Aug 31, 2011

In Tandem#8

Jinksy at In Tandem#8 offers two picture prompts to get our creative juices flowing . . 
This one is the more colourful.

A manic young artist called Mead
could paint like Picasso on speed.
Every day, see him rush
to tease from his brush -
a polychromatic misdeed!

Aug 29, 2011

Magpie Tales#80

Hong-Kong photojournalist Christopher Shay spotted this soggy scene, and Tess at WIllow Manor offers it for this week's Magpie prompt.

Whinging in the Rain

What use led blolly
when leaky Chinese shoes squelch?
I blame Mousy Dung.

Lunning dog insult
our Beloved Chairman Mao?
Led Gaurds shled blolly!

Stop! I lead Led Book!
"Thoughts of Chairman Mao" inspire.
Blolly blight led. See!

So please spare blolly.
We led thlough and thlough like you.
But need nice dly shoes.

Solly, lunning dog!
Can't get dly shoes here for all
the tea in China

Aug 27, 2011

In Tandem#7

Crocodile Tears.   

(with Artwork by Jinksy at 'In Tandem', where other tarradiddles can be found)

   A very wealthy man kept a collection of exotic pets including a crocodile called Tears. On a certain Bank Holiday Monday, in warm sunny weather(*), the wealthy man threw a barbecue party. The party was held on the patio, about the size of a tennis court in the middle of which was a pool where Tears watched the ongoings, only his eyes and nostrils showing above the water surface the way crocodiles do, until one or other of the revelers threw him a burger or a bacon sarnie, when . . SNAP! . . the great jaws would open, the titbit would disappear down the awesome throat and Tears would sink to somnolence again.

   This gave the wealthy host an idea - the sort of idea that wealthy drunks always think is a good idea, even when it isn't.
  "A hundred thousand pounds to anyone who fights the crocodile!" he announced. "Two hundred thousand if he or she survives!"  (The host, though wealthy, was Politically Correct.)
   The words had scarcely died on his lips when - SPLASH! - one of the guests was to be seen in the pool, where the water was soon seething and boiling as Tears and he or she battled it out. For several minutes the outcome seemed to be in doubt, for the contestants disappeared below with only Tears' tail poking above the surface. But then, to the amazement of the watching he's and she's, the valiant partygoer climbed out of the pool with barely a scratch.
  "Some croc that!" he panted- yes, it was a he, a compact redhaired Scottish gentleman, wearing a shredded kilt and clutching his bloodstained dirk, (that's dirk. D.I.R.K, o.k?)  "Blood, sweat, toil  . . and Tears is no more, sorry Big Man(**), but it was him or her or me."
  "But how did you do it? How did you defeat a crocodile?" one of the guests - a she - wanted to know.
  "A' scared the croc tae death, lassie."
  "But . .  how?"
  "A' showed him whit's under ma kilt.  An auld Scottish trick. See that noo, the lassie's fainted."
  "I suppose I owe you a lot of money," said the wealthy man, disgruntled. (More disgruntled by the loss of a crock of gold than loss of a crock of a croc, as is the way with wealthy men.)
  "Aw . . keep yer money, pal. A dinna want yer money."
  "What?" cried the host. "Not want two hundred thous . . "
  "Naw," said the victorious Scot.
 "But . .  but . .  " spluttered the host, who, being wealthy, could not understand anyone, let alone a Scotsman, turning up their nose at free money.
  "TAKE THE MONEY!" the other parties at the party encouraged.
   Still the bold Scot refused.
  "Well then," said the host, "if not the money, is there anything else I can do for you?"
  "Aye, there is that, pal!' The crocslayer glared at the crowd and waved his dirk in an ominous fashion. "Ye can tell me the name o' the joker that pushed me in!"

(*)  Not in the UK, obviously.
(**) A genial Scottish greeting, with no implied hostility.

Aug 26, 2011

Flash Friday Fiction. 26th. August

Yet again G-Man wants our gems of fiction in a mere 55 words. So . . .  today's tragic tale -

Gold Standard

"Never saw a skeleton wearing a medal before. Where did they find it?"
"The derelict priory, Boss."
"I know the place."
"Workmen ripping out some old cupboards found this guy."
"Gruesome. Wonder how long he'd been in there?"
"The medal's a clue, Boss."
"What's this? Strewth!  Olympic Hide and Seek Champion 1904!"

(55 words, including the title)

Thursday Stink Tank#63

Robert Lloyd has sniffed out a challenging prompt for blogpoets to get a scent of this week.


Give me a girl with garlic on her breath!
Fragrance of warmer air and jugs of wine.
Oh, such a one I'd love half way to death!
Not all the way, I could not spare the time

from thinking of her mediterranean hair,
falling about her shoulders and the wood-
en chopping board, the cloves of garlic there
blithe to be squidged to make her lips taste good.

