Of Coffee With Winnie

winnie mug.jpg

If you were having coffee with me, I would say

“Knock knock”

You would ask

“Who is there?”

I would say

“Arent”

You would ask

“Arent who?”

I would reply

“Arent you glad its not another covfefe joke”

I would laugh and laugh until tears welled in my eyes and you would laugh too maybe with or at me, but I do hope with me.

Please stick around and have hot beverage, the weather is a touch cold, in these parts. Winter is here! As a friend from the twitterverse Phroetiq phrased it:

I no longer believe in seasons.

I believe in days.

And today is winter

If you were having coffee with me I would let you in on a secret project of mine. Once upon a time a few days back, we went to a local prison to make a tiny donation; (that you need not bother yourself about) but as we left, I had a lovely chat with the Prison Chaplain and we told him if there was anything we could help with and it was within our means he should not hesitate to let us know.

He didnt…

He asked if we could somehow organize for him to have a bible or two for the inmates he would be extremely grateful. I told him “We would see…” you know that standard response you make when you agreeing but not entirely to something, without commitment. Upon further conversation I was shocked to discover that of the 700 approx inmate population not a single bible was currently available for them to use, that they have to wait to until Sunday to hear The Word…..

As the chaplain put it they are trying to rehabilitate prisoners and save their souls, because as he sees it, people commit crime because they lost apart of themselves to the darkness, and he is trying to the best of his ability to restore that which was lost……

**in a related fact about a month ago 120 inmates got baptized.  

This had me thinking that the bible or two we could find would simply be a drop in the ocean and without even a second thought we made a donation of our personal bibles, I dont really use mine; before you get all curious, allow me to rephrase I have a bible app on my phone and am not in dire need….. I also reached out to the friends who live on the internet:

In the past week I received 50 bibles and another friend is arranging for another 20, and I am also working with several other people who have said we’ll see…. Fingers crossed

He asked me for one or two I found 70 with a possibility for more….

When you reach out… sometimes someone reaches back

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you if by any chance you came across the trend that had people declaring how shocked they were to realise that their childhood was a lie, because Winnie The Pooh was female….. WAIT  WHAT???

Winnie The Pooh

Winnie The Pooh

You know nothing Jon Snow

Yes Winnie was female…..

The real Winnie though; the one the character by A.A. Milne was based upon, was a real bear; female and Canadian. The bear was named after the city of Winnipeg, the hometown of the vet who bought her as a cub. Winnie eventually ended up at London Zoo; where she enthralled young Christopher Robin so much, he named his own teddy bear Winnie after her. Christopher Robin’s father was none other than the author A.A. Milne and the rest as they is a story of honey loving bear and adventures with his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood….

The bear from the cartoons and books is most assuredly male and your childhood is perfectly safe (for now) and you did not experience any gender identification problems… You are welcome.

If you were having coffee with me I’d iterate  what I said last week Constant Vigilance; a quick Google search could would have revealed this “truth” explained in a tell all children’s picture book by Canadian author Lindsay Mattick published in 2015 Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear

Thanks for dropping by and much appreciated

~B

PS I just read on the death of actor Adam West who played the first Batman I remember watching growing up… and in honour of him this joke from opening title theme song:

dave-collinson-nana-nana-batman1

nana nana nana nana Batman

And if you you would like to get in touch with me about my bible project you can email me  below:

Batman Image Credit Dave Collinson

Winnie the Pooh story Huffington post

Of Covfefe With Me

Covfefe Title.jpg

If you were having covfefe with me, you would be asking me whether there was a typo in my title and if not; what type of beverage is covfefe? Well I can assure you, there is no typo and that you can not buy it from your local coffee shop.

I don’t think you can buy at from anywhere, for now, but I am sure if you give it a bit of time, in a couple days, some barista somewhere will be serving you rainbow covfefe which looks like the sun set in it with an olive skewered by a toothpick bobbing around leisurely.

