Tag Archives: comedy

Superhero Saturday – Flash Fiction

Yesterday I was teaching my Year 7s (the first year of high school in Australia) Creative Writing. They are a learning enhanced class which means there are a range of intellectual and learning disabilities. 

We were learning the structure of a story, using the primary school method of Orientation, Complication, Events and Resolution (O.C.E.R.). It works for any writer really; it’s the fundamental structure to any scene whether it’s for a short story or a novel.

I gave them an opening line, “I had my costume all planned out; I was going to be a superhero” and after a brief planning session, they were set to work. While they wrote theirs, I plugged my laptop into the data projector and wrote my own. It’s best practice to model what you’re after.

It’s far from perfect but it showed my students what to do. 

So here it is for your… pleasure… or interest… or something.


I had my costume all planned out; I was going to be a superhero. Sitting on my bed I could see it hanging from the wardrobe door. It was a spectacular outfit: black tights with red lightning bolts down the outside of the legs, a red t-shirt with a black lightning bolt on the front and the bestest cape ever. My Mum made it for me.

I am Super B. I seek to right the wrongs, make this world a safer place, and have doughnuts for afternoon tea.

Once Mum let me outside to play, I put on my costume and hit the streets of our cul-de-sac, ready to be the hero. It was a quiet afternoon; only the neighbour’s dog, Scruffy, was outside the fence so I put him back.

I felt pretty good having done my helpful deed for the day. Standing on the footpath I put my hands on my hips and held my best superhero pose. But there was no wind to make my cape fly out behind me so I felt a bit silly.

Was there no other good deed to do today? Not much of a superhero if you only get to do one good deed.

There was a squeal from up the street and the rattle of plastic trike tyres on the footpath. Mrs Jenkins from Number 96 was yelling as her little Patty went hurtling down the footpath on her runaway tricycle.

Patty’s feet were blurry circles as the pedals span faster and faster, threatening to throw her off. Her tiny mouth formed the biggest “O” I’d ever seen and from it came the loudest scream, enough to scare the cat!

This is my chance, I thought. I can be the hero!

I twirled my cape and ran towards little Patty, before she became patty-cake all over the footpath. Putting my feet in the brace position and crouching down I readied myself for impact. Patty came closer, the screaming louder and louder. She was almost on top of me when I stepped to the side, swung my arm around Patty’s waist and lifted her to safety. The tricycle careened off the footpath and into the gum tree outside my house. I expected the tricycle to burst into flames. But it didn’t.

Mrs Jenkins stopped right in front of me, gasping for air.

“Thank you so much,” she said as Patty jumped into her open arms. “You’re such a hero for saving my little Patty Cake.”

“The pleasure is all mine,” I said.

“Come inside and have a biscuit,” Mrs Jenkins said. “You deserve something for your brave actions.”

“Thank you, Mrs Jenkins,” I said. A superhero always remembers his manners.

Mrs Jenkins fed me choc chip biscuits. She insisted I have two, and on my way out the door, she gave me one more.

Walking home I felt pretty darn good. I wiped the biscuit crumbs from my mouth, I didn’t want Mum to think I’d filled my tummy before dinner, and wondered what adventures Super B might have tomorrow.

I stood in our driveway, struck a superhero pose and thankfully there was a breeze to make my cape billow out. I surveyed the cul-de-sac and knew it was safe. It was good to be a superhero.

Why Writing is Like Building Furniture from Ikea

Pick up the novel nearest to your hand you have read. Flick through it. You understand the plot, the characters, thematic concerns and the nuances of the language used by the author. It is said that everyone has a novel in them. Then you think, “I can give one of these novel things a crack. Doesn’t seem too hard.”

In your hand you hold a pen, ready to scribe your first novel. You know your story will unfold like a fresh bed sheet snapped out, floating down with delicate grace. The characters are complex individuals; the dialogue witty and full of sly observations; the plot is fresh and modern; the thematic concern touches on the toughest questions of life (but you have all the answers).

Sitting down you aim to start, but suddenly you are verbally constipated, stuck with the result of too much cheese and crackers. There are brief starts and squeezing out paragraphs with such force you could turn coal into a diamond.

