642 Things – 80: The cleaning lady

Lucy really enjoyed her job. She knew that was pretty rare, not a lot of people became a cleaning lady because they enjoyed it, it was usually an act of necessity, but Lucy wasn’t an average woman. She was a quiet woman, who was happiest when nobody was paying attention to her. She drifted through life like a ghost, and she preferred it that way.

Her job required her to go into a very large office building after work hours. She and two other women were responsible for cleaning the entire building, which was mostly emptying waste baskets and mopping the floor. The building was large enough that the women all rarely saw each other. Most people would have found being alone in such a large building spooky, but Lucy enjoyed it.

As she went through each cubicle she got a small peak into hundreds of little lives. Here someone had a photo of their kid at a soccer game, there a person would have a rubber duck on their desk. Lucy enjoyed this little peak into other people’s lives. She would often create stories in their heads of what these people where like. She would name the people in the photographs, and give them little backstories.

She would never steal anything. She could understand the temptation, some people left the strangest things just sitting out in plain sight on their desk. Lucy could have had quite the trophy collection at home if she wanted, but she was fairly sure she’d get caught if she tried it. Lucy settled for occasionally shifting small things around on the desk. Nothing big, maybe just moving a stapler a couple of inches to the left, angling the phone in a different direction.

She liked to imagine that the moves were small enough that they just confused people. They would doubt themselves “did I leave that there?” “why are my paperclips in my drawer now?” Maybe they even thought a ghost did it. That made Lucy chuckle to herself. She liked being the ghost of the office.

This was a perfect job for her.
 

 

 

 

Unlike my two books (“The Great Platypus Caper” and “The Coconut Monkey Horror”) I can not promise that each entry in my 642 things to write about series will be true stories drawn from my life, I’ll leave the amount of truth in each entry up to your imagination.
Want to stretch your writing muscles as well? Post your response to the writing prompt in the comments section. I’d love to see it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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642 Things – 79: Write the copy for a cereal box so that someone would actually want to buy this exciting new flavour.

Today’s world is hectic. Multi-tasking isn’t just an option, it’s essential. You need to figure out how to get the most out of your free time, so you can give the most at work. You try to shave 5 minutes off your commute with a new route to work. You’ve started brushing your teeth in the shower. But it’s still not enough.

Try Coff, the only cereal that comes complete with the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee. No more waiting for that pot of coffee to finish brewing, and then waiting for it to cool down. You don’t have time for that. Just throw a little milk in your bowl of Coff, and you get a healthy breakfast full of fiber and nutrients, and that get up and go energy that will let your conquer your day.

Coff, because you don’t have time for anything less.

 

 

 

Unlike my two books (“The Great Platypus Caper” and “The Coconut Monkey Horror”) I can not promise that each entry in my 642 things to write about series will be true stories drawn from my life, I’ll leave the amount of truth in each entry up to your imagination.
Want to stretch your writing muscles as well? Post your response to the writing prompt in the comments section. I’d love to see it.

 

 

 

 

642 Things – 78: Write about a difficult conversation you’ve had recently. Then rewrite the conversation, saying what you couldn’t say at the time.

Honestly, I haven’t had any difficult conversations lately. I guess I’ve been lucky? But even if I had, I’m not sure it’s the sort of thing I’d be willing to share, this entire thing seems like an exercise in passive aggression right? Like, I’d veil the conversation, but really all I’m doing is writing about what I should of said to that person, and then hoping they’d read it?

Also, in general, I try very hard to say what I mean when it matters.

So, we’re gonna have to go fictional.

I replay our last conversation in my head every day, what was said, what wasn’t, what was meant, what you meant to me. I’ve never really played that “if I could do one thing over again” but that’s exactly what I find myself doing. Every night I lay in bed and replay that same conversation, trying to find just the right magical combination of words that would have made you stay with me. The right phrase that would have made sure that our love would have lasted.

When I said “just do whatever you want”, I should have said “Your happiness means the world to me.”

When I said “you can’t do this to me”, I should have said “I can’t imagine my life without you.”

When I said “FINE!”, I should have said “listen, can we just take a step back and talk about this?

When I said “I guess you never really loved me anyway”, I meant “this is breaking my heart, please make it stop.”

How did my emotions get in the way of my tongue? Why did we need to rely on clumsy words anyway? Why couldn’t we just speak, heart to heart? If I could have just let you feel the depth of my love for you, rather than trying to capture it in fleeting, clumsy words…

But no, we let emotions run hot, and a petty disagreement became the end of something that meant the world to me, and I’m sure it did to you too. We had something, you and I, and we threw it away, for what? Because you and I wanted two different things on one evening. You wanted to go out, I wanted to stay in.

What made either of us decide that was some giant choice? When did we both decide that it was somehow symbolic of our relationship? If I’d just sublimated my desires for one evening, swallowed my happiness in favour of yours, would we still be together?

If I hadn’t been so tired, could I have been more articulate? Is that what happened? Our relationship ended just because I didn’t get enough sleep one night?

Or any of the nights since.

I turn that conversation over and over in my mind, it’s a puzzle box, and if I can just open it, I can find my happiness again, the happiness that has eluded me ever since that night.

How do you get a do-over? How can I fix something that was so obviously a mistake? What words will heal this wound between us?

Let me think about it, let me just keep thinking about it.

