Friday Fictioneers — The Service

“Where is everyone?” John asked the pastor. “I’ve got everything ready. The printed programs are in the pews and on the chairs, the hymnals are placed in the seat backs. I’ve put bottled water strategically around the chapel. The service is scheduled to start in five minutes, but no one is here. What’s going on?”

“John, didn’t you get my email?” The pastor asked.

“I don’t recall seeing it,” John said.

“I see,” the pastor said. “The bishop felt that, given these new, more highly transmittable strains of the virus, we should resume virtual services again until further notice.”

(99 words)

Written for the Friday Fictioneers prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Photo credit: Marie Gail Stratford.

Fibbing Friday — This, That, and The Other

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. What are florins, tanners, and bobs?

They are the nextdoor neighbors of wynkin, blynkin, and nod.

2. What is Dead Man’s Fingers?

First of all, Di, mind your grammar. The question should be “What are Dead Man’s Fingers?” Now that we have that out of the way, they are old, stale Lady Fingers that have turned bluish-black.
3. What killed the Triffids?

They ate way too many truffles.

4. What’s the difference between a buck and a quid?

A buck is a male and a quid is a female.

5. How much is an old crown worth?

That depends upon whether it’s made from gold, silver, porcelain, ceramics, zirconia, or composite.

6. What can be known as a ‘Little Gem’?

The tiny diamond in the wedding ring I gave my wife.

7. What is pearl barley?

It’s a pearl that can be found in an oyster harvested from underwater barely fields after they’ve been flooded.

8. Finish the sentence: ‘I came, I saw, I………………..’

…turned over and went to sleep.

9. Who said ‘Smile, it enhances your face value’?

My dentist, just after he gave me a quote for a full set of dentures.

10. Where on the human body is the zygomatic bone found?

Where the sun don’t shine.

MLMM First Line Friday — The Effete Snob

“Leave me alone,” she snapped, juking around him on the sidewalk and hurrying away with a quick clack of heels.

This used to be such a jolly place, she thought as she picked up her pace heading toward her car. Now I’m being accosted by these self-righteous people who try to tell me that I need to find Jesus or be prepared to spend eternity in hell. Who the hell do they think they are? Just look at what has become of our beautiful city. It’s swarming with filth and populated by ugly, smelly, low-life, homeless people who mooch off of society. They shuck and jive their way through life with no accountability whatsoever for their actions.

She picked up her pace and reached her Porsche, got in, and started the powerful engine. That does it, she thought. I’m going to leave the city, drive home, take off my heels, change into my bikini, and walk to my private beach where I don’t have to deal with the riff-raff, the dregs of society, or the hoi-polloi for one-minute more.

Written for today’s First Line Friday prompt from Mindlovemisery Menagerie. The first line is: “Leave me alone,” she snapped, juking around him on the sidewalk and hurrying away with a quick clack of heels. Also written for these Daily Prompts: The Daily Spur (jolly), MMA Storytime (righteous), Word of the Day Challenge (mooch), Your Daily Word Prompt (jive), Ragtag Daily Prompt (accountability), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (drive), and Just Jot it January (beach).

Note from Fandango: I have neither sympathy nor empathy for the protagonist in this post. Her thoughts, words, and actions in no way reflect my personal perspectives. But as I looked at the prompt words and the opening line presented today, this is what came to mind.

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — January 29

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 29th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.

This was originally posted on January 29, 2018

Real Fake News

I remember reading a story awhile back about a Harvard University researcher who had the good fortune of having a paper he wrote accepted for publication by 17 medical journals. I thought was pretty impressive.

The paper was titled “Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs?” I thought that was an impressive title for an article being published in 17 medical journals.

Some of the reviews of his article called his methods “novel and  innovative.”

And that is, indeed, quite impressive. Because, you see, this Harvard researcher’s paper was created entirely by using an online random text generator. It was total gibberish.

Still, 17 “respected” medical journals accepted it for publication. Well, 17 journals accepted it. And they would publish it once the researcher paid the $500 “processing fees” to each “journal.”

Upon further analysis, most of these so called medical journals turned out — surprise, surprise — to be bogus.

Many of these publications sounded legitimate. The paper’s author, Mark Shrime, now an Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology and of Global Health and Social Medicine at the Harvard Medical School, pointed out, “To someone who is not well-versed in a particular subfield of medicine — a journalist, for instance — it would be easy to mistake them as valid journals. As scientists, we’re aware of the top-tier journals in our specific sub-field, but even we cannot always pinpoint if a journal in another field is real or not.”

When Shrime looked up the physical locations of these publications that accepted his paper, he discovered that many had very suspicious addresses; one was actually inside a strip club.

But hey, just think about the how great this will look on Shrime’s CV. He wrote an “academic paper” that was accepted for publication by 17 medical journals.

Not too shabby.

FOWC with Fandango — Drive

FOWCWelcome to January 29, 2021 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 “drive.”

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.