Tag Archives: funny stories

In the Flash of an Eye

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This entire Skype conversation occurred during the passing of a minute as I talked to Forgottenman on Skype just now:

 

Judy, 1:32 PM Just saw a mouse run across the floor and then realized it is a new and very big floater.

Judy, 1:32 PM We’re all performing at Open Mike today . . . Man those little mice are running all over, including right across the middle of my vision.  So strange. Sometimes side to side, sometimes up and down in both eyes. Never had this happen before. Like a meteor shower

Judy, 1:32 PM OMG!!! It was two little ants racing across my glasses!!! I swear. I just took them off and noticed one, killed it, and when I put them on again, I had another flash. Took them off and it was another ant! Bizarre.

Forgottenman, 1:32 PM
HAHAHAHAHA

Judy, 1:32 PM
The most strange experience ever.
Who would guess? And quite a relief. I feared it was a detached retina.

Forgottenman, 1:32 PM
That’s a WONDERFUL short blog!

Judy, 1:33 PM
I swear.. that all happened in real time as I was typing to you.

Forgottenman, 1:33 PM
Cut & paste our conversation.

1:33 PM
I couldn’t figure out why the cat hadn’t responded to the mouse as it flashed right in front of her.
Ants are big when they are a half inch from your eyes

The Second Coming

 The Second Coming

 

*Today I received a Facebook from a gallery owner/artist Jesus Lopez Vega that he would like to have me display in a show he is staging in November. I replied that I’m in the States, but he could stop by my house and pick some pieces up from my house sitter, then emailed her this message:

Patricia, Jesus Lopez Vega is coming to house to pick up some retablos for an exhibition.  The ones in my room on the desk and chair have labels and prices on them––one label on back and one stuck temporarily on front that can be detached and put on the wall beside them.  There is also one new one on the credenza next to table in the dining room­­. It is the middle one.  The name is on the back and if there isn’t a price, it should be priced at 3,000 pesos. He just contacted me to see if I wanted to participate in a show next month, but I won’t be back before then so he said he’d come pick them up. These are pieces I had priced for a different gallery but didn’t get taken in. He should call to say when he is coming.  If there are other pieces he wants instead, he can choose others and let me know the names and I’ll give prices. Thanks.. Judy

*Then I sent her a message saying he’d be by sometime in the next two weeks.

*Not remembering I’d sent her this message, a half hour later I sent her this message:

Jesus will be coming this week or next!

*A short while ago, I got this email from her:

Subject: Re: Jesus? This was an interesting email to get. “Jesus will be coming this week or next!” I read this first then the others. Funny.  Patricia

In the Catbird Seat

 

jdbphotos. Click on first photo to enlarge all and read captions.

If you aren’t familiar with the term, “in the catbird seat,” it means to be in a position above the action or perhaps in control.  This is what I am when I’m in my studio, which has one wall entirely comprised of windows looking out on my garden and another window to my right that looks out over my spare lot down below and ultimately at the lake spread out on a lower plane with Mount Garcia and Colima Volcano behind it on the other shore.

In the Catbird Seat

After a year of no time at all in the studio, I’ve spent 4 days there in the past few weeks. It feels wonderful, even though the last day I spent there was entirely spent organizing, sorting, putting away, reorganizing.

My studio is a separate small building I had built in the garden below my house. My dogs, unaccustomed as they are to my being there, followed me down, no doubt remembering I keep a bag of dog biscuits down there. Fortified, they wandered off, but eventually returned to spend the morning outside my door––Morrie plastered horizontally across the base of the locked screen door, Diego perpendicular to him, stretched out along the brick walkway.

The kittens, relegated to the front yard and house, have seen neither the back yard nor my studio. I fear what my dogs, intent on doing away with every soft fuzzy creature that enters my yard, would do to them, even though they’ve been seeing them for almost four months now through the glass, bars and screens that form most of the walls of every room in my house.

That is why I was so distressed when I heard the plaintive meow of one of the kittens coming from the wrong direction. Not from the side of the house where they have a walled-off outside run all their own, but seemingly from the street behind the studio or from the empty lot down below me. I listened closely, hoping it was just my one hearing-impaired ear that was misdirecting the direction from which the sound was coming; but, when I stepped out into the yard, I could hear it clearly.

