The Fuss About Karen

Karen is the name that retail workers give to their problem customers.  This person is the divorced mother of three unruly kids and she feels entitled in every store, thus she always finds a reason to speak with the manager, while boasting about how wonderful her kids are.  Karen enjoys voicing her complaints, making demands, and generally being a nag.  Karen buys into MLMs Multi-level marketing which is also called pyramid selling and she spams Facebook all the time trying to pitch the scheme.  Karen is annoying as hell, being an obnoxious, middle-aged white woman and she has short hair and always wears fake acrylic nails.  She has become the butt of many recent jokes like giving out raisins to kids on Halloween.  She drives a Volvo SUV to carpool her kids to soccer practice, and if the ref makes a bad call she will threaten to sue!  Karen loves to use Snapagram, which is basically Instagram and Snapchat mixed together to post her workout selfies and she is also known to sit down with her mom friends at book club and drink lots and lots of wine.

The name Karen might stem from a 2007 bit by Dane Cook called “The Friend Nobody Likes.”  (The friend was named Karen.)  Another explanation is that it comes from the character Karen in the 2004 film Mean Girls, who’s the subject of the popular quote: “Oh my God, Karen, you can’t just ask someone why they’re white.”  It’s even been put forth that Karen comes the even earlier 1990 film Goodfellas, one of whose characters is named Karen.  There are many great women out there named Karen and my sister is one of them, but the name Karen is being gaslighted to make some of these women doubt their own sanity.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt “Gaslight” hosted by Yves.

I Think It’s Gonna Be All Right

When I was young, I was fascinated with bouncing rubber balls, especially those red rubber balls made by Spalding and I played a lot of stickball and stoop ball with them.  There don’t seem to be as many stoops around anymore and for stickball we played against a wall that had a strike zone, or we would play out in the street using a broomstick for a bat. Things have changed and most kids stay inside now and play video games.

‘Red Rubber Ball’ is a pop song written by Paul Simon and Bruce Woodley of The Seekers and recorded by the American rock and roll band The Cyrkle, whose version reached #2 in 1966 on the US Billboard Hot 100.  The Cyrkle were known as the Rhondells, a frat rock band formed as a lark in 1961 by Lafayette College students in Easton, Pennsylvania Tom Dawes (bass/vocals), Don Danneman (guitar/vocals).  Marty Fried eventually joined the group on drums and Earl Pickens played keyboards.  Paul Simon saw them performing at a club in New York when he was in the audience and he asked Tom Dawes to go on tour with him and Garfunkel as their bassist.  Paul offered the Rhondells ‘Red Rubber Ball’, along with a few more of his songs, including ‘Cloudy’ and ‘I Wish You Could Be Here’.  Brian Epstein became their manager and he renamed the group when John Lennon came up with this new name which was a clever a play on spelling like the Byrds used, trading a ‘y’ for the ‘i’.

The Beatles song ‘Paperback Writer’ kept ‘Red Rubber Ball’ out of the number one spot.  ‘Red Rubber Ball’ is sung from the perspective of a man who is exiting (or has recently exited) an unfulfilling relationship in which his significant other never gave him much attention or affection.  The guy is sullen, as he feels like he is being treated like an ornament, thinking that he is only arm candy for this girl because her reason for being with him is that it makes her look good, like putting on jewelry.  He now looks forward to the future with a positive attitude.

After Brian Epstein died in the summer of 1967, the energy behind and within the group began to dissipate, and as a result The Cyrkle disbanded in 1968, but Tom Dawes and Don Danneman went on to successful careers as commercial jingle writers.  Danneman wrote jingles for both Swanson Foods and Continental Airlines, while Dawes came up with the famous “plop plop fizz fizz” jingle for Alka Seltzer, “7-Up, the UnCola”, “Our L’eggs Fit Your Legs”, “Coke Is It”, “You’re the One” for McDonald’s and many others.  L’eggs is a brand of pantyhose introduced in 1969 by Hanes.  The hosiery was placed in white plastic oversized chicken-egg-shaped containers, this sheer nylon was designed by Roger Ferriter and it became the top-selling brand.

