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Week 310 – Fat Larry’s Prediction, Always Yours And Paloma’s Saturday Special.

Not too much nonsense from me as we have that once in a six year thingy that we do – We have a Saturday Special!!

But I’d like to state, this week I’ve lost my ZoomTimeFace Virginity.

I don’t like it. I prefer to talk pish to folks without seeing my huge face looking back at me.

Okay, it’s great that we can ‘talk’ to each other but everything is so false. I can’t punch my pals in the arm, I can’t pour them out a drink, I can’t dance like an Egyptian and pull them up, (By fuck was Susanna Hoff a stunning looking woman) I’m just left staring at a screen which is used as a medium by wankers, paedophiles and shallow folks. However, it was better than nothing and I would recommend it as a last resort.

Last resort – A bit like Blackpool, Bridlington or anywhere on the West Coast of Scotland. (I’ve never been to Blackpool but I did like Bridlington. There’s something so sad about the demise of the seaside towns and what they stood for – Fuck, am I getting old!!)

Last Resort – Well maybe the Americans bomb us out. Think about Amity Island (Yes I know it wasn’t a documentary!) Who would want to swim when a big beastie wanted to bite your baws off and eat you!

I hope it was true about Robert Shaw and his off the cuff soliloquy regarding The USS Indianapolis. That was stunning!! A film that was all about a shite Bruce and a fledgling film maker should have been more about that section which was Oscar worthy.

We don’t have any trouble with sharks in our coastal waters as it’s too fecking cold. And we couldn’t bribe penguins to entice the sharks cause our fish, as is my understanding, are covered in red tape. Fucking plastic again!!

But at least there won’t be a problem with polar bears. (Maybe that would have worked better with seals rather than penguins! I go out my way not to watch David Attenborough!)

Anyhow – Before I go off on a few more tangents, I’ll get this week’s review done then I can introduce The Saturday Special.

We had a very balanced week this week. We had three returning authors and three new writers.

To all our newsters we welcome them in the usual way. I need to work on an unusual way!

We hope that they have fun on the site and we really do hope that they send us more of their work.

Just for some information, and a few of you will know this, our pecking order goes something like:

1st story – Newbie or newster

2nd story – Returner.

3rd – 5th story – Multiple submitter

5 stories plus – Getting impressive.

10 stories plus – You are now in under 3% of our authors.

20 – 50 – That is seriously impressive and we tip our hats to you.

70 plus – You are now getting beyond impressive. (And if they are acceptances in a row, you are a one-off and your cats are proud / indifferent! NB – You need to have cats to do this, it is the law.)

100 – We are looking for more to join this mile stone.

130 plus – Tom Sheehan is an absolute legend!!! We would love to see someone else doing this but it is a very tall order.

Oh and if you get annoyed at me pointing all this out, you are missing the point – Every one of these are success stories that we need to celebrate. Wherever you are in this list, you should strive for the pecking order above. And if you are annoyed, you are a one-off tit that we’ve had only once before!! (That is the lowest percentage figure that you really don’t want to be in.’)

Our topics this week include; summaries, a plastered boundary, an outcome, abuse and a game.

As always, our initial comments follow.

First up was our first returning author.

Book Stuff‘ by Ryan Priest was published on Monday.

‘The final line is brilliant.’

‘This is so much more than it seems to be.’

‘Quite a bit of skilled story telling!’

Charlie Rogers also graced the site for the second time.

The Ceiling’ was next up on Tuesday.

‘This developed in depth.’

‘Maudling – But maudling done very well.’

‘This is a very honest piece of writing.’

And we broke the back of the week with our last returner.

On Wednesday we had Silke Kaja Roch’s, ‘Transformation.

‘I liked that the reasons weren’t mentioned.’

‘The line about the plastic dinosaur was terribly poignant.’

‘This is an excellent piece of writing that I enjoyed.’

And now onto our new writers.

