Potluck Offering


robin joins
our impromptu picnic
brings the sushi

🙂

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Messin’ and learnin’…

With the new Block Editor, if you embed
an Inline image, your image can be resized
but not moved independently. Unless you choose to
change the text position — which moves the whole block.

Didn’t Catch it in the Newsroom

Good afternoon everyone — at least that’s where we are at in our day. Thanks to streaming we were able to listen to a church service in Quebec, part of one in Manitoba, and our own here in Sask. Now we have a brilliant blue sky and warm sunshine, the birds are dragging sticks and straws to various nests, and I’d best send out my response to today’s prompt.

Do I dare ask if you’ve tried the new editor? Yesterday I was reading several other bloggers’ thoughts and experiences with this complicated new Block Editor. Not many sweet notes in their song; so far the chorus sounds more like “Aargh…Why! Why!” My own gripe is that I have to go through my post and Justify every single paragraph — one by one — and then I can’t see that it has been done until it’s published. Aargh.

The Ragtag Daily Prompt, contributed by yours truly, is JOURNALIST. Do hop over and check out the links to see what others are posting about this subject. There’s a wide range of interpretations here.

Now, here’s my contribution:

In his book, A Way With Words, ©1979, Canadian newsman Bill Cameron takes a light-hearted look at some of the journalistic bloopers he’s seen in his day and suggests ways writers can clarify their writing. No more, I saw the fox run through the field looking through my binoculars.” 🙂

One thing he mentions is that a reporter should follow an order and always state at the beginning of the story what it’s about. Here’s the opening line of a story once printed in the Regina paper. How did this one sneak past the editor?
“An intricate breeding style, developed through a boyhood hobby, is fast turning into a full-time vocation for a Kantsay district farmer and his wife.”
The reporter does explain a few lines down that said farmer and wife were having great success at breeding and raising some type of livestock, but Mr Cameron thinks that lead-in produced many a chuckle.

Here’s another, from a Saskatoon paper’s editorial of bygone days:
Speaking of expensive frills in modern houses, the writer explains how “dining rooms were once considered necessary because the old-type kitchen was not suitable for eating.

Don’t panic, dear readers. I haven’t heard of any Canadians who actually tried to eat their kitchen.

Mr Cameron stresses that every writer “should look over everything they write with the most critical eye they can muster. Read it over. Read it out loud. Better, have a friend read it over to you.”

After all, to air is human — and your Spell checker will miss a few, too.

He admits that sometimes they get a great lead to an article and can’t use it because it would be in such poor taste. For example, When J Edgar Hoover died, a fellow editor in the newsroom suggested as a lead to the obituary, ‘The death of J Edgar Hoover has left at vacuum at the FBI’. It gave them a quick chuckle, but they knew it wouldn’t be well accepted.

Do you think journalists and editors in our day ever reject a story because it’s in poor taste?

A Scintillating Discussion

The Ragtag Daily Prompt for today is PEDANTIC
The Jibber Jabber Daily word is LUCK

GETTING TO KNOW HIM

Pierce, relaxing on the sofa, looked over at his sister who was studying some paper. “Whatcha readin’, Lilly?”

“Something I just downloaded — this is some expert’s advice on how to get to know people better.”

“You really want to?”

“Of course. We should take an interest in other people or we’ll become totally self-centered.” She looked at him pointedly.

“Yeah, right. And I suppose you gotta ask all kinds of nosy questions, like, ‘Did you love your mother?’ Good luck with that.” Pierce popped the tab on his soft drink and took a swig.

“Well, this expert has given readers a list of questions that ‘should stimulate an intelligent discussion.’ Like this one. ‘Would you call yourself a pedantic person?’ How would you answer that one, Pierce.”

“Yes. No. Maybe. Dumb question.”

Lilly rolled her eyes. “This discussion hasn’t reached ‘intelligent’ yet.”

“Define pedantic.”

Lilly typed the word into her cell phone and read the definition. “Pedantic: ‘excessively concerned with minor details or rules; over-scrupulous, persnickety.’ I guess it means someone who sweats the small stuff and gets the fine details right.”

“I’m not much into fine details.” He guzzled more pop.

“You can say that again. Your room’s a tornado aftermath.”

“I can find things,” he protested. “But sometimes I do sweat the small stuff — like on a math exam. So it depends.”

Lilly sighed. “According to this expert, a question like this should lead to a scintillating conversation.”

“Define scintillating.”

“You’re being pedantic.”

Pierce shrugged. “Who cares?”

Bert & Harv Reminisce

Crispina has posted another weekly challenge HERE

Everyone’s welcome to join in the fun. Here’s how it works:
Every Wednesday I post a photo. You respond with something CREATIVE
Here are some suggestions:

  • An answering photo
  • A cartoon
  • A joke
  • A caption
  • An anecdote
  • A short story (flash fiction)
  • A poem
  • A newly minted proverb, adage or saying
  • An essay
  • A song—the lyrics or the performance

You have plenty of scope and only two criteria:

  • Your creative offering is indeed yours
  • Your writing is kept to 150 words or less

Once you have your response posted, visit her blog and do a PINGBACK, or leave the URL of your response post in her comment box.

