How to Get Rid of Strange Visitors

Someone visited the house the other day and noticed a litter box.

“Oh, do you have a cat,” they asked.

“No,” I replied. “We don’t have indoor plumbing.”

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Games Cryptographers Play

At 8:30 on Saturday morning the doorbell started to ring. The disturbance interrupted his cooking groove. Jeff was in the kitchen preparing breakfast and letting Susan sleep in. Standing on his porch was a florist delivery man.

“Can I help you?” asked Jeff.

“Delivery for Susan Bolger,” announced the man.

“Uh, thanks,” said Jeff. He was handed the largest flower arrangement he’d ever seen. On the envelope it read, ‘Deepest Sympathies’.

Before he could investigate any further, the doorbell rang again with another floral delivery. Again, it was for Susan. On the envelope it read ‘Condolences’. He balanced one in each hand and carried them to the bedroom. Susan was just stirring when Jeff entered.

“Oh, those are beautiful! What’s the occasion?” she asked.

“I was hoping you could tell me. They’re both for you, but I didn’t send them,” accused Jeff. The doorbell rang again. “You might as well get it yourself. It’s probably for you.”

Susan glared at Jeff as she threw on a housecoat. Jeff brought the arrangements back to the kitchen before catching up with Susan at the front door. He could hear the sobbing of Susan’s mom, Gertrude.

“Why didn’t you tell me? I’m here for you. You can call me anytime,” said Gertrude as she wrapped Susan in her arms.

Jeff and Susan shared a perplexed look. Gertrude pulled away from her embrace.

“Jeff was a good-” said Gertrude. She saw Jeff standing behind Susan, screamed, then hit the floor in a dead faint.

The doorbell rang heralding yet another delivery. Susan tended to her unconscious mother while Jeff answered the door. He snatched the card from the flowers still in the hands of the delivery woman.

Jeff’s eyes flashed across the text. “I’m dead?!?”

“You’re what?” Susan’s head popped in the front hall.

“That’s what the card says,” said Jeff.

“That would explain mom’s reaction,” replied Susan. She looked back into the floor. “Oh! Mom,” she said, returning to her ailing parent.

The delivery woman handed Jeff the arrangement. “If it’s any consolation, you look great for a dead guy.”

Jeff brought the lasted bouquet to the kitchen where his mother-in-law was regaining her senses. “When I read his obituary in the paper this morning…” she stammered.

“My obituary? In the paper? Do you have it with you?” demanded Jeff.

Gertrude pulled a clipping from her purse and handed it over. Jeff read it through, then swore out loud. “I don’t believe it.”

“What?” asked Susan.

Jeff grabbed the cards that came with each of the arrangements and laid them next to the clipping. “It’s a cipher,” he announced. After several minutes of frantic work, he handed Susan a note.

‘Dead man walking. Your move. Mort.’

The blood rushed from Susan’s face. “This is a practical joke?”

Jeff’s eyes grew wide. “It’s the work of a genius. It demands a response in kind. This is gonna be fun.”

Gertrude turned to her daughter. “Why couldn’t you marry someone normal?”

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Conspiracy Theory Thursday

Lionel could barely contain his excitement when he found Joanie. “Guess what day it is? It’s Conspiracy Theory Thursday!”

Joanie frowned. “You made that up.”

“Or did I?” asked Lionel, cryptically. “See what I did there?”

“All you did was annoy me,” replied Joanie.

“Or did I?”

“Why are you doing this? Why?” demanded Joanie.

“To bring more suspense and mystery into the day,” he explained.

“That’s the last thing I need,” scoffed Joanie.

Lionel flashed a mischievous grin. “Or is it?”

Joanie slammed her fist on her hips. “I am not prone to violence, but in your case, I’d make an exception.”

Lionel laughed out loud. “It worked! Will you or won’t you? The suspense is palpable.”

“The only mystery in my life is how I got such weird friends,” lamented Joanie.

“But am I the weird one?” posed Lionel.

Joanie sneered. “Are you really my friend?”

A wide smile stretched across Lionel’s face. “See? Life’s better with a good mystery.”

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Picture of Health

Mitch rose from the couch and grabbed his belly. “All this time at home is making me soft,” he announced.

Gloria remained focused on her knitting. “You don’t say.”

“I need to get active again,” he added.

“Again?”

Mitch frowned. “I was pretty athletic in high school, you know.”

“Thirty years ago,” quipped Gloria.

“Are you suggesting I’m fat?” accused Mitch.

“I’m not suggesting anything. You brought it up,” said Gloria. She put down the sweater she was working on and focused on Mitch.

“I’m the picture of health for a guy my age,” declared Mitch.

“Sure, if you’re abstract art,” laughed Gloria.

“What do you mean?”

“I’ll spell it out for you. You’re overweight, your blood pressure is through the roof and your knees are shot.”

“Don’t hold back. Tell me how you really feel,” grumbled Mitch.

“But I sill love you,” added Gloria, sweetly.

“Sure you do.”

Gloria put her arms around Mitch. “You might not be a Michaelangelo, but you’re my Salvador Dali.”

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World Memory Championships

Jane stopped in her tracks in the middle of the lunch room at work. A frown creased her forehead. “What was I in here to do?” she asked.