Clarisse Gamblin was published on Thursday with, ‘So Many Girls In Leotards.’

‘You should never question yourself.’

‘Really well done – It is quite powerful.’

‘The questions it raises should never be questions.’

Shawn Nocher was our last new story teller of the week.

Gameday With Gran’ finished off the week.

‘This made me smile, it really did.’

‘The game chosen was perfect.’

‘A very loving story.’

Usual reminders guys – Comments make the site happy!

And The Sunday Re-Run is a rather cool feature so get involved with your choices of older stories and an introduction and a few questions for the author. We will publish exactly what you send us.

Last thing, on the day of writing this, I see that it’s the anniversary of the death of Sid Vicious. I wasn’t a mad punk, in fact I’m normally a few years behind a fad. I like to think I keep away from fads and therefore choose to be cool. (Leave it guys!! Give me something!!) At the time of the punk movement around 1977 I was more into rock bands like Deep Purple, The Who and Rainbow with a penchant for Glam Rock, like The Sweet, T-Rex and Gary… Well we won’t go there!

In my young days, I was a few years behind or in front depending on which way I look at it. Now-a-days, by fuck, am I only behind!!

Anyhow, I do have an appreciation for Punk Music and I still regularly listen to ‘The Anti-Nowhere League’ and ‘Stiff Little Fingers’. I read somewhere that a couple had ‘The League’s’ ‘Woman’ as their first dance at their wedding – Brilliant!! You need to have heard it to know how cool that is!

What I think is so interesting is when we think on Punk Songs, we sing them in our head a damn sight more quickly than they actually are – I don’t know why.

Back to Sid. I think that was the first time that I became aware of the genius of Gary Oldman in the film ‘Sid And Nancy’ I had actually thought it was in the film about football violence, ‘The Firm’ but was surprised to see that ‘Sid And Nancy’ was out two years earlier.

Anyhow RIP Sid – You’ve given me this last part of my posting. (Although I can’t forgive you for murdering ‘My Way’!!)

Hugh

***

Okay onto our Saturday Special (There are more examples if you type, surprisingly enough, ‘Saturday Special’ on the search box of our home page.)

Every now and then we come across a piece of work that we have loved but not really considered it a standard story. On the very few occasions this has happened, we have published it as a special feature within the Saturday Post.

To introduce this I have tied together both Diane and my comments. (Transparency is our thing even though it has bit us in the arse a few times!!):

I don’t think it’s a story. I thought it had a lot of charm and hit on a couple of important social comments, especially the little boy who went from Iraqi to Spanish.  I’ll bet quite a few do that especially in America.

I am giving this a YES. I really did enjoy reading it. 

It really does make you think and it’s very well written.

I’m trying to get a grasp on what Paloma was meaning regarding corporations making up skipping chants. I think there is something there, something meaningful but I’m too dim to get it. It’s fun to think on though and try to reason.

What I like about this is it is spiralling around my head like one of those bloody chants!

…Ahh – Maybe a sort of brainwashing advertising scenario!

I would say YES! but I wouldn’t know if we could class this as a story.

I suppose in a way, we could have a Saturday Special and state that we felt this was more social commentary than story.

What do you think???

And the answer was that we had no hesitation in wanting to publish.

I’m delighted to introduce – Paloma Martinez-Cruz with her wonderful, ‘By Mistake, She Kissed A Snake.’

***

By Mistake She Kissed a Snake by Paloma Martinez-Cruz

When the big kid by the swings asks what are you, don’t say Mexican and Puerto Rican. Instead, say Mayan and French because your Mexican grandmother has a French maiden name and Mayan means that you’re not regular brown – you’re artisanal. And then add that you’re Spanish-Jewish on your mother’s side by way of Puerto Rico, which you think cleans it up nicely. By this calculation, you’re Spanish, Jewish, Mayan, French, Mexican, and Puerto Rican. It just sounds right to add more stuff, even if you need to embellish family history to do it.

