If you’re looking for love in all the wrong places, why not settle for a one night stand?

Star wranglers looking for love

astronaut dials up virtual girl
astronaut dials up virtual girl
Source image by Neutral Art

FLASH ROGERS, STAR WRANGLER AND PILOT of a Wild West themed intergalactic cruse liner, walked into a star bar. Not just any star bar, the crown jewel of his cruise ship’s star bars, Eta Argus, a club illuminated by free floating dust and floor to ceiling windows to the stars. One cocktail cost a week’s salary, so Flash nursed it through the evening as he checked out the women who drifted through, accepting drinks from single male patrons.

He dressed casually because his official uniform made him look like a cosplay dork. Fringe vest, chaps, cowboy boots and holographic ten-gallon…


With the right online forum, you can find any reason you need to ignore your parents’ good advice.

Star wranglers looking for love

space cowboy drives herd of space cows
space cowboy drives herd of space cows
Source image by BRG FX

MARSHALL “LONE RIDER” DILLON rides the southern perimeter of the circle, keeping an eye out for strays. The crew’s current quest required them to cut two thousand Jupiter jackrabbits from the herd and deliver them to the Titan stockyards for transport to Mars.

Dillon rode herd for the Supernova Ranch, one of the largest outfits on Titan, a ranch that drove more than fifty thousand head of six different species to market each year. The ranch called him up from the minors at the beginning of the year, after a herd of Martian moose trampled his predecessor in a stampede…


If you can’t get a date, check your breath, then your armpits, and, as a last resort, check the mirror

Star wranglers looking for love

science fiction woman on match site
science fiction woman on match site
Source image by Mystic Art Design

SEVENTEEN MONTHS IN DEEP SPACE, at the outermost rim of Andromeda, rounding up stray asteroids and driving them into the interstellar winds which would sweep them to the mines of the Pegasus cluster where planet-sized processors would milk every valuable mineral before shooting them back into space.

Seventeen months wrangling rocks and another fifty-two years in cryo-freeze for the round trip back to the Rock Ranch in the Milky Way. That’s 647 months without getting laid, and Buckaroo Bill’s pipes were so backed up they could burst.

(Spoiler Alert: If you counted his previous tours, and the fact that he…


The time is rapidly approaching when I will move my stories back behind the paywall. My readership has decreased since I made stories available free during the pandemic. Who would have thought?

I’m looking for ways to make stories available to readers who would rather not pay the (perfectly reasonable) Medium subscription fee. Perhaps a smaller subscription on Patreon with free links to my Medium stories.


Inept Drumpf posts screen capture of embarrassing moment. (Gage Skidmore)

All the free speech that Facebook fears

After Drumpf’s promised roll-out of his new social media platform, followers wait with anticipation while tech experts are less than underwhelmed. Wall Street tech wizard Felix Teekatt explained, “Think of a bulletin board on America Online using a 600 baud modem on Windows 95, or HTML with only heading tags, a horizontal rule and 4-bit gifs. Those would be an upgrade from what Drumpf’s doing.”

The social media platform with the easy to type handle “fromthedeskofdonaldjdrumpftherealUSpresedent.com” (sic) allows anybody to follow every word typed by Drumpf in a fit of rage, pique or ignorance for the low introductory price of…


Just because someone’s alone in a bar, it doesn’t mean they’re holding the empty seat for you

Star wranglers looking for love

Woman approaches intersteller casino
Woman approaches intersteller casino
Source image by Neutral Art

SANDRA BULLES ENTERED THE STARLIGHT LOUNGE on the aft deck of the Chisholm Trailblazer Intergalactic Star Cruiser. She wore her rhinestone studded fringe jacket and faux leather mini-skirt that sculpted her ass into a booty bonanza. She was looking for a man. Not one of the half-tanked execs that trolled the cruises, the men most girls pursued hoping to score a meal ticket by alimony. No, Sandra wanted to ride a star jockey, the rugged descendants of America’s west who wrangled spaceships and drove them to the farthest stars.

Her girlfriends who’d booked cruises on starliners before warned her that…


The best source for dating advice is your mother. If, of course, you want to marry your mother.

Star wranglers looking for love

Bronc rider on spaceship
Bronc rider on spaceship
Source image by Alones

FLASH ROGERS, STAR JOCKEY, DRAGGED HIS FEET into his cabin and switched off local gravity. He shed his ridiculous fringe vest and chaps, allowing them to float away as he maneuvered across the room. When he reached his couch, he rolled onto his back, pointed his remote toward the cabin control panel and toggled the gravity switch. He fell into his La-Z-Lounge Bed for a perfect three-point landing.

Just as he punched up his floating vid screen, his mother’s lips and chin filled the display. He no longer bothered to tell her how to zoom out. …


If you’re tired of the daily grind, add a new ingredient

Home Spun Tales

middle finger rising from peanut butter jar
middle finger rising from peanut butter jar
Source image by Racool Studio

MIKE OFFERED TO MAKE BREAKFAST while Sue spoke with her mother on the phone. Sue’s conversations with her mother dragged on forever, and Mike was hungry. It would be easier to finish the most important task of the day now that Sue wasn’t back seat driving.

Butting in was what Sue did best. Her friends called her Ms. Kibitz, and he wished he’d taken them more seriously before he married her. For instance, if she wasn’t on the phone with her mother, she’d be telling him right now, “Remember to level off the coffee scoop before you fill the basket…


If you think you’re busted, it’s only a matter of time before you will be

Home Spun Tales

body part meat cuts
body part meat cuts
Source image by Lifeforstock

CHOP, CHOP, CHOP. Janice cut the sausage and cheese log into tinier and tinier pieces, pieces so tiny she might as well have dropped the sausage into a blender. And from the look in her eyes, she’d considered it.

Nor did she look at the sausage while she chopped. In fact, she never took her eyes off Bob, who sat at the kitchen table, sipping his evening Scotch and reading the sports page on his iPad. …


Let he who is sinless move ahead in the line to heaven so the rest of us can live our lives free of judgment

Home Spun Tales (Variations on a theme 3)

Woman surprised to discover she’s in bed with Dentist
Woman surprised to discover she’s in bed with Dentist
Source image by Luis Molenero

BEAUREGARD BURST INTO HIS BEDROOM, his cheeks red with indignation. He’d driven four hours from Chicago on I-90, stopping only for a ticket at a speed trap in South Bend, and a second speed trap in Elkhart to catch the people who doubled down after their South Bend delay. He left the car running in the driveway as he stormed into the house to verify the rumor.

The rumor he needed to verify was one he overheard during the after-conference cocktail party for Midwestern dentists, a rumor about his wife Eileen and a certain dental hygienist she’d met at a…

Phillip T Stephens

Living metaphor. Follow me @stephens_pt.

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