I called out to Pasiano, telling him I thought one of the kittens had made its way out of its safe zone.

“No, senora,” he insisted.

“Yes! Listen,” I insisted as the loud meow came again––several times.

He shook his head, laughing, and gestured up into the pistachio tree, from which one bird was cawing an insistent bird call, another creature mewing back an insistent interspecies reply. It was a bird, he told me. He led me closer to the tree and as he did, a black bird flew down from that tree to a large castor bean plant in the spare lot. The bird in the tree cawed and chirped. The bird below in the spare lot meowed back,

It was a magpie that had evidently been hanging around the kittens for too long. A mother knows her kids’ voices and this was a perfect replica of my kittens’ bossy demands to be fed.

When I told Yolanda about this strange occurrence, she laughed and said she had done exactly the same thing two days earlier, sure one of the kittens had escaped.

Now this story, as unbelievable as you might find it, has a precedent in my family. When my 11-year-older sister was a tiny girl, she was in the habit of coming to the back door and calling out, “Mommy, Mommy! This occurred so many times during the day that my mother had told her that unless it was an emergency, she should come into the house to find her instead of expecting her to drop whatever household task she was doing to come to the door. Betty heeded this request perhaps one time out of three, which was an improvement, at least.

One day, my mother heard he calling out to her, but when she came to the door, no Betty! She went back to her work on the other side of the house, only to hear he call out again. Once again, she went to the door, but no Betty. This time she called her in from her play, gave her a scolding and told her not to do it again. But Mommy, she hadn’t done it, my sister insisted, but in that way Mommy’s develop, my mom just shook her head and said, well, not to do it again.

Barely had she gotten back to the kitchen however, when she heard my sister demanding her presence again. This time really angry, she stamped back across the house to the screened-in porch to see—absolutely no one standing on the front door stoop. This time, however, the mystery was quickly solved. In a large cage on that screened in porch was a magpie with a damaged wing that my father had brought in from the ranch. Even as my mother entered the porch, he had called out once more in my sister’s voice, demanding her presence.

Most mimics only get themselves in trouble due to inappropriate material. This mimic was most adept at passing the blame. True story, as is the more recent magpie story above.

 

 

Oy Vey! Life with Cats

Frannie is fascinated by the corn husk flowers on my dining room table.  She sniffs them, bats, them, even tastes them.  I don’t allow this, but she hasn’t quite gotten the message yet.

Kukla and Ollie, on the other hand, are very fond of lying on my computer keyboards.  Sometimes they type very unusual coded messages.  At other times, they just create music as they hit a certain key that trills a repetitive musical tone.

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I think they like the light of the screen shining on them as they have also learned how to turn on the reading light behind the bed in “their” room and in spite of all of the times I have gone in and turned it off, when I next go into the room, it is switched on and all four cats are curled up in a ball on the bed underneath it.

When Ollie somehow landed on this particular spot on the computer or possibly connected with something on the screen that was making this repeated tone, I lifted him off the keyboard.  Unfortunately, he resisted the idea by reaching out for a clawhold and when I finally got him detached, the key he had curled his claws around came off with him.

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You should know that this is a brand new keyboard I’d had installed just a month or so ago after Morrie ruined the other one by jumping into the pool and splashing water on the computer, wiping out the keyboard.  I fear my animals have proven to be a bigger item in my budget than I had expected.

Forty minutes later, I had figured out the correct assembly method for the three interlocking pieces.  It was not easy, but it seemed right.  They all fit together and everything seemed snapped into place—until I tried to snap it onto the little mounded nub on the keyboard.  I had to force it down and although it caught hold, the key didn’t work unless I POUNDED it in a manner totally unacceptable.  Prying it off again, however, proved to be even harder than making it work.  When I finally did, on my third attempt, it launched itself—each part in a different direction. The kittens found this very distracting as they tried to locate the pieces before I did. In the end, I located the pieces and put them in an envelope in my computer case. Whether I tell the computer repairman the true story of how the injury came to be will be determined at a later date.

