Our Wish-We’d-Missed Connections

By Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes

Last week, two of our favorites, Jenny Hansen and Natalie Hartford, brought to our attention something called the Craigslist Missed Connections. Those are the ads people put up on Craigslist in an effort to find someone they saw in passing, or even someone they know but are too shy to approach.

Holmes and I, who are both happy with the connections we have, are more concerned with never connecting with certain people again. These are a few Wish-We’d-Missed Connections.

Cupid Triumphant by Bertel Thorvaldsen, image by Carsten Norgaard, Wikimedia Commons

Je Ne Sais Quoi

I saw you at Le Cafe Tres Cher. I am the man who was sitting with my back to the wall near the door. You are a tall, dark, mysterious woman. You had on that short red skirt and those lovely stiletto heels. What legs! Our eyes met as you sauntered past me. You had that je ne sais quoi air about you. I nearly gagged. That’s what happens when you don’t shower for three days.

For God’s sake, take some mercy on us. Ask the boys at Fire Station 17 to hose you down and then find another place to drink your damned coffee!

Clean Up on Aisle Nine

You smiled at me when our shopping carts passed in the vegetable aisle. I was startled because you look like a woman I once knew in Europe during the Cold War. You were wearing a green work out suit. Your lovely blonde hair was in a pony tail. You looked so charmingly girlish. I saw you again in the pharmacy section, and then you tried to follow me into the snack section. You smiled again, giving me chills. The last woman who smiled at me like that tried to knife me in the parking lot.

Fortunately, I was too fast for you, and when I tipped over the potato chip rack it blocked your path and I escaped. Find another place to shop, you psychopath! If I see you at my supermarket again I’m going to knock you upside the head with a frozen turkey and leave you unconscious in the refrigerator aisle to die a cold and lonely death.

Roman Holiday

Our paths crossed on the bus in Rome when I was but a shy teenage girl away from home for the first time. The bus was packed, and your body pressed against my backside. I tried to shift, certain a full grown man like you would never be comfortable being so close to an ingenue like me.

To my dismay, there was absolutely nowhere to move in the crush of flesh. But you, however, found the one way you could move, pressing your disgusting, corpulent, ancient self against me over and over. Honestly! What would your wife, children, and grandchildren think of you if they knew you behave in public like Burlusconi with a meter maid? If I ever see you again, you effing pervert, you will wish I was as nice as Lorena Bobbitt.

Virtual Reality

Holmes and I met you in the Scorpion Pit on the virtual reality game our kids got us sucked into. You began by telling my avatar, “You’re hot.”

New to the game and having no experience with cyber-mashers, I was confused, wondering how small you must be to be hitting on a three-inch computer image. While I was trying to picture that, Holmes began repeating back to you all of the pick up lines you were using on me.

Then it was your turn to be confused. You asked Holmes, “Are you a boy or a girl?”

To which Holmes replied, “I’m both. I have girl parts and boy parts.”

You said, “Wow! Really? Do you pee like a girl or like a boy?”

Holmes said, “I do both at the same time.”

Things became more absurd from there. You were clearly fascinated with Holmes’ fictional description of the body functions of a hermaphrodite, and you tried to find out where he lives for half an hour until we tired of laughing at you and blocked you. You are undoubtedly the sickest person we have ever met online. Don’t come near us. Don’t come near our families. Don’t come near our friends, and don’t come near our avatars or you will find out how well a charged up virtual Scarlett Death Arbalest works against a Smith & Wesson.

Three of these Wish-We’d-Missed Connections are real and one is false. Can you guess which one is false?

We’ll reveal the truth on Friday in The End is Near Mashup.

While you’re waiting with bated breath to find out which creep you don’t have to worry about running into, check out some Craig’s List Missed Connections over at Jenny Henson’s More Cowbell and Natalie Hartford’s Life Out Loud.

What are some connections you wish you had missed?

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Piper Bayard is a recovering attorney with a university degree or two and a belly dancer from way back. She currently pens post-apocalyptic sci-fi and spy novels with Holmes when she isn’t shooting, SCUBA diving, or chauffeuring her children.

 ‘Jay Holmes’, is an intelligence veteran of the Cold War and remains an anonymous member of the intelligence community. Piper is the public face of their partnership.

© 2012 Piper Bayard. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact us at the above links to request permission.

Tactical Bacon? . . . We’ve Got Tactical Beer!

By Piper Bayard & Jay Holmes

Recently, we discovered the ultimate bacon product, Tactical Bacon from thinkgeek.com.

Because who would want to face the Apocalypse, a camping trip, or a simple plate of eggs without 18 servings of ten-year-old bacon efficiently shoved into a 9 oz. can?

When we saw this, our first thought was to hope the Scots aren’t working on Tactical Haggis. Our second thought was to look around our world and notice how many “tactical niches” needed filling.

