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Who Gets The Bottle Of Wine At The High School Reunion?

red-wine-bottle-vector

I am putting my hand-written manuscript, There Was A Time, Oh, Pilgrim, When The Stones Were Not So Smooth, into the computer. I was coming to the end of my main character’s (Alison Alexandra) high school reunion.

When I type I aim, at the end of day, to be at the end of one of my hand-written pages.

The folk at the table where Alison Alexandra sat, had all trooped up to get the buffet food. When they returned, there was a bottle of wine on the table, with a bow tied around it,  And a card. I was at the bottom of a page.

But I wanted to know who got the wine. So onward I typed.

I’m guessing (hoping)  if it interests me so much to know who got the wine, the reader will give a “Hoot! Hoot! (as did the folk at the table) when the card is read.

++++++++++++++++++++++++

When they reach the food tables, there is not the curiosity from others concerning who is who. Most are intent about filling plates and returning to their tables.

Everyone at their table is getting steak except for Betty, who has opted for the salmon. She also opts to carry Allan’s plate as she sends him on to the bar to get another round of drinks. She looks at Ed and Lee.

“Are you two satisfied with tea and coffee?  Those drinks they are going to bring to the table, carried by sadly inexperienced students.”

“That’s fine with us,” says Lee. “And we can always snag some bottled water.”

Plate in hand they return to their table. In their absence a plate of rolls and butter has been deposited in the middle. There is also a bottle of red wine, with a bow and a note attached.

“Well, well,” says Betty, wanting to immediately open the unaddressed envelope. “I’ve never seen the like of this.”

“A modest but decent bottle,” says Alison Alexandra.

“Maybe you have a secret admirer,” says Betty.

“Maybe you do,” says Alison Alexandra.

Betty Dragger is taken by surprise at the idea and snorts. She then sees Big Stakes Gamble approaching, and clears some space for the drinks he is carrying. He is fast at a sip of his beer before he speaks.

“Who got the wine?”

“We don’t know,” says Betty.

“Then someone should open the card.” He picks up the bottle and hands it to Ed.  “And that sounds like a job for an officer of the law.”

Ed is not sure if a joke is being played, and if it is being played on him. He is as curious as not, so he takes the knife beside his plate and slits open the envelope. He reads the card and laughs.

(Image)https://static.vecteezy.com/system/resources/previews/000/000/624/non_2x/red-wine-bottle-vector.jpg

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When Data Takes On A Mind of Its Own

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Green flash – nine dash – dark green in dark room, four flash – minus dash – three flash – six dash – eight then tight then eight. The operator shoves his chair back in fear, things happen too quickly to be surprised. Red left light followed by yellow left light glow beside the numbers, reflect the band of a wristwatch. Eight flash two race one plus one point – decimal moving across the board, hunting.

Fingers, hand, wristwatch reach for the never used phone.

Second and third red left lights glow off the face of the Operator as his lips open before the mouthpiece.

“Get the General and the Director down here fast.”

“But they’re both asleep.” A thin voice in his ear.

“No time – no time. Hurry.”

His hand replaces the phone, but his eyes never leave the wild numbers, doubling and now tripling. Four two flash seven one three dash six six six pause blank plus plus racing decimal three three three three. He takes a fast look around the dim room to see yellow and red lights glimmering from every corner, and the flashing green of disappearing numbers.

His eyes return to his own board. There is a constant series of tiny clicks as the green numbers race from right to left, bottom to top. He moves a sweaty palm across his leg and gapes. Minus minus minus eight zero four three eight zero four three pause eight pause plus pause zero four three three click click click click.

Quadrupling now, simultaneous right to left and bottom to top, green numbers racing click click click click.  The sound of the flicking numbers makes him think of chicken claws scratching in gravel. He notices his hands shaking.

He dimly remembers one lecture where the odds were given of such a thing happening, the smug humour of his instructor. Six six 44 flash two seven 55 click nine two 77 plus 333 point 2864 flash minus flash minus eight seven three three zero.

“My God, they’re in fives now.”

He swivels around with a start, and sees the Director peering over one shoulder, the General standing behind him.

“How long has this been happening?”

“I … I don’t know.” He is frightened and confused. “Five or six minutes – no more than ten. I called you as soon as – ”

“It’s happening with all of them,” said the General. “It’s not a mistake.” As he speaks he looks at the screen, fumbles to straighten his tie. Nine one four two four flash nine one four two 5 pause nine one four two 6 minus flash click click click.

They move like green waves across a dark sea, sextupleting in a rush from the base of the screen. Seven two 2941 flash four one 3384 pause nine zero 7766 click click minus three four 0827.

“More warning lights are on now, Sir.”

“It’s the same with every terminal,” said the Director as he looks over to the General.

“I presume you activated the breaking system.”

“Yes, Sir.” The operator does not look behind him as he answers. “When the triples started. All it did was blow out the switch lights.” His face – like the others – is bathed in a confused glow of green, yellow and red.

“The last warning lights just came on.”

“We can see that!” snapped the Director.

The room has never had so much light in it, yet the green numbers do not seem subdued. Four two 8601, nine five 7350, one one 4499 plus flash four eight 1632 click click.