Sometimes it is necessary to resort to a foreign language to get the true level of your frustration across. I hope my Jewish friends forgive me as I once more vent in a language I have no claim to.  Oy vey just seems the right thing to say. Did I spell that right?

Frannie? Get off the table!!!!

Snipped Snafu

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Has this Raquet Club employee watching my car being towed away  been in the pool yet today?  jdbphoto

I can’t imagine the snafus I must be making every time I speak Spanish.  Oftentimes, it is the thing that breaks the ice and opens up the laughter. So it is with this translation of an otherwise unexciting Raquet Club quarterly report to members that I received in an email today.  I quote:

  • Since May 1, club workers are cleaned by the pool. The Board of Directors has noted that this measure has made it possible for the pool to have fewer leaves and less cloudy water. 

What an excellent further use of the pool, but seems like it would create more leaves and cloudier water as surely some soap must be involved as well, don’t you think? And one would think the workers themselves would protest.

Now, please send me your own  “snafus to share” in the comments below:

Little Duck’s Almost Novel Adventure

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One day Little Duck was bored, and although Big Duck was not bored at all, Little Duck decided he needed to be educated in the art of flying. “Just stretch your left wing out like this,” he instructed Big Duck. Of course, Big Duck had neither left wing nor right wing, so he stretched his left arm out as far as he could.

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“Very good,” said Little Duck. Then, “Stretch out your right wing!” he quacked like a drill sergeant, in a very bossy tone. And so Big Duck stretched his right arm out as far as he could.

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“Now, spread out your wing tip feathers and flap both wings at the same time,” demanded Little Duck; but try as he might, Big Duck just couldn’t do it.

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Upon further investigation, Little Duck decided that aside from a failure to coordinate wing movements, there was a further complication that foretold that for Big Duck, flying lessons would never come to fruition,

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for it seemed that in addition to malformed wings, Big Duck also lacked the webbed feet necessary for landing and propelling himself through water as well as the tail to serve as a rudder.

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“Very strange indeed!” shouted Little Duck from waaaaay down on the floor, where he had gone to investigate the matter. “In fact, in spite of your name and the color of your feet, you seem to resemble this palefoot human standing right over here to my right more than you do a duck.”

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“But I love you anyway,” Little Duck quacked at Big Duck, as he winged up to his shoulder to give him a reassuring peck on the cheek.

And, never one to give up on chances for adventure, Little Duck put on his thinking cap and tried to think of something Big Duck might be better able to accomplish. It was important after his last big failure that he give him a simple task more suited to his talents than flying seemed to be.

“Eureka!” he thought, and hopped up to share his idea with Big Duck, who at first looked somewhat dubious.

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But, in his usual inimitable fashion, Little Duck persevered. “As a team, we are unbeatable,” he insisted. “With my creativity and great mind and your mutated feathers capable of maneuvering a keyboard, we could write great literature!” And so, after a great deal of quacking and what passed for quacking on Big Duck’s part, the two settled into a collaboration.
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“It was a dark and stormy night,” lisped Little Duck.

“That sounds a bit trite to me,” countered Big Duck.

“Once upon a time,” quacked the littler of the two.

“Been done already,” Big Duck fired back.

“Duck!!!!!” shouted little Duck as he saw a wasp zeroing in on Big Duck’s ear.

“That sounds a bit better,” enthused Big Duck, and typed the first word of their document, complete with five exclamation marks and an ending quotation mark.

Knowing there was very little time for action, Little Duck soared through the air to Big Duck’s shoulder just in time to snap up the angry wasp in his martyred and heroic beak.

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“What comes next?” asked Big Duck, totally unaware that he’d just been saved from his biggest fear by Little Duck.”Did you notice that I remembered the closing parenthesis?” He asked, pointing proudly at their first completed sentence. “Do you have an idea for the second sentence?”

“There was a wasp about to sting you on the ear and I saved you by catching it in my beak!” shouted Little Duck.

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“Now who in the world is ever going to believe that?” protested Big Duck, and threw up his hand in defeat.

