Weekly Challenge #461 – Strike

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How The Smiths

By Christopher Munroe

I did stop listening to Depeche Mode.

I didn’t NEED to, like I said, but change can be good.

I moved on to The Smiths. I also will love The Smiths until I die.

Johnny Marr’s the best guitarist of his age, and Morrissey’s a God.

I own every album, both Smiths and solo, and I listen to them whenever I can, the lyrics are genius, and he’s one of the foundational artists of a genre.

Morrissey isn’t my first crush, that was Ally Sheedy, but he was my third or fourth.

Mayhaps I’ve said too much.

Bigmouth strikes again…


Tomb Raider
by Jeffrey Fischer

“Christ, it’s dark in here!” Professor Stenson exclaimed as he squeezed through the doorway into the ancient tomb. “Let’s get some torches lighted.”

Stenson heard no reply from his two native assistants. He sighed. This was not entirely unexpected, as the pair claimed they feared an evil spirit that guarded the tomb. Stenson was a rationalist, and did not believe in evil spirits, animated corpses, or any other superstitious nonsense. Still, he mused, if he weren’t so sensible, he might well be nervous. The atmosphere gave him an uneasy feeling, as though someone was in the chamber with him.

He fumbled for his matches. Striking one, he used its meager light to get a glimpse of the tomb. It was all he imagined: the coffin, painted in gold leaf, surrounded by countless jeweled treasures. Just before the match went out, he felt rather than saw something move. His last thought was that the natives weren’t as foolish as he believed.

Look for the Union Label
by Jeffrey Fischer

“Unfair!” chanted the three men. They looked cold, parading in a small circle by their large, inflatable rat.

“What’s up, fellas?” I asked. Their leader replied, “We’re protesting the use of non-union labor at this casino.”

“I see. How’s that going?”

“We’ve been here every day for the past ten years, in all weather, demanding the owner use union labor. Sure, it’ll cost him two bucks an hour more in wages, but it’s only fair.”

“So let me see if I’ve got this straight: you’re on strike, often standing in the cold and rain instead of being in a nice, climate-controlled building, making nothing for a decade, all so you can demand, what, twenty percent more than you could have made all along?”

“That sounds about right. But we’re real close now. The owner will cave any day.”

“And how many years will it take for you to make up those lost wages from the last decade?”


Strike Three
by Jeffrey Fischer

“Mr. Del Rio, under California’s ‘three strikes’ law, the minimum punishment for your crime is a life sentence without the possibility of parole. I so sentence you. Do you understand?”

“Aw, judge yo’ honor, can’t ya gimme a break?”

“Sir, which word do you have difficulty with? Mandatory? Minimum?”

“Naw, but three strikes? Can’t we call it two or sumthin’?”

The judge reviewed Del Rio’s folder. Burglary. Burglary. Assault. Armed robbery. Burglary. Assault with a deadly weapon. The list went on. “Mr. Del Rio, I’m assuming your pleas had some effect on other judges. From what I’m reading, this isn’t a question of strike three – you’ve had a full inning’s worth of strikes against you. Bailiff, take him away.”


#1 – George’s Story – Part 94: Failure!

“Wait here!”, ordered the woman, leaving George alone with his thoughts in the corridor.

He mulled over what he had just been told…

“You’ve been through a rather unique selection process, George. Most organisations of our type run character tests and hypothetical scenarios: We prefer a more ‘hands-on’ approach. You’ve faced a range of situations designed to measure your response to danger, decision making and mental agility, and a whole host of other criteria. Sadly, you’ve managed to strike out with every test!

You are the lowest-scoring candidate we’ve ever had… it’s quite an achievement, albeit it’s your only one!”

#2 – Grandpa

I miss grandpa and his weird sayings – he had ways of putting things that were utterly baffling, but terribly endearing.

Now – as he would say – he’s gone to the great white turtle waxer; dead as a bean on a roller skate, and off the rota at the boxing club.

Total nonsense, of course, but you always knew exactly what he meant and it made for some interesting conversations

His favourite expression was ‘struck down in their prime by a wanton banana’ – all the more ironic and poignant considering how he died.

Botulism, from a rancid plantain.

#3 – They’re back!

The team were back together – Captain Johnson, nerdy Jack the hacker, Sid and ‘Tenacious’ Willy.

How long had it been since the last time they’d beeen on a mission? Too long, and the guys knew it – all too aware of how the easy life and lack of training might have dulled their wits, nerves were on a knife-edge.

They couldn’t afford to make mistakes.

They needn’t have worried – it went perfectly – mission accomplished, objective secured and no comeback at all.

The team celebrated their success, it felt good!

Strike Team Alpha was back in business!

#4 – Breakfast… interrupted

Limbo Laggins was halfway through his breakfast bacon and eggs, when a knock on the door disturbed him. Sighing, he trudged to the door only to find that pesky wizard stood on his doorstep.

“Could I interest you in a quest?”, enquired the wizard.

“No”, said Laggins, attempting to close those door.

“Be very careful, little hobbit, or I shall strike you with my magical staff!”

Laggins looked the wizard up and down before replying.

“What staff?”

The wizard frowned… “Oh bother! Now where I have left that?”, and hurried off down the pathway.

