Archive for Crazy stuff

Blood On The Moon ~ the story

This is a short story and poem I wrote when I first started writing. It’s one of my personal favorites. Read it if you have time. I think you’ll find it very interesting.

Marbles In My Pocket ~ The Official Blog of Charles L. Mashburn ~ Poems, Short Stories, and random thoughts from the author of "Be Still... and know that I am God"

001 Blood On the MoonBlood On the Moon was the first short story I wrote when I decided I wanted to try and write. This is the 2015 rewritten version (I hope it’s better than the original). It’s 2170 words long (5 single spaced pages), so print it and read it later if you want. I’ll even email it to you, if you can’t print it off the blog. Click the picture to enlarge and read the poem by the same title.

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Big Brother is Everywhere!

Sometimes the Internet really irritates me. Maybe some of you have had this happen; someone puts a post on Facebook, and you jump right in with an opinion or an example of how you agree with said post. Then… nothing. Right! Nothing! Ten—maybe fifteen—others throw out their opinions, apparently conversing with one another, but your comment seems to have been rendered invisible. What’s the deal?

A good example was a post yesterday. A friend—not a good friend, I admit—posted a concern about how it seems we just have to think about something and, BAM, we start getting ads on Facebook about whatever it was we were thinking about. It’s downright eerie, right? Well, I’ve experienced such phenomena, and so I jumped into the fray to commiserate and discuss the fact that, um, that uh, guy… you know the Facebook honcho… yeh yeh yeh… that guy, seems to be spying on us. All 300 billion or so of us.

minion cell phoneWhat’s been happening to me is truly bizarre. It’s my phone. Since Sherry’s been out of pocket, my diet has not been, well, it’s been pretty bad. Lots of Fritos and bean dip, and easy to cook stuff. You know, like… Fritos and bean dip. So, the strange thing is—the Facebook dude is no doubt behind it—and Verizon, too, I’m sure.

What happens is, every time I eat Fritos and bean dip, my phones ring tone changes, and it’s not a pretty sound, if you get my drift. What really gets me though—makes me mad, if you want the truth—is when I answer the phone, there’s no one there. And, this awful smell comes out of nowhere!

minion in thongHappened at the grocery store checkout the other day. The checkout girl looked at me funny and giggled when my phone blasted its irreverent “ring tone”, and she really cracked up when I pulled out my phone and answered it. Then—the smell, ya know—her eyes got wide and she covered her mouth and nose with a hand, while waving the other one at me like she was shooing flies, and said, “You ain’t right!”, before promptly vacating her station. I just grabbed my stuff and skated on outta there.

It’s all annoying. I’m thinking about getting off Facebook and switching to Cricket.

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Me & Tater Salad

My first wife, Evelyn, brought it up in a Facebook comment yesterday, so I thought I might as well share it with y’all along with another related story.

It was Thanksgiving—I’m going to guess 1970—and we were living with my maternal grandparents, Ma and Pa, in Moab, Utah. Ma had invited her friend, Edith to Thanksgiving dinner, and Edith brought potato salad. Well, I didn’t care for potato salad, and thought nothing of not putting any on my plate. Edith, however, noticed it right away, and thinking she’d help me out, handed the bowl to me and said, “Charlie, you didn’t get any of my potato salad.”

I said, “Thanks, I don’t want any.”

“Oh,” she said, obviously hurt that I didn’t want any of her potato salad.

A few minutes later, she said, “Charlie. Are you sure you don’t want any of my potato salad?”

“Yes, ma’am,” I said. “I don’t care for potato salad. But, thank you.”

I think this is where it became a challenge for her. “I think you’d like my potato salad. It’s very good”

She got a raised eyebrow from me with that comment. And out of the corner of my eye, I saw Pa grin at me, then quickly look back at his plate.

edith bunkerI looked across the table at Edith. The hurt expression was gone, and a glare had taken its place. This was not going to end well.

She put one hand on the bowl of potato salad and said, “You should at least taste my potato salad. It’s really good, and I just know you’ll like it.”

I put on my best smile, and said, “Lady! I don’t want any GUFFING potato salad! (I did not say guffing.)

Pa busted out laughing. Ma gasped, put her hand over her heart, then shot Pa a glare that could curdle gravy. Poor Edith was in shock. Evelyn, attempting to save the day, said, “I’ll have some! It’s good!” Me, I went back to eating my turkey and dressing.

