The Definition of Disgusting (WP Prompt)

Emptly toilet paper roll

Today’s writing prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress:

Nightmare Job

In honor of Labor Day in North America, tell us what’s the one job you could never imagine yourself doing.

When I was working my way through college, I had to take jobs that allowed me to be free to go to classes during the day.  What this meant is that the jobs I worked had to be at night; the type of jobs that were available to me were limited.

I once had a job as an environmental engineer.  Environmental engineer is a fancy name for janitor.  I was responsible for cleaning offices in an industrial park.  My tasks included cleaning the management and clerical offices, including restrooms, as well as restrooms for the warehouse areas

The women’s restrooms were a little icky every now and then; the men’s restrooms were a little icky most of the time.  Then there were the men’s restrooms for the warehouses; they took the task of cleaning to a whole new level.

The men’s restrooms in the warehouse areas were vile- it was as if some of the guys using them had barely graduated from potty training.  There was one that was particularly disgusting.  The first time I cleaned it I nearly puked; if I would have had a hazmat suit, I would have worn it.  That restroom could have won the crap-hole of the decade award.

As disgusting as my job was, I could never imagine being the person who had to open up a drain pipe for a plugged toilet. I totally pity anyone who might have to open a drain pipe for one of the warehouse toilets.  Even now, the thought of it makes me retch.

Dear Fellow Writers,

I’m collecting links to websites that are useful reference to us all. Look at the bar to the left and you can scroll to view the links. I’ll be adding new links as I find them. If you follow my blog, you’ll have easy access to them with just a click.

Happy Writing!

K.C.

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Cock in a Tree (WP Prompt)

Douglas Fir tree

Today’s writing prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress:

New Dawn

Do you agree with Jane Fonda’s favorite exercise motto, “no pain, no gain?” Is it impossible to attain greatness without considerable hardship?

Did you know your body has an internal clock that causes you to feel sleepy at night and awake during the day?  This natural sleep-wake cycle is called the circadian rhythm. When this natural rhythm is out of whack, it might be considered a circadian rhythm sleep disorder.  One type of circadian rhythm disorder is called DSP (Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder).  People with this condition typically go to sleep later than most people and sleep later too.

For many years, I had a job where I wouldn’t get home until about ten o’clock at night.  When I started working a nine-to-five job, I’d be exhausted all the time because I couldn’t seem to get to bed early enough to get more than few hours sleep before I had to be up to go to work again.  My doctor diagnosed me with DSP.

I like to watch the sun rise.  I really like to take photographs of the sunrise as well as right after the sun rises; the light is great for taking terrific pictures at that time a day.  I’m telecommuting these days so I don’t need to get up early for work; now I very rarely see the sunrise, although, I’m happy to say I’m getting plenty sleep.  Sometimes, however, something comes along that shakes things up.

It was  five o’clock in the morning.  I’d gone to bed just two hours earlier.  I was slipping into deep sleep when suddenly I was jolted awake by a strange, sharp sound.  I couldn’t make sense of it at first.  Then I heard it again.  It was, of all things, a rooster crowing.  I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from so I went outside to look.  I walked around the house and there he was,  along with four hens, sitting about 20 feet up in my fir tree.  I couldn’t believe it! I had absolutely no idea where the chickens had come from or why on earth they were in my tree.

One of the problems that comes with my sleeping issues is that if I’m awakened, it’s likely I’ll be unable to fall back to sleep again.  It’s not surprising that I watched the sun rise that day.

Try as I might, I couldn’t track down the owner of the chickens.  The next morning, right on cue, I heard a “cock a doodle DOoooo”.  “Not again!”,  I muttered under my breath.  I went outside and tried to chase the chickens out of the tree.  They wouldn’t budge.  I picked up a rock and threw it at them, missing miserably.  As I turned to walk back into the house, I saw the glow of the sun coming up over the horizon.  I started to hum:

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

By the third day of being awakened by the rooster, I wasn’t singing anymore.  I wasn’t getting much sleep either.  It was on the third day that I found the chickens’ owner.  Apparently the chickens flew the coop when a gate was left open.

