12 Signs You May be a Christmas Sap (like me)

xmas dawgWell Halloween has come and gone so that means that it’s time to get ready for Christmas! The one time of year when most people look forward to the magic. Where velvet ribbon, gold spray paint and a glue gun can positively transform your home into a place fit for elves and sugar plum faeries.

Am I kidding? Sort of, but truth be told I’m a Christmas sap. I can’t help it. I love it. I love the tree, the songs, the cold weather, the shopping, the cooking, the eating, and the secret wrapping parties. Yup, it’s all up my alley.

But just in case you’re wondering if you too are a Christmas sap, the following may give you a clue:

  • You can actually feel Jack Frost nipping at your nose.
  • You have an extended collection of Christmas earrings that you started when you were 10.
  • You remember the day you learned Santa wasn’t real and it still saddens you to think of it.
  • You hardly notice your reindeer ears when you wear them at work.
  • You’ve found a way to incorporate candy canes into any recipe.
  • You get teary-eyed and giggle when you watch this:
  • You suddenly love everybody – even your nasty neighbor down the street who is a direct descendant of Ebenezer Scrooge.
  • You spend hours obsessing over your Amazon wish-list.
  • You’re saving up to send your kids or grandkids to the Elf Academy.
  • And finally, if like Suzie, you believe:

If you saw yourself in any of the above points then you too are probably a Christmas sap and welcome to the club.

Here’s to figgy pudding, stars on top of trees, tinsel, over-eating and celebrating with people you love.

How about you? What makes you a Christmas sap?

Writer Chick
Copyright 2013

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Food For Thought…

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.” — Thomas Jefferson 1802

(Funny how some things just don’t change, isn’t it? Something to think about. WC)

Women + Blogosphere = Impact – Part II


So, yesterday, we talked about the survey and who the players are. Now we get to the interesting part – below the consensus as well as the quotable quotes I promised (in ital)

1. What do you believe is the difference between men and women bloggers – e.g. approach, subject matter, readers, etc.

59% said that women bloggers wrote more about personal issues, their feelings and about life as opposed to men who wrote less subtle, less personal subjects & topics
25% felt there was no significant difference
17% felt it varied from blogger to blogger despite their gender.

I suspect women write more from the heart, talking more about feelings and emotions than men. Women are more insightful and intuitive about other people.

I believe that men and women pay attention to different things. Though both men and women may blog about politics, I think sometimes the focus will be different because the concerns are different. I tend to believe that several women are a little more careful in speaking their minds- not always! And that’s not a bad thing.

I found that in general (there are always exceptions!) the sites written by men were blatantly crass. The sites written by females, however, seemed to be funny in a much more subtle manner.

Men talk about specific subjects. Women talk about LIFE.

I feel women bloggers are more attached to their readers and are faster to respond to their readers comments and posts. I also feel that female bloggers are more willing to talk about their family and love lives in greater detail than male bloggers.

Perhaps me noting a stereotype, I don’t know.. only based on LIMITED exposure. I find that there are TONS of blogs by guys about technicial things – how to do this, how to do that related to IT, programming, software, etc. It’s like this blogosphere is an extension of their garage as they tell their neighbours and everyone else, how to fix cars, (except instead, they talk about how to fix computer-related things.)

I tend towards a certain flavour of blog and so I find men and women that write within a certain genre and I honestly don’t see that much difference between the two. For example, I read a few
poetry blogs and I honestly can’t tell the difference between the female writers and the male writers in terms subject matter, readers,etc.

Men seem to write what they think will attract the most readers. Women are more inclined to write what they think

There are exceptions of course, but I haven’t seen many male bloggers that include a lot of personal details about their lives.

2. Do you feel men bloggers have a greater impact in the blog world than women – such as more readers, more loyalty, wider range of topics/interests, greater appeal to male and female readers alike, etc.

34% felt women had a greater impact
34% felt men had a greater impact
17% felt it depended on the individual blogger
15% felt men were taken more seriously

Your opinion is, or should be, more important than your gender. If you also have the readership, wide appeal, and reputation, the impact should naturally follow.

Men, but I think that readers take them more seriously because it’s ingrained in us to take what men say more seriously.

I see many more male bloggers get book deals, get famous, etc. Look at Perez Hilton. He’s even been on a reality tv show.

Both have a great impact on their readership. I do think women are more diverse where men tend to stick to one topic.

