For your comfort and ease of accessing my 'flashers', I'll list the latest ones first.
Here's hoping another full year of 'prompt' challenges will be met and my readers continue to gain pleasure from them. As always, I hope to cover many genres and a multitude of subjects.
***NB: Now you can see how far behind I am in copies of my stories here. Have been SO busy editing and submitting entries to writing contests. NOW - everything is screaming for my attention. Ah well... only nine to catch up on at this moment!
Bluffy, the Feline Flimflammer - 'bluff' 12/7/2019
Girls just wanna have Fun - 'touch' 5/7/2019
Flower Power - 'tension' 28/6/2019
Rough Diamond Cut, Pt. 2 - 'fixed' 21/6/2019
Rough Diamond Cut - 'trouble' 14/6/2019
Ohh! No-o-o... - 'impact' 7/6/2019
Seriously Signed... Dad - 'fast' 31/5/2019
Mica - 'hide' 17/5/2019
Just a minute... 'easy' 10/5/2019
[prompt: 'hurt' 3/5/2019]
With several more great schloops of beer down the hatch - along with an update for Baz's benefit - Joe held up his STOP sign hand gesture.
"The best bit, little mate. That's what I promised you."
"Of this ever-ablution rev-up meeting you're on about? One of them churchy things, is it then?"
Joe puffed up his cheeks and blew out a long sigh from the sides of his mouth, as his eyes all but met his eyebrows.
"EVOLUTION!" He growled. "You've heard them say the AYES have it?"
And as Baz rolled his eyes expressively [with an embarrassingly lewd grin at the dolly-birds in their shortest of short skirts further down the bar], Joe groaned. "NOT them eyes you see with, yer silly bugger. AYES! AYES - like 'YES', 'we're all in favour'. Do you 'get' it?"
"I'm telling you... and this is straight from the horse's north and south. The final battle's not gonna be like any other. It's not gonna be Man vs. Man... THIS time it'll be MAN vs. his OWN body. REVERSE evolution."
"Yep! New Age Thumb vs. Brain - that's the one that'll spin history on its ear. This massive thumb on the domino hand... uhrr NO. Uhrmm - DOM-IN-ANT—" Joe's STOP hand comes up again as Baz draws breath, "That's when your main hand is your right one - otherwise you're a SOUTHPAW. Yair. Well-ll, whatever thumb does all the work on their SMSing stuff is gonna over-develop in the most outlandish fashion. And you know what else?" And as Baz drew breath again, Joe rushed on. "THAT thumb will grow SO big from overuse, the science blokes are worried whether the arm can possibly develop enough to hold it up." He sighed deeply and downed the contents of the current glass. "Ï could tell 'em, if they asked me.. course it won't. The little darlings don't even bend the old arm here at the rubbidy, to build up their muscles. They've got Buckleys of holding up a monster thumb. I tell yer, it's all gonna end in tears... AND knuckles brushing the ground, same as old Neanderthal Norm. And that's not all!"
Joe was really warming to his story and appreciative audience now. He curled his lip in disgust. "They already grunt and mutter like him. It's the brains, or lack of. Gotta be shrinking when yer see all the mistakes everywhere - can't spell, or add up - can't even read or write cursive—" A smile suddenly lit his face. "Have yer heard we're gonna be able to do the most abusive graffiti in hospital and old age care joints when we get there, and so long as it's in cursive, no young medicos will be able to read it!"
"Cursing as a French benefit! Sounds good to me!" Baz was valiant in his efforts to catch up in the drinking stakes, and doing a fine job with Joe being handicapped by so much palaver. Suits me, he muttered. Spout away. He scratched his head and other unmentionables in a most unbecoming fashion, and before Joe could set him straight - AGAIN - Baz continued. "SO... does a shrinkin' brain mean when yer throat's as dry as a Pommy's bath mat and yer drown it, good and proper-like, and then there's that whoppin' great hangover that follows... Yer reckon that'll shrink too, and mebbe hurt less?"
