If I Had A Gun

I’m an emotional person. Through years of therapy, medication, behavioral changes and hard work, I’ve learned to not apologize for it. This blog, like my life, is honest. I don’t lie or portray a character.

As a writer and journalist for Lefty Pop http://www.leftypop.com I react to the news of the day, trying to make sense of it. When the state in which I reside, Georgia, signed House Bill HB 60 into law yesterday (taking effect July 1st), aka the “guns anywhere” bill, I did my usual and ripped my state on the medias that are social for being a laughingstock.  I wish I could say that I slept on it and realized I overreacted or as one of my wise friends said “hid behind the hyperbole machine”. But, no. And I didn’t sleep, much, because I kept seeing visions of heat-strapped people at the store of groceries..

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I have two jobs I like even more than writing; husband and father. Keeping my wife and three daughters safe stays on my mind and heart. I abhor guns and don’t feel qualified or have the want for one, so now, life just got harder because my community’s full of gun toting Constitution misinterpreting NRA bullying yahoos. Forget about my chances of getting shot, increased by this horrible law, the 4 women I live with just became Targets, at Target.

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The new law allows concealed weapons into many government buildings. This strips local officials of the ability to make their own rules. I thought gun folks liked local government, just not the federal one?

It bars law enforcement from stopping an armed person and asking to see their permit to carry that weapon. Yes, because making the police’s job harder is smart and prudent.

It allows weapons into bars unless the owner explicitly and publicly bans them. Booze and Berettas are always the perfect mix.

It allows gun owners whose concealed-carry permits that have been yanked for cause to reapply after just three years. Because bad bullet barristers have feelings too.

If concealed-carry permit holders try to bring their weapons past airport security systems, it allows them to get off, scot-free, without legal consequence. So, what was the Patriot Act for, again? And why do I have to take my shoes off?

It allows school personnel to carry concealed weapons with significantly less training than that required of law enforcement. Oh, great. Because my kids’ science teacher should be packing a pistol not test tubes.

It allows those convicted of pointing a weapon at another person illegally to still receive a concealed-carry permit. This nullifies the “gun people are people, too” argument. Apparently they’re more than that.

Gun nuts, forgive me, supporters of this law point out that the law only allows weapons to be carried into places of worship or college campuses if approved by the owners. Sweet,  so I won’t get shot at church or my emerging college freshman won’t get blasted after Western Civ unless the pastors and provosts allow it.

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The thing about living in Georgia the past 9 years is we’ve been able to say “hey, we’re not Florida!”, until now. Since 2005, when Florida’s Stand Your Ground travesty went into effect, “justifiable” homicides rose by 300%, peaking in 2009 with 105. Folk heroism was granted to wife-beater George Zimmerman after he killed Travon Martin last year over wearing a hoodie and carrying skittles. Going to the movies became more adventurous than what was onscreen when earlier this year a retired cop put a hole in the chest of a guy for throwing popcorn. Now, Georgia’s Stand Your Ground law is worse than Florida’s. Netflix just became my BFF.

I don’t care about statistics. I care about people. I really freaking care about my family and my friends. I’m going to be brutally honest. I think the gun lobby, extreme right-wing republicans and myopic gun owners care more about their cold steel and it just made all of us less safe. People will die and I don’t think any of them give a damn because they never take responsibility for gun deaths, ever. If they cared about people more than guns, then they wouldn’t let this law exist.

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This bill has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. Every part of Bill HB 60 changes what was already constitutional under the Second Amendment. This is extremism that perpetuates every redneck, hillbilly, backwoods, confederate stereotype ever put forth about us. This is no different than my left-wing ideal of gun control being thrust upon them. But at least my perfect world doesn’t kill anyone.

I’m living day one of southern dystopia, GA; Guns Anywhere. I made it to work safe. I’ve checked on the kids and wife, they’re good. I hope day two is the same. Then again, we usually eat out on the weekends. I can’t wait to get shot at Applebee’s.

 

100 Word Song – Deep As You Go

I like to blame the Easter Bunny for a lot of things. But this year he didn’t make me pack on pounds with Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs, because I didn’t have any. But he did leave us, here at 100 word song, with only 4 entries. Maybe with all of you back home and in a writing mood, we’ll at least double that, this week. We had a new participant, Christine aka @hanolsy from the fantastic writing community Yeah Write http://yeahwrite.me/ and her own award winning blog, a real writer’s paradise http://trudgingthroughfog.wordpress.com/ . If you’re not following, friending, and reading her, you’re missing out. She chose indie pop act October Project. If Peter Paul and Mary had a baby with the Mamas and the Papas and that baby grew up and to have a baby with The Tragically Hip, you’d have October Project. The harmonies are excellent and the lyrics are, too. So, this week’s 100 word song is Deep As You Go by October Project.

