The Friends are mad. Their chats at the Hullahoo Bar have become louder and louder. Everybody’s mad nowadays. Even the waitresses. There we go again.
Frank, from one side of the counter: “That’s so typical, Melissa! When you lose your argument, you start calling us names. So I am a misogynist, a bigot, a homophobe, a white supremacist, a racist, what have you. Well, your tribe’s a bunch of leftist hooligans that destroy America!”
Melissa, from the other side of the counter: “You destroy America! We want Medicare for all, you dump Obamacare, and we’ll all die of the climate change you started!”
Ted: “You, Melissa, belong to that loony Alinsky bomber crowd of community organizers that want to fundamentally change America! We heard Obama say that.”
Tom: “Yeah, elections have consequences, he said. Well, we had new elections! We, the irredeemables, want to keep it the Founders’ way!”
Melissa: “You’re so wrong. What did those Founders know then anyways! Socialism is good for all, look at Sweden. You are zealots, wackos and have been doing a nutjob. You’re obstructing the welfare state!”
Tom: “Nonsense! Sweden is not even socialist, but a market economy with a hefty welfare system paid for by high taxes.”
Caitlyn: “A country of ten million people, less than New York State, and we have 330 million. Their system wouldn’t work here and they’re trying to trim it down because it’s too costly.”
Ted: “Melissa’s side screams that the rich will pay for everything and then there won’t be any rich left and we’ll all end up miserables and deplorables!”
Mary, loud and shrill: “I’m miserable already, so I don’t give a hoot if the rich get miserable too!”
Cindy, even louder: “Why don’t you commies and socialists all move to Russia and China, and see for yourself what misery means. Leave us alone with our hard-earned freedom and prosperity!”
Caitlyn: “No, better you move to Greenland and start your Kibutz in zero temperatures there without stealing our tax money!”
Ted: “All you commies want is equality and free goods. Sounds so nice in the beginning until tyranny takes over and life becomes one stinkhole for all!”
Tom: “Except for those in power who live like the rich they destroyed. It has been tried many times over and failed. Look at Venezuela. Get wise!”
Waitress Jane: “If you want your beer, Mr. Wise, you better give me your tip first before you run out of money.”
Tom: “Thanks Jane, but with Melissa’s socialism we have already run out of money. And you haven’t even smiled.”
Jane: “Here’s your beer, Mister!” Jane plunks the glass down, fakes a smile, scoffs, trots away, kicking her splendid bottom left and right.
Melissa, from the other side of the counter: “You see, Tom, how you treat Jane, misogynist!”
Caitlyn: “You know how you were born Melissa?”
Melissa: “What you mean?”
Caitlyn: “Well, I presume your mom and dad made love, no? Was he sexist and misogynist too?”
Melissa, shouting: “You’re changing the subject, Caitlyn. We have different times now!”
Frank: “Precisely! Your socialist communal band of hippies wants us to live in shabby tents, pee and excrete on the street, and yell at each other!”
Mary: “I live in a one-bedroom shack with mice and cockroaches skirting over the floor because I can’t find a job!”
Frank: “Crazy, there’re six million job offers to be filled. Ever looked around?”
Jason, putting a beer in front of Mary: “If you need a job, come over, Mary, you’ll earn good bucks here with your smile to pay for a better place.”
Mary: “If Trump hadn’t stolen the election, us people would’ve had a free home from Hillary!”
Ted, crooning: “Take that Jason offer, Mary! One more woman employed, the highest number since decades!”
Mary: “I don’t want to be employed by the Trump machine, the way he talks about women. He must be impeached.”
Caitlyn: “That’s all you guys want, impeach, impeach! You’ve been screaming that since he was elected. Ever thought about what America wants?”
Melissa, shouting: “We want one party for the U. S.! Democrats are good enough for democratsy.”
Frank: “Okay, Melissa, go take a ride on Biden’s Malarkey bus.”
Melissa: “It’s ‘No Malarkey’, buthead!”
Frank: “Would Biden know the difference?”
Jason comes to the counter: “There’s somebody in the back offering free drinks, except large sodas.”
Everybody looks to the back.
It’s Mike Bloomberg in jacket and tie, waving and smiling.
All Friends cheer and order more beers and double small sodas.
Get SHIVER SNICKER SCHMOOZE FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT, FOR FRIENDS, AND CHRISTMAS GIFTS.
“A diverse set of witty and entertaining tales.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“In clear crisp text, the stories are well-paced, replete with action, suspense, intrigue, surprise, sorrow, and humor.” Mary E. Wuest.
