Saturday, 27 April 2013

X is for - Xanthippe

Image Credit

The lovely letter X, has given me the opportunity to tell you about Xanthippe, the ill tempered wife of  Socrates the Greek Athenian philosopher. Xanthippe was said to be a quarrelsome young wife, and it is said he married her to practice his patience, choosing her precisely because of her argumentative spirit. 

Perhaps he did, in any case, she was reported to be as much as forty years his junior, and they had three sons, one a babe in arms at the time of Socrates death.

So now you know, if you didn't already.

Talking of ill-tempered women, here's a little flash fiction piece I wrote earlier.

‘Award winning my arse,’ shouted the woman, who had barged in shaking her head, puffing and panting, pausing only momentarily. I smiled. It was correct procedure, the right way to approach irritated customers according to my manager.
‘Madam I...’
‘You’ve, got four stars up on that wall outside; did you paint them on yourself? I’ve never stayed in such a hovel.’ 
‘If I could...’
‘What?  Take me into a side room so that no one hears me having a rant? Forget it!  Everybody needs to know what a squalid place this is, and I intend to tell them.’  Alarmingly, she swung her arms around wildly, then grasped hold of the edge of the desk, leaning forward she poked her head over the top. 
‘You might have managed to fool my old man when he checked us in here last night but you don’t fool me young lady.  He said for me to leave it, just wanted to drive away he did, but I had to come back in and let you have a piece of my mind. It might look clean and tidy down here, but I know you’ve got cockroaches for lodgers. I’m reporting you.’ 
‘If you'd give me a chance...’
‘Bloody cheek!' The woman slapped the flat of her hand down hard on the desk. 'Far as I’m concerned you deserve the inspectors.  They’ll have a field day, peeling paper, crumbling plaster, not to mention a lack of hot water!  They’ll have you shut down.  I want my money back!’  At last, she had run out of breath.  Eyes bulging dangerously, I wasn’t sure if she’d burst a blood vessel. 
‘Well...Mrs?’  I paused hoping I wasn’t about to get another tongue lashing.
‘Jones!’ she spat the words out.
‘I’m terribly sorry Mrs Jones, its unfortunate you've had such an unpleasant experience - there is really nothing I can do though - perhaps if you speak to the hotel door?' The look on her face, as the colour drained away, and she scrutinised her surrounding a little more. Priceless!

I'm having a day off from the A to Z challenge tomorrow, I'll be back on Monday with the letter Y, and I'll be posting my goal list up tomorrow as usual. Have a good Saturday!


  1. Snap! I had the same word although not in such great detail. Love your flash fiction.

    1. Thank you Anne, just a bit of fun... :-)

  2. Great post for the letter X, brilliant flash fiction. :)


  3. Thanks, Maria. Xanthippe was a good choice and I enjoyed reading the flash fiction. You described the ill tempered lady very well. Glad I wasn't staying in that hotel! Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

    1. I wrote it for fun, I love flash fiction, if you haven't tried it before I can recommend it...

  4. I went Greek as well today - Xanthus
    Guess there are more Xs in Greek to chose from


    1. Yes, think the Greeks were big on the letter X...

  5. All this time I've had exposure to Socrates and nary a word on the 'bitter half'(smile). Although I can understand(?)that Miss X talents supplied his need.

    The phrase, 'flash fiction' is new to me. Yes, I've been living a while! That said what a funny story; sounds like something I might do... wrong building establishment - yep that would be me!

    You have a wonderful sense of humour. Though I'm visiting this time from Gary's 'klahanie' I'll be returning to read some more on my own.

    Take care and best wishes for the remainder of the challenge!

    1. Thank you Dixie, I look forward to seeing you here again soon. Maybe you'll start doing a little flash fiction? I hope so its fun!

  6. It’s great to see what everyone else has done for X. I’m certainly learning something. Like the flash fiction too – we all know the sort. Keep up the good work.


I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment, and I try to reply to every one. Many thanks!

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