Jo Janoski\’s Blog

Writings, Observations, Poetry, Stories

Whiter Whites March 30, 2006

Filed under: Humor — jojanoski @ 3:16 pm


A commercial for laundry detergent

I haven't written a commercial since the one for a PooGram. Here is one for a new brand of laundry detergent. (Forgive me!)

* * *

Scene: Laundry Room

Distraught housewife looks at dingy gray shirt and throws it down in disgust.

Housewife: "This shirt will never be white like when it was new."

(A knock at the door. A voice) "Hello! Help is on the way!"

(Housewife opens door and man steps in. He wears white tights, white leotard, and white cape) "I'm Captain SuperWhite! Here to save the day! I heard you are in laundry distress."

Housewife: (Eyeing him up and down) "Who are you? Are you sure you're not looking for the gay bar two blocks over…errr, not that there's anything wrong with that…"

Capt. SW: "No! You silly! I'm here to help you with your laundry!"

Housewife: "Do you want to fold or iron?"

Capt. SW: "No, no! I'm here to make it whiter with my new Whiz with Bleach, a detergent from Huckster and Ramble."

Housewife: "Whiz with Bleach? Are you kidding me?"

Capt. SW: (Murmurs) "This sure isn't like the old days. They respected Mr. Clean." (Continues, louder) "Yes, madam, I'm serious. Let's try a load."

(He grabs shirt and throws it in washer, adding Whiz with Bleach, starts the machine)

Capt. SW: "Well, while we wait for the load to finish, let me tell you about this fine detergent. It's a yellow liquid…"

Housewife: "Yellow liquid, with a name like 'Whiz,' why am I not surprised?"

Capt. SW: (Ignores her and continues) "…Yellow liquid with green specks. The green specks are bleach, you see, color-safe bleach that brightens your colors while it whitens your whites, all in the convenience of a liquid. No messy powder!"

Housewife: "It looks pukey."

Capt. SW: "Whaat?"

Housewife: "It looks like vomit. How can I put vomit on my clothes."

Capt. SW: "It's not vomit! It's Whiz with Bleach in a handy liquid form that brightens your colors while it whitens your whites."

Housewife: "I don't know. It still looks like vomit to me."

Capt. SW: "It's not vomit!" (Captain SuperWhite looks at his watch) "Look! The wash cycle is over. Let's take a look at that shirt."

(Pulls shirt out of the washer and holds it up. It is yellow with green specks all over it. He gasps)

Housewife: "Hey, what did you do to my shirt? Now it looks like puke!"

Capt. SW: "I…I don't know. Whiz with Bleach has never failed me before. Maybe your washer is dirty." (Inspects the inside of the washer)

Housewife: "Hey, are you calling me a bad housewife?" (Grabs Captain White by the tights, propels him toward the door) "Get out of my house!"

Capt. SW: "Wait! What's the address of that bar! I think I need a drink!"

Housewife: "Drink this!" (Hurls the bottle of Whiz at him and slams the door) "It was vomit!" (Murmuring she leaves the room)

The End

Copyright 2006 JO Janoski


Daffodil –A little something to cure the winter doldrums! March 28, 2006

Filed under: My Photos,Poetry — jojanoski @ 4:14 pm


Shine sweet, shine warm, joy to all who see
Elegant, shimmering, daffodil
Soft guiding, heart stirring, God-given.


A Night with Edgar March 23, 2006

Filed under: Short Stories — jojanoski @ 2:29 pm

Story time…

A Night with Edgar…

Black clouds slammed together producing a thunderous roar as Emilie Smit closed the door against the storm after shaking torrents of water from her umbrella. Dusk was falling and the rain gave no indication it would be over soon as water streamed down the windows from horizontal blasts propelled by an angry wind.

Emilie had been shopping, and a tiny smile passed her lips as she laid a tiny bundle on the table. Her lucid blue eyes never left the package as she removed her coat and settled in an overstuffed chair. The lady sunk into the chair's comforts, but sat up quickly to reach for the bag, jostling her abundant auburn curls with the movement. They bounced around her shoulders and halfway down her back in cascades of shiny movement.

Her slender fingers undid the wrapping and lifted out a white box. Lifting the lid, she caught her breath spying the beautiful ring. The circle of gold was embellished with three tiny sapphires, gleaming blue and two little pearls at each end of the grouping. Lifting it up to the light, Emilie's heart fluttered with delight.

Slipping it on her finger, she stretched out her hand to see the sapphires sparkle. The jewels danced and glimmered in her view with all the beauty and grace of a dancing angel. They spoke to her of another era, where ladies draped in elegant long dresses entered grand drawing rooms bedecked in jewels such as these. Emilie closed her eyes and imagined an elegant ball where the wearer of this ring would be the center of attraction.

Clutching the jewelry to her heart and twirling on tiptoes around the dimly lit room, she swirled past the television and bumped into a chair. Even as she stumbled, Emilie smiled in contentment.

