Friday, September 20, 2013

An Incredible Day, A Saturday Centus


Hi everyone!  It’s been awhile since I posted anything.  I’ve been busy unpacking and settling into our new place in Arizona and haven’t paid much attention to the blog.  But the itch to write is strong and luckily for me I have Jenny Matlock’s continuing meme Saturday Centus to keep me inspired.  Yes, I know, it’s not Saturday, but I got a note from Ms. Matlock, so settle down.  You still have time to post your own story for week 178 by going to Jenny’s website, off on my tangent.

This week Jenny has given us the word “Amazing” as our prompt and instructed us not to use it in our stories.  Instead we are to write a story or poem that reflects the concept of amazing without stating it.  Oh, and it is supposed to be no more than 100 words and not include any vulgarity.     

Well, one out of two isn’t too bad, right? 

Here is my somewhat expanded entry for this week.  I have entitled it:

An Incredible Day

"Hi honey, I’m home!  I have a surprise for you!"

"Aww, Rainbow Roses, my favorite!"

"Well, I heard about a florist downtown that carried them so I got you a couple dozen just to say I love you." 

"How sweet of you!  How was your day?"

"It was crazy.  First, I was struck by lightning walking to my car.  Then at work the owner came by my cubicle and told me how much he appreciated my excellent contributions to his company and promoted me to vice president!  At lunch I went home and put together an Ikea Entertainment Center wall unit while watching an entire episode of Honey Boo Boo without feeling sorry for humanity.  On the way back to work I stopped for gas.  Only $2.36 per gallon, can you believe it?  I asked the guy for directions to the flower shop and was heading back to my car when I was struck by lightning again.  Later at work I met with the local Tea Party leadership and convinced them to fully support all of President Obama’s initiatives.  They even decided that abortions were an okay form of birth control.  It was weird.”

“Enough!  I call shenanigans!” 

“Why?  Don’t you believe me?”

“No.  There’s no way you asked for directions.”

Jenny Matlock

It is a well-documented fact that guys will not ask for directions. This is a biological thing. This is why it takes several million sperm cells... to locate a female egg, despite the fact that the egg is, relative to them, the size of Wisconsin.

                                                      --  Dave Barry

Friday, August 30, 2013

Missing The Point, A Saturday Centus


This is my literary contribution for week 175 of Jenny Matlock’s Saturday Centus.   Like the previous week's assignment, our assignment this week is to write a 100 word story or poem using a one-word prompt that we cannot use in our written efforts.  This week that prompt is "Ethereal."

I have labeled my effort for this week,

Missing The Point


Like a summer wind, this little blue orb is pushed along the blackness of space on misty white celestial tendrils. 

A shining silver maelstrom hangs in the sky above us, its outer arms enfolding us in its spinning clouds of interstellar gas and dust.

Silently and peacefully it drifts across the vast, icy cosmos under the watchful gaze of a disgusted alien overlord upset with humanity’s poor choices.

“Such fools are these that poison and destroy their own planet in the name of greed.” 

He shifts his gaze to another part of space. 

“Perhaps love will prevail there instead.”

Jenny Matlock


Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Psycho's Lament, A Saturday Centus


This is my literary contribution for week 174 of Jenny Matlock’s Saturday Centus. 

That’s right, we’ve had 174 weeks of Saturday Centus so far. 

That’s 174 weekly opportunities Jenny has given us to stretch out our imaginations and write something based upon her supplied prompts.

Like the Energizer Bunny, she keeps going and going and going…

I can never seem to keep up with her and all of her posts, but I definitely appreciate the Saturday Centus meme she does for us each week.  It is that little cherished writing opportunity I have each week (time permitting) where I can indulge in a bit of fun and whimsy and let my freak flag fly.  I am sure I speak for many when I say “Thank You, Jenny.  You have given us all something unique and wonderful to look forward to each Saturday.”

