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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 tag “neighbour”

Priceless voice…

Daily Prompt-Voice Work: Your blog is about to be recorded into an audiobook. If you could choose anyone — from your grandma to Samuel L. Jackson — to narrate your posts, who would it be?

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P: “Of course I would pick my Grandma!”

Neighbour Chris: “That’s nice. She must have a great voice.”

P: “Priceless, I would say.”

Chris: “There you go. That was an easy choice.”

P: “There is a small problem though… It is fifteen years since she died. So I can’t ask her to read my posts now.”

Chris: “Oh! Then try and pick someone from Hollywood or Bollywood with a great voice.”

P: “I would love to… but don’t they all need to be paid? I don’t want to part with my cash to buy a voice! My Grandma would have done it free for me. Didn’t I say her voice was priceless?  It was a bit on the shrilly side, I guess, developed with all that shouting at my Grandpa!”New Picture (9)

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P paused and eyed his neighbour. “You know, I have a brilliant idea! Maybe you could do the audio for my blog?”

Chris: “OK then. Sure, I am happy to give voice to your blog.”

P: “There would still be the issue of payments though…”

Chris: “No, no… Don’t think of it. I don’t want any money for giving audio to your posts!”

P: “Oh! I was talking about you paying me to read my posts!”

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Voice Work

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P Keeps a Secret

Can you keep a secret? Have you ever — intentionally or not — spilled the beans (when you should’ve stayed quiet)? -DAILY PROMPT

 TANKA

P could never keep

Secrets all to himself with

Inadvertent slips

Dogging his quirky life and

Letting cats out of the bags.

 

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P saw his neighbour going out to get the newspaper in the morning and hollered out “Happy Birthday for Yesterday, Chris!”

Neighbour, eyebrows curled in puzzle: “???????”

P wondered why his neighbour’s lips seemed to be so locked and sealed. He guessed it could be because he had not turned up for the party the previous evening. P sprinted close to the fence to offer his apologies.

P: “Please say sorry to your daughter for me. When she phoned last week, I had promised to be at the surprise birthday party but I could not make it last evening.”

Neighbour with a quirk to his lips:  “?????  Ah!”

P: “You know I saw you several times during the day yesterday. It was hard keeping my trap shut, not wishing you all the best then, but your daughter wanted the party to be a big surprise for you and I wanted to prove everybody wrong and show how well I could keep a secret!”

P noted that his neighbour was still not talking much, but laughter glinted his eyes and his lips were quivering with suppressed mirth.

P: “Well, How did the party go?”

Neighbour: “Oh! I won’t know till it’s over. My birthday is today!”

 

Locked and Sealed

Full Tanka

A silly talk about sins…

“I’d say there are not seven but eighteen sins”, said P. He was having his usual over the fence discussion with his neighbour and the evening’s topic happened to be philosophical.

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“I have heard about the seven cardinal sins, wrath, avarice, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony”, said the neighbour. But what are those eighteen sins you are talking about?”

“You know, breaking the ten commandments….., that would add another ten to the list, won’t it? By the way, I forgive you for breaking the ninth commandment…. You know the one about You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.’ I am talking about the complaint you lodged with the city council when I tried to fertilise my garden.”

“Let me correct you. There was absolutely nothing false about my complaint and it was not ordinary fertiliser that you were spreading in the garden but stinking fish meal”. The neighbour said irritatedly and P noticed the flush of anger on his face.

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“You are now about to commit the first cardinal sin…., wrath”, P said hastily. “Let me say that it is all water under the bridge and I bear no grudge”, P added in a conciliatory tone.

P’s neighbour did not seem to be easily appeased and continued “I would also say that you are culpable of breaking the last commandment ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.’

“That is the biggest joke I have ever heard,” said P. “Agreed you have a house with a bit of a garden. You don’t have a wife and I have not seen any male servant, female servant, ox or donkey sauntering around in the compound. I have only seen your cat!”