Covfefe nobody knows what it means but it’s provocative…

It all started because President of the United States tweeted the following:

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And the free world went crazy trying to figure out if it was a simple typo, (Twitter really really needs an edit button) or if his Excellency (that’s how we refer to our president) suffered anything from a heart attack, a brain seizure to tweeting in his sleep; some say he was overwhelmed by the sudden urge to have coffee in the middle of tweeting and its certainly something that happens to beerst of us

**pause to sip beer**

Where were we; oh yes and some are convinced it was a clandestine message understood by only a few elite; a conspiracy theory of Robert Ludlum meets John le Carré proportions; involving multinational agent provocateurs and maybe even aliens…

Covfefe Identity.jpgSeveral hours later the curious tweet got DELETED and replaced with the one below:

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And then there was Hillary:

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Its all much ado about cofveve….., it still hasn’t quite been defined yet but I am pretty sure before the year ends the word will exist in the updated dictionary. Why wouldn’t it be; if emoticons can make it; The tears of joy emoji was oxford the word of the year 2015

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So far the Webster’s dictionary has no words for it….

But here is a few choice definition from The Urban Dictionary:

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If you were having covfefe with me; I would tell you that you ought to be careful what you post on social media, the internet is unforgiving, and it never forgets…. (and people take screenshots)

I wonder if he had caught a vision of the future; when he transcribed and sent the first Morse Code message, Samuel Morse upon completion of his invention The Telegraph;

“What Hath God Wrought?”

Indeed; because if you were having covfefe with me, I would ask you, why do people revel in starting and spreading Fake News; where they not hugged enough as babies?

And it doesn’t help that we seem so eager to share we find without pausing for a second to verify, maybe its because I am a storyteller and as we say “the storyteller never lies”  we may get creative with the narrative, embellishing the tale with condiments of a good story…..  but see that’s why we have disclaimers….. and that’s why the only story I believe is the one I am telling….

Today is the first of June, Happy New Month…

If you were having covfefe with me; I would tell you I  got forwarded the following message by five different people in my contact list who are totally unrelated… maybe you have received it too:

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It’s a cute message, isn’t it? but, I didn’t forward it to anyone and why….

Certainly not because I would not have been unique in being a copy and paste…

today is 152nd day of the year the are still 215 days left in the year.

This greeting is a month too early

What if I had forwarded it to every one of my contacts and they forward it to each of their contacts, and suddenly you have a whole bunch of misinformed people…. This is exactly how fake news thrives and spreads, we blindly accept what read, we will learn eventually …. in the words of Mad-Eye Moody to his Defence Against Dark Arts class “Constant Vigilance

 

So long and thanks for all the Covfefe

~B

 

 

Of Freedom Of The Press

#PressFreedom

May 3 is World Press Freedom Day

A day to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression.

For a second I thought to myself what does press freedom have to do with me? I am not a journalist, I don’t work for a media practitioner…..

But like everyone else I pick up a newspaper and browse through, sometimes I find articles about journalists being arrested or detained, cameras and voice recorders being confiscated or destroyed. Media blankets from certain proceedings….. or key government officials calling media parasites or a circus….

According to the Reporters Without Boarders website Zimbabwe Ranks 128 on the World Press Index a ranking based on RSF’s assessment of the countries’ press freedom records in the previous year.

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Zimbabwe Press Freedom Index

I won’t say I am a supporter of the press but it has always existed to fill the information gap and they should be able to disseminate truthful information without bias or prejudice or fear, but at the end of the day; Media Houses are a business, and they provide news and information not as a benevolent act but their bottom line is to make money; to sell newspapers, to sell advertising space and whatever else that pays that puts food on their table….

It’s quite easy for The Press to slide down the slippery slope of only covering sensational stories, emotive news that stirs emotion and likewise sales and once down that path its quite easy to start making up your own news when there is none, speculative opinion pieces dressed up as fact; or whomsoever butters their bread tells them to cover a particular story and not another.

Sometimes the media seems nothing more than a tool whose sole purpose is to build or destroy politicians…

Pick a paper any paper what are the odds the leading story is political…

And sometimes it’s a voice for the voiceless and a defender of the people’s liberties but who defends defender……

I remember once getting a communique that was supposedly from Ministry of Information’s office to various radio stations informing them not to cover news on certain protests as it would glamourize civil disobedience…..

It must be tough being part of the government machine, how many secrets you must keep, I am sure it’s with good intentions (at first) you keep these secrets to maintain order( I would like to believe) . It’s not hard to imagine how people were to react if they were told for example the government only has enough money or water or other basic need for one more month before the country reserves run dry, mayhem and chaos…. I have seen the apocalyptic movies where people become mindless animals when they don’t have hope….

Sometimes it seems like hope is more important than truth……

So the state keeps a secret, to preserve hope, a curious journalist sniffs out a scoop and what happens next has happened before and will probably happen again.

