Words for Wednesday was begun by Delores and has become a moveable feast of word or picture or music prompts to encourage us to write stories, poems, or whatever strikes our fancy.
This month, the prompts are being provided by Elephant’s Child.
This week's prompts are:
"It's SKULDUGGERY, I tell you!"
"What is, Grandpa?" Alissa smiled, but inwardly she GROANED. Grandpa was a wonderful man, had been a great farmer and provider for his family, an upstanding citizen and elder in the church. As he got older, though, he had what she thought of as a DELIGHTFULLY FERTILE imagination about what trouble new inventions were going to cause. He fought against them with all his might and main.
The latest was the TELEPHONE, a MACHINE he was certain was going to cause the "ruination of people, especially the womenfolk!" He'd heard, or so he said, that one woman in the nearest city had insisted hers be in the kitchen so she could listen in on every conversation on the party line even while she was cooking meals. "It'll turn people into nothing but idle gossips, talking on that thing all day! It's a TRAP to make people spend more time jawing and less time doing!" he'd said.
Their small town was finally going to get a line, and Alissa could just imagine how nice it would be to call down to the CORNER store and tell Mr. Jeffers what she needed, saving a trip down there if he happened to be out of it. Or neighbors letting each other know if that pesky coyote had come back into the area, so they could keep an eye on their henhouses. Alissa knew having it would be a "modern inconvenience," as they were noisy, especially when the call was for someone else. That didn't mean she bought into what she thought of as the FICTION that this was a nefarious plot to ruin the country.
"The idea of that noisy talking box in the house, well, we don't need it!" Grandpa was saying.
This was going to take a DEFT touch.
"Grandpa, do you remember when Grandma went into labor with Fred?" she asked.
"Do I ever!" he responded. "She was having a terrible time, and it was raining fit to beat the band..."
"And you had to get your galoshes and umbrella and go to town for the doctor on foot, it was storming so much with the thunder so loud the horse wouldn't leave the barn."
"I'll never forget, and was I thankful when we got back to the house. I thought for sure I was going to lose them both!"
"Well," Alissa was careful in her SELECTION of words, "what if you'd had one of these new talking machines and could have just called for the doctor. Wouldn't that have been better than leaving her here with only the other two children and the hired man while you had to travel in all that weather to go get him?"
"I'm not saying it might not be useful in a case like that," he glowered at her. "What I'm saying is that it's not going to be used all the time for important things, it's going to be misused most of the time for idle chatter when people would be better off doing chores or housework or reading their Bible."
"Grandpa," she went even more carefully, "don't some people misuse the Bible?"
"Of course some people do."
"Does that mean we shouldn't use it at all?"
"It's a different case, young lady, don't try to take me down that path."
"Well, Grandpa, do you want us to quit using the reaping machines, taking so much longer to bring in the harvest? And what about trains? Can you imagine if we had to go back to using the horse and buggy when we want to go visit the cousins? By train it's a few hours, but by buggy it's two days. Modern inventions can be misused, but they can also be a huge help."
Grandpa just sat and frowned. He knew he was going to lose this battle, but he wanted to go down fighting.
Alissa took the starch out of him when she said, "I'll tell you what. How about if you get to decide where we put it in the house so it will be the least distracting. And if you honestly think, after we've had it a good while, that it's causing more harm than good to our family, we can always have it taken out."
"Humph. Just like your Grandma, you can always talk me into letting you get your way. It's a deal."
Alissa smiled again. "Grandpa, I'm going to make a prediction. The first time that Monday rolls around and you call the pastor to discuss his previous day's sermon with him instead of having to hitch up the buggy and ride to the manse, you're going to be glad we have it."
"Maybe. Just as long as we stop at the telephone and you don't get any ideas about those new horseless carriages. Now those things are a menace!"
Assassination of the Hero of the Nation Day/Prince Rwagasore Day -- Burundi (Commemorates the assassination of Prince Louis Rwagasore in 1961.)
Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work Day -- at your own risk! sponsored by Susan E. Schwartz of "Teddies Are The Answer"
Clean the Crumbs Out of the Broiler Oven Day -- keep it working longer, and prevent a potential fire
Day of National Concern About Young People and Gun Violence -- US (students around the nation are asked to sign the Pledge Against Gun Violence)
Emergency Nurses Day
Fontinalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (garlanding of fountains)
H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadeg The Great Memorial Day -- Thailand
International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction -- UN
International Skeptics Day -- while there are skeptic organizations around the globe, there's no documentation of this being celebrated internationally; maybe the creator of the day wanted us to be skeptical about it?
