From Bad To Worse

Heeeere’s John E.  This is a tribute to the pride of Chicago – a man so impressive that he was born three days before Christ.  He said that he had no trouble turning 50.  He’s done it 10 times.  Happily Birthday!  😀 I wish him many more, but I want Quality Of Life” to go along with that wish.

This is the man who put the ILL in Illinois, to the point where they forced offered him a free lifetime citizenship in South Turnipville, Ohio.  Older bloggers have seen his muddy footprints in their posts for years.  They can be distinguished from Sasquatch footprints by the fact that there are two left feet.

The (at least temporary) ouster of Donald Trump, has removed a pain in his ass, but as the age counter inexorably ticks upward, he has accumulated aches and pains elsewhere – migraines, and rheumatizz.

Bureaucrats at all levels are rushing to be at the forefront of the Woke movement.  To solve the problem of opioid overdoses and addiction, the DEA raided the offices of the only pain-management doctor – a physiatrist – in a large section of Kentucky.  Aha, you’re prescribing thousands of pills!  That’s dealer level!  He protested that he had hundreds of patients in extreme pain, careful, complete documentation, and justification.  Doesn’t matter!  We’re shutting you down, and seized his computers, files and stock.

A pharmacist in Virginia refused to fill an opioid prescription for a woman in final cancer stage, because he didn’t want her to become addicted.  Her adult daughter came in and screamed at him that her mother was in final stage, in constant, debilitating pain, that the medication had been legally prescribed, that her mother would be dead long before she ever became addicted, and if she wasn’t, addiction would be the least of her worries, and that if he didn’t perform his legally-mandated function, she would sue his ass.  Even then he wouldn’t do it without a signed waiver form.

My daughter is in a similar situation, not for any ethical or moral reason, but because the Provincial Government has wasted so much money on projects like paving over fertile farmland, to build unwanted, unneeded highways, that they’ve cut back on benefits to the vulnerable.  They wouldn’t replace her power wheelchair until a local manager raised a huge fuss.  I used to drive her 75miles to get xylocaine pain-med infusion – and met others who had driven 150 miles.  Too expensive the government said.  Go to one of the now-legal cannabis dispensaries, and pay for you own CBD oil, that doesn’t work anywhere near as well.

Johnny-In-A-Spot – Dear John – Big Bad John’s doctor, possibly worried about the same thing, recently sloughed him off to a local pain clinic, who told him that they had also stopped providing any opioids.  Dear Big Government, thanx for saving us from ourselves.  We’d like to remember your care and concern for us at the next election, but those of us still alive won’t be able to reach the polls.

I baked John a special birthday cake with a surprise ingredient – some oxycontin pills that ‘fell off the back of a truck’, near my dealer’s place.  This getting old is a real pain.

Addicted To One-Liners

Extra!  Extra!  Getcher bonus edition of jokes here!

I’m addicted to seaweed….
….I must seek kelp.

I love the idea of shutting up….
….I just don’t think it’s for me.

Always give 100%….
….unless you’re donating blood.

Just baked a synonym bun….
….just like the ones grammar used to bake.

Want to hear a joke?  Sleep….
….Yeah, I don’t get it either.

A bunch of batteries were gathering around in a circle….
….I guess they were having an AA-meeting.

They say one in every seven friends have a gambling addiction….
….My money’s on Dave.

My struggle with steroid addiction….
….has only made me stronger.

My friend told me he was worried about his guitar playing addiction…
….I told him to calm down and not to fret.

My wife said she’s leaving me because of my addiction to anti-depressants….
….Guess I won’t be needing those anymore.

I’ve been addicted to cold turkey for 2 years….
….I keep telling people I’m trying to quit cold turkey, but nobody is taking me seriously.

If your phone doesn’t ring….
….it’s me.

No-one is more full of shit….
….than a parent who just said maybe.

In the insomnia Olympics….
….you snooze – you lose.

Monday is the beginning of Diarrhea-Awareness Week….
….It runs till Friday.

My wife claimed that 40 is the new 30….
….Lovely woman….banned from driving.

Iron Man stops the bad guys….
….Aluminum Man just foils their plans.

I sent my hearing aids out for repair three weeks ago….
….I haven’t heard anything since.

A yawn is….
….a silent scream for coffee

I never faked….
….a sarcasm in my life.

Flash Fiction #289

PHOTO PROMPT © Alicia Jamtaas

I’M STUFFED

For those of us Baby-Boomers, and even pre-Boomers, who remember the Second World War, and perhaps the lingering results of the Great Depression, (All hail modern medicine!) many of us succumb to the Keep it.  It might be useful someday Syndrome.