So while it is said there is a novel in everyone, it is also said that no man is an island or that, all in all, we’re just another brick in the wall. And maybe that novel inside you should stay there because not everyone is called to be a novelist in the same way I am not called to be the Prime Minister of Australia (it would be a benevolent dictatorship, I assure you).

And it is because writing is difficult. It is hard. It is brutal at times. To understand how hard writing is, let me write you a simile.

Writing is like building furniture from Ikea.

In your hands you hold the instruction manual and emblazoned on the front is a catalogue image of what the finished product should look like. Caveat Addendum: power tools and me are mutually exclusive entities. I am useless with things that would validate my Man Card for all eternity.

Turning to the first page, the opening declaration states: “You must be two people to assemble this item.” (True story – was in the instructional leaflet for a lamp my wife and I received as a wedding gift).

So you lay out on the ground all the component pieces, checking you have everything you need. Then there’s the Allen key, the hexagonal tool of mystery. It is the key to success but lose it and you’re doomed to a lifetime of failure if you cannot wield it’s magical properties.

And so you begin. The instructions make no sense, you need the input of 6 people and certain words fly out of your mouth that would cause your mother to wash your mouth out with a wire brush and Dettol if she heard you.

People know to stand clear because the vein in your temple is throbbing and pulsating like a death metal blast beat, and one more inconvenient dropped screw or slipped piece of timber will cause your frustration level to become cataclysmic.

I am not usually a swear-y person, but this ad was too good not to include. Please excuse me.

The object before you takes on the appearance of Frankenstein’s monster; it is ugly, gangly, obtuse, imperfect, but dammit, you’re making it!

And yet you persevere; this thing will not beat you. Your aim is to give it life, and LIFE IT SHALL HAVE!

Finally, after hours of building, cursing, swearing, begging, pleading and grovelling, IT IS FINISHED. All the lines and angles are straight. Its beauty and function are unparalleled.

You did it!! (with a little help from your friends) And you don’t have a piece missing or a leftover screw.

And then someone asks why couldn’t have just bought one that was already put together.

This is why writing is like building furniture from Ikea.

With thanks to Jodi Cleghorn (@JodiCleghorn) and Monica Marier (@lil-monmon) whose comments I have appropriated.

Add your own additions to this idea in the comments below.

You Know You’re a Parent of Young Children When…

1. You can name all the members of The Wiggles AND Hi-5, past and present.

2. You cannot name a single new song on the radio, but you can know all the words to The Wiggles and Hi-5

3. Silence is when you get to go the toilet without being interrupted

4. “Legato” is not a musical term, but a means of finding pieces of Lego lost in the carpet in the middle of the night with your toes. They wedge themselves in-between your big toe and second toe, sharp edge first

5. You make a sandwich for your spouse, cut the crusts off and cut it into 4 small triangles

6. Quality time with your spouse is having a cup of tea or coffee and it doesn’t get cold and require reheating

7. You’re helping with their mathematics homework and you forget 2+2=4

8. Nudey runs from the bathroom (by you) are becoming a source of amusement and embarrassment (for your children)

9. “Bum” is still considered a rude word and is said with subtle sniggering

10. You look at their toys and wonder if any of them will ever become collectibles so you can turn a profit when they turn 21

Add your own ideas to the comments below.

10 Reasons Why Writers Can’t Have Nice Things

Writers, we can’t have nice things. Here are 10 reasons why.

1. We believe we have a capricious muse who wanders in (rarely) and out of our head space (often at the worst possible time). We curse him or her or it (can’t be genderist) when we can’t write and praise and worship when the words flow with the viscosity and taste of honey. We are kidding ourselves when we say, “I couldn’t write today because my Muse was off at the day spa and didn’t invite me.”

2. We invent characters loosely based on the our own fears and misgivings, but make them thinly veiled caricatures of people we know (yes, you have irritated us once too often, so we made you into a character who dies a slow death by having your buttocks scrubbed with sand paper and washed with lemon juice).

