Stork Raving Mad: Wednesday’s Free Write

While taking a Creative Writing class in college, I was asked by the professor to spend an hour each day writing fiction.  It could be about anything I wanted.  The point of the exercise was to get used to writing on a daily basis.  After many years of being lost on one of my thumb drives, I have recovered them.  

 

Stork Raving Mad

The wedding far exceeded my expectations, and I can say with confidence that Sarah felt the same.  Her white dress received nothing but compliments from both sides of the family. I have already wasted too much time writing about the dress, and this is nowhere near where I want to go.  A far better way to start this tale would be to say that when a man and a woman fall in love, they want to express their feelings physically.  Unfortunately, certain things can get in the way.

We arrived at our suite on the island of St. Lucia after a long flight featuring two feature-length films starring Carrot Top.  As a believer in Karma, I saw this as a sure sign that the honeymoon would not disappoint.  The week the Reese’s Big Cup appeared in stores, for example, I lost my job and the ability to perform simple math equations.  Interestingly enough, I was re-hired the day after switching over from Skippy to Jif when I calculated that the change would save me well over forty thousand dollars in the course of my lifetime.

After an entirely satisfying meal, Sarah and I rushed back to our room to engage in some marital relations.  Unfortunately, very unfortunately, we were stopped.

The giant stork was at least considerate enough to knock on the window.  I slowly rose out of bed in order to investigate the situation.  Incredibly, he spoke to us, and in our native tongue.

“It is vital that I speak to the both of you this evening,” he said.  I, like anyone else in such a position, froze in disbelief.   “You must not keep on what you’re planning.”

“Who are you?” I bravely asked.

“I am The Stork.  I’m in charge of delivering human babies to the world,” he said.  Sarah sat up in the bed, since the subject of children sparked her interest.

“You can’t possibly exist,” she said.

web_flying_white_stork

“I’ve heard it so many times over the years.  You see, when you’re children you discover the truth early on.  You find out where babies come from, and they come from me.  For some reason, when you get a little older you start believing that babies come as the result of sexual reproduction.  And, let me just say, that is the silliest fallacy you people have ever created.”  Now I knew it was a dream, or at very least a hallucination.

“Alright then, what about pregnant women?  What about the fact that children often resemble their parents?  What about all of those births in hospitals?”  I knew he could not reply to these with anything reasonable.

“Your minds couldn’t possibly comprehend the complexities of this illusion.  If I even hinted at the truth of it, you would surely fall dead where you’re standing.  All I’ll say is that the very idea that humans have complete control over the creation of life is laughable.”   I found it quite convenient that he dodged any true explanations, but I went along with him.

“Fine, then why are you here?  If sex has nothing to do with it, why are you here?”  The Stork then shattered the window with his beak and crawled through the opening.  Sarah and I shrunk back into the covers.  He stood, over six feet, at the foot of our bed, with wings fully spread.

“I can’t take it anymore!  Your son waits in the wings.  I’m breaking the rules.  I’m changing the system that has stood for thousands of years.  Take him.  Take him now, and don’t ask me any questions.”  At that moment, he tossed the baby boy at Sarah, who caught it in the sheets.  In a flurry of feathers he escaped through the window.  I watched him fly into the night sky before vanishing in a flash of light.

There’s a lot I don’t know, but I do know that before our honeymoon there were two of us, but after our honeymoon there were three of us.  Two plus three equals five.  That means we need to buy more peanut butter.  I am not concerned about financially supporting my ever-growing family.  If one jar brings in forty grand, then three jars will support all five of my kids for the rest of their lives.

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Saturday

“Oh no, I’m all out of money,” said one of Peter’s customers.

“Well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles,” Peter responded.   Upon hearing those words, the customer jumped over the counter. He pummeled Peter’s face until there was only blood and clumps of flesh. Dozens of witnesses looked on in horror.

At another location, moments later, another fatal exchange occurred.

“There are still large chunks of cookie in here,” said a customer.

