No Girls Allowed at Dead Man’s Crick

Suzy Mae hitched her shorts over her black-and-white polka dot suit and marched right down to Dead Man’s Crick.

Head up, ponytail wagging, she didn’t look up at the, “Go away, Mae”‘s or the, “This is our swimming hole”‘s. Daddy’d told her it was public, and public meant she had just as much right as Jimmy, Tom, an’ all the rest of them boys.

She climbed the tall bank of mud up over the water. She freed the rope-and-tire swing from its stump. Taking in the astounded scowls below, she hopped atop the rubber and swung out into freedom.

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Told by Suzy Mae for Carrot Ranch‘s writing prompt.

June 6, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that makes a big splash. It can be fluid, or you can play with the idiom (to make a big splash is to do or say something that becomes unforgettable). Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by June 11, 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:
Teddy Kelley

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Washroom Stories

Oddly enough, today I wish to reminisce about bathrooms. The idea came from Irene Waters, the illustrious writer and memoirist.

Her suggestion came at the same time a friend of mine is on vacation, a friend who keeps posting ratings for the various bathrooms she’s visiting. Little did I know that this is an activity she’s indulged in for a few years, supposedly stemming from a terrible experience with one. To this, I can relate. I did not realize how crucial a good seat for relieving oneself became until my first cross-country drive in 2015.

It inspired a star-studded poem:

I’ll tour this grand old land of mine;
I’ll drive from ocean to sea.
I’ll walk where millions walked before,
But,
I’ll not sit where they all …do their business.

Unlike some of the older participants in Irene’s prompt, I haven’t lived through a drastic era of change regarding toilets. Every house I’ve lived in has had what I have now: an indoor model that flushes with the aid of plumbing that enters and leaves the house. No water closets or outhouses. I do not believe I’ve ever lived somewhere with a septic tank.

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Yes, I’m spoiled. And young, I suppose.

I have stayed in less-posh situations. I recall a summer camp one year with limited water and sewage supplies. We were advised to follow the old poem, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.”

My family also spent a couple of summers at a cabin in the woods with its very own outhouse. I still recall the dread of midnight nature calls, shaking my flashlight through the dark and whooshing trees on the path and out to the pit-with-a-door. Due to active imaginations, two of my children are currently afraid of using the toilet alone. They said they imagine a head poking out of the hole and biting them. I don’t know what they would have done with the outhouse in the woods…

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For my part, my only childhood fear of toilets involved imagining an alligator in one. I’ve never lived in Florida nor visited beyond the airport, but had heard a news story to the effect in elementary school. I also feared for spiders and such. I think, as a female, one’s fears are more justified since one always has to sit.

The one advancement in washrooms I have experienced in my lifetime is the automation of its basic functions. Automatic toilets, sinks, soaps, and blowers make using the bathroom a breeze. They also made for many, many times of standing over a peeing child to block the sensor so he does not get flushed on before he’s ready.

In a somewhat-related experience, I recall a music trip to San Francisco in my senior year of high school. For the first time, I encountered public stores that did not offer a public restroom. Also for the first time; I was directed to a public toilet, on the street corner, that utilized two-way mirrors as walls. When inside, a visitor could view everything outside as if he were not within a building at all. My childhood experience of knowing one could see through this glass by getting close did not encourage any desire to use this facility.

I suppose, like my friend, I also note and rank vacation bathrooms. When in Rome, eh?

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Photo Credits:
Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay
Image by Luciana P. from Pixabay
Image by David Rinehart from Pixabay

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Welcome, one and all, to the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest, #29.

Some visitors may wonder, “What is terrible poetry?” Is it a good poem with a rotten subject? A potential masterpiece with a funny twist? Not really.

Way back at the beginning, I gave a basic outline. My aim is to capture the sort of every-line-rhyming poem one wrote in grade school, or a roses are red rip-off when first tormented by teenage love, or to fulfill a college assignment to create haiku based on syllables alone.

Got it? Here are the specifics for this week:

  1. The Topic is open! No, not a poem with the word “open,” but a masterpiece about any subject you feel inspired to expound upon.
  2. Just as the theme is whatever goes, the Length is also. I will warn entrants that the (sole) judge has about a 200-word attention span.
  3. Rhyming is also optional. Look at all the freedom you have!
  4. Above all, make it terrible! Make professional poets beat themselves over the head with their organic chai tea from recomposed cacao husks. Make English literature professors escape out their office windows and climb down their ivy leagues. Make your mother proud.
  5. …But keep things PG or cleaner if you can for the general audiences that read the blog.
  6. Also, please share the love. Tell your friends and followers. I think our regulars could use a bit of competition, and I always enjoy seeing new victims to the contest.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (June 14) to submit a poem.

