humor, Karen Vaughan, Sassy Sarcasm, Uncategorized

LET’S EXAMINE LITERARY INSULTS

WARNING MATURE LANGUAGE

 

FROM BRIDGET JONES DIARY BY HELEN FIELDING

bridget jones

OUCH!

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

dostoevsky

 

 

DON’T KNOW WHAT HE MEANT BY THAT BUT I WOULDN’T WANT TO BE THE SUBJECT OF THAT INSULT!

 

 

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

revolutionary road

DELIVERED WITH SUCH A SWEET SMILE I BET

 

 

 

 

ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD?

HERE GOES!

Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut.

kurt vonnegut

WELL SAID SIR, WELL SAID

 

 

 

 

 

SOURCE:12 LITERARY INSULTS TO MAKE YOU WEEP 

BONUS MATERIAL

BRITISH SLANG –A RECENT GUEST ON MY RADIO SHOW WANTED TO KNOW WHERE I GOT MY INFORMATION FOR SLANG IN HOLMES IN AMERICA

SOURCE: GOOGLE–IT HAS EVERYTHING

Image result for british slang words

 

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Flash Fiction, Karen Vaughan

RANDOM ACTS OF DIALOGUE–STEVE AND PENNY BY KAREN VAUGHAN

Dialogue in any book is great storytelling.  Right after the hook to reel the reader in, dialogue is mover and shaker of any novel.

Dickens might have argued that narration and flowery descriptions were the backbone.  However, I beg to differ with him.

 

I thought of this scene were two former lovers meet again after 30 years.

Setting: a seedy bar in the downtown area of Toronto.

 

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Characters: Stephen Tiller and Penny Lane.

Steve walked in the pennies hideaway to hear the opening strains of sultans of swing what surprised him the most was that Penny herself was belting out the tune and she was nailing it.  He grabbed the table close to the stage so she would notice him.

 

There were too many patrons in the joint so he just sat back and enjoyed the show.

After the fact was done.  The meagre members of the audience applauded and Penny spotted him.  Coming over, she stood in front of the table.

 

Penny : what brings you here?

Steve: the cold wind!  How are you babe?

Penny: who told you I was here?  By the way, you lost the right to call me baby years ago.

Steve: a little bird.  Why so secretive?

Penny: I’ll tell you after you tell me who it was who sent you here.  It was Carmen wasn’t it?

 

Steve nodded.

Penny: some birds need to be shot!

Steve: don’t blame Carmen I beat out of him.

Penny: still, I made him swear on his sweet Nona’s grave that my location was to remain a national secret.

Steve: who are you running from Penny?

Penny: the crazy ex-wife of my last boyfriend.

Steve: last boyfriend?  What happened to Chris?

Penny: he blew his liver out.  I always said Jack Daniels would kill him one day, but like a typical man.  He wasn’t listening.

Steve snorted and then said, “I can’t remember if you ever singing like that.  What happened to that sweet voice?”

Penny: Two rounds of thyroid surgery to get the cancer out.  I can no longer warble like Stevie Nicks.  These days I can channel Mark Knopfler on a good day.

Steve: and on a bad day?

Penny: Keith Richards!

Steve laughed again.  “I see you haven’t lost your sense of humor.

Penny: oh, I save the comedy for the nights I can’t sing it all.  You should hear my Joe Cocker impersonations they bring the house down.

With that she croaked the first few bars of you are so beautiful.  Steve got the picture.

 

Steve: So tell me about the crazy bitch.

Penny: oh, you’ll love this one.  She claimed she was still married to Chris and think she was incredible to the inheritance I got when he died.  She wants her money or wants to kill me.  Good luck to her.  I gave it to a registered charity.  After I bought the bar.

Steve: You didn’t have any kids to leave it to?

Penny: oh, we had kids, but none of the little whelps deserved it.  As soon as they were old enough to leave home.  They never called us once except for – for money and then they went wasted it.  I was not about to handout good money after bad.  Four boys and a girl and not one of them lifted a finger to help me when their father was dying so to hell with them!

 

Steve: wow.  Sounds like a bunch of ingrates.  You’re probably well rid of the men, but I bet your life is lonely.

