Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com. I’m your host, Laurence Simon.
This is Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.
The topic this week was HASH.
We’ve got stories by:
- Cliff – Uncle Monster
- Dionysis Clowes
- Norval Joe
- Tura Brezoianu
- Planet Z
The next 100 word stories weekly challenge is on the topic of COOL
Finally, if there are any errors or corrections, please let me know, and I’ll fix them as soon as possible.
“Everyone knows what SPAM is”
by John Musico
I’ve always wanted to know what SPAM really is.
The letters on the can are capitalized. What does the acronym stand for?
What is SPAM anyhow? So, I did some digging-
One theory is that it stands for SPiced hAM.
Problem is; it isn’t really spiced.
SPAM contains only salt and sugar; I’d hardly call that spiced.
The main ingredients are Shoulder of Pork and hAM; S.P.A.M.
That does fit. In case it throws you, yes “ham” is also pork-
“ham” denotes that the cut comes specifically from the buttocks.
Finally, the mysteries of the mystery meat have been unveiled!
The Truest Measure of Wealth
by Jeffrey Fischer
As a child, Brendan would often eat corned beef hash for dinner. His mother would add a can of the meat, always an unhealthy color, to potatoes and onions, then sautéed it on the stove until it attained the flavor of charcoal.
Brendan’s father would pretend that this was a gourmet meal, and the kids would pretend they enjoyed it. None of them were good actors. As Brendan grew older, he realized the best acting job was his mother’s, as she never let the children know the extent of their poverty. According to her, everything the family did, from outings in the country to eating hash, was no less fine than the wealthiest nobles enjoyed. And so it was.
by Jeffrey Fischer
Ricardo shook his head. “Bobby, you’ve really made a hash of it this time.” Good help was so hard to find. Sure, the recruits were eager to learn. They wanted to show the boss they were up to the job, and they wanted the chance to shine. So often, however, when Ricardo gave them the opportunity they screwed up so badly that Ricardo himself was left to pick up the pieces.
Such was Bobby’s mess today. He had tried disposing of the body in an acid bath, succeeding only in putting numerous chemical burns on the corpse. He then tried to hack up the body, but he underestimated the strength and energy required for someone that size to fit into a trash bag that small.
“Bobby, you first start with the head…”
#1 – George’s Story: Part 53 – Memories
George may have started to remember the past – but now, try as he might, all his attempts at further recollection were an abject failure.
Eventually, Emily left him to it, returning after a couple of hours to check on his progress. She found George sat on the floor, his head in his hands and surrounded by piles of crumpled-up paper.
“It’s no good – I can’t remember a damn thing! I’m not even sure I ever played cricket any more! I’m sorry… I’ve made a complete hash of things again.”
“Yes you have”, smiled Emily, “never mind… fancy a joint?”
#2 – Symbolism
The Office for the Reintroduction of Forgotten Indicators, Characters and Expressions – ORiFICE for short – quietly works, unnoticed by most, to reinstate typographical nuances that might otherwise fall by the wayside.
This otherwise thankless task has become a great deal simpler, thanks to the internet, which has successfully catapulted some almost forgotten characters into the limelight… consider the forward slash, the ‘at’ symbol and the ampersand – whose fates once seemed sealed.
More recently, ORiFICE – working in collaboration with Twitter – has seen a resurgence of interest in the ailing hash.
However, the biggest challenge still lies ahead… How to resurrect the interrobang]
#3 – The Good Stuff
“Did I ever tell you about Hendrix teaching me guitar at Woodstock?”, the old hippy asked us, eyes glazing over and taking a long draw on the reefer: “Man, you guys have the best hash!”
It was the hash that brought him – and many others – back every time, and we didn’t mind in the slightest – we were on the verge of publishing our collaborative work: ‘Psychadelic Psychotics’.
Some questioned our methodology, but it was all above board – the ‘hash’ we used to mellow our subjects was really tea-leaves… the poor buggers were so far gone, they never even noticed!
It Was a Sign of the Times
Of all the people Ben could have chosen to head to the special screening
his chose of me to this day puzzles me. He was after all Zoe’s chosen
boyfriend a feat in my circle of friends of lofty success for in the
kindest way she had rejected all of us. Granted I was the most Sci-Fi geek
of us all and was most likely the one to enjoy the film the most.
Kubrick’s 2001 presented in full Cinerama on three glorious screens, but
wait there’s more. Ben had procured two opium dipped hashish joints.
Spaced in Space. Sorry Dave.
A Well Defined Relationship Part 44
Dino Mod stared off across the vermilion horizon. The compromise algorithm
was running through the hash arrays. As the associated identities flash
into his conscientious the full impact of his current situation became
painfully apparent. “Bastards,” railed Dino, “I am so fracked.” He had
signed up for a song and dance mod and somehow he ended up with a multiple
“Not somehow … someone …. Wynn … but Why?”
He didn’t have to wait long a secondary diagnostic slipped pass his optic
nerve: Wynn Corp Project Strike Team Alpha. After the reboot Dino sang,
Everybody need somebody sometimes.
You may think me old-fashioned, but I’m very much an advocate of healthy eating, so you can imagine my feelings about a new burger joint opening in the neighbourhood, right on my doorstep.
Knowing my concerns, you might think it odd that I managed to get myself a job there, working in the kitchens.
I had an ulterior motive, of course.
The week after I started, the place was shut down permanently, after the breakfast hash browns were found to contain significant amounts of cannabis.
And you should have seen what I added to the chocolate extra-thick shakes!
My mother knew how to stretch a dollar when making a meal. At least once a week, we had hash for supper and we loved it. For those who don’t know, hash is simply a way to use up the leftovers without it looking like leftovers. Whatever meat she had went into it along with potatoes, some onions, and a sprinkling of spices. When mom was away and dad cooked, it was different. Oh, he still made hash. He was just less discriminating on the ingredients: Spam, maraschino cherries, a jar of green olives, and Flintstone vitamins for extra nutrition.
Not Every Stat Holiday is a Good Idea
By Christopher Munroe
A lot of people called in fake sick to work that day.
Like, a LOT.
A number of businesses didn’t open at all, and those that did, mostly places that sold snack foods, were swamped by the rush of people suddenly realizing that HOLY SHIT SOME CHIPS WOULD BE GOOD RIGHT NOW!!!
The customers didn’t always remember to bring money.
The staff didn’t always remember to take it.
Billions of dollars in economic activity were lost over the course of twenty-four hours.
“Hash Wednesday” was, overall, not the most productive of holidays, but it was certainly a lot of fun…
How to write something saying nothing
#1 Set your heart on blabbering randomly… I mean, writing serious stuff.
#2 Waste… aham, spend some time browsing for inspiration.
#3 Look outside the window while trying to come up with a story.
#4 Squander … that is spend even more time checking your five email accounts, the ten thousand social networks you signed up to, and your cat.
#5 Brew coffee.
#6 Hash… Hash…
#7 Brew more coffee.
#8 Right, you do need to write something. Now, think.
#9 The cat’s snoring. Perhaps a nap would help you as well.
#10 Ok, procrastinate indefinitely. All that coffee is begging for attention and you don’t really want to take a nap at 10am.
Hash can be a few things, and sure enough, it can be a lot more than I thought at first. Between cryptographic hash functions, fragment identifiers, spatial data structures, a sports mark of some sort, even a military decoration and a running club, it was a bit difficult to choose one direction for this week’s story. So, after procrastinating the whole week, rattling on aimlessly seemed like a tempting option, considering that I, for some reason, didn’t want to write about hashish. Wait a second… What? A hundred? Really? Already? Well then, more next week! Where’s the delete button again?
What do you say to a man when he tells you that for his last meal on earth
he wants corned beef hash? Straight from a can. Cold.
Do you ask him if he wants a side of brown bread? Maybe some ketchup?
Warden was baffled. He had encountered other odd final requests; the usual
gluttonous excess. But a can of Hormel? Cruel and unusual.
He pensively rubbed his sandpaper chin.
“Well fuck Warden!” Davidson spat while sprawled hairy ass naked in his
cement cell, “Why should I carry the memory of a pleasant taste on that
stainless steel ride?!”
