’20 A To Z Challenge – E

A To Z ChallengeLetter E

 

EEK and EGAD!! 24 hours before my self-imposed scheduled time to publish this E-post for the A To Z Challenge – I’m simultaneously composing three posts – and not one of them is this one. 😛 Unless I talked the son into mowing the lawn Sunday afternoon, you discovered a non-specific post on Monday morning, and this one moved to Wednesday.

I guess that I’ll make it about a mnemonic.
‘What’s a mnemonic, Johnny?’
A 1995, Keanu Reeves movie.

Actually, a mnemonic is something intended to assist the memory, as a verse or formula. One of the dumbest and most useless mnemonics that I’ve ever found, is

EUOUAE

Euouae definition

A type of cadence in medieval music. Origin: Taken from the vowels in the hymn Gloria Patri doxology: “seculorum Amen“. Euouae is a mnemonic which was used in medieval music to denote the sequence of tones in the “seculorum Amen” passage of the lesser doxology, Gloria Patri, which ends with the phrase In saecula saeculorum, Amen.

If you could/can write the Latin phrase, seculorum Amen, why would you need a reminder of the sequence of the vowels? Both the phrase, and the mnemonic, have been in use for over 500years. Only in the last 50/60 years has anyone felt the need to make it a word, and learn to pronounce it. It is the longest word in the English language with no consonants, an honor similar to being the greatest dogcatcher in Enid, Oklahoma.

Sadly, it is not an only child. Its bigger brother is

QUOMODOCUNQUIZE

A psalm or hymn cadence.

Is there something about Catholic Christianity, or religious music, which requires such ridiculous reminders??

The word is almost never used today, and definitely not outside the sphere of Church music. Somehow over the years, it acquired a secondary meaning of, to make money any way you can. The OED has no entry for quomodocunquize – to make money any way you can – but it does have one for quomodocunquizing, with a citation from Sir Thomas Urquhart in 1652: “Those quomodocunquizing clusterfists and rapacious varlets.” — The Orthoepist. September 16, 2010 – which is a book about the pronunciation of words.

I can’t prove it, but I suspect that the original hymns and psalms were mendicant – concerning begging, alms, financial support and donations – ergo; making money any way they could. Folks in ‘The Good Old Days’ sure had a lot more time, to say a whole lot less. I can not imagine expending the time and energy to even remember this word, much less enunciate it.

All hail technology!  My favorite mnemonics are manufactured by Acer, Dell, or even Apple.  😀

***

Yes!! I did it. I added the last words to this post, just as the sun was rising. That means that I’ll have to leap out of bed at the crack of noon, and mow that lawn myself. I’ll see you here tomorrow…. or is that today already?? 😕

I Have Never Felt So Alive

Doctor

Special note to self: Never joke in a doctor’s office! 😳

Even the ones who have had a sense of humor artificially implanted, by law are required to take everything and anything that is said, more seriously than a TSA agent.

If I don’t post for a while, it may be because I’ve been involuntarily admitted to a psychiatric ward. Case in point….

I recently went to a doctor’s appointment. I tried to be pleasant, humorous, happy. It went down in flames, and crashed and burned around me. It descended into total chaos faster than an Inspector Clouseau movie.

I recently saw her for my yearly checkup. She ordered some tests to justify the $50/month that the Province pays her, even if I don’t go to see her. She allowed 3 weeks for the tests to be done, and the results returned to her, and scheduled a follow-up visit to discuss them.

The appointment was for 2:15PM. The wife and I go with each other to these things. What one doesn’t hear, or remember, the other one does. THAT’S GONNA CHANGE! We were escorted to the examination room at 2:45, and the doctor finally walked in at 3:00. Only ¾ of an hour late – she’s actually ahead of her usual schedule.

She sat down and said, “What is wrong? What do you need from me? What has brought you here today?”

A strange opening statement, but I took no notice of it at the time. I said, “You ordered clinic tests, and should have the results. You booked this appointment to discuss them, so tell me, am I alive?”
[DANGER WILL ROBINSON, DANGER!]

Of course you are alive! Why would you not be alive?

I said, “Well, I took the tests, but you’re holding the results hostage. I just thought it would be a good idea to know how healthy I am.”

So, now it’s cover-your-ass time. I am not holding the results hostage. I do not have the time to notify each patient individually. If there had been a problem, I would have contacted you.

“That’s what I thought, but I’d like to know the numbers.”

She opened the computer screen to my file, and started going through the results. Blood pressure – good. Blood sugar – good. I have evidence of edema, internal swelling – probably from the progression of arthritis. Good cholesterol levels – acceptable. Bad cholesterol levels – up slightly from last year, but still just below the benchmark. Would I like to start taking a daily dose of Crestor to combat it?

Oh, dear Lord, another pill? I said, “No, I think that I’ll just wait till next year’s checkup. If the numbers are up then, I’ll consider the Crestor, if I’m still here.”

Explosion

Why would you not be here next year? Are you depressed?? Are you considering suicide? Do you have anger management problems?

Gaaaah, what giant can of worms have I opened here?

No, I’m not depressed! I am not considering suicide.

Then why would you not be here next year?

“Perhaps I might move to Newfoundland, or be struck and killed by The Ion (our new street railroad), like that idiot did a couple of weeks ago.”

She glanced over at the wife, who threw her one of those patented Wife Looks©. The wife is on anti-depressants, and believes that everyone else in the known galaxy should also be on them.

Tell me. I am here to listen and help. You can tell me anything.

Well, he just explodes and gets mad over nothing. He screams and yells, and curses and swears.

“If I open the refrigerator to get out milk, and my hand brushes the little plastic container of blueberries, and spills them all over the floor, I might raise my voice a bit, and say “Jesus Christ” or “God damn.” I am startled – embarrassed that I am clumsy and not paying enough attention. I am shocked, and I am irked that I have to stop doing whatever I’m doing, and lower my arthritic ass down to the floor, to pick them all up before they get stepped on.

