One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

If you have never remarked, at least to yourself, about the number of English words that are almost the same size and shape, have almost the same letters and meaning, and yet are different…. You’ve never done a crossword puzzle.  😳

Where to find Guinness – Any decent bar – but in the crossword, you have to work sideways.  What is the second latter?  Is it Eire or Erin?

Claim – is it aver, or avow?

Price rise – bump or jump?

Cell inhabitants – nuns or cons?

Prohibit – bar or ban?

Talk a lot – yak or gab?

Geological period – era or eon?

Sleep – nod or nap?

The top – acme or apex?

Peak – top or tip?

Not real – fake or faux?

Hand warmers – mitts or muffs?

Gourmet delicacy – snail or quail?

Hurled – flung or slung?

Comics dog – Otto or Odie?

Over – atop or upon?

The 411 – info or data?

Stop up – plug or clog?

Exploited – milked or bilked?

Wicked – evil or vile?

Senate yes – aye or yea?

Kick out – eject or evict?

Made mad – angered or enraged?

Outdo – beat or best?

Pants part – seat or seam?

Agree with – sync or side?

Father-involved – parental or paternal?….or, if mother’s involved – prenatal

Old-time actress, in five letters – starts with GA.  Ooh!  Ooh!  I got this!  Green Acres TV show – Eva Gabor.  Oops. Sorry!  Even old-timier than that – Greta Garbo!  Same five letters – different order.  Rats!

Dog food brand (in four) – Iams or Alpo

Because of the product that they provide, crossword composers are usually exacting and precise in the usage of words in both their clues, and solutions.  Sadly, illiteracy and incorrect usage creep in, even among the best.

The solution to doesn’t want to, is the six-letter word averse, not the seven-letter adverse, which means, unfavorable, contrary, opposing.

The correct response, (in four letters, second letter I), to lay low is kill.  To hide, is to lie low.

The pedant in me says that core group is not a cadre!  A cadre is a frame or border, which contains other things placed inside.  If you’re pretentious enough to use the word cadre, then your core group are the newbies.

Muss one’s hair.  Tussle means wrestle, scuffle or struggle  It’s not accurate, unless we’re talking about Amos, from the 9 Chickweed Lane comic strip – tousle comes from the Scottish touse – to handle roughly – to dishevel.

Finally, we get to related things which occur serially and sequentially, but are not identical.

Festive nights are not eves!  Eve is the short form for evening, the time when light and dark are about the same – dusk, twilight, nightfall, even gloaming – depending on the date, perhaps from Six P.M. till Nine.   ‘Nights’ continue through till sunup the next morning, but very few festive parties do.

To fill a pipe does not mean tamp.  They are two separate actions.  A pipe must first be filled, before the tobacco can be tamped down for a slow, even smoulder.  It’s why Scotty stopped smoking a pipe.  When he was smoking someone else’s tobacco, he crammed so much into the bowl that he could hardly draw.  When he was smoking his own, there was so little that it wasn’t worth it.

Ties vs. laces.  I see teenagers all the time, whose shoes have been laced, the ends of which are dragging on the ground, untied.  I often wonder why they, or someone else, don’t step on a trailing end, and produce an epic face-plant.

Unlatch a gate – open.  I can unlatch a gate, and leave it for the dog, or the cows, or even my buddy the burglar, to open when it is necessary, or convenient.

Assuming that the therapy session goes well, and the meds kick in, I’ll be back, as usual, in a couple of days.  You’ve been warned.  😉

Roadside Salvation

If Karma actually exists, I’m pretty sure that I’ve used up my lifetime supply of good fortune.

Once upon a time….

When I grew old enough to get my drivers’ licence, my father allowed me the use of the car on Saturday evenings.  I would drop my parents off at his gig as an emcee at a dance party just before 9 PM, and come back and pick them up, just after midnight.

Across the summer, some friends and I covered a wide range of the county.  On into September, the new car models had been released, and we wanted to have a look at them at a car show over in the Big City.  Perhaps Dad had heard of our exploits.  Maybe we weren’t leaving enough gas in the tank.  As I dropped them off, Dad said, “Don’t leave town.”  Right, Dad.

