Reluctantly Agrees

There was a batch of cookies sitting on the dining room table and Tom wondered what was up, because he knew that it wasn’t his birthday.  He saw his wife Judy and he asked her why she baked the cookies and she said that they are all for him to entice him to take her to get the Covid vaccines that they were now giving out.  Tom didn’t want to go; he didn’t think that the shots were necessary and it was a 3-hour ride just to get to the clinic.  He was good at social distancing and he always wore a mask when he was out of the house, so he felt that he could wait till this whole craze settled down, as he had read that the demand is high among seniors like him and Judy, because they are among those most at risk for severe illness from Covid-19.  Pence was put in charge by our illustrious leader and he handed off the ball, letting it become the individual State’s responsibilities.  Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis drafted a manual that tells how vaccines should be stored and handled, but there is nothing in the plan that tells people where to go and when to get their shots.  DeSantis basically washed his hands on this whole thing and he will let the counties figure this part out.  We were told the vaccines would be coming, but actually getting the vaccine is not easy.

Tom was a lighthouse keeper and Judy never baked him cookies as they made his blood sugar sky rocket because of his diabetes, but Tom could not resist them and they packed up the car to head to the clinic.  Being a lighthouse keeper was what Tom always did because he enjoyed solitude and a long ride in the car with his wife was not a good thing, as she had a tendency to nag him.  Tom turned on the radio and the newscaster was saying how pissed off Trump became when the PGA announced that they were canceling a tournament at his Bedminster club next year.  This decision was made after last week’s violent attack on the US Capitol by trump supporters.  Tom played golf and he made up his mind never to play at a Trump resort or even visit one from now on.  Judy complained about the news and made Tom find a station with music.  Tom found a nice station and it was playing the Cat Stevens song ‘Moonshadow’, so Tom started singing, “If I die from Covid-19, I won’t have to turn the lights on anymore.”

They arrived at the clinic and waited on this line of cars that had formed, until the police pulled up behind them and told them that this was not the vaccine line and that there would be no shots administered today.  The cop said that they had to check the internet to see when the clinic would open up again.  Judy suggested that they go out for pancakes and then check into a hotel room where they could find out more information about how this worked, because she was not leaving without getting her shot.  Tom was happy about the pancakes, because Judy never let him have them at home, so this was a treat for him.  They checked into a hotel across the street and this nice man with a laptop who logged on to the county website and told them when the clinic would open up again.  They bought him a martini for helping them out.  Tom started singing, “I’m being followed by a moonshadow, Moonshadow, moonshadow.  Leaping and hopping on a moonshadow, Moonshadow, moonshadow.”

Written for Paula’s Tuesday Story 6 challenge.

Give Me Serenity

The data looks really bad right now for L.A. and California is leading the country in the number of positive cases and the total number of deaths.  I am trying to get back home as soon as I can because I don’t want to be out here.  I was told that the vaccines were ready, so I drove over to the clinic but when I got there, they said they were not ready to distribute any today.  Deaths and hospitalizations are surging, more and more people are testing positive as this virus transmission has placed the entire area in the Tier 1 risk category, causing many nonessential business operations to close.  The hospital ICU capacity is stretched beyond its limits, residents are asked to stay at home and all gatherings with members of other households are prohibited.  The spread of COVID-19 in Los Angeles is currently at Threat Level Red meaning Extreme Risk – Stay Home.

This news is so depressing that all I want to do is get back home and smoke a big fatty.  Fuck the flamboyance of flamingos are out on parade again, blocking my way.  The long-legged wonders are kind of cute, so maybe I will light up now and watch them for a minute or two.  Man, this is some good shit that Fandango got for me, that dude really knows his weed.  This is getting out of hand now and I know that many people were all aflutter about these birds when they first arrived here, but they really need to keep them locked up, so they are not blocking traffic.

That joint made me hungry and I thing they are serving lunch now at Pie ‘n Burger in Pasadena, which I heard is the birthplace of the cheeseburger.  Pie ‘n Burger has been a legend since 1963, this diner turned ode to all things burger continues to turn out impeccable California classics, complete with special sauce and lightly melted American cheese.  I love their fries and they have great coleslaw, and I will wash it down with a milkshake and get one of those fruit pies to go, yep I’m heading there now.

Written for Paula’s Tuesday Story 5 challenge.

The Boogieman

“Ridiculous”, said the investigating officer, “there is no such thing as the boogieman, that is just something that was made up to scare children and make them behave.”  Little Johnny said, “There is too and I saw him and he took my three friends into the woods.  We were digging in the sand and making castles and then we started feeling strangely warm in the day’s heat, so we all took off our sneakers leaving them on this piece of driftwood and we went down to the water to dip our feet in the waves.  The tide was receding and the waves were very calming, because we didn’t hear any sounds when the boogieman approached us.  One minute all four of us were enjoying the water and the next, my three friends Cindy, Shirley and Edward were walking away with this strange man.

I yelled out, ‘Stranger danger!’ and I begged them not to go, but the boogieman said that he was going to take them to a carnival and give them candy an let them go on all of the rides.  They tried to get me to come along with them, but my dog Fido kept barking at the man and they said that I should take him home, so we could all have fun.  I had to drag Fido back to my house, because he must have sensed that there was something wrong.  I came back in less than 5 minutes, but they had all vanished and everything changed, except for their sneakers which were still left on the beach.  I was trying to grasp the situation and that is why I dialed 911.