Last time: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/29/the-twilight-zone/

Last time: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/19/bizarre-love-triangle/

Silas slid spread out crumbled bills across the counter. He pulled his baseball cap down and  stared out the glass door, watching Olive and Zola dance around the Cutlass.

“Son, a good woman doesn’t take you down, she builds you up. And two of them? That’s drowning in the ocean.”

Silas looked up at the middle-aged man. His scruffy face and deep brown eyes framed a content grin. Silas responded.

“That nice lady that checked me in was your wife?”

The man nodded his head and handed Silas his receipt. Silas smiled then said, walking away.

“That’s good advice, sir.”

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

As always you have 7 days from NOW, to write 100 words inspired by Christine’s pick of Deep As You Go by October Project. Use the medias that are social to advertise you brilliance and tell a friend or 50. The writing prompts community is drying up but we continue to go strong here at 100 word song. And we rhyme, occasionally.

GO

Pour Some Sugar On Me

I don’t understand people who care so much about food. I know this puts me in a sick, twisted, whatthehellisthematterwithyoufreak minority but the amount of time my wife, daughters, other family members and friends spend talking about and dealing with what they eat astounds me. If I could manufacture a utopia it would look like this scene from the 1930 movie, Just Imagine.

For the video impaired, Just Imagine is a science fiction musical (an underrated genre) where a man with a weird European accent wakes up in 1980 New York City and two dudes in spiffy hates lead him by the arm to a “café” that dispenses a full meal, roast beef, clam chowder, beets asparagus and pie a la mode in a capsule. The joke is “the roast beef is a little bit tough” and his catch phrase “give me the good ole days” is employed twice. Yes! I less than two minutes I could take care of lunch and have my very own tag line. THAT is the life.

But let’s deal with now. Raise your hand if you or your loved ones spend an inordinate amount of time and energy with food. I’m not talking about the competitive kind or some disorder where people are garbage disposals. But Does your significant other ask you about dinner at 6am when you wake up? Are all of your social gatherings around a meal? These are rhetorical questions. Of course they do.

My wife graduated from Le Cordon Bleu. She can make a meal from baking soda, stale crackers, and sardines. If you ever come over to my house, don’t say “there’s nothing to eat”. She will slay that dragon in less than five minutes. She’s a foodie and so are my three daughters. The Food Network, which I wasn’t aware existed before meeting my wife in 2008, is on all of the time. My 18-year-old daughter can bake anything. My 10-year-old daughter loves making cupcakes and has now started following her mom’s lead in the kitchen. My 9-year-old will too. It’s like living with the cast of Ratatouille.

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Everyone I know talks about what they eat. In my social circle, family and friends, there are people who are modifying what they consume. Gluten Free and Paleo diets are discussed as much as the weather and whoever won or lost the big game. I don’t begrudge any of them. I know they’re all technically healthier than I am but Gluten Free Club and Paleo Club are nothing like the Fight one on my blog because apparently the first rules of each are to never stop talking about them. I think if they ever get in a room with Crossfit people, they’ll all eat each other after they row ten miles.

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As much as I romance the idea of what the Vicious Circle of The Algonquin Round Table was like the 1920s, writers including Dorothy Parker sitting around riffing on poetry, politics, gossip, and intellectualism, they were eating and drinking, mostly drinking, but eating too. It’s not that I’m anti-food as social outlet because I love my dinner conversations with my family and friends, it’s that I don’t care about food. And since I don’t drink, much, anymore, this leaves me out, kind of, when it comes to enjoying the experience dining. I don’t have a favorite food and I could live without it, if I had to.

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Maybe one day we’ll have the option of eating meals like George Jetson. This will free up time for me to get more things done and finally have an ab. But until then, I’m going to have to learn to get along better with the majority of society, especially the part close to me, that thinks we are what we eat, literally, figuratively, and culturally. I’m headed out after this post to have lunch with my foodie wife. She’ll ask me where we’re going and I’ll say “I don’t care” and she’ll grumble at me like I’m a clueless fool. I am, but also, I really just don’t care.

