Machines Mock Us

The Machines Mock Us!

By BR Chitwood

*

Look at us!

Laptops on our Laps!

A toy for the Ages! Seeing the world turn at different and troubling angles.

In Love with the Magic!

So, what the hell, listen to this nonsense:

“Don’t fool around, Honey! I’m busy here!”

  “You promised me a dinner out, Charlie!”

“No ‘dinner out’ – I’m in the middle of my intro to, Acres to Roam.”

“Dumb-ass book…”

“What did you just whisper, Sadie: ‘Dumbest book’? Don’t piss me off, Sadie, I’m on a ‘roll’ here.”

“Okay, ‘two-syllable wonder’, roll on. I’m outta here.”

“Yeah, sleep well, Sadie…I could be up all night with this intro…”

“Take as long as you want, Charlie…see you later.”

A door slams shut, but Charlie hardly notices…

*

So, a scene slightly sad and subjective, but, from the daily news reports and Newspaper bylines, it does appear we are in some new social territories in our ‘once’ freedom-loving country. Some of us have serious doubts about the paths we are travelling in our democracy, doubts about leadership and ‘control factors’, refugees flooding across our southern border, riots, homicides, chaotic madness interrupting our police and just a general miasmic feeling that our country is nearing some sort of negative end.

No interest here in playing ‘blame games’ – there is likely enough to filter through all political groups and tag-alongs.

Here in my humble abode, I play my own psychiatrist and patient…it just helps to write a few lines and have a system cleaning, at least, as far as it will go.

Does it work?

Maybe, for just a few moments.

A ‘hot toddy’ is much better…made with ‘Maker’s Mark’, of course

BR Chitwood – May 6, 2021

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‘Sport’ and Cruise – A Visit With Tim

[Image Art by Peter Hansen – Unsplash.com]

‘Sport’ and Cruise!

-A Visit With Tim-

*

          [Doorbell rings]

“C’mon in, Tim! The door’s unlocked!”

                    [Doorbell rings again]

BR pulls the door open…

“Didn’t you hear me? I yelled that the door was unlocked.”

“The door wasn’t unlocked, BR.”

“Tim, I just opened the door to let you in. It was not locked.”

“Then there’s something wrong with your door, BR, because it would not open for me.” He shrugged. “Are we going to stand here and argue about your frigging door? Hell, maybe I didn’t push it hard enough.”

“Okay, let’s try it again, Tim. Go back out, ring the doorbell, and I’ll yell again, and you can push the door a bit harder this time…”

Tim wrinkles his eyes, dips his head, and asks, “Are you having sport with me, BR?”

“Am I ‘having sport with you’? Where the hell did you come up with that? Is that the same as, ‘you kidding me’?”

“Yeah, I’m sure it is. I heard someone use those words on the golf course today, and I liked the fancy way they sounded. Just trying it out on you, BR. It doesn’t hurt to learn new ways of saying things, am I right?”

“Well, I can’t imagine any of our steady friends not laughing their asses off hearing you say, ‘Are you having sport with me’?”

“You’re not laughing your skinny ass off. You are impressed with those words, BR. Admit it.”

“Oh, yeah, Tim, I’m all ‘gaga’ over those words. Let me apologize for my lack of gentility and respect for your newfound knowledge of word usage.”

“Hey, BR, you invited me over to talk about some damned thing and you’re killing me with your insults. What the hell’s going on?”

“Okay, okay, I’m backed into a corner and I don’t quite know what to do about it. Sit and sip your beer while I try to explain my predicament, and, believe it or not, you’ve already helped me a bit…”

“I’ll be thinking of you tonight when I’m up about a dozen times taking whizzes. We had a six-pack each at the golf club. I’ll drink your beer, BR, and I won’t make sport of you again. See, you learn a new word or a  new phrase and use them. They then become part of your ‘lexicon’.” Tim paused for BR’s reaction.

With a big sigh, BR said, “Okay, I’m biting. What means lexicon?”

“Oh, I’m so glad you asked, BR. Lexicon is sort of like your vocabulary, like a dictionary of words you use for your communicating with people.”

“Well, that is a joy to know…and will the cum laude education you’re giving me today ever end? Look, Tim, I’m the guy you’ve known for lots of years, and I can live with the fact that you have better words at your disposal than I, but can we talk about what I asked you over to talk about?”

“Sure, BR Buddy, most of me was just kidding around and showing off… Go ahead and tell me what it is you want to talk about.”

