Ups and Downs: An Update

You may recall my rant on Monday when I shared the fact that Comcast told me they had theoretically increased the speed of my internet service. But what happened in reality is the internet speed dropped precipitously. I shared this graphic to illustrate that point.2715EA7F-A16E-4ACF-88A0-67F7CAF2CACEI ended up spending about four hours on the phone with Comcast tech support. I was instructed to reboot my laptop and my iPhone. No help. Then I was told to unplug my modem/router, wait 10 seconds, and then plug it back in. No help.

Then the tech support guy sent something (a code of some sort) to my modem to electronically reboot/update it. No help.

After several more attempts and a lot of trial and error, the guy from Comcast suggested that I might want to take my six-year-old modem to the nearest xfinity store and exchange it for the latest, greatest, most technologically advanced modem/router ever made.

The good news is that there’s an xfinity store about a mile and a half from my house, so I took my old modem, put it in a shopping bag, and took a bus to that store, where I made the exchange. Armed with my new, state-of-the-art modem/router, I took the bus home, plugged in the new modem, connected it to my laptop, and waited, as instructed by the guy at the xfinity store, about 20 minutes for the new modem to “acclimate.”

Lo and behold, half hour later I checked the internet speed on my iPhone and it was zooming. I reran the seven day speed chart and this is what it showed:76A559A1-3B9D-4469-BCD2-B03574B2F493Alrighty then. My internet download speeds are lightning fast. And all it took was about six hours of my time on Monday, including four on the phone with tech support, two bus rides, and a lot of aggravation.

I wonder what will happen the next time Comcast enhances my internet service.

#100WW — It’s Perfect

2074D702-4B51-4CD1-B793-6E7242027004“I know she’s in rough shape,” the man said, “but I got a mechanic who can tow her to his shop and get her up and running again. Prolly take him three or four days.”

“What do you want for it?” Jesse asked.

“Hmm,” the man said. “For the tow, the parts and labor, and for new tires, prolly cost about two grand. Eight more for the bus for an even ten.”

“I’ll take it. It’s perfect,” Jesse said.

“Are you planning to take a road trip?”

“Nope. I’m going to convert it. You’re looking at my new tiny house.”

(100 words)


Written for this week’s 100 Word Wednesday prompt from Bikurgurl.

Photo Challenge — Life Imitates Art

DFE95346-FB4C-46E3-929C-0F289608AC19I had dozed for a few minutes, the rhythm of the swaying bus getting the best of my tired eyes. An abrupt stop, followed by a blaring horn, woke me up. When I opened my eyes and looked across the aisle, I saw a vision, a living Mona Lisa.

I blinked and rubbed my eyes, but she was still there, staring at me with her Mona Lisa smile, her right hand resting on her left, just like the pose in the da Vinci portrait.

I realized that I couldn’t not say something to this personification of one of the world’s greatest work of art. “Excuse me,” I said. “Are you an model?” I asked.

“No,” she said, maintaining her slight smile. “I’m a nurse.”

“Did anyone ever tell you that you look just like the woman in the da Vinci masterpiece,” I said.

“Yes, I get that a lot,” she admitted.

“Do you intentionally dress that way, wear your hair that way, sit that way, and smile that way,” I asked.

“No, of course not,” she said. “This is just who I am, how I dress, how I sit, and how I look.”

The guy in the seat next to her got off the bus at the next stop and I moved over and sat next to her. “My name is Leo,” I said.

“Hi Leo, I’m Mona,” she said, holding out her right hand for me to shake.

“Mona?” I said. “Seriously, your name is Mona? What’s next? Are you going to tell me you’re last name is Lisa?”

“Oh no,” she said. “My last name is Schaefer. Lisa is my middle name.”

“Get out,” I said. “Your name is Mona Lisa Schaefer?”

“Yes,” she said. “And you are?”

“I told you, my name is Leo.”

“Leo who?” she asked.

“Leo Vincenti”

“And what do you do, Leo Vincenti?”

“I’m a painter.”

“As in houses?”

