The Problem with Being Karen

Karen hadn’t asked to be named Karen. She hadn’t asked to be dressed in modest dresses, always with tights and shoes. She certainly hadn’t asked for her parents to use the sort of psychological conditioning that led to so many people saying, “Butt out, Karen!”

Once Mom and Dad passed away, Karen decided she’d finally do something about all the negative comments. She colored her hair, bought a pair of honest-to-goodness jeans, and changed her name to Kathy.

Upon leaving the Social Security Administration, she spied a couple arguing heatedly about what their married last name ought to be. Kathy couldn’t stand to see and hear such animosity between two people in love, and walked toward them. Before she could even open her mouth, however, the woman turned to her and said, “Butt out, Karen!”

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Good day or night to you all. It’s time for the 43rd weekly Terrible Poetry Contest!

Writing cliché, mis-metered verse can be tricky; only those stuck in bad, beginner habits can truly pull it off. For a bit of guidance, read my basic outline. Ready? Excellent. Let’s begin.

Here are the specifics for this week:

  1. The Topic is free-versing about secondhand sales. Ever been to a yard sale? Garage sale? Flea market? Write about it; flow about it.
  2. Looking for a certain Length? Let’s go with fewer than 150 words.
  3. Rhyming is not allowed. This is free verse poetry, people. Curb your instincts.
  4. Above all, make it terrible. e.e. cummings must feel such a shock from your literary efforts that he vows to capitalize his name just to make you stop.
  5. Let’s keep the rating PG or cleaner. What sort of flea market are you going to, anyway?

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (September 20) 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:
Phad Pichetbovornkul

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Millions have gathered today to hear The Answer to who the wrote the most terrible poem in the galaxy; and, believe me, it was worth the seven and a half million year wait.

After much Deep Thought, I must conclude the winners to be:

Celebrate your body

by Joem18b

Celebrate your body every morning
Wet it then dry it ever so slowly
Begin with your hair or if you are bald your pate
Dry your neck wattles lovingly
Dry your front and back
Dry your loins with a sawing motion
If you are limber enough dry your legs
Do not attempt to dry your feet you could fall over and break a hip
Use a new towel every day or the same towel every day no exceptions
Towel should be heavy no less than 1,000 GSM (grams per square meter)
Should have densely woven loops of 3-ply yarns for strength and durability
Luxurious, spa-like warm and cozy experience is essential
100% Egyptian cotton or for political reasons Tibetan cotton
Must absorb. Pile must drift like cloud over your corpus
Never hang on a hook
Never allow bleach, cleaning agents or acne salicylic acid treatments near it
Must remain plush after laundering. How to wash a towel is cleaning 101 especially if mildew is common where you live (vinegar and baking soda)
Optional classic piqué border
Never wrap around your body! it is not a dress or suit!
Must be certified by TexSufi, globally trusted and recognized testing system for ecologically safe textiles
Never use on a pet. (Small, jewel-like birds excepted)
Your towel is your friend, your companion, your lover
On second thought, also celebrate your body every evening

AND

Untitled piece

by Tiredhamster

Chapter One:

My life can be seen
In the laundry basket over there, tossed
Like a forgotten banana peel on a hot
Summer morning, sad and lonely
and brown, getting real dry
with a bad
Odor that makes everyone
sad

Chapter Two:

I look closer and see an old used
towel, dry, yet moist, begging
to be used,
but it has already been used, and
is too old and foul, maybe
i should toss it
into the trash, but i won’t because
It is my towel, the only one
i have and
No one can take it, not even
The government or
My ex-wife.

Chapter three:

I was wrong,
all the used
Towels had to go,
Said the president, so i
Mailed my old towel
To the government
Like a good
american
Now i am
Left hear, with an
Empty laundry basket
And my skin
Dripping
Making the floor wet
Forever.

—–

Congratulations, Joem and Hamster! You are the most terrible poets of the week!

