An Intervention

769E7C38-D56E-463E-A146-7C3016329218“Oh jeez, it’s raining again,” Marcie said. “That makes like five rainy days in a row. And yet there you sit in front of your laptop with a big shit-eating grin on your face. How can you be so jolly in this miserable weather that we’ve been having all week?”

“Are you kidding me? Look at my stats, for crissake,” Danny said, turning the screen on his laptop in Marcie’s direction for her to see.”

“Okay,” Marcie said, “What, exactly, are you showing me?”

“It’s an Excel spreadsheet I put together to track my blog’s stats,” Danny explained. “Look at this,” he said with an orgulous smile on his face. “They are going through the roof! My blog is going viral!”

Marcie stared at her husband with a look that could only be described as mocking horror. “Are you serious, Danny?” she said. “I’m going stir crazy because of this incessant rain and you’re going all orgasmic over you freakin’ blog stats?”

“But honey, aren’t you proud of me?” Danny asked. “I’m averaging more than 400 views a day. And look at all these likes and comments.”

“That’s it,” Marcie said. “I’m calling your brother and giving him the activation code.”

“The activation code? What the hell are you talking about?”

“It’s a code that I give to a member of your family telling them to rush over here because it’s time for an intervention. You’ve got a serious addiction, Danny,” Marcie said. “There’s more to life than losing yourself in your blog.”

Written for these daily prompts: Weekly Prompts (rainy days), Word of the Day Challenge (jolly), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (stats), Ragtag Daily Prompt (orgulous), The Daily Spur (horror), and Your Daily Word Prompt (activation).

Once Upon a Crime

799E8244-6AC6-47D8-9541-BD1E7AB9EF57Police Captain Rory has assigned me, Ace Detective Fandango, to investigate and solve a heinous crime. There are five people involved in this crime:

My job is to determine:

  • Who is the victim?
  • Who is the murderer?
  • What is the location?
  • What is the murder weapon?
  • What is the motive?

After examining all of the facts and conducting a series of interviews, here is the report of my findings:

Our victim, Emily, was found dead in her zombie flamingos garden. All evidence points to Teresa as the murderer. Teresa used a poison tipped pen to commit the crime.

As to motive, Teresa is a single mother with a teenage son. One day late last year, Teresa was told by her best friend, Paula, at a dinner hosted by Kristian, that there were rumors that her son was taking drugs.

Being the good, caring mother that she is, Teresa took her son to the emergency room, where he was seen by Dr. Tanya. The doctor ordered a blood and urine test, and, sadly, the results were positive.

When confronted with the test results, Teresa’s son broke down and admitted that he spent a lot of time after school over at Emily’s because he loved to play with her cats. One day, though, one of her cats was “in a mood” — you know how cats can be, right? — and the cat bit and scratched Teresa’s son.

It turned out that Emily, wanting to ensure that the boy’s wounds didn’t get infected from cat scratch fever, gave him a high potency narcotic in tablet form. The drug did work to prevent the infection, but it also gave the boy a sense of calm euphoria, a feeling that he began to crave.

Teresa’s son continued to visit Emily and her cats after school each day. But unbeknownst to Emily, he had persuaded Emily’s zombie flamingos, who were known to be a bit mischievous, to provide him with more of those euphoria-inducing tablets until he became addicted to them.

This revelation haunted Teresa. She vowed to seek revenge against Emily for having gotten her son addicted to the drug. As a wordsmith, Teresa knew that the pen is mightier than the sword and began to plot her revenge. She visited Kristian, with whom she, Paula, and Emily often dined. Teresa knew that Kristian kept a supply of rat poison in her home to keep the rats at bay during her frequent dinner parties. Teresa made up some story about seeing rats in her basement and asked Kristian if she could have some rat poison to get rid of them. Kristian was happy to oblige.

Back at home, Teresa took out a special pen and coated its tip with rat poison. When Emily invited Teresa, Paula, and Kristian to tea in her garden a few days later, Teresa brought her special pen and presented it to Emily as a thank you gift. Emily thought the pen was lovely, and thanked Teresa profusely. Paula told me that she heard Teresa tell Emily to be sure to lick the pen’s tip with her tongue to get the ink flowing.

A day later, Teresa and Paula came back over to Emily’s place. Emily was tending to her flamingos in her garden when Teresa gave her a copy of her latest book. After handing the book to Emily, Teresa asked her if she’d like her to autograph it. Emily said she’d love that and ran into her house to get the pen Teresa had given her the night before. “Don’t forget to lick the tip,” Teresa said to Emily, Paula recounted.

Moments later, Emily keeled over. Paula called for an ambulance, but by the time they got Emily to the hospital, she was gone. A postmortem conducted by Dr. Tanya confirmed the cause of death to be rat poison.

I arrested Teresa, who is now out on bail to care for her teenage son. Despite all of the evidence against her, Teresa claims that she’s innocent, denies having murdered Emily, and assets that she’s been framed. However, I find that claim lacks credibility.

Respectfully submitted,

Ace Detective Fandango.

To Control or To Be Controlled


This is not my first blog. In fact, when I decided to launch this blog four months ago, it was the fifth blog I launched.

I started my first blog in 2005 on Blogger. It lasted for maybe 18 months and ended when, between work and family, I just got too busy to post consistently. Not that anyone would have noticed. My blog had no followers.

In early 2008 I started my second blog, which lasted for less than a year. That time around, I was using the blog hosting site, TypePad. I ended this second iteration because I lost my motivation. This second iteration had only a few followers.

About a year later, I started my third blog. It, too, was on TypePad, but because I wasn’t getting much traction on TypePad, even after four years, I moved my blog to WordPress. Within a year on WordPress, though, my blog soared. I had accumulated close to 3,000 followers and was averaging around 500-600 views a day.

While every blogger wants a following, that relatively large following turned out to be a curse. I became obsessed with creating an even larger following. I felt compelled to post multiple times a day and to respond to each and every comment anyone made on my posts. I “liked” and commented on the posts of my regular readers.

And so blogging consumed me. I sacrificed time with my family. I spent more time blogging than doing my job, which hurt my job performance and reputation. I hardly ever ventured outside because I didn’t want to be away from my computer for long periods of time.

I even resented having to go to sleep because it meant I couldn’t be composing a new post, responding to comments, or reading those posted by others on their blogs.

I was addicted. Not to drugs or alcohol or tobacco. I was a blog addict. And I needed to change my behavior before I completely lost myself and my real world identity into my blogging persona. With the help of, and encouragement from, my wife, I stopped blogging cold turkey in early 2015.

In early 2016 I started another blog on WordPress. I wrote my observations on the presidential race. But I kept that blog private because I was primarily writing for my eyes only. That fourth blogging go-round never saw the light of day.

This past May I decided, once again, to dip my toe back into the world of blogging. I told myself that this time I would not become obsessed or addicted. I would post periodically and I would not feel compelled to focus on getting a bunch of followers. I would post only for the purpose of writing down what I observe, think, feel, and experience.

I named my new blog “Fivedotoh” in recognition of this being my fifth blog.

And now I am, once again, consumed by blogging. I just need to make sure that this time around I can control it and that it doesn’t, as it did once before, end up controlling me.