Monday, December 5, 2016
Saturday, December 3, 2016
"That's good," I sighed. "So what are you doing now?"
"I have a job answering phones," Stephanie replied. It was always a job answering phones. Not that there is anything wrong with it but those jobs were usually the easiest to get hired at and the easiest to lose. "It's taking orders for sit-down showers. Basically, I schedule for someone to go out to an old person's house and help get everything ordered and make sure one can be installed."
A couple years ago, Stephanie got a job helping the elderly get insurance to supplement their Medicare. The plans were usually vastly overpriced and Stephanie got to charge about twelve dollars an hour for this service. There are numerous places seniors can call to get free information. She happily did this job for six months before being fired for coming in high on cocaine that she had gotten from a fellow co-worker. "You're not taking any money from them, are you?" I asked her.
"No. Just getting the appointment set up," Stephanie said. "I'm trying to do good, Michelle," she said.
If I had a dollar for every time she said that. "You say that and then something happens."
"It's not like I plan for these things to happen. It just happens," Stephanie smiled that smile at me. She used that smile anytime she wanted to charm someone. If she wanted something or wanted to get away with something, her lips would part revealing her two front teeth, her nose would crinkle and her left eye would close slightly. It would be cute if she wasn't trying to be manipulative.
"Going into work high on cocaine isn't something that just happens. Answering ads online for escorts or whatever you want to call it isn't something that just happens. Getting arrested for breaking and entering because you are mad your boyfriend broke up with you isn't something that just happens."
"Look, you don't have to get all big sister on me. Things may not always be normal, by society's standards, but I try and if I have to do some odd things to keep the lights on, then I'm willing to do that," Stephanie explained. "It keeps me from having to ask you for money all the time."
I sighed. "How much are you asking for this time?"
Stephanie hung her head. "$1,300. I have a few bills to pay and I'm short on my rent."
I sighed, heavier this time. "Do you want me to write out your name or just put 'cash' on the line?" I tried to joke.
"Either is fine," Stephanie huffed a little. "I wish I didn't have to come to you for money but I was just never as responsible as you were, Michelle."
"Yeah, I know," I said, curtly, wondering where things went wrong. Our lives were exactly alike with the exception of her being the younger sibling. She was never coddled but had to watch me get all the kudos and congratulations when we were growing up. That didn't excuse her current, reckless behavior though. "You know my invitation still stands."
"I know but I think living with you and having to follow your rules would make me feel like a child. You gave me more rules than Mom and Dad ever gave us."
"I know. Because you need those rules. Nothing is going to change if you keep wandering around at night with your friends and whatever guy you run into," I finished filling out the check and tore it from the book. "I worry about you, Steph. I worry that you're going to take the wrong drug some night. I worry that the next strange guy you take home will murder you. I worry about you and you just don't seem to care."
Stephanie was silent for a minute. Her eyes flickered to mine and then down to the check then back to mine. "You don't need to worry about me. I know how to take care of myself. I've done pretty well so far."
Again, I sighed, and slid the check over to her. "We should try to get together at a time when you don't need to ask me for money," I said, trying to lighten the mood.
"We should. And, Michelle, I promise, promise, promise that this is the last time I will ask you for money," Stephanie said, as she rubbed her neck.
Monday, November 28, 2016
Rex Morgan, M.D.
"The calendar doesn't lie. Although time is arbitrary. What is a year, really? Random days and night shoved together helping us remember the time that has already passed but warning us of the limited time we have left. You're still talking? Jeez, talk about rambling..."
Sunday, November 27, 2016
“You didn’t. I schooled you,” Brooke smiled at him. “I need to get going.”
The two of them got up and Bobbo showed Brooke to the door. “I’ll see you at school?” he asked as she stood in the doorway.
“Where else would we see each other?” she chuckled and turned to leave. “Hey!” she exclaimed.
“Where’s my bike?”
“You parked it right here,” Bobbo came out of the house and looked up and down the yard.
