’21 A To Z Challenge – D

 

It was the dark of the moon on the 6th of June, in a Kenworth, haulin’ logs.
Actually, it wasn’t.  I only put that in because I just watched a YouTube video of C.W.McCall doing that old CB truckers’ song, Convoy.

It was dark and early Monday morning, two weeks ago.  The sun had not begun to complain about having to rise, to start another work-week for those lucky enough to still have jobs.  I had just published a ‘21 A To Z Challenge post for the letter C.

Remember, you need another post for D in two weeks, and you don’t have anything started.  You have a

DEADLINE

Deadline, schmedline….  That’s 14 days away.  I’ll come up with something.
Tuesday passed in a glorious flash of a Netflix movie and a bowl of popcorn, with a couple of books for a chaser.
Wednesday, I published a post with some words about words.
Deadline threw me a withering glance, like a woman scorned.
You do remember I’m here, don’t you??  You never do anything with me anymore!

I just had a look at Rochelle’s 100-word picture prompt.  I can’t do a thing with it.  I’ll have to figure something to post on Friday.  We’ll go dancing tomorrow, okay?

Thursday slipped into Friday, as I readied and published a back-patting, self-congratulatory post about reviewing another blogger’s book. I basked in the glow of admiration from thousands hundreds maybe 10 or 12 viewers, while Deadline paced back and forth, muttering about suing for alienation of affection.

THERE’S ALWAYS THE WEEKEND….  With 11 years of practice at being retired, the only way I even knew it was late-Sunday/early-Monday again, was that neighbors put out garbage.  I put ours out, and then published a comedy post.
Deadline built a voodoo doll, and was reading a book of incantations.

You know that there’s only one week left, right?  Get off your ass, and get on the keyboard.
That was the last pre-fabricated comedy post I had in reserve.  I’ll assemble 4 more from my Blog Notes stash of jokes tomorrow; then I’ll get right at that D post.

Tuesday – I had an inspiration, and started writing a post about polarization in American politics and religion.
Deadline – tick, tick, tick!!

Wednesday – I published a post with more words, about more words, and started another one to replace it.
DeadlineCan Archon come out and play?
I’m sorry.  He’s had one COVID shot, but apparently he’s suffering a bad case of procrastination.  I smacked him with a calendar, but he just sits there, looking even more stunned than usual.  Maybe tomorrow.

BANG, BANG BANG!!
Open up right now!  This is Deadline, and I have a warrant to search for any sign of a theme, or creative writing.
Thursday already??!  Why the Hell didn’t somebody tell me that I need a post ready by Sunday night?  None of the D words in my file seem appetizing.  I guess I’ll have to do another of those, “If you can’t fix it – Feature it” posts.  I could do one about meeting a deadline.

DeadlineBless you my son.  Say five Robert Heinleins, and have a bottle of sacramental wine while you compose.  You’re still a lazy ass – just not all the time.   😉   😳

The Shortcut To Blame

If you haven’t struck pay-dirt in 50 words, stop boring.  Confounded confusion!!  Many Christian Apologist debaters and essayists seem to think that a barrage of verbiage will eventually yield a nugget of truth.  This guy went wrong in a Hell of a hurry.

I get to hear “Why would God allow so much suffering?” to which the answer is “Why do you?” because we really are supposed to be instruments of God, suffering is our call to action. We are supposed to take care of each other. Failing to do so is not God’s inaction, it is ours.

Damn! I didn’t realize that child cancer was My Fault, because I haven’t rushed out and found a cure. I was busy, helping out down at the food bank. 😳

Thank you. I considered editing this piece to include your sanctimonious, self righteous bullshit as an example of someone trying to highlight the “I” in “Team.” Your self centered value signalling (sic) pretty much removes the illusion of you being a charitable person.

You did a good thing, then complained that your effort did not cure all the world’s problems. It must make you feel like a failure among Gods.

And then out came all that Christian love and acceptance.  😯  Trust a Bible-thumper to take things the wrong way, whether innocently or cynically, whenever their claims are questioned,.  I’ll admit that I was a little snarky when I posted the comment that showed that there’s no He on his team: that after the writer has done all his tithing, and volunteering at the soup kitchen or homeless shelter, it’s still up to his imaginary God to handle things like tornadoes and hurricanes and floods and earthquakes and landslides and volcanoes….and cancer.

Science and medicine are working as hard as they can to find cures for diseases (like COVID19), that his God hurls at us.  After these researchers work their asses off, sometimes for years to find a cure, guys like this will yell, “Thank God! He has answered our prayers!” God helps them that help themselves. These Apologists help themselves – or, at least their pet Deity – to all the credit, but none of the blame. 😯

Here’s a clear example of my earlier assertion, which many of these Good Christians grudgingly admit, that I/Atheists perform ‘good and moral’ actions, but claim that we do so for ‘the wrong reasons,’ according to them.