I was wrong. It ended just fine. Not another word was said about that stupid potato salad. By the way, in later years, I developed a taste for potato salad. I love the stuff!

~~~~

Several years later, I was single, and visiting Pa, who had retired and moved back to Fritch, Texas. It was the early eighties, Ma had passed in the late seventies, and Bunk (Pa’s nickname) was baching it too. Evelyn had gotten tired of following me all over the country (I was –still am, I guess—a gypsy of sorts.) And so, we went our separate ways. Well, I went, she stayed put.

Any way Bunk and I went down to what was, I believe, the only bar in Fritch, where we played some pool and drank a few beers. It was late, maybe about eleven o’clock, when this drunk guy came busting in, looking like he wanted to fight, and not caring with who.

The guy was a couple inches taller than me and outweighed me by probably sixty-seventy pounds. He stood in the doorway, glaring as he looked around the room and, since the only other person in the place was the old guy behind the bar (Pa was in the men’s room), his glare landed on me. I smiled politely as the big guy lumbered toward me but kept a firm grip on my pool cue. You know, in case he didn’t want to be friends.

First thing he said was, “You know who I am?” He had a funny way of saying things, so I thought he was joking. I grinned at him.

I heard the men’s room door open, and Pa laughed out loud then said, “Tater Salad!” The big guy looked past me, his face lit up, and he shouted, “Bunk!”

I said, “Tater Salad?”

The big guy ignored me and as he strolled toward Bunk, said, “Just the man I want to talk to.”

“Tater Salad?” The guy still ignored me.

“Well,” Bunk said, shaking the big guy’s hand, “Buy me and my grandson a drink, and we’ll talk all you want.”

The guy glanced at me, grinned, then yelled over his shoulder, “Boo-Boo, Give us three Crown and Coke!”

“Don’t call me Boo-Boo, Tater Salad, or you’ll be drinking through a straw for ‘bout a month.”

They all laughed—Bunk, Tater Salad, and Boo-Boo. I said, “Tater Salad?”

We climbed aboard stools at the bar and Pa said, “What’s up, Ron?”

I said, “Ron?”

“I’m fixin’ to go into stand-up comedy, Bunk. And I got some ideas for routines, but I figure you must have some I can use, too. Can’t nobody tell a story like Bunk Stringer.”

So, Bunk told him some of his best stories, and Ron “Tater Salad” White soaked ‘em up.

When Bunk had about run out of material, I looked around him at “Ron” and said, “Tater Salad?”

ron whiteHe grinned a drunk-on-his-butt grin and half snarled, half laughed, “You just ain’t gonna let that go, are ya? Ah-right, here’s how it goes.”

He told me the story about being drunk and getting arrested for driving on a sidewalk in Fritch. The cops knew who he was so when they asked him his name, he—being the smart aleck he was—said, “They call me Tater Salad.” And, a legend was born.

When he finished, Bunk laughed and elbowed me. “Charlie, tell him your tater salad story!” And so, I did. Ron got a big kick out of it and said he might use it in one of his routines when he hit the big time. He never did. Use it that is. He hit the big time, big time. Maybe you’ve heard of him.

~~~~~~~

Please check out my remodeled website and my latest books:

Just A Boy ~ A childhood memoir

Just a Man ~ A book of encouragement

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Speaking of Gary Williams

What? … Oh, I know we weren’t speaking of him, but I saw a post his sister, Karen, put on Facebook, and it made me want to share this with y’all again. He’s a fine fellow, and he just loves to poke fun at me about some of the adventures (incidents) I write about. I don’t mind; the old fart is getting along in years, and his memory isn’t that sharp anymore, so I let him prattle on. I know he doesn’t mean any harm, and when it comes to being quick witted, he’s pretty much a non-threat. But enough about that; let me tell you how me and ol’ Gare squared off for the tennis championship one fine spring day.

………………

minion tennis I was a junior, and Gary was a senior (again). He’d been on the tennis team all six years he was in high school, and because of the longevity of his career, he was the best player on the team. Of course, everything is relative, and you have to understand that nobody played tennis at our little high school in those days—except girls… and Gary. He was the only guy on our tennis team, and thus, as I said, the best we had.

We did, however, have to play tennis in PE class. It wasn’t something most of us enjoyed—except Gary—but it was only for a few weeks each year, and we tolerated it. Gary hated it, because most of us—even some of the freshmen—could beat him. He was, by the way, undefeated in conference play. The school refused to haul him to away games, and none of the other schools in our conference would bring one guy to our campus just to play Gary. But! He never lost!

