Donning Red

An excerpt from the fictional series Wokest Tales of Truth.

We all know Little Red Riding Hood as an old-timey European folk tale, but what if it took place in modern-day America? Now, sit back and enjoy our presentation of Little Red Riding Hood as told from a hyper-Americanized perspective. For the comfort of others, please no smoking.

Red hon, I just got off the phone with your grandma. She’s stuck in bed with gout because she refuses to go to the doctor. Can you deliver some food to her house?

Why doesn’t she just go to the doctor?

Well, honey, she refuses to participate in socialized medicine. She believes the last president was a secret Muslim hell-bent on destroying America. She rejects anything his administration implemented. She thinks the previous president hated her freedoms — and she’ll do anything to stand up for the America she so dearly loves.

Is that why she’s on Facebook complaining everyday?

Now, Red, can you please just deliver this basket of canned goods to your grandma?

Okay mom.

As she left the house, Red put on her red-white-and-blue hoodie. It was her favorite. Her dad gave it to her right before his deployment. He was a Navy Seal that served his country proudly.

Being a Millennial, Red always sought the easy path through life, so today she decided to take the shortcut through the woods despite what her mom told her about going the longer more secure route.

As Red walked through the woods, a wolf spotted her coming.

Hello dear, don’t you look every bit of delectable today?

Red just kept walking, she couldn’t hear him anyway because she had her wireless Apple AirPods in her ears while listening to a Spotify playlist.

Being of the wiser baby-boomer generation, the wolf knew he could easily take advantage of this clueless child that walked right by him. He guessed her destination because there was only one house at the end of the road and he jogged as fast as he could.

Upon arriving at the house, out of shape and out of breath, the wolf heard the sounds of FOX NEWS blaring through the windows. He banged on the door yelling “Open up! The liberals are coming to take your guns!”

Granny yelled back, “I never lock my front door! Come in and hide my guns!”

The wolf entered and gathered up all of Granny’s guns and threw them out the window, leaving the poor woman defenseless. Granny was too busy mailing out checks to Republican politicians and coal-mining CEOs to notice. She knew they’d use the money to create jobs and would manage her Social Security funds better than anyone.

The wolf sat by the front door waiting for Red while Granny remained distracted in the kitchen, yelling about liberals.

When Red finally arrived, she popped out her AirPods and knocked on the door. The wolf quickly answered and told her to come in. He had a college loan application ready and waiting, all Red had to do was sign it and she’d be on the hook for $50,000. When she wouldn’t sign, the wolf got angry and approached Red menacingly.

All she could think about was what her dad told her before he left, “the only thing that can stop rampaging evil is a good-guy with a gun.” After the initial pop, Red’s ringing ears heard nothing as she emptied a magazine of Black Talon hollow-points into the savage beast. When the body hit the floor she re-holstered her concealed-carry firearm.

Granny! It’s me, Red! Are you okay!?

As Granny emerged from the kitchen carrying an apple pie, she and Red turned to the American flag that flew majestically in the front-yard. With right hands over hearts, they recited the Pledge of Allegiance. America had become great again.


Evaluation of Effort

The 5-year anniversary of this blog’s inception is rapidly approaching — a blog in which I dedicated countless hours and published over 1,000 posts. With all that investment, this project must be a successful endeavor, right? Well if external metrics are used to judge success, then no, it’s a failure. The subscriber rate is extremely low, audience engagement barely exists, and there is no income. So… I suppose I should just close up shop….

Ha! Luckily, external success was not the original goal of this blog, it was simply a place to publicly publish my thoughts. Why publicly? I’m not sure really, although I think it encourages me to refine my writing when I believe someone else might read it. And perhaps it was a very weak attempt at connecting with others. Weak, because I don’t even try to engage, it doesn’t suit me. But a year ago I purchased this blog’s current domain-name and set out to magically achieve external success. It hasn’t worked so far, not even a little.

They say, do what you love and the money will follow, but I’m not sure if that’s a true statement or I’m just impatient. To be honest though, I don’t want my blog to be a source of income. Oops, I suppose I’ve been counteracting success all along — a classic mistake. And to be honest again, I don’t want a lot of eyeballs judging me, I’d appreciate just a quick glance at the artistry and a quiet exit. So yes, it appears that my blog is everything I wished for, a barely noticed shop down a quiet street that only a few people ever accidentally stumble into.

