500. The Last Post

Well, this is it.

I had planned to make a little video to celebrate this final post, but there were, um, technical difficulties:

Ah, well. I tried.

Yes, Typewriter Monkey Task Force is ending at last. Before I lay the blog to rest, I should probably answer a few final questions.

What will happen to your typewriter monkeys?

A few readers have asked about my typewriter monkeys—as a precaution, I presume, in order to stay out of their way. Never fear! I don’t intend to unleash my monkeys upon any of my readers.

My monkeys wanted to set off some fireworks to celebrate the blog’s end, but that never ends well, so I threw them a goodbye party instead. I provided snacks, and they brought their own drinks. (I didn’t even know you could make cocktails with rum and bananas.) They drank enough rum to float a boat, and ate enough bananas to sink one.

While my monkeys slept off their hangovers, I took the opportunity to pack them comfortably in a large crate, and to ship them to Australia.

Goodbye, and good riddance!

Of all places on Earth, the Outback seemed like the one where my monkeys could do the least damage. (Even so, brace yourself, Australia.) If the Mad Max movies are to be believed, the Australian interior is already pretty wild, so my monkeys will fit right in.

What will you do now that TMTF is over?

I will catch up with long overdue housework, sleep, work on my story project, and play some video games… probably not in that order.

Where can I follow your future projects?

You can always find me on Twitter, where I’ll share any future news or announcements.

Do you have any final comments?

I made most of my concluding remarks in TMTF’s final posts, in which I highlighted the best of the blog, thanked readers, reminisced, and looked forward to something new.

As a matter of fact, I have just one more thing to say.

I want to leave you with a blessing. It’s an old one from the Bible, and I mean every word of it:

“The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine upon you, and give you peace.”

It’s been quite a journey. Thanks for coming along.

Adam out. Peace.


499. That Time I Wrote a Blog

The end of the year approaches. Since my town won’t allow me to practice my cherished New Year’s tradition of building a bonfire in the street, I must settle for reminiscing over memories of days gone by.

Ah, those were good times.

This blog began with a That Time I _____ post, and it seems only fitting to squeeze in one more before the end. A lot has happened since that first post. I want to share today of That Time I Wrote a Blog. It was, admittedly, quite a long time: more than five years, in fact. That time is almost done, and as both the year and the blog come to a close, I want to spend a few moments looking back.

I started Typewriter Monkey Task Force for several reasons. First, I wanted to make a positive impact on someone, somewhere, through my writing. Second, as I was in the early stages of publishing a novel, I wanted to build an audience through a blog. Finally, starting a blog allowed me keep writing, and I have to write. Writing is a compulsion. I can’t help it.

Did TMTF fulfill any of its purposes? As a matter of fact, it did—but not in the ways I expected.

Over the years, TMTF definitely made a positive impact on someone. It made it on me. Writing blog posts was often therapeutic, and even cathartic. It allowed me to clarify my beliefs, articulate my thoughts, and make sense of my experiences. In writing this blog, I reaped all the benefits of keeping a journal or diary. I meant for TMTF to help someone who read it, but the person it helped most was the one who wrote it.

Blogging, like talking to plush toys, is surprisingly therapeutic.

This blog never built the audience I wanted, but allowed me to build something even better: friendships. I met people through TMTF whom I would never have known otherwise. I thanked some of them in my last post.

To be fair, TMTF fulfilled one of its purposes exactly as intended: it allowed me to keep writing. I like to think I’ve grown as a writer and storyteller since starting this blog. At any rate, the countless hours of writing did me no harm.

A lot has happened since I started TMTF all those years ago. Here are some significant events that occurred in my life since I started this blog:

So yeah, this blog’s lifespan covers quite a chunk of mine. It’s a bit surreal to think TMTF is almost done. Come back in a couple of days for the final Geeky Wednesday post, and on Friday for this blog’s EPIC FINALE!

All right, fine, the last post won’t be particularly epic. It will be final, though. I hope to see you there!

