Saturday 31 October 2020

Whatever Would We Do With That?


by Rosemary Johnson


a cup of weak tea in a flowery cup


 ‘Whatever would we be doing with that?’ asked Elsie, as she set the big brown teapot down on the tray.   

 ‘We’d vote, Sis,’ said Clara, without looking up.  She didn’t need to ask what the ‘that’ was because her sister got bees in her bonnet from time to time and this particular stripy yellow and black insect had been buzzing around Elsie’s cloche hat for several weeks.  Clara laid the skirt she had been lining over her treadle sewing machine and drew her chair to the table.  The mantelpiece clock had struck three several minutes ago and three was tea-time, but she’d need to make it quick.  Mrs Greatorex wanted her outfit finished by tomorrow and, more to the point, Clara and Elsie needed Mrs Greatorex’s money to pay the gas bill.  ‘We’d vote, Sis.  Like the men.’

 Elsie was using Mother’s best tea service, tiny china cups and saucers crazed with discreet cracks which no one mentioned, decorated with once-red roses, diminished by much washing-up.  She passed the first cup of watery beveridge to their niece, Lily, who, being ‘family’, could not qualify as a proper visitor, but was given preferential treatment anyway.  ‘A gentleman’s vote is for his whole household.  Women have more important things to do.’  Elsie stopped what she was doing as she talked, the teapot poised in mid-air.

 ‘So,’ asked Clara, ‘who represents us single women, living in homes where there are no men?’  She indicated the empty place in front of her.  ‘Elsie, dear, tea, please?’

 ‘I am not a single woman.’  Mrs Elsie Haynes snapped back at her almost before Clara’s words left her lips.  ‘I am a widow.  Relict of a gentleman.’

 ‘You are single, Sis.  You could legally marry again.  Er… tea, please, Elsie.’

 ‘All.  Right.  Dear.’  Elsie poured at last, shoving Clara’s cup half-way across the table and vaguely in her direction.

 ‘I hate being a widow,’ said Lily, helping herself to another jam tart.  ‘Living with my Ma and Pa, I feel like a blooming schoolgirl again.  Trouble is, after the war and everything, there’re no men.  I’d take any bloke that’d have me, I really would.’

 Elsie banged her cup down, causing seismic shocks in the saucer to which Mother’s ancient tea-set was not accustomed.  She shook her head in infinitesimal shakes of disgust.  ‘Lily, really.  You are so vulgar sometimes.’  Elsie looked down on Lily. Her husband (of just six months and fallen at Ypres) had been a commercial traveller, and Lily herself worked.  Clara also worked but Clara was an old maid.

 ‘Don’t you bother about our Else,’ Lily’s father, Luke, would say to her.  ‘No reason for her to put on airs and graces.  That Michael Haynes of hers, his family ran a little factory off Canal Street, making wire coat hangers.  Nothing fancy.’

‘Pa voted Labour in the last election,’ Lily said in a careless tone, as she licked the last smears of jam from her fingers.  She left the dried-up crusty pastry edges on her plate.  Elsie had a habit of putting baking into the oven and forgetting about it. 

Elsie jolted bolt upright in her hard dining chair.  ‘Surely… my brother…’

Clara also felt her spine bracing, vertebra by vertebra.  Their family had been blue for generations. 

‘That’s what he said when he came back from the polling station.  We ought to give Mr MacDonald a chance.’  Lily looked from one to the other then, her eyes widening.  She sprung to her feet, the legs of her chair grating against the linoleum on the floor. ‘Er… I’d better be off.  Thank you for tea.’ 

 ‘Lily, wait.  Lily, surely… you are not…’  Elsie could hardly bring herself to say the word.  ‘You are not Labour.’

 ‘No, Auntie.  Er… I’m for Mr Baldwin.  I think he’s good for Britain.’

 ‘And that,’ said Clara, ‘is exactly why women should have the vote for themselves.’



