Fandango’s Flashback Friday — April 9

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your 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.

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 9th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on April 9, 2019.

Let It Bleed — If These Walls Could Talk

D5DA1170-D1E5-4270-A143-DEBBD5088234“Sarah, what the hell are you doing?” Jim shouted when he came home from work and found his wife smashing holes in their bedroom wall with a hammer.

I can hear them in the walls!” Sarah screamed.

“Them? Who can you hear in the walls? What are you talking about?” Jim grabbed the hammer away from Sarah and she collapsed on the bed, crying hysterically.

Jim walked over to the bed, put his arms around his wife, and said, “Shh, baby. It’s going to be okay. Now tell me what you are hearing in the walls.”

Still sobbing, Sarah said, “I don’t know, Jim. It’s a constant scratching sound, like there are mice or rats or maybe squirrels in the walls.”

Jim stood up and walked to the wall that Sarah had been pounding holes into just a few minutes before. He put his ear next to the wall and listened, but heard nothing. “Honey, I don’t hear anything. I’m sorry.”

“I don’t hear it anymore, either,” Sarah admitted, “but I wasn’t imagining it, I swear.”

“I’m going to get you a sleeping pill and I want you to take it so you can relax and get a good night’s sleep, since I know you haven’t been sleeping well lately,” Jim said. “Tomorrow I’ll stay home from work to look after you and I’ll patch up the holes in the wall.”

Once Sarah was asleep, Jim called her mother and told her about Sarah’s having pounded holes in the bedroom wall with a hammer and expressed how worried he was about her mental health. Years before, Sarah been institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital for delusional behavior, and Sarah’s mother became concerned that her daughter might be having another mental breakdown.

“I’ll drive down tomorrow and take her back with me to see Dr. Steiner,” Sarah’s mother told Jim. “If she’s having a relapse, he might want to admit her again.”

When Jim hung up from speaking with Sarah’s mother, he called someone else. A woman answered the call. “Hello, darling,” Jim said, “my plan is working. The audio recordings of the scratching sounds that I hid inside the bedroom’s heating duct have pushed her over the edge and her mother is coming to pick her up to take her to see her shrink tomorrow. When her mother sees the damage Sarah did to the bedroom wall, she’ll probably ask the doctor to re-admit her to the asylum. Once there, you and I, my darling, can be together at last.”


Written for the Let It Bleed Weekly Prompt Challenge prompt from Saumya Agrawal’s Randomness Inked blog. The prompt for this week is to write a post containing this sentence: “I can hear them in the walls.”

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — April 2

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your 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.

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 2nd) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on April 2, 2014 on my old blog.

It Ain’t Over Until the Fat Lady Sings

I know that someday I will die. We all will.

I don’t know when it will be. I don’t know how it will happen. And despite my firm belief that heaven and hell don’t exist, that this is all there is, and that once I die I will cease to exist in every sense, I know that I don’t know that to be a certainty.

I used to give little thought to what happens after death. But now that I’m getting closer and closer to the inevitable, I do wonder about it a little more.

Would I want there to be life after death?

Well, given that, if I’m wrong, I would most likely spend eternity in a rather hot and undesirable venue, I think I’d rather not want there to be an afterlife.

On the other hand, perhaps reincarnation — getting another chance at life on earth — might not be such a bad thing. Of course, it would depend upon what I came back as. Perhaps we come back in the form that most suited us during our lifetime, in which case I might come back as a donkey — as in ass.

No, I think I’m happy with my belief that it’s over when it’s over and there ain’t no more.

I just wonder where I’ll be when the fat lady sings.

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — March 26

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your 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.

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 26th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on March 26, 2013 on my old blog.

Better Yet, Just Shut Up

Have you seen the claim circulating the internet that baseball bats kill more Americans every year than firearms? Yup, just go to any site that is promoted by right-wing gun nuts (or the NRA) to read statistics like 11,000 Americans were killed by baseball bats in 2010 compared with only 8,775 gun deaths. “Don’t ban guns,” they say, “ban baseball bats!”

Never mind that the FBI keeps no specific statistics for baseball bat homicides. This is just another myth being passed around on the internet and social media by those who claim to be true American patriots defending the Second Amendment.

Have you seen the statistic being touted by right-wing sources and the NRA about how hammers and knives kill more Americans than guns? Or that hammers kill half again as many Americans each year as rifles and that knives kill twice as many.

That statistic on more hammer (and other blunt objects) deaths than rifle deaths is interesting — and technically accurate. But you need to take a closer look at how the NRA spins things.

According to the FBI, there were, in fact, “only” 323 deaths by assault rifles in 2011. But what about the other 8,240 deaths by handguns and other firearms? Are those victims any less dead because they were killed by handguns rather than by rifles?

What the eye-catching, clever graphic above doesn’t tell you is that, while 496 people were killed by blunt objects, such as hammers and baseball bats, 8,583 were killed by firearms in the same year, firearms including rifles and handguns.

The FBI’s data on homicides shows quite clearly that firearms account for more than two-thirds of the homicides in the U.S. The same FBI database reports that only slightly more than 13% of homicides were committed with knives or other cutting instruments, while under 4% were done with blunt objects, including baseball bats, clubs, and hammers!

As was noted in snopes.com, in any debate about gun control, someone will inevitably make the argument that “kills more people than guns do,” where X is anything other than guns. Sure people die from cancer, heart disease, and all kinds of health matters, and even from medical malpractice. People die in car accidents, plane crashes, from poisoning, and choking. They die from old age.

But when it comes to homicides, the fact is that in America, the probability of being murdered by a gun is more than double that of being killed by all other weapons combined. And “all other weapons” includes knives, baseball bats, hammers, poison, fire, pushing someone out of a window, cars, hands and feet, explosives, drownings, narcotics, strangulation, asphyxiation, and “other” causes or method.

And these gun death statistics don’t include the more than 19,000 Americans who committed suicide with firearms in 2011. Half of all suicides in the U.S. are committed with guns.

So before you publicly quote and pass along “statistics” claiming that more people die from hammers, baseball bats, and knives than from guns, check your sources. Stop being a tool for the NRA.

Or better yet, just shut up.

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — March 19

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your 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.

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


This was originally posted on March 19, 2015 on my old blog. It was about the A to Z blogging challenge, but this was before it was as formalized as it is today. Anyway, here’s that six year old post.

BATZAP Badge

As you may know, I will be participating in the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge, albeit in an unofficial way, as I never formally signed up.

I think that “Blogging from A to Z in April” is a mouthful. So I came up with what I thought was a clever acronym: BATZAP. It leverages the first letter of most of the words in the longer title:

Blogging from A to Z in April

And then I thought to myself, not only does the A to Z Challenge need a clever acronym, it could really use a cool badge.

So here’s what I came up with.This is a first attempt, but I want to know what you think. Do you like it or does it need work?

If you like it, and if you’re doing the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge — officially or unofficially — and wish to use this BATZAP badge in your own posts, feel free to grab it and use it.

Or, if you have any suggestions for how I might improve it, please let me know.


Update: due to personal circumstances at the time, I shut down my blog in April 2015, although I did get to the letter “I” on April 10th. I don’t remember if anyone embraced my acronym or my badge.

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — March 12

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your 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.

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 12th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on March 12, 2018 on this blog.

What Could Have Been

9FDBF731-C65B-4D71-B659-458DD8A49BF2It seemed like such a simple decision. Two job offers. One would enable me to stay local. The other would require relocating to the other coast. Both jobs offers were good ones. So it was a matter of do I stay or do I go.

I had spent my entire life — from birth through college — in the same town. So I made the decision to take the more adventuresome route and to relocate. I packed up all of my meager possessions, said farewell to family and friends, and headed across the country to start my next chapter.

My biggest regret, though, was leaving Wendy behind. She and I had been the best of friends since we were little and our relationship turned romantic during the summer after we graduated from high school. We were almost inseparable during our college years and everyone, including both of us, was sure that we’d eventually marry.

But when I had to make my job choice, Wendy’s father was suffering from stage 4 pancreatic cancer and she would not leave his side. She didn’t want to hold me back or stand in the way of my dreams, so we agreed that I would take the job, relocate, and she would join me as soon as she could.

As they say, “the best laid plans.” Within six months of when I left town, Wendy’s father passed. But by the time Wendy was ready to come be with me, I had met someone new. She was not the homespun, girl-next-door type that Wendy was. She was wild, exotic, erotic. I was smitten. And then she got pregnant.

Wendy’s heart was broken when I told her I was a baby daddy and that I felt I had to do the right thing and marry the girl. I told her that I hoped we could still be friends, but she wouldn’t hear of it. She said she never wanted to see or hear from me again.

My new wife and I ended up having two more kids before she decided to be wild, exotic, erotic with some other guy. I got full custody of our three kids after the divorce. Ther’ve all grown up now and are out on their own.

Last month I got a call from one of my old high school buddies. He told me that Wendy had succumbed to the flu. I was devastated.

Now I’m a lonely old man who spends most of my time living with my memories and in thoughts of what could have been had I decided to take the job close to home and make a life together with Wendy.


Written for Butterfly Effect on Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The prompt asks us to envision an alternate version of yourself whose life veers off course due to a single decision made at some point in your life.