The Unbearable Lightness of Paying

Image: Pixabay

Pay, pay, through the nose,
Quickly down the drain,
Crazily, crazily, crazily, crazily,
Life is ‘bout just payin’.

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Double Entry by Don Sweeney (a book blurt)

The story immediately sets up to what will lead to a murder and a case of someone being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Toward the end, I didn’t want to put the book down because I had to know if the wrongly accused will be vindicated against the odds. This is a debut book by a lawyer who not only writes expertly on courtroom scenes, but in a very compelling way, too.  The main storyline, intriguing subplots, and R-rated sex scenes all come together into a cohesive and smooth read. Weaved in are some interesting facts about pearls, a quirky scientific cellular material, and a way to cheat using technology. Although this is the writer’s first novel, he has published a short story in a literary magazine. What’s even more inspirational to me is that several years back, the author and I were in a writing group together, along with four or five other aspiring scribes.  Today, three in our group have had at least one work published, so I am fortunate to have been in the company of talented writers.

Recommend the book to your local library. To read it immediately, go to Amazon.com:

https://www.amazon.com/Double-Entry-Donald-N-Sweeney/dp/1946731021/ref=sr_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1503930272&sr=1-12&keywords=double+entry

Bánh Mi Wannabe

Planned to make bánh mi,
But too many substitutes
No bánh mi for me.

Just a stacked sandwich,
So ban me for no bánh mi,
Though not a bad sub.

I had no baguette,
I used pain de campagne,
A pseudo-bánh mi.

My bánh mi wannabe ingredients for this classic Vietnamese sandwich:

  1. Sautéed Swiss chard, onions, and fresh basil sprinkled with tamari sauce
  2. Thinly sliced cucumbers
  3. Fresh mint
  4. Sweet pickle relish
  5. Leftover roasted chicken
  6. Mayo mixed with sriracha sauce spread on two slices of pain de campagne (aka “French sourdough”)

Game of Thongs: Beyond the Show

Part 4 of 4 – A Matter of Wear and Tear series
Part 1 posted on 8/24/17
Part 2 posted on 8/26/17
Part 3 posted on 8/28/17

(Warning: Some language and sexual references may be objectionable)

Soon after the emcee breaks the surprising news of this being the last year for the thong pageant, the battle for the iron throne comes into play. For years to come, those who were here would come to pass on the legendary fierceness that was about to erupt between the top two warring thong wearers – Crissy Bannister and Dana Tara “the Dragon Lady” Gong.

Forever preserved in the town library, the local news archives include a videotaped newscast that reported the infamous event that unfolded that summer afternoon soon after the winner was declared:

Reporting live from the West Coast of Queens Bay, the resort town of Landingshire, I’m Kaye Carpenter, covering a scintillating finish to this year’s ‘Game of Thongs.’  It appears Crissy Bannister has won the coveted iron throne and a year’s supply of thongs. She’s being led to the throne now and . . . what’s this?  it looks like Dana Tara Gong, who dubbed herself the Dragon Lady this year to go with her outfit . . . oh, my. . . [The camera, gyrating wildly, shows Dana striding closer to Crissy as thick fingers of flames blast out from the long tube propped on her shoulder. Just then, Crissy’s feathers catch on fire. . .]

Fortunately, a stage hand immediately rushes onstage, carrying a fire extinguisher while an emergency care team has just arrived. [The camera shows Crissy engulfed in a white cloud sprayed from the fire extinguisher. The emcee and a couple of people carefully apprehend Dana and take her away. The camera returns to the reporter’s face.] That was quite a combustible ending to an intensely hot race. This will be one match that will be burned into the memories of everyone here forever. Back to you, David . . .”

The End

Game of Thongs: The Walk of Confidence

Part 3 of 4A Matter of Wear and Tear series
Part 1 posted on 8/24/17
Part 2 posted on 8/26/17

(Warning: Some language and sexual references may be objectionable)

Both fashionably late in joining the other contestants onstage, the first up is Crissy Bannister, tall and regal in her royal blue, silken thong. Rising from the waist of her thong is a plumage of peacock feathers held by a strip of flesh-toned material securely attached to her back. The colorful plumage hovers a couple of feet above her head. Appearing right behind her is Dana Tara Gong, whose presentation is equally imposing.

In keeping with her stage name as the Dragon Lady, Dana’s gilded-trimmed thong is adorned with sequins resembling reptilian scales. Attached to the back part of her thong is a pair of wings, resplendent with the same gilded and sequined patterns. Perched between her wings is a tiny, gold-shellacked canister connected to two silver hoses. From behind, one hose trails into a long tube, which is attached on a shoulder pad protruding 12 inches from where the pad is fastened on her shoulder. The other, much longer hose connects to a wrist band on her right hand. Jutting under her band is a button, which when pressed, sends out a whoosh of flames from the long tube atop her shoulder.

Theo swallows and mouths the word “shit” to Anya, who is posing next to him.

She whispers, “The person who fears losing is already screwed.”

Theo retorts, “Losing so terribly sucks, while winning gets you many free fucks.”

Sunny, who is on Theo’s other side, murmurs, “There is no humor in pricks.”

From the speakers, trumpets sound off, signaling the emcee to appear. Stepping boldly onstage he announces, “Welcome to our 70th annual game of thongs!” The audience bursts into applause.

The emcee shows off a sandaled foot, as he continues, “How do you like my thong?” The crowd laughs even though they’ve heard the same joke about his flip-flops every year. “For years we have been graced by our creative townies, showing off the latest design and style in thongwear. I would like to thank our sponsor that started this tradition, Made-in-Ware Ironclad Thongs.” Another round of applause ensues.

“This year marks a milestone for us because we will be retiring this contest after today.” Gasps from both audience and participants alike follow, with many muttering “Shame, shame, shame!” only barely under their breaths. The emcee holds up a hand to stop. “Please, this has been the longest running event ever this town has ever had, and we at the Chamber of Commerce Activities Committee think it’s time to have a new contest, but that’s going to be for another venue to announce. Right now, let’s focus on the show. As you all know, the prize has always been a year’s supply of thongs from our generous sponsor. But, this year, the winner will also receive the iron throne as the grand prize!”

The emcee directs everyone’s attention to the glistening throne with an M-shaped back. Although the seat of honor is referred to as an iron throne, it is made of stainless steel. The seat is mesh, usually found in office chairs, but that is the only similarity between the two. Sewn on the throne’s mesh is the front of an oversized thong.

All the participants’ eyes light up. Dana and Crissy give each other the evil eye. Juan, Theo, Sunny, Anya, and Tyrone seek out one another’s attention, each thinking their friendship might be on the line by vying for the prize.  Tyrone rolls his eyes and philosophizes to himself, “Breeze and bullshit. We are only dust, and our maker created us for fun. That is our great challenge, and our great demise.”

To be continued . . .