The Quirky Life of P

Humor and satire revolving around Mr P- a fictional mix of an avatar of Mr Bean and the veritable Bertram Wooster of Wodehouse fame.

Archive for the month “July, 2014”

Synergy and Energy…

P was so tired and drained after a week’s hard work in Uni.. He needed to unwind and get his energy back. He pondered on what options he had to get him back on the rails again…


He took up a book, but not a page could he read;

His body and mind were tired indeed.

Lethargy engulfed him, his nerves were frayed,

He tried the radio, the TV, but his attention strayed;

So closing his eyes he curled in his bed;

But despite his invites, slumber desisted.


The violin he played and felt totally drained,

The neighbour complained: he and his cat were pained;

He listened to music and sang some songs,

His energy flow petered out as billabongs;

He sat in the sun and lay in the gloom

But fatigue still seemed to be his doom.

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Then he sipped some wine, inspiration dawned on him:

He breathed in and breathed out, deep breathing in rhythm;

He stretched and contorted in postures of yoga:

The dog, the tiger, the butterfly and cobra

And flat on his mat in the ‘shavaasana’ pose,

Depicting a corpse but he snored through the nose.

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From deep sleep when he later woke

He rushed to grab a drink of coke;

The drink down his throat he brimmed with energy;

He was back to life, courtesy synergy?

Or the coke, the slumber, the yoga or the wine?

Your guess I’d say, is as good as mine!


Back To Life

On Birds and Bees and Peking Duck….

The challenge

The mission is to write a new piece that includes at least five nouns from one of the following sources.  This post used all of Bradbury’s  sample list and Word Press list with five of my list.

  1. Bradbury’s sample noun list: lake, night, crickets,  attic,  basement, trapdoor, baby, crowd, night train, fog horn, scythe, carnival, carousel, dwarf, mirror maze, skeleton.
  2. My noun list: face, laughter, stomach, fun, paradise.
  3. Noun list suggested by Word Press: thunderstorm, Peking duck, airplane, mouse, red rose, French pastry, wedding, tombstone, camper van, bee, caltrops

The couple next door, Guy and Jen, were coming home with their month old baby on Friday and P was at the railway station to receive them. They had been away from their city home for more than a month. Quite unusual for P, he had reached the station well before the arrival of the train and had even bought some flowers for the couple. All because he was suffering from a guilty conscience…..

The baby was born in a hospital near Jen’s parental home by the side of a lake in a scenic countryside. They had opted to have their little one relish the freshness and goodness of country air on his arrival rather than expose the baby to the city’s smog.

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Things had been good for the first few days. The sky was blue, the birds sang their sweet little songs, the flowers smiled in the breeze, the bees hummed and the butterflies flitted or did whatever they were supposed to do….

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This was the first time that Guy was staying over for more than a week-end at his in laws’ place after the wedding and he thought it was good fun. In fact Guy was so thoroughly enjoying the relaxed atmosphere that he had made the major decision of having his tombstone engraved with “He loved the countryside” instead of his earlier choice of “He loved Peking duck”.

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As the days moved on to weeks, however, things had started to change in paradise….

It all started when Guy on one of his “relieving one’s boredom” expeditions found a scythe in the attic of the house and a locked cupboard in the basement. With so much time on his hands and not much to do in the rural setting, he had given free rein to his imagination and had come up with several theories linking the locked cupboard, the scythe and his father in law who spent long hours in the basement. One day when he was feeling overwhelmed with affection for his wife he aired his misgivings to her. Jen only burst out in laughter but unfortunately for Guy, his loud whispers were overheard by the mother in law.

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Within a few minutes, the father in law appeared on the scene with a grim look and asked Guy if he could follow him down to the basement. Guy followed the parent with a thumping heart and nearly jumped out of his skin as the trap door banged shut behind them. Without a word, the father in law walked to the cupboard and opened it with a key. It was full of old clothes. “No skeletons here, lad! Just clothes waiting to be taken to the Salvos. I keep it locked because I have seen an occasional mouse in here”, he muttered as he locked the door back again. More enlightenment awaited him as his father in law walked him through what looked like a mirror maze of old furniture and bric-a-brac to the other end of the basement. He opened the door there and beyond it was a well set workshop.

“My hobby area”, he said. “This is where I spend most of my time when I come down to the basement.”

“And scythes, you know” he continued as he locked the door and they walked back and up the stairs from the basement, “can be commonly found in old houses like this in the country.  They do have their agricultural purposes apart from what roles weird minds can ascribe to them.” He paused and glanced at Guy sideways before continuing “I also learned that you were wondering why I had the sculpture of a scary looking dwarf in the garden. For your information, that is a garden gnome”.

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Guy nearly died of embarrassment as it dug into him like a thousand caltrops.

Even after this incident, they had continued to stay with Jen’s parents for a month before they decided to return back to their own home. It came to a point when they could not any more bear how the chirp of the crickets drowned (or was it added to) the noise of their baby’s cries and gurgles and how the baby’s wail, as it woke up in fright, outdid the foghorn that often worked as the trigger.

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The decision was speed railed into action one day when they noticed that the little one was growing up all too soon, especially on one side of the face. The doctor said that they had brought the baby to him just in time as bee stings could be fatal. Countryside had plenty of flowers and of course birds and bees, and can you blame them if they really wanted their offspring to live and grow up so they could talk to their young about the birds and the bees?….

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They originally had planned to take the airplane back to the city but because some flights were cancelled due to a brewing thunderstorm, they decided to take the night train. It was a harrying journey right from the start. The in-laws had taken them out for a send-off lunch to the one and only restaurant there before they had embarked on the drive to catch the train.

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The winding drive through the side of a ravine to get to the train station almost felt like being on a spinning carousel and a few minutes into the drive, the Peking duck inside Guy’s stomach decided it had enough and decided to come out through the car window. The sight and smell did faintly tickle the French pastry inside Jen’s entrails, but it was stoically kept down till they finally reached the train station.  With their gastric problems settled, they had found their seats in the train with difficulty and tried to stretch out and relax as the train chugged out from the station. The ordeal was sufficient to put them off Peking duck and French pastry for life. They also had enough of the rustic life and were craving for city comforts. When finally they reached the city station, jostling through the crowd that seemed to be in a frenzy, they hastened out to find P.

P greeted them at the railway station. He gave the bunch of red roses to Jen, the proud mother.

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“Just be a bit careful with those flowers,” he said as he handed them over.” I saw a bee fly out of one of them”. He did not see the flowers drop from Jen’s hands as P hurriedly walked them to his car. “I know you guys must be in need of a holiday, you know, with the baby and all…” P chattered on. “So I have arranged a camper-van for you to go to a very scenic spot just a few kilometres away. I must confess I have been so very busy with the carnival, I haven’t managed to get the cleaners to your house yet. You can spend the week-end at the camp and everything will be sorted out for you when you return. ”

“And to atone for my slip-up, dinner is on me” he continued with a huge smile. “I have take- home dinner packs of Peking Duck and some French pastry for you”…

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The Ray Bradbury Noun List Twist

P’s encounter in the rain

New PictureCaught in the torrential downpour without an umbrella, P had no choice other than rush for shelter into the first store he could find. The shop was cluttered with antique looking furniture and bric-a- brac. Everything had a coat of dust and dust even covered the cash counter. P squinted in the darkness that was compounded by the grey clouds and the rain, obscuring what little sunlight that filtered in through a small high window. He could not see anybody in the room or at the counter. There was something strange and eerie about the whole setting. If it hadn’t been raining so heavily he would have turned tail and rushed back into the street.  Then he heard footsteps close by and an ancient looking man approached him from a corner at the back of the shop. Though old, he was a very big man and his white locks of hair hallowed a face with blood-shot eyes and red nose.

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“Can I help you?” the man asked hoarsely.

P was sure if he said that he was in the shop only to take shelter from the rain, he would be shooed out without any hesitation. So he decided to improvise….

“I am a collector of antiques and would like to browse through your stuff” said P and pretended to scrutinise the old china, the vases and the clocks with the eye of a connoisseur. After a while, the shopkeeper came to P again.

“What sort of antiques are you after?” asked the shopkeeper.

P was at a loss. His eyes fell on some books lying on a corner shelf, gathering dust.

“I collect books” P said.

“What sort of books?” persisted the shop keeper.

“Oh, doesn’t matter as long as they are dog-eared and dirty” responded P.

The man gave P a strange look and pointed the shelf of books out to him. “Have your pick”, he said.

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P walked to the books and looked through them. Dust tickled his nostrils and he could not stop sneezing. His hands dug into his pockets but he could not find any tissue there.

