Thursday, November 23, 2017

'A THANKSGIVING STORY' By Mitch Phillips



We were very poor during the depression, I never realized how poor until my fifth birthday.

My father brought home a bunny rabbit for my birthday.

 I was elated.

We ate him for supper that night and I fell into a deep sadness.

I decided to look at the bright side of the event… at least the bunny rabbit and I hadn’t developed a close friendship.

From that time on, I only asked for inanimate objects as gifts.
When my mother became pregnant, again the whole family was elated… except me.

They would talk about Mommy bringing home a gift of a baby brother from the hospital for me to play with.

I ignored them when my parents said, “come look at your new baby brother his name is Cecil”.

I refused to come down for dinner that night. I buried my head under my pillow, when I heard the baby cry. I could only imagine what they were doing to him. To my surprise, he was still there the next morning.

They made a big fuss about how much weight he was gaining and I would watch my mother baste him with baby oil. Mother said he weighed 18 pounds… a real little “Butter Ball”.

Early Thanksgiving morning I removed Cecil from his cage, put him in my little red wagon and we left the house. I got half way to the train station before the murderers caught up with us.

They brought us home and continued to fatten him up. Many thanksgivings have passed since that first day they brought Cecil home to me. He has since joined the Marines, and I became a Veterinarian. 
                                        ***

Copyright 2017 Summerlin's Writers and Poets Workshop - Las Vegas, NV.



 This is our author Mitch Phillips. All of his books are available on Amazon.com
Visit our Summerlin's Writers Workshop blog to read excerpts from his new book "Keeping It From Harry"  A Comedy.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

"A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THANKSGIVING" By Jerry Silvers

 
Zero Mendal 

                   
When the second Pilgram ship landed on Dodge Rock in the year 1622, they were  also greeted by the American Indian tribe called Wampanoag. Their chief Massasoit and Zero Mendal head of this settlement became good friends. The   first Indian harvest of year of 1622  was a celebration for the Wampanoag.  Zero was happy to share in this celebration with Chief Massasoit and designated this celebration as “Thank Goodness”, since it arrived just in time before they all starved to death.

(Zero) “Welcome your highness King Massasoit” as he bows in respect. "What brought you here today? Remember your highness how we traded you many of our fine goods for seeds, they failed to grow. We are now starving!”

(Chief) Great leader, did you water and fertilize crops like we instructed?”

(Zero) “What’s wrong with you, we couldn’t find a water faucet and what kind of fertilizer did you suggest, buffalo chips, not on my crops.

(Chief) “Those buffalo chips are imported and very expensive. We trade them for many wampon; they come from out west were the buffalo roam on the home of the wild prairie. Ta Dum!"


(Count Leapshen interrupts the conversation) “Chief, my name is Count Leapshen, maybe you and I can come to some kind of arrangement that will benefit both of us.”

(Zero) “Stay out of this Count, I’m in charge of this settlement.

(Chief) “We come to have a big celebration, I come to share our bountiful harvest and hunt. We brought turkey, deer, and lobster, along with many kinds of vegetables, corn, and fruits.”

(Zero) “What kind of Turkey?”

(Chief) “There is only one kind of turkey on tribal land.”

(Zero) “What I mean, is it a Butterball or Kosher, I heard a Kosher turkey is really the best?”

(Chief) “Me no understand.”

(Zero) “What about stuffing, you can’t have a Thank Goodness turkey without stuffing.”

(Chief) “Stuffing, what does stuffing mean? Is this an insult? This is one hell of a prized turkey? Insults about our turkey, we go home now!”

(Zero) “No, don’t go, it’s only a Puritan joke.”

(Chief) “What is a joke?”

(Count) “Come over here Chief, how many of those Turkey can you supply and what about something they call Tobacco. We both can become very rich shipping them back to Europe. You get what I mean?”

(Chief) “What does white man mean by the word rich?” I have plenty of food and many wives. I don’t need to get.”