If you want to be anonymous (for a week), use the form below.

Or, for a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments below that.

Have FUN!

 

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Photo credit:
Frida Aguilar Estrada

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

It’s almost time for fun in the sun (or snow)! After reading through the entries this week, I may reconsider my vacation plans…

Especially after reading the poem of the winner, Peregrine Arc.

Oi’, Summah!

by Peregrine Arc

Lemunade and sugahs
Butterflies and sands
My dear, look at my toes
They’ve been completely eaten by crabs.

Oi, get yer feet off my beach blanket
Tide, do yer worst
For I’m a sun crisped lobster
A blue eyed, Caucasian curse.

Tantamount to the joyous degrees and aspects of the tiny filigreed hairs of a baby tarantula from Spain.
But never, ever with a yellow umbrella on Tuesday, for shame.

Is how much I enjoy my summer rain.

Drip. Drip. Drip…
….
….
….
Zazzle.

Congratulations, Peregrine Arc! You are the most terrible poet of the week!

Honestly, I had three poems tied for first after my initial run-through. They were terrible, confusing but still readable, related to vacation, and had hidden messages. P’Arc’s winning elements were her deviance from a meter and her (hopefully intentional) misspellings.

Again, some of you were (hopefully intentionally) not that terrible. Bad or no, you’re all worth a read:

The perils of camping

by Bruce Goodman

We’re leaving town to go on summer vacation.
The traffic heading out is like a conflagration.
We’ve got the three kids in the back of the car.
We’re going to a lonely camping spot with no shops other than very far.

Arrive we have! now to erect the tents;
One for the kids and one, you know what is meant,
for me and the Missus.
Already she’s flooded me with kisses.

Well here we are getting down to business.
The kids are all fed and have washed up their dishes.
Oh oh… oh Honey, we’re safe in our tents
but I forgot to bring the condiments.

Chorus: Heigh ho! Heigh ho! Is it off back home we go
because Daddy forgot to bring his condiments?
Who wants stuff heated up around the camp fire
when eating a sausage without condiments is dire?
Heigh ho! Heigh ho! Is it off back home we go
because Daddy forgot to bring his condiments?

—–

The woe of winter holidays

by Deb Whittam

Holidays are upon us,
She whispers with dread
Perhaps it was time
To enforce a day in bed
The kids would be up to hijinks
The circus, the movies, the zoo
All great fun things
When it’s raining to do
What about arts and crafts
No need to get wet
The look they send you
Suggests this isn’t a safe bet
In the end you’re left with no choice
Honesty is the best they say
Go play on your computers
I’m staying in bed today.

—–

Untitled piece

by Trent McDonald

Time for the two of us
To be where we’re not
For privacy take long
treks
We’ll get all sweaty
And deliciously hot
While engaging in rigorous
Hikes

—–

I Really Wish You Were Here, Instead Of Me

by Joanne Fisher

Here I am just soaking in the brine

I really wish I was having a good time

It would be really nice if someone else was here

If only I had won a totally different tier

I am at this wonderful summer resort

All because one day I bought a torte

The prize was a holiday in the midst of winter

All I’m hoping is this isn’t going to make me bitter

I better go as I’m running out of space

I long to soon be back in an aeroplane’s carapace

By the time I get home I’ll be full of joy

but for now I should let go of this freezing buoy

—–

Summer vacation

by Violet Lentz

life has been one long endless summer vacation lost luggage canceled flights hotels with no HBO sandy beaches endless nights spent wading in hot water close calls getting caught up stopping short of letting go doing nothing so long that it finally gets boring taking off on a tear in a t-bar and bra make up and cigarettes toothbrush at the ready why hang on to dirty laundry just throw that shit out grabbing at straws as they strike at my fancy waking up wearing nothing but an old worn wild hair in hot pursuit of a synonym for i wanna get higher diving too deep in some roughneck’s water seeking someone i can drown in or maybe just drift- far away from myself.

—–

VACATION EXCITEMENT

by Ruth Scribbles

Summer vacation?

Excitement?

I hate summer in Texas

It’s blasted hot 🥵

If I leave Texas, then….

Oh Lordy, must I be wordy

Hot as hell…

How do I know?

My skin sizzles and smells

My energy disappears

I become a big wimp

Can’t even limp around

Oh wait, did you say vacation??

Woohoo! Alaska, here I come!

She said as she melted from the sun.

—–

I have so much fun reading through these every week and hope you have just as much fun writing them! Come back tomorrow at 10 for the next prompt.

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

I’m Not Soliciting, Ma’am…

When we moved into our first house, pregnant with our first child, smiling with the ignorance of ones about to find out how much life cost; we thought mowing the lawn and covering the swamp cooler would be our biggest issues.

Little did we know what lay in wait.

I speak of …solicitors.

The bedroom community we moved to had passed a city ordinance banning door-to-door sales. Word soon reached us, however, that the various companies who bothered everybody in that fashion threatened a lawsuit based on Freedom of Speech. The city reversed their law.

Thus opened the floodgates.

No, the city informed us residents, they couldn’t stop the salesmen. Yes, they also said, we could call the police if the solicitors did not respect our requests. I remember thinking the whole thing a ridiculous idea.

Ridiculous, until I had my first doorbell-ringer. And second. And third. And…. you get the idea. Annoying, relentless, annoying, etc. I’ve never liked salespeople and have hated selling things to people ever since I tried to earn wrapping paper points in elementary school by hitting up my neighbors.

But I’m a nice person. Even with phone solicitors, I try to treat people as human beings. I rarely open the door to yell at the intruders (like some neighbors have bragged), listen to a bit of a spiel then slam the door (also bragged about), or tell the poor lawn treatment guy exactly where he can get off (yep; they were proud of that one, too). For the most part, the humans respond in kind and walk off to politely bother someone else.

There are, as in any story, The Exceptions.

In that first neighborhood I lived in, as a first-time mom, just experiencing nap schedules for the first time, I posted a sign on our door (next to the No Soliciting one, thank you very much). It read: Baby Sleeping, Please Knock. I even included a tiny drawing of a slumbering baby for the less-literate visitors.

Not ten minutes after successfully putting my son to sleep, the bell rang. I barreled angrily to the door, my button having literally been pushed. There stood a woman of young adulthood years carrying some pamphlet for some thing she was selling. She started right in on her sales pitch, even through my Look of Death. And, believe me, my Look can melt metal.

I interrupted several times to tell her she’d ignored my sign. No effect. I didn’t appreciate anyone waking my baby. No effect. She needed to leave; NOW. No effect. I don’t know how, but I finally convinced her to shove off. I don’t think she heard a word I said.

And so, to my complete surprise, I used our wired telephone device to call the police and complain. Besides knowing the local police didn’t have much to do during the day, I also knew that several of my neighbors had young children sleeping.

I know these people need to make a buck. I know that my lawn might need maintenance, I might want to hear about God, I may have wasps’ nests under the eaves, I should consider solar panels while there’s a tax break, and the local drill team could use funds for all those sequins. As far as I can tell, though, the only reason I need to consider a home security system is to see which home security system company is at the door AGAIN to try and sell me one.

…Which is my second-worst experience with a salesman. Good job, Jerk from Vivint. You’ve guaranteed, by insulting my intelligence and judgment with your little snide comments at the end of your sales pitch, that I will never never never never consider your company.

So, how about you guys? Are door-to-door sales a universal problem? Have you had any horrible experiences? Please tell!

No Soliciting

—————-

Sally Smith from just around the block read what I wrote last week; so did your other neighbor, Bob Gibs. Wouldn’t you like to consider my offer as well?:
Wednesday, May 29: We intelligently complained about classical literature in “Is Classic Literature All It’s Hyped up to Be?.”

Thursday, May 30: Nothing.

Friday, May 31: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Trent!

Saturday, June 1: Announced the 28th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is Summer (or Winter) Vacation. PLEASE ENTER! Tell your friends! Tell your enemies!

Sunday, June 2: “Maybelle Annabelle Lee,” in response to Carrot Ranch’s prompt.

Monday, June 3: An ‘inspirational’ quote by John Lithgow.

Tuesday, June 4: “Wilhelmina Winters, Ninety-Five.”

Wednesday, June 5: Today.

I also posted a bit at my motherhood site. I wrote “Why Give Teachers Presents?” and “A Chauffeur Mother’s Prayer.”

 

Photo Credit: A sign one of my relatives has on her house. 🙂

Wilhelmina Winters, Ninety-Five

Dinner at the Winters passed with less conversation than usual. Wil stirred her food in a small circle on her plate and tried not to look at the charred remains in the middle of their table. She had a more difficult time ignoring the smell.

Jakob had yet to comment. He didn’t need to; his loud crunch-chewing and various dramatic expressions of distaste sent a clear message.

“Thank you for making dinner, Wil,” Cynthia said into the silence. She smiled a hopeful, loving smile at her squirming daughter. Wil pictured her mother trying to think of what to say for the last five minutes. Or, she thought, Cynthia might have needed that time to be able to speak after consuming the more edible parts of the casserole.

Wil groaned and lay on her arms to the side of her plate. “I’m sorry; okay!” she said in a muffled voice.

She heard her father clear his throat. Cynthia must have nudged him. “It’s my fault, Mina.” *Cuh-hem* “I said I would come back to make dinner but didn’t.”

No, he didn’t. He’d attended to the car, a much more important task. Anyway, Indiana Winters hadn’t required assistance. She’d required a clean source of water. She’d required a stable campfire. She’d required tools for opening the tins of fish. Where she’d missed the offered assistance of the older, coughing man had been in operating the questionable baking device she’d uncovered. Winters should have heeded her past experience with relics of its sort. Instead, to her and her party’s tastebuds’ chagrin, she’d overestimated both time and temperature.

“You gotta eat it too, Mins,” Jakob offered after a hard swallow. He eyed her as he took a long drink of milk. He wasn’t the only one; both of their parents’ attentions also moved to their daughter.

Sighing with the effort, Wil extracted an arm from beneath her head and scrabbled for her fork. From the level of her plate, she bent her arm and wrist at an awkward angle to sample a small bite. She shuddered. Swallowed. She saw Jakob smirk, her father rub at his face, and her mother half-smile.

A tear wandered down Wil’s face, unnoticed and uncared for by her family. It was a tear of embarassment and of regret; but, most of all, it was a tear for the double injustice of eating not only burned food but eating seafood.

 

Continued from Ninety-Four.
Keep reading to Ninety-Six.

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Maybelle Annabelle Lee

She hummed and danced then danced and hummed, though only Maybelle Annabelle Lee would have called her actions musical. Perhaps a passing bumblebee might’ve appreciated the art, so similar to his own buzz-buzz to nectar from one drunken dip to another.

For that was what Maybelle Annabelle Lee was doing as well: dip, dip, dip into this leafy patch and skim, scoop, skim from that berry bush. As she wavered and wove down what may have been a path she somehow collected enough for her basket.

Then, just as coincidentally, she returned home; gatherings ready for a refreshing sunset.

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Whimsied up for Carrot Ranch‘s prompt this week:

May 30, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes strawberries and mint. The combination evokes color contrast, scents, and taste. Where will the combination take you? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by June 4, 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 Photo Mix from Pixabay

 

© 2019 Chelsea Owens

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Welcome to The 28th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest.

Buckle your safety belts, keep your arms and legs inside, and review the manual if you’re worried about how to operate a terrible poem. We encourage mis-meter, almost-rhymes, and intentional clichés on this rocket ship.

Here are the specifics for this week:

  1. Topic: The excitement of summer vacation (or winter, if you’re down South).
  2. Length: Postcard-sized. If you write rather small, you can fit more in your poem.
  3. Rhyme if you wish; grandma probably won’t be able to read your handwriting anyway.
  4. Make it terrible. Not only will granny not know if you crossed your t’s but might also misconstrue a few of your words for some she thought she heard her favorite news anchor warn about the young’uns using these days.
  5. Rating: PG or more decent. We’re having good, clean fun this summer.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (June 7) to submit a poem.

Use the form if’n you don’t want yours up till next week.

For immediate fame and gratification from your peers, include your poem or a link to it in the comments below.

Tell your friends, your TwoFacebook crowd, your Tweeters; whatever. Spread the word and share the love.

Most of all, have fun!

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Photo credit:
Vicko Mozara

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Harry Potter and Game of Thrones have nothing on our terrible poetry skills, especially not on this week’s winner.

And that is…. Trent McDonald.

Untitled piece

by Trent McDonald

Oh muse!
Do not forget your poor creature, oh muse!
I am your tool
That you must use
So let my tongue
Sparkle like I was young.
What’s that?
Not my tongue?
Uhm, my pen?
Sing like a wren?
Ah! My computer
Sing your praises
In tones of pewter
Got it

This is the story of the Anger of Skywalker
The fleet-footed
Druid talker
Hear my tale!

Anakin had anger
Apollo, in the guise of Palpatine
Sent a plague on the Skywalker family
Killing his mother with an infestation of Sand People

Like Agamemnon and Bresies before
Kanobi took Padmé
Away
Ani didn’t like that
Said I’m going to get that boy

Oh yea fates!
When you tear away our mates!
And make us Dance on a Volcano
Wait, that was a song by Genesis
A prog rock band, not a Sith
Well, damned fates
When we fight on lava
Flowing from a crater
We might get burned
And become Darth Vader

But there are five more movies
With one more in the works
And I’m out of words
But then, Homer did write the Odyssey
So I will not
Abandon all hope

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

Several poems were funny, followed the topic, and made me cringe. Trent’s poem had them all, plus enough of an epic poem feel to hurt even more. My favorite aspect is his Star Wars events or character references subtly dropped into what seems a decent poem. Great work!

