Agony Ant: Neanderthal Poetry [Repost]

Prompt: Save

moose

Dear Agony Ant,

My boyfriend is a Neanderthal.

He keeps himself relatively clean, but has the worst teeth, as in some are missing, some are loose, and some are sharp. This means that our love-making is perilous and often painful and bloody, though is quite spectacular in other regards.

Yes, he should see a dentist, but is deathly afraid of them. He is also afraid of small spaces, lightning, automobiles, cats, plastic, and electricity.

He is also not much of a conversationalist, choosing to “do” rather than “say”. I can’t claim he doesn’t communicate well, but I am a bit of romantic, and love poetry. I really wish he would one day say in words how he feels about me. He has never told me he loves me, but I suspect he does.

We are trying to decide whether to live together. I am a bit of a neat freak, and he is quite the opposite. He rabidly sticks to his paleo diet, while I am vegetarian.

I am no spring chicken, and he might be my one shot at true happiness, commitment, and baby Neanderthals.

How can I tell if we should move in together?

Yours truly,
Sentimental Lover


 

Dear Sentimental Lover,

That’s quite a catch you have there. I am kidding. The heart has reasons, and all that.

If you are willing to overlook the little quirks, like his lack of speech and fear of plastic, because you love each other, then all the power to you. I’m sure he overlooks your flaws, like your use of electric lights and toothpaste.

But, he owes you some proof of his true affection and romantic feelings. Demand that he write you a love poem. If he can overcome his shyness about communicating his feelings, then I believe you can be a brilliant match, despite your differences in diet.

Peace and love,
agony ant


 

Dear Agony Ant,

He did it! He wrote me a love poem. It made me cry. Do you think it proves his sincerity?

I am hunter
You are womb
You are beautiful like skinned moose
Pink
Juicy
Fill belly.

Yours truly,
Sentimental Lover


 

Dear Sentimental Lover,

It made me cry too. Anyway, the sincerity is definitely there.

Good luck as you start your romantic adventure cohabiting, and possibly, marriage, children, and growing old together.

May I suggest you relocate to a city with legalized marijuana?

Peace and love,
agony ant


  • Original Prompt: False, July 8, 2016
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Thumbing

Prompt: Fire


Dear Wednesday,

Today I really wanted to talk about opposable thumbs.

That’s because my brand new mandoline— a kitchen device used for slicing and julienning— arrived yesterday and I simply couldn’t wait to try it out, so I made a big salad that included sliced baby cucumbers, radishes, and thumb.

Yes I foolishly made a wee slice in my right thumb. I thought I was smarter than all the reviewers on Amazon who warned that the blade was sharp and that they had foolishly sustained injuries. There was even a gross picture of blood. Yet I persisted, and the accident occurred.

I put a band-aid on it and went about my day, quickly learning that my day involved my right thumb. The bandage covered my thumbprint, which is how I log into my devices. I rely on my thumb for barely above-average typing. For holding awkward utensils and pencils. To properly hold a coffee mug. To open a jar or a bottle of wine. To hold a fork. To feel the pulse in my left wrist with my right thumb— admittedly not a crucial task nor the right way to do it but what if I wanted to?

The opposable thumb was an important element of human evolution because it allowed us to develop and use tools, which apparently led to great things, like Post-It notes.

The point is, the opposable thumb is a connection to our past, to our rising above our primitive origins, leading to the creation of spears, slaughterhouses, printing presses, computer chips, self-driving cars, Netflix, origami, Cowichan sweaters, the Hubble telescope, electricity, the Panama Canal, fishing nets, bird sanctuaries, safety pins, garter belts, and Post-It notes— yet by my foolish mandoline thumb-slicing mishap, I demonstrated that I was unfit to have an opposable thumb because I’m too damn stupid.

Another task requiring an opposable thumb is lighting a match and creating a little fire, which happens to be the prompt for today. So may I present a few of my favourite cartoons, loosely connected to the prompt, “fire”?

cartoon caveman juggling

cartoon pets smoking

cartoon fire mover


See you tomorrow for Throwback Thursday.

Love and peace,

~~FP

Bob’s Brain [Repost]

Prompt: Ready

burning_book-t2

“I know I could probably do better than you, physically speaking,” Bob said. “We all have  our levels of attractiveness, and it’s funny that we rarely stray, either up or down, from those levels.”

So, Envy thought, could this be why such a presentable, almost handsome young man was never in a lasting relationship? He was a tall man, strong, broad in the shoulders and wide in stance, like a football player, with a fair complexion and neatly trimmed chocolate brown hair. His manner was open and friendly— always smiling, as he was now, with wonderful, traditional manners. He liked to open doors, take the curb side when walking, pay the tabs, bring a rose or a bottle of rosé when he picked up a lady for a date.

But he seemed to have no filter. Was that a result of indulgent parenting? Cluelessness? A disinclination towards self-examination? Maybe no one had ever called him on his proclivity for unnecessary truth-telling.

“Excuse me?” said Envy. They had stopped at a neighbourhood pub, halfway between the stadium and the car, on their way home. It was extremely dark, not as crowded as it should be, and the bartender seemed to be hoarding ice. Envy’s gin and tonic was flat and warm.

“Oh, don’t take it the wrong way,” said Bob.

“How should I take it?”

Bob leaned over and kissed Envy on the cheek. She pulled away. He said, “It can’t be a huge surprise to you, Envy. I met your sister-in-law. She is a model. You are not a model. It’s not a big deal, why do you mind?”

“If you think you can do better than me, physically, I think you should,” said Envy. Of course it was no surprise to her. She was distinctly un-beautiful: her eyes and nose and mouth were placed as if God had randomly thrown these features from a distance onto her face. She tended to have very sensitive skin, so it was rarely smooth and without blemish. She would never be taller, and, she suspected, would never be thinner.

When he’d picked her up at her new condo that evening, she was ready, coat in hand. She took the bottle of rosé and set in on top of a large cardboard carton. The hallway and living room were still stacked with boxes waiting to be unpacked. Bob peered in. “Bit of a hoarder, are we?” he said. She took that remark, and so many others, as if it was a joke. But no, it was not a random joke, it was just Bob’s brain spewing out unfiltered comments like a leaky faucet.

Well, this time it hurt.

“That was a hurtful remark,” Envy said. Bob started to order her another gin and tonic but she put her hand over his and shook her head. “I’d like to go home.”

“You could tell me I have a big nose, I wouldn’t be hurt if it was true,” Bob said, and then, as if he realized the weakness of the analogy, he made the mistake of expanding. “I just believe in honesty. I don’t lie, Envy. It’s not my style. I wasn’t trying to hurt your feelings. I wouldn’t be hurt if you said something I thought was negative, because if I am honest I have to expect honesty in return.”

“I am telling you something negative. You say hurtful things and don’t care. You don’t have to share your every passing thought, especially when it is hurtful. Of course I know I’m not beautiful. We ugly ones are the smart ones, remember? Sometimes, crazy as it sounds, I don’t need to be reminded about the fact that I’m not pretty, like when I’m out on a date.”

Bob had the grace to look surprised. “But you are pretty.”

“But you could do so much better.” Envy stood up and put her coat on. Instinctively, Bob helped guide her arms into the sleeves.

“Not so much better,” said Bob, unadvisedly. “I mean—“

“Just take me home, Bob,” Envy said, sighing.

They walked the rest of the way to the car without speaking. This seemed to be the pattern for all her attempts at relationships, since Marcus. A conflict, then silence, then the last chapter finished and the book closed. And burned.

But as Bob started the car, he turned to her and said, “I’ve wanted to kiss you and touch you since I first laid eyes on you. I said the wrong thing. Here’s the right thing: you are not a model, but are the sexiest woman I have ever met. Will you come back to my house and allow me to make love to you?”

Envy stared back at him. She couldn’t help but wonder: Did he finally understand that the truth is not always expedient?

Was he telling the truth now?


  • Original Prompt: Lukewarm, February 12, 2017.

Like a Tourist

Prompt: Shipwrecked


Dear Wednesday,

It’s cartoon day and a chance to dip in to the many desert island cartoons, which seem to be a staple of cartoonists everywhere. Why, I wonder? I feel the urge to overanalyze creeping over me…

Don’t we all harbour a secret wish to start fresh? With none of the trappings, baggage, burdens of our daily lives? Maybe retreat somewhere isolated, simple, free from the roar of social media and day to day noise and distractions? Of course we don’t get to be shipwrecked with all our favourite books and cocktail ingredients, but… details, details.

Yet the desert island dwellers in cartoon land, for all they’ve been released from the worldly grind, keep reverting to the familiar, the comfortable, the normal, no matter how nonsensical.

So there’s the conundrum, the dilemma, the perplexity: We want the new, the adventure, the do-over but also crave the familiar and the predictable.

People are dumbasses.

cartoon island network

cartoon island tourist

cartoon island camera


I have to admit the islands do look peaceful. And warm.

Love and peace,

~~FP

64 Thousand Dollar Question [Repost]

Prompt: React

orange is tnb

“Misandry isn’t a ‘thing’,” said August. “It’s a reaction to misogyny.”

Seven women sat in a circle on grey folding chairs for their weekly “Search Inside Myself” session with Dr Whitley, who named the program without much thought to the sense of humour of incarcerated women. Some were there solely because of the name of the group, and had no interest in exploring personal or sexuality issues. Their attendance was noted, and they looked upon Dr Whitley as naive, unintelligent, and laughable. These were incentive enough to encourage their weekly attendance.

“What do you mean, August?” asked Dr Whitley. She wore a cream coloured skirt and a black jacket. She always looked well-pressed. The rest of the women were clad in slightly rumpled charcoal grey two-piece uniforms, stamped with the institution’s initials on the back in sunny yellow, and with their names on badges stuck with velcro to the front of their uniforms.

“There aren’t women who hate men. Women hate what men do sometimes, but not the men.”

“Amen,” said Agnes. She was thinking of her husband, Armand, whom she didn’t realize was cheating on her at that very moment.

Miss Fisher spoke up. “There are women who hate men.” She had lost a few pounds in prison for the multiple murders, but still looked well for a woman of her age, and was far from frail. “For example,” she said, “I feel I am a misandrist. I am afraid, and regretful, that I truly do hate men. I honestly didn’t know there was a word for it until I attended this, um, group meeting.”

Search Inside Myself,” said Bonnie helpfully.

“How could you hate half the population?” August asked. She was approximately half Miss Fisher’s age. “You have reason to hate some men, but not all men.”

“I can because I do,” said Miss Fisher. “I didn’t always feel this way, but circumstances, life experiences, observations, and research have led me to conclude that the world would be a better place without men.”

“Amen,” said Bonnie, who was serving twelve years for poisoning her boyfriend.

“You hate little boys? Toddlers? Gandhi?”

“Of course I don’t hate little boys,” said Miss Fisher, smiling benignly. “But I do hate what they become. I never hated the young men in my classes, and it is tragic that they grew into men.”

“As opposed to what?” August asked.

“Decent people.”

“Many decent people are men.”

“I respectfully and regretfully disagree.”

“Do you,” said Dr Whitley, “regret the murders you committed? Are you sorry for the men you killed, and for their families?”

Miss Fisher paused. “That is the 64 thousand dollar question, isn’t it?” she said amiably. She would hardly confess to any deed or feeling to a prison doctor with both a smart phone and a ballpoint pen, without careful consideration.

“What’s that?” asked Bonnie. “The 64 thousand dollar question?”

“It means a question at the gist of a matter,” said Miss Fisher. “It refers to a game show popular in the 50s, called The 64 Thousand Dollar Question, in which the contestants had the chance to win prize money by answering a series of questions.”

“Before your time, Bonnie,” said Agnes. “It’s like Trivial Pursuit.”

“What’s that?” asked Bonnie.

“Can we please get back to the discussion at hand?” said Dr Whitley in what she perceived was an kindly yet authoritative tone of voice.

“Let’s continue Searching Inside Ourselves,” said a woman named Tricia. Dr Whitley looked at her sharply. She had never spoken in group before.

Miss Fisher smiled.


  • Original Prompt: Frail, July 18, 2016.
  • Image: Orange is the New Black, Netflix.

And now a request from the audience

Prompt: Brag


Hi Wednesday,

Here I am, laptop in lap, watching Stephen Colbert on TV, wondering why I am so completely and utterly bored by superhero movies, and why Trump doesn’t seem to understand we notice his extreme vanity; i.e. the long ties to make him look taller and less wide, the poofy yellow comb over, the orange tan with reverse raccoon eyes. And more importantly, that he doesn’t seem to know that those vanity strategies don’t actually work for him: we know he’s fat, bald, old, and pasty. None of that would matter a whit if he was a decent and competent man, of course. But that he tries so very hard to be something he is not, and tries so unsuccessfully… well I can’t help but wonder, as I sit here with my laptop.

I don’t have a lot to brag about. I’m aging, I get grey hair, I would like to be less wide and have an impossibly lustrous mane of hair, a dewy youthful complexion. I just never occurred to me to take bad advice about those things. We all see people who have their personal vanities— usually these are harmless and sometimes even endearing. Many women (and men) succumb to inadvisable surgeries and other augmentations. But how many people do you know who go the the transparent and ineffective lengths that the Donald does? Exactly how insecure is he? And should such obvious shallowness, vanity, and cluelessness have alerted voters?

Yes, me and my laptop wonder.

Meanwhile, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons, the first of which is the only one that relates to today’s prompt, “brag”?

cartoon that-s-the-last-time-we-brag-about-our-kids-new-yorker-cartoon_u-l-pgpmlt0

cartoon singer-smashes-banjo-matthew-diffee

cartoon trumps africa


The real prompt was about not being afraid to recognize and appreciate your good qualities, if not brag about them. Let’s do that!

Peace and love,

~~FP

Autobiography

Prompt: Autobiography

clown-on-fence

Ups and downs
Cheese and clowns
A moustache here
An Afro there
Homemade wine
A Bartlett pear
An orange van
A string of lights
Tea-stained days
Neglected nights
The Marseillaise
A drop of sweat
A barren page
A private jet
A vacant stage
A patron saint
To paraphrase:
Fingerpaint.