How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


One Clear Day

“Might you slow down, I’m nervous rushing in this weather.” Jane hiccupped and hugged herself. “We’ve already had one dreadful start to the summer.”

Billie gunned the accelerator. The Dodge van lurched over the line. Whoosh the wipers dashed stubborn rain aside. Bloated, slate-gray clouds gushed water like a busted dam.

“What’s the matter, don’t you trust my driving?” Billie lifted an over-plucked eyebrow as she glanced at her friend. “Should have been there twenty minutes ago. We’re late.”

Jane tucked whispy hair behind her ear and didn’t respond at first. “At least the traffic’s light. I’d rather be late than dead.”

“Why the hell did her husband buy her that motorcycle?” Jane stared through the sluicing windshield and bit her lip.

Thank you Microsoft Clipart

Thank you Microsoft Clipart

“Yeah, only one ride and gone at fifty-three. My God! Two young adults, motherless. Life’s unfair. I can’t imagine how her husband feels.” Billie’s tears slid down her creased cheeks.

Silence sank like a sodden blanket between the two sixty-something women. The driver gripped the steering wheel. Silver-streaked, once black hair stuck to her forehead. Eyes intent behind thick glasses, she frowned at the deluge. Although the wipers were in high gear, the windows fogged up. Billie cranked on the defogger and let up on the accelerator. The slosh of tires on the wet asphalt changed rhythm and slackened to a softer splatter.

“I hate funerals, especially this one, not that I’ve been to many.” Billie cleared her throat. “Sue was always there for me, you know. I ran away from home—before I met you? Sue’s family took me in and Mom was madder than a dragon spewing fire. We didn’t know them well then.”

Jane closed her eyes and nodded. Sitting straighter, she breathed deep and hard.  “How did this happen? The road was dry and the day clear.” Chin to chest, she sighed. “Sue was such a live-wire. Into everything—how long did you live with them again?” She massaged white knuckles, first one hand and then the other.

“Almost six months. We were both twelve.” Billie hesitated. “We became tight as Siamese twins. Soon after I agreed to move back home, her father changed jobs. They packed up and moved to Vancouver. Even Mom was sad to see them leave.”

The rain slowed to a fine mist and the humidity dropped inside the van. Both women concentrated on the road. Jane pointed to the exit, “Turn right on Wellington here and then left on Riddell. “Geez, this lot is packed.” She leaned into the backseat to grab an umbrella.

Billie swallowed and blinked away threatening tears. “Can’t wait to get this over.” They snaked up and down three aisles before they spied a parking spot. “By the looks of it, the chapel will be standing room only. Lord give me strength.”


Flash in the Pan – Plane

Stanley shook out the newspaper at the breakfast table Saturday. Lori opened her mouth and closed it. She squinted at her husband for a second and left the room.

“More coffee, honey?” She held out the pot. He grunted. She topped up his mug anyway, slammed down the pot, and tossed the monster telephone directory on the table.

Her husband gaped as his wife flipped the pages with a vengeance.

He cleared his throat. “What’re you doing?”


“No, really.”

“Just looking for a carpenter.”

“What for?”

The laundry-room door keeps scraping the floor.”

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

“I’ll buy a new one.”

“Don’t worry. I know you’re too busy.”

“I’ll do it.”

“It’s okay. I’ll hire a professional and the job’s done.”

“I’ll fix the damn door.”


“I said…”

“You’ll need to plane it. Do you have one?”

Stanley blinked.

“Uh-huh. Like you put the screen on the front door last September.”

~ * ~

This is for the Winter Quarter of Flash in the Pan. The theme: Boys and Their Toys. For rules and how to join, click:

The word limit for Plane is 150 words. I used all of them.


Flash in the Pan – Marble

Ralphie rocked from foot to foot and sucked air in between his teeth.

“Listen twerp, you playing or wetting your pants?” Stevie’s eyes gleamed; his fat cheeks and elfin ears burned red. “You gonna cry?”

Hands twitchy, Ralphie toed dirt and blinked. “I gots one marble left.”

morgueFile free photos

morgueFile free photos

“Bye. See you.”

“It’s a green Cat’s Eye, a big one.”

“Yeah? Let me see. Give you five commons for it.”

“No. Gimme ten?”

“Let’s see.”

The blond boy straightened, eyebrows raised high. He yanked tatty pockets out of his grimy chinos, face pinched death white.

Stevie snickered and boogied a rain dance.

~ * ~

The Winter Quarter of Flash in the Pan is here. The theme: Boys and Their Toys. For the rules and how to join, click:

The word limit for Marble is 100 words. I used all 100.


Flash in the Pan: Pepper

“Will you listen to yourself?”

“Really, Ma . . . I gotta run.”

“Three short months there . . .”

“Canada, ay?”

“Some say it’s across the pond—some pond—it might as well be an ocean.”

