The Willoughby Moment


Last night, as I often do, I took a ride on New York’s subways and the L.I.R.R.  I was confronted by the usual cast of characters~the bad musician, the disgruntled black radical on his soap box, and the young woman who routinely loses control of her bodily functions in one of the cars.



“Just once,” I told the conductor, “I’d really like to see a halcyon scene like that inside these cars.”





“Sir,” he explained.  “That’s a Willoughby moment.  We pass by here daily so each passenger can enjoy a respite from all the inevitable insanity.”



Welcome back, yet again, to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers. Read all about it, please, at her site.  This week, Sandra Crook supplies the photograph.


take me home country roads

‘Marry Arthur!’ they said!  ‘He’ll take you places you’ve never been!’ they said!” was all Gladys could pronounce.

“I know. I know.” her husband timidly replied.

“I love you, honey, ” she reminded him, “But Tucumcari, New Mexico. population forty- su’um?  For our honeymoon?!”

“On the bright side,” he reasoned, “It’s one of those quaint places where everyone’s named after someone in the Bible. Isn’t that so nice?”

“My big fear is,” she said, “We may be stuck here in big trouble. Remember Lot’s wife?”

Jean L. Hays supplies this week’s Photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers as Rochelle Wisoff~Fields leads us in a weekly attempt to write a story of one hundred words based upon a photo prompt.

so tired of waiting

“Hey Ophelia,” the terrified psychiatric patient asked the new nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital. “What’s that room outside for?”

“Never mind, Mr. Schmedlap,” she chided him.

Young pretty Ophelia, a recent graduate, specializing in psychiatric nursing, knew all about the kinds of patients who ended up in those separate rooms, isolated from all the rest.

“Just relax, Sir,” she advised, “And read your Newsday.”

In her imagination she couldn’t help wondering, “Will he be one of those people I keep hearing about?”

“Only time will tell,” she thought.

She went about her rounds. He kept busy. They both waited and hoped.

Each week Rochelle Wisoff~Fields leads us in Friday Fictioneers. Please read our hundred~word stories. This week’s photo prompt was supplied by Roger Bultot.

welcome to willoughby


I was born and raised in Willoughby and wouldn’t think of leaving. My job is really important. I work in a band playing nineteenth century music to entertain tourists who come here wanting to escape their dull ordinary lives. Harried city slickers regularly visit to listen to authentic versions of songs like “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” and “Oh My Darling Clementine”.

Beware of one thing, though, if you dare visit. Our village is perhaps too authentically anachronistic. Some poor souls plum forget that it’s all in illusion. Willoughby plays nasty tricks on them. Think twice before coming here.

all we need is just a little patience

There are different waiting periods for different circumstances. Some things take only minutes and some can even be expected to take decades. Each individual should find out what the average time is for the specific goal he’s after and take it from there. Of course often someone may be expected to be kept waiting for an inordinate length of time. Under those circumstances it pays to be at least a bit pushy.  I most certainly don’t ever intend to wait for an hour on a phone while some nasty customer service characters subject me to annoying music while they feel free to twiddle their thumbs. Still, one must accept what one must accept. Unfortunately I’ve always been quite impatient and that never works out to anyone’s advantage.  The only answer to the question about how long someone should wait for something is, as long as it takes.

moody blues

Unfortunately I’ve never really noticed whether I’ve been any good at paying attention to the signs that may point to someone else’s happiness or unhappiness. I can understand that there are ways someone can recognize another’s mood up to a certain point, through his gestures, facial expressions, tones of voice and other mannerisms.  Perhaps I’ve simply never been any good at figuring those kinds of things out though. At the very least I’ve most certainly never really paid a significant kind or degree of attention to anything of that nature. If it’s not at least relatively obvious then I shouldn’t suppose I can be expected to recognize it. A lot of times someone will try, often unsuccessfully, to hide his true emotions. That may be a part of my problem. Confusing  signals can lead to frustration.

let it snow let it snow let it snow

If ever I could count on the unquestioning service of a perfectly obedient robot that could be available at all times to relieve me of only one nightmarishly awful chore, I should very much like to have one that would shovel snow for me.  When it comes to difficulty all other chores very much seem to pale by comparison.   This is made especially true by the fact that it’s always outside in miserable weather.  Bad weather in general has always bothered me.   Snow and ice get me crazy.  I’ve never been known for an abundance of physical strength  and shoveling is one of the things that require quite an exceptional degree of endurance. By definition a robot doesn’t have to deal with frustration and exhaustion.  All it needs is either a plug, battery or some other power source.  Unlike me it will never complain about hypothermia or boredom.  I should only need it for part of the year anyway, although winter, when it gets here, seems so unbearably long.

forgetful elmer


“It’s such a bright sunny day, we could be having the time of our lives, but we’re stuck in some Wilkes Barre shopping center parking lot because you drove without your glasses!”, shrieked Sadie. Elmer cringed, feeling stupid.
They both paced restlessly throughout the parking lot of the Hub, waiting for help. She was trying so hard to be so patient and understanding but his absent mindedness drove her crazy. “I’ve never gotten into an accident with a fireman before,” he stammered. “There’s a first time for everything,” she said. “Try thinking straight for the first time.”

make hay while the sun shines

I’ve always been quite notoriously prone toward procrastination.     Especially when I have a significant responsibility I’m required to deal with I tend to get really frustrated at the idea of having to face up to it.     Eventually I always get things done but there have been entirely too many times when I’ve pushed very important things away, especially when they can lead to big serious trouble.    That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever though  because avoiding something, rather than facing up to it and getting it over with only makes it very much worse than necessary anyway.    The part of me that wants to get things done the right way is always confronted with the side of me that dreads unfavorable results and that can’t stand having to face up to the risk of finding out finally and definitively that I’m in over my head.     I always seem to find some way of promising that I’ll face up to things but although I inevitably eventually get around to doing what’s required of me, I may do any of an infinite number of other things first.    I’ve been known to read, to play my guitar, to surf the internet, or anything else rather than merely to face up to all those important and scary things right away.     I always have to do something in order to fill up the time.   If I have nothing to do, the frustration and suspense will rankle incessantly upon my nerves.    That’s quite a major part of the price to be paid for postponing something.     An upcoming responsibility deferred, combined with too much free time and the ability to allow my mind to wander unoccupied, can be quite lethal.