Never one to have us Centusians adhere to a set formula each week, our dear Jenny has once again changed up the rules of the game to challenge us in a brand new way.   Rather than assign us a prompt and have us use it as part of a greater 100-plus word story, Jenny has provided us the one word prompt, “Forbidden,” and directed us to NOT include it in our stories.

Rather we are to write a story that focuses on it, just without actually writing it.  Oh, and we have to do it in EXACTLY 100 words.  Bravo, Ms. Jenny!

You can visit Jenny's blog, off on my tangent, and share your own 100-word story or poem for the rest of us Centusians to enjoy by clicking on her button below.

Here is this week’s 100-word effort.  I have entitled it:

A Psycho’s Lament

“Miss Lohan, it pains me once again to see you in my courtroom facing yet another whole litany of civil disobedience charges.  Since you are a celebrity I am going to release you with just a stern warning.  However, you must abide by strict rules of conduct; otherwise I will have no choice but to place you under house arrest.”

“Oh no, not that!”  (Laughs)

“I’m afraid so.” 

“Can I still defecate in the church fountain?  Barbecue a beagle?  Feed crack to a toddler?” 

“Absolutely not!”

“That’s so unfair!   How will I make headlines, then?”

“Try behaving normally.”

Jenny Matlock

"I don't think people should do anything to be popular. But maybe within reason they can step out of their comfort zones and do things to be more 'accessible'. Like taking drugs or drinking heavily to be cool. "

                                             - Lindsay Lohan


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Love In The Stars, A Saturday Centus

I'm back once again to participate in week 171 of Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus, a fun and challenging literary meme that is an exercise in concise writing.   How concise?  How about 102 words plus the 5 words of the supplied prompt.  Now that's concise!

You can visit Jenny's blog, off on my tangent, and share your own 100-word story or poem for the rest of us Centusians to enjoy by clicking on her button below.

This week Jenny is obviously suffering dearly from severe heat exposure, or as it is known in Arizona, being outside.  

(BTW, I'll be moving there in a few weeks...pray for me!)  

She has turned up the volume on this week's Centus to 11 by assigning us Centusians to write using a Romance theme with an oddly paired sci-fi prompt, "Ground control to Major Tom."  

What follows is my belated effort for this week. I have entitled it:

                                 Love In The Stars

Love is everywhere, even 16,000 light years from Earth.  For here among the stars of Omega Centauri aboard Space Station Sentinel One love was found between Salnaura, a Baryakian from the outer-rim planet Ta’aukel, and Maglar, a Delta-6 interstellar cyborg.

“Why do your eyes look so sad, sweet Maglar?”

“I’m leaving for three solar months to survey Ursa Major, Salnaura.” 

 “Are you Sirius?”

“Ha!  I’ll miss your humor, my love.” 

“And I will miss you.”

“Don’t worry; we have the comm-link” 

“Will you sing me to sleep?”

(Singing)  ”Ground control to Major Tom…”

(Cries)  Our song…in…your…memory…banks?”

(Smiles)  “Affirmative.”

Jenny Matlock

"Gravitation is not responsible for people 
falling in love."

- Albert Einstein

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Everybody Loves A Nut - A Saturday Centus

Ahh, I love the smell of Centus in the morning.
Smells like... brevity!

Welcome Centusians, bloggy buddies, close friends and family, lurkers, and the ever-present government intelligence agency operatives to yet another brief foray into the written word here on Sophisticated Lunacy.

What follows is my entry into Ms. Jenny Matlock's wildly popular Saturday Centus, a literary meme that challenges writers to pen stories or poems using a prompt and only 100 extra words.  This is week 170 of Saturday Centus and our Ms. Jenny has offered us up the 7-word prompt of "I fell into a ring of fire" to test our creative imaginations.

For those of you with a bent toward word-slinging, I encourage you to join along in the fun and compose your own 107-word story or poem and link it back to Jenny's SC post for this week at her blog, off on my tangent.  Then you too can proudly count yourself as a true Centusian and qualify for all the benefits and accolades inherent thereof.

