Tag Archives: humour

5 Books

 

If you were stranded on a deserted island what five books would you want to have with you. Knowing that you could be there for years or potentially the rest of your life. What would you want to read and why?

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien.

This book was published in 1937.  The image of Middle Earth, the fantasy land that was created by Tolkien in which the Hobbit is set, has always been my psychological sanctuary when times were hard. High school and university saw me visiting quite often. I had a very strong mental image in my head so I did not want to see the movie, sorry movies. I was afraid it would change how I saw my Middle Earth. I did see the movies recently and I was certainly not disappointed at all!

The Art of War by Sun Tzu.

Believed to have been penned in the fifth century BC. This book was written by a brilliant strategist on how to fight a war. In its simplest terms, that’s what it was created for. But over the more than 2000 years, it has come to be recognized as a treatise of incredible insights that can be used throughout life, not just war. This is a book that truly makes you think, makes you wonder… What if?

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare by William Shakespeare

He was active, it is believed, from the late 1500s to the early 1600s.  Comedy, tragedy, love stories. This consummate storyteller could keep me entertained for years. Each time I reread one of his plays I find something more that I had missed in the previous readings. And he’s got a lot works…

The Rubyat by Omar Khyam

A Persian poet from 1100 A.D. what’s not to love?  My mother read this book to me when I was a child. She would read for a few moments and then we would talk. These are moments I cherish in my memory and why this book is so important to me. It is also a beautiful love story that breaches time.

A Thesaurus

Did you hear the one about the young dinosaur who wanted to grow up to be a thesaurus? OK that’s a very old one but it makes me laugh! I love words and I love to know other words for the same meaning. I can spend hours wandering through a book like this and that is the point. Besides if I can’t think of a word, this is the go-to place!

The whole concept of being lost on a deserted island is not all negative. I’ve spent many lovely vacations in faraway places with no electricity, flush toilets or waiters. And I loved it. But I was much younger and more tolerant. I now like running water, I like room service and I like swimming in water that I know I’m not sharing with a whole lot of scary creatures! I have great memories of lighting a fire on my own, (yes, I have done the two sticks and it worked, thank you very much!). I have slept beneath the stars and for the record it is not silent! These are wonderful memories and I’m so glad that I actually did them. But I am more mature these days and I take great solace in my creature comforts. I would like to think that I could still light my own fire . . . But I don’t want to.

 

In the back of my mind is a little place:  a deserted island and a bookshelf with five books on it. Books in which I can lose myself and bask in my own solitude.

What five books would you want with you on a deserted island?

Frozen in Time

Just for a moment,

They are frozen in time.

Their spirits have passed,

Their mark left in grime.

 

A quick sudden frost,

And footprints are left.

To mark someone’s passing,

Do not be bereft.

 

They simply walked by,

On a day in their life.

Mud took a snapshot,

A moment of strife.

 

Locked for a second,

And then frozen in place.

Captured in pictures,

For a moment of grace.

 

Time is immutable,

They tell me that’s true.

But I know the facts,

Truly I do.

 

Time is a moment,

A second in space.

It moves ever forward,

At its own leisure pace.

 

But it can be captured,

And kept for all time.

By the eye of a man,

And a woman of rhyme.

 

 

Once again I am inspired by a picture by Dan. He and his dog Maddie provide me with such pleasure on an ongoing basis. You can visit him at:  nofacilities.com.      You will never be disappointed!

The Little Red Ball

A little red ball rolled next to me,

I wonder where it’s going?

It came from somewhere, I don’t know,

And seems as if it’s glowing!

 

I reached my hand to pick it up,

And then it seemed to move!

I took a fright and backed away,

The ball did not approve!

 

It bounced up thrice and turned around,

Then rolled towards me fast!

I tried to scream out in my fear,

But then the ball was past!

 

I shook my head the fear was gone,

But now I start to wonder?

Is there someone in control?

Or was it just a blunder?

 

It seemed intent as it rolled away,

As if it had a mission.

And there is me in hot pursuit

To know is my ambition.

 

Was it magic that sent that ball?

To make my spirits soar?

Laughter bursts between my lips,

I know I’m wanting more!

 

I look around with some dismay,

It seems the ball has gone.

But it left me feeling happy,

And joy to which I’m drawn.

 

I learned a lesson here this day,

Of marvels that abound.

All we have to do is look.

And wonders will be found

Trick or Treat

Juan’s hand gently caressed her cheek until his hand cupped her chin.

“I love you my darling Persephone.”

She closed her eyes, her lips pursed in anticipation.

Juan’s mouth hovered over Persephone’s; his breath warm on her cheeks.

