Never Forget the Soap

“It happened again.”

“What?”

“The door.”

….?

“The door of the laundry room.”

….

*Sigh* “It hit me on the way out again.”

“Oh…” “Well…” “It’s just a door.”

“It doesn’t hit me every time.”

“Huh.”

“I’m serious!”

“I know! -Look, maybe you’re just jumping to conclusions.”

….

“Like, you know, that… say, air currents from a different door or whatever sometimes close that one.”

“On me.”

“…Yeah.”

“Never on you.”

“…Yeah.”

“Never on anyone else.”

“Yeah!”

“And only when I start a load at midnight.”

“Yeah! -wait; why are you starting laundry at -”

“And only when I can also hear whispering…”

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Inspired by my own laundry room experiences for Carrot Ranch‘s prompt: someone unremembered.

September 26, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about someone unremembered. Is it a momentary lapse or a loss in time? Play with the tone — make it funny, moving, or eerie. Go where the prompt leads you!

Respond by October 1, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

The Flash Fiction CONTESTS start after this, so check them out beginning October 3!!!

 

Photo Credit: Ryoji Hayasaka

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Greetings, mortals, and welcome to the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest #45!

Sometimes as writers we take ourselves too seriously. We take writing too seriously. Poetry is the worst medium for that, attracting snooty nose-raises and accusations of not being in tune with raw Nature. So; take off the shackles of your beret, read my basic outline here, and live a little!

Here are the specifics for this week:

  1. The type of poetry I’m interested in is a tanka. Colleen Chesebro runs this form (and a few others) every week for her popular Tanka Tuesday challenge.
    A tanka is very much like a haiku, but uses the format 5/7/5/7/7.
    On top of that, our Topic is PUMPKIN SPICE.
  2. What’s the length? I already told you: it’s a syllabic pattern of 5/7/5/7/7.
  3. Rhyming is not allowed. Scented candles are.
  4. The most important part is to make it terrible. Madame Chesebro herself must apply to WordPress to have my site banned from the internet, burned, and buried with cloves to ensure we never attempt to write tanka poetry again.
  5. Pumpkins and their harvest seasonings can stay rated at PG or tastier.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (October 4) to submit a poem.

Use the form below if you want to be anonymous for a week.

If not, and for a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments. I highly recommend commenting and not just depending on linkbacks if you write one.

Have fun!

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Photo credit: Heidi Kaden

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Here’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for: the winner of this week’s Terrible Poetry Contest.

And that is:

Perpetually Deployed

by The Abject Muse

Kim’s ol’ butt:

As big as a barrel,

Round like a

Double-Stuffed Moon Pie

And wobbly as Jell-O.

Sort of like a

Humongous Air Bag.

If ever there were

An automobile accident she’d

Never feel a thing.

Congratulations, Susan! You are the most terrible poet of the week!

Honestly, almost all of the entrants this week were too GOOD. Many topics were terrible; but meter, word usage, and the way it all tied in worked in strangely cohesive ways. You all need to lower your standards, though (as always) that’s not necessarily a bad thing…

Madame Muse’s poem won for being the worst. Her winning points were her comparisons of Kim’s ample posterior to several unappealing and humorous objects, coupled with a poetic pattern abandoned at the end.

Here are the rest:

Poem

by Joem18b

Plug your nose
Hold your nostrils shut
Instead of breathing in
Loads of coke
Instead of air
Please
So you don’t
End up
Young but dead and
Mourned
Or also
Using that stuff
Right into your veins may give you a
High
Over the moon
For a while
Faster then the nose route but
Man while it’s
A wilder ride you will
Not be alive at its end

—–

This hill is famous (i.e. a celebrity)

by Bruce Goodman

Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu!
Ah!
Utterly long is the name of the hill not far from where I live.
Many shorten it to something
Actually a lot less difficult to pronounce:
Taumata.
And that’s where I’ll stop.

