Reanimated Lavender Granola Switchblade Nun rides again.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Do What You Can

After a storm knocked over the circus, Tom Thumb watched Boris the Strong Man set his Royal Carriage right side up again and said,

"Fuck you anyway. I can't even handle cutlery if it is too heavy. House cats bump against me and I'm on the damn floor. When the storm came, I had to climb inside a steamer trunk and pull it closed over my head so I wouldn't be carried on the wind to Cleveland or Des Moines like a damn leaf. So to hell with you, Boris. You could take Yankee Stadium and toss it in the Atlantic if you felt like it."

"Zees upsets you," said Boris, who was not really Boris but rather a Frenchman named Marcel L'Amoreaux. "I tell you some-sing mon ami. When I see zee tight rope walker smile and she scoop you up, zat make me so jealous! She not do that ever avec moi. So, Le fuck to you aussi."

Then they were both sad. 

After a minute, Boris clapped a huge paw across Tom Thumb's little fairy-ass shoulders, but with care. "Leesun, my fren. In life, we all do what we can do." Raising a finger importantly, he added (from beneath his impressive mustache), "What we don' do ees do what we can't do. Dat shit make you fou. Crazy. So fug dat. Like, I never gonna be tightrope walker, eh? So why I worry bout dat? I don'. And you should not be the worrying about lifting heavy sheet. So don'." 

Tom Thumb started laughing so hard that he fell over on the ground and rolled there in merriment like a drunken pill bug. "You! A tightrope walker!" And then the real tightrope walker came by and, smiling her gorgeous smile, scooped Tom up and love-mugged him with noisy kisses.

Boris watched them as they moved toward the breakfast tent. He shrugged, then looked up at the sky, wondering if he could lift it if he really tried.

Written for Words To Live By at Real Toads but my link was deleted for not being poetry.

I don't now recall who the wise soul was who said it to me, but they said, "Do what you can, not what you can't." I must say this to myself twice a week, and it lets me feel good about the cans and not fret about the can'ts. 


  1. “love-mugged him with noisy kisses“ ... lol, I love that. <3

  2. Yes, we can only do what we can and, sometimes, that is just exactly perfect. It is amazing how small kindnesses and services can make the world feel better. I so enjoyed the dialect and accents. Smiles. I love him surveying the sky, wondering if he can hoist it. I do a lot of skywatching. My favourite pastime.

  3. Of course you do. You're Sherry Blue Sky! :-)

  4. Love this. Look for a home for it in a mag that likes flash fiction.

  5. Thanks, Sarah, that's a great idea!

  6. This cracked me up, as your flash fiction often does--and I was laughing at both Monsieur L'Amoreaux and his petit ami--plus, you do the carny thing very well, always. Thanks for making me laugh when I thought I was too tired to even smile. ;)

  7. I find it very difficult to swallow that your link was removed from one of the final challenges at Real Toads.. but it explains a lot, doesn't it?

    I am glad, though, that I got to read your story. Your flash fiction/prose is masterful and contains a life lesson which is uncannily on point.

  8. S. -- I always say I love-mug Zacky.

    Hedge -- thanks so much, dear BFF. Your comments are always a highlight for me. And if I made you laugh, that definitely works! ;-)

    Kerry -- Yeah, I was pretty shocked tbh. But I'm glad you came by to read this! I am experimenting with some slightly different stuff, though this one harkens back to a style I used to use a lot.

  9. This is absolutely brilliant and wonderful writing Shay, and I love the wise words at the end.

  10. You whisked me away with this one ~~~ don’t know where, but it’s a great place and I am laughing. Merci.


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