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“I know you don’t covet my cat and I believe the sentiments are reciprocated. Have you paid attention to the last few words ‘Or anything that is your neighbour’s’?” persisted the neighbour.

P mulled over the point raised and understood what his neighbour was getting at.

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He smiled and replied “I know you are referring to your car. You see, the seven cardinal sins added with the ten of breaking the commandments would only make seventeen sins. There needs to be another sin added to the original seven if the tally has to reach my suggestion of eighteen sins. That eighth sin I’d say is selfishness such as when you would not let me borrow your Porsche!”

 

 

The Eighth Sin

Origin of the Suspicious

The phone was still crackling a bit and P made a mental note to call in the technician once again. P’s neighbour had phoned him in the morning and the reception was so poor, he could barely understand what was said.  Piecing together the bits and pieces he managed to hear over the static noise and crackle, it appeared to him that P’s urgent help was needed. The neighbour was invited to the local high school to give a talk that evening, and he had sought P’s help in preparing the lecture. P had always portrayed himself to have a questing and scientific bent of mind.

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As soon as P finished his lunch, he sat down to scribble his ideas down. The topic was “The Origin of the Suspicious” and P considered himself to be well equipped to take the task head on.

After all he had listened to Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious minds” so many times….

However, when P really set himself to write the matter down, he discovered that he did not have a clue on the science of the “Origin of the Suspicious.”

Then it struck him! “Eureka! May be, they need something fictional as in those Daily Post WordPress weekly writing challenges!”

Without much ado, he gave a free rein to his imagination and started writing….

“Long, long ago, there was no suspicion. People had total faith in anything and everything… For example, if P would stand by his windows upstairs, playing with the curtains, his neighbour would never suspect him of prying… If P would wave and smile at his neighbour across the fence, his neighbour would never suspect P of having devious plans to sweet talk him into lending his Porsche Panamera to P later in the day. And the list went on…

Honest people were happy because they never suspected they were being swindled and swindlers were happy because they never suspected that they were suspected…. In other words, it was Utopia. People trusted each other and animals trusted each other. The deer would trustingly offer its nape to the lion and the lion would trust the deer not to make a life-saving dash any time…

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Perhaps you would have by now noticed what was wrong with this Utopia… Of course it was just that the honest and the good were at the losing end. This was totally unacceptable to the Universal Spirit. Something had to be done urgently to help the survival mechanism of all beings. So the Universal spirit blended all the relevant potions and magic and ABRA-CA-DABRA…the seeds of suspicion were created.

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Even though the seeds of suspicion were created, it was still a Herculean task for the Universal spirit to get them into living beings. All methods were tried and the universal labs were employed round the clock to come up with answers. Finally there was success as the seeds of suspicion were transformed into pieces of DNA called genes of suspicion.

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These genes were embedded as mutations in the genetic make-up of organisms, changing their perspective on survival and they became suspicious, but some more so… (“such as my neighbour”, thought P, but he did not write this down). This is the tale of the Origin of the Suspicious.”

With these facts written down, P took his afternoon nap and at 4 pm in the evening, he walked across to his neighbour and gave him the write-up.

Expectantly he waited for appreciation but he was flabbergasted and his jaw fell open when his neighbour said “Well, you have managed to get the word survival here, and genetic make-up and DNA here. Other than that, how does this discuss Darwin’s ‘The Origin of Species?’”

P reminded himself once again to call the technician to sort out the problem of his telephone as soon as possible.

In the Beginning

In The Beginning There Was No Football….

Football was in the air and P was limping with a bandaged right foot.  He had been watching the game between USA and Germany and he had been cheering and supporting USA. At the eighty-sixth minute the Americans had had a chance to snatch an equaliser but the opportunity evaporated as Dempsey, who was fed in a promising position by Yedlin, couldn’t put the final ball in the right path. However, P who was sitting on the sofa, totally and vicariously involved with the game, had involuntarily hit out with his leg to kick the ball and his foot had struck the coffee table.

