’21 A To Z Challenge – L

 

So, there I was, languidly lolling about.  I was afflicted with a bout of lethargic lassitude.  An A To Z Challenge post for the letter

was due, and I was lounging around, instead of writing.  I don’t want to say that my composition regimen was lax, but nothing was landing on the page.

The quick red fox jumped over the lazy brown dog.

I don’t give a shit!
Perhaps you should take a laxative.

I don’t want to have to admit that I am lazy.  (Among other reasons) That’s why I don’t have a web-cam on my monitor.  The French have a couple of softer, kinder phrases that I can use, and if it’s good enough for the French, I’m laissez-faire, and laissez-ća ā Georges enough to hide behind them.

Laissez-faire just means “let it happen,” a sort of Gallic shrug equivalent to Que sera, sera – yeah, whatever, man.  Laissez-ća ā Georges means, “Let George do it.”  That sounded like a likely solution to my lack of finished blog-post.  I gave George a call, but he was busy leading an LGBTQ+ parade in Luxemburg.

At long last I accepted responsibility for putting letters on the page.  It was the least I could do – and this I what you get when I give my least.  It was an L of a struggle.  Wednesday’s post will have a little more meat to it – curried beef, I believe – but there will also be some tofu dishes for my Vegan readers.  😉  😀

Flash Fiction #262

PHOTO PROMPT© Ted Strutz

CANON LAW

…. But the Contessa’s brother is left-handed – I showed that in chapter III, when I had him defend Uncle Auggie from that footpad.

She can’t approach the Duke, because I had her in Milan when the robbery occurred.

I could have Rodrigo, the valet, carry the message, but I’ve already showed that Duke Milburn refuses to converse with other noble’s servants.

Could my cook tell his cook?

Writing this historical fiction isn’t as easy as it seemed.  I should have put up that story-board when Bob suggested it.

Where’s a really good Deus ex Machina, when I truly need one?

***

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

Money In The Bank

Another heaping helping of OCD??
No thanx!  I’ve got enough already.

The first 15 blogs that I posted, I typed directly into WordPress, and published immediately, subject to random fits of creativity.

THEN I GOT SMART!

I found out about opening a Word file, composing whenever the Muse and I had a one-night-stand, and posting on an established schedule.  Soon I had a dozen posts ‘in the bank,’ ready to go as needed.  Over several years, that number continued to climb – first to 15 – then 20.

I take this blogging thing as seriously as I used to regard any of my jobs.  It is a self-imposed penance.  Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.  It has been nine days since I have written a word.
Say five Hail Marys my son, and create three amusing posts.
  (Just not about The Church, my son.  His Holiness has heard about you, and has sent me an email.)  😈

I can’t be trusted to produce a steady output.  Whenever I have a flash of genius, or just steal a post-theme from another blogger, I bank it in my ‘Blog Notes’ file.  I schedule to publish three posts a week.  I would write three in a day, or five in three days – then not produce a thing for a week.  Once I banked thirteen posts in eight days, and produced nothing more for over two weeks.

Of course, four of those were comedy posts.  I trawl for acceptable jokes, and drop them into the same file.  Control-C/Control-V them into their own posts, and I can build four of them at a time, in an hour.  Slowly but surely, the bank gained interest.  Soon I was up to 25…. and then 30 waiting posts.  Add a few – publish a few – I only worried when the total fell below 20.

Finally, I reached 35 in the bank, and then, a particularly productive week came upon me.  Even with publishing three, the sediment deposit piled up to 39 – and I was so proud of myself.  A tour through blog-post land quickly let the hot air out of my balloon.

One female’s blog-theme was, “Am I The Only One With 57 Unpublished Posts In A Word File??!”
57??  Who does she think she is – Heinz?  It only got worse from there.  One reader stated that she had 113.  Another lady claimed that she had 125.

I need someone to squeeze my head like a lemon rind, to get a few more drops of snark out of me, and onto the page.  The online conversation continued, and finally, my heart palpitations calmed down.  Not one of them had that many unpublished “posts.”  What every one of them had was – an idea here, a theme there, an interesting concept, an opening sentence, a paragraph or two of prose.

The best thing about my posts is – They’re finished.  Interesting or boring, educational or mind-numbingly banal, peaceable or confrontational – they’re done – ready to publish.  There were 41 titles on my unpublished list, but this was one of three that weren’t actually complete yet, so I’m still only at 39.  If I can just get those other two completed by Friday, I’ll set a new personal best record.  How about you??  Do you bank posts?

