Deception and Opening Lines


“Guy walks into a bar…”
Bit of a boring opening line, but you’ve heard the line so much that you are familiar with it, and you hang in there, knowing something interesting usually happens after that setup.
Guy in a bar speaks a line…and usually you know right away that you need to walk away. How often do opening lines work in a bar? Seldom.
I feel like lately I need to pick more books with boring, trite, safe, opening lines. Because once I get past the thrill of the first sentence, well, it all crumbles. Few of the books I’ve enjoyed starting have panned out to be anything worth reading. And that’s sad.
So I’ve decided to give novels a cursory glance — check out just the front page — and if it gets a “Meh” from Me, I’m going to read it.
If the first line gets a “Wow”, then I’ll say “Whoa”, because that’s as good as it’s gonna get.
Funny, that seems to explain the bar scene as well…

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Tea and Me


For two weeks, my son and I have suffered from a rogue, unstoppable digestive disorder that’s rocked our planet, tilting it to angles that make walking upright difficult.
Food is no longer my friend, but hot tea helps. It’s probably a mental panacea, but so what? Help is help, and when I’m bent at a seventy-five degree angle, walking like an octogenarian and forever cognizant of bathroom locales, any assistance to feel better is welcome.
But I’ve learned that perhaps my curative concoction is being overly steeped.
I was excited last Sunday to make a dash to the mall — after a restroom stop, ensuring a safe, albeit speedy, trip to the store — to spend a gift card shoved in my wallet for the last six months. It was a plastic twenty-five dollars to use as I wished as Teavana, a retailer for the Other Caffeinated Beverage.
Spend it I did, plus a little more, on all things fruity, floral, ground into bits, and prepared for deluge under hot water so as to release its medicinal goodness into my belly.
Safely returned to the house, I brewed my first cup o’ goodness.
I steeped.
I blew across the beverage surface.
I sipped.
I “aaahed”.
Naively, I “aaahed”.
As I “aaahed”, I read the brewing instructions penned by a technical writer somewhere. Consulting the complicated grid, with Tea Types on the “x”, brewing temps on the “y”, and me staring inward from the “z”, I realized I had brewed my tea erroneously. According to the guru, my water temp was too high — I’m guessing here; I never used a thermometer — and I’d left the tea bits dunked too long…or maybe not long enough…I don’t know, but I’m sure I did it wrong. It was a powerful chart.
It scared me.
So I took the remains from the package and dumped them into a generic, see-through Ziploc and tossed the offending instructions into the local trash can.
I may have bruised leaves, and I may have torched stems, but the tea ain’t complainin’, and I feel toasty inside.
So there. I win.


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one chicken down and fake gun fire


This week on the Ranch of the Out There has been especially heart rending.
I lost a chicken, one of the Generation 2 crowd, the group that is enamored with the ducks and socializes only with them. Snobs.
Still, he escaped/was dragged/was freed from the coop without trace of feather one or even a blood spatter.
I checked the chops of both Moose Dog and Puggity Mess, and neither of them had remnants of atrocity around their muzzles.
Last night, while lounging in bed, the window open, the gentle breezes wafting in across a sprinkle of rain, I heard a chicken bawk. My Bubs and his Sire were in another room watching Star Wars Whichever. My Bubs heard my avian-ly maternal cry, “I heard the chicken!” and raced into the room as I was scrambling for things like pants and shoes.
“Mama,” he explained while I dressed in random color patterns, “It wasn’t the chicken, it was the guns on Star Wars.”
“I heard a cluck,” I explained, pulling on a slipper. Chicken boots would have to wait for another day; this was a rescue!
“It was the guns that sound like a chicken.”
“It was a cluck, not a p-you, p-you sound,” I continued, miming a gun with my forefinger and thumb and best high pitched p-you, p-you voice.
Determined to be right, I went into the dark and though we used a flashlight the size of my thigh, alas, we found no feathered friend.
After the world had settled back into calm, the movie resumed, and as I sat in bed pondering my auditory misconceptions, my Bubs walked in toward me and said, “Might wanna ignore the movie, Mom, there’s a lot more p-you, p-you‘ing.”
Really, Star Wars guns, shouldn’t they sound a tiny bit more intimidating than the call of wandering Gen 2 bantam hen? I need to write a letter to someone in production…

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