Smash Blog Quickies

If you are interested in having the known world see your creative efforts, and become a select member of the 100-word Short Story Author’s Guild, please read the submission guidelines below.

  1. There is no charge for this. You will retain the rights to your own work.
  2. Stories will be printed in random order as received.
  3. Stories are submitted via email to smash AT chriswspencer DOT com as a *.docx or *.doc file, up to 10 words max for a title and exactly 100 words in the body of the text.
  4. Proofread your work! We’re not responsible for speling or grammatical errors.
  5. The website retains the right to publish, or not, submitted works.
 
Smash Stories
House of Cards
By Chris Spencer

“That’s an impressive house of cards you’ve built,” said the raven to the old man sitting at the table.
“It’s taken me 83 years to construct this,” he wearily responded. “Slow and steady—one card at a time.
A knock at the door turned both their heads.
“Time’s up,” cawed the bird.
The door burst open. A wind gust dismantled the man’s 83 years of work and bore him out the door and left a newborn lying on the table. The door slammed shut.
The raven gathered the cards and placed the deck before the infant.
“Your turn. Start building.”
Recipe Disciple
By Chris Spencer

“How about I make the dessert?”
“But you don’t cook,” I replied. “I’m the cook in this family.”
“I know, but I saw this magazine recipe for a filbert-pear tart.”
“Try it,” I said.

Later she griped, “Crap! I didn’t buy enough pears.”
“Add an apple.”
“The recipe doesn’t say anything about apples.”
“It’ll work.”
“But it’s a pear tart. And I couldn’t find the filberts you said we had.”
“Use hazelnuts, instead. They’re the same.”
“But it calls for filberts! I can’t alter the recipe!”
“Improvise, dear.”
“That’s improper!”
“Be creative.”
“OK!” And she smacked me with a spatula.
Mom's Ashes
By Chris Spencer

“Scatter my remains over Paris,” was my mother’s deathbed request. I didn’t think she was serious, since we’d always played practical jokes on each other, but she was dead earnest. So three weeks later I solemnly climbed the Eiffel Tower with a rosewood box of ashes. At the top, I opened the case and sailed the powdered scraps into the breeze.
I was fined 500 francs for littering. I’m sure Mom was looking down from heaven, smoking her eternal cigarette and gleeful that she’d one-upped me one last time.
But touché!—they weren’t her cremated remains, only her cigarette ashes.


Hooked with a Pickle
By Chris Spencer


“Exactly what are you going to do with that dill pickle, Phyllis?”

Roger’s wife, Debbie, looks around the kitchen, empty but for the two of them. “What the hell does that mean?” she demands. “What pickle? Who’s Phyllis?”

He grins. “It’s the first line of my next novel—it’s the hook.”

“It won’t work,” she quips. “Nobody cares about some goddam gherkin.”



After stewing for a minute, Debbie asks, “So what about Phyllis’ pickle? Is it some kind of weapon—a covert quest—a romantic secret—smut? Well?”

“Good. You’re hooked,” he said, beaming. “Buy the book.”

“Discount price?”

“Maybe.”

Losing R's
By Garr Kuhl

"I've a fog in my thoat," Benny said with a humble mumble after returning from vacation.
Dan looked curiously at his friend. "What happened to your Rs? They're gone."
To which Benny answered, "Lost 'em in 'eno playing 'oulette, along with my gil fiend. She 'an off with a tuckdive."
"You can't live your life without Rs," Dan said with frankness. "Maybe a girlfriend, but not Rs. Go to 'Vegas. Win them back."
"Only Esses in 'Vegas." Benny was clearly distraught.
"Do you want your R back?" Dan asked.
"Yes, but I don't want to lose my S in 'Vegas."
The Curse of the One-Night Ride; A Halloween Broom Fable
By Garr Kuhl

"Where's your witch?" Smitch itched to ask, noting Flitch's twitch as they swept the sky.
Flitch bitched a hiss, "Flew off the handle. Ditched me for a rich switch."
"Ah, dewitched again," Smitch smugly stated. "That's the third time this week you've been taken for a ride, Flitch."
Flitch flinched. "Which means?"
"When are you going to get hitched?"
"Sonofabitch, Smitch!" Flitch spit. "I'm bewitched! I need an enriched full-moon pitch to snitch a witch. Besides, which witch would I snitch?"
"Pitches don't work on witches," Smitch began without pith. "And one-night midnight flights can be a bitch."