***

Between the time this post was originally composed – and now, I accepted the 2022 BEDA Challenge – Blog Every Day in April.  Besides my regularly scheduled 13 posts, I will need another 17.  I have composed a warning post, to be published in late-March, and nine of the seventeen others.

With COVID closing the Canada/US border, Erato, my Muse, has not been able to get to Daytona Beach to take part in Girls Gone Wild videos.  She’s been snuggling up to me, and whispering in my ear more than usual.  My unpublished list has reached 55 twice, and now hovers nearer to 50, than 40.  😀  😎

Patient One-Liners

I had my patience tested….
….I’m negative.

Is there rehab for gossiping?….
….I don’t need it, but I’ll tell you does.

The sign on the brothel door said….
….Beat it, we’re closed.

If at first you don’t succeed….
….We have a lot in common.

I f***ing love asterisks….
….I swear by them.

I’m writing a book about hurricanes and tornadoes….
….So far it’s just a draft.
….That first draft really blew me away.

How did the preacher get people to have faith in his words?….
….He became a scientist.

I hope Elon Musk never gets into a scandal….
….Elon-gate is too drawn-out.

A fine is a tax for doing wrong….
….A tax is a fine for doing well

My friend Jack claims that he can talk to vegetables….
….Jack and the beans talk.

Those who get too big for their britches….
….Will be exposed in the end.

Why do bagpipers walk while they play?….
….To get away from the noise.

Nobody thought that Mel Gibson could play a Scot, but look at him now….
….Alcoholic, and a racist.

The three worst blogging mistakes….
….1: Overpromising
….2: Underdelivering

Banks should do a better job of keeping their ATMs filled….
….I went to five today, and they all said Insufficient Funds.

Misspell one word, and the whole text is….
….Urined.

My psychiatrist said that I was immature, so I said I wanted a second opinion….
….He said that I was also delusional.

I have the memory of an elephant….
….I saw it at the zoo.

You know what always catches my eye?….
….Short people with umbrellas.

Lazy person fact #4348791….
….You’re too lazy to read that number.

Pluto just had a party….
….He didn’t even planet.

A man with schizophrenia walked into a bar….
….He bumped into nothing, because the bar is not real.

How do you walk a dog with no legs?….
….Hit him with the first pitch.

’21 A To Z Challenge – D

 

It was the dark of the moon on the 6th of June, in a Kenworth, haulin’ logs.
Actually, it wasn’t.  I only put that in because I just watched a YouTube video of C.W.McCall doing that old CB truckers’ song, Convoy.

It was dark and early Monday morning, two weeks ago.  The sun had not begun to complain about having to rise, to start another work-week for those lucky enough to still have jobs.  I had just published a ‘21 A To Z Challenge post for the letter C.

Remember, you need another post for D in two weeks, and you don’t have anything started.  You have a

DEADLINE

Deadline, schmedline….  That’s 14 days away.  I’ll come up with something.
Tuesday passed in a glorious flash of a Netflix movie and a bowl of popcorn, with a couple of books for a chaser.
Wednesday, I published a post with some words about words.
Deadline threw me a withering glance, like a woman scorned.
You do remember I’m here, don’t you??  You never do anything with me anymore!

I just had a look at Rochelle’s 100-word picture prompt.  I can’t do a thing with it.  I’ll have to figure something to post on Friday.  We’ll go dancing tomorrow, okay?

Thursday slipped into Friday, as I readied and published a back-patting, self-congratulatory post about reviewing another blogger’s book. I basked in the glow of admiration from thousands hundreds maybe 10 or 12 viewers, while Deadline paced back and forth, muttering about suing for alienation of affection.

THERE’S ALWAYS THE WEEKEND….  With 11 years of practice at being retired, the only way I even knew it was late-Sunday/early-Monday again, was that neighbors put out garbage.  I put ours out, and then published a comedy post.
Deadline built a voodoo doll, and was reading a book of incantations.

You know that there’s only one week left, right?  Get off your ass, and get on the keyboard.
That was the last pre-fabricated comedy post I had in reserve.  I’ll assemble 4 more from my Blog Notes stash of jokes tomorrow; then I’ll get right at that D post.

Tuesday – I had an inspiration, and started writing a post about polarization in American politics and religion.
Deadline – tick, tick, tick!!

Wednesday – I published a post with more words, about more words, and started another one to replace it.
DeadlineCan Archon come out and play?
I’m sorry.  He’s had one COVID shot, but apparently he’s suffering a bad case of procrastination.  I smacked him with a calendar, but he just sits there, looking even more stunned than usual.  Maybe tomorrow.