Until I get my pills, pour some sugar on me. Because I’m not dealing with foodies without having a good time.

I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, very soon.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

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Bizarre Love Triangle

This is a new story episode of my short story, Light of Day, about Silas and Olive, 2 19-year-old Georgia lovers on the run in 1989 Florida.

Last time: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/lips-like-sugar/

Broken sleep and a morning beer buzz greeted Silas as he rose from the floor the Sarasota, Florida Beacon Motel, room 37. He pushed himself up to a standing position and located the Atlanta Braves baseball cap and dollar store sunglasses Olive brought him from Ft. Myers. He stepped over a snoring Zola and whispered into the ear of Olive who’d commandeered the bed for herself.

“Going out for a few minutes. I love you.”

She didn’t move but a muffled “love you, too” came from her.

Silas walked outside, let the door close behind him in a ginger manner to avoid waking the women, then looked for police. He spied a newspaper stand then dug into the pockets of his jeans until he found a quarter and a dime. Anxiety rolled over him so he pulled the cap down close to his eyes and donned the sunglasses. He paid for the newspaper then found a shaded alley behind the motel’s laundry service. Pulling the sunglasses off with his right hand, the left searched for a story of a body of a man named Bart found in an industrial section of Sarasota, Florida, shot in the neck.

The newspaper article never appeared. Silas ran through scenarios in his head just like Olive had taught him. When he stumbled upon one that made the most sense, he took off the baseball cap and sunglasses and walked back to the room. Olive opened the door as he arrived. She shook her head and pulled him inside, letting the door slam.

“Silas,  what the hell are you doing? Are you trying to screw things up?”

He pulled his arm away and watched the newspaper splay across the floor. He furrowed his brow, then pulled her mouth to his. The kiss was long, deep, and purposeful. Olive smiled when he let her go.

“Not anymore, Liv.  Get your stuff and Zola together then meet me at the car. I’m going to check out of the room. We’re driving to Tampa to deliver you to your first day of work at The Jade. I’ll find a job or some way to earn quick money and we’ll follow our six month plan to run away, together.”

Behind Olive, a groggy Zola pulled herself onto the bed, wrapped her shoulder-length dark red hair into a pony-tail, lit a cigarette and announced.

“I know where we can get money, a lot of it. It’ll take a few days and some planning. But once we get our hands on it, you have to take me with you.”

Silas and Olive stared at each other. He let out a large, audible sigh but before he could respond, Olive jumped on the bed with Zola, hugged her and said.

“Silas, I told you that you’d love Zola.”

I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, very soon.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

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American Blogger, The Real Thing

With a post due tomorrow morning for my politics and pop culture site I run with friends, Lefty Pop, my third book, a fiction novella, Woman of Troy, about a twenty-something female rock star,  currently in rewrites, and this post burning a hole in my head, my biggest obstacle is a 3-year-old cat who wants my leftover pizza sitting next to me on the couch. Shooing her away with my dirty workout panted leg and answering questions from my wife and 9-year-old daughter ranging from “did you put chicken out?” to “which one is Snow White on Once Upon A time?” to “what’s that smell?”, I lose my place and mutter a PG-rated curse word.

This is blogging to me. At least, it’s my experience.

My legs hurt from working out back to back days on a 43-year-old body, after taking 7 weeks off to travel for work. And I seem to be aging quicker than ever, as gray hair laughs with the aches and dance with my forgetfulness. Did I call about that thing I was supposed to?

Yet, I write. And it looks nothing like this.

The video you just watched is a trailer for an upcoming documentary moronically titled, American Blogger. My post is one of many already dotting the virtual landscape of Bloggerdom. Don’t worry. There are no technical English rules in blogging. We get to make them up as we go along. Bloggerdom is as much a term as selfie. Like the other posts you’ll read on this subject, I find that trailer and the movie it represents laughable and not reflective of the community I’ve been a full-time member of since May 2010, and a part-time member for five years prior.

I have no idea who the bloggers are, highlighted. I didn’t realize that children of supermodels also posted their lives, or portions thereof. But pretty people in fedoras, basking in natural sunlight tearing up at the notion of being a blogger isn’t my gripe. God bless them all. It’s the guy and his wife, The Wiegands, who made the film. I don’t know them. I think I’ve seen the wife’s blog around the corners of the internet over the past few years, but I’m not a regular reader. They say that they interviewed over 50 blogging friends. I don’t think they’re lying. But calling a flick about their clique, American Blogger, is a very bad joke. My first thought when my blogging friends showed it to me was that it belonged to Saturday Night Live as a digital short or some mockumentary. I started looking for my favorite cast members.