“That’s how the cookie crumbles, sir,” replied an employee.  The man pulled out a knife in front of his children, and stabbed the employee thirty times in the chest and head.

At the end of this day, an employee at every cookie crumbling shop in the world met a bloody end.   Peter Crumb’s wife turned to food for comfort after her husband’s death.  She died when her stomach exploded after eating twelve pounds of cookie dough.

More than a hundred years later, experts are still searching for a reason why that catchphrase had such a negative effect on everyone who heard it.  Some believe it to be a curse on the Crumb family.  Peter’s great grandfather had saved a small community from an evil warlock by sealing him in an ancient tomb.  The warlock apparently put a spell on all of his descendants before rats gnawed his face off.  Others insist that it was purely coincidence.

Wizard

What do I think?  I think there was something in those cookies.  It also explains how Mrs. Crumb ate herself to death.  She needed them so badly that she could not wait for them to cook.  All of the killer customers faced some setback in their cookie eating experience.  The catchphrase merely pushed them over the edge.  Or maybe it was a curse.  Maybe that warlock had a sense of humor.

Free Writing: Monday and Tuesday

While taking a Creative Writing class in college, I was asked by the professor to spend an hour each day writing fiction.  It could be about anything I wanted.  The point of the exercise was to get used to writing on a daily basis.  After many years of being lost on one of my thumb drives, I have recovered them.  

Monday and Tuesday

            We live in a time of professionals.  As children, we want to grow up to be policemen, firemen, astronauts, actors, ballerinas, and of course, any kind of athlete.  We want to be heroes, and sometimes superheroes.  The following is a tale of a profession that has not existed for nearly a century.   During its short existence, it provided the masses with a service that brought happiness to all corners of the globe.  It should have been one the greatest success stories in human history, but it fell victim to the very saying that it created.

Most humans with taste buds know the satisfaction that comes from biting into a good cookie.  Peter Crumb, a British schoolteacher during the late 19th century, appreciated the taste of cookies more than any normal person should.  He spent his weekends perfecting the old family recipe, which called for four sticks of butter and a half pound of chocolate.  On one occasion he was found passed out on the floor after consuming nearly a full pound of batter.  The next day he ate six cookies.

cookie

Peter would have been just another man with a sweet tooth if not for a student named Bill Lewis.  Peter brought in a batch of cookies to class every Monday, which brought a little sunshine to the children.   On one particular day he placed them on the floor in order to clear some room on his desk.  After no more than thirty seconds he heard the sound of a box being flattened.  Bill Lewis slowly lifted his foot from the now crushed container, and turned to face the wrath of his peers.

“Now wait a minute students,” Peter said.  “A cookie in pieces tastes just as good as a cookie whole.”  Brushing off the mud from Bill’s shoe, Peter opened the box to find all them smashed.  “I suppose what we’ll do is reach in for a handful.”  After sharing with the students, Peter took some for himself.

The taste of crumbled cookies elevated Peter to dessert heaven.  From that moment on, he vowed to spread his newly discovered joy to all the people of the world.

When he told his wife that he wanted to open up a cookie crumbling shop, she responded, “That’s an awful idea.  Who would pay for broken cookies?”

“Don’t think of them as broken.  Think of them as reborn, like the phoenix.”

It took nearly two months of convincing, but Peter’s wife inevitably came to support her husband.  They built a modest cookie stand on one of the busier street corners.  The sign read, Crumb’s Cookies, which Peter decided was divine providence since a man cannot choose his own name.  On the menu were four varieties, including chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, and sugar.  No one requested anything other than whole cookies that first week.

Walking to the cookie stand, one day after school Peter came up with a solution to his crumbling problem.  He removed the sign and replaced it with a new one, which read Crumb The Cookie Crumbler.  Immediately, people asked about crumbling, and Peter sold out his entire batch.  This was the beginning of the phenomenon.