Somene to Watch Over me

by S. Nadja Zajdman

apple cider

 My aunt Ania owned and operated a dry goods shop.  Each year, for Halloween, she created wonderfully elaborate and imaginative costumes for her daughter Eva, and for me.  In particular, I recall the black-and-orange quilt with matching cap that carved me into a pumpkin.  I had the figure for it.  However, the remote October I’m reflecting on, I went trick-or-treating as a gypsy.  Aunt Ania sewed a rainbow of chiffon scarves onto a belt, which was attached to the area of my anatomy that, we fervently hoped, would one day whittle down to reveal a waist.  I wore a real skirt and tights underneath the belt-load of scarves, to keep me warm on this cold autumn evening.  I also wore sturdy Oxford shoes, a sober white blouse, and a red wool cardigan.  A red sash, with sequins sewn in, was wrapped around my thick dark hair.  With my flashing dark eyes and hair, red was my colour.  My daddy said so.  Eva, who played in the school band, lent me her tambourine.  Eva was going trick-or-treating as a prince.  The fact that she was a girl was irrelevant.  My cousin preferred princely hose to a princess’ robe.  As a prince, Eva got to wear the mossy green tights she wasn’t allowed to wear with her school tunic, and a form-fitting forest-green tunic that her mother draped on her.  I inspected my cousin’s costume.  “You don’t look like a prince, you look like Robin Hood.”  Eva was taken aback.  “Weeell, Robin Hood could be a prince.”  To me, the line of succession was smudged.  “How?”  Disconcerted, Eva dismissed me.  “Oh, you’re always asking stupid questions!”

When dusk fell a plump little gypsy, a girl-prince and her slave ventured into the dark suburban streets.  Rosie was Eva’s slave.  Her costume was easy.  All she needed were chains.  Rosie was also an Elvis fan.  On Sundays Rosie would recline on my aunt’s plush loveseat playing Eva’s Elvis records—not the good songs, but the sappy ones that were the soundtracks to those god-awful movies.  While Elvis crooned, Rosie would kiss his image on the record jacket and hug and cuddle its cover.  She never seemed to care that she was kissing painted cardboard.  Rosie would kiss Elvis’ picture ON THE LIPS!  She knew I was watching her, and she wasn’t even embarrassed.
          On this Halloween, the prince and her slave carried sacks ready to be filled with edible treats, but all I had was a penny box for UNICEF.  My mother made me do it.  There was no point asking anything for myself.  Even when I managed to come home with a filled sack, my mother would confiscate my loot and hand it over to the children’s hospital.  “If chocolate and candy aren’t healthy, then why are you giving it to kids who are sick?!”  Like my query on Robin Hood’s claim to the throne, I never got an answer to that, either.
          Our motley trio’s outing was going well until we turned a corner onto an abandoned street.  Our prince had led us there.  Eva was the eldest, and she was panic-stricken.  “There’s a man following us!”  Prince Eva hissed.  She was right.  A shadow loomed under a street lamp.  We stopped.  The Shadow stopped.  When we started to walk, The Shadow started to walk.  We stopped again.  So did The Shadow.  Rosie wanted to run, but the chains she’d attached to her ankles, as well as to her wrists, prevented her from doing so.  I would never try to run because I knew I couldn’t run fast enough.  Prince Eva and The Elvis Admirer were whipping themselves into frenzy.  I felt oddly calm.  There was something comfortingly familiar about the sound of the tired, flat-flooted step falling onto the sidewalk behind us.  “I’m going to see who it is.”
          “No!”  Prince Eva started to cry.  She stood paralysed.  “Don’t turn around!”
          “Aw, quit balling.”  The littlest gypsy scolded her older cousin.  “This is dumb!”
          I turned to confront The Shadow.  It’s always best to confront one’s shadow.  My suspicions were confirmed.  “Daaaaddy!”  I shook the tambourine at my taken-for-granted protector.  “You promised!  You’re not supposed to be here!  How could you embarrass me?!”
          Caught in the light of the lamp, The Shadow hung his head.  “I didn’t want to!”  My father fibbed.  Or maybe he didn’t.  My father fostered independence but father, like daughter, was no match for the matriarch.  “I’m sorry.”  Sheepishly, The Shadow apologized.  “Mummy made me.  You know I can’t say no to Mummy!”


Friday 30 October 2020

Finding My Feet

 by Allison Symes

cream soda

It was a tough job, you know, and worse I couldn’t argue with the boss. I was told I had to go around all the houses in my master’s Kingdom to find the one girl whose foot would fit this glass slipper the Prince found.

I was not impressed. For a start, the Kingdom is big!

Secondly, that glass slipper looked to be a standard size 4 to me. I come from a long line of cobblers and have an eye for these things. Before you ask, I am not talking cobblers.  I know my sizes. I just didn’t fancy a working life based around feet which is why I entered the Royal Household. It is a bit ironic I’ve turned out to be one of the footmen. I do wonder if the Prince who chose me has a sense of humour.

Anyway, I was miffed when HRH said I had go to around all the houses. It’s not as if I’m ever short of things to do in my role. And all I could think when the boss told me what I had to do was that there must be hundreds of girls that shoe could fit.

