Doing Business

bearcrossing

The photo is from “The Darkroom” writing prompt… click it to check out other responses!

***

When the aliens first arrived on Earth, there were… misunderstandings.  Highly intelligent though they were, the beings were extraordinarily literal.

Martha did her best to accommodate them for her tours – she really did.  She arranged things to start an additional half-hour early so that they would have time to read – in excruciating detail – the entire waiver and ask questions.  So. Many. Questions.  She’d reviewed her spiel and removed euphemisms, word-play and jokes from the notes, because, frankly, a day-trip to Algonquin Park didn’t have time for a two hour debate on whether a bear did indeed do business in the woods, and what that business might be, and what customs might be involved.  She’d learned to switch between parent of impressionable child and tour-guide for Travellers speak, because they were slightly more likely to understand the expression “Does a bear do business in the woods?” if she used more adult language.  Slightly.

So her business of an ex informing her that actually he wouldn’t be taking their son fishing like he’d scheduled months ago was just SUPER.  She loved her son dearly, but he had the verbal filter of an 8 year old boy and the subtlety of a battering ram.  And she didn’t have time to find someone to look after him for the next two days of Traveller tours.

***

“As you can see, the Park is heavily forested with a wide variety of tree species, including Jack Pine, birch and Sugar Maple.  The booklet goes into further detail of all tree species found in the park, and methods of identifying them.”  Martha drove down the highway, chatting her way through her on-the-road information, knowing from past experience that the eight Travellers in her tour van were alternating between staring intently out the window, staring intently at their informational booklets and staring intently at the various parts of the interior of the van, all with equal intensity and interest.  Feedback on her tours didn’t give her a hint about what she could say that they would be more interested in, and she suspected that if she rattled off stats about the 1982 Superbowl or about the tour bus’s maintenance history they would be equally interested.  Since starting Traveller tours, she’d had to do research on the tour bus, in fact, to accommodate those who wanted to know about plastic used in the old bus instead of about birds that migrated through the park.  They were just plain interested.

Ben draped himself over the back of the passenger seat, grinning a gap-toothed grin, and crowed, “You don’t know JACK!”

OH business, Martha thought.

There was a discordant buzzing in the back, as the Travellers carefully dissected this statement.

One reedy voice after another arose, each politely waiting until the previous one had finished their sentence before adding their own rebuttal.

“I have met a Jack, but am understanding that this was not the only Jack, and am unsure if meeting is adequate to equate to knowing.”

“I have indeed, never met a Jack.  Is this a matter of concern?”

“I have met more than one Jack, and feel confident in the 81st percentile of knowing one of them, though his full name is Jack Perkins and lives at 43 Seventh Street in the town of Toronto.  Having worked closely with him for 257 working days between March 23, 2016 and today, I believe I know him well enough for that descriptor to apply.  If this is the Jack of which you speak, I feel confident in refuting your statement.”

And on, and on.  Most of them had, at some point, met a Jack.  Only two thought they could probably consider their relationship with the Jack in question as knowing.  

Martha then listened in astonishment to her son’s reply.  “The Jack I’m talking about is a Jack Pine tree, and the phrase, you don’t know Jack, is one way of recognizing them, because the phrase is usually paired with this gesture,” he paused for demonstration, and Martha winced and made a note to have another conversation with her son while the Travellers hummed.  “And if you look at a Jack Pine, that’s kind of what it looks like they’re doing.”

The buzzing hum rose again, and again, they spoke.

“It is an offensive expression meant to show disrespect towards another’s knowledge base.”

“But trees on this planet cannot be disrespectful due to their intelligence level, so they are not, in fact, being disrespectful.”

Another buzzing conference.

“It is funny because no disrespect is actually being shown.”

“It is funny and informative”

The vehicle filled with the sound of crickets chirping, the Traveller equivalent of applause.

Martha wished Travellers were more appreciative of 21st Century Earth humour, as she’d love to hear them at a comedy show.

