Tag Archives: business

Miss Minnie Gets Hitched ©

The invention of cell phones has permitted people everywhere to prove the adage “talk is cheap.” People talk on cell phones as they drive cars, shop, get their hair done, pump gasoline, and while they are standing in long lines at customer service in the supermarket waiting to buy lottery tickets when the Powerball gets above a half a billion dollars. All that blah-blah was nerve wracking to Miss Minniferd Morningstar who had taught English at Letongaloosa High School for the past 32 years. Miss Minnie used to interrupt people at social gatherings and town council meetings to correct their grammar. For her, correct grammar, diction, usage, and syntax were sacred. Folks in town tolerated Miss Minnie’s interrupting their conversations because they were awed by her knowledge of English and because Miss Minnie had inherited piles of money, and was generous with it. Miss Minnie began teaching public school the year she graduated from college. To teach back then you didn’t need a certificate beyond a bachelor’s degree. She went on to get her masters by taking summer classes at State University. It was at State U. that Miss Minnie first saw Reginald Danforth Suggs. Young Suggs had just been hired as a custodian at the School of Education building. Reggie owed his first two names to his mother who hoped he would rise above his working class roots. Reggie rejected those aspirations. He made his own choices about speech and career options. He and Miss Minnie clashed immediately because she walked on the floor of a hallway that Reggie had just mopped. “Lady, getcher clodhoppers offn’ mah floah,” Reggie growled. Minnie gave the barbarian a withering stare. “Are you addressing me, young man?” “Ain’t addressin’ nobody,” said Reggie, “Ahm tellin yew ta quit trompin’ on mah floah.” At that point Professor Blaine, a member of the graduate faculty, opened his office door. He had heard the exchange. “Hello, Miss Minniferd,” he said. “You can pick up your paperwork at the graduate school office down the hall.” And, “That will do, Reggie.” “Hummmph,” said Reggie, and shoved his mop bucket on down the hall. After Minnie had finished her business at the university and returned home, she realized she had mixed feelings about the encounter. The handsome janitor had acted boorishly, but Minnie somehow found herself intrigued. She made subtle inquiries and learned that Reggie had a high IQ, a gift for language, and an aversion to orthodox social behavior. The latter obviously limited his work options. But those options, she soon realized, coincided what with he wanted to do for a living–be a janitor. Reggie always told people he was a janitor–not a custodian, or a “custodial engineer.” After that, Reggie popped into Minnie’s mind at odd moments—as when she took a break from correcting papers, or was fixing a late-night snack. She dismissed the thoughts, but they kept popping up. And Reggie thought off and on about “that teecher woman” too. When they both sought his aid as an intermediary on the same day, Prof. Blaine became the expediter of their budding romance. After a short engagement the extraordinary couple married. It was a two-part wedding. The first ceremony and reception were held in the chapel and recreation room of the Custodial Workers Union Hall. A janitor, who was a lay pastor, presided. The second ceremony took place in the sanctuary of Letongaloosa’s fine old Episcopal Church under the direction of the Rev. Thomas Leon Harper, D.D. The betrothed wrote their own vows. The union hall ceremony, written by Reggie, was short. To wit: “Ah weel if you weel.” To which Minnieferd responded: “Shore.” The reception featured mounds of serve-yourself chicken nuggets, barbeque beef and pork, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, hard rolls and a huge chocolate layer cake with chocolate frosting. The service at the Episcopal Church, prepared by Minnieferd, lasted an hour, and included two numbers by the choir and short passages from Shakespeare, Tennyson, Wordsworth, and Ezra Pound. The reception featured peach tea and little round mints. Minnie’s vows included five “I do’s,” and four “I wills,” and one “absolutely” spoken on cue by the bride and groom. Minnie and Reggie…Reggie and Minnie…are happilying it ever after. -30-

 

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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I Love A Parade

Emmaline loves Letongaloosa, but she isn’t from here.  She was born in Wyotah, a state way out West in the Rocky Mountains.

According to history, The Great Western Colonizer emigrated to the Wyotah valley from the East with a bunch of pioneers in 1846.  He was leading a band of social liberals who wanted to exercise their Constitutional right to become conservatives.  The Wyotah pioneers crossed the plains, climbed the Rocky Mountains, and stopped when they came to a desolate-looking valley.  There, according to legend, The Great Colonizer said, “This may be it,” and they decided to settle down.    That was July 24, 1847.

After much hard work the Wyotah pioneers made the desert blossom as a rose, and the Great Western Colonizer ordered settlers to spread out to the north and south.

Emmaline’s great grandparents moved south, and she was born in Buckboard,  asmall town a hundred miles from the capital of Wyotah.  Emmaline lived in Buckboard until she married me.

Now, five decades later, we still go to Buckboard to participate in the 24th of July festivities.

