’22 A To Z Challenge – F

 

Poor overworked English-language words!

Like, I don’t mean words like, like.  I mean words like the poor word, run.  The dictionary definition for that one runs to a page and a half.  Its somewhat less stressed and overburdened country cousin is

FLAG

Seems simple enough – a colored, often patterned piece of cloth, representing countries, provinces, states, corporations, etc.  A visit to my American friend revealed that, of 14 houses on his cul-de-sac, 8 of them proudly, patriotically displayed the Stars and Stripes.  But….

To my gardener wife, a flag is an iris, or similar, broad-leafed plants

To a landscaper or paver, a flag is a thin flat stone, used to create walkways or driveways.

To a hawk or falcon, a flag is a tuft of feathers on the leg.

To a hunter, a flag is the tail of a deer, or of his hunting dog.

To a journalist, a flag is the nameplate of his newspaper or magazine.

As a verb, flag can mean to affix a flag(s), as on a ship or building.

Flag can mean to signal or warn – as to flag a taxi or a bus.
My Father used to describe scantily clad females as, “Not wearing enough clothes to flag a handcar.”
The meaning of the term handcar will be provided upon request, at no additional cost.  I have ridden on a handcar several times, sometimes assisting to propel them.  Their gasoline-powered replacements came to be known as jiggers.

Flag can mean to mark a file, or other, for attention.
I’m going to flag his tax return for an audit.

Lastly, flag can mean to diminish in strength, energy or interest.
My enthusiasm for this project is beginning to flag.
I am going to wave the white flag for now, but I’ll be back on Wednesday.

Fibbing Friday Noon

Sshhh!   Pensitivity101 wasn’t looking, and I had a chance to snaffle another list of things to lie about, which is better than just being a lazy lay-about lout.

  1. What is rolling stock?

It’s what a stoner keeps in his pocket – a little more openly, now that Canada has decriminalized the shit – some BC Gold, or Maui Zowie if he can afford it, and Zig-Zags.  I used to buy my grass from my German uncle.  I would only ask for the weed, just to hear him say, Papers??!
2.  What is a rolling deck?

That’s what a professional gambler uses to shear sheep separate the naïve hopeful from their paychecks.  In the hands of an adept card-sharp, (No, that isn’t spelled wrong.) those playing cards go more places than an IRS auditor.
3.  What is role play?

In the distant past, it was a method of improved, sexual enjoyment.  You put on your teeny bikini, and I’ll pretend to be the pool-cleaner guy.  Nowadays, it serves a more sedate purpose.  I’ll pretend to be Red Riding Hood’s Grandma…. and take a nap in the bed.  Don’t disturb me for about an hour.
4.  What is ‘on a roll’?

It’s how I want my garlic pork pâté, and baked Brie and red-pepper jelly, served.  Fancy crackers are okay, but they should be reserved for cheddar or Oka cheese, or smoked oysters.  After I finish grazing my way through the hors d’oeuvres, it’s where my elastic-band track pants rest.
5.  What does a rolling stone gather?

It used to be underage, willing eager groupies.  These guys have been around so long that recently, a spirit-channeller got a message from a T-Rex, saying, “Enough, already!  Retire!”  Now, it’s bionic joint transplants, an obituary notice for the one who can read a calendar, and one member’s father’s cremains.
6.  What is a rolling boil?

It’s what I reach, listening to/reading these scientifically-illiterate, anti-vaxxer morons.
I don’t want that stuff injected, because Bill Gates will insert tiny robots that can track me and know what I’m doing.
Do you own a Smart-Phone??!
Yeah.  Why?
Ha-ha-ha-ha!
7.  What is a rolling pin?

 

It’s what I hope to see after I toss a ball down a bowling lane.  Of course, whereas Canadians are nice guys, (sorry) we don’t have the balls to be bowlers like Americans.  Many of us use metric-sized balls to bowl five-pin games.
8.  What is a steam roller?

In the big-hair days of the 70s and 80s, it was what stylists used to create body.  They wrapped women’s hair around cylinders as big as a beer can, and stuck their heads into a space-suit helmet kind of thing that spewed hot vapor.  The beauty-seekers came out as fluffy and moist as rice buns at a Chinese buffet.
9.  What is a roller coaster?

