The Study Group

It seemed like a good idea at the time. “I’m going to form a study group for our final exam,” Hal announced at the end of his economics class. “Anyone up for being in my study group?”

He was disappointed in the tepid response to his invitation, but two other students, Larry and Arlene, did take him up on his offer. “I’ll reserve a small study room at the library,” Hal told them.

Hal hadn’t known that Larry and Arlene were a couple until they walked, hand-in-hand, into the small study room he’d reserved. Nothing in the way they had interacted in class had suggested that they were “together.” But Hal figured that it wouldn’t be a problem as long as they all kept in mind that the mission of the group was to prepare them all to pass the final.

But a strange dynamic had formed by the third meeting of their small study group. Hal and Larry seemed to be competing for the attention of Arlene. And Arlene seemed to relish in the competition. Focusing on economics became harder for Hal as he spent more time trying to come up with ways to impress Arlene than in learning the material.

At the fourth meeting, Larry and Arlene couldn’t seem to take their hands off of each other. It was too much for Hal, who picked up his books, said, “Don’t let my being here stand in your way,” and stormed out of the room.

Arlene came running after him. “Hal, wait,” she implored. “Larry and I were just giving you a lesson in basic economics.”

“Economics or sex education?” Hal said sarcastically.

“We were role playing,” Arlene said. “You know, demonstrating the law of supply and demand. We were creating a demand for something that is in limited supply.” Arlene smiled at Hal and said, “Me.”

Hal didn’t understand, so Arlene continued. “When there is a high demand and a limited supply, the price of the goods goes up. It’s called price elasticity.”

But how does that apply to what you and Larry were doing?” Hal asked.

“I’m the goods and Larry helped drive up the demand,” Arlene said. “So the deal is $200.”

“$200? For what?”

“For me!” Arlene said. “You know you want the goods, right? College is expensive, my friend.”

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “study.”


The Chair Will Entertain a Motion

D167652F-2B30-46D6-9983-9D93DEF0DAB3“English is a strange language,” Jii said.

“It can be,” said Kenny, the ESL instructor at the community college. “But why do you say that, Jii?”

Jii, a recent immigrant from South Korea, was a little embarrassed. “My wife and I went to a city council meeting two nights ago,” he explained. “You said it would be a good way for us to learn the language. But I found it very confusing.”

“How so?” asked Kenny.

“When the meeting was about to end, the man at the head of the table picked up a hammer and said, ‘The chair will entertain a motion to adjourn.’ But a chair is made from wood. How is a chair able to entertain? And how is a chair in motion? I didn’t understand this.”

Kenny looked sympathetically at Jii. “Yes,” he said, “English is a strange language.”

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “entertain.”

A Look Back at Static

0D6326B4-1A62-4CA9-985F-B316F11E166FHow many of you are old enough to remember seeing static on your television screen? That is often what you saw if you turned on the TV after the stations had signed off for the night or before they signed on in the morning. (Yes, kiddies, there was a time many, many years ago when TV channels weren’t 24×7.)

Or, seeing static on your TV screen meant that you needed to get your ass up and out of your easy chair or off the sofa, walk over to the TV, and fiddle with the rabbit ears until a viewable image appeared.

Remember rabbit ears?


And then there were those times when you were at home or in your car trying to tune into your favorite AM radio station and all you could get was static, no matter how frantically you turned the knob in search of some familiar music.

24F8A67D-EED5-45F2-9B1A-D9A151246528Of course, this reminds me of the Steely Dan song “FM (No Static At All).”

And finally, how many times were you on the phone and heard crackling or hissing noises and have to say to the person on the other end of the line, “Let me call you back. There’s too much static.”

And that, my friends, is all I have to say about static today.

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “static.”


19F123B7-39B2-4C60-9BD2-575C1FBE9069Today’s one-word prompt is “evoke.” I thought about what kinds of things, people, or events evoke difference kinds of responses in me.

And then I thought about our Moron-in-Chief, the “shithole” who currently occupies the Oval Office, and all of the negative emotions that hearing, seeing, or even just thinking about him bring to the surface of my consciousness.

So here, in no particular order, are just some of them:


Fruit Erotica

B9CBE741-B3C7-460D-89A7-E07654CAA8E4There was nothing appetizing in the refrigerator to eat when I got home from work that night. Nothing in the freezer either. So I decided to head over to my favorite local tavern for some dinner and a beer or two. It wasn’t that crowded when I got there, and as I looked around the bar, I took a seat next to a woman who seemed to be alone. “Do you mind if I sit here?” I asked, already having taken my seat on the bar stool.

“No, that’s fine,” she said, a pleasant smile on her face.

“What are you drinking?” I asked.

“An appletini,” she said.

“Mike,” I said to the bartender. “An appletini for my friend and a beer for me.”

“Thank you,” she said. “I’m Carol.”

I reached out to shake her hand. “Nice to meet you, Carol. I’m Nick.”

Carol and I chatted for about half an hour, getting to know one another. Mike came over and asked us if we were okay on drinks. “Another round,” I said. Then I reached over the bar and pulled a maraschino cherry from a container with olives, cherries, lime and lemon slices, and onion slivers in it. Mike came back with the drinks, set them down in front of us, and gave me a knowing glance.

“I have a talent that I want to share with you,” I said. I pulled the long stem off the cherry. I took the cherry itself and gestured for her to open her mouth and placed the sweet, red cherry on her tongue. Then I held up the stem and placed it inside my mouth. Within a minute, I removed the stem from my and proudly displayed it to her. I had successfully tied it in a knot using nothing but my tongue.

“Impressive,” she said. “You know, I have a fruit talent, too.”

“Oh yeah,” I said. “Show me.”

“Not here. Let’s go back to my place.”

I settled up with Mike and we left the tavern and walked, hand in hand, the three blocks to her apartment. When stepped into her flat, I tried to kiss her, but she pushed me away. “First I need to demonstrate my talent. Have a seat,” she said, gesturing to the sofa. “I’ll be right back.”

Less than a minute later she came back into the living room and sat down next to me on the sofa. She had a large, yellow banana in her hand and a naughty smile on her face. “My fruit talent is my ability to carve a banana with my mouth.”

She slowly, sensuously peeled the banana down to the the last third. Then she stuck out her tongue and licked the banana. And when she put the entire exposed part of the banana in her mouth, I couldn’t take it anymore.

I stood up and blurted out, “Marry me!”

And ever since that night, we have lived happily ever after, with me using my tongue on her cherry stem and her carving my banana with her mouth.

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “carve.”