"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 30: ANOTHER SHORT ONE...

April 21, 2014

A butcher was in the habit of sending his son with a small wagon to deliver orders. The lad was a little careless, and one day he knocked over an elderly lady.

A lawsuit followed and the butcher had to pay damages. Shortly afterward, the son was the cause of another accident and another lawsuit, and the payments nearly ruined the butcher.

One day a short time after the second case had been settled, a neighbor rushed into the shop to tell the butcher that his wife had been hit by a motorcar.

“Thank goodness,” the butcher exclaimed. “My luck’s changed at last!”

 

"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 29: TWO-SENTENCE CRIME STORY

April 14, 2014
(NOTE: This week's entry in the "Spohn Challenge" project is another attempt at a two-sentence story per the separate challenge some time back by David Gerrold...)


"By this time next week I'll be running this city," Bugsy Martell laughed as he wrapped his arm around his rival's girl and pulled her close to him.


"I wouldn't bet on it,"  Nora said as she pulled the knife from her garter and stuck it between Bugsy's ribs.


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LIFE WITH ARCHIE? NOT FOR LONG!

April 9, 2014

A few years back, the folks at Archie Comics put a new spin on the age-old question of which of his two girlfriends their teenage hero would ultimately wind up with: spoiled rich girl Veronica Lodge, or down-to-earth “girl next door” Betty Cooper. 


The resulting six-part mini-series, entitled “The Married Life,” had Archie Andrews imagining what his future life might be like under either scenario (with three issues apiece devoted to each would-be bride). The “what if” premise pro...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 28: NEWS FLASH!

April 7, 2014
(NOTE: This week's entry in the ongoing "Spohn Challenge" project is written in the form of a newspaper story...)



(From the Eureka Creek (OK) Weekly Pedestrian, April 3, 2014)


The city council campaign, debate over storm sirens and arguments about whether to remove the traffic signal at the intersection of Main and Broadway all took a back seat in the news this past week, as Eureka Creek briefly played host to an emissary from another planet.


Two large spacecraft were spotted hovering over t...


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MEMOIRS OF A NERVOUS BRIDEGROOM

April 4, 2014
(Our Wedding Day: April 5, 2014, First Church of the Nazarene, Kankakee, Illinois)


On the morning of April 5, 1986, I was just about as nervous as a fellow could possibly be without having to call a doctor or look for a fresh change of clothing. How I managed to keep from falling into a dead faint is something I still am unable to fully comprehend these 28 years after the fact. 


In a few short hours I would be getting married. That in itself would have been enough to induce the uncontrollable...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 27: IT WAS A LONG WINTER...

March 31, 2014

Ralph and Gertrude were sitting at the kitchen table drinking their morning coffee listening to the weather report on the radio.  "There will be three to five inches of snow today and a snow emergency has been declared,” the announcer said. “You must park your cars on the odd numbered side of the streets to allow room for snow plows to operate.”


Ralph immediately stood up, grabbed his keys and headed for the door.  “Guess I'd better go do that right now while I'm thinking about it,...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 26: THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT

March 24, 2014
(NOTE: This week's entry in the week "Spohn Challenge" project is a little on the racy side. Apologies for that...)


It was his birthday.

She wanted to give him a gift that would mean something. Something that would always remind him of her, of the time they had spent together, no matter what tomorrow might hold.

So she sent him a glove.

Just one white glove, one half of a set, separated from its mate just as they were separated now. As soft as silk, with an open heart-shaped pattern embroidered t...

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AVE ATQUE VALE, OLD FRIEND

March 19, 2014

Back in the early 1990s, while riding together up Interstate 35 en route to represent the Johnston County Capital-Democrat at some Oklahoma Press Association function or another, my then co-worker Jon Parker and I laughingly hammered out what came to be known as the “Small-Parker Treaty of 1992.”


Two years later – as a means of responding to inane rumors that Jon and I were embroiled in some sort of silly feud regarding our columns in the C-D (which we weren’t) - I publicly revealed,...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 25: ONE DAY IN THE CHECKOUT LINE

March 14, 2014

I was standing in line at the store the other day and happened to overhear a couple of women in front of me who were having one of those typical “housewife” chit-chat. Which, as my Uncle Bean once pointed out, is a more polite way of saying that they were standing around bellyaching about utter louses their husbands happened to be.


One of the women, the older of the two, seemed particularly miffed as she waxed angrily about the fact that her husband apparently never wanted to cook dinner...


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“A STORY A WEEK NO. 24”: MURPHY'S BRIGHT IDEA

March 10, 2014

Old Man Murphy walked into the neighborhood bar one afternoon and spent an hour or so ordering one martini after another. He quickly downed each one, removing the olives from the glasses and placing them in a small jar he'd taken out of his jacket pocket as he did so.


When at last the jar had been filled up with olives and all the drinks consumed, Murphy tipped his hat to the bartender and rose from his stool to leave, carrying the jar the the crook of one arm as he walked toward the door.


...
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About Me


John Allen Small John A. Small is an award-winning newspaper journalist, columnist and broadcaster whose work has been honored by the Oklahoma Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press, the National Newspaper Association, and the Oklahoma Education Association. He and his wife Melissa were married in 1986; they have two sons, Joshua Orrin (born 1991) and William Ian (born 1996). Mr. Small is the News Editor and columnist for the Johnston County Capital-Democrat, a weekly newspaper headquartered in Tishomingo, OK. He obtained his nickname, "Bard of the Lesser Boulevards," from a journalism colleague - the late Phil Byrum - in recognition of the success of his popular newspaper column, "Small Talk." (In addition to the many awards the column itself has received over the years, a radio version of "Small Talk" earned an award for "Best Small Market Commentary" from the Society of Professional Journalists in 1998.) John was born in Oklahoma City in 1963; lived in the Bradley-Bourbonnais-Kankakee area of Illinois for most of the next 28 years (with brief sojourns in Texas and Athens, Greece, thrown in to break up the monotony); then returned to his native state in 1991, where he currently resides in the Tishomingo/Ravia area. He graduated from Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School in 1981, and received his bachelor's degree in journalism from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais in 1991. The years between high school and college were a period frought with numerous exploits and misadventures, some of which have become the stuff of legend; nobody was hurt along the way, however, which should count for something. In addition to his professional career as a journalist he has published two short story collections: "Days Gone By: Legends And Tales Of Sipokni West" (2007), a collection of western stories; and "Something In The Air" (2011), a more eclectic collection. He was also a contributor to the 2005 Locus Award-nominated science fiction anthology "Myths For The Modern Age: Philip Jose Farmer's Wold Newton Universe," edited by Win Scott Eckert. In additon he has written a stage play and a self-published cookbook; served as project editor for a book about the JFK assassination entitled "The Men On The Sixth Floor"; and has either published or posted on the Internet a number of essays, stories and poems. He has also won writing awards from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the National Library of Poetry. He is a past president of the Johnston County Chamber of Commerce in Tishomingo; was a charter member and past president of the Johnston County Reading Council, the local literacy advocacy and "friends of the library" organization; served as Johnston County's first-ever Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator in 1994-95; served two terms as chairman of the Johnston County (OK) Democratic Party; and has taught journalism classes for local Boy Scout Merit Badge Fairs. He is a member of the New Wold Newton Meteorics Society.
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