Nano Invasion

Study Desk

plotting at warp speed
his intergalactic war
invades his space

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Finders Keepers

Wasn’t it the cartoon character Snagglepuss that went around singing this song?
“I was strolling through the park one day
…in the merry, merry month of May
…and I got a strange surprise…”

Back when we lived in Moose Jaw, SK, my husband and I were strolling through Crescent Park, located right near the heart of the city, early one morning. And we did indeed get a strange surprise…

In the center of the park is a cenotaph, a memorial to those soldiers from Moose Jaw who were killed in action in the two world wars. This marble pillar with its bronze plaques was encircled by a flower bed in the shape of a big star. So think five points of the star planted to flowers and between the points lush green grass. This flower “star” was encircled by a sidewalk round-about, with several lanes or paved paths going off to the south, west, and north, leading to other park attractions.

As I said, we took our walk soon after sunrise — and it was early spring, so the bedding flowers hadn’t been planted yet. Thus the points of the star were bare black earth awaiting the bedding plants. Bob and I had come up the south path and were following around the main circle when we stopped, amazed.

There, nicely laid out in one of the star points was a pale blue nylon nightgown.

We stood there eyeing it for awhile, contemplating the possibilities. It obviously hadn’t been just dropped there; rather, it was spread out as if on display. Across the street from the park were several three- to five-storey apartment buildings. Had it blown off someone’s balcony when they’d hung a few things outside to dry?

Or was this simply someone’s idea of a practical joke?

I stepped into the flowerbed and retrieved the nightgown. It had a few dirty spots from its tumble on the dirt, but wasn’t that soiled. I held it up. It was sleeveless and double-layered, the outside being sheer nylon, the inside opaque. Not bad. I took it along home and washed it; the fabric proved to be in good condition with hardly a snag.

There was at the time a small paper put out locally, called “The Shopper” that was full of ads anyone could place for free. We decided to give the owner a chance to claim her lost property by placing an ad in this paper, but Bob suggested giving the ad a humorous twist in case the whole thing was a joke. So we sent in the following:
Found in bed (flower) in Crescent Park: one blue nightgown. Free to the person who can come up with the best explanation of how it got there.

Nobody answered the ad. Seeing as the nightgown fit me just fine…I decided, “Finders keepers.”

Originally posed at Christine’s Reflections — May 2015

Never Mess With A Wooden Leg

The Young Entrepreneur

Al had been enjoying the park scenes for awhile and now sat down on a bench in the shade with his magazine. He relaxed and stretched out his two legs — one real and one wooden. He noted that his one sock had slid down, so he bent over to pull it up, pulling up that pant leg in the process.

A young boy, walking past right then, came to a sudden stop and stared at the funny-looking leg. Al chuckled to himself; his wooden leg had attracted the interest of many a child over the years. Most adults were too polite to stare outright, call attention to the odd appendage, or ask questions that might embarrass him, but not the boys he met.

This one couldn’t resist, either. “Hey Mister, why does your leg look so funny? Is it real?”

“Nah. It’s a wooden leg.”

“Really!” The youngster moved closer. “Does it work just like a real one?”

“Pretty much, if I’m careful how I stand on it and move it.”

Al rolled up his pant leg as far as he could and the boy came very close. Al guessed him to be about eight, just the age to be curious about everything.

The boy inspected Al’s leg for a minute, then reached out and gave it a little knock. “Does that hurt?”

Al grinned. “Not at all.”

The two of them exchanged a few more pleasantries about walking on wooden legs, then the boy turned around and dashed off. Al went back to reading his magazine. But before long the boy was back, leading several other, mostly younger children.

“Hey Mister, can you show me your wooden leg again?”

Al frowned. He didn’t particularly feel like being a circus side show. “You’ve seen it once. That’s enough.”

“Awww… can’t you show me again. Please. My friends want to see it.”

“I think you should just run along and play with your friends now.”

One of the younger children started to wail. “You promised! You owe me a quarter.”

“I want mine back, too,” another boy grumbled.

Al looked over his magazine and began to listen to this exchange.

One little girl marched up to the boy and glared.“Yeah, Fred.” She waved her finger in his face. “You promised and if you can’t get him do it, you need to give all of us our quarters back.”

Al leaned toward the delinquent Fred. “What’s going on here? Why did you take their quarters?”

“Please, Mister, can’t you just show us your wooden leg. I, uh, promised them you would.”

The assertive little miss piped up. “He charged us a quarter each to see it.”

Fred seemed sulky at the prospect of refunding his fee. “Can’t you show it to us for just a minute. Pretty please,” he wheedled.

“No! Now beat it or I’ll kick you with it!”

The thought of being kicked by a wooden leg was enough to send all of them running. “Kids!” Al grumbled as he went back to reading his magazine. But a minute later he chuckled. “That boy will probably go far in the business world.”

Al Capp, creator of the comic strip, Li’l Abner, lost his leg in an accident when he was still a boy. Going through life with a wooden leg led to some interesting situations, including this one. This story would be classed as creative non-fiction, something he related with a chuckle in an interview sometime in his later years.

Blabber-Bell!

There once was a bumbling detective
whose reading of clues was defective
but located his crook
secreted in a nook
with a cell phone call very directive

News item: Police were searching the house for a criminal who was well concealed behind a wall panel. They may never have found him if his cell phone hadn’t started ringing.