Three Reasons Why I Love Getting the Flu

flu symptoms

From: tuckermanroger@gmail.com
To: editor@kamloopsthisweek.com
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I love getting the flu! When I’m coughing, groaning, or hurling, I’m thankful for the days when I felt great.

Getting the flu is a blessing in disguise because I work for the government and receive sick pay. I lay on the couch (at the taxpayer’s expense) and watch Netflix all day!

A third reason I love getting the flu is I always have a religious experience. Nothing makes me cry out to God more than when I feel like Hell!

If you’re like me, and want to be infected with the flu virus, I would like to share a helpful tip: Shake as many hands as possible! When I meet people in nightclubs, churches, and elevators I always reach out and shake their hand. My odds of getting the flu greatly increases, especially if they didn’t wash their hands!

A 2015 survey of 100,000 Europeans found that 40 per cent of women and 62 per cent of men don’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom. This means that if you shake the hand of someone who is infected with a flu virus, the odds are 50-50 you will get it too!

However, if you’re not like me, and don’t want to get the flu, then you shouldn’t shake anyone’s hand. Instead, if someone extends their hand to you, clench your fist, and give them a fist bump. A recent study found that a fist bump is 20 times more hygienic than a handshake.

Sincerely,

Roger Tuckerman


My Kindle eBook ⇒ The Donkey King and Other Stories

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The Liar: A Fable

liar pants on fireA farmer hired a young man to guard his sheep at night. He told him: “It’s a really easy job. Just sit and watch the sheep.”

But the young man had a weakness: He loved to drink, and one night he drank too much wine, sat against a haystack in the center of the field, and fell asleep.

When he awoke at sunrise, he smelled like a sheep, and his head pounded like a thundercloud. After counting the flock, he threw up. Three sheep were missing, and he found wolf tracks in the mud!

The young shepherd went to the farmer and said, “A pack of wolves killed three sheep last night, but I couldn’t shoot them. My rifle jammed.”

“Hunt them down,” the farmer ordered him, “or pay me for the sheep that you lost.”

“I’ll find them,” the shepherd said meekly.

The wolf tracks led into the forest adjacent to the field, and the shepherd searched all day. As the sun was setting, he came upon a pack of wolves and raised his rifle.

“Don’t shoot us!” the leader of the pack pleaded. “What have we done to you?”

“You killed three of my sheep!” the shepherd said, his face red with anger.

“We did no such thing,” the wolf calmly replied. “We only eat wild animals, not sheep.”

And so, the shepherd, not having any proof that the wolves killed the sheep, lowered his weapon. He didn’t have the heart to kill an innocent pack of wolves. Breathing a heavy sigh, he returned to the farmer and paid him for the three sheep that he lost.

That night, the shepherd was so exhausted from hunting all day that he sat against the haystack, and fell into a deep sleep again. When he awoke at sunrise, three more sheep were missing. Then, to his great dismay, he found fresh wolf tracks in the mud.

The shepherd went to the farmer and said, “I was so tired from hunting for the wolves that I fell asleep last night. And now three more sheep are gone.”

The farmer, who had no patience for incompetence, gave him an ultimatum: “Hunt down the wolves that did this! If you can’t find them, don’t bother coming back to work tonight.”

The shepherd left at once, searched the forest all day, and as the sun was setting, he found the remains of a sheep. When he walked further, he came upon the same pack of wolves and raised his rifle.

“Don’t shoot me!” the leader of the pack pleaded, his tail held low. “I’m innocent!”

“You lied to me!” the shepherd yelled. “I found sheep bones not far from here.”

“I did not lie,” the wolf replied. “But after you left, I learned that a member of our pack attacked your flock. He is guilty, not us.”

The leader of the pack pointed to the guilty wolf, and the shepherd shot him. Then he cut off its tail and took it to the farmer.

“I shot one of the wolves,” he told the farmer. “But the rest ran away.”

The farmer frowned. “If any more wolves kill my sheep, you’re fired!”

That night, the shepherd sat against the haystack while watching the flock. He thought about owning his own sheep farm one day and closed his eyes.

An hour later, the pack of wolves appeared at the edge of the forest. But the shepherd saw them. He was only pretending to be asleep.

When the wolves came in closer for the kill, the shepherd sprang to his feet and raised his rifle.

“You’re a liar!” he said to the leader of the pack.

With his tail held high, the wolf replied, “If I told you the truth, you would have killed me.”

The shepherd thought for a moment, and said, “Yes, I would do the same thing—if I were a wolf.”

Then he shot the leader of the pack, and the rest of the wolves fled into the forest.


This story was published in The Donkey King and Other Stories

The Troll Who Wanted To Build A Wall: A Fable

Theodor_Kittelsen_-_Skogtroll,_1906_(Forest_Troll)Long ago, there was a troll who lived in a cave on a mountain. His head was shaped like a pumpkin, his nose like a banana, and he was ten feet tall. His name was Thug, and he loved one thing more than anything else: He loved gold.

Thug had thousands of gold coins in his cave, which he had taken from the men who tried to kill him. During the day, Thug slept on his coins, and when he woke up in the evening, he played with them, tossing them in the air, or throwing them at the walls and ceiling. But as the years went by, his heart became empty, and the coins no longer satisfied him.

