Spy Versus Spy

BB3EDA1A-E3E8-41EC-B00B-A3C8C361DA91I’ve been getting some strange comments showing up in my spam folder lately. Like this one:

“Alex9, this message is your next piece of data. Immediately message the agency at your earliest convenience. No further information until next transmission. This is broadcast #5771. Do not delete.”

Sometimes, like above, the comment is addressed to “Alex9.” Sometimes it’s addressed to another mysterious, secret agent-like name. But the message is always the same.

And the cryptic wording is weird. “Immediately message the agency.” What agency? Are we talking CIA? FBI? MI6? Mossad? KGB? What?

And then there’s “…at your earliest convenience.” So what is it — immediately or at my earliest convenience? “…next transmission” “…do not delete.” Seriously?

Well, listen, whoever you are, I’ve got news for you. I never sent in an application to any of those spy agencies. You showed a serious lack of judgment sending this message to me. I may be an uncle, but I’m not The Man From U.N.C.L.E. As much as I’d like to, it’s not my job to eradicate evil in the universe or to stop the polar ice caps from melting.

So I’m going to ignore your directive to message the agency and I’m going to delete this spam comment forthwith. Over and out.


Written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (news), The Daily Spur (judgment), Your Daily Word Prompt (eradicate), Word of the Day Challenge (universe), Ragtag Daily Prompt (Emmy), and for Rachel Poli’s Time To Write (application).

Friday Fictioneers — Life Sucks

9343A5B3-C05B-4E0F-B4BC-1D3090A91FC7Ben was dead tired. He had to pull a double shift when Clyde called in sick. It was almost midnight and nobody else was around except for Lin, who was working the hot dog and pretzel stand, and she had started to pack up for the night.

In just a few minutes the lights around the avant-garde sculpture in the courtyard of the Museum of Modern Art would be turned off and he could go home.

Oh wait. Ben almost forgot he had agreed to take the midnight shift at that after hours club in Harlem. “Life sucks,” he thought.

(100 words)


Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Photo credit: Roger Bultot.

Fandango’s Friday Flashback — July 19

Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year. I’ve had this blog for two years, so I have only 2017 and 2018 to draw from.

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember?

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 19th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.

It would be great if everyone who reads this post would scroll down to the comments and check out the posts that others provide links to.


I originally published this post on July 19, 2017 in response to a One-Liner Wednesday prompt from Linda G. Hill.

IMG_2370Have you ever taken the time to contemplate the meaning of life? I don’t do it very often because I’m still not sure life has any real meaning.

No, I’m not a nihilist. I’m just not someone who feels the need to seek out an answer to life’s true purpose or what my role in this world should be, other than to survive as long as I can and to make the most of my short existence on this planet.

Okay, maybe I am a bit of a nihilist.

But the other morning I was sitting at the kitchen table reading the morning paper and drinking my morning coffee and I found myself wondering about life, what it all means, and how I fit in. So I asked my wife, who was sitting across from me busily working on that day’s newspaper crossword puzzle, what she thought the meaning of life is. Without even bothering to look up she said, “Huh?”

“What is the meaning of life?” I asked again.

“I don’t know,” she said, clearly disinterested. “Why don’t you ask Siri?”

So I picked up my iPhone, pressed the home button and said, “Siri, what is the meaning of life?”

This was Siri’s one-line answer:

IMG_0908

That works for me!

FOWC with Fandango — News

FOWCWelcome to July 19, 2019 and to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). It’s designed to fill the void after WordPress bailed on its daily one-word prompt.

I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (US).

Today’s word is “news.”

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. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

The issue with pingbacks not showing up seems to have been resolved, but you might 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.

AZQCueU2 — Society

4CD32C7C-2AD4-41CF-8DB9-801F1BE25E90I have been tagged by Punam, at Paeansunpluggedblog, for this game on quotes started by Rory, A Guy Called Bloke. The topic is SOCIETY. It is being played alphabetically. Each person has to post a quote on society by a person whose surname (last name) begins with the letter assigned to them. You can check out more details here.

Rory took the letter A

Unlike a drop of water which loses its identity when it joins the ocean, man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives. Man’s life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self too.” — Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar

Paula took B

“The paradox of education is precisely this – that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated.” — James Baldwin

King Ben’s Grandma took C

“To me, the progress of society consists in nothing more than in bringing out the individual, in giving him a consciousness of his own being, and in quickening him to strengthen and elevate his own mind.” — William E. Channing

Beckie took D

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” — Frederick Douglass

Sadje took E

A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” — Albert Einstein

Li took F

“It’s a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters.”— Gillian Flynn

Jim took G

“In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.” — Galileo

Punam took H

“Racism is taught in our society, it is not automatic. It is learned behavior toward persons with dissimilar physical characteristics.” — Alex Haley

And Fandango (that’s me) took the letter I

“In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something else.”  — Lee Iacocca

I tag Jerry Brotherton (aka, The Backyard Poet) for the letter J.