Portal of Disappointment

Several years ago, which I was much younger and even more immature, Luis Rivera and I decided to sing our version of some holiday classics over the print shop intercom. We entertained co-workers with a rousing rendition of “Rudolf the Brown-Nose Reindeer,” the tale of a despicable suck-up who was ostracized for ratting-out other reindeer.

Luis held a special penchant for girls with large derrieres and insisted we sing his personal favorite, “Wide Christmas.” The opening line went something like this, “I’m dreaming of a Wide Christmas, just like that girl I used to know…”

I’d love to hear your favorite fractured holiday song. Please include the lyrics in your comments so we can all sing along.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the conductor of this choir of writers (who insists we type in 4-part harmony) is Soprano Dianna Wisoff-Fields.  If you’d like to take a stab at this exercise in madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright - Roger Bultot
copyright – Roger Bultot

Jack dreamed of being a loser. His father was a loser, his grandfather a loser, and the family expectation weighed heavily upon his shoulders.

The problem was, he couldn’t fail. In fact, he excelled at everything. Music, sports, mathematics, even literature, they all came easy. He put forth no effort and intentionally selected wrong answers to lower his scores. Nothing worked.

“Jack’s the only person,” lamented his father, “who can screw up screwing up.”

He decided to ask Felicity Warbucks to the prom. Surely, she would turn him down.

Felicity smiled. Another window of opportunity fled through the portal of disappointment.


61 Comments on “Portal of Disappointment

  1. Now why, oh why would anyone dream of being a loser? In Jack’s case, he is to his family… he should just leave it at that! 😉


  2. Dear Jack,

    Some people plan to fail while others are fail-safe. I hear John Lennon’s voice echoing in my ears…”I’m a loooooser…..” Poor Jack…the white sheep of the family. He must hang his successful head in shame.


    Soprano Dianna


    • Dear Soprano Dianna,
      Your comment is spot on. I really wanted to use the “white sheep” line in this story, but ran into the 100 word wall. I fear he’ll never have a home on the wrong side of the tracks.
      Woe is me,


    • I suppose that’s one way to look at it. Next, he’ll probably marry into money and be forced to move out of the trailer park.


  3. Reading on the surface it’s a fun story.

    Looking deeper, if it’s possible for the forever immature …sorry…’young at heart’ Russell to write deeper 😉 , sometimes families do have some “loser” traditions that they do not recognize as ‘loser’ and expect their offspring to follow that . e.g. Religious fundamentalism etc.


    • Thanks for the “young at heart” comment. One person’s success could be failure in another’s eyes, I suppose. That’s why I strive for mediocrity.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I want some of whatever he’s on… I never had any problem being a loser. As for the favourite fractured holiday song, I was fourteen before I stopped cracking up at “While Shepherds Washed Their Socks By Night”. Late developer, I guess.


  5. Great story. Someone who wants to be a loser. But I guess “loser” is in the eyes of the beholder. I liked the line “Another window of opportunity fled through the portal of disappointment.” This is bit of a swipe at our usual definition of success, me thinks.


  6. Jack probably faces not just the disappointment of his father, but the rath of everyone else in the trailer park. He must stick out and feel really uncomfortable there. He was probably picked on and beaten up as a child by his less successful classmates. Such a shame. I wouldn’t know as I went through the awkwad teen years being an awkward teen. In fact, I was an awkward child even before that.. In fact,I’d rather not look back. I wasn’t always a loser, but managed to keep my head as low as others. Hilarious, Russell. 😀 — Suzanne


    • I don’t know if they beat him up or not, but they likely teased him mercilessly and called him names like “Winner.” The teen years were awkward for most of us. We try so hard to fit in and be accepted, but it’s hard when you’re a square peg.


  7. I enjoyed the way you made fun of the ‘loser’ concept. In fact there are no losers if you take away the man objectives of success. Nature provided only two objectives of life – to survive and to ensure the continuation of one’s species.

    You sure made me think.


    • When I was younger, I felt very strongly about my procreation duties. After all, would the earth be a better place with more people like me? Unfortunately, my children turned out to be nothing like me (good for them). Perhaps cloning would have been a better option.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ah shucks it’s always so hard to live up to the family’s expectations! Lovely write, I’m sorry, another success.


  9. All I could hear in my head was “I’m a loser” by 3 Doors Down. The video is in a high school……
    I liked your story! I like the ones that give me a visual! 🙂


    • I’m sure you see it in patient’s faces from time to time, but it’s probably best to not verbalize it.

      Now, where’s your fractured Christmas song? I’ve got my vocal chords all tuned up.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. There has to be something he can fail at… could he run for president? I’m sure he would loose, he seems to good at excelling to ever get elected….

    As for fractured verses I can offer you a line for a Swedish song….

    “Räven raskar över isen” (The fox hurries across the ice)

    changed into

    “Räven överaskar grisen” (The fox surprises the pig)


    • Ha! When I read the Swedish lyrics I can see how that works. Fun stuff.
      I can’t see Jack running for President. We already have plenty of “true losers” running for that office. He would probably do too job of a job. Big business wouldn’t like that. They would have him assassinated half-way through the primaries.


  11. Excellent! This is one club I could belong to, no problem! You make this writing thing look so effortless and easy, Russell. Nice one!


  12. Dear Russell and Connie, Hope you and your daughter had a Merry Christmas and will have a Happy New Year too. I may start writing again this Spring. Miss you guys – Nan


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