Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Words for Wednesday

The lovely Delores at Under the Porch Light had been running this meme for a considerable period of time, week after week.   Computer issues led her to bow out for a while and I took over.  When Delores' absence looked like being more permanent I begged and cajoled for other volunteers to share providing the prompts, and Words for Wednesday became a moveable feast.  Sadly Delores has (temporarily I hope) discontinued her blog, though we have been told that she will be back in the fullness of time.

Essentially the aim is to encourage us to write.  Each week we are given a choice of prompts: which can be words, phrases, music or an image.   What we do with those prompts is up to us:  a short story, prose, a song, a poem, or treating them with ignore...  We can use some or all of the prompts.

Some of us put our creation in comments on the post, and others post on their own blog.  I would really like it if as many people as possible joined into this fun meme.  If you are posting on your own blog - let me know so that I, and other participants, can come along and applaud.

This month the prompts will be published here - but are provided by Margaret Adamson and her friend Sue Fulton.


This week Margaret and Sue have challenged us with two phrases.


They are:


Any port in a storm


And/or


Keep it under your hat

Have fun...

102 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Anna of the Mutton Years: I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

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  2. I kind've want to write a story about keeping a storm under your hat now...

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    1. John Wiswell: A storm under your hat and a tempest in your pocket?

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  3. I had indeed done, with our home business records, as Larry, my balding OCD husband, had suggested, no, demanded I do: kept copies in case of computer crash, or worse, on a thumb drive. Or two.

    Lately I have had so little time, with so much on my mind, what with the police search, wild accusations of tax fraud and selling stolen goods, money laundering..thrown at US? Really? We're so boring and conservative and older---very decent citizens. And now--the audit. How dare they come today? Of all days. I have plans, tickets to a show. I bought them three months ago, right before the show sold out. I'm not missing that, I told Larry, who just turned to look at me blankly. I don't care if we have to go out the back while the IRS is coming in the front.

    Finally, he said, slowly, like he always is-slow-when he talks, when he eats (every bite chewed 20 times), when he makes a decision and when he makes plans, "well, let's play like there's no tomorrow because tomorrow we may be in the big house." We caught each other's eyes, and smiled.

    Out we went, in colorful Hawaiian shirts and floppy hats. Beach bags even. After all, the show was beach themed, 50's style. The IRS would be arriving at our house, which would be empty of us, in about an hour.

    As Larry watched over my efforts, giving helpful hints, before we left, I'd pulled out our business records backup thumb drive, and asked "what should I do with this?"

    "Here," he offered, handing me needle nose pliers, "strip the plug in contacts, after you open our document file and plug it in. I've done the rest." "Which port?" I queried. "Any port will do in a storm," he grinned. I nodded, smiling too.

    He quickly sent off a text to Dave, the IRS agent in charge of the audit. "Dave, we're off to that show we told you about, wish you could go with us. LOL. Left front door open so you can do your work. Beer in the frig (life is short, go ahead, we won't tell) Our files are on the thumb drive, left it right there for you. See you soon."

    Dave liked to work alone. He also liked his beer. When he got the text from Larry, a little lurch of calming endorphins surged through him. He immediately went to the frig when he arrived, and sought out a nice micro brew, popped the top and took a sip. "Good beer," he thought, and felt justified drinking on the job because it was a shitty job anyhow. Then he took another long swallow. Finally he went to Larry's computer, figuring he better get to work. He saw the thumb drive, and smiled to himself, "what helpful people". He sipped again at the beer, and, realizing the thumb drive was not completely engaged, shoved it all the way into the port. A terrible cracking noise shook the room, accompanied by flashes and sparks, then smoke and finally---flames. Dave, already pleasantly buzzed, jumped backwards, startled out of his mind, spilling the beer. The fire spread fast. Dave backed out of the house, as flames spread. And ran for his car. He'd been drinking, on the job, and probably caused this to happen somehow. He had to get far from this scene fast!

