Frozen Camels

Frozen camels stampeding across my living room.

But if they’re frozen, how can they stampede?

Not to mention, how did they get into the house?

And how did so many of them get to one place in America?

Sorry, the United States. There are two Americas, North and South.

But, you may ask, are there camels in South America?

Don’t know. Maybe, if they have zoos.

So, I Googled zoos in South America.

There are eleven zoos in Brazil. Huh.

Don’t know if they have camels, but they have zoos, anyway.

So, back to my story…

Flaming camels stampeding across my living room…

Better? But camels carry water. Maybe the water was boiling?

Screaming camels stampeding across my living room…

Can camels scream? Sure, why not? Of course.

Commando of the Kitchen

I walked out my front door and BAM! An aircraft carrier dropped out of the sky onto the houses and yards across the street! I was baffled. Stupefied. I felt like eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or a hamburger, whichever I saw first. So, I went to my neighbor’s swimming pool and I jumped in. That’s when I realized, there was a poison gas spreading around my neighborhood! So, I wrestled an ostrich and got my ostrich saddle and put it on the ostrich. Then I hopped on and rode him all the way to California.

When I got there, I rented a giant turtle, and took a tour of San Francisco. I ate corn meal porridge, then jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. I was feeling kind of stuffy, so I swam across the Bay until I got tired. Then I borrowed a jet ski, but that was pretty tiring, too. So I crawled ashore then sunbathed for a few hours. That was how I came to be associated with red lobsters.

Suddenly, my teeth jumped out of my mouth and bit a Labrador retriever that was walking by, and I said that I refused to smoke a cigarette on the grounds that it may incriminate me. So I ate some pizza, then took a trolley ride and sang the rice-a-roni song while hiccuping until I puked. That was the last time I ever ate pizza. And I turned in my homework but got an F because it was late.

That’s when I realized that my house was on fire back in Florida. The police called me and told me they saved the house but all the pets escaped and they couldn’t be caught. Jackie was on Dialawait at the time, so she was fine. So I ate some saltine crackers and drank some seven up. My puking was over and I had a house to live in. I called Zeeb and he came back, then Charlie and Pumpkin showed up. I called Tandy too, and she eventually came running back.

So I rented a limousine and went to Timbuktu on an auto carrier. Then I traveled up to the moon in a rocket ship without anything to eat for several days. I was so hungry when I got back that I asked Jackie to bake one of her skillet apple pies, and I ate the whole thing in one sitting. Then I reached out for a taco and a sub sandwich, but I couldn’t reach them across the street. So I sat on my couch and cried, until Jackie brought me a Philly cheesesteak, then I was happy.

I colored in a few coloring books until Jackie said she was going to Eye Associates to see Dr Bui to have him do a cornea transplant. I told her I’d go with her and be there until and after the surgery. That’s when I realized I hadn’t eaten in a few minutes, so I called Papa Johns. Then I realized I couldn’t eat another pizza, so I hung up on them. I lost my appetite, so I decided to drive down to Davie to see my Dad and play a game of cribbage with him.

So then I ran back to Tallahassee and got on the minibus to China First. I had peanut chicken and lo mein and pork fried rice and General Tso’s chicken and beef and broccoli. That’s when I heard the ancient call of the snuffalupagus. I rang a bell, beat a drum, then took a deep breath. It was all I could do to not run like a Cadillac. So, I thought about it for a while, then came up with a plan. I’d sneer in to the bank while everyone was home sleeping and leave a roach motel under the commander’s chair. That was the best I could do in one day, at least until I had some coffee cake.

One Last Stand

Riding fast, I heard the blast

Of a shotgun behind me.

Pull over! They shouted,

But I wouldn’t give in.

I raced the sheriff

To the border, and that’s

Where I made my stand.

I got out some sugar,

Some lemonade mix,

And a jug of water.

I mixed it all together,

One last time.

Thirsty? I asked,

With a broad grin.

Not this time, Cisco.

But I’ll be watching you.

After Breakfast

Grandpa, Tabby and I had a good breakfast. Tabby and I cleared the table, then washed the dishes. While doing that, Tabby asked me:

“Would you like to play cribbage after this, Mark?”

I said, “Sure, that sounds like fun. How about you, Grandpa?” I asked, looking back to him in his chair at the table.

“No, thanks, kids. I’ve got something I’m working on in my workshop. You all have fun. Don’t worry about me,” he said. At that, Grandpa stood up and walked across the kitchen to the door to his workshop. “Thanks for doin’ the dishes,” he said, with a smile, then he entered his workshop and closed the door behind him.

Tabby and I had seen Grandpa working on a set of shelves for Tabby’s room, painted blue, her favorite color. Grandpa had told me they were for Tabby, and Tabby figured as much. “They’ll be neat when they’re finished, don’t you think so, Mark?”

“Yep, they will. Everything Grandpa makes is neat,” I said.

“Yeah, he’s a good ol’ Grandpa,” she said.

We sat down at the table, playing cards for a while. “You can deal,” I said.