“While they cover a wide range of genres each one contains a glimpse into the magnificent mind of this talented and creative writer. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.” George Vercessi.
“A kaleidoscope of vivid images, whimsical, intriguing, entertaining, lively, humorous.” Johanna Willner.
Hello! SHIVER SNICKER SCHMOOZE IS PUBLISHED!
To get your fun book (for only $6.99 or equivalent): click on the following link:
A glimpse of the 12 stories:
The Flatfooters reflects my exchanges with friends in and from the broader Middle East and my fears that something like this might happen when driving home in fierce sunlight on I-95 south. (SHIVER)
Ghana-The Burial Train of Mr. Ashok resulted from a pressure cooker Algonkian Writers Conference with Michael Neff (recommended). (SNICKER)
Killing The Elephant Poacher is based on my World Bank work in the Central African Republic and a first step to developing a Boutique Killer assassin series. (SHIVER)
Leave Flying To The Birds came from a bad landing while piloting a small plane. (SHIVER/SNICKER)
From the Horse’s Mouth is how my horse felt about my horsewoman instructor. (SNICKER)
Mother Centipede was inspired by Kafka’s Metamorphosis and Stephen King’s Just After Sunset. (SHIVER)
The Mice Patrol and Attic Ghosts Talking are tales of mice and squirrels in our household and were sparked by reading Mark Spencer’s wonderful book Ghost Walking. (SNICKER)
Chantal’s Baby Grand really happened but don’t tell anybody it was me. (SCHMOOZE)
The Heliphone is based on bad dreams as you can imagine if you know my Double Dutch life. (SNICKER/SCHMOOZE)
The Medium stems from my younger days when I lived irresponsibly and had to apologize to a revered baroness whom my family and the entire country knew. (SNICKER/SCHMOOZE)
The Train Rider is a tragicomedy, remembering a society friend I played tennis with during my youth in Holland and whom I tragically found riding in the train gone mad. (SNICKER)
Links of other books for winter and dark days:
https://amzn.to/2IwinKc Francine – Dazzling Daughter of the Mountain State: Corporate scheming and love.
Enchanting The Swan: Classical music and musicians muddied in banking fraud, murder, and…love.
Get them now in paperback or Kindle. Or great gifts for Sinterklaas (Holland) and Christmas ( Everywhere).
A short story book is on its way to entertain you.
On writing stories: I came to the conclusion several years ago that the best way to learn the craft is to start writing short stories. Short stories like novels must have a beginning, a middle and an end, the end usually following shortly after the middle. I composed Some Woman I Have Known (Koehler Books 2015/Sun Hill Books 2018) from memoir-short stories about my diddle daddling in love until I married, and some outstanding women I met. It got me a PAN membership at Romance Writers of America. An honorary spot for a guy among all the famous and good women-writers.
Now I am launching a short storybook, entitled Shiver, Snicker, Schmooze, which contains 12 short stories in various genres, some short-short, others somewhat longer, which my muse bubbled up for me and got my fingers hitting the keyboard. Some based on real-life, others on the after-life, brought forward to the present time, spawning a smile, a tear, a shiver, or a schmooze. To entertain you during a boring train ride, that awful waiting in the airport lounge or sitting comfortably by the fireplace.
Soon to come:
ENCHANTÉ will announce when the Short Story Book is available on Amazon.com.
COVER DESIGN BY MELANIE STEPHENS OF MS Illustrations (Frederiksburg VA)
I finally got to writing my Memoirs. In the process, I remembered my many cultural shocks. If you traveled the world over as I did, you may recognize some of your own experiences.
THE “WEST” AND “SORT OF WEST”
- USA: Americans think only they are sane. The rest of the world thinks Americans are insane and they are sane. And everything in America looks and tastes the same, and their girls are xenophobic.
- Russia: Taking a bath is against the rules unless you do it in vodka.
- Holland: Bikers don’t look right or left and run you over, yelling YOU are stupid. Plus ample dog poop and the only place where I got robbed three times over the years by the same people. Guess once: Starts with an “M”, Holland’s most popular ethnic Moroccan invaders.
- Belgium: Toilet paper cut from old newspapers and no sinks to wash your hands. Language either Flemish or Walloon, either way unintelligible. Breakfast: French fries, mussels, and beer (or “rouge”, red wine). Lots of smokers.
- France: Toilets with black holes, no seats, and pissed-over footsteps and no sinks to wash your hands. Plus subway stink is the world’s worst. And heaps of dog and pigeon poop. Food is way too expensive and waiters are rude. And French love is a myth. Americans in Paris made that up because they don’t know what love is either, only in the movies. But I made some very good friends and had lovely moments.
