Make Good Use of Your Sidebar

I may eventually put something worthwhile here. Then again, perhaps I won't.


Trick or treat

When we were growing up, my kid brother Dan and I had very different approaches to getting Halloween loot. I'd carefully plan a lengthy evening, hitting a lot of houses - and I knew who gave out the good stuff, the Snickers and Reese's Cups, not toothbrushes and that godawful Mike & Ike crap. Dan would hit a handful of our neighbors and call it a night.
Then the fun would begin. Against my protests, our parents would combine the candy and reallocate it between the two of us (snagging some of the best pieces for themselves, I might add). I might have done 70% of the work, but I ended up with less than half the haul.
"That's not fair!" I'd whine, but of course Dan didn't see it that way. "He's your brother," Mom always said, "so you need to split things with him." I'd mutter under my breath, but my parents enforced their rule. As I got older, I realized the only thing I could do was to hit fewer houses, so my pile slowly shrank.
Now I run a successful business. Dan is a politician. I guess some things never change.



The two princesses

Once upon a time there were two princesses. They were very competitive. If Emmaline learned to jump a five-foot hedge riding her horse, Honoria would attempt a six foot jump. Should Honoria compose a sonnet in iambic pentameter, Emmaline would surely scribble sixteen lines instead of fourteen, and write it in iambic hexameter to boot.

It was therefore no surprise that, when Honoria announced she was so sensitive that she could sense a single pea placed in a layer of mattresses, Emmaline one-upped her sister by claiming that *she* was so sensitive she could sense even a feather in the bed. The contest was on.

Servants prepared suitable beds for the sisters. Honoria settled herself gently on her bed, wiggled once, and grimaced. She pointed the waiting servant to the exact location of the pea, to the applause of the onlookers.
Now it was Emmaline's turn. She climbed on the stack of mattresses. Nothing. Wiggled. Still nothing. How could this be? Surely she was more sensitive than her boorish sister. She left the bed and took a running start at it. Leaping at the  mattresses, she went airborne - and missed the bed entirely. "Ow," she said, to the sound of muffled laughter.

Honoria stood watching, trying to look innocent, a feather twirling in her fingers.



The weatherman said it was called a derecho, a storm with strong, straight-line winds. Whatever its name, the storm packed a wallop. Power has been out for a week. Everyone in the neighborhood went through a version of the five stages of grief, except that in this case it started with hope - hope that the damage wasn't so bad, that we'd have power back soon. Stage two was denial - "Not again!" we'd moan. "This can't have happened again." Then we went to acceptance, which involved eating everything we could from the freezer before it went bad. Stage four was anger - a powerful rage that the electricity wasn't back on yet. After that we just sat in our dark houses, sweat trickling down our backs, staring glumly at our blank television sets.
Oh power, how I miss you so.
Page 1 ... 105 106 107 108 109