My Dogs Are Barking

The man entered the shoe store complaining that his feet hurt, because they were tired and they needed some tender loving care.  The salesperson said, “Well sir you have come to the right place, as we have something that goes way beyond your basic dress shoes, or cheap sneakers here, as our basset hound Jason would tell you, ‘Quiet your barking dogs in the most comfortable shoe that you will ever wear’.  Prince Phillip of Great Britain chose Hush Puppies to wear on a 1959 visit to the United States and at that same time Warren Beatty was wearing them.  David Bowie wore Hush Puppies and Princess Diana’s had a custom-made pair.  Tom Hanks wore them in Forest Gump and Dennis Rodman, Jim Carrey, Sharon Stone, Patricia Arquette, Ellen DeGeneres, Daryl Hannah, Lenny Kravitz and even ‘Seinfeld’s’ Kramer have worn these shoes.  Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack including Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop wore Hush Puppies and the Beatles wore them on their U.S. tours in the mid-1960s.

They were the first shoes advertised on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, but an ‘electrifying’ boost was given to the brand in 1965 at a Rolling Stones concert in Sacramento, California, when Keith Richards accidentally touched his guitar against an ungrounded microphone and was knocked unconscious.  Medics believed that the crepe-soled Hush Puppies that he was wearing at the time saved his life.  They were embraced by hippies wearing tie-dyed shirts, beads, bell bottom jeans, long sideburns during San Francisco’s “Summer of Love” in 1967.  In 1974, Jimmy Buffett recorded the song ‘Come Monday’ which featured the lyrics ‘I’ve got my Hush Puppies on’, and this song reached #3 on the charts.  By 1990, Hush Puppies became so popular that Mikhail Gorbachev invited the brand to become the first American company to manufacture and sell footwear in the Soviet Union.  Come into the store sir and I am sure that we can do something about your tired feet.”  The man said, “OK I will try on a pair, but I think that Keith Richards could live through anything and after the next nuclear war, he will be this only thing left alive besides the cockroaches.”

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver #310 hosted by Michael where the prompt is

Tired and Run Down.

The Sure Thing

I woke up in 2021 caught in an intimate relationship and I guess that I just got used to having her around.  When we met, she told me that there was no need to romance her, as she was a sure thing.  I became distracted by her beauty which was mesmerizing, but romance was one aspect that I certainly wanted to have in a relationship.  I wanted more and I turned into a basket case because I started ignoring the ignorance of this situation.  I wanted to kiss her and she insisted that wasn’t necessary, so we argued constantly till I got tired.  She looked just like Elizabeth Taylor and I asked her if we could go up on the tin roof with a blanket where we could be like street cats making love.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Distracted, for the Daily Spur prompt – Aspect, for FOWC with Fandango – Intimate, for Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ JusJoJan January prompt – Caught, for January Writing Prompts – Ignoring the ignorance, for Ragtag Community – Blanket, for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #167 – I woke up in 2021, for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver hosted by Michael prompt – A basket case, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Tired Tin More and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Mesmerizing.

The Red Badge of Courage

A wound, or a scar can become a badge of survival, whether it comes from battle, a brutal beating, surgery, or an ugly accident.  The Red Badge of Courage was banned in 1986 because parents complained about what books their children were learning about in English.  People didn’t like the fact that the author Stephen Crane didn’t have any prior experience from the army to write about in his story.  The red badge of courage is a bloody wound that symbolizes bravery and it is comparable to the Purple Heart medal, which has a long history in the military and this award is given to soldiers who are wounded in combat.  When a man is injured, others automatically think he fought bravely.

My dad and his buddy Falvey both broke curfew when he served in WWII and they were both forced to dig a ditch as punishment.  His Sargent drove them out to a field in a jeep and dropped them off with two shovels telling them that he would be back in six hours and that the ditch better be dug when he returned.  My dad and Falvey started digging the ditch, but a Frenchman came out and told them to stop, saying that he would dig the ditch for them, because they were fighting the Germans for him and this was the least that he could do to show his gratitude.  He jumped into the hole that they started and told them to relax.

He ordered his two lovely daughters to get refreshments for my dad and Falvey and my dad felt bad because this Frenchman was doing their punishment, but Falvey started making out with one of the girls and my dad reluctantly went along.  They sat on a fence and although they could not understand a word that the Frenchman or his daughters spoke, they had a really nice time drinking some French wine and kissing these young girls.  The Frenchman was a hard worker, so he wasn’t paying all that much attention to what his daughters were doing and he thought that the ditch had some military significance.  He finished up with time to spare and he went back to his house to get some bread and cheese to go along with the wine.

