Grape Wine Versus Apple Cider

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, as you sit in this courtroom on this sad and overcast day, you must certainly see that all of the evidence points to the fact that this defendant,” the prosecutor said, pointing toward the hapless man sitting at the defendant’s table, “has demonstrated a voracious appetite for wassail.”

“Let me point out to you that wassail, if you’re unfamiliar with it, is a beverage of hot mulled cider made from apples. Apples, ladies and gentlemen, not from grapes. Wassail is traditionally drunk as an integral part of wassailing, a medieval Christmastime English drinking ritual intended to ensure a good cider apple harvest the following year,” he added.

“Let me also remind you that we no longer live in medieval times. These are modern, 21st century times. And we don’t live in England. We live in the Napa Valley region, which is the heart of California’s wine county. Our local harvest is grapes, not apples.

“And while it is, indeed, getting close to Christmastime, you must remember that this has been a devastating year for our local wine industry. The pandemic has significantly the curtailed demand for our fine wines because most of the restaurants that serve our wines have been closed since March. And the horrific wildfires of this past summer destroyed so many of our local wineries.”

The prosecutor paused so his words would sink in on the members of the jury. “It with no whimsy, ladies and gentlemen, that I implore you to find this defendant guilty of promoting the consumption of apple cider over the consumption of grape wine. This is an act of egregious disloyalty to our local economy and it’s your job to right this wrong and to rectify this injustice.”

The prosecutor made eye contact with each and every juror. “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,” he said, “I rest my case. Now do your job.”


Written for these daily prompts: MMA Storytime (overcast), The Daily Spur (evidence,) Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (voracious), Word of the Day Challenge (wassail), Ragtag Daily Prompt (wine), and Your Daily Word Prompt (whimsy).

Friday Four on December Four

Every two weeks (or what Rory calls, “a fortnight”), the mastermind behind A Guy Called Bloke poses four rather random questions in his The Friday Four prompt. Here are his four questions for this fortnight.

Before computers, smartphones, and so on what were you using when writing your stories and creating your literature?

Well I’m not sure that I created anything close to being “literature,” but I would either use pen and paper or a typewriter (accompanied by bottles and bottles of Wite-Out).

What type of games do you enjoying playing online?

I’m not really a competitive online game player. I mostly just play solitaire on my iPhone.

What age were you when you first started reading and what were you reading at that age?

I guess I started to read some very simple, mostly picture books before kindergarten when I’d get a book as a present. But it probably wasn’t until I went to kindergarten that I actually specifically remember learning how to read much more than picture books with few words.

How do you prevent boredom entering into your life and are you able to list 6 effective ways in which others could introduce to stop it from entering theirs?

As a retiree who mostly stays at home while in the middle of a pandemic, I’ll admit that my life is kinda boring. I spend much of my waking time blogging, which entails writing posts and reading and commenting on other bloggers’ posts. I also read the daily newspaper, The Week magazine, and a book of two each month. I play cards, backgammon, and Yahtzee with my wife. We binge-watch TV shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. My wife and I go out for long daily walks. I love listening to classic songs from the 60s and 70s. And, of course, eating.

As to what others should do to prevent or relieve boredom in their lives, they should do whatever floats their boats.

Fibbing Friday — From Shoe Horns To Winklepickers

Frank (aka PCGuy) and Di (aka Pensitivity101) alternate as host for Fibbing Friday, a silly little exercise where we are to write a post with our answers to the ten questions below. But as the title suggests, truth is not an option. The idea is to fib a little, a lot, tell whoppers, be inventive, silly, or even outrageous, in your responses. Today is Di’s turn to host and here are her questions.

1. What is a shoe horn?

It’s the official shoe recommended for those who attempt to scale the Matterhorn.

2. Where will you find a grommet?

Right next to the grambit section in aisle 8 of the hardware store.

3. We may say “the tables have turned,” but what is a turntable?

It’s a stage at a theater in the round dinner venue that rotates so that everyone can get a good view of the actors performing on the stage. It lost its popularity, though, in the 60s when many actors started suffering from vertigo and ended up vomiting all over the dinner guests nearest to the turntable.

