From the mind of a mild mannered maniac

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OVERSIGHT (word prompt)

bbike

What was I thinking, trusting Smedley like that?
Take my Tux to the cleaners, pick up my uniform, post my letter, and meet me at the cricket green, by 1:00pm, I’d instructed him.
A simple enough set of instructions, wouldn’t you say? A ten-year-old of average intellect would be more than capable of performing such tasks. Bernard Smedley on the other hand, who can say?
Well… By 2pm our team was down to the final third of our batting order, and I Was fidgeting, listless and bored, in the dingy old clubhouse. I glanced at my reflection in the plate glass window. A man of slight build, thinning salt and pepper hair and slightly sallow complexion, stared back at me. My basic blue business suit with a, rather dapper looking,  grey and white speckled, silk tie, looked as out of place as a spacesuit in a sauna.
Where on earth was my man Smedley?

I punched in his number for the eighteenth time in as many minutes. “The client you seek is not currently available”, said a mechanical sounding voice, again.
Then as if by magic, in he shuffled, with all the urgency of a doddery old tortoise. No, wait, what am I saying.? Some tortoises actually win the occasional race, don’t they?
“Smedley”, I growled, “where the devil have you been all this time?”
“Sir”, he gasped, His cheeks were a most, alarming shade of chartreuse, and he was teetering unsteadily as he struggled to catch his breath.
“You look like you’ve just completed a triple Marathon, with a cart horse on your back, my dear chap!.” I exclaimed.
Bernard Smedley sighed almost imperceptibly. “Closer to the truth than you might suspect, Sir.” The quizzical expression on my face obviously urged him onward in earnest. “Today’s assignments were, dare I say, a tad challenging.”
I shot him one of my patented scowls through the handles of the, plastic, shopping bag I’d been scrutinizing. “Challenging” I asked? it was hard to disguise my incredulity.
My Butler, to his credit, had somehow managed to compose himself, and despite his, obvious discomfort, was now, standing there, ram-rod, straight.
“Well Sir”, he began, “Your Cricket uniform was not in evidence at the London residence, so I thusly concluded that it must be ensconced at the country estate. Since Davis had the Bentley in pieces, presumably performing routine maintenance, I gather, and since Madam is using the Rolls Royce on her, erm procurement venture to Harrods. I availed myself of a schedule and endeavoured to intercept the number 43 bus. The public conveyance was three minutes and forty-six seconds late, by the way. Not to worry though, Sir it only took me three hours to get there. Your Uniform was not there, by the way. So I borrowed a motorbike from one of your Gardeners. In hindsight, it might have been fortuitous had the, charming fellow, thought to have informed me that it was almost out of petrol. Still, those five kilometres required of me to push it to the nearest petrol station were quite invigorating. When I arrived at your dry cleaners, the obstinate service clerk patently refused to oblige me with your Tuxedo, even when I promised him an extremely unpleasant visit from your solicitors, if he should fail to do so.

It was at that point that I discovered my, most egregious, oversight. I had inadvertently abandoned your letter, back at the estate. The journey back there was quite uneventful, by the way. I’m beginning to quite enjoy motor biking”
How I’d listened to the, whole, ridiculous tale without laughing myself silly is, quite honestly, beyond my comprehension.
“So”, I said, finally, “what’s this?” I pulled a wooly white jumper, and a pair of white painters trousers out of the bag.
“Those,” he said, pointing sheepishly at the offending articles, “are the nearest I could find to a Cricketers ensemble, at such short notice, Sir.”
I simply smiled, poured him a cup of tea, and we sat and watched the remainder of the match together in companionable silence.cric

.

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The Murderer Did it. – Part 2

At the, not so, spacious headquarters of, Cribbs & Cribbs Investigation, an old, though tastefully adorned, office space in the West-side of Downtown Vancouver, Dave Cribbs slammed down the phone.
His wife rested a comforting hand on his shoulder“ How’s our favourite Chief inspector today?”
“Arggh!” Cribbs jumped to his feet abruptly. “ Just as obstinate as usual- Says he can manage, just fine without me.”

Suzanne sat down at the uncomfortably tidy desk and silently studied her partner’s ruggedly handsome profile. Things had been quiet lately, Not Even a run-of-the-mill, domestic case to occupy his supple mind. As a valued former employee and frequent police consultant of note, it rankled him not to have been called in on a big case like this.

“Don’t stress it, Hon, he’ll come around eventually, he always does.”

Dave Cribbs, who was staring vacantly out of the window at the bustling street below, shrugged resignedly.
“Yeh, maybe. He’s too proud for his own good though.” He thought about it for a moment then added “They’re bound to need our help on this one, right? The department’s swamped at the moment, and massively understaffed.”