I am personally more impacted by topics that I can relate to and being a woman, I find that I relate to a lot of discussions, thoughts and ideas that take place in the female blogging arena.

Quite the opposite actually. Again, men seem more inclined to write on topics that attract people as opposed to what they want to write. I’ve known more men guilty of writing for others rather than for themselves than women. Yes, some women do it, but overall it’s mostly men

My view of the blogosphere is completely skewed because I read mostly women’s blogs. So in my eyes, women rule the blogosphere.

3. When you decided to start blogging – did you have a particular effect/impact you wanted to create? If so, what was it? Did it change once you started blogging?

47% started blogging for reasons to do with personal growth/outlets
39% started blogging for exposure to their writing, feedback and/or to start writing regularly
9% started blogging in order to have a positive impact on others
9% started blogging in order to just have an outlet and blow off steam
23% said that their original focus changed
77% said that their original focus is still the current focus of their blogs

I’ve always kept journals but didn’t want to go public with anything that personal, so I drifted more into commentary. If I’m harboring any illusions now, it might be that there are fewer people out there blogging from my perspective, age-wise, so maybe that works to my advantage.

I wanted to get feedback on my fiction. I wanted people to read it and be haunted, demand I write my book right away, quote me.

I also think i write just what is expected of me. I don’t know how I feel about that.

I would create a safe place for others to be real. To be real and perfect and fragile and failing and wonderful…all at the same time. I try to ‘teach’ by example.

I started to blog because I was a frustrated writer. My goal is still to give people a good chuckle, but solely now based on the ups and downs on male/female interactions.

I just wanted a creative outlet to help myself feel validated (as in, see, I DID do something today).

All I was trying to do was to start writing again in some fashion.

I wanted to record things that happened in my life that were important, funny or that I wanted to remember.

I write to share what works for me, I write to tell of my journey, I write in the hopes that someone may find value in what they read, but if it doesn’t happen, I’m good with that too, because my heart is in simply writing for me and it feels wonderful!

I started blogging as therapy thinking no one would read my blog but my sister and maybe my daughter. I just didn’t expect so many people to read my blog.

I started as a way to connect with my friends and distract myself from my job. Over time, blogging evolved for me into something completely different. I am still grappling with what that is.

I’m a blogger blagger. My blog today is more like a personal journal I share with the world. It’s where I wake up and sit and ramble on to myself. Quite risky really. I write all the posts and write all the comments to. On one of my co-dependancy posts, I’ve wrote something like 80 comments. That post has actually saved my life.

All I wanted to have was somewhere to get the thoughts out of my head and come up with maybe a few good posts. That hasn’t changed

Began as a place to blow off creative energy and share my children with family members and friends. It’s still that blog, in a way. But in other ways, it’s so much more. It’s the record of our lives, albeit slightly colored through the lens of the blog. It’s definitely helped me hone my writing skills, and enabled me to feel a little more comfortable within my own writing skin.

4. Regardless of whatever effect you set out to create by blogging, do you feel that you’ve had an impact by being a female blogger? If so, how and/or in what way? Who/what did you impact?

77% believe they have in fact had an impact of some sort by blogging
23% don’t believe they have had any impact by blogging

If I were to have an impact, I would hope it would come from what I had to say rather than whether I was a woman.

I would love to discuss women in the world, how our bodies are used against us, how our focus and priorities are seen as light, fluff and when we try to be edgier, we’re not feminine or we’re trying too hard.

Fortunately, I do feel like I’ve had a positive impact by blogging. It seems that I’ve had equal impact on the guys and gals – the one thing they DO seem to have in ‘common’ is a desire to grow and mature into more loving ‘awake’ people.

Absolutely! Again, based on what I write, I bring the female perspective to the table. And in general, women are more outspoken in their empathy. While men may relate to someone’s story, they don’t necessarily say too much about it. When I am reading other people’s blogs, I comment when what they write about triggers an empathetic story in me. I rarely write one-liners when I comment. I want to share my knowledge and learn from theirs. I think men tend more towards networking, which is sharing information. Women lean more towards building communities, which is sharing wisdom.

Yes because I show that you can have a gabillion mis-haps (ever seen me with an appliance?) and I’m not any less of a woman/mom than anyone else. I think people need to see that.

At the very least I shed to light to issues that affect women, such as health issues and the struggles women have while looking for work. I see that not only do my faithful readers learn about these things, but people are searching for these health issues that mainly affect women. I’ve even impacted myself as I discover and read other female bloggers sharing about their own diseases.