497. TMTF’s Top Ten Posts I’m Glad I Wrote

TMTF is almost done. Today seems like a good day to glance back at some of this blog’s better posts—and to squeeze in one last top ten list, of course. Top tens are my beat!

To paraphrase Strong Bad, “My blog posts are like my childrens. I love them all!”

Wait, no—that’s not right. I love some of my blog posts. Others are frankly pretty bad. Then there are a shining few that have a special place in my heart. These personal posts allowed me to discover something about myself, cope with life’s difficulties, or create something meaningful.

These are the posts I’m glad I wrote.

I’m about to get personal, ladies and gentlemen, as TMTF presents…

The TMTF List of Top Ten Posts I’m Glad I Wrote!

10. Goodbye, Beatrice

I always supposed that at some point I would grow up and stop having crushes on pretty girls, but I never did. (I think I may have I failed the whole growing-up thing.) One or two of my romantic crushes lasted for years and years, gathering many what-ifs and regrets. This post was my attempt to let them go. It was cathartic to write.

Like Dante, I wrote about my crush; unlike Dante, I wrote a quick blog post, not an epic poem of enduring brilliance.

I was reading Dante’s Inferno at the time. Dante’s lifelong crush on Beatrice mirrored my own situation, and I’m really satisfied with how this post tied together our stories.

9. The Infinity Manuscript

Little-known fact: Back in 2012, as my ill-fated novel ground slowly toward publication, I wrote a fantasy novella titled The Infinity Manuscript. (This was years before I knew of Marvel’s upcoming Infinity War movies; I wasn’t trying to steal their title, I swear!) This tale of loss and determination has its fair share of flaws, yet showcased some cool ideas and a plot twist of which I’m quite proud.

The Infinity Manuscript had a desert, maybe? Hey, I wrote it a long time ago!

I haven’t read The Infinity Manuscript in years, but remain fond of it. Who knows? I may resurrect the story someday and write it properly. Even if I don’t, The Infinity Manuscript brought me many hours of writing practice, along with some creative satisfaction.

8. Working on Self-Respect

Writing this post led me to discover an important and practical truth: Self-esteem is a feeling, but self-respect is a choice.

I choose to respect this guy. For some reason.

I have a fairly low opinion of myself. The past four or five years dealt my self-confidence some devastating blows: my career plans failed, my dream project failed, and my faith sometimes seems to be failing. This post reminded me that maintaining a sense of self-worth is not only possible, but worthwhile.

7. Lance Eliot Is Dead

Speaking of my dream project, this is the post in which I announced its failure. I declared Lance Eliot dead. The failure of my debut novel, The Trials of Lance Eliot, took away my incentive to work on its sequels. I was already committed to this blog, trapped in a toxic job situation, and struggling through a darker chapter of my life. I couldn’t keep writing Lance’s story, but felt guilty abandoning it.

It was hard to let this one go.

In the end, I let it go. This post represents one of the best decisions I ever made. Giving up Lance’s story took away a lot of stress and worry… and allowed me, years later, to resurrect it without the baggage of earlier failures. I don’t know whether I’ll ever finish the Lance Eliot saga, but thanks to this post, I’m free to try again from the beginning.

6. Jerks, Trolls and Other Hazards of the Internet

Not many people celebrate Be Nice to Someone on the Internet Day, and with good reason—I made it up on a whim. This annual event, held on March 4, encourages everyone to send an encouraging message to someone on the Internet.

I like to think that all Internet trolls are actually cave trolls with laptops.

An earlier post introduced the concept of Be Nice to Someone on the Internet Day, but this post inaugurated it properly and confirmed March 4 as its official date. Ever since, I’ve promoted and observed the event every year, and plan to continue doing so long after this blog is dust and ashes.

5. Adam’s Story: The Characters

Since resurrecting the Lance Eliot saga, all I’ve accomplished so far is some story planning—but good gosh, after this post, am I ever excited to start writing! Characters are my favorite element of storytelling. Reimagining Lance Eliot and other characters for my story project is easily the most fun I’ve had working on a story in years.

I can’t wait to write about this guy.