It was pretty comical when tennis season would roll around in PE class. We all had to wear the basic PE uniform; blue shorts and a white T-shirt, but not Gary. No way! He showed up in his starched white shorts and dazzlingly bright white polo shirt, with this red scarf around his neck. He kind of reminded us of Snoopy when he does the Red Baron thing, except—thank goodness—Gary wore pants.

Gary somehow fell mysteriously ill during PE tennis season his senior year. Rumor was he had mono, but we all knew he couldn’t possibly have that. It was common knowledge you got it from kissing girls, and there was no way Gary could have gotten it. Just sayin.

Due to an unfortunate miscalculation on his part, Gary showed up for the last day of PE tennis. He tried to fake a fainting spell and get excused but Coach Ramsey just grinned and said he’d have to play. It was the last day, as I said—the day we had our tournament—and as you might guess, I wound up playing against Gary for the championship. It wasn’t like we had a big double elimination tournament or anything like that; we simply blasted the ball around the court until most everybody got tired and took a seat on the benches beside the court. Gary and I happened to be the last two on the court.

I walked up to the net—Gary stood back at the serving line, eyeing me warily as I approached—and when I arrived at the net, I said, “One game for the championship?”

Gary looked over at all the other guys and Coach; they were all grinning at him, and he turned red as a baboon’s butt in the summertime, then yelled at me in his high-pitched voice, “You’re on!” It was more of a whine than a yell, but I’m trying to give him some credit for at least accepting the challenge.

I won’t bore you with the details, but I beat him pretty soundly. Not that I was any good at the game—I wouldn’t admit it if I was, because it wasn’t cool to be good at tennis in those days—but, truth be known, Gary was simply too big and slow for the game. He likes to tease me about how slow I was back then, but I heard one of the baseball coaches laughing one time and saying how Gary was slower than a moose in a mud bog. It was sadly true.

So there you go; the story of how I beat the school tennis champ at his own game.

 

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All Things Considered

In the mid-eighties, I spent a few blurry years in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and it was there I ran into a guy by the name of Rooster Myrick. I don’t recall how we met, or where, but it was a match made in… well, we made a good team. That is if you were looking to cut a wide swath through life, kickin’ butts, taking no names, and never using your real one.

Rooster was a big, good looking guy, and he’s even bigger now but his looks have gone a bit south on him. At the time we met he was a lean, mean 240 pounds stacked on a six-foot-six frame. There’s been debate over the years about his height, but the man is tall, ain’t no doubt about it.

We partied hard back in the day, and a few of those parties took place at Elephant Butte Reservoir, south of Albuquerque near the town of Truth or Consequences. For real, folks, that’s the name of the town.

It was on one of our trips to said lake, my propensity for incidents reared its ugly head, and Rooster (so he claims) was nearly a victim. Like I’ve said before, I never set out to do anyone harm, or cause trouble, but sometimes folks were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. With me.

I had a souped-up ’85 Chevy pickup at the time, and man that thing could haul a boat uphill. I won’t go into the boring details but suffice it to say it was a mean machine. Anyhow, one morning we decided to take a cruise around the lake and see what there was to see. I was driving, Rooster had shotgun, and another of our pals from ABQ was in the middle. Of course, we all had a beer in hand. I mean, after all, it was only a few hours ‘til noon, and it’s quite possible it was five o’clock somewhere. And besides, at the lake it didn’t matter what time it was.

pickup rideThere were some jeep trails out where we were and seeing as how the “truck” was four-wheel-drive, we decided to give one of those trails a whirl. Well, I decided. Kind of sudden-like, too. It was like, there was this dirt path going up a hill, and I said, “Hey! Let’s do some four-wheelin’, boys!”

Well, we shot up that little hill, and I never even asked Joe to hold my beer. Shoot. The truck had an automatic transmission, and any old fool can drive with one hand. I got to tell you though, the ride got pret-ty hairy, pret-ty quick. There were some sharp turns where we couldn’t see nothing but air out front of the truck, and I can’t even put to print some of the things Joe and Rooster was saying. Me, I was laughing like a crazy man, and hanging close to the side of the hill. Heck. We weren’t even going that fast! I couldn’t figure what they were so concerned about.

Then, quite sudden-like, the trail got real steep, and the tires lost traction. We began to slide backward down the narrow trail, and that when the screaming started. Darndest thing I ever heard! Took me a minute to realize it was coming from the fellas riding with me. I coulda swore a couple of ten-year old girls had somehow gotten into the pickup. Those two big ol’ boys were shrieking like someone had stole their beer coolers.

