Wider Shade of Fail

I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to miss telemarketers. Making hateful remarks and slamming down the phone on a recorded message leaves me feeling empty and unsatisfied.

What if I want to pull a prank, or try to get extended vehicle coverage on our 1948 Ford truck? Who can I chew out over options to refinance my zero-balance credit cards? To quote Lucinda Williams, “You Took My Joy. I Want It Back.”

I guess the only thing I can do now is call Customer Service in New Delhi and ask for help with a deck of Bicycle playing cards that’s missing one of its Jokers.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Twisted Sister who ties our brains in knots each week is Dee Snidely 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 – Penelope Gadd
Marta nodded toward the door. “Let’s go to the Resource Center. It’s peaceful there.
The Resource Center turned out to be a fancy term for what people of my generation would call a library.
“Our reading program is rated in the top five nationally,” Marta said. “Most of our students develop college level comprehension skills by the time they enter the third grade.
That was a relief. Many of the recent college graduates I worked with couldn’t explain the theme of Horton Hears a Who!, let alone grasp the complex nuances hidden between the covers of a Dick and Jane reader.

“Joy” by Lucinda Williams – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhGt6KktfS4


50 Comments on “Wider Shade of Fail

  1. And here I am considering getting rid of my home phone that ONLY seems to receive telemarketer calls. You can have ’em, if you want.

    As for the libary… there are many who don’t even know what that is, never mind what it contains, and even further wonder what a book is in the first place!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. HAHAHA! Both stories made me LOL! I’m still receiving telemarketer calls. No doubt there is a cadre of telemarketers in therapy because I never answer my phone anymore.
    Wait, what?? There’s a whole building where those big paper things with pages are kept?!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can’t imagine missing telemarket calls, but if that’ the only way you vent your spleen, I guess. . . .

    Anyway. Yes. Libraries are having a rough go these days. But there’s hope. In July, in Oxford, we got a look at the vast and enticing library. We weren’t allowed to browse, but the call of all those books was clearly heard.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Peggy,

    You haven’t read Dick and Jane until you get the Jewish version my young cast members of a play Kent and I wrote and produced years ago gave me. You get all that? Now I’m all over the place looking for the book. Oy. At any rate…yeah about that Resource Center thing. Looks like a library to me. How resourceful. i find myself missing the card catalog. Remember those? Book ‘im, Danno
    Now we have scammers instead of telemarketers. Sigh. And that’s all I have to say on the subject.
    Love the Lucinda Williams video. I know the feeling.


    Dee Snidely W(T)F .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dee Snidely W(T)F,

      The correct spelling of my name is with an “I” (Piggy) as in Piggly Wiggly. Oy! If I could only get my grubby paws on the Jewish Dick & Jane (although I suppose they have Jewish names too).

      Yes, scammers are much worse than telemarketers. I really hate the ones who won’t even speak when you pick up the phone.

      Happy Birthday and best wishes,

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It is the right of the older generation to look down on those following and sneer at their lack of knowledge – until they bring out the latest bit of technology or ‘app’ and leave us befuddled!

  6. I still work long hours so no telemarketers are calling in the evening… A friend of mine once was called by a girl who wanted to sell him a subscription service for underwear….

    He listened carefully and then answered:
    “I do it the Italian way.”
    “I don’t use any underwear”

    She didn’t know what to say after that. As for libraries I sometimes fantasize about them more like a mythical place. Like a story of Jorge Luis Borges, they are like a labyrinth, a mystery. I have invented a character that I call the aged librarian, and have written a long series of poems about him. You would never find him at a resource center.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Perhaps you remember the movie, Zardoz (made in 1974). The hero (Sean Connery) discovers a library and the book Wizard of Oz, which led to liberate a group of immortals. One of my favorite films.


  7. Who is this person who reads to Dick and Jane?
    Is it a full-time job?
    What do you have hidden between her or his covers?
    I think the world needs to be told.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not a person, but in fact a pink pachyderm (much like Horton, but with a smaller trunk).

      In the Jewish version of Dick and Jane (as written by our blogmother), Benjamin and Jezebel get into much mischief between the covers. That’s all I can say without spoiling the ending for you.


  8. I love libraries. I’m always amazed though, how people think it’s okay to talk at the top of your voice whilst in there. I’m sure you wouldn’t do that, though. Oh wait… would you?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “A wider shade of fail.” I love that song, oh wait….
    The good thing about libraries is that they have free wifi and internet. So one can spend hours there going through Facebook. Wonder what people did there before the internet.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Haha … The introduction of technology doesn’t make “us” any smarter or wiser. Like my Kindle because of my traveling lifestyle, but REALLY miss books around me and the library system (or resource centers).

    Liked by 1 person

    • That depends upon which colleges you’re talking about. We concentrate a lot on “higher learning” in the states and often don’t reinforce the basics. Without a good foundation to build on it’s hard to really become competent at anything.


  11. I love libraries. Especially since I can now sit in my armchair and reserve titles I fancy over the internet – no more standing for hours flipping through dozens of volumes to find a good one. I’m in and out in 5 minutes with towering armfuls of them. My bedside table is creaking at the joints. About the reading skills of the young, I’m not so hopeful – they’re all being transformed into internet gaming addicts I suspect.


  12. When the librarian says they have college level comprehension skills, what college is she speaking about. If they have advanced skills I hope they’re using them. I’ve seen “man on the street” interviews where the person can’t give the name of a book they’ve read. It scares me. One guy said he was in high school but was so high on weed he couldn’t remember anything. To think some parents had such high hopes. Both hilarious and scary, Russell. 🙂 — Suzanne


  13. Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
    Again, Russell has provided a twofer one selection of his humor for FREE. If you want more, just skim to the top right-hand side of his blog and click on one or both of the book covers. You can also help out by re-blogging this post on your post.


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Mandie Hines Author

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