Penny: lonely my ass.  I’m 55 years old.  I’m the happiest I’ve been in years.  I’m going to live my life as I see fit.

Steve: well Penny I wish you all the luck in the world you deserve happiness.

humor, Karen Vaughan, Mystery, Uncategorized

A SCENE FROM OVER HER DEAD BODY LEENA THROWS THE MOTHER OF ALL HISSY FITS!!!!

karen-ohdb-with-blurb.jpgI love writing fun scenes and this was one of my faves from OVER HER DEAD BODY (LAURA & GERRY  BK 2)

Laura and Gerry have been invited to a fancy dinner by their new friend Sandford Brown a.k.a Sandy. He didn’t invite the little woman and man is she pissed off!

Just when we were enjoying our aperitifs, in came Leena, screeching at the top of her lungs, displaying the lack of class I knew she possessed.  

“Where is he?” She was yelling at the concierge.

 

“Ma’am, you can’t go in there!”

 

“Don’t you ma ‘am me, and get your slimy paws of my dress, its Dolce and Gabana, pervert! Where’s the old coot?”

 

Call me a bitch but I love watching other women have tantrums. It brings them to a less than superior stance, and shows their baser catty natures. I may be a girl, but nonetheless hissy fits are highly entertaining.

Leena came strutting in, wearing a frock that did nothing to accent her sagging chest.

“Ha!” she yelled, “I might have known you’d be with these two low lifes!”

I felt a growl come up and tried to resist the urge to claw her eyes out. Gerry grabbed my arm – my good one I might add.  He whispered in my ear something about her not being worth a trip to the big house and that I looked hideous in orange.  Damned if he wasn’t right!

Sandy was fuming at his wife’s tirade.  

“Leena,” he said, “I don’t recall asking you to come along.”

“And no wonder!” she retorted, “Schmoozing with the help or going for a threesome?”

“That’s quite enough Leena!!!!  Be quiet!!!”

“No frickin’ way, I want to know why I was excluded from this tête-à-tête. What’s so important that you schlepped all the way up here?”

“If I thought you really needed to be a party to this you would have been included.  So turn around, go back home and we will discuss your behavior when I get home.”

“Fine.  But you’d better not be hiring these two as grounds help. If the way they take care of the building they run is any indication, they won’t last a week.”

It was Gerry’s turn to grit his teeth, and start growling homicidal threats at the broad. 

My only retort was to remind him prison stripes weren’t his style either and smile.

 

After Leena decided to leave on her own steam, we resumed our dinner meeting. We all agreed that the foundation was a fantastic idea and went on to celebrate with more champagne and no more mention of the gold-digging sponge.

OVER HER DEAD BODY IS AVAILABLE AT AMAZON

BUY ME HERE!!!!

COMING SOON AS AN AUDIO BOOK

Excerpts, Karen Vaughan, Uncategorized

1 PART SCI-FI, 1 PART ROMANCE AND 1 PART COMEDY–A SNEAK PEAK AT SPACE JUNK

space junk.jpgLieutenant Sarah French leaned over the latrine and lost her lunch for the 3rd day running. In her head, she did the math and realized her last cycle was AWOL.

” Shit! so much for my theory of the flu or food poisoning.” She swore.

What to do? Sarah tried to recall who she had been with, not that their were many but she hand kind of gone nuts after Ensign Todd threw her over for a stripper on Beta station.    Sure she’s got bigger boobs but compared to Sarah any one did. Sarah thought it was safe to assume Barbie Bosoms didn’t have a degree in aeronautical engineering. In fact Sarah doubted the bitch couldn’t even spell it!

Sarah sighed and came to the realization who she might have made a baby with. She had a fling with the driver of a interstellar garbage scow! It was a huge mistake in her mind. The kid was 22 if he was a day, and Sarah was edging closer to the big 3-0!  She remembered his name was Coop and in her inebriated state, last names didn’t matter.

