Ticks All the Boxes

20E5D511-E2A1-4386-9FCE-F98127A39BAB“I’m really excited to show you this next property,” the broker said. “It’s in the zip code you said you preferred.

“What’s the asking price?” Mickey asked.

“It’s a little above your budget,” the broker said. “They’re asking $1.2 million.”

“A little above?” Mickey said. “That’s malarkey. Four hundred thousand is not a little over budget. It’s a whole lot over budget.”

“But it does tick all your boxes and it’s really quite a unique property,” the broker said. “I’ll even offer to shave a percentage point off of my commission.”

“I appreciate that,” Mickey said, “but I’m going to have to impose upon you the need to not exceed my max amount of $800 thousand and you still need to find me something that ticks all my boxes but doesn’t go over budget.”

“Yes sir,” the broker said, “your wish is my command. Let’s head to the car and I’ll show you a few other properties.” As they were walking to the car, the broker thought about how much she hated her job.

Written for these one-word prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (property, impose), Ragtag Daily Prompt (zip), Word of the Day Challenge (malarkey), Your Daily Word Prompt (unique, percentage), and Scott’s Daily Prompt (command).

Weird Words

865BA7A2-52BE-4AFF-A15F-71EB6B8520ADThings are getting pretty weird here in the blogosphere when you get tagged, as I did by Melanie, over at Sparks From a Combustible Mind, to write a post using a bunch of words I never heard of. The words she used were:

  • Argot
  • Blatherskite
  • Cryptozoology
  • Eye – Candy
  • Hoddy  – Noddy
  • Rawky

I think I’m supposed to select four of the words that Rory, over at A Guy Called Bloke, whose brainchild this nonsense is, assigned to her, replace two of them with two new words she assigned to me:

  • Scrud
  • Flibbertigibbet

And then I’m supposed to write a post continuing Melanie’s “call me buff” story using four of Melanie’s original six words plus the two new words she assigned to me.

After that, I’m supposed to tag another blogger to take my six weird words, throw out two, add the two new words I chose, and use the new set of six words to write their own post continuing the “call me buff” story that Melanie started.

Here’s what Melanie wrote:

I am beige. Therefore there is nothing notable about me whatever. I blend in well to everything around me and am often overlooked. Fortunately, I have the gift of blatherskite. Gift or curse is a better way to say that. And I’m not the most argute person to invite to your high brow wine and cheese parties. I can wax long and prosaically on Cryptozoology…particularly the now rare and perhaps extinct species called Humanus Intelligencius Common Sense-u-us; an off shoot to a once prolific and well regarded group, Humanus Intelligencius.   

Humanus Intelligencius was once mighty.   Its decline began when folks in general started worrying more about things that don’t matter, like where a comma is used – which is important but only in small dosages – than things that made sense, like enough food for everybody and honesty isn’t a dirty word. 

One engenders the deadly blank stare and furtive yawning if one over applies ones’ great love of trivial information. That leads, logically, to the off shoots like H.I. (or Humanus..oh you get it)  Incredibulus Dumb-Ass-u-Rs and ROIUS mutations.  Which in turn begat the now common Politicus Entitled Orange Skinn-u-us Moronicus, which has taken over much of the planet. Don’t look directly at those things, they aren’t eye-candy and may possibly render the incautious viewer blind. 

Still I’m no hoddy-noddy, I know enough to come in out of the rawky weather. And when my time is up? As it is now, I’ll bow out gracefully. Never fear! Someone will be along presently to continue this blather about words odd and mysterious. Because some of that? Is ALWAYS welcome, even if buff persons aren’t, naked or not.

And here’s my continuation.

“Oh scrud,” I said. “I can’t find my flibbertigibbet. I swear I had it right next to my blatherskite. I was planning to head to the beach today and gaze at all those eye-candy teenyboppers wearing their itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny bikinis. But without my beige hoddy-noddy, I just don’t think I have the balls to show my face. It would just be too rawky of me. I might as well just appear in the buff.”

Okay, I’m going to tag Jim over at A Unique Title For Me to run with it. And the two replacement words I’m going to give him are:

  • orgulous
  • susurrous

Good luck Jim.

We Can Do Better

8ACDAA6B-E83A-4081-983B-75FBE0B3BEC8The following editorial was written by William Falk, Editor-in-Chief for the one hard copy magazine I still receive in the mail, The Week.

Falk’s message is that, when it comes to voting, America can do better. He points out that the US ranks “26th out of 32 developed democratic nations in turnout.” He notes that other democracies encourage citizen voting, while we seem to put obstacles in their paths. [And, if I may add my own two cents, one party is guilty of blatant voter suppression. Can you guess which party?]