Boomers are not the only ones who do it, but we’re a bit crazy.  We leave our valuable cars in front of the house, and fill our garages with junk.  As memories deteriorate, we’re not sure we still have what we search for, and usually don’t find it.

“Why am I here?  Oh yeah, to turn off the light.”

***

If you would like to join the Friday Fictioneers, go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Perfect One-Liners

A perfectionist walked into a bar….
….Apparently it wasn’t set high enough.

My professor accused me of plagiarism….
….His words, not mine.

During the COVID pandemic….
….Is not the time to surround yourself with positive people.

I’m in an open marriage….
….I just found out.

How do you stop a bull from charging?….
….You just unplug it.

The leading cause of dry skin….
….Is towels.

My wife and I had this long, pointless argument about which vowel is most important….
….I won.

People say that time is money….
….I don’t buy that for a second.

My wife asked if I had seen the dog bowl….
….I said, No, I didn’t know he could.

I got assaulted by a mime for having a spasm….
….He thought I was heckling.

I wish everything was as easy as….
….Getting fat.

I asked my therapist if driving my car 100 MPH was an emotional problem….
….She asked me to pay two weeks in advance.

My wife says she’s going to leave me because of my addiction to poker….
….But I think she’s bluffing.

What do you call someone who can’t stick to a diet?….
….A desserter.

Old age is when you’re faced with two temptations….
….And you choose the one that will get you home by nine o’clock.

The trouble with learning from experience….
….Is that you never graduate.

Wait! One day at a time….
….Like, FOREVER??!

I tried starting up a hot-air balloon company….
….But it never took off.

I’m great at multi-tasking….
….I can waste time, be unproductive, and procrastinate, all at once.

My wife said, “Look at this.  I haven’t worn this in years, and it still fits.”….
….I said, “It’s a scarf.”

If only Sarcasm….
….Burned calories

I Was Mesmerized

Better I say that I was hypnotised.

Franz Anton Mesmer, who discovered the phenomenon in the late 1700s, believed that it worked through ‘animal magnetism,’ and treated it like a parlor trick, entertaining the social elite in their homes or small halls.  A hypnotised person is not supposed to do anything beyond their moral limits.  It was revealing and disturbing, the limits that the minor aristocracy would go to.  Eventually, he was booed off his entertainment stage, and the term mesmerism took on a negative connotation.

In the summer of 1958, when I was 14, an entertainer booked the auditorium of the Town Hall for five evenings – Monday to Friday.  He put up posters on lamp posts and handed out small flyers.  He was a stage hypnotist, who promised an interesting and amusing show that included people clucking like chickens.  I HAD to see this.

I attended the Monday show.  I never thought about where he would get willing subjects until he asked for audience volunteers.  I was the first on my feet.  I didn’t feel hypnotized – whatever that was.  I was awake and aware, but felt no drive to do anything but just stand there.  My part came toward the end of the act.  He had me and a girl about my age hold our right arms out.  He lit a candle and passed it beneath her fingers.

She never moved a muscle, while I waggled my hand and acted disturbed.  When he asked me why I was upset, I told the audience that my fingers were hot.  I don’t remember them actually feeling hot, but I remembered that his flyer said that someone would experience it, so I gave him what the crowd expected.

All the volunteers got a pass for a later show.  I was busy Tuesday and Wednesday, but went to the Thursday show.  A University Professor used to give lectures, and when he was done, would tell his classes that psychology inhibited people from being the first to respond, so he always offered to take the Second question.  Thursday night, when he asked for audience participation…. crickets, nobody moved.  I again stood up, and there were five more behind me when I reached the stage.

Some people claim that, “I’m too intelligent to be hypnotised,” but practitioners say that more intelligent people are better subjects, because they are able to focus, and accept the required control.  This night, he saved me for the final part of the act – the piéce de résistance.

He had two of those uncomfortable, tubular steel and formed plywood, chairs placed about four feet apart, and had two of the other subjects sit in them.  He told me, Stand up straight.  You are firm.  You are hard.  You are strong.  You are rigid.  You are like a tree.  You are powerful.  You are as stiff as a lamp-post.  Then he poked me in the chest, and I fell over backward.  Two of the other enchanted assistants caught me, lifted me horizontally, and placed me across the backs of the two chairs.

