God is the Ultimate Rule Breaker

Day 29 Prompt: “Breaking the rules.” One more day left of 30 Days of Writing, hosted by Nicky and Mike at We Work for Cheese.  Please stop by the We Work for Cheese Emporium to link up or read other inmate posts. We’re all crazy, you know.

Cheese Plate with Sriracha

Cheese Plate with Sriracha (Photo credit: Refracted Moments™)

On the 29th day, God appeared to me from atop the computer monitor.

“Breaking rules is like breaking wind,” he said. “It happens suddenly then lingers until you clear the air.”

“Thanks for the public service announcement.” I replied. “Now, please move. Your beard is covering the screen, and I can’t read my emails.”

It was unfortunate he reacted like a drama queen.

My monitor rattled from his hissy fit, while his eyes exploded with hell fire. “Never fuck with God,” he bellowed, and then was gone in a puff of gas.”

As I choked and hacked on the heavenly fumes, his voice echoed in the sky. “Remember,” he said. “I created Limburger cheese.”

Getup Get God

Getup Get God (Photo credit: prettywar-stl)

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The Turning Point at the Giant Fork in the Road

Day 28 Prompt: “The Turning Point.” Two more days left of 30 Days of Writing, hosted by Nicky and Mike at We Work for Cheese.  Please stop by the We Work for Cheese Emporium to link up or read other inmate posts.

The Giant Fork in the Road

“Ah, the turning point,” said Gladys GPS, “The proverbial fork in the road that has impaled many unsuspecting travelers before you. But you can avoid fork fate, and being skewered by giant cutlery, by following a three-pronged-approach to highway travel.

Dinner Fork in the Road

 

Prong 1 – A giant always has the right of way

When stopped at a colossal fork in the road, it is imperative to close any open sunroofs or convertible tops. Then, a giant can’t yank you out of the driver’s seat and stuff you in his goody bag.

Most giants travel the countryside, along stretches of deserted road, in search of people snacks for Soylent Green barbecues. A happy time for giants, when they get together with distant relatives from the Land of the Giants, as well as monolithic pets from popular “B” movies.

At giant gatherings, King Kong and Godzilla often enjoy playing fetch with 727s and tractor trailer trucks. In the distance, a human might hear a giant yell, “Fetch Zilla, fetch.”

Giant families congregate in condemned caverns where they swap recipes and body parts then hand out goody bags when it’s time to leave.

Prong 2 – Not a photo op

Never leave your car to take a picture of a fork in the road. Giants have an acute sense of smell. They can smell the blood of an Englishman with their “Fee-fi-fo-fum” sonar and also hear a pitchfork drop.

If you should reach a fork in the road, continue traveling left or right, depending upon your political affiliation. Giants don’t participate in the political process or vote since they can’t read the tiny print on the ballots. This agitates them. For that reason, it is advisable to avoid discussing politics with a giant, as he will crush you with his Goliath intellect and Parthenon sized shoes.

Prong 3 – Never climb a fork in the road

Besides the obvious downside of shimmying up a spike, once a giant spots a human wedged between two prongs, its salivary glands gush from the anticipation of a roadside snack or bob kabob. After all, one man’s misfortune is another gargantuan’s opportunity.

So, be street smart when you travel, and you won’t end up lost in the bile of a giant’s intestinal tract.

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The Banker Intervention or Let’s Make a Deal

 

Day 26 of 30 Days of Writing – Today’s Writing Prompt is “An Intervention.” Please swing by We Work for Cheese to link up or read other posts by the criminally insane.

A Dramatization

INT. LIVING ROOM – EVENING

Five members of the Banker family are seated around a lavishly decorated living room. Their attention is on Betty who is standing in front of the fireplace. Her gaze follows Bob as he frantically paces the room.

BETTY BANKER

I’m really concerned about Bob.

Bob climbs on top of a piano on the wall opposite the fireplace.

BOB BANKER

Betty Banker, come on down! How much do you think I paid for that Rembrandt above the mantel? C’mon, I’ll give you three guesses. It’ll cost you nothing to guess unless you take too long. Then, I’ll have to charge a late fee.

BETTY BANKER

Bob doesn’t make sense anymore. He only wants to play games, talk about doubling his money and charging fees. That’s why I called this intervention.

