As Seen on TV

Prompt: Television


Hello Wednesday,

Has television become the focus of our lives? It occupies a prominent, if not the most prominent, position in our homes, we stare at it for many hours a day, use it as a source for news, gossip, education, and entertainment both inspiring and trivial, and we are likely to lose our minds if the cable goes out and we are stuck in a room with a silent yawning black hole instead of the thing that we build routines around.

When I got my first apartment my roomie and I were on a tight budget so thought we’d forego the television set— and yes, this was partly a social experiment on our part. How did we spend our evenings? I remember filling many diary volumes, working on crafty projects, going out a lot, reading, studying (when not in school I was generally taking night courses), and having friends visit. I also remember going into work every day and not participating in the ubiquitous “Did you see…?” recap about the previous night’s TV events. Most importantly, I remember not missing it! The apartment, humble as it was, was always a serene and calming refuge and not a distracting noise box. When my roommate moved on to another city, my new housemate got us a tiny old black and white TV, and thus ended the experiment.

As I examine my TV habits I can’t help but notice how remarkably distractible I am even when I am watching a program I deliberately scheduled, by my iPad mostly, catching up on mail and messages, news, following links and so on, but I also fidget, talk on the phone, do my nails, wander around, doodle, fold laundry, browse magazines, make tea, add ice to my wine, make lists. I honestly don’t know if television shows are less fascinating or whether my ability to focus on anything has eroded into near non-existence. I suspect the latter. How about you?

Related to my television pondering and today’s prompt, may I now present a few of my favourite cartoons?

cartoon tv book

cartoon as seen on tv book

cartoon cat tv


Love, peace and serene refuge,

~~FP 

The Right Person

Prompt: Broken


Hello Wednesday,

When I was a child of nine, I broke the big mirror on the bedroom dresser I shared with my sister– a mirror which partly covered a window– when I tried to open that sticky window. It shattered into a thousand pieces and took me and my mother a long time to clean it up.

My mother knew it was an accident and wasn’t angry, though every extra expense was problematic for my family in those days.

I wasn’t worried about the expense or my mother’s reaction. I was nine: I knew for sure that breaking a mirror meant seven years of bad luck. I did the math: my life would be a living hell until I was sixteen.

What happened was that I did think about it for seven more years. I fretted a little. I thought I recognized catastrophes related to the broken mirror. But mostly, I realized that superstitions are stupid AF.

I understand that this is not a brilliantly intelligent revelation, but it was to me as a child. I didn’t have to believe things. I could be critical. I could make up my own mind. After years of avoiding cracks on sidewalks, being repulsed by the thought of walking under a ladder, and touching wood with great solemnity, I was finally free!

Well, I throw salt over my shoulder if I spill it, don’t know which shoulder it should be but I do it anyway. And if it rains, I blame my partner for washing the car.

In the spirit of Wednesday’s prompt, broken, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons, only the first of which is related to the theme?

cartoon 10 commandments

cartoon broken refrigerator

cartoon eye contact


See you tomorrow for Throwback Thursday. Have a wonderful week!

~~FP

Rejection

Prompt: Ooze

cell phone new message
Language warning

Wendy was busy that night; in fact she actually did have to wash her hair, having had an altercation with a beehive, a subsequent application of ointments to her scalp, and a seven a.m. shift the next morning.

Colin, who had thought it was time to move beyond the random texting, was not well-pleased by her response.

“You cunt,” he texted. “Your too fat anyway. I was only feeling sorry for you.”

Wendy had a long soak in a hot bathtub, pleased to have clean hair, happy to have avoided a date with Colin, tired and relatively content, until she logged into Facebook, from bed, on her laptop.

“I hope your raped and sodomized by a gorilla,” said the post from Colin Gibbons. She hadn’t known his last name until that moment. His grammar and spelling were below par.

“I know where you live, bitch,” he wrote. “I can see you. My friends wanna fuck you too.

Even though your a fat cow.”

Wendy blocked and banned his account, but not before he posted a picture of a woman performing a sexual act on a donkey.

After work the following morning, the red light on the land line phone blinked, indicating there was a message waiting. She decided not to listen to the message, and deleted it.

She looked out the apartment window and saw a man with a camera. Perhaps he was taking pictures of the building for a rental listing, as she knew several units were coming available at month’s end.

Her cousin Amos called her on her cell, and having checked her on Facebook, asked if she was all right. Wendy burst into tears.

“Don’t tell anyone,” she said, “But I am not all right.”

“Don’t tell anyone?”

“If they know how scared I am, how hurt and demoralized and disillusioned and how much I want to crawl into a dark hole and hide… they would be happy, they win.”

“They? This was Colin Something.”

“Add Louis, Carl, Roger A., and a few others I am trying to forget, and you have a picture of my life since February.”

Amos begged her to be safe, then logged off his phone and set it gently on the counter. Seven threats, seven attacks, since February? It seemed unlikely. Was she being too sensitive? Perhaps she should be a little more careful, a little more diplomatic when she turned a guy down?

Wendy considered deleting her Facebook account, once and for all. She considered avoiding nights out with her friends, or any social engagements where she might meet someone. Maybe she would avoid contact for a little bit. But she vowed not to delete her Facebook account. That would mean they won.


When Women Refuse

Self-Awareness Month

Prompt: My Favorite
What’s the most time you’ve ever spent apart from your favorite person? Tell us about it.

pink bunny

She checked Facebook again. Still no updates, messages, or likes. It had been twenty four hours, maybe longer. She reached for her cell phone and scanned through Messages, What’s App, and KIK. Nothing. Was her hand trembling? She took a deep breath and clicked the Instagram icon. There was the selfie she last posted, that morning, she in her bunny pyjamas that she thought was funny. Ha, grown woman in flannel PJs. No one else was amused; at least there was no acknowledgement of the picture, nothing at all.

Her Twitter feed had gone cold.

Email inbox was empty, even the commercial account. She was not stupid; she checked her spam folder. No new messages since yesterday afternoon.

She looked out the window in the silence. A lone car crawled down the street in front of her house. She couldn’t tell if the driver was a man or a woman. There was just a shadow behind the wheel. They reached the end of the block, and turned left. The street was empty and cold, the light flat in the overcast midwinter light. It looked like a black and white photograph.

The wait for a human voice was only thirteen minutes. She timed it. The voice was deep, mellow, and soothing. She took her time, spelling out her name and her address, taking a moment to locate serial numbers. There were no outage reports. Her devices were connected and functional, a speed test showing her at the top of her subscribed range.

“Everything seems to be working,” said the soothing voice.

She checked Facebook again. Still no updates, messages or likes. Another hour or two had passed. There were no messages. Her hand trembled. Instagram was frozen, Twitter as silent as the grave, and no email had arrived in her virtual inbox.

Nothing. There was nothing. She was completely alone. She thought of taking a walk, but the day was unfriendly. She thought of reading a book, but the words blurred on the page. She thought of making a sandwich, but the cupboards were bare.

She thought of posting again to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and of sending messages through What’s App and email. It was pointless.

She thought of looking at herself in the mirror. She was too afraid to look.

So she sat at the kitchen table with her laptop. She went to that site, the one she liked, where the news was current and freshly presented. She made a new account, signed in, and called one of her favorite commenters a Feminazi, then asked why there was no White Awareness Month?

She waited. And the replies came. She felt a liquid rush of relief, the closest thing to an orgasm she had ever experienced. She typed some more. She made tea.