Peter was able to upgrade his stand to an actual store within the first six months of sales.  People from all over Great Britain came to taste his special brand of crumbled delights.  By the next year Peter and his wife were living the high life with more and more shops spreading throughout Europe.  Everyone raved about “the greatest invention since the cookie.”  But, like with most fast rises to fame, the Crumb’s, along with their shops, soon fell hard.

Madden Points

What if there was a theory that explained the way people are?  What if this theory just happened to borrow heavily from a popular video game franchise?  Well, if such a theory existed it would probably be called, The Madden Customization Theory, and it would probably blow your mind.  I’m not sure if John Madden’s video games were the first to introduce the concept of character customization, but they were certainly one of the earliest and most popular.  It is possible that some of you don’t know what I am talking about.  You’ve never played a video game, or you’ve never had the experience of customizing a virtual character.  Do not fret, explanations are coming.

We don’t have any control over when we’re born, who we’re born from, or even if we’re born at all.  It’s really a sobering truth if you give it the thought time it merits.  There is an infinity that came before you, and one way or another there is an infinity after you.  If that’s not humbling enough, some really smart people believe that you don’t even have free will in this brief life.  Either your circumstances, or genes, or God determine your every choice from cradle to grave.  Wow, that’s a lofty concept, and I’m willing to bet humanity was never meant to fully understand it.  Regardless, it is important to recognize these philosophical and religious concepts of time, will and eternity if we are going to have a foundation for this incredible theory.

In the above image you see numbers and categories. The numbers, or points, range from 0 to 100, with 100 representing the maximum skill in that particular category.  Aaron Rodgers is a real football player, so his statistics have been set by the programmers of the game.  The custom character screen is similar, except that you can choose how to disperse the points.  So if I wanted a player to be fast, I could put most of the points in the category of speed.  The catch is that you’re only given so many points to spread around.  You have to decide what kind of player you want him to be.  Sacrifices must be made.  Priorities must be set.

What if we had the ability to somehow determine the kind of people we would be, before we were even born?  It would only be fair that each of us would have the same number of “points” to disperse as we deemed appropriate.  So, if I wanted to be book smart I could put points towards that, and might have to sacrifice some athletic ability.  Or, if a woman wanted to be more attractive she could overload her points in the beauty column and sacrifice common sense.  It is a rare person who excels in most categories.  For many of us, there are clear strengths and weaknesses, which often appear to be random.  The Madden Customization Theory offers an explanation to account for the big guy without a brain and the scrawny guy with an I.Q. of 150.  We all had the same number of points, but we all have different priorities.

The Madden Customization Theory probably wouldn’t stand up to rigorous scrutiny from serious thinkers, but I’m willing to bet it struck a chord with you.  It’s appealing to imagine that somewhere in a time long ago we had the power to choose who we would become.  Maybe the best aspect of this theory isn’t what it assumes about the past, but what it says about the future.  We are largely the result of our priorities.  It matters who we want to become.  That’s how real characters are created.

Double Stuf Your Face

We were in the cookie aisle searching for a worthy party treat.  When we came to the Oreos, Nicole suggested we go for the Double Stuf.  My reaction, which is pretty standard for this kind of situation, was to reason through an argument why original Oreos are superior to their full-figured cousins.   After my tireless rant, we purchased the Double Stuf and brought them, and the argument, to the party.  The guests were more or less split down the middle on which they prefer.  This tells me that we have a legitimate disagreement on a trivial matter to contend with.  Therefore, let us begin.

It would be very difficult to overstate the importance of ratios in this argument.  After all, isn’t this all about ratios?  How much filling should there be in relation to cookie?  That is at the heart of the problem.  And if we can accept the supreme importance of ratios, we must conclude that it was the factor behind Oreo’s success.  In the beginning, the makers decided upon an ideal level of filling.  It was that amount that catapulted Oreo to where it is today.  It was just that much filling and just that much cookie: no more, no less.  Perhaps Oreo would have achieved the same level of success had they gone with double the filling, but that is mere speculation.