We’d had summer jobs, but now that we were back in school, money was a bit short.  We all kicked in 50¢ for gas, because, back then, $2 would fuel our little Vauxhall for most of a week.  Then it was a half-hour, high-speed run to the arena.  The rest of our pocket change got us into a show at 9:30, which was over at 10.  We had a quick chance to drool over the new models.

When they kicked us out, I still had two hours before I needed to be back, but there might be other things to do, so the trip back was as fast as the one over.  Suddenly, out in the country, a red warning light popped up on the dash, so I immediately pulled over and shut it down.

Ten miles from the city, fifteen miles from home, we were two and a half miles in either direction from two tiny crossroad villages – which were already shut down when we passed through earlier.
What’s the matter with it?  I dunno.
Are we stuck out here?  Probably.
What are we gonna do?  I dunno.

Just before panic began to set in, a pair of headlights appeared from behind.  We weren’t even smart enough to flag the driver down, but he pulled over anyway.  It was a 21-year-old gear-head, driving around to impress his 18-year-old girlfriend with the old car that he was restoring.  It didn’t look like much, but it purred when it pulled over.
What’s the matter? –  A red light came on the dash.
It’s probably the fan belt.  Do you have a flashlight?
No. –  I’ll get mine.

He popped the hood and shone the light in.  Sure enough, there was a decided lack of fan belt.  From driving a little English car 10 miles, at 85 MPH??!  Who knew?  He said that it was a good thing that I’d pulled over right away.  With the water pump and cooling system not working, I could have overheated the engine and damaged it.  It probably wouldn’t have mattered.  With the generator also not working, it was running off the battery.  A couple more miles with the headlights on, and that would have died too.  We were well and truly FUBARed.

He said, “I think I know a guy who can help.  Hop in.”  I snuggled in next to his girl, and we headed back to the city.  On the way, he told me that he worked as a junior mechanic for a guy who ran a small garage and Esso gas station.  In tourist country, and during tourist season, he pumped gas until 11 PM on Saturday nights.

It was ten after eleven when we arrived, and the lights were all off, but we could see the owner still finishing paperwork at his desk.  My hero thumped on the door, and got us let in.
Whaddya want??
Buddy here blew a fan belt, out on the highway, and needs another one.

He went to the reference sheet, selected the correct one and lifted it down.  Boss-man said that it cost about $6 – the equivalent of two hours labor.  He looked at me and said, “You guys got any money?”  We’re busted flatter than piss on a plate.  He must have had a running tab for the parts and pieces that he needed for his chariot.  “Put it on the list of stuff I owe you for, Mel.”

Soon we were heading back to the three friends I’d abandoned in the stygian darkness, and the car which had cooled to work on.  “You got any tools?  Duh!!  “We’ll use mine.”  He opened the trunk, and opened his toolbox.  Changing a fan belt on that car was so dead simple, even I could do it.  All we needed was an adjustable wrench.  Still, I held the flashlight while he did the work.  “Start it up.”  It started and ran well, with no warning light.  “Okay, you’re good to go.”

He was exactly the right person, at exactly the right time, in exactly the right place, with the right friends, the right tool set, and the right mindset.  We were too naïve to even think of offering to mail him some money – which we didn’t have.  Other than offering our sincere thanks, is there anything we can do for you?  “Just pay it forward.  If you see someone in trouble, and you can help, stop and offer it.”  I like to think that’s a philosophy that I’d have engaged in, even without his urging.  I didn’t ask him if he was a Good Christian.  I don’t even remember exchanging names, but I remember his kindness.

Of course, after all of this, I didn’t make it to the appointed pickup spot, at the appointed time.  When I finally arrived home, Mom was a little miffed that she’d had to walk half a mile, with her short little legs, in a tight skirt and heels, up a fairly steep hill.

After Dad demanded and got a complete explanation of what had happened, he was a bit more pragmatic.  “This is why I told you not to leave town.  Still, everything worked out nicely.  I guess it’s better that it happened to you tonight, than to me on my way to work on Monday morning.”

And they all lived happily ever after.

