The Fiftieth Birthday Party

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Adam turned fifty. For his birthday, his three children took him out for dinner.

When the server approached, his oldest daughter Ariel asked, “Excuse me, how old do you have to be to get the senior’s discount?”

The server looked around the table. “Sixty,” she said. Then, looking at Adam, she added, “There’s no one near that age at this table.”

Adam nodded. “Thank-you. I’m still a long way from that yet.”

“Not really,” laughed Crystal, his youngest.

“Yeah. You’re old,” said Blake, the middle child.

“Thanks. You’re supposed to be on my side. You know, guys stick together,” said Adam.

“I would, but, you know, sorry,” said Blake.

“Traitor,” said Adam.

“Dad, I have a question,” said Crystal. “Were you scared when they first invented fire?”

The other two giggled.

“Funny,” said Adam.

“Did you have a pet dinosaur?” asked Blake.

“Dad isn’t that old,” said Ariel. “When he was a young boy dad would’ve been blown away by the fancy new technologies- the wheel.”

“Ooo,” said Crystal.

“And electricity,” said Blake.

“The horseless carriage. How does it move all by itself?” asked Ariel.

“And what did you ever do without video games?” asked Crystal.

“We sat on the couch and stared at a blank wall,” said Adam, sarcastically.

“That must’ve been SO boring,” said Blake.

“I’m kidding,” said Adam.

“No he’s not. That’s why he’s so grateful for the fancy moving pictures,” said Crystal.

“For your birthday, we were gonna buy you a tablet, but I said it too advanced for your ancient brain,” said Ariel.

“Gee, thanks,” said Adam.

At that point, the server returned. “Are you ready to order?”

Adam spoke first. “I’d like to order my children humble pie.”

The server looked confused. “We don’t serve that.”

“Oh, I’m not worried,” said Adam. “Give ‘em twenty years, and they’ll get theirs.”

“I think dad’s getting senile,” Ariel whispered to her siblings.

“No I’m not,” whispered Adam. “I just know that one day you’ll have children of your own, and then it’s payback.”

“Do you know what he’s talking about?” asked Crystal.

“No. But then again, he is old,” said Ariel. “It’s probably past his bed time.”

Adam glared at his three children. “I’m gonna remember this the next time you want something. I’ll say, ‘I forget where I put my wallet.’ Oh well.”

His three children gave Adam their best puppy dog eyes.

“Just kidding, Daddy,” said Crystal.

“Happy birthday, Daddy,” said Blake.

“We love you,” said Ariel.

Adam rolled his eyes. “Yeah, I bet you do.”

Posted in age, birthday, dad, daughter, father, fiction, fifty, flash fiction, humor, humour, old, party, short fiction, short story, son, story | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Modern Western Marriage

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Sloane and her fiancé Percy were enjoying the elegance of a wine and cheese party at her friend Victoria’s home.

It was all going so well. Six people sat in the living room sipping cabernet and engaging in light conversation.

Then someone brought up the topic of marriage.

“Isn’t it great that we now have marriage equality so two people in love, no matter their sexual orientation, can enjoy wedded bliss?” asked a pleasant looking woman. Everyone else smiled and nodded.

Percy chortled. The woman who asked the question leaned forward aggressively. “Do we have a homophobe in our midst?” she asked, patronizingly.

Sloane rolled her eyes as Percy leaned forward.

“It’s all fine and good until they realize what they’ve actually got,” said Percy, staring directly into the eyes of the woman.

“And what’s that?” she asked.

“Marriage is a business deal, pure and simple. Don’t argue with me about what it once was. That’s what it is now,” said Percy.

He was greeted with gasps and a chuckle or two.

“That’s hardly what marriage is,” said the woman.

“Really? It’s not about sex, is it? Since people have sex all the time, it’s not really a part of how we’d define marriage, is it? And since sex is how most people define love, then it becomes moot. People have sex with who ever and what ever, whenever they what. In or out of marriage.”

“That’s cynical.”

