4 Red Flags You Shouldn’t Ignore

Lead a busy life? It’s a mad whirl out there for so many of us. I forgot my pants this morning. Just kidding.

Please, take the time to look both ways before stepping off the curb. Check for bones in that forkful of haddock. Confirm that the seat is down before sitting on the toilet.

These are common-sense precautions. It takes a little luck to get through life.

Having said that, trusting to luck WILL NOT HELP YOU in certain situations. Learn to recognize the warning signs!

#1 You boss tries to kill you.

This is a warning sign. Your prospects for future advancement in the company may be compromised. Having failed to murder you, will your boss be able to give you a fair and balanced performance report during the next employee review cycle? Will killing him help or hinder your progress up the corporate ladder? Should you continue shtupping his wife, or move on?

#2 Your wife tries to kill you.

There is nothing more important in life than good, basic nutrition. When you get up in the morning, you need a good breakfast. When you get home from work at night, you need a good dinner. Anything that gets in the way of these essential meals must be eradicated without mercy. Remember, you can’t hire a wife, but you can hire a cook.

#3 Your children try to kill you.

Kids. What can you do? You give them everything. It’s why you go to work in the morning instead of turning into a homeless bum. You work your fingers to the bone and then work your wrists to the bone and then… you get the idea. Then they tear out your heart and skateboard over it. That’s not a warning sign. That’s just normal life.

#4 Your dog tries to kill you.

If you cat tries to kill you, you probably deserve it, you sorry piece of dirt. In the case of dog mayhem, you’ve got to look into breed. Your breed, I mean. What color is your skin? What is your religion? What is your orientation vis a vis LGBT. Are you conservative or liberal? Libertarian? What is your position on the right to bear arms?

Dogs care about these things, especially in the southern United States and Irish bogs. Given half a chance, they will thin the human herd.

Chicken Lays Giant Egg With A Surprise Inside

I don’t like surprises, which is why I don’t eat eggs.

I don’t open things. When I shop, I take a string bag, so I can see its contents at all times.

I take my mail next door and let my neighbor open it. FedEx delivered a box and I left it on the porch. My neighbor finally opened it because of the smell; it contained perishables.

I was considered strange in high school because on a hot date, I wouldn’t unbutton the girl’s blouse.

Later in life, when my older brother was killed in the line of work, I was the only one to attend his funeral because I insisted on an open casket. He was on the bomb squad.

I gave up my plans to become a surgeon because of this habit.

Once when I was feeling wild and crazy, I closed my eyes; naturally, I didn’t want to open them again. My neighbor had to thumb up the lids. I won’t close them again. I use eye drops and at night, eye props. I’m often accused of staring at people in a creepy way.

My marriage failed because I wouldn’t comply when my wife begged me to open up with her.

The bottom line: I live a quiet, solitary life, working at a low-paying job at a dry cleaners. Ironically, my boss makes me put out the Open sign every morning.


Sofia Vergara Reveals Bra Size

My husband has been trying to discover my bra size for years.

“Sofia has revealed hers,” he says to me. “Why can’t you do the same?”

Ha. No way. When I buy a bra, the first thing I do is remove the tag from it that divulges its size.

I find my husband hanging around our washer/dryer combo, hoping to lay hands on one of my bras. He figures that if he can obtain just one of them, he can measure it and deduce my bra size from that. Unfortunately for him, I hand-wash my bras and dry them on a rack in the attic, where he never goes.

He swears that he’ll figure it all out and then, just out of spite, that he’ll also figure out my cup size. Let him try. As long as I don’t let him grope me, he’s going to remain in the dark.

My girlfriends tell me that he asks them for their bra sizes. He wants to triangulate. Clever!

I didn’t marry a fool, just a Nosy Norbert.

Once, in a weak moment, he told me that after he got over the bra hump, he was going to start on my panties. This just demonstrates the difference between a wily woman and a dumb man. I’ve known that he wears jockey shorts in a 34 for ages.

Supermodel Spotted Without Makeup

I was working checkout on Monday, ringing up a woman with an unbelievable amount of makeup in her grocery basket.

“Who is this for?” I said, as I scanned item after item.

“Who do you think?” she said.

This was a skinny young woman of nondescript mien.

