“Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it.”

-Jonathan Swift, The Examiner, 1710. Thanks, Quote Investigator

Ironically, in pursuit of the following misattributed ‘quotes’:

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” -Winston Churchill

AKA “A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on.”

Or, “A lie travels around the globe while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

The A Mused Poetry Contest 9/26 – 10/2/2020

Hey! It’s the A Mused Poetry Contest! Make a gaffe, cause a laugh!

Here are the specifics for this week’s contest:

  1. The Theme is commercials: try radio, newspaper, halftime show, or a high-pressured letter you get in the mail.
  2. The Length needs to run between 5 and 155 words.
  3. Rhyming is at the discretion of the poet (you).
  4. The Rating can be PG-13 (though I’m not fond of cussing). Hear that, E??
  5. MAKE US LAUGH. I wanna hear your ditty passed around online meetings, morning talk shows, and incessant chatting from children at the dinner table.

You have till 10:00 a.m. MST next Friday (October 2) to submit a poem.

Use the form below to stay anonymous for a week.

Otherwise, for a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments. Drop a comment if you try to link back and it doesn’t show up within a day.

Have fun!

—–

©2020 Chel Owens
Video ©Youtube

WINNER of the A Mused Poetry Contest 9/25/2020

This week’s prompt of a seasonal haiku may have sounded simple, but making it funny was no joke. After narrowing down the funniest entries, the winner was:

Untitled, by DumbestBlogger
I drink my coffee
Leaves fall in the cup
I choke and die

Dumbestblogger chose morbid humor for his entry. Even with so few syllables, he succeeded in making me laugh.

Enjoy the others as well:

Autumn, by Roberta Cheadle
Leaves, leaves everywhere
I’ll persuade hubby to rake
Where’s my lingerie?

Untitled, by Obbverse
Get strangers together,
Talk about the weather…
That never changes..

Special Day, by Matt Snyder
it’s our wedding day
hurricane blows up her dress
our Kodak moment

Untitled, by Ian Kay
brand new leaf-blower!
blows leaves into neighbour’s yard
covers my dog’s poop.

Seasonal change, by Hobbo
stunning mother nature
fresh frock every day

have you met my wife?

Untitled, by Willowdot
Days are getting short
Gaia’s tempers getting fraught
We just won’t be taught

The Coming of Autumn, by Trent McDonald
Frost on the leaf tip
Now I am sweating again!
Just make up your mind…

***

Leaves turn to bright red
I run out to frolic, and…
Oops, now I am red!

Untitled, by Deb Whittam
Summers coming quick,
You squeal in delight but
mosquitoes bite … hard

The Farmer Wife’s, by Heather Dawn
Fresh autumn wind blows,
There the honey wagon goes,
No! I hung the clothes!

Fall Picture Woesby Heather Dawn
Picture perfect day,
No chance for a perfect pose,
Five kids ruin those.

Seasonal Change 1, by Fishman
Picked up a red leaf.
pulled a muscle in my back;
Thanks a lot, Autumn.

Seasonal Change 2, by Fishman
Autumn is here now.
Lovely time; I’d write more, but
sadly I’m out of . . .

Untitled, by BS
One plus one is two
I fall for you in the fall
Now go rake the leaves

Untitled, by Ruth Scribbles
Seasons in Texas
All four in a hot teacup
Sip at your own risk

Fall in Southern California, by Lauren
Where are my long johns?
The temps are below normal.
It’s reached 80 now.

—–

Thank you for entering! I loved laughing along. Please come back tomorrow around lunchtime for the next week’s prompt.

Dumbestblogger, here’s a badge for you to use on your site. Congratulations!

©2020 The poets, and their respective works

Tour of Utah: Hole in the Rock

In case you didn’t know already, Utah is home to some members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In case you also didn’t know already, I am LDS. As such, I’ve been taught about the history of the church’s founding, the persecutions the early members faced, their various relocations in order to build their Zion, and the fun they had settling Utah.

By Charles William Carter; American (London, England 1832 – 1918 Midvale, UT) – Harvard Art Museum/Fogg Museum, Historical Photographs and Special Visual Collections Department, Fine Arts Library, 119.1976.1501

Upon reaching the barren, harsh, dry, uninhabitable area now known as Utah, the Mormon pioneers knew they’d found a winner. Not long after establishing Salt Lake City, Brigham Young (their leader) sent groups off to set up nearby areas. I learned that he sent those groups about a wagon’s ride away from each other, but can’t find a source for that information. Whether he did or not, there are towns all down our interstate and this makes present-day gas station stops very convenient.

