“What’s $100,000?” she asked flippantly.
“It’s $95,000 more than I’ve got,” was his answer.
She was starting to drive him crazy. She had two pre-occupations, money and her research. On neither score, was she in any way practical.
They’d been living together in a basement apartment for seven months while attending Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Their undergraduate programs were coming to an end and it was time to think of the future.
Hudson Hicks was absolutely certain what he wanted to do. He’d run for president of the student council the past year and been narrowly defeated. It was a minor setback.
He loved politics – the dogma and the out-takes, the drama and debates, the gossip and intrigue, the backroom dealings and the time in the spotlight. They were all “crack” to him.
At first, he’d thought his name was a liability. He’d come to understand otherwise. The manner in which “Hudson” rolled off the tongue conveyed class and “Hicks”, for an obvious reason, carried a common touch.
He’d been accepted to law school in the fall. Graduation in the legal profession was a time-tested way to gain a rung-up on the political ladder.
Hudson intended to make his mark serving the public. That’s where his difficulties with Bea started.
On a personal level, he was smitten with her. The chemistry between them was charged. The sex, dazzling. How could it not be? At their ages, they were lithe, vigorous and eager to try anything.
But was there long-term potential in their relationship? His affection for her could easily lead to a firmer commitment. Would her personality be a good compliment to his aspirations?
He had to admit the answer was no.
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Tags:Fantasy·funny aging story·funny Alamo story·funny corruption story·funny Custer's last stand story·funny elderly story·funny political intrigue·funny politics story·funny revenge story·funny romance story·funny seniors story·funny time travel story·Hindenburg·love story for the ages·pay-back story·teaching the young a lesson·Titanic
We’re experiencing a winter without snow in Toronto. Actually, it’s been a late 2011 and early 2012 without much of a winter.
In technical terms, the days between December 21 and March 21 are marching by. But they’re scurrying along much quicker without my having to shovel snow and worry about skidding all over the road while driving.
It’s undeniable, though, that these aren’t the manly days of yore when the white stuff was piled up to the rooftops on side streets.
I don’t know how it’s happened, whether thanks to global warming or due to the thermal bubble thrown up when six million people huddle together, but I’m grateful.
I didn’t feel this way when I was a boy. I loved the winter and freezing conditions. It was great to go outdoors and play hockey. Or ski when I reached my twenties and early thirties.
Canadians know the seasons are important. Gorgeous summers and wicked winters are our yin and yang, meteorologically speaking.
There are things we’re supposed to do in winter such as rev up the snowmobile for trail riding or sweep the ice while curling. Spring is reserved for dusting off the golf clubs. Summer’s for swimming and fall is about watching the leaves change colour.
That’s the theory. Never mind that throughout all the seasons and however attired – in light gear in the good months and laden down at double our body weights with overcoats and galoshes in the bad months – most of us spend our weekends and other free time trekking through shopping malls.
I worry about what no snow in winter will mean for the collective psyche.
When I was a child, one of my favorite activities was going to the wrestling matches with my parents. The spectacle wasn’t like it is now, where the object as far as I can determine is for a couple of men, or women, to climb into a cage and try to kill one another.
No, in the old days, it was a low-rent Broadway musical. The performers would dance around the ring and the choreography was at its best when the tag teams took over.
I remember very well Gene Kiniski and Gorgeous George and how they’d try to sneak behind a referee and pretend to gouge out an opponent’s eye. Then they’d touch hands with their partner and switch places in the ring.
They were sly devils and everyone knew they were having a good time.
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Tags:Canadian duos·Canadian humor·changing weather story·funny Canadian weather story·funny economist story·funny snow story·funny Toronto story·funny weather story·funny winter story·great duos·humor·Lang and O'Leary·MacLean and Cherry·story about seasons of the year·tag team wrestling·Wayne and Shuster·wrestling·yin and yang
With the exception of a section towards the end of this story, all of the events recorded below occurred in one special year. The season and the locales are noted in italics.
Early spring, Barrie, Ontario, Canada:
The first officer on the scene struggled to come up with a reaction.
He thought it wasn’t much of a “scene” per se and there might not have been a crime.
This sort of thing was a common occurrence.
It would have to be checked out, nonetheless.
What a bother on his day off.
What was perhaps most unfortunate was the location. It mattered as much as the event.
The police were always finding abandoned cars. Their hulks were likely to appear almost anywhere.
This time, though, the vehicle in question was a Mercedes C-Class sedan.
Regardless of the year or condition, that wasn’t the kind of automobile that got left behind very often.
Yet there it was, sitting bold as daylight at the back-end and bottom of the quarry.
Anybody could have cut through the chain on the flimsy gate and deposited the car, stolen or otherwise.
Upon reflection, the entrance was still intact when the officer reached the grounds early that morning.