If governments didn’t keep so many secrets, if they trusted its citizens not to react like base creatures and properly explained; If good governance meant transparency maybe Press Freedoom would not even be an issue….. but cows come home to roost; scandals break out, politicians fall out of favour, new politicians rise and  they become exactly the system they criticized, and so the cycle continues….

And now we live in the internet age which has brought with it a paradigm shift of how we consume THE NEWS…. Anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection is suddenly a pseudo-journalist. Something happens, you capture it on your phone, you tweet it, blog it and share it via WhatsApp and in seconds it has gone viral before traditional media houses can even say “BREAKING NEWS”

Its absolutely brilliant but it has its pitfalls such as the increase in unverified information or downright slanderous gossip masquerading as fact being peddled by people seeking their two minutes of internet notoriety; for example celebrities have been “killed” several times over, fake news, satirical and downright cyber victimization (leaking of chats, pictures and videos)

Small wonder governments are trying to find ways of monitoring and regulating the internet….. it’s an unruly information jungle. But if only they did with the intention of safeguarding citizens it’s simply a way of controlling information, information is power.

Once the was a time when all internet service was down and conspiracy theorists claim it was a directive from the government trying to stop a citizen protest which rallied around the national flag as it was deemed that the protests were being mobilized via social media.

Our government is trying to pass Cyber Act which gives them power to arrest people deemed to be inciting violence or causing unnecessary alarm and despondency…….

The Press is no longer some journalist with press card and a column in a newspaper, The Press is someone in your phonebook, in your contacts list, in your email, in your whatsapp group, the next person whose tweet you retweet….

Are you really free if you are afraid to speak? How will you be heard when you do not speak?

~B

Of Coffee, April Fools, Short Stories and Fathers

If you were having coffee with me I would say thank you for joining me, how have you been? I have been good cheers to the New Month, hello April what do you have in store for us? Good things I hope.

So did anyone play any good April Fools pranks on you or did you do the pranking?

I didn’t prank anyone but I did write a Very Short Story #VSS called April’s fool:

He used to be the court jester, till he clowned his way into queen April’s heart. No one ever called him King only April’s Fool….

For those who follow my twitterverse account @Beatonm5 you might have noticed I tweet a lot using that hashtag #VSS.. I have been asked many times what this means  it simply stands for a very short story. Twitter and its 140 characters per tweet makes you adept at the fine art of brevity of expression and challenges your creative skills to write a story. If you have a second you can find my #VSS tweets by clicking HERE. If you tweet micro-stories on twitter do let me know and I will check it out and if you haven’t you must try it, it’s also a good way to come up with writing ideas or a story to develop further, for those moments you think you have writer’s block.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you I attended my first mass today. Before you look at me with that scandalous expression it was not my first mass but rather it was the first mass I have been to where the priest in attendance is a family member. He got ordained as a priest last year but time and circumstance had not made it possible for me to attend any of his services. It was quite weird, watching him, deliver sermons and perform sacred rites of communion with ease of someone who has been a priest all his life. It’s also weird how once, he was my young brother and now I call him Father, he looks older. He looks like someone you can confess your sins to, without being judged and expecting him to mete out a fair penance of Our Fathers and Hail Marys, someone who could officiate your wedding, baptise your little ones and when you laid there on your deathbed someone who would perfom the last rites and finally bury you and into the   hole ye goes… Someone you could call Father.

I remember attending his ordination ceremony officiated by an Apostolic nuncio who is the Pope’s emissary so it was quite an honour. The community decided to welcome him by bestowing upon him the gift of a totem, he was declared of the Moyo (Heart) Clan. I am fairly sure protocol was creatively circumvented and he accepted ever so graciously. He thanked the family for our generosity in letting go one of ours to a greater calling. The ordination of a priest, it feels bittersweet like part marriage and part funeral… Christ being the bridegroom: does that make the priest, the bride? but unlike a wedding you are not gaining in-laws as such, but losing your relation to the church … imagine calling your own son father I guess that’s why priest end up in parishes far from their home and family to prevent awkward encounters and broken hearts just like at any wedding.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell I just got my few seconds of fame from a YouTube video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcmwF7_6Ljo

where I got a shout out from Leeann who I featured on my blog The Girl In the Red Dress ( she has a YouTube channel and shares recipes with Conde a parrot I do believe) anyhow someone watched the clip and is now a new follower on my blog, I would have mentioned them by name but, they are internet shy, so I’ll just say I hope you read this wherever you are…

Cheers, April Showers and May Flowers

~B

PS speaking of pranks, and April I am still trying to figure out if this notice from the Zambia Police is real or not, if you do please tell me so…..

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Of Words and Red Dresses

Guest Post: Leeanna Lazenby

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The Importance Of Words And Red Dresses

Late at night, I laze about in a red lace dress pretending to be a diva and often take a stroll through my Twitter feed to see the latest poetry written by my online acquaintances. Okay, I don’t really wear such a glamorous outfit at all times but I do appreciate reading the talented words of many phenomenal people… and perhaps I should appreciate red dresses more than what I actually do. You will understand why I say this in a moment.

First, I must mention that I am sometimes lucky enough to stumble across Twitterers (as my Mother likes to call us) who have travelled across oceans to meet each other. They record their love affair or journey of meeting up through an exchange of one hundred and forty characters. The funny thing is, we have all done it. Most of us who are part of this tight-knit poetic community have connected with people from across the world in an uncanny, unexpected way. I, personally, have been blessed to find companions all over the place but there is one particular agonizing story that I have been longing to release and share. I was originally going to give the following account via Twitter but prolonged making it public as I was afraid that it could potentially bring my friend harm. I am not sure that I will ever be able to describe her extraordinary light in true form but I was then offered the opportunity to guest feature on this blog.

For this, I am very thankful as I now have a beautiful space to dedicate something to my lost soul sister. Thank you. As you read her tale, please know that I think of her daily.

Once upon a time but not too long ago, I opened a poetry account on Twitter as a way of recording snippets of my creativity. Naturally, I began to network and follow other like-minded individuals.

One day, a girl sent me a message and we exchanged a few words. We started to correspond frequently and eventually switched to emailing so that we could have more elaborate conversations. She was from Egypt and I, London. We were the same age so we could easily talk about boys, celebrities, fashion and life plans but it became much deeper too. We had lengthy discussions about the Higgs Boson experiments, scientific theories and philosophical viewpoints. We were unbelievably similar in countless ways but incredibly different for one catastrophic reason. She was oppressed whereas I had my freedom.  I could make my own choices in life. I was able to work, study, socialise and have friends. She, on the other hand, was confined to being kept at home by her extremely strict parents. They tracked her phone, did not let her have a bank account and withheld her passport in case she tried to leave for a better life. She was subjected to countless physical beatings and verbal insults on many occasions. She was not even able to take a walk since the city in which she lived was suffering from rioting, protests and violence. There was a lot of division between the inhabitants so it was dangerous to go out alone. She wanted to be herself but she was treated as an outcast by her family as they did not understand her personality or attributes.

This resulted in us having to communicate in secret. Sometimes, I would not hear from her for weeks on end but she would Skype/email as soon as she was able to. Her family did not want her to have a friendship with a “westerner” in case I was secretly a male and even when she showed them my photograph, they did not trust her to be telling the truth. They told her that a poet would corrupt her. I was a sinner for being creative. She was a sinner for associating with me.

Over time, she gathered money by any method that she could and kept it hidden. At one point, she managed to have an anonymous poetry book published on Amazon and was earning money through advertising via the online edition of her masterpiece. Her words were magnificent. She wrote in extravagant detail about mermaids and sea creatures without any hints of the daily struggles that she had to put up with in her own reality. She was planning to fight for her emancipation and have the life that she deserved. She was going to flee.

But then it happened. She could not see a way out and she became depressed. Hope left her. We spoke every night on a messenger and I tried to raise her spirits or at least restore her faith but she could not cope with what she had to experience. She attempted suicide. Not once but six times. Yes, six. They put her on medication and locked her away for months. I heard nothing. I thought she was dead.

Then, one day, I received a message from her. She told me that she was okay and that she had been sectioned in a mental institution for the entire duration of her absence. They were releasing her on the condition that she carried on taking the pills. She agreed but I know that she probably never swallowed them. You see, there was never anything wrong with her. The people at fault were her family and those around her. She was a creative type in a life where expression was forbidden.

She used to tell me every day how a woman like her could never be free in her world. It was wrong for her to be filled with passion. Can you even begin to imagine what that would feel like? She could not write, she could not take a walk in the park, she could not do any of the simple things that I took for granted. The most basic thing that she longed for was to be able to wear a red dress because I had one on in my photograph. In fact, I had one on in all of my photographs. She used to imagine that she was going to buy one from the shopping mall and have a collection of vivid lipsticks to match. She would joke that we would, one day, walk around London together and be the “red pair” without having to worry about what anyone thought of us.

