Wednesday, July 25, 2007

3WW #45

Welcome to Three Word Wednesday. Each week, I will post three (or more) random words. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write something using all of those words. It can be a few lines, a story, a poem, anything. I'll also attempt to write something using the same three words.

Leave a comment if you participate. Many fun and interesting people might visit your blog.

This week's words are:

Dyersville Tax Service & Travel Agency is located in a tiny office in the rear of the local dry cleaners. Perhaps that should have been my first sign. Peering thru the window before I entered, I saw a counter. Beyond that sat a man with his head resting on a desk.

As I opened the door, a bell dinged, and the man raised his head and looked in my direction. He was middle-aged, with dark, curly hair.

"M-may I help you, s-sir?" he asked, trying to appear as if he had not been asleep.

"I'm looking to book a vacation," I paused, as I had to move over to the side so that the door would have room to close. "To Hawaii." I said it almost inquisitively, as if I wasn't sure if he'd ever heard of the state.

"A wonderful choice, sir," he responded, appearing to become more awake with each passing second. "And you can leave your lava lamps at home."

He looked at me with a goofy teeth-baring grin and paused, as if waiting for a reaction. When none came, he continued, "Uh, please have a seat, won't you."

I looked around to find only a single metal stool. As I planted myself there, the man turned towards his computer. That's when I heard the old, familiar sounds of dial-up internet.

You've got to be kidding me, I thought to myself. Already I was beginning to question my decision to come here. It had seemed like such a noble gesture in theory, going out of my way to support a small business.

Finally, the screeching of the connection process was over. I tried to relax. Maybe this won't be so bad, I thought. Besides, isn't this one of the reasons I had moved to a small town, for the slower pace?

"Never booked a trip to Hawaii before," he said it almost excitedly, as if he were the traveler instead of me.

What was I thinking? I should have booked this trip online. I began to think of ways to get out of this. I wasn't bold enough to just walk out and say I'd changed my mind. No, there had to be a good excuse. Besides, how many trips a year could this guy possibly book? Ten, twelve, tops? I felt sorry for him, and somehow obligated now.

I know. Whatever price he quotes, I'll just say it's too expensive. That's easy enough, right? But what if it's really cheap?

As I continued thinking, my gaze shifted upward to where an old two-blade ceiling fan twisted slowly, looking as if it might stop at any moment. Maybe it will fall and land on him. Then I'll leap over the counter to save his life, and any thoughts about some Hawaii trip would be completely forgotten. Problem solved.

I watched the fan, hoping against hope. Maybe I can will it to fall, like those mind over matter people. If they can move inanimate objects, why can't I? I just have to concentrate, that's all.

As I focused on the ceiling fan, my impromptu session of What Would Criss Angel Do was ended by an electronic beeping sound. Jolted back to reality, I looked down to see the man fiddling with something on his side.

What's that? A pager? And a neon green one at that. No. It can't possibly be! A pager and dial-up internet? I've got to get out of here. I'll just leave. Yes, that's it. I'll stand up, and I won't say anything, and I'll walk out the door, and I'll never see him again, and that'll be that.



Come on! Go!

But my body wasn't moving.

"It won't be long now," he said as he shot a reassuring smile my way before returning his attention to what I was certain was an Apple IIe.

If only I could control-open-apple-reset my day.

"Now the court square's just a set of streets that the people go around but they seldom think, about the little man that built this town before the big money shut 'em down..."


  1. Thanks Bone for your great prompts. I really enjoy 3WW.

    I have a poem I wrote today called "Lemons". I hope y'all have a chance to read and I look forward to reading your works.



  2. These words somehow fit the poem already formed in my mind.

    touching the stars

  3. fan blows blank papers
    reality: just a crutch
    an open mind bleeds

    two more haiku today. enjoy!

  4. Probably my worst yet, but such fun to do! Thanks Bone for just being Bone, I think it was reading your body going down down down that made me think of the arms -- Grin.

  5. here's my 3ww entry. it's in my spiritual blog today. scroll down a little to the image of the earth and dove. it's what is written in green just below it.

  6. the link ended up being too long so i gave it a new link with tiny url:

  7. This is my first 3WW, so please be gentle. I was hoping to start off with something a little more high brow, but the words took me in an unexpected direction. Hope it isn't entirely lame.

  8. Difficult words for me. I've an excuse - reviewing for my exams! Anyway it's up . This is getting to be one of my favorite weekly thing.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Short but not too sweet this week.
    Reality, Fan, Mind

    I'm really enjoying this-glad I found you. JC

  11. Mine is up. Another episode of Norbert and Smedley--a little racier than usual, but still PG.


  12. I just want to say, I'm a little perturbed with you right now, Bone. I'm in the middle of a story that has multi parts and thus I don't feel right just leaving it, but I've been wanting to do a "one-sentence" 3WW for a long time and this week, this week's words are perfect for it and I'm writing something else. Sigh. Thanks, thanks a lot.

