Friday, 9 December 2011

Friday Fluff

This is Lisa's fault.

If a blind woman/man started hitting on you, what would you do? 

Thirty-six-year-old red-headed Irish guys are at their most comfortable being chatted up by blind women. We're no longer red-headed and that's always a bonus. 

If your dog peed on your crushes leg, would you be embarassed?

You realize that you could have made this sentence even more unreadable if you'd started with 'If you're dog peed...'? 

Alas, I have neither a crush nor a dog. 

If you had to chose what your mother would wear for the rest of her life, would you?

If I had to? Does my life depend on this? If it did, I suppose I could.

If your best-friend told you that she was going to get a new haircut, that you thought was ugly, would you try to tell her not to?

I would delight in his poor haircut. I've always found the uglier your friends are, the better.

Do you believe in abortion? Why or why not?

How does abortion suddenly appear in a quiz that has hitherto talked about my mother's clothes, blind crushes, peeing dogs and bad haircuts?

If you were outside and a red car drove by and started shooting up your block while little children were playing outside, would you save the children if it meant possibly killing yourself?

I'd intervene for sure. But if I managed to survive the hail of bullets, why would I kill myself? You mean I'd be so distraught at the breakdown of law and order in my own community that it would all be too much for me? 

If you were walking on the street and you saw a homeless man sitting on a cardboard box, would you give him some money if you had just gotten your paycheck? Or would you keep walking?

I would give him some money but also warn him that due to their inherent lack of structural integrity, cardboard boxes should only be used for sitting on for a very short period of time.

What would you do if you found out your best-friend stole one of your mom's diamond necklaces?

I'd tell him that wearing a diamond necklace did nothing to distract from his appalling new haircut.

If you had a chance to make $200, only, buy stripping for truckers on a corner, would you?

I think the truckers would be less than enamoured with the value for money that a stripping 36-year-old red-headed Irish guy represented.

If you get into a fight, or think you might, do you throw the first punch?

If it was with disgruntled truckers who were trying to retrieve $200, I think I probably would.

If yes, did you know that if you throw the first punch and they person you hit would call the police, you could get a big fine, or arrested?

I think a trucker is unlikely to call the police to say that he had been struck by a half-naked 36-year-old red-headed Irish guy to whom he had naively handed $200 in return for sexual favours. But even if he were to call the police, I'm assuming that my $200 would cover any resulting fine.

Would you smoke if it meant getting $30, or do you smoke anyways?

I don't smoke, but if I did, why would I not get the $30?

What would you do if somebody that you didn't know mentioned something about possibly killing themselves?

I would tell them that while I agreed that the breakdown of law and order in residential areas and the proliferation of gun-wielding gangs driving around in red cars was undoubtedly on the increase, there were better ways to deal with it.

Would you run down the street naked if it meant earning $150?

I think I might possibly have to if the incident with the truckers went as badly as I suspect it would. Not sure where the extra $150 is coming from though.

Do you consider yourself daring? Tell me of one experience that would prove that you are daring.

It's not every 36-yr-old red-headed Irish guy who is brave enough to masquerade as a stripper on a street corner for a group of bearded truckers.

If the war in Iraq, became an actual war where America was fighting against Iraq, would you join to help our nation?

It depends. Are you Iraqi or American? 

Do you speak your mind? Or do you just keep it to yourself?

This is the most ridiculous quiz I've ever seen. You are the least articulate child I have ever interacted with. Your grasp of the English language is appalling. This has been the least productive ten minutes of my life. 

Does that answer your question?

Would you ever join a gang because you liked the way that they protected their members and the members families?

If they drove red cars and made specific promises to protect me and my family from irate truckers, then yes,  I think I might be tempted.

If you had a chance to go speak to troubled kids, maybe like yourself, and help turn their lives around, would you? 

Speak to them? I've just risked my life by jumping in front of a red car to shield them from a hail of bullets. Is that not enough? 

When it comes down to it, do you think you should get more respect or should your family?

I lost any vestige of respect the day I stripped for truckers.

Friday, 25 November 2011


After a hiatus that would have made even The Eagles blush, a return to Velvet Verbosity's 100 Word Challenge.

This week's word - LUCKY

Bad luck, he thought, had absolutely nothing to do with it. He knew they meant well, but every time a friend offered that meaningless phrase over a drink at the bar it served only to remind him how small a part luck had played in everything. His fall from grace had been spectacular, but he knew well that he had been its architect. Sometimes he wondered if perhaps in some perverted way he’d wanted it to happen. But he knew for sure it wasn’t bad luck that had got him here. If anything, he was lucky still to be alive. 

