Friday, October 30, 2009

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 87

This is week 87 of the Saturday Wordzzle challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works. My friends have been here much of the day helping me to get organized for my niece's visit next week, so these have been done very hastily. I hope they make sense. I'm not happy with any of them, to tell the truth, but I'm too tired to fix them and my friends will be back shortly with dinner supplies, so.... what I've writ is what I'm posting. Sigh. My apologies to Florence Nightingale. I spelled her name wrong last week. I've corrected it here.

The words for this week's ten word challenge were: plumber, autograph, Florence Nightingale, a chill wind’s a blowing, watering hole, sleek, triplets, backwards, surface tension, parrot And for the mini: Free estimates,French fries, carpet, Braille, silver-tongued bandit

This week's mega challenge:

"A chill wind's a blowin'" thought Florence Nightingale glancing anxiously backwards over her right shoulder as she entered her favorite watering hole in hopes of escaping her sense of loneliness and impending doom. But the fates were apparently not in a mood to be kind. The triplets were there - Harry, George and Martin - parroting their usual inane pick-up lines and asking for her autograph as though they thought she as the real Florence Nightingale. Harry, who fancied himself to be a charmer(a silver-tongued bandit he would say), sleeked back his hair and sauntered over to her. "Hey, babe, ya miss me?" "Not at all," she replied, trying to hold the surface tension of her emotions firm so that her anger and sorrow didn't bubble over and fly out to wound him. He was a jerk, but he meant no harm. Next came George, a plumber by trade. He was always offering to give her free estimates on his services, half serious, half double entendre. He was her least favorite. Then there was sweet Martin. If only he hadn't come with replicas, she might have been able to enjoy him. She smiled in spite of herself as he shyly offered her some of his French fries and a mug of her favorite beer. His shaggy mop of hair always made her think of a woolly carpet for some reason and there was something sweet in the way he anxiously fingered the table top as though he was trying to read some hidden message in Braille. She didn't feel there could be much of a future with him, though. He came with the other two and that would never change.

Mini Challenge:

Free estimates, Free estimates the sign shouted. Alas, for many potential customers, it shouted these words in Braille. Greg, the blind carpet salesman, couldn't understand why business was so slow these days. Alas, he had fallen prey to the slick sales pitch of the infamous silver-tongued bandit "French Fries" Freddie, who had never met anyone he couldn't find a way to swindle. That Greg was blind, bothered Freddie's conscience not a whit. Years later, Freddie got his come-uppance when Greg's nephew was able to set him up with the help of a half dozen of his former victims and finally get him thrown into the jail cell where he had long belonged.

10-word Challenge:

Nurse Francine McTavish had been such a great admirer of Florence Nightengale that she had seached high and low for all kinds of memorabilia about that great woman's life. Her most prized possession had been a vintage copy of Notes on Nursing purportedly autographed by her heroine. She had named her triplets - two girls and a boy - Florence, Gale and Night after her heroine, something they had never quite forgiven her for, especially poor Night who took much unmerciful teasing from school mates and friends throughout his whole life. Her parrot was also named Nightengale. It had previously belonged to a plumber and had a rather odd vocabulary which included such phrases as "a chill wind's a blowing," "I'm concerned about the surface tension," "The Sleek Geek is my favorite watering hole," and "Is this thing on backwards?" Hard as Francine tried to teach the stubborn bird nursing terms or phrases like the Lady of the Lamp, it refused to budge from its original vocabulary... with one exception. Night had taught it with bribes and determination to sing - not say - a little ditty which he called "I hate Florence Nightengale." He inherited the bird after his mother's death and continued to take delight every time it sang that little song. His sisters - neither of whom would have anything to do with nursing - got the book - which they promptly sold at auction. They had loved their mother and mourned her passing, but they considered the lady of the lamp to have been a life long rival for her affections and were glad to see the last of her in their lives. Although they were now in their 40s they had briefly considered legally changing their names but decided they would stay as they were since the damage had been done long ago and learning new identities would just be more effort than it was worth. To their own children they gave very traditional names and told them early on that they could change them if they didn't like them.


Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be:  Cute,
come with me to the Casba, bloodhound, respiration,
Facebook, Canada Geese, modern, gravity,
spider webs, sea shells
And for the mini: curiosity killed the cat, charming Victorian,
railroad tracks, tower, salt and pepper

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

Enjoy! See you next week.



Akelamalu said...

Please accept my apologies. Somehow I have managed to use the wrong words - I have no idea how or where I got them from! Put it down as a senior moment. As I have already written and posted the wordzzles I will leave them up.

Now to your excellent offerings:
Even triplets have their own personality and you captured them perfectly.

I'm so glad French Fries Freddie got his comeuppance!

Oh dear some people just don't think when naming their children do they? I love how you worked some of the words into sayings and attributed them to the parrot!

Argent said...

Your mega was terrific! You should post in a hurry more often if this is how good you are! The portraits of the characters were really good. Maybe Florence can get Martin on his own sometime.

"French fies" freddie! Priceless! And he deserved all he got. I like the idea of a blind carpet salesman though. I was going to try a blind plumber at one stage, but time ran out.

The story of your 10-worder was really well put together, I thought. I've always disliked my own, very plain, name but can see how having an unusual name could be a drawback. Makes you wonder how parents' own likes and dislikes, fads and obsessions can affect their kids.

As susal, three gems. The 10-worder gets it by a nose for me but I liked all three immensely.

Reston Friends! said...

My favorite was the middle one Raven! I like a story with justice in it!

And the appreciation of 1/3 of the trio in the first one was sweet.

And number 3! Wow! Poor kids!

Mama Zen said...

I think that these are fabulous!

Dr.John said...

Good stories with hard words.
I could almost smell the beer in the first.
Wanted to shout out hooray at the end of the second.
And loved what Night did with the parrot in the third.

DawnTreader said...

Oh I absolutely LOVE your third story, the one with the triplets called Florence, Night and Gale, and the parrot knowing all those impossible phrases!!! Brilliant in my opinion!!!

bettygram said...

Very good again.
It must be hard to live with names you do not like, or are just strange.

Fandango said...

We dragons always like your stories. In the first one we were reminded of how weird you humans can be. So sad.
The second one made us angry. Cheating blind people. Shame.
The third one caused us to laugh. We know a dragon named Heavy Wind now what could be worse than that.

We do have a complaint . Next week's fifteen words contain in reality thirty words. Since every Friday we try to write a 55 word story with the words you haven't left us much room to maneuver in.

Stephen said...

In the mega challenge, I hope the three men at least distracted Florence from her problems. It is possible that she might have a chance with Martin, but only if the other two move away or get married themselves. In the mini story, I thought the idea of a blind carpet salesman was interesting. Years ago I used to see a truck with a sticker on it saying it was driven by a blind man, but it was a truck for a store that sold blinds. In the 10 word story, it's too bad that the mother's attempt to promote Florence Nightingale backfired, but sometimes people can try too hard. They were all good stories.

I have my own stories up now.

Stephen from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

Carletta said...

My favorite is your ten word. Quite unique naming of children.
I also loved 'French Fries Freddie' :)

I'm sure your visit with your niece will go just fine. Take pictures for us.