What does that potentially-inaccurate history have to do with a hole in a rock? I’m glad you asked!

Sometimes, the early settlers of Utah faced challenges. Hordes of crickets threatened crops in the Salt Lake Valley in the first full year of planting. Tropic, Utah could only get irrigation after building a ten-mile long canal. And, weary members of the San Juan Expedition attempting to find a route to the southeastern corner of Utah found impassable cliffs -then, miracle of miracles, stumbled upon “a narrow, steep, and rocky crevice and sandy slope that led down to the river” (Wikipedia).

By G. Thomas at en.wikipedia – Own work, Public Domain

They named it Hole in the Rock. Promptly thereafter, they began chipping away in order to move 250 PEOPLE, 83 WAGONS, AND OVER 1000 HEAD OF LIVESTOCK through this hole. I kid you not.

Six months later, they were “ready;” for, the wagons still needed assistance. They used ropes, plus wooden beams supported by posts jabbed into holes they drilled in the rock walls to carefully lower the wagons.

This is another famous site I have not visited, but my son has. His youth group camped nearby and hiked the area, reimagining and experiencing what their pioneer ancestors did. If you want a similar vacation adventure, Hole in the Rock is about seven hours south of Salt Lake International Airport (or 100 hours if you walk).

Author’s note: there is also a tourist destination called Hole N” The Rock, located near Moab. It’s worth a kitschy gander.

—–

Here’s this week’s breakdown:

Wednesday, September 16: “Tour of Utah: the Great Salt Lake.” It’s iconic!

Thursday, September 17: Wrote an example of funny poetry for that week’s contest: “Chuckie Bob and His Award.”

Friday, September 18: Announced the winner of the A Mused Poetry Contest, Hobbo.

Saturday, September 19: Opened the A Mused Poetry Contest! The subject is seasonal haiku (senryu). Results to be posted soon!!!

Sunday, September 20: Scratched a nagging discomfort with “R.B.G. and Why It’s Difficult to Be a Woman.”

Monday, September 21: Shared a quote about not worrying about The Joneses.

Thursday, September 24: Wrote my own seasonal poetry, “A Mused Seasonal Haiku…” for this week’s theme.

The winner of the A Mused Poetry Contest will be posted by this evening!

©2020 Chel Owens

A Mused Seasonal Haiku (or Senryu)

Autumn
Drifting autumn leaves
I thought were orange wafers
Proved inedible

Photo by WARREN BLAKE on Pexels.com

—–

Winter
Snow-tufted leaf stalks
Turned yellow in the sunshine
After walking Dog

Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels.com

—–

Spring
Sneezes wheezes *sniffs*
Frighten social-distancing folk
Oh! Darn allergies!

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

—–

Summer
Overworked sales clerk
Fin’lly relaxing on beach
‘Offered’ a timeshare

Photo by Alexander Stemplewski on Pexels.com

©2020 Chel Owens

R.B.G. and Why It’s Difficult to Be a Woman

I’ve been living in a hole -not a bad one, mind you. I have all the material comforts, I’ve given birth before my biological clock feels it missed something, and I live in a very safe area.

The recent passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has set me wondering, questioning my cozy hole and how much of it is that cozy. For, despite my ease, I am constantly stressed and depressed at my position as a stay-at-home-mother. I feel trapped by my sex, my children’s well-being, and the overall logic of my being the housewife and mother.

Why did learning about Mrs. Ginsburg’s life open this can of worms? If you ask that question, you haven’t read her Wikipedia page.

By Supreme Court of the United States – Supreme Court of the United States, Public Domain

I tend to get all of my political information from my husband, by choice. I do not like politics, a subject that turns human beings into snarling, glaring dogs -dogs who can talk, naturally, in order to insult each other’s mothers. From Kevin, I heard how Ginsburg was anti-family and pro-abortion. She was liberal. Thank goodness we’ll get another justice soon.

Sound harsh? Don’t raise your hackles until you acknowledge what categories you place political figures in. Yes, categories. CATEGORIES are what drive me mad.

I’ve discussed this subject before, because I do not fit in and I do not like attempts to fit me in. Primarily, today, and in R.B.G.’s tiny but ignominious shadow, I refer to sex (or, gender, if you prefer) .

