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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Raccoons/Radio

Max Raccoon should have been in bed asleep, but his teacher Miss Maybelle Badger had given him an essay to write, and he hadn’t gotten very far into the assignment. One sentence was all he had, and the paper was due on Miss Badger’s desk at 9am sharp.

While Max sat on his bed, lamenting school work and essays, a rustle outside caught his ear. Peering through the window, he noticed his big brother, Bandit, easing his limber body down a tree propped against their house – it had fallen over during a recent storm, but no one had much time to gnaw it up and set the logs aside for winter fires.

“Bandit! Where are you going?” Max hissed out the window. “Pa said you couldn’t step outside this house for forty years!”

“You be quiet!” Bandit snarled. “I’ve got some business to take care of and I don’t have time for you to go messing things up and waking him!”

“Where are you going?” wondered Max again.

“”I’m meeting up with Snazz and Jaxx,” his brother replied. “Now go do your homework and leave me alone.”

Bandit knew his brother would not be awake at ten-thirty if he didn’t have an assignment looming over his head.

Max watched Bandit plop to the ground and brush off his paws. His brother was always taking exciting and daring adventures during the night. Of course, many of these excursions also caused him a good deal of grief when Pa would inevitably discover that his eldest son was sneaking out and perusing neighborhoods where they were forbidden to go. Humans lived there. Pa wanted them to stay away, but Bandit was drawn to their treasures which they stored in bins beside their homes. Max suspected his brother was planning to do a little “bargain” shopping tonight.

“Can I come?” he asked Bandit, who was slowly tip-toeing through the backyard.

“No,” whispered Bandit. Shut your window and go away!”

“If you don’t let me come with you, I’m going to wake Dad and tell him what you’re doing,” Max leveraged, knowing this would surely change his brother’s mind.

Bandit glared at Max and then sighed.

“Fine, but if you say one word about this to anyone, I’ll make your life a living hell, do you understand?”

Max wasn’t even listening. He was too busy trying to wiggle his pudgy body through the window without making a sound.

Together, the brothers crept from the backyard and scurried to meet Snazz and Jaxx at a trail that led to the human area. Bandit didn’t say where they were going, or what their adventure entailed, and Max knew better than to ask.

“What’s he doing here?” Snazz demanded when he noticed Max.

“Doesn’t matter,” replied Bandit. “I told him I’d kick him to the moon if he speaks a word of this to anyone. Let’s go. We don’t have a lot of time.”

The raccoons raced each other down the trail, which opened into a large, green lawn, blanketed in freshly cut grass. An odd metal contraption with a board suspended in the air by chains was parked nearby.

Bandit and Snazz led the group to the side of a brick building further down the grass clearing. Three plastic bins stood guard, but said nothing as the boys approached them. Bandit and Snazz crouched down, interlocking their paws to give Jaxx a boost onto the first bin, while Max watched in wonder and awe. So this is how it’s done, he thought to himself. This is how my brother finds all his treasure. Atop the bin, Jaxx examined the clasp which had locked the lid to its stout body. Jaxx was an expert with these locks, and within seconds he had the first lid open and was jumping onto the second bin.

Bandit and Snazz pushed a nearby footstool toward the bin and use it to climb onto its edge. Their weight startled the large plastic container, and as they teetered back and forth, struggling to balance themselves, Snazz toppled forward and landed with a thud in the trash. Jaxx covered his mouth to hide a laugh, but Max couldn’t stop himself…until he was abruptly shushed by Bandit. Max glanced toward a window on the side of the brick box and wondered if anyone had heard them. That’s when he noticed the noise coming from inside the house. While his brother and friends were distracted, searching through fruit rinds and tissue paper, Max edged his way to the window and sneaked a peak inside.

A large man reclined in a chair and listened to sounds which appeared to come from a box perched on the table beside him. The man’s eyes were closed, and every so often, he hummed along with the tune on the box. This was the closest Max had ever been to a human; for all the bad things his Pa said about people, this one didn’t seem so bad. He appeared almost nice.

A heavy crash startled Max – and then he noticed is had stunned the man, too. Jaxx had tossed a heavy object on the grass, but in doing so, he had fallen as well, and this time brought the bin down with him. Food scraps and plastic bits flooded from the bin’s cavity onto the ground. Through the window, Max watched the hefty man grab a rifle and stagger toward the door.

