference. Was there a phone call, a letter opened, a penny finally dropping from some comment made in passing?
      The flowers were pink, not red. It could still be a case of careless haste. 
      My stakeout continued, though time was running out.

Photo by Ron Thompson at Barcelona Airport, August 2013
See how it began here.  See the conclusion here.

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