All Stories, Editor Picks, Short Fiction

Week 338: Fearing the Two-Hundred Degree Day and Results From Feline Olympics

The Pacific Northwest winter used to run September through July. The main features were a minimum eight hours’ rain every twenty-four and temperatures favorable for sustainable mildew. Some years, but not all, there’d be a relatively balmy August, which motivated many to rush to the rocky shores of the Puget Sound to frolic drunkenly in the sea until they suffered pointless deaths brought on by hypothermia.

I avoid Climate Change as a subject for debate because it really doesn’t matter. It could very well be that the cloud of hairspray sent up into the atmosphere by 80’s Product Rockers, Poison, alone, has punched a lethal hole in the sky. But it still really doesn’t matter. My advice to the people who are smart enough to change the world is stop wasting time trying to make the people who hate you see things your way. Be creative and invent something big that will end the problem. Channel the same egghead pluck and ingenuity that ended World War II. Your scientific ancestors impressively overkilled the most significant event in human history by inventing a device that, when applied vigorously, can wipe out our species’ future in less time than it takes to roast a turkey.

Anyway, effect always gets more attention than cause. And this year’s unwanted advent of a summer similar to the kind you get in Death Valley–here in my previously drippy around the edges home, the Pacific Northwest–has had a poor effect on my sanity. The heretofore never experienced run of hundred degree days has rubbed my natural peculiar streak the wrong way.

Succinctly, the heat has made me a little weird.

This weirdness is underscored by my sudden obsession for weather apps. The Weather Channel, Accuweather, Weatherbug–name it, I’ve downloaded them all. When it first got aggressively hot I consulted the apps, and ever since I have bestowed grace on whichever app gives me the least shitty outlook. Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night and consult the current fair-haired weather app. I am, however, easily displeased. If the high forecast should go up a degree from the previous report, I mumble “Useless bastard–betcha won’t be satisfied until there’s a two-hundred degree day.” Then I uninstall the disgraced app and shop for one which offers a prophecy I can live with.

Alas, a familiar problem has presented itself.

It is an old trouble.

How do I exit yet another rambling diatribe and introduce the five writers whose stories appeared on the site this week?

Guess I’ll just do it: Four fine writers and one of the many reasons why people tend to avoid public transportation appeared on the site this week.

The less said the better about the confused individual who brought another talking bird around on Monday. But the more said about the late great Leonard Cohen the better, so in that regard The Mynah Fall and the Major Lift by yours truly might have something going for it, even if only through association.

This is something along the line of my sixth weekly update. And there’s been one recurring good item to appear in all, a story by Yashar Seyedbagheri. On Tuesday, Yash’s Screens elevated what had been a dubious start to the week. It is yet another penetrating look at the human condition; and although Yash tends to report on the events in a relatively small universe, his ability to make keen observations appears to be infinite.

The pipes heralded John Giarrantana’s second site appearance on Wednesday. Although I must admit I was puzzled by it upon my first read, Our Party (Fanatics Have Their Dreams) has a wonderful flow and is a layered piece which opens to the great satisfaction of the careful reader.

Thursday was brightened by the ever-wise Frederick K. Foote. His gift for dialogue is unsurpassed. And anyone who has read any of the seventy-two stories Frederick has published on the site knows that she/he can expect a higher than normal standard from this writer. Eddie Jordan suits that expectation. You won’t forget these kids anytime soon.

Mithran Somasundrum concluded the week with his LS debut story The Undefeated. It is an incredibly active piece that brilliantly displays much more than just what goes on in a small pub on a Tuesday night; it never loses your attention. You find yourself rooting for the old fighter.

Anyway, let’s have a cyber-hand for the writers who appeared Tuesday through Friday and resist calling the cops on the other one. Stories are the best method I know to escape the possibility of the Two-hundred degree day.

To close here’s a report of the latest results from the ongoing Feline Olympics. The games do not take place at one location, for that would be madness. The games happen everywhere at once and have been ongoing since the invention of the cat. There are two divisions, those games had by the great cats and those participated in by the domestic types. I hope to get word from the steppes and jungles soon about what’s going on among the lions and panthers and such, but I do have a few of the results from the smaller, yet just as ferocious (if only in their own minds) participants.

Behold five games and their current champions:

Five in Three Ankle Smack: Dudley, standard Black Cat (USA). Involves waiting in shadows then springing from hiding and assassinating a human passerby’s ankle with five quick smacks in three tenths of a second or under.

Long Distance Yarking: Isabel, Persian/Tabby (Canada). This blue-eyed kitty can yark a hairball farther than most people can throw a tantrum. Especially excels at doing this when you are trying to eat

Staring Into Space: Latch, a little bit of everything (Scotland). Famous Pub Cat who (after a couple of pints) can fall asleep with his eyes open and stare at the wall till closing time.

Stabbie, Stabbie, Stabbie: Mad Pierre, Brindle (France): Only “M.P.” engages in this sport. Next to nothing is known about it. But it may be telling that the people who can describe this activity can be reached only via a crystal ball.

Four-Footed Crotch Jump: Boots the Impaler, Siamese (Parts Unknown). “B.T.I.” covertly takes aim at seated human males, leaps and lands You Know Where and is gone with startling precision.

Anyway, those are a tiny fraction of the latest results. If anyone has an update on any other of the games, please place it in the comment box.

Leila

4 thoughts on “Week 338: Fearing the Two-Hundred Degree Day and Results From Feline Olympics”

  1. Hi Leila,
    I have a fondness for Mr Michaels – I really do think he has a brilliant voice. I think I have the ‘Open Up And Say Ah’ CD somewhere.
    Everytime I read anything you write about cats, it shows what an understanding (If there is such a thing) you have of them.
    …Be afraid, they don’t like being understood.
    …And there is nothing more worrying than a perturbed fiend.
    Brilliant as always!!
    Hugh

    Like

  2. Being a dog person (though I have nothing against cats except they make me sneeze), I don’t have any cat Olympics reports but was happy to get the recap provided here. Excellent review of the week’s stories, too. I missed a couple, and this prompts me to check them out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dogs are fine Olympians. My grandparents had a Dachshund mix named Fang. He had to wear the cone collar for a week or so once to keep him from getting at a couple stitches he on one of his paws. He entertained himself by getting the cone flat on the floor and standing on his head.
      LA

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.