“Equinox, sheequinox! I don’t believe in that hoo doo. I’m going to do it anyway.”
“No you idiot, that’s the the first of Spring thing. That’s a good one. I’m talking about Mercury being in retrograde, you don’t want to make any important decisions.”
“I love Spring, and I can’t wait. I also can’t wait to get a new car, and I’ve got my eyes on a sweet Saturn.”
“That’s not a new car.”
“It’ll be new for me, so Saturn trumps Mercury!”
☉ ☉ ☉ ☉ ☉ ☉ ☉ ☉ ☉ ☉ ☉ ☉ ☉ ☉ ☉
I must thank my sister, Mariya, for her wise counsel concerning all things astrological.
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I wrote this story on March 12, 2012. I think it’s fun to bring it back once in a while to help celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Tomorrow is the big day, better get to the store to buy corn beef, cabbage and tortillas.
Quill Shiv has a new Haiku writing prompt… A photo of Saint Patrick.
Corned Beef and Cabbage Tacos… In 1986, back in my Restaurant Days, I went to work for Jerry Franco. Jerry was a bit of a culinary impresario on the Sacramento restaurant scene. He had just reopened the Town House on 21st Street, down the block from The Sacramento Bee newspaper. The Town House had been a Mexican Food tradition and had been sitting empty for a few years after the owner retired. Franco had opened in a blaze of glory, courting the news hounds and the denizens of California State Government. Having just left a job managing The Fabulous Fifties Cafe, I was ready to mingle with and serve adults. So I went to work for Jerry as a waiter/bartender/manager.
It was a fun place to work, and we did some crazy promotions to try to make the Town House a success. Big lunch business, big after-work bar business. He kept a few Mexican items on the menu, along with the ‘Upscale Designer’ dishes he came up with. Each Happy Hour, we featured a Taco Bar, where the patrons could make their own tacos, to wash down with their Martinis and G & T’s. For me, that taco bar was a pain in the ass, since I had to leave the bar and run back to the kitchen to replenish the supplies. But the tips were pretty good as long as the food held out.
Saint Patrick’s Day was coming up, and the Town House, along with every other bar and restaurant in Sacramento… no, in the United States… was looking for ways to make some money off one of our more important Drinking Holidays. I had the bright idea to put corned beef and cabbage on our Taco Bar for the day. Jerry agreed that it was a brilliant idea, and gave me full credit, in case it bombed. Getting free publicity was not too difficult since we always made sure to ‘take good care of’ certain writers from up the street. Low and behold, we saw some nice mentions in the gossip and the What’s Going On In Town sections of the Bee the day before, and our Happy Hour was packed that St. Paddy’s Day. In fact, two guys drove down from Hangtown at lunchtime to try the CB&C Tacos. I had to plead with the cook to make some for them. At Happy Hour, the idea was well received, lots of new people came in, and best of all… Mr. Franco even stuck around to help stock the Taco Bar.
So, when I saw the photo prompt for this week’s Haiku… for some reason, I thought of those Corned Beef and Cabbage Tacos, and my days working at the Town House.
About four months later, I left for the neon restaurant lights of Chicago. I later heard that the Town House had closed and that Franco was the chef at a seafood joint in Cape Cod. Last time I was in SacTown, it was a gay bar.
“See sells seashells by the seashore.”
“She shells seashells by the seashore.”
“She sells sezeshells by the seashore.”
“She sells seashells by the sezeshore.”
“This is hard, why can’t I get this?”
“Stop whining and try again, take your time.”
“Okay. She sells seashells by the seashore.”
“Yes!!! I knew you could do it.”
☉ ☉ ☉ ☉ ☉ ☉ ☉ ☉ ☉ ☉ ☉ ☉ ☉ ☉ ☉ ☉ ☉
My thanks to Wilkie Bard I could not have done this piece without him.
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Roger screwed up, he distinctly meant to be indistinct, it didn’t work, they all saw right through him.
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“Ethel!”, screams Cheryl.
“You didn’t stop!”
“At the corner, no stop.”
“Yes I did, I always stop at stop signs.”
“No, you were rolling, that doesn’t count as a stop. And the sign says stop.”
“Oh for God’s sake, Cheryl, don’t be so picky. That was enough of a stop. You never yell at Betty when she drives.”
