Good Bones

Prompt: Place


Hello Wednesday,

Have you ever counted the number of places you’ve lived in? I wonder what the average is? I mean houses, in whatever location: would the average be about four? six?

I know I’ve lived in 12 different abodes, including this one, in five cities and one tiny town. I’ve packed more boxes than I can count. Gone house hunting so often that now that I am relatively settled I am a Househunters (TV show) addict, particularly Househunters International. I know it’s completely fake, rigged, and laughably predictable, but it’s still fun to mock the unbelievable clueless house hunters, their sleazy realtors, and the appallingly inappropriate homes.

Househunters is a TV show gasping for a drinking game. So gather your loved ones of drinking age around you, set out the wine and beer, and take a swig anytime one of the following happens on Househunters:

  • One wants city, one wants country.
  • One wants modern, one wants traditional.
  • One is adamant about the budget, one who doesn’t care a whit.
  • The music for International is hopelessly clichéd (Oompah soundtrack in Germany, for example).
  • In any large city where the couple are shocked their $600 rental budget isn’t enough.
  • Someone crawls into the bathtub.
  • Someone enters the shower and comments on the height of the shower head.
  • Someone criticizes a light fixture in a million dollar home.
  • Someone expresses shock that: the toilet is in a separate room from the bathtub.
  • Someone expresses shock that the clothes washer is in the kitchen.
  • The couple is adamant about an outdoor area for their dog but settle on an apartment.
  • A parent frets that a child will fall off a railed landing or balcony.
  • A “joke” is made about a closet being large enough for the woman only.
  • A “joke” is made about the closet only large enough for the woman’s shoes.
  • Someone blathers on about “natural light” when they mean “this room has windows”.
  • That frequent Paris realtor talks about “good bones”.
  • The buyers complain the oven is too small for a Thanksgiving turkey.
  • Someone says “I can see us drinking coffee/sipping wine on this balcony”.
  • Someone bemoans lack of privacy instead of remembering curtains can be closed,.
  • They insist on a heart-of-the-city apartment then complain about the noise.
  • They insist on extra bedrooms for “visitors” who many come once a year for a week.
  • The shots of the previous location is all snow and ice if the couple is from Canada.
  • The realtor tells us that the housing market has has a recent uptick and finding a place will be “challenging”.
  • The realtor shows them a pile of rubble and asks them to see the potential.
  • The realtor shows a couple with four children a two-bedroom home.
  • The after picture looks exactly like the before picture except for a new cushion,
  • They pick the worst option by far.

I’m sure there are many more. I’ll make a game, print sheets, and send them out to other fans. Contact me!

Meanwhile may I present a few of my favourite cartoons also related to today’s prompt, “place”?

cartoon socialist wasteland

cartoon oz or kansas

cartoon great screen japan


Stay safe!

~~FP

 

They Know Me

Prompt: Purpose


Dear Wednesday,

There are some things that should not be controversial.

Don’t wash whites with colours. Don’t leave a dog in a hot car. Clean water is a right. Wear a mask when you cannot keep a safe distance during a deadly pandemic.

Yet for certain segments of the population, especially in a once-great nation, a basic safety precaution recommended in certain circumstances by every reputable doctor and expert has become a political issue, a freedom football.

The virus is spread in the air, via droplets in our breath. Many people who have the virus are asymptomatic. So to protect others, a non-medical mask is sometimes necessary. It’s part of living and surviving in a community.

So when people of astonishing ignorance and gullibility shout (don’t shout, it spreads germs) that wearing a mask is a freedom issue, then the rest of the world, the sane ones, react with incredulity, revulsion, and anger. Does astonishing selfishness and shortsightedness always accompany ignorance and gullibility? It’s as if they think that they are the only ones tired of this pandemic; of not being able to see loved ones, having our movements limited, losing jobs and livelihoods, feeling exhausted and lonely.

I mean we have other issues to concern ourselves with. Bigoted, racist heads of state, lawmakers, and peacekeepers. Karens and Donalds and Vladimirs. But masks? Little bits of paper or cloth that we wear over our mouth and nose to protect the most vulnerable in our society—temporarily, until this crisis is over? Should not be given a second thought. Not controversial.

We know people of astonishing ignorance have existed among us, and should not be surprised, in this climate of ignorant populism, that they feel confident enough to shout out their nonsenses. But I am surprised. And angry, that they truly can’t seem to comprehend that their “freedom” does not include the right to endanger other lives.

Related to none of the above is the following small collection of some of my favourite cartoons. Enjoy!

cartoon hows the squid

cartoon what I saw

cartoon they know me


Peace and love,

~~FP

Sky Raisin

Dear Sunday,

There’s something about a global pandemic that makes me lose track of time. The only thing that keeps my days structured are twice weekly Zoom meetings. I know today is Sunday because I host my family– we call it Appy Hour. Mid-week is friends Zoom, which is a bit like sitting out on the deck with them with a glass of wine and completely frivolous conversation.