Oreos are delicious when they are dunked in milk.  In fact, Oreo boasts that it is “Milk’s favorite cookie.”  When an Oreo is dunked wholly in milk, it responds well.  have you ever dipped the Double Stuf?  It is awkward and you almost want to gag on the filling.  Too much filling in the presence of milk leaves an odd film on the roof of your mouth and does little to enhance the taste.  When dipped, it is the cookie part that thrives in the taste department.  A little filling compliments the experience, making a delightful trio, but double the filling proves too much for the milk and cookie alliance.  Sure, you can separate the filling from the cookie before dunking, but you could also pour gravy on it.  Let’s not get bogged down with the exceptions to the rule.

If you love filling, go for the Double Stuf.  I’m not against people preferring filling to cookie.  All I’m doing is crafting a coherent argument for anyone who wants a foundation in reason for their cookie preference.

Trial Transcript from David Lavallee v. The Stinging Insects of the United States

The trial of David Lavallee v. the Stinging Insects of the United States occurred on the afternoon of September 14, 2008 inside of a large hollowed out tree in the town of Amherst, Massachusetts. The transcript from that trial had been locked away for three years, as is bee custom, but is now available to the public. Representing Mr. Lavallee was world renowned bumblebee lawyer, Buzz E. Salamone*. Representing the Stinging Insects of the United States was a young wasp named Mitch “the Hurricane” McAllister.

Mr. Lavallee was the first human to ask for a legally binding contract which would guarantee him safety from any and all insect related stings. He believed that his past peaceful actions toward even the most sting-happy insects deserved recognition within the insect community at large. Here is the transcript from that trial.

 

(Judge Thorax enters.)

 

Officer: All rise for the honorable Judge Winston Thorax IV.

 

Judge: Mr. Lavallee, you are excused from rising as your large human frame will not allow it.

 

Lavallee: Thank you…

 

Judge: Silence, meat bag!

 

(Defendant Buzz consoles Mr. Lavallee)

 

Judge: We are here to determine if a one Mr. Lavallee should be allowed his desired contract which would prevent all stinging insects from harming him. Jury, you will now listen to the opening statements. (The jury is comprised entirely of female honeybees) Mr. Salamone, please begin.

 

Buzz: Bees of the jury, I stand before you, a simple bumblebee lawyer. Long have bees and wasps and hornets and all stinging insects faced the wrath of mankind. Long have we been sprayed out of our homes and crushed into the pavement. Long has our great enemy been humanity. Yes, who can argue this? I cannot. But that is the truth in general. In general, I say! Yes, but not the truth in every single case. No! I submit that my client, Mr. David Lavallee has proven himself to be a friend of our kind. He has not only refrained from mass murder like so many of his kind, but he has also gone out of his way to save us. Shouldn’t we honor such an individual? Shouldn’t we protect one who protects us, even if he is one of the humans? I hope you will see past any natural prejudices that you may carry against men, and look at the truth of my client’s innocence. Thank you.

 

Judge: Mr. McAllister, you may begin.

 

Mitch: Fellow insects. Brothers and sisters. I am amazed that it has come to this. Our great enemy is attempting to gain our good graces simply after a few kind deeds. But let me ask you this, what will he do when he finds a stinging insect building a hive in his house? What will he do when his children are playing near a swarm of wasps? Will he keep his promise to not kill us then? I submit that this human is just like the rest and does not deserve any special treatment. Humans are freaks of the natural order! A mistake of evolution! We are not friends. Today, listen to reason and the warning of your hearts! Thank you.

 

(The courtroom buzzes)

Judge: Order! Order! Now, Mr. Salamone, you may call your first witness.

 

Buzz: Your honor, I call Sting to the stand!

 

Judge: I’m afraid Sting could not join us. He is at an opening ceremony for an Arby’s in Nebraska.

 

Buzz: Darnit! Ok, well then I call Captain Alan Q. Wing to the stand.

 

(An old yellow jacket, Captain Wing hobbles forward with a cane made out of a toothpick.)

 

Officer: (Holding a copy of Bee Movie) Do you swear to honor the Great Queen Bee by telling the truth?

