Month: September 2014

the phone number from HELL

“Is Cliffie there? I want to speak to Cliffie!”

I am sorry, you have the wrong number

“I don’t have the wrong number, idiot! Now put Cliffie on the phone NOW!”

Insane person recites Cliffie’s phone number, which is exactly the same as my new cell phone number. Apparently Ole Cliffie must have either lost his phone, or didn’t pay his bill and lost his number. I recently got a new iphone and this is the number that telus provided me with.

Ma’am, this is no longer Cliffie’s number. Now please stop calling here.

[in a VERY drunken voice] “P-P-Put C-l-i-f-f-i-e on N-o-w!”

He isn’t here

“Where is he”?

How should I know. now please hang up!

“C-L-I-F-F-I-E! Please come homeeeee………”

The drunk lady finally hangs up. I finally settle down and try to sleep….at 3:30 a.m.

Until 4:00 a.m. that is.

“CLIFFIE! Some asshole said that you weren’t here. He won’t let me talk to you! I am calling the cops Cliffie!”

Lady, its no use calling the cops. Cliffie doesn’t own this number. Please go to sleep and leave me alone!

After three more calls, she finally settles down. I have half an hour sleep and it is time to get up for work.

As I am eating my breakfast, the damn iPhone rings again. I am ready to throw the thing thru the window.

“This is Cliffie. I hear you have been giving my Friens a hard time, you F**ker!!!” he says, in a very drunken voice.

Why are you calling me? this isn’t your damn number!

“I know. I don’t have a phone. I got D-D-Drunk once and lost the thing. telus took away my number, and all my ladies still have the number. can you take messages for me?”

I am dropping by Telus this evening. I have to get that number changed!

True story!

The Last Laugh

Meet Tim O’Brien. Tim has been doing his comedy routine for over 50 years. Although never actually achieving fame, Tim knows how to get a crowd going. Trouble is, he never manages to get anywhere. Three failed marriages, kids who hate their father, audiences who hate him even worst, his worthless life was too much for Tim to bear. That all could change tonight. You see, a few days ago, when Tim got so depressed he wanted to kill himself, a craggy old man appeared in his path. The old man, with his wrinkly face closely resembled death itself. “What is wrong young man” he asked.

Tim replied that he has been doing the comedy routine so long now that he has grown fed up. He was fed up with the long nights of standing in front of losers and having them heckle him. He was fed up with fame still standing yet so far away from him. He was fed up with life, particularly his life.

The old man offered Tim a deal. “I can make you famous, more famous than you ever dreamed. No more hecklers, no more seedy motels and most of all, no more lonely nights.” “All this for one little thing.”

“What sort of thing?” Tim asked, getting fed up with the insanity of the moment.

“Not much, just your immortal soul” he replied.

Tim looked in the old man in dismay. “You crazy? Get out of here, you miserable old drunk”

On his way out, the old man asked if Tim was still interested in his deal.

“Whatever, just go to hell!” Tim hollered.

The old man disappeared as fast as he had arrived. Tim got his stuff ready and made his entrance. “One more show, then I will end it” He thought.

The crowd watched patiently as the next act walked out on the stage. The night wasn’t going well for any of the performers, and by the time Tim O’Brien began his act, the crowd were fed up with the stale humor and childish attempts of the first few acts.

Tim arrived on the stage with a guitar strapped to his shoulder. At first the crowd thought that rather than just another comedy act, this guy would amaze them with some sort of hidden musical talent; you know, the kind you see on shows like America’s Got Talent, where a guy who lived his life as a chicken farmer comes out and wows the crowd. Think Again!

In his deep, almost frightening voice, Tim introduces himself.

“Hi, I am Tim” he says, and simply stands there, staring at the crowd.

“So when does the show start?” he asks. The crowd look at each other like he is crazy. They may be right.

“I guess you are wondering why I have this guitar with me” he says.

“I tell my kid that guys who play guitars get all the ladies”

“Let me play you a little something I wrote, a little something I like to call “I wish I had learned guitar when I was a kid so I could get girls” he says. A few members of the audience grin to themselves.

He starts out by hitting a few chords, three in total, and just when you are waiting for the music to get better, it doesn’t. He starts banging on the guitar strings like a madman, absolutely no music, just noise. He takes the guitar off and throws it in the corner.

“Damn thing! Never could play guitar…I guess that’s why I never had many girls” he says. The crowd give him a few laughs, and a few people, who obviously didn’t enjoy that joke fire cola cans at him.

Tim grabs a bag and proceeds to pick up the cans.

“I recycle” he says. A few more laughs.

He then pulls an inflatable guitar from his pocked and inflates the thing.

“Air Guitar” he says, and begins making all sorts of almost obscene noises.

“Can’t play Air Guitar either!” he says. The crowd actually laugh this time.