I should have known you’d bid me farewell
There’s a lesson to be learned from this and I learned it very well
Now I know you’re not the only starfish in the sea
If I never hear your name again, it’s all the same to me
And I think it’s gonna be all right
Yeah, the worst is over now
The mornin’ sun is shinin’ like a red rubber ball
You never care for secrets I confide
For you I’m just an ornament, somethin’ for your pride
Always runnin’, never carin’, that’s the life you live
Stolen minutes of your time were all ya had to give
And I think it’s gonna be all right
Yeah, the worst is over now
The mornin’ sun is shinin’ like a red rubber ball
The story’s in the past with nothin’ to recall
I’ve got my life to live and I don’t need you at all
The roller-coaster ride we took is nearly at an end
I bought my ticket with my tears, that’s all I’m gonna spend
And I think it’s gonna be all right
Yeah, the worst is over now
The mornin’ sun is shinin’ like a red rubber ball
Oh, oh, oh, I think it’s gonna be all right
Yeah, the worst is over now
The mornin’ sun is shinin’ like a red rubber ball

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt “5 by 5” hosted by Yves where we are given a material, a music genre, a sound, a characteristic and a missing item your are asked to choose a Material – Leather/Fur, Wool, Cotton, Polyester or Nylon, then choose a Music Genre – Rock, Blues, Hip Hop, Indie or Classical and choose a Sound – Teeth Grinding, Bouncing Rubber Ball, Acrylic Nails Tapping Hard Surface, Rusty Metal Gate Opening or a Knife Ripping Through Sheet, then choose a Characteristic – Quixotic, Crotchety, Coquettish, Sullen or Sinister and finally choose a Missing Item – Wallet/Purse, Phone, Clothing Article, Jewelry or Book/Paperwork.

What Came First

Two men were arguing about what came first, the chicken or the egg.  The taller man said, “All chickens come from eggs and there would never be any chickens, if there were no chicken eggs first.”  The other man that was shorter and had a moustache said, “I disagree, the chicken came first, because you cannot have a chicken egg, unless it was laid by a chicken.”  I jumped into the conversation and said, “Let’s say that a reptile laid an egg from which an eagle hatched, that would surely make it an eagle egg, not a reptile egg, so the first chicken must have come from a chicken egg, even if that egg did not come from a chicken.  If it comes out of the egg as a chicken, there must have been a chicken inside the egg in the first place.”  My friend Joe joined in and said, “This is very deep and the only thing that is clear to me is that both sides of this argument seem possible, but somebody is wrong, however it is not clear to me, who is right and who is wrong.”

The tall man said, “The chicken”, and the mustached man replied, “No the egg.”  This went on and on, “No the chicken,” and “No the egg,” as it became an exercise in utter futility.  Joe said, “The chicken would have to have come first to ensure that someone keeps the egg warm, so that it could hatch.  Who else would sit on a chicken egg, but a chicken and a chicken egg will never hatch unless a chicken sits on it for 21 days, otherwise the egg will remain just an egg and it will never become a chicken.”  I said, “Chickens are animals and they do not grow out of the ground or spring up from thin air, they come from eggs.  This discussion may never be settled and I am not an eggspert, but all this talk of chickens and eggs is making me hungry.”

Joe said, “I know a nice place where we can go for dinner tonight, but that is still a few hours away, so I hope you can wait.” The mustached man said, “Do you know why the pervert crossed the road?”  The taller man said, “No, please tell me.”  The mustached man replied, “It is because he was stuck to a chicken.”  The mustached man laughed and said, “I get it, the pervert was having sex with the chicken and he needed to get to the other side.  I have never heard that one, but do you know why the duck crossed the road?”  The taller man said, “That was because it was the chicken’s day off, or possibly the duck was trying to prove that he was not a chicken.”

I am excited because I just made the About page Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie and you can check out my profile here:

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt “Egg”.

Caller ID

Caller ID has been around for years, but now the caller ID can be displayed on the television screen, saving you the hassle of getting up and looking at the phone display.  So many pests call all the time and if I don’t know them, I let it go to the answering machine that is incorporated in the phone service.  I have signed up with the National Do Not Call Registry, but sometimes I still get calls from people that I don’t want to speak with and if it displays a toll free number, I figure it is one of those scammers and miscreants that just won’t quit.  Those unwanted robot calls, or robocalls are such a pain, always interrupting me when I want to relax.

I hate telemarketers and I am probably not alone on this, as they are the scum of the earth.  I reached a point where I stopped answering the phone anymore, then one night when there was nothing to watch on TV, I decided to pick up the phone, so I could waste the telemarketers’ time.  I was going to make this a fun game, offering nonsense answers to their questions, and see if I could outlast them, keeping them on the line for as long as I could.  The call that I answered was from an IRS scammer who told me that I filed my taxes with an error and that I owed money which needed to be paid immediately, or else they would issue a federal warrant for my arrest.  He also threatened to cancel my driver’s license and freeze my bank accounts and take away all of my properties.

