Puffy enough

Prompt: Strange


Hello Wednesday,

Lately, despite my increased obsession with my iPhone 8s, I find I am placing notebooks and pencils everywhere: beside my chair, on my bedside table, by my desktop, and in my purse. Maybe this is my last-gasp effort to climb out of the mire of digital (digital was supposed to be clean and crisp and efficient) and into the fresh air of analog (old, slow, tedious analog?).

Last thing at night, first thing in the morning, I stare at the screen. What if something happened while I was away from staring at the screen? What if there was a political event, a meme, an emoticon message that I missed for a few hours later or even until tomorrow?

Irrational digital.

A paper novel, a fresh notebook and a pencil. The six o’clock news on television? Maybe. Read a little, look at the horizon; write down a thought or a note, think, put the pencil down. Comprehensible analog.

Ok, just try and pry my laptop or my iPhone from my hands— I don’t want to give them up. But I am making room, lots of room, for my lined notebooks and sharpened pencils, too.

Apropos of nothing particularly strange, though strange they may be, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons?

cartoon valentines day

cartoon horizon

cartoon not puffy enough


Love and peace,

~~FP

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Shantay, You Stay

Prompt: Earworm


Don’t you hate it when you get up, have a shower, realize you are too sick to function, go back to bed with wet hair so that you look like a clown when it dries, miss out on a whole day and don’t even manage your usual Wednesday post?

The struggle is real. But I’m fine and busy and had time to mull over the prompt, “earworm”, which is a tune that buzzes around in your head and is impossible to silence. When I feel sick I like to binge-watch stuff on Netflix— well, even when I’m not sick. In any case, I’m up to season 10 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, a reality-style competition show that pits drag queens from across the nation of America in a contest that nets the winner $100,000, some make-up, and huge drag queen fame.

When you binge-watch, Netflix edits out repetitive credits but the basics of the RuPaul theme song remain… “May the best woman winnnn” and of course the show is filled with repetitive songs and catch phrases (“The library is open!”) and insider jokes. The song that simply will not leave my head after a binge evening is “Cover Girl”, which plays every episode when RuPaul, before the judging segment, appears in full glorious drag and struts down the runway:

Cover girl
Put that bass in your walk
Head to toe
Let your whole body talk

That’s about it. But that little fragment spins round and round in my tiny brain until it collapses in on itself in exhaustion… then I sit down and watch anther RuPaul. I am diligently focussing on this series now so that I can reach the final episode and have that song grow wings and take flight for a destination far, far away.

(…BTW, I tend to like the quirky and the glamorous queens, like Tyra, Raja, Sharon, and Sasha.)

May  I now present a wee cartoon extravaganza?

cartoon that good

Merry

cartoon hickock


And remember, if you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?

~~FP

Robin

Prompt: Enigma


It’s it is somewhere between twilight and darkness and the clouds are defined by the light ash sky behind them. Crickets are making their night sound. And I am thinking about Robin, the enigma.

Robin arrives on our back lawn every evening at 5:30 pm. He is tall and plump for a bird and has excellent posture. He hops around on two legs. When he hears worms making worm noises beneath the sod, he stops, tilts his head, and pounces. Then he continues his hop but with a worm or half a worm dangling from his beak. The ritual continues. When enough worms dangle he disappears, presumably to his hungry young family, tucked away in a nest in a location unknown. Then he returns, hopping and posing and pouncing, until sunset.

Robin returns every afternoon, punctually, so that I always know when it’s happy hour. This is a great service.

I can’t help but wonder what sound worms make in the dense earth under the grass. I wonder if they can feel Robin thudding around on the surface. “Oh shit, here he comes. Everybody run!”

Robin is not bothered nor distracted by me. He doesn’t fear me. If he does, he hunts anyway, for how else with the kids eat? He is a success as a provider.