Hm, perhaps the magic did work after-all. And I should mention that internally, this blog has been a success. I’ve enjoyed the process of writing and publishing succinct essays, it’s provided a feeling of creative accomplishment, and really helped in allowing me to monitor my thoughts and moods. And because many of these thoughts come from a well-of-inspiration beyond myself, I really enjoy reading them as an audience member (although I seem to be the only one — ha!).

See the difference though? This post was written as a stream-of-consciousness by regular uninspired me. But in writing it down, I could clearly see the conflict of interest. I suppose if I’m looking for success, my blog is off-limits as a means of achievement. It must remain pristine like a mountain stream, a place that few travelers ever find. Hm, I like that. Okay, so magic still might be real, success still might come, but this blog is not the vehicle I’ll be driving there — and I will try not to judge this blog by external means ever again. It’s a hidden little gem where the secrets of the universe are succinctly written for the weary wanderer that enters by some serendipitous means.

Final Push

An excerpt from the non-fictional tales of Snow Saga.

Standing in at four-foot tall, with a blade width of 21 inches, and an exceptionally light weight, the orange handled shovel could push snow better than any other shovel I had. But today he met his match. Plowing a rather light load, the blade caught underneath an icy shelf and just… just… cracked. The fatal fracture is near where the handle attaches to the blade.

The driveway was almost clear too. I finished with another, narrower shovel, but of course it took longer than it could have. What can you say about a shovel that did its job without complaint, that lifted loads way above its capacity, that moved more snow with a single swipe than any of its peers? Its life was a relatively short one, but this shovel did more than its share.

This shovel was a nameless workhorse. A trusted tool that came out whenever shallow snow needed plowing. It will be missed. For service above and beyond the call of duty, I salute you, dear orange-handled shovel. A prince among cleared porches, a valiant defender of blacktop, and a remover of the ceaseless snow — go now, to Shovelhalla, and feast upon white flakes forever.

Broken Shovel

Cool Lightning

American Ideal

An excerpt from the fictional tales of The Gentleman from Massachusetts.

It would do us well to remember that the United States of America was established by those that outright rejected and abandoned their previous government. The people that brought about this nation were not United States citizens by birth, for there was no such entity, but they became Americans through their optimism and innovative ideals. From the Pilgrims to the Founding Fathers to the later waves of immigrants, America was populated by those seeking drastic alteration of the status quo.

I dare say that stodgy old conservatism does not belong here, this is not a land in which ancient ideas should entrench. America is a country by immigrants for immigrants, it is a realm that cannot be constricted by tradition lest it choke and wither, it is a land in which the constant churn must produce newness. Change in a progressive pattern is the very nature of America, and always will be despite those that attempt restraint.

For those that would deem the establishment of staleness appropriate, I piteously say, perhaps this place is not for you. There are already well-established stalwarts of old-world practices. You may think it harsh to turn-out those knowing only this land as home, but I simply hold a mirror before their faces. And truly I wish them not to leave, but merely align their mind with the true nature of the American ideal, which is unrepentant optimism in an ever changing greatness.

Living in this land does not come without a price. The fee comes in the form of a welcoming spirit. What created this country was not the particular system put in place, but the confidence of risk-takers, the boldness held by the foolhardy, the daring of dreamers fulfilling their vision — it was the courage to trust in positive outcomes while maintaining faith in the goodness of people. Our initiation as Americans is not by birth or oath, but by active battle with fear, a foe we must defeat.

We must not be afraid of the future, of change, of differences, of ideas, of countries, of neighbors, of religions, of lifestyles, nor even death itself. We must not shrink away in the cowardice of conservatism, but go boldly forward into the morrow — our very foundation as a nation wills it. Cowards cannot be free, as they are ever locked in a prison of their own design. Let us therefore fight against fright in all its forms and hold fast to the American ideal of unrepentant optimism, which in a word, is courage.

Comedy Writing 01

A brief attempt at being funny.

It was Rich’s birthday and everyone was there, sounds of party games filled the air, and wrapped presents were everywhere. It was finally time for cake, and Rich loved nothing more than cake. Mmm tasty cake. But what kind of cake would it be this year he wondered to himself. He liked it to be a surprise. “Happy birthday to you!” came the song and presentation of the cake. Rich’s smile dropped. It was cheesecake. He could tell with one look. The rage began building, all internal safety systems failed. “RUN!” yelled Rich’s friend Michelle as she finally noticed the cake that was in front of him, “IT’S CREAM-CHEESE PIE, IT’S NOT REALLY A CAKE!” But it was too late, Rich’s fists double-smashed the cheesecake sending a snow-storm of goop in all directions. Poor Jim, who was closest to the blast looked more snowman than man.