***

Travellers noticed everything.  So, as happened at least once on every tour, they wanted to stop and see an animal crossing sign.  As Martha was about to go into her prepared explanation of the fact that the signs were representations, her son laughed.

“You’re funny – that’s just a picture of a moose.  It’s just to let you know that moose like to use this part of the road to cross.”

The normally highly sensitive Travellers took this in stride, apparently not concerned that a small human had come very close to calling them unintelligent (or an equivalent word, all of which were highly offensive in Traveller culture, a trait shared by most human cultures).

The rest of the day was peppered with her son’s saucy explanations of things, given in such a direct and simple manner that they cut through what could well have been hour-long debates about the various meanings of ‘bark’, or a seriously concerned Traveller anxiously explaining that it was not calling Fairy Lake a derogatory term for homosexuals, but that someone else may have intended that in naming the lake, or may not have.  Martha had never had such a smoothly run day with Travellers in the year she’d been touring them.

As they cruised out of the park and back to the Traveller’s hotel (Deerhurst, whose deer had not yet been noted, near the possibly-derogatory Fairy Lake) for the weekend in the waning light, one of them spoke up.  “Ben, son of Martha.  For one so young in years, you are rich in knowledge pertinent to the Algonquin Park, and accurate in your speech.  Do you spend a very large percentage of your time there?”

Ben grinned and glanced at his mother.  She saw the look and knew he was about to push his luck.

“Does a bear shit in the woods?”

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Riches is Riches

master-class-chalkboard-7-3

The pirates spread through the lush undergrowth, sweating and swatting at flies, casting suspicious looks at their brothers in brigandry.  The map had led them here.  To this place.  X marks the spot, and no map was so convoluted, nor led through such terrors as they’d faced, without leading to the kind of treasure a man could retire on.

Maybe even the kind of treasure a ship full of men could retire on.  Though just in case, each was determined to get there first, and shove a semi-retired-and-owning-a-pub sized piece down his trousers before the others caught up.

A man could make good money with a pub, as long as only a few strangers a year disappeared in the night, leaving their horse and bags and that fine cloak they were wearing behind (how odd! but fair’s fair and he didn’t pay his fare).

And so they slogged, swatting and sweating and keeping their fellows in sight in case they tried anything funny.

Dim Jimmy found it, blast him.  Too daft to sweep up at the bar, let alone roll a toff out back of one.  Certainly too loud for any one man to silence him before the rest heard.  If anyone else aboard-ship had looked so damned pleased to find a secret cave entrance, it’d be sure and certain rubies’d shake loose when he got shaken down.  Nothing did though, so the pirates dropped him and waited for the Captain.

The whole crew was cutthroat, but the captain was the most cutthroat of them all.  The wicked grin sliced into his neck by a would-be usurper had scared off most other usurpers.  His use of the other man’s skull as a soup-bowl scared off the rest, so far.  The heavy man’s rolls had rolls, but he moved like a cat, appearing in the midst of the anxiously waiting crew members without even a rustling of tropical leaves.

He stepped over a dazed Jimmy and through into the dank corridor leading down into the cave without a word, not slightly worried at having a horde of backstabbing murderers at his back.

Down the dank tunnel, stumbling and sliding on the uneven steps, they lit their torches and added black smoke to the dank smells emanating from the cave below.

The dim and flickering light of their torches gleamed on the kind of treasure a whole crew of men could retire on.  With or without the bar.  Mounds of gems, piles of gold bullion, gem encrusted armor, jewelery, antique vases, priceless statues… the cave was so vast that the far corners couldn’t be seen.  It was as though the entire island had been

The entire crew – cutthroat, vicious murderers all – whooped and ran out into the field of treasure.  When Jimmy caught up – having slipped down the last several steps and hit his head again – he found the Captain staring thoughtfully at a small brass plaque, and his crewmates giggling and frolicking in the treasure like school children.

