SoCS — I Need Some Welcome News

3E76617D-7297-4862-9514-B49BDDD0E47CI don’t know about you, but I’d welcome some welcome news. All I read, all I hear, and all I see is bad news. And just when I think it can’t get any worse, it does.

Last month my wife and I moved from San Francisco to a suburb about 35 miles east of the city so that we could be geographically closer to our son and his wife who are welcoming a baby boy into the world in late May. But we’ve only seen them once since we moved here. With this whole COVID-19 situation, we are having to resort to video chats to see them.

We have a lovely welcome mat, much like the one pictured at the top of this post, outside of our front door. But I’ll be damned if anyone is welcome to step into my house these days. I won’t even open my door for someone who knocks or rings the doorbell. It’s just too risky. So I talk to them through the door or use my video doorbell to tell them to go away.

I used to welcome going to the mailbox and retrieving the mail, but I just read an article with some very unwelcome news. The article stated that experts are saying coronavirus could be transferred through mail delivery by sick employees. Postal workers, the article continued, are complaining that the USPS isn’t doing much to keep them or their customers safe.

A number of mail carriers said they have been pressured to stay on their routes despite showing symptoms of COVID-19. Others said that they’ve been given little or no hand sanitizer even though they have limited opportunities to wash their hands on their routes.

Medical providers are running short of personal protective equipment (PPE), hospitals are running short of respirators, and many experts are predicting that the demand for acute care hospital beds will far exceed the supply. The death toll due to this virus is increasing exponentially in many cities and states and the response from Donald Trump and the federal government has been woefully inadequate.

And I still haven’t found any goddam toilet paper in any of the local grocery stores or pharmacies. I did see this little quip that I thought was kind of funny, but in an unwelcome way.491983F3-D44A-477A-95A7-92518AF39400I need some welcome news. Do any of you have any welcome news you can share with me? Please!


Written for today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill. Linda has asked us to use the word “welcome” any way we’d like. I’m sorry to have used the word in a way I don’t particularly like and in a very unwelcome way.

JusJoJan — Magazines

I used to subscribe to a lot of magazines. Time, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, PC Magazine, InfoWorld, Sports Illustrated, People, and, yes, I admit that, way back when, I had a subscription to Playboy.

I also have had home delivery of the local daily newspaper for as long as I can remember. I’ve always enjoyed starting my day reading the paper while sipping my first cup of coffee before starting whatever activities and adventures awaited me as the day unfolded.

But that was the way it used to be. Today, I get most of my news on my iPhone’s newsfeed or on cable news shows. Yes, I still get the morning newspaper, primarily for the sports and business sections for me and the crossword and Sudoku puzzles for my wife. But I no longer subscribe to any magazine except for one: The Week.76D5E807-9DEE-4D19-904B-2AA2CB53F29CAs its tagline suggest, The Week provides “All you need to know about everything that matters.” And it does so concisely. The current issue has only 42 pages and can be fully digested in a single day!

The Week is also nonpartisan. It generally provides all sides of the news in an objective way. So Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, there’s something for everyone. I recommend the magazine to everyone.


Written for Linda G. Hill’s JusJoJan prompt, where the word, contributed by Willow, is “subscribe.” Also for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (paper).

Friday Fictioneers — Cheaters

5A68390E-D63A-4A18-88C0-68C13E9D09C3I was always nearsighted, which required me to wear glasses so that I could see distant things clearly. But as I aged, I found I was having trouble reading things like books and newspapers. My eyes just couldn’t focus.

I went to see my ophthalmologist and he said I needed bifocals. That would enable me to see things both far away and close up.

But bifocals? Fuhgeddaboudit. Bifocals are for old people. So I went to see my pharmacist buddy, Doctor Marx, at the Highgate Pharmacy, and he fixed me up with a pair of “cheaters” for just twenty bucks.

(100 words)


Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Photo credit: CEAyr.

“Cheaters,” by the way, is a colloquialism for reading glasses in my neck of the woods. Also, for what it’s worth, the tomb of Karl Marx is located at the Highgate Cemetery in London. But I chose to ignore that piece of evidence sticking to a page in the book for this piece.