COZIES AND OTHER MYSTERIES, interviews, Karen Vaughan, Laura & Gerry series, Uncategorized

27 things you need to know about Laura Hamilton Fitz but were afraid to ask!!!! Karen Vaughan

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Let’s get to know Laura Fitz aka Cookie the corpse Magnet

 

  1. What is your story? MC in the Laura & Gerry Mystery series I am a bit of a corpse magnet in that every where I go there is a dead dude or lady and I jump into the fray to catch the killer with the Help of hubby and Det. Gibbons.
  2. Who are you?  I am Laura Hamilton Fitz
  3. Where do you live? Toronto Canada
  4. Are you the hero of your own story? Usually with some calamity thrown my way
  5. What is your problem in the story? I am usually the poor sucker to find any number of dead people from a dude rotting on my living room floor to finding a dead guy in our dumpster at our building. This is getting old really fast,
  6. Do you embrace conflict? No I try to avoid it where possible but it always finds me
  7. Do you run from conflict? No its best to face these things head on.
  8. How do you see yourself? I am a confident wife, mother and CSI person.
  9. How do your friends see you? They think I am weird but they love me anyway.
  10. How do your enemies see you?- Someone who doesn’t know how to mind her own business and they usually try to end me.
  11. How does the author see you? I think she made me out in her image and personality so she could have some fun at my expense.
  12. Do you think the author portrayed you accurately? Ya she did a great Job in making me snarky and innately curious
  13. What do you think of yourself? I have a healthy self-esteem and a truck load of ambition
  14. Do you have a hero? Gibbons He is always there when I get my self into trouble to bail me out
  15. Do you have a goal? Maybe to live my life in peace with fewer dead guys or gals and to deal with Stella without going totally insane.
  16. What are your achievements? Went back to college in my mid-thirties, graduated, got a job at a crime lab and became a mom.
  17. What is your most prized possession? Not a possession but I treasure my daughter Maggie
  18. Do you have any hobbies?Besides avoiding death? No I don’t have time
  19. What is your favorite scent? Why?Vanilla
  20. What is your favorite color? Why? Blue its so fresh
  21. What is your favorite food? Bring on the carbs
  22. What is your favorite beverage? Why? COFFEE NEED I SAY MORE?
  23. What is your favorite music? Classic 70s rock
  1. What is your favorite item of clothing? Why?Jeans, sweats and tee shirts –comfort
  2. What are the last five entries in your check registry? Credit card payment, amazon purchases that’s it.
  3. What are the last three books you read? Along came a spider by James Patterson. Oh the places you’ll go Dr. Seuss (read to the munchkin) Miss Marple Agatha Christie

 27.If you were at a store now, what ten items would be in your shopping cart? Steak for Gerry to grill, Chips and Cola, animal crackers and juice for the little one.

 

 

 

 

Karen Vaughan, Uncategorized

DEAD ON ARRIVAL CHAPTER 4 & 5

dead onarrival

Chapter 4

 

I woke up the next morning, to the feeling of being nudged and poked. I thought it was the cats demanding breakfast; however, I came to the sudden realization…. CATS DON’T TALK.”

 

“Laura”, the voice said “L-A-U-R-A.” I wanted to bury myself under the covers and make the nasty voices go away. “C’mon Laura.”

 

I opened my eyes to a guy standing over me. I would have screamed, but I realized very quickly that it was Gerry, my super. “Damn!” I yelled, “Don’t ever do that. You were this close to eating wood pal.” I jumped out of bed and grabbed my housecoat.

 

“Sorry, I was worried. I saw the unmarked outside and wasn’t sure if something else had happened since Monday.” “Nope, no one has done me in yet.”

 

Gerry and I had been friends for years. As I mentioned before, we were in the same high school and I got him this job as super here, out of guilt; since inadvertently I had gotten him fired from his taxi driver job—which he later admitted to hating anyway. Now he drives strictly for the airport limo service.

 

“Do you often take such liberties with your master key?”

“No but I was worried. I hadn’t seen you for a couple of days.”

“You weren’t the one responsible for letting the goon in last weekend were you?”

“No”

“Good, who was then?  “That was Ray, the relief super.”