The next two days I also saw the sunrise.  The owner was dragging his feet retrieving his chickens.  I get really cranky when a I don’t get enough sleep.  After five days of seeing the sun rise, I’d sailed past cranky to the land of seriously pissed.

On the sixth day, I called the owner of the chickens and told him that he needed to get his chickens or I would be having fried chicken for dinner the following day.  Consequently, on the sixth day, he caught Mr. Cock-a-Doodle-Do and his harem and took them home.

On the seventh day, I rested.

 

Dear Fellow Writers,

I’m collecting links to websites that are useful reference to all of us. Look at the bar to the left and you can scroll to view the links. I’ll be adding new links as I find them. If you follow my blog, they’ll be available to you with just a click.

Happy Writing!

K.C.

Lights, Camera, Drama! (WP Prompt)

K.C. Kildress blog eavesdropping story

Today’s writing prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress:

Head Turners

We often hear strange snippets of conversation as we walk through public spaces. When was the last time you overheard something so interesting, ridiculous, or disturbing you really wanted to know what it was all about?

Like many people who are working their way through college,  I spent some time waiting tables to earn money for tuition.  One of the restaurants where I worked at had a couple of banquet rooms that customers could use if they had a large group of people in their party.  I usually worked evenings so I often waited on a group that was using a banquet room.

When waiting on a group in the banquet room, it’s common to hear bits and pieces of several different conversations.  A waitress has to be tuned into a guest’s questions and requests; typically, what’s being discussed between members of a dinner party doesn’t even register.

One evening I was waiting on a party of about twenty people in one of the banquet rooms.  As one might expect, I had to keep a pretty quick pace going to keep up with them.  But that evening, I caught a bit of conversation that grabbed my attention.

A few of the ladies in the group were discussing a woman who had slipped into a coma after an auto accident.  Apparently, she had been on her way to meet with a daughter she had been estranged with for several years.  I thought it a very tragic twist of fate.

I was busy bringing entrees and when I got to the women who had earlier been discussing the accident victim, I heard them say something about a young girl that was pregnant who ran away from home with her boyfriend.  Then, when I refilled their drinks, they were talking about a man who was sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. They said that his wife had started an affair soon after he’d become incarcerated. I said to myself,” Holy smokes! How do they know such juicy gossip?”

I was serving dessert and made my way around to where the women were seated; by then, I was eavesdropping on them.   They were now chatting about a doctor who was stealing drugs from the hospital where he worked and was selling them through a third-party.  I was intrigued, wanting to find out more about these women.  I wondered how they knew so many people who were living such dramatic lives.

I brought coffee to one of the ladies in the gossip group.  She looked at me and smiled; she said, “Oh don’t mind us, we’re just getting caught up on our t.v. stories.”

Television stories?  I laughed and said to myself, ” no wonder their conversation was full of such incredible drama- they’re talking about a flippin’ soap opera!”
 

Dear Fellow Writers,

I’m collecting links to websites that are useful reference to all of us. Look at the bar to the left and you can scroll to view the links.  I’ll be adding new links as I find them.  If you follow my blog, they’ll be available to you with just a click.

Happy Writing!

K.C.

Summer Dies; Lord of the Flies (WP Prompt)

Mucha Summer and Fall from 4 Seasons

 

Today’s writing prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress:

August Blues

As a kid, were you happy or anxious about going back to school? Now that you’re older, how has your attitude toward the end of the summer evolved?

I am a product of New Year’s Eve.  I was born in the middle of September.  The timing of my birthday adds to the significance of the end of summer and the beginning of the school year.

As a youth, the first day of my school year typically occurred during the first week of September.  By then, the scent of autumn usually had been in the air for about a week.  For me, the changing of autumn into fall is both visceral and emotional.  I’ve always suspected that these feelings might be rooted in the timing of my birth.

