642 Things – 31: Write a recipe for disaster

3/4 cup of Being Unprepared
1 cup of Arrogance (what could possibly happen brand preferred)
2 teaspoons of Wrong Place, Wrong Time
1 package of Chaos Theory
a pinch of Murphy’s Law
For some extra zest, you could add a quart of Total Incompetence, or just add Stupid to taste

Heat an oven to 500 degrees, making sure to stuff it full of books, or other easily combustible materials first.

Mix your Being Unprepared and Arrogance in a bowl, be sure to mix thoroughly, you want to be unsure where one ingredient ends and the next begins.

Mix in the teaspoons of Wrong Place, Wrong Time when you least expect them to matter.

Don’t worry about the package of Chaos Theory, it’ll add itself when appropriate.

Take the resulting mixture and spread it over a cookie sheet. Give it a light dusting of Murphy’s Law.

Bake…I can’t tell you how long, you’ll just KNOW when it’s ready.

Add the Total Incompetence (or Stupid) when the mixture is ready for maximum effect.

Enjoy your disaster.

642 Things -30: A man jumps from the fortieth story of a building. As he’s passing the twenty-eight floor, he hears a phone ring and regrets that he jumped. Why?

George was free, finally and forever. No more anguishing over the bills he couldn’t pay, the wife he couldn’t make love him again, the children he’d disappointed. This was it, as he fell towards the Earth he could SEE the end of all his problems rapidly approaching.

He had heard stories about people who jump to their deaths having heart attacks, or instantly regretting it, but George had never felt more peaceful in his life. Nothing was his problem anymore, all the decisions were finally removed from him. Time seemed to slow down, he almost felt like he was floating.

He was sure that when he finally hit the ground, he wouldn’t feel a thing, it would be over in a snap, and he’d be on to whatever happened next. If he was VERY luck though, there wouldn’t be a next. The one thing George wanted more than anything was to simply not be George anymore. But he wasn’t worried about any of that, he wasn’t worried about anything. He’d made his last decision, and now his life was just going to play itself to it’s inevitable conclusion.

Then a phone rang. It was amazing to George how aware he was of his surroundings. He could actually hear a phone ringing inside the building as he plummeted past. Why couldn’t he have been this aware of every moment of his life? Something bothered him though…a phone…wasn’t he…shouldn’t he be calling someone?

I mean, it’s too late now obviously, soon it’ll be too late for anything, but he hated that the last thing his brain was going to do was forget something. What was it…he was supposed to call someone today, what day was it. It was February 9th…wasn’t that…….

Oh God.

Today was his daughter’s birthday. He was killing himself on his daughter’s birthday. Despite how strained their relationship had been lately, this was too much! He couldn’t die today, her birthday would be ruined forever. Every year she’d be reminded of what a failure her father was, and how he killed himself on her birthday.

George began panicking. He had to stop this, somehow. He had to grab a flag pole, or bounce off an awning like in a cartoon. He couldn’t do this, any day but today.

If only he had more time to

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unlike my two books (“The Great Platypus Caper” and “The Coconut Monkey Horror”) I can not promise that each entry in my 642 things to write about series will be true stories drawn from my life, I’ll leave the amount of truth in each entry up to your imagination.
Want to stretch your writing muscles as well? Post your response to the writing prompt in the comments section. I’d love to see it.

642 Things – 29: Describe five memories-events you remember really well. Then take one of them further.

I feel like I spent two whole books talking about my memories, so I’ll try to keep this fairly short to avoid boring you with repetition. I’ll describe briefly the five events in my life I remember the most clearly. I have no idea what “take one of them further” means, but I’ll give it a shot.

1. I was riding my bike down a dirt hill, it was a steep hill. Steep enough that I had thought twice about taking it, but I was young and invincible. Then my front tire hit a root, and I went flying. I must have been airborne for only a couple seconds, but it felt like hours, I had time to take in every detail of the world around me, and even enough time to think “Wow, this is really gonna hurt when I land.” It did.

2. Jumping out the 2nd story of an all girl’s dorm onto a muddy field. Not as painful as the last story, but still unpleasant. Then I turn around and get hit in the face with my giant trench coat just as the window I leapt from slammed shut. Turns out I avoided being caught by an RA by mere seconds. That kind of adventure sticks in the mind.

3. Telling a woman that her son was dead at 1am. I’ll always remember every second of that night, even though I wish I didn’t.

4. I remember a kiss in the rain. My first time kissing that particular girl, and isn’t the first kiss with someone new always the most memorable? It was a hell of a kiss.

5. My very first memory, burned in forever. I was somewhere between 2 and 3 am, and I had to get up earlier than I ever remembered waking up before. The sun wasn’t even up yet, how could it possibly be time to wake up when the sun is still sleeping? I went out to the den and there was my dad watching cartoons, so I sat with him. We watched Casper the Friendly Ghost, it was an episode with the ghost horse Pooka, there was a scene with Pooka standing under a tree, and there the memory ends.