—–

Terrible Acrostic Defying All Logic

by Not Sheep Minded

Do not pass go
Or collect two hundred
Nailed to a cross
Another martyr mother Hubbard
Looking in the cupboard
Didn’t find what he’s looking for
The dirty bits on Biden
R they under there?
Under where?
Mister Trump just
Peed in his underwear

—–

Laughably Outrageous tRIckster

by Ruth Scribbles

Laughably Outrageous tRIckster

Lounges Outside in her Ugly Gangrenous
Haughty Linen Incremental Naughtiness

—–

FATS

by Deb Whittam

For those times when being politically incorrect wasn’t an issue, hey it was almost embraced

And he wrote real cool songs too

Though the suits became a bit blasé but what are you going to do

Send someone to the shops, it was the 1960’s for goodness sakes

—–

Untitled piece

by Gary

Arrogant
liar
extremist
x-rated
a charlatan
New Yorker
deluded
egotistical
racist

Brexit will make him millions
ought to make his pals billions
remain was always his position
it changed to suit his self mission
self deluded craving celebrity privileged Eton boy

Destined to play as Nero with his new burning country toy
england should be for the English he proudly shouts
privately whispering he’s actually not from these whereabouts
Funding his lovers and friends with public money
easily avoiding the rules like some corrupt Easter Bunny
fibbing and lying is his way to con the masses
flippantly poking fun at those from the working classes
evading visits from the police to one of his shouting matches
lovers are kept quiet maybe with gifts paid for from our hard earned taxes

Jovial and bumbling are what the media laps up
only reporting the fake image and never about how he is so corrupt
he said he couldn’t live on his huge ministerial wage
no thought for us as he takes us back to the Victorian Age
so a man without principles or any human decency
only interested in one person and slayer of our democracy
not a man of the people just a wannabe celebrity member of the aristocracy

—–

Anachrostic/Celebrity

by The Bag Lady

Gorgeous

Elegant

Older

Romantic

Gregarious

Exceptional

Charming

Likable

Oooh, just

Outstanding

Nice

Enjoyable

Yum

—–

Thank you all for entering! You are the highlight of my long, long week.

Come back tomorrow around 10 MST for the next theme.

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Abject Muse: D. Wallace Peach created this graphic that you can use (if you want) for a badge of honor as the winner:

The Darn Sock Connection, a parody

Why are there so many
Socks in the dish pan?
I think that the boys have lied.

Socks aren’t a weapon;
Aren’t doilies or dishes.
They shouldn’t be balled up or tied.
So boys’ve been scolded; I doubt they
Were list’ning.
Their feet will be cold, wait and see.

One day I’ll miss it:
The clothes never flying;
And dishes, instead of hos’ery.

©2019 Chelsea Owens

11 Adulting Tips About Cars

Adulting is hard. Not only do we get kicked out of the nest and sent hurtling toward the ground in nothing but an entry-level job, we’re also expected to do our own laundry and dishes. In fact; we need to responsibly handle many adult tasks like money management, simple repairs, basic plumbing, grocery shopping, meal preparation, and a ton of car-related stuff.

We are even expected to change our own light bulbs!

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In light of that, I’ve devised a list of car tips to pass on:

