Many and Varied Thoughts

image_thumb.pngThis post is part of the SoCS challenge, and it is the hardest one that I have had to write. I shouldn’t say “write” but it’s been very hard to “stream.” If you visit Linda’s site, you will see that I suggested today’s prompt. What isn’t clear is that I suggested it just as the April A-to-Z Challenge was beginning, 25 days ago.

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: vary/very. Use one, use ’em both, add stuff to ’em, your choice. Have a blast!”

25 days is a long time to keep a stream of consciousness bottled up. Think about standing in a long line to use the restroom. It’s that kind of problem, I haven’t been able to not think about this. Sorry if I planted a seed there, I’ll wait while you run to the bathroom.

Great River Park is beginning to flood.
Great River Park is beginning to flood.

At first I thought that maybe I would get a free ride. Maybe, since I was the very person to come up with the prompt, Linda would understand if I put some thought into the various aspects of the two words ahead of time. Sooner than later, my unwanted stream of consciousness started to form into well-flowing river of consciousness and ultimately into a large body of well edited, at least in my mind, consciousness. I was doomed. I could not use those thoughts.

Then I thought: “maybe she won’t even use my prompt.” I mean, she seemed to like the idea well enough, but there are hundreds of words that begin with ‘V’ and she could choose any one of them. Besides, Linda has been working out of a thesaurus throughout the A-to-Z challenge, so she could come up with hundreds of variations on a theme.

I couldn’t stop thinking about this.

Then I thought that maybe I should write about how I couldn’t stop thinking about this but then I started thinking about that. All this thinking and thinking about thinking started to get a little overly meta so I stopped thinking about it altogether. Until today. As soon as I read the email, I was back in that line virtually shifting my weight from foot to foot.

What? You’re kidding, didn’t you already go to the bathroom? OK, go, but hurry back, and yes, I’ll stop using that metaphor.

While you were gone, the old stream started flowing again and I felt like I had no hope of not breaking the tacit agreement between me and Linda, not to mention the ranks of SoCSers around the world. Then I realized something. The very nature of a stream of consciousness varies moment by moment. Not only did that observation help me use both words in the same sentence, it freed me from the guilt by association with my previous thoughts. Who needs those thoughts anyway? Those thoughts are downstream. Water under the bridge and all that.

I’ve been following Evelyne Holingue’s A-to-Z challenge where she is explaining French idioms from A-to-Z. I wonder if there’s a French idiom for “water under the bridge?”

In addition to Evelyne, I’ve been following several other writers through the A-to-Z challenge and it’s been fun. The approach to the challenge has varied from writer to writer, but all the results have been interesting. Very interesting.

Do you remember Artie Johnson? You don’t? He was on a show in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s called Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in. If you do remember the show, you probably remember his German Army character saying “Verrrrry int-errrrr-esss-ting.” But. Did you know that Artie Johnson and fellow cast member Ruth Buzzi recorded a song called “Very Interesting?” They did. You can listen to it here, but it’s stupid. Actually, that was a variation of “very interesting” that they used on the show: “very interesting but stupid.”

I. Am. Rambling.

I had to write that about five times because Word insisted on treating the “I” as if it were Roman numeral I in a Roman numeral numbered list. It would indent the “I” and then further indent the “Am” and it looked stupid. Interesting, perhaps very interesting, but stupid. Now I am really rambling but at least these thoughts are new thoughts.

By the way, this isn’t the first time I’ve given an A-to-Z writer a prompt. Last year, Damyanti crowdsourced her A-to-Z subjects. I gave her the phrase “Quotas had never been easy to achieve” as her prompt for the letter “Q.” Click the link to see the magic that she performed.

Linda, thank you for using my prompt. Knowing/thinking that it was coming made this post much harder to write, but in the end, it was fun letting the words spill out and form their own stream. Good luck with “W” “X” “Y” and “Z.”


  1. Love the mention of Arte Johnson – how come everytime he went over on the tricycle was it STILL funny?!! The whole show was a spoof on the era and “serious” variety shows – so NOTHING was stupid, it was true! Oh, No, now I’m going to start recalling episodes and start cracking up – see ya……..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved Laugh-In! We would all sit in the back of the school bus and talk about that show the next day–such a riot! Whew, this whole SoCS stuff seems very difficult, but you pulled it off. I just had my coffee….now I gotta go.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmm. This WAS a rambler. Not, as Jerry Seinfeld so memorably reminded us, that there’s anything wrong with that! So I’ll simply add this: Both Arte Johnson and Ruth Buzzi had guest roles on Night Gallery. I wish I could recommend them (Johnson’s isn’t terrible), but still. Some interesting trivia — Laugh-In alum and Rod Serling? It actually happened. The early ’70s were so odd sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. He probably didn’t, knowing how much he hated “Hogan’s Heroes.” But it’s not as if casting decisions (or any other decisions, alas) were up to him on Night Gallery. If they had been, I’m convinced it would have had a longer, more successful run.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Ha ha! I see why there was a Trackback on my blog…
    I’m happy to let you that there is in fact a French equivalent to “Water Under the Bridge.”
    This is one of those cases where literal translation works. It’s indeed almost word for word the same.
    The French idiom is: “Beaucoup d’eau a coulé sous les ponts.” Or “Lots of water has run under the bridge.”
    Thank you, Dan, for linking my small blog to your prolific one. I appreciate the gesture and I’m always happy to provide a solution to a problem.
    See you on Monday since the challenge is not over for some of us!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Dan, you are so funny. I laughed as I read this, picturing you thinking about thinking and getting no wheres. The mention of the bathroom …. did have have to? LOL My personal opinion about prompts is … I don’t like them. Too much pressure and to me, it stifles the creativity juices. Just the thought of having to write about something, would put me in a deep freeze. I’m a free bird all the way. I really wish you luck with the rest of the prompts. I do have to give you a lot of credit for attempting to do this. I know I couldn’t. Love, Amy <3

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Amy. I don’t like most prompts, but I like the idea of writing in a stream of consciousness style once in a while. I don’t participate every week, but sometimes the prompt just starts something flowing in my head. This was hard. I don’t think I would have participated this week if I hadn’t given Linda the idea for the prompt.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for reminding me of Artie Johnson. So funny. How many times have I said “Very interesting” with that accent. So cute. I thought you would have a carefully crafted post for this prompt since you suggested it. Nice to see that you used stream of consciousness.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m very concerned about how much work you accomplished ‘on the clock’ this week between your sink-hole of thoughts about thoughts and varying degrees of pee pressure (for once, not a typo for peer oressures). Nevertheless it was all ve-r-r-r y interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

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