Category Archives: Holidays

The Legend of St. Brendan’s, er, St. Patrick’s Day.

St. Patricks Day is upon us. What does that mean besides drinking beer died green to excess?

There seems to be much confusion as to why we celebrate but of course we shouldn’t let knowledge or lack thereof get in the way of a celebration.

One theme with a lot of support is that some saint by the name of Patrick is involved. After that premise, the details are up for grabs. Many people are in agreement that, once upon a time, there were way too many snakes occupying the Island of Ireland. One friend of mine expressed that she suspects that Leprechauns may have been part of the cleaning crew. I suspect she may be closer to the truth than any of us realize.

Brendan awoke to the sunrise throwing golden rays across the fields of clover, the heather on the hills and the peat in the bogs. He had no idea what any of that crap meant but he had heard it so often from the local giants it permeated his reality. His perspective of the scenery was slightly different and mostly in shadow. Being eight inches tall and a leprechaun will do that for you. He really had no idea what anything looked like in the morning. The sun in the morning blinded him to tears. Well, it was either the sun or his hangover. He had been looking forward to this day and celebrated early.

Today was the first day of a snake free Ireland.

The buggers had made life for him and his kind a living hell for as long as he could remember. Heck, they had even had an impact on his folk’s apparel. Who in their right mind would constantly wear green unless they were 8 inches tall , living among grass and trying to hide from something.
He had worked hard to see this day come. He put his life of mending shoes and tricking the locals during his off hours on hold. He had even dipped into his life savings, read pot-o-gold, to help convince the rest of the wee folk into forming a fairly well oiled snake driving machine.

He had sacrificed a lot but today was the first day of many snake free days to come. He could now cross open fields without listening both ways for telltale slithering. No longer would he have to cobble shoes hidden among shadows, shrubs and trees. He could actually live his life in the open as he was meant to.
A nice side affect of living a snake free life would be the glory. Oh sure the idea was not entirely his own. There was a local, fairly religious guy, by the name of Patrick who may have expressed the same wish for a snake free Ireland but Brendan is the one that got the job done. He was the one they would remember. He was looking forward to the day when there would be parades in his honor. He longed for at least a day when no one would have to wear green. Heck, he had even died his beer green to hide it. For some reason the snakes had loved beer.

He was greatly anticipating drinking green-free beer. That would a great reminder of his achievement.

Years later, as Brendan bitterly reminisced upon his folly filled past and drank his god awful green beer, he thought that In hindsight the snakes really weren’t that bad.

Note: Today is my blogs second year anniversary at WordPress. Yeah!

A Catharsis Is Required (cont) : Twas The Night Before Christmas

Well , I thought I was on the brink of a holiday epiphany but it hasn’t quite happened yet.

Perhaps it is  because the temperature in the land of Oz approached 40 degrees and the chance of snowflakes looks to be nil.  I thought perhaps since my drive last night was a bit treacherous due to wind, snow and ice that holiday weather may make its way a bit more east but that was not to be.  The next and final installment of my Black Friday series and the accompanying mountain snow image  should push me over the edge and into holiday-palooza-land.   Three hyphens there folks so that word is totally legit.

“Black Friday: Twas The Night Before Christmas”……ooh I can feel the joy already…or perhaps its the rum…..

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
were toys on display including a vintage Mickey Mouse.
There were games, there were gadgets, displayed in glass cases.
The collector was wary and kept his guests at fifteen paces.

The collector had food and drink to serve in his lair.
He would bring out his Pong to show off with fanfare.
The party was happening and many carols they did sing.
Until a band of toys appeared and a door bell they did ring.

The collector opened his door and failed to see
a band of toys underfoot as they scurried with glee.
With a major their leader so authoritative and quick
I knew it was Matt Mason, gosh he was slick.

More rapid than beagles his bandits they came
He whistled and ordered and called them by name.
On, Jan! On, Stosh! The Robots there were two.
On Yo!, On Larry, and perhaps a cow who did moo.

On Major! On Batman, who joined in the fun.
To rescue their friend, a brand new Xbox one.
To the top of the shelf and back towards the wall
Steal away! Steal away! Steal away all!

There was noise, there was chaos as the the batman yelled things not so holy.
He had a right to be upset for he landed in the guacamole.
When their friend was collected and their mission near over.
They all made a getaway in Major Mason’s moon rover.

