SoCS — A Hole in His Sole

F2FC3391-F53E-4A3D-BAF6-7EB1967F2939He was a very practical and pragmatic man who went to work each weekday morning. She was a very spiritual, religious woman who went to church service every weekday morning. On Sunday mornings, he would go play a round of golf. On Sunday mornings, she would go to Sunday church service.

This Sunday, when he had returned from his round of golf and she had returned from her church service, they were each dressing for that day’s traditional Sunday evening family dinner.

When he was almost finished dressing, he sighed and said aloud, “Oh God, I have a hole in my sole.”

Having heard what he said, she came up to him, sympathetically put her arm around his shoulder, and said, “My love, do not worry. Together we will get through this. Finish dressing, and meet me out front. I will take you to get your soul fixed.”

Grateful for his wife’s attentiveness, albeit a bit surprised by her sense of urgency, he walked out of the front door and stepped into the passenger seat of their car that she had at ready in their driveway.

When she pulled out of the driveway, she drove to the left. He was puzzled and turned to his wife and said, “I think you’re going the wrong way.”

“Oh no sweetheart,” she said. “This is definitely the right way.”

“No, I’m sure you’re going the wrong way,” he said. “The shoemaker’s shop is in the strip mall on the north side of town. You’re driving south.”

“The shormaker’s shop?” she said. “Oh no, I’m taking you to see Pastor James at my church.”

“Does he know how to fix soles?” he asked.

“Oh darling,” she said, “fixing souls is what he does.”

“Honey,” he said, “I think we may have a homophone problem.”

“Are you talking about that gay couple that moved into that house around the corner?” she asked. “My pastor said that those types can steal one’s soul. But that doesn’t make him a homophobe, does it?

He chuckled. “Not ‘homophobe,’ honey.” Homophone. Homophones are words that sound alike but are spelled differently and have different meanings.”

She slammed on the brakes, stopped the car, and turned toward her husband. “So are you telling me that you don’t have a hole in your spiritual soul, you have a hole in your shoe’s sole?”

“Yes, exactly,” he said.

“Oh thank God,” she said, “I’m so relieved.” She started the car, turned it around, and headed toward the strip mall on the north side of town where the shoemaker has his shop.

Written for the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill. The challenge is to write a post using “soul” and/or “sole.”

SoCS — The Company Bash

FB76A2DC-AD00-419F-86B3-84019A98BAEBDavid was a shy, bashful guy. He almost always felt abashed whenever he was in the company of women, which is why he almost always turned down invitations to any social gatherings where members of the opposite sex might be present.

Andrea was a self-assured, confident woman, an extrovert who always wanted, unabashedly, to be the center of attention and the life of the party wherever she went.

David and Andrea worked for the same company but rarely ran into one another. They worked in different departments and hung out with different crowds.

Then, one fateful day, they happened to share an elevator together from the ground floor to the executive offices on the 32nd floor. They were the only two people on the elevator at that time. David positioned himself in the back corner of the elevator, intently watching the lights next to the doors showing the floors as the elevator car ascended. He was almost holding his breath waiting for the car to reach the top floor.

Andrea was in the dead center of the elevator car and, not one to enjoy silence, she turned around to David and said, “So, are you going to be going to the company holiday party this weekend? I hear it’s going to be quite a bash.”

David looked at Andrea. He could feel the beads of perspiration forming on his forehead and he began to feel dizzy. He was afraid he was going to pass out. In a soft, almost inaudible voice, he said, “No, I don’t think so.” He looked at the floor lights and saw that they were only on the 18th floor.

“That’s too bad, David,” Andrea said. “I hear they’re going all out this year. You should go. Perhaps we can have a drink together.”

David was shocked. “How do you know my name?” he asked.

Andrea smiled and pointed to his company badge, which was clipped to his belt. “Your name is printed on it right next to your picture.”

David looked down at his badge, blushed, and said, “Oh yeah, so it is.” And he let out a nervous laugh.

“You’re kinda cute,” Andrea said. She reached out, grabbed his hand and squeezed. “I’m Andrea,” she said, “and I really hope you will change your mind and make it to the big bash.”

The elevator finally reached the 32nd floor, and just before the door opened, Andrea leaned in and kissed David on his cheek. Then she stepped out of the elevator, but before the doors closed, she turned to David and said in a sultry voice, “Please come.”

That’s when David realized he already had.

Written for the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill. Our assignment today: use “abash/a bash/bash” in a post.

SoCS — Celestial Bodies

B3D8B508-D52F-4963-A5C7-FBDC12F277E7Celeste. What are you doing here tonight?” Hal asked when he opened his door to find Celeste standing there in his hallway holding a tray.

“I came over to celebrate our one month anniversary,” Celeste said. “I brought some healthy veggies — broccoli, cauliflower, celery, carrots — plus some ranch dressing for dipping.”

“Well, that’s nice, Celeste, but I have other plans tonight,” Hal said.

“I know, but I canceled them,” Celeste said.

“You did what?” Hal said. “What the fuck, Celeste! Donna and I were going to a celebrity auction at the museum.”

“My horoscope told me that you and I were meant to be together tonight,” Celeste explained. “So when I saw on your Facebook page that you were going to the auction with Donna, I called her and told her you were too sick to go.”

“Your horoscope?”

“Yes, silly,” Celeste said. “By studying the movements and relative positions of celestial objects, you can learn all about human nature and affairs. I’ve studied our astrological charts and we are meant for each other.”

Celeste,” Hal said, “we went on one date a month ago. It was a disaster and I had no plans to go out with you again. You had no right to cancel my plans with another woman. You need to leave.”

“But Hal,” Celeste said, “I brought you a one-month anniversary gift. It’s an engraved heart charm for your charm bracelet.”

“First of all, Celeste, we don’t have any kind of anniversary to celebrate,” Hal said. “And second of all, I don’t have a charm bracelet.”

“I know, so I got you bracelet to go with the charm I got you.”

“You need to leave, Celeste,” Hal said as he grabbed her arm and literally pulled her out into the hallway outside of his apartment. “Don’t come back here, don’t call me, and for crissake, don’t call Donna again. You’re a freak.” With that, he went back into his apartment and slammed the door shut.

He picked up the phone and called Donna. “Hi Donna, no, I’m fine. Yeah, there was a bit of confusion earlier. Do you wanna here something priceless?”

Written for today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill. Today’s challenge is to “find a word that starts with or contains ‘cele’ and use it any way you’d like.”

SoCS — Critical Thinking

CCC61B4A-216B-413F-8C70-FB434D45AC91For this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday post, Linda has asked us to write something using the word “critic” and/or “critical.”

As some of you may know, I have been a fairly harsh critic of Donald Trump. And one of the reasons I’ve been critical of him is because I believe he is incapable of critical thinking. Don’t get me wrong. Donald Trump is critical of anyone who is critical of him, but that doesn’t mean that he’s exercising critical thinking.

So what is critical thinking? It means that you make reasoned judgments that are logical and well-thought out. It is a way of thinking in which you don’t simply accept what you read, hear, have been told, or are exposed to. Rather, you are capable of weighing the facts in evidence, considering the sources of the information, and questioning the arguments and conclusions. In other words, critical thinking is the objective analysis of facts to form a judgment.

Have you ever seen Donald Trump — the leader of the free world, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the United States, and arguably the most powerful man on the globe — demonstrate that he can conduct an objective analysis of facts to form a judgment? I didn’t think so.

Does he ever engage in reflection that is directed at truth and guided by evidence? Or does he more typically demonstrate a willingness to dispense with evidence altogether in his rhetoric and his actions? Does he listen to and carefully assess the information and guidance provided to him by subject matter experts, or does he dismiss them and go with his gut…his ample and uninformed gut?

Think about it. This man, who is the President of the United States, is incapable of critical thinking.DD950FC1-8E15-4A67-B099-FAA56649D8A0Shouldn’t the ability to think critically be a critical requirement of the office he holds?

Yes, I’m a critic of Donald Trump. I don’t know about you, but the fact that he is president and that 40% of my fellow Americans think, uncritically, that he’s the greatest thing since sliced white bread scares the shit out of me.

SoCS — Don’t Let The Bedbugs Bite

2E28B5F9-F8B1-4A83-89D4-E1DE6116F8FCFor today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill, we are asked to “write about the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the word ‘yawn,’ when you sit down to write your post.”

I have to admit that when I read that the prompt was “yawn,” I let out a big one. A yawn that is. Probably because it’s almost midnight and I’ve been up since 6:30 this morning.

But then I thought about why we yawn. Everybody yawns. And it’s not just people. Animals do, too. But why?

One theory is that when you’re tired or bored, you don’t breathe as deeply as you do when you’re awake and engaged. As a result, your body takes in less oxygen because your breathing has slowed. Yawning, therefore, helps you bring more oxygen into the blood and move more carbon dioxide out of the blood.

Another theory is that yawning cools the brain. When you start to yawn, powerful stretching of the jaw increases blood flow in the neck, face, and head. The deep intake of breath during a yawn forces a downward flow of spinal fluid and blood from the brain. The cool air breathed into the mouth cools these fluids. Together these processes may act like a radiator, removing warm or hot blood from the brain while introducing cooler blood from the lungs and extremities, thereby cooling the brain’s surfaces.

Yet another reason you may yawn is to wake yourself up. The yawning motion stretches your lungs and their tissues and causes your body to flex its muscles and joints. It may also force blood toward your face and brain to increase alertness.

These are all theories about why we yawn. But one thing is certain. Yawning is contagious. Even thinking about yawning can cause you to yawn. How many of you yawned when you started to think about what to write for this post? Be honest.

Yawning is one of the most contagious, uncontrollable actions a body does. In fact, 60-70% of people find that seeing a person yawn in real life or in a photo — or even reading about yawning — compels them to do the same thing.

Some studies suggest that people who yawn when they see other people yawn are actually unconsciously demonstrating empathy and bonding. According to these studies, the less empathy a person has, he or she is less likely to yawn after seeing someone else yawn.

I don’t know if yawning is caused by the need for more oxygen, the need to cool down a hot brain, or because you see someone else yawn and you empathize with them. All I know is that it’s past my bedtime and I can’t stop yawning.

So good night, sleep tight, and don’t let the bedbugs bite.