Tag: humour

Unsocial Climbing – a story in 100 words

You and I, my friends, we stand side-by-side. Others, envious of our beautiful bond, seek to divide us. Look, they shriek, that gulf between my wealth and your poverty!

Don’t let them worry you. Turns out we’re on the same ladder, different rungs is all. Up here it’s raining golden eggs, believe me! Stick around and pick my brain on how to climb good. Things they don’t tell you.

Like some folk couldn’t climb unless they give ’em minority rights. You elbowed out while these raid the nest. Silent majority won’t squeak, they reckon.

They reckoned without me. Your voice.

 

Image result for jack and the beanstalk

 

Image: Math Tutoring & Learning Centers | Mathnasium

Stimulus: majority, raid and brain from https://randomwordgenerator.com/

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Couch!

A story in 100 words including plant, consultation and pardon which were taken from https://randomwordgenerator.com/

 

Seat?

No.

As you wish. What’s the problem?

Don’t you know?

Not until you’ve told me.

I’ve paid a small fortune for this. You’re supposed to tell me what’s wrong.

You have trouble confiding in people.

Now you’re trying to plant ideas.

You mistrust others.

Trust is earned. So far you’ve done nothing to justify that exorbitant consultation fee.

Fully refundable in hopeless cases.

Washing your hands of me already, eh?

No, of course not, but I need you to work with me.

And in recompense for my active participation, you would give me a sizeable discount on your services …

Pardon?

 

Image result for psychiatrist's couch

 

Image: Art.com

No Sex, Religion or Politics

These five words – according to my dad, a conscripted soldier in WW2 – constituted the unspoken rule that helped prevent unproductive arguments in the officers’ mess. I can see why. Vital to get on with people you don’t really know when you have to work alongside them in hazardous conditions.

Perhaps blogging isn’t all that different. No point falling out with each other over minor cultural differences when we all face major threats – largely of our own making – such as gross inequality, environmental damage and international conflict. I don’t know about you but all my instincts cry out for cross-border cooperation, our only real defence against these common enemies. As the age-old saying goes: United we stand, divided we fall.

It’s eight whole days since my previous post and high time to publish again. I was planning something uplifting, even utopian, only to find there’s an elephant in the room. It’s a big one, maybe a bull, and the smell of dung is now overpowering. I sure in hell can’t step round it so will tread very carefully and call it … the ‘B’ word!

Not that I’ve anything original to say on the subject. Like many others – on both sides – I’m all talked out. But here are two items I’ve found in the vaults. No idea where they come from but each, in its own way, is rather striking.

The UK Referendum in June 2016 asked:

Should we

Leave the EU
or Remain in the EU.

Simple. Well, for the 16.1 million who said Remain it certainly was, as it meant no change. All 16.1 million who ticked remain knew exactly what they voted for.

But the 17.4 million who voted to Leave without any true facts, figures, analysis or research voted for a personal version of “leave” as they could not possibly know what the end result would be. Hence all the Remainers spoke with one voice but the Leavers presented the Tory government the absolutely impossible task of reconciling 17.4 million different versions of Brexit.

After two years we have now seen this for real. It was never possible to deliver an exit that would satisfy all the Leavers.

In other words, here is a complex issue reduced to a simplistic binary choice and Parliament – the authorised decision-maker in a parliamentary democracy – reduced to the lowly status of a rubber stamp. No wonder they’ve fallen asleep on the job.

Image result for rubber stamp

Today’s cancelled MP vote means this unfunny farce is certain to rumble on through the so-called season of good cheer. Perhaps we ought to keep calm and turn the whole bally shooting-match into a Panto, along the following lines:

 

Image: CharityLawyer

The Appliance of Science – a story in 100 words

Case notes. Planet #3, Star-System #495177230648683. Deep archaeological analyses indicate rapid evolution of intelligent primate species followed by sudden decline/disappearance. Unlike previous extinctions, appears self-inflicted. Evidence from widely-scattered artefacts suggests that the early social-cooperation instinct universal to all advanced species was – for reasons yet unclear – supplanted by an overwhelming urge to compete. This set individual against individual and group against group, leading to chronic over-consumption of resources. Undervalued and depleted natural-science investigation meant rear-guard efforts to shepherd/conserve environment too little, too late. Full contact with remaining species awaits detailed linguistic analysis but positive  signs observed in early encounters with ants and cockroaches.