 

Captain: Yes. Yes I do.

 

Buzz: Captain, can you please tell the jury who you are?

 

Captain: I am Captain Alan Quint Wing of the First Class Stingers.

 

Buzz: And who are the First Class Stingers?

 

Captain: We are the most effective and deadly stinging task force on the entire planet. We carry out critical missions for the Great Queen Bee.

 

Buzz: Thank you. Now, can you tell me how you met Mr. Lavallee?

 

Captain: Yes, I remember it clearly. The Stingers were on our way to attack a group of teenagers who had recently wiped out a large wasp nest near a basketball court. As I was flying past Mr. Lavallee, I noticed that he was bent over a dying bumblebee. Assuming the worst, I veered off course to attack him. I touched down on his nose and stung him there.

 

Buzz: Then what happened?

 

Captain: Well, it’s embarrassing. I don’t like to talk about it. Well, you see, I got stuck.

 

Buzz: It’s ok Captain. Please, tell us what then happened?

 

Captain: I saw Mr. Lavallee raise his hand as if to strike me. And then something miraculous occurred. You see, we saw eye to eye. I don’t know how it happened, and I don’t think it’s ever happened before.

 

Mitch: Objection! We are not here to decide the existence of miraculous events.

 

Judge: Sustained! I will allow this. Proceed.

 

Buzz: You saw eye to eye? And Mr. Lavallee didn’t swat you?

 

Captain: No, he didn’t. It’s like he saw that I was scared, and so he tried to help me. He gently pulled my stinger out and then let go. I fell to the ground in shock and landed next to the fallen bumblebee.

 

Buzz: And what did the bee say?

 

Captain: He said, “Not all peoples is bads peoples.” Then he died.

 

Buzz: No further questions.

 

Mitch: Captain, why are you a liar?

 

Buzz: Objection!

 

Judge: Overruled! Watch yourself Mitch.

 

Mitch: Captain, you said this human raised his hand to swat you and then stopped to help you out. Ok, well what if he did that for his own benefit? What if he was more concerned with getting the stinger out than with your wellbeing?

 

Captain: I never thought of that.

 

Mitch: Of course not. And did you know that the bumblebee was a communist?

 

Captain: What? No!

 

Mitch: What else don’t you know, Captain?

 

Captain: I don’t know!

 

Mitch: No further questions.

 

(After a short recess, the trial concluded with closing remarks.)

 

Judge: We will now hear closing remarks.

 

Mitch: Honeybees, you’ve seen all that you need to see. We have an old delusional man who doesn’t know his stinger from his armpit. We have a dying communist bumblebee spouting off some commie rhetoric. And we have a human trying desperately to protect himself from us. Why? Why does he need protection? Because he is afraid of us. He is afraid of you! And he should be. He should be. Listen to reason today, and don’t give him anything.

 

Buzz: The truth of this man’s character has been shouting out to you, hasn’t it? He means you no harm, and he wishes for peace between us. Decide to believe in peace today. Too many lives have been lost due to fear and division. Make peace with your own conscience, and with this worthy human, today.

 

(The honeybee jury deliberates for three minutes. Then they return.)

 

Judge: What have you decided.

 

Head Juror: We have decided that Mr. Lavallee, though he is a human, is deserving of the contract that he so desires. We have chosen the side of peace.

 

(The court erupts with applause)

 

Mitch: Fools! All of you!

 

Judge: Officer, get him out of here! (Mitch, in a moment of desperation moves in to attack Mr. Lavallee. Just as he is about to sting him in the eye, Buzz moves into the path of the stinger and is impaled. Gasps are heard. Officer Honeydew tackles Mitch to the floor and cuffs him.)

 

Lavallee: Buzz, No!

 

Buzz: It’s ok. This is the start of a new age. I’m honored (cough) to be called your…lawyer… and friend.

 

Judge: Call an ambeelance! Get that man some nectar!

 

Buzz: Come…closer.