“Okay, Julie won’t be home for another hour or so, but here’s the thing: her birthday is coming up in August, and I’m thinking about what to give her, you know, new dress, a big night out, or, now don’t flip out on me, a 7-day Caribbean Cruise, maybe a 14-day Caribbean Cruise. The idea just came to me, and I thought maybe, just, maybe, you and Annie might want to go along. Now, we have several weeks to book cabins and/or suites. I’ve got all the cost factors down…and, here’s the thing, Tim, I’m not saying here that I’m including your costs with mine. I just thought, being best husband and wife pals for years you might be up for it…”

“Holy Crapola! That’s gotta cost a mint, man. Yeah, I’ve got some fairly healthy savings, but I don’t know if Annie would go for it. Hell, we’re getting older as the time goes by so quickly. We die. The kids get the house and the money. Hell, why don’t we spend the money and let them cash out the house… I like the idea, BR. We’ve never done anything so extravagant before. Maybe it’s time. The ladies didn’t like it too much when we spent the money for the golf club membership, but I have a feeling they just might go for a Caribbean Cruise.”

“Are you as excited as you’re putting on, or, are you having sport with me? The other thing, Tim, the Cruise lines are hurting a bit after the pandemic and costs attached to that. We should be able to get some great ‘Suite Deals’… You want another beer?”

“I’ve got to deposit some used beer soon or bust, so, no, I’ll pass… It’s about time for Julie and Annie to get home. Let’s start working on them, BR.”

Tim left but not without a starboard bow passing shot:

“By the way, good buddy BR, there’s nothing wrong with the lock on your front door, so don’t go messing with it…I was just funning you. Bon Voyage, Pal, let’s get this package put together with the ladies…”

BR Chitwood – June 25, 2020

*

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Passport Pictures

Passport Pictures

“OMG! That’s, ME? Okay, That’s I?”

“That’s you, sweetheart.”

“Damn, lie to me, woman, don’t let me try to sleep  tonight with that ugly truth in my sub-conscious.”

“You ‘OMGed’ when you saw you new driver’s license some months ago.”

“Yeah, I know, but, at least, the Driver’s License was in vivid color. This passport picture looks more black and white than color – more gray than black… Geez, my eyes look vacant and without any show of life…”

“Come on, honey, you’re becoming obsessed. I never knew your ego to go this far out north of kilter. You know drivers’ licenses and passport pictures are always horrible.”

“Yeah, I know you’re right, but it’s still a shock seeing my face in a depressing morgue’s gray slide-out chamber… By the way, where the hell might we be going? We just got to Phoenix a few weeks ago. That’s a beastly long drive for an internationally successful and wealthy author.”

“Uh, darling, you’re spacing out again…forget who you’re talking to?”

“I believe that should be, ‘…to whom you’re talking?”

“Oh, shut up and eat your oatmeal, grammar-hog.”

“I hate oatmeal! You know, your passport is no image winner, either!”

“Okay, I’m taking your oatmeal away.”

“That was the plan, dear heart.”

“You and your passport make good companions. I’m giving your oatmeal to ‘Lady Gray’.”

“Okay, that ‘draws the line’ so I’m using my ‘Executive Privilege’. You may not torture my beautiful ‘Lady Gray’ by feeding her something that only you like… You and your new passport sleeping in the guest room tonight?”

“No, you are!”

“Ah, you win some and you lose some…um, no kiss, ‘goodnight’…”

BR Chitwood – Feb. 20, 2020

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Too Many Gauges

Too Many Gauges

-A Dialogue, PLUS-

 

JH: “Interesting ‘Title’, Billy Ray. Why  do you use that title?”

 

BRC: “Why ‘not’ that title’, John?”

 

JH: “Well, I don’t really know. Maybe it’s nothing, but ‘gauges’ usually refer to automobiles, furnaces, machinery of some sort. Titles of topics should signify interest before the reading starts, don’t you think?”

 

BRC: “Yes, of course, but why would not someone think just looking at the title that it could be probably interesting?”

 

JH: “I said it was an interesting title. I’m just asking, ‘why’ the title?”

 

BRC: “Sure, but you’ve already shown that the title interested you. So, what you’re really asking me is to tell you the ‘dialogue’ so you don’t have to read it, correct?”

JH: “Geez Whiz, Billy Ray, I just asked, why do you use that title, and you’re acting like I broke a commandment or some sacred oath. I mean, it’s a ‘given’ I’m going to read ‘Too Many Gauges’. I’m just asking, ‘why do you use that title’?”

 

BRC: “Okay, okay. What does the word, gauges, mean to you?”

 

JH: “Gauges measure things, like a car’s gas gauge tells you if you’re about out of gas. A thermometer tells you how high your fever is…”

 

BRC: “Right, and you know I would not write something simple like that, and you want to draw me into a long chat about what ‘gauges’ means in this piece I’ve just written, and, you know my ‘gauges’ will be more of a philosophical bent than simple gas gauges and how sick someone might be. You would likely shift into a ‘funny mode’ and want to know if I would be writing about an anal or oral thermometer. It would turn out that my article would become yours. Then, I would have to hide from you and re-write a whole different article. You’re so easy to see through, John.”

 

JH: “Well, would you?”

 

BRC: “Would I, what?”

 

JH: “Would you be writing about an anal and/or oral thermometer?”

 

BRC: “John, you know I love you, but you’re beyond any possible hope…”

 

JH:“Ah, c’mon, buddy, lighten up. I’m going to read your dialogue thingy. Just give me a fast synopsis of your use of gauges in your article. Just, whet my appetite for more, okay?”