But to take it further, that was the day I was officially adopted by my parents. We went to the court room, the judge asked them some questions, he asked me some questions, I have very vague memories of being very interested in the microphone that was on our table to make sure the judge could hear me. I remember NONE of the questions asked, NONE of the answers given. All I remember about the day that I became an official part of my family was sitting with my father at the crack of dawn and watching cartoons. I’m perfectly ok with this.

 

 

 

 

Unlike my two books (“The Great Platypus Caper” and “The Coconut Monkey Horror”) I can not promise that each entry in my 642 things to write about series will be true stories drawn from my life, I’ll leave the amount of truth in each entry up to your imagination.
Want to stretch your writing muscles as well? Post your response to the writing prompt in the comments section. I’d love to see it.

642 Things -27: A Sneeze

That is a remarkably vague and unhelpful prompt. I hate sneezing. I’m sure nobody particularly enjoys it, but I sneeze loud. Always have. This should come as no big surprise to anyone who knows me, I’m a loud person. But every time I sneeze around my mother I got a disparaging look, and a lecture about how I’m sneezing unnecessarily loud. No amount of explanation can convince that crazy woman that I’m not doing it on purpose, that I’m just a loud person.

So now I’m extremely self-conscience about my sneezing. Thanks for the complex mother.

So let’s briefly tell the story of the best sneeze of my life, because I actually have one. I was in the first grade. All of us were sitting on the floor around our teacher. I presume she was reading to us from a book or something, who knows, the memory slides away from such minor details.

A kid named Nick, who is sitting in the back of the group, has been mildly disruptive during this event, and has been informed that if he makes one more noise he’ll go to the Principal’s office. But Nick wasn’t quite done being disruptive, he had one more gag left in him. Nick lets out a loud “AH…..AH……..AH!” as if building up to a massive sneeze. His thinking on this is pretty clear to all of us right? He can’t get in trouble for sneezing, that’s an involuntary thing right? Sure, he was told not to make anymore noise, but she can’t hold a sneeze against him, and she can’t PROVE beyond a shadow of a doubt that this large dramatic wind up is a fake sneeze. Argue that in front of the Principal lady, tell him you are positive I was sneezing with malicious intent.

Just at the end of his large wind-up, after three progressive loud “AH”s, suddenly and without warning I let go a humongous sneeze. I swear to you, I swear to ALL of you, from now until the time of my death, that sneeze was completely real, it came out completely unexpectedly. It was just a fluke of the universe that it fit into Nick’s little wind-up so perfectly. It took a great deal of convincing for the teacher to believe that I was not participating in Nick’s disruption, and that my sneeze was genuine. (See Mother, you’re simply carrying on a life long tradition of thinking my sneezes are there to torment you specifically). And to this day I don’t think Nick believes that it was a real sneeze. He thought it was the funniest thing that ever happened, that I had joined him in his little disruption. The rest of the class thought it was pretty funny too.

So yeah, it was a crowd pleasing sneeze. How’s that for a response to the most vague writing prompt so far?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unlike my two books (“The Great Platypus Caper” and “The Coconut Monkey Horror”) I can not promise that each entry in my 642 things to write about series will be true stories drawn from my life, I’ll leave the amount of truth in each entry up to your imagination.
Want to stretch your writing muscles as well? Post your response to the writing prompt in the comments section. I’d love to see it.

642 Things – 26: Something you found

We’ll make this a double story shall we? My second job as a teenager was working at a grocery store, and eventually I worked my way over to the photo lab. I’ve always enjoyed working in photo labs, there’s something about being trusted with people’s memories, getting a brief peak into their lives, their stories, as well as simply maintaining and keeping track of multiple machines at the same time.

Of course I would fall in love with a job that is now practically extinct.

In this grocery store there was a beauty. She was…she was quite simply stunning. She turned heads everywhere she went. We’re going to call her Faith. Faith was only a couple years younger than me, but at that age a couple of years was all it took to occasionally make her attractiveness just a little awkward. I mean, if you’re in the 10th grade, you don’t want to be seen being attracted to someone in the 8th, they aren’t even in high school man!

But Faith was undeniably stunning, so what was a boy to do? I found 2 things as a result of Faith. On a particularly bad day, and I can’t for the life of me remember what made it bad, I came into my photo lab after a bathroom break to find a giant smiley face pinned up with all the photo orders waiting to be printed. The smiley face was immediately recognizable as coming from our floral department, where Faith worked.

That’s when I found that a random act of kindness can completely change someone’s day. A lesson I’ve tried to keep forefront in my mind for the rest of my life.

Faith also helped me find some degree of self-awareness, or maybe self-confidence, I’m not sure. I’ll describe the situation, and you can tell me what she helped me find.