“Run!” he alerted Bandit and his friends, and instinctively bolted for the trail, hoping his brother was close behind.

“You damn raccoons!” he heard the man yell. “I’m gonna get every last one of you, if it’s the last thing I do, you hear?”

Max heard gunshots pierce the air, but Bandit, Jaxx, and Snazz were already by his side, and the four boys scrambled into the forest; when they were at a safe distance from the trail, they slowed, then stopped.

Max, eyes shining bright, said, “Thanks for bringing me along, guys! This was the most fun I’ve ever had!”

– Written June 2012.

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Father

I have thought a lot about my father this year. September will mark the ten-year anniversary of when he died. He passed one year and seven days after 9-11. In the days leading up to that one-year mark, I had hoped and prayed Death wouldn’t snatch him from me on the same day towers had fallen and crushed the people trapped inside. I knew my father was dying – I just didn’t have a date for when he would be gone.

I watched him struggle and suffer a lot in the last five years of his life. We were both treading choppy waters, but my youth was bearing the trials and tribulations of entering adulthood while his own aging years were trying to cope with all that had been lost. Taken. Robbed. There was someone whose ugly greed and selfishness had stripped him of everything he had built from nothing because she thought she deserved it all, but her story is not that important compared to my father’s. Her story was not significant at all.

There were years when I fought my dad, the stubborn bitch that invades young girls overrun by hormones striking against what she thought was right and wrong, and sometimes our push and pull brought us closer, as he often accepted I was growing up and sadly loosened the parental leash he wished could stay tight forever. By giving me some slack – more and more as I prepped for college and sought the refuge of a tumultuous first love – he inevitably brought me back to him. Deep in my soul, I didn’t want to disappoint him, and that alone enabled me to learn from my mistakes and overcome troubled waters where I often chose to swim.

I lost my dad at twenty-one years old. I never had a chance to have a drink with him at a bar when I was of legal age, though we had shared a beer or cocktail at home or a friend’s barbecue from time to time after I went to college. He will never walk me down an aisle or peruse the rooms of my first home. Yet his stoic nature, his practical outlook, and his well-intentioned heart┬álive inside me and each day remind me where I have come. His flaws have given me goals to conquer, as I see certain side of his character present in my own. I strive for the good and try to control the bad. I examine the perilous paths his life took in various years and hope to avoid them now and in the future. There are – and will be – some I can’t change, but how I handle them is owing to my father because he carved the first path, the hardest one to dig, the easier for your children to walk and learn.

– Written by Miss A on June 23, 2012

Lemons

This promotional video is brought to you by the fine makers at DolaSuca…

Hi there! I’m Leslie Adams, and I’m here to tell you about an incredible product which I recently discovered. It has changed my life, and I’m certain it will change yours, too. For the better of course (small chuckle, followed by a dazzling smile).

So what is this magical item which I’m so eager to share with you? Well, it’s not only “one” item – it’s several, but they all look the same and they produce the same fantastic results. Researchers uncovered them in a tiny, tropical island smack dab on the Equator in the Pacific Ocean, and after months of research, they excitedly reported that these products were the real life Fountains of Youth, Wealth, and everything else your heart could desire!

It may sound too good to be true. I know because I felt that same way when I was brought on to test what these researchers were using in their labs. However, I’m happy to say I support their findings because I’ve experienced the results for myself!After introducing these products into my every day life, I’m able to say that I’ve lost weight, reversed my aging my ten years, and I’m making more money that I ever did before! Who wouldn’t be thrilled to say they’ve had these same results?

This is why I’m introducing you to the Equamare Lemons! Lemons? You might be thinking right now. When are you trying to sell me lemons on TV when I can buy them in a grocery store, Leslie? Because these are no ordinary lemons, my loyal viewers. These are lemons that will change your life, help you to lose weight and feel young again. They will inspire you to be bold and take risks in your life – possibly even help you to find true love and eternal happiness! Equamare Lemons produce amazing results. If you don’t believe me, I encourage you to try them in a 30-day risk-free trial with no money down for the first month! We’ll even throw in free shipping! You can try these lemons for no initial cost, and if you’re not satisfied with the results after 30 days, then you might want to get your head checked. Haha! I’m only kidding. I can personally assure you that Equamare Lemons will give you a new lease on life. I have more energy and less stress these days, and I owe it all to these lemons!

