Posted in Freedom Friday

Do You Want to…

There’s a running joke in our family these days that has grown out of control and poses a threat to our sanity. Not really, but once you know what it is you’ll know what I mean. Ever since the release of the movie Frozen, we’ve been taking turns singing the words to Do You Want to Build a Snowman? in a new and original way. We replace the words “to build a snowman” with pretty much anything that pops into our head.

Frozen's Olaf the Snowman
Frozen’s Olaf the Snowman

Like this: Do you wanna read Freedom Friday?

It started with innocent intentions. One of us—I will not name names—me—began to sing the words to the snowman song whenever it snowed. Given I live in Canada and it snows a lot, especially last year, I was singing the opening phrase quite extensively. You can read that as meaning others in my family were telling me, “Stop singing that snowman song.”

Of course, if someone tells Jack he shouldn’t be doing something, what does Jack do? Yep, Jack keeps on doing it. [End of Jack’s third-person dialog.]

So, I did what any other normal person would do—become excruciatingly annoying.

Not only did I sing the song when it snowed, but I also sang it when it didn’t with the added incentive to change the words to suite my needs.

Like this: Do you want to cook some chicken?
Like this: Do you want to have some sushi?
Like this: Do you want a have a party?
Or like this: Do you hate me for my singing?

And on and on it went. Eventually, I’d worn the family down so much that they too fell to the Dark Side.

Now, a year later, we’re all singing it.

At the dinner table: Do you want to pass the salt, please?
In the garage: Will you ever wash the car, dear?
While shopping: Do we need some extra olives?

Naturally, because I write about zombies, I have to have my own version of the song:

Do you want to kill a zombie?
Will you shoot it in the head?
Will you throw it off a cliff and sigh
Watch it fly
Until it’s fully dead?

So really, the moral of this post is this: if you want to change people you should never have to change yourself. Be a nuisance and you just might get what you want.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale now.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale now.

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Posted in Freedom Friday

Jokes II

How many people like jokes? I know I do. One of the benefits of writing my Freedom Friday posts is that it gives me the opportunity to write about whatever’s on my mind. Sometimes I write about personal stuff, but today I thought I’d write a few jokes to lighten up the mood during these dark days we all call winter.

Brad Pitt at Toronto International Film Festival
Brad Pitt at Toronto International Film Festival

Mind you, these aren’t my jokes. They’re more like humorous tales I had picked up over the years that I’ve kept tucked away safely for those times when I need to let loose. I suppose today would be one of those occasions.

So, have a read–hopefully–you’ll also have a laugh and maybe you can also share one of your jokes with me in the comments area so I can laugh, too. Enjoy!

AN ARKANSAS DELIVERY

In the backwoods of Arkansas, Mr. Stewart’s wife went into labor in the middle of the night. The doctor was called in to assist in the delivery.

To keep the nervous father-to-be busy, the doctor handed him a lantern and said, “Here, you hold this high so I can see what I’m doing.” Soon, a baby boy was brought into the world.

“Don’t be in a rush to put the lantern down. I think there’s yet another wee one to come.” Sure enough, within minutes he had delivered another baby.

“Now don’t be in a great hurry to be putting down that lantern, young man. It seems there’s yet another!” cried the doctor.

The new father scratched his head in bewilderment and asked the doctor. “Do ya think it’s the light that’s attractin’ them?”

DELIVERY COINCIDENCES

Four expectant fathers pace in a hospital waiting room while their wives are in labor. The nurse enters and tells the first man, “Congratulations, you’re the father of twins.”

“What a coincidence,” the man says. “I work for the Minnesota Twins baseball team.”

A little later, the nurse returns and tells the second man, “You are the father of triplets.”

“That’s really an incredible coincidence,” he answers. “I work for the 3M Corporation.”

An hour later, the nurse tells the third man that his wife has just given birth to quadruplets.

The man says, “I don’t believe it! I work for the Four Seasons. What a coincidence.”

After hearing this, everyone’s attention turns to the fourth guy who has just fainted. He slowly regains consciousness and whispers, “I should have never taken that job at Millennium Computers.”

GOD’S DEAD DOG

Mom and Dad were trying to console Susie whose dog, Skipper, had recently died.

“You know,” Mom said, “it’s not so bad. Skipper’s probably up in Heaven right now, having a grand old time with God.”

Susie stopped crying and asked, “What would God want with a dead dog?”

“That’s all, folks!”

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale now.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale now.

Do you have any jokes you’d like to share?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Zombie What Ifs VI

Since it’s the middle of winter here in Canada, I thought to warm things up we’d have fun with zombies. Hey, who doesn’t want to have fun with zombies? Can I have a show of hands? I didn’t think so. Today’s Monday Mayhem is all about fun!