Adventures in Paradise
By Dan Pedersen

My wife and I were psyched for Hawaii.
“What would you like to do?” she asked. “Swim with the dolphins?”
“I don’t know,” I said.
“Scuba-dive?”
“No.
“Take a helicopter tour? Hot-air balloon? Bungee-jump?”
“No. I’m umpty-ump years old. Let’s just walk the beach. Watch the sun set. Go with the flow.”
“We’d better plan something,” she urged, “or time will get away from us. Submarine ride?”
“No. Not really.”
“Watch molten lava flow down to the water’s edge?”
“No.”
“Go up in a glider?”
“Probably not.”

So she slipped away with two girlfriends and jumped out of an airplane.

Yukon Night
By Ruth Brinton

Snow falls as night claims Lake Laberge. Hills holding the lake lose stands of spruce and poplar, loom flat as shadows. My hood and headlamp shape light into a small illusion of tunnel over the trail, but beyond my lead dogs, the trail’s existence is faith. Faith it will lead us home. Faith the dogs will find it, even as snow blurs the track. Miles stretch into cold hours marked not by Grizzly Mountain and the dome-shaped rock, hidden in low clouds, but by the whisper of sled runners, dogs’ fur crusted with ice, faint crunch of paws against snow.
Saturday Night
By Ruth Brinton

She didn’t want to be here. A new neighbor had dragged her out. Why hadn’t she said no? August heat clung to her in the dark, held the smell of sweaty bodies close against her nose. Flashing lights pummeled her. A relentless beat shook her ribs. Predators surrounded her, their eyes roaming the throng for sweet meat. She tried to become invisible, ease her way out of the crowd, finally punched and stumbled free. Looking back, she saw countless copies of that iconic image, as if time had stopped in 1977 with a white disco suit, a finger pointing skyward.

The Day
By Bob Thurmond

(Jackhammer, abruptly) Brrrrtt. Brrrrrrttt. Brrrrrrrtttt.
Silence
(Louder) Brrrrtt. Brrrrrrrttt. Brrrrrrrrrtttt.
What!? It’s Saturday for precious sake! They’re working on 1st Street.
(Helicopter sounds, rhythmically) Phwump, Phwump, Phwump, Phwump, Phwump, Thwop. Thwop. Thwop. Thwop. Thwop. Thwop. Thwop.
“Grey Leader this is Op Control. Take it down now, right here. LZ is the clearing behind that wall. Lock and load. It’s hot.”
Phwipp … Phwipp … Phwipp … Phwipp … Phwipp … Thwaat … Thwaat … Thwaat … Clang … Uuuooff … Aaaayyyee. (Bullets pass nearby, one finds flesh and bone.)
What!? It’s Saturday for precious sake! Different crew. Different 1st Street.
It's Snowing
By Paul Goldfinger

I was eating breakfast when she strode past and looked out the window.

“What happened?” she asked. “There’s no snow on the ground. You said it was snowing.”

“I said what?”

“Don’t you remember? You woke me in the night to say it was snowing. I tried looking out and could see something light but I couldn’t see any snow. All night long I was looking forward to seeing snow this morning. But the ground is bare. There isn’t even a hint of snow this morning. What happened?”

“I never said that it was snowing. I said you were snoring.”

Going Down
By Paul Goldfinger

We needed to get out of there. They had a gun; we didn’t.

We signaled each other and ran for the door. We got out to the hall before they reacted. Turn right or left? Should we take the stairs or the elevator to get down from the 18th floor?

Without thinking, we turned left, ran down one flight then ran to the elevator. Some people were waiting for the elevator, so it was already coming. Doors open. We get in. Doors close. I push for Floor 1. Button doesn’t light. I push again as the elevator starts to rise.


