The Betty Situation

Source

Redemption...

I was in a foul mood.7:00 A.M.--in my office--on a Sunday. Normally that would not bother me…this time it was a problem because I had to be here too.

A few hubs back I had played light, loose, and fancy with the conventions of commas and the Grammar-man had slapped me down.

My lawyer is good…he worked out a deal (as they do) and I walked out with a suspended sentence and a fine which promptly converted into community service.

The paperwork indicated that I was to complete three “community service” hubs which were to be turned in to the Comma Court clerk’s office with hub scores in the 80s.

This is the first hub towards my legal redemption. (I wait as the reader conjures up that stirring image of Tim Robinson breaking out of the sewer system…)

Source
Source

New Digs…

On the plus side…I had discovered some available office space in a dark and forbidding Hubsville hall and I snagged it. I moved in the other day. Pretty good size…about 25’ X 15’…internet access, plenty of outlets, and a small window that didn’t look out on anything particularly interesting.

The office had been empty for awhile; its previous occupant having been (long since) banned for un-hubs-man-like activity. A glimmer of that activity emerged as I cleaned out his old effects.

An autographed copy of Mein Kamp, “Nuremberg was Nothing” bumper stickers, old posters of Charles Coughlin, and several completed books (In Pen!) of the “Who’s Who” of Fascism crossword puzzles series. The K.K.K. outfit hanging in the closet rounds out the results of my search.

I had dropped off the autographed Hitler volume at the Hubsville Museum while tossing out the bumper stickers, puzzles, and posters. Being a huge “Blazing Saddles” fan…I kept the K.K.K. garb…you never know…

On the negative side…the office smelled. It seemed as if the former occupant’s culinary taste mirrored that of his political cook book…”Basting with Bormann?” Cabbage? Liverwurst? Some form of blood sausage…? Not sure.

Also…a profusion of little fruit flies floated above the room like clusters of tiny Stuka dive-bombers. They would peal out of a grey-slate sky at the first appearance of any food. My half eaten bagel was experiencing emotional connections to the poor British soldiers of Dunkirk. Nothing could stop the aerial onslaught.

After the failed clean-up…and persistent smell…I was coming to the conclusion that this part of Hubsville was built over the remnants of a Native American burial ground…I jotted down this notion and dropped it in my idea bucket…a 7-11 Thirsty-two Ounce-er…

Source

Complications…

I was pretty hung over. Truth was…I had forgotten about this particular responsibility before departing on an evening of drunken debauchery the night before.

I was only sneaking in to sleep on my office couch when I was reminded by a good friend of my legal obligation. Faced with this reality I resolved to merely phone in my responsibilities with an eye towards hitting the couch as soon as I’d completed my good citizen thing.

The night had started at my favorite watering hole—The Hub Pub--with my favorite bartender--Betty...Our relationship had begun as a literary construct…She was to be a minor character in a transition paragraph designed to move the narrative along…you know…writer’s stuff.

She quickly emerged as more than that…human, even. Needless to say…as writers…we all know…we have to follow the muse. As such, this was to be working session. Develop some back story…define some characteristics…yeah…just work…

OK…actually…I am seeing a “mental health” hub counselor about this “attraction” and I believe we are making progress. The counselor believes we should increase my visits. He’s probably just after more co-pay…Regardless…I didn’t tell him about tonight’s visit…

Source

The Betty Situation…

I normally like to ease into a social situation with Betty. What I mean is that I will typically try and spot her before going up to talk to her. This affords me an opportunity to come up with an appropriate internal CD player song (you know…set the mood) whilst developing the best possible line of twaddle to begin our conversation.

No…nothing stalker like…but I like for my eyes to have an opportunity to take in small sips of her before actually downing the glass…a chance to savor…a chance to avoid brain freeze…

As my eyes swept the room…my internal CD player clicked on…I approved…Black Street’s…”No Diggity…”I was into the melody…my body swaying rhythmically. [Truth in advertisement requires me to say –anyone watching would have thought I was swaying to an entirely different song…so there you go Federal Trade Commission (back off with the mean lawyer letters)]

I was having less luck on my search for witty banter…The curse of a life-long study of history had deposited two competing ideas and left them in my short-term memory before driving off laughing…

For my opening lines (designed) to “wow” Betty I had…1) “These are the times that Try men’s souls,” by Thomas Paine and, 2) FDR’s, “We have nothing to fear…but fear itself …thing.”

Now…on the former, I’m not sure of Tom’s track record with the ladies…? But I was thinking of something a little bit more upbeat? On the latter…I was certainly grabbing on to Franklin’s message…but in terms of opening conversation…I was looking for something more…er…less economic calamity-like?