The news had broken earlier that morning. Henry Davison had met his end between midnight and three AM last Saturday. A toxicology report had determined that a lethal dose of a powerful, fast-acting, barbiturate had been administered just prior to death. The medical examiner, had corroborated that, after a detailed examination, a corresponding injection site had, been discovered, between the third and forth toe, on the victim’s right foot. It was deemed, highly unlikely, to have been self-administered.

The headline had set the news world abuzz with wild theories, conspiracies and far reaching speculation. Tales of Secret trysts, disgruntled former business partners, a business rivalry, a dissolved marriage, disinherited offspring, and Davison’s last two years of seclusion all made the rounds.

Two days later, a folder with a copy of all of the case files lay open on his desk. Dave chuckled to himself as he recalled the conversation with Chief inspector Reginald Stubbson of The West Vancouver RCMP detachment. For Stubby, as he was referred to, in hushed tones, amongst his underlings, it must have felt tantamount to pulling teeth. Having grudgingly admitted that he had a, temporary, manpower shortage, and that Cribbs could be of some minor assistance, he had dispatched the necessary documents in record time.

Reports from the first officer on the scene, including his interview with the cleaning lady a Mrs. Doris Rhattenburg. She, who had, tearfully, recounted, at length, the shocking, discovery of her employer’s body. The folder also contained photos of the crime scene, obligatory interviews with Davison’s next of kin, toxicology and medical examiner’s reports.

Having perused the notes and reports, Dave turned his attention to the photographs. Henry Sinclair Davison, had been a ruggedly handsome man, whose athletic build and six foot three inch frame, must have been an imposing sight. Even in death, his chiselled features and robust physique, were strikingly apparent. To Cribbs, It was not a huge surprise. Before his self imposed exile, Davison had been an avid outdoorsman, equally at home in the wilderness, as he was in the boardroom. His exploits in the jungles of Africa, and the ragged peaks of the Himalayas had been documented at length, and replayed in a continuous loop on all the major news outlets in the days following his untimely death.

Suzanne Cribbs, who had been peering over her partners right shoulder at one of the, more revealing, photographs, let out a low breathy whistle.

“Well now,” She said, “there’s a man who died in his prime of life.”

*********To be continued

The Murderer Did it

Hello Friends, I am back!
Sorry there haven’t been any entries in February, well, until now, that is.
There’s some very odd thing called Family, that has kept me preoccupied for a week or two, but while I have a moment or two to my self, I thought I would spend them with you. Hope this post finds you all happy and healthy.
Heres just a wee snippet of something I have been working on, any feedback/words of wisdom you could impart would be most welcome.
Thank you,
Cliffy 

THE MURDERER DID IT (A Working Title) By Cliff Lewis

“It’s murder”, he declared boldly.

“What are you talking about?”

Private Investigator, and retired police detective, Dave Cribbs, had a crazed expression painted across his, chiselled face
“Murder!”, he repeated emphatically.

“Are you reading one of your silly stories?” Enquired the woman seated to his left in the restaurant booth.

“What? No, don’t you see, it’s as plain as the nose on your face!”

“Well now that’s a lovely thing! My nose is perfectly proportioned for my face shape, thank you very much!”

“No”, said Dave, ignoring the look of indignation on the woman’s face, “look at this!” He waved a rumpled newspaper. The gleam in his eyes was intensifying with every passing second.

“Potatoes 45 cents a pound?”

“No, no the other side.” He wrenched the newspaper from his wife’s tenuous grip and flipped it over.

Suzanne Cribbs scanned the article with an expression of polite disinterest on her petite, some would say, pretty face.
“Yes”’ she said, I see that you have an overblown imagination.

The article in question, outlined the story of a 68 year old multimillionaire recluse Henry S. Davison, who’s naked, body had been discovered cold and inanimate in the bathtub of the locked, ensuite bathroom of his West Vancouver Mansion. A primary investigation had suggested his death was by natural causes. The Police are awaiting results of the Medical examiner’s report, but have found no suspicious circumstances.

Mrs. Cribbs sighed.
“I know we’ve been without a case for a week or two, but this is ridiculous. You might not be aware of local statutes, dear, but you cannot, possibly, be suggesting we investigate death by natural causes?”

Dave Cribbs stabbed the article emphatically
“Except it’s not natural causes, read the fine print.”
“How ‘bout just saving me the trouble, and outlining it for me?”
“OK.” The great detective cleared his throat with exaggerated gusto.

“Multi Million dollar mogul publicly announces he’s severing ties with his money-grubbing family, aka cuts them all out of the will, adopts the life of a hermit, then two years later, is found dead in his bathtub.”

He pounded on the table, with such a force, that the salt cellar toppled, causing a diner at an adjacent table to drop her fork. She snorted, glared in his direction for a full second, then stormed out.

“I’ve been on the job long enough to know a murder when I smell one, Suzanne, take my word for it, this,” he tapped the paper again, “is definitely one.”