Up in The Place, Wyotah’s state capital, they mount a huge celebration on the 24th of July. There are concerts, fireworks, a marathon, a 10K race, and a hugely popular, miles-long parade.  The parade features beautifully decorated floats, dignitaries riding in new and antique convertibles, marching bands,  horse clubs, trained dog acts, stilt walkers,  flag-waving school children,  and a ton of sign-bearing church groups.

Buckboard has celebrated the 24th of July for almost as many years as The Place has.

The big events on the 24th are The Parade and The Demolition Derby, and The Fireworks.

The Parade has always been my favorite, but I was a bit disappointed in both The Demolition Derby and the Parade this year.  I was disappointed in the Demolition Derby because there is a dearth of 1970 and 1980 clunker automobiles in which helmeted contestants can drive around the rodeo arena and bash into each other

On the 24th , Main Street is lined with folding chairs,  some of which have been in place for several days. The celebration begins at 6 a.m. with the BOOM. That’s when the Buckboard Volunteer Firemen set off a blast that rattles windows all over town.  Then they drive the fire truck through town, its horns honking and its sirens blaring. At 7 a.m. everybody walks down to the city park for the annual Firemen’s Breakfast—pancakes, bacon, ham, eggs, pan-fried potatoes–served at picnic tables.

Emmaline and I watch The Parade from folding chairs on the steps of the Town Hall. By the time the honor guard marches by with the flags, Main Street is lined five and six deep with spectators.

The Parade begins at 10 a.m. and travels down Main Street from north to south.  My disappointment with this year’s 24th of July parade centered on quality, not quantity.   This year’s parade lasted longer and had more participants than ever before.  The problem was, there weren’t more floats, nor more bands,  there were just more vehicles.

The float on which “Miss Buckboard,” and her attendants rode was beautiful, as were the floats of “Miss Lakeville,” and “Miss Mount Oakdale,” from two nearby towns.

But after that it was vehicle after four-wheeled vehicle, mostly black, mostly newer SUVs, carrying advertising signs. The signs touted  everything from chiropractors and podiatrists to optometrists and dental hygienists. I counted five vehicles with “get out of debt” or “payday loan,” signs on them. Many of those opportunists threw handfuls of  candy to scrambling kids on the street.  One woman, pushed a big antique baby carriage, that had a sign advertising her child care service.  I didn’t mind that—at least she was walking.

Next year on the 24th ,  I’m going rent a big black SUV and  put a sign on it that that reads:  “ Infernal Revenue Service.”   I’m going to wear a dark suit, white shirt, a power tie, and dark glasses.  I’m going to stand, with a pen and notebook beside the SUV at the end of the parade route. I bet no one will notice the typo.                                                     -30-

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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Pat & Pete’s Patriotic Party©

This is story began years ago when Pete and Pat were forced to take separate vacations. Patrocina Megamecheldorf Samborvich Jones and Pedro Salazar Remirez Sandoval Montoya y Montoya are known around town, for obvious reasons, simply as Pat and Pete. The two had come to Letongaloosa years before and became a couple after having been business rivals.

Pat had wanted to buy the old Peabody home from the city to house a pre-school. Pete wanted to open a pawn shop. After an intense public debate they opted to join forces and share the facility. Together they created a unique business: Pat and Pete’s Preschool and Pawn Shop. During that process they became a couple. They waited five years then got married.

Both Pat and Pete belonged to organizations related to their professions and they usually accompanied each other to annual professional conferences.

One year the two conferences were scheduled at the same time in Seoul, Korea (Pete), and Cartagena, Colombia (Pat). While at those separate conventions Pat and Pete met children they wanted to adopt. They returned to the United States and, with the help of government and nongovernment agencies, were able to adopt four children—two Koreans—Min-jee and his sister Hae-jin; two Colombians— Maria and her brother Hernando.

It took a quite awhile, as described elsewhere, but finally Min-jee and Maria, Hernando and Hae-jin, and Pat and Pete were home, seated together around the dinner table eating dolsot, bimbimbap, and chimicangas.

Hananim-eun uliloull chugbog,” (may God bless us) said Min-jee and Hernando and Maria. “Amen,” said Pat and Pete.

We now fast forward a few years. The children are older, but still young enough to be excited about family vacations, and Pete and Pat were prospering financially to the point that taking a six-person family trip was not the “break the bank” enterprise it would have been just a few years earlier.

For the kids there was one requirement for a vacation—that it be FUN.

For education-minded Pat and Pete, vacation had to be “fruitful” as well as fun.

The ensuing family council was animated. As chair, Pete sometimes exercised authoritative prerogatives not to be found in Robert’s Rules of Order.

But when the meeting ended there was harmony and excitement all round.

