Quitting Time

Made it in to work just fine.
A little late, who cares?
Went through the usual rituals.
Make tea, get ice water, start music.
That kind of thing.
I have a list on the door to remind me.
When I am ready to work, I look at the list again.
Just to make sure I didn’t forget anything.
And then, I work.
Or, at least, I pretend to work.
There’s not much to do.
So, I make a show of doing something.
Then when it’s an hour or so to quitting time, I pack up, clean up, and go home.

Pizza and Guinness Day

Don’t call it Turkey Day.
I never have turkey on Thanksgiving.
Instead, I go by Kennealy’s Irish Pub and order a pizza to go.
Then I have a Guinness while I wait.
I call it Pizza and Guinness Day.
You can call it non-traditional, but tradition is when you do something every year.
And every year, I have pizza and Guinness, so it’s a tradition for me.
It’s far better than slaving over a hot stove for hours.
Instead, I stare at a hot bartender for minutes.
And cleanup is as simple as tossing the empty box in the trash.

Trump Pardon

Every year, the president pardons the White House turkeys.
And yet, they hold a Thanksgiving banquet every year that features turkey.
So what’s the difference between the turkeys who get pardoned and the turkeys who get slaughtered, cooked, and eaten?
Is there such a thing as a turkey crime?
And why don’t they ever pardon the cranberries or stuffing or the mashed potatoes?
When I become president, I’m going to pardon the mashed potatoes.
I’ll even make that my platform: vote for me, and I’ll pardon the mashed potatoes.
But not the gravy. Because that would be crazy, you know?

Unit Seven F

A reprimand for Unit Seven F.
That makes three this week.
Seven F is usually reliable. Very reliable.
No reprimands at all before this week.
And now, there are three.
That’s not good. That’s not good at all.
Check the readings. Check the logs. Check everything.
Everything seems normal.
But then, everything seemed normal for Unit Twelve B.
And we all know what happened with Twelve B.
Those poor people, I can’t get their screams out of my head.
Maybe if we take Unit Seven F offline for a day or two.
Just to be safe. Just to make sure.

Breakfast Is

Breakfast is a cigarette and a cup of coffee.
Nobody has time for lunch.
Dinner is what’s left in the bottle. And another cigarette, if there’s any left.
Maybe a date will make you breakfast the morning after.
At her place, of course. There’s nothing at mine.
Except the coffee. And cigarettes. And the bottle.
Weddings, birthdays, funerals… those times, okay, I’ll eat something.
I’ll pick something up off of the buffet.
Before I head to the bar and grab a bottle.
Grab a pack of cigarettes out of somebody’s coat pocket.
I’ll have my dinner now, and breakfast tomorrow.

Captain Blake’s Reminder

Captain Blake came up with his best ideas while he was falling asleep.
So, he kept a notepad on the nightstand.
The problem was, he’d fall asleep before he could reach his notepad.
Or he’d stab himself in the leg with the pen.
He tried a voice recorder, but all it captured were his snores.
Same thing with his smartphone.
The one with the voice commands.
But even if he got a few words out, the digital assistant wouldn’t get them right.
And Captain Blake would wake up with a reminder to milk a rhinoceros or tumble-dry seventy-seven times.

Scale of Scale

I bought a new bathroom scale.
It measures body fat and bone mass and other things beyond weight.
Stuff that I don’t care about, but I probably need to know.
It also has bluetooth in it to communicate with my phone.
So it can send all those things it measures to other applications.
Then it will nag me about what I eat and how much exercise I get.
My treadmill talks to my scale, which talks to my grocery list, which then talks to the grocery for instant pickup.
At what point do I get to live my own life?

Which Baldwin Are You?

On stage and screen, they called Ted the greatest actor of our generation.
There was no limit to his range.
From hero to villain, he brought depth and humanity to every role.
Except for one.
His portrayal of the unpopular President Dan Baker was a cruel and twisted caricature.
A slander ten times greater than Shakespeare’s Richard the Third.
Baker condemned it, earning Ted all that many more Hollywood accolades.
Then, the reports came out about Ted’s ex-wife.
The abuse. The beatings.
Ted’s publicist demanded that people respect the hypocrite’s privacy.
President Baker quietly thanked the FBI for their efforts.

Angel Five

The commander didn’t just shout his callsign but screamed it ANGEL FIVE ANGEL FIVE before the radio cut out and his fighter dropped from the formation trailing smoke and fire and another fighter took his place at the lead before he took on heavy fire and followed the commander to his death so the rest broke formation and fired at anything they could see but at night with no moon and mountains on their first mission after training sent fighter after fighter into a tailspin trailing smoke and crashing into the mountains with not a single parachute to be seen.

Podcast app

Every time I fly somewhere, I load up my phone with podcasts such as Stuff You Should Know or Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast.
They’re long, good, and interesting. And they chew up a lot of time pretty well.
I used to rely on the Apple Podcasts application, but it wasn’t good at retaining podcasts in its cache, and I would be left with an empty phone on a long flight.
So, I switched to Stitcher and I migrated subscriptions over to it.
It’s been working reliably for me ever since.
The plane I’m on, sadly, isn’t.
MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY!