Category Archives: Daily Prompt

A Fight To Detroit

thM9AP45P5Middle Seat

It turns out that your neighbor on the plane/bus/train (or the person sitting at the next table at the coffee shop) is a very, very chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats, go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?

A little better than a week ago I was on a plane to Detroit.

The day before a call was received from hospice care; it was likely my mother would not live beyond three or four days. Tickets were purchased for the next day.

Early the next day a niece called; she said it was not likely I could make it home before Mom died. She handed Mom the phone. I told her I would see her later and she should just relax. I told her I loved her and that was the end of the conversation. Ten minutes later my niece called back, Mom died three minutes after saying goodbye.

The flight would be somber, filled with memories, tears, and grief.

The plane flew from Boise to Denver where a connection was made for a flight from there to Detroit.

On the flight to Detroit a woman sat next to me. Before the plane was airborne she asked my final destination.

“Detroit,” I said sensing a chatty flight.

She forced a smile. “Me too. Visiting family?”

“Sort of,” I said. “My mother passed this morning.”

Her face lost expression.

“Is something wrong?” I said.

“I’m going to Detroit for my son’s funeral,” she said. “I’m so sorry about your mother.”

“She was 100,” I said. “She had a good life. How old was your son?”

“29,” she said.

My mourning could not possibly be as much as hers.

“Tell me about him,” I said.

And she did.

Towards the end of the flight I shared a couple of comforting scriptures from the Bible. The reality is that by listening to her and the scriptures read, I was the one comforted. (Job 14; Acts 24:15; Revelation 21:3, 4)




Filed under Daily Prompt

“If You Build It They Will Come” And Watch

th4WFX8RGGCan’t Watch This

When was the last time you watched something so scary, cringe-worthy, or unbelievably tacky — in a movie, on TV, or in real life — you had to cover your eyes?

I pretty much do all of the above when just passing by the TV or channel  surfing.  TV is bloated with the most unbelievable lack of talent, artistry, and creativity.

Somebody, no a bunch of somebodies thinks the public wants to see at every turn skin shows with sexual tension and innuendo, homosexuality, gutter language, and graphic violence. I really don’t think people with breeding. common sense, and taste like it.

When a program is said to have adult situations and humor, it does not mean that. What it means is dirty, base, and perverted bilge.

Nearly everything on TV is entertainment based.  Talk shows are inundated with entertainers. They are boring, flip, and empty. A Kardashian has and ingrown hair and it’s news. George Cloney makes a political or environmental statement and it’s news. Honey Boo Boo passes gas and that’s news, that’s funny, that’s entertainment.

For certain, there is good programing, but few want to devote the time to write it, produce it, and direct it.  There is in the background, though, a Field of Dreams scenario; “if you build it they will come.” It takes courage, vision, creativity, and talent.”

It’s embarrassing to watch a kid on stage with no talent. We know he’s bad, but he thinks he’s good and so does his mother who believes in him, but the kid is so pathetic we applaud anyway. Later everyone thinks, “Everybody clapped, he must be good.”


Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays

I May Not Look So Good, But I Sound Marvelous

Can’t Stand Me

What do you find more unbearable: watching a video of yourself, or listening to a recording of your voice? Why?

Years ago I spoke before a large audience. I rehearsed my talk no less than 15 times. I even rehearsed in front of a mirror.

During and after the talk I knew I did well. I received a lot of positive comments and feedback.

A friend recorded it and I was eager to listen. I listened to it in a private setting. After a minute I stopped listening; I had enough. It was terrible.

Several months later I recorded a friend’s presentation in front of a large crowd. He is a flawless communicator. I listened to it later. It was flawless.

He asked me for the recording so he could self-analyze it. Later we talked. He said he couldn’t stand listening to it and was embarrassed at the quality.

I think this all comes down to expectations and reality.

We see each other in front of a mirror all the time. When we see each other on a video there is little unrealized expectation. I practiced my talk in front of a mirror, but never recorded the rehearsal sessions. I was completely aware of what I looked like. I thought I knew how I sounded (James Earl Jones or Patrick Stewart).

Frankly, I sounded more like Bruce Dern or the male version of Kristen Chenoweth, a real nasal quality.

I suppose if we heard ourselves the way we really sound, instead of from within our heads, we might just talk less. Even though I likely still sound like Bruce Dern and Kristen Chenoweth, I live with the illusion I’m James Earl Jones or Patrick Stewart. Listen to this: “Tea, Earl Grey, Hot.” Pretty good, heh!”


Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays

A Blog About Nothing

Frame of Mind

If you could paint your current mood onto a canvas, what would that painting look like? What would it depict?

When first viewing a Daily Prompt I make an effort to be original and what that sometimes means, more often than not, is something about 3 degrees off center. But sometimes, like this morning, nothing comes to mind. Sure, I thought about a blank canvass, or a famous painting that may depict a certain mood, but I theorize many will do that.

Sometimes a Daily Prompt, no matter how well it is, just doesn’t work.

Sometimes nothing is good. You don’t have to force nothing. Nothing has no expectations. For certain nothing can get you in trouble, but only if someone expects something from you.

When you’re sitting and thinking and somebody says, “What are you thinking about?” And you reply, “nothing.” Why can’t they just leave it alone, but no, they lack such original thought that they say, “You got to be thinking about something.”

I sometimes say, “Just because that is something you’ve never experienced don’t think for a moment others don’t think about nothing. There’s a whole lot of nothing thinkers out there, we just don’t go around bragging about it.”

You see, the way I see it, we nothing thinkers have to come up with something real quick to support the theory that a person is always thinking. For you people who are thinking all the time, JUST LEAVE IT ALONE. We’re not like you. We enjoy nothing. Quit trying to make us like you. Let me tell you something, this world would be better off without so many great ideas. “You better come up with a great idea or your fired!”

So the next time somebody says they are thinking of nothing, leave them be. Forcing them to think of something may have dire consequences.


Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays

Warren and The Psychologist

thNVS9I2ROReviving Bricks

You just inherited a dilapidated, crumbling-down grand mansion in the countryside. Assuming money is no issue, what do you do with it?

Philip, the psychologist, glanced over the tops of his glasses at Warren. “You just inherited a dilapidated, crumbling-down grand mansion in the countryside. Assuming money is no issue, what do you do with it?”

Warren sat comfortably in his chair and smiled. “That’s the type of question that’s meant to find out what I do with a life that has crumbled and seemingly in the state of disrepair, right?”

“Is that the way you understand it?” Phillip said jotting on his legal note pad.

“Okay,” Warren said. “I’ll play along. As long as there is something to work with anything can be restored. In fact, there is a certain beauty to things that are worn and have stood the test of time and neglect. It adds character and a sense of fortitude. Some people see lives and think there is nothing left to do but level it and start over. Old mansions have a charm, craftsmanship, and permanence that newer structures will never have.”

Warren stopped he thought deeply. He looked at Phillip writing away feverishly.

The room became uncomfortable y quiet.

Warren cleared his throat.

Phillip looked up innocently.

“Do you want me to go on?” Warren said.

“Only if you want to,” Phillip said.

“Well,” Warren said, “I have to tell you this little exercise is helping me. I’m seeing my life as a piece of property in need of someone with the eye for improving and developing.”

“Once you got the property in pristine condition what formula would you use to list it?” Philip said.

“I’m not sure I track your reasoning,” Warren said. “How can you put a dollar amount on one’s emotional and psychological health?”

“Oh,” Warren said. “I forgot to tell you, I bought a property the edge of town, the Old Bicksford Mansion. Don’t know quite what to do with it yet and your the only real estate investor I have as a client so I thought I’d run the whole thing by you first.”

Warren and Phillip stood and shook hands.

“Let me know how the project turns out, Phillip,” Warren said. “My consulting fee starts at $10,000.”

“What!” Phillip said.

“Sure,” Warren said. “I got overhead to pay.”

“I suppose your advice is worth something,” Phillip said abruptly, “but what overhead?”

“Pressure,” Warren said. “Pressure, I got psychologist’s bill you wouldn’t believe.”


Filed under Daily Prompt, Short Stories

Be A Clown

thJOLN8J63Roaring Laughter

What was the last thing that gave you a real, authentic, tearful, hearty belly laugh? Why was it so funny?

I couple of weeks ago there was a man and woman panhandling on street corner. That is not funny. But they had painted sad clown faces. I drove by and had to pull over a  block further. I was reckless with laughter. I know it’s pathetic to laugh at people in such dire circumstances they beg for money.

I imagined a conversation.

“Two hours looking like a clown and no money,” she said.

“That’s not my fault,” he said.

“I thought you were in charge of marketing,” she said. “Didn’t you do any market research?”

“What’s to research?” he said.

“Clowns are creepy,” she said.

“They’re funny,” he said

“No they’re not,” she said. “You look creepy.”

“So do you,” he said.

“Just a bad idea,” she said.

“Haven’t you heard the song, Be A Clown,” he said and started singing, “‘Be a clown, be a clown, all the world loves a clown?”

“No, and I think you just made that up,” she said.

“No it’s a real song,” he said.

“Next time I’m in charge of market research,” she said.

“And I do the faces,” he said. “I think we have all the right ingredients to make a killing, but our execution is off.  We just have the wrong people doing the right things wrong.”

Any way, it was funny in my head.




Filed under Daily Prompt

Ben’s A Creative Genie-ous

Generous Genies

Remember those lovely genies who grant wishes? Well, you’re one and you’ve just been emancipated from your restrictive lamp. You can give your three wishes to whomever you want. Who do you give your three wishes to, and why?

So here’s the real deal; Ben got up late this morning. He checked his computer to see how well received was his Daily Prompt.

“Oh, man, forgot! I didn’t even have anything in mind. What am I going too do? I got it; the old genie 3 wishes thing. It worked on me when I was a sophomore. Wait, not very creative and I am a creative genie-ous. I got it! I’m the genie and I do the choosing. I’m so brilliant. Let me post this and get back to sleep.”



Filed under Daily Prompt