The family was going to Washington, D.C. to be present at A Capitol Fourth, where thousands of people gather and millions more watch on television to see the greatest display of Fourth of July fireworks anywhere. The event takes place on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

 

While these deliberations were going on, a telephone rang at the White House. The operator told the caller, “One moment please,” and hissed a supervisor standing by, “It’s Nelida Nacamora, from Kansas.” Some readers will recall the story of “Nosey Nelida.” As a shop keeper at a Letongaloosa mall, she blew the whistle on a government sting operation that was aimed at shutting down a major drug ring. To keep the operation secret, the government lauded Nelida for her “vigilance” and gave her an award in a ceremony at the White House. White House staffers remained sensitive to Nelida’s curiosity an investigative skills.

“Put Ms. Nacamora through to the chief of staff’s office,” the supervisor told the White House telephone operator.

“Hello, Mrs. Nacamora. This is IkeWithers, assistant deputy chief of staff.

We’ve spoken before.” “Ike,” said Nellie, who never bothered with formalities, “I’ve got a got news you’ll thank me for.” Nelida then told Mr. Withers about Pat and Pete and their diverse family.

“They’re coming Washington to attend the Capitol Fourth festivities. If you invite them to the White House, and leak their story, the mass media will splash it nationwide. You can promote them as the administration’s first annual “Capitol Fourth Family of the Year.”

A few days later they were sightseeing on the Washington Mall, Pat and Pete and the kids were approached by two men wearing dark suits with insignia in their button holes. And that, dear readers, is how Pat and Pete, Minjee and Hae-jin, and Maria and Hernando got to meet the President of the United States.

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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Alien Boinks©

My friend from outer space, KB-11.2, was worried and out of sorts the other evening as he and I had a soft drink together at a dingy roadhouse north of here. The Enchantment is the kind of joint a college town like Letongaloosa must have to keep its academic accreditation.
My friend Kaybe isn’t one of those scary bug-eyed, green-skinned aliens that you read about.Kaybe looks like a giant tuna fish can. Erector Set® arms sprout from the curved sides of his body.
Three spindly metal legs drop from the flat underside of his stainless steel torso. He has ball bearing wheels for feet, and three sensor-eyes wave at you from the ends of floppy antennae on the top of his lid.
Customers at The Enchantment don’t even raise an eyebrow when Kaybe rolls in and joins me at one of the back booths. They’re accustomed to seeing unusual folks around the place–people like Harry the Hulk and his diminutive pal Miniature Mike, and Four-Finger Fannie and Dogface McGee. It’s a down home kind of place, and the alien KB-11.2 and I fit right in.

Kaybe wasn’t himself the other night. He was distracted and preoccupied. When I was a young man, Kaybe saved my engagement and marriage by teaching me Mujerspeak, the language of women. Kaybe has always been cool, kind, and methodical. Now he seemed feverish, and that’s difficult for someone who has a tin can for a body. I put my hand on his rounded stainless steel torso. It was warm.
“Kaybe, you’re feverish,” I said.
“I know. I’m so worried that I’ve overloaded my diodes,” he said. “I’ve fallen into the clutches of the Galactic Boinks. They’re fiscally flagellating me.”
“What are Galactic Boinks?” I asked.
“I don’t know how to describe boinks,” said Kaybe. “There’s nothing here on earth to compare them to. Boinks are galactic institutions that serve as financial intermediaries. Originally boink operations were simple and straightforward. You deposited your financial resources in a boink and drew them out as needed to pay bills, mortgages and for other living expenses,” saidKaybe.
Then he described how a bunch of executive goons had taken over the galactic boinks. “These thugs added all kinds of products and complicated services that had very little to do with the boinking business,” said Kaybe. Boinks3
He said they also devised complicated and draconian systems of fees that preyed on
depositors. If their computers said your account was overdrawn the boinks began to
manufacture penalty fees. Within microseconds they added nonpayment of penalty fees to the regular penalty fees. Your debt mounted hourly. Boinks didn’t care that your records showed your account was solvent. The boink worker bees just said, “The Boink isn’t responsible for keeping your account solvent, you are. We have no idea what has happened, but computers don’t make mistakes, so this is YOUR error.” That was it, end of story, and the penalty fees just kept mounting.
“My account was in the black. I’d never been overdrawn. Now I owe penalty fees on top of
penalty fees, and I’m in trouble with creditors and galactic merchants from here to Alpha
Centauri,” said Kaybe.
“You’re right, Kaybe,” I said. “There’s nothing like that here. Stuff like that just doesn’t happen on Earth. Is there anything I can do to help you? I’d be happy to lend you a few bucks.”
“Thanks, but I’ll just have to straighten this out by myself,” he said. “When I get solvent again I’m going to hide all my resources in a cave on some derelict asteroid out beyond in Orion’s Belt. I’ll never trust a boink again.”
Just then someone sidled up to our booth. It was Four Finger Fannie. She gazed at Kaybe in
silence. Kaybe moved his three-eyed sensors toward her. They communicated telepathically.
Then Kaybe gave a little bounce.
“Is it all right if I let my friend in on this conversation?” said Kaybe. The words came to me
telepathically. There was no sound.
“Go ahead,” said Fannie.
“Thanks,” said Kaybe. “Say on, mademoiselle, this is great news.”
Fannie’s words flowed silently into my head.
“Like I just told you, the Associated Galactic Press is reporting that the Supreme Governing Council has launched a full scale investigation of the boinking industry. The council has apparently had it with complaints from all over the galaxies about people getting ripped off. The council has forced the boinks to cancel all overdraft charges, and has ordered them to refund all the other phony fees they’ve been charging.” said Fannie.
Kaybe’s telepathic “Whoopee,” was so loud it gave me a headache.

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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Cosmic Prime Time Television ©

 

 

Here in Letongaloosa, a humid, sweaty July gave way to what

everyone expects to be a humid, sweaty August. We all hope that

August will give way to a sweet September, and that then will come

a glorious new prime time television season.

The other night I asked two of my best friends what they

thought about prime time television, things got weird in a hurry.

That’s not surprising since my two friends were a robot from outer

space, KB11.2, and Biggley Masters, the legendary writer/producer

of prime time network television shows.

The three of us were having soft drinks in a back booth at the

Enchantment, a dingy roadhouse north of here. The Enchantment is

the kind of joint that every college town has to have to maintain its

academic accreditation.

My Alien friend Kaybe looks like a giant tuna fish can. Erector

Set arms sprout from the curved sides of his body. Three spindly legs

drop from the flat underside of his stainless steel torso. He has ball

bearing wheels for feet, and three sensor-eyes wave at you from the

ends of floppy antennae on the top his lid.

No one at the Enchantment even notices when Kaybe rolls up

to my booth. Half the patrons, including the waitress, Four Finger

Fannie, are aliens themselves.

Biggley Masters is a true television prodigy. At 19 he was lead

writer for a very popular network soap opera. In his mid-twenties he

wrote and produced several award-winning prime time series.

Biggley has principles. He held out against a network executive who

demanded that Biggley compromise a show’s plot so the network

could sell more commercials in that episode.

So there were Kaybe, Biggley Masters and I in a back booth at

the Enchantment discussing the upcoming prime time television

season.

 

“The folks on Hebe, a minor planet in the Andromeda galaxy,

love “Toast of the Town,” and “The Fred Warring Show,” said Kabye.

“Whoa,” said Biggley, who was something of a TV historian.

“Those shows aired in the 1949-1950 prime time season. They were

the first prime time television hits. How can you say that the folks on

Hebe are seeing those shows?”

“FM radio waves and television signals pierce the earth’s

ionosphere and travel through the vacuum of space at the speed of

light,” said Kaybe. The shows from the 1949-50 television seasons are

just now reaching outer space planets like Hebe.”

“So the folks on Hebe must have picked up Marconi’s first radio

signal, the letter “S” (three dots) that he transmitted in 1901,” I said.

“Oh, yes,” said Kaybe. “In fact, the Hebian Supreme Council

met in a special session to discuss a response to earth’s distress

signal. They decided, given time and distance, nothing could be

done.”

“I’ll bet the Hebians will love “M.A.S.H,” when it finally gets

there,” I said.

“Oh, yeh, ‘M.A.S.H. will be a big hit on Hebe,” said Kaybe.

Biggley took a folded paper from his jacket pocket.

“This is the new prime time network schedule,” he said. “Kaybe,

I’ll name a show that is going to be broadcast this fall on U.S.

Network TV. Then you can tell me the name of a show on that will be

airing this fall on some planet in the great Cosmos.”

“Wonderful,” said Kaybe .

“Grey’s Anatomy,” said Biggley. “That’s a long running medical

series on U.S. television.”

“Rick’s Robot Repair Shop,” said Kaybe. “That’s been airing on

the planet Relontov (in the Bode galaxy) for 200 earth years.”

“Criminal Minds,” said Biggley. It’s a cop show.”

“Zap! Crack! Blam!,” said Kaybe. The Marilians LOVE that cop

show.”

“Where is Marilia?” I asked.

“It’s a small planet in the Triangulum Constellation. There’s

been no crime on Marilia for centuries. There are no cops, no jails,

no courts, and no prisons on the planet. The Marilians are

fascinated by the concept of “badness.” But they have to import

their TV crime shows from Gobokovandan, a nearby planet that has

a ton of bad guys.

I finished my soft drink and slipped unnoticed from the booth. Kaybe

and Biggley were engrossed in a discussion of interstellar TV. I told

our waitress, Four Finger Fannie, to put the whole bill on my tab.

-30-

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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Monkey Shines

Before he won the lottery, Lee Jones’s life was as ordinary as
his name, and J. Pennington Whitley’s life was as lustrous as his
name. The two worked at the same place: Whitley International,
Inc. Jones was a clerk in Accounts Payable, and Whitley, scion of
the venerable Whitley family, occupied a corner office in the
executive suite on the top floor of the Whitley Building.
They met once when the head of Accounts Payable, put a
sealed manila envelope in Jones’s hand and walked him over to the
executive elevator. His boss told Jones, “Hand this to Mr. Whitley
personally.” The elevator rose, the door slid noiselessly open, and
Jones saw for the first time in his life what a corporation’s executive
suite looks like. He didn’t get a chance to look around because J.
Pennington Whitley was standing at the elevator door, waiting for
the envelope. Jones placed it in his hand and went back to work.
Jones was in his mid-thirties at the time and had been with
Whitley International, Inc. since he was 16. He had started in the mail
room and had gone to night school and taken online courses until
he had a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and a master’s degree
in finance. In addition to his degrees Lee Jones had a gift for
corporate finance that was far beyond the scope of his classmates
and contemporaries in vision and spunk. While he slogged away in
Accounts Payable, Jones developed a powerful but exotic fiscal
process that, if implemented, would put Whitley International, or any
other similar corporation, far ahead of its competitors.
Jones knew that he needed a boost up the corporate monkey
tree from someone who was solidly established in the executive
suite. His meeting with J. Pennington Whitley, gave Jones the
opportunity to make his move. He decided to present his plan, in
detail, to Mr. Whitley, and arranged through friends higher up in the
Monkey tree to present his plan to Whitley in person. The result was
initially disastrous, but was ultimately it was eminently successful
Mr. Whitley, as it turned out, desperately needed a corporate
Hail Mary to save his hide. The shareholders were unhappy with the
recent performance of Whitley International, Inc., and were planning
to replace Whitley with a more dynamic and forceful leader.
Fortunately Jones presented his powerful project privately, almost
clandestinely to Whitley who realized immediately that the
corporate gods were smiling on him.
At that point Whitley did what top branch corporate monkeys
have been doing since time began. Whitley took credit for the
project and threw the smaller monkey out of the tree.
Jones, who had assumed he was destined for corporate
greatness found himself out on the street, sacked from Whitley
International, Inc. for reasons so bogus that the Human Relations
officer who fired him couldn’t even look him in the eye.
That ironically was the very day Lee Jones bought a lottery
ticket and chose a winning number worth $556 million. No one else
had chosen that number, so the whole prize was his.
Jones bought all the shaky Whitley International stock he could
lay his hands on. Whitley stock holders and investors virtually
trampled each other to sell the stock to him at the price he set. Then
he dismantled the company and sold it off in pieces. The last piece
of Whitley International, Inc. Jones sold was the Whitley Building
itself. Jones kept the top floors of the building and the executive suite
for himself. And he had several million dollars left after the last
government financial investigation was completed and the last
investor lawsuit was settled.
With that money Jones set up a foundation and gave young,
smart, unconventional entrepreneurs a leg up The Monkey Tree. The
enterprise was highly successful. In a twist that happens quite often in
real life, but rarely in fiction, one of the most successful of Jones’s
entrepreneurs was a young woman named Charlotte Whitley. She
was the daughter of J. Pennington Whitley. Ms. Whitley had moved
to the city from upstate New York where her father had settled down
on a horse farm.
-30-

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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Eloise Cleans Up ©

 

Eloise Simpelkins made herself a pile of money by taking advantage of the fastidiousness of rich people. Folks in Letongaloosa generally disapprove of taking advantage. Letongaloosans feel that taking advantage is not neighborly, and Letongaloosa is a neighborly town.

But people seem to approve of the way Eloise cleaned up financially. She built an enterprise that took advantage of the foibles of people like those who live in La Mancha, the posh section of town where the streets are winding and the house numbers are hand painted on Spanish tile.

Eloise Simpelkins is plain—beginning with her name and continuing with her squat chunky figure, her thick unruly hair, her flat face, her squinty eyes, and her pug nose.

From her looks people conclude that Eloise isn’t smart enough to pound sand in a rat hole. Besides that, the Simpelkinses lived on the wrong side of the tracks. In reality Eloise is very bright. But she didn’t do well in school because of her looks—teachers treated her as if she were as dumb as she looked–and because she had to work long hours after school and on weekends with her mother who was a cleaning lady for people who lived in La Mancha.

When Eloise finished high school there were no college scholarships or government loans for academic underachievers from the wrong side of the tracks. And there were no good jobs for girls who looked like they weren’t smart enough to pound sand in a rat hole.

So Eloise became, like her mother, a full time cleaning lady for people who lived in La Mancha. Things were slow at first, but soon Eloise had all the work she could handle. She cleaned while groups of La Mancha women played bridge, mahjongg, and chatted over cups of coffee.

One day Eloise overheard a group of women complaining. They hated cleaning bathrooms on the mornings that their cleaning ladies were coming. The women didn’t want the cleaning ladies to see the cruddy toilets, the toothpaste-encrusted washbasins and mirrors, and the gunk-spattered showers in the bathrooms of their slovenly husbands and teenagers.

“I’d just die if Ermaline saw Reginald’s poopy toilet,” one of them said.

That gave Eloise her big idea. She would become a cleaning lady’s pre-cleaning lady. To get jobs all Eloise had to do was convince the women of La Mancha that she would be as discreet about their husbands’ filthy bathrooms as their doctors were about their medical conditions, and their lawyers were about the flaws in their prenuptial agreements.

The women of La Mancha paid Eloise handsomely—much more handsomely for her discretion than for her bathroom cleaning efforts. Soon Eloise was making as much as a cleaning lady’s pre-cleaning lady as she would have made as a school teacher with a masters degree.

Eloise was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. Intuition told her that wealthy women in other upper middle class enclaves around the state and the nation were similar to women who lived in La Mancha. Research proved her right. She saw an opportunity to set up a nationwide franchise business that featured discretion-based pre-cleaning lady services.

Eloise is now CEO of a highly successful nationwide cleaning lady’s pre-cleaning lady enterprise. And business is about to get better. Eloise went undercover in one of her Eastern seaboard franchises. She was working as a cleaning lady’s pre-cleaning lady. A couple of women were playing gin rummy.

One said, “Can I confide in you?”

The other said, “Always, dear.”

The first said, “Tell me if I’m crazy, but I’m getting uncomfortable about having the pre-cleaning lady see George’s filthy bathroom.”

“You’re not crazy,” said the second woman, “I’ve been worrying about that for a month or so.”

Eloise hurried back to her company headquarters in Letongaloosa and started work on a new business plan. Next month she’ll launch a nationwide franchise operation that features a very, very discreet and ultra pricy pre-cleaning lady’s pre-cleaning lady service.

Next up: a nationally franchised service that provides come-to-your-home hair dressers who prepare women for their appointments with their hair dressers. -30-

 

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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Eloise & the Dark Stranger ©

 

A slick Basque conman tried to marry Eloise Simpelkins, and take her for millions of dollars, but an old friend from Letongaloosa showed up just in time to save her.
It all happened at an exclusive private club on east 55th Street in New York City. A romantically smitten Eloise Simpelkins was having dinner at the Toure Club with what she thought was a handsome Spaniard . He called himself the Marques de San Selmo. His real name was Zigor Ordoki, the slickest con artist the Pyrenees had ever produced.
Eloise Simpelkins, is founder and chief executive officer of a highly successful home cleaning enterprise, and until she fell for the phony marques, was a very level headed woman.
Eloise was born in Letongaloosa on the wrong side of the tracks. She spent the early years of her life cleaning houses in La Mancha, the posh section of town. She was as plain in speech and looks as the phony marques was handsome and eloquent. As an entrepreneur she had turned an astute observation about the fastidiousness of upper middle class women into a highly successful cleaning business.
A friend introduced Eloise to the phony Marques at a charity ball. As they danced, the hard-headed entrepreneur who had never had time for romance, melted like a marshmallow. The phony Marques had pursued a number of wealthy single women. He chose Eloise because she looked to him like the richest and the dumbest.

Now, it was show time, and as they sat after dinner in the Toure Club, the Marques was ready to spring the trap.
“My darling Ale-low-eez, I have fallen madly in love with you. Will you do me the honor of being…” At that moment his elaborately planned marriage scheme was interrupted. A tall long-faced man with big ears and a loopy smile called out to Eloise from across the quiet dining room.
“Eloise Simpelkins, is that you?,” The man was Blair Trimert , a dear friend from Letongaloosa. Blair stood and threaded his way to Eloise’s table.
“Blair Trimert!” cried Eloise, “why it’s been years.” They embraced.
Eloise and Blair were children together in Letongaloosa. After they grew up Eloise made made a fortune in business, and Blair inherited a fortune from the Basque parents who had adopted him as a baby.
Blair spoke fluent Basque.
“Please join us,” said Eloise, for whom courtesy was an inbred quality. She introduced the Marques as a dear, dear friend from Spain. Blair guessed the rest of the story from her eyes and voice tones. The Marques masked his frustration with a practiced smile, but his eyes were cold as flint.
A waiter arrived and they ordered after dinner drinks. As Eloise and Blair were catching up on each other’s lives, the Marques’s cell phone rang. He took it out.
“Excuse me,” he said. “I have to take this.” He stood and turned away from the table.
“Yes,” he said in English. Then the Marques spoke again in Basque.
“Ez dago arau bat izan da.” (“There’s a slight complication”).
He listened and then said “Relax. Ez dut hau ergelak uso behatzak bidez irrist utz du. Bakarrik hartuko du ogun bat, hor, da dena. Gogora tu oraigdik dirutza bat ogin onderen, hemen duga.”
(Relax. I’m not going to let this stupid little pigeon slip through my fingers. It will take another day, that’s all. Just remember, we’re after a fortune here.”
Blair understood perfectly the words and what they meant. He squeezed Eloise’s hand and whispered, “This guy is speaking Basque. He’s some kind of conman who is trying to get your money.”
Blair grabbed the cell phone from the to the Marques’s hand.
“Zu pukas, langun!,” he growled. (“Your’re busted, Dude!”).
Without another word, the phony Marques fled, knocking people out of his way as he ran from the Toure Club. The police caught up with him a few minutes later.
After that Blair moved back to Letongaloosa, and Eloise, still single, opened five more franchises on the West Coast.

 

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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What Did You Say? ©

The Friday afternoon faculty meeting had gone well. They had dealt with the agenda in less than four hours. Dean Ima Farseer thought she might have time for a quick TGIF restorative before dinner. Dr. Farseer is dean of the School of Electromagnetic Communigraphics at Letongaloosa Community Junior College.

“Thanks everyone. Have a good weekend.” At that point Prof. Walter “please don’t call me Wally” Tremmorer, who taught Palliative Communication Theory, spoke.

“Dr. Farseer,” said Prof. Tremmorer, “We didn’t deal with ‘Other Business.’ It’s the last item on the agenda sheet.”

“What other business do you want to bring up?” she asked.

“Swearing,” said Prof. Tremmorer.

“Oh, for hell’s sake,” said Prof. Rita Vozalta.

“That’s what I mean,” said Tremmorer.

“What?” asked Dean Farseer.

“She swore.”

“She said, ‘Let’s get out of here,’” said Farseer.

“No.” “She said, ‘Oh, for hell’s sake, let’s get out of here.’ That’s swearing,” said Tremmorer.

“!@#$%^&*(^&*,” said Prof. Vozalta.

“Everyone heard that. That’s swearing,” said Tremmorer.

“Move to adjourn,” said Prof. Tom Smoorzly. He had moved to adjourn five times since the meeting began.

“Point of order,” called Prof. Richard Yardley, who had raised point of order six times.

Ima Farseer frowned. Hope for a TGIF and quiet dinner was fading fast.

“I’ll appoint a committee,” said Farseer. She was trying to save her evening.

“No!” said Prof. Tremmorer. “We must resolve this matter right here and now. It’s a legitimate item under ‘other business’.”

“The Hell it is!” said Prof. Altavoz.

“She swore again,” said Tremmorer.

“Move to adjourn,” said Smoorzly.

“Point of order,” said Yardley.

Then Pablo Molama spoke. Prof. Molama had been hired recently from the private sector to teach courses on personal and social effects of using personal digital devices.

“Prof. Molama has the floor,” said Dr. Farseer. Her voice was lost in a clamor of voices. She slammed a heavy textbook on the table.

“Prof. Molama,” said Dr. Farseer firmly into the ensuing silence, “has the floor.”

“We can give this to a committee and take three months to work on it, or we can solve it here and now in fifteen minutes. The results will be the same, I assure you.”

“Go on,” said the dean.

“I suggest we all do five minutes of online research on swearing. Then we’ll spend five minutes sharing what we’ve found—most of it will be duplicative data. In the last five minutes we’ll formulate a resolution and vote on it.”

“So move,” yelled someone.

“Second,” yelled another.

“All in favor,” said Farseer.

There was a chorus of yeas.

“Opposed.”

“Motion carried. Get to work.”

Five minutes later Dr. Farseer stopped moving her finger across the screen of her high end digital tablet and said, “Time’s up. What have you found?”

“’Hell’ is described as a mild expletive,” said someone.

“It’s still swearing,” said Tremmorer.

“How about ‘heck,’” asked someone.

“That’s not a swear word,” said Tremmorer. “The Oxford English Dictionary says that ‘heck’ is a mild euphemism for ‘hell.’ It was first recorded in 1885 in the phrase, ‘Well I’ll be go’d to hecky.’ So that’s not swearing.”

“ !@#$%^&*,” said Prof Altavoz.

“THAT IS swearing,” said Tremmorer.

“Move to adjourn,” said Prof. Smoorzly.

“Point of order,” said Prof. Yardley.

“I’ve found something good,” said Prof. Molama. His voice was lost in the clamor.

“Bang!” Dean Farseer slammed the book on the table. Silence.

“Dr. Molama has the floor.”

“A study by Norich’s University of East Anglia into leadership styles found the use of “taboo language” boosted team spirit,” said Molama.

“The study was published in a refereed journal in 2007,” Molama continued. “Professor Yehuda Baruch, professor of management, wrote: ‘Taboo language serves the needs of people for developing and maintaining solidarity, and a mechanism to cope with stress. Banning it could backfire.’ I move we adopt that language as our policy on swearing.”

“Second,” yelled someone.

“All those in favor,” said Farseer.

There was an enthusiastic chorus of yeas.

“Opposed.”

Prof. Smoorzly’s was a lone, dispirited nay.

“The motion carries,” said Farseer.

“Oh !@#$%^&*,” said Smoorzly, let’s make it unanimous. “I vote yea.”

“Adjourned,” said Farseer.

-30-

 

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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The Best Medicine

To call Jeremiah Teancrumpets, the British billionaire, irritable, short tempered and demanding would be like calling the Sahara a dry sandy desert in North Africa.  His Excellency was known to a select few as “Jerry.” Everyone else called him “Sir Jeremiah,” or  “M’Lord.”

At least to his face.  But whether Jeremiah Teancrumpets was Jerry, or M’Lord to his face, many folks called him “that blankety-blank old blankety-blank,”  behind his back.

Sir Jeremiah acquired his fortune the old fashioned way–he inherited it. His father, Lord Regis Teancrumpets acquired his piles of money in the same way. It’s difficult, but if you look deep enough into the roots of the aristocratic Teancrumpet family tree, you will find  a gaggle of sharp-eared working-class ancestors.

These ancestors owned a dingy eatery where foreign entrepreneurs  met clandestinely with the wealthy landed gentry to work out the details of very profitable overseas transactions.  The clandestine proceedings were designed to keep the monarchy from demanding its cut of lucrative overseas deals.  The Teancrumpet ancestors listened in on these business conversations. They opted for the low road with the information they garnered. They didn’t inform the crown as was their bounden duty. Instead the Teancrumpet ancestors took a cut of the action from the conspiring businessmen.

It was cheaper for the entrepreneurs to cut the eatery extorionists in on a small part of the profits than to risk losing their heads in the Tower of London.  A couple of generations later, the lowly Teancrumpets were kissing the rest of the working class goodbye and moving on up to the the British aristocracy.

Sir Jeremiah Teancrumpets inherited wealth, and, genetically speaking, he also inherited an irritable, short tempered, demanding personality, that almost cost him his life.

One of Sir J’s tirades precipitated a physical crisis that led to a transformation in his behavior.  One morning in his dressing room Sir J’s trouser zipper stuck. He flew into a rage, and was going through his repertoire of obscenities and expletives at the top of his lungs when he suddenly coughed, gagged, and fell on the floor  unconscious.

Tebbs, the butler, who was laying out Sir Jeremiah’s clothes, shouted to the upstairs maid and told her to phone for medical help. Then he began emergency CPR. Fortunately for Sir J, one of Britain’s leading research cardiologists owned the adjoining estate.  Dr. Hanover came at once. He stabilized Sir Jeremiah, and then accompanied him in the ambulance to the hospital.   It was Dr. Hanover who directed Sir J’s  recovery and recuperation.

When it was clear that Sir Jeremiah was going to make a full recovery, Dr. Hanover told him:  “Jerry if you fly into another one of those rages, you won’t survive it.  If you want to live, you’re going to have to change your behavior.  I can help you.  In my research I have developed a simple, effective way for you to deal with your angry outbursts.”

An uncharacteristically subdued Sir Jeremiah Teancrumpets  inquired:

“What do I have to do?”

“Laugh,” said the doctor.

“LAUGH!” shouted Sir J.

“Out loud.” said Dr. Hanover quietly.

Sir Jeremiah’s left eye began twitching.  Blood rose to his cheeks and his bald pate.  Obscenities began to form.  Sir Jeremiah was about to launch in to one of his classic anger fits.

“LAUGH, YOU MISERABLE BLIGHTER,” bellowed Dr. Hanover. “LAUGH OR YOU’LL BE DEAD IN TWO MINUTES!”

Rage and fear competed on the face of Sir Jeremiah Teancrumpets.  Fear won.  The obscenities died in on his lips, and out of his mouth came a strangled gurgle, then a weak, lugubrious giggle.

“Good,” said the doctor. “Again. Laugh again, you old blister!”

For the next half hour Dr. Hanover insulted and cajoled Sir Jeremiah Teancrumpets, and for the next half hour Sir J responded with increasingly fluent laughter.

There followed weeks of laugher therapy in Dr. Hanover’s clinic.

Thus it was that Sir Jeremiah Teancrumpets learned to laugh his way back to good health–and increasing wealth.  Soon Sir Jeremiah’s laugh was striking greater fear in the hearts of his adversaries than his rage ever had.

 

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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