Monday, October 24, 2022

Overheard at Table 1: The Marriage

Heard on the radio today that 70% of all the food made by the big manufacturers - Heinz, Kraft - are unhealthy.

That's what I've been telling you for years but you never listen, this is what my sister has been telling me, that all the food companies are married to Big Pharma.  They make food, we get sick, Big Pharma gets rich off of medicine.  You should stop buying that cheese you always buy, because it has calcium, you need to train your taste buds to eat more crema and non-cheese products, it's like that water that you always buy, that bottled water, it has calcium in it.  Why does it have to have calcium?  Calcium rots the bones, that's why all the old people can't move and are so stiff, because they have too much calcium.  I see these doctors from Spain, they say to stop taking calcium, because it's just hardening all our organs from the inside.

I was just thinking maybe we should buy more fresh vegetables.


Friday, October 21, 2022

Overheard at Table 3: Email from a Castle in the Scottish Highlands

Hey, sis!

Me again ... still nothing, but I'm just going to keep emailing you, hoping that you'll get these and reply.  Got no one else to write to any more.  No one that I'd want to anyway.  Mom and Dad are gone.  Grandad's - well, he's Grandad.  Don't know if you're still not talking to Aunt Maeve and Uncle John, and our cousins, yeah, you remember all that went on.

Shit, when I actually write it down, it does kinda seem like I'm the odd one out.  Hell, haven't even spoken to YOU in fifteen years, so maybe you are just ignoring me.  I can totally understand that.  Well, if you're getting these, even if you don't respond, at least you'll know what's going on with me and maybe that'll help.  At least, I think it helps me to write these emails to you.

For example: this castle.  OK, I've been here a month now, and I swear, this castle actually plays tricks on me.  I think I know where everything this is, and then I find myself in different rooms that I don't expect to find myself in.  It's like I will walk through a door that I know should open into the Library and then suddenly find myself in a bedroom, or go toward the kitchen and wind up in the Library.  Doesn't happen ALL the time, maybe once every other day, but enough to be noticeable.  It almost feels like the castle is having a bit of fun at my expense.  

One embarrassing moment was when I was wanting to go into the study and somehow found myself in the downstairs bathroom, and there's Essex, sitting on the toilet, in full gear (by gear, I mean, he walks around in leather straps, bottomless chaps, studded collar, the full outfit.  Don't know if I've told you that) and so you can imagine what it looks like when he looks up from his copy of "SPANK HARD" magazine and shouts, "ARE YOU HERE FOR YOUR GOLDEN SHOWER?  I STILL HAVE ENOUGH TO SHOWER YOU WITH SUCH DROPLETS OF SUNSHINE THAT YOU WILL FEEL WARMTH AND LOVE!" and I'm like, "Uh, no sorry, dude, wrong room" and I shut that door SO FAST and got the hell out of there.  I still don't know if he's joking or not ... but I'm scared to find out!  

And I haven't told you much about Vasiliya, the maid.  There was one time I was wanting to get something out of the pantry, and for some reason found myself in the Library, which has these beautiful bay windows, and there was Vasiliya, and I don't know how to describe it, but it looked like she was STRETCHED all the way to the top of the window, with a duster, dusting the corners.  As though her torso was stretched ... like the guy from the Fantastic Four or Plastic Man.  And then, it was like she heard me walk in and suddenly, she was normal height again.  In a snap!  Split-second.  Happened so fast that I'm not sure I even saw it right, as though it was maybe a trick of the light.   




And today, when I actually was intending to go to the Library, I wound up in the study, and there was Lara, the Baroness, on the floor against with some riding boots and fishnet stockings, and then the Baron was sitting on a chair, and he was holding a pair of six-inch stilettoes, dangling off one finger, as though he was enticing her with them, but she just seemed to want to lie on the floor looking at her boots, and he was wanting her to put on the shoes.   And they were both bathed in light from the open window and it was a - a quiet scene, I guess you would say.  To me, they seemed to be moving slowly, if at all, and the shadows made it look like a Caravaggio painting.