Something like the patented Rolls-Cunardly children’s Curb Blaster scooter.  It Rolls downhill quite easily, but Cunardly make it up the next slope, so the rider remains just a coaster until the little screen addict actually puts some energy into their transportation.
10. What is a roller skate?

He’s a seldom-seen flat-fish character in the Sherman’s Lagoon comic strip.  He’s related to my earlier beach-ape Cruiser character , but didn’t have the ascendancy to evolve into a land creature.  He would love to be a high roller – sex, drugs, rock and roll, booze and gambling – but winds up breaded and deep-fried.

I decline to make any more statements, or answer any questions, until my lawyer gets here to inform you that I will be back on the straight and narrow in a couple of days – HONEST!  😉

Where America Went Wrong

I’m pretty sure it happened somewhere between Plymouth harbor, and Plymouth Rock.

Great leaders have great ideas, and make great plans…. and then their selfish and moronic followers mutate them into something against their own best interests – and everyone else’s.

The Pilgrim Fathers (because they listened to the Pilgrim Mothers about as much as Arabs listen to Muslim mothers) sailed their flocks across the Atlantic to obtain freedom from religious harassment.

The Pilgrim rank and file, many of whom were quite rank, and abrasive, found a wide-open land with no controlling central government – a place where might was right, and inter-racial policy was established at the point of a flintlock.

These greedy idiots set a pattern of confusing freedom with rebellion.  Their descendants mistake liberty with licence.  They seize all their ‘rights,’ but refuse to accept responsibility.  They have turned independence into anarchy.

They care only about themselves, and not the country, or their fellow-citizens.  I ain’t getting’ no dang COVID shot, an’ I ain’t wearin’ no faggy mask.  40,000 folks was killed by firearms last year.  I got no gun trainin’, and I stick my loaded Glock under my pillow, where the kids can find it, but you can take my gun away from me when you can pry it outta my cold, dead hand.

There are several thousand middle-school graduate, ego receptacles, who call themselves Sovereign Citizens.   They claim that they are not part of the country, and are not subject to the rule of government.  They hold jobs in ‘the country,’ and accept payment in coin (bills) of the realm, but refuse to buy the land that they occupy, or pay taxes to fund the roads and infrastructure that they get to use.

Politics and religion are the two arenas where this problem is most noticeable.  #MeToo has become me only.  Red States vs. Blue States….  😯  Co-operation and compromise have become four-letter words. Freedom has become something that is not applicable to the whole, but rather, something that has been appropriated by the most vocal fraction.  ‘Woke’ is no longer a joke.  It is a tsunami of ego-trips that is washing away all care and consideration for others.  If only these arrogant assholes could be taught some good manners.

The problem isn’t that Johnny can’t read.  The problem isn’t even that Johnny can’t think.  The problem is that Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is.  He confuses it with feeling.  Once upon a time, schools used to teach students how to think.  More recently, they’ve been teaching students what to think.  Many of them have finally reached the point of teaching students not to think.

Is there a solution to this situation??  I fear not.  Perhaps it is just best to stand well back from the imminent, inevitable explosion.  Make friends with a ‘prepper,’ hope for the best, and ride it out.

If we’re all still here, I’ll see you again in a couple of days.  Keep your powder dry.   😳

You’ll Pay For That

A man appears before a judge, requesting to change his name.
The judge asks, “What is your name now?”
The man replies, “Joe Schitz!”
The judge says, “Well, I can certainly understand you wanting to change it.  What do you want to change it to?”
“Bob!”

There are 7 kinds of English surnames.

Personal Characteristics – Like nicknames – Short, Hardy, Small, Strong
Place Names – Sutton, Bedford, Hamilton
Occupational – Weaver, Tanner, Miller
Estate Name – Windsor, Staunton
Geographical – Bridge, Brooks, Hill
Ancestral – Benson (son of Ben), Marriot (daughter of Mary)
Patronage – Hickman was Hick’s man(servant), Kilpatrick was a follower of Patrick

Back when women were allowed to stay in hospital overnight after giving birth, the wife was put in a semi-private room with a young woman married to  a Dutch-Canadian named vanderPlaats.  Without me asking, he launched into a story about his name.  He said that when the officials came around and told people that they had to have a surname, many thought that it was a joke, and gave themselves silly, stupid names.  He claimed that his name meant ‘A Big Piss.”

