The Second Hand Shop

Thanks Rochelle for hosting.  All links can be found here.

Copyright - John Nixon

Walt looked over everything in the shop.

Nothing but trash, he thought.  Who would pay for someone else’s junk?

All the whites were stained-over yellow, dust was several inches thick.

Place looked better from the street.

“Can I help you with something?” the owner asked.

“Help me?  ‘Cause I have a cane I need help?” Walt barked.

“No, sir. It’s just what I ask customers in my store.”

“Sonny, if I need help, I wouldn’t ask you.”

The owner lit up a cigarette.

“You can’t smoke in here!” Walt shouted.

“Read the sign, old man.  It says second hand.”

 

 

 

 

Proposition

 

 

There was a pungent not quite socially acceptable smell in the air

under the darkness of the end of the work week.

Down the  corridor of the cul-de-sac

thick green smoke swirled.

 

Animated turns,

into the windowsill.

Under the shade of  a wrinkling summer umbrella

The locomotive

as useless as a caboose

slowly exhaled.

 

Peering at the neighbor for judgmental reactions.

 

The train wreck

behind bright lighted out windows

yelled out with scorn

your wind is coming my way.

 

 

 

 

Vegan Poem

 

Some say the world is divided between the strong and weak

So don’t sit across the table from me if you are meek

The leaf eating vegan should take a far away seat

For an animal like me might mistake your arm for meat

Put a fork in it and take a nice bite

I like steak raw, so your arm would taste just right

So the question is….. what animal will we have for dinner?

Who will be the winner?

I have an idea!

Let’s have steer!

But how?

Smack a cow

Between the eyes with a sledgehammer

Such harsh, coarse behavior might cause a clamor

Rights for the animals they dont need to die

We should eat plants because they have no eyes

To stare at you when they die

A sacrifice, is a sacrifice…is a sacrifice

No matter how neat, clean or nice

The vegetables on your plate are struggling to stay alive

Cut, bleeding, helpless, little chives

Tomatoes punctured with a fork and oozing red goo

You know fruits are alive too

Skinned alive, their fleshed sucked out

All this while their blood, their juices move about

Plants have no where to run, no where to hide

Plants are the weakest of the weak, who would be on their side?

Well… they could be left on the side of my plate

To compliment the flesh I just ate

Vegans are beyond a doubt killers too

The flesh they eat has no face like me or you

But plants are alive when chewed and swallowed into stomach acid

And vegans claim they are gentle and placid

Vegans are wrong to kill to survive

To eat things that are still alive

Vegans should talk to plants, I believe that plants can hear you

And know what vegans will do

Rip them from their roots

Cut their shoots

Pull off their leaves like the tail of a newt

I don’t see the difference between eating a hog

Or picking berries next to a bog

Whether its a plant or animal that goes under the knife

They are both organisms that give up their life

Maybe vegans and carnivores are the same

After all we all need to sustain

So please don’t call me the sicko, don’t start to shout

From your mouth hangs a baby sprout

Maybe it’s not chicken, maybe it’s not veal

But the life it gave up is just as real

Perhaps there isn’t such a great divided

Cause sick vegan bastards eat plants alive.

 

 

 

West Nile and The Western Sound

Thanks Rochelle for hosting.  All links can be fond here.  My story this week is 100 words and I will call it Historical Fiction.  I normally do not do this but I followed my story up with a little background and personal insight.

Copyright - Jan Wayne Fields

 100 words

Luciano’s fingers, thick as a man’s wrist, were permanently cracked and red.  In hypothermic waters he pulled traps as if he were dipping his hands in warm sink water.  Luciano and his mate were all that were left.  As they worked the lines, with no pilot at the wheel, the diesel powered lobster boat circled on the open water.  The sea-bottom, barren since the die off in 1999, robbed them of their life.  Luciano would sell the boat, house and move. He wept as trap after trap came up empty.

 

 ___________________

Washington Post article on the die off.

The Long Island Sound is a living breathing thing, it has a temper but it also can be as kind and giving as a grandmother. I worked as a mate on a lobster boat, it was the hardest, most dangerous jobs I ever did and I loved it.  In the middle of the winter we would chip ice off the boat with sledgehammers just so we could go out and set traps.  My captain was one of the toughest guys I ever met who would put his life on the line for you without even thinking about it.

The die off in 1999 destroyed the lobster industry here on Long Island.  70 to 90% of the lobsters have vanished from our waters since 1998 and there seems to be no recovery 15 years later.  After the die off in 1999 scientist found dead lobsters piled a foot high on the bottom of the Sound.  That year there was a major break out of the West Nile Virus which is carried by mosquitoes so they sprayed the coastline heavily with pesticides.  Lobsters are basically big under water bugs.

The waters were unusually warm in 99 and were churned up by major storms causing hypoxia.  Hypoxia is the lack of oxygen in water often caused by algae growth.  Algae grows on top, cuts the sunshine off from reaching the bottom and depletes the water of much needed oxygen.  Everything dies.

Some scientist believe the die off was caused by global warming.  Since Long Island lobsters are at the southern most extreme edge of their cold water range even a change in water temperature of a few degrees would dramatically decrease their ability to survive.  I would bet the die off resulted from a combination of all these factors.

The Captain I worked for blamed the die off on the moratorium that was put on striped bass back in the 70’s and the recovery in the 90′s of these greedy large predators.  Whatever it was my captain had to finally sell off his boat and he moved away to Florida.  After all those years on the hard sea he finally settled for a warm home far from Long Island.

When most people think of lobsters they think of Maine but the truth is Long Island Sound was basically a lobster ranch before 1999 with 12 lobsters per trap coming over the rail.  Typically 11 of those lobsters were shorts that were thrown back.  The shorts reentered and fed on the bait in the traps until they grew to full size.  Up until 1999 you could buy 5 (1.5 pound) lobsters for 20 dollars.  Today on Long Island for the same amount of lobsters you would pay about 90 to 100 dollars.

There are positive stories about the Long Island fisheries.  Summer flounder or fluke are making a major recovery.  Striped bass are no longer considered an endangered species and the moratorium has been lifted on them.  Clams are still here in great numbers, although not as plentiful as they were years ago.  So there is hope.  There is always hope.

*I added this video to go along with the post after several people had already commented.  It’s about the Baymen of Long Island.  Not the Lobster men but the idea is the same…it’s about people who make their living by the sea.  This is a live version of the song from Yankee stadium by Long Island’s very own Billy Joel.

 

Storage Wars

Thanks Rochelle for hosting.  All links can be found here.

 

 

 100 Words

________________

 

The theater Elizabeth had gone to, the beach home where she spent her summer vacations, all gone.

“Mom, you remember Bill. My husband?”

Arms crossed, leg bouncing up and down, Elizabeth turned, her glazed over eyes met Bill’s.  “You lost weight.”

Bill had barely gained or lost a pound in twenty years.

“Mom?”

Mom whispered into Bill’s ear.  “Someone keeps stealing my garbage cans.”

Bill looked up at his wife as his mother in-law Elizabeth suddenly squealed with childish delight at the kids playing in the pool.  Elizabeth’s keepsakes hung, out of reach, on the back wall of her thoughts.

______________________

Ohhh and HAPPY BIRTHDAY bus driver.