I recently encountered a female realtor. Dressed in a sheath and high heels, she displayed white, straight teeth and blonde-colored hair. She, like others in the profession, was selling herself. And, as I always do, I hated her for it. I disagree with dressing sexily. Would a male realtor show up in such a getup, displaying cleavage as he outlined the merits of his wares?

I didn’t think so.

I also recently encountered a female repairman. Dressed in long shorts with socks and a company shirt, she smiled occasionally and her hair was short and of a nondescript color. She, like others in the profession, was selling furnace warranties. I marveled at her. She dressed and acted just like the male repairmen we’ve hosted in our basement.

Do you automatically categorize the two women? I do. The first is probably a wife and mother of a few children*, loves romance, and doesn’t know much about her car. The second is a lesbian, likes action movies, and could wire her own house if her cats stayed out of the way**.

Categories, categories, categories. They help us humans in a complex world of other humans. But, they also limit and often diminish those other humans. I feel it. Do you?

But I mentioned Ginsburg. I mentioned women. I mentioned sex.

Ruth Ginsburg is the sort of person I wondered at, as I enjoyed attending any college I wished or voted for whomever I wanted. I’d heard that women didn’t always have the freedoms I enjoyed, historically. I’d heard that women were advised to not go into this career or attend that college on the mere merits of their being born with a uterus. Mrs. Ginsburg’s life story, as I learned, attests to that rumor.

And, frankly, my own husband’s views do as well. While telling me that he values my intelligence and opinions, he simultaneously puts women down for seeking to further themselves academically or professionally. Why? Because family is most important to him, and women who choose school and work do not have large families. Many do not have families at all.

Think he’s wrong? Think he’s outdated and rude and opinionated? Think back to your perceptions of the two women I described. Morever, acknowledge that stereotypes exist because they are accurate; those women are what I described and behave accordingly.

Photo by RF._.studio on Pexels.com

Which brings me to another problem I encounter in my efforts of World Peace and Unity in the face of sexual differences: sexual differences. They are there. Men behave in stereotypical fashions and women behave in stereotypical fashions. There are general intelligence differences. There are anatomical differences, for Pete’s sake! Yet, when I attempt to bring them to surface in order to understand the world, we are (understandably) cautious.

To be fair, stereotypes exist in other categories (categories!!) as well. I enjoy jokes about engineers and play a personal game of guessing which instrument someone plays when s/he asks me (I have a very high rate of accuracy, too!). In that light, why are stereotypes about sex so wrong? Why are they taboo?

Should we ask R.B.G?

“The pedestal upon which women have been placed has all too often, upon closer inspection, been revealed as a cage.”

-Ruth Bader Ginsburg

“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”

-Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Women are people, that’s why. We are people who breathe, bleed, feel, and aspire to things. We THINK. Unfortunately, we women are sometimes going about equality as “equality”. We’re sometimes cheating.

Photo by Misha Voguel on Pexels.com. Why is she suggestively resting amongst rope??

The problem, as always, is sex (not the sort that’s gender, this time). I live with all males and prefer talking to males. I know how often this is a factor. When it comes down to males and females, females have the advantage of sex. And, many women are not ashamed to flaunt their attractiveness to gain favors. Hence, my disdain for the realtor and my wonder at the repairwoman.

For, in my perfect world, Ginsburg and women and sex would be nonissues. Merit, intelligence, and performance would be everything. Unfortunately, we humans are not blind nor unfeeling.

Another issue is child-bearing. Women are the only ones who can do it. As part of that package; we have menstrual cycles, fluctuating hormones, pregnancy itself, and a lifelong responsibility to raise what came out of us. This is where I differ from Madame Ginsburg slightly in opinion, since the woman is not making abortion solely her own choice if she decides to keep the baby (I refer to costs of welfare). Still, making and caring for humans is a big deal; someone needs to do it for the future to not suck so badly.

And until surgical techniques improve drastically, that someone is going to be female. Ideally, she’ll be the one from whom the child comes. Why? Attachment issues, darn it.

I have no solution to my problems of fitting out. I have no solution for stereotypical thinking. I have no solution for women like me. What do I have? A respect for people (PEOPLE!!!) like Ruth Baden Ginsburg. Way to be. Not only did she try to be fair, she did so in the face of obviously-sexual discrimination.

