A Special Edition: Halloween 2016, 11 Days and Counting

My apologies for the late post today. I found this post languishing in the land of Drafts. I guess I’ve been a bit distracted this week. We’ve had visitors from Pennsylvania, Colorado, Wyoming, and Indiana so far this week and friends from Texas arrive tomorrow.

*  *  *

Only 11 days left until Halloween!!!! Can’t you feel the excitement.

Rain, rain, rain. Up to an inch a day since last week. Bless my neighbors for calling me if one of our tombstones takes a tumble during the day.

Today’s post is about the special requests we received from our neighbors. So without further ado, neighbors, these are for you. You know who you are.

Because we're celebrating life, love and family this month.

Because we’re celebrating life, love, and family this month.

We have a new family with no less than seven children. This one’s for you.

Even frogs are California Dreamin'.

Even frogs are California Dreamin’.

To my neighbor who pointed out the typo on our Wicked Witch of the West tombstone:

Like the sign says, "Watch your step".

Like the sign says, “Watch your step”.

And this one’s for me. All summer long I’ve battled slugs in my garden—and lost. Oh Cory’s where art thou?

How can you beat a slug with a flag?

How can you beat a slug with a flag?

Until next week.







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DC Comics—Silver Age of Comic Books

DC Comic artists from the Silver Age of Comics. This month’s contribution to the Blog of Funny Names.

The Blog of Funny Names

SURPRISE. I bet you were surprised. I was surprised. *Fannie fans herself.*

If you didn’t see the Carrie A. Nation post yesterday, you’re probably wondering about today’s surprise. I almost executed a redundancy blunder here at the BoFN with my version of Carrie A. Nation only to discover while I was posting it, she’s already here. Woohoo.

So to my surprise, we are balancing out last month’s Funny Names in Comic Author, from Marvel, with Funny Names in DC Comic Artists from the Silver Age of Comics. Plus there’s only one more day until Emerald City Comicon 2017 tickets go on sale. I’m gonna be celebrating like Carl the Camel tomorrow asking everyone in my office if they know what day it is. Oh wait, I’m the only one in the office tomorrow. *Fannie’s shoulders sag.*

Without further ado, boohoo or ballyhoo here are our artists . . .

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A Special Edition: 2016 Halloween Countdown

Only 18 days left until Halloween!!!!

The foot traffic in front of our house increased. More volunteers offered their help this year.

Over 200 candles ready to be lit on Halloween night.

That's a lot of candles. It took an entire evening.

Candle power.

There’s no bones about it, some assembly required.

It was a fancy feast.

A fancy feast of bones.

The pit of despair finished.

The moles take recycling very seriously in this graveyard.

The moles take recycling very seriously in this graveyard.

And in homage to the cellphone succubus who has haunted since April.

'Nuf said.

‘Nuf said.

Until next week.





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A Special Edition: The 2016 Halloween Countdown Begins

Yeah!!!!! October is here. October is here. October is here.

The neighborhood countdown started in September with neighbors driving passed. Their children shouting from the passenger windows, “Hi Neighbor Lady. When do you start decorating?”

With that much enthusiasm, I can’t concentrate on normal things like blogging. I lugged out the Halloween countdown sandwich board and posted:

No need to panic. The decorations are not real. In the event a decoration comes to life, you'll see me running down the street--screaming.

No need to panic. The decorations are not real. In the event a decoration comes to life, you’ll see me running down the street–screaming.


A group of second graders showed up on Monday after school to help. Their enthusiasm so infectious more neighbors joined in.

Last year our local small town paper put us on the front page. With the clown sighting epidemic escalating this year. The big city paper, who owns our small town paper, used a photo of one of our clowns in conjunction with a local “Clown Panic” story while we were out of town. They credited us for the Halloween decoration. My high school BFF, saved a copy for me. Woohoo. Nothing like free advertising.

If you want to view the photo, take a deep breath . . . let it out, click here.

I won’t post clown pictures here in deference to those who find clowns creepy. But we do have an expanded clown section this year—a coincidence. I hit a hobby shop close-out sale last year and stocked up on heads.

This is the beginning of our yard decorations.

Shakespeare wasn't the only one haunted by three witches.

Shakespeare wasn’t the only one haunted by three witches.

Instead of adding music to the “It takes a village” tombstone (seen above), we decided to invite the professionals in to play. There’s no bones about it, they’ve got soul.

Every graveyard should have a little soul . . . Soul music that is.

Every graveyard should have a little soul . . .  Play it Elwood Bones.

Perhaps music isn’t your thing. Do you have a dark or mysterious secret haunting you? A problem in your future. Perhaps you should consult Madame Morbida.

She may tell you your fortune or your misfortune. Only the all seeing eye can tell.

She may tell you your fortune or your misfortune. Only the all seeing eye will know.

With only 25 days left until Halloween, I’ve got a lot of graves left to dig.

Caution, pit under construction, do not despair. :)

Caution, pit under construction, do not despair.🙂

The Pit of Despair coming soon.

