Sunday 29 December 2013

Burglars Beware! The Ultimate Booby-Trap (reprinted from The Sage, where Bad Girl lurks on a regular basis)

Somebody tried to sell me a home security device the other day.  Apparently, this device is rigged so that it would alert me when someone was breaking into the house.  This amazed me, in that – if I am home – I usually know when someone is breaking into my house.  Rather than announce his presence (“A Burglar, Madam”) it would seem to me a lot more useful if someone would invent something that would bop the intruder over the head.

But I don’t need fancy home security systems because there is no possible way a burglar could get past my secret weapon.  It’s cheap and it’s foolproof.  It’s so fiendish, I expect it will soon be outlawed at the next Geneva Convention.  Let me put it this way: if the Spanish Inquisition had known about it, everyone would have confessed to everything.

To wit:
LOCATION:  Madrid, 15-something-or-other, in a damp dungeon (not even a three-star)

“Stubborn, eh?  Still won’t confess?  Okay, Cardinal Wolsey – bring the secret weapon!”
<horrified gasps all around>

“Not the <gulp> not the…”

“Yes! <fiendish giggle> Get the little pieces of LEGO!”
<screams of unparalleled anguish and fear>

“ARGH!  No, please!  No!  I confess!”

It works like this:  You step on the itty bitty piece of Lego, whereupon it pierces your bare foot, sending searing needles of agony all the way up to your brain.  This in turn causes all of your bones to suddenly melt and turn you into a pain-filled gibbering mass of jelly on the floor. 

I don’t know if you have ever walked barefoot across a minefield of individual Lego bits, but believe me, General Schwartzkoff missed out on a good weapon.  Marbles have a similar effect, but those little plastic Lego corners kinda put the icing on the proverbial cupcake.  Methinks the Lego people have missed a terrific marketing opportunity here.  In fact, right after this column is done, I’m going into business.  “Killer Lego” should be on the shelves by Christmas, ready to be scattered on floors everywhere.

Actually, if you really want to keep burglars away, it’s simple.  Throw a few ride-um toys on the front lawn of your home – preferable boy ones.  Then everyone will know you have kids, so there couldn’t possibly be anything of value left inside…

Melodie Campbell writes funny books.  The Goddaughter’s Revenge has just been released and is available at Chapters and Amazon.

Tuesday 17 December 2013

SHE'S BACK! Morticia's Massage Parlour and Advice Academy CHRISTMAS SPECIAL (reprinted with permission)

Flash News!  Was just given this news:
First prize in the Your McMurray Magazine national Short Story Competition!
The $3000 will send me to Bouchercon next year.
I am over the moon. Many thanks to everyone involved.
Now I need to calm down...

And now back to our regularly scheduled nonsense... 

by BAD Girl

Dear Morticia,
Do you get into the Spirit of Christmas?
Signed, Curious

Dear Cur,
I’m not interested in the Spirit of Christmas and I’ve told him that a hundred times!  (Honestly…it’s these office Christmas parties.  Everyone gets embalmed.)

Dear Morticia,
For Christmas, may I interest you in private flying lessons?  Free of charge, my dear…
Signed, Ace Pilot

Dear Ace,
No thanks.  I’m not much on school.  A ghost tried to teach me how to walk through walls once…he had to go through it again and again…

Dear Morticia,
Can I interest you in custom-designed fruit baskets for your dearest friends.
Signed, The Custom Grocer

Dear Cus,
No thanks.  I gave a Christmas food basket to Thing last year and it bombed horribly.  He just didn’t have the stomach for it.

Dear Morticia,
I’m quitting smoking starting Jan. 1.  Are you making any New Years resolutions this year?
Signed Sincere

Dear Sin,
Yup.  As soon as the vulture dinner is over, I’m becoming a vegetarian.  (At least when you carve a pumpkin, it doesn’t try to eat you back.)

Dear Morticia,
I was a good girl all year, and all Santa brought me was a large frog.  Frankly, I feel cheated. 
Signed, Princess

Dear Princess
Honey, I don’t blame you, so be sure to follow my advice: Be very bad next year and Santa may bring you a Prince. (And if you don’t the Prince, at least you will have had a smashing good time all year!)