“Okay, thanks,” Tabby said. She shuffled the cards, and dealt them out. We played a few hands, alternating the deal with each hand.

“What are you going to do, this afternoon?” Tabby asked.

“I’m going to read a book,” I said.

“That sounds like a good idea,“ Tabby said. “Maybe, I will, too!”

We played out the rest of our card game. Tabby won, as usual.

“You gonna’ go read your book now, Mark?” She said.

“Yep.” And I walked down the hall and then up the stairs to my bedroom. My dog, Old Hank, was already in my room, laying on the bed, with the sun shining on him through the window.

“Hey, Hank. Move over a bit.” I laid down on my bed, as Old Hank adjusted. I probably won’t last long, I thought to myself. I’m full. I reached out to grab the book, on the window sill, but didn’t even start reading, before I fell asleep.

Grandpa’s House

I was walking in the woods behind my grandpa’s house one fall day. I had been wondering where my little sister had wandered to. Any chance to get outside, and she was up for it. Instead of my sister, though, I came upon two boys sitting on the ground in a small dirt clearing. They were playing a dice game. They heard my steps, shuffling in the fallen leaves, and looked up. It was Ben and Albert, two young friends of ours.

“Hey, guys,” I said.

“Hey, Mark,” they both said together.

“Have you seen my sister anywhere?” I said.

The taller one, Albert, scratched his head. “I passed by her, sittin’ on a log by the pond, fishin’.”

“Sounds like my sister,” I said.

“Yep,” said Ben. “That Tabitha’s the only girl I know who goes fishin’,” he said, with a smile.

“By herself, anyway,” I said. “Thanks, y’all. Have fun.”

“Okay,” said Albert.

“Bye,” said Ben.

I hopped the fence back into my grandpa’s yard, crossed the back yard, went through the gate, through the front yard, turned left and walked down the street, then onto a dirt path that led to the pond. Albert lived near the pond, on the other side. Ben lived back on the other side of my grandpa’s house. Albert would have passed the pond on his way over to Ben’s house. As I came out of the woods, I looked across the pond, and there she was, sitting on a log, with a fishing pole in her hands.

“Hey, Mark,” she said, smiling, and she waved.

“Hey, Tabby. Grandpa’s got breakfast ready. Pancakes and bacon.”

“Okay,” she said. “I’m coming.” Then she reeled in her hook, still fit with a half a worm on it. “The fish aren’t bitin’ much, anyway.”

By that time, I walked around the pond and stood by Tabitha. I looked down at a bucket of water by her right tennis shoe and saw a couple of brim swimming in it. “Those two look good,” I said.

“Yeah, caught those a while ago. Nothin’ since.”

“Okay, c’mon. Get your fish.”

She reached down and picked up her bucket by the handle, and as I held out my hand, she reached out and grabbed it. “Thanks for coming to get me, Mark,” she said, smiling.

“I knew you wouldn’t have wanted to miss grandpa’s pancakes,” I said.

“Yep, you’re right,” she said.

When we both got back to grandpa’s house, grandpa was waiting for us at the door. “Breakfast is gettin’ cold, you two.”

“Sorry, grandpa,” we both said.

“Watcha got in the bucket, Tabby?” He said.

“Couple of brim, grandpa,” said Tabitha.

“Well, we’ll have to get them ready to cook for lunch!” He said, patting us on the backs towards the breakfast table. “After breakfast, that is!”

A Boy and His Boat, Ch. 3

Jack waited for Saturday to come. It seemed like it took a long time, because Jack was so excited. He was happy that his father was willing to help him build a boat. Saturday eventually came, and, after they ate breakfast, Jack and his father headed to the store to buy supplies. Jack’s father bought wood and nails, and he also got some things that Jack had never heard of. They got all the supplies, carried it all out to the car, and headed home. When they got home, Jack’s father laid out all the supplies in their garage. Then they got to work. It was hard work, and Jack wasn’t sure why his father did some things, but he trusted his father to do it correctly. It didn’t really look like a box when it was finished, but more like a real boat. It was pointed at the front, for one thing. Jack’s father said that would make it easier to move forward, especially if it was windy. His Dad also made an oar to paddle the water and thus cause the boat to move across the water. When the boat was finished, they laid it onto Jack’s wagon and rolled it out to the lake. Jack’s father picked the small boat up and eased it into the water. Jack was so excited! A real boat!

A Boy and His Boat, Ch. 2

The little boy, whose name is Jack, went back to his house and went into the kitchen to see if his mother was there. She was, and Jack asked her, “Mommy, when will Daddy be home?” His mother smiled, answering, “Your father will be home in just a few minutes. He should be on his way home from work right now. Do you need something?” “I need help to build a boat,” Jack said. “Well, I’m sure your Daddy will help you, but you might have to wait until Saturday.” “Okay,” Jack said. “I can wait.” When his father drove his car into the driveway, Jack ran out to him. “Daddy,” he said. “Can you help me build a boat?” “Sure, Jack,” he said. “We’ll do that on Saturday. How big a boat do you want?” “Just big enough for me to sit down in,” said Jack. “Okay, son. We’ll do it, I promise.” Jack was excited! He couldn’t wait for Saturday to come. “What day is today, Daddy?” he asked. “Today is Tuesday,” his Daddy said. “You’ll have to wait four days.” “Okay, thanks, Daddy,” Jack said. “We’ll go to the hardware store together on Saturday morning to buy supplies,” said his Daddy. “Sounds great, Daddy!” Jack said. Jack would count the days until Saturday.

