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Week 8- First World Problem

We starve.  The warlords take our food and our sons to feed their endless wars.  The shouting, machine gun fire and the shadow of death has become our way of life.   The Nations United sends us food and medicine but most of it never reaches us, the warlords capture it all and sell what they cannot use on the black market.  My own Ayotunde is dead, my first born son.   They made that gentle boy carry a gun, he had only seen 12 summers.  There is something black in my wife’s lungs they say.  I brave the machine guns to get her food and medicine, last night I got a rifle butt to the head coming home and they took what I had, so I will try again today.

Thank God I have my tribe.   Every man among them my brother, every woman my sister.  Those that live care for my wife Rehema when I am away, just as those who have passed protect my poor son.  Together we will press on, and share the fufu as far as it goes.

 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

The economy sucks, I think the plant is downsizing again.  I have been there long enough; my job might be safe this time.  I just got a letter from my son in Afghanistan, he had a friend die last week, I wish to hell they would just send them all home.  I should have insisted he go to college instead, but after 9/11 he just got so fired up to enlist.  Kayla is out of work again, Selectric outsourced their customer service overseas.  She is gonna be in trouble, her boyfriend isn’t going to work, the little jackass has dedicated his life to pot and computer games.  I almost wish the little turd would sell some pot, at least it would be a little income…but even that would require a little initiative. 

I think Karen is sending her a lot of money, I can’t grudge her though.  Thirty damn years at Hamilton Junior High school cafeteria and all she got for it are a lot of calluses on her feet she can do whatever she likes with her little bit of pocket money.  Tough broad, my Karen, fought through Hodgkin’s praise God and pass the radiation.

I wish I had some more real friends; most of the guys I worked with try to keep their distance since I got promoted.  The lay-offs aren’t helping any either, it’s like they think they are my idea.  I walk outside and look at the stacks and wonder if that is why everybody seems to get cancer.  Can’t think about it, I’ll go crazy.

Bought some nosebleed seats for the Sixers tonight, hard to justify the expense but a man has to have something.  I’ll eat a Big Mac on the way in so I don’t have to pay 8 dollars for a hamburger.  Man, part of me wants to sneak in a half pint of whiskey in my sock, but that’s for younger dudes.  Be a good way to get Karen to crack the whip.  Dancing with the Stars is on tonight, I hope that Rob whatshisface she likes doesn’t get voted off, there will be hell to pay.

I sometimes think my baby brother has it right.  He sells weapons and doesn’t ask questions.  Got drunk the other night and said some Brooks Brothers suit type, bought some heavy firepower to send to Africa on the down low.  I guess some tin horn dictator has his panties in a bunch.

Comments

( 44 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Deleted comment)
m_malcontent
Jan. 5th, 2011 03:25 am (UTC)
Thanks...It flowed pretty freely once I got started
witchdollie
Jan. 3rd, 2011 11:46 pm (UTC)
Tragically beautiful comparison. Well written.
m_malcontent
Jan. 5th, 2011 03:25 am (UTC)
Thanks so much...I tried to be fair..but not dismissive of first-world problems
courtney_ke
Jan. 4th, 2011 02:37 am (UTC)
I really like the comparison here!
m_malcontent
Jan. 5th, 2011 03:26 am (UTC)
Thanks, your entry this week was also very well done.
onda_bianca
Jan. 4th, 2011 03:48 am (UTC)
Nicely done.
m_malcontent
Jan. 5th, 2011 03:26 am (UTC)
Thanks, cute one.
robertlyon
Jan. 4th, 2011 02:08 pm (UTC)
Wow. Cool how you tied them together.
m_malcontent
Jan. 5th, 2011 03:26 am (UTC)
I LOVE this contest, not so much for the writing but for the reading.
similiesslip
Jan. 5th, 2011 02:02 am (UTC)
Quite a contrast isn't it?

Well done!
m_malcontent
Jan. 5th, 2011 03:26 am (UTC)
Thanks for the kind words.
basric
Jan. 5th, 2011 03:54 am (UTC)
Taking issue with both ides of the coin was an excellent way to use the prompt and the only one I've seen so far. Very original.
m_malcontent
Jan. 5th, 2011 05:31 am (UTC)
Was interesting to write!
the_vernacular
Jan. 5th, 2011 05:59 am (UTC)
This sort of reminded me of the move Babel which came out a couple of years ago. An American tourist is accidentally shot by a child playing with a rifle while on vacation in a developing country and the movie traces all of the lives that are affected by the shooting or effected the shooting. Like you, it juxtaposed the similarities and differences in the troubles the different people in the movie faced.
m_malcontent
Jan. 5th, 2011 06:18 am (UTC)
Yes, that was the effect i was going for. Thanks for commenting!
wyliekat
Jan. 5th, 2011 03:42 pm (UTC)
I'm not at all surprised by how well done this is. You've painted an excellent portrait, not just of the difference in the problems, but also in the fact that there are good things in each scenario - it's not always dire in the third world and it's not always rosy in the first.
m_malcontent
Jan. 5th, 2011 03:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the kind words, I was trying to get across the lives of "quiet desperation" many of us in the industrialized world lead, vs the sense of community crisis after crisis brings in other places we would characterize as "hell on earth".
(no subject) - wyliekat - Jan. 5th, 2011 05:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
yachiru
Jan. 5th, 2011 06:39 pm (UTC)
I like the two narrators/two views. Very cool approach to the topic.
m_malcontent
Jan. 6th, 2011 04:19 am (UTC)
Thanks, I enjoyed writing it.
myrna_bird
Jan. 6th, 2011 02:18 am (UTC)
This was so very good. You made the characters sound so real I had to check to see if it was fiction. Great job!
m_malcontent
Jan. 6th, 2011 04:19 am (UTC)
High praise indeed, thanks so much.
oldscratchx
Jan. 6th, 2011 09:41 pm (UTC)
Nice job.
m_malcontent
Jan. 7th, 2011 03:32 am (UTC)
thanks my man
soprano1790
Jan. 6th, 2011 10:20 pm (UTC)
I really like this comparison. It really makes you think... The things we worry about are so silly sometimes when people are worrying about their lives in other countries. Very well written.
m_malcontent
Jan. 7th, 2011 03:34 am (UTC)
trying hard
hellboy
Jan. 7th, 2011 12:08 am (UTC)
Extremely well-done comparison between the two narrators! And that little connection between them at the end is a total punch in the gut.
m_malcontent
Jan. 7th, 2011 03:37 am (UTC)
Yeah I thought of that at the very end...worked for me
sweeny_todd
Jan. 7th, 2011 02:56 am (UTC)
this is great. you are definitely a very powerful writer.
m_malcontent
Jan. 7th, 2011 10:59 am (UTC)
Thanks for the high praise!
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