• Short Stories

    Lighting the Hanukkah Candles

    1st Night: I forget that Hanukkah comes early this year. I’m always of the belief that it arrives the same time as Christmas. I can’t find the menorah, and it’s 10 o’clock in the evening.

    2nd Night: I find the menorah, but I have no Hanukkah candles. I travel to Target, Dollar Tree, Walgreens, Walmart, and Big Lots before locating a box at CVS. By then, I’m too exhausted to light the candles.

    3rd Night: I start lighting the menorah, but I completely block halfway through the prayer and I have to improvise. I start to sing “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,” it was written by a Jewish person, Mel Torme, so I take partial credit.

    4th Night: I start chanting the prayer again with memories of my dear grandfather until the Maltese starts barking in opposition to my singing.

    5th Night: The shamash candle topples from his perch and makes a slight burn mark in the new wood flooring.

    6th Night: The candle, third from the right, mysteriously extinguishes after five minutes. I take this as a negative omen and suffer from anxiety for the rest of the evening.

    7th Night: My Bic lighter runs out of gas. I’m forced to light the shamash from the toaster oven.

    8th Night: A beautiful menorah with all 8 candles blazing, and the shamash looking on benevolently. Now I know why there’s eight nights of Hanukkah!


    Where’s the Peck of Pickled Peppers that Peter Piper Picked?

    “We’re very lucky to have Peter Piper with us today. He took time from peeling potatoes to postulate on the possibilities of the pickled peppers.” “Dave, I’m so pleased to be present with such a perceptive person as you. Yes, it was I, Peter Piper, who picked a peck of pickled peppers, or did I? That particular day, as I approached Polly Pickett’s produce plantation, I perceived that I had picked a poor time to pick peppers. You see, Ms. Pickett was ploughed from partaking of pilsners. As her prickly puss espied my presence, I presumed that she was piqued that I hadn’t picked the peppers more promptly, for pecks of pickled peppers were pocked from the pecking of peckers. I professed that I had planned to pick the peppers punctually, but I was perplexed as to how many peppers produced a peck, and how could peppers be pickled if they hadn’t been picked? Polluted Polly pouted petulantly, poohpoohing my postulates as she peppered peppers at my person. I became peeved by her perverseness while parched from the picking and proceeded to pilfer the pilsners. Soon, I was a pickled Peter, and I can’t pinpoint if I picked a peck of pickled peppers or packed a passel of peppery pickles.”


    “Thanks Peter Piper, but your hodgepodge of “p-word’s” is a pitiful pastiche.”


    “Please Dave, don’t be a pompous pecker.”

    Things Doctors Never Tell You

    Mrs. Tootle, I have no idea why you pass so much gas. If I had a remedy for that, I’d be using it myself and it might have saved my first marriage.

    I’m going to prescribe a more expensive medication, Drug A, rather than the comparable, but much cheaper generic Drug X. I met the new rep for Drug A in the break room last week. She is gorgeous and I couldn’t stop looking at her cleavage. I promised her I would write some prescriptions for Drug A.
    Mr. Pollock, I know the medical assistant told you to undress but please put your socks back on. When I entered the room, the bad smell that accosted my nostrils reminded me of the dead mouse that decomposed in our basement last year, but I now realize the
    odor is coming from your feet.

    I’m sorry I had to leave the examining room when my cell phone rang. No, it wasn’t the emergency department; it was my wife who just told me that she bought the most expensive dining room table in the store. I told her that somehow I would find a way to pay for it.


    I’m going to prescribe the more expensive Drug A rather than the comparable but much cheaper generic Drug X. The pharmaceutical company that manufactures Drug A has hired me as a consultant, and they pay me a one thousand dollar honorarium with all expenses paid to lovely resorts in the Caribbean where I extol the virtues of this medication to other doctors. I don’t see this is a conflict of interest.

    I’m sorry I had to leave the examining room when my cell phone rang. No it wasn’t the emergency department; it was one of my golf buddies informing me of the tee time for tomorrow afternoon.

    Mrs. Green, your husband suffered a serious complication in the operating room. I certainly didn’t bring my “A” game today probably related lack of sleep from watching the extra inning ball game last night, but this complication can occur even on my best

    Mr. Diamond, I’m dismayed to hear that you have declared bankruptcy because of your astronomical medical bills, and I regret that you can’t obtain insurance due to preexisting medical conditions, but look on the bright side. You’re a great example of “letting the marketplace work”. If universal health care was implemented, you wouldn’t be broke and would have insurance coverage but you would be extremely disappointed because the government would be involved in making your health care decisions.

    I would highly recommend the Acme knee replacement. I am a world authority on the insertion of this prosthesis, and I have written three scientific articles on the stellar results that I have achieved; actually the Acme Company wrote those papers and I just signed my name to them. I am also paid by the company as a consultant, but that’s for the hip joint not the knee joint so it’s not a conflict of interest.

    I know I look tired and somewhat disheveled this morning, and it’s not because I was performing surgery last night. My wife and I had one doozy of an argument during dinner and I drank a pint of whiskey before going to bed.

    I apologize for being late this afternoon, but it’s not what you think. I wasn’t delayed in the hospital tending to a critically ill patient; I was in the break room having lunch with a new drug rep who is absolutely gorgeous.

    Mrs. Wise, I’m sorry I had to leave when my cell phone rang. My medical assistant has strict instructions to call me after I have been in the examining room with you for more than fifteen minutes. This allows me to take a couple of Alka-Seltzer tablets before I have to listen to any more of your senseless prattle.

    I want you to know, Mr. Ryan that I am absolutely against Obamacare. The physicians at my hospital have already felt the pinch of decreased reimbursements. At one time there were Maserati’s and Mercedes in the doctors’ parking lot but now I see only the
    cheaper BMW and Lexus models.

    To be perfectly honest, Mrs. Bottomley, I lost my concentration while you were describing your voluminous flatulence and my mind started to wander to the Hindenburg crash of 1937.

    Profiles from Pagan Mingle.com

    I am fifty-three years old and have been a devotee of witchcraft for five years; before that I was a born-again Christian, and before that I was born a Christian. From the time I could talk, Halloween was my favorite holiday, and you guessed it, I always dressed up as a witch. A few years ago, I ordered a large cauldron from eBay, and although I had some difficulty getting it through the door of our mobile home, I started conjuring exotic potions as an antidote to the evil spirit that inhabited our trailer park. I convinced my husband to drink this elixir daily, but little did he know there was arsenic in the brew, and he died last year.

    I am looking for someone with whom I can hold hands and take long walks in the woods to collect poisonous mushrooms and lethal berries, slogging through foggy bogs and fens to admire nature’s wondrous creations, such as newts, frogs, and salamanders. My dress is modest, as I wear only a soiled black smock with a battered pointed hat, but my jewelry is alluringly offbeat, consisting of bat skulls and desiccated toads. I desire a companion with a sense of humor, who will laugh at my wicked jokes, especially when flying with me on my broom. I like to take sudden dives near electric wires, so hold on
    tight. I used to be beautiful, but over the years I have developed some unflattering warts on my face--particularly a large hairy one on my hooked nose--but I’m still a great date for costume parties. You are in luck if you are a mortician or a pathologist for I have a great fondness for men in those professions. If after you read this, you are attracted to me, I would love to arrange a romantic dinner during a lightning storm