FFfPP — The “Roll” Model

1891F916-FAE3-462D-B83F-52CD77FF90D5More than ten months after the hurricane devastated the island, potable water was still in short supply and electricity was, at best unreliable and sporadic. Inhabitants had to trek daily, sometimes for miles, carrying their buckets and bottles, waiting in long lines, just for enough of the precious, clean water to survive.

Resources, some from the federal government through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), but mostly from the local governments, businesses, and generous donors, helped to pay for relief supplies and arranged for pallets flown in from the mainland with bottled water. The logistics of getting the water distributed, particularly to the more remote sections of the island were challenging.

The people of the island continued to suffer, storm-related deaths continued to mount. But the president has everything under control. He gave himself an A-plus for the way he handled the disaster, despite the fact that the island was surrounded by “big water.”

And the president considered his crowning achievement to be when he showed up on the island and lifted the residents’ morale when he tossed them rolls of paper towels.

Yes, the president is definitely a “roll” model for the people of Puerto Rico.68FF4791-E4C1-4E73-9388-4879CA24D2DB

(197 words)


Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner from Roger Shipp. Photo credit: MorgueFile May 2018 1421077743edokn.

A Night at the Symphony

E8BA46F0-A2FC-4C34-9B6D-DA6C5B5F9995I will always remember how adorable she was the night I took her to the symphony; how the music resonated with her, transported her to a new place, and lifted her morale.


Wow. Six prompts in one sentence. I am good! (Or is it too contrived?)

100WW — A Chance to Shine

7059208D-1A56-4D30-BAAD-6F87497A9CD5This is it, this is Arthur’s chance to shine.

The town’s annual sidewalk mural contest drew dozens of wannabe artists from all around the county. The grand prize of $500 was a draw — pun intended — but the real prize was that the top three finishers would get commissions from the town’s Beautification Committee to paint murals on buildings all around the city.

His father wanted Arthur to join him in his roofing business; to eventually take over. But roofing was not Arthur’s destiny. He thought of himself as an artist. Hell, his nickname is Art.

This is his chance to shine.

(100 words)


Written for Bikurgurl’s 100 Word Wednesday prompt.

Yet More Q&A

A few days ago, fellow blogger, Marilyn Armstrong, asked and answered 25 questions. Unlike Marilyn, I blog anonymously, but I still enjoy answering questions any blogger asks as long as I don’t have to reveal my real-world identity.

So here are Marilyn’s questions and my answers. Feel free to take these same questions and post your own answers if you feel like it.

1. What bill do you hate paying the most? 

Healthcare related bills: Medicare premiums, Medicare supplement premiums, premiums for things not covered by Medicare (dental/vision), and the parts of my medical expenses not covered by Medicare or the supplementary plans.

2. When was the last time you had a romantic dinner? 

In a couple of weeks when Mrs. Fandango and I will be celebrating our wedding anniversary.

3. What do you really want to be doing? 

Right now? Sleeping, maybe.

4. How many colleges did you attend? 

Two, one undergraduate and one graduate.

5. Why did you choose the shirt you have on?

It’s clean.

6. Thoughts on gas prices?

Way too high. If you don’t live in San Francisco, you’re not paying nearly as much for gas as I am, which is why I walk and take the bus, rather than drive, as often as I can.

7. First thought when the alarm goes off in the morning? 

I don’t set the alarm. My cat usually wakes me up if I’m still asleep at 7 am. And when he does, my first thought is “why did we ever get a cat?”

8. Last thought you have before you go to bed?

Maybe tonight I’ll be able to sleep through the whole night without having to get up to pee.

9. Do you miss being a child?

Intellectually no, physically yes.

10. What errand/chore do you despise the most?

See number 1.

11. Up early or sleep in? 

See number 7.

12. Pet’s names?

Dog and Cat. (Not really, but like me, they prize their anonymity.)

13. Favorite lunch meat?

Tuna fish…and yes, I know, tuna fish is not “meat,” but I generally don’t eat lunch meats.

14. What do you get every time at Wal-Mart? 

I honestly can’t remember the last time I set foot inside a Wal-Mart.

15. Beach or lake?

Mountain with an ocean view.

16. Is marriage overrated?

My wife reads my blog, so I refuse to answer on the grounds that I want to stay married.

17. Ever crashed your vehicle?

Oh yes. But, of, course, it was always the other driver’s fault.

18. Strangest place you’ve brushed your teeth?

Define “strangest.”

19. Somewhere you’ve never been but want to go?

Australia and/or New Zealand.

20. At this point in your life would you want to start a new career?

Fuck no. I’m retired.

21. How old are you?

Old enough to know better.

22. Do you have a go to person?

My wife.

23. Are you where you want to be in life? 

I’m still alive, so yes.

24. Growing up what were your favorite cartoons? 

Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends.

25. What do you think has changed about you since you were a teenager?

I have fewer zits, more facial hair, and a lot less hair on the top of my head.

One-Liner Wednesday — Brevity

2E131322-2144-4A3D-A792-984B83EDC4B9My wife asked last week me if I didn’t “get” the concept of a one-liner. “Why would you ask me that?” I asked her. She then proceeded to point out how long my responses to Linda G. Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday prompts usually are. “Way more than one line,” she said. “Does everyone who responds to her one-liner prompt do that?” she asked. I told her that most did not. “So why, then, do you?”

I explained to her that the reason my One-Liner Wednesday posts exceed one line is because I like to help people understand why I decided to choose whatever one-liner I chose and what it means to me.

“But it’s supposed to be a one-line response,” she said. “When you respond to a 100 word prompt, do you write 100 words and then add another 200 or 300 words explaining why you wrote the first 100 words?”

“No,” I said.

“Then you should limit your One-Liner Wednesday post to one line. To quote Shakespeare,” she added, “Brevity is the soul of wit.”

“Perfect,” I said. “I’m going to use that Shakespeare quote for my next One-liner Wednesday post.”

I think my wife will be very pleased when she sees how I’ve taken her advice.