The party lay in ruins, guacamole tracked across the floor.
The collector was convinced he would collect toys no more.
The band was merry and oh such a sight
as they danced and they darted off into the night.

So let that be a lesson to toy collectors all
prepare for uninvited guests at your next christmas eve ball.

So I in my kerchief all snug in my bed
decided my vision was just a dream in my head.

I finished off my Scotch and curled up in a ball.
With thoughts of good cheer and a Merry Christmas for all!

A Catharsis Is Required: The Return of Black Friday, A Different Perspective

The pursuit of creative activities are often affected by the mindset of the individual involved. My writing is no exception.

This time of the year has an especially strong influence on my moods and I tend to go  through three stages.

Stage 1) Awareness:  This stage is marked by the thoughts. Well, I’ve gotten through Halloween and Thanksgiving without going into a diabetic coma so what’s next? Oh yea, Christmas.

Stage 2) Trepidation bordering on cynicism. This stage usually sets in just after ThanksGiving, Black Friday to be precise. This stage usually requires a bit of time to work through to get to the next stage. During this period last year I worked through it by posting a four part story about the travails of toys  during this time of the year.

Stage 3) Anticipation: The transition to this stage is marked when cynicism fades and has been  replaced by a feeling of excitement for the approach of Christmas Eve.

This year is turning out to be no different than the last as I am still in stage 2. To help me move on to the next stage I am reposting that same four part series from last year. In addition to the cathartic reasons I am also taking the opportunity to introduce the story to the thousands of new fans that have discovered this blog over the past year. Hey it’s past noon hear so having a little egg nog with my rum and topping it off with delusions is acceptable.

I will be posting each installment starting today and concluding on Christmas Eve. I have allowed an extra day because , well, life happens. So without further delay I give you the first entry in the Black Friday Series: Black Friday, A Different Perspective.

A truck rolled up to the delivery entrance of the local Big Box store. The temperature was a balmy 40 degrees. This was somewhat normal for the first monday after thanksgiving.

Larry the box of legos had positioned himself at the end of the rear shelf to get the first look at the incoming newbies. At the other end of the shelf was his buddy Yo , the Yo Yo. “Yo , Yo get over here you’ll miss al the action”, shouted Larry. “Hold on to your bricks I’m rolling as fast as I can.”, shouted Yo.

Workers began wheeling in carts piled with boxes. From the looks of it they appeared to be all of the hottest new gadgets for the holidays.

“It looks like were in luck Yo. People will definitely be passing us by again this year.”

“Yep Larry but all the same I will be asking you for help to pull me by my string again.”

Every year around the holidays Yo had attached his string to the back of a shelf and thrown himself down between the wall until the holidays passed and counted on a friend to pull him back up afterwords. This method of hiding was so successful Yo had managed to avoid being bought since 1972 and had even been passed around a few stores. As far as Larry was concerned this was a record. Yo was kind of a legend in the world of toys.

“Yea, I got your back again Yo. No worries there.”

Larry’s next thought was interrupted by the arrival of one of the new potential christmas presents. Out of the box it was easy to see it was a brand new Xbox One that would be making some child or more than likely some adult a very happy kid this year.

“Will you get a load of that ,” exclaimed Yo.

“Yea , kinda perty” said Larry.

“Thanks for the compliment big boy,” exclaimed a women’s voice. “I’m Xena, what do they call you?”

Larry blushed a bit and said “They call me Larry and this hear is Yo.”

“Please to meet you Xena,” said Yo.

“Nice to meet both of you,” said Xena.

“What does Xena mean?” asked Yo.

“It’s Greek for hospitable or guest. Take your pick.” replied Xena.

“I pick the latter.” replied Larry. “Because you are not going to be at
this store for long.”

“Oh really. Why is that ?” asked Xena.

“Because the sexy gadgets get snapped up for presents really quick,”
replied Larry.

“Do you always call someone a sexy gadget when you first meet them?”
asked a blushing Xena.

“I’m sorry but that is what your kind of toys are called around
here.” replied Larry.

“It true”, said Yo and laughed. “Larry has never called me a sexy gadget.
The only thing I have ever been called is ‘groovy and that was back in
the 70’s.”

“The 1970’s. You have been here the whole time?”, asked Xena.

“Yep. I have successfully managed to avoid being purchased every year
since 1972.”

“You say that like you’re happy about that . “Don’t you want to bought?”
asked Xena.

