Guest in Jest #62 Robbie Yates

If my memory serves, this is the very first video on Guest in Jest!  Children’s author Robbie Yates has graciously supplied the following info for those who will undoubtedly want to learn more…

https://youtu.be/NhpX9LHDy7o
You can find Robbie’s witty middle-grade novel, Daniel Daniels and the World’s Worst Zoo, on Amazon. Perfect for animal lovers, it is a lively book for adventurous kids!
You can also visit Robbie at his blog, or on Twitter or Facebook.
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Guest in Jest and Weekly Request #62

Please join us tomorrow…

This week’s  “Guest in Jest” guest is:  Robbie Yates

 

Now it is time for my shameless begging.  I’ll add a little pleading if it will help.  I will add larger fonts to grab attention.  REALLY large fonts…to the point of obnoxiousness!  Perhaps a bit of color will make a difference.

Join us in our Guest of Jest series

 

Please submit your guest posts to mainepaperpusher@yahoo.com and they will be published in order of submission every Friday here at Everyone Else Has the Best Titles

 

Here are the rules:

Give us some info about your blog.  Make sure to add a link to it.

Write up something amusing.  It doesn’t have to be “laugh out loud” funny, but a bit of humor would be great.

Pictures optional, but encouraged.

The post can be one that has been posted before.

Multiple submissions are encouraged!

The piece can be anything that is humorous.  A story, a recollection, even something as simple as a joke.

 

C’mon, you know you want to!  Why should we have all the fun?

 

World Suicide Prevention Day

The Arty Plantsman

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September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day.

Here in the UK, the mental heath charity MIND  has a very useful list of resources.

Some may find the following disturbing, and my views might seem a little contrary:

My most vivid memory of my teens is waking up in my room to realise, with a crushing disappointment, that I had survived the overdose I took the previous evening. My family never knew about my attempt. I spent the morning crying whilst cleaning up the vomit myself. No help was sought.

I was 17 and had recently started sixth-form college, away from the bullies that had plagued me for a decade. You might think this was great? It was – until I realised how badly damaged I was. Unable to cope with being around people I took to hiding in a small study area outside of class times, where I…

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Islands In The Lawn

Bill is not fond of mowing.  He has been known to let the grass “go” for a few weeks between mowing.  Perhaps I should have said ‘grow,’ because growing is something it does very well…and fast.  Is it bad when your LAWN goes to seed?  Yeah, it’s a little bad.

One of my favorite lawn traditions around here is the presence of the floating Queen Anne’s Lace garden.  You might think that Queen Anne’s Lace, a wild relative of the carrot, belongs by the side of the road where all good weeds should dwell.   Not our Queen Anne’s Lace!

Bill likes Queen Anne’s Lace.  He likes it a lot.  How do I know this?  I know this because he lets it grow willy nilly all over the lawn.  Now it could be surmised that he likes it because it shows up when the grass is at its most dreadful state and that gives him an excuse not to mow.  Whatever his reasoning, the mowing of the lawn sometimes stretches to the point where the Queen Anne’s Lace is three feet tall.  Thank goodness we live in the country!

Queen Anne’s Lace usually grows in clumps and when one of these three-foot-tall clumps appears, Bill mows around it making a Queen Anne’s Lace island in the sea of newly-mown grass.  Queen Anne’s Lace is a capricious thing and the strongest plants are not always in the same spot.  One year the clump might be under the apple tree, and another year it might be near the road.  Not ON the roadside where any logical Queen Anne’s Lace should be.  No, it is merely NEAR the road so that it can be mowed around.

Bill’s mowing habits must irk the neighbors across the road.  Their mailbox is on our property but it’s quite far from our house.  Bill doesn’t pay it much attention so they actually haul a mower across the road and mow around their mailbox and beyond.  Queen Anne’s Lace would never have a chance there.

While Bill has his mobile Queen Anne’s Lace ‘gardens,’ it occurs to me that things are rather reversed.  The fastidious neighbors are mowing their horse pasture.   Who does that?  The fact that our lawn is taller than their horse pasture doesn’t bother Bill a bit.  He’ll just say:  “Hey, look at my cool Queen Anne’s Lace gardens!”

Guest in Jest #61 A Tale Unfolds

This week’s  “Guest in Jest” guest is:  A Tale Unfolds

 

It’s a hard life

 

“T’raa, Germima. Alf!’

The old dray horse gave a snort of acknowledgement.  Alf gave a desultory wave.

Morris always acknowledged the horse before the driver.  She was likely to be around a lot longer than Alf for one thing, and besides, if it weren’t for Germima, Morris probably wouldn’t get his delivery on time. The horse knew the delivery route like the back of her hoof. So did Alf, but he had a habit of dozing off on the wagon and many’s a time they would have ended up half way to Corlington before Alf woke up.

