I Was Once Human-Trafficked

In my first two years of high school, I did not form any of the romantic relationships that my Mother had threatened would occur.  There were two reasons for that.  First: the junior girls quickly attached themselves to sophomore and senior boys.  Second: I was a dork!

All that mysteriously changed, early in my third year.  By the end of September, I had acquired a girlfriend – or rather, apparently, a grade ten girl had acquired me.  I quickly went from wandering the halls with a steadily-decreasing crowd of drones, to doing it with a gorgeous female by my side.  Overnight, I stopped sitting at the loner, loser tables in the cafeteria, and moved over to the ‘dating’ section, to learn more about couples’ development.

We hung out at school, and after school, at Pop’s Diner.  We managed to see some movies, despite the fact that the theater was in my home town, she lived in the next town, five miles away, and my principal method of transportation was hitch-hiking.  Many times I walked her home after school.  I met her mother, who approved of me.

I was punching WAAAYYY above my weight here.  Puberty had been generous to this young woman.  I just didn’t get to reap all the benefits that I’d have liked.  We had some necking and petting sessions, but I didn’t have the aggressive self-confidence to demand or expect more.  We just didn’t have the time, or place, or privacy.

Still, it was an idyllic year, but it was fated not to be. At the beginning of the next school year, I walked her home one day…. and she gave me The Talk.  I was a nice guy, (Damn!  That smarted.) she really liked me, and we could be friends, (we were) but she had decided to be mature beyond her years.  There were things that she wanted, that I just couldn’t provide.  She wanted an older guy, with a job, and an income, and a car.  She wanted someone to take her dining and drinking, and dancing, and partying – to drive her around and show her off.  She was willing – perhaps anxious – to pay for the privilege, in the inevitable coin of the female realm.

It was not a total loss.  Before we amicably parted company – like a second-hand, Thrift Shop purse – she passed me off to her year-younger sister, who had expressed an interest in me.  This gal was more my social and emotional speed.  We shared many tastes and likes.  She was nicer, kinder, than her sister, and smarter.  We got along very well.  The biggest problem in our relationship was not US.

We were both blue-collar children.  My Father worked in a factory, as did hers.  I/we still had that transportation problem but, her best friend in high school was the daughter of the town’s successful doctor.  He lived in a big, fancy house, and drove a big, fancy car.  Her boyfriend lived in my town.  His father was a very successful insurance agent, who lived in a big, fancy, brick, century-house, and drove a big, fancy Lincoln Continental, which he got the occasional use of for double dates.

He did not approve of my girlfriend, and the doctor’s daughter did not approve of me.  We were socially inadequate.  It was not long before we too, parted ways.  I began dating a girl from my town, whose next boyfriend, who eventually replaced me, did sixty-days in jail.  The course of true love never runs smoothly.

This BEDA Challenge has run its course.  I’m going to sleep in, and take it easy tomorrow. (As opposed to what??!)  CU Monday, I hope.  🙂

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.  😉

WOW #72

I just have an irresistible urge to tell you about my new dog.  He’s a cute little thing.  He’s a registered Greek sheep-herding dog.  He doesn’t empty his bladder or his bowels in the house, but he does wander around shedding excess vowels all over the floor. We call him

Cacoethes.

His name is from the Greek language, meaning an irresistible urge – mania.  It originally meant of bad character – caco – ethos.  I’m the bad character that he has to deal with.

I’m using him to ride herd on a bunch of other Greek terms that came in through the back door, into the English language – words like cacophony – which is a loud, disagreeable noise – or euphony, which is a lovely sound, like a teller counting out $50 bills for you – or euphemism, which is a pleasant word or phrase, substituted for a harsh or offensive one – or utopia – which means a pleasant or perfect place, but who parked too close to the dictionary, and got its initial letter E knocked off – or Phi Beta Kappa – which means a loud obnoxious frat keg toga party.  It doesn’t matter.  It’s all hyperbole, anyway.

I have found a euphemism being used by (those who wouldn’t say s**t if they had a mouthful) people of delicate sensibilities, but who don’t seem to understand either English or Greek.  The phrase “fucked the dog” means idled, lazed, shirked work or other responsibility.  It is being replaced, even by some reputable authors, with the supposedly less offensive, “screwed the pooch”, but which means erred, or messed up, particularly at a significant junction.  Not the same thing at all.

My dog’s an alpha.  If there’s any screwing going on, he’s the one doing it.  Some of those sheep have a worried look.  I’m not worried.  I look forward to having you visit and read again soon.  😀

’21 A To Z Challenge – E

I’ve often said that, if the English language must evolve, I don’t want the changes caused by people who have their names on their work uniforms.  I want it guided by intelligent, educated scholars and linguists.

I HAVE CHANGED MY MIND!

