Weekly Challenge #481 – A Hopeless Situation

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Dr. Analitico’s patient; Mildred, worried she was depressed. He asked; “If you won the lottery, what would you think, what would you feel?”
Mildred’s eyes took on a far away gaze; “Oh that would be wonderful; I’d get out of debt, help my kids pay for school as I always wanted to,
get a maid…so many things”. The psychiatrist announced confidently; “You are NOT depressed. The difference between depression and simply being bummed out is anhedonia: wanting is absent in true depression”. Mildred sighed her relief audibly and calmly told Dr Analitico she’s bummed she can’t pay for the visit.


The Curve
by Jeffrey Fischer

Adam licked the back of his pencil. He needed an 85 on this test to pass his calculus course. Too many nights farting around instead of studying, compounding his innate lack of understanding of the subject, had gotten him to this point.

He flipped the exam to page 1. “Integrate 6 x^5 – 18 x^2 + 7 dx,” read the first question. He flipped the page back again. This was hopeless. He stood and walked from the exam room.

When Adam failed the course, his professor pointed out that an 85 still wouldn’t have helped. “Son, you needed around a 130 out of 100 to pass the course. You’re no good at calculus, but your basic math skills aren’t all that great, either.”

Hopeless Romantic
by Jeffrey Fischer

A hopeless romantic, Dalton always imagined he would find his soul mate if he just looked long enough. Unfortunately, Dalton was short, plump, and balding prematurely, with thick spectacles, and his idea of a suitable match was a willowy blonde with a million-watt smile and endless legs.

Dalton’s latest mission involved a one-named model with a half-dozen degrees to her name. When he made his intentions clear, so did she. Dalton slunk away, as he had so many times before.

A hopeless romantic indeed: he was certainly romantic, and he was most certainly hopeless.


#1 – Hero

It’s one of the great movie standbys: The hero, having succeeded against impossible odds, faces the final test of character and heroism – a hopeless situation.

Inevitably, somebody is going to die, and – equally inevitably – it’s going to be the hero. Sacrificing his own life for the greater good, saving the planet and the day.

I have to be honest, no matter how desperate the circumstances, you’ll never find me volunteering to be that hero. I’ll be the one keeping my head down, staying in the background and demonstrating no survival skills whatsoever.

Heroes die.

But I’ll survive!

#2 – Moment of truth

It was a hopeless situation – how had things come to this?

All eyes of the crowd were focussed on him, he could feel their gaze burning in to him, as a bead of sweat trickled slowly down the back of his neck.

So much hinged on his answer, and he had no idea whether this would prove to be the worst decision he would ever make.

The pressure was overwhelming.

The man stood before him, repeated the question, in a stern, imperious tone.

He responded, eyes clenched tightly shut.

“I do”

“Then I now pronounce you, husband and wife!”


Hopeless Conversation

“Mary and Patrick named their daughter Joan. Joan married Anthony and had a baby girl they named Andrea. Andrea partnered Rosie and adopted baby Mary. Mary married Patrick; they had a daughter they named Joan. Joan got married to Anthony and had a baby girl…”
“Wait a second. There’s something wrong with this. Genealogy doesn’t go in circles. If you tell me their baby was called Andrea…”
“No. She was called Hopeless.”
“What a cruel name to give to a child!”
“Not at all. They were… hoping for… less… of a circular family history. Get it?”
“Jeez. What a dumbass.”


A Hopeless situation
I play a lot of tennis: USTA matches several evenings each week, four-hour drill on Friday, and my Saturday Morning Tennis Group of 30 friends. I have several on-line MMOs that I do in the evening with friends that can’t survive any battle without me. My wife has stuff for me to do and then there is my writing. My blog ‘Lucky and Good’ where I write about economics and risk-taking, and of course the 100 Word Challenge. This is really a hopeless situation and sometimes I have to drop something. Sorry Laurence, you lost the coin toss last week.

FYI- I reminded Jerry that I don’t like to be mentioned in the stories, nor do I like meta-stories about trying to write for the podcast.


“Welcome to the Anxiety Helpline – you will now be presented with a number of options, please select a reason for your call”

“If human contact makes you anxious, please hold to speak to an operator”

“If dealing with machines makes you anxious, please press one”

“You have chosen option one. Are you sure that’s the right choice? Press the appropriate key to respond”

“You have selected an incorrect option”

“Please hold”

“You a currently in a queue. Please hold.”