If you’re ready to buy now, there are three ways you can bring this amazing product into your home: you can purchase a 30-day supply of Equamare Lemons – that’s a crate of 90 lemons delivered right to your door (!); order our special, ionized Equamare Lemon water, which will come to you in 3 cases of 24 bottles; or, for those fantastic customers who are looking for a way to rejuvenate their skin, buy a 30-day supply of our formulated Equamare Lemon Lotion! Any one of these amazing products can be yours for $19.95 a month – or try our 30-day risk-free trial! Just call 1-800-4-LEMONS!

Still not certain these lemons are for you? Well, let’s see what others like yourself are saying after using Equamare Lemons…

 

– Written by Miss A on June 21, 2012

Blue

NEWS ANCHOR:

Breaking news report, brought to you by KXYZ and the California Milk Farmers Association, which has been providing local milk to Californians for the past fifty years.

Good afternoon, I’m Reta McKinley. Local officials are issuing a Crimson report as I share this news with you. As many of you might have noticed by now, the color blue has gone missing. Local enforcement officials and scientists are baffled by this strange phenomenon. Here’s our award-winning news team out in the field to tell us more. Matt, can you hear me out there?

MATT CAHOGANY:

Hi, Reta, the day has taken a strange turn, but it is anything but blue. People all over the city are extremely perplexed by what has taken place out here today. None one seems to have any answer for where blue might have gone.

MAN ON THE STREET:

Ah was just standin’ here waitin’ for mah wife to take a picture of that there Hollywood sign, and all of a sudden, the sky wasn’t blue no more! It was the darndest thing, Ah tell ya. Ah reckoned it was those big time movie folks pullin’ tricks on us or gettin’ ready to make one of those sci-fi pictures, but by the looks of people’s faces around here, Ah reckon that ain’t so! All Ah can say is you folks sure do weird thangs out here in Calleyfornia.

MATT CONAGHY:

People are in a state of panic out here, Reta. Local enforcement issues are doing their best to keep things calm until they can locate the missing color, but it’s hard to say when that will be.

RETA MCKINLEY:

Matt, can you describe for us what things look like out there?

MATT CONAGHY:

Well, Reta, the grass has all turned yellow as a result of blue vanishing from the spectrum. The sky is stark white. Those blue-eyed blondes were all know so well in Southern California are now white-eyed and some have been reporting loss of vision all together. Anything in this town that had any pigment of blue in it – from the t-shirt on someone’s back to the car stuck in traffic on the freeway – is now void of that color.

RETA MCKINLEY:

Thanks for the report, Matt. Folks at home, we’ll keep you posted on updates throughout the afternoon as we learn more. We now return to your regular programming, “When Animals Escape From Zoos…”

 

– Written by Miss A on June 18, 2012

 

Cup of coffee

I can’t remember where and when I had my first cup of coffee. I couldn’t have been younger than twelve or thirteen – there’s no way my parents would have generously allowed their pre-adolescent child to dose a hefty jolt of caffeine to my system. They might have me institutionalized if that unfortunate instance should have happened and I was bouncing off the walls, spitting out random thoughts and sentences at a million miles an hour, all while spontaneously shouting “Whee!” whenever the exuberance struck me. It goes without saying that was a big reason why Coke was banned from our house.

So where was my first cup of joe? Was it a cappuccino in the fluorescent-lit staple of New York City – the pizza cafeterias which roamed the streets, lingering every couple of blocks for one to duck inside and reheat when the cold had stung the face for too long? Was it in the bohemian coffee shop on Main Street, across the from the small farmer’s market my dad and I frequented every Saturday morning to select our tomatoes and squash for the week?

I may never recollect that initial moment when I savored the roasted, bitter flavor which coats my tongue as it slips down the throat and drips an IV of exhilaration into my bloodstream. When the alarm screams for me to wake up before the sun has even risen, my body groans and curses the monotonous routines of adult life; but fifteen minutes later, after a few warm sips of morning coffee, the fog begins to clear and soon I have forgotten the resentment of responsibility which I must face five days a week, even as my stubborn mind wishes it could rebel and drive against the grain.

There is no greater joy than the first sip of coffee. It greets my like an old European friend kissing me on the lips. Its warm mocha touch revitalizes the spirit, and I feel the task of putting myself together again will not be as arduous as I’d thought. Not while my favorite mug is my morning companion, faithful and loyal, never saying a word so that I can have the time to find and process them on my own, as I’d prefer to do. The jumble in my head is too cloudy for another to interject his thoughts and questions so early in the day. But coffee is patient, that gentle parent who helps you on your way. I am its obedient child, willing to accept the motivation it will wash over me within a few moments’ time.

