In the Summer

Summer. Days are long and hot.  Nights are short and hot.  Weeks are long and hot.  Months are short and hot.  Existence itself is short and hot and not in a good way.

I’m not particularly enjoying the summer…week? We’re a week into summer? Jimminy crickets.  My brain is melting.

Someone’s always gotta be the one-upper.

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Campfire Memories

“Oh I love this song!” Ty said, moving to turn up the volume on the Bluetooth speaker pumping a Spotify playlist of pop hits from his youth.  “I will always think of 9th grade English class and reading Of Mice and Men for a big project.  Of course, I can’t look at bunnies because of that book, but this song brings back a ton of memories.”

Ty and four others sat around a campfire.  Fireflies buzzed around them, stars flickered above and the night’s enormous moon reflected light on the dense forest around them.  Summer had come and that called for beers, tents and a weekend without work.

“That’s funny,” Charlotte said, laughing and raising a beer bottle toward Ty, “I think of that game Spore.  Played it non-stop and listened to this whole cd.  While I don’t think of bunnies, I do think of clubbing rival clans out of existence.”

“I loved Spore!” Clint said.  He sat back in his chair, unable to move too much.  Marshmallows hit him hard.  “This track brings me back to Diablo 2.  I wish I read more as a kid, but clubbing electronic sprites out of existence generally won out.”

Maribel shook her head, “this song will always be about dreaming of that first car.  I wanted a BMW for my 16th.  Couldn’t afford it in a million years, but the dream was there.  Like most our age, this whole CD was on repeat for a number of my teenage summers.”

“You have the BMW now,” Ty pointed out.

“You know it.  Can’t give up on teenage dreams.  That car goes vroom.  Now for a house with a pool in the backyard.” Maribel laughed.  The group enjoyed a good chuckle and clanked their beers together.

Paul, once the laughter died down, finally chimed in on the topic at hand.  “I have memories tied to this song as well.  A dark, back country road.  I was driving already when you four were in your early teens, as you know.  Tall trees and high grass lined the sides of the road.  My headlights cast light on the animal just a blink of the eye before it was too late.”

“Oh my gosh,” Charlotte said, shocked by what Paul had to be telling them, “did you hit a deer while listening to this song?”

“I wish.  No, Bigfoot threw a pig at my car.  Shattered the windshield and rolled over the roof.  It was weird and happened incredibly fast.  This song was playing when I told my parents what went down.”

The others paused.

“You had one bizarre life before we met, didn’t you, Paulie?” Ty asked.

“No more bizarre than a tossed pig, Ty-man.” Paul replied.

 

Let’s Talk About It

A long time ago, I did a podcast thing.  Realized pretty quickly it was garbage and have not returned to the medium since.  However, I adore podcasts.  It is a wildly intriguing way to tell a story, reach an audience and keep from being incredibly bored.  Fun times all around.

So I’ve been kicking around some ideas for new venture of my own.  Here’s what’s up for consideration:

Backstories for the spam bots that leave blog comments that immediately go to trash.

Tales about objects found in famous criminal’s possessions at the time of their end/arrest.

How to cope with always losing board and card games.  For reals.  It hurts after a while.

Ranking photography. Continue reading

Tala Discovers Time Travel

“It works.” Tala said, smiling.  “It works!”

The team cheered.  Their efforts would soon propel science and humanity to a new era.

“We can make it happen.  Now we just need to perfect the vessel that takes us back in time.”

The team had not thought this far ahead.  Brainstorming commenced with a roar.

“A table!”

“A giant Lego brick.”

“A tea cup!”

“A phone booth!”

That suggested halted conversation.  Tala turned to the young intern who shouted it. “That one is taken.”

“Taken?” The intern asked.

“Bill and Ted. 80s film. The reason most of us are so interested in the theories around time travel.” Tala explained.

“I’ve seriously never heard of that,” The intern said.

“What? Seriously? How old are you?” Tala asked.

“Wait, wait, don’t answer that.  I don’t think we’re allowed to ask that question directly,” Leroy, the ever cautious one of the group interrupted.  “Let’s ask it a different way.  Intern, do you know Keanue Reeves from Point Break, Speed, The Matrix, or John Wick?”

The intern looked confused for a moment.  “Oh! I loved  John Wick.”

You’re a child.  A child just helped discover time travel,” Tala said, stunned.  “Put the mechanics inside a phone booth.  We’ll work the lawsuits later.”

People on the Highway

I’m trying out a new path home from work.  As a semi-professional liar storyteller person, the new route is amazing.  It is peak Colorado front range.  I see cattle pastures, oil derricks, corn fields, industrial concrete recycling, small town schools, manufacturing plants that smell funny (likely because they are next to giant giant mounds of fresh fertilizer, but that is beside the point).  I see a new story setting every five minutes.  I am very much enjoying the new path.  Another thing it has going for it; very few other people on the road.