You’re not the only one. Gina? She says that the red highlights in her hair are because her grandmother was part Irish. She’s black from Altadena and you’ve never noticed any red highlights in her hair, but you go ahead and agree that they’re there. And Khalil? He used to be from Iran in kindergarten, but by second grade he’s Italian. Perfectly understandable. And you are Spanish and French. 

Outside, the boys play four square and dodge ball, but if the big kids have the ball, they might have to grab a rope from the crate as a last resort. 

You love jump rope. The girls’ voices join to the rope beat on asphalt.

Cin-der-el-la, dressed in yel-la

Went upstairs to kiss a fel-la

By mistake, she kissed a snake

How many doctors did it take?

One, two, three, four

five, six, seven, eight

You sing and jump and imagine Cinderella with her blond updo and flowy gown climbing a dark staircase. It’s hard to make out what’s in front of her, but she’s got grit – no one can say she doesn’t. She survived the scullery and the stepmother and her wicked stepsisters and now folks, she’s determined to kiss a fella, and you can kinda tell from the song that he might not be the first. She enters the room where a fella is waiting. (Maybe the prince? If it was the prince, would he be called a fella? Wouldn’t he be her fella?) But wait! Instead of a fella, it’s a huge giant snake and it bites her on the mouth! 

A team of doctors is called to save her. They stream into the house and up the stairs wearing stethoscopes and head mirrors and they form a long line of lab coats out the door and around the block. That is, if you’re good at skipping rope.  If it’s one of the little girls and the rope hits her right away, Cinderella might not even make it to the stairs.

If the boys have the rope, they don’t sing Cinderella. They have a different song that goes:

A one and a two

And a you know what to do

A one and a two

And a you know what to do

You think these songs arrive to the schoolyard via corporate developers, where serious businessmen in dark suits and ties assemble around a conference table to test new verses for playgrounds across the nation.

 “Miss Lucy had a tugboat,” one offers.

“The tugboat had a bell!” another adds, stabbing his finger into the air. He’s onto something good!

“Miss Lucy went to heaven…” A third ponders. 

“The tugboat went to hell!” The first one shrieks. They know this is one of their most daring productions. The children won’t be able to sing this one around teachers, but it’s a surefire hit for older cousins to pass along to little kids at family picnics. Older cousins are an important demographic. 

On the day they made up “A One and a Two and a You Know What to Do,” no one in the room had aspirations for virtuosity. The boys at recess simply required a non-song for jump rope, something that sent the clear message that the activity was beneath them.

Only one game is better than jump rope. According to playground taxonomy, Champions of Glory falls under the category of “house,” but, thanks to Gina, it’s an episodic adventure starring your future selves: two sisters, roller skating champions married to Tom Selleck (you) and Lee Majors (her), touring your latest Christian country music album for stadium crowds. In the Champions of Gloryverse, you are Scottish, Dutch, Irish, French, and one eighth Cherokee. You think the blend of European names sounds like butter cookies and shamrock shakes, and you throw in “Cherokee” like all the white kids do, which makes it sound like a cherry on top of a whipped cream dessert. Gina is French, English, Irish, and Swedish. (You never consider that you might have the same nationalities since you are sisters). You are Nancy and she is Kathy, until one of the white boys shows up and wrestles your hand into Gina’s hair.

The boy probably doesn’t play games that start with swapping out for another race and leaving his given color puddled on the ground behind him like broken pantyhose.

In your corner of the schoolyard you will turn a nest of dirty backpacks and jackets into a mansion for Nancy and Kathy (and Tom and Lee). Or you’ll skip to the tune of snake-bite Cinderella and stay in the arc of the spinning rope until all the doctors are lined up to patch her: hundreds, millions, infinity.