Then they both looked at me and smiled in a strange way, as though I had walked in on something intimate that they wanted me to be a part of.  As though they, and the castle, had brought me into this room, at this moment, and at the other rooms at THOSE moments, to ... I don't know ... to SHOW me this.  All this.   As thought the Castle is slowly TRUSTING me more, or maybe ... testing me to see how much I can absorb.

Sis, I suppose I am writing all this to you because you are the only person I know who would really understand this.  You have always been really up on this kind of stuff.  You should probably be here instead of me.  You'd know how to process all this.

Well, so this is me again, sending out this plea that if you get this and have any sort of advice for your little brother about all this, please shoot me those nuggets of wisdom!  Until then, I'll keep writing, because at the very least, it helps me get everything organized in my head.

Until next time,

Philippe










Overheard at Table 4: Overheard from the Boss's Office

"Dawn is the light of the fire"

... I heard my boss say that from his office down the hall yesterday.   And I still don't know what it means

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Overheard at Table 3: Smoking Dream

Had a dream last night that my son was smoking ... in my room!  Those long thin brown cigarettes.

Told him not to smoke in the house.

He told me I should quit smoking too.

I looked down at my hand, and there was a cigarette, half-gone, ash arching off the middle of the cigarette.  Instead of being smoke-free for over twenty years, turns out, I'd never stopped.  




Friday, October 14, 2022

Overheard at Table 4: Email from a Castle in the Scottish Highlands - Mad Carnival

EMAIL FROM A CASTLE IN THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS


Dear Marj,

Haven't heard back from you, but haven't gotten any notification that your email address is undeliverable, so I'll just follow up with another email because I really want to tell you about the Mad Carnival, which was unbelievable!

Like I said, I hadn't seen much of the local village when I was passing through to come up here, but yes, it is absolutely the quaint village that you'd expect, with the two story buildings made of sand-colored stone as well as greys, with red brick chimneys from every roof top and spires of several churches peeking upward from the middle of them.  Just like something out of a postcard or what you would expect from late Medieval times.   Absolutely beautiful in its charm - although I guess that only we Americans find that charming.  Everybody else here seems to think it's just normal day-to-day run-of-the-mill town, which I suppose for them it is.  

But when you come from a place where buildings made in the 1970s are considered "ancient architecture" and the cities tear down 20 year old buildings to make way for something brand new that will just be torn down again in 20years, having something that's been up since the time Knights roamed the lands, that's amazing!

The Mad Carnival had set up in the town square, a conjunction of about three rows of buildings that meet in what seems to be the geographical center of town, which appears to be a bit of a dip from the hills around it, that become mountains that overlook it.  There is a river that flows nearby, underneath stone bridges that have probably seen invading Vikings as well as English and French and maybe even Roman troops. (I'll need to read more about it)

But as for the Mad Carnival, it was a freakshow on crack! such beautiful crazy characters all around, in steampunk costumes and renfair jumpsuits, top hats and ribbons and bows and skirts and swords and pirate boots and all sorts of delicious insanity.  It reminded me so much of the Halloween Hayrides you and I used to go on in Middleton Falls.

Strange thing happened near sundown. we were walking past the hatchet throwing and the woman on the spinning wheel, and the Ring-the-Bell, and then suddenly this Flame Thrower guy spits fire directly at the Baron!  Must have been an accident, but I kid you not, it seemed like the guy actually turned and shot it directly in his direction.  I just saw these flames going all up and down his arm and it looked like it covered his torso and his face, and then the next second, the Baron is just patting the flames off his coat.  Just patting them out with his hand!  

And the flame thrower guy was all apologies and "beg yer pardon, suh!" and all that, and the Baron was superchill and just said, "Think nothing of it," and walked on, but I'm thinking, "He just got covered in FIRE!"  But we just walked on like nothing happened, except that the Baroness looked back once at the guy and seemed to mutter something under her breath, but I couldn't catch what it was.

And that wasn't the only thing.  Later on, there was this lady who came up to me while I was buying some legs of lamb for the family.  Had to keep asking her to repeat herself because she was speaking low and I couldn't really understand her accent, it was so thick, and finally, I could make out that she was asking me if I really was the butler for the family and I said that yes, I was.  And she said, "Mind yourself in that castle, strange happenings in that place, strange happenings, mind you." and it was the way she said it. "Strange happenings" - making the first word into two syllables and undulating the second word, it really just stuck in my brain, because in a second, she was gone, just as though she had been swallowed up by the crowd.

