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The Companions

It was March 5, 2019. My wife, Linda had returned home from work.  She stood at my TV room door and asked, “Did you have a good day and were you able to keep yourself busy.”

I replied, “I did OK and did not get too lonely.” She asked, “Are you ready for a companion dog?” I replied, “I would rather have a companion wife.”

She said, “Just hang in there a couple of more years and I will be retired and home with you.”

 

The Companions

Gabrielle and Dobson were young accountants working on the six floor of a high-rise office building in downtown Atlanta. They worked for Harris and Company, a large corporate accounting firm. Their cubicles were situated side by side at the back of the office.

They had a lot in common but had never said one word to each other as they were so shy and introverted. Besides, there was way too much work to be done and deadlines to be kept to be social. They would simply come to work go into their cubicles, put their heads down and go over their facts and figures. This had going on for months.

The other folks in the office simply ignored them or made fun of them behind their backs. They had nicknamed Gabrielle “Gabby” as she never spoke with anyone.  They nicknamed Dobson “Dudson” as he seemed to be void of any personality.

Gabrielle took a leave of absence for some six weeks. It had been rumored that she had some type of stress related incident. When she returned to work, she had a small mix breed dog with her.

It was explained to the staff that the small dog was a “companion dog”.  Supposedly, the little mix breed terrier was there to give comfort and support to Gabrielle and help her make it through her workday.  She called her companion dog “Lucky” and it would lie at the door to her cubicle while she worked away.

After a few weeks, Lucky started to edge his way over to Dobson’s cubicle. Gabrielle would go over to Dobson’s cubicle to retrieve him and, likewise Dobson would return Lucky to her.

One day when Dobson was returning Lucky to Gabrielle, he came face to face with Gabrielle at her cubicle entrance. They were so shy; they did not speak and only looked down at the floor.

When Dobson returned to his desk, he thought, “She really does have very pretty eyes.  I wish I would have introduced myself.”

The days went by and Lucky continued to creep off to Dobson’s cubicle. One day, when Dobson was returning Lucky to Gabrielle, she suddenly blurted out, “Would you like one of my homemade cookies?” Dobson quickly took one and rushed back to his desk. Gabrielle thought to herself, “Why did I say that?  He probably thinks I’m some kind of flirt.”

The next day, Dobson went over to Gabrielle’s desk.  He had finally worked up enough nerve to talk with her. He said, “That was the best chocolate chip cookie I ever had.” He then ran back to his desk almost embarrassed.

As time went by and with more trips back-and-forth with Lucky, Gabrielle and Dobson were finally talking with each other.  It got to a point that they didn’t need Lucky to start a conversation. Pretty soon, Gabrielle and Dobson were going out to lunch together.

Lucky started lying on the floor between their cubicles. He looked so contented.  He knew he had done his job well.

 

 

 

 

 

The Pranksters of Rome

It was February 20, 2019 and I was driving home from the downtown Senior Center.  There was a truck broke down on the road and the truck driver was at the back of his trailer tying to light a warning flare.  He was having a hard time striking it.  The scene took me way back to an incident that took my freshman year at college.  I couldn’t help but smile.

 

The Pranksters of Rome

It was 1969 and final exam time at the small liberal arts college in Rome, Georgia. Three freshman students had gathered in a dorm room to study for an exam. Each young man had an agenda. Dave was at college on a work scholarship, Doc was there with his eyes on becoming a doctor and Larry was there simply there to avoid the draft.

The idea was to try to find out what would be on the exam, share notes and hit on the important items. Dave said, “These final exams are so stressful and grueling. I feel like a piece of burnt toast.” Doc said, “Don’t fret Dave; it’ll be over in a few days.”

Larry said, “Enough of the idle chitchat guys.  I’m the dumb one that needs all the help.”

After a while, Dave said, “I can’t take any more of this.  I need a break.” Doc replied, “What we need to do is blow off some steam before we go nuts and I’ve got an idea. I’ll be back in a minute.”

Doc left the room and returned with an item in his hand. Larry said, “Just because you go to school in Rome, Georgia doesn’t give you the right to carry around a Roman candle.” Doc said, “It’s not a Roman candle it’s a railroad flare. Let’s take it down to the graveyard and set it off. It’s bound to scare the crap out the town.” Larry replied, “Let me study for about another hour and then we’ll go. We can leave about midnight.”

