a cure for the common block

Archive for the category “the bob newhart show”

Happy Trails to you

Green One lumbered awkwardly through the forest, struggling with his disproportionate adolescent body to maintain an even gait. He heard the snap of a twig ahead of him and crouched down, inching behind a moss-covered rock and scanning for the source of the noise. Rashida was on a camping trip with her children and grandchildren, and as the most experienced among them went ahead to scout for clearings and possible signs of any bear activity: leaning trees lacking bark from use as a scratching post, footprints, freshly broken tree limbs. She turned back and gave an all-clear whistle before once again trudging forth past the statue-still Green One, who was now watching for the others heading his way and wondering if he’d be able to remain quiet enough to avoid alerting the woman ahead and camouflaged enough to avoid detection from those on their way? Before he could make a decision a voice from behind startled him. “You’re real”, the old woman said, almost in disbelief. The olive-haired Sasquatch turned and stood, he couldn’t understand the sounds coming from her mouth, but her facial expressions and body language told him she was not a threat. She had caught a glimpse of a small one years before, as a child on a school field trip and never told anyone because she never knew if it was real or imagined – she had always been told Bigfoot had brown or black hair. The two silently parted ways, never realizing they had met before.

#ShortShortStories #HappyTrailsToYou


The New Look

Dobie lowered the goggles over his eyes, tucked the towel into his shirt collar, and took off zooming around the house, imagining himself to be Earth’s mightiest defender. Dobie Dil was merely the secret identity for Mr. Amazing, when not fighting crime he pretended to be an average 4th grader who hated homework and Brussels sprouts, only shedding the disguise when trouble required his presence. Mr. Amazing hatched from an egg on a distant planet and was thrust into a cruel world alone, his senses sharpened due to obstacles non-existent on Earth, his muscles and bones were also stronger in order to resist the intense gravity of his homeworld – ten times that of this planet. Building a spacecraft and traveling the Universe defending planets from evil, he met his match on Xorb where he was narrowly defeated when the diabolical Doctor Untak zapped him with a ray that destabilized his natural powers and reverted him to his childhood form. Running to his ship and escaping through a wormhole, he ejected just before his ship crashed into the ocean and parachuted to safety in a nearby forest. He was found by local law enforcement, who eventually processed him through a bureaucratic system and placed him into foster care. He had long learned that the – what this planet called – “human” form was not uncommon throughout the Universe and went along with their rules and instructions, biding his time until his powers returned and he could continue his mission of peace and justice.

#ShortShortStory #TheNewLook

An American Family

On Kulu Island the name “Selagot” was revered, a traditional name belonging to the family of royals who gave power to citizens and freed the enslaved natives. “Come on, Uncle Silly Goat!” Penelope beckoned to her mother’s new brother-in-law as the young man bellowed a hearty laugh and jogged up the trail, swooping her up in his long, thick arms and settling her on his shoulders like she did with her stuffed animals. It was his first quality time with Wendy’s family, and while not outwardly nervous there was a question nagging at the back of his mind throughout the hike. For the most part he could avoid them by chatting with Penny, asking her which college she planned to attend, then telling her it’s “never too early” when she said she was “Only five.” Wendy’s father began prepping dinner while the rest set up the tents. As Selagot watched his bride he decided that whether her family already knew or not, that night over dinner he would give a toast to her, his Queen.

#ShortShortStories #AnAmericanFamily

Mind Your Own Business

Tameka realized in high school she would always have to be two people: her true self, who knew answers before asking the question, and her projected self, who was unsure and timid; it’s when she learned that the proper response to “You’re hot” was “Really?”, not “I know” – no matter flirtatiously it was said. She often wondered where her ability came from, what part of her brain allowed her to pick up people’s thoughts. Contrary to popular belief she didn’t “read” minds, thoughts took the forms of images and voices, were rarely like words on a page, and also rarely linear as speech. She didn’t sense them with her eyes and ears either, she sensed them in her own mind, crowded around her own thoughts; it took years of training to block them out or sort through them at will, the side-effect being labeled “developmentally challenged” most of her childhood. One day walking around campus she passed a group of people and nearly collapsed from a cacophonous feedback of thoughts, when she turned to see what could have caused this she noticed a young man staring back at her having the same reaction. As she focused, the other most common question Tameka wondered was finally answered in the most perfect way:  absolute silence.

#ShortShortStories #MindYourOwnBusiness

A Girl in Her Twenties

Desi intended for a relaxing evening at McWhatever’s so-called “Pub”, but realized it was a futile effort as he intercepted a fratboy’s approach of a brunette woman, advising that “‘No’ means ‘No'”. Although obviously smaller, and at a significant physical disadvantage against the jockish bro staring him down, the crowd which had turned their attention to them gave him a quantifiable advantage in the arena of public perception. Desi wasn’t motivated by the accolades provided by the audience, although he did enjoy them until Allison, the generic female he stepped up to “protect” dressed him down in a manner he had never before experienced. He thought he was being chivalrous, and she made it abundantly clear that his behavior completely opposed chivalry. She spoke with more force and eloquence than he had used on the man pestering her. He realized that if he had not intervened, she would have done a far better job of exposing the bro’s foolishness, and would have probably made him cognizant of his ignorance.

#ShortShortStories #AGirlInHerTwenties

The Ceiling Hits Bob

Emily regretted trusting Nia and breaking her “No blind dates. Ever.” rule. Sure, Robert was fairly funny, and even after he mistook her playful pun for mispronunciation she gave him the benefit of the doubt. But when he tried to hide an eyeroll by looking down and rearranging his utensils, she made the decision to sabotage the date. She assumed he likely had good qualities, unless this was Nia’s revenge for the flat iron incident, but if he couldn’t just relax and enjoy a casual evening then she was going to make this a very unpleasant experience for him. Emily played Dogberry in a University play, providing a vault of malaprops which she peppered throughout the most circuitous versions of tedious stories she could conjure. She took great delight as he patronized her with feigned interest, and could barely hold back laughter as he suggested they stay in touch, claiming he had to check his schedule. Emily strolled home after a lovely evening, albeit with an unpleasant man.

#ShortShortStories #TheCeilingHitsBob #BobHitsTheCeiling

Who Is Mr. X?

Aiden bounced his son on his knee trying to steal his attention with goofy noises and scrunchy faces, but Bash was completely focused on a patch of nothing on the wall to his left. This didn’t completely bother Aiden since it at least kept him quiet. This would happen from time to time over a couple years, Bash would stare at nothing as if there was something incredibly fascinating, or sometimes entertaining. One such day – around when he was three – Aiden asked him what he was looking at, and Bash gave a simple answer: Mr. Maye; Aiden tried to press further, but Bash wasn’t quite old enough to articulate anything beyond a man wearing a hat. Aiden was perplexed and somewhat frustrated, but when the “visits” from Mr. Maye stopped happening Aiden chalked it up to his toddler’s wild imagination. Shortly after his sixth birthday, however, he caught Bash looking up and whispering in the direction of the toaster, shutting up as soon as his father passed the doorway, despite having his back turned to him.

#ShortShortStories #WhoIsMrX?

Over the River and Through the Woods

The van sputtered to a stop roughly a mile south of the nearest gas station, Pilar and Ally regretted not stopping when they had the chance but it was too late now so they shrugged and forged ahead, gas can in hand. It was a brisk, sunny day and the two continued their conversation from the van. It was more of a game: Alejandro put Pilar into a hypothetical impossible situation, Pilar concocted an improbable escape, then turned the tables on Alejandro. Ally got out and revealed a new entrapment for Pilar to fall into, after her previous miraculous escape. It passed the time and gave their imaginations much needed exercise after their grueling school year, yet another impossible situation. It was the kind of story you share with someone as soon as you arrive but over the years is completely forgotten as part of the epic road trip in favor of wilder and more incredible moments, neither ever learning how close they came to actually being trapped in an inescapable prison.

#ShortShortStories #OverTheRiverAndThroughTheWoods

Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

In the six weeks after Zoren “paused” time he traveled through several states, plundering banks and homes, amassing a fortune which would sustain a lavish lifestyle; the best part was that so little was taken from each that it would likely never be noticed, let alone traced back to him. Three years later he desperately rummaged through a woman’s closet for the device that could restore the world, a device that he never noticed he dropped. The only thing he knew was that it most likely happened during his tour of the capitol, but he hit so many spots in all of the major cities he visited, there were so many options. At the moment he stopped time – in any given five-block radius of a major metropolitan area – there were at least sixteen tills open for a cash transaction, not to mention dozens of customers and random pedestrians carrying cash, even a toddler could pickpocket a person frozen in time. It was for the best that Zoren never found the device, the guilt and sadness he felt when he finally died would have paled in comparison to what he would have felt if he had ever glimpsed the consequences of time unfreezing after even a week, let alone a decade.

#ShortShortStories #SeemedLikeAGoodIdeaAtTheTime

Easy for You to Say

Criseline didn’t even bother to correct the substitute mangling the pronunciation of her name – thousands had come before him. Besides, he was only subbing one day and if she could keep a low profile for another sixty minutes she could avoid an awkward situation requiring her to correct him for the sake of his own embarrassment. Ironically, if her sociology professor hadn’t called in sick he would have taught the class about this issue and the perpetuation of privilege through uncorrected ignorance, but instead this twenty-something was going on about the social contract with his stupid dimples and deep blue eyes… Criseline’s thoughts trailed off as she focused on the intensity of his eyes, she had never seen such a dark shade in eyes. At the end of the period she walked to his desk to turn in the busywork he’d assigned and they made eye contact as he smiled to thank her. In that moment she realized the color of his eyes summed him up perfectly: apparently deep and fascinating, but completely fake.

#ShortShortStories #EasyForYouToSay

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