Monthly Archives: March 2014

A Normal Week at the Beach

Disclaimer:  Due to content I am unable to include any reference to writing.

Last summer we vacationed for a week along the coast of North Carolina. tornado at beachAmong the list of attendees included myself and lovely wife, my father-in-law and lovely mother-in-law, my son and his new bride, my stepdaughter and son-in-law, and one VIP, my grandson, “Lil’ Ed,” hereby known as the mostest cutest little boy in the entire universe.

This would be a very special vacation:

1.) The first time my in-laws came with us.

2.) The first time the mostest cutest little boy in the entire universe saw the ocean and played in the waves.

3.) The first time my son and his wife (having been boyfriend/girlfriend on every other vacation trip) could bed down together.

Now, as usual on these trips I do my security check before allowing anyone to enter the home. After that I dole out the weekly assignments, I take care of cooking, all cleaning, including but not limited to: dishes, clothes, clogged toilets, loose deck boards, shingles, siding, window replacement and general beach erosion containment.

From time to time I fill in as lifeguard making sure the beaches are safe, assisting in rescues, and demonstrating lifesaving techniques. I , also, use the lull to play with the mostest cutest little boy in the entire universe.

On this particular day (I believe it was midweek one sultry afternoon) I had been a bit apprehensive due to the weather, but dared not let on, not wanting to alarm anyone. Around 3 p.m., everyone but myself was sound asleep after an arduous day of frolicking in the surf.

Feeling a sudden drop in the barometric pressure, I quickly stepped onto the back deck. My senses were tingling, every muscle in my body rigid, ready to jump into action. I watched as my dread became reality.

What had begun as a small cone soon twisted its way down to the ocean as a water spout. I could tell it was beginning to strengthen as it moved on shore, becoming a solid F4 possibly F5 tornado. I sprang into action.

I began waking my family members. Those that wouldn’t awaken immediately, I carried to the safest part of the house even the mostest cutest little boy in the entire universe …the bathroom. After I had everyone comfortably positioned in the bathtub, I began to remove mattresses from each bedroom and packed them around my anxious clan. I assured them that everything would be alright and even took time to sing several soothing tunes to calm their fears.

I found a large tree limb that the twister had pushed into the house and stood in front of the bathroom batting any debris away from the room occupied by the most important people in my life.
After the deluge, the only thing that remained was the single bathroom that contained my loved ones safe and sound with not even a scratch, even the mostest cutest little boy in the entire universe.

I often think of that day and the horror it could have wrought. I honestly say this with all the humility I can muster:  Boy, it sure is a good thing I was there, for I shudder to think the outcome had I not been.

Now, I’ve talked enough about me, why don’t you talk about me?

And then we’ll talk about the mostest cutest little boy in the entire universe!

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If You’re Gonna Say It, Then Don’t Say It the Way You Just Said It!

Ah, the written word….the-corporate-speak-zombieso much more reliable than its close cousin, the spoken word. Way back yonder in them thar olden days, folks would have to commit important happenings and occasions to memory. And what was the most efficient way to accomplish this? Turn them into a story to be passed down from generation to generation, of course.

Can’t you just see it?

The Chief Elder, dressed in fur, staff in hand, flames from the fire dancing off his wise bearded face. throngs of children, young people, and adults alike awaiting for this gifted storyteller to weave his tale of adventure, romance, and intrigue.

Then, one day, some party-pooper picked up a piece of charcoal, or some such other soft piece of material that would make a mark, and commenced to scribbling on the cave wall… and there you have it–the twenty-six letters of the alphabet are born.

Now, I have mentioned the spoken word, the written word, but left out one very important part of today’s language, and that is none other than the stupid word. Please allow me to explain.

I spent nearly 16 years of my life in and around the corporate world, and every so often a new phrase, spoken only in what we will now dub “corporate speak,” would surface, rear its ugly head and spit out some silly nonsense.

Such as:

Think outside the box.…… Now that I’ve stopped laughing, I will admit that even though I know what this means, will somebody please tell me…… What does this mean!!! Do we really need this cornball phrase to tell us not to be like Jethro; instead embrace creativity. I hereby ban this saying and replace it with my own…… Don’t be stupid.

Here’s another little ditty:

Too much on my plate.…… Boy, there’s one for the ages. The last time I had too much on my plate…….I don’t think I’ve ever had too much on my plate. I have no choice but to flush……… and down the porcelain La-Z-Boy she goes.