BANG, BANG BANG!!
Open up right now!  This is Deadline, and I have a warrant to search for any sign of a theme, or creative writing.
Thursday already??!  Why the Hell didn’t somebody tell me that I need a post ready by Sunday night?  None of the D words in my file seem appetizing.  I guess I’ll have to do another of those, “If you can’t fix it – Feature it” posts.  I could do one about meeting a deadline.

DeadlineBless you my son.  Say five Robert Heinleins, and have a bottle of sacramental wine while you compose.  You’re still a lazy ass – just not all the time.   😉   😳

Flash Fiction #254

PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart

DREAMS UP IN SMOKE

Cheryl offered to help him with his writing.  A couple who worked at the newspaper dropped by each Friday, and they often discussed the craft.  “Join us.”

The husband said the first thing they did, was smoke dope.  “It frees the creativity.”  He silently demurred, not for moral or legal reasons, but from skepticism.  He’d be the abstaining benchmark.  “I’ll get a beer and catch up.”

A Cheech and Chong blunt got passed around…. around…. and around.  Potatoes, motorcycles, redhead in sales, socks with sandals…. Bright topics bubbled into the conversation – and were immediately forgotten.

There was no creativity here.

***

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

What’s It Worth?

I was just lounging in a big tub of nostalgia.  (Do I still have any on me?
When I was a kid, a dollar meant something, and there weren’t very many millionaires.

First, the farthing (quarter-penny) disappeared – then the half-pence – now, Canada’s penny is no more.  As inflation lops off the bottom, it piles more on top that we soon get used to.

I recently had the chance to re-watch the old movie, The Girl, The Gold Watch, And Everything.  The hero is accused of absconding with$27,000,000.  At first, I couldn’t understand the fuss that was being made.  Now, twenty-seven million is a nice piece of pocket-change.  As the embezzling Congressman said, “A million here – a million there – pretty soon it starts to add up.”  Pretty soon, mere millionaires are a dime-a-dozen.

The son dug out and lent me the John D. MacDonald book that the movie was based on.  He had the 1980, movie-novelization copy, but the book was originally written in 1962.  An online conversion site showed me that One 1962 Dollar – is worth $9.83 today.  The missing 27 million would be worth over a quarter of a $BILLION in 2021 – now that’s worth getting upset about.

This all reminded me of a television show that aired from 1955 to 1960, titled The Millionaire.  Each week, multi-millionaire John Beresford Tipton, had an agent GIVE a cashier’s cheque for $1,000,000 to someone he had chosen.  Tipton’s socio-psychological curiosity was the reason that the show then followed each recipient, to see what they did with the money.

One man who had lost his wife, was despondent, and convinced that he would never find such a love again.  He took a round-the-world cruise, met a sweet, young, available thing onboard, and it all worked out with soap-opera predictability.  One million, back then, would be the equivalent of $10/12 Million today.  The interest alone would accumulate so fast that they never need get off the ship, except to purchase a Rolls-Royce for each port.

The running gag in this show was that, like Charlie, in Charlie’s Angels, except for a hand passing off the cheque at the beginning of each show…. We never saw Tipton, and yet, when I went to research the show, there was a listing for Peter Frees – as Tipton

I had forgotten that voice actors get credits also.  Peter Frees is the most famous person that you’ve never seen.  He actually did three unseen voices during this series.  He has lent his dulcet tones to dozens of video games and dozens of animated movies.  His list of voice credits is longer than the late, great Mel Blanc – Ehhhhh, what’s up with that, Doc?

’20 A to Z Challenge – W

 

 

 

I recently told a reader that I spoke/wrote all my Scottish Gaelic in English.  I told another that I did the same thing with the Spanish that he contributed.  It seems so simple, yet it’s harder than it seems, because there is no English language.  Every word in the language came from somewhere – everywhere – else.

The English language imports words from other languages wholesale, and then claims them as its own.  Some words are ‘naturalized’ – accepted and commonly used – more, and more quickly than others.  Then there are words that only pretentious wordnuts (with the accent on Nuts) like me, are even aware of, much less occasionally use.  This brings us to today’s (and yesteryear’s) social-commentary word

WEISSNICHTWO

wise-nicked-woe

Its meaning in the original German was, not clear where.  It came into English with the more substantial, definitive meaning of know not where.  In almost two-hundred years, I’m sure it must have been used a few times.  It was dragged, kicking and screaming, into English in 1833 by the British writer, Thomas Carlyle.  It was made famous – or infamous – by its use in his Latin-titled book, Sartor Resartus.

Even back then, he used it to describe a First-World problem.  World cities, especially those in Europe, were losing their visual culture, and were becoming homogeneous, indistinguishable, one from another.  There were Jews in Belgrade, Arabs in Marseilles, and Irish in London.  If you roused from a drunken stupor and wandered into the streets, you wouldn’t know where you were, until you fell into the Thames, or the Seine, or the Moscow River – and with the state, or lack of, municipal sanitation, even not then.

He used the word Weissnichtwo as the name of an indefinite, unknown, or imaginary place, like Utopia, Brigadoon, or Shangri-La.  The problem situation has only got worse over the years.  With the ubiquitous McDonalds, Domino’s, and Starbucks, and rampant, often war-driven immigration, a traveler might be anywhere.

I imagine that you’re just over there, shaking your head at this word.  You could be much closer to my next post soon, if you pop back in a couple of days.  I promise not to use any of those big, foreign words.  Might even offer up a few chuckles.   😀

Flash Fiction #247

PHOTO PROMPT © Alicia Jamtaas

LEFT HANGING

Ah, the joys of being a writer.  At least I’ve identified my Flash Fiction.
Big deal!  We’ve got your number,

I downloaded Rochelle’s photo.
Ho Hum!  After only eight years of practice.

I have a title.
Life imitating art – again.

I have a theme.
Your therapist will be intrigued.

I have a bright, colorful story arc.
Which will not end in a pot of gold!

All I need now is a great finish, a fascinating denouement.  Think, Archon!
We’re sorry!  The inspiration that you are trying to reach is currently binge-watching The Expanse, on Amazon.  Please try again later.

***

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

Not For A Billion Dollars

Charles Ray Fuller, a Texas dumb-dumb, tried to cash a bogus check for $360 BILLION. To top it off, the check wasn’t even made out to him. He was arrested on forgery charges and sentenced to a million billion years in prison.

***

A West Palm Beach, FL man was arrested on a slew of charges, and was perhaps a bit too honest on his arrest report. He listed his occupation as “drug dealer” and was charged with being the most obvious criminal in the history of crime.

***

Things were looking up for Frank Singleton when he was released from jail. However, when he realized that he didn’t have a ride home, he walked straight into the prison parking lot and attempted to carjack a woman. He was foiled when he realized that he couldn’t drive a car with a stick shift. As he was re-arrested – this time, for felony carjacking – Singleton told police that he simply “didn’t feel like walking.” We’ve all been there.

***

Polish author Krystian Bala, might’ve gotten away with murder… if he hadn’t written about it in his book. His 2003 novel Amok became a bestseller in Poland, but he paid the price when police noticed that the details of a murder in the book eerily matched those of an unsolved case.

The similarities led the police to investigate further, discovering connections between Bala and the victim, including the fact that the victim was romantically involved with Bala’s ex-wife. Whether or not he was inspired by the OJ Simpson “novel” based on a similar subject is unknown. What is known that he received 25 years in prison.

***

The dumbest policeman in the world, who was making some extra cash with drugs and prostitution, was brought to justice after driving a $170,000 Ferrari to work. Osman Iqbal, an officer based in Birmingham England, was jailed for seven years for running a brothel.

***

John Pearce came to realize the hazards of daylight burglary when in the course of climbing through a window, his foot became caught, leaving him dangling upside-down in plain sight of pedestrians walking down the busy sidewalk. Onlookers proceeded to mock him mercilessly until police arrived.

***

A 22-year-old man in Mineral Wells, TX landed himself behind bars after allegedly posting on his Facebook page that he had more than a dozen warrants out for his arrest. The warrants ranged from traffic citations to petty theft and totaled more than $1,200 in fines.

***

Let it be known that you can now be arrested for ballin’ on a budget. William Anderson, 51, was arrested after attracting attention by applying for welfare while driving an H2 Hummer. Thinking it an odd sight, the local sheriff ran the plates, and the vehicle came up as stolen.

***

An Ohio man reportedly called 911 numerous times, threatening to harm himself, after he had downed an entire bottle of Everclear because his pet pig, Millie, had eaten all of his marijuana. He was charged with disorderly conduct and later said that he would keep his weed out of reach of his pot bellied pig.

***

A 56-year-old woman’s boldly idiotic defense in her trial for drunk driving was that the alcohol did not affect her because she kept one eye closed to avoid seeing double. She was sentenced to two months in prison. If she keeps her eye closed it could cut it down to one.

***

A Florida man and woman spent two days trapped in what they said they believed to be a locked closet – until police let them out and discovered that the door was actually never locked.

John Arwood and Amber Campbell claimed they were chased into a janitor’s closet at Daytona State College in Daytona Beach, FL, by unidentified assailants. They were charged with trespassing and Campbell was also charged with violating her probation.