“Heck no,” replied Yo. “My natural color is blue but you start tossing me
up and down and I turn a nice shade of green. Sure it’s pretty to look at
until I toss my string. I have a bad case of vertigo. I don’t need a life
destined for ups and downs.”

“Wow, that is unfortunate.”, replied Xena. “What about you Larry?
Being a box of legos must make you a marked man around this time of year.
I am surprised you are still on the shelf. Aren’t you looking forward to
a new home?” she asked.

“Heck no,” replied Larry. “I am destined to sit on someones display
shelf and then dragged out once in a while to be shown off to party
guests. My parts will never make it out of my box.”

“So how do you manage to stay here?” asked Xena.

“With the help of my friend Yo here I disguise myself in a discarded
box.” answered Larry.

“Just a box?” asked Xena.

“No not just any box. Its a box from a 10,000 piece puzzle of a mercator map of the world. It’s geographically accurate. No one in this country will touch it,” replied Larry.

“Aren’t you the clever one,” replied Xena

“Um, yes, yes I am.” replied Larry.

“That was a statement Larry. She was not asking you,” replied Yo.

“Uh, yea I knew that.” maintained Larry

“ I would think in a store so empty some one would get curious and open
you up,” replied Xena.

“Oh it’s not always this empty. Black Friday cleaned this place out,”
explained Larry.

A puzzled Xena replied “Black Friday?”

“Oh yea, you’re a rookie. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving.
It’s the biggest shopping day of the year,” answered Larry.

“So they get a head start on what to give thanks for next year?” asked
Xena.

“Hmm, I suppose that is one way to look at it.” said Larry.
“I always thought they missed the point and focused on what they didn’t
have and were trying to rectify it.”

“So how about you Yo?” asked Xena. “How how have you managed to avoid
being bought all these years?”

“I may just be a round disk but I got some smarts.” said Yo.

“No Yo. You have smarts.” interjected Larry.

“Thats what I said,” replied Yo.

“He ties his string to the back of the shelf and tosses himself between
the shelf and the wall. I pull him back up when the coast is clear.”
explained Larry.

“Oh my. You are much brighter than you look.” exclaimed Xena

“Why thank you, I think,” replied a puzzled Yo.

“I think I am going to like it around here,” replied Xena.
“Its a shame I will not be here for long.”

Larry smiled and said “If you want to stay around here I am sure we can
think of something.”

“Yea, between the two of us we can think of something to keep you here.”
added Yo.

“I might just take you up on that Gentlemen.” replied an exited Xena.

“Gentle who?” asked Yo.

“She meant us you string operated boob,” replied Larry.

Stay tuned folks. Will Larry and Yo be able to combine intellects and come up with a plan to keep Xena on the shelf? Will the buying public suddenly decide enough is enough? *. Will a large movie company send a cease and desist order to the author? Come back next time for answers to these and other questions the author can dream up between now and then.

*Yea right.

A Conspiracy for the Ages

The holidays are soon over. Can another ‘holiday’ come too soon. According to
the valentine related detritus already on display at the store, the answer is no.

Location : The dark basement of a warehouse located somewhere on the east coast of North America.

From separate entrances three men surreptitiously entered said warehouse. Three men who could be considered traitors to their own gender but loyal to one master. A master who can appear in multiple forms and colors and assume many aliases but all answer to the name of’legal tender’.

The three men are strangers to one another. The location of their pre arranged conclave was chosen during the previous year and only revealed to each of them the previous evening.

Each man introduces himself. There was Harry “Salutations “ Brown, Tony “Coco Bean” Burns and William “Don’t Call Me Shrink” Kowalski.

“Coco Bean. Really?” muttered Salutations Brown.

“Well, it used to be Fat Tony but I felt that played on a false stereotype people may have of us in the confection industry,” responded Coco Bean.

“Sounds sensitive enough,” agreed William, ” besides you go maybe 140 soaking wet.”

“So is it business as usual this year gentleman?” asked Coco Bean.

“Well if by usual you mean that both you guys make with the sweet talk generating expectations that cannot possibly be met and then I swoop in to pick up the pieces ,then yes, business as usual,” replied William.

“Yea , I see no reason to change. Why fix something that has been working for over 1700 years,” said Harry.