*

In the old days, people only had one name; names such as Ug or Sniff.

As people acquired more skills, and a broader vocabulary they began to acquire a surname, usually in reference to whatever was their profession.

Smith being a commonplace example, derived from blacksmith. Fletcher another. In days of yore it was law for every Englishman to practice daily with a longbow. So a person who made arrows, which is where the name Fletcher derives, would have been a well-respected and vital member of every village. And of course anyone with a surname such as Sidebottom or Arsbinder, generally belonged to the Church.

Morris’s surname was Cooper. Although Morris was not a barrel maker, one might say that the profession of publican was the next best thing.

Morris was a big man. Over six feet in his socks, strong as an ox, and built like the proverbial outhouse. He could still lift one of the beer barrels if called upon. In his younger days he regularly did. These days his sons did most of the heavy work, and fortunately there was little actual lifting required.

The last barrel rolled down the wooden drawbridge, as Morris called it, and disappeared into the pub’s cellar.

‘Righto, Michael. That’s the last one. Close up and let’s get a spot of breakfast before opening,’ Morris instructed.

‘Right, Pa,’ said his son.

 

The Cooper Inn is a pub in Wiggleswood, a small village in rural England.

It is a real pub that serves real ale. Beers with such colourful names as Bishop’s Appendage, and Bad Habits are popular local brews. Peeler’s is another. This one is considered particularly potent and has the nickname ‘Jailtime’, as this is usually what the unwary drinker will be doing after more than three pints.

Morris had just finished tapping a fresh barrel when the door opened.

It was 10:30 in the morning.

‘Oh, for heaven’s sake,’ Morris mumbled under his breath.

‘Mornin’, Morris!’ said a cheerful voice.

‘Morning, Harry.’

Harry Bradshaw was Wiggleswood’s odd-job man. Harry preferred the title Artisan. However, the only thing vaguely associated with the first three letters of this profession one might find on Harry’s resume was his attempt at painting St. Mary’s, the local church. Such was Harry’s prowess with a paintbrush, poor old Reverend Wilky had to pay him to stop.

Just because Jesus wanted every child to be His sunbeam didn’t mean the church had to be painted bright yellow.

‘Have I got somethin’ for you, Morris,’ Harry said as he shuffled onto a barstool.

One of Harry’s other professions was the ‘Acquisition of Commodities’.

‘Oh, really,’ Morris replied. ‘And I suppose whatever it is just happened to fall off the back of a lorry, right?’

‘Always said you ‘ad a highly developed instinct for a business opportunity, Morris. As a matter o’ fact, what I have in the boot of my Cortina did fall off the back of a lorry. The bleedin’ big dent in the bonnet is proof, too. These truck drivers ought to be a lot more careful when they load their goods. If it weren’t for me superior drivin’ skills the box would’ve gone right through me bleedin’ windscreen.’

‘And maybe if you weren’t tailgating the lorry on the off chance that something fell off the driver wouldn’t be short one crate either.’

‘Finders keepers, Morris. Finders keepers. Besides it would ‘ave been regarded as damaged goods. Couldn’t sell it on the open market anyhow. So’s it’s a good thing I just ‘appened to be in the right place at the right time. Imagine if some kiddies found it, eh?’

‘Kiddies? What we talking about here. Drugs?’

‘Nah, course not. Weerll, not in the strict sense, I s’pose.’

Morris drew himself up to his full height and glowered down on Harry.

‘You better not be mucking about with drugs, Harry Bradshaw or I’ll have the law out here in a flash.’

Harry leant away from the imposing figure, raising his hands in submission.

‘No, Morris, I ain’t. Honest! This ain’t like that at all.’

‘Better hadn’t be. I’m warning you.’

‘No, Morris. This is much better n’ nasty drugs. An’ I reckon much more profitable.’

Morris calmed down a bit and went back to laying out the bar.

‘This is a pub, Harry. You do know that, right?’

‘Pardon, Morris?’

‘A pub. My pub. As opposed to a public library or public park where they don’t object if you just saunter in and sit down for five minutes and do nothing.’

‘Ah, sorry, Morris. I’ll ‘ave an half.’

Morris poured Harry half a bitter and because he was that type of person reached behind him, lifted a glass lid and retrieved a cheese and ham sandwich.

‘Bit short o’ change, right now, Morris, t’be honest. Just the drink’ll do me.’

Morris looked Harry up and down. When was the last time you ate you old bugger, he wondered?

‘Eat the bloody sandwich, Harry. You can owe me. If ever I need the pub painted in a psychedelic colour I’ll know who to call, all right?’

‘Thanks, Morris. You’re a real gentleman,’ Harry replied around a mouthful of bread.