He goes back and straps the old guitar on his shoulder again. Tipping the guitar towards the floor, Jim shows the audience that there are two holes cut out of the side of the thing.

“Cup holder and an ashtray, comes in handy when you are drinking” he says. A few more laughs.

“My mother in law is so cheap that she blinded herself just to get a free dog.” he said

As the jokes went on, the crowd grew anxious. They didn’t want Tim to stop. A few of the female audience members even threw him notes with their phone numbers.

He is amazed. They are laughing, he thought. He tells a few more jokes and the laughter grows by the minute. By the end of his routine, people are holding their bellies with laughter.

As he finishes his routine, whispers fill the room as the audience have made their decision. Tim O’Brien would get most of the votes here tonight.

Tim would get something else he wasn’t expecting tonight. Just as he settled down in the seedy motel room that stood next to the bar where he performed, a knock came at the door. It was the cute redhead who sat in front of him at the club. She wasn’t wearing much, and it didn’t take long for Tim to invite her in.

“So, Young Man, will you accept?  Will you sign the papers?” she asked?

Tim was elated. Imagine how his luck changed. One minute he contemplated suicide, the next, he is standing in front of a crowd of people, enjoying the show. Then he actually wins the comedy contest, one that promises to take him to comedy venues from Vegas to Hollywood. And to top it off, they send this beautiful creature to give him his contract. Could his life get any better?

Tim grabs the contract, not bothering to read it first, and scribbles his signature on the dotted line. So where do I pick up my prize? When do I start the tour?” he asks.

“Tour? What tour? This isn’t what you think it is.” The girl says.

The once beautiful lines in her face suddenly begin to fall, and instantly she changes from a beautiful young woman into the craggy old man who offered Tim the deal…the one he inadvertently agreed to, the one he just signed on to.

There would be no tours, no laughing crowd. Tim’s dream of becoming famous was just that, a dream. From here on the only shows he would be putting on will be for the suffering souls in




Sensitivity training maybe?

My first day on the new job a few weeks back and this is what I had to endure:

The very tattooed lady (I use that term lightly) who works in the cafeteria looks at me and noticed my hearing aids.

“You go to Deaf School?” she asks.

I pause for a moment, shocked, and I reply

“No, I learned it all on my own.”

She grins (way over her head I guess) and says

“Take em out, lemme see”

Ya right,  I am here for your amusement.

Can you imagine what ‘deaf school’ would look like?

A large building with the words “DEAF SCHOOL” printed on a huge sign, so we deaf people can read it.

Inside, a crowd of instructors teaching people how to be deaf.

I should consider myself lucky I guess,

my hearing aids come with a remote control. From this moment on, Tattoo lady will be on MUTE!

Flash Fiction: my sister’s lite brite

Copyright – Marie Gail Stratford

Word Count: 99

As kids, we spent untold hours playing with my sister’s ‘Lite-Brite’. A simple toy, featuring a plastic body and screen filled with holes. A light bulb in the back of the unit illuminated the screen while we plugged the holes with translucent plastic pegs.

My sister got mad when my brother and I hogged her favourite toy. We used it to leave funny messages such as ‘You Stink’ and ‘Your feet are big”

She would enter her room, the lights turned down low, and the Lite-Brite would relay our little messages to her. Ah childhood…sometimes I miss it!

This is my entry into Addicted to Purple’s Flash Fiction. Give it a try, great fun!

debunking myths: Spider-Man

“Spider-man Spider-man, does whatever a spider can”…What a pile of crap!

When was the last time you seen Spidey eat a fly? How about set a web up to catch a fly?

and the line “catches thieves just like flies”…does he eat the thieves when he catches them in his web? Not only that, but do flies catch thieves? I can see the headlines now



Old Spidey is a bigger rip-off than the tooth fairy!

living in an idiot proof world

My missus picked up a new can opener at Wally World yesterday. The thing claims to be ‘Idiot Proof’. Thing is, I couldn’t get it to work. Does that mean that I am an idiot?

In this world of ‘making things easier’, I think we have gone too technical. A can opener; why does it have to be so difficult? Instead of using the $15 piece of plastic garbage, I hauled out my old faithful pocket knife and using the trusty can opener blade, I opened my can of beans and wieners with ease. No batteries, no blister packing that cuts your fingers. Idiot proof.

Back in my grandfather’s day, there were no idiot proof crap things. Everything worked because it was made to work. Actually, my grandfather made most things himself, and if they didn’t work right, he started from scratch and worked at it until it did work. Idiot Proof.

I remember walking up to the fence he built to keep his cattle from leaving the cow pasture. He had this giant gate made from spruce boards that he sawed on a sawmill that he made himself. The gate fastened to the fence by a piece of rope that he hung over the top post on the gate and the fence. Simple, but it worked. The cows couldn’t figure it out, and that was all he worried about. Idiot Proof.

