The Negotiator

The month of May is filled with graduation ceremonies for everything from kindergarten to Masters Degrees. Sadly, I’m still a few credits short of earning my diploma from Hard Knocks University.

According to my professor, Dr. Lamebrain Peabody, the problem lies in my ability to write a decent essay. Both of my term papers, “Getting Old is Not Sissies,” and “The 6 Things They Don’t Tell You About Retirement,” failed to adequately expose the hazards of aging. It looks like it’ll be three more years of trying to “pin the tail on the donkey” before I earn a degree in Laziness and Procrastination.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the leader of our gang is the diminutive, yet feisty, Lilly Putian Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in 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 – J. Hardy Carroll
Tel Aviv – Negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians appear to have made progress this month since the arrival of a secret emissary from the U.S.
Neither President Donald Trump nor Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted knowledge of the meetings, but both were quick to point out that any peace agreement negotiated by an amateur had about as much chance of surviving as a fart in whirlwind.
Details of the proposed plan have not yet been released to the media. According to a source close to the emissary, the accord has been drawn up and signed by both parties using an Etch-A-Sketch.

52 Comments on “The Negotiator

  1. Dear Ari Ben Cain-raiser,

    Negotiations over hummus, seltzer water, cheeseburgers, and gefilte fish have not gone as planned. While a good belch was shared by all, Someone broke the Etch-A-Sketch. I hope you can knuckle down on that thesis so you can get your Hard Knocks degree. Having a head as sharp as a matzo ball could be a detriment to the retired, lint-gathering scholar. We’re all pulling for you…although it’s a weak pull after 30 hours of traveling between midnight Monday into Tuesday afternoon…while passing through different time zones. My tush is lagging and dragging today. BTW, do not remove tags in Hebrew are fun to collect.

    Shalom from home,

    Lily Putian W(T)F

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dear Lilly Putian W(T)F,

      Wow, it sounds like your hosts rolled out the red carpet (and why shouldn’t they?). I’m disappointed they didn’t serve you something more exotic, like pickled eel or deep fried camel hump.
      Thanks for the encouragement on my pursuit of lower learning. Not only am I producing bellybutton lint at a record pace, I have now began to sport cobwebs as well.
      I’m surprised Trump let you back in the U.S. after your little expedition to meddle in foreign affairs. Where next, North Korea or Iran?

      Ari Ben Cain-raiser


  2. Love it, Russell! That Hard Knocks University has some REAL tough teachers, heh? Here I thought I was the only one having a hard time getting my diploma! 😉


    Liked by 1 person

    • They certain do, Jim. But none were tougher than my 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Sticklebottom. Thanks to her I developed a deep lack of interest in higher learning.


  3. Ha! Fun one …
    In reality, the levels of negotiations aren’t much more professional than with an etch-a-sketch and as sketchy besides …
    BTW, Rochelle is back from over the puddle and the pond (her, and her etch-a-sketch!)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Don’t get me started on graduations from kindergarten! Well, if you really, REALLY want that diploma, you’ll just have to come up with a new essay – something I am quite positive you can manage 😉

    As for those negotiations; heard tell the Etch-A-Sketch automatically erases once you reach the airport. Bummer that. Guess we’ll have to think about sending the emissary again in the near future!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,

      Perhaps my next thesis will be on ridiculous graduation ceremonies. That’s sure to wrinkle some brows among the academia crowd.

      I hear Wiki Leaks has the dope on the Etch-A-Sketch content, but who can believe them? I think next time our little emissary should chisel them on stone tablets like Moses.


      • Oh yeah. You do that! Makes me nuts that kids have “graduated” three times before high school, the first real graduation ..

        Yes, she should! Though her prowess with that thing is amazing, no?


  5. Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
    Another couple of stories at the unbelievable price of FREE. Russell is hard at work on his Degree in Laziness and Procrastination and has news of secret negotiations in Israel. If you want to spread this valuable and hilarious news, just reblog this material from your post as I’ve done. If you want more of this hilarity, just travel up and to the left of this post and click on one or both of the book covers there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Suzanne. I suspect a lot of nations will be begging the little emissary to come solve their problems now. Have Etch-A-Sketch will Travel.


  6. Just think, Russell, if you get degrees in both Laziness and Procrastination you might be able to teach the subject to others. I happen to know it’s a popular subject. I wonder if other accords have been on Etch-A-Sketch. There would be less blowback with that. 😀 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d love to teach, but I probably wouldn’t make it to class on time, or might fall asleep in the middle of my own lectures. Then, there would be all those papers to grade . . .
      I’m getting tired just thinking about it.


  7. With the speed that agreements are made and broken in that part of the world, I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s been the problem the whole time. They get things all worked out and then someone trips and drops the Etch-a-Sketch and it’s back to square one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Can’t you just see her clicking the heels of her purple sneakers together at the end of the trip?
      And chanting, “There’s no place like Belton. There’s no place like Belton . . . “


  8. Love the picture you drew of Rochelle and her Etch-a-Sketch. Your stories always make me chuckle (and I’m a serious sort so it’s good)!! Good luck on your essay and in your endeavor at exposing the hazards of aging … there’s certainly a lot of those. Remember, gravity wins and wrinkles are inevitable. =)

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right about gravity, Brenda. Things start drooping and sagging upon the onset of old age. There’s nothing like having two or three chins. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m in my late 50’s and find myself desperately seeking full time employment,. I was thinking a certificate from the college might help.


  10. Now, I know what’s missing from my resume. A course in ‘Laziness and Procrastination’. I so hate not doing things in a timely manner. I may decide to forego the course as I’m sure I’ll get an ‘F’.
    Happy Hump Day !!!!
    Isadora 😎


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