Friday, May 28, 2021

Batter Up!

Betty Lou Batters was a legend with an egg beater. Her cakes rose higher and her cream whipped up the fluffiest. Rumor was she could whip whiskey to soft peaks. Betty Lou wasn't always tied to the whipping post. As a barefoot youngster she honed the skills that would win her countless County Fair blue ribbons and a more reasonable number of young mens hearts by winding in near about every catfish in Crater Lake with her Zebco 202. The same motor skills and muscle memory that conquered the Crater cats made the egg beater a natural extension of her body. Lumps stood nary a chance in her batters, sauces and gravies. It was all second nature but sometimes, when she was in the zone, she really had to fight the urge to set that hook.

Got A Match?

An orange tabby with white tape on her paws sat up where she knew she shouldn't be. Her tail swept the counter like a windshield wiper while her head poked inside the pie safe licking merengue from a slice of lemon pie. Ordinarily Hank would have shooed her away, smoothed the divot in the merengue with a fork and thrown the latch to foil future attempts. Today though he was hunkered over the calculator with a folder full of receipts trying to swing Ruby's estimate. The cafe was decades overdue for paint and a new roof.

Hank met Ruby for a beer at the Lonesome Whistle to break the news he would have to wait a little longer. Ruby reminded him she could probably save him a third if he went with tin instead of shingles. Hank said he'd consider it but he wasn't crazy about the idea of Tennesee's tender paws on a tin roof come summer.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Gray-Bar Suites

Barry Tuttle worked as a guard. For twenty seven years, Monday through Saturday with a rotating day off midweek, he'd worn the butternut uniform more than a few guests of the Hastings Women's Correctional Facility claimed complimented his eyes. This morning when he looked in his closet those duds were missing. Six brand new uniforms, if they could truly be called uniforms, hung in their place. They consisted of a crisp white shirt, white dress slacks and a matching jacket. I'm your ice cream man, stop me as I'm passing by. Barry's stomach clenched, Diamond Dave he was not.

He'd seen it coming for a while. Privately owned correctional facilities had been gaining market share over Public/Federally supported institutions over his entire career. With privatization comes competition and once Amazon got involved, things got a little weird. Amazon's interest tipped the Lion's share of the penal pay-dirt to the private sector. Focus would no longer be on wresting control away from the feds but rather on cannibalizing competitive counterparts.

The new uniforms came with a new title for Barry: Host. All part of Amazon's new, "Destination Incarceration" promotion. The botched burglary, assault or common assortment of Saturday night offenses that usually led to three hots and a cot were small potatoes. Leave those to Canada. Extras and add ons were where the real dough was to be made. The mess halls would now be bistros. Greens would still be served on Sunday but now kale instead of collards. Orange would no longer be the new black. A choice of understated ensembles from J. Crew would be available for purchase for those settling up societal debt imbalances. Thread count counts, and as always, membership has its privileges. If you can in fact afford to do the time, then by all means, do the crime. And don't worry. If you have Prime, we'll leave a light on for you.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Little Shopping Horrors

Wexler stopped his cart in men’s toiletries and had to marvel at the sheer volume of product space devoted solely to the elimination of whiskers. So many complicated choices for such a simple product. The cheap, plastic, multi-blade disposables were of little use and easily ruled out. The single edge jobs he settled for the last time had occasioned a couple of close shaves. They were sturdy but bulky and had proven risky. Those were out too. Wexler came to his selection and tossed it into the cart. He crossed "razors" off and saw "produce" was last on his list. He drew a line through that as well and steered his cart away convinced that you really couldn't beat the way a good, old fashioned, Wilkinson Sword double edge blade virtually disappears when pressed into a shiny red apple.

Cat Tale

Daddy says Sissy an' me can go swimmin' once I skint this mess o' cats. Mama asked how many we caught.  Daddy cyphered up one for near about every finger and toe and reckoned upwards of a dozen. Mama said, “Well I swannie, we got plenty lard but Sissy’s goin’ need to run yonder for more corn meal if y’all want hush puppies.”

Well of course we want hush puppies. Sissy’d tore halfway out the yard before mama could call her back to get two dollars. She gave her a extra dime to get her and me a chick-o-stick for dessert.

Canvas Prompt No. 36
Photo by David Lovin

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Whistle Wile

“So Bob, what line are you in?”

“I head up complacency and acquiescence for The Department of Unrelenting Toil.”

“Ahhh, that must be fascinating work.”

“Actually, fascination is frowned upon at the DUT.  Spirit, general enthusiasm, even keen interest are just the sort of things I’m hired to keep a lid on.”

“I had no idea.”

“Oh yeah, those things can only lead to pride. And as we say over at the DUT, pride goeth before a stall. Haha! But seriously, left unchecked satisfaction from a job well done can lead to high fives, chest bumps, even spontaneous hugging. If you don’t nip it, you can wind up dealing with a full blown Joy Spike. Under my watch we have over 800 elation free days. Exuberant outbursts are essentially a thing of the past."


"Thanks, we make it a full 3 years and I'll be kicked upstairs to an office, with windows.”

“Well, good luck with that. I mean, if it makes you happy. I suppose though, celebrating your promotion would fall counter to your occupational agenda.”

 “Oh, not to worry. Level three office windows are all bullet proof.”

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Dog winged the monkey's gerdonderplonk just past ceremony. Winkle-wizzened water garglers awoke wanderjanked while apple-gated confederates slept on. Rusty pipe smack-down cancelled water lily gumbo's two o'clock and Patsy sang Crazy for the millionth time. Cart-wheeling donkey kong cougar camp visionaries lament then relent and consent. Rotty board deliverance wiggles wormy can-can hula-hoops and a dirty dozen daisies die. Woman howls moon, monkey bites Dog, man slaps clock and Patsy still crazy, falls silent.