Spring Training

Prompt: Abrupt


Dear Wednesday,

An acquaintance of mine has textus abruptus, an infliction that many people suffer from—perhaps you know a few?

The symptoms: A normally sweet, gentle, polite person comes off sounding hostile and abruptly dismissive when ever he or she types an email or text. You might text them excitedly inviting them to your spring garden party (if you hold such events) and the textus abruptus victim might respond:

As if. Next?

So you call a neutral sibling or friend and complain about the rudeness. Then you discuss how this person is lacking in basic email subtlety skills and etiquette, and what can be done? An intervention consisting of 15 of their closest email and text pals? No, you decide to take the honestly bewildered route:

Hey, did you have to be so rude when you said no? Are you mad or something?

The TA victim then withdraws— nay, shrinks— from his Hyde-like demeanour and apologizes for the impolite tone of the message, and reminds you they are dangerously allergic to pollen and a spring garden party is out of the question if they are to remain alive and healthy. But thanks for asking! I love you!

The cause of textus abrputus is unknown, but could possible be the result of a pleasant personality who naively believes it is impossible for them, with all their cheery good intentions, to offend. Which is why we call interventions or respond in a confused and concerned way, instead of deleting them from our contacts forever.

Completely unrelated to todays prompt, “abrupt”, is the following collection of a few of my favourite cartoons:

cartoon long walks

cartoon man and children

cartoon spring training


Peace, love, and patience,

~~FP

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Intelligent Life

Prompt: Quartet


Hello Wednesday,

Yesterday the people at the emergency flood company removed a quartet of huge fans from our basement, where two separate leaks had caused several inches of water to gather on every square inch of floor except where the sump pump is.

The fans did not create white noise that helped lull us to sleep at night. No, it was a constant, 24/7 roar over almost two weeks that started to drive me a little batty, to be honest.

Now there is one dehumidifier humming away down there, and draining pints of water into the main floor bathroom sink.

I will never, ever take blessed silence for granted again.

Don’t it always seem to go
that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone…

Apropos of nothing in particular, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons?

cartoon intelligent life

cartoon man annoying

cartoon good dog


Stay dry!

~~FP

Sense of Humour

Prompt: Blush

rolodex vintage

Latoya Unger called former mayor Marvin Haye at 5:45 am, because the kitchen faucet wouldn’t turn off, the drain was clogged, and she was afraid of flooding the house.

Marvin sighed. She hadn’t disturbed his sleep; he’d been restless and was standing at the door to his bedroom closet, separating his shirts into two piles.

“When can you come over?” Latoya asked.

“Even if it were a civic issue,” Marvin said, “I’m no longer mayor.”

“And if I was calling as a friend?”

“Who did you vote for, Miss Unger?”

There was pause enough for Marvin to realize Latoya Unger was probably blushing in some small demonstration of shame. “I’ll call Bill,” he told her, and quietly hung up the phone.

He checked his Rolodex for Bill’s Plumbing, Heating, Jams and Jellies. William Blatt, besides being a town counsellor and plumber, had a small orchard on his property and liked to make preserves.

“Pipes or jelly!” Bill answered cheerfully. “Sweet or savoury!”

“Latoya Unger’s pipes again, Bill, could you go over as soon as you can?”

“Oh damn, can’t you go?”

“I’m not mayor,” said Marvin.

“Of course you are,” said Bill. “It’s just a joke.”

“It’s not funny,” said Marvin. “It wasn’t funny when everyone made fun of my combover, either.”

“But you stopped doing it!”

Marvin ran his palm over his neatly trimmed pate. “And it wasn’t funny when everyone made fun of me for wearing a belt and suspenders,” he said.

“Well you don’t need both,” said Bill.

“It wasn’t funny when everyone made fun of my Rolodex.”

“Where did you even find that?”

“And it wasn’t funny when everyone made fun of me for wearing a Hawaiian shirt on a Tuesday.”

“It wasn’t the Tuesday,” said Bill. “It was the shirt.”

Marvin was staring at the shirt now, wondering which pile to put it in. It was turquoise with a pattern of streaming green seaweed. On the pockets were female figures presumably dancing the hula, and there was actual fabric fringe from their grass skirts. He’d paid over forty dollars for it, second hand.

Its original owner had been reluctant to part with it, and Marvin suspected a wife had laid down the law. Marvin’s wife was gone, and the shirt had spoken to him just as it had with its doe-eyed owner. But now the magic was gone. He cradled the telephone receiver between his neck and shoulder, took the shirt off its hanger, folded it carefully, and placed it in the Goodwill pile.

“I’m leaving,” said Marvin. “Packing up and going to Richmond to stay with my daughter.”

“You have work to do as mayor!” said Bill.

“I’m not mayor,” said Marvin again. “I did not get the majority of votes. I was there for the final tally last night. Congratulations on your reelection to council, by the way. I guess the people have spoken. They chose a mixed breed dog to be mayor of Bartlett instead of the incumbent. Hope you enjoy it.”

