Things I wish I didn’t overhear at the carnival

imageAs I’ve mentioned, during our town’s annual spring Rhododendron Festival, the carnival sets up across the street from our home.

Literally.

If it were any closer, I could high-five everyone on the tilt-a-whirl without leaving the couch.  So each night after work, I walk two blocks home and pass through the carnival, enjoying the fact that the sound of screaming teenagers — for once — isn’t coming from any of mine. I take time to watch the interactions of people, the motion of the rides, the flashing lights, and take in the carnival-specific aroma of frying corn dogs and sweet cotton candy mixed with freshly spewed vomit from the squirrel cages.

Being a writer, this is a target-rich environment of atmosphere, character and dialogue that I store in my memory to either draw from later or, as in the case of what I’m about to share with you, eventually discuss with my psychiatrist or lawyer.

For example…  Continue reading

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There’s something I’ve been meming to tell you

imageMemes.

They are the Superbowl commercials of our daily lives, offering a moment of laughter or introspection without the obligation of remembering who made them. The word “meme” became part of my vocabulary about six months ago, thanks to my teenagers, who are constantly enhancing my life with important terminology. Without them, I would be the Fred Flintstone of social media living in a world of The Jetsons, texting “Yabba Dabba Doo!” with my thick thumbs only to have it auto-corrected to “Abba Dances Too!”

I would be alone in the cyberworld. A man on a deserted social media island. Out of touch. Except for the Abba spam.

But fortunately my kids keep me plugged in and — when it comes to what’s trending — on the cutting edge. Sure, if we’re being honest it’s an edge that needs sharpening. That’s what I have my teenagers for! And yes, they sometimes (i.e., more often than not) regret keeping Dad in the loop with what’s trending. For example, when the “Damn, Daniel!” vines and memes went viral, my kids shared them with me — which got me thinking:

What if Daniel had been Danny LaRusso from “Karate Kid” instead?  Continue reading