BOB BANKER

C’mon, guess the price. Damn it! If you’re right, you’ll get a chance to spin the wheel. Take a risk. Show some spine. The worst that can happen. You lose your house but get a toaster.

BETTY BANKER

(Shakes head)

Every time I walk into the kitchen, Bob hands me a toaster. The other day he started charging refrigerator fees every time I open the door.

BOB BANKER

If you’re within five thousand dollars, I’ll give you the green Rolls Royce parked in the garage.

Betty’s brother Stan removes a calculator, stares at the painting and starts assessing its value.

BETTY BANKER

I can’t tell you how many times Bob has foreclosed on our house. He has a stack of foreclosure signs stuffed inside the bedroom closet. I can’t reach my shoe display anymore. That’s why I’m wearing these old things.

Betty glances at her Prada shoes.

FAMILY

Awful. Terrible. I think he needs meds.

BETTY BANKER

He charges a finance fee every day we don’t have sex. Lately, my wifely income has taken a hit. Last week alone, I lost $700.

Bob dismounts the piano and lays a hand on Horace’s shoulder.

BOB BANKER

C’mon, Horace. Take a guess. What do you have to lose?

HORACE

They already took the boat.

BOB BANKER

Isn’t this fun!!!

HORACE

Uh, no!

BETTY BANKER

He’s charging the neighbors a fixed feces fee every time their dogs crap on the lawn. The urination fee is liquid and subject to change.

STAN

I think the Rembrandt’s worth $250,000.

BOB BANKER

Sorry, Stan, that’s market value. I’m talking net value after all the auction house fees.

Bob grabs Stan’s wallet.

STAN

You didn’t say anything about market value.

BOB BANKER

It’s printed on the cocktail napkins in 2-point type.

BETTY BANKER

Yesterday, Bob chopped up the bedroom furniture and sold the pieces at a yard sale. We have no idea where the pieces are or who owns them.

Stan gets up.

BETTY BANKER

You can’t leave now. We just started.

STAN

I can’t afford the intervention.

Stan races out the door.

Bob laughs.

BETTY BANKER

What’s so funny?

BOB BANKER

He didn’t pay “the wrong answer fee.” I just had him arrested for fraud.

After exchanging concerned looks, the family vacates their chairs and leaves the house.

Betty reaches inside her purse, removes a $100 bill and hands it to Bob.

BETTY BANKER

Here, Bob.

BOB BANKER

What’s this for?

BETTY BANKER

The finance charge for later tonight.

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The Worst Xmas Ever: Fallout from a Plane Crash

For my husband, every Christmas is the worst Christmas ever. His father died on his way home for the holiday after a business trip to Chicago.

I previously wrote about this horrendous midair accident on the 50th anniversary of the Park Slope crash. I thought it would be fitting to re-post it today,  Day 25 of 30 Days of Writing. The Writing Prompt: The Worst Xmas Ever.

Pillar of Fire

Image by writRHET via Flickr

On December 16, 1960, United Flight 826 and TWA Flight 266 collided over Staten Island, New York. While attempting an emergency landing at LaGuardia Airport, United Flight 826 crashed into the Park Slope section of Brooklyn.

From the Green-Wood Historical Fund:

Ten brownstones near the intersection of Seventh Avenue and Sterling Place were set on fire, as were a funeral home, a laundry, a delicatessen, and, strangely enough, the Pillar of Fire Church.

134 people died that day, including my husband’s father. Jim was four years old at the time.

But the tragedy didn’t end with the victims suffering or with the families devastating losses. On that day a Channel 4 news reporter, Gabe Pressman, had gotten a hold of the passenger manifest from United Flight 826 and called my husband’s mother, and likely other families, in order to get an interview.

He called my mother-in-law live on the air to inform her that her husband was on United Flight 826 and said something to the affect of, “Do you have a comment?”

That’s how my mother-in-law found out her husband had died. Her brother grabbed the phone from her and said, “Fuck you Gabe Pressman,” then hung up.

When recounting the incident of his father’s death on the 50th anniversary of the air disaster, Jim said of Gabe Pressman, “How callous and cold hearted.  Just to get a story.”

NY Times television critic Jack Gould had criticized the television coverage of the crash and had published a piece called . . .

“Exploiting Sorrow,” specifically, “the disgraceful and tasteless attempts to interview grief-stricken people who lost members of their families in the tragedies.”

