Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Laugh It Up with Astraea Press Author: J.L. Salter

Meet Author J.L. Salter 
today at the Book Boost!

**All month long at the Book Boost we're featuring my fellow Astraea Press authors. Come back each day for more and be entered to win a Digital Reader Prize Pack (see below for details)!**

What Makes You Laugh?

I love to laugh.

When Kerri booked my guest appearance here at Book Boost, she suggested four topics, one of which is this is “Humorists are Artists” Month.  I think that’s a terrific springboard.

In the right mood, I really enjoy a well-told joke.  Unfortunately, I’m among the world’s worst joke tellers.  I mean prepared, scripted jokes.  I usually forget an important element, recite components out of order, or (occasionally) even screw-up the punch-line.  Yep, I’m terrible at telling canned jokes.

But what I have done a lot of, with moderate success (if my correspondents are any measure), is to relate real things that happen to me (or which I observe)...and which can be entertaining to others.

Today, I’ll give you four very short examples of things I’ve posted on online.  All are true and each happened to me (or I observed it happening).  In one case, I tweaked the story slightly—see if you can guess which.

# 1

One birthday ritual (that comes every four years or so) is getting a new driver’s license...which I did yesterday.

Unlike the hours involved for this process in LA, in this corner of KY, there was NO WAITING!

Also unlike the LA State Trooper staff (who snap your pix only when you achieve the stupidest expression you’ve ever had), these folks actually gave you a count before they snapped.

Uh, one problem:  She neglected to tell me how far she planned to count.  So it went “one, two, click.”

I was waiting on "three" to flash her with my Errol Flynn smile.  On "two" I still looked like Gumby.


Dear [Spouse]:

When I returned from exercising at the Y this afternoon I discovered a wonderful surprise.  Our daughter left us four delicious oatmeal chocolate chip cookies--fresh baked.

Well, it turns out she left us three fresh baked cookies.

Oh, my mistake.  There were only two cookies in that baggie.

Dang, I miscounted. Julie only left us ONE cookie.  I'll split it with you.

# 3

The Yappy Yorkie-Poo is evidently smarter than she looks. As the three dogs were finishing their breakfast, Flitch ran out to the edge of the garage and began barking. Belle and Bojangles zoomed out, barking all the way, with absolutely no idea of why. Then (with the other two dogs occupied) Flitch sauntered back in and finished the food in all three bowls.

# 4

Sustained two minor injuries and want legal advice.

Re-heating cup of coffee in microwave while reading newsletter. Microwave dinged, went to get my cup. Opened M/W, poised hand over cup and briefly turned back to reading. Thought I was grabbing outside of cup, but stuck my fingers in the boiling coffee instead. That caused me to jerk back my hand, which hit the inside top of the microwave and skinned my knuckle.

Do I have a case to sue the microwave manufacturer?  The maker of my coffee brand?  Or the newsletter I was reading?

Of course, not everybody will think all these are humorous.  In fact, some folks won’t find any of these the slightest bit entertaining [no accounting for taste].  Humor is like politics or religion:  if it sits well with you, you (generally) think it ought to sit well with everybody.

But if you DID laugh, what made that story funny?  Was it the fact that you could just picture the same thing happening to YOU?  Or was the tale humorously phrased?  Both?  Was it funny all the way through...or just at the end?

Did you guess which one of the four stories was tweaked?  Put your guess in the comments box below and, later, I’ll reveal which tale was tweaked from the truth.

A Note from the Book Boost:  I enjoyed the stories and my fave was the fresh baked cookies.  Don't know if it is true or not but my daughter's name is Julie also.  Thanks for joining us and please tell us more about your book.


When Kris awakens in a costume, behind wooden bars inside a pitch-black community center, her only available rescuer is the hung-over new guy in town (who’s dressed as a pirate). Problem is: she’s sworn-off men, especially buccaneers.

Badly burned four years ago by a player who ruined her financially, Kris Prima’s heart is locked down as tightly as her lifestyle is confined by those massive debts. When first assisted by recent newcomer Ryan Hazzard, Kris is resentful, slightly afraid, and determined never again to trust men. But when court-ordered community service brings them together once more, she begins to appreciate Ryan’s charm, good looks, and capable manner.

With all the rumors and assumptions which followed Ryan from a large metropolitan area, how can small-town Kris even begin to trust him? And why won’t he explain any of those situations? Through her efforts to learn Ryan’s mysterious past, they share further experiences: many comedic, one quite dangerous, and others very tender. Despite several misunderstandings, Kris’s bottled-up feelings slowly re-awaken and she finally learns enough about Ryan to know she wants him in her life somehow. Kris regains her ability to trust a man and her heart is freed from its jail.


So, how on earth did I get left behind? And exactly how would I get out?

“Hello?” I knew it was too tentative, but somehow it seemed yelling into that vast darkness could make me feel even more vulnerable than I already did.


One of the big festival fund-raisers was to lock up attendees until someone donated enough money to bail them out. At first I was steamed to be imprisoned since I’d spent two weeks working on that stinking event. But once I sat down exhaustion took over, plus the spiked punch, of course. But that didn’t explain why I was still there in the dark with everybody gone… all alone.

At least I think I’m alone. “Hey! Hello?” Louder. “Anybody here?”

Silence could be good or bad. But I wished somebody would come turn the lights on and get me out. Plus, I need a restroom. Why did I leave my cell phone locked in the car? Not that there was any point waiting on a rescue. When you wake up behind wooden bars in real life, no handsome stranger comes to your aid.

My forefinger hurt but I couldn’t extract a splinter in the dark. Stood up. Oh, still a bit woozy from that long nap. Fumbled my way from the back of the jail. Straight ahead should get me to the door. Tripped on something.