Zombie Hunting License
Zombie Hunting License

That’s right. It’s that time again, folks. It’s time to put your thinking caps on and help me escape the zombies. Are you ready to indulge in some serious undead running? It ain’t gonna be pretty. Not today. How it works: I present a scenario filled with zombies, and your job is to figure out a way to escape. Of course I’ll give you my answer telling you what I’d do, but it doesn’t mean that’s what you would do. That’s up for you to decide. And if you missed them, here are the first five parts: I, II, III, IV, V.

Are you ready? All right then. Let’s go!

Scenario #1: In the middle of the street, 50 chewers have you surrounded. You have a knife, but how long do you think you’ll last before one of them takes a bite? Next to your feet, a manhole sits open. You think a construction crew must have been working in the sewers below when the change took place. You have a decision to make. Will you stand and fight, taking your chances that you might die trying. Or will you drop into the manhole, in raw sewage, not knowing what awaits you below?

My Answer: A group of 50 chewers seems a bit too much to fight all on my own. I’ll take my chances in the manhole.

Zombie Warning Sign
Zombie Warning Sign

Scenario #2: You’ve jammed a knife under a door preventing zombies from breaking into your basement bathroom. You climb the sink and can reach the window overhead, but it’s sealed shut. The only chance you have is to break the window and climb outside to ground level. You realize, though, a few things can happen. If you break the window, shards of glass may remain in the frame, therefore gutting you as you attempt to escape. Also, breaking the window can alert other undead to your location up above. The other option is to sit in the bathroom and wait—this may lead you to starving yourself to death. What do you do?

My Answer: I’d rather starve than gut myself trying to escape.

Scenario #3: You have a gun strapped to your waist and a knife hanging from your neck as you dangle on a rope several feet from a horde. With their arms stretched toward you, it will only be a matter of time before they grab you. Above is the hole in the warehouse’s ceiling from where you came. Another crowd of eaters is waiting for you there. What’s the solution? Go up, you die. Go down, you die.

My Answer: It’s a warehouse, I’m sure I can swing my way out of it.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale now.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale now.

What would you do?

Posted in Freedom Friday

The Fidget

The other day I took a train ride into the city. I was on my way to a meeting when our train met with a half-hour delay. I was fine, continuing to read on my tablet, but I noticed the other passengers were not. They began to fidget. Yes, fidget. If you had to wait for anything for a long period, you’d know what I mean.

Waiting
Waiting

As strange a topic as this is, I want to talk about the all-important fidget. I do it, and I’m sure you do it, too. What would Freedom Friday be like if I didn’t write about off-the-wall issues that affects everyone?

Back to my train story. We were already traveling for an hour when the announcement came that we needed to divert from our track in order to avoid a derailment that had taken place in the early morning hours.

That’s when the first wave began.

Not necessarily in this order, but it started with one of the passengers sitting and looking out the window of our coach, drumming his fingers on his leg. He was not listening to music. Within minutes, I peered over my reader and saw another passenger checking the time on her device. It continued. Another was tapping his feet while another kept squirming in her seat.

Between watching others yawn, scratch, and stretch, I was getting a kick from noting how quickly people get restless when their patience leaves them.

Here’s the dictionary definition of a fidget according to Google:

Verb: make small movements, especially of the hands and feet, through nervousness or impatience

“The audience had begun to fidget on their chairs”

Noun: a quick, small movement, typically a repeated one, caused by nervousness or impatience

“He disturbed other people with convulsive fidgets.”

Keep calm
Keep calm

I fidget. I do. When I’m waiting in line and the person in front of me has completed their business but instead of leaving stays and exchanges pleasantries—you best be sure I’m fidgeting. I suppose I do it because if I have errands to finish I don’t want to wait in line listening to folks chat about their new color nail polish. That happened. I also don’t want to hear about the sad state of traffic while driving to the store. I know it was bad. Had it been light, I wouldn’t have had to wait behind a long line at checkout. That happened, too.

This is random—I wonder what constitutes a fidget. I mean, is it the nervous facial tick one expresses when someone is driving them crazy? Is it the shaking of the leg under the table when a guy sees a pretty girl who he wants to ask out? Is it the wringing of the hands from a girl ready to punch a guy for making a pass at her?

Not all fidgets are bad. Nope. For instance, did you know therapists train ADHD patients coping skills that involve fidgeting? You heard me right. As a means to remain focused, ADHD patients take to tapping, chewing gum and even listening to music. Their concentration increases and they overcome the need to keep moving. How great is that?

Well, I’m not a psychologist, by any means. Perhaps fidgeting is the body’s way of coping in tight situations. Or maybe it’s just a way for us to serve each other a quick ticket to the insane asylum. Whatever it is, I find it fascinating to watch the effects of the almighty fidget when a person’s expectations implode after a minor delay.

