Weekly Challenge #477 – Ounce

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By Christopher Munroe

And ounce of prevention, they say, is worth a pound of cure.

And if that’s true, what would a pound of prevention be worth? Or a tonne?

What if we could prevent everything? Surely this would be the ultimate cure, solving every problem, everywhere, forever?

To this end, I’ve devoted my life to the concept of entropy, the idea that all systems in time inevitably break down, and spent my effort doing whatever I could to speed up the process.

Because prevention is greater than cure.

And in that light, the heat death of the universe can’t come quickly enough…


An Ounce of Prevention
by Jeffrey Fischer

I felt a cold coming on, so I decided that an ounce of Prevention was in order. No, that’s not a metaphor. I’m a wizard, and Prevention is my own recipe for warding off bad outcomes. It’s powerful stuff, though, and a little goes a long way.

I brewed up the liquid base, and needed only to dissolve the powdered Prevention into the solution. Unfortunately, as I was measuring, the phone rang, startling me. Instead of an ounce, I ended up with far more, maybe eight or ten ounces in all. The combination reacted instantly, bubbling over the edge of the beaker and spilling onto the table. “Uh-oh,” I thought, “this was going to be bad.”

Pausing only to grab a bag of essential wizard materials, I bolted out of the house, not bothering to close the door behind me. No need – the entire place is in stasis, the Prevention preventing anything from occurring until it wears off in a century or two.

One Night at Duke’s
by Jeffrey Fischer

One of London’s elegant bars is in Duke’s Hotel in St. James. Once frequented by Ian Fleming and known for its martinis, Duke’s takes a unique approach to mixing a drink: the barman rolls a cart to the table. Each bottle is icy cold, removing the need for ice. (Yes, very British.)

The thing about ice is that is provides much-needed dilution in drinks such as a martini. Four ounces of gin – undiluted, with no more than a spritz of vermouth around the rim of the glass – packs an unexpected wallop. My first one was delicious, so I ordered a second. About five minutes later, the booze hit me, and I was barely able to speak, much less pay the bill and stumble to the Tube.


Uncommon sense

It’s a beautiful evening – the sun is shining, there’s a gentle breeze and it’s just perfect for a stroll in the fresh air before supper, especially after a day cooped up indoors at the office.

You’d think I’d be out there, enjoying the evening, but I’m not: I’m sat behind my computer screen, checking emails, trawling through pictures of kittens and whiling away the hours clicking random links on Google, as the sunlight fades outside my window.

It’s a bit crazy… all the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of the world at my fingertips.

And not an ounce of common sense!


I spent years learning tai chi, but I could never get this mumbo-jumbo about directing energy through the fingertips, sinking to rise, feeling the opponent’s centre, and I reckoned that this “chi” stuff was just headology. Mind you, the master wasn’t all fake, he could push me around like a feather, whatever I tried, and I could never figure out how he did it. He would just say, “No effort! With four ounces, deflect two hundred pounds!”

Eventually I figured it out, and I deflected him all right. With a four-ounce bar of soap in the end of a sock.


An ounce of strychnine, a dash of belladonna and all topped off with a dusting of rat poison.

Not quite the usual recipe for cupcakes, but this isn’t really your usual cake shop.

It’s what you might call an upmarket store, a place for the privileged and precocious – that top ten percent of society that give nothing and take everything: The entitled few; the brats and the bitches.

An exclusive clientele, who think they deserve it all, and at my prices, the riff raff steer well clear.

Just as well: My cupcakes are far too rich for their kind.


Drew had collected enough beverage containers to fill the backyard. Despite his family’s urging him to just turn them in to the recycling center occasionally then put the money into a savings account. He wanted to follow his parents advice but he would never save enough money for a giant Cheese Sandwich if he deposited money in a credit union or bank with easy access to paypal and therefore eBay. Thinking it would be worth every ounce, Drew turned in all his recyclables then ordered a Cheese Sandwich Statue from Amazon. Also one of Pinky Pie since shipping was free.


2015-06-13 Wave
In the house on Mulberry street we wait for the next wave. We locked all the doors and windows and boarded them up. We cleared the yard of the rose bushes that old Mrs. Howard loved and now we have a clear field of fire. Mrs. Howard was one of the first to go. Mary took her out. The back yard is safely surrounded by a high brick wall. The water is still working but most of our food is gone. Someone is going to have to forage soon. What can I say, we weren’t ready for the zombie apocalypse.


The Hero

Once in a great while, there comes a hero. One who understands how to manipulate the crowd and situation for the best results.

Geoff was not that man. He was the guy who left the tavern with a black eye, owing a round, and almost having to marry the mayor’s daughter.

If he had given the Crone of the Crossroads the ounce she wanted, he might’ve been that hero. But Geoff was a bureaucrat and wanted to see her medical marijuana card, and proof that her glaucoma was professionally diagnosed. And now he was in a world of hurt.


Measure for Measure

If you had an ounce of courage you wouldn’t be here. If you had an ounce of decency you shouldn’t be here. So what do you have to say for yourself? Jack rotated the chair beneath his palm and straddled it. He flashed that 10,000 watt smile that irked the hell out of Leo. “No No No,” said Leo, “Not this time you little shit.” Jack let the smile fade, replaced it with an expression of near contrition. “I may not be courageous, I may not be decent, but I may have an ounce of cocaine in my pocket.


An ounce of discretion is worth a pound of wit, they say but Tommy didn’t care. He cracked jokes continuously and annoyed the hell out of everyone. After a night of drinking, Tommy decided to walk back home. He wobbled through the streets until a car pulled over. The next morning, he woke up to a terrible hangover and a huge surprise. Someone had tattooed “STOP!” on his forehead. That was bad enough but when he finally noticed some of his vital organs were missing, it was too late. An ounce, just an ounce, would’ve saved his life… they say.


You showed me how much you cared. Your right hand middle finger held high as you passed me on the highway. For your information, I would have gladly moved into the right lane, if you hadn’t been so close to my bumper. So close I could read your lips as you mouthed opinions of my driving skills. You should have been impressed. With your “encouragement”, I made sure to obey all road rules, especially the speed limit. As you drove past, glaring and gesturing, I smiled at you, held up my right hand and waved.

(music Born Barnstormers, freestockmusic.com)


Bufford hiked around the countryside outside of Geneva with a divining rod his grandfather had famously used to find ground water. He had the gift, just like Pappy did. It wasn’t long until he found what he’d sought. He drilled a hole in the ground, shoved a rubber hose into it and attached a suction pump.
Bufford waited for the collection bottle to fill with dark matter bleeding off from experiments with the Large Hadron Collider. All he needed was an ounce.
An old resident found him and said Bufford was wasting his time.
Switzerland is on the metric system.


They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

But when you’re trying to prevent the wind from blowing something away, it helps to anchor it with as many pounds as you’re got.

Not only in weight, but in tension. Because it’s the tension in the ropes and chains that help anchor your something to a rock or a tree.

Which, i suppose, would be a pound-force in cure, not a pound, because tension is measured in pounds-force.

Or newtons.

Which is kind of ironic, since it’s my packet of fig newtons that keeps blowing away.

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