Friday, August 30, 2013


I sit
Silent witness to romance.
To joy and heartache.
The Princesses come alone,
And with their betrothed.
 I bet they were ugly
When they were frogs.

Picture: (c) 2013 Dave Raider, Northfiield MN USA.  Used with permission.   

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Summertime Blues (Blogophilia 27.6)

"For homicide detectives, the clock starts ticking the moment they are called. Their chance of solving a murder is cut in half if they don't get a lead within the first 48 hours."

“Memphis, Tennessee 1:30 A.M.”  {Long shot of a full moon over the Mississippi River}

“It’s a humid July night on Beale St and the clubs are singing the summertime blues.  The roosting birds on a wire scatter when a scream comes from on the sidewalk…”


“Shelby County 911.   What is your emergency?”

“There is a dead body lying in the doorway.  I think we’re gonna need the police.”

“They are on their way…”

[Cut to the interior of a car.  A youngish, short haired woman driving]

 “Just sat down to eat dinner when I got this call.”  

“Sergeant Penny Farthing, a ten year veteran of the homicide unit has been assigned as lead detective.  Known on the force as “Cheap”, she has a reputation for her low expenses and high clearance rate. “

[Car parks and Sgt. Farthing joins the other officers on scene]

“Sgt Farthing meets her partner, Detective Rory Sullens, a 15 year veteran.  Sullens is known in the department as “Metal Head”, a result of a traffic accident when he was a rookie patrolman.”

  “So, what do we have, Metal?”

“Our decedent is a Male White, Cheap.  He has significant trauma to the head, but I can’t exactly from what, though. ME’s office will confirm what did it.  Really odd thing.  He is dressed up in a dog costume.”

“That’s strange.  Look. He’s also got this gold helmet looking thing on his head.  I’ve seen this before, but I can’t place it.  Has anybody turned up witnesses?’

“Just the 911 caller, Cheap.  Said he was coming out of the late showing of The Seven Samurai at the Orpheum and about tripped over the body.  I’ve already sent him over to the office for an interview. “

“Good, do we have an I.D on him?”

“The driver’s license is for a Commander Danny Kaye. Somehow, I don’t think that is a real name.  Who names their kid after a dead actor?”

“I’ve seen stranger things, Metal, and so have you.  Is that a blood trail leading into that alley?”

“Yeah, we traced it over to Peabody and it vanishes. I’m guessing he picked up a bus or taxi.  It 
looks like our suspect may have hurt himself while doing this. “

“We’ll canvass the local emergency rooms to check for patients.  I wonder if our suspect was volitorial? Anybody over that way see anything strange?”

“Not that we have turned up But we are still interviewing bystanders.“

The detectives are joined my Lt. Marvin Martian.  Long, long ago in the far off galaxy, Lt Martian lived with his dog in the City of Roscommon.  He moved to Memphis after getting out of the service and joined the force in 1994.  He’s been the command of the Homicide unit for the last three years.  A very small man with a short gait, he bobs his head feverishly when he talks.

“Cheap.  Metal.  I understand we have a different one here.”

Sgt. Farthing speaks. 

 “Yes, Lt.  A man in a dog suit and a helmet.  We I.D’d him as a Commander Danny Kaye.”

“What!  Are you sure?”

Lt. Martian looks closer at body.

“Oh, Dear.  Oh, My.  It is my long lost partner Commander K.  I lost track of him after he was caught with that bitch over on Poplar and he got booted of the force.  I always knew he wasn’t a real dog, but he was my pet." 

Martian kneels beside the body bag.

  "We’ll do our best to find who did this.  He is one of us."

Det. Sullens puts his arm around the shoulder of his distraught boss.

“We’ll head back over to the office, Lt.  and talk to the witnesses.  I promise you we’ll our best to find who did this to your partner.

{To be continued}

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Horsey Afternoon.

I was looking at Pam Stone's Facebook page earlier this week working a young mare.  It got me thinking about something that happened when I was about six or seven years old. We lived in a subdivision in the North Buckhead area of Atlanta.  This was in the mid 1960's and beyond our street the area was mostly small horse farms, with a few cows interspersed here and there.  There was a creek and an abandoned rock quarry.  In other words, lots of places for a kid to get lost in and have adventure.   

One morning during the Spring, my mother was cleaning up the kitchen after everyone had left the house.  Given there four kids and a husband living there at the time, this was not a small task. I was home sick from school, so she had me to deal with, too.  She is finishing up the sink when the phone rings.  With a cuss, she picks the receiver off the wall.  It is Mrs. Rowan, our next door neighbor.

"Teeny!  Have you looked outside your living room window?"

"No, Betty.  I've been busy cleaning up from my herd of pigs and Chrissie is sick on the sofa.  What's wrong?"

"There is a horse eating your Chrysanthemum bed"

With that, Mom drops the phone, gets a broom and goes flying out the garage door.  I go up to the front door to watch. There was an older bay mare comfortably grazing at the top of our retaining wall.  It looked huge to my small eyes. About half the Mums and Marigolds had been stripped from the bed that ran along it. It had been raining the day before, so everywhere the horse had  been was a trampled mass of dark loam mixed with fresh fertilizer. I began giggling.

The horse was now munching the nice soft grass that ran along side the bed. Mom comes up it swinging the broom.  It slowly raised its head and stared at this midget screaming. This pasture was tasty and she wasn't going to leave a perfectly good meal just because some Munchkin said so. It was a sight to behold. 

Mrs Rowan had come out to "help". She was the type that liked watching people that were in a little bit of trouble. But she would sort of try to solve the problem for them. One got on one side and the other got on the other to try to shove the animal into the driveway, but it wasn't about to move. I was laughing

After a few minutes of this, Mrs. Rowan finally asked "Where do you think he came from?"

About that time, up drives an old truck pulling a dilapidated trailer.  An older fellow and what appeared to be his son got out and started calling for the horse. The mare began to shy away, like it knew it was in trouble.  They slipped an old rope halter around its neck and tried to pull it toward the trailer.  Horse wasn't having any of it.  It dug in its heels and pulled back, whinnying in protest. Finally, the son slipped up behind it and whacked it with a piece of board and it walked haltingly to the loading ramp.

When it was all over, the old man explained he owned one of  the farms down at the bottom of the hill.  The mare and another horse had busted a fence that ran along the creek.  The other horse hadn't gotten that far, but this one had followed the creek for more than 1/2 mile and decided our house was as good a place to take a break as any.   He apologized for the mess and trundled on back home, not offering to pay for the flowers.

Mom came on back down the driveway, cussing up a storm. She stopped when she saw me and asked: "What are you laughing at?"

My eyes got wide and I said "Nothing, Ma'am." I knew if I said anything else, there was a switch in my future.

"Good, and it better stay that way."

And we went in to have lunch. 

Gold decisions

Who is in?
Who is out?
Who has the gold decides.


Only flattering things?
Why, yes.
And those who disagree
Down the memory hole

They are scum
Dirt ready to be scrubbed
Cleansed from modern society
And who has the gold decides.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Ossabaw Dream (blogophilia 26.6)

Crescent moon over
Primeval palmetto grove
Brow beaded with sweat
On this mid July night
Stepping off Kilkenny Ferry
She waits

Past or future?
Real or dream?
Questions rise
From rum and percocet
And fear

Ovaline pendant glows
Between non existent breasts
A young old woman
Dancing circles to a silent melody.
Parrying around an ancient oak,
Spiraling downward

Her face reflecting the pale moon
Passing together
Neither willing to concede
The losing race.

Touching ignites frenzy
Modesty and civility
Vanish into thin air
Arms reach toward Heaven
Minds race toward Hell.
As the consummation plays

Waking alone when the sun rises
Dissolved in passion
She plays among the stars
In the deep memory of time.

Picture- (c) Christopher H. Mitchell, Atlanta, GA, USA, 2005, 2013.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

One morning at home. (Blogohilia 25.6)

"Rrrriinggg.  Rrrriinnngg."

"Hello.  This is Chris Mitchell.  How may I help you?"

"Arrrggh.  'tis Scurvy Jack of Blackbeard Recovery, callin' about 'cher loan."

"Excuse me?  Loan? I have no loan."

"Aye, Lad, you do.  Captain said you took eighteen Doubloons from him to pay bar at The Chart House last fortnight.  He was the one legged man with the parrot."

"The Chart House?  Never heard of the place.  Where might it be?"

"Nassau Town, Sir."

"This must be just your imagination, my friend.  I haven't been to Nassau in many years.  Landlubber I am."

"Nay, Lad.  The Captain said you had come in soaked with a sheep.  Said somethin' about you winnin' a race but not receivin' da winnin's. You have a ponytail, Sir?"

"No, I don.  This is silly, Mr. Scurvy.  I live over 700 miles from the Bahamas and it's too hot for sheep there."

"Arrgh. Call me Jack, Boy.  No doubtin' Captain Blackbeard.  He lent you the gold."

"Jack, a fortnight ago, I was still here in Atlanta. No seaside taverns.  No sea at all."

"Atlanta?  No wonder I'm confused.  This sheet says Atlantis.  Waaaiiitt a minute.  That went down in a hurricane.  That's what Grandpappy Bluebeard told me when I was a lad.  Captain must be in the grog again.  So sorry for the interruption. Arrgh.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Random spillige

I am convinced the computer system at work is a woman.  Every month she cramps up and refuses to work without electric Midol and Chocolate.

Does anyone else think Progressive Flo is just a human used tampon?

Alex Rodriguez is fighting his suspension from baseball.  Why?  Just retire and go away.  You've already ruined your body, your reputation and any good thing about you.

On the same subject: other teams seem to be doing fine without juicing.  Like the Braves.

Is Obama worse than Bush?  They have the same owner, so I can't really tell.

"The SKY is falling!" says the Chicken Little Network.  No, it isn't.  It's just the more extreme of the crazies has not taken their medication. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Cub Day Camp (Blogophilia 24.6)

One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn't pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself. with the pink poodle skirt  doing the macerena.- Courtesy, Kim Herndon-Ft Drum, NY

About ten years ago, I took a week off of work to be a Counselor/Den Leader at a Cub Scout day camp in Gwinnett County, about 20 miles from my home. With 120 boys registered, this was the largest assembly of scouts I had been to up to that point.   I was assigned to lead a Bear (9 year old) den that my older son was in.  My younger son was six and assigned to a Tiger Den that he ended up liking. 

It was one of the more challenging assignments I had ever done.In this crew, I only knew my son. I had eleven 9 and 10 year old boys, two of them certified ADHD, and I had one day to mold them into a semi cohesive unit that could work together without the death of me or some of the boys. At my home pack, I had known all the boys since they were 4 or 5.  I used my knowledge of their quirks to keep them in line. It took some trial and error, but like dogs, boys love leadership. And these guys liked military stuff. So,  I became the Sergeant and they became my platoon. 

One kid in particular was a handful.  A sweet tempered blond kid, you would say something that thirty seconds later would be totally forgotten.  One of the rules in my den was we marched  in cadence from event to event.  This allowed me and my assistant (a kind of cute LDS Mom), to bookend the crew and keep them from falling off cliffs. The little blond kid would invariably break rank and we would stop and hook him back into the fold.  On the second day, he did this in the parking lot in front of a moving car.  Finally I sat him down and told him that my sister was a nurse at the local emergency room (this was true, although I don't think she was on duty that day) and I would make sure any stitches necessary would be done without anesthesia.  His eyes widened and he got the message. No more problems with breaking rank.

The discipline worked.  Our den was cited for excellence on every day of camp and came in second place among all 26 dens for the week on activity advancement and general scout skills.  Which gets me to the quote and "assignment" Kim gave me in her blog.  On the last afternoon, was a ginormous Pack Meeting.  If you have experience in Cub Scouting, you know that Pack Meeting is when everybody gets together for fun, laughter and awards. And there was a skit competition for all the dens.  And there was a Adult Staff Den involved. 

My Den worked up the opening, which was a simple gate march to invite everyone to the show.  My boys lined up and as Emcee, I invited everyone to the show.  Splitting in the middle, the everyone did a slow eight count march backwards with their hands out in greeting.  It worked great and everyone slipped back into the audience to watch the rest of the show. 

At the end of the show, The Adult Den did a rendition of "If I Weren't a Camp Counselor".  One of the men was dressed in a pink skirt  and top and said "I would be a Girl Scout, won 't you buy my cookies?"  From the middle of the room, I heard my younger son shout out "I will!"  The room broke out in uncontrollable laughter. 

When order was restored (at as much as you can with 120 boys in the room), the adults went through the skit again, and when the question was asked, the whole room shouted "We will!" and the laughter came out again, but they did get to finish it this time. We then went to the Cubmaster's minute, did the Benediction and we were done.

As we were driving home, the boys asked me what I had thought of camp.  I was exhausted, but fulfilled.  I told them it was the most exciting thing I had done and I had much more respect for elementary school teachers.  Working with kids that age IS exhausting and I'm not entirely sure I would go back and do it again.  But I would not trade the experience for anything in this world. 

Remember in all things.

Do your best. 

It is all you can do. 

Oh, and if you really like writing, join us at Blogophilia on Facebook. 

Blogophilia 24.6