Here’s this week’s photo:

And here is my response, 150 words on the dot.

BERT & HARV REMINISCE

“Look at that, Harv. What’s it gonna be when it’s done?”

“Maybe it is done? Some kind of modern art?”

Bert scowled. “More’n likely. Folks nowadays know nothin’ about art. When we were young you could look at pictures and know what you were seeing. Today it’s all splash-dab and heaven knows.”

“Maybe it’ll be one of them water slides?”

“Maybe. Fool kids apt to kill themselves gettin’ up that high. Nowadays they need crazy thrills to keep ’em happy. When we were young, Harv, it was fun enough to…”

“And see those flimsy supports holding that tube. Any weight on them and down the thing’ll come.”

“For sure. Nowadays they don’t know how to build anything solid. Watched my grandson put up drywall one day. When I was young, builders tested plaster with a hammer. You take a hammer to today’s flimsy stuff…”

“Let’s get us some tea, Bert.”

The Punch Line

The Discover writing prompt today is BITE

As the prompt site says, this word can be used in many ways. I thought of the line, “I’ll bite,” when someone’s telling you a joke and you know the answer will be a groaner, but you’ll risk it.

So here’s my dentist coming home from work…

“Did you have a good day,” the dentist’s wife asked when he got home that night.

Shark.Merio
Image by Merio — Pixabay

“Yeah, pretty good,” he answered. “And my last patient was that guy with all the one-liners. Here’s his latest: What you call the soft tissue between a shark’s teeth?”

“I’ll bite” she answered. “What do you call it?”

“A slow swimmer.”

She groaned. “I should have guessed.”

“Then when I told him he needed two fillings, he said, ‘You need to tell my wife that. She’s always telling me I need to diet.’

😉

 

Only One Who Got It

The Discover prompt today is STREET

I’ve told this tale at some point in the past, but will retell it as my response to this prompt:

I got married after I finished Grade Eleven, so never did get my Grade Twelve. About twenty years back I decided to write the GED test to get my General Equivalency Diploma. This certificate proves to employers that you have the equivalent of a Grade Twelve knowledge.

I did it just for anyhow. In retrospect it was a more of an interesting diversion than anything, because what you need to know to pass Grade Twelve now was about what we knew in Grade Ten when I went to school. And to top it all off, when I did get my certificate, the printer had spelled “Congratulations” wrong!

Anyway, I signed up for the GED test prep evening classes, about ten in all, held at a school not far from where we lived. There were at least twenty people, almost all under 30, I’d say, and we had an enthusiastic and very patient instructor, a teacher about 35 years old. We all enjoyed him.

He and I had a few interesting exchanges in the hall before or after class, not so much about religion, but some leaning that way. You know how sometimes you meet a person and somehow sense that the two of you are on the same wavelength? I knew he was a modern Catholic and felt somewhat of a kindred spirit from him; I think he felt the same.

But the particular class incident that still makes me smile is the one where he announced to us that he was going to tell us a joke. Everyone sat up and listened, eager for the joke and of course the punch line. This was a very clean joke, he assured us. (I later learned that this is an old joke but it was new to me that evening, too.)

“There was once a very rich man who was on his death bed. He wanted to go to Heaven, but he just couldn’t bear to leave all his wealth behind. So he begged God, “Can’t I take some of my money — even a little?”

Finally God relented. “Okay, I”ll let you bring ONE suitcase. You can bring as much wealth along as will fit in that one suitcase. But that’s all.”

The rich man was delighted and converted his cash into gold bars enough to fill the suitcase. He had it by his bed when he died.

Now he gets to those pearly gates lugging this heavy suitcase and St Peter’s waiting there. “Hold it. You can come in, but you can’t bring that suitcase in. Nothing of earth enters in here.”

“I’ve talked to God about this and He’s given me permission to bring one suitcase.”

“So what’s in it,” St Peter asks. “Open it up and let’s see what you’re carrying in.” The man opens the suitcase and proudly shows him all those gold bars gleaming.

St Peter appears bewildered, and says, “You’ve brought pavement?”
🙂

Our teacher paused for us to get and respond to the punch line. I got it. I laughed.

It feels funny to be the only one in a group of over twenty who gets the punch line. But all the others sat there as bewildered as St Peter and the teacher had to explain that, according to the Bible, the streets of Heaven are paved with gold. So this rich man had brought more pavement. Get it? No wonder St Peter was stunned.

The class smiled politely, but the kernel of truth — all this stuff of earth, even the most precious of commodities, is worth nothing on those “Streets of Gold” — was lost to them. The joke had fallen as flat as the pavement.

I still think it’s funny — and yet so true. We’re so inclined to hold onto, to hoard. These days we’re even hoarding toilet paper and sanitizer. Heaven must laugh!