One evening, Thug woke up and said, “I want to do something meaningful with my life.”

Outside Thug’s cave, there were many boulders, and he rolled three to the stream at the bottom of the mountain. Then he returned to his cave and got a stone bowl and a hammer. With his hammer, he smashed the boulders into powder, and mixed the powder with water and his dung to make mortar.

“I put my dung to good purpose!” Thug said with a smile.

Thug worked through the night and built a wall that was six feet wide, ten feet high, and one foot thick. He looked with satisfaction at the work of his hands, then went back to his cave to sleep.

In the evening, when Thug woke up, he went for a walk, and saw a rabbit on the forest path.

“Hello, rabbit,” Thug said.

“Hello, Thug,” the rabbit replied.

“Can you tell rabbits to meet me by stream?”

“What for?”

“I have big surprise!” Thug said excitedly.

“Okay,” the rabbit said.

An hour later, the rabbits all gathered by the stream, and they looked at the wall that Thug had built.

“What is that?” a rabbit asked.

“It is small wall,” Thug said. “I want to build big wall, all around mountain.”

“Why?” another rabbit asked.

“To protect you from bad men who come and hunt you with arrows.”

While the rabbits were staring in awe at the small wall, a cougar climbed down from a tree. Her name was Hickory, and she loved one thing more than anything else: She loved to eat rabbits.

“Don’t run!” Hickory said to the rabbits. “I’m not going to hurt you. I’m going to save you.”

“Save us!” a rabbit said sarcastically. “You like to eat us!”

“Yes, that’s true,” Hickory admitted. “But I would never eat all of you. If the troll builds his wall, you will all die!”

Thug pointed at the cougar and said, “That is fake accusation! I want to protect rabbits from hunters.”

“His wall will save our lives,” another rabbit said. “It will keep the bad men out.”

“And I will keep bad animals out too,” Thug promised. “I will throw cougar over wall. She will not eat you anymore!”

Hearing this, the rabbits cheered. Then, with one voice, they chanted, “Thug! Thug! Thug!”

Hickory did not want to lose her food supply. So when the rabbits stopped chanting, she said, “It is true that Thug’s wall will keep you safe from bad men, and the wall will keep you safe from me. But there is one thing the wall will not do.”

“What is that?” a rabbit asked.

“The wall will not keep you safe from Thug! Once he has you surrounded, he will eat all of you!”

“That is fake accusation!” Thug shouted. “I only eat plants, flowers, and people who try to kill me.”

“Don’t be fools, rabbits!” Hickory continued. “Why would a troll who loves gold want to protect you? Once the wall is built, just imagine what he will do! He will smash you all with his hammer.”

The rabbits looked at each other. Then they looked at Thug and trembled.

“Thug is a monster!” a rabbit cried.

“He’s big and ugly!” another rabbit blurted. “He’s evil!”

The cougar continued to sow fear in the hearts of the rabbits: “And if Thug doesn’t kill you, he will catch you and sell you to the hunters for gold!”

“No!” Thug said to the rabbits. “I only want to save you from harm. I want to do something meaningful with my life.”

“No wall!” a rabbit yelled, then all the rabbits chanted, “No wall! No wall! No wall!”

Hickory looked at Thug and smiled. “Go back to your cave, you deplorable troll, and sleep on your pile of gold.”

Thug tried to reason with the rabbits: “If you don’t let me build wall, hunters and cougar will kill you.”

“But not all of us,” a rabbit said.

Another rabbit added, “If you build the wall, we know what you will do!”

Thug kicked the ground and frowned. “Stupid rabbits! If you don’t want my help, I will go.”

Then he went back to his cave and decided he would take care of the trees on the mountain.

After that, Hickory continued to eat one or two rabbits every day, and the hunters came and killed many rabbits with their arrows.

And all because the rabbits wouldn’t take a risk, and let the troll build a wall.


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The Neighbour Who Played Loud Music

article-1310750-0B1DFC8C000005DC-371_468x310[A letter found in someone’s mailbox]

Dear Neighbour,

I sold my house, and made a profit of over $50,000! The young couple who bought my home have made an excellent investment. Housing prices are going to keep going up, and up, and up!

For the past year, I was hoping that you would sell your house (I put a real estate agent’s card in your mail box every month), but you never listed, so I put mine on the market. The reason I decided to sell is I go to bed at 10 every night, and every Saturday, you blast your music until two in the morning! On Sundays, I went to work feeling like a zombie. ☹ I really love your 80s music collection by the way. Awesome tunes! 😊

I’m going to tell you a secret: I’m the guy who called bylaw on you. When I couldn’t sleep, I sat by my window, and waited for the bylaw officer to arrive. One time, the officer knocked on your door, and you were so drunk, you threw up on him, and started yelling like a maniac when he fined you $100! It was totally hilarious! I laughed so hard, I wet my pajamas.

Honestly, now that I think about it, I’m going to miss you, neighbour. You gave me so many wonderful memories.

Best wishes,

Roger Tuckerman

P.S. I’m having a house-warming party at my new place on March 3. Would you like to come?


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