’21 A To Z Challenge – N

I AM THE LORD OF DARKNESS!

I COMMAND YOU TO READ AND HEED!

A scientific psychological study that I read on the Internet (So it must be true) says that people who stay up late are more creative, intelligent, and better at making decisions.

HOO – Doesn’t go to bed when the sun does??

HOO – Stays up all night, to greet it when it rises in the morning??

Ooh!  Ooh! Pick me!  Pick me!

The once, and future, perpetual

NIGHT-OWL

My night-owl sister and I were born to a pair of Protestant-work-ethic parents who rose each day before the dawn even cracked, like Medieval serfs.  My Mother would put my brother and me to bed at 8 PM, and wonder why I was still keeping him awake, telling stories and jokes, when they were ready to retire at 11.

As a teen, I often watched Friday- and Saturday-night movies on TV (with the volume down) from 11:30 till 1:00 AM.  In the summer, when the beach bowling alley closed at 1 AM, I often drifted home – quietly – after 2.

When I was sixteen, instead of going home one Friday night, a bunch of us rowdies hiked a couple of miles up the riverbank, into the woods, made a campfire and some noise no-one could hear, cooked some hotdogs and soup made with river water.

I trekked back to the beach to have a swim as the sun came up, got home about 7 AM, and was frying some bacon and eggs when my Father got up.  7 AM??  He’d slept in!  He was so happy that I’d got up ‘at a reasonable hour, for once.’  He was a little shocked/perplexed when I told him that I just got home and was having a late snack.  I told him that I was going to bed, and for him to call me about 2 PM, and I would get up and mow the lawn.

I sometimes wonder if I was just born on the wrong side of the planet, but I think that, even if I lived in Japan or Malaysia, I’d still wind up haunting the dark shift.  It probably made it easier for me to work 3 to 11, and especially the 11 to 7 shifts that others had trouble with.  One young co-worker came in for each midnight shift with three king-cans of high-caffeine Jolt Cola to get him through the night.

I could get up early for the day-shifts, but it was the ‘not all cylinders firing yet’ early-morning inattention that caused me to nudge the rear bumper of a bus that was slowing, as I tried to pull in behind it on my motorcycle, to make a turn.  I broke my bike, my left shoulder, and my wallet.

I know that many of you are happy, breezy morning people.  (Curse your bright-eyed and bushy-tailed diurnal cycle.)   The son is following in my nocturnal, but low-traffic level, footsteps.  He is approaching twenty years straight, on the midnight shift.  Another generation of Dark Lords – I’m proud of him…. or I would be, if I could just find him in the darkness.

I have a sweet post scheduled for Wednesday.  I’ll have it published and ready to read, yesterday, before you get out of bed today.  I’ll see you (later in the day) then.   😎

Money In The Bank

Another heaping helping of OCD??
No thanx!  I’ve got enough already.

The first 15 blogs that I posted, I typed directly into WordPress, and published immediately, subject to random fits of creativity.

THEN I GOT SMART!

I found out about opening a Word file, composing whenever the Muse and I had a one-night-stand, and posting on an established schedule.  Soon I had a dozen posts ‘in the bank,’ ready to go as needed.  Over several years, that number continued to climb – first to 15 – then 20.

I take this blogging thing as seriously as I used to regard any of my jobs.  It is a self-imposed penance.  Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.  It has been nine days since I have written a word.
Say five Hail Marys my son, and create three amusing posts.
  (Just not about The Church, my son.  His Holiness has heard about you, and has sent me an email.)  😈

I can’t be trusted to produce a steady output.  Whenever I have a flash of genius, or just steal a post-theme from another blogger, I bank it in my ‘Blog Notes’ file.  I schedule to publish three posts a week.  I would write three in a day, or five in three days – then not produce a thing for a week.  Once I banked thirteen posts in eight days, and produced nothing more for over two weeks.

Of course, four of those were comedy posts.  I trawl for acceptable jokes, and drop them into the same file.  Control-C/Control-V them into their own posts, and I can build four of them at a time, in an hour.  Slowly but surely, the bank gained interest.  Soon I was up to 25…. and then 30 waiting posts.  Add a few – publish a few – I only worried when the total fell below 20.