“Celebrate your body” was just plain awful. It read like a towel’s instruction label, but worse -especially considering its hints at still being a poem.
Tiredhamster’s piece was just as bad but in a different way: its form and meter speak of free verse. Its message, not so much.

Almost all of the poems were terrible enough to make a Vogon cry -if, perhaps, a Vogon possessed compassion or tear glands. Although what was left of our judges could not award first place to all, they certainly came close enough to warrant a few limbs-gnawing-off recitations.

See for yourself, if you have the sanity:

Untitled piece

by Deb Whittam

Snap …
Right buttock burns
Crack …
Broken china on the floor
Yip …
Drip … drip … drip
Hung on line to
Dry
Fluffiness restored

Ahhhhhhhhhhh

—–

Good morning

by Bruce Goodman

Now that I’m old and extremely fat
I find the towel too small to wrap
around my waist after a shower.
To get fresh clothes, I don’t know how
I’m going to get to my tallboys
where I keep my clean corduroys.
So I waddle towel-less along the corridor
and, fearless as a matador,
march through the dining room to get to my bedroom.
Some of the 46 other hostel inhabitants start to swoon
because my towel-less-ness is quite surreal,
and they are put off from eating their breakfast cereal.
A larger towel would cover many sins
and save the visiting old ladies from having to drink too many gins.

—–

Towel Be Soft or Not Towel Be Soft, That is the Question

by Babbitman

Wet hands, wet face
Reaching out into space
Clawing, grasping
For my towel in its place
On the towel rail.

Don’t panic! I have it!
Water drips from my nose
Onto the carpet
While I fumble to bring it
(the towel)
To my moistened visage
And rub.

But what is this?
The water on my face
Is simply moved around.
No absorption, no drying
I feel like I’m dying
Even though I’m trying
Really quite hard.

It’s unusually soft
And smells of artificial flowers.
Damn!
It’s been treated with
Fabric conditioner.
Sad Nick. Petitioner:
“Please stop making my towels soft”

I look in the mirror
And sigh, “damn!” again
For ’tis a new towel
And my face is cover’d
In fluff.
I wash my face again.
And sob, tears lost
Amongst a bit more water
From the tap.

I’m trapped
In a vicious circle
How many times will I have
To go round?
Probably 42.

—–

Towels Slewot

by Peregrine Arc

Crisp, white, pinstriped
Mashed as mashed potatoes white.
Down it goes, down I say
To cover the floor, to cover the hay.
Beach, shower, hand, tip
All types we have, all types we mint.
But did I ever say to you
Your hair is as bleached and spotted as the ones on this by torn up rag?
My dear, my love, that is enough;
Let’s “towel” it a day.

—–

Untitled piece

by Gary

My friend stayed at a Trump Hotel and pinched one of the towels
When the President finds out he will give him one of those scowls
On the Vice Presidents visit to Ireland he stayed at another Trump Hotel
I wonder if he had a towel in his bag when he bid the hotel farewell
Now the army has to bunk at Trumps Golf Resort in Scotland
Hundreds of fluffy white ones will go missing as mistakes are not learned
Poor Donald looses so many towels I hope he has a good supplier
Probably from China but he won’t know as he is such a crap buyer
And I wonder as Trump played golf while Hurricane Dorian continued to magnify
What was he thinking as he dried his grip with one of the finest towels money can buy

—–

Untitled piece

by Ruth Scribbles

Whirling and twisting
Around and thru
Up and down
Round and Round
Swishing splashing

Mind in the gutter??