But I was as surprised as anyone when it turned out to only fit Cinderella. Nice kid. I was pleased she married the Prince. I was even more pleased to see her awful stepmother and stepsisters quietly fuming at the royal wedding. Served them right.

They were so rude to the Royal Household. They came into the Palace almost as if they owned the place. It was stupid of them. Who do you think told the boss? Who do you think were evicted from their property only last week because the landlord, a friend of the Prince, suddenly realised he needed his building back?

But I do know one thing.

I never want to see another woman’s bare foot ever again.

You’d have thought that the potential candidates would at least have cleaned their feet before I turned up with the posh cushion and the glass slipper. Only one did.

As I say, she’s a nice kid.

About the author

Allison Symes, who loves reading and writing quirky fiction, is published by Chapeltown Books, Cafelit, and Bridge House Publishing.  She is a member of the Society of Authors and Association of Christian Writers.  Her website is at

She blogs for Chandler’s Ford Today often on topics of interest to writers -

Her Amazon Author Central page is at and her latest flash fiction collection, Tripping The Flash Fantastic, is now out in Kindle and paperback.

Thursday 29 October 2020

Music (and Dance); Food for Love?


by David Gower

Irish coffee

They met when Mike and his friend Tom had decided to go to popular dance classes. What had once been ‘ballroom dancing’ - a staid and formal display of men with numbers on their backs and women whose dresses boasted thousands of sequins all sewn by hand - was now big time Saturday evening required viewing.

Beginners’ night for the September class at the community hall was like many beginners’ nights. People unsure of what would happen, nervous giggles and stiff bodies moving clumsily to the music.

The dance teachers were friendly and enthusiastic as first they demonstrated the necessary moves slowly and then the couples tried to follow suit. They made it look smooth and effortless. Mike and Tom were partnered with Sandra and Sheila. The women had come ‘for a laugh’ and the men as part of their ‘something new every year’ challenge.

Mike counted in his head as he tried to keep to the beat of the music. How many times had he heard this tune on the radio but now it hard was for his legs and feet to maintain some semblance of co-ordination? Harder still to hold a strange woman as she also tried to move to the music. Mike had always believed that dancing was high on the list of subjects taught to girls at school. It was clear this had never been on Sandra’s school timetable. Mike felt clumsy and awkward. This was the reason that he had never had the confidence to dance at social events but Tom had persuaded him to sign up for the evening classes. It looked so easy when other people did it but was so hard to when he tried?

Mike’s feet seemed to have grown to huge proportions. How else could they keep treading on Sandra’s toes? Apologise, laugh politely and tread again seemed to be the pattern. He held Sandra at arm’s length so that he could look at his feet but without appearing to stare into her cleavage.

Week by week the steps became easier. The instructors called it body memory, like the struggle to co-ordinated hands, feet and other movements when driving. At some point, one never knows quite when the movements become easier and flow more freely. The relationship between those in the class became more relaxed.

In the breaks between dancing Mike and Tom would sip their drinks with Sandra and Sheila round a small table. The two women had agreed to come to the classes and look out for each other.

Sandra voiced their thoughts ‘You never know who you might meet or what they are like.’ Sheila nodded in agreement and added

‘We could tell you things about dates that would make your hair curl!’ The two women laughed at their shared experiences of men. Tom’s hair could not curl, it had long ago departed from his scalp. Mike retained a full head of hair but what had years ago been jet black was losing the battle against ever more ‘natural highlights’ of grey locks.

It was only natural that at some stage the relationship of the group would deepen. Mike wanted to invite Sandra for a meal and as they discussed food it was then that she explained her limited diet. Not for any clear medical reason but purely because she preferred two particular foodstuffs over others. Sandra enjoyed fish and she loved Chinese meals. As a child she had driven her parents to distraction with her ‘faddiness’ especially when she found on the internet that one child lived only on bread and jam!

The old saying that opposites attract appeared to be true in this case. Mike hated Chinese food and had never been a great fan of fish. He had memories from his own childhood of fish being boiled for what seemed like hours at home. Ever since he had always seen fish as slimy and smelly. He had not told Sandra about his aversion to her favourite foods. Instead he had nodded and smiled as he encouraged her to tell him more. The more she said the greater the turmoil behind his smile.

‘I think her parents should have been firmer with her. Can you imagine bringing up a child only wanting to eat Chinese or fish?’ Mike said to Tom as they drove from class one evening.