Either he was kidding me, or someone had kidded him.  His name comes from a family important enough to live/work next to the city square = from the place – merchants or administrators.  He was wrong, yet in a way, right.

The blame name-game went rather smoothly in Britain.  Names were assigned.  Taxes were levied.  In places like The Germanies and the Netherlands though, opportunistic greed and vindictive bureaucratic pettiness gave the appointed nominators chances to fatten their wallets and punish real or imagined wrongs.

Getting a ‘Good’ family name became dependent on wealth, power, or the good-will of the census taker.  The nobility, like the von Hess, or von Beethoven, got names that showed that they owned and taxed cities and provinces.  The very rich, like the Jewish bankers, got names like Goldman, and Silverman, to display their wealth.

For the rest of the population, names were available for sale to the highest bidder.  If you could fatten the retirement fund, or kiss the ass of, the King’s representative, names like Ehrmentraut = Honored, Reiner = Purer, Erbe = Inheritance (of the Kingdom of God) and Waltraud = Morally Strong, were available.  If you had no money, or had somehow annoyed the bureaucrat, names that meant Bookmaker/Gambler, Cheese-curd (Face), Disrespectful, and Rat-Catcher were handed out.  Being Joe Schitz might be the least of your problems.

After a couple of embarrassing episodes, I learned not to ask locals the meanings of their names.  I just bring them home, and run them through Google Translate.  Do you have, or have you run into, interesting non-English names?

’21 A To Z Challenge – X

 

 

 

 

 

There are no words in the English language that begin with the letter X.  Prove that I’m wrong.

X-ray is not a word.  ‘Ray’ is a word, but the prefixing X is just a letter meaning ‘unknown.’  It is not pronounced like the X in taxes or Texas.  Much the same is true of the X-Acto craft knife.  This is just a commercial label.  Like the corporate identifier, NXIVM, it contains letters, and can be pronounced, but is not a true word with a definition.

As I claimed in my There Are No Words To Describe It post, there is no real English language.  Almost all words beginning with X came here from ancient Greek.  While occasionally used, they often have not been truly “adopted.”  They are more like foster children that science and medicine pay us to support.

Xerography, a compound word from Greek, meaning dry print, for document reproduction, was developed by the Haloid Corporation, which wisely changed its name to Xerox.  For years, they held a stranglehold monopoly.  Finally though, a dozen, mostly Asian, electronics companies began producing newer, better models.

They found that the printing of what had been scanned did not have to be done immediately.  The data could be sent down telephone lines to a remote printer, and a facsimile of the original could be produced.  And so, the fax machine was invented.

As computers developed, these data files could be sent from the scanner/printer to the PC, and from the computer to the printer.  Humans, being the NSFW idiots that we are, soon found amusing, entertaining uses for the scanners that weren’t mentioned in the users’ manual.

There was – there may still be – a website named Boobscan, which entreated female office workers to place their bare chest on the glass plate, press scan, and send the result off to be ranked and archived with thousands of others.

What could be done on the top, could also be done at the bottom.  Not to be left out, (mostly) men sat on the scanners and took pictures of their butts, just to prove what assholes they were.  However voluptuous, the weight of a pair of breasts is nowhere near what a fat-ass is.  I sometimes wonder how many copy machines are broken during X-rated, alcoholic Christmas parties.

So, X marks the spot of another year’s post, from a rapidly reducing list of options.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

No matter how cynical you are, it’s never enough to keep up.

I learned about scams at a very young age.  My Mother obtained two successive jobs in Detroit during the Dirty Thirties, in the middle of ‘The Great Depression’.  She worked at Burroughs Adding Machine as an assembler, and later moved to a better-paying position in the kitchens of Detroit General Hospital.