John Peel Day -- UK (in honor of his last broadcast)
Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day -- find information about this disease here
National Fossil Day -- US (National Park Service information)
National M&M Day
National Pet Obesity Awareness Day -- because about half of pets in the US are overweight or obese
National Stop Bullying Day -- use #NationalStopBullyingDay to post on social media (begun in 2009 by eighteen 6th grade students at St. Stanislaus Kostka School, now a nationwide movement)
National Take Your Parents To Lunch Day -- US (sponsored by Kiwi Magazine, encouraging parents to go to school and have lunch with the children, learning what goes into a healthy lunch)
National Yorkshire Pudding Day
Navy Establishment Day -- US
Runic Half-month Wyn (joy) begins
SAVE Today -- US (Stop America's Violence Everywhere, a day created in 1995 by the American Medical Association Alliance)
St. Colman's Day (Patron of horned cattle, horses, and those who are to be hanged; Austria; against death by hanging and plague; a blessing of horses and cattle is still held at Melk on this day)
St. Edward the Confessor's Day (Patron of kings, those in difficult marriages, separated spouses; the English Royal Family)
Train Your Brain Day -- spread around the internet by no one knows whom, but today is a good day to commit to doing what you can to keep your brain young
Founding of Georgia Institute of Technology (Ga. Tech), 1885
Cornerstone of the White House laid, 1792
US Navy is authorized by the Continental Congress, 1775
Sacha Baron Cohen, 1971
Nancy Kerrigan, 1969
Kate Walsh, 1967
Kelly Preston, 1962
Jerry Rice, 1962
Glenn Anton "Doc" Rivers, 1961
Marie Osmond, 1959
Chris Carter, 1957
Sammy Hagar, 1947
Pamela Tiffin, 1942
Paul Simon, 1941
Melinda Dillon, 1939
Nan Mouskouri, 1934
Jesse Leroy Brown, 1926
Lenny Bruce, 1925
Margaret Thatcher, 1925
Nipsey Russell, 1924
Yves Montand, 1921
Cornel Wilde, 1915
L. L. Bean, 1872
Rudolf Virchow, 1821
Mary Hays "Molly Pitcher" McCauley, 1754
"Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"(Play), 1962
"Kukla, Fran and Ollie"(TV), 1947
Today in History:
Nero becomes emperor, 54
The Vandals and Alans cross the Pyrenees and appear in Hispania, 409
Rabbi Issac Abarbanel begins his exegesis on the Torah, 1483
Jonathan Swift publishes the last of Drapier's letters, 1724
Charles Messier discovers the Whirlpool Galaxy, 1773
First publication of the "Old Farmer's Almanac", 1792
George Washington lays the cornerstone of the "Executive Mansion" (White House), 1792
Founding of B'nai B'rith, 1843
The first arial photo taken in the US, from a balloon over Boston, 1860
Eliezer Ben-Yehuda & friends agree to use Hebrew exclusively in their conversations, which begins the revival of it as an active and growing language, 1881
Greenwich, in London, England, is established as Universal Time meridian of longitude, 1884
Edward Emerson Barnard discovers D/1892 T1, the first comet discovered by photographic means, on the night of October 13–14, 1892
Ankara replaces Istanbul as the capital of Turkey, 1923
Premier of "Kukla, Fran, & Ollie", 1947
Fiji joins the United Nations, 1970
The first electron micrograph of an Ebola viral particle was obtained by Dr. F.A. Murphy, now at U.C. Davis, who was then working at the C.D.C, 1976
Ameritech Mobile Communications (now AT&T) launched the first US cellular network in Chicago, Illinois, 1983
End of the Lebanese Civil War, 1990
The 2010 Copiapó mining accident in Copiapó, Chile comes to an end as all 33 miners arrive at the surface after surviving a record 69 days underground awaiting rescue, 2010
In China, 23 elder members of the Communist Party of China call for ending the country's restrictions on free speech, 2010
Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, 2016
Simone Biles becomes the most decorated gymnast in history when she wins a record 25th medal at the World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, 2019
Kenya's Brigid Kosgei sets a new world record of 2:14.04 for the women's marathon in Chicago, beating Paula Radcliffe's 16-year-old mark, 2019