Hide and seek, revenge style

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Photo by: Douglas M. MacIlroy

Scott popped open the panel to breathe. The helmet was air tight and didn’t want to come off. He could hear the giggling voices of his younger siblings and knew he was the object of one of their schemes. Tasked by his parents to keep an eye on them today he had agreed to play underwater world. He was supposed to be an explorer searching for rare fish while they hid.

“What did you two do to this helmet? The inside was wet and now it won’t come off.”

The two of them busted out in so much laughter the room seemed to vibrate. Finally Will spoke up “We filled the inside with glue!”

“Wait, you what? I have senior pictures tomorrow. I can’t have my final yearbook picture taken in this helmet!” Scott shouted, suddenly regretting all those times he played tricks on or scared his siblings for no reason.


Written the Friday Fictioneers  prompt.

Sixteen and not so fancy-free

The year was 1990. I was a sixteen year old kid who had just made it through the wonderful decade of the eighties. I had been known to wear a glove on one hand and try to moonwalk, pretend my bike could fly and contained an alien in the imaginary basket, go on a ghost capturing mission while singing “who you gonna call” and beg my parents for a few of those new toys that changed from a robot to a vehicle. A few years earlier I had even been seen in the front yard spinning in circles and knocking down bullets with my golden cuffs. Yes, I was once a young boy who pretended to be Wonder Woman.

But now I was on the edge of adulthood. I could drive a car, work and pay taxes and soon would be a high school graduate. I worked hard to keep my grades up at school while working my very first job in a grocery store. Every paycheck felt like I hit the lottery. I had my own money to spend how I wanted and on whatever I just had to have. As long as my grades were good and I stayed out of trouble my parents didn’t tell me what I could or couldn’t do with my money.

Let’s just say over the next few years I enjoyed reading quite a few comic books while blasting almost every new CD that came out. It didn’t hardly matter if it was rock, rap or metal, if it was new I had to buy it. I nearly blew out the speakers in my parent’s car before I finally saved enough and worked long enough to purchase my very first new to me vehicle. The first night I drove my new car the clutch went out in it. Should have known then it was a bad sign for the future.

That very first car was loads of fun along with a lot of heartache. It took me from home to school and back, then to work and back as well. I spun tires, played loud music and went cruisin’ with all the other teenagers who thought they were ultra cool. I tinted the windows, added a kick-ass stereo system and some personal touches. Then I had someone decide the rear end needed a bit of rearranging. For the second time since I bought it I was the owner of a car that I couldn’t drive.

I had payments to make on a car I couldn’t drive and ended up having to ask friends for a ride to school. I borrowed my parent’s car or had to get them to drop me off at work. I spent my time when not working listening to Guns n Roses while reading the latest Spider-Man comic book. You probably already figured it but I wasn’t exactly the ladies man.

When I finally got the car back I myself decided the front end was too straight and decided to un-straighten it on my brothers truck bumper. A few weeks later another driver added their own touch by completely bending the car’s frame. I consider myself lucky I never got hurt in that old car, but I made it through a few teenage years with it. Along the way it gave me a few life lessons and let me know that everything was not going to be smooth sailing. There were going to be a few bumps along the way.

Oh to be sixteen again. OR NOT!!

Nope, already been there and done that. Life goes on and sixteen is long gone. A few memories and a few of the comic books are all that is left from the days of sixteen year old me.

 


Written for today’s Daily Prompt: Only Sixteen

Friends not wanted. Thanks anyway

I consider myself to be a friendly guy most of the time. I’ll have a conversation with a stranger no problem. I’ll listen to your stories about kids, what happened to you last week or even about your younger days. We can talk about political topics, the weather or local traffic problems.

Sports are always something dear to my heart. We could spend a while having conversations about the new baseball season or who will win the NASCAR championship. I don’t mind giving my opinion on the best place to get lunch or which local convenience store has the lowest gas prices.

I’ll laugh at the joke you tell if I think it was funny and give my condolences if you’ve had some recent hardship. Basically I’ll converse with you, listen to your thoughts and then I want to be on my way. If you start talking about hanging out, getting together later or spending more time together that’s where I draw the line.

