Her Name

A definitive female first name did not prevent her from wanting to be a carpenter. The ad stated in bold letters, FRAMER WANTED. She changed into jeans, a work shirt, metal toe capped boots and applied at the job site. Third in line of all males a man looked at her application, glanced up and asked, “So you want to be a framer?”

The girl knew she was in trouble; picked up a hammer and in two blows drove a spike through a board. “Yes.”

She and four men waited for the manager’s decision. He pointed to her, “You, report tomorrow morning to the foreman, Bud, my son.”

8am sharp, she was told, “The foreman is on another job, be here in an hour, help assemble wall studs.” Bud arrived, a handsome young guy, and was informed of the new employee, “working on a door jamb.” He called, “You, come here.”

You, in jeans, a tool belt around a slender waist, removed a hard-hat, shoved goggles up into curly black hair, wiped perspiration from her forehead and strolled toward him, hips swaying. The foreman knew, You was definitely all woman, smiling.

He asked, “What are you happy about?”

“I’m pounding nails.”

The foreman called out, “Hey everyone, meet our new framer, her name is Nails.” and told the girl, “Go be happy.”

She sauntered off, hips swiveling, turned, smiling, “Bud, I like my new name.”

Going To Florida

A newlywed couple, holding hands, strolled down a marina pier. A lovely evening, they passed one impressive boat after another. Each tied bow in to their finger dock. Moonlight glistened off chrome and varnish. Not a soul about.

“Look,” the man said to his young wife, “There is the boat we should own someday. A beauty, isn’t it?”

She, “I love the sleek lines, can we walk down its dock for a better look?”

“Sure, it’s late, no one is around.”

She, “It has a nice open cockpit in the stern. What size and model is it?”

“A 28 foot sport sedan, it sleeps two in forward V bunks and two on a pull-out dinette.”

“It’s not covered. Do you suppose we could climb aboard and take a peek?”

He assisted her aboard. She said, “Isn’t this nice.” and asked, “I wonder what the kitchen is like?”

He, “It’s called a galley.” and tried the cabin door. “It’s unlocked would you like to see below?”

“Gosh, what if we were caught?”

“Midnight, no one is around. He helped her down the stairs. “We better not turn a light on. There is enough dock light to see by.”

The two made their way forward. She, “The galley is so cute and the dinette, how cozy, and look, there is a shower in the bathroom. We could live aboard.”

“Wait to you see the forward stateroom with V bunks.” Both were surprised, the bunks being a double bed. They plopped on the mattress. She put her arms around him. “This is so romantic, wouldn’t it be nice to spend the night here, so private.”

He thought, is she serious, do they dare; when they heard footsteps on the dock. The boat tilted to port, someone boarded.

The wife in his arms, he whispered to her, “Don’t move or make sound, someone is up in the cabin.”

Blowers were turned on, two engines started, footsteps port and starboard, lines were cast off. Throttles pulled back and the boat edged out of the well. They were underway. The wife, “My God, what’s going on, what should we do?”

The husband, “Stay quiet, I think a thief is stealing the boat.”

She, “Someone is stealing our yacht?”

He, “Not quite our yacht, we were just about to make out in it.”

They clung to each other. Soon the boat slowed down, engines turned off and they heard a scraping on the bottom of the hull. He said, “The boat is being loaded onto a trailer and hauled out of the water.”

She, “But we are in it.”

He, “No one knows that.”

The trailer, hooked to a pickup, moved forward and stopped. Voices of two men were heard and the sound of a tarp being pulled entirely over the boat. Then a whirring sound, the husband said, “My God, we are being shrink-wrapped inside.”

The wife said, “My God, we’ll suffocate.”

Two voices, “This boat will be worth a fortune in Florida. A long drive, we better start.” The trailer with the boat on it began to move.

She, “My God, I don’t have my bathing suit.”

He, “Well, look at the bright side, it will not cost us a thing, going to Florida.”

038

Damn Moose

30
Oil Painting – William Plante

Hiking along a ridge, camera strap around my neck, I witnessed this view and made my way down a slope to get a better shot. Composing and focusing, an animal popped up in the view finder; a bull moose, rumbling straight towards me. Everyone knows when a moose charges – retreat. Back up the slope I went, looked around, the beast was headed the other direction.

The damn moose, prevented me from taking a photo, I painted the scene, so there.

Today is Valentine’s Day, suppose I should have written something sweet and gooey. A box of candy will fix that, if I don’t eat it first.

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Lunch

Trained, he was escorted down an aisle exposing tiny office pods. Each had a chair, a shelf and a computer, that’s it. No drawers or waste-paper basket. His supervisor, a robust woman, paused at each station and said, “This is Oscar.” and moved on. Almost all of the employees, females, didn’t bother to look. A few mumbled something.

The last pod, next to his, a girl turned and said, “Hi Oscar, I’m Mary,” and was shown his office, 4 feet by 4 feet. One had to be careful or the back of your chair, non-ergonomic’, would stick out into the aisle and be wacked. The supervisor said, “OK Oscar, you know what to do, get to it.” To it, was chat over the internet solving customer problems. He was a Tech Supporter. So was the girl next to him; not the prettiest, certainly the friendliest and intelligent. Her penetrating blue eyes and vibrant voice projected that, instantly.

Noon sharp, Mary stood in the aisle behind the newbie’s chair. “Going to lunch Oscar? Our row has this hour off.”

“Yes, suppose so, down to the cafeteria, are you going there Mary?”

“Never, it’s a dump. I’m having lunch in Italy.”

“I thought lunch was only an hour.”

