Writing

Sweat the backstory

At night it falls as low as 17°.
The sweater I am wearing comes from near the beach. It was knitted by hand by a lady with MS. She owned a large cat who would sit on the piles of sweaters for sale.
I don’t have stories for all my clothes. Most people are not aware of the backstory of their attire. And they’re not all as nice as that. Best not to ask the origin of my pants.

Object-Subject; or the Subjectivity of Objects and Observations

“I do not care for that man.”
“Why is that?”
“He objectifies women.”
“You mean he turns women into objects?”
“Yes.”
“That’s actually pretty impressive. Can he change objects into women as well, because he would then be a pretty powerful wizard. I can see why people would wish to avoid him.”

The History of Alchemy
Crossing the same stream twice: Held to be impossible.
Turning water into Wine: Purported, failed to be replicated in lab.
Turning Miscellaneous Matter to Gold: Failure. Repeated Failure.
Turning Coal into Diamonds: Successful. Held to a lower worth due to spite.
Turning Objects into Women: Failed. Abject Failure.

I would like to apologize to Alchemists. They have no desire but to enrich themselves, even though the realization of their dream would ultimately devalue gold. But maybe that’s what they want. Maybe they are saying gold is held at too high a value. Those Alchemists are tricky.

True Blue

Some jokes are designated by color. Some jokes are funny because they are blue. Some people think it more funny if that blue joke is true.

The origin of Pease Porridge, hot and cold, as well as rather old

Everytime I hear “Pease Porridge Hot” I think, “What a terrible advertising jingle.” But then I note that I become desirous for pease porridge of any sort, and I further marvel at the longevity of the ad jingle; as well as the porridge itself.

Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold,
Pease porridge in the pot, nine days old;
Some like it hot, some like it cold,
Some like it in the pot, nine days old.

I also note that its popularity is possibly spurred by the fact that it long ago fell into the public domain. Now anyone can sing about pease porridge. Or make it in any combination of consistency or temperature. This takes the chill off even the coldest of pease porridge.

[Pease Porridge on Wikipedia, though that page is not as authoritative as this one.]

The Arkansas Traveller

They don’t have a lot of religious relics in the United States but those they have they hold dear. In Arkansas they have the original pogo stick Jesus used to jump on. When a traveller challenged the authenticity of the relic he was murdered by true believers. This happened in 1919 the same year sticks were patented and imported to the US.
Today there is a song schoolchildren sing about it, but the revised song purports to be about a bumble bee. It is no longer the state song, having been supplanted in 1974 with “Arkansas’ll Getcha.”

Cursed objects and the purchase thereof

Not every item at The Old Curiosity Shop is cursed. In fact, those that are we keep safely behind the counter. You may only gaze upon them in the presence of our highly trained staff. Touching is forbidden unless you are over the age of eighteen and are certified to handle cursed objects. We will not sell a cursed item to any customer without a full background check and a waiting period.

An exception to this is the cursed item grab bag by the door. Pick a box, any box. You never know what you will get and that is part of the fun. As always, re-gifting from the grab bag is forbidden. You get what you get and what you got is yours and yours alone.

Some items, however, are magical without the added onus of being cursed, per se. There is no extra charge for this. The magic, we give away. This saves the consumer from having to pay the magic tax, which can be hefty.
No magic tax on any item bought this year. We eat the magic tax. Literally. We transform it into cupcakes that we sell next door. Please stop by on the way out. This is how we pass the magic tax back onto you.

Buy three objects and you may refer to them as a Trinity. No charge.
The Old Curiosity Shop. Unending Bargains! Ceaseless Havoc! Eternal Joy! Constant Dread! Free Parking! Soundproof Walls!

A shadow’s nose

The famous image of a nose scrawled all over the world in graffiti, a running joke or a profound statement that something has gone off?
Is it based on one specific person’s nose or is it based on an amalgam of every kind of nose; an everynose?
The answer is, of course, “no one knows.”