At 12 o’clock the three young men headed out to the Myrtle Hill cemetery. As they were walking up the cemetery hill Larry said, “Damn, it’s dark tonight. I can’t see my hand in front of my face.” Dave said,” I can’t see my face in front of my face.” Doc said,”Just follow the path and it’ll take us to the statues. We can set the flare off at the base of a tall statue and the statue should light up crimson red. We will scare the crap out of the entire town.” Larry said, “That sounds good to me.   At least I can go back to Miami with my head high knowing that I achieved something while away at college.”

The three young men finally made it to a tall statue of a Confederate soldier. Doc reached for his railroad flare. They all squatted at the base of the statue while Doc tied to strike the flare.  His hands were shaking so bad he was having a hard time doing it.

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Then they heard a deep voice behind a tombstone say, “Mama, I want you.   Mama, I want you.” Doc dropped the flare and three young men took off running down the hill.

When they got to the bottom of the hill they noticed that the railroad flare had been struck.  The statue of the Confederate soldier was glowing bright red looking like a devil that jumped out of hell.  They all agreed that it was a very scary site. The three young men went back to their dorm and went to bed.

The next morning while on the school bus going to the college, the incident at the graveyard was big talk among the students. Rick asked George, “Did you hear about what happened at the graveyard last night?” George said, ”Yea, it was in the morning paper that some pranksters set off a flare scaring the crap out of half the town. Even the mayor’s wife had to be taken to the hospital with heart palpitations”. Rick replied, ”Yes, the cops and the fire department were all out there. Whoever did that is should lie low for a while.”

Doc, Dave and Larry just sat there like church mice that had just eaten the communion bread.  Just then, a low shaky voice was heard from the back of the bus saying, “Mama, I want you. Mama, I want you.”

Doc, Dave and Larry whipped their heads around to see who said it.  There sat crazy Arnold, a sophomore grinning from ear to ear.

 

 

The Illusion

It was February 17, 2019 another cold and rainy winter’s day in North Carolina. I was sitting out on the back deck getting some fresh air when my wife, Linda came out to join me.

Linda asked, “What are you doing out here?  It’s cold and damp.”  I replied, “Just thinking about you, Greeneyes.

She smiled and followed with another question, “What is that loud screeching noise out in the woods?” I replied, “It’s a hawk calling out for its mate. It’s been doing that for several days now.” I added, “You know hawks mate for life.” Linda replied, “Kind of like people.” I replied, “Yes, like the lucky ones.  I hope he finds her.”

 

The Illusion

 

The old man walked slowly down his neighborhood road.  He was on his way to a bench that was his usual resting place in the sun.  He was tired, it was cold and his chest hurt. He hoped he could make it.

The old man was all alone now since his wife passed away several years ago. There was not a day that went by that he did not think of her. As a matter of fact, he thought her every minute of every day. They had been lifelong mates and totally devoted to each other. He thought, “If only I still had her here with me.  I miss her so much.”

As he walked down the road, a hawk flew over his head screeching for its mate. He thought, “I hope she returns to him and doesn’t leave him all alone with a broken heart.”

As he got to his resting spot, he noted that the hawk had landed on his bench still calling out for his mate.  As he got closer, the hawk vanished and in its place, was his wife.  She was so young and beautiful like the day they first met.  As the old man rushed to her, he grabbed his chest and collapsed to the ground.

High above on a winter’s day, there were two hawks flying side by side heading for the horizon.

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The Love Zombies

It was the late evening of February 7, 2019.  My wife, Linda had come home from work.  I passed the TV in the kitchen where Linda was preparing her dinner watching Fox news.  I couldn’t help but notice that a young congresswoman from NY was on TV talking, among things, about social justice, ecological wisdom and non-violence.  She was very young of Hispanic descent and apparently was a member of the Green Party.

I could tell Linda was getting very annoyed as she stood there shaking her head. I said, “I will have to get this covered in a new play. I have not written one in a long time.”  I turned and shuffled off to my music room and left Linda there still shaking her head.

