Lighting the 18th Candle (One Quick Limerick #033)

 

 

Perv cradle-robbers, YOU’RE innocence vandals,
YOU are to blame, NOT your victims, for scandals,
Most statutes document,
There can be NO consent,
If birthday cakes aren’t topped with 18 candles!¹

 

 

¹Some states in America subtract a few of those candles which, regrettably, only further emboldens sexual predators.

Read the story particulars, which inspired this limerick HERE.

 

 

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A Low Ladder Rung, Lowlife Sexual Predator

 

My exposé emphasizes how workplace sexual predators are not always superiors of their victims and how entire, totally blameless, hardworking staffs can get caught in the crossfire and find their jobs/careers jeopardized.

On this day in 1978, I punched a major, international retail clothier’s time clock for the very first time… began slaving away in what I have oft referred to as Retail Hell. Such a moniker is well earned considering how my remaining employed oft necessitated my tiptoeing through the psychological minefield found within many of my superiors’ contorted minds.

Case in point, the very first regime I had encountered presented a weird variety of sexual harassment for all underlings to see… an upside-down hierarchy, which any in print and online investigative reporter would have had a field day exposing. I could write volumes about how a sexual predator nearly ruined our store’s profitability / success… but will CliffsNotes it instead.

Right from the get-go, a male underling began dominating / harassing our married female boss… let’s assign some fake names… oh… say… Monty and Dolly. It’s still unclear whether or not she had been a willing partner. That control freak had been so effing cocksure he hadn’t even bothered hiding this adulterous fling.

How bad was this? Well, I once had to prioritize my customer’s shopping list just to steer us away from literally stumbling over Monty and Dolly rolling around and wrestling on the carpet. Fortunately they hadn’t yet earned an R-Rating.

With no time to find a bucket of cold water, I intentionally increased the volume of my voice to subtly remind this “couple” that we were now open for business. Had they not picked up on my subtle “Hey, get a room!” cue, there’s no telling how far they would’ve gone. Clean up in Aisle 2?

Day in, day out… in plain view of all employees… they’d spend entire, eight hour long shifts seated across from one another at her “managerial” desk… Dolly all starry eyed… neither of them getting any real work done… all the while collecting their paychecks… all the while dumping heavier workloads upon their underlings to compensate for their figuratively and literally effing up everything.

Dolly wound up promoting her F-buddy into management… not based on his skills… that is… unless his adeptness at playing grabass and his cocksmanship were considered assets. I cannot begin to describe how disgruntled our staff had become… how low our collective morale had sunk.

To get a better grasp on the depth of Dolly’s calloused attitude and twisted mind, I now present a brief subplot to this story. Following the post Christmas seasonal cut in sales associates’ hours, one morning a co-worker (let’s call her Karly) came back out onto the selling floor in tears. In a hushed, horrified tone of voice she confided in me.

It turns out that due to Karly’s drastically smaller paycheck, she had recently moved in with Dolly… and now our boss was trying to shake down her roomie for half of their apartment’s rent.

After Karly had complained, “But you’ve just cut my hours. The only way I can pay you is if I either rob a bank or sell my body,” Dolly snapped back, “Fine with me… you choose!”

So, why did I stay? Well, it was my corporate loyalty. True, at that point, my job was akin to standing on the deck of a sinking ship, but since Dolly’s neglect and delegation… no strike that… abdication of power had in essence, made me the surrogate “Captain”, I felt it was my place to either go down with my ship or, if lucky, find a way to save it.

Eventually, Monty and Dolly’s superiors caught a whiff of their stench. They “moved in” and Monty moved on… little doubt… ISO another female to sexually dominate, harass and assault. Dolly got reassigned to another store in our district and eventually moved out-of-state. But, not before her husband (let’s call him Todd) had divorced her. It was unclear whether Todd had discovered his wife was cheating on him all on his own or if that bastard Monty had deviously found a way to clue him in… i.e. just to sadistically devastate her husband.

My new boss (let’s call her Mindy) had a tough job to do… had to find creative “solutions” to force out anyone who she suspected of still being “in bed with” the old regime. Her trust no old employees / guilt by association approach to corporate housecleaning, included me. Of course, her theory had been flawed because I had totally despised all the sloth and un-professionalism, which Monty and Dolly had stood for.

Hard to believe, but, a sexual predator, indirectly, had forced me to prove my loyalty to Mindy. To do so, I did what I’ve always done… showcased what I’ve always brought to every workplace I’ve ever entered… my superior efficiency and strong work ethic.

And, folks, that description is not self-aggrandizement. Mindy, herself (during my annual employee review) not only used those words to assess my work performance but to also justify my pay-raise.