  13. Hi everyone! Another first-time 3WWW person here. I've been wanting to join in for quite a while now. It looks like a lot of fun. Hopefully this link will work, otherwise do the copy and paste thing with this:

  14. I had three deleated stories before I finally decided to just continue on with a snippet of something related a few weeks ago.

  15. i found you on rose's site.. and i have never played before,,, nor did i cheat and look at the other entries first... so i am hoping i am not way off base with this....

    i had a lot of fun and will continue to play every wednesday... thanks for providing us this outlet....

  16. i forgot to say where i put my entry.. it is on my just paisley... blog at:


  17. hey Im wireless issues this week...*knocks on wood*

    Ill stop by later on to read everybody's!

  18. I'm tardy, but done. I'll try and get to the others later today :)

  19. Thanks to all for participating this week, and welcome to our newcomers! :)

    I'll be around to read everyone else's sometime today.

  20. Somewhat belatedly I'm afraid this is my first contribution to this meme. Hope you like it.

  21. Oh Bone only for you will I comment as you're going blind, deaf, have limited memory....can't wait until you're 40....

    There was something enchanting about this story

    The two characters played well against each other, pictured the office, loved the lava lamp line

    Loved how it became more and more absurd, yet I don't know, maybe such things do happen in small towns...

  22. Hi Bone,

    A simple story, that gradually slipped into the surreal. Big city boy goes to small town and finds?

    I hope you continue this, it is very good.



  23. Loved these words, Bone. They took me to a dark place. Thanks.

    Fatal Mistake

  24. Consider this your warning: it’s going to be a long one. (I'm feeling chatty today...)

    Dyersville Tax Service & Travel Agency

    If the above was my warning about how long this comment is going to be, that fragment of the first sentence alone was your main characters warning about this so-called travel agency. Tax service and travel agency??? Righttttttttttttttttttttt. That’s like a bakery and meat locker in the same building… they just don’t go together. (And notice that I’m not even touching the subject of it being part of the local dry cleaners…)

    Then again… it is a small town. And in small towns, well, that’s not the strangest thing that can happen!! But I digress. (Shocker.)

    That's when I heard the old, familiar sounds of dial-up internet.

    That’s a sound I dread. Beyond belief. And I hear it every time I go visit my parents.

    Finally, the screeching of the connection process was over. I tried to relax. Maybe this won't be so bad, I thought.

    For some reason, this made me think of a trip to the dentist… lol. It sounds like your character really felt like he was “in pain.” You really brought him alive for us and made us feel like we were going through the same stuff.

    "Never booked a trip to Hawaii before," he said it almost excitedly, as if he were the traveler instead of me.

    I love that part, Bone. I’ve thought about being a travel agent a time or two, and that would be the reason I’d want to do it. To feel like I was constantly traveling. Oh yeah, and for the travel discounts too O:-)

    I watched the fan, hoping against hope. Maybe I can will it to fall, like those mind over matter people. If they can move inanimate objects, why can't I? I just have to concentrate, that's all.

    I was laughing soooo hard by this time. I could also feel his frustration and how much he wanted to make this work, but not cause any harm to the man. He just wanted out.

    Oh the good ol’ Apple IIe days. Sigh.

    If only I could control-open-apple-reset my day.

    Sometimes I really do wish life was still that easy.

  25. Paul: Welcome, and thanks for participating.

    Pia Savage: Thanks. And I welcome pity-the-aging comments :)

    Rose: Thank you. I've thought about going back and trying to continue one of my previous stories, it just hasn't happened yet.

    Annie: Glad you enjoyed the words. I thought they were very flexible, if that makes sense.

    TC: Thank you. And due to your kind words, I'm not even gonna word count you this time ;-)

    Actually, up until a year or so ago, there was a plumbing and tax service place in a neighboring town. That's kinda where I got the idea for the combined business.

    Sometimes I really do wish life was still that easy.

    That's exactly what I was going for :)

  26. Oh my, now I have that dialup screeching in my mind - I hope it leaves before I need to use my brain again. Bit cruel -- your character wanting the fan to fall, couldn't he have just settled for the internet to break or the city to come by and close up the business for no license rather than bodily harm to the poor man struggling to keep his pager from vibrating so soon after his nap? (Grin) You are such an entertaining writer. (No, the grin goes with changing your story, not as a facetious remark about how entertaining you are;)

  27. This is my first attempt...I'm real happy I discovered this blog!

  28. a very very short True Lies meets Eternal Sunshine whatever

    Very different than anything you have ever done

    Was unsettling to me at first--the tor in me :)

    This was because you're going deaf

  29. I'm with Pia. This is very different from anything you've written previously. And though I'm normally not one for sequels - - I could certainly make an exception in this case.

