The Cuss Cash Jar

“Shitski! The remote died!”

As the Machete Mania show segued into The World’s Best Hamster Clips, Jeannie levered up from the sofa and went for batteries. She returned to see a bunch of jittery rodents running along a zip line over a realistic chasm full of cats. Her husband Elroy slouched on the couch oblivious.

As she turned to announce ‘bedtime’ for her 9 year old son, there he stood grinning, holding out the Cuss Cash jar. “What, you want me to count it for you?”

“You talked dirty and owe a buck.” Tommy grinned wider and shook the jar.

“I did not. Perhaps you mis-heard my recollection of the name Shitski. Your cheesy smile brings it all back to me. I was out walking Roscoe, my beagle/bloodhound mutt, and there before me a shaded park bench beckoned:

I plopped and Roscoe laid across my feet. No sooner had I closed my eyes than somebody that smelled expensive sat right next to me. I looked over and he stuck out a beringed hand.

“Madam, I am Ivan Shitski.” He nodded toward the fuzzy Chihuahua thing he had on the blingy leash that attached to a blingy collar. “This is Katerina the Great.”

At the sound of his voice, Roscoe woke up barking and slobbering. I had to jerk hard on his leash to keep him from having a taco snack. The Russian leaned away from us and the rat dog jumped into his lap. I jerked Roscoe’s leash again and said, “Shut it!”

The evil eye that Russky gave my now peaceful hound prompted me to make a wager. I said, “Sir Shitski, I’ll bet you $100 my dog is smarter than yours.”

He turned his nose up and said that he wouldn’t want to take my money because his darling had won shows. I asked if he was scared old Roscoe would bust his supreme confidence.

He said, “Ha! Fine, I’ll bet a dime.”

Elroy asked, “Dime bag?”

“Shut it, Elroy. Now, back to the vivid memory.”

The Russky stood up and placed the rat dog on the ground. When he unclipped Kate the Great, he showed the thing two fingers that he twirled around twice. The fuzzy runt got on her hind legs and walked around old Ivan twice, then sat all perky right in front of him with goggle-eyed adoration.

I stood and showed Roscoe an L-shape, just finger out and thumb up you know, and unclipped him. That mutt ran fast enough to make grass fly up behind him. As Ivan laughed, I pulled my Ruger SP-101 from my inside back holster with the safety already off. “Ivan, that dog is smarter by an order of magnitude because he knows not to be anywhere near me with a loaded gun ready to fire.”

Jeannie peered straight at her solemn son. “Ivan silently picked up his tarnished treasure and gave me that same cheesy smile as you. He didn’t even pay up. Now go to bed.”

“Yes, Ma’am.” He replaced the jar, laughed and trotted to the bathroom with a spring in his step. Had he glimpsed cats chowing down on clumsy hamsters?

She snuggled back into Elroy’s arms.

“Jean, don’t you think he’s going to figure you changed that Russian’s name to suit yourself when you saw him with that jar?”

She pinched his arm. “No, he won’t figure nothing because he takes after you.”

“You made that up?”

“Shit yeah! Plus his head will be too full of kitties and hamster parts.” She dug for Elroy’s wallet and put two dollars in the jar, then clicked in search of any show without rodent carcasses.

And The Winner is!

An Elise t’Hoot Galactic Adventure – Where Do You Stand?

  • Tolerance toward strangers versus Kill’em!
  • ‘Love your Neighbor’ no matter how distant versus ‘Hate the Sumbitches!’
  • Do you prefer characters who behave like real people? Like when there’s a crisis with plans and solutions being bandied and they turn to you for your erudite opinion…and you’re thinking of which color of M&Ms you like best?
  • Nearly all reputable scientists agree that human-caused Climate Change is a real danger with Big Oil pulling the strings. Think of the situation 100 years from now:
    • As Greenland and the Arctic melt, sea levels will rise to the point the mega-cities on the coasts of every continent will be underwater, no more Bangladesh…or Bronx.
    • In the US it is easy to imagine the millions of coastal HAVES will push out the Midwestern HAVE NOTS. So where will the Have Nots go? Rafts on the high seas?
    • Is it not reasonable to think the US government would go authoritarian to combat the chaos and maintain order? And extend borders from Pole to Pole for more natural resources national security?
    • If NASA stays on track, we sure could have colony planets light years away. Where better to send the poor, the displaced and the ‘malcontents’? “Out of sight…”
  • Finally, Elise t’Hoot is an illegal refugee going to college in Kentucky. Her scholarships are pulled so she needs cash for tuition. One thing leads to another. Such a girl CAN save not only this world, but others way out there as well. Perseverance, smarts, tolerance, faith in the power of love, and the gut feeling that her terrifying experiences like gang rape, family deaths and mass starvation need not be perpetuated because of caste or color, or what planet, they’re from – these are what make her strong.

Forget the label “Sci-Fi”, this series is about looking around without denial. The Earth is in dire straits with fossil fuels as the main cause and will get worse in the coming decades. Nobody you see or hear news about is worth more or less than you. Some people are capable of amazing generosity and love while some are capable of monstrous evil and outright depravity. A skinny illegal girl with pain and flaws CAN make a heap big difference to the ‘system’.

