January 4, 2006
Jim: Great Balls of Fire!
“You boys know Jimmy Earl from the feed lot?” Cletus drawled around the ever-present toothpick.
“What of him?” asked Bubba Simmons.
“Well, me and him went deer hunting last Saturday. And let me tell you, it was damn cold that morning.”
We all nodded.
“So Jimmy Earl up and decides that if lighter fluid works good in pocket warmers, then gasoline ought to work better…”
“I swear that boy don’t fire on all plugs,” Bubba Daniels grunted.
“Between the smell of his burning pants and his girly screeching, he must have scared away every deer in the county,” Cletus muttered.
January 5, 2006
Jim: Just Another Working Stiff
The gibbous moon hangs swollen and leprous in the midnight sky while thick tendrils of ground fog flow around gnarled, leafless trees and scattered gravestones. I trudge ahead, drawing the tatters of my ill-fitting coat tighter against the ancient cemetery’s unearthly chill.
Just then, my foot slams into a pile of loose dirt and I tumble into a dark pit filled with the smells of rich loam and rotting flesh.
Somebody else had dug up the grave!
I shrug. “Now Igor won’t need the shovel,” I mumble as I collect the body parts my Master needs for his latest experiment.
January 9, 2006
Jim: Taking Out The Trash
Connie points toward the hair salon’s plate glass windows. “There goes poor Tricia Patterson,” she says.
Agnes nods. “They say her husband left her for another woman months ago.”
“I’m glad he left,” Connie replies. “You know that bastard used to beat Tricia up.”
Shock and anger wash over Agnes. “Then I hope he never comes back!” she states.
Later, at home, Tricia carefully places one small, tape-wrapped package from her freezer into the week’s garbage. Last week, it was an ear. This week, it is a two inch square piece of leg.
Tricia’s husband is almost gone for good.
January 10, 2006
Jim: der Blindganger
Carl pointed at a low cabinet. “Have you looked in there?”
“Twice,” Fritz mumbled. “It’s not there.”
“Look again!” Carl ordered. “You’re not the one who has to tell the boss that we lost the prime ingredient.”
Fritz shook his head wearily. “Why don’t we just do what we did last time? It’s not like the old man would know.”
Carl grinned. “Let’s use salt this time.”
On February 11, 1945, high in the Bavarian Alps, Germany tested its final atomic bomb. The bomb failed to explode. Interestingly, the bomb casing and mechanisms were immediately licked clean by wild sheep.
January 12, 2006
Shimmering mirages danced over the wind-blown Saharan sands. The expedition’s swarthy guide wiped his brow, muttered something, and stopped the Land Rover. Scientists tumbled out of the truck and darted to the small stone mound.
“Obviously glaciation drop stones,” declared Reed, the geologist.
Thompson, the anthropologist, shook his head. “Nomadic burial site,” he surmised.
“The remains of a buried city,” Green, the archeologist, decided.
While the debate raged, the guide strode to the mound and removed the stones. He dragged out a five-gallon water jug and filled the canteens.
It was not a proud day for science.
January 13, 2006
Jim: Painful Losses
The pirate frigate tacked windward away from Port Royal, driving into the waves. Disturbed seagulls flapped around the rigging, raucously screeching above the saltwater spray.
Captain Twist noticed Pegleg Tom’s new hardware. “How did ye get that hook, Tom?” he asked.
Tom looked down at his brass appendage. “The hand was bitten off by a shark, Cap’n.”
“And the patch?”
“Arr!” Tom growled, “One of those blasted gulls unloaded broadside right in my eye.”
“Seagull shit took out your eye?”
“Not really, Cap’n,” Tom grunted. “You see, the flying rat pegged me on the same day I got this hook.”
January 16, 2006
Jim: Tableau Vivant
Look at him, standing broad and proud. People admire him, gaze lovingly at him, even reach out a tentative caress. He doesn’t brag or try to make me feel inadequate. But even though he’s too nice to point it out, I know he feels superior.
I was like him once, full of purpose and a sense of belonging. Then all that came crashing down in one thoughtless moment of lustful abandon.
Now here I am, flat on my back, my broken leg held aloft like a beacon of failure.
Why do some people think a table was designed for sex?
January 17, 2006
Jim: And I'll Cry If I Want to
“Are you okay, Abe?” his mother asked, standing beside his bed.
Abe rubbed his eyes. “M-m-mom?” he stammered.
“Quit fooling around,” she commanded with mock sternness. “You’re going to be late for your own birthday party!”
Abe leapt to his feet and raced into the living room. “Surprise!” yelled his friends. They had all come, even Margie. Lovely, wonderful Margie.
Abe remembered a lifetime of joyous winters and spectacular summers with Margie.
And then Margie died. Abe had been eighty then.
Margie smiled sweetly. “Happy Birthday, Abe.”
“Happy Birthday, Abe,” whispered the nurse, pulling the bed sheet over his face.
January 18, 2006
Jim: Meeting For Lunch
The tailored Italian suit fit Jake like a second skin as he followed the maître d' to a table by the window. Jake carefully placed his briefcase between his feet and adjusted his carnation boutonnière.
“The llama chops here are especially tender,” said the man seated at the next table.
Without looking over, Jake gave the countersign, “I usually prefer peanut butter on Tuesdays.”
The man deftly slid an identical briefcase under Jake’s table. “It’s all in there, Mr. Figonetti,” the man said. “Ten kilos of Columbia’s finest.”
“The name’s Sergeant Mirelli,” Jake replied, flashing his badge. “And you’re under arrest.”
January 19, 2006
Through an eyeglass, Holmes carefully analyzed the invitation. “Never underestimate the audacity of the criminal mind, Watson,” he said. “Why would Moriarty invite me to a party?”
“What about those three requirements?” I asked.
“Costume dress, come unarmed, and bring an appetizer,” Holmes stated. “That all seems pretty harmless. No, there’s…”
Suddenly, the eyeglass and invitation slipped through Holmes’ fingers. He grasped his neck with both hands as his swelling face turned the color of beets. With an anguished gurgle, he fell lifeless onto the floor.
I picked up the invitation. “Persimmons,” I mumbled. Holmes was very allergic to persimmons.
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