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Jan 26

The cell phone, the universal remote, and the spider plant

Posted on Monday, January 26, 2009 in children's books, humor

Another retelling of a Grimm’s tale–just for Peggyj. This time it’s of The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage.

The cell phone, the universal remote, and the spider plant

Once upon a time a cell phone, a universal remote, and a spider plant shared an apartment in perfect peace and prosperity. It was the job of the cell phone to order pizza. The universal remote provided them with daily entertainment, and the spider plant kept the air in their apartment clean and fresh.

But no one is ever content and everyone judges their prosperity against their neighbor’s. One day the cell phone overheard another making reservations at an exclusive night club and resolved that he and his friends should have more than simple pizza and bread sticks.

The cell phone spoke to his friends about how, in the apartment down the hall, the occupants lived in a much grander scale. The neighbors were going out that very evening to a French restaurant, followed by drinks and dancing, while they were going to spend a night at home watching reality TV. Weren’t they just as deserving of a fine evening on the town? Was if fair for his talents to be wasted on calling only Domino’s and Papa Johns?

The universal remote and the spider plant had felt content with their lives, but were persuaded by the cell phone’s continuous arguments. Let us see what happens to these friends.

The cell phone made reservations for three at downtown’s finest restaurant. The three of them put on their finest clothes and took a cab into town. The cell phone complained that he’d had to take care of both the reservations and getting the cab. His roommates reminded him that he was best suited for the task, but the phone still felt taken advantage of and the end of the trip was taken in silence.

After their evening out, during which they mostly spoke of the TV shows they were missing, the plant offered to go outside and hail a cab so the cell phone wouldn’t have to do it again. His friends paid the bill. (They wouldn’t be able to afford bread sticks for over a month.) And then they walked outside expecting to find the spider plant and a waiting taxi. But the plant was nowhere to be found.

The universal remote eventually found a cook who was outside smoking and had seen a squad car pull up and take off with the spider plant. The cell phone called the station and found out the spider plant was being held for questioning. The phone and remote pooled the rest of their money and took a cab to the station to try and learn more and to help out their friend. But the spider plant had not been able to prove citizenship and his green card had expired months before. So he was being deported.

The cell phone and universal remote were considerably upset and began walking home together. They no longer had enough money to even pay for a bus, plus they were not familiar with this part of the city. The cell phone was mugged and critically injured. The remote ran off to save his own life, but in his haste he ran across the light rail and was hit by a train.


If you’d like to read another tale see Grimm’s The Turnip: My version, or a good tale at “Uncle Chortle” by Robert Gray.

Jan 23

Grimm’s The Turnip: My version

Posted on Friday, January 23, 2009 in children's books, humor

Sometimes Hab Moo will read to me at night. I love it. It’s hard when he reads Grimm’s Fairy Tales, because they always set him off into fits of laughter and confusion. Really there are some rather odd stories out there. So far our favorite is The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage. You can probably guess which one gets it in the end. Here’s my modern telling of The Turnip.

The Facebook Application

There once were two brothers who both worked as tax advisers, and one was rich and one was poor. The poor one, wishing to better himself, left his practice and played on his Facebook site. He posted items, became a fan of many odd things, and tried his hand at creating an application to create a virtual bakery.

The virtual bakery became wildly popular in his network. People were leveling up their ingredients and adding their own recipes. They were gifting each other cakes for weddings and cupcakes for virtual parties. The Facebook fanatic could not imagine what would come of this, whether it would bring good luck or bad.

At last he said to himself, if I sell it what shall I gain? The best thing will be to show it to the venture capitalist and offer it to him. So that’s what he did.

“This is extraordinary!” exclaimed the venture capitalist. “Did you create this marvel? Does it belong to you?”

“Oh no,” said the Facebook fanatic. “It was an idea only. I am but an unfortunate tax adviser who could barely earn a living. I have a brother who is rich and well known to you. But I have nothing. Not even a blog. Just a Facebook page.”

The venture capitalist pitied him and said, “Your poverty shall be at an end and you shall receive from me such rich presents that your wealth will equal you brother’s.”

Thereupon the Facebook fanatic received an iPhone, Wii, large flat screen TV, stocks and bonds, a house on the beach, and a yacht.

Now the rich brother heard what his brother with a single Facebook application had acquired; he envied his brother and pondered how he might gain a like treasure for himself. But he wanted to show himself much more clever, so he took Flash games and widgets and photo sharing applications and presented them to the venture capitalist, feeling certain that he would receive an even finer gift.

The venture capitalist accepted the presents, saying that he had something wonderful to give the brother in exchange. There was nothing in his opinion greater than the Facebook virtual bakery application. So the rich brother had to download the application.

Frustration and evil thoughts came to him and he decided that his brother should die. He hired gang members from a neighborhood several miles away, had them make ready an ambush, and went to his brother. “Dear brother, I know where we can buy the next Powerball lottery ticket.”

The poorer brother set off with his brother without suspicion, but when they reached the seedy gas station the gang members sprang upon him, gagged him, and threw him in the trunk of their car.

While they were so occupied they heard a siren which frightened them and they ran off. The brother lay in the trunk until he heard voices. He banged hard against the trunk and moaned and gasped. The voice he had heard turned out to not be a police officer, but rather a young man in baggy pants.

He worked his way out of his hastily tied bounds and called out, “You’ve come in the nick of time. May you be as lucky as I.”

The young man looked around and asked “Did you say something to me? Where are you?”

A voice from the trunk answered, “I am here in the trunk and believe me it’s the best experience I’ve ever had in my life. You know auto-erotic asphixia? It’s so much better than that. I’m exhausted from the last ten orgasms I’ve had. I don’t think I can survive another. If you were in my place you’d know what I mean.”

The young man grew excited. “Can I try it? How do I get in there? How does it work?”

The other answered, “I will let you try it because of your youth, and for the price of that Starbucks in your hand for I have grown thirsty. But wait just a few minutes. I think I’ve recovered enough to experience just one more or two more.”

The young man waited a bit but grew impatient. The man in the trunk pretended to give in and said, “Release the trunk latch and then you can get in.”

So the young man released the latch, helped the man out, and put a foot into the trunk. “Stop. That’s not quite the way,” said the other and bound him, gagged him, and tossed him inside. Closing the trunk he said, “How are you feeling? You will soon feel sensations you’ve never before experienced.”

Thereupon he drank from the youth’s coffee cup and walked away. But he called the station an hour or so later and told the attendant to check for an abandoned car in his lot.