The world rolled up under the moon. A space.
Trkl tossed. Slovenly and sleepless in his rack, he turned under the tepid hazy gaze of the moon through the port. Articulated.
Eighteen days waiting. The feeling of waiting. The feeling of feeling the feeling of waiting.
The next day was like the rest, but different. There was something in the dust outside. A ray, he said. From?
Immense distance. Right under my nose. The feeling.
Outside, inside. Up, down. Around. The echo of a long-forgotten — long? — music from somewhere playing. A dancer.
Mark. Another unknown message sent.
Johnny liked legos. He built bridges and parks for his Power Rangers to play in.
After September 11, Johnny built towers. Tall ones, reaching up to the Powerpuff Girl ceiling fan in his room. He didn’t have toy airplanes, so he used the fancy dinosaur figures from the Museum of Natural History.
Bang. Crash. Towers down. Orange and red legos tumbled down. The cats batted around the pieces.
I walked into the room, kneeling down on the floor.
“Mom, in my adventure, all the Mommys and Daddys and pink power rangers get home to their kids.”
No more TV.
Mitch “Hash House” Harrier was crouching behind the stadium clubhouse smoking a large piece of hash from his favorite pipe before he went to work placing the hash marks on the football field for the N.Y. Giants. Mitch was to high to realize he placed the hash marks parallel to the field goals, Later that day, while eating hash and eggs while watching the football game at Ruffie’s Diner, Mitch noticed people on the sidelines kept getting injured every time a team tried to score a touchdown. Now unemployed, Mitch went to the bathroom to smoke another bowl of hash.
Wollimus Pander, revered matriarch of the Women’s Trade Federation reclined her first class seat on flight 1386 from Paris to Atlanta. She considered the actions of Esmeralda Flinch who recently positioned herself as successor to the WTF president.
“Flinch would make a hash of the federation,” Wollimus muttered and vowed to circumvent Esmeralda’s machinations as soon as she got home.
Unfortunately, an inappropriate joke by In Flight Entertainment Man caused the passengers to rush the cockpit and attack the pilot.
As the jet plummeted toward the Atlantic, Wollimus realized it was she who had made a hash of it all.
“We emptied a house of walkers because it had off the grid solar panels. The last inhabitant must have taken all the plants which is fine for me, I much rather grow vegetables under those heat lamps. Wade found some Eau de Death, doe in heat scent, and hashish. I asked him not to smoke it. I also reminded him which was doe scent. Wade insisted on going with the scavenging party. Upon returning Beth practiced what she learned in psychology as she mended Wade’s pants but all I could do was dress a buck wondering how satyrs are made.”
“We are doing a survey to see how well our ads work. Have you seen our current Twitter inspired ad?” asked the man with the clipboard.
The young woman replied “The one that goes “Hashmark we are idiots whose children told us Twitter existed. hashmark, buy our crappy product hashmark we think you’re at least as gullible as your parents. hashmark, we are too clueless to know that saying hashmark so many times is totally annoying”
“That’s a yes and would you say our ad is very memorable?”
She replied “I remember the ad but what does your company sell?”
@God Boring… #peaceandquiet
@God Let there be light! #creation
@God Water! Land! Grass! Trees! The moving creature that hath life! #creation
@God Isn’t this great? Hello… No-one here, must fix that #creation
@Adam @God What’s all this? #gardenofeden
@Eve @Adam ‘Oo are you? #gardenofeden
@God @Adam @Eve Whaddya think? Follow @God and you’ll live here forever #gardenofeden
@Serpent @Eve Trust me, unfollow that guy. Have an apple #tempttempt
@Eve *scream* we’re nekkid!!!! tinyurl.com/ofo5jkh #gardenofeden
@Adam @Eve A talking snake told you? Were you born yesterday? Oh… #gardenofeden
@God @Adam @Eve Out! #gotcha
@God @Fiery_Angel And don’t let them back! #peaceandquiet
The morning brought a handful of dangling fictions:
battalions of snakes had crawled up from the Ganga,
others saw cobras flying from the moon;
fire-snakes had emerged from the smoking havan.
the ghosts of the Naga kingdoms were here for vengeance.