“When do you use it?” I said.

Opportunities for socialization are limited out here in South Potlatch.

“I don’t live here,” she said. “I’m here on a photo shoot. I’m a supermodel.”

“Good Lord!” I said. “I’ve never met a supermodel before. What’s your name, if you don’t mind me asking.”

“Princessa,” the supermodel said.

“I would think you’d bring your own cosmetics,” I said. “I never pictured you buying them at Walmart.”

“The makeup bus missed the turnoff and kept right on going to East Gravy Stain or somewhere,” Princessa said.

“Well, welcome to South Potlatch,” I said. “What tales you could tell, huh? What adventures you’ve had. And the funny thing is, you look a lot like Daisy over at the Dairy Queen. If you put on a little weight… Burt! Price check on this exfolient scrub with rice bran, please.”

Princessa was clicking her gum, which surprised me. You don’t see that on Project Runway. She was drumming her fingers, the nails sans polish and trimmed rather blunt.

“Are you looking at my hands?” she said.

I focused on the remaining items to be checked and shook my head.

“I don’t like people looking at my hands,” she said. She sounded like she meant it.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I’m not used to being around stars. I saw Phil Donahue from a distance once, but he was seventy-five at the time. Someone said he was approachable but I was too shy to try.”

Princessa also reminded me of Albert Chroner. He’s fourteen, Elmer Chroner’s boy. Just the slightest bit light on his feet.

I bagged everything up.

“Well,” I said. “Have a good shoot.”

Princessa didn’t answer. She was leafing through People Magazine with a jealous look on her plain little face.

9 Things That Might Be Wrong With You

[Headline, Huffington Post]

1. You might have a heart attack in the next five minutes. Are you driving down the freeway while reading this? Move over to the slow lane.

2. Are you reading this while having sex? That’s weird. But anyway, having sex at your age and in your shape is just ignorant. You could have a heart attack practically any minute now.

3. All right. You’re sitting down. Not doing anything stupid. You probably won’t have a heart attack after all. Relax. Nonetheless, you’re still reading and that makes you a prime candidate for a brain aneurysm. Something about the eyeballs tracking back and forth on the screen seems to bring them on. In the next few seconds. (Too late to stop reading.)

4. You know what? We’re only at #4 and you’re already so at risk of being dead. The idea that you’ll make it to #9 is ludicrous. If nothing else, you just might be the type of person who unconsciously signals everyone around you that you want to be murdered. It’s pathetic.

5. Let’s get back on a medical footing. Do you have any aches or pains? Moments of indicision? A reason to be reading this beyond a severe vacuity in your life? You know what’s wrong with you? No, wait. We’re listing 9 things. We need to build the tension.

6. Let’s skip over this one. If you’re really sick, you might not have much time left.

7. If it’s in the Bible, you probably don’t have it. you’re not religious enough.

8. What’s your worst medical fear, disease-wise? You could have that! After all, you’re worried about it for a reason.

9. Let’s face it. We’ve got one good symptom to work with here: that you’re reading this. We can make a strong argument that your problem is mental, not physical.

Woman with Longest Legs Has Surprise Neighbor

(Huffington Post headline]

“Just don’t ask me if they go all the way up,” says Lona Calvesouvo.

Lona has the longest legs in the world. The longest female legs, anyway. A number of men have longer legs, but nobody cares about them, other than a few basketball enthusiasts. Nobody ogles those legs. Lona’s legs have been ogled since she turned thirteen and began wearing heels, short skirts, and nylons.

As a teenager, she had the legs of a twenty- or thirty-year old woman with the longest legs in the world.

The Rockettes sought her out but Lona wanted to go it alone. She didn’t want to be just one more dancer in a line, even if her legs would kick out twice as far as everybody else’s.

Instead, she signed on with Acme Razor Blades. Acme claimed in its advertisements that a single Acme blade was sturdy enough to shave both of Lona’s legs without losing its edge. Perhaps this was an exaggeration; Lona would help things along with a little pre-shave waxing. Nevertheless, the world came to know and love the sight of those lengthy gams getting lathered up on-camera.

Of course there were soreheads – there always are – who pointed out that Lona’s arms were normal in length. That her fingers were not particularly gracile. Such complaints were overwhelmed by the steady stream of marriage proposals she received.