This post is extra-special thanks to terrific concept art from Sabina Kipa and JK Riki: artists whose skills were matched by their patience and positivity. When I write, it helps me to visualize scenes and characters, and this post’s character portraits have been helpful as I’ve worked on story planning.

4. An Evil Scientist Explains Band Names

I wanted to put a Geeky Wednesday post on this list, but it was hard to choose just one. For years, Geeky Wednesdays were my way of pointing at cool things and saying, “Look at this thing! Ain’t it cool?” These (typically) shorter, shallower posts bridged the gap between this blog’s “serious” posts on Mondays and Fridays. (I put “serious” in quotes because TMTF was hardly ever serious.)

Doofenshmirtz is my Patronus.

In the end, I chose the very first Geeky Wednesday post. It inaugurated one of this blog’s most enduring features, and I’m glad it did. Besides, Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz is probably one of the greatest television characters of all time, and definitely one of the funniest.

3. I Believe

I wrote this post during a particularly rough week last month. A number of unrelated struggles and uncertainties troubled me deeply at the time. Quite by accident, I managed to weave them all together in a post that was not merely coherent, but among the best I have ever written.

This post was far more coherent than it had any right to be.

In the end, by some miracle of God, a post that should have been a train wreck became something structured, meaningful, and deeply cathartic to write. When I finished this post, I felt like a weight had been lifted off my chest. I consider it one of my best. It certainly helped me to write it.

2. Marching Home

This post is a eulogy for my late friend Nick. I was reluctant to put it on this list, fearing the list might cheapen it, but finally decided that it belongs here. This list is for posts I’m glad I wrote. I’m glad I wrote this one.

This scene still brings tears to my eyes.

When Nick passed away last year, I felt emotionally numb. Writing his eulogy helped me come to terms with his death, and allowed me to tell the story of our friendship. I tried to honor Nick’s memory by writing this post. Whether or not I succeeded, writing it helped me to grieve. Healing started here.

1. I Nearly Left My Faith Last Year

This was a surprisingly easy post to write, but hitting the Publish button took some nerve. After struggling with profound religious doubts for more than a year, I finally acknowledged them publicly. I told my story. Whether or not anyone listened, and however they replied, I felt calmer and lighter for telling it.

I haven’t given up yet, and neither has he.

Quite a number of people listened. They replied with compassion and understanding. I felt less alone. Of all the posts on this blog, this is the one I’m gladdest I wrote.

I’m glad I wrote these posts, and do you know what else? I’m glad people read them. Thanks for reading, guys. You are the best thing about this blog.

496. Word Derps: Final Round

My younger brother, John, has a gift for butchering the spoken word. I keep a meticulous record of his mispronunciations, y’know, for science. The first two parts of the list can be found here and here.

Today’s entry concludes the list… for now. I plan to continue updating the list long after this blog has withered like the grass and fallen like the flowers. (I may be ridiculous, but at least I’m consistent about it.) For now, please enjoy this final round of word derps!

Special thanks to John, of course, for putting up with me. He’s the beth—excuse me, the best—younger brother a guy could have.

Enough talk. WE DERP NOW.

  • Waping for waiting
  • Sir for sure
  • Letter for later
  • Uvver for other
  • Harned for hand
  • Enthusium for enthusiasm
  • Lank for yank
  • Egg zacky for exactly
  • Prenny for plenty
  • Seriousless for seriousness
  • Wurg for word
  • Gurd for good
  • Shammer eye for samurai
  • Bear achoo duh for barracuda
  • Pilmgrim for pilgrim
  • Twain for train
  • Odors for orders
  • Poppity for properties
  • Blaine for plane
  • Shounds for sounds
  • Teens for tins
  • Coupon for keep on
  • Kwunchy for country
  • Sinking for singing
  • Athettically for aesthetically

From the full list, my favorite derps so far are “pleeple” for “people,” “flaw-plaw” for “firepower,” and “pervervy” for “perverted.” At least one derp has entered John’s regular vocabulary; he insists on calling my beard a “bleared,” and I can’t say I blame him.