3. We eavesdrop on every conversation, squirrelling away choice bits of dialogue, character traits and personality tics. Whenever the family gets together our brains melt with all the juicy tidbits. On Christmas Day we experience the high of a sugar junkie.

4. We haunt twitter and facebook and any other avenue of social media to pimp our wares. Support for one another is important, but we end up feeding the circle creating narcissistic, preening believers of our own onanism, making us grow extra digits, and probably another head. Look beyond the immediate circle and seek an audience. Do something that doesn’t involve writing.

5. We believe our ego has the tensile strength of an egg shell. And I’ve seen a raw egg thrown a fair distance only to bounce and not break. If you can handle being popped out a sphincter with no harm done, you can handle a bit of criticism and rejection. Go and play in the dirt like chickens. It builds character.

6. We can teach glaciers a thing or two about procrastination. Apply a blowtorch to the things that have frozen up, and liberally spray WD-40 as if it were a can of Lynx deodorant body spray and create your own climate change. Get it done!

7. We believe we hold the monopoly of ideas creation and generation (along with artists and musicians). Psst… look at the business world, corporate strategy, management, child care, education, health care. They have some bloody good ideas. Now, go outside and play, and learn from other areas of life.

8. We arbitrarily create rules for writing. And then change them because we anticipate the ad break to allow us to void our bladder. Rules are cultural, aesthetic and social constructs of ‘taste’ when it comes to writing. I will use adverbs summarily. Simply write to your purpose and function, not ideas of fashion and taste.

9. We complain, whinge, tweet, start flame wars, and troll about the publishing industry because it’s in a state of flux and we are afraid of the changes. When the dust settles, publishing will still be there. It will look different, but there will still be avenues to publish, even if we have to invent it.

10. We believe reading, and our words,  is important and therefore require recompense. We do not have a right to make money from our art. It’s a privilege. Even if we don’t get paid, let’s use our words to reflect, question, entertain, amuse, horrify, and challenge, even in the one story.

2012 Anti-Resolutions

I am not one for New Year’s Resolutions. I simply lack the required discipline.

Therefore, here are 10 things I will not be doing in 2012. They are not hard and fast rules. Rather, consider them more as guidelines or suggestions.

1. I will not let grammatical travesties go unedited. I will be there with chalk, pencil, pen, permanent marker to rid this world of apostrophe abuse. Time to form the Punktuation Squad with my English Department.

2. I will not always be wearing pants.

3. I will not give up strawberry-iced doughnuts, strawberry milkshakes and caffeine-enhanced, temperature-decreased beverages. Elvis would be proud. I will, however, cut back. Sort of.

4. I will not let popular culture and the media reduce my level of intellect to that of a cesspool of mediocrity. I will tell stories of worth and intellectual depth. However, I will also include the occasional fart joke.

5. I will not forsake my faith. To others it may appear to be an opiate or a crutch, but it is my anchor, hope and love.

6. I will not believe that a cardigan is a fashion faux pas. I intend to purchase one from a second hand store for when I am writing. I have made every effort to ensure the wearing of a waistcoat, pocket watch and a hat are all in for a fashion resurgence.

7. I will not tell Year 7 their music choices are rubbish. I will lead by example and have them listen to the great music. They will come to know why it is great. I will also not spend the first 40 minutes of their music lesson playing a drum solo. But it would be pretty cool.

8. I will not forsake the company of good friends (and tell them they are loved and cherished), good books and good music. All three are integral to make this writer happy. Especially when combined with a cup of tea.

9. I will not let social media dominate my life. I’ll be right with you after I check my email, update my facebook, check twitter, comment on a few blog posts and browse Google+.

10. I will not measure my success against what others are achieving. Nor will I compare myself to what others have achieved or completed. I will measure my success by the goals I have established.

A Modern Family Christmas Letter

Greetings to family, friends, acquaintances, hangers-on and my parole officer,

2011 has been a great year for the Bright family.

