Not Pulling Your Weight

“We need to discuss your work performance, Mack,” Charles said. “You’re not pulling your weight around here. You’re behaving like a malingerer, calling in sick, arriving late, leaving early, falling asleep on the job. I was doing your mother a favor by taking you on, but I can’t continue to make allowances for you. You’re a brash young man, Mack, and you have potential, but you’re lazy and you just don’t fit in here. I’m going to have to let you go.”

“C’mon, Charlie,” Mack said. “We all need an outlet, right. I mean after all, you’re screwing my Mom, right? That’s your outlet. My old man’s outlet is a bottle of vodka, and if he found out that you and my mom are dirty dancing, he’d probably smash a bottle over your scumbag head. So how about we come to an understanding, huh? You let me continue to work here, give me a fifty percent bump in pay, and I won’t rat you out to my dad, who’d probably off both you and my Mom if he knew what was going on.”

“That’s an exquisite idea, Mack,” Charles said, clearing his throat. “You’re going to go far with our company.”

Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (discuss), Word of the Day Challenge (malinger), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (outlet), The Daily Spur (allowance), Your Daily Word Prompt (brash), E.M.’s Random Word Prompt (vodka) and My Vivid Blog (exquisite).

Truthful Tuesday — Traditions

Di, host of Pensivity101, is once again standing in for Melanie, of Sparks from a Combustible Mind, for today’s Truthful Tuesday prompt. This week Di pointed out that the world watched the funeral of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II yesterday and throughout the country’s state of mourning, there have been some protests and comments against the monarchy.

She added that she’s not asking her overseas readers how we feel about the British monarchy, but she wants to know…

How do you feel about your own country’s traditions and customs? Do you think they still hold a place in modern times?

Sadly, I don’t recognize my own country anymore. Not since 2016, when Donald Trump was, with the help of Russia and other dark, anti-democratic forces, elected — not by popular vote of the American citizens, but by the Electoral College — to the office of POTUS.

Now, with the radicalization of the Republican Party, American traditions like the peaceful transfer of power after an election, having the person who lost an election graciously concede to the winner, free speech, equal justice under the law, no person is above the law, acceptance of diversity, compassion, kindness, decency, religious freedom, and life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have fallen by the wayside.

If Donald Trump (and his MAGA maniacs) had his way, he would establish an American monarchy and declare himself to be King Donald I, rename the White House to Trump Palace and Mar-a-Lago to The Winter Palace. He would disband Congress, get rid of the U.S. Constitution, and become an absolute, authoritarian ruler, modeled after Vladimir Putin or Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

So, in answer to Di’s question about my country’s traditions and customs and how I feel about them, I’d say that most of America’s traditions and customs that made me proud to be an American no longer exists, and that saddens me to an extent that is almost incomprehensible.

Share Your World — A Day Late

Share Your World

Di, at Pensitivity101 is still filling in for Melanie in the Share Your World prompt, but Di was a day late this week due to the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

1. Are you an early riser or late starter to the day?

Back in the day I used to be a world-class sleeper. Now I’m usually awake between 6:00 and 6:30 (7:00 if I’m lucky).

2. Do you adopt breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a Pauper

My breakfast is mostly cold cereal and coffee, my lunch is most often a sandwich, and I consider dinner to be my “main” meal. So I apparently don’t adopt the meals of a king, a prince, or a pauper quote.

3. Do you have a sweet or savory tooth?

Both. I enjoy both sweet and savory, like dark chocolate with sea salt.

4. Would you prefer a hot relaxing bath or a massage (remember, family friendly people!)?

I’ve never had a professional massage and I never take baths, just showers. So given the choice, my answer would be that I prefer neither.

Gratitude: What has been the highlight of the past seven days for you?

This is going to sound really ridiculous (and maybe even sad), but as I mentioned here, it was going to a public EV chraging station and plugging in my car.

Bucket List

Yesterday morning our daughter texted us at around 10:45. She was going to be riding her bike from her place in San Francisco to have lunch at a fresh seafood place in Sausalito, a town just across the Golden Gate Bridge from the city but about 40 miles north and west of where we live on the East Bay. She asked us if we wanted to join her there.

My wife really wanted to go because we hadn’t seen our daughter for a few weeks, so we got in the car and headed to Sausalito. It was shortly after we hit the road, though, when I noticed that our electric car’s battery was down less than 30% and the range left on that charge was only about 88 miles.

When I mentioned this to my wife, she asked if we should call our daughter, cancel meeting her for lunch, and head back home. But not wanting to disappoint either my wife or my daughter, I said let’s go on, figuring I might have just enough juice in the car’s “tank” to get us there and back home again.

One of the challenges of driving an electric vehicle is that there aren’t public charging stations on nearly every corner, like there are gas stations. So, while my wife and daughter were enjoying lunch, I was a bit preoccupied, frantically looking at my iPhone trying to find the locations of nearby EV charging stations, since I was pretty sure, especially if we ran into traffic on the way back, that we wouldn’t have enough of a charge left to make it home.

Fortunately, there was an EV charging station in the parking lot of a Safeway about a mile from the restaurant. Just so you know, although we’ve had our electric car for 13 months, I’ve always charged it at home in our garage; never at a public charging station. I was nervous about what that experience would be like. Would it be as easy to charge my car at a public charging station as it is in my garage? How long would it take, given that it takes about five or six hours to fully charge my car overnight using my JuiceBox garage EV charger?

When I pulled up to the charging unit in the Safeway lot, I got out of my car and plugged the charging hose into my car. It was almost identical to the plug connection in my garage’s charging unit. Easy Peasy. But would we have to sit in the car for five or six hours to charge it?

The answer was no. The ultra high speed charging station could take my car from 16% to 80% in about 40 minutes! And because there was a Starbucks right next to the Safeway, my wife and I went there to kill some time while we waited for the car to charge up. My wife got a pumpkin spice latte and I got a regular coffee and a slice of frosted lemon cake. Yum!

About ten minutes later we headed back to the car and saw that the battery was charged up to 35%, which would get us back home with plenty of juice to spare. So I hit “Stop” on the charging station, unplugged my car, and we drove off. And yes, we made it home with energy to spare.

And now I can check off charging my electric car at a public charging station from my bucket list.

Fandango’s Story Starter #64

It’s time for my weekly Story Starter prompt. Here’s how it works. Every Tuesday morning (my time), I’m going to give you a “teaser” sentence and your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to build a story (prose or poetry) around that sentence. It doesn’t have to be the first sentence in your story, and you don’t even have to use it in your post at all if you don’t want to. The purpose of the teaser is simply to spark your imagination and to get your storytelling juices flowing.

This week’s Story Starter teaser is:

He hadn’t realized that he had past the point of no return until…

If you care to write and post a story built from this teaser, be sure to link back to this post and to tag your post with #FSS. I would also encourage you to read and enjoy what your fellow bloggers do with their stories.

And most of all, have fun.