Category Archives: Humor

The Behavioral Linguist in Love: May 17, 2022

The Behavioral Linguist* in Love

A thoughtful, scientific man, he chose his words with care.
No ordinary words would do. Only ones most rare.
He first spied her in the springtime, finally met her in the fall—

a simply gorgeous maiden—comely, willowy and tall.
But months of choosing his first words seem to have done him in.
What should have been his saving grace turned out to be a sin.

Enthusiastic in his love, he just had to express
his much-gone-over feelings about her  loveliness.
He’d formerly determined not to use just any word,
but his final declaration turned out to be absurd.
He should have called her beautiful and just left it at that,
for when he called her pulchritudinous, she thought that he meant fat!


*Note: New to the world of behavioral science, Behavioral Linguistics is the science-based use of language to persuade. It’s rooted in nudge theory combined with psychology, sociolinguistics, and principles of marketing. language is a powerful way to change behavior.

Prompts today are behavioral, enthusiastic, pulchritude, fall.  Images by Fabio Lucas and   Mandy Zhang on Unsplash.

Flower Power

Flower Power

As it slipped off the shelf, the flower gave a growl.
It never intended to go on the prowl.

It’s against flower ethics to go off on one’s own,
unopened, unblossomed and not fully grown.

No flower’s a star. They’re all one of the bunch,
but given a shot at it, I have a hunch

that beneath every garden, the flowers below
are driven to rise up—to open and crow,

to greet the new morning and bask in its heat,
and that then they ‘d be off if they only had feet.

Their one chance at freedom is if they are clipped
and bunched into bunches, then bartered and shipped

to  exotic places where the minute they’re sold,
they’ll be off to adventures and their world will unfold.

Then if perchance they are placed up on shelves,
they may tumble to earth to be all by themselves.

Short-lived as they are, they might think as they fall
from their limited knowledge, that they’ve seen it all!!


For Sunday Swirl’s Wordle 553, the prompt words are: star shelf growl slip open flower crow against prowl beneath beat shot.

Revolt at Walmart

Revolt at Walmart

Give us the proper rebate if you want us to behave.
We have our coupons in our hands and we’re not going to cave.
It is not iniquity to ask for what you’re due.
Accede to our demands or we’re going to mount a coup.

So what if it’s a misprint in the paper? Not our fault.
Produce what you offered, for we’re not going to halt.
Although you say to honor it would amount to a steal,
20 for 1 seems to us a reasonable deal!

Prompt words for the day are proper, beam, rebate, iniquity and behave.



I rue the day I sent my oldest kid to college,
for ever since he’s been deluging us with knowledge.
From “dermatones” to other concepts we can’t grasp,
his pedestrian lectures make us want to gasp.
He uses words archaic since majoring in Chaucer,
ostentatiously positioning his “cuppe” in his saucer.
He bores us all to death when his golf club raises turf.
He doesn’t raise a divot. Instead he cuts a kerf!
Constantly, he leaves us in a state of consternation
simply by engulfing us in too much information.



Prompt words today are dermatone, tear, archaic, kerf and pedestrian. Illustration thanks to Muhammad Rizwan on Unsplash.

Words for a Formerly Rejected Would-be Lover

Words for a Formerly Rejected Would-be Lover

The prospects are quite iffy that you’ll shift my view,
but come equipped with custard and I’ll take a spin with you.
We’ll see if we have anything in common other than
a taste for boiled custard and a mania for flan.

Prompt words today are shift, spin, custard, iffy and equipped. Image by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash.

Face Off!

Face Off!

It’s always there in front of me, greeting people first.
With having to live up to it, I always have been cursed.
When I want to look pious, it breaks out in a grin
revealing that within me there is a bit of sin.

It blushes when that boy walks in that I don’t want to know it.
I’m trying to be mysterious, and then I go and blow it!
It heats up and blushes when I’m trying to be cool.
How can something a part of me break every single rule?

When I doll up in my finest, then spend an hour on it,
adding shadow, blush and lashes, it decides to grow a zit!
I’m tired of facing up to its erratic bad behavior.
It seems to be my enemy when I most need a savior.