The one contacted me just below the collarbone and above the shoulder blades.  The other met the back of my calf muscles.  There I hung, suspended in midair, planking, long before it became trendy.  But the show isn’t over, ladies and gentlemen.  Watch this.  He placed another chair in front of me, climbed up onto it, slowly turned to face the audience…. and carefully sat down on my stomach.

Even I was amazed, a scrawny little stick of a kid like me, holding up a 160 pound man.  I was completely aware of what was happening.  I wondered if I had any control over my body.  I allowed my abdominal muscles to relax about a quarter or half an inch.  He felt it, and intoned, Steady!  Steady!  Rigid!  Rigid!

He climbed down to thunderous applause, and turned back to his onstage rogues’ gallery, to begin un-hypnotizing all six of us – and there were only five.  Who was missing?  Where?  When?  How??!  This had never happened to him.  Hypnosis will eventually wear off, but he worried about a suggestible victim being given a direct command in public.

The one missing was a lad, two years older than me.  The hypnotist enjoined us to go looking for him, and take care of him if need be.  I went to his house, and told his father what had happened.  He just laughed, and went back to watching The Honeymooners.  With a 90/95 IQ level, between stupid and stubborn, the boy apparently did not go into a hypnotic trance.

I met him the next day, and he explained.  Nothing exciting happened to him during the show, and he was bored, and felt like a fool, just standing there.  While I was doing my levitation act, he drifted into the wings, down the back stairs, and off to the bowling alley in search of French fries and tourist girls.

I guess that shows like this may still exist in Las Vegas or Atlantic City lounges, but hypnosis has come to be used much more professionally and effectively to aid in combating drug or tobacco use, stress, depression, psychiatric and relationship problems.  My two experiences were all in fun, but it can be quite serious.  Have any of you had hypnosis therapy?

Flash Fiction #215

Reflection

PHOTO PROMPT © C.E. Ayr

UPON REFLECTION

He sat quietly, watching the birth of the coming dawn mirrored in the pool. Not that he didn’t like the company of people, it was just that the silent, solitary serenity of night caused the ideas to gel, and the prose to flow.

A writer needed to know about people, yet be apart from them to write their stories. He had heard that a common New Year’s resolution this year had been a cold turkey withdrawal from social media. A few would succeed, but, an addiction was an addiction. He wished them luck and lucidity, but right now, bed beckoned.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

friday-fictioneers-badge-web

Sleeping with one-liners

Comedy

Some days I wake up grumpy…
….other days, I just let her sleep

What do you call a fake noodle?….
….an impasta

The stars are now in perfect alignment….
….for me to break my addiction to magical thinking

What kind of mistakes are common at a blood bank?….
….typos

What does a vegan zombie say?….
….grainnns

A man runs in front of a car, he gets tired….
….he runs behind a car and gets exhausted

My wife says I have two major faults….
….I don’t listen, and something else

I have the best Egyptian Dad joke….
….actually, it’s more a mummy joke

My friend doesn’t believe in Santa Claus….
….does that make him an eggnog-stic?

My therapist told me that a good way to release my anger was to write letters to all the people I hate, and burn them….
….I did that, and I feel great – but do I keep the letters?

What’s the capital of Texas?….
….the T

What’s more impressive than a talking dog?….
….a spelling bee

Baldness?  I’m not losing more hair….
….I’m gaining more head

There’s a lot of unrest….
….in the insomniac community

A family goes to a hotel.  The father goes to the front desk and says, “I hope the porno is disabled.”….
….The clerk says, “It’s just normal porn, you sick fuck.”

What do Michelangelo and Curt Kobain have in common?….
….The both used their brains to paint the ceiling

I didn’t know what type of hammer to get my Dad….
….but I think I nailed it

Somebody stole my bagful of new AA batteries….
….there was a hefty charge when the culprit was located

How many Amish people does it take to screw in a lightbulb?….
….I don’t know

What do you call a dog with no legs?….
….Doesn’t matter what you call him.  He ain’t gonna come.

What do you call a cow with no legs?….
….ground beef

 

Blind In One Eye

Seeing Eye Dog

A blind man was standing on the corner with his
dog when the dog raised his leg and peed on the
man’s trouser leg. The man reached in his pocket
and took out a doggie biscuit. A busybody who had
been watching ran up to him and said, “You
shouldn’t do that. He’ll never learn anything if
you reward him when he does something like that!”

The blind man retorted, “I’m not rewarding him.
I’m just trying to find his mouth so that I can
kick him in the ass!”

***

A friend of mine admitted he’s hooked on brake fluid.
When I expressed worry, he claimed he can stop any time.

***

I married Miss Right. I just didn’t know her first name was Always

***

I had a really funny joke, but autocorrect ruined the lunchtime.

