A Tire Swing Story is a bite-sized "imagining" inspired by an object I discover while wandering. It could be a curbside trash gem or a message sprayed on a wall. A lost mitten, or an antique store find. Anything goes. I photograph the object and post them together, the story and its inspiration. There will be a new story every Monday and Wednesday. On Fridays, I'll discuss writing, life, love, and coffee. (In no particular order and maybe all at once.)

Monday, March 26, 2012

She arrived fully assembled. Garth dressed her in a white silk blouse and yellow skirt he'd bought at Fashionable Miss in the mall. She was beautiful, with auburn hair falling in soft waves down her back. She had wide eyes fringed with delicate eyelashes and full smiling lips. Melinda 357A.

Garth preferred to call her Mel. For their first date, he took Mel to the park where they watched ducks swimming in the pond and ate brie cheese and stoned wheat thins. Garth told Mel about his decision to leave Elmdale and head to the city to pursue a career as a Chartered Accountant. Mel listened intently, and when he told his accountant joke, the one about insolvency claims, Garth was pleased to look over and see her smiling face.

When they stopped for ice cream cones, Mel's left hand fell off. Garth quickly picked it up and tucked it into his suit jacket pocket. 

Near the fountain, she lost a leg. He had to retrace their route in order to find it. He placed the leg into his wicker picnic basket where it jutted out like a loaf of baguette. They continued on. Garth wanted to go to the booth where they drew cartoon caricatures of couples with big heads and tiny bodies. He thought it was a hoot and had always wanted to get one done but never had somebody else to bring. Until now.  

On the way, Mel's right foot came loose and her nose snapped off. Then, just before they arrived at the caricature artist, Garth heard a crack and Mel's lovely head tumbled from her neck. He looked down at that beautiful smile of hers, and felt a surge of love. He didn’t mind that she was in pieces. What relationship is perfect? 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Casual Fridays: Saltwater Blood

Hi guys. It's Britt. 
So in a few weeks, my family and I are going to be headed to the Dominican Republic for my sister, Rachel's wedding. 
There are lots of things about this trip I'm excited for. Seeing my little sis get hitched. Spending time with my family and friends and just relaaaxing.
But can I tell you what's really got my heart pitter-pattering? 
The ocean. 
It's been a few years. 
This is what happened last time...

I can't help it. I loose all sense of decorum and just spring for all that blue. Afterward, I usually look like this. 

Photos by Jeremiah Hill
What about you guys? New green shoots sprouting out of the ground? The smell of fall leaves? A killer sunset? Light glinting off a fresh patch of snow? What about our natural world gets your blood humming? 

Have a beautiful weekend, story-makers. See you back here on Monday. 
xo Britt 

Monday, March 19, 2012

The morning smells of fallen leaves. Hector Schmit drives the wooden stakes into the ground, grunting with the effort. He'll pay for this later when he can barely stand for the pain in his lower back. Still, it's worth it. 

At the top of each wooden post, Hector carefully places a plastic skull. 

His hands around each cranium are wrinkled and liver-spotted. Are these his hands? He bends to retrieve a fallen stake and his knees protest like rusty door hinges. He's old. The past year has been rough. Too much time spent in his recliner chair wondering what the damn purpose of it all is. 

His life. Wasn't he supposed to do more with it? Take up sailing. Go and see that crazy Stonehenge in England. Learn about wines. Find his first love, Sarah, and tell her it never got sweeter than it was with her. 

But his days are spent taking up space in an armchair. 

Then a month ago, Hector passed a "For Sale" sign on someone's lawn. He wrenched it from the ground and planted it in front of his next door neighbour's house. 

The following day, someone knocked on the woman's door to find out her asking price for the house. On his front porch, Hector did a little victory dance. 

She retaliated the next night with a pizza delivered to his door. 

"That'll be $26.40, Sir." 

Grinning, Hector paid the delivery guy. Cholesterol-be-dammed, he ate the pizza, slice by gooey slice, and plotted his next move. 

When all of the plastic skulls are in place, Hector turns to flee. He feels a giggle rise in his chest and decides to walk home through the leaves, instead of taking the sidewalk. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Casual Sundays: Sweet!

