Tuesday, May 31, 2022

the return of robin hood

by bofa xesjum

robin hood came to the end of the trail.

there was nothing there.

no river, no mountain, no ocean, no frozen tundra, no piney woods..

not even a desert.

he turned around and started back the way he came.

he thought, i will meet some weary pilgrims following in my footstep.

i will warn them that there is nothing at the end of the trail.

that will be a good deed, and will give purpose to my life.

who will be the first person i meet, i wonder?

as it happened, the first person he met was

a) daniel boone

b) bad king john

c) saint veronica

d) a partridge in a pear tree

when robin hood told _________ that there was nothing at the end of the trail, he was told

a) politely

b) rudely

c) in no uncertain terms

d) savagely


a) quit his bellyaching

b) learn some manners

c) learn to respect his elders

d) jump in the deepest lake from the highest cliff

robin hood decided to

a) learn a useful trade

b) start a new religion

c) sit under a tree with a mandolin

d) go out and have a good time

all you wanted

by genghis gilgamesh

was that slice of apple pie all you wanted?

i want everybody to wish me the best on my birthday.

contrary to your calculations, everybody is a lot of people.

i demand that you stop demeaning me with your deliberate demeanor.

eustace, is appolonius acting out extemporaneously again?

i fear he is, miss felicia.

grab him by the ears and plant him in the garden.

but i just planted howard in the garden.

i don’t want excuses.

just do it, right?

you are developing a keen sense of proper response.

come along, appolonius, you lucky boy.

you have no mandate from heaven to plant me in the garden.

i don’t need no stinking mandate from heaven or anybody else, come along.

heaven will hurl opprobrium at you on my behalf.

do you want me to call pete?

last night i dreamed the garden was filled with quiet ghosts.

that’s right, come along. you can have a right friendly quiet conversation with these ruminative spirits.

life is sad , don’t you think?

i am not paid to think.

or to understand, am i right?

i am not so vain as to try to understand anything.

in my dream, a werewolf suddenly appeared, sending the ghosts on their way.

it sounds a most excellently plotted dream.

do you think so? i, myself, did not think so at the time.

you never know about a dream until it is over.

is all life a dream?

i believe you have broached that subject before. ah, here we are, in the garden.

Monday, May 30, 2022

the confessions of robin hood

by bofa xesjum

robin hood woke up, to the sound of wind and rain.

he was not sure who he was, or where he was.

but then, he never was.

he got up and went downstairs.

the other inhabitants of mrs murphy’s establishment were asleep, or at least behaving themselves, in their own rooms.

when robin hood got downstairs he was surprised to find to find a strange man in the front parlor with mrs murphy.

this individual wore a gray suit and white shirt, and a blue and red striped tie.

he had a briefcase by his side, a pad of paper in his lap, and a pencil in his hand.

this is mr brown, mrs murphy said to robin hood, he would like to ask you a few questions, if you do not mind.

i do not mind, robin hood retorted politely, but may i have a cup of tea while i answer them?

of course, mrs murphy replied, and she left robin alone with mr brown and went to make the cup of tea.

mr brown wasted no time and got right down to business asking robin hood questions.

what is your favorite food? was the first question.

grilled venison.

you do not say so? and do you have much occasion to savor grilled venison?

no, not really.

what is your favorite food that you do actually eat with some regularity?

ham and eggs.

do you approve of the way the world is going?

i did not know it was going anywhere. i thought it was staying right here where it is.

what was your first job?


what did you dig?

whatever they told me to.

what is your favorite color?


what was your first pet’s name?


interesting. thank you. that is all i need to know.

mr brown got up and left, leaving robin hood alone in the parlor waiting for mrs murphy and the cup of tea.

what did you think of mr brown? mrs murphy asked robin hood when she arrived with the tea.

i liked his tie. i wished i had one like it.

pick a card, part three

by genghis gilgamesh

to read part one, click here

to read part two, click here

i think we should go see this gypsy, ask her what the holdup is.

what holdup?

the holdup about the check for the billion dollars, for that story.

maybe we should give it a little more time.

i don’t have any time, i already made some commitments on the basis of getting that check, if you know what i mean.

she might not be home.

we can find out. you were the one that said she never went anywhere.

she might have stepped out for a cup of tea or something.

don’t gypsies make their own tea?

she might have stepped out to buy something else, a baboon maybe, or a cheeseburger.

i will take that chance.

it looks like she is not at home.

look in the window,

this is the 21st century, you can get in trouble looking in windows.

not in this neighborhood. go ahead, look in the window.

what do you guys want?

don’t you reemember me? clem, from the other day. you gave me some advice on writing a story for a billion dollars.

oh, right. and who is this guy?


what is he, your brother?

we are members of the brotherhood of wise men and fools.

i was the chief astrologer at the court of the emperor aristotle xxiii of atlantis.

i remember you now, you had no sense of humor but kept telling bad jokes.

humor was not a requisite for the job. and you were one of the empress’s numerous handmaidens.

but i ran the whole show from behind the purple curtains. all that being said, what can i do for you gentlemen?

