Stories, Poems & News

This. Changes. Everything.

this.changes.everything.notypeThis. Changes. Nothing. Seriously, it doesn’t.


This man decided to make a sandwich, but you WON’T BELIEVE what happened next. My jaw dropped! How is this even possible? An AMAZING life hack you NEED to see! You’ve been doing it wrong your whole life. This. Changes. EVERYTHING.


For the full story, CLICK HERE





Uh, I put the jam on first when I’m making a PB and J. 

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© 2015 by M.P. Witwer • All rights reserved

The Virtue of Patience

DrivingOh come on! It’s a school zone when the lights are flashing or children are present, like the sign RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU says. No lights, no kids—you don’t have to go twenty miles an hour NOW, you idiot.

Okay, we’re past the school zone…that means you can speed up. Damn it, don’t tell me you’re going to creep along all the way to the roundabout a quarter of a mile away. Why yes, yes you are. ’Cause none of the people in the six or seven cars behind you have anywhere to be, right? Thanks for being our pace car.

For chrissakes, you don’t have to stop at a crosswalk when there’s no one near it! I’ll bet you come to a complete stop at the traffic circle, too, even if it’s empty.

Ding, ding, ding—we have a winner! And you get extra points for unnecessary signaling. You kinda got my hopes up that you were actually going to turn right at the street there instead of just entering the roundabout.

Well, imagine that! You managed to exit the thing on the first try. Good job. Now you’re going to speed up, aren’t you? AREN’T YOU?!

Of course you’re headed to the same place I am. Why would I expect anything else? Be sure to go as slow as possible through the entire lot even though I can see two empty spots at the end of the row from here.

Ah, finally parked! If I hustle, I won’t be late.

“Excuse me…”

Shit. You’re still holding me up. “Yes?”

“I’m looking for a seminar called ‘The Virtue of Patience: How to Slow Down in Today’s Hurry-up World’—do you happen to know what room it’s in?”

Yup, exactly the same place I’m headed. Great. “As a matter of fact, I do. Follow me.”

“Oh, thank you! I hope it hasn’t started yet.”

“I can assure you it hasn’t. I’m the instructor.”

* * *
© 2015 by M.P. Witwer • All rights reserved 

Gracie’s Collection

Burns_Allen_1952
George Burns and Gracie Allen, 1952


When two young, moderately successful vaudeville performers teamed up for a comedy act in 1923, it didn’t take long to realize that they had found the right fit — both personally and professionally — and that their future success would be far beyond moderate. Together, George Burns and Gracie Allen, who married in 1926, formed one of the most popular and enduring comic duos in entertainment history.

Burns was largely responsible for creating the characters the couple played throughout their long career, which spanned vaudeville, movies, radio and television. He performed the straight man role in the routine to understated perfection, and always credited Gracie for the team’s popularity (although he deserved at least as much himself). Allen’s character was fashioned after what was known in vaudeville as a “Dumb Dora” act (named for the zany female protagonist in an early motion picture), but everyone, including the audience, knew it was just that: an act.

Although Burns and Allen stopped performing together with Gracie’s retirement in 1958 their smart and affectionate humor caught my attention some 20 years later, and I’ve been a fan ever since. This is my homage to them, an original radio skit set in the late 1940s, during the period when their weekly show was called “Maxwell House Coffee Time” after the sponsor.

Here, then, is “Gracie’s Collection.”

CAST

GRACIE:
Gracie Allen, a seemingly scatterbrained woman who is, in fact, keenly intelligent and witty.

GEORGE: George Burns, husband of Gracie Allen and straight man to her “comedic” character.

* * *

MUSIC:
PROGRAM THEME–UP. Establish. CONTINUE UNDER.

ANNOUNCER: Gracie will be heading out soon to a meeting of her women’s club, but wants to show her husband something before she departs…

MUSIC: UP, THEN FADE OUT

GRACIE: George, look at this and tell me what you think.

GEORGE: I think I don’t know what I’m looking at.

GRACIE: It’s my new collection, silly. I’m going to enter it in the county fair next week.

GEORGE: This isn’t a collection, sweetheart, it’s just an odd assortment of items.

GRACIE: Yes, that’s right. My collections are known for their eclecticity.

GEORGE: Ah…eclecticity? Are you sure you don’t mean eccentricity?

GRACIE: George! Now you’re calling my collection peculiar!

GEORGE: No, I just meant that eclecticity isn’t a real word. Since you mentioned it, though, I’m not sure how a thimble, a bottle opener, a partly filled book of S&H Green Stamps, an old tobacco pipe, a necktie and an empty Maxwell House coffee tin can be considered a collection. A collection has to have a theme, a common bond.

GRACIE: It does! These are all items that were missing, but turned up while I was doing the spring cleaning.

GEORGE: I see. And what are you calling this collection?

GRACIE: Amazing Grace.

GEORGE: Do you mean to say you named it after yourself?

GRACIE: Oh no, it’s named after the hymn. You know, “I once was lost, but now am found…”

GEORGE: So the theme is found objects. But what do you have to say about the fact that eclecticity is not a proper word?

GRACIE: Well, if it isn’t, it ought to be…just like the other “-icity” words.

GEORGE: [Pauses] Come again?