 

“He should be fired and have his ass kicked. No one should have the right to get in here without 24hrs written notice—you know that and Ray knows that too, or he should. The privacy of my home has been violated, and he’s responsible for this nightmare. I am under protective surveillance and I feel like I can’t go anywhere because I’m afraid of being followed! You try living like that!” I was so angry I was shaking.

 

When I managed to regain my calmness, I asked him, “Can Ray describe the delivery guy or the truck?”

“Maybe, why?” he asked. “Ray said there were two of them, and they had a big box that they needed to deliver.”

 

 

 

 

“The police need a description of whoever delivered ‘my package’ and the truck.” “Ray didn’t want to let him in, but the guy said it was a surprise. Ray told me the guy said he would make it worth his while to do this.”

“Did Ray tell the police any of this?”

 

“Not sure. After he sobered up, Ray told me, that the delivery man was very persuasive. He told Ray he was just the messenger and his head would roll if he didn’t make the delivery.” Ray also mentioned the guy looked menacing.

“Ray really needs to tell the police what he knows for everyone’s sake. I can’t give out any information right now, but the delivery man could be a person of interest.” at this point

 

“I’ll take Ray over later on and get him to see one of those sketch artist guys.” says Gerry.

I looked at Gerry, and crumbled. I just couldn’t take any more. He took me in his arms and stroked my hair, kissed my forehead. Then he stood back, looked at me and told me to get dressed. He was taking me out to breakfast. Judging by Gerry’s culinary tastes, I assumed we would be heading to Timmy’s but he surprised me with a trip to Smitty’s. Gerry is basically a good guy. I have ribbed him about being a bad ass some days, but he really does have a good heart.

 

When in a potentially deadly predicament like mine and I do count having a dead body dumped in my living room by someone who may also be targeting me as potentially deadly. It’s best to have as many friends at my disposal as possible. Having an unmarked in the parking lot of my apartment building, and several locks on my door gave me some sense of feeling safe. However, just in case whoever dumped Velcro at my doorstep was following me, it never hurt to be seen in public with someone like Gerry, who could pass as a bouncer at Hooters. Gerry was the kind of ‘muscle’ I needed to send the back off message out there. What I needed to consider were the times when Gerry might not be around. What would I do then? A gun was a possibility but I couldn’t aim worth a damn, and as the city wanted to cut down on guns, I wanted to avoid handling one. Pepper spray was the next rational possibility. While it would not be on equal footing as a gun or knife, I could just spray the person and get the hell out of harm’s way. In the meantime I just hoped the police were advancing on the case. My Mom was still insisting I stay with them until the guy was caught. I wanted to avoid putting them in danger. I also thought living with them would drive me batty. I haven’t lived at home since I was 21. Since then I have done the college thing and the marriage thing, the divorce thing, and I see my self as fiercely independent. Running home to Mommy and Daddy wasn’t going to help. I begged off, mainly for their safety. Transporting my pets over to their house was inconvenient because I wasn’t leaving them for Gerry to watch. I already had police protection of sorts that could not be transferred –what would the neighborhood gossips say about a “strange” car parked on the street 24/7. Her comment about having a guard dog did not hold water with me—yeah right Toto, the killer Yorkie, wasn’t going to do much to serve and protect anyone. Sean and Seamus would eat the dog for lunch anyway, another good reason not to go there. All this being said; the bottom line is to solve this crime so I can get back to what passes for a normal life.

 

 

Chapter 5

 

Gerry had agreed to keep his eye on the comings and goings around the building and to help keep the police abreast of any strange faces around the neighborhood. Later that same evening, Inspector Gibbons called to check up on me and to see if I had recalled anything more which might be important. Right now the case was lukewarm at best and they were working on the list of leads they had. Right in the middle of the conversation, there was an earthshaking kaboom in my parking lot. I stretched the phone cord as far as I could, to peer out the window. My onsite protection had just gone up in smoke; the unmarked had blown up, complete with the officer aboard. “Oh my God” I screamed into the phone. “Call 911, and get over here.”

“Why?” he yelled back. “What’s going on?”

“The unmarked just exploded.”

The line went dead. It didn’t take long for EMS and police to surround the building. Gerry and Gibbons showed up on my doorstep at the same time. Thank goodness no one else was in the back lot and my own car was far enough away from the unmarked. It had been parked in the back forty next to the dumpster—to remain inconspicuous, but not enough I guess, as some one had figured it out and eliminated my only source of official protection. The only thing to catch fire besides the car was the dumpster. There really wasn’t enough left of the patrol car, or its driver to examine. I just had to wonder if the next kaboom would be the building. Gibbons sent a bomb squad through the building along with a couple of hounds, just to make sure we weren’t going up in smoke anytime soon.

 

Just at that point the phone rang. As a reflex I answered it, prepared to ask the person to please call back. What I got was a voice on the phone that sent chills up and down my spine.

“Whatcha gonna do now Bitch, without the cops to protect you?”

“Who is this?” I said, “What do you want with me?”

“It’s my way of letting ya know I don’t appreciate the attempts made to repo my car.”

“So why are you calling me? I didn’t do it.”

“You tracked me down. That’s enough for me. You turned your hound onto me to make the collection. I can deal with a lot of shit, Lady, but no one takes my car ya get my meaning?”

“Uh yeah”, I hesitated.

I motioned Gibbons to come and listen in but instead he grabbed the phone “Gibbons here,” he said. “Who is this?” Click, the line disconnected.

 

“Damn. What did you do that for?” I yelled, “I was handling it!” “It’s not for you to handle, its police business,” he yelled back.

“The hell it is! It’s my life. He was threatening mine not yours!” I was nose to nose with the detective at this point.

“Ok,” he said, “I can appreciate that, but you aren’t the one investigating, we are.”

“Yeah, well a lot of good that is, with a dead cop and burning car in the back lot, and no solid leads.” “Now I have a strange man whispering threats in my ear, so what’s next,” I thought.

“What are you going to do now Einstein, replace him with another sitting duck?” “Easy, we bug the phone. Move you to a safe place and move a decoy in to make it look like everything is normal, like you are still here. More enforced obvious police presence in the neighborhood.”

“I agree to bugging my calls. But a decoy? And where am I going to go? I have pets! I have a life. I have to work, pay bills.”

Gerry jumped in at this point, “I want to help here; Laura and the menagerie can stay with me. I will go where she goes, except of course to the ladies’ room.”

“Thanks Gerry but you can’t guard me 24/7. You have to work and what are your girlfriends gonna say about me on your sofa bed?”

“Well I just won’t have the girls over and anyway my life is dull. A couple of cats ought to shake things up. I also have vacation time coming to me, for a few weeks. Too tell you the truth, there aren’t that many girls.” He winked.

 

It takes a real man to admit to that much. We both looked at the police detective for approval of the plan, to which we got a nod.

 

“What I need,” says Gibbons, “is to know word for word what he said. Was there any accent or vocal inflection?”

 

I told Gibbons pretty much word for word what the guy on the phone had said to me. No accent but he had the street lingo down pretty good.

“Street Lingo?” asked the detective

Yeah like rap talk, gangsta stuff

Gerry looked at me like “What do u know about that shit?” “I listen to 50 Cent. I’m down with that.” “You scare me, Laura,” Gerry said.

“Don’t worry. I scare me too.”

 

“Well,” says Gibbons, “we’ll get the decoy in here and the bug on the phone. Take everything you’re going to need out have here, down to Gerry’s, and you might want to get a wig or a dye job so you look different. We want to make sure our suspect thinks he is following you around when it’s the decoy. We’ll provide you with a rental car so the decoy can drive yours.”

 

“Meanwhile, you and Gerry ride together for tonight.”

Gerry grabbed a baseball hat and a pair of sunglasses and said, “Come on ‘cousin’ Cindy we’re going shopping.”

 

Gibbons headed for the door, and looked at both of us. “Good luck Gerry. You may need it with this one.”

“Me too” and he slung my duffel bag over his shoulder.

I stuck my tongue out at both of them Grabbed the cat carrier and headed out of my apartment.

 

Gerry got my stuff settled in his room, after he lost the toss over who got the bed.

“I was going to give it to ya anyhow.”