Incidentally, the Oxford English Dictionary is still resisting my efforts to include the word "Centusian" into its next printing.  Please help out the cause by incorporating it into an additional hundred thousand citations in the coming months.  Thank you.

Without further delay, here is my 107-word effort for this week.  I have entitled it:

Everybody Loves A Nut

“Doc, it’s this recurring dream.  It troubles me.” 

“Tell me about it, Joaquin.”

“I’m in this band with my daddy, a boy named Sue, and some guy named Jackson.  Daddy sang bass.  Sunday morning I’m coming down the elevator when the floor dropped away and I fell into a ring of fire. Then a man in black appears and motions me to follow a line on the floor.  So I walk the line when suddenly I see ghost riders in the sky and cry, cry, cry.

So what do you think, Doc?”

 “Mr. Phoenix, it sounds like you really need to do another biopic.”

Jenny Matlock

I keep on having dreams that I am Iron Man.
They always end when the armor falls off and underneath it all I am Stark naked.  -  Anon.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Time To Drain The Gene Pool

I'm back once again to participate in week 168 of Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus, a fun and challenging literary meme that is an exercise in concise writing.

You can visit Jenny's blog, off on my tangent, and share your own 100-word story or poem for the rest of us Centusians to enjoy by clicking on her button below.

This week Jenny has again provided us a photo in lieu of a word prompt and instructed us to write a 100-word piece about this image.  

What follows is my belated effort for this week.  I have entitled it:

Time To Drain The Gene Pool

“Pa, ah seen on the TV this hyar story bout these rocks thet move on they own, but nobody knows how. How does yo' reckon they does it?"

“Well, Ronnie Joe, they had thet same sto'y on Fox Noos t'other day. To git th' answer they asked th' right han' of Jesus, th' Rev. Jeremiah Falfine. He explained thet th' Lo'd was usin' them thar rocks t'draw a line in th' san' as a warnin' t'th' unwarshed heathens in this hyar country t'stop all these gay marriages o' else burn in th' fires of hell.”

“Dang! Yo'd hafta be purdy stoopid not t'heed a warnin' like thet, huh pa?”

“Yup, sho’nuff.”

Jenny Matlock

If you have a complete set of salad bowls and they all say Kool Whip on the side, you might be a redneck.
                                  --  Jeff Foxworthy


Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Sword of God, A Saturday Centus


I'm back once again to participate in week 166 of Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus, a fun and challenging literary meme that is an exercise in concise writing.  

You can visit Jenny's blog, off on my tangent, and share your own 100-word story or poem for the rest of us Centusians to enjoy by clicking on her button below.

This week Jenny has provided us a photo in lieu of a word prompt and instructed us to write a 100-word piece about this image.  What follows is my effort for this week.  I have entitled it:

The Sword of God

It was inevitable.

He’d seen enough torment and death.

For centuries man twisted His teachings of love and compassion for one another to fit their narrow-minded, prejudiced view of the world and to control and discriminate against those who didn’t conform.

Tonight there was no escape from His wrath.

Around the world lightning flashed, silencing those blasphemous voices that stirred the masses into a frenzy of anger, fear and intolerance in His name, while profiting from this wickedness.

Sadly, with the dawn new voices emerged, twisting His lesson as divine affirmation to continue their self-righteous, hateful ways.

The hypocrisy continued.

Jenny Matlock

"We preach peace, forgiveness, tolerance and love. We practice vengeance, persecution, hatred and domination. My personal beliefs are supported and validated by my convictions. Oh, and never forget .... my religion is truth, yours is a lie." 
           — Religion, paraphrased (unknown)


Sunday, June 2, 2013

An Evening Stroll - A Saturday Centus


This is my entry for week 162 of Saturday Centus, a challenging literary meme created in the oh-so-fertile mind of Ms. Jenny Matlock at her blog off on my tangent.  

The instructions for this week's assignment are to create a story or poem using a maximum of 106 words including six words of the supplied prompt.  

