Flash Fiction #217

Identity

PHOTO PROMPT © Ulrika Undén

IDENTITY THEFT

Where are we going??

It is not wise to ask. We are going to have our identities removed.

What? Why??!

After the Holy Trump – Blessed be His Name – escaped the seditious impeachment trap set by his enemies, He appointed himself Emperor for Life and decreed that there would be no more division and dissent among his People.

His thoughts would be our thoughts. There would be no more Red States or Blues States, only Orange States, to worship his Divine Hair. Fake news was outlawed, climate change conspiracy was crushed, and He holds our Peace in His tiny manly hands.

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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-badge-web

Getting From There To Her

Shakespeare

A man became a woman – and it wasn’t even Caitlyn Jenner.

Even though English is not technically a Romance language, many of the rules apply to the usage and formation of words – including names. In French, Italian and Spanish, names ending in O are male, and names ending in A are female. In English, numerous male names are made female, by adding an A. Don becomes Donna. Robert becomes Roberta. Shawn becomes Shawna. Paul becomes Paula.

(Paul & Paula who were actually, neither Paul, nor Paula was a 1960’s pop music duo with one, million-seller hit, Hey Paula. Click, if you’d like to reminisce.)

We all probably know several of these, but I’ve run into a few less common ones that you may not have seen. Most Dons are actually Donalds. For those who think of themselves, formally, in that way, a few have daughters named Donalda. I’ve met two.

The name Donald is reasonably common, at least among my Scottish relatives. The name Samuel is currently less common. I recently met a Samuela. Like Samuel, Simon tends to be a Jewish name, and fairly rare in English. I recently ran into a Simona. The less common man’s name, Roland, has the even rarer Rolanda, female equivalent.

Shakespeare is accused of creating more than 50 new words for the English language, a few out of whole cloth, but many by merging other words, or adding suffixes. He also added at least four new female names. He created the name Perdita for the daughter of Hermione in his play ‘The Winter’s Tale’ (1610). It is a Latin word, which means lost. While first produced in England, this rare name is most often found among Spanish-speaking people. Kenneth Bulmer used it as the name of an evil villainess in The Key to Irunium, and several other books in this series.

Derived from Latin mirandus meaning “admirable, marvelous, wonderful”, the name Miranda was created by Shakespeare for the heroine in his play ‘The Tempest’ (1611), about a father and daughter stranded on an island. Modern baby-name books now say that it means ‘cute.’

He constructed the female name Jessica from the Jewish male name Jesse, the father of David, meaning God Exists. The female version is now taken to mean, God beholds, or God’s grace. He gave it to the daughter of Shylock, in ‘The Merchant of Venice’ (1596/1599). The original Hebrew name Yiskāh, means “foresight”, or being able to see the potential in the future.

Olivia is a feminine given name in the English language. It is derived from Latin oliva “olive”. William Shakespeare is sometimes credited with creating it. The name was first popularized by his character in ‘The Twelfth Night’ (1601/1602), but in fact, the name occurs in England as early as the thirteenth century. In the manner of extending the olive branch, the name indicates peace, or serenity.

All of these names end in the feminine-indicating final letter A. Not a Chloe, or an Amber, or a Summer, or a Robyn in the bunch. What did your parents name you…. Or, what did you name your daughter?? Are there any regrets?

11/11 Remember! Redux

With the exception of a little explanation here at the top, and some added notes at the bottom, this will be a republication of 2016’s, and 2017’s November 11th post. I may not have said it the best that it can be said, but I’ve said it as well as I can say it.

remembrance

No matter what you call it, this is a little reminder that Monday is Remembrance/Veterans Day. Take two minutes at 11:00 AM to stand quietly and remember, respect and honor those in the Armed Services, past and present, who have given so much, so that we can have peace and security.

Take some time Monday – Hell, take all day if you want, and take a bit of time any other day, whenever it’s possible – to shake the hand of a veteran, or current Serviceman. Smile, and say, “Thanks!”

