Today’s topic: chronicle. My first 50 words . . .

The chronicle of my death was not meant to be a mystery, although it turned out that way. I asked the scrawny fellow conducting me through the mist, What happened? How did I die?

His answer was an inscrutable smile.

I have to go back, I said. I need to find out what happened to my daughter. She was with me just now.

He flapped his tattered wings and continued to forcefully herd me along. . . .


Today’s topic: carpet. My first 50 words . . .

I accidentally slid on the carpet, Joey said. ‘Cause I fell accidentally.

I eyed his scabbed face. It looks very painful. He nodded in agreement. I looked him over carefully then, checking for bruises and other signs of injury. I didn’t want him to realize I was checking him, so I rattled off some remarks about his beloved soccer.

He’d come to school before looking bruised and battered. But I’d come to believe from watching his athletic grace with a soccer ball at recess that he wasn’t as accident prone as he professed. . . .


Today’s topic: cat. My first 50 words . . .

I’m a die-hard fan of blues singer Ruthie Foster. At a recent concert she talked about learning to play the guitar in the company of a cat and a metronome. She asked, Have you ever seen a cat around a metronome? Not many of the audience had, I’m sure, but we could all picture it, and we all laughed at the thought.

We know cats, we know metronomes. We understand what the juxtaposition of those two elements would produce. That’s how humor works: the juxtaposition of unrelated elements. The best humor . . .

My dad always said

Today’s topic: My dad always said. My first 50 words . . .

My dad always said he wanted to die by being shot at age 99 by a jealous husband. He missed that by quite a few years and a massive heart attack. He also frequently said it was hotter than a two-dollar pistol. He found plenty of hot places in Colorado in the summer, climbing around in attics as part of his work as an electrician. I don’t think he ever owned a two-dollar pistol, but he loved to hunt and owned several guns.

Now me, I possessed two matching two-dollar pistols. Gold colored cap guns that had the distinct characteristic of realism because they shot a disc of only six caps, just like a real six-shooter. I ruined my repulation forever by wearing these two cap pistols out in public . . .

Yelling at the TV

Today’s topic: Yelling at the TV. My first 50 words . . .

Nobody yells at their TV these days. Everyone is too busy writing a blog, telling their opinions to the entire world. Instead of tossing house slippers at the tube, we toss words into the cosmic consiousness at an amazing rate.

The previously unmet need for self-expression that the Internet fills sparked an economic boom along with creating a vast network of opinion pushers and closet writers . . .


Today’s topic: socks. My first 50 words . . .

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,” the defense attorney said, “the sock in question proves nothing. There is absolutely no evidence that the defendant ever touched the sock. When he was apprehended, he had both of his own socks on his feet.”

Jerry listened and wished he knew whether the sock really was his. He couldn’t remember anything about the night he was arrested. Sometimes he used a sock over his fist to protect himself while he broke out a window. But this time? This sock? . . .


Today’s topic: Flying. My first 50 words . . .

“Put your hand out of the car window,” I said. “Just cup it slightly so it’s curved like an plane wing and hold it in the wind.”

Marti rolled down the window and stuck her hand in the wind. I was going about 30 miles and hour down a residential street. Her thin nine-year-old arm wobbled up and down in the breeze.

“See how the wind pushes you hand up? That’s how the wind pushes a plane, too. And the faster you’re flying, the harder it pushes. . . .


Today’s topic: favor. My first 50 words . . .

As a favor,
Will you do this thing,
This tiny thing,
It’s not much.
Just this one tiny

Will you rub my
Aching feet?
They are oh so
And need a rub.

I know I ran
A marathon
In 100 degree heat.
You might think
I’m sweating and
Maybe even

But my feet are
tired and achy,
So, will you do

Garage Sales

Today’s topic: garage sales. My first 50 words . . .

I don’t stop at garage sales. I have too much junk already. So I don’t know why I stopped at this one. Okay. I do know. It was the gray haired woman. She stood in the driveway near a thick stand of bamboo that flanked the drive. Her hair was very short, as if it was just growing back in after chemotherapy. She threw her head back to drink from a can of Diet Pepsi and her body made this irresistable line against the green of the bamboo that forced me to hit the brakes. . . .

I dreamed

Today’s topic: I dreamed. My first 50 words . . .

I woke smiling, almost laughing. I felt good because I dreamed I was leaving him. I told him I was leaving and I plonked him over the head with a jumbo sized box of Kleenex. Whack, whack, whack.

I didn’t stop to analyze what the Kleenex signified to my unconscious mind. I was too happy to have had a dream, any dream, about him that wasn’t a nightmare, that didn’t wake me with a heart-pounding thud at 3 AM. . . .