Otherwise I’m at a loss. I’ve pretended, quite convincingly so far, that all this isolation and social distancing has not been a hardship for me, since I learned a long time ago to be self-sufficient to the point of hermitry. I can entertain myself. I don’t need (nor do I want) constant communication with people about every little thing, I don’t rely on my acquaintances for validation (whatever that is).

But I miss people. I miss people I like and even people I don’t like. I’m tired of being cooped up with only the voice of Trump saying increasingly stupid and scary things day after day. Tired of partner, of my demon puppy, of this beautiful house, of floors, walls and windows. Tired of weeds and rain and morning headaches. I miss you!

Did you know there is a Text Crisis Line for those of us who feel isolated, depressed or just lonely? If you are in Canada, the US, the UK, or Ireland, visit this site for more information.

M e a n w h i l e . . . May I brighten your day with a few cartoons from Drawtism that brightened my day?

IMG_1171

IMG_1173

IMG_1172

Demon puppy used to be partial to The Egg, but now shamelessly sleeps like The Sistine Chapel.

Peace and love and virtual hugs!

~~FP

Astonish Me

Prompt: Flick


She entered the darkened room silently, the glow of her cigarette acting as the dimmest of lamps, and saw the silhouette of a large cat crouched in front of a window draped with a thin lace curtain. She could smell embers from a now-dead dead fireplace. 

She sensed the movement to her right before she saw it, and spun on her heel, kicking hard in a fluid, violent movement — it was Nick, one moment licking his lips in triumph at tracking her down again, now reeling backward, turning, and hitting his head on the brick mantle. The cat was quick to pounce, bloodthirsty, to lick the crimson liquid pouring from his forehead like thick cream into a bowl. She could suddenly hear the tick of a clock and smell the burnt waxiness of the extinguished wick of a candle and felt a prick of fear scud along her spine.

She flicked the ash of her cigarette as the cat leapt back onto the windowsill. She felt sick, knowing Nick would survive to tell Vic about the trick she’d played, He’d once called her a hick, a foolhardy chick— now he lay ominously still at her feet. She had no choice: She pulled the Colt from her belt and heard the click as the gun was cocked. 

The cat, in silhouette, silent and angry, flicked its tail in the moonlight. 


Now that I have fulfilled my writing prompt responsibilities, in this case trying to incorporate as many ‘flick’ rhymes as I could into a rather thin story—which was the only idea that came to mind with this word prompt— may I now present a few of my favourite cartoons relating to the hero of our story, the cat, and her favourite prey?

cartoon cat editor

cartoon church mice

cartoon Astonish me


Peace and love,

~~FP

A Beer is a Beer

Prompt: Beer


Hello Wednesday,

Summer is coming and it’s nice to anticipate warm sunny days relaxing on the patio, maybe taking a break from tending to the garden, being served (why not? It’s my fantasy) an ice cold bottle of Danish beer. A crisp, cool lager that slides icily, fizzily down the throat and is one of the glories of being alive.

The problem is, while I like the idea of summer beer, I don’t particularly like the taste of it any more. I don’t like the alcohol weariness that accompanies beer. Yet the romance of beer beckons with more and more intensity as the sun moves higher in the sky.

 “A beer is a beer,” my father used to say. He was an unpretentious man, who never failed to appreciate the icy luxury of a beer fresh out of the fridge after a hard day’s grimy work. He didn’t need or even appreciate fancy beers, though he harboured no grudges against those who fancied themselves connoisseurs. He loved beer culture, which is to say he was happiest when he could ensconce himself in a cosy pub surrounded by his easy-going friends. I like to think that is where he is now. With my dog at his feet, snatching up stray peanuts. Yes, I’m into flights of fancy during these days of isolation.

So I will stock the summer fridge with the things that satisfy me as a cold beer satisfied my father. I’ll sip and be delighted, whether it’s a cold white wine, a decadent vodka cooler (I love those), a non-alcoholic beer like Beck’s which I have just discovered and which is freaking delicious, or a frosted glass of clean cold water, in the spirit of being grateful for the truly fine moments in life.

Meanwhile, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons related to today’s prompt, “beer”?

cartoon solar beer

cartoon cloud beer

cartoon belly button beer


Peace, love, and patience,

~~FP.

Fun with Poverty

Prompt: Poverty


Hello Wednesday,

No, there is nothing fun about poverty. Poverty means you don’t have enough of the things you need, often compounded by being looked down upon for something that is not only not your fault, but that you struggle to overcome against impossible odds on a daily basis.

Ok, sometimes people cope with poverty with integrity, courage, and grace. Sometimes people without material possessions learn to appreciate what is truly valuable. I know that because I grew up poor and that happened to me. But those are stories for another time.

Meanwhile, I have a few of my favourite cartoons to present under the prompt, “poverty”, which does not mean that poverty is fun, but that the trappings around poverty can be gobsmackingly nonsensical and that sometimes we deal with suffering by poking our fun stick at it.

So, here we go:

cartoon help wretch

cartoon too much money

cartoon hope

See also:


Stay safe, everyone!

~~FP

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

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