Inspired, we took a can of Tactical Bacon back to Bayard & Holmes Laboratories where we currently have 10,000 lab rats and four communist Chinese engineers hard at work in our Product Research Division. Their mission? To convert the ordinary into the highly efficient, combat ready tactical products needed to improve the lives of today’s busy world citizens. We are proud to present our premier line of Bayard & Holmes Tactical Products.

Tactical Toothpaste

Sporting a stylish camouflaged tube designed to look like a regular tube of toothpaste, our Tactical Toothpaste is guaranteed to have you cursing as creatively as any Marine gunnery sergeant or Navy boson’s mate in only four days. Be sure to keep a tube handy for those visits to your girlfriend’s parents. And it’s certain to make your teens the most popular kids in summer camp!

Tactical Toilet Paper

Feeling like a wimp? Scared of your boss, your mother-in-law, or the wild rabbits in your yard? Our Tactical Toilet Paper is certain to rough you up and cure even the worst case of Candy Ass. You’ll be asserting your rights in no time.

image from memegenerator.net

Tactical Tennis Shoes

Run like the wind; strut like a badass. You won’t need air soles to float in these shoes!

Tactical Condoms

She’ll know she’s been with a soldier. *wink, wink*

Tactical Thongs

Designed to “cover” your ass and keep the Taliban from spotting you while experiencing those intimate moments sure to arise during tactical operations in foreign countries. Inspiringly shaded in Forest Camo, Arctic White, or Desert Beige.

Portable Tactical Big Screen TV and 60 Horsepower Generator

No backpacking trip would be complete without our Kevlar-shielded, IED resistant 72” screen. Why should you suffer without your sports bar just because you’re camping?

Tactical Beer

Enhance your wilderness TV experience with a case of world famous B&H Tactical Beer. Real badasses don’t tolerate fancy Northern European imported crap. B&H is brewed with arctic glacier water which delicately separated from the indigenous ice of the arctic as an unforeseen benefit of nuclear weapons testing. We also use only the finest hops captured from our competitors’ warehouses where we are unimpeded because they’re way too scared to try and stop us once they see us in our Tactical Tennis Shoes.

Tactical Beer, image by Alexander Olm at flickr.com

This glow-in-the-dark gourmet beverage will double as your Tactical Light Source. Because let’s be honest here. Flashlights are for geeks.

Tactical Dog Food

Between the LSD and the anabolic steroids in this dog food, even a worthless little teacup poodle transforms into a charmingly psychotic attack dog that answers to “Killer” takes out any annoying visitors with a slight lift of your left pinkie. This one is especially useful during this growingly hostile campaign season.

WARNING: Keep this product out of reach of gerbils.

We Bayard & Holmes Laboratories have even developed a line of Children’s Tactical Products.

Tactical Crayons

Our specially designed crayons created by our contract engineers deep in the heart of Magic Mountain are made of hard plastic. They are impossible for your child to draw with, making clean up a snap. These are perfect at home, in the classroom, or for birthday parties because you don’t want to raise some pansy a$$ liberal artist type anyway.

Tactical Children’s Lunch Box

Is your angelic kindergartener being bothered by those demonic third grade boys? To hell with that equivocating guidance counselor. We’ve got your practical, tactical solution. The Tactical Children’s Lunch Box, evening the score for the little kids since about ten days and four hours ago.

Every Tactical Children’s Lunch Box contains a top quality phosphorous grenade cleverly disguised as a Disney Princess or Avengers thermos. Guaranteed to slip unnoticed past the most diligent school crossing guard.

Tactical Brownies, image by jeffreyw at wikimedia commons

Each Tactical Lunch Box also includes a dozen hand-wrapped poison brownies, lovingly crafted in our bakery, that your budding Rambo can share with any enemy combatants he or she might encounter in the elementary school lunchroom.

Place your orders in the comments section below, and keep an eye out for our Tactical Holy Water and the rest of our Tactical Religious Products due out for the Holiday Season.

What Bayard & Holmes Tactical Products would you like in your home? What would you like us to set our lab rats to developing? We look forward to your business.

 

© 2012 Piper Bayard. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact us at the above links to request permission.

Mike the Photo Law Suit Scammer Caught!

By Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes

Recently, National Best Selling Author Roni Loren published an article about being sued for a blog photo that shook the blogging world right down to its ellipsis. Suddenly, bloggers came out of the woodwork, telling stories of unknown photographers popping up from nowhere, demanding exorbitant amounts for their forgotten, mediocre pictures that were plucked from obscurity and given a life on blogs.

This led Holmes and I to surmise that in actuality, some of these photographers aren’t photographers at all, but professional Courthouse Crawlers who, unable to make a living at photography, throw their photos out like bait, waiting to catch unsuspecting bloggers in their nets of infringement litigation.

Sure enough, with a minimal amount of research, we turned up proof.

Meet Mike of Mike’s Photos R Me.

This is Mike’s best self-portrait, but he calls himself a professional photographer. We went to Mike’s web site, and this is what we found.