 

BRC: “Okay (sigh), I’m in bed, can’t sleep, a toss and turn night, emptying my bad kidneys every hour, and, okay, feeling sorry for myself, thinking about my life and times…why so much romancing and vagabonding instead of becoming POTUS (Yuck! Does anyone really want that job?), the greatest writer in the world, an ‘Oscar-winning’ actor, and/or, just an ordinary ‘picket fence’ guy with family and love…

 

“Yeah, I even thought about you, also like me, playing the ‘Corp Games’, about all your ’Willet Bourbon Intake’, your checking in and out of the ‘dry-out clinics’, your DUI tickets, the shame you carried after spending that time in the ‘slammer’…yeah, you had a tough go of it, John. My heart bled for you – that is, until you took one of my women, after all the lies you told about me. Funny how you’ve stayed together all these years with one of my favorite ladies and the dogs you stole out of the kennel…that really hurt, John…you knew I wanted my favorite lady and those dogs.

 

“Okay, open the fist, John. You know I’m just roasting you because you are a better writer than I, have a better blog than I, prevaricate so much more convincingly than I can (just, kidding). You, John, are  a standard bearer for all would-be ‘gentle-men’, and I love you, Man.

 

“Those were the gauges misread by me, John, those attributed here in this post, the missed opportunities, the chances at ‘greatness’ that I had and never took advantage of – those are the ‘mis-read’, or, ‘did not read’, gauges.

 

“There is some solace in the recounting. While too busy passing up my many opportunities, my life is complete now, with Julie Anne, Lady Gray, and our wonderful children and grandkids. When all is finally written I’ve had a rather fascinating life…

 

“With years left to come…”

 

JH: “You finished?”

 

BRC: “Yep, all done…”

 

JH: “Good. You will hear from my attorney tomorrow.”

 

BRC: “The gorgeous blonde? Or, the wrinkled-faced Methuselah?”

JH: “You giving odds?”

 

BR Chitwood – Feb. 11, 2020

*

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One Last Romance – Part Two

One More Romance – Part 2

 (I was forced into writing!)

*

6

One should never have to compromise himself (male, presumption, me!), to be verbally bullied, coerced, cowered, manipulated, threatened, vilified into adding to a story already written, filed, and, presumably, in a secret, private vault.

(One side note: my lovely and most curvaceous writing coach advised me not to hesitate in showing off an extensive use of qualifying words and phrases to show the readers my total command of an excitable vocabulary.)

So, it is with these statements that I begin the second part of “One More Romance.” The person who did all the nasty ‘force-thingies’ in paragraph one of this Part Two will not be mentioned by name, but, will, in some future and unsuspecting moment, be placed in a compromising, utterly embarrassing, and dreadful position of shame…

*

At the last moment, my Debbie was called into work at the Throne Room for a special gathering of some college fraternity dignitaries. She was filled with dismay in missing the dinner at the Arizona Country Club and meeting Doctor Sam and his wife, Char, a cute and endearing shortening of her full first name, Charlotte.

So, good Sam, Char, and I enjoyed best we could dinner without Debbie, and the alcohol gave us uplifting glows. It was determined after dinner that we would go to the Throne Room, meet Debbie, and enjoy the wonderful piano styling of Lady Gwendolyn.

Our Arizona Country Club was having a relatively slow night. Our lone piano player kept playing and singing our old-time memory melodies, and we reminisced and let the glows grow into a miasma of melancholy. We talked about Peggy, about Debbie, how they resembled each other in so many ways.

Sam, Char and I were feeling no pains as before-dinner libations and vintage Cabernet through our gourmet meal did their jobs well. In short, we were not ready to call it a night. We chided ourselves that prospects for morning hangovers were viable possibilities, so with the vestiges of youth mixing well with the drinks, we hauled our asses to the Throne Room in Scottsdale.

On the way we were pulled over by a motorcycle cop, and, for a moment, oh, oh, the rain was coming to fall on our parade. (Side Note: that curvaceous writing coach also explained that it was an occasional coup d’état to use a cliché.)

No driving ticket was issued from the pretty brunette motorcycle cop for a dysfunctional rear light… Yes, it was a female M/C, and the kind lady re-energized particularly me by issuing ‘no ticket’.

We drove onward to the Throne Room.

“I think the lady cop was looking you over beyond the scope of her duties, Chuck. Should we be telling Debbie about this driving incident?”

“Doc Sam, control your wife, please.”

With more time-killing, tantalizing teasing, we soon arrived at the Throne Room.

There was a deepening, dissociative disorientation of sorts as we walked toward the lobby entrance, a rather awkward feeling of unrest, and I was restless and disturbed by the feeling. My guess was that we all have those moments from time to time…as well as the recurring need for alliteration.

The mind can have strange diversions, can bemuse the hell out of me

Ah, but it was all to become clear to me in just moments.

