’19 A To Z Challenge – O

Tattooed Lady

This blog-post will be short and sweet, just like its inspiration

OLIVIA

Olivia, Olivia, have you seen Olivia,
Olivia, the tattooed lady?

Oh, wait! That should be Groucho Marx singing about Lydia, The Tattooed Lady, (Click if you’d like to hear it.) full of racy, risqué, double entendres. The song was first sung in 1939, and it’s easy to include extra little references. When Americans got off their lazy, isolationist asses, and got into WW II, Groucho included the verse, “When she stands, the world gets littler. When she sits, she sits down on Hitler.

I can’t figure out how to make any portion of this post about me, so I’ll just include a link to the one where I debated getting a tattoo myself, for any of you who didn’t see it – and are desperately bored. At least Groucho is dead, and can’t compose a derogatory song about a Grumpy Old Tattooed Dude.

Olivia, as a name, means “Peace.” It comes from ‘olive’, both the tree and the fruit, which comes from the Italian, olea, which is the oil that middle-eastern people learned early to squeeze out. Christians like to claim that the phrase ‘Extend an olive branch,’ which is an offer of peace, comes from the Bible story of the dove returning to Noah with an olive leaf, or twig. But Greeks and Egyptians were using the olive branch 500/700 years B.C.

Olivia was not a common name for centuries. William Shakespeare is often credited with inventing it, but it existed at least 300 years before he included it for a character in Twelfth Night. He only made it a little more well-known and popular. Even a century ago, it was the 2285th most (least) common girls name.

All that changed in 1986, when Disney Studio released the animated movie, The Mouse Detective, with a cute little female mouse named Olivia Flaversham, and impressionable young mothers began naming their daughters Olivia. More recently, the Disney Channel compounded the interest by offering an animated series named Elena of Avalor. It’s an historic magic story-line, with a young female named Olivia, as assistant to a wizard. As a result, in 2018, the name Olivia was the 3rd most common girls’ name in The United States, and the 2nd most popular in Australia.

I luvya Olivia. Please come back in a couple of days, for some more useless trivia. 😀

’19 A To Z Challenge – M

McMuffin

I want to talk about

McGuffins.

They’re not those breakfast sandwich things that you get at the Golden Arches.

McGuffin = MacGuffin = Maguffin

Noun; an object or event in a book or a film which serves as the impetus for the plot

Word Origin for McGuffin

C20: coined (c. 1935) by Sir Alfred Hatchplot Hitchcock

Most stories, whether books or movies, have a beginning, middle, and end. Some stories though, have lots of action, and a great climax, but need a boost to get underway.

Dashiell Hammet’s novel, The Maltese Falcon was a great novel of the 20th century. There was lots of action – treachery, deceit, lies, double crosses, assaults, murders, and back-stabbing – literal and figurative. When the exciting ride finally came to a stop, the little sculpture that everyone was fighting and scheming about, was just a small, ugly, statue of a bird, just an excuse for all that excitement.

At the last Star Trek movie that I went to – Star Trek Into Darkness – for the first half hour, I fidgeted and twitched in my seat. Is this thing never going to get underway? I even considered walking out – and I NEVER walk out of a movie, especially a Star Trek.

What should have been served, hot off the griddle, as the McGuffin, the impetus, to catch and hold the viewers’ attention, was dropped cold, an hour and a half later, as a by-then, un-suspenseful and un-dramatic ‘Great Reveal,’ a story of brotherly betrayal, abandonment and revenge.

So remember, those of you who want to write – even if it’s just blog-posts. If you think that your story needs a little something to draw readers’ attention, get that McGuffin out early. Craft a catchy title, and compose an interest-grabbing opening line. Once you’ve got ‘em hooked, you can reel ‘em in.

I’d be reel real happy if you stopped back in a couple of days, for another instalment of Do-It-Yourself Philosophy. Phil will be reel happy too. 😉

Reel

May I Have A Word?

I would prefer the correct one! 👿

PROS

A man bought a used lawn morrow – and the professional mechanic and columnist he wrote to, couldn’t fix his lawn mower – or the misspelling.

He could do the jump and live to tell the tail – I think that this tale was attached to a horse’s ass.

Headline – Weeping is not a panacea
Research shows that wapping damages lung cells – the article is about e-cigarette vaping

After the retail war you’ve raged – I raged, because war is waged

Her appearance was oft-putting – The fact that she was oft putting the wrong words into sentences was off-putting – like when she led her horse down a bridal path

The Vice-President was unceremoniously sworn in as President – It may not have been ostentatious, it may not have been the usual ceremony, or the one that you were expecting, but a swearing-in is a ceremony. Some authors speak English; others speak ‘cliché.’

He climbed the steep levy beside the river – That was very taxing, then he drove his Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry misspelled.

Mucha Do About Nothing – Apparently Mucha hasn’t read much’a Shakespeare

the movie Percy Jackson: Lightening Thief – This entertainment columnist didn’t catch lightning in a bottle.

