One week ago I asked Art of Doing Stuff readers to write a story. It all started with the fella’s first sentence,
“I’d done it a thousand times before”
From there, you, the readers each added a sentence until you had created … The Greatest Story Ever Told.
Here … is that story.
The story is written in different colours to make it easier to see where a new reader’s sentence starts.
Colours do not correspond to any particular reader/writer. If your sentence was cut it isn’t because it was bad. It’s because it wasn’t good.
Just kidding. Some sentences had to be removed to help the story make sense. Any kind of sense at all.
I’d done it a thousand times before.
There was NO GOOD reason for me to be so nervous. I’d used the alleyway to and from my home every day since I was a child. The night was still, frogs were croaking an eerie tune in the misty night. It usually smelled rank and musty, but today it smelled like the cheap perfume used to cover up an odor.
So I decided to open up all of the windows in the house to let the balmy fresh air in, the breeze and the ceiling fans reminded me of why I moved to the Caribbean in the first place
The chickens appeared to be tucked in soundly despite the howling wind whipping at the well build coop.
So I grabbed my hammer and decided to go for it. Much like my sanity, the coop door had come unhinged.
I clutched the hammer and gritted my teeth as I proceeded to the chook house, I was determined to fix that door, just as I had done with the VCR all those years ago!
As luck would have it, that’s when I saw a huge butterfly coming right at me! It’s enormous, fluttering wings pulled the air from all around me spinning leaves and small pebbles into the air!
I realized this was one of the most unique alleyway that must exist, with it’s balmy Caribbean breeze, the frogs, the chickens, my front door (open for ventilation with fans on) opening pretty much directly to it, and now this amazing butterfly.. so I decided to set all nerves aside, and get to work with that hammer.
Alleyways, chickens, inclement weather, and I’m standing there with a hammer in my hands…my mind is definitely Bog-gled, for once. Then a sound!
Sven the handsomely well ripped pool guy stood at my front door ringing my doorbell and asking for assistance – I wasn’t too sure whether to give him a good hammering with my hammer or…to invite him in for a nice refreshing yogurt popsicle.
I hissed “Why are you ringing the doorbell? I told you to come through the window”. I paused my tirade to glance nervously over his burly shoulder and saw the fella, reading “a thousand shades of gray.” what in the world? I asked. I could have sworn he was out building a… man-trap for Sven.
No matter. I still had that carafe of chianti left over from Thanksgiving.
Fella slipped into the bedroom to put his trousers back on while I rounded up some glasses for the chianti. As I entered the kitchen, something moving in the corner caught my eye.
It was the Fella’s Father, with a fork deep in the apple pie he was holding (a true pie, you see).
Step away from that pie, I shouted!! There’s work to be done. I now had 3 burly men in the house to take care of my little problem in the dank – but well organized basement. The Fella with his gleaming teeth, his Father with his fork, and Sven with his low slung tool belt. Follow me to the cellar boys, don’t be chicken…
Holding it with his crippled feet as he sat on the floor, the fork held as if it were a dagger, his eyes blood red, the fella’s father was drooling profusely when suddenly…OMG ! NO! NO!
Sven checking out his bronzed oiled gorgeousness in the mirror missed seeing the top stair descending into the cellar and tumbled down taking the Fella with him and landed directly onto the fork which lodged in his….. tool….belt. Sven let out a shriek like a little girl while clutching his tool belt with both hands. “No, no…not my custom made Doing Stuff tool belt”, he sobbed.
Now we were in complete darkness and as I groped around to find a flashlight, I felt something crawl up my leg. I looked around in shock as a giant hole in the basement floor opened up.
Chuckles the Chicken was digging an escape route from the backyard. Chuckles knew a day like this had been coming for a while and had hatched a plan with her side kick Satay – a hen with special covert Ninja tricks up her wings.
This was apparently not her first attempt….I will never forget the shocked look on her guilty little face! And the gleeful cackle as she went about her sinister plot.
With a tiny little miners hat on – pick and axe in wings – Chuckles stared up at the three stooges with a bit of an upper hand in this.
“Eep!” she squawked, as Sven unimpaled himself from the fork, the Fella wiped the apple pie from his trousers, the Fella’s dad hollered out, “Where’s my pie, where’s my pie???” and Karen slithered to a corner, unable to process the horrid scene before her.
It was up to the PRS (poultry rescue squad) to save the day.
And save it they did! In true chicken style they… grabbed their precious tomatoes and ran to Karen to assist her with that bottle of wine, leaving the three men marveled or mystified by what they just witnessed.
But what I had been ignoring, until my sub-consciousness put my consciousness on full alert, was that between my toes and fingers, little pin feathers were starting to appear. I’m not sure what alerted me first, the sensation of these pesky little barbs, or the fact that these appendages had an unmistakable smell, fragrance really, much like…
Antojitos dipped in BBQ sauce, but how could that be? Uncle Swifty was still in Tibet!….
I was BECOMING! Keeping quiet about the sprouting pin feathers, I would wait till I was fully fledged. At night I would practice, practice, practice! Soon there would be stories far and wide about a mysterious flying chicken woman!
But not before I found some mason jars in which to pour the Chianti… so unchicken-like to drink out of the bottle!
I don’t know how much longer I could keep my secret hidden, the fella couldn’t figure out what was going on why I was up half the night, but I had to practice, practice.
I sank down onto the kitchen floor, spoon in hand and polished off the last of the white trash salad. Now I was able to think more clearly.