“No, as in portraits,” I answered. “In fact, I’d like to paint your portrait, Mona. You have a classic, timeless look.” I pulled out my sketch pad and a piece of charcoal and quickly sketched her. When I was done, I held it up to showed it to her.

“Oh, this is my stop,” she said, and hurriedly got off the bus.E0FB8DF3-1F77-45B4-ACE8-2EDEC74A7B3F.jpeg


Written for this week’s Photo Challenge from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. Photo credit: Reddit.com. Drawing credit: Pinterest

Finish The Story — The Chapel, Part Last

41504FCB-7911-4C5A-A5AA-D77E6C909541Teresa, the Haunted Wordsmith, has this habit of starting a story and then pawning it off on another blogger to write the next part of the story. The “rules” are simple.

  • Copy the story as it appears when you receive it (and the rules please)
  • Add to the story in whichever style and length you choose
  • Be sure to pingback or comment on the original post please.
  • Please use the tag THWFTS
  • Tag only 1 person to continue the story

Teresa tagged Michael (Morpethroad), who tagged Crispina (Crimson Prose). Then Sadje (Keep it Alive) ran with it before tagging me.

So here’s what we have so far.

Teresa wrote:

Far beyond the city, in the middle of nowhere, sat a tiny chapel. No one knew who built it, why it was in the middle of nowhere, or why any traveler in need would always find the light on – but I know these things. I am alive because of Father Chris and the little chapel in the middle of nowhere.

I just turned eighteen and was so sure of myself. I knew everything I ever needed to know – at least I thought I did. I was an adult and didn’t need anyone’s permission to leave. So I did. I left home the morning of my birthday with a few clothes and what little money I had stuffed in a backpack. Mom and Dad weren’t up yet, which made it a little easier not having to listen to Dad ask why or listen to my Mom cry and ask me to stay. No, it was better the way I did it. At least it seemed that way at the time.

I boarded the Number 3 bus heading out of Jasper and …


And here’s what Michael wrote:

… noticed the light on in the chapel. I was curious as it was a shade of green I had not seen before. In the vestibule was Father Chris. He was a tall man, taller when he stood up, and he was standing there looking at me as I passed.

I watched, as around him, the green light seemed to throb as if suspecting I was flying the coop of my hometown. He was dressed in his customary black, but his clerical collar radiated a blinding white light. I looked away with a sense of betrayal and guilt.

I looked back through the window of the bus and found myself just passing the chapel, green light and Father Chris. This disturbed me, as the bus appeared to be travelling at a rate of knots by now having cleared the town limits.

Three times this happened, and I started to feel stuck in some sort of ground hog day. I then pulled the stop cord above me and alighted.

As the bus moved away I saw across the road the chapel, now dark, lights gone and Father Chris standing in the doorway in his radiant collar.

I found myself crossing the road and coming up to Father Chris who….


Here’s Crispina’s Addition:

… opened his arms as if he’d embrace me, his face collapsing into a picture of welcome relief.

“What is it?” I asked, for surely something had happened to cause him distress. But more than that, I wanted to know what that green light I had seen.

“Oh, my lad, my lad,” he said. “I’m so glad you have come. I’m to have a visitation.”

“A …? What, as in Jesus? Or a saint? Or …” I slapped my hand over my mouth “… no, you don’t mean the devil? Is that what the green light?”

He flicked his fingers into my face. “Silly boy! That ‘green light,’ as you called it, is just off Old Bess. But Old Bess is the problem.”

(I’d best explain. Old Bess was Father Chris’s exceedingly antiquated computer—steam-powered I shouldn’t wonder, it’s so old).

“So what’s up with her?” I asked.

“I think she’s not well. She refuses to access my records. And I have the bishop due any moment to inspect them. I don’t suppose …?”

The way he looked at me … what could I do but check out the ancient machine.

The fool of a Father Chris. He’d crammed a communion wafer into the thin slot of the floppy drive. I pulled it out and held it out accusingly. He colored up.

“But, my boy, my boy, I am so grateful. And just in time, for, Hark! That’ll be the bishop now.”

And true enough, a vehicle of sorts was drawing up outside the chapel. But when I looked out of the door …


Here’s what Sadje added:

… it didn’t look like a sort of transport the bishop would use. It was strangely shaped carriage, drawn by some creatures, which weren’t anything I had seen in my life. They had the body of a horse but very large wings attached to it. In fact the carriage came flying through the air on these “flying horses” and landed near us.

The person driving or flying the carriage stepped out and opened the door for the person inside to alight from it. The person who came out of the carriage could be a bishop, I suppose but from some other world. The whole of his body was emitting a strange white light. Father Chris welcomed him with utmost joviality and warmth. He was not deterred by the strange aura surrounding the bishop. In fact he acted as if it was nothing out of ordinary.

“Your Excellency, how kind of you to visit us in our humble abode,” gushed father Chris. “Please come inside, it’s too cold to stand out and chat.” He then instructed the coachman to take his flying horses to the side where a large barn stood. The bishop and father went inside and I followed them. I was wondering who this mysterious bishop was. Was he from some magical place or was I too tired and was imagining things?

When I entered the chapel behind them, the sight which met my eyes was so unusual that …


And finally, my very addition to the very long story:

… I let ought an audible gasp.

“Hey buddy, are you okay?” I heard a voice say.

“Father Chris?” I asked, “Is that you?”

“No, I’m not your father, kid,” the voice said.

I opened my eyes and looked around. I was still sitting on the Number 3 bus and the driver was talking to me. “What’s going on?” I asked him.

“You we’re having some sort of nightmare and you started screaming,” he said. “Listen kid, we’ve reached the end of the line. I’m heading back to the terminal on Main Street in Jasper. Do you want me to drop you off on my way back into town?”

“Yeah,” I said. “Can you drop me at Center Street?” As the bus headed back into Jasper, I saw the small chapel again. But there was no green light shining from within. Just the yellow glow of a standard light fixture. That’s when I realized that the whole thing — Father Chris, the green glow from the old computer, the flying carriage with the flying horses, and the strange bishop — was all just a dream. And now I was headed back home to be with my father and my mother for the holidays.

Even though it was not real, it was my dream encounter with Father Chris that made me see that I didn’t know everything and that what I really needed was be home with my family.


I’m not tagging anyone else. At almost 1,300 words, I think this story has gone on long enough.

So back to you, Teresa.

Manspreading

01E3CA40-7B10-43D5-8E30-835DC960ABE1I was sitting on the city bus on my way to the office when something strange happened. I had a doctor’s appointment first thing in the morning, and by the time I caught the bus, rush hour was over, so the bus wasn’t very crowded. I had my pick of seats and had taken one along the side of the bus where the seats face inward toward the opposite side, rather than those that faced forward.

I was reading the news feed on my iPhone when we got to the next stop and I looked up to see that young woman, probably in her early twenties, had taken a seat directly across from me. I noticed two things about her. She was quite attractive and she was wearing a very short skirt.

I looked down at my iPhone to continue with the news feed when I noticed that the young woman was seated in such a manner, with her legs spread apart, that gave me an unobstructed view of her crotch. And she wasn’t wearing panties!

I leaned forward a bit and moved both arms up to about shoulder height and width. “Excuse me miss,” I said to get her attention.

She looked at me and said, “What?” I took my hands and slowly moved them together, thinking she would immediately pick up my meaning. She just gave me a quizzical look, apparently not understanding my gesture.

Obviously, subtleties would not work with her, so I said, in a stage whisper, “You’re manspreading.”

“What are you talking about?” she asked. “I’m a woman.”

“Yes, you are most definitely a woman,” I said. “But your legs are spread wide enough that I can see your hoo-ha.”

“My what?”

“Oh Jeez,” I said. “Your crotch. You’re exposing your crotch.”

“Oh my god, you are such a perv,” she said, spreading her legs just a little wider apart. “I’m going to report you to the bus driver.”

“I’m getting off at this next stop,” I said, “so no need to report anything to anyone.”

I stood up and waited at the door until the bus arrived at the stop. As I was leaving, I looked back over my shoulder and saw her smiling at me. Then she winked and blew me a kiss.


This post was inspired by the continuing series from Linda G. Hill called “Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right.” Click here to read her latest installment.