The Wine List

I remember the first time I saw the word Chablis.
It was at a restaurant, and I was looking at the wine list.
I pronounced it chabliss.
My brother called me a dumb little asshole.
“It’s pronounced Chablis.”
I was only three. I didn’t know any better.
Or maybe two. Which would have made my brother… four? Or five?
Where did he get that language, anyway?
The waitress asks me if I’m okay.
I look up, realize I’m at a strip club.
“What was your name again?”
“Chabliss,” she says, smiling.
“Right,” I say. “Can I see the wine list?”

The Big Mug

Every morning, I fill a big glass mug with ice.
Sometimes, I drink water.
Other times, I drink iced tea.
However, there’s days when I’m distracted or lazy, and I just let the mug full of ice sit.
The ice melts slowly, until there’s maybe a small iceberg on top of the water.
Or nothing at all.
So, I walk back to the kitchen, pour our the water, and fill the mug with ice again.
And then it’s five. Time to go home.
I pour the mug out again, wash it, and set it back on the shelf for tomorrow.

Fancy Feast

What’s so fancy about Fancy Feast?
That’s not chicken and beef and fish in those cans.
No, that’s mermaid and unicorn and dragon meat.
And not just mermaid and unicorn and dragon… only the finest cuts of the mermaid and unicorn and dragon.
Because nobody wants the gristle and sinew from those creatures.
Not even a cat.
Some cat food makers try to use troll and ogre filler, but that’s disgusting.
Sure, you save a few pennies per can, but isn’t your cat worth the best?
Certainly. Mine are. Even if they just vomit it all up on my shoes.

Confluence by Serendipidy

I watched the steady drip into the bath, mesmerised by the swirling patterns formed by the confluence of blood and water. As each thick droplet of blood became diluted and pale, it felt as if my own evil misdeed was being washed away, leaving no taint upon my character.

It’s these quiet, reflective moments that I savour the most, especially considering what happens next…

Because there’s nothing mesmerising, quiet or reflective about hacking somebody’s flesh from their bones, rendering them down with acid, then cleaning up the mess when it’s all over.

And that’s precisely why I savour this moment.

Weekly Challenge #675: Confluence



Trains are fascinating. The other day, I watched a webcam of a train traveling through amazing landscapes. The tunnels were the best. I finally saw the proverbial light, yep. That made me chuckle. I hardly ever spotted anyone though. Except that one time when a man was throwing another off a balcony. I wonder if anyone else noticed that. Well, the video wasn’t live. It was a live broadcast of a recorded trip, whatever that means. Nothing I could do. I wonder if that man is alive. The confluence of circumstances is tough sometimes. But trains are indeed absolutely fascinating.



In darkest Sudan, there is a truly wondrous sight: At the confluence of the mighty Blue Nile and White Nile Rivers, the two flow side by side, their distinctive colours flowing in parallel and separately between the same river banks.

It’s one of the great natural wonders I’d love to see, but I know that my chances are slim.

So, instead, every morning I recreate this incredible sight at my breakfast table, marvelling at the contrast between fresh white milk, as it takes on the colour of my coco pops.

And I bet the Nile doesn’t taste half as good!


The title read “Confluence properties of quasi left linear conditionally orthogonal rewriting systems.” I glanced through it and sighed, then wrote back to its hopeful young author.

“It is more than twenty years since I worked in this trifling field. That you should seek out my opinion says nothing to the credit of anyone’s work since then.

“Your mathematical argumentation is rigorous, but grinding through sudoku problems would contribute more to the world than this nugacity.

“Ask yourself, what are the most important questions you could be working on? And why are you not working on them?

“Sincerely, Brezoianu (Professor)”


About the Waters of Ripple Rock

First time I witnessed the confluence of the Seymour Narrows in the Discovery Passage, British Columbia it was from 300 feet above the passage. It didn’t look right. The surface of the water broke in multiple directions. Later I found out dozens of major ships had gone down in those waters. The explorer George Vancouver described it as “one of the vilest stretches of water in the world.” From a man who had twice circumnavigated the globe. One summer we took a Zodiac through, the pilot drove the boat into twin sets of whirlpools and we just carouseled for an hour


Coming Together


Jon DeCles

At the confluence of the two great rivers the explorers, fleeing the decay of their homeland, decided to build a town, a town which they envisioned to grow someday into a great city, and perhaps beyond that into an empire. They had moved beyond the decay, but not beyond the dreams that engendered the decay.

They cut the forests and built their houses and ploughed the land, and made it as rich a place as they had ever seen, but their vision was based on what they had left. They did not understand the ways of the woods they destroyed.


“What do you mean?” Billbert asked the goth girl. “I’m an only child. I’ve never had a sister.”
She closed her eyes and shook her head. “Yes. You were an only child. But with the recent confluence of your family with the Beederboker’s, you now have a sister your same age.”
Billbert looked to Linoliumanda for help. When she only covered her mouth and laughed behind her hand, he turned back to the goth girl. “Who do you think I am?”
The girl folded her arms. “Don’t be obtuse, Rhineheart. You would think I would know my own boy friend.


The spirits gather at the confluence of the two rivers.
“Go back to your own river!” shriek the spirits of Westriver.
“Westriver flows into our river!” shout the Eastriver spirits.
They fight constantly, as you can see by the churning of the water.
But the fight will come to an end soon.
These are the plans to build dams on Westriver and Eastriver.
The valleys will become lakes, and there will be power for so many homes and factories.
And downriver, well, these will become streams.
The spirits will end their bitter struggle and rest as they come together peacefully.

Smooth Jazz

I like to listen to smooth jazz at work.
I start Amazon Prime Music and pick a station… Oscar Peterson, Dave Brubek, John Coltrane.
And then I hit Play.
That’s all.
No messing with a radio or listening to sponsorships and commercials.
Just random smooth jazz tracks, one after the other.
Sure, it costs money, but I already get Amazon Prime for the free shipping and the television streaming.
I’m sure there’s even more benefits I don’t use.
But I don’t need a baby registry, and I don’t have a Kindle.
I’m happy with my free shipping.
And smooth jazz.

Shake Shack

We like to drive to the Shake Shack and watch the waitresses skate from car to car, taking orders and bringing out trays of shakes and fries and burgers.
“Push the call button,” says Pops. “Everybody smile.”
A waitress rolls out to our car, and Joey grabs a hold of her hand, clamps a steel handcuff over her wrist, and latches it on to the car’s frame.
“Let’s roll,” says Pops.
We start off slow, so we can hear the waitress scream, but Pops says “Floor it.”
Eventually the wheels break apart.
Fast food is bad for you, you know.


I was born in Chicago, and my grandfather used to take me and my brother to Cubs games.
All the National League teams came to Wrigley: The Mets, The Cardinals, The Phillies…
The Pirates wore their yellow and black.
Now, this was before Wrigley had lights, so every home game was a day game.
If the game went into extra innings, the umpires would call the game when it got too dark.
The station at Addison, full of angry drunk fans.
Take the Red Line South, then the Green Line West.
Back in Oak Park for a quiet family dinner.

Fainting spell

Hillary fainted at the 9/11 ceremony.
She said he had overheated. On a nice day in the mid-seventies.
So, a group of large men in suits put her in a black van and drove her away.
Her doctor said that she had been suffering from pneumonia and had become dehydrated.
I’m not confident in a presidential candidate who thinks that the solution to dehydration is to ask for a group of men in suits to shove them into a black van instead of, perhaps, giving her a glass of water.
No wonder why medical care is so fucking expensive.


A poet died recently.
I think you knew them.
They were good, weren’t they?
The poets agree.
A good poet, and a good person.
Had they been ill?
I don’t know.
I don’t know what they died from.
Unless she was killed by a serial killer who travels the world and kills poets, what business of it is yours?
You want to know, so you can hold a fundraiser?
If she died from cancer, a cancer fundraiser.
If she died from heart disease, a heart disease fundraiser.
I still don’t see the point. It’s far too late to save her.