Will you write a story, incorporating these lines in any order?
Here you go;
1- “How come you’re always the Johnny come lately?”
2- “All I want is chocolate waffles!”
3- The truth shall set you free.
4- Over the rainbow comes the raven.
5- “Well, I’ll be darned…”
6- “Here’s to a new leaf!”
I had been looking for quite some time for a workplace which combined my twin loves of home economics and marketing. Conglomo-Corp seemed the answer to those prayers.
The marketing department here had the motto “the truth shall set you free” followed with the caveat “but it doesn’t increase the bottom line which is sales!”
I saw their help wanted ad in Home Economics Today! which was the journal/bible for those of us enamored with Home Ec. All I could think when I saw it was “well, I’ll be darned.”
I submitted my application and the rest was history. My first day proved less than promising as the corporate culture here was definitely dated. I walked in all styling and monochromatic in a black suit with black shirt and grey tie. I heard the Vice-President in charge of marketing say “over the rainbow comes the raven.” I assumed this was a snide remark about my remarkably stylish clothing..
Meetings in marketing were not usually pleasant as one faction battled another for the right to next month’s new products. Usually led by Biff Jockkowski, the older thinking members of the panel were usually quick to condemn whatever fresh ideas we came up with..
One day I had suffered long enough, and at the end of the meeting I loudly demanded “all I want is chocolate waffles!” These had done remarkably well in pre-testing and were a pet project of mine. I was unusually for this place given my way to prove the project (which Biff of course tried to sabotage at every turn).
When the preliminary sales reports showed an astronomical increase in the highly coveted 2-12 year old breakfast demographics I heard Biff yell “I knew they’d be a hit!”
I smirked and dropped the figures on his desk and said “How come you’re always the Johnny come lately?”
I then slapped him on the back extremely hard but pretended it was in a “football buddy way” and said “here’s to a new leaf!”
“Well,” I said, rushing up to hug my friend while pulling up a chair at the same time, “I’ve been looking forward to this because all I want is chocolate waffles!”
It’s been a while since I’ve seen this girl – my old friend. We’d scheduled a brunch together and she brought some friends with her for me to meet.
After shaking hands, smiling courteously and nervous introductions of (“so what do you do?”); I settle into my chair across from my friend and wonder – why the entourage?
Over the rainbow comes the raven – I think.
Wait – where did that come from?
Oh well – I’m going to have a good time with all of these people I don’t know.
I HAD been looking forward to this, but was a little disappointed that she felt she needed to bring others to keep her company prior to my arrival.
I’m not going to tell her that – I’m going to order a mimosa.
As the waiter came by, I place my order for a mimosa, which for some reason perks up the rest of the posse. They wind up ordering the same.
When the drinks arrive, we all grab for the tray. When I see everyone has a drink in hand, I decide it’s time for a small toast and raise my glass.
“Here’s to a new leaf!”
I hear murmurs of “Ok,” and “whatever”, but notice it doesn’t stop any one from swigging their drink.
And I smile.
“Susie” you’re going to be late again for the school bus.” Edna screamed up the stairs. As Susie came into the kitchen, her mom asked, “How come you’re always the Johnny come lately? I doubt you’ll have time now to eat your hot cereal.”
Susie replied ” First, all I want is chocolate waffles! They’re fast and easy. Second, I’m really not ‘dilly-dallying’ like you think …It’s just that every morning I look out the window and over the rainbow comes the raven.
“Now Susie, don’t start making up silly excuses! Please remember that the truth shall set you free.” Just then there was a loud squawking sound coming from their back yard. Susie and her mom ran to the window. “Well, I’ll be darned … ” Edna exclaimed as she and Susie saw a huge black raven pulling worms out of the soft soil since it had rained earlier. In the background there was a faint rainbow that seemed to perfectly arch over the raven. It was an awesome moment for both mother and daughter, although Edna regretted ever doubting her daughter’s word.
“I’m so sorry I didn’t believe you, Susie. Here’s to a new leaf of trusting you.” They hugged as Susie swallowed the last chocolate waffle and heard the school bus driving away. “Come on, honey, Mommy will drive you to school!” Edna lovingly said.
