Friday, August 01, 2008

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 24

(Please scroll down for Skywatch Friday and this month's Fable of the Month)

This is week 24 of the Saturday Wordzzle Challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works. It felt really delightful in a perverse sort of way to be able to blame someone else for my struggles with this weeks words/phrases - and boy did I struggle. Bless you Jeff B and thank you again for the collection of words that will see me through a few more weeks. Hope the rest of you did better with them than I did. Anyway, here's what I came up with. I look forward to reading what the rest of you have done.


The words for this week's ten word challenge were: ghastly, excrement, bill of sale, vague, thicket, precarious, life long ambition, gunnery sergeant, posthumous, bellowed And for the Mini Challenge: lap of luxury, yellow-bellied sapsucker, quinine, generalization, abnormality

Here's my ten-word offering for this week.

Gunnery Sergeant George Garrison Thicket bellowed his anger to the heavens. His life long ambition had been to serve his country with honor and courage. But here he was, caught in this ghastly precarious exercise in hubris, politics and unbridled greed, writing posthumus letters home to the wives and parents of his friends who were dying for no good cause as far as he could tell, beyond filling the bank accounts of criminals. He wanted to see the current resident of the White House buried up to his neck in excrement and shipped off to prison where he belonged. Democracy – and his country with it – had been sold down the river by this vague, vacant-eyed monster without the benefit of even a bill of sale. There was, he hoped, a special place in Hell for the people who had so shamelessly made him a pawn in their chess game.


And here's my mini challenge:

“You’re nothing but a yellow bellied sap sucker,” Martin intoned in his best John Wayne imitation. “Pass me a quinine water, barkeep, he continued. “You got some kind of mental abnormality?” the bar tender replied. “What the hell is quinine water?” “It’s tonic to you peasants,” Martin continued as John Wayne. Those of us raised in the lap of luxury call it quinine.” This may be a bit of a generalization the Mike, the bar tender replied, but those living in the lap of luxury tend not to frequent establishments here in the slums on the lower east side. “Well, Pilgrim, I hate to admit it, but you’re right. I do a pretty good John Wayne, though, don’t I?


And the mega challenge:

Cameras clicking wildly, Susan Quinine (she had kept her maiden name for professional reasons) and her husband, Gunnery Sergeant Reginald Posthumous gasped in delight as they took shot after shot of the yellow bellied sapsucker perched in the thicket mere feet away from where they were precariously hidden behind a small bush. It had been one of their life long ambitions as bird watchers to see one of these beautiful birds. It was icing on the cake of what had been a truly magical trip. They were staying in a beautiful cabin, the birder’s equivalent of the lap of luxury. It was not an exaggeration or generalization but pure fact to say that usually their accommodations were simply ghastly and filled Susan with a vague sense that even though she couldn’t see it, she was wading in excrement. Above and beyond today’s miracle sighting of the sap sucker, last night they had been treated to the visit of a majestic stag moose who had posed graciously for pictures and then bellowed with great authority before running off into deeper woods. Such beautiful quarters were an abnormality and a delight and they would have signed over their life saving on the spot had someone been willing to present them with a bill of sale. “Reggie,“ Susan whispered quietly as she watched the little bird with delight and fascination. “Thank you for this trip. It’s the best anniversary gift the best husband in the world could have given me. I love you always, but today I feel like a honeymooner again.” The photo Reggie snapped of her in that moment – yellow bellied sap-sucker peeking over her shoulder – said it all and was one they would treasure for the rest of their lives. When they bought the cabin a few years later, it was hung in a place of honor on the wall.


***********

This week's vanity wordzzle used the words: minimize, slinky, pewter, grump, free beer, Alex Trebek, pantomime, rickshaw, militant, intern

What a dream I had last night! We were playing Jeopardy, only it was all done in pantomime, if you can imagine that! Alex Trebek was still the host, but apparently he hates charades, (which, when you get right down to it is what we were playing), so he was very grumpy and not his usual cheery self. The contestants were - get this - a rickshaw driver from somewhere in China. He spoke barely any English, so acting out the answers definitely worked in his favor. Next, there was a woman who claimed to be a militant woman’s rights advocate, but she was wearing this incredibly slinky dress which didn’t seem to go with what she stood for. I suppose I’m reflecting some kind of bias there, but if you’d have seen this dress... The third guy was an intern in a metalworking factory. He specialized in pewter ware and his hero was Paul Revere. It was all very weird. I could see why Trebek was grouchy. I mean, I don’t mean to minimize the joys of charades, but it makes for a very, very, very slow game of Jeopardy. Every so often, instead of a question, the board would flash a sign saying free beers and they would all have a round of drinks before going on. By the end of the show, Alex Trebek was sitting on the floor giggling, the feminist was flirting with the metal worker and the rickshaw driver (who won, by the way) was pantomiming driving a taxi. What a nightmare. Next time I’m tempted to by a free beer offer, I’ll remind myself of this dream - and of this morning’s hangover.