I’m going to go stand in line now. I may find something else as mundane as a fidget to write about.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale October 21.

Have you noticed what prompts your fidgets?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Zombie What Ifs V

In Latest News: Jack Flacco presents RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION cover reveal.

Since it’s the long weekend here, I thought you’d all like to have some fun with zombies. Hey, who doesn’t want to have fun with zombies? Can I have a show of hands? I didn’t think so. Today’s Monday Mayhem is all about fun. Can you guess why?

Zombie Hunting License
Zombie Hunting License

That’s right. It’s that time again, folks. It’s time to put your thinking caps on and help me escape the zombies. Are you ready to indulge in some serious undead running? It ain’t gonna be pretty. Not today. How it works: I present a scenario filled with zombies, and your job is to figure out a way to escape. Of course I’ll give you my answer telling you what I’d do, but it doesn’t mean that’s what you would do. That’s up for you to decide. And if you missed them, here are the first four parts: I, II, III, IV.

Are you ready? All right then. Let’s go!

Scenario #1: You are sitting on a raft in the middle of a bay surrounded by land on three sides. Two sides have those undead critters wanting to take a bite out of you. Of the remaining sides, one is a small peninsula and the other heads to sea. You haven’t eaten in three days. Do you take a chance and land on the peninsula? Or do you head for sea, hoping the tide will take you to new land? The catch? Within minutes of landing on the peninsula, the zombies can easily chase you.

My Answer: If I have a gun with me, I’ll take a chance. If not, I’ll be too weak from starvation to think straight. In that case, I’d head for sea.

Zombie Warning Sign
Zombie Warning Sign

Scenario #2: Chewers have been after you all afternoon. They finally thrust you to the top of an apartment building with nowhere to go but down. Luck’s with you, though. You find a plank lying on the ledges between buildings. It looks as if others have been in this situation before you. When you look over the ledge, ten stories to the bottom, you see the remains of those who once attempted to cross the threshold. Seeing this, do you attempt to get to the other side or do you stay and fight, knowing you might not have a chance?

My Answer: I would try walking the plank to the other side. If I fall, it would be a quick death, which would contrast the slow death caught at the hands of the zombies.

Scenario #3: You’re on a Caribbean cruise when you notice everything around you changing. Some of the passengers are chasing the others, making meat of them. You manage to lock yourself in a cabin with nothing but the door and a porthole to escape. You think to yourself that you’ll survive for the couple of days, but eventually you’ll have to find food. The kitchen is on the floor below yours. You’ll have to negotiate your way through the corridors and hope you don’t encounter one of them. That’s one of the choices. The other? You’re ten miles from shore. You can dive and take a chance swimming. The problem is you’ll be diving in shark-infested waters. What do you do?

My Answer: I don’t know about you, but taking a dive into a shark’s mouth doesn’t sound as appealing as fighting zombies on my way to find food. In other words, let me quote the worn cliché: Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.

Scenario #4: I saved the best for last. Trapped in a city bus with four other people, the undead are banging on the door. If you try to climb through any of the windows, the horde will have their way with you. You have no chance of surviving. Then, an evil idea comes to you. It’s such a rotten idea that you try to push it out of your mind. If you throw one of your friends to the zombies, perhaps the distraction will give you an opportunity to escape. It’s a long shot. Would you?

My Answer: This is an easy one for me. It would be an emphatic no. Then again, if those four other people get the same notion of me, I wouldn’t know what to do.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale October 21.

What would you do?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Zombie What Ifs IV

If you’re new to Monday Mayhem, you’ll appreciate that I not only delve on the dark side of zombiehood, but also on the lighter side. And if you’re one of those folks who’s been reading me for a while, then by today’s title you’ll recognize where I’m going with this post.

Zombie Hunting License
Zombie Hunting License

That’s right. It’s that time again, folks. It’s time to put your thinking caps on and help me escape the zombies. Are you ready to indulge in some serious undead running? It ain’t gonna be pretty. Not today.

How it works: I present a scenario filled with zombies, and your job is to figure out a way to escape. Of course I’ll give you my answer telling you what I’d do, but it doesn’t mean that’s what you would do. That’s up for you to decide. And if you missed them, here are the first three parts: I, II, III.

Are you ready? All right then. Let’s go!

Scenario #1: Zombies have trapped twenty of your friends in the school gymnasium. The evil maggot bags are slamming against the door trying to get in. Your friends have barred the only entrance with a fire hose wrapped around the handles. They have minutes before the horde makes them meat. You’re alone in the hall on the opposite end, unarmed. Do you save your friends?

