Sunday Writing Prompt — The Origin Story

“The afternoon was an hilarious experience. It all began when I was driving along a country road that hot summer day and came across a woman standing on the side of the road next to her car, an old, white Triumph Spitfire. The car’s hood was up, steam was billowing out from the engine compartment, and she was crying hysterically.”

“I wasn’t hysterical,” Monica interrupted me. “I was just frustrated and upset.”

“Whatever. To continue my story, I turned my car around, pulled up behind hers, got out, and walked up to where she was standing, ‘I see you’re in a tough situation. Looks like you have a problem with your car’s radiator,’ I said.”

Interrupting me again, Monica sarcastically said, “You’re always the master of the obvious.”

Unfazed, I continued. “I thought she would have been grateful to see someone stop to assist her, but she snapped at me, saying, ‘No shit, Sherlock.’ She gave me a rather nasty look and said, ‘Are you capable of fixing this or are you just going to stand there gawking at me?’”

“Yeah, I was pretty hot back then,” Monica interrupted yet again.

“I actually hadn’t realized that I was staring at you, but you were wearing a tank top and very short shorts, and your skin was glistening with perspiration,” I said. I continued telling my story. “I’m sure I turned red and diverted my eyes, but I have to admit that she was stunning. ‘Unfortunately I don’t know how to fix your car’s radiator, but I what I can do is use my cellphone to call for a tow.’ I told her.”

“You still don’t know shit about cars,” Monica said, gently jabbing me in my side with her elbow.

Ignoring her, I continued. “She held up her own cellphone and shoved it my way. ‘We’re out here in the boonies, asshole. No cell service.’ I checked my cellphone and she was right. No service.”

“I’m always right,” Monica said.

“So I told her that I had passed a small town about 20 miles back where I had filled up my gas tank. ‘What I am capable of doing is driving us back there so we can arrange to get your car towed. Grab your keys and any personal belongings, lock your car, and let’s get going,’ I told her.”

“You were so bossy back then before I trained you,” Monica said to me.

“Whatever you say, dear,” I said. “Anyway, she gave me a suspicious look, but she ultimately agreed to my plan. Forty minutes later we pulled up to the gas station and I arranged for a tow truck to pick up her stranded car. The tow truck guy pointed out a diner down the street, said he’d be back with her car in a few hours, and suggested that we grab a bite to eat while we waited for him to return.”

“So that’s how you and Monica met, huh?” Our friend, Katie said. I nodded and squeezed Monica’s hand.

“That’s so romantic,” Katie said. She glanced at her husband, Kenny, and said, “Why don’t we have a romantic origin story like that?”

Written for yesterday’s Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt, where we are supposed to write a response using the following as a starting point: “The day/afternoon/evening was a/an hilarious/disappointing/engaging experience. It all began….”

Also for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (triumph), The Daily Spur (side), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (hysterical), Ragtag Daily Prompt (tough), and Your Daily Word Prompt (capable).

Share Your World — Miracles, Surprises, and Zoo Animals

Share Your WorldIt’s time once again for Melanie’s Share Your World prompt. Let’s see what she wants us to share with her today.

Do you like or dislike surprises? Why or why not?

I like good surprises. I don’t like bad surprises.

What’s your favorite zoo animal?

I don’t go to the zoo much anymore because I don’t like seeing animals caged up or confined to small spaces.That said, back in the day, I always enjoyed watching the antics of the various monkeys, apes, chimps, and orangutans in the monkey house. Very entertaining.

What three things do you think of the most each day?

Well, most recently it has been the U.S. elections. Now it’s the antics that the soon-to-be banished orangutan in the Oval Office is going to pull to try to discredit the election results and do as much damage to America as he possibly can between now and Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20th. I also think about my blog a lot, like what to write about, my prompts, etc. And finally, about what to eat. Which reminds me, it’s almost lunch time.

When, if ever, is taking a human life justified?

The only situation where I can think of where taking a human life might be justified is when someone has a terminal illness and is suffering. I do believe in death with dignity and if someone has instructed in a living will that they do not wish to have heroic steps taken to keep them alive when they are on death’s doorstep, I feel that “pulling the plug” is the right thing to do.

Do small miracles exist?

I don’t believe in miracles at all, large or small, that are attributed to a “divine agency” or to something supernatural (i.e., God). That said, I do believe in the possibility of what might seem to be extraordinary, surprising, or unexpected events or developments that bring welcome results, but that are explainable in natural, real-world terms. For example, if I take a look at a car that has been totaled and find out that the driver survived the accident, I might say that it’s a miracle that he or she survived. But that “miracle” may be the result of an airbag or some part of the structure of the vehicle the driver was in. I don’t buy that God intervened on the behalf of the person in the car.