Paloma Martinez-Cruz    

Graffiti Image by Aline Dassel from Pixabay      

Banner – Ah Blackpool where I misspent much of my youth – well I say misspent – it was all terribly mild and well behaved really – though I did have a hat that said – Kiss me slowly – squeeze me tight!! and did anyone – well let’s just say I did more misspending in Wales with my motorcycling future husband. Happy Days. the banner image is from the wonderful Pixabay.com.

dd

11 thoughts on “Week 310 – Fat Larry’s Prediction, Always Yours And Paloma’s Saturday Special.”

  1. I like this Special. Seems to me something that could be performed by a Spoken Word Artist. It has the right verve and beat to it.

    We have small sand sharks in the Puget Sound. But we call them dog fish. Detest hunting, but I don’t mind fishing (all right–love fishing). I caught a three-footer in my grandfather’s boat when I was ten or so. We unhooked him and threw him back. He tried biting everything in sight, and I can tell you that even a three foot dog fish ain’t to be messed with. The dude was a regular Moby prick and my grandfather would have shot him if he had remembered to bring the .22 you need to have when going for halibut.

    Like

    1. Hi Leila,
      Thanks as always.
      My niece went fishing for the first time with her brother and her dad when she was about ten. She was dressed in her ‘princess’ T-Shirt. My brother-in-law was worried how she would react when they had to kill the fish. When the time came and the trout was frantically doing it’s sit ups, she looked at her brother and said – ‘Go on, stove it’s heid in!’
      I don’t believe I’ve told her partner that story!
      I think my nephew has the best idea about fishing now. He doesn’t care if he catches anything or not, he just believes that it is an excuse to sit by a river and drink a case of beer.
      Hugh

      Like

  2. Many writing sites publish narratives that aren’t really stories, and, for me, it’s a strength that LS normally doesn’t. But this piece is excellent, and I’m glad you shared it with us as a Saturday special.

    Like

    1. Hi Dave,
      Thanks for the kind words.
      We have refused so many with the phrase, ‘It’s an essay’ or ‘It’s not really a story’ – So something really needs to catch our interest for us to say yes.
      The ‘Not really a story’ can be quite a difference of opinion though when it is all a set up for a one liner. I am more inclined to lean towards counting that as a story. I think that the reason for that is a lot of my own work is revolved around a single line or idea. However the founder of the site, Adam West, in the early days, was more against that type and we had a few debates on what was and what wasn’t.
      Sometimes when we have a complete difference of opinion, those were the stories that were the most fun to discuss.
      All the very best my friend.
      Hugh

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Paloma,
    I read this again and enjoyed it just as much.
    Hope you’re happy seeing it on the site.
    And a huge welcome!
    Hugh

    Like

    1. Hi Hugh,
      I’m so honored to be invited to the Literally Stories community as a Saturday Special. I LOVE the Graffiti Image by Aline Dassel, and the thoughtful and encouraging comments. Onward!
      Paloma

      Like

    1. Hi Monika,
      It’s always a pleasure to see you around the site!
      Many thanks for your comments and continual interest.
      All the very best.
      Hugh

      Like

  4. Wow, looks like identity politics has soaked into even the youngest. I see though the jump rope songs are the same ones the girls used to sing 50 yrs. ago. Speaking of decades ago, went to my first punk rock concert in 78, (DOA with lead singer and now Burnaby city council member Joey Sh**head) with my friend who shaved half his moustache off for the occasion. My ears rang for three days after.

    Like

    1. Hi Harrison,
      Thanks as always.
      My first concert was around ’77 although it wasn’t as cool as yours.
      I am not ashamed, although I should be, to say that I went to Ayr Pavilion to see Showaddywaddy.
      I had a run in with a guy with half a moustache in 1983 when I was working in a Sawmill. I was writing a line or something and looked up, saying ‘Morning’ and when I saw him I nearly choked.
      I was too young to have the guts to ask him what the hell was going on.
      All the very best my friend.
      Hugh

      Like

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