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Day #318: Monkey Hand

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The Story:

“Doc, you have to help me, I’m at my wits end here! PLEASE…

The voice on the other end of the line was so overwrought with panic Dr. Zach Gerdian had to concentrate to understand the words coming through the phone receiver. It wasn’t for several seconds that he realized the hysterical man stuttering and straining to regain control was in fact his own kid brother.

“Tommy, Tommy,” Zach had to yell over the nonsensical sputtering of his brother in order to be heard. “Slow down. Tell me exactly what’s wrong,” Zach realized he was using his ‘doctor’ voice, but hearing his usually stoic brother behaving like a neurotic patient was really freaking him out. After several more minutes of struggling to make heads or tails from Tommy’s ramblings and panic-induced outbursts, Zach had had enough. Instructing his brother ‘not to move’ he hung up the phone and in less than 20 seconds he was out the door and racing to his brother’s duplex across town.

Pulling his trusty ’83 Landrover up to the curb in front of Tommy’s building, Zach hopped out of the vehicle and ran down the semi-interior hallway, at the end of which he found Tommy’s door hanging wide open. Not a good sign. Slowed by the fear of what he might find behind the threshold, Zach took his last steps into the apartment tentatively, trying desperately not to think of the million and one scenarios, all terrible, that would explain why his very private brother’s was open to the world.

“Tommy? Tommy, where are you?” Zach’s throat had suddenly gone dry, causing his voice to rattle out in weak mewing sounds. Hearing movement in the direction of the bedroom, Zach sprinted towards the sound and prayed it was his brother and not some hulking monster or giant squid as his imagination would have him believe. Reaching the doorway, confusion immediately replaced irrational fear as he tried to process the scene in front of him.

Surrounded by broken plates, drinking glasses, food wrappers and fresh stains that looked like red wine, Tommy was sitting with his legs crossed beneath him, stripped down to his underwear and humming softly.

“Hey bro,” Zach slowly tiptoed through the litter and debris so he could circle in front of his brother to better see his face.

“Oh, hey Zach,” Tommy smiled up at his brother languidly; his eyes glazed and bloodshot and then returned his unfocused stare to his left hand. He was high as a kite.

Not knowing his brother to be much of a ‘stoner’, Zach sat down in front of him and pushing up each of Tommy’s eyelids with his thumb checked his pupils. Checking his pulse and finding it slow but steady, Zach relaxed a little. “What the hell is going on, Tommy? What was that phone call about? I thought you were dying or something, you sounded terrified,” anger at being needlessly frightened for his brother’s wellbeing was beginning to creep into his voice.

“Oh that…” Tommy said without looking up from his left hand.

Giving him several minutes to elaborate to no avail, Zach’s patience had run out. “Yeah that! And what the hell, Tommy? You’re stoned out of your gourd! Since when do you smoke?”

“I don’t!” Tommy looked like an innocent child wrongly scolded. “Some dumb kids down the hall thought it would be funny to give me pot brownies. But Zach… Zach, I swear I didn’t know they weren’t regular yummo delicious chocolaty treats, honest. That’s a funny word… honest. HONest, OOOnest. Heh, weird…” Tommy smiled again and then returned to his study of his left hand.

Zach suddenly felt very tired. Knowing it was just the adrenaline seeping out of his system, he decided he better give himself a few minutes before driving to make sure he didn’t completely collapse. “So, what the heck is you obsession with your hand all of a sudden, brownie boy?”

“You’re never going to believe it, Zach. Tonight, I finally understood something… my left hand… my left hand is a monkey hand. It makes total sense, cause I have terrible control with that hand, I’m always dropping stuff or fumbling something and now I know it’s cause I have a monkey hand! That kinda freaked me out, you know… so I called you to have you come give me a physical and get rid of the monkey hand for me. But I’m ok now… I’ve come to love my monkey hand.

So that explained the broken dishes and spills.

Zach watched as Tommy gave his own ‘monkey hand’ a high five and he felt confident he could leave his brother on his own without any further incident. Instead, Zach sat down on Tommy’s bed and was asleep less than a minute later.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      Tonight at dinner, Andy made the comment that he couldn’t use his left hand properly and as he clenched his fork like a two-year-old might declared he had a ‘monkey hand’. This stuck us both as extremely funny, and as he attempted to stab his asparagus with his fork like a thumbless primate might, I requested that he pass the iced tea pitcher. Not being able to handle this task with his monkey hand, I mocked him a little and grabbed the pitcher with my own left hand, saying “let me do it, I have full control of my left hand”. At which point I then poured tea all over the countertop, completely missing my glass. Looks like I have a case of monkey hand as well.