494. Almost Done

This blog is taking a one-week break, and shall return on December 12 with its final round of new posts.

This blog is almost done. Today is December 2. Typewriter Monkey Task Force shall end on December 30. Four weeks remain.

Obligatory Majora’s Mask reference. (I can’t help myself, and I’m not sorry.)

Before TMTF staggers ignominiously to its end, I must make a few quick announcements.

TMTF is taking a one-week break

December is a busy month, and I need some extra time to catch up with personal commitments. TMTF shall return on December 12. There will be no updates until then.

My plans for post-TMTF projects are not yet clear

I have not yet decided whether to start a personal newsletter after TMTF bites the dust. I will definitely work on my story project, but may possibly write a couple of short stories first. Speaking of which, I never did get around to writing that last Gabriel Green story for this blog. I apologize.

If you’re interested in following any of my future projects, you can find me on Twitter, on which I plan to share any future news or announcements; my Twitter handle is @coffeeologian. You can also reach me via this blog’s Contact page. It will remain active even after the blog ends.

December is a great time for charity

Around this time every year, I give a shout out to the Advent Conspiracy.

The Advent Conspiracy is awesome.

This Christian movement encourages everyone to spend a little less on Christmas consumerism, and to give a little more to charity. The Advent Conspiracy has a particular emphasis on clean water projects, which save lives, prevent disease, and improve quality of life in impoverished areas.

If you can spare two and a half minutes, I recommend this video explaining the Advent Conspiracy. I don’t even like churchy videos, but this one is rad.

It’s perfectly fine if you don’t want to support the Advent Conspiracy. It’s a cause near to my heart, and you probably have a cause near to yours. Please consider supporting your cause this month. Christmas is a time for giving.

Besides, to quote my favorite video game that I’ll never actually play, the world could always use more heroes. You can be someone’s hero this month, and I hope you will be.

Coffee creamer makes a great hair product

A couple of days ago, I had a little accident at work, and it’s too funny not to share. I spilled some coffee creamer on my head—long story—and tried to wash my hair with a wet washcloth, spiking it up on one side. However, I couldn’t wash out all of the coffee creamer. When my hair dried, the spikes remained, stiffened as though with hair gel, and smelling pleasantly of caramel macchiato.

It was quite a look: business on the right, party on the left. The incident amused me so much that I, upon returning home, did something I don’t recall ever doing before: I took a selfie.


I’m too lazy to style my hair; I keep it short so that I don’t even have to comb it. My one day of accidental style was neat, but I don’t plan on ever buying hair gel… or coffee creamer, for that matter. (I prefer my coffee with milk, thank you.)

Well, I think that wraps it up. Speaking of which, I still have a gift to wrap… and blog posts to write… and other stuff to do. Bah! Humbug!

Thanks for reading. We’ll be back.

493. Adam Turns into the Hulk and Rants about Interruptions

Caution: This blog post contains furious ranting. Sensitive readers, and readers averse to things being smashed, are advised not to continue.

My memories of kindergarten are few and faint, but I have never forgotten its lessons. Kindergarten taught me the importance of picking up after myself—does anybody else remember the clean-up song?—and of occasionally taking breaks. Man, I miss those scheduled naps.

Among other lessons, kindergarten taught me that I shouldn’t interrupt others when they’re speaking. I didn’t practice this lesson very well, and sometimes still don’t, but at least I acknowledged it, even as a kindergartner.

Many people don’t practice this lesson, and some are apparently not even familiar with it. Instead of waiting patiently for others to finish speaking, in the manner of civilized human beings, they interrupt—sometimes with statements that are completely unrelated, proving they weren’t really listening, or simply didn’t care.

An interruption says, implicitly, “Screw whatever you want to say. What have to say is more important, because am more important.”

Interruptions are rude, disrespectful, and inconsiderate. They make me mad. They make me really mad… and bad things…  happen… when… I….








Hi there.


You have, in a manner of speaking. I’m the part of your mind that stays sane and calm during your rants and rampages as the Hulk. I’m your rational subconscious.


Hulk is a conflicted, psychologically fascinating individual, but that’s not the point.

