Tag Archives: perception

Witty Ditty

 

 

This ditty writing really

Is just to pass the time

I know it is quite silly

That everything must rhyme

 

That’s the way I am I guess

I’ve heard it said of me

I have my quirks I must confess

But they’re what make me, me

 

I’ve been told that I am driven

I hope it isn’t so

I’m just a person, that’s a given

Who knows it’s time to go.

Death of a Flake

 

 

He swirls into the room

Unmindful of the stares

People stepping back

He goes where he would

Oblivious to all

But his own desires.

But then,

Something ahead

He turns

Perhaps in fear

And falters

Slowly he succumbs

Down he drops

Darting left

Twisting right

Is there no escape?

Will no one help?

Alone he falls,

Alone he dies.

A single flake of snow

Fireside.

Santa Claus is Dead?

I originally shared this story in 2013. That was the first year for my blog. I was quite shocked at the response. To date I think this remains my most popular post. It was simply me with something to say tucked inside a story. I do that a lot.  I will also admit that I think this is one of my favourite tales. I have decided to post a story every Sunday in December.  My Christmas present to you. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, then may I please offer you the blessing of my holiday to you.

                                      Santa Claus is Dead?

 

‘Santa Claus is dead.’

When Sebastian Phillips finished writing that phrase on his bulletin board he turned around to see what the reaction had been on his students. He was not disappointed.    Because this was a first-year philosophy course he expected them to be a little green when it came to abstract ideas.  After all they were just kids.  Truth be told, Professor N. Sebastian Phillips wasn’t all that much older than his students.

When he looked around the room Sebastian saw surprise, humour and perhaps disbelief, it was also very quiet.  Here he was, a college professor talking about a white haired, fat man in a red suit as if he were real.  Well real and dead.

“When you signed up for this course I am quite sure you were not expecting to talk about a symbol for a religious holiday that has come to mean the excesses of commercialism that are rampant in our society.”

Sebastian looked out at his students.  They seemed relieved, this was more like it.

“Santa Claus does exist.”

Now Sebastian heard a few giggles and was that a grunt?

“Professor, those two statements cannot both be correct. There either is a Santa Claus or there isn’t.  I mean really! ”

Sebastian grinned, “Actually they can Adam. A thing can only be dead if it first existed. “

“Come on Professor there is no Santa Claus!  That is only a marketing gimmick to get parents to buy more for their kids. Commercialism at its best:  vulgar!” These words were spoken by a young woman with an earring in her nose and one in her belly button which flashed every time she turned around.

“Well Cindy, yes and no.”

At this point the room erupted in confusion. A great many of the students were arguing about the wisdom of using symbols, some about the evils of commercialism in general and the western world’s corruption of money in particular.  Sebastian noted which students seemed to think he was demented and which students were curious.  Curious minds are open minds.

Very quietly Professor Phillips spoke.  “Amanda did you believe in Santa Claus as a child?”

The room was suddenly quiet. Everyone turned and looked at Amanda, eager to learn her answer. The professor had chosen to ask the one person in the room who appeared normal.  She was conservatively dressed with no strange piercings throughout her body.  She also preferred to observe any heated discussions without actually joining in.

“Amanda . . .” her professor coached.

“Yes.” Was the quiet response.

“And how did you feel when you learned that the jolly man in a red suit was just a marketing ploy.”

The answer was a few minutes in coming and it was not the answer everyone was expecting.  “I still believe in Santa Claus and I do not believe he is dead professor.”

For the second time that morning there was complete silence in the room, a stunned silence.

And then there was pandemonium.  Only snippets of conversations could be heard.  “I always knew that woman was nuts!”  Geez I wish I had taken a mathematics course, that would of made sense.” “It is going to be a very long day.”  “Do you want to go to the pub afterwards I think I could use a drink?”  “I don’t know who is more insane: that Amanda chick or that Professor?”

Professor Phillips let the arguments roll about the room for several minutes. During this time Amanda just sat and looked at her hands as if she was too timid to become involved in a conversation she had helped to create.

“Okay everybody pipe down, you have had your little discussions and each one of them has some sort of validity.  Problem is you’re not listening.  Does Santa Claus exist?  Yes.  Does he exist as a fat, old man in a red suit?  Yes.  That guy in the red suit is on every corner in the Western world ringing a bell and selling products. Something can exist in more than one embodiment.  We see the jolly, old fella and we equate him with shopping at Christmas.  Do you know where the idea for Santa Claus came from?  Amanda might.  Because she alone seems to understand what Santa Claus represents, and who he is.  Let me tell you a little story.”

“In a coastal town called Patra, in what is now Turkey, in the year 260AD a child was born.  His name was Nicholas.  His parents were taken from him when he was a child and yet he still grew up with a generosity of spirit and a love of children. He was a rich young man who tried to use his money to give other people happiness.  He did ‘good’ in secret. Eventually he became known as St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra and his generosity continued.”

“Over the centuries St. Nicholas has become beloved by many religions.  Our Western tradition of Santa Claus and Father Christmas originated with St. Nicholas.  His faith and his actions make remembering him more important even in our day and age. He is our Santa Claus and people need to remember him.  In essence it is his spirit of giving that is behind our traditions at Christmas.  The spirit of Santa Claus is alive and well.”

“A beautiful character is more powerful and more memorable to more people than any marketing ploy or religious dogma.  Santa Claus, even if he comes in the guise of a human being is still the loving spirit of the good Nicholas. Santa Claus does exist, and should continue to exist for as long as we remember what he stands for.”

There was total silence in the room.  Not a single student had a humorous quip, or disparaging remark to make.  In fact when Sebastian looked around the room he saw only understanding and awe. Finally, these supposedly well educated young adults had picked up on something that all children knew from a very young age: if you believe, it will endure.

“Class dismissed.”

Sebastian smiled to himself and started to gather up his books and notes. The class had gone well, better than he’d expected.  But the year was getting on and there are places he needed to be so he was going to have to tender his resignation and move on.  But at that point Sebastian realized that not every student had left the room. He looked up.

“Amanda, how can I help you?”

“Professor Phillips you haven’t been completely honest with us have you?  I know that Santa Claus exists and not as the jolly, red suited man, but rather as St. Nicholas/St. Nick.  You see my family can trace its roots back to that same town in which St. Nicholas was born.  As a matter of fact we’ve kept a very close watch throughout the years on the descendants of that family.  It has always been the responsibility of my family to ensure that yours is protected.  I’m surprised you didn’t know that.  What’s your first name Professor Phillips?”

“Yes I thought perhaps you did know,” Sebastian’s grin was even more pronounced. You know I won’t be here next week.  I have a lot of preparing to do and Christmas is not far away. And yes I am Nicholas/St. Nick. ”

 

The end

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    The Perfect Crime

 

                                       

How do you commit the perfect crime?  So many offences have come dangerously close to being perfect, it is frightening. Actually, there are many unsolved crimes that by virtue of the fact that the perpetrator has not been apprehended, it was a perfect crime.  But let’s talk about the perfect crime, the perfect murder.  How does someone commit a murder that no one knows about?  Would it have to appear to be an accident? Accidents happen all the time.  To garner the most out of committing such a crime, it would be important that there be a suspicion of murder but no proof, no witnesses, no accomplices. Nothing to tie the murder to the murderer.

                                       – A woman shoots an intruder (husband, oops

                                     – Normal teetotaler develops drinking problem (has witnesses) due to stress – wife problems.  Accidentally runs down and kills co-worker while intoxicated, who just happens to be sleeping with wife.  Accused didn’t know?  Swears off drink.

Are these perfect crimes?  No.  The accused may get off but they still go to court. It is still known that they did the crime; they are just able to prove extenuating circumstances.

The perfect crime would perplex the investigator.  No cause of death would be found perhaps, but the victim would be dead.

                                     – frighten someone with a weak heart to death

                                     – Tricking the victim into eating something they are allergic to – peanuts

Killing a stranger would be too easy.  It would have to be someone you know.  Someone whose death would allow you to benefit in some way.  So, our character list includes, a victim who has something to offer.  Revenge is not a good enough motive because it is not profitable.  If you are going to seek revenge you want the victim alive and aware of what you have done, legally.  They must have no recourse. Destroying someone is so much more satisfying than murder.  So, to commit a murder there must be a profit.  Something to make it worthwhile. Working on the premise you have a victim in mind, you need a method.  Motive lies with the victim.  You can’t choose a victim without a reason hence the motive.

 So, method.

                                  – Poison – traceable

                                  – Blunt instrument – messy

                                  – gun/knife – messy

                                 – Electrocution – requires some rudimentary understanding of electricity

Then you need an investigator who is not easily fooled.  It is so much more satisfying to have a worthy adversary.  And of course, we must not forget the murderer.  There must be no witnesses or chance of witnesses, no accomplices, no one to become a loose end.  No dates waiting to be picked up, no one who swears the victim had a pattern and would never deviate from it. Now it starts to get interesting.

Let us choose a hypothetical victim say, an elderly uncle who is very wealthy.  As the only living relative you would stand to inherit the works.  So, it becomes profitable. Unless the uncle really dislikes you and plans to leave everything to an animal shelter. No.  You have always had a relatively good relationship with the uncle.  Perhaps not close, but you do believe you are in his Will.  Do you take the risk that you are not? No. we will work on the assumption that you are in the Will. He has even mentioned it once or twice.

Ok. Now we have a victim and a motive.  A profitable one.  But you are not destitute.  You are not in a position of great need.  Too great a need places too many stresses on the enterprise and will lead to mistakes.  One mistake could be one too many.  No, you are preparing for the future.   Besides, it could make an arresting challenge. Pun intended.  A little humour helps to ease the stress.  After all this is a very serious subject.  Preparing for one’s future should never be taken lightly.

Are there stairs in your uncle’s home? A loose tread could cause a fatal fall.  If you set it up in advance, you probably would be far away from the accident.  Of course, there is no challenge in an accident.  No.  It must appear to be murder by someone unknown. A burglar? Too clichéd. A disgruntled ex-employee? Possible.  But no-one should be named. That entails someone else becoming involved. Too dangerous. Too many players. How about a single shot from a distance, late at night?  Very possible.  Can you shoot a gun?  You would be a suspect. And it is so messy.  Would you want to live in a house with a blood stain on the rug?  Of course, you would be rich enough to replace the rug.

When the investigators approach you, and they will, you are a relative, you must be shocked.  Watch your reactions, these people are trained observers. Don’t weep too much and certainly do not beat your chest, or pull your hair out.  Acknowledge the situation, tear up, choke up a little, not too much, and definitely sit down. Shake your head slightly. It would help to practice this scene, but never with an audience.  It should not appear to be studied.

Of course, you still have to work out how you plan to execute this deed.  Planning is everything.  Just be sure not to write anything down.  A written record really would be dumb.  Take your time and plan, plan, plan.

Oh, and one more thing.  While you were trying to work out the Most Efficient Means of dispatching your uncle, he succumbed to a massive heart-attack.  His funeral is next Thursday and the animal shelter wishes to acknowledge your uncle’s incredible generosity by giving you a puppy.  The licensing fee is $15.00.  Payable by cash or credit card.  Have a nice day.

The End