******

A kid is flunking a public school, so his parents
move him into a private school. All the sudden in
the private school his grades skyrocket up to
A’s. Then one night at the dinner table his
parents ask, “Why were you doing so bad in a
public school, and when we switched you to a
private school you did good?” The kid says,
“because I knew they were serious about school.
The first day I walked in they had a guy nailed
to a plus sign.”

******

 

Smitty’s Loose Change #4

Smitty's Loose Change

In my (ARCH)ON The Road Again post, I wrote of buying our first brand-new car, a Kia Sorento. After the first three months, we got a call to take it in for its first (free) oil change.  When the son arrived at the dealer, he was told that there had been a recall, which we wouldn’t have received notice of yet.  While one mechanic changed the oil, another installed a new hatch lock/latch.

SDC10992

After another three months, we got another phone call. That’s right!  A real, live person!  This time when the son arrived, he was again told that there had been another recall we weren’t aware of.  This time it was the ball-joints.  A hatch popping open, I can live with.  Steering malfunctions are a little more serious.

The ‘04 Chevy Impala we got rid of had just been recalled for ignition switches that could fail at speed. This factory-fresh Sorento has had two recalls before it is 6 months old.  I don’t know whether to worry about what else can go wrong, or appreciate how quickly Kia caught the problems and corrected them.

Any of you guys had vehicles that were recalled??

***

I was loath(cct) to vote for….  I found this snippet in a newspaper.  Despite typing (cct) in, in small letters, every search engine I used insisted on capitalizing it, and giving me lists of acronyms (that weren’t actually acronyms).  Acronyms form ‘words’ – radar, loran, snafu.  These were all initialismsCCTColombia Cocaine Trade.

After an hour of fruitless searching, I was forced to believe that the (cct), apparently meaning ‘correct’, was put after the word ‘loath’, the way that ‘misteaks’ (sic) are noted. It is another sad commentary on the level of public comprehension, that a correct word has to have a special sign on it, to tell the trolls that it is, in fact, correct.

***

If I really had an open mind, surely someone would have put something into it by now.

***

Religious happiness might be a bit like the state of euphoria some people get from taking drugs. It’s not real, but it’s good while it lasts. And also like using drugs or alcohol, some people become happy and good natured and others are mean drunks.

***

On Valentine’s Day I looked out at the mulberry tree in my back yard. I thought I saw a robin.  A robin?  On Feb 14th?  Just then, from a higher branch, I saw the flutter of scarlet wings.  Ah, a cardinal, not often seen this close….  But is the ‘robin’ merely a slightly duller red, female cardinal??

I asked the wife to bring her eyes glasses, and come check.  She dislodged a cat, and folded up her laptop.  By the time we both looked out the window again, there were eight (8! count ‘em, 8!) robins bunched in the tree, four bright males and four females.

I’ve never seen eight robins in one place anywhere. I can only assume that they were discussing Donald Trump, and the wall they thought he’d erected between Canada and the US, which prevented them from flying south.

Spring is coming, my lovelies. 😀  Arncha glad?

 

Dangerous Addiction

philosopher

It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then to loosen up. Inevitably though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker.

I began to think alone – “to relax,” I told myself – but I knew it wasn’t true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.

I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don’t mix, but I couldn’t stop myself.

I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka.

I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, “What is it exactly we are doing here?”

Things weren’t going so great at home either. One evening I had turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She just glared at me and then stalked out and spent that night at her mother’s.

I soon had a reputation as a heavy thinker. One day the boss called me in. He said, “Archon, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don’t stop thinking here at work, you’ll have to find another job.” This gave me a lot to think about.

I came home early after my conversation with the boss. “Honey,” I confessed, “I’ve been thinking…”

“I know you’ve been thinking,” she said, “and I want a divorce!”

“But Honey, surely it’s not that serious.”

“It is serious,” she said, lower lip aquiver. “You think as much as college professors, and college professors don’t make any money, so if you keep on thinking we won’t have any money!”

“That’s a faulty syllogism,” I said impatiently, and she began to cry.

I’d had enough. “I’m going to the library!” I snarled as I stomped out the door.

I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche. I roared into the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors…. they didn’t open. The library was closed.

To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night.

As I sank to the ground clawing at the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye. “Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?” it asked. You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinker’s Anonymous poster.

Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was “Porky’s.” Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting.

I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just seemed… easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking.

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To that I say, “What the hell, one little thought can’t hurt you.” Careful brother, one little thought can lead to another.