Hoops

Prompt: School


Hello Wednesday,

Do you find sometimes that the most valuable lessons you learned were in primary and elementary school? I mean actual academics, not lessons about sharing and communication, since I’m not sure I learned anything of great value about life in any stage of school.

But addition and multiplication tables— all that repetition mostly stuck. And cursive handwriting— once out of fashion but now sneaking back into curricula— and all the practices hoops and lines, page after page.  It comes in handy— it’s like a kind of speedwriting when compared to printing, and is simpler and more personal than keyboarding. I’m not forgetting spelling and reading, though I think it’s often true that we learn our love of reading despite early school lessons, unless the methods and resources have changed. Have they?

I honestly don’t remember early school as a series of life lessons. I was already familiar with bullies of all ages. Sure, I had to share during recess, but I’d already learned that at home with three brothers and sisters, though it’s also one of the earliest playground lessons, if you don’t want to get beat up. The conning of teachers was an early learned skill; I used to play the “cute” card a lot as a wee girl, while not even knowing what “manipulation” meant. One thing that was drilled into me was obedience to authority, and that was a lesson that did not serve me well as I matured. It allowed me to abandon responsibilities, turn away from injustice, and accept the unacceptable.

School was never, sadly, a bright glorious light for me, even though as a typical young child I professed to “love” school and adore my teachers. It was a more a part of an inescapable routine, frequently boring, sometimes enlightening, less frequently stimulating and challenging. And of course, it kept us off the street, where we might get up to thieving and pillaging.

I think in general schools have changed for the better (at least in where I live), but I would like to know more. I have teacher friends— I suppose it’s time I hauled them in for an interrogation. I never learned how to interrogate in school… but neither did they.

On the topic of “school”, may I now present a few of my favourite cartoons loosely related?

cartoon summer vacation

cartoon math blackboard

cartoon teacher money


Peace, fuzz, and uniform hoops,

~~FP

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Showtime

Prompt: Mirror


Dear Wednesday,

Novelists often have their protagonists gaze into a mirror and assess their sorry lives as a way to develop character and interest the reader. I don’t know anyone who actually lingers staring at themselves while pondering their existence— there’s too much else to consider: That hair, what happened? Is that a pore or a crater? When did my left eye shift so far down my cheek? Is that nose mine? Why does my smile look painful? …We might have a moment of sharp mortality when we see wrinkles canyoning across the face, but that is the most reflection I indulge in while reflecting on my reflection.

The purpose of a mirror is to paint a fine stroke of eyeliner or tame a shock of hair. We are too much inside our heads at other times to bruise our egos with life assessment and judgement.

And in the right hands, mirrors are the source of fun and pleasure, and so may I present a few of my favourite cartoons related to today’s prompt, “mirror”?

cool cat

bad dog

showtime


Peach and lug,

~~FP

White Resigns

Prompt: Never

blue-choppermartineau

Dear Wednesday,

Smoke fills the air today as firefighters battle with a fire on the mountain side. At the moment they are concentrating on preventing the spread of the fire and letting the centre of it burn out— and that makes for billowing clouds of pale smoke that drifts and settles up and down the valley.

The roar of helicopter engines fills the air today as they dip down into lakes and then carry their cargo into the fog. I can’t help but feel this is putting out a bonfire with a teaspoon, but I trust they know what they are doing. The heat is scorching and the fire hops from perch to perch, jumping lines in its hunger for fuel.

Meanwhile we float on the lake, lazy spectators of a massive natural drama.

And I ponder today’s prompt, “never” by presenting a few of my favourite cartoons, which may or may not relate to the topic:

two-polar-bears

bigfoot

white resigns


Peace and love,

~~FP

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

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