Dairy Queen Drive-Up
By Sherri Lee

His greatest joy: a vanilla cone. His anticipation is a vibration in our car. The teen takes our order, retreats, returns empty handed, saying the machine isn’t ready to make firm cones. I assure her it really doesn't matter, he won’t mind. We continue to our destination, out of the car, up the steps, into the office, where our vet gives him the first injection to make him drop. He locks his knees, refuses. He knows how much I need him. A second shot, he submits and the vet shaves a spot to inject the medication to stop his heart.

Wool Socks
By Sherri Lee


Knit two, purl two: the ribbing pattern forms the sock’s elastic top. Years of wrapping yarn around needles provide a comforting mantra, like a cat kneading. I sit in her wheelchair, by her bed, listening to shallow erratic
breaths--quiet, yet deafening. Knit two, purl two, inhale, exhale; repetitions, yet I gain ground as she loses it. Years of watching her become childlike; I’m now on deathwatch, so my mother, my dementia child, will not die alone. I cannot imagine how cold, dark, and damp her grave will be. I hurry so she can wear the socks to keep warm.

Addiction
By Jim Bailey


There's this family man who regularly attends church, and although he's tried to stop, has been an avid smoker his whole life, having started as a young Marine. I asked him one day what his idea of Heaven would be like, assuming that it would be a place free of addictions, where he could finally be rid of this smoking habit. I was amazed and shocked when he said that finally being able to smoke without the fear of cancer or all of the inconvenience, would be "heavenly".
My Friend
By Jim Bailey


I lost my friend today, and though I knew it would happen, it hurts just the same. If you ask me why they meant so much to me, I probably couldn't tell you. It's not that I don't know, it's just more about an understanding we had that can't be explained. What I can tell you is this. Oh, how we laughed! Through good times and bad we laughed. Not a nervous, uncomfortable laugh, but a genuine, hearty, joyful laugh that transformed us to higher levels. I am grateful to my friend. Because I can now laugh through my tears.
Mary's Wave
By Jim Bailey


I jog by a condo of a gentleman who prepares his breakfast each morning, watching for me through his window. I vigorously wave until he sees me, and he then waves back. Actually he only sees me 3/4 of the time, but his wife sees me every time. You see, Mary died several years ago, and even though she was almost blind and Chuck had to tell her when I was running by, she would always wave. Well now, God bless her, she sees me every time and I cherish that knowledge each time I pass their place.

Notes from a Mom
By Jim Bailey


When her beloved son was to leave for boot camp to pursue his military training, she couldn't help but feel a sense of both pride and fear for his well being and safety. Wanting to do something special for him she recalled that even as a young boy, he had an interest in the wooden statues from Polynesia. So when the time came for him to go, she presented him with a beautiful, hollowed out, hand carved "Tiki". A precious gift from a mother to her son, made priceless by the 365 hand written notes lovingly placed inside.

September 11
By Jim Bailey

On my jog this anniversary morning of September 11, I wore a NYPD t-shirt given to me by a Firefighter friend of mine from Ground Zero in 2001. Usually when I run, I feel the concerns of the day and the aching of muscles, but today was different. My feet barely touched the ground. My pace was fast and true. My spirit was alive and well. As I looked ahead I understood why. For there in front of me were all of the first responders who lost their lives that day. Each one running effortlessly into the mist.
The Usher
By Jim Bailey

A small church enlisted the help of some of the local youth to assist with ushering people to their seats. They were instructed to encourage parishioners to proceed to their seats as quickly as possible. One young man took his job very seriously, meeting folks at the door and hustling them directly in. As an elderly lady arrived late he ran to catch her as she was heading away from the seating area. Following her down the hall he said, "ma'am, I can seat you". She replied "young man, I can seat myself", as she walked into the restroom.