The beginning of the year saw the release of Father Robert Bright from his time as a suit and tie man with his retirement. He said he was glad to be rid of the routine of work. Now his routine consists of the couch, the newspaper, television and the garden shed. His favourite couch bears the burden of his backside but is given respite during the afternoons when he potters down to the local pub for a beer. It is a little embarrassing when he trundles down in his tracksuit pants with the threadbare bottom and slippers where his toes poke out the end. I’ve tried to make him change but his response is always the same, “But they’re comfortable, woman.”

Retirement has given him more time in the garden. This year he exhibited his orchids in the local show and did quite well. He seems to have taken up smoking again, although it doesn’t smell the same as the pipe tobacco he used to smoke all those years ago. It tends to make him quite peckish and he asks for a toasted cheese sandwich before breaking into a fit of giggles. And for some reason, Robert has gotten to know a large number of young people who come along to the flower shows. It is good to see young people taking an interest in botany.

Retirement suits us and we are thinking of buying a caravan and living the life of grey nomads. The children are old enough to take care of themselves now and we deserve a little fun in our dotage.

Adrianna finished her third year of law and her twelfth phase of experimentation. This year she explored the many varied definitions of the word “gay.” Before that there was veganism, socialism, ecological concerns and some obsession with a book about vampires and werewolves. She is our little “quiet achiever” so we aren’t too concerned.

We finally managed to get Jack over the line in his final year of schooling. It took many hours and many visits to the Principal’s office, but we managed. The Principal even wrote us a lovely letter of recommendation when Jack finished.

Jack’s fascination with fast cars landed him an apprenticeship with a local car dealer and he has been loving every minute of it. My little Datsun 120B has never run smoother. However, the addition of new paintwork makes me a little embarrassed to run down to the shops. Jack added some flames pouring from the wheel arches. I think it looks like a Matchbox car. And the fluffy dice and garter hanging from the rear vision mirror do make it a little hard to see sometimes.

He has been seeing a lovely young lass by the name of Felicity. They met at TAFE studying auto engineering and have been inseparable ever since. She and Jack spend many hours discussing cars, although I do wish she would put some clothes on sometimes. She’ll catch her death of cold if her skirt climbs any higher up her thighs. And she has an unfortunate tattoo on her lower back. I can see it as her jeans tend to sit quite low, revealing her underwear, although I fail to see how a piece of string counts as underwear these days. The tattoo reads, “Ride it like you stole it.” She must love cars to express her passion in such a permanent way. Coincidentally, I once found an unused prophylactic on the back seat. Jack swears it belonged to a friend and that it must have fallen out of his pocket one evening.

I think young Jack needs a new prescription for his glasses. He keeps getting pulled over by the police for speeding. He swears he was doing the speed limit.

Great Aunt Beryl is getting younger every year. This year it’s been her knee. Her knee is one of those new-fangled plasticy doo-dads that comes with a lifetime guarantee (which for Great Aunt Beryl may not be that much longer).

This knee goes along with her other knee, both hips and a set of breasts Dolly Parton would be proud of. For the life of me I can’t imagine young looking perky breasts protruding from a chest which Robert says had enough folds of skin she could be a MAD magazine fold in.

This year for me has been one with its ups and downs.

It’s been a tough year on the tennis circuit. We had a new member join us who looks like Anna Kournikova. Well, Anna Kournikova in 40 years’ time. I’ve had to attend a number of funerals of ladies from the club whose time has been called. “Game, Set and Match” as one wit described it. The old black tennis skirt has been getting a workout. It may need replacing next season.

What with Bridge Club, my Book Club, the Country Women’s Association, Meals on Wheels and meeting with my parole officer, I never seem to have a moment to myself.

Have to run along and tend to the Christmas pudding.

Wishing you all a fabulous 2012.

Much love and hugs and kisses from me and all the Bright family,


Merry Christmas 2011

Pillow Talk

“What do you mean ‘Headaches were not listed in the brochure’ darling? Don’t look at me in that tone of voice.”

“I only meant it as a joke, sweetheart.”

“The reason I have a headache is because we spent all day on the water, and, despite wearing sunglasses, the glare off the water and the champagne we drank has given me a headache. I’m not saying it because I don’t want to have sex with you.”