Glossary of Aussie-isms:
Schloop - no dictionary definition found - however, 'tis a word commonly found in the writings of the author and the mouths of these particular characters.
Bugger - depending on tone of voice, best mate or worst enemy
horse's north and south - mouth... expression meaning absolute truth
Southpaw - left-hander
Gonna - going to
Bend the arm - raise another glass, have another drink - over and over and over again.
Rubbidy - shortened rubbidy dub - rhyming slang for pub or hotel
Buckleys - No chance whatsoever [Google it for full definition... the word count police are already at the door, guns raised and ready]
French benefit - fringe benefit [this one's Baz-specific as Friday night at the boozer progresses] [boozer? Aww c'mon... check rubbidy dub - same definition]
Dry as a Pommy's bathmat - [Google it... now the Johnny Hoppers have shot the lock off the door! And Google Johnny H... while you're there, too]
Aaarrgh... - the sound the author makes as she's marched off to the dread word overload cell.
(prompt: 'bonus' 26/4/2019)
"Yep. An evolution revolution, that's what." Joe made himself comfy on the bar stool, took a great slurp of his beer and continued."Thing is, according to the experts, it took thousands or more years - give or take a few centuries - for Man to stand up—"
"For himself?" Joe hadn't been aware of the lurker, leaning forward from the bar stool reserved for Baz. This one's ears were fairly flapping like Dumbo the elephant's, eager as...
With a deep sigh, Joe continued as if this interloper was nought but a pesky fly. "... stand upright. And now, today's silly little buggers are gonna go and wreck it all. Check out their sitting time - viewing TV and DVDs, on computers and laptops and unreality games and the like. No wonder so many must have eye-pads."
George nodded sympathetically as both he and the lurker waited for more.
Another brief slurp or three, and then - "... and while we're talking about eyes and pads and pods and stuff, there's another thing. Their vision's gonna be cactus, right? Gonna come from over-use and abuse of giant screen TV and then, before you can say Ned Kelly, pixilated photos on minuscule mobile phone screens—"
"Yer mean cell phones?" The lurker just HAD to interrupt again. "That's wot THEY call 'em."
Joe made his most expressive [and truth be told, theatrical] eye rolls and George groaned softly as he pulled the tap for yet another beer for Joe. He recognised an honest thirst when he saw one.
And while Joe wrapped his mouth around this latest coldie, the lurker couldn't resist another comment. He was far enough down inebriation avenue not to see the impatient glances between Joe and George.
"Only ones gettin' a bonus from this lot will be them 'hoptician' guys. They'll strike the bloody jackpot, they will. For sure." And he nodded self-righteously to himself, looking proud of his masterful knowledge.
Despite his aggro at this interloper, Joe had to smile. If you closed your eyes, you'd reckon Baz was here already, he was thinking.
He peered over his burly shoulder at the lurker to make sure, his smile changing into a withering look when he saw the same old, same old interloper, and turned back to George, saying quietly, in a somewhat mysterious fashion, "... and they're not the only ones," he said. "Come closer, there's more..."
And Joe proceeded to enlighten George about the anticipated dwindling level of hearing due to an auditory overload of highly volatile volume levels of music - from home, car, dance venues, rock concerts, parties, earphones.... Joe shook his head slowly from side to side, his face a picture of deadly despair.
"Oh-h-h those deafening decibels! I mean, it's OK to be mother-deaf sometimes - have selective hearing at others, or even be tone deaf. Those can't be helped too much. We all know the saying, 'Use it or Lose it'...but to 'Choose to Lose It'? Bloody unimaginable—"
A bit of a scuffle had broken out, right alongside Joe. It was Baz. He'd arrived at last and sent the lurker on his way in no uncertain fashion.
"G'dday," he said with a grin from ear to ear, as though no-one else could guess he'd arrived at the best part of the last day of his working week. " 'Ave I missed anythin' much?"
"Only the best bit, fellow-me-lad. Get a coupla pig's ears down you and I'll catch you up on my John Dory."
[Could there be a third and final part hovering in the wings?
Well-ll-ll... there is that best bit to come, hey?]