The Category is “Shorts”


Intro: “57 Seconds”

An editor at a big newspaper made a small discovery. This was in the recent past when big newspapers were big. The editor discovered that some people liked short stories better than long ones. He did research, testing articles of varying length. Short won. Out of this knowledge came a little column called “Got a Minute.” It was about everything and nothing, and ran on Sundays for four years. The Two-Fisted Birdwatcher (writer of that column) figures that the same logic applies to stories on a website. So, we offer this category called, simply, “Shorts.” In it, you’ll find nothing that takes more than a minute to read. About as long as it took you to read these words.

One: “Maine sweatshirt” (54 seconds)

It’s a wintry weekend and you’re going birding. Crossbills have been reported. You want to wear your warmest sweatshirt. The one with a hood and the word MAINE across the chest. Your wife got it at the university there, knowing you’re a fan of any place where there are Bald Eagles.

You can’t find this shirt, and yell into the next room, “Honey, where’s my MAINE sweatshirt!” She doesn’t hear you, so you try again, louder, as you walk through the house. “Anybody seen my MAINE sweatshirt?” Your kid comes up and asks, “Dad, don’t you have, like, a second choice?” You answer that you really want your MAINE sweatshirt. You can’t understand the funny look he gives. A minute later you race after him to explain, but he’s out for the day, probably telling his friends that his dad had a main sweatshirt and couldn’t find it.

Two: “Lost!” (51 seconds)

Birders know this. Even two-fisted ones: It can take less than a minute to get lost in the woods.  You duck into the trees to find nature’s natural bathroom, and when you bushwhack back to the trail, it’s just not there. Suddenly there’s nothing but more trees, and now there are brambles.  Spiders and ticks. Coyotes, foxes, feral dogs, a rumored cougar that was sighted recently; gangsters’ marijuana fields, daytime owls (the worst of omens) and circling vultures.  You have to find the trail!  You go left and it’s not there.  Then right, but you’re heading deeper into strange unmarked woods.  And you’re not even in true wilderness! There’s a suburb nearby. You can almost hear cars in the distance over your pounding heart.  So you run, knowing you’ll eventually get out of the woods, unless you run in a circle.  Then you’ll never get out, so you run faster, crazed.  All in the time it takes to read this.

Three: “Two-Fisted Major Leaguers” (56 seconds)

This is about Orioles, Blue Jays, Cardinals, you know, ball teams. Okay, this time we’re not talking birds. But we are talking “Two-Fisted.” Guys in the majors who never wince, say ouch, jump around in pain or rub a booboo.  Even though it’s hard to keep your cool when a rock-hard baseball thrown by a rock-hard pitcher like Randy Johnson (see our Viewpoint, Baseball and Sudden Death) slams into your ribs at 90 miles an hour.  Or maybe the ball hits your elbow, hip or thigh.  Hits with a force that can chip bone, bruise muscle, bust veins and cause a black-and-blue mark that’ll last a month.  This kind of body shot can make a guy want to scream like a little girl.  But what do Two-Fisted hitters do when this happens?  They glower at the pitcher for a moment, then jog to first with dignity.  And they DON’T TOUCH the spot that got hit.  Not touching the sore spot is the ultimate Two-Fisted rule.  And these are the ultimate Two-Fisted guys.

You Get The Idea…

For more quick reads, just watch for the shorts listed below. They’re coming to this site. And more will be added all the time, so check back often. It only takes a minute. Actually, a little less. New shorts will include:

Big and Two-Fisted (58 seconds)

Teddy of the Jungle (52 seconds)

Pina What? (50 seconds)

Tastes Like Bird (56 seconds)

Two Kinds of Guys (49 seconds or 55 seconds, depending…)

Skunk Heaven (55 seconds)

Everglades Kites and Slime Food  (54 seconds)

Birdsong (57 seconds)

Love in a Minute (60 seconds)

Friend or Enemy (55 seconds)

You’ve seen our shorts. Now let’s see yours.

These three are just the start. Each is a little tidbit of something or other. Maybe there’s a bird-watching angle. Maybe not. Point is, there’s always a Two-Fisted perspective. And there’s always the shortness. You can read these things in under a minute. Not exactly as short as a tweet (a word we’re not entirely comfortable with–and we’re into birds!). But short enough to provide a quick read. Enjoy. And come back for more. We’ve got plenty of under-a-minute shorts to post here. Plus, we’ll put yours here, too. Just send them in (under 160 words, please) by using the contact page or the comment box below. Reading can be fun, but sometimes you just want it quick.

3 Responses to “The Category is “Shorts””

  1. Jan Cook says:

    Love these Shorts! Thanks for turning me on to this site.

  2. Alice Huff says:

    I’m a former wordsmith but I’ve never been accoused of brevity. Let me explain………………………………………………………………….LOL

  3. marc davis says:

    As some wise man once said, “Brevity is the soul of wit.”

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