Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com.
This is the Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.
We’ve got stories by:
News at Six
by Jeffrey Fischer
The demographics for TV news must skew so old that one wonders if anyone stays awake for the second half-hour. Ads for geriatrics predominate: drugs for cancer, drugs to keep one’s bowels moving, upcoming golf tournaments – and Depends diapers, too. The only youngsters seen in ads are either visiting Grandpa in the hospital or waxing enthusiastic about the wonders of Chevrolets.
One can only imagine where young people go to find news. Twitter? Worse, Facebook? Sketchy web sites? Under a volcano? All I know is that Americans seem increasingly uninformed about the world around them yet increasingly confident in those uninformed opinions.
It was too warm. The temperature was two degrees above normal for the month. The other dentists and I went to Hawaii for the Annual Tooth Tour. We stayed at The Toucan lodge, shared with the band that played nightly at the Toon Saloon, just under the outfall of Kīlauea on the Southern Shore.
The second night, a lava stream burned through the back wall of the bar and bottles of expensive rye whiskey and scotch exploded, sending a chunk of glass into the forehead of our lawyer, Don.
Don shook it off and ordered another round before we evacuated.
#1 – Pick Two
The instruction was simple – pick two – but there were just far too many to choose from.
It’s always been this way: I go to pieces when I’m given a choice…
Pizza toppings terrify me; I go through hell picking lottery numbers; and I can never decide which particular parking space to pick. Never offer me the box of chocolates, just pick one and give it to me!
I just wish I hadn’t asked my careers adviser to choose my profession for me: Bomb disposal is a bad choice when you can never decide which wire you should cut.
#2 – Italy
I recently toured Italy and did all the usual things – threw coins in the Trevi Fountain, got ripped off by a gondolier and had gelato in the piazza, Florence.
I visited Pompeii and marvelled at the casts of those poor people, caught and preserved forever in their death poses.
I stayed in Naples, but I was never comfortable – that volcano brooding over me terrified me.
It wasn’t so much being buried in ash and dying horribly that worried me. It was the thought of tourists in two thousand years laughing at my petrified genitals that creeped me out!
#3 – Toothache
My tooth hurts.
It’s a volcano of pain exploding through my jaw and I can’t get an appointment for two weeks.
I’ve tried everything – painkillers, oil of cloves and whisky, in every possible combination, with no effect.
I’ve tried yanking it out with string and attacking it with pliers. I asked a friend to punch me in the face, hard, twice – didn’t work.
I’ve tried fooling my brain – inflicting pain elsewhere to take my mind off the tooth. I’ve stabbed, cut, burned and bludgeoned myself, and still my tooth hurts.
Trouble is, everything else hurts now, too!
Haven’t Written This Same Story Before?
Jimmy Too Small was a second story man. Technically a member of the Delmonty Family, but that was just a courtesy. His specialty was Pre-Divorcee acquisitions. Often arranged by the Mother-In-Law to secure and retain family heirlooms. You know how nature compensates when a soul is lacking. Well Jimmy’s small stature was compensated by a hyper-sensitivity in his fingers and ears. Wasn’t a safe he couldn’t crack. Also had a wicked sense of humor. He leave a Polaroid of the loot in said safe. “Kid cracks me up,” said Don Delmonty. His X thought different, and pull Jimmy on Ice.
Two for the Volcano, by the Toucan
Oh that this too, too solid flesh would melt away.
Well, at least half of it. There’s two of us. It’s the date from Hell.
I took her to the Volcano Room at ‘Vegas’ new sensation, the Pompeii. I got the best seats in the house. We had already taken the hotel tour, and as I had noticed she had a sweet tooth I ordered the Zupa Anglais.
The singing toucan looked more like a toon than animatronics, but he still had more personality than she had[. Women think we look at their boobs: we really look at their eyes.
A Couple’s Life
When the young couple decided to take a tour of Toon Tooth Park to see the new volcano exhibit, they had no idea that this would change their lives significantly.
They walked side by side, sure of themselves, feeling positive that they’d have an entertaining day.
But a crazy man dressed in a foamy toucan outfit decided to act like an annoying clown and leaped about around them. He was so irritating that the young couple pulled out two shotguns each and put an end to the nonsense.
They are now living near a real volcano in Iceland, the Eyjafjallajökull.
A stuffed toucan, half a stale loaf, a mouldy old mattress and a six pack of Czechoslovakian lager. What do these have in common?
They’re some of the increasingly dubious offerings offered to placate Nargron, the volcano god, in recent weeks.
Nargron – that’s me, by the way – is fed up with it, the place looks like a tip and these are hardly offerings of a people awed by my presence.
So it’s about time you showed some respect and started back with the human sacrifices… And, if you don’t, I might have to stop being quite so magma-nanimous!
Growing up as a twin in the 60’s and 70’s wasn’t easy. People made fun of us because of the Double Mint gum commercials. It always featured twins doing active things. People would ask why we weren’t in a commercial. Were we too ugly to be on TV?
Besides. We weren’t very active. A commercial of us watching Gilligan’s Island would be pretty boring.
It didn’t matter after seventh grade, though.
Someone said to Roger, “You two look so much the same, you must be fags.”
Ignoring each other was easier than being bullied.
We didn’t talk again until college.
Future topic: Ferris wheel
Too Finicky Sam, the Toon Toucan, took a tour of the volcano to
determine which of two locations would make a better villain base.
First up, a canopy covered cave by the beach was an oasis, but there
was no hidden dock for his transportation. The second sight of
intricate interlacing pathways to the interior volcano had vast
appeal, but a base so close to the center was a danger in the case of
a lava explosion. Sam had to decide quick! His rival, Toothy Tony,
the Terrible Tiger, was arriving on a second helicopter and Sam wanted
“FIRE above FIRE, the dragon over the volcano,” I read from the yarrow stalks, pandering to Rebel Chang’s populism. The volcano was clearly the rebellious people, the dragon, Chang himself.
Among these rebels who had abducted me, only I was educated enough to read the yarrow stalks, so I simply picked a suitable hexagram.
I continued, “The two fires united, create; divided, destroy.” That was ambivalent enough to be a prophesy of however things developed. I did not expect to live through the coming troubles, and like any court astrologer, I mainly wanted to be seen to have predicted everything.
George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
Unlike other pirates, who had monkeys and parrots on their shoulder, George had a toucan than he’d picked up from some trader.
Unlike a parrot, the toucan didn’t talk.
And unlike a monkey, it didn’t screech or dance around.
The toucan pretty much spent all of its time flapping madly or trying to gouge out George’s eyes with its beak, or bite off his fingers.
One night, the toucan got loose from its cage and flew off.
George replaced it with a ham sandwich, which was significantly less dangerous.