Asleep at the wheel

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I’m sitting on the suburban train into the city, scanning the headlines on the free-sheet when the guy sitting opposite morphs into a chicken. That’s odd, I think to myself, I would have seen him more as a lizard, or perhaps a snake. Something about his skin, and those eyes…

I look to my left to see if the student with the noisy headphones has noticed. She turns to look at me and quacks a couple of times, before preening her feathers, now shimmering in the early morning sun filtering through the graffiti-covered window. Very odd indeed.

The thought crosses my mind that perhaps my local 7-11 store, in an effort to maintain a competitive edge, have taken to adding magic-mushroom croissants or LSD-laced lattes to their breakfast options. Although I don’t recall seeing or ordering either.
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The future is here, almost

albert_einstein_medNew year’s eve is often a time of reflection and even regret, as well as anticipation and hope for the year to come. But we can only live in the present, so as a great sage once said:

“Be not afraid for the future or regretful of the past, for the past was once the future, and the future will soon be the present, until it quickly becomes the past, again. In this way there is no past, present or future. Or something.”

Wise words indeed and ones we can all easily choose to ignore.

We lost many wonderful people in 2016, including some personal heroes like David Bowie. I suspect we also lost a bit of faith in human nature, with the UK’s Brexit debacle and the US presidential election demonstrating once again how the masses can be manipulated by ruthless sociopaths and morally bankrupt media organisations to vote against their own best interests. We now live in a post-truth world we are told, although I’m not sure if that is true or not.

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Curve balls and cockroaches

metamorphosis_medLife has a tendency to string you along for a while, giving the impression that it’s all rather predictable. Then one day you wake up and find you’ve turned into a giant insect and wham! The world is suddenly a very different place.

Of course not everyone has an experience quite as extreme as Kafka’s unfortunate protagonist Gregor, in his story The Metamorphosis. For most of us those unexpected events that you didn’t see coming may be relatively common, although still life changing. You lose your job, get in a traffic accident or break up with a partner and suddenly the sense of stability is gone and all bets are off. It reminds you of just how fragile a construction our lives can be and how a single decision or chance event, somewhere back in time, can potentially ripple through the universe like a personal tsunami, overturning your plans and hopes like so many little boats.
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Me, me, me!

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There was a survey a while back that showed that a quarter of the American population believe that the sun revolves around the Earth, and not the other way round. This was of course the mainstream view until our old chum Nicky Copernicus upset the apple-cart with his heliocentric model, published in the 16th century. At last the Earth was put in its rightful place, although not everyone was thrilled with this particular advance in human knowledge. There were certainly some major grumblings from the Catholic church. Still, at least Mr C managed to avoid the fate of his defender and fellow astronomy clever-clogs, friar Giordano Bruno, who apparently was just too much of a rebel for the church and had his chestnuts roasted on an open fire, along with the rest of him.

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Halfbananas awards – the winners!

The agonising wait is over at last! Here are the winners in the very first ever halfbananas awards.

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There are so many amazing blogs out there, it’s hard to keep up. I hope you enjoy discovering some great new ones, and if you’ve won a coveted halfbananas award, congratulations!

The dedicated awards committee have tried to recognise the best examples in various categories, but inevitably there will be lots of other fabulous blogs that missed out this time around. But never fear, there will be more awards, accolades and virtual pats-on-backs coming soon. Let’s spread the love people!

I look forward to seeing all the lucky winners and honourable mentions, at the lavish Hollywood party I will be hosting, assuming awards condition #3 is met (see below).
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Summer shorts #2: more fifty-word fiction

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Goals
David focused his thoughts for the crucial penalty kick. At the last moment, a vivid butterfly landed on the ball and the shot went sailing wide. The howls of disappointment from the fans were somehow softened by a profound sense of relief as he watched the colourful insect flutter by.

Bone idle
“You lazy shit!” she yelled, “You’re manipulative, messy and just lounge around the flat all day, eating. I don’t think you give a damn about me Tom.” He gazed sleepily into her eyes and stretched out languorously. “Okay, I’ll get your dinner. But first we take care of those fleas.”

Battle scars
As a kid I fell playing football and cut my knee. After stitches, the nurse gave me a lollipop for being brave. Now, on those rare occasions when I’m brave, I crave a reward – usually something sweet. But I’m married and the nurses seem unimpressed by my old scar.

Allergies
We strolled across the meadow this afternoon, mesmerised by the abundance of wild flowers and butterflies. Pairs of Magpies engaged in crazy aerial displays, and a flock of sheep lazed in the shade. One of them sneezed, breaking the spell. I’m not sure if the sheep laughed, but we did.

It is written
In my story, an author in a parallel universe is writing a story about a writer who imagines authors in other universes. He wonders if they are also writing about authors and writers in other universes. My head starts to hurt. Maybe I’m someone’s fictional character? Maybe you are too?

 
© Copyright Jason Lennick 2016. All rights reserved.