So here’s what Falk wrote:

For a nation that prides itself on our pioneering role in democratic self-rule, we are not very good at elections. More than a week after the midterms, we still do not know who won several disputed House, Senate, and gubernatorial races. In this election, nearly half the eligible voters — about 115 million people — cast ballots, which is the highest-percentage turnout for a midterm since 1914. For this surge in enthusiasm, we can, of course, thank President Trump, who is demonstrating even to disengaged citizens why politics matters.

But compared with most Western democracies, a 49 percent turnout is pathetic. Based on the 2016 presidential election, we rank 26th out of 32 developed democratic nations in turnout. Belgium had an 87 percent turnout in its last election; Sweden, 83 percent; Australia, 79 percent.

Why the huge disparity? Those democracies actively encourage citizens to vote, rather than putting myriad obstacles in their path. If we truly wanted 80 percent turnout in the U.S., it wouldn’t be hard. Democracies with high rates of participation automatically register all citizens to vote. In the U.S., more than 50 million of our citizens — about 1 in 4 — haven’t registered and weren’t eligible to cast ballots on Election Day. Countries that believe in democracy don’t hold elections on Tuesday, when most people are working; they cast ballots on Saturday or Sunday, or make Election Day a national holiday.

Curiously enough, some Americans contend that we are better off if certain citizens do not participate in our democracy. Thomas Paine, a Founding Father and revolutionary advocate of self-rule, would disagree. “The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which all others are protected,” Paine wrote. People who can’t vote, he said, are like “slaves,” whose fate is determined by others.

If we want to call ourselves a democracy, we can and should do better.

Very Unhealthy

546A4FD3-103F-4520-BEA2-1F3EAD94E4CCSmothered in a thick, sooty blanket of toxic smoke, San Francisco’s air quality index jumped to a jaw-dropping 271 yesterday afternoon.0B55A839-96E6-44D5-BFF4-E4AE2119DBF8The map below shows the air quality in the Bay Area, the purple color showing areas with “very unhealthy air quality.”0F517FC9-76B8-47E5-8E21-795AAF98AB47Unfortunately, forecasters are projecting that residents in the Bay Area shouldn’t expect significant relief from the wildfire smoke-choked air until next week.

627DBEBE-33D5-4595-A39C-2D0A2DA97020Here’s me yesterday afternoon wearing my respirator mask as I am out walking my dog. Wildfire smoke can irritate your eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. Hence, a lot of people in the area are wearing masks whenever they have to go outside.

The fire in Butte County, located about 150  miles north northeast of San Francisco, has already claimed 71 lives so far, destroyed more than 142,000 acres in Northern California, and over 1,000 people are now listed as missing.

But don’t worry. Donald Trump will be coming to California today to meet with victims of the massive wildfires. Trump said he also wants to meet with firefighters who have been battling the Camp Fire in Butte County.

No doubt his trip to California will clear the air.

SoCS — The Audition

7A7886EB-6957-490B-903E-1B211A7BBE89As the next wannabe actor stepped out onto the stage, the casting director, Charles Stone, sitting a few rows back in the auditorium, called out, “What’s you name?”

“Good morning, sir. My name is Andrea Rankinoff,” the woman said.

“All right, Andrea,” the casting director said. “What role are you auditioning for this morning?”

“Well, sir,” Andrea answered, “I’m just going to roll the dice and try out for the lead role.”

“The lead, huh?” Charles said, with a little bit of a chuckle. “We have already cast that part, my dear. Is there another role you want to try out for?”

“No sir. Just the lead. I know you’ve given that role to someone else, but I honestly believe I would be a better fit,” Andrea said.

Charles turned to someone sitting behind him. “Honey, can you fetch me another sweet roll and refresh my coffee? We might be here for a while.” Then he turned back to the woman standing on the stage. “You said your last name is Rankinoff?”

“Yes sir,” Andrea said.

“You know that the name of the author of this play is Andrew Rankin,” Charles said. “Is it just a coincidence, Andrea, that your name resembles that of this play’s author?”

“No,” Andrea answered, “it’s not a coincidence. Andrew Rankin is my pen name. I’m the author of the play and the story is somewhat autobiographical. So who better to be cast in the role of the protagonist than the writer who created her?”

“Interesting, Andrea,” Charles said. “But as I said, the lead role has already been cast. However, if you’re willing to audition for a secondary role, and if you’re good enough to get that part, I’ll let you also understudy for the lead.”

“Well, it’s a little disappointing, sir,” Andrea said, “but I guess I’m willing to roll with the punches, so fine, I’ll do it.”

Written for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill. Linda has asked us to write a post using “role” and/or “roll.”