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Pizza. Yum.

June 11, 2021

Years ago there used to be a place in south Minneapolis called The Pizza Shack.

They sold pizza. They sold pizza with single crust, a double crust and a triple crust. They sold garlic bread that came in a basket with three roughly 6″ garlic-oozing and butter-dripping pieces. Of course they sold other stuff that pizza places also sell but who cares about that stuff because it was the Pizza Shack, not the Spaghetti Shack or the Chicken Shack or the Chef’s Salad Shack.

The Pizza Shack was very good.

It didn’t matter what we the group of us had done that night, or who we had done it with or how many of us there were with us, we always wound up at the “Shack” for late-night eats. And it was open on Christmas and Thanksgiving which was nice because after the wrestling matches at the old Minneapolis Auditorium on those two holidays we had a place to go eat after. We had a favorite waitress and her name was Brenda.

The restaurant was popular with the Minneapolis police force and it received national publicity in 1992 after officer Jerry Haas was murdered while he was eating in the restaurant.

After nearly 50 years the Pizza Shack closed in 2005.

There’s your backstory.

I used to have a friend and his name was Ed and Ed invented something called the “Pizza Shack Challenge“. The Shack Challenge was a large 14” triple crust pizza with pepperoni and hamburger and sausage and extra cheese. And an order of garlic bread. Vegetable substitutes like olives or mushrooms or sauerkraut were not allowed because Ed believed they were not as filling as the meat toppings and would lessen the difficulty of the challenge. A beverage was optional.

(Because I like pizza I feel it’s important to mention at this point that Canadian bacon, pineapple and sauerkraut pizza is good)

If a person failed the challenge they would be responsible for paying for the meal. If a person finished the challenge the reward was that Ed would not only pay for the meal but he would also award a cash bonus in the amount of the meal. In case you’re wondering, the cost of Ed’s Pizza Shack Challenge was $12.30 before tax and tip.

So… who wants pizza tonight?

Speed it up, eh?

June 10, 2021

The guys were at the point of wondering what Thursday night poker without Tom might be like. Yeah, they all agreed he was a good guy, and it was only a penny ante game, but he was just so slow to do anything that he really messed with the tempo of the game.

He’d look at the cards in his hand and then a sideways glance at one of the guys. Back to his hand, another sideways glance. Hand, glance, hand glance, and the clocked ticked-tocked on. It was wearing, and as this particular night of Thursday poker was winding down and the guys were starting to think more about going home and to bed than the $5.00 they might win or lose, Rick finally, and not too kindly, said something.

“C’mon already Tom andante up, will ‘ya?”

“Jeez, guys, why so grave?” Tom said. “I’m just trying to get allegro up on all of you.”

For RDP today: “Andante”

Maybe together

June 9, 2021

For RDP: Our prompt for today is “together”. What does the word mean to you?

What “together” means for me is unhappiness because together is pretty much the exact opposite of the way we live on this world. Apart… Separate… Disorganized… Unbalanced… Individually…Disconnected… That’s us.

And when you’re not together then what? Wars… Violence… Thoughtlessness… Uncaring… Anger… Greed… Sound familiar?

Don’t look to me for answers because the only thing I know to do is recognize everyone I come in contact with as the same as me. The same body*, the same fears, the same yearnings, the same suffering. How do I want others to treat me?

Do the people I associate with, and the people I vote for, feel the same way?

“If you hear the song I sing you will understand (listen).You hold the key to love and fear all in your trembling hand. Just one key unlocks them both it’s there at your command.”

* Ok, there are a lot of better bodies out there than mine so maybe this one doesn’t count. But you get the idea.

Finders keepers

June 9, 2021

We’ve all heard different interpretations of what finding money on the ground means: it’s the universe sending us a message that things are moving in our favor, it’s a loved one who has died sending us a message that we’re loved and watched over, it’s someone who has a hole in his pocket sending us a message to get to a tailor ASAP.

And adding to the interpretations is the whole heads up or heads down question, and what date the coin was found on question.

To me finding money on the ground means good luck because, hey, it’s money, right?

Because I wanted to keep all my good luck I decided not to spend it, but to put all of that found money into a jar and turn that jar into a ‘Good Luck Jar’.

And then there was the day I found a quarter on the ground and when I bent over to pick it up I threw my back out and couldn’t stand up straight and without pain for a week.

That was the last time I looked for good luck in found money.


For GirlieOnTheEdge‘s Six Sentence Stories for June 9th.


Check out the link up here. And add your own!

What’s the Rush?

June 8, 2021

The first thing that came to mind when I read today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt word “Sawyer” was Tom Sawyer.

The first thought that came to mind after thinking “Tom Sawyer” was Rush.

The final thought that came to mind after thinking about Rush was that I really don’t like Rush at all. That’s not an overstatement. No offense (although I know Rush fans will inevitably, and rightfully, take offense), but I don’t know how anyone can listen to Rush, or why anyone listens to Rush. And I think their drummer (may he rest in peace) was overrated. When I think of rock drummers I think of Ian Paice, Mitch Mitchell, Levon Helm and Stewart Copeland. But that’s beside the point. Or besides the point.

After I got that all out of my head I couldn’t figure out why the word “sawyer” is defined as someone who saws wood. Why wouldn’t that person simply be a “sawer”? Of course if we follow that logic then someone who practices law would be a “lawer” and not a “lawyer”.

At that point I stopped thinking about the whole thing and started listening to some music. I started with this —

Cottonwood Cove

June 8, 2021

The Board here at Cottonwood Cove is, for lack of a better word, active. Any day of the week you can see any number of the five Board members out patrolling the common areas examining and taking notes.

