Friday Photo -on a Saturday

One idea I’ve had to fill the week is sharing a photo. In my ‘travels,’ I see odd, quirky, funny, or sweet. Why not show you?

The alliteration works better on a Friday, so ignore that it’s really Saturday.

Believe it or not, this was hanging from the roof of a rather humble, indoor archery range.

This is a taxidermied turkey (thanks, Norah). …but, why?

©2022 Chel Owens

Beatrice Box

Beatrice was a square sort of being. Squat, brown, dusty, a bit bent; she couldn’t help it. See, Beatrice was literally a box. Still, she longed for love. Like most boxes, however, she couldn’t open her mouth without attracting the wrong sort of attention.

“I can’t even lift a flap,” she complained to the bureau, “Without acquiring an odd or end.”

He squeaked a commiseratory joint. “I’ve the same problem with me drawers, Love. Have ye tried tape?”

Beatrice hadn’t, so she did. The tape worked quite well for keeping out; but, how could she get love in? She appealed to the cedar chest. “What’s your secret? However do you attract such finery?”

The cedar chest considered. She sniffed. “Smell, mostly. Seems to keep riff-raff at a distance. Then, there’s the carvings up top what observers always notice.”

“Carvings? Smell?” Beatrice examined the parts of herself she could. What she saw failed to instill confidence. She was, as noted, a box. Her relations tended more toward the packing variety and less toward containers in millinery shops. “Have I a scent? What about designs?”

“Hm.” The cedar chest strained; Beatrice thumped in an awkward, squarish spin before her. “You’ve an essence of forgotten memories, like old jumpers. Not unpleasant, I’d say; not pleasant, either. Ooh! I can make out a bit of an imprint… Upst- Hm. Upstares -Yes! Upstares closet. …could be an exotic locale…”

“Oh, dear,” Beatrice sighed. She knew how ‘exotic’ the upstairs closet was. But just when she thought to give up all hope, she met him: the box of her dreams. He fell on her like a ton of bricks.

Literally.

Good thing the tape held.

“Well howdy, ya pine box!” he addressed the cedar chest. “I’m Bob, a box. I’m currently haulin’ a buttload o’ building blocks! Ha!” He scratched at his top with a handy flap. “Thing is, I’m a mite lonely. You wouldn’t happen to know where a fella could find some company, would ya? -A good, solid, squarish sort of company?”

Beatrice could hardly speak for excitement. She could hardly speak for the box of bricks named Bob that sat atop her as well. She tried. “Mmph mmm mph phuhm.”

“Who said that??” Bob swept the room.

“Mmph mmm mph phuhm.”

Bob shifted. He couldn’t catch where the noise came from. “How’s that, pardner?”

“Mmph! Mm mph mph phuh mphm.”

Bob scooted a titch more; which, it turns out, was a titch too far. *CLONK!* He landed on the floor like a ton of -oh, you get the idea. He caught sight of Beatrice. “Well, howdy!”

Beatrice blushed. “Hello.”

It was the start of a beautiful future. Beatrice had such a crush, she was already making moving plans.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

©2022 Chel Owens

Ya Know What I Mean?

“And this one here, this one we’ve got loads of in stock; ya know what I mean?”

There it was again, grating.

The motorsports salesman continued his spiel, hands gesturing and mouth sideways-smirking. Every now and again, he’d slip that phrase at the end of a statement -not in the same pattern, no. He couldn’t even alleviate my senses that way.

See, I’m bothered by repetition. Maybe you’re not. Maybe in sixth grade, you could have sat through your classmate’s reading her report aloud with an, “And, um” announcing each new paragraph. As she became more and more nervous, the phrase increased to lead each line. Then, she stuttered it after every pause.

Maybe you like “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

Instead of reflecting on irritants, however, my mind wandered to a mirror: what am I doing, perhaps unconsciously, that drives others up the wall?

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

I know of one thing. I know because of others’ comments and because of my own instincts. I wrestle with years of childhood shyness and mumbling and such to just LOOK PEOPLE IN THE EYE when speaking.

