I work a forty-hour week on the assembly line in a factory that makes Weber barbeques. My life is….
My name is Elizabeth Grandstone Nesbitt. I work a forty hour week on an assembly line in a factory that makes Weber barbeques.
My life is ….
My name is Heather Glen Weegen. I work six nights a fortnight in aged care facility. The bonus I received for clocking up ten years there was $250. I spent it on a Weber barbeque.
My life is easier as a result of this purchase–even my burnt offerings taste good when cooked in a Weber. My work is pleasant, although hectic at times, and I get to interact with people I love.
What about yours Elizabeth? Do you spend some of those remaining hundred and twenty eight hours of your week doing something which takes you to a better place than that assembly line? Maybe you could write? Why not spend your next bonus on a creative writing course, a lady called Ann runs a beauty and it won’t cost you a lot.
Come back and tell us about it, your middle name is almost “Grindstone” but not quite.
So uplifting and sincere. Nice work and good advice about the writing class.
Thank you peanut. Had a spot of insomnia last night and really enjoyed a look back through the archives–especially at your posts. I’m thinking of doing a second on line course soon and wonder if your idea of doing Ann’s twice may not have been a better one. Stuart says “G’day” to your smiling Zoey.
Dear Bright, take her class again….I got new insights the second time through. It was a blast. G-Day to Stuart as well, good looking guy.
Have any of you taken Ann’s course again? I am so ready!
I enjoyed your take on this prompt and I may just join you in retaking Ann’s class.
Thanks Lisa, will be watching to see what you come up with.
Note to Ann: relax, you need a rest from the likes of my mob.
Will be back, will round up 200 or so ex-students for a rerun after a few months. Hanging out here is fun in the meantime.
Maybe if you sent Ann something you cooked on the grill, she might offer a discount on the course.
And you’re right, and old shoe would taste good coming off a Weber.
Actually, why not offer Ann the old shoe and see if she bites.
(and yes, if you must know, I’m ashamed of myself for that)
I never thought of “grindstone” but that’s a good connection. It’s great to see you here!
Brighteyes: Glad to hear that your life is easier after you bought a Weber barbeque. Perhaps I should try it. I don’t have a bbq, I don’t like food cooked on bbq., I don’t like the smell of food grilled on bbq.
I’m a very boring and strange person.
Sure you are anything but boring Lando. Actually I’m a vego married to a carnivore so I appreciate being able to cook meat outside. My daughter is also vego, so when they come over we have to watch her husband and mine attack the lamb roast like a couple of animals. I even include an extra schank to avoid fights.
My name is Elizabeth…
“Thank you Mr. Thompson for that beautiful introduction.”
“Well, first of all let me welcome you and thank you for your presence here, which I will try it to make it worthwhile.
My name is Elizabeth Grandstone Nesbitt. I have been living in this town for 45 years and I have seen it develop and progress from a little country town of 1200 residents and a single traffic light, into what is now a modern city with over 29000 residents, traffic jams all over, different factories and 3 big malls.
Although I’m planning to retire within 2 years, I’m still working a forty-hour week on the assembly line at the Weber factory… you know, the factory that makes barbeques.”
The reunion was taken place in the spacious basement of the Methodist Church, where about 50 men and women of all ages were sitting on collapsible black chairs listening to Elizabeth who was addressing them from a feeble wooden made podium.
“ My life was a merry-go-round hell for the past 10 years suffocated under an addiction which is now known as -Mallitis-. I‘m assuming that, if you are here is because you all have the same addiction. Fortunately, I’m in my way to be cured and I hope that I would be able to help you kick the habit out and for good.”
“Mallitis gets in your blood little by little. First, you start going to the mall on Saturdays only. After a while, you add Sundays also. Then, without even noticing it, you are going to the mall everyday at whatever time you have free from work or from other of your responsibilities.
An everyday you go thru the same routine: you buy things you don’t need; you tryout shoes you can’t use; you buy another purse you will put in the closet and never see it again; you eat the junk food the serve there, and, since you are so smart and price sensitive, you are constantly “taking advantage” of the promotions and special sales in progress at the different stores.
I did that, and I’m sure you are doing it also. What happens next is that, at the end of the day, your entire salary disappears at the malls in you don’t know what and you start getting deeper and deeper into debts with different credit cards.
“So I signed with this group -Mallitis Finitis- who helped me get rid of this horrible curse.
Learn how to get rid of Mallitis in 10 easy steps.
I urge you to sign up and make today your first day of freedom.”
. Join Mallitis Finitis and enjoy the rest of your life.”
Fortunately, I do not have mallitis but my husband has amazonitis. Fun read.
Mallitis – Possibly the most serious symptom is stooped shoulders. 🙂 Nice piece!
Ten step program! I’m sure there are many who need it. Like Lisa’s husband, I tend more toward Amazonitis. Just one easy click! Now that’s shopping.
Talented yes, strange, perhaps– you are obviously happy to live with that one, but after your take on the moon and now this one you are definitely NOT boring.
My neighbor lady got diagnosed with Mallitis Tonsillitis from screaming for her kids at the mall. it was the worst case ever seen in medical history. Delightful take on the prompt as usual Lando.
And don’t even get me started on Gastric Mallitis!
My name is Elizabeth Grandstone Nesbitt and I work a forty-hour week on the assembly line in a factory that makes Weber barbeques. My life is, by all measures, extremely mediocre and predictable, except for one little secret. For the past ten years I have been building a Time Travel machine in my basement. I modified the largest Weber grill that we produce so that it would be big enough to accommodate me and the necessary instrumentation for my journey.
The customization of the grill went surprisingly well after I mastered the fine nuance of using an Acetylene Torch. I designed the dashboard after the 1956 Ford Fairlane Station Wagon that my father adored and the main time mechanism is regulated by my Grandfather’s Waltham Pocket Watch. The fuel source for my Weber Wanderer is a semi-volatile mixture of vinegar, baking soda and just a pinch of nitroglycerine. I must admit, it has quite a kick.
Most of my life I regretted not getting married, but being single had its advantages when I decided to work on my invention. I could go directly to the basement after work and not worry about making dinner for a hungry hubby and kids. Some evenings I was so invigorated that I totally forgot to eat at all, which proved to be an excellent weight-loss program.
The maiden voyage of the Weber Wanderer was two days ago. The factory was off for the Memorial Day weekend. I was so excited about the adventure that I didn’t sleep a wink the night before. At day break, I donned my light blue spandex leggings, Hugs boots, my off-white Lands End cashmere sweater and a bright pink bicycle helmet that I won in a bingo game at Our Lady of Perpetual Piety Catholic Church.
I climbed into the capsule, set the timer for 1907 and the destination for Paris. With all the exuberance of a six-year old on Christmas morning, I pushed the ignition button. The resulting explosion caused a G-Force of at least 8. Within moments, The Wanderer had landed. I cautiously unlocked the sealed hatch and stepped out expecting to see the Eiffel Tower. Instead I saw a sign the read Marathon…Unleaded $3.89. I had landed at the gas station three blocks away from my home. I went inside and ask the clerk what year it was. She told me that it was 2013, the week before Memorial Day. It was painfully apparent that I had invented a time travel machine that only went backwards a week and a half and within my own zip code. I was devastated, but not defeated.
Once I paid the tow truck company for delivering my giant Weber Grill to my driveway, I immediately started to tweak my invention.
It is now one week later and I am once again belted securely into the Weber Wanderer. Not wanting to be as disappointed as I was at the last attempt. I set the date for 1907 and the destination…. Miscellaneous. Here we go….I’ll see you whenever and wherever I land. BLAST OFF !
As I step outside, the cold is gripping, there is knee-deep snow as far as I can see and a crowd of people dressed in Fur Parkas are clicking their heels together in some sort of tribal dance and chanting “There’s No Place Like Nome…There’s No Place Like Nome !
Peanut, you’re always so unpredictable and fun to read. Thanks for the laugh.
Hahaha. I love it. Instead of typing in a date, you type in a zip code. Or, better yet, you type in a phone number. Say, Chicago – 9 if you want to go back in time. I would probably type in 867-5309. For a “good time”.
Peanut you are absolutely forbidden to leave it at that. Next chapter ASAP, please! Still laughing. Would love to share this with my husband but scared that he would try to modify the Weber– particularly not letting him within a million miles of your fuel recipe! If you knew this man you would understand why.
Well gee, I guess your muse made it back from wherever she went! This is a real tour de force. Really, Peanut, I could read this stuff all day. And since I really AM reading online for hours a day, I’d be happy to read any thing you write. It’s like drinking really good wine, only funnier.