“Yeah sure, I believe you. Millions wouldn’t, but I do.”

 

“Come on Red” he said. “We’ve got some things to do. Like shop for hair dye.”

“Red, as in what, hair colour? How do you know I didn’t want to go blond?”

“You ain’t any blond schweetheart”

“Schweetheart?? Who do you think you are, Bogie?”

“Yeah, so…”

“That’s the worst Bogie I have ever heard, and why red?”

“Got a visual of you as a redhead—Julia Roberts Red. It works for me somehow. With sexy librarian glasses and stiletto heals—fishnet stockings.” I picked up a pillow and threw it at him.

“Can the fantasies, Fitz.”

 

We left the apartment building through the side door and headed back to his truck. I was sporting his jean jacket, Jays cap and Ray Bans as a disguise. We decided to eat dinner first –and then go shopping. I lost the toss on the radio station so we headed toward the No Frills, with Eminem booming from the stereo.

 

I hoped our “rooming” together was going to work out before I went totally nuts, or the guy got caught which ever came first. I called my mom to tell her I was going on vacation for a bit. This was just to sidetrack the issue that I really didn’t want to stay with them instead of Gerry. If they knew I was staying with Gerry there would be too many questions asked. So I just figured I would tell them I was staying at Elaine’s cottage and they could reach me on my cell. I hung up before mom could start up with the safety lectures. It was better off that she thought I was going off with the girls for a week. The next call was to the agency to state that I was taking a stress leave and I would call when I was available for work.

 

I think all the bases were covered. I told Elaine that my folks thought we were off together and not to call there looking for me. None of my other friends would call my folks, so that tied up those loose ends. We stopped at a fast food joint to grab dinner, and make a list of provisions we would need.

 

We got our shopping done. After returning to Gerry’s apartment, I dyed my hair “Julia Roberts” red, dried it and put in brown contacts. The transformation was amazing! I felt like a new woman. Gerry had fallen asleep on the couch while I was in the bathroom. I turned off the TV and headed to bed early. There was a message on Gerry’s answering machine that my car was being dropped off at ten am at the department’s expense. My new life, such as it was, was about to begin. Until the killer/stalker was caught I was Cynthia Fair, Gerry’s cousin.

 

Karen Vaughan, Laura & Gerry series, Uncategorized

A CHARACTER INTERVIEW WITH KILLER T. FORD FROM DAYTONA DEAD!E

You met Killer T. in Daytona Dead. He is the bad ass responsible for several deaths in the Daytona Beach area and even took a run at Laura!

41FEniRgFbL

What is your story? I am the featured antagonist in DAYTONA DEAD

Who are you?  My name is Duane Ford a.k.a KILLER T. FORD

Where do you live? Daytona Florida, I have a nice estate with a ranch house and a slip for my cabin cruiser

Are you the hero of your own story? Yes it’s all about me! Actually I am a badass Nascar driver with an evil streak.

What is your problem in the story? Too many cops trying to track me down and a pesky

 

Do you have a hero? Dale Earnhart Jr. Only man who beat me that I respect

 

What are your achievements? Won a few big NASCAR races.

What is your most prized possession? Why? My 40’s Chevy; we are one with the universe

What is your favorite beverage? Why? Beer-Budweiser as they sponsor me.

What is your favorite music?

Country, and Classic 70s rock

What is your favorite item of clothing?

Why?Jeans, and my racing uniforms-I am a casual kind of guy. I don’t kill people wearing Armani

What are the last five entries in your check registry? Last 5 cheques I wrote to pay people off

    . What are the last three books you read?

Book of Robert Frost Poetry, Complete works of  Edgar Allen Poe, Christine by Stephen King

 If you were at a store now, what ten items would be in your shopping cart?

Beer, girlie magazines, steaks, salmon, 10 lb bag of spuds, Corn Flakes, Jim Beam, Bratwurst sausage, beef jerky and pork rinds.

You can find out more about Killer T.’s killing spree in Daytona Dead by Karen Vaughan!