Don looked up from what he was reading. “How would I know?”

“No, seriously. I was in the other room, I got a text on my phone, then I remembered I had to do something. What is it?” A low growl formed in the back of her throat.

“Clean up the fridge?” asked Don. He flashed a sly grin.

Jane glared back. “Stop it.”

“What? I’m trying to help.”

“You have no idea how frustrating this is,” complained Jane.

“It’s no big deal. It happens to the best of this,” said Don.

“It’s never happened to me,” she confessed. She leaned against a nearby counter.

“Yeah, whatever.”

“I’ve been mnemonic my whole adult life,” added Jane.

Don stared blankly at her.

“I’m preparing for the World Memory Championships,” she explained.

Don blinked. “Are you punking me?”

“Memory sports are not that weird, you know,” spat Jane.

“Said no one ever,” laughed Don.

Jane rubbed the sides of her face. “Memory athletics is hard.”

Don softened his tone. “Maybe you’re overdoing it.”

With a sideways glance Jane said, “What makes you so concerned all of a sudden?”

“I can care and still tease you,” he explained.

“And how does that work?” demanded Jane.

Don smiled. “I care that you stay weird so I can keep teasing you.”

“I’m going to remember you said that,” warned Jane.

“See?” laughed Don. “I’m helping you already!”

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Point to Ponder #623

Never claim infallibility. Someone will challenge you, and they will invariably be right.

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Weird Language From Weird People

Phil entered the kitchen to find Brooke preparing lunch.

“Sorry,” said Phil. “I’ll grab a cup of coffee and get out of your hair.”

Brooke stopped what she was doing. “That’s a weird saying. Why would you be in my hair in the first place?”

The two stared at each other. “I have no idea,” said Phil.

“English is a weird language,” concluded Brooke.

“I can’t argue with you there,” replied Phil.

Brooke put her plate in the microwave. “I wonder if other languages have phrases like that,” she mused.

“It depends,” said Phil.

“On what?”

“Whether you think other people are as weird as us,” said Phil.

Brooke laughed. “That sounds kind of racist.”

“Nah,” said Phil. “It just means all humans are weird.”

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A Christmas Nightmare

Carol entered the kitchen and found Bob wallowing in his coffee.

“Didn’t you sleep well?” she asked.

“I had the worst Christmas nightmare,” mumbled Bob.

“Do you remember it?”

Bob looked at Carol with a wide-eyed terror. “Bears grew opposable thumbs. It made them smarter, too. They enslaved the human race. We were hunted, performed in their circuses and used as mascots for their sports teams.”

“You remember all that from your dream? I usually forget mine,” noted Carol.

“There’s more,” said Bob. “We learned that the bears were secretly working with aliens, but the aliens betrayed them. The aliens wanted to turn the planet into a human ranch and eat us like beef.”

Carol frowned. “What makes it a Christmas nightmare?”

Bob shuddered. “They were fattening me up specifically for Christmas dinner. They were going to roast me in my own juices.”

“Wait. Aliens celebrate Christmas?”

Bob’s jaw dropped. “Of all the things I just said, that’s what you think is weird?”

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Clenched

All day long Trevor ran from meeting to meeting. He struggled to keep up with his own work while appeasing the expectations of others. The demands of his afternoon were magnified when his stomach started to churn after eating an undercooked lunch.

Beads of sweat formed on his brow as he shifted in his seat during a meeting with his superiors. This was followed by a Zoom call on his phone. He stayed on mute most of the time to hide the incessant gurgling of his belly. This butt stayed firmly clenched.

The moment he thought the meeting wrapped up, he launched toward the bathroom. He found an empty stall and released the floodgates. Groans interspersed with expletives matched the fury of his exploding back end.

“Oh God, I think I’m gonna die,” he exclaimed.

“Uh, hello?” came a muted voice.

Trevor froze.

“You’re still on Zoom,” added the voice.

Trevor pulled his phone from his pocket. He was greeted by four faces smiling back at him.

His face flushed. “I’m so sorry,” whispered Trevor. He tapped the screen and left the meeting.

After a few seconds to reflect, Trevor began to laugh. At least now he might not have to attend so many meetings.

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A Merry Covid Christmas

It was the night before the night before Christmas. Julia was tucking Brayden into bed after reading yet another Disney themed holiday story.

“Mommy, is covid going to ruin Christmas?” asked Brayden.

“Of course not, sweetheart,” comforted Julia.

“But we won’t get to see grandma and grandpa, uncle Peter and auntie Maria,” said Brayden.

“Well,” replied Julia. Her mind raced to come up with the right words. “Things won’t be like they were in the past, but that doesn’t mean this year won’t be wonderful. We’ll make new traditions to look forward to.”

Blake listened intently to the conversation from the doorway. A frown crossed his face.

“Is Santa still going to come?” asked Brayden.

“Of course he will,” replied Julia.

“Sure,” interrupted Blake. “But he’ll have to quarantine for fourteen days when he gets here.”

Julia’s eyes shot daggers at Blake from across the room.

“He will?!?” shrieked Brayden.

“Don’t listen to daddy,” said Julia. “He washed his hands of sanity months ago.”

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