Apollo 19 – Some More Stuff

•May 31, 2010 • Leave a Comment

What transpired on the shores of the Sea Of Tranquility is noted in detail later in this series.

Today we observe how Commander Pilletjie Plaatjies and his trusted navigator embarked on their unique mission into`Eeeyowter Spaays`.

Although Apollo 19 was launched soon after Apollo 18, Apollo 19`s mission was kept hushed and hidden from the public for fear of ridicule and backlash from an already irate US public.

Apollo 18 ferried a crew  and supplies to the SkyLab orbiting laboratory in the early 1970`s. The next mission was to have been a test of how long it would take astronauts in zero gravity to change from their space flight suits into pyjamas and then back into their full space suits again. Up until then, early 1973, it was felt by NASA officials that in the event of disaster aboard an Apollo mission the crew needed to be able to get changed as quickly and efficiently as possible. By changing socks from warm knee-length socks to very short gym socks had improved the `changeability factor`by 24.67 percent. This was  a positive enough result to tempt NASA to deploy Apollo 19 in a `SCGDGU` mission environment and in the process, utilise a previously minoritised and untapped space resource – The Afronaut.

As the result of an intensive Afronaut selection process whereby prospective candidates were secretly filmed whilst in their homes, getting changed into their pyjamas each evening, Pilletjie and Stilletjie outshone the lesser ranks and were ultimately selected to suit up and mount up the giant Saturn 5 rocket that would take them on a journey of a lifetime.   Their `SCGDGU` mission, (Space Clothing Get Dressed Get Undressed), saw the brave and adventurous lads about to launch into history.

DECLERATION
This Short Story entitled “Apollo 19 – Some More Stuff ” is copyrighted to the author, Simon J Tatt. No persons may reproduce any part of the story in any way for the purposes of financial gain or for any other reasons without the express permission of Simon J Tatt. Law 6785/67 of the Intrinsic Writers Code of 2009 protects the above mentioned work and any infringement thereof will result in a fine of $20 000 and/or a jail term of between 5 and 7 years in a Lithuanian sprout skinning factory. Additionally, perpetrators might be subjected to having harnessed mosquitoes with wings flapping at 55000 bpm inserted directly into their ear canals.

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Apollo 19 – The Next Little Bit …..

•May 26, 2010 • 2 Comments

Back in Cape Town on planet Earth, the families of the two space travellers are being interviewed by a tv crew. “We diddan know theyz waz goin to be afronauts…aar diddan sign a forrum or anythink wot did giv permission for them to take orf in a rockkit for eeyowter space.” said Commander Plaatjies`s mother. 

“Aarm very, very preeowd of maar sun. Aaar think he duz a guut job therr barr space.” Mr Jantjies`s statement is enthusiastically recorded by the doccie crew and later edited for broadcast.

Stilletjie navigates their way to the surface of the moon as Commander Plaatjies prepares for a controlled descent onto a landing zone on the edge of the Sea of Tranquility.

At this stage I should mention that both Afronauts are from families of fisher folk. Their parents and their parents parents have been subsistence fishing in False Bay, near Cape Town, since before the days of apartheid.

Unfortunately, due to unscrupulous fishing practices a large portion of fish species in the bay are close to being wiped out which not only reduces the income of the already struggling families but also narrows down a jolly good source of food for the local community.

Commander Pilletjie Plaatjies and Navigator Stilletjie Jantjies are on a mission, at this time, to seek out replacement subsistence resources and have heard that the Sea of Tranquility might just be the spot for them.

As the moon dust settles all around them and Commander Pilletjie switches Apollo 19`s power systems to `standby`, they look out through the inspection port and see in the distance, a curious figure leaning against a large lump of regolith with one leg resting nonchalantly on the lid of a 3-legged potjie (cast-iron cooking pot).

Pilletjie and Stilletjie look at each other inquiringly, adjust their fishing rod to `maximum cast` and quietly open the hatchway.

DECLERATION
This Short Story entitled Apollo 19 – The Next Little Bit ….. is copyrighted to the author, Simon J Tatt. No persons may reproduce any part of the story in any way for the purposes of financial gain or for any other reasons without the express permission of Simon J Tatt. Law 6785/67 of the Intrinsic Writers Code of 2009 protects the above mentioned work and any infringement thereof will result in a fine of $20 000 and/or a jail term of between 5 and 7 years in a Lithuanian basket making factory. It might also transpire that additional punishment in the form of sensitive parts of the anatomy being heated to several degrees above boiling point might also be carried out.

Apollo 19 – The Story So Far …..

•May 13, 2010 • 1 Comment

Two space travellers from Africa are on a mission to help humanity by doing what they can from the depths of space. Commander Pilletjie Plaatjies and Navigator Stilletjie Jantjies operate the Apollo 19 craft as it hurtles through the universe on the lookout for people and other entities to help and share ideas with. Earth is fast shooting itself in the foot so to speak and in the near future, many animal and plant species will no longer be available for future generations to see and touch. Solutions are needed to protect and conserve what is still living on Planet Earth.