Much of my conversational behavior irritates me. I know I couldn’t stand a recording of myself; I’d spend the entirety of it regretting this gesture or that head flip or ugh; was that what I thought smiling looked like?

Not that I am recommending harsh criticism of oneself. Rather, I wonder what habits you’ve noticed in yourself. Did another person have to point it out for you?

What sorts of amusing or irritating idiosyncrasies have you seen in others? Will you write a character based on them -if ya know what I mean?

—————-

Here’s last week’s recap:
Tuesday, January 11: Updated y’all with “The First-Ever 2022 Blog Update!

ALSO!! Matt of A Prolific Potpourri has been doing audio performances of my Wilhelmina Winters series. He does them once a month for Short Story Saturday and they are excellent. Go listen!!

©2022 Chel Owens

The First-Ever 2022 Blog Update!

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

I’ve been absent lately, in an unofficial fashion. Since this has been due to life and its overwhelming responsibilities -furthermore, since no one has gone looking for me in a panic- I can only presume that: either everyone is equally engaged, or everyone understands that I am not only engaged but have married and sired six children.

If you are feeling like panicking, this post is meant to deter that.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

I am still alive. My family is alive and kicking. I’ve come through the holidays, have declared a word, and have been mentally planning what to do for this blog.

I intend to include:

  • More creative stories, although they may be short.
  • More off-the-cuff posts as was my wont before COVID-19 hit.
  • Poetry, naturally.
  • Reviews of favorite books and movies.
  • Updates on COVID-19 conditions, as necessary.
  • A contest, or many. I’d love to award literal prizes.
  • Quotes. I love me my quotes.
  • Guest posts. PLEASE!
  • Wrap-ups of my Tour of Utah and mystery series, and promises I’ve made to bloggers to read their works.

If you made it this far, maybe you’d consider helping:
1. What would you like to read? Why do you come around here?
2. Would you be a guest blogger?
3. Would you be a guest host for a contest or writing prompt?
4. Is there anything I haven’t listed that you’d like me to write about?

Thank you for joining me on consider the current chaos.

Good Ole Bill…. Thanks, GIPHY

Hopefully, I’ll squeeze out a plan for the year and get back with you. In the meantime, please do answer my questions.

©2022 Chel Owens

What’s Your Word?

Now is the time we’ve all dreaded: after Christmas. We can no longer laugh whilst claiming, “Ah; it’s the holidays” as we pop another homemade cookie into our waistline. Many of us, instead, throw around terms like resolution and goal.

I’m an all-year-round resolution person, myself. I’m also an all-year-round resolution-breaker. As such, I can’t get too excited about ‘new’ years.

For a slightly different idea, I’ve seen several bloggers come up with a word for the new year. I even read a friend who inadvertently gave a word to summarize 2021 before naming one for 2022.

I LOVE that thought.

Last year has been very full for me: job, politics and divisiveness, a close family member’s passing, moving house, pregnancy and childbirth, and COVID-19. What all-encompassing word, then, can cover that?

Pixabay

Chaos. Regrets. Crowded. Busyness. Craziness. Full.

In reflecting over the breadth of it, I’m going with Complete.

I’ve had regrets, make no mistake. We left planned projects incomplete in selling the last house. Milestones were unmet regarding when to move by. The bathroom was still in pieces and laundry piles lay all over as I headed off to the hospital to deliver #6. I can’t hang onto any of that like I used to, though. I look back with only a desire to let go.

So, with Complete, my word for 2022 will be Control.

This may surprise you. Control often has connotative surrounds; we’re encouraged to release the illusion of it or focus on reasonable expectations regarding it. The reason I choose control is for good. In my life, I’ve spent too long riding along and resenting. At depressive and stressful points I’ve complained about what is out of my hands …and done nothing to change the situation. I felt I could not.

Instead of being a passenger in the van of my life, I will take control.

Now, I encourage everyone to do the same. Yes, to take control -but also to look back and choose a word for last year. Then, choose a word for the next. What are your words? Why?