Disclaimer: The Elise t’Hoot Galactic Adventure is a true adventure with a wide variety of characters with wildly differing viewpoints. The winding and intertwining stories move fast and offer lots of surprises. There is technical wonder, winning and losing, suspense, violence and pity, even some well spaced-out romance (pun intended). Elise believes much as the author does, but she’s not so pedantic and most of the characters disagree a little or lots, sometimes with gunshots. They have their own problems and beliefs, you know? The environment of the colony planet of Tenembras is harsh enough to polarize the population with regard to aliens. That would be non-Humans, not just those considered to be sub-Humans. Couldn’t happen on Earth…

The Might of Defiance, Elise t’Hoot Galactic Adventure Book One by Mary Ellen Wall

Available quite soon at Amazon and other outlets for not much $$$ at all.

Only nine more volumes to go! If you’ve read this far you really must give the books a try J.

Help Me Choose?

I’m getting my dear Science Fiction series back on track and want to make sure I have a good cover.

It’s the next century. A Dutch illegal girl who needs college money signs on a military ship to colony planets where climate refugees and dissenters are sent. Book One is where they stop over to clean-up an old Dutch exploration ship’s mess. Little do they know the Dutch ship crashed into an alien’s ship…

The following books of the Elise t’Hoot Galactic Adventure series tell how she and the tree-like aliens transform the ragged, neglected colonies – and much, much more. Especially after they make friends with an alien AI.

Might of Defiance Fractal Cover

The rest of the series for the TOP choice has all the same background and different colors on the title parts.

For the BOTTOM cover, each book had a different NASA starry background.

The Might of Defiance print.jpeg

SO WHICH COVER DO YOU LIKE BETTER?

Just leave a comment either way! And THANK YOU!

Long-Legged Geeky Girl

Whew! I’ve been up to my ears in busy so have missed posting for a while…sorry! I did just enter an essay contest and thought I might share my non-fiction entry. Go GIRLS!

 

Long-Legged Geeky Girl

Mary Ellen Wall

 

“What are you all red-eyed about?”

“High waters. All I got is high waters. Bell bottoms gotta drag the floor!”

“Prissy girls.” Mama went back to her crossword puzzle and I stomped back to my room to take off those durn blue jeans that showed my ankles as soon as possible. It wasn’t my fault I wasn’t born a boy. Tossing my book bag and shedding my shame, the treasure spread across my bed stole my attention.

My Bookmobile treasure: Pollinators, Geology and the Inland Sea, The Science of Fire, Storm Dynamics. With a fluffed pillow at my back and my bare giraffe legs stretched out before me, I reached for the nearest tome. The 8th grade science fair was only 27 days away. Hmmm, weather instruments.

I had a jelly jar in my hand wondering what to use as a membrane when I saw the fancy syrup bottle with the plastic handle and spout in the trash. Ditch the spout. The jelly jar went back to Mama’s canning supplies. The smaller opening would mean a little balloon would fit lots easier and still be big enough for a pointer. A needle would poke the balloon. Dootdootdoot…what the hoot? Epiphany! A toothpick, flat rounded end stuck down. Glue, where’s the glue?

The two poster boards were a breeze to do. One had a wild tornado in the center with a spotted cow and a couple trees in it. Labels and arrows artfully drawn noted the meteorological details. The other had a precis of my EXPERIMENT. The harder part turned out to be affixing the index card to the bottle neck. Scissors! Tape! Where’s the durn tape?

I added another reading from the nightly weather report; the toothpick had a great range against the card which gave me pretty good space to record the data. The weather guys said a band of storms were on the way. Great! I might get a couple data points in the low range right before the science fair; the top of the card looked a bit blank.

Me, the biggest idiot in the room. The guy to the left of me had put an Apollo capsule model together. On the right, the guy with a hamster in a cage kept trying to make the critter run in the wheel. Across from me the guy had a printed, full color diorama of the Grand Canyon. Several boys had volcanoes. I had taped the cow tornado picture to the front of the table and whapped up a poster full of news of the record-breaking storm swarm and a fairly well drawn map to put in its place. Was it hokey? The boys had more polished displays. Except for me, all the contestants in the gym were boys.

Seeing the strange high school teachers quizzing the Apollo fellow reminded me of a Wild Adventures show including a warthog. Me, the warthog, now realizing lions approached. Could I still run? Where were the exits? I blinked at hearing someone knock on the table and there they stood, directly in front of me. Holy bovines.

“Miss, please explain why you brought this mess here.”

Mess? By golly, warthogs got tusks. “Sirs, Ma’am, I made this barometer from ordinary items and calibrated the device using the National Weather Association certified reports that are televised each evening.” Here I pointed at the data on the card. “There are 23 data points taken before Wednesday. On that day, the barometric pressure got so low, the diaphragm busted. This ‘mess’ is the evidence that my barometer worked.” I did not add that the sight of that balloon getting sucked way into that bottle and popping while Mama clutched my little sisters under the kitchen table and screamed at me to join them will amaze me to the end of my days.

Well, 1st place won me a whopping $50. The April 3, 1974 avalanche of ravaging tornadoes allowed me to proceed directly to the Woolco Department Store where I purchased a gleaming new Brother sewing machine. I figured out how to use it. From then through now, I choose the material for my clothes, I select the patterns and alter as I please. And my pants are always the right length.