Monday Morning Mark • 59
Significant Memories • A Tight Situation • You Said • The Lure Of The Underground
One Minute Wit
When I think about all the people I’ve known in my life,
it takes a really long time.
A Tight Situation
“Alright, we are all in. Remember to wait a few seconds before climbing out. It’s funnier.”
“Can we just get on with it, please? Boom Boom just made a stinky boom boom.”
“It wasn’t me. It was probably Butter Belly.”
“I’m gonna hurl!”
“Zippy, get your elbow out of my eye.”
“I can’t help it. Goopy moved his leg.”
“I got a cramp!”
Minutes later, the clown car arrived in the circus tent.
You said you could build a house out of palettes
You said it would be kind to the Earth
You said it would be all we need
You said we would find our happiness
You said we’d get a dog
You said share my life
You said my love
You said thoughts?
. . .
Each line of a 55er has one less word than the previous line, for a total of 55 words.
The Lure Of The Underground
A Vintage Poster Story
Initially, the London Underground was a flop. People were afraid of going down in the “caves,” as they called them.
“Surely there will be rats or bats or monsters down there.” — Londoner
“I would much rather ride on the surface where I can see monsters approaching.” — Londoner
It didn’t help that the rail company was using steam locomotives, which filled the tunnels with smoke and soot. Passengers frequently collapsed whilst traveling due to the toxic air conditions.
Emerson Farnsworth Tube III, Mayor of London, declared that modernizing was in order, and promptly ordered new trains that ran on electricity.
It did little good. Passengers were now scared they would be electrocuted.
“I’ll not be getting shocked to death down there, of that you can be certain. It’s a good ole double-decker coach for me.” — Londoner
“It will be nothing but trouble, I tell ya. Monsters feed off of electricity. Everyone knows that.” — Londoner
Mayor Tube was livid. He had spent a fortune on trains that no one was riding. He called his advisors into his office.
“This situation must be remedied. What are your suggestions?”
The room full of engineers and politicians blanched at the question.
“Come now. Any ideas?” Mayor Tube said.
“Perhaps we could have a giveaway, to attract riders,” one of the Mayor’s staff suggested.
“No! We don’t have the budget for such nonsense. I want to hear good ideas.”
Everyone squirmed. Except for Roderick P. Clifton. He stared off into space.
“Are we boring you, Clifton?” Mayor Tube said.
“No, Sir. I was just thinking about something I heard at the pub last week. I thought it was crazy, but if it’s real, it just might work.”
“Don’t keep us hanging, Clifton, what is it?”
“The tale went like this. There is an old recluse named Lochlan Mills who lives in Kensington. He was a Professor of science at Oxford but got sacked for the mad experiments he was doing. Apparently, one of his crazier experiments was a human magnet.”
The room erupted in guffaws and scoffs.
“Calm down,” the Mayor bellowed. “Continue.”
“Well, the bloke telling the story claims he saw a chap in Hyde Park suddenly pulled across the lawn and up against a tree. The bloke looked around and saw Mills sitting on a bench laughing. Mills had some kind of contraption on his lap. He says he saw three other chaps get pulled into the tree before Mills got up and left. Then the spectacle stopped.”
“Find this Mills!” Mayor Tube shouted.
The Mayor’s staff got to work and eventually tracked down the reclusive old professor and arranged a secret meeting with the Mayor.
One week later, Professor Mills and the Mayor Tube stood side by side in the Baker Street Underground station.
“Do it,” the Mayor said.
Professor Mills flipped a switch on his human magnet contraption, and a strange whirring sound began. Above ground, the sight was incredible. People were literally floating through the air and being pulled down into the Underground.
Once the Underground station was full, Professor Mills turned off the magnet. The Mayor spoke loudly over the din of shocked Londoners.
“Good people of London. You have experienced a strange phenomenon today. It is known as the Lure Of The Underground. I have consulted with Professor Mills, and he assures me it is harmless, and will likely not happen again. I encourage you to take a seat in one of the trains until you regain your composure. And while you are there, why not try riding the train to your destination. All rides are free today!”
Well, it worked. Once people saw the new electric train cars, and noticed that there were no monsters in sight, nor had they been electrocuted, they relaxed and enjoyed the ride. Upon finding themselves at their destination in a fraction of the time a coach took, they became regular users of the Underground.
The Mayor became a hero, and the Underground has been affectionately called “The Tube,” after the Mayor, ever since.