The End

WHO’S RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS MESS?

Christian Apologists tie themselves in philosophical knots, trying to justify and validate God’s actions.

The best minds will tell you that, when a man has begotten a child, he is morally bound to tenderly care for it, protect it from hurt, shield it from disease, clothe it, feed it, bear with its waywardness, lay no hand upon it save in kindness and for its own good, and never in any case inflict upon it a wanton cruelty.

God’s treatment of His Earthly children, every day and every night, is the exact opposite of all that, yet these ‘best minds’ warmly justify these crimes, condone them, excuse them, and indignantly refuse to regard them as crimes at all, when HE commits them.

God banished Adam and Eve from the Garden, and eventually assassinated them.  All for disobeying a command which He had no right to utter.  He did not stop there.  He has one code of morals for Himself, and quite another for His children.  He requires His children to deal justly – and gently – with offenders, forgiving them 77 times, whereas He deals neither justly nor gently with anyone.

He did not forgive the ignorant and thoughtless first pair of juveniles, even their first offense, and say, “You may go free this time, and I will give you another chance.”  He continues to punish their children’s children.  In mild ways??  No, in atrocious ways!!

The world calls Him The All-Just, The All-Righteous, The All-Good, The All-Merciful, The All-Forgiving, The All-Truthful, The All-Loving, The Source Of All Morality.  These sarcasms are uttered daily, all over the world.  But not as conscious sarcasms: no, they are meant seriously, and uttered without a smile.

Genesis 3: 17 states, But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.  And yet, the Bible states at Genesis 5:5 that Adam was 930 years old when he died. “So all the days of Adam’s life amounted to 930 years, and then he died.”

According to Apologetics logic, Adam and Eve should have been completely confounded and confused by this threat of death.  Until The Fall – the first sin – there was no death.  Nothing had died.  They had no experience – nothing to reference it to.  A threat of death would be as incomprehensible to them as Big Bang Theory, or Evolution, is to modern Apologists and science-deniers.

It cannot be proved that “A Creator” does not exist, nor some kind of God, but I can prove that the capricious, spiteful, vindictive “God” described and defined above, definitely does not exist.  Any Being who would act like this resembles the bizarre Q character from Star Trek, but without the puckish sense of humor, making Q seem benign and kindly.   😯

Flash Fiction #256

PHOTO PROMPT © Liz Young

CHRYSALIS

His parents wanted him to go to university, or at least a Community College to learn a trade.  They were just so tight, so restrictive, so controlling.  He burst free from their bondage and got himself a great job at 18, with his own income, and promise of advancement.

A month later, he was smart enough to see that it was just a clerical dead-end, and a barely legal pyramid scheme.  He was also smart enough to tell his parents, “You told me so.”  Let’s have a look at the course catalogue at Conestoga College.  I could become a welder.

***

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

I Feel Great

I have been ‘Grand’ for decades, but I just found out that I’ll soon be getting a promotion to ‘Great.’

After getting everyone’s forehead blasted with a phaser infrared thermometer, we had the daughter, and her son and wife over for a long overdue, COVID-prevented family meal and visit.

The grandson and his wife provided the dessert – warm, soft, deep-dish brownies, with either French Vanilla ice cream, or coconut-flavored whipped cream.  Before they brought that out, they served up something much sweeter.  They had news that they’d held for almost four months, until they were sure, and had the chance to reveal it to the two older generations, all at the same time.  They are pregnant (Well, she is.) with their first.

The Grandson married a bonnie lass with a good Scottish heritage.  She doesn’t so much have a bun in the oven, as a solid serving of haggis.  Here is an image of their wee bairn, a Scotch egg, building up power to burst forth and amaze the world, as the first in the next generation of the NSFW Clan.

The kilt is still a bit long.  It will be a few more months before we know whether we will get a bagpiper or a Scottish dancer.  You just know that I will keep you informed.

The wife says that she is willing to start being called Gigi – GGGreat-Grandmother.  I think I’ll just stick with Archon, or G.O.D.   😀  😀

Stop Watching

A guy told me that you burn as many calories making love, as you do running 5 miles.
He’s a moron.  Who runs 5 miles in 30 seconds?