If I’ve had an impact, I hope that the people who read my blog will look at the world just a little differently. Maybe not take themselves or life situations so seriously all the time, and be able to laugh at themselves a little. I also want people to appreciate the little things, and to look for what is really important to them in life. I want people to notice what is going on around them.

Have I made an impact on her life? Absolutely! Did being female having anything to do with it? I think the only way is that she relates to me. She’s also a mother, also busy, also all kinds of things we all are, and she’s been able to see how I can juggle all my balls, and still be incredibly happy and living life fully.

I don’t ever discuss politics or religion. Not that there is anything wrong with that but I don’t want to debate about what I write. I hope that my humor puts smiles on people’s faces.

In a weird way, I think I have had somewhat of an impact by being a female blogger. I know that when my baby twins died and I blogged about it and my grief, a lot of people emailed me and some of them
thanked me for being so honest about my emotions because it helped them in their loss.

I’m not convinced I’ve had any impact at all. I’ve perhaps generated a little traffic for those I think others will enjoy, but that’s certainly not what I set out to do.

I hope I make an impact. I hope that people read my blog and laugh. I also want people see that Stay at Home Moms are smart, articulate, and educated. And did I mention damn funny? I hope my blog reflects that. We are Stay At Home Moms by choice, not circumstance.


5. What contribution to the blog world do you feel women bring to the table that male bloggers do not? Or is there no gender gap between male and female bloggers?

70% believe there is no gender gap in the blogosphere and that it is the individual who brings whatever they bring to the blogging table.
30% believe there is a gender gap and it is tilted in the direction of men

Humanity. Compassion.

Oh, there is certainly a gender gap. This is why Hillary didn’t get the nomination people. Men love their power and I see discrimination every day towards women, and not just in the blog community. Look at the top 100 Blogs on WordPress and just see how many of the top bloggers are male. And look at the latest blog to get a book deal Stuff that White People Like – ran by a male blogger.

I think women are not afraid to show their emotions. Some men can write with feeling, but I find that blogs by men are more straightforward, while blogs by women can be more emotional.

Women bring a more personal note to the table. Men seem to hold back on the personal stuff where a woman will be more open and let her true feelings show. I have read a few blogs by men who do show their feelings but certainly not as many as woman bloggers do.

6. Are women bloggers held to a different standard than male bloggers? If so, what is the difference – e.g. what is taboo to a female blogger but okay for a male blogger or vice versa? Inequalities??? Not taken as seriously?

59% feel that men/women bloggers are on equal footing, no double standard
41% feel that there is a double standard and that men can ‘get away’ with more than women

Men, boys, all of them have free reign. Whatever is practiced in society is definitely going to translate into cyberspace- friendship, classism, a sense of community, sexism, racism, thirst for knowledge, a need for art and creative release, etc.

I’m looking to make a positive impact on somebody’s life, simply by retelling my own life experiences…I’m trusting that God will draw the ‘right’ people and the ‘right’ time, for connection.

I’m no expert, but I feel that people are more drawn to certain types of blogs because they are written by males. I don’t have the answer why this happens, but it happens. There are plenty of very very funny female bloggers out there, but I just see enough of the ladies profiled as often as the male bloggers are. Historically women were never taken seriously. I work at a job where all of the men hold all of the power making decisions .. and I always hear stupid comments like she is just on her period or just being a chic or you know how women are … It’s so offensive, but it happens all the time.

I wonder if men are a little more fearless when it comes to blogging. However, I believe blogging gives women a chance to say things, especially anonymously, that they would never dream of saying out loud in their day to day life.

7. If you could change anything in the way female bloggers are regarded in the blog world, what would it be?

34% want to make changes that are personal themselves and their needs
18% feel huge strides have already been made and should continue
17% wanted to eliminate bias against women
17% want to eliminate any standards not the blogger’s own
17% want an equal playing field

My only ‘change’ would be how the female bloggers regard THEMSELVES!!

I am going to step out on a limb here, but I personally do not like the term Mommy Blogger. The women who are slotted into the Mommy Blogger category have so much more to say and contribute than that. It’s about supporting and sharing and teaching and learning.

I think they are making HUGE strides. The way it’s going now, in the next year, I think we’ll be light years ahead of what men have done in the last 5 years combined.

I wonder if some people think that female bloggers mostly blog about their children, families, religion or weight loss. Really, there are so many fantastic female bloggers out there, and it is a shame if they are all put into the same category.