Finally, I reached 35 in the bank, and then, a particularly productive week came upon me.  Even with publishing three, the sediment deposit piled up to 39 – and I was so proud of myself.  A tour through blog-post land quickly let the hot air out of my balloon.

One female’s blog-theme was, “Am I The Only One With 57 Unpublished Posts In A Word File??!”
57??  Who does she think she is – Heinz?  It only got worse from there.  One reader stated that she had 113.  Another lady claimed that she had 125.

I need someone to squeeze my head like a lemon rind, to get a few more drops of snark out of me, and onto the page.  The online conversation continued, and finally, my heart palpitations calmed down.  Not one of them had that many unpublished “posts.”  What every one of them had was – an idea here, a theme there, an interesting concept, an opening sentence, a paragraph or two of prose.

The best thing about my posts is – They’re finished.  Interesting or boring, educational or mind-numbingly banal, peaceable or confrontational – they’re done – ready to publish.  There were 41 titles on my unpublished list, but this was one of three that weren’t actually complete yet, so I’m still only at 39.  If I can just get those other two completed by Friday, I’ll set a new personal best record.  How about you??  Do you bank posts?

***

Between the time this post was originally composed – and now, I accepted the 2022 BEDA Challenge – Blog Every Day in April.  Besides my regularly scheduled 13 posts, I will need another 17.  I have composed a warning post, to be published in late-March, and nine of the seventeen others.

With COVID closing the Canada/US border, Erato, my Muse, has not been able to get to Daytona Beach to take part in Girls Gone Wild videos.  She’s been snuggling up to me, and whispering in my ear more than usual.  My unpublished list has reached 55 twice, and now hovers nearer to 50, than 40.  😀  😎

Flash Fiction #254

PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart

DREAMS UP IN SMOKE

Cheryl offered to help him with his writing.  A couple who worked at the newspaper dropped by each Friday, and they often discussed the craft.  “Join us.”

The husband said the first thing they did, was smoke dope.  “It frees the creativity.”  He silently demurred, not for moral or legal reasons, but from skepticism.  He’d be the abstaining benchmark.  “I’ll get a beer and catch up.”

A Cheech and Chong blunt got passed around…. around…. and around.  Potatoes, motorcycles, redhead in sales, socks with sandals…. Bright topics bubbled into the conversation – and were immediately forgotten.

There was no creativity here.

***

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

’20 A To Z Challenge – U

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s New Pussycat? Whoaoo-oaoo-oaoo-whoa!  Tom Jones says, It’s Not

UNUSUAL

to hit a bit of writers block, but that’s old news.

What is also not unusual is that, like many other entertainment personalities, the Welsh singer, TOM JONES, isn’t.  He is Sir Thomas John Woodward OBE.  Jones is the most common Welsh surname, although there does not seem to be any among his immediate ancestors.

I can find no proof that he assumed the name Tom Jones because of a desire to reference the raunchy 1749 English novel with that name, which enjoyed a resurgence and republishing, just as he was beginning his public career.

Still, at the height of his popularity, inside industry observers estimated that he was having sex with up to 250 female fans per year.  His son/manager says that he is astounded and embarrassed that even into his 60s and 70s, female audience members were throwing panties with their phone number onstage.

So, I you got screwed without even a kiss, because Creativity bailed out and went for a beer, Desperation moved into the pilot’s seat, and barely landed a post with a U word in it.

I could go on a #MeToo rant, about guys like Bill Clinton, Harvey Weinstein, Peter Nygard, Jeffrey Epstein, Randy Prince Andy, Keith Raniere and Bill Cosby.  Men like this regard themselves, and are regarded by others, as alpha males, somehow entitled to unlimited sex with an unlimited number of females.  Sadly, these actions and attitudes are also not unusual.  Cosby’s only difference was that he had a kink where he preferred his victims unconscious.  All they have done is bring the concept of droit du seigneur up to date into the modern, electronic age.

I won’t do that (Too late!) because this post is already too depressing.  I’ll have something a little more upbeat in a couple of days.  C U then.  😀

’19 A To Z Challenge – F

AtoZ2019Letter F

First, I gave you several ‘Seinfeld’ posts, each with 6 or 8 unrelated points, but, essentially about ‘Nothing.’ Then I published several posts titled ‘Shotgun,’ like a shotgun blast, with multiple vignettes, but nothing in the way of a single, solid theme.

