Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Burn Your Socks Right Now

            (I counted thirteen good names for a rock band in this post. See how many you can find!)

            There’s nothing more unsettling than finding something in your possession that you don’t remember acquiring. Well, that’s not actually true; it’s far more unsettling to wake up from a deep sleep to find yourself suspended over a vat of boiling laundry detergent, but that’s been an infrequent occurrence as of late, so I’m going with “inexplicable knick-knack” as my greatest fear for the moment, narrowly edging out “graphite”.
            I have in my possession an object, an object whose purpose, origins, and basic construction eludes me. I certainly do not recall purchasing it, and as such can only presume that it was placed here by some antagonist in a rather redundant attempt to drive me insane. While that thought isn’t entirely comforting, this is a welcome shift in tactics from previous efforts. The scorpions in particular were beginning to become troublesome; one can only eat so many stews.
            Arachnid broths aside, the purpose of this object can only be to annoy me. Now, I say that about many things, from circuit boards to cirrus clouds, so I’ll have to elaborate a bit. The object itself consists only of a square frame with a cloth stretched over it, on which is printed an image of a butterfly. This object has no conceivable purpose. I’ve been using it to train spiders to fear butterflies, but that initiative may be failing, due to the fact that I’m just squishing them. (In no way will this deter me from my plan, however; I plan on using this information to once and for all prove that spider-ghosts can experience fear. And that spider-ghosts exist, I suppose.)
            Whomever is doing this obviously knows how my mind works, the ins and outs of my thinking, particularly that twelve meter drop a short ways in. They obviously know that I cannot abide useless objects; I even trained my slinky to deliver packages around my house (Note to self: He seems to be spending an awful amount of time at the bottom of the stairs. Dock his wages when he gets back up here.) They knew that the presence of a functionless doohickey would send me into a screaming, primal rage, forcing me to resolve the issue by quietly typing five hundred words about it, much as our forefathers settled their disputes, only with fewer duels and invasions of France.
            But who exactly is doing this? Well, remember what I’ve said about the object and it will become clear. Square frames? They’ve got bigger game than me; they’re plotting to take over the world. Butterflies? They already have. Neither of these factions have anything to gain from this temporary alliance.
            The unseen antagonist here? Stretched cloth. I’m calling for a mass campaign here, one person who is following my blog. First, switch to stone clothing. Second, if you see any cloth that looks like it is being stretched, or might become stretched sometime in the future, contact the authorities.

Waiting for the Apocalypse: Fighting against fibrous materials and their misdeeds since 1896!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Rebuttal to Coherence

            (Alright, I thought of something to write about. Hell if I know what it is, though.)

Reliable sources have informed me that today is a Wednesday, and thus time to post something new. As usual, I have nothing of worth to contribute to the world. However, if everybody who had nothing useful to contribute simply didn’t contribute anything, then the vast majority of creative fields, internet forums, and political offices would be empty, and the world would be deprived of all of its entertainment. I refuse to stand by and let nothing be said when I’m quite capable of saying nothing myself.
On the other hand, it’s harder than you might think to write without a particular topic- sooner or later, I’m going to have to fire a neuron, and it’s not going to be pretty when I do. With that in mind, as a dedicated artist who refuses to search for easy answers, I’ve searched around the space around my desk for a quick cop- out.
            My calendar, ever eager to please, informed me the some holiday called “Valentine’s Day” has recently occurred. Now, I’m inclined to consider my calendar a reliable authority, as I’ve established my dominance over my office supplies by making an example of all those that defy me. There have been a few discrepancies in the past, most notably the Great Stapler Revolt of ’09, but I have them mostly cowed into submission (Note to self: Keyboard emitted what may have been a derisive snort after typing that last sentence. Find creative way to reprimand it- perhaps locking it outside without food or shelter).
            As it turns out, “Valentine’s Day” is evidently a holiday on which people express their deep, personal affections by inhaling vast quantities of industrial- grade chocolate packaged in “heart”- shaped containers that have obviously been designed by somebody who’s never seen an actual heart (Not that I have, despite what that rhythmic ticking from beneath the floorboards might say).
            This, of course, raises the question of why the heart is associated with romantic love in so many cultures. My mind tells me that it has something to do with the ancient Egyptians’ belief that the heart was the source of thought, but I’ll be damned if I let facts get in the way of this post (Other things that don’t get in the way of WFTA: octagons, sea urchins, the Finnish government, and the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky). The way I see it, it could just as easily be any other organ- I’m an advocate of the pancreas, but the kidneys are nice too, and the gall bladder just doesn’t get enough credit. But not the brain- it gets the best piece of real estate in the body, and then thinks that it can take credit for everything as well? Not on my watch (Note to self: Could the fact that it isn’t happening while I watch mean that the eyes are in on the conspiracy? They are unable to be trusted. Contact optometrist while asleep and arrange to have them removed. Consult to see if this is legal, and then do it anyway.)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


(I honestly have no idea what to write about right now. However, I’ve somehow convinced myself that it is vitally important for me to post every Wednesday, so I’m going to leave this here until I come up with something. Expect aimless rambling when it finally arrives. Actually, no. I can do better than that. Expect very precise rambling.)