No Grits on Sunday
By Sandra Scalise Juneau


He shuffled into the empty kitchen. Their O’Keefe & Merritt range, cold now for weeks, mocked his aloneness with its gleaming chrome - years of simmering flavors replaced by Spic and Span.
As footsteps crossed the lawn, he heard her calling, “Poppa, it’s me, Lena. I brought your grits for breakfast.”
Exasperated, he thought, “She no realize? Sundays, we always come home from Mass to break the fast with warm scicciata dipped in her red gravy.”
Through Lena’s blazing eyes, he saw into his beloved Angelina’s patient gaze.
Then exclaimed, “Lena, I’m already tella you, ‘I no eat grits on Sunday!’”
World Nazi
By Bob Thurmond


The rule - conform. Easier to manage you and your idea if it is 100 words. Or if it wears a star on its coat. Or you can say she is promiscuous without knowing her. Or you ban her burka from your sight. I am progressive but won't take the glance of the town idiot. His intensity over powers mine. He won't vote.

Day dreams of giggling girls give way to Greg's performance. Jon's joke. Poker with the "guys." Had to leave at 8:00 pm to call her. Her worst decision ever, talking to me. She knows. Collapse is nearby.

English 201
By Bob Thurmond


Mrs. Rice taught sophomore English at HHS. We learned the Bard. She was a Faulknerite, a whore for Tennessee Williams, and drunk after lunch. You took her class in the morning. Why Shakespeare? Lusty teen-agers of a distant age. Why Faulkner? "As I Lay Dying" was her answer. Why TW? The Rose Tattoo. The lurid artistry of words drew images of passion not spoken, not available, not intended to be read but seen.

Joy Rice eulogized her mother: "She was Elektra, Pauline. She was Magdeline. She made Sophomores crazy." She did.

Later, Joy confided, "Mother was a lady. But complicated.”
The True Story of Climate Change
By Deborah Nedelman

Wind said, man, I’m takin’ a nap, and he curled up on the couch, put on his sunglasses and vegged out. Rain saw Wind, feet up, mouth hanging open--he sure looked comfortable. Rain thought, I’m sick of falling, falling. falling. Rain went to the yoga studio and sat in the lotus position, ooommming. Around that time the Sun got fed up with the shining duty; truth is she’d always wanted to be a pole dancer. Wind roused himself to take a sip of his margarita, he winked up at Sun and said, honey, it’s your life, go for it.

Love at the Lost and Found
By Deborah Nedelman


Lost: My heart, red and beating, dropped as I was handing it to you, along with a small drop of self-respect—the only one I had left—somewhere near your apartment last night . Only you can return it.

Found: Huge apologies surrounding dregs of love bleeding in the gutter. Owner was temporarily blinded by responsibility; emergency resuscitation has begun

Lost: The will to fight; nothing left but hope

Found: Path to your heart– long and winding, but light at the end—intend to follow

Lost: Resistance; loneliness

Found: Diamond ring perfect for you
Bucket List
By Deborah Nedelman

Cracking sunflower seeds with our teeth and spitting out the shells is more fun than eating the kernels. Giggling, Sissy and I make a mess with those seeds! I turned 82 last week and Sissy’s 86. Better late than never is our motto. Every Thursday we think of something Mama didn’t allow and we go for it. Farting and picking our noses came easy; same with smoking, drinking and gobbling our food. Skirts hiked up, barefoot, we jumped into the mud. The night we swore nearly gave Sissy a heart attack. She better hang on: I’ve already ordered the motorcycle.
A View to Die for or Not
By Deborah Nedelman

It has good bones, the realtor said. Plenty of sagging bits, plumbing of an overfed 80-year old, and wiring of an Alzheimer’s patient.But . . .good bones. Oh, and a killer view--when it wasn’t raining or foggy or dark. We overlooked the flying ants covering the siding, the water marks on the walls and ceiling.We had vision. 25 years, 4 major remodels, 2 herniated discs, a bout of pneumonia from a winter in the garage, counseling sessions, and piles of money the size of Mt. Rainier later, we’re downsizing. Who needs a view? Our bones creak in the rain.
Lacrima
By Teresa McElhinny

One mother cradles her newborn.
Another buries her stillborn.
A young wife welcomes her husband home from war.
A soldier dad of three small children never returns.
These parents applaud their daughter graduating magna cum laude.
Those parents’ linebacker son dies of brain trauma.
A lovely bride lifts her lacy veil.
A couple, long estranged, divorces.
That patient’s tests all come back negative.
This one has several more inoperable malignancies.