I got creative, and coined the word ‘Triviana’ to describe these fractured offerings, because it sounded better than Cheap Smarm and Gossip. I stole researched a theme from an American blogger with the right last name, added a photo of Canadian coinage, and called it Smitty’s Loose Change, because my grip on reality is loose, though I don’t really like change.

Eventually, of course, I found that those with more couth and language capability than me, have a word for my weird submissions. They call them

FACETIAE

humorous or witty sayings
obscene or coarsely witty books

It is NOT related to facet, which is a flat surface on a gem or something similar. It Is related to facetious, which means

facetious

adj.

1590s, from French facétieux , from facétie “a joke” (15c.), from Latin facetia “jest, witticism,” from facetus “witty, elegant, fine, courteous,” of unknown origin, perhaps related to facis “torch.”

It implies a desire to be amusing, often intrusive or ill-timed. Related: Facetiously ; facetiousness . “ Facetiæ in booksellers’ catalogues, is, like curious, a euphemism for erotica.” [Fowler]

So, as you can see, I am very serious about not being very serious. I have faced the challenge of A To Z – F. Now I gallop onward, toward the letter G. See you there.  😀

 

Flash Fiction #186

Conversation Thread

PHOTO PROMPT© Sandra Crook

FEELIN’ CREATIVE GROOVY

Bob didn’t object to Canada finally legalizing marijuana. Many of his friends had indulged in weed without legal approval for years. He didn’t, and couldn’t understand some of their justifications. “It improves your creative abilities, man.”

Once, he’d thought that his dreams contained epic ideas. A counsellor had taught him how to wake and write them down. The next morning’s notes had read

FREEM DOESN’T CLAVITZ
PROBLY SHOULD QUEES

His friends’ 4:20 “creative” sessions reminded him of those attempts. Eight stoners, loudly holding forth on 13 subjects, all at once! 😯 There wasn’t a single coherent conversational thread to be grasped.

***

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

***

Click on the title to hear Harper’s Bizarre tell you how groovy it was, back in the Hippie days.

Friday Fictioneers

WOW #19

Icon

Iconoclastic

Definitions for iconoclastic
attacking or ignoring cherished beliefs and long-held traditions, etc., as being based on error, superstition, or lack of creativity:
an iconoclastic architect whose buildings are like monumental sculptures.
breaking or destroying images, especially those set up for religious veneration.

Origin of iconoclastic

Iconoclastic is an adjective derived from the nouns iconoclasm “image smashing” and iconoclast “image smasher.” The Greek noun eikn means “image, likeness,” whether a painting or a statue; -clast and -clastic- derive from the Greek adjective klastós “broken in pieces.” The most famous instance of iconoclasm began under the Byzantine emperor Leo III the Isaurian (c680–741). It lasted from about 726 to 787 and was partly based on the injunction against graven images in the Hebrew Bible (the second of the Ten Commandments recorded in Exodus and Deuteronomy). A second period of iconoclasm occurred in Switzerland, the Holy Roman Empire, France, and elsewhere in Western Europe in the 16th century during the Protestant Reformation. Iconoclastic entered English in the 17th century. The modern nonreligious, secular sense arose in the 19th century.

I’ve never really been one to follow the rank and file; especially when I found that ‘rank’ means having a foul, offensive odor, and ‘file’ is an abrasive tool.  To the Brits, a ‘file’ can be a sly, cunning, or artful person, like Oliver Twist’s Artful Dodger pickpocket.  I’ve known a lot of foul-smelling, abrasive, dodgy tools in my time.  I did it my way, long before Frank Sinatra sang about it.

I tried to be part of the sheep herd, but, even before I was out of short pants, I realized that their baa-ing didn’t describe reality. I was a goat among the sheep, and I was often made the goat, when I pointed that out.

Respect politicians??! They put on their bullied, bought, coerced and cozened pants, one nepotistic leg at a time, the same as honest people.  Even the few who start out with the best of intentions, soon are turned rotten or disillusioned.

Respect police??! The people whose enforcement of the laws tends to make them believe that there are two sets of laws, one for you and me, and another (complete with free passes) for them?  I respect the work they do and the Police Forces, but it’s hard to respect a group of folks which include testosterone-soaked alpha-males who severely beat citizens – not criminals, not even suspects, but innocent civilians – simply because they do not immediately, and unquestioningly, obey illegal commands.

