A Fish Out of Water

31CB2DA8-B3B3-4482-B97C-F4086E27A2E7When I was still working, I was part of the company’s sales organization, even though I wasn’t a salesman per se. My role was essentially technology sales support.

The sales organization would stage an annual client appreciation conference, a four-day extravaganza usually at some ritzy downtown hotel in a major city or at a fancy resort. There would be motivational speakers, including the raspy-voiced head of sales, who attempted (but mostly failed) to give a riveting, rah-rah presentation. There were product demonstration halls populated by pulchritudinous women in skimpy outfits, which is where I, as a sales support guy, would spend most of my time showing off our state-of-the-art technological solutions to the attendees. There were food halls with gourmet hors d’oeuvres, including such delicacies as sushi and platters piled high with fresh shrimp, crab, and lobster. There were sumptuous dinners and social events in the evenings that occasionally became quite rowdy.

You might think, as someone who was required to attend these overblown affairs, that I would have been thrilled to be there. But I hated having to participate in these meetings. I was never really comfortable at events like these and, as a rather introverted individual, I felt like a fish out of water. I perceived these meetings to be not only a waste of my time, but a colossal waste of the company’s money.

But now that I’m retired, it is indeed my pleasure to never have to attend this kind of wasteful nonsense ever again. Yay!


Written for yesterday’s Sunday Writing Prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, where we are asked to write a post about the concept of “a fish out of water.” Also for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (raspy), Your Daily Word Prompt (riveting), Ragtag Daily Prompt (pulchritudinous), Word of the Day Challenge (rowdy), and The Daily Spur (waste).


 

Sunday Writing Prompt — The Ram’s Quest

Ram in the MountainsMindlovemisery’s Menagerie has presented us with a Sunday Writing Prompt that is supposed to be a story about a “spiritual quest.” We are instructed to “pick a spirit animal” and then to pick a destination, an activity, an obstacle that must be overcome, and a lesson learned on the journey.

This won’t be easy for me because I’m not a spiritual guy. Thus I don’t really have a spiritual quest. And when it comes to a spiritual animal, well, I don’t really have one of those, either. But I do have a zodiac animal, which is a ram, since I’m an Aries. That said, I am not one who believes in all that astrological crap, no offense to those of you whose lives are guided by the constellations or whatever.

See, not a spiritual bone in this practical pragmatist’s body. But that has never stopped me from pretending to be something I’m not. So here goes.

A ram named Dango was looking for a new place to live. He had been asked to leave his old residence because he was so hardheaded and stubborn and would often butt heads with his neighbors, as rams are wont to do. Dango decided that he wanted his new place to be near the ocean because he was sick and tired of living in the mountains, where rams are wont to live.

Dango interviewed a bunch of real estate brokers before he finally settled on a unicorn by the name of Mr. Horn. Because unicorns are colorful and have vision and imagination, whereas rams tend to be rather dull and are pragmatic and practical, Dango thought that Mr. Horn would be a perfect complement in his quest to find a place by the ocean.

Dango and Mr. Horn searched high and low and far and wide for a suitable place near the ocean, but the hardheaded ram was resolute in what he wanted. Mr. Horn came up with options that would have pleased any other creature, but Dango was very particular, as rams are wont to be.

Poor Mr. Horn was about to give up on finding a place by the ocean that Dango would find acceptable. He’d already invested countless hours showing the stubborn ram places where he could comfortably settle down. Just as Mr. Horn was about to tender his resignation as Dango’s real estate broker, Dango showed up at Mr. Horn’s office and said to him, “Mr. Horn, I’ve had an epiphany. I’m sorry that I’ve been acting like a rolling stone. I think it’s time for this ram to gather some moss. I’ve learned through this process that you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need.”

Sunday Writing Prompt — It’s John Lennon, Dude

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“It’s a picture of John Lennon when The Beatles were going through their psychedelic phase,” I said.

“That’s what you see?” he asked.

“Sure. The purple sunglasses, the rosy cheeks, the fu manchu mustache, the long hair. It’s definitely Lennon. No question.”

“Pink hair?”

“Psychedelic colors, man,” I said. “Like ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,’ you know what I mean? Like ‘tangerine trees and marmalade skies.’”

“And what is that on Lennon’s head?” he asked.

“It’s his Sgt. Pepper hat.”

“And those shapes on both sides of his head?”

“Dude, don’t you see it?” I asked. “That’s the visualization of the music that is inside of his mind as he’s composing a song. In stereo!”

“May I ask you something?” he said.

“Sure, feel free. Go for it.”

“Are you tripping on acid right now?”

“Funny you should ask, Dr. Rorschach,” I said, smiling at the psychologist. “That’s a very distinct possibility.”


Written for this week’s Sunday Writing Prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie.

He Was Good at His Job

0E96A2B2-54C0-4E65-A8F5-7743E703209DHe knew the neighborhood well. He studied the comings and goings of the people who lived in the houses in a four square block area. He observed their habits, memorized their routines. He was aware of the working couples who were gone during the day. He knew when the mothers took their kids to school in the mornings and picked them up in the afternoons. He knew when the old retired couples would be out taking their dogs for walks. He was a patient man. He watched and waited.

And then he’d see the USPS trucks, the UPS trucks, the FedEx trucks, and the Amazon trucks pull up in front of the houses in the neighborhood. He’d watch the drivers hop out of their trucks, go to the front doors, ring the doorbells, and when no one answered, leave the packages on the front porches or just outside of the doors.

And when the delivery trucks pulled away, he would casually walk up to the houses, looking as if he belonged. He would step up to the front door or onto the porch. He would pick up and walk off with the just delivered packages, the new arrivals.

He was the porch pirate. He was good at his job.


Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt, where the assignment is to write a post about New Arrivals.

MLMM Sunday Writing Prompt — Memories of Dad

80C51312-B9CF-47CF-B8F2-44EEDB44876F.jpegHarry walked up to the antique chest of drawers, slid open the top drawer, pulled out an item, and with an exaggerated flourish,  waved it about in the air. “Do you remember this?” he said to his little sister.

“Oh my God, Harry,” Elaine said. “Is that the slate tablet that Dad used to teach us the alphabet and arithmetic?”

“Yes,” Harry said, “I found it in this old chest of drawers yesterday and couldn’t wait to show it to you.”

Elaine gazed at the antique tablet. “Seeing that brings back so many memories of Dad from when we were kids,” she said, her eyes welling up. “I do miss him, Harry.”

“So do I, Elaine,” Harry agreed.

“Do you mind continuing to go through his stuff on your own?” Elaine asked. “Because Dad died intestate, I need to go see the lawyer to sort things out and I want to see what we can do to avoid probate court.”

“Sure, go ahead,” Harry said. “I certainly don’t envy you for having to deal with all that legal mumbo-jumbo.”


Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt, “Choose an Antique.” Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (chest), Your Daily Word Prompt (flourish), Word of the Day Challenge (gaze), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (envy).