"Rachel, my darling, at last we are together. It is I, Edgar." The deep voice rattled her out of the sweet reverie.

A startled oh escaped as her eyes met a pair of brown ones that screamed with what looked like hot unbridled love.

"Rachel, I thought you'd never come," the tall man murmured, grabbing Emilie and placing little kisses up and down her neck.

"Excuse me! Do we know each other?" The words rushed from her mouth in a torrent of excitement ignited by the kisses. Next, startled, she backed away with quick, little steps.

"Rachel, why do you act like you don't know me?"

"I don't, and how did you get in here? Ooooh, I demand you leave my house immediately," she replied, her hand touching the moist spot where seconds ago he had showered her with pecks of love.

"I don't understand. Are you not Rachel? You certainly look like her." The love in his eyes transformed to disappointment.

"No, I'm not. Now how did you get in my house?"

"You put on the ring. Putting on the ring always releases me…from the ethers. I've been waiting for you, for centuries, you see…my love." His hand reached to stroke her cheek.

She pushed him away, repeating his remarks in confusion. "I put on the ring, and it releases you to come to Rachel, or since I have the ring, to me."

"Are you not Rachel…or perhaps you would like to pretend to be?" He murmured the last phrase in a steamy whisper while taking her face in his hands and searching for an answer.

"Would that be okay…if I pretend to be Rachel?" Emilie asked in a little voice. Her eyes widened while her lips tensed into a slit above her chin.

"Well, the 'powers that be' would not be amused, my love. But I would never tell them." He showered her with kisses on her cheeks and neck. Emilie felt warm all over.

The following morning Emilie padded to the kitchen early to make coffee. Edgar was gone for now anyway, but she fully intended to summon him back again. A dark day presented itself in rain and thunder again.

The watery sounds of streaming rain and stormy booms offered a startling contrast to the soft contentment in her heart. Last night she had been loved in a way that heretofore had been unimaginable. Fluid, total, wrapped in his arms–the object of his devotion, she surrendered because there was no way she could resist. A sigh escaped as she measured the water for coffee. Thank goodness she bought that ring. As long as she had it and put it on, dear Edgar would come and make passionate love to her.

A bam sent her jumping in fright. Glancing out the window, she spied a tree on fire in the yard, struck by lightning. Running outside, she met her neighbor who had emerged at the sound, as well. The trunk was engulfed in flames wrapping it around it like sultry dancers, turning the old oak by the inches to a smoking black pole. The rain had reduced to a drizzle, allowing the flames to do their evil work unimpeded.

"Looks like that tree's a goner," the neighbor said, his hands on his hips like the undeclared authority he was. "I'll call the fire department."

"Thanks, George," Emilie replied while stepping back from the flaming tree. The excitement made her forget the previous night for a moment, but glancing up to her bedroom window reminded her again.

Another bam propelled her heart into a startled orbit. Confused, she spied with dismay as another boom issued a bolt of lightning. The white hot streak danced its tendrils across the sky, reaching, stretching…to touch the roof of her house. With a crackle and a pop, her home ignited. The flames roared, proceeding to consume the roof like hungry animals, next wrapping down along the walls. The wood frame house offered no resistance to the fire.

"MY HOUSE! MY HOUSE!" Emilie screamed, running up and down the street trying to summon help, stumbling and getting up again to run again. The neighbors gathered, but there was nothing they could do. The fire department arrived to see the last of the walls crumble. Emilie's life in minutes became a stack of charred embers and ash. Her friends soothed her as she sat on the curb, dismal and empty.

"Well, at least I have Edgar," she murmured reaching to stroke the ring on her finger. As long as she had the ring, she could summon him was then she realized her finger was bare. She had removed the jewelry and left it on the bed stand.

"OH NO!" she shrieked, getting up and rushing into the embers. Falling on her knees as black dust flew, she ran her hands through the ashes hoping to feel the tiny ring in her grasp.

"Emilie, you're going to get burnt! GET OUT OF THERE!" her neighbor cried.

"NOT UNTIL I FIND MY RING!" she yelled. After an hour, she found it among the ruins, the stones blackened and the gold melted. It was no longer a ring, but only a dull blob of metal and rocks. Only she knew its worth. Laying the dusty chunk on her blackened hand, she hoped perhaps the magic could still work. But she knew it would not.

For years afterward, she wondered if the universe paid her back for pretending to be Rachel or if it all was merely a coincidence how a disaster happened after she lied. Figuring she'd never know, she took pleasure in the fact that at least she would always have the memory of her time with Edgar.

On many nights, she looked at the starry sky and wondered if he ever found Rachel; after all, that was the woman he truly loved.