Hi, Bloggers. Here are my photos. I never check to see who is using them, even though they are my best work, and this is how I make my living. I will never look to see who takes them at all. Why, if you took my work to use on your page (just double click and ‘Save Image’) I would never know it. Not at all.

This is a small sampling of my famous, award-winning* photography that I never, ever google.

Art Photo: ‘Rock on a Log’

Wildlife Photo: ‘Crouching Dog, Hidden Canine’

I stalked this wild mutt through the back yard for at least ten minutes to catch this perfect shot.

Abstract Photo: ‘Meditation on a Yard Sprinkler’

See how the water creates the illusion of lush lawn along the side, in sharp contrast to the harsh brown grass. Now there’s some thought fodder.

Editorial Photo: Guinea Pig World

Note how the guinea pig is like the so many of the world’s people. The cage is open for him to embrace his freedom, yet instead, he prefers the safety of his confinement while simply gnawing the bars in angst . . . I know. I have to pause a moment, too.

And what portfolio would be complete without some beautiful, artistic nudes to remind us of the glory of the human form? I started shooting this type of art when my mother kicked me out of her basement six months ago.

Nude Photo: Back Directory

When my buddies all 86ed me from their houses, too, I met this guy named Alfonse who pointed out the money to be made in this type of photo . . .

Naughty Photo: Fifty Shades of Plastic

Who wouldn’t want this brilliance gracing their blogs? But no worries. I’m not like some of those photographers out there, just waiting to take you to court. No way. I will never know if you just happen to take one of these beauties for your website.

*Voted Best Photography by all of Mike’s Family and Friends.

Don’t be fooled by Mike! While there are many fine and reputable photographers out there who deserve our respect and our dollars to reproduce their materials, there are also these bottom feeders lurking and preying on unsuspecting bloggers who are simply confused about the law.

If you are approached by a ‘Mike,’ keep in mind that license to use most pictures on the internet only costs between one and twenty dollars. If you should run into a stubborn Mike who wants some exorbitant compensation, consider contacting us about our Bayard & Holmes Alternative Out of Court Settlement Service. Our Out of Court Settlement Team has thus far experienced outstanding results in convincing the world’s Mikes to accept reasonable settlements that are favorable to our clients.

All the best to all of you for a week of avoiding life’s bottom feeders.

1-800-ZAPP-ASS: Bayard & Holmes Spark Up Politics

By Author Piper Bayard & Intelligence Operative Holmes

Are you feeling abused by your political system? Disgusted by the candidates? Ready to shoot your TV when Super PAC commercials start their incessant droning? Fear not! Bayard & Holmes stand ever prepared to turn your problems into our opportunities.

We are proud and excited to bring you our latest ingenious program calculated to lower your stress and increase your happiness. We call it 1-800-ZAPP-ASS. Here’s how it works. . . .

For a meager donation of $1.99, you can dial or text 1-800-ZAPP-ASS and deliver an electric shock to the Political Offender of your choice—congressmen, elected officials (no Executive Privilege applies), or a fervent, annoying, neighborhood political party radical. You can even use this device to zapp some sense into political phone solicitors, or those college kids still young enough to know everything who come to our doors, clipboard in hand, and tell us how misguided we are in our political views.

All proceeds will be placed in a special fund to assist the growing numbers of unemployed people and their hungry families who are so desperate for work they are now studying Mandarin or Phillipino in the hopes they will be re-hired for their own outsourced jobs some day.

Sound amazing? But wait! There’s more!

The top 12 most-zapped Political Offenders will win all expense paid vacations to Camp Cheerful Summer Camp for Adults in the beautiful blue Caribbean on the coast of Cuba.

 

Our highly trained Happiness Specialists will be waiting for your favorite Political Offenders with a very special fun activity designed just for them. We call it Politicalboarding.

With Politicalboarding, the Political Offenders are restrained in a room together where they are subjected to each other’s company. Then, they sit through 72 non-stop, fun-filled hours of their own recorded speeches, only interrupted by diaper changes and Super PAC commercials for presidential candidates.

No worries! This is nothing like waterboarding. In fact, Political Offenders at Camp Cheerful aren’t even given water.

At the end of the 72 hours they will be treated to a sumptuous banquet of a health-enhancing whole wheat bread crust and a draught from the local sacred spring of Baca Podrida (translation “Rotting Cow”).

After their meal, the Political Offenders will be strapped to chairs and turned upside down in a dunking booth. Then, since Baseball is not only our religion but the All-American Sport, major league hopefuls will practice their throws. Just so you know, this isn’t waterboarding, either. It’s Strategic Dunking.

Text, phone, tweet, email, or FaceBook now and contribute your $1.99 to sparking up this year’s political campaign and helping your fellow Americans survive. God knows our politicians aren’t doing it.

card available from zazzle.com

If you would like to suggest anyone to receive a shocking wake up from 1-800-ZAPP-ASS, please feel free to do so below. However, in the interests of delicacy and the fact that social media platforms take years to build and can be destroyed in seconds, please only refer to your Political Offenders by clean and clever code names.

Now, now! No crowding, and no personal attacks on each other in the Comments Section. We’ll leave that sort of unethical, unprofessional behavior to the politicians.

Piper Bayard—The Pale Writer of the Apocalypse

Holmes—Student of Sex, C4, and Hollow Points

Camp Cheerful Summer Camp for Adults

By Piper Bayard & Jay Holmes

Inspired by the HAMAS and UN Summer Camps in Gaza, we here at Bayard & Holmes are asking, “Why should Palestinians have all the fun? For that matter, why should kids have all the fun?”

Summer should be a time for fun and relaxation for everyone. There are always a few folks around, though, who will do their best to prevent any fun or relaxation from occurring. It’s those people we had in mind when we conceived the idea of Camp Cheerful.

Situated in a Caribbean location of incomparable beauty and perfect climatic ambiance at the eastern tip of Cuba, with swimming and diving opportunities in Guantanamo Bay, Camp Cheerful is the perfect getaway for those fun-challenged individuals in your life.

So stop for a moment and think. Who has taken a head start on ruining your summer? Is it a hard-drinking relative? A thoughtless, annoying neighbor with three barking dogs and teenagers who party until two a.m.? Perhaps there’s someone in your professional life who doesn’t even wait until summer to spread the agony of her own miserable existence, insisting on sharing the “joy” with everyone around her. Camp Cheerful is just the place to send them to ensure happiness this summer (for you).

All campers will be cheerfully greeted by our Certified Happiness Specialists. We’ve recruited some of the finest soldiers and marines with experience in great vacation resorts like Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, the Balkans, and East Los Angeles. These healthy and enthusiastic men and women are well prepared to assist our campers in achieving life-altering experiences.

For your summer enjoyment, all campers’ activities will be live-streamed on the Internet. Our Certified Happiness Specialists have prepared several thrilling activities guaranteed to keep our campers busy all summer long. We’ve updated some of the more traditional, boring summer camp activities to make them far more interesting, and we’ve created a few completely original activities, as well.

After enjoying a morning of rigorous exercise and fasting, the campers will be treated to a thrilling round of bobbing for apples. To make this game a little easier for tired campers, we’ve attached a five pound diving weight to each apple, allowing the apple to settle conveniently at the bottom of the five foot barrel. Our loving camp staff will assist each camper in entering the barrel after securing their wrists with the lanyards the campers wove themselves in arts & crafts class. What could be more cheer-inducing and fulfilling than using their own handiwork in such a practical application?

Many children have memories of the humiliation caused by their failure to ever hit the target on the archery range in summer camp. To avoid that emotional distress, our campers will reverse roles and will act as targets as our staff demonstrates proper archery technique. For safety, each arrow tip will be replaced with steel blunts, and campers will be required to remove all eye wear.

And what summer camp would be complete without a broad array of aquatic activities? Like any good summer camp, we stress safety first. Campers will learn important water survival techniques, such as how to use chicken blood on their swimming trunks as a shark repellant, how to safely tread water for four hours over sharp coral reefs, and how to spend a long day of swimming in the bright Caribbean sun without relying on the crutch of sunscreen. And don’t worry. No life vests allowed!

After a scrumptious lunch of cold gruel and a thirst-quenching draught of water from the local sacred spring of Baca Podrida (translation “Rotting Cow”), the staff will choose the Distinguished Camper of the Day, who will then serve as the star in a thrilling round of Pin the Tail on the Jackass. Given the larger size of some of the campers’ rear ends, the players will be allowed to use nail guns, rather than thumb tacks, to ensure the firm placement of the tails.

Most campers look forward to horseback riding as part of their summer camp activities. In spite of the lack of horses in Guantanamo, we have no intention of disappointing our campers. So we’ll be saddling up the campers for competitive steeplechase exercises. To help encourage those young foals to do their best in clearing those quicksand bogs and barbed wire fences, the “horse” that finishes last will be subjected to an extra round of Pin the Tail on the Jackass.

During our evening campfire time, campers will learn thrilling new songs that they will likely remember the rest of their lives. We’ve contracted with some of the world’s leading songwriters (us) to come up with unique songs that our campers will cherish for a lifetime. A Hundred Broken Bottles of Beer On My Head; Row, Row, Row Your Boat Across the River Styx; I Wanna Go Home (But They’ll Kill Me If I Try), and the trademark Camp Cheerful Song, If You’re Happy When You Suffer, Clap Your Hands.

Please notify us now of who you’re intending to send to Camp Cheerful this year, and we will reserve our special 3’ x 7’ dog kennels luxury suites for their vacation pleasure. Enroll your camper today!

Who would you like to send to Camp Cheerful this year and why?

New Strategy for Domestic Bliss

By Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes

Last year, an immigration officer in the UK found a cheap, creative way to get rid of his wife. He used his position to put her on a terrorist watch list while she was away on vacation in Pakistan. She was stuck there three years. Then, the immigration officer applied for a promotion, and, while vetting him for the new position, his superiors discovered what he had done.