Love & Squirrels.

 

 

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Day #317: Thieving Pigs…

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The Story:

Ok, let’s go around the room and each share one thought about our addictions, okay? Elliot, why don’t we start with you…

I swore I wouldn’t… but I got sucked in.

I had no idea how much I like destroying things.

Those pigs deserve what they get, they stole!

Today I only played for about four hours. I feel like I’ve hit a real milestone.

My favorites are the egg-poopers.

I can’t make it through a day without getting three stars on at least four levels.

I just play for the sound effects and kick ass visuals… I don’t have a problem, ok?

Okay everyone that was great. Oh! It looks like we have a new member! Welcome, welcome! Come have a seat, and if you wouldn’t mind just introducing yourself…

Uh, sure… Hi everyone, my name is Danielle Freeport, and I’m a addicted to Angry Birds.

Hi Danielle.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      It’s happened, I’ve finally succumbed. Today, I played Angry Birds for the very first time and, just like I predicted… I am totally addicted. Even as I type, all I can think about is getting back to my game and trying to earn three stars on all the levels. I can see this may become a problem… but for now, I’m giving in to the temptation.

Love & Squirrels.

 

 

Day #311: Dental Denial

The Story:

Dennis couldn’t wait for tomorrow. For over a month now, he’d been looking forward to this day, like a kid counting down the days till Christmas; Dennis had meticulously ‘Xed’ out each day on the calendar leading up to tomorrow. And now, it was almost here. It had been too long since he remembered feeling like this, for a variety of reasons (also known as his newly divorced ex-wife) he’d gone for years without it- but that was about to change, and it was going to hurt.

It’s not that he ‘liked’ pain, exactly; I mean he wasn’t one of those sick freaks you see on the Internet asking fat women to sit on them or dudes to come over and punch them in the junk, nothing that weird. Dennis just… let’s see, what’s the right word?… he ‘appreciated’ being ‘put in his place’, shall we say. To be honest, it’s not all that uncommon, for a man with Dennis’ power and wealth to, every so often, seek out ways to feel like the rest of us do on a daily basis.

All the arrangements had been made months ago, all Dennis had to do was show up and the rest would be taken care of. Pouring three fingers of his best scotch into a cut-crystal glass, Dennis made his way to his study and leaning back in his overstuffed desk chair began to imagine all the different ways he would be made miserable tomorrow as he swirled the liquor in front of him. He’d be restrained, there was no doubt about that- that was one of his favorite parts. The lighting would be harsh, glaring. The temperature inside would be almost unbearably frigid, especially in the cotton slacks and polo shirt he planned on wearing for the occasion. Things would be shoved in his mouth, he’d be exposed repeatedly to dangerous elements, sharp menacing tools would be used to poke and prod at him in ways he could only imagine… it was almost more than one man could stand.

Something along these lines, perhaps?

Wishing he could go at this very moment he was so overcome with anticipation, Dennis settled back into his chair and tried to convince himself the anticipation was part of the experience. He’d just have to make do with his imagination until tomorrow came. “I bet I hear people screaming as they lead me down the halls,” He thought to himself with barely contained relish. “Then I’ll be put in a small little room and left to wait all alone for an indefinite amount of time. Then they’ll come in and force me to lay down. They’ll talk to each other using a language I can’t understand but its sharp and guttural sound will have my skin crawling as they are most definitely discussing my imminent torture. There will be strange machines in the room, all with the sole intent to rip me to shreds,” Dennis swallowed the last of his scotch and slammed the glass on the desk in excitement, “Hot damn! I just love going to the dentist!”

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      Today marks a milestone in my life. Today, I went to the dentist. Yeah, yeah, I know, big whoop right? Wrong. It is indeed a ‘big whoop’. You see, I hate the dentist… no, that isn’t exactly correct. What I hate is a bit more complex- I hate disappointing people. I hate disappointing people to such an extreme that my last dental visit was over 6 years ago because they made this mistake of telling me I had the teeth of a woman 15 years my senior. This comment, along with a pretty steady barrage of being told I didn’t floss enough, I was brushing wrong or I had another cavity that needed filling, etc. traumatized me to the extent that going back in six months, a year, two years, six years seemed masochistic. I know, I have ‘issues’. Let’s not focus on the negative, shall we? Good. The point is, I went. And, surprisingly it wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was rather pleasant. Everyone was extremely nice, I was allowed to wear my Ipod during the entire process (except for X-rays) and shocker, I had no cavities! Besides a minor freak out after the tech took my blood pressure and asked if I was nervous (um, yeah I was alright until you asked me that and now I’m totally freaking out because I think I’m dying since obviously my blood pressure is not normal which means my heart is going to explode at any minute…but no, I’m like, totally fine) I’m very proud of myself and how well I kept it together.

