Fall Head Over Heels in Love

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Evan saw her medium-length deep brown hair, her beautiful brown eyes, and her genuine, toothy smile and he knew. He knew he could love her until the end of time. It was only a matter of how to get started.

Michelle was petite and absolutely stunning—the kind of girl that gets noticed everywhere she goes. Evan, not too shabby himself, was enthralled.

But he was also nervous. Approaching new people didn’t always come easily to him, and Michelle’s beauty certainly didn’t make it any easier. Despite his nerves, he knew he had to talk to her or he’d regret it his entire life.

Sadly, Evan didn’t realize his shoelace had become untied. His smooth approach was ruined in an instant as he tumbled head over heels towards Michelle.

Michelle immediately rushed to his side—however, she moved a little too quickly and she, too, tripped over her own two feet. As she tumbled onto the floor and landed next to Evan, she looked into his eyes and she knew. She knew she could love him until the end of time. It was only a matter of how to get started.

“Hi,” Michelle said, flashing her winning smile and tucking her hair behind her left ear.

“Hi,” Evan answered, smiling nervously and extending his hand. “I’m Evan.”

And that’s the story of how Evan and Michelle met and fell head over heels in love with each other.

Grinds My Gears

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Roger’s job was to fix things that broke. He was a repairman, and he had been for 40-some years. He’d seen a lot of things in his life, repaired a lot of broken machinery, but nothing was quite like his current project.

The prototype for iBot had come out a few months earlier, and it was just experiencing its first mechanical failures. Loose gears and a need for some oil. Seemed easy enough to Roger.

But iBot was programmed to be like a human, and humans can be quite sassy—Roger knows that better than most. He’s got four teenage daughters and they are constantly sassing him.

“You know,” Roger started as he began tightening the gears in iBot’s back panel, “Way back when I was a youngster, robots didn’t exist. I mean, they existed in movies and little toys for kids, but the real deal? No sir, that certainly never existed. The toys were pretty cool, though. I never had one myself, but I always thought they looked like fun.”

“Oh, you didn’t [beep] have one? How [boop] sad,” iBot replied. If it could’ve expressed any emotion in its voice there would’ve been an overwhelming tone of sarcasm.

“Yeah, you know, when I was a youngster we didn’t have a lot of money to spare,” Roger continued. “My parents both worked hard but I was the youngest of eight kids, so there wasn’t a lot to go around, if you know what I mean.”

“One of [boop] eight? Your [beep] parents must have spent a lot of [beep] time in the bedroom,” iBot said, trying to get under Roger’s skin.

“You mean hiding out from us? Yeah, they did. Back when I was young, we were pretty crazy. Man, those were the days. I wish you could’ve seen things the way they were back then. It was a simpler time—things were just… good,” Roger said. He continued yacking about the good old days while iBot patiently waited for him to finish tightening the gears.

“This whole world is so crazy now, there’s just so much going on all the time,” Roger lamented. “I can hardly stand it! I can’t believe this is the only world you know. That makes me so sad.”

Finally, iBot lost it.

“You know, [beep] Roger, you are really grinding [boop] my gears.”

“Well, don’t I know it! That’s my job, iBot,” Roger answered, oblivious to iBot’s annoyance.

“That is not [boop] what I mean. You are driving me [beep] crazy with your [boop] stories. Can you fix the [boop] gears in silence? Please?”

Roger never spoke another word to iBot, so offended were his sensibilities.

Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees

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Colin was homeless—a fact known by all the people living in his small town. He was a big guy, he was at least a head taller most of the townspeople so he really stood out in more ways than one.

One day he was wandering along an abandoned path looking for berries when he stumbled upon a beautiful, strange-looking tree. It was taller than Colin but its branches were low enough that he could climb them. The flowers looked interesting, so he climbed on up, praying that they were edible.

What he found growing on the tree was an amazing surprise—it was money! Not just dollar bills, either, but $50 bills and $20 bills. Colin couldn’t believe his luck. He pulled a couple of bills down and ran back to town, vowing never to tell another soul where the tree was located.

The first thing Colin tried to do was buy a meal, but the waiter turned him away the moment he walked inside.

“Shoo, shoo. Get out,” the restaurant owner yelled from his back office.

So Colin left. He went to the tailor to see if he could purchase a new suit, in the hopes that a new look would fix his appearance and he’d be allowed to buy some food.

But, once again, Colin was told to leave the store—and this time he was accused of stealing the money! The tailor threatened to call the cops if Colin ever set foot in the shop again.