And when I got back to the rest with the Legs of Lamb, Essex takes one look and bellows out "THIS MEAT IS NOT AS TENDER AS MY MEAT!  THIS MEAT SHOULD BE BEATEN THE WAY I BEAT MY MEAT!" and so I figured the lady had probably heard him when he comes to the village to get supplies and stuff for the kitchen.  Essex, man, gotta love that guy!

But you know, now that I think of it, as we left that night, we walked back past the stall where the fire thrower was, and I didn't see him there, but there was a giant charred spot on the ground, right in the center, and that kinda looked a little strange to me.  Probably nothing, but I looked at the Baroness, Lara, and I saw her looking at the spot, too, and then she smiled, and then she turned those big brown eyes to me, and for a moment, I stopped.  Locked eyes with her, and she smiled, and then it seemed like time slowed down and her lips began to move, as though she was going to say something, 

and then, I don't remember what happened between that time and the time we got back to the house.  Weird.  

But maybe I'd just had a bit too much to drink.  But now, I've gotten all the stuff in from the cars, and everything is put away and I'm finishing up this email to you and then I'll have a few minutes of reading before bed, and tomorrow, I'll be at it again.

Still can't believe that I am a Butler in a Castle.  

Marj, Sis, please please PLEASE write back as soon as you can, let me know that you are still out there.

OK?

Love you!

Philippe








Thursday, October 13, 2022

Overheard at Booth 3: Email from a Castle in the Scottish Highlands

 EMAIL FROM A CASTLE IN THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS    


My dear Marjorie,
Marj,
Maj,
Vaj,
Yer Vajesty
 
and all those other names I used to call you when we were kids!
 
SIS!
My darling SISTER!  How the hell are you!
 
OK, I know it’s been a while.  A loooong while, and I have to confess that it’s been so long that I’ve lost your phone number.  Don’t even know how I remembered this email address but I hope you still check your email and that I remembered the address correctly (I’ll find out if it gets kicked back as “undeliverable”) – Also, I ditched my phone.  Weird story, I know, like “who does that?” but it was a small price to pay for this new gig I have as a butler in this most incredibly mind-blowingly beautiful castle! 

 



 It belongs to a Baron named Baron Necro Brandeis and his wife Lara.  Answered an ad on a site called wordsfrombehindthemask.com, a guy named PJ hooked me up with them.  A short phone interview and their only request was that I ditch my cell phone and live IN the castle and I was on the next plane to Scotland!

I have to admit, it was a bit weird at first.  Castles are definitely colder than you’d imagine, even with tapestries on the walls.  And I still have to get the hang of the bells in each room.  There’s a series of ringers throughout the castle, and depending on which room you’re in, depends on what bells chime.   That lets me know what room I need to go to in order to see who needs what.

The Baroness is a hoot!  Sometimes I’ll hear the bell and go to whatever room she’s in and she’ll just be lying there on the floor in some skirt and boots – different kind of boots each time, like riding boots, thigh-high boots, go-go boots, and she’ll say things like, “Oh will you help me up, darling!  I seem have fallen.  But first, take a photo and post it to my IG”  (the family are the only ones who have phones).  I know she’s just teasing …

 … and don’t worry Marj!  I’m a lot different now and I don’t get in trouble like I used to!  I learned my lesson from a valet gig I had at the Triple M (Montreal Murderbilia Museum) (but that’s a story for another time!)  Like I said, at 50, I’ve slowed down a bit in that department.  You’d be proud of me!

But not the cook!  Gotta tell you about Essex.  That’s his nickname.  He’s had his name legally changed to Sex Slave, but we all just call him “Essex” for short.  What a guy!  The other night, I was hungry so I went downstairs to make a sandwich, and he comes out and says, “THE SANDWICH WILL TASTE EVEN BETTER WITH MY PENIS IN YOUR MOUTH!” and I’m like “Dude, I only want a sandwich”

… Essex always talks in this HUGE BOMBSTIC voice, it’s hilarious. But he made the BEST sandwich!  Tuna, with little pimentos and this stuff that looked like cilantro. 

