Beginning Puzzle #9

There was box on the front porch mat. 

I’d been in the office for a while. To get to the front porch, the office must be passed. The office has a large window which faces the street, driveway, and walk, so that I can watch for zombies and aliens. The phantom deliverer was either invisible or a ninja.

Ninja Delivery – “When you don’t want people to see it coming.”

I informed my wife of the find. She was as surprised as me. “I didn’t hear a truck or anything.”

Anything, I guess, were footfalls. I was nodding, but thinking, at what point had I been dashing around the house naked? I used to do it often, less so after the Okinawa Incident.

We were stationed at Kadena Air Base on Okinawa (or in Okinawa Prefecture), Japan. As we were lowly enlisted people, we were residing off-base. There wasn’t enough housing for everyone on base. We enjoyed our little apartment. Two of them could fit into our great room, the cathedral-ceiling living-dining-kitchen combo in our current house. The whole place was like an Easy Bake kitchen blown up by about four times.

Living there was fun. The place was full of couples like us. Typhoon parties were lively, although the walls were thin. The newlyweds’ loud and energetic coupling brought everyone in the neighborhood over to ensure no one was being killed. Space between apartment buildings and houses were tight. I chose that day after showering to turn on music and dance around naked, entertaining my wife and the cats.

I was also entertaining three third-grade girls on the porch next door, just five feet away from the bedroom where I gyrated…until I saw them. High on music, by the time I’d noticed them, they were sneaking away. I’m sure I shocked them for life.

Since the Okinawa Incident, I’ve been more careful about dancing around the house naked. My wife still calls if she’s coming home and bringing someone along, though. It’s safer for everyone.

I’d not danced around that day, but I had stripped naked for a shower and then remembered that I’d wanted to check on something in the office. What the hell, what are the chances of someone being outside and looking in just as naked me sauntered by?

Yet, my mind summoned an image of the UPS guy hurrying to the door, preparing to ring the bell, package in hand, and seeing me through one of the windows on either side of the door. As he’s ready to ring the bell, my nude man-feast passes by the window. Averting his eyes with a hard gulp, he mutters, “I’ll just leave this here,” and flees, head down, like someone’s shooting at him.

Anyway, I learned from checking tracking numbers on the Internet machine that these are the puzzles we’d ordered from Zulily. After letting the package sit outside for a few hours to lose some of its COVID-19 strength, I brought it in and put it in the sanitizing zone. When another day had passed, we deemed it safe to risk opening the package.

Oh, new puzzles. I was sure that they probably had all the pieces. One — fifteen hundred pieces (yeah, we’re getting bold) — featured a red Corvette. The year isn’t given, but I guess it’s a 1960. I had a neighbor who had one, and once rode in the trunk, so I was pretty sure about it. You don’t forget something like that.

“That’s a lot of red,” my wife said. I know she’s thinking of past puzzles that featured long stretches of blue sky, blue oceans, or green lawns.

We turned to the other one. It’s a lovely reproduction of a David Bradley painting with vivid colors and many details. I opened the box. The colors look true. Among the pieces were eyes, heads, and faces. That appealed to us; it’s easier to find faces and put them on heads than test red piece after red piece.

We began today, because it’s Sunday. An old wise woman once told us that it’s best to start new projects on a Sunday.

Damn, I just realize that she said Monday.

Or was it Friday?

Oh, well, what do days of the week matter during this period, when most of us are inside, hunkering down against zombies or alien invaders?

We have begun the puzzle.


Hall & Floof

Hall & Floof (floofinition) – American floof pop-rock (flooporo) duo popular in the 1970s and 80s, winner of multiple Floofy Awards.

In use: “Hall & Floof’s many songs earned them worldwide adulation, and people are familiar with songs such as “Toe-Eater”, “I’m Gonna Go for that (Yes, I Can, too)” and their early hit, “Food’s Gone”, which still get airplay.”


Efloofonym (floofinition) – Name given to an animal derived from a physical characteristic or where the animal was found.

In use: “Efloofonyms for dogs are often names like Spot, while cats are frequently named Fluffy. Both are sometimes given efloofonyms like Freeway or Stormy.”

The Luggage & Shoes Dream

First, the dream was in two parts. I dreamed part one, awoke, returned to sleep and had part two.

Second, it again involved military. I understand more about myself, though, like I’m terrible at socializing. The military with its rank and structure gave me a niche where I was comfortable.

In both dream parts, I was in civilian clothes and traveling alone (which I often did in the mil and civilian life, because of my specialized roles).

Part one had me arriving at a hectic place lousy with Army personnel. They were arriving and staging. All of them were in uniform. Many had down time and were waiting to move on. It was all out doors, and it was a mess.

For my part, I’d arrived, found a place for my two bags, left them, and headed off to find food. Then I’d figure out where I was to next go.

Well, after eating (which happened off-dream, apparently), I went to use a can. All the cans were out of order, which pissed me off (no pun intended). I wandered for a while in search of working facilities. I did find and use a shower, and then eventually discovered a working but filthy latrine.

I’d wandered a long way and had lost orientation, with no idea where I’d left my bags. I began that search. After a bit, I went up on a hill.

A person who used to work with me waved to me from up there. She came down to chat. She was traveling on a separate mission. I told her that I’d lost my bags and had to go look for them. Bored, with time to kill, she volunteered to come and help.

We went down the hill to a sort of ad hoc intersection. While there, she spotted a piece of paper fluttering on the ground. It looked like a set of orders. Picking it up, she read my name off it. She realized that it said something about what’d happened with my bags. With her leading, we went to see a man. She gave him the paper, and he (complaining as he did) gave me one of my bags. I was thankful, but she had to go. That was okay, though, because suddenly I completely knew where I was and went right to my second bag.

Awakening at that point, I thought about it all. The dream setting’s chaos and messiness bothered me, as did the fact that I couldn’t remember and find my bags on my own. I went back to sleep.

I was back in the same place, but order had been established. With chairs set up, all the troops were sitting in order. I had my bags, and the toilets were working. I also had food. We’d been provided with box lunches on the long flight over. I’d not eaten mine, so I had two big sandwiches along with other things to eat in a clear plastic bag that I was carrying.

On arriving, my feet hurt, so I removed my shoes and set the to one side. I had a rental car so I was basically going to eat and use the facilities and then hit the road. As I walked around, though, I worried about my hair not being in reg (I was notorious for that back in the day). I found the barbershop but it was busy. A commander and his staff passed by me. After deciding that I couldn’t do anything about my hair, I decided to eat and leave.

First, I wanted my shoes. I knew where I’d left them but they weren’t there. Irritated, I started searching for them. I spotted them in the middle of a wide, beaten dirt road. As I went to get them, an army PFC (female) was crossing the road and kicked one of my shoes. I yelled at her for that; she gave me a dirty look. I then got my shoes (loafers, as I was still in civies), put them on, and went to a table, where I sat down to eat.

End dream.

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