Fandango’s Provocative Question #23

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration. By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

I don’t know about you, but I know that I’ve been pretty stressed out lately. The world, over the past several years, has become a chaotic place and many people are finding it disquieting and disturbing.

Most people, at some point in their lives, feel stress. Whether our stress is due to political, financial, personal, or other matters, we all have to figure out how to best cope with it. So my provocative question is this:

“How do you manage or deal with stress? Is there a specific strategy or approach that you’ve found to be particularly effective?”

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ 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.

And most important, have fun.

Note: some bloggers have had issues with pingbacks not showing up lately, so if you don’t see it shortly after you published your post, you might want manually add your link in the comments.

SoCS — Constraining Trump

9E567351-B700-48EA-ACC0-3DFC9AF4689AI have been under a lot of strain lately due primarily to all of the craziness, chaos, and corruption going on in Washington these days.

I worry that we as a nation are failing to constrain Donald Trump as he continues, without constraint from the Republicans in Congress, to turn our country from a representative democracy into a monarchy being run by Emperor Donald and his offspring in much the same way that Saddam Hussein, with his sons Howdy and Doody Uday and Qusay, ran Iraq before the Iraq War.

With all of the irrefutable evidence that Trump welcomed and encouraged Russian interference in the 2016 election in order to help get him elected, as well as his blatant (and continuing) efforts to obstruct justice, I can’t comprehend how 40 to 45% of the American people still support him. How 80 to 90% of Republicans still support him. How virtually 100% of congressional Republicans not only still support him, but actively enable him.

What is wrong with these people? Don’t they care at all about the harm he’s doing?

I’m an old man — I’m Donald Trump’s age — and this constant strain of living in the era of the Donald Trump presidency might send me to an early grave. I truly think that there are only three things that can relieve this strain I’m feeling.

  1. Trump is removed from office as a result of being impeached, or
  2. Trump loses the 2020 election and willingly accepts the loss and goes along with the transition of power (which is doubtful), or
  3. Trump dies.

To be honest, and at the risk of sounding a bit morbid, I prefer number 3, because I think that’s the only sure way to constrain the man once and for all.


Written for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill. We are asked to use “strain” in our posts.

Running Out of Time

08629265-E2D2-460B-AE84-CC517726E84E“You’re trying my patience, Alan,” Elizabeth said. “I know you know enough about female physiology to understand that there is a finite period of time for women to safely give birth to a healthy baby and my biological clock is ticking.”

“Yes, I do know that,” Alan admitted. “And I agree that someday soon….”

“Someday soon? Seriously?” Elizabeth said, tears starting to well up in her eyes. “We’ve been together for almost twelve years, Alan, and you know how much I want a baby before it’s too late for me. The truth is that my window to get pregnant and to carry a baby to term is going to be closing very soon. I’m running out of time, so ‘someday’ just won’t cut it. Why won’t you commit to this for me, for us, for our future?”

“Elizabeth,” Alan said, “Between all of the geo-political chaos happening around the globe and the potential impact on the sustainability of human life on our planet due to unabated climate change, perhaps brining a child into this world is not such a good idea.”

“Get out!” Elizabeth screamed. “Pack your bags and leave. I can’t believe how I’ve wasted my time with you. Leave now.”

“Elizabeth, you’re being a little rash, don’t you think?” Alan said, reaching his hand toward her to touch her face. She swatted his hand away and picked up her phone. “Who are you calling?” Alan asked.

“Building security.”


Written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (finite), Your Daily Word Prompt (someday), Word of the Day Challenge (commit), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (security). Photo credit: Seth Macey@unsplash.

MLMM Photo Challenge — The Bear Hug

img_1268“No way,” the model said. “I didn’t sign up for this.”

“Oh please,” the director said. “Must you always act like such a prima donna, Valerie?”

“Let me get this straight,” she said. “You want me to stand half naked outside in the snow while a huge grizzly bear comes up from behind me, puts its arms around me, and squeezes me? Have you lost your mind?”

“Valerie, honey, we’re shooting a commercial for Bear Hug brand wine and the clock is ticking,” the director said.

“Maybe I can help,” another man chimed in. “Miss, that bear is a circus bear and I’m it’s trainer,” he said. “I can assure you that the bear is as gentle as a lovable St. Bernard dog. He won’t hurt you.”

“Time is money, sweetheart,” the director said.

“Okay, fine,” Valerie said.

Once everyone was in place, the director shouted “Action.” Valerie stood shivering in the snow as the big, brown bear slowly move in behind her, stood on its hind legs, and put its huge arms around her.

Suddenly, without warning, the unexpectedly enraged bear started tearing at Vallerie’s flesh.


Written for this week’s Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s Photo Challenge. Photo credit: Google Images.

Sudden Death Wish

Suddenly is rarely a good word. It means that something happened unexpectedly and without warning.

“Ralph was feeling fine and then he suddenly died.”

“The tornado appeared so suddenly that people didn’t have time to seek shelter.”

“Suddenly shots were fired and chaos ensued.”

Most people don’t like things to happen “all of a sudden.” We tend to prefer some degree of predictability. We like to feel that we exercise at least a small modicum of control — or at least influence — over what goes on in our immediate sphere.

But “suddenly” takes away our control and influence. And unfortunately, “suddenly” has not so suddenly become a way of life in our modern society. Bad things happen suddenly and there’s little we can do to prepare for suddenly.

All that said, when my time is up and I die, I hope it happens suddenly.5A05E7A2-CC3D-42F1-9E0E-86E594609E0C