“I got to hand it to you Harry,“ said Coco Bean. “Your ancestors in business certainly knew how to craft a legend. Everyone loves a romantic martyr. Especially if he comes bearing chocolate and sticky valentines.”*

“You definitely have the poet in you Salutations. Here is to another banner Valentines Day. Long live the cash machine,” said William as he toasted with a glass of champagne.

“Long live the cash machine,” chimed in Coco Bean and Salutations as they raised their glasses”.

“So what fine location is the gathering next year gentleman?” asked Salutations.

“Hey you know the rules. We don’t choose the place. That is up to unknown others to decide” cautioned William.

“Yea, but I bet it will be someplace dark and dank,” replied Salutations.

“You would think the health care industry is in on the grift,”  said Coco Bean.

“Not yet,” replied William. They’ll wakeup, all that sugar has to be creating some new customers for them.”

*Thank you Mr. Costello.

Black Friday: ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
were toys on display including a vintage Mickey Mouse.
There were games, there were gadgets, displayed in glass cases.
The collector was wary and kept his guests at fifteen paces.


The collector had food and drink to serve in his lair.
He would bring out his Pong to show off with fanfare.
The party was happening and many carols they did sing.
Until a band of toys appeared and a door bell they did ring.

The collector opened his door and failed to see
a band of toys underfoot as they scurried with glee.
With a major their leader so authoritative and quick
I knew it was Matt Mason, gosh he was slick.

More rapid than beagles his bandits they came
He whistled and ordered and called them by name.
On, Jan! On, Stosh! The Robots there were two.
On Yo!, On Larry, and perhaps a cow who did moo.

On Major! On Batman, who joined in the fun.
To rescue their friend, a brand new Xbox one.
To the top of the shelf and back towards the wall
Steal away! Steal away! Steal away all!

There was noise, there was chaos as the the batman yelled things not so holy.
He had a right to be upset for he landed in the guacamole.
When their friend was collected and their mission near over.
They all made a getaway in Major Mason’s moon rover.

The party lay in ruins, guacamole tracked across the floor.
The collector was convinced he would collect toys no more.
The band was merry and oh such a sight
as they danced and they darted off into the night.

So let that be a lesson to toy collectors all
prepare for uninvited guests at your next christmas eve ball.

So I in my kerchief all snug in my bed
decided my vision was just a dream in my head.
I finished off my Scotch and curled up in a ball.
With thoughts of good cheer and a Merry Christmas for all.

Black Friday: The Gathering (Vintage Vendetta)

Larry had been moping all afternoon. Xena was gone and he could not fill the void left behind. No matter how he reconnected his pieces he still had a big gap somewhere.

Yo had to listen to Larry whine all afternoon and it was killing him. It was time for some action, besides the only lubricant he had only worked on Yo-Yo(s).

“All right Larry quit your belly aching. It’s clear you are not going along with my ‘there is another XBox just around the corner’ philosophy. Besides I must admit, Xena had that certain whatever the French say she had.”

“A certain I don’t know,” replied Larry.

“Yea I don’t know either but you know what I mean,” said Yo.

“Um, sure.”

“My point is we need to go get her. You’re not the only one who had a narrow escape from that vintage collector Larry.”

“If I recall correctly his name is Vince,” said Larry.

“Vince? Like short for Vintage? Your kidding me,” exclaimed Yo.

“Hey I don’t make these names up . That’s some other guys job,” replied Larry.

“Well this Vince guy has put the fear of Mattel in a lot of old toys I know and quite a few would be willing to help,” said Yo.

“You don’t say. And you can round them up in a moment’s notice?” asked Larry.

“Yep,” said Yo as he winked. “They’re also living here on the down low.”

“How come I don’t know them Yo?”

“ Because as a box Larry you tend to be, um how do I put this, mobility challenged.”

“Fair enough. So who are these toys?”

“I’ll tell you what. I will go round them up and introduce you to them,” replied Yo.

“Ok Yo. I’ll be here moping.”
 said Larry.

“Ok but you better snap out of this funk by the time I get back or you won’t be able to inspire the other toys to march into the mouth of danger.”

“Mouth of danger?” asked Larry.

“Hey I don’t make up these metaphors. That’s some other guys job.” laughed Yo and added “I’ll be back.”

“Was that an Austrian accent?” asked Larry. But Yo was gone. I could have sworn that was an Austrian accent.

Before long Yo came back leading a parade of refugee toys. Larry took one look and thought he was suffering from flashbacks. If he listened carefully he could have sworn he heard either Wagner or maybe the theme to the three stooges playing in the background.

