The Raid

“So did the, uh, merchandise arrive?” Vito asked as he walked into the warehouse.

“Yeah, boss,” Vinnie said. “I checked the order and it’s all here and laid out on that table over there.”

“Good. There was some speculation about Jimmy’s loyalty,” Vito said.

“Oh no, boss,” Vinnie said. “I can vouch for Jimmy. He is in awe of you. There’s no way he’d do anything that could topple your empire. He knows that you’re the big boss of a wide swath of the city.”

“I’m glad that allegation is baseless. I wouldn’t have wanted to, you know, fire him,” Vito said.

Suddenly the large door to the warehouse opened up and a dozen or so G-men rushed in. “Nobody move,” the lead FBI agent shouted. He walked up to Vito and said, “Well, Vito, it looks like we got you red-handed with the goods. I knew that if we stalked you and your gang of miscreants long enough, we’d nail you.”

Vito looked around and saw Jimmy, Vito’s arms supplier, standing behind the federal agents. “Jimmy, you snitch, you’re a dead man,” Vito yelled. “I shoulda known that those allegations about you being a stool pigeon where true.”

The lead FBI agent laughed as he put the handcuffs around Vito’s wrists. “Oh come on, Vito,” he said. “I heard you love happy endings.”

Written for these two days worth of daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Daily Prompt (merchandise/allegation), Word of the Day Challenge (order/stalk), The Daily Spur (order/endings), Ragtag Daily Prompt (topple/swath), and Your Daily Word Prompt (speculation/awe).n

Share Your World — All Hope is Lost

Share Your WorldIt’s Monday and that means it’s time once again for Melanie to prompt us to Share Your World with her. Here’s what she asks us to share today.

What’s the tallest building you’ve been to the top of?

The World Trade Center in New York before it was felled by airplanes flying into the towers on 9-11.

What do you do to keep fit?

Walk and stretch.

What’s your jack-o-lantern carved to look like?

I haven’t carved a jack-o-lantern since my kids were in high school.

Do you have hope or have you lost it?

I’ve always thought of myself as a glass half-full guy, but right now I have lost hope for America. I think that, if all the votes in next week’s elections were counted in a fair, honest way, Joe Biden would win the election and be our next president and this Trumpian nightmare would finally be over. But I’ve lost hope that, with all of the shenanigans that the Republicans are pulling, with the aid of Russia and some other foreign sources, and with GOP voter suppression and ballots lost or tossed, this will not be a fair election and that Donald Trump will, possibly via the Supreme Court’s 6-3 conservative majority (three of the nine justices appointed by Trump), not be removed from the White House. Or, if by some miracle, Biden is ultimately declared the winner, Trump will not go quietly, and his Proud Boys, QAnon, and right-wing militia friends will take to the streets and chaos will ensue.

So do I have hope or have I lost it? As of today, I’ve lost it. Ask me again on January 20, 2021 and I may have a different answer.

Blogging Insights — Sensitivity Training

Blogging insightsFor this week’s edition of Blogging Insights, Dr. Tanya wants to know how we deal in our blogs with touchy or sensitive topics. Dr. Tanya poses six question, the first two of which were from Melanie over at Sparks from a Combustible Mind in this post of hers. The remaining four are from Dr. Tanya. So let’s get a little touchy-feely, shall we?

Melanie’s questions:

Warning “labels”: when one is writing about something that could potentially be ‘touchy’ to some folks — Pros and cons

Personally, I don’t put warning labels on my posts. I suppose I do write posts that some might consider controversial (e.g., politics, religion). But most people who are familiar with my blog know that about me and I don’t see the point about warning people in advance that they might find what they’re about to read offensive or might trigger them. I find Donald Trump offensive and he triggers me, but I don’t see any warning labels before he tweets something or shows his ugly orange face on TV.

Censorship: is it censorship if one blogs ‘sensitively’ (aka soft pedals hard issues)? Should writers have to think of every possible reader their writing might touch, every single scenario where a reader might take offense and so on? I’m not thinking of blatant offensiveness (and what’s offensive to one person isn’t necessarily to the next one in line), but a general trying to cover all bases all the time type of thing.

It’s my blog and I blog anonymously. One of the reasons I blog anonymously is so that I can say on my blog what I really think and feel without fear that some redneck, far-right MAGA hat wearing lemming will pull out a pistol and shoot me in the head or that a God-fearing Christian will condemn me to eternity in hell because I’m an atheist. Do I think of every possible reader who my writing might offend? Fuck no! Should I? Fuck no! Should you? That’s up to you.

Now for Dr. Tanya’s questions.

Do you post about touchy or sensitive topics on your blog? If so, what kind of subjects do you like to discuss?

Yes. I post about sex, religion, politics, and whatever else crosses my mind. My posts can, I suppose, contain touchy, sensitive topics. When one is posting an opinion, there are bound to be others in the blogosphere who will be offended, outraged, or triggered by something I write. That’s their problem, not mine.

Do you respond to sensitive or controversial subjects in the form of prompts?

Yes. Why wouldn’t I? I even have my own weekly “sensitive” or “controversial” prompt called “Fandango’s Provocative Questions.”

Do you take part in controversial discussions as part of a comments thread?

Of course. I will express my opinions in the comments. But when it arrives at the point where either nothing productive will come of it or it gets nasty, I will let it go.

How do you think sensitive subjects should be handled on the blogosphere?

Um, sensitively? Sorry, I was being facetious. I think bloggers should feel free to express their opinions and perspectives openly and honestly on their own blogs. Others can choose to be offended or not and can choose to read or not read other bloggers’ posts. As I am wont to say, “Whatever floats your boat.”

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #89

Welcome to “Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge.” Each week I will be posting a photo I grab off the internet and challenge bloggers to write a flash fiction piece or a poem inspired by the photo. There are no style or word limits.

The image below is from Renate Vanaga at Unsplash.For the visually challenged writer, the photo taken outside of a café window shows a man and woman sitting at a table holding hands and laughing.

If this week’s image inspires you and you wish to participate, please write your post, use the tag #FFFC, and link back to this post. I hope it will generate some great posts.

Thanks to all of you who have participated in these challenges. Your posts have been very creative. Please take a few minutes to read the other responses to this photo challenge.

Please create a pingback to this post or manually add your link in the comments.

FOWC with Fandango — Merchandise

FOWCWelcome to October 26, 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 “merchandise.”

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. Please 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.