What do you mean, "Am I nervous"? Do I look nervous?!?!?

Love & Squirrels.

Day #309: Puzzle Peace

The Story:

“I just can’t seem to shake this funk. It’s been three days and no matter what I do, how much sleep I get I’m still stuck in this rut,” Amanda grumbled and folded her arms across her chest, sticking out her lower lip in an exaggerated pout. Normally a relatively chipper person, Amanda had awoken several days ago in a downright foul mood. There was no reason, no cause for her crankiness, she just hated everything and everyone and wished for nothing more than for the whole world to just get lost already. She had tried everything she could think of to ‘snap out of it’- her favorite foods, a warm cup of tea, catching up on her favorite TV shows, grabbing a nap- nothing worked.

Amanda called all of her girlfriends and set up night after night of ‘decompress time’, and one by one, they all fell through. A nasty storm would pop up, making travel almost impossible, an emergency ear infection or a cancelled babysitter- each cancellation, however justified they were, only added to Amanda’s growing depression. Not able to meet her friends in person, she decided to turn to her social networks for a boost in mood. Unfortunately, it seemed her malaise was catching as almost every one of the posts she read were filled with frustration, regret, anger or flat out despondency. Closing her laptop, Amanda looked around her living room, wondering how to kick her grumpiness to the curb. She could curl up with her book, as was her usual retreat, but the book she was currently reading was all about phobias and the fear of ‘self’. Somehow she doubted that would do the trick for a quick ‘pick me up’.

She could do something constructive, like clean or tidy up her pig sty of a house. Amanda briefly considered this but a wave of exhaustion from just the thought overwhelmed her, causing her to plop down on the couch in frustration. Perhaps another nap? That’s when her attention was drawn to a colorful box on the bottom shelf of the overcrowded bookshelf. A smile crept across her face. She knew what could knock this funk on its butt and kick it to the curb. Jumping to her feet and all but sprinting to the bookshelf yanked the box off of the shelf and ran with it to the dining room table.

Several hours later, standing up to stretch her cramping back, Amanda admired her progress. Staring back at her were the cheery prehistoric smiles of several triceratops, a few pieces still missing from a tail or clawed foot. She was noticeably in a better mood and couldn’t help return the cardboard grins she had carefully pieced together. Now if all things were so easily put back together as a puzzle.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      Well, I had planned on finding a few jolts of inspiration from an evening planned with one of my friends but the weather had other ideas. A storm seemed to whip up out of nowhere and both of us agreed that drinks could wait, lest we be drenched or worse thanks to the inconsiderate thunderstorm.

TWO:    So, I’m still in a funk. I hate it. I’ve tried several things to kick the ‘f’ word to the curb, chocolate, comfort food (grilled cheese, tea, cinnamon & sugar toast, fried egg…), got caught up on some of my TV shows, snuggled with my puppy dog, considered cleaning (bleh), put on some good tunage… nothing doin. Ugh. The most frustrating part is that there is nothing in particular that I’m upset about, at least then I would have a focal point for all this latent disgruntlement. I’m going to try one last ditch effort tonight to rid myself of the ‘f’ word… sit down a do a puzzle. Wish me luck!

My miserable face.

Love & Squirrels.

Day #308: Alternative Definitions for an Improved Mood

The Story:

Disgruntled: A practice utilized in the 16th century by which farmers would forcibly remove the sound compartment, or ‘grunt’ of a troublesome or temperamental hog or pig.

I'll be quiet... I promise!

Cranky: The stage name of Parsons Crowely, a small-time vaudeville performer of the late 1890s who specialized in impersonations. Best known for his reaction to disorderly audiences, Crowley earned the name ‘Cranky’ early in his career for throwing a childish tantrum on stage anytime his act was not well received.

Overit: A French confection, most commonly known as the ‘cousin’ of the better known pastry ‘turnover’. Usually made of phyllo dough and a filling made of nuts or fruit filling, an ‘overit’ is distinguished by its filling being on the ‘outside’ unlike typical pastries. This makes for tricky eating, which may account for its unpopularity.