– Written by Miss A on June 15, 2012

a Remote control

If I could program a remote control to do anything I wanted, I’d make sure it had these features:

1. A mute” button to silence screaming babies, barking dogs, and loud neighbors.

2. A “pause” button for those perfect moments in a day when billowing white clouds drift over clear, blue skies or a fiery red sun spreads orange, pink, and purple hues across the horizon as it sets behind the ocean.

3. A “fast-forward” button for rush-hour traffic to speed along the mass of cars so I can get home in 15 minutes, instead of an hour. I like to think of this as an altruistic button, since everyone else will be able to get home faster, too.

4. A “skip-forward” button for those days when I want to get throughout my work day in a quarter of the time (will come in handy for Fridays!).

5. A “rewind” button for those moments when I put my foot in my mouth and want to take back the remarks which I didn’t mean to say out loud (some things really are best to stay in your head).

6. A “stop” button that can detect when a person is lying and prevents them from talking until he/she corrects the lies and tells the truth. I’d attend a lot of political debate to use this feature and force politicians to speak truthfully about the issues and how they plan to fix them. It would be a real “game changer.”

7. An “enter” button that allows me to teleport myself anywhere in the world without having to go through airport security or sit in cramped airplane seats for umpteenth hours. (I’d program the channels on the remote to be different locations I want to visit).

I’m still contemplating how I’d program the numbers, but I probably have some time to figure them out, since I imagine it will take a lifetime to create this magical remote control. In a movie, the remote would be struck by lightning or get “accidentally” left in the microwave which someone then “accidentally” turned on without looking inside to see what he/she is re-heating. Turns out that doesn’t work so well in real life, so I’ll have to come up with a different plan. Maybe the Apple team has some answers…

– Written by Miss A on June 11, 2012

Platypus

“I will not kick platypuses into rivers when I am on excursions with my class,” Billy wrote across the chalkboard for the thirty-third time.

Sixty-seven more times to go, he thought, as he slid to the left side of the board and poised his chalky hand to begin sentence number thirty-four. He longed to scratch the chalk across the board and make that high-pitched shriek which pierced the drums and made the skin curl, but Teacher wouldn’t approve. He could feel Miss Windham’s laser eyes boring smoky holes into the back of his head as he flicked his hand across the chalkboard and scrawled the word “platypus.”

“Billy Johnson!” What is wrong with you?!” her tomato face had screamed at him after he punted the platypus into the river, just like those soccer players he’d seen on the telly.

Some of the girls broke into tears, crying for the plight of the furry creature, who plunked into the shallow waters like a canon. Others craned their necks to see if it emerged alive and well. But Miss Windham’s attention never left Billy, who stared blankly at his teacher as she ripped him a new one for putting his feet on an innocent creature. The class trip was over, she announced, and then marched the children back to the school, her plastic nails digging into Billy’s arm as she pulled him to his fate – spending an afternoon in her stuffy classroom and writing one hundred sentences while all the other children went home and played.

“I will not kick platypuses into rivers while I am on excursions with my class,” Billy wrote for the thirty-eighth time.

“I hope this is teaching you a lesson about how to treat animals, Billy,” Miss Windham called out.

Billy continued with his quest to finish sentence number thirty-nine, never taking his eyes off the chalky words as he replied, “What lesson is that, Miss Windham?”

The gulp of air she inhaled through her nose to stifle the irritation climbing up her throat could be heard by his small ears. Billy didn’t flinch or hesitate – she started sentence number forty.

“The lesson is you don’t kick animals and treat them poorly,” she huffed.

“When I am on excursions with my class,” Billy finished for her.

“Excuse me?” Miss Windham asked.

“You said I can’t treat animals poorly when I am on excursions with my class,” Billy answered nonchalantly, mid-way through sentence number forty-three. “You never said any thing about what I can do on my own time at home.”

He heard her deep dragon breath and waited for her approach to grab his arm, whip him around, and scold him again, but instead, her steps fled to the door, which she slammed loudly as she left the room.

Leaving Billy all alone to finish writing sentence number forty-four.

 

– Written by Miss A on June 7, 2012