A Man and His Mother (prompted flash fiction)

She watched out the window as the man in rainbow suspenders argued with his mother.

“Mom, how many times do I have to tell you? She’s not my girlfriend.”

“Is she a girl?”

“She’s 37. I’d say she’s a woman.”

“Oh, a woman. I see. A loose woman, I suppose.”


“I know what women want. Women want only two things. And you ain’t got money.”

“It’s not like that.  You… Why, you’re a woman. Is that what you want?”

“I’m not a woman. I’m a mother.”

“I can’t believe I’m having this conversation.  Mother, I’m 53 years old. If I want to take a woman to Starbucks for coffee, I can darn well do so without answering to my mother.”

“That’s right. It’s a free world. Do what ever you want. It’s all the rage now. Coffee. Cappacino. Venereal Disease.”

“I’m leaving now, mother.”

“When will you be back?”

“I don’t know.”

“How will I know when to start dinner?”

“Fix something for yourself when you’re hungry. I can always eat leftovers.”

“Oh, it’s like that now, is it?”

“What, mother?”

“You’re going to put coffee with a strange woman over dinner with your mother?”

“Okay. Fine. I’ll be home by 6.”

“Six is awfully late to eat, isn’t it. What about your acid reflux?”

“5:30 then. Now, I have to go. Goodbye mother.”


“What, mother?”



“It’s just. I love you.”

“I love you too, ma.  Now go take a nap.”

Sonny smiled as he slid into his Ford Escort. He might never understand women. But he knew his mother pretty well.

Dating Advice for my 60-Something Year old Mother--What Are The Rules?

 from Melissa Chapman

The first line was provided in a writing prompt from Today’s Author.

The Language of Relationships: A Blog Hop Story


Bruce: “Here’s a nice bench.  Let’s sit here.”

Carl: “What a gorgeous November day this is.” 

Bruce: “It sure is. So peaceful.  So calm.”

Carl: “What’s for lunch today?”

Bruce: “I have pastrami on rye.”

Carl: “Ah!  With hot mustard?”

Bruce: “Mayo.”

Carl: “Mayo?  Who puts mayo on pastrami and rye?”

Bruce: “My wife does. She puts mayo on everything. It’s sort of a thing with her.”

Carl: “Why don’t you say something to her? Or make your own sandwiches?”

Bruce: “I don’t want to take that away from her.  She thinks she’s being helpful. God love her.”

Carl: “She’s a sweet lady. But you shouldn’t treat her so delicately. Let her grow up.”

Bruce: “Since when did you become a relationship expert?”

Carl: “My third wife was a marriage therapist. She taught me a lot.”

Bruce: “Hey, Dr. Phil, how about helping me move that log over for a stool?”

Carl: “Sure.”

Setting down their lunches, they roll a large log over beside the bench.

Carl: “So Alexandra, my third wife, the therapist, used to say, ‘A woman is a vowel. A man is a consonant.  A woman can stand alone, but together with a man can express more meaning.”

Bruce: “Wow.  That’s profound.  Whatever happened to Alexandra?”

Carl: “She ran off with a mime.”

Bruce: “Oh, sorry for that.”

Carl: “Yeah, it was tough for awhile.  Until I met Samantha. Sam is the long ‘e’ to go with my ‘m’.  She fits me perfectly.”

Bruce: “Boy, you could write greeting cards.  You know that?”

Carl: “Thanks. So how’s the pastrami?”

Bruce: “I’ve had better.”

Carl: “Even with mayo?”

Bruce: “No. The mayo pretty much ruins it. You want the rest?”

Carl: “No thank you. I’ll stick with my ham and swiss.”

Bruce: ”Unlike your wives.”

Carl: (laughs)  Hey, I resemble that remark.  No, I don’t see how you do it.  How long have you and Joanna been married?

Bruce: 23 years this October.

Carl: Boy.  23 years. What’s your secret?

Bruce: Avoidance, mostly.  Things are better left unsaid.

Carl:  Like the mayo?

Bruce: (laughs) Exactly.

An alarm sounds.

Carl: Well, time to head back to the spaceship.

Bruce: Yeah, we don’t want them to send out a search party.

Carl: No. Hey, whatever happened to that Lewis fellow that was always late coming in for lunch.

Bruce: They vaporized him.

Carl: Oh.

Bruce: Hey, that reminds me of your ex-wife with the mime –  a long “o” with a silent “h.”

Carl:  Ah.  That, too.

(This story is part of the Blog Hop found at Writings and Ruminations. Photo courtesy Leanne Sype)

Building Community by Featuring Followers III

 It’s Sunday afternoon.  Morning worship is over.  The Colts have the game well in hand. Over two hours before evening worship.  It’s time to fire up the virtual grill and welcome a few more followers over, carrying casserole dishes of flash fiction, bags of poetry, and coolers of life reflections.  A good time will be had by all.  To join in the fun, simply visit any of the sites or featured posts and tell them Tony, who has “A Way With Words” sent you.

To read more, visit my new blog address by clicking on the title below —

“Building Community by Featuring Followers III”

Bon Apetit!

the planet blue potluck!

On Blessing a Blessed Rejection

The marvelous Ms. Donna Ballon of Midlife Collage has done it again.  She has entered my story “A Blessed Rejection” in her quarterly $100 contest.  You can help me double my life-time earnings as a writer by clicking on the title link, reading the story, “liking” it (if you do), and leaving a compelling comment on why you like it (if you are so led).  If you are inspired to further champion my cause, read the other stories posted this week at Midlife Collage, comment on at least 3 of them, then make a closing argument on why you believe mine is best.  I would count it a great blessing for any support you offer.

If I am able to continue doubling my earnings with each story I publish, I will be a millionaire after just 13 more stories!

Help wanted

 from Pantone 377c

Spewing on the Head Cheerleader

I feel sick to my stomach. My chest is in a vise grip. My mind is in a fog. All I can think about is a basketball game in December of 1981 against Center Grove. I was on fire — hitting jump shot after jump shot, bringing our team back from a double digit deficit. Suddenly, I felt a sensation rising in my stomach, up to chest, into my throat.  I made it to the sidelines and then proceeded to vomit volumes of water on the legs of poor Barb W_____, our head cheerleader.

To read more, clicking on the title below —

“Spewing on the Head Cheerleader”

The cheerleaders in our life are the great cloud of witnesses in heaven who remind us to run this race down here by faith and keep going.

Why I Bought a Kobo E-Reader

Hop on over to my new blog address and discover why I bought a Kobo e-reader —

…  to help break-up that big-bosomed behemoth Amazon before we all become suckling pigs grappling for one massive teat until we starve, get smothered or squashed.  Buying a Kobo, you are at least partially supp0rting Independent bookstores (other hard-working lovable losers.) You can further support local bookstores when you buy e-books through their websites.


Read more by clicking on the title below —

“I Bought a Kobo Because Hirohito Lost the War”

Japan's Emperor Hirohito at Disneyland; 1975

Japan’s Emperor Hirohito at Disneyland; 1975

from Don Payne in Celebs: Worked With ~ Met ~ Seen

Looking for Eulogy Notes?

This has been a great week.  It has been a blessing to read the encouraging comments friends (and others) have left in response to my story — “In the Beginning: My First Time As a Storyteller” at Midlife Collage (posted through Sunday, July 7).  There is still time to help me win the $100 top prize.  Just click on the link (above), read the story, “like” it (if you do) and leave a comment (if you are so inspired).

Meanwhile, if you’d like a taste of some of the wonderful comments I have received, click on the link below —

“Notes for My Eulogy: Comments From Friends”

#friendship #quotes

from Nicole in Love This

Read a Good Story; Support a Good Cause

Midlife Collage is currently publishing a piece I wrote called “In the Beginning: My First Time (as a storyteller).” It will be posted (along with four other stories) on their site through noon (Pacific Time, U.S.A.) on Sunday, July 7.  If my story gets the most votes, I receive $50 and potentially could receive $100.  I would really appreciate it if you would click on the link (below), read my story, and vote for it (if you feel so led).  To whet your appetite, here is the opening of an early version of the story –

Last night, I attended The Bloomington Storytelling Project’s event “In the Beginning” which was held at The Bishop – a very friendly neighborhood bar on South Walnut St. (near the courthouse).  I arrived early.  You see, there is a superstitious technique I learned from some Indiana high school football players who, the night before and away game would visit the opponent’s stadium and urinate on the four corners of the field (thus “claiming the territory”).  Though I kept my pee to the men’s urinal, I did go four times before I shared my story and I really think it helped.

Note: The story is now up.  The direct link is here: “In the Beginning: My First Time (as a storyteller)”.  “Like” it to vote. My chances to win are greatly enhanced if you also leave a comment.  If you are truly inspired you can read the other stories as well, then go to the Closing Argument page and explain why my story is the best.  If you do this, I’ll probably be your virtual friend for life.

As the Chicago alderman said, “Vote early, and often.”



“Vote” from Becky W. in Black and White