The Letter Q

Deb, over at Nope, Not Pam, has this weekly challenge called A Letter a Week where she gives us a place, an emotion, an adjective, a verb, and an animal all starting with the same letter. Then she asks us to write a post using those items and the letter she has given us, which this week is the letter Q.

Here are Deb’s Q-words:

Place – quagmire
Emotion – queasy
Adjective – quick
Verb – qualify
Animal – quokka

I was starting to feel queasy, having been stuck in the muck of this massive bog for some time. I knew that if I wasn’t able to get myself onto dry land with solid footing soon, I might end up being sucked under and buried alive in a muddy grave.

But just as I thought all hope was lost, I found myself eye-to-eye with the cutest little fellow. I thought for sure that I must have been near the end of my life, as I’d never seen such a creature before. The animal seemed to be smiling at me. “What are you?” I managed to ask in a weak voice.

“I’m Quincy and I qualify as a certified rescue quokka around these parts,” he said. “I will show you the way out of this quagmire, but we must be quick about it.”

Quincy grabbed one of my hands with his paw and led me out of the bog onto dry land, where I immediately passed out from exhaustion.

I’m not sure how long I was out cold, but when I finally opened my eyes there were two teenagers, a boy and a girl, looking down at me. “Mister, are you all right?” the girl asked.

“Yes, I think so,” I said. “Where’s Quincy?” I asked.

The teenagers looked around and shrugged their shoulders in unison. “There’s no one else here. Who’s Quincy!” the boy asked.

“He’s my rescue quokka,” I said. “He led me out of the quagmire and quite possibly saved me from suffering a tragic death.” The two teenagers looked at each other and started chuckling. “What’s so funny?” I asked.

“Mister, you’re either on drugs or you’re hallucinating,” the boy said. “But if it’s the former, do you have any to share with us? We’ve always wanted to meet a rescue quokka, whatever that is.”

Who Won The Week — 07/24/22

The 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.

This week’s recipient of Who Won the Week is, once again, the House Select Committee’s investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. This week the committee held its last prime-time televised hearing until September. Did you watch it? It was a blockbuster!

The hearing focused on then-President Trump’s three-plus-hour refusal to publicly condemn the unfolding insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, to call off the violent mob, or to take any action whatsoever to stop the attempted siege. Trump did not place a single call to any of his law enforcement or national security officials or to the military as the Capitol attack was unfolding. The calls he did make during that 187 minute gap were to Republic senators who, themselves, were under siege in the Capitol building, to persuade them to stick by his delusional scheme to halt the process.

Trump didn’t want to act to call off the mob that day or to condemn the violence because they were doing exactly what he wanted and sent them to do: delay or stop the official counting and confirmation of the Electoral College vote, officially making Joe Biden the next President.

What struck me while I watched the hearing were the parallels between Nero of Rome and Trump of America.

In July of 64 A.D., a great fire ravaged Rome for six days, destroying 70 percent of the city and leaving half its population homeless. According to a well-known expression, Nero, Rome’s decadent and unpopular emperor at the time, “fiddled while Rome burned.” The expression has a double meaning: Not only did Nero play music while his people suffered, but he was an ineffectual leader in a time of crisis.

In January of 2021, a heretofore unimaginable siege upon the U.S. Capitol Building by Donald Trump’s loyal MAGA-maniacs took lives, destroyed property, and almost stopped democracy in an attempted coup triggered by none other than the president of the country. The United States’ unpopular and decadent president, went to the White House’s dining room, turned on Fox News, and figuratively fiddled while the Capitol was under attack, at his command, by rioters. He reveled in the chaos, cheered on his supporters in their insurrection attempt, and, despite the pleas of his advisors, the media, and even his children, did literally nothing to stop it. The only action Trump took was to watch TV, tweet, and call Republican senators while the nation he was supposed to lead, protect, and serve suffered. And he demonstrated that he was an ineffective leader in a time of crisis.

So who (or what) do you think won the week?

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.

Time To Change My Life

Were I to take a snapshot of my life
A selfie
The picture I’d see would be underwhelming
With a distinct lack of diversity
Little variation
Day to day
Week to week
Month to month
Year to year
Nothing even remotely kitschy
Mostly just drab
Timelessly boring
A pantomime of living
I need to foster change
To find excitement
To be alive once again

(Exactly 67 words)

Written for Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt, where the word is “variation.” Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (snapshot), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (underwhelming), E.M.’s Random Word Prompt (diversity), Your Daily Word Prompt (kitschy), Word of the Day Challenge (timeless), My Vivid Blog (pantomime), and The Daily Spur (foster).

Song Lyric Sunday — Never Number One

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has asked us to feature a song by a group or an artist that surprisingly never reached #1 on the charts. As I was doing my research on great songs that never made it to the top, I was surprised by many of them. But none surprised me more than “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” was written by Freddie Mercury for Queen’s 1975 album A Night at the Opera. In the United States, the song peaked at number nine in 1976, but reached a new peak of number two after appearing in the 1992 film Wayne’s World. In 2004, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

The song did make it to the top spot in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and much of Western Europe. Yet, shockingly, it never made it to number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.

There’s a lot of speculation about the meaning of the song, but Mercury was tight-lipped, and the band agreed not to reveal anything about the song’s meaning. Mercury stated, “It’s one of those songs which has such a fantasy feel about it. I think people should just listen to it, think about it, and then make up their own minds as to what it says to them.”

Some have suggested the song has its roots in his parents’ religion of Zoroastrianism. Many of the words in the song appear in the Qu’ran. “Bismillah” is one of these and it literally means “In the name of Allah.” The word “Scaramouch” means “a stock character that appears as a boastful coward.” “Beelzebub” is one of the many names given to the devil.

Another interpretation is that it’s about a boy pleading in front of an unsympathetic jury after murdering a man, evidenced by the lyric “He’s just a poor boy from a poor family / Spare him his life from this monstrosity.

And of course there is my personal favorite verse for obvious reasons:

“I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?
Thunderbolt and lightning very very frightening me”

Here are the lyrics to “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see
I'm just a poor boy
I need no sympathy
Because I'm easy come, easy go
Little high, little low
Any way the wind blows doesn't really matter to me, to me

Mama, just killed a man
Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger, now he's dead
Mama, life had just begun
But now I've gone and thrown it all away

Mama, ooh
Didn't mean to make you cry
If I'm not back again this time tomorrow
Carry on, carry on
As if nothing really matters

Too late, my time has come
Sends shivers down my spine
Body's aching all the time
Goodbye everybody, I've got to go
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth

Mama, ooh (any way the wind blows)
I don't wanna die
I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all

I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?
Thunderbolt and lightning very very frightening me
Gallileo, Gallileo
Gallileo, Gallileo
Gallileo Figaro, magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me
He's just a poor boy from a poor family
Spare him his life from this monstrosity
Easy come easy go, will you let me go?
Bismillah! No, we will not let you go (let him go)
Bismillah! We will not let you go (let him go)
Bismillah! We will not let you go (let me go)
Will not let you go (let me go)
Never, never, never, never let me go
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
Oh, mama mia, mama mia
Mama mia, let me go
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me
For me
For me

So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye?
So you think you can love me and leave me to die?
Oh, baby
Can't do this to me, baby
Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here

Ooooh, ooh yeah, ooh yeah

Nothing really matters
Anyone can see
Nothing really matters
Nothing really matters to me

Any way the wind blows

FOWC with Fandango — Underwhelming


It’s July 24, 2022. Welcome 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 “underwhelming.”

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. Show them some love.