Header Graphic
KeithSpeak - April 2022


April 1, 2022
It was the anniversary of his mother's death and he was taking a walk thinking about her when from out of nowhere a kitten ran up to him and started tagging along. It rubbed figure 8s on his legs and purred nonstop until he picked it up, looked into its eyes and became convinced it was his mother reincarnated. He took the kitten home and named her Mom. And really, who's to say it wasn't?
April 2, 2022
I saw the most well dressed homeless guy I have ever seen. I'm talking suit, dress shirt, waist coat and hat. His tie, though filthy, looked silk. He was outside a donut shop asking for spare change. I went up to him.
-- Damn, you're looking good.
-- I find that people prefer to give money to a well dressed bum than not. I already had the clothes, I just couldn't afford the rent anymore. 
-- It's the hat that makes the ensemble.
-- Not the 3 piece suit?
-- The suit's a nice touch, but the hat makes you look like you're doing this for a lark instead of survival. Lends an air of casualness to the whole asking-for-money affair.
-- Speaking of which, got any spare change?
-- Compliments aren't enough?
-- You serious?
-- I'm not. Here you go, my friend. Stay classy.
-- That's my schtick.
April 3, 2022
At 9 o'clock at night I went to use an out of town ATM. When I started to put my card in, something in the mechanism moved. I pulled my card. I pulled on the mechanism and it was definitely loose. Did some screws pop out? Had someone tried to break into the ATM? Had someone installed a card skimmer? Is this a criminal act or a case of negligent maintenance? As you can see, I had questions but no cash. The story of my life.
April 4, 2022
A fortune cookie from last night's dinner: You will wake up tomorrow and wonder why you even bothered.
What? What kind of fortune is that?!
Are they now being written by nihilists?
What exactly are you to do when you realize your fate is tied to a depressed cookie writer?
I'm beginning to think these people are no prophets.
I'm beginning to think that fortune cookies aren't real.
April 5, 2022
Down at the wharf, some guy tells me that seagulls are stupid. Bold statement. I ask him how he knows. He doesn't have an answer but he's convinced he has a reason. Yeah? When I was little, he said, a seagull snatched an ice cream cone out of my hand and flew away with it. I said, What's so dumb about that? He said, I was really enjoying that cone and that bird robbed me of that pleasure. So that makes them stupid? Damn right, he said. It was obvious his childhood grudge has clouded his seagull intelligence assessment. But you believe what you believe, and for this guy, it's that seagulls are stupid. Ipso facto.
April 6, 2022
At 2 in the morning I hear a really loud crash. It sounds like it came from the front porch so I get up and check but nothing seems amiss. I go back to sleep. I walk into my office this morning and discover that a large window has been shattered and there is glass all over the room. A bear just out of hibernation must have discovered the bird feeder hanging outside that very window, climbed up the house to reach it, but lost its balance and fell into the window, shattering it. Fortunately, the bear didn't fall into the house. Can you imagine that nightmare? Look at this mess! Bad bear. Bad bad bear.
April 7, 2022
If I walk in your shop or store or place of employment and there are dogs or cats there, I will be so much more inclined to stay, buy and appreciate you and your company way more than I would have without the critters. They make everything warm and fuzzy. Animals at work are the bomb.
April 9, 2022
I really wish I had something better to say than I have nothing to say. But that's all I can say for now.
April 11, 2022
And if I had a boat
I'd go out on the ocean
And if I had a pony
I'd ride him on my boat
And we could all together
Go out on the ocean
I said me upon my pony on my boat
                                    Lyle Lovett
April 13, 2022
Preventative maintenance, that's the ticket. With the supply chain still in flux, and our house heated with an ancient gas furnace that's had more surgery than a Kardashian, we decided to order a new furnace because we were months out from obtaining one, and if ours died in winter, which, let's face it, is when you use a heater, and we had to wait months, we would be in serious trouble. Soon, we'll have a brand new gas furnace, still in its box, sitting on our front porch just waiting for the old one to die. Preventative maintenance, that's the ticket.
April 14, 2022
A friend introduced me to his grandfather. Tom was 6'4", 92 years old and had a full head of hair. Not gray hair, mind you, but jet black, shoe polish black, shiny beyond belief black hair. I must have kept staring at it because Tom says, "You're probably wondering how I have such a luxurious mane." I told him I was. Tom smiled, went over to his valise and pulled out a bottle of Kiwi, Instant Shine Liquid Shoe Polish. "My secret," he said. Then he ran his fingers through his hair and they came out black. Yikes, vanity has no age limit.
April 15, 2022
Overheard two twenty something guys.
-- How can you tell if someone is coming on to you?
-- What are you talking about?
-- I go into a store to buy something but the salesgirl says she will have to get it out of the stockroom. A minute later she calls me from the back and asks if I would steady the ladder while she climbs up to the top shelf to get my item. She's wearing a skirt. I look up and see everything. Was she doing that on purpose? Was that a come on?
-- Did she know you were looking?
-- I don't know. I don't think so.
-- Did you say anything to her about it?
-- No.
-- Did she say anything to you about it?
-- No.
-- What happened next?
-- She climbed down, we went to the front of the store, she rang it up and I left.
-- It doesn't sound like a come on to me.
-- It was like I was in a porn movie without the porn.
-- I think it was simply a girl who had no idea you were looking up her skirt.
April 16, 2022
She was the darling of the call centre. She could sweet talk anyone into anything. Her verbal skills coupled with her personality made her irresistible to those being scammed. But it was starting to get to her. One day she complained to her husband that, "Ripping people off is my job. I'm very good at it. But I'm starting not to like myself so much. How can I use my talents for some other purpose?" Her husband, Gage, immediately replied, "Go into politics, babe. All they do is talk and lie. Run for office." And she did. And she won. Now she's just one more lying, disingenuous politician with nothing but self interest motivating her agenda. Oh goody.
April 18, 2022
I'm afraid things will be hit or miss for a bit. My wife had to have some surgery and now that she is back home, I am her caretaker. At some point she will feel better and I can return here. But for right now...
April 19, 2022
Roses are red
Violets are blue
What in the hell is wrong with people?
Have you talked with some of them? Jesus.
April 21, 2022
Overheard at a pharmacy between an older woman and her son.
-- This is the last time I'm going to buy these pills, Mom. They will not refill anymore.
-- I hate these pills. They make me feel fat and stupid.
-- Is that why you gave them to the cat?
-- Ungrateful animal wouldn't eat even one.
-- Mom, why would you give the cat your pills?
-- I wanted to see what her reaction was going to be. Was she dumber than normal? Did she walk into walls? Did she gain or lose weight?
-- She's a cat! Her reaction will tell you absolutely nothing about why YOU need to take them. Besides, you would have killed poor Minnie if she had eaten them.
-- But don't they test all these on animals first?
-- This is the last time, Mom. Do not give them to the cat. Do not throw them in the garbage. Do not flush them down the toilet. Ok?
-- Oh, I get it. You want your old Ma to feel fat and stupid. What, you get some kind of charge from that, sonny? Is that a thrill for you?
-- Bizarro statements like that, Mom, are precisely why you need to take this medication.
April 22, 2022
When my wife was in grad school, we lived in a small A-frame cabin in the woods on 55 acres in upstate New York. We had two big dogs, a garden and no neighbours. We spent 4 idyllic years there while my wife obtained her Ph.D. You know how usually when you're in the middle of something great you don't fully realize it until it's over and you look back fondly? Not us. We relished every day in that fabulous place. It's the difference between loving where you are and doing what you want as opposed to bitching and moaning about your life and circumstances. Capish?
April 24, 2022
By the way, in your adult life, there is no one to blame for your circumstances. You made your choices, decisions and actions all on your own. Sure, you may have had the advice of others, but you were the one that pulled the trigger and went down whatever roads you went down. Blame is the absence of responsibility. Responsibility is the gate to understanding. If you are involved in an event, YOU are involved. It's not about the other person, or how you got there, or bad luck. It was you that put you where you are. When you accept that, the event will have meaning for you.
April 25, 2022
Hello, my name is Roger. I thought I was going to be a great artist, but, well, if that had happened I sure as hell wouldn't be here. Look, I just wasn't making it. I thought that my name might be the problem. Roger isn't very inspiring, is it? Could it be that simple?