“For heaven’s sake, Marvin, where’s your sense of humour?”

Marvin was looking at a raspberry red golf shirt emblazoned with the crest of Foothill Golf Center Mayors’ Tournament. Sacramento, California had hosted a conference for mayors which Marvin had attended at town expense, and where he’d played in a foursome with the mayors of Billings, Montana, Hanover, Michigan, and Red Deer, Alberta. He also learned quite a bit about private police forces, universal wi-fi pros and cons, and how to tax environment-negative businesses. He still called and chatted with the mayor of Red Deer, who’d been so sympathetic when Helen died.

He folded the shirt carefully and put it in the “keep” pile.

“Marvin?”

“Can you drop off some of your sweet pepper-plum jelly? My daughter loves it,” said Marvin. “Because I’m going to Richmond, Latoya Unger has a clogged pipe, I’m not mayor, Gloria is your mayor, I hope everyone had a good laugh, and I’m wearing a belt and suspenders at the same time, right now.”

He hung up the phone ever so quietly, and finished sorting and packing. He was not wearing both a belt and suspenders. That was a joke.



—>Gloria, a story by Fluffy Pool.

 

Fact-Checking

Prompt: Fact


Hello Wednesday,

Wednesday? Where are you? Oh, I almost missed you.

The fact is, I have been busy with a sick dog. I won’t go into detail, because sick dogs always involve unpleasant descriptions of normal and abnormal bodily functions and sick lumpy stuff. But my darling 14-year old puppy is not well at all.

We’ve been neglecting the past few vet visits because they stress out his dog mind and body so much, and we just want him to be comfortable and content in his dotage. That’s been cowardly of us, I know. Cowardly and desperately loving. Loving cowardice.

So he lay at my feet now as I tap tap on my laptop, as he always does, but he is sad and lost and miserable, and would feel even worse if he knew he had a vet visit coming up. Which he does.

So the prompt is fact, and I had no trouble selecting a few of my favourite cartoons relating to the prompt, which I offer to you now:

cartoon jury fact

cartoon facts dont matter

cartoon fact checking


Love and peace!

~~FPfluffy pool pencil sketch

Cherish is the Word

Prompt: Cherish

merry christmas rabbit

My Christmas presents this year:

  • “Happy” perfume
  • Terry’s Dark Chocolate Orange
  • Computer headset
  • Poncho
  • Red gloves
  • Tablet stylus
  • Beatles’ Eight Days a Week documentary DVD
  • Sketch-a-Day Journal
  • The Interpreter of Maladies (novel)

What I cherish:

  • My family, friends, and dog
  • Chocolate

Find Yourself

Prompt: Mercy

cartoon mercy

Recently, a lot of sexual harassment and abuse cases have come to light in the American and international media. Powerful men, some known scumbags, some respected allies of the women’s movement, have been exposed as serial creeps, harassers, abusers, and assaulters.

What is clear is that there is and has been an epidemic of mistreatment of women in almost all fields– something that is not surprising to women as individuals, but the scope and grim repercussions to women who have tried to speak up are probably surprising to many of us.

Many people denounce what is called “the court of public opinion”. Innocent until proven guilty, goes the cry. Present the evidence in a court of law before passing judgement.

The problem with that viewpoint is that the justice system has failed women (and men, and children, and other victims of sexual crime) time and time again. Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, Bill Cosby, Donald Trump all live freely despite the –stay with me here– absolute knowledge of their wrong-doing. Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis CK and others may never face their accusers in court, and if they did, what would be the outcome? Again, the system has let the victims of sexual abuse down over and over, because of a rule about the burden of proof that is arbitrary, unfair, ineffective, and vulnerable to manipulation and biased interpretation.

So if the courts fail us, then I am grateful to the so-called Court of Public Opinion, wherein we see serial abusers vilified, losing their jobs and prestige, and having to face their accusers without the benefit of automatic court protection.

The number of women who make false claims is infinitesimally small, because there is rarely a gain to be made that balances the public doubt and the humiliation of the legal system. So perpetrators go free and victims are silenced while their lives are altered forever.

So, welcome, Court of Public Opinion. You have done well this past month. You have doled out justice where none could be found in any other avenue.

Well done, public.

… And on a lighter note, because it is Wednesday, and unrelated to this topic or the prompt, may I present two of my favourite cartoons which have been dying to appear here at Fluffy Pool:

cartoon snoring


cartoon stick dog


Keep writing, keep paying attention. 🙂

~~FP

Living My Life

Prompt: Foggy


Oh, Wednesday,

This is our family reunion weekend, so I am spinning in circles trying to get ready. Spring was so late that summer, and this weekend, crept up on me!

Fog rhymes with dog. That’s all I got. Please enjoy a few of my favourite rather odd dog cartoons:

cartoon dog more in life


cartoon dog cat


cartoon dog cat smell


…Running to make another list, while pausing to hug my own dog,

~~FP