And now, ironically, who moves in next door? (Lona still lives at home with her folks.) A double amputee? Ha ha. That would be funny. But no.

Somebody with a long nose or long earlobes or suchlike? Or three legs. Hah! But no.

Lona’s Aunt Mary and Uncle John moved in next door. It was a total surprise, as they always said that they would never leave their farm. But one day they just got sick of it out there in the country, especially the rooster crowing before dawn every morning, so they snapped up the foreclosed three-bedroom, two-bath colonial that the Smorda family had owned for so long next to Lona and her folks.

The Tragedy of Baby Chen

Chen Xitong (not the ex-mayor of Beijing) is a multi-billionaire who took up residence in lawless Somalia fifteen years ago. An eccentric who was constantly running into trouble with Asian authorities in spite of his great wealth, Chen elected to find a spot in the world where he could build a personal enclave subject to his own personal rule and the rule of no others.

Once there, he married his long-time love, a female chimpanzee he had named Zhang Manyu, after the beautiful Hong Kong actress.

In due course, Zhang became pregnant, presumably at the hands (so to speak) of her chimpanzee manservant Bo Xilai (not the mayor of Chongqing). Chen Xitong, we know now, then traveled to a rogue state in northern Asia and there arranged to pay one billion dollars to the government to have portions of his DNA spiced into Zhang’s blastocyst.

The procedure was accomplished and the baby was born. At first Chen was delighted. Since he was hardly taller than Zhang, the child was born naturally, with no need for a Caesarian delivery. Chen named the little girl Zhange Ziyi, after one of the Four Young Dan actresses in the Chinese film industry.

The little one had a yellow cast to her monkey skin. Her eyes had the epicanthic fold. By the age of six months (maturing rapidly, chimp-fashion), she could speak like a disabled human three-year-old. She was pretty good with math and the violin, too.

Where is the tragedy in this? you ask. The trouble began when Chen suddenly realized that his daughter looked more Korean than Chinese. Could her DNA have come, in fact, from the frozen supply of Dear Leader sperm, or from one of the country’s 24 million starving denizens? Chen flew to Korea and demanded his billion back. He was given no satisfaction. In anger, he canceled his order for four hydrogen bombs.

The mother Zhang had no interest in any of this, of course, being an ape. (A “dirty ape,” according to her Somali maidservant, who was charged with picking up her dung around the house all day.)

When Chen got home, he canceled his daughter’s violin lessons, upsetting the professor who flew in from Paris three times a week. Chen fired the little girl’s math tutor, who, as a matter of fact, was getting rather too friendly with the little tyke anyway.

The child Zhang Ziyi is fourteen now. Rebellious. Has all the Planet of the Apes movies hidden under her bed. Fools around with a gibbon she met at the zoo. Has stated publicly that she’s black enough to be all ape. Her grandmother (the human one) has not given up on her. Gifts her with presents from Elsa Schiaparelli and Roy Halston Frowick at every opportunity. Visits the girl’s Facebook page and embarrasses her there with expressions of affection.

Chen Xitong, disillusioned, has divorced Zhang Manyu and impulsively married a spider monkey named  Gao Yuanyuan, formerly one of his many concubines. Her agility is unparallelled.

Three 50-Word Stories

Popular Destination

They walk among us. Amos couldn’t hold his liquor and spilled the beans. I didn’t believe him until he levitated the bottle of hot sauce on our barroom table.

Here to invade, these aliens? Nope. Earth is a galactic Tijauna. Alcohol. Drugs. Violence. Littering.

It’s boring out there, in civilization.


Hugs and Hoes

Janie wanted hugs. She demanded them. She pestered me for them.

I hugged her but my arms began to hug her tighter. Tighter. And finally, too tight.

Mary doesn’t need hugs. She just wants a beautiful yard. She buys me shears and spades. Sharp and heavy tools.

She pesters me.



Why are there more crows? Global warming? More neighborhood carrion? The crow is not a solitary bird. Crows flock.

They communicate, these birds, now more than before. Loudly. The crow is a grumpy bird, a querulous bird. Increasingly loud.

Increasingly angry.

Reports have been coming in. The crows are attacking.

(Published in FiftyWordStories)