Being a writer, or a blogger, and yes, sometimes they’re the same like a real estate novelist and other times they’re as different as real estate agent and novelist; is a job. You have to treat it as such. I write every day, post every other day, and take it as serious as I can without upping my usual medication. I haven’t made a lot of money doing it. I’ve sold some books, made some money as a freelancer named Lance, here and there, but mostly, it’s a labor of whatever that can, at times, resemble love.

American Blogger is to blogging as Nickelback is to music. It’s bad. It has Kardashian depth in a milieu that’s diverse, unique, and impossible to film in less than two hours, much less a 3 minute trailer.

No, I haven’t see the whole film but the promotional material suggest something that isn’t what I know of the blogging world. Take away the good-looking folks, impressive cinematography, voice of God narration, and super duper clean homes, and it’s mostly hip, young, white women talking about their fashion and lifestyle sites. That’s a subculture of a subgenre.

If you really want to know what blogging looks like, check out the people who read this place, my http://www.leftypop.com site and my social media accounts for a community that’s very difficult to classify. Then go read and follow many other sites that I don’t even touch with my limited scope.

I wish I could write more, but my cat has won this battle of nitwits and I’ve got to take out the garbage. Real bloggers know how this is done. It’s more like the real thing.

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The Twilight Zone

Last time: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/100-word-song-woke-up-this-morning/

Hush dominated Silas’ scene. His panting couldn’t complete with the quietude around him. Blood pooled around Bart. Silas swiveled his head to look for passer-bys or the two men who had walked into the warehouse before incident. No one had seen him shoot the gun. He looked at the wound on Bart’s neck but gushing fluid hid the bullet. Silas’ breathing picked up, cutting across his chest like dozens of tiny blades.

“I’m so sorry.”

His apology bounced off the pavement. Silas ran to the driver’s side of the Cutlass, dropped his keys on the ground, picked them up then made another frantic head turn to look for witnesses. He saw none.

Silas cranked the car then made a U-Turn heading back to Ft. Myers. Tears reached the corners of his mouth. He replayed the gunshot in his mind, trying to figure out how the bullet made its way to Bart’s neck. He slapped the steering wheel with his hands and whimpered.

“Damn it! Damn It Damn It! I’m so sorry! Yes! She killed him, Bart! I wanted to go the police and tell them he was blackmailing her but she wouldn’t let me!”

He caught himself from saying more. He could feel Olive’s presence in the car, watching him, disappointed in his sensitivity but cheering his heinous act.

He stopped at a gas station two miles away. He bounded from the car and ran to the payphone. Digging a quarter out of his left front jeans pocket, he called Bart’s house in Ft. Myers. Zola answered.

“Hello?”

Silas couldn’t catch his breath. He thought Zola would figure out what he did, just by him asking for Olive. He slammed the gray receiver back into place and dropped to the floor of the booth and sobbed.

A phone book dangled next to the him. He read the ad on the back.

BEACON MOTEL: $24 ROOMS, CASH ONLY, FREE HBO, 941-5555

He got up and went back to the inside of the car. He remembered the sign for the Beacon Motel when he and Bart had gotten off the exit. It was less than a mile away. He pulled away from the gas station and started planning out loud.

“I’ll hunker down at the motel, call Olive, figure out how to get out of town and start all over.”

The motel’s décor was blue, white and yellow. A moon and stars motif belied a lack of upkeep. He pulled into the backside of the business, got out and counted out the money in his pocket that Bart had given him.

“Fifty-six dollars and thirty-four cents, I can make this work.”

He opened the Beacon’s front door. A bell tinned and a middle-aged woman of maybe fifty-years-old grinned after taking a drag from a Virginia Slims cigarette.

“Hey there, handsome. Need a room or are you lost? We get as much lost as we do business, these days?”

Silas let go of a sheepish smile, pulled a twenty and a five from his money stash then responded.

“No, ma’am. I need a room for the night.”

The woman pulled a ledger book from under the Formica counter and puffed smoke around her words.

“Sign in here, sweetheart. Since you’re paying cash, all I need is a name.”

Silas hesitated, then handed over the money and picked up the black ink pen and wrote what he and Olive talked about for him if they ever changed their names.