I did snap a picture of the boogieman with my cell and maybe this will be useful for you to find my friends.”  The officer said, “Johnny this will be very useful and I will put out an all points bulletin on this man and sound the amber alert to see if anybody spots your friends.  I am not convinced that this is the boogieman, as it looks more like a creepy mime to me, but I will do my best to apprehend him, as I can see that he is evil just by looking at him.”  The waves continued to splash on the shore, and seagulls flew overhead, as an eerie sensation filled the air.

Written for Paula’s Tuesday Story 4 challenge and for FOWC with Fandango – Ridiculous.

Do People Still Snort Coke

I went to a party at Steve Martin’s house the other day for his 75th birthday and he still is a wild and crazy guy.  There were a lot of celebrities there and a bunch of strippers and a live band.  I had no idea that Iron Butterfly was still a group, but they were there playing and Steve was telling the story of how they got their name.  Steve said that the designer of the airship, Ferdinand von Zeppelin, threatened to sue Led Zeppelin for using the Zeppelin name, so for one show they played under the alias The Nobs to circumvent the threat of legal action.  Steve said that in 1968, Led Zeppelin opened for Iron Butterfly, and they received such a resounding approval from the audience, that Iron Butterfly decided not to go on.

Steve said that Jimmy Page based Led Zeppelin’s name on the premise of something heavy but he used Led instead of Iron and Zeppelin instead of Butterfly for a substance that was light, and appealing.  Steve went on to discuss the apparent suicide of their bass guitar player Taylor Kramer whose body went missing for 4 years.  Taylor left the band and he was employed at the U.S. Department of Defense and he started working on quantum teleportation, a revolutionary method of transporting information and matter through space.  Taylor’s remains were found inside his car at the bottom of a ravine, and he was identified through dental records and this broach of a butterfly that he always wore on his jacket.

I walked into another room where John Mulaney pulled out the giant bag of cocaine and he was telling a story about how Trump got the Secret Service to investigate him.  He did a Leap Year bit, which joked about bringing back a Julius Caesar-type murder.  He said that Leap Year began in the year 45 B.C. under Julius Caesar and that he started the Leap Year in order to correct the calendar.  He said that Julius Caesar was he was such a powerful maniac that all the senators grabbed knives and they stabbed him to death and that’d be an interesting thing if we could bring that back now.  Trump took offence to that, but everyone at the party was snorting and telling him what a good idea that is.

Written for Paula’s Tuesday Story 3 challenge.

Entertaining Tonight

I am all ready for tonight when your boss and his wife come over and I even picked up some blocks for their toddler to play with, just in case they bring him along.  I will have the appetizers ready and I figured that we could enjoy some cocktails with them.  I know how much you enjoy Hors d’oeuvres, as you have never been known to turn down a snack.  Since your boss’s wife Maria is Spanish, I have put together a tray of tapas including shrimp, sliced cheese, crackers, pretzels, olives and nuts, nothing real fancy, but it should hold us all off till the main course.

I am so happy that all of the cleaning is done and you wouldn’t believe the hairballs of dust that came off of that bookshelf from all those books that you collect and I never see you reading any of them.  I found a dead cockroach up on the top shelf and I am still creeped out by it.  No, I won’t bring up the raise that I think you are so deserving of, but that won’t prevent me from talking about your accomplishments if the subject comes up, as I am proud of all the deals that you brought into the company.

I thought that the Madeira Portuguese wine would make a nice pairing for after dinner, becoming our aperitif or dessert wine and if they don’t enjoy that, then you can open up something else from your well stocked collection.  Since it is fortified with brandy, it is a high alcohol wine and we can offer them the extra bedroom to stay over just incase they are enjoying themselves too much.  Once we open the bottle of Madeira, it will only last about a month, but if we don’t finish it off. I can always use what is left when I am cooking something.

Written for Paula’s Tuesday Story 2 challenge.

22 Black

He bet everything he had on this number, which came to him from his Chevy Silverado 1500 3/4 ton 22” black wheels.  He loved that truck and he had 22 payments left to make on it, but now that he was out of work, it was going to be repossessed.  He was in the red, behind 5 payments and he wanted to turn that around and be back in the black.  He picked the wrong number, as when the wheel stopped, the ball fell into 5 red.  He had this cosmic feeling when he went past the roulette table, like a higher power was telling him which number to choose.  It was about his truck, but not the 22 payments left and the 22” black wheels, it was about being in the red where the ball dropped and being 5 payments behind.

If only that little white ball would have jumped one more space, he could have paid his truck off and had money left over for Christmas presents.  There would be nothing under the tree this year and he was probably not even going to put up a tree, as he realized that he was totally fucked.  His girl would surely kill him if she found out that he was gambling again and he would have to make up some story about getting mugged, or something to explain what happened to the rent money that he lost.  He had nothing left in his wallet, so when he passed these beautiful yellow roses, he figured that he would pick some to take home to his girl and hope that this would smooth things over.

He picked three beautiful roses and laid them on the passenger seat, but on the way home, he heard this buzzing sound and he wondered what was causing it.  Damn, that was a bee and he is deadly allergic to bees, so he tried swatting at it, but that only made the bee angry.  He got stung on his neck and crashed his beautiful truck into a tree.  The truck caught fire and he died, but the good news is that his truck insurance paid for a new one and his life insurance gave his girl enough money to start a new life.

Written for Paula’s Tuesday Story 1 challenge.