“I know. What happened to it? Did someone take it?”
“Why would someone do that?”
“I need to find it. Will you help me look?” Brooke asked Bobbo.
“Wait here. I know someone who can help,” Bobbo smiled and ran off back into the house.
“Someone?” Brooke questioned.
A couple minutes later, Bobbo reemerged in a red shirt and a red cape and mask. “Super-Duper Man is here to help you, miss,” Bobbo said in a deeper voice.
“Bobbo, what are you doing?”
“Who’s Bobbo? Oh, that nice young man who lets me, Super-Duper Man, use his house? What seems to be the problem?”
“You know what the problem is,” Brooke was already tired of this.
“My powers of super-deduction…”
“Not a thing.”
“...Tell me that your bicycle is missing.”
“Oh my God.”
“Come with me. Let’s see if the neighbors saw anything,” Bobbo grabbed the cape and as he turned around, waved the cape with a grand flourish.
“Are you going to keep talking like that?”
Instead of going to the neighbor’s house across the street, Bobbo and Brooke went two doors down and across the street to Max’s house. Bobbo knocked on the door and Max opened it. “Oh, this looks like fun,” Max beamed.
“Hello, citizen,” Bobbo began. “This little girl is missing her bike. We were wondering if you’ve seen anything suspicious.”
“What’s with the voice?”
“This is how Super-Duper Man talks,” Bobbo said. “So, did you see anything?”
“No, I didn’t. Why does a missing bike require the services of a superhero? You really should’ve used your detective persona, Bobbo,” Max said.
“So you haven’t seen anything?” Bobbo asked, using his normal voice.
“No, I didn’t,” Max said.
“To the next house,” Bobbo exclaimed in his Super-Duper Man voice and gesticular flair.
Bobbo led the way with Brooke and now Max following. “You don’t have to come,” Brooke said.
“No, no. I want to see how this plays out.”
They walked past several houses and passed in front of Trent Elder’s house. Trent was in the front room, sneering and cackling over Brooke’s missing bicycle, wringing his hands in a weird fashion. “Heh, stealing Brooke’s bike is the best joke I’ve ever had.” Trent then heard Bobbo’s Super-Duper Man voice outside and he ran to the window to see Bobbo in some sort of weird cape get-up, Brooke and Max. “Bobbo’s dressed like a superhero to help Brooke find her bike? That gives me an idea.”
Within minutes, Trent had donned a blue Ninja Turtle mask and one of those styrofoam Hulk hands that makes noise and went outside with the bike. “Halt!” he demanded, using a deeper voice like Bobbo was. “I have what you seek.”
The three of them turned around. Bobbo gasped in shock. “The bike!” he exclaimed.
“The precious bike--in the clutches of The Evil Fist,” Trent declared.
“Yes, yes, yes,” Max smiled and pointed in the direction of Trent.
“Evil Fist, you are no match for Super-Duper Man,” Bobbo shouted and ran toward Trent. Trent sat the bike down and raised the hand with the Hulk gun. Bobbo faked-punched Trent but Trent really hit Bobbo with his foam which didn’t hurt or do anything. “I’m using my heat vision on you,” Bobbo said.
“I’m immune to your pathetic heat vision,” Trent said.
“Nothing is immune to my heat vision,” Bobbo said.
“I am,” Trent said.
“Well, nothing is immune to my nuclear vision,” Bobbo yelled and focused his eyes on Trent.
“I am,” Trent gritted his teeth in a smile.
“You can’t just make up powers,” Bobbo said and threw a fake punch.
“I’m immune to your punches too. Evil Fist is immune to all punches.”
Brooke walked over to the boys and picked her bike off of the ground and walked back to Max. “Thanks for trying to find my bike, Bobbo,” she said. “I have to head home. I’ll see you at school, Max.”
“See you, Brooke,” Max waved and the two went their separate ways as Bobbo and Trent faked punched each other in Trent’s front yard.
