Speakeasy · writing

How To Save Money at Christmas


“We’ve got to talk.” Susan said after dinner that night.

“Sure, what’s up?

“I noticed a couple of days ago that I’ve lost a lot of friends on Facebook, a lot of people who have been our friends for years. I don’t mean just Facebook friends either but real friends too. People we’ve known like, forever.”

“What’s your point?” I asked.

“I’m not sure when it started. I’m not sure why they’re leaving. It seems to be people who have been our friends. It seems to be friends of us both, not just my friends from work or church. Do you know anything about it?”

“Yeah, I do.” I said, “It started in mid-September. I’ve been watching it too. A lot of them are my friends from the gym.”

“Holy shit, Bobby, what do you think is going on? What have we done to make them unfriend us en mass like this?”

“Susan, I’m doing it. I’m chasing ‘em away.”

“What? Why on earth would you do that?”

“Sit down, Susan.”

She did. Then she crossed her arms and gave me that look. That ‘this better be good look.’

“You remember we were talking about how tight our budget was going to be this Christmas? How you didn’t know what we were going to do if we couldn’t get gifts, or even make gifts, for all our friends?”

“Yeah, but what does one have to do with the other?”

“I ran the data on all our friends and analyzed their political affiliations and leanings. I found it was a pretty even split between Democrats and Republicans.”

“Yeahhhh?” Susan said thoughtfully. I could see the gears churning. I knew she was catching on.

“Well, since you and I seem to be more left leaning, and our friends know that, I started talking trash about the GOP, and all their candidates, on Facebook. The timing is perfect, with the midterm elections coming up in November and all. I think half of our friends are going to hate us before Thanksgiving. Just think how much money we’re going to save not having to buy Christmas presents for our Republican friends. We can win ‘em back after New Years. We’ll tell ‘em my account was hacked or something.”

Susan was smiling from ear to ear. “But you’re only chasing away the Republicans right?”

“Yeah, right.”

“Good, ‘cause Mom’s a Democrat. I don’t want to lose her, I already bought her present. You’re brilliant Bobby! Brilliant!”

Daily Prompt · Random Scribbles · writing

Daily Prompt: Finite Creatures

Daily Prompt: Finite Creatures

At what age did you realize you were not immortal? How did you react to that discovery?

The old woman leaned back in the rocker; closed her eyes for awhile, smiled, and let the sunlight paint her face the color of warmth. Finally she looked up at the younger lady sitting on the porch next to her, holding a tall glass of lemonade.

“Diedre, why are you asking such a question as that?” she said. Her arthritic fingers with their stiff, swollen knuckles gripped the arms of her chair.

Diedre stayed silent. She didn’t answer she just sipped her lemonade and watched her grandmother over the rim of the glass.

Finally relenting the old woman said, “I guess the real answer is I never realized it. I just always assumed I would live forever. At least that’s what I thought until yesterday, when the doctor told me different. I never considered what might happen next.

“Do you know what a ‘Tent Meeting’ is, Diedre?”

The slightest headshake answered her question.

“It’s high theatre. That’s what it is. It’s all about salvation. When I was a girl, they would roll into town two or three times during the summer. They would set up big tents at the edge of Johnson’s field. Folks would dress up in their good clothes and go down to the ‘Revival’ to be saved, or born again. To be baptized in the Holy Spirit. There’d be preaching, there’d be praying, singing, dancing, rolling on the floor and speaking in tongues. But what I noticed was that a lot of money changed hands. I thought it was all about the money.

“I listened to what they had to say and then promptly dismissed those preachers and their messages out of hand. I lived my life for me.

“All for me.

“I have two daughters and a son. I love all three of them. They each have a different father.

“I only loved one of those three men though. Your grandfather left right after your daddy was born. He went off to war and never came back. The girls? Well the girls were what happened when I was living loose and free. I’m not even sure…

“I’m not proud of much of what I did in those days but I don’t regret any of it. I never paused to consider the consequences either.

“Anyway last night I got to thinking about those travelling preachers and their talk about salvation. I kind of found myself hoping they might have been right, hoping there might be something next. Those holy rollers said all you had to do was ‘ask for forgiveness’ but I don’t know how to do that, Diedre. Do you?”

Diedre shifted a bit in her chair and took a deep breath, “I think you just did Grandma. I think you just did.”

Nice one Swoosieque