The Master’s Comps

4AAD9E61-4E8E-4067-A8C8-B2BD227DDD43.jpegDick had reserved a room in the math library for a full week so that he could study for his master’s comps. They were called “comps” because they were a series of four comprehensive essay exams of two hours each designed to confirm that the master’s degree candidate had, in fact, mastered the subject matter upon which his degree would be conferred.

He knew that he had to be tenacious about his studying, because he needed to pass the exams in order to be awarded his degree. He had worked too hard to allow his ultimate goal to be jeopardized by failing the comps. There was no way he would let anything diminish his drive to do well on them.

His week of intensive study paid off after he completed the first two exams. He just knew he had done a great job answering the questions that first day. Two down and two to go.

Feeling good, he decided to call his girlfriend and meet her at their favorite tavern, the one across the street from the industrial park, for a few beers. Then he’d head home, get a good night’s sleep and sail through the last two exams the next day.

Unfortunately for Dick, the “few” beers turned into “quite a few,” and before he knew it, he felt quite tipsy. His girlfriend was worried about him getting home on his own, so she convinced him to go over to her place and spend the night.

Dick woke up the next morning to the sound of sizzling bacon, and it smelled delicious. His girlfriend walked into the bedroom, kissed him on the cheek, and said, “Wake up, sleepyhead. Breakfast is ready.”

Dick opened his eyes, smiled at his girlfriend, and then looked at the digital clock on the nightstand. “Fuck! It’s 9:45. My exam started at 9:00.”

Written for these prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (comprehensive), Ragtag Daily Prompt (tenacious), Daily Addictions (diminish), Your Daily Word Prompt (industrial), Word of the Day Challenge (tipsy), and Scotts Daily Prompt (bacon).

Meet Him at the Café

DED35613-5BB7-47FB-90A3-3B5CA93B7D95“Your brother called,” my wife told me. “He asked me to tell you that he wants you to meet him at the café for breakfast tomorrow morning.”

“Oh jeez, did he say what he wanted?” I asked her, knowing full well that he didn’t.

“No, he didn’t, but he did say it’s important,” she said.

“With him, he says everything is important. He’s probably gonna try to hit me up for money again,” I said.

“Don’t you dare,” she said.

“Don’t worry, I won’t,” I said. “And I’ll tell you what,” I added, “if he’s wearing that goddam MAGA hat of his, I’m turning around and walking away.”

Written for Teresa’s Three Things Challenge, where the three things are brother, cafe, and  hat.

Sunday Photo Fiction — Just Bagpipes

47315682-8671-48B9-90F7-731F29684E00“Do you sell kilts?” the man asked.

“No, sir, just bagpipes,” the man behind the table responded.

“How about tartan scarves?” another prospective customer asked.

“Just bagpipes, ma’am.”

A man walked up to the proprietor and said, “I’m looking for a Scottish sporran, but I don’t see any on display.”

“That’s because we make and sell bagpipes,” he said, pointing to the banner behind him.

A lady with a perplexed look on her face asked, “Scottish clan tumblers?”

“Sorry, lady, our specialty is bagpipes,” the man answered. “Only bagpipes.”

The next customer explained that he used to have a pewter hip flask with an engraved Scottish piper on it. “I don’t suppose you have one of those, do you?” he asked.

The guy manning the booth finally lost it. He threw down his water bottle and started to shout. “What the fook is wrong with you fooking people? I am a bagpipe maker. I make and sell bagpipes. Not kilts, not scarves, not tumblers, not sporrans, not flasks. Just bagpipes. Only bagpipes. Can’t you fookers read?”

And with that, the guy told everyone to get out of his booth. “I’m done,” he shouted, and started packing up his bagpipes.

(199 words)

Written for Susan Spaulding’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt. Photo credit: C.E. Ayr.

Time for an “I’m Spartacus” Moment

Donald Trump has allegedly gone “volcanic” since the New York Times published the anonymous op-ed piece last week. The essay was apparently written by a “senior official in the Trump administration,” and Trump has allegedly been pulling out all the stops trying to identify who the “treasonous” insider is. He’s even directed his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, in the name of “national security,” to have the Department of Justice investigate who the culprit was.

Of course, Trump’s senior staff members are falling all over themselves to deny having anything to do with the op-ed piece.

As I wrote in this post, I have mixed feelings about the publishing of the op-ed piece anonymously. If someone knows that our president is amoral and an idiot, shouldn’t they have the balls to stand up and be counted, even if it costs him or her their job?

Just imagine there being an I’m Spartacus moment in the White House, where each member of Trump’s inner circle would, one after the other, stand and declare, “I’m the author.”

Of course, that’s not going to happen. Those who are close to Trump, including nearly all Congressional Republicans, have demonstrated that they lack spine.

Still, one can fantasize, can’t one?