Maybe “patrol” is a harsh word, but armed with their yellow notepads and matching white mesh baseball caps with dark blue brims they look a little patrol-y.

I try and avoid them whenever possible because if one of them stops you they offer up the same question every time, “Tell me, what do you think of the grounds?” I’m never sure how to answer that because I don’t care much about the grounds, so I always say, “They look nice, you all do a great job.” It wouldn’t be so bad if that ended it, but it never does because questions about the grounds is just a groundbreaker to other homeowner association business. Since I’m of the belief that paying my monthly dues and going to the annual meeting and not playing my stereo loud is the extent of my HOA involvement I’d prefer it ended there, but it doesn’t. There are questions ranging from my thoughts on the smoothness of the driveways to garden hose colors and I don’t know how to say that the only things I’m interested in is if the association pays for the yellow pads and the matching caps.

And so it was yesterday afternoon when I was heading out to run some errands and I opened my door to the sound of Board business. I quickly took a step back inside and quietly closed my front door and hid in the corner of my entryway and peeked through the blinds. I could hear the conversation through the door.

“Shirl, the garage lights all look good. Nothing needs to be replaced”

“Thanks Mary Beth. Greg was just telling me that the fencing needs some replacement staining along the parkway side and Adrian handed in a report on spider webs.” Mary Beth nodded along while quickly jotting the information down on her yellow notepad. “Walk with us and let’s see how Penny’s coming along with measuring the grass height. Can’t leave her to have all the fun now, can we?”

Greg laughed, Mary Beth scribbled and Adrian flicked what looked like a small spider off his left shoulder.

I watched them, 80% of the Cottonwood Cove Clique, walk away down a recently swept inner courtyard sidewalk, and when their voices faded to a faint whisper, I made a quick dash to my garage. I’m not sure that Shirl didn’t hear me, the woman has amazing hearing that would make an elephant jealous, but I didn’t stop to turn around and check.


For Fandango’s One Word Challenge.


June 7, 2021

I got to work this morning and the elevator was out of order so I had to take the stairs. (Hopefully no one comes looking for them later)

I guess it’s true when they say there is no elevator to success and a person has to take the stairs.

Elevate is the word today at RDP

Hopefully this beautiful sentence will help to elevate your day: “Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” –  Thich Nhat Hanh

Charles Bukowski might be the type of writer one either loves or hates. I’m not sure there’s a middle ground for anyone where he’s concerned. I’m one of the ones who loves him. I’m one of the ones who thinks, “Man, if I could only write like that…”

This stanza from Bukowski’s poem, Dinosauria, We, is copied without permission from anyone. It will probably not make you feel as good as Thich Nhat Hanh’s quote.

Born into this
Into hospitals which are so expensive that it’s cheaper to die
Into lawyers who charge so much it’s cheaper to plead guilty
Into a country where the jails are full and the madhouses closed
Into a place where the masses elevate fools into rich heroes

You can hear him read the entire poem in the YouTube video below.

The Real World

June 6, 2021

From Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch is this week’s challenge.

June 3, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story being leashed. Is it literal or metaphorical? Who or what is leashed. How does it set the tone? Go where the prompt leads!

The Real World

Six-thirty Monday morning.
Post-(Current?)pandemic rush hour still not bad. Mark it down: a positive. Rare, but important.

Set the cruise, listen to the radio, don’t think about the nine hours ahead.
Turn up the radio.

Gene Harris. This Masquerade. Another positive.
Sunrise peeking over downtown (and another).

Exit on Hawthorne. Rights and lefts. Eleven blocks, eleven lights.

Welcome to the Anchor. May we hold your leash?
Help yourself. Just leave me room to breath?

Hello. Mornin’. Hi.
Nice, and yours? Not a lot, you?

Inhale. This is not the real world. Exhale.

Say what?

June 6, 2021

I used to work with this guy, Greg, who was sort of goofy in some ways. He wasn’t stupid, just sort of goofy. When he became upset with what he was working on at work he didn’t get frustrated, he would say that he’s flustrated. A brilliant (or goofy?) portmanteau of frustrated and flustered.

Greg was an engine buff so in his spare time he would always be working on motors. His cars, lawnmowers (which he would buy, fix and sell) and boat motors. He would talk about engines a lot – which is riveting conversation to someone whose only knowledge about engines of any type is that 1) you need a key to start them, 2) they need gas to run, and 3) Casey Jones (in not particularly good condition) drove one.

Apparently working on engines is somewhat complex because in Greg’s Monday stories of whatever part of whatever engine that was supposed to do whatever but wasn’t whatevering, he would talk about the whole rigarole. I can only imagine how ‘flustrating’ that was.

Today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt is Rigmarole which made me think of rolls (dinner and sweet) and Greg.

And Whac-a-Mole because I apparently think in rhymes a lot.

Pickin’ a winner

June 5, 2021

For The A Mused Poetry Contest 5/29/2021 – 6/26/2021

The Theme is a silly poem about an unusual eccentricity.


I feel an urge!
There’s something to purge!

I can’t tell it’s size
without a poke and a prise.

Is it soft as a sock
or as hard as a rock?

I won’t know a where, a what or a why
until I reach in and wiggle and try.


I pick my nose.
And so it goes.

What’s that you ask?

Well —

It was yellow and green
it was curled up and dried;
and if I ate it or not
is up to you to decide.

I know it’s kind of gritty,
my slightly odd eccentricity.
And though it’s not so pretty,
I hope you won’t dismiss-a-me.

Oh – –

And please do remember
that if you were a booger
I’d pick you first.


And while we’re here —

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Europe who?
No, you are.

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