“Please hold”

“I’m sorry. We cannot take your call at the moment – thank you for calling the Anxiety Helpline”


A Hopeless Situation
After weakening me with red kryptonite, my enemies had pulverised my body with a nuclear explosion, consumed the residue with molecular acid from a hive of xenomorphs, and divided the fuming remains among several nuclear reactors to be dispersed into deep interstellar space.

But Superman laughs at such material inconveniences! With subtle psionic tendrils I began slowly collecting material for a new body, atom by atom, hidden in a place I shall never disclose, lest my enemies in the past discover my words with machines that see the future.

For Superman, there is no such thing as a hopeless situation!


What Price Your Soul

Feel overwhelmed? Do you wonder it you can go on again day? Well we at Hopeless Situations understand. We feel your pain. Know that the answer does lie in wealth or fame or power. If it did you would have had lawyers, guns and money to get you out of this. No dear friends you are up to your eyeballs in fire ants covered in honey buried in the Texas panhandle. With one simple call to Hopeless Situations the unsurmountable is dissipated. The unresolvable becomes resolute. Our operators are waiting, should you be? Hopeless Situations a J. Faust International Company.


“Bufford,” the agent said pulling her chair close to him. The scent of her perfume filled his head and he felt his reserve begin to crack. “This doesn’t have to be a hopeless situation. Answer a few of our questions so we can know you’ll be straight with us.”
“Play straight with me, and I’ll play straight with you,” Bufford said, leaning away from her. “You haven’t told me who you are, or who you represent.”
“Okay,” she said, sitting up straight. “My name is Aphasia and I work with the Bureau of National Despair. Now. What’s in the box?”



By Christopher Munroe

When you’re feeling down and out, as though the world were hopeless, remember:

The world was here before you were born, and will remain long after your death. It survived ice ages, comets, mass-extinction-events, global warming and cooling, and through each crisis Earth abides, through each new crisis presented Earth will abide.

Earth will survive any trouble we will throw at it, of this I have no doubt, and it will barely notice your own private problems.

We simply won’t necessarily necessarily survive with it.

The world, my friend, is full of hope.

It is merely WE who are hopeless…


Jodie arrived just after recess with her mother and the principal in tow. Standing at the doorway, the principal waved our teacher over. They huddled for a moment before he turned back to the class.

“Boys and girls, today will be Jodie’s last day. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about where you’re going and why?”

“Well, my mother and I are moving to the city. My parents had a big fight last night and now they’re getting a divorce.”

I sat, terrified, knowing that my mother was leaving my father next week for the exact same reason.


I can explain an equipment malfunction fire but I have to explain a big hole in the wall next to a door. Which will be easier than explaining the trebuchet. I begged my boss not to do what he did but he wanted to save money on heating and cooling as do I but I insisted the last thing you want to do is put a “Keep Door Closed At All Times” sign up in a room full of engineers because a door that may not be opened is a wall. I think I should propose a revolving door policy.


There she was, passed out on the bed.
Drank too much. Or maybe it was the pills.
I poked her foot.
No response.
I tickled the sole of her foot.
Still no response.
She was breathing.
I turned her on to her side so if she threw up, she wouldn’t choke on her vomit.
I stayed up all night reading.
Well, most of the night.
I must have fallen asleep.
The campus police woke me up.
Someone had attacked her before I found her.
And thought I did it.
He wore a condom. No DNA.
No good deed, I suppose.

One thought on “Weekly Challenge #481 – A Hopeless Situation”

  1. insensate
    I started disappearing the day she died.
    My bones soften. My flesh quavers like heated suet. I lean slightly to one side
    I smell her Shalimar. I see magnolias, wedding gowns, and palominos. Then I’m heedless/ lost among the unseen.
    A moment passes. I return, her face before me.
    Chronic and incurable, the doctors say.
    When we wed, her pink-velvet mouth said she would take me wherever she went.
    Slip from time, slide through space, lose all grace as I stumble into oblivion.
    The tattoo of her name fades each time I vanish.
    I wish I could stop loving her.

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