    In defense of small businesses with unlikely partners: I personally know of a Farm Supply and Law Firm. It makes sense if you hear the story behind it, but otherwise seems from another world. I could list at least 4 other unlikely couplings in the business world.

    It's taking everything in me not to quote the entire post. Well done, Sir Bone!

    My own slightly off-beat entry will be up before you can say Boo.

  30. Cute!
    You've taken a different style with this one... and I like it.

    But, I'm curious!
    Did the fan fall!?

  31. Apple IIe, and Control-Open-Apple-Reset--that brings back a few memories. But I didn't give up my pager that many years ago. Five, maybe six? There were places it reached that the cell didn't, and when you have to be available 24/7 (I used to be a practicing MD), it comes with a price...

    I was sure glad to get rid of the damn thing, though.

  32. I enjoyed this. Maybe because I'm from one of those small towns with all the mod cons.

  33. Marcia: No one was coming by to shut him down. It was up to me and my powers of suggestion to get the job done :)

    Fledgling Poet: Welcome to Three Word Wednesday!

    Pia: This was because you're going deaf

    That made me laugh. Aww, a comment for each of my physical and mental deficiencies? :)

    Avery Laine: Thanks. It was far from my favorite, but I did get into the internal dialogue.

    Blondie: Not yet :) It was not being very cooperative.

    Gay: I'll make a pager exception rule for MD's :)

    Paul: Thank you. I, too, am from a small town.

  34. well mine was late - but it's up.

    happy Friday :)

  35. We have tax and travel agencies combined in Upper Manhattan, and the Bronx. Very common, so that didn't seem weird to me at all

    Maybe it should? But I used to pass them on the bus everyday. They also do money orders and phone calls/phone cards

    This one's for Bone's failing memory which has been failing since forever

    But I would love to see this continued. Not necessarily as a true humor piece but as an absurdist piece

    Little Shop of Horrors is another movie that comes to mind

    Can see the characters singing their parts

    You're deep Bone, deep. The more I read this the more I truly like it

    Am tempted to tell you not to keep developing as I'm not supposed to be reading blogs :) However.....

  36. Actually it is too familiar a scene in certain parts of India.

  37. Awww, I'm still on dial-up. Hahaha! But I'm from a third world country so that excuses it.

    I feel for the protagonist though.

    If only I could control-open-apple-reset my day.

    I guess we all have moments like this.

  38. I wasn't around on Wednesday (or Thursday) to do this, but I like your story and now want to hear about a wonderful vacation to Hawaii (via a boat)!

  39. cute story! Reminds me of the very first time I used a travel agent. My goodness it was archaic! And that was in the early 90's...but it looked as if she were using a Comodor 64 or a TRS 80!

    re: allowing girlfriends to get rid of your stuff? Wow! You're very trusting...or have a bunch of stuff with no connection to any of it. There's something different between you and DH. If I get rid of his stuff, it's like he senses the loss and will ask for what I just got rid of. Kinda freaky actually.

  40. Hi Bone! I really enjoyed reading your story -- and I loved the strategizing (my spell check keeps saying I spelled that wrong...) of trying to get out of booking the trip. The part about hoping the ceiling fan will fall and leaping over to save the guy's life cracked me up. Your dialogue and character development are great!

  41. Shelby: It always warms my heart when someone posts theirs later than me :)

    Happy Friday to you. Well, Saturday now.

    Pia Savage: Yeah, I don't think those are common around here at all. As in, I've never heard of one.

    And my failing memory has been failing for forever. Not that I can remember back that far O:)

    Gautami: I'm curious as to which part is familiar.

    Lightheaded: Well, at least you're not dial-up by choice :)

    Sage: A boat! That's a good idea.

    Renee: Ooo, I think I wrote my first computer program on a TRS-80!

    Well, I don't think any of them have ever taken me up on it. At least, I haven't discovered anything missing yet :)

    Clockwork: Was wondering where you were this week :)

    Clare: Thank you much. And thanks for stopping back by to read my entry.

  42. wow bone nice job!!! loved the topic...and so have walked into shops like that! The daydreaming of ways to get out of it was great! I too would have been glued to my seat...

  43. I'm late again (as usual), but I'm going to really try to be on time with the next one.

    I love these things - thanks for continuing to provide the inspiration. :)

  44. ATag: Thanks, Tagster. The "walk out" is a difficult thing to do :)

    Manky: I only provide the words. It's fun to see where they take everyone.