Fifty years later while reflecting on Jack Gould’s criticism of his handling of the story, Gabe Pressman had this to say:

“. . . he didn’t know beans about covering a story on the scene.”

And I say to you, Mr. Pressman, you don’t know beans about integrity in journalism or respect for victims’ families. A line needs to be drawn between “getting the story” and respecting the privacy of those who survived an untimely death of a loved one. This was “gotcha journalism” at its worst.

In spite of the soul gouging by journalists that transpired that day, today, Thursday, December 16, 2010, fifty years later, we remember the souls aboard the two doomed aircrafts, as well as the victims killed on the ground.

On the 50th anniversary of the air disaster that set a section of Brooklyn ablaze, the Green-Wood Historical Fund in Park Slope is dedicating a memorial to those who died on that cold December morning.  Back in August, while responding to an inquiry about a grave in a public lot, cemetery archivist Theresa LaBianca accidentally discovered the story of the 1960 tragedy.

From the Green-Wood Historical website:

On December 16, 1960, United Airlines Flight 826 and Trans World Airlines Flight 266 collided over Staten Island. The United flight then tried to make it to LaGuardia Airport for an emergency landing, but crashed in Park Slope. Ten brownstones near the intersection of Seventh Avenue and Sterling Place were set on fire, as were a funeral home, a laundry, a delicatessen, and, strangely enough, the Pillar of Fire Church. Eighty-four people on that flight died, and six people on the ground also were killed. The TWA flight crashed in Staten Island and forty-four passengers and crew died there. The investigation of this disaster marked the first time that an airplane’s black box data recorder was used to provide details of what had happened.

In an era before DNA identifications were possible, three caskets of “Fragmentary Human Remains” were filled from the Park Slope crash site and were buried in a grave in lot 38325 that was purchased by United Airlines. No marker was placed on the grave.

Pillar of Fire Church after Crash.

An eerie side note: Twenty years ago I worked for a real estate advertising company in Harrison, NY. While having a discussion about family with my boss, I mentioned the 1960 air disaster and my connection to it.

My boss then told me that he had been a student at the time at a mid west college and was booked on the same doomed flight out of Chicago O’Hare airport. He missed the flight. Jim’s father caught an earlier flight to get home to his family for Christmas. I often wonder if Jim’s dad had taken the seat that my boss had never occupied.

To read more about the air disaster and the subsequent cover up by the FAA, read the book Sterling Place by Ray Garcia.  I haven’t read it yet. My husband did. He had heard about the book before its publication and had contacted the author, concerned with the tenor of the content. My husband was pleased with the author’s response.

Disclosure: The photo is not of the Pillar of Fire Church. I couldn’t find a picture via Zemanta.
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Roast or Toast Another Blogger, Figuratively Speaking

On day 24, I’m forgoing the funny for a drizzle of sap.

Glasses of champagne await use to toast the ar...

Glasses of champagne await use to toast the arrival of my grandmother in her new apartment. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’d like to thank Nicky and Mike @ We Work for Cheese for hosting the 30-day blogging challenge.

I jumped in on day 17 and this morning, on day 24, I had a blogging epiphany.

Blogging is nothing like writing and all about relationships. Writing is secondary.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s essential to produce great content to draw in readers, but personal connections build community and that’s the key to happiness and enjoying life online.

Several months ago, I stopped visiting many of my favorite blogs, a victim of information overload.

Having poor time management skills didn’t help, thanks to one of the deficits of being ADD.  Add to the mix that I was working on a memoir, which I finished but am still revising, and kaboom! Blog meltdown. Perhaps, some of you saw the mushroom cloud.

I don’t want to lose what I’ve gained over the past seven plus days and will try to stick to a schedule going forward. Good luck with that!

The 30-Day Challenge helped me realize that blogging is nothing like writing and all about connecting with like-minded people, that cranking out well-crafted pieces is in itself a skill.

The Challenge has reignited my passion for blogging and reintroduced me to the blogging world. It has taught me that there’s room for both blogging and writing in my life and showed me that I could, indeed, publish a post a day, so far anyway.

There was that one repost the other day.

Most importantly, it reminded me how special it is to be part of an incredible community of bloggers. There are no words to express the feeling you get when you connect with people online.

Thank you, Nicky and Mike.

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Stiletto Heels or Insoles

 

"High Heel Shoe. Talon haut. Stiletto. Ta...

