Flash Fiction #263

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

EXCESS TO REQUIREMENTS

It’s a good thing I’m retired, and have nowhere to go and all day to get there.  They’re hauling the raw material for Trump’s wigs away.  It’s going to a carpet factory to make new flooring for Kamala Harris’s office. Perhaps when it’s delivered, someone could teach her how to pronounce her name correctly.

Her Father, Kamal, pronounced his name, kah-mahl, so, properly, hers should be kah-mahl-ah.  I wonder if the chicken or the egg came first.  Someone would have us believe that there is no connection to Islam, and she’s a white Valley Girl, with a name resembling Pamela.

***

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

Book Review #25

The status quo is not working!
The Republic is disintegrating!

And all of this was foreseen as far back as the early 1960s.  It is a wonderful, empathetic, humanistic thing for the government to help those in need.  The author saw how socialistic support needed to be overseen and controlled – but wasn’t.

Pay a farmer not to raise a particular crop, to protect the income of other farmers who did.  Pay a single mother, so that she and her child could be assured food, clothing and housing.  Pay welfare to a man put out of work by social or technological changes.

Soon, the farmer neglects the maintenance of his equipment, and can’t go back to his trade, even when it is allowed.  The single mother has another child(ren), to increase her guaranteed monthly stipend.  She feels no urge to obtain a provider (A man, in the ‘60s), an education or training, or a job.  The guy on welfare deals drugs or robs corner stores on the side, because it’s easier than getting a real job.

Human nature being what it is, millions of people get lazy, and get used to the new status quo.  There is no impetus to do for themselves.  They become comfortable letting the government provide a reduced, but assured, standard of living.

The book: Space Viking
The book: The Cosmic Computer

The author: H. Beam Piper

The review:

Originally titled “Junkyard Planet”

Born in 1904, Piper was too young for World War I, and too old for World War II, but he must have observed the mountains of materiėl that was left when peace was finally, suddenly, achieved.  In 1963 and 1964, after the Korean War, he wrote these two cautionary, laissez-faire tales.

In each of these books, both initially set on the same planet, after an interstellar war, the people – the society – are poor.  Despite Billions of (dollars) credits worth of goods and equipment being left behind, aside from the occasional prospector/scavenger, no-one bothers to look for it.  They are so used to Big Government taking care of them, that they don’t rouse themselves to improve their own lot.

The two stories are essentially the same, only in one, Piper offers a social/financial solution, while in the other he shows a more political/military answer.  It’s the Stone Soup Theorem.  In each case, an exasperated, instigator protagonist starts a cycle of getting individuals and groups off their lethargic asses, by promising them something for nothing – if they’ll just put some work into his plan.

His credulous followers do not receive what he promises them – they get something much grander and better.  Companies are started, jobs are created, construction and trade is stimulated, unemployment almost disappears, wages go up, welfare goes down, taxes are paid, and infrastructure is rejuvenated.  The people are given back their pride, self-respect, and an incentive to continue to improve themselves and their society.

If only this would work in real life, but it won’t happen until we get a real leader – an honest visionary – who can convince a populace of passive takers, and a government of enabling vote-buyers, that more projects like the TVA – the Tennessee Valley Authority – and the Hoover Dam, will ultimately give back far more than they cost.

ROM

A blog-friend has asked me to read a book.
Okay.  I’ve got lots of experience; in fact, I’m reading three of them, right now.

Read Our Manuscript

She wants me to read Her book, Kevin: Murder Beneath The Pines.  Our fellow-blogger, the lovely KayJai, has published her third book, and wants me to read and review it.  I am honored and willing, if somewhat under-qualified.

This will be the sixth such book that I have read.  The first was for an author in Washington.  I did a terrible job, because I thought I knew what I was doing – but didn’t.  I have read four for BrainRants, who made it a lot easier, and more logical.  You can’t put colored pencil marks on a digital copy, so he sent all of his in a Word file with numbered lines.

Don’t ever attempt to do your own proof-reading.  Get someone else – preferably three other people.  When you read your own work, you will see what your mind expects to see, and errors that might irk readers can sneak through.

This book is not yet Great Literature.  She is still on a learning curve.  For what it is, the third attempt by a busy lady, it is a delightful little murder mystery, suitable to be discussed at a book club meeting, or a knitting circle.  It begins with a Dilbert-like glimpse at office politics, but soon devolves into a look at darkness, not only in the deep, piney woods, but in the hearts and souls of men.  Small-town characters have to learn to deal with big-city-type crime, and its after-effects on the survivors.

If you are writing, or thinking of writing a book, and need/want a Beta-reader, I am usually available.  My forte is the words, and usage, and construction, and punctuation.  I am not so insightful or helpful with plot, story arc or character development, although I often have some opinions.

