This is response to a writing prompt provided by WordPress
PROMPT ~ Fill in the blank Three people walk into a bar . . .THE PANOPLY OF FOOLS
by John Yeo
It was a rather special afternoon at the village drama society, all the members were holding their breath in anticipation. Today was casting day for a performance at the local theatre, rumour had it that some celebrity guests would be attending the auditions. The play we would be performing was to be William Shakespeare’s, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ I had reluctantly joined the West Chester drama society at the behest of my dear wife Penelope, who is a regular performer. This was to be a first, I have never acted in my life before and I was feeling incredibly nervous about the prospect. I gingerly made myself known to the other members of the group as we entered, The Leering Donkey, a local pub.
‘Hello everyone, I’m Norman, nice to meet you all.’
There were several nods and smiles of welcome and approval from the assembled members of the drama group.
I was a bit unnerved when a tall young man came bustling up and said; ‘Hi and welcome I’m Lawrence. Wow! You will be perfect for the role of Nick. Penelope darling! Well done; your husband will be perfect for the role I have in mind.’
‘Nick?’ I asked, ’I don’t remember a character by the name of Nick in Midsummer Night’s Dream. I read the play last night at home!’
Lawrence smiled and said, ’Don’t worry Norman, the character you have been selected for has an important role to play! I think you will be perfect for the role of Nick Bottom. A very sought after role indeed!’
’BOTTOM!’ I exclaimed: ‘You mean the character with an Asses head. The fool?’
’Norman this is not just any old fool you will be playing here! Bottom is a very important fool. Out of all the panoply of Shakespeare’s fools Bottom is the finest. I think this role could be the start of a well-revered career: Bottom was one of the leading performers in the Mechanicals. I think you will be perfect for this part. Am I not right Penelope darling?’
‘Are you mad? I refuse to get involved with this! Anyway! Who do you think you are calling darling? That’s my wife you are addressing.’ I said, becoming quite annoyed by the sly inferences of this toffee-nosed twit.
’Just a theatrical term lovey. It’s a great pity; Won’t you change your mind? I think you would be perfect for the role; I’m sure you would look exactly right playing the character with an asses head.’
’Clear off!’ I said walking out of the pub. One month later Lawrence and my wife Penelope had set up home together. I swear if I ever wake up from this horrible dream, I will get my revenge. Wait until he finds out that Penelope is part Mexican and suffers from Montezuma’s revenge whenever there is a certain variety of food on the table.’
I thought I would spend time writing about freedom from writer’s block.
by John Yeo
Soaring freely with the winds of time Writing requires much persistence Expressing feelings is so hard to define. ~ Eyes searching the terrain sublime Looking for inspirational assistance
Soaring freely with the winds of time. ~
Swooping low before you can climb Searching for continued existence Expressing feelings is so hard to define. ~ To stretch imagination is never a crime In spite of harsh critical resistance Soaring freely with the winds of time. ~ Fulfilling a hunger hard to prime Pushing hard with a sharp insistence Expressing feelings is so hard to define. ~
Hunting for perfection in any instance Fighting against a passive resistance Soaring freely with the winds of time Expressing feelings is so hard to define.
This is a response to a prompt provided by WordPress
PROMPT ~ Rebel
SILENCE IS GOLDEN
by John Yeo
We had been desperately searching for somewhere to live as my lovely wife Mary was expecting our first child in three months. Our landlord rented out the flat to us fully furnished, with the strict rule, no children would be allowed to live in the accommodation under any circumstances.
Mr and Mrs Sherwood lived on the ground floor and wouldn’t tolerate the noise of children under any circumstances.
We had searched the small ads everywhere and tried many agencies without any results. Private landlords all wanted a massive payment up front and it certainly looked as if homelessness beckoned. I noticed a newspaper advert for a bookshop manager with accommodation provided. This is not my normal profession, I trained as a research scientist, but the advert clearly said experience wasn’t essential as full training would be given.
I applied for the job where we met the adorable Tom and Barbara, both octogenarians headed for retirement. I was hired on the spot and after the interview Tom and Barbara became close friends. They spent many hours with us both, teaching us the tricks of the bookshop trade.