‘You worry too much. She has grown into a good-looking woman on Chinese and fish.’ came Tom’s reply from the darkness of the car.

‘I hate Chinese and I loathe fish more. What am I going to do, Tom?’

‘You should have said something mate. All you did by just sitting there and smiling was encourage her. Now you have got yourself into a problem. Can you imagine any child that you two produced? What would the poor mite eat?’ Tom had a point but it was not helpful.

‘I like her but come on, how can I cook anything for her if I invite her round to my place?’ Mike continued his agonising but Tom remained silent.

‘Are you listening to me Tom? What am I supposed to do? How can I feed a woman whose taste in food is the exact opposite to mine?’

After a few moments Tom asked ‘Is it the end of the world if you have Chinese one night? Have you tried cooking any fish apart from boiling like your Mum did?’

‘You’re no help to a man with a problem, Tom! No help at all’

Tom began to laugh quietly to himself prompting Mike to ask ‘What’s so funny?’

‘Nothing, Mike, just thinking to myself’.

‘Tell me, what’s so funny?’ Mike continued as the annoyance in his voice grew.

Tom’s tone was a mix of stifled amusement and apology as he tried to compose himself to explain.

‘You know what you are Mike, my man? You are as they say’ the following words he exaggerated as heavily as he could to underline his point, ‘You are caught between a wok and a hard plaice! Get it? Wok and a hard plaice!’

The journey continued silently broken only by Tom’s laughter at his joke till Mike dropped him off.

Mike thought that the meal with Sandra would be a long time coming. Hell might freeze over first.

Wednesday 28 October 2020



by Tony Domaille

hot chocolate 

I look around the ward and watch them all dozing or comatose. All those frail heads, topped with white hair, those that have any, waiting.

     ‘’They ought to put numbers on these beds,’’ I call to a young nurse.’’

     ‘’What’s that, Ted? Keep your voice down. People are sleeping.’’ She comes to me and fusses with my pillows.

     ‘’Like a boating lake,’’ I say. ‘’Then God could call the numbers out when your time’s up.’’

     ‘’Do you want a tablet to help you sleep?’’ the nurse asks.

     I tell her I bloody don’t. That they’d have us sleep twenty-four hours a day if they had their way, and I want the telly on.

     The nurse tuts. ‘’You know you can’t have the television on this late. Anyway, you’d end up dreaming.’’

     I laugh at her. ‘’I suppose you think that’s a bad thing. Sometimes it’s the best thing, having a dream. I can get around in dreams. I can stand up straight and lose forty years. I had all my teeth then.’’

     The nurse pats my hand and says she will come back a little later if she has time. Then she’s gone, leaving me wondering why they always hear what I’m saying but never listen.


     Sometimes it makes me angry when I think about all the time spent waiting. This is my world now. A ward full of old people who know they are on the last lap of life yet, instead of being able to use every last, precious day, all we do is wait.

     Waiting for a visitor, or dinner, or to see which bed will lose its occupant in the night. Waiting for our turn.

     I look at the beds opposite. Two old ladies snoring louder than a billet full of men in my army days. Neither of them knows where they are, even in their rare waking moments. Between them is George. He was here last time I was admitted, and I know he’ll play cards all one day and cry all the next. I wonder if one of them will go in the night and pray it’s not George on a day he has cried.

     And why is everything grey? The walls, the blankets, the furniture, the people. I still want colours. I want to put my mind in a capsule and fly it around the world. I know my body can’t go.

     I fall asleep. I dream I have all my teeth and the world is full of colours. I am young again.


In the morning, the nurse wakes me and I’m disappointed. My world is still grey, and I can see George has gone. I ask about him, but the nurse ignores my question, props me up, and tells me I have visitors.

     “Who?” I ask.

     “Someone special,” she says, and then she’s gone again in a rustle of starched uniform.

     I wipe the sleep from my eyes and try to avoid looking at George’s empty bed. Then I hear a voice.

     “Hello Grandad. Look who I’ve brought to meet you.”

     I look up and there is my granddaughter. She is holding a tiny bundle and I hear the murmurs of a new-born.

     “You’ve had your baby, Stacey,” I say.

     “A week early,” she smiles. “I was in the maternity wing next door and I thought I’d show you little Emily Rose before we go home.”

     She passes the bundle to me before I can say anything else and I look into the milky, blue eyes of the child. I don’t say it out loud, but I can’t help thinking this brand-new human being has about eighty years before she finds herself back in the hospital where she started. Instead I say, “She’s beautiful, Stacey. Just like her mum.”

