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
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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

The Nine Steps of Forgiveness

Prompt: Tea


Hello Wednesday,

Tea is always good for you– not only because of anti-oxidant properties, but because of the spiritual calmness that a good cuppa offers in a moment of crisis.

Coffee, meanwhile, is sometimes a miracle elixir, sometimes a perilous toxin, depending on the research and time of day. I love coffee, but it turned me into a morning monster (in all seriousness). When I had to quit caffeine, and when decaf was not considered drinkable, I turned to tea.

How dull, how boring, how English. However, people no longer had to give me a wide berth in the morning (they were, again in all seriousness, afraid of me before my first cup of coffee), and I’ve grown to like green and white teas. Sure, they taste like leaves and grass, and are anemic in colour. One gets used to that, for the sake of good health and community commitment.

May I present a few of my favourite cartoons, the first of which is tangentially related to today’s word prompt, Tea?

herbal tea party


cartoon dog in car


cartoon pig ribs


It’s time to fire up the barbecue. Sorry, little pig.

~~FP

A Little Song, a Little Dance…

Prompt: Bury


Dear Wednesday,

Have you ever made a speech at a funeral? I haven’t. I’ve lost my fear of speaking in front of small groups but there is no way I could pull myself together (and I’m not proud of this) and speak about someone I loved who had just died, without getting choked up, weepy, and unable to pay them proper respect. I did write the occasional eulogy which my older brother would then read. Are you, as a writer, asked to compose eulogies or newspaper notices?

In any case, may I present, in lieu of a selection of my favourite cartoons, the classic excerpt from the Mary Tyler Moore show, The Funeral of Chuckles the Clown.


And, ok, just one of my favourite cartoons, very tangentially related to today’s word prompt:

cartoon surpise dog in heaven


Joy, long life, and surprises…

~~FP

 

Pity

Prompt: Savage

fragonard woman with dog

“Pity!” Eleanor called. “Pity! Where are you?” She didn’t know whether to go left or right. “Pity! Where have you gone?”

Pity was about six blocks away. She heard the children’s voices from the Theodore T. Buttz-Montgomery Elementary School. They were on recess, and the squealing from the playground both attracted and frightened Pity, who could not resist moving a little closer.

Poppy Donovan stood on the concrete at the edge of the basketball court, looking out at the Adventure Playground, as they called it, though it was mainly a series of ladders and platforms painted bright blues and yellows. She was a substitute teacher, here today by virtue of Mrs Simmons contracting food poisoning from a chicken taco. Poppy would have liked full time work, but with three children aged three, ten, and seventeen, she had only a few hours a week to spare. She loved teaching, and at her in-home job as a kind of telephone companion, she often found herself dropping interesting facts about history or geography, much to her clients’ confusion.

In ancient Greece the courtesan Neaera, was so beloved by her patrons they organized to buy her freedom. From then on she gained the honorific, “Herself mistress of herself.”

She was a fierce parent to her children, savagely protective, and these children, laughing and running and climbing, were her children for the day. So when she saw Pity, not even half a block away, approaching slowly with her head down, she momentarily froze.

The American Pit Bull Terrier is one of the so-called bully breeds often labeled a pit bull. In fact, “pit bull” isn’t a breed, but a term used to describe the American Pit Bull Terrier, the Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Height: 1 foot, 5 inches to 1 foot, 7 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 30 to 85 pounds
Life Span: 12 to 16 years

Poppy Donovan approached the Adventure Playground, saying in a steady but firm voice. “Children, move back into the classroom now.”

Young voices rose and squealed and cajoled.

Pity raised her ears, looked up, and caught Poppy’s eye.

Human beings involuntarily give off chemicals called pheromones when they are alarmed. Because a dog’s sense of smell is thousands of times more sensitive than ours, most likely a dog can detect those chemicals.

Walk, don’t run,” said Poppy.

Pity saw action, movement, and a tall thin woman staring, and it looked interesting. She picked up her pace to a trot.

Poppy now had a greater distance to get to the door of the school than the distance between her and the dog. She screamed.

Pity barked. She pinned her ears back. She was confused.

Poppy made a run for it, and Pity continued her trot, and then heard Eleanor’s voice getting louder and louder as she ran down the street towards them.

“Pity! Pity, come!”

Eleanor had a leash, and clipped it to Pity’s collar. “Naughty girl,” she said, “running off like that.”

“I’m going to call the police,” Poppy said to Eleanor. “Your vicious dog put my children in danger.”

Pity the pit bull dropped to the ground and rolled over, exposing the breast nubs on her belly. Eleanor gave her a good scratch, for not running away before she could clip on the leash. Then she stood up straight and spoke directly to Poppy.

“Sorry you were scared. Pity is harmless, even when she’s frightened, which is a good thing in a dog. If you want to teach those kids to be frightened by something they don’t understand, instead of learning about it, then you are going about it the right way. C’mon, Pity.”

Poppy watched them skirt the basketball court and cross the parking lot to the sidewalk. They disappeared around a corner.

It only takes a brief look at the history of pit bulls to realize that the dogs are not the problem; the humans who misuse them are. For over a hundred years, holding the owners personally responsible was enough to prevent attacks, and the breed was perceived as very child-friendly. With outreach and education, it may be possible to restore that image and rehabilitate the pit bull’s reputation, restoring an iconic American dog to its rightful place among mankind’s best friends.


Overthinking

Prompt: Roots


Wednesday! Here you are again.

It is spring, and here at home we are cleaning up last year’s weeds and debris, including those insidious roots that run under the grass and sand. We human beings think we are so smart, but roots are smarter. They come back no matter what we do to prevent them, so I have to give roots a lot of credit. We should devote more study to roots and other persistent indestructibles, like cockroaches.

Moving on from nightmare insects, another kind of root is our ancestry… we all have roots in the same primitive family that may have had the very conversation as the first of a group of my favourite cartoons:

cartoon they're all neanderthals


The other cartoons have no connection to the prompt “roots”, but it’s Wednesday, and they are about cats and dogs.

cartoon cat exec with string


cartoon dogs overthinking


Happy Wednesday!

~~FP