But wait … what’s this hiding in the salad? Could it be …
The center ruby from the queen’s stolen tiara!
Then it began to rain and the sump pump came on… everything suddenly became dead quiet, a thick cloud of guilt and suspicion hung in the air like a bad fart.
With a chianti buzz and me sprouting feathers, the fella wondering what the hell is going on, Sven running half naked through my garden and fella’s father in the basement weeping over the missing pie, I thought, maybe I’d phone my mother or sister but then that thought was cut off by a maniacal scream…
Yep and you guessed it – with the sump pump working overtime, Chuckles got stuck in the drain…the pressure was building so fast that no-one had time to do anything other than say ‘Holy guacamole’ followed by a thundering BOOM as the sump… sucked up chuckles and was going for the fella .
Being a Bogs Ambasador I knew I had to take control of the situation.
Should I save the fella,or cave into the fact that I clearly always have
had a secret passion for that goddamn handsome Sven, I wiped the stench of death off my face and put a plan into action……..
Suddenly I came to my senses and thought ‘aha! I live in the Caribbean!’ So I put my Bogs on and took Sven, my chicken, the bottle of Chianti and a fifth of gin, a bag of Doritos, some Kale from my garden and my jar to make 10 minute butter in and headed to the beach with some suntan lotion and a bucket…
I’m gonna dig me some clams!
I quickly grabbed the Maldon salt and the beginnings of another quinoa salad..
But quinoa salad doesn’t go well with gin so I also grabbed some pizza sauce to emulsify the mixture while on the beach with my butter jar – this way the clams I find will have a nice sauce to go along with the butter I make.
I was having trouble thinking straight, hmmm, sunstroke, no doubt. Blast this blazing Caribbean sun! What we needed was a nice mellow week at the cabin. Yeah, that’s the ticket … one thing lead to another… and … a clam bit me on my toe!
I said to myself “but I’m a vegetarian”.
He was just about done when a voice behind us yelled ….. Look out for the gigantic flying naked man!
I was going to be crushed, but thankfully he landed in that damn maple tree, knocking down 1,478,927 more leaves that I would have to rake after this fiasco was over.
“They sure don’t make bungee cords like they used to”, he said as he rolled out of the bushes to the right of the maple.
And off he
lumbered, in search of a tiny morsel, because he was feeling slightly peckish.
Cutting his head open on the spile and hook sticking out of the tree; just where was the sugaring bucket anyway? Ah yes, now I remember, the sugar bucket was on the damn beach because I am in the Caribbean so I ambled back to the beach in my bogs to meet up with Sven so he could put some homemade 10 minute butter on my clam toe bite when all of the sudden… well apart from the beach party, a dirty great flash of lightening revealed……..
A baby doll head with green glowing eyes. She had a huge, leering grin that made me feel as if she wanted to bite everything from the ankle up. I couldn’t help myself from staring but, all I could think about was how much those eyes reminded me of the zebra stripe green tomatoes that I had put in a basket this morning carefully layered with newspaper so I might enjoy them in December.
Then suddenly appeared off in the distance….the Mercedes Benz of refrigerators! The Meneghini slowly lifting itself as it were out of the deep blue of the ocean floor! I ambled over to the fridge and cracked open one of the beautifully made french doors only to find a bottle of wine and a shoe inside
Then, I opened the freezer section… and gleefully remembered, much to my relief, that I had decided to freeze, for just such a momen … two frog legs, a black shoe lace, four carrot tops, juice of two kiwis and a half pound of … swamp grass fished out of the pond, with a side of lampshade that was easily converted into a one of a kind original dollar store work of art chandelier!
But wait……sticking through the swamp grass was a bloody and frost bitten finger (I knew it was a finger due to the chipped purple nail polish it brandished), that when followed led to an equally withered … half a pound of brussels sprouts!
Knowing that brussels sprouts were devil’s food and the fella screaming about something wrong with his foot from the gym and infected orifices in the same sentence, Karen knew that the devil was at work in her newly remodeled repurposed Caribbean getaway so it was vital that she … go back to the beach, have a Dorito and wash it down with a swig of gin!
There appeared a decrepit shack belonging to the local swamp rat, Juan des’ Jones-Smith. (sigh)
No! Not Juan Des Jones-smith!! My long lost brother of my father’s wifes cousins best friends uncles girlfriends step mothers brother in law who just so happens to know Sven — I must get back to the beach to… grab my wine and get the hell out of there! After all….no one, not even Juan, no one could fix a vacuum like me. I was needed back in Oh Canada! Just then, I felt something tighten around my neck. “No Juan”! I screamed!
Then whacked him on the head with the bag of Doritos and before a long painful silence in communication occurred, no-one said anything but then fellas dad who had been sleeping off his pie and trash stepped into the fray and…. quietly replied, “In the forty years that I have been moderating these debates I have never been exposed to such “clap trap”. How can any of you………. understand what is going on here.
I’ve never been so confused in all my life…except that one time when I woke up in … my birthday suit in the middle of Central Park. They said dance like no one is watching. Who knew they didn’t mean that literally? Now here I am stuck in a nightmare of epic proportions with my….. dollar store gift card, a chicken wing and a prayer.
Which all (except for the prayer) conveniently fitted into one of the hacked Country Living style baskets made in case of an emergency situation like this.
Well I guess I’ll eat the wing and the say a prayer that no one notices me as I stroll through the dollar store
And the moral of the story is…
…never, never eat brussels spouts before going to bed…
And they all lived happily ever after.
Or is it?