  1. Research how to buy a car, be smart when working with dealers, and always get a good mechanic to look at your ‘new’ car.
    Salesmen are shifty in any form. I hope many are honest, but all humans who work at selling for a living are going to want to sell you something.
    I know people who were taken advantage of. Even with our last (dealer) purchase; we were told a guaranteed price over the phone, then told (after signing initial paperwork) that price was only if we went with their finance plan.
    I’d also recommend against falling for The Talking-Up. We very nearly agreed to a sports version of the sedan we wanted. Later we found out they require more expensive fuel, more expensive parts, and are often not covered by insurance companies.
    A final note: you can always, always walk away. For all two of our dealer purchases, we’ve stayed past closing time to complete the sale. They want you to stay because you’ll likely change your mind if they let you leave.
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  2. Get a good mechanic.
    Ask around. Encourage that car junkie nephew. Slip a buck to the guy you’re buying your car from and throw in a wink. A good, homegrown, honest car mechanic is worth his weight in gold, and will often charge half what the dealers and car repair chains will.
  3. Don’t fall for shady repair shops or their gimmicks.
    Even with knowing a great guy, I get our oil changed at a Jiffy Lube sort. Every time, they have the same schtick: pull out my filters or wipers, put on a sad face, and tell me they can replace them for X amount.
    Bro, I can replace them for half of X. Honestly, I can do the oil myself (see tip #6).
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  4. Research and sign up for a good, honest automobile insurance company that is a fair cost.
    Our first company (*cough* Allstate *cough*) charged twice as much as our current one. We had to use them till we could qualify for the other, otherwise we would not have dumped the extra money where it didn’t need to be dumped.
    Don’t run after the first cheap insurance salesmen standing under a lamp in the bad part of town, but do shop around. Do your research; ask friends.
  5. Learn a few, basic maintenance skills.
    From fluids to windshield wipers to batteries, a lot of basic car repairs are simple. Most vehicle manufacturers know we rarely pop the hood ourselves anymore, but you can still get to the parts that need frequent attention.
    Once, I got a *titch* close to another minivan’s side view mirror. Instead of banking on seven years’ bad luck, I called my mechanic. He recommended ordering a replacement from the dealer. Ignoring the dealer’s dire warnings, I watched a YouTube video and did the repair myself.
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  6. Change the oil when the car says to, and do so correctly.
    If you have the time and body for it, learning to change your own oil can be a money-saver. It is, however, often an inexpensive enough repair to Jiffy Lube it.
    Once upon a time, I convinced my husband to change the oil ourselves. Purely coincidentally, both cars dried out and required new transmissions within a month.
    We don’t talk about it, but now I always take our cars to the shop.
  7. Do not speed over speed bumps.
    Our minivan required new shocks and struts about two years ago. My mechanic scratched his head, telling me they usually didn’t need them so soon.
    “So,” I said in a joking manner, “You mean I shouldn’t speed over speed bumps?”
    He and his assistant laughed, then saw my face. “Wait; you’re serious….”
    Embarrassing Car Lesson #1 for me: hitting bumps and dips is bad for the car. Always take them like a grandma holding a full glass of iced tea.
  8. Use the correct fuel in the gas tank.
    I’ve done this one once, too, but not to my own car. We’ll call it Embarrassing Car Lesson #2. I borrowed a relative’s pickup truck, certain they’d said to use diesel. Yeah; nope. We caught it pretty quick and had to have all the gas pumped out. Now I triple-check.
  9. Don’t drive behind large trucks.
    Seriously. Those things are rock-hurtling, blind-spot-wielding barges. I love truckers and what they bring to America. Still, I’m not going to hug them. They need space.
  10. Get a good windshield repair person.
    Even with learning to back off and away, I went through a rash of rock chips that culminated in replacement. My mechanic gave me a name (without any bribes, even!) and the poor windshield guy probably got sick of seeing my number pop up so often.
  11. Tires!!
    Find a place that sells good quality tires. Rotate your tires. Replace your tires when they need it. For me, I recommend Costco. They even rotate and refill the air for free.
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That’s about it for me. What other car advice would you add? Do you have any interesting experiences?

—————-

Check out your car, and what I wrote this past week:
Wednesday, September 18: Observed that people crop up again in life in “Don’t Burn Bridges in Life (Seriously).”

Thursday, September 19: “The Little Things,” a poem about bereavement.

Friday, September 20: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Trent!

Saturday, September 21: Announced the 44th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is an acrostic to a celebrity. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, September 22: “The Sweetest Interlude,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, September 23: An inspirational quote by Len.

Tuesday, September 24: “Wilhelmina Winters, One Hundred Five.”

Wednesday, September 25: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “I Have No Advice,” “I Didn’t Want to Be a Mother,” and “You Just Can’t Win” (a poem).

 

Photo Credits:
Hosea Georgeson
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
NeONBRAND
Chad Kirchoff
Jairph

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Wilhelmina Winters, One Hundred Five

Forever passed in the few minutes they all sat, all in stasis within their memories of loss. Had the shiny, hard, hospital floor been of a more comfortable material and temperature, Wil never would have moved.

Dr. White shifted to a new position. “This floor is harder than I thought,” he apologized; using his practiced, sympathetic smile. The Winters family turned to him, more alert than they’d been upon his entrance.