7

Entering the lobby just off the Throne Room the emanating noise level in the lounge had a too loud and raucous element which surprised me, and apparently good Sam and Char who was visiting my drink din for the first time. They looked at me curiously with the raising of their brows.

Besotted folks did not stay long at the Throne Room, and I looked around for Tommy DiGrazio.

Tommy was a big guy who kept order in the Throne Room, usually stationed himself at the entrance to the Lounge, his quick thoughts determining the mind-set of the people entering: were they looking to cause trouble? Had they already had their limits of booze? Were they men ‘feeling their oats’ looking ‘to score’ before the evening ended? (Ah, love the clichés.)

This hotel and this up-scale Throne Room was not the typical pick-up bar. It was a hotel and lounge that catered to the Movers and Shakers of the Corp and Entertainment world, but anyone with a sane and sound-working brain knew that trouble could happen at any time and any place, regardless of its resumé.

So, where was Tommy?

Maybe he was inside the lounge, and there’ an easy way to find out. Go into the lounge, Dummy… I like kicking myself with an occasional verbal jibe.

Tommy was every bit the look of what a person might consider labeling a man true to the Mafioso element, not too keen on smiling, slow moving and a ‘hulk’. He was not a good friend, but we did like each other, and, through the years, except to know and to kibitz, we maintained a buddyship. A new joke was shared here and there, and there was always the feeling on my part that he was looking out for me – in a good way.

Somehow, my senses were suddenly alerted to danger, and I could see the same transformation taking place on Sam’s and Char’s face.

“There’s no piano music, Chuck, just a lot of noise, with some sharp yells. Are we going into the lounge?”

We were standing in the lobby, just outside the lovely statue-entrance to the big Room.

“Why don’t you two relax in one of the love seats while I go in and see what’s going on. I won’t leave you sitting out here too long. It’s more than likely there’s something special going on for the frat people, people just having fun.”

Just as I entered the lounge, I heard loud tinny whistles behind me, voices, screaming, “Police. Out of the way. We’re coming through.”

In a moment of crowded clarity, I saw three things that scared the hell out of me: Tommy was on the lounge floor in front of the Piano Bar, face bloody and gashed, still fighting two stout young men in suits, the police rushing to aid Tommy; Debbie was kneeling on the floor, blood coming from her brow at her hairline with an unmoving Lady Gwendolyn cradled in her arms; one of the bartenders was crawling over the shiny mahogany bar trying to reach and help Tommy.

I rushed to Debbie’s side, knelt, yelled her name and lamely asked: “Are you okay? What happened to Gwen? You have blood on your brow? What just happened here?” My questions rushed from my lips, sounding inane and with pitiful urgency.

Debbie looked up at me and almost in a whisper, said, “Later, Chuck, when we’re alone and you can hear. I’m okay so don’t worry. A piece of glass flew into my hair. I’m okay.”

Medical help soon arrived, and the police returned the lounge to some semblance of order and whispering voices.

I talked briefly with the bar manager, Artie Pierson. He told me the lounge would be closed when the ‘suited bastards who caused all of this are hauled away’.

Artie told me to get Debbie out of there, that she would be reliving Lady Gwendolyn’s attack – One of the young suited apes went wild, threw several cocktail glasses when Gwen screamed in her mike trying to restore order. One cocktail glass knocked her out.

“What caused all of this, Artie?”

“The Frat Apes caused it, flirting with guys’ dates or wives, grabbing their breasts, their behinds… They went crazy for no reason I could tell you. Lady Gwen did plead with them to stop their crazy behavior, and you can see what she got for her efforts.”

“Artie, these guys are too old to be ‘Frats’ in college.”

“Oh, no, these guys are the big shots in their luxurious Corp-Offices. College kids have their own hangouts for booze and girls.”

A doctor was working on Lady Gwen –now stirring – and announced she would be okay.

I lifted Debbie from the lounge floor and gently led her out to the lobby. The police somehow knew that I was not part of the problem.

Doc Sam and Char met Debbie under a full-moon sky, and they liked her.

Debbie and I drove Sam and Char back to the club and their own car.

It was almost 12:30 AM when we were settled enough for bed.

I hated the ugly events at the Throne Lounge, but I loved pampering Debbie all through the night, a strong stamina stud, you might say – OMG, where is all of this coming from?

The next morning, I made breakfast for us – a new cereal so good we had two bowls, each. Debbie and I would never be as close as we were that sun-filled morning.

We had such an emotional yesterday and a hard day’s night, we decided to take a nap in mid-morning. Well, say what you will, but, unaccountably, we were still exhausted after a bologna sandwich and took another nap.

The afternoon nap produced another period of ennui that we found difficult to understand, and, with a left-arm- stretch, I was able to reach the TV remote. It just happened that a Spider-man movie was on, and, with all his ‘webbing-zips’ from one tall building to another, we got tired again.

So, again, we napped!

8

It was Debbie’s final decision to make, and I’m glad she made it.

She was fired from the Throne Lounge.