8. If you could have your wildest dreams come true as a blogger and create whatever impact you wanted, because you had thousands of undying loyal readers, what would it be?

70% have the goal of inspiring/impacting/influencing people’s lives for the better
23% want to entertain
8% want personal recognition for their writing

I’d love to have a book deal drop into my lap, like what happened to the guy at “Stuff White People Like.” (That way you skip the whole write-submit-pray-cry-repeat cycle). And people might say of me, “Wow, she’s deep” or quote me because I’d said something so well. I’d use a pen name, of course, because all that attention would embarrass the hell out me.

I’d want something positive, thought-provoking and/or beautiful. I’d want to inspire others to move, to act, to examine themselves and question everything.

“Please, God. Just for today, let my life positively impact the life of another. Thanks.”

To influence how men and women view each other. The genders are different in their thought processes and approaches to life. I think we tend to fight against that instead of embracing it.

To show women it’s ok not to be perfect and you can be happy being yourself.

I really just want to entertain and educate my readers … and I hope I do!

I want people to love, educate, discipline and appreciate their children. I want people to enjoy their lives, even while tackling the most mundane tasks. Make lemonade out of lemons, I suppose.

I would love to change one life. I would love to change two or more. If I could make people happier, more satisfied, take control of their lives and learn that simply being is a wonderful way to live, aren’t we all better for it? Imagine removing one more angry, grumpy person from cutting you off while driving… we can only start with ourselves, right? And then hope to expand that message to others. It starts with each of us.

Make people smile. It seems to me that people don’t laugh and smile as much as they used to. There’s so much in the world that is depressing and I don’t want to write about it. Enough people do that. I just want people to visit my blog and hopefully get a good chuckle.

I would like to spread kindness, generosity and inspiration for others to truly be who they are and aspire to follow their dreams. i am all hokey like that, its true.

To make people see that poverty and hunger in a world rich with food and money is ludicrous, thus prompting those with much to give some to those who have little. Sounds dicky I know, but it’s one thing that really makes me shake my head

I would convince all of my readers to convince the rest of the world that fat is the new skinny . .. And then I would tackle World Peace, m’kay??

9. Anything else that you feel separates female bloggers from male bloggers that you want to expound on?

40% feel that women, rather than men, use their blogs as a means of self expression
40% would like to see men be more expressive about their personal feelings on their blogs
20% feel we should all celebrate our differences

I would guess more women than men have the time, and take the time, to blog. Also, I suspect women, more than men, turn to writing as a means of expression

Women and men are different, and we will always think a little bit different from one another. Our differences should be celebrated and not looked down upon.

I’d like to see male bloggers write about their families more. I know about 7 or 8 male bloggers but really know nothing of their families. I know a lot of female bloggers and know a lot more about their families. They talk about their kids and grandkids and husbands but the men don’t.

So, there you have it – the results of my not too scientific study and some very quotable quotes which I hope brought some new insight. Thanks again to my wonderful participants, 30, Panther, Darla, Joanie, Gracie, Daisy, Christine, Girl, Mrs. V., Moe, Jade, Di, Ramblin & Darlene.

Tomorrow, if you’re still with me, I will post my answers to the questions, in part three.

Timeless

One of the things that made this Christmas so wonderful for me was that I received a dvd of one of my all time favorite movies, To Kill a Mockingbird. Though admittedly, I hadn’t seen it for many, many years, it always remained in my heart as a story that was timeless and whose lessons could never die.

Last night, I popped it into the dvd player and sat back to re-experience this wonderful story. I’m sure most of you have seen it or have read the book – and I’m not going to detail the plot here but I wanted to just reiterate what really good fiction does.

Quite simply, it speaks to life. It is real. It immerses you in its world and does not release you until the story is told and sometimes holds you long after the story is done. The characters somehow endear themselves to you and become part of your lexicon and soul’s self. At least for me, that is what this story does.

Scout, who is the narrator and from whose point of view the story is told – is the classic tomboy, free thinking, irrepressible and an unassuming hero who sees the world through a special and wonderful way. Her brother, Jem, is Scout’s confidant, protector and best friend. Atticus, Scout’s father, is her hero, a constant source of suprise and wonder to her. None of these characters make any attempt to be anything other than what they are – they just are. They all make you believe that being who you are is the best thing you could be and that living a life of value and community means something.