Canadian Flag

veterans

Times, and social situations change. Wars are no longer fought by going to the other guy’s country and shooting him, or just blowing up his shit till he stops being an asshole. In addition to the Vets and current Armed Services personnel, mentioned above, we should also remember to thank and think of (because of the job they do, and the way they must do it, they’re invisible, but invaluable) Intelligence and Internal Security Officers, as well as the folks building SkyNet, who feed info to them, so that they can keep us safe from gas attacks, poison and biological assaults. They also prevent attacks and loss of service to our increasingly technologically-dependent Internet lifestyle, with their Ninja-like handling of all those little 1s and 0s.

I think that it would be nice to see more people wearing poppies, to pay respect for the veterans who fought for us, and fewer people with their heads down, and a cell phone  in their hands.

I want to express my frustration and moral sadness at our skewed priorities regarding the calendar.  Dec. 25 receives far more attention than Nov. 11!  Could we please postpone the Christmas activities and surrounding pageantry, until at least Nov. 12, out of common decency, respect, and gratitude for those who fought and died for the freedoms that we enjoy today??

’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 – 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. 😉

Halcyon Days

Kingfisher

My ears threatened to go on strike.  We almost starved because I couldn’t stand to go into stores.  Within ten minutes, in one shop, I heard the song “Santa On The Sand”, and then “Christmas in Hawaii.”

We have entered the Festival of Conspicuous Consumption – otherwise known as the Christmas Season.  It began in November, right after Black Friday, a vile American ritual which has oozed into Canada like toxic waste.  It has even floated across the Atlantic like an oil spill, to infest the U.K.

This is the time of year when even the Good Christians forget the Christ Child, and enter into the frenzy of Too Much – too much food, drink, cooking, buying, spending, wrapping, visiting, travelling, and stress.

I was researching the word halcyon, when I came upon the term ‘Halcyon Days’.  There once (allegedly) was a minor Greek goddess, Alcidine, whose name has come down to us as Halcyon.  She fell in love with a minor god, and they shacked up together.  They were enjoying immortal life, and having so much fun, that they compared themselves to Zeus and Hera.

Zeus, whose Grumpy-R-Us franchise I inherited, threw a giant snit-fit.  He huffed and he puffed, and he blew up a powerful storm, and a huge wave crashed onto her lover and drowned him.  When she saw his dead body in the surf, she threw herself into the waves and also drowned.

Some of the other gods felt sorry for them.  Zeus’ magic could not be reversed, but it could be modified.  They were brought back as birds – kingfishers.  The modern scientific name for kingfishers is Alcidines.  The ocean kingfisher builds a little raft of a nest, safe from most predators because it floats upon the waters like Moses’ Magical Basket.

Aeolus was the god who controlled the winds and storms – except when Zeus used them to bump somebody off.  Because kingfishers breed and brood about the winter solstice, he promised two weeks of calm waters, so that the eggs would safely have time to hatch – one week before the solstice, and one week after – the Halcyon Days.

Inspired by this tale, I went into my back yard, and found a small nest-building-type stick that my new pair of Scottie Terrier puppies had wrenched off a shrub.  I brought it into the house, and jammed it into a bowl of semi-precious gemstones.  I printed off the photo above, cut out the outline, and hung it from the twig.

I have no giant, overstated Christmas tree that takes me three days to assemble and decorate, and another three days to put away.  It’s just a little tribute to peace and quiet, something which I feel many of us need during this frenetic time.  Give it a try.  You don’t have to believe in, or worship Greek gods – or any God – you just have to believe that you deserve a couple of weeks of tranquility, “while all about you are losing theirs.”  Peace be unto you – and peace on the rest of the idiots, too.  😉

Remembrance/Memorial Day

poppy-flower-red-remembrence-day-artificial

Sunday, November 11th is Remembrance Day

Remember the lost!
Remember the cost!

veterans

This year’s Nov. 11 ceremonies will commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice, the 10th anniversary of the first National Peacekeepers Day and 100 years since the end of the First World War.

