Good Luck and Goodbye

F7062163-960B-4308-8471-9E8E01F8615C“I can’t believe that that doofus president of ours has prematurely declared victory over Covid-19,” Ed said. He was FaceTiming with his girlfriend, who he hadn’t seen in person for more than two months due to the lockdown. “How can he say it’s over and we won when we’ve had more than two million cases and 112,000 deaths in the U.S. so far and the numbers are still going up in many locations across the country?”

“Well, I for one,” Amy said, “am tired of being held captive in my own house. I’m tired of feeling like I have to ostracize my friend and loved ones. “And I’m tired on not being able to be with you, hugging and kissing those luscious lips of yours.” She smiled and blew Ed a kiss.

“We need to be patient and not rush back into things they way they were,” Ed said. “I want to be with you as much as you want to be with me, but I want us both to stay healthy.”

“I know, so do I,” Amy said. “But I give thanks that the restrictions are being eased and that we’ll soon be able to resume our normal lives. I can’t wait to go to our favorite restaurant together and dine on some of that delicious, expertly prepared meals with you. We haven’t been able to do that since mid-March.”

“I don’t think it’s such a good idea to run out and to start behaving like we did before the pandemic,” Ed said.

“But the president said that the pandemic is behind us,” Amy said. “And I’m tired of being alone and housebound. I want my old life back. I want our old lives together back.”

“Sorry, Amy,” Ed said, “but I don’t think any of us will be getting our old lives back anytime soon. All I can say to you is be careful and don’t  unnecessarily expose yourself to great risk to your health and life just so you can eat out at your favorite restaurants. Let’s do the right thing and wait until it’s proven to be safe again. We’re young and have our whole lives ahead of us. Let’s not screw our future together up.”

“Too late, Ed,” Amy said. “Carl texted me and invited me to dinner with him and, given your stubborn position, I’m going to accept.”

“Okay, Amy, if that, what you want,” Ed said, “all I can say is good luck and goodbye.”

Written for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (victory), The Daily Spur (captive), Jibber Jabber (house), Your Daily Word Prompt (ostracize), Ragtag Daily Prompt (luscious), and Fandango’s One-Word Prompt (thanks).

Who Won The Week? 06/07/2020

10CC3057-4EEA-4C80-B8C1-700C0FC6C906It’s time for another Who Won the Week prompt. The idea behind Who Won the Week is for you to select who (or what) you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.

I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.

For this week I’ve chosen Marine Corps General James “Mad Dog” Mattis as the winner of the week.423F7732-07E1-4CF0-8E9B-49DD66032FFFHe, and a number of other retired four-star generals and admirals, have come out and been publicly critical of Trump’s threat to use the U.S. active military to quell nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police.

These military leaders were critical of Trump’s use of law enforcement and National Guard troops to aggressively disperse, using tear gas and rubber bullets, peaceful protesters outside the White House so that Trump could walk across the street to a church and awkwardly pose holding a Bible in his hands.

On June 3rd, Mattis, who also served as Trump’s Secretary of Defense, released a statement saying:

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society.”

Whoa! You go, Mad Dog!

At around the same time or shortly thereafter, a number of other current and former military leaders released similar statements critical of Trump’s actions, including:

  • Former Chief of Staff to Trump, Marine Corps. General John Kelly
  • Former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan under Obama, Marine Corps General John Allen
  • Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under George W. Bush and Obama, Navy Admiral Mike Mullen
  • Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under George W. Bush, Air Force General Richard Myers
  • Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Obama, Army General Martin Dempsey
  • Former Defense Secretary under Clinton, William Perry
  • Former commander of U.S. Special Operations Command under Obama, Navy Admiral, William McRaven
  • Former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, Navy Admiral James Stavridis
  • Former commander of U.S. Special Operations Command under Obama and Trump, Army General Raymond A. “Tony” Thomas
  • Former director of the CIA and NSA under Bush and Obama, Air Force General Mike Hayden
  • Former Defense Secretary under Obama, Ash Carter
  • Former Defense Secretaries under Obama, Leon Panetta and Chuck Hagel

Even Former Secretary of State and Republican Colin Powell said that he cannot support Donald Trump for reelection this year because Trump has “drifted away” from the Constitution. Powell will instead vote for former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee.

All I can say is that it’s about fucking time!

And now it’s your turn, folks. Who (or what) do you think won the week?

Jury Duty

Sandman Jazz has given us another of his Sandman’s Writing Challenges. This time the starting point is:

You are due to appear in court, what is the case and in what capacity are you in the court?

B1A74655-308C-4D49-99C8-61A59484465BIt was 9:00 and the beginning of the third day of voir dire, or jury selection. They needed to select twelve jurors and six alternates out of the original 150 in the jury pool who started out.