“Alright, already, spit it out ay?”

“You’ve said it again—that dreaded ay?”

“I didn’t . . .”

“You pepper your speech with it like it’s seasoning. Cut it out.”


Argh. Elocution lessons down the drain. 

~ * ~

Click for rules of this challenge.

The word limit for the Flash word Pepper is 75. I used 74.


Flash in the Pan – Lightening

Slim ran a three-finger hand through his hair; his chin dropped to his chest. “I don’t know what the world’s coming to,” he said.

Moose shook his head. “Big Sam was having a barbeque, you say?

“Yeah, last Saturday. I never seen a kid so broken up. Poor Jackie.”

“That Big Sam’s kid?”

“Yeah, small for his age—only nine years old. He’s the one found it.” Slim looked away; his shoulders sagged.

Moose cleared his throat. “Geez—no way.” He closed his eyes.

“Kid can’t get it—his new dog is dead. Had the pup but two months,” Slim said in a gruff voice.

“They know who done it?”

“Nope, but it was white lightening in the water dish.

“Ah, stupid. Stupid waste.”

~ o ~

Lightning was inspired by M3 Flash Fiction challenge. DO check it out and play!

The word limit for dinner was 125 words; this post is a mere 124 words.


Waste Not; Want Not

I can’t help thinking about a recent birthday celebration I attended at a Chinese buffet-syle restaurant. It had been a glorious day and a happy time spent with family members. No cooking or cleaning or washing up afterwards. Perfect.

Some things bother me about what I saw. I watched well-dressed, intelligent-looking people act like children. They piled up their plates and then left good food to be picked up and discarded by the servers. There’s so much food (at buffets and weddings), customers go for seconds and waste again. One young man filled up his plate to a cone-shaped disgusting pile twice. I’m surprised he made it safely to his table without an ugly spill—more waste. Twice more he piled a plate but ate only half.

Maybe I’m too conservative. Why not take small portions of something you’re not sure of and go back if you love it. Stuff yourself if you must but don’t waste. I’m not going to mention all the starving people in the world our mothers used to warn us about.

I overheard someone say at a table behind me, “Can you imagine, there’s a buffet restaurant in (fill in a name here) which charges their customers an addition set amount per plate if  they leave food on their plate. Good way to lose customers,” she said.

 To my way of thinking it’s not a bad idea. Just because you pay for the buffet doesn’t mean you should thoughtlessly waste it. Does it? Yet, that’s what customers do without a second thought. It’s not free but they seem to believe because they ‘paid’ for it, anything goes: at the hot buffet, the salad bar, the sweet table and the fruit bar.

And then we have free food at weddings. Call me old-fashioned or a fuddy-duddy. I just don’t get it. Isn’t that considered waste too? Shouldn’t food be respected? Aren’t we lucky in North America to have as much as we do?

One more thing. I have seen people order in restaurants, eat half and complain they didn’t like it and expect a free replacement. The goal is the rip-off. Come on; who is getting ripped off in the end do you suppose?  

Maybe I should confess that I’m not allowed out much.


A Waste of Valuable Time

It finally happened. I blew it. I wasn’t careful enough. It’s amazing how one wrong move, one move in haste, one supposition can make such a mess of a day. Like mine this morning.

Yesterday, I opened what I assumed was a legitimate e-mail from a friend I trusted. All I saw (my first name) Click to View Photo.  It looked like a hotlink. There was no note, no description by sender. I should have been suspicious at least a little bit.

Suddenly I was presented with a choice of three gifts: an iphone, an ipad and I can’t recall the third. One of these could be mine. My eyes were popping out of my head. I started entering my e-mail address but stopped short, overcome with reluctance to enter my shipping address. This had to be a scam. Upon trying to close the e-mail, I was met with resistance. It wouldn’t close. Too late. Immediately I could see a half dozen Postmaster Delivery Status Notifications popping up in my Inbox. Whoa.

I had to just shut down everything. Later in the day I went back in again and started receiving complaints from friends that they couldn’t open the (their first name) Click to View Photo hotlink.  My computer guy also dropped me a line warning that this was Malware which probably infected my address book and sent a copy of the malicious e-mail to all my contacts. It could ruin my e-mail and cause the loss of my account, he said.

Yesiree. He was right. I DID indeed lose my account. Temporarily. It took several hours before I finally had everything straightened out. What a nuisance and a waste of valuable time. The biggest problem was that I couldn’t remember the password for my alternate address(es). The blocked account is the one I use all the time and I couldn’t for the life of me find any information in my files to help me remember. I couldn’t get in no how. I caved and called Customer Support.

I’m embarrassed I got caught so easily. I was sweating buckets like nobody’s business. It felt like my account was gone forever.

Just passing along to keep us on our toes. Should this happen to you, you will notice in the subject line:

Hi + a number             OR                   Hii + a number. Do not open. Delete.