She threw in an explicit, live, on-air. – Well (expletive), she’s not in the print business, you are.

In an online tutorial about English – Someone was incompitent….about every word in the centence

The 56-year-old hotel magnet – I’d stick to calling him a magnate

AMATEURS

Charlie was a privet detective – he investigated cases of missing hedges.

We’re else can I get 6 beers for $35.00? – Where were you when they taught about ‘there and here’? Oh yeah, out getting beer.

Don’t move here. It rain’s all the time – It rains greengrocers’ apostrophes.

Lore and behold he was lost – Lo and behold, he made it excessively complex.

I cease the chance to talk to her – Well, stop (cease) that, and seize a text book.

She opened her door, to fine him on the step. – I find that the fine was for stalking.

The cigarette burn scares that covered her body – It scares me that abusive parents leave scars.

For sale, adult bibs, tarrycloth – Don’t tarry. Look up terrycloth!

Chocolate-Flavored whipped cream in an arousal can – Don’t ask, don’t tell, what you do with your aerosol can.

The dumbest, most diluted thing I’ve heard – You’re deluded if you think you know what you are writing about

The clothes were thread barren – poor infertile, threadbare tee-shirts, unable to have children

a potion of eternal width – I can only hope that she meant a potion of eternal youth – although those Coors canned potions have produced external width.

She’s got died hair – and a dyed-in-the-wool quitter of a husband

sometimes I lie away at night – try to lie a bit closer to a dictionary, while you lie awake

Sucker Part Duex – Be pretentious enough to try to use the French word Deux, and not check its spelling

no fountain of full-proof plans – This fool is proof of his own ignorance.

Colds are caused by bacteria, not the tempter – I am tempted to believe that.

i fell like i should share – I felt that I should share this advice: CAPITALIZE your I’s

It is rare that my personal foam rings – What now?? Nerf is into telecom?

paid for one of the most expensive collages – Where they don’t teach English

when you hug a guy and smell his colon – was this in fetish rehab?

kids today learn to spell frenetically – and therein lies the problem – phonetically

the total gambit of weather-related shit – that runs the gamut of poor usage

que the confusion – cue the rush to the dictionary – again

filling out a borage of forms – and getting a barrage of ‘Huhs?’

My son is hanging out with some bad ombrés – He’s a French-Canadian, throwing shade because he can’t spell hombres.

Crosswords

Sound projectors = amps – Somebody who doesn’t know his ass from his elbow, doesn’t know the difference between amps and speakers.

***

 

’19 A To Z Challenge – D

Mission Impossible

Good morning Mr. Archon. As you can see from the morning news, rogue governments, like those of the fat little North Korean, and the cheesy-headed fool in Washington, are causing the peoples of the Free Blog-World much distress.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to amaze and amuse, educate and enthrall, to bring harmony and joy back to WordPress. Remember, if you or any member of your Impossible Blog Force are captured or killed, the Secretary will

Disavow

any knowledge of your actions. If you are successful, this Internet series will be made into a bunch of second-rate movies, starring some pint-sized, Bible-thumping fool who jumps on couches while on television, and delights in the pain and suffering of women having babies. This blog post will self-destruct in 30 seconds.

I didn’t sign up fer nun of that capchered or killed shit. I jes wanna sit at this here computer-thingy with a cold beer – or 17.

Secatarie??! I ain’t got no damn secatarie. I gotta type this shit out all by myself. ‘N what’s this ‘disavow’ thing? Do that mean the old lady ‘n I ain’t married no more? I called my spawn, bastards offen enuff. Serve ‘em right if they really was. The wife don’t see thuh irony in calling one of ‘em a ‘son of a bitch.’ I guess that ‘disavow’ thing is kinda thuh same as ‘cover yer ass.’ Typical Guvmint.

I doan wanna git capchered urr kilt, so I’m gonna go do sum research fur a word startin’ with E. I’d like this ass-hindment to go to a second season. Ah know yoo wuz amazed thet ah kin put two words in front of th’other. Howz this fer amuzed??

Happy Place

See ya again soon. 😉

Smitty’s Loose Change #10

Smitty's Loose Change

A screenwriter was paid $25,000 for two days work, to produce an outline for a successful movie. A story reported that he was given 25,000 “Big Ones”.   Now, twenty-five thousand dollars can be described, in slang, as 25 Thou, 25 Grand, 25 Gs, or even as 25 Big Ones, but, if there are 25,000 of them, they’re not Big Ones, they’re all little ones. I’ve read writers like this described as knowing the difference between wet and dry, but feeling that it’s a fine distinction.

***

I recently discovered something even worse than helicopter parents. These are lawn-mower parents, who precede their children, and mow down every possible problem, obstacle and hindrance to their life. They conceal the realities of life for their unfortunate children and allow them no chance to mature and grow, to become self-sufficient, and to learn from experience and failure, and how to adapt.

