Sunday Writing Prompt — Industrial Espionage

It was no contest, especially since Herman Kramer had planted a mole at the other architecture firm. The mole was the perfect resource for obtaining the details of the plans that the competing firm for the bid on the new courthouse would be submitting.

As the members representing the two firms sat on opposite sides of the table in the large conference room, the procurement officer for the state, who was sitting at the head of the table started to speak. “I have some unfortunate news to share with you,” he said. “It seems that the procedures for this bid process have been violated.” The procurement officer gave an icy stare in Herman’s direction.

Herman felt as if the ambient temperature in the room had suddenly doubled and he began to sweat. “Is there a problem with one of the bids?” Herman asked.

“You should know, Mr. Kramer,” the procurement officer said. “Your firm’s bid is verbatim the bid of the other firm, literally word for word, but your financial terms are about five percent lower. I can only surmise that your firm has committed industrial espionage and has illegally obtained the other firm’s bid.”

“Sir,” Herman objected, “my firm and I would never succumb to such desperate measures, I can assure you.”

The procurement officer nodded to one of his associates who was standing by the door. The associate opened the door and into the conference room walked Herman’s mole. “The jig is up, Mr. Kramer,” the procurement officer said. “Your man here was caught making photocopies of your competitor’s proposal, and he admitted that he was working for you.” Two officers of the law came in and started to escort Herman Kramer out of the conference room.

As he was being escorted out, Herman passed the mole who had confessed. “You little snitch,” Herman hissed, “you may be feeling festive now, but you will live to regret this.”

Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt, where the theme is “contest.” Also for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (architecture), The Daily Spur (resource), Your Daily Word Prompt (ambient), Ragtag Daily Prompt (snitch), and MMA Storytime (festive).

Sunday Writing Prompt — Too Much Information

Rebecca held up the small sliver of amber rock to a candle and fixedly gazed at the dragonfly that was embedded within it. She cried as she imagined how the poor creature must have suffered when it got trapped in the amber. She took it to her father and asked him whether the insect had felt any pain.

“Sweetie,” her father said, “insects can be dated back to the Cretaceous period, which occurred 99 million years ago. The rock you’re holding is amber, which is fossilized tree resin. It started out as dribbles of plant sap, perhaps fallen to the forest floor in sticky blobs. Once buried in sediment, the sap underwent molecular polymerization, hardening under heat and pressure to form, first, an intermediate substance known as copal, and then amber itself. But while still freshly exuded and viscous, it sometimes ensnared a hapless passing creature, trapping it forever. That said, honey, I am sure that this prehistoric dragonfly didn’t suffer when it became entrapped in its amber tomb.”

“Thank you, Daddy,” she said. Rebecca turned and hurried back to her room. She reminded herself to stop going to her father when she had questions. He always over-answered her, even when she was simply looking for a yes or no response. But as a microbiologist, her father seemed incapable of offering a simple answer. Instead, he tormented her with way too much information for a little girl her age.

Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt, when we are charged with writing a post about being tormented. Also for the Ragtag Daily Prompt (amber) and the Word of the Day Challenge (candle).

Who Won the Week? 11/15/2020

10CC3057-4EEA-4C80-B8C1-700C0FC6C906It’s time for another Who Won the Week prompt. The idea behind Who Won the Week is for you to select who (or what) you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.

I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.

A lot of Americans and people around the globe have been having difficulty coping with the election of Donald Trump in 2016. And so, Americans voted in record numbers for the 2020 election and they voted for change. Yet here we are, almost two weeks after the election, where Joe Biden received 5.5 million more votes than Trump and clearly won the Electoral College, and Donald Trump has yet to concede to Joe Biden or to even admit, unequivocally, that he lost the election. There is no doubt in my mind that the man is delusional.

This morning I read a letter to the editor in my local newspaper. To me it reinforces that the 47% of Americans who did vote for Trump are as delusional (and as misinformed) as he is. The writer of the letter wrote…

Almost one-half of all American voters voted for Donald Trump. They did so because they believe he created a great economy; reduced poverty; lowered minority unemployment to record levels; ended a flawed treaty with Iran (no nukes for only 10 years); withdrew from the Paris climate accord which failed to deal with the primary world polluter, China; is trying to get us out of Afghanistan; improved trade agreements with Mexico, Canada and China; is pro-life; sought to control our borders; appointed judges who aligned with their values; and will have a COVID-19 vaccine in record time.

Okay, I’m not about to go through this guy’s letter to the editor item by item in order to rebut most of his statements. Nor am I going to create a list of all of the unethical, immoral, and potentially illegal actions Trump has taken over the past four years or to rehash all of the lies he’s told. This would end up being a 10,000 word essay if I tried to do that.

What I am going to do is to is say that my hope is that at we transition to a Biden presidency, America’s wounds at the hands of Donald Trump and those who enabled him will begin to be healed and that Americans will focus on what unites us rather than on what divides us.

So my Who Won the Week winner this week is an aspirational one. It’s my hope for a paradigm shift back to honesty, decency, empathy, and compassion coming out of the Oval Office.

What about you? Who (or what) do you think won the week?

In addition to my Who Won the Week post, I have incorporated the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt, where the assignment is to write about coping with the difficult situations we face in life. And I’ve also included Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (paradigm).

Sunday Writing Prompt — The Origin Story

“The afternoon was an hilarious experience. It all began when I was driving along a country road that hot summer day and came across a woman standing on the side of the road next to her car, an old, white Triumph Spitfire. The car’s hood was up, steam was billowing out from the engine compartment, and she was crying hysterically.”

“I wasn’t hysterical,” Monica interrupted me. “I was just frustrated and upset.”

“Whatever. To continue my story, I turned my car around, pulled up behind hers, got out, and walked up to where she was standing, ‘I see you’re in a tough situation. Looks like you have a problem with your car’s radiator,’ I said.”

Interrupting me again, Monica sarcastically said, “You’re always the master of the obvious.”

Unfazed, I continued. “I thought she would have been grateful to see someone stop to assist her, but she snapped at me, saying, ‘No shit, Sherlock.’ She gave me a rather nasty look and said, ‘Are you capable of fixing this or are you just going to stand there gawking at me?’”

“Yeah, I was pretty hot back then,” Monica interrupted yet again.

“I actually hadn’t realized that I was staring at you, but you were wearing a tank top and very short shorts, and your skin was glistening with perspiration,” I said. I continued telling my story. “I’m sure I turned red and diverted my eyes, but I have to admit that she was stunning. ‘Unfortunately I don’t know how to fix your car’s radiator, but I what I can do is use my cellphone to call for a tow.’ I told her.”

“You still don’t know shit about cars,” Monica said, gently jabbing me in my side with her elbow.

Ignoring her, I continued. “She held up her own cellphone and shoved it my way. ‘We’re out here in the boonies, asshole. No cell service.’ I checked my cellphone and she was right. No service.”

“I’m always right,” Monica said.

“So I told her that I had passed a small town about 20 miles back where I had filled up my gas tank. ‘What I am capable of doing is driving us back there so we can arrange to get your car towed. Grab your keys and any personal belongings, lock your car, and let’s get going,’ I told her.”

“You were so bossy back then before I trained you,” Monica said to me.

“Whatever you say, dear,” I said. “Anyway, she gave me a suspicious look, but she ultimately agreed to my plan. Forty minutes later we pulled up to the gas station and I arranged for a tow truck to pick up her stranded car. The tow truck guy pointed out a diner down the street, said he’d be back with her car in a few hours, and suggested that we grab a bite to eat while we waited for him to return.”

“So that’s how you and Monica met, huh?” Our friend, Katie said. I nodded and squeezed Monica’s hand.

“That’s so romantic,” Katie said. She glanced at her husband, Kenny, and said, “Why don’t we have a romantic origin story like that?”

Written for yesterday’s Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt, where we are supposed to write a response using the following as a starting point: “The day/afternoon/evening was a/an hilarious/disappointing/engaging experience. It all began….”

Also for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (triumph), The Daily Spur (side), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (hysterical), Ragtag Daily Prompt (tough), and Your Daily Word Prompt (capable).

Sunday Writing Prompt — It Was a Joke

At first I thought it was a joke that Donald Trump, a man born with a silver spoon in his mouth, a failed real estate tycoon, and a TV reality show star with no political experience would be seriously running for President of the United States. Most others thought it was a joke, too.

But as illogical as it sounds, he won the Republican nomination and in November 2016, he managed, despite losing the popular vote by almost three million, to achieve a surprising victory in the Electoral College. And on January 20, 2017, he was sworn in as the 45th American president.

Little did most of us know that his election would turn out to be an augury of the fall of the American democracy.

An now, with an election just a few days away, I have an ominous feeling that the worst president in American history may, somehow, pull off another “victory” handed to him by a stacked, Republican Supreme Court.

And that, my friends, is no joke.

Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt, which is to write a story that contains or make reference to a joke of some kind. Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (spoon), The Daily Spur (illogical), Word of the Day Challenge (surprising), Your Daily Word Prompt (augury), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (ominous).