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You see I’m just not interested in any more friends. Maybe that sounds like a horrible way to be, but it’s just the way I feel. It’s not like I’m a loner who doesn’t need anyone else, it’s just I have enough friends and family already to keep me happy. Why do I need to add more to the list?

Every new friend just adds to the pressure of being the go to guy for solving disputes and problems. Every new friend just adds to the list of who you might accidentally forget when making invitations to your party. Every new friend just adds to the possibility all your current friends may not get along with each other. Why should I take a chance on ruining what is working so well?

I’ve been friends with most of my current friends for years and know what to expect from them. I can be myself around them and not worry about just how silly the real me is. They already know me and my ways. It’s a perfect situation. Why do I want to throw a wrench into the works?

If you meet someone new you shouldn’t take it personally if they don’t invite you over for a game of cards. It probably doesn’t have a thing to do with you. Maybe they feel like me and think more friends just adds more problems. You just need to keep looking, the perfect fit may be just around the corner.

Of course my blog is a bit of a different story. I want everyone to come over, hang out, make a few comments, invite a few others and enjoy their time spent here. Everyone’s invited. Friends, family, followers and new faces. It’s the playhouse. What happens in the playhouse stays in the playhouse go ahead and tell everybody about it.


Post written as a response to today’s

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My bank and all the suckers

Why is it the local bank seems to bring up such fierce emotions? A trip there may contain a great bit of nervousness, a feeling of pure terror or may go the opposite way with a sense of accomplishment or pure joy.

Then on another note, why are banks able to do the most dastardly deeds? They can get away with so much and then are hit with a fine, the CEO may issue an apology or a statement saying it was a mistake and it’s back to business as usual. Everyone seems to think it’s perfectly okay. Oh, it’s just another day at the bank.

Today at my bank while I was waiting in line on the inside I overheard a man at the drive-thru yell to the speaker “I got two kids in here!” to which the teller replied “Did you want a couple suckers for them?”

That’s when it hit me It’s the suckers, banks are full of them and have been for years!

These suckers

These suckers

Not these suckers

Not these suckers

I remember every trip to the bank as a kid had to include a sucker for me and my brothers. It was the most irritating thing when you had to ask for them and they were not just given to you.

Now it occurs to me it was their way to brainwash us! As a child the trip to the bank was a wonderful experience that included candy. It’s been such an effective practice it is still done to this day.

I think maybe that’s the reason a trip to the bank can be so confusing. Even while you are sweating it out, worried about whether your home loan will finally go through after months of paperwork, you are smiling and thinking of suckers in the back of your mind.

Why should you care the paper you brought, the exact one they said you needed, isn’t the right form and they need a different one now? Maybe they will give you one of those tasty suckers! I wonder if it is wrong when as an adult, we still ask for a sucker? Judging from the disappointed look of the teller as she hands it to you I would think maybe it is.

I’m beginning to think maybe more businesses should be working on their future clientele by handing out candy to the kids. Get their loyalty young and then you can never do wrong or even when you do, all is forgiven. It makes perfect business sense really.

I’m not sure how the doctor’s and dentist’s may feel about it. On the one hand they are being assured of future patients with cavities and obesity, but then again they are supposed to promote health and well being. What’s a medical professional to do?

Maybe they should even up the ante and start offering chocolate chip cookies. Then again that’s probably too messy, especially to a family on the go. A sucker might stick to the cars floorboard but usually comes out without too much effort. Chip crumbs on the other hand get into every crevice and are near impossible to easily clean out. No, maybe they should stick to suckers.

What flavor sucker did you want as a kid? Did you get upset when mommy wouldn’t listen?

Mommy I want the red one!”

“Well all they had was green. It will just have to do.”

Sure it was! I believe you mommy even though I seen a red one in the bowl. I better get the red one next time!!!!

When you make your next trip to the bank just think about all the suckers on the inside. Maybe it will make you smile.

Adventures of Pike and Polly: Universe hopping explorers

It was another typical night for Pike. He had completed six deliveries so far and received less than five dollars in tips. The thought of having to figure out how to pay for college soon just sent a shudder down his spine. This current delivery was much further away from the restaurant than he normally ventured. The boss told him to make sure to only deliver the pizza, not to snoop around or make small talk. The Doctor who ordered it was a bit eccentric and it would be best to just get in and get out as quick as possible.

The residence was surrounded by a fence but the gate had been left open. He pulled through and up the drive, stopping at the front of the old dilapidated house. He had expected a huge mansion with gardens protected by gargoyles and a limousine sitting out front. Instead he found himself wondering how anyone could live in this old overgrown home. He got out and made his way through the growth and up onto the porch. He knocked on the door watching as it slowly creaked open.

There was no sign of life, only a faint light at the other end of the entrance hall. Pike stood there debating for a while trying to decide whether he should enter or not. He didn’t want to return to the restaurant without payment for the pizza so he finally decided to go on a search for the home’s inhabitants. He entered and headed toward the light, hoping he didn’t spook anyone. He rounded the corner and was stunned to meet face to face with a monkey in a diaper. The monkey grabbed his keys and took off through an open door and down into the basement.

Pike ran after him and down the stairs into what appeared to be a large laboratory. He stopped when he noticed a man at one of the tables working away on a laptop. The man looked up from his keyboard and Pike was unsettled by what he saw. The man had bright white hair that was going everywhere, the thickest glasses he had ever seen and a face only his mother could love, maybe. The odd looking man yelled across the room.

“Who are you and why are you down here? I’ll call the police, I got the phone right here!”

“No, I’ve got a pizza for you. I deliver for Frank’s Pizzeria.” Pike replied.

“Oh, well why didn’t you say so. I’m starving. I’ll get your money, hang on a second.” The man said as he turned, digging inside the desk drawer behind him.

“Sir, also your monkey, well, it stole my keys.” Pike said, trying to sound as calm as possible.

“My monkey? What are you talking.. Oh, you mean Simon. Sorry, I forget sometimes he’s actually a monkey. He has been my lab partner for many years now but he still enjoys a game of hide and seek, especially when he meets new people. Simon, get out here and give this man back his keys!” The odd man hollered as Simon came slowly out of the corner, handing the keys over and then slinking away.

Pike received his payment along with a ten dollar tip then headed back out the door. He noticed the monkey was following so he turned to see Simon holding his arms out.

“Sir” he announced to get the man’s attention.

“Oh, he must like you. He wants a hug. He doesn’t hug many people.” The white haired man responded.

Pike leaned down and let Simon hug away. It was a bit strange yet kind of nice. He left the house with a smile and an extra ten dollars. Not too bad for his final delivery of the night he thought to himself. He drove back to the restaurant and dropped off the payment, then headed home. It had been a long day so he decided to hit the sack early and instantly fell asleep.

He woke the next morning with Polly standing over him.

“You awake? Hey Pike, you getting up? What’s this thing?” she said with the childish excitement she always exhibited.

“Yeah, I’m up. What thing are you talking about little sis?” He replied.

“This button thingy remote or whatever.” she said, holding up a metallic device with a LCD screen and several buttons. “I found it in your jacket pocket.”

“My jacket? What are you doing messing in my pockets?” He said but was more interested in the strange looking device. He reached out and took it from her. It wasn’t a phone or a remote and was unlike anything he had ever seen. On the screen the words charging, ready and earth1 were displayed. “It must belong to that Doctor from last night. I guess Simon hid it in my jacket.”

“Let me have it. I found it so I get to keep it.” Polly screamed, grabbing the remote and yanking it from his grasp. She pressed down on several of the buttons as she tore it away from him. Almost instantly a large cloud began forming inside his bedroom. The cloud surrounded them and began to open in the middle. Suddenly they were sucked into the blackness, into nothingness. It wasn’t long before they were thrust from it just as suddenly into the night air.

He grabbed Polly to try to protect her from the hard landing, cradling her in his arms. They landed with a thud and rolled down a small hill, coming to a stop at the edge of what looked to be a city park.