You cannot read this story and walk away unchanged. You cannot see this movie and feel the same as you did before you watched it. Personally, I wouldn’t want to. Secretly, I always wanted to be Scout. To have her courage and pluck – her own world view. And maybe in some small way I have – I hope so.

Good fiction, owns you – and really it shouldn’t be any other way.

WC

Entitled…

Not long ago, I was chatting with a friend about the importance of titles for pieces. In my mind, there is nothing like a good title. It entices the reader, clues them into what the piece is about, tantalizes the  imagination. It’s all good.

But what about the poor writer who just isn’t good with titles? The piece may be fascinating, jam-packed with action, adventure and compelling characters, make an outstanding argument, reveal amazing facts – but the title just doesn’t encourage people to read.

I’m not the best at coming up with titles, but I like to think that I sometimes come up with some good ones. To be honest, sometimes, the title just doesn’t jump out at you. Sometimes you have to dig. In fact, I’ve been known to spend more time coming up with a title than I did in writing the piece. Yep, I’m that anal about it. I’ll dig through quotation books, books of cliches, g**gle lists, dictionaries, thesaruses, whatever I can get my hands on. Sometimes I fall flat, but I really do give it the ol’ college try.

However, there are some folks who don’t seem to share my enthusiasm for finding just the right combination of words to enshrine their work. Following, are a few examples. Whaddaya think?

Country songs:

  1. How Can I Get Over You if You Won’t Get out From Under Me? (My question is, how did he manage to write the song under these conditions?)
  2. I Don’t Know Whether To Kill Myself or Go Bowling.(Sports vs suicide, always a tough choice)
  3. I Spent my Last 2 Dollars on Birth Control and Beer. (Where can you get birth control and beer at those prices? Walmart?)
  4. If the Devil Danced in Empty Pockets, He’d Have a Ball in Mine. (I think I’ll let Evyl comment on this one.)
  5. One Day, When you Swing That Skillet (My face ain’t gonna be there.) (Someone should tell him that plastic surgery is much easier)
  6. You Ain’t Much Fun Since I Quit Drinking. (Isn’t it funny how people change based on our alcohol consumption?)

Movie Titles:

  1. Feeling Minnesota (But what part of Minnesota are you feeling?)
  2. Snakes on a Plane (Is this racial profiling?)
  3. Bounce (A movie about drier sheets?)
  4. Waterworld (Good for an amusement park, not so much a movie)
  5. Crash (Boom?)
  6. Death to Smoochy (I think they should kill the parent who named their child smoochy)
  7. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (Talk about a lingering scent)

Album Titles:

  1. The Earth, a Small Man, His Dog and a Chicken (WTF?)
  2. The Serpent is Rising (Don’t tell me, tell your wife!)
  3. Fungus Among Us (Bad puns aren’t punny)
  4. Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness (The life of a sad Lassie and a zen poodle?)
  5. Meat is Murder (I’m pretty sure it isn’t)

Book Titles:

  1. Bleak House (There’s a place I want to read about)
  2. Smilla’s Sense of Snow (Why is Smilla sensing snow?)
  3. The Horse Whisperer (Mr. Ed with strep throat?)
  4. Woman Are From Venus, Men Are From Mars (Where’s your official study on this?)
  5. Don’t Pee on my Leg and Tell me it’s Raining (A little too straight from the hips if you ask me)
  6. All My Friends Are Dead (Did you kill them?)

TV Shows:

  1. My Mother the Car (At least she’s not a sheep)
  2. The Biggest Loser (WTF?)
  3. Cop Rock (Throwing rocks, blowing rocks, rocking rocks???)
  4. Manimal (Forerunner to cloning?)
  5. Baa Baa Black Sheep (A real man’s show)
  6. Different Strokes (Again, over to you, Evyl)
  7. Leave it to Beaver (Many do)

 So there you have it, lots of bad titles. Anybody want to add, feel free.

WC

The End

 

Popcorn & a Movie

by WC, cHughes, The Grit, The Desktop, Jess, Lord Crimson & Sarah Flanigan

Marvin shook his freshly-popped popcorn into the big, orange bowl. The one with the crack in it. He put a movie in the player and settled into the big, easy chair. “Ahhh.” And that was the last thing he remembered.