Do I agree with everything she said or did? No. That would be silly. That would be a category. What I do agree with is what I said: authenticity, fairness, and merit.

Rest in peace, Madame. May your ideals live on as you intended.

From left to right: Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, (Ret.), Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg & Justice Elena Kagan in the Justices’ Conference Room prior to Justice Kagan’s Investiture. Source.

©2020 Chel Owens

*It’s Utah. Everyone’s married, with children.
**In fact, the repairwoman was also married and had children.

The A Mused Poetry Contest 9/19 – 9/25/2020

Welcome to the A Mused Poetry Contest! Enjoy laughing? You’re in the right place!

Here are the specifics for this week’s contest:

  1. Seasons are changing. The Theme is a funny haiku (or, more technically accurate, a senryu) about seasonal change. Spring, fall, summer, winter, autumn; whatever.
  2. From Wikipedia about senryu, regarding Length: “three lines with 17 morae (or “on”, often translated as syllables, but see the article on onji for distinctions).” We’re also fine with the ole 5-7-5.
  3. Dude; this poetry form does NOT Rhyme.
  4. I dunno what might be racy about nature, so a G-rating is preferable.
  5. Just MAKE US LAUGH. Mother Nature needs to slap your wrists with climbing roses as she holds her vinèd sides in laughter.

You have till 10:00 a.m. MST next Friday (September 25) to submit a poem.

Use the form below to stay anonymous for a week.

Otherwise, for a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments. Drop a comment if you try to link back and it doesn’t show up within a day.

Have fun!

—–

Photo by Jan Krnc on Pexels.com

©2020 Chel Owens

WINNER of the A Mused Poetry Contest 9/18/2020

Choosing a winner for this week’s prompt of warning labels was no small feat. I had several favorites; so, did the only fair thing and picked the one that tickled my funny bone most.

And that was:

Warning Labels, by Hobbo
‘Smoking kills,’ Sally read on the packet
As she bent down to pick up her litter
So engrossed, she did not hear the racket
Of the thirty ton lorry that hit her.

Hobbo won for the short, simple, abrupt, crushing humor of a poor, warning label-reader’s folly. Great work!

As I said, the others were no less humorous. Read for yourself (and learn from their tales):

Inferno, by TH Kerr
In case of fire, throw this in first.

The Forbidden Fruit, by H.R.R. Gorman
At night you’ll see me gently creeping
With mom and dad hard a sleeping
In through laundry room door.
I open the bag of forbidden snacks –
Attractive gummies, laundry packs.

Then you’ll hear my lips a smacking,
My YouTube channel gaining backing
While I eat Tide Pods galore.
My mouth – it foams with Clean Breeze
And a few civilian casualties.

The tags may say “Danger!” “Warning!”
But industry tools are boring.
As a big attention whore
I munch and crunch on banned fare,
On poison beautiful, I’m well aware.

Untitled, by DumbestBlogger
This 7¼” hand held circular saw is designed to cut 2x4s
Please do not perform surgery with it
That would be dumb
If you wish to perform a murder this tool would be excellent
We don’t condone murder
You should probably use it for 2x4s

Untitled, by Pensitivity101
A nifty thing, this kid’s stroller,
Keeps him warm and dry,
Proudly walking down the street,
I nod at passers by.
Then at home, it’s time to put
The kettle on for tea,
But first I have to take him out
And things are hard to see.
The label bears a warning here
To first remove the child
Before collapsing to put away,
Then instructions can be filed.

The new toaster, by Bruce
I don’t want to boast
But I just bought a thing that makes toast.
The instructions say: Plug in and use as one oughta.
It warns: Not to be plugged in and used under water.

Words of Warning, by Doug Jacquier
The fridge magnet letters spilled out on the table,
followed by the numbers and then a WARNING label.
‘Some more advanced children may well be prone
to spell out things you may not condone.’
Piffle, I snorted, as I added them to the door;
my kids are more adult and their taste is not poor.
What I hadn’t allowed for was their merciless wit
and their ability to give visitors an apoplectic fit.
Thus ‘HELLO BABE’ was what greeted tubby Mrs. Foster
and her balding hubby got NICE RUG. WHAT DID IT COST YER?
The Reverend was rocked by DO SHOES HAVE SOULS?
and Granny by HAVE YOU TRIED SHAVING YOUR HAIRY MOLES?
I gathered the clan and in a voice loud and ringing
said that any more pranks and their ears would be singing.
All was quiet for a while but you can’t stop temptation;
I was greeted with KIDS ARE CAUSED BY MULTIPLICATION.
Despire myself, I couldn’t stop laughing and arranged my reaction
ALL PROBLEMS CAN BE SOLVED WITH A LITTLE SUBTRACTION.
Game over but they must have the last word they decided
with the finale WE CANNOT STAND A HOUSE DIVIDED.

