Grape Wine Versus Apple Cider

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, as you sit in this courtroom on this sad and overcast day, you must certainly see that all of the evidence points to the fact that this defendant,” the prosecutor said, pointing toward the hapless man sitting at the defendant’s table, “has demonstrated a voracious appetite for wassail.”

“Let me point out to you that wassail, if you’re unfamiliar with it, is a beverage of hot mulled cider made from apples. Apples, ladies and gentlemen, not from grapes. Wassail is traditionally drunk as an integral part of wassailing, a medieval Christmastime English drinking ritual intended to ensure a good cider apple harvest the following year,” he added.

“Let me also remind you that we no longer live in medieval times. These are modern, 21st century times. And we don’t live in England. We live in the Napa Valley region, which is the heart of California’s wine county. Our local harvest is grapes, not apples.

“And while it is, indeed, getting close to Christmastime, you must remember that this has been a devastating year for our local wine industry. The pandemic has significantly the curtailed demand for our fine wines because most of the restaurants that serve our wines have been closed since March. And the horrific wildfires of this past summer destroyed so many of our local wineries.”

The prosecutor paused so his words would sink in on the members of the jury. “It with no whimsy, ladies and gentlemen, that I implore you to find this defendant guilty of promoting the consumption of apple cider over the consumption of grape wine. This is an act of egregious disloyalty to our local economy and it’s your job to right this wrong and to rectify this injustice.”

The prosecutor made eye contact with each and every juror. “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,” he said, “I rest my case. Now do your job.”


Written for these daily prompts: MMA Storytime (overcast), The Daily Spur (evidence,) Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (voracious), Word of the Day Challenge (wassail), Ragtag Daily Prompt (wine), and Your Daily Word Prompt (whimsy).

Thursday Inspiration — School Daze

Harold was jaded by the hypocrisy of the politicians. It was the middle of winter, the flu season was in full swing, and COVID-19 was still out of control. Which is why Harold was not at all excited when he learned that, starting in January, the school district he was teaching in was planning to resume in-person, on-site classes.

He loved teaching from home. He could safely conduct his classes online via Zoom and his students seemed to thrive. Plus, working from home gave him peace and quiet. It was his personal refuge.

Why would they do this now, deep into flu season and with the pandemic still raging? It seemed to be ill-conceived to Harold. Was the superintendent a loyal, misguided Trump ally? Was it all some elaborate marketing ploy on the part of the local government? Why would they ignore the advise of scientists and doctors?

Harold had to make a tough decision. Should he cave to the insanity and risk his health, or quit the profession he loved? After carefully weighing his options, he made his decision.


Written for Paula Light’s Thursday Inspiration prompt, where the theme is “school.” Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (jade), MMA Storytime (winter), Word of the Day Challenge (excited), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (refuge), Your Daily Word Prompt (ally), and The Daily Spur (marketing).

A Snool in a Nacre Shell

I take some comfort in the fact that it’s December, the last month of the worst year that I have ever experienced in my more than seven decades in this world. Looking forward, I am poised to rejoice when, on January 20th of what I hope will be a better new year, the menace of a man, the mad would-be king, will be out of office.

My only regret on this crisp Tuesday morning is that words like “nacre” and “snool,” which mean, respectively, mother of pearl and someone who is a toady or a yes man, are two of today’s one-word prompts. It makes my blood boil when I see words like those that show up in the daily, one-word prompts because nobody — at least nobody I know — would use such esoteric words in everyday conversations. So how the hell am I supposed to fit rarely used and highly unusual words like those into a cohesive post that makes any sense? Kudos to those of you who can.

Okay, I exaggerated. While I do get a bit irritated when words like “nacre” and “snool” are used for word prompt posts, it doesn’t really make my blood boil. I just had to figure out how to fit the word “blood” into this post. I guess I could have said that Donald Trump makes my blood boil. Because he does. He and almost all of the Republicans in Congress make my blood boil.

By the way, the image at the top of this post is one that showed up when I Googled the word “snool.” It looks, to me, like a psychedelic snail in a nacre shell that I might have hallucinated while on an acid trip back in the 60s, but what do I know?


Written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (comfort), MMA Storytime (December), Your Daily Word Prompt (rejoice), Ragtag Daily Prompt (nacre), Word of the Day Challenge (snool), and The Daily Spur (blood).

I Told You So

Ryan ran into the bathroom and vomited into the toilet bowl. When he felt there was nothing left to throw up but bile, he sat back on his haunches, breathing heavily and sweating profusely.

His wife, Michelle, waked into the bathroom to see how he was doing. “Oh my god, Ryan, flush the damn toilet. That shit smells putrid.”

“I feel awful,” Ryan said. “Can you please cut me some slack?”

Michelle reached around her husband and flushed the toilet. Then she stood back and put her hands on her hips. “I hate to say I told you so, but I did try to explain to you how important is was to get a flu vaccine this year. I even gave you a copy of that article about how severe this year’s flu strain is expected to be. They said it was crucial for everyone, especially people of our age, to get a flu shot. But did you listen? No, of course not. You always have to play the part of the macho man. And now here you are, sick as a dog and stuck in the bathroom with your arms wrapped around the porcelain goddess. It serves you right for being such a stubborn asshole.”

With a pitiful expression on his face, Ryan looked up at his wife and had just enough time to sarcastically say, “Thanks, honey, for all that slack you’re cutting me,” before throwing up once again into the toilet.


Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (flush), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (putrid), Word of the Day Challenge (explain), The Daily Spur (copy), MMA Storytime (vaccine), and Your Daily Word Prompt (crucial).

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).