Tagged: foreign lands

“I Don’t Trust Your Ideas”

  • by jenground patrol had proved ineffective
  • arrested in London
  • You think your great big husband will protect you?
  • Six hours after injection
  • you’re never going to win the lottery

Tune In Next Time Part 10                              Click Here for Earlier Installments

“I don’t trust your ideas,” Tessa spat. “Not after London.”

I winced, remembering how my idea for ground patrol had proved ineffective during the Barclay’s bank heist, leading to Tessa being arrested in London, and John and me in Birmingham. The charges hadn’t stuck, but it had been an unpleasant couple of weeks for the three of us and apparently Tessa held a grudge.

“Things are different now,” I said.

“I should have listened to John all those years ago when he tried to warn me about you. He was there at our wedding you know, trying to talk me out of it. He said, ‘You think your great big husband will protect you? That asshole only wants to get into your pants. You don’t believe me? Go ahead and marry him. Six hours after injection, or ejaculation, or whatever you want to call it, he’ll be out the door. Girls always want to be lucky in love, but you Tessa, you’re never going to win the lottery.'” She turned back to glare daggers at me. “And he was right.”

“That wasn’t a real wedding, babe. You know that! It was all part of the plan.”

“Your plans suck. This time it’s my turn to be in charge. Now here’s what we’ll do…”

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At That Moment

  • by jendo not leave a trace
  • the best-looking guy in the room
  • the adults took turns
  • “That was a game, wasn’t it?”
  • I know you’re part Indian!

Tune In Next Time Part 8                              Click Here for Earlier Installments

At that moment Tessa’s eyes rolled back and she slumped to the floor, the giraffe-hide briefcase slipping from her grip. She should have remembered that I’m quite partial to contact-tranquilizers (especially the kinds that do not leave a trace on a tox screen), and always smeared them liberally on the handles of all of my briefcases.

I pulled a pair of soggy gloves from my pocket and wrung the seawater out of them. I may not be the best-looking guy in the room, but I’m usually the cleverest. When I was young and the only child in the cult, the adults took turns teaching me the many skills they used to evade the authorities. No matter how challenging the lesson I always laughed and said, “That was a game, wasn’t it?” That attitude got me far in life.

But enough about me.

John still stood just inside the doorway, eyeing Tessa on the floor. Or, more likely, eyeing the briefcase.

“I can’t let you have it,” he said without looking at me. “I know you’re part Indian! I know you’ll sell it to your cohorts back in Mumbai!”

I chuckled at his total misapprehension of my motives, and that’s when he pounced.

 

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The Burly Man Grabbed My Hand

  • by jenshook it till it rang
  • I don’t know you, and I don’t want to
  • shaped like a yellow submarine
  • a first look at the primate HQ
  • “Oh, and David Copperfield too.”

The burly man grabbed my hand and shook it till it rang, clanking all my metal bracelets together and causing me to think, “I don’t know you, and I don’t want to!” When he finally released his grip, the back of my hand sported a bruise shaped like a yellow submarine, only not the one the Beatles sang about. It was shaped like the canary yellow submersible the undersea explorers used when they finally, after years of searching, located the lost aquatic gorilla habitat and got a first look at the primate HQ complex. I’m sure you’ve seen the video.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” the burly man said, trying to look down my blouse. When he noticed my boyfriend standing right beside me, he added dismissively, “Oh, and David Copperfield too.”

That’s when my boyfriend, who is named David, but not Copperfield, punched the burly man in the eye, leaving a mark that more resembled a map of Antarctica than any underwater vehicle I’ve ever seen.

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Everybody Knows The Move

  • the gray grim gut-punch of Newcastle
    k-avatar
  • the unlucky and the morally dyslexic
  • launching attacks against
  • that charming smile people had come to expect
  • unless you’re some kind of a rockstar

Everybody knows the move I’m about to try. It’s called the Gray Grim Gut-Punch of Newcastle, and it’s the tactic of last resort of the unlucky and the morally dyslexic, both of which categories I fit into quite neatly. They all know it, and they know I’m just that desperate, as I must be if I’m launching attacks against the Wiggins, the gang that owns these streets, and has done since the Magna Carta, ruffians and cutpurses and freelance assassins all. My desperation move is going to be totally expected, and without the element of surprise there’s just no point even trying the Gray Grim Gut-Punch of Newcastle, because it takes so long to set it up. It’s hopeless. So I flash that charming smile people had come to expect, the smile that prefaces all my attempts at talking my way out of a drubbing. And it tilts things just enough, gets the Wiggins convinced I’m hoping my hyperdeveloped vocabulary will save me and makes them stop watching the real windup. Whump! The horrendous, retching, gagging grunt that heaves out of the first one I Gut-Punch paralyzes his mates, and by the time any of them unfreeze I’ve laid out two others. Sure, the totally expected move is pointless, unless you’re some kind of a rockstar, or at least know how to smile like one.