Pencils could be bought in a store for 1 cent each.  On the sidewalks of the commercial district where she worked, could be seen a little Jewish man, with a mug half-full of pencils, and a sign, 2 cents each – 100% markup.  Mom said that one time she gave him two pennies, and took a pencil, as many others did.  Some dropped in the two cents, but declined to take one.  Some dropped in the occasional nickel, or even the rare dime.

She shared a tiny apartment in a huge building, amongst several more, with few trees, little green space, and no parks.  Sometimes on Sundays, to get away from the industrial blandness, she and her room-mate would take a bus to a more upscale residential neighborhood.  There they would tour the area, enjoying the shade, the grass, the flowers, and the birds and squirrels, staring longingly at the magnificent homes.

One Sunday, they passed a large red-brick manor home on an acre lot of manicured lawn and gorgeous gardens, behind a six-foot wrought-iron fence.  When they reached the driveway, there was the little Jewish man, washing his Cadillac.  😳

On my Flash Fiction about seeing a roadside beggar, a commenter from England said that a panhandler in his city has been spotted ending his day by climbing into a nice car.  Toronto had a similar scam artist.  The Shaky Lady was regularly seen in the banking district.  She had muscle tremors, a distorted face, and difficulty speaking…. until quitting time, when a Toronto Sun reporter noticed her striding up a side street, and driving away in this year’s Audi.

I’m not saying that begging as a means of support is easy, especially the roadside panhandling.  You have to stand on pavement for hours, exposed to wind, rain, heat, cold, snow, and exhaust fumes.  You can’t eat or drink on the job, or it destroys the image.  You generally can’t take a break, and washrooms are not available – unless there’s a nearby clump of bushes.

One of my biggest objections to individuals supporting themselves in this manner, is that these people are like leeches on society, adding nothing – no goods or services – to the economy and the general welfare.  My other main objection is that most, or all, of the money received is unreported, and no tax is paid on it.  This means that I (and you) have to pay more taxes for infrastructure and social services, like supporting the unfortunates who really need it. Get some ethics!  Get some self-respect! Get a job!

DON’T TAKE THEIR WORD FOR IT

Dictionary

Pros

The crashed space contraction – was actually a weather balloon contraption.

This Texas joined has many options – Move your joint closer to that dictionary.

She one the homecoming queen title – That’s won title I’m impressed with.

From the prospective of the actor – he should have a bit more perspective.

Facepalm

They wear mink coats made of polar bear fur:facepalm:

I’ll make a help meet for him – A helpmate would have been a better idea.  This isn’t a dating site.

The ugly crowd finally disbursed. – Not unless they were paid to disperse.

The city had a wide away of amenities – Alwight, Elmer Fudd, just look at this array.

She has plead guilty – I plead that you use the word pled.

Companies that engage in development no they have a responsibility – They’re responsible to know the right word.

Overwhelms their soy-dullened senses – I would offer a zingy riposte to that, but I’m busy eating a “Beyond Meat”© burger…. and I just can’t seem to think of one.

His chariot-horses were poisend – Any desire to read his book was poisoned.

Australian writers of a radical bend – I bent over, and found the proper word.

They tried to recoop their expenses – put them back in a cage till tax-time.

The monster was bearing its great fangs – since it was born.  Now it is baring them.

It’s more comfortable without the extra seems – It seems that you should use seams.

He continues to pressure his passion in arts – No pressure, just look up pursue

Camoflauge Chic – Apparently the correct spelling was camouflaged.

New York Times
The President has not been seeing wearing a mask – the writer should be seen at an ESL class.

They weren’t sure what the reporter’s roll was – I believe it was rye, possibly pumpernickel

US racing violence leaves PM without words – I have one – Race!,  %&$#@

Amateurs

In the mean, politicians fixate on getting re-elected. – In the main, that is true.

I dear say that reduces the damage – I dare say that construction is wrong.

Any nation that was invited in time of war – I invite you to look up invaded.

If any descent was voiced – I dissent with that spelling

I had him paged as an anemic redneck – I had you pegged as illiterate.

On sale, Pop-Tards – on a sign printed by Re-Tard

She treated him with distain – getting the lipstick off his collar.  I have disdain for her.

Undo credence is given to tradition – but undue attention is not given to the correct word.