How about number three:

Low hanging fruit……… I sure would like to know who came up with this one. Just in case you don’t know, it means to get the easy tasks out-of-the-way first. I can only imagine the phrases the creator of this one canned on the climb toward number one.

Picture wavy lines and fading scenery as dreamscape music ushers you to another time and place. The place where corporate speak is created. It’s a small room. The walls and ceiling are painted an institutional white. The single door and frame painted an inviting light gray; the carpet a stain resistant dark gray. There are no windows, and a small fluorescent fixture in the ceiling, its worn-out bulbs blinking to the tune of Good Golly Miss Molly. A small man, in a gray suit, with dark framed glasses, sets at a small gray desk humming, Ain’t No Woman Like the One I Got.  Every now and then he’d release a phrase and allow it to flow around the room before shooting it down into the trashcan and sending up another.

Let’s move in closer and intercept some of these words of wisdom.

1) Smash the eggs and let the birds go for now. We’ll blast them from the sky later.

Nah, too long and a hair too violent.…… I know… how about?

2) Stomp’em afore they get too big.

Won’t work either. The length is close, but the content’s just not quite there. I’ve got it!

3) It was the best of times, it was the worst…….

Nah, it’s been done to death.

What do they want from me? I’m going with my first choice, the hanging grape thing, the one my supervisor shot down. I’ll show him. It will become the greatest, nonsensical, off-the-wall corporate speak phrase ever uttered! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

Needless to say, the phrase enjoyed moderate success and the employee was transferred to the mail room.

Now for the crème de la crème:

4) Who’s got the rock?

I refuse to waste virtual paper and ink on this ridiculous collection of words.

 So there you have it. Give mankind a toehold to create something totally unnecessary and of use to absolutely no one, and he’ll do it.

In a way, it reminds me of this blog. Chocked full of useless information; ready to use at your discretion.

Until next week

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Whadda Ya Know? Disposable Automobiles Who’d a Thunk It?

I am going to attempt to write something I’ve never tried before. Enough of these long-winded, drawn out novels devoted to nothing but fiction. compact carEnough of these novellas that you zip through in one evening leaving oneself empty wanting more and more and more.

No more short stories that barely wet the edge of one incisor before it’s over. No more long stories that barely wet one tooth.

From now on its public service announcements and this week’s will be centered around bad taste and non-discretionary judgment.

Now, we all have been hit by higher gas prices, but that doesn’t mean we should run out and purchase a vehicle that will fit into the trunk of most subcompacts.

You’ve seen the cars I’m talking about. They may hold one regular size clown or maybe two smaller ones but not much more than that.

Do we really want to sacrifice safety in order to save a few bucks?

I can’t imagine the carnage if one of these soap box Derby wannabes happened to collide with a regular size vehicle. If the truth be told I would have to question who would be the survivor between one of these windup’s and a small dog. It makes me shudder to think of the damage from insect strikes alone.

The other part of this equation has to do with aesthetics. If you want to be seen driving ugly down the road on four wheels, well, that’s absolutely none of my business. After all, people have the right to drive whatever they wish; however, I would check my local jurisdiction in case there are any restrictions on the amount of ugly allowed in your area.

Before you buy one of these fuel misers, think about it. Even though they conserve our fossil fuels which leads to less pollution, I would rather you spend that money at the fuel pump than giving it to a funeral home.

I hope no one was offended by my first public service announcement. After all, I’m out here for you.

After a great deal of thought and agonizing over my personal responsibility to assist my fellow-man since the last sentence…….I think I am going to stick with novels.

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Bite Me!!

I’ve often thought of writing a children’s book…. Well, not so much, often thought of it… It’s more on the order of never thought of it. Actually, if the truth be told, I’ve never considered considering writing a children’s Bippy the grub wormbook. Okay, you got me, this is the first time I’ve ever mentioned it.

 But if I did:

 I would have to decide on a cute, little, desirable character. Bunny rabbits, chicks, turtles, baby birds and even little lost fish have been done to death.…… I know, a big, fat, juicy, baby, grub worm. I could name him Bippy. And the book would be about Bippy’s adventures moving inches each day through the dirt and rotten tree stumps, doing what big, fat, juicy, baby, grub worms do. Then, one day a man making a survivalist television show eats Bippy raw. Poor Bippy.