Babies LOVE overits

Irritated: A word derived from Egyptian lore revolving around the goddess Irri, provider of serenity, fulfillment and turtle doves. Worshiped primarily in the Second Intermediate Period, Irri bestowed upon others her gifts but could never benefit from them herself. Cursed by her fate of enduring an eternity of always serving others, Irri cast herself into the Nile but was spared from certain death when the train of her garment became snagged on a sleeping guard’s curved spear, also known as a ‘tate’.

Tired: A slang term made popular by the fashion icon E. H. HEARSH of the 1960s referring to a specific shade of red. Common belief holds the term was created when a bowl of maraschino cherries were spilled on HEARSH, soaking his white satin tie. HEARSH immediately declared he was ‘tired’ and it was instantly the color of the season.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      I was having a bad day today. Nothing really happened per se, but everything was getting on my last little nerve.  Most of me believes my rotten attitude has to do with a certain hormonal imbalance, but there is part of me that thinks I was just due for an ‘off’ day. I found myself snapping at people, putting on fake smiles, and being an all-around grouch so I decided to take some of the words that would describe my attitude/day today and glam up their definitions a bit. I guess it worked cause I definitely feel better knowing that tired is actually a hip shade of red and irritated is really an homage to a cool Egyptian goddess. Yay for imaginations!

Love & Squirrels.

Day #306: Blustery

The Story:

“What a windy day! I can barely keep my skirts in place and just look at the state of my hair! I declare, Marjorie, it’s downright blust-“

Had she been able to, Delores would have let out a startled cry of surprise as her companion and friend hurtled towards her, a look of terror on Marjorie’s face as she clamped Delores’ mouth shut with her gloved hand just as Delores was finishing her sentence. Fighting Marjorie off with her closed parasol as if her friend were one of her husband’s ill-mannered hounds, Delores finally was able to free herself of her friend’s grip and with no small amount of exasperation, began smoothing down her gown and went about straightening her hat before turning her full attention on her suddenly half-crazed friend.

“What in the world could have possessed you, Marjorie? You acted like a raving madwoman just now! In all my years as your friend, I am sure I have never witnessed such odd behavior. What have you to say for yourself?” Delores whipped open her ivory fan and began beating at the air in agitated strokes- a needless action thanks to the gusty day.

Pulling herself up to her full height, Marjorie returned her friend’s stare with equal intensity. “I do apologize, dear, but you see it was quite necessary. Who knows what would have happened had I allowed you to complete that sentence. Don’t you know about the legend?” Marjorie whispered the last word and quickly looked around as if worried she’d been overheard.

“Honestly Marjorie, I haven’t the faintest idea as to what you could be referring to,” Delores retorted, still put out and feigning disinterest. Marjorie, having been friends with Delores since they were small girls knew Delores was practically obsessed with fairytales, ghost stories and legends and only had to wait a few seconds before Delores’ curiosity won out over her stubbornness. “Now what legend could you possibly be going on about that would cause such a violent reaction,” Delores continued, her haughty tone tinged with budding interest.

Seeing a park bench a few feet away, Marjorie led her friend to the bench and upon sitting, leaned in close, “It’s a legend I only just heard myself regarding the very gardens we are sitting in now. Not too far from this very spot is a dense growth of poplar trees, perhaps you’ve noticed it on your afternoon strolls as it is quite overgrown and a bit out of place among the finely manicured lawns and paths. They say those trees are the offspring of trees planted by the Romans when they populated this land and they possess a magical power only a few people have lived to tell about. On windy days, such as this, women on their afternoon strolls have been known to go missing at that very spot. Five or so have simply disappeared in the last thirty years and witness accounts of the events leading up to these disappearances are so strange as to have been completely discounted by the authorities. But, if you believe the legend, the women were sucked into the woods by the trees themselves and with such force and such stealth that all that remained of these poor souls are their parasols. Even now, if we were to risk walking up to the trees we would see the tattered remnants and skeletal remains of at least five women’s parasols swinging like strange birds from the poplar branches,” Marjorie swallowed dramatically and shivered as if the sunny summer day had suddenly grown overcast and chilly.

“Trees with magical power? Abandoned parasols in the branches? That’s ridiculous…” Delores replied but her tone and body language all but screamed she believed every word Marjorie had said.

Taking the bait, Marjorie continued, “If you don’t believe me, let’s take a look for ourselves”.

Not one to back down from anything, even when it was wise to do so, Delores set her chin and standing up all but marched towards the spot Marjorie had referred to, but not at a pace that would allow her to arrive much ahead of her friend. Following the path around a sharp corner she hadn’t remembered, Delores suddenly found herself standing in front of what appeared to be a forest in the middle of the park. Sure enough, she could see several faded and shredded parasols peeking out from some of the higher branches.

Coming up behind her, Marjorie whispered, “All of the women who went missing had been commenting on the weather before they were snatched into the trees. When their companions were asked about their last words, one word had been uttered by each lady. That word was…” At this point, Marjorie took a small pencil and notepad from her handbag and writing something quickly, handed the pad to Delores.

“Blustery?” Delores read aloud without thinking.

Before Marjorie could give her friend a hard time for tempting fate, a large poplar tree began to bend exceedingly low to the ground where Delores was standing and with a movement so quick as to confuse even the closest of witnesses, seemed to snatch Delores off the ground and pitch her into the darkness of the trees. Unable to help her friend or even scream in reaction, Marjorie stood in shock and starred into the branches- where Delores’ new peach-colored parasol twirled gracefully in the wind.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:     Man, was it windy today! I guess there’s some sort of cold front on it’s way (meaning the highs will dip into the high 60s for a day before returning to the mid-80s where they’ve been hanging out all winter). Honestly, outside of the few hurricanes I’ve had the displeasure of living through, this day was super… blustery.

TWO:     Ever see something and wonder how it happened or if it was ‘created’ or just ‘happened’? Today, while waiting in the parking lot of the Enzian theater, a local one-screen theater that features a FilmSlam every month of local/independent filmmakers, I stared off into the distance, as I’m known to do, and found myself looking at quite the whimsical scene. There, in the wooded area behind the theater, caught in the branches and potato vines were several old umbrellas. The more I looked, the more I saw and I began to wonder if this was some kind of statement, or tradition or artistic thingamabob or if a bunch of people just suddenly ‘freed’ their umbrellas into the woods. Anyway, it was too cool not to write about.

Love & Squirrels.

Day #305: Hot sauce and chocolate cake don’t mix…

The Story:

As I sat in my booth behind what I considered to be the most obnoxious patron of the week I thought to myself, “Why do hotdogs come in packages of eight when buns come in packages of ten?” and when I looked up, she walked into my life. She was a mid-70s something, wrinkly-faced, puckered-lipped elderly mistress with convenience store haircolor and a cane that screamed ‘ouch, my hip!’. She sat down next to us, and I couldn’t help but wonder what sort of mischief she’d have gotten into in her younger years? Although I felt like she still gets into plenty of mischief, and I was going to ask her about it when the check came and I had to decide if I should pay now or forever hold my lunch. When I got home, I felt this missed connection was a grave mistake I will never recover from. I peeked into the fridge and found the new love of my life in the form of 2% reduced fat organic milk, half a chocolate cookie and a roll of cheap toilet paper. I couldn’t  control my excitement, I just had to pick up all the inner stuffings of a squeeky stuffed chicken from under the coffee table in the living room.

The next day, I arose from my slumber wearing nothing but red pajama pants with scottish terriers wearing bowties. I walked outside, looked around, heard no sound and thought, “Will this be the day to my dismay in mid-May when she will say ‘zombies have taken over the town, you must find some guns, shoot ’em in the head and head for the hills’”.

It turns out I was dreaming, no thanks in part to my lunch of chocolate cake and hot sauce, eggs, hashbrowns and chicken tenders lunch washed down with a gallon of sweet tea. So as  Istood there, out the front door, looking into the distance, I saw my tire was flat (yet again) remembering I had run over a daggar made in China showcasing a Celtic woman on the handle the previous afternoon. Thank God this is just a dream for if it was really a sombie apocalypse I wouldn’t get far in my car. Harr harr… I made a joke.

The End.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      Yeah… so… the above ‘story’ was the ramblings of my very lovable (but potentially insane) boyfriend as they were dictated to me. After helping him breakdown a script he’ll be working on in the coming weeks (a rockabilly zombie movie of all things) I declared that he owed me. Since we had spent the last 3+ hours going through his script, him dictating all that he’d need for the art department, me typing away furiously to keep up I thought it might be fun if we continued the process with my lil ol blog. While most of it is based on things we did today, sitting a table away from a super obnoxious man, a really cool group of older ladies, and sadly… what Andy ate for breakfast this morning you can see that the um… style? is a bit different than my usual ramblings. I’ll be back tomorrow… don’t worry.

Love & Squirrels.