He remembered getting out of his own standard-issue vehicle and using a key on the padlock.
Maybe somebody had found access from an adjoining property. He’d check that out in a minute.
Could it be there was a body in the trunk? Or was the car used for a getaway in a robbery?
It wouldn’t do to get lost in speculation.
He’d start by running the plates. Hopefully, they’d be in the system and the matter would be quickly resolved.
Almost assuredly the location would turn out to be a coincidence.
The gravel pit was used as a police firing range throughout the week.
That’s why the officer was there, to shoot off a few rounds in a spot that was perfectly safe.
On the floor of the quarry, the sandy and stone-pitted walls would absorb any stray bullets.
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Tags:bad driving·Barrie·bizarre·car accidents·Collingwood·driving in snow·family tragedy·ghost story·mayhem·Middle Ages·murder·mystery·poetic·prose poetry·retribution·revenge·road rage·sorcery·supernatural·Toronto driving·Toronto traffic·tragedy·withcraft
Beginnings oft times are brutal. Unfortunately, so are endings.
In between is mostly a race.
A mad dash to grow up, acquire knowledge and earn a living, whether honestly or not.
Events spin out of control. The passing show’s a blur.
On the final leg, if we’re lucky and fate hasn’t already intervened, we race towards death.
By the time the finish line appears, speed has become an addiction.
That’s not where Frieda was currently situated.
Her world was only beginning to accelerate.
On this night, both sides of life’s conundrum – birth and death – would be in evidence.
Circumstances were intervening, both favorably and with feigned indifference.
Frieda was lying flat on her back in a horse-drawn trailer on a lord’s estate.
She was in pain extremis.
Through no fault of her own one of the most natural things in the world was leading towards a frightful denouement.
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Tags:burning at the stake story·drinking buddies story·fair maiden story·intrigue·knight in shing armor story·medieval murder mystery story·murder story·mystery story·psychic connections·Romance·supernatural·twins
There once lived a king who loved the theater.
His taste crossed all genres – romances, sophisticated comedies, broad farces and stomach-churning tragedies.
He particularly liked historical pieces that featured his ancestors.
Watching his predecessors parade around in crowns and tiaras while engaging in outrageous behavior was a self-centered delight.
The royals’ peccadilloes were well documented and knew few bounds.
The history of his family was filled with crime and passion, mystery and murder.
It was replete with drama and perfectly suited for public staging.
He wished he could have been an actor. Due to the circumstances of his birth, that wasn’t to be.
In compensation, he’d always surrounded himself with an acting crowd.
He liked their heightened sense of drama.
It didn’t hurt that so many of them, especially the women, were such “good lookers”.
Their presence provided a shot of youth. Past his personal half-century mark, he needed to replenish his “juices” from time to time.
To ensure a steady supply of new talent, he established a feeder system for his Theater Company.
Once a year, he sent his only son, the Prince, on a pilgrimage across the country to scour for talent.
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Tags:a prince and his princess·acting in drag story·damsel in distress story·fair maiden story·fairy tale·funny acting story·funny dragon story·funny horror story·macabre·medieval murder story·medieval mystery story·monster·murder·performing arts school story·quirky crime story·theater story
“His brain was trashed,” she said.
“Excuse me?” was his response.
“I don’t know how it happened, but his brain was trashed. You know, like a hotel room after a rock star’s attack of indigestion,” said Corina.
“Wow! Any idea how it happened?” asked Chief Inspector Beige.
“I’m pretty sure I answered that question.” Corina the coroner could turn petulant when perturbed. “I have no idea whatsoever.”
“So it wasn’t a heart attack? Or a stroke, like we thought?” queried the inspector.
“Nope,” was the terse reply.
“No evidence of drug use. Same with alcohol. He was estranged from his family, but his ex-wife and kids swear he’s been clean for a decade.”
“Okay, this is getting weird,” said the inspector. “So what about his brain? Define trashed.”
“It’s been turned to mush. You know how the grey matter is supposed to look like linked sausage, hinting there might be some kind of order in there?”
“You mean the cortex and lobes?” asked Beige.
“Yes. Good to know you were paying attention in grade-school health class.” Corina was having too much fun being snarky to stop cold turkey.
Beige tapped his noggin with his right forefinger. “Hey, I’ve still got all my faculties.”
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Tags:coroner story·entertaining murder mystery story·funny detective story·funny horror story·funny murder story·funny scary story·funny technology story·funny vocabulary story·funny word story·murder mystery story·murder story·quirky murder mystery story·unusual mystery story
What he liked about her was her laughter.
What she liked about him was his silence.
Her laughter was quiet, rich and reflective. It was doled out sparingly. When forthcoming, you knew it had been earned. It carried neither price tag, nor was gained at another’s expense.