— the —

Kids playing in the rain
Time to wrap them
In towels
Dry
Them
Off

Towels in washer

Whirling and twisting
Around and thru
Up and down
Round and Round
Swishing splashing

—–

Towel, towel every place

by M.R. Kessell

There’s fresh towels in the hall closet
And one draped upon my bedroom door
Dish towels in on the kitchen counter
And that one mysteriously draped, languidly, longingly on the living room floor

There’s a wholly ratty towel for the doggy
And then, suddenly, in the dining room hutch
All those fancy, decorative towels and such
That I’m am forbidden to
handle

There’s Emergency towels in the cars
And ginormously big towels for the beach
But as I step from the shower freezingly
Not a single one’s within reach

—–

You’ve Really Got To Know Where Your Towel Is

by Joanne Fisher

I use my towel for everything –

I dry myself with it, or wipe dirt off

sometimes I wear it as a short dress,

an improvised hat, or use it as a blanket

I even like to take it to sports events and

twirl it above my head in excitement

people say my towel is dirty, that it smells

but you don’t wash towels

do you?

when it gets damp I dry it outside

and then I wrap it around my head

Actually, they’re right

it does stink.

—–

Been There, Eaten That

by Charles masercot

At midnight my stomach started to growl
Too groggy to think, I ate a dish towel

It tasted like an apple garbage pizza, deep fried
(a combination from every dish I’d dried)

My hunger is satisfied, I think
But, I really am craving something to drink

And, even though I’m about to burst
After a gallon of water, I still might die of thirst…

To all of those kids eating dish towels for thrills
Remember that super-absorbency kills!

—–

Just dripping

by Richmond Road

Not trying to be rude
Just nude
Not skinny-dipping
Just dripping
On the bathroom floor
You are here no more
To adore
And complete the chore
Of washing
Hence leave me sloshing
About
As I shout
Of sorrow
Until tomorrow
Again to howl
Where’s my towel?

—–

Now; you may either die in the recesses of space, or tell everyone what you thought of their poems. …or, just come back tomorrow to enter next week’s contest.

FilmVogonPoetry

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

A Tribute to Frank Prem

Today I highlight the work of poet Frank Prem. I’ve enjoyed Frank’s poetry since my first days of blogging and have been inspired to write responses twice.

He possesses the unique gift of speaking in the voice of the objects he writes about; in movement and poignancy.

The following is my paltry attempt at mimicry, so you might all experience his style:

rain (in season)

I am a piece
of gray
a mist
a cloud

evaporate

I am a drip
a tear
from North Wind’s eye

don’t go
he cries

don’t
go

I am
the autumn rain

deluged

oh please
don’t go

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Welcome to Utah; Wanna Stay?

I’ve lived in Utah for most of my life. If you don’t know where Utah is: just go West of that big, open, flat area in the middle of The United States of America to the Rocky Mountains; but stop before you can gamble or make it to the beach.

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Given my druthers, I think I’d prefer somewhere like Boston in the fall. With dogs. And no dishes or laundry. Ever. Those who know me might wonder why I’m living in The West with 4.5 children and housework ’round the clock, but we’re not going to climb aboard that psychologist’s couch right now.

I bring up my location and innermost desires because I often wonder why people come to my little speck of the world. Why do they stay? What do we have to offer here?

For me, the attractions include:

    1. The Mormons. Okay; okay: the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
      When I traveled with our music group in high school, other kids we met in the hotels would always ask two questions: Where are you from? immediately followed by Are you a Mormon?
      We may have stood out for lack of cussing and cut-off jeans, but mostly Utah is just known for its Mormons. I’m not bothered; there are a lot of us here. Mostly I get bothered by those who are bothered by that fact. I mean, it’s a little obvious that LDS people might live in Utah. They kind-of settled it.
      michael-hart-T5rF8IOgC_c-unsplash
      Anywho: being mostly LDS myself and not minding the culture surrounding it, I find the placement comforting more than not.
    2. The people.
      Personally, I feel this ties into Reason #1, but I knew many people would go digging for ‘Mormons’ once I mentioned ‘Utah.’ Whether it’s because of the huge number of LDS and families or not (trust me, it is), the people here are generally friendly and kind.
      I remember watching the American Idol episode they filmed here in 2009. Contestant after contestant on the show responded to the judges’ negative assessment with a smile and a, “Thank you.” The judges were weirded out by the positivity (watch at about 15:37).

