The Humor and Life, in Particular Web site
author:  Margie Culbertson

"1st Place" in the Best "Short" Humor!
April/May, 2002, Humor Writing Contest

Jack (Sprat) And The Bean Stocking


Phyllis Johnson

Everybody knows the old story about me, the giant and the bean stalk. Well, everybody thinks they know the story. I'm here to tell you how it really went.

I kept telling Jill that eating fat was a bad thing to do. "Yo, Jill, don't you know that fat clogs your arteries, adds on pounds and is bad for your complexion," I'd say. But she wouldn't listen.

Every time I'd come home from work, she'd be sitting there, stuffing down ice cream and cookies like there was no tomorrow. If I said anything about her eating habits, she'd roll those big brown eyes at me and go, "Moo." Just for the pure meanness of it. It was enough to drive me insane.

Her weight gain made it harder to fetch water. Since it was her job to fetch water (mine was to scrub the outhouse), I always left it up to her.

One day, while I was cutting grass, Jill trudged up the hill with the bucket in her hand. Her feet gave way. Nine hundred pounds are a lot of weight to carry up the hill.

She fell down and ran the last pair of hose she could wear. Jill came back to the house crying, "Jack, you have to go to the store and buy me some more hose."

Irritated, I looked in the bucket. It was empty. I was thirsty and steaming. I did feel sorry for her though. I decided to put my thirst aside and go buy her some hose.

Now it isn't easy finding hose for someone who weighs nine hundred pounds. I tried shopping at Armett's, Dimey's, and T Mart. No luck. I looked in Stacy's and Pay Mart. Finally, I found a store that carried the largest hose you could buy.

The hose came in a strange egg–shaped container. It rattled when I shook it. I thought it must be some new type of hose and didn't think any more about it.

When I got home with the hose, Jill snatched them out of my hand. "I wanna try on those hose," Jill muttered. She cracked open the egg. What a surprise we got when a bean fell out.

"Jack! What kind of hose is this? How could you do such a stupid thing? Man, I send you to the store for hose and you come home with beans."

I hung my head in shame. How could I mess up something so simple? I picked up the bean and threw it out the window.I guess you can figure out what happened next. Right?

Wrong. I stayed up until midnight. I watched all the late night funny guys on television. Jill sat in her chair and glared at me. When I couldn't stand it anymore, I went to bed.

The next morning, I got up and looked out the window. What I saw was amazing.

There was this big humongous brown thing. It looked like some sort of tree trunk. It started at the ground and went all the way up, clear out of sight. I went outside and looked at it. It was one big coffee bean colored pantyhose. The panty touched the ground and the toe of the hose was way up in the clouds somewhere.

Jill hadn't gotten up yet and I knew that if I wanted to have an adventure, I'd have to do it quietly.

I remembered how we'd climbed rope in P.E. class. I put what I learned into action. After a good thirty minutes, I reached the top of the toe.

What a view from up there. Our house looked like a matchbox. It was unbelievable. From there you couldn't even tell that our grass needed cutting. That was a major plus.

The toe of the hose was attached to a very modern condominium. Opening the front door, I peeked inside. I saw all the things you'd expect to see in a condo. I saw an elegant fireplace and mantle full of pretty things. By the side of the fireplace sat a harp with a mouth that wouldn't quit.

I looked through the door to the study and saw a desk piled with coins. Behind me I heard a squawking noise. It was a sassy goose prancing around like it was Queen Midas or something.

First I went over to the money. I saw that it was foreign currency. No need in messing with it. I didn't think it would be that easy to change it to American money. I didn't touch it.

Then I went over to old goosey and gave her a jab. I thought it might get a little action going. She squawked and dropped an egg. Eagerly, I grabbed it.

Darn. It was only gold. I was hoping for a foil–wrapped chocolate egg. And I had my taste buds all set for chocolate. Isn't it the worst when you are all ready to eat something and you don't get to. What a bummer.

The harp was sitting by the fireplace looking kind of sad. I went over and offered it a piece of gum. Of course it refused to chew it and it started playing a song.

The thing played nothing but elevator music. I thought I was going to be sick. It reminded me of the dentist's office. I decided that I'd had enough.

Just then, the owner of the condo, also known as S.C., short for STATURE CHALLENGED, started waking up. I knew I had to get out of there fast. The goose was making noise and the harp was harping on the fact that I didn't like its music.

S.C. was chasing me over to the condo door. I saw her husband nearby. He had a look of compassion on his face.

"I saw the huge stocking," the husband said.

"If you could get me all the hose S.C. wants, I won't let her hurt you," he said.

Just as S.C. placed her hand on my shoulder, I had a great idea. I jabbed the wingtip of my shoe into the hose. I started a run in the hose. Then I caught a ride on a run that ran from the tip of the toe all the way to the panty part on the ground.

S.C. glared at me and shouted from the clouds, "Forget about getting me any of those hose. They run too easily."

I looked up in S.C.'s direction and laughed. I ran into my garage and found a pair of hedge cutters and cut the hose into little pieces.

Now to wrap this story up, S.C.'s husband is unhappy because he still has to look at his wife's hairy legs, the harp's unhappy because it was insulted, and the goose feels rejected.

But I'm very happy because I'm back on the ground. Heights make me dizzy. Jill's happy because I've installed running water and she won't be falling down running her hose.

She's on a low fat diet now and has a year's supply of hose in the closet.

Me– I'm enjoying soaks in the hot tub. I'm as happy as a skinny guy like me can be.

But if I could have just one more ride on a huge stocking run… I'd live happily ever after.

©Phyllis Johnson

Phyllis is a freelance writer, a former humor columnist, and has beenpublished in Woman's World magazine and other mags and newspapers. She has written otherhumorous pieces, magazine articles and newspaper articles and yet–to–bepublished children's books. Her desire is to have"Jack" published in a book form one day. She's on her way: she has an illustrator who has done started on the drawings! Let's wish her luck!

You can contact her at: Phyllis Johnson

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