***

Doctor; (handing me the baby) I’m sorry.  Your wife didn’t make it.
Me; (handing the baby back) Then bring me the one my wife made.

***

You can’t truly refer to yourself as an adult, until you catching yourself getting mad because the grocery store changed its layout.

***

My Tinder bio says that I have a corner office, with a view of the city.  I drive a $200,000 vehicle, and my company pays me to travel.

My dates seem disappointed to find that I am a bus driver.

***

Did you hear about the circle who graduated from university?
He had 360 degrees.

***

Why can’t you hear a pterodactyl using the bathroom?
Because the ‘P’ is silent

***

I was at the post office, when I saw a blonde woman holding an envelope open, and shouting into it.
I said, “What are you doing?”
She replied, “Sending a voice mail.”

***

Eight-year-old Nina brought her report card home from school. Her marks were good…mostly A’s and a couple of B’s.

However, her teacher had written across the bottom: “Nina is a smart little girl, but she has one fault. She talks too much in school. I have an idea I am going to try, which I think may break her of the habit.”

Nina’s dad signed her report card, putting a note on the back:  “Please let me know if your idea works on Nina because I would like to try it out on her mother.”

***

One morning I was called to pick up my son at the school nurse’s office.

When I walked through the main entrance, I noticed a woman, curlers in her hair, wearing pajamas. “Why are you dressed like that?” I asked her.

“I told my son,” she explained, “that if he ever did anything to embarrass me, I would embarrass him back. He was caught cutting school. So now I’ve come to spend the day with him!”

***

Paddy pulls up to the traffic light, right next to a stunning-looking girl.  He smiles, and rolls his window down.  She smiles back and rolls her window down also.  Paddy says, ‘Have you farted, as well?’

***

Pat:  I tried to sue the airline for losing my luggage.
Mike:  What happened?
Pat:  I lost the case.

***

A duck stood next to a busy road, waiting for a break in traffic
A chicken walked up to him and said, ‘Don’t do it man.  You’ll never hear the end of it.’

***

Joe:  My friend Al went bald years ago, but he still carries a comb around with him.
Pete:  Why does he do that?
Joe:  He just can’t seem to part with it.

***

I’m not saying, let’s go out and kill all the stupid people.  I’m just saying, let’s remove all the warning labels, and let the problem sort itself out.

***

Sometimes you just gotta sit back, grab a drink, and face the fact that people are idiots.

Flash Fiction #239

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

THE MISTAKES OF OTHERS

He tried to raise his head from the floor, but someone had turned the gravity up.  He’d just lie here and ask Whatzizname, the jock, for assistance.  Whatzizname??!  What was his name?  This was silly.  He just got a bank statement….  Happy birthday to you.  Happy birthday to you.  Happy birthday dear…. Jerry.  Yeah, that was it – Jerry.

He vaguely recalled a frat-party that included beer-pong and tequila shooters.  He also remembered some nice man…. Dad – telling him to concentrate on his university studies, and not attend such bashes.  Right, Dad – when the bleeding in his eyes cleared up.

***

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

***

I credit 1950s/60s comedian, Shelly Berman with the inspiration for this cautionary tale.  Click here if you’d like to hear some classic comedy about The Morning After The Night Before.

And The Truth Was Not In Him

I CANNOT TELL A LIE

….But I can stretch it over Toronto’s CN Tower.  Here’s a chance for you to do the same.  Take the following list of questions, and provide interesting, entertaining and informative answers which might have people questioning your sanity, as well as your veracity.

What is the difference between a gooseberry and a grape?

A gooseberry is like a grape, but with a bad case of mold.  Cannibals won’t eat clowns because they taste funny, but if you swallow a gooseberry whole, it will tickle your palate all the way to the bottom.

 What is meant by skid row?

That’s what happens when I don’t change my underwear every day.  One little brown stain in my BVDs, on laundry day, is forgivable, but when there’s a whole line of them, the wife says that I am going to involuntarily take that ‘Eat A Tide Pod Challenge.’

 Why do elephants have big ears?