  1. The Scenery
    Since I live in the Salt Lake area, I can always see mountains. Mountains, mountains, mountains. They’re beautiful, and I totally take them for granted. It’s not till I’m lost in Oklahoma that I realize how wonderful those natural compasses and rocky beauties are.
    justin-luebke-wJYswijstcE-unsplash.jpg
  2. Destinations
    Utah is also home to plenty of hiking/biking/camping/ATVing areas. There are even a few spots with swimmable water. I’m too lazy to look up what percentage of the state is Federal or State land, but it’s sizable. Utah’s home to Zion’s, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Goblin Valley….
    I am also not very grateful for how close and easy these destinations are, or the millions of unnamed camping and hiking areas. If we want to go on a quick hike, there are several within half an hour’s drive. There are even nice areas to walk around within walking distance of our house.
    mitch-nielsen-wa2l5tW5ISE-unsplash
    Utah is also known for its skiing. I haven’t had time or money for the sport since high school, but publicists are not lying when they say it’s The Greatest Snow on Earth -though I’d amend that it might be the greatest this side of the globe. I’d love to try the Alps.
  3. My family nearby
    You all aren’t going to enjoy the benefit of this; but having grandparents, siblings, cousins (lots and lots of cousins!) close enough to visit is very nice. Home is where the heart is and all that.

I was born with an odd curiosity for where other people call Home. Specifically, I often want to experience their day-to-day lives. So: what do you like about where you live? What do you see? Visit? Eat?

If you’ve lived several places, what have been your favorite aspects of some of them?

—————-

While you consider and respond, read what I wrote this past week:
Wednesday, September 4: Discussed a bit about the fun and games of selling dice.

Thursday, September 5: “A Thoughtful Poem.”

Friday, September 6: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Deb!

Saturday, September 7: Announced the 42nd Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. Do you know where your towel is? PLEASE ENTER!

Also, “I Give Myself Two Thumbs Down” over at The Bipolar Longname Blog.

Sunday, September 8: “True Grit?,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, September 9: An inspirational quote by Paulo Coelho.

Tuesday, September 10: “Wilhelmina Winters, One Hundred Three.” Sorry, Wil.

Wednesday, September 11: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “‘Work at Home,’ They Said,” “Parents, Put the Phone Away!!!,” and “The Boy Mom Poem.”

 

Photo Credit:
John-Mark Smith
Michael Hart
Justin Luebke
Mitch Nielsen

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Wilhelmina Winters, One Hundred Three

Wil and Jakob entered the emergency waiting area. No moody lighting, windows, or friendly Nurse Bea awaited them. Jakob walked to the reception desk, Wil attached to his side.

“Jakob and Wil Winters, here to see -” He choked. Wil turned to him, some feeling stalking past her dark eyes.

“Winters? Winters…” The nurse read over the computer monitor before her. Bits of display reflected from her thick lenses. “Oh! That’s -” She, too, swallowed the end of her sentence. She looked up at the somber faces before her, the overhead lights dancing from her glasses. “You two go right in,” she said, her tone an attempt at gentle. “Exam Room 5.”

Jakob shifted left. As they reached the door, a somber *click* granted them entry. Past a closed Room 1, open and empty Room 2, and closed Room 3; Jakob tread in even, heavy paces. Wil stumbled along. They nearly collided with a man in a white coat exiting Room 4 -“Sorry.” “Sorry.”- before reaching Room 5.

Jakob paused; Wil realized she could hear someone talking. Not just talking -Rob, her father, seemed engaged in a heated conversation. She’d heard his voice at that volume and tone only a few times in her life. She and her brother exchanged a nonverbal agreement and both leaned toward the closed door.

“I said, ‘This is a bad time!'” After a slight pause, he tried to continue, “I know you have every right to- But that’s not- I know, but- Couldn’t you wait till next month or next week even, if you had any sort of heart…” Rob’s last words came out in a sob.

Wil’s wide eyes flicked up to Jakob’s but his were intent on the wood door before them.