“Form up on me everyone.” ordered Yo.

It was clear he was either getting into the proper spirit of the moment or suffering from delusions of grandeur. Larry was voting for the latter.

There was a clatter of chaos and then from under a pile of what appeared to be every popular toy of the 70’s the voice of Yo could be heard screaming “I meant literally folks.”

“I think that’s figuratively Yo.” shouted Larry.

“Yea, they know what I mean.”

“No, it’s obvious they don’t. That’s why you are currently buried by them.” replied Larry.

A few moments later the pile had broken up and had formed a nice neat line.
Strutting in front of the line, as much as a Yo-Yo can strut, was Yo.

“Alright Larry, let me introduce our volunteer army or what I like to refer to a Yo-Yo’s little helpers.”

“Yo, you are starting to suffer delusions of grandeur.”

“What? Grand Illusion?” I didn’t know you were a Styx fan?” asked Yo.

“Um, up until they became a love ballad smorgasbord but I meant that you are starting to let your ego run away with you. Besides, you make them sound like elves and that is not going to inspire fear in anyone let alone Vince the collector”.

“Vince the collector. Sounds like a hit man.” laughed Yo.

“Well it’s definitely scarier than Yo-Yo’s little helpers.”

“Ill give you that. We can come up with a name later. Let me introduce them to you. Starting from your left and proceeding to your right…”

“Yo, I’m a box of legos I have no hands.” interrupted Larry.

“Yea, but you know what I mean. This here is Major Matt Mason. He is an astronaut toy from the 60’s. 1966 I believe. “

“He looks to be in good shape considering his age,” stated Larry.

“Larry, may I remind you that your shape is a box and you don’t have a right to comment on the shape of others”.

“Yea, that’s fair Yo. So what can he contribute to the effort?” asked Larry.

“Ahem, Let me answer that,” replied the Major as he step forward and saluted.

“I have years of space training at the Mattel Space Camp.” stated the Major.

“Well that’s nice Major but we won’t be going into to space,” replied Larry.

“Well I have a moon rover and a really cool Jet Pack that can move us along a zip line,” added the Major.

“Welcome aboard Major,” said a smiling Larry.

“Next we have Betsy Wetsy,” said Yo pointing to a baby.

“But Yo ,” whispered Larry. “She’s a baby and need we go into whether her name is literal or figurative?”

“Hmm, you have a point,” said Yo and added “Sorry Betsy. I think you could help us better on the home front.”

“Our next volunteers are brothers Jan and Stosh the Rock’em Sock’em Robots.
They’re Polish and they claim to have inspired a generation of Polish boxers. I don’t know if that’s true but I’m not going to question them. I think they will come in handy if we get in a bind and need some muscle.”

“That’s a good point Yo. Welcome aboard gentlemen.” Larry did a double take and asked Yo.” “Is it me or is his neck unusually long?”

Yo looked at the robots and said “Hey Stosh, or Jan, whichever; Please re-engage your neck spring. It’s freaking Larry out. Don’t worry Larry it goes back down. It’s part of their design.”

“Yo, who is that box there,” whispered Larry.

“Oh that there is Spirograph. He’s an artist.”

“We will not have time for art on this mission Yo,” stated Larry.

“Yea, I knew you would say something like that.” interrupted Spirograph. “No body appreciates art.”

“That’s not true,” uttered Larry. “I would love it if you could whip something up to inspire the troops.”

“You got it,” replied the Spirograph. “Do you have any drawing paper?”

“We’ll find you some in a moment,” replied Yo

The introductions carried on for a while and when they were done they had assembled a nice unit of specialists ready to mount an assault on Vince the collector and take back Xena.

“Larry I think you left out Mr. Potato Dude over there,” whispered Yo.

“Yes on purpose. We can’t afford the law suit that would entail,” replied Larry.

“Oh yea. I see your point.”

“Yo. You mentioned that several of these toys had some problems with Vince. Do they know where he lives?” asked Larry.

“You mean his lair,” replied a Batman action figure (of the Adam West variety).

“Um, yes I guess you could call it that.” replied Larry.

“Robin and I were once a captive of the one you call Vince the collector. I can lead you to his lair in the dark if I have to”.

“Yo, Who is this Robin that he speaks of?” asked Larry.

“Keep it down will you. That is a sore subject. They parted ways and it wasn’t pretty.”