“That’s because Betty always stops at signs. You made a California stop.”
“What are you talking about, we’re in Chicago?”
“That’s what they call a rolling stop. You rolled.”
Ethel sighs as she rolls thru the next stop.
February 7: Flash Fiction Challenge The prompt was ‘Signs’… 99 Words, no more, no less.
The Virtue of Silence
“Hi Cheryl, guess what?”
“I’m taking the vow of silence!”
“You’re becoming a nun?”
“No, silly, I’m not going to talk for a day.”
“Wow, that’s one big vow of silence, Ethel. I’m afraid to ask, what prompted this?”
“You remember my interest in meditation?”
“Right, Betty got you onto that. It still bugs me that you won’t tell me your mantra.”
“The Maharishi says ‘to speak your mantra aloud is like pulling a plant from its roots’.”
“A vow of silence is another form of meditation.”
“Well Ethel, it will be a sweet twenty-four hours.
Another 100 Words with the girls. This time for Sunday Writing “It’s all in the title.” by Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. They asked for a poem or story using one of the 10 titles they offered. I chose ‘The Virtue of Silence”
“I need you to call Rick!!!”
“Ethel, what’s wrong?”
“My car broke, I’m on the expressway.”
“Oh no!” How are you calling me?”
“A man stopped and I’m using his phone. We put the hood up but can’t see anything wrong, that’s why I need Rick.”
“Of course you can’t, I’m surprised you got the hood up.”
“The man did it.”
“I told you not to drive on the expressways, now look where you are.”
“I know where I am, Smarty, on the Kennedy at Damen, now call Rick and have him come save me.”
“Okay, stay where you are.”
🚗 🚗 🚗 🚗 🚗 🚗 🚗 🚗 🚗 🚗 🚗 🚗
Always fun to see one of my photos used for the prompt at FridayFictioneers. Be sure to check out all the stories prompted by this old Chevy, which was left derelict in the woods many years ago near my daughter’s house on San Juan Island. My story was #79. You can find all the other stories here.
“Don’t give me that look.”
“That brow look.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Your brow is furrowed and that upsets me.”
“Well, maybe you shouldn’t do things that cause me to furrow.”
“Right, my bad.”
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Yes, the girls are back. Who else?
Jason rose from the bench, his teaching finished for the day. Bemused, he watches as she packs her sheet music in her bag and retrieves her cellphone; she is his least favorite pupil. Cara’s not a bad player, she works hard, and she’s better than most of his other students. It is the stench of patchouli oil that puts her in that category, so he holds his breath as much as he can while he watches her play the piano, giving advice from time to time. “See you next week, Mr. J.” “Next week, Cara, don’t forget to practice.”
The following week something is different. Same flowery sundress, same patchouli oil, same banging the keys, then it hits him. The hourglass has sand in it. “Cara, you have sand!” “I know, Mr. J, do you like it? I’m so glad you noticed.” How could he not, the tiny hourglass on the webbing between her thumb and index finger now contained sand, canary yellow sand to be precise. “Do you love it?” “I do, your hourglass has a purpose now.” “Time marches on, Mr. J.” As she packs her bag, Jason hands her a small gift box. “A little something from us to reward you for the time you have spent practicing and learning the piano. Open it when you get home.”
At her next lesson a delicate floral scent follows Cara to the bench. “Thank you so much, Mr. J, I love my gift. I thought it was time for a change too,” a knowing smile on her face, as she begins to play.
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Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie posed a challenge for their “5 by 5” Sunday Writing Prompt. Write a story or poem using one of five words in each of the following categories… a piece of furniture, a scent, a color, a shape, and an item carried in the pocket, wallet, or purse.
Ainsworth’s is the last of the old line department stores in Chicago.
One cannot blame the young man in the green blazer for looking perplexed when Ethel, upon stepping into the elevator, asks for ‘foundations’.
“Oh for God’s sake, Ethel, just say girdles! Foundations is what our grandmothers called them.”
In a whisper, “I didn’t want to say it out loud, Cheryl.”
“He’s going to think you want to go down. I’m pretty sure we need to go up.”
“Okay! Girdles please young man.”
“Ladies Undergarments, Fourth Floor, right away Madam.”
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Want to take part in the WEEKEND WRITING PROMPT? Write a story or poem with just 91 words and send it to Sammi Cox.