Eyes glisten with them.
Cheeks stream with them.
A collection of tears which
Drop by drop,
Bitter and sweet in equal measure,
Pours itself out –
Watering the Tree of Life.

It Waits
By Teresa McElhinny

Searing red dots glare in the shifting shadows of its otherwise absent face. Skeletal limbs, matte black rather than bone white, reflect no light. It absorbs – no, consumes – no, becomes darkness. Crouching with cadaverous arms outstretched, its ten inch fingers with razor sharp talons are eager to clutch, squeeze, and shred.
I scream, willing myself to awaken, to ascend from the abyss of this recurrent nightmare.
But I’m not asleep. I can never sleep, because this horror never sleeps. It always waits, lurking in the miasma of my deepest fears, feeding, gorging upon them.
Don’t sleep. Keep watch. It waits.
The Determinator
By Teresa McElhinny

Preserve the PhD’s, the 38-D’s,
the muscled and the glamorized.
Reserve the next ark that sails
for the brightest and the best,
the cream of the crop.
Evacuate them.
Abandon the elderly, deaf and blinded,
the ugly and the paralyzed.
Grieve not their loud pleas and wails,
for the blighted and the blemished
never reach the top.
Eliminate them.
Humanity cannot be jeopardized.
Inferiority must be cauterized.
Whose DNA should determine our fate?
We MUST decide before it’s too late.
Thus declareth the Determinator.
Just clarifying our values, so saith The Man.
What do you think?
and Does it matter?
What Happens Now?
By Teresa McElhinny

Officer, I confess. I can’t live with the guilt. But let me explain.
It’s Fred’s fault for snoring. Keeps me awake night after night. I toss, I turn, wrap the pillow around my ears. Then that prickling sensation starts over my left temple. For months, this goes on.
Finally, I’d had enough. Last night I crept into the kitchen, grabbed scissors from the drawer, eased back into bed. Fred never woke up.
Yes, I did it … oh, dear God … I removed that tag from my pillow that says not to under penalty of law.
So – what happens now?
The Scourge of Catarrh
By Teresa McElhinny

The Dark Lord Catarrh continued along his slimy path of destruction, accompanied by those vile minions, Phlegm and Rheum.
Insidious, corrupt, they desecrated the Passages of Sigh Noose, devastated the twin hills of Ton Sill, and created an unbearably discordant cacophony in the land of Res Spire, so neither its terrified residents nor their weary neighbors ever slept.
Valiant efforts were made to wash away the pestilent slime, repair the horrific damages, and drown out the excruciating din. But the onslaught continued.
Would Catarrh forever imprison his victims in his virulent clutches? Would relief never come?
Time alone would tell.

Once Upon a Mid-life, Dearie
By Teresa McElhinny

Perched on the shoulders of Odin, the chief god in Norse mythology, the two ravens, Hugin (Thought) and Munin (Memory) helped Odin think and remember.
My Hugin and Munin, however, are always flying off to who knows where. Come to think of it, they seem to be gone again today. I don’t remember when they left.
Yesterday my train of thought derailed.
I fear some day I’ll reach for Hugin or Munin but, instead, it will be Edgar Allan Poe’s raven pecking at my brain, with an incessant rap rap rapping at my cerebral door.
But thoughts? Memories? Alas, nevermore.
My Opinion
By Teresa McElhinny

We’d like your opinion. These surveys are conducted in order to better serve our constituents, our consumers, our clients. When we know what you think, and your neighbors think, and society thinks, we can guarantee our candidates, our products, our services will provide what you truly want and need.
I monitored the broad swath of popular opinion voiced on the worldwide web via YouTube, blogs, media chat rooms, and bulletin boards to discern the global mindset. I now understand what the people of the Earth truly want, and what they truly need.
Here’s my opinion. I’m moving to another galaxy.
Toast!
By Jim Rehaume

As everyone knows the crust of a piece of toast is the driest part. To be done properly the toast has to be buttered to the edges.

A couple of weeks after our marriage, I noticed a fault in my beautiful wife.

“My dear wife”, I said in the most lovingly way that I could, “You didn’t butter the toast all the way to the edges”.