     My granddaughter beams with pride as she takes back her baby. “How are you doing, grandad?” she asks. “Are you feeling any better?”

     I nod and tell her that I am, and it’s true. She and her baby have brought colour into my waking world, and that’s the only medicine that that can work on me now.

     When Stacey leaves, I go back to waiting. But now that world is not so grey. Now I know if I wait long enough, something good will always come to me - as long as tomorrow comes.

About the author 

Tony has written a number of award winning plays, published by Lazy Bee Scripts and Pint Sized Plays, that have been performed across the world.  He has also had a number of stories published in anthologies and magazines. You can follow him here -



Tuesday 27 October 2020

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall


by Urmilla Kannuswamy

dark espresso

He saved the last piece of code, typed in a command to run the program and hit Enter. The screen beside him came to life. The screen was divided into five rectangles to show the weather forecast, headlines from the breaking news, controls for the smart home, his favorite playlist and a voice assistant. He had built the voice assistant from scratch and he hadn’t used it for any previous project. Adding it to the mirror seemed to be a perfect idea to control lighting, climate, security and entertainment systems.

He had moved into the house a month ago and as soon as he had found a mirror lying in the walk-in closet, an idea had popped into his brain.

The smart mirror was his latest hobby.

He hung the mirror in the living room and connected it to a power outlet. As it turned on, he looked at his own reflection and smiled. He was proud of himself and that he had built it in record time. Four of the components worked as it should.

Deciding to check the fifth component, he used the wake word he had programmed for the voice assistant and said, “Hey Mirror!”

“Hello Tom!” a male voice greeted him.

His eye brows narrowed. The male voice, instead of the generic female voice he had used, made him double check his code to see if there was a mistake.

A pair of eyes watched his every move from the other side of the mirror.

Tom heard someone knock and he looked around. When he didn’t find anything out of the ordinary, he turned his attention back to the laptop screen.

After a minute of silence, another pair of loud knocks followed.

“Hello Tom!” the same male voice said. “I am in here.”

Tom turned around to look at the mirror in shock. “Who are you?”

“This house belongs to me.”

An image formed on the mirror and for a few seconds, his own reflection disappeared.

Tom staggered back and in the process knocked down the laptop from the table.

“You shouldn’t have come here, Tom,” the mirror spoke. “This house is mine.”

Tom remembered what his real estate agent had told him about the house being haunted. He hadn’t been concerned and had smiled dismissing it as rumors spread by people in the neighborhood. As he stared at the dim image on the mirror, fear hit him and stole his breath. Without overthinking his decision, he turned around and ran to the door. He turned the knob and pulled the handle.

The door didn’t budge.

The mirror laughed. “In case you forgot, Tom, this is a smart home and I control everything.”

Tom made up his mind. All he had to do was turn off the smart mirror and the raspberry pi that powered it. It would remove the control the haunted house’s owner had over it.

The mirror and the soul it hosted realized Tom’s intentions.

When Tom was ten steps away from the power socket, the mirror shattered and the broken shards flew towards Tom and pierced him. A couple caught him on his chest, another one on his cheek and a larger fragment pierced the side of his neck.

He winced at the sudden pain and placed his palm on the injured spot on his neck. His fingers felt sticky and when he looked down, his shirt was drenched in blood letting him know that the broken piece had hit his carotid artery.

“You should have left this house alone, Tom,” the mirror told him.

Tom wondered how much time he had left as he looked at his own reflection in the mirror and at the blood pouring out of his neck. Before he could gather his thoughts, all the broken shards flew back to the mirror and rebuilt itself without any indication of a crack or a break.

Tom saw the image of a man, who smirked at him for a second, before he saw his own reflection. He continued watching as his own reflection vanished until there was nothing but the five sections he had programmed the smart mirror to show.

Tom had ignored the beauty of the old architecture and had made a lot of changes that the owner of the house abhorred. The owner, an old soul hidden in the mirror, relished simpler times and appreciated the beauty of his home that had remained untouched by any technological advancements for decades.

His anger faded as the victim’s blood flowed from his body and dripped through the wooden floorboards quenching his thirst. He watched until Tom breathed his last and then turned off all the lights in the house. The old soul let out a happy sigh as the house plunged into darkness again.

About the author

Urmilla Kannuswamy is a software engineer who writes flash fiction and poems on online platforms like Medium and Reddit. Her hobbies are reading, cycling and painting, when inspiration strikes. Her flash fiction has been published in Written Tales Magazine Volume 2: Night Terrors.

