Personal

Bait and switch

“He never expected to find that at the hardware store.” Have you ever noticed that there are all sorts of circumstances and environments where one often can count on finding things he shouldn’t  expect to find there, or not finding things that should be there.

A perfect example is M.T.V. which,  during my youth, was a groundbreaking music video channel. Now it no longer has any connection whatsoever to music, though it still covers pop culture of other kinds.

 

I’ve always had quite a significant interest in the Catholic Church’s intellectual world. Although I no longer watch television~not counting reruns on Youtube~I’d always enjoyed, in the past, watching Catholic shows on television. When I lived in Lindenhurst, I tried watching Telicare, the Rockville Centre Diocese’s official Catholic network. To my chagrin, they never showed any Catholic shows. All I could find were panel discussions with psychotherapists, case workers, and social workers; old movies; local high school sports; and telethons.

 

To this very day I can still remember an incident, when I was growing up, when my parents, my younger sister, and I were on our  way to northeastern Pennsylvania to visit relatives. Somewhere during the course of the trip we stopped at a diner in which, the very name of the place advertised prominently that they sold chicken. When we asked for chicken, a dumbfounded employee explained that their menu included everything except chicken.

 

In yet another northeastern Pennsylvania moment, one day several years ago, I was trying to get home (which then was the Borough of Wyoming) from someplace in Wilkes~Barre. Because of my having been quite unfamiliar with my location, and lacking a G.P.S., I took it for granted that a sign I noticed, which said that Pittston, my mother’s hometown, was seven miles north of there, by way of that road, I attempted to follow the road.  Within only a few hundred feet, I was confronted with a dead end.

 

If ever I chance to find things like bubble  gum, livestock, and animal balloons, instead of hardware, at a hardware store, I’ll know very much better than to be even so much as the least bit surprised.Today’s Author

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Ah, yes! I remember it well!

I’ve always had a phenomenally good memory, but only in a qualified sense.

Does anyone remember Marilu Henner, who, long ago, played Elaine Nardo, the art gallery employee on “Taxi”? She is purported to have a perfect autobiographical memory.

I appear to come quite close.  Oddly, although I’m always forgetting where I most recently put my eyeglasses, keys, wristwatch, etc. , I seem to have quite an amazing memory to remember verbatim conversations, and all manner of arcane trivia, from decades in the past.

People are always passing comments about how exasperating it is that I can’t quite seem to remember to do the important chores, to run necessary errands, or otherwise to keep a promise, but I can always remember the times, in the tenth grade, when my theology teacher at St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School in West Islip told us that he’d never liked boiled hot dogs, and that his brother had a major foot problem.                                                                                                                          I haven’t lived in Jackson Heights, Queens, since September 11, 1971, five days before my twelfth birthday.  My parents and I, during the first years of the twenty first century, went back to St. Gabriel’s, our old parish in East Elmhurst, for a couple of reunions.  I attended grammar school there.  Sister Catherine, of the Sisters of Charity, was on the faculty when I was there. At one of the reunions, I re introduced myself and explained to her that I thought I could remember that she was once named Sister Lawrence. She reacted with a stunned facial expression and  replied: “Not since 1966!”                                                                                                                                  Of course, I could come up with quite a large number of other similar incidents. I quite often enjoy shocking old friends, teachers, and classmates with these trips down memory lane. It would be nice, however, if I could as easily summon up the equivalent ability to remember  to buy things I’ve run out of, to take out the garbage, and to meet whichever deadlines may arise in the here and now.

Mnemonic

the Black Pearl

js-brand

 “So,” Ivor asked Muriel, “Have you ever heard of the origin of the Black Pearl Legend?”

She nodded “no”.

Her husband went on to explain:

” Long ago, there was a lovely Spaniard woman who came to America because of a broken heart. One day she bought a train ticket to Philadelphia. Mysteriously she was murdered on the platform.

“The culprit was never caught.”

“Folks say her ghost appears at this location on random days, around noon. Don’t worry, though. It’s just a crock. ”

Just then the Angelus bells rang at nearby St. Gabriel’s.

The couple cringed and turned pale.

 

Please join us and read Friday Fictioneers, a collection of hundred~word stories based upon a weekly photo prompt. Our fearless leader is Rochelle Wisoff~Fields. This week’s prompt is supplied by J.S. Brand.

 

Calling all Dingbats, Meatheads, and Little Girls

Noise has always been the veritable bane of my existence. Ever since my very early childhood I’ve always had quite a love/hate relationship with sound in general. Everyone most certainly knows about my intense interest in music, especially the Beatles, as well as 1960’s music of all kinds.                                                                                                                                There’s also quite a dark side to sound, however.  Noise, and excessive volume, get me plum crazy. It’s an especially nasty problem when I’m subjected to  high~pitched, shrill sounds.                                                                                                              Libraries and churches, in my younger days, were havens of peace and quiet. Back then most people were significantly concerned about being ladies and gentlemen, and, as a general rule, could be counted on to respect the obligation to remain as silent as possible in these environments.                                                 

That era, however, is long gone. Now, since the advent of cell phones (I’ve always quite bitterly resented the telephone but that can be fodder for another day) there are all sorts of  creeps who feel free to talk on their phones even in these once forbidden places. A couple of times, a few years ago, I went to Lincoln Center in Manhattan. There was a rule against telephones on the premises and people seemed quite willing to honor it. Do people have to be charged practically forty dollars for admission to someplace before accepting the obligation to respect others?                                                                                                            To my chagrin, I shall always have to deal with my aversion to noise. It would most certainly be quite nice, however, if at least I could count on the assumption that all the defiantly narcissistic cacophony may someday dwindle down a little bit.                                                                                         I hereby request that we all stifle it as much as possible.

 

 

St. Edith, Rosa, and Blessed Titus

“This time of year is heavy for a history major, you know,” Stanley told Yolanda.

“Why?” she wanted to know.

“January 27 is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz,” he explained. “St. Edith Stein and her sister, Rosa, both Carmelites, died there. Blessed Titus Brandsma, another Carmelite, died at Dachau.”

“They’re my favorite Carmelites,” Yolanda reminded him. “The Steins died because they were Jews and Titus died because of his outspoken defiance of the Nazis.”

They both stood motionless for a seemingly endless few moments in the bitter cold. Then the couple walked away quietly, clutching textbooks.

Please join us as Rochelle Wisoff~Fields, each week, guides us through Friday Fictioneers, a collection of hundred~word stories. This week’s photograph was supplied by Sandra Crook.

if not art school

Larabie and Miz Kitti ran into each other outside the local art school.

“Three prominent twentieth-century characters were failed art students,” he reminded his friend.

“Explain away, Larabie,” the Miz wanted to know.

“I’ve always been interested in the Catholic intellectual world,” he went on, “So I know that G.K. Chesterton dropped out of art school.”

“Because I’m a John Lennon fan,” he told her, “I know that he did too,”

Then he reminded her, “Hitler never even got accepted when he applied.”

“Behind every failed artist,” she mused, “there’s a revolution waiting to happen?”

Dale Rogerson supplied this week’s photo prompt. Rochelle Wisoff~Fields leads, as always, Friday Fictioneers.

Catholics who use Contraception should be Prohibited from Communion

…along with all the false teachers who make excuses for them. Use of contraception is an objective mortal sin; it is an intrinsically evil and gravely immoral act. The use of mere contracepti…

Source: Catholics who use Contraception should be Prohibited from Communion

utopia dystopia

Dora and Periwinkle always read the Chick Tracts they find on their train.

“This moron was a true product of our ugly age,” she exclaimed.

He wanted an explanation.

“He was like the secular fanatics who cry racism, anti-Semitism, yada yada when they don’t get their way,” she groaned.

“His cartoons portray an ugly, vengeful God who sends everyone except Fundamentalist Christians to Hell.”

“Secularism is equally ugly and vengeful, sentencing all us intolerant Deplorables and Hypocrites to some neo-Nuremburg Trials.

“Fanaticism of any kind is always quite evil,” Periwinkle sighed.

Both then stared vacantly and sadly into the distance.

Thanks to C.E. Ayr for our photo prompt this week and to Rochelle Wisoff~Fields, as always, for guiding us in Friday Fictioneers.

just `17 and you know what I mean

“’17 is often a tough year,” the Village Egghead reminded Althea.

“Why?” she couldn’t help asking.

“Well,” he continued. “1517 was that nasty Protestant Revolution. In 1717 the Masons were founded. In 1917 Russia had its October Revolution and Wilson got us mixed up with World War I.”

“I tell you,” continued he. “God somehow does things funny. 1789 was Robespierre’s French Revolution. In 1989 Reagan got Mr Gorbachev to ‘tear down that wall’. That was the one good thing on the list.”

“We can’t live to see it.” he reminded her. “but 2117 and 2189 promise to be quite a couple of doozies, my young lady friend.

This week’s photo prompt is from Sandra Crook. Rochelle Wisoff~Fields leads us in Friday Fictioneers.