- Spain: Males can’t leave a girl alone. Females are locked up 24/7. And I can’t sing serenades in Spanish.
- Portugal: As many windmills as in Holland. They look spooky. Don Quixote traveled from Spain to Portugal to fight them.
- Italy: Males can’t leave a girl alone. And females eat too much pasta. And there’s too much pigeon poop, too.
- Germany: One menu only: bier, wurst, und sauerkraut. And too much hoompa hoompa.
- England: no menu at all, only rain, and after joining the EU they still drive on the wrong side of the road. Maybe that will change after Brexit.
- Ireland: All Irish have gone to New York to join the Democratic Party. Only Poles and Romanian pickpockets are left.
- Scotland: Rain, cold weather, smoking chimneys, and nobody speaks English.
- Switzerland: Swiss-French unintelligible; Swiss-German unintelligible, Swiss Italian, well, who knows; I don’t speak Italian. Traffic priority signs for frogs, cows, and turtles. The Swiss put holes in their cheese to attract American off-shore money. Raclette sits in your stomach for two weeks and causes terrible farts that kill your co-worker in seconds.
- Rwanda: Twice destroyed in thirty years with old colonial help.
- Burundi: Twice destroyed in twenty years with old colonial help.
- Central African Republic: snakes in and/or under your bed, wasps in your toilet, and pygmies running between your legs.
- Cameroon: The food looks great but you can’t eat it.
- Congo-Kinshasa: Everybody cheats.
- Congo-Brazaville: Nobody cheats. It’s forbidden by law.
- South Africa: Go visit a shopping mall to get shot at and run for your life.
- Tanzania: Dar es Salaam has too many SUVs and nobody knows how they were paid for.
- Kenya: Wildlife is for tourists and the airport road is to kill the tourists.
- Ethiopia: The table cloth is edible but you wouldn’t think that when you go to bed.
- Mali: That’s where Timbuktu is and when I got there I finally understood why everybody says it’s nowhere.
- Guinea: Why for heaven’s sake did the colonialists put that country on the map?
- Ivory Coast: Must be called Côte d’Ivoire to show it was once French and that’s why it is what it is.
- Ghana: The only place in Africa on the West Coast that seemed to work because it had a direct KLM flight from Amsterdam.
- Nigeria: The one place in Africa that should work but doesn’t. Night flight out to safety.
- Bangladesh: Delicacy: cockroached curry. Eating with your fingers; spit reservoirs in every corner of every corridor; toilets are bastions of urine, providing the main perfume in office buildings; and beware of the Dhaka “run” if you want to survive.
- India: more of the same, but a little bit more sophisticated and the best food in the world. And heavenly Kashmir should be declared neutral territory for everyone to enjoy, not just Islamists, not just Hindus, not just Pakistanis. Just let it be.
- Malaysia: A mushroom garden with millions of multicolored edible mushrooms and a McDonald’s in Kuala Lumpur. What a place to live.
- Singapore: The country that everyone wants to ape but only Singaporeans know how to run.
- Taiwan: The only place where China is not China but everyone speaks Chinese and a tree you can slide through to become rich if you don’t fear getting stuck in the middle for the rest of your life.
- Philippines: Manila TV is like American TV – just as awful. In the countryside you find its beauty, but you may get struck by a typhoon.
- Indonesia and Bali: Djakarta is like Lagos, but outside the city, Java is a jewel. And on Bali, they serve the best suckling pig on earth. Go visit Bali’s interior to see the real Indonesia and its terraced rice fields. Heaven on earth. But the hotel bills are hellish.
- Hong Kong: British geniality mixed with Chinese Confucianism. Foremost a good cuisine, especially on the street, but everyone wondered how long the good life of one country two systems would last when the Brits handed it over to Communist China. The day of reckoning has come.
- China: More bikers than in Holland, and I never had real Chinese food before, not even in Amsterdam or NY China Town.
- Macao: Beware! Bought my wife a sapphire ring that turned out a piece of colored glass.
- Japan: Plastic food in the window is for show and not for eating. You must bow when meeting people in the elevator. And even a GPS can’t find where you’re going.
- Hawaii: advertised as little Asia but no, it’s pure America.
- Saudi-Arabia: The place where beautiful women are kept in hiding and your head gets cut off if you dare looking at them when they come strolling out after 11 p.m., or for saying something about their beauty.
- Lebanon: A Falafel tastes as good as a bomb.