“Oops, my bad,” said Larry and then added “That would be great Mr., um, Batman.”

“It’s just Batman my boxlike friend.” replied Batman.

“Very well, Batman. You will lead us to the collector’s lair.”

Larry looked upon the rag tag group of toys that represented his last hope of seeing Xena again and shuddered. They’re not the dirty dozen but their all I have, he thought.

Will Spirograph finally be recognized as a true artist?

Can Batman find Vince’s lair and if so will Xena trust her future to this collection of stooges?

Do Jan and Stosh speak english or will the author have to translate.*

What will Vince do when he finds out that Xena is not a vintage Pong game?

These answers and what ever the author dreams up after a late night snack to follow.

* He can if they just want to order lunch in a diner with soda water and/or beer.

Black Friday: Living On The Down-Low

A week had gone by at the local Big Box and Xena had managed to avoid being sold. They had been lucky thought Larry but their luck would run out soon. He was getting nervous.

Yo had the job of finding a suitable disguise for Xena. He was not exactly the brightest Yo- Yo on the planet, ok his string didn’t spin very fast on his hub if you know what I mean, but he could move around the store much faster than Larry and time was of the essence.

Larry was grateful that Yo was willing to take the risk of being out in the open during prime buying season. He could no longer move like, well, lets face he could never really move all that fast. It was probably because he was big boxed.

Yo had come back with several potential disguises but for one reason or another they all turned out to be bad ideas. The one idea that had come closest to solving their problem was when Yo brought back a box containing Hug Me Elmo. It wouldn’t take much to take out Elmo and dispose of the body. They also thought that he would not be in high demand given the scandal surrounding the Elmo puppeteer but Larry was worried the buying public had a short memory and since the Hug Me version did not sound as suspicious as the Tickle Me edition he did not want to take a chance on its marketability.

Larry was beginning to think it was time to think outside the box when Yo swung back from his latest expedition sounding triumphant. “You sound exuberant. You had some luck I take it?” asked Larry.

“Huh, no I don’t need any lubricant. What are you talking about?” replied Yo.

“I said exuberant, it means excited.”

“Oh yea. I am exited. I found a perfect disguise for Xena.” replied Yo.

“Well, where is it?” asked Larry.

“After the last couple of failures I was not going to go swinging halfway across the store with it. Its a box of some kind of ping-pong things.”

“Ping-Pong Paddles?” queried Larry.

“Yea, that it.” answered a proud Yo.

“So, no batteries required?”

“Nope,” answered Yo.

“Nothing to plugin?”

“Nope again,”replied Yo.

“So its something they could play in a power outage or the coming apocalypse?” asked Larry.

“The alpaca what?”, replied Yo.

“When the stuff hits the fan.” answered Larry.

“Oh. Yea, light a few candles and I suspect there wouldn’t be a problem.” said Yo.

“It’s perfect. They’ll never buy it.” said Larry with a big grin on his box and added “Will you need help getting the box over to Xena in the gadget section?”

“No, in the time it would take you to get there someone could take out your insides and put them together.” laughed Yo.

“You do know that this box is a disguise and inside I am legos and not a 10,000 piece mercator puzzle of the world don’t you?”

“Uh, yeah. Hey, it could take a while to put legos together.” “I’ll be fine,” he added and swung away toward the electronics department.

Sometime later Yo returned. “You can relax now Larry. Looking at Xena you would have no idea she’s the latest Xbox.”

“Just in the nick of time too. I just heard the manager saying they were going to put them on sale before we open today.” stated Larry. Just then the door chimed and signaled the store opening. The stampede had begun.

Having looped his string to the shelf unit Yo whispered “Quick Larry, toss me down behind the shelf”*. Larry did as he was told and then stayed in the back. His disguise had worked well but he wasn’t going to push his luck.

The sound of footsteps was soon accompanied by voices and the carnage began. Both Yo and Larry were sweating it out, well as much as toys could sweat, and the hours ticked by.

Larry was about to fall asleep when he heard a familiar voice in the electronic section say “Come here honey. Get a load of this.”

“What is it Harold?” replied a woman.

“I do believe it’s an old electronic Pong game Marge.”

“Yikes,” gasped Larry. “Now he recognized that voice. It was the vintage toy collector that he barely escaped from a few years back. Yo, you said you found a box of Ping Pong paddles.”

