50 Word Thursday — The Plan

7651D491-A6E9-4016-B88D-4EF36939D0D7Autumn is here and we still don’t have a solution,” Henry, one of the town’s elders said. “Unless we come up with a workable plan, our backs will be up against the wall. Soon winter will be upon us and by then it will be too late.

Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul, I am afraid,” Herman said.

People, please!” William shouted. “Let’s stop talking about damp and drizzly and let’s discuss real options. We have a serious problem and we can’t just mop them under the rug.”

“You mean sweep then under the rug,” Herman said.

“Bite me, Herman, you myopic old fool,” William said. “You know damn well what I meant.”

“Just placate him, William,” Henry said. “You know he’s senile. I have a qualm or two about his even being here at this meeting of the council.”

“Fuck you, Henry,” Herman said. “My mind is as sharp as it ever was and if we can’t figure out how to bring those tourists back to our seaside town, we’re all screwed.”

“I have an idea,” William said. “We’ll offer a cash bonus to each travel agent who books passengers on the cruise ships that come to our town.”

All in favor say ‘aye,’” Henry said. “Opposed say ‘nay.’”

“The ayes have it,” William announced. “I will immediately send text messages to all the cruise ship companies and travel agents telling them about the bonuses.”

(250 words)


Written for this week’s 50 Word Thursday prompt from Kristian at Tales From the Mind of Kristian. The idea is to use the image above (unattributed), along with the line, “Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul” from Moby Dick by Herman, and to write a post that must be between 50 and 250 words, in 50 word increments.

Also written for Di’s Three Things Challenge for today, where the three things are “back,” “people,” and “wall.”

Also written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (autumn), Daily Addictions (mop), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (myopic), Word of the Day Challenge (placate), Your Daily Word Prompt (qualm), and The Daily Spur (bonus).

Fandango’s Friday Flashback — August 16

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?

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.

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 16th) 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.


This was originally posted on a now defunct blog of mine on August 16, 2010. Yes, that’s right. Nine years ago today!

Oh My Aching Back

26EA7AAF-7796-4E77-AEC8-6FA1199323AF.jpegYou would think I’d know better by now. After all, I’m old enough to understand, at least intellectually, that there are limits to what my long out-of-shape muscles can tolerate.

So it should come as no surprise to me that after pushing, pulling, and lifting the rather substantial, two-piece, Danish-modern entertainment center that was delivered yesterday in order to get it positioned “just right” in the living room of our new home, I can barely move without grimacing in pain radiating from the small of my back.

Yet I am surprised. Oh why didn’t I have those two beefy delivery guys place the entertainment center exactly where we wanted it when they were here yesterday? If I had, I might now be able to move around without pain.

Here’s where the mind plays tricks on you. I figured that I could be very careful and use my legs more than my back, and that I’d be able to manage to get the damn thing positioned perfectly without damaging my back.

Hell, in my mind, if I wanted to, I could jog for long distances, I could ride a bike up and down challenging hills, I could ski double black diamond slopes, and I could hike the most difficult trails.

Because in my mind, I am like Superman. I can do just about anything he can do, like leap tall buildings in a single bound. I can even use my x-ray vision to see people naked underneath their clothes, just like the TSA employees at airport checkpoints can.

But then cold, cruel reality sets in, and it’s matter over mind. I’m old and out of shape and I can’t do any of those things anymore. Not that I ever could leap tall buildings in a single bound or see naked bodies using x-ray vision.

Right now, as a result of this incongruity between what I can do in my mind versus what I can do in real life, I can’t even comfortably stand or sit, and walking is a delicate, step-by-step process.

I keep saying that I’m going to start getting into shape, start exercising, and building up and toning my muscles so that I won’t damage myself so easily. Yeah, I know. I’ve said this countless times before. It’s a whole lot easier to say that than to do that.

I should take a cue from my wife, who spends well over an hour each morning pushing herself on the treadmill, along with doing vigorous stretching and bending exercises. As if that’s not enough, she goes to a personal trainer a couple of times a week.

But me? I choose to spend my time sitting at my desk in front of my keyboard and computer screen, exercising my fingers (and occasionally my brain). I’m going to end up being a moderately intelligent, nimble-fingered invalid if I don’t hurry up and change my ways.

SoCS — A Hairy Problem

B108F097-1E42-497E-BFE0-E9AA1242445EThis week Linda G. Hill challenged us, in her Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, to use “hairy” in our posts.

Alrighty then. It’s time to tell you something about me that you might not already know. I’ve got a hairy problem. And by “hairy,” I don’t mean alarming, difficult, risky, or perilous. And by “problem,” I don’t mean an unpleasant challenge that must be dealt with.

My hairy problem has to do with body hair, as in too much on some parts of my body and not enough on others. My legs and arms are not particularly hairy. And while I have a mustache and beard, the top of my head is not hairy at all. Well, as they say, grass doesn’t grow on a busy street.

But what is hairy are my back, my shoulders, my chest, and my, well, nether region. For the longest time I thought all that hair was a sign of my great masculinity and I was proud of it. But then I heard about “manscaping,” and as I wrote in THIS POST, I learned that “nobody likes a hairy back and shoulders.” Yes, it’s true. A lot of people apparently find that men with hairy backs and shoulders are gross or perhaps a bit too Neanderthal.

Fortunately for me, though, my manfur doesn’t seem to bother my wife at all. And I’ve reached the age where I couldn’t give a crap what other people think.

In other words, I am dealing quite well with my hairy problem, thank you very much. (And before you ask, no, that’s not my back in the picture at the top of this post.)