When he awoke, he saw his popcorn scattered on the living room floor, the bowl upended at his feet. The television was off and the house was silent. Except for one sound – a kind of scratching-tapping. “What is that?” He struggled out of the chair and shuffled down the hallway. The sound grew louder as he neared his bedroom. He stopped at the closed door – funny, he didn’t remember closing it, in fact, he never closed it. His heart jumped in his chest with each scratch-tap, his vision blurred with anticipation. “Stop being an ass, Marvin,” he scolded himself and threw open the bedroom door…

There he was. How he got into the house was unknown, his reasons for being there, not so mysterious. Marvin hadn’t seen him in four months, yet he was there, larger than life. Marking the wall, rhythmically with his penknife. Staring.

“Why are you here?” asked Marvin.

“I’m here for you. Because of you, what you did. See these marks? These are the days I was without light, because of you” replied the familiar stranger.

“It wasn’t my fault. I wasn’t even there- how can you blame me?” plead Marvin, growing increasingly alarmed, sweat beading on his brow and running in rivulets down his spine.

Marvin looked down at the man, from his face to his hand, bony and scabbed, grasping his carving tool, then to his face again. Traces of the young boy with plump, freckled cheeks were nowhere to be found in that face, not even in the eyes. Marvin didn’t know who this person was, but he sounded like his son Mitch, if Mitch had swallowed a handful of pebbles.

Mitch looked up at Marvin. His eyes, dark and vacant, smirked at Marvin. His father looked scared. Good, thought Marvin. Now he knows how I felt.

A pale, scarred hand clasped his cheekbones with the dexterity only a blind man could possess. Bony fingers swept with tremulousness yet prescision over Marvin’s jaw. They flowed delicately up to his ears, then made a curve so they could feel out the tough ridge that was his brow. Mitch’s hand digressed from his father’s face, and stood at ease at his side.

He knew his son was blind, but it felt like he was always looking at him. It was almost as if he could still see with his mind’s eye.

Feeling his ritual scars tingling under his shirt, Marvin quickly realized what had to be done. It took a moment to type a special number into his cell phone, a number too secret to be stored in the device’s memory, but the call was answered almost instantly.

“Go.”

“This is Z984K. I need immediate support at my apartment.”

That being enough, he hung up. To his son he said, “It’s good that your gift survived the torture. Don’t worry, you will have revenge.”

Mitch smiled at his father, the way blind men do and let go of a little moan.

Marvin didn’t know if he was onto him or not but he knew he only had to stall for a few minutes longer and then he would be safe.

“Where the hell are they,” he said aloud without meaning to.

“Who?” Mitch was suddenly alert.

The door bell rang…

***

Marvin remembered it- that day was branded into the wormy lobes of his brain forever.

It happened four months prior to the day. Marvin was a drug dealer in Washington, D.C.- he took it upon himself to distribute his product to the masses, to “free their minds” from reality.

Things had been going well for the past few years. There was just one problem for him. The problem dressed himself flamboyantly in a white pantsuit, and surrounded himself with a smoky aura and an even smokier entourage. He was the crime lord of D.C., a fat weasel of a man who had a face to match the color of his soul – scarred and vehement.

***

Mr. Smith hung up the phone, then typed the ID code into his terminal with one hand, while pressing the button that summoned his assistant with the other. He scanned the information on the screen while he waited for her to knock once and enter.

“Sir?”

“We need an investigation team at,” he pressed the print key and nodded at the printer, “that address, at once. Send a cleaner team too, just in case. Give them the ID of the Supervisor on duty with the most experience, then send that person here for instructions.”

Smith leaned back in his leather chair and studied the information on the screen, while his assistant made her exit. This matter was listed as “settled.” It’s sudden emergence as an active case was going to cause problems. Lots of problems. Not to mention a long night for the man at the worry desk. He briefly thought about allowing himself the luxury of loosening his tie, but decided against it.

***

As she shut the door behind her, Allison’s lips went crooked with satisfaction. She needed to reach her contact. Now that she had Marvin’s address, things would be simpler. It was almost over now.

Allison grabbed her purse and walked quickly to the restroom, taking care to look casual. She couldn’t afford to draw any attention to herself – they were too close. A quick call to Hammer and then comply with Smith’s orders. She still must get that crew over there. She had to play the part until it was truly finished.

“We’ll show these bastards,” she thought as she dialed her contact, a thin wisp of smoke known to her only as “The Hammer.” She wasn’t sure how he’d gotten such a name. She chuckled inside when she was first presented to him. So tiny, he was. Then she stopped once she looked him in the eyes – like venomous snakes.