And that is how Little Duck’s Big Adventure never came to be written and why Big Duck’s name has not gone down in the history of literature, or even at the very least, in the blogger’s hall of fame.

THE END

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What to do with leftover Little Duck photos on the way between St. Paul and St. Louis with Big Duck doing all the driving.  I hit the publish button just as we arrived at the motel!  Now that is timing.

Crave more Little Duck adventures? https://judydykstrabrown.com/2016/09/25/travels-with-ducks-the-continuing-saga-of-little-duck-episode-5/

Extra Service: Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge 2016, Week 23

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The Customer is Always Right

This photo would not be oddball except for the story that goes with it.  I was in the same store that had the life-sized horse lamp with the lampshade on its head.  Remember that? (A party horse, I surmise.)  I could get through a year of oddballs on just photos from that store, but this particular photo is more about the subjects than the photo itself.  I saw a woman who had been carrying her somewhat heavy and fussy child around the store for some time.  Finally, as I waited in line to make a rather large purchase, (not the horse) she walked up and held the sleeping child out to this man, who had been helping me to buy the table and chairs and who did not look any too pleased to be taking charge of his son. His stance was awkward and his arms extended in a manner that showed very little connection to the child.

“Is this your son?”  I asked, smiling fondly at the child who was cherubic in his sleeping state.
“No,” he answered.
“Do you know the mother at all?”
“No,” he answered, “I just work here.”

The mother, hearing our interchange, broke into the conversation. “I have been holding my son for a long time and my arms are tired, so I gave him to this man to hold for me.”

This may not be as funny in the telling as it was in the viewing, but this man in no way volunteered for babysitting duty and neither did he look at all adept at it or interested in continuing to serve as “baby-check” boy. It struck me as funny, and still does. How much of this story can you see in the photo?

https://ceenphotography.com/2016/06/05/cees-odd-ball-photo-challenge-2016-week-23/

Dining Out

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Perhaps considering my next order?

Dining Out

I do not remember the first time I ate out at a restaurant, but I have heard a story over and over about the first time I ordered for myself.   I couldn’t have been over two years old when my folks took me out to a movie and then to Mac’s cafe for a drink and a visit with town folks afterwards.  We lived in a town of seven hundred people in the middle of the South Dakota prairie.  Our sole entertainment, other than church and school ballgames, was the Saturday or Sunday night picture show in the small theater on Main Street.  It was the social event of the week, and visiting with friends afterwards at Mac’s Cafe across the street from the theater was as much a part of the evening as the movie.

Later, in college, one of my best friends was the granddaughter of the man who owned the theater and she revealed to me that it never had made a profit.  He just kept it running to give the folks in the town where his wife had taught school as a young woman something to do.

Probably 200 of the 700 citizens of our town were members of a pentecostal church who didn’t believe in dancing, movies,  or even TV, so at twenty-five cents per ticket, I’m sure if everyone in town had gone to a show one time a week, it still would not have paid the overhead, so we should have figured that out long ago, but we hadn’t thought of it––at least no one in my family ever did.

I had two older sisters, so if I was two when this story happened, one must have been about six and the other would have been thirteen.  They ordered Cokes.  My folks ordered coffee, and when it came to me, I responded in the only way I knew to respond in a restaurant.  “Amgooboo an tabey dabey!” I ordered.

The waitress looked puzzled.  “She said hamburger and potatoes and gravy,” said my father, deadpan.  The waitress looked at my mother.  If that was what I wanted at ten o’clock at night, my mother was all for it.  The waitress left and my family struggled to keep straight faces but it just didn’t work.  They all exploded in laughter, which was fine with me.  I’d been entertaining them for as long as I could remember–and I think perhaps I still am to this day!


The Prompt: Tell about the first time you ever ate out in a restaurant.

That Sinking Feeling

The Prompt: Retrospectively Funny–Tell us about a situation that was not funny at all while it was happening, but that you now laugh about whenever you remember it.

                                                         That Sinking Feeling

Because my father was both the youngest in his family by quite a few years and also waited until he was older to get married, and because I was the youngest in my family, it meant that I had no cousins my own age.