    Inside the playhouse, Larry and I squeezed each others hands. "Where will we go?" I whispered, to the love of my life. "Any port in a storm," Larry said, smiling again. And we can go wherever we want to go," he said, "good thing we wore our bigger hats." He pulled his off, holding it upside down, revealing, in the crown, large numbers of $1000 bills in pockets. "Better keep that under your hat," I said, as I patted my own hatted head and leaned over to give Larry a kiss on the cheek.

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    1. Strayer: Love it. Never, ever undestimate the aged. Experience, guile and treachery trumps youth more often than is admitted.

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    2. what an awesome story! Dave will not pursue Larry for anything. Nothing at all. Enjoyed this tremendously.

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    3. Great story, Strayer! You've made your characters very appealing - I know I was rooting for them :)

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    4. Strayer, that was marvelous... smashing!

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  4. A port in the storm
    I don't usually come here
    Any ear will do

    How'd I do?

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    1. Martin Kloess: Thank you for playing. You did good.

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    2. A man of few words, but you make them count.

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  5. Keep it under your hat, keep it close to your chest
    It’s worth more than the sunshine that keeps you warm
    and the silver stars that light up nights with their charm
    it’s value can’t be measured, not can it be guessed -
    how to find a safe haven, any port in a storm.

    And let that hat be pretty, with roses on its brim
    or something more edgy if you don’t want to conform.
    It doesn’t matter what’s on it so long your resolve’s firm
    keep the secret under it, and when the days are grim
    you’ll know your safe haven, your port in a storm.


    And a wow! to Strayer's story - aced the prompt! Loved the read, thank you.

    A big thank you for the fun, EC.

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    1. Nilanjana Bose: I loved this take, and can picture that edgy hat too. Thank you.

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    2. Sounds like a pretty hat that would not reveal any secret.

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  6. This is my first story on ‘Any Port in a Storm’.

    I had so looked forward to my teenage years when my parents would allow me to go to dances with my friends.

    My friends, there were 6 of us had known each other since we were 6 months old. Of course I don’t remember them from that time. All our parents gave birth in the same hospital on the same day. They vowed to keep meeting up with one another in the future. And that is what happened as we all remained living in the same town and when we started our education at Strandtown Primary School we were fortunate to be in the same class.

    The six of us celebrated all our birthdays together. When we came to Grammar School we did not all remain at the same one, however we met up every Saturday and were allowed to go for a coffee in town and do some retail shopping with our pocket money.

    All the girls were very pretty and did not seem to get the dreaded teenage pimples that I did. This made no difference to our wonderful friendship, however when we started going to the local dances on Saturday nights all dressed to kill, I was very conscious of my spotty face.

    It never was long before all five girls were wept off their feet with the very handsome fellows there, while I sat on the benches at the side!

    Then one evening, while all the others were dancing, I saw a tall gangly spotty faced lad make his way across the dance floor in my direction. My heart fell. He certainly was no Dean Martin however I told myself, “Ah well, any port in a storm”.

    It turned out he had a wonderful personality and didn’t seem to mind that I also had a lot of pimples. We danced the night away.

    I suppose you are wondering if I ever saw him again. Well, 6 years later we married and you will be glad to know that neither of us had pimples on our wedding day!

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    1. Margaret Adamson: This is lovely. It is so unfair the way that some people are afflicted with spots while others escape.

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    2. I do love a happy ending :)

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    3. This is lovely Margaret, the happy ending was wonderful. =)

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  7. This is my second story for the second phrase - Keep it under your hat.

    When I was young, my mother could never keep a secret however she knew I could and as long as she told me the secret it went no further. She used to say ' Keep it under your hat Margaret'

    In later life this ' keeping it under my hat' came in very useful. This is a true story.

    After I had finished my nurse training, so that the girls did not lose contact with one another, I used to organise reunions with as many girls as possible. At first when a lot of us were married and had children, the reunions were every 2 - 5years.

    However, when we had all reached 65 years old, here in Northern Ireland we were entitled to travel by train or bus anywhere in Ireland and we had always promised one another that we would go to Dublin in the train when we had our passes.

    So I got organising and booked a fabulous restaurant to have lunch at. I also organised that we would have Champagne, strawberries and lots of other goodies on the train for breakfast. Only I knew all this. But my real surprise was to have one of our nursing friends flown in from England. None of us had seen Joanne for 8 years. It was very difficult to tie all this together because when we arrived in Dublin I was letting them have one and a half hours to shop before lunch. However, I was the only one who knew how to get from the train station via the Luas into the centre. That was fortunate and I suggested we go to a large department store called Brown Thomas and from there they could do their own thing. It is like the Harrods of Dublin.

    After we disembarked from the Lucas and were walking towards Brown Thomas, I got a phone call from Joanne asking where I wanted her to go. Brown Thomas I said. She said she was nearly there already.

    Now if you knew my nurses, they never stop talking and sheep would be easier to herd! I and another nurse, Liz decided to walk on as Brown Thomas had 3 main doors and I had no idea which one Joanne was at. When we came to the first door no Joanne there, I asked Liz to wait for the rest at the second door. No Joanne there! I flew to the other door, foundher there. I flew back to the door that Liz was at and the rest had just arrived there. With me facing them and them facing the street and Joanne behind them, I told them I had a big surprise for them. They were very excited. Then I told them to turn round. Well I am surprised if the whole of Dublin did not hear the noise they made and the questions and how could I possibly have pulled this off without any of them knowing. Liz. Said, “You are a dark horse to be able to ' keep that under your hat'

    Now for the past 8 years I have been organising 3 reunions a year, all with some form of surprise attached to them. I am running out of ideas. Help!

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    1. Margaret Adamson: Another lovely story. Three reunions a year? Wow.

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    2. 8 times 3 ... and you're just running out of ideas now?! I'd be hard-pressed to organize just one!

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    3. It's a wonderful thing, being able to maintain those friendships through the years... not to mention organising all those reunions!

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    4. Great stories Margaret! I had years where I didn't have 3 dates, let alone reunions.

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  8. Fun, indeed! I love the offerings above. :)

    And here's mine to add to the fun for this week!

    "In reality, there was no storm, but much worse, there was no port!

    ANY PORT IN A STORM would’ve been acceptable, but there was not a Tawny, a Ruby, a Vintage nor a in sight, or in the liquor cabinet - not a skerrick...zilch!

    A Hanwood, a Galway Pipe or a Grand Para would’ve gone down a treat with our coffee...but nothing! The situation was dire!

    KEEP IT UNDER YOUR HAT, but if the host, Alan, hadn’t produced a rather dusty bottle of Cognac to appease his guests he would’ve had a riot on his hands!"

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    1. Lee: It is a very long time since I have drunk port. And the last time I drank rather too much of it. I suspect that if it was offered to me now, remembering the aftermath of that night I would go green and refuse.

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    2. I've not had a port for quite some time, either, EC. I can't remember the last time...but it would have to be a decade, thereabouts.

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    3. A fun story - and a learning experience for me, as I didn't know any of these names!!

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    4. This made me chuckle; what a humourous use of the words!

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    5. Very clever use of these 2 phrases.

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    6. Ha ha that's funny, love it. Need some good Port to sip reading it.

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  9. Petra had learned that a hat was a shaped covering for the head worn for warmth, as a fashion item, or as part of a uniform' Simple. Straightforward.
    And here in Australia, she had seen people in uniforms which included hats, and more rarely fashionable hats. Hats for warmth? No. Shady hats, but no warm ones. Perhaps in what the Australians considered their cold season.
    However, her confusion didn't relate to anything on top of heads, but the vernacular use of the term (she was so proud of knowing the word vernacular).
    Everywhere she went hats were talked about. And talked about in a completely senseless way by and about people who usually didn't even have a hat on.
    'talking through his hat'
    'I'll eat my hat'
    'I take my hat off to you'.
    'hold onto your hat' and 'keep it under your hat' - said to Petra herself. And she didn't have a hat either.
    The final straw was a man on television talking about pulling rabbits from out of a hat. And he was a politician NOT a magician.
    She had been told that Australians spoke English. Not the English she had learnt. The sooner she was home the better. And she would be asking for a refund for her language lessons too.