I guess I should introduce myself. My name is Sam Spade and I am a Private Eye. I had just wrapped up a case and thought to myself (5)”Well I’ll be darned … I’m taking some time off”
I continued my stroll towards Mel’s Diner when a running figure brushed past me. I said rather loudly ” Excuse me! You wanna watch where you’re going?” The running figure stopped and turned around. It was Frankie, my secretary. I said “Are you done already?. Smiling coyly, she sauntered back to me and said “of course Sammy. I’m hurrying to Mel’s Diner now to get something for dinner. Where you going?” I replied, “Mel’s Diner, too! Look doll, it’s getting late. We need to hurry before Mel decides to close up.” As we hurried on towards the diner, Frankie looked at me and said “Sammy, (1)How come you’re always the Johnny come lately?” My head was spinning. She was always asking weird questions like that.
Finally we arrived at Mel’s Diner. And there it was ! the SIGN ! It was the strangest quote I had ever seen or heard (4)”Over the rainbow comes the raven” It was over the entrance to the diner. I would ask Mel every time I visited the diner :Tell the truth, Mel, what the Sam Hill does that sign mean? Mel would always get that infuriating smirk on his face and say nothing,
Tonight I was determined to get an answer. But first comes food!. I asked Frankie what she was having and she replied (2)”All I want is chocolate waffles!” which was a far cry from what she usually ordered. Usually I went broke when I bought her dinner. I had my usual Ham and cheese sandwich. I thought to myself (6)”Here’s to a new leaf”.
When we finished eatring I told Frankie I would make sure she gets home ok. Chicago can be a hard town! I settled the bill with Mel and turned to leave. As Frankie and I left the diner, I turned back to Mel who was standing in the doorway and said “C’mon Mel you gotta tell me the truth! What does that infernal sign mean.?
Mel just smiled in that smirky way of his and said, Sammy, my boy,(3)”The truth shall set you free” And then he went inside and closed the door and turned out the lights!
End of Story
Hope you like it! .
Adam had been busy naming all the animals and decided to take a short sabbatical from all of breakfast when over the rainbow comes the raven. “Have you heard the news?”, he cawed. “What news?”, Adam questioned. “The big guy just added a new critter to the garden and it looks just like you, but a lot ….well….curvier”. “Well, I’ll be darned”, exclaimed Adam, “and just how am I supposed to get things done around here if “He” is just going to go off and keep creating at every drop of a fig?” He sighed in frustration, and decided to meander back riverside and see what the Boss had concocted now. All I want is chocalate waffles, he thought, “I got the chocolate thing down, but the waffles, how am I going to grill waffles on an open pit?”. Just then, he walked onto an open clearing near the river, and there she was, Eve, with a plate full of waffles drenched in maple syrup, and all decked out in her new leaf bikini…..
“Ha..ba..da…Ha..ba..da”,accidentally excaped his lips, eliciting a smile from Eve, “so I hear you like waffles” she spoke in a smoky “come hither” tone. “You’d better get ’em while they’re hot cause that snake has been following me around all afternoon and these waffles won’t stay hot for long.”
Adam decided to dress up for the occasion, so he dashed back into the woods and quickly swapped his pine cone loin cloth for a nice new canadian maple leaf (2X), but when he arrived the snake had cought up with Eve and had absconed with the waffles. “How come you’re always the Johnny come lately?”, Eve complained, and she was ready for a fight, but when she saw that he had attempted to impress her by dressing up for breakfast, and was sporting a new “look” with that Canadian Maple, she smiled and cooed, “Well, well, we sure do clean up nicely” and became completely disarmed. “Here’s to a new leaf!” Adam smiles, “but, ah, um, ah.. any chance you have any of those waffles left over?”
Nothing has been right ever since….because of waffles…..
I on the other hand wanted a variety but she insisted on chocolate, chocolate, chocolate.
We weren’t off to a good start, which wasn’t like us at all.
I arrived at the bank on time but where was Brenda? Oh this was ridiculous. How could she be late for a loan’s appointment? What next?
Brenda finally rounded the corner and she could see how ticked off I was. Before I could say anything Brenda said, “Give me a break will you Darlene? I’m one and a half minutes late. Big deal!”
“HOW COME YOU’RE ALWAYS THE JOHNY COME LATELY?” I snapped back “or should I call you Joanie come lately?”