“My darling,” he whispered as he placed his full, quivering lips against hers. In that moment the world ceased to exist. Her breath caught in her throat, her arms encircled his neck and she . . . “

“Penny, sorry to disturb you but I have got to have that report on the boss’s desk by noon and I still don’t have your numbers.  Wake up girl friend; you can’t daydream all day, work to do, work to do!”

Penny blinked rapidly.  She couldn’t quite grasp that what she had just experienced was a dream.  The reality was that she was sitting in an office in a cramped cubicle with a four-inch pile of work in front of her that needed to be completed by the end of the day.

“I’ll, I’ll get right at it.  I’m almost finished, I promise.”  She stammered her words as she tried to make sense of things.

Penny Elizabeth Foster was an ordinary woman, in an ordinary job, in an ordinary world.  What was extraordinary was her imagination.  As she went about the rest of her day Penny smiled at a secret memory.  Her Don Juan had taken her in his arms and made mad passionate love to her. The fact that that memory was actually only a dream was immaterial. To Penny her fantasy life was just as vibrant and vital as the real world.

So, the rest of the day Ms. Foster did as was expected of her.  She collated, she typed, she filed.  She filled the endless minutes with minutia and with deadlines.  Eventually the magical hour approached: the end of her day.

“Happy Halloween Penny!  Are you getting dressed up to give out candies tonight?”

“Yes, Eddy and no you can’t come over.  Besides you would scare the neighbourhood children. Say hi to your wife, Eddy.”

The last thing Penny wanted was to get involved with the office romancer. Or at least that’s how he saw himself. She packed up her purse and coat and made her way to her car.  It wasn’t a long drive home but it’s one she enjoyed because she didn’t have to listen to anybody else talk.  She could continue her fantasies as she wished.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have a special treat today: Ms. Persephone Foster is in the front line up for today’s race.  She is a world-renowned stock car driver. She has won both the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400. Her mentor was the legendary Don Juan of car racing.  The let’s sit back and enjoy today’s race.  Gentleman and lady, start your engines!”

“Hey lady, the light’s green, move!”

With a grin Penny realized that she was still sitting at a green light.  She chuckled and continued on her way home.

She had always enjoyed Halloween.  It was a time when every one could indulge in their secret fantasies without being seen to be odd. Yes, there were the ghosts and goblins and the scary monsters but there were also characters from history and whimsical creatures.  That was the part Penny enjoyed most.  Besides who couldn’t resist a child dressed up like a bunny?  Yes, she loved this day in the year.

So, with her usual efficiency Penny set about getting the candy ready to be handed out to the children, or more specifically the ‘trick or treaters’. After all, the indulgence in fantasies or whimsy is not just for the children.

She had spent a great deal of time preparing her own costume.  It wouldn’t do to answer the door in jeans.  No, Penny was going to be prepared in a costume that was appropriate to her frame of mind at just this time. She had always liked the concept of a damsel in distress so she dressed herself in flowing garments reminiscent of Sleeping Beauty. If only her Prince Charming could come by tonight.

“Trick or treat!  Trick-or-treat!”

The first of the ghosts and goblins had made their appearance and Penny was ready.

“Oh, my goodness what very scary ghosts and goblins you are!”

As she handed out the candy to the multitude of children at her door Penny was reminded of her own costumes as a child.  There was the cat with the long tail that kept dragging in puddles, or the space alien with the javex bottle for a helmet that was spray-painted gold. There was even a gypsy one year with all of her mother’s costume jewellery draped around her neck and her arms.  Her mother had become quite adept at making costumes.  It was something new every year.

Each year saw its share of ghosts and goblins, bunnies, squirrels and cats.  It was exciting to see the wonder in the eyes of the children and the quiet fatigue in the eyes of their parents as they shepherded their children from door to door.  But this year everything changed.

No one had rung her doorbell or cried “trick-or-treat” for about twenty minutes so Penny was starting to clean everything up.  Another Halloween was over.  There was something very sad about that.  But then it just meant that one looked forward to next year.

BBBBBRRRRRRRRRRRRRINGGG

“Trick or Treat.”

The doorbell immediately got Penny’s attention but the quiet little voice that was saying ‘trick-or-treat’ was far more compelling.  When she opened the door Penny saw an adorable little brown bunny or more specifically a very small child in an oversized bunny costume.  As she leaned down, she could see incredibly huge pleading eyes that were almost in tears.

“Well, hello little bunny, here is some candy, but are you okay?”

Sniff, “I think I lost my dad. He doesn’t like to be lost in the dark.  Can you help me find him?”

Penny immediately looked up to see if she could find this errant father.  How dare he allow this small child to wander the streets without him!  She was not going to allow this youngster to stay out here alone any longer.

“You come inside little bunny.  My name is Penny what’s yours?”

“Miranda.”

Do you want me to call your mother?