“I didn’t doubt you had a headache. It was meant as a joke, but it seems to have backfired slightly.”

“A headache is a headache. What you said indicated you were disappointed you weren’t getting any tonight.”

“I’m sorry. It was meant to be a light hearted jest. This is our honeymoon, after all. I thought we could spend some more ‘quality time’ together.”

“What do you think I am? Just because we’re on our honeymoon am I an amusement park rollercoaster to ride whenever you please?”

“No, I don’t think you’re…”

“I’m not the one with a penis bursting out of my pants simply because I ogle even a glimpse of boob. Is this what you were after? Just a moment ago you wanted my boobs in your face and now you won’t look at them?”

“At the beginning of the week you were up for almost anything. I’ll never look at the mini-bar fridge in the same way again.”

“Do you think I can be turned on and off like a vibrator? Take me, baby. I’m all yours. What, all soft and soggy now? Won’t the bucking bull try and throw off the cowgirl. And I wouldn’t go comparing myself to a stallion; a Shetland pony is more your style.”

“I’m sorry I said anything.”

“Don’t turn your back on me while we’re talking. I know this is our honeymoon and we have the rest of our lives to be together, but it’s not a 24-hour shag fest. It would be good to see a bit more of the sights while we’re here.”

“Okay, we will. Is this conversation finished?”

“Not even remotely. Poking me in the back with an erection and asking if I’m awake does not count as foreplay. Sometimes I like surprises, but occasionally, some effort and consideration wouldn’t go astray. And you can forget about the camera. I am not risking candid snaps ending up on my mother’s facebook page. And while we’re on the topic of ‘Things That Annoy Me’ it wouldn’t kill you to leave the bed before breaking wind. It is not necessary to fluff the blankets to check if it smells. Stop laughing. You thought I was asleep the other night when you let one rip.”

“How did a discussion about our sex life become an argument about my personal hygiene habits? You aren’t much better. The other day in the supermarket you dropped a landmine when you were with the trolley. I came back with the bread and copped a nostril of Satan’s butt crack.”

“I didn’t know it was going to smell.”

“You whisper with a clenched fist when you fart. And do you mind not taking a whiz while I’m brushing my teeth. It’s just… wrong.”

“If you could aim for the bowl, it would be greatly appreciated.”

“I’ll aim for the bowl if you don’t leave skid marks. Nothing worse than opening the lid and finding the brown hornet has practiced landing runs.”

“That’s gross.”

“You’re the one who started down this line of argument. And I don’t appreciate morning breath that would strip paint from walls in my face.”

“I don’t have stinky morning breath.”

“How would you know? You don’t have to breathe it in.”

“This bloody headache is killing me and the tablets haven’t helped much. I’m going to sleep. Good night.”

“So, sex is out of the question tonight, then?”

Tougher Than a Service Station Kebab

They say legends are born, not made and it’s only a matter of time before their true potential is revealed. This is one of those stories.

One Saturday night, three housemates tumbled out of the pub under the heady influence of fermented hops and headed down the hill. The way they saw it, going home was considered “downhill” despite the obvious rise to the concrete landscape.

At the last corner before turning into their street was a service station. Sitting at the perimeter of the service station lights was a silver caravan, a relic of the 1950s. It had converted into a makeshift kitchen, resting on a pile of besa blocks. It had the rounded form, like someone had flattened an oval, yellowed lace in the rear window. The door side had been converted into a servery hatch with a Formica bench top, now cracked and rusted along the metal coping. Fly screens came half way down the wide open window allowing the passing of food and money. A roller screen kept the daylight at bay.

The proprietor, Mr G, never spoke, or when he did, it was little mumbles. He could take a dozen orders in his head and knew who ordered the double meat, half meat, chilli sauce or extra tabouli on their kebab.

The trio, Andy, Stuart and James caught the aroma of the kebab caravan and followed their nostrils, leaning against the bench top and soaking in the delicious aroma.

Mr G. nodded and took their orders while the lads fell to the philosophy of the kebab.

“A kebab isn’t a kebab unless you end up wearing some of it on your shirt or jeans,” said Stuart and there was murmured assent.

