Monday, December 31, 2018

A Great Idea for Year’s End

I came up with a great idea for a year end story.

The other night, right there at the mall as I was riding up the escalator at Barnes & Noble...of course, of course.

It was perfect for the season and one of those easy right brain downloads that really do just write themselves.

Plus, I was actually chuckling to myself at all the humorous possibilities.

Unfortunately this isn’t it.

Not even close.

It totally slipped my mind by the time I got home, and I’ve been trying to recreate the circumstances in which it popped into my head, ever since.

As, I said, we had been in the basement of the book store, looking for Z’s annual Polar Bear calendar, without success.  I was now riding up the escalator and passing a little girl of about 8, on her way down. 

As we passed, the little girl actually made eye contact with me and gave me a big smile, which is not a situation I’m accustomed to; especially since when I walk thorough most stores, let alone ride up their escalators, I normally assume the expression of a prisoner undergoing enhanced interrogation techniques.

So I don’t usually generate smiles, except from folks sporting monocles.

I kind of nodded, which is about all the congeniality I can muster in these uncertain situations, monocle or not, and snuck a quick glance behind, since surely this unadulterated friendly gesture was certainly not directed towards my unwelcoming countenance.

But there was no one else nearby. Z had already gone on up ahead.

And in less than a couple of seconds, the moment had passed, as well as we.

Of course my first thought was, hey kid, Christmas is more who’s naughty and who’s nice stuff.  There’s no elf on a shelf watching from wherever these shelf elves loiter. You don’t have to be nice to random people. Believe me, there’s no upside there.



Which, in itself, probably would have made for a pretty good Retort; if that was indeed the lost story I’m in search of. It isn’t, and I really didn’t even think of that until just a few dozen key clicks ago.

No, this was something else.

I’m not sure if it came to me with the smile situation or I had already been thinking about it amongst the non-polar bear calendars, which would also have contributed to my Zombie like affect as I rode up the escalator.

Perhaps that was why the little girl smiled. Maybe she was a fan of “The Zombies Across the Street”, although I don’t think FLR gets much traffic from the 8-10 year old demographic.

Anyway, to be honest, I didn’t give it all that much thought at the time, as I was still watching this fantastic year end retort play out in my head. Z was waiting at the top of the escalator, while a blonde, impatient, middle aged lady, swinging a shopping bag, zipped up from behind.

She seemed to be in a big hurry as Z and I walked idly down a narrow aisle, so I stepped to the side allowing her to plough on by, which she did, but not without cracking me behind the knee with her shopping bag, with nary and excuse me, or a sorry or even a, “Ha...I got the last polar bear calendar and you didn’t, suckers!”

Nope, just a zig then a zag through the coffee mugs and KNOOKS and back out into the mall.

Perhaps she feared we would knock her down, and rip the elusive calendar from her bag. But what kind of people did she think we were? Some kind of end of year calendar savages.

We would never do anything like that, not since Amazon Prime and two day delivery.

In fact, Z’s new calendar arrived in the mail this morning.

But none of that had anything to do with the lost story idea.

I really have to start texting these things to myself when they come up. 

I’m getting older and things like remembering where I parked my car, or even if I still own a car, serve as distractions and tend to swallow up all those transient ideas, slip sliding through my brain.

A mere eight years ago, when I began jotting these silly thoughts and ideas down, they would pop into my head and stick for days, even weeks, until I started unleashing them.

Now, most days, I have to remind myself to have breakfast, that, as of 11:30 AM, I still haven’t had. Which is actually pretty good since I’ll only have to bump lunch back a couple of hours today, which should avoid, hopefully, running into dinner...again.

I do think this elusive year-end retort, did have something to do with getting older and the unrelenting swiftness of the years passing by.

It’s been on my mind a lot, for awhile, and even more so now since I’ll be turning 65 at the end of March, which, in addition to the monumental heaviness of the sound of that, I’m also required to sign up for Medicare, which means the government feels I’m going to need a lot of medical attention as the coming tide rolls in.

Kind of rude if you ask me, especially since they use a lot of language on their website like elderly and senior. Short term care, long term care, rehabilitative care and palliative care, which doesn’t sound like something to aspire to.

People tell me it’s actually a good thing and I should be happy to receive such a benefit, especially since I’ve been paying for it over the last 40 years.

So if you put it that way, okay, I’ll take it. But is there any way I could use that 40 year pay-in to buy a new 90 inch 4K TV, instead?

I’ve been lucky with good health most of my life, so I’m not sure how much I’m really gonna need it...knock on wood...or whatever’s handy.   

Sure, the numbers say decrepitude is coming, although I still don’t see much more than 35 when I look into the mirror...with my eyes closed.

Okay, my neck is still a little sore from that stupid Disney World “Seven Dwarfs Mine” coaster, last March. And it does appear I’m ending the year and starting the next with a bit of a head cold. Not too bad, but my throat is a bit scratchy and most of my face hurts.

Which is where you all jump in and say, “It’s killing me!”

Ha ha...tell me you didn’t at least think it.

I know my Retorters....

Now, having said all this, I’m still at a loss for my missing idea.

Hopefully it will come to me soon, or at least by the end of 2019.

But if it does, will I even remember it was missing and now found.

Or will I think it’s a fresh new idea...which I’ll then forget to write down...again.

Oy...Medicare has no idea what it’s in for....

Happy New Year...I think!


Thanks to everyone who picked up a copy of "The Little Red Christmas Ball"! 

I'm happy to say, a lot of folks have taken to it's fun Christmassy message and shared it with family and friends.

Join the adventure and “The Little Red Christmas Ball” will shine bright and hold tight as your family’s new holiday tradition, this year...and every year to come...

Thanks, again....

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  1. Well that happens to me and I'm only 62 ... well 62 1/2 ... okay, so I'll be 63 in April. You give me nothing to look forward to Brian. Best to you and Z in the new year! - Linda

  2. Old age has its benefits - I didn't have to go through the picking the stop signs or store fronts to publish my comment. Woo hoo! - Linda

    1. Happy New Year, Linda! I think the real problem has nothing to do with getting older. We're just the types who wander around with our heads in the clouds looking for the next great idea...and when we're not doing that, we're minding everyone else's business, looking for it there. Hey, somebody has to do it....

  3. happy new year! i love the magic in the ordinary days when you come upon someone who changes your day with their smile or a happy word, a sincere gesture or just a positive intention... whether on an escalator or in your front yard or in the bagel shop, where i encountered some wonderfulness this morning.
    as for remembering things, i started texting myself as reminders so i can recall my thoughts when i get home! ;0) -nicole

  4. Happy New Year, Nicole! I see you've been relegated to the Anonymous Brigade. Not sure why some people have trouble posting under their own name. Blogger doesn't make it easy. I think it has something to do with the Google/Apple wars. If you're trying to post using an apple product, iphone or ipad, it might cause trouble. Sometimes using a windows computer makes it go through. Also, if you have a google Gmail account it helps to use that. But anonymous works too. Lends a mysterious air to the whole thing. Wearing one of those freaky Anonymous masks as you write also helps. Looking forwrd to hearing more from you in the new year....

  5. i was using my daughter’s laptop and her email was the only one coming up. my laptop was killed instantly by my sister in law’s soaking heineken. oh the humanity. until a new one arrives i guess i will remain anonymous. oh wait. it works from my phone! yippee kai yay


Retort to the Retort -

“Is there anybody alive out there…”