Community Service

Prompt: Community

1950 Brownie Uniform

Dear Wednesday,

When I was nine or ten it became urgently necessary that I join the Brownies. This community group was a kind of junior Girl Scout troop, whose uniform was a delicious chocolate-coloured dress with a belt, a scarf, a tam; a little military in nature. On Fridays all the Brownies in my elementary school wore their cool uniforms to class and then afterward went on to their exclusive Brownie meeting. It was imperative that I become one and learn their secrets and most important of all, strut my stuff in the uniform.

It took months of pleading with my mother because the outfit wasn’t cheap, but I somehow convinced her I would be a lifelong Brownie with community-minded virtues, and also be completely out of her hair on any Brownie excursions.

A Brownie was a legendary figure, a kind of fairy. How cool is that?

A brownie or broonie (Scots), also known as a brùnaidh or gruagach (Scottish Gaelic), is a household spirit from British folklore that is said to come out at night while the owners of the house are asleep and perform various chores and farming tasks. The human owners of the house must leave a bowl of milk or cream or some other offering for the brownie, usually by the hearth.

Hmm. Details. On to my first day as a Brownie!

Oh my, the uniform was glorious. I would have badges of accomplishment all over it! I stood up straighter in my classes that first Friday, in sisterhood with the other proud Girls in Brown with the same name as a delicious moist fudgy treat!

The gathering took place in a classroom where all of the desks had been pushed against the wall to make room for the, er, big toadstool that Grey Owl, a big mean-looking lady who led the group, had placed in the center. We all sat cross-legged on the linoleum tiled floor and then I’m pretty sure that before we all paid our weekly dues (a quarter or a dime, I forget which) someone danced around that papier-mache toadstool. What kind of shit is this? was my un-Brownie-like thought.

But the Brownie Mystery Trips! These were well-organized bus excursions to unknown destinations, maybe to a farm or a zoo or a museum or a water park. Who could say? It could be anywhere!

Funny thing is, I have no memory of any of the destinations. Perhaps they were to a nuclear plant? Or a brain-wiping research facility? I do remember part of one trip though, in the bus, charging through the countryside with my fellow Brownies, all of us excited in a very Brownie, lady-like way. I pretended I was allergic to bridges. I wasn’t sure what “allergic” actually meant, but I had a vague idea and decided to scam my Brown Sisters of the Bus, so I made quite a show of sneezing every time we drove over a bridge, large or small. Grey Owl said nothing, bless her. I got blessed, often— every time I fake sneezed.

The thrill of being in a virtuous para-military community organization with cool uniforms was beginning to wear thin. The odd Mystery Trip did not truly compensate for the big toadstool, not really. The last straw were the badges. I earned only one badge during my short tour with the Brownies: Dishwashing. Dishwashing! Where were the badges for spelunking or chainsaw sculpting or archery? My mother (proudly) stitched my one badge onto the sleeve of my uniform. I think it had an image of a teacup or something on it, a tribute to my knowledge of how to properly wash, rinse and set dishes on a rack to dry.

I’m pretty sure my mother used that badge against me in retribution for an expensive uniform I only wore for a few months. I know I got way more dish duty.

May I now present a few of my favourite cartoons loosely related to today’s casual prompt, “community”?

cartoon my-client-is-willing-to-do-community-service-new-yorker-cartoon_u-l-pgs22v0

cartoon boy-scout-break-glass-1

cartoon would-you-like-to-buy-some-girl-scout-crack-new-yorker-cartoon_a-G-9178735-8419449


Peace and love,

~~FP

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Inspiration

Hello Wednesday. I missed you last week.

Today’s self-prompt is inspiration. I always found the single-word Daily Post Daily Prompts to be lame, but they were at least an inspiration starting point and, more importantly, connected a group of promptees who became a community.

Where that community has gone I have no idea. I feel kind of stranded; do you? I wonder seriously how difficult it must have been to post one word a day with links to the community chest— I can’t judge because it’s been a long time since I worked on a serious website without a template (like this one).

There are lots of resources with daily prompts, and some with groups of participants that connect. But I grew comfortable with this one, and now need to stop finding excuses for skipping my daily entries and get to work. I have the old Daily Post 365 days of prompts and may start there. Or I have other quite interesting lists. What will you do?

In lieu of any inspiration whatsoever, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons?

cartoon yardbirds begat

cartoons womans point of view


cartoon stop picking at it


See you tomorrow for Throwback Thursday!

~~FP

Chimney Pines

Prompt: Dormant

field of daisies

Welcome to Chimney Pines.

To keep our community verdant, clean, and enjoyable for all, please observe the following regulations:

  1. No smoking in public areas or near doorways.
  2. Sidewalks must be cleared of snow, leaves, dirt, sand, and footprints at all times.
  3. No trees above 7’ in height. No fruit trees. Positively no evergreen trees of any kind, as they shed needles and attract vermin.
  4. No flags containing colors other than red, white, and/or blue.
  5. No flagpoles.
  6. Community board members are elected. Please contact the community office in person for information regarding nominations, campaigning, campaign funding, debate schedules, signage (not permitted), and legal matters. Legal advice is provided without prejudice and is not binding.
  7. Community board members must be over eighteen (18) years of age, and under ninety-five (95) years of age, except with a doctor’s note.
  8. No open fires, indoors or out. No gas fires.
  9. No brick siding, protuberances, or outbuildings.
  10. External door jambs must conform to community standards. Color information and color wheels available at the community office during office hours, 10 am – 3:30 pm. Paint available from Fred Armor’s Building Supplies, on the corner of Maple and Signature Streets, approximately six blocks from the community gates.
  11. No potluck dinners in the community hall, as we are not insured for food-related deaths.
  12. No patterned window coverings.
  13. No bird feeders, as they attract squirrels.
  14. Pets permitted on a case by case basis.
  15. No dogs.
  16. No cats.
  17. No birds.
  18. No rodents or rodent-like animals, or animals the size or texture of rodents.
  19. No bouncy castles.
  20. Fences must conform to community standards. Plans and photographs are available at the community office during office hours. All fence-related products should be purchased at Fred Armor’s Building Supplies, or contact Fred Armor in Unit 2.
  21. No daisies of any kind permitted in view from streets, sidewalks, or helicopters.
  22. No overt displays of affection, including kissing, amorous hand-holding, hugging excessively, sexual intercourse, or licking. Bare feet are permitted during summer hours— seasonal information pamphlet available at the community office.
  23. No formal hats after April 2, even if it falls on a Friday. Straw sunhats and some baseball caps are allowed— seasonal hat information available at the community office except during lunch time hours.
  24. No quoting from political or religious sources, unless complete context is clearly presented.
  25. Ice cream trucks must register at the community office, and may be required to obtain a community work permit. Cash only.
  26. No sirens.
  27. No bulbs or any plantings that require dormancy.
  28. Swimming in the pool is permitted. Pool maintenance is ongoing and may cause temporary pool closure. Please do not contact the community office about pool closures.
  29. No running, spitting, hitting, horseplay, loud noises, or confusing facial expressions at the pool, or anywhere.
  30. No student drivers, learners, or neophytes of any kind permitted on community property.
  31. Only male service animals are allowed on the premises.
  32. Cheese products are not necessarily real cheese, and may not contain dairy products. For information about real cheese, send a written request to the community office.
  33. Logical fallacies are frowned upon. Apply only when outside of community property.
  34. Grandparents permitted on a case by case basis.

Thanks for choosing Chimney Pines!

–F. Armor, Board Chairman