 

(Mr. Lavallee leans in)

 

Buzz: Beeeeeee well, my…friend. Beeeeeee…well.

 

(He gasps his last breath and dies.)

 

Judge: This is a terrible thing. Yet I must issue my final decree. I hereby declare that Mr. David Lavallee will be legally protected from all stinging insects. If he harms any insect maliciously, or unprovoked, the contract is void. If any stinging insect breaks the contract, that insect shall be put to death. To assure him that the contract is still valid, a dragonfly will land on him once a year during the month of August. So let it be written. So let it be done.

 

 

(End Transcript)

 

 

 

Bees and I have an understanding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Buzz E. Salamone is not affiliated with Mark. E. Salamone, nor is he affiliated with Salamone & Salamone, and is especially not affiliated with Bee Von Stung Salamone of Lancaster County.

Earthquake Evidence of Greater Threat,Scientists Warn

Today’s 5.9 quake, which ravaged the east coast by knocking over books and lawn gnomes, irritating the obsessive compulsive homeowner to no end, may be a warning sign of an even greater threat.  This is according to a growing number of scientists who hold to a belief that is so controversial, it isn’t even being discussed by the larger scientific community. 

“We understand that our colleagues are not ready to listen to us.  When first exposed to this truth, it is difficult for the rational mind to accept,” says Bert Ambler, a scientist.  “But if they, and the general public would simply listen to the evidence, I know that we would be vindicated.” 

The Earth’s crust, which is the surfacey part that we live on, floats on a massive ocean of molten magma.  Well, this crust is broken up into plates, which slowly move every now and then.  When the right amount of pressure is exerted, these plates rub against each other and that causes earthquakes.  At least, that’s what I remember from seventh grade science class.  As far as I know, this is what most scientists believe.  Natural forces act on each other and every once in a while, all hell breaks loose.  Makes sense.  But what do these other scientists believe? What are they worried about? 

In 1964, an experiment was conducted to test the natural instincts of humans.  14 toddlers were first placed in a room with an unplugged toaster.  Researchers observed that the children showed mild interest and no detectable fear.  Then the same children were placed in a room with a cat.  The cat walked around them, and the children tried to pet it, but none of the children showed any signs of tension or fear.  Then the researchers added an adult black bear to the room, and were startled with what they found.  The children were at first alarmed, but within a few seconds formed a perfect circle around the bear and appeared to kneel in reverence.  The bear, heavily drugged, showed no interest.  Scientists have struggled to make sense of these findings. 

“That was our first clue that there was something strange about bears,” Ambler said.  “But I didn’t get involved until the next breakthrough.”

In 2006, the remains of a lost civilization were unearthed.  To many, they are known as the Lost Civilization, but to some they are known as the Bear People.  Here’s why.   Images of bears were found carved into many walls.  Most resembled normal bears, but some appeared to have an extra feature.

“They had wings!” said Sir Laurence Russel, head archeologist with the dig.  “This is a most odd finding.  We were initially baffled.  But then we found a tablet that made the whole thing even more fantastic.”   Burried among the remains of a young man’s skeleton was a tablet with some writing.  Using some science, they were able to decipher the words. 

Bears everywhere!  We love and hate them.  Why are they flying?  Earth shakes before they come.  Beware shaking ground.  Bears hate to talk politics.  Don’t get sarcasm.  Beware the bears with wings!-

Lance Rock III

 Putting 2 and 2 together, scientists are starting to question the existence of a race of super flying bears.  And some are even taking it a step further.

“Look at the Great Barrier Reef.  It’s starting to disappear.  But wait!  Bearier.  It only makes sense that the bears are repelled by coral, and the disappearance of this reef will usher in a new bear apocalypse,” says Ambler. 

Perhaps the bears are real.  Perhaps they will fly high into the sky and fill us with shock and awe.  Perhaps.  But with more and more evidence piling up in support of this fantastic theory, what will scientists of the future say in objection? 

 Or, will they say nothing as they fight off these super bears?