The New Year Should be about Goofing Around

BLAM!  It sounded like someone had slammed the lid onto a giant metal garbage can or swung a massive hammer against a thick brass gong.   Ralph spun around and peered into a smelly dark alley lined by brick three-stories.

19 responses to “The New Year Should be about Goofing Around

  1. The shadows played with Ralph’s eyes as he searched for the source of the noise. His rubber soled shoes squeaked against the pavement. His hand rested on the butt of his 45, no, wait, that was Thelma’s butt. He reached for his 38 and felt his fingers wrap around the cold steel.

  2. Hiding inside the Dumpster, awash in pizza crusts and marinara sauce from the Italian fast food cafe next door, Freakin’ Freddy held his breath, hoping no one had heard the lid of the trash container slam down when his fingers slipped on the extra virgin olive oil splashed on the inside of the lid. To make matters worse, the olive oil was rancid, and Freakin’ Freddy was about to gag.

  3. Freakin’ Freddy’s gag was: “What’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?” The woman alongside him in the dumpster put her finger to her lips, despite the congealed Bolognaise sauce encrusted on it. “Shhh,” she whispered, “I’m hiding from Ralph’s wandering hands.”

  4. Ralph heard whispers coming from the dumpster. He peered into the dark alley:

    OHMIGOD!! What was that creeping along the concrete? It was — it was — RALPH’S HANDS!!! Ralph’s hands had taken off and were wandering down the alley!!

    Ralph looked down at the his arms, which now ended at his wrists.

    He felt queasy. He felt nauseous.

    And then he — ralphed.


  5. After taking a few deep breaths and wiping his mouth on his now empty shirtsleeve cuffs, Ralph watched as his hands approached the huge garbage receptacle. With his queasy stomach, he didn’t dare move any closer to the stench eminating from that direction. The whispering seemed to be coming from the huge metal container.

    Thelma had run off when he slipped his hand from her waist down to her left buttock. What was her problem? They’d been dating for a month. Could she be hiding in the garbage?

  6. “Who are you?” whispered Thelma to the marinara-splotched man next to her in the Dumpster.

    “F-f-f-freddy,” answered the man, removing a breadstick that was stuck to his ear. F-f-freddy. They call me F-f-f-freakin’ F-f-freddy.”

    “Well, what’re you doin’ in this garbage can?”


    “I’m in here to get away from Ralph’s god-awful hands. Who’re you hiding from?”


    “The hands? You know about the hands?”

    “Huh! Not hands. Them.”

  7. Meanwhile, back in the alley, Ralph was kinda stumped, desperately trying to work out how to gather up his hands without hands. If he was quick enough, he figured, he might be able to get old Doc Sawyer sober enough to sew them back on before they developed a preference for life on their own terms and rejected him out of hand.

    But his hands were becoming even more erratic and unpredictable than they’d been when they were still attached to his arms and libido. While the right one clutched at straws in the absence of Thelma’s butt, the left one had begun skating around on its index finger, drawing peace symbols in months-old grease pooled outside the back door of a fast food outlet, and chanting anti-Republican slogans. The right hand was puzzled – it had always dismissed its opposite member’s fumbling grasp of politics as naively gauche, but right now it was acting sinisterly. In fact, it was becoming increasingly clear that Ralph’s right hand didn’t know what his left hand was doing.

    Ralph crept towards them, and then froze. From somewhere in the shadows came the sound of what sounded like, well gee, like, um, certainly not unlike, y’know, um, maybe a whole bunch of… them.

  8. In the dumpster, slowly sinking into the trash that his personal narrative was quickly becoming, Freakin’ Freddy turned to Thelma.

    “Them’s out there.”

    Thelma, who’d been a high school English teacher before becoming a pole dancer and subsequently the butt of Ralph’s hands, raised an eyebrow. “What, may I ask,” she asked without permission, “is them? And incidentally, at the risk of sounding pedantic, you really should have phrased that as ‘They are out there’, although in this case ‘Them are out there’ might have been acceptable since you used the capital ‘T’ that crazy woman from Alaska used in her contribution, thereby implying that it was being used as a proper noun.”

    “Nothin’ proper about Them, lady. Or the fact that you just used the word ‘used’ three times in a single sentence. Personally, I’d have expected more from an English teacher.”

    “Point taken,” Thelma replied. “And by the way, what happened to the downmarket stutter you had back a little?”

    “I only do that when I’m not freakin’,” Freddy explained. “Right now I’m too scared to concentrate on stutterin’ effectively. C’mon, ex-schoolmarm, we’re in deep garbage here.”

    “So I’ve observed,” said Thelma. “But tell me, what or who is or are Them with a capital ‘T’? Flesh-eating mutants from the dark side, perhaps?”

    Freakin’ Freddy shook his head philosophically. “Worse,” he whispered. “Infinitely worser than anything you never seen before. Them’s a gang of syntax-challenged punctuation-abusin’ would-be writers who contribute to this blog. And fact is, we’re at their mercy.”

    “So what do we do? What’s going to happen next?”

    Freddy shrugged, and cockroaches cascaded from his shoulders. “I got no idea.”

    Thelma sighed. “Nor, it would seem by the lack of meaningful action in here or out wherever Ralph’s hands may have wandered to, do Them. For us, no muse is bad muse.”