Until next week.











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Hi Folks,

I’m away from the web this week spending time with my family.

My cat, Olivia, playing stow-away.

Somebody let the cat out of the bag.

Somebody let the cat out of the bag.

Short stories will be on hold. Time for the October Halloween-fest starting next week.

Have a wonderful weekend.




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ChapStick and Duct Tape Will Fix Anything—Redux

Thank you for joining me for the last episode of the summer redux series. I re-post stories you may not have read, in the fashion of a summer re-run. We will be moving into the October Halloween fest starting next week.

The original “Chap Stick and Duct Tape Will Fix Anything” posted back in May 2013.

 * * *

Laughter filled the dining room of George and Bunny Gutierrez’s Gig Harbor home. The late afternoon sun flowed across the back wall with Bunny’s grandmother’s pinewood china hutch making the crystal glow.

George held his sides as his body shook. “Darlin’ you can’t be serious?” he asked. His soft spoken Texas accent a contrast to the bass voice emanating from his lineman’s frame. A pencil thin black mustache and goatee framing his mouth.

“George, didn’t you know that ChapStick and duct tape will fix anything?” I asked, laughing.

Richard, turning a light pink, said, “It’s not as bad as it sounds.”

“Richard, honey,” Bunny said, with her refined Texas accent, her long blond hair swept back into a pony tail behind her head crowning her statuesque figure. Taking a deep breath, she asked “Exactly what is not as bad as it sounds?” Her blue eyes dancing after dangling the bait.

“Bunny,” I said, wiping the tear off my cheek, “it would never have happened if we hadn’t been saving for our house at the time.”

 *  *  *

A weak sun fought through the clouds as it set over the Olympic Mountains. The evening commute backing up the westbound traffic on the West Seattle Bridge. “What’re you gonna do this evening to celebrate Hump Night Seattle? We’re expecting localized showers this evening. Traffic is backing up on northbound I-5. . .

Richard changed stations, “. . .as a result, John Wayne Bobbitt is sentenced to 120 days of house arrest in Las Vegas. We’ll be reviewing Hillary Rodham Clinton’s new book, ‘It Takes a Village’ in the next hour. . .”

“Fannie, we can’t afford the storage unit any more if we’re gonna save for our house,” Richard said, “we could be putting that money into savings and have our down payment that much sooner.”

“Richard, we have a 15 by 20 storage unit filled to the rafters. Where’re we gonna put all that stuff?” I asked, running my fingers through my long brown hair. “Our apartment isn’t that large.”

“I’ve got it figured out,” he said, his blue eyes shining, “we merge the office into the bedroom, we turn the old office into a temporary storage area and all the overflow boxes line the rest of the apartment.” Waving one hand in the air for emphasis, he said, “Then we’ll go through all the boxes, get rid of everything we’re not using, which should be most of it,” he said, staring at me for emphasis, “ then we’ll repack the rest.”

“Richard Cranium, you’re a neat freak, how long are you gonna last with a Dorian Gray room?” I asked, rubbing my hands together, “and even if we rent a truck it will take more than a weekend for us to move all of that stuff out of the storage unit. We only have one day of vacation left between us and it’s not mine.”

“You’re gonna call and get rates for movers,” he said, nodding his head, “we’ll save our backs and get the whole shootin’ match done in one day.”

The next day I called the movers.

“We’re busiest on the weekends. Our weekend rates to move a 15 by 20 storage unit would be $1,000,” the woman said, “however, if you move on a weekday, it will only cost you $450. Our next available date is Tuesday, April 30th.”

“I’ll take it,” I said, smiling.

Richard walked into the kitchen. “So what did they say?”

“I booked us for Tuesday, the 30th,” I said, smiling like the Cheshire Cat, “they said for a weekday they’d give it to us for $450. Otherwise it’ll be a grand.”

A wave of expressions played across Richard’s face like the reader board of Times Square. It ended when he crossed his eyes at me.

“Hey, it was your idea,” I said, laughing, “we’re trying to save money for the house. Remember?”

Tuesday evening I passed the Starving Student moving van as I pulled into the driveway. Richard sat on the bottom step of the stairwell leaning against the white quartz chip wall.

“You just finished?” I asked, walking up to him.

“It took five hours, Fannie,” he said, dark circles under his eyes. “We still have to unload the Explorer,” he said, using the handrail to pull himself up.

The clock struck seven by the time we finished unloading. We needed food. I tripped over boxes, two orange tabbies, and a back pack on the way to the kitchen. Two boxes buried the phone on the kitchen counter. I found the Domino’s menu in the junk draw.

I lifted the hand set. Visions of thick crust, mozzarella, tomato sauce, garlic, onions, black olives and steaming sausage flashed before my eyes.

I pressed the first number on the keypad. Hmmm, garlic.

Thud. Crack. Boom. Followed by the sound of rushing water.

“Fannie, help. Quick. I need as many towels as you can find, pronto,” Richard yelled, from the office.