I see the quail, and their parade of babies. I see the ducks, and their trail of ducklings. I watch them fatten and, sadly, dwindle in number as the season stretches on. I will never see Robin’s babies.

But I’ll see Robin tomorrow at 5:30 sharp. Cheers!

As it is Wednesday, many I now present a few of my favourite random cartoons?

cartoon mystery wrapped

cartoon nice moat

cartoon security


Peace and love,

~~FP

Teach a man to yodel

Prompt: Taught


Dear Wednesday,

Memorable teachers I have known:

Miss Howard: My grade one teacher was a kindly old woman (was she really old, I wonder? I remember her as grandmotherly). See Spot run. Look, baby, look! A good introduction to school for a sensitive little boo like me. My younger brother and sister were not so lucky.

Miss McGillvray: My second and third grade teacher was young and pleasant; liked kids and loved her job. She had freckles.

Miss Ferguson: My fourth, fifth and sixth grade teacher was a gem. Pushed us hard because she knew we could excel. I learned to write essays (yes, essays) in her class, a skill I needed and used in university. She once rapped my knuckles with a ruler for passing notes. She saw me as a feverish loony when she made a house visit when I was off school for three weeks because of strep throat. I missed my stage debut as Mrs Flintstone in the Christmas play because of this illness, which probably dashed my future career as an actress.

Mr Fraser: A prankster. It was fun to have a teacher with a sense of humour— also got my sense of humour.

Miss Connor: The one who called me a dim bulb, and failed a story I wrote because she didn’t know what a “gremlin” was. No, I still hold a grudge.

Miss McIntyre: Never was a teacher more well-intended but more boring. I used to pray for nuclear war to put an end to the mental paralysis caused by the topic “portage”.

Miss Campbell: Miss McIntyre after 30 years a teacher and thoroughly bored (and still boring).

Mr Cummings: a young teacher who somehow got me through Math class, which I took by mistake since I was hopeless and disinterested, and congratulated me after graduation at a basketball game for passing the final exam, when I was embarrassingly high as a kite and just grinned and drooled silently like a maniac.

Mr Creep: Several of my post high-school teachers fit this mold. Yep, creepy comments, asking me out, penalizing my work if when I didn’t cooperate, downright sexual harassment. One of these was expelled by the University of British Columbia because of me. Well, not me directly. My mother and a few other parents petitioned the Dean of Women after hearing a few of the stories, which I told as if they were jokes. She didn’t tell me this for 10 years.

The teacher who told me every single word matters hugely in a poem you are writing, and every single stroke counts mightily in a picture you are drawing.

And may I now present several of my favourite cartoons, some tenuously related to today’s prompt, “taught”?

cartoon janitor conference

cartoon give a fish

cartoon viii skater


Peace, love, and early season cherries,

~~FP

Legal Drugs

Prompt: Law


Dear Wednesday,

I wonder what the world would be like if there were laws that penalized or even incarcerated liars?

Think of anti-vaxxers, who put the world (yes, the world) in jeopardy of preventable disease pandemics. Or YouTube conspiracy theorists who bully the innocent and terrorize the gullible. Or policy-makers who claim devotion to bettering the human condition while taking bribes to do the opposite. Or a big fat Orange Foolius who lies multiple times daily and renders a entire nation laughable, harmful, and ineffectual all at once.

And he doesn’t even cross his tiny fingers.

…Quick, a diversion! Like you and the entire population of the Universe, I am sick to death of you-know-who. So may I present a few of my favourite cartoons, more or less related to today’s prompt, “law”?

cartoon divorce

cartoon higher court

cartoon legal drugs


Peace, love, and good health,

~~FP

Deep Thinker

Prompt: Never write


Helloooo Wednesday,

Do you ever get it? The block? Writer’s block? If so you’ve probably read dozens of articles explaining how to magically overcome your debilitating psychological paralysis — and even that writer’s block doesn’t exist except in our pitiful, excuse-seeking minds.