The afronauts have spent many many hours together in the close confines of their space craft, this has led to the development of a  sometimes  wordless form of communication between them. Almost before it is said, Commander Plaatjies will reprogram the co-ordinates for a new destination as Navigator Jantjies expertly plots their course. 

Encountering frightening creatures from other worlds that find it difficult not to gnash their teeth in a menacing fashion, the intrepid pioneers deal with these encounters in their calm and calculated manner developed from years of self-preservation and meals of breyani and pap snoek. Pap snoek being a favoured fish dish from their beloved home city of Cape Town.

DECLERATION
This Short Story entitled Apollo 19 – The Story So Far ….. is copyrighted to the author, Simon J Tatt. No persons may reproduce any part of the story in any way for the purposes of financial gain or for any other reasons without the express permission of Simon J Tatt. Law 6785/67 of the Intrinsic Writers Code of 2009 protects the above mentioned work and any infringement thereof will result in a fine of $20 000 and/or a jail term of between 5 and 7 years in a Peruvian gaol.

Silly Short Story #7

•April 5, 2010 • Leave a Comment

A CHINA STORY

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By Simon J Tatt

 It has come to mind that several Chinese soldiers who should have turned left at the shopping mall, in fact continued on until they fell over a used truck salesman from Yang Ting province. It would have been better for the majority of citizens if only well qualified truck salesmen were permitted beyond the borders of the smaller provinces. Tai-Chu Gyangijin is a swarthy well groomed ex-policeman from Huntai just north of Yang Ting – a silly part of China mainly reserved for turtle-dove collectors – he often changes his underwear and likes to wear purple trousers because he says, they make him “feel good”. Tai-Chu is very confident that the next time his country hosts the Olympics they will win gold in every discipline including lake-jumping and the new sport that has been introduced, rabbit squeezing.

Coming from a wealthy family and owning a tractor a combine harvester and two Vespa scooters, the happy young ex-policeman spends a lot of his time watering his garden and raking the driveway clear of spent cartridge casings. It is rare not to hear gunfire day or night in Huntai. I have heard that many many many years ago several irate Buddhists were seen to fire homemade elephant guns at a procession of poppy collectors who felt hard done by that just because people were getting high in their footsteps and not taking full responsibility for their own actions, they blamed it directly on the monks. “Ptooplee kroonjarbikky!” screeched Tai-Chu with a shudder when he recalled the awful poppy incident from many many years ago. “Klinnikikkee hutturbuneedooly deiklatter shnoobunjukk!” Shouted the tall half Chinese half Lithuanian ex-copper. Loosely translated this means – “I am tired of gunshots, let all guns be silent and let people throw only paper swords.” “Grinddy eek puppoodebbendooz.” – “Crikey I think she’s pregnant!”

This last statement seemed to just spurt out because Tai-Chu was still in a quandary over his role in his previous wife’s daily dallyings. Not being a particularly forceful fellow he had allowed the young lady to leave him and shack up with a close neighbour but she insisted on doing her laundry in his living room and to make matters worse, the living room was in the middle of his bedroom. As far as ladies and bumps go, the lady in question owned a rather prominent bump and to top it all, she was busily gathering nesting material.

 Cots, nappies, mobiles (the twirly ceiling jobbies) and an extensive collection of Family Magazine or as it is known in these parts of the world, “Kuk Tarzandid” (Shrieky Monsters). Local radio stations played mournful tunes and a rag doll in the corner of Tai-Chu`s bedroom/laundry had its paper hat slide sadly down until one edge covered its wonky eye. “Handee Dundee” exclaimed the copper. I think he meant that the doll reminded him of Andy Pandy but of that I`m not entirely sure. It is often difficult to know precisely what Huntaians mean when they`re in a state of sadness or melancholy.

No sooner had a tear of something trickled down Tai-Chu`s face when he sprang up off his haunches and ran as hard as he could out through the bedroom/laundry wall and into the vegetable patch. Stamping madly up and down he gesticulated wildly at a passing milkman and with no apparent thought to the environment set himself on fire and within 43 seconds had completely disappeared. ……… sad really.

 THE END

DECLERATION
This Silly Short Story #7 entitled “A China Story”is copyrighted to the author, Simon J Tatt. No persons may reproduce any part of the story in any way for the purposes of financial gain or for any other reasons without the express permission of Simon J Tatt. Law 6785/67 of the Intrinsic Writers Code of 2009 protects the above mentioned work and any infringement thereof will result in a fine of $20 000 and/or a jail term of between 5 and 7 years.

