All Work and no Play

Ever since Jack was a child, he did his devoir, but his parents always demanded more and they never coddled him.  When school ended, he walked home from the bus stop and went directly to his room to study, it was a special place devoid of distractions where he could concentrate on his homework.  He was working on his composition about Olbers’ paradox, an argument that the darkness of the night sky conflicts with the assumption of an infinite and eternal static universe.  He was almost done explaining this, but there was a lacuna preventing him from getting the ending that he desired.  He was scared that he would not get his usual A on this Physics project, that is until he read the Edgar Allan Poe essay Eureka.  He knew that Poe came up with the perfect reason for why the sky was dark, so he tousled his hair and finished his writing.

Next, he opened up his Advanced Placement Calculus book where he was studying the Cantor set, because these strange and interesting mathematical spaces began to stir his imagination.  He was dizzy just thinking how the Cantor set is created by taking away the middle portion of a line segment and repeating that process forever.  He got up in a huff from his plush chair, which made a tiny squeak, as he needed to stretch his legs a bit before diving into Chemistry.  He was getting positive results in his efforts to effectively mix solids and liquids to create the optimal slurry for his homemade peanut brittle.  He was able to earn a lot of money from his candy, once he learned not to ventilate it by forced air and allow it to cool naturally.

Jack saved his favorite subject for last, AP United States History, which covers American history from about the time Native Americans first encountered Europeans to the present day.  He found it interesting that during World War II, pressed soy beans and cardboard were used to manufacture license plates, because they wanted to save all the metal for military needs.  His parents were picking up Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner and as he devoured his meal, he would try not to think about their Zoroastrianism symbolism, where they were seen as a benign spirit that would cluck to herald a turning point in the cosmic struggle between darkness and light.  After dinner he would go down to the jetty to see his girl, but all this studding was making him grey before his time.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Ventilate, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Scared, for the Daily Spur prompt – Positive, for FOWC with Fandango – Licence, for November Writing Prompts – The perfect reason, for Ragtag Community – Stir, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Child Composition Jetty, for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Earn and for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Wordle #158 – Grey Huff Squeak Bus Stop Brittle Devoir Slurry Lacuna Tousled Plush Dizzy Cluck.

Just A Fool

Day after day that man climbs the hill.  He is skinny looking, a bit like Ichabod Crane and he doesn’t appear to have enough sense to come in out of the rain.  Nobody wanted to know him, as they all felt that he’s just a fool with his head up in the clouds.  Sara was a newbie in town and she felt that the people were being cruel to him, so she walked across the grass and up the hill to meet the strange man.  She introduced herself and asked the man how he was doing.  He said, “My name is Boojum Snark and I feel fine.”  Sara told him that she never heard the name Boojum before and then she asked him how he got that unusual name.  Boojum said, “I was born under a boojum tree and boojum is actually a phenomenon in physics associated with superfluid helium.”

Sara said, “I had no idea, but out of all of the laws in physics I find superfluidity to be the best methods for understanding how black holes behave.  I saw a video of helium that was cooled down to the point where it was able to do things that other fluids can’t, this superfluid liquid can flow without friction and climb up and over the sides of a dish, and remain motionless when its container is spun.  Do you mind me asking you why you are always walking back and forth on the top of this hill?”  Boojum said, “I saw a spot of darkness one day, which I think may have been caused by photons falling into a wormhole and leaving a tiny empty space behind, so if there is a wormhole here, I hope that I can find it.  It is not very big, probably only about the size of a pin, but seeing it that one time has kept me fascinated, due to the potential that it could allow faster-than-light travel and maybe even time travel.”