            (God, there’s a lot of empty space here, isn’t there? It almost looks sad. I’ll just do what I normally do when I’m normally confronted by things that look sad: ignore it until it goes away.)

(Is it still here?)


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

One Flew Over the Creative Writing Class

(You might think that the thunderous indifference that has been expressed to my previous post would deter me from further efforts. You’d be wrong. There is a strange temptation to deface that which cannot be seen. Fun fact: Neil Armstrong actually scrawled obscenities on the underside of a rock during the Apollo 11 mission. I defy you to prove me wrong.)

Today’s Topic: Writing Prompts with Horrifying Implications

            While I was searching for things to write about on the benevolent overlord that is Google, I came across a resource listing a few creative writing prompts aimed at children. “Aimed” is the crucial word here- the only exchange that whoever wrote these has ever had with a young person took place at opposite ends of a sniper scope. Now, normally I’m an advocate for striking terror into the hearts of children, as the customers of “Happy Hal’s Party Clowns” will attest, but a few of these cross the line. And I’m not making any of these up, either; you can find the rest here.

What would you do if you were in the middle of the lake and your boat springs a leak?
            The most obvious answer is “drown”. Sure, you can assume that this is a small lake if you want to, but all that tells me is that you think small. We didn’t get many details; this could easily be the center of the Dead Sea for all we know. And then there’s the matter of that mysterious leak in the boat. Leaks don’t spring up out of nowhere: a normal child is going to assume that someone is employing a rather inefficient method of murdering them, and if you’ve had a childhood like I’ve had, the only logical conclusion is that the leak is the only warning you’re going to get before Cthulu surfaces and humanity bows to its new master. So, in summation, you’re basically giving a child the choice between someone trying to kill them as slowly as possible and 10,000 years of madness.

Write a story from the perspective of a rabbit going down a hole.  What does the rabbit experience, see and feel?
            Ignoring the Freudian connotations in that first sentence for the moment, bear in mind that the only responses somebody can logically give to the second are, respectively, “Dirt,” “More dirt,” and “Really just an inordinate amount of dirt.” The resulting piece of literature will invariably be impossible to read without hearing Ben Stein’s voice.

What would you do if you suddenly woke up in another country and no one could understand a word you said!
            First, please remember to use question marks. Second, I believe that’s called “kidnapping” in some circles. And not your garden variety kidnapping either, oh no, apparently the kidnappers have decided that you weren’t worth carrying around anymore and abandoned you, resulting in a strange combination of terror, bewilderment, and low self esteem. There is literally no response a child could give to this paper without being investigated by social services.

What would you do if you were the last person on earth?
            Notice it doesn’t specify why you’re the last person on earth. No, what we have here is basically a Mad-libs for the apocalypse, where you’re able to fill in the deaths of everybody you know with your own darkest fears. Sure, you have the kids that’ll decide to rule over a candy factory in the ruins of civilization, but at least a few of them will realize that they’re going to last for about five years before losing control of the factory in a diplomatic dispute with their left shoe.

What if you were a snowflake… what would your day be like?
            Lifespan of a snowflake:
1. Be born.
2. Plummet to the ground at your terminal velocity.
3. Be crushed under the weight of millions of your siblings.
4. Die.
            “What would your day be like?” Yes, a stark commentary on the fleeting nature of existence and the insufferable pain we endure during our lives seems like a logical follow up to The Little Engine That Could.

How does it feel to be a snowflake?
            No, this isn’t a joke. Essentially the same writing prompt appears later on in the list. Evidently this one is supposed to cover what went unanswered in the last one. There are two possible directions a child could take this writing. 1) Simply write the exact same thing as they did on the previous prompt, as a teacher whose attention span doesn’t even reach the end of a list is unlikely to notice, or 2) “Hi! I’m Billy the Snowflake! I’m here to show you how fun my town is! Let’s go exploring, and I’ll- wait, what’s that big hot yellow thing in the sky? OH, DEAR GOD, THE PAIN! WHAT CRUEL GOD HAS THUSLY ENGINEERED MY FATE?!”

Imagine you are a mountain and you are sitting and watching the world.  What do you see?
            “Hi! I’m Monty the Mountain! Let’s wait and see what interesting things happen to me!
            (500 years pass)
            “Huh. So that’s what it feels like to slowly erode. Well, it’s going to be a fun eternity.”
(Alternate ending)

            “Hi! I’m Monty the Mountain! I watch over these nice people here at Pompeii! Isn’t that right, guys? Guys?”