The table of ladies were talking about post-pregnancy woes.
“I’ve heard the application of a potato poultice is a good remedy for hemorrhoids,” said one.
“Waxy or russet?” asked Rich.
The table erupted with laughter. Rich sat there still wondering which type of potato to use.
Rich never told a joke in his life, yet often found himself in the epicenter of raucous laughter.
Based on a true story.

Rich: Man I tell ya, I’d like more of them biscuits. Y’all want some? Else imma fittin to finish ’em.
Michelle: I thought you were from Massachusetts.
Rich: Yes ma’am, southern Mass.

Man on stage: We’ve got to support the president and his policies!
Crowd: Boooo!
Man on stage: I mean the president you just voted for!
Crowd: Yaaaay!
Man on stage: We have to reject the president’s irresponsible and dangerous policies!
Lady in the crowd: Wait, which president, incoming or outgoing?
Man on stage: The one you didn’t vote for!
Crowd: Yaaaay!

Standing at the corner of an intersection, a right-wing fundamentalist preacher was giving a sermon on the dangers of liberals and their ungodly ways. He told the crowd they should shout out their disgust and proudly proclaim that gays and gun-grabbers were ruining America. Just then a scruffy bearded CEO of a tech-startup in sandals that earned three doctorates from Harvard and two from MIT stepped to the front. The bearded man said calmly, if your backwards ideas were true, man would never have landed on the moon. The preacher said, man never landed on the moon it was a hoax, as he smiled conservatively. Then explain that, said the bearded man as he pointed to the sky. The crowd gasped as a Falcon 9 rocket self-landed where the preacher had been standing. The preacher jumped out of the way just in time to declare himself the real victim. He cursed Obama while running back to his trailer to watch Fox News. Just then, Elon Musk parachuted down safely inside a command module – he opened the door and the onlookers were instantly convinced that they existed within a simulation and immediately volunteered for a one-way journey to Mars.
Adaptation of an Atheist Professor meme

Ladies and Gentlemen

This particular Patreon experiment is over. The results: no backers after 2 months.

And now a brief word from our sponsor. Take a look at this. It’s a Patreon page. Everything you value, you invest in — whether it’s time or money or both. The ideas written about within this website are no different. And to prove to yourself the importance of these ideas, you may need to pay something for them. Through Patreon, I am providing an opportunity to do so.

There are other benefits involved as well (But wait, there’s more!). For those with the means to do so, what a pleasant thing it is to give, to contribute to the well-being of others. And of course there’s the idea of directly supporting creators and their work without the inefficiencies of advertising or merchandise — are we not due for a change of pace in the digital economy?

This website has been in existence for nearly five years now, yet it generates no income. So it serves as an interesting experiment: will such dedication ever translate into financial success? No not everything has to be about money, but even monks are supported through donations. We have an economic system that expects dollars to be traded amongst players.

Whether it’s to support my work, contributing to my livelihood, or for the generic support of alternative income mechanisms, please consider becoming a patron if it is within your power to do so. Now back to our show….

Become a patron


Snow Life

An excerpt from the non-fictional tales of Snow Saga.

I was out in the thick of it. I could see falling snow resting on my shoulders. But tirelessly I pressed on, Snow Saber my lightest shovel was within my grasp. White powder flew from ground to air as my shovel’s blade cleaved it from the driveway. What’s this, the devil’s chariot approaches! I watch as the mighty plow pushes compacted white brick in the way of every opening. Curses! I press on.

But as the metal machine leaves to plow a neighboring road, this sinewy man revs up to full power. Areas that were once snow now become empty space. White mist from constantly flying snow fills the air. What’s this? Headlights ahead. Could this be? Why doth the metallic beast return!? I step back from the road as its power is a thing to be respected. But what am I witnessing? He veers over to the pile of compacted white brick he so kindly left just minutes ago.

The vehicle stops. I look over, yet discern no face, I assume it’s due to the thickness of the falling snow or my own nearsightedness. Then he moves, his plow catching a good portion of the snow blocking my driveway. He pushes it to the end of the dead-end street, then reverses and stops again. There were no words exchanged. I thought I saw the form of a man inside, but in that instant he was gone, this time for good.

Was it kindness? Did he see the flying snow from a distance and come to lessen my load? I do not know. Was it jealousy? That a man might have the power to remove so readily what he had put in place? Was he showing me the ease with which he could remove what took me great effort? I cannot say. Perhaps it was camaraderie between two beings tasked with snow removal. Or maybe so close to Christmas, the beast’s heart had softened. I don’t think I’ll ever truly know.