‘Fired’ is a bit strong. She was  given a choice.

Reason for ‘no job’? She screamed obscenities at the bad International Frat-A-holes during their bad bar behavior, and management felt she exacerbated the situation.

She joined in a Class Action Lawsuit leveled at an International Fraternity Consortium, and, waited – okay, if you insist – and, waited – oh, okay, one more time – and, waited.

Now, the story, weird from the very beginning, got more weird.

That International Fraternity group was in a ‘blind trust’ – that is to say, it was so damned blind that it was not at all visible, to anyone, ever, any time, never.

The few people arrested that night at the Throne Lounge were mysteriously released with large bail sums which was also a thick mist of mystery – just love my alluring alliterations. In college, I was named, wait for it, Always Alliterating Ad Nauseum Nerd. The college officials promised to use only the acronym – AAANN – and award scholarships to any-student interested and smart enough to figure out the words those big Cap-letters represented. Is it just me, my ego? I’m thinking that AAANN sounds rather impressive… Just, Saying.

Enough about me and my, uh many, college honors…

Oh, yes, the Class Action Lawsuit? Or, if you like acronyms, CAL.

There were several unamused lawyers who could not find any associations with the appellation, International Fraternity Whatever, or, for that matter, any of the signatory names used for room reservations, rooms that were stayed in, many that were damaged and/or vandalized, for rooms badly used but for which the hotel was never paid.

It is to this day one of the ‘not talked about’ Arizona anomalies in its long history of jurisprudence. It is likely best not to mention this story’s subject matter if you should be in an attorney’s office, particularly one who spent time trying to find out just who the hell were ‘those people’ of the International Fraternity Whatever and where their offices might be located.

The good news?

Debbie and I are still together, getting old together, making our naps a bit longer and more ‘strenuous’. We are both losing weight, and good old doc Sam tells us to “keep on doing what you’re doing, keep eating whatever you’re eating, keep doing your body exercises every day.”

Well, I can tell you this, good Doc Sam is now legitimately out-driving me every damned drive on every hole, sinking unbelievably long putts, and taking my money like he needs a vacation home in Aruba. And, he’s not being sneaky about it.

So, why am I smiling every day of my life now?

If you have a clue, let me know…

The End

©One Last Romance – Part Two

By Billy Ray Chitwood

*

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My Aching Back

My Aching Back

“Really? A ‘bitch and moan’ post?”

“Well, yeah, I guess one could call it that.”

“Tell me, Roscoe, do you think your followers really care that you have an ‘aching back’?”

“Are you playing my ‘alter ego’, Sidney?”

“Yeah, I am. Think about it, Roscoe, the few people – maybe – you’ve never met are going to read about a guy crying about his aches and pains. You will put them off, man! People want to read an interesting ‘flash fiction’ piece, short story, something that will be positive and uplifting, not about a hypochondriac who moans and groans about his ailments. People want entertainment, a murder mystery and/or suspenseful romance. Give them what they want, and you build your ’brand’.”

“Well, ‘alter ego’, you’ve given me ‘food for thought’ – don’t you just love ‘clichés’, Sidney?”

“No, I don’t. Clichés are dull and tiresome. At the end of the day, you should avoid them at all costs.”

“You just used a cliché, Roscoe.”

“How do you figure?”

“You said, ‘at all costs’ – that, my friend, is a cliché. In fact, you’ve used other clichés in these few moments we’ve talked. Earlier, you said, ‘moans and groans’. You said, ‘give them what they want’. Those are clichés, buddy-boy. Oh, and, you said, ‘at the end of the day’, another cliché.”

“Yeah, but it’s just the two of us talking here. There’s a difference, ‘buddy-boy’.”

“Did your Mama have any that lived, Sidney?”

“Oh, that’s vicious, and, not too original, Roscoe.”

“You said you were just ‘stopping by for a second’. Really, Sidney, don’t you have other places to go? I would like to finish my post.”

“Are you leaving those clichés in the post, Roscoe?”

“Yep, sure am. Oh, one last cliché, Sidney, ‘don’t let the door hit you in the ass’ on the way out.”

“That’s uncalled for, Roscoe.”

“You asked for it, Sidney.”

“Stay out of the ‘Cliché Pantry’, Roscoe.”

“Leave, Sidney, and take your clichés to the grave.”

“Sticks and stones…”

“Hasta La Vista, Baby.”

“Up yours, Red Raider.”

“Don’t let the door hit you in the ass, Sidney.”

“You already said that.”

“Happy days.” Door closes.

“That settles that.”

Billy Ray Chitwood – August 27, 2019

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And, The Beat Goes On!

And, The Beat Goes On

And, The Beat Goes On is a colloquial expression not heard so much today, and, yet, it says so much. Somewhere in all areas of the world someone’s heart will stop beating. In those same areas, a baby is born, And, The Beat Goes On…rather fundamental truth of life, so why make a blog post out of this one-time hep phrase?

In the darkness, the body splayed out for repose, and the mind is tossing out to you these nuggets of redundancy – Doctor’s appointment tomorrow, Pest Control guy coming tomorrow, ‘how do I get back on track with my new piece of writing? SciFi, no less! Am I in over my head? New genre? New characters that have noble goals? During the marathon of thoughts pounding within your brain, do you ever reach over your body, place a thumb just above the left wrist and feel for a pulse? Ah, the beat goes on.

Okay, nutty professor! Why make a blog post out of, And, The Beat Goes On?

Hey, I’m thinking of the right answer as I write. This is one of those, ‘Pick a Phrase’ and run with it. How am I doing so far? DON’T answer that!

Well, the way I had it figured, living here in Sunset, I was ahead of the curve, living maybe beyond the time I should be joining Mom and ‘Clarence’ – Heaven’s Bell Ringer – up there where angels dwell… Yes, I’m an angel in a gosh-awful earthly disguise!

Now, I must not get started on Angels because I’ve known in this long span some really beautiful women angels who made the beat faster and louder… I digress (but you don’t know for how long!).

Anyway, I figured I was way ahead of the curve, when I’m watching these beautiful 97-year old, 103-year old, World War 2 vets at the celebration of D-Day in France. On Utah Beach and Omaha Beach that fateful day, our American casualties were in the tens of thousands. For the really young ones not very likely reading this, these guys and more like them belonged to the Golden Generation. I was around as a ‘pup’ during those days, had an uncle who was a belly-gunner on a B-17 at Hickam Field in Honolulu during Japan’s surprise attack on a Sunday morning in December. Those B-17s were part of the Flying Fortress that dropped more bombs during WW2 than any other airplane… It’s my prayer that the younger generation will read of our proud history, find out how dear were the cost of lives for our freedom and liberty…And, The Beat ‘Went’ On.

The Beat Went On from WW2 to Scientific and Technological advances that make the head spin. Our human knowledge at the end of WW2 doubled every twenty-five years. Today, human knowledge doubles every twelve months, and it will soon be doubling every twelve hours. Oh, yes! The Beat Definitely Goes On!

Now, when anyone cares to know, this old author-fart – oops, heart. has gone through a hellava lot of beats. And, may I remind everyone of another major point of this fantastic post (he says with tongue pressed in tooth-gaps on either side of the jaw) – NOT both sides at once! The Reminder? I’ve written eighteen books and one shortie with my stylistic wonders – samplings of my Flash Fiction, Short Stories, Poetry, and Book Excerpt. It’s about time you readers out there buy and read a few of my books and leave some Amazon reviews – Do Not Be Embarrassed To Leave 5-Star Reviews. I’ve instructed Amazon not to accept any rating lower than 4. Just saying! Amazon is saying: “Hell, Son, you’re not getting hardly any reviews, so don’t be telling us how to do our jobs!” Okay, sorry, I spoke without thinking, Oh, Mighty OZ of the book world! Ah, what the heck, they’re nice folks over there at AMZ’s place: they let me publish my books, warts and all. Oh, and need I remind you, ‘git ta buyin an reedin’! Then, the beat will go on!

I’m now working on a SciFi novel, having fun with it, and it’s still several months out there… It’s about three young business partners who find their zeal for fishing on the Sea of Cortez yielding more that Groupers and Blue Fins, in fact, world-changing yields. I’m having fun writing it.

Well, I guess the point is made: And, The Beat Goes On…

BR Chitwood – July 2, 2019

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‘A Meeting With The Shrink in Silly-Town’

[Image by Macela Laskoski]

‘A Meeting With The Shrink in Silly-Town’

The Psychiatrist asks, what’s the problem? to the fink.

I’m apathetic, brain-drained, and want a drink!

Well, what’s your problem, do you think?

You hard of hearing, or, what? I didn’t blink!

But that’s what I do, dumb-ass! I get paid to think!

Well, why am I here, almighty Shrink?

You already gave the reason. Is there more to the link?

You, guys! All you do is ask questions that stink!

Well, what exactly should happen, do you think?

Know what? Your questions drive me to that drink!

Then, we’ve accomplished something here, I think.

Yeah, sure, you made $150 bucks in an eye’s blink!

Now, now, relax. How ‘bout that amount with a chink?

How much of a chink, do you think?

Ah, what the heck, I’ll give a 5% chink.

You’re a loon! 5%? You belong in the clink!

You’re testing my good nature, I think.

You think, you dink? I’m gone for a drink.

But, wait, my fee with a 10% chink?

Up yours, shrink, with a chink, to the clink, I think.

Your truly, Billy Ray Chitwink

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Two Parrots

Two Parrots

There were two southern preachers, one, an old-time Baptist sermon-master, the other, an old-time Methodist sermon-master.

Now, these two ‘good ole boys’ did have something more or less in common: each of them had a parrot. I’m talking here about parrots that can speak words clearly and often.

The Baptist preacher had this male parrot that spewed ugly words and phrases, did in fact at times take the good Lord’s name in vain. I mean, this parrot was something else, and the preacher was embarrassed anytime people visited him in his parish house.

