Good Morning Ted and Jody:
While on the stationary bike I noticed that snake oil is in the vogue. I can remember as a kid watching westerns in which a drummer set up a wagon as a platform for selling some kind of elixir to the public and some cowboy would come along and denounce it as snake oil. There was also a plethora of Carter’s Little Liver Pills floating about in the eaters when I was a kid—although since they contained a laxative, I am not sure why Mr. Cater called his pills “liver.” However, the FDA put a stop to that in the early 1960s when Mr. Carter’s pills just become Little Pills and lost their liver. Anyway, as I am peddling along to nowhere and probably already being there I watch a procession of advertisements for both patent and prescription medicines—pills, ointments, patches, appliances, edibles, and injectable. If I hadn’t been so busy peddling, I could have taken notes and have known what to run out to buy to save me from lower back pain, weight gain, memory loss, acne, dry eyes, constipation, bloating, incontinence, erectile dysfunction, a growing prostrate and other things I didn’t know I have (all of that in my first 30 minutes of going nowhere fast. Then too there were things to buy like automobiles, mattresses, and car insurance. But the medical and quasi-medical stuff seemed to predominate—perhaps it was the time of day (before normal people get up)).
When I finished my tutorial on what pills, ointments, patches, appliances, edibles, and injectable I needed to rush out to purchase (finished my bout on the bike) I stood up and spooked a flock of pigeons eating the bird feed I put out yesterday. When the all take off at once, they make quite a racket and so I turned in time to see one of the birdfeeders fall (the one on a Shepard hook) from the air turbulence of their departure. Looking more closely I saw the block of suet I put out for the birds yesterday was gone. Nancy thinks something takes it in the night. However, the suet is gone within five hours of my putting it out. Red-winged blackbirds, Steller’s Jays and a half dozen or so other species, including a crow or two, have a $1 a day suet habit. Since I was standing up, I went out and refilled the feeders and suet. I fear I am turning into a bird enabler–$1 a day suet does not include the seed I put out for them. I probably need counseling.
I go to the doctor this morning to have an infection in my toes looked at. We stopped by yesterday to get an appointment and I was actually seen by a nurse who confirmed: “Yes, you have an infection.” She then made an appointment for me this morning. Let us hope he or she (didn’t specific which of many doctors in the practice I will see) is gentle.
I trust this finds you happy, healthy, and not enabling too many birds.
Warmest regards, Ed
034 Good Aim
Fiction in 891 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
“YOU DID WHAT WITH THAT LITTLE GIRL?” Screamed Momma Seams. She screwed up her face and literally spit out the words. “I love you boys, but you bring that little girl to me now. RIGHT, THIS MINUTE.”
Both boys vanished and Momma Seams did not like that one bit. “I said, now, none of your foolish pranks. Get that little girl here, NOW.
Momma Seams used a yard stick to poke at the curtains, seep under the sofa and looked behind chairs. She meandered into the dining room looking under the table. “YOU TWO COME OUT NOW OR I’LL TAKE THIS YARD STICK TO YOUR BEHINDS.” She stopped, literally froze, as she heard a sound behind her. Turning she saw Walter holding a two-year-old girl.
“Momma, this is Becky,” Walter said.
Momma Seams ran to the child and took her from her son’s arms. “Why the child is cold. Get me a blanket for her now.”
Walter ran to the sofa and pulled the decorative blanket off its back and ran back to his mother holding the child. His mother wrapped Becky in the blanker and then asked, “Now, where does she belong?” Momma Seams paused for a moment, “Say, where did you and Wilbur go? Was the child here the whole time. No, it’s warm in here and she is cold, where did you keep her? “Momma Seams looked around. “Where is that brother of yours, WILBUR.”
Wilbur Seams stuck his head around the door frame and said, “I’m here Momma.”
“Now, that nonsense you been telling me about time travel,” said Momma Seams. “I taught you not to lie to me,” she said, brandishing the yardstick in her right hand and the child held against her with her left. Now, tell me the truth.”
Walter said, “I think we can prove we aren’t lying. What time is it Momma?”
“What does that have to do with lying?” asked Momma Seams.
“Well., it tells you what is on TV. So turn on the TV and look at your watch,” said Walter.
Momma Seams, put the yard stick down and reached across the counter and turned on the TV to see that the evening news was on. “Yup, the evening news.” She looked at her watch, “5:44.” She hugged Becky with both hands.
“Now Momma we are going to take just a little trip in time, back to 7:00 A.M. Keep your eye on the Television.”
The television set flickered as she watched and then “Good Morning America.”
Walter said, “Look at your watch.”
Momma Seams looked at her watch, “Still 5:44, nope, it is now 5:45.” She sat down and almost dropped Becky. “How did you do that.”
Walter Seams said, “We have something inside us that lets us move in time and from place to place and take things with us.
“Why that would be magic,” said, Momma Simms.
“No, Momma, this is science,” said Walter. “Now we are going back.” And sure enough, Scott Pelly was back on delivering the CBS Evening News.
“Wilbur, can you do this too?” asked Momma Seams.
“Yes, Mam. I can,” replied Wilbur.
“Good, you take this child back and put her to bed in her own bed,” said Momma Seams. Make sure the parents know she is back.” She paused and handed Becky to Wilbur who then vanished with the child. “Perhaps I should have told him to bring the blanket back.”
Walter stood up. “I’ll go tell him.”
Momma Seams put her hand on Walter’s arm and said, I have something more important for you to do. Wait here.” She left the room and was back in a minute carrying her shotgun. “I want you to take me to the upstairs hall way on June 23rd at Three in the afternoon twenty-one years ago. I want you to wait for a minute and then you can bring me back.”
Walter said, “Yes Mam.” Walter and his mother who was hefting the shotgun vanished.
Walter and Momma Seams materialized
in their upstairs hall way. Momma Seams held her forefinger up to her lips signifying that Water should be quiet. She walked slowly to the door at the end of the hallway, opened it stuck the shotgun in and pulled the trigger. She turned calmly to her son and said, “You can take me back now.”
“What did you do Momma?” asked Walter.
“I’m not sure, but if you take me back I’ll explain it to you,” said Momma Seams. Walter and his mother vanished from the hall where the smell of cordite filled the air.
Back in the Kitchen with Scott Pelly still delivering the evening news, Momma Seams looked at her watch and said, “Best three minutes I ever spent.”
“But, what did you do, Momma?”
“Twenty-one years ago, your father,” Momma Seams crossed herself, “died of a heart attack at 3:05 in the afternoon on June 23. Yesterday, Lilith Ferguson told me she was having sex with him when he died. I didn’t know whether to believe her. So, now, if she shows, up for coffee in the morning, I will know she was lying. If she doesn’t I’ll find out where she is buried and go spit on her grave.”
“Why her grave?” asked Walter.
“I aimed for the bouncing part of the sheet when I pulled the trigger,” replied his mother.