Just after the French farmer left the Sargent came back with two jeeps and he inspected the hole that they dug.  The Sargent told them to fill in the hole and then take the other jeep back to camp.  When the farmer arrived with the bread and cheese, he took the shovels away from my dad and Falvey and he said that he would fill in the hole.  My dad said that he thought that the farmer figured that they placed a mine in at the bottom of the hole.  They finished the wine, bread and cheese, they kissed both the girls goodbye, but then my dad cut his hand on the shovel loading it back into the jeep.  When my dad arrived back at the base, his Sargent asked him if he would like to be put in for a Purple Heart for his wound, but my dad said that was not necessary.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver hosted by Michael where the prompt is badges.

Resistance is Futile

Republicans are like cybernetic organisms linked to the hive mind of Donald Trump and they would rather destroy Democracy than go against anything that their beloved leader tells them.  Trump thought he had it in the bag and that he would remain in the White House for another 4 years, but he lost the last election and he is being a spoiled sport about this.  He was confident that he would win, but I am not so sure that he thought it was a sure thing, because before the election took place, he was already discrediting the whole process and now he won’t back down.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver hosted by Michael where we are asked to consider the saying, “Confident: It was a sure thing.”

The World We Live In

The world can be a confusing place, being meaningful for some and at the same time meaningless for others.  Our world is unravelling with the global pandemic, climate change, Brexit, Trump nonsense, poverty and starvation, destabilization of the economy, religious conflicts and discrimination and the uncertainty of all of these issues leads to confusion.  The process of continuously thinking about the same thoughts, which tend to be sad or dark, is called rumination and this will never solve anything, as it only brings on more confusion.  The Temptations had a hit with their song ‘Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World is Today)’ and the single was released before it came out on their album Greatest Hits, vol. 2.  The song reached #3 on the US Billboard Pop list chart and it got to #7 on the UK Pop list chart.  The Temptations lineup at this time consisted of Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, and Dennis Edwards.  The Funk Brothers provided the music for this track using two drummers and a wah-wah pedal electric guitar effect.  The Temptations were ranked at number 68 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of all time.

This song bravely sheds light on the political and social issues plaguing the world during the 1960’s, including segregation, the Vietnam War and other social issues, but it seems to still be relevant with what is going on today.  This song written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong was politically driven and released in May of 1970.  This song deviates from Motown’s usual clean and charismatic approach and it speaks out against the pharmaceutical companies gouging people for their medications in a time before the opioid epidemic ever existed.  Great googa mooga is an expression of surprise or exasperation that is similar to saying “Goodness gracious”.  This song mentions, “the beat goes on” which was a big hit for Sonny and Cher in 1967.  It contains the Biblical law, “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”, which allowed people to retaliate against others when they were oppressed.

People movin’ out, people movin’ in.
Why, because of the color of their skin.
Run, run, run, but you sho’ can’t hide
An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
Vote for me and I’ll set you free
Rap on, brother, rap on.
Well, the only person talkin’ ‘bout love thy brother is the preacher
And it seems nobody’s interested in learning but the teacher
Segregation, determination, demonstration, integration, aggravation,
humiliation, obligation to our nation
Ball Of Confusion that’s what the world is today (yeah, yeah)
The sale of pills is at an all time high
young folks walkin’ ‘round with their heads in the sky
Cities aflame in the summer time, and oh the beat goes on
Eve of destruction, tax deduction,
City inspectors, bill collectors,
Evolution, revolution, gun control, the sound of soul,
Shootin’ rockets to the moon, kids growin’ up too soon
Politicians say more taxes will solve ev’rything, and the band played on.
Round and round and around we go, where the world’s headed nobody knows.
Great googa mooga, can’t you hear me talkin’ to you, just a
Ball of Confusion that’s what the world is today. (yeah, yeah)
Fear in the air, tension ev’rywhere
Unemployment rising fast, the Beatle’s new record’s a gas,
and the only safe place to live is on an Indian reservation,
and the band played on
Eve of destruction, tax deduction,
City inspectors, bill collectors, mod clothes in demand,
population out of hand, suicide too many bills, hippies movin’ to the hills
People all over the world are shouting end the war and the band played on.
Round and round and around we go, where the world’s headed nobody knows.
Great googa mooga, can’t you hear me talkin’ to you, just a
Ball of Confusion that’s what the world is today
Let me hear you, let me hear you, let me hear you
Ball Of Confusion that’s what the world is today

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver – #303 hosted by Michael – where we are asked to consider the notion of confusion.