Evan Butler

I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, next month.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

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New Sensation

I was sweating, babbling and at one low point, almost crying, but after a speech to my 18-year-old daughter and her best friend about the potential dangers of driving into downtown Atlanta for a Miley Cyrus concert, I realized I was a dad. And suddenly, I was okay. Not really.

I think I need to stop reading my teenager’s Twitter feed because I’m starting to get more envious than worried. With two months left of her high school senior year, she’s starting to become an independent young woman, having fun, making mistakes, and doing it all with the same wide-eyed reckless abandon I did, a generation ago.

taylorwalkhallway My daughter at the schoolhouse.

She came home yesterday after receiving induction into the Spanish Honors Society. I think this means she has to order from Mexican food menus in the appropriate accent but it also means she’s very smart. At the end of this week, we’ll revisit her college, Georgia State University, where she’ll spend the next four or so years of her life becoming more grown up and really ready to be her own person.

After soaking up some academic pride, she started getting ready for her first ever no parents around concert. It was Miley night. Nothing had ever been more important. What struck me the most is how it reminded me of Def Leppard night, or Motley Crue night, or INXS night, the three concerts I went to when I was her age, a senior in high school, in 1987/1988.

Instead of ripped, bleached jeans, a baby mullet, and a touch of eyeliner, she was packing blue jean shorts, flannel shirts, and a touch of eyeliner. I felt some pride, which was weird.

Then, I lost my mind. Bad.

The speech was bizarre, like Frances McDormand from Almost Famous meets Sam’s dad’s from Sixteen Candles.

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At some point I created this scenario where guys would try to entice them with better tickets by asking them to get in a van. It was awful. But I guess sometimes you have to go over the top to get the results you want.

I ended it all with “don’t do drugs and don’t take your clothes off” and I gave them some extra cash for emergencies. I’m sure they spent that on snacks. Just snacks.

I don’t know what happened to me. But my transformation into stereotypical dad scares the hell out of me. It doesn’t matter how many tattoos I get (I’m on 8 right now), how many blogs I write (two currently , go see my other place www.leftypop.com ) or how many medias that are social accounts I try to rock, I’m going to be the dope who told his daughter and her BFF to not do drugs and keep their clothes on with tears in his eyes.

tayandleimileyshow  My kid (right) & her BFF (left)at Miley last night.

Parenting is hard. Some of it because I wish I was 18 again, getting ready for INXS in March, 1988, at the OMNI in Atlanta. I promise, dad, I spent the extra 10 bucks you gave me on snacks.

My fingers may or may not be crossed.

Here’s a song from that show 26 years ago. RIP Michael Hutchence. I wanted to be you so bad, back then. Just like my kid wanted to be Miley Cyrus last night.

I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, next month.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

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Do I Wanna Know?

You want to know how traumatizing it is to transfer secrets onto a blank screen? Hitting send is opening your veins and your only hope for survival is the acceptance of other cutters.

*****blogger’s note****

After four years, a special community I found by chance on the internet is closing it’s virtual doors. Thank you Trifecta Writing Challenge http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/ . Go see them ASAP and find a bunch of other writers who will make you smarter and more entertained.
This is my 33 word goodbye. Trust me, they’ll understand and dig the melodrama. Good bye Trifecta.

Here’s the best song you aren’t listening to, The Arctic Monkey’s Do I wanna Know?

I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, next month.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

bookcoverpicajjhkasfpaperbackpicturesad

100 Word Song – Anything

I owe Lindsay Lohan an apology. Every time she or some other celebrity check into the hospital for “exhaustion” I make fun of them. I could qualify for a bed, tonight. I traveled back to New York City last night and this morning, worked all day, then collapsed in my hotel room. Thus, 100 word song didn’t get posted in the morning, per usual.

One of 100 word song and My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog’s most loyal readers and writers, Carrie, from The Muse Unleashed http://museunleashed.com/ chose this week’s tune. Her Rachel story has been built through prompts and one day she’ll publish it all together and blow us away. It’s brilliant. Her choice for this week’s song is Hedley’s Anything, an infectious pop ditty.

For my 100, we go back to Silas and Olive on the run in 1989 Florida, my fiction short story tentatively titled Light of Day.

Last time: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/gigantic/

Bart put up his hand and shouted.

“Stop! Streetlight’s out. If we need to run, this’ll be perfect.”

Silas pulled the Cutlass into an industrial area and turned off the engine. Bart watched two men walk into a warehouse office. Silas noticed a flyer flapping on a telephone pole in the light Florida wind. It settled enough for him to read its advertisement.

Go Back To School. Prepare Yourself For Anything. Florida Technical College. 233-2323

Bart swigged the last of his coffee and opened the door.

“Follow the plan, Silas, and we can do anything with the money we’ll have.”

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

As always, you have 7 days from NOW, to write 100 words inspired by Hedley’s anything. Use the medias that are social to brag about your 100 then link up to the green Mr. Linky below.

Marigold

Any therapist worth a minimum of $50 an hour will say that talking through it helps you heal, but the stone cold truth is, I don’t think I have the right words to describe what The Walking Dead did to me last night with their episode “The Grove”. It’s like they punched me in the stomach and stole my lunch money. It’s been fifteen hours since the greatest show ever about the zombie apocalypse went off the air and I’m still winded. The rules of the internets dictate that I start this with *SPOILER ALERT*, because I didn’t watch last week’s show until right before this week’s so some of you are gripping your DVR controller. So, here we go, dudes, plot points are contained within.

all photos courtesy of AMC

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Let’s wash off the blood off our eyes and hearts of what the writers and producers put us through. The hour centered on Carol and Tyrese with their adopted brood of 3 girls, pre-teens, Lizzie and Mika, and baby Judith. They come along a Grove, it looks like Covington, Georgia, but I could be wrong. It was beautiful, the kind of place I played at one of my relative’s old farms growing up. I live right outside of Atlanta, where the show is filmed.  Anyway, the place they find has it all, a place to cook, garden, plenty of water, and little to no walkers aka zombies. But there’s a killer in their midst and well, okay, let’s not be coy, it’s bat crap crazy Lizzie.

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Throughout the four seasons of The Walking Dead, man’s humanity among mass inhumanity and vice versa is the theme explored over and over. But in the past few episodes we’ve watched more about what being on the run and beheading the re-animated dead can do to kids, like Carl, Lizzie, Mika, and will one day do to baby Judith. Mika and Carl have turned into warriors, perfectly capable of icing, axing, shooting, stabbing, and killing things that are dead, while maintaining some civility toward the living. But Lizzie, as we say in the south, bless her heart, her wired got smoked. She doesn’t seem to mind killing the living and her affinity for the zombies is straight up creepy and completely wrong.

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Carol is the most complex character on The Walking Dead. Her Facebook relationship profile has “it’s complicated” in every column. She appeared to us for the first time in season 1 a battered wife, so timid she could barely speak. Her brutish, abusive husband eventually dies. Then supposedly the real Carol shows up. But not really. Her stark realism of “I do what has to be done” isn’t appreciated by anyone other than Daryl. They almost get a romance started when a flu overtakes the prison everyone calls home. To save hundreds of lives, including Tyrese’s kinda sorta girlfriend, Karen, she kills Karen and another infected with the super flu person. She’s banished from the zombiepocalypse cool kids despite teaching the children how to read, write, make dinner, and kill walkers like there’s no tomorrow, because, most of the time, there isn’t one. But ol’ Carol gets redemption but not really, yet. She meets back up with Tyrese and the youngins and what happens? Crazy Lizzie and in progress Mika.

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What happened in the last 15 minutes will be talked about for years. The Walking Dead has been setting bars, leaping over them, and resetting more for a while. Every mistake has consequences on The Walking Dead. Carol and Tyrese left Lizzie, Mika, and Judith alone. They come back and Lizzie is covered in Mika’s blood with a harangue of “see, it’s going to be okay when she comes back”, meaning reanimated as a pre-teen walker. Uh, no, Lizzie. That won’t happen. Carol and Tyrese know what has to go down. Carol’s words, “she can’t be around people” are the new “soylent green is people” of this generation. Well, that and when Carol takes Lizzie out back to “pick flowers” for now dead Mika’s memorial.

“Just look at the flowers.”

That’s what Carol says to Lizzie. Try saying that to your kids this weekend at the park if your knees buckle and your stomach knots.

The good news is they spared Judith, for now.

Let’s be straight about one thing. If Melissa McBride, the actress who plays Carol, isn’t on the red carpet in Los Angeles in the fall with an Emmy nomination, they should cancel acting awards, forever.

What did The Walking Dead do to us last night? They showed us that anything is possible when a TV show isn’t JUST a TV show. I can’t wait for next week. If I can recover.

Just listen to this song that’s not really about flowers.

Here’s the Nirvana.

I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, next month.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

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