Mother Goose and Grimm
Slylock Fox and Comics for Kids
What? Open the soda bottle and let all the carbonation escape? Let the root beer overflow and get my paw sticky? Great.
Rex Morgan, M.D.
Saturday, November 26, 2016
"What?" Chris asked, about to put food in his mouth.
"Would you rather kill someone or kill yourself? Simple question."
"Why are you asking? Have you seen the future?"
"I'm just wondering," Eric shrugged.
Chris took a couple more bites of his food. "Kill someone, I guess."
"Ooh, harsh," Eric said. "Why would you kill somebody?"
"I don't know. My choices were kill somebody or kill myself. I was answering your question."
"Why did you choose kill somebody?"
"Well, I'm not going to kill myself. What reason would I have to kill myself anyway?"
"What reason would you have to kill somebody?"
"At least while I'm in jail, I'll be alive. Plus, there's the chance I'd be released sooner or later."
"No, it was be in jail forever. No parole."
"What? It's my first murder? It's my first crime of any type. I seriously wouldn't be given just 25 years or something? I've seen murderers on 'Law & Order' get twelve years."
"This isn't a TV show. You're going away for a long time."
"No, I don't think I will. I will be back out on the street in 12 to 25 years."
"I will go to your parole hearing and testify against you."
"Hard to testify against me when you're the one I killed."
Eric gasped. "How dare you. Why did you kill me?"
Chris shrugged. "I don't know. Got in my way."
"So you'd rather kill somebody than kill yourself?"
"Yes, because I don't have a reason to kill myself."
"You don't have a reason to kill anybody either."
"It was just a question," Chris sighed. "I don't want to be dead so I chose the option where I stay alive and can still have a life."
"But you're in jail forever."
"No, I'm not. I'm not in jail forever. But I would be dead forever. That's why I chose to kill somebody," they continued eating, each taking a couple of bites. "What would you choose?"
"Kill myself. It's not my place to take someone else's life away from them."
"Are you just choosing kill yourself because I chose kill somebody? Are you trying to be the better person?"
"What? No, of course not."
"Mm-hmm," Chris glared at Eric and they went back to eating. "Why did you ask me this anyway?"
"I was thinking about it last night while trying to go to sleep."
"Mm," Chris grunted and went back to eating. "I'm still going with kill somebody. I don't care what the question says, I won't be in jail forever. Twenty-five years at most and then I'm free to go."
"You'd still be in jail for twenty-five years and highly unmarketable when you get out. Not to mention, you'd be a murderer. Who'd hire a murderer?"
"I'd hire a murderer. They paid their debt to society and they deserve a second chance. Now, if they murder again then they don't deserve a third chance."
"So someone kills someone else, you give them a pass?"
"I didn't say that. I said they can pay their debt to society and then be given a second chance."
"'Please, Mr. Murderer, promise us that you won't murder again,'" Eric clasped his hands and spoke in a baby voice.
"Yes, that's exactly how that would work," Chris sighed and rolled his eyes. "Maybe we could also make them sign a murder abstinence agreement."
"Please submit your resume with a cover letter, employment history, and murder abstinence agreement," Eric chuckled.
"This is a stupid conversation," Chris said, putting his fork down. "How the hell did this start?"
"I asked you whether you would rather kill somebody or kill yourself."
"Why do we always have the stupidest conversations when we have lunch together?" Chris asked. "We never have any conversations that make us think, it's always stupid, pointless things that have no relevance in anyone's life."
Eric continued eating but Chris was mostly done with his food. They sat in silence, seemingly in agreement with Chris' opinion. A waitress came by and refilled their drinks. Eric finished his food and sat back in the booth.
"The Jetsons are the best looking animated family," Eric said.
Chris looked at Eric. "Oh my God. You're right. How is that possible?"
"I know, right? It boggles the mind."
Adam @ Home
Iris, can you make sure I turned off my oven? I always leave it on just in case I get a hankering to bake something. Thx.
Iris: Who dis?