 

Image result for aliens observe earth

 

Image: The Taxman

That’s Rich! – a story in 100 words

Miles Bragge-Hampton hated contradiction. You couldn’t blame him. As the only child and heir of wealthy and indulgent parents, his every little whim was gratified. A furious turnover of nannies, servants, estate-workers, tutors and even doctors bore witness to the force of his thwarted will.

A particular revolving-door involved girlfriends and, later, psychiatrists. Mere expertise couldn’t save anyone who got on the wrong side of Smiler.

The nickname stuck when he entered politics. Small fish feared the flash of teeth, notably in his very first Head of State broadcast warning ‘welfare leeches and parasites’ that he was on their case.

 

Image result for spoiled rich kids

 

Image: YouTube

Halfway There: a story in 100 words

Light.

Where?

At the end of the tunnel.

That’s only a pinprick. Let’s go back.

We’re halfway there. The end is in sight.

I’m tired. Let’s rest.

We’ll fall asleep and never wake up.

That’s just an old story –

Bones in the dark!

Ooh, give me a piggyback!

I’m not carrying you. Not over rough ground when I can’t see where to step.

Tell me again, then.

Not over rough ground when –

No, I mean, what it’s going to be like there.

Better than here. We’ll see more clearly.

Better than before the tunnel?

Maybe appreciate it better. 

Let’s go.

 

Image result for light at the end of the tunnel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image: Medium

Snowflakes

How do you feel about Facebook? Is it a wonderful gift to improved human communication or a divisive force that’s driving us all into echo chambers and filter bubbles?

It’s certainly getting more hectic. At least, my feed is. I’ve never ‘unfriended’ anybody, you see, so get to read stuff from all sides of the political spectrum.

Most of the time I’m just a spectator, watching the clumsy wrangling and immature name-calling unfold like a slo-mo pie-fight – or else a desperate scrap in the dark that makes me feel somewhat nostalgic for my old school debating-society with its dignified dance of thrust and counter-thrust. A choreographed verbal joust conducted face-to-face and a friendly handshake at the end …

Maybe I’m looking back through rose-tinted spectacles. It’s tempting to paint our youth as a golden age when everything was hunky-dory, buffeted and bruised as we are by an ever-changing present. Something of this same injured innocence fuels the following Facebook post – received yesterday – although its increasingly bizarre and highly unlikely turn of events reveals the underlying message to be anything but innocent:

Image may contain: text

Phew! Where on earth does one start? Well, we are expected to sympathise with the protagonist – a poor martyred victim of ‘political correctness gone mad’ – when the reality this implausible fable seeks to obscure is almost its opposite. In real life the social groups mentioned are victims of inequality, yet here they are implausibly caricatured as oppressors in a sinister conspiracy. If there’s anything truly sinister going on, however, it lurks between the lines of this hysterical little story.

That’s between you and me, of course. In the public arena of Facebook the mask must remain in place. Sometimes it seems that only two questions are permitted:

  • What’s the matter, can’t you take a joke?
  • What’s the matter, can’t you feel my pain?

Oddly, the passive-aggressive post above managed to combine them both. This stuff is fiendishly difficult to answer because it’s quite artfully done – it may be that art itself is the answer. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! Let the battle of the stories commence!

Image result for comedy tragedy masks

Bearing this in mind, I responded with the following Facebook reply:

By a curious coincidence … made a group of snow figures holding hands to represent tolerance between people of different genders, races, faiths, nationalities, political viewpoints and sexual orientations. Just woke up after a well-deserved nap and looked out through broken windows to see they’d all been flattened. Left here wondering who I could have offended …

So far, I’ve got one Like. Not being dramatic – well, OK, being dramatic! – that’s somebody else who’s stumbled into the soundproof silo … sssh! … perhaps another snowflake. Nothing wrong with snowflakes. I hereby take the word as a badge of honour …

Image result for snowflake

My favourite riposte to the derogatory use of this word came from comedian John Cleese:

After one unamused follower used the term ‘snowflake’ as an insult, Cleese, 78, couldn’t resist tweeting a response. Adding his trademark humour, of course.

In his cutting reply, Cleese said: ‘Yes I’ve heard this word. I think sociopaths use it in an attempt to discredit the notion of empathy.’

Next post: How to Tell a Good Story!