Photo Challenge — Strange Brew

115A82B3-621A-4569-9A24-B4DB9DDB936C“Jesus, Diane, what the hell are you doing?” Elizabeth screamed when she and her boyfriend, Bill, walked into the apartment she and Diane shared. Diane was sitting at the dining room table. She was naked. Her head and the table, were covered with pea pods, along with a glass kettle of tea and a tea cup.

“Did you ever notice how fascinating pea pods are?” Diane said, without turning to look at Elizabeth. “They’re amazing, and when you open them up, all these little peas, like ball bearings, pop out and roll around on the table and drop to the floor.”

“Diane, why are you naked?” Elizabeth asked.

Diane turned her head and looked at Elizabeth and saw Bill standing next to her. “Bill,” Diane said, “You better not be looking at me, you perv.” And then she started laughing, returned her gaze to Elizabeth and said, “I was hot and sweaty so I stripped.”

“What are you drinking?” Elizabeth asked.

“I wanted some tea and found a bunch of tea bags in the very back of the cabinet so I brewed up a pot of it,” Diane said, “and this is the best tea I’ve ever had.”

Elizabeth went over to the trash basket under the sink and looked inside. She looked at Bill and said, “Four tea bags.”

“Oh my God,” Bill whispered. “She’s got to be stoned out of her mind. I’ll go get a towel.”

Bill returned from the bathroom with a large towel and handed it to Elizabeth, who draped it over Diane. “Sweetie,” Elizabeth said, “you’re high as a kite. The tea you used was something Bill and I picked up at the pot dispensary on Saturday. One bag is plenty potent for four people and you used four on your own. Come on, stand up, and let me get you into your bed.”

Diane stood up while Elizabeth wrapped her in the bath towel. Diane looked at Elizabeth and, with tears in her eyes, said, “Lizzy, you’re the best roommate in the whole world and I’m so lucky to have you as a friend.”

Elizabeth put her arm around Diane and started leading her toward Diane’s bedroom. But Diane abruptly stopped and started walking toward the kitchen, the towel Elizabeth had wrapped her in falling to the ground. “Diane, what are you doing?”

“I have the munchies and I saw some leftover key lime pie in the fridge,” Diane said. “Hey, perv,” she called out to Bill. “Wanna cut me off a piece of that pie?” she asked. “But keep your perv eyes closed. I’m naked as the day I was born.”

Bill, smiling, looked back at Elizabeth, shrugged his shoulders in gesture of helplessness, and said to Diane, “Sure, let’s all share some of that key lime pie.” Then he looked at Elizabeth and said, “Hey Lizzy, do you want some tea?”

Written for this week’s Photo Challenge from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, and for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (glass). Photo credit: Daniel Fehr.

Fandango’s February Expressions #21


Discretion is the better part of valor

Each day during the month of February, at around 6 am Pacific Time, I will be posting an old adage, an old saying, a familiar expression that we’ve all heard and have probably used during our lifetimes. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, will be to post a story, a poem, an image, an interpretation of what the expression means to you, or to do whatever it is that you want to do based upon the daily adage.

Please tag your post with #FFE and create a pingback to this post or include your link in a comment on each day’s post.

Have fun and be sure to read what others have posted in response to this prompt.

Fandango’s Friday Flashback — February 21

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 21st) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.

This was originally posted on February 21, 2014 in my old blog.

Peek, Peak, Pique

0B7620B3-5819-4D83-B71F-331FE95F7BA5You may be wondering what a malapropism is. It’s the use of an incorrect word in place of a word with a similar sound, resulting in a nonsensical, often humorous utterance. For example, someone who is always upbeat might describe himself as being an “internal optimist,” when he means “eternal optimist.” Or a skillful, innovative person might be characterized as being very “remorseful” instead of “resourceful.”

No doubt at some point in your life, you’ve heard an otherwise intelligent and articulate individual misuse a word or a phrase, right? I know I have. In fact, not that long ago one of my co-workers used the word “irregardless” three or four times during a meeting with a prospective client.

“Irregardless” is what language aficionados call a “nonstandard” word, which is a polite way of saying that it’s not a real word. Yet, much to my annoyance, I hear people use “irregardless” all too often in place of more suitable — and actual — words like regardless or irrespective.

FA054D19-6F11-4A05-953B-F825697AD950Each time this co-worker used that non-word, it was like he was scratching his fingernails along a chalkboard. (You remember chalkboards, right?) It sent shivers up and down my spine. It made my skin crawl. It was all I could do keep myself from jumping across the table, grabbing the guy by the throat, and screaming, “Stop saying ‘irregardless.’ That’s not a friggin’ word!” But I thought that might be a bit unprofessional of me.

Not only did he use the non-word irregardless over and over, he kept pronouncing the name of the city of Louisville, Kentucky, where our company has a service center, as Lewisville.

Everyone knows the name of that city is pronounced Lou-ee-ville, except, of course, to those who live in Louisville. They pronounce it Loo-ah-vul or sometimes just Loo-vul.

One time I heard a guy warn someone not to dilute himself, when he meant delude himself. This same guy used the phrase for all intensive purposes rather than for all intents and purposes.

Even presidents screw things up every once in a while. Remember George W. (“nucular”) Bush? Among his frequent malapropisms, one that stood out for me was when he discussed how the Democrats’ messaging was not resignating with the voters. Another classic Bushism: “We cannot let terrorists and rogue nations hold this nation hostile.” But as Bush, himself, pointed out, he was often misunderestimated.

And then there was the infamous Tweet from Sarah Palin during her 15 minutes of “going rogue” fame when she called upon Muslims to refudiate the building of a mosque near Ground Zero.

So why do I feel the need to bring this up? Well, I was inspired to do this because I was recently reminded of how common it is, even among business professionals, to misuse similar sounding words.

I came across these three email examples just this week.

“I knew your email would peak her attention!!!!”

Aside from exclamation mark overkill at the end of the sentence, I believe the correct word here should have been “pique,” and not “peak.”

Peak is a topmost point, such as a mountain peak. Peek is to take a glance or a quick look. Pique is to upset or excite someone.

Not that I’m a grammar Nazi or anything, but seriously, one does not “peak” one’s interest or attention.

“Do you have antidotal examples of where this saved the company money?”

I believe that she wasn’t searching for antidotes for saving money, but for some anecdotes, or stories, that illustrate how the company can save money. Unless, of course, we want to show how the company can save money by providing it with medicines or other remedies for counteracting the effects of poison, disease, etc.

“I just don’t want to push if it’s going to be for not.”

I can see where this is easily confused, but not for nothing, it’s not “for not,” it’s “for naught.”

Hey, we’re all only human, right? Each and every one of us has, at one time or another, selected the wrong word or mispronounced a word. So don’t dilute yourself into believing that, irregardless of how smart you think you are, you won’t occasionally screw up the English language.

After all, people sometimes misunderestimate their language skills, and that is something you just can’t refudiate. We must all learn to grin and bare it.

For all intensive purposes, anyway.

FOWC with Fandango —Progress

FOWCWelcome to February 21, 2020 and to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). It’s designed to fill the void after WordPress bailed on its daily one-word prompt.

I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (US).

Today’s word is “progress.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

The issue with pingbacks not showing up seems to have been resolved, but you might check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. You will marvel at their creativity.