All the Dogs Begin to Bark

Some dogs will chime in with a few barks when they hear another dog barking down the street or when they are in the park socializing with others.  All it takes is one dog to set it off and then they all start reacting to that barking dog.  This barking can be very contagious spreading from one dog to the next and this is why they say, “Let sleeping dogs lie”.  The beginnings of these group barking’s may initially start with one dog who is trying to say, “Hey I’ve been tied up out here too long, it is about time that you let me in”, and it develops slowly until the whole process of all the dogs barking at once is driving you mad.

I got a little red rooster
Too lazy to crow the day
I got a little red rooster
Too lazy to crow the day
Keeps everything in the barnyard
Upset in every way

Well if you see my little red rooster
Please drive him home
Well if you see my little red rooster
Please drive him home
Ain’t been no peace in the barnyard
Since my little red rooster’s been gone

Well all the dogs begin to bark
And all the hounds begin to howl
Well all the dogs begin to bark
And all the hounds begin to howl
Watch out strange kin people
Little red rooster’s on the prowl

Hey there, little red rooster
You ain’t shit to me
You think you’re a stud, boy
Well I doubt, I doubt you’ll ever be
While you’re away, I’m gonna fuck with your henhouse
I’m just being neighborly

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver – #301 hosted by Michael – where we are asked to write about the word beginnings.

Is This the End

I wonder how Casey Jones must have felt when he came around that last bend and saw that a crash was inevitable.  I wish this past election would have had a better end that promoted unity in our country, instead of the bitter end it seems to be having, by tearing Americans even further apart.  In 1968, Frank Sinatra recorded ‘My Way’ which relates the idea of American individualism, and in some ways this song feels even more relevant today.  As rock and roll music became more dominate in the 60s, Frank’s career seemed far from certain, even though he still broke into the charts with songs like ‘Strangers in the Night.

Paul Anka was in France when he came across a sentimental love song called ‘Comme d’habitude’, that was performed and co-written by the French pop singer Claude François.  This tune caught his ear and he decided to buy the rights to the song and keep its music, but rewrite the lyrics and ‘My Way’ with its cosmic defiance became the signature song for his idol Sinatra.  Anka was eventually accepted into the legendary group of hell-raisers known as the Rat Pack.  Anka said, “Look, I did it the way I wanted to do it, and I did it right.”  Some other notable versions of ‘MY Way’ were performed by Elvis, Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey.

When people reflect on their lives, they will always have regrets, second guessing some of the choices that they made.  Some times after I start writing a post, I get stuck, not knowing where I am going next, and I feel like “I bit off more than I could chew”, but if I would start grieving every time I got baffled, I would never get anything written.  You have to eat it up, spit it out, stand tall, laugh and cry, because life marches on and if in the end, you say that you did it your way, that is something worth bragging about.

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friends, I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case of which I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full
I traveled each and every highway

But more, much more than this
I did it my way

Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
I planned each chartered course
Each careful step along the byway
But more, much more than this
I did it my way

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way

I’ve loved, laughed and cried
I’ve had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside
I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way
Oh no, no, not me
I did it my way

For what is a man, what has he got
If not himself then he has not
To say all the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows, I took the blows
But I did it my way

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver – #301 hosted by Michael – where we are asked to consider the notion of The End.

Underwater King

Arthur Curry aka Aquaman lived with his father Tom Curry, a lighthouse keeper in the town of Amnesty Bay Massachusetts.  Aquaman has the ability to breath underwater, swim incredibly fast and he is able to communicate with fish.  Aquaman’s mother is princess Atlanna who ran away from the lost continent of Atlantis to flee an arranged marriage.  Princess Atlanna was almost killed in a raging hurricane, but luckily her unconscious body was found by Tom Curry.  Tom took her in and nursed her body back to health and they fell in love and she became pregnant.  Atlantean soldiers sent by her father found her and dragged her back to Atlantis, almost killing Tom Curry in the process, she dies giving birth and the unwanted child that is abandoned on Mercy Reef.  Dolphins knowing that the child is the destined ruler of the seas, take him back to his father who brings him up on the surface world. 

Atlantis was a small continent with many human settlements till the Great Cataclysm took place, that caused it to be submerged into the sea.  The seismological cataclysm caused a series of earthquakes throughout Atlantis, but some Atlanteans were able to live underwater and they were the cousins of the humans that inhabited the surface world.  This species of amphibious humanoids inhabited the Earth’s oceans, and a handful of Atlanteans were able to traverse between the surface world where they could still breathe and still be able to live under the water.  One subset of Atlanteans turned into mermaid-like creatures, others became human-sized crustaceans, and the ones who were living in the deepest part of the ocean became very aggressive and rabid and averse to light. 

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver – #298 hosted by Michael – where we are working with the prompt underwater.

