Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Olympic Dreams

The harder the fall, the higher the bounce.
Competitive synchronized levitation required delicate balance, a certain degree of resiliency, a willingness to push boundaries, and a finely tuned understanding of Newton’s Third Law. The Orbulous twins, Orlon and Olson, were at the height of their game. Now that wrestling was on its way out of Olympic competition, they hoped their sport might take its rightful place on the world stage.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

An intervention

You should have a talk with a friend today.
The kitchen staff at the Hotel Garamond were justifiably proud of their reputation... it took some doing to hang on to that fourth Michelin star. So they were not pleased when patrons started complaining about the food. Turns out that someone was ordering the customary high quality provisions but what was being delivered was a grade or two below that. Somewhere in between, money was changing hands.

Their suspicions centered on Silvestrio. He dressed half too flash for the money they knew his pay envelope to hold. They were pretty sure he was bent. They'd give him one chance to straighten out; if that didn't work, they'd talk to Baxter and Ambrose.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Three's a company

When Milligan and Morton hit the scene, there’s was always the chance that one or the other (or both!) would suddenly explode in a display of temper that had become legendary in their circle of friends. It seemed that only the presence of the more balanced, level-headed Quentin had any chance at keeping the histrionics at bay.

Avert misunderstanding with calm, poise, and balance.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Watchful eyes

Yolanda had been a dancer herself, trained to the highest standards; her years of experience made her an excellent competition judge. She wasn’t subtle in her assessments; somehow dancers always knew how she felt about their performances.

The eyes of a master will do more work than both his hands.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Optimist or realist?

Away and on the other side of Esme and Percival, there lived Horace and his own true boon companion, Cecilia. Horace had rather counted on Esme, in much the same way that Cecilia had counted on Percival. Horace remained optimistic and devoted. Cecilia saw straight through that Dulcie creature.
The eyes believe themselves; the ears believe other people.

Unexpected delight

An unexpected surprise is in store for you.
Esme returned from vacation with a new hairstyle, a new attitude, and a new beau. He’d be joining her soon, but had sent his treasured pet and boon companion, Dulcie, ahead. Percival was smitten.

Ulterior motives

It is better to have a hen tomorrow than an egg today.
Esme’s neighbor readily agreed to take care of Percival, Esme’s treasured pet and boon companion. Had Percival been a self-reflective sort, he might have realized that the neighbor’s motives were not altogether altruistic. In any event, the nieghbor’s ignorance of basic biology saved the day (and Percival).

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Please Mr. Postman

"Send me a letter, every day that we're apart!"

Chauncey was determined to fulfil his promise to Honoria. He made a new selection each day and hoped his choices were appreciated. Honoria cared for Chauncey, despite his rather literal-minded view of the things she said.

You have a charming way with words. Write a letter this week.

Friday, February 15, 2013

A well deserved break

Drysdale’s doctor told him to go on vacation. So did his dentist, his accountant, his mother, his chiropodist, his gastroenterologist, his golf pro, his assistant manager, two baristas at his local coffee shop, and the guy at the corner newsstand. When two complete strangers he met while waiting on a street corner for a traffic light to change told him the same thing, he reluctantly capitulated. He would try to do what they all recommended: he would try to “let his hair down” and relax. He wasn’t anticipating success.
Get into the spirit of the times

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cupid's Dart

Stop searching forever; happiness is just next to you.
Like Brenda and Eddie, Glenda and Freddie were still going steady since the summer of ‘75

...and buoyed by Brenda’s success, Glenda decided to borrow the serious shoes. Freddie was relieved to have the decision made for him and he was totally cool with that.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Beach House On The Moon

The Ogilveys have hit all the major vacation locations: Cape Canaveral, the Air and Space Museum,  Area 51, Devil’s Tower. This year, they were overjoyed to witness an eclipse directly over their own backyard. Naturally, they wore protective eyegear.
Maybe you can live on the moon in the next century.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A kiss for luck

Nearly every suite in the Hotel Garamond had a fireplace. Those few that did not had other amenities meant for sophisticated and refined tastes of a particular nature and, in the opinions of those with such tastes, were well worth the premium rate charged for them. But the stories from those suites are a digression from this narrative, and quite likely never to be made public in any event (at least while there’s a Jack in charge of the Garamond).

Avoid unchallenging occupations - they will waste your great talents
A proliferation of fireplaces naturally leads to a proliferation of chimneys, and the Garamond rooftop fairly bristles with them. Fireplaces need chimneys, and chimneys need sweeps. Once a year, a crew of most expert sweeps comes to the old port town, there to enjoy something of a working holiday. They arrive bearing the tools of their trade, some of which were invented specifically to clean each cranny and nook of the hotel’s fireplaces and flues.

