Bored Teenage Boys

“Come on,” Jack pleaded, “it will be fun.”

“I don’t want to get dressed up as ghosts and go to the graveyard and run around like crazy kids disturbing the dead who are trying to rest in peace,” Brian said. “It’s a lot of rigmarole to go through, and we may get caught.”

“Oh don’t be such a wuss, Brian,” Jack said. “It will be an adventure. And allow me to impart upon you the fact, in case you don’t know it, that everyone buried in that cemetery is dead. Our presence there will have no effect on any of them.”

“Yeah,” Brian said. “You don’t know for sure that those bodies buried there won’t be disturbed. My Dad said we each have a soul that lives on after we die. And don’t you think two thirteen year old boys dressed like ghosts running wild in a graveyard at midnight won’t be conspicuous?”

“Fine,” Jack said. “Let’s go skinny dipping at the old quarry, then.”

“I think you’ve been reading too many Hardy Boys books, Jack,” Brian said as he hopped on his bike and rode home.

Written for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (graveyard), Ragtag Daily Prompt (rigmarole), Word of the Day Challenge (adventure), Your Daily Word Prompt (impart), MMA Storytime (soul), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (conspicuous). Photo credit: National Museum of Funeral History

Sunday Writing Prompt — Not My Circus

If you’re a hermit living in seclusion in a cave and are isolated from the rest of society, what I’m about to say doesn’t apply to you. For all of the rest of you, read on.

For this week’s Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt, Sara gives us a picture of the three iconic monkeys and the expression, “Not my circus, not my monkeys.”

But the reality is that it is our circus. We live in a world where each of us is affected, to one degree or another, by the actions, deeds, and words of others.

The symbolism of the three monkeys is that it depicts a lack of moral responsibility on the part of those who refuse to acknowledge impropriety, who look the other way, or who feign ignorance. Such people turn a blind eye to something that is legally, ethically, or morally wrong. These people see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil and pretend that they have not witnessed or are aware of wrongdoing, and, therefore, abdicate all responsibility for righting a wrong.

Today, those who exercise willful ignorance and cover their eyes, their ears, and their mouths and who are unwilling to see, hear, or speak the truth about Donald Trump’s Big Lie are the personification of the three monkeys in what is the circus of chaos that Trump has created and that they perpetuate.

Clearly almost all Republicans in the Congress of the United States of America, as well as GOP state and local elected representatives from around the country, have abdicated their responsibilities to uphold the U.S. Constitution and to act in the best interests of their constituents, the citizens of America.

And they are making monkeys out of the rest of us.

Photo credit:

#WDYS — The Old Man and His Erhu

The old man sat on his stool in the park, a blank expression on his face. He was playing his erhu, a Chinese two-stringed fiddle, and was hoping that passersby might stop to listen to his music and drop some money in his sack.

But passersby on this day were few and far between, and those who did stop for a moment quickly walked away because the music that he played was as expressionless as the empty look on his face.

Written for Sadje’s What Do You See? prompt. Photo credit: Clay Banks @ Unsplash.

Who Won the Week? 06/06/2021

FWWTWThe idea behind Who Won the Week is to give you the opportunity to select who (or what) you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.

I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.

This week’s Who Won the Week winner is Philip Uster. Who, you ask, is Philip Uster? Oh, he’s just a senator in the U.S. Congress who may be singlehandedly responsible for the death of democracy in America, is all.

Okay, that is not true. There is no Senator Philip Uster in Congress. He’s is a fictional creation. I’m actually writing about the filibuster, and when I decided to write a post about filibustering, I thought I was being quite clever in creating a persona named Philip Uster as a literary device for that infamous congressional procedure.

So what is a filibuster? The word originally derived from a Dutch term for pirate, robber, or “freebooter.” It was defined as someone who engaged in illegal activities for self-gain.

It has since evolved. According to, a filibuster is “the use of obstructive tactics by a member of a legislative assembly to prevent the adoption of a measure generally favored or to force a decision against the will of the majority.”

It also used to be an exceptionally long speech, as one lasting for a day or days, or a series of such speeches to accomplish this purpose. But more on that later.

Philip Uster — I mean the filibuster — was born in 1806 when the Senate changed its rules, enabling a way to delay or block floor votes. The first actual filibuster in the Senate occurred in 1837. But it wasn’t until the 1930s when the filibuster really came of age.

Senator Huey Long of Louisiana used it against bills that he thought favored the rich over the poor. He would take up time — once up to 15 hours — by reciting Shakespeare and reading recipes. The record for the longest individual speech, however, belongs to South Carolina’s Strom Thurmond, who filibustered for 24 hours and 18 minutes against the Civil Rights Act of 1957.

Do you remember when I said earlier that the filibuster used to be an exceptionally long speech? Not any more. In the 1970s, the Senate introduced the concept of the “silent filibuster,” which enabled members to indicate that they merely intended to filibuster to block a measure. To bring this “non-filibuster” to an end in order to vote on the question, at least 60 senators must vote for cloture. So while the Senate likes to call itself “the world’s greatest deliberative body,” these days the minority party uses the filibuster as a blocking tactic for nearly any significant legislation that doesn’t address that party’s priorities.The Republican strategy in the Biden administration, like it was when Obama was president, is crystal clear: obstruct everything. The GOP battle cry has been to stop Biden from passing legislation at all costs. If Biden and the Democrats support it, they oppose it, even if “it” was something they previously supported or even proposed.

This past week the Republicans in the Senate were able to kill the effort to create a bipartisan commission to study what happened during the insurrection of the Capitol building — their place of employment — on January 6th because not even ten Republicans voted in favor.

In the Senate today no significant legislation can be introduced or votes taken without a super majority of 60 votes. Thanks to these arcane procedural rules on filibusters, it requires only 41 senators out of 100 to quash a bill.

So much for “majority rules.”

What about you? Who (or what) do you think won the week?

Weekend Writing Prompt — Crescendo

I hoped it would end and life would return to normal in the new year.

But the madness persists, and is reaching a new crescendo, thanks to The Big Lie and those who continue to push it.

(Exactly 37 words)

Written for Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt, where the word is “crescendo.”