Atul found Margot at Kamal Devi’s.
She told what happened.
“Don’t worry Madam. I’ll bring
the Gunia. He speaks to snakes
and calls them out. I’ll bring him here.” He went
with Yudhi yapping behind, returning with
an old man, his casteless sweeper neighbour.
Mahadevan sat outside the Madam’s hut.
The Gunia threw rice grains at the door-slab
and went into a shaking body trance.
The snake mantra came rushing up through him
one hundred and eight times and then again,
then again although he didn’t count.
A crowd arrived, including the pujari.
The Gunia spoke in trance: “Who put the sack?
I can see you here.”
No one stepped up.
Gradually the snakes began to appear
from under the gap beneath the door of planks —
at first the heads with flickering tongues, then bodies
slithering away among the muddy clods.
The priest was tense.
He didn’t like
a casteless sweeper
meant for Brahmins.
“Go do your work,”
the pujari said.
“There’s nothing here
just jadu, magic.
stop standing there.
You’ve all seen snakes.
They are rife this
time of the year.”
Meanwhile the Gunia
could see through him
on all dimensions
while he connected
with the nagas
to leave the woman,
someone of truth,
not like this priest,
his skull of power,
and smiled to see
the crowd not thinning
until the show
was well over.
Mahadevan, snake whisperer snapped back,
slumping forward, spent as a limp cloth doll.
Before the Madam could restrain Atul
he had marched up to his Madam’s door with Yudhi
and opened it. So Margot followed calling
out “Atul. Be careful.” He found the empty
fertiliser sack and nothing more,
no snake in sight, not even a frog. She stepped,
and Yudhi rushed to lap up leftover milk.
She handed money to Atul for the snake man.
“No Madam. It is not necessary.”
“Surely his family…. could they not use this?
“You are offending Madam. Please, no need at all.”
She joined her palms and made a humble bow.
“Leave, Atul. I need to take a bath.”
She thanked him. “Take Yudhi and go play.”
Closing the door, she looked again for snakes
and finding none, sat and breathed relief.
Soon she was bucket-bathing out the back,
then changing into Indian cambric cotton.
She regretted she had gone to the funeral
in bright colours. Far worse had been her dead
neighbour doing those odd jobs for her
when Yogi left . This had fed the gossip.
Plus she’d never bonded with the women
in this natter-village with male-female sidelines.
Had she brought this Evil Eye on herself?
She kept to herself, but village life sped up
between the monsoon showers. Atul told her:
“Naag Panchami is coming.” It was the day
when snakes were venerated by new wives.
Atul knew from Didi, his married Sister.
“A careless son chopped up three male cobras
while ploughing earth. The Naga goddess mother
went and killed the son and all his brothers.
His young wife prayed to Naga Mata
in Naaga Loka, seventh realm underground.
She offered a bowl of milk for her husband’s life.
Naga Mata accepted, granting her wish.
That’s why the ladies worship with white flowers.”
“That’s interesting, Atul,” said his Madam.
“It’s lady-power day! We pray for men.”
“Yes Madam ji — husbands and us brothers.
Nagas have powers. If any are unhappy
they will bite. Or they bring wealth, also.”
So many customs rose like ornate blossoms
from the body of this land.
“The ladies are now stringing jasmine malas,
making rice paste and decorating anthills.
painting them red with kum-kum, placing garlands
and every doorstep will have a five-headed naga
in coloured patterns. We call that rangoli.”
Flicking through her Mahabharata book
Margot said. “I think there’s another story.”
“It’s time for your reading practise,” Madam said
passing him her Mahabharata copy.
They were sitting in her hut out of the rain.
A torch lit up Khandava forest
killing Takshaka’s serpent wife.
Thus, Krishna and Arjuna ended
the Naga Queen’s right to life.
Revenge is a burning forest.
Twelve years after the Great War
Arjuna’s grandson Parakshit
gaining the throne, had a fatal flaw.
While hunting in another forest
the thirsty king saw a seated sage
who didn’t move when asked for water.