Friday, 4 November 2011


The briefest perusal of this website will quickly confirm that its owner is far from prolific. 8 posts in the 7 months since its inception is not a good return. Indeed, a closer inspection of the site reveals that not only am I not prolific, I lack imagination, relying solely as I do, on the prompts of the delightful Velvet Verbosity.

And yet despite these damning statistics, I have the gall to present Trifecta, a brand new writing challenge where I ask you to do something I haven't been able to do myself: participate in a weekly writing challenge. But someone who has absolutely every right to ask you to participate is Lisa Harvey, my co-conspirator. She writes at Seeking Elevation and is prolific, imaginative and quite brilliant. And together, we've created Trifecta.

So what is Trifecta? It's a writing challenge where every Tuesday, starting on November 15th, we give you a word and ask you to check its third definition in Merriam Webster's online dictionary. Then, in no less than 33 words and in no more than 333, you write a creative response using the given word. You submit your work of art via the link on our home page and every week we choose the best submission and post that entry on the site.

It's that simple.

So simple, you might say, that even I could do it.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

The Photograph

Velvet Verbosity's 100 Word Challenge - FORGETTING

I'm tired. Physically, I'm tired. But more, I'm tired of what I've become. I look around the tiny apartment, its lack of soul underscored by the smells and sounds drifting up from the busy Bangkok street below. Nothing in the apartment is mine. Nothing in the apartment is me. Shattered, I slump on the bed. Again, I reach into my pocket and pull out the crumpled photograph: the two of us with our girls on the beach, only six months before I left them.

Accepting what my life has become is not easy. Forgetting what it once was is impossible.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Valentine's Day

Velvet Verbosity's 100 word Challenge - CHASM

Nothing, he thought, captured the sadness of the end of a relationship more than untouched plates at a dinner table. Surprisingly, she hadn't seen it coming. The tears, the anger, the weak little punches on his chest were testament to that. She'd seen the recent arguments as inconsequential. He'd seen them as symptomatic of the whole relationship -- not a temporary blip, but a deepening chasm. And he knew he'd been right to end it. But as he cleared the table, something about the lipstick on the rim of a still half-full wine glass made him stop and dial her number.

Saturday, 7 May 2011


Velvet Verbosity's 100 Word Challenge - FAMILY

The nurse asked if there was any family she should contact. She said a familiar face would help. I thought for a second. There were five people I could have suggested. My first wife, but she had left me for the gardener. Or my second, but she had left me for my younger brother. Perhaps my third, but she had left me without saying why. Probably not my fourth – she had left me for my third. And my fifth had left me at the altar. I shook my head and told the nurse there was no-one she needed to call.

Friday, 29 April 2011

The Note

Velvet Verbosity's 100 Word Challenge - BATHED

His death hit me harder than I'd expected. Never close, we hadn't spoken in years. His inability to love could be summed up by any number of episodes from my childhood. But it wasn't isolated incidents that drove us apart. His detachment had become a constant theme of growing up. Successful at everything he did, he bathed in his own self-importance rather than immerse himself in the duties of fatherhood.

That he had been found hanged, shocked me. That the note they found in his pocket spoke of his failure at the only thing he'd ever cared about, broke me.

Saturday, 23 April 2011


Velvet Verbosity's 100 Word Challenge - DISTANCE

Even on the front line they bring us letters. They keep us sane. As we cower in the trenches, voices of mothers and fathers, wives and girlfriends play in our heads. Shattered faces betray conflicting emotions as each man responds to his own. Smiles for one. Tears for another. Empty, staring eyes for most. Sometimes they bring us a little closer to home. But as minds drift, the twisted, cloying smell of rotting flesh, overflowing latrines and chloride of lime cruelly reminds us that the distance from loved ones hasn't changed at all. And that for many, it never will.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

The Voice

Velvet Verbosity's 100 Word Challenge - IMP

She told me it's often referred to as the 'Imp of the Perverse'. I'd sat in her chair, as I'd done every Tuesday for years, and told her of The Voice. I'd smiled at her description. Perverse, I understood. But I'd always imagined imps as cheeky and playful. Yet The Voice dancing and singing in my head is far from playful. I sit on the floor, my head in my knees, and rock, waiting for it to go. But it's getting louder. I begin to claw at my neck with my fingernails. It tells me that drawing blood is fine.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

That Side

100 Word Challenge - VOICE

I counted five of them. Maybe there were more. Their stale sweat clings stubbornly to my skin. The taste of cheap tobacco still bitter on my lips. Laughter rings cruelly in my ears.

"She is one of them," they'd said, "I saw her with that one."   

There are many like me this side, yet I am alone. The tears stinging my cheeks remind me again of their blows. And now I sit here, shaking with anger. With fear. 

Report them? Ah, but we can't. Not here. Not in Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe, if you're one of them, you have no voice.