Obsfloofian (floofinition) – An animal who is black as obsidian.
In use: “Obsfloofians such as black cats and dogs are often awarded names like Onyx or Midnight, but seeking a new direction, Karla named her obsfloofian, “T’Challa”, an homage to her favorite movie and her favorite actor.”
Floofconic (floofinition) – An animal widely known and acknowledged for distinctive excellence.
In use: “Many people consider their pets to be floofconic for one reason or another – personality, quirks, coloring, size, et floofera.”
The door opened. He tottered out and stopped in shade and sunshine on the hard white ground. Good morning, he said to the air. Good morning, sunshine. He liked the air and sunshine, though neither answered him.
The blue bird came by and said hello. He liked the bird. It was always friendly and noisy.
The man came out, talking to him in his busy language. He liked the man. He mewed that information to the man, who went by him in a scissoring flash of legs.
He decided to follow the man across the dewy wet grass, see what’s what, but the man went back into the house, speaking as he always did, which roughly translated to, I am leaving you, and closed the door, as he always did, leaving him alone, in the grass, staring back.
A bee came by, and another bird (one he didn’t know) stopped on the tree and said hello. He didn’t know the bird, so he didn’t answer. After requesting permission (which he gave with a nod), the bird darted down in the yard to visit the grass, then said good-bye and flew away.
He settled onto the grass. Cold under his belly fur, the grass sent a wet shock up through him. The sun was peeking through trees. It was always shy at first, hiding behind trees, leaves, and clouds. But then it came out and told him, good morning. How are you?
The sunshine stroked his black fur with its warm hand. I am fine, he answered, closing his eyes to nap.
Profloofgate (floofinition) – Person who spends extravagantly for animals or spends large sums of money on animals.
In use: “Dissatisfied with other aspects of their lives, people turn to satisfying their fur friends first and foremost, becoming a profloofgate when it comes to their animals’ food, toys, comfort, and healthcare. Some claim that they’re forced to be a profloofgate because they have multiple animals with special needs, and prices just going up, up, up.”
Mondefloof (floofinition) – A misheard word or phrase that causes an animal’s reaction.
In use: “Noting that when she asked her husband where the wok was, the dog went for his leash to go for a walk, she vowed to spell wok in the future to avoid the mondefloof.”
We were ordered into a car. My companion, a male, was up front in the passenger seat. Top down, the convertible car began speeding along.
I said, “Is it my imagination, or do I detect from the motion that this car is going backwards?”
No answer came. As I processed that null response, I said, “Is this a Rolls Royce?”
The driver was looking back over his shoulder. He was in the right hand front seat. Looking back as he did verified for me that we were going backwards — I couldn’t see over the sides of the car to be sure.
The driver was Sean Connery. As that registered, I debated, Sean Connery or James Bond?
I gathered that we were going backward around a cloverleaf exchange and then accelerated straight onto a highway. At that point, Connery executed a handbrake turn, reversing us 180. We now traveled in the correct position.
After a time, the car was pulled over. Telling us, “See you later,” Connery hopped out and waved good-bye.
My companion — a short, elderly white male — and I were relieved to be free of Connery and have position of our Rolls again, because we needed to turn the car in. Problem was, that wasn’t the car that was expected, and the company would be upset. We traveled back to the turn-in location where a tall, white man in a suit greeted us. After hearing our problem, he said, smiling, “No problem. I can make this go away.”
Some paperwork was processed. As that went on, I checked some physical records. These tracked my health and activities. I was shocked to discover they were marked SECRET in the standard stamp at the top. It flummoxed me to think that those innocuous records were marked secret. I then also discovered my CIA identification, a rueful reminder of the secret world I inhabited.
The tale man returned. “Slide your company card through this card reader.” I smirked at the expression, company card, but did as told. “Your bill is twenty-four dollars,” I was told. As I reacted, he added, “It’s been paid.”
My original companion and I went off in another car. Exiting the building, a young black male stopped us. “You’ll need this to get back in.” He handed us a laminated blue card with black grease pencil writing on it. As he walked off, I called out, “No, we don’t need that, we already have one.” I held our original up, showing it to him, and then flipped the other to him. It sailed like a flying disc.
He caught it without effort. “That was impressive,” I said.
He shrugged. “I do that all the time.”
“How many times a day?”
“At least three.”
That impressed me. My companion and I drove off.
