Carousels That Should Not Exist


“Gang, we need the next big thing in classic amusement parks rides.  Those hipsters love the old timey allure of a carousel, but we need something to give them an ironic edge.  What do you have for me?” Said the man with a business card in his pocket showing his title as “Director of Theme Park Theme”.   He spent five years figuring it out, abandoning the quest three years ago.

“Well, those Alien movies are big again.  Perhaps someone should talk to Ridley Scott for licensing rights?” Offered the Assistant Director of Carousel Operations.

“Is the Hall of Presidents still around? If not could we steal the robots and put them on a carousel?” Suggested the Interim Manager of Theme Park Theme Design.

“What if we go old school and make all of the mounts monsters from ancient Greece?” Tony, the intern, said.

“Make all of them bumble bees and play Flight of the Bumblebee through the speakers!” The Associate Supervisor of Park Ride Attendants shouted.

“Kids are all about those fidget spinners these days.  Maybe have the mounts spin and spin as they orbit the center?” The Production Manager of Treaty Concessions said.  “Treaty” was the company jargon for snack stands.  It took three weeks to figure that out.

The Director of Theme Park theme raised his hand to put an end to conversation. “Good ideas all.  I want to see President faces on Alien bodies by noon Tuesday.  Intern, get to work on having the mounts spin and spin.  Someone find a public domain cut of Flight of the Bumblebee.  We go into production next month.  Now get to work!”

The Director of Theme Park Theme felt that the future of “Kitchen Sink Rides and Slides” amusement park was bright indeed.

The Five Secrets of Harold Cape

Harold Cape was a simple man.  Described most often as honest, loyal and even tempered, he would have made a good mayor or barber.  He craved not the power of local government or the comradeship of a barber shop, though, and instead opted for a career as a craftsman putting together perfectly constructed fishing poles.

His poles were displayed in the dens of wealthy men and women who had never sat at a lake’s shore, but that did not bother him in the slightest.  He took their money and bought himself the boat of his dreams so he could catch a fish or two.  He was a simple man.

Even simple men can be complex at times.  For example, Harold Cape had never told anyone that he had memorized the words of Green Day’s American Idiot.  He was well outside of that album’s target demographic when it was released, but he knew good music when he heard it and now whistles the melody of St. Jimmy while sailing his dream boat and catching fish.

He was no fan of puns.  He once punched a stranger in a bar for making a crude play of words involving the free peanuts.  When his wife picked him up at the police station following a brief holding period, he told her there was an unpaid parking ticket under with his name attached that caused the trouble.  No one, not even fishing buddies, would believe that he once punched a man for something so trivial.

He hated lying about that.  He hated lying in general.  Harold Cape feared lies.  He felt he was too dumb to keep track of the truths he said, how in the world could he keep up with the lies?  This fear made him an incredibly honest person, but he likes to make others believe he is capable of lies.  Usually this amounts to little more than ending a statement with “or is it?” Followed soon with a dramatic ‘bum bum bum.”

His fondness for cake once cost him a winning lottery ticket.  He told the story once to his oldest son and made him promise to never tell his mother.  As he told the story, he was standing in line a gas station when he saw a flash of light from the corner of his eye.  He over reacted initially, thinking the light was sourced at an incoming squirrel or other threat, but when he looked quickly to his right he saw a display of cake and other sugary treats.  His stomach roared and his brained pleaded for the dopamine rush of a sugar binge.  He left the line and went to stare at the desserts for a solid fifteen minutes.

The store sold a winning lottery ticket that weekend at 3:58 pm, exactly one minute after Harold had left the line.  The man behind him had taken home 3.5 million dollars lump sum.  Harold was furious.

It was in his anger that Harold did something he promised himself he would keep secret beyond the grave.  The Monday after he discovered what happened with the lottery ticket, he donned a mask and grabbed a bat.  He ran, he was younger then and still believed running was a thing people should do, to the gas station and robbed the store.  He took a stack of scratch tickets, five Slim-Jims, a pack of M&Ms and a cigar he did not intend on smoking.  Then he ran off to the night.  He was upset with how good he felt after the robbery.

When he was far enough from the scene, he began scratching off the lottery tickets to see what he had won.  He never claimed the seven dollars that showed up over the 200 tickets.

Harold Cape makes fishing poles.  He’s honest, loyal and even tempered.  He put a lot of effort in making sure this is what people think of him.  If his secrets got out, well, by golly that would be devastating.

Shooting Star

“Shooting star! Make a wish!” Naara said, clapping with glee.

Jude shook his head.  “Oh my goodness, Naara.  There’s no such thing as a magical wish granting space rock.  If that even was a rock.  Could have been a satellite making dramatic reentry.  My point is, you have to make your own magic in this world.  Nothing will do it for you.”

Naara stared for a moment.  “You know, that’s funny.  I wished for a stupid explanation of how the real world works and got it. Like, right away too.”

“I’ll let you have your fun from now on. Sorry,” Jude quickly apologized.

“You’re darn right you will,” Naara returned to watching the sky.

Caden’s Towers of Stone


Caden of the Far Meadow possessed no skills.  His farmland barely provided a yield, his fishing ability was legendary for its mediocrity, and his conversation was dull to put it nicely.  He did have a few things going for him; an incredible self awareness of his shortcomings, and friends throughout the village to assist with the skill gap.  Still, he wished to contribute something, anything to the advancement of his village.

Caden of the Far Meadow was not exactly one to possess helpful ideas. Continue reading

A Warning Ignored

“There’s something terrifying down in that canyon. My last venture resulted in the loss of three explorers.  A creature, born of fire and greed, based on how quickly it moved and devoured all it touched, lurks.  Waits. Watches.  I saw Predator and thought it was a comedy.  No longer shall I laugh, for I have seen the devil and it comes for more.  Do not travel into the mouth of the beast.  You will not return!”

“That is one talkative donkey, Janet,” the tourist said.

“He’s always been quite social.  You ready for your adventure?!” Janet readied the next tour.


No Longer Trivial

I often write of completely trivial things.  I like this.  Trivial is easy and fun.  A dumb joke to lighten the mood, a quick story to help forget whatever happened on the nightly news.  Writing is a tool for escapism and it is amazing.

A lot of very non-trivial stuff has been happening though and it seems irresponsible not to address the acts of the executive branch in some way.  We’re going political real quick. I’ll put a ‘read more’ here for those that are tired of it already.  Less than two weeks in.  Wowsa. Continue reading

Up the Mesa

Juda was far from what one would call a social creature.  He kept to the mine, read his books, he rarely even spoke to his horse; his life revolved around a quiet routine he had built in the town of Mountain Side.  Part of his routine included a very out of character habit; Fridays were spent at the local tavern.  The whole town showed up on Friday nights for drinks, food and discussion.  Juda thrived on the discussion.  He sat at a table near the tavern’s fireplace, drank tea, watched the crowd and listened to their tales from the week gone by.

Most Fridays played out to a familiar rhythm.  The bartender’s bowtie started well positioned, the crowd trickled in, fried foods moved back and forth from a make-shift kitchen behind the bar, all on repeat until eventually the bartender looked haggard and the crowd grew louder, but harder to understand.  Juda loved every minute of it. Continue reading