Sounds so easy doesn't it?  Not so much.  (Especially this week!)  But Jenny and her cast of Centusians make it look that way each and every week.  This week the prompt is "If a June night could talk."  


Okay, I'll give it a go. 

I would encourage you to do likewise and post your little 106-word masterpieces to Jenny's SC blog post so others can share in your dementia artistic vision.  

Initially I was going to call this post "A Summer's Eve" but decided against it because it sounded too much like a line of a feminine hygiene products. Not that I have a problem with the name, it is just that I don't need the added attention to my humble blog and the emails and comments that would surely ensue.  Instead I have entitled this week's effort:

An Evening Stroll

It was a beautiful summer night for a walk. 

The night air smelled of honeysuckle and jasmine while the brightly lit sky and moon reflected against the shimmering lake. 

Seeking the type of serenity for my world-weary mind that only nature could provide, I stared out over the lake and wondered if a June night could talk what solace could it grant me?  

Then a soft, warm breeze whistled through the tall reeds while the water gently lapped against the shore.  

In the distance I heard the song of a whippoorwill.  

I realized then that the night did talk.  

I just hadn't learned to listen.  

Jenny Matlock

“Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.”

                                             ― Margaret Chittenden


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Captain Silver Beard Jones - A Saturday Centus

Ahoy! 'tis me entry fer week 160 o' Jenny Matlock’s Saturday Centus, a fun literary meme designed t' challenge yer writin' skills by forcin' ye t' write concise tales of 100 well-chosen words plus the supplied prompt.

O' course we don't 'ave t' do it like a pirate every week, but given this week's prompt, which is “Argh, Matey,” I thought 'twould be th' thin' t' do.  Ye be encouraged to play along by posting your story to Jenny’s blog, off on my tangent.

Ye know natterin' like a pirate can be downright habit formin'.  In fact it can even be annoyin' if ye believe me beauty, Teresa, who tells me if I don't stop callin' her a wench she be goin' t' scream.  But I digress.  Here be me entry fer this week which shall be known hence as:

Captain Silver Beard Jones

“Avast ye child 'n listen t' me as Captain Silver Beard Jones tells ye me tales o' sailin’ th’ deep blue sea plunderin’ the Spanish main of gold doubloons, silver and jewels.  ‘Tis a tale of me’self, a swarthy scallywag if ever was one, in cunnin’ swordplay as I swin’s from the’ riggin’ on the Black Pearl.”

“ thanks.”

“No?  Well least be kind ‘nough to fetch yo’ sweet papa a tankard o’ ale like a good lass.”

“Ale?  Really?  Is that your new name for diet Root Beer?”

“Aye, ‘tis today, Lissa.”

Argh, Matey.  I hate Talk Like a Pirate Day.”

Jenny Matlock

Parrots are the preferred pirate companion. 
Monkeys are an acceptable substitute, unless they fling their feces at people.  Then they are an awesome substitute.

-- Unknown

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Winning Formula - A Saturday Centus

This is my entry for week 159 of Jenny Matlock’s Saturday Centus, the itty bitty story writing meme celebrated by writers worldwide.  

I’m a little late to the party this week because I was out of town visiting my mom this last weekend, but fans of Jenny’s blog “off on my tangent” know that Jenny has a heart of gold and will always allow extra time for us late-posting stragglers to play along.

The rules of this meme are to write a short story or poem with only 100 words plus the words from the supplied prompt.  This week the prompt is “you put the lime in the coconut,” which is part of the lyrics of the song “Coconut” by Harry Nilsson, an old favorite of mine from the early seventies.  

After crafting your tiny 107-word masterpiece you then post it to Jenny’s blog so that other Centusians can delight in your creativity and clever word skills.

This week I have entitled my story:

The Winning Formula

From behind the bar Duncan eyed the rows of bottles of liquors, mixers, liqueurs, and fruit juices and wondered out loud which ingredients to use.