Silly Short Story #6

•April 1, 2010 • 1 Comment

 

HOW TO CROSS THE ROAD WITHOUT GETTING IN THE WAY OF SQUIRRELLS.

By Simon J Tatt

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Never wear red trousers or green shoes or a combination of orange and black, squirrels don’t like it. Be ever so careful not to get squashed by large objects either, this could cause pain and broken bits.

A large squirrel is not very nice to confront when angered and one should always consult a squirrologist if in any doubt as to its emotional state.

Please replace traffic cones if any tree borne rodents should fling them hither and thither in a fit of jealousy or anger.

London busses are not particularly good at avoiding grey squirrels. They are however very good at dodging the red variety and their close relatives the porcupine.

Elderly people are well known for dropping nuts and crusts and can quite often be seen to run very very fast when confronted by female squirrels who will often rudely hiss at the elderly if there are no nuts or if an older person hums any tunes that start with the letter Q.

A legendary American war hero once said that to confuse mankind one had only to confuse a squirrel. We believe he was referring to a rather bossy squirrel called Cedric who, back in 1887, had attempted to run for presidency ……… presidency then neatly side-stepped and the rest is history.

The End
DECLERATION
This Silly Short Story #6  entitled “How To Cross The Road Without Getting In The Way Of Squirrells”  is copyrighted to the author, Simon J Tatt. No persons may reproduce any part of the story in any way for the purposes of financial gain or for any other reasons without the express permission of Simon J Tatt. Law 6785/67 of the Intrinsic Writers Code of 2009 protects the above mentioned work and any infringement thereof will result in a fine of $20 000 and/or a jail term of between 5 and 7 years.

Silly Short Story #5

•March 22, 2010 • Leave a Comment

HOW DO THEY DO IT?

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By Simon J Tatt  One could be forgiven for thinking that the Avon River is a somewhat surprising stretch of water when one considers how rare it is to spot a water bird with large bubbles the size of bantam eggs bubbling up from under its bottom as it serenely paddles itself down stream and under the Pickle Bridge. 

Cecelia Weatherby gazed longingly at her Rolex and throwing caution to the winds, quietly opened her purse and counted her loose change. A habit that she had acquired whilst working for the department of TOSSA`s, Terribly Overdressed Secret Service Agents.

Cecelia was used to recoiling in disbelief from the phalanx of secret agents who – due to budgetary restraints – were no longer quite so secret.

The Ministry of Defence had cut the TOSSA`s expenditure to £380 per annum and as a result the only undercover attire that they could accrue was a second hand golfing wardrobe of hodgepodge brightly coloured flannel stuff and tightly fitting plus-fours.All this left in a pile on St Andrew’s 18th hole by a rather dejected Tiger Woods who had given up golf to start a wedding planning business.

Cecelia would be quite taken aback at the sight of ten well built Secret agents dressed in purple trousers, yellow shirts and white and brown coloured studded golfing shoes. The M.O.D shook its collective head and wept.

Without warning, the placid waters of the Avon were disrupted by the small bow waves of a V formation of swans heading upstream and rather jerkily, it might be said.

Cecelia reached into her purse once more and pulled out a pair of binoculars this time. Squinting fudgingly through the eyepieces she focussed on the trail of bubbles behind the formation of swans. “Huh!” she exclaimed “…Huh…!”

Well groomed ladies often say `Huh` during autumn and occasionally whilst struggling with umbrellas, seldom while gazing into the river Avon through binoculars though.

Either the V-formation was breaking wind in unison or it was leaking oxygen through its feet….neither made sense.

All of a sudden the leading swan stood up and stretched its legs, there was a policeman attached to its bottom and the policeman was consulting a street map.

Cecelia rested the binoculars against a nearby dog and lit a cigarette – her first in 27 years.

“Well, oi`ll bee blowed” she chortled, cruddingly. “Oiz aynt seen summit kwite so stroinge in all mee loif.” Stamping her pointed feet lovingly on the chewing gum strewn pathway.

“Hello…” called the secret agent, whilst nine other similarly adorned colleagues scooted up next to him. “Can you tell me how to get to Peddleford Pond please?”

Rather non-plussed yet severely griddled by initial shock, Cecelia gesticulated in the direction of a lovely young lady searching for a home in London who stood twenty two feet to her left.

“I know where it is said Debbie.” “I`ll show all of you how to get to there if only you could find me a delightful 3 roomed flat for threepence in London, somewhere near an eye-liner store.”

It should be mentioned that due to the budgetary bugger-up the TOSSA`s

were no longer happy in their spandex golfing attire and they had grouped together and decided that the best way to stretch the meagre budget was to buy inflatable swans and wear them on their heads. Placing small surveillance cameras inside that look out through the beaks allowed the team of Terribly Overdressed Secret Service Agents to walk along the riverbed and take surreptitious squizzes at the surroundings without raising undue suspicion.