Richard ‘


They do say that lightning never strikes twice. however, as far as you are concerned, not strictly true.

You’d be surprised how many times lightning can strike when you encourage it with a good tall flag pole, a reel of heavy gauge cable with a nice, easy route to earth.

And that’s where you come in… my missing link.

So just make yourself comfortable as I strap this cable to your head and try not tip the water bowl at your feet.

There’s a storm coming, and you know what that means, don’t you?

What a shocking way to die!


College Anyday 2015

Jill enters the crowded college bar, avoiding eye contact with any of the patrons. She is pissed Aaron has bailed on dinner, and contemplating how to get out of the relationship before finals week. It is going to be a mess.

Some guy from the other end of the bar locks eyes on her. Hamn, Strike one.

He sidles up, carrying what appears to be 2 pints of beer. Lite beer. Strike two.

“Excuse me, I am writing a term paper on the finer things in life, and would like to interview you…”. Strike three, Frat boy, you’re outta here!


I don’t think I will take a date to a baseball game again. My day would have been better if there had been a baseball strike. The speakers played too loud so I got a fan to give me two cigarettes.I tried to put their filters in my ears but they were Lucky Strikes. My date snuck onto the field, despite my trying to drag her back. She smacked the umpire then ducked which placed my eye in the path of a moving fist. Apparently when you hit a baseball official the umpire strikes back. Fortunately we left then.


John Musico

The secret meeting hall was filled.
The union head pounded his fist on the podium;
“We are sick and tired doing all the work, we demand vacation; we deserve promotions! His wings shuddered as he spoke. “Heaven fills daily with more of we angels, merely to do His good deeds for him as he sits peacefully on his throne. When the sun rises; no one goes to work- and our days will be filled instead with the leisure WE have earned!” That was the day heaven became a lovely place. The angels still lounge and gladly pay their union dues.


Unaware of his demise, Nolan was about to lose everything. His wife Linda, along with her lawyer lover, prepared everything quite thoroughly. “Trust me,” she said. And, foolish as he was, he did. The car, the house, the weekend cottage, everything was gone. However, there was Nikolai. “My darling,” he said, “I’ll take care of it.” Nolan never saw Linda again. The lawyer disappeared. And the properties were magically in Nolan’s name again. “How?” “My darling,” he replied, examining the barrel of his gun, “there’s a monster at the end of everyone’s path. I just happened to be that monster.”


What He Say?

Strike while the irons hot. Said the Master. He was always saying stuff like that. In all the time he had spent with the old man not one original word came out of his mouth. Further the wise words were always out of context. The last pearl came after the apprentice asked if the master would like another bowl of ice cream. When the dish was placed before him instead of a simple thank you the master said: When you have been struck on one cheek turn and offer the other. It was going to be one very long day.

A Well Defined Relationship Part 94

The energy from the Tamerlane leveled the bandit’s lair then spread out across Denman. As quickly as it struck the entire mass of the planet was pulled back to the Tamerlane producing one glorious mini super-nova.

“President Parsons the Marivoltie Gravis Imperium has just claimed responsibility for the planetary strike on Denman. The newly widowed leader ordered Admiral Poindexter to engage the fleet.

Inside the cube the doctor was struck be a deep sense of emptiness. “I just died,” said the doctor. The dealer nodded.



The dealer dealt one more hand. He busted and so did the cube.


This was the worst date of his life, not that Dergle had been on that many.
Bambi, the checker at the corner grocery story, kept calling him, “Mr. Vander Hoont”, instead of Dergle. He was only three years older than her and though her braces and ponytails made her look like a teenager, she was twenty-two.”
Maybe the zoo was a bad choice for their first date.
Dergle felt off balance.
He had to leave Long John in the microvan, the monkeys were on strike, and Bambi’s lip got cut by her braces when he tried to kiss her goodnight.


My great-grandfather struck it rich in the Californian gold rush. But he realised the real business was selling equipment and supplies to all the other poor fools. Eventually, he and his son were running a chain of stores across six cities, and richer than any gold-digger. Then my grandfather sees mail order getting big, so he gets into delivery networks. FedEx is a direct descendant of one of his companies. My father saw computers coming in and got into computer consulting. And me? I charge business leaders twenty thousand dollars a day to tell them how to strike it rich.


Mama generally came home from work in one of three mental states…
Nervous Break Down (which is bad … REAL BAD)
and the far more common “on strike”, which meant … if she didn’t get a break she would have a nervous breakdown. During those times our older brother always knew what to do.
The music was Dixieland Jazz
steaks outside on the grill … (dirty kitchen … REAL BAD!!!)
Red wine (he would say “this is the reddest I could find, hope it suits Madame’s pallet” in his best French accent.

Mom would smile so sweetly!

“You’ll make a good husband someday!”


They say that you should strike while the iron is hot, but they never say what you should strike the iron with.

I used to strike the iron with a rubber chicken, but now that I heat iron before I strike it, the rubber chicken tends to soften and melt all over the iron, making a gooey mess.

Why am I striking my iron with a rubber chicken?

You’re right. I should strike the iron with a mallet in order to shape the iron.

Now, what should I place the iron on while I strike it?

Aha! The rubber chicken!

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