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Writing files: 2005!
March 3, 2012

I was going through my writing folder and starting re-reading some items in my ‘miscellaneous’ virtual pile. I found this short piece, which was written back in 2005 for a first line prompt on FanStory.  Oddly, this doesn’t represent my family in any way.

FanStory prompt: Begin a story with the sentence ‘ … told me to think before I act.’

My father always told me to think before I act, to proceed with caution, look before I leap.  In contrast, my mother has been known to punch her fist in the air triumphantly, shouting for all to seize the day.  My sister held faith with smiling and looking pretty, though as time went on that became speckled with ‘spit, don’t swallow.’  Ever the fatalist, my Grandmother preached the merits of always wearing clean underpants, because death was a brazen hussy that could pounce at any time.  She refused to bear the indignity that having a member of her family die with soiled underpants would bring.  Many have pointed out that if dignity is measured by the cleanliness of underpants, then death is indeed the great ignobler, but she dismisses such foolish talk with a haughty disdainful shiver.  Perhaps her views were skewed by a lifetime with my Grandfather who cared little about clean underpants, as demonstrated by his insistence that all ailments could be cured with garlic or cod liver oil, or an unfortunate combination of the two.

Me?  I say the lot of them are bloody lunatics and dream of the day I get to prove it to the courts.

Their lives would be dramatically improved if they would trade their mottoes.  My sister, whose weekly dinner parties provided each guest with bites of banality and three days constipation, would be well suited to adopt Granddad’s garlic and cod liver oil cure all.

If my mother was so inclined to think before she acted – preferably about the degree of embarrassment her actions were about to thrust upon her children – the likelihood of my receiving a prison phone call would be significantly lessened.  Though to hear Mom tell it, sometimes in sweltering heat, ones breasts simply cannot do without a breather, (and by the way don’t tell your father).

My father, who spends much of his time analysing the possible consequences of his possible actions, is a suitably dour faced individual, and would do well to smile and look pretty now and again.

Granddad would do well to seize the day.  I overheard him once (while lecturing my father) explaining how he had longed to read something, anything by Henry Miller, but feared the spiritual repercussions and resisted in kind.

My Grandmother, however, seems to be sitting pretty in her clean underpants and so we’ll let her keep them.

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