 

The Love Zombies

Major Frimo: Colonel Flaccid, love zombies are massing on the edge of our major cities preparing for huge demonstrations.

Colonel Flaccid: Has the president been notified? We don’t want another incident like last year.

Major Frimo: Yes, I recall they marched right into our towns and had their way with the citizens smothering them with hugs and kisses and preaching their socialist propaganda.

Colonel Flaccid: Yes, you’re right we must think of our American way of life. I will call the President.

President Thumper: Those damn greenies.  They want everyone to have the same things even if they are unwilling to work for it.  Call mad dog.

Colonel Flaccid: President Thumper, Mad dog ran out into a field to take a dump and never came back.

President Thumper: Well there are plenty of other mad dogs in the military. Call one of them and take care of the problem.

Colonel Flaccid: President Thumper, we can’t just lock them all up. There are way too many of them.

President Thumper: Build walls around the cities.

Colonel Flaccid: President Thumper, love zombies are homegrown and many come from the cities.

President Thumper : Well what about the new vaporizer.   Is it perfected as yet?

Colonel Flaccid: It blew a fuse and melted a few of our most gifted scientist.

Major Frimo: I just got word that the love zombies have entered Atlanta. They have the citizens holding hands; smiling and chanting “down with the corporations, save the environment and give us clean machines”.

Colonel Flaccid: We can’t have this. It’s embarrassing and disgusting.  Next they’ll be infiltrating our military and putting flowers in our helmets.

President Thumper: It is time for strong actions. Get out the nerve gas and get my bunker ready…on second thought…, this could have a negative impact on my personal finances.  Hold off until otherwise informed.

The Prisoner of Paradise

It is January 31, 2019 probably the coldest day of this winter. I was taking out the trash and tripped landing face down onto the pavement. My lips became frozen to the ground and I had a hard time freeing myself.  I got up and went back into my house.

 

My old buddy from South Florida called and we chatted for a while. He is like a big brother to me and I’ve always looked up to him. He is extremely intelligent and a lot of fun to talk to.

 

I was telling him about the NC Department of Transportation re-configuring the road out in front of our neighborhood. I was complaining that this will result in a lot of aggravation for us as we will no longer have a traffic light to get out onto the main highway.

 

My buddy said that his situation was much worse due to gross over-development in South Florida. He said all the roads were like major traffic jams and it was hardly worth the hassle to try to get anywhere.

 

I said, “At least you live in paradise and not this frozen tundra.”  He replied, “What good is living in paradise if you can’t go anywhere.

 

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The Prisoner of Paradise

Burgess sat on the end of the dock and looked out over the ocean.  The sun was going down and it was the end of another day.  He was not meditating; he was reflecting.

Burgess concluded that he had wasted his life and it was all so terribly disappointing.  He really couldn’t come up with one positive event in his entire life.  He seemed to be living in hell.  He thought,”The only thing left to do is slip off into the water and sink to the bottom. I will open my mouth, breath the water and end it all.”

 

About halfway down to the bottom, Burgess changed his mind and began to swim back up to the surface. When he reached the surface, he found an old man in a little wooden rowboat waiting for him. The old man asked, “You’re trying to make up your mind aren’t you?”

 

Burgess looked at the man’s face and saw his reflection in the old man’s eyes.  He thought what a pathetic human being he had become.  Burgess got into the boat with the old man.

 

The old man said, “If you like, you can come with me and find paradise.” Burgess questioned, “Where is that?” The old man did not answer and just rowed out into the fog.  As they came out of the fog, Burgess saw they had come to an island.

 

Burgess asked, “Is this paradise?” The old man said, “It can be but you will have to get out and see for yourself.” The old man added, “But once you step onto the island, you can never leave.”

 

Burgess said, “Well it’s got to be a better place than where I came from so I guess I’ll get out here.” The old man said, “Well, if you have decided, I will leave you here.”

 

As it turned out, the island was a perfect paradise and each day Burgess spent on the island was a beautiful experience. On the island, there was no hatred or conflict. There were no expectations, no responsibilities and no one to satisfy. Each day Burgess did exactly what he wanted to do and each day met his full desires.