©2021 Chel Owens

No! Not Elf on a Shelf!

As my good friend, Ruth, knows after my reaction to her post about her resident porcelain dolls, I am not a fan of creepy toys. Who in their right mind thought one that moves around and spies on you isn’t terrifying?

I cannot find the original source for this wonderful idea anywhere.

After stumbling across this picture, I felt it was an excellent time to bring back -throwback- Snappy McSprinkles.

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest 12/21/2021

Your family may need to add these new holiday favorites to their Christmas playlist, because it’s time to announce the winner of the Terrible Poetry Contest.

And that is:

Ye Hairy Gentlemen

by Greg Glazebrook

On the twelfth day of Christmas
She’ll drive a holly stake through your heart…

Cut, cut, I think we’d be safer taking this in a different direction?

doG blessed ye hairy gentlemen
You’ll be warm on this very day
Remember that the rest of us
Will be frozen until May
With razor blades we’ll come for you
And shave it all away
O shavings of back hair and Bengay

We’ll stuff the clipping into bags
And ship them on their way
To far-off Nike sweatshops
In Hong Kong and Bombay
Where they’ll stitch them all together
With labels that say “Made in U.S.A.”
O tidings from Tài Sǔn and Ganmay

And when those man-hair sweaters
Arrive upon our shores
We’ll click on over to Amazon
And buy them by the scores
We’ll wrap them up for Christmas gifts
And cold, we’ll be no more
O tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

Damn these things are scratchy,
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night…

—–

Congratulations, Greg! You are the most terrible poet of this holiday season!

I sat and hummed through every terrible entry. As is usual, I had a difficult time choosing just one. In the end, Greg’s parody won me over with its creativity, its terribleness, and its cleverness. I can’t say I’ve ever heard a carol about man-hair sweaters.

Now, turn off that Mariah Carrey and tune in to what these other, excellent songwriters came up with:

Poopy Christmas

by Bruce Goodman

The news it came out in the first year of Biden
The cupboards were bare and the truckers were hiding
Jen Psaki declared, “Let them eat buns”
To which the President added a whole lot of ums.

Christmas hell oh Christmas hell
Sing a Christmas Gloria
Bringing crumbs to all the world
But peace to those with gender dysphoria.

—–

Deck the House

by trentpmcd

Deck the house with big bright lights
Falalalala, lalalala
People will drive miles to see these sights!
Falalalala, lalalala
Now turn on reactor three
Falala, lalala, la-la-la
A billion megawatts just for me!
falalalala-la-la, la-la-la
***
Visible from Betelgeuse
Falalalala, lalalala
A thousand years of electric use
Falalalala, lalalala
I show off just once a year
Falala, lalala, la-la-la
With a trillion lights of holiday cheer!
falalalala-la-la, la-la-la

—–

OH WHAT A HOLY NIGHT

by Matt Snyder

Oh Holy night
Late December back in 5 B.C.
Circular things in the sky are bright you see?
Oh Holy night
In the manger was born what’s his name?
Ya know the Spanish kid, no I don’t mean the goat…the kid
Hey-Suess yeah him, this Holy night
Why is it taking so long to see the light?
OH ho ho ho holy night
I’ve fallen and I can’t get up
I think I sprained my knee-eeees
Oh right, on time
What a sweet baby, oh what a holy night
Oh? I said his name wrong!
Oh hear……Everyone shouting
Yout idiot, you tool!
You need to go back to biblical school
Oy Vey! What a night!

—–

Untitled piece
To “Happy Christmas, war is over” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono

by Hobbo

And so, a Jolly Christmas for all shades of LGBTQIA
Which it will be all day long
(Covid is over if you wear a mask)
For the straights and the not-so-straights
(If you want sprouts, just ask.)

A super-duper Christmas
with mulled wine and warm, cloudy beer
If you see three wise men looking lost
The Star pub is over here.

—–

THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY AND HIS HELL HOUNDS

by Definitely Not Pam

Come they told him,
Have some rumma rum rum.