The sawmill itself was his creation as well. Powered by an old Austin motor, the mill, although small, was used to cut every board that he used to build the barn, the shed, and even his home. A blade that he picked up at a scrap yard in a neighboring city ran by a belt that was hooked to the little four-cylinder motor was not complex but it worked. Idiot proof.

He had a truck, but he didn’t really need one. The old Ford worked most of the time, and when it didn’t, he tackled his horse ‘Bess’ to a cart and used this method to haul hay and other farm essentials from one side of the pasture to the other. He even rode into town on horse and buggy from time to time. A handful of hay and drink of water for the horse.  Idiot Proof.

The tools he used to cut hay were also simple. Although my uncle bought my grandfather a John Deere tractor to cut the hay, my grandfather preferred to do it the old way. A Hand- scythe, which is actually a long blade scythe attached to a spruce handle that he made himself managed to work just right for my grandfather. I remember seeing him out in his fields at five in the morning, swinging the long handled scythe to and fro, hay falling behind him.

He did try the tractor, and at first he was amazed at how quickly the thing managed to cut his grass; but when the thing ran out of gas, he jumped off the tractor, and with his trusty scythe, he continued cutting the hay. The tractor sat in the field until he felt it was in the way. Then using his horse, he towed the tractor to the barn where it sat until the day he died. “don’t like those new fangled things that try to make things easier. Sometimes things are best left to the old way. A way that allowed a man to be one with the grass he cuts and the animals he feeds”

My grandfather was stubborn, but what he said makes a lot of sense, especially in this idiot proof world in which we live.


still in the game


Meet Farzana. Farzana is one little person who has never let her size stop her. At merely a 6 inches tall, most of her friends laughed at her when she took claim as the best  player in the game. Despite having to walk nearly twenty footsteps from block to block, she never quit and still enjoys playing.

In her sixty plus years of playing, Farzana’s record was nearly perfect.Throughout the years, in fact, Farzana has managed to beat opponents ten times her size with ease.

Though no longer the ‘spring chicken’, Farzana still excels in her favorite game of ‘Hop Scotch’.

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site, and use her Wednesday picture to create a complete story in 100 words.

Cajun Dogs and the BBQ Fire

Just finished helping out at the College BBQ. Its a yearly thing where the staff and administration offer free hotdogs, burgers and pop to the students. The lineup seemed to last forever as hungry students stood waiting for their free lunch. The thing with kids. Free and food are always guaranteed to bring a crowd!

We had a BBQ as a fundraiser when I was in college. Each class had to come up with some way to make money to donate to a worthy cause. Our town practically flooding away was a great and easy choice, and selling Hots and Hams was even easier. When other classes were planning elaborate methods of fundraising, all we had to do was BBQ wieners and burgers. Sounds simple, right?

The first thing we had to do was to canvass stores looking for donations; mainly wieners, burgers and buns. And pop. We did pretty well, I must say. We didn’t have to buy anything. All we had to do was find a BBQ.

When we exhausted all possibilities of having someone donate a BBQ, I chose to use mine. It was nothing fancy, but it was trustworthy and always delivered. Actually, that was the problem…delivery.

I lived a half an hour from our BBQ site, so we had to find some way transport my main source of summer cooking to the front of the shopping mall. One of the students in our group offered his pickup truck.

It took both of us to load the ‘Q on the truck, but he insisted on fastening it. He argued that he was a Ranger and knew all sorts of rope tying methods. So I let him. Big Mistake!

He was also driving, and he drove like a bat out of hell. I was too scared to look back, but should have. When he hit one turn doing well above the speed limit, something flew out of the back of the truck and came within inches of an oncoming car. The driver pulled over and began cussing at us.

Paul pulled over as well, and soon joined the cursing guy. The both of them stood cursing at each other. I am not sure whether Paul even knew what he was angry about, but being the number one shit disturber in class, he was gung ho and ready for a fight.

When I got him calmed down enough to get back in the truck, I discovered what object had almost hit the guy’s car. It was our BBQ. Paul only fastened one end of rope to one side of the ‘Q, and when he made the turn, the entire thing swung out of the truck and then bungeed back into the box of the truck.

Unfortunately it was not that simple. Most of the thing was smashed to ribbons, including the burner. Luckily we removed the propane tank before leaving the house, or the damages would have been much worst!

When we finally got to the site of the cooking, we unloaded what was left of Ole Faithful and carried the thing to the curb. The wheels were no more, probably sitting in the back seat of that guy’s car!

I turned on the gas and lit the thing. At first, we were surprised at how well the flame under the burner turned that perfect hue of blue and yellow. We loaded the grill with wieners and burgers. The stuff was selling like hotcakes when suddenly a loud “WHOOF” came from the ‘Q.