The Monday Peeve — It’s All About the URL

Through her The Monday Peeve prompt, Paula Light invites us to vent, to let off some stream, to get something off our chests. This week, my peeve is about troubleshooting. This is something the WordPress Happiness Engineers don’t do. In fact, whenever we are having an issue with WordPress, they seem to make us do all of the troubleshooting on their behalf.

Ever since version 16.0 of the WordPress iOS app was installed on my iPhone, I have had problems with being able to “like” and to comment on some (but not all) posts I visit from my reader or even from my Notifications. I first wrote about this apparent bug in the latest release of the iOS app here. I have been going back and forth with the WordPress Happiness Engineers on these issues for the past week and, so far, they haven’t come close to coming up with a resolution. Basically they keep asking me to try this or to try that to see if anything I try can resolve the problem.

Yesterday, I got a response from WordPress that said…

Unfortunately the activity logs you sent aren’t telling us much on what might be causing this issue. Can you share the URLs of a few posts/sites this issue is occurring on so we can see if this allows us to narrow down a possible cause.

So I, once again, did what they asked. I provided the URLs of six blogs where I can’t “like” the posts and where I can’t comment at all or can’t comment without entering my name, email address, and my blog’s URL.

Then I provided the URLs of six blogs where I can both like and comment, just like I used to be able to do before version 16.0 of the iOS app was installed on my iPhone.


I discovered something that apparently the Happiness Engineers at WordPress didn’t even think about. Here’s what I wrote.

AH HA! As I was going through this exercise, I just noticed that the blogs that have “” in the URL work fine, just as they used to before Version 16.0 was installed. But the blogs that just have the blog name without “” in the URL are the ones that don’t work.

My blog’s URL is It doesn’t have “” in the URL. I just went to my reader on my iPhone and visited my own post and guess what? I can’t “like” my own post or comment on it without entering my name, email, and website. MY OWN POST!!!

So, it seems that the way to resolve this problem is to find out why blogs that contain “” in the URL work fine in the Version 16.0 reader and notifications, but those without “” in the URL, like my own blog, do not. I think if you can figure out why that is happening and how to fix it, you will have resolved this issue.

And that, my friends, is what has me very peeved this morning. Maybe I should apply for a job as a Happiness Engineer.

Blogging Insights — Best If Read By Date

Blogging insightsFor this week’s Blogging Insights, Dr. Tanya has explained two terms that, in the context of blogging, are new to me: “evergreen” and “topical.” She explains that “evergreen” content is content that continues to be relevant long past its publication so that it always remains sustainable and fresh. “Topical,” or timely content, has relevance and significance for a limited period of time. So, to me, she’s asking about the shelf-life of our posts. Do they have a “best if read by” date?

Here are her questions:

Evergreen or Topical content, which do you prefer writing?

I have three broad categories for my posts: prompts that I host, flash fiction post that I write often in response to other bloggers’ prompts, and political posts. I would say that my flash fiction and all of my prompt posts except for “Who Won the Week?” are evergreen. And I like writing them all and, in all modesty aside, I consider all of my posts to stand the test of time.

On the surface, one might categorize my political posts as “topical.” But I would argue that, while they represent what might be a snapshot in time, that doesn’t mean that they have become irrelevant over time. In my Flashback Friday prompt, for example, I have gone all the way back to 2005, when I first started blogging, and revisited some of my political posts from those years. Although the people I wrote about back then are different and the events at the time I wrote those posts don’t necessarily reflect what is happening in our world today, I think they still represent a relevant look back at what was going on during those times and are reflective of my perspectives.

Which do you write most often?

I’ve been writing a lot of political posts during the Trump error (not a typo), particularly over the past year. I will likely continue to do so until Inauguration Day on January 20th because, no doubt, Trump and his minions will be pulling out all the stops to cast doubt upon the election and to tarnish the legitimacy Biden’s historic win. That’s because they care more about their own unenlightened self-interests than they care about the fate and welfare of America. I’m hoping that after January 20th, I will be writing fewer political rants.

Which of these adds more value or engagement to your blog?

I’ll have to leave that up to the readers of my blog. As they say, value and engagement are in the eyes of the beholder. Or something like that.

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #91

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 Photo Hoteam at Unsplash.For the visually challenged writer, the photo is of a woman with her feet up on her desk watching Netflix on her computer while smoking a cigarette and drinking a whiskey.

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.