“Oh my sweet husband”, she replied, “ I will fix that problem for you right away”.

To this day, 28 years later, I have perfectly buttered toast.

I still have to do it myself.

Albert! ALBERT!! SUPPER IS READY!!
By Jim Rehaume

What’s with that man again? It’s been like this for months now. I have to call him at least three times for every meal. What am I, a lousy cook? For months now I’ve had to call him over and over again. And not just at mealtimes either.

Is he getting hard of hearing? Could he even be going DEAF?

No? I know he likes my cooking. And he says he hears me SNORE.

So? Then WHAT THE HECK IS IT? He seems totally distracted by something.

OH! For Goodness Sakes.

It’s probably that silly E=MC squared stuff again.

Once Upon a Hill
By Jim Rehaume

After retiring we moved from Orcas to Whidbey Island so that our families wouldn‘t have to take a ferry to visit us.

What feeling of freedom.

We wanted more space for our many Grandkids to play in so, we bought a large lot and cleared an acre of it near the top most part to build our house.

My friend George and my wife and I were looking down the hill over the construction site when he said to me,

“You’re going to need a riding mower now for sure.”

“My gosh what for?,” my wife replied.

“It’s mostly downhill.”
Why She Went Away
By Tricia Becker Ratekin

It was the fall of 1962; Khrushchev put the fear in my mother's psyche. The
threat of nuclear missiles launched from Cuba to the United States left her in a
state of panic. She was thirty years old, with five young children under the age of
seven. Crying uncontrollably for weeks, the doctor advised my father to
institutionalize her for three months. She was given electric shock therapy.
I, being just two years could barely grasp the absence of my mother, my primary
caretaker, the love of my life. I cried those three long months wondering if she'd
ever return.
Indiscretion
By C.J. Booth

She slipped her wedding ring back on.
There was just enough time to make the bed before he came home.
Still, her hands shook as she tucked the corners and smoothed,
and smoothed,
and smoothed,
the wrinkles, knowing all along it was never going to work.
She slid to her knees and pressed a pillow to her face. Sobs of regret shook her.
It didn’t matter if he knew. Her heart knew. It was over.
Yes, she’d washed the evidence. She’d cleaned the sheets.
But, no matter how hard you try, broken trust never heals.
And some stains never bleach.
Man. Woman. Monkey
By C.J. Booth

A woman and a monkey board a train. Separately. Trying to appear nonchalant.
The woman’s husband slips aboard just as the train is pulling out.
The man finds and confronts the monkey in the club car, the last car on the train.
“Are you having an affair with my wife?” he asks the monkey.
The monkey lowers the newspaper he’s reading and stares at the man. Finally, he answers him. “Would you like a banana?”
“What?” asks the man incredulously.
“A banana.”
“A BANANA!” shrieked the man. “What about my wife?”
The monkey shook his head. “She didn’t want one.”
Which Comes First
By C.J. Booth

Damn it, every time he tried to do the trick, he’d lose the chicken.
Step One. He’d cover the chicken with his cape.
Two. Say the magic words.
Three. Snatch the cape away. Presto! Chicken is gone.
Audiences were delighted. But he, Marvelous Marvin, could never find where the chicken went.
Finally, last performance, he was determined not to lose the chicken.
One. Cape over chicken.
Two. Abracadabra.
Three. Chicken’s gone.
Miraculously, Marvin sees the chicken sitting in the front row.
“How did you get there?”
The chicken shrugged. “I got comps from my brother. So where’d the chicken go?”


True Story
By Judi Nyerges

Hands jammed in pockets, ball-cap visor over eyes, Norm slouched alongside Sylvia, radiating hostility over her refusal to divorce him. Down in the gutter he spied a muddy toy ring, scooped it up and tossed it across as he passed her.
“Here. Don’t ever say I never gave you anything.”
She sighed, disregarding his antagonism. The dirt-crusted bauble was a cruel taunt, but she pocketed it.