The better to hear you with, my dear Red Riding Hood.  I am the elephant in the room.  You should just put down the basket of bananas that you brought, and leave quickly, before you get stepped on.  Don’t worry about making it back home safely, through the deep, dark woods.  There was a pervert, transvestite wolf here when I arrived, all dressed up in one of Granny’s nighties, but I didn’t see him, and accidently sat on him.  FYI: Granny’s gonna need a new bed too.  Sorry!

 What is green and travels at thousands of miles an hour? 

The Canadian Federal Liberal eco-energy plan.  Cover up five acres of soya-beans with ugly solar panels.  Generate electricity at 12.3¢/Kwh.  Sell it to the Americans for 3.8¢/Kwh.  Put huge, ugly wind turbines in dairy pastures.  Reduce milk production and farmers’ income by 20%.  Generate electricity at 11.7¢/Kwh.  Sell it to the Americans for 3.8¢/Kwh.  Continue until the country is bankrupt, or the infrastructure has collapsed.

 What is the difference between minimum and maximum?

I thought a mini-mum was a young, sexy female parent, with a high hem, and a maxi-mum was an older, more sedate one.  The difference between minimum and maximum is actually a very fine line that either of them might cross on a 4-hour drive to a vacation campsite, with two young kids in the backseat.
Are we there yet?
I gotta wee!
How long have we been driving?
Bobby’s lookin’ at me!
I gotta go poo-poo!
Billy shoved me!
Do cows have batteries?
I went poo-poo in my pants.
You don’t mind if I practice my soccer kick on your seat, do-ya?
Drive faster honey.  Risk a speeding ticket!  If we’re not there in five minutes, I’m gonna bury one or both of them behind a big cedar tree.

 What is a pantry?

It’s not spelled right, but this is a pan-tree – with a cooking utensil hanging from every branch.

 What is a carnivore?

I am a carnivore, whenever the carnival comes to town.  The rides are fun, but I head straight for the food lane – hot-dogs, hamburgers, French fries, caramel corn – are all okay, but they have Deep-Fried everything – corn dogs, cheese, ice cream, Mars bars.  I walked past one booth, and the sign just said ‘FRIED’.  I asked the guy, “Fried what?”  “Nothing,”  Just a big catcher’s mitt of fried dough, like John Pinette’s beavertails. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6y0GhNFcY6k  I had two, with cinnamon and powdered sugar coating, and some Maple syrup.

 What is another word for oriental?

I officially admit defeat!  I can’t think of a serious, or humorous, way to define “Oriental” in a single word.  I am just waiting to see what other people do with the prompt.  I could do a bit about Orientals’ North American driving looking like they learned to pilot vehicles with rickshaws in Tokyo, or tuk-tuks in Indonesia.

I could riff on their hive-mind, and the likelihood of them ignoring American social patterns to get a great education, and a 6- or 7-figure job, but I don’t want to be counter-cultured, or even doxxed, by a squad of #YellowLivesMatter ninjas.

 What is the difference between pussy willow and catkins? 

This is FHRITP Grab Her By The Pussy-willow Trump,

and these are my cat-kins.

 What is a felony?

I’m not sure, but if a person who commits burglary is a burglar, and a person who commits a felony is a felon, then God is an iron.  It is a great irony that, as God has created us, everything that we like, enjoy, desire, strive for – is bad for us.  W.C.Fields said that everything he liked was illegal, immoral or fattening.  Salt, that makes things taste good? – causes heart problems.  Sugar, in candies and yummy do-nuts – rots teeth and causes obesity.  Smoking ruins lungs. 

Alcohol ruins marriages, friendships, and livers. Drugs…. Don’t get me started!  I can barely handle reality.  I don’t know why anyone would want to do drugs.  Sex – causes abortions, STDs, bar fights, battered wives and divorces, but we keep striving for them all.  Is resisting temptation supposed to be good for us??!  Why couldn’t He just create us, already loving broccoli, liver, and Disney movies?

’20 A To Z Challenge – L


What else do I need to say??! I’m not usually tongue-tied, although some people have suggested that it should be put in handcuffs…. Tongue-cuffs??…. I’ll check with the ‘Adult Store.’ They may have something really, fucking kinky.