One of the newer words in English is

ECDYSIAST

added sometime before his death in 1956, by the all-time pompous spoilsport American journalist, H. L. Mencken.

Also called stripper, exotic dancer, or stripteaser. a person who performs a striptease.
From ecdysis – the shedding or casting off of an outer coat or integument by snakes, crustaceans, etc.

With at least three acceptable alternatives, this pretentious prat added yet another, to turn an enjoyable, social pastime into something as cold and clinical as a colonoscopy.  He makes Mr. Spock seem like a party animal, and looks like he parts his hair with an axe.

Some of them can appear as dumb as a sack of rocks, but the stoners flipping burgers, and dreaming up new words seem to be a helluva lot more fun than tight-ass, Latin-loving Mr. Mencken.  Ignore the word.  Ignore the nerd who birthed it.  What is your opinion about strippers?  😕

Flash Fiction #245

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

THE PARTY’S OVER NOW

The band, Semisonic, got a one-time-only, one-song-only chance to play their hit, Closing Time, at the White House, for El Trumpo’s going-away party.

Gather up your jackets and make it to the exits
You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here!
Every new beginning’s from some other beginning’s end

This place is deserted.
Where is my cabinet?
You exiled or alienated most of them sire.

Where’s Pence?
You had him beheaded, sire.

Where is Melania?
She and Barron abandoned ship, and are swimming to put as much distance between you as they can, before we sink sire.

***

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 – S

SUAVE
SOPHISTICATED
full of
SAVOIR FAIRE

None of these words apply to me.

I am just a small-town boy with a touch of autism, who has managed to read enough to know how the other half 95% lives, and how they expect me to act and behave.  If the wife hadn’t decided that I needed someone to civilize me, I probably wouldn’t be married.

I have managed to dine at a few somewhat upscale restaurants without embarrassing myself or my companions too badly, but I should not be let loose near anything labeled fête or gala.  I can’t even tell the difference between white ties and black ties, much less how to wear them, when, and where.

For a couple of years in high school I wore a string-, or bolo-tie to the few dances and parties that I attended – and didn’t wonder why the females wanted nothing to do with me.  In the first half of my working life, when I was a number of varieties of cube-drone, I wore clip-on ties.

One day, I stopped for a cooling beverage (or several) after work, at a place artistically nicknamed The Pit, which just happened to have entertainment which involved the removing of clothing.  I got a seat right up front – ‘cuz my eyes were weak.  One of the sluts strippers Exotic Dancers decided that she wanted to drag me up on the stage.  She grabbed my tie and pulled.  She ended up with it in one hand, and a bemused look on her face.  Of course, I had to burn the tie, by the time she was done with it.

My idea of “sophistication” is to order bottled beer that is opened at my table, rather than take my chances of being roofied by on-tap lager.  Don’t get me started about cocktails, or even ‘mixed drinks.’  If it’s any more complex than rye and cola, it’s outside my wheelhouse.

I’ve long since given up the bolo ties but, despite their connotation and connection to County-Western Music – which I abhor – I continue to wear, what other people call ‘Cowboy boots’, through almost 53 years of marriage.  What I wear is not what others might refer to as ‘Biker boots’ either, although they served to protect my lower legs for 25 years, when I rode an assortment of rice-burner motorcycles.

It’s too bad I wasn’t born rich, instead of so God-damned handsome.  Maybe one of the Hilton or Astor families might have polished me a little bit.  More likely, I’d have just wound up like Billy Carter, the embarrassment to President Jimmy Carter.  We could have had a few beers together, only…. Despite endorsing Billy Beer, in private, he drank Pabst.

Stop back in a couple of days, and I’ll have another story about old guys sitting around, drinking beer, and taking over the world.  I’ll lay in some local, micro-brew dark ale that we can share.   😀

’20 A To Z Challenge – P

Frat-boy college students did not invent – or perfect – the booze-your-face-off, lost-weekend, drinking party.  Adult men, who should have known better, have been doing it for millennia.  Modern-day drinking glasses have flat bottoms, and stand up straighter and steadier than most of the sots at bars.

Greeks and Romans, and many Medieval European hard-drinkers, went about the task with a round-bottomed pottery, or later, metal, drinking cup in their hand.  Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the

PTOMATIS

If ever you needed an incentive to drink, owning a ptomatis might be it. Derived via Latin from Ancient Greek, a ptomatis is a cup or similar drinking vessel that needs to be emptied before it can be put down, because it is shaped in such a way that it won’t stand upright open-end up.

These handle-less drinking cups were even made from wood, but as technology improved, they were fabricated in china, and glass.  This is why drinking glasses, are referred to as ‘glasses.’  While most are flat-bottomed and steady today, the earlier, fall-over versions were why they are also still called tumblers.