Consisting mostly of side roads, I don’t have to deal with too many Honda sedans with a texting driver at the wheel.  The standard situation for Honda sedans in Colorado at least.

Today, I had company on the commute and this is her story.

Today’s tale: Sunny

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Benji Can Explain

“I can explain!”

Benji had been starting conversations this way since grade school.  He never intended to be such a source of problems, but intent and reality were having a conversation without Benji.

“No, I should not have had the yo-yo out on the factory floor.  No, I should not have had my headphones in and listening to Chumbawumba at full volume.  I realize this is both damaging to my ears and dampens my ability to hear forklifts.  No, I should not have screamed when the forklift zipped by me.  Probably should have tried to stop myself from falling over so dramatically too.”  Benji’s second part of explanation statements tried to head off as many suspected questions as possible.  As previously stated, he’d been doing this for quite some time.

“Things got really weird when I was falling though.  Did you know this place has mice? Like, a ton of mice.  I saw a mouse as I hit the floor.  So I threw the yo-yo at it.  It was instinct.  You see something that carries the plague, you throw something at it.  Well, I should have played more baseball as a child because I missed the target entirely.  The yo-yo hit one of the robotic arms and twisted it.  I only use solid steel yo-yos, so the impact was quite forceful.”

At this point, Benji wondered if he could skip some details as his supervisors were staring at him with very cross expressions.  He opted against skipping any detail.

“The robot spun around and knocked down a tray of finished goods.  The goods began to roll.  I guess the vibration on the floor panicked the rest of the mice because they erupted into a stampede.  I’m still on the floor at this point and see a hundred tiny furry feet racing at my face.  I panic.  I launch myself up with one of those cool ninja jump moves like in the movies.  Well, I should have checked my surroundings first because I jumped right into Martha.  She shouts, starts falling over too, sees the mice, decides falling is a bad idea and stops herself by grabbing my shirt.  We avoid falling over but I spin around. Again.  I’m very dizzy at this point.  Martha let’s go of me and I stumble over my own feet and knock down another stack of goods.”

Benji paused to make a shrugging ‘what-do-you-do?’ expression.

“This time we go all movie cliche and the racks starts falling down like dominoes.  I’m horrified of course, but fear only takes over when the racks knock over that vat of near weightless chemicals that has been here since the 80s and we can’t legally destroy or we get a Ghostbusters style visit from the EPA.  So the vat starts rolling and rolling.  We’re shouting for people to get out of the way.  If a Go-Pro had been attached to this thing the footage would have been amazing.”

He took in a deep breath.

“The vat rolls right out the shipping dock and opens up.  The chemical is translucent and apparently photo-volatile.  As soon as the sun hit it, the chemical erupts in flame.  Now, before we go all crazy here and say I should be fired let me state this; the trees needed to go anyway and now we can put a parking lot back there.  It really is a win-win when we get down to it.”

Benji finished his version of events with a smile.  A moment later he was escorted from the building.

 

A Performance Review Compromise

“Robert, could you come in here please?” Frank said.

Robert pushed his chair away from his desk and his mind went wild with what a sudden discussion with his boss could mean.  “What’s up, Frank?” He asked, stepping into the office.

“Have a seat and shut the door if you would. Thanks.”  The two took their seats.  “Just a quick performance review.  Have to say, you’re doing great work.  I do want to discuss one little issue though.”

The two real estate developers stared at each other a moment.  Robert was pretty sure he knew what was coming.

“Your development name ideas during project proposals have some of our other developers concerned,” Frank said.

“Oh come on. They’re proposals,” Robert retorted.

“For example.  The golf course anchored development on 51st was pitched with Loch Luster.  During the pitch you kept insisting it would be called lackluster.”

Robert laughed.

“Or the gated community called HDOTU.  After hours of chit chat it was revealed that this meant Heat Death of the Universe.  You laughed and changed the name to Duckberg when you noticed people didn’t like that.” Frank said.

“And now Duckberg is a well loved community.  It worked out,” Robert said, stifling a laugh.

“I’ll just read some of these names here.  Zombie Proof Acres, Apocalypse Ranch, Totally Haunted Patio Homes at Dove Ridge, Acid Rain Ranch, Martian Landing Site Ranch, Cracked Concrete Ranch, really just a bunch of Ranch names for the next, uh,” Frank flipped through a stack of papers, “next seven pages.”

“That’s seven pages of project proposals though. Good year for the company!” Robert said.  Frank did not enjoy the sarcastic tone.

“You know what, let’s compromise here.  Could you name each proposal Duckberg 2, 3, 4 and so on.  Like a horror movie franchise.  I’ll even allow three ‘Duckberg 2 v Duckberg 3 in Space’ titles over the next 12 months.  We just need fewer end of times ranches and more marketing flyer friendly names, okay?” Frank pleaded.

“I will try my best.  But there is a pitch for High Noon Duel Community coming across your desk shortly.” Robert said.

“Last one, kid. Last one.”