LALOCHEZIA everyone! Shed the stress. 😈 If you make bail on the public profanity charge, stop back in a couple of days.
***

Adventures In Non-Sequitur Land

This is a framed copy of a reproduction of a Saturday Evening Post cover. It, and a mug with his name, –CYRIL – were all I got back from the nursing home, after my Father died. I don’t know where, or when, or how, he obtained it. I never saw it hanging in my parents’ little house.

Those who know me, know that I am Psmith. Dad was always a little distant, and self-centered. It pleases me to believe that the why that he obtained it, was because of me.

A year ago, when I wanted to attach it to my ‘I’ve Never Herd Of Smith’ post, I kept getting a message from WordPress – Error. Unable to upload image. There are two copies of this image, one taken with a camera, and the other with the scanner/printer. WordPress would accept neither. Recently – JUST BECAUSE – I tried again, and it slid smoothly into the Media file.   😳

A Shining Light

jack-o-lantern

I could never get my parents to buy a pumpkin for Halloween. They just made me stand in the window.
It wasn’t too bad until the candle started to burn the roof of my mouth.

The worst thing about retirement, is having to drink coffee on your own time.

Damned dyslexia! I just found that I sold my soul to Santa.

What is an alarm clock?
A small mechanical device to wake up people who have no children.

It’s not a cheaper car that people want – it’s an expensive car that costs less.

“What business are you interested in?”
“Everybody’s”

My cat can talk. I asked him how much was two minus two, and he said nothing.

Don’t complain about the traffic. If there were fewer cars on the road, it would be even harder to find a parking spot.

A man walked into a military surplus store and asked if they had camouflage pants.
“Yes,” the clerk replied, “But we can’t find them.”

My girlfriend admitted that she was once a Christian, so I broke up with her.
It may seem judgmental, but I’ve only known her since she was Christine.

I am so good at home repairs, that they have a special VIP section for me at the Emergency ward.

I ordered a bed from IKEA, and they sent me a tree trunk and a saw.

Everybody’s a tough guy – until they have to use a screwdriver overhead for two minutes.

The trouble with trends – In 15 years, people on HGTV will be saying, “All those white cupboards look terrible, and we have to put up some walls between the kitchen, dining room and living room.”

My girlfriend wants me to stain the new wooden fence in her back yard, so I’m going to eat spaghetti over it for a couple of weeks.

So, here I am, watching Property Brothers, and the lady’s “profession” is dog manager, and their budget is $750,000! What did I do wrong with my life?

Please don’t come to my garage sale if you’ve ever let me borrow something.

Movies show people kissing in the rain, but I’d just like to see a guy who’ll run out and get the cushions off the porch chairs when the weather starts kicking up.

Am I the only one watching HGTV who’s hoping that the house will exact some horrifying vengeance on those people inside?

***

Repeat Performance

Roger, 85, married Jenny, a lovely 25 year old.

Since her new husband is so old, Jenny decides that after their wedding she and Roger should have separate bedrooms, because she is concerned that her new but aged husband may over-exert himself if they spend the entire night together.

After the wedding festivities Jenny prepares herself for bed and the expected knock on the door.

Sure enough the knock comes, the door opens and there is Roger, her 85 year old groom, ready for action. They unite as one.
All goes well, Roger takes leave of his bride, and she prepares to go to sleep.
After a few minutes, Jenny hears another knock on her bedroom door, and it’s Roger,
Again he is ready for more ‘action’. Somewhat surprised, Jenny consents for more coupling.
When the newlyweds are done, Roger kisses his bride, bids her a fond good night and leaves.
She is set to go to sleep again, but, aha, you guessed it – Roger is back again, rapping on the door and is as fresh as a 25-year-old, ready for more ‘action’.
And, once more they enjoy each other.
But as Roger gets set to leave again, his young bride says to him, ‘I am thoroughly impressed that at your age you can perform so well and so often. I have been with guys less than a third of your age who were only good once. You are truly a great lover, Roger.’
Roger, somewhat embarrassed, turns to Jenny and says: ‘You mean I was here already?’