Infinite

Prompt: Count


Hello Wednesday,

This afternoon I was out playing with the puppy in the front yard when our neighbour shouted from across the street, “How did the colonoscopy go?”

Well ok, it’s fine if everyone for half a mile around knows my private colonic business, since there is nothing shameful about having the procedure and, in fact, it is a necessary, life-saving precaution. But I’m not thrilled with the idea of them harbouring mental images of me racing to the toilet, or whatever graphic scenarios their imaginations conjure up. Don’t even want to think about it.

The neighbour across the street, by the way, caught us sneaking away to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning and couldn’t contain her curiousity. I would have made something up, like we were off on a secret mission to Uzbekistan where my uncle, kidnapped as a child, had been located but had amnesia, and only the family medallion, an eagle in a circle within a flame had identified him and only he had the genetic codes that would…  Anyway we were rushed and my partner just told her.

Later that day I had to brag to my sister (who was generous with her personal colonoscopy horror stories, bless her) about the absolute ease of the dreaded prep; in fact I basically slept through it. She was more interested in the fact that the sedative did not put me under this time, but was enough that I wasn’t freaked out by the Fantastic Voyage: watching the exploration of my colon, in vivid colour cinemascope on the monitor, for half an hour during the procedure. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and Set Them Loose in Fluffy’s Colon.

I was told from the beginning that different people have different reactions to the prep and to the sedative, and I count myself lucky that the whole thing was so easy-peasy (and that it wasn’t cancelled outright, in light of COVID-19 fears). Many who have had the procedure are emphatic that the prep is the worst part, but for me the worst part was worrying about the prep. May your journey down the path of colonoscopy be a similar cakewalk, with cake at the end of it— though my first meal after the fast was spaghetti and it was delicious.

Apropos of the prompt, Count, my adventures with internal organs, and nothing in particular, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons?

cartoon count blessings

cartoon look of eye

cartoon annual


Stay safe, and let’s all take care of one another.

Love and peace,

~~FP

Stephan

Prompt: Didn’t mind

doorknockers

I didn’t mind when they told me to stay at home. I was used to being at home. It was my home, after all.

But they wanted to control who came and went from my home. My friend Hilary was not allowed to come to the porch with her dog, Printz, ring the doorbell, and be admitted. 

They didn’t tell me why not. 

Yet my friend Ramone was permitted to climb the stairs to my front door with his dog, James. He could come inside and have a lunch of boiled eggs and tomatoes for lunch, while James slept by the fire. We could talk about books, religion, football, and art.

Thomas and his dog Purkin could turn up unannouced and join me for a meal of ham and potatoes. We talked about music, cookery, football, and the environment. 

I was not allowed to keep a dog at my home.

Juliana, with her dog Chaucer, called on me every Thursday at 4 o’clock, and we indulged in chocolate cake and Lapsang souchong tea, and reenacted great moments from women’s sufferage. That meant taking our cake and tea via a feeding tube.

One day a woman with glasses rang the doorbell of my home, and when I opened the door she told me I was adopting a young child.

The child turned out to be a boy named Stephan and we did not share a common language. We were unable to communicate until we developed our own sign language which involved not just the hands but also our legs and feet.

Stephan played on the carpet with James, Purkin, and Chaucer when they visited my home. During the historical women’s suffrage enactments, Stephan played the part of Everett P. Wheeler.

When Stephan turned nineteen, he married a woman named Katherine, who had a dog called India. Katherine and India were not allowed to visit me in my home.

I minded that Stephan’s wife and dog could not come to my front door, ring the doorbell, and be admitted for she-crab soup and a glass of wine. 

So when I opened the door to the woman with the glasses I brought her into my home and kept her. We communicated via Stephan sign language, since I refused to let her hear the sound of my voice.

Her name was also Hilary.

 

To Be Polite

Prompt: Polite


Hello Wednesday,

Did you ever see the movie The Miracle Worker, where Patty Duke played young Helen Keller and Anne Bancroft her teacher, Annie Sullivan? Do you recall that the majority of the movie was the teacher trying over and over, in vain, to get through to Helen that the hand sign language represented words?

Well, we should have named our puppy Helen, not Holly, because despite constant repetition, relentless persistence, and immense patience it took forever for smart, stubborn Helen to grasp that the signs meant something, in a dramatic climax to the movie after which the film ended like the snuffing of a candle. My question to the heavens is, when will Holly have her wawa water pump moment? When will she learn what commands (politely delivered) mean? When will she let us know when she needs to pee? When will she get it? When will I shout to the stars SHE KNOWS! ?

Yes, I do think we should be polite to all living things, including dogs. Why not? And why not trees and air and oceans? We might not face extinction if we had better environmental manners, right?