“Do you read, Jimmy?” the Captain asked.

“No sir.  Can spell m’name, though… fishhook… twig-wi’-floaty… bubbies…bubbies… twig-wi’-two-arms.”

“Hmm.  Well, what this plaque says is this:

The twisted trophy is yours for the taking,

if the jinxed treasure is worth your changing.

Take a man’s share and leave a man’s life behind.”

Jimmy stared at the plaque for a long moment.  “It says to take the treasure,” he offered.

The Captain sighed.  “Jimmy, what would you do with a sackfull of this treasure?”

“I would buy a Captain hat and as much beef stew as I could eat.”

“And if you were a woman?”

Jimmy hesitated.  “I… would… buy a Captain hat and as much beef stew as I could eat… and I would have bubbies.”  His thought process appeared almost painful.  “I like bubbies.”

The Captain nodded pensively.  “I suppose rich is rich, ain’t it?  Off with ye, grab yerself enough swag to buy a lifetime’s worth of beef stew.  I’ve my own to collect.”

***

Several months later…

Two gentlemen recently arrived from England stood at the punch-bowl eyeing the crowd.  A rather boisterous crowd of ladies stood around a small table  A rather rotund woman with a scar across her throat and a rather spectacularly feathered tricorn hat was leading them in a rousting and highly inappropriate song about barmaids.  The combined glitter of jewelery from the ladies was enough to make one squint, and one of them appeared to have a golden, jewel-encrusted hook in place of a hand.  Empty punch cups littered the ground around them, and two were arm-wrestling.

“These wealthy caribbean ladies are… terrifying,” one said, taking a swig of punch and choking.  “And this punch is… well, I think it’s actually just rum with some bits of fruit in it.”

“Extraordinarily rich, though…” the other replied, eyeing the ladies in question with caution and surreptitiously draining his punch into a potted plant.  “The upper-crust here is… well it’s certainly not like in England, is it?”

“Beef stew for everyone!” a rather impressively endowed lass bellowed out in glee.  She, too, wore a tricorn, though this one was covered in fake fruit and birds, as though she’d attempted to turn it into a lady’s hat.  The others raised their glasses and joined in bellowing for beef stew.

“No, it is very different.  They seem rather uninterested in match-making, at least,” the first gentleman replied, sounding relieved.  He then jerked up with a yelp and grasped his bottom in a most un-gentlemanly manner.

“Wouldn’ be too sure of that, luv,” a lady with a gold front tooth grinned up at the surprised gentleman whose bottom she had just pinched.  “At least a few of us are enjoying the full extent of our changed fortunes.”  She waggled her eyebrows.  “Care for a dance?”

***

For more stories in response to this prompt, click the image at the top of the page!

Really Halloween

Amanda’s parents dressed her up like a vampire for Halloween.  A poor life choice, in retrospect, though cursed objects activating is a reasonably low concern on the parent-paranoia scale.

The thing about toddlers is that they have no impulse control.  Add an insatiable thirst for blood and what Amanda’s parents have is an awkward conversation with Becky the Babysitter’s parents in their future.  Becky would like to think that Amanda’s parents didn’t realize that their darling baby would turn into an actual adorable little blood sucking fiend twenty minutes after they left for their party.  She knew it the moment it happened.  Apparently the bunny ears she suddenly REALLY had also gave her a rabbit’s sixth sense about danger.

She’d also like to think that tiny adorable toddlers can’t rip the door off the closet, but wishes don’t build impenetrable hiding-places.

Becky the Babysitter doesn’t have long to contemplate these issues, because Amanda is always hungry and cranky when she wakes up from a nap.  Her one consolation in her final moments was that Amanda’s dad was now literally an ass, where before he was only figuratively so.

Mrs Kimbell down the street regretted her Lady Godiva costume almost as quickly as Amanda’s dad regretted his.  Next year she’d find a better way to show off the fact that she’d lost all the baby weight.  October is not the right month for the emperor’s new clothes.

