Tag Archives: fire

Your Significant Other Will Dump You If You Order The Veal And These Other Items

If you don’t remember the origin of this series (or, more likely, you’ve just stumbled upon this posting in your quest for pictures of naive boy scouts and have no idea what I’m on about), you can catch up here with Part I, here with Part II, here with Part III, here with Part IV, and here with Part V. Just don’t expect reading those entries to help any of this make sense and you’ll be fine. The rules are simple: using the writing prompt book Write the Story, include the ten provided words (underlined in this text) in a story using the given title. Failure to do so results in finding yourself on stage, in front of an audience of your parents and peers, wearing nothing but a speedo and a cape that inexplicably has the word “PHOTOGRAPHER” emblazoned across it.

A Lunch Date Gone Wrong

Is it hot in here, or is it just me? Things were going so well, the relationship seemed back on track. And then…the carnival came back to town.

She started showing up late for dates, or putting them off. Without explanation.

I admit it. I got jealous. I began to assume the worst: she was going to leave me for that cult. When we started dating again, I made a promise to myself. OK, two promises:

I would get all the facts instead of jumping to conclusions.

I would never again roller skate nude under the full moon.

Without using mosquito repellent. You can only draw blood from scratching bug bites too hard so many times before you swear that oath.

So here we are, our brunch date now a lunch date due to her inexplicable tardiness, having a ‘discussion’ over a mango salad about her career, her needs, her hopes and desires. And how they don’t include assuming the traditional housewife role, or monogamy, or, worst of all, punctuality.

My sweet tea couldn’t taste more bitter. I struggle to hold back, to refrain from pitting my rapid-fire questions against her inconsistent logic. She was never late before the carnival returned. She never came over to my place smelling like pipe tobacco and my ex-wife’s favorite perfume before the carnival came to town. We never talked about marriage in the days preceding the cultists’ return.

So why now?

But her apparent calm and detachment only served to fuel my fears that she had tired of me and was returning to her old ways. Leaving me alone, divorced with no path back to my ex, doomed to online dating and online / offline rejection.

So of course I exploded, all of my fears and insecurities a festering eruption that poisoned the conversation, the meal, the entire ambiance of the restaurant. And as she stormed off, her sweet tea just as bitter now as mine but dripping from my face and hair, I had to wonder if this had been her intention all along.

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Posted by on 20 November 2018 in Angst, Life, Writing, writing prompts


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You Might Think Tents Are Awesome, But You’d Be Wrong. Dead Wrong.

Does it keep Nature's unpleasant elements out, or human's unpleasant elements in?

This is your tent.
This is your tent on a tarp.
Any questions?

I think tents need a few more additions before they’ll be ready for prime time.

That’s right, more. Just because your tent has an airlock, a changing room, or you can house your livestock in it when not camping does not mean it’s ready for prime time.

Yes, I’m talking to you, MSR.

The mesh skylight was a nice addition to the world of tent architecture, and until this last weekend, I would have said, “Tent makers, love the skylight, welcome to prime time.”

Until this last weekend.

The missus and I took the kiddos camping for the first time this last weekend.

In a tent.

A tent not ready for prime time.

Oh, it started off a seemingly fine trip. It involved train rides and hiking and the ocean and, my personal favorite, fire.

And we’re not crazy. We didn’t death march them 20 miles into undeveloped Bureau of Land Management property with nothing but a roll of TP and a shovel. I vowed never to do that to my children.

Seriously. The missus made me include it in our wedding vows.

We went car camping.

In a tent.

A tent not ready for prime time.

This being their first camping experience, the kiddos were, quite naturally, excited.

About everything.

Train ride? Awesome.

Hiking? Awesome.

Ocean? Awesome.

The hand-painted “Firewood 4 Sale” sign we drove past on the way? Awesome.

The tops of their shoes? Awesome.

Inside the tent come bed time? Awesome…if you, for the purposes of this particular moment, redefine the word as such:

Awesome (verb): To scream at the top of your lungs while running rampant in a confined space like tweaked-out speed demons jonesing for another fix and convinced the sibling just in front of you not only has that fix, but is hoarding it for him or herself. Latin hysteric addictus infuriātus.

You’re thinking, “Oh, I see where Ian’s going. How predictable. He wants sound-proof tents to protect other campers from the audio horror that is his spawn. I’d say that’s a stupid idea, but I camped in the site next to his last weekend, and it is indeed a capital idea.”

No, no it is not. If that sound-proofing doesn’t prevent me from hearing the screams, other campers be damned, I don’t care. That’s what earplugs were invented for.

(Seriously. Max Negwer had legendarily noisy kids.)

Now stop thinking and let me finish.

What happens when you combine a spaghetti dinner, a before-bed milk bottle, lots of thick, absorbent blankets laid out on the floor for comfort, and this new version of awesome?

This is not a rhetorical question.

It is also not a trick question to steer you away from the ‘sound-proofing’ answer. That’s the wrong answer, and while not a bad idea and perhaps worth further exploration, just let it go.

You get vomit.


The Meal That Turned Around.

The chunky rainbow profusion.

Now if the makers of my tent, which, mind you, has a freakin’ loft (or so the manual calls it), had also thought to include hooks in the ceiling for vomit bags, my trip would have been a lot less unpleasant.

But sadly, my tent is not ready for prime time.

And now, unless the lingering stench clears, it never will be.

And now, a word from our sponsor: me!
My books are available!

Marlowe and the Spacewoman:

Marlowe and the Spacewoman

Kleencut (FREE!):

So bad it won a Voidy for the next THREE consecutive years (would have been FOUR, but 2012 was a leap year)


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