- Jordan: An oasis in the desert and the only place in the Middle-East where I could ride a horse, have dinner in the open with a lovely woman, and feel at home, and where I might have stayed if she had said “yes.”
- Guyana: Loud. Loud dogs, loud crickets, loud vehicles, loud music, loud people but great curry and the best rum in the world. Drives on the wrong side of the road because the British stole Guyana from the Dutch in the 100-year European wars. Beautiful and savvy women, always showing a pleasant smile; and everything stays the same.
- Surinam: Neighbor of Guyana and awfully isolated but Surinamers don’t mind. People speak fluent Dutch (the only country outside Holland and Flemish Belgium that does) as Surinam was a Dutch colony until 1975. My greatest shock was that while speaking Dutch they are not Dutch at all, and their beautiful women bite.
- Curacao: The place to live but too expensive to retire.
- Bonaire: For scuba divers and iguana lovers only.
- Jamaica: The place where I spent my Millennial and tore both of my shoulder tendons when climbing back into my capsized sailing boat, leaving me burdened with lifelong Jamaicanitis.
The Friends are back in the Hullahoo bar talking about the events of the day. Lots of yelling.
Tom: “I think Stone Sour should be impeached!”
Frank: “Yeah, impeach, impeach! I believe they performed it first in Moskou, ha!”
Melissa: “Yeah, ‘So Do Me A Favor, There is no Savior,’ or something like that, and that in Russia Russia, highly impeachable!”
Maria: “And what about the Arctic Monkeys, ‘Do me a favor, and ask me if you need some help!'”
Cindy: “I have a better one from the Riverdale Cast, ‘Do me a favor, say Okay, do me a favor, make them pay!'”
Ted: “And then to think we pay those people in Congress who have nothing else to do but impeach. At least those bands earn their own money.”
Fred: “Do me a favor, Melissa, and hand me that pepper mill for my Bloody Mary, please.”
Melissa: “Any ulterior motives if I don’t? You won’t pay for my drink?”
Fred: “Like that Fats Waller song, ‘Do me a favor, marry me, share my lot.’
Melissa: “You see, you’re a savage, Fred!”
Fred: “Oh, come on, Melissa, even Paul McCartney sang, ‘Somebody’s knocking on the door, so do me a favor and let them in’.”
Ted: “Sounds like the left-wing immigration policy.”
Tom: “Do me a favor, guys, and ask the Treasury to stop paying congressional salaries until they do some work!”
Frank: “That’s quid pro quo, buddy, and you’ll be impeached for that!”
Cindy: “No, Tom is right. I will ask Pelosi, ‘Do me a favor and send people to remove that poop from my doorstep!'”
Fred: “Do me a favor, Cindy, let’s keep this civil. I’m having a Frankfurter with my drink.”
Marlene: “I’m sure everybody in Russia, China, Ukraine, Iran, and whatever dictatorship is having a good laugh about the stupid American democracy.”
Maria: “Right. I don’t think Democratic Party is synonymous with Democracy. Like Russia, they want to jail everybody.”
Marlene: “Is the Republican Party any better? They impeached Clinton.”
Cindy: “Clinton committed felonies and lied under oath, and lost his license to practice law.”
Frank: “And what did Trump do? Asking help to disguise the culprits of the 2016 election Russia Hoax in Ukraine, cough up the secret Hillary server and open up on the Biden corruption, all things that are already under investigation. There was no quid pro quo like with Biden.”
Maria: “And that’s what he said he’d do if he was elected, and he was. He got a mandate for that.”
Frank: “The Democrats only want payback. Tit for Tat, simple as that!”
Tom: “The whole matter sounds like ‘J’accuse‘ in that Dreyfuss affair in France, which started with a spy rummaging through a wastebasket and proved unfounded after years of turmoil. History repeats itself.”
Maria: “That whistleblower does not seem to be a whistleblower at all but an orchestrated internal Whitehouse trap set by people who hate Trump. It’s CIA stuff, by those dejected old spies that have now CNN jobs.”
Cindy: “I remember from my history class that the Dreyfuss affair caused major damage to the French justice system, and I bet this impeachment case would damage our justice system too.”
Tom: “It already has. That German wisecrack Otto von Bismarck said ‘Politics is the Art of the Possible,” but there’s nothing artful in this impeachment thing. It’s undermining America. Let we the people vote these nincompoops out in a year from now.”
“Hear, hear!” everybody yells and lifts their glasses.
Credits on Lyrics: www.Lyrics.com
Francine: Dazzling Daughter of the Mountain State 1st Edition