“I prefer the kick you get from chilli sauce,” James said, his mouth beginning to salivate.

“It’s the perfect meal of meat and vegetables,” Andy intoned as the three wise guys watched their late night feast being prepared.

Shortly after, three kebabs were delivered, wrapped in foil and garnished with a serviette.

“You always need more than one serviette, I reckon,” said Andy as they began the drunken stagger home, peeling the foil back from their midnight snack. “We should get Mr G. to put some more out.”

Walking and eating are not actions easily mastered, doubly so when intoxicated and trying to eat a kebab. Somehow the trio managed the short walk home and finished their midnight feast at the kitchen table, licking sauce-laden fingers and mopping stray strands of onion from their chins.

“Right, I’m off to bed. Night fellas,” said Andy.

James and Stuart raised their hands in recognition but were not too far behind in heading for the horizontal.

The horror began in the breaking dawn of Sunday morning. James was the first.

He woke up feeling the effects of a late night kebab and a few too many beers. The queasiness of his stomach he put down to the night before. Suddenly he felt his stomach lurch. Vaulting from his bed he bounded into the hallway and sprinted the short distance to the bathroom. Kneeling before the porcelain god, he embraced it in a pose of worshipful adoration and presented his offering. His stomach muscles heaved in violent protest, venting the contents in a technicolour stream.

Each spasmodic episode racked his body until he saw stars. His fingers fumbled for the button before successfully washing away his sins. As the bowl emptied he spat to clean out his mouth. He was shocked by its ferocity. His gut rumbled in turbulent fury and he spewed again.

Resting his head against the coolness of the tiles he surmised it was simply the results of last night’s drinking and the service station kebab on the way home.

“Out of the way,” said Stuart as he rushed into the bathroom, covering his mouth with his hand. James’ and Stuart’s legs became tangled as Stuart occupied the space where James had been. James scrambled out of the way while Stuart chundered into the bowl.

“What the frig is going on?” asked Andy rubbing his eyes while scratching his crotch. “How hung over are you?”

“This is no hangover. This has got to be something worse.” James washed his face in the sink before holding his stomach.

“Food poisoning, perhaps,” said Andy.

Over the next hour, Stuart and James tagged each other in and out of the bathroom. There was one unfortunate crossover and James was forced to use the sink. Andy watched the scene like a UN observer, choosing not to get involved, while the other two wondered when Andy would be struck down.

James and Stuart sat on the lounge under blankets with grey, clammy faces. Each had a container, be it a bucket or an Esky positioned at his feet. The pungent stench of vomit permeated the house, puncturing the force field of air freshener.

“I have hurled so much my stomach just hurts,” said James. “There is absolutely nothing left.”

“My girlfriend makes me do Pilates with her and I thought it made my stomach sore. I will never complain again.”

Stuart leaned forward and dry-retched into the Esky. Low moans echoed.

“Here you are boys,” said Andy, from the front door. “I’ve brought you some relief.” He passed a bottle of Gatorade to each weakly offered hand.

“Take it easy. Little sips, little sips or you’ll be throwing it all up again.”

“I can’t believe you’re not affected by this,” said James.

Andy shrugged. “Guess I’m just tougher than a service station kebab.”

And thus, a legend was born. But like every superhero, Andy’s hubris would be his undoing, but that’s a story for another time.

The Trampoline

The Trampoline

“Andrew, would you please jump on the trampoline with me?” asked Elise.

Looking up from his comic, Andrew saw his nine year old sister wearing a floral one piece swimsuit, a homemade tutu, a cat’s ears headband and swimming goggles. The fourteen year old rolled his eyes towards the ceiling.

“Please, Andrew. You can make me bounce really, really high so that I can almost touch the leaves on the tree. Please.” The tugging at his elbow persisted until he caved.

“OK. Just five minutes.”

“Yay!” said the aeroplaning Elise flying out the door.

Andrew shoved himself away from the pulling power of the couch and followed the contrails of taffeta. Elise skipped across the yard and scrambled up the plastic steps and onto the trampoline. Happy squeals proceeded each bounce and squeak of the springs.