My mother’s nieces and nephews were eleven to twenty years older than me and lived a day’s drive away, so although I heard about them and saw pictures, I only actually met them a few times during my at-home years and even their children were not my age, but quite a bit younger.  In addition, although we lived in the same town as one of my dad’s sisters, her children were even older than my eleven-years-older sister, so again, no cousins my age. My dad’s oldest sister had seven sons, but all were closer to  my parents’ age than to mine and although there were rumors of their kids, my second cousins, being close to my age, they lived far away in Idaho–a three days journey or more on the two lane roads of the fifties.

As friend after friend had cousins come to visit in the summer or had them close at hand to make family holidays and dinners interesting, I, alas had none. But one summer I hit pay dirt when for some reason or other, six of my Aunt Margaret’s seven sons all traveled through South Dakota at one time or other during the summer and all of them had kids–MY AGE!!!  I was in heaven.  Add to that the fact that most of those kids were boys and I was just at the age where I had started to be interested in boys, and you can imagine what a good summer indeed it was for me.

My mother handled the situation of having so much company in one three month period by having a set menu that she served each time–baked ham, potato salad, baked beans and cherry pie.  Our laden cherry trees in the back yard furnished adequate cherries for pies for an army and for those early visitors who got there before the cherries were ripe, there were still pies in our freezer frozen the summer before.  My mom had it covered!

One of our first families to visit was my cousin who had been a Quaker missionary in Kenya.  Chills ran up our necks as he told about the Mau Mau uprisings and how he and his family had just happened to be gone the day they came and raided the mission to come kill them.  These kind of stories had never before been heard in my family, and we were all both rapt and perhaps a bit grateful for our boring lives in a very small isolated town in South Dakota.

Then came the visit of my cousin Pam, who sent me a little doll to add to my collection, complete with outfits.  Another family consisted of three boys who later sent me stamps to start a collection. A younger girl cousin, asked to spend the night, grew weepy towards midnight as my friend Rita and I were trying to show her how fun it was to stay up all night.  My folks ended up having to call her folks at the motel to come get her.  What a baby!

The best visitor of all, however, was my cousin Buddy.  He was just my age and when we rode down the street on bikes–me on mine and he on my older sister’s–I imagined that people might think I had a new boyfriend.  He showed me his coin collection, which traveled with him, and even gave me some coin protectors for the silver dollars my dad had given me. My friend Rita flirted with him, but he was even more innocent than we were and I think he didn’t quite understand.  Nonetheless,  I was interested in impressing Buddy and was on my best behavior.

It seemed to be working until a little incident in the kitchen when he politely asked if I could tell him where the lavatory was.  Now I had only heard this term applied to a sink and so I blithely said, “Oh, just use the kitchen sink!”  His look of astonishment should have told me that something was wrong, but it never occurred to me that he was asking for the bathroom.  In short, a place to pee!

I can’t remember how this issue was resolved.  I am sure he didn’t pee in the kitchen sink and that he was somehow routed to the correct facility by another member of the family.  The fact that I remember his shocked face to this day indicates to me that perhaps this is one of those most embarrassing events that somehow over the years has transitioned into a funny story–and the fact that I’m telling you proves it!

                                                                Afterward:

A few years ago, I found an email from one of my cousins (whom I hadn’t seen since I was 11) when I for some reason checked out at an old email address I hadn’t used in years.  In it, he identified himself as the baby being held in the arms of my grandfather in a biographical book of poetry I had written about growing up in South Dakota.  He had somehow found a copy of the book and found my email address in the book! This started a correspondence with the result that both of my sisters and I attended a family reunion of his family in Idaho.  Below is a picture of some of the cousins and second cousins (from that summer of the cousins)  I reconnected with at that reunion, which was attended by hundreds of their children, grandchildren, great and great-great grandchildren!  Finally, I had as many cousins as a girl could ever want!