Peanut” great piece; funny and original. Love it. This is an statement that your Muse is back.
Peanut is back! Wonderful story. Sorry it took me so long to reply, been busy and away from Blog for a while. Really enjoyed reading you again.
“How are for feeling ma’am? Would you care for a water? A pop maybe?”
“No, no, I think I’m ok. Will this take long? I need to be home to meet the bus at three.”
“Don’t worry, you should be home in plenty of time. Now let’s just go over how we’re going to do this one last time. When I start the recording machine this red light will come on, then I’ll ask you to state your name and occupation for the record. You answer like we practiced. After that, I’ll ask you a few more questions, you answer them as best you can, and we’ll be done. Easy, huh?”
“I suppose. But, I’d like to get started now if we could.”
“Ok then. Here we go, just like we practiced.”
Special Agent Nick Ames reached toward the tape recorder and flipped the power switch. He pointed at the red ‘record’ lamp and pushed the button directly below it. As the reels began to spin, Liz looked down at the red light. It was time.
“This deposition is being taken twenty, July, nineteen fifty-three by Special Agent Nicholas Ames. Ma’am, please state your name and occupation for the record.”
The FBI man looked at Liz and nodded.
“My Name is Elizabeth Grandstone Nesbitt, I work a forty-hour week on the assembly line in a factory that makes Weber barbeques. My life is pretty ordinary really. At least it was.”
“Yes ma’am. Do recall the night of January seventeenth?”
“I do. Very well. I had just gotten off work. We get lots of overtime in the months leading up to spring, so it was just after eight when I was making my way home. I get the ’L’ at the platform on Lake and Desplaines. It was late, and snowing, so I was the only one waiting for the train.”
“While you were waiting for the train, did you see something? Something unusual?”
“Yes. I saw a light in the distance, over Lake Michigan. I thought it was a plane at first, but it was very low to the water, and it didn’t seem to move right. I mean, move correctly.”
“How so ma’am?”
“Well, lights from planes go in just one direction mostly. Up if they’re leaving, or down if they’re coming in. This light went sideways, and changed direction. Three or four times at least. It just kept moving around over the water. That is, until it happened.”
“And what did happen then ma’am? As best you can describe it.”
“Well, the light settled down. No more left and right. It just hovered over the water. After a minute or so, a second light came up from the lake and sat beside it.”
“You mean the other light had been floating on the lake and you just hadn’t noticed it?”
“No. It came up from under the lake. I saw the water splash as it came up to be with the other.”
There was a loud click. The reels stopped moving and the red light went out. Liz was startled to find that a man, standing directly behind her, had stopped the machine.
“I think that’s enough Nick,” he said in a soft, yet authoritative voice. “Why don’t you have a cab take Miss Nesbitt home.”
“Yes sir,” said the Special Agent, now clearly in subordinate mode. “All right Miss Nesbitt, it looks like you’ll be home early today. The Bureau thanks you for your cooperation.”
John Abrams, Ph.D., Professor of Exobiology, Northwestern University, finished typing the last sentence on his MacBook Air and leaned back into the overstuffed chair in the solarium of the Episcopal Home for the Aged. He could barely manage the combined smells of aerosol spray and urine, but he was sufficiently focused on the task at hand to ignore most of the environment around him.
“So that was it? They escorted you out and never finished the interview?”
The old woman sitting across from him rolled her wheelchair a bit closer. “No,” she said, “they never talked to me about it again.”
“And the man who stopped the interview, who was he?”
“I don’t know,” she said. “I’m not sure he was a man.”
The professor frowned. Maybe this was all just a senile delusion. A total waste of time. Yet, he had declassified documents that confirmed her FBI interview. She clearly had all the facts right, even the dates. So what then?
“Well, let me guess, they never talked to you again, and you never saw anything like that again. Wow. That’s some story lady,” the professor said, shaking his head in mock amazement.
“Well,” smiled the old woman, “I said I never saw that exact thing again. Anyway, would you tell me once more what brought you to me?”
The professor was distracted as he put his digital recorder back in its case.
“As I told you on the phone, I got an email newsletter from this facility with a story about your ‘sighting’ back in the day. I put two and two together.”
“Oh, so you subscribe then? How nice,” the woman said, patting his knee.
“No, actually, it was just a mistake. I had never heard of this place,” said the professor as he brought the computer back to his lap.
She looked intently at his face as he typed a few last thoughts on their conversation. She could tell by the reflection in his glasses that the computer screen had suddenly changed.
“God Dammit!” yelled the professor, arousing a nearby orderly who moved a bit closer. “I just lost everything. A frigging kernel panic. It’s unrecoverable, and I had months of research on that machine. It’s *never* done anything like that before!”
The old woman looked at him and smiled gently. “I know,” she said.
I think I saw something just like that from the Oak Street Beach. Of course, I can’t remember much about it since my brain then had a frigging kernel panic. And I’ve been living happily ever after!
I should know better than to mess with a person who knows Chicago. The ‘L’ really does run on Lake St., but I think you would have a difficult time seeing the lake from Desplaines, even in the 50’s. I did a lot of research on that area for a hobby I was involved in many years ago. It’s true what they say about a little knowledge.
Love stories like this that leave you with an eerie feeling. You work with dialogue so well. I always enjoy your work.
Gary, as usual, you wrote a great story. Man! some imagination you got. What do you have for breakfast?
Wonderful dialog and pace. We were there in the room
Thanks for another fun ride, Gary. Always look forward to your work. I am struggling with this one. Had a story going that was about 2000 words. Gotta trim it a bit.
Thank you all. I was really hoping I didn’t over play this. Stories of this type (at least as I write them) can go from interesting to silly very fast. I debated quite a long time about the “what brought you to me?” line and the newsletter. I deleted that at least twice. The good thing is that, if your Mac doesn’t suffer a kernel panic (a real OS X fault BTW), you can just paste it back in when you’re feeling a bit bolder. Thank you all again, and thanks Ann for not making oatmeal part of this challenge.
No wonder I don’t write much, having far too much fun reading these.
Another good one gt.
Here’s my attempt. It’s been awhile and I struggled to keep the flow. Any edits or suggestions would be more than welcome.
My name is Elizabeth Grandstone Nesbitt. No hyphen between Grandstone and Nesbitt for I am unmarried — just Grandstone Nesbitt. Grandstone is traditionally the middle name of the first born son on my mother’s side but my parents gave up on a boy after I became their fifth daughter. Not wanting to forsake tradition completely my mother added Grandstone to my name. I wish she hadn’t. I’m not much for tradition.
I used to work for Coleman grills. But when things headed south I high- tailed out of Colorado and searched for a remote part of the contiguous United States. Somehow I got swept off my feet by a free-spirited, saxophone-playing jazz man and followed him home in hopes of a life filled with music and mirth. Instead I awoke one morning to an eviction notice and a forty hour work week on a factory assembly line at Weber Barbeques. You can find me most nights – alone – at Rosa’s lounge. I’m in the back singing the blues.
I spent three years working the line. One day I called in sick suspecting I had a stomach virus but instead I had twins. Like I said I’m not much for tradition but I ached for familiarity and named my twins Grand and Stone. I didn’t think it fair to name the first born grandstone when only minutes separated their births. During the day I enjoy my twins’ antics. At night I wait tables and perform when I can.
Last May I ran into the jazz man. I told him about the twins and being a sensitive type he wept at the thought of missing their first two and a half years of life. Now we share a tiny one bedroom apartment above Rosa’s Lounge grilling for four and performing at night. My preference for music has changed from blues to swing tunes and I no longer sing in the back. Although we struggle to make ends meet, our family is rich with music and mirth. My name is Elizabeth Grandstone Nesbitt-Baker and my life is happy.
Lisa, one BIG suggestion. Keep on writing. Great imagination, very fun story. Beautiful close.
Thank you, Gale, for being so encouraging. I hope you’ll do the same. Ann’s blog is such a wonderful thing.
Love your Elizabeth and her story!
Thank you! I look forward to enjoying your posts as well. Happy writing!
That was worth waiting for Lisa, loved the story, got the feeling she would soon be pregnant again.
Seeing that you asked I would suggest looking at a change of tense;)
“You could find me most nights – alone – at Rosa’s lounge, in back singing the blues”
I like the suggestion! It felt good to start writing again but editing is not my forte. Looks like you’re enjoying Ann’s blog as much as I am. Have fun!
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by Ann Linquist
Available in paperback or on Kindle