The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

"Nuclear" and "Energy"
by Eric Miller

He was no nuclear scientist, so he didn't have any experience with nuclear energy; however, he did  have lots of experience with "Nuclear" and "Energy."  That's what he called his two grandsons: Ian and Oren. They called him "Pa," except when he was with "Ma," and then they become the singular two-headed "PaMa."

Granted, the world had changed since he was their age, but even at the top of his form, he never equaled their per second energy output. When he was with them, he felt like he was in a rowboat with oars chasing a rocket, trying to catch what was fueled by fusion or fission with his "fishin pole."

Pa gave Ma a high five as he entered, and as she exited, their daughter Melissa’s house. He couldn't help but notice that Ma’s perfectly coiffed hair was a bit less perfect, her sparkling clean clothes were a bit less clean, and her usually vibrant expression was a bit more strained. Pa and Ma divided this regular two hour babysitting session into two one hour segments, believing that they were conserving their collective energy, although they were starting to believe that they were just splitting the atom and creating a bigger boom.

Energy, the three year old, tackled Pa as soon as he entered the room. He hung on to Pa's leg, creating a body surfing effect as his belly slid across the ceramic tiled floor as Pa huffed and puffed while dragging him, a weight which seemed to Pa like the stone of Sisyphus. At the same time, Nuclear, the six year old, grabbed Pa's arm and begged that Pa pitch batting practice to him in the back yard. Piper, the family Shichon, scampered among the three of them, causing Pa to stumble and fall, placing him under his two grandsons and the dog. He heard his cell phone ringing, but he couldn't pull it from his pocket as Ian lay across one arm and Oren lay across the other. It kept ringing until he got free.

"Dad, what's happening, why didn't you answer the phone?  Is there a problem?"

"Everything is normal," Pa gasped, as he lay on his back on the floor in a wrestling pin, with a knee pressing against his Adam's Apple.

"What did you say?"

"Everything is normal," Pa repeated in a faint rasp, as he became lightheaded.

"Dad, I can't hear or understand you. Are you having a heart attack or a stroke?"

"I should be so lucky," Pa gasped, softly.

The sound of Mom’s wheels screeching into the driveway caught everyone‘s ear. As she bounded through the front door and into the family room, the two boys were sitting peacefully on the sofa, with Piper on their laps, watching "The Wiggles" on television.

"How did it go?," Ma asked, when Pa staggered through the door.

"No surprises. Everything was normal, nothing unusual," Pa said, as his hands were shaking while he poured himself a brandy. "But, you know Ma, I'm thinking of writing to President Obama and telling him about a great source of alternative energy."