Here's my Friday Flash Fiction, starter sentence in blue.

"There was no respite; the vivid, violent dreams that ruthlessly tormented her slumber had now relentlessly stretched the abyss, to envelop her during her day." She was irritated and confused by them. It never occurred to her to wonder why she was having the dreams, or what the dreams could possibly mean. She was simply annoyed.

She arrived at work, put her lunch in the refrigerator, took her seat in her cubicle, and began charting her course for the day. Absorbed in a particularly gripping email about a Blackberry which would not sync, she barely noticed that the chair beneath her had suddenly become warm beneath her. But when it became pungent-smelling of wet fur and rotting meat and started to pulsate, she screamed and jumped up.

Concerned co-workers hurried over to help, but they of course saw nothing but an ordinary office chair. They backed away, staring at her with worried eyes and knitted brows. Perhaps she should go home, they said. She should get some rest.

She gathered her purse and what composure she could and left the building, knowing full well that getting some rest was not an option. As her heels clicked along the concrete floor of the parking garage, she became aware of that same foul stench just as she felt hot, putrid breath on the back of her neck -- but when she whirled around, there was nothing there.

Her heart pounding, her hand shaking, she barely managed to insert her key into the lock and then into the ignition, each action seeming to take centuries and every ounce of her concentration. She jerked her car out of the spot, tires squealing, and she careened out into traffic, nearly sideswiping a street sweeper. As she merged onto the highway, she gradually relaxed. She vowed to call her doctor for a psychiatric referral the moment she got home.

But just as her blood pressure began to subside, there it was beside her -- a mass of brown-black matted fur, fangs, claws, and yellow eyes. It was as large as a bear yet more ape-like, but with longer, shaggier fur. Fur that was matted with blood and entrails. It opened its maw and screams came forth, but it wasn't the creature's screams; it was the combined wails and screeches of its victims, coming forth from its bowels.

She yanked the wheel crazily off the road way and plowed into the field at the side of the road. She opened her door and took off running, but the creature took off after her. It soon overtook her, and with one sweep of its massive paw, lifted her off the ground. How it had swelled to nearly 12 feet tall after just recently having fit into her Subaru was not the only mystery, as it thrust her struggling, shrieking form down its gullet, and loped off into the nearby forest preserve.

All investigators ever found was her abandoned car and one Jimmy Choo at the side of the road.
Fat Tony says: You toucha dis lunch, I breaka you face!

Dilf was on a brown-bag lunch kick for awhile, and for fun I'd write/draw things on the bag. For instance, I drew a stereotypical mobster on it and wrote this post's title on it. Or "This is not the lunch you're looking for." (blank space.) "Move along." My favorite is when I reworked King Tut's curse: "They who touch this sacred lunch shall swift be visited by wings of death. Sincerely, The Mummy. P.S. Unnnngh."

I was just trying to inject a little humor into the office refrigerator. It's not all fun and games at some workplaces, though. Someone posted a collection of passive-aggressive office kitchen notes. I never knew Jesus got so upset about misappropriated Diet Coke.

But please don't miss the comments at the bottom. They are priceless.
Flash Fiction Friday: Don't Get Me Started!
Flash Fiction Friday can be found here. My contribution, with the starter sentence in blue:

“Nicole’s cataracts have worsened, so I knew she was going to be running late because she had to relearn her way around. She suprised me at the restaurant when she showed up beside our usual table and asked me, ‘wow, what just happened?’”

What tipped her off, I wondered. Was it the smell of mustard? Perhaps the gladiola petals no doubt scattered hither and yon about my person? Or was it the gunpowder?

It all started when my refrigerator exploded that morning. In preparation for my bridge club meeting later that day, I had filled my refrigerator with trays of finger sandwiches, a cheese and a salmon ball, and assorted crudité. Also, pickles and olives. And a lemon ice box cake. This onslaught of new party foods caused the existing residents of the refrigerator to rebel, and the half-used bottles of salad dressing convinced the jar of mustard to become a suicide bomber. My tasteful yet casual ensemble was its unfortunate victim. I doubt my Easy Spirits will ever be the same again.

But I wasn't going to let a little mustard ruin my day. No, sir. I changed into a smart pantsuit and I was ready to go. I decided to buy some flowers. Yes, to honor Mother Nature's gift of sweet springtime, with its warm lilting breezes and its promise of new life... flowers. I do so adore flowers.

After visiting the florist on Main, I exited the store with high hopes for the vivid blossoms which adorned the long, slender stalks. I had a new tall vase that would be perfect for them. I just pictured them, on the hall table, welcoming visitors with their sweet scent and cheery brightness. My flowers would be the talk of the bridge club for weeks. Especially since so many ladies were also members of the garden club.

I was so entranced by the thought of my beautiful gladiolas, I almost didn't notice the tribe of hooligans who had congregated in front of Nick's Trick Shop. They were amusing themselves by throwing those little white packets that explode with a loud "pop" when thrown upon the ground. These mischievous malcontents had already caused Mrs. MacCready's bichon frisee to wet itself on the sidewalk, and nearly caused old Mr. Oleson to keel over from a heart attack.