Well, enough about me.  Now it’s your turn – to provide emotional support by returning soon to read my next post.

Flash Fiction #253

PHOTO PROMPT © Jennifer Pendergast  

FREE BIRD

It is so comforting to Know – to know no doubts – to have all the answers, even when they are not the right ones.

People feel safe when they can identify – apply labels to others – politics, religion, gender, language, nationality.  It gives the illusion of control of their lives.

Other folks, and their related social problems, are complex, and fully-formed.  They are not easy, one-dimensional, cookie-cutter simple.

It is usually better to make decisions and form opinions based on reality, rather than preconceived notions.  More people should try it.  They might find those feared – and hated – Others…. are quite sweet.

***

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 – V

How can we miss you, if you won’t go away?

I hope, by the time I publish this, that the gunfire has died down, the fires are out, the smoke has cleared, all the Biden inauguration rioters protesters have been arrested, and Nancy Pelosi’s lectern has been returned – again.

This polar expedition into American politics is brought to you by the words

VAPID

Flavorless, tiresome, prosaic

VACUOUS

Lacking ideas or intelligence, empty, stupid, inane
– and

VAINGLORIOUS

Boastful or vain, ostentatious

I borrowed them from the Kardshians, to give to Donald (Here’s your hat – What’s your hurry) Trump, as a going away present.  Twenty years of Keeping Up With them produced less damage to the American culture than four years with him.  He didn’t even have enough class to attend his own going-away party, but snuck away to Mar-a-Lago, like the phoney Wizard of Oz behind the curtain.  He would not accept the inevitable, and step aside with grace and dignity.  How a man plays the game says a lot about his character, but how he loses says it all.

I wonder who wound him up and set him loose on the unsuspecting public.  Perhaps he is a self-made megalomaniac.  At least when George W. Bush’s lips moved, you could see Dick Cheney’s hand stuck up his ass.

Speaking of an ass…. There’s another word I’d like to pin on this donkey as hee-haw sulks off into the sunset.

VINDICTIVE

He is so full of ego – and other substances – that he really thinks that the entire American population idolizes him.  He truly believes that someone – somehow – stole the election, and the second term, from him.  He has loyalty only to himself.  Anyone of his political confederates who fails to completely and immediately agree with him, gets tossed under the bus.  In fact, he’ll drive the bus.  We couldn’t hear it, inside the White House, but he brought his trademarked phrase – You’re Fired – with him.  He ruined more political careers than compulsory lie-detector tests.

Words beginning with the letter V are not much more common than X, Y, or Z.  I’ve used so many to roast Trump with, that next year, we may have to drop in at The Stag Shop, and purchase a Vibrator.   😉

Flash Fiction #243

PHOTO PROMPT © Trish Nankivell

IT’S OVER!!

You probably wouldn’t remember
I probably couldn’t forget

The year that shouldn’t have been – but was!

Good-Goodbye 2020!  Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on your way out.  We are looking forward to the arrival of your rich, handsome replacement – 2021.

You’ve had many of us looking for brain-bleach, to erase an annum which took Mister Jeopardy! – Alex Trebek from us, but gave us COVID19, and a petulant ex-president who won’t admit defeat.  We’ll see who Secret Service believes is the real President.  tRump may get some 9MM help moving out.

I forecast a warm, rosy future.

***

Click above to hear The Steve Miller Band sing about Jungle Love.
Steve wrote the song about a girl, but the sentiments could easily apply to the present social and political situation.

But lately you live in the jungle
I never see you alone
But we need some definite answers
So I thought I would write you a poem
The question to everyone’s answer
Is usually asked from within
But the patterns of the rain and the truth they contain
Have written my life on your skin
You treat me like I was your ocean
You swim in my blood when it’s warm
My cycles of circular motion
Protect you and keep you from harm
You live in a world of illusion
Where everything’s peaches and cream
We all face a scarlet conclusion
But we spend our time in a dream

***

BTW:  The whistles that you hear, like the ones in Jackson Brown’s Loadout/Stay are a language all their own, based on whistles used by shepherds to control their herd-dogs at long distances.  The roadies (and their boss) need to communicate across large arenas and amphitheaters, where voices will not carry.  One short – one long – two short, one long – one long, shrill, sustained screech – these, and a little pointing,  all convey information.

***

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

Jesus!  More One-Liners??!

I found $20 in a parking lot today, and I thought, What Would Jesus Do?….
….so I turned it into wine.

You know what borders on stupidity?….
….Canada and Mexico

My wife bought me a 2021 calendar….
….My days are numbered now.

Neutering your pets….
….makes them less nuts

Helvetica and Times New Roman walk into a bar….
….”Get Out Of Here!” shouts the bartender, “We don’t serve your type.”