“It’s only my dad and me.” As she spoke Miranda put her tiny little hand in Penny’s.  This small child needed comfort and she was going to take it from whatever adult was handy. Penny was touched.  She knelt down on one knee and embraced her.

“We’ll find your dad don’t you worry.”

Penny was trying to be comforting but inside she was angry.  What could possibly cause a father to lose sight of this precious child! When she found this man, she was going to give him a piece of her mind!  But first Miranda had to be reassured.

Within a few moments Penny was sure that her new charge was okay.  She was sitting at the kitchen table with glass of milk and a cookie.  Penny was preparing to call the police but she was hesitant.  She had heard stories about children going into foster care and essentially disappearing into a system that was not conducive to proper childcare.  So, she hesitated.

As she looked across the room to this lonely child, she felt an overwhelming sense of responsibility.  In this day and age, we are all responsible for our actions and we should never shirk that responsibility.  Sitting across the kitchen table was someone who was asking for her help.  She just could not drop that responsibility on someone else.

Penny was about to take the child out again into the dark.  She would find this man, the father of this child.

BBBBBBBBBBBRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGG

Once again, the door unexpectedly demanded attention.  When it wasn’t immediately opened, insistent knocking followed.  Penny approached the door hesitantly; someone was anxious to get in. A moment ago, she had been anxious to track down an errant father on a dark Halloween night.  But now?  Who knows what Spirits are walking in the dusky light?  Now she was afraid to open the door.  The knocking continued louder, and louder.  They say that on one night of the year ghosts are capable of taking form and interacting with the living. They say that on one night of the year evil lurks within reach of the innocent.

The knocking continued, louder.  A voice was added to the banging; “Miranda, I know you’re in there, Miranda!”

With a relieved sigh Penny realized who was at the door: Miranda’s father.

With no further hesitation she threw open the door and then stopped.  In front of her was the man that she had been dreaming about earlier this day, a man of strength, of character and a father.  Upon hearing her father’s voice Miranda ran to him.

“I’m sorry daddy, I’m sorry I ran away!  I’m sorry, I’m sorry!  But this nice lady took care of me and she doesn’t have a husband.”

For just a moment no one said a word. And then the man spoke,

“I’m terribly sorry for what my daughter has done.  She has caused both of us undo concern.  I would like to make it up to you, my name is Don.”

Penny opened her mouth to respond but found that she was tongue-tied.  In the doorway of her home was the man she had been dreaming about.  She would have to say something witty and intelligent, but for the moment her mind was a blank.

“Oh, geez did I disturb you?  The boss won’t like ya sleeping on the job! Look a bunch of us are going over to the pub after work, it’s been a rough day.  Why don’t you join us?  Nobody hands out candy anymore, the kids all go to each other’s homes for parties; parents are too afraid of serial rapists and poisoned candy. Penny are you okay?  You look like you’ve seen a ghost! If you want to come to the pub, we’re leaving in twenty minutes.

Penny blinked her eyes repeatedly. She was still at her desk; she was still filing and she was still single.  Trick-or-treat?

 

 

 

The end

Beware

The witching night,

Will soon be here,

When the wise ones,

Know to fear.

 

The moon is full,

And the spirits walk,

Doing mischief,

They will not balk.

 

Near at hand,

Too close to breathe,

Evil spirits,

Begin to seethe.

 

Stay inside,

Your doors locked tight.

Draperies drawn,

Against the night.

 

Just in time,

The dawn will rise,

And all is safe,

Before our eyes.

 

But please remember,

In one year’s time,

On the witching night,

The ghosts will rhyme

 

 

The photograph of the moon that I used was with the permission of Dale over at adelectablelife.com. She has quite an interesting blog if you want to check it out. I would recommend it. The witch just popped on by.

 

Employment Opportunities

I thought to be an axe murderer,

But I didn’t have an axe.

It really is a messy job,

And I am far too lax.

 

Bankers work with money,

Billions I am told.

But money’s such a dirty thing,

I think that I will fold.

 

Doctors, lawyers are in need,

But their schooling last so long!

It does not fit my rules of life,

Though some will think I’m wrong.

 

A writer’s life is full of wit,

And angst, to tell the truth.

The boundaries they do not exist!

When creating words forsooth!

 

To sit with paper, pen in hand.

It sounds a wonderful gift.

Perhaps I’ll try my hand at that,

And see where I do drift…

Midnight Snack

On the way to the kitchen,

I felt a pang of despair.

The shopping wasn’t done,

The food wasn’t there!

 

The growling continued,

It was really quite loud.

I was worried the neighbours,

Would think it’s a crowd!

 

The fridge was near empty,

And the cupboards were too.

A box of dog biscuits,

Add an egg that was blue?

 

An emergency in the making,

Is this 2 AM tryst.

I really am hungry,

My dinner I missed!

 

My eyes are growing sleepy,

My hunger can wait.