My Answer: My answer to this question will always be yes. At the same time, I’ll try to find something I can use to defend myself. If anything, I’ll try to draw them outside, giving my friends a chance to escape. Call me noble.

Zombie What Ifs IVScenario #2: You’re on a boat and you’ve run out of supplies. You have to get back to shore, but the undead have overrun the docks. If you land, you might as well say good-bye. What do you do? Do you take a chance at docking? Or do you attempt to sail to another port?

My Answer: Not knowing where to find another port will deter me from looking. Then again, I can try fishing to see if I can catch my dinner without sharks eating me. I’ll probably search the coast for a place where I can dock, then look for fresh supplies. This is a tough one.

Scenario #3: Your car ran out of gas in a small town. A service station rests two miles down Main Street. It’s dusk and soon you will not know what the evening will bring. Your passengers are shivering with fright. The two-mile hike is not far, but you’re afraid if you make the journey, your passengers will fall into the hands of the undead. Do you stay in town for the night; hoping shelter will provide the safety you need before dawn? Or do you take a chance, make the trek to the service station and when you return you hope to find the car and the passengers in one piece?

My Answer: I don’t know about you, but I’ll try to find a place to rest until morning, then I’ll make the journey to get gas in broad daylight. If anything, I want to see what will attempt to make me into a brunch dessert before I flee.

Scenario #4: On foot, you’re alone, running from the horde. You come across a bridge. Perfect. But you wonder if you cross it, will there be another horde on the other side waiting to turn you into its dinner. You take a chance, you cross the bridge. Halfway, another crowd of zombies appears at the opposite end of the bridge, just as you had suspected. What do you do? Do you turn back and take a chance hoping the original horde is not as gruesome as you might think? Or do throw yourself off the bridge to the water below, not knowing if the impact alone will kill you?

My Answer: I’d take a chance and go for the plunge. I’d rather die upon impact than to slowly waste away in the jaws of devouring zombies.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale October 21.

What would you do?

Posted in Freedom Friday

Spam

Since it’s Freedom Friday and since it’s the end of the week for some of us, I thought I’d treat you to some fun—the best kind of fun—fun at the expense of others. Anyone watch America’s Funniest Home Videos? Well, that’s not the fun I had in mind. I’m talking about the comments I sometimes receive from these automated spam machines in the comments area of my posts.

SPAM on my keyboard
SPAM on my keyboard

Oh, I got your attention, I see.

We all get them, some more than others do. I’m talking about comments falling in our moderation queue that attempt to sell us overpriced shoes, gaudy jewelry, and even try to fish us into believing they like our posts. You don’t have to admit anything. I’ve fallen for a couple myself believing they were legitimate until I’d discovered that once I’d released one spam on my blog, a flood of them appeared overnight as I frantically pressed the delete key to get rid of them all.

This is the type of stuff I get in my comments queue awaiting my moderation:

“I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This post posted at this website is actually good.” ~Wedding Planner

Where do I start? First, you’re missing “a”, as in “a regular reader”. If you want to sell me stuff, learn proper grammar. Second, “how are you everybody?” Should I worry at one time in my life you’ve spoken with one of my schizophrenic personalities I didn’t know I had? Third, “This post posted”, yeah, I got it. You don’t have to be redundant about it.

“I really like what you guys tend to be up too. This type of clever work and exposure! Keep up the terrific works guys I’ve included you guys to our blogroll.” ~Free Sex Chat

SPAM hitting us in the face
SPAM hitting us in the face

You guys? Again you’re trying to convince me I’m schizophrenic. I’m one guy, Jack. Get it right. “This type of clever work and exposure!” Whoo-hoo! I can feel your excitement but I have no clue what you’re talking about. Does the term complete sentence mean anything to you? “Keep up the terrific works guys…” Much like the Wedding Planner dude, you also seem to have a problem with grammar.

“Thіs post is in fact a good one it assists new web people, who aree wishing for blogging.” ~Buy Followers

Seriously, I have no clue as to what you’re trying to say to me. I’m lost.

And I’ve saved the best for last.

“Someone necessarilу lend a hand to make significantly articles I might state. That is the first time I frequentеd yoսr website pazge and so far? I amazed with the analysis you maԁe to create this particular publish incredible. Great actiνity!” ~Promo

I’m considering I may actually need another personality after reading your comment. Oh, look, it’s kicking in now—neener nanny, neener nanny, neener nanny.

Nowadays, I don’t even look at my spam queue—well, I had to for this post, but you can blame it on my other personalities. With over two hundred of these messages I receive over the course of a few days, I don’t have time to sift through the chaos to determine what is good and what is bad. I certainly do get a laugh out of the ones I do receive though, and the messages equally provide many hours of amusement at the expense of the spammers.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, now on sale.

Have you received spam email? What was the funniest one you received?