Grabbing all the kitchen towels out of the drawer, I rushed to the office.

Steaming water boiled from the closet like the mighty Columbia River, cascading across the linoleum floor onto the carpeting pooling near the outside wall.

Richard ripped open boxes searching for something.

“Oh my god,” I said, staring at the flood, “what happened?”

“The drain valve got sheared off,” he said, ripping open another box, “help me find something to plug the hole.”

Before I could begin searching, Richard said, “Perfect. I’ve got it.” He pulled a half burned black tapered candle from the box. “It’s even the exact size I need.”

Grabbing one of the dish towels from my hand he shoved the butt of the candle into the rushing water. The water stopped.

“Richard,” I said, shaking my head, “that’s not gonna last very long, we have to find something else before the wax melts.”

“Do we have any corks left?” Richard asked, looking hopeful.

“No,” I said, licking my lips. Reaching into my pocket I pulled out my tube of cherry flavored ChapStick. “So how did the drain valve get sheared off exactly?”

“I wanted to get that speaker in the closet,” he said, pointing to his vintage two foot tall wood panel speaker, which now sported a dent on one side. “I guess I didn’t have enough room to store it on the top shelf.”

Richard reached over the top of the tank and turned off the hot water valve. He took the dish towels and spread them over Lake Cranium. Stepping onto the towels he used his feet to wipe the floor. He resembled a duck in a shooting gallery shuffling back and forth over the linoleum.

The sight was too much for the hot water tank. It spit the candle at him with what sounded like a burbling snort. The projectile nailed him on the thigh. It rebounded onto the floor and continued to melt in the hot water pooled in front of the tank.

Richard jumped up and down clutching his leg.

I grabbed all the towels out of the bathroom and threw them in front of the tank. Richard glared at the tank. The color rose in his cheeks.

“Do you still have that tube of ChapStick?” he asked, his voice deepening.

I nodded.

“Give it to me,” he said, holding out his hand.

He picked up one of the wet towels, wrapped it around his hand and shoved the ChapStick into the hole. He took the ten pounds of wet towels and pushed them up against the tank. He dried his hands on his jeans.

Leaning back, he said, “That should hold it.”

“I’ll call Building Maintenance and see how soon they can be here to help us,” I said, leaving the room. Nature’s call detoured me to the bathroom. A quick flush. I washed my hands.

A muffled popping noise followed by a splat and a dull thud. Richard let loose a primal scream. I rushed back into the office.

“What happened?” I asked.

“You’ve never heard of back pressure have you?” Richard asked, gasping for breath, bent over, and drenched from the waist down. The color drained from his face.

“Richard, I’m so sorry. I didn’t know,” I said.

“Help me find the ChapStick tube, we need to get this water stopped.”

We found the tube buried six inches deep in the wad of wet towels. He shoved the tube back into the hole.

“I know how to fix this,” he said, “I’ll be right back.”

One minute later he returned with duct tape and a hammer. Exacting his revenge on the hot water tank, he pounded the ChapStick tube so far into the tank only the white knurl on the end stuck out. Taking the two inch wide roll of duct tape, he ripped off a six inch section and taped it over the tube. He put three more successively longer pieces of tape over the ChapStick.

He kicked the tank. “Let’s see you get out of that one.”

 *  *  *

George snorted wine out his nose.

“So what happened?” Bunny asked. She handed George a napkin.

“The maintenance guy refused to come until morning and told me to attach a hose to the tank and drain it into the bathtub. He didn’t want to believe me the drain valve was gone.

“I spent the entire night doing laundry while Richard mopped. The maintenance guy showed up at 11 after our downstairs neighbor called about the waterfall pouring through her bathroom light. The carpet extraction crew showed up at 1:00 a.m.. So our little party lasted until almost 4 a.m..

“But get this, the best part—I realized one of my life long decorating dreams, to have an indoor water fall. Only it wasn’t exactly how I planned it,” I said, wiping the tears from my eyes.

“Fannie, honey, that’s because the moral of the story is be careful what you with for,” Bunny said, laughing.



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Funny Names in Comic Authors

Ever wonder who writes comic books? This month’s contribution to the Blog of Funny Names.

The Blog of Funny Names

Welcome back funny name fans. I’m counting down the days until Comicon 2017 tickets go on sale for Seattle. That would be 30 days and counting. *Fannie pulls out the noise makers and throws confetti.*

Sorry, I didn’t mean to get any on you.

Since we’re talking about Comicon, what better place to look for fabulous, funny names than in the creators of the comics themselves.

I Marvel at the thought, all of today’s guests were born in December and they’ve all worked for Marvel.

Dear future parents who wish to Spawn comic book geniuses, mark late March and April on your calendar. Just a thought.

*Stan Lee photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore. Stan Lee photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

Let’s start with Stan Lee. The person whose first name and last name combine to make his first name. His real name is Stanley Martin Leiber. At 93 he’s the Hugh Hefner of the comic world…

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