While we find his behavior reprehensible, this does suggest a solution to the high crime rates in America while boosting the American economy. We call it our Club Penitentiary Program.

Recidivist criminals are a problem for all countries, and the US is no exception. You’ve heard of the “three strikes and you’re out” policy that some states have for their felons? We think the “out” part should be more literal. Let’s reward the tenacity of these outlaws by offering them all-expense-paid vacations to the Axis of Evil country of their choosing.

Our research indicates that, for the paltry sum of $1500/tourist, we can charter our own flight and transport these vacation-starved inmates in bulk. Here’s how it works.

As each of these fun-loving American tourists boards the bus at the penitentiary for the trip to the airport, his or her name will be added to the Dept. of Homeland Security terrorist database. This will prevent them from ever returning to the United States.

As they board the plane, our friendly Attica guards professional flight crews will dose them with strong sedatives. We know that sounds expensive, but no worries! We will recycle unused medications from nursing home patients who pass away leaving behind their unused pills.

We have not included a doctor or pharmacologist in the budget. However, we have hired a convicted crack dealer who was saved by religion just before his parole board meeting, and we believe he’ll get each traveler the right medication and dosage most of the time. In any event, we’ll make sure the passengers get what they need to be on their best behavior for the duration of the flight.

Here’s what a Club Pen jaunt to Korea would look like. Upon their arrival in Seoul, our South Korean allies will transfer the unconscious inmates excited tourists to North Korean bound buses. Each reveler will receive a hot, flat South Korean beer and the necessary South Korean documentation to become citizens of North Korea.

For enticement to accept the offer, we will give each traveler $500 cash to spend as he or she sees fit at his vacation destination. Also, in exchange for South Korea’s quiet assistance, we will reimburse that country $200/inmate.

If the South Koreans should refuse to cooperate, with one or two phone calls, we can get the Chinese to do it for half that.  Although, with the Chinese option, we can’t guarantee the safe arrival of the travelers in North Korea.

We know what you’re thinking. Every responsible American’s first question is, “Where do we get the money for this outstanding program?”

Consider that the average annual cost for incarcerating a violent offender in the US is about $27k per year. Spending two or three grand to say Adios! to these rather interesting and adventurous folks would generate a savings of $25k per inmate the first year, alone. And just think what the taxpayers will save over the course of a life sentence!

This is win/win for everyone. Psychopaths get what they want, which is out of prison. Communities win by not having these violent offenders in their neighborhoods. The taxpayers win by realizing tremendous savings. South Korea wins by picking up sorely needed cash and finally enjoying the opportunity to do something for us for a change after years of suffering the humiliation of existing only at the grace of the American defense budget. And even the North Koreans win. Compared to the oligarchy that controls North Korea now, these new visitors will bring an infusion of cash and ideas, and a higher level of morality than their current leadership has ever demonstrated.

What politicians or other dangerous criminals would you nominate for a Club Pen gift certificate?

All the best to all of you for a week of staying off the watch list.

 

Our Lies and Our Truths. Our Turn to Fess Up.

By Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes

Last week, we asked folks to leave us two lies and one truth, and we did the same. Time now for us to reveal our answers.

Holmes:

It is true that I told Ronald Reagan an off color nun joke, and Reagan enjoyed it.

Reagan called a break in a meeting and requested that a few of us stay behind. After we spoke a bit, he asked, “Do you guys know any good jokes?”

Ronald Reagan

No one else wanted to risk it so I told a somewhat raunchy nun joke. Reagan laughed pretty hard and said, “Wow, you’re really bad.” Then he laughed some more, pointed his finger at me, and said, “I like you.”

Bayard:

It is true that Piper tangled with a well-armed member of Delta Force in a Denny’s parking lot in Texas.

Many years ago, Cpt. Delta, Holmes, and I were all at a meeting of sorts in Somewhere, Texas. To get there, I drove through the night with Cpt. Delta and a couple of other guys. Holmes was not with us.

Before we left on the trip, it was agreed that whoever was driving would control the music. Since Cpt. Delta and I used to prank each other a bit, I carefully selected a few cassette tapes that were calculated to irritate him.

But Cpt. Delta had age and treachery on his side. Come to find out, he so readily agreed to the music arrangement because he had exactly no intention of letting me drive his car. Instead, he kept me awake all night with a little device on his ear that beeped loudly every time he started to nod off to sleep.

I would have thought he was getting back at me for all of the times I called up his work and left PG13 messages for Cpt. Shamu (the killer whale) in my best 1-900 voice. However, he pulled a better one to get back at me for that. But that is another story.

Anyway, I was a bit testy from lack of sleep and in no mood to be diplomatic. He made a rude comment about the punk rocker college kid I was visiting during our stay and speculated as to how that young man might have obtained the money for his Cadillac. Cpt. Delta didn’t realize I had been that kid’s babysitter in my youth. Like any Mama Bear, I got in his face about it.