Climbing onto the mat Andrew found a rhythm with Elise.

“Bounce me higher. Higher, Andrew.”

Timing his landing to effect the “double bounce,” Andrew launched Elise into the air. She flapped her arms, with a smile as wide as the ocean as taffeta and tulle mimicked her arms. Laughter sprang from her little lungs. Andrew was caught up in the moment, laughing with Elise as he tried to bounce her higher and higher.

On a downward trajectory, Andrew glanced over the fence into the neighbour’s yard. He caught the briefest glimpse of half naked flesh and swimsuit material. With each jump Andrew focused on the attraction on the other side of the fence.

Stretched out in the sun was Katie,the eighteen year old neighbour, laying on her stomach on a towel, her face turned away. Beside her was a book turned face down and headphones trailing from under the book to her ears.

Bounce. Andrew turned to the figure over the fence. Each jump was a snapshot filed away in his adolescent mind, filed under “Best Moments Ever” and “Facebook Status Updates.”

Bounce. The bow tying the bikini.

Bounce. The curvature of her buttocks.

Bounce. The dappled sunlight on her calves.

Bounce. Like a flick book cartoon Andrew watched her reach around and pull the string on her top. He tried to adjust the timing of his bounce, hoping to catch a glimpse of side boob. Testosterone hopes faded as she settled into her worship of the sun.

“What’cha looking at?” asked Elise, breaking Andrew’s mental youtube sensation.

“Nothing,” said Andrew, loosing momentum. “I’ve gotta go inside.”

“Were you looking at Katie?”


“Yes you were. I can see her over the fence. And she’s a bit nudie.”

Andrew’s legs collapsed under him, bringing him to a shuddering halt on the trampoline mat. And out of sight of Katie Next Door. With great haste he slunk away towards the house, fearing detection.

“Hi Katie. Andrew was just looking at you over the fence while he was jumping on the trampoline with me. I think he liked seeing you without many clothes on.”

The Highchair Philosophers 2

Morning was a relaxed time for Samuel and Jeffrey.  The whirlwind breakfast activity had subsided, giving them time to ponder over a drink.  They shooed the cat away who had temporarily taken over the sunny spot on the back deck.  The cat knew its tail was in jeopardy if it didn’t skedaddle.

Thoughtfully they chewed over the news and events of the previous day, giving comment and opinion as fore-casters of the future in time-honoured fashion and opining on the past.

Their attention turned to the hallowed halls of education.

“My Big Sister started school this year,” said Jeffrey.

“My Big Brother starts next year,” said Sam.  “Is Big School different?”

“It certainly is.  Each day, she puts on her school uniform, packs lunch in her bag and off she goes.”

“What else happens?”

“She says that they do numbers and letters and reading.  Sometimes there’s drawing and colouring in and pasting.”

Sam sat open mouthed.  “You mean there’s no playing?  No blocks or trucks or Lego or cars?”

“There’s playing, but only at certain times and no blocks or trucks or Lego or cars.  But I haven’t told you the worst part,” said Jeffrey.

“What could be worse than no toys to play with?” asked Sam, fear creeping into his voice.

Jeffrey dropped a bombshell.  “My Big Sister said that at Big School you have to sit in a chair.”  For maximum impact he dragged the syllables out as long as strings of melted cheese, “All day.”

“Like the Naughty Chair?” asked Sam.  “I was put on the Naughty Chair for drawing on the walls with Mum’s lipstick.  Apparently it was her favourite.  I thought I drew a good picture of Bob the Builder.”

“Dunno.  But all I know is that you have to sit in it all day.”

“So Big School is sitting in a Naughty Chair all day long,” Sam said, trying to comprehend such a villainous punishment.

The pair contemplated in silence as the cat ventured near enough for a pat, but wary enough should its tail be pulled.

Sam broke the tension.  “You know what this means?  We’d better on our best behaviour or else we’ll be sent to Big School to sit on the Naughty Chair.”

“You’re right,” said Jeffrey.  “I don’t want to get stuck on a chair all day long.”