Amanda is less hungry when she leaves the house, but, to reiterate, lacks impulse control.  Mrs. Kimbell’s extra long hair slows her down, though, frankly, it’s unlikely she’d have escaped even without it.

Her next snack is the Johnstons’ dog.  Vampires might not drink animal blood, but Mippy had become two very short pirates carrying a treasure chest.  One of whom literally had the brains of a dog’s derriere, so they are very easy to catch.

As a large portion of the populations of countries that participate in Halloween find out exactly what being a zombie was like, an even larger portion discover the downside of dressing one’s baby as an inanimate object.

They are both lucky in that they are on the very short list of people a tiny vampire decides don’t appeal to her taste.

The curse lasts three hours.  The world is lucky that the guy who broke that vase was doing it while dressed as Indiana Jones, instead of his original plan (an ironic cabbage).  Indi, like a boy-scout, is always prepared, and it takes him three hours to super-glue the vase back together.

The zombies become very very traumatized people who have done very traumatizing things.  Most of the vegetables turn back into babies, with the exception of those whose parents thought it would be cute to dress up as an herbivore.

The death-toll caused by Amanda the vampire toddler was so high that it made the housing market bubble burst in Toronto.  Amanda’s dad is still a figurative ass, but her mom spent three hours as a queen, so she’s finally noticing that this is, in fact, a problem she doesn’t need to deal with.  This is the closest thing to a happy ending that this horrible evening can claim – just ask any of the guys who spent three hours as giant penises.

It was just like “Pretty in Pink”

You guys! I got asked to prom.

It gave me all sorts of warm and fuzzy feelings, it’s really a boost to my ego.

It was a very classy proposal.  He was in a shiny black SUV with PROM? taped to the sides in giant pink cardboard.  I can only assume he and his cohorts (someone needs to hold the reins) are artists, it was so skillfully done.  Let us also hope they are as skillful in paint touch-ups.

My suitor in particular leaned out the window when he saw me standing with my dog outside the drugstore.   “Wanna go to Prom?” he waxed poetic.

It warmed the cockles of my heart.  Me, in my sweaty gym clothes, hair in disarray, looking a hot mess, asked to prom!  And by someone strong and fast enough to claim a front seat!

I shook my head sadly ‘no’, to a chorus of teenage-boys going ‘Awwww’,  before my suitor was swept off with the light’s change to green.  Though Canada’s age of consent is 16, I’d still rather – at 27 – date one of his teachers.

but, oh, if I were still in highschool, you can bet your britches that I'd have... awkwardly and embarassedly said no, because teenage me would have assumed it was some kind of weird joke... I had some issues

but, oh, if I were still in highschool, you can bet your britches that I’d have… awkwardly and embarassedly said no, because teenage me would have assumed it was some kind of weird joke… I had some issues

 

Grab the Bull by the… No

I have a dehydrator.

I also have an asian food store near me.  They carry all sorts of the more unusual butcher shop selections.

Gwynn doesn’t get rawhide treats, because I’ve heard horror stories about how it can expand in their intestines or wrap them up or… well… things that end up with a dead or very sick dog.

This is going somewhere, I swear.

I give Gwynn bully sticks as treats instead.  Do you know what those are?  I’ll tell you what they are.  Bull wee-wee.  more commonly called “bull pizzle” *cue any men reading this blog crossing their legs.

Bull

you wanna do what? gosh, is that the time?  I have to… go… over there for… the grass?

Based on my scientific observation at the Calgary Stampede, bulls are veeeery well-endowed.  And disturbingly in control of the movement of said equipment.

Have you bought bully sticks lately?  It’s like $10 for an 8″ piece that’ll last Gwynn all of 10 minutes, including the three or four minutes he  runs around the house with it, cigar-like, crying and trying to find a place to hide it.  That’s a dollar a minute, right there.