Holmes and some other guys got out of their car just as I was saying (loudly) something to the effect of, “Cut it the f**k out. . . .” Holmes quickly stepped between us before Cpt. Delta could respond. He smiled at me to distract me while another man asked the object of my ire a question and walked him into the restaurant.

That being said, Cpt. Delta is a wonderful man and a cherished friend, and I had completely forgotten this incident until Holmes reminded me of it. I’m hoping Cpt. Delta forgot about it, too, and that he’s not reading this post. (*waves and smiles*)

Bayard & Holmes

It is true that Holmes stopped Piper from writing, “Are you as dirty as I am?” in the dust on an antique vase at a major art museum.

Monet’s “Water Lilies” at Nelson-Atkins. Not us. Image from flickr.com

Holmes and I were in Kansas City many years ago, he on business, and me visiting family. He had an afternoon off so we went to the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum. Before we got to the amazing antique furniture or the impressionist collection, which is unfortunately within sight of the Kandinsky, we found ourselves alone in a room with an antique green vase. It clearly hadn’t been dusted once since its creation.

I looked at it and did a double take, realizing it was filthy. Then I said, “Hey, Holmes. I’m going to write on that vase.”

I stretched my arm toward its perch, my finger at the ready, but Holmes said, “No. Don’t touch it.”

I proceeded to attempt to persuade him to back me up, but Holmes spent his childhood playing hookey from school in the halls of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. That left him with a reverence for good museums. He didn’t want us to chance getting booted out of one for no good reason . . . I thought it was a good reason, but I deferred. Whenever the risk is getting 86ed or worse, everyone has to be on board.

Now it’s your turn. What are the stories behind your truths? If you missed last week’s post, what are your two lies and a truth?

All the best to all of you for a week of tall tales.

Two Lies and a Truth – Come On. Fess Up.

By Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes

You may have heard of the Truth or Lie Game. If not, check out Leanne Shirtliffe’s blog. She’s the Superblogger we stole borrowed this idea from. We highly recommend her seriously funny blog about the ups and downs of parenting twins.

Usually in this game, people give you three choices. Two are truth, and one is a lie. The goal is to figure out which is the lie, and then to leave two truths and a lie of your own in the comments.

Since Holmes and I have more fun telling lies than truths, we’ve turned that around. Below, each category has two lies and one truth. Tell us which ones you think are true, and then give us two lies and a truth of your own. 🙂

Holmes:

  1. Holmes once underwent brutal elite Golf Force training with Tiger Woods in which they spent a Hell Week together at the Augusta Country Club Golf Course. However, Tiger now denies their association, saying he only gave Holmes “a walk and talk tour” of the Country Club parking lot.
  2. Holmes once told an off-color nun joke to Ronald Reagan. Reagan laughed, but discreetly.
  3. Holmes traveled in an Eastern European Circus troupe for several years during the Cold War disguised as a bearded lady until his cover was blown when he was caught urinating (standing up) on the German Stasi headquarters and had to make a quick getaway.

Bayard:

  1. When Piper was sixteen, her family sent her to Austria to join a convent where she trained with an order of nuns that specialized in silent prayer. They kicked her out because she wouldn’t quit dancing and singing show tunes from The Sound of Music.
  2. Before Piper became a belly dancer, she operated a dude ranch in Central Park, Manhattan. Her ranch was raided when an overzealous wannabe cop overheard her talking about her “stable” and the horses for rent, and they mistakenly reported her to the police for illicit activities.
  3. Piper once loudly dressed down a well-armed member of Delta Force in a dark parking lot at a Denny’s in Texas, telling him to “Knock it the f*** off.” (Holmes broke it up. Neither Holmes, Piper, nor any Delta Force members were harmed in the course of the engagement.)

Bayard & Holmes:

  1. Piper and Holmes did the running of the bulls in Pamplona, but they were able to stroll along the course because the bulls were afraid to get close to them.
  2. Piper and Holmes once raced together in the Tour de France, but before they crossed the finish line, they decided they both looked ridiculous in bicycle shorts and instead sold the racing bikes and took their families on a canal tour of Amsterdam.
  3. Holmes once dissuaded Piper from writing “Are you as dirty as I am?” in the dust on an antique vase in a major art museum.

Now it’s your turn. What are your two lies and one truth?

On a slightly different topic, it’s true that Piper is guest posting today over at Nicole Basaraba’s Uni-Verse-City. It’s one of her rare posts about writing. Everything I Need to Know about Writing Sci Fi I Learned from Star Trek.

All the best to all of you for a week of fun lies and appropriate truths.

 

Aunts and Uncles Day – Best Uncle a Person Could Dream Of

On Thursday, Holmes announced that we have declared March 12 to be Aunts and Uncles Day to recognize those amazing, irreplaceable people who love us and guide us outside the parent/child relationship. Last week, he introduced us to Aunt Lily. This week, Holmes tells us about Uncle Tony and asks that you please tell us about the special uncles in your life.