She ended her email to me by explaining that my messages had kept her balanced throughout many of her traumatic experiences. She said that she had read my poetry every day and cherished the stories that we had shared with each other in our emails. She was very thankful that I gave her a sense of “normality” because we had our companionship. Her final statement to me exclaimed that my words filled with support/friendship could not have a value put upon them and that it was those very words that saved her life.

This was over two years ago now and I have not had any correspondence with her since. I have tried contacting her but her phone is disconnected, her Twitter is deactivated, her Skype account is permanently offline and the emails bounce back. I do not know what happened to her but she made me promise that if ever she disappeared, I would tell her story and be the voice that she never had. I cannot do her justice with my words but all I can say is this:

“There is a girl, location unknown, who writes of magical creatures and believes in freedom. She is one of many that is misunderstood but despite her sufferings, she is a strong person. Her mind is filled with creativity whilst her tongue whispers stories from her hushed dreams. And somewhere, in the depths of her beautiful imagination, she walks freely… swaying elegantly in her sparkling red dress.

I am forever thankful for all of the lessons, laughter and wisdom that came from this remarkable girl. Who knew that a mere poem on a social media outlet would bring such a wonderful person in to my life. She enriched me with a friendship beyond description.

Thanks to our poetry, two girls from opposite lives were connected and intertwined in a way that seemed impossible. You never know the power that your words will bring.

After looking over this, I would like to add that she is unaware of the impact she has had on my life. She always spoke of being courageous and having strength. She used to tell me, in her own way, that anything is possible and we have to follow our dreams. I can attribute many leaps of faith to her friendship and I only hope that she is out there somewhere experiencing her own slice of freedom.

—–

By Leeanna Lazenby

(Poet with the parrot and the red dress collection.)

***Please note*** I am aware that her individual circumstances are not a reflection of life in Egypt in any particular way. You could be anywhere in the world and experience a very strict family/upbringing. The mention of where she lived was entirely for context to highlight how we connected despite the distance between us.

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Lady in Red

Bio:

“Leeanna is a lover of taking bits and bobs from her head, dreaming of poems and making them in to tiddly chunks of art. Put them all together and you may just have a picture of what’s going on up in there.”

Leeanna wants to say a big thanks to @Beatonm5 for the opportunity to write on his blog. Thank you!


Thank you Leeanna it has been a pleasure having you, and thank you for sharing your story, words alone are not important its also having someone, to take a moment to listen…. When I have a story to tell that’s all I ask for, a listener.

Leeanna and her parrot can be found on the Twitterverse, tweeting poetry  @24LoveHeart24

~B

 

Of Coffee With A Musing Stranger

Africa

If you were having coffee with me, I would smile and say hi thank you for joining me, would you prefer tea, coffee or plain boiled water. I would ask you if you had a favourite mug; its not weird at all right having a favourite mug?

What did you get up to this past week?

Lets see, some local celebrity couple had a bit of a meltdown, some say it was a publicity stunt, some say it was real. I wont even go into it because I think they got way too media attention maybe I should blog my own melt-down. Just that the internet never forgets nor sleep or eat or have coffee for that matter, and when a private moment goes viral… it goes so epic that everyone has their two cents to say about it.

Speaking about the internet our dear old Postal and Telecommunications Regulation Authority company; POTRAZ decided to set a floor price of making the internet 2 cents a megabyte to protect the telecoms industry. A move which would see our data prices going up and we already have expensive internet. Econet Wireless went and increased their data charges significantly and people took to the internet and social media to protest the high data costs.  Econet passed the buck to POTRAZ, in a loaded press statement hinting to the effect that the Regulator, the Ministry of IT and the government in general creating an uneven playing field and also trying to restrict low data use  of  the internet as it contributes to abuse of social media (but people have read in between the lines as The Government trying to limit freedom of speech on the internet, elections coming up next year…)and they have since reverted back to the old tariffs and POTRAZ has suspended its internet floor price (for now) and The Ministry has in return warned Econet not to dabble in politics and to stick to its core business mandate…

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you I have a dream that one day the internet will be as basic as the air we breathe, free. I would tell you I have new muse, a stranger and Guest Blogger  I met thanks to the internet. Hailing from Nigeria; Raquel 