“No, it’s brutally candid. Marriage is about estate divestiture, asset allocation, tax and insurance benefits. Children are investments to be bartered with custodial transferal. Even embryos are property to be divided. Think about it. We refer to each other as partners. Marriages should be officiated by lawyers and accountants,” said Percy, who was now smiling at the horrified audience.

The woman was frustrated. “What does this have to do with gay marriage?” she demanded.

“Nothing. It has everything to do with the business of relationships,” said Percy.

Victoria leaned over and whispered to Sloane, “I don’t think he’s going to be much of a husband.”

Sloane swallowed down the last of her cabernet and smiled. “Perhaps not, but he’s gonna be one hell of a business partner.”

Posted in business, fiction, flash fiction, gay marriage, humor, humour, marriage, marriage equality, partner, partnership, party, satire, short fiction, short story, story | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Battle of the Sexes, Round 7,264,573,612

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“I bought a chain saw,” announced Dennis, proudly.

“What? Why?” asked Cheryl.

“Every man needs a chain saw.”

“We live in a condo. What are you gonna do with it?”

Dennis rolled his eyes. “It’s a guy thing. You wouldn’t understand.”

“You got that right. Guy things are stupid. I mean, first you grow a hipster beard. Now you buy a chain saw. What are you trying to be, a lumberjack?”

“You scoff now, but you wait. I’ll need to cut down a tree or defend you from a zombie apocalypse and then you’ll be singing a different tune,” said Dennis.

“Men are hopeless,” sighed Cheryl.

“Men are? Really? Yet you’re wearing high heels and makeup. For what purpose exactly? To impress me, a man. That’s right. Why go through the effort if I’m so hopeless?”

“Maybe I like to feel good about myself,” said Cheryl.

“Or maybe my grandpa was right. He used to say, ‘if the barn needs painting’…”

Cheryl covered his mouth. “You finish that statement you’ll discover what that chain saw is really for.”

Posted in battle of the sexes, beard, chain saw, condo, fiction, flash fiction, hipster, humor, humour, men, short fiction, short story, story, women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Linguistics and Other Nonverbal Communication

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Marvin and Julietta sat across from each other at El Burro restaurant. It was their first date. They nervously looked over the menus.

“This all looks so good,” said Julietta.

“Yeah,” said Marvin.

“Uh huh,” said Julietta.

The waitress approached the table. “Have you decided?” she asked pleasantly.

Marvin nodded at Julietta. “Ladies first.”

Julietta smiled. “I’ll have the carne guisada, please.”

“Excellent,” said the waitress as she wrote on her notepad. “And for you sir?”

Marvin hummed and hawed. “I’ll start with chips and rooster’s beak, then a bowl of often.”

The waitress was dumbfounded. “Excuse me?”

Julietta leaned forward. “I think he means pico de gallo and menudo.”

“Oh,” said the waitress. “Is that what you meant?”

“Yes, thank you.”

The waitress left the two alone at the table in awkward silence.

“Uh, so, you speak Spanish?” asked Julietta.

“Not really,” said Marvin.

“I don’t understand. The food you ordered we English translations of Spanish words.”

Marvin blushed. “Yeah, I thought it would be funny to do that. I looked them up on Google translate.”

“Oh.”

“I mean, don’t you find it interesting how words translate? I’ve eaten pico de gallo for years, but never knew what it really meant. And menudo. Who’d guess it means ‘often’?”

“I hadn’t thought of it before,” said Julietta.

“Language is a funny thing,” mused Marvin.

“Do you mean Spanish?”

“Just language in general. Everyone has it’s peculiarities. It’s so often they don’t translate well,” said Marvin.

“So, you have an interest in linguistics?”

“Not exactly,” said Marvin. “I just thought it would make interesting dinner conversation.”

Julietta looked carefully at Marvin. At least he’s good looking, she thought. “You pre-prepared dinner topics?”

Marvin blushed. “I guess I’m not very good at conversation,” he confessed.

“That’s okay. You’d doing just fine.”

“You find my topic interesting?” asked Marvin hopefully.

Julietta laughed. “Not at all. But you’re good looking, and I didn’t go out with you because you’re smart.”

Marvin smiled. “I’ll take what I can get.”