Well. They weren't going to upset this gladiola-loving woman's day. "You, there!" I shouted out. "I know your moth-" but before I could conclude my sentence, those ruffians threw three boxes of pocket explosives and a bag of marbles RIGHT AT ME! Everywhere I walked, danger met my steps. First a loud bang, then the marbles... I lost my footing. My lovely gladiolas went flying through the air, and when I landed on my bottom, a defeaning blast echoed throughout the downtown.

It was all I could do to retain my dignity.

I refused the gracious offers of help, and stumbled to the restaurant where I could restore myself with a small glass of sherry. I was determined not to ruin my luncheon date with my dear friend Nicole by relating my small tragedies. But she DID ask...
"What's Wrong With Your Kid?": a Story about Ubermilf's Descent into Blind Fury

I apologize to the millions of my readers who know me only as a source of sweetness and light, who never gets angry and takes everything in stride. I know this post will come as an utter shock to you, but... thank God for email, because I would be jailed if some people said things to me in person, where I could slam their heads repeatedly into desks, pick up the classroom globes and thrust them over their heads, then push them down the stairs while they stagger around blindly with said globes upon their heads.

I got an email from UberElder's new teacher today.

The subtext in it was, "What's wrong with your kid?"

My daughter's brain doesn't function like the majority of kids' brains. I know this because I can see the ways she's remarkably like me, and I know what it was like when I was in school. What's worse for her, though, is that schools now move at a quicker pace and there is a greater emphasis on "procedures" and doing things a certain way. For example, if I got the right answer in math, it didn't matter if I got the right answer because I was picturing the candy aisle at Ben Franklin and thinking of my allowance and how many candy bars I could afford with said allowance -- the right answer was the right answer.

Now, you are prescribed a way to come up with the answer, and you must use that way whether it makes sense to you or not. But don't take too long -- because they've already moved onto another subject while you were trying to force your brain into THEIR pattern instead of the one that came naturally to you. HURRY UP! NOW IT'S TIME FOR LUNCH! Did you bring your lunch or did your mom pack one for you? You better get in the correct line, or you won't be eating today!

Now, Elder had the similar issues to overcome at her last school, but there are factors making it worse at this new school. One, it's huge and impersonal compared to the small and comfy one we came from, where if she was in the wrong place at the wrong time one of the moms volunteering would recognize her and say, "Elder, honey, recess is over." And there was no harm, no foul.

Another, there are certain subjects that grab Elder's attention and hold it like a vise. These are the subjects that her current school is like two years behind on, and she's bored out of her gourd. "Really?" she must be thinking, "Pick out the long vowel sound versus the short vowel sound? Did you know I knew how to spell 'pterodactyl' in first grade?"

Third, this school is located in a "planned community" where all the rich people from California who know everything except how to proceed at a four-way stop sign come to live. They have a version of PERFECT in their heads, and if you're different, well, you're flawed somehow.

But let me explain something to the people who think they know how people "should" be. Whether you believe in God or natural selection or BOTH God and natural selection like I do, "different" people exist for a reason. A beneficial reason that your puny little mind doesn't understand yet, if it ever will. How about you quit trying to "change" my "disordered" kid and let her learn her own way.
Oh, Sweet Downers Grove; I Knew You Wouldn't Let Me Down

I'm only back home for a week. A week, people. And the lunatics of my little town were determined not to disappoint me by acting normal.

Specifically, this guy is back in the news this week. You remember him, right? Naked, covered in baby powder, passed out in his neighbor's bushes?

He's been going shopping, it seems.

"Reardon was allegedly seen twice walking in the nude — once, walking north on Forest Avenue and Havens Court holding two bags of groceries and the second time walking south on Earlston Road and 40th Street."

I must know where he bought the groceries. And if they have a surveillance camera.
Flash Fiction Friday: Brought to You by Cormac Brown.
Go here for info. Although if you're a loyal reader of this blog, and not some big dumb smelly jerk like Randal, you will already know what this is.

Now. My story.

Never Has Anything Been More Out of the Question, Ever

Stop me before I date again. Last night was the worst date anyone could ever go on, without criminal charges being filed.

It didn't start out too badly. I mean, except for him being about 25 years older than he claimed in his ad. And the fact he forgot his wallet, so would I mind paying? Which included the cab he had waiting with the meter running outside the coffee shop where we were meeting. So there's one positive: he doesn't know where I live.

But I know where he lives -- because we had to stop there to take care of his incontinent dog. Three times. Amazingly, he forgot his wallet each time, and I didn't think to remind him, because the stench rendered me incapable of thought. Well, almost incapable of thought. I did happen to notice he lived in a home 3 times the size of mine, in a much pricier neighborhood. I also noted the BMW keys laying on the counter. Did he forget he had a car, too?

The movie was good, though. If you like Jean Claude Van Damme. Which I do not. It wasn't a comedy; thus I was surprised when my date laughed when Mr. Van Damme punched a woman in the face. I suddenly became alarmingly uncomfortable.