 

After a couple of years, Burgess began to bore with his life on the island.  Each day was the same and each day had the same outcome. Burgess began to miss the challenge and uncertainty of his past life.  This began to haunt him and he found himself missing his past life more and more. Burgess realized that he had become a prisoner of paradise.

 

Out of the fog, the old man with the reflective eyes returned in his boat.  The old man looked down upon the bloated body of Burgess floating in the water. The old man thought, “When will these humans ever learn that paradise can only be found in one’s mind and happiness is what you make it.”

 

The Condo Kemosabees

THE CONDO KEMOSABEES

 

I have not done a post to Dog-Eared Writer in a long time.  I have been busy with other things to include working on my old Pontiac, building an electric tricycle and just being an old retired man.  My wife, Linda is still working so I have a lot of time each day to kill.  Today, it is ass-bone cold and hence I stayed inside for my entry to Dog-Eared Writer.

 

The Grand Prix came out fine for a poor boy restoration.  It took me a long time to complete and just about wrecked my old decrepit body but at least I now have a big, fast “gasser” to drive to lunch.  It does turn some heads.

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The electric tricycle is a thing of beauty with its recumbent frame and low-boy rear end.  I needed something to get me outside other than yard work and this did the trick.  If I get tired of peddling, I just turn on the electric motor and up and over the hills I go.  People keep asking me, “Where can I get one?”

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Sometimes while out on my trike, I stop to talk to people that are walking their dogs.  This gives me the opportunity to pet their dogs.  My dog, Marilyn passed away a couple of years ago and not a day goes by that I don’t grieve.  She is shown on my home page.  Every dog in the neighborhood knows me and I know them by their names.  When they see me coming on my trike, they wag their tails and come over to me to say hello.

 

Yesterday, my granddaughter, Olivia came over for a visit.  She is sweet and smart and a joy to be around.

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Whenever my Grandkids come over, I try to give them a little something or a bit of knowledge to take home with them.  Yesterday with Olivia, it was an introduction to “Don Quixote”.  I had a little wooden statute of ‘ole Don and explain to Olivia how Don made the tragic mistake of confusing fantasy and reality.  I don’t think she understood the concept I was relaying, but she did like to idea of chivalrous ideals.  She went home with Don in her hand and one day; I hope she reads the book.

 

Of course, as I get older, there are more trips to the doctors and life for me these days seems to an endless doctor’s appointment. I will not bore you with the details but I do suggest that you get routine examinations.  As a result of a routine upper GI I had several months ago, my gastroenterologist found an anomaly in my stomach.  Upon further study, it was found to be cancerous tumor. Fortunately, they found it early on and cut it out.  Man, I really got lucky on that one.

 

One day last week, I went to my urologist for my annual exam. He is an Asian fellow by the name of Dr. Yowee.  I thought that was an odd name until he told me to bend over- YOWEE!

 

As I was pulling up my pants, he said, “You got a huge one”. I joked, “I wouldn’t say it’s huge but my girlfriends are not complaining…”  He cut me off and said, “I’m talking about your prostate gland.  Are you still taking your finasteride?

 

THE CONDO KEMOSABEES

 

Fred, Mort and Jules had become the best of friends since moving into a high-rise condominium on the east coast of south Florida called the Points of the Atlantis. Like most close friends they had a lot in common to include being retirees, having arrested maturities and enlarged prostate glands.

 

When outside of their apartments, the three old men would be inseparable. They would be seen around the condominium talking and laughing and it wasn’t unusual for them to make inappropriate comments and do childish things.

 

They liked to hang out in the condo lobby where they would have their coffee and ogle any female under 60 years old. Fred and Mort would have a conversation while Jules would be their audience and chuckle like a fourth grader. This is what they were doing early one day when a female resident came walking by. Fred said, “Man, I’d like to nail that one.”  Mort replied, “You would nail an iguana if it would let you.” Just then, Carlos the Cuban-American desk clerk came over the public address system chattering away in his pathetic, broken dialect saying something about “pipes”.

 

Fred laughed and said that Carlos had been one of the first Cuban immigrants to arrive in the country and would probably be the last one to learn English.   He asked, “Does anyone have the faintest idea of what Carlos just said?”  Mort said he thought Carlos was talking about the condo plumbing.