Your boyfriend seen nice – He also seemed to speak English.

People who rock up to you when you’re busy – should just walk away.

When religion grabs the leavers of political power – It’s time to lever it back out, and leave.

Policed said they would canvas the building – Threw a tarp over it so that so that English teachers could canvass it.

This harps back to a time – When we said that it harks back.

Working with medal to produce something – Put the pedal to the metal.

The Universe was created it if nothing – A Universe of confusion was created out of that construction.

A kid nailed a two by floor in a tree – My Dad called it a two by twice.

It was the Law of Unattended Consequences – You should have intended to attend English class.

All I had to do was right them down – All that’s left is to write the right word.

Except the one recanting the tale – Recant that spelling, and go with recounting.

We were weakly church attenders, and I alter-served – But would have done better, at home with a textbook.

Gotta love those threats of eternal tournament – That misusage is a torment to me.

Flash Fiction #45 – Redux

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

PHOTO PROMPT – © Jennifer Pendergast

Our den-mother is away on vacation, and I fear that my inspiration has accompanied her.  It goes out more often than my back.  I am taking advantage of her offer to repost a Flash Fiction from April, 2015, with some minor editing.

Title Yard Sale – Read the following short story, and then pick the title you feel best applies.  No extra charge.

IRONY
DICHOTOMY
REDNECKS IN TRAINING
COGNITIVE DISSONANCE
IMAGINE BUM-PING INTO YOU

SAME SEX MARRIAGE??!  Over my dead body – better still, over theirs.

Those filthy fags parading around – “I’ve got a job.  I pay taxes. I want the same civil rights as everybody else.”  They’re worse than the Niggers and Jews.  Niggers is just weak-minded jungle bunnies.  They don’t know no better.  The Jews might be Christ-killin’ heathens – but them perverts is sinners.

Civil rights??  I say cut their junk off and throw them all in jail.

Here we are at the church.  Take a look at the sign Bobby.  What’s Reverend Larkin’s sermon theme today?  “Love One Another.”  Ahhh – that’s nice.

***

And has it got any better in the last five years??  😕

***

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

You’ll Pay For That

Every year, around tax time, there are a spate of hard-luck stories about how unfair the American tax system is. One subject which always comes up is about Americans who work out of the country.

The American IRS is the greediest, graspingest, most inflexible, most confiscatorial system in the world. They make paying the vig to an underworld loan shark look easy and polite.

Many people think that those who work abroad are well-to-do. Many are free-lancers, barely getting by, and the American government makes it overly difficult. There is a law which states that a person born outside the US, to even one American citizen, is also automatically an American citizen. That was the rule that allowed Ted Cruz to run for President, even though he was born in Canada.

IRS

The Internal Revenue Service has a rule that, any citizen working outside the country, must pay taxes to them. This often means that people have to pay taxes twice, and the IRS paperwork involved is intrusive, convoluted and arcane. It’s enough to cause a career bureaucrat to throw up his hands and retire.

The money-grubbing and paperwork has got so bad, that many Americans are giving up their citizenship. No taxation without representation! This used to be an easy “fill in a form, and pay a $300 fee.” In retaliation, the IRS has instituted new regulations which require a whole tree’s worth of paper, and an increased charge, north of $2000. You have to pay lots of money, not to have to pay lots of money.

The shit has hit the fan, even if it’s not obvious yet. This year, just about tax-time, something occurred which will cause waves, if not change the entire ex-pat tax scheme. A baby was born. There was no star in the East, and definitely no three Wise Men.

Prince Archie

Megan Markel gave birth to Archie Harrison Windsor. Being born in a foreign country, to one parent of American citizenship, the Federal Government has declared him to be an American citizen. The IRS rule says that he must declare all assets, income, and increase in financial worth – and pay taxes on them.

Most 1-year-old children don’t have much of an income stream, but as a member of the British Royal Family, Archie owns a chunk of a nation, and his worth is considerable, and increases constantly. The chances of the IRS collecting a piece of that, are less than the Jehovah’s Witness Church forcing Michael Jackson to tithe 10% of his obscene income.