The Methodist preacher had this female parrot that sat in her cage and prayed all day long. Now, the Methodist preacher liked the fact that his female parrot was all holy and full of grace, but he wanted her to step out of the religious role occasionally.

Well, the two preachers became friends because they both met up at the pet shop where they got their parrots, and had so much in common – with God, sinners, and all…so, they just took to each other and began their friendship.

There came the night the Baptist preacher had his new Methodist preacher friend over for an evening chat. Well, wouldn’t you know, that doggone male parrot started up with all his cuss-words and mini-phrases that were, well, just downright nasty stuff for the ears to pick-up.

Well, the two preachers talked long and hard on the subjects of their two parrots. The Methodist preacher allowed that his female parrot prayed all day long, and that was all well and good. But, the Methodist preacher didn’t want his parrot so full of grace that she couldn’t open up a bit.

The Baptist preacher had the opposite problem and he wanted a little more grace in his male parrot, not those nasty words and phrases all his waking hours.

So, the two preachers talked, as I said, long and hard, and finally came up with an idea they both figured just might work…

What they figured to do was to put both parrots, the female praying parrot and the male cussing parrot, into a bigger cage and see if the two could maybe come out of their different shells and become more suitable in their behavior patterns.

So, one Saturday the preachers went to the pet shop, got a bigger cage, took that cage back to the Baptist preacher’s parish house, set it up with the little seats on each side of the cage, a cute little swinging apparatus, and little seeds that parrots just love.

Well, here’s what happened…

The preachers put both parrots inside the cage and closed the little gate. The male parrot that said the nasty words went to one side of the cage, and the female parrot that prayed all day long went to the other side of the cage…and those two parrots just sat there and stared at each other.

The preachers stood there shaking their heads for the better part of an hour, and those two parrots just sat and stared at each other.

Just when the preachers were about to make a move and put the parrots back in their own cages, the male parrot winked an eye and said to the female parrot: “Hey, baby, how ‘bout a little loving?”

The preachers looked at each other, both a little embarrassed with the situation, but stood and waited…

Finally, after several seconds passed, the female parrot says: “What do you think I’ve been praying for?”

Well, don’t you know? Those two parrots are still together, but they don’t talk that much…the Baptist preacher finally rigged some dark shades for the two parrots’ love-privacy for those moments when there was just no other route to go.

Oh, one last thing, the Baptist preacher became a book editor for whatever in the world the reason, and that fine Methodist preacher became a down-and-out fiction writer…

Go figure…

Billy Ray Chitwood – March 24, 2019

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Chance Meeting at the Mall

Chance Meeting at the Mall

It began when I saw her in the upper-level of the Brighton Mall. She placed her paper bag of purchases on the floor next to her cushioned seat. Avoiding her was not an option as the sitting area was in my path to the escalator.

Of course, you would know, she was beautiful as she sat and shook her head to resettle her long lovely raven curls. She was dressed in lovely colors of Ivory and Lavender, a dress sheer and clinging – like, my eyes at that moment.

My mind did its calculations…do I just stop, sit in the chair next to her, begin a conversation. What do I say as an opener? Her left hand was gloved so, married or not, I was ‘flying in the blind’. It was one of those fateful moments in life where one must decide to act or not to act, with the haunting of the latter lingering forever in the mind… I decided to act.

I sat in the chair next to her. There were other chairs in the grouping, but other shoppers were passing, chatting, and I wanted to be close so as not having to increase the decibel level of my voice.

Please, allow me to pause and explain…

First, my name is Lawrence Wallenby, just, Larry, will do, and I’m a trim six-footer who stays in shape by jogging and exercising – which once, in starting out, was a chore, but, now, something I look forward to. I’m told by some of my staff at the Agency that I bear the looks of actor Matthew McConaughey. That’s good, I think, because I like his acting.

I am not a ‘stalker’ who frequents shopping malls for women to meet and harass. I am a responsible male person who owns his own small advertising enterprise, growing by leaps and bounds, I might add. I am a man who some months ago lost his wife to a drunk driver in a head-on collision. Both were killed, and I had my days, weeks, and months to damn the fiddlers of fate who perform these acts so people can grieve and crawl into themselves and become inoperably viable. So, time did not, would not heal the wound of losing Diana, but, at least, it would have the courtesy to allow the ‘devastation’ period to pass – to the point of having needs to fulfill.

May I apologize if this preceding acknowledgement is not enough a prelude to what I’m about to narrate for you. Suffice, Diana is still in a precious vault of my heart, but I’ve come to realize that life does indeed go on and old needs come rushing back in need of fulfilling.

The handsome lady with the raven hair, soft blue eyes, and most luscious lips glanced up at me with an awkward, almost, smile, and then went quickly back to a piece of paper on her lap – presumably, a ‘shopping list’.