There’s no good to do,
Let’s have some funna fun fun.

Bring your hell hounds along
For a runa run run

We’ll set them on the king
It’s sure to stunna stun stun
Ruma stun stun
Funna stun stun

He’ll get diahorea
Stinky bumma bum bum
When we come

Rums rum rum,
Opps funna fun fun
Runna run run
Opps stunna stun stun
Bumma bum bum
Dunna dun dun
Rumma fun run stun opps dun

Oh what fun
Tiggles my tumma tum tum
I’m just poor Hades,
Oh humma hum hum

What gift for him?
Thruma thrum thrum thrum
It’s gotta be good for the King’s
Tumma tum tum

I know I’ll play for him
Strumma strum stum
Thruma thrum thrum
Numma numb numb

Oh you look scared
Opps gumma gumma gum
The hell hounds like the scent of fear
What a humma hum hum

I’ll play my drum for you
Don’t look so glumma glum glum
I’ll play thrash metal for you
Oh slumma slum slum
Glumma glum glum
Humma hum hum

Oh don’t freak out
It’s not a scruma scrum scrum
It’s just me, the hellhounds and my drum

Come they told him
Have some more rumma rum rum
You’ll wish you were never born
You better learn to runna run run

It’s just me, the hellhounds and my drum
It’s just me, the hellhounds and my drum
It’s just me, the hellhounds and my drum
Isn’t this so much fun

©NopeNot Pam

—–

Untitled Piece
Wham’s “Last Christmas”

by Geoff LePard

Last Christmas
You let go a fart
Full of rot and decay, I near passed away
This year
Your disgusting rear
Has been truly exceptional…

—–

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Mechula.*

by Obbverse

(OK, let the old chestnuts get a’roasted. Michael Bublé, you’re up.)

It’s beginning to look like I’m insolvent,
Where’d my cash flow go?
Down to my last 5 and 10, my credits maxed out again,
Oh, the painful amount of IOUs I owe.

I’m beginning to wish I’d not seen loan shark Carmine,
Now all hell will start,
And da brass knuckles he will bring will make my head fair ring,
Then he’ll rip out my heart.

A pair o’ brutes in ill-fitting suits with pistols that shoot,
It’s Carmine’s repo-hit men,
Dey say ‘Carmine wants to talk, let’s take a walk.’
But I daren’t say ‘willkommen,’
I’m not mad nor dumb or fool enough to open this door again.

It’s beginning to look like I won’t make Christmas,
My debts Carmine won’t ignore,
What an ugly sight it is to see some thug pounding heavily
On my barred and bolted door.

*Bankruptcy, Yiddish.

—–

Grandchild Was Invaded By an iPhone

by Ruth Klein

my grandchild was invaded by her iphone
walking home from school, would you believe?
you can say that iphones don’t possess one
and as for me and grandpa, we do grieve

she’d been watching too much youtube
and we’d begged her- please, stop, please
so addicted to the boob tube
that she began to bow down on her knees

everyone now sing…..

—–

Sale! The Yearly Christmas Call
Sung to the tune of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”

by D. Wallace Peach

Sale! The yearly Christmas call
Shoppers flocking to the mall
Carts careen through crowded aisles
Cash and credit reconciled

Frantic all ye lists are waving
Budgets set already caving
Wrap those presents for the tree
Run out of tape, oh woe is me
Wrap those presents for the tree
I need tape, oh woe is me

Feed the crew from out of town
Baking cookies past sundown
Table’s set and goose is done
Spilled the gravy, so much fun

Dinner’s gone in seconds flat
Cooked all day and barely sat
Washing dishes like a maid
Boy, I wish my job was paid
Scrubbing dishes like a maid
How I wish this job was paid

Football’s on, the offense crouched
Husband’s slouched upon the couch
Cat’s in the tree, and globes are smashed
Kids are bored, the house is trashed

Hail the end of Christmas Day
When the kindred drive away
Flip the cap and swig a beer
Pooped out from another year
Take a nap and get in gear
New Year’s Eve is almost here.