A recent self-help article (you know…trying to up my sex game) suggested that “fear” shouldn’t be a primary talking-point anyway…

Within my head…Churchill’s voice booms out …”I Have Nothing to Offer You but Blood, Sweat, and Tears!!”

…Whoa…Winston… shh, shh, shh...yes…some fluids…some sweat…all good…sure. Too fast…too soon though...and what’s with the blood? I was busy calming down the overly excited dead Ex-Prime Minister… when I saw her.

First Contact between Iroquois Indians and Europeans
First Contact between Iroquois Indians and Europeans | Source

First Contact…

The crowd had parted and there she stood with her arms held open for a hug. She had seen me first…Her impish round face and cupid-bow lips hinted at pleasures beyond the stars. Dark lustrous hair fell below her shoulders with a few strands cascading gracefully across her forehead.

I resist the urge to push them back into place because my only motivation would have been the desire to feel them between my fingers. Her hair looked softer then a bag of baby ducks…She was a mere wisp of a girl, a waif, a wispy waif of wonderfulness…

She was wearing a form fitted black top and a short (zebra-patterned) skirt. Emerging from the bottom of the skirt were two gorgeous alabaster-white legs, which, drew my attentions downward. This trip was rewarded by a pair of adorable feet encased in sensible shoes.

The before mentioned brain freeze. I was completely caught off guard. “No Diggity” …skitters to a bouncing stop …As I look into her dark brown eyes… (Internal CD player… click, swirl…click, click) …”Van Morrison.” Her image sears into my consciousness and disrupts higher math functions…I believe long division was specifically targeted.

We embrace for a hug. I discreetly mash my cheek into her bag of ducks. Mmmm…

“Hi Thoughts! How are you?” She says brightly into my ear…

“Oh...I am just to the left of dippsy-doodle and within a hopscotch of happiness,” (What the fuck, over?) My mind recoils in horror at my blathering. Unfortunately, that censure didn’t serve to stop the nonsensical verbal parade, “I am ducky…just ducky…yep…ducky…And you? Are your ducks in a row…? Do you need a drink? I have a calendar in my car…would…you…like it…? It’s got ducks on it…These are the times that try men’s souls, as they say…”

Laughing, she takes my hand and leads me to a table.

“Yes sweetie…I don’t think very many people say that anymore…”She’s so cool I eventually settle down…a bit…as much as I ever do…We were drinking white wine…

Source
Wonderful Betty Feet...
Wonderful Betty Feet...

Pitching Woo…and Last Call…

In my mind…the parameters of the drinking establishment had shrunk to the size of a table for two. I took the time to mentally sketch each of her features while keeping up my end of the conversation. Every now and then she would do a little dance to a song in her head. I was enchanted…not only did I like watching her body move…but…her movements seemed to match the tunes in her head…

The hours passed.

We were well into a spirited discussion that (oh…I don’t know…If it were a Hub article), would have been entitled, “Foot Fetish vs. Shoe Fetish: Do we have the Sole to walk on Common ground” … (or something to that effect). Betty loves a good shoe. I love Betty’s feet. I was attempting to make a point but was hindered by fantasies of holding Betty’s left foot in my mouth…

(LAST CALL)

We gathered our things. I offered to walk her to her car.

“You are such a gentleman, Thoughts.” She accepts demurely. She obviously couldn’t see the mental smorgasbord I was making of her toes…

“Well you know,” I replied gallantly,“ Chivalry is not dead…the armor is just so heavy that I move kind of slow.” Yeah…lame…complete and utter nonsense…

We move slowly towards her car. Walking close…every few steps our shoulders would brush together…in all my time on earth (and some other places)…I had never been more fully aware of that particular shoulder.

Her car was red and washed. Fancy. Betty clicked the lock-opener and I took the opportunity to reach down and open the door for her. She seemed impressed. I gave her an ‘Old school’ shrug.

Source
Source

Nutting Up…

The hug that followed was memorable in my mind for the feeling of her fingers pressed into the back of my neck and the awareness that she was about to drive off like baby ducks flying away…I “nutted” up…as she slipped into the driver’s seat…

“So…you know TheManWithNoPants…he just published his 100th hub out in Tucson…he’s having an after hours party…?” I began, “I have a “Flight of Fancy” waiting at the airport…it’s a private plane…so no intrusive TSA searches…unless you want one…would you like to…you know…come with me?”

Her eyes and her face were in agreement it seemed…her tongue had missed the conference call…

“I would love to…really…but I have to pick-up my boyfriend from his work.” She said while starting the car.