I have unkind thoughts and words for officers who take a 6-pack of beer along on a midnight patrol. I regard as unsafe, but typically entitled, an officer who flicks on his cruiser’s lights and siren to skate through a red light, and turns them off again a block later, to turn into a coffee/donut shop.

Save the best for last, because, even the definition emphasises it – RELIGION – which, in this area, means all the many different, mutually incorrect branches of Christianity.   Whether by Atheists, Jews, Muslims, or just another Christian sect, any time the particular and peculiar aspects of any given denomination are questioned or contradicted, there is always the outcry that, “You have to respect religious practices.” Why?  You don’t!  What you really mean is that your religious practices should be respected.  The only reason that the assertion is broadly stated, is so that your group is included.

Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part. So also, your faith and reverence does not mean that I must show reverence, when I find your beliefs and ceremonies, rites and rituals to be superstitious, foolish and misguided.  Screw you and your commandment-violating icons and paintings and statues, as you worship and show reverence on the commandment-violating wrong day of the week.

I’m not usually enough of an asshole to go out and actively be Iconoclastic, but when some other asshole proudly shows me “To Serve And Protect”, and I know it’s only to serve his/her own best interests and protect his ass; when someone boasts of their ‘inerrant Bible, or Koran’, or their ‘infallible Pope, or Imam’, then my ‘private opinions’ become a little more public.

A lot of people don’t even form opinions about things that they really should. Many of them hesitate to ‘rock the boat’ by disagreeing.  I’ve never had that problem.  I will call a spade a fucking shovel, and then use it to dig out of the bullshit being spread.   😯

A to Z Challenge – M

april-challenge

IN THE MOOD

I’m in the mood to write about things that relate to

letter-m

I may be in the mood, but I’m mired in uncertainty.  I’m like a method actor. What is my motivation?  I should play some inspirational music.  What shall I play?

one-half

Jethro Tull can be quite minstrel.  AC/DC is mayhem and chaos.  I know; I’ll put on some Moody Blues.  They bring back some nice memories.  Their tunes are just a creative metaphor.

one-half

I think I’m often influenced by the moon.  I know I’ve been called a lunatic more than once.  I’m in a miasma of misgivings here.  This will be the least meaty of my A to Z compositions.  (I desperately hope.)

one-half-decimal

If you’ve been muddling along, trying to figure the meaning of the images I’ve inserted, it’s easy. M is the 13th of the 26 letters.  The end of this post is the middle.  Ain’t that marvelous?  See you next month.  😀

Foul Language

Dictionary

Let’s face it — English is a crazy
language. There is no egg in eggplant
nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor
pine in pineapple. English muffins
weren’t invented in England or French
fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies
while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet,
are meat.

We take English for granted. But if we
explore its paradoxes, we find that
quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings
are square and a guinea pig is neither
from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but
fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce
and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of
tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of
booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one
moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices?

Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make
amends, but not one amend, that you comb
through annals of history but not a
single annal? If you have a bunch of
odds and ends and get rid of all but one
of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers
praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables,
what does a humanitarian eat? If you
wrote a letter, perhaps you bote your
tongue?

Sometimes I think all the English
speakers should be committed to an
asylum for the verbally insane. In what
language do people recite at a play and
play at a recital? Ship by truck and
send cargo by ship? Have noses that run
and feet that smell? Park on driveways
and drive on parkways?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance
be the same, while a wise man and a wise
guy are opposites? How can overlook and
oversee be opposites, while quite a lot
and quite a few are alike? How can the
weather be hot as hell one day and cold
as hell another?

Have you noticed that we talk about
certain things only when they are absent?
Have you ever seen a horseful carriage or
a strapful gown? Met a sung hero or
experienced requited love? Have you ever
run into someone who was combobulated,
gruntled, ruly or peccable? And where
are all those people who ARE spring
chickens or who would ACTUALLY hurt a fly?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy
of a language in which your house can
burn up as it burns down, in which you
fill in a form by filling it out and in
which an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not
computers, and it reflects the
creativity of the human race (which, of
course, isn’t a race at all). That is
why, when the stars are out, they are
visible, but when the lights are out,
they are invisible. And why, when I wind
up my watch, I start it, but when I wind
up this essay, I end it.

#499