“What happened Pike? Where are we?” Polly asked still in a bit of a haze.

“I don’t know Polly, but I’m pretty sure we’re a long way from home.” Pike replied, looking out into the night at the walking lizards in designer clothes pushing a baby stroller.


This is the first in my new series that will follow the adventures of Pike and Polly as they hop universes. The destinations will follow along the same path as the Multiverse Fiction Challenge.

These challenges are open to everyone. Go ahead and hop universes with us and maybe we’ll even run into each other somewhere along the way.

 

 

Party like a super-hero, an aging super-hero

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My wife did a wonderful thing for me this weekend. She set up and organized a birthday party unlike anything I had before. It wasn’t supposed to be a surprise because she had been telling me she wanted to do it and has been planning it out for weeks but seeing the extent and effort she put into it was still a wonderful surprise.

So what kind of party do you throw a man turning forty? Well when it’s your friendly neighborhood JED you break out the spider-man decorations and make sure to stock the refrigerator with a case or two of beer. Sounds like just as normal a birthday party as any other, right? Check out the photo above of the awesome birthday cake she got me. When I read she thought I was her super-hero it almost made me tear up, but I had to maintain my composure. No one wants to see a super-hero breaking down in tears, even if they are happy tears.

It was amazing, spectacular and sensational all at the same time (those of you who have knowledge of Marvel and Spider-Man comics will probably see what I did there). My wife reached out with a web of friends and family to make sure this was the ultimate birthday party and we all partied like it was 2099 (still going, just can’t stop it). She couldn’t help but worry about what if the party was a dud, but she did a marvelous team-up with a few people to create a superior atmosphere with unlimited fun.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe night began with the family gathering together along with some great friends. A few even made their way here from a pretty good distance away and I enjoyed seeing each and every one of them. The grills were fired up and loaded down with hamburgers and sausage dogs. The first thing I was handed upon making my way to the party was a pin that read “Hello My Name is Old”. I knew right then I was in for some ribbing and tons ageing jokes for the remainder of the night.

I grabbed a beer along with a spider-man plate stacked full of BBQ chips and prepared myself for the worst. The next few hours were a blur of laughter and great company. The jokes were flowing, the silliness abounded and the food along with the alcohol slowly started to disappear. A lot of memories were shared and a lot of new ones were made. I think everyone had a great time and the whole family was in need of a night like this after some recent turmoil and tragedy.

It was a little over into the next morning before the party finally broke up. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much my jaws ached but they ache a lot after last night. Today is officially the first day of my forties, but it is off to a wonderful, family infused start.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI believe a super-hero is only as good as the support he receives from his friends and today I feel like I’m invulnerable. My spidey-sense is telling me I’m getting older everyday, but its not that scary when you can share it with so many wonderful people. A big thank you to my amazing family and friends, blogging friends included, for making this a spectacular day and birthday.

 

Trifecta: Trifextra Week 105 (The End of an Era)

Lots of fun, always a blast

If only it were going to last

But the time has come to an end

Hope we can all remain as friends

Until Trifecta may rise again.


A 33 word thank you to Trifecta for the wonderful prompts and all the participants for the intriguing, insightful, interesting, inspiring posts to read each and every week. It has made the blogging world a better place and it is sad to see it coming to an end.

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Just a Few Things I Have Learned Since Losing my Dad

JED:

My little sis has started a blog about being a mom and wrote this touching post about our dad on what would have been his seventieth birthday. If you get a chance check it out and welcome her to the blogging community.

Originally posted on Growing Up Mom:

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I miss my dad so much. So many times I have thought “I should call Daddy and tell him…” or I hear a joke my dad would giggle at and know that I can’t tell it to him. Right now, my family is going through some struggles and I have been very down about it, and I know that if my dad was here he would say something witty and make me laugh, and make me feel a little bit better.

I have never suffered a loss like this, something so painful and real, yet unreal at the same time. I have never missed someone so achingly in my life. This experience has truly brought me to my knees and left me devastated trying to find solid ground. I know that eventually I will find my place in the world without my dad but for right now I just want…

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