Hulk is clearly a complex, sensitive person. Can’t you tell?

I’m interrupting your regularly scheduled rant to remind you of something important.


You’ve spent a lot of time ranting about things that annoy you, from butchered hymns to Black Friday to noisy people. Has ranting made any difference?


These bad things aren’t likely to change, you know. There will always be awful Internet ads, high prices for coffee drinks, and stinky people. Maybe, instead of ranting, you should practice patience. Set a good example. Be the change you want to see. Words, however loudly they’re spoken, go only so far. As you pointed out, actions speak louder than words.


I was.


Neither is ranting. It acknowledges problems, but doesn’t fix them. Besides, does the world really need more noise and indignation?


Glad to hear it.



…Whoa, I spaced out for a minute. Was I talking about something? I feel like I was talking about something. Kindergarten, maybe? I barely remember it. I do miss scheduled naps, though.

490. TMTF’s Top Ten Ways Autumn Isn’t Horrible

I don’t like the fall season. It’s cold, dark, and flavored like pumpkin spice. Leaves fall. Flowers die. Everything turns brown. Worst of all, here in the American Midwest, autumn happens every single year. It just ain’t fair.

However, autumn isn’t all bad—mostly bad, yes, but not quite all bad. It has its charms. Here are ten reasons why the fall season isn’t totally awful.

Bundle up, ladies and gentlemen, as TMTF presents…

The TMTF List of Top Ten Ways Autumn Isn’t Horrible!

10. Daylight Saving Time Ends

On the first Sunday in November, the time is set back one hour at two o’clock in the morning. In practical terms, I gain an hour, provided I remember to set back my clocks. An extra hour of sleep? Yes please.

I happen to be a big fan of sleep.

Of course, the time is set forward one hour when Daylight Saving Time begins in spring, costing me a precious hour of sleep, but I’ll not worry about that until March!

9. Snowfalls Are Gentle, Gorgeous, and Mercifully Brief

Snow is beautiful when it’s falling or freshly fallen. It softens everything and gleams with an infinity of tiny sparkles. Then it quickly becomes a nuisance. Heavy snow becomes slushy, crusty, or muddy, and always wet and cold. Autumn sometimes brings light snowfalls, but they never overstay their welcome. They last just long enough to be pretty, and no longer.

8. Winter Blockbusters Begin to Arrive in Movie Theaters

After the October wave of horror films, end-of-year blockbusters start to trickle into movie theaters.

Aw, yeah.

We have Marvel’s Doctor Strange and Disney’s Moana this fall. Last autumn brought The Peanuts Movie, which surpassed my cynical expectations, and the one before gave us Disney’s Big Hero 6. I may not like the fall season, but it brings some great movies.

7. Triple-A Video Games Are Released

The final months of each year often bring not only good movies, but also great video games.

Aw, yeah.

Triple-A is the classification given to games with big budgets, which is often (but not always) an indication of high quality. Game developers often save their triple-A releases for the holiday season. I play mostly older games these days, but still enjoy watching trailers and reading reviews for brand new ones.

6. Leaves Turn Bright, Beautiful Colors

As summer fades, leaves change from green to brilliant shades of red, orange, and yellow. Clusters of leaves become clouds of fire.

Colors like these are the only warm things about autumn, I’m afraid.

Apart from the trees, autumn is a season of drab grays and murky browns, so the fiery colors of leaves are a welcome change… until they die, turn brown, and fall to the ground, of course. Ah, well. Beauty is often a fleeting and fragile thing.

5. Thanksgiving Day Arrives

I poke fun at the Thanksgiving holiday, but it’s actually one of my favorites. I love the idea of setting aside a day for family, food, fellowship, and… well… thanksgiving. Unlike Halloween or Christmas, Thanksgiving demands no elaborate customs or decorations: no costumes, no trick-or-treating, no carols, no presents. It represents not the busyness of Martha, but the peace of Mary. (It’s just a shame about Black Friday.)

4. The Christmas Season Approaches

It’s against my religion to listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving. (It isn’t really, but seriously, guys, wait until after Thanksgiving Day.)

Christmas is coming!

I’m a little cynical about the Christmas season, but only a little, and colder weather is a reminder that Christmas is coming. Autumn is a dreary season, but it promises brighter things. I appreciate that.

3. Fresh Apple Cider Becomes Available for Purchase

I like apples. really like apples.

How ’bout them apples?

For just a few glorious weeks every year, a local Amish market sells fresh apple cider: unpasteurized, unadulterated, with no preservatives or additional ingredients of any kind. It is glorious, and available only in early autumn.

2. Colder Weather Enhances Enjoyment of Warm Things

I hate cold weather, but appreciate how it increases my enjoyment of warmth. Hot food warms as well as satisfies. My sleeping bag becomes a haven of perfect warmth and comfort. (I don’t own a bed, because beds are for sensible, well-adjusted people.) However deeply the cold may settle in my bones, a hot shower always drives it out. Coffee, which is a refuge and strength at all times, keeps away the cold. Heck, even washing dishes becomes kind of a treat.

1. Autumn Brings Duster Weather

I actually like cool weather; it reminds me of Quito, where I was born, and where I spent many years. Even when the air turns painfully cold, I don’t despair, for lo! I have a duster overcoat.

I couldn’t find a photo of myself wearing my duster—selfies, like Christmas music before Thanksgiving, are against my religion—but my overcoat looks just a bit like the Tenth Doctor’s, minus the sparkles.

Since it appeared mysteriously in my closet a few years ago, I’ve taken a geeky satisfaction in wearing it when the autumn air turns chilly. My duster makes me look a bit like a khaki canvas tent, but it makes me feel awesome, and also warm.

What do you like most about the final months of the year? Let us know in the comments!

489. Trump Predictions

This is not a Serious Post. I wrote a Serious Post last time. Nah, today’s post is silly. These days of strife and political uncertainty call for a little comic relief, and TMTF is ready to answer that clarion call. Silliness is my beat.

Today I’ll share nine predictions of what Donald Trump will do as President of the United States. Please note that my jabs at Mr. Trump are all in good fun, and not meant to be taken as serious political commentary. I believe it’s important to respect our leaders whether or not we agree with them. That said, I also believe in the importance of humor, especially in difficult times. I found some cheer in writing this post, and I hope you find some cheer in reading it.


Here are my predictions for Donald Trump’s first actions as President of the United States.

(If you’re reading this, Mr. President, please don’t deport me.)

  • In addition to building a wall along the Mexican border, Trump will build a wall between the US and Canada, “just to be safe.”
  • Trump will make Official Donald Trump Wigs™ not only available to the American public, but mandatory. Now you can sport Trump’s iconic hairdo! What a privilege!
  • Trump will ban anime: “I love Japan—nobody loves Japan more than me—but anime is taking away jobs from our American animators. We make the best animation in the world. We don’t need anime. Anime is watering down America. We need to make animation great again. And anime is just weird, just really weird. Those Pokémonsters and giant robots—unhinged, really unhinged. No more anime. Let’s keep America safe.”

Unlike President Obama, Trump is probably not an anime fan. (For the record, President Obama isn’t actually an anime fan, which is a shame.)

  • As compensation for C.S. Lewis’s blatant plagiarism of the Trump name for one of his own characters, Trumpkin the dwarf, Trump will demand royalties for all copies sold of The Chronicles of Narnia.
  • Trump’s likeness will replace the current pictures of famous Americans on all existing denominations of US currency.
  • By decree of Trump, all American manuscripts of historical significance will be subjected to a barrage of painstaking examinations and scientific tests: “There’s a map hidden on the back of the Declaration of Independence. I know there is; I saw it in a documentary this one time. There’s a treasure map, and that treasure belongs to the American people. It’s a travesty, a total travesty, that nobody’s found it yet.”

National Treasure is a great, um, documentary?