“Holiday shopping can be a real ‘bear’, don’t you think?” Without giving her a chance to answer, I pressed forward. “Of course, you do. You’re sitting here, resting, so, obviously, shopping ergo is a ‘bear’ or your choice of animal. I know you are wondering who the ‘nut’ is sitting next to you, and I implore you not to get up and leave with my muttering hanging in the air. Really, I’m not so great at this, but I do honestly and sincerely believe you are the most beautiful lady I’ve seen in my lifetime. Is it okay that we might meet? Please.”

“Wow, you should take a breath between syllables. You’ll pass out, I’m thinking. Sure, why not? We’re in a public arena here, people passing by, and you don’t seem to be carrying weapons of any kind. So, sure, let’s ‘meet’. I’m Diana Bixley.”

“No, no, you can’t be… I mean, your first name – pick another first name!”

“I’m sorry. Now, you’re confusing me. I thought your little rushed ‘pick-up’ line was cute, but…are you some kind of nut?”

“Oh, no, no. I’m so sorry to blunder like this. Your first name, Diana, is a beautiful name, and you should keep it. Of course, she should and will keep it, you idiot. Again, sorry, but I lost my wife to a drunk driver about a year ago, and her name was Diana.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry.”

“No, no, don’t be. I’ve gone through the periods of loss and find that I still wish to go on, but I’ve been with no one for that period of time and very likely don’t know how to act properly. May I start again? My name is Larry Wallenby, and, when I saw you, my heart did little ‘flip-flops’ and I had to meet you. Please, is that okay? I mean, that I had to meet you?”

“Relax, Larry, I’m happy to meet you, and I’m sorry about your wife.”

She offered her hand which I swiftly but softly clutched for some two or three seconds before releasing.

“Are you encumbered?” Too fast, too fast, you dummy.

“I beg your pardon.”

“I’m sorry, again, Diana, but I’m such a ‘Klutz’ at this. Are you married, going steady with anyone?”

“You’re fast, Larry, but I suppose that comes from your loss and grief period. I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but, no, I’m not married, not going steady with anyone.”

My heart-beat got faster. Now, don’t screw this up, Larry. Take a shot, but slow down the process. You got the answer you wanted. There’s a chance, so don’t screw it up.

“Do you have children, Diana?”

“No, I’m not too big on kids. They annoy me, mostly. I’m sure I did my annoyance bit as a kid. You have kids, Larry?”

“No, no kids. No animals of any kind, although I love Golden Retrievers. You like animals?”

“Not so much. Better than kids, but the ‘clean-up’ and routines would drive me nuts. Your business keep you busy, Larry?”

“As much as I allow it to keep me busy. I’ve got some good people working at the ad agency that keep the load off me. What do you do, Diana?”

“I’m an actress and model, Larry. I’ve done nothing memorable in film that you would remember seeing. Most of my action is in modeling and ‘specialty films’.”

“You enjoy what you do, Diana?”

“Very much so, Larry. You?”

“Yeah. I was drawn to advertising at a young age for some reason, likely because my Dad had a ‘Billboard’ business. I was fascinated enough by it to take all the courses relative to advertising while in the university environment. The business has been good for me. The people who work with me free me up to pursue other interests, like traveling to exotic places. Do you travel a lot in your business, Diana?”

“Too much, actually. I don’t like airport waits and all the security crap one has to go through anymore… I notice you have no packages, Larry. Are you not shopping? Did you just come to the mall to meet me?”

“Well, while that’s a nice thought, I did plan to pick up some items for my sister and my staff, but now it’s not so important. I can put it off ‘til another day. That is, if I can talk you into cocktails and dinner.”

“That sounds wonderful, Larry. And, what would your plans be after our dinner?”

Hey, she’s playing right into my hand. How can I get so lucky? Hell, I’ll lay it out for her.

“Well, to be honest, Diana, I thought we could go to my place, have nightcaps, listen to some romantic music, turn the lights down low, and see where it all would lead us.”

“Larry, you scoundrel! You do work fast. However, I’m afraid I would spoil your plans.”

“I doubt that, Diana. You’re so beautiful, and I’m sure we would get along just fine.”

Oh, she’s getting up, reaching for her shopping bags.

“Thank you, Larry, for the dinner and romance offer, but I will pass and just say, ‘nice meeting you’.”

“But, Diana, I thought…”

“You thought, what, Larry?”

“I thought we were bonding nicely…”

“By bonding, you mean you thought I would jump in the sack with you, correct?”

“Well, I’m sorry, but I thought we were heading toward something really romantic and beautiful.”

“Really?” She stood and for a moment hovered over me.

I stood and faced her.

“Was it something I said, Diana?”

“No, it was something I did not say, Larry…”

“And, what was it you did not say, Diana?”

“Well, if I say it, no longer will it be not said, Larry.”

She started to walk away.

“Diana, please, tell me what was not said.”

She looked back at me, and, with a slight raise of brow and grin, said, “I like to go to bed with women, Larry…nice meeting you.

Damn, it ended where it started!

Flash Fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood – January 21, 2019

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