“Fine,” Rob said. He sounded flat, weary. “Fine. Just fine. We’re at The County Hospital. In the emergency room.” They heard their father’s heavy boots stomping, stopping; then a *scree* of chair on polished floor.

Jakob met Wil’s eyes; he nodded to her, knocked, turned the handle, and pushed open the door. Before them hung the odious blue-and-beige curtain. Jakob held Wil. “It’s us, Dad,” he said, standing; not shifting the temporary barrier.

Another chair screech sounded, followed by solid footsteps. The curtain to their left clinked to the side to reveal a haggard, unshaven ghost of the man Wil knew as her father. She thought he looked barely alive; gasped as a thought struck her.

“Mom?”

Rob jumped at the question and blinked down at his daughter. “Wil, I need to tell you something-” he began.

Wil came to life so suddenly that neither brother nor father anticipated her actions. She pulled away from Jakob’s arm and wrenched the curtain aside. There, before her, lay her mother. No -Wil instantly felt the difference. This was not-her-mother. This beautiful, sleeping form that resembled the beautiful, sleeping Cynthia was empty. The room was empty.

Wil’s legs collapsed beneath her, and no chair nor person caught her this time.

 

Continued from One Hundred Two.

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

True Grit?

Sand grinds ‘twixt dusty yellers; red-shot eyeballs glint and glare; farm-strong flexes years-old cotton.

Spit.

Squint.

“Mmm-breeay!” bawls the milk-hung ma, denyin’ an’ defyin’ all. “Don’tcha touch mah babe; her drink.”

Shake.

Stare.

Laughter breaks ‘top wind-bent grass; ‘top cow-pied field; ‘top boy an’ cow. “‘Reckon she’s got best a’ YOU.” Cacklin’ grandpap crows and coughs.

Snicker.

Snort.

Eyes-bright pride waits, sideline spyin’: apple seed not far from tree. Rope loop lies in glove-sweat hands.

Set.

Sigh.

Brain-bright boy drops standoff staring; proffers dusty, gloved-hand oats.

Cow an’ calf come happy, hungry. Dad, an’ dad, shake worn hat heads.

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Rounded up for Carrot Ranch‘s prompt this week: True Grit. You can play, too!

September 5, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that shows true grit. You can use the phrase or embody the theme. Who or what has true grit? Go where the prompt leads you!

Respond by September 10, 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: Image by REBECA CRUZ GALVAN from Pixabay

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Welcome to The Answer to Life, The Universe, and Terrible Poetry: Contest #42.

Infinitely improbable, you say? Don’t panic! Read my basic outline on what every pan-dimensional being expects from bad poetry in my Blogger’s Guide to the Terribleness. Aim for a little lower than self-throttling by one’s own intestine; a little higher than Vogon.

Here are the specifics for this side of the galaxy:

  1. The Topic is towels. Do you know where yours is?
  2. The Length is up to the budding artist (you).
  3. Rhyming is optional.
  4. Just make it terrible. As you clear your throat for a recitation, the entire Vogon fleet must flee in …well, in an organized, bureaucratic fashion after completing the necessary paperwork.
  5. How risqué can a towel get? I wouldn’t dare ask Adams that, but I think we can keep things PG or friendlier.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (September 13) to submit a poem.

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

For immediate fame and a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments.

Have fun! 

FilmVogonPoetry.jpg

Photo credit: IGN.com, through wikia.

 

Need further inspiration? Here’s an excerpt from the second-worst poet in the galaxy’s “Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in my Armpit One Midsummer’s Morning:”

Putty. Putty. Putty.
Green Putty – Grutty Peen.
Grarmpitutty – Morning!
Pridsummer – Grorning Utty!
Discovery….. Oh.
Putty?….. Armpit?
Armpit….. Putty.
Not even a particularly
Nice shade of green.
As I lick my armpit and shall agree,
That this putty is very well green.

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

So sorry for the delay in this announcement. The judge had a busy day and a headache-d night.