I’m a pro. Plus, I was very surprised. I extended my arm its full length with the index finger pointing at her steering column…”Your car starts the first time you turn the key?!?”

“Uh, yes…doesn’t yours?”

“Oh sure…yes of course. I just read that these…um…uh…Subaru things…you know…uh…didn’t always ...you know…just start every time.” I kicked the back tire manfully to reinforce the deception.

“Uh…no…it’s pretty good. Maybe in cold weather…?” Trailed off a confused Betty as she put the car in gear. “So I will see you when you get back to town?”

“Armies of crazed chipmunks couldn’t keep me away!” I assured her dutifully. “You drive careful.”

“You have fun out in Tucson!”She said,

I watched her drive away.

Sigmund Freud, approx. 1920
Sigmund Freud, approx. 1920 | Source
Source

Mental Recriminations and Flights of Fancy…

The walk back to my car was conducted in silence. No music. No internal dialogue. Upon arriving I piled in, threw the 1985 Duck calendar behind the seat, and on the 9th attempt…the engine turned over. Well…not really a turn…more like a flip…as if from a fish on a pier. We were on the road to the airport before Creative Voice chimed in…

“So…life in the real world isn’t hard enough? You had to cock-block yourself in your own short story? Why did you type that…’I have a boyfriend’…what the hell…?”

“I dunno,” I replied morosely. "I panicked…”

“Why not have her say…”I have low-blood sugar so I will need to get a candy bar before I can properly ravage your body during a night of carnal passion that you may not survive?”

“Ooooh…that’s good…”

“But no…you complicate the whole narrative thread with a boyfriend! (Creative Voice grumbled) Perhaps we can work on the boyfriend…you know…horribly disfiguring accident…And what's with the ducks, dude? Why didn’t you use any of the Winston Churchill material I sent down…?”

I tuned him out. We arrived at the airport and Creative Voice volunteered for two intrusive TSA searches…(whatever…he thinks it makes him more edgy). We board the plane. During the trip I fall asleep and am bedeviled by images of Betty and myself cavorting on that “little long division” bed thing…I’m not sure what it’s called. Normally, I don’t much like math dreams…this one was nice.

I woke up when the plane touched down. Creative Voice remained asleep…I didn’t wake him. He was being a dick.

Jim knows how to throw a party...
Jim knows how to throw a party... | Source

The After Party…

Much of this is a blur. But it was awesome. I think. Little snippets of memory are all that hint at what may, or may not have occurred…an amorous cactus, a jeep from M.A.S.H., good people...

Hummer?? Oh yeah…Hummer……

I have a distinct recollection of being sworn in as a third-degree Mason by a guy wearing a George Washington outfit and drinking yak blood from the skull of a sheep...

That may have been the peyote...

Oh,,,yeah...Getting a tattoo of a duck on my ass….

I recall potato salad…but I’m not sure of the context?

Indeed…a blur…

Spinach is the key ingredient for this smoothies appearance. Don't be fooled by the look though, this drink is mighty tasty! Source: Barbergirl28
Spinach is the key ingredient for this smoothies appearance. Don't be fooled by the look though, this drink is mighty tasty! Source: Barbergirl28

Sunday…7:45 A.M…

I was still in a foul mood.7:45 A.M.--in my office--on a Sunday.

On the way in, an hour earlier, I had run into barbergirl28 outside my office door and she, in classic mom fashion, bluntly diagnosed the problem.

“You look like shit, Thought Sandwiches.”

“Glurb.” I responded defensively.

“Are you here to conduct your “Community Service” hub? Like that?”

“Community--?…Oh shit…”

Barbergirl28 immediately reaches into her oversized bag and comes out with; eight aspirin, a bottle of Flintstones vitamins, a Kleenex, two Band-Aids, a bagel, a quart of water, and (inexplicably) A Shrek Smoothie…all neatly poured and ready to go. I looked at her through slatted eyes…

“I’m a mom.” She said by way of explanation. She skips off down the hallway whistling some Disney shit. Small birds flutter after her…chased by butterflies…puppies and bunnies romp along in her wake…

I smiled. I like barbergirl28.

I immediately opened the water and drained half of it while flushing the aspirin down my throat. I daubed at the more serious cactus puncture wounds, applied Band-aids, and stuffed half the bagel in my mouth as I moved into my office.

I brought the Shrek Smoothie in and eyed it suspiciously. It may have been my imagination but I believed it returned the favor. In my hung-over state…it didn’t look like much but after a tentative taste…nice…bananas…I wolfed it down before the fruit flies had their way with it. That had been an hour ago.