At the start the first day, the bailiff called out 18 names, each assigned a numbered seat in the jury box. One by one, they were questioned by the prosecuting attorney, the defense attorney, and the judge. Some were accepted, some were excused. By the end of that day, they had worked their way through almost three dozen prospective jurors.

There were only two vacant chairs by day three and six of us remaining in the available pool. By midday, there was but one vacant chair and two of us left in the pool — me and a twenty-something young woman. She leaned over to me and whispered, “I so want them to pick me. I’ve never served on a jury before.” I wished her luck.

Sure enough, hers was the name the bailiff called. Upon hearing her name, she squealed with delight. When she took her seat in the jury box and the questioning began, she started giggling and could not stop. She kept apologizing, trying to explain how excited she was to be serving on the jury, but after about five minutes of non-stop giggling, it was too much for the judge.

“Young lady, you’re excused from jury duty,” the judge said, and instructed the bailiff to remove the nearly hysterical woman from the jury box.

The judge looked at the bailiff. The bailiff looked at me, motioned for me to come forward and to sit down on chair number 18. “Shit,” I muttered to myself.

Without either attorney or the judge asking me a single question, the judge said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we have our jury. Court is adjourned until 9 am tomorrow,” and she slammed her gavel on her desk.

Image credit:

Song Lyric Sunday — Size Matters

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams is all about size, as in “ Big,” “Large,” “Little,” “Small,” “Tall,” and “Tiny.” I decided to turn on the Wayback Machine and harken back to the days before Jimmy Dean was hawking sausage and was an American country music singer and television host. Yes, I went with Jimmy Dean’s “Big Bad John.”

“Big Bad John” was a country song written and performed by Jimmy Dean. He wrote and composed it in collaboration with Roy Acuff. Released in September 1961, it became a Billboard Hot 100 number one song by November. It won Dean the 1962 Grammy Award for Best Country & Western Recording.

The song is about a mysterious and quiet miner who earned the nickname “Big John” because of his height, weight, and muscular physique. One day, a support timber cracked at the mine where John worked. The situation looked hopeless until John “grabbed a saggin’ timber, gave out with a groan / and like a giant oak tree just stood there alone,” then “gave a mighty shove,” opening a passage and allowing the 20 other miners to escape the mine.

Just as the other miners were about to re-enter the mine with the tools necessary to save him, the mine fully collapsed and John was believed to have died in the depths of the mine. The mine itself was never reopened, but a marble stand was placed in front of it, with the words “At the bottom of this mine lies a big, big man – Big John.”

Dean wrote the song, which was not based upon a specific mining event, on a flight from New York to Nashville when he realized he needed another song for his recording session.

The Big John character in the song was based upon fellow actor John Mentoe (“Destry Rides Again”), who was 6’5″ tall.

Here are the lyrics to the song.

(Big John, big John)
Every mornin’ at the mine you could see him arrive
He stood six-foot-six and weighed two-forty-five
Kinda broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip
And everybody knew ya didn’t give no lip to big John
(Big John, big John)
Big bad John (big John)

Nobody seemed to know where John called home
He just drifted into town and stayed all alone
He didn’t say much, kinda quiet and shy
And if you spoke at all, you just said hi to Big John

Somebody said he came from New Orleans
Where he got in a fight over a Cajun Queen
And a crashin’ blow from a huge right hand
Sent a Louisiana fellow to the promised land, big John
(Big John, big John)
Big bad John (big John)

Then came the day at the bottom of the mine
When a timber cracked and men started cryin’
Miners were prayin’ and hearts beat fast
And everybody thought that they’d breathed their last, ‘cept John

Through the dust and the smoke of this man-made hell
Walked a giant of a man that the miners knew well
Grabbed a saggin’ timber, gave out with a groan
And like a giant oak tree he just stood there alone, big John
(Big John, big John)
Big bad John (big John)

And with all of his strength he gave a mighty shove
Then a miner yelled out “there’s a light up above!”
And twenty men scrambled from a would-be grave
Now there’s only one left down there to save, big John

With jacks and timbers they started back down
Then came that rumble way down in the ground
And then smoke and gas belched out of that mine
Everybody knew it was the end of the line for big John
(Big John, big John)
Big bad John (big John)

Now, they never reopened that worthless pit
They just placed a marble stand in front of it
These few words are written on that stand
At the bottom of this mine lies a big, big man
Big John
(Big John, big John)
Big bad John (big John)
(Big John) big bad John

FOWC with Fandango — Thanks

FOWCWelcome to June 7, 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 “thanks.”

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.