Mused by a stranger ~ Words by Raquel
I have been mused, mused by a stranger.
Didn’t your mama tell you not to talk to strangers?
But the stranger talked to me first, and it would be rude to ignore.
I am being mused, mused by a stranger.
I did talk to the stranger, a stranger from a land strange to me.
Strange enough I did like talking to the stranger.
Me being mused by a stranger.
What will it be?
Will it be good, fantastic or interesting?
Or will it be bad, ugly sad and regretful
I got to take the chance, for this stranger has tickled my fancy
AM MUSED BY A STRANGER

Thank you Raquel in musing you I muse myself, you can catch more of Raquel in my next post

Thanks for visiting and have an awesome week ahead

~B

PS how much does your internet cost you?

Of Coffee And Bicycle Rides With Psychos

 

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If you were having coffee with me we would go on a bike ride.

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When was the last time you rode a bike? I haven’t ridden a bike in ages, but its true what they say about bicycles, falling off is easy and oh, yeah you never really forget how to fall.
I had forgotten how riding a bike is so exhilarating the wind in your face, locks being blown behind you; man and machine ONE.

The bicycle is a curious vehicle. Its passenger is its engine.
~John Howard

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Enough of this Sunday stroll…… lets hurt a little, if you were having coffee with me, we going  to go up a steep slope, the further we ride, the heavier the pedals feel and that deep burn you feel in your thighs, its like we doing leg day at the gym, you gotta put in the work. When we finally stop your legs will feel like jelly but its totally worth it. I am fitness junkie you see get fit or die trying. I wish we had that tandem bike and we could ride together how much fun would that be? I promise would pick a route that is mostly downhill.

If you were having coffee with me, we would be having coffee instead the coffee mug would be full of ice cold water on the rocks, after the fun ride in the sun re-hydration is recommended. I am a big fan of the water therapy averaging 8 glasses at the least, you cant really have too much of water unless of course you have waaay too much.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that there is supposedly a test which can show if you are a psycho or not, separating the sheep from the murderous goats as it were by simply answering the following test:

This is a genuine psychological test. It is a story about a girl.
While at the funeral of her own mother, she met a guy whom she did not know.
She thought this guy was amazing, so much her dream guy she believed him to be, that she fell in love with him there and then … A few days later, the girl killed her own sister.

Question: What is her motive in killing her sister?

If you get the answer correct congratulations you think like a psychopathic and should be very careful to not let that crazy show, blend in. I aced this test in case you are wondering and don’t know whether I should be happy or scared about it.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that I have successfully managed to teach my twin nephews how to stomp on and kill cockroaches after numerous demonstrations and getting them to not run away from roaches like they are child eating beasts as they were doing earlier. With all the money I am going to save from not having to buy bug spray I am going to buy myself a set of earphones that don’t fall out when I run I need some snug fitting earphones so I can enjoy the simple pleasure of listening to music while I jog.
The best thing about teaching the twins to stomp on cockroaches is that not only are they taking care of my slight infestation problem, the hurricanes of pure energy are burning up excess energy and practically falling asleep on their feet without the usual drama…yey peace and quiet, they look like angels when they sleep.

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A baby on a tiger

~B

PS have you figured out the answer to the test?

Answer: She was hoping that the guy would appear at the funeral again.

If you answered this correctly, you think like a psychopath. This was a test by a famous American psychologist used to test if one has the same mentality as a killer. Many arrested serial killers took part in this test and answered it correctly. If you didn’t answer correctly – good for you. Ask your friends to take the test too for awareness …..If your friends hit the jackpot, may I suggest that you keep your distance. (If you got the answer correct, please let me know so I can take you off my friend list…)

PPS on a totally related matter Do not believe everything that you read on the Internet, have an awesome week

Of Coffee As Usual

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If you were having coffee with me I would say thanks for the visit it’s been an interesting week well maybe interesting is not quite the word, let’s just say eventful or dare I say business as usual.

We live life a hashtag away from anarchy.

I was watching the international news and couldn’t help ask myself what’s happening in the world police officers killing people, people killing officers and robotic bomb thingies killing people….

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you is this how the world ends in anarchy, chaos and riots on the street? I overheard a voice in my head saying to another voice  “Sometimes monsters don’t look like terrifying creatures with grotesque forms conjured from nightmarish dreams, sometimes monsters look like you and me and wear uniforms with shiny buttons and polished shoes.”

