Fridgy the Gombor

This is another piece from One Month’s 30 Day Writing Challenge. The assignment was to create a monster. I also tried to write it in the voice of my crazy, hilarious daughter. Again, it’s a bit of a risk to share my attempts at writing fiction, but I want to share it and see what people think. Thank you.


Fridgy is big, fat and gentle. Or at least mostly gentle. When I say mostly gentle I mean he hasn’t killed anyone. This week.

Fridgy likes ketchup. Big bottles of red ketchup. Not so much with the catsup. Can anyone tell me what exactly is catsup? But back to the ketchup. Fridgy pours ketchup all over his food. Food becomes a ketchup vehicle for Fridgy. Like a pickup truck filled with ketchup. Slurp. You can’t imagine how much he likes ketchup. Especially on people.

But I did say he hadn’t killed anyone. This week. Last week, hmm. Let’s talk about that in a bit.

First you must forgive me. I got ahead of myself. Let me tell you more about Fridgy. Fridgy is a Gombor. Not your typical Gombor, all bad manners and farts and burps and bits of people stuck between the teeth. No, Fridgy farts and burps a bit, but he flosses and knows not to do his business in the house. Well, he knows not to, but it has happened. That’s why I have that shovel. And that bucket.

So I said he wasn’t your typical Gombor. Nope. Fridgy used to be a plain old, regulation, run of the mill Gombor, hiding under beds and in closets and in nightmares and old abandoned houses. He burped, farted and ate skunks and squirrels and scared old people and kids for fun. Naps. Snacks. Pranks. Naps and Snacks. Snacks and pranks. Pranks and naps.

But he stepped on my skateboard.


Huh? Well, maybe not huh, but I don’t think there is a word for what went through my head when I felt the weight. Or was it the smell. The problem is Gombors are heavy. And they stink. Like worse than poop stink. So a loss for words isn’t really right. It was a can’t even before we couldn’t even.

And I couldn’t even. Breathe. Scream. Move. But I could punch. And I did.

Gombors could be confused for Golems. Big. Brown. Scary. Until you punch them. Golems don’t cry. Gombors do. Bigs tears and lots of snot.

Which is why I can say murderous and gentle. Or murderously gentle. Gently murderous? An oxymoron of soft, damp Gombor with a big goose egg on his head on my bed. Because of the skateboard.

Or because Gombors can’t skate. Or at least not very well. They are good at stepping on skateboards. And good at achieving a high rate of speed. And good at stopping. Abruptly. Headfirst. Just bad at not hitting their head and getting knocked out and winding up on top of me. Waiting to get punched. In the head. By me.

And they are good at eating old ladies. But would that be good or bad? Bad for old ladies. Good for Gombors. And people who sell ketchup. And tomato farmers. Unless they are old ladies.

So Fridgy cried, but he wasn’t named Fridgy then. That came later. Before the old lady and after the punch.

So using Kleenex is not a thing Gombors do well either. Or using them the right way. They are good at using them the wrong way. And I don’t think the box shows the right way and Gombors can’t read. Unless it says catsup. So never give a crying Gombor Kleenex.

And the old lady was kind of an accident. Gombors like to eat. I mean really eat. Like eat the guys who eat the hot dogs for the world championship eat. Or a six pack of biggest losers eat. So one old lady was like a toothpick. A toothpick with ketchup. And she was kind of dead anyway. From the scaring and the screaming and the falling down and the Gombors get hungry and some stuff happened.

But I called him Fridgy because he ate one. Not an old lady. A fridge. My fridge. Ice cube trays, the box of baking soda that doesn’t absorb odors and that jar of quince jelly that has been in the family since the gift basket of 1987. One bite. One crunchy  freon filled bite.

This week has been murder free. 7 days since our last on the job injury. No old ladies have been harmed in the making of this week. There was a raccoon. And a feral cat. A Christmas wreath. And some nachos. Well, more like a Taco Bell. But there were nachos inside.

And now I am stuck. With a Gombor. A big, fat and gentle Gombor. Good Gombor. Down Fridgy. Down boy. No, I don’t have any nachos. Fridgy, is that ketchup on my arm? Fridgy? FRIDGY!?!?

Home Run

It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted, but not because I haven’t been writing. After a break for a couple of months I began to write every day. I started with One Month’s 30 Day Writing Challenge. Then I signed up for 750 Words. It’s simple. Write 750 words every day. Most of this writing has been stream of consciousness blathering and daily diary exercises. However, a few of the One Month assignments allowed me to write some fiction. The following started with an assignment to look into a book and use the first sentence I read. The opening line in this piece is from To Kill a Mockingbird. The rest is pure fiction with little basis in reality. It’s a bit of a risk to share my writing, but I want to share it and see what people think. Be gentle and enjoy! Thank you.

download (2)

Our father turned around and looked up. The baseball hit him right in the forehead, knocking his glasses off his head. He grunted slightly and sat perfectly down on his ass in the freshly-mowed grass. The silence was frighteningly loud. It was cartoonish, comical and a little bit scary.

Our dad hated the next door neighbors, so we followed suit out of respect for dad and hated the kids, too. My father had unilaterally appointed himself head of the neighborhood watch and didn’t like the way they let their grass grow a little too long. Their house needed paint and there was moss on the roof. They yelled outside a lot and honked the horn while waiting in the driveway. Rules were made to be followed and, in my father’s highly opinionated opinion, these folks were grossly negligent

My father was at war with these particular neighbors, a cold war to be sure, but a war. His angry stare and barely perceptible flinch at any sign of noise or motion from their side of the fence was a dead giveaway. It was more than a stare. It was a nuclear grade glare, a battle grimace, a napalm frown and an icy burn all frosted with a nasty meringue of Catholic disapproval.

It seemed highly unlikely he would ever act on this pent up volcano of seething rage. Nope. He nursed that anger like a baby. Whenever he was outside his posture and demeanor changed. He was on high alert, constantly assessing the clear and present danger, ready to strike. He was “get off my lawn” in its purest form.

This went on for years. He would rarely discuss his fury about the neighbors, but a few random comments and the omnipresent thousand yard glare made it abundantly clear. The people next door were to be feared, mistrusted and hated. My father thrived on his disapproval of anyone who was the slightest bit different. It wasn’t about race or gender. It was a silent moral crusade against anyone who broke rules or defied conventions. Rules were everything. The law was absolute.

Also, my father hated children. One thing he hated more than children was loud, ill-behaved children. The neighbor kids epitomized the kind of kids he hated the most. Sassy, loud, crude and all fuck you in torn jeans and bad attitude.

And when the baseball hit, things changed. Not slow, barely perceptible change. It was instant, terrifying change.

The neighbor kids were dicking around, throwing the ball against the rotting cedar fence between the yards. Thwack. Thwack. Thwack. Each hit tensed my father further and further. A nail to the head. Thwack. Thwack. Thwack. Finally he yelled that they’d better knock it off.

A giggle and a snort from the other side of the fence.

Silence. Nobody moved.

Then a sneering fuck you followed by suppressed laughter.

Our father turned around and looked up. Bam!

My father rose from the grass, wiped his nose, grabbed the baseball and marched to the fence. With one swift kick he crushed two rotting cedar planks without a hitch in his step. He ducked down and walked into the adjoining yard. The kids looked up blubbering and scared.

I remember his glasses lying abandoned on the lawn.

He glared. Silence.

He looked at the ball, looked at the kids, looked at the house. He wound up and tossed the ball through a large bay window. The smash of the glass was an explosion years in the making. Nobody breathed. Silence.

“Explain that to your fucking parents you little shitbags.”

He walked back through the fence, walked into the kitchen and opened two beers with a smile.

Switch – A Tinder For Jobs

switch app image

Swipe left for NO. Swipe right for YES. If the feeling is mutual, connect and reveal your identity. No, it’s not online dating. It’s the future of job search: anonymous, simple and mobile.

Finding a job is hard work. The journey can be incredibly frustrating and time consuming. From discovering opportunities through the application process to finally interviewing, it is a long and winding road. One company wants to change all that. The recently launched Switch app is truly a Tinder for jobs. They aim to take the pain out of the search and connect the right people to the right jobs.

I spoke to Co-Founder Brett Martin and wrote about Switch. You can read the rest here at AOL Jobs.

Better Job Search Through Technology

job search through tech image

It’s hard to believe that there was a time before LinkedIn, Google or even email. How on earth did people find opportunities back in the Dark Ages of job search? It’s a terrifying thought, but MindFlash has done the hard work and uncovered the long-forgotten secrets of pre-millennium job hunting in Western Civilizations’s Historical Guide to the Job Search. Letters, phone calls, classified ads. The horror…the horror!

I wrote about the Latest Job Hunting Apps, Tools and Tech for AOL Jobs right here.

LinkedIn Doubles Down On Apps

linkedin logo image
As the world goes mobile, LinkedIn wants to corner the market on mobile job search and career management. Their strategy ensures that no matter where you are, “opportunity is always within reach.” As a result they’ve doubled down on apps, aggressively launching several new apps and reimagining the existing ones over the last several months. I wrote for AOL Jobs about how your job search just went mobile.

Weekly Roundup: 5 Must-Read Job Search Newsletters

aol jobs newletter image

One of the best ways to keep your job hunt fresh and get the best new information is signing up for newsletters from the career experts. I wrote earlier this year about six of my favorites. Let’s add five more. These represent some of the sharpest, freshest career advice out there. Check it out here at AOL Jobs.

Weekly Roundup: All In On LinkedIn

linkedin logo

LinkedIn is your resume, cover letter, online portfolio, professional social network, blog, business card and more all rolled into one. More than 300 million people use LinkedIn and it keeps expanding in size, power and influence. If you’re not making the most of what the site has to offer, you are missing a massive opportunity to grow your network and forward your career. Here are 43 Tips To Supercharge Your Profile that I wrote about at AOL Jobs.

Weekly Roundup: Fighting Back Against Long-Term Unemployment

looking for a job image

Long-term unemployment is devastating, slowly crushing the job seeker on many levels. The physical, psychological and financial tolls are steep and dramatic. While the number of US long-term jobless has dropped from nearly 4.5 million a year ago to just over 3 million today, the impact on those not working is still frightening

I wrote about how to stay positive and keep your job search on track here at AOL Jobs.

Weekly Roundup: LinkedIn’s New Killer App & Much More

linkedin job search app image

Your job search just went mobile. LinkedIn just dropped a powerful new app that all job seekers will want to download and explore immediately. On Thursday they released the LinkedIn Job Search app and from my initial test-drive it is a must-have tool for job seekers. I wrote about it for AOL Jobs right here.

Weekly Roundup: The Power Of Your Professional Network

aol jobs networking picture

You know what would be awesome? If I could sit on my couch eating bear claws and watching cartoons while the perfect job just knocked on my front door, that’s what. Seriously, how great would that be? Cartoons, doughnuts, couch. Alas, the world is never going to beat down the door with job offers. So I must ignore the seductive lure of the snacks and warm beckoning glow of the television and go find opportunity. Therefore, I must network.

I wrote just how critical your professional network is to career success right here at AOL Jobs.