Laughing All the Way to the Bank

Prompt: Confess


Wednesday! How are you?

It’s been a busy holiday season, just because of an increasingly slavish devotion to “tradition”. It takes so much time and emotional effort to deal with such a holiday as Christmas, when we are meant to be surrounded by loving family and friends, to have the perfect home and perfect meals, give the perfect gifts, feel unrelentingly warm, happy and content– all amid an uneasy feeling of stress and inadequacy.

So, hope you had a Merry Christmas!

My confession, as an alleged cook and smug turkey roaster, was that I accidentally put curry powder into my sage & onion turkey stuffing, and it was unbelievably awful.

So the first of today’s set of favourite cartoons is tenuously related to the prompt, Confess, and the others just seem to flow from that one…

cartoon lack of integrity


cartoon board meeting


cartoon no trump


No Trump? Aaahhhhh.

~~FP

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Itsy Bitsy Spider [Repost]

Prompt: Proclivity

web with rain

Itsy Bitsy Spider: A Bad Fable

Janet was the littlest of all the spiders in the colony. At dinner, she never got the tasty thorax or juicy abdomen of the flies captured in the silver webs– no, not even the compound eye. She scrambled against the other little spiders for bits of antennae, tough foreleg, and wisps of dry, tasteless wings. Her mothers tried to fend off the ravenous older spiders at dinner time, but Janet found herself constantly hungry.

“You’ll have to mate,” mama Goldass told her with a sigh. “To help you build your own nets. What about Armand? He seems nice.”

“Ugh,” Janet said. “He’s so ugly and hairy, and he spits and he always wobbles his spinnerets in public.”

“Some people find that charming,” mama Goldass said. “I hear his silks are strong.”

“I overheard Tippy say they sagged,” Janet said.

Mama Goldass laughed. “And how would Tippy know?” Her abdomen jiggled as she chucked softly.

But Janet knew mama Goldass was right. Without a mate, she would starve. On the night before her mating with Armand, mama Queenbutt took Janet aside to wish her well, and found her in tears. “Don’t worry, little one,” said mama Queenbutt. “Think of all the tasty Cyclorrhaphae you will feast on!”

Mama Goldass had different advice. “Just lay back and think of the downspout,” she said.

And that’s what Janet did. She thought long and hard about the downspout, she thought of its cold, slippery surface, and the way the webs created a bridge to the wall, which was softer and had hundreds of caves to build nests and bear young. She thought about it every day, and wished for than a life different from her life with Armand and his spinnerets and the waterspout, and so blamed herself when the deluge came.

Armand’s silks were strong, the webs held, and though many, including Armand, perished, Janet’s tiny weight carried her on and above the flood; she surfed it like a butterfly and started anew.

Janet bore young in the spring. She mourned Armand as widows do, and found a new mate and had many bountiful harvests. She made her mothers proud.

If Janet the spider were here now, she would say to you, go ahead and settle when life compels you, but don’t give up your dreams. A deluge may happen to sweep your troubles away and show you a path to true happiness.

*Note: This is no way like an Aesop or other helpful fable. This is a bad fable.


Cherish is the Word

Prompt: Cherish

merry christmas rabbit

My Christmas presents this year:

  • “Happy” perfume
  • Terry’s Dark Chocolate Orange
  • Computer headset
  • Poncho
  • Red gloves
  • Tablet stylus
  • Beatles’ Eight Days a Week documentary DVD
  • Sketch-a-Day Journal
  • The Interpreter of Maladies (novel)

What I cherish:

  • My family, friends, and dog
  • Chocolate

Shipwrecked

Prompt: Calling


Hello Wednesday,

My brother is in Amsterdam for three months and has been trying to call. For some reason I am not around when he phones, and he sent an email saying it was like trying to contact someone in North Korea. I wonder how he knows that? All this travel to visit his girlfriend– really? You think you would know someone you grew up with, but people who live in the shadows of politics, cartels, and/or dark webs must have their ways of deceiving even their families.

I can only hope he works for the good guys. There are no guarantees, however, even though our nana used to pinch his cheek and say, “Be a good boy!” It was more a command than a suggestion, and the pinch was a taste of the pain to come if he sinned.

Be a good boy, brother, or nana will pinch the bejeezus out of you when you join her in heaven.

In the spirit of today’s daily prompt, calling, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons, the first of which is tenuously connected to the theme?

cartoon call you back


cartoon shipwrecked


cartoon tax cuts


Have a great day, and good luck with the lottery.

fluffy pool pencil sketch

Blessing

Prompt: Compass

pecans

Isabel didn’t like lesbians, but that didn’t stop her allowing them to join the Union. In fact, she had developed a degree of sympathy with their rejection of men; she longed to marry and have more children, but if given a chance, would happily strangle her ex-husband to death.