There’s trouble looming down the line, too. All American citizens, no later than the day after their 18th birthday, must register for Selective Service. Can you see a future King of England fighting in a foreign war? Nah, I can’t either.

The invasive, prying paperwork that either Megan or Archie would have to submit, must include full financial information about a spouse or parent, since that can affect taxes owed. This means that Prince Harry must also reveal to the IRS, all his assets, income, and investments. I can just imagine a Federal clerk opening a letter on Buckingham Palace stationery.

Dear IRS

Re: your request for full disclosure of Harry Windsor’s financial situation

FUCK YOU! Strong language to follow.

I will not be surprised to hear of special dispensation in this case, but surely some enterprising lawyer/taxpayer team can use it as a precedent, to force changes to a Federal Department whose mascot is a shark.

Shark

IS ATHEISM A RELIGION?

Religions

‘Theism’ means ‘belief in a god or gods’. Believers usually sign up to the values and principles of a godly belief system: it’s an ideology. Theistic ideologies are commonly known as faiths or religions. Many ideologies have the suffix ‘ism’; for example, liberalism, socialism, and communism but, in the case of ‘atheism’, the ‘ism’ ending has merely been inherited from its root: ‘theism’. The prefix ‘a’ turns the meaning around to the negative, that is, ‘not a belief in a god’, so ‘atheism’ is as far from a faith or religion as it’s possible to get.

Atheism is not a belief system, so that should end this article right here, but theists will likely not be satisfied. They might point to the things atheists and religions have in common: religions form churches, atheists form associations; churches and atheist associations appoint members to formal roles such as bishop and president; church members give offerings, atheists pay subscriptions; churches hold services, atheist hold meetings. Churches and Atheists both have literature they value and people they admire.

The problem is, these are superficial similarities and if they make Atheism a religion, they make political parties and table tennis clubs religions too. That is obviously absurd.

There is one organization in the United States which makes it their job to decide which group is a religion and which is not, and that’s The Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Religions receive highly favorable treatment in the USA and the IRS wants to avoid giving these advantages to organizations that are not genuine religions. So the IRS has a set of criteria they apply to any group claiming to be a religion. The primary criteria are listed below with how Atheist groups qualify [shown in parenthesis].

  1. Distinct legal existence [Some Atheist groups are legal entities.]
  2. Recognized creed and form of worship [No creed or forms of worship.]
  3. Definite and distinct ecclesiastical government [No ecclesiastical governance.]
  4. Formal code of doctrine and discipline [No doctrine.]
  5. Distinct religious history [No religious history.]
  6. Membership not associated with any other church or denomination [Atheists may join any number of atheist groups.]
  7. Organization of ordained ministers [No ministers of any kind.]
  8. Ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed courses of study [No courses of study.]
  9. Literature of its own [No literature reserved for one group.]
  10. Established places of worship [No worship.]
  11. Regular religious services [No religious services.]
  12. Sunday schools for the religious instruction of the young [No instructing the young.]
  13. Schools for the preparation of its members [No atheist schools.]

With only one criterion applicable to Atheists (and that one all political parties and many clubs share), the IRS won’t be granting religious tax exemptions to Atheist groups any time soon.

Theists might follow-up by asking why Atheists bother to meet to talk about gods they do not believe in. There are several reasons atheists meet but none of them are to talk about gods they don’t believe in. A common reason, especially in very religious countries, is to find some time to socialize with like-minded people who are not preoccupied with religious beliefs.

In many cases, atheists meet as a reaction against religious intolerance, the infiltration of religious dogma into schools and legislation, or the entanglement of church and state. They meet to get organized in an attempt to combat these religious excesses.

Let’s spell this out; Atheists have no beliefs in common, no gods of any kind, nothing they worship, no scripture, no shared values, and no dogma. They have no clergy, no schools, and no sacred buildings. The only thing all Atheists share is a lack of belief in gods.

Why then do the religious so often claim that Atheism is a religion? I don’t know, you’ll have to ask religious people that question. Perhaps it is to try to establish a false equivalency, an attempt to drag Atheism down to the level of a religion—a set of unsubstantiated beliefs, in a landscape where beliefs are held only on faith. If so, they would be completely wrong about that too. 😯