“Jolly good,” replied the lead swan, “we`ll be off to investigate this Peruvian plumber then, near Peddleford Pond I believe. Ta ra.” With that the entire formation rotated 180 degrees, assumed there submerged positions and leaving their swan-like headpieces resting convincingly on the surface, waddled off eastwards. Debbie turned and headed for Big Ben, chewing thoughtfully on her Cajun chicken sandwich………”Mmmmm…..tastes good……….aaaaah…! Lightly roasted cygnet on rye, now there`s an idea!”

 THE END

( idea for undercover/underwater agents with swans on their heads from my good friend Dror Fidler of Israel – thanks Dror).

DECLERATION
This Silly Short Story#5  entitled “How Do They Do It?” is copyrighted to the author, Simon J Tatt. No persons may reproduce any part of the story in any way for the purposes of financial gain or for any other reasons without the express permission of Simon J Tatt. Law 6785/67 of the Intrinsic Writers Code of 2009 protects the above mentioned work and any infringement thereof will result in a fine of $20 000 and/or a jail term of between 5 and 7 years.

Die Stories Van Bof Jan

•March 12, 2010 • Leave a Comment

DIE KONING

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Deur Simon J Tatt

Bof Jan het voor die spieël in sy slaapkamer gestaan en besluit hy wil soos Elvis sing. Hy het sy gunsteling groente as `n mikrofoon gebruik  – `n wortel – en die sonbrille is uit `n Lucky Packet dat sy ma, Saartjie, vir hom gekoop het `n paar maande terug.

Die groot jong plaas seun het duisende fotos van ou nuusblaadjies en tydskrifte uitgeknip en op sy kamer se mure geplak. Die Koning van `Rock `n Roll` kyk af van die mure na Bof, sy spuur wit pak met blinkende juwiele wat gee vir hom `n houding soos dié van `n engel.

Bof het die klank hard op gedraai op sy ou rekord speler en die stem van Elvis het mooi die hele slaapkamer vol gewaffel. Bof het diep in die spieël vir homself gestaar en sy gat `n bietjie geroer. Hy het die boordjie op sy pa se wit Sondag hemp hoog op gedraai en met die wortel amper op sy lippe, die woorde van “Burning Love” uit geblaas, in tyd met die stereo. Sy linker been het gebewe soos Stootels se agter been as jy hom in die regter plek kielie. Stootels is die familie se swart-en-wit skaap hond.

Die lawaai binne Bof se kamer het seker vir Pa Stiempie `n bietjie geskud want hy het haastig binne sy seun se oop venster ingeloor om te sien wat die duiwel aangaan. Al wat hy sien is Bof se rug met sy groot gat wat bewe en skud soos `n Royal jelly wat vars uit die yskas gehaal is. Sy armpies het rond geklep soos die vlerke van `n volstruis wat probeer om `n wyfie volstruis te beindruk.

“Wat die duiwel gaan hier aan!? Wat skree jy soos `n bosvark sonder sy padkos!?” Pa Stiempie het `n harde stem, soos dié van `n renoster met `n papsnoek in sy broek en sy woorde sny reg deur enige situasie. Ontmiddelik het Bof groot geskrik en amper die hele wortel-mikrofoon ingesluk. Hy`t gou omgedraai en vir sy pa se rooi gesig helder gesien. “Oooh Pa! Ek gaan die nuwe Koning van Rock `n Roll wees, ek gaan vir al die tannies by die oute huis sing en dans!” Bof het amper oorgeval van opgewondenheid, sy voete was nog diep in die bewerasie modus, sy armpies was dik in die swaai en hy`t vir `n oomblik gelyk as of hy `n hart aanfal sou opdoen. Elvis se stem het nog hard van die stereo uitgespeel en Pa Stiempie se renoster stem het wel gedoen om Bof se oore te binnedring.

“Los die shenannigans UIT!! Jou gedriewede blesterkoekie! Staan stil! sit die nonsense af by die volume knoppie en gaan help vir jou ma om koeksusters te maak……NOU!!……ROER JOU GAT!!………maar nie soos Elvis nie.” Pa Stiempie het genoeg ervaring van spulletjies vir een dag.

Bof het sy kamer deur toe gesluit en vir Elvis nog harder laat speel. Dié keer het hy die oranje mikrofoon in die helfde gebyt. Ouers! Wat weet hulle?!

DIE EINDE

  This Silly Short Story entitled “Die Stories Van Bof Jan – Die Koning” is copyrighted to the author, Simon J Tatt. No persons may reproduce any part of the story in any way for the purposes of financial gain or for any other reasons without the express permission of Simon J Tatt. Law 6785/67 of the Writers Code 2009 protects the above mentioned work and any infringement thereof will result in a fine of $20 000 and/or a jail term of between 5 and 7 years.