Schooled – Flash Fiction For 11/1/13

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Photo Copyright Douglas M.  MacIlroy

Photo Copyright Douglas M. MacIlroy

Schooled

Samantha listened patiently to Tabitha’s rant.

“Another Halloween and I have nobody to go out and celebrate with. Why is finding someone so hard?”

“What happened to Charlie?”

“He wanted space. I gave it to him.”

“Tony?”

“Ugh. All he wanted was sex.”

“Steve?”

“Too needy.”

“Jason?”

“He hit on my girlfriends.”

“Johnny?”

“Conceited.”

“Gavin?”

“Emotionally unavailable.”

“Derrick?”

“Major nerd.”

“Jack?”

“Gay.”

“Ben?”

“Too much body hair.”

“Scott?”

“Too controlling.”

“Billy?”

“Personal hygiene issues.”

David?

“Immature.”

Samantha shook her head and stared down into the teeming koi pond.

“Don’t worry Tabitha. There are plenty of fish left in the sea.”

Time Signature – Flash Fiction For 10/25/13

This week’s story is a flash sequel to a short story I wrote titled Mozart In The 21st Century, in which Mozart is transported to the present and becomes a rock star. The story was picked up from the Story Star website by a publisher in Portugal and is now included in a reader used by Portuguese high school students learning English. The original story is still available at StoryStar.com.

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Photo Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Photo Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Time Signature

The old musician had disassembled the keyboard and was staring at it dumbfounded. He looked at me with exasperation. Adjustment to his new century had been difficult.

“I was going to tune it,” he said in archaic German, “but there are no strings.”

My archaic German was limited. I was a time travel guide, not a linguist.

So I called in another subject, one I had swept across the gulf of centuries, a fellow musician who spoke his language, a brilliant mind who’d quickly grasped the wonders of technology and could explain it to the old man.

“Ludwig, meet Wolfgang.”

A Match Made In . . . ?

If you haven’t been in a coma, you must be aware of the growth of internet dating services. One would be hard pressed to watch much television and not be bombarded with commercials for EHarmony and Match.com and maybe you’ve also seen promos for Our Time, a site for older singles, Christian Mingle, which claims to have God working to find your perfect mate, or JDate for Jewish singles.

The success of these sites has spawned a horde of other online dating services and the trend has been to provide you with a match based on some very specialized, some might say weird, aspects of your personality. Here are eleven sites that border on the bizarre.

Trek Passions – If you’re one of those Trekkies who believe that Star Trek and Star Wars were not just entertainment, but a lifestyle to be lived, this site with pair you up with a spacey lover, which should allow you to go places you’ve never gone before.

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Scientific Match – In love with yourself? Want to find someone exactly like you? Check out this service, which analyzes your DNA and finds someone whose genetic make-up is close to your own. While it costs $2,000 to have the tests and the match-up done, you may be able to disprove that old adage that opposites attract.

Darwin Dating – If you’ve an admirer of the eugenics approach to dating, you’re a perfect candidate for this site, which features a photo of a Nazi soldier and a swastika on its homepage. The site promises to weed out the ugly and the unattractive and provide you with only superior lovers.

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Asexualistic – Have you noticed that you really don’t have a sex drive? Then join others like yourself on this site for a strictly platonic relationship with no pressure to perform sexually.

You And I Abstain – On the other hand, maybe you have a sex drive, but you really don’t want to turn it loose yet. This site is for folks who value their virginity and aren’t ready to go all the way.

Discreet Adventures – Marriage can really put a crimp in your dating scene, but now there’s a place to meet others who want to enjoy both wedded bliss and the fun of dating. This site provides privacy and security to keep your cheating a secret.

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Meet An Inmate – This site hooks you up with a prison inmate as a pen pal. If you’re the type who is attracted to the bad boy or girl, this is for you.

Find Your FaceMate – Narcissists everywhere can now find someone who looks a lot like them. This site uses facial recognition technology to match you up with someone who closely resembles you. You may never have to look in the mirror again.

Meet An Ostomate – For those who have had ostomy surgery and would like to date only others who also have had the procedure. Sounds a little strange, but the site has 5,000 member from 50 countries.

No Longer Lonely – Your mental illness will not longer be a barrier to dating and an active social life if you go to this site, designed for the mentally ill only.

Date My Pet – No, this site doesn’t feature human-animal dating. The idea is that you can get a date for your pet and yourself, a kind of new wave double dating.