Julietta winked. “You certainly will.”

Posted in date, English, fiction, first date, flash fiction, humor, humour, language, linguistics, menudo, pico de gallo, restaurant, short fiction, short story, Spanish, story | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Writers Write

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“I wonder if I’m the only one who has entire conversations in his head. They’re better than the conversations I have with people in real life,” said Sammy as he paused from tapping away on his computer.

“Gee, thanks,” replied Terri. She glared at him while knitting.

“You know what I mean.”

“Not really.”

“Don’t you do that? Have conversations in your head I mean?”

“No. I guess I just prefer real people,” sighed Terri.

“Does that make me a freak?”

“Kinda, yeah,” said Terri.

“Gee, thanks to you, too.”

“What do you want me to say? You’re essentially dissing me to my face.”

“That wasn’t what I meant to do.”

“It doesn’t change the fact that you prefer the voices in your head to me.”

Sammy shut his laptop. “That’s not it. I don’t hear voices. I just have fictional conversations with people I know.”

Terri put down her knitting. “Do you have them with me?”

“Yeah.”

“And you’re still saying the conversations you have with me in your head are better than the one we’re having now?”

“This isn’t really a good example. This conversation kinda sucks,” said Sammy with a sigh.

Terri stood up “Nice. And you wonder why you’re always alone.” She threw her knitting onto the chair and stormed off.

Sammy opened his laptop. “I guess that’s why I’m a writer.”

Posted in fiction, flash fiction, humor, humour, knit, knitting, relationships, short fiction, short story, story, write, writer, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Improvements to Shark Week

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“Have you been watching Shark Week?” asked Horst.

“Nah. I’m boycotting it,” replied Blair.

“Why, because it’s sharksist?” asked Horst.

“I hate all the fake tension they create. As though any of those people are in actual danger. I’m boycotting it until they actually show someone get eaten,” laughed Blair.

“Ha! But I love the fake tension they make. I wonder if narrators know how silly they sound.”

“What kills me are the huge tags they put on the sharks. They’re huge! I wonder if other sharks make fun of the tagged ones, like- Hey Hal! You got caught? What a loser,” said Blair.

“Scientists could be contributing to shark bullying.”

“Yeah. Selfish scientists. They don’t care about the shark’s feelings.”

“Only about their precious funding,” said Horst.

“And next year’s Shark Week.”

“That’s why they should level the playing field.”

“Give the sharks a chance to tag the scientists,” said Blair.

“That would look awesome. Geeks walking around their colleges with hugs tags around their necks.”

“Then they’d know how the shark feels.”

“You know, we should plan Shark Week. It would be awesome,” said Horst.

“So awesome. After all, sharks impact my life on a daily basis.”

“Yeah, living in the middle of the Prairies,” said Horst.

“Exactly.”

Posted in bullying, college, fiction, flash fiction, humor, humour, Shark Week, sharks, short fiction, short story, story | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Important Anniversary

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Juan fumed. “I can’t believe I forgot.”

“What’s wrong?”

Juan looked at Greg with horror in his eyes. “I missed it.”

“What?” asked Greg. He was suddenly afraid for his friend.

“Do you know what Sunday was?”

Greg thought for a second. “July 5th.”

“Yes, and?”

“The day after the Fourth of July?”

“And?”

Greg could feel his face flush. He hated feeling stupid. “Just tell me.”

“It was the seventy-eighth anniversary of Spam,” said Juan. “I can’t believe you didn’t know that.”

“That’s because it’s not important,” snapped Greg.

“Of course it is. Think about it. Spam is the great American food. It was developed during the Great Depression. It was an essential part of surviving World War Two. It’s a national institution,” said Juan.

“And it’s disgusting.”

“It’s ingenious. Elegant, even.”

“It’s processed meat in a can. It probably destroys your insides,” said Greg.

Juan shook his head. “Some people have no appreciation of history.”

“No,” said Greg. “Some people just want to eat real food.”

Posted in fiction, flash fiction, food, Fourth of July, Great Depression, humor, humour, short fiction, short story, Spam, story, World War Two | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment