Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lucky Streaks

Harry B. Sanderford

Roger blinked. This was it he supposed; soon his entire life would reel before him like a fast-forwarding video tape. Funny though, the things that go through a person’s head once it's been severed from his body. Roger thought of his wife Carla's perfect ears and the scent of her powdered neck when he kissed them. Then he wondered if he could still flare his nostrils or wiggle his own ears. Mostly he thought about how he'd wound up in this position, he'd only gone out for a pack of smokes. This fact would no doubt delight his many friends and co-workers who insisted smoking was going to be the death of him. A technical win at best but he knew they'd take it.

He'd hiked his usual route up Barber street to Cecil and over a block to Zip's package store. He bought a pack of Luckys, a Yoohoo and a racing form and was reversing his route when this zombie started having a cow about him dropping the cellophane from his Luckys. "Ok, ok sooooorry." he spat in exaggerated apology. The zombie shook his head and sneered self-righteously. Zombies were having cows right and left in this neighborhood anymore. He plucked up and pocketed the wrapper and continued on his way, stopping to very demonstrably dispose of the Yoohoo bottle in the bin on the corner of Barber and Cecil. Not a zombie in sight of course then.

He unfolded the racing form and noticed the date, October 31, 2010. Halloween. Roger was near panic realizing his blunder, none of the living ventured out on Halloween anymore. Kids didn't even Trick or Treat, it had just become too risky. He tossed the form in the bin and ran. A dozen houses, maybe only eleven and he'd be home. Safe.

With five houses to go and his lungs exploding Roger heard first the shrieks and cries, then the clattery scrabbling of hooves and claws on asphalt. He stepped it up angling through Mrs. Proctor's periwinkles and hopped her hedge right into Mr. Miller's damn cactus garden. He twisted mid-flight narrowly avoiding a nasty encounter with a century plant's pointy parts before thudding shoulder first in the gravel and rag-dolling his way through agave and aloe and every other assorted prickly and pokey thing. Rolling to his feet, his house now in sight, Roger scrambled to recover but a shadow of evil covered him like fog and he knew he would not make it. He turned to see a dark wave containing every vile and hideous nightmare creature spilling down Barber Street. Vampires and monsters with gargoyles and ghouls, ghosts and skeletons marauded the street in search of anyone foolish enough to be out. Roger's quick census of available fools revealed to his dismay that he was quite alone.

Leading the procession of the slimy, slithery, boney and fanged was the barnacle encrusted pirate Blackbeard. He swung from the unseen yard arm of a night sky ghost ship landing lightly in Roger's path. Roger's weary mind could no longer perform the calculations necessary for registering his fright; he tapped a Lucky from the pack. Rats entangling his beard and his breath like rotting fish, Blackbeard gave a hearty belly laugh, drew back his saber and with a single hack put an end to all of Roger's fear. Roger, simultaneously quit smoking.

Roger looked sideways at his body. He looked sideways at everything now. He noticed there was a hole in the sole of his right shoe and he was pretty sure he was wearing the underwear with the elastic half unraveled. Clearly he'd not prepared very well for his decapitation. His shirt was streaked with blood, still he might have tucked it in, he thought. He wished he'd gotten around to taking off that 10 pounds and with what felt like a grin on his face and his final synapses firing Roger thought, well in a way he supposed he had

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sweet Talk

by Zelda Martin and Harry B. Sanderford

Sadie loves to dress up for Halloween, but she's having a hal o' a time thinking up a costume she hasn't already done. She's been everything from Popeye to a demented nurse to a Martian, and oh yeah... a tube of toothpaste. This year she really wanted to push the envelope way outside of the ordinary and was mulling possible options when Stanley piped up with his annual suggestion that she should wear just her go-go boots and go as Puss in Boots while he puts a pot on his head and goes as Peter in a Pan.

"Stanley, I told you last year and the year before last, and I'll tell you again, WE ARE TOO FRIGGIN' OLD TO BE RUNNING AROUND NAKED IN PUBLIC, and if you mention my decrepit go-go boots one more time, you'll be gone-gone and your Peter WILL be in a Pan!"

There was a moment of poker faces before they both had to laugh. Then Stanley dumped the contents of a plastic pumpkin on the kitchen table, rummaged around for a Ring Pop and holding it up for Sadie said, "You will never be old in my eyes, girl goblin, Happy Anniversary!" Sadie accepted the tawdry treasure, and with tears of joy in her eyes replied, "It's been a lot of years since the day we made our lust legal, but you're still my favorite Tootsie-Troll."

Still uncertain about her costume, Sadie licked the new lolly seductively as Stanley laid her down on the mattress of miniature sweets and kissed her from her Mounds to her Whatchamacallit, whispering, "And you're my Bit-O-Honey, Sugar Baby."

Happy Halloween Everyone!
Madam Z Rocks all by herself here:
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Saturday, October 16, 2010


By Harry G. Peakman

(my Uncle Harry)


I've bolted all the windows

     and I've locked up every door

And I've spread much lovely garlic

     all around the floor


I'll not have interruptions

     from goblins, ghouls 'n such

(So highly overrated-

     they don't amount to much)


I've grouped the herbs and crystals,

     bat wings and turnip blood

There's mummied hand, a "skeeter" fin,

     foul waters from a flood


A wiggle of the uvula,

     five lopsided soles,

Pelargonium juices

     and some droppings from the moles


Seven twigs lantana,

     toad's eye a la carte,

A batch of hiccups from a muse

     and diced rhinocerous heart


There's toenails from new kittens,

     a mouse that's been giraffed-

Oh, all the stores and charms and things

     to keep my wiles a craft


So when Halloween is dawning

     and the night is turning rough

I'll be busy in the basement

     o'er a cauldron stirring stuff

Friday, October 15, 2010

Reach For It!

By Harry B. Sanderford

Julie made her living getting shot three times a day at Six Gun Territory. Deputy Scooter Baxter always warned Sheriff Handsome just before Julie got the drop on him and the Sheriff always wheeled around in the nick of time, firing up above the saloon where Julie would clutch her breast and stumble off the roof right into the horse trough. Julie understood folks expected to see the sheriff get the bad guy. Taking a dive at a horse trough beat dangling on the end of a rope. All in all Julie liked her job but like most folks, you could say she had regrets. She never got to ride off into the sunset like real cowpokes. She never got to leap her horse from a moving boxcar or pull her kerchief up over her face and pester the law abiding depositors of some unsuspecting First Bank. Most of all, Julie never, ever, got to kiss Viola Softerkisses, the resident rodeo sweetheart. She wasn't giving up entirely on being the one to get the girl and ride off into the sunset though. At today's 3:00 show, Julie aimed to shoot that loud-mouth Scooter.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Prickly Pears

Harry B. Sanderford

Early forays into the developement of the two piece swimsuit resulted in a series of near misses. One such example, the Bicacti, showed early promise before fading into also ran status and fashion obscurity in the shadow of the still wildly popular Bikini. Tall and tan and young and lovely, the girl from Ipanema's itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, yellow polka dot bikini pretty much preempted all prior predilections for this prickly predecessor. The Bicacti was perhaps ahead of it's time as it would be the mid-nineteen eighties before women ever willingly embraced the idea of spiked clothing. The Bicacti's designer Jose Cuervo, having failed in his fashion endeavor but still stuck with 8,000,000 tons of cactus came out ok though, going on to invent a wildly popular tonic that ironically has proven itself to have tremendous Bikini removal properties.
Bolstered by this success Jose is rumored to be back in the laboratory and working on a new watermelon based version aimed at the more amply endowed