Monday April 11th, 2011

The exercise:

Let's go with: the errand.

The wind was blowing hard here pretty much all day, so it made outside work rather unpleasant. I still managed to get some pictures of the apricot blossoms. I like this one best:

Oh, and did some pruning, yard, and garden work too. Honest.


"It's okay, I don't need to bring the list," he'd said on his way out the door. "There's only three things on it. I can remember three things!"

No, apparently, he could not.

Standing in the condiment aisle in the grocery store, a jug of milk in one hand and a bag of apples in the other, James was stumped. What had been the last item on the list? Or was it the second? If only he could picture that scrap of paper, pinned to the fridge by the Mickey Mouse magnet.

"Bread?" he asked the unresponsive jar of crunchy peanut butter that was staring at him from its crowded shelf. "No, there's still three quarters of a loaf on the counter."

He could call and ask, but that would mean admitting defeat. He'd never hear the end of that. Worse, he'd never be allowed out of the house without a list stuffed in his back pocket.

"Tomatoes?" James scowled at the raspberry jam that seemed to be smirking at him. "Oh, what do you know anyway? You're just a stupid jar of jam."

Then, at long last, inspiration struck. He made his way to the checkout and placed his two items on the conveyor belt. While the teenager rang up his items, he grabbed a chocolate bar at random and slid it across to her.

"Just in case," he told her with a smile that only elicited a deepening of her bored expression.

He really should have brought the list.


Greg said...

Did Kat like her chocolate bar then? And what was the third item you forgot? ;-)
I have the same problem: I go to the shops and by the time I get there I can remember that there are three items on the list, and I only know two of them. Luckily these modern phones allow me to create shopping lists to save me trying not to lose a paper version :)
The apricot blossoms are lovely. All the cherry trees are currently blooming here, so everywhere looks pretty.

The Errand
"What colour is the fire engine?" asked Mummy. Toddler screwed up his face in thought.
"Red?" he said, pointing a chubby finger at it. Firemen with soot-blackened faces ran back and forth, while others pointed hoses at the burning supermarket.
"Very good!" said Mummy, sounding pleased. Toddler giggled. "Now, why are fire engines red?"
Toddler thought about this while Mummy watched the building burn. It was only supposed to be a quick errand, and then some stupid clerk had to go and be sarcastic....

morganna said...

Twenty minutes to get her dressed (but she did the work herself), five minutes to get her shoes and jacket on (but I had to do it myself, so she screamed), five minutes getting into the car.

Ten minutes driving to the school, five minutes getting brother, and five minutes getting him into the car (but he does the work).

Ten minutes driving to the bank, ten minutes in the bank.

Five minutes getting them both in the car. Five minutes driving to the store I promised as a treat, only to discover it's closed because it's Monday (thankfully, no screaming here).

Ten minutes driving home that should have been five (but I forgot school had just gotten out and drove past the high school). Five minutes getting out of the car and in the house.

Total time: An hour and a half for 15 minutes of errands actually accomplished. (She is 3 and he is 5.)

Marc said...

Greg - I'm known for forgetting things even when I do bring the list :P

Arson seems a reasonable response to sarcasm. But I'm still trying to figure out why fire engines are red...

Morganna - that math just significantly decreased my desire to have kids. I think I'll need to go look at cute baby pictures for a few minutes in order to recover :P

Greg said...

I had to go check, but it looks like fire engines aren't always red :) They're painted a highly visible colour, and back in the 1800s red was the most expensive colour available, so fire engines were painted that a symbol of pride from their brigades, it would seem.
I don't think Toddler will be able to work that out for himself though.

morganna said...

Greg -- my husband says nowadays city firetrucks are yellow because it's most visible in cities, studies have found, and rural firetrucks are red because it's most visible in the country.

Marc -- just to make sure the cute baby pictures don't work :), things have gotten much easier since they were babies. :)

Marc said...

That's very interesting, thanks for sharing that :)

Also, Morganna: well, you're not helping :P

David said...

The man sat in the back seat of the Lincoln Town Car. He felt silly being driven, he used to do the driving. He rolled the bullet through his shaking fingers. Nerves, he thought. He wished. Arthritis, more like it. He was no longer a young man. He had been just twenty years old when he started work for the Cahill family. But that was for Amanda’s father’s father. Those were the good old days. Weren’t they?


This was a cliché. Crack house to the left and right. God knows what was happening in the one in the middle. The paint peeled so much from the building, a gust of wind would start a shower of flakes. They were on the third floor. Had been for a week. He didn’t tell her. He didn’t tell her they had been in Reno the week before either. That was the vacation week. The week that had been authorized. Now something else had been mandated, and Lou, as much as he hated to see it done, had his orders.

He knew he dressed like someone from central casting. We need a guy in a trench coat, lots of pockets. He needs to be able to conceal his weapon. We’re going for someone with that “angel of death” look. He needs to put the fear of God into any person he meets. Think, his gaze will make you piss yourself if he locks in on you. Lou knew the neighbors watched the black car, saw him emerge. It didn’t matter. They won’t tell anybody. These are church going people and they know the Lord’s vengeance when they see him.

A boy sat across the street. He carried his baseball bat. Two weeks ago he used it to hit a grand slam in the last game of the season. Today, he would use it on anyone who bothers him. That’s what his father told him to do. He hadn’t needed to use it, yet. He saw the man in the black car. He had seen him before. He thought he should run into the house, up to the third floor, and swing his bat. But he didn’t. He just sat there frozen. And then the screams started. The pleading squeals of death that he would never forget as long as he lived.

Marc said...

David - that had wonderful atmosphere. I really enjoyed that.