I was at my desk…the bottle of Flintstones vitamins spread across my blotter. The Betty’s were neatly aligned on the right. I was munching on the Fred’s and Wilma’s. The Barney’s had been tossed out the small office window that didn't look out on anything particularly interesting.

“Hello, sir?” Inquired a timid voice from my office door.

“Glurb?”

“Um…We are supposed to have a class about Hub Metrics here?” The only thing keeping her from backing away from--I’m sure was not a very pretty sight--were the three bodies crowded behind her.

“Hub Metrics? Oh hell no…read the stuff above this…apply it to your everyday writing…Prosper. OH…and sign the attendance form!"

They looked confused…but complied.

After they left…I staggered to the couch. The last thing I remember seeing was the fruit flies carrying the other half of my bagel out the window…

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Comments 34 comments

Arlene V. Poma 5 years ago

Ahhhhhh, yes. On a Friday night in suburban Sacramento, I can picture all of this happening. Or did someone slip something into my Hamburger Helper Classic to help me along? Ay, yi, yi.


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

I clicked all the buttons... not because of you mentioning me, but because this was just pure awesomeness! I particularly like the part "Her hair looked softer then a bag of baby ducks" ... man, I would love to be a fly on the wall while you are out swooning all the ladies. As I was reading all that, I was a little confused as to how the Shrek Smoothie was going to be brought into this and that is when I saw it... the big, luminous glass of green goo...

I can't tell you how much I laughed, but I got a few wierd looks and then the neighbors started yelling out their windows. I laughed so hard, I was crying, which made it very difficult to finish reading this with the blured vision. But I made it. I laughed so hard... I am going to have to read it again and again and again! I absolutely love this.

Now... I am going to skip off and tweet this bad boy....

Whistle... whistle... whistle..

"Down here all the fish is happy

As off through the waves they roll

The fish on the land ain't happy

They sad 'cause they in their bowl

But fish in the bowl is lucky

They in for a worser fate

One day when the boss get hungry

Guess who's gon' be on the plate

Under the sea

Under the sea

Nobody beat us

Fry us and eat us

In fricassee

We what the land folks loves to cook

Under the sea we off the hook

We got no troubles

Life is the bubbles

Under the sea"


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

@ Arlene...It has been my experience that you can not have this experience with the "classic" Hamburger Helper...too..Old School...but the deluxe...now there you have the makings of a party. Regardless...hop over the hill and we have two Flights of Fancy that leave daily from Reno-Tahoe Airport...

@ Barbergirl (waits for two puppies and a bunny to go by...) Sadly...as regards the woo-ing of the ladies...yeah...you effectively just read my "A" game. (No really girls...he's still single...imagine...) I can't think of a softer image than "a bag of baby ducks"...you could go "box of baby ducks"...but then you have cardboard to contend with...bags are softer. Once I knew where to put you in the story...I knew a Shrek Smoothie would be waiting. Perhaps the best...the term "pure awesomeness." Thanks!! No really...I'm going to write a serious hub about important stuff... Have a great night Disney mom!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

Ha ha - (kicks the bunny because it got underfoot) I am really digging your not so serious stuff. Besides you still have 2 more hubs to go to fulfill your community service for misuse of way to many commas or something like that. I don't know... I am half asleep right now. But I do enjoy your sense of humor... keep it up... even if it is seriously funny or is that just serious without being funny... ok.. time for bed... got to kick the damn animals out!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Well that's just it...will the judge continue to accept this nonsense as proof that I shall sin no more within Hubsville?!?! Eh...I can write in jail if he tries to revoke me..."Idiots Guide to Incarceration" ...maybe..(oh...there is a puppy being teased by bored butterflies behind the couch...)


jhamann profile image

jhamann 5 years ago from Reno NV

WTF ! Where did this incredible read come from. I have now been inspired to go back to school in Neurobiology. I need to know the place! So good... so tasty.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Hi...jhamann...no reason to return to school...perhaps I will explain the journey in my next court mandated community service hub! Be sure to bring goggles...


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

That darn puppy... how many times do you have to tell them to stay away from the bored butterflies... you get them away from the butterlies and they start chasing the snakes. My disney mom gig can get pretty hectic over here!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

@ barbergirl...lol....can't you pull four more hands and three more hours of the daylight from that oversize bag of yours? It seems to have a lot of stuff in there...