The flame went out and we were left with several half cooked hot dogs. I fired the thing up again, this time we didn’t have the pretty blue flame. What we did have was a flame thrower mounted on a BBQ frame. Our wieners cooked quickly, well actually they burned quickly. Only thing was, we were only half way through the allotted time frame and had no earnings to show.

Just then, a large tour bus with students from a small community outside town pulled up next to us. “Anything ready? Got a bus load of hungry kids!” the driver said.

When everyone was ready to give up, I came up with an idea.


When everyone was buckled over with laughter, I was at the table handing out hot dogs to the kids. I sold everything we had and we had to scorch more just to keep up. The flame from the grill reaching abnormal heights only managed to attract more customers, and we worked like dogs to keep up.

One kid hollered “Wow! Cajun Dogs. I heard of them but never tried them!”

He encouraged his friends to try them, and for some weird reason, the badly burned wieners sold quickly. He was even more amazed when I introduced him to a new menu favorite…Cajun Burgers. We burned everything we had and at the end of the day, we had reached our goal of $1500, plus made enough money to replace my broken ‘Q.

Who would have guessed how popular Cajun food was in Newfoundland?


insomnia: Parts I and II

For the second night in a row, I lay awake. Monday night I stared at a small lump of plaster that rested in the corner of the bedroom ceiling. I actually thought about fixing it, until I glanced at the clock and discovered that it was 2 a.m.

The wife probably wouldn’t be impressed to find me standing at the edge of the bed, plaster trowel in hand, fixing the lump.

So I simply watched it; possibly hoping that by staring at the lump, it would go away. It didn’t.

I tried turning on the television. Nothing on, of course. I tuned into Netflix and found a rerun of CSI Miami. Why does that guy wear sunglasses all the time? And why is it cool when he takes them off and offers his weekly cliche?

I watched other shows as well. Why was it that I chose to tune into an old Twilight Zone episode? When I finally managed to drift off, the episode that I watched became a reality for me. This was the one where the man sold his soul to the devil in return for eternal life, only to murder his wife and be sentenced to life in prison. Talk about irony. Anyway, in my dream, I was his cell mate. Only me!

Its amazing how the hours magically appear on the digital clock. At 4:30 a.m., I found myself amazed at how the ‘0’ turns to a ‘1’ and then to a ‘2’. Its easy to amaze me that late at night. I think I watched every hour change to the next.

There are only so many ways to toss and turn. Lie next to the wife, maybe cuddle her, feels good, but soon I have an ache in my side, so I turn over, and over, and over and over. I almost wore a hole in the sheets from tossing and turning. All this while trying not to wake her. She has work in the morning. So do I.

The time between 5 am and 6:30, my wake up time takes forever to pass. So I get up, eat breakfast, and sit on the comfy chair for awhile….and fall asleep. Since the alarm clock is in the bedroom, I don’t hear it. I am half deaf, and both my hearing aids are in the bedroom, tucked safely away in their little box so that dog doesn’t get them again. (another story for another time, but a funny story that I will have to tell, maybe on my next sleepless night)

All of a sudden my son awakes me. “What are you doing sleeping here? How come you didn’t go to work today?” he asks.

“OMG” I holler. I finally fell asleep, and slept until 7. It will be a quick breakfast, possibly on the way to work, and a coffee. I need Coffee NOW!

On the drive to work I chug down a cup of my favorite Tassimo coffee, Nabob Breakfast, except this was my breakfast! I see two moose on the side of the road. You have to remember, this is Newfoundland, and moose hunting season just opened! Poor thing will likely be cooking on someone’s bbq by the weekend!

When I get to work, I dive into another coffee, and one more before lunch. By now I am bouncing off the walls, but I do manage to get a ton of work done, despite my shakes.

The ride home was quick, thanks to all the caffeine, and because I never slept the night, I choose to get to bed early. Big mistake. All that caffeine. Insomnia again. Another night of no sleep! This morning, the one thing that made my day was checking out my favorite bloggers on WordPress, and seeing a nice post by one of my favorite writers on the web. Thanks Archon, I really appreciate the fact that you remembered my birthday. I didn’t!



Pine Beer and Bikers from Michigan

this story never gets old…just funnier


a few years ago, my friends and I found out what Americans were made of. This story began in my basement, and with our home made beer recipe. This was the summer that the beer companies all went on strike, therefore, no beer on the island except some Old Milwaukee crap imported from the states, not the strong, hardy beer we Newfoundlanders are used to drinking.

On this particular weekend, we decided to make our own beer. All the stores were closed, and we needed a brewing bucket. My friend Dwayne said that his mom worked at a local school, and she should have plenty of plastic 5 gallon buckets lying around. When he showed up at the house, he had a white plastic bucket under his arm. The bucket’s label read “5 Gallons of Pine Sol.”

Before we had a chance to ask Dwayne if he had cleaned the…

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