A few months ago, I was in the asian food store, and, because I do often buy organ meat to dehydrate for dog treats, I was looking at the part of the butcher aisle that I like to call “things I won’t eat, but the dog might.”  So that’s what a bully stick looks like pre-drying and off the bull.  Huh.  They’re… long.  And difficult to cut.

I successfully dehydrated it, the dog enjoyed it, and I thought no more on the topic.

My mother, though.  She had found her mission.  Bully Sticks for the masses.  Or at the very least, the people at work who also had dogs.

Which is how she ended up trying to communicate Bull Penis across language barriers to a very embarassed and uncomprehending older chinese man working behind the butcher counter.  Surrounded by people who could understand her, but couldn’t, for the life of them, figure out why she would want such a thing.  She used gestures. 

She came home defeated, pizzle-less.

Fast forward to this week, and here is the conversation I had with my parents (M = mum, D = dad, L = me!)

M – I got bull pizzle at the grocery store today!

L – cool, I’ll cut it up tonight.

M – Lots!

L – did you buy out their whole stock?  What was their reaction to this?

M – the store clerk wouldn’t touch the packaging directly – she used a plastic bag to move them through, and typed the code in by hand.

D – I doubt most of the people who work there actually eat much of the weird stuff they sell.

L – I wonder what they must have thought, crazy white lady comes in and all she buys is a ton of bull pizzle.

M – I didn’t just buy that.  I also got blueberries.  On sale!

L – So they think we’re making Bull Pizzle and Blueberry Casserole to feed the masses?

D – nah, it’s too hard to cut up, Blueberry and Bull stirfry!

M – They wouldn’t think anything of it.  They sell it, it’s fine.

L – Yeah, but I bet they don’t often see a woman go through check out with 10 packages of bull penis and 10 packages of blueberries.

The lessons learned in this?  We need to start attaching spy cameras to my mother whenever she goes to the asian food store.  I want to see peoples’ expressions.  Also, my family is very weird.

Can anyone tell me what people do with bull pizzle if they’re not feeding it to their dogs?

Sisterly Bonding

Sisters..  Getting through the tough stuff.  Sharing.  Sharing everything.

For better or for worse, through sickness and in health – much more than marriage, sisterhood is forever.

Sharing is caring.  And sometimes it isn’t.  As the eldest, I never got to keep all of what I had.  Why, if I found more of the chocolate eggs in the hunt, did I not get to keep them?  Sharing.  As the youngest, my sister never got new clothes.  She got clothes that were new to her. 

This time she was the one to share new things.

Nothing is really clear at 1 am, crossing paths once again, one destined for a brief attempt at achy-jointed sleep, the other destined to take her place in worship at the porcelain god.  Timing is key, that much is clear.

My youngest sister and I know each other well.  I’ve known her for her entire life, in fact.  When we accidentally say something at the same time, it sounds like the creepy girl-child twins from any one of a number of horror movies.  We verbalize the same thought simultaneously, often.  Thankfully that synchronicity doesn’t extend this far – we were, in fact, well-matched in an alternating schedule.  Lucky, considering there are three sisters in this hotel room, and only one idol at which to pay our respects.

Having grown up together probably helped us master this dreadful merry-go-round.  A small blessing in a night of unanswered prayers for a stop.

There’s some comfort to be found, knowing that someone is sympathizing as a prod from the stomach region army-rolls one from one’s bed to one’s knees.  And when, 20 minutes later, your action is mirrored, the sympathy is returned.  Someone to share in that feeling of having done 1000 sit-ups.

Sisterhood isn’t always about getting along – for instance, at 3 am, a not-so-sound sleeper, the only one to escape the plague, might object strongly to the lights being turned on, no matter how many groans of pain and misery she’d turned a deaf ear on.  She wasn’t sympathetic to the demand that she find something, anything, to MAKE. IT. STOP.  It?  All of it.  Whatever it takes.