—–

Untitled Piece
to the tune of “I wish you a Merry Christmas”

by John W. Howell

I wish you a monster isthmus
I wish you a monster isthmus
I wish you a monster Isthmus
Until you lose weight.

Glad tidings will be not only for me
Glad tidings will be not only for me
Glad tidings will be not only for me
You may spot your feet

Oh, turn down the figgy pudding
Oh, turn down the figgy pudding
Oh, turn down the figgy pudding
And lose a whole chin

We are not leaving till we get some
We are not leaving till we get some
We are not leaving till we get some
Melba toast is a win

—–

Untitled piece
from Frankie, the fictional one-eyed post mistress of Carrot Ranch who delivers mail on horseback:

by D. Avery

Burt an’ me we travel so far
Deliverin’ mail with no van or car
He’s a sturdy strong horse
Keeps us mostly on course
In these parts we’re without par
*
Packages too many ta count
But I can trust Burt, my loyal mount
We sweat an’ shiver
But always deliver
With time ta Saddle Up unannounced
*
Oh bartender I wonder if you might
Reward me for my work tonight
I delivered a song
After a day so long
But at the Saloon I’m feelin’ alright.”

—–

O Holy Grail

by Writing to Freedom (musebrad)

O holy grail, thy will always prevail
our faithful attempts to pursue the American dream
race to the mall or find solace in an aie
married to a destructive consumer regime
on Macy’s, on Kohl’s, to the mall we go
for shopping is the holy grail we know
~
fall on your knees before the corporate pleas
o holy grail, o holy grail
for thee, we must never fail

—–

The Little Bummer Boy

by anxietyoholic

COVID they told me!
Ra bum bum bum bum

Contacts to trace, you see?
Ra bum bum bum bum

Say Hello to Quarantine
Ra bum bum bum bum

Disinfect and clean, clean, clean
Ra bum bum bum bum
Bum bum bum bum
Bum bum bum bummmmmmm

So to mask or not
Ra bum bum bum bum

I wish a vac I got
Ra bum bum bum bum
Bum bum bum bum
Bum bum bum bummmmmmm

I am a poor boy too
Ra bum bum bum bum

Just like that other dude
Ra bum bum bum bum

So I’ll get hydroxychloroquine
Ra bum bum bum bum

And be OK like him
Ra bum bum bum bum
Bum bum bum bum
Bum bum bum bummmmmmm

It’s all fake news he said
Ra bum bum bum bum

800 thousand dead
Ra bum bum bum bum

I was as brave as he
Ra bum bum bum bum

Look where that’s gotten me
Ra bum bum bum bum
Bum bum bum bum
Bum bum bum bummmmmmm
Ra bum bum bum bum
Bum bum bum bum
Bum bum bum bummmmmmm

—–

Thank you all and Merry happy Christmas.

Greg: Here’s the honorary badge you can post as proof of your poetic mastery:

terrible-poetry-contest

©2021 The poets, and their respective poems.

Do You Sense What I Sense?

Said the husband as she burnt the ham
Do you smell what I smell?
(Do you smell what I smell?)
It’s charred, it’s charred; the oven’s all alight
With the men here to fi’re fight
With the men, here, to fi’re fight.

Said the slow man to his pride and joy
Do you taste what I taste?
(Do you taste what I taste?)
A smoke, a musk making us both wheeze
With eyes red and nose set to sneeze.
With eyes red, and nose set to sneeze.

Said the man to whom he’d vowed to cling
Do you feel what I feel?
(Do you feel what I feel?)
A fire, a fire burns the whole household
Let us run out; stop, drop, and roll
Let us run out; stop, drop, and roll.

Said the firechief to neighbors, stopped to stare
Listen to what I shout!
(Listen to what I shout!)
The man, his wife really aren’t that bright
They thought smoked ham needs firelight
Now, their house is qu-ite the sight!

And to ah-all, have a good night!

Photo by F. Hektor on Pexels.com

©2021 Chel Owens