Monday, August 28, 2017


The family of four had spent a three-day weekend up the coast. Hiking the blooming hills in the morning then seaglassing on the beach in the afternoons had been the focus. The car was packed and they sought a meal before the four-hour trek home. It took not long to find the quaint little breakfast shop two blocks off the town’s main road.

They were seated near the front window, the bright Sunday morning sunlight shown like a spotlight on their table. The waitress provided menus and water then returned shortly afterwards to retrieve meal orders. As the four made chit chat about the weekends’ highlights, he noticed movement on the rim of the small white ceramic condiment bowl in the center of the table. It would have been the cutest little thing, given different circumstances, but here, now, it was an ominous beckoning. An inchworm, tiny and the most refreshing light green of a new lawn or of a mossy Irish landscape adjacent to a chilly waterfall. Its back inching up and down as it moved along the rim around the entire bowl. It was a trip destined to have no end but the worm did not know this. Nor did it know that it had been spotted. Nor, also, that it had spoiled the meal’s enjoyment for the fellow.

He observed the worm, knew not by what means the worm had come to this precarious position and its perpetual circular course. The guy had instantly made the decision that he would not consume the jellies in the inchworm’s bowl. Additionally, with the cloud of uncleanliness cast at the existence of the worm, he needed to decide on a more serious issue. Would he dare test the untidiness of the syrup dispensers? Laughable idea, of course not, he'd eat the soon-to-arrive pancakes dry.

The meal arrived, looked delicious, and he commenced consumption plain. Affirmative, a plate of three hot cakes eaten with nothing. The options of syrup, compote and jams were all unflinchingly negated.

“Don’t you want syrup,” asked his Sweet Pea.

Wanting not to spoil everyone else’s dining experience he said, “No thanks” making no reference to the worm. Although, he found it difficult to understand how nobody else had seen it. It was right there!

The son, sensing something was askew based on his father’s odd, though not unprecedented, behavior also opted to eat his pancakes dry.

“I don’t know what’s up with you two,” she said at a loss. From the son’s perspective, neither did he. The father, he loved his bride very much. This is the one that made his world a delight.

The breakfast was tasty, the weather was just right and the early stretch of the drive home would have an ocean view. Not too shabby, despite the worm.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Unlikely Saviors

They had come from the outer reaches of outer space. They were small, the aliens, not at all physically intimidating. They were hairless creatures of an attractive forest green wearing no clothing, nor ornamentation. They were distinguishable from one another by shapes, sizes, facial features and blemishes on their bare exposed bodies. The dimensions of full grown aliens ranged from the size of a four-foot tall child to as small as a one-foot stuffed doll. They looked harmless, benign and seemingly content like a child occupied with the task of consuming a large chocolate chip milk shake.

There had been an initial stage of human trepidation upon the aliens’ arrival with much discussion about what to do about them. Nearly a year, in fact, of heated discussion raged about whether or not to fight and eradicate the aliens from the earth. Discussion continued until their gift unto the human race. At the height of the human argumentation the aliens revealed a new clean energy technology that was far more efficient than the best technology known to man. That’s when all talk of their annihilation ceased. Well, there remained a few outliers still calling for caution, but their voices were largely drowned out. It was not until the U.S. Presidential gala that the aliens’ true intent came to light.

During the ceremony’s practice dress walk-through the aliens took action. With no outward show of anger, no words spoken, no weapons visibly employed, the vaporization commenced. Most humans present were vaporized, not all of them, not the president, but many people, most, in fact.

The offensive lasted less than a minute. The president remained unscathed, but his aids and security, and numerous elected officials had been unceremoniously dispatched. Nothing remained of them. It was a very clean attack! The president was alone and shaken. What could compete with this kind of firepower? What kind of weapon was capable of such destruction without even visible hardware of a weapon?

In total disbelief and feeling of defeat, the president sought a quiet place to collect himself. He wanted to be able to convey the proper demeanor and message when a TV announcement would ultimately be required. He opened a door into a small study, he just wanted to sit for a few minutes out of sight. The room had dark wood panels lining the walls, curtains were drawn shut, a single low wattage lamp was alit on an end table. Three cats were leisurely strung out on a chair and sofa. They were unconcerned about the commotion. They looked almost pleased, if such a creature is capable of experiencing pleasure.

An alien entered the room, closed the door behind itself and was about to communicate with the president. The president turned to face his aggressor just in time to see the nearest cat jump, land on the alien and consume it whole! Astonishing! It had been one of the four-foot tall aliens, the lead alien, and was consumed in its entirety in a matter of seconds. It seemed the aliens had no bones, tendons, or anything, apparently, requiring chewing. Their density was deceptively overstated much like chocolate covered marshmallows. The president was baffled. Also confused, but mostly ecstatic with this development. He wasn’t sure what would happen next, but he liked the possibilities. Being a man of action he opened the door and issued a single sweeping motion with his arm for the felines to exit the room. The three felines entered the banquet hall with the eagerness of grade-school humans being offered an endless supply of ice cream. The cats went to town, so to speak. They were ravenous and insatiable in their consumption of the aliens, equally as clean as the aliens’ prior vaporization attack.

The cats were more numerous now as the president reentered the banquet hall, possibly local feral cats or domestics from neighboring abodes. There were dozens of cats now racing about in a feeding frenzy. They must have been somehow immune to the vaporizing experienced by the distinguished humans. The aliens were fleeing but their effort was entirely unsuccessful as they were fully incapable of hustle.

A few people were now peeking out from behind drapes, overturned tables, a bartender was filming the action from behind the bar with her mobile phone held up high over the counter top to record the decimation. A television news report was being broadcast from Asia showing cats on the attack and aliens on the losing end of their retreat. Cats had saved the world!

[Based on a dream that was definitely inspired by my daughter’s fondness for cats.]