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My humorous thoughts about life.

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Showing posts with label subway. Show all posts
Showing posts with label subway. Show all posts

Friday, April 29, 2011

Real Life YoYos #AtoZ

Being 2011, finding yoyos is much easier with Al Gore's invention of the internet. All you have to do is go to YouTube and search, "The People of Walmart." So maybe after viewing those photos, what I saw wasn't that odd, but still, these strangers remain ingrained in my memory.

My family took a vacation to Chicago when I was a little tyke, and we saw some oddities walking down the street as if nothing was unusual about them. A man had a faucet stuck to his head and I embellished this scene in my writing. I combined the scene with the stranger on the Paris subway who leaned over passengers, flapped his hands like he was dog paddling, and said, "Awook!" No, I didn't make this up. The truth is stranger than fiction. But, I did make up the flash fiction story which I've placed at the end of this post.

I have yet to find a story for the man with feathers sticking out of his hat or Dracula, the man who shared a train with my daughter. But fear not. I'm a writer, so these individuals will make their way into my fiction because a yoyo is worth preserving!

I can't believe tomorrow's post is for the letter Z! This month went fast. Please tune in as I discuss my work in progress (WIP) called Mrs. Zimmerman's Donuts. And finally, if you're interested, here's Faucet Head.

Faucet Head

     A scraggy man with a faucet stuck to his forehead pulled his Harley  into the reststop, while Alanna poked at the busted drinking fountain. Standing behind her, he flipped his hands like a dog paddling through a crusty pond. The stranger, reeking of dead fish, leaned over her shoulder and said, “Awook!”

      Alanna calmly stroked her dry throat and reached for the stranger's forehead. “Mind if I get water?”

       “Aw-oo-ook!" He leaped back. "This thing ain't got no water. You turn that dang crank, and me brains is falling out.”

      “It's ninety degrees, and every fountain's broken."

      “Sorry. Cain't help. Stingy plumber want two-hundred-dollars to fix me head."


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lost in France #AtoZ

As a child, I was fortunate to attend thirteen years at one of the best public school districts in the country--Clayton in St. Louis, Missouri. This city of predominately wealthy retirees allowed us few young folks to bask in the privileges of their high tax dollars. The school supplied us with pencils and art supplies, we received free swimming lessons at the high school natatorium, and had the opportunity to go on amazing field trips.

When I was in the eighth grade, I took a field trip to Paris, France for a week with seven other students and my poor French teacher. This was one of the most amazing experiences of my childhood, but unfortunately, the last time Ms. Silberg took a class out of the country.

The nightmare began at Notre Dame Cathedral shortly before Easter. My friend Judy picked up a spray of holy leaves that she carried through the paved area in front of the church. A stranger stopped us to ask Judy where she'd gotten her holy weeds. Having only studied French for a year and a half, it took us awhile to translate what exactly the gentleman was saying and figure out how to answer him. By the time we finished talking to the stranger, something one should never do, the class had disappeared. 

We wandered throughout the grounds of Notre Dame looking for our teacher and classmates, but no luck. Not to worry. Knowing we were smart, fearless kids, we'd just jump on the subway and get off at our stop, Bastille. Unfortunately, we did not know that there were two Bastille stops, and of course, we jumped train at the wrong one. So, we were forced to wander the subways shouting, "Parlez vous Anglais?" to any passing stranger.
One woman stopped to tell us, "Yes. I speak English," but she looked totally frazzled when we spat out our predicament in a language that she just thought she spoke. This was surprising because it seemed like many of the French speak English. For example, at another part of the trip, we tried to get off at our subway stop but found ourselves blocked by a rather large passenger. 

We said, "Excuse-moi! Pardon!" but the woman wouldn't budge until Laura said, "Move it, lady!" See! An English speaker.

Anyway, we wandered the Paris subways for two hours and amazingly found our way back with the help of a woman from North Carolina who spoke both languages. By the time we reached our dorm, the teacher's hair shot out in every direction, her nails were chewed off, and she didn't know whether to hug us or slap us. Sorry Miss Silberg!
Oh mon Dieu! by E. Lansky

Tune in tomorrow when I tackle the letter M and my amazingly ridiculous moving situation.