A Boy and His Boat, Ch. 1

There was once a little boy. He lived by a lake. He had learned how to swim, and he was quite good at it. One day, during summer vacation, he was out by the lake, watching the fish swim around in the water, and the frogs jumping and croaking, and the minnows scattering each time he touched the water with the end of a stick. He thought to himself that it would be great fun to have a boat. He considered for a while what he might need to make one. He thought of wood, and a hammer and nails. He knew that would make a nice box, but he wasn’t sure if it would float. He was afraid it might sink to the bottom. He decided he would ask his father if he would help him build a boat. He knew his father had worked on a boat when he was younger, and the boy hoped he would know some of the tricks to make it float.

Untitled Story: Ch. 3

We rode down the road a while, and my mind started to wander. I thought about what I did yesterday, what I had for breakfast that morning, what I might do tomorrow. As I daydreamed, a man stepped out into the road about 100 feet in front of us. He had a bag in one hand and a pistol in the other, pointed at Chad.

Chad hit the breaks and stopped the SUV in front of the man. It looked like he had just come out of the bank, so I figured it made sense to assume he had just robbed it. Chad and I both put our hands in the air to show that we were at his mercy. He motioned and told us to get out of the SUV.

When I opened my door, Millie jumped into my lap from the back seat, then jumped down out of the SUV. She looked at the man with the gun and began barking at him. The man seemed confused as to what to do. He took a few steps towards Chad, who by this time was standing outside the SUV. When the robber did that, Millie took off and jumped at him.

Millie got ahold of his pant leg and was pulling him away from Chad. Just then I heard a gun shot, and Millie stopped pulling on the robber’s pant leg. As she backed off, the robber dropped his gun and fell forward onto the ground. A man in a suit was standing right outside the front door of the bank, holding another pistol, pointed at the robber.

Apparently, Millie had slowed the robber down and distracted him long enough for the bank manager to grab his gun and head outside after the robber. It was an easy shot across the road and the robber standing still with Millie holding him made for a good target. The bank manager lowered his gun and smiled at Millie.

“Your dog’s a hero, sir. Couldn’t have done it without her. Thank you young men for your help. That man robbed three banks near here just this week, and shot and killed two innocent people. It’s a big relief to know he’s finished.”

“I’m just glad he didn’t try to shoot Millie,” said Chad. “I don’t know what I’d do without her. “She sure was brave,” I said. “No telling what would have happened to us if she hadn’t intervened.” Millie walked over to Chad and stood on her hind legs. She reached her front paws up to Chad’s shoulders and licked him in the face. “Good dog,” said Chad. “Very good dog.”

Untitled Story: Ch. 2

We drove through the town and I saw many small-town-like things, giving me a comfortable small-town-like feeling. I looked out the window and saw many people doing just the sort of thing one would expect people in a small town to be doing. It was all very comforting and I felt safe and calm.

Chad stopped the SUV at a gas station, where he said he was going to get some gas. I stepped out of the car and told Chad I’d be right back. I needed to use the toilet, but when I entered the store, I didn’t see a sign for a restroom. I asked the cashier if she had a restroom. She said it was on the outside of the building in the back.

She handed me a red block of wood that said “Men” in black print. It had a hole drilled through one end and a thin chain passed through it. The chain had a key on it. I walked out the door and looked at Chad, who was still pumping gas. I held up the red block of wood with the key dangling from it and Chad saw me and nodded his head.

I went towards the back of the building, noticing, as I glimpsed the darkening sky, that it was dusk. I prayed the bathroom had a working light. No telling how clean it would be or what it could be infested with. These outside-type restrooms weren’t usually the best, in my experience.

I unlocked the door and pushed the door open. I reached in and felt the wall for a light switch. I found it and flipped the switch, feeling a sense of relief when the light bulb, over the mirror above the sink, came on. I looked down at the toilet to see a daddy long legs crawling across a spider web inside the toilet seat.

I decided I would just stand up and pee, holding the rest for later. I finished, washed my hands and dried them off with a paper towel from the holder on the wall next to the mirror. I locked the door, returned the key to the cashier with a simple “Thank you,” and headed back to Chad’s SUV.

Chad had the motor running and was busy tuning in to some music on the radio. I got in, and he said, “That was quick.” I nodded and replied, “Not the cleanest place. I’ll wait til we get to your place to sit down on the toilet.” “Okay,” was all he said, and he pulled out of the parking lot and back onto the road.