Witness the kitty cat

A Hapgood and Fowler erotic adventure

Hapgood stared at the crime scene. Actually, he stood at the crime scene, his back to the area of the actual crime. In front of him sat a black house cat. The cat stared to the left of the actual crime scene. Hapgood carefully observed every  subtle move the cat made. Behind him a small group of lower-level detectives scoured the scene for evidence.

Fowler walked over and stood at Hapgood’s right. “Ball Peen Hammer,” said Fowler with the tone of one who is discussing the weather. “Rusty.”
“Mildly interesting,” replied Hapgood. “But this cat. This cat undoubtably knows something.”
“Undoubtably,” replied Fowler.

The lower-level detectives paused activity and watched Hapgood and Fowler. “I think Hapgood and Fowler are on to something,” one of them whispered to another.
“Undoubtably,” said the other.
***
In the law offices of Clark and Frederik, Clark entered Frederik’s office and sat down. There was blood splatter all over his suit, heaviest on the right side.
“Did you use the rusty ball peen hammer?” asked Frederik.
“Yes,” said Clark.
“Good. Did anyone see you?”
“Just a cat.”
“That’s probably all right.”
***
Back in their office at the station Fowler held the cat in his arms, slowly stroking it. “Have you seen this?” he asked. He tugged at the collar around the cat’s neck. Attached to it was a name tag.
“No,” said Hapgood. “I have, until now, concentrated wholly on the behavior of the cat.”
Emblazoned on the tag was one word: “Witness.”
“A name?” asked Fowler.
“A description,” said Hapgood.
“At least he is a friendly witness,” said Fowler.
“Yes,” said Hapgood. “Not like the badger.”
***

“Ball Peen Hammer,” said Fowler.
“Rusty?” asked Hapgood.
“Yes,” said Fowler. “I feel like I’m repeating myself.”
“Two could be a coincidence,” said Hapgood. “I wouldn’t put a lot of weight on it yet.”
“Slow and steady wins the race,” Fowler said.
Hapgood was watching a hamster run on a wheel. Fowler joined him. Behind them detectives worked on a second crime scene involving a rusty hammer.

“This rodent was in a perfect position to see everything,” said Hapgood.
“That is true,” replied Fowler. “He could not have left the scene. But I would like to point out that doesn’t mean he was watching. He could have been looking the other way. He could have had his eyes closed. He could have been blinking.”
“Can you murder a man in the blink of an eye?” asked Hapgood. “What do hamsters dream about? Was there something more interesting to look at in the room at the time?”

“Those are some intriguing questions,” said Fowler. “I’m not sure how we can get answers from the hamster.”
The younger detectives stopped detecting and looked toward Fowler and Hapgood in wonder.
***
Frederik walked into Clark’s office at the firm and sat. Blood splatter covered the left side of his suit, as he was left handed. “Volley,” he said. “Your turn.”
***
In the office of Hapgood and Fowler sat a very happy cat.
“The cat ate the witness,” said Fowler.
“One witness ate the other witness,” said Hapgood. “Don’t worry, we’ll get it in the end.”
***
‘The press are calling these the ball peen hammer killings,” said Clark.
“What about the fact that the hammer is rusty?” asked Frederik.
“Papers are rife with inaccuracy, I’m afraid,” said Clark.
“They are missing the whole point,” Frederik said.
***
“A cat is curious,” said Hapgood. “A hamster is perfectly positioned to see everything in a room. But a bird can talk.”

In front of Hapgood and Fowler stood a grand cage, and in that cage a parrot.
“Extraordinary,” said the rookie detectives gathered in their wake. “Tremendously exciting. All senses aroused.”
The bird looked directly at Fowler and said “Murderer.”
Hapgood asked, “Did you commit all these crimes?”
“I am afraid,” said Fowler, “That the eyewitness testimony is strong.”
“You’ll need a lawyer. Luckily, these cards have been at every scene.”