A Hot Button

“I know this is a hot button for you, Dan,” his buddy Alan said, “but I’m sure he’ll get his comeuppance some day soon.”

“The trouble is, Alan” Dan said, “I don’t think he will. I think he’ll do anything he can to finagle his way out of this. He always seems to figure out a way to blame others for things he is responsible for having done.”

“He won’t get away with it this time,” Alan said. “Between the FBI, Congess, and the courts, he’ll get what he deserves. I guarantee it.”

“Wait,” Dan said. “The FBI? Congress? The courts? Who are you talking about?”

“I’m talking about Donald Trump,” Alan said, “Isn’t that who you’re talking about?”

Dan started to laugh. “No, Alan, I’m talking about my teenage son who downloaded that ransomware app to our family computer. He’s now trying to blame me for not having sufficient antivirus protections on the computer.”

Written for Linda G. Hill’s Just Jot it January prompt, where today’s word is “button.” Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (comeuppance), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (trouble), The Daily Spur (anything), Your Daily Word Prompt (finagle), and MMA Storytime (download).

The Friday Four for January 15

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.

Do you ever simply stop and wonder ‘Where has time gone to?’ or is it something that never bothers you?

I used to wonder a lot about that, but now that I’ve gotten to the point that I have far fewer years ahead of me than I have behind me, I think it’s a kind of pointless thing to ponder.

If you had a warning label, what would yours read?

What fact amazes you every time you think of it?

That Donald Trump was elected president in the first place.

What kind of activities do you enjoy doing and what would you never do?

I’ve reached the age where my activities include mostly sedentary things like blogging, reading, watching TV, occasionally taking long walks, and eating. Some activities that I would likely never do would be sky diving or bungee jumping. I’d prefer to spend the years that I have left with as few broken bones as possible.

Fibbing Friday — I Don’t Give a Duck

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 our responses. Today is Di’s turn to host and here are her questions.

1. Where did the phrase ‘Out for a duck’ originate?

When I was a young man still living at  home with my parents, I used to use that phrase when I was going out on a date. My parents either knew what I really meant or they were afraid to ask.

2. What is Duck a l’orange?

It’s the brand name of Donald Trump’s makeup.

3. Why do we yell ‘DUCK’ when something is likely to hit us?

Because if we yelled “PIG,” we might get arrested.

OK, enough of the duck questions, Geraldine is getting nervous.
4. When was the first iPhone released?

It was released the year after the hPhone and a year before the jPhone.

5. What is an interrobang?

It’s when you go ‘out for a duck’ during the intermission of the play.

6. What is, or was, a Troodon?

It was the brand name of the first tampon brought to market.

7. Who invented the Little Black Dress?

A funeral director came up with the idea for something little girls could wear to funerals.

8. What is TikTok?

It’s the sound my clock incessantly makes when I’m suffering from insomnia.

9. Who invented the frying pan?

The Friar of Never Never Land from the story of Peter Pan.

10. What color is most toilet paper in France?


Friday Fictioneers — The Roadie

Sure, it meant spending months at a time on the road. The hours were long, setting up long before the band arrived and staying long after they finished to pack up the gear and instruments. And when the band hit it big, it was pure adrenaline each night.

But that was then. Now the band was relegated to oldies concerts in high school gymnasiums. The the excitement had turned into tedium. As he reflected back on his life, he knew it was time to quit. There had to be more to life than sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll.

(99 words)

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields Friday Fictioneers prompt. Photo credit: Dale Rogerson.

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — January 15

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

This was originally posted on my old blog on January 15, 2011. For context, at the time I wrote this post, my wife and I were bicoastal. We had a condo in San Francisco and an old single-family home back east. For a few years we spent the winters in San Francisco and the summers in New England.

Brain Fart

I know I am not the only person whose brain occasionally disengages. Fortunately for me, such incidents are relatively few and far between, which is good. But when they do happen, they tend to either cost me money or to be embarrassing at best and mortifying at worst.

I experienced a brain fart when I was back east a few weeks ago. My wife had purchased a 3-step “slimline ladder” from Frontgate, a web retailer, for our condo in San Francisco. The beauty of this ladder is that it folds very flat and when so folded, it is only around two inches thick. Given the relatively small size of our condo, every space-saving device is highly prized.

Frontgate was offering free shipping on this remarkably thin device, so my wife ordered the stepladder, charged the $99 to our credit card, and had it shipped to the condo. Or so she thought.

I’m not sure if my wife suffered her own brain fart when she was finalizing her online order or if it was the good folks at Frontgate who had one, but regardless of fault, the stepladder ended up being shipped to our home in New England, which happens to still be our official billing address, rather than to our condo in San Francisco.

Okay, no big deal, right? It so happened that, shortly after we discovered this shipping snafu, I was planning to be back at the house in New England for a few days. The well thought-through plan was for me to simply take the misdirected product to my local UPS Store and have it shipped to us where we are currently residing instead of where we aren’t currently residing.

And so, on a cold and snowy New England Saturday in early January, I loaded the stepladder into my all-wheel-drive Subaru and took the short drive to the local UPS Store, where I arranged to have it shipped to our condo in San Francisco. The very accommodating guy at the UPS Store diligently weighed and measured the box. Then he quoted the price to ship it to San Francisco: $171.

Normally my brain would have been firing on all cylinders, with synapses crackling like tiny little lightning bolts inside my skull. The calculation would have been so elementary as to almost be unconscious. $171 is way more than the $99 (including shipping) we paid for the ladder. I should have just gone back to my house, logged-on to the Frontgate website, and ordered another stepladder for $99 and had it shipped for free to our condo in San Francisco, thus saving me $72. Duh!

But at that precise moment I suffered a serious brain fart and without hesitation, I handed my credit card to the friendly UPS guy behind the counter and said, “Alrighty, then, let’s do it.”

You know when all of a sudden you have a realization…a sudden, new insight…about something? Sometimes it takes a while for this “aha!” moment to materialize. In my case it took about five days after the incident for me to internalize my heretofore unrecognized brain fart. I was already back in San Francisco and was in bed attempting to fall asleep one night when seemingly out of nowhere came such a moment, but in this case, for me, it was more of a “WTF” moment.

Shit! I paid close to twice as much to ship the stepladder to San Francisco as it would have cost me to simply buy another new one and have it shipped for free to the correct address!

I started to toss and turn. I broke out into a cold sweat. Did I actually do that? I wondered to myself. What was I thinking?

I was overcome by a feeling of shame and anxiety. I became filled with dread. After all, I’m getting up there in years. Was this a sign of the impending doom? Was my brain beginning to malfunction, its neurons misfiring? Was I starting to forget basic logic and losing my ability to think and reason? Was I suffering early onset Alzheimer’s?

I have since determined that this brain fart, as distressing as it was, was an uncommon, isolated incident. My brain has since been functioning quite successfully and I am pleased to conclude that I am still of sound mind and that I suffered nothing more than a poorly timed and somewhat costly brain fart.

Nothing to worry about, though. Everyone one of us, at one time or another, occasionally has a brain fart. It’s just that some brain farts, like the one I had at the UPS Store, are more stinky than others.