In any case, the lesbians buttressed up the Union, which now stood at forty-plus girls and recruitment was still and always a priority. Before long, they might control over half the prison population.

It was necessary for Isabel to make her way through her daily routine with an entourage, not just for personal protection but because there were always errands, persistent supplicants, spontaneous ideas that needed recording; and, of course, to maintain the aura of authority among Union members and potential recruits. In this crumbling castle with plaster walls the colour of ice-crusted leaves, where the shrillness of voices was amplified by wide empty hallways and panic, and where dullness and soul-destroying monotony were dutifully embraced, the sight of Isabel with her brightly dyed red hair and completely illegal red fingernails, surrounded by hand-picked and deferential subjects, all looking well-fed and alert and alive, was memorable and aweful.

The guards tolerated her with good grace and by the convenience of bribes, usually drugs or favours, but sometimes too because they were no more immune to spectacle and the mysticism of hierarchy than the girls were.

Isabel’s first feat of magic was the curtains she negotiated/ battled for in the main toilets, a victory she insisted was successful because of the support of certain fellow inmates, the girls whom she dubbed the Union. And as she continued to serve her time, she struck a secret deal with Armando, a senior guard, for the safe and consistent import of various narcotics, the most popular of which was not cocaine or heroin but Xanax, and the siphoning of profits to an external account. She set up an inmate-controlled medical emergency system, so her girls would not die of the drugs she smuggled. She petitioned small, independent operations with the prison walls to amalgamate with her Union, less by threat than by luxurious coercion.

You would almost, Miss Fisher said of her one day to her friend Wendy, believe that Isabel had been a powerful businessperson and negotiator in the real world. Perhaps her crimes had been of the corporate variety?

Oh no, Wendy had told her. Wendy was intimate with Tricia, who was one of Isabel’s closest aides and confidantes.

Isabel was the daughter of illegal immigrants who were deported, though not before they abandoned and entrusted their child to the care of a friend, who turned out to be a notorious madame, Wendy told Miss Fisher, who raised Isabel to be a pampered and prized virgin ready for auction, until Isabel was raped by her English teacher and subsequently booted from the brothel.

Homeless for years, Isabel fell in with a pleasant and shy man who imported cocaine from Colombia. They married and had two children before he turned federal witness, at which time they were banished to a small town in Minnesota, where he continued to import cocaine with a new set of suppliers until he was arrested again. Isabel and the children moved to Miami but as homelessness loomed and she was unable to otherwise support the children, she began a short-lived career as a drug mule.

Her husband divorced her while she was in prison; and after being released again, he took custody of the children and moved them to the American Virgin Islands, where he continued to live as a roofing/ drug importer.

“Fascinating,” said Miss Fisher. “It would make quite the story, if true.”

“Even if it isn’t,” said Wendy. “Anyway she’s always had to scrabble and scrub for a living. She had nothing yet lost everything. Hardly a corporate or any kind of power.”

“She wants my blessing,” Miss Fisher said. Wendy wasn’t sure if Miss Fisher was still talking to her. Sometimes her aging mind wandered, these days.

“Your blessing?”

“Oh yes, for her Union. She imagines I have some kind of influence,” said Miss Fisher.

“She wants you to join?”

“She does, indeed. And you too. And all my little friends.”

It was a Sunday afternoon early in November, but so sun-lit and warm that they’d removed their old woolen coats and scarves and basked in the unexpected glow. Their bench backed against the stuccoed utility building and faced a tall chain-link fence, beyond which was a sparse forest of spruce and fir; the closest to a view location that was available anywhere on the grounds.

“She could probably source some pecans for you,” Wendy said. She leaned back and closed her eyes, pretending for a moment she was enjoying a supple, warm day anywhere else.

“Do you think so?” asked Miss Fisher.

Wendy nodded, hoping Miss Fisher was watching. She felt deliciously drowsy, and probably could have dozed off, if she hadn’t felt the pierce of a frozen droplet on her forehead.

She sat up. The sun still shone, but the air had turned bitterly cold. Miss Fisher was pulling on her jacket again. All around her the air was filled with ice rain— tiny sharp pellets of ice that sparkled in the sunlight like shards of tinsel.

“Amazing, isn’t it,” said Miss Fisher. “How things can change in an instant.”

Rolling in the Aisles

Prompt: Inheritance


Dear Wednesday,

Christmas is coming… and I need to send off packages and cards and finish the tree decorating, and plan our Christmas Eve, so instead of an essay on “inheritance” may I present a few of my favourite cartoons on the subject?

cartoon blessed are geeks


cartoon meek middle class


cartoon meek sermon


Have a wonderful week! Let’s do some writing even when we don’t have time…

~~FP