Friday, December 19, 2008

Drumsticks for the Soul

Drumsticks for the Soul

Mini Challenge: Software, Lottery, Newspaper, Mailman, Ringo Starr’s drum

Sapient Software Corporation had laid off two thirds of its work force in the past two months. With Isaac’s job outsourced and Tamara working part time casual, the Nimrod’s spirits were sinking with their cash supply. It had come to slugging down rusty shots of Southern Comfort and crumpling up back issues of Insight Times to stoke the furnace. Isaac was eying the kitchen stool as the next logical candidate for tinder, when he heard Tamara yelp. His wife had the annoying habit of inspecting every last sheet of paper in advance of rendering it to its utilitarian fate. By the end of each day, a pile of favorites would have materialized in her corner. She would faithfully tote it to bed in search of recipes, household hints, book reviews and other foolishness. Didn’t she realize how desperate things were? Tamara was eagerly waving a section of the paper in the air. “Look!” she beckoned. Sure enough, there on page 19 of the December 21 issue of the newspaper was a lottery for Ringo Starr’s drum set. Even in his dejected state, Isaac could sense the opportunity. His face unfroze and he smiled for the first time in weeks. They would enter the contest and wait for Uriel, the mailman to deliver the coveted prize.

Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: When pigs have wings, Moonlight, Mystery, Tower of Babel, Butterflies, Bread and butter, Beef barley soup, Charley horse, Novelty, Cold shoulder

According to one modern legend, "sack" was the last word uttered before the confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel.

How could a singular phrase be translated into 72 dialects? Sarah burrowed into the loft of her 700 count Calgary comforter and pondered the phrase “when pigs have wings”. She reached over to stroke Charley horse, the 30 lb calico. Charley shot her a stony stare (the feline equivalent of the cold shoulder) and resumed his frenetic bathing ritual.

In Africaans, she decided, it would be expressed as when butterflies deliver the squash. Slovenian translation no one could mistake bread and butter for beef barley soup. Sarah was moving on to the Urdu version when Charley brushed up lightly against her. She stroked his abundant flank with tenderness. He looked at her guilelessly and began making bread on her tummy. A satisfied purr emerged from deep in his chest. Mystery glinted through the parted curtains. Pale moonlight, translucent thoughts.

In java code, the phrase would become zzxcmfimnntnt,xot,tm,p. Now that would be a novelty.

Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: When pigs have wings, Moonlight, Mystery, Tower of Babel, Butterflies, Bread and butter, Beef barley soup, Charley horse, Novelty, Cold shoulder

Mini Challenge: Software, Lottery, Newspaper, Mailman, Ringo Starr’s drum

Ringo Starr’s drum Dinner Club and Ecstatic Boogie Society gathered for their midwinter gala. Per custom, the association assembled quarterly on the full moon. . Each session was dedicated to a singular aspect of promoting world peace.

January’s theme: a reversal of the Tower of Babel incident. The agenda: recovering a mother tongue to enhance communication among nations. Rebeccah and Yaakov volunteered to code the end product into a software package that would be made available gratis on the Moonlight is Mystery search engine.

A virtual cornucopia of winter delights adorned the library table. The bill of fare included: Tamari burdock beef barley soup, buckwheat porcini pilaf, wood fired pumpernickel bread and butter, pickled dill daikon salad, lamb’s tongue carpaccio, chickpea cholent , and cold shoulder of lamb nicoise.

Rivkah arrived late as she was feverishly putting the finishing touches on the novelty dessert. What she unveiled was truly a feast for the eyes. Perched on a brule crusted surface of ginger persimmon kugel, a pair of exquisite morpho butterfly confections opened their wings. She had chosen the morpho species specifically for its association with Aphrodite. Aaron the elder, observed with irritation that he had noticed a similar recipe in the October issue of Martha Stewart’’s Traditional Living magazine. Rivkah was outraged at the suggestion. “When pigs have wings” she hollered, (unwittingly introducing an unwelcome guest to the table). Hagar was fast to come to her friend’s defense. Impulsively, she hurled a lavishly buttered chunk of sprouted spelt loaf at the offending party. Mordecai, the appeaser, tried in vain to subdue the escalating tumult. Riled beyond reason, Miriam stuck her tongue out at Aaron and the breakaway Rivkah is Right faction began taunting the curmudgeon with unsavory limericks. Ephraim developed a Charlie horse in his left leg from all the excitement and began to stamp it in place. This just added fuel to the fire. Far from being interpreted as a therapeutic intervention the leg action was seen as an act of aggression. Devorah slung a spoonful of truffled farfele at Benjamin. What ensued was full frontal bedlam.

The next morning’s Newspaper headline read, “ Novelty dessert spurned by ringo starr’s drum. Food fight erupts at peaceful gathering. Tobiath, the mailman just shook his head in wonder as he prepared for his morning shift. How the revelers ever got beyond the first course was a mystery. Toby’s girlfriend Razel had opted to say in and watch the evening news last night. After the lottery winners were announced, the couple shared a fine bottle of burgundy, as the downy flakes tumbled in the filtered moonlight.


Raven said...

Such wonderful stories all. The middle one was my favorite - especially "when butterflies deliver the squash." Brilliant.

Melli said...

That 10 word story was genius! I loved the idea of all the translations! BRAVO you!

Akelamalu said...

Oh well done on all of them!

I didn't join in this week - too much to do :0

Dr.John said...

I loved all three stories but the second one just had me laughing. What marvelous ways to translate " when pigs have wings"
Well doone with very difficult words.

Jeff B said...

The cat making bread on her tummy was such a clever description. And a gourmet food fight, hard to go wrong with that. Very inspired writing this week.

Maithri said...

You are so talented...

Butterflies delivering squash!!

Love it!!

Thanks for sharing your gift my friend,

Soft light and the blessings of the deep,


bettygram said...

I loved the feast for peace that wasn't so peaceful.

Dianne said...

I hope the drum set arrives!!

gabrielle said...

Raven-the second story is the one that was birthed effortlessly. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Melli - Thank you for your kind words. As I commented to Raven, the 10 word story wrote itself.

Akelamalu- Missed you this week Thanks for taking the time to visit. Hope life slows down for you soon.

Dr John- I'm glad the story brought a smile to you. I am a lover of languages, so it was joyful to write it.

Jeff B- Thank you for noticing Sarah's peaceful moment with Charley horse. The food fight was
a blast. I was right in their tossing victuals off the plates with the best of them.

Maithri - Thanks for stopping by. You chose one of my favorite translations. Deep peace of the running water to you my friend.

Bettygram - you got it. I love the little ironies that life brings.

Diane - I do too!!! Wishing the best for the Nimrods and for all who are experiencing hard times. It's cold out there.

Warm hugs to all...