Tag Archives: humour

A Miserable Childhood

Adult Visions

As a kid, you must have imagined what it was like to be an adult. Now that you’re a grownup (or becoming one), how far off was your idea of adult life?

When a child I thought all decisions my parents made that did not conform to my world-view was selfishness on their part. Decisions made contrary to my view were made for the soul purpose of making my life miserable. I suspected parents wanted nothing more for their children than to have a dull and miserable childhood.  I thought the decision making process started with, ‘what will make him the most miserable’ and mom and dad worked there way back from there.

As an adult having three children I can confirm all of the above as true.



Filed under 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

Skinning A Cat

thV1DOK3X5An Odd Trio

Today, you can write about whatever you what — but your post must include, in whatever role you see fit, a cat, a bowl of soup, and a beach towel.

“It’s going to be on of those days,” JD said to Mitch sitting at the counter as he poured his coffee.

JD was owner/operator/cook/sometimes waiter/what ever else at The JD’s G’rill, home of the gorilla burger.

“How’s that,” Mitch said.

“Two of my girls called in,” JD said. “Gonna have to run the place by myself. Folks at the tables will have to give me their orders at the counter, get their table and come back and pick it up when I call it out.”

“Just like it was in the old days, right?” Mitch said.

“I was younger then,” JD said. “I’m getting too old for this crap. I just like to run the grill. I don’t like to deal with the weirdos they have these days.”

“Times are changing,” Mitch said.

“A guy and gal comes in here the other day,” JD said. “Looked like they just walked out of a freak show. His earlobes are stretched nearly down to his shoulder and the babe he’s with had more metal on her face than I got silverware in this joint. They sat down and people moved away from them.”

“What did you do?” Mitch said.

“I offered them a free meal if they’d ate it elsewhere,” JD said. “They acted downright insulted and left. It was a win, win situation.”

“If ya want me to I can take some orders for ya,” Mitch said. “You know work the tables during the rush.”

“No thanks,” JD said. “Remember the last time you did that I almost got sued.”

“The guy had it coming to him,” Mitch said in defense, “he was acting like a jerk.”

“But you didn’t have to call him a shrimp,” JD said.

“How was I to know he was vertically challenged,” Mitch said displaying quotations with his fingers. “He was sitting down. I couldn’t tell his legs were like sawed off tree trunks.”

“Keep it down,” JD said.

“Why, the only guy in here is ole Elroy over at the window and the only thing wrong with him is he ain’t got but one testicle,” Mitch said.

JD suddenly looked up. A woman walked in, she was wearing nothing but a beach towel wrapped tight an pulled up around he neck. She sat next to Mitch. As Mitch looked at her a cat poked its head from the towel.

“I’m looking for work,” she said. “I’m a waitress.”

“Look,” JD said. “If you got nothin’ on under that towel but the cat you’re gonna hafta go; this is a family place.”

She let down her towel. She was fully dressed in a waitress uniform.

“You’re hired,” JD said. “But the cat has to go.”

“I’ll take care of it,” Mitch said.

“That’s nice of you, mister,” she said. “What do I owe you?”

“Just get me a bowl of soup,” Mitch said.

“Get the man his soup,” she said. “Take it out of my pay.”

Mitch jerked as he saw what looked like the couple JD described earlier walk in.  “There they are,” Mitch said, “the weirdos you told me about. How ya gonna get rid of them this time?”

JD winked and said loudly, “Sure ma’am I’ll take the cat. I’m mean how many difficult ways can there be to skin one. Looks like soup de jour is cat.”

The couple looked at each other. “That is sick,” he said and they hurried away.

“How many ways can you skin a cat,” Mitch said.

“As many ways as there are to get rid or weirdos,” JD said.




Filed under Daily Prompt

Prison Can Be A Funny Place

thK20E1N5MIt was Mike’s first day in prison. He was escorted to a cell. The bars slid shut and locked. He tossed his bedding on the upper bunk. In the lower bunk was an old man.

“How ya doing, they call me Squeaky.”

“I’m Mike.”

“Well this is it,” Squeaky said. “Home sweet home. I’m a lifer. I killed somebody. It’s been so long ago I can’t remember who it was. Oh that’s right, it was my last cell mate. I have short term memory loss. Hey I’m just kidding, but I did murder someone. What are you in here for?”

“Murder also,” Mike said.

“Sit down here partner, Squeaky said patting his bunk, “You tell me your story and I’ll tell you mine.”

“Not much of a story,” Mike said. “I laughed at this guy. I thought he was being funny. He wasn’t. He felt insulted. He took offense to it. He pulled out a knife and I pulled out a gun.”

“Couldn’t you get off with self-defense?” Squeaky said.

“That ain’t the way the jury saw it. I swear I’ll never laugh at a guy again,” Mike said. What about you?”

“You talk about cruel irony,” Squeaky said. “I was a comedian and this guy wouldn’t laugh at my jokes so I killed him.”

Mike was nervous, but broke his promise and laughed.

“I didn’t mean that to be funny,” Squeaky said.

“Oh, it wasn’t,” Make said, “it was your delivery.”



Filed under Short Stories