Aside from weapons forging, there wasn’t a lot of technology among the Norsemen.  For their drinking, they made do with hollowed out cattle horns.  After a hard day of looting and pillaging, they would settle down with a bovine ptomatis full of mead.

If you ever watched the movie, The Thirteenth Warrior you will have seen the young Muslim, exiled to the far North as an emissary.  When he is offered a little fortified fermented drink to keep the cold away, his face shows disappointment when he says that he is forbidden to partake of the fruits of the grape or the grain.  It quickly lights up again in delight when the Viking claps him on the shoulder, and explains that the mead is made from honey.

Let the party begin!

 

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.

Hail To The Chief

In Texas there is a town called New Braunfels, where there is a large German-speaking population.

One day, a local rancher driving down a country road noticed a man using his hand to drink water from the rancher’s stock pond.

The rancher rolled down the window and shouted: “Sehr angenehm! Trink das Wasser nicht. Die kuehe haben darein geschissen.”

(This means: “Glad to meet you! Don’t drink the water. The cows have shat in it.”)

The man shouted back: “I’m from New York and just down here campaigning for Trump’s Presidential run. I can’t understand you. Please speak in English.”

The rancher replied: “Use both hands.”

***

tRump suffers from liabetes

***

***

A couple were going to go on a vacation down South, but the wife had an emergency at her office. So they agreed that the husband would go as planned, and his wife would fly down and meet him at the hotel the next day.

When the husband got to the hotel and had checked in, he thought he should send his wife a quick email letting her know he’d got there OK.

As he typed in her email address, he made a typo and his message was sent to an elderly preacher’s wife instead.  It just so happened that her husband had sadly died the day before.

When the grieving old preacher’s wife checked her emails, she read the one from the vacationer, let out a piercing scream, and fainted on the floor.

At the sound of her falling, her family rushed into the room. They tended to her and then looked at her computer and saw this email on her screen:

Dearest,

Just checked in to my room. Everything is prepared for your arrival tomorrow.

P.S. It sure is hot down here.

***

Two cows are standing in a field.

The first cow says to the second, “Have you heard about this mad cow disease?  It makes cows go crazy and then they die”.

The second cow replies, “Good thing I‘m a helicopter.”

 ***

So all the animals all gathered and were having a party,

Everybody is drinking and talking and having a good time, suddenly a chameleon goes to the middle of the room, says, “Check this out” and starts changing color of his skin for a minute straight.

Once he’s done he says, “Let’s see any of you do the same”.

Suddenly an octopus appears from the crowd and says: “Hold my beer, hold my beer, hold my beer, hold my beer, hold my beer, hold my beer, hold my beer, hold my beer.”

***

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Aristotle: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

Isaac Newton: Chickens at rest tend to stay at rest.  Chickens in motion tend to cross the road.

Albert Einstein: Whether the chicken crossed the road, or whether the road moved under the chicken, depends on your frame of reference.

Werner Heisenberg: We are not sure which side of the road the chicken was on, but it was moving very fast.

Wolfgang Pauli: There was already a chicken on this side of the road.

***

A beginner’s guide to physics

Relativity: When the family gets together
Black holes: What you get in black socks
Critical mass: A big group of film reviewers

Hyperspace: Where you park at the superstore

***

“Take a pencil and paper,” the teacher said, “and write an essay with the title If I Were a Millionaire.” Everyone but Philip, who leaned back with arms folded, began to write furiously.

“What’s the matter,” the teacher asked. “Why don’t you begin?”

“I’m waiting for my secretary,” he replied.

***

’19 A To Z Challenge – N

AtoZ2019letter-n

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good morning readers. I’d like to introduce you to Romulus and Remus’ twin sisters

NOCTEM and NOCTIS

Twin Sisters

Noctem is the prettier of the two, but she hasn’t applied for her language passport yet. She’s still Latin, and hasn’t been accepted into English. She’s a party-girl, who hangs out with the likes of Paris Hilton, and Paris Jackson. Her rallying cry and motto is “carpe noctem,” which means ‘seize the night.’ This is like YOLO. Live tonight as if there will be no tomorrow – you know…. a rave.

Noctis is the hard-working, studious one of the pair. Her name means ‘of the night,’ and, being fair-skinned, that’s when she does her best work. She can be found in libraries, university study halls, and 24-hour, McDonald’s drive-thru’s. She’d get more dates if we could convince her to change the spelling of her name to Noctic, to be more adjectival, like ‘frantic’, or ‘dyspeptic.’ I guess not, though. She has a select group of admirers who appreciate her exotic attraction.

I feel kinda sorry for Noctem. When you ‘carpe diem,’ you seize the entire, 24-hour day, but when you ‘carpe noctem,’ you only get the dark part of it. If you do it right though, that’s all you need. Once a king, always a king, but once a knight is enough. 😆