 

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P was now reading about how the Uruguayan player, Luis Suarez, was expelled for biting an Italian player during the game on Tuesday. “Sad,” P muttered. “Was he fighting tooth and nail for victory?” P shook his head and shrugged. P would rather bite into many things… sausages, sandwiches, steaks, potatoes and even vegetables… But biting Italians… It was way off his league….
His mind on football, the day’s newspaper now resting on his chest, he leant back on the sofa and pondered on the origin of the game. He had heard stories about world’s early footballs being made from pig’s bladder, but how exactly did it start as a game was P’s question. He let his imagination take reigns…

Long, long ago, when the ice age had started to melt and the world was coming to life again, there was this early human called P who lived in a cave. He was still looking for a partner, but it was hard in those times as nobody ventured out for long because it was still cold.  Almost everything was coated in ice those days and even if a would-be partner had come knocking on his cave door, he would not have been able to distinguish her from any wild beast. So, P lived all alone in his cave and he had a neighbour who lived all alone in a cave just opposite.

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One day a wild pig wandered into P’s cave parlour and he slaughtered it for food. As he cut open the pig with his sharp stones, he found a sac like organ with a tube like structure, under the belly skin of the pig. He carefully cut it out and inspected it. He tried to look through the opening of the tube.. He tried pulling at the tube.. He tried sucking the tube.. And then he blew through the hole on one end of the tube. To his amazement the sac grew bigger and bigger. When he was finally out of breath, he tied up the ends to keep the air in the sac which was now filled out in the shape of a ball.

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P watched the ball proudly and played with it with his hands. After a while he got bored and left the  ball well alone for a few days. Those days, everything was coated in ice and things did not spoil easily. Then on a day of blistering ice fall, P was cave bound. He had nothing to do other than scratch figures on his cave wall. He was wondering if his neighbour whom he had seen going out earlier had returned back to his cave, but P did not want to venture out in the wet ice to check. P suddenly had a brilliant idea. He brought out his  ball and kicked it across to the other cave. No sooner had it rolled in through the entrance of the cave, than his neighbour appeared at the opening with the ball and kicked it back to P. P grinned and kicked the ball back to the neighbour who returned it promptly again. This continued for some time and both found that using their feet to kick the ball to the opposite side was really fun… and the world’s first football game was born!

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Now that P had solved the origin of the football game, his thoughts wandered to the ball he himself had made from a pig’s bladder. Just when the world cup football games had started, he had read about how they made footballs in Victorian times. He then had gone to the nearby slaughter-house and procured a pig’s bladder after paying a hefty sum. The butcher had thought that there was some ulterior motive behind P’s demand for a pig’s bladder and had decided to charge him accordingly. Back home, P had washed the bladder in water and he blew air into the bladder using a straw as he had seen it being described in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. To make a football as they did in Victorian times, he had to put it in the oven and bake it for 45 minutes on low heat. However, all the efforts of procuring and washing the bladder, and the innumerable attempts at filling it with air before he finally succeeded, had drained him of his energy and he had postponed the baking till after his afternoon nap.
Suddenly, P realised the reason for the all-pervading foul odour that was shrouding his house for the past few days. He had forgotten all about baking the bladder ball and it was the era of global warming and not just after the ice age! He rushed to the kitchen cabinet where he had last left the ball. When he located the ball he decided that not only could he not play football with his his sore foot, he also somehow had to get rid of the stinky ball ASAP. So he sent it flying over the fence to his neighbour’s backyard. It promptly came flying back from the other side with a lot of expletives and P now also understood how the game of handball could have originated!

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In the beginning

P gets lost in the world of lost art…

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“Even the art of appreciating poetry and literature is being lost in today’s modern world of text languages such “lol”, “ROFL” and so on, said P’s neighbour.

“OMG! Was he remarking on my language use?”wondered P.

The discussion with his neighbour had been about how people were too busy these days to appreciate the world around them and how important it was to get disconnected sometimes. The neighbour said that all these sentiments were best reflected in the poem “The world is too much with us; late and soon” by Wordsworth.

