Proper Social Distancing

F09C93F5-5AC1-488D-A5F4-71E605C39BB1“The man has absolutely no empathy,” Seth said. “He couldn’t care less about the huge number of Americans who have gotten sick and died from this pandemic.”

“I know,” Carol agreed. “All he cares about are his ratings and he’s trying to leverage the pandemic to help him get re-elected.”

“He thinks that his actions will somehow burnish his reputation, but all it’s doing is exposing to people what a moron he really is,” Amanda added.

“Right,” agreed Jack. “He’s telling businesses and restaurants to reopen and is encouraging the public to go out and resume their lives the way they were before the pandemic. He should, instead, be listening to the professionals and telling people to be patient and to stay at home and to maintain proper social distancing until it’s proven to be safe again.”

“Any normal president would do that, but he’s not normal,” Seth said. “He’d rather lie if it makes him look good than to tell the truth.”

“It’s unbelievable how fast this has happened to our country,” Carol said. “In fewer than four years he and his Republican enablers have destroyed an America that it took 230 years to build.”


Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (empathy, Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (leverage), Your Daily Word Prompt (burnish), The Daily Spur (professional), and Word of the Day Challenge (patient).

Friday Fictioneers — The Gift

87422AA2-ABD8-434E-A93A-AA8D4B14C35C“Which one do you think I should get him?” Darryl asked his girlfriend.

Diane shrugged. “How should I know?” she asked. “I’ve only met your father that one time.”

“There are the ones with the floral patterns that say ‘Islander’ on them,” Darryl said, “or the one that says ‘Aloha’ on it. Do you think he’d like one of those?”

“They’re nice,” Diane said.

“Maybe he’d prefer one of the other ones with the straw weave on the front,” Darryl said.

“Darryl,” Diane said, “Whatever you decide, I think he’ll be happy just knowing that you were thinking about him.”

(100 words)


Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Photo credit: Jan Wayne Fields.

Thursday Inspiration — Legacy Lane

542DEDFF-A957-4E05-8FC2-5C36D4F9B09AGaspard put down his suitcase and wiped the sweat from his brow. Finding her was clearly a bigger challenge than he had anticipated. He was definitely lost. He looked around and saw a passerby and waved at him. “Pardonnez-moi,” he said to the man. Then, in a thick French accent he said, “I am looking for a street. The name is Legosee.” Gaspard handed the man a piece of paper.

“Ah,” the man said, “It’s pronounced ‘Legacy,’ Legacy Lane.” The man pointed to his right and said, “It’s three blocks in that direction,” and handed the piece of paper back to a Gaspard.

“Merci, monsieur,” Gaspard said, tipping his hat to the man. Gaspard then picked up his suitcase, and headed in the direction of Legacy Lane.

A few minutes later Gaspard found himself standing on Legacy Lane in front of a quaint home in a quiet neighborhood. He thought to himself, I have finally found the street where you live.

He took a deep breath, gathered his wits about him, walked up to the front door, and rang the bell. “Who is there?” he heard a woman’s voice with a French accent ask.

“Gaspard,” he said.

The woman flung open the front door and said, “Mon dieu, Gaspard, je pensais que tu étais mort [My god, Gaspard, I thought you were dead].”

“Vous m’avez blessé par balle et gravement. Alors tu m’as laissé là pour mourir [You shot and critically wounded me. Then you left me there to die],” he said.

“Mais tu es vivant, Gaspard, et c’est tout ce qui compte. Je suis tellement content de te voir [But you’re alive, Gaspard, and that’s all that matters. I’m so happy to see you],” she said.

Gaspard pulled out a pistol and shot the woman right between the eyes. “Les remboursements sont une chienne [Paybacks are a bitch],” he said looking down at her corpse sprawled out just inside the doorway. He put his pistol back in his pocket, picked up his suitcase, and walked away from Legacy Lane.


Written for Paula Light’s Thursday Inspiration, where the theme is “street.” Also for these prompts from yesterday: The Daily Spur (suitcase), Word of the Day Challenge (challenge), Ragtag Daily Prompt (challenge), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (legacy). And to those of you who actually speak French, I used Google Translate to convert English to French, so if my translation is bad, well, pardon my French.

Fandango’s Friday Flashback — May 15

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 15th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This post was originally published on May 15, 2011 on my old blog.

Reheat Your Meat

No, the name of this post is not the tagline for an ad about a new miracle drug to cure erectile dysfunction or to enhance male sexual performance.

It is about a warning that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued for women who are pregnant, people over 50, “and especially for those over 65.”  Uh oh!

According to a recent article I read in USA Today, the CDC is warning us old timers against eating cold lunch meats, cold cuts, and deli meats.601C1786-F305-4F5F-91DE-3BC94F919C82Who knew that the latest threat to the survival of the human race would be honey cured ham, roasted turkey breast, or bologna? And yet the CDC suggests that such luncheon meats should not be eaten unless they’ve been thoroughly reheated to “steaming hot” (or at least 165 degrees) in order to kill any bacteria that might be present.

Can you think of anything less appetizing than a plate piled high with steaming hot cold cuts? And if sliced luncheon meats are steaming hot, are they still considered to be “cold cuts”?

This recommendation to reheat your meat is due to an insidious food-borne bug by the name of listeria monocytogenes. It’s the source of an uncommon but potentially fatal disease called listeriosis. About 85% of cases of listeriosis are linked to cold cuts or deli meats. The remaining 15%, according to reliable sources from the makers of Scope mouthwash, are linked to the use of Listerine, which, competitors claim, has listeria as its active ingredient.

By the way, Listeriosis is fatal about 20% of the time! And like all really scary threats to your health and well being, you can’t see, taste, or smell listeria.

Most luncheon meats are cooked at food processing plants where the bacteria in them are killed during the packaging process. But the problem is that once the cold cuts are sliced or the package is opened, they are vulnerable to listeria.

If just a single cell of listeria from a contaminated surface, a meat slicer, or even the air gets on the meats, it has a unique ability to keep growing even when refrigerated. It’s like a friggin’ zombie that just won’t die.

The CDC also advises that you not keep opened packages of lunch meat, or meat sliced at the local deli, for longer than three to five days in your refrigerator. I looked at a package of organic roasted turkey breast that my wife bought at Whole Foods Market a while ago.  The label does say, “Keep refrigerated (best within four days of opening).” Perhaps they should revise the label to say, “Best within four days of opening; possibility of death if consumed after that.”

The suggestion that cold cuts should be consumed within three to five days of opening is something that virutally no one pays attention to, says Douglas Powell, director of food safety at Kansas State University. “Anecdotally, lots of people keep cold cuts in their refrigerator far longer than they should,” he says. “People keep them for one to two weeks. That’s the key message. If you get it from the deli counter, four days max.”

I always thought that if it doesn’t smell bad, if it doesn’t feel slimy, if the edges haven’t turned green or blue, and if there aren’t little white spots of mold on the meat, it’s still okay to eat.

By the way, the CDC also recommends that, after having consumed refrigerated luncheon meats or deli cold cuts without reheating your meat, if you get an erection lasting more than four hours, you should contact your doctor immediately.

Or gargle with Listerine.

FOWC with Fandango — Leverage

FOWCWelcome to May 15, 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 “leverage.”

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.