#286 – Go to a Cafe…

…and closely watch two people interact.  Then write about a scene about two people in a cafe.

Mike leaned forward on the table, coffee steaming in the cup in front of him, as he listened to Shannon talk.  A faint smile on the corner of his lips as he kept his eyes locked with hers.  If the attention made her uncomfortable, Shannon didn’t show any sign as she gestured with her hands as she described her camping trip.

“So there we are, all of us stuck in the tree, as this big bear goes through and just eats all of our food.” She laughs, spreading her arms to emphasize the size of the bear.  “Then it stole Devin’s beer and wandered back into woods.”

Lifting his coffee to his mouth, Mike pauses and lets out a chuckle, “That had to be terrifying.  Glad you made it back alive.”

“Yeah, me too.  I swear, next time I go camping I’m bringing an electric fence or something.” Shannon laughs, picking a piece off her doughnut.  “So what about your weekend?  What’d you do?”

Mike leans back in his chair, leaning his head side to side slightly as he thinks about the past few days.  “Nothing much.  It was certainly a far less bear filled time than you, that was sure.”  She smiles at him, leaning forward a little as if to hang off his words a little more.  “Tidied the house a bit, caught a movie with Jonah.” Mike says with a shrug, “Missing you a little.”

Shannon smiles, looking down at her coffee, “Aw.  That’s sweet.  I missed you too.”  Mike starts to slide his hand across the table, slowly inching closer to her free hand, when she looks up at him and says, “I love these little coffee dates, y’know.”

Mike pauses and nods back, “Me too.”

“That’s what I love about you, Mike.  No pressure.  Just two friends talking.” She says, patting his hand a little.

He only hesitates for a second, but Mike manages to smile and nod, “Yeah.  Yeah, it’s good.”  He subtly withdraws his hand, picking up his coffee to take another drink.  In an attempt to cover up his nervous energy, Mike rubs the tip of his nose then runs his hand through his hair.  “Anyways, I gotta run.” He says as he gets to his feet, a little too quickly.

“Sure!  I should get going too.” Shannon says, getting up and spreading her arms wide.  Mike steps in and gives her a big hug.  “You still in for Thursday?” She asks him as they finally part ways.

“Thursday?” Mike says, thinking about it for a moment then nods, “Yeah, yeah.  For sure.”

Shannon picks up her purse and gives him a little wave as she walks by him towards the door.  Mike just stands there for a few seconds, watching her go with a hopeless look on his face before he snaps out of it and looks around to see if anyone noticed.

“Welcome to the friendzone.” He mutters to himself as he takes one last sip of his coffee.

Behind the Random: As a person who enjoys watching the social interactions of people, I’ve been witness to some pretty great friendzoning in my life.  Most of the time, it seems like girls don’t even notice what standing right in front of them.  Which is for the best I suppose.  If they were aware and continued treating a guy like that, that would just make them a pretty terrible person.

#575 – How is Hand-Held Technology Affecting Public Social Behaviour and Interaction in the Public Space?

…How has it impacted everyday street life and our ability to meet and deal with strangers?

Once upon a time, people would smile at each other and say hello and talk about the weather.  This would eventually lead to relationships forged, creating friendships and lovers.  Now, people have become secluded from each other, separated by invisible walls of wi-fi and cellphone signals, little white ear buds blocking out the outside world.

We find it more comfortable to keep people at a digital arm distance, using Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch with people.  Better to stick with the people we know we like and get along with than take a risk and talk to that guy at the bus stop.  He might be a racist or rapist or racist rapist (which would really suck if you were a racist).  Nobody needs that kind of hassle.  Besides, you don’t have time to learn about someone new.  You barely have time now for your friends and family already in your life.