Sukie Ridgemont’s Zucchini Garden

I don’t think that it is possible to spoil the plot in a movie that is more than thirty years old and if you don’t want this movie ruined, then stop reading now.  Jack Nicholson played Daryl Van Horne, the main antagonist in the 1987 comedy-dark fantasy film The Witches of Eastwick that was based on the 1984 John Updike novel.  This raucous fantasy comedy stars Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Cher, as three women in a small New England town who are all suffering from broken relationships.  The fiery artist Alexandra (Cher) is a widow, an artist, and a mother to a teenage daughter, the shy and insecure childless classical-music teacher Jane (Sarandon) is a divorcee, and mousy newspaper columnist writer Sukie (Pfeiffer) was abandoned by her husband, leaving her to raise six children alone.

The movie starts out simple enough with Sukie Ridgemont getting her five children ready for school, then she starts picking zucchini in her garden. The entire garden is overrun with this single vegetable, and it looks like a jungle, as all the zucchini are huge.  Suki explains her husband left her because she got pregnant too often.  Jane Smart is assembling the grammar school band for the opening day assembly and Alexandra Spofford is holding a comically large zucchini that came from Suki’s garden and then she is seen carrying two trays filled with the little clay dolls to her kiln which is next to her stove.  These three friends meet up to drink and gossip every Thursday night, and during one of these bacchanals and unbeknownst to the women, they cast a spell, which conjures what they think is their ideal man.  Despite them living in a town with a history of magic, none of the women realize that they have powers of witchcraft, until the unusual stranger named Daryl Van Horne (Jack Nicholson) arrives in town and begins courting each of them in turn. 

Before long, the women are spending time at Daryl’s mansion, learning about their powers, and finally indulging the passionate, sexual sides of their personality after years of being unfulfilled and repressed.  However, as Daryl’s behavior starts to get more and more unpredictable, the women begin to worry about his intentions, and whether his arrival in the small coastal Rhode Island town of Eastwick was a good idea.

Initially these women are so enamored with the horny little devil that they don’t even mind sharing him sexually, especially once they realize that they’re able to perform magical acts, like levitating tennis balls and they discover that they might have telepathy.  Daryl’s influence changes the women, creatively, and sexuality, as Alexandra is producing the best art she has in years, Jane begins to play her most unrestrained music, and Sukie becomes confident and exertive.  After the death of Felicia played by Veronica Cartwright, who was trying to warn everyone in town that there is evil going on in Daryl’s mansion, these three women realize that they don’t need the seductive and dangerous Daryl Van Horne in their lives anymore.  They become frightful of their powers and agree never to see or speak to each other and Daryl for a long period of time.

Daryl is upset with the witches for abandoning him, so he uses his own powers against the girls by bringing their worst fears to life.  Alexandra awakens into a bed of snakes and Jane transforms into an old hag, while Sukie is forced to feel excruciating pain.  Realizing the only way to rid Daryl from their lives is by using witchcraft against him, the girls reunite only to seduce and ultimately kill Daryl Van Horne.  The next morning, as Daryl set out to town, the women perform a banishing spell against him. As Sukie rushes to Daryl’s office and takes a grimoire titled book of spells Maleficio, Jane gathers some personal belongings of Daryl (clothing, hair and photos), while Alex creates a voodoo doll out of wax, made to resemble Daryl.  Once the spell begins taking effect, Daryl races home to punish the girls for their betrayal.  Terrified of Daryl’s dominance over them, the witches toss the puppet into a fire, causing Daryl to vanish.  Several months later, they each have a child by Daryl.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver – #297 hosted by Michael – where we are working with the prompt The Witches Garden.

Dive and Song

Swans are suddubsome, because they can tip their heads and the front part of their bodies into the water, upending themselves.  Their long flexible necks help them to reach down to grab shoots when stretching for food like leaves, seeds, roots, and pond weeds while swimming in shallow water.  Their bodies are so buoyant that their feet must flap continuously to keep them submerged.  There is a dive called the swan dive, but swans cannot dive like ducks do, instead they plunge their head and long neck below the water’s surface.  There is a myth that swans only sing when they are dying, which is called the swan song.

A swans’ love for its partner is so deep that they mate for life.  Once courtship is complete, the male which are called cobs and female called pens are bonded for life, with few exceptions, remaining together under most circumstances.  If one of the pair dies, the remaining mate will often find a new mate and sometimes, if a pair is unsuccessful in breeding for several years, they may find new mates.  For the most part, swan pairs are very loyal to each other.  Mute swans form the classic image of devotion, with their curved necks entwined in a perfect love heart.  It’s part of a courtship ritual, in which pairs face each other and, with a ruffle of feathers and lifted wings, bow gracefully.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver – #293 hosted by Michael – where we are Making Sense of Nonsense today with the word “suddubsome”.