At long last you may know that the winner is:

Woe is everyone

by Deb Whittam

Long have the halls been silent,
The chairs empty, the locker doors thrown open.
Long have the weeds grown,
Unchecked, through the days of winter, cold and dull.
Long has the toilets been clean,
The stains and smears of adolescence finally washed away.
Peace has reigned.
As the bell sounds for the first time,
The rodents, the cleaners, the teachers,
Grimace their despair.
School’s back.
So sad.

—–

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

Many poets’ works made me grimace today, but Deb’s stood out. She made me believe I was reading a serious poem, then artfully threw the meter off course whilst adding elements like rodents and “smears of adolescence” in there.

But the terrible poetry doesn’t stop there! Read the others, if you are able:

Untitled piece

by Trent McDonald

Teacher, teacher,
Be aware
I just dropped my pencil
Under there
Ha!
I made the teacher
Say “Underwear”!
Principle, Principle
Don’t be blue
I know I took advantage
Of the teacher who’s new
Darn!
He sent my butt home
For my mother to chew
Mother, Mother
Don’t be mad
Only nine months to summer
Then we’ll be glad
Huh!
What’s she mean
It won’t be the worst nine months
She ever had….

—–

SIDDOWN N SHUDDUP!

by Bruce Goodman

Hello Everyone! Welcome back to school!
Murray, SIDDOWN N SHUDDUP!
Paula, I hope your summer time was cool!
Wayne, SIDDOWN N SHUDDUP!
Shirley, you’re acting like a fool.
Frank, SIDDOWN N SHUDDUP!
William, you’re full of bull.
Jeanette, SIDDOWN N SHUDDUP!
Winifred, no you can’t; it’s against the rule.
Neil, SIDDOWN N SHUDDUP!
Oh for goodness sake! I can’t wait for the Christmas break when we celebrate Yule.
EVERYONE! SIDDOWN N SHUDDUP!
Let’s see who does the bester
In this first semester.
YOU’RE HERE TO LEARN SO SIDDOWN N SHUDDUP!

—–

Untitled piece

by Gary

Is it really back to school
In that uniform so uncool
Yep
Do I have to Combe my hair
I’m not allowed to rock in my chair
Yep
Come again, I have to get up at Half past Six
Then get on the school bus with the other lunatics
Yep
Have to eat a healthy school lunch
And in the class I’m not allowed to munch
Yep
I have to learn my nine times tables
And I need to write my name on all the coat labels
Yep
I’m not allowed to pick my nose
While having to write boring prose
Yep
Not allowed to play games of my mobile phone
And if the teacher shouts I’m not allowed to moan
Yep
Must not run and play along the school corridors
And no pulling funny faces at the other choristers
Yep
When I ask a question I must raise my hand
Even when in Latin it’s impossible to understand
Yep
I have to fully button up my school shirt
Always keep the blazer on to hide all the dirt
Yep
Not supposed to throw objects at the head-boy
Be nice to your classmates and certainly don’t annoy
Yep
On no grounds can I fight or swear
Don’t attack the other kids with the set square
Yep
Need to pick my feet up so no scrapping only the floorboards
And certainly I’m not supposed to do rude doodles on the blackboards
Yep
I HATE SCHOOL……

—–

Back to school

by Ruth Scribbles

“Why oh why?”

The children cry

“Yipee Skippy!”

The parents are trippin’

“Kids are goin’ back to school!”

School daze begin again

Hallelujah! Amen!!

Wait!

What?

You need clean clothes

And play clothes TOO!

paper and pencils

And have to work at home too??

OH! NO!!!

BACK to school BLUES!!

—–

Going Back

by Joem18b

my dad was on parole
which was a rigamarole

then he goofed up
but then he fessed up

and back he went to the Big House
quiet as a mouse

i know how he felt, it was a bummer
like with me at the end of each summer

—–

The Fall

by LWBUT

The Summer joys shelv’d

like books to a library.

Autumn faces droop.

—–

Thank you to everyone for playing. Come back tomorrow for next week’s contest!!

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