From the mind of a mild mannered maniac

Archive for May, 2013

The Swing


That rusty, old swing set has seen far better days. Three wooden planks that comprise the seat, are stripped bare of paint; a result of years of constant erosion. I gingerly test it’s stability with the palm of an outstretched hand, then add the other for good measure. Embarrassed, I peer all around me on the lookout for potential witnesses, and find none.

I park my behind on worn planks feeling very foolish indeed. I rock gently at first, my feet still planted firmly on the ground. The chains squeak, and the metal framework protests slightly, but the structure miraculously holds firm despite my 190-plus pounds of mid life spread.

I lift my heels and set the swing in motion. It is a liberating experience, and losing myself in the moment, I kick out attaining steadily higher altitude with each pass. I am suddenly transported to heady play-acting days of youth. A time and place where I could be anything I wanted to be.

One minute I’d be hang gliding off the northern face of Mount Everest, the next I was Superman, Courageous defender of truth and justice, soaring high over the city in search of wrong doers.

I let out a whoop of exhilaration and release the chains first with one, and finally with both hands. In my mind, I’m staring down from my perch high above the big top.

The crowd hushes as I the world famous trapeze artist prepares to dazzle them with my death defying finale. A drum roll, a rush of air as I tumble through time and space, and then resounding applause. I have flawlessly performed the terrifying triple somersault without the safety net; delicious delirium in full flight!

Real time passes unchecked as I relive a wondrous piece of my childhood, but I slowly came down to earth, as my feet instinctively anchor themselves back on terra firma. My Adult foibles and responsibilities once more draped uneasily across weary shoulders, I stand and stroll slowly across to the parking lot.

An elderly woman who had been partially concealed behind a tall stand of conifers, sits tempting the pigeons with a slab of stale bread. She looks up and smiles at me knowingly as I pass on by. I smile meekly and walk on, busily contemplating my life and devising the next conquest.





I can’t get her out of my mind

lo I’ve tried

It sounds like I’m being unkind

how she lied

Her lies were so painfully curt

but her smile

dragged my poor heart through the dirt

for a while

Yet somehow I miss her abuse

why, oh why?

Its a riddle my brain can’t deduce


Love's Unkind

Love’s Unkind (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Greasy Spoon Cafe

I sat, alone, inside the dimly lit, Greasy Spoon Cafe. It was late, and most of the lunch crowd had long ago faded into oblivion.

I was idly thumbing through the pages of some local rag. The paper was yellowed with age,  dotted and smeared with a real  consortium of beverage and foodstuffs of undetermined vintage. The remnants of some sloppy diners’ meals, no doubt.

An elderly waitress, looking very out of place in a clean cotton summer frock and starched white apron, smiled and handed me a menu. I was tempted to order the pale green stuff that was smeared over the bi-line on page three, but instead opted for a toasted club sandwich and coffee.
She shuffled away and I went back to my paper.

I looked up as the door chimes rang and a young couple walked in. She of medium height, fair hair, and shapely physique, He, a tall and very lean, stoop-shouldered lad, with mop of frizzy, black, hair and what appeared to be a permanent grin.

After much deliberation, they settled on a table in the far corner, and sat down on opposite sides to wait.

She reached over and held his hand, and they gazed into each other’s love-struck eyes. It didn’t last though, for their smiles seemed to turn rather quickly to frowns. I couldn’t make out actual words, but their raised voices carried clear across the room.

Just then, the waitress arrived with my food and coffee, and turned my attention from Romeo and Juliette to the most delectable, clubhouse sandwich this side of Main Street.

Later, when my lunch was reduced to a few crumbs, and my coffee a distant memory, I. glanced back over at the restaurants only other occupied table.

The young man’s chair was abandoned and the young lady sat sobbing uncontrollably into her paper napkin.

I hesitated for a few minutes, weighing up the pros and cons of interfering, then heart beat brains.

I got up from my seat and walked toward her.

She was running short of dry spots on her napkin, and her eyes were beet red. I approached her and said that I knew it wasn’t any of my business, but was everything alright.

She stared up at me, in silence for a very long minute, then, having, somehow, determined I wasn’t the neighborhood rapist, she spoke.

“He broke up with me,” She said and glanced vacantly at the napkin.
The words gushed out of her, and a fresh flood of tears poured down her cheeks.
I handed her my freshly laundered handkerchief. She took it and dabbed at her swollen eyes.

“I’m so sorry,” I said, “You seemed so into each other.” I paused and pointed to my table, “That’s how it looked, from my vantage point, anyway”

She smiled sardonicly. “Ya, mine too! Rex and I were talking about getting married next fall.”

I’ve often been called an old softy, and I guess I sorta am, but, hey, she seemed like a sweet kid and she was clearly broken up about it. The least I could do is lend an ear.

“So, what happened?” I asked.
She blew her nose and sighed.

