Building Blocks (Mishaps do happen!)

Unfortunately mishaps do happen; however, as our characters grow older, their mishap realism can become lost in antiquity.  Realistically, brief conversations between age groups may not be as comprehendible as we want them to be.  Let’s think about what has happened in our lives, and think about how quickly different generations can visualize the incident.

For example, when I was asked by a ten year old how I got a scar on my lower arm, I replied that I scraped my arm on a sharp rabbit ear.  “Rabbit’s ears are not sharp!”  “It’s slang for a TV antenna.”  “What’s a TV antenna?”

What are some ‘common’ mishaps that could baffle our older or younger generation readers?

Our kitchen trash compactor ate my watch!:  With curbside compost and recycling pickup becoming available in more and more communities, the trash compactor is becoming history.

I spilled water/soda/beer/wine on my floppy disk!:  The first floppy disks were developed in the late 1960s.  Today, computers were rarely manufactured with installed floppy disk drives.

I can’t call her; the dang party-line is tying up the phone!:  Party line (multiparty line, shared service line, party wire) is a local loop telephone circuit that is shared by multiple telephone service subscribers.  Party line systems were widely used to provide telephone service, starting with the first commercial switchboards in 1878.  A majority of Bell System subscribers in the mid-20th century in the United States and Canada were serviced by party lines.  One of the last manual telephone exchanges with party lines was in Australia, and was closed down in 1986.

He tripped over the milk bottle the milkman left in front of the door.:  Yes, in some places milkmen/women do still deliver milk to residences.  However, younger readers think of grocery stores, Walmarts, and WaWa type retailers.  In the early-1950s, a wonderful innovation helped my family to keep the delivered milk from spoiling; an insulated box on the back porch.

She was late because she forgot to wind her wristwatch.:  Since 1923,  when John Harwood, a watch repairer from Bolton, England, introduced the first commercial self-winding watch, hand cranking one’s wristwatch has become a rarity today.

Think about your ‘building blocks’; we can not write without them.


Fred’s Food Odyssey (Humor Flash Fiction)

Looking at the Diner menu, hamburger and fries lover Fred was dismayed.  Because of the recent food concerns voiced by his doctor, Fred wanted to order healthy.  They were at the In Tune Diner on the town’s Music Row, and to Fred’s disbelief, In Tune was out of tuna.  “Well,” he said to Nancy, “I guess it’s all ova now.”  “Not I,” replied Nancy, “I’m ordering a reuben.”

When the food they ordered arrived, the two looked at the other’s plate.  “That is one large omelet,” said Nancy.  “Oomph,” was Fred’s answer.  “Yessiree,” laughed Nancy, “some people do like to whine and dine!”  Looking at her reuben, “Aaaah,” said Fred with a wink, “toss some over here so moi can star in Catcher in the Rye!”

Fred’s current food odyssey was brought about by years of overindulgence on the wrong kinds of food, and a palate spelt ‘pallet’.  Nevertheless, he still enjoyed Nancy’s food exploration moments.  Like the other day when she was hot for a hotdog.  She could hardly wait for the waiter to bring it.  In anticipation, she mustered the mustard and the special cafe relish she so relished.  Finally, the dog arrived, and it was all she could do not to wolf it down.

Their friendship was far more than ‘good taste’ buds; and Fred liked to point that out.  Once he mentioned that being an undertaker implied true friendship, because he will be the last one to let her down.  For her part, Nancy did like to do things with Fred…except playing cards; because Fred only had half a deck.

(Fred’s Food Odyssey, Steven S. Walsky, April 2017.)