Not that the others weren’t nearly as terrible:

The Truth

by Deb Whittam

Fingertips coated in dust,
Scouring through magic, muck and mud
Knowing for sure
We are not alone
Venturing into that danger zone
Fox’s and Scully’s do not
Exaggerate
They trust in the truth
The truth that cannot wait
We may believe that it is all
Just a show
But they know it is real
Which just really blows
X-Files they were called
But wasn’t that really the truth
Flesh was kind of optional
Here’s your proof
Turned on, then it went off
But like all addictions
It returned, just like a real bad cough

—–

Bedtime reading

by Bruce Goodman

I must admit it’s rather fright’ning
when school libraries banish Enid Blyton.
And I feel there’s not a lotta
books go out by Beatrix Potter.
These days too it’s Dr Seuss
who’s racist and loves pet abuse.
So provided I cover up the cover
I read my kids “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”.

—–

The Board with the Dings

by Dorinda Duclos

I have traveled many a mountain
Gotten lost along my merry way
Came across a pip of a board with dings
Stuck it in my pocket, among other things

Made it difficult to continue my journey
But I trolled my way along, as best I could
Stuck my hand in my pocket a few times
Kept pulling out splinters of wood

Thought about hitting up my friend, Bill
But the weather didn’t look very nice
Oh, and did I mention, I didn’t know
That there’s a fire burning in the mountain

Stumbled upon a rather bizarre little man
Globulin, or Global, or something like that
Kept trying to trick me, to get my board
I wonder if his parents know he’s a brat

And then there’s those trees, ugly are they
Beady eyes that kept staring at me
Maybe it’s because I have a piece of them
In my pocket, clinging, I won’t set it free

So much for my trek up the mountain
So much for the board in my jeans
I decided to build me a fire, I did
Sit around tootin’, yep, too many beans

—–

That Frigging Ring

by Peregrine Arc

Let’s walk to Mordor, Gandalf said.
I’ll accompany you and use my flashy staff to stave off your untimely deaths.
Gandalf has access to giant eagles
but I feel the need for more blisters on my barking beagles.

Wouldn’t it be wiser to fly above the volcano and airdrop the blasted ring?
Come, come now. If we did that, Tolkien wouldn’t have wrote a thing.
Do you want to star in this movie or not?
Get behind that orc and give him a clout.

Why didn’t we bring more wizards on this trip?
What, there’s only four? I don’t believe it.
Wait I’ve got it, there’s the eye that sees all, right?
Cast a curse of blindness and water.
And there you have it: that Sauron’s a goner.

Now let the Hobbits get back to eating and dancing
The elves to whining and adverting disaster.
The dwarves to counting gold and mining too deep
So Peter Jackson can get some sleep.

—–

not my god…

by Violet Lentz

He turned his back on his daughter,
his ‘Chavala’
to him, she is dead.
he did so, because she married Feyedka,
a Russian, not a Jew.
he did so, because his traditions dictated it.
he did so, because he believed with all of his heart it was the right thing-
the only thing to do.
he did so despite the fact
that it tore him apart
that it was inconceivable
that it made no sense.
he did so, because he honestly believed
it was required by his god to do so.

Who can logically explain to me
what god of love
of compassion
of creation
of order
would put one mans religious affiliation
so highly above another,
that he can forsake his own child?
what god would inflict this wound
upon his most cherished creation?
that which he “created in his own image”?

not my god…

—–

Untitled piece

by Ruth Scribbles

As I drink my coffee

Still in sleep mode

I want to tell you

Potter didn’t smoke pot

But his wand was hot

Flew powder is the best

Just don’t sneeze

Pleeze

Now I’m off to Hogwarts

—–

Happy Wednesday

by Larry Trasciatti

Bald Uncle Fester has a light bulb in his mouth
Grandmama can stir you up bat stew.
Pugsley can translate Cousin Itt.
And Thing can even lend a hand for you.
And everything happens on Wednesday.

Gomez and his Morticia
They are such a sweet romance
Querida Mia and her Bubbele in love.
And Aristotle Octopus is Pugsley’s favorite pet
As Lurch learns all the latest dance steps.
And there is always something new on Wednesday.

So let us snap our fingers now
And let us visit them
And let us hearken to the baying wolves
As Lurch does play the harpsichord
With all its dulcet tones
And let us wait right here each week for Wednesday.

—–

Thank you for all the amazing entries! Check out next week’s contest, tomorrow at 10 a.m. MST.

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