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Uncle Tony

By Jay Holmes

Tony wasn’t an uncle, but he was the best uncle a boy ever dreamed of having. Tony and I were connected two ways. The first was that he married my biological father’s cousin, Maria. Since Tony was from a family of Italian descent, that made me his nephew. I was also connected to Tony in another, more complex way. He and my father had had similar experiences in combat in the Pacific in the Second World War. They were close in a quiet way.

Tony had a construction business and a sheet metal fabrication shop. I remember getting my first visit to his shop. I was in love. What a place! So many machines, cutting torches, welding equipment, metal, wood to saw, nails to hammer—I could make anything. I had found my place at last. Tony and my father knew the shop would have that effect on me. They must have been pleased that it did.

As a child, I often hopped a train to the northern outskirts of New York City, and Tony or someone from his family or shop would pick me up. I worked long hours helping with anything that I could, which wasn’t much the first few times. Tony treated me with tremendous patience. He always encouraged me, no matter how poor a product I turned out. He always tried to make me feel like the smartest guy in the world.

In the construction industry in his area, he was well liked and respected. He always introduced me to his friends, customers, and fellow construction workers as his nephew and Godson. I was, in fact, not his Godson. I can’t remember who my Godfather had been. But Tony wanted everyone to know that I was special, and that I was with him so he used the term “Godson.” I felt like I had been promoted to the top of the world. I was like the second coolest person in the universe. I was Tony’s Godson. Life could hardly get any better.

Tony always worried that I was a little bit overly reactive, and that I was prone to taking insults and threats too seriously. He constantly tried to figure out how to teach me to calm down a little and to not respond to insults. He wanted me to understand that “not all enemies needed to be taken seriously.” He wanted me to learn how to turn enemies into friends.

One Saturday when I was twelve, Tony and I were working on a job site without the rest of his crew. There were two electricians working on the other side of the room. The job had been delayed due to one of the other crews, and the owners “guy” was in a bad mood. He came in and started arguing with Tony.

The guy was huge and about ten years younger than Tony. Against that, Tony was a Marine, a qualified boxing instructor, and strong as a bull. The angry guy moved past me and was getting too loud and too close to my uncle. I picked up my roofing hammer.

Tony never knew why I insisted on buying and carrying a long-handled roofing hammer, and he had argued against the useless extra weight in my tool kit. This was why I had a roofing hammer.

I positioned myself well for an effective strike should said goon take a swing at Tony. Tony stayed calm, Goon didn’t swing, and I didn’t whack Goon with the roofing hammer. When Goon turned to leave, he realized that my hammer and I had been behind him the entire time, waiting to swing. Goon turned white and looked at my uncle and started to say something, failed to complete the sentence, and left.

Tony realized that I had been waiting quietly to whack the goon, and he was somewhat stunned. He paused a moment and then reasoned with me calmly.

Tony: “You can’t hit people in the head with a roofing hammer. You’ll accidentally kill them.”

Me: “No. I wasn’t going to kill him. I was going to hit him with the flat side. It would only knock him out, or if it didn’t, I’d beat the hell out of him while he was stunned.”

Tony: “You can’t hit people with roofing hammers…”

Me: “Sure I can. That fangul had no idea….”

Tony: “Okay, look. I appreciate you backing me up. There’s nobody I’d rather have with me in a fight than you, but you don’t always have to back me up. I settled it with words. Nobody got hurt. That wasn’t a life and death situation…”

Me: “For him it was. If I turn the hammer this way…”

Tony: “Okay, look we’ll talk about this later…”

He realized my adrenalin was still too high. Later after dinner, we talked about it. I wasn’t always the easiest student for “alternatives to violence” training, but he managed to get through to me. He treated me like an equal, and he trusted me completely. I loved him, and I never wanted to betray that trust so his words mattered to me. I didn’t believe most of what most adults said. I believed everything that he said, and I had to take him seriously. I did, and I learned.

My willingness to whack someone in the back of the head concerned Tony. That night, he called my father and begged him to just let me live with him and my aunt full time rather having to return to the violence in the city. My father would not agree to it, but he did agree that on weekends and all holidays, I would stay with Tony. To my delight, I got to spend more time with Tony and his large extended family.

That was one of the great things about being Tony’s Godson. I inherited his entire Italian family and all of their multi-ethnic appendages. Even remote cousins of his that had never met my father treated me like their nephew or cousin. I was Tony’s nephew so I was their nephew.

Their family was my family. Their home was my home. Nobody asked for an explanation of who was who on their family tree. None was needed. There were no second cousins in the family. No “once removed.” Nobody got removed. Everybody was safe and okay right where they were and didn’t need any “removing.”

We didn’t all always agree. There were arguments and debates, but we all went to bed understanding that when the argument was over, it didn’t matter much, and we were all still family.

