Saturday, May 28, 2016

Potluck Quote of the Day (1/10): Noam Chomsky Meets Marvin the Martian

Greetings to our blog readers in Turkey, Israel and Costa Rica......

Why are we featuring an image of Mars with a quote from left-wing philosopher/linguist/historian Noam Chomsky, one of America's leading critics of the Vietnam War, who happens to still be alive at age 87?

Well, just read this quote. And, thanks to the kids from Duke University for helping us with this research......(we are actually UNC fans here, but we wanted to be nice....and since all the college students are on break for the summer, perhaps, they will be reading this instead of playing video games)....

We gather that Speak of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) is a closet admirer of Chomsky's work (yeah, we just said that to get your attention)....

This will be our first of ten quotes from people who have achieved fame and/or notoriety in a variety of fields.

Here is the quote:

"If there were an observer on Mars, they would probably be amazed that we have survived this long." (Duke's student-run college radio station; they were playing Frankie Cosmos at last report, actually that was another college radio station).........

20-Word Fiction (10/10): Jack and Diane

Greetings to our blog readers in Poland, Jordan and India......

As we typing this up, we are listening to "The American Life," a public radio documentary series hosted by Ira Glass; this week's episode focuses on the problems of intimacy. This short, short story reflects that sentiment as well:

"Jack got a postcard from Paris from his girlfriend. Diane told him she missed him even though she just met Pierre."

20-Word Fiction: The Last Song on the Radio

Greetings to our blog readers in Argentina, Belgium and Canada.....

We actually listened to the song "Walk of Life," a hit single from Dire Straits from their album "Brothers in Arms" (1985) on Q-99.1-FM in Roanoke, Va., right before writing this piece. Our apologies to Mark Knopfler, the lead singer and guitarist of Dire Straits, though since we aren't using any lyrics from the song, we presume he can't sue us!:

"Nelson was listening to Dire Straits' song 'Walk of Life' when the train hit his car. His obit will run tomorrow."

Actually, this is 21 words, but this isn't "The New Yorker"!!!!

Friday, May 27, 2016

20-Word Fiction (8 of 10): The Extroverted Novelist

Greetings to our blog readers in Latvia, Greece and New Zealand.........

Here is tonight's 20-Word Fiction Entry:

"If you were Mark Twain, you'd stay home and write a novel tonight. Wouldn't you? Maybe? Perhaps? Just stating the obvious."

You can visit the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut (not where we are) either in person or on the web at this link (we gather Ira Glass the host of "This American Life" was there recently): 

His boyhood home of the "Tom Sawyer" author in Hannibal, Missouri is also a museum.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

20-Word Fiction (7 of 10): The Saturday Night Bath

Greetings to our blog readers in Germany, Ireland and Hungary....

Yes, we know this image of Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy from "Adam's Rib" (1949) doesn't go with our title, which we came up with thanks to Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin's surreal art film "The Forbidden Room," which came out theatrically last year.

But, once you take the time to read this short, short story, perhaps you will understand or perhaps you will not!:

"Molly want to go to the movies with her friends tonight. Netflix is always my backup plan. I need alternatives!"....

If you are actually interested in going to the movies, then you may want to see the critically acclaimed film "Sunset Song" at the Film Forum in New York.

Meanwhile, two college town cinemas The Lyric Theatre in Blacksburg, Va., and The Varsity Theatre in Chapel Hill, NC, are both showing the animated children's film "Zootopia."

Check the links below for more information:

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

20-Word Fiction (6 of 10): Mexican Lunch Date

Greetings from the Denver Public Library where we are blasting the 1968 Iron Butterfly song "In the Garden of Eden" and no one seems to mind, not even the 94-year-old woman reading a "National Geographic" magazine.

Of course, we are kidding, we are not in Denver, but we will go ahead and recommend La Loma for any of you visiting the Colorado capital as Google says it's a great place to do Mexican, and of course, they are 100-percent accurate..........:)

Here is today's 20-Word Fiction piece which does revolve around lunch, perhaps "Washington Post" food critic Tom Sietsema will like this one:

"She's ordering a taco salad. Cool. Okay. What do I want? Ask the waitress. Bad idea. It's a first date."

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

20-Word Fiction (5 out of 10): The Stamps

Tonight, we continue with our series of 20-word fiction pieces. This is the fifth in a series of ten. After 11 years of blogging, it's hard to come up with new ideas, but hopefully this is working. And, perhaps, someone from a far away place like Vilnius, Lithuania, is reading this. Perhaps....

"Stamps. Stamps. Stamps. Where are the effing stamps? Gotta send that check to Duke Energy. I owe Verizon money too."

We dedicate this entry to the Verizon workers who are caught up in a labor dispute with the telecommunications giant. Yeah, despite the patriotic World War II stamp image, we aren't tea party people here.....!

Monday, May 23, 2016

20-Word Fiction: The Uninvited Guest

The image above is of a police car in Greensboro, NC, but this story has no specific geographical location in mind; it is after all just a 20-word story:

"There was a home invasion on Florida Street last night. The culprit recognized the man of the house. He left."

Sunday, May 22, 2016

20-Word Fiction: Sunday Night Insomnia Sneaks Up Again.........

This short piece is in reference to "David Holzman's Diary," a 1967 cult pseudo-documentary by Jim McBride, available on Vimeo but not Netflix, starring the late Kit Carson (pictured here in a still from the film.).

"It's late Sunday night. Effing insomnia again.....a part of me wants to watch "David Holzman's Diary" or just scream!"

We dedicate this story to F. Scott Fitzgerald who once said writers should never use exclamation points.

Friday, May 20, 2016

20-Word Fiction: Pumpkin Pie is out of Season

Everyone wants a piece of me. Sorry, I forgot the golden rule: Never use cliches. I'll remember that next time.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

20-word Fiction: The Farmer's Market

We went to the farmer's market; my grandmother died of a heart attack. we forgot to get the beets. THE END.

(This is a work of fiction; we hear beets are popular in Russia, Ukraine, and Poland.....)