 

A security Guard by the name of Jose’ walked by and Fred ask him what Carlos had said.   Jose’ said Carlos was telling the residents that the plumbing at the condominium was to be under repairs for the next few days and the apartment dwellers should not to use their water or flush their toilets during the time of the repairs.

 

The three men looked at each other horrified.  Fred said there was no damn way he could make it down 30 flights to use the lobby restroom.  He said, “When it comes on, it comes on fast, hard and strong.”  Mort and Jules agreed.

 

Mort said, “Fellows, do you know how many times I go to the bathroom each day? Fred replied, “Does that include each night too?” And finally Jules had something to say and added, “My Fitbit has me taking 500 steps every night and that’s just when I wake up to go to the bathroom.”

The three men agreed they needed a plan. They huddled together and shared their ideas. Fred said, “Why don’t we piss down the trash chutes?”  Mort replied, “There are cameras out there and people coming in and out all the time. We are bound to get caught.”

Mort said, “How about wearing diapers?”  Fred replied, “Man, those things stink and leak and I don’t want to get a rash on my ass.”  Jules just chuckled.

Fred said, “I got it.  How about empty milk jugs?” Mort replied, “What are you gonna do strap one to your dick?” Jules laughed and Fred said, “No you fool.  We will fill up empty milk jugs with our pee and later pour it out.” The three men agreed that would be their best path and out they went looking for empty milk jugs.

Condominium residents, Margaret, Susie and Betty were returning from their nightly beach walk when Margaret said, “Do you feel that warm ocean spray on your face? Isn’t it invigorating?” Susie said, “Well, that’s one of the many wonderful benefits of living on the beach.”

Meanwhile, there was Mort emptying his milk jug from his 29th floor balcony.

 

 

 

 

The Game

It was April 19, 2017. Spring had finally arrived in North Carolina and the trees were full of fresh green leaves.

My mind was focused on fishing and I had been on the Internet learning about various kinds of fishing line knots. I decided to go to the garage and practice tying some of them.

I took the most direct route cutting through my wife’s TV room. Linda was there, as usual, watching the news. President Trump was on FOX honoring the New England Patriots for their most recent Super Bowl win.

It appeared they were going to give Donald a helmet and a jersey. This would also give Donald a chance to do some bragging about himself.

Looking over the players there at the White House, there appeared to be several faces missing.  I asked Linda, “We know where Aaron Hernandez is but where is Tom Brady?”

She gave me her usual expression of dull disgust and answered, “I guess he couldn’t make it. So do you want to fallow with one of your usual wisecracks?”

Walking out of the room, I remarked, “Well, does this mean Donald will still get his helmet and Jersey.”

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The Game

Halftime was over at the Middletown High School football game. The marching band had left the field taking with them their horns and drums. The cheerleaders had left the field taking with them their large smiles and perky breast.

It was now time for the Hawks to burst onto the field. They came running out full steam to the sidelines followed by the coaches and water boys. Oddly, their star quarterback, Dremel kept running past the sideline player’s bench.

He ran high into the stands to the top most left-hand corner of the stadium. He then took off his helmet and sat down.  He seemed to be just looking out as if he was in a dream.

Coach Frosty saw him up there and wondered what the heck was going on. He called over Dremel’s best friend, their fullback, Calhoun. Coach Frosty ordered, “Calhoun, run up there and find out what’s going on with the Dremel.”

Shortly thereafter, Calhoun reported back to coach Frosty. Calhoun told Coach Frosty that Dremel had little to say only that he was “tired of playing the game”.

Coach Frosty yelled back, “What do you mean he’s is tired of playing the game?  We’re winning aren’t we?”

The cheerleaders were beginning to chant, “We want Dremel. We want Dremel.”  Soon the entire side of the stadium was chanting the same thing.

Dremel just sat there leafing through the pages of his life. He thought of his over demanding father and neurotic self-abusive mother and how they seemed intent on dismantling his psychic.

He saw his girlfriend sitting down by the first row. He wondered if she really loved him or was just living vicariously off his fame.

He thought, “I never really wanted to play football; it’s just been a way to get away from home and try to win a scholarship. It’s that or the draft”.

As the cheerleaders and crowd continued with their chanting, Dremel stood up putting back on his football helmet. People got all excited screaming, “Dremel’s coming back into the game! Dremel’s coming back into the game!”