(Zero) “You, Count leave the Chief alone and get the Pilgrims to start the fires and prepare the table for our guests. If you mention one more time about special deal with the Chief, you will be removed and locked into the stockade post.”

(Chief) “Chief has plenty of buffalo chips to trade not only makes good fertilizer, also makes good fires and fresh ones good to warm your feet under blankets in winter. I know Europeans will be very happy to receive such a good trade. We heard from other settlement traders what they call whiskey. We want to learn how to make this whiskey, we trade for whiskey.”

(Zero) “Chief we are Puritans we do not indulge in strong drink. Now, we do like wine for our religious ceremony and maybe a gourmet dinner once in a blue moon. Now you make wine from grapes and we crush them with our feet in a large vat.”

(Chief) “Smelly feet, me no like already. You take buffalo chips off my hands and I give you plenty of grapes and tobacco.”

The second Thanksgiving (really Thank Goodness) was a success, it saved the Pilgrim from starvation in the winter months with all the turkey leftovers.

Also, they were the first to invent the dogie bags, even though they were on the shortlist during their starvation diet.

They struck the first commerce deal to ship products from Dodge Rock to Europe. 

Everything they sent was welcome with open arms except the buffalo chips.

 In recent times archaeologist were excavating the original settlement site and came upon several buildings with large quantities of petrified Buffalo Chips. This was a mystery to the scientific community , since large herds of Buffalo were not common in this area of the country.  

“Happy Thank Goodness!”                                                        
                                        ***



Copyright 2017 Summerlin’s Writers and Poets Workshop, Las Vegas, NV.


Sunday, November 5, 2017

"BUSTER AND THE HOUSE ON STILTS" By Jerry Silvers

                 

                       

After losing his home in the Texas’ Hurricane, Buster and his wife’s Loraine were invited to come and live with his brother Lester in Hollywood, California.



His brother Lester worked for a major movie studio and one of their properties was this house in the Hollywood hills built on stilts.  It was featured in several very popular movies, however now the studio decided because of so many major required repairs, to put it on the market.

One of the major problem with this particular house, it was the last house at the end of the valley and whenever there was a gust of wind, the speed of the wind would increase as it escaped up the hill to the right of this particular house. The strength of the wind so vibrated the house that the anchors to the pylons started to become loose.

Even with this information Lester convinced the studio to sell him the house with all its furnishings.  He then offered Buster and Loraine to live in the house with the stipulation he would supervise all the repairs. Brother Lester expected with the notoriety of the house, it was a good investment.



When the building inspector, J.G. O’Connelwize came out to the location to inspect the property to authorize the building permit.  He posted a condemned notice on the front door with instruction for the city’s demolition of the property.  Buster told J.G. he will personally guarantee all the violations will be rectified. He also handed him a Christmas envelop, which he readily accepted. (It was a little early for Christmas, if you get the point.)

The week this remodeling and replacement of the anchors started, the weather winds forecast was increased by the arrival of the Santa Anna Winds.  Loraine couldn’t stand the house vibration and decided to stay at Lester’s home until the anchors were repaired.

 We find Buster trying to sleep at night, then finally tying himself down to the bed frame, as the winds buffeted the house.

In the late afternoon, the wind picked up again, and the house actually lifted up off some of the anchors. This uplift caused the windows and doors out of alignment, trapping Buster inside the house. Buster was afraid of heights, but he found one window still open at the back porch several hundred feet off the valley floor. He had to figure out how to get to the front of the house. He tied several bed sheets together and slide down the porch, as the wind picked up, it swung him up the right side of the house to the roadway.

At that exact moment the house broke loose from the anchors and slid down into the valley. The neighbors called emergency rescue. 


 Buster called Lester from the next-door neighbor’s home.


“Lester, sorry to tell you, your investment just took a downhill turn.”

“Buster, did you follow through with our bank making sure the house was insured?