that trick you showed me with the cards did not work out - not yet anyway. and we tried twice.

what cards did you get?

the queen of diamonds and the nine of spades.

no wonder you didn’t get anything, you have to use one of my special decks.

i don’t have one.

i will sell you one for twenty-nine cents.

i don’t have twenty-nine cents, that is why i need the half a billion dollars.

half a billion dollars is a little more than twenty-nine cents.

not if you do not have either of them. i was never good with numbers, it is all the same to me.

i see you are an astrologer. how about if i just tell you guys a story?

that sounds like a plan.

all right, let me think. how about this? an astronaut and an armadillio decide to rob a bank. but when they get to the bank building it is empty. why is it empty?

banks are never empty. they are haunted by the ghosts of

a) sad young men playing dominoes with cigar butts and broken blossoms.

b) baboons playing bongos

c) beatniks writing endless poems about spaghetti recipes

d) the man who broke the bank at the baccarat table on the titanic

as the despairing rain falls on the deserted docks.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

the memoirs of robin hood

by bofa xesjum

robin hood said good night and went up to his room.

he felt that he had deserved better.

all he wanted was to be free.

the same bird was sitting in his window as the night before.

he wondered if the bird was indigenous to north america.

robin hood knew he was not some kind of genius.

he had seen and done bad things on occasion.

the bird flew away, but it would be back.

robin hood had a good mind to run away and join the circus.

and have some extraordinary adventures.

he thought of mr halley at the general store with his authoritarian ways.

and he remenbered the old days riding with pancho villa and genghis khan.

he looked under his pillow.

no one had left a twenty dollar bill under it.

or even a nickel.

or a lousy dime.

robin hood decided to write his memoirs.

he still had the old family bible that jesse james gave him.

there were a couple of blank pages in the back of the bible.

but he did not have a pencil.

he went back downstairs to ask mrs murphy for a pencil.

but she was nowhere to be found.

neither were any of the other boarders.

not even stonewall jackson or annie oakley.

it was all very strange.

everything was strange.

out in distance, a nameless beast howled.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

the adventures of robin hood

by bofa xesjum

how do you like these apples so far, the queen of sheba asked robin hood.

i hope they bring me luck, robin hood replied respectfully.

i never heard such nonsense, the queen of sheba said, and rode away.

robin hood was left alone with his sad thoughts.

the angel returned, but his sword was no longer in flames and had cooled down.

robin hood and the angel were joined by yeti, who said, this is no joking matter.

good king richard will return and save us, robin hood replied stoutly.

times got hard.

king richard did not return, and neither did halley’s comet.

mr halley opened a general store in the desert.

it just did not seem right.

robin hood looked for an opportunity to escape.

but the angel and the queen of sheba had bigger plans.

they robbed mr halley’s safe and headed into the desert.

still, king richard did not return.

wyatt earp and ambrose bierce got a posse up and set off after the angel and the queen of sheba.

by this time robin hood had properly lost his mind.

much good it did him.

get out of that rocking chair, mr halley told robin hood, and get those hats on the shelves.

when robin hood opened the box of hats, to put them on the shelves, he found the box contained cans of peaches.

he went to find mr halley to tell him of his find.

mr halley was sitting in the rocking chair on the front porch of the general store, palavering with mr william jennings bryan

mr halley made it clear in no uncertain terms, he dd not want to be interrupted by talk of hats and cans of peaches.

robin hood went back inside the store and then out the back door and started walking into the desert.

but the angel with the flaming sword was nowhere to be seen.

a jackrabbit ran across robin’s path.

but he did not see a single black cat.

or a cloud in the sky.

Friday, May 27, 2022

the real railroad bill

by genghis gilgamesh

a ragged stranger walked into the rawhide saloon and right up to the bar.

some folks might think the stranger looked kind of ornery, but sam smith behind the bar did not blink.

the name is railroad bill, the stranger announced, and i drink my whiskey straight.

most folks in these parts do, sam replied unceremoniously. but you say your name is railroad bill?

i seem to very much remember that that is what i said.

well then, we have a problem, because we already have a railroad bill in this town.

and what exactly am i supposed to do about that? the stranger replied exasperatedly.

what do you fellows think? sam turned to the poker table and the five hombres sitting at it.

who were none other than wyatt earp, doc holliday, jesse james, genghis khan, and robin hood.

it all seems pretty clear to me, wyatt opined adamantly.

but we don’t want to jump to conclusions, doc added banteringly.

color me indifferent, jesse contributed casually.

we have to get the real rairoad bill in here and settle this, genghis declared decisively.

except no one knows where he is, robin exclaimed emphatically.

for heaven’s sake, catherine the great exclaimed, flouncing into the saloon with her remington rifle over her shoulder, can’t you menfolk take a decisive stand on anything?

i thought i did, genghis grumbled guiltily.

i happen to know where the real railroad blll - perhaps i should amend that by saying, our railroad bill, is, came a voice from behind the swinging doors.

and pancho villa himself stepped into the saloon with his intrepid iguana on his shoulder.