Parakshit burnt up with rage.
“He hung a dead snake on the shoulder
of the meditating forest Brahmin,
with blissful mind in Brahma Loka.
Parashit realised his sin
but it was done. The brahmin’s son,
also hot-tempered, uttered a verse:
“The Kuru king will die by snake bite.
Arjuna’s line will suffer the curse.”
Takshaka, the King of Cobras
took birth again and bit the king
who foamed and died. The next in line
was boiling like a volcanic spring.
Young Rajah Janamejaya
performed a yagna with sacred fire
to kill the serpents of the world.
It became the nagas’ funeral pyre.
Snakes flew into the fire-pit,
until almost the last – the Naga King
coiled around the foot of Indra,
dragging them both, as wrestlers cling.
Astika, son of the fire priest
said: stop it Dad! It will be the end
of heaven and earth if Indra burns.
They ceased and saw Indra ascend
and the Naga king go under earth.
Astika received a boon —
a mantra for controlling snakes
on Naag Panchami, fifth day of the moon.
Perhaps the mantra calms the cobra,
a blessing given to humankind.
Where exactly is Naga Loka
inside the earth, or the angry mind?
night of fasting day of the snake puja mantras
five-hooded naga drawn on walls above doors
on this day earth cannot be dug red anthills get
libations of milk for the King of all Cobras
snake wallahs on bicycles cobra baskets wearing pythons
young sari wives wave trays of lights lean close to fangs
place jasmine champa white lotus incense garlands
sweet rice kheer pourings of milk
the earth balances on the hood of Shesh Naag
deep down in the ocean Vishnu sleeps upon his coils
today no one has fear of snakes for one day of the year
The monsoon rains had paused. The sun came out,
Margot kept aloof from the celebrations
taking yellow Yudhi to the Ganga.
He was yapping, disturbed by the snake commotion.
Atul kept look out, The coffee-coloured waves
were rising still.
He cleared your house of snakes,” Atul began.
“He is coming this way. See.”
Soon he was sitting.
“Namaste.” He said.
She was happy he had come to join them.
She returned the greeting. Then Atul spoke
at length with the older man. Then Atul reported.
Mahadevan began to share with Madam.
He didn’t like the snake charmer fellows.
They starved their snakes so they will gorge on milk.
“Bapu says snakes die. The milk is poison.”
Atul translated Bapu’s love for the Naga:
how the head and tail are good and bad together,
the start and the ending of the universe.
He told how no one understood a snake.
Snakes brought out fear in the human heart.
Few looked there, confronting weaknesses.
She was surprised. The flowers and milk,
and snake basket wallahs wearing pythons
were opportunists who had no gian, no wisdom.
“They are dead souls inside, Bapu says.”
“Please ask why he’s telling this, Atul.
I’m grateful, but I’m not sure why he’s come
when other villagers clearly seem to hate me.”
Atul tried to be the bridge between them
but as he talked she saw the water well
in his child eyes. “Because nobody here
will be helping you, Madam ji. Just us.”
The little boy choked on words. And paused, upset.
“But he’s praying to the Nagas to protect you.
He says you’re good, Madam, but times are bad.”
She was upset and held back downpour eyes
and grabbed and hugged the little one to her.
Later on, they walked to Madam’s hut.
Bapu assured her she was safe from nagas,
His mantra was protecting the whole place
though he couldn’t save from the human kind
that planted their sacks of serpents. Still, they
plugged the holes in the walls with plastic bags
and put a strip at the bottom of the door
to keep out frogs. And then they left at dusk.
Mercy’s heart went searching for her Yogi,
wondering why he hadn’t been in touch.
On this day, new wives pray for husbands
and that is what she did all night to Shiva.
Our days are numbered.
So are the lunch specials at the Chinese place down the street.
This makes choosing what to eat for lunch easy. Just pick the special that matches up with the day.
The place has been open for years. And I expect that it will be open for years to come.
But when the day comes that they close down for good, or the place burns up in a fire, I know my number is up.
Until then, I’ve got my table there, and it’s coming up on noon.
Hungry? Up for Chinese?
Good, because I’m buying.