Norm never knew why she reconsidered. He just knew he’d won. He got his barmaid girlfriend.
Sylvia got a twenty-one thousand dollar, D-1, colorless, two carat diamond set in platinum.
Moving on
By Judi Nyerges

Some things you just don’t get over. Like killing your husband. Lord knows, Lena had tried. She’d re-decorated, taken self-improvement classes, donated his things to charity and taken up tennis. But, at the end of the day, there it was. Oh, the Frederik Fekkai haircuts did help. As did La Costa, the Christian Loubitan’s, the Jag and her little black Marc Jacobs mourning dresses.
But she just could not get over the look of astonished disbelief on Dr. Martin Winslow’s face when she revealed she wasn’t drinking the deadly heart-stopping cocktail he’d mixed for her -- he was.
Writer's Block
By Allan Ament

Nothing. It was as if the thoughts were dammed behind an impenetrable wall. The computer screen flickered, daring him to mar its pristine emptiness with words. What a time to get writers’ block, he thought. He knew exactly what he must do in the next hour, but he couldn’t find the right words to complete the task.
He got up, stretched, drank some water, then sat down again and stared at the screen, his mind still a blank.
Screw it, he thought. They’ll figure it out.
He leaned back in his leather chair and put the pistol to his head.
The Dudess Ranch
By Dennis White

Every year, my wife attends a horse ranch just for women. I jokingly call it a “dudess” ranch. When I recently told my friend that my wife was at a dudess ranch, he misinterpreted me and said:

“Wow, I didn’t know she was into THAT … What do they do there?”

“Mostly they ride horses all day”

“Isn’t that UNCOMFORTABLE?”

“Not for her. She is a real professional. She especially likes to ride bareback”

“Oh…. So, what else do they do there?”

“Sometimes they ride into town and put on a show.”

“Wow. Where is this ranch located?”

“Beaver Creek, Colorado”
Long Suffering
By Nancy Sanders

For twenty one years I have waited patiently for plums from my plum tree. Recently I pruned the apple tree next to it and exposed something my eyes could not believe; one HUGE oblong plum with hot pink and peach sunset colors. Talk about a photo opportunity! For two days I kept checking on my treasured edible until the third morning when I discovered someone had absconded with my perfect plum in the night! I combed the ground underneath; not even a pit. Geez, the critter could have, at least, left the plum pit! Out loud I sigh, “Next year.”
Deer Eggs
By Linda Beeman

Each weekend of my childhood, mother forced my father and me out for an exploratory drive. We surveyed northern Idaho’s panhandle in detail. We hiked up forest trails and picnicked beside shallow creeks.
One such day saw me traversing a hillside solo and finding small, dark pellets along the trail.
“Oh, deer eggs!” I thought. These dark brown ovoids were the right shape but maybe a little small.
Always an entrepreneur, I realized I could hatch my own herd and stuffed my pockets to surprise my parents. Their astonishment at my deer droppings hoard was exceeded only by my mortification.
Wild, Wild West, circa 2013
By John Scehovic

Honey, when you’re at Island Drug, stop next door at Whidbey Arms and pick up an AK-47.
An AK-47! You’re kidding, right?
Listen, our 12 gauge shotgun and .44 Magnum will not be enough to stop an intruder. Not when they’re packing an AK-47. We have to fight fire with fire. Just ask the NRA.
How about a cease fire?
Actually get two, one for the house and one for the car. That way we won’t get car jacked either. I’ll make a sign “AK-47 on board”! That will keep the bad guys away!
You Either Get it or You Don't
By Jim Bailey

I met this angel the other day. He said he had come back to earth to take care of some unfinished business. He really didn't seem to be that much different than myself, but he did have this wonderful, blissful omniscience about him. I asked him some dumb question about the meaning of our existence and he said that you either get it or you don't. I then asked him how he knew so much about what is and what might happen (assuming it's because he's a spiritual being). He simply said, "I pay attention"! I think I got it.


And the Answer is
By Jim Bailey

I suppose it's part of man's nature to look for answers to the meaning of life. Actually I'm one of those arrogantly confident souls who pretty much already knows. My dilemma however, comes in trying to explain it to others. When I was in the Southwest, I had the opportunity to sit with a Native American Elder who looked over at a brick wall and simply said, "I could walk through that wall if I only knew how.” There was the answer. We all have the ability to walk through walls if we only knew how!

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