Sometime around 6, truth be told, two hazy, hollowed-out individuals might have felt some sense of satisfaction as a certain grumpy camper paid homage herself.  It isn’t always about kindness, either.

At the end of the night, less sharing would have been nice.  Timing is everything.  And when your mother’s insistent knock at the locked door makes you mis-time your stagger towards the door, making the door an impossible distance away, your sisters have your back.  And when, in response to your piteous wail, your mother asks, “What do you mean, you stepped in your bucket ?”, your sister will be there to answer the door and say, “Give me a minute, she’s having a bad day!”

Quack!

This story exerpt is a continuation of the Which Witch storyline, and comes immediately after Tuesday’s piece, Duck.  I’m sure you were all on the edges of your seats.  Will duck-Simon flap off to join his brethren?  What can an inventor do with no hands and a bill?  Time will tell!  And time happens to be now.  If you are somewhat confused by what you’ve just read, I suggest you at the very least go back to Tuesday’s post, and, at the most, click through to the Fiction tab at the top, scroll down to Which Witch, and read all the little pieces of storyline that culminate (so far) in Quack!

I don’t own a duck, so, as picture, I give you my dog, in his least-favourite aquatic form.  Look at those eyes!  Don’t they just scream, “for the love of all that is holy, don’t take pictures of me when I look like a drowned rat!”

Feb2011 152

“Quack! Quack Quack Quack Quack!! Qu-ah! Qhat! What just happ-AK, What?!  What just happened?”

The flighty waterfowl kept trying to express its anxiety through quacks and grooming as it transformed once again into a wild-haired machinist.

Flustered, Samuel ran his fingers through his hair for a few moments, before running them down his arms and legs and waggling them in front of his face to confirm that he wasn’t the bird he’d been sure he was just moments before.  “Aaaah!” he exclaimed, taking a few hasty steps away from Agata, and tripping on a mislaid wrench in the process.

“aaaAAAaaa!” he tried again, jabbing a finger in her direction, eyes wide.

Agata sat comfortably on the only piece of furniture vaguely resembling seating.  She thought it might be one of the surviving parts of one of the less landing-successful previous flying machines.

She looked up from her perusal of his blueprints, red marker in hand, and smiled.  “you were saying?”

“You- you- you- you… “

“Aaaare?”

“W-witch!”

Agata felt a moment of regret for her actions, seeing the frightened look in his eye, the way he held a wrench between them as a shield.

Of course.  Because witches are evil, even if you don’t believe in them.  She sighed and stood, wincing internally as he stepped back again.  She set down the set of blueprints and started towards the door, calling out as she went, “I’ve put in some suggested modifications that will improve stability and help you have more control in landing in future.  I’ve also taken the liberty of taking one of your sets of spectacles-in-a-hat as payment for my assistance today… and for turning you back into a person.”

“Modifications?”

“You’re welcome.”

“Um, thanks?  And Goggles.”

Agata paused in the massive hangar door.  “Who goggles at what?”

“The… erm… spectacles in a hat… goggles – flying goggles.  They’re grand, aren’t they?   Keep the wind and the bugs out of your eyes.  Why would you need them… oh.”  He stared at the broom she’d hefted over her shoulder with dawning comprehension.  “Oooh.”

“’Oh’ is right,” Agata tried to stay chipper, wishing she felt more happy about carrying on her way after this encounter.  “Good luck with your flying machine – it’s really quite extraordinary.  Try not to kill yourself – that would be a waste.  And goodbye.”

With that, she was astride her broom and shooting skyward with a freedom of movement unrivalled by the bulky awkwardness of the flying bird contraption Samuel had created.  Indistinctly, behind her, she heard a yell.  It didn’t matter.  However he’d decided was best to treat a witch, she was unstoppable once she was airborne.

It had been nice, though, to be able to share the experience with someone, for once.