“Here, help yourself”, the shopkeeper offered him a box of tissues. “I am just recovering from a cold myself and my voice is still hoarse” said the man grabbing a tissue himself and blowing his nose. “Have you found anything that might interest you?”

“Actually, I am after the complete works of Shakespeare and it is not here in this lot”. P silently thanked his quick thinking brain for providing him with the appropriate excuse that saved him from buying one of those dusty books.

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“Oh, I have a copy inside. I’ll get it for you” said the man and turned to go into the back room.

P hurried to procrastinate and avoid a purchase.

“No, no, just wait, I changed my mind. I would rather buy a coffee table. I mean, a very, very antique coffee table if you have one.”

“The coffee tables are at the opposite end of the room my lad, but you may not have to walk all the way there,”  the shopkeeper said with a knowing smile and a twinkle in his eye.  “Maybe you haven’t noticed it but it’s been sometime since the rains stopped. You’ll be all right now to go out without an umbrella,” continued the gentle giant in his hoarse voice.



Sudden Downpour


P’s tryst with ghosts…

“There are no ghosts”, P muttered to himself. He was thinking of the incident some time ago when he had believed otherwise ( However, in the end it had been proven that what had scared him to a blubbering nervous wreck had not been a ghost at all. Now though, he needed to convince himself again. Some strange events were happening at his home.

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A few weeks ago, he had woken up in the morning and had walked into the lounge to find that the ceiling fan was turned on at full speed and had been going all night. Briefly his thoughts had hovered on the idea of ghosts. Only briefly, but he had pushed the idea away soon.

“There are no ghosts”, he had told himself as he analysed the situation and could not rule out the possibility that he himself could be the culprit, forgetting to turn off the fan before he retired to bed at night.

Then, a couple of days later, he had woken up in the morning and walked into the kitchen to find that someone had already turned the light on.

“There are no ghosts”, he had told himself again. “Perhaps I had not turned it off last night” he tried to convince himself and shifted the blame on to his absent-mindedness arising from sleepless nights watching world cup football.

Things however seemed to take a turn for the worse after that. The electric door bell started to ring even at odd hours and P would rush to the door only to find that there was nobody there. The previous night was exceptionally scary with all the settings of a horror movie. There was a thunder-storm which by itself could have kept P awake. The interspersed sound of the door bell ringing every now and then, added to the eeriness of the sounds of the wind, the rain and the thunder. “There are no ghosts”, P kept murmuring to himself as he lay curled under his blankets, his eyes tightly closed and his fingers plugging his ears to block out the sounds.

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After a very bad night of lying awake, shaking with fright, P rang his neighbour in the morning to find if he knew of any exorcist who could be contacted. His neighbour listened silently to P’s problems and in the end said consolingly, “Don’t worry. I’ll get someone to come over there and sort things out”.

Within an hour the door bell rang again, but this time there was a finger that had pressed the button for the bell and the finger belonged to a very stout individual who carried a back-pack.

“Did my neighbour send you over?” asked P.

“Yes, he described the problem to me. Can I look at all the connections here please?”

“Sure, go ahead” said P. “Well, I hope you have brought all your equipment and stuff… You know … things like ‘holy water’…I don’t have those things handy…”

The visitor gave P a strange look. “I have brought everything that I would need” he muttered and putting his gear down, he started inspecting the wiring and connections.

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On the wall outside, there was a small box for integrating circuits from the door bell and the lamps outside. The cover of that box had cracked and from it something similar to the end of a twisted ribbon was hanging out. Every time there was a strong breeze, the bit of ribbon would flutter.

The visitor grabbed some tools from his bag and tweaked out the ribbon from the box. He then came back to P and said “It is all done now. Your door bell will not ring again unless somebody pressed the button”, he smiled.

“I think that is the fastest exorcism the world would have seen,” P said appreciatively. “And you didn’t even have to use any holy water!”

The man gave P a puzzled look. He seemed to be confounded with confusion. But then he shrugged it off and said “Your door bell was ringing because of that ribbon like thing inside that circuit box. Every time it moved in the wind, the circuit would be triggered to ring the bell”

““There are no ghosts! I knew it!” P said.

“I am not so sure” said the electrician “You know, that ribbon in the box that was ringing you door bell ….. it was once a small snake”…

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