Between filing TPS reports, raising kids, working overtime, Netflix To Watch Lists, dodging collection agencies, walking the dog, catching up on the Kardashians, hunting down Carmen San Diego, eating, sleeping, showering, partying down, voting, going to the mall, office birthday parties you don’t want to go to, pretending your friend’s kid is the cutest thing ever, NASCAR races, worrying about the Russians, watching cat videos on YouTube, shopping at Walmart, writing blogs, reading blogs, getting into flame wars, and watching pornography, who has that kind of time anymore?  That’s not counting all the time we spend trying to have sex with each other.  Fortunately, there’s an app for that now.

Behind the Random: As a introvert person, I actually find my phone to be a major boon when I’m in a social situation and getting uncomfortable.  It distracts me and generally lets people around me know that I’m not in a social mood.  However, even I find the sad irony in seeing a group of teenage girls sitting in a circle with their phones out texting each other.  Not that I have much right to judge since my wife and I will often have private conversations when we’re out with friends or even at home and we don’t want the kids to know what we’re saying.

Now that I think about it, text messaging is pretty much the equivalent of a /tell in a multiplayer game.

#520 – Why You Forgot to Pay Your Credit Card Bill


Y’see, there was this thing.  A big thing.  I can’t really describe this thing but it was big, I can promise you that.  Anyways, this thing came up and it was all like “Waaah, looks at me, yo!”  So I looked at it and was all “Waaah, looks at that, yo!” and everything just went crazy.  Y’know what I mean?  So I was trying to deal with that thing, which wasn’t fun or anything, and it just keep going and going.  I didn’t have time to do anything but just do this thing.  Y’know how that goes, right?  Anyways, by the time it was all said and done and the thing was finally FINALLY over, I was just so exhausted that I just slept for a whole two days.  Flat out gone.  When I finally woke up, I had more things to deal with.  Isn’t that like life though?  You deal with one thing and you just end up with another three more waiting there to be dealt with.  Anyways, that’s pretty much what happened.  Really.  Better late than never though, right?

Behind the Random: Being behind on credit card payments is kind of a norm for me.  Always having a crisis to take care of, that bill always gets neglected for one more month.  Such is the joy of being in debt.

#98 – There are Often Three Reasons for Something:

…the reason we tell others, the reason we tell ourselves, and the real reason.  Write about the war among the three.

Gentlemen, I’m not going to lie to you.  It’s a war out there.  A war of information.  And it is up to us to make sure only the most important, and controllable, information reaches the public.  It’s not going to be easy.  Many of you might never see your families again.  However, I want you to remember why we are doing this.

If people knew the truth, the real truth, about everything, who knows what kind of anarchy would break out.  Trusts would be broken and relationships destroyed.  Without us, the human race would devolve into chaos and vanish from this world forever.

We stand not only for truth, but for the protection of all mankind.

* * *

Mankind’s purpose on this planet is the pursuit of knowledge.  Always striving to know the why and how.  However, there are times that one must not know everything and how much should be shared.  That’s where we come in.

Our mission is two-fold and not easy by any means.  We must limit how much information the Truth gives us and, often more difficult, control the flow of information we present to others.  Knowledge is power but power can corrupt.  Mankind is not yet ready for the absolute truth yet.  If we fail in this task, the consequences are incalculable.

Let’s ensure that never happens.

* * *

The truth is absolute and unbiased.  There are no sides.  There is no change.  It is what it is and should not be altered.  Mankind insists on deluding itself by trying to change the truth, denying parts that they don’t like or can’t control.

This cannot be allowed.  We will roll over their resistance and show them the truth, whether they accept it or not.  Because the truth will set them free.

That is the purpose of truth.  And we are the truth.

Behind the Random: I didn’t really understand what this prompt was asking for.  I read and re-read it but nothing was really coming to mind.  Finally, for some reason, those inspirational speeches generals give to soldiers came to mind.  I find it funny the last entry sounds more like a cult than a military unit.

#515 – Two Guys Walk into a Bar…

At the bar, they see a priest, a rabbi, and a monk sitting on stools watching a 12-inch pianist playing on a piano.  Meanwhile, in the corner, three blondes are arguing over who’s dumber, each one insisting that she is stupider than the others.  In the other corner, a horse is standing there doing nothing while wearing a football helmet and mismatched socks.  By the bathroom door is a simple white sign that says “Wish granting mirror inside.”  At the pool tables, a monkey sits there with a bag of peanuts and slowly eats them, one by one, while watching the two men.

One guy turns to the other and asks, “You wanna try somewhere else?”

The other guy nods as he turns to walk away.  “Yeah, this place looks like a joke to me.”


Behind the Random: One of favorite jokes is “A priest, a horse, and a robot walk into a bar.  The bartender looks up and says, “What is this, some kind of joke?””  Most people don’t find it as funny as me, but the simplicity of it all just makes it funnier to me.  I wanted to expand on that and go from a different angle.  I’ve never seen it done, but I’m sure someone’s has before me.

I tried incorporating several classic tropes for jokes into it.  Considering half the jokes I know are…shall we say uncouth…I had to censor myself a little bit.

#589 – The Most Painful Letter You’ve Ever Had To Write

I take a deep breath, holding it for a few seconds before letting it back out.  I psyche myself up, repeating the words “I can do this.  I can do this.  I can do this.” over and over in my head like a mantra.  The pen in my hand trembles as I steel my nerves and press the tip against the paper.

Instantly, pain shoots up my hand and into my arm, traveling all the way up to my neck.  I grit my teeth, but press on, forcing my hand to move in familiar motions that were automatic just two days ago.  The line comes out shaky as my own body rebels against me, protesting against the torture I’m putting it through.  I feel nauseous and light-headed from the pain and I can taste blood in my mouth for some reason.

Still, I do my best to persevere and press on.  When I’m finally done, I study my handiwork only to see that the letter A I wrote is more mangled than my hand was.  It was like two lightning bolts converging with each other before careening off into the horizon.  A kindergartner could have done a more passable job than me at this point.

It was still too early, I decided.  Two days had passed since I’d smashed my fist against the cooler door, flattening my knuckles and cracking the bone.  I’d only just been able to open and close it that morning.  I was never a patient one though and I grew more determined to regain the use of my hand.

One painful letter at a time.

Behind the Random: About ten years ago, I lost my temper while at work and I punched a cooler door.  In a red hot swirl of emotion, I decided it was either the door or a particularly unruly customers face.  I still wonder to this day if it was the right choice.  It physically deformed my hand, the back humped up and the knuckles on my pinky and ring finger are gone, and it put me out of work for three days.

Like a macho idiot, I never went to a doctor to check to see if it could be fixed.  It works fine now, though every now and then I’ll rap it against something and it’ll hurt up a storm and if I write or draw for too long it cramps easier than it used to.

As for the post itself, I haven’t written too many emotionally painful letters or emails in my life.  At least none that really stand out in my mind.  So I decided to play on the words a bit.  Sneaky, non?

#345 – The Biggest Lie Anyone Told You

They said it would be quick.  They said that it would be painless.  They said that everything was going to be okay.  They were wrong.  As the needle plunged into my arm, pain exploded inside me.  It ripped a blood-curdling scream from my lungs as I tried to escape the torture I was being put through, but I was held down by strong arms determined to finish the job.  Tears rolled down my cheek and all I wanted was for it to end.  Mercifully, my wish was granted and the pain faded.

As I got older, needles became no problem compared to that first time when I was a kid.

Behind the Random: This one was hard.  While I have been the target of lies in the past, there was nothing that was world shattering or that entertaining.  I could have written about the massive Santa Claus Conspiracy but a lot of people would write about that.  Then I thought about all the times people promised that something wasn’t going to hurt only to prove how wrong they are.

Oddly, I didn’t develop an aversion to needles after that.  I’ve had blood taken, been given saline and sedatives, and gotten a tattoo since then without batting an eye.