Up until this point in my life, I never cared about my appearance. I would simply thrown on clothes for the express purpose of not being naked, I didn’t care if they matched, or anything else involved with style. I also never messed with my hair. A quick shampoo in the shower and then towel dry, and let it do whatever it wants. That was my entire hair care regimen.

And then I met Faith. This is long before the smiley face, before Faith and I even talked. I’d seen her around, you couldn’t avoid seeing her around. She was a magnificent creature. (Have I explained this in enough depth? Because I’m getting tired of saying it over and over again.) I remember the very first words she ever said to me. “Nice hair”.

That was it. A beautiful woman had walked up to me and complemented my hair, without me ever trying to talk to her first. As an adult I’ve thought back to that moment a few times, and I wonder if she meant it sarcastically…that really seems likely doesn’t it? But at the time I believed it to be sincere, not mocking.

From that day forward I never left the house without combing my hair, doing my best to make sure that I always had the “nice hair” that had attracted Faith’s attention. I took a little bit more care in the style of my clothes (I mean, not a lot, don’t get me wrong here, but some). I started to look at myself in a new way, I tried to see myself as a potential mate might see me. Faith helped me find that.

You may wonder whatever happened to Faith. Well, I’m moderately proud to announce that with some effort I did manage to make out with her a couple of times. She even became the first girl I ever slept with (in a non-sexual way, just a cuddle up and sleep sort of way. She even taught me how to best cuddle with a sleeping partner, such a giving person).

But the relationship never actually turned into anything. I think apart from her physical beauty there wasn’t really anything there that I wanted, and I’m fairly certain she didn’t have a strong desire to pursue anything with me either. The final nail in the coffin of our potential future was one day when I was driving her and Daniel somewhere and I looked in my rear view mirror to see the two of them making out.

To my knowledge it was the only time they made out, and Daniel was as confused about it as I was. He felt guilty about it until he died, although in truth I already knew that nothing would happen between me and Faith, so I didn’t actually mind that much.

Last I heard she was married and working in real estate, or something like that. Hopefully she’s happy. Despite the fact that her part in my life story was brief, it carried quite a bit of weight, and I’ll always wish her well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unlike my two books (“The Great Platypus Caper” and “The Coconut Monkey Horror”) I can not promise that each entry in my 642 things to write about series will be true stories drawn from my life, I’ll leave the amount of truth in each entry up to your imagination.
Want to stretch your writing muscles as well? Post your response to the writing prompt in the comments section. I’d love to see it.

642 Things – 25: Something you lost

I’ve lost a lot of things over the year, but not so many as you may think. My decent memory, combined with a packrat mentality, have made sure that I usually know where to look for things even if I haven’t seen them in years. My parents learned this when they would try to sneak into my room and “dispose” of toys they thought I wouldn’t miss. It rarely worked.

But nobody is perfect, and over the course of a life we all lose things from time to time. Some things I lost because Samantha stole them (from a previous entry).

Some things were lost when Daniel and I finally gave up on cleaning up one of our apartments and just left a bunch of stuff behind. Yeah, that really happened. We got so fed up with cleaning and packing that at a certain point we just said “screw it” and left stuff behind. The apartment was such a mess that it overcame my packrat mentality.

And something things just got misplaced, as a result of living in 1 house and 3.5 apartments in my life. .5 you ask? Well, one of those times I moved back in with my parents, but had a key to Daniel’s new apartment, and was essentially a roommate who slept on the couch, without paying rent. Daniel and I really had boundary issues.

Some things that have been lost through various means:

A pair of sunglasses. Definitely stolen. Definitely.

A copy of one of the Discworld Diaries for 1998, now out of print. I’m still now sure how I ended up with two copies, and even less sure how one of those copies disappeared.

Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 for the Playstation 2. No idea where they went. Weirdly, Daniel lost his copies too. We found out when we were searching for my copies. To this day I have no idea how four video games went missing from an apartment, let alone 2 sets of 2 games.

2 copies of the first Gabriel Knight novel. Lent out, but I can’t remember to who, and it’s been over a decade, they’re gone man.

7 episodes of The Russ Martin Show from 2008. I have nearly every episode of this radio show archived since February of 2002. I’m a digital packrat as well. I recently discovered these episodes missing from my collection, I must have accidentally deleted them years ago. There is no way to replace them. I’ve tried.

There are by no means all the things missing from my life, just a few that occurred to me off the top of my head. At least I’ve held on to the important things, like my friends. I can’t recall a single friendship that I “lost” although there have been one or two I’ve gotten rid of with a great deal of deliberate intent.

 

 

 

Unlike my two books (“The Great Platypus Caper” and “The Coconut Monkey Horror”) I can not promise that each entry in my 642 things to write about series will be true stories drawn from my life, I’ll leave the amount of truth in each entry up to your imagination.
Want to stretch your writing muscles as well? Post your response to the writing prompt in the comments section. I’d love to see it.