Tonight at dinner, he started off the first course with soup, cream of potato, and the Baron commented on the flavor, and Essex says, “YOU ARE SAVOURING THE FLAVOUR OF MY SEMEN!” and without missing a beat, the Baron says, “I can tell that you’re staying hydrated and are eating a lot of lentils.”

The family, they have a daughter and a son, but I don’t see them much around the house.  As far as the other staff, there’s Vasiliya, who likes to dress up as a French maid (even though I think she’s Finnish), and there’s the chauffeur/boatman/groundskeeper named Fionn. 

I’d like to tell you more about them, but I need to go make a list of things to buy from the village.  The Baron has invited all to go down tomorrow for something called the Mad Carnival.  Don’t know exactly what it is (I didn’t get to see much of the village when I came through to take this job two weeks ago), so I don’t know if we will stand out or fit right in.

Like I said, the semi-electricity stuff is weird.  As I said, only the family has phones, but I’ve got a laptop in my room to conduct business, and while there IS electricity here, the lights come on when Lara, the Baroness, speaks aloud one of her poems.  Yes … when she speaks in poems, stuff HAPPENS!

Like I said, so much to tell you, but I really have to make this list:  Essex wants a boatload of stuff from town, stuff like leeks, capers, and even though I’ve heard the term before, I need to find out exactly what the hell are “Ben Wa Balls” (can’t wait to Google THAT!) 😊

OK, Sis, again, I sure hope this is your email address and I hope you write back soon and I hope that everything is OK and that you haven’t buried your fourth husband under a pile of molten rock!  (You know I’m only half-kidding, right?) 😊

 
Until you write me,
Love,
Your little brother,
Philippe

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Overheard at Table 2: Defenestration for the Nation!

 Defenestration for the Nation!


Defenestration for the new nation
Release the population from their isolation

Defenestration for the transformation
Fresh configuration for civilization

Defenestration for the new nation
It’s a declaration of our liberation

Defenestration for democratization
Our reclamation of normalization

Heave ‘em out
Heave ‘em out
Heave ‘em out the window

Heave ‘em out
Heave ‘em out
Look at them go!

And we’ll watch them

flyyyyyyyy away
(and we’ll watch them)
flyyy, flyyy away

And we’ll watch them 
diiiiiieee today

and
then we’ll
all
be 
free



MR

2022-1003


Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Overheard at Booth 3: El Salvador or Out of Doors

She arched her neck to peer around him in the booth.

"What?" he said.

"That man just said, 'El Salvador'!"

"Uhh ... I think he really said, 'They're left out of doors.'"

"Oh," she said.  "Must be thinking about my country. Must be on my mind."

"Told you I found tickets for only $400 in January, we can go then if you want."

"You keep saying  you can't get off work."

"I'll make it work."

"You always say that but then you go and you just complain that you're not at work."

"If I do that next time, then just leave me out of doors."


Monday, October 10, 2022

Overheard at Booth 1: Medicine Train

Heard a song today and this Blues song came into my head.

It's about drug addiction.  It's not that subtle.  But then, while the Blues is metaphorical, it ain't subtle!


MEDICINE TRAIN

One thing I tell you mama 
tell you what we gotta do
One thing I tell you mama
tell you what we gotta do
We gotta get off this Medicine Train
This ain’t good for me or you.

Well this Medicine Train
it’s roaring on down the track
Well this Medicine Train
It’s racing on down the track.
We stay on this train, mama,
You know we ain’t never coming back

When we bought our ticket
Medicine train looked so fine
When we bought two tickets mama
Medicine train looked so fine.
But we getting sicker, mama,
the further we go down that line.

One thing I tell you mama 
tell you what we gotta do
One thing I tell you mama
tell you what we gotta do
We gotta get off this Medicine Train
It’s gonna kill both me and you.

Gotta get off this Medicine Train
Gonna kill me and it’s gonna kill you.