Earlier during the week public taxi drivers staged protests about the number of police roadblocks on the roads asking how they could earn a living when they are constantly being fleeced by the police and this ended up in running battles between the riot police and the drivers leaving commuters stranded.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that Wednesday was the day the internet stopped, well for us anyway and only for a few hours. Internet service providers apologized for the interruption in service but didn’t explain any further leaving people to speculate that maybe the government had a hand in it because this coincided with the day that was scheduled for a mass stay away to shut down Zimbabwe. The stay away tagged #ShutDownZim culminated from a social media rant tagged as #ThisFlag urging Zimbabweans to stand together as bold citizens and a send a message of solidarity to the government by staying away from work and thus shutting down the country for a day. The ZBC Main News bulletin (which just happened to be delayed by almost ten minutes and popular opinion on the interweb is that this was to “cook” the news) went to great lengths to prove show it was business as usual in the country… and the phrase business as usual was used more than five times throughout the  news reading.

The official ZBC twitter account even tweeted that the stay away was a flop.

Flops

If you were having coffee with me I would say that THE Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has issued out a statement warning against the abuse of social media and here is a copy that is making the rounds on the internet:

POTRAZ.jpg

It’s a bit of a scary statement and has the thin veil of a threat or gag order as we chat over coffee as usual cant help wonder if this coffee post can be construed as causing despondency or unrest, and I want to ask what about freedom of speech? That’s a rhetoric question don’t answer that we just having coffee as usual.

If you were having coffee with me it would not be coffee as usual oh no we are still having herbal Zumbani Tea. Guess what, I happened to notice it being sold in a local shop and it costs quite the pretty penny me thinks I just might start packing my own and selling if anyone interested do get in touch ^_^

Zumbani

So what’s been happening in your part of the world? Here is to a great weekend and a great week ahead

~B

 

Of The Surfer

Genre: Mystery 

SoulSurfer.jpg

I am Soul Surfer.

That’s what I tell people who are not only curious but brave enough to ask.

I sit on a mat with my eyes closed and slow down my breathing till almost imperceptible, because you see every time you breathe out, you breathe away a little bit of your life away, until you exhale for the last time and then never again.

That is where I come in, when I breathe out I leave myself behind but by sheer will power alone I maintain my consciousness and can so travel far and wide and find a host whose body I will enter when they take a sudden deep breath, be careful next time you find yourself taking a deep breath, that just might be me. Later when I am done I return back to my own body back on that mat my eyes open and they are filled with that look of one who knows more than they are telling.

I open my eyes and I tell stories of places on whose shores I have never walked, where water turns to rock when it is cold and the sky bleeds white fluffy pebbles that fall on your lashes and they tickle, they are cool on the tongue but do not eat the yellow coloured ones. I tell stories of people whom I have never met with strange names and eyes the colour of gas flames that sizzle.

I stare searchingly into the distant sky and suddenly proclaim, “Today it will be cloudy with a chance of rain, carry an umbrella. It is a wonderful day to have a birthday today, your favourite team won the Champions league last night”; I see the awe in your eyes as you wonder how I know all these things I know or where I make them up from, “Stare into my eyes at your own peril I am a Soul Surfer.” I dare.

I am a Soul Surfer, at least that’s what I tell people. I am a Surfer indeed but neither of souls or oceans but of the information super highway. I surf vast streams of the internet, I catch high speed waves of bits and bytes; I surf the vast internet ocean that separates us at the click of a button.

The answers to almost any question you can think of are there, well at least what someone somewhere thinks is the answer, all the things man was meant to know available on a search engine.

Without taking a step I share cups of coffee with friends I have never met across the globe in sunny Ireland one instant, Tokyo the next, watching the sunrise of cold winter’s morning in Cape Town and spend a summer’s evening in California.Across time zones and seasons so different, they might as well as be from made up places, with made up people of made up names and handles, with a screen for a face, a keyboard for hands typing, always typing words, or maybe that’s what I am; simply a display photo and a user name. Never believe anything you read on the internet, ironically I read that on the internet.

There is a law that states:

 Sufficiently developed technology is indistinguishable from magic.

I am a Soul Surfer, that’s what I tell people, brave enough to stare into my eyes and ask me how I know all the things I know.

~B

#Blogbattle theme Surfer

P.S never believe all I tell it just might be true.