Well, it does exist and I read an interesting piece about smashing the block in “weird” (according to the author) ways. Let me count the ways…

Change the font on your writing program.

This is simple but strangely brilliant. Switch to a futuristic font for some sci-fi writing, or a flowery font for sentimental stuff, or Comic Sans to spur you on to finish whatever your writing project is. I’m trying this one!

Map your story’s world.

I can do it. My collection of stories takes place in a fictional area I’ve dubbed Echo Valley, and I am keen to set out all the made-up place names and maybe put in some roads and train tracks, just like Sim City, Or maybe I’ll make a community in Sim City!

Write outside your comfort zone.

If you are writing a romance, try sci-fi; or historical fiction instead of kid lit, or poetry instead of fantasy. If you (we) just go for it, it could be fun and also shimmy us out of the block.

You can read the other more conventional but also helpful ways in the full article here. Meanwhile, may I present some of my favourite cartoons, some of them actually related to today’s prompt?

cartoon cook book

cartoon skywriters block

cartoon deep thinker


Peace & love,

~~FP

Of Course

Prompt: Memory


Hello Wednesday,

Here’s a random memory:

When I was backpacking in Europe, my travel companion and I borrowed/ leased a really terrible car (a lemon of a VW Beetle) for the latter part of our journey. While in Greece, we had to surrender the thing to a garage for some necessary repairs, and this set us back financially. We arranged to have some money sent to Zurich, and to reach the city economically we took on two paying passengers, Richard and Brian.

The car was mechanically sound by now, but a wreck nonetheless. The driver’s side door had been struck by a motorcyclist and could no longer be opened. The driver’s seat had come off its rails so needed a person in the rear seat to brace their knees against it for stability so the driver wouldn’t be flung backward. The passenger side door wouldn’t securely close, so once we were all seated inside it was tied shut by a length of twine. The gas gauge and reserve tank did not function and we were constantly running out of gas in the middle of nowhere (once in the country on the opening day of hunting season– scary). The heater was constantly blasting, and the windshield wipers didn’t work at all.

Brian lasted as far as Rome, where he bolted in horror never to be seen again. Richard persisted. He was a sentimental, horny fellow from Rhode Island, USA, who once, at our request, drew a map of Canada that looked like a pizza. He was a bit of a health nut, and kept a biscuit tin of vitamins and supplements, plus aspirin and other OTC remedies that he had simply emptied out of their bottles into the tin. It was a colourful if daunting melange of meds of different sizes and shapes, but Richard could confidently identify each one.

This was fine until we reached the Swiss border. We were selected, perhaps because of our rather scruffy appearance, to have our luggage searched. They also took apart the poor beleaguered VW Beetle. And of course they found Richard’s stash of unlabelled pills.

The put the car back together (without fixing anything, alas) and cheerfully told my friend and I we could carry on, but Richard and his biscuit tin were suspect and he would be detained at least overnight. Richard was aghast and panicked. “Wait for me,” he pleaded as he was marched away, perhaps fearing he would rot away in a foreign jail cell without anyone ever knowing. “Of course!” we called out to him.

We spent a comfortable night at the border town on the Swiss side and in the morning packed up the car, excited to be so close to our destination. We weren’t sure where Richard was, and in any case, much to my eternal shame, we didn’t really care. I suppose we were naively optimistic about his fate as well as hungry (close to literally) for the cash that awaited us in Zurich. So we got in the car and drove around the town, looking for the directional sign to get us on the road to Zurich.

Purely by accident we came across Richard meandering down a sidewalk with his backpack. He waved ecstatically and climbed in with great relief. “I knew you wouldn’t desert me,” he said in gratitude.

“Of course not!” we said.

May I now present a few of my favourite cartoons relating to the prompt, memory, the first of which I don’t totally understand?

cartoon memory refresh

cartoon bad memory

cartoon watering can


Happy memories!

~~FP