Mary and I soon moved into a lovely spacious flat above the shop with furniture donated and provided by friends, with some on permanent loan from Tom and Barbara. Then we learned about the gruesome twosome next door, Rock and Roll ravers and rebels who ran a drugs cafe, open 24 hours a day. The noise after dark was horrendous, with loud music and shouting well after midnight, seven days a week.
Mary became extremely tense and nervous after the first few days and I was quite worried about the effect this would have on our baby after the birth. I gave the situation a lot of thought and I came up with a plan to rid us of this noisy inconvenience permanently.
As a research scientist in chemistry, I devised a plan to procure certain chemicals that would emit a harmless extremely powerful obnoxious smell when they were mixed together. I was able to place a small tube from our yard at the rear of the shop extremely close to their windows and I switched on a pump that spread the foul smelling gas directly into the noisy drugs cafe next door.
The effect was magical as there was an instant exodus of people into the street holding their noses, cursing and shouting. I then switched off and withdrew the tube. The gruesome twosome couldn’t work out where the smell came from and every time the cafe filled up in the evening, I would repeat the gas emission with the same wonderful effect. Eventually they got so fed up they closed their cafe and moved away after six weeks of this treatment. The empty premises became a charity shop with normal opening and closing hours.
Mary soon gave birth to a bouncing baby boy. I always would be a hero in Mary’s eyes as a rebel against inconvenient noisy rock and roll rebels.
PROMPT ~ Landscape When you gaze out your window — real or figurative — do you see the forest first, or the trees?
AUSTRALIAN RAINFOREST BIRDS
by John Yeo
I always look beyond the fringe of trees at the edge of the forest and imagine the birdlife living and existing within. Some of my favourite early morning walks within a forest have been during our visits to our family in Australia. I would take a small video camera and wander around the trails, overawed with the colourful variety of the native bird life.
My walk in the forest this morning was interesting and rewarding. My first encounter was with one of my old friends, a Brush Turkey.
I came across this turkey walking straight towards me along the track, I got a wonderful close-up photograph of him, until he saw me and ran off into the forest. Then as I got to a bridge over a little brook near the main road, I spotted an Ibis and an unusual Heron type wading bird fishing in the brook beneath the bridge at the same time.
I took a good photo of the wader and I should be able to research and identify this bird later. Easily the highlight of my walk came next, when there was a chorus of very loud screeching from a flock of five or six Sulphur Crested Cockatoos that landed on some tall Eucalyptus and Paperbark Tea trees high above where I was standing.
I was able to stand and get some very good pictures of this wonderful sight. A sight that will live in my memory and I will relive over and over again when we get back home to England, through these photographs. The panorama of bird life on display today was not complete even then, as I encountered a pair of Kookaburras high up in the tree canopy and I got some very good photographs of the pair of them together.
I wrote the above poem in a way that illustrates the dangers of spending money that hasn’t actually arrived. The elation at the success of winning could lead to some unfortunate decisions. The unfortunate person who forgot to invest in the winning ticket is obviously in dire straits with the family.
Yet although I’m sure winning a massive amount of money would be welcome, I can’t help thinking this sort of success can often be something of a double-edged sword.
Success will always be a difficult concept to recognise and to write about. Anyone’s first thoughts about suddenly winning 13 million pounds on the lottery, would obviously be extreme delight and excitement. However on reflection a massive sum such as this carries many hidden disadvantages, not the least being the sudden, certain, changes of lifestyle.
Obviously the members of the family would be the most uncomplicated beneficiaries. The mere fact of the initial delight of receiving what would be a reasonable sum would certainly lead to an easing of life’s pressures. Then, human nature, being as egotistical as it certainly is, would throw up all manner of complicated psychological reasons on the way the spreading of the winners good fortune could have been done differently.
The main problems would surely arrive, with the certain lifestyle changes for the winners that would arrive the minute the cheque is cashed and the money becomes available. The sheer danger of the ability to indulge in everything in excess would be incredibly stressful.