Well, anyhow, we somehow got situated and were able to get down the hill. Them boys were quiet for a while, but then started in calling me names and threatening bodily harm if I ever pulled another stunt like that. I just did some guffawing and grinning, thinking they’d get over it by beer-thirty (noon).

When we got to the bottom of the hill, a young fella was sitting there on his motorcycle, and he waved at us to stop. I pulled up beside him and asked what was up. He said, “Dude! Are you crazy, or what?” I give him a grin, and Rooster and Joe hollered, “Yes!”

I took a swig of flat beer—it gets like that when you shake it up too much, and the ride up that hill had done us some shaking for sure. “Whatchootalkinbout, Willis?” I said to the kid.

He shook his head in that way that, says, “Yep. Dudes plumb loco.” Then he said, “That’s a motorcycle trail you just tried to climb!”

Joe and Rooster about went nuts when they heard that. Called me things they’d left out before.

Me, I said, “Well… we did pretty good then. All things considered.”

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A Fidget Spinner Samich!

pbjIt’s not anything like the Tide Pod thing, so don’t even go there, but I ate a fidget spinner samich for lunch today. Sort of. Actually, it was a grilled peanut butter and jam sandwich, the eating of which spun out of control. We were down to the bottom of the jar of peanut butter, you see. There was more than enough for the sandwich, but so little was left in the jar, I figured, why not and just put it all on the sandwich. I saw it as a challenge, and it was! You know how it is. You take a bite, and the jam and peanut butter squish out everywhere. So, what do you do? Well, me, I spin it around and take a bite where the most stuff is squishing out, then repeat the process. Sure, some fell onto my plate, but that just made me spin it faster, and by the time I got finished, I was quite calm and satisfied. I never put much stock in the fidget spinner craze, but now… I’m thinking they might be onto something.

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The Rest of the Story

Okay, it was a beautiful day, and playing golf was almost a necessity. I love to take pictures while I golf and share them on Facebook with all my friends and family. Some of them—mostly those that work during the day—aren’t as appreciative of the beautiful pictures and funny quips attached to them as others but, hey, you can’t please everybody all the time.

orange ballSo yesterday, I posted this picture of the brightest orange golf ball I’ve ever seen (the picture doesn’t do it justice) and said some funny things about it. It’s a good thing I took the picture, because I put the ball in a water hazard a few holes later. (It would have stayed in the fairway if it hadn’t hit that tree.) Anyhow… here’s the rest of the story:

I found the orange ball behind the third tee box, which happens to have a major thoroughfare running behind it. The ball surprisingly was inside a bank bag. Yep. One of those big ones that looks like a canvas trash bag. I’m sure you’ve seen them in a movie—or cartoon—on TV. It had the name of a local bank on it, so after I finished my round (by the way, there wasn’t any money in it) I drove down the street behind said third tee box to see if there was a branch of the bank nearby. Sure enough, at the first big intersection, there it was.

So… being the upstanding citizen I am, I pulled in and walked into the bank with the bag. They must’ve all thought I was somebody important, because every teller and two guys sitting at desks immediately began to stare at me. A couple of the gals looked scared, which I could not make sense of. I’m not the handsomest fella you’ll run into but jeez, y’all.

I didn’t notice the security guard when I went in, but he was suddenly behind me, and had a gun in my back. “Don’t move,” he said. I moved.

Not only did I move, I yelled, “Bank robbery!” then turned and slapped the gun out of his hand. He lost all his nerve at that and ran out the front door waving his arms. My first thought was he wasn’t much of a bank robber, and then I grinned, thinking, what kind of idiot wears a rent-a-cop uniform to rob a bank. Amazingly—much to my delight—a police car slid to a stop in front of the bank, and two cops jumped out. Nice! I thought. They got him before he could get away. Imagine my confusion when the cops ran right past the robber and busted in the door pointing their guns at me. I thought maybe they’d seen another robber behind me, so I turned and looked toward the teller windows. Everybody was gone. I found out a few minutes later they were still there, but they’d ducked down behind the counter, and the two guys at their desks had crawled under them.

One of the cops yelled, “Freeze!” The other one shouted, “Don’t move!” Then the first one said, “Drop the bag!” And the second one said, “Put your hands in the air!” Seemed they might’ve done this before. They were very well rehearsed.

I turned around to face them and said, “You talkin ta me?” In what I thought was a good Italian accent. They were not amused.

It took some doing, but I finally convinced them I wasn’t a bank robber, and after a trip to the station where they fingerprinted me and told me not to leave town, they let me go. So… if you want some good advice; If you find a bank bag on the golf course—anywhere for that matter—leave it there.

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