P nodded his head and agreed, though, he had never read or heard of the poem before.

The first thing he did as he came back indoors was to google and find the poem. He then read it a few times.

 

“THE WORLD IS TOO MUCH WITH US; LATE AND SOON”                 By William Wordsworth THE world is too much with us; late and soon,          Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:          Little we see in Nature that is ours;          We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!          The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;

          The winds that will be howling at all hours,

          And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;

          For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

          It moves us not.–Great God! I’d rather be

          A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;                        

          So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

          Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;

          Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

          Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

 

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Initially, P did not understand half of what the words meant. However, as he read the poem over and over, he started to understand parts of it and like it.

For example, the first words read: “The world is too much with us;”

P couldn’t agree more! “Of course the world is too much with the United States!”

Even great poets like Wordsworth were prone to typos as the ‘u ‘and the ‘s’ were not in capitals, he observed.

As for “late and soon,

          Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers”

P understood that the poet was talking about today’s energy crisis and how the salaries we were getting and spending were mostly being wasted on power bills.

P wholeheartedly agreed with the line, “Little we see in Nature that is ours”, as he read the line and looked out through the windows at the nearby skyscrapers and sighed. Not a single flat in those buildings was his. He would have loved to own a condo or an apartment in one of them but his finances were not up to scratch.

He could not make any sense of the line that followed: “We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!”. He mulled on it for a few minutes and guessed that it was something to do with heart transplants, though he could not understand why the poet should talk about that subject just out of the blue like that. “The poet’s liberty”, P shrugged and moved on.

He then came to the part about the sea, the moon and the winds.

He sniggered at the comparison of winds and sleeping flowers! With P, things couldn’t be more contrary when he remembered all his sleepless nights when he had had too spicy a dinner and had felt bloated.

As for the last few lines of the poem, he clearly understood that the poet was writing about a guy named Proteus taking a swim in the sea while another guy, may be a lifeguard, called Triton sat on the shore.

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Triton, the lifeguard, blew through a horn instead of a whistle when Proteus swam too far out into dangerous waters and Proteus had to come back out of the sea.

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“Why would the lifeguard use a horn rather than a whistle?” P kept asking himself.

“Poetic liberty again”, he guessed.

Yawning, he turned on the TV and sat down to watch his favourite channel, lifetime movies.

 

A lost art

 

Lost art: Disconnect to connect

Neighbourly expectations….. continued

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This Saturday, P decided to do some gardening. P wanted to clear his neighbour’s misconstrued ideas of his horticultural capabilities, especially after the tirade he received the other day.

Always eager to help, P had volunteered to look after his neighbour’s garden while he went away for a month. P had assured him that the plants would be watered twice daily. The summer was very dry. However, other whims and other fancies beset him and P managed to head to the garden, only the day just prior to his neighbour’s return. The plants had betrayed him and lay straggled and desiccated. They remained dead and wilted even though he drenched them thoroughly.

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Albeit a bit shaken, P had expected his neighbour to merely shrug and view the situation jovially…. That was not how things turned out though!

Adding to the insult was his neighbour’s reaction a week later when P had nourished his own little garden. To P’s chagrin he received a call from the city council and he had to spend one entire afternoon getting the fish meal buried in the soil, rather than liberally spread all around the plants. P considered his neighbour’s complaint to be very unreasonable. A fish can swim, or bounce up and down in water. A fish can pout at you as his gold-fish does sometimes. But to expect dead fish not to smell ………..wasn’t that irrational?

However, despite his neighbour’s irksome behaviour, it was a glorious Saturday and P wanted to mend fences with him. He started singing the “garden rhyme”, hoping it would touch his neighbour’s heart, occasionally eyeing the graveyard of a garden on the other side of the fence.

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Mary, Mary, quite contrary

How does your garden grow?………….

P wasn’t sure if his neighbour’s windows slammed shut just then……………

 

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