However the positive aspects of a large win would certainly outweigh the negative aspects. All I can say is keep buying the ticket, as you can’t win without the investment of the entrance fee.
This is a response to a writing prompt provided by WordPress
PROMPT ~ FLAUNT
by John Yeo
Peter Pleasant was the luckiest person you could ever imagine. He was born into a wealthy family. The only child of two famous actors, Peter never wanted for anything. Consequently he was incredibly selfish and uncaring in his behaviour towards others. He didn’t just flaunt his privileged lifestyle, he went out of his way to rub everyone’s nose into it. For example, he would cruise around the poorest areas of the city in a large gas-guzzling, four-wheel drive car! This man just seemed to attract every lucky break there ever was, everything went his way.
However the winds of change were beginning to blow. It started at the regular poker night he attended with three of his close friends. Peter actually began to steadily lose. Hand after hand went against him and he was soon several thousand pounds down.
Then Peter’s luck began to change again when it came to the final hand, slowly, two of the players dropped out, leaving Peter and Joey Wilkins left playing. Both men were holding possible winning hands and the pot just got bigger and bigger. Joey finally ran out of money and he was sure he held the winning hand. He smiled at Peter and said,
‘‘Look Pete! I’m a gambler and I have one more challenge for you. I have a ticket for next Saturday’s lottery draw in my pocket, this could be worth nothing or at least a million pounds. I will see your hand for the value of this. All or nothing. What do you say?’
Peter shrugged and replied. ‘You realise the ticket is probably worthless. It’s a 45 million to one chance of being a winning jackpot ticket. Can’t you give me an IOU?’
Joey grinned and replied. ‘I’d rather not! I challenge you to take a chance and give me a break, I know you are wealthy and you can afford to lose a few pounds. Go ahead and take a chance.’
Peter grinned and said. ‘OK put the ticket in the pot and show me your cards.’
There was a moment of electric tension in the room when both players revealed their cards.
Peter Pleasant won the hand and scooped the pot including the Lottery ticket. He almost gave the ticket back but changed his mind on impulse and put the ticket in his wallet.
Amazingly Peter became three million pounds richer on the following Saturday, when the numbers on the ticket came up trumps.
Joey sought him out and tried to claim a substantial share of the winnings but Peter just laughed and said,
This is a response to a prompt provided by WordPress
THE TIDE OF TIME
by John Yeo
The tide of life had flowed for quite a number of years before this particular birthday arrived. The circumstances were definitely weighted against it being an overwhelming experience. We were still securely locked-down, sheltering from the dangers of catching the dreaded Covid virus. Most restaurants were closed to diners eating-in and holidays were certainly out of the question due to worldwide restrictions on entry to most ports of call around the world. In the past we have been able to book a short term break in our favourite little bolt hole here in the U.K., not far from home, where we were able to celebrate with catering provided and some entertainment.
Firstly, I had to solve the problem of purchasing a greeting card without exposing myself to the possibility of contracting this abominable virus. I decided to buy an online card and I proceeded to put together a great card using a couple of photographs together with one of my poems. Whilst I was on this useful site, I discovered that the firm also delivers flowers and I added a bunch of thirty stems of beautiful roses. I then postponed this delivery until three days before the upcoming birthday.
The card and the flowers arrived on the prearranged day and the flowers were spectacularly beautiful. These were placed into a couple of vases straight away and the card was checked and prematurely displayed.
I had dreamed up several ideas for the actual birthday celebration. I put together an online greeting card and displayed it on both of our timelines on social media in the early hours., I woke early and served tea and toasted homemade bread to the birthday celebrant while I was tunelessly singing, ‘Happy Birthday to You,’ Several early birthday cards had arrived and these were quickly opened to the accompaniment of surprise and murmurs of appreciation.
I planned to order a delivery of an Indian/Asian meal and we had a lot of fun choosing our selection of dishes from the online menu of our local restaurant and we plan to indulge in a slap up meal this evening.
The final strand to this unusual birthday present will be a shopping voucher or cash to be spent in the near future when the pandemic restrictions are removed.