  • Trump will decree that all seasonal autumn flavors must be renamed Trumpkin Spice. (I must give due credit to Lauren Faust on Twitter for this one.)
  • Trump will deport everyone except himself, his family, and his personal staff, reducing the US population to dozens. Overpopulation solved, baby.
  • Trump will commission the construction of a national monument for himself. It will be orange.

God bless America. We’re going to need it.

487. That Time I Saw a President Kicked Out of Office

Tomorrow is Election Day for the United States of America. The American people will gather to choose their next president. Some of us will worry for The Future of Our Nation. At least one of us will wish Batman were running for president instead of Trump or Clinton.

The presidential election takes me back to Ecuador, a nation of notorious political instability, and That Time I Saw a President Kicked Out of Office.

Lucio Gutiérrez was Ecuador’s president for only a couple of years, but long enough for his name to become a punchline in my family. Gutiérrez put up a lot of billboards during his presidency that read “Lucio Construye,” meaning “Lucio Builds.”

These signs, which often stood near roads under construction, were intended, I presume, to promote some initiative to improve Ecuador’s public infrastructure. What they really signified was unfinished roads and bumpy driving conditions. When my family and I were out driving, a “Lucio Construye” billboard warned us to brace ourselves for jolts. We reached a point at which any bumpy roads provoked me and my brothers to shout “Lucio construye!” from the back seat.

I don’t know who spray painted that question mark, but was a valid question: Lucio construye? Lucio builds? I guess Lucio did build the sign.

Following some political unrest, the Congress of Ecuador voted on April 20, 2005 to remove Gutiérrez from power, and the military publicly withdrew their support for him. Gutiérrez was overthrown by his own government. He fled the Presidential Palace in a helicopter, escaping mobs of protesters.

I heard his helicopter fly overhead. At the time, I was sitting quietly in my World History classroom at school, listening to updates on the political situation. My teacher had abandoned the day’s history lesson—after all, history was being made that day. As Gutiérrez fled, we heard the drone of a helicopter far overhead. “That’s his helicopter!” someone exclaimed, and it may have been. Alternatively, it may well have been a news or military helicopter, but I like to think it was the ex-president on the run.

Some of the protests were pretty rowdy. At one point, I got a face full of tear gas while walking to school. The wind blew the gas from a nearby protest to my school campus. It hit me like a bucket of vinegar, and stung quite a bit. On a scale of one to ten, one being a mild insult and ten being a jellyfish sting, the tear gas was maybe a three.

Since I didn’t actually see Lucio Gutiérrez removed from power, I suppose the title of this post is a bit inaccurate. It should be “That Time I Heard a President Kicked Out of Office” since I heard the helicopter, or even “That Time I Smelled a President Kicked Out of Office” because of the tear gas, but those titles just are just weird.

Alas, poor Lucio, who pretended to build things. We miss you. (We don’t really.)

In the end, the vice president, Alfredo Palacio, assumed the presidency, later to be succeeded by Ecuador’s current prez, Rafael Correa. The political unrest surrounding Gutiérrez subsided, only to be replaced by conflicts surrounding Correa. In fact, when I double-checked my facts for this post, I learned that Correa blamed Gutiérrez for allegedly provoking unrest in an attempt to instigate a coup. Another president, another crisis. “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

I love Ecuador, my homeland, mi patria, but its politics aren’t the greatest.

Tomorrow is Election Day for the United States of America. I know a lot of people are worried, but hey—nobody is attempting to overthrow our president at the moment, and there probably won’t be tear gas. It could be worse. The road ahead may be rough, with plenty of bumps and jolts, but we can always shout “Lucio construye!” and keep moving forward.

485. Out of Steam

I had planned to write a Serious Post for today, but instead spent my weekend hanging out with my family. I regret nothing.

My older brother and his family will return to the Dominican Republic in just a couple of days, and my parents will move to Spain a couple of days after that, so I’m glad I spent time with them.

It’s late, however, and I’m totally out of steam. Never fear! THE BLOG SHALL GO ON. It will take more than a busy weekend to slow TMTF’s ponderous march toward its imminent end. I’ll work on it this week.

For now, please accept my apologies, along with this picture of my cat.