Surprisingly, Dremel turned around and climbed up onto the back stadium railing.  He stood in perfect balance on the top rail, raised his arms over his head and screamed out loudly “Yeehaw” while executing the most beautiful, flawless swan dive into the parking lot below.

 

The Old Man and the Tree

It was Sunday March 5, 2017.  I was looking forward to this day as my granddaughter; Olivia was coming over to play ukulele with me.  I was going to teach her a “Blues” tune – an old standard called, “Sitting on Top of the World”.  She is a great student and pays close attention and tries her best.  She brought her tenor ukulele and we got right to it.  Just watching her makes me want to hug and squeeze her.  When she comes to a tough cord, she sticks out her tongue for a little help.

After a while, she said, “Papa, let’s take a break; my hand is tired.”  I answered, “Good idea, the old man needs a break too.”  She then looked at me and said, “You’re a good age; just right for a papa.”   I said, “Getting old is not so bad and it sure beats the alternative.”  She asked, “What’s the alternative?”

The Old Man and the Tree

The old man shuffled out the back door and sat in his rocking chair on the deck. He had been alone in his big house since his wife died several years back.

They had been married for 51 years and it was like he had died too.  The autumn sun made the lines on his face more pronounced as he sat there rocking.  His kids and grandkids would come over every now and then to visit with him. He was particularly close to his granddaughter that mostly cared for him. He would mainly just sit around and reminisce. This was not so bad as he had lived a good life and had a lot of good memories.

As he sat in his rocking chair, he looked out upon the old oak tree in the middle of his backyard.  He began to recall how his children and grandchildren used to play on the tree. He thought of his last dog and how she used to lie under the oak tree in the shade on hot summer days.

He remembered how the tree always attracted birds and squirrels. Now the tree was dying and full of ants but, he thought, “It looks like it will out live me.” He and the old oak tree had a lot in common.  They had provided for his family.  Now the oak tree was just like him – old, worn out and sickly.  He would give anything just to relive some of his memories.

He thought that was all OK as they had lived good lives. He thought to himself that it was not so bad to be old and near death as long as you could maintain your self-respect and know that you are still loved. He had no regrets and was not afraid of dying.

It started to get cool outside as the sun was going down. He would go inside, prepare himself some dinner and then go to bed.

That night while he was in bed, a heavy storm came along blowing down the old oak tree. The old man did not hear the large tree crash down as he had already departed.

In the morning, his granddaughter came over to check on him. She knew something was not right as when she opened the door, he was not there waiting for her.  She yelled out to him, “Papa, do you know the old oak tree is down on the ground?”  There was no reply.  She went looking for him and found him lying in his bed.  It was obvious that he had passed away in his sleep.

On his nightstand there was a photograph of his wife, his pocket watch and a hand-written note.  The note read, “I love you all very much.  Take care of yourselves and I hope your lives will be as good as mine was.”

Don One

It was Saturday February 25, 2017.  I had spent the past two weeks tearing down my office feeling I would not need it anymore.  I had finally retired. Dismantling the office was a bitter-sweet experience but now I just wanted to get done with it.  All the office furniture had been given away or thrown away and I had a paper shredding company out to shred a mountain of closed files that I had stored in four tall filing cabinets in the garage.

My wife, Linda noted I was tired of the process and said would help me finish up.  Besides she was anxious to convert the room into a bedroom.  We would have the painters in and then start looking for some bedroom furniture.

Linda said, “Lawrence, you sure had a lot of stuff in here.  Do you want to keep anything?”  I replied, “This represents twenty years of my life as an independent insurance adjuster.  Let’s just throw it out and move on.”  Linda, trying to cheer me up, said with a cute little smile, “I thought you sold sausages for a living.”

She then found a stack of my short stories and asked, “What about these?”  I told her to throw them out as I had stored them on an external drive when my office computer started giving me problems.  Linda reverted back to sarcasm saying, “Oh no, not the loss of your short stories.  That would be a crime against all humanity.”

attachment-0Seeing I was getting agitated by her remarks, Linda asked, “Have you written any new stories lately?”  I said, “Well, if you are really interested, I have been muddling one over in my mind lately called, “Don One.”   Linda asked, “Did you say Don Juan?  Is it a romantic story?”  I replied, “No, I said, Don One.  It an urban term.  Look it up on Google.”

