The Annual Physical Exam

“If you want to avoid having another heart attack,” Arnold’s cardiologist said, “you need to lose some weight, get more exercise, and cut way down on your sodium intake.”

“Oh for fuck’s sake, Doc,” Arnold said, “salt makes everything taste so much better. I ain’t gonna fuckin’ ditch salt. Without it, food tastes, well, lifeless and bland.”

“No need to be vulgar, Mr. Cooperman,” the doctor said. “I didn’t say you have to eliminate all salt, just cut back. I must insist, or the next time I see you, they might be wheeling you in on a slab.”

“I think that a salt-free diet being good for you is a spurious claim,” Arnold complained. “I swear, it’s like one of you so-called medical experts publishes some sort of study and then the rest of you jump on the bandwagon. It’s like you’re all guilty of plagiarism. And then another “expert” publishes a new study two years later that refutes the earlier study. So which is it, Doc? Is caffeine bad for you or not? What about wine? Okay or not okay? How about eggs? Should I be on a low carb diet or increase my intake of carbohydrates? Are you going to tell me at next year’s annual physical that I need more sodium in my diet because you read an article in the most recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine?

“I’m sorry that you feel that way, Mr. Cooperman. Medical science is ever evolving, and as we learn new things, we adjust our recommendations when it comes to living a healthy life. I understand it can sometimes seem confusing.”

“Confusing? More like head-spinning,” Arnold said. “Doc, I think you’re all a bunch of quacks and I’d rather live my life on my terms than try to follow the bouncing ball of your medical science. That’s why I refuse to get vaccinated. I saw on Fox News that more people are dying from the COVID vaccinations than from the disease itself.”

“And if you heard it on Fox News, Mr. Cooperman, it must be true,” the doctor said. “Here, let me give you a prescription for Ivermectin. You can take the pill twice a day and wash it down with full glass of Clorox to which you’ve added half a cup of salt. That will protect you from COVID and will fix you right up.”

“Gee, thanks, Doc,” Arnold said.

“I was being facetious, Mr. Cooperman,” the doctor said. “Now, at the risk of being vulgar, get the fuck out of my office and don’t come back.”

Written for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (sodium), Ragtag Daily Prompt (ditch), E.M.’s Random Word Prompt (lifeless), Your Daily Word Prompt (vulgar), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (insist), Word of the Day Challenge (spurious), and My Vivid blog (plagiarism).

Fibbing Friday — Legend Has It

Frank (aka PCGuy) and Di (aka Pensitivity101) alternate as hosts 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 Frank’s turn and he wants to know…

1. What is Lizzie Borden known for?

She was the twin sister of Elsie Borden.

2. What did the man known as D.B. Cooper do?

He designed the Mini Cooper automobile.

3. What was the Enron scandal about?

Enron Hubbard had a pyramid scheme called Dianetics that bilked millions of dollars from duped investors.

4. What was Dante’s work, “The Divine Comedy” about?

It was a biography of singer and comedian Bette Midler, also known as “The Divine Miss M.”

5. What does Macbeth do to become king?

He marries the queen.

6. Why is Capt. Ahab obsessed with finding Moby Dick?

His career as the captain of the Cold Case unit of the NYPD depended upon his closing the Moby Dick case.

7. In “Mary Poppins,” what is Mr. Banks’ profession?

He was her banker.

8. According to Mr. Owl, how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?

None. Mr. Owl always cracked a Tootsie Pop open with his sharp beak and got to the chewy center without licking it at all.

9. According to folklore, what does a chupacabra eat?

Mostly chia pets.

10. Where do Yeti supposedly live?

In people’s nightmares.

Friday Fictioneers — Throwing In the Towel

I’m throwing in the towel, Gladys. We’re closing down. Just look around. Most of our tables are empty. People aren’t eating out anymore.

Our entire savings went into this place. When we first opened The Stained Glass Cafe three years ago, we were SRO every night. The waiting list was months long.

Then COVID hit.

Due to the lockdown, we closed for 18 months. But last year, vaccines rolled out, restrictions eased, and we reopened. We were in business again. Until Delta. And then Omicron. It’s just not sustainable. I’m done with trying to make a go of it.

(99 words)

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

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — January 28th

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 28th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.

This was originally posted on January 28, 2018.



There’s been a litter problem of late at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach. Some people are leaving their trash on the sand when they leave that beautiful beach.

It’s annoying and it’s disappointing that there are people who just don’t care enough to gather up their litter and put it in the trash cans that are located about every 40 feet on the sidewalk just off the beach.

Apparently some geniuses at the National Park Service came up with what they thought to be a foolproof plan to reduce the amount of litter left at Ocean Beach.

The idea is that having fewer trash cans will encourage beach visitors to be more responsible and to “properly dispose of their garbage” by taking it home with them when they leave the beach and disposing of it there.

And so, in a seemingly counterintuitive move, the National Park Service has removed most of the trash cans along Ocean Beach.

“People will start to take personal responsibility for the beach that they use,” according to a public affairs specialist for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Do these geniuses at the National Park Service have any inkling into human behavior? Have they ever met any actual people?

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “inkling.”

FOWC with Fandango — Insist


Welcome to January 28, 2022 and to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (U.S.).

Today’s word is “insist.”

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.