 

Of Staying Calm

Genre: mystery/crime 

He pressed the button and waited. A green light stopped flashing and a red one came on, besides that nothing else on the machine, showed that anything else was going on.
He took out his phone, swiped a pattern to unlock the screen, clicked on the browser icon, a notification  popped up Error Page Not Found. He tried the laptop next, and a similar error message flashed on the screen.
That is when he allowed himself a small smile of victory, his device worked. Yes, he had just successfully blocked every single user access to the internet. Basically his device acted as a server which intercepted all communications on the information superhighway and routed them to meaningless portals and gateways, effectively what ever page you tried to go to you would get a page not found error.
If he was an evil genius this is when he would have laughed, that evil genius laugh. He got up, paused to straighten his animal print vest, as he thought to himself what a time to be alive.
The day the internet stopped. He could picture the headlines.

“Dude can you restart the Wi-Fi” Simba told his younger brother Taona. “But you are closer bro”
“No way, we are in the same room, besides you are younger, and I am your elder you hafta always listen to your elders” Simba retorted.
“If I go I won’t help you with the chores”
“Fine” Simba sighed “we’ll both go”
They got to the lounge to find a Ndalega conference in place, their mum dad and little sister huddled around the Wi-Fi router like doctors around a patient undergoing open heart surgery.
“What’s up guys” Simba asked startling the trio who hadn’t heard them enter the room.
“It’s the Wi-Fi router, I think it’s dead, I reset it and it says active but we can’t access the internet.”
“Dad, did you try switching it off and on again”
“I might be old but I am still computer savvy, don’t roll your eyes at me. Gimme the phone let me call the customer care hotline.” He dialled the number and an automated response informed him that he was an important client, his call was important and would he please hold till a care customer care rep, came to his help, then proceeded to play a soothing jingle. Well it was supposed to be a soothing jingle but listening to it, for thirty straight minutes and the automated voice periodically reminding him his call was important please keep holding, made him feel like a brainwash candidate. He wanted to gouge out his eardrums to make it stop. He terminated the call after forty five minutes when the low battery warning chimed.
“That’s it I am going to their offices.
I really really need the internet working.” He must have heavily emphasized need because everyone in the room looked at him strange.
“Sure love, brilliant idea, I love a man who takes charge.”
“Mom” groaned all three siblings at the same time. He grabbed the router dashed to his car and sped off to the offices of the corporation who owned his internet connection. Driving rather recklessly, he narrowly missed a man wearing an animal print vest. Not my fault, in court I would say I thought you were a wild animal, in my defence, he thought to himself as he drove on without a look back or slowing.

Almost all over the world people were slowly looking up from their phones and their computers with a confused expression first to ask if anyone else was having trouble with their internet, then panic as realization hit that maybe something was wrong with the internet.
For some it was like the death of a close friend not even that, death of your twin self or your clone even. Something you felt in the fiber of your being.

Mr Ndalega glanced at the router on the passenger seat, to check it had not slid off, after he had braked the car suddenly, because traffic up ahead was practically not moving a jam of some sorts.
He adjusted the rearview mirror to check traffic behind him.
The word lurk just sprang unbidden to his mind.
He peered again into the mirror and spotted the object of his discomfort, the man in the animal print vest he had passed a few blocks earlier, had stumbled into view. The vibe he gave off could best be described as lurking. He lurked just like a beast stalking prey.
Traffic had ground to a standstill, nothing moved, he turned on the radio.
Breaking news wide spread chaos, riots, due to internet service disruption_” he changed channels same news bulletin on every channel. “A terrorist attack on the internet__” He switched through several channels.
…Remain calm, do not panic__
Calm, I can not stay calm!! I need internet.
A knock at the window startled him, it was the lurker in the animal print vest.
“Hey man hope you don’t mind me following you around, see the internet is not working without the updates from people I follow I feel, somehow, lost, I can follow someone else if you mind…. ” the man trailed off.
He was just about to tell him to get a life when he realised, he actually felt that it was calming, that someone wanted to follow him.
“As long as you keep a respectful distance away.”
“Oh I’ll be a like a fly on the wall you won’t even know I am here.”

He released the seatbelt, opened the door and got out of the car. That’s when he noticed why the cars up ahead where not moving, they had no drivers. People were just exiting their cars and walking, where they were going no-one knew, they were just following other people in perfect straight lines.
He would follow too, just to see what they got up to, he looked back and saw his single follower lurking somewhere behind.

~The End

My entry this week for the #Blogbattle theme Lurk

~B