Thursday Inspiration — Sharp as a Tack

AD1F5A96-326F-4945-BD5F-62D137FDD0B3When Aaron was a toddler, everyone thought he was slow, dull, and, well, not the brightest bulb in the box.

The whole family was worried about him.

It turned out, though, that while Aaron may have been slow to bloom, by the time he got to middle school, he was shining brightly and his IQ test scored him as a near genius. He was sharp as a tack, he didn’t miss a trick, his mind was like a steel trap, absorbing everything he learned. And he excelled.

The whole family was proud of him.

By the time he reached middle age, Aaron had amassed a series of accomplishments in science, medicine, and technology. He was considered a world renowned expert in epidemiology.

His family was impressed by him.

When Aaron became a senior citizen, he rapidly declined. He had trouble remembering things, even his family. His mind became dull and his thoughts muddled. He could remember things from years past, but not anything recent. He was no longer the man he was just a few years earlier.

His family is worried about him.


Written for Paula Light’s Thursday Inspiration, where the theme is “sharp.”

Shopping for Seniors

FFA9A69A-4544-4D4D-AB5E-DE9BEA122622I went to my local Whole Foods Market this morning. The market opened an hour early for shoppers age 60 and above. I got there 15 minutes before the store opened and the line of old folks to get in already snaked around the corner. And yes, they checked our IDs before we could get inside the store. On the other hand, those in line were not practicing good social distancing.

The good news is that I was able to get everything on the list my wife put together for me. Well, everything except toilet paper, that is.

On the way home I stopped by Safeway, naively thinking that it may have had toilet paper. Of course, it didn’t.

And speaking about Safeway, I am pissed. I meant to write about this in yesterday’s Monday Peeve from Paula Light, but I forgot.

So why am I pissed at Safeway? Well, last Wednesday I went online and ordered a bunch of stuff for “drive-up and go.” The earliest scheduled pick up they gave me was Monday (yesterday) at 8 am, five days after I placed my online order. Seemed like a long time to wait, but these are strange times, right?

Then, on Sunday night, I got this voicemail message.

Hi, this is Patrick with Safeway Drive-Up and Go calling to notify you that your order has been cancelled. We’re sorry for any inconvenience. This is due to the overwhelming intake of orders we have been getting. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at any time. Hope you have a goodnight. Goodbye.”

WTF, Safeway? I called the number back and asked why my order, made five days early, was canceled. The guy said they’ve been so swamped with orders that they randomly canceled a bunch of them.

“Randomly?” I asked. “Why not cancel the most recent orders and fulfill the older ones?”

“I don’t know,” the guy said. “We’re just doing what the big guys tell us to do.”

So yeah, I’m pissed at Safeway. Of course, they could make it up to me by delivering a few rolls of toilet paper.

Thursday Inspiration — I Am an Island

D640B71B-D861-4293-990E-F68C6A3AE225They say no man is an island, but I sure feel like one these days. The entire San Francisco Bay Area is under a mandatory “shelter in place” order, and we’re told to stay at home except for essential needs such as groceries.

So thanks to the coronavirus…

I am alone
Gazing from my window to the streets below
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb

I touch no one and no one touches me
I am a rock
I am an island


Written for Paula Light’s Thursday Inspiration prompt.

Thursday Inspiration — Game Over

0F7F2818-EB64-4289-9A3F-750CD9F29E4EYesterday’s Thursday Inspiration theme from Paula Light, “game,” was very timely, in that yesterday was the day we learned that in the United States it’s game over. Most major professional and college sporting events in America have been cancelled or indefinitely suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The NCAA has canceled college basketball’s March Madness tournament. Major League Baseball (MLB) has canceled the rest of spring training and will delay the start of the regular season by at least two weeks. The National Basketball Association (NBA) has suspended professional basketball for at least 30 days.

The National Hockey League (NHL) has put its season on hold, as has Major League Soccer (MLS) and the PGA. Professional tennis has suspended matches through April 20th, and even though NASCAR IndyCar races will still be held, there will be no fans attending.

The economic and social impact of these cancellations and suspensions is going to be enormous. NBA officials are anticipating potentially “losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars across the sport.” And that’s just one sport.

The NCAA March Madness men’s basketball tournament is 15-day, 14-city event that, between media, marketing, broadcasting, ticket sales, gambling, and the rest, generates billions of dollars.

It’s hard to say whether or not these suspensions and cancellations of major sports in America would have happened regardless of the bungled actions of the Trump administration in dealing with this global pandemic, so I’m not going to point the finger of blame at our total incompetent and unfit president. But he certainly hasn’t done anything to help the situation and our country is going to pay a very high price.

Thursday Inspiration — A Bad Idea

409CAC7F-4328-434F-968B-589477CAA8A4”No way,” Alec said. “I have no sense of rhythm and I’ve got two left feet. I abhor dancing and I’m not going to sign up for lessons. Period. Full stop. End of story.”

“Oh come on,” Eleanor said. “I’ve seen you dance back in the day. You weren’t bad.”

“Are you kidding?” Alec protested. “Even the best of dance instructors threw in the towel when they tried to teach me.”

“I’m sure you can dance if you really try,” Eleanor said. “You were very athletic in high school, weren’t you?”

“That was 30 years and 50 pounds ago,” Alec said.

Eleanor gave Alec a stern look. “We need to add some zing to our marriage, Alec, and dancing together would be a perfect way to add that zing we need. Besides, you know what they say, right? Happy wife, happy life.”

Alec sighed. “Fine, you win Eleanor. We’ll sign up for dancing lessons.”

*****Three weeks later at the local emergency room*****

The orthopedic surgeon said, “Eleanor, your foot is broken in two place and we’ll have to put it in a cast for six weeks.”

Eleanor glared at Alec, and if looks could kill, Alec would be six feet under. “I’m sorry that I stepped on your foot and broke it,” Alec said. “But I told you that taking dancing lessons was a bad idea.”


Written for Paula Light’s Thursday Inspiration prompt, where the theme is “rhythm” (or lack thereof in this case).