“It was my list.”                                                                                  
                                           ***


Copyright 2017 Summerlin’s Writers and Poets Workshop – Las Vegas, NV.
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Past president of Sun City and founder of Summerlin's Writers Workshop



Saturday, November 4, 2017

"HOW THE WEST WAS WON" (Comedy Series) By Mort Harris

     



      The year was 1848. The American West teamed with hostile Indians. As more settlers moved out West, terror attacks became more frequent. The terrorists would attack wagon trains and burn down ranch houses. The President, in desperation called upon Stephen Gold, the Secretary of State.

      "We have a serious problem with terrorism in this country" said the President. "The Indians are attacking us indiscriminately. We have information that they are stealing herds of woman raping our cattle."


     "Sir" asked Gold, "could the report be in error?"


     "Never" thundered the President. "Our intelligence is indisputable, worse than that, the Indians have resorted to suicide knifing." 


     Gold was shocked, "Suicide knifing?"


     "Yes" said the President. "Terrorists are attacking saloons, they knife a few people and then stab themselves to death."


     "Insane fanatics," said Gold.


     "What's wrong with those Indians?"  questioned the President. "Haven't we been generous with them?"


     "I think that they are a little upset about us being on their land and slaughtering their Buffalo." said Gold.



    "Nonsense." the President answered. "It's those wild extremists, the Redskin Supremacists." He grabbed Gold by the shoulders, "Gold, you are and expert on the far West. I need you to go and check out the tribes. We have received reports that they are preparing for more attacks. More importantly, it is rumored that they are compiling arrows of mass destruction."


     Gold asked, "Have you intercepted any vital messages between the tribes?"


     "Only one, when we broke their smoke signal code."


     "What did it say?"


     "Yankee go home" reported the President. " Those inconsiderate heathens."


    "Ungrateful savages" echoed Gold.


    The President  slammed his fist against his desk. "We have got to have more rigid immigration laws. The Indian act as if it were their land." Gold nodded in agreement. 


     "One more thing Gold, when you're out West find out what we can do to lure more settlers out there. I'll send a large army with you as a peace measure, of course."


     Months later, after Gold's futile search for arrows of mass destruction, he wrote to the President.


             Dear Mr. President,

                  I picked up some pretty trinkets and a great buy on a blanket. We had a pow-wow and I found the tribes were not open to our kind of democracy. They want to thank you for the gifts of whiskey.
                  Sincerely,
                  Stephen (One Braid) Gold

     Toward the end of his trip, Gold found himself in Sutter's Mill, California. As he crossed  the muddy street he was struck by a speeding stagecoach. People gathered around his injured body.


     "Who is that?" they asked.

     "That's Gold" was the answer.
     "What happened to him?" another queried.
     "He was struck by a stagecoach" was the answer.
     Word started spreading through the town. "They struck gold."
       "Where?"
    "Sutter's Mill."

      The Pony Express spread the news all the way to Missouri. "They struck gold in California."


      The excitement spread by telegraph to Philadelphia, New York,

and Boston. Thousands of people stampeded out west to seek their fortune.

     Upon his return, Gold was met by the President in the Oval Office. Gold was swathed in bandages, leaning on a crutch with splints on his arms and legs. The President pinned a medal on the cast that covered Gold's chest. Gold tried to salute, but the pain was too intense.  As the President heaped praises on Gold, he said, "You have exceeded my expectations. You not only pacified the Indians with whiskey, you found an ingenious way to get our people to go  West. 


     "Sir, the people of this nation are lucky to have a man such as you as President."


     "I know" he continued, "I sent my best General and more troops to suppress the Indian uprising."


     Months later, General Custer stood proudly on a hill top waving the flag of the 27th Cavalry and shouted for all to hear,  "I will stop those Indians if it's the last thing I do."

                                                ***

Copyright 2017 Summerlin's Writers and Poets Workshop - Las Vegas, NV.



Our author Mort Harris
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