Hi, I'm James. I too am a great unknown artist. My problem, if that's what you want to call it, is I sign my canvases with someone else's famous name. I find that that generally pays more.
I'm X. My art started out with tagging and then progressed to legit house painting. But I couldn't help inserting signs and secret messages and when they found them they said they were satanic or some such bullshit. Now I'm here.
Hi y'all, my name's Sugar. I was a curator of a rural art museum and when I suggested that we bring in some local artists known for their lack of sexual inhibitions and put on a show, well, you can imagine what happened. Then they sent me here.
Name's Picasso. No, not that one. I'm just plain ol' Allan Picasso. Can you imagine trying to be an artist with that name hung around your neck? No offense to James, my forger friend here-
None taken.
- but if you sign a piece of art with Picasso, they all just ASSUME it's him. It's never me. Never. Not once.
Guess I'm next, huh. Name's Perry. I thought this was an AA meeting. But you guys are much more entertaining, so I'm staying.
I'm Winston, an art critic. I hate everything I see. That's the critic's job, to tear down what others think is so great. Look at me, I spent 5 years painting this! It's shit. It's all shit. Don't get me started.
Hi everybody. I'm Leah. I'm a stay at home mom and I paint during the kids' naps. I always thought that artists had to drink and do drugs for their art so I got into all that but I forget about the kids a couple of times and then they took them away. Social Services. Not very social if you ask me.
Guess, I'm the last. My name is  Jamal. I was a cappuccino artist. I could make any face outta that foam. But one day I put on a Hitler, just to see their reaction. Prolly laugh, right. Only I didn't look at the name on the cup. Jacobsen. They didn't laugh. Next thing I know I'm here, in art rehab. Ain't that something?
April 25, 2022
Dear Keith,
You need to tell me the exact, precise, easy way, in easy to understand steps, how I can be a writer.
Need To Be A Writer
Dear Need To Be,
Ok, my friend, I'm going to break it down to nano levels of understanding.
Step 1.) Is your brain in some sort of working order? Because that is the source of your material. Without that, well, chaos. So, should we assume you're in possession of a functioning brain?
Step 2.) Ok then, what you need next is a tool. An implement with which to express those mighty brain waves. It could be a piece of chalk, charcoal, maybe a pencil or pen, or even the almighty typewriter,
but not this one; this looks like something Mark Twain would have written on. If he were here we would both have a chuckle over the fact that I ended that last sentence with a preposition and as writers we would be compelled to laugh and laugh. That is the sort of thing you can look forward to if you follow my steps.
Step 3.) You need something to write on. For instance, if you fancy yourself a haiku poet, it could be something like your palm or forehead. If you need more space, perhaps a wall, or better yet, a piece of paper. POWER TIP: Get yourself more than one piece of paper. The stuff rips super easily.  
Step 4.) Start typing. Now you're a writer! I know! 
*BONUS* Step 5.) It would be nice if you had something to say. But that brings us back to Step 1 and the functioning brain thing. 
Anyway, that my friend, is how you become a writer in 4 to 5 easy peasy steps. Is too.
April 28, 2022
Dilemma. Went over to a friend's house for dinner. We're chatting in the kitchen while he prepares the food. At one point I look over and sitting on the counter is a field mouse. I casually mention the rodent to my friend. He glances over and says, "Oh, that's just Florio." Florio? "Yeah, he lives behind the oven. It's always warm back there." Now I'm no stranger to rural farm living and having mice in the house, so I am all too familiar with the word association - Mouse. Kitchen. Droppings. Food you are about to eat. Dilemma. - but I have never heard of one named Florio! Call me old fashioned but that is one posh mouse name, eh?
April 29, 2022
She taught for 30 years and decided it was time for a sabbatical.
She was gone for 6 months.
She traveled.
She visited 15 countries and saw children from all over the world.
When she came back to the classroom she realized what heathens and thugs her students were by comparison.
Now what?
"You go away for a long time and return a different person - you never come all the way back."
                                                                                                                              Paul Theroux

Return to KeithSpeak or go forward to next month
KeithSpeak                                              May 2022


Keith Ryan Publishing


Privacy policy

Copyright © 2023 keithryan.com
All Rights Reserved.