Monday, November 10, 2014

Bye Bye Birdies

 
If you’ve read my little book, Wry Bread, then you already know me to be a man of exceptional courage.  Those exceptions include bears, sharks, wolves, high school principals, feisty aunts, Godzilla and any other real or fictitious creature which may inadvertently (or advertently) bring me harm.  Some throw caution to the wind (and when you think about it, we’ve never been offered another place to throw it) and do things like attend Yankee games, as if they had never heard of Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  But it’s not through such recklessness that I’m just one day shy of reaching the ripe old age at which, as I was told by my high school mentors John and Paul, every summer Donna and I can rent a cottage in the Isle of Wight (if it’s not too dear) with Vera, Chuck and Dave on her knee.  In high school it didn’t seem preposterous that at sixty-four we could put three grandchildren on one knee.  This snake adventure highlights the caution that has served me so well yea these many years.

It was a warm evening in early summer; the Katydids were chattering and the lightening bugs flashing---wait, maybe they weren’t.  I can’t remember now.  But I remember I happened to look out our large front picture window and see a long black something on our white porch railing.  (Why we call it a picture window, I don’t know, as there’s no picture on it---I just checked to make sure.  All I could find is an ADT™ sticker left by the last occupant.  I suppose I should have removed the sticker sometime in the past ten years, since ADT™ has never received a dime from us to protect our home, but as I didn’t put the sticker on there, I felt no constraint to take it off.  The only person it might mislead is one intending to rob us, or one trying to sell us a home-security system, and I have little sympathy for either of those fellows, who, now that I think of it, may in fact be the same fellow.  The ADT™ sticker really has nothing to do with the story, so why don’t we just move on?  We’re almost at the snake part.  We’d have been there a lot sooner if not for the sticker, but remember, I’m not the one who put it on the window.)  

You’ve probably guessed by now that the long black something on our white porch railing was----a dog leash.  Wrong.  It was a snake.  Don’t you remember when I called this a snake story?  Not only was it a snake, and black, but it was a Black Snake, which makes it doubly black and doubly snake-ish.  He or she was about 3 feet long, and about two inches in diameter, and shall be referred to hence as “it.”  It seemed to have an inordinate interest in the small cylindrical wooden birdhouse hanging from the porch roof support, about two and a half feet above said snake.  You may have already deduced, from the snake’s interest, that the birdhouse was occupied by a family of-----dog leashes.  Wrong again!   It was occupied by a family of birds, including several recently hatched chicks.  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ivan The Terrible


The following item appeared in our newspaper last week:
“On this date in 1547, Ivan IV of Russia, popularly known as ‘Ivan the Terrible,’ was crowned Czar.”

This got me wondering:  Just how dreadful must the other candidates have been, if the man popularly known as ‘Ivan the Terrible’ was crowned Czar? Then I discovered a rare transcript of the Czar Search Committee from early 1547.

“Thank you all for coming.  Let us get right to the point.  Vlad the Horrendous, you have many qualities we were looking for in a leader.  But I’m afraid the committee has decided to go in a different direction.  With so many ruthless applicants, we hope you understand our dilemma. Sergei the Atrocious, you were under serious consideration, as were you, Igor the Malodorus.  All in Russia have heard of your great exploits, and of the Cossack town, Slovitch the Serene, known since your visit as Slovitch the Smoldering;  surely never again will any innkeeper be so imprudent as to suggest that you and your men should ‘sleep with the pigs.’   The decision we announce today should not be understood as disparaging your capacity for pillaging and plundering.  Keep up the---ah, work.  I must say, Pavel the Appalling, the committee was impressed with your collection of Polish toes, until one member pointed out that it is impossible to determine if, as you say, they were cut off the unfortunate peasants following your sacking of a defenseless town, or they simply reflect natural Siberian-winter toe-loss.  Dimitri the Despicable, and Nicolai the Nefarious, we love the alliteration; but although we have no reason to doubt your claim to be scoundrels of the baser sort, we were unable to verify any truly heinous acts ascribed to you.” 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Wry Bread Now in Book Form

As readers of Little Loaves may know, several months ago I compiled the stories I had written up to that point into a book, and self-published them as an E-book on Amazon.com.   You can see it by going to the Amazon site, clicking Kindle Books, and searching for Wry Bread. Since then, the book has far exceeded all expectations.  (This was not hard to do, in that no one expected it to sell any copies.)  Having persuaded, cajoled and shamed several family members and friends into buying the book, sales of Wry Bread have plateaued at about 30. Let me emphasize, that's thirtynot thirty thousand.  By the way, you can encourage more people to read the book by giving it a positive review on the site.  The best thing to do with a negative review is mail it to me without postage.

Some friends asked if I would publish Wry Bread the old fashioned way---you know, printed on paper made from trees. That has now been done, and those are selling like---well not so much like hotcakes, more like bread that sells slowly. The paperback books of 190 pages are available for a suggested donation of $8 each, or $10 with shipping included (within the U.S.) Just Email me at RussSukhia2@gmail.com to request your fresh baked copy.