Sometimes she'll munch mouthfuls of allium raw –
pungent disulphides plating pearly teeth,
promising scented lungfuls and much more.
Ah now I live and breathe, while underneath

the cooker-hood the pasta rolls and boils
as drops of garlic essence she drips in.
Not too much in case the penne spoils
nor so little her perfumed burps seem thin.

As aniseed is to the hunting hound
so hints of garlic urge my manly pride
and when she smoothes the garlic butter round
her person - she can run but she can’t hide.

Keep, if you please, your "Blue Grass" and "Chanel,"
witches' brews that all real ladies scorn.
Let me inhale the aroma I love well -
garlic sweet as sunlight each new dawn.

This poem was previously posted for Tess Kincaid's Magpie Tales#56, 
on 10th.March 2011
Other worthier efforts can be seen here

Aug 22, 2011

Monday's Child#52

Week by week, bkm looks for writing prompted by an illustration from a childrens' book. This week, a delightful picture by Kay Akers

Stand By to Repel Visitors!

“Oh, Crumbs!  Here’s Auntie Ermintrude with Baby in its pram.
She’ll ‘Coochy-Coo’ and ‘Tricky-Troo’ and ‘Isn’t he a lamb!’
Not only that, she’s brought her son, our genius cousin Mike
And I declare, her daughter’s there, that monster on the bike.”

We must defend our afternoon or else we’ll prisoned be,
munching stupid fairy cakes and supping endless tea.
Artillery is what we need to stop them in their tracks,
Something to bomb them with and cry “Buzz Off!” or “Watch yer backs!”

These toy balloons on bits of string are not a good idea.
Balloons go UP! They have no punch! We need some stronger gear.
I know!  I’ve heard in days of yore one could invasions foil
by tipping on the invading heads big cauldrons of hot oil.
So find the chip-pan! Light the gas! Heat to a rolling boil . . .

(Kids, eh?) 

Aug 21, 2011

Thursday Think Tank#62

Poets United seeks poems based on the Third Letter of Our Names

The C-Word

I'm Charming, Conscientious, Careful, Cute.
Not Condemnatory, Cynical or Cruel.
My Conversation's Cultured, never Coarse,
UnCeasingly Considerate - that's my rule.(*)

When Calliope Calls me for a Cwatrain(**)
which Could Conjure Critique and other Crap
I don't enable Comment moderation.
I'm Confident you'll Chuckle, Cheer and Clap.

Concisely put, I'm Cwite(**) a Clever Chappie,
Cool Company from Coast to Shining Coast.
Consider this - I'm modest, shy, retiring!
So if I say "Conceited?  Moi!" - I'm toast.

(*)    I know, I know!  But note that the "C" is the third letter of the word. HAHAHA!
(**)  Oh Curses!  I should have been Called "RaQuel"

Aug 19, 2011

Friday Flash Fiction 19th. August

Friday by Friday, G-Man asks us to encapsulate the sadness of things in 55 telling words.


She could not unhook her gaze from the lump in his swimming shorts. What normal woman could? Entranced, she found herself wondering "Swimming shorts? Peculiar dress for playing tennis?  Oh, I see!  That lump must be where he conceals his balls, and if that's the case it's no wonder he grunts when he serves."

(55 words ± 0, including the title.)

Aug 16, 2011

Magpie Tales#78

Redecoration work at Willow Manor inspires bloggers this week, thanks to Tess's picture

  MacWinterbottom, first name Toulouse, lang syne had nursed ambitions to be a painter, but circumstance, not the least of which was Mrs.MacWinterbottom, persisted in thwarting him. Ah, yes! The winterbottom of his discontent, Mrs.MacWinterbottom, (neĆ© Spring) first name Autumn, whose insistent "If you've nothing to do, why don't you mow the lawn." (Aliter - hoover the stairs, load the washing machine, defrost the freezer, tote that barge, lift that bale . . ) She had stentorian tones that made her Old Man shiver. Getting a little drunk was beyond her pale.
   MacWinterbottom had everything except nothing to do. He had a calico smock with paint stains. He had a black beret that flopped. He had a properly shaped pallette with paint stains and holes in all the right places. He had an intense, artistic look about him. Often he could be seen with his outstretched arm straight before him and his thumb pointing up as artists do. He had canvasses, tubes of oil and acrylic and drums of tempera. He had a fine bouquet of brushes in many sizes standing in a pot of turpentine. He had an easel. He had a studio. But he also had Mrs.MacWinterbottom who asked how was she was expected to clean a room chock full of all this MacWinterbottomish crap, and if he thought he was a painter, where were all the pictures?  In retaliation he poked out his tongue at her behind her back. Or dreamed of going to live in Tahiti. He even had a little song along the lines "I'll swan off to Tahiti. That's where Gaugin's went," with add-ons about Constables flagging down speeding Hay Wains, and Edward Hopper the One-Legged Yankee Doodler.
   "I could have been hung in the Royal Academy," he told Mrs. MacWinterbottom, "I could have been a contender."
  "You should have been," she replied. "From a lampost. Preferably upside down like that Italian painter Mussolini. Or was it Hitler? Didn't Hitler want to be a painter? Maybe you should get some books about painting. Books might help. Try Amazon."

