Category Archives: Douglas Adams

April. 29, 2017 – A to Z Challenge – Y

Today was a very long day.  The first event was the Drug Take Back Day at the Niskayuna Town Hall. Was there from 9:30 until 2 PM.  Then home and a nap then out to dinner at our friends. Home at 10:30 and had to watch the Samantha Bee alternative to the Correspondents Dinner.

Turns out this is the last night of the A to Z Challenge.  There are 5 sundays in April this year. So Y in the letter but I just might throw in a z for fun,  I am very tired so this is going to be short…

Short Story = The Bar Story

Jerry loved to go to the Turnkey Bar on Friday nights.  It was always filled with lots of women who worked in the fashion industry since the Turnkey was located in the middle of the part of Manhattan where all the designers offices are.

His favorite plan was to stand at the end of the bar with a beer in hand and wait to see if any of the lovelies were waiting for someone or appeared to be alone.  He never acted impulsively.   Then once he had made his decision he would walk over and offer to purchase a drink for her and chat her up about her work, where she came from etc.  He always agreed with anything she had to say.  After about 10 minutes he would make the decision in his mind whether to continue the chat or to move on but he never closed the door.

He would talk up at least four women every Friday night and then get himself another drink and make the decision as to who he wanted to end the evening with.  He was so agreeable in his discussions that many of these women totally fell for his lines. He was for sure a yetman who figured out which person would be the most advantageous to go back to.  Most of the time he actually did score and since he was only interested in one night stands I guess that worked for him. Made for a happy Friday night every week for him.




April 27, 2017 – A to Z Challenge – W

Gerald was quite the fellow.  He lived in a great big Victorian house on a lane just outside of the village.  His parents had left him quite a bit of money so although he worked at the local library it was never with any great energy.  Just a way to say hello to the village residents and maybe to find a sweet lass from time to time to ask out on a date.

Marriage was not in the cards for him but he was not lonely.  His cousin Miriam had moved in with him several years ago and the two of them made quite the pair.  She was very neat and prim and managed to keep everything organized.  Gerald on the other hand was quite good at woking.   She found it amusing at first but later started to wonder about him.  Did he have dementia? Had he suffered a brain injury in the past?  She could not figure it out.

At his job in the library he was a worksop.  The others who worked with him really found it to be annoying.   His desk was filled with post it notes with lists and more lists.  Always stating that everything  was urgent.  It became a game with the other library staff tracking the number of minutes a day that Gerald spent making lists of things to do that he was never able to accomplish due to his list making.

And in both settings he would come walking into either the kitchen or the staff room and all of a sudden develop that blank stare.   You would almost count the seconds as he stood there and thought to himself, “what the hell did I come in here for?”  Then he would turn around and walk out and go back to what ever he had been doing before.  Miriam always tried to figure out what it was he had been looking for or coming to get that he had totally forgotten.  The library staff wondered if he was going to realize he had missed his lunch again.

Gerald had the propensity to entertain those around him and that made him a special fellow to all who knew him.


April 26, 2017. – A to Z Challenge – V

Short Story – The Challenge of a Vollenhave

What a gorgeous morning!  I woke up before 6, worked out, showered, had a lovely breakfast of an energy shake and a bran muffin and then headed out to work.  The endorphins were in great shape since I felt like a million dollars.

The Manhattan streets were busy as usual and at times it was a fight to get across the various streets.  Everyone seemed to be extra hurried this particular morning.  Deciding to slow down and not join the rush I moved out towards the curb and made my legs slow down. Great feeling not to be pushed around by the attitude of others.

My pace made it possible to actually look around and check out everyone, well not all but a general look around.  All of a sudden I heard a voice calling to me.  As I looked  across the street I was John, an old acquaintance waving to me and mouthing that I should stay put and wait for him.  Darn, now this was going to be a predicament.  I was going at a pace to get me to work just on time.  If I wait for him I am going to be late.  What to do?

Since our eyes had met I could not pretend I did not see him.  When I arrived at the corner I waited while he crossed the street.  My business card in my hand at the ready.  He rushed up and tried to give me a big hug and a kiss? That was totally weird.  Alas I took his hand and put my card into it.  I told him I was going to be late for work but if he was going my way he was free to join me other wise he could call me in an hour at work.  He looked disappointed since he was going the other direction.

As he walked away my day began to return to its former state.  The morning was glorious and life was good.

April 25, 2017 – A to Z Challenge – U

Short Story = The Big Day

My brother and his wife had the first baby of the next generation in our family.   It was a sweet little girl named Sarah.  I went to see her at the hospital and she actually had brown curly hair even though she was brand new.  She was adorable.