MR

2022-1010

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Overheard at Table 4: Little Drummer Boy

Ohmigawd at the ultrasound, this little guy would just not stop kicking!  And turning around and over - he's a dancer.  I mean, he's a SALSA dancer!  The nurse was saying, "Hold still, little guy, I need to get your heartbeat!" and he's just acting like his dad, like he's got his own drum kit in there and he's just drummin' away!


Saturday, October 8, 2022

Overheard at Table 2: Not Even Ireland ...

Lucky Moran: I kid you not, once upon a time, we'd go to hotel rooms and hump like bunnies.  Don't know why that, now in our fifties, we go on vacation - a getaway, just the two of us - and all she wants to do is sleep.

Otis Redwing: Maybe you wore her out.  Heh heh,

Lucky: I know when you're being sarcastic, dude.  I'm serious here, this is a serious situation!  She's all like, 'You need to romance me' ... and I'm like, 'Baby!  I took you to IRELAND!  Hotel right on the LAKE!  $500 a night!  and that's not romancing you?'

Otis: You're saying not even in a five-star?

Lucky: Not even in a five-star!  I was all like, 'I'm gonna go get showered' and she's like, 'Fine, but it won't do you any good.  I'm a QUEEN!  Tonight, I don't have to spread my legs for NOBODY if I don't want to and I don't want to!'

Otis: Oh man, I feel for you, I really do.

Lucky: Yeah, so she's asleep in 10 minutes, so I just chugged down everything in the mini-bar.

Otis: Turning a $500 a night into a $650 a night.

Lucky: You got that right.



Friday, October 7, 2022

Overheard at Booth 3: A Scene from This Year's Mad Carnival

#MadCarnival

Luis stepped around behind the white painted hot dog stand and found himself off the Midway, by the back wall of the pavilion.  Immediately, he was shocked by how dark and silent this place was.  Only two feet from the action and the hustlebustle, he crooked his neck and he could see the lights in the distance but it suddenly seemed miles away, not just a few footsteps.

A movement, a brushing of shadows, against the nearby wall drew his attention again.  "Anybody there?" he asked, even though he didn't know why he asked.

A form emerged from the shadow, and split at the top into two shadow forms, one shadow against the wall and the other turning to look at Luis to say, "Move along, kid, we're busy."

The other shadow giggled, "Why not let him watch?"

Luis saw then what he thought were two sets of eyes, from each of the forms, glow bright white, hot ... then turn red.  From somewhere far behind him, he heard the roaring screams of delight from the cars of the swift dip of the roller coaster.

The other shadow then leaned forward and sunk her fangs into the outstretched wrist. Blood sprayed in four directions in a spray and the shadow from opened his mouth to catch a few splatters of his own blood on his own tongue, which lapped at the air, forked and darting like a serpent.

Luis screamed.  He screamed like the roller coaster screams, rising and dipping and distant and present.  He turned and ran back toward the hot dog stand, the midway, the laughter and screams and the lights and other people's dreams.

The other shadow pressed the other again against the wall.  "Kids," he said.

"Gets 'em every time," she said.  Then she took his open-veined wrist and drew it to her hungry lips and they became one shadow again.



Thursday, October 6, 2022

Overheard at Table 2: Notes for This Year's Mad Carnival

 Matthew_NCC1701
@Matthew_DS9
·
Oct 4
#MadCarnival #MadVerse

Stop spinning.
Slow your breath.
Heart pound in your chest.
Take a moment
Reach out your hand
Touch the glass.
You've been here so long
with these
Tangible illusions of other you's.

Madhouse mirrors.

Which grotesque reflection
will escape to the Midway?
Matthew_NCC1701
@Matthew_DS9
·
23h
#MadCarnival #MadVerse #TheMidway
#inkslingers

Incipient Dreams
spawned by
Moonlit Madness

foretell the approach
of demonic gladness -

that must be why
every eye
I spy
passing by

glows red
like blood, shed
from the living
dead.
Matthew_NCC1701
@Matthew_DS9
·
8h
Something's coming.

You're just being paranoid.

No, it's been tracking us since Detroit.

Hunter?

Maybe, but it feels different. Angry.

Personal.

Yes.