Rob sighed. “You probably want us to leave.”

The grief counselor’s expression became softer. “No, of course not.” He shifted again, smiled again. “I merely came in to see what I could do for you. To help. I also,” he repositioned a third time, “suggest, perhaps, we move to the chairs.”

Rob nodded; Wil saw the movement in her peripheral vision as her attention was focused somewhere on the base of the bed. She heard her father rise, followed by the rustling coat chorus of Jakob. “C’mon, Wil,” her stepbrother encouraged. She turned her head toward the sound and saw a hand extended; took it with her own. Somehow, not under her own power, she rose. She found herself walking, turning her body, sitting. She felt Jakob sit beside her.

A scraping noise to her left drew her attention. Dr. White dragged his own chair over and set it to the front and side of her father. 10 o’clock, Wil thought, As Mr. G. would say.

The counselor set his clipboard on his lap and folded his hands atop it. “When Beatrice passed last year, she did so here -very near to here.” He paused. “I knew who would come in to talk to me and what they would say, since I worked as the grief counselor then, too.”

He waited. Wil glanced his way, still adrift and apart. She saw her father raise his head to meet Dr. White’s eyes.

“This won’t be easy,” Dr. White said, “So we’ll take it one step at a time.”

Rob stiffened. He looked toward the bed, then back to the counselor.

“If you all would like to stay here, I will walk you through things.” He looked at Wil; she seemed to see through him, through his white-blue gaze to the wall behind.

“I’m staying,” Jakob gruffed.

Wil, again of some force she did not control, nodded.

“Very well,” Dr. White continued. “We’ll start with what is written here.” He lifted a page of notes from the clipboard, glanced over them, and flipped to another behind those. “Cynthia.” Pause. “Your mother.” Another pause. “She wished to have her body donated to the research hospital.” He paused again. “In her words, ‘To help others with cystic fibrosis to find a cure.'”

The counselor looked up at each of them, ending with Rob. “Is this still your wish?”

Rob turned his head to the bed again. As he stared at his wife, unmoving, Wil saw a single tear slide down his unshaven cheek. “Yes,” he answered.

 

Continued from One Hundred Four.
Keep reading to One Hundred Six.

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

The Sweetest Interlude

She felt him: fluttering rolls across her belly, monitor heartbeats strong and loud. What will you be like? she wondered, pausing life to grow another.

She chased him: rolling, crawling, walking, running; breaking, laughing, climbing high. When will you slow down? she wondered, curtailing career to care for child.

She watched him: growing taller, speaking deeper; leaving parents for teenage crowds. When will you grow up? she wondered, forgoing sleep for curfew calls.

She hugged him: leaving nest to start his own; walking tall beside his wife. When will you come back? she wondered, looking round at what remained.

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Raised and cared for Carrot Ranch‘s writing prompt: an interlude.

September 19, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about an interlude. It can be a pause between two key moments, the pause between acts in a play, an intermission, or a temporary amusement Go where the prompt leads you!

Respond by September 24, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

 

Photo Credit: Katrina Knapp

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Welcome to the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest #44!

Not sure about churning out something poetic and terrible? Read my basic outline here. Enter at your own risk.

Here are the specifics for this week:

  1. It’s time for another Acrostic Poem. Let’s pick a Topic of Celebrities.
    An acrostic is simple; write a word (say, like the celebrity’s name or favorite habit) down the left side, and then do a haphazard job of filling in with your poem.
  2. Length should be dependent on the word you pick, and how verbose you feel at each letter.
  3. Rhyme if you wish. Don’t if you wish.
  4. Make it terrible!! Make our eyes beg our brain to stop reading, just stop. Please; they would rather read grocery tabloids than whatever you just churned out.
  5. Celebrities and their choices can get a bit racy, so we’ll up the Rating to PG-13.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (September 27) to submit a poem.

Use the form below if you want to be anonymous for a week.

If not, and for a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments.

Have fun!

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Photo credit: Ahmet Yalçınkaya

 

Also, if anyone wishes to select a topic or be a judge for a week, I’m open to consider either.