 How about:

 Bogart, the legless mosquito? Unable to fly since birth due to a lack of ballast offered by the missing legs, we find Bogart in the backyard of your average, middle-class, suburbanite family. We follow Bogart on his perilous trek through a finely manicured lawn, dodging avian attacks, and avoiding such dangers as snakes, turtles, frogs and cannibalistic insects as he makes his way to the house.

 Bogart continues his death-defying journey, knowing that his first meal awaits in the life-giving fluid that courses through any one of the humans that abide in yonder abode. Finally after squirming, rolling and wriggling his way the necessary three feet to the back deck, he nestles himself into a crack on top of the handrail awaiting his bipedal victim.

 A likely target steps out of the back door and places a hand on the very same rail that the emaciated Bogart has taken up residence, poised to strike. Before the hand can reach the gaunt mosquito, Bogart is devoured by a wingless bat that throws itself from the roof and snatches the hapless Bogart from his hiding place.

 The bat we will call Wrigley (because that’s his name) promptly rolled off the rail and onto the ground. He begins to squirm across the finely manicured lawn, still masticating poor little Bogart, until Wrigley himself is slowly gummed to death by a toothless cat called Knuckles. Knuckles is later found dead, having choked trying to swallow a wingless bat with puffed out cheeks full of partially digested mosquito parts.

 Sadly, these mosquito parts contained no legs, but now Bogart was finally able to soar high with his fellow departed mosquitoes.

 Aye, a fitting end for all concerned. I think I’ll call it, “Bugs, Bats, and Cats: the Other White Meat.”

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Worst Case of Bed Head I Ever Did See!!

Medusa.jpg-675x550

Medusa

This post will ultimately end up asking a question. A question that I’m fairly certain I know the answer to. Regardless, using strange tidbits, flights of whimsy, and mental fabrications to get there certainly taxes the brain and makes the journey a much more enjoyable experience.

Don’t you agree, hmmm?

Of course, the precursor to the eminent question will be a question:

Have you ever heard of someone or seen for yourself, the victim of some horrendous injustice be punished for that injustice, even though they were knowingly innocent?

Allow me to give you an example:

The Medusa we all know and love from Greek mythology actually began life as quite the looker. In fact, she was so beautiful that she hung out in Athena’s Temple serving the goddess (dusting knickknacks and whatnot, I suppose).

All the men in Greece were forbidden to touch her. Poseidon (the god of Water), however, having a thing for the beautiful maiden, fell up into Athena’s crib and had his way (not in a good way) with Medusa right there on the Temple floor–no romancing, dinner, flowers or anything.

Now you would think that common sense would prevail and Poseidon would be held responsible, but noooo… Athena , seeing it as a downer during family reunions, decided it best not to blame her uncle (Poseidon), so she laid the smack down on the rapee instead of the rapist.  Athena took this poor girl and squinched her face up till she looked like she had fallen out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.  And if that wasn’t enough, Athena jobbed a couple handfuls of snakes into Medusa’s head to complete the look. I mean, this girl was so ugly people didn’t have a chance to run away because of a rare condition called “Whirlatwicerockoma,”  or in laymen’s terms–turned to stone. (Talk about making a freight train take a dirt road.)

It’s like walking down the street, getting slugged in the face from out of nowhere, and then going to jail for breaking the perpetrator’s knuckles with your chin.

Now, that I’ve got you all juiced up and ready for the question, first, let me ask you another question.  Did you get upset or even slightly miffed at the fate of poor Medusa?  Do you find yourself becoming ingrained in the lives of characters that you encounter when reading?  Or, do you find yourself fearful for a character when in a battle or dangerous situation?

If so, then you’re just like me.  I even occasionally wonder when I’ve taken a day or two off from writing if my characters were tired of being left in the same position for that length of time.

Now, here’s the question:

Do you ever wonder how you can become so caught up, wrapped around, and bundled into a person that only exists in your mind?

If you ever have the occasion to figure it out, then, please, let me know. With each new book I complete, new characters are introduced. As new characters are introduced, I’m starting to acquire multiple personality syndrome. As the number of personalities continue to grow, I’m running out of room and the food bill is outrageous.  If you feel so inclined, any feedback is welcome.  I’m sure one of my personalities will be glad to answer any question you may have.

Have a nice day.

Us

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