“High Heel Shoe. Talon haut. Stiletto. Talon aiguille” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I never wear stiletto heels because I’m a klutz. Going stiletto would trip me up and put me in the ICU. That’s why I wear safe, low-to-the-ground, sensible shoes. If I trip, the possibility of suffering a concussion diminishes by three inches.

As a klutz, I’ve never been much of a shoe risk taker. Because, as every klutz knows, most days we face unprecedented dangers, from walls to dog gridlock and tripping over a shadow; furniture accidents are a constant threat.

My legs wear bruises like purple hearts. Whenever I undergo a physical, my doctor scrutinizes my legs.

I know she thinks, “Her husband beats her.” When in fact, tables and chairs beat me up, yes; smacked around by stationary objects.

I’m not proud of my tendency to lean left, at times I should lean right. But that’s not true of all the issues.

People who know me think I’m a klutz because my mind’s always traveling to exotic places, instead of conducting reconnaissance up ahead. I can’t blame my mind’s proclivity for spontaneous flight for my inability to walk a straight line. Unfortunately, alcohol is never a factor.

I would love to wear three-inch heel stilettos, open in front, with peek-a-boo toes. Then, I’d paint my toenails hot fuchsia pink and wiggle my digits at strangers I pass on the street.

A girl can dream while she’s awake, can’t she?

Sadly, I’m destined to a life with reclusive bland toes, toes that belong hidden below inside the dungeons in my shoes. It pains me to look at them when they’re in need of a trim. If only I could treat them to a pedicure. But taking my toes out would just traumatize a manicurist at a salon.

First, she’d shriek, and then her cheeks would turn a pasty white. While pointing at my feet, she’d scream, “Those aren’t toenails. They’re machetes! Someone call 911.”

That’s all I need – an APB out on my feet, with the warning, “They’re probably hiding out in a pair of Keds.” I hope government spending won’t be wasted on police work attributed to my feet.

I guess I should remove toe pampering from my bucket list.

Even with a toenail overhaul, I wouldn’t make it past the shoe server in a store. My slender, slightly bent Quasimodo toes always instill terror in the eyes of the beholder. One gander at my toes and the sales clerk would be on psychiatric leave.

Maybe that’s why I’ve always had an aversion to toe jam sandwiches.

Over the years, I’ve learned to accept my flat-heeled fate. I’ve already passed the other stages of footwear grief: denial, anger, bargaining. I’m okay with it though. Wearing stilettos will never be a rose-colored glassy-eyed delusion for me. I know that three-inch heels will never grace these cursed feet, along with the stylish glow of the sexy stiletto.

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Like There Was No Tomorrow End of Days Rap

I’m following Linda’s lead @ The Good, The Bad, The Worse and reposting my rapture rap for Day 22 of 30 days of Writing, the brainchild (or shock therapist) of the catering staff @ We Work for Cheese.

Written on MAY 21, 2011

Revised on JUNE 22, 2012

Rapping the Rapture

Image via Wikipedia

 

When I stepped outside to get some air,
I got the fire and brimstone in my hair
The sky was dark as midnight, as dirty as coal
Then, a swarm of Locusts flew up my nose
My sinuses throbbed, thought they might explode
I couldn’t find a tissue and that really blows

I’m enraptured with the rapture, the end of days
Got a pile of bills I don’t have to pay
My credit cards melted in volcanic flames
But the fire’ll be doused in the tidal wave

Fighting my way through a crush of bugs
According to Anderson 360, they’re more to come
A gang of badass gangster six-legged thugs
Knocked me down to the ground face first in the mud
With my wrists stuck together with a pest strip rope
I can’t photograph the rapture on my new iPhone

I’m enraptured with the rapture, the end of days
Got a pile of bills I don’t have to pay
My credit cards melted in volcanic flames
But the fire’ll be doused in the tidal wave

Before my cell phone dies, please help me, God,
Just one text message is all I want.
Got to post the rapture photos now to my blog
‘Cause the only cell service is in Hades or Prague
Once he dragged the world to a hotspot inside his domain,
Satan posted, “Now You’re Fucked!” to his Facebook page

I’m enraptured with the rapture, the end of days
Got a pile of bills I don’t have to pay
My credit cards melted in volcanic flames
But the fire’ll be doused in the tidal wave

Got the rapture
Got the rapture
Woosh! Tidal wave.
Still hot down under
Here after the end of days
Snap!
That’s a rap.