Mr. Wonderful wanted me to buy him drinks after the movie, but I feigned great fatigue. Well, I was tired -- of him. As we walked to the corner to find a cab, my date displayed none of the macho bravado of his hero Jean Claude when he squealed like an 5-year-old girl, clutched my arm in terror, and shrieked "A rat!! A RAT!!!" when a neighborhood squirrel darted across the sidewalk.

With the rodent crisis averted, we flagged down a cab to bring the night of delights to a close. He chattered all the way home, mostly about how there are no quality music artists around anymore, with the exception of Billy Idol, when he wasn't being too "arty."

When we pulled up to his stately home, he leaned in lasciviously for a kiss. I jerked out of range just in time for him to get a mouthful of my hair. "When can I see you again," he murmured in what I'm sure he meant to be an amorously low tone, but what sounded to me like the sump pump in my parents' basement.

"Well," I said, "Thanks for your time this evening. But I really don't think things would work out for us."

"Huh," he said, surprised. He started to scoot across the seat toward the door, then turned to me and said, "Well, is a blow job out of the question?"
Dear Austin, Texas: Wisconsin Would Like to School You in Being Weird
Despite the fact I have relocated to Austin for an indeterminate period of time, the post office faithfully forwards on my copy of Midwest Living magazine. Within its pages, I have realized something I painfully miss about it: they make a festival out of just about anything up there.

Doubt me? Then let me introduce you to something called Sputnikfest in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. They created an annual event out of a chunk of debris falling on the street.

They have a Miss Space Debris -- Queen of All That Is Sputnik. They have a Cosmic Cake Contest. They have an aluminum foil costume contest.

They not only have a humongously oversized fiberglass cow in town -- they give her aluminum foil moon boots. And space suit. And cover her horns.

Maybe they don't need a "Keep Wisconsin Weird" campaign, because Wisconsinites keep the weird in their hearts regardless. Or, more likely, it's because the Californians haven't overrun the place like they have down here.

Like in Portland, Oregon -- another place overrun with an influx of Californians.

Maybe instead of the "Keep (insert town) Weird" campaign, they should have a "Californians Go Home" campaign. Ironic.
Me, Lately

To try to warm up my brain function, I will compose some haiku.

Ahem. *cracking knuckles. Deep sighing.*

peanut butter puffs
how I missed your sweet-salt crunch
kid cereal rules

Oh, please, Moxie dog
I am tired of walking you
quit bothering me

I have lots of work
piling up in squalid heaps
I choose to ignore

Dear corporate scumbags
I don't want to pay you squat
You can fuck yourselves

I am sick of school
and them emailing me things
tell my kids, not me!
In Honor of the Presidential Address Tomorrow

Also, in honor of Labor Day
It's the Sunday Before Labor Day. Two Things Collide for Me.
What does my sect say about Labor Day?


So, those of you in favor of denying communion to politicians who don't favor outlawing abortion, does that extend to politicians who favor capital over labor?
The high cost of low taxes.

I'm kinda sad no one reads this blog anymore, because I actually have something important to say for once.

Last night, I went to volunteer my writing skills to an organization that conducts search and rescue missions. I thought it was a group that only responded to extreme events that required more than the paid professionals could handle -- floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and such. And I was right -- they do that stuff.

But more alarming to me was the fact they provided services that Chicago area fire and police departments provide as part of the basic service to their communities.

It turns out that 90 percent of all Texas fire departments are volunteer -- and unregulated. Many don't offer ambulance/emergency medical service at all. Some adhere to professional standards, some are more like social clubs.

There is no state income tax in Texas. Property owners can CHOOSE whether or not to provide information about their property values. You read that correctly: complying with a state or city request about what you paid for your house is VOLUNTARY. When it comes to assessing home values, they basically wing it.

I am very concerned because Texas is in the midst of a bad drought. Granted, as the gentleman pointed out last evening, that has resulted in a greatly reduced demand for their water rescue team. But, fire...

I'm just wondering how all that conservative swagger will play out during an emergency for which they seem totally unprepared, but for the dedication and personal sacrifice of people like those at the organization I talked to last night.

They are completely reliant on volunteers, some of whom show up in flip-flops to scour the wilds of Texas hill country. According to the guy last night, "Everything out there wants to prick you, stick you, or bite you." What a perfect metaphor for the state of things -- leaving yourself exposed to danger.

Unregulated, unfunded and unprepared for an emergency. Is this what "conservatives" think is sound planning for the future? Because this is as embarrassingly stupid as "love-ins" seem now.
This is why no historical dramas should be created about a given era until all the people from that era are dead
One of the good things about the television series I, Claudius was nobody popped up to say, "You know that one centurian? TOTALLY based on me." (One of the bad things was I was sent out of the room during the orgy scene. I was 7 years old at the time.)

So, when you have a show like Mad Men, you have people coming forward to claim they were just like this character or the inspiration for that character.

Narcissistic much?

On the other hand, Joan Holloway is obviously shaped like me.

They just had to change her to a redhead so I wouldn't sue and stuff.
Name: Übermilf
Location: Chicago Area

If being easily irritated, impatient and rebellious is sexy, then call me MILF -- Übermilf.

So you want more huh?
Click here!

Perverts, scram. There's nothing for you here.

Now, who wants cupcakes?

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