Thursday, June 8, 2017

the ogre, the tailor, and the minstrel

once upon a time there was an ogre.

the ogre set up shop outside a village, and began systematically kidnapping and devouring its inhabitants, one by one.

the strongest men in the village, including the woodcutter, the blacksmith, the sheriff, and the sergeant-at-arms, sallied forth to fight the ogre, but were quickly despatched and devoured.

a little tailor resolved to defeat the ogre. he found a stout stick and attached his tailor’s needle to it, and announced his intention to the village.

most of the villagers laughed at the tailor, although a few pious old woman told him they would pray for him.

as the sun rose in the sky, the little tailor set forth with his weapon.

what the tailor did not suspect, and what the villagers did not suspect, was that the ogre had grown weary of the village, and had decided that very morning to move on to fresh pastures.

the ogre was in the act of packing his knapsack with some of the bones of his previous victims, to gnaw on in his journey, when he saw the tailor approach.

the ogre made short work of the little tailor and devoured him in one gulp.

but the ogre was so outraged by the effrontery of the village in sending so feeble a champion against him, that he entered the village and completely ravaged and destroyed it, killing almost everyone in it.

the only survivor was a minstrel, who took to the roads, where he eked out an existence begging and singing for his bread.

among the songs the minstrel sang was the tale of the heroic little tailor, and how he slew the ogre and saved the village.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Thursday, March 2, 2017

st george and the dragon

once upon a time there was a peaceful village, filled with peaceful people.

a dragon came along.

he hung outside the village, making threatening and belligerent noises, and indicating that he was hungry.

he demanded that the villagers send him some children or fair maidens to eat.

just a few, he insisted, then he would be on his way.

the villagers held a council.

st george stepped forward at the meeting.

there is no need, quoth he, to surender any children or maidens to the dragon. with my sword and my lasso i will capture the dragon and put him in a cage, when all you good people can laugh at him forever.

this sounded like a good idea to the villagers, and they told st george to do what he could.

true to his word, st george captured the dragon and put him in a cage.

the villagers rejoiced, and held a great feast in st george’s honor, in which much ale was quaffed, and much beef and mutton devoured.

the dragon in his cage was treated to some pine cones and gruel.

life went on in the village.

st george and the other villagers went back to working in the fields and the farmyards, with occasional expeditions to poach in the bad king’s forest.

every year on the anniversary of the capture of the dragon, a feast was held with st george as the guest of honor.

on some years when there had been a bountiful harvest, the bad king himself attended the festivities and gave the villagers his blessing.

the villagers kept the dragon in his cage, as his presence reminded them of st george’s great victory, and kept him alive by feeding him gruel, pine cones, pine needles, and an occasional mouse.

st george lived to the venerable age of ninety-nine. the villagers gathered around him as lay on his deathbed, and after he downed one last hearty flagon of ale, they bid him good-bye.

even with st george gone, the villagers continued to keep the dragon in his cage and feed him. he lived for another three thousand years.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Monday, February 13, 2017

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Friday, February 10, 2017

Monday, February 6, 2017

incident at ernie's pizza

al was mad.

brandon was fooling around with al’s girlfriend claudette.

that was what al had been told by his friend dennis.

actually brandon had never even met claudette.

but al did not know that.

al got a gun.

he found brandon at ernie’s pizza parlor, finishing off a ham and egg grinder with a side of hot fries.

al confronted brandon.

ignoring brandon’s protestations of innocence regarding claudette, al shot brandon in the heart.

brandon slumped in his chair, and then fell to the ground.

a few minutes later claudette arrived.

ernie had called the police, and al was sitting down at a table staring into space, with ernie standing over him.

brandon was still sprawled on the floor. ernie had checked his pulse and found none.

informed of what had happened, claudette not only told al that she had never met brandon, but that she did not know where al got off thinking that she, claudette, belonged to him, and that she was “his” girl.

just then frank and gloria arrived.

frank and gloria expressed dismay at the proceedings and loudly proclaimed how sorry they were for brandon, who had been a great guy and one of their best friends.

actually neither frank nor gloria cared two cents about brandon, they were just saying that.

they were a couple of hypocrites.

to sum up:

brandon had no relationship with claudette, proper or otherwise.

claudette did not even consider herself al’s girl.

frank and gloria, who expressed sorrow at brandon’s demise, did not really like him.

actually nobody had ever liked brandon much, not even his mother.

so - al was an idiot, brandon was a nonentity, claudette was a cold hearted bitch, dennis was a jerk who had caused the whole thing for no good reason, ernie was just pissed off, and frank and gloria were two-faced hypocrites.

given all that, the question is:

is brandon dead?

Saturday, February 4, 2017


bud was just a guy
he walked because he couldn’t fly
scratched his head from time to time
never had a lousy dime

no one ever noticed him
he was neither fat nor slim
he might perhaps have gained some weight
but to eat each day was not his fate

a member of the human hive
he never worked from nine to five
he walked beneath skies gray and blue
and to no cause was ever true

no one ever asked his thoughts
he may have had some, maybe not
but knew his share of sneers and scorn
like every human ever born

in all his days and all his nights
no one ever thought to write
down anything he did or said
he lived awhile, and now he’s dead


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Friday, February 3, 2017

Thursday, February 2, 2017


marcia had only been dead for a few days and was still not used to the ways of heaven.

she was walking along a sort of countryish road and she saw four people seated at a picnic table by the side of the road.

as she came closer to the table, she saw that the four people were marilyn monroe, james dean, sylvia plath, and winston churchill.

they were chatting amiably together, and sharing a pitcher of lemonade which stood in the center of the picnic table.

there was space for more people to sit at the two benches at the table, and marcia wondered if it would be rude to invite herself to sit down.

she found herself saying, “do you mind if i sit here?” to the quartet at the table.

marilyn monroe smiled at marcia. “of course not,” she said, and patted the bench beside her.

marcia sat down beside marilyn monroe, who scooted over a little closer to james dean.

james dean was telling a long story that marcia could not pick up the thread of, something about making a movie about a war between the byzantine and bulgarian empires, with lenin and sacheverell sitwell as technical advisers.

marcia looked at the pitcher of lemonade, and winston churchill thoughtfully poured her a glass and pushed it toward her, but without taking his attention off of james dean’s story., or taking his cigar out of his mouth.

when james dean finished his story, sylvia plath asked marcia what her name was, and then asked marcia a lot of questions about herself which seemed to show a sincere interest and quite put marcia at her ease.

marilyn monroe then began telling a funny story about going fishing off easter island with noel coward and djuna barnes.

marcia was relaxing and enjoying herself when suddenly st michael appeared.

it was immediately obvious that he did not at all approve of marcia sitting there and talking with four such famous humans.

glaring at marcia, “is this person bothering you?” he asked the others at the table.

“oh, no, not all, “ marilyn monroe assured st michael. “we are having a most enjoyable afternoon. you are welcome to join us, if you like."

“thank you, but i have business elsewhere.” and with a final hard stare at poor marcia st michael departed.

marilyn monroe resumed her story, but for marcia the mood had been broken.

she wondered if the four famous people were really enjoying her company, or were just being polite, as seemed to be the general rule in heaven.

when marilyn monroe finished her story, marcia thanked them all for the lemonade and for a lovely afternoon, and after smiles and good wishes all around, she went on her way.

marcia had never quite figured things out on earth, and now she wondered if heaven was going to be more of the same.

at least In heaven she would have plenty of time.

i will get the hang of it eventually, marcia told herself.

your day today

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