That’s the “working” part of the “working holiday.” The “holiday” part? Well, everyone knows that a sweep’s kiss is luck for a year. Sometimes, lines formed around the block.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Morning routine: quiet, solitude, latte, and a bagel

Harold wasn’t much for mornings. He liked an easy entrance to the day; sometime around half past ten was manageable.
For those who like peace and quiet: a phoneless cord.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Sometimes, when the weather was fine, she would go to the mountain meadow and dance.
The weather is wonderful.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Philosophical Society

The members of the Philosophical Society enjoyed the give and take of organized debate, reveled in the well-crafted bon mot, and prided themselves on a long tradition of cultural refinement. Theodore’s intentions were obvious, obviously; he was not the best partner for debate nor a particularly lucky poker player.
Someone can read your mind.

Friday, February 8, 2013


You will have many friends when you need them.
Inspection of the third year students' mudroom revealed an unfortunate absence of a pair of Wellingtons: Doreen Magirthy’s, to be precise. Doreen’s friends were loyal, steadfast, true but even if they had not been, their stories corroborated Doreen’s claim that she had just, in that absent-minded way she had, managed to misplace her boots and that she had no idea they were actually missing until Dimples dropped them, covered with slobber, at her stockinged feet.

While she was exonerated by her classmates’ testimony, she was awarded seven demerits for her dubious taste in hosiery.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Many sides to the same story

A note slipped under the door to her suite led Melisandre to Lady Anastasia's Millinery. She was met at the door by Lady Anastasia herself and invited to view the new season's selections.

Familiarize yourself with the situation before taking action.
How may I serve Madame today? purred Lady A.

Melisandre produced the note.

Lady A slapped the closed sign on the door, drew down the shades, and said in a voice dripping with honey-coated venom,” you can't trust that snake Twitchy Smith. He'd sell his mother down the pike for a tenner and throw in her poodle for free.”

Several cups of tea, and a few stronger beverages later, a more complete picture emerged. Lady Anastasia (because the punters won't pay any kind of money for hats made by someone named Annie Blockton) had seen Rosa Maria Di Fiorini, had, in fact, waited on her the morning of the night she decamped from the old port town.

“Before you send anyone off in pursuit, let me tell you something: she was happy, I tell you, happy. No one's ever been really sure about that Archibald, but if anyone will be the making of such a man, it'll be one like your girl” Anastasia insisted.

By dinner time, Mary Rose (for whom her niece was named, Melisandre being a reinvention like Anastasia) and Annie were co-conspirators in keeping the whereabouts and destiny of the lovers a secret, just one more mystery to circulate in the old port town.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Melisandre didn't think it would take much time, but even she was surprised by how quickly the twitchy little man appeared. "Call me Smith," he said in response to her question. Neither one of them believed in that particular spot of fiction, but the name would do for now.

He speculated that she might be a person interested in news about the previous owner of a fine pair of snakeskin boots. She, in return, speculated that if some other person might supply information on that topic, she'd be able to express her gratitude in a small way. She further speculated that said gratitude might expand in direct proportion to any the expansion of such information to include news of any companions, particularly those of a female nature.

"Smith," whose real name could actually have been Smith, shrugged, told all, pocketed her money, and told himself it was nothing that his old pal Archibald wouldn't have done, had the shoe - or snakeskin boot - been on the other foot.
Your loyalties are clear when it comes to friends.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Waiting wasn't a pleasure, but it generally got the job done

A financial investment will yield returns beyond your hopes.
Admittedly, Melisandre DiFiorini had a flair for the dramatic. She also had a sly and subtle intellect. Little to be gained, in her opinion, storming into the old port town demanding answers about her nieces. She installed herself in a modest suite at the Hotel Garamond, visited the hotel bar at odd hours, and generally let it be known that she would pay – well – for information. The answers she needed would come, with time and a little money..

Monday, February 4, 2013

With a Nod to the Piano Man

Brenda and Eddie were still going steady since the summer of '75...

You and your wife will be happy in your life together.
...and Brenda had had enough of waiting. She put on her serious shoes and by the end of the evening, progress (in the form of a ring on her finger) had been made. Eddie wasn't exactly sure what had happened.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

What Point In Arguing?

Avoid senseless contradictions with others.
Morris never understood why casual strangers so often remarked on the ways in which pets and their owners resemble one another. He and Myrtle thought it a strange observation to make - especially for so many to make - but it was a point of courtesy with them to avoid saying anything that might escalate into conflict.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Blunt? Outspoken? Well, Direct, Anyway.

Be direct, usually one can accomplish more that way.
It was while she was in grad school that Kirsten decided on her philosophy of life: tell it like it is. She won some friends; she lost some friends; she was always true to herself. Even now, several decades later, she shoots from the hip, every time.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Girls Usually Get Their Man

You have the ability to analyse and solve any problem.

The McTavish family made it a policy to employ the best money could buy; Jax Blorgan had tracked many a wayward McTavish in the past. Dixie, Divine, and Dimples had never let Jax down before. They had the scent of the boots yet persisted in going to ground at the door of St. Crispin’s School for Girls.