Allison still didn’t know exactly why he was called the Hammer, but she had her ideas. She sent him a message. It took five seconds and she returned to her desk.

To her cover.

***

Marvin grew increasingly restless – they should have been there by now. He had a time getting rid of the girl scout and her mother, trying to sell him cookies. “I’m a diabetic, I tell you,” he said and slammed the door in their surprised faces.

“Father?” Mitch stood just a few feet from him in the hallway. Like an evil spectre back to haunt his life. He still held the knife at his side, silent and menacing.

“I was just going to make us some coffee. Have a seat, I’ll bring it to you when it’s done,” Marvin stalled.

Mitch stepped closer to Marvin, grinning like a hungry cat. “I’ll go with you. I love the smell of fresh coffee brewing.”

Despite his hurried gait to the kitchen, Mitch was on his heels and never wavered. Marvin went straight away to make the coffee, while Mitch found a chair at the kitchen table.

“So, it’s been a hard road, eh son?” Marvin asked, his back to Mitch. No reply. “I said…” he turned toward Mitch – who stared blankly at the ceiling his throat sliced open and gaping at him. “What the…”

“You’ll get the same, if you make a sound,” the Hammer whispered in his ear.

Marvin’s eyes darted from Mitch to the the blood stained knife the intruder pointed in his direction. He suddenly realized that his life was also about to come to an end.

The intruder stared at him with eyes that were like ice on fire. Suddenly with the movement of a cat, the dark figure leapt toward the open window and was gone as fast as he had appeared.

Marvin continued to stare at the window and wondered why he was still alive and why Mitch had two smiles.

***

“It’s done,” the Hammer hissed into the phone and the connection was broken.

Allison smiled and buzzed Smith on the intercomm. “Taken care of, sir.”

Smith grunted an acknowledgment and the intercomm went silent.

Allison made another call, to D.C. and told the man with the penchant for white pant suits where he could find his nemisis. She hung up the phone and hummed to herself absent-mindedly. All was right with her world. No loose ends and that’s how she liked it.

***

Marvin was still struggling with Mitch’s body and the blood and mess in the kitchen, when Fat Weasel burst through the door with his goons.

“Take care of it,” he told his men.

Marvin’s shoulders slumped, admitting defeat. He raised his hands over his head. “Get it over with, then.”

Weasel’s men made quick work of disposing of Mitch’s body and cleaning the kitchen and were gone in a wink. He gave Marvin a smirk. “Go eat your popcorn, old man. And stay the fuck outta my business.”

Marvin let his arms go limp to his sides. His eyes locked with Weasel for a long moment. “Care to stay and watch? I’ve got Pirates of the Carribean.”

The End

Well, there you have it, folks – a completed gang story. Again, I want to thank christine, desktop, sarah, brit, jess & lord crimson – for their contributions (and please visit their sites, great stuff there). I had a blast. Hope you did too.

WC

Hope Your Weekend…

is going better than this little guy’s.  Sorry, I just can’t stop laughing. Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommy’s out there. Hope you are all treated like queens and at least get some flowers and breakfast in bed.

WC

What’s in a Name?

 

This was too good, not to post. H.T. to court reporter chick for this one. Enjoy!

All of these are legitimate companies that didn’t spend quite enough time considering how their online names might appear .. and be misread.

These are not made up. Check them out yourself

1. “Who Represents” is where you can find the name of the agent that represents any celebrity.  Their Web site is www.whorepresents.com (I’m thinky some lacey lingerie)

2 . Experts Exchange is a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice and views at  www.expertsexchange.com (they say that change is good, right?)

3. Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island at www.penisland.net (I think I know some people who shop here)

4. Need a therapist? Try Therapist Finder at www.therapistfinder.com (this could be helpful to those profiler guys)

5. There’s the Italian Power Generator company, www.powergenitalia.com (I know they say Italians are the best lovers but…)

6. And don’t forget the Mole Station Native Nursery in www.molestationnursery.com (those poor plants, imagine the trauma)

7. If you’re looking for IP computer software, there’s always www.ipanywhere.com (lol – me too, anybody going to make a diaper joke here?)

8. The First Cumming Methodist Church Web site is  www.cummingfirst.com (so much for abstinence)

9. And the designers at Speed of Art await you at their wacky Web site, www.speedofart.com (I didn’t know that speedos could fart

So the moral to this story is choose your names wisely and get good proofreaders! 😉  WC