Category Archives: Humor

Fiction: Belle, 0806

by Katharine C. Otto
Posted April 13, 2016 katharineotto.wordpress.com

“Help me,” cries the aging but still beautiful Belle.  Huge bejeweled rings sparkle on her liver-spotted hands, and diamond pendants drag cuts into her earlobes.  Her eyes are wide with pain and fear.

He can see that she is fragile.  She limps and leans heavily on the banister.  The modern Southern Gentleman takes her tenderly in his arms, soothes her sobs, and says he, too, suffers.  No one understands him.  People can be so cruel.  They gossip, tell lies.  He feels he can trust her.

But today’s version of the Southern Lady has 150 years of experience under her Oscar de la Renta sweatsuit.  She has thrown the corset into landfill, invested in liposuction, and now breathes a lot easier.

“Are you proposing?” she asks.

“Not exactly,” he stammers.

“Good.  I don’t believe in marriage.”

“Nor I,” he says, with a sigh of relief.  “I propose a toast, instead.”

He pulls a bottle of Chivas Regal from a shimmering sack and offers it to Belle.  She pours hefty dollops into crystal tumblers. They toast their mutual understanding with delicate sips.  He kisses her.

They toast their understanding again.  And again.  They lose count.  She pours more Chivas.

He pops a Viagra.  What they do the rest of the night is unprintable.

He promises to return for dinner that evening.  He blows a kiss goodbye from his convertible Saab.  She spends the whole day cooking.

At dusk, Gent gets lost on the way to Belle’s colonial townhouse.  He stops at the Oglethorpe Club, then the First City Club, or was it the other way around?  He stops at Johnny Gannem’s for directions.  He stops at O’Malley’s to get a cup of coffee, and doesn’t remember how he got home.

She waits and waits.  She tries to call his cell phone and gets a voice mail.  The dinner overcooks.  She cries.  She takes a bite of the salmon in white wine and dill sauce, decides it’s awful, and throws it away.  She finishes the white wine while staring into the glass, an antique, engraved collectible that she bought for too much money downtown.

She goes to bed, worrying that Gent has been killed, or worse.  She must find him.  She must.  But she’ll worry about it tomorrow.  She falls asleep and dreams of stock in Pfizer.

Thank you, Jimmy.

plainsmural0607 Plains, GA.  April 15, 2007.

My hat’s off to the poor Georgia farm boy who made it big.  I’d like to spend more time in Plains and other south Georgia farm villages.  Folk art like this is being quickly gobbled up by corporate monotony, (broken) concrete, and pavement.

What is the global warming effect of megatons of concrete and pavement being smeared across vast acres of previously fertile farmland, land which breathed CO2, drained saturated earth, and produced O2 and food?  Massive flooding, followed by draught?  Man’s genius at work?

Those who don’t get a vote in the polls or in voting booths, the lowly peanut, for instance, are being force-fed chemicals that deprive the naturally balanced ecosystem of vital nutrients. in the dance of life . . . how much healthier it would be if the federal government and Wall Street collapsed sooner than later?  Awesome.

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Jimmy giving the Sunday service at Maranatha Baptist Church, Plains, GA, April 15, 2007.  Millard Fuller, founder of Habitat for Humanity, was also a member and was present at that service, during which  Jimmy introduced Mr. Fuller.  After the service was over, others crowded around the President (once a president, always a president, if you like him, say I), so I approached Mr. Fuller with a Supreme Court Balls Starter Kit.  This is a Publix glass peanut butter jar filled with Libby Belle’s propaganda, Supreme Court Balls Designer Labels, “Support our troops  Bring them home” bumper stickers, a few coins to represent common cents, and my Church of the Holier Than Thou, Incorporated business cards.

I begged Mr. Fuller to pass the jar along to President Carter.  I said we have to save south Georgia, which is being overrun by the military, to feed money exporters up Nawth.  Does anyone else think it’s eerie that Savannah is now calling itself the World Trade Center?  Would you want that economic advantage in your back yard?

So here is a free copy of the Supreme Court Balls Designer Labels.  Best part is anyone can make sheets of these liberty statements and paste them on the back of their Southern Company bills, for instance, to protest the tax imposed to pay for Plant Vogtle’s anticipated debt. Sell SoCo stock, is the first part of what I gotta say.  The second part is to get off the grid as fast as possible, before US incompetence blows us out of the water.

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I do not claim to speak for Habitat for Humanity.  Many years passed before I did my first volunteer stint October 24, 2015.

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Above:  The Habitat for Humanity worksite in Garden City, GA October 24, 2015. A delightful day, perfect weather, well organized, lunch delivered by golf carts. A good time was had by all.  Only the band was missing.

Below:  The United House of Prayer for All People, with lions guarding the entrance, and three crosses overseeing those who enter. It rests quietly in the neighborhood where a flock of Habitat for Humanity volunteers, paid staff, and well-wishers prettied up six houses in one day. I found this House of Prayer on my way to the porta-potties (Composting toilets, anyone?  Don’t need plumbing–the mechanical kind, that is.)