I always told you to choose your food wisely.  Noone that has a family.  How safe are we here at #MadCarnival?

Not very.
Matthew_NCC1701
@Matthew_DS9
·
Oct 2
#MadVerse #MadCarnival

Lost in the midway
Headspin lights
Brights and tickets,
One shot one try!
Everyone's a winner!
Balloon darts never hit
And this stench of
Rancid hoydogcheese
and cottoncandy nightmares
and what's that screaming
from the Tilt-A-Whirl?
Matthew_NCC1701
@Matthew_DS9
·
8h
#MadCarnival

Step right up guys and dolls and falls of every spring summer and winter, you'll begin ter
see the light
just right, get tight
ly packed inside to
to see what Nature tries
to hide,
what you are about to see,
can't be un-seen but don't
scream, don't you
dare
screa-
Matthew_NCC1701
@Matthew_DS9
·
Oct 5
Midway at the #MadCarnival - a small booth sandwiched between the Petting Zoo and the Ring Toss.  Manned by a balding septuagenarian chewing on an old cigar, it's chock full of crates of old albums.  I pull one out trepidly, to find this cover of an old childhood nightmare:

Image 

 

 

 

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Overheard at Table 2: A Story of What Happens When We Tell Our Children They Can Be Anything They Want to Be

Lauren told her daughter, Madison, that she could be anything she wanted.

"Anything?" asked Madison.

"Yes," Lauren said.

"I want to be YOU!" said Madison.

SO, that is how Madison showed up one morning at Carruthers Tools and Dyes, an eight-year-old girl in slacks and blouse, marched into the back office and took her seat at the desk of the head of HR.

The VP of Finance asked her what she was doing and shouldn't her mom be with her.

"Nope!" Madison said, "She's at home in time-out because she wouldn't finish her breakfast this morning."

"But," the VP said, "why are you here?"

"I am the Vice President of Human Resources," said Madison proudly.  "I am Mommy!"

"Uhh, I think we'd better call your mommy."

"She told me about you. You're a meanie.  You're fired!"

"You can't fire me!"

"Pack your stuff and go, meanie weenie jelly beanie!"


Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Overheard at Booth 4: Water for Corona

When my wife came down with COVID, I decided that I was gonna prevent it by staying hydrated.

What the ...

Yeah!  I said to myself I'm gonna drink so much water it'll be coming out of every pore!

Isn't that called "sweating"

You know what I mean.


Monday, October 3, 2022

Overheard at Table 4: Defenestrate Me

They walked into the hotel room, 5th floor, view of the city.  Eagerly, he began to strip: belt, shoes, shirt, pants.

As he turned, she was already in the leather suit, tight taut against all the curvaceous augmentations.   "Payment up front, Mr ... Smith" she purred.

He slapped the bills on the table.  He said, "OK, now, give it to me."

"Say it," she said.  "You have to say it, you nasty boy!"

"I wanna be defenestrated.  DEFENESTRATE ME!"

So she did.

On his way down, it suddenly crossed his mind that he really didn't know what that word meant.

Now he does.

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Overheard at Table 2: COVID and the Water

Wife's got COVID but I keep testing negative.  I think it's the water.

Water?

Yeah, I keep drinking water.  So much water.  Keeps the system running.  I swear I'm just going to keep drinking water until it comes out of every pore!

Isn't that called "sweating"

You know what I mean.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Overread at Table 1: Today's Prompts

 

#EverydayErotica280 955 Broad

My wife still remembers age 16,
when her older sister
made fun of her broad shoulders.

"You look like a quarterback"

She's never worn a sleeveless dress since.

Ah! but those broad shoulders,
allow that tiny woman
to hold my body
so close
so tight.
 
MR
2022-1001
 
 

#haikuhorrorprompt 434 Haunting

Amazing, really,
what a little haunting will do:
delicious madness.

#prompt
#haiku

MR
2022-1001


#horrorprompt 866 Note

Grandpa forbade anyone to touch the piano.
Made in 1794, covered almost always by a thick blanket.

But, one day, he was in the garden, and I lifted the lid & snuck my hand to the keyboard, just one note, I thought, just one...

and in response

they came

MR
2022-1001