<– Duck|| Crush –>

Luck, Omens and Portents

I went out-of-town for a wedding this weekend.  Standing in the elevator (already running late for the wedding, of course), mentally counting the bing of the elevator as it passed each floor (doesn’t everyone do this?), my thoughts ran something like this:

Hurry up.  Hurry hurry hurry. 

Bing.  Bing.  3.  4.  Bing…

Huh, the bings wouldn’t work to tell a blind person which floor it is, because it only binged 13 times for my floor. 

Oh, never mind, the elevator computer voice is telling me the floor number.  Makes more sense than making people count constantly. 

Hurry, hurry hurry hurry hurry.

Room 1401 – no, not room – a suite!  With a king sized bed I could sleep on any which way, arms overhead, and never touch the edge.  Not only did it have a living room and kitchenette, but the washroom was divided into the toilet-and-shower room, and the mirror-filled sink-room.

I don’t stay in hotels very often, and it’s usually with the whole family packed two to a “queen” (why do they lie so much about sizes?  How is your queen sized bed narrower than my double?), with one on cushions on the floor.  A king sized (actually!) bed, and only one roommate for the night is mind-blowing.

The wedding was… giant.  6’10”, and 6”3, to be specific.  The new Mr. And Mrs. make me look like a small child, standing next to them.  Their wedding colours were orange and blue, which makes me love them all the more.  Congrats to my dear friends, may you live happily ever after, and may your future children not get taller than me until at least the age of 8.

Outside after the wedding and before it rained, a man just happened to be walking his giant blue macaw parrot.  Oddly not the first (or even the second) time in my visits to London in which I have encountered people out and about with their avian buddies.  The only reason I bring it up this time is that this bird matched the wedding party.  I’m sure it’s a sign that the marriage was meant to be, not that there was any doubt.  Or proof that birds of a feather flock together.

Calling it 14 is good luck

like this!

Back in the elevator after the wedding, I realised why there were only 13 bings.  The elevator pad has the Lobby, floor 1, 2, 3… 11, 12, 14.

I have to wonder whether people who have Triskaidekaphobia feel safer on the 13th floor, if it’s called the 14th floor instead?  Does the bad luck really come up to the floor, pause, baffled, and move along?  Perhaps casting a suspicious glare over its shoulder as it goes about its business?  Should I feel luckier that I’m in room 1301 (now that sounds like something out of a Stephen King novel!), disguised as room 1401?  I think they should maybe have added an additional bing in there, just to ensure the bad luck is thoroughly bamboozled.  I’ll leave out the fact that some cultures have a serious hang-up about anything containing the number Four.  Perhaps that bad luck is wilier, and realises that it’s actually the 13th floor.

black cat

“A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere.” – Groucho Marx
… a great quote the photographer of this particular shot included in the description!

Apparently some hotels simply choose to leave the 13th floor numbered as is, and fill it with maintenance facilities instead of guests.  Seems like a bad idea to fill a bad-luck cursed floor with ladders and brooms and heavy machinery.  Maybe a better idea than putting a black cat sanctuary in, I suppose.  I slept like a babe, on my full-bed-sized half of the most comfortable bed ever, in room 1301.

Don’t worry about the black cat crossing your path.  He isn’t black.  I’ve decided he’s ombre. Or perhaps, dusky grey. 

Wacky Wednesday

A while back, Tori at the Ramblings invited blogland to send her pictures and messages for her wedding day ribbon wall.  Gwynn and I rose to the occasion, though not quite, I suspect, in the way she was imagining it would go.  My poor dog puts up with far too much from me.

we suited up!

and then we got gussied up

worked on our dance routine…

Gwynn was all set to head to Texas for the wedding!

But then he heard how long he’d be stuck in the car…

Too bad – we got pretty good at the dancing!

Wordless Wednesday – Adventure

what a strange circle of rocks... must be some sort of teleportation device...

Off to explore this new dimension... I hope there's bacon

the rocks here are much bigger... and disappointingly not made of cheese

Great view, but not really different from home. Oh well... to the portal!