 Don One

Don Crump sat in the conference room of the executive offices at the Short and Sweet Sausage Company.  He was flanked by his senior executives.

He said, “Well, it’s up to you people to solve our problems.  You know the company sales have been down for over a year now.  The government has been no help with all their regulations and the media crucified us regarding those food poisoning claims we had a couple of years ago.  We need to roll up our sleeves, get to work and make Short and Sweet Sausage great again.  We will have a production meeting this Friday.”  He then left the conference room leaving his crew behind.

The executives filed out to include Paul, Reggie and George.  The three men went directly to the men’s room.  As they stood in front of the urinals Paul said, “Mr. One really likes to hear himself talk.”  George said, “Yea and what an ego.  I can’t believe he wants us all to call him Mr. One not to mention always talking about his hair and his money.”  Reggie replied, “And what goes with the circle sign with his fingers?” Paul said, “He trying to emphasize a point.”  George said, “No man, he wants someone to insert a sausage in his hole.”  George laughed and said, “That’s it.  He should have told us all to call him old sausage hole not Mr. One.”

Reggie laughed and said, “Speaking of sausage insertion, have you seen his wife?”  Paul replied, “Yea boy, what a knockout.  They said Mr. One found her while looking for the perfect baloney in Europe.”  George said, “I would say he found the perfect baloney babe.”  Reggie said, “Yea, when Mr. One got her to the states, he renamed her Valdaya.”  George said, “Cool, let’s have a Valdaya sausage party.”

Reggie said, “I could handle Mr. One if he wouldn’t contradict himself so much and be such a bigot.  He says he wants to send all the Mexicans back to Mexico but yet most of all his factory workers are Mexicans.”  George replied, “Yea, he makes his Mexican workers enter the plant through the back gate.”  Paul said, “Well at least he doesn’t make them climb the back fence to come to work.”

Reggie replied, “We had best get back to making Short and Sweet great again.”  The three men went out the bathroom door.  Then the toilet flushed in stall number three and out popped Mr. One looking red-faced and infuriated.

Mr. One thought to himself, “When I get back to my office, I going to fire all three of them.”  He then reflected as he washed his hands and looked into the mirror, “Those are my three best managers.  What will I do it all my employees feel that way?”  He told himself, “I’ll do what the politicians do when they are confronted with a problem.”

He went into his office and summoned his secretary.  He ordered, “Betty, call Valdaya and tell her to meet me in Palm Beach.  We’re going on a vacation.”

 

 

 

Smilin’ Papa Lawrence

February 13th seemed like a summer day as I sat in the sun and contemplated my recent play, “The Wall”.  I had already got some feedback and as I anticipated, half the folks liked it and half the readers hated it.  I thought, “Well, that’s life, these days, here in the good ‘ole USA.  I can’t control their reactions and I don’t really care.  I just write ’em.  My wife didn’t comment one way of the other only to say, “Really, Lawrence, a play.  I thought your thing was short stories.  Next you’ll be writing poetry.

 

Smilin’ Papa Lawrence

Born a square peg,

In a world of round holes.

But I’ll keep movin’ onward,

Just to save my weary soul.

Smilin’ Papa Lawrence,

You don’t know the state I’m in,

You’ll never see me down,

‘Cause I always wear a grin.

Don’t likes it on the left,

Don’t likes it on the right,

But that don’t confront me,

I ain’t lookin’ for a fight.

Smilin’ Papa Lawrence,

You don’t know the state I’m in,

You’ll never see me down,

‘Cause I always wear a grin.

Big boss man don’t like me,

He says I just don’t fit,

But I just keep on a smilin’,

‘Cause he knows I’ll never quit.

Smilin’ Papa Lawrence

You don’t know the state I’m in,

You’ll never see me down,

‘Cause I always wear a grin.

You say you don’t understand me,

Sure can’t help you there,

I ain’t taking sides,

‘Cause I don’t really care.

Smilin’ Papa Lawrence,

You don’t know the state I’m in,

You’ll never see me down,

‘Cause I always wear a grin.