Remember to Remember!

Canadian Flag

Flash Fiction #170

Zor and Zam

PHOTO PROMPT © Yvette Prior

ZOR AND ZAM

A business meeting – the bane of office life, always scheduled for the least inopportune time of a roomful of busy people.

You could be on the phone or computer, actually achieving something, but had to massage egos to justify your budget.  Basically it was a ‘Mine’s bigger than yours’ contest.  There was always one guy who had to show how important he was, by missing it.  Some came late – “Did I miss anything?”  Some had to leave early – pity the poor executive secretary who had to co-ordinate all this.

What if the boss gave an office meeting…. and nobody came?

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Click here to listen to The Monkees sing about two petty kings who tried to have a war, but nobody came.

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If you’ve read Rochelle’s offering, (And if you haven’t already, you WILL, Right!) click here to listen to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band tell the story of Bo Jangles.

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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

Once Upon A Time In The Mid-East

Arab

Once upon a time in the mid-east…. things haven’t really changed much, only gotten more so.

Many moons ago, I worked as a security guard.  One of my co-workers was a man even older than me.  As a young man, just after World War II, he had traveled to England to take advantage of the burgeoning British post-war economy, to get a job.  Instead, he enlisted in the British Army, and was attached to the British Palestine Peacekeeping Force.  Their job was to prevent violence, and protect the newly-minted state of Israel.

Many Jews had lived in what became Arab Territory.  Either voluntarily, or under political pressure, they were convinced to leave farms and lands that they had worked and lived on for generations, and move inside the imaginary boundary-line of Israel, into imaginary safety, and start all over again.

He said that, as they patrolled around in Palestine, it was easy to see who had occupied the properties.  Jewish farms were green and lush with fruit, grain and vegetables.  They had bright homes and barns, and greenhouses to get new crops started.  Arab homesteads were dusty and brown, with perhaps a scrawny goat wandering around.

Did the Muslims who were leaving Israel take possession of these ready-made sources of shelter, food and income??  They did not!!  Usually the homes and outbuildings were burned, the greenhouses torn down, all the glass smashed.  The patrol was supposed to be neutral, but he said that it was difficult not to have sympathy, and side with the people who tried to build things up, rather than the hooligans who just wanted to tear things down.

One day they were called out to a problem.  They were trucked to a nearby Arab village near the new border.  They debarked, and marched into the village square/market.  There they came upon a small clot of idlers, with more drifting in.  As in my StOp! Ed post, the local imam or mullah was working the mob up, to march to the nearest Jewish settlement and attack.  Knives, machetes, clubs, slings, rocks, and bottles were in evidence.

My co-worker recounted that, in English, and in his best brash British bluster, the Sergeant-Major commanding the squad, waved his hands as if shooing flies, and told them that ‘You chappies ought to just break this up now, and get on with your business somewhere else.’

He got back the equivalent of, ‘No speakee English, you Tommy Brit invaders.’, so he went to plan B, and literally read them the Riot Act.  For those of you who think that being read the Riot Act is just a euphemism for your Mom coming down on you, think again.  There is an actual British Riot Act.  The solemnity of having it read to potential rioters is supposed to make them think twice about causing trouble.

Our Sovereign Lord The King chargeth and commandeth all persons, being assembled, immediately to disperse themselves, and peaceably depart to their habitations, or to their lawful business, upon the pains contained in the Act made in the first year of King George the First for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies.

God Save The King

The rules state that it must be read three times, before any official violence is unleashed.  The SarMaj read the ponderous paragraph of it once in English.  Then, because some of the miscreants might be Jewish, he read it in Hebrew.  Then he read it in Arabic.  Then he circled around and read it again in all three languages.