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“How Much Do You Drink?” She Asked.

  • by jenHow much do you drink?
  • on the Indonesian island of Flores
  • looks pretty cute in his mugshot
  • vital, sunburnt, carefree
  • dazed but not seriously injured

How much do you drink?” she asked.

“Like I’m on vacation on the Indonesian island of Flores,” he assured.

She eyed him with a smirk. “You look like a guy who looks pretty cute in his mugshot: vital, sunburnt, carefree. Like the bar fight you were arrested for left you dazed but not seriously injured.”

He shrugged and she admired his lazy smile. “But in any case, you have the right to remain silent.” She cuffed his wrists together behind his back. “I’ll have to ask the booking officer if I can have a copy of your mugshot to see if I’m right.”

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Joseph Made a Habit

  • k-avatarsneering at cultures
  • commodity as fetish
  • aped the follies and vices
  • “Shell? Milk? Moon? Jasmine? Crystal? Snowflake?
  • coupled with cruelty

Joseph made a habit of sneering at cultures lacking decadence, peoples who simply aped the follies and vices of wild animals pursuing crude gratification. So when traveling to Svenborgia, he naturally booked his ticket on the official national airline. And naturally, he flew first class.

“Shell? Milk? Moon? Jasmine? Crystal? Snowflake?” importuned the stewardess. Her almond eyes and alabaster complexion marked her as deep-lineage Svenborgian. Ah, theirs was a truly magnificent decadence: commodity as fetish.

“Alabaster,” replied Joseph with a wink. The stewardess laid aside her tray and led him to the lavatory, where they kissed with sang-froid and coupled with cruelty.

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It Was a One-Way Window

  • k-avatar“Squint your eyes
  • but he’s a whizdang now!
  • noise made down here
  • It was a one-way window
  • felt a minor isolated quiver
  • A tourist in Glasgow!
  • They call me Smith
  • should keep it sharpened

It was a one-way window with a no-way view, because of all the green smoke in the interrogation room. Harold wondered if this was normal Scottish police procedure.

“Squint your eyes and you can just see the point of his hat!” proclaimed Harold’s new partner, Seamus MacCallahan. “Lafferty used to be a siphontopper, but he’s a whizdang now! Aye!”

Harold didn’t bother squinting, because he still remembered Lafferty’s tall, blue wizard’s hat, and the matching robes. He thought they should be more concerned with whether the suspect was still in the room, and no amount of squinting was going to help with that.

They call me Smith,” said a booming, gravelly voice from somewhere in the roiling smoke. Harold felt a minor isolated quiver in his left arm. Something about the Caledonian weather, no doubt. Just this morning he’d been a tourist. A tourist in Glasgow! But now he was a detective inspector in Edinburgh, and he was determined to do his best.

Lafferty didn’t ask any questions. The unseen Smith spoke, his voice like cumulonimbus fender-benders, like no noise made down here on terra firma. “One thing my teacher always told me about my pencil,” Smith droned, “I should keep it sharpened.”

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This Trip to Europe

  • by jenthree bogus sailors
  • the “terrible danger of touching symbols”
  • likes to touch the rancid crust
  • the spectacle of the guillotine
  • in the crevices of history

This trip to Europe is not going well. Yolanda refuses to heed her parents’ lectures about the “terrible dangers of touching symbols” in foreign countries, and gleefully loses herself in the crevices of history museums and open air markets. Hours later they find her, marveling at the spectacle of the guillotine, or digging through the garbage bin beside the bakery stall. In both cases Yolanda declares that she likes to touch the rancid crust. The very next day they catch her in the company of three bogus sailors, heading into a pub called the Salty Dog. Yolanda’s parents vow never to take her on vacation again.

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Our Plans Worked to Perfection

  • k-avatarscreen door of his sleeping porch
  • impatiently explains to strangers
  • very sore and humiliated
  • save for spasmodic jumping
  • Our plans worked to perfection

Our plans worked to perfection, save for spasmodic jumping. We didn’t anticipate that side effect. The rats showed no such symptoms during our preliminary experiments, and we still haven’t pinned down the cause. Anyway, Fleming is very sore and humiliated, and I find it delightful to observe as he impatiently explains to strangers, through the screen door of his sleeping porch, that he’s a government agent working deep cover to expose illicit and unethical psychological research at the university. He evidently doesn’t know we carted him across the border, and these strangers don’t speak English.

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I’m No Slouch

by jen

  • fertile ground for unintentional comedy
  • bustling up from his chair
  • I’m no slouch
  • leave it alone
  • find myself craving the famous borscht

I’m no slouch, but my Russian is not as good as it could be. I try to tell the ambassador that whenever I am in Moscow I find myself craving the famous borscht. Who knows what I actually say. The ambassador cries, “Leave it alone, leave it alone!” while bustling up from his chair, his face as red as the beets the soup is made from. Cultural misunderstandings are fertile ground for unintentional comedy, but they make diplomacy a bitch.

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