Monday Morning Mark • 60

Pairing Foods For Weight Loss • How Ironic • The Rhyming Duel • The Tale Of The Memory Tree

One Minute Wit

Pairing Foods For Weight Loss

by science wiz Mark Starlin

After extensive experimentation, results confirm my hypothesis conclusively that pizza and brownies are not an effective weight-loss food pairing.

My work continues.

50-Word Microfiction

How Ironic

Ricky was a fan of the 1960s. 

He still dressed like a hippie and owned a lava lamp. 

One day, Ricky was driving his Volkswagen Beetle, listening to The Beatles, when a giant foot stepped on him and squished him like a beetle. 

Nuclear mutants weren’t big music fans. Just big.

MC Starlin Rhymes

The Rhyming Duel

I was born a rhyming fool
Couplets widely known to rule

Those who challenge me to duel
Get sent packing back to school

Before you laugh, before you scoff
You should dust your thesaurus off


You appear a worthy foe
I accept, let’s have a go

Shall I begin? To your chagrin?
Or do you fear you may not win?

It matters not if I go first
So go ahead and do your worst


Your intentions are quite clear
Still, I harbor little fear

I rhyme as easy as I walk
With lavish cadence when I talk

So pick a topic, pick a word
My rhymes will swoop down like a bird


Your confidence is quite impressive
Although I find your pride excessive

I brush it off, like a crumb
Such vanity, makes me numb

I propose you cede the game
Lest your efforts cause you shame


If you find the threat too great
Back out now, it’s not too late

For many shy in light of fame
It will not cause you any shame

The wise will recognize the clues
And see a game they’ll surely lose


You must be talking to yourself
Or did you find a tiny elf?

Your posturing is getting boring
It won’t be long before I’m snoring

Shall we begin sometime today?
I’ve grown quite weary of delay


Sadly, this went on for hours
Like opposing superpowers

Bravado was their only plan
Observe the foolishness of man

There was no winner of this battle
It soon gave way to endless prattle

They talked until their throats were sore
And both passed out upon the floor

Gentle Tales

The Tale Of The Memory Tree

It was summer, and I was in the autumn of my life. Being in an adventurous mood, I ventured deep into the woods. Deeper than most folks dare. The folks in the village say there are strange things deep in the woods. I figured I had seen all the usual things I cared to see. A strange thing or two might be a nice change.

As I explored, I heard a soft voice calling to me. I followed the sound, and to my amazement, it was coming from a tree. I had never encountered a talking tree, so I was quite curious.

The tree said, “I am the Memory Tree. Break a small branch off my trunk.”

“Will that not hurt you?” I asked.

“Fear not, I will grow another to replace it.”

So I did as the tree instructed. Instantly I recalled a memory from my youth. A pleasant memory I had not had for many long years. I was both shocked and delighted.

As I stared in wonder, the tree said, “Try another.”

So I did. And another happy memory appeared in my mind.

“This is unbelievable,” I said.

“And yet it is happening, so you may believe it,” the tree replied.

How remarkable, I thought. I must tell someone about this marvel I have discovered.

I trekked out of the woods and saw two old friends, Staffis and Farcan, sitting by a stream.

“Come with me, and you will see a tree that can show you all your forgotten memories,” I said excitedly.

“Ha! You’re jesting,” Staffis said.

“I am not. It is true.”

“Where is this magic tree?” Farcan asked.

“Deep in the woods. Follow me.”

Since neither of them had ever seen a magical tree, they agreed to follow. As we wound our way through the forest, deeper and deeper, the anticipation built. But something was wrong. I didn’t recognize anything, so I stopped.

“Are we there?” Farcan asked.

“No, I seem to have taken a wrong turn. Let’s go this way.”

We headed down another path. After a considerable walk, I stopped again.

“Sorry. This is not the way either. It must be this way.”

We took another path deeper into the woods. Again I came to a stop.

“Well, now. It seems I can’t remember how to get back to the memory tree.”

My friends looked at me.

“I realize this is disappointing…”

“You old fool! You’ve led us on a goose chase,” Staffis growled.

Farcan picked up a tree branch and started hitting me with it. So I ran as fast as my aged legs could manage. They gave chase.

Being slightly more limber, and not nearly as heavy as my friends, I soon got a short distance ahead of them. I stopped to catch my breath when I heard a soft voice calling to me. It was coming from a tree.

It must be the Memory Tree, I thought. So I followed the voice.

I arrived at the tree, and it said, “I am the Forgetfulness Tree. Break a small branch off my trunk, and you will forget something bad that has happened to you.”

Just then Farcan and Staffis caught up to me.

“This is it! The Memory Tree,” I yelled. “Quick. Break off a small branch.”

They both did and instantly forgot all about the Memory Tree and my fruitless journey leading them to find it.

“How did we get here in the woods?” Staffis asked.

I reached over and broke a small branch off of the Forgetfulness Tree.

“I don’t know. But I am famished. Let’s go home,” I replied.

As we walked through the woods, Farcan said, “Did you say something?”

“I didn’t,” Staffis said.

“Not me,” I replied. “You must be imagining things.”

“Huh. I could have sworn I heard a soft voice calling out to me.”

“That’s crazy. There’s nothing here but trees,” Staffis said.

“I think Renna is baking pies today. Let’s stop by.”

Happy Monday.

Mark