Bad Behavior

You were so truculent during our family vacation
Nothing was good enough for you
You were trouble from the very start
Your complaints were not at all cogent
Your manner was intrusive
Your actions disruptive
When we get home
You will be punished
No trick-or-treating
No gathering your favorite candy
No Starburst candies for you

Written for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (truculent), My Vivid Blog (vacation), The Daily Spur (trouble), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (cogent), Your Daily Word Prompt (intrusive), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (starburst).

Friday Fictioneers — The Park

“But you promised,” Billy whined.

“Yeah, Mom, you promised,” Bonnie chimed in.

“I know,” Sandy said. “But it’s been raining for days and it’s still drizzling. We’ll have to wait for a sunny day so the park can dry out a bit.”

“We can wear our yellow rain slickers and our yellow rain boots,” Billy said.

“And you can bring your big umbrella,” Bonnie said.

Feeling worn down, Sandy caved. A few minutes later they arrived at the neighborhood park. “Where is everyone?” Billy asked.

“Yeah, Mom, where is everyone?” Bonnie repeated

Sandy sighed. “They’re at home, cozy and dry.”

(100 words)

Written for the Friday Fictioneers prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Photo credit: Roger Bultot.

Fibbing Friday — Books and Songs

Di (aka Pensitivity101) and Melanie (Sparks From a Combustible Mind) 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. This week it’s Di’s turn and she wants to know who wrote the books and sang the songs.

1. From Here to Eternity by Amelia Earhart
2. The Glass Mountain by The Invisible Man
3. The Shining
by Mr. Clean
4. Little Women
by four-foot tall American actress Meredith Eaton
5. Pride and Prejudice
by Donald Trump

6. I Want It All – Vladimir Putin
7. Bat Out of Hell –
Kim Jong-un
8. Space Oddity –
Jefferson Starship
9. Help! – Mike Pence
10. For Your Eyes Only –
Stevie Wonder

Flip and Flop

“It’s not my job as the home inspector to persuade you one way or the other about buying this house,” the home inspector said, “but this, in my professional opinion, is not a quality flip.”

John and his wife, Martha, fell in love with the house and the news from the inspector was disappointing. “What makes you say that?” John asked.

“First of all,” the inspector said, “I went down into the crawl space under the first floor and the underpinnings are insufficient, in other words, too weak to accommodate a two story home. That leads me to believe that when the construction permits were approved, that approval was based upon a single-story structure.

The inspector continued, “The cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms are cheap, builder grade materials. They are not real wood, but a wood veneer over particleboard. Similarly, the hardwood floors are not, in fact, hardwood. They are a much cheaper laminate flooring.”

John, who was under contract to purchase the house for more than a million dollars, felt as if his knees would start to buckle. Martha looked at John and said, “I told that the flipper was a snake, a goddam reptile, and that we should never have made an offer on this house.”

John looked at the inspector and asked, “What are our options?”

“You have a narrow window of opportunity,” the inspector said. “Based upon my professional experience, I construe that you can go back to the sellers and reduce your offer by an amount equal to the work required to address the issues. Because you have an inspection contingency in your purchase agreement, if the seller refuses, you can rescind your offer to purchase and get your deposit back.”

“John, we need to rescind the offer and get our money back. Period,” Martha said. “I’m not moving into that house under any circumstances. Period.”

Written for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (persuade), E.M.’s Random Word Prompt (underpinning), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (weak), Ragtag Daily Prompt (veneer), The Daily Spur (reptile), My Vivid Blog (narrow), and Your Daily Word Prompt (construe).

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — October 14th

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 14th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.

This was originally posted on October 14, 2014 on my old blog.

Small Talk

Some people are really good at small talk. I am not one of those people.

Small talk, according to Wikipedia, is “an informal type of discourse that does not cover any functional topics of conversation or any transactions that need to be addressed.” So it’s basically bullshit. It’s filler with no substance to it, sort of like popcorn, only less salty.

Wikipedia goes on to say that small talk “serves many functions in helping to define the relationships between friends, work colleagues, and new acquaintances. In particular, it helps new acquaintances to explore and categorize each other’s social position.”

Seriously? Small talk helps define relationships and is used to categorize social positions? Crap. That doesn’t bode well for someone like me who is really bad at small talk.

My small talk conversations typically go something like this:

Other person: Hey buddy, how was your weekend?
Me: Fine, thanks.
Other person: Great. You know, my wife, the kids, and I piled into the car and headed on up to Napa this weekend and while we were there….
Me: Shut up, I don’t give a shit.

Well, I suppose that does define the relationship (none) and does categorize my social position (disconnected and disinterested).

It’s not that I’m anti-social. I enjoy being social with people I know. And I enjoy engaging in lively conversations and/or debates on topics of substance with people I respect. But these hi-how-are-you-I’m-fine-thanks-how-are-you-what-do-you-think-of-this-weather-we’re-having-sure-could-use-some-rain types of conversations bore the hell out of me.

One part of my job that I hate is when I have to participate in a group dinner with clients or prospects. The only thing in we have common is work-related, and few people want to talk about work at dinner. So small talk is pretty much all there is.

Coupled with my disdain for small talk is the fact that I am hearing challenged in crowded restaurants where there is a lot of ambient noise. So not only am I bored, I have difficulty hearing what people are saying. I end up sitting there with a stupid smile on my face, nodding my head occasionally, and pretending that I hear what people are talking about while feigning interest. And I pray that no one asks me a direct question.

I’m equally as bad at parties where I don’t know a lot of people. Parties are often loud affairs, with music blaring and a cacophony of voices in the background. I’ve found that the best method for minimizing small talk at parties is to lie.

Other person: Hello, my name is Jack. Nice to meet you. I’m an accountant over at Gotcher Mooney & Moore. This is my wife, Penelope.
Me: Nice to meet you as well (lie).
Other person: So what do you do for a living?
Me: I can’t talk about it. It’s classified; top-secret (lie). If I told you I’d have to kill you (truth).
Other person (looking around the room nervously): Say Penelope, isn’t that your cousin Matilda over there?

Jack grabs Penelope’s hand and departs quickly. I get another drink, look at my watch, and try to decide how much longer I need to remain at this torturous affair.

One of the reasons I enjoy blogging is because I don’t need to engage in small talk.

So, how’s the weather in your part of the world?