Superfluous Trash Talk

by Amy Lynn Specker 

flaming Dr pepper

One can hear the screeching of tires as a large, burdened truck halts to retrieve yet another of its intended loads. From the comfort of the living room, one can also hear the thudding made upon impact of the weighted canister as it is mechanically put back in its original resting place after expelling the contents it had harbored internally for the past seven calendar days. The relief felt by this object can only be imagined, but if it were bequeathed vital animation thereby granting it the gift of speech, it may attempt to burden any listener within reach of the daily sacrifice it makes slowly filling to capacity and sometimes beyond.  I fear it might complain profusely at its abusers who have no gratitude for something that tirelessly performs through; rain, snow, sleet and hail and does so at a consistent rate of success. Its verified enemy, the North Wind, which carries such ferocious gusts as to catch it off guard forcing it into unexpected submission by toppling it sideways, and spilling its rancid guts for all to see who parade by, but do offer no love for such a disgraced and humiliated thing. Perhaps, second to the North Wind would be children.  They are so rough as they exert seemingly strained efforts to transport this vessel to and from its home place.  Often they drag it in a most undignified manner resulting in scrapes and dings which do mar the outward appearance, and inflict embarrassment.  Alas, week after week, season after season, year after year, it proves dependable and unappreciated until one day the owner decides it has served long enough. With much insult, the owner allows the only entity that could be considered its friend, based on their weekly interaction for the term of its life, the mechanical arm which does lift it exaltedly each week relieving it of its burdens ... to ultimately relieve it of its purpose too. Such treachery and betrayal astonishes the repository as the beguiling arm lets its once tender grip loosen and slip sending the devoted canister into the depths from which things go but never return.

About the author

Amy Lynn Specker is a driven doer, idea generator, and an aspiring author. After teaching school for seven years, she and her husband decided to forego her career in order to embark on the greatest adventure of all time: parenthood. She, her husband, and their three tiny humans currently reside in a happy home filled with fun, forgiveness, controlled chaos, loud laughter and love. She has two pieces scheduled to publish in The Dribble Drabble Review.

Monday 26 October 2020

I Fought the Law


by Henry Lewi

 ice cold cola

As he drove on the I-985 towards Atlanta he thought how his road trip to New Orleans had been delayed by a couple of days and he started humming his own version of “I fought the law and I won”.

It had all started simply with him having left New York far behind four days ago. The plan was to drive his car down from New York to his new home in the Warehouse district in the “Big Easy”. The old 911 had purred along nicely and he’d taken his time on the trip, discovering parts of the US he’d be unlikely to ever visit. He was not due to start his new job as a Professor in Surgery at the University Medical Centre for another month, so time was not pressing.

He’d arrived in Gainesville, Georgia, intending to stop over for a couple of days and hire a boat to do a day’s sailing on Lake Lanier, before heading further south. He’d booked a couple of nights at the Hampton Inn and had wandered along to the concierge’s recommendation of the “Best Chicken Inn in Town”. Over 50 years ago Gainesville had proudly proclaimed itself the “Poultry Capital of The World” and this particular restaurant was claimed to be the best in town. He’d ordered the House Special and a selection of sides and picking up his knife and fork he settled down to eat his huge plateful of fried chicken. He’d had eaten his meal with relish, but as he’d finished his plate of fried chicken, he noticed that the restaurant had gone quiet and standing opposite him was a tall deputy sheriff wearing mirrored sunglasses who looking at him said, “Sir, please stand up and turn around, I’m arresting you for violation of the City Ordinance of the15th of January 1961.”

Speechless, he’d meekly obeyed and felt the handcuffs being applied, all he could think, was that he’d violated some local traffic ordinance and this could be easily dealt with.
He’d been taken to Hall County Jail, where he’d been photographed, processed and placed in a cell by himself. The deputy sheriff informed him that he’d be appearing before the judge the next day when a trial date would be set, and if necessary, a court appointed attorney would be made available, if he wished. He’d been allowed to call his brother who was an attorney in Manhattan, and he’d agreed to fly down first thing in time for his court appearance.

The following afternoon he’d appeared before the judge, when his brother had argued that his arrest had violated his First Amendment Rights which included the “Freedom of Expression.” As expected, the case was dismissed, and he’d been allowed to go free. His brother disappointedly stated that he wished the case had gone further as he’d loved to have taken it all the way to the Supreme Court.

After all a city ordinance dating from 15th January 1961which made it “illegal to eat fried chicken in Gainesville with a knife and fork” really should be repealed.