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    1. So true - and native English speakers don't think twice about these sayings.

      Love your ending - I'd be indignant too, if I were her :)

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    2. Good one, EC! I won't keep it under my hat, though! I'm going to spread the word! :)

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    3. Wonderfully unexpected; I love the way your mind works!

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    4. I think the cat is out of the bag this week with these prompts and it is lovely hearing even more than the 2 Sue and I hVe bloggers this week. Love your take. Thanks for hosting.

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    5. Wonderful little foray! I enjoyed that!

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    6. Lots of strange phrases concerning hats that barely make sense, although I'd not thought of them til you wrote them all up in 3rd person contemplation (or contempt) over meaning.

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  10. Any port in a storm often has leaks.
    Proceed carefully.

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    1. Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe: How right you are.

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  11. Oh how that reminds me of my mother
    who used to say so often "any port in a storm will do?" when she worried that I was hanging out with
    "hippies" instead of the clean cut kids she preferred? Oh this makes me grin:)

    Thanks for being such a bright spark, Sue:)

    -Jennifer

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    1. Jennifer Richardson: My mother used both phrases. Often.

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    2. Yes I think these phrases have sparked a lot of memories for us.

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  12. Some awesome writing here today! Don't know about this week...If so, I'll post it on my site.
    Thanks for this challenge.

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    1. Susan Kane: I hope you can, but will understand if you don't.

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  13. http://lookingupinlife.blogspot.com/2016/03/wednesday-words.html?m=1

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    1. Cindi Summerlin: I have been, I have read, I have applauded.

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  14. I have not heard or said 'keep it under your hat' in years. I miss it along with so many other turns of phrase.

    My father used to say 'I'm going to take a powder' when taking leave. I don't know how 'to take a powder' came to mean 'to take one's leave', but I wish I did. (-realising of course I could just 'google' it.)

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    1. Bea: My father used both of those phrases. I *think* the powder in question was a laxative - which required a speedy exit. I won't swear to that though.

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    2. Medications in the form of ' powders' were parcelled up in paper and give out by the Doctor before everything was in tablet form. So whether you had a headache. Or were constipated,you might have to take a 'powder' in a hurry

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  15. I love 'Any port in a storm', that's a blinder EC.

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    1. Bob Bushell: Margaret and her friend Sue have given us some wonderful prompts this month.

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    2. Glad you liked that prompt Bob.

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  16. I always enjoy reading what everyone comes up with from these prompts. It's so interesting and intriguing you want to know more.

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    1. Mason Canyon: It is a heap of fun isn't it?

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    2. Mason, why not try writing a bit. There are no right or wrong ways to write.

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  17. Read all the comments/stories. They are good :)

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    1. Margaret-whiteangel: There are some beauties aren't there?

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  18. So fun to read these comments. :)
    Exciting posts for next week.

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    1. Lux G.: It is a heap of fun. I hope you will play some week.

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    2. I hope you will play next week.

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  19. This port in the storm
    Offers refuge to me
    As inhabitants on shore
    Answer my anquished plea.

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  20. I love the prompts which Margaret and Sue have so kindly provided; my head is currently full of bulldogs but I shall make an attempt tonight. =)

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    1. The Cranky: I do hope the bulldogs leave room.

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    2. Glad you have liked the prompts so far this month. Next month is a different challenge ( I think). As we gave Sue them 6 months ago, so that we would not remember them ourselves and then we can play also.

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  21. Wow, those prompts took me somewhere I wasn't expecting! And my Blogger is formatting like crazy... Thank you posting the prompts and sorry for my cranky, obnoxiously indented free write!

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    1. HBF: I am looking forward to seeing where the prompts took you. Sigh on blogger's pushy ways.

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  22. Caught between two stools as I am (work or inspiration), this engaging post has me giving up my day job (at least for a moment), throwing caution to the wind and posting a reply on my blog! Hope to see you there :-)

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  23. 'Any Port In A Storm'
    I pulled into the parking lot slowly and let the corvette cruise to a stop near the sign that read 'Transport To Mars'. I wasn't planning on coming back here. Not to the lot, not to this planet. I had signed up to be among the first wave of settlers on Mars. I was more than glad to leave my old life behind. Too much drama, too much pain, too much bullshit. My uncle had taken an easy out; suicide.
    Not me, I was too afraid of pain.

    We knew our blue marble of a planet was on life support. By the end of my life, it was predicted to be tearing itself apart with massive hurricanes that shredded everything in their paths, crushing, killing earthquakes and droughts that made the desert seem like Disneyland.
    Nope, I wanted none of it, and I was willing to take any port in a storm. Especially one that could kill me.
    Look out Mars, here I come.

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    1. Carolyn McBride: Welcome - and wow. Dark, different - and wonderful. I sadly fear not too far off the mark either.

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    2. Love the story although sad about our planet. Mars has no colour! I would not like that.

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    3. Carolyn! Tanke! Great to see you posting here and I love your story! You knew I would though.

      Like EC and Margaret, I fear it hits far too close to the mark.

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    4. Whoa and leaving a Vette behind. For Mars too, barren as hell, but what an adventure, the thought, the trip, the go for broke, no turning back, love it! And why we are destroying a perfectly lovely planet here, that's a question.

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  24. Seeing who was calling, I answered the phone with a rough "Whaddya want this time, jerk?" A moment's silence and then a gratifyingly hesitant voice responded "Um, well, yeah; I know it's rather last minute but I was hoping you could see to the dogs for a few days." "So, ANY PORT IN A STORM, eh? I distinctly recall you saying you'd never let me near your house again."

    Silence, a clearing of the throat and then a mumble. "What's that, couldn't hear you?" "I said I'm sorry." "Quite right, you should be, leaving without food in the house for person or pup. I don't expect to have to pay for the privilege of doing you a favour this time!" "Okay, okay, I get it; the fridge will be stocked and so will the dog food box. Can you do it?"

    Tapping my toe against the coffee table, I considered... "So where are you off to now and why so last minute?" "Uh, well, can you KEEP IT UNDER YOUR HAT?" "Maybe, if you make it worth my while..." A dramatic sigh, and then: "Will a bottle of gin make it worth your while?" Hah, got him! "Better make it a bottle of whisky, and not that cheap stuff you drink!" Another dramatic sigh and "Okay, the good stuff... we're getting married; can you come over tomorrow morning jerk?" I squealed, I admit it, but it was squeal worthy, okay? "See you then, bigger jerk than me!"

    Big brothers; they're a pain but occasionally they're worth it.

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    1. Big smiles. I would have gone for gin though.

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    2. OMG, that's so funny with the ending. Brothers! Should have known. Great one, Cranky!

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    3. Live this story and didn't expect the ending.

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  25. Indeed, they are...occasionally. Well written, Cranky! *high five*

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  26. Her letter was hidden in his hat ... but he needed to get it dry and intact to his master - so their liaison could continue unabated and secret ... yet rats are out there ... the dreaded thieves of the dockside .. the scurrilous ratbags that haunt god-fearing men.

    Yet worse was afoot - the storm clouds were gathering .. the thunderous, ponderous heaps in the sky ... if the storm started he would need to set out for any other port in the storm - and keep that little secret hidden under his hat.

    Then find his way back along the turnpike keeping hidden in the undergrowth ... til he could return and find his master. They were good friends ... and each knew the other would look to their best interests in those days of yore - the romance would continue ...

    Cheers Margaret and EC - Hilary

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    1. Hilary Melton-Butcher: Love it, and would like to know more.

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    2. Great story. Rats! My mother used to use that term, as one of frustration.

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    3. Good story and will it continue next week?

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  27. all the stories here are so good, I enjoyed reading through them all.

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    1. LE CHEMIN DES GRANDS JARDINS: Welcome. I hope you will join in some week soon.

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  29. Happy Writing to all. Hope her blog is up and running again.

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    1. The Happy Whisk: Delores is still in hiatus. I hope she is enjoying life.

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    2. When or if, she gets back, I'll be over to check out her blog.

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