I also noticed litter everywhere and wondered if Habitat or the United House of Prayer could sponsor volunteers to pick up trash and deliver it to the Garden City Hall during one of the council meetings.

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Thanks, in part, to you, I’m proud to be a Georgian.

Bless you, Jimmy.  May you always walk with angels.

Katharine Otto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bicycles and Public Domain Technology

bikerackfishcamp0715

Courtesy of Libby Belle
an alter ego of katharineotto.wordpress.com
January, 2016

Ride free as the breeze,
If you please,
Escape noise, fumes,
Death and taxes,

Proving scientist Ben Franklin wrong.
bikebd1007

Ben didn’t believe in patents,
But Tom Edison did,
And look where it got him.

Incandescent light bulbs,
Where did they go?
Outlawed by Congress,
Awhile ago.

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What does Tom think of that?
His best idea, going flat?
Mad as hell, and that’s that.
He wants revenge so tips his hat
To his mentor Ben, the diplomat.

Tom and Ben plot a course
For the power of the horse.
Abandon patents, they decide.
Make the product, then let it ride.
If folks like it, they’ll copy you,
But you’ll have the first, so
they can’t sue.

GE Corporate trembles and quakes,
“What?! No patents? These are high stakes.”

Libby Belle shakes a feather.

“A lass and a lack, we’ve changed the weather.
The sun has come out, while you were in boxes.
The sky has cleared,artfolkbiketurt0715
The grid disappeared.

Direct current from sun to you,
This is all you need to do
Tom has shared his tale of woe,
Says DC is about to show.
Let the sun be your source,

And Wall Street turns to Trojan Horse.”

Photos, top to bottom:  1.  Tybee Island Fish Camp, Tybee Island, GA.  This restaurant’s entire railing is a bike rack.  Tybee is great for biking.  2.  Bike rack at Brighter Day Natural Foods Market, Savannah, GA.  3.  The city of Savannah’s version of bicycle parking.  4.  Folk art at Gallery By the Sea, Tybee Island, GA.

Aquarian Eve Chats With God

Sunrise November, 2005

Sunrise
November, 2005

            Eve is sitting in a carrot field munching a carrot. This is part of the Garden of Eden’s carrot industry and is government-subsidized.

“Tastes like chemicals,” says Eve.

“Don’t ask,” says God.

“Hey,” Eve says. “I’ve been meaning to ask You what happened to the apple tree. You know, the one of Knowledge of Good and Evil? I haven’t seen it lately.”

“They cut it down for firewood. Why?”

“Why did they do that?”

“It was cold that winter. They thought it was dead.”

“Cold weather sounds like a good excuse to cuddle. They were building fires instead? Let me guess. Adam made that decision. Nobody asked if I wanted a fire. I liked that tree, and the pattern its bare branches made in the sky. Is that why everything is so flat? All for carrots? Bad ones? Practically tasteless, these carrots. I’m glad they’re free. I sure wouldn’t pay good money for them.”

“They’re not free.”

“What?”

“You have to pay for them.”

Eve gags, spits out the orange pulp and throws the rest of the carrot away. “You’re kidding. They don’t even make good compost. Why would anyone pay for them?”

“They’re contributing to the economy.”

“What economy?”

“You know. The economy.”

Eve looks around and sees nothing but carrot tops and deafening machines raising dust and spewing clouds of smelly smoke. The machine noise makes it hard to hear God’s answer, so soft-spoken is She.

Eve says, “What can I say? I’ve been raising children. This is what Adam was doing? He says he’s been playing golf.”

“He has been playing golf. The machines do all the work.”

“How stupid is that?” Eve asks. “Golf is boring. I’d rather do something useful.”

“They don’t know how.”

“Of course they know how. Adam drives a Ford Expedition. He’s a good driver. He’s coming back in a little while. I wanted a fresh carrot, so he drove me here.”

All of a sudden Eve hears sirens. Four police get out of two separate patrol cars, come running across the field with guns out, and converge on Eve. They book her for trespassing, theft, and vandalism, put the half-eaten piece of evidence in a plastic bag, and haul Eve off in handcuffs.

God looks on. Eve starts yelling at Her, screaming, “You knew this was going to happen!   You must really hate me! All I wanted was one carrot!”

For this, Eve is put in the mental unit of the prison hospital, diagnosed with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and the paranoid delusion that God speaks to her.

She quiets down when she is hoarse from screaming, but by then they have pumped her so full of patented antipsychotic, anti-anxiety, anticonvulsant, and anti-depression medications that she is really hallucinating. She hears God laughing uproariously at her predicament.

“Let’s see how you get out of this one, Cookie, she hears God saying. You think women are so great?”

“When did You turn into a male?” Eve replies, though her words are garbled because of the drugs. “I liked you better as a female.”

“I am all things to all men,” says God. “You need a man right now.”

“No. I need a key. Can you conjure one of those?”

“You’re strapped down and couldn’t walk if you tried, so drugged up are you. You’re safe where you are. Never fear. I’m here for you.”