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NaPoWriMo, Day 3: In the Market

I had a reading to go to this morning, where I read both “At 67” and “Once Upon a Lime in Mexico,” but you heard them both here first!  “At 67” will also be published in Ojo del Lago, Mexico’s largest English Language newspaper/magazine, which is both in print and online.  Before I left at 9:30 for the reading, I got part of today’s blog post finished and I completed it in the Walmart parking lot, where I’d gone to do a bit of shopping.  Dreading the stop-and-go Semana Santa traffic, I decided to finish it so it would be ready for posting when I got home,  which it is and I am!!!  So, here goes.

I’ve been trying to combine the NaPoWriMo and the WordPress prompts each day. The NaPoWriMo prompt today was to write a “fourteener” poem where each line consists of seven iambic feet (i.e., an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable, times seven.) This form is also called a ballad.

No topic was given, so I took a WordPress Prompt and went to a friend’s book and turned to page 11 and took the 11th word, which was “Should,”  and started a poem entitled “She Should.”  I later changed the title and the first line, so the words that started the poem no longer are part of it. The purpose of a prompt is to start, not serve as an end-all. So, here is my ballad.  Please let me know what you think.

In the Market

Her mother tells her not to talk to strangers in the streets–
to count on all her kin to provide everyone she meets.
But this man has such lovely eyes, so what could be the harm?
And she’s not often left to stray this far from father’s farm.
When he walks by, she gives a smile and looks him in the eye.
He looks away, but his shy smile still gives away the guy.
She drops her basket, but he still continues on his way.
It’s only then that she decides that this one must be gay.

The store where she is going is not so very far,
and yet she takes the longest way that leads there from her car.
Although it should be blocks away, instead it is two miles.
She only has this route and back to practice all her wiles.
Whenever gentlemen of note meet her questing glance,
Her winsome smile becomes a grin, her walk becomes a prance.
Some of the men seem to be shocked. The others move away.
She’s sure it is just married men she meets this market day.

But finally, one man in plaid does not avoid her glance.
She smiles at him invitingly, afraid she’ll lose her chance.
She sees him turn as she walks by and follow in her wake.
It seems she’s finally hooked one. It was a piece of cake.
When she arrives and goes into the store, he follows her.
It’s just so he can meet her, of this she’s fairly sure.
Aisle after aisle she meets his gaze by boldly looking up
while he pretends he’s looking for food on which to sup.

Pork and beans he passes up, chili and green beans.
He adjusts his shoulders and hitches up his jeans.
She knows that he’s not used to this. He’s not so debonair.
He will not meet her flirty glance or even her bold stare;
and yet she sees him peeking when it seems that she’s not looking.
It’s clear enough to her that something’s definitely cooking.
She’s been around the livestock so she knows the signs and causes,
yet a bull just gets right to it and a rooster never pauses.

The action quickens in the aisle where the bread shelves start.
She finally takes the upper hand and swerves into his cart.
The metal baskets scrape and crash and make an awful din.
She does not mind that people gawk. She finally has an in!
He blushes when she talks to him, and she is sure he nearly
takes her hand and flirts as he says, “Pardon,” very clearly.
He turns and walks her down the aisle. It is a date, almost.
Side by side they stroll until parted by a post

that splits the aisle in two and makes them part, then join again.
Though she is small and portly, and he is tall and thin,
they make a handsome couple. She can see their wedding stills.
She will pick the gown and flowers. He will pay the bills.
When they approach the registers, he tells her to go first.
They chat as the checker works. It almost seems rehearsed.

He asks about her family and certainly seems rapt.
The lives of mother, father, brother, sister clearly mapped.
Details others might find boring are engagingly related
and all the while his pupils stay entirely dilated.
He puts his thumb right through a peach, then grabs up a red apple,
and tells her that he’s noticed her in front of him in chapel,
sitting by her sister and wearing a blue hat.
Her sister’s hat was yellow.  He is sure of that.

When she asks him home to supper, he says, “Yes,” in nothing flat.
He talks to all her relatives and even holds the cat.
When her annoying sister talks and talks and talks,
he responds politely–he never even balks.
He finally admits that he’s engineered their meeting,
but still the news of it does not set her heart to beating.
Now it is family legend, the story of this mister,
with an unexpected ending. He was there to meet her sister!

 https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/three-letter-words/