After they brought the baby home and had some time to get their acts together they invited me over for dinner one evening.  I offered to bring some of the dinner but they said no, they would provide everything.  I was kind of wondering why they would not let me help out.  But after spending some time holding my niece Sarah and enjoying that time with her they asked me a big question.  Would I be Sarah’s God Mother?  I was taken back by this request.  Bobby and I had both been raised in the Catholic Church but neither of us spent a lot of time in church once we grew up. But I agreed because it really was an honor.

They planned to have Sarah baptized in the spring when the weather would be good.    They also had to join the local church and they told me we all had to attend classes before the Church would baptize little Sarah.   I agreed to attend and figured I would just go through the motions.

The classes comprised of four evenings of two hour sessions.  They really wanted to make sure that this baby was going to really be a catholic and not just an exercise in making grandma happy for one day.   I kind of found myself getting into the lessons and thinking a lot about what I was agreeing to.  I would bring her up Catholic if something happened to her parents.   I would support them in bringing her up Catholic.

One night after the class we went out for coffee.  We had been to three weeks of classes at that point.  Bobby and Silvia were joking about the classes and that they had no intention of following through with raising Sarah as a Catholic after the baptism.  I was kind of taken back because I really had begun to understand that you should not do such a thing if you are just doing it to make Grandparents happy.  I held my tongue.

I went home and thought about this so much.  What was I going to do? Bobby was my brother and Sarah my first niece.  The Baptism was planned for a month from now.  The time to talk to them would be difficult.   It had to be done.

The following week I told them we needed to talk and I explained to them how I really understood what the teachers in the classes were talking about.  Why were they doing this if they had no plan to follow through?  They were totally taken off guard with my comments.  They assured me that it would be okay and they were not planning to raise Sarah as an atheist and I should just trust them to do the right thing.   I felt a little better and went on home thinking things would be okay.

I did not want to be an Urchfont and spent so much time during the week thinking about what to do.  It was painful that Sunday morning, going into Church for the first time in years and standing up in front of all those people swearing to do something I was not sure I would ever be asked to do or if asked if I would follow though.

Hopefully that day will never come and I won’t have to find out what I would do. But in the mean time I intended to spend a lot of time with my gorgeous funny little niece.

April 24, 2017 – A to Z Challenge – T

Life in Leith – A Short Story

Last night Tim and I went into Leith for a few pints to celebrate his birthday.  We were joined by the other members of our football club.

Lots of joking around and checking out the young ladies in the pub.  I had my eye on one particular lovely one named Maggie who had red hair and a fine form.  She seemed interested so we shared a few pints.  Turns out she had been in school with Tim and knew several of my other friends.  I had actually dated her cousin at one time and I hope she did not know too much of the history there.

Originally, because it was a work night we were just going to have a few but it ended up with us being there late and drinking more than planned.  Well, to be honest, maybe we made no efforts at control.  I even managed a tulsa which probably made me look the fool to Maggie but by then I hardly cared.

After the last call we worked at finishing up our drinks and singing Happy Birthday to Tim.  As we left the pub and headed for the car one of the Garda pulled up and asked us to stay where we were.  Not thinking anything was up we stood and did as he asked.   He handed us the card –  “Please read the following”.  Tolstachaolaois-  I did try hard to do it but it just did not come out right.  I started giggling and just could not stop.  The Garda was not impressed.

Then what he wanted to know was who was driving.  Guess it was not going to be me.  Tim enjoyed his celebration and we found a way home and continued to celebrate long into the night.

April 22, 2017 – A to Z Challenge – S

I had planned to just write about the Science March today in DC but changed my mind as there were threeS words in the S section of “The Deeper Meaning of LIff” that tickled me.  First though I will tell you that there were tons of people at the march and they for sure were not paid to be there. Loved all the home made signs and the costumes were great.  Loved the knitted pink hats with brains added on to the top.  Lots of nerdy types were there.  Young students, old professor or researcher types, and families who either one or both parents were employed as researchers, MD’s, PhD’s etc.

Everyone was friendly, peaceful and polite.  They read each other’s signs and some took pictures of the better ones.  A lady from Pittsburgh who’s husband works in research was there with her mother who is 91 with Alzheimer’s disease.  She talked to Sol and took her picture with her sign.  She was very pleasant and we had a nice chat.

It rained, drizzled, stopped raining and then rained again.  I saw no one complaining.  We had been late getting started because unfortunately I had not checked kids bodies for ticks and our little granddaughter came back with four.  Guilt was the feeling I started the day with.  I know better than not to check. So now she is on a months worth of antibiotic.   Darn, Double Darn is all I can say.  Back to our day, we ate lunch at Dunkin Donuts and then Mom took the little one to a birthday party and the rest of us went on to the march.  We returned home by 4ish as it just got too chilly for me out there and my back was freezing from being wet and cold.  Took the Metro and then walked back to the house.  It worked out well as the rain was just starting again as we arrived at the house.