Copyright 2006 JO Janoski


Where Pop is Pop March 20, 2006

Filed under: Essays — jojanoski @ 5:10 pm

Where Pop is Pop and not a Soda…

This is the third part of my series of articles, the first and second, detailing what it's like for a city person to move to the country. In this article I list reasons why I love Pittsburgh:

Pittsburgh can try a good man's soul, what with its provincial attitudes and outrageous traffic patterns. I mean, how can it possibly take longer to drive to the airport than the time needed for your flight? All the same, I wouldn't leave this city for the world. Lots of good reasons come to mind, some big–some small. Here is a sampling:

1. I cringe every time someone calls "pop" a "soda." (It is just so wrong! It makes me nuts. How can I live where they would do that!)

2. I haven't yet figured out what "Protestants" are. (I've always assumed Catholics and Jews were all there is.)

3. I like being part of a local cult with its own (yinzer) language and nurturing entities…like Giant Eagle. I mean, who doesn't consider the Iggle a part of the family?

4. I love watching the city grow. When I was coming up, this was a shot and beer town. From grubby steelworkers with lunch pails…to executives, software researchers, health care personnel–I can't believe in my lifetime I've watched Pittsburgh evolve a whole new persona.

5. I love the city for what it used to be, too. This weekend, I was traveling with hubby through the neighborhoods. All afternoon cruising up and down the streets, I studied century old buildings and houses. I gazed at churches and schools along the way and old store fronts, many now closed or abandoned. The ghosts of earlier days still linger in those old brick and frame buildings surrounded by narrow cobblestone streets and alleys. Those worn rough textures reach out to remind us that hard-working people lived here once whose sweat built a strong city and whose steel mills built an even stronger country. In those weathered homes with pretty shutters and ornate details, families were whole, engrossed in each other, and God-fearing. The schools meant business and the churches were everyone's haven in times of both need and joy. The Church was everything in that time of brutal living.

How our predecessors would scoff at us today–we've forsaken their values of family, education, community, and church, abandoning them to neglect. I'm sure those people would ask, "Well, then what do you value?" How would we answer…from this disposable society that rushes to keep up with itself, getting nowhere fast? No time for neighbors, no time for the kids! I love the fact Pittsburgh was built by immigrants who came here, work ethic intact, and built their dreams. And I'm grateful their homes and buildings, in all their elaborate, patiently constructed beauty remain, to remind us to build a similar permanence and meaning into our own lives, physically and spiritually.

Copyright 2006 JO Janoski


Sunday Afternoon March 19, 2006

Filed under: Poetry — jojanoski @ 2:52 pm

May I share my Sunday with you? The following poem is a Chronos~w, a form invented by a friend of mine and her daughter. It is a single-stanza poem with words per line as follows, first line to last: 9,8,6,9,6.


Sunday afternoon sunny rays fill my room with music

Godly in their brilliance, warm where they touch

Ethereal, magical, brilliant rays of elegance

Chasing away gray times, flooding today with limpid warmth

Carried on gossamer beams of light

Copyright 2006 JO Janoski


Looking for Sun March 17, 2006

Filed under: Poetry — jojanoski @ 4:07 pm


(A Villanelle while waiting for spring…)

Clouds of gray dust fill my day

contaminating clean air

Looking for Sun coming my way

Cloudiness fills every way

Stomping on all I may dare

Clouds of gray dust fill my day

Sunshine shares its love-filled rays

Evidence of One who cares

Looking for Sun coming my way

Sweet inspirational rays

with whispery warm prayers

Clouds of gray dust fill my day

Clouds with soft steps float away

My cheeks blush in sweet prayers

Looking for Sun coming my way

Joyful hymns singing this day

Warm hearts beating, Someone cares

Clouds of gray dust fill my day

Looking for Sun coming my way

Copyright 2005 JO Janoski


Moving to the Country Pt. 2 March 15, 2006

Filed under: Essays — jojanoski @ 3:58 pm

Moving to the Country…Part 2…

Yesterday I detailed the good points of moving to a small Western Maryland town. Today, the bad points.

My first disappointment being transferred to a farming community: the clothes. What a shocker to find everyone dressing in clothes popular the decade before! It reminded me of my parents, who were fashion disasters. My dad wore a Clark Kent baggy suit and brimmed hat well into the British rock era of the mid-60's, but I digress.

My second lesson: Yikes! No traffic jams. Now this was indicative of an even greater problem. No stress! How could people function without stress? It was inconceivable. What made them get up in the morning? The answer to that query is chicory coffee, a local favorite–but there I go with the digressing again.

And, Lesson #3: Loneliness. It's true. I enjoyed my stay, loved the wilderness, adored the people, but I was out of my element. My heart ached to speak to people of my own sort. Long-haired, wire-rimmed, bell-bottomed freaks who populated Pittsburgh in those days in countless numbers. You know who you are. We were all "friends" possessing a group consciousness of peace, love, and far-outedness, so to speak.

It didn't take long for hubby and me to make the decision to come back. As much as there was to like about where we were, it fell short. We missed family, we missed sports, we missed "da Burgh" in a big way. Maryland was nice, but it wasn't home. After two years away, we came back to Pittsburgh and stayed here.

Next time: What I love about Pittsburgh and why I'd never move again…

Copyright 2005 JO Janoski