“It is, however if one brown-bags it, can have lunch in a different country every day. Knew you were starting today, packed an extra ham and cheese on rye if you would like to join me.” Mary and Oscar were off.

Rushing, she said, “Not that elevator, down the stairs one flight and we’ll catch an express.” Zoom, the first floor.

Do you have 75 cents?

“I think so, why?”

“Buy a box of cracker-jacks.”

“What for?”

“Pigeons amuse me. Before I forget, I tracked some of your chats. Your answers were according to the manual. I’ve written down some faster and better responses. Hope you don’t mind.”

“Not at all, thanks, anytime,”

“Well, not anytime or too often. I don’t want to lose my rank as ‘Best Tech’ to someone named Oscar.”

“Oscar is no match for Mary. Say, how far is it, to Italy?”

She gestured across the street to a red awning with green letters, ‘Little Italy Pizza.’ They crossed and entered. Mary spurt out a few lines of Italian to a man and woman behind a counter,  who responded in Italian. Oscar understood only one word, his name. Outside he asked, “What was that all about?”

“Practiced my Italian and introduced you. Now, you’ll receive a discount whenever you buy a pizza.”

They walked back across the street, sat on a bench with a view of “Little Italy.’ Fed the pigeons. She told him all about the owners, Mama, Papa and their son, who now delivers, the best job, receiving tips and how they migrated from Italy and worked so hard to open their own store. He thanked her for the ham sandwich it was delicious. She said, “Tomorrow bring your own brown paper bag and we will travel to France.”

After work Oscar saw Mary leaving her pod, called to her, “Where are you going?”

“French classes, see you.” Gone.

Next day, noon sharp, with their paper bags, bought cracker-jacks, walked a couple of blocks and entered the shop ‘Ooh La La’. Mary greeted everyone in French, mentioned his name and told him he would receive a discount on lingerie.

He said, “Good, I don’t wear it, maybe you do.”

“Not as yet, however someday I would like to try it.”

He smiled, “In a month I’m off trial and get a raise.”

She smiled.

Sitting in the park he asked, “What do you do when it rains, eat in the cafeteria?”

“God no, I have a large golf umbrella, keep it in my pod. Still take my trips.”

“Perhaps I should buy one.”

“No need, mine is large enough for both of us, two can fit under it.”

“We would have to sit close. Hope it rains soon.”

“Me too, let’s practice.”

The day it rained the two travelled to Germany. A week later – out of one paper bag, Oscar and Mary had dinner in Romania.

009

What a Mistake

72
Oil Painting – William Plante

In a warm bed, to leave her arms,
Launch a canoe, cross this icy lake.
Her bottom nudge and soft lips my alarm,
Oh fudge!

I must be insane, at least a jerk
Cut wood, build a fire, all that work.
Nuts, out here in November,
Her sweet words, how I remember.

“Before you leave my love I will kiss thee.”
And truely, “You will miss me.”

036

Romantic Bargains

Shoppers packed the Paris Bazaar. They all had a common purpose – bargains.

Buyers browsed the atrium from one end of the block to the other. On either side of the narrow tiled way were a vast variety of shops. They displayed tempting selections of paintings, books, lamps, rugs, nick-knacks and furnishings. One nook specialized in ladies scarves. Others provided endless assortments of parasols, perfumes, purses and parrots.

Not difficult to spend an entire spring day perusing the marketplace – nice to stop for a peach or strawberry aperitif; perhaps twice.

A man in a blazer and tie entered an art gallery. One had to take care not to bump into another patron – that busy. Curious, he made his way to a group viewing a large painting on a wall of a colorful Paris street scene, exquisite.

The owner of the gallery was promoting the painting to interested viewers. The man in a blazer stood by a fashionably dressed attractive woman who asked the owner in English, “The painting is magnificent, what size is it?”

“With the frame, 4′ 6″ High by 7′ 6″ wide.”

The man beside her said, “Striking isn’t it? Do you have space to hang it?”

“Yes, in my Manhattan apartment, but sadly it is way too expensive, beautiful though.”

The man said, “I live in Manhattan also. Is there any chance you may bargain for a discount or your husband would buy it for you?”

The woman smiled. “There is no husband and not a chance.”

“Then would you mind if I bargained for it?”

“Of course not, I shall be interested, as well as the others, what it sells for, lots of luck?”

The man approached the owner, “Monsieur, the painting is certainly worth every franc you are asking. However, would you entertain accepting an offer of 50% off?”

“Thank you, but that is a bit steep. I’ll accept 25% off.”

The man, “A painting for so many francs I think would bear 40% off, and keep in mind its frame is only a liner for a wider gold leaf frame, which I will purchase from you.”

The owner, “In that case I will accept 40 off the painting. What did you have in mind for the frame?”

The man asked the woman, she said “I believe a wide gold baroque frame.”

The owner produced three stunning frames. The man said to the woman, you decide.

“What about the price?”

“The cost has nothing to do with the esthetics. It’s which one best enhances the art.”

She placed all three corner samples on the painting and said, “This one.”

“Good choice.” and asked the owner the cost.

The owner calculated and whispered the results. The man said, “Speak up, everyone is interested.”

The owner announced the price, a sound of shock reverberated through the group. The man said, “Lets not argue, 40 off seems to be the standard. The owner presented a sales slip, swiped his credit card and said “Where do you want it delivered?”

The man said, “Just a moment.” He turned to the attractive woman. “There is a problem I don’t have space to hang it. You do. I’ll have it shipped to your Manhattan apartment and a service will hang it. When it’s up and you have time, invite me over to view it.”

The man failed to mention, in Manhattan there were several other paintings, in ladies apartments, he bought for a bargain.

035