DAYTONA DEAD AT AMAZON

 

 

Karen Vaughan, Sassy Sarcasm, Uncategorized

SASSY SARCASM PRESENTS STELLA SARCASM

SASSY-SARCASM.jpgFROM THE TIME I INTRODUCED STELLA STADYLMEYER IN DEAD MEN DON’T SWING SHE AND LAURA HAVE BEEN TRADING SARCASTIC QUIPS. SHE SPENT A FEW (TOO SHORT MONTHS IN THE SLAMMER FOR KNIFING HER EX IN A FIT OF RAGE BUT SHE IS BACK IN MY WORK IN PROGRESS DEAD AIR DOING BATTLE WITH  LAURA ONCE AGAIN AND MYRNA (INTRODUCED IN DEAD TO WRITES). STELLA MAY JUST HAVE TO UP HER GAME AS MYRNA GIVES AS WELL AS SHE GETS. STELLA MAY JUST HAVE TO WATCH HER BACK AS MYRNA MAY HAVE TO BREAK A FEW WICCAN RULES AND TURN HER INTO FROGS LEGS!

dead_mean_dont_swing_2 (2).jpg

“Well if it isn’t Mrs. Fitz? Who’s your little friend dear?

If Elaine had been in any shape, Stella would have been on her back on the floor. Luckily for both of them, the cab pulled up and honked. Elaine shot Stella a filthy look and stumbled out to the taxi.

“Not much of a conversationalist. You really need to pick politer friends dear.”

I was sorely aching to tell her off but I suppressed the urge to tear her a superfluous opening. I waved and walked back to the apartment while counting to ten and praying for strength.

 

STELLA QUOTE.jpg

I was sleeping on the way home in the car. Gerry had to practically carry me into the apartment. Of course in my semi comatose condition, we just had to run into Stella who uttered a few quick quips about me having too much to drink to which Gerry answered with a ‘bite me Stella’. If I had had any energy left I would have offered up a middle finger salute.

STELLA GOES TOE TO TOE WITH LAURA’S MOTHER. WATCH THE FUR FLY!

The evening went well and we were able to dine al fresco. Toronto was experiencing a warmer than usual month of April. We had set our new patio table and chairs on our patio. Things were going smoothly until Stella happened along and started to nose her way into our gathering.

“How’s your arm Mrs. Fitz?”

Mom looked at me. “What about your arm Laura?”

I had a mishap playing darts last night some yahoo has worse aim than me.”

Stella chimed in “That’s not what I heard. It would seem your daughter has attracted an enemy or two.  With that attitude it comes as no surprise.”

“How dare you say my daughter has an attitude?”

“Plain to see –she is a thorn in my side and I have no clue why the owner hired such an uppity individual. Does a fine management job but she has a caustic tongue.

My daughter is far from perfect; I raised her to be independent and opinionated but you have no right to criticise her for that.

Yes I see where she’d get that attitude ; you should have instilled manners and respect for her elders.

Why you bitch!”

“Mom don’t! Your blood pressure she’s not worth it.

With that Stella stormed off.

“Where did you get that one.”

“Unfortunately  she came with the building.”

DEAD MEN DON’T SWING IS AVAILABLE AT AMAZON

 

Karen Vaughan

THE WHITE ENVELOPE: FOR THE MAN WHO HATED CHRISTMAS!!!!! BY NANCY GAVIN 1982

karens kwm logo (1).pngI wasn’t going to post a Christmas story of mine because I didn’t have one. I was going to post my Gus story written from the POV of a dog. I was surfing the net and found this gem.  So settle in with some hot cocoa and some Christmas cookies and enjoy this heartwarming story.

It’s just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past ten years or so. It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas — oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it — overspending…Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.

Christmas card with bow on a brown background.

Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended; and shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes. As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler’s ears.

It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford. Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn’t acknowledge defeat.

Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, “I wish just one of them could have won,” he said. “They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them.” Mike loved kids — all kids — and he knew them, having coached little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That’s when the idea for his present came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition — one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on.

The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents.

As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. The story doesn’t end there.

You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three more.

Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing to take down the envelope.

Mike’s spirit, like the Christmas spirit will always be with us.

credit goes to huff post for this story