Morris waited until Harry finished his sandwich then removed the plate and wiped away a few crumbs.

‘Well, go on then,’

‘ ‘Ave an ‘eart , Morris, I ‘aven’t finished me drink yet.’

Morris sighed.

‘I mean, let’s hear what you’ve got in the back of your Cortina, Harry. You aren’t going to leave until you’ve told me, even if I’m not in the least bit interested in buying. Am I right?’

‘Viagra, Morris.’

‘Pardon?’

‘Viagra. Whole box of it.’

Morris grinned then began to shake with barely suppressed laughter.

‘S’not funny, Morris.’

Morris started to laugh out loud.

‘Are you serious, Harry?’

‘Straight up, Morris. Honest,’ he said.

Morris’s laughter attracted the attention of his wife, Natalie, who wandered out from the kitchen to see what was going on.

Her smile vanished the moment she recognised Harry Bradshaw.

‘Oh, it’s you,’ she said offering a questioning glance at her husband.

‘It’s all right, Nat. Harry, here just thought I might be in the market for some Viagra. He’s got a whole box of it in his car,’ Morris explained.

Natalie looked from Harry to her husband and her smile returned in an instant.

‘Er, Harry?’

‘Yes, Mrs. C?’

‘How many kids have we got?’

 

‘Um … let me see now. There’s Michael, Simon, Anne, and little Roger. Oh, and the twins, Lizbeth and Vanessa, of course.’ Harry reeled off the children’s names, counting on his fingers.

‘And don’t forget Emily and Adrian,’ Natalie prompted.

‘Right, right. Nearly forgot. Big family you have. That’s why I reckoned you’d be interested in my wares, Mrs. C.’

‘You do know what Viagra is for, Harry, yes?’

‘Course I do, Mrs. C. I might be old but I ain’t stupid. It’s a vitamin.   Good one, too, so I’ve been told.’

Morris and Natalie exchanged a look.

‘Come here, Harry,’ Natalie gestured.

Harry leant a bit further over the bar and Natalie cupped her hand to whisper in his ear.

After she finished, Harry turned a bright shade of crimson.

‘Oh, my gawd. Well I never. You’re ‘aving me on, Mrs. C, right?’

‘No, Harry. That’s what it is. I promise.’

‘You sure?’

‘Straight up, Harry,’ Natalie confirmed with a big smile.

‘That’s naughty, Mrs. C.’

‘Yes, Harry. I know,’ said Natalie, her smile broadening.

‘I think, sweetheart that under the circumstances it ought to be Harry who has a stiff one, don’t you?’ Morris suggested.

Harry suddenly looked apoplectic. He leapt off the stool and bolted for the door.

‘You’re disgustin’, he shouted just before he left. ‘The pair of you!’

Morris grinned.

‘Funny that. He’s never turned down a free whisky before.’

 

Copyright© 2015 DSP.

 

 

Guest in Jest and Weekly Request #61

Please join us tomorrow…

This week’s  “Guest in Jest” guest is:  A Tale Unfolds

 

Now it is time for my shameless begging.  I’ll add a little pleading if it will help.  I will add larger fonts to grab attention.  REALLY large fonts…to the point of obnoxiousness!  Perhaps a bit of color will make a difference.

Join us in our Guest of Jest series

 

Please submit your guest posts to mainepaperpusher@yahoo.com and they will be published in order of submission every Friday here at Everyone Else Has the Best Titles

 

Here are the rules:

Give us some info about your blog.  Make sure to add a link to it.

Write up something amusing.  It doesn’t have to be “laugh out loud” funny, but a bit of humor would be great.

Pictures optional, but encouraged.

The post can be one that has been posted before.

Multiple submissions are encouraged!

The piece can be anything that is humorous.  A story, a recollection, even something as simple as a joke.

 

C’mon, you know you want to!  Why should we have all the fun?

Twisted

You might think that the title of this bit of drivel is a based on my state of mind, but you would be mostly wrong.  I mean I am twisted, I won’t deny that.  I couldn’t possibly deny it, after all.  However, this is a whole different subject.

I just experienced a “huh?” moment.  I went to open a new loaf of bread and went to untie the twist-tie and realized that it was twisted ‘wrong.’  It made me pause a moment.  The last time I bought this bread, I noticed the same thing.  Why on earth would anyone twist a twist-tie the ‘wrong way!”  Then it occurred to me that even giving such a small thing any thought at all was pretty funny.  Why would this bug me so much?  Why did I think I was the one to decide which way a twist-tie should be tied in the first place?