I’d like to go before it to decide what people see
before my face inserts itself, claiming to be me.
Then Covid comes along and gives me everything I ask.
Ironic that it takes a plague to furnish me a mask.


Prompt words today are faces, heat, pious, erratic, doll.

Big Mac (For The Sunday Whirl Wordle 552)

Big Mac

That  alchemy turns lead to gold may be more than lore,
or so says Modern Physics*, but MacDonald’s does much more
by making gold and silver out of snack bar food,

feeding Big Macs, shakes and fries to a hungry brood.
Drunk fools go there for coffee, lonely hearts go to make friends.
Why we greet the golden arches more or less depends
on what we feel we’re lacking. Sometimes, company will do.
Or you may need a hamburger, in fact you may need two.
After you have plowed your furrows, changing clods to dirt,
wipe the soil from your hands and change your soiled shirt
and head out to McDonald’s. You’ll never rue the day
when you order Macs and fries and tuck them all away.
You may have flunked your physics test, my dear, but never mind.
The golden arches provides comfort of the tastebud kind.

*“What is Alchemy? – Live Science › 39314-alchemy Mar 24, 2016 — Alchemy is the ancient practice of trying to turn lead into gold. Modern physics equipment may finally make that quest a reality.”

Wordle prompts for The Sunday Whirl: 552 : sometimes never snack bar drunk fools gold silver alchemy physics dirt clod.  Image by Amirali Mirhashemian on Unsplash.



When she screams like a banshee, running through the house,
just because she saw a tiny little mouse,
the mouse bilks all her efforts to thus scare it away
by slipping in the closet where in time it may
produce many other creatures of its ilk
in a tiny nest it has established in the silk
contents of her drawer of sexy lingerie—
picking for its bed her favorite negligee.

So, if she’s so lucky as to score a kiss
and, planning for a night of amatory bliss,
she reaches in her drawer, completely unaware
of the little visitors housed in her underwear,
no doubt she’ll find reminders of that earlier day
and the previous companion she thought she’d chased away.
Then her latest conquest will beat a fast retreat
as her former screams she ventures to repeat.



Word prompts today are banshee, reminder, bliss, bilk and house. Illustration thanks to Frenjamin Benklin on Unsplash.


Admonitions from the Editor of the Southern Christian Monitor

Admonitions from the Editor of The Southern Christian Monitor

Good gracious, sir can you not mend your pertinent demeanor?
Clean up your language, cease your slurs. Find language that is cleaner!
When you speak, why must you be such a surly gent?
For once why don’t you try to say something we can print?
Your thoughts are fine. It’s just the words with which you choose to state them.
It simply is your word choice that makes us excoriate them.
As my southern mama used to say, “For goodness sakes, y’all,
if you can’t say it politely, don’t say anything at all!”


Disclaimer: There is to my knowledge no such publication as The Southern Christian Monitor. This poem is pure fiction, prompted by the prompt words!!!

Prompt words today are gracious, slur, pertinent, mend and print. Image by Roman Kraft on Unsplash.

New Neighbor

New Neighbor

We exercise due diligence, but still we find we can’t
avoid the proclamations and the daily rant
that we’ve had to put up with, lately, ever since

our new caustic neighbor started peering o’er the fence,
raising his head above it by standing on a stump
to spread the raving tirade that he loves to dump

on anybody present who’s so unfortunate
as to visit our back yard and encounter this nut.

Every time I go outside, I must absorb  his spewing.
He seems to have some radar that tracks all that we’re doing,
so when I take the garbage out, he’s always out there, too,
spreading verbal garbage that he’s amassed anew.

I guess there’s only one way to get out of this groove.
It may seem excessive, but I think we’ll have to move.
We’ll find a brand new house that has a tall back wall
and rebuff any neighbors who should try to call.
We’ll be the sort of neighbors that no one seems to know,
but we’ll have blessed privacy when we go out to mow !

Prompt words today are stump, anybody, caustic, diligent and absorb. Image by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash.