Category Archives: @swanieson

Explosions!

It arrived. Finally.

It rode in atop a silver snake-train behemoth, clinging to its scales like a virus, headed for…

…the Mexico border. This package had been through a lot already, but it finally made it to Tijuana.

It sat now propped up against the ticket agent’s dusty kiosk, a corner bent up as if someone had peeked at its loathsome contents.

But what was inside?

A small compass, a map, a train pass that was one zone short of its destination and a note.

But not just any note. It was written in…

Sanskrit, in gold ink. Parts of the ink had flaked off during the parcel’s journey.

Paolo recognized the large flourishes and was able to intercept it before Lester, the world’s preeminent Sanskrit translator, did.

Paolo had to move fast. He’d seen Lester making his way through the terminal. Now that the parcel was safe, he’d have to leave.

Lester, having arrived at the baggage claim, was outwardly serene when he saw the parcel was gone. Inside, his temper flared.

Flanked by his cronies, he strode over to the phone bank and called M. “Elvis has left the building, M. It’ll be a Blue Christmas.”

Mesmerized by the parcel in his hands, Paolo absently twirled the package and silently mouthed, “All things must pass.”

Lester was a huge fan of The King. Rumor had it the two used to party together back in the day. Elvis’ death left him all shook up.

Paolo ducked into a nearby restroom, silenced his iPhone and took 3 photographs of the flaking note, then emailed them to himself.

Meanwhile, M hung up the phone & sprung into action. First, he called N. Then N called O, who dialed P & Q. Paolo wouldn’t get far.

He knew he had to contact Sarf. She would know what to do next. She was the Chosen One, so he trusted her. Or so he thought?

Paolo put the note and the phone in his breast pocket, flushed and washed, then left the station on a wave of oblivious travelers.

But the Alphabet Crew were hot on his trail. They knew he’d go to Sarf next. How? She called O and told him. She said, “…

“…O, Paolo is coming to me.” O thanked her for the intel, then dialed Lester. He was in the middle of translating Sanskrit.

Lester headed to Sarf and waited for Paolo. The parcel, and its contents, were about to be his.

If only the package wasn’t set to implode upon itself at

11:15pm.

POW! BANG! BAMMO! The package imploded upon itself. The contents wiped out the entire world.

THE END

Until suddenly the package implosion exploded, then re-imploded and re-wiped out the wiped out world. THE END, again.

Wow – lots of fireworks at the end of this story. Dramatic ending. But would you really expect anything else with the Alphabet Crew involved? I definitely wouldn’t. Poor Paolo, Sarf and Lester – they all died when the world was wiped out. Although I guess everyone did. So poor everyone.

Thanks to @rookiephenom for supplying the photo, as well as for jumping in and adding a line in the story. And glad to have a couple of new writers – @MojoEnvy and @ShesAllWrite – hope you both had fun and you join me again. And last, but not least, the stories wouldn’t be the same without my stable of regulars who write on every story. For this one, that was @FeliciaCago, @MusicAdamT, @hwtibbs, who pulled out the triple-tweet, @nella22 and @swanieson. Thanks all.

Addendum – @talkingmonkey contributed with a late line, which I’ve added to the end of the story. It completely changes things.

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John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt

He was banished to the corner. Again. Seems to be the story of his life.

But he refused to wear pants, and they couldn’t force him, even with…

…bacon on the brain. Thoughts not wavering and with a skillet in tow…

…he stuck his finger up his nose and lamented his sad state of affairs.

Since being banished John Jacob had been trying to figure out

just where his life was headed.

At the same time, upon attempting to find bacon and pants…he heard a sound. Or a bang.

Or even possibly, a clang. It had a distinct ring, but not like a bell had rang. It was definitely not a ding.

The source revealed itself as the chef-shaped kitchen timer, which had fallen onto the floor as its time expired.

John Jacob was relieved. He thought it was his German half-brother, Jingleheimer Schmidt, coming back to finish what he started.

You see, Jingleheimer was a big confectioner. And John Jacob preferred savory. So he shuddered whenever his brother baked.

It’s not that he was bad – no, wait. It was. He put Aleppo Pepper in everything. Including the Chocolate-Dipped Spice Twists

that were ready to be taken out of the oven. The timer had been ringing for 22 minutes. But Jingleheimer was still on his run.

“Let the baking BURN!” said John.

And it did. John cackled, then coughed, in the corner, watching the smoke billow out of the oven. But where was Jingleheimer?

And why, pray tell, did he not put on pants before entering the kitchen this morning? The Inpsectors™ were coming by!

He wasn’t the baker in the family, and the last time he took something out of the oven, it was a disaster. His scars proved it…

John reinserted his finger in his nose, his go-to posture for deep thinking.

John probed his sinus cavity for ideas, trudging through lost notions and manic whims before striking a subterranean concept.

“What if Jingleheimer’s hurt?” John thought. He pulled his pants up and made his way through the smoke to go find his brother.

He found him passed out on the floor overcome by the aroma of burnt buns still clutching plans for Jingle’s Bacon Bun Food Truck.

John grabbed Saran Wrap, put it over Jingleheimer’s mouth, poked a hole, and began CPR. (You never know where a Schmidt has been)

While Schmidt was a terrible baker, he was a masterful flirt. It seemed no woman could resist him.

…and into the black Lincoln Town Car he had been using for his burgeoning limo service.

En route to the hospital, Schmidt stirred from the back seat, a low chortle reverberating in his smoke-filled lungs…

“Who’s this freak?” asked the rich lady with the long black veil that John had forgotten was his fare in the back seat.

“And why’d we stop in that driveway?” she continued. “And now where are we going?” John rolled his eyes, then raised the partition.

“Terribly sorry, ma’am, but we’ll have to make one more stop before taking you to the opera. I’m sure we won’t be…”

Saved by the partition. Jingleheimer would have to deal with the lady’s nagging. John turned the radio up. His favorite jam was on

…the dashboard – strawberry, what was left of his lunch. And now it was nearly dawn. “Man, I’m hungry. Wish I had a…

…piece of toast. Or one of Jingleheimer’s Chocolate Dipped Spice Twists.” As if on cue, there was a knock on the partition.