“I wish I knew!” we’re sitting here making all these wonderful plans, one minute; then the next he says he’s done. never wants to see me again!”

I mulled it over briefly unsure of what to say.

“Listen,” I said, marriage is a huge step, maybe he just needs time to let it sink in.”

She seemed to consider this, because a faint smile, momentarily replaced her frown.

I sat down in the empty spot, and for the next twenty minutes, or so. I, quietly listened, while Stella talked.

She told me about future plans and dreams, Like; taking a train out east to meet his parents, visiting Whistler Mountain Resort to plan their reception party and honeymooning on the beach in Waikiki.
Then she stared, intently, at the tablecloth.

‘But none of that matters anymore!”

“People fight all the time,” I said finally, “are you sure it’s truly over?”

She nodded glumly.

“Yes, says he can’t stand the sight of me.”

Her whole body quivered and convulsed and I sat there feeling utterly useless as the tears started, all over again.

Next thing i knew, old Rex
was there, looming over me, and before I could utter that old chestnut ‘This isn’t what it looks like!” I noticed his big, toothy grin.
He looked at Stella, she looked at him, and they burst out laughing.

Now, everyone deals with things differently, and grief can manifest itself in many different ways, but even a fool like me could see there was something odd here.

Confused? So was I, but the answer was about to reveal itself…
Turns out these two love birds were in a College Theater Arts Program together and the whole thing was an act. There’s was no breakup, this was all part of an elaborate ruse. A Prank played on, unsuspecting suckers like me for practise and giggles.

After their somewhat lenghly explanation, Rex handed me a pair of tickets.and backstage passes to a new production the two of them were performing in.

“No hard feelings?” he asked.

I tried to affect a scowl, but my smile broke through in stark defiance.

“Nope, I’m just glad you two are okay, I said. Then I thought for half a second. “How did you know I would fall for it?” I asked finally. “I could’ve just walked away.

Stella glanced at Rex, then back at me and she smiled warmly.

“‘Cause I’m a good judge of character.”


The River Runs Wild


The valley thrives, and the mighty river, it runs wild;
A raging torrent channelling through rocky gorge.
Impetuous, like the heart and soul of every child,
on a pathway honed by mighty hands and fiery forge.

Unfettered like a hurricane it courses on
The masterful performer sets up every scene
impatient in its quest to very soon be gone
with thundering applause in its pursuit downstream.

It wends its way through miles of pristine wilderness
like a ribbon through a bountiful bouquet.
Imperious explorer on one single quest;
To seek the lowest point, to flow way.

The valley thrives and the mighty river rolls along,
Unyielding, still, in its path down to the sea.
A wondrous devotion and a will so strong,
that only of Gods making could it be.



Joseph Grumby packed up all of his earthly possessions in the rusty, old, paint splattered van and drove off down the road. He had the talent to be a gifted painter , but had always lacked the drive to succeed .

It was a Dog eat dog world out there and it scared him to think about it.

For twelve long lonely years, Joseph Grumby had made his living as the town sign painter. Hardly inspiring work but it was a living, more or less.. After all, an artist has to suffer for his art, and that,as he was so often want to say, just would never do. Until now that is.

His foot firmly planted on the accelerator he sped off down the road. He was moving on with his life. It was time to pursue a dream.

As the daylight slowly faded, strange shadows engulfed the miles ahead. He was almost at the outskirts of town when he spotted the black cloaked figure walking ponderously down a rocky embankment toward the soft shoulder.

Grumby grunted and coaxed the rickety van up to its highest speed. He was certainly not stopping for some idiot hitch hiker, that was for sure.

He came to a bend in the road, and suddenly the cloaked figure loomed large in his headlights. Instinctively Joseph wrenched on the wheel in a lame attempt to avoid striking the erstwhile pedestrian.

The Van veered violently off the road and shot like an armour piercing bullet into the rock face!

On impact, it erupted in flame, much like the fiery furnace of hell itself. The ghostly apparition glanced long and hard at a sign on the side of the road. Flames licked at its edges, but the words were still clearly legible. It said Slow Down Dangerous Curve Ahead. “Pity, whispered the grim reaper, it was some of his best work.”


Okay, I know it isn’t the first day of Spring, that was way back in March. It has been a dull, dreary, wet, few weeks though and not particularly warm.

Well, I looked out early this morning, and realized that Spring had most certainly arrived.

A few hours ago, I went out to revel in the glorious sunlight, took these photos and sat down to write…




That every day were the first of spring
All nature should take voice
For every soul would surely sing,
And  the weary world  rejoice  

Winter, oft so harsh and long,
‘neath skies so bleakly grey
Holds natures meeker minions
Interminably at bay.  

Spring would warm the shivering soil
Arouse the sleeping ewes
life  reborn would embrace the morn
In technicolor hues


You’ve been Saying It Wrong

I stumbled onto this webpage quite by chance,  Fascinating stuff! How many of these quotes did you know the truth about?


This link posted courtesy of



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