His wife just chuckled. There was no denying her husbands powers of deduction, but this was laughable.

They finished lunch, and strolled casually down the block to the offices of Cribbs & Cribbs Investigation.

Several days later, Private Investigator David Cribbs was proved right.

.>>>>> To Be Continued <<<<<

CONVERSATION, WHAT’S THAT?

So,

I’m sitting in a crowded café, with the lilting tone of The Beach Boys in my earbuds, faced with the leisurely task of writing something, at least, halfway interesting for today’s blog.

Someone is screaming from a table nearby, I assume it is from pent up excitement, and not some real emergency. Other than that, the only thing I hear is the indecipherably, merged rumblings of the coffee shop’s clientele. Its kind of comforting in a strange way. Different at any rate, from the all too silent surroundings I’d occupy, at this early hour, at home. There, where the ticking of a clock, the dull hum of the refrigerator or the drone of the furnace, can seem like a hundred elephants thundering across the living room floor.

If you suspect that I’m stalling here, then you would be correct. I’m dithering around, as I wait for the caffeine to kick in, and for inspiration to strike. That obviously hasn’t occurred yet, Lol! Oh and yes, in case you’re wondering, I was, indeed, just tittering to myself. The women at the next table appear to be measuring me up for a straight jacket. I’m not concerned, just merely amused and, somewhat, gratified that I have provided them with a moment’s entertainment.

So anyway…
Have you ever wondered how this world of ours keeps functioning? As I glance around me now, I see very few people that don’t have the dull glow of a smartphone, or tablet, screen reflected in their glazed eyes. (I must, in the traditional of serious journalists everywhere, include yours truly, as I stare at this display, and strive to impart some sort of meaningful missive.

The only exception to this internet inseption, seems to be a rowdy bunch of pensioners who are engaged in an ancient rite, which I believe was once referred to as conversation. A few are even reading newspapers. How unique that seems in this age of electronic pacification.

Actually, upon further investigation, I find myself in the awkward position of amending my previous statement. There are a multitude of multitasking millennials who seem to be texting and verbally conversing with their table mates simultaneously. Perhaps our future is in the hands of a far more capable bunch than I initially suspected.

I am not judging, merely observing.
I find myself staring at my own devices for an inordinate amount of time. Oh well, such is life.

Now as I swallow the last dregs of cold coffee and stop to review this rather pathetic blog entry. I must sadly bid you all adieu and farewell. Perhaps next time I will have something important to say. 😉
Keep smiling, and if you made it to the end here, thanks for reading my blog.

I love you all ❤

~CLIFFY

A Trucker’s Tale

https://pixabay.com/en/truck-lorry-red-road-24360/

Early morning, and the sun was yet to put in an appearance.
I pressed the accelerator down a fraction harder, and motored along that lonely stretch of highway.
Not a soul about anywhere for miles upon empty miles.
My Semi tractor trailer, hummed along to the tune in my head, interrupted only by an occasional rattle as she navigated an uneven chunk of tarmac. Note to self, change the fuse on the radio circuit.

Around about sunrise, I reached my first destination. A misty, backwater town off of Route 5. At the appointed delivery bay, I unhitched my trailer, and went in search of coffee.
The office was unlocked so I walked in and stood in front of a big messy desk. There was no one on duty, I called out a friendly
“Hallo”
No answer, and after a few minutes of Staring forlornly at a cold empty coffee pot, I helped myself to the paperwork, I needed. I went back out to track down the trailer, I would be hauling to the next drop off.
I found the one I was looking for, retrieved the papers from its dossier compartment, then hitched it up to my rig.

When I got back to the loading bay, there was still no signs of life. Not an entirely unexpected thing. The dude was probably sleeping off a wild night, or had forgotten to set his alarm, or something.

I went back out to my truck and waited. I couldn’t leave, until someone checked the order and signed off on it.

I waited for hours, checking every ten minutes or so, but still there was no signs of life. Then I called dispatch and told them my predicament.

There were some unhappy, and not overly polite words exchanged, but they called me back after another agonising thirty minutes, and gave me the all clear to move on to my next port of call, I’d hate to be the one to deal with that bureaucratic nightmare, but time is money, so what could I do? These goods don’t deliver themselves you know.

I drove approximately two hundred miles to my next stop, where I was greeted by the same eerie silence. Dispatch couldn’t believe it when I called it in.
Two in a row? That was completely unheard of.

I hung up the phone, and was idly thumbing through my email, when I heard a loud bang. It was coming from inside the closed loading bay.
” So you are in there.” I mumbled.

Another loud bang, and then I could swear I heard a low, throaty, growling. A guard dog, perhaps? I tried the side door, it was open. I gazed into the darkened interior.
“Hallo” I called, “you okay in there?”
There was no reply.