So he left. He decided to go to the local grocery and buy a load of bread. Whenever Colin had money, he spent in on bread at the local grocery, so he had high hopes for his visit.

Yet again, Colin was turned away. He tried to tell the shop owner about the money tried while he begged for food, but it didn’t work.

The shop owner scoffed and said, “Money doesn’t grow on trees, Colin. I know that, you know that, everyone knows that. Get out of my store with that fake money.”

So Colin left, devastated, and headed back down the abandoned path to the money tree. He sat against the trunk of the tree, crying quietly about the state of his reputation.

How could they think I was lying? Or, worse yet, that I was a thief! he thought.

He slumped down further against the magical tree and ate the only thing he could find for food—the money flowers.

Curiosity Killed the Cat

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The cat was dead. There was no question about that. I felt his little chest for any signs of life—nothing.

Only one question remained: who killed the cat?

Could it have been Elise, the cat’s owner? She’d been complaining about him for a while now—the cat was too dumb, the cat was mean, the cat had a habit of shredding the drapes when he was left home alone. Had Elise finally gotten fed up with the cat and killed it in a moment of rage? No, he was all Elise had—kill the cat and she would find herself alone again.

Could it have been Caitlin, the cat-sitter? She never really liked the cat in the first place, and she had every opportunity to sneak a little poison into his food jar when she was housesitting for Elise… But without the cat, she wouldn’t have made any money, and Caitlin was two-months behind on her rent. It just didn’t add up.

Could it have been a stranger, some kind of cat killer who committed his crimes in the cover of the night? Ah, but what motive would this cat killer have had? The cat never went outside—it was unlikely anyone even knew he existed, let alone had enough anger towards him to commit a murder.

I’d explored all the options and I had absolutely no idea what to say. In front of me stood Elise, Caitlin, and my Pet Crimes Partner, Lou. I was supposed to be the prodigy, the Pet Crimes Whisperer, but here I was—clueless.

“One thing is for sure,” I started, unsure of where the thought would take me. “Curiosity killed this cat.”

X Marks the Spot

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“Aiy, what’s this here marking on the ground? Nine boxes—some be empty, some be having Os, and some be having Xs! They must be marking the spot for tiny treasures! Aiy matey, dig them up and bring them back to The Captain. Get to it!”

They dug and they dug where each X marked a spot, but they still came up with no treasure. When they realized the Xs were not, in fact, marking any spots, the leader sighed a big sigh and turned away from his crew.

“Those hooligan pirates, they fooled us again. I’ll be betting there’s no treasure on this God forsaken island—“ he was saying when he suddenly stopped and peered off into the distance.

Up in the sky, the clouds were forming what looked like an X over a neighboring island.

“Aiy, mateys! An X in the sky, marking the spot where the treasure be!” he yelled.

And just like that, they were off to follow the next X.

Yanking Your Chain

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We were lying together on the couch. He was tickling my back and playing with my hair, whispering into my ear. I could feel his warm breath on me as he exhaled. I loved him. He was my world, my everything.

We’d just gotten back from a long walk in the park and we were watching his favorite TV show. I didn’t mind what we watched, as long as we were together.

He learned in to whisper something to me. He paused before saying, “ I love you, but you’ve gotta go…”

I looked at him, stunned. I was silent but he could see the hurt in my eyes.

“I’m just yanking your chain,” he said while gently tugging on my collar. “I would never get rid of you, you’re my best friend! I love you, Spot,” he cooed, snuggling into my neck.

I love you, too, I thought. I snuggled into him and lifted my leg for a belly rub.

As Easy as Shooting Fish in a Barrel

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This idiom has always confused me. I’m no expert with a gun—I’ve only shot one once at my then-boyfriend’s house down in Texas—but it doesn’t seem like shooting fish in a barrel would be the easiest thing.

First of all, we usually catch fish, not shoot them. It seems to me that is for a reason. Maybe it’s because fish move around so much and so constantly. Maybe it’s because water can mess with your depth perception, which is important when trying to be an accurate shooter. Maybe it’s something else entirely, I’m not sure!

Also, if you’re shooting fish in a barrel, that barrel is going to have holes in it. That will allow the water to drain from those holes, which will mess with your water-to-fish ratio. I suppose that would make it easier though, because as the water drains the fish have less space to swim away to.

After a while you’d be shooting fish in an empty barrel, which would be way easier. And after even more time, you’d essentially be shooting dead fish that were lying at the bottom of that empty barrel.

So I guess this idiom makes some sense. Either way you’re going to end up with a bunch of dead fish—goal achieved!