“Oh here we go again,” replied Brenda, “and when exactly was the last time I was late?”
“It doesn’t matter. Let’s get in there or we’ll never get the loan for YOUR big idea of the Chocolate Parlor.” I said sarcastically.
“Now what do you mean?”
“You know exactly what I mean Brenda. All I suggested were a couple of varieties but you had to keep saying, “ALL I WANT IS CHOCOLATE WAFFLES.”
A dandy argument was brewing again.
“Look Darlene, how can we have a chocolate parlor if it isn’t all chocolate? Why don’t you just admit the truth? Admit you are jealous and the TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE.”
People were starting to look at us but I didn’t care.
“Jealous!” I screamed back.” Jealous of what?”
“My chocolate ideas and everything else. Now let’s get in there or we won’t have anything.” said Brenda ending the conversation.
We managed to get the loan although I’m not sure how the way we ignored each other in the office. Afterwards we back to her place to try and talk a few things over like the manager suggested.
Brenda offered me a coffee and wouldn’t you know it, a chocolate waffle. By this time I was too stubborn to eat even though I was hungry. I had never seen us disagree on so many things and for so long.
All of sudden Brenda said, “I just thought of something.”
Like I cared.
“Did you ever here the song called OVER THE RAINBOW COMES THE RAVIN?”
“NO and I don’t think I want to. I mean, what kind of song is that?” I said totally uninterested.
“ Exactly what I use to think because to me rainbows are beautiful and a sign of hope but ravens are just like plain, ugly, old, crows yet they still have their purpose in this world even if it is collecting bits of garbage.”
“Yeah, so what?” I growled back.
“Well think about it. Our friendship is usually like a rainbow. It’s something special and beautiful but all these arguments are like the black raven.”
“How so and where are you going with this?” I sighed.
“O.K. maybe I’m stretching it a little but it’s how I see it. Our arguments are ugly and putting black shadows or garbage over our friendship.” which I had to agree with.
“Well if something ugly can come over or through something beautiful and still be useful then maybe it’s time we stopped and looked at all this useless “raven” arguing and find it’s purpose so our rainbow of friendship will come back.”
“WELL I’LL BE DARNED” I said. “ Some of that is actually making sense. Maybe our raven arguing was to clear the air and it got out of hand. We collected to much garbage.”
Brenda nodded, “I’ll say and maybe that was the purpose. We’ve cleared the air and our friendship is still strong. It is, isn’t it?” She said hesitantly.
I started laughing. “How foolish we’ve been fighting over waffles and ice cream but do you know what? I truly feel like some waffles. Yes, chocolate ones at that. ALL I WANT IS CHOCOLATE WAFFLES as long as they are with you. Can we start again?”
“Sure.” Brenda quickly answered, “and we can compromise on our ideas from now on.”
Together we lifted up a chocolate waffle and I said, “HERE’S TO A NEW LEAF.”
“Amen to that” finished Brenda, “because no friendship is worth breaking up for over waffles.”
Our laughter filled the kitchen.
“I’m not feeling too well,” said the Cockroach From Hell. “I think it’s my diet down there. I figured I’d better emerge to find something with decent nutritional value. What direction is the courthouse cafeteria? All I want is chocolate waffles!”
“Hummph,” snorted Millie. “They cleaned up after breakfast long ago. How come you’re always the Johnny come lately? You’re going to have to settle for something else. I hear the cook forgot to clean up some sausage grease that spilled between tiles on the backsplash of the counter. Try that.”
Millie and the Cockroach From Hell scurried from the bathroom into the cafeteria. “You know,” said Millie, “that grease really isn’t going to do you much good, either. It’s not worth the risk coming up here for THAT. If maybe you could score a little piece of meat down by the baseboard, and maybe some shreds of vegetable matter over by the cutting island, you’d feel much better.”
“Good idea,” replied Cockroach. “It’s probably worth trying to eat a little more healthy. Here’s to a new leaf!”
“The truth shall set you free,” exclaimed Millie.
They reached the baseboard below the counter and found bits of sausage that had dropped but not been cleaned up, and started to feast. They were ravenous, and didn’t notice the large, ominous shadow that slowly loomed up behind them. Cockroach From Hell heard a hissing sound and looked up in time to see the Orkin man towering above him, spraying toxic insect killer around the floors and baseboards of the kitchen.