Just a few more steps. Yikes! Bumped my head on something hanging from the top of the wooden jail.

One more step. Fingers brushed the bars of the front wall. Good. Door couldn’t be far away. Sideways to the left. Nope. Other direction. Ah, door frame. “Do you remember which way it opens, Kristen?” No, I didn’t. And I was talking to myself again. I reached one hand through the bars and felt the mechanism. Angle was wrong. In order to flip this latch, my entire forearm (past my elbow) had to get through.

What kind of latch? Metal. I felt a handle… it moved. But the door didn’t open. “What did the latch look like, Kristen?” I asked myself. A freezer door? No. Gate hasp? Nope. It was like those rental trailers. Have to lift something and swing something else to the side, or vice versa. Tried that. Okay, I could lift or swing, but couldn’t do both with one hand.

“Hey! Anybody here who can help with this latch before I wet myself?” Multiple echoes. I’d forgotten how big the main armory space was. “Looks like I’m stuck here.” Needed to stop talking to myself.

Tried the latch again from the other side. Ouch. Tight fit. My left elbow must be thicker. Wished I hadn’t drunk all that punch earlier. I should have known somebody spiked it because I’d seen lots of folks got tipsy. But I’d just said, “Whatever” and drank another cup. That’s how I slept through the abandonment by my former friends and the people I’d worked with on the community extravaganza. 

“Memo to Kristen,” I muttered, ”don’t ever nap in a bustier. It pinches the girls and probably leaves bruises.” Ha. Not that anybody would see them. Wally the Weasel was out of my zip code and my life. Wally-who’s-now-ancient-history-and-I-hope-he-dies-before-I-ever-see-him-again. Hmm, sounds awful. Not a good time to scare up bad karma with another curse on the Weasel. The last curse I put on Wally had to do with shriveling up his--

Okay, it was up to me. If I flipped up that gizmo, the handle pulled the thingy out of the what’s-it. Great theory. Still needed two hands. “Hey! Anybody in this stinking armory who’ll let me out?”

What was that noise? Something fell over! Somebody fell over? Better be a “good” somebody. “Hey! Over there… out there. Who’s there?”

“O-o-ow!” From the left of me somewhere. But what? It must have been near the refreshment area not far from my prison pen. “Who’s here? If you can speak, you’d better say something real quick, ‘cause I’ve got a big ole magnum gun pointed right at your head!” Bluff ‘em, Kristen.

“O-o-ow! Stop yelling! My head’s about to explode.” Closer. Man’s voice. Could be good news…or bad.

“Well, you’d better show yourself. And get some light over here.” Take charge, Kristen.

“I don’t know where the stinkin’ lights are. And stop yelling.” Closer… I could almost smell him.

“Don’t you have a lighter or something? I thought all guys carried lighters.”

He groaned a bit more. “Only the ones that smoke.”

“Terrific. The one non-smoker in Verdeville has finally arrived to let me out.”

“Out of what? Where are you? Ow! Crud! What is this?” He’d finally found the left side of my cage.

“I’m in the fund-raiser jail. Quit stalling and get me out. I need a restroom. Come around to the front and watch out for the…”

“Ow! Splinter!”


Want More J.L.?

Visit him on the web here:  

Pick up a copy of his book today!  Click here.

Contest Time:

Everyone who leaves a question or comment for any of our authors this month will be entered to win a Digital Reader Prize pack from the Book Boost!  Pack includes:

  • Falsify by Kerri Nelson
  • Your choice of books from author Liz Botts 
  • Saint Sloan by Kelly Martin
  • Never Trust A Pretty Wolf by Elaine Cantrell 
  • The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer by Lisa Orchard
  • PLUS much more! 
One entry for every comment.  Visit often.


Lisa Orchard said...

Great post Jeff Salter!

jeff7salter said...

Thanks, Lisa.
And thanks to Kerri for letting me appear today.
Hope several AP buddies can stop by today.

Denise Salter said...

So, Jeff where are MY cookies?

SherryGLoag said...

Great post. Have seen the doggie-story in action, too :-)

jeff7salter said...

LOL, Denise. Julie told me that she set out a separate baggie of cookies for you.
Unless the grandkids "helped" you eat them...

Thanks, Sherry. I think several people have witnessed a dog event like this one.

Tonette said...

I laughed at all of them, Jeff, but I'll guess that the cookie one was tweaked.(?)
I am more inclined to laugh at a funny story than an outright joke.Maybe it was because both of my parents, although gifted story-tellers and very amusing with family anecdotes, were absolutely terrible joke-tellers.
Nice post today, Jeff!

Melissa said...

LOL Jeff! Great stories! The first one is my favorite. Probably because this happens to me every single time I have to get a new photo. Ugh...

And I'm going to say you tweaked #4? :)

jeff7salter said...

Thanks, Tonette. I don't know why I'm such a terrible teller of good jokes. It must be a gift that some people are just born with.

Thanks, Melissa. Drivers' licenses are just ONE of the many reasons that I hate having photos taken of myself. I can think of perhaps a handful of photos (of me) which I've liked ... out of all the hundreds which have been taken.

Iris B said...

Trust you, Jeff, to put a smile on my dial! Great post.
But, booooh, for not sharing the cookies with Denise! ;-)

jeff7salter said...

LOL, Iris. You've seized upon the anecdote that I tweaked. It turns out that our daughter had set aside -- or already given -- Denise a similar bag of fresh-baked cookies. Unbeknownst to me. So here I was, home alone, valiantly trying to protect her potential share of a cookie stash ... when she's already been given the same ration.