I must put my head down,

For an hour or eight.

 

I’ll have dreams of some bacon,

Some eggs and some toast.

My mind will be satiated,

With eating engrossed.

 

Then in just a few hours,

I shall be replete.

My hunger assuaged,

The crisis complete.

 

 

The item above is a picture of Monkey Bread. It is a wonderful, sweet, delectable 2 AM snack. And I speak from experience.

Monkey Bread

Ingredients

  • 1/2cup granulated sugar
  • 1teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2cans (16.3 oz) refrigerated Biscuits (8 Count)
  • 1/2cup chopped walnuts, if desired
  • 1/2cup raisins, if desired
  • 1cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4cup butter or margarine, melted

Directions

Heat oven according to the biscuit package. Generously grease 1 pan with shortening or cooking spray. In large 1-gallon plastic food storage bag, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon.

Separate dough into 16 biscuits; cut each into quarters. Shake in bag to coat. Arrange in pan, adding walnuts and raisins among the biscuit pieces. Sprinkle any remaining sugar over biscuits.

In small bowl, mix brown sugar and butter; pour over biscuit pieces. 

Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in center. Loosen edges of pan with metal spatula. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Turn upside down onto serving plate; replacing any biscuit pieces and caramel from pan. Pull apart to serve. Serve warm.

 

Puddle Jumper

I can leap tall buildings,

With a single bound.

All the while keeping,

My feet on the ground.

 

With a switch and a swirl,

The world disappears.

Wait just a moment,

And it all reappears.

 

Trusty old rain boots,

Keep my feet warm and dry.

As this silly old girl,

Likes to stomp on the sky.

 

The rain leaves a world,

Just at my feet.

Another dimension,

New marvels to meet.

 

A child’s imagination,

Is a joy to behold.

In a simple old puddle,

More wonders unfold.

 

When the rain leaves a gift,

Don’t ever walk by.

Take just a moment,

And let logic defy.

 

 

The accompanying photograph was provided by Dan over at nofacilities.com. He and Maddie are most generous with the fruits of their walks. Thanks Dan!

 

 

 

Two Bison

Two bison ran me down,

I swear it’s really true.

Walking down the street,

What was I to do?

 

Minding my own business,

My face towards the sun.

Nothing really on my mind,

But looking for some fun.

 

The land began to rumble,

And then a growling sound.

Barely seconds passed,

And I was on the ground!

 

I heard a raucous laughter,

Coming from those beasts!

But I am kissing pavement,

And praying for some priests!

 

I raised my head a tiny bit,

To see what I could see.

Imagine my surprise,

When there was really three!

 

Juvenile delinquents,

Racing without a care.

Prepubescent miscreants,

On skateboards for a dare.

 

I raised my fist in anger,

At the injustice of it all.

I’m too old to ride a board,

But damn, I can recall!

 

 

(the image is from hww.ca)

 

I want to be an ‘ism’

My posts of the last few weeks have been relatively heavy. And I wanted something different. Our world is in chaos, there is hatred and misunderstanding rampant in our cities and streets. People are confused and frightened and unsure. It is not a great recipe for humour.  So, I went out on the street looking for some. What I saw was people adhering to social distancing and many wearing masks. Very few would catch my eye.  A few did nod but there was no smile in their eyes and they turned away quickly. I have not walked the streets in 15 months and I am saddened. So, I decided to do what any self-respecting writer would and reuse something I have written earlier.

I was in a particularly silly mood when I wrote this in 2015 and I will admit it still touches my funny bone. I hope it does yours. May I share with you:

I want to be an ‘ism’

Think about it. ‘Isms’ have thousands if not millions who believe in them.  Everyone knows at least a couple of witticisms. Some people believe them so much they live their lives according to their wisdom. Volunteerism is regarded throughout the world as one of the better things human beings do. Millions of people love ventriloquism and so many are very much into vegetarianism.

There is tourism and synergism, survivalism and cannibalism.  Oh, wait, not that one!  Here’s a good one:   heroism! Yes, that’s better. Whew! How about absurdism or activism? Altruism and realism. Yes, I want to be an ‘ism’.  My daily quips could become Qu-isms! Isn’t that kind of cool? Cosmopolitanism or Cubism, eroticism, antidisestablishmentarianism. Now that’s a mouthful!

While I was wandering around looking up ideas for ‘ism’  I discovered that there are a lot of fun silly words that use that suffix. I also discovered some heinous, horrible words. Like plagiarism or narcissism or racism and terrorism. These are definitely words I do not want to have any contact with. As horrible as these issues are, we must never dismiss them. They are part of our everyday lives. We must work within ourselves and in our communities to eradicate the negative isms. But that doesn’t mean we have to stop having a little fun. So, I still think I want to be an ‘ism’.  Wouldn’t you?