For most of my life, I felt something akin to mild depression during the summer to fall transition.  I think that this depression might have been a reaction to the way these seasons change where I live.  For decades, the period between the autumn equinox and the end of September marked the beginning of the rainy season.   The beauty of the fall color on the trees was rarely seen due the fact that the rain turned the tree leaves into drooping mush before they could be admired.  In my area, a significant portion of the yearly 226 cloudy days and 140 rainy days would occur beginning the last days of September and continue through the middle of May.   The rainy days of late fall and winter are wet, cold and outright miserable.  For years, in my mind, fall bode nothing good. It’s interesting to note, however,  with the world climate change, the rains of autumn have been arriving later thus the display of fall color has been lasting long enough to be enjoyed.

With school starting during the transition of the seasons, I associated the beginning of school with the death of summer.  I looked forward to learning new things in school but I absolutely did not look forward to the social environment.  Think of Golding’s book Lord of the Flies and you’ll get a sense of what it was like.  That comparison might seem a bit dramatic but it’s closer to the truth than one might expect.

I’ve already mentioned that my birthday falls in the middle of September.   It was school district policy that if a child did not meet the required age by a given cutoff date, the child would have to wait a full year before they could start school.  I missed the cutoff by ten days; consequently, I was much more intellectually and socially mature than my classmates.  When I finally started school, I found myself among a group of children who I felt busied themselves with irrelevant things; engaged in social posturing that was incredibly silly; as whole were pretty much uncivilized.   Spending a full school year with them was mind-numbing and stressful; I most certainly did not consider it a  positive experience .  I was relieved that when I entered college, the short-comings of public school had pretty much evaporated.

As and adult, the beginning of school was always something to look forward to.  I enjoy learning so even if a class seemed irrelevant to my major, as well as to life in general, I still found it interesting.  The sadness brought on by the seasonal change has lessened, especially now that the transition has been occurring later in the year and the typically lousy weather has been improving.  While the transition of summer into autumn will always be significant for me, the change no longer bolsters the perception that my birthday is linked to unhappy things.  I’m now at a place in my life where my birthday now reminds me of things that bring me joy.

 

She’s an Ass, I’m an Ass (WP Prompt)

woman with arms out

Today’s writing prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress:

Why, Thank You?

What’s the best (or rather, worst) backhanded compliment you’ve ever received? If you can’t think of any — when’s the last time someone paid you a compliment you didn’t actually deserve.

My mother and sister have what would be called a slim body type.   I, on the other hand, have hips that I’ve inherited from long line of sturdy women.  Even when I’m trim and in shape, my hips make me appear a little heavier that I really am.  When I put on a few pounds, I always look a lot heavier than I really am.

When my sister and I were growing up, she could always wear the latest, most popular style of jeans.  I, on the other hand, always had a struggle because if a pair of jeans fit my hips, they were far too big for my waist.  It was a real challenge for me to find clothes that fit right, which did nothing but make me think I was fat.  The equation in my head was that if I was fat and couldn’t wear cool clothes, then I couldn’t be cool. With their arrogant sense of thinness, my sister and mother didn’t help matters at all.  Now when I look at old photos of me when I was younger, I can hardly believe that I thought I was overweight.  If my younger self could have seen me now, she would have known what overweight really looks like!

A few years ago, I had been very ill and lost so much weight that I looked far too thin.  The upside was that when I started to get back on my feet, I looked slimmer than I ever had before.  I really enjoyed my new look.

When I finally felt well enough to travel, I took a trip to visit my sister.  I was having a wonderful time and couldn’t help but feel good that I was trim like my sister and could wear skinny jeans too.

My sister and I were sitting in her livingroom one day during my trip and we were discussing my weight loss.  She looked at me, sizing me up.  She said, “I have some jeans you might like that you can have.  With all the pounds you’ve lost, I’m sure they’ll fit.”  She went to her clothes closet and returned with three pair of jeans that looked brand new.  I said, “These are in good shape, are you sure you want to give them away?”  She replied, “Oh, they don’t fit anymore.  I wore them when I was pregnant.”