  9. What Ralph heard as he crept forward was clicking sounds, or more precisely, the familiar sound of fingers clicking. A distinct rhythm developed as apparently more and more nervous digits joined in a ever-growing and monotonous rumble.

    Ralph began to wonder if he’d ever be paired up again with the hands that had been his for as long as he could remember. Would Thelma’s butt feel the same if he caressed them hands that weren’t his own? Ralph became frantic.

    • Please disregard my submission. After I posted it, I discovered Fignatz had picked up where he had previously left off.

      • Au contraire. I think there’s more potential value in Them being even more frighteningly weird than the usual suspects on this site. If that’s possible.

  10. Ralph corralled his hands in the grease behind Golden Corral where it was too slippery to slip away. He managed to reattach his hands except he mismatched them and now his left was his right. His right hand, which is now his left, reached up and slapped him beside his head, the left hand which was now his right hand gave him the finger.

    Then Ralph remembered, the last time Doc Sawyer attached his hands he was three sheets to the wind and attached them backwards. So, Ralph reasoned that his right hand is now really his right hand and his left is now really his left.

    His right hand slapped him again because, well, just because.

    • (Aside from the story line: You are amazing Walk. What a mind and what a sense of humor! I’m tickled pink by your addition to this so called story. Dang! I’m still laughing.)

  11. (Do you suppose Ann thought we would take this prompt seriously and produce a real story? Just sayin’.)

  12. The hair on the back of Ralph’s neck stood on end. A chill ran through his body as if his blood turned to ice water. Through the shadows in the back of the alley, he saw silhouettes backlit by the Hooter’s sign. It was Them.

    Ralph looked around for his 38 and remembered Thelma’s 45’s. Where did she disappear to? Too bad for her, it’s every character for themselves now. Turning to leave he notices that Them has both ends of the alley blocked. He runs to the right side of the alley and looks for a hiding place. On the other side he notices a garbage bin, opens the lid and dives in. Both hands land on a firm butt.

    “K K Keep your datgum hands to yourself.” yelled FFFreakin’ FFFFreddy.

  13. Hands down, this is the worst (but funniest) massacre of a prompt yet, and we have Walk and Fignatz to thank for that!

  14. Thelma reacted to Ralph’s arrival by shrinking into a corner of the dumpster. “You can hide in here with us, Ralph,” she said, “but keep your hands off, okay?”

    Ralph peered into the gloom towards where her voice had come from. “Hey, Thelma, if you’d been reading this crap narrative, you’d know I’ve spent most of it trying to get the damn things back on. No way are they gonna get loose again.”

    “I hope not,” muttered Thelma. “Besides, I’m, I’m, um, I’m kinda delicate. I’ve recently been diagnosed with a heart condition and I’m gonna die within a year.”

    “Is it contagious?” Ralph asked. “But anyway, maybe we’ve all three of us got less time than that. Going by the fact of that Ann Linquist babe already posting a new subject, I got a feeling she might be trying to kill us off.”

    Freakin’ Freddy sn-sn-snorted. “Hey, f-f-folks,” he said, “if Th-Th-Them g-g-get us, w-w-we’re all g-g-gonna da-da-da-diddly-dum-dum-die a da-da-da-damn s-sight s-s-s-soo-soo-soo-prior to th-th-that.”

    “This ridiculous Them again,” sighed Thelma. “Look, let’s try and work out who or what Them are. What were Shaddy’s clues? Fingers clicking in rhythm?”

    Ralph nodded pointlessly in the dark dumpster. “Yeah. Lots of them. And nervously too.”

    Okay, then,” said Thelma. “Let’s work it out for ourselves. What is the sound of nervous fingers clicking in rhythm?”

    “C’mon, Thelma, this is no time for dumb Zen Buddhist koans, y’know?”

    “Hey, I know,” said Freddy. “A b-b-bunch of amateur actors tryin’ t-t-to learn their d-d-dance routine for a little theatre revival of West Side Story.”

    “I dunno,” said Ralph. “Surely there’s a more creative possibility than that…”

  15. The sound of nervous fingers – whose fingers? Ralph’s? Them’s? – was overpowered by another sound – the aging muffler of a ’66 Ford Thunderbird idling just outside the alleyway.

    The trio cowered silently in the depths of the dumpster. A tentative voice: “Thelma?”

    Slowly, Thelma rose from the old marinara sauce, the crumpled Hooters napkins, remnants of Buffalo chicken wings sticking to her hair. She peered out of the dumpster.

    “Hot damm, Louise!! It’s about time you got here!”

  16. Louise climbed into the dumpster. “Okay, Thelma,” she said, “time to shake these loser guys and hit the road, girl.”

    “Then what?”

    “We’re gonna drive this dumpster off a cliff somewhere.”

    “Why not the T-bird?”

    “It’s not insured for that kind of accident.”

    Thelma frowned. “But, but, gee, won’t we be killed? Or even worse, with this thing full of garbage, get fined for littering?”

    “Not if we freeze-frame the action halfway down.”

    “Will that work?”

    “Well, it seemed to for Butch and Sundance, y’know? Besides, there doesn’t seem to be much else going for us in this prompt anymore.”

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