I wound up staying on well beyond Mindy’s all too brief era as our store manager… to the tune of 20 1/2 years. Regrettably, after her departure, more negatively themed events made for more sad stories to tell and maybe, someday, I’ll blog about them, too.

America’s avarice and male hormone driven Republicans, many of them sexual predator suck-ups… some of them predators themselves… must drain the sexually toxic, workplace swamps. True, they won’t likely shive a git about the lost human dignity but were we to effectively present this problem as a corporate profit draining / lost worker productivity issue, might they zip up and listen?

 

 

 

bad, Bad, BAD “Grooming”

 

With all of the recent, front page reportage exposing sexual predators who infest our entertainment industry and political arenas… with many of their victims now speaking openly of how they were abused… I suppose it’s only natural that an old memory of mine has resurfaced.

This incident had to have occurred when I was a 10 or 11-year-old… a public school fifth grader. This was at a stage in my life just prior to entering puberty… a time when I was still totally naive about sexual matters… or more to the point… unaware of the existence of sexual deviants.

You see, the common parental wisdom of that 1960s era, small-town America was childhood ignorance is bliss. Little did they know that kids living in cocoons is every sexual predator’s dream come true.

That certainly set the stage for something awful. In my case, it involved an affable, well respected, “happily married”, veteran schoolteacher, Mr. K… who (no big shocker) also attended the same Catholic church I did. True, I wasn’t officially one of his students. But, since he was also a playground monitor, we soon became pals.

His grooming routine consisted of his ear to ear, grinned greetings and never ending repertoire of silly jokes. His “What’s the good word” catchphrase certainly was a conversation starter, too. His pockets bulging with a never ending supply of chewing gum and candy all but ensured he’d always have tons of kiddies constantly swarming around him.

One day, Mr. K entered the boys lavatory and stood at a urinal near the one I was using. It was just the two of us. At first I didn’t think this was any big deal… but…

Within mere minutes, he turned left… aimed his sticking straight out penis right at me and spewed forth what I believed to be pee. Looking back at it now through my adult eyes, there was no way in hell that that had been urine. Even if it had been, why the need for his messy, abrupt, 90 degree pivot? Huh?

My reaction that day, fortunately, was to totally skip the hand washing routine and bolt for the door. While what Mr. K had done did seem rather odd to me, I simply could not connect the dots… realize that this pervert had just gotten off while, perhaps, even fantasizing about me?

And what if I hadn’t successfully escaped? What would he have done next? Would he have targeted me further in the future?

Well, I did act less friendly towards him afterwards. The very fact that I had run away also must’ve worried him… forced him to believe that I was totally on to him… rattled his cage to the point where he never bothered me again. Back in the here and now, I cannot help but wonder if he ever did the same thing… or worse… to any of my classmates?

Because this had been an isolated incident and sans any physical contact, I’d rank my level of psychological damage to be low. Yet, since I did remember this all so vividly… more than a half century later… I cannot help but wonder if, perhaps, I’m actually underrating it?

 

Read a related article HERE.

 

 

My Word Document / Nightlight Website?

 

Typically I don’t obsess over my WordPress daily statistical reports. However… what they’ve been telling me has been baffling and I need to make some sense out of this. So here goes.

I do know the vast majority of you, my readers, are arriving at my homepage. Now, unless you’re merely using my layout’s white background as a brilliant nightlight… that means you’re here to read. And I do thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for deeming me worthy of your precious time.

While that’s the good news, the bad can be summed up thusly…

I’ve been experiencing a lack of “blog likes” disproportional to my fairly respectable posting day traffic.

Recently, it occurred to me how readers could wind up scrolling down my entire homepage… viewing hundreds of my posts… without ever seeing even one clickable “like button”.

While it’s common knowledge that one must click onto each blog’s title to even find that “button”, in the first place, is everyone remembering to do so? More to the point… is not seeing that “like button” not prompting that reaction?

Perhaps another technical issue exists, too? If my understanding is correct, it’s impossible for readers, sans WordPress accounts, to register such “likes”. Additionally, professionals, who’ve opened business accounts on this platform, cannot interact in this manner, either.

Now that we’ve quickly brushed aside the nuts and bolts aspects, let’s explore some possible flesh and blood explanations…

  1. Sociability Factor: Social networks are no different than real world communities. To make and maintain good friendships you must be a good friend. Admittedly, I’ve not been the best WordPress neighbor. I’ve not been viewing and liking my followers’ posts as much as I’d really like to. For that… I am truly sorry. All I can offer, in my feeble defense, is that not all is going well in my real world… and being a private person, I guess I’ll just have to leave it at that. It’s not that I don’t care or have lost interest in you. I’ve been impressed by your limitless talents… appropriately laughed and cried… even audibly whispered my “oh wows”… while experiencing your eloquent prose, poetry and stunning imagery. Trust me, your blogs have far more to offer than mine.
  2. Longwinded Factor: In short, in our say it on a bumper sticker… say it in 140 characters or less world… my posts do run long. Even so, I’ve got to believe that somebody, somewhere out there can still savor a long read.
  3. Shifting Winds Factor: In short, the dinosaur… a.k.a. liberalism… is likely headed for extinction. In short… if mainly right leaning readers are stopping by to visit, they’re finding my left leaning content unappealing and unlikeable.
  4. Fear Factor: My stats also indicate my readership includes many, who reside in far less democratic societies… where my politics would undoubtedly rub the glowering, intolerant powers-that-be the wrong way. Might some of my readers fear top-down reprisal… ranging from their tyrannical leaders to their likeminded next-door neighbors? If that were the case, it’d be best for them not to “like” me… I’d not want my readers to ever wind up pummeled, punished and/or imprisoned.

And I do feel their pain, too. Stunningly, my homeland is finding out, too late, how rapidly a once-upon-a-time free society deteriorates when misled by an avaricious, vengeful, ill-tempered, capricious, so-called leader who eggs on his rabid devotees to commit deadly acts of violence… emboldens them to embrace all of humanity’s worst possible, character flaws.

Hell, even my own sibling, a successful, independent businesswoman, has confided that while she shares my liberal POV, she oft refrains from openly “liking” my blogs out of her all too legitimate concerns that she’ll lose clientele.

 

SIDEBAR: I might as well mention another related phenomenon, which no stats could ever begin to help me figure out. Almost invariably, when someone first starts following me, they don’t click any blog “likes”. Ergo… I’m totally clueless as to why they’ve opted to follow me (don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for their doing so). Anyway, I’ll oft pay them a visit, too… in some cases, even clicking some likes on their posts. Then I wait and wait… never to hear from them again.

 

Well, I believe I’ve explored this issue honestly, inclusive of taking some personal responsibility for my lack of “likes”. Not that two wrongs would ever make one right, but…

I’ve got to wonder about the sites that boast multiple thousands of followers. There’s no way those webmasters could ever, possibly, give sufficient, personal attention to each and every one of their followers… yet… their readership thrives.

To wrap up this lack of “likes” , still unresolved conundrum…

I’ll now turn to the world of music to feed my soul, sort out and shed some light on my feelings. Specifically, I’ll be paraphrasing the following lyrical couplet to excise some mild, seventies era, male chauvinism from the otherwise wisely penned song, Every Kind of People.

Each and every one of us is the same… we want the sunshine in our name.

Folks, here at WordPress that’s the sunshine, which streams onto bloggers courtesy of those “like stars”.

Forgive me if my long-windedness, once again, has persisted. I’m just trying to figure out why, typically, my blogs cannot even muster enough stars to form the bowl of the Big Dipper… while some my blogging colleagues wind up with enough to create a virtual galaxy.

Most Importantly: You, my readers, must never feel any obligation to click a “like”… or worse yet, to do so out of pity. Click “like” only if you’ve truly found my blogs elevating, enlightening, entertaining and/or enjoyable.

Your honest appraisals are what will help me figure out what topics are of interest to you and to hone my subject matter accordingly. Perhaps, I’ll even wind up growing my audience and following? Increase those “like” responses, too?

So, what if I still wind up with a lack of “likes”?

I’ll either have to pack it all in or be content that my website has been and, perhaps, shall forever be little more than an online word document and/or nightlight.

While I’ve said this before, it does bear repeating…

I am neither God’s gift to the www nor do I ever expect to be. But… with your help… with your honest feedback as my guide, I just might become a wee bit better?

 

The “Heads I Win/Heads I Win” South Dakota Coin Toss

Blog Subtitle: Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?

 

Musical interlude time! First, give this catchy li’l tune a listen… then we’ll chat…

 

Say you and a buddy need a quick way to decide something… it matters not what. So… what options are at your disposal? In no particular order, here are several recommendations…

  1. High Playing Card Draw
  2. Rock – Paper – Scissors
  3. Eenie-Meenie-Miny-Moe
  4. U.S. Supreme Court (STRIKE THAT… DISABLE THAT LINK… BAD IDEA1)
  5. Coin Toss

If you’re opting for #5, do exercise a reasonable amount of caution. Be you an American or a stateside tourist (unaffected by the unamerican [sic] travel ban), when fishing out your pocket change, make sure you closely examine your 25¢ pieces!

In the spirit of fair play, if your quarter is part of the America the Beautiful commemorative coin series, avoid the one featuring South Dakota! Why?

Well, unless you call the toss, “heads”… most assuredly…

YOU WILL LOSE!

You see, to the best of this numismatist-blogger’s knowledge, ever since it was minted in 2013, that particular, peculiar coin became…

America’s, first ever, heads on both sides, legal tender quarter!

On the obverse, per usual (ever since 1932), appears President George Washington… BUT… on the reverse… well… that’s where we discover a zoomed-in, partial image of Mt. Rushmore where not only does gentleman George reappear but so does President Thomas Jefferson!

I do hope this heads-up (not meant to be taken totally serious) blog has helped everyone make heads or tails out of the chancy, “Heads I Win/Heads I Win” South Dakota Coin Toss”. The fate of the entire, decision-making free world just might, someday, hang in the balance??? 😉 (JK)

 

 

Footnote:

1 Considering how five of those nine SCOTUS judges (the Floundering, UnFounding Fathers / muthas) are legislating from the bench… i.e. are hell bent on green-lighting all signed into law, U.S. Constitution gutting legislation… especially (f)laws, which deny average Jane and Joe citizens our freedoms… they would be far too busy to ever help us settle any garden-variety issues. Oh, btw… if you opt to watch this footnote’s linked video, you can save a bit of time by fast forwarding to the juicy details starting at 5:26.

 

 

 

 

Irritants Get Under Humanity’s Skin

 

Three summers ago, upon repeatedly donning the gardener’s equivalent of a Hazmat Suit, I sweltered through the entire season eradicating the poison ivy / sumac / oak, which had been thriving all along my backyard, chain-link fence. FYI, at times, some of these plants had attained the height and trunk width of small trees. I suspect perching birds had been culpable for originally sowing the seeds of my discontent.

My game plan also included the prevention of regrowth and new implantation, respectively, requiring my thoroughly digging up the complex, extensive root systems and carefully containing the (literal) thousands of seeds that were all ready and raring to rain down upon the fertile soil.

Had I not acted when I did, these plants could’ve easily overtaken (overthrown) my entire little corner of the world.

In the years leading up to this reclamation project, I’d have rated myself as a grade-F groundskeeper. I had excessively exploited that old motto, “leaves of three let it be” as my poor excuse for not dealing decisively and expeditiously with the problem at hand. Had I done so, early on, when everything had been at a far more manageable stage, I could’ve quickly nipped the entire problem in the bud.

SIDEBAR: My reluctance stemmed out of fear, as well. You see, decades earlier I had suffered from a (figurative and literal) brush with such plants… resulting in a severe case of contact dermatitis, which required extensive recuperation time.

But, I am happy to report my yard work, report card’s GPA has improved, dramatically, since. Phrases like, “learn from your mistakes” and “live and learn” do sum up the transformation to my new proactive attitude.

So why bring up my true, garden-variety tale?

Because this story serves well as a metaphor.

You see, the nasty seeds of poison ivy, sumac and oak are akin to the ugly seeds of intolerance… those that grow and branch off into a multitude of deplorable directions… e.g., discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, infirmity, disability, religious beliefs and economic class.

Once planted in society, these deeply rooted, reprehensible, mind-warping ideas grow, and become intertwining vines. Their poisonous effects get under the skin to irritate unfortunate individuals… and, eventually… spread to asphyxiate an entire nation’s sense of equality, freedom and happiness.

Dealing proactively and positively to end discrimination, however it manifests itself, requires an expert groundskeeper… and most assuredly, the current, un-american [sic], so-called prez does not possess such qualities.

Worse yet… while I was able to mend my errant ways… it would appear he cannot. In fact, it’s doubtful that he’s even aware he’s nearly always wrong about nearly everything.

Each time that grade-F groundskeeper hesitates to expeditiously and unequivocally nip societal irritants in the bud… be that out of neglect… be that out of his fear of reprisal (e.g., from mental vegetable Nazis and Klansmen)… be that out of his opportunistic desire to save his own political skin… the result is the same.

The longer such “vegetation” is allowed grow the more it thrives, threatens and proliferates… the more the chances grow that a scum of the earth entity will rise up to overthrow the entire world.

And were such a story to ever hit our world history books, it certainly would be no garden-variety tale!

 

 

Robotics vs. Psychotics (One Quick Limerick #030)

 

The so-called-prez, Kim Jong-Un, strut and snort,

Rattle their nukes and our nerves just for sport,

Will their demeanor, psychotic,

Prompt intervention, robotic?

Will Earth be visited by Klaatu’s Gort?

 

If you’ve never seen the classic, 1951 Sci-Fi cinematic gem, which inspired the above limerick, you can read all about it over at Wikipedia and/or watch the entire film over at YouTube (regrettably, the images are not centered properly but it’s the only free of charge clip I could locate).

You can access more original limericks, poetry and lyrical parodies by clicking onto my poetry category.