All this time, the crowd is growing in size, and the mood is getting nastier.  Knives are waved at them, and small fake sorties are threatened.  Finally, he got the Act read three times in three languages, and ordered them in Arabic to disperse.

Wasn’t gonna happen, so he started giving the squad, orders.  Present arms!  The Arabs watched.  Insert cartridges!  They slapped magazines into their Lee-Enfield rifles. (They’d been unarmed all this time.)  The Arabs waited.  Charge weapons! Rifle bolts back, and then forward to cock. (Now they’re finally ready for action.) The Arabs wondered.  And, the SarMaj shouted, At the knees, aim!

He said that, by the time he got his rifle up to his shoulder, and his eyes on the sights, a single piece of paper, and dust, was settling to the ground.  The little plaza was empty.  Maybe some of them understood English, or just understood superior firepower.

Sadly, nowadays, little altercations like this happen much faster and more violently.  The Gentlemanly British rules of war have been replaced by Kill Or Be Killed.  Perhaps they were what Mr. Ed, the talking horse’s ass was thinking about.

StOp! Ed

Extra Extra

GAZA TRAGEDY A WAR CRIME

Re: President Trump has squandered his chance for Mideast peace

What’s the appropriate response to Israel’s s shooting dead, of dozens of unarmed civilians in Gaza on May 14 – a total of over 100 such killings since March 30, when the March of Return began(with 2700 injured, 1300 being shot, none of them Israelis)?

These are essentially state executions.  They constitute war crimes against humanity.  The victims have both the right to return to the land from which they were dispossessed by Israel, and the right under international law to resist the illegal, oppressive and life-threatening occupation and siege to which they are subjected.

The correct response is for the United Nations to raise a force to arrest the killers, charge them with murder, and bring them to trial before the International Criminal Court.

In contrast, our Prime Minister calls for an investigation of these admittedly ‘inexcusable acts,’ knowing full well what happened to the investigations into the 2008-9 and 2014 Gaza massacres.  The United States rendered them inoperable.

The Record says Israel ‘should be making a far greater effort to mitigate the loss of civilian life.’  That is, aim the dumb-dumb bullets at the legs, not the heads.

Thus do the Canadian government and media continue to enable Israel’s 70-year campaign to cleanse Palestine of Palestinians.

Ed Eglin

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PALESTINIANS COULD HAVE PREVENTED GAZA TRAGEDY

There were two tragedies in Gaza, on May 14.  The first was that Palestinians died.  The second was that Israel, its security wall, and its army were threatened with obliteration, and were forced to take such measures.

Militant, terrorist Palestinian leaders cynically incited a vulnerable mob to attack a secure fortification, with no concern for the lives and safety of their fellow-citizens, just to make a political statement.  The heavily-armed leaders remained mostly safe, well behind their cannon fodder.

Just because none of those killed possessed guns, they were far from unarmed.  They had stones and slings, like David killed Goliath with.  They had Molotov cocktails.  The defenders were not to know who had guns – or rockets, or high explosives.

“Dum-dum bullets” fragment on impact.  I believe that Ed meant mushrooming bullets, though, other than his letter, I have read no mention of their use in this fray.

Any police officer will tell that they are trained to fire at center of mass.  When a screaming mob, intent on your death and destruction attacks, there is no time for the niceties of aiming for rapidly-moving legs.  All shots are to be toward the center of the mob.  Even if hundreds of legs were maimed, apologists like Ed would probably complain about the number of cripples created.

Israel was created by the United Nations, in an area that they had been dispossessed from by the Arabs, and it has the right to protect its existence.  ‘Under siege’ means to be surrounded.  Palestinians are not under siege by Israel.  They may move back at any time.  Israel is surrounded by, and under siege from militant Muslims, whose rallying cry is to kill all Israelis, and drive them into the sea.

There are two sides to every story. Both sides of this one were regrettable, but to blame Israel for something that Palestinian leaders created, is biased and wrong.

(Both sides now)

Archon