and where might that be? john dillinger, who had been pretending to be asleep in a corner table, but had actually been listening to the whole conversation with his jaw clenched in steely resolve, asked jocosely.

holed up on king snake mountain, listening to the wind howl like a kangaroo.

it’s been a long time since i had to listen to such laughable nonsense, the ragged stranger who had identified himself as railroad blll, lamented laconically.

but it don’t make no nevermind, the stranger meandered on majestically. bring on this railroad bill of yours, and i will tie his mangy tail to any wagon in the world.

that is not exactly what we had in mind, wyatt earp noted nonchalantly.

oh? the stranger observed obstreperously.

perhaps this could all be settled peacefully, said st peter, who had popped up out of nowhere.

a deathly quiet settled over the saloon.

out in the distance they could all hear a rattlesnake hiss snd a riverboat rumble.

and they thought, it all makes sense now somehow.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

pick a card, part two

by genghis gilgamesh

to read part one, click here

well, did you get it yet?

get what?

that check for a billion dollars for that story.

oh, that. no, i have not got it yet, i don’t know what the holdup is.

maybe that story really was not that good, maybe the gypsy saw you coming and sold you a bill of goods.

sold you a bill of goods - that is another expression you do not hear much any more.

you know what lord acton said.

no, what did lord action say?

he said what is amusingly old-fashioned to one generation is simply meaningless to the next.

so, time goes by.


i already knew that. but, back to the gypsy.

you want me to go back to the gypsy?

if you can find her.

i can find her, this is a real gypsy, she stays right where she is.

i thought gypsies took to the highway.

that shows what you know. the road doesn’t go anywhere, and neither does the gypsy..

how well do you know this gypsy?

i know gypsies, my friends. if there is one thing i know, it is gypsies. so don’t go telling me about gypsies.

i know the stars. i know what is written in the stars. that is where the truth is written, for those who have eyes to see.

look, why don’t we just try again. pick a card, any card, and we will get another story, and if this one does not make a billion dollars, i will go back and see the gypsy, how is that?

oh, all right, i am easy to get along with. (picks a card).

the nine of spades.

ten men went out to the desert with nine spades. one man returned wtih ten bags. what was in the bags?

a). 9 cheeseburgers and a side of fries

b) a side of fries, and 9 packets of ketchup

c) 3 nuns, 3 popes, 3 horses, and a bartender

d) 9 ladies dancing, and a partridge in a pear tree

e) 9 puppies, and a sad clown

f) 9 prayers for peace, and the ultimate weapon

part three

Wednesday, May 25, 2022


by genghis gilgamesh

lucy lee was the prettiest girl in town.

maybe some folks thought millie martin was prettier, but they were outnumbered.

nevertheless lucy came to a strange end.

one night she was walking along the old mill road.

perhaps she had an inkling of what was in store for her.

the road was quiet.

lucy saw a red light in the sky.

a strange light.

she did not seem terribly curious.

but perhaps she had little understanding of mysterious phenomena.

a varmint named will wilson was sitting in a tree beside the road.

he had been waiting for lucy.

but had not expected the red light in the sky.

you must be kidding me, he muttered under his boozy breath.

nothing could have prepared him for the sight that met his eyes.

the alien ship landed.

the door of the alien ship began to open.

lucy was strangely calm.

but will, in his tree, was dumbfounded.

it was as if lucy had been expecting the ship.

lucy got in the ship and it flew away.

with no great fuss or blare of trumpets.

how about that?

i could have told you so.

don’t jump to conclusions.

just because somone is the prettiest girl in town, it does not mean you know who she is.

let this be a warning.

maybe you learned something.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

pick a card, part one

by genghis gilgamesh

pick a card, any card.

i am sorry, but i do not engage in such nonsense.

come on, be a good sport for once in your life.

i must admit i have not the heard the foolish expression “good sport” in many years.

does it bring back fond memories of happier, simpier times?

there were never any happier, simpler times.

happier, simpler people, maybe.

yes, who contributed in no uncertain measure to the wretched situation we find ourselves in today.

what is wretched about it? are you freezing to death? are you starving?

starving for a breath of sanity, maybe.

what an old grump you are. are you sure you do not want to pick a card?

is there any purpose to this picking of a card?

i am trying to write a story.

and this picking a card will help you write your story?

that is what the gypsy said.

well, in that case it must be true. what are you going to do with the story, once it has been written?

i am going to sell it to hollywood or fox network for a billion dollars.

that sounds optimistic. and how much do i get, for picking the card?


you promise?

on the grave of my old dog blue.

in that case, i consent.

here you go, pick a card.

the card is - the queen of diamonds.

the queen of diamonds - that signifies the letter “l”.

so now you have your story?

i have the first letter of the story.

i suppose that is a start. so what is the story?

later that night, after burying the body of the old lion tamer, leonard made himself a caesar salad.

that is a stupid story.

why? what is wrong with it?

nobody ever makes themselves a caesar salad, you just buy them in supermarkets and restaurants.

part two