I listened for a moment in the doorway. There was a rustling noise, then some grunting, like that of a bear or giant ape. Something moved in the shadows.
“Hallo?” I tried again, then something rushed at me. I only caught a brief glimpse, It was the size of a man, but seemed to have hideous fangs, and clawlike hands.

I ran for my open truck, and dove in head first. The angry beast was close on my heals. I wrestled the door closed, just in time, and got a close up view as it its razor sharp claws, etched five concentric lines across my window.

I fumbled with the key, and finally managed to start my truck. The beast was clawing maniacally at my door, it lost its grip, and was glaring at my reflection in the mirror, as I sped away.

A few miles down the road, I pulled over to gather my wits. I was trembling like a leaf.
I heard a scratching at my door, and looked on in horror, as what seemed like a hundred of the beasts descended on my truck. They snarled and growled, as they closed ranks. Then violently tore open my locked doors, with apparent ease.

I reached behind the seat for my baseball bat, but not in time. I thrashed and struggled as the hideous, creatures started ripping and clawing at my clothes, their gnashing fangs inching closer and closer to my exposed throat.

I let fly one final, blood curdling scream, then closed my eyes to shut out the horror. I knew it was too late.

“Get up, get up!!”
I opened my eyes in surprise, my beautiful wife was standing over me. A quizzical expression on that beautiful face. Where was I? Had I died and gone to heaven?!

“Wake up, Sleepy head!” She was saying. “Breakfast is ready, and you’re gonna be late for work.” My confused expression prompted her to add,
“That truck won’t drive itself you know.”

That’s when I made a big decision.

No more Zombie movies at bedtime.

100 Things Canucks fans should know and do before they die. A review

100 Things Canucks Fans Should Know  Do Before They Die

I was given an autographed copy of this excellent book for Christmas. This is my, very, brief review.

100 Things Canucks Fans Should Know Do Before They Die by Thomas Drance

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is recommended reading, not just for true blue Canucks fans, but Hockey fans in general. It documents the journey from early, pre-expansion era days, to glory days and near misses. It doesn’t skirt through the trials, tribulations and failings as much as it weaves a pathway through heartbreaks and dawning mediocrity and on to the heady euphoria of near success. It was fun to revisit so many old friends and personalities who had a part in the birth and/or building of my favourite Hockey franchise. This Is a fascinating story told in a very entertaining style. I couldn’t put it down.
I have followed the team from the beginning and am a life-long fan. I have struggled through the doldrums and rejoiced in the good times, and this book has been a great way to relive, and refresh some old memories.

View all my reviews

I’m so sorry!

i-m-so-sorry

I am so sorry.

I try so hard to be a decent human being, so hard, in fact, that I seem to spend my life apologizing for things that I apparently needn’t be sorry for. I then promptly apologize for apologizing.

I called a friend, the other night. He was in the middle of his supper, and said he would call me back later. I couldn’t possibly have known his family were having a later than usual repast, or that he had a bad day, and yet I apologized for the interruption. Later, when he returned my call, I apologized again.

I won’t bore you with the content of that conversation, but suffice it to say, his day had not been a resounding success. My buddy recounted, at length, and in gory detail, a figurative, landslide of, mistakes, miscues and misadventures, the likes, of which, he’d never known. Hence his frazzled demeanor.

As usual, as in most situations like this, I was struggling for an appropriately savvy reaction. Did I offer a solution? Offer commiserations? Seek out the silver lining?, Lighten the mood with some witty repartee? Nope.
I reverted to my stock response,
“Sorry about that.”
“Omg,” he growled. ‘Would you please stop apologising every two minutes! None of this is your fault!”
Not the reaction I was expecting. I thought he would thank me for my thoughtfulness, or something similar. Clearly what he needed from me, was a sounding board.

For some reason, I have this, lame, habit of taking resonsibility for all the world’s woes. As I write these words, I realise just how silly this must sound, but it’s like somewhere deep down in my psyche , I feel like I must be single handedly responsible for poverty, famine, global warming, terrorism, earthquakes, hurricanes, blight, the world economy and everything else that’s wrong in the universe.
Even on a personal level, I feel badly about things i might have said or done, or things I should have said or done, that the other people in my life are unconscious of, or completely unconcerned about.

“You’re far too sensitive”, is a frequent refrain.

Does this happen to you?

I lay awake, some nights, wondering if I’ve impressed upon my friends and loved ones, sufficiently, just how much they’re loved and appreciated, or if I’ve apologised for the least significant of things.

I know I shouldn’t apologise so much, and I don’t mean to, but it is a compulsive behavior that, try as I might, I can’t seem to purge myself of.

Maybe I am too eager to please, or have some deep-seated need to be liked by everyone, or perhaps I’m just like everyone else, flawed, imperfect, human.

Hmmm….This little post got a little more introspective than I intended,

Sorry about that. ☺

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