Untitled, by Deb Whittam
I felt it the moment they stuck it on.
Shame descended upon me right away.
I knew it for what it was,
A stigma, I swore I would make them pay.

For marked I was, I felt the others turn,
Association would only bring despair.
For we all knew since Covid-19,
That brushing off notoriety was rare.

Absently I wondered what crime I had committed,
I mean, I was a staple, I was beyond compare.
But then Larry, the wholesome muesli bar whispered,
“You contain nuts mate.” Life just wasn’t fair.

The Geriatric Behavioral Unit, by Ruth Scribbles
Granny was a pistol
She really was a rascal
And after Grandpa died last month
Her pranks became a scandal

We couldn’t keep her home alone
She loved to hide and play
We sent her to the unit
So they could make her stay

We went to visit granny
And thought all would be well
When we arrived right on time
We saw the sign and yelled

What is granny up to now
They said and wrung their hands
The help said she was determined
They tried to understand

Granny met this guy, you see
Who fell in love with her
She convinced him they should run away
The rest was all a blur
IMG_0506_Original

You Have Been Warned, by Obbverse
The small print.
Please check parcel arrives intact and complete,
Verify no packaging has been torn, tagged or ripped,
Our goods become lawfully yours upon receipt.
(Our job is done once it’s sealed and shipped.)
The fine print.
Please open package with the utmost care,
Check all contents against checklist inside,
The Company isn’t liable for loss, damage or repair
Of goods dispatched. (despite what we implied.)
The finer print.
Your satisfaction is paramount to this vendor
So should any parts be found to be lacking
Immediately return faulty goods to sender;
(We look forward to see what you sent packing.)
The finest print.
(Please see Section 86, Clause D about bad goods returns;)
If, by opening, our original box is folded, spindled or mutilated
The Company consider this raises wilful damage concerns
And therefore your Money Back Guarantee is invalidated.

(For this and further ongoing custom we thank you.
NO further correspondence will be entered into.)

Fair Warning, by Fishman
I took my radio into the bath with me
and the warning label was right.
I got a shock, a jarring jolt,
my lord it was such a fright.

I drained the tub and dried myself
my nerves were in quite a state.
I vowed right then to always heed the warnings labels words,
“You’re right, oh labels. I do oblige, I’ll do as you dictate.”

“I’ll hold the saw by the correct end,
I’ll believe that matches may cause fire.
I promise not to drive with the sun shield in place.
and I’ll believe that if I drink Clorox bleach I may, in fact, expire.”

With that all said I took a breath to try and calm my nerves.
But my heart kept racing – thump, thump, thump – it just would not agree.
I had to take a tranquilizer, not one as prescribed, but three.
The label was right ‘cuz the next thing I knew I… Zzzzzzzz…

—–

Thanks to everyone who entered. Please return tomorrow for next week’s prompt!

©2020 Chel Owens

Hobbo, here’s a badge for you to use on your site. Congratulations!

©2020 The poets, and their respective works

Chuckie Bob & His Award

Chuckie Bob had one desire:
To see his name in print;
For tightrope walking on a wire,
A public office stint,
Pulling babies from a fire,
Or earning quite a mint.

Unfortunate for Chuckie Bob:
When made by Mom and Dad,
They weren’t too worried ’bout their job
And skimped on brains a tad
-Whilst also being somewhat slobs
And calling thinking, “Bad.”

Still, decided growing Chuck,
He’d up and show them all.
He’d prove he wasn’t just a schmuck;
He stood up straight and tall.
He’d show he wasn’t some lame duck;
“And I will win!” He called.

But, Chuckie Bob forgot one thing,
As he sought his reward:
That warning labels mean something
When they say, ‘Pull the cord
-But after you have cleared the wings,
Propellers, engines, board’

Now, Chuckie Bob’s been made the king
Of Darwin’s famed award.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

©2020 Chel Owens

Enter your own poem for this week’s contest, due tomorrow!