Hear about the new restaurant, named Karma?….
….There’s no menu.  You get what you deserve.

How do you drown a hipster?….
….Throw him in the mainstream.

Why did the hipster burn his mouth?….
….He drank coffee before it was cool.

What kind of exercise do lazy people do?….
….Diddly-squats.

I got my wife a fridge for her birthday….
….I can’t wait to see her face light up when she opens it.

Don’t try to write with a broken pencil….
….It’s pointless.

I was gonna tell a pizza joke….
….but it’s too cheesy.

My wife complained that I didn’t buy her flowers….
….To be honest, I didn’t know she sold flowers.

I’m a social vegan….
….I avoid meet

My math teacher called me average….
….How mean!

Pilates??!….
….I thought you said pie and lattes.

I told my wife that a husband ages like wine.  We get better with age….
….Then she locked me in the cellar.

I’ll tell you what often gets overlooked….
….Garden fences

Don’t start any vast projects….
….with half-vast ideas

Ever wonder if illiterate people….
….get the full effect of alphabet soup?

How was Rome split in two?….
….With a pair of Caesars….
….Nope!  Unintended.

What happens when you play a country song backwards?….
….It gets even more annoying

Be strong….
….I whispered to my Wi-Fi signal

I ran out of toilet paper and had to use newspaper….
….Times are rough

I have a split personality….
….Said Tom, being frank

I failed Math in high school so many times….
….I can’t even count

I used to have a handle on life….
….But then it broke

Don’t you hate it when someone answers their own questions?….
….I do.

It takes a lot of balls….
….To golf the way I do

People who use selfie-sticks….
….Need to take a good, long look at themselves.

 

WOW #66

The elections are coming!  The elections are coming!  Actually, they’ve been had – and so has the electorate.  It was Donald tRump against Whatzizname.  Let’s skip past Pathology and Psychology, and go directly to

PSEPHOLOGY

ORIGIN

Psephology, “the study of elections,” comes from Greek psêphos “small stone, pebble.” (The Greeks used pebbles in counting and arithmetic functions; the ancient Athenians also used pebbles to cast votes in elections and trials.) The element –logy is the completely naturalized combining form used in the names of sciences (geology, biology) and bodies of knowledge (theologyastrology).

The 20th-century British historian R.B. McCallum wrote in a personal letter that while with C.S. Lewis and other heavy-hitting philologists, he proposed the term electionology, which so offended the sensibilities of Lewis and the others that they proposed the etymologically correct psephology, avoiding the dreadful Latin-Greek hybrid. Psephology entered English in the mid-20th century.

At first I thought that I would need to be paid – handsomely – to study elections.  Elections themselves seem to be interesting only to CPAs and statisticians.  However, the dramatis personae, the cast of characters, has evolved to make them high drama, and low comedy.  After that first Punch and Biden debate, I thought that they would have to provide the moderator for the second with a cattle prod.  It seems that a simple mute switch was sufficient, although sparks still flew.

I composed this post before the Great American Election of 2020, so, no spoilers.  Don’t tell me how it turned out.  No matter who won, the American public lost.  Now we Canadians face the inevitable march to the polls, to choose between Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dumber.  I’m gonna study my crosswords till they spend my pension on Green Energy.   😯

WOW #64

I recently ran into a neologism.  😯  A little Bondo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bondo_(putty) and some spray paint, and all was well.

I’m talking about

MALAPHOR

malaphor – Is also called an idiom blend.  Most of us have heard one or two.  Many of us have created one.  It happens when the mind is so busy putting together a sentence that we mash together two idioms, to produce an amusing-sounding result.

Recently, a lady blogger said, “I’m slipping on my words.”  This is a mixture of, slip of the tongue and tripping over one’s words.  The cube-drone who invented, “trial by error,” was having trouble justifying his project’s expenses, and combined his two trials, trial and error, and trial by fire

The guy who was angry at a tRump apologist showed restraint, but invented, “biting my teeth” by melding biting my tongue, and baring my teeth (in anger).  Biting your teeth is as hard as biting the back of your neck, or biting your elbow – although, a recent online poll asked if I could lick my elbow – which makes me suspect that some Ubangis can do it.

An advertising executive said that he had to “pull the bullet”, because he was forced to bite the bullet and pull some strings, to get assistance from senior management.  ….Speaking of pulling some strings – a television comedian told an interviewer that he had “pulled out all the strings” on his recent special, mixing the pulling strings (to get the best production,) and pulling out all the stops on an old organ, to get the grandest performance from it.

I’m usually only confused with one thing at a time.  Have you created or heard some other malaphors??  😕

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.

***

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

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