Friday, September 27, 2013

The Three Musketeers: Setting the Record Straight

The Three Musketeers
Though romanticized in Dumas’ fiction, the real Three Musketeers were a pathetic lot: Pathos, a habitual whiner, Orthos, couldn’t stand straight without his corrective boots and Ignoramus, was…well, just that, a real dumb-ass.
Blogger's Notes:  You will see that there are four people in the illustration.  The fourth person, on the far left, is Neuros, who was not technically a "Musketeer".  He was a mere "hanger on" and had "issues".

I wrote this for the Week 87 Trifextra Writing Challenge where we are to write 33 words about a famous trio from literature, history or popular culture.
Your comments are appreciated.  

Friday, September 20, 2013

Wrong Place, Wrong Time: April 14, 1912

“Captain, I know you have no reason to listen to a guy wearing a Led Zeppelin T-shirt, cargo shorts and flip flops, but I’d steer clear of those icebergs if I were you.”

I wrote this for the Week 86 Trifextra Writing Challenge where we are to write a 33-word time travel story. 

Your comments are appreciated. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Everybody Loves Cinco de Mayo

As I listened to the crowd shout: “Viva Mexico! Viva Mexico! Viva
Mexico!” on Mexican Independence Day, I wondered why most people think that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico's Independence day. 

“El Grito de la Indepencia” (the Cry of Independence) was first heard in the small town of Delores, Mexico on September 16, 1810.  The actual date of Mexico’s independence from Spain did not occur until September 28, 1821, over a decade later, however, it is the date of the declaration of independence that is celebrated. 

So, what is Cinco de Mayo?  That date commemorates the improbable Mexican victory over the much larger French army on May 5, 1862 in the Battle of Puebla. Indeed, some said the Mexicans were chasing a rainbow the day they took on the French and it wasn’t until four years later that the French finally withdrew from Mexico.

While Cinco de Mayo is a day of celebration, it is not a Mexican national holiday, nor is it widely celebrated in Mexico.  It is mainly celebrated by Mexicans who live in the state of Puebla (Hooray for the home team!) and, of course, “sympathetic” Americans who enjoy pounding down a few beers in support of the “cause.”  

Ok then, why is Cinco de Mayo such a big deal?  As I pictured all those gringos downing their Coronas with limes jammed in the bottlenecks, I started wondering whether Corona was hoping to promote sales and created this “national [read: American] holiday”.  After all, didn’t some greeting card company invent Mother’s and Father’s Days?  And it dawned on me that “Dieciséis de Septiembre” (September 16) is not nearly as catchy as “Cinco de Mayo.”

Ok, Corona, tell us the truth.  It was a big marketing campaign, right?  I can picture those big inflated Corona bottles bouncing around every Mexican restaurant on May 5th.  It’s cool, you can tell us.  Everybody loves Cinco de Mayo.   

I wrote this for the Week 95 Trifecta Writing Challenge where we are to write a 33-333 word composition using the word “rainbow” in the context of “an illusory goal or hope.” 

Your comments are appreciated. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

El Gringo Pelon

Marcia and I have been exploring cool, little towns in Mexico and we stopped in Sayulita, a city of about 5,000 people on the Pacific coast.  It’s about a 45 minute drive from Puerto Vallarta, to the north.

The first person we spotted in Sayulita was a shirtless, older American guy with a huge gut. He was adorned with several tattoos and a pony tail that began at the back of his head, his crown being bald or, “pelon”, in Mexican slang. In the next few minutes, we saw several men wandering the streets who, for the most part, matched this description.  A few of them actually wore shirts, mostly, “wife beaters”.

This is not to say the place was overrun by gringos.  There were many locals manning the surf shops and bars.  Indeed, one young entrepreneur approached me and said, in perfect English:  “Hey, do you want some ‘weed’ or ‘coke’?  I can get you anything you want.” The way he said “anything”, was a little creepy, yet, strangely charming.

After declining my young friend’s offer, we sat at a table planted in the sand and ordered rum with fruit juice.  As we sipped our drinks, we noticed an Aztec mask nailed to the palapa that we were sitting under.  Looking puzzled, Marcia said:  “I don’t think the Aztecs inhabited this area of Mexico.”  I couldn’t resist offering a cynical response:  “Maybe the Aztecs came here to do business with the gringos.”   

Watching the people drift by, we could see that Sayulita is a place for alienated Americans to escape, hibernate or to just wait for the next big thing to happen.  I suddenly had a bright idea:  “Ok, so this place is a little sketchy, but it’s interesting.  I’ll write an article for one of those In-flight magazines…they love this stuff, right?”  Marcia looked at me quizzically and said:  “Sure, I bet they just love stories about places where people go to take drugs and waste away their last days.”

I wrote this for the Trifecta Week 94 Writing Challenge where we are to write a 33-333 word composition using the word “mask” as a noun.

Needless to say, after Marcia pointed out the obvious, I didn’t submit this piece to any “In-flight” magazines. 

Your comments are appreciated.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Kids, Don't Try This At Home

Jill hit the tetherball.

The blow causes the tether to break.

The ball achieves great loft,

ultimately falling with some force, breaking Jack’s crown.

Jack tumbles down.

Jill, in shock, comes tumbling after.


I wrote this for the Week 84 Trifextra Writing Challenge where we are to write a 33 word composition which incorporates the words “tether”, “loft” and “crown”.

Your comments are appreciated.