4. How do you make a tea cosy?

You wrap it in a nice warm blanket and cuddle with it until it falls asleep.

5. What is a quaver?

It is a small earthquake.

6. Where will you find a plimsoll line?

In the plimsoll aisle at the hardware store, next to the grommets and the grambits.

7. What color was The King’s New Clothes?

He used to wear a dark blue suit with an extra long red tie until people finally realized that he was nothing more than an empty suit and that he wasn’t, despite his attempts to be, actually the king, at which time he got booted out of the castle.

8. Why was Ethelred called The Unready?

Because Ethelred was always unready, of course. Duh!

9. 007 has a license to kill, but what would an 005 have a license for?

005 has a license to drive the getaway car for 007.

10. What is a winklepicker?

It’s someone who is a 004 and has a license to pick winkles.

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — December 4

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your 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 4th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on my old blog on December 4, 2009.

Oh the Iron-y of it All

Christmas is 21 days away and the insanity has already started. No, I’m not talking about Black Friday mall shopping or Cyber Monday web-shopping. I’m talking about the crazies who believe that Christmas is under siege by non-believers. I’m talking about the radio stations that have converted over to all Christmas music all the time. (Hey, I don’t mind an occasional Christmas carol every once in a while, but constant Christmas music? Fuhgeddaboudit!)

I’m also talking about what also seems to occur with some regularity around this time of the year: the sightings of images of Jesus and/or the Virgin Mary in very unlikely places. Back in July I posted about a rash of Virgin Mary sightings. She was seen everywhere, from bird droppings on a truck’s mirror to a grilled cheese sandwich to a restaurant’s griddle to a building’s window.

The Jesus Iron

The latest holy sighting, though, is not the Virgin Mary, but her immaculately conceived son, Jesus. As we enter this year’s holiday season, Jesus apparently chose to show himself on the bottom of an iron! Indeed, Mary Jo Coady of Methuen, MA saw the image of Jesus staring back at her on the slightly stained bottom of her iron. She then did what anyone would do. She took a picture of it.

To make sure she wasn’t imagining Jesus’ appearance on her iron, she called her daughters and shared the photo of the Jesus iron with them. Both of Mary Jo’s daughters confirmed seeing the image of Jesus on the iron, proving without doubt that “it” runs in the family. Mary Jo then posted the picture — where else? — on her Facebook account.

Ultimately, a local newspaper heard about it published the story about Mary Jo and her iron, including a picture of the appliance. The Associated Press picked up the story and, well, now Mary Jo’s Jesus iron is famous.

Unlike others, though, such as, for example, the New Mexico café owner who erected a shrine around her Virgin Mary griddle or the Florida woman who auctioned her decade old, half-eaten Virgin Mary grilled cheese sandwich on eBay, Mary Jo says she’s not planning to enshrine her iron or to open up her home for public viewing and praying (or for an opportunity to iron with Jesus). But she does plan to purchase a new iron and to retire the holy Walmart-brand iron and put it aside for “safe keeping.”

I found it interesting that her church pastor, Rev. Thomas Keyes, who has not yet seen the divine iron, seemed a bit skeptical. He believes that God or saints might choose to appear “in person, as opposed to on a toaster, a cinnamon roll, a car’s windshield, a Frito, or whatever. But then, God does what he wants.” Good for Rev. Keyes, but isn’t it a bit ironic (pun intended) that a Catholic priest expressed cynicism about this holy iron? After all, if you look carefully at the bottom of the iron, you could argue that it wasn’t the image of Jesus, but that of Howard Stern, that was pressed into the bottom of that not-so-stainless steel Walmart iron.

Jesus or Howard Stern: who is the real “iron” man?

That said, I wish all of you a happy holiday season, especially to those who get offended when people use the inclusive “season’s greetings” or “happy holidays” instead of the exclusive “Merry Christmas.”

FOWC with Fandango — Voracious

FOWCWelcome to December 4, 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 “voracious.”

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.