It was Schmidt. He surreptitiously pulled something from his pocket and flung it at john while the lady was on the phone.

John ducked instinctively, and when he did, he yanked the wheel left, crashing into the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile in the next lane.

The Weinermobile immediately burst into flames. “One dog, well done,” muttered John. He could hear Schmidt & the lady yelling…

…in excitement over the prospect of free hot dogs. John Jacob quickly realized his good fortune as well, and he started yelling.

Everyone was yelling happily. John Jacob, Jingleheimer Schmidt and the old lady went in for a group hug. Then for hot dogs.

THE END

 

“John, Jacob, Jingleheimer, Schmidt.” I used to love that song growing up. So I was psyched at the possibilities for where a story about these two brothers could go. And despite their differences, when it came down to it, John Jacob had his brother’s best interests in mind. And they ended up with hot dogs! So lucky!

Lots of new contributors on this one. Thanks to @swcouture for the photo. And to new writers @rookiephenom, @MusicAdamT, @swcouture and @martinbihl. And of course, thank you to regular contributors @FeliciaCago, @Chrisa_Hickey, @swanieson, @Robotstephe, @nella22, @Pawela04 and @hwtibbs. That was a fun story.

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Somewhere Over the Rainbow

“The pot of gold must be on top of that red brick building,” she thought. And the hunt was on.

“But how can I get there before Maggie,” she whined, “when she’s a giant and I’m so small?”

Not to be deterred, she grabbed her Ziploc® of loose change, and headed out the door. Cab would be the best way to get there.

“A cab, a cab, who called a cab?” Up pulled Mike the psychic cab driver.

“I did,” Margie said. “Take me to -” “I know where – and we’re racing against Maggie!” Exclaimed Mike as he sped off.

Maggie though had decided public transportation was the way to go and was stuck behind a stroller pushing mother.

The streets were full of vendors, stray dogs and, a camel. All of this was slowing the cab down. Margie was losing time.

Maggie was having problems of her own on the magenta line. Babies were everywhere!

Margie jumped from the cab and lept onto the camel in one swift movement.

However, at a point later in the story, Margie will realize that she left her Ziploc® bag in the cab. This does not bode well…

Since in addition to nickels and dimes the bag contained a gps tracker she had planted on Maggie.

While Margie was camel-leaping, Maggie was having troubles of her own. $4.46 for a medium latte? This city is getting ridiculous.

Margie drove ever-forward in the camel, nestled lovingly between the two humps. Inching closer to the red building.

Meanwhile, the pot of gold was shrinking because

of the hole in the pot, which Lloyd the Leprechaun bought second hand at a garage sale.

“You get what you pay for,” Larry muttered to himself. Not realizing…

…that he referred to himself as Larry instead of Lloyd, it became apparent to others that Lloyd might have a split personality.

Larry-Lloyd spoke those words to himself, but Maggie thought he was speaking to her. Finally, a bright spot in her day.

Meanwhile the camel, who’s name was Manfred, started running toward an oasis filled with rice milk.

Meanwhile, across town…

The real story was unfolding: Leprechauns in Lakeview. Not just there for drinks at Berlin, but apparently hiding gold on rooftops.

Neighborhood gossip placed at least one leprechaun working in the back at Cheesie’s Pub & Grub – specializing in potatoes.

Of course, the inevitable drunk Irish jokes are bound to come out when they hide gold so close to 1000 Liquors.

One leprechaun noticed Margie and her camel at the rice-milk oasis. “How much for the camel?” he asked.

“Not for sale,” said Margie. “No, I mean the one behind your ear,” he replied. “I could use a cigarette.” Margie loved her Camels.

Maggie trudged forward in her Converse® All-Stars. She never played basketball, but loved the green plaid design.

She got to the rooftop but the pot of gold was gone. Margie was already off in Mexico enjoying her riches. And cigarettes.

THE END

 

Anytime Leprechauns, booze, cigarettes and gold are involved, it’s impossible not to have a good time. This week’s story was all about greed, and Margie managed to outfox her sister Maggie. Poor Maggie. Maybe she could go get a drink with Lloyd-Larry at Berlin. Or they could just go get a handle of some Irish whiskey at 1000 Liquors and wallow in their sorrows.

The way these stories unfold always crack me up – stuff like when Lloyd the Leprechaun became Larry the Leprechaun and the use of the ®. I’m grateful for everyone who writes these stories with me. Collaborating on this one were @Robotstephe, @Chrisa_Hickey, @swanieson, @paulmtracy, @FeliciaCago, @Guert, @jsetlak and @officerpupp. Thanks all.

 

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Grayscale Gary

This is the story of a grayscale man in polychromatic world.

His name is Gary.

He didn’t always look this way. He once was filled with color. He had blue eyes.

And red hair that was envied the world over.

But one day his hair started to lose its color, suddenly what was red had become gray.

And it wasn’t just him, it was his entire perspective. Once colored, full of life, now dimming, each moment grayer than the last.

Even though the perspective changed, he could always see the color in her…

…presence. Her hair, eyes, even her laugh. She was the bright spot in his failing eyes. His doctor suspected grayscale glaucoma.

It was likely hereditary, as his father, T. Inman, had also lost color perception when he was around Gary’s age.

Poor Gary. Thinking about his father just made him blue. Figuratively, of course.

Though figuratively blue, he actually would turn red.

Which proved to be a problem since he was living on the corner of a busy street since…

…the city added that new red fire hydrant. Whenever Gary got blue, turning red, dogs mistakenly peed all over him.

The constant smell of urine made Gary realize that there were worse things than being grayscale in a polychromatic world.

THE END

 

Okay – so this was a short one. But it was a good way to get back into things since it’s been a few weeks since I’ve written a story. Anyway, onto the recap. Poor Gary. The only way he changed color was when he felt sad. But even that sucked for him – he just ended up being peed on.

I saw this guy on my morning commute walking amongst the rest of the robots heading into work and decided to snap a picture. And thanks to @officerpupp, @Robotstephe, @swanieson and @hwtibbs for helping me get Once Upon 140 back up and going after the little hiatus.

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The Mythical Maudfish

“Whoaaaaaaa!” At the last moment, she leaned to the side, holding on for dear life.

She’d been riding this ship for the past 15 hours and her legs were getting tired…But she NEEDED to hold on to the

magic potion that would return her to her normal self. Now she needed to find a safe place to

hide the potion from Lord Stickywic, who needs the potion to cure his own ailment

of sticky warts. Everything he touched stuck to him like glue, which was very frustrating because he worked at

Wal-Mart. And Wal-Mart sells everything.

The townsmen always thought it a little weird that a Lord worked at Wal-Mart. But Wal-Mart hires everyone, so they got used to it.

After all it beat when he worked at the currency exchange and they were never getting the right amount of money.

Maude began to clamber down to the raft she’d prepared. “Stickywic will never think to look in New Zealand,” she thought.

“In New Zealand I will hike the highest mountains to find the perfect place to hide from him & complete my own transformation.”

But what was Maude transforming into?

Slowly she realized her feet had started to develop a webbed appearance.

If only she’d had webbed feet *before* rafting to New Zealand. Would’ve made the trip easier. The hiking, not so much.

She expected more of a spiritual transformation. This physiological change was making Maude nervous.

She pouted her lips as she thought this, inadvertently making that “duck face” so many girls make in pics on social network sites.

Maude began to notice her legs coming close together, and hair getting longer. Was she turning into a mermaid?

Maude rushed to dive off the peak of the mountain into the water below. Perhaps she

could avoid turning the catfish that was her destiny from birth.

She dove. As she fell through the air, she noticed Sir Mortimer Reginald IX in his combustible airship headed toward her.

Sir Mortimer was a part of a crew of combustible airship pilots who routinely searched for divers throughout New Zealand.

Tales of Maudes turning into catfish had circulated amongst the pilots for centuries, becoming long-lost lore of drinking ballads.

“A Maude into a Catfish, a Maude into a Catfish, a Maude into a Catfish,” they’d sing cheerily, glugging from their steins.

Never did Mortimer imagine that he’d be the one chosen to catch the mythical Maudfish.

And now here he was, almost face to face with the Maudfish. He pulled the throttle, knowing this was an opportunity of a lifetime.

An opportunity that was coming to a screeching halt because he forgot to gas up before leaving.

His combustible airship began sputtering. “Uh oh,” Sir Mortimer lamented.

He was going down.

Maudfish had other plans though. Seeing Mortimer’s boat going down

and where was Lord Stickywic? The potion is almost done for & he gets called in for the closing shift at WalMart!

It was too late. Mortimer’s plane crashed before Maudfish could get to him. And Lord Stickywic never got the potion.

THE END

Ahhh, the mythical Maudfish. Never before seen. Until finally, Mortimer gets his eyes on it. But of course, the old “he’s out of gas” storyline had to rear its ugly head. And Mortimer crashed. Poor guy. I bet the rest of the airship pilots are singing ballads in his honor.

Thanks @brianpinkley for supplying the photo. It’s pretty hilarious. And has nothing to do with the story.

And thanks to @nella22 @brianpinkley @lesliestaysup @melmo3 @swanieson @officerpupp @jsetlak and @Pawela04 for writing again with me. Special shout-out to @mscileppi, a new writer! Yeah, Maria! Hope you enjoyed it. So glad you jumped in.

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Monkeying Around

There was no announcement, no warning, nothing. One morning, it was just there. But why? And what was it?

From a distance, it had the appearance of a grotesque gingerbread house, one that would haunt the dreams of kids and adults alike.

It was too late. The abstract structure was not art, it was an ad. USP’s had been seeping into their brains.

“Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun,” sang Igor, in a trance as he walked by.

With the sequence of words the structure started to come to life.

Roaring to life, sugar stalagmites punched up from the ground, and the unmistakable smell of confection surrounded the passerby.

Igor has longed to officially change the lyrics to, “two all beef patties special sauce, special cheese”. Now was his chance.

As Igor sang his revision of the classic, his James Earl Jones-ish voice began to shake the sugar walls of the structure.

As small cracks covered the structure, a haze of sugar crystals rose, filling the clearing. Igor found himself unable to see the

large statue of

the Chief Monkey. Igor knew that 80% of monkeys had never even seen this statue. It was a special day.

With complete reverence, Igor approached the statue. But, as he got closer, the hairs on the back of his knuckles started rising

at the sight of the group of monkeys quickly approaching.

He didn’t recognize them and signaled to Tango, the other sentry on duty. “Tango, head back to the village and find Marrick.”

80% of those monkeys had never even seen a person. Igor was getting nervous.

When Igor got nervous he tended to eat. Unluckily for him all he had to eat was

pie. He always carried a tin of French Silk. As the silky chocolate mousse slithered through his teeth, Tango arrived with Marrick.

“Can I have a piece?” asked Marrick. Tango was none too thrilled, considering the fate of the whole monkey population was at stake.

So Tango reminded Igor and Marrick what they were truly fighting for,

which is their right to manufacture and market their product “Anti Monkey But Powder®” to humans.

With it, they thought, they could change the world. But the statue had other ideas. No way was it going to

stop now. The statue has plans of its own and Igor’s teeth tingled, a sign of danger. But why now?

A earthquake earlier in the week apparently had woke up sleeping monkeys.

The earthquake was so large that it knocked over a chair. Scientists believe this is what caused the monkeys to wake up.

Mango Mama arrived. She had a pot of bok choy, tofu, scallions.”Dinner, dig in!” she yelled. Food smelled good, salty.

Igor, Marrick and Tango started eating, forgetting about statues and monkeys so they could enjoy a good meal. Meanwhile

sugar crystals started to melt and the monkeys want to learn to make fire

Mango Mama stomped in the room, yelled “Clear the table. Wash the dishes.” She whisked the pot away,emptied it.

Mango Mama worried, “Storms coming. Skies are angry.” A clap of thunder roared. Lightning lit the horizon.

As Mango Mama left the kitchen and Igor decided it was time…He knew it from this morning. Today was the day a monkey would

meet a real human. Igor was prepared and had read all about their habits. He quickly went to his room, he needed to warn

the others. But the other monkeys were too busy trying to learn how to make fire. “Guys!” Igor yelled. “What’s with the dancing?”

“Dancing?” Mango Mama began. “Is that all you see? Must you always be so duo-syllabic?”

“Duo-syllabic?” Igor retorted. “Must you always be so quinto-syllabic?” Igor was always good for a snarky comeback.

A shock rippled through Mango Mama’s mohawk. She reached behind her petticoat, and pulled out a tall

glass of pina colada.

She took a sip and offered Igor some. But he was too busy patting Mango Mama’s mohawk, wondering what else she might have in there.

With a unicorn holding the glass with its horn & a glowing rainbow mane hawk. At last!

Yes. At last. Igor had finally found the glass-holding unicorn with the glowing rainbow mane. He had been searching for it since

yesterday. It may be only a day to humans, but to monkeys, it’s more like 3650. Roughly. We never said monkeys were good at math.

His daughter asked him to look for it while she was watching Pokemon.

He lost the glass in a drinking contest to that damned unicorn. Who knew that lone horn would be the difference in flippy cup?

Beer pong was always his game to lose. If only he could convince

Mango Mama to partake in a game. He was certain he could avenge his flippy cup loss. He ran to his home and got some Silo cups.

Then 80% of the World’s monkeys showed up thinking it was a videogame pong contest.

Silo cups were unfortunately in short supply due to the jello shots made earlier that day.

The statue, watching all this happen, contorted. In the center arose a pristine, long wooden table with 10 cups on each side.

Igor went to one side of the table, Mango Mama to the other. Marrick played ref. “Game on!” he yelled. Mango threw the first ball.

She missed. Igor’s turn. He tosses his ball, and it goes right in the back corner cup. 1-0. Mango Mama chugs that cup’s beer.

Bbbbbbllllllllllllrrrrrrppppppppphphphphphppppppp.

She finishes chugging, slams the cup down & wipes her face. Mango Mama’s up. She tosses her next ball. Bam! Right in the front cup.

Wait a minute… Where did all the monkeys go?

The monkeys look on in anticipation as Igor chugs the beer.

Wait a minute… Where did all the monkeys go?

Mango Mama & Igor trade shots. He hits one. She hits one. He misses one. She misses one. And on until they’re down to one cup each.

The monkeys are riveted. Mango Mama’s up. If she hits this shot, it’s over. Igor will never be able to face his daughter again.

She takes her shot. It’s a high arc-er. The ball moves, almost in slow motion. Right at the cup. Is it going to go in?

With a plop it goes in. Igor hangs his head in shame until it bounces back out.

Apparently one of the jello shots made it to the beer pong game.

Igor didn’t care. Because now it was his turn. For all the marbles. Errrr…glass cup. Make this shot, and he can go home.

He throws his ping pong ball. It’s right on target. Could this be it? Could this be the shot that avenges his flippy cup loss?

As an extra surprise the winner flies home on the Unicorn with the rainbow mane.

And the ball misses! Having lost again he flips the table, downs the jello shots and walks away a sore loser.

THE END

So this story brought back memories from college. Monkeys, unicorns, crystals…wait. I mean beer pong and flippy cup. Yeah, that’s it. Our friend Igor could have had a happily ever after, except he sucked at drinking games. Too bad for him. Guess he shouldn’t have been so confident in his abilities. And the photo wasn’t too key in the story. Oh well. I tried to loop it in a little at the end, but let’s face it, beer pong playing monkeys are way more interesting.

Thanks to myself for providing the photo. Ha!

And thanks to all of today’s writers: @Robotstephe, who wrote early and late. @kevinegan80, who made a surprise appearance. @swanieson, who turned Igor from a winner into a loser. @hwtibbs, who brought Tango and Marrick into the story. @Guert, who has an infatuation with 80% of the world’s monkeys. @Pawela04, who jumped in earlier in the day, then came back with the sound of Mama Mango chugging her first beer pong cup. @AnalystQueen, a new writer (we love new writers!), who introduced Mango Mama into the story. @kvpops, another new writer (we love new writers!), who, despite the time difference between here and India and the cultural nuances was able to contribute. @nella22, who writes pretty much every single time, and helped keep the story moving when there was a little bit of a lull. @vnarvasa, who claims she was sober when she wrote her first tweet tonight, yet it made no sense. @1god, another new writer (we love new writers!), who made Igor have something to play for. and @rickmurray, whose MO seems to be to jump in late with a tweet just before going to bed, and this time, he brought college drinking games into the mix.

Good stuff. Thank you all. Like I said, I can’t do this without you guys.

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Feeding Frenzy

He snapped the last button, secured the final strap. The moment he had been practicing for was here.

Peeling himself off the wall was the only hard part about being a spokes banana.

The rest of the job “appeeled” to him so much! The money, the screaming fans, and, most especially, all the fruit he could eat.

He scarfed one more piece of fruit. He was ready. As his entrance music began playing, the crowd started chanting his name.

“Apple! Apple!”

The audience was filled with kids and grownups alike. They had traveled all the way from Southern French Guiana to see Apple.

This was his most important gig yet; his first since signing with Louis Vuitton.

He grabbed the microphone. It smelled like

an exhaust pipe. This instantly reminded him of his uncle Tuck, all those years ago, of that afternoon in the woods.

Apple’s lip quivered at the memory. Uncle Tuck versus a female Grizzly. It hadn’t been a fair fight.

As soon as Uncle Tuck had saw the bear he ran so fast all that could be found of his was a banana peel

And his car’s exhaust pipe. They never did find Tuck. And now Apple couldn’t get the thought of his uncle out of his head.

But still, he had to keep going. He started speaking into the mic. “Are you

ready for dinner, buds?” Apple was the newest zookeeper in the San Diego zoo’s monkey forest. And LV was their new sponsor.

Better monkeys than bears: Tuck was mauled to death during the ’08 recession as the Bear Stearns-sponsored bear (in a bear market).

Apple got along great with primates. All animals, really. His problem was people, especially…

The guy from Chaquita that kept calling to try and sponsor

a new branch of the company that is well known for their bananas.

But he pushed those thoughts aside. “I’m a professional, Dammit.” The light momentarily blinded him, and his throat itched.

Apple clucked his throat to alleviate the itchiness. The monkeys, though, thought it was a mating call.

The lights dimmed, soft carnival music began to play and the room took on the familiar odor of Vaseline and whipped cream.

LV was testing a new fabric, of which Apple’s costume was constructed. Fashioned into a human-sized banana, it was about to

undergo a stress test like no other. The monkeys were hungry. About to tear Apple the human banana to delicious pieces.

LV began by making trunks and travel bags. Was Apple unwittingly wearing what would become his own body bag, or would it hold up?

But before a claw was laid on him, the ghost of Louis Vuitton’s mustache appeared and issued a stern warning.

“Ne pas faire l’amour avec ma banane!”

But the monkeys kept getting closer, ignoring the ghost’s warning. Apple needed to get out of his suit. Fast.

If only he could find the zipper in the blasted suit.

He got to the zipper just before he was taken into the monkeys’ clutches, escaping. The monkeys were left holding a flat banana.

Though he was out of the banana suit he was left with only his

coordinating yellow, LV boxer shorts,

The ones he had been meaning to replace since they had a large

portion missing on the backside due to Apple being a flat banana.

Fortunately, Apple’s endorsement deal included getting a Louis Vuitton logo tattoo back there, so no one was the wiser.

In fact, the display was a great success, winning Apple a coveted VP of Marketing position.

“Congratulations, Apple,” said his boss, Orange. “You showed you could handle the pressure of monkeys during mating season.”

“Now lets see how you handle a friendly round of competitive karaoke.”

They headed to the bar, where Apple wasted no time picked out his favorite jam – “Killing Me Softly” by the Fugees.

Apple and Orange spent the rest of the night battling on the karaoke stage. Anything to get Apple’s mind off of Uncle Tuck.

THE END

 

This one left me wondering a lot of things. We had Apple, the guy dressed in a banana suit, who went from feeding the monkeys at a zoo to becoming the VP of Marketing. Where though? The soo? Louis Vuitton? I will say this – how could you NOT feel for him after what happened to his Uncle Tuck? Wait..what happened to his Uncle Tuck??? So many unanswered questions.

Thanks to @natapava for supplying the photo. She’s a newb, or noob, so we’ll take involvement any way we can get it. And thanks to @swanieson, @courtcan, @Guert, @paulmtracy, @officerpupp, @jimmydoestea, @Pawela04 and @jsetlak for writing today. Special shout-out to @ChrisDavisCW who’s also a noob and added a pretty funny line, as well as @Robotstephe, who saw my karaoke skills firsthand and STILL decided to jump in on a story. I must not have sucked as bad as it sounded to me like I did.

 

 

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God Almighty

It descended upon the city, slowly swirling in, high above even the tallest buildings. But what was it?

Marcel looked up and noticed that these clouds were different then the ones he’d been studying. These clouds…weren’t clouds…

It was smoke. Taking another drag on a gigantic cigar, Zeus furrowed his brow at the city.

And then he blew.

But nothing came out but a small gust of air.

Having smoked cigars for many years Zeus’ lungs weren’t all they were in his younger years.

Zeus re-dragged and re-blew with success. The tallest towers disappeared and Marcel knew that he was to blame because

he dared Zeus the night before to explain the weight of smoke. Zeus employed a method learned from Sir Walter Raleigh long ago…

Sir Walter Raleigh – whose exaggerations were legendary – once told Queen Elizabeth I that he could determine the weight of smoke.

Weigh cigar. Smoke cigar, ashing onto scale. Weigh ashes. Difference between weight of cigar and ashes = weight of smoke.

Why a mortal like Marcel was daring Zeus to do anything was a mystery. Marcel forgot that Zeus had a sick sense of humor.

Had Marcel remembered the story of Leda and the Swan, he’d know not to give Zeus any excuse to interact with mortals directly.

But it was too late. The sky was now “thundering,” but Marcel knew better. It was Zeus, with his deep, bellowing, smoker’s laugh.

Zeus had called his bluff, clearly proving his cosmic superiority. Marcel, undeterred, shouted up to the clouds. “I’m not…

“…deterred!!!”

Zeus was clearly willing to do anything, but Marcel was a man of his word. He paced back and forth, thinking of what to do next.

Eventually he decided to call the fire department. “I need the biggest ladder you’ve got,” he said.

Not the type that took kindly to loaning out equipment, the Chief politely told him to eff off. But Marcel, undeterred as usual,…

Pulled out the yellow pages and looked up

“Ladderrific! For ladders to Zeus.” He dialed the number and heard a recording on the other end say: “You…

doofus. The only way to reach Zeus is via the Unending Escalator, located in…

the 7th stall in the 4th floor ladies washroom of the Marshall Field building. Thank you for your inquiry.” Marcel was elated.

But the elation quickly died down, replaced with skepticism. “God, that recorded voice sounded familiar,” he said aloud.

that swan. “There were so many things I didn’t know about her,” Marcel said before making his way to the Unending Escalator.

A mythology professor from the University of Chicago,

his children, all eight of them, all boys, except one, one girl, one little girl who was the key to this big plan

stood on the sidewalk, watching. “Hey you,” Marcel shouted to the U of Chicago professor. “Can you and your daughter come with me?”

“Either we all come or none of us do,” said the professor. Marcel had no choice. “To the Unending Escalator!” he yelled.

Off they marched to Marshall Field’s, Marcel leading the way. Briefly, a group of tourists followed, thinking it was a guided walk.

In time these tourists fell back, captured by the alleged allure of the American Girl store. At State St., the group realized…

they needed a suitable tribute for Zeus. “A virgin? Gold?” asked the professor. “No,” said Marcel. “Zeus has that. We need…”

They had been walking the wrong way for 20 minutes. Marcel thought, “Is the unending escalator even worth it?”

But he trudged on. “We need…,” he stammered. “We need…we need…What exactly do we need again?”

“The list is clear!” screamed the professor. “We need a Ginger, 7 daisies, and a Hellenologophobic. Zeus loves irony.”

The little girl held on to a plush Alf doll, which Marcel grabbed. “This orange mess of ginger hair works. Surely Zeus has no Alf.”

They then passed a Sbarro, spotting Daisies Fuentes, Duke, Irani, De La Hoya, Foote, Duck and Ms. Daisy having their weekly lunch.

“Our seven daisies!” screamed Marcel as he stopped the group in their tracks. “Someone get them!”

The Daisies jumped up and tried to run for the door. In the commotion, they forgot the exit was a pull door. 7 Daisies, check.

“Ay dios mio,” yelled Fuentes, “my triple cheese slice fell on the floor!” Duke, meanwhile was hollering for her cousins Luke & Bo.

The last thing they needed was a Hellenologophobic. “Be on the lookout for a Hellenologophobic, everyone,” asked Marcel.

“What IS that?” asked the girl. “It’s someone who’s afraid of logos with Hellen in it,” said Marcel. “Duh.”

Marcel thought, “distractions.” All of the sudden the sky changed & it was a massive haboob.

He was mistaken. “Actually, it’s someone afraid of Greek terms,” the professor chimed in. “So like a Roman?” asked his daughter.

A roman or things like aeropostle or anthropology.

As they got to Marshall Field’s, a prison bus drove by. “Look!” screamed the girl, pointed frantically. “It’s Roman Polanski!”

“That’ll do,” said Marcel. “Stop that bus!!” Ms. Daisy, trailing a little behind the rest of the group, jumped in front of the bus.

The haboob was gaining strength & Marcel was the only one who showed concerned.

Thankfully the bus stopped as there is nothing worse than a smushed Daisy! Out stepped the elusive Roman

as the professor guarded his kids. “Stay away!” But Marcel needed a Hellenologophobic, aka a Roman, so Polanski fit the bill.

“Come with us Mr Polanski and all will be well,” said Marcel.

The haboob kept building as Marcel tried to get the ginger, the 7 Daisies & Roman the Hellenologophobic to the Unending Escalator.

Oddly enough the escalator had moved to just inside the door so no one was able to escape its clutches.

First up was Roman, then Alf, a few Daisy’s the professor and the kids.

Then the rest of the Daisies, and bringing up the rear was Marcel.

Ms. Daisy was confused. “Where are we going sir?” she asked Marcel. But Marcel didn’t answer. He kept shoving her up the escalator.

When they reached the top waiting for them was

Zeus. “I’ve been waiting for you,” he said. He exhaled deeply, parting the haboob. “These are for you,” said Marcel, sheepishly.

It was as Robert Plant imagined. A Stairway to Heaven. But to what end? A bunch of flowers in a dust storm hardly seemed worth it.

Zeus looked around. “Ginger, check. 7 Daisies, check. And Roman Polanski??” he asked as he put the Stairway to Heaven record on.

“Damn right,” said Polanski in between Plant’s chorus. Marcel tried to shut him up so he could explain Polanski’s relevance.

“He’s our Hellenologophobic,” explained Marcel. “You know, because he’s ‘a Roman’?” He used air quotes for emphasis.

Suddenly they all started singing along to the song.

“…And she’s buying a stairway to heaven,” Zeus, Marcel, the professor, his 8 kids, Alf, the 7 Daisies and Roman Polanski crooned.

And off into the mist they all went.

THE END

 

Ha! That was an amazing story. It was so funny. One of the better ones we’ve written, and we’ve written some pretty good ones. I’m really happy for Marcel – he made Zeus happy. And let’s face it, if you’re given the option of making Zeus happy or making Zeus upset, you probably want to go with making him happy. So good for him. And good for the 7 Daisies. I’m kind of jealous of them getting to go to Sbarro’s for weekly lunch. But the person I’m definitely NOT jealous of? Roman Polanski. He served a purpose.

 

Thanks to myself for supplying the photo. Just kidding. Kind of. And thanks to all of the writers. You guys really brought it. @nella22, who almost always is one of the first ones to jump in and always makes me laugh. @officerpupp, who’s a newb but acted nothing like one. @FeliciaCago, who tried as hard as she could to end the story after 4 lines, but we wouldn’t let her. @swanieson, who stuck with me all the way to the end to wrap things up. @jsetlak, owner of the triple-tweet, who this time came through with the quintuple tweet. @hwtibbs, whose obscure references has me googling stuff all the time. @Chrisa_Hickey, who’s great at cutting right to things. @_Benny_K, who’s getting more involved each week, which is awesome. @jimmydoestea, who can tweet all pronouns and I’ll still laugh. @vnarvasa, who scolded me for not giving her a heads up that I was writing a story. And last but not least, @rickmurray, who snuck a line in right at the end that led us to a different story ending.

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Wrestling with Love

This is the tale of two men and a magical, mystical fedora. It all began on an otherwise quiet evening.

Though they claimed they were meditating in actuality they were having a staring contest that started because

an hour before, fedora-sporting Frank said to Tim, “Hey! I bet if I stared at your chair long enough, I could make it disappear!”

“You’re on,” said Tim. And it was on. Fedora-sporting Frank fixated his eyes on Tim’s chair when, poof! Both chairs disappeared.

“Great,” said Frank. “Now where am I supposed to park my ass?” He grumbled as he slid slowly towards the cold, hard wooden floor.

Tim couldn’t believe what he saw. He looked under his legs then back at Frank. “What just happened Frank?”

“I don’t know, dude.” Frank had yet to realize that the fedora he was wearing, found at the pool hall last week, wasn’t normal.

Last week had been a tough one on Frank, being that he had just…

…lost the rest of his furniture in a poker game with former Governor and convicted felon Rod Blagojovech.

Frank gambled away his money, his dignity & his shoes. And as he left, he tripped over the fedora. “Damn hat,” he said, kicking it.

Shoeless and destitute, Frank bemoaned the loss of his chairs. His follicles tingled, the hat tightened on his brow. Then, a knock

on the door. “Open up!” screamed the voice on the other side of the door. Tim, always somewhat of a wuss, shook his head no.

The voice became more agitated. “OPEN UP!” Tim was crying. Frank kept still. And then, magically, the fedora sprung into action.

Chyna, 90s WWE diva wrestling superstar, nearly broke down the door before the Fedora magically turned the knob to let her in.

“50 push-ups, Now!” Chyna ordered. Shoeless Frank and Tim were too scared to argue. The Fedora kept count for the two men: 1, 2…

Tim struggled on 3. Chyna swiped her fingers on his back and smelled them. “Who’s got flowers?” she asked. “Cuz I smell a PANSY!”

Frank was shocked. Not at Chyna being there. Definitely not that Tim could only do 3 push ups. But that a fedora was counting.

“Am I the only one who thinks this is weird?” asked Frank between pushups 42 & 43. Chyna flexed her biceps, pondering the question.

Chyna dropped and powered through 50 pushups of her own. Frank shook, wishing the fedora were collecting the sweat on his brow.

Chyna got back up, then did a few side bends. She looked at Frank. “So Sally,” she mocked. “What’s up with this magical fedora?”

Frank was out of breath, so Tim weakly responded, “Ms. Chyna, we think the Fedora is magical and wanted our fates to align.”

Chyna punched Tim and screeched “Speak when spoken to!” Eyeing the fedora, a delicious idea began to form. She realized she could

use this to her benefit. She had been eyeing that hottie at

wrestling camp for quite some time. “Gimme that fedora!” Chyna raged. Frank felt spit in his eyelashes. He meekly handed it to her.

“Let’s go!” she grunted. Chyna marched out, fedora in hand, Tim and Frank following. Tim mouthed, “Is she a guy?” to Frank.

Frank shrugged, wincing at the burning sensation in his shoulders from the pushups. “So who’s the wrestling camp hottie?” he asked.

“Asher the Smasher!” barked Chyna. The fedora flew ahead to hail a cab. “Where is he?” asked Tim, as Chyna devoured a protein bar.

As soon as the bar was complete Chyna starting talking and sounded nothing like herself but instead had developed a man’s voice.

“You ARE a man,” yelped Tim. “I knew it!” Chyna turned around and backhanded him. “Tell your girlfriend to watch it,” he/she said.

They got outside, but the fedora was gone. “I lost my money, my shoes, my dignity, my chairs, and now my fedora?” Frank lamented.

“Buck up, Sally,” growled Chyna. “Your fedora went to go find Asher the Basher.” Frank and Tim were too scared to say anything.

Then he realized that Chyna was gone too. Maybe the fedora’s magic included granting wishes. Frank looked around for Tim and

saw him quivering behind a bush. “She’s gone,” said Frank. “It’s ok.” Tim stepped out, trying to cover up a wet spot on his leg.

The door swung open. There stood the wrestling camp hottie Asher the Basher. He opened his mouth

and a yellow canary wearing a tiny waist coat flew out & landed on a the shoulder of a startled Tim. It hopped over to

Frank. Tim let out a yelp. “So…Asher the Basher, is it?” asked Frank. The canary chirped away, and with each one, Tim cringed.

“Me Asher,” grunted the wrestler. “Chyna?” He then proceeded to smash his fist through the drywall. Tim just about had a meltdown.

“My fedora made her disappear,” said Frank. Asher, while not smart, didn’t believe what he heard. “I’m not that dumb,” he said.

Just then, there was a window tap. It was the fedora. It tapped on the glass 3 times, and on the 3rd, the canary turned into Chyna.

“My hottie!” grunted Chyna. “My Chyna!” grunted Asher the Basher. Tim sobbed. Frank grabbed the fedora, wedging it on Tim’s head.

Just like that, the fedora transformed Tim. “Come here you two!” he yelled. Celebrating, he put Chyna & Asher in headlocks.

THE END

So this story took a turn, and it’s all due to Chyna. What a physical specimen. She stole the show. And she got Asher the Basher!! I’m so happy for Chyna. But really, I think I’m happiest for Tim. He finally grew a pair (or was given one), and it’s all because of the magical fedora! So lucky! I almost want to change the intro line to say, “This is the tale of two men, a magical, mystical fedora and a 90s WWE female wrestler.”

This photo was one I found on my phone, so I thank myself for providing the picture. But thanks to all the writers – @swanieson @courtcan @arzubusiness @Chrisa_Hickey @nella22 @jimmydoestea @steeb2er @FeliciaCago @EBArchDesign – for helping write today’s story. Special shout-out to new writer @EBArchDesign, who jumped in towards the end with a few funny lines. Hope you had fun and that you join us again.

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Doin’ Time

“Man, those look so good,” he thought. Anything would. He hadn’t eaten in days.

4 days exactly, since arriving in prison. Chaz didn’t mind being called Mr. Fluffles, but the pebbles they offered him to eat

were not of the fruity kind like he was expecting but instead were of the garden variety and laced with some sort of foul tasting

butter. Chaz loved butter. But butter didnt go with pebbles. Butter went with toast. He’d do anything for buttered toast. Anything.

Up to and including pouncing on an unsuspecting Dougie the bread delivery man who lives next door.

Chaz still couldn’t believe that mousy lawyer of his couldn’t beat the rap. Guess he should have stuck with the rat,

Feral, they said! Really? “How could I have possibly kept my mane this pristine if I was wild?! Unless they knew about

the membership he had to the Cat Beauty Club for Convicts.

CBCC included daily milk baths and all the mackerel he could eat. Great for the coat! And weekly hairball extraction.

Chaz paid dues for the membership in cigarettes. It’s what you do in prison. He had a guy on the outside who’d smuggle them in.

Though when you pay with candy cigarettes it takes a lot more of them.

Hence the poofy mane. Looks good & helps hide the stash of cigs. It’s a vicious cycle, really. One that Chaz was looking to break.

He’d tried 12 step programs to overcome his candy cigarette hiding addiction. If only there had been warnings on the packages.

So here he sits. Jonesin’ for that high only street candy can give. Those big yellow lollipops out the window calling his name.

If only he never hid candy cigarettes in his fur. If only he didn’t join the CBCC. If only he never robbed that bank. If only.

After a while they turned from lollipops to resemble the heads of this siblings, whom he hadn’t seen since…

Since who can remember, with the candy jones clouding his feline brain. He was so hungry now, he could eat one of his siblings.

“Cats with the poofy mane are always up to something, but never taken seriously.” He thought to himself. I need to break out.

Suddenly Chaz had an idea that might shorten his sentence. Design packaging for those evil candy cigs w/pictures of decayed teeth.

He could also alter his identity with a haircut. “Hey Rico,” he yelled to the resident inmate barber. “You still got a 4:30 open?”

“Not if you want another permanent wave,” Rico yelled back.

“I need to look like someone else,” he thought. “No, no,” he replied to Rico “I’m thinking a mullet will do the trick.”

“Business in front, paaarrrty in the back,” cooed Rico. “Of course he digs that,” said a voice from solitary. “He’s a hairdresser.”

Behind the bars the face of Chaz’s favorite hellraiser Jack Murphy appeared, grinning in his familiar half-crazy way.

Jack Murphy though was the one that got Chaz into this whole conundrum in the first place.

If only he hadn’t raised his prices for mullets and got Chaz hooked on the imported milk bath.

“Hey Rico,” yelled Murphy. “You think I could borrow those scissors when you’re done?” Just then, Officer Friendly came by.

Friendly’s name was a misnomer, as he was anything but. It was rumored he’d killed a man during a cell search. Chaz was very…

…tall for a beagle. Don’t let those cute little ears fool you. He was no Snoopy. As he walked by, Chaz whispered….

“The cat flies at midnight.” Friendly smacked his billy club on the wall. “Shut it, you cat, or Beagle, or whatever you are.”

Friendly had trouble identifying criminal animals, aka crinimals. He was always confusing himself, a Beagle, with Chaz, the cat.

It’s why Friendly left the camaraderie of the police force for the isolation of the criminal system. The ridicule bruised his ego.

Chaz looked anxiously at the clock, pacing back and forth. “It’s 4:20, Rico” he yelled. “We’re still on for my 4:30, right?”

“Yes,yes, the mullet,” Rico answered. “But why do you need my scissors?”

“I don’t,” said Chaz, now with a mullet. “He does.” He pointed to Jack Murphy in solitary. “Ahhh,” said Rico. “That makes sense.”

But it didn’t make sense to Jack. He’d been told by Friendly to get them away from Rico. He just couldn’t figure out the reason.

He suspected it was because of the increasing number of inmates with mullets. In their uniforms, it was hard to tell them apart.

That explains how Dax escaped during the annual football game. He went long down the sideline & kept going, unnoticed into freedom.

And with this year’s game tomorrow, Chaz had similar plans. But he needed help. Someone on the inside to unlock the gates.

Lucky for Chaz he had a sympathtic fellow inmate that had been working on an escape plan and was willing to spring Chaz for the sum

of 22 candy cigarettes. But Chaz still needed help on the inside. If he could just talk to that quiet new guard Dempsey.

Dempsey had a thing for kitties (he always used that “p” word) and Chaz was sure his knowing Dempsey’s secret would sway him.

Dempsey’s quiet and unassuming demeanor was a facade to cover

the fact that he spent time in the joint when he was younger. He had sympathy for the inmates & was dying for one to approach him.

Chaz approached during lunch, putting up a front to seem tougher than he was. “Psst. Word is you got a soft spot for cats like me.”

He tried really hard not to laugh at his “cats” pun. He bit his lip & furrowed his brow, waiting to see how Dempsey would respond.

Dempsey growled back “scat cat” but slipped him a piece of paper.

It read: Doors open fur game at 11:30. Doors open fur u at 12:40. Chaz winked, then yelled,”I ain’t no scaredy cat.” Again, a front.

He was shaking in his non-existent boots and dropped the paper as he walked away.

Moments later, Warden Raton, making his daily rounds, happened upon the slip of paper.

Thankfully the warden was slightly dyslexic and read it as game is at 3:11 and the doors open fur you at 4:21.

The clock was approaching 12:30 and Chaz made his way to the outer lock.

He spotted Dempsey walking away from the doors, and he knew it was only minutes until his freedom. The clock struck 12:27.

Hearing the hum of the locking mechanism beginning to open, Chaz tightened his spine; ready to spring.

12:30. As Dempsey promised, the doors opened. Chaz sprang out to freedom, just as the inmates scored a touchdown on a flea flicker.

Chaz was running free, past the yellow flowers. The guards paid him no attention. They were in a dogfight on the football field.

And Dempsey was right behind…remember, he had a thing for kitties!

And so Chaz was able to safely run free to meet up with his long lost family.

And the two ran off until they became dots. Chaz after his family. Dempsey, the horndog, after Chaz.

THE END

Whew! That was a long one. (That’s what she said.) I’m really happy for Chaz. He deserved freedom. He deserved to break free from his candy cigarette hiding addiction. He deserved a new ‘do from Rico the prison hairdresser. Not so sure he deserved Dempsey, but hey, what can you do?

Thanks so much to you all for contributing to this story. Thanks @lilmissjen for the amazing photo, which I believe you snapped in a window in New York City. We had a new writer today – @Sean_Heffernan. Thanks for joining, and I hope you enjoyed. And thanks to all the veteran writers – @LundieP, @swanieson, @paulmtracy, @elderberryjam, @jsetlak, @ParkRidgeDDS, @courtcan, @adelamiz, @Sean_Heffernan, @Chrisa_Hickey and @hwtibbs. This one had deep character development, so an extra thanks to @swanieson and @paulmtracy for hanging in at the end and helping me finish.

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