That was my day.  Other than the guilt I enjoyed it, am very tired and will write a little short story now with two words in it from “The Deeper Meaning of Liff”


Uncle Henry always seemed to be about 100 years old to me when I was a young girl. He had very peculiar habits but they were excused because of his age.  Henry always started his day by dressing himself very neatly in a suit and tie even if he had no intention of leaving the house.  Before retirement he had been a solicitor but now he was reduced to the position of skellister.  People would politely ask his legal opinion on some subject just to let him know they knew of his past level of respect in the courts but really did not care about the response.  But he also had some old faithful clients who still came to him for wills and other legal papers.  It was good for him.

With the onset of old age and lack of a house keeper Uncle Henry would at times hire me to come over and clean up for him.  There were jobs he did for himself, like dishes but he dreaded having to dust and polish the furniture and the floors. So those were my jobs as well as changing the sheets on the little bed he used in an old guest room.  He had loved Aunt Marya and could not bear to sleep in the bed they had shared for more than fifty years.  He kept flowers in their bedroom and always wanted to make sure I did a good cleaning in there for Marya.  I suspect he would sit on the love seat and read the poetry books that she had loved so much.  Those were the kind of things I learned about him that made me love him and not complain about helping him.

This particular morning I knew things were getting stressful for him.  There he was drinking coffee from an egg cup.  He is such a snover when it comes to cleaning up the dishes.   I wondered how many other items he would figure out he could drink coffee from before he would be reduced to having to do something about it.  I did not dare look in the sink when I went into clean the kitchen floors.   He seemed to be able to go weeks with all the various containers he found to drink his coffee from and I believe he went through not only the every day china but the good stuff too before he had to give in.

I was finished sweeping when he called to me and asked me to pick out a piece of straw from the broom.  I thought by purchasing some regular toothpicks I would be able to change his habit of being a sigglesthorne but it did not seem to have worked.  That day it was the broom, next time it might be a twister tie from the bread loaf.  He just had these habits that had developed over years and nothing I could say or do or offer to do would change him.   I thought about Aunt Marya and what she would think of this behavior, or had it always been there.  Maybe I will ask him why he insists on this.  It sure grossed me out every time he asked me for a piece out of the straw broom.  I guess to know him is to love him so I will just continue to care about him just the way he is.

April 21, 2017 – A to Z Challenge – R

Lovely drive to DC today.  Girls were great as usual and I did not fall asleep. My greatest fear… They were happy to see their mom and dad but did not reject me.  Just over seven hours with two stops and one of those was a lunch break. We ate out on a picnic bench on the Jersey Turnpike.  Had things they like so they were happy. Also had to listen to 1.5 hour of Kids Bop on the radio but eventually told them I just could not do it any more.  Went to NPR for some news.  Missed a big storm which hit just after we arrived.

Short Story based on actual happenings (not) that you might relate to.

We, Jimmy and I, were both so excited about this trip.  A romantic week in San Francisco that would give renewed energy to our relationship.  Arrived at the airport the required 2 hours ahead of time and sat and shared a sweet and drank our coffees. He prefers it straight and strong while I like mine mild and very creamy.  The chocolate croissant just hit the spot.

As we approached our gate it was obvious that this was going to be a full flight.  I prayed that the two seats we were assigned would be lovely ones with the third person in the row being a nice thin easy to get along with individual.  We snuggled together as they started to call the various people to board.  Handicapped first, then families with young children, one and all.   We were in the third group to board and as we arrived at our row there was someone sitting in the middle seat.  That was suppose to be my seat I believed.

The fellow sitting there looked up and asked if there was a problem.  I said I thought that was my seat.  He pulled out his ticket and it said seat B.  I pulled out mine and for some reason it said seat C.  The flight attendant came along because we were holding up others getting seated.  She said she was sorry but obviously we had been given seats not together.  The fellow sitting there stated he was not interested in switching.  In my mind I was swearing at him but felt pressured just to sit.  Jimmy waited while the fellow moved out into the isle and then Jimmy looking sad took his window seat.  Eventually I got the isle seat and settled in.  We talked over the fellow since he was so exacting about that being his seat.  Even with the attendant making it clear to him that he could switch.

We were facing a three hour flight with this lovely fellow but that was not going to be the end of it.  Turns out he was a rochester.  I opened my book and started to read.  Figured I would just ignore the entire situation but that was not to be.  A little person like myself does not take up much room but it would have been nice to have a little elbow room but the big fellow was not giving up an inch.  I looked over and Jimmy was also being squeezed off of any hope of having arm room.  Sure would be nice if the attendant spilled a drink on him, maybe some hot coffee. But I suppose then I would have received a poke in the face as he raised his over bearing arm to protect himself.

Jimmy and I survived the flight and were happy to get away from this fellow.  We double checked our tickets home and made sure we were sitting together. At least them we would share the arm of the seat wrapped up together.