Boojum grabbed a tissue to wipe his eyes as he continued, “I wish that we did not make such a mess out of this planet, but since we did and there is no reset button for us to press, we may have to start over on another planet.  I want to improve space travel and I will keep trying to find a stable wormhole, as I feel it is here and I know that I am close.”  Sara said, “Sometimes I feel like I want to ditch this whole universe, but what if the wormhole took me to a place that was full of dinosaurs and it gave no overt sign of containing any wine or lasagna.  For now, I am happy seeing a wormhole on my desktop, as I have no desire to travel to the distant regions of the universe and make contact with alien civilizations and risk getting lost in the immensity of dark space.”

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Improve, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Pin, for Mathew’s Daily Inkling prompt – I feel fine, for the Daily Spur prompt – Hope, for FOWC with Fandango – Newbie, for August Monthly Writing Prompts – That one time, for Nova’s Daily Random Word prompt – Overt, for Ragtag Community – Grass, for Sara’s Closet Full Of Notebooks Prompt 308 – Reset button, for Paula’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Desktop Lasagna Tissue, for Sue Vincent’s August 15, 2019 Thursday Photo Prompt – Man on a hill and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Wish.

Scammers

Scammers take advantage of people by requesting money or personal information and they do this by promising things like easy money, great bargains, inside knowledge or a caring relationship for those who are looking for romantic partners. Scams can come in many forms, and they will target you by coming to your front door, call you on the telephone, send you an email online and through your mobile devices.  They will try to get you to reveal your personal details, stealing your information, or they are even able to get some people to willingly hand over their cash to them.  If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  Nowadays everyone has to be careful, you just never know when the scammers will strike.

It’s the little things that you need to pay attention to, like if you receive a call and you hear them say, “You owe money to the IRS”, which is scary because this government agency would have the authority to take your money, but since the IRS does not permit their agents to contact people by phone, you just need to hang up.  Scammers are modern day equivalent to the pirates of old, but instead of using a cutlass, skulls and shackles, they use phishing, which is the fraudulent attempt to steal your sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card details and your Social Security Number by tricking you because they can disguise themselves as a trustworthy entity in any electronic communication that is transmitted.  They would be happy to take everything from you, even the kitchen sink and the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reported that people lost $30 million to a symphony of phishing schemes in one year.

Scammers are the lowest of the low and they will try to use your own words and voice to trap you into shady financial agreements.  They will use questions to trick you into saying “yes”, like asking you the question, “Can you hear me?” and the moment you respond in the affirmative which would be the instinctive response, this voice signature of yours can be used later by the scammers to pretend that they are you to authorize fraudulent charges.  If you’re searching for a new apartment and you see a spacious dream pad well below market value that’s too good to be true, be careful as you could become the victim of an apartment-rental scam.  Don’t hand over any of your money till you have physically seen the apartment, because you might end up renting an apartment that has already been leased, as scammers have been known to copy the original ad and then they rent the apartment without the real owner’s knowledge.

Scammers seem to enjoy preying on the elderly and one day this scammer got an 83 year old lady to give him access to her PC.  She was playing with him the whole time when he asked her if she had a magenta button on her screen and he told her to click on it, she knew just how to deal with this guy.  She had been using computers since before he was born and when he directed her to download something and he said that she could trust him, that is when she hacked him, gave him a computer virus, and placed all of his photos online, to make him feel afraid and give him back the karma that he deserved.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Karma, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Take, for Mathew’s Daily Inkling prompt – It’s the little things, for the Daily Spur prompt – Permit, for FOWC with Fandango – Authority, for August Monthly Writing Prompts – Skulls and shackles, for Nova’s Daily Random Word prompt – Transmitted, for Ragtag Community – Spacious, for Paula’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Kitchen Magenta Symphony and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Lady.

Swimming Upstream

We worked out our whole trip while sitting at this table in a coffee shop.  This was going to bring us the adventure of a lifetime.  We found out that we both enjoyed nature and we could not wait to get things started.  We were going to the Amazon jungle, more specifically the rainforest and we soaked our tent in lacquer to make it waterproof and it would still remain pliable.  We had no idea what we would find there, but Joe was a dentist and last year we went to the Pacific Northwest together and had a great time fishing for salmon while they were swimming upstream.  Joe likes to drink and sometimes he becomes three sheets to the wind, and that always makes me giggle when he gets that way.  I will take a shot every now and then, but I tend to watch my consumption, so Joe can count on me to be the responsible one.

This was my first trip out of the country, so I had to get a passport which caused me some problems.  I had just burned my fingers on my grill and when they took my fingerprints, they came out all smudged and the guy said, “Hey who is the thumbprint thief”, because he had to keep trying to get a readable image.  I told him that I was not part of any terrorist cell and that I wouldn’t have the gumption to try and pull any tricks on him.  He finally got something that was readable although he did say it was not ideal.  I guess I was there so long that maybe a layer of my skin had finally grown back in.

We both kept hearing the news about global warming and we figured that we should go before the rainforest up and disappeared altogether.  Glaciers were melting and the state of the environment was a real concern for both of us.  Joe held the view that the world was going to hell in a hand basket, but I was not sure what the deal was, although I knew it was bad.  After an exciting taxi adventure we made it to the airport and we boarded our plane for the 10 hour flight.  I will tell you all about the rest of our trip when we get back, that is if we ever do make it back.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Pliable, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Find, for Mathew’s Daily Inkling prompt – Taxi adventure, for the Daily Spur prompt – Ideal, for FOWC with Fandango – Layer, for August Monthly Writing Prompts – The thumbprint thief, for Nova’s Daily Random Word prompt – Lacquer, for Ragtag Community – Gumption, for Sunday Photo Fiction hosted by Donna Photo from Morguefile, for the Sunday Whirl Wordle 416 prompts – sheets shot wait bring found watch cell deal state held news count, for Paula’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Dentist Salmon Rainforest and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Giggle.

Creedence

“How can you be so juvenile?”, Maggie asked.  Don snapped back, “I beg to differ about your assertion, you narcissist.  Even though Creedence sang songs about the bayou, they came from San Francisco where they led an unencumbered life.  John Fogerty was intrepid, especially when he played harmonica.  Stephen Foster was from Pittsburgh and he wrote ‘Swanee River’ long before he ever visited the South and although as a child he did visit Kentucky before writing ‘My Old Kentucky Home’, he never really lived there.  John had never been to Mississippi when he wrote ‘Proud Mary’, and he also never went to Louisiana before he wrote ‘Born on the Bayou’.”

Maggie replied, “Well I will always identify him with the South and I have been following Creedence Clearwater Revival since their first hit single ‘Suzie Q’, which was a hit for Dale Hawkins in 1957.  If you know so much about this group, then tell me who the song ‘Fortunate Son’ was written about and what movie did it appear in?”  “That is way too easy”, Don said.  ‘Fortunate Son’ is about Dwight Eisenhower’s son David who married Julie Nixon and you can get a glimpse of this song in the 1994 film Forrest Gump.  Without Creedence, we would never have had garage punk and you can write a Post-It post about that.”  Maggie said, “I was up on stage dancing with them when they played Woodstock.  I bet you can’t beat that.”  Don said, “This is not a competition and sometimes you can be a real nut, wait I take that back, I meant to say a walnut, living in Walnut Grove Minnesota around Plum Creek as you seem to be in your own world like Laura Ingalls Wilder.”

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Juvenile, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Identity, for Mathew’s Daily Inkling prompt – Post-It post, for the Daily Spur prompt – Stage, for FOWC with Fandango – Differ, for August Monthly Writing Prompts – An unencumbered life, for Nova’s Daily Random Word prompt – Bayou, for Ragtag Community – Intrepid, for Paula’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Narcissist Harmonica Walnut and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Glimpse.