  Amazon offered several such, including:-

which MacWinterbottom bought and, not being a Dummy, began reading at Chapter 1. "First, choose an artistic name"
Whoever heard of an artist called MacWinterbottom!  I mean, Get A Life, man. Your name's a turn-off for a start.  Go to our Name-A-Nartist website and choose from the drop-down menu!  
   The MacWinterbottom's broadband rumbled into action, bringing forth:-  Albertolli, Boticelli, Caravaggio, Degas, Escher, Folinsbee . . . Vettriano, Wankie, Yamamoto, Zuccarelli and others too numerous or unheard of to mention. It even included Winterbottom, but not MacWinterbottom.
   Guess which name he chose before moving on to Chapter 2. "How to Sharpen Your Pencils."
   You're right!  Within a month the art world acclaimed a new kid on the block, M.Toulouse L*****c, and the rest is history, despite rivals who said the whole thing was a low trick.  (Low trick, L*****c, geddit?)

Gloss:  "lang syne" - auld Scots for "long since"
            "went"        - Scots past-participle of verb "to go" i.e He's went to ra fitba.
            "ra"            - Glaswegian for "the"
            "fitba"        - "football"


Aug 12, 2011

Urgently Need Your Helps

I do go on holliday in Italy. While visiting city of Napoli, and against advice of locals and Polizia, I make an expedition to see the creature of Mons Vesuvius, from which smoke and steam come belching. This very impressive. The forces of Nature never cease to devastate.  But sadly, I fall down insides and come to rest with leg broken not much higher up than redhotted seething loofah.  Fortunately, have mobile phone with me, so can summon help also laptop in bacpack so can blog this terrible experience as you read here. Can not beleive when Polizia Provinciale say they tell me not to approach near creature and so can not send rescues helicopter unless I pay for hire, time, fuels and cetera. All many thousand euros. Can you believe that? Italy like third world state! So this why I need your urgent helps.  Already my mountain boots getting very hot.  All money and credit cards, debit card left in auberge where I am based during holiday.  Western Union is therefore best way for kind blogger friends to get money to me in this hellish place. Quick! Quick! Green fumes very choking. Not long I think before I expire of life. Helicopter standing by pending promise of payment. Please send what you can to account 342-45537-7866 at Western Union. Doubtfuls can check my sad story by now calling my mobe on 39 07772334541 or check truth of my visit by phoning hotel 39 06635 33222. Please get money quickly to this unhappy person. This not usual Nigerian scam. Please believe.

Idea for this plea come from Jinksy touring on tandem bike in UK

Aug 10, 2011

Magpie Tales#77

From Willow Manor, Tess Kincaid offers another picture for her weekly prompt - Edward Hopper's "Summer Evening"

Bored! Bored! Bored!

What d'you fancy doin' then?
Dunno really.
Go inside? Watch telly? Strictly'll be on at half past.  (*)
Too hot inside really.
(Pause. One yawns. The other yawns.)
Fancy a beer, then. Down the "Swan"?
Maybe. Later. Dunno really.
C'mon! Gotta do something. Nice warm evening.
Could get our kit off?
Leave it out! Really! You're always wantin' it.
Too hot anyway really.
Knew a guy once, talked about the 'rhythmic slap-slap of sweaty bellies'.
You! You really disgust an' all.
(Pause. She sighs.)
Dump, this is.
I know! Got an idea!
What now then?
Go down the town. Take the videocam. Lot of fun down the town. Cops and Robbers every night these days, innit? Kids settin' fires an' that. Smashin' shop windows. Lootin'. Little kids nine an' ten  runnin' off with plasma TV's an' that. iPads. Laptops. You name it. Guys loadin' fridges an' stuff into white vans and harin' off. Police van got torched last night.  Britain in two thousand and elev . . 
(She perks up)
What was that about shop windows. Really? Lootin' shops?
Yeah really!  Was on the TV News earlier.
Well c'mon!  What we waitin' for!  I could get myself some decent kit out of M&S instead of this pink tat  . . !

(*) Overseas friends!  He is referring to a widely watched UK TV show "Strictly Come Dancing" , an aspect of the "Bread and Circuses" government of UK which generally but not always keeps the mob happy

Aug 1, 2011

Magpie Tales#76

The prompt from Willow Manor this week has been artfully color-corrected by the author . . . 

MRM. (*)

An unpleasant person called Vince
liked turning his neighbours to mince.
It gave him a thrill
to shred folk in his mill
and the buckets of blood
made him feel really good -
Now, doesn't the thought make you wince?

(*) When I asked our high street butcher what MRM was, he
replied "You don't want to know!"  So I Googled>Wiki the term.  On my next visit to the shop I asked him how MRM was produced. He answered "You REALLY don't want to know!"