Hi guys. It's Britt.
So, you remember my 200th post prize, right? And you recall that Matthew McAusland won?
Well, I'd like to share with you what happened after he won.
Matt decided to go with the dozen cupcakes from The Sassy Lamb as his prize. AND, he asked that the cupcakes be distributed amongst twelve women who he admires.
Here is what each lovely gal got: 

The cupcakes were vegan and gluten free chocolate!! Matt wanted to add a little message and a photo for each, so we made it happen...

Thanks again to all who entered my little contest. Look out for the Tire Swing Stories 300th post contest! Love to you, story-makers. See you back here on Monday. 
xo Britt

Monday, March 12, 2012

photo taken by Sarah Martens.
Fydor, the bed bug, is a gentleman. He prefers classical music--Brahms or Chopin, and candlelight. He's meticulous with self-grooming, and reads both French and Latin.

And one thing that Fydor never ever does, is drink blood. 

He's been living happily inside your mattress for most of his 18-month life. But one morning when Fydor wakes, everything changes. 

He is pressed against one of his favorite spots: the back of your neck. He stretches his six legs and yawns. He feels your warm skin beneath him, and a sudden urge. 


Fydor has never wanted to bite anything so badly. Your soft hairs tickle his thorax. He hears the sweet river of blood rushing through your veins. 

Give me strength! 

Fydor scuttles to the kitchen where he dines on a carrot peel lodged between the floorboards. To distract himself from his lust, he spends most of the day composing a sonnet: Happy Ye Radishes!

But night arrives, and with it, Fydor's longing. He can't sleep. Your flesh calls to him. 

Just before dawn, feverish and exhausted, Fydor makes a decision. 

He climbs inside the fabric of your sock. Your socks go into your black and white saddle shoes and you walk out the front door. It is cold, and Fydor shivers in the draft and feels the swinging motion of your steps. He hears the clip-clop sound of your heels hitting the pavement. He clings on. 

When you have traveled a distance from the house, Fydor turns to your foot. "Farewell, lovely softness," he whispers. "Goodbye warm, porous skin." 

He kisses you tenderly just above your ankle, and jumps. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Casual Fridays: Camembert or Roquefort?

Hi guys. It's Britt. 
There's something funny going on in Toronto. Someone is declaring their love for cheese all over the place. Here's one I found in Chinatown: 

And a couple more in the Financial District:

What do you think? Does "cheese" stand for something else, or is this person just passionate about Gouda? If you come across one of these cheese-love declarations, please let us know about it, and help solve the mystery! 

Have a gooey weekend, story-makers. See you back here on Monday. 
xo Britt

Monday, March 5, 2012

I've never been treated this badly in all my life. Do you know who I am? I'm the All That Glitters girl. Well, not recently. Clearly I'm not a girl any more. I'm a grown woman.

What's that? 

Have you been living under a rock? Honestly! Did you just land here in your space ship? All That Glitters is a fantastic arts and crafts device. It allows you to take anything ordinary and make it extraordinary. 

But you wouldn't know about extraordinary, would you? 

You, Bonnie, teller at the Bank of Montreal, with your smug little name-tag and your flipped up hair are the epitome of ordinary. That's why you're treating me this way. Just to make yourself feel better. 

You want me to leave? I'm not leaving without what's rightly mine. I deposited that money into this bank in good faith and now you're trying to keep it from me. 

I don't have any money in my account? I'm broke? 

Ha, ha. Sure, Bonnie. You think you can trick me? Take advantage? Maybe you're after my money yourself. You just add a couple of zeros here, remove a couple of zeros there, right? Are you gonna take that extra cash and go to Mexico? Get wasted on daiquiris and take pretty boys back to your cabana?

I see. Now you're calling security. You really do need to feel powerful, don't you, Bonnie?

Hello there. My, you're a tall drink of water in uniform.

Wait a minute. Don't you touch me, you lout. Take your hands off me, you nobody. You rent-a-cop.

I'll make a scene if I darn well please. I'm the All That Glitters Girl. 


Friday, March 2, 2012

Casual Fridays: The turtle in the sneakers

Hi guys. It's Britt.

Remember that little turtle who was plodding into the new year with a whole bunch of goals for 2012? Today I want to talk about where she's at.

See cause this turtle is preparing to lace up her runners and really go for it, and she's realized that while attempting three blog posts a week might work for a sprint, it's just not gonna happen in a long-distance run. 

So I'm cutting back. From now on, I'll be posting on Mondays and Fridays.

Thanks as always, for your love and support. See you back here on Monday for a new tire swing story...


xo Britt