As specialized as these sites are, I predict that niche marketing will soon explore even weirder recesses of society. Right now it’s wide open for sites devoted to lovers of zombies, vampires, rednecks, homeless people, sex addicts, gun lovers, bookworms, porn addicts, and the list goes on and on.

A Horse Laugh – Flash Fiction for 10/18/13

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Photo Copyright Janet M. Webb

Photo Copyright Janet M. Webb

One dark and stormy day, a beautiful princess named Janet went shopping. She loaded her cart with many wondrous and delicious things, everything the royal family would need to keep them happy. But when she pushed the cart out the door, it was raining buckets. The parking lot was flooded. My family is counting on me,  she thought. I have to get through this deluge. But, strong as she was, Princess Janet couldn’t ford the raging waters. Wet and exhausted, she summoned her very strong horse who carried the supplies home. The moral: Don’t get the cart before the horse.

Columbus The Killer

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Exploring Columbus Day

Yesterday was Columbus Day and I have to proclaim it as one of our most minor holidays, right down there with Arbor Day, Flag Day, and maybe just a little less prominent than Groundhog Day.

I was tempted to post an anti Columbus rant yesterday, but out of respect for Italian-Americans I decided to delay until at least the holiday was over.

Why would I care if we honor Columbus and set aside a special day to recognize his place in our history? What wrong with that?

Here’s why:

First, Columbus didn’t actually discover America. The Vikings had already voyaged here long before he made it. So my first objection is that we’ve all been taught a lie, and that lie is being perpetuated to this day in our schools.

Secondly, and more importantly, there were millions of people living full and vibrant lives on this continent when Columbus “discovered” it. The ancestors of these inhabitants were the real discoverers, and the first people to set their feet on American soil.

Thirdly, where’s their holiday? Is there any holiday which recognizes Native Americans? Why not? Is their contribution to our heritage less than that of one plucky Italian sailor? I don’t think so.

Fourthly, there’s a dark side to Columbus Day. What Columbus actually accomplished was to set in motion a genocide of native peoples by European intruders. I’ve taken some blowback for a previous blog about Thanksgiving in which I pointed out that the Pilgrims and other early settlers ruthlessly slaughtered tribes in Massachusetts Colony, another little shameful anecdote from American history we’d rather ignore.

Fifthly, Columbus himself was not above killing native peoples. Maybe this is a truth Americans would prefer not to hear, but Columbus and his men raped, murdered and took as slaves the natives they encountered. Do we really want to honor and continue to tell school children what a great person he was?

Does anybody care about all this? Not very much. The descendants of what was left of the original occupiers of this continent have been so marginalized and so overwhelmed by European bloodlines, we seem to rarely ever consider  their point of view. Which seems a little weird.

I thought our country had developed some appreciation for the value of diversity in our culture. The fight for minorities to be included in the American experience has become a foundation of political correctness.

Except for one group, which hardly ever seems to get any recognition. Native Americans still live in abject poverty, confined by economic reality to some of the worst pieces of land the government could find.

There are no prominent Native American politicians, few celebrities, almost no wealthy tycoons among them. In fact, they are practically invisible in American culture.

We live in a country where Johnny Depp can portray a Native American in a Disney movie and hardly anyone seems to care. European descendants have no problem adorning their bodies with beautiful jewelry inspired and often actually created by native people, while turning their back on the plight of these people in our society.

Let me ask you this. What other minority group has to suffer a professional sports team whose name is a racial slur? Answer, none. That situation would  not be tolerated by our culture. But the Washington Redskins will be cheered on once again this weekend by adoring fans.

This is an ugly truth we need to fix. We need to stop worshipping false heroes and admit our role as mass murderers.

At the least, a minor holiday should mark the people who first inhabited this country. Call it Crazy Horse Day, or Sequoyah Day, or Geronimo Day, but for the sake of all that’s right, let’s do something.

Hoyt And Ida May Across The Pond – Flash Fiction For 10/11/13

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Photo Copyright Sandra Crook

Photo Copyright Sandra Crook

Hoyt And Ida May Across The Pond

“Where’s everbody?” asked Ida May. “You promised me a show.”

Hoyt hooked a thumb under the galus of his overalls, shrugged and stared up at the Roman amphitheater

“Makes no sense. A big ass playhouse and no pickers.”

“Things is so confounded over here. I miss my good old country music,” Ida whined, tossing her bubble hairdo.

“I could ask that one over there when the show starts.”

“Won’t do no good. She probably don’t even speak no American.”

“Let’s just go back into town and see if they’s any hamburger joints.”

“I told you we shoulda gone to Branson.”