“Hmmm…let’s see Duncan…something tropical with a coconut would be good for presentation.   

“Blend Malibu rum and coconut cream, cranberry juice, strawberries, bananas, vanilla ice cream, and blue curacao.      

“Hmmm…needs something.  Lime zest!  Yes, you put the lime in the coconut, then add a splash of 7-up and ring with toasted shredded coconut.

“Nope, this still isn’t unique enough.  I know what I need, pickle juice!

“Voila!  The Wacky Wahine!”

The Mixologist trophy would not elude him again.

Jenny Matlock

Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer.  Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza. 
                                                   ~Dave Barry


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Recipe For A Smile, A Saturday Centus


Saturday is finally here and time to abandon the tribulations of the work week and indulge in a little creative wordsmithing!

What better way to do this than to participate in week 157 of Saturday Centus, that award-winning literary meme that has the whole blogosphere raving with fervent delight.  Thanks to Jenny Matlock of her blog, “off on my tangent” for providing this wonderful creative outlet for writers of micro-fiction. 

The rules of this meme are to use the supplied prompt as written and no more than 100 extra words of your choosing to create a short story or poem.  Then post your work to Jenny’s Saturday Centus page so that the rest of us Centusians and ardent followers can read and enjoy your take on the week’s prompt.  

This week’s prompt is "Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat."  Yes, really!   So get your F. Scott Fitzgerald on and start writing!   I have dedicated this week's post to our wonderful host, Ms. Jenny, and entitled my effort for this week:

Recipe For A Smile

A warm and charming little place with an offbeat and colorful vibe, Jenny’s Café is a favorite indulgence of mine.  The walls are adorned with beautiful signs with uplifting quotes hand-painted by Jenny herself. 

The café’s specialty is delicious classic comfort food with a fun twist, always served with a smile and a side of humor.

One morning I asked Jenny how she made the “blackened pancakes” on the menu. 

“First melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and ladle pancake batter in small circles.  Then respond to a text message from your friend and forget to flip the pancakes.”

“Works every time.” she quipped.

Jenny Matlock

As a child my family's menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it.

                                              -  Buddy Hackett


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Together We Can't Lose - A Saturday Centus

Jenny Matlock

This is my entry for week 156 of Saturday Centus, the literary brain-child of Ms. Jenny Matlock, bloggess extraordinaire and scintillating host of her blog off on my tangent.

The instructions for this week’s challenging meme are simply to take the supplied prompt, in this case, “Dear John,” plus an additional 100 words maximum of your own choosing (that’s 102 words total for those of you that were keeping score) and use them together to create a letter beginning with the prompt.

What can I say?  I couldn’t resist the chance to ply these waters once again.  I’m just a romantic at heart I guess.  I have entitled this week’s effort:

Together We Can't Lose

Dear John,

I know it’s been years since we were together, but the past doesn’t matter.

I need you by my side again. 

Even though no other self-respecting conservatives were willing to align themselves with me for fear of destroying what little credibility they may still have (I know, because I asked them all) I know that you, John, are not concerned about such silliness. 

We have a winning chemistry that can’t be denied. 

Well, not this time.

So what do you say, John?  Let’s do it again!  Palin/McCain in 2016! 

It’s our destiny, John. 


Together We Are Unstoppable

"The tea party nation announced last week that Sarah Palin will headline what is being called the first national tea party convention in February. It is expected to be the nation's largest ever gathering of misspelled signs."

–Seth Meyers

"Federal taxes last year went down for 98 percent of people, but when asked about this, only 12 percent of the Teabaggers thought this was the case. 88 percent of them had it wrong. And a spokesman for the Teabaggers said, 'We don’t want to just be taxed less. We want to be taxed less by a white guy."

–Bill Maher 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

War Is Hell, A Saturday Centus


It’s week 154 of Saturday Centus and time once again to write some mini-fiction as part of this fun and challenging literary meme by the incomparable Jenny Matlock.  So if you have a little time and one hundred words you aren’t using at the moment, you need to write them down along with this week’s prompt “It was the summer of 1974.”  Then post them to Jenny’s blog, off on my tangent, and share them with your fellow Centusians.  I have entitled this week’s post:

War Is Hell

It was the summer of 1974. 

The sun blazed overhead as Stevens and I slogged through the tall grass.

Our mission:  find Charlie and take him out.

The rat-a-tat-a-tat sounds of machine guns echoed through the trees.

Charlie was nearby. 

Smoke wafted by carrying the unmistakable whiff of burnt flesh.

We took positions behind a big rock beside the trail and waited.

Minutes passed like hours.

Finally our waiting was rewarded. 

Adrenaline kicked in.

Leaping from our position we caught Charlie by surprise.

“Rat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat!  We got you Charlie!!”

“You win.  My mom wants me home now anyway.  Dad’s barbecuing chicken.”

“Okay, same time tomorrow, Charlie!”

In the summer of 1974 I was a mere 12 years of age, playing army, building forts, riding bikes, and having fun like all kids did back then.  I was generally oblivious to the madness surrounding the pointless and inane war in Vietnam and the corrupt abuses of power surrounding Watergate.  Wow, I am sure glad we learned our lessons from that genuinely absurd time in our history!   Who would want to live through that again, eh? 


Jenny Matlock

“Some parents say it is toy guns that make boys warlike. But give a boy a rubber duck and he will seize its neck like the butt of a pistol and shout "Bang!"”

George F. Will


Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Party At My Place, A Saturday Centus


For week #152 of  Saturday Centus our oh-so-creative teacher, Ms. Jenny, has challenged us Centusians to write a rhyme based upon this photo of a deviled egg.   Why a deviled egg?  Well because it's almost Easter and well, um...the devil thing is....well, it's not important.  

What's important is that we use no more than 100 words, no vulgarity and don't eat the photo!  Make sure to read all the other submissions by following the link to Jenny's blog, off on my tangent, and submit your own devilishly good post!  I have entitled my submission this week:

A Party At My Place

It was our housewarming party
And my friends were all there.
Over by Sue, Jenny and Karen
laughter naturally filled the air.

Deviled eggs (my favorite!) had been brought
To add to the fete,
Along with trays full of tasty foods
For everyone to eat.

Viki, Tracy and Claudia had come,
and Jayne was there too,
Telling jokes and acting wild
Enjoying my home brew.

Judy, Faith, Beth, Ross and Kris
hung out in the swimming pool,
Sipping margaritas and splashing around
Trying really hard to stay cool.

Surprise, Arizona is hot in September
Don’t let any tell you it’s a dry heat.
For that excuse doesn't wash in real life
When you’re walking barefoot on concrete.

Jenny Matlock

You know you live in Phoenix when you've experienced condensation on your butt cheeks from the hot water evaporating in the toilet bowl.

 ~Author Unknown 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Last Goodbye, A Saturday Centus


Well it has been some time since I participated in Saturday Centus, this wonderful literary meme hosted by it's equally wonderful host, Jenny Matlock, from her blog, off on my tangent.

This week (week 151!) the prompt is "Thank you Beryl!" and we are to use these three words and another hundred words of our choosing to tell a story.  I have entitled this week's effort:

The Last Goodbye

Thank you Beryl!  I know you just want to help.

You say life is not always joyful and that pain and sadness are simply part of the equation. At times we may feel discouraged or angry at the hopelessness and emptiness we face.

You say to endure and be strong. Have the same courage shown by soldiers whose bodies have been ravaged by war, victims of violent crime, grim disease or injury.

You say that we all face stressful situations, but that they don’t last forever. You say depression is a battle that can be won.

Not this time.

Time to go.

Jenny Matlock

“It was easy enough to kill yourself in a fit of despair. It was easy enough to play the martyr. It was harder to do nothing. To endure your life. To wait.” 

                                                                       ― Erica Jong, Fear of Flying


Blogs I Am In Awe Of