Saturday, October 31, 2015


or should I say…


Today is the fifth Saturday in the month. That doesn’t happen often, and when it does I think we should celebrate. So, no lecture in this post. As it happens, today is also Halloween, and to celebrate the holiday, I’m going to try my best to frighten you and make you face up to monsters. After all, we writers do that all the time, don’t we? And we’ve learned not to be afraid of the dark…haven’t we?

How to face the dark and survive: treat it lightly. Here are a few stories and pictures to make you smile nervously.

Injury to Insult

“You’re foolish to insult a witch,” I scolded.
“You’re no witch.”
“You think not?”
“Prove it,” he sneered.
So I unlaced my bodice.
His jaw dropped.
His eyes fell.
His heart sank.
I kicked his heart, his eyes, and his jaw under the bed, then said to the rest of him, “I rest my case.”

The Second Course...

The unfaithful slave was ordered to choose between two doors. Behind one, the girl he loved; behind the other, a ravenous tiger.
Hearing growls behind the left-hand door, he opened the right. Entered.
Slam. Click.
The room was empty.
There was no partition between the two chambers.
Next door, a tiger was finishing his appetizer.

Independence Day

I watched the little kid stamping up and down the sidewalk all morning. Finally I asked, “What are you doing?”
“Getting free of my mother,” he answered.
“You’re running away?”
“I can’t,” he whined. “My dumb mom won’t let me cross the street.”
“So how—”
He grinned and resumed his march. “I’m stepping on cracks.”

…And Have  Nice Day

Folks, this is your captain speaking. We’re experiencing some difficulty with three of our engines, and we’re going to have to lose some weight.
So I have volunteered to take the parachute and jump. Automatic pilot should keep you flying for a while, and eventually you’ Sort of.
Enjoy the rest of your flight.

Such a Deal

“God,” I prayed, “let me write for a living.”
Through my garret door strode a dude wearing a red suit and brimstone cologne.
He grinned. “Let’s talk.”
“What? You want my soul?”
He laughed. “A writing career’s not worth that. I’ll accept your sanity.”
Decades later, I’m still in my garret.
He’s still laughing.

Red Beans Anne Rice

“Celebrate Mardi Gras with the oldest family in New Orleans,” the invitation read.
I knocked on the door and was greeted by a plump, regal, raven-haired lady wearing a purple velvet gown.
“Enter,” she purred. “Come meet my family. We’ve been waiting for you.”
Locking the door, she called into the mansion, “Dinner has arrived.”

Plan B

“So how do I earn the million bucks?” asked James.
“I have to pay alimony for the rest of my ex-wife’s life, unless she gets married,” said Frederick. “Can you help me out?”
“No problem.”
A week later, the phone rang.
“Done deal,” said James. “Pay up.”
“Congratulations!” said Frederick. “When’s your wedding?”

Welcome to Graceland

Yesterday I caught a cold and went to bed with a temperature of 105. But this morning, I feel great.
I went for a heavenly walk, and who should I bump into but Elvis.
“Hey,” I said. “I knew you weren’t dead.”
“Guess again,” he said.
“But how on earth—“
“My point exactly,” he explained.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Earl. Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. My favorite was the last. Great post. Live long and prosper!

    1. May you live long and prosper too, Madeline. Happy Halloween!

  3. Wait a minute. That last story. I mean, you're not implying that the king is ... No, can't be. You must have mixed things up.

    Great post, John. Lots of fun - and scary, too.

    1. I hate to break it to you, Jim, but I've heard from reliable sources that Elvis has left the building. He got all shook up when hound dog stepped on his blue suede shoes.

  4. I love your reply to Jim Callan. It's almost better than your story! Happy Halloween to you and yours. Time to set the clocks back and march into November.

    1. Does that mean that four months later we'll november into March?