This is day six of The Dog Days of Summer, a Blogdramedy writing challenge. If you came here looking for quality content you are decidedly barking up the wrong tree. -Ed.
Tom B. Taker
The typewriter atop the little red doghouse furiously clacked…
“Here’s the high-tech visioneer ascending the stage. Suddenly…”
Meanwhile, in an overly-elaborate thought bubble…
The houselights dimmed and a hush rippled through the assembled guests. The curtains parted and he stepped out.
The crowd went wild.
A master of audience manipulation with a flair for histrionics, he waited patiently for the perfect moment.
Then, triumphantly, he seized the red bowl in his mouth and held it above his head, dramatically revealing it for all to see.
The crowd exploded in frenzy.
“I give you the iBowl!” he emoted.
Charlie looked up from the typewritten page. “Good grief!” he cried.
Blogdramedy’s The Dog Days of Summer writing challenge commands
victims participants to author ten stories, ten days in a row, consisting of exactly 110 words each. All stores are themed based on dogs that she has pre-selected. For more information about the challenge and to view the work of other participants, please click the link. But only if you want stories that have real teeth.
Five Stages of Despair
Grief has gotten all the glory in the five-stages biz. It’s high time for Despair to have its moment in the sun. Just for fun, though, I call them flavors.
Introducing the Five Flavors of Despair ™:
I would like to note that these flavors are not meant to be a complete list of all possible stages of despair that can be felt, and, they can occur in any order. My hypothesis holds that not everyone who experiences life groks all five of the flavors, as reactions to life are as unique as the person experiencing them. Note: There is one special case where all five flavors are perfectly experienced simultaneously. This is known as a Grand Wham ™.
Enough clinical shit! Let’s bust out with some real world examples and see how it makes you feel. Remember, there are no right answers!
Topic: Living in a Society
- You don’t own a dog yet your lawn is covered with dog poop.
- You don’t smoke yet your property is littered with cigarettes.
- You are quiet and tranquil on your patio yet your neighbors blast music.
- You have achieved 100 percent recycling yet 99% of city property is landfill.
- You never litter yet your street is covered with trash.
- In theaters you turn off your phone yet you can’t see/hear the movie due to other’s devices.
For honorary despairologist credentials, please post your own examples of “Living in a Society” in the comments section below. A despair specialist will get back to you with customized despair recommendations.
Type A Encounters: Five Stages of Beef
There’s a person I know. Who? Someone I know. Let’s just leave it at that.
Tom’s Law #42
As a devout [insert religion here], whenever possible, I only do business with other [insert religion here]. That way, when things inevitably go to shit, I can viciously write about them on my public [insert religion here] blog and foment animosity and dissent within the entire congregation. Verily, I say unto you, halleluja!
—When [insert religion here] Attack, by Tom B. Taker
Let’s leave the specific religion out of it, too. I pledge not to go sectarian on their asses even when they deserve it.
So, this guy I know is quite the character. As someone who has suffered in his vicinity (we all have our crosses to bear) I do get the odd thrill of delight when someone meets him for the first time. I get to feel validated and vindicated in my feelings as my various hypotheses about him are confirmed by the newcomer going through the same process I did.
That’s when I realized there are actual laws at work that govern this reactionary process. I have dubbed this theory The Five Stages of Beef. It’s what happens when a person meets someone of humanoid condition Type A. Of course, we all know that the “A” stands for Asshole.
You only get one chance to make a first impression. When you meet this particular guy you are on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride of the Senses. As you meet him for the first time you’re in for a wallop.
Visually eclectic, he has the disheveled pointing-straight-up hair of three-year-old who just rolled out of bed. Your nose, however, will simultaneously pick up on the fact that he didn’t shower before putting on disheveled, dirty and wrinkled clothes. He’s also a man who also clings to fiercely held personal beliefs like anti-bacterial handsoap is stupid and deodorant is a marketing scheme. He’s not afraid to put those beliefs into action, either. You’ll get your smell-based verification of this as his body odor envelopes you.
This is when denial kicks in. Is this guy for real? Naw. It can’t be. This can’t be happening. Not to me.
Continue reading →
Something gerbil this way comes
Since the dawn of time Empty Nest Syndrome (ENS) has afflicted women around the world when the last of their younglings finally struck out on their own. Now recognized as a real condition by organizations like the American Psychology Association, symptoms can include feelings of loneliness, depression and grief.
But did you know there is a variant of this condition that has the potential to be even more heartbreaking and devastating? Sadly, as the first person to discover and classify this condition, I’m here to tell you that for me this wasn’t just another scientific discovery. I’m also personally afflicted.
I have dubbed the condition False Empty Nest Syndrome (FENS). Basically this condition is triggered when an expected period of ENS is interrupted, typically by a youngling who either fails to leave the nest as anticipated or returns to the nest unexpectedly after only a short period of time.
Incidentally, and I apologize in advance if this is too much scientific jargon, the term for a youngling that triggers onset of FENS is “gerbil.”
The common characteristics of the genus Modern American Gerbil are:
- Typically a suburban male aged 21 or higher.
- Voracious appetite with a particular fondness for food that belongs to others.
- Usually a high school drop out who, in the intervening years, has invested little to no effort in working towards even a GED. (And also considers the word “college” to be base, vile and profane.)
- Maintains an unusually-enhanced ability to mooch off others.
- Common nutrition sources include beer, cigarettes, energy drinks (like Monster and Red Bull) and illegal drugs.
- Lives in a space (a room, a corner of floor within a room, or even a sofa or comfy chair) that becomes tainted and has a smell similar to the inside of an overly used sweat-sock.
- Can often go undetected for weeks leaving only telltale signs like empty containers of peanut butter and showing up unexpectedly at inopportune moments (like when you are naked).
Some gerbil behaviors can be fascinating. One in particular is deserving of extra examination. I call it The Deuce Run. This behavior usually happens when you haven’t seen the gerbil for a few days. The gerbil will show up, grunt some form of one-word greeting, then secrete itself in the nearest lavatory. At the conclusion of the visit, the gerbil will immediately depart, often completely undetected. In fact, in many cases, the only evidence of a gerbil visit during a deuce run will be the olfactory spore that lingers behind.
Please check back often for continuing coverage of FENS and the mysterious gerbil in this multi-part journal as I press on with my research.