Studies seem to indicate that, overall, Christians are happier than Atheists.  I don’t believe that these Apologists are actually happier, just more smugly self-satisfied.  😛

Get A Grip

I have a gripe with English.  It is said that a man with a watch always knows what time it is.  A man with two watches is never sure.  For a word with one meaning, or even several established meanings, I know what is meant.  For words which keep adding, subtracting, and modifying meanings, I am less and less sure what is meant.

The word ‘grip’ originally meant, a grasp, a grab, a hold, by a person’s hand.  Recently, technology has included machines.  Once upon an archaic, the words ‘grip’ and ‘gripe’ meant the same thing.  (Don’t ask me why.  I can’t get a hold on it.)  Now grip can mean a small suitcase with a handle, which can be grasped and carried by one hand.  Gripe can be a nagging complaint by someone who may not have a firm grip on reality.

At one time, ‘grippe’, which is pronounced grip, but which is neither grip nor gripe, was the word to identify influenza, the ordinary, seasonal, gastro-intestinal flu,’ a kinder, gentler, distant relative to COVID.  “Grippe” could cause abdominal cramps, especially among babies and young children.

To alleviate these symptoms, “Grippe Water” was developed and marketed.  My mother dosed me with it several times.  The original formula contained alcohol and sugar in addition to sodium bicarbonate and dill oil – a couple of stomach calmers, some calories to replace what might have been lost to the illness, and a mild sedative to aid with sleeping.  It was once said that the best remedy for a colicky baby, was a good, thick, oak door.

Then the All-Or-Nothing, Save Us From Ourselves, Snowflakes got a grip on it, and removed all the “bad” ingredients, so present-day products do not contain alcohol or sugar, but may contain fennel, ginger, chamomile, cardamom, licorice, cinnamon, clove, dill, lemon balm or peppermint, depending on the formula.

Grippe’ was what caused the cramping, but ‘gripe’ is the term for the actual clutching, grasping intestinal pain.  Since the formula was changed, the name has also been changed.  ‘Grippe Water’ is no more, and the new product is ‘Gripe Water.’  That’s only one of the English terms that I have a gripe about.  😯

I’ll Drink To One-Liners

I always take life with a grain of salt….
….And some lemon – and tequila.

The French have actually developed a COVID19 vaccine….
….But it’s refusing to work.

A newborn Blue Whale is the second biggest baby in the world….
….Right after people complaining about having to wear masks

Someone tried to tell me a COVID joke….
….But they were wearing a mask and I didn’t catch it.

I wanted to tell you a COVID joke….
….But you’d just spread it around.

The last thing I want to do is hurt you….
….But it’s still on the list

The problem isn’t that obesity runs in my family….
….It’s that nobody runs in my family.

Maybe if we told people that their brain is an app…
….They’d want to start using it

I got a new pair of gloves, but they’re both ‘Lefts’….
….On one hand, that’s great, but on the other it’s just not right.

I just got kicked out of a secret cooking society….
….I spilled the beans.

6:30 is the best time on a clock….
….Hands down

I got fired from my job as a set designer….
….I left without making a scene

A dung beetle walks into a bar….
….And asks, “Is this stool taken?”

My friend tried to explain electricity to me….
….I said ‘Watt’?

Are people born with photographic memories….
….Or does it take time to develop?

The World Champion Tongue-Twister got arrested….
….I hear they’re going to give him a tough sentence

Pollen is what happens….
….When flowers can’t keep it in their plants.

Communist jokes aren’t funny….
….Unless everybody gets them.

Geology rocks….
….But geography’s where it’s at

I buy all my guns from a guy called T-Rex….
….He’s a small-arms dealer

My friend’s bakery burned down last week….
….Now his business is toast

If you don’t pay your exorcist….
….Do you get repossessed?

When the cannibal showed up late at the buffet….
….They gave him the cold shoulder

Fighting for peace….
….Is like screwing for virginity

A ghost walked into a bar and ordered a shot of vodka….
….The bartender said, “We don’t serve spirits here.”

A blind man walks into a bar….
….and a chair….and a table

The first time I got a universal remote control, I thought….
….This changes everything

I saw a sign yesterday that said, “Watch for children”….
….I thought, “That’s a fair trade.”

Whiteboards….
….Are remarkable

Flash Fiction #238

PHOTO PROMPT – © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

BOTTLED UP

They remove half the tables, stare out that huge window, and complain about being bottled up.  What about me??  I view Nature through two layers of glass, and I’m stuck in this dispenser, like a genie.

Shut up Sugar!  At least your glass is smooth.  Poor Pepper and I are confined in these tiny, faceted shakers.  We see outdoors only as fractals.

Hey!  My plastic envelope is translucent.  I only see shadows until some fat guy grabs me by the tail, jams his thumb up my spine, and squeezes me out onto French fries.  I’d love to be bottled up.

***

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

***

I promised myself that I would not do any COVID19 Flash Fictions, but three of the four voices in my head told me to do it.

’19 A To Z Challenge – I

Stupid

When we’re out driving around in our cars, any fools who don’t drive as fast as we do, and block us, are assholes. Any drivers who pull past us and drive faster than we do, are

IDIOTS

We can always feel good about ourselves by reading about folks who aren’t as smart as us. All the idiots aren’t on the roads. Prepare to feel great, by comparing yourself to some of these DUMB CROOKS

Caught-Caught

Police in Ossining, New York, were called to a mini-mart, where they found Blake Leak, 23, trying to break in. They chased Leak through the streets until both cops took a tumble. Seizing the opportunity, Leak sought refuge on the grounds of a large building. The building was the Sing Sing Maximum Security prison, where he was promptly nabbed by a guard.

The Case of the Liquor Store Lothario

Scottish shoplifter Aron Morrison was picked up after pinching a bottle of vodka from a liquor store. It didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to find Morrison, though. His name and phone number were left with the clerk—after asking her out on a date.

The Lowest High There Is

For a trio of drug thieves, it was their lucky day. They broke into a home in Silver Springs, Florida, and discovered three jars of cocaine. They took it home and snorted the contents. That’s when they discovered that the jars were in fact urns, and that they were snorting the cremains of the victim’s husband and two dogs.

The Case of the Not-So Devoted Dad

Bring Your Child to Work Day is a long honored tradition that allows children to see what goes on in the business world while also getting the chance to watch their parents ply their trade. One crook brought his young son along with him on a job, which happened to be robbing a pet shop. He was caught soon after, minus something important. His son.

Watch Where You’re Going!

As two men waited in line at the coffee shop to pay their bill, a third cut in front of them. He threw a drink at the clerk, and demanded all the money from the till. Temporarily surprised, the men quickly recovered and handcuffed the crook. Apparently in his rush the criminal didn’t notice they were police officers—in full uniform.

The Couple That Drinks Together…

Recently, a woman in Fresno, California, was stopped at a DUI checkpoint for being soused. Ever helpful, she offered up this info: ‘My husband’s right behind me, and he’s even drunker than I am.’

The Telltale Trousers

When an attempted robbery at a Lowes Home Improvement store went awry, Milton J. Hodges fled across the street and jumped a fence … right into the Cypress Cove Nudist Resort & Spa. As the Orlando Sentinel pointed out, ‘As one of the only folks wearing clothing,’ Hodges was easily spotted by police.

P.S.—Nobody move

It’s the worst possible time to faint—in the middle of robbing a bank. But that’s what happened to a Beavercreek, Ohio, thief. The teller called 911 and asked for medics. But you have to applaud the man’s stick-to-it-iveness. While the ambulance was en route, the suspect handed a note to the teller demanding all her cash.

No Vacancy

Mitchell Deslatte walked into a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, hotel and asked the clerk for a room. The clerk wasn’t a clerk—he was a state trooper. And the hotel was actually a state trooper station. That’s when Deslatte was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated.

IOU

Graham Price of South Wales ripped off the bank where he worked, but he wasn’t completely duplicitous. He left a note in the safe: ‘Borrowed, seven million pounds’—signed ‘Graham Price.’

No One Likes a Tattler

A Good Samaritan noticed an elderly man being robbed, so he jumped in and punched the thief. The thief was so upset, he called the police to complain.

Next Time, Steal a Milky Way

When Stephan Crane broke into the Ravalli Republic (Montana) newsroom, he used the computers to watch porn and check Facebook. Then Crane doused the office with a fire extinguisher, took some candy, and left. It wasn’t difficult to find him, however; the police just followed the trail of stolen M&Ms that led to his sister’s place across the road.

Can You Read Me Now?

When police in Vancouver, Canada, asked to search Jason Pauchay’s apartment for drugs, he was not a suspect—in fact, they were looking for someone else. That all changed when they got a look at how his name was listed on his cell phone: ‘Jason Pauchay Drug Dealer.’

That’s all for now, but (un)fortunately, I’ve got more of these feel-good fools. 😯 Seeya soon.

 

Flash Fiction #176

Serenity

PHOTO PROMPT © Randy Mazie

SERENITY

He loved going for a walk, or sitting, in the graveyard beside his house, for solitude or inspiration as he worked on his book.  The residents were quiet and well-behaved, so unlike his redneck neighbors on the other side.

Bitch, bitch, bitch;
Your grass is too long…. So he mowed it.
I’m on the night shift this week. You woke me.
And that harpy wife of his – nude back yard sunbathing??! – on a street of two-story houses.  😯
That was a sight that couldn’t be unseen.  Claimed she had an 18-year-old’s body, but got it all wrinkled.

They get my goat.

***

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

Flash Fiction #145

AirBnB

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Watch My Tongue

Well, their trip to London had been worth the saving, and every dollar they’d spent. They’d enjoyed the Harry Potter Experience, ridden on the London Eye Skywheel, watched the changing of the Guard, scarfed down real fish and chips, drunk full-bodied (if room-temperature) British ale, played darts, and met some really nice people.

Perhaps not worth every dollar….  Somebody at AirBnB was going to get an earful.  Their broom-closet lodgings didn’t look anything like the grand, airy rooms that she’d viewed online. Caveat emptor – ‘buyer beware’ indeed – somebody else would beware after they got the side of her tongue.

***

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

***

The late Archon was a little busy last week with the wife in hospital for three days, and then in recovery from her second knee-replacement surgery. Too late to attach this attempt to last week’s group output, I still thought it was worthwhile to publish.  There may be another one in a couple of days.  Please stop back then to see.  😀

Flash Fiction #139

Castle

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bulltot

LIKE A GOOD NEIGHBOUR

There it is! Isn’t she a beauty?

When Robin Hood Realty says we’ll get you a castle, we deliver. ‘Course, it needs a bit of fixin’ up, but I know a tradesman who can put in new windows and cut your heating bill to nothing.

But….location, location, location. The Queen has a home just there, and back the other way, Madge – oops, sorry.  You colonials call her Madonna, like Adele, that one-named squawker of ours.

Madge’s husband?? ….buys an estate with a public footpath through it, then complains when the riff-raff parades past.

Don’t worry. Nobody wants to walk here.

***

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

The Evolution Of Archon

Paul's Baby Pix

A tourist flags down a New York taxi. He climbs in, and asks, “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” The cabby responds, “Practice man, practice!”

How did Archon get from the happy, smiling, enchanting little baby above, to be the Grumpy Old Dude he is today?  It all starts with a good genetic background, goes through more than a half a century of formative social interaction, and is molded into place with constant, “Practice, man!  Practice!”

CCI_000010

It may have started here. This is my maternal grandfather and grandmother.  I’ve always thought that his dour look came from being a dark Scottish Pict among the skirt-wearing, fair-skinned Highlanders.  Recent DNA testing revealed that ¼ of my genetic makeup is from Ireland.  I would imagine that thinking yourself a ‘good Scot’, or even a poor Scot, and finding that you’re descended from poteen-swilling, colleen-chasing, superstitious, banshee-herding idlers, would put a scowl on your face.  I know it put one on mine….or was that already there?

This photo was taken in the mid-1930s, in the parkland adjacent to their home. If you can see in the upper, right-hand corner, two tall Poplar trees about a block away; this will be where my Mother returns from Detroit in a couple of years, and purchases her home and property.  She met and married my father.  He got a job and moved in with her, and about ten years after this shot, they produced me, in my Home Sweet Home.

CCI_000012

When Mom returned from Detroit, she brought along with her, not only a divorce settlement, but a daughter from her first marriage. Shown here, she’s about 10, along with my Mom and Dad, about Christmas, 1944, clustered around the real center of attention, the recent arrival, that little Ray of Sunshine and Bundle of Joy, the Archon-in-Training ….pants.

Already sulky about losing a father in a divorce, her mood soon soured further when she found that she’d gained two new half-brothers in a remarriage. Her never-ending whining harshed my tiny mellow, and her shrill, constant complaints about, “Those boys! Those damned boys!” quickly got on my little nerves.  I was well on my way to a world-class Old Grumpitude.  Either that, or the fact that my Mother didn’t tie the laces on my little walking shoes and I tripped over them and fell on my handsome wee face.  There’s always some reason to be grumpy– if you search hard enough.

CCI_000019

This photo is of my Mom and Dad some 60 years after the one above. The reasons they’re happy and smiling, is that they’re both retired, I’m the one in the room taking the picture and my sisty ugler isn’t there.

I don’t really know why I continue to be such an old grump. I have you, my regular readers, and faithful followers.  A young lady recently set a new personal record.  She followed my blog – for the 20th time.  She used to have her own blog-site, but shut it down.  She follows me – and a day or two later, WordPress disconnects and un-follows her.  She re-follows me – and a day later my stats fall again.  We’ve done this dance now, twenty times.  Now that’s dedication!

It’s probably been because I’ve been out for treks in the blogosphere, leaving grumpy footprints comments hither and yon, but there was a period following my Five Long Years post, where I gained 90 followers in 90 days.  (Not including Rita Repetitive)

You’re probably wondering, ‘What can I do, to make Archon less grumpy?’  You’ve already done it.  Visiting my site, reading, liking, commenting, all constitute Step 1 of my 12-step Grump-Addiction loss program.  Now it’s up to me to take the other 11 small steps.  I’ll get right on those – after I’ve had a snack and a nap.  😉