Phonaesthetics

Poetry should be pleasing to the ear, it needs an esthetic connection with beauty like a teeny weeny polka dot bikini, something everyone wants to look at.  Poetry can be used to express your feelings and ideas in your own distinctive style and rhythm.  Poetry is created by carefully choosing and arranging your words and when they are able to stir a reader’s imagination or emotions that is the essence of artistic writing.  Words are grouped to carry meaning, thus creating a delicate balance for writers, forcing them to juggle between which words they will choose to give them the most lasting return on their efforts.  Not everyone has the capacity for poetry, but people try even if they only end up hiccupping haikus out wave by wave.

There is no single definition of poetry, but if you have patience and some mental abilities, it can be learned through practice. You may start writing something and then have a change of heart and decide to scrap it and start over, which is often done. You may write your best stuff when you are relaxing at home in a comfortable nest, or possibly poetry may come to you in your dreams.  You never know where your inspiration will come from, but you must open the gate and let it in when it comes knocking.  You will probably never get rich from digging a ditch, but if you construct a fortified counterscarp to protect your moat, you could end up being the king of your castle.

You will never be able to make someone love you, all you can do is put yourself out there and hope to find someone who can be loved.  Nothing can humiliate a person more than having their heart broken, but instead of crying about your situation, write a poem and express your feelings, as that should make you feel better.  Join the MeToo movement and turn your tragic experience into something that can be shared with others and give them hope.  Write something that makes your heart pound, something about that barracuda who took advantage of you.  You can engage in a gaslight poem, which is the systematic psychological manipulation of a victim when the reality they just experienced didn’t actually happen, which could make for great reading.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Humiliate, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Capacity, for Mathew’s Daily Inkling prompt – Change of heart, for the Daily Spur prompt – Gate, for FOWC with Fandango – Nest, for August Monthly Writing Prompts – Hiccupping haikus, for Nova’s Daily Random Word prompt – Counterscarp, for Ragtag Community – Return, for Paula’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Wave Gaslight Barracuda and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Delicate.

Better In The Shade

“I got to get out of this heat, let’s head over to that stone chamber”, said Jim.  Janet said, “I don’t know, it looks pretty creepy in there.  Do you know what is weird, shade doesn’t actually make the temperature any cooler.  It stays the same whether or not you are in the sun or in the shade.  It just feels cooler in the shade because you are away from solar radiation, which makes our bodies feel hotter.  Thermometers are always placed in the shade instead of sunlight, so the instrument won’t get heated by the solar radiation, causing the thermometer to display the temperature of the instrument, instead of the temperature of the surrounding air.”

Jim said, “Aren’t you a fountain of knowledge and it’s not creepy as I don’t see any spiders, scorpions, snakes or bats and if they do happen to drop by, I will protect you.  I have some cold lemonade and you have that strudel, so let’s take a little break.”  Janet said, “I know what you are up to, as you have been trying to get into my pants since our first date.  If it is going to happen, I will let you know, so until then try staying in your lane.”  A tear came to Jim’s eyes and he said, “When I make my move you will know it, as I am not the kind of guy that will pressure anyone or try to create some sham to coercive you into doing something that you do not want.”  Janet said, “You are so sensitive, as I was just leaving the thought in your mind to keep you excited and was that a real tear, as I thought I saw a watery fluid coming out of your eyes.”

Jim let out a laugh and he said, “ No it was my contacts and I probably need to put some more solution in my eyes.  I have not added any since Seven AM this morning and they are starting to dry out.  Let’s take a selfie here to memorialize our trip. It looks like it may rain, so we should get comfortable here and I brought along some schnapps, which I have not tried yet and it is called Jellyfish jolts.”  Janet said, “Now that is creepy!”

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Memorialize, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Weird, for Mathew’s Daily Inkling prompt – Staying in your lane, for the Daily Spur prompt – Morning, for FOWC with Fandango – Creepy, for August Monthly Writing Prompts – Jellyfish jolts, for Nova’s Daily Random Word prompt – Strudel, for Ragtag Community – Sham, for Paula’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Seven Solution Laugh, for Sue Vincent’s August 8, 2019 Thursday Photo Prompt – Stone chamber and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Tear.