“Well it had the word pong on the box so I just figured that’s what it was.” replied Yo rather sheepishly.

“Swell, remind me to rewind your string extra tight.”

Larry and Yo listen as Harold and Marge excitedly carried away their find to the front desk. Soon they exited the store with a big bag containing Xena.

“We’ll never see Xena again Yo.” said a sad Larry.

“Don’t worry Larry, another sexy gadget is just around the corner.” replied Yo trying to comfort him.

“You don’t understand Yo. She was just my type.”

“Oh Larry, all big boxes are your type.”

“That’s not true Yo. There was something about Xena. No matter what box she was in she had a certain ju ne se qua.” lamented Larry.

“A june bug what?” asked Larry.

“It’s French. A certain I don’t know what.” replied Larry

Yo shook his head and replied “Yea I don’t know what those French are trying to say either.”

Stay tuned for the next installment of the Black Friday Adventures. Will Larry be convinced that all sexy gadgets are alike and a replacement for Xena is just around the corner?

Will Larry try to rescue Xena?

Will Yo get an French-English dictionary?

Answers to these questions and those being asked by the voices in the authors head are coming to this blog soon.

*Sure Yo could swing himself across the store but his fear of the dark prevented him from hiding behind the shelf without a little push.

Black Friday. A Different Perspective.

A truck rolled up to the delivery entrance of the local Big Box store. The temperature was a balmy 40 degrees. This was somewhat normal for the first monday after thanksgiving.

Larry the box of legos had positioned himself at the end of the rear shelf to get the first look at the incoming newbies. At the other end of the shelf was his buddy Yo , the Yo Yo. “Yo , Yo get over here you’ll miss al the action”, shouted Larry. “Hold on to your bricks I’m rolling as fast as I can.”, shouted Yo.

Workers began wheeling in carts piled with boxes. From the looks of it they appeared to be all of the hottest new gadgets for the holidays.

“It looks like were in luck Yo. People will definitely be passing us by again this year.”

“Yep Larry but all the same I will be asking you for help to pull me by my string again.”

Every year around the holidays Yo had attached his string to the back of a shelf and thrown himself down between the wall until the holidays passed and counted on a friend to pull him back up afterwords. This method of hiding was so successful Yo had managed to avoid being bought since 1972 and had even been passed around a few stores. As far as Larry was concerned this was a record. Yo was kind of a legend in the world of toys.

“Yea, I got your back again Yo. No worries there.”

Larry’s next thought was interrupted by the arrival of one of the new potential christmas presents. Out of the box it was easy to see it was a brand new Xbox One that would be making some child or more than likely some adult a very happy kid this year.

“Will you get a load of that ,” exclaimed Yo.

“Yea , kinda perty” said Larry.

“Thanks for the compliment big boy,” exclaimed a women’s voice.

“I’m Xena, what do they call you?”

Larry blushed a bit and said “They call me Larry and this hear is Yo.”

“Please to meet you Xena,” said Yo.

“Nice to meet both of you,” said Xena.

“What does Xena mean?” asked Yo.

“It’s Greek for hospitable or guest. Take your pick.” replied Xena.

“I pick the latter.” replied Larry. “Because you are not going to be at
this store for long.”

“Oh really. Why is that ?” asked Xena.

“Because the sexy gadgets get snapped up for presents really quick,”
replied Larry.

“Do you always call someone a sexy gadget when you first meet them?”
asked a blushing Xena.

“I’m sorry but that is what your kind of toys are called around
here.” replied Larry.

“It true”, said Yo and laughed. “Larry has never called me a sexy gadget.
The only thing I have ever been called is ‘groovy and that was back in
the 70’s.”

“The 1970’s. You have been here the whole time?”, asked Xena.

“Yep. I have successfully managed to avoid being purchased every year
since 1972.”

“You say that like you’re happy about that . “Don’t you want to bought?”
asked Xena.

“Heck no,” replied Yo. “My natural color is blue but you start tossing me
up and down and I turn a nice shade of green. Sure it’s pretty to look at
until I toss my string. I have a bad case of vertigo. I don’t need a life
destined for ups and downs.”

“Wow, that is unfortunate.”, replied Xena. “What about you Larry?
Being a box of legos must make you a marked man around this time of year.
I am surprised you are still on the shelf. Aren’t you looking forward to
a new home?” she asked.

“Heck no,” replied Larry. “I am destined to sit on someones display
shelf and then dragged out once in a while to be shown off to party
guests. My parts will never make it out of my box.”

“So how do you manage to stay here?” asked Xena.

“With the help of my friend Yo here I disguise myself in a discarded
box.” answered Larry.

“Just a box?” asked Xena.

“No not just any box. Its a box from a 10,000 piece puzzle of a mercator map of the world. It’s geographically accurate. No one in this country will touch it,” replied Larry.

“Aren’t you the clever one,” replied Xena

“Um, yes, yes I am.” replied Larry.

“That was a statement Larry. She was not asking you,” replied Yo.

“Uh, yea I knew that.” maintained Larry

“ I would think in a store so empty some one would get curious and open
you up,” replied Xena.

“Oh it’s not always this empty.  Black Friday cleaned this place out,”
explained Larry.

A puzzled Xena replied “Black Friday?”

“Oh yea, you’re a rookie. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving.
It’s the biggest shopping day of the year,” answered Larry.

“So they get a head start on what to give thanks for next year?” asked
Xena.

“Hmm, I suppose that is one way to look at it.” said Larry.
“I always thought they missed the point and focused on what they didn’t
have and were trying to rectify it.”

“So how about you Yo?” asked Xena. “How how have you managed to avoid
being bought all these years?”

“I may just be a round disk but I got some smarts.” said Yo.

“No Yo. You have smarts.” interjected Larry.

“Thats what I said,” replied Yo.

“He ties his string to the back of the shelf and tosses himself between
the shelf and the wall. I pull him back up when the coast is clear.”
explained Larry.

“Oh my. You are much brighter than you look.” exclaimed Xena

“Why thank you, I think,” replied a puzzled Yo.

“I think I am going to like it around here,” replied Xena.
“Its a shame I will not be here for long.”

Larry smiled and said “If you want to stay around here I am sure we can
think of something.”

“Yea, between the two of us we can think of something to keep you here.”
added Yo.

“I might just take you up on that Gentlemen.” replied an exited Xena.

“Gentle who?” asked Yo.

“She meant us you string operated boob,” replied Larry.

Stay tuned folks. Will Larry and Yo be able to combine intellects and come up with a plan to keep Xena on the shelf? Will the buying public suddenly decide enough is enough? *. Will a large movie company send a cease and desist order to the author? Come back next time for answers to these and other questions the author can dream up between now and then.

*Yea right.

Holiday Mashup (Sweet Stuffing)

Holiday Mashup – Thanksgiving + Halloween. I am into subject mashups these days. I am not sure why. Perhaps its a lazy way of being creative. You take two good ideas and combine them and they become one great supercalifragilistic idea. It’s like peanut and chocolate or for my money chocolate and raspberry. Well that is the goal anyway.

We as americans are too eager to move on to the next big thing and when it comes to holidays we are no different. Well before the halloween candy has been consumed and little Johnny is being checked for diabetes, we are taking down the plastic pumpkins and replacing them with little Johnnies hand turkey he made at school.

I suggest we combine Halloween and Thanksgiving. The average amount of break time between those two holiday innings has to be less than a week and at the rate things are going they will be merging soon anyway.

Rather than giving out tasty but unhealthy treats for Halloween we can use it as an opportunity to give away our leftover turkey and cranberries. I’m sure the kids won’t be thrilled but hey it’s time for little johnny to drop some of that junk in the trunk anyway.

If you’re concerned about falling asleep after thanksgiving dinner then use candy corn for your stuffing. The sugar will keep you awake a little while longer and you’ll get rid of candy that your grandmother bought in 1953.

Combining your holidays will allow you to combine your decorations and cut down on the amount of time decorating. My brother in law has a stuffed wild turkey that he puts out on his lawn for Thanksgiving every year. I think putting it out for Halloween can be just as scary as a pumpkin. I ran into that thing one night and thought I was in the middle of a Wes Craven movie. Ruined a perfectly good pair of shorts.*

Combining the two could also be quite educational for the children. They could dress up as colonists of the era complete with buckled shoes. “What is so scary about that?”. Two words; colonial dentistry. Which brings up another strong point to this idea. Smaller Dentist bills.

By combining Halloween and Thanksgiving, time and money could be saved and we all know what that means ….more time and money for Christmas shopping.

*This is hyperbole folks, really.
Feel free to leave me a comment with a suggestion as to what the combined holiday should be called.