Fandango’s Provocative Question (20 January 2021)

Today’s Provocative Question, Fandango asks:

Do you think Donald Trump should be allowed back on social media now that he’s no longer in office?

By default, I think people should be able to use these platforms, if they choose to.

Incitement to violence seems like a good reason to ban somebody from these platforms. That might cover Trump, but if I governed a social media platform’s policy, I’d want to be happy that the conviction was objective, and not politically-motivated. Right now, I’d have severe doubts on those grounds but I’d withold judgement until I’d seen what happens during the impeachment process.

But banning somebody just because they talk crap? Even if you might describe it as lies? Sorry, but as soon as you say you support free speech you’re committed to tolerating views other than your own. Last week Larry commented on my post and mentioned critical thinking, and I think that’s the problem – not that he spouts all this rubbish, but that people (in the USA and abroad) are too dumb to realise it is rubbish.


inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 20 January 2021, pundit.

Through the heats, there was never a waiver,
Then was tasked to make trifle to savour,
All the pundits were shocked,
When he added beef stock.
He said, “that won’t half give it some flavour!”

Married Life

Yay, it is time for Paula’s Tuesday Story! Images today are:

He hated this. This was the worst part of his job, thought Mark. Processing all the numbers. When he had quit working at the gym, to start a career freelancing, nobody had told him how difficult this would be.

Now, here he was, lying in bed, dreading the task ahead. “Ah, well, the sooner I’m started, the sooner it is over”. He made sure to get up quietly, so as not to disturb his partner, Carol, who lay gently snoring beside him.

Benjy, however, was another matter. As soon as he heard his master’s movement, he jumped up from his rug and sprinted out to the kitchen. For Benjy, breakfast could not come soon enough.

Mark went through to the kitchen, fed the dog, let him out into the garden, and fired up his computer. He stared at the hundreds of receipts lying waiting in a pile and groaned. Some of these were two year’s old, for God’s sake. Why hadn’t he taken his own advice, to enter them onto the computer as he went along? But the self-employed deadline was next week, and he had to get these numbers over to the accountant for first thing tomorrow, so he started plodding.

Almost two hours later, he heard movement in the bedroom, and Carol appeared. She padded over to their open-plan kitchen, decided that the coffee was no good, and put on a fresh pot. “Do you want a coffee?”, she chimed, cheerfully. “…nuh”, came the response. It had hardly registered with him.

She wandered over. “Good morning, gorgeous”, she chirped. “I said, would you like some coffee?” Mark snapped out of his trance. “Oh…. Er, no, thanks”, he muttered, adding, “look, I’ve got to get my accounts done this morning, so I’d appreciate some quiet.” He’d told her last night that this would happen, although Carol’s salaried job meant that she had little idea what he was doing – her employers took care of all her taxes. “Not to worry, darling, I’ll be as quiet as a mouse”, she uttered, as she ceremonially tiptoed back into the kitchen. After hearing sounds of breakfast, Mark heard Carol return to the bedroom. He looked up when ten minutes later, she reappeared in a leotard. “I’m just gonna do my exercises, but don’t worry, I’ll be really quiet.”

That was the trouble. Their apartment was essentially a lounge plus a bedroom, and since Lockdown, the lounge had become Carol’s gym. He heard the rebounder being locked into place, and then she started jumping. With her earbuds in, she was dead to the world, but with the noise, Mark found it hard to concentrate. But, wanting to keep the peace, he decided it was time for a coffee break, and went through to make a fuss of Benjy.

All coffee’d out, Mark reappeared when he heard the bouncing stop. He saw Carol, sweating now. “All done”, she panted, “how’re you getting on?” “Okay”, replied Mark, biting his lip. “Right”, Carol told him, “I’m gonna quickly jump in the shower, then I’m gonna crack on. Is there anything I can do for you?” “No, just keep the noise down”, reminded Mark.

After the shower, Carol padded through to the bedroom again, and reappeared, five minutes later, dressed.

“Right, I had it on my mind to fix Benjy’s kennel today. The way it bangs every time we have a breeze is really annoying me.” Mark grunted but did not tell Carol exactly what was annoying *him* right now. He pressed on.

He heard her remove their little toolbox from their utility cupboard, then figured he might get some peace, if she was going outside. He pressed on.

Five minutes later, he heard the kennel being dragged into the apartment. “It’s too bloody cold out there”, she explained. He pressed on.

When Mark heard the hammer crashing down on the kennel, Mark finally snapped. “WILL YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP????”, he shouted at Carol.

Not used to being spoken to so rudely, Carol was aghast and angry. She picked up a screwdriver from the toolbox, and flung it in Mark’s general direction. Mark ducked. Carol then stormed past him, and out of the front door. He heard her car start and the car drive away.

Maybe now he’d get some peace?

I’m sorry, very long today, by my usual standards. But I wanted all the readers to be weary of her too, just like Mark was.


inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 19 January 2021, meme.

A teen, with his girlfriend, in France,
Was not sure just how he should advance,
So he sent her a meme
On a sexual theme,
She said, “Sunshine, you don’t have a chance.”

The Rocket Effect

Just thought I’d share this data which I updated this evening. This is the number of COVID cases in our village. The increase over the christmas period is about tenfold (compared to, say, pre-December). But I’ll just going to share the image and let you provide the commentary.

As far as I can tell, our area is absolutely typical of all UK areas.

You can click through to a full size image if you like but you can probably get the gist from the smaller image.