 

 

 

 

 

Unlike my two books (“The Great Platypus Caper” and “The Coconut Monkey Horror”) I can not promise that each entry in my 642 things to write about series will be true stories drawn from my life, I’ll leave the amount of truth in each entry up to your imagination.
Want to stretch your writing muscles as well? Post your response to the writing prompt in the comments section. I’d love to see it.

642 Things – 76: Boxers or briefs? Discuss.

I like the idea of boxers, I like them in theory, the idea of freedom, of lack of contraint. I like the idea of at least wearing a pair of boxers to bed, so that in the event of a fire you aren’t running around naked. Boxer shorts also look less ridiculous than briefs. They look, more adult. You feel like an adult when you get to wear them. At least that was my experience. Maybe today parents raise their children in boxers, I don’t know, and I’m certainly not going to go to a local playground and perform my own survey.

But in practice, boxers have an issue. Maybe this is just me, or maybe it’s a problem for us…larger…men, but I chafe more with boxers…and that’s an area where you really want a minimum of chafing.

Briefs are still restrictive, and possess a child-like appearance, so I’ve settled on the boxer brief. It’s a good marriage of form and function. No chafing, but they don’t look so silly that you’re ashamed to be seen in them like tighty-whiteys.

Mind you, I typically sleep in the nude…I’ve long come to terms with the idea that if there is a fire in my building, my nudity is going to be the least of everyone’s concern. Plus, I can always try to cover myself up with the computer I’m grabbing on the way out.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Unlike my two books (“The Great Platypus Caper” and “The Coconut Monkey Horror”) I can not promise that each entry in my 642 things to write about series will be true stories drawn from my life, I’ll leave the amount of truth in each entry up to your imagination.
Want to stretch your writing muscles as well? Post your response to the writing prompt in the comments section. I’d love to see it.

642 Things – 75: Parades

Can I be honest with you guys? I find parades incredibly boring. Seriously, it’s just standing in one place and waiting for a long and slow moving line of people to pass in front of you. Thanksgiving Day Parade? Mardi Gras Parades? BOOOOORING.

Also, I always feel bad for the marching bands in those things. Most of the time it’s some high school band, and they’re having to be on their most professional marching behaviour in the middle of a holiday, all in exchange for maybe showing up on TV for a couple seconds. Playing the same 3 or 4 songs over and over. And let me tell you from experience, marching isn’t easy. There’s a very precise way that you have to walk, and doing that mile after mile after mile…I have no idea what part of that is supposed to be fun. So it’s hard for me to have a good time when I’m just staring at those poor kids in their uniforms, marching in place, waiting for the float ahead of them to start moving again, and playing “Rock and Roll #2” for the 15th time that day.

Now, I’m sure it’s a blast if you’re actually IN the parade (on a float, not walking or marching the whole way), all those people cheering, maybe you’ve got some things to throw out at the crowd. In the case of Mardi Gras there’s probably a nice reward for throwing things into the crowd.

So don’t get me pinned down as anti-parade. If I’m offered the opportunity to ride on a float in a parade, I’m gonna take it. My ego is perfectly happy being surrounded by cheering people, which I’ll assume is all directed at me and me alone.

It sort of goes along with my position on football. I think most people would agree (or maybe I’m all alone) that it’s a lot more fun to actually PLAY football than to just watch some other people doing it. For the record, the same is not true of Roller Derby.
 

 

 

 

Unlike my two books (“The Great Platypus Caper” and “The Coconut Monkey Horror”) I can not promise that each entry in my 642 things to write about series will be true stories drawn from my life, I’ll leave the amount of truth in each entry up to your imagination.
Want to stretch your writing muscles as well? Post your response to the writing prompt in the comments section. I’d love to see it.

642 Things – 74: The greatness of sandwiches

So I don’t eat sandwiches very often, but I won’t attempt to deny their glory. I mean, look at the infinite variations available to you! Anything you can slip between two pieces of bread. And how knew there were so MANY different kinds of bread? You can experiment with flavours and textures.

What if I add mustard? Can I get away with a light layer of potato chips? How about if I use sourdough instead of rye? How much lettuce do I need to add so that I can pretend this is healthy?

The only thing I’ve never understood is those sandwiches that are so big that you can’t actually fit them in your mouth in one bite. While I know there’s a market for them, in my mind it’s a failure as a sandwich if you can’t take a single bite encompassing all the layers at once.

You can pack them in a baggie, make them the night before, Even if you squish a sandwich, it’s still exactly as edible and enjoyable as it was pre-squish.

Strangers generally can’t judge you for what’s in your sandwich, because they likely can’t even see it. The contents of your sandwich are your business, and nobody elses’. You can get foot long sandwiches, or just make yourself a little one in the privacy of your own home.

Throw some veggies in and you’ve actually got an entire meal in one compact serving, how utilitarian!

All bow down to the glory of the sandwich.

I think that’s as far as I can go on the greatness of sandwiches.
 

 

 

 

Unlike my two books (“The Great Platypus Caper” and “The Coconut Monkey Horror”) I can not promise that each entry in my 642 things to write about series will be true stories drawn from my life, I’ll leave the amount of truth in each entry up to your imagination.
Want to stretch your writing muscles as well? Post your response to the writing prompt in the comments section. I’d love to see it.