Then there was the cancer. He had been diagnosed when I was a toddler. I found out when I was five or six, when someone explained the scars on his face to me. He had had tumors in his sinuses. The doctors had told him it would kill him in six months. He laughed at them. He had survived a bullet wound on Guadalcanal. He should never have made it off the island alive. He did. He got better and went back to the Pacific. He was one of the first people to land on Okinawa the night before the main invasion. He survived ugly battles on Okinawa, as well.

image from historylearningsite.co.uk

He wasn’t going to let the cancer win. Not just yet. Two years ago (over a half a century after his scheduled funeral that he refused to show up for) the cancer came back. We talked about it. He laughed it off. I told him how much I loved him, and how important he was to me. I told him how lucky I felt to have him as my uncle. I told him how proud of him I was for what he had done in the war and in his life. I told him that he was the best Godfather that ever walked the earth.

He told me that he was the lucky one, and told me that my father would have been proud of my career and my family. He said he almost never prayed, but that he prayed hard for me every day each time I left the country, and how grateful he was each time I got back to an airport in the States and called him.

In my mind, I can still hear the concern he tried to mask when he would say, “Call me when you get back.” I can still hear the happiness in his voice each time I returned. He told me he had always been proud of me, and always knew from the first time that he held me as a baby that I was “special.” To him, I was, and to me, he was and always will be.

Now it’s your turn. Who are the special uncles in your life? 

Aunts and Uncles Day – A New Bayard & Holmes Holiday

By Jay Holmes

After dealing with so much grim material of late, like Iran and Syria, I needed to write about something more cheerful.

In the USA, we celebrate Mothers Day on the second Sunday of each May. We celebrate Fathers Day on the third Sunday of each June.

At some point over the years, these holidays have taken on gift giving traditions. I can remember many of the gifts my sons gave me on Fathers Day.  All of them are handmade, and I still have them. I keep them where I can easily see them when I am home. They bring me fond memories of two cute boys who are now grown and no longer sit in my lap. They stopped asking for horsey rides a long time ago, and the store bought stuff that they and my wife shopped for with the best of intentions has been long forgotten.

Each year on Mothers Day, I remember my mother, and I wonder what we might do with that day if we’d had a little more time together. I also remember my Aunt Lily. She was a remarkable woman. When I was a child, she always ignored the adults who were entering her house until she had greeted me with warm affection and a long hug. In all of the years I knew her, I never received a negative word from her.

Every year on Fathers Day, I find myself thinking about one particular uncle. I don’t just think about him on Fathers Day, I think about him frequently. He was a special guy, and I was lucky to have him. It occurs to me that we have no special day to commemorate those special aunts and uncles who make a difference in our lives.

Piper and I have decided to declare March 12 to be National Aunts and Uncles Day. Unlike the nominally invented Aunts and Uncles Day an unknown person on the internet designated in July, our National Aunts and Uncles Day should involve no gift giving beyond your love and devotion, and no cash beyond the small cost of buying paper and a pen to make a homemade card. Store bought cards and gifts will not be part of the tradition.

In preparation for Aunts and Uncles Day on March 12, I want to share a few memories of my Aunt Lily today, and of my Uncle Tony on Sunday. I hope that you readers will, in turn, share memories of the special aunts and uncles in your lives.

La Tia Mia

My Aunt Lily was from Puerto Rico. She had married my mother’s brother, Ricardo. Ricardo and I got along well. I credit him for being one of my many relatives who saw to it that I was well steeped in the art of sarcasm, and in the advanced ability to render huge insults in Spanish without cursing.

One Christmas, when I was ten years old, I thanked my uncle for marrying my aunt. He was surprised and didn’t quite know how to respond, but he smiled and said, “I love you, Kid.” I told him I loved him too. He died of a massive heart attack the next day. I was glad I had told him.

Everywhere my Aunt Lily went, she brought her lighthearted laughter. She could joke about anyone while offending no one. Everyone laughed when Lily was around. Even when people were deeply concerned about problems in their lives, she would cheer them up effortlessly.

In the dullest of settings and moments, Lily could find and point out hilarity from amongst the mundane. She never missed spotting beauty wherever she found it. She would point out a nice set of lace window curtains or a nicely made rocking chair. Things I might have missed if she had not been there teaching me to see beauty. For her, the world was a source of comedy and a giant art museum.

She could always see past the worst to find the best. Whenever I visited her, I accompanied her through her neighborhood on visits so the many neighbors she was close to and who loved her could get a first hand update on what her nephew was doing and how much he had grown in the months (later years) between visits. I always took great pleasure in how my aunt’s neighbors greeted her. They went out of their way to treat me like a close friend, simply because I was Lily’s favorite nephew.

At a young age, it was clear to me that my aunt was a special woman of great importance. She had earned the trust, love, and admiration of so many people in her community. I felt privileged to walk with one of the world’s great and important people when I would accompany her in my youth. I feel that way still.

Now it’s your turn. Who are the special aunts, related or not, who live in your hearts?