Many taxpayers have encountered individuals impersonating IRS officials, but the IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service and although in special circumstances the IRS may call your phone, that will not happen until the IRS has sent you several letters in the mail first.  I knew right away that this was a scam as the IRS will never demand an immediate payment or threaten to have you arrested.  The guy on the phone sounded like a Nigerian and that made me know for sure that he was a scammer.

I told the guy that I was done paying taxes and I demanded that he come to my house and arrest me immediately for civil disobedience, as I was tired of supporting myself and I wanted to be locked away in a nice cozy government prison cell.  I told the guy if he was planning on confiscating any of my property or getting funds from my bank accounts, that he better hurry, as I was planning on transferring everything to the Cayman Islands and I thanked him for the warning.  I told him that my driver’s license was suspended for DWI and that he could have it because it was worthless to me.  I asked him if the IRS had opened up a new office in Nigeria and I told him that he should get a real life and stop trying to cheat people.  Then I played Ella Fitzgerald ‘Cry Me A River’ for him.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt “Phone Call”.

Hair Of The Dog

No, I wasn’t out partying again last night and I was not bitten by a dog that had rabies.  I am writing a post for the Sunday Writing Prompt 5 by 5 and trying to incorporate “Old, Weather, Empty, Gesture and Tool”.  Pliny the Elder thought that if a rabid dog bit you, this could be treated by placing hair from the dog in the bite wound and this superstition was used to prevent evil consequences.  People often suffer the day after they drink too much and it seems strange that what caused your trouble in the first place can be used to cure you.  This way of thinking goes all the way back to the Greeks and Aristophanes the comic playwright of ancient Athens who wrote:
Take the hair, it’s well written,
Of the dog by which you’re bitten;
Work off one wine by his brother,
And one labor with another.

Hippocrates, the forefather of modern medicine felt that people should fight fire with fire and since his time wine and other alcoholic beverages have been prescribed for everything from indigestion to insanity.

The English playwright and epigrammatist John Heywood wrote:
I pray thee let me and my fellow have
A hair of the dog that bit us last night.
And bitten were we both to the brain aright.
We saw each other drunk in the good ale glass.

Countless numbers of cocktails have been invented to deal with over indulgence, which can result in anything from dehydration, a pounding headache, queasiness, dizziness, sensitivity to light and sound, muscle ache or irritability. I can see how a person suffering from Delirium tremens (DTs) the rapid onset of confusion usually caused by withdrawal from alcohol could benefit from this morning after treatment.

I sat on an old watch tower procrastinating my life in foggy weather
I was so hung over that I could have been knocked down with a feather
An empty bottle was calling out to me
I was sick as a dog and I needed to pee
I gave it the finger because I knew that I was not that weak
I felt this hammer striking at my brain, then I took a leak

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt “5 by 5” hosted by Yves.  I chose watch tower for old, foggy for weather, bottle for empty, the finger for a gesture and a hammer for my tool.

Step By Step

Slowly I turned when I saw the Cyclops that was dancing at Niagara Falls. I was bewildered when I saw that dark purple plant growing out of his ears and I guess it was an Elderberry.  The silly dancing made me feel like I was back in my childhood.  The world has enough problems without a dancing Cyclops, isn’t it bad enough that we have to deal with Trump.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt “5 by 5” hosted by Yves.  I chose the Cyclops for my Mythological Creature, Dancing as an activity, the Elderberry as a fruit, Childhood as a time period and my concern is the state of the world.


You stabbed me in the back with your dagger
Piercing my heart forever to make me yours
I lust for the strong demon you have become
I am prepared to be yours now and forever

Possessing my soul, mind and spirit,
Binding me to your bed in your domain,
You wretch, the bitch to whom I’m bound
Stuck forever to this chain,

I gambled and rolled snake eyes on the dice,
I drank the bottle shot by shot,
I am a carcass, a putrid corpse filled with  maggots
Damn you to hell, curse your soul!

The pointed blade of a swift sword is needed to smite
One blow to overcome my misery and free my pain,
I beg you to accommodate me with poison
I am too big of a coward to do this myself.

Stabbed with a sword, poisoned with venom
Contemptuous filled with disdain and scorn
You told me I am, “Unworthy of forgiveness,
From servitude and your accursed slavery,

A fool, an imbecile, destined to be dominated by Fate
Never to be free, or absolved, or delivered from these sorry circumstances,
Only your kisses could resuscitate me from my remorse
I have become a cold cadaver, a corpse for a vampire’s delight.”

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt hosted by Yves with today’s prompt being “The Vampire Charles Baudelaire”.