The Shed

The Shed
The Shed

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Poet Receives a Bad Review

The printer stopped chattering, and the Shed grew uncustomarily quiet.

Uncle Mac glanced up from the sports section of the "North Jersey Liberal Bias" news and fish wrap. He had been reading the Green Bay Packers injury list. He had been at it for half an hour and was not in the sunniest of moods.

"What the hell is that?" he inquired, indicating the heap of paper in the printer catch tray with the stem of his pipe. 

"Ah", said Farm Girl, "Well may you ask!"

"I just did ask", Uncle Mac pointed out. "I was hoping for an answer."

"Well all right, Captain Surly", replied FG. "It's the collected poetic output of one Mac Pike, a poet who hails from North Jersey, just like we do!"

"A modern day Shakespeare, is he?"

"Umm no, not precisely", said Farm Girl, "More of a modern day Milo Fishbinder, or Emily C. Thwackwhistle."

"Who might they be?" inquired Delacroix from the corner, where she had been meticulously cleaning her latest acquisition, a Metaba-Unica .44 magnum autorevolver,* after an hour or so at the range.** "Never heard of either of them."


"My point exactly.", Farm Girl said, "Here, let me treat you to something:"

"A long, long time ago
I can still remember how a big old pickerel made me grin
Then I went off to college jist, to be an ichthyologist
(At this, Uncle Mac flinched)
 Thought I’d be happy working for a fin.
(Delacroix rolled her eyes)

 But Name That Fishy made me quiver
What’s on my line? Caused me to shiver.
Bad news ‘bout the oarfish,
I just can’t take no more fish!"

"Gawd", said Unc, "He rhymes 'jist' with 'Ichthyologist'? That's unconscionable. "

"And that 'fin' pun!" said an obviously affronted Delacroix. "What's the rest of it?"

"That's all there is, there ain't no more. But what there is could be sung to 'Bye Bye Miss American Pie', if you had the hankerin' to do so."

"I do not hanker thus, why that is an atrocious bit of work! And the damned thing leads nowhere, there is no concluding statement! Do you have anything better in that heap?"

"Nope. In fact that may be the pick of the litter."

"You said he's local, can you narrow that down a bit?" said Lacey.

"I think so", said FG.

There was much clattery of keys.

"That can't be right", she muttered, and the clattering resumed.

She stared at the screen. "He's a neighbor! We could walk to his house!"

Lacey commenced reloading the Metaba.

"Maybe I should." mused Delacroix

"Normally I don't hold with killing off the neighbors", said Uncle M, "but in this case..."

"It would be a mercy." Delacroix concluded for him. "What's that address, Stephanie?"

Farm girl read it out.

"Woof!" said Lacey, "Definitely too close for comfort. I'll be back in a half hour give or take."

She departed through the Orchard-side door.

The door reopened and leaning in, Delacroix said, using her best Arnold Schwarzenegger voice:***

"I'll be beck." 


**The valley just over the back ridge

*** Which is frankly awful. It sounds like Werner Von Braun with a lung full of helium gas

Monday, November 4, 2013

Agnes passes a test, of sorts

It was a slow day at the shed, the first frost had happened overnight and no one really wanted to be outdoors in the cold. The cast iron combination cooking and heating stove was throwing off a pleasant warmth and the folks who were present tended to stay close by.

Farm Girl leaned back in Uncle Mac's disreputable ancient easy chair. She had her feet up on the table and was reading a magazine as she waited for her toenail polish to dry.

"Kids really have it easy today", she observed, "probably too easy. I'm looking at a test for third graders from around 1888 and they wanted them to write a sentence using the word, 'Ergo', demonstrating comprehension of it's meaning. What third grader could do that today?"


"Hell that's easy," said Agnes, "Any damned fool can do that' un."

Farm Girl peered at her over the magazine.

"Ok, Aggie. What have you got?"

"Well", said Agnes, stopping to take a pull on her longneck, "How about: 'Right about now I don't know if I should stay er go?' "

"Sound about right?"

"Oh, about." said Farm Girl and wiggled her toes.