***

The Universe of Politically-Correct speech continues to expand and grow. I recently read an account of a small-plane crash which killed three people, described as a shatter landing. No George Carlin bathroom tissue was involved.

***

The Grammar Check needs a slap as badly as the Spell Check. I typed I wonder what Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin tasted like into a one-liner comedy post, and got back, ‘I wonder what Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin is.’ 😯

***

Bag man, and bag lady, mean completely different things.

***

I recently bought myself a box of Wheat Thins crackers, as an occasional snack…. because I like Wheat Thins, and they were on sale. I opened the box, took a small handful, and sat down with a book. I popped one into my mouth and crunched it, and – What in Hell is this petrified wallpaper paste??!

My weak eyes and weak mind must have made me pick up the wrong thing. No. The box clearly says “Wheat Thins,” – but, as I look closer – under that, it says ‘Multigrain.” You assholes do know that oats, barley, quinoa and chia don’t make “WHEAT Thins”, right??! I would have been better off just cutting the cardboard box into small squares, and eating it. Now I know why they were on sale.  😯

***

I also recently astounded my chiropractor. The clinic where he practices also has two massage therapists. I took the wife in for massage, and sat out front waiting and reading a newspaper. When he stepped out of his office, his eyes went wide.

“In all the time I’ve worked here, I’ve never seen anybody read a newspaper here. They all have their noses stuck into the blue glow of their smart phones or tablets. They bring a book, or they leaf through one of our magazines, but I’ve never seen a newspaper in this waiting room.”

I told him that I never have to worry if the ISP is down, I don’t have to ask for the Wi-Fi password, and my batteries are never low – although occasionally I have to remember to sharpen the pencil that I do crosswords and word jumbles with.

***

Flash Fiction #185

Ferris Wheel

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

GOING NOWHERE FAST

Why is a Ferris wheel like the workaday world?

The word ‘wheel’ implies progress. On his Day Off, with the wheel Ferris Buehler invented, it achieves no progress. It lifts you up to see vistas of productivity. Then it lets you back down to the mundane.

It spins you around several times. There are exciting lights and sounds that make you think that something is actually being accomplished, but when it comes to a stop, you’re right back where you started, ready to get taken for another ride tomorrow. And, you’re surrounded by geeks that would make any fair proud.

***

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

’18 A To Z Challenge – Z

Letter ZChallenge '18

 

Zat’s it folks. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, but I’m going to close out this year’s A To Z Challenge, with another word that doesn’t exist. I’m gonna call you a

Zwilnick

When a writer, particularly a science-fiction author, wishes to present a different culture, and needs words or phrases, it’s often easiest to choose and disguise one that already exists here on Earth.

In the Battlestar Galactica movie and TV series, the word for a long time period was ‘Jahren.’ In German, the word for year is jahr. Most German words which are plural, end in ‘en,’ but jahr is an exception. It means both ‘year,’ and ‘years.’ Jahren sounds German, but isn’t quite.

When E. E. (Doc) Smith wrote his Lensman series, he identified the bad guys as Zwilnicks. He even has one of the characters ask, “Why are they Zwilnicks? We call them Zwilnicks. They even call themselves Zwilnicks.” It sounds like it might be German, or Polish, but it’s just the imaginative invention of a great Sci-Fi writer.

The Star Wars universe introduced us to the planet Naboo, which may be a takeoff on Nauvoo (Illinois), one of the birthplaces of Mormon, a silly little Christian sect that promises each of its followers, an entire planet – like Naboo?? – when they die. Its original Human settlers arrived on it by accident, and it shows what a planet would look like if it were settled completely by Hindu Indians.

I am dismayed and disappointed at the number of Star Wars fanatics who refer to the ruler of the planet as ‘Padmé Amidala.’ I watched the movie (and paid attention.) She introduced herself clearly, giving both her name, and her title. She is Padmé Nabaré – Queen Amidala, – in the same way that the leader of the Catholic Church is Jorge Mario Bergoglio – Pope Francis.

In the ‘60s, the Walt Disney television show expanded, what was to be a single episode, into a three-show arc, about a 20ish Mexican beggar/grown-up street urchin, named Elfego Baca. Later language study revealed that the initial V in a word like that is pronounced like a B in Spanish, so that “Baca” is actually “Vaca.” Vaca translates to ‘calf,’ and ‘elfego’ means flatulence. I believe that some of the Spanish-speaking writers slipped one over on the English-speaking producers and audience, and aired a “Disney” show about a Chicano, derisively nicknamed ‘Calf Farts.’

That’s all the alphabetic challenge for last/this year, in English, or any other language, real or imagined. Tune in again in a couple of weeks, and see me meander down some strange lanes with the 2019 version.

Ahhh, I managed to survive another year.  Here’s to the next one!  😀

A To Z - Survivor