Both Cockroach and Millie began to feel faint. Cockroach began to hallucinate. He staggered, remarking to Millie with his dying breath, “Over the rainbow comes the raven.” Millie had no idea what that meant, but understood it was the raving of a bug that was out of his head.
Early the next morning, the carcasses of Millie, Cockroach From Hell, and assorted others who had been killed in the holocaust were swept up and unceremoniously deposited in a trash can in the alley. It was just another senseless death, caused by healthy eating.
“How come you’re always the Johnny come lately?” she chided. He just smiled his slow grin. Looking at it made all of her frustration melt away. She smiled back. He looked up at the marquis above the flashing neon rainbow at the front entrance. Raven was the star attraction that night. She looked beautiful in her black, satin gown. He have a low whistle of appreciation. “Over the rainbow comes the Raven,” he said, “and she sure looks good!”
The show was just starting and Raven had begun her first song. She broke it off when a commotion in the back got louder and louder. A large, drunken man was fighting with the bouncer. He managed to get free and ran directly towards the stage. The room fell quiet as everybody realized he was stark naked! He was within 5 feet of the stage when John came out of the shadows. His foot came out in front of the guy, who tripped and went down like a sack of potatoes. “Well, I’ll be damned!” said John softly. Bedlam erupted as the inebriated streaker was taken out in handcuffs. One of the bar maids tied an apron around his waist before he was led out into the street.
Raven decided to call it quits. Twenty minutes later she and John were in his Bronco headed for home. She smiled ruefully. “I want to tell you something, and it’s the truth.” “Go ahead,” said John,”the truth shall set you free”. “I never really wanted to sing in that place anyway. I’m going to start over and try for an audience that’s a bit more well behaved. Hey, what time is it anyway?” “It’s after midnight,” said John. “Know what else?” asked Raven. “I’m starving! All I want is chocolate waffles.” “We aim to please,” said John, turning the Bronco around.
Soon they were dining on chocolate waffles and drinking mugs of steaming coffee. “I’m so glad we got out of there,” said Raven. “It’s time for me to turn over a new leaf”. Then she burst out laughing. Speaking of leafs, that naked idiot could have used one, too!” “Amen to that,” agreed John. Then he looked at her impishily and raised his mug. “Here’s to a new leaf!”
“You’re STILL sleeping?”
My mother stormed in, as usual, looking as fresh as a daisy. “This place stinks” she said, wrinkling her nose up and grabbing the big garbage bag that I had failed to throw out last night.
“I suppose the king of the castle didn’t come home AGAIN last night” she remarked. I groaned. “MOM, my relationship with Jim is MY business!!” She walked toward my bedroom. “Hmmph!!, you call that a relationship!” Looking into my room SHE groaned, “WHAT A MESS.” She immediately starting to pick up junk and throw it into a basket. Before I could reply she peered out the bedroom window. .
“Well, I’ll be darned……over the rainbow comes the raven!!”
I looked out the window with her. Jim was strolling up the walk. “Mom, PLEASE don’t say anything to him, he probably spent the night at his brother Max’s.” She looked at me like you might look at a moron. “SURE he did!!!” She mocked.
“If I were you I’d ask him as soon as he set foot in that door, the truth shall set you free, daughter dear!!!”
She opened the cupboards not waiting for a reply, “You look like you could use a good breakfast” She pulled out bakers chocolate, sugar, and waffle mix , then went to the fridge for butter and milk.
She ignored Jim as he walked in. “Hi Honey” he gave me a quick kiss. “What’s up Mrs. S?” She glared at him.
“Don’t Mrs. S me!!, how come you’re always the Johnny come lately, huh?…WHEN are you going to stop all this nonsense…..You should be ashamed of yourself….staying out all night!!!, Jim looked sheepish for a moment, then came back. “As usual you are as right as rain Mrs. S!! Tomomorrow I’m gonna turn over a new leaf and start being Johnny on the spot!!!” He walked over and gave her a peck on the cheek. “All I want now is some of them chocalate waffles your’re making!!” Mom smiled despite herself and I took that as a cue to pour us all a morning glass of orange juice.
“Here’s to a new leaf!” I said raising my glass. When Mom left, Jim would have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do!!
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