Bert’s Berth

Photo by Nicolas Postiglioni on

Bert’s Berth, in Sleepy Hollow, is where Ichabod Crane bunks between late night rides. It’s quiet, since Bert’s doesn’t have much in the way of a lunch crowd. Around three in the afternoon, the pub scene starts. There’s beer, stout and ale on tap. Twenty four different kinds of quench, all told. Half are bottled and a third are obscure. Ichabod takes dinner in his room. At ten pm, he slips out. He stops in for a hot toddy around four am. It’s a small group by then. Most of the guys are off their heads. Ichabod fits right in.

Beats and Barts

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Beats and Barts are both slangy guys. Beats hang in coffee houses reading obscure poems. They wear black jeans, and turtlenecks, and maybe berets.

Barts are regular Joes. Not the coffee kind of joe. They dress casual, cool, and colorful. They’re likely to play pick-up basketball and treat everyone to ice cream afterwards.

How can these two men intersect? They’re father and son. Or a woman is involved, one who time travels from the fifties to now. A feminist before feminism found itself. Imagine, she realizes that her poet isn’t woke. She walks into another dimension. There’s conflict either way.

Heats and Tarts

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The Queen of Hearts did heat some tarts. Baked them in an oven, ten minutes at four hundred then three hundred fifty until brown and bubbly. It was an old family recipe passed down from Aunt Alice before she died and after all was forgiven.

The young Red Queen did vary the ingredients using, for instance, flamingo and mushrooms. That one pinked up nicely, the juices oozing from the vents. Red also made a nutter pie, chock full of died in the wool ideologues. The Cheshire Cat always attended the tea, accompanied by the Mad Hatter. They never grow old.

Heath and Tares

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A heath hike is full of surprises for the observant. Quiet! Do you hear a tittering in the bush there. It’s noisy under that blanket. Don’t be so nosy. Maybe it’s children or birds, in heather or tare, not secretive lovers panting. Imagine hide and seek games or the rattle of empty seeds. Take a minute away from the world. Avert your eyes. Give them some privacy. It’s no more than you’d want on a cool spring day in the middle of April, after the lambs are shorn and before the wool is knit into sweater gifts for the holidays.

Death and Taxes

Photo by Janko Ferlic on

The whole thing started when Joe decided to do his taxes. He got himself a mug of coffee and poured in a little Irish whiskey left from St Patrick’s Day. Stirring in sugar, he took a sip and decided it was just the thing for an afternoon of crunching the numbers. He whipped up cream and spooned it on top. Carrying it into his study, he sat in front of the computer and opened his tax software. Three hours later, he was finished. He had a heart attack when he saw the bottom line. His wife blamed the whipped cream.