Really?  She’s such an ass.

Here’s another ass story.

A couple of years ago my uncle gave me a call and thanked me for putting flowers on my grandmother’s grave on her birthday.  He told me, “You’re always so thoughtful about those kind of things.”  The truth was that I hadn’t been the person who had been so thoughtful.  However, when he thanked and complimented me, I didn’t tell him that I wasn’t the one that left the flowers, that actually it must have been one of my cousins who had.  I simply glossed over the compliment by saying, ” I sure miss grandma.”

I’m such an ass.

 

Darn, I wish I’d said that! (WP Prompt)

Rich woman wearing fur

Today’s writing prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress:

Discussion Enders

We’ve all had exchanges where we came up with the perfect reply — ten minutes too late. Write down one of those, but this time, make sure to sign off with your grand slam (unused) zinger.

(Ladies, this one is for you.  Gents, you might like it too.)

The other day at my dentist’s office I crossed paths with an acquaintance from high school.  (For discussion’s sake, let’s calI her Babsie).   I wasn’t really very thrilled to see Babsie.  She’s notorious for letting people know how financially successful she and her husband are.  She’s in the habit of making thinly veiled comments that scream, “Look at me! Look at all the expensive stuff I have!  I sure am special; don’t you agree”?  Seriously, just ask anybody who knows her.

Now, a little background on Babsie.  In high school, Babsie always had a lot of nice, new stuff.  She would get to have lavish birthday parties and was given new sports car right before she turned sixteen.  Her dad worked for an international aerospace company where he was on a fast track to moving from a middle-management position to upper management.  In contrast, nearly all the students at my high school were children of blue-collar workers.  In those days, the only way a blue-collar worker could afford to give his family a little extra was to work a lot of overtime, if the work was even there to be had.  Suffice to say, Babsie developed her taste for expensive things, as well as her vanity and sense of entitlement, at a very early age.

As I stood in the dentist’s office listening to Babsie blab on about her wonderful life, her world travels and all of her expensive stuff, I couldn’t help but notice how ostentatious she was.  Her fingers were decorated with glittering rings.  She sported a pricey hairstyle and wore a beautiful snow-white Versace blouse.  She was a living, breathing  stereotype.  I could barely stand watching her puffy, augmented lips move as she spoke. I envisioned myself grabbing the black permanent marker I had in my handbag and drawing a Kilroy on the back of her blouse.

Babsie made an insincere attempt to listen to what was happening in my life.  I didn’t care about the insincerity because I really just wanted to get going before I drooled out of corner of my numb mouth.  As we were saying our goodbyes, she reached into her handbag and retrieved a business card.  She handed me the card and said, “Here honey, this is my stylist.  Give her a call, she works wonders.  Tell her you know me and she’ll take 10% off her fee.  I know you’ll appreciate the discount”.

What!  She did not say that, did she?  My mouth hit the floor.

I had to leave before I tore out her extensions.

She then said, “Goodbye darling, how wonderful to see you”.  I managed a crooked smile in spite of the numbness in my face.  “Goodbye Babsie, good to see you too,” I replied through gritted teeth.

I felt like I needed a shower to rinse the gooey arrogance off after the Babsie encounter.   I was so dumbfounded by her ability to  spin an insult that I was without words.  I was pissed that I took her verbal punches and never even got a single one in myself.   While driving back home, my head began to clear.  All of a sudden I came up with the perfect comeback to Babsie’s rude comments.  As we were parting ways, I would have liked to have said:

“Well, you look great Babsie.  Glad we had a chance to visit.  Oh, by the way, I see you’re still able to wear the same make-up that you did in high school.  So which drugstore do you buy it at?”

Okay, on the surface that doesn’t seem like much of a zinger.  But to insinuate that she would buy her make-up at a drugstore would send Babsie’s head spinning in cicles.  I would have really enjoyed that!  Oh well, I guess it’s true what they say, timing is everything.