Five Too Many?

Just because things have been a bit depressing lately...

The docudrama about the war in the Balkans wasn't going too well.
The subject was terribly depressing of course and no one really
wants to be a nameless faceless villain so radical director Wayne
"Too Pork" Lavender was having some trouble hiring enough actors
for all of the scenes. He was forced to promote extras for some
speaking roles and complained to his casting director, Mariko von
Mahomet, that the demonization in the press of the combatants had
made his job more difficult.

Mariko sighed philosophically and smilingly reminded him again, saying,
"They're also Serbs who only stand-in, Wayne."

***

It became for awhile highly fashionable to wear effigies of birds
upon ladies' hats. This included albatrosses and ospreys,
widgeons and coots. But the trend reached a plateau of
homogeneity when gulls of various sorts became standard. No one
could be considered au temps unless they had a skua skewered on
their hatpin.

This continued until one bold milliner broke the mold with a
fashion statement and a slogan that summed it all up: "Tern, the
Other Chic."

***

The Religion of the Seashore needed a prophet and finally found
one in the estimable person of young Natcho Chang Quasenstein.
Generous, open, giving, Natcho wanted everyone to come to the
water and worship in their own way. His homey style of putting
everything into the language of the beach made him popular with
his followers and the secular press alike. And when he decided to
widen his ministry his words were carried to the multitudes by
satellite TV and live webcam.

It was Natcho that made the holiest Sacrament of the Beach
available to the too young, too old, too infirm and too timid
when he said "Dood, like, they also Surf who only stand and Wade,
y'know?"

***

On the artificially engineered planet Camfoosocket some forms of
life are rare and when one needs a particular lifeform for
whatever purpose one goes to a broker and arranges to acquire the
needed beast, plant or whatever.

Sometimes there are problems tho and one young lady, Miss Fatima
O'Lopes who had had occasion to rent some arthropodic creatures
from a less than scupulous broker sat in the local police
precinct office trying to identify the conman who had cheated
her.

The big book of mug shots was enhanced and enlarged by the most
modern technology, including the roving robot camera called EYE
but the young lady just wasn't sure she had definitely found the
man she was looking for. "It was dark, I only saw him once," she
said simply.

Officer Mooskowicz McTrepanian was annoyed and shoved a page back
in front of her again. He knew he wasn't supposed to lead her in
making an identification but he was fairly sure he knew who the
culprit was who had cheated her with substandard insects and then
fled the city.

He made a mistake, he did something he shouldn't have done. But
he had to get her to make at least a tentative identification on
the rascal so that he could be brought in for questioning. "Look
at this one again, Miss," he said. "I'm fairly sure this is where
EYE shows the lessor of two weevils."

***

After Casimir Ten Hoosen opened the soup stand on the Pluverdaal
home world he had to negotiate the complicated protocol rituals
of the natives to whom all meals were sacred rituals fraught with
significance in the slightest detail. He got accustomed to
judging a persons rank at a glance, it wasn't that hard, the
heavier one of the elephantine Pluverdaalians, the higher the
rank. And only the upper ranks were allowed any ease at their
dining by rigid rules that Casimir did not care to violate.

His little restaurant proved popular with those of great stature
but was also frequented by the little people as well. It bothered
his democratic soul a bit that only the gargantuans got to sit
down while eating but all of the Pluverdaalians loved to dip
their trunks into his steaming bowls of chowder, stew and soup.

And all of them paid well for the privelege. He consoled the
conscience of his hospitality with the little homily he made up,
"They also slurp who're only standing weight."

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