Before I go on, I want to make it plain that Dave’s Killer Bread is awesome and I won’t hold the whole twist-tie thing against them…no matter how wrong it may be.  This company has one of the

I really want this to be an audience participation event.  What weird little peccadilloes are irksome to you?  I know you all have some, and it would be fun to hear what they are.  I have a feeling there are some good ones out there!

Guest in Jest #60 Novus Lectio

 This weeks Guest is  Novus Lectio

 

I was very small, maybe 4 or 5. We we’re in Frankfurt and by the station there was this guy who was selling sausages in bread, a kind of hot dog but bigger. I remember my dad buying two of those, one for him and one for me. As I was walking behind my dad, just a few steps away from the seller, my hot dog slipped out of the bread right to the floor. That means, I remained with the bread in my hand and the sausage by my feet. I didn’t even had time to bite it! I was afraid that my dad would see this, so i hurried on behind him and bit my empty bread. Very soon after, my dad noticed and asked me “where is the sausage?” well i had to tell him that I’ve already ate it all so quickly. He found that very wierd but believed me. Months or years later (who can remember) I’ve told him the truth. He laughed out loud saying that if I’ve told him then, he would have gone back to buy me another one.

Guest in Jest and Weekly Request #60

Please join us tomorrow…

This week’s  “Guest in Jest” guest is:  Novus Lectio

 

Now it is time for my shameless begging.  I’ll add a little pleading if it will help.  I will add larger fonts to grab attention.  REALLY large fonts…to the point of obnoxiousness!  Perhaps a bit of color will make a difference.

Join us in our Guest of Jest series

 

Please submit your guest posts to mainepaperpusher@yahoo.com and they will be published in order of submission every Friday here at Everyone Else Has the Best Titles

 

Here are the rules:

Give us some info about your blog.  Make sure to add a link to it.

Write up something amusing.  It doesn’t have to be “laugh out loud” funny, but a bit of humor would be great.

Pictures optional, but encouraged.

The post can be one that has been posted before.

Multiple submissions are encouraged!

The piece can be anything that is humorous.  A story, a recollection, even something as simple as a joke.

 

C’mon, you know you want to!  Why should we have all the fun?

 

The Prepositions of Moving

We have been the recipients of a very generous gift of furniture and other various objects from our beloved aunt who has the audacity to leave Maine and move to Florida.  The nerve!  But we still love her dearly because she promises she will come back to visit regularly.  Regularly means weekly, right?  Probably not but I can hope!

Some of you out there might remember that I’m a hoarder collector of many things.  I have a lot of stuff.  I have stuff that hasn’t been organized properly in ages.  This is a problem when furniture is incoming.  Where to put what?  This wonderful influx has forced motivated me to do some organizing and get rid of some stuff (Oh, the humanity!)

This whole organizing thing isn’t easy,  but it had to be done and it meant that things would be so much nicer and neater.  There was the added plus that my couch would no longer be held together by duct tape.  The dogs just don’t  understand why they can’t come into the living room now unless we are here.  They are no longer allowed to rear up like horses and fall down to play doggie Twister.   Our aunt mentioned that perhaps a new coffee table would act as a speed bump.  It has slowed them down a bit!

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I can almost hear them wondering why on earth there is a quilt on the couch.  They are perplexed, but I digress.

It is here that we need to talk about the prepositions of moving.  I think moving from one house to another might be easier than what I’ve been doing.  Instead of moving OUT and moving IN, I’ve been moving AROUND.

AROUND is a whole different preposition from IN and OUT when it comes to moving.  A whole different proposition preposition, indeed.

IN and OUT are perfectly normal as moving prepositions go, but AROUND is where I get into trouble.  This thing has to go there but the thing over there has to be moved first to another place altogether, usually in another room, on another floor or to another building.

IMG_0052Let me just say that my garden shed runneth over.  Remember those tile games we had as kids (for those of you old enough to remember such things) and you had to move the tiles AROUND and AROUND until you made a picture?  That is what I’ve been doing…HERE, THERE, and EVERYWHERE (my apologies to the Beatles.)  But you know what?  The final picture, as it is evolving, is pretty cool.

The picture isn’t in focus just yet.  Just because I’ve moved the stuff to the area where it belongs doesn’t mean that organizing all of the little things is done.

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It’s amazing what I’ve found while organizing stuff.  Do you think any sane woman needs four power sanders?  Don’t answer that.  We won’t even talk about the hand tools.  In the sunroom I had enough potting supplies to start a greenhouse.  How many wires and cords and adapters should a person own?  Whatever the number, I’ve got more.  “Hey, look at this!  It’s a firewire drive!”  I even found my Sony Walkman…that plays cassettes…hello 1980’s!!

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So I am now dealing with different prepositions.  As I go through things, and place them where they belong, I realize that some of them go HERE and some go THERE.  And some of them actually go OUT!