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

Stunned and stumbling Thought. Or rather was stumbling till I caught on to your world here. I have nothing to offer you ole boy except your going places. Awesome.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Hi Alastar...I'm glad I was able to catch you up into my "world" ...you are a brave man!! lol...thanks for your kind words...they mean a lot!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

Unfortunately I lost a couple of arms and body parts trying to retrieve something from that oversize bag. I guess it isn't a good idea to put a hungry bear in there with only a bagel... which coincidently I gave to you. I shouldn't even wonder why he is hungry! LOL


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Oh, well now I feel bad. Had I known that there was a hungry bear in the mix...I would have finished that bagel and not let the fruit flies benefit. I was just so tired...


Mamadrama profile image

Mamadrama 5 years ago from Upstate NY

Wow.. I seriously cannot pick just one part I like the best in this whole thing... Love it! Great story telling!!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

hi Mamadrama...lol...in terms of deciding on favorite parts--we are having a two-for-one sale! Take all the time you need deciding. I'm glad I was able to entertain for a bit!


Mamadrama profile image

Mamadrama 5 years ago from Upstate NY

I love sarcasm (as you probably noticed) and all of that was chuck full of it.. thanks for making me giggle like a school girl!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Mama...I agree..I love sarcasm...if only because I don't generally understand the other forms of the genre!


Mamadrama profile image

Mamadrama 5 years ago from Upstate NY

lol! nice! I think I am there with you!


Justsilvie 5 years ago

Glad you recovered. I was worried when I saw you lying in the Cactus! Great Hub!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Silvie...glurb... The cactus...not my proudest moment...TOTALLY...not my worst...but neither on the proudest side either...lol. I'm glad you enjoyed my ramblings about "Betty".


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

I just had to tell you, I posted this on my facebook page and my husband happened to be reading it off his phone while he was at work. It probably wasn't beneficial for him to be laughing so loud in the middle of a hospital, but he did eventually come home that night... so I guess nobody reported the crazy! LOL But wait - what am I talkign about... I better stay away fromt that... shoving a hungry bear in my bag without any food. Now that is crazy. But don't worry about letting the fruit flies take the other half of the bagel. I went and got some donuts afterwards! :)


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

@ barbergirl: Did he bring home any Mountain Dew? I'm glad he didn't lose his job as I would hate to be (yet) another liberal costing another American his job (according to a recent forum posting claiming I don't understand--not me in particular...just liberals). Where was I ...oh...BOOM...crazy you should bring up donuts...(cryptic...yes...yes...)


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

This hub totally rocked!! I absolutely positively enjoyed every bit of it! Especially the vision of Barbergirl whipping out the Shrek Smoothie:) LOL and skipping off whistling Dixie or some Disney shit! I hit all the buttons - I just had to!

Also featuring the pants less man - sweet.


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

Unfortunately he did not bring me any Mountain Dew... however, I had a Shrek smoothie this morning so I really didn't need it. But I WILL be stocking up again after the holiday weekend. It is important ya know! :)


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

@ RealHousewife...lol...I'm glad you liked it! It's always fun to put real-live people from fake-hubber life into real life fiction...nonfiction...um...Well...you get it! Thanks for stopping by!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

@ barbergirl...I understand how important it is. Mountain Dew is a gift from god (delivered through Pepsi Corporation) for us mere mortals. I understand! Oh..and thank you for the lovely link and facebook posting...I meant to mention that!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Ditto what RealHousewife said! What wonderful word pix you paint, TS! And had me rolling on the floor with laughter to boot! What a gift for storytelling! I'm totally in awe of such talent! ;D


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Hi JamaGenee...I'm glad I was able to 'funny' up your day! Thank you for your kind words and taking the time to stop by...the shear quality of your hubs make your words even more of an honor. I look forward to reading more of your stuff!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca

Can we vote again because I just did ;) I love how you depict me as some lovely housewife! ha ha... that is awesome!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Stacy...

Well you ARE a lovely housewife...that said...lol..you can see how the story changes six months later...you know...once I get to know you! Thank you for the (possibly), invalid votes!

Thomas


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca

Ha ha - yes... I go from having butterflies and animals following in my glory to hot oil wrestling... ha ha - it is good to know my true nature has shown through! :)


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Stacy...

I like to think that as a "modern-day" woman...you nicely fill either role. Not to mention...narrative need my friend...narrative need... :)

Thomas


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Commented and tried to share A Writers Hero Journey first but it wouldn't take, please don't tell me some kind of censorship is going on there, Thomas. Anyways, The Betty Situation is an excellent write of early Thought to share in its place!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Alastar!

Ahh...A Writer's Hero Journey is (probably) my favorite (of the one's I've done anyway) and I thank you for the attempt! The censor gods seem to have kept in place and am not sure why there would have been a problem.

That said...I do love finding myself in the middle of a good "Betty Situation" as well! Great seeing you my friend and I look forward to your newest in a few days time.

Thomas

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