Bad Girl is the pen name of Melodie Campbell.  Melodie writes funny books.  They make great Christmas presents.  If you're cheap, you can even buy the ebook versions (Amazon, nook, kobo, itunes...etc)

Sunday 8 December 2013

Blue Satin and Love - Winner of the 2011 Holiday Story contest (EU)

It isn't often that Bad Girl gets serious. This one page story, inspired by a true event, won a flash fiction contest from across the big pond. Strange thing...I still get shivery when I read it.

 Blue Satin and Love
“This is beautiful, Mom – where did you ever get it?”
            I looked down at the Barbie doll evening gown Natalie held in her hand.  Blue satin shimmered under our kitchen lights, and the tiny rosettes were individual works of art that had been hidden away for decades in a basement storage box.
            “My grandmother from Sicily made it for me for Christmas one year.”
I remembered those hours Grandma had spent in front of the black Singer sewing machine, arthritic hands working hard to create things of warmth and beauty.  Like many immigrant women, she made most of our clothes, which – at the time - was a mark of shame to me.  How to explain the embarrassment of wearing homemade clothes to a daughter of today? 
            “It doesn’t even look worn,” Natalie said, in awe.
“That’s because I never played with it.”  Yes, the blue satin was pretty, but in my young mind, it didn’t compare to the black nylon Barbie doll gown you could purchase at Simpson’s.  My doll clothes were made from scraps of fabric left over from larger projects.  The other girls at school received store-bought Christmas gifts; how I had envied them.
“She must have loved you a whole lot.”  Natalie’s voice was soft.  She handed it to me. 
I fingered the hand-hemmed skirt, the tiny perfect stitches, and as I opened the snaps on the back, something happened to my heart. It flooded with the love that had been there all this time, stuck in a box, waiting to be discovered.        


Monday 2 December 2013

The REAL Christmas Newsletter! (reprinted with permission and a flagrant disregard for convention)

One thing I hate even more than the current gang of thieves in Ottawa is the annual Christmas Newsletter brag sheet.  You know the type…when people who can’t be bothered to pick up a phone all year long suddenly feel you can’t possibly survive another day without knowing their intimate business.

Have you ever noticed that nothing BAD ever happens to these people?  Where is the heartbreaking stuff?  The flunked tests?  WHERE ARE ALL THE STUPID FINANCIAL DECISIONS? 

Luckily, I’m learning to read between the lines.  Here is my version of what really happened:

Hello to all our dear friends!  Here it is, Christmas time once more, and I still haven’t gotten around to spring cleaning again.  Oh well – good thing nobody ever comes here.  They wouldn’t be able to get around the empty cases of brew in the front hall. 

I’m happy to report that things are back to normal after Ted broke his leg trying to resist arrest.  It was all a silly mistake; he never would have smashed into the cruiser if they’d had their lights on.  Luckily they have terrific medical facilities in the Don Jail, and Ted is on the mend.

And just when you thought it couldn’t happen, young Wally flunked grade 10 for the third time.  The Principal seems to think this is a record, which just goes to show that Wally can be outstanding when he puts his mind to it.

You may have heard that we’ve added a son-in-law to the family.  We also have a new grandchild, who arrived about the same time.  The birth was easier than the wedding, and luckily the father of the bride missed both, as he was otherwise detained <see above>.

Dear Grandpa is just as spry as ever.  He totters around town waving to all the girls and showing them his new trench coat.  He’s really proud of the plaid lining, too.

Aren’t families wonderful.  And as for me…well you may have heard about Ted’s last foray into the stock market before he lost his job.  They took the house, but I still have the dog, and frankly, except for a little touch of pneumonia, we do fine on Queen Street.

Well, that’s it for now.  How was your year?

Sunday 1 December 2013

Celebrate the Season with Imajin Books' 25 Days of Christmas Giveaways!

This Christmas season, Canadian publishing house Imajin Books decided to do things a bit differently. Instead of only 25 days of contests and discounts as in past years, they're holding various events from December 1st to January 3rd. Okay, so they can't count, but they believe readers deserve to be rewarded. And we agree!

From December 1-25, Imajin Books will be awarding random prizes to those who leave comments on their Facebook page. So drop by, check out their posts and leave a comment or question.

Want to win even more? Check out their Share the Imajin Books Buzz contest. You could win a Kindle Fire HD or Kobo equivalent, or one of two $50 Amazon gift cards. This contest also runs December 1-25. To enter, visit the Rafflecopter contest widget below or at You can enter multiple times a day.