Green flash, red light and yellow, number after number, 472210 flash 992136 pause 886221 race pause flash green 220011 flash click click click.

“Sounds like hens scratching,” says the General.

The Director took in his breath with a groan. “They’re turning octal,” he said.

The green numbers moved constantly now, covering the whole face of the screen. Click click flash plus 12345678 flash 87654321 pause 20199465 click minus flash 22446688 race click 11335577 green 88990011 click.

“They’re grouping,” said the Operator. “They’re forming patterns.” His voice was no longer scared, but resigned.

The red and yellow warning lights began to shatter, small pops of sound followed by falling glass. Green flickers raced 11223344 slight pause 55667788 flash green wave 99001122 minus flash 33445566 click click

“It’s turning cyclical,” said the Director.

click flash green rush 77889900 pause plus click 00000000 minus flash flash click 00000000 click click 00000000

“What a way to end,” mumbled the General.

(image)normalenew.sns.it/upload/2015/03/5292_big-data.jpg

 

Trump And France Walk Into A Bar

flag-of-france

~ Monsieur le Président. What can I get you?

~ I’m guessing it will be wine?

~ It does not need to be.

~ Isn’t that what’s supposed to be civilised?
~ les Français have a much wider civilisation than that.

~ I have a fondness – or is it a weakness – for Charteuse.
~ That is fine, mais …

~ I like the green colour in the glass.
~ Indeed, it is beautiful.
~ Have you another suggestion?

~ Absinthe
~ Uh-oh. That sounds like a baddie, believe me.
~ It has a certain heft.
~ You know I don’t drink?
~  Mais, oui.
~ Then what is the purpose?
~ It is poor diplomacy to drink alone.
~Then have at it.
~ Monsieur Trump, the whole country – all of Europe – would like to thank you.
~ Am I going to get a wedgie here?
~ Not at all – you have saved us.
~ It’s starting to feel really really tight in my butt cheeks.
~ The citizens français have seen what you accomplish.
~ It’s getting hard to sit down.
~ And have voted against something similar happening here.
~ Are you trying to get me to drink this thing?
~ Mais, non. You just keep being who you are.

DE

Nothing Finer Than A Diner / Cash Only

I http://media1.fdncms.com/thecoast/imager/ardmore-tea-room/u/zoom/1058341/ardmore5.jpg

I’ve lived long enough that all of my favourite restaurants are gone except two. Don’t worry, I still manage to eat out – I adapt.

Of those two, one is the long-lasting Ardmore Tea Room. And if I didn’t enjoy this place enough already, when I dined there yesterday I was asked “Would you like fried onions on your hash browns?”  I was tempted to answer “Is The Pope Argentinian?” but, instead, I just gleefully said “Yes!” Gleeful – in part – because they were accompanying Eggs Benedict. {You can note a bit of food = religion theme.}                                                     

As far as I know the Ardmore has been in the same location, and has been there for decades. It opens at 5:00 AM and closes at 8:00 PM. You don’t open this early in the morning if you don’t get steady customers. People on their way to work, and people coming home from work. A restaurant of the people, it is obvious.

The seating is at booths, and I have never been there when at least half of the booths were not occupied. The age range of the diners covers the decades, and I’d guess their economic backgrounds are just as diverse. I’ve never seen anyone encouraged to depart as soon as the check was paid, and as far as I know the coffee is bottomless.

By the way – the food is great!

There is an array of diner staples, plus dinner selections ranging from lasagna to chipolte chicken wraps. You can get shakes and sundaes. And rice pudding.

$Cash$ only – no credit cards.

As I sat over my third coffee and empty plate, listening to the murmur of many conversations and bursts of laughter, I finally realized what I had noticed during my meal. Noticed by its absence, so it took a while to register.

Not one person was using their cell phone.

DE

WHEN THE GOVERNMENT HATES YOU

Regardless of whether it is fascist, communist or capitalist, all governments hate Franz Kafka.

Kafka, despite his reputation as a depressing malcontent, was an honest humanist. He didn’t belabour the philosophy, he just lived the life. Two stories from his real life stand out which show his basic decency. These are told by other people, for Kafka did not blow his own horn. However, I suspect he did not even think he had done anything special.    

When Kafka first met Oskar Baum, who became a lifelong friend, he bowed his head when he shook hands. This was the formal custom of the day. Oskar felt Kafka’s hair graze his head, which was the only way he could tell that Kafka bowed, because Oskar was blind. To Kafka, the fact that the other man was sightless was no reason not to treat him with the full dignity he would express to any other.      

Later in life, Kafka worked as a lawyer for the Worker’s Accident Insurance Institute for the Kingdom of Bohemia in Prague. This organization was an odd blend of a government and private insurance ‘company’, that paid benefits to injured workers. Although Kafka’s main job was as an administrator, he did sometimes find himself representing the Institute in a court of law.  

On one occasion, he was acting against a worker who was refused benefits for an injury. Kafka believed the worker deserved his benefits, but he would do no less than his best to win the case. His solution was to, from his own pocket, hire an excellent lawyer for the worker. Kafka put forward the best case he could, yet lost. He was greatly pleased.

DE

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