Sometimes she giggled. Those were special occasions, when they explored each other in some new emotional or physical way and surprise or shyness sought verbal expression.
Mostly her laughter was throaty, the sound an old soul makes when struck precisely-so by a perfectly-wielded gong.
His silence was the opposite of awkward. It was warm, enveloping and often humorous.
Come dance with me, his eyes suggested. In a white bright room of our own imaginings, where we’re safe from outside terrors and the waltz can last as long as we like.
Banishing the fragility of existence was the chief extract from their bonding.
She’d arrived in Canada while in her teens. That was 50-plus years ago.
She’d never forget the one excellent piece of advice her parents had given her when they said their good-byes in Beijing. “When you get to Canada, buy the warmest coat you can find.”
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Tags:comedy·feel good story·funny awkward story·funny culture clash story·funny dating story·funny love story·funny romance·funny ski club story·heartwarming·how they met story·humor·I want to stay friends story·love story·Romance·tender story·touching·uplifting·warm-hearted·whimsical
XaniaXYM-529’s attention was glued to one of thousands of monitors hooked up to the enormous rumbling machine that was focused on the planet a considerable distance away.
He was luxuriating onboard his species’ most modern space station.
From earth, the craft was hidden in the flotsam that made up Saturn’s ring.
The giant device at the heart of the ship was spewing forth information on every single individual on terra firma.
Their whereabouts; what they were thinking; how their daylight or night-time hours were being spent.
People were equipped from birth with a monitoring device that, for lack of a better word, was called a soul.
Wirelessly, this fed data to the machine, which was a whirligig of awesome proportions.
It occupied pride of place in the centre of the room and resembled nothing so much as a giant vanilla cupcake.
The contraption processed and emitted “stuff” in two directions.
Not only did it absorb “intel”, but through sending out “frizzle” waves, the Xanians were able to shape, guide and re-order events on earth.
(The author apologizes for the brief use of technical jargon in the last two paragraphs.)
In their realm to the side of the “playpen”, a select group of Xanians paid close attention to the action across the solar system.
It was their primary form of entertainment.
They could never get enough of causing grief.
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Tags:bizarre·causing grief·comedy·funny alien romance story·funny aliens story·Funny Dog Stories·funny fantasy·funny grief story·funny irony stories·funny payback story·funny romance story·funny science fiction·funny workplace story·humor·origin of are we there yet?·Science Fiction·that explains it
An actor, a writer, a politician and a rich dude were sitting on the back portico of the latter’s mansion.
They quaffed a non-alcoholic concoction while looking out over an enormous aqua-blue swimming pool and a garden vista that stretched a quarter of a mile before being bracketed by a security-enhanced fence and towering evergreens.
On the surface of things, the rich dude’s existence was the best of all possible worlds and the others were content to bask in the glow and feed off the scraps scattered at the fringe.
The fact they’d known each other all their lives was the reason they were still so close despite their nuanced differences and divergent career paths.
What they were doing now was playing a familiar game that never bored them – comparing the thickness of each others’ skin.
Not in a literal sense, although that might have been fun. After a few bottles of wine at one long-ago social gathering, this had been suggested.
Get out the calipers and take a leaf from Shylock’s book. Cut off some flesh and measure the depth of the cutaneous level in millimeters.
Consistency should also be considered.
The inside walls may have become crustaceous as the result of being forged by boiling blood.
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Tags:bad review story·career choices·confidence rebuilding·emotional turmoil·funny actor story·funny confidence story·funny criticism story·funny self-criticism story·funny thick skin story·funny writer story·self-improvement·taking criticism·thick skin
“Dinosaur Spots Comet in Sky.”
“That’s the headline I’m going with,” said Dilly the crocodile to Tony the T-Rex, as they faced each other across the entranceway to the latter’s luxurious cave.
It was the most modern of eras in an alternative universe containing the 88th iteration of “standard” earth where the animals had evolved to rule the planet and humankind was nowhere to be found.
Dilly had received his rather silly and soft nickname years ago, but had come to appreciate its value for disarming interview subjects.
He worked as a reporter. The name of his paper was the Daily Drumbeat, since that was the method by which the news was distributed.
Tony the T-Rex was mayor and financial mogul in this particular zone of the jungle.
“Why have you come to me with this story?” asked Tony.
“I thought I should give you a heads-up,” said Dilly “and present you with an opportunity to confirm or deny it.”
“Why would I have anything to say on the subject?”
“Because you’re the dinosaur referred to in the article,” said Dilly.
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Tags:anachronism·business of publishing·comedy·comet destroys dinosaurs·e-book publishing·funny·funny digital publishing story·funny dinosaur story·funny gatekeeper story·funny parable·funny publishing story·funny redundant story·funny T-Rex story·gatekeepers·humor·out-of-place·printing·publishing·T-Rex