So relating tenuously to today’s prompt, here are a few of my favourite cartoons:

cartoon mountie hosiptal

cartoon holding door

cartoon dog sniff


==

Love and peace,

~~FP

Not Guilty

Prompt: Humans

cartoon wagging

Hello Wednesday, a little late.

To be honest, I completely forgot about my Wednesday post, since I had a very unharmonious day with our new puppy, Holly, who picked February 26 to be the worst puppy she could be, and I have the damaged clothes and broken skin and frazzled nerves to prove it. In addition, she forgot everything she ever learned about housetraining. It is a day that will live in infamy. Next February 26 I will book myself into a spa with a sensory deprivation tank and try to forget. It will be an annual event, and wine will be involved.

On Thursday, Holly was gentle as a lamb. We took her out to socialize and she met lots of other dogs and people and did very well. I talked to a professional trainer who assured me that housetraining and biting regression are common and that, after all, puppy is still just a baby at 12 weeks. Puppies are like human babies, she added, and get hyper and bratty when they are tired. She then taught puppy, in less than a minute, to come to her hand. We learned how to stop her jumping up on others, if not on us, from a woman in the parking lot. Holly and I had cuddles in the car on the way out and on the way back.

A few minutes ago, she ravaged my back and legs, unprovoked, with her needle teeth and razor claws, while pulling on my jeans and top and possibly ripping them. I haven’t looked. I can only think of spa day, 2021.

The prompt today is “human” and I keep reminding myself that I am an adult human, the most advanced species on earth, and Holly is a little baby dog who has never seen a toothbrush and who was literally bred over the millennia to be my best friend. I just checked on her and she is crashed out in the front hallway, snoring. I simply adore her when she is asleep.

Relating to today’s prompt and just a little to today’s tribulations, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons?

cartoon you have humans

cartoon steps

cartoon not guilty


Peace, love, and cuddles,

~~FP

First Thing to Go

Prompt: Doctor


Hello Wednesday,

Apparently, my family doctor sees 6.1306 patients per day, if she takes no sick days or vacations, and if her patients see her no more than twice in a year. That’s with a patient roster of 800, which is what she informed us is the case.

She is leaving the practice, unhappy with it, to move into emergency care, which leaves approximately 700 persons without a family physician (since cancer and other special needs patients were somehow placed). This number is added to the countless others in our region who are without holistic, preventative care, in a country that constantly brags about its universal health care system.

The doctor shortage is serious and severe. It means relying on walk-in clinics and emergency departments. It means wasting the time of the caregivers in those places since your whole health history has to be related in order to get personal treatment, as opposed to a family doctor who knows you and your history. It means waiting, lots of waiting, and so encourages a tendency to only seek urgent care. It means taking a boat-load of responsibility onto yourself, especially in terms of monitoring medications and treatments, which many patients are simply not equipped to do.

Canada, you can stop bragging now. Sure, we can still lord our “free” health care over our southern neighbours, but the system is broken. It’s broken when thousands (tens of thousands? millions?) of mostly rural residents of all ages have no one to tend to their health needs and crises. It’s broken when it renders the entire system less efficient and more expensive.

I’ve written to local and federal representatives and received canned replies. I tossed and turned this morning composing scathing followup emails. Any suggestions, anyone?

Let’s never take our doctors and nurses for granted!

And let’s hope they have a sense of humour, since they are the topic of the following collection of some of my favourite cartoons relating to the prompt, “doctor”.

cartoon women docs

cartoon doc starbucks

cartoon doc knees


Peace, love, and good health,

~~FP

SOS

You probably have a list of films that you’ve always meant to see but have somehow slipped by; for me those have included Julia and Julia (about an amateur cook/blogger and chef Julia Child), The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (about memories? I still haven’t seen it) and until recently, Mamma Mia (a musical featuring ABBA songs). Well, the latter film is off my list of Mean To See and onto a new one: Worst Movies I’ve Ever Suffered Through.

MERYL STREEP MM

Mamma Mia is appallingly over-acted, ineptly sung, gaudy (and not in a good way), hideously costumed, nonsensically written, and is almost enough to put an unsuspecting person off the catchy, joyful sing-along tunes of the Swedish pop group, ABBA, forever.

I should have know better when the opening scene was a jaw-dropper (and not in a good way): three 30-something twenty-year olds screeching out a melody I can only assume once made sense while dancing (allegedly) in the Greek countryside. Why Greek? Good question.

The mystifying setting and the stupefying use of Greek people and culture as a backdrop to the nonsense should have at least provided some distraction from the stupidity of the plot, but no, it was just another cringeworthy element of a movie that was so full of cringe that I was almost a crumpled ball of skin by its end.