***********

Again, special thanks to Jeff B for this week’s challenges.

Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: middle finger, text message. the letter “Q,” Shangri-La, melodramatic, compensate, elixir, band of brothers, quadruped, explicit


And for the Mini Challenge:
deposition, monosyllabic, better off dead, dubious, posh


Thanks for playing. For those who are new, here are some guidelines to make the process more fun.

Enjoy! See you next week.

DON'T FORGET TO ADD YOUR NAME TO MR. LINKY!!!!!

Mr. Linky seems to be coming and going these days. If all you see is a little square, don't be fooled, Mr. Linky is still there, just being coy and hiding. Click on the square and you'll find him. If I knew how to fix this. I would do so. I wish I did.

12 comments:

SMM said...

Ooooh you seem biased against the women's right advocate i a slinky dress :P

Btw loved the story abt the bird watching couple.

Richard said...

I'll be working on staining the deck this morning and back to read everyone's story later.

Rich

DivaJood said...

Damn, you're good. This is so much fun.

Dianne said...

Amen to Gunnery Sergeant George Garrison Thicket!!

Funny Raven I too made a reference to the war in Finola's story, although not as incredibly eloquent a point as you did.

and the other stories were a delight!

Jeff B said...

From the minute you mentioned John Wayne, I started reading the story in his voice! The power of suggestion.

So who the hell came up with this list of words? Oh ya...

Like you, I struggled to make them flow into a story that seemed like it belonged. You managed to do it quite well though.

Michael Manning said...

It was nothing short of ghastly--my excitement that is--when I updated my Fender Stratocaster. However, in a world where a vague and precarious ghastly excitement bellowed, I examined my bill of sale and went off to test the Fender Telecaster. Now please, no excrement when I share this. Without meaning to sound vague or confusing, the Telecaster was in my estimation a guitar that "punched-through". Aha, but wait! I was saved by the thicket of my limited vocabulary from the sales associate who advised me that "punchier" was not appropriate for my life long ambition. He suggested that the tonal sonics were clearer and rang truer. I looked at him suspecting that he might have been a gunnery sergeant in the service! Alas, there is nothing posthumous about this process, as I'm still pondering it all. However, I shall take leave now as my stomach has bellowed for breakfast! :D)

Dianne said...

Man I love Micheal and his drive-by Wordzzles!!
"in a world where a vague and precarious ghastly excitement bellowed" - how fantastic is that!! and I hear it in the voice of the Movie Phone guy

San said...

When I read Jeff's list of words, I thought, Ouch, those are tough, but as ever, Raven, you've pulled them together brilliantly. A political statement, a great moment in the little corner of the universe known as a bar, a couple of in-love-birders with a happy ending, and a piece of surrealism by way of Jeopardy. Make that Triple Jeopardy and make mine a double, skip the hangover. "What is a hangover? For 10,000."

Raven said...

smm - remember I was writing for the character, not myself. Glad you liked the bird watchers. Thanks

richard - hope the deck staining went well. I think we may have some Sunday entries this week.

jeff b - thank goodness for the power of suggestion. I think that one kind of fell apart after the first couple of lines. These words gave me a very hard time.

michael manning - brilliant closet wordzzle as always. You are so clever you dash them off in the comments. Bravo.

dianne - I agree. Drive by wordzzles are really the way I learned to do it - in a short, limited time frame to be read on the spot - but I don't think I could manage it any more.

san - you are so good for my ego. I love your last line. Wish I'd thought of it. Thank you again, by the way for the award. I haven't forgotten, just having a week that is odd and complicated.

Thanks all.

Akelamalu said...

I love the way you made the words into names - you're so good at that!

Sorry I haven't had time to join in this week, but (in an 'Arnie' voice)...

I'll be back!

storyteller said...

Not playing, but enjoying others Wordzzles today. Yourz is amazing as always. I’ll return to read and respond to your OSI post after I do mine for this next prompt. I did want to let you know that I tagged you for the NEEDS meme … but only if you'd like to participate. My answers and the directions are at Small Reflections today (Sunday). No pressure ever, but this one's fun and easy ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

Jay said...

I read the mini while doing my best John Wayne impression. It worked great!

Sorry I didn't play this week. Got a little behind and didn't have time. Maybe I should work on these earlier in the week instead of waiting til the last minute? ;-)