Asleep at the Wheel

7103C79B-4F31-4FEC-AE8E-2AE290E761D3Donald Trump said he watched former President Barack Obama’s speech at the University of Illinois earlier today, but fell asleep during it. “I’m sorry. I watched it, but I fell asleep. I’ve found he’s very good, very good for sleeping.”

I watched Obama’s speech and not only did it not put me to sleep, it inspired me. It motivated me. And it dramatically demonstrated to anyone who took the time to watch it, the remarkable contrast between both the styles and the content of the former and the current presidents.

It really is too bad that Trump glibly demeaned Obama’s speech and dismissed the former president. Donald could have learned a lot about what a real president sounds like.

I so miss President Obama.

I’ll Have a Coffee With My Rash

43136F79-E7B3-4BF6-839E-5F2D8D0D14D2“Right on schedule, Mr. Dugan,” the barista said. “Your usual?”

“You bet, Barry” Dugan responded. “I really need some of your premium brand coffee today.”

“Are you having a bad day, Mr. Dugan?” Barry asked.

“Yeah,” Dugan answered. “I seemed to have developed this rash on my left arm. Do you want to see it?”

Barry didn’t really want to see the rash, but Dugan was one of his regular customers and always left him a generous tip. “Sure,” he said.

Dugan rolled up his shirt sleeve and held out his arm for Barry to see. “I think you should go see a doctor about that, Mr. Dugan,” Barry said. “That looks pretty nasty. And it may be contagious.”

“Do you think so, Barry?” Dugan said.

The woman standing in line behind Dugan chimed in. “Excuse me, sir,” she said. “I’m a registered nurse and I don’t mean to generate even more concerns, but that rash looks very serious. Have you been out of the country recently?”

“Actually, I was in Venezuela a few weeks back,” Dugan said. “Why?”

She pulled her iPhone out of her purse and turned on flashlight to better illuminate the rash on his arm. Then she went to her iPhone’s photos folder, and opened up a picture that she showed to Dugan.5242B163-2EC9-441C-BBCF-FD95E14A8E54
“Wow, that looks a lot like the rash I have,” Dugan said.

“I took that picture of a patient who came to the ER last week. It’s an early-stage rash due to a flesh-eating bacteria that he picked up in South America,” the nurse said. “Do you want to see a picture of what it will look like in a few days if you don’t get immediate treatment?”

Dugan told Barry to cancel his coffee order, looked at the nurse, and asked where the nearest emergency room was located.

Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (schedule), Ragtag Daily Prompt (coffee), Word of the Day Challenge (rash), Your Daily Word Prompt (illuminate), Scotts Daily Prompt (premium), and Daily Addictions (generate)

Time To Write — The Kit

246A3E2B-C177-4928-9DA4-34E7DA53B50A“You have everything, right?” my wife asked.

“Of course,” I said. “I’m not stupid.”

“Okay, let’s take inventory,” she said. “Six gallons of water.”


“Enough non-perishable food to last three days.”


“A battery-powered or hand crank radio.”


“A Flashlight, a first aid kit, extra batteries.”

“Check, check, check.”

“A whistle to signal for help.”


“A dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place.

“Check and check.”

“Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation.”

“Eww, check.”

“A wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.”

“A manual can opener for food.”


“A local paper map of the area.”

“That was hard to find, but check.”

“Our cellphones with backup batteries.”

“Check,” I said. “Anything else?”

“Nope,” she said. “I think we got it covered.”

“Oh wait, I thought of one other thing,” I said.

“What else?”

“Earplugs for me so that when the earthquake hits, your screaming won’t cause me to go deaf.”

Written for Rachel Poli’s Time To Write Sentence Starter prompt.

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

CC3B1D3E-1CB4-4B03-8530-F9DEFC2A2DC2Yesterday, James Pyles, my conservative blogging buddy over at Powered By Robots, wrote a post titled, “Five Ridiculously Implausible Things The Progressive Left is Afraid Of.” He described his post as a “tongue-in-cheek (or is it?)” response to an apparently satirical post he read called, “5 Ridiculously Implausible Things The Alt-Right Is Afraid Of.”

Anyway, just for shits and giggles, I thought, as the official representative of progressive thinking on WordPress, I’d offer my responses to James’ list of things progressives are afraid of. Here goes.

1. The World Will Be Controlled By An Oppressive Version of Christianity

No, not the world, just the United States. Christians in America, who make up about 73% of the citizenry, seem to feel like they are being persecuted and are under siege by atheists, agnostics, nones, and other unaffiliated heretics. But evangelicals and other fundamentalist Christians have had their prayers answered and are thanking God for delivering unto them their new savior, Donald J. Trump, who has promised that Christians can, once again, feel free to say “Merry Christmas” to their hearts’ content. Praise be!

2. Extreme Right Wing Government Control of America

I don’t know why James would say that progressives fear this. Is it because Donald Trump’s list of Supreme Court nominees as well as names for other Federal judgeships were provided by the far-right Heritage Foundation and that extremely conservative judges have been appointed at a head-spinning rate? Or is it because the far-right House Freedom Caucus, the House’s most conservative faction, wields enough votes to shape just about any Republican-led legislation? Nah. Nothing to be afraid of.

3. Abortion and Birth Control Will Be Outlawed and Women Will be Forced to Have Sex and Babies Against Their Will

Progressives don’t fear that women will be forced to have sex against their will. Progressive women love to have sex with us very sexy progressive men.

But as to abortions being outlawed, there is some validity to that, especially with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh is no fan of Roe v Wade and, if he makes it onto the Court, there’s a very real possibility that Roe v Wade is in jeopardy. As to birth control, Kavanaugh has referred to contraception as “abortion-inducing drugs,” and we already know Kavanaugh’s position on abortion. So other than forcing women to have sex, I gotta give this one to James. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

4. The LGBTQ+ Community Will Be Forced Back Into The Closet

I don’t know what goes on in the closet, but I do know that most Republicans in Congress, especially the more conservative ones, as well as evangelicals and other religious fundamentalists, would be delighted to roll back most of the civil/equal rights gains that the LGBTQ community has achieved over the past half decade. So watch this space.

5. Civil Rights For Immigrants and Minorities Will Be Destroyed And Only White Dudes Will Rule

This is already happening at our southern border, where people seeking asylum in the U.S. are being turned away or arrested, detained, and where children have been separated from their families. And a series of quiet reforms from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services could threaten even more immigrants, many of them here legally, with deportation.

And in North Carolina, ICE and the Department of Justice have gotten a court order for the state to turn over eight years of voter registration records. The request is apparently related to indictments announced in late August, when the DOJ and ICE announced they had charged 19 foreign nationals with voting illegally. So the state is being asked to turn over 15 million documents for examination. Hmm, nothing to see here, right?

But if you’re a white, Christian, conservative dude, no worries, right James?

Merry Christmas.

Friday Fictioneers — That’s Amore

img_2417Arnold walked over to their hotel room window, pushed aside the sheer, lace curtain, and called out to his wife, “Honey, come see this view.”

Florence walked over to her husband. “It is beautiful, isn’t it. And the moon, oh my.”

Arnold suddenly started singing, using his best Dean Martin impression, “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore. When the world seems to shine like you’ve had too much wine, that’s amore.”

“Arnie,” Florence smiled and said, “we have the moon and the wine.”

“Then I’d say it’s time for some amore.” Arnold said.

(100 words)

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers prompt. Photo credit: Gah Learner.

And here’s a bonus for those of you who are old enough to remember Dean Martin. Or for those of you who are too young to know who Dean Martin was.