Sure, Meryl Streep soldiers her way through, flinging her arms about during musical numbers in a touching display of misplaced trust in the director, who surely drugged all the actors. Directing the group dance scenes must have involved mass hypnosis. “Make it big! Make it CAMPY!” Cringe.

The less said about Pierce Brosnan’s acting and “singing”, the better. And I should be clear: this is not a production that joins the ranks of movies so bad they are good. This one is just bad.

mamma mia awful

Here’s an image I can’t unsee: once-distinguished actors Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, and Stellan Skarsgård.

To be fair, there was one highlight. Despite a winter cold that causes me to croak so alarmingly that it frightens the new puppy, I did start to sing along to the song “Super Trouper”, which awakened said puppy. She leapt to her feet and ran to me, sat and stared as if she’d never been so enchanted. “Super trouper lights are gonna find me, Shining like the sun!” I croaked loudly to my enraptured Holly pup. She crawled into my lap and we had a moment.

Super trouper beams are gonna blind me

But I won’t feel blue
Like I always do
Cause somewhere in the crowd there’s you!

ABBA, why didn’t you sue?

Agony Ant: Completely Normal Dude [Repost]

Prompt: Grammar

raccoon-plush-toytabby-cat-plush

Dear Agony Ant,

I am an 18-year old man currently living in a winter hunting cabin in the woods, almost a mile from the city limits. Fortunately, I have Internet reception, which has allowed me to complete my high school education via online courses, where I did particularly well in chemistry, grammar, and gymnastics (though the latter grades were mostly honour system).

I hunt, fish, and visit the Safeway to meet nutritional needs. I have several different indoor, hunting, foraging, and public clothing sets, so I am presentable when picking up prescriptions from the pharmacy, for example, as well as properly attired for hunting rabbits. The cabin has a generator but no heat, but I find the wood burning stove adequate for my warmth needs.

My companion in the cabin is my large tabby cat, named Ferdinand. He is a competent mouser and watch-cat (alerted me to a blockage in the chimney one night, which saved us both), and is also quite affectionate. There is also a particularly friendly and persistent raccoon, who visits daily, and recently had a litter of babies, who now also visit. Unfortunately, the cat and the raccoon have not become friends, and in fact are quite hostile towards one another.

But, that is not the problem for which I am asking advice, Ms Ant. It’s my high school graduation ceremony and subsequent prom. Since I live alone (Ferdinand notwithstanding), I have very few acquaintances of either gender, yet I long to escort a date to the celebratory dance and whatever festivities might follow (specifically, sexual contact and loss of virginity).

The correspondence school is sponsoring a modest gathering in a city 55 miles from here, in the grand ballroom of the Best Western Motel there, and they need confirmation from me about my attendance and food allergy information, as well as how many rooms I will be booking for the evening.

So my questions are: a) Where does one find a non-psychotic date who is willing to attend a correspondence school prom and who is also not averse to having sex with me, a stranger, afterwards; and b) is there an outlet that will exchange a carefully fitted and stylish suit rental for dried huckleberries and 20 lbs of assorted cured squirrels, pigeon, and blue snake (which tastes a lot like chicken)?

Yours truly,
Completely Normal Dude


Dear Completely Normal Dude,

Yes, you are normal, despite the surface aberrations of living like a hermit and serving tea to raccoons. You are a horny elderly teenager who desperately wants to get laid, and even went so far as to study online so you would have justification for this compulsion, since you are so socially inexperienced that you equate prom attendance with loss of virginity.

If you are financially able (maybe shoot a few more squirrels), I suggest hiring a pretty youngish woman from a reputable escort agency to dress appropriately as your date, play the role, and initiate you into the wonders of fornication after a few grinds on the dance floor. This is a win-win-win situation: A win for you, getting your cherry picked by an expert; for your date, who will make quite a lot of cash for an easy, though time-consuming, assignment (don’t forget she will likely not want to spend the night with you at the Best Western Motel, so you will need to provide transportation at the end of your liaison); and a win for the unsuspecting young woman, identity unknown, whom you were prepared to inflict your illusory impulses upon.

As for the suit, have you considered shop-lifting? Many big box stores, which some say harm local economies, now sell jackets and pants which would suffice. Keep the berries and snake bacon for yourself, since you never know what might happen.

And may I commend you on your exquisite grammar.

Peace and love,
agony ant


Dear Agony Ant,

How did you know about the tea?

Completely Normal Dude


Dear CND,

It is my job to read between the lines. Do not become too attached to the raccoons, and not just because it could alienate and cause a breach of trust with Ferdinand. I see heartbreak ahead if you fail to realize that raccoons are wild, free spirits who will also overturn your garbage can.

Peace and Love,
agony ant


  • Original Prompt: Hideout .February 21, 2017.