Well, I sent the puppies out to help you clean them up.

I then have to explain to the doctor that we have two Scottish Terriers who love blueberries, to the point that we just purchased 3 bags of treats, one of which is blueberry-flavored, and disappearing fast. I hope the doctor notices that the wife was so “upset”, that she added pets to the problem. Has my problem gone away?….

“When she was a child, my wife had an abusive older brother. If something like this occurred, he might slap or punch her. She is still worried that this might happen.”

Have I convinced the doctor? I look back at the computer screen, and she has a small sub-program window open. Now I have to answer 8 multiple-choice questions.

In the last 14 days, how many days were you mildly depressed, depressed, or greatly depressed?

“None! I was not depressed.”

How many days did you have bouts of uncontrollable rage, one? Several? All of them?

“None! Partly because of her brother, she has a powerful sense of propriety. Things need to be the way she feels that they need to be. I barely experience anger. If anything, I suffer from low-level frustration, irritation, and resignation, not depression, and I certainly do not suffer from rage. ”

How many days did you think about harming someone else, or yourself, one? Several? All of them?

“None!”

On how many days did you contemplate suicide?

“I have never contemplated suicide!”

Although, if this farce continues, I might consider homicide, or uxoricide. Have you noticed that none of these questions have a zero value? They’re like the old accusation, “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” They all begin with the assumption of guilt.

At last, they are all answered. The doctor turns off the bright light, and puts away the rubber hose. Finally, she is convinced of my innocence, and all this silliness is over – right??

Every Thursday, as part of my practice, I have a Therapist available here in my office. Her services are covered by my billing. There is no charge to you. The Provincial government pays her. You have to speak to my receptionist to make an appointment. You can have individual therapy, or couples therapy.

Did I mention GAAAHH!!? I’m surprised that neither she nor the wife made an appointment for me, but I managed to escape cleanly. No good deed goes unpunished. I did manage to get a letter which excuses me from jury duty, because I am have a pain in the ass. 😳

Stick With The One-Liners

Velcro

I bought some Velcro today….
….It’s a rip-off

If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?….
….Pilgrims

Due to the quarantine….
….I’ll only be telling inside jokes.

Pill Case
This is the only way I know what day it is.

You should only argue with your wife….
….when she’s not around

Did you hear the joke about the rhetorical question?

Being told that I was going deaf….
….was very difficult to hear

If you think about it, it’s unfair….
….that only one company gets to make the game Monopoly

In college, I was so broke I couldn’t even afford to pay the electricity bill….
….Those were the darkest days of my life.

I woke up this morning to find that someone had dumped a load of Lego bricks on my front porch….
….I don’t know what to make of it

If my memory gets any worse….
….I’ll be able to plan my own surprise party.

My boss said that he’s going to fire the one with the worst posture….
….I have a hunch it might be me.

I’ve got this terrible disease where I can’t stop telling jokes about airports and bus stations….
….The doctor thinks it’s terminal.

When someone tells you to hold your horses….
….they’re telling you to be stable

Alcohol increases the size of the “Send” button by 89%

The shovel….
….was a ground-breaking invention

Some guy just tried to make a chemistry joke….
….He got no reaction.

I asked the librarian if she had any books on paranoia….
….She leaned in close and whispered, “They’re right behind you.”

I’m reading a book about anti-gravity….
….I can’t put it down

I lost 20% of my couch….
….ouch!

I thought about going on an all-almond diet….
….but that’s a little nuts.

I used to work behind the food counter at a theatre. If I had a dollar for every time a customer complained about the high prices….
….I could almost buy a small popcorn

When one door closes, and another opens….
….you’re probably in prison

If you’re sitting alone in public, and a stranger sits beside you….
….stare straight ahead and say, “Did you bring the money?”

To me Drink Responsibly….
….means Don’t spill it.

When I ask for directions….
….please don’t use words like “East.”

I keep asking what LGBTQ+ means….
….I never get a straight answer

My neighbor took me to court in a civil suit….
….I responded by going to court in a polyester suit

Flip Flop

What do you call a French guy, wearing sandals?….
….Philippe Philoppe

 

One-Liners Are A Rip-off

Velcro

The guy who invented Velcro died….
….R.I.P.

Iron Man is actually….
….Fe Male

I used to sell security alarms door to door, and I was very good at it….
….If no-one was home, I’d just leave the brochure on the kitchen table

The early bird may get the worm….
….but the second mouse gets the cheese

How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb?….
….Hourly, or flat fee?

What did the ocean say to the beach?….
….Nothing, it just waved

When the smog lifts in California….
….UCLA

My wife was angry at me, and said I have no sense of direction….
….so I picked up my stuff and right

I am terrified of elevators….
….and I’m taking steps to avoid them

Every time I try to eat healthy….
….a chocolate bar looks at me and Snickers

Double negatives….
….are a no-no in English

The problem with political jokes is….
….sometimes they get elected

I danced like nobody was watching….
….My court date is pending

What happens if….
….you get scared half to death – twice?

Ants are healthy because….
….they have little antibodies

I checked into the hokey-pokey clinic….
….and I turned myself around

All those who believe in psychokinesis….
….raise my hand

Between two evils….
….I always pick the one I’ve never tried

I went to the Air and Space Museum….
….but there was nothing there

A clear conscience is….
….the sign of a fuzzy memory

If you think that education is expensive….
….try ignorance

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

My reality check bounced.

I want to grow my own food….
….but I can’t find any bacon seeds

They’re not going to make yardsticks any longer

I told my wife she was drawing in her eyebrows too high….
….She looked surprised

’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