Dream shift. I was on vacation, walking toward a river. Bending down as I reached the roaring, turbulent river, I rubbed a cat’s belly. Wondering who this friendly feline was, I investigated and discovered it was my own ginger mini-puma. As I talked to him, he rolled around and then stood and stretched.
I was worried. We were over a mile from home. “What are you doing here, so far from home?” I asked the cat. In response, he trotted ahead of me, as though he and I were journeying together.
The cat splashed through some water. I crossed onto a natural rock bridge. Standing over the raging white water, I saw something scything through the water ahead. I couldn’t say what it was. Then a bird attacked me. I swatted it away. Another bird then attacked. This bird latched onto my leg. As its claws dug in, I beat it until it released me. Realizing that two birds attacking me was unusual and guessed, they’re probably protecting nests in the rocks around me. With that conclusion, I hurried on.
He stretches out and washes
his sleek ginger fur
Then closes amber eyes and relaxes
Releasing a mellow
Knowing he’s home and safe
He lays down his head to sleep
Only turning an ear when
A bird outside
Digital lapse was endured.
Familiar with it? That’s when you click or press and nada takes place. But, being experienced, you know that something has taken place. It’s just not revealed. Novices will think nothing has happened and press buttons or click more. The clicks and taps accumulate, causing a crash or a sudden surge of activities that take you to somewhere that you don’t want to be, digitally speaking, like the wrong screen.
I’m not a novice. I’ve been clicking remotes on digital devices for a decade. Digital lapse is an old adversary. I experience it most with our streaming devices for viewing television shows and movies. Disney Plus is the worst offender in my current stable of providers. But finally I was on the screen where “The Mandalorian” was being offered. One blessing from the Disney Plus site is that it doesn’t immediately start playing trailers. It’s just quiet. Waiting.
I jumped up and set down the remote. Head down, a cat eyed me, ears moving toward my racket. “Popcorn?” I moved around my desk.
We were in the office. We are spoiled people. Although we have a sixty-five inch curved-screen 4K ultra-high definition smart TV in the living room, with surround sound, we do ninety percent of our television viewing in the home office. My wife calls it the snug. A twenty-seven inch flat screen television is mounted on one wall. My desk faces it. So does a recliner in the corner. My wife reclined there. Busy with a game on her AirMac or whatever her Apple machine is called, she nodded.
Making popcorn has become simple. Back when I was a child, popping corn required oil, popcorn, and a big black cast iron Dutch oven. Oil was spread across the bottom. The Dutch oven’s bottom, not mine. You know, inside it. Heat applied. Three kernels were dropped in. A lid applied. The kernels were monitored. Once they popped, kernels were poured in and spread across the hot oil, covering the bottom. Lid applied, a pot holder was acquired. I’d stand there, shaking the Dutch over as the kernels popped.
Jiffy Pop changed it. No need to pour everything. Just peel off the cardboard lid, hold the tin pan over the flame, and shake as the kernels cooked and the foil cover rose.
Microwaves changed it up again. We experimented with several methods before Pop Secret came along. It was just a folded bag. Put it in the microwave, one side up, and press the button. Then monitor as the popping proceeded.
Monitoring has remained the constant. The popcorn was always being monitored. Was that the last pop? Time to stop.
Deciding that we didn’t like that kind of microwave popcorn, our household had regressed back to where I’d started, oil in pan, kernels, lid, popping, add corn, lid, shake. No longer, though. We’d acquired a silicon microwave popcorn maker last year. No oil. Pour the popcorn in to the line. Apply silicon lid. Turn microwave on for four minutes. Monitor. Is that the last pop? Count to five.
It’s amazingly simple, quiet, and easy. So is clean up. I fear that it won’t last. News will break. Scientists will announce that radicalized burrblelons released from the silicon attacks your nervous system when you ingest popcorn made in such a manner. That’s how everything seems to be: something good is found and announced. We like it. Then we discover it’s bad for you or the world.
I poured the popcorn into bowls, flavored it with nutritional yeast, cleaned out the silicon popper and put it away, and headed back to the snug.
The cat had taken my seat. Curled up tightly, he didn’t bother looking up. Ears and tail were still. His eyes were closed. Probably pretending to be asleep.
Dropping to my knees on the carpet beside him, I picked up the remote and pressed play. Digital lapse was endured. Then the show began.