GRACIE: It’s simple. The Electrolux is powered by…

GEORGE: Electricity.

GRACIE: Howard Hughes is in the news for his…

GEORGE: Eccentricity.

GRACIE: And my collection is known for its…

GEORGE: [Resignedly] Eclecticity… But Gracie, you can’t go around inventing words.

GRACIE: Who’s to say I can’t? Writers have made up words all through history. Chaucer did it, and Shakespeare did too.

GEORGE: Now, kid, I don’t mean to cause offense, but you’re no Chaucer or Shakespeare.

GRACIE: Well, I’d say they’re no Mrs. George Burns, either.

GEORGE: [Chuckles] That’s true. You’re incomparable.

GRACIE: Indubiously.

GEORGE: Indubi… Oh, never mind. Say goodnight, Gracie.

GRACIE: Goodnight!

GEORGE: Goodnight, folks.

MUSIC: CLOSING THEME–UP. Establish. CONTINUE UNDER.

ANNOUNCER: Thanks for joining us, and until next time, remember — Maxwell House coffee is always good…to the last drop.

MUSIC: UP, THEN FADE OUT

* * *
© 2015 by M.P. Witwer • All rights reserved

‘Lost and Found’ now an ebook

My short story “Lost and Found” is now available as an ebook published by Select Stories. The story is the second installment of the Short Tales series, an affectionate look at a few of the pitfalls and mishaps faced by a couple navigating a new romance. Jane and Martin both have past histories: love, loss and unforeseen changes, but through everything, they’ve been bolstered by their dog and cat, companions as devoted to each other as they are to their people. The appearance of a vindictive ex serves to catapult the two-legged protagonists into action, spurred on by an unexpected development.

Title: Lost and Found: A Short Tale of Dogged Determination
Author: M.P. Witwer
Length: Approximately 2,300 words

Available for free at Amazon.com Kindle Store, Barnes & Noble Nook Books, Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords, Flipkart and Inktera, and with subscription at Scribd and Oyster.

Also available at these international Amazon sites:
– CA: amazon.ca/dp/B00PBF0DAG
– UK: amazon.co.uk/dp/B00PBF0DAG
– AU: amazon.com.au/dp/B00PBF0DAG
– IN: amazon.in/dp/B00PBF0DAG
– FR: amazon.fr/dp/B00PBF0DAG
– IT: amazon.it/dp/B00PBF0DAG
– ES: amazon.es/dp/B00PBF0DAG
– BR: amazon.com.br/dp/B00PBF0DAG
– DE: amazon.de/dp/B00PBF0DAG
– NL: amazon.nl/dp/B00PBF0DAG
– JP: amazon.co.jp/dp/B00PBF0DAG
– MX: amazon.com.mx/dp/B00PBF0DAG

 

No Big Deal

It was only online, after all…

“I’m sorry.”

“That’s it, you’re sorry?”

“What more do you want from me? Yes, I screwed up, and I apologized. Can we please just go to bed?”

“You screwed up all right.”

“Oh, c’mon, are you going to blow this all out of proportion? I told you, nothing happened. We exchanged a few e-mails, big deal.”

“E-mails containing naked pictures, so yeah, I’d say it is a big deal.”

“But they didn’t mean anything!”

“So then why’d you send them?”

“Just being stupid, I guess. Listen, I really am sorry. You know I love you.”

“I know. Leave anyway.”

* * *
© 2013 by M.P. Witwer • All rights reserved

A Writer’s Lament

My muse has gone missing!
She just up and left.
Abandoned, alone…
I’m confused and bereft.

I’ve looked high and low,
But she’s not to be found.
Dagnabit! Why, oh why, did she
Have to go underground?

The world slows to a crawl
When my muse isn’t here.
Plainly, she is the one
Who shifts me out of low gear.

Without her, ’tis true
I’m at a sad loss.
For in most facets of life,
My muse is the boss.

What’s for dinner?
Who knows—I’m uninspired.
Want to go for a hike?
No thanks—I’m lethargic and tired.

The house is a shambles,
My hair is unkempt.
Everything’s wrong;
I’m utterly verklempt!

And writing’s the endeavor
Where my muse is most missed.
My creativity, it seems,
Has obliged to cease and desist.

I’ll struggle along,
Toiling but stumbling,
My efforts subpar,
Lackluster and bumbling.

Until her return,
Whenever that may be,
A frightening truth remains:
It’s all up to me.

Well, look who’s come back,
Having been “out for a stroll.”
Immune to my displeasure,
She thinks herself quite droll.

My irritation is growing;
I’m increasingly vexed.
Her amusement quelled,
She is genuinely perplexed.

It’s always been me, she explains:
I was the one running the show.
While she may have scattered some ducks,
It was left to me to put them all in a row.

I ponder this revelation—
It’s something I should have known.
My muse is a great help and mentor,
But I do all right on my own.

* * *
© 2014 by M.P. Witwer • All rights reserved

 

Ms. Foxie

I made